posted on 8-Sep-2001 7:33:11 PM by Transparent Clear
To catch up on all of this story, go to:

viewthread?forum=repost-fan-fiction&id=334


~*~Part 19~*~


After yelling at my father like that, I didn’t know what to do. I’d never done that before, not even to my mother, who had been there through some of the worst of my adolescence. I felt so selfish and like I didn’t have any control over what I had just said. What I’d told him was true, though; I didn’t regret a word of it. It was just shocking to believe that I actually said it to him. I never really thought of myself as a person who would come out and say what she really meant. I was used to keeping things quiet and bottled up inside me and now I was just letting it all go.

I went out to my Jeep and drove away from the house. I needed to calm down before I went back there to try to talk to him again. I didn’t know where to go, but I ended up at my favorite Starbucks in the city: the one on the corner of Main St. I ordered a tall mochaccino with a shot of caramel and sat by myself at a table in the corner, keeping watch that no one saw me pour the Tabasco I had hidden in my purse into the cup.

Halfway through the coup, someone sat down next to me.

“Are you okay, Alex?” Matt asked, reaching out to hold my hand.

“How did you find me, Matt?” I looked around to see who else was there.

“I saw your Jeep on the street. What’s going on? You’re shaking.”

“I’m fine, Matt. I just had a fight—“

“With your mother?”

“My father.” I ran my finger around the edge of my cup.

“Is he in town?”

I looked up quickly. “No.” I knew I’d have to lie to cover this one up. I never should have said a word to Matt, but I was so tired of living with all these secrets. 2 months before, I thought I was this normal, everyday kid without a secret or concern; now I was this alien teen who had to keep everything from everyone she had ever known or loved. “That’s what we fought about, though. He called and I said something about him visiting us, and he said he couldn’t. I just got so angry, Matt.” I could feel my eyes start to tear up again. I could see the way my father looked almost defeated when I yelled at him like that.

“Alex, it’s ok to get angry at him. He was a pretty horrible father for 17 years.”

It hurt me to hear Matt talk about my father like that. There were so many extenuating circumstances that he just didn’t—couldn’t know. “Matt, please, don’t talk about my father like that, okay? He’s trying now and I have to give him that chance.”

“Alex, I know you want to believe in him but he won’t even come to see you. He’s not exactly making it easy for anyone to understand his motives.”

“I understand them, Matt. My mother does. I think that’s all that is important.” I finished my drink. I needed to get away from Matt. I needed to go talk to my father. I stood up.

“Alex, where are you going?”

“Home. I need to wait for a phone call.”

“Are we going out tonight?”

“I don’t think so. I have a lot to work out, Matt. I need some time.”

“How much time?” He asked, sounding quite exasperated. “You didn’t come out with us last night, you’ve been distant all week. What is going on with you?”

“Matt, I’ve just had a long week, okay? I’m sorry that I’m not around much right now, but I have to take care of some stuff.”

“Stuff you can’t tell me about?”

“Exactly. It’s important to my mother that I do this stuff, and I guess it’s important to me, too. I’m sorry, Matt.” I smiled and kissed his cheek. “I’ll talk to you either tomorrow or at school on Monday.” I walked out of the coffee shop and went home.

I walked into my house and heard my parents talking in the living room. I leaned against the wall in the foyer and listened.

“Max, it’s going to be all right.”

“No, it’s not. Liz, she’s so angry at me.”

“Well, what did you expect? Not only is she a teenager, which means she’s always mad at her parents for something, but she’s a teenager who feels like her father is keeping things from her. And you are. She doesn’t really care why.”

“I knew that she’d have all these conflicting emotions about me. How could she not? I’m not exactly the father I always thought I’d be.”

“Max—“

“Don’t make excuses for me, Liz. I do that enough as it is.”

“Max, you were trying to keep us safe. That’s not an excuse.”

“Sometimes I think it is.”

I leaned against the wall. My father sounded so vulnerable.

“Do you think she’s right, Liz? Do you think I’ve played God in our relationship all these years?”

My mom was quiet for a moment. I knew she was thinking. “Max, I know you’re trying to protect us. I just think that maybe you’ve taken it too far. You’re so concerned with keeping us safe that you forget that we won’t always be protectable. 2 kids have brought guns to Xan’s school this year. She could get into a car accident driving home from a basketball game. No matter how badly we want to, Max, we can’t protect Xan all the time. Believe me, I’ve tried. She’s going to get hurt sometimes. And Max, I know you want to keep me safe, but did you ever think that maybe I don’t want to be safe anymore? I’d face all the danger in the world if it meant we could be together again.”

“Liz, I can’t let you sacrifice everything for me! What about your family? Your parents? Your practice? You’d have to leave your life behind.”

“Max, I don’t care. My job is just my job. I can be a doctor, no matter where I am. My parents haven’t seen us in 2 years; they’re happy where they are, and I’d like to think that they still want me to be happy. You and Xan are my family. More importantly, it’s scary for me to know that you two are my entire life. You’re all that’s important to me. I just want us to all be together.”

“And I want the 2 of you with me, too, Liz. God knows that. But how can I ask Xan to give up a future she hasn’t even begun to dream about yet? She’d have to leave everything: her friends, her school, the only life she’s ever know. And she says now that that’s what she wants, but what happens when she wakes up next year and realizes that she should be partying in college, when she’s trapped with us, trying to be inconspicuous.”

I chose that moment to walk into the room. “I realize that I am with my parents and my family, and that’s much more important than partying.”

“Xan, how long have you been there?”

“Long enough.” I smiled. “Dad, please. This is my choice, okay? I want to go with you. I don’t care that I’ll have to leave my friends and school. I just want to be with you and Mom together. You know, since I found out this whole secret, I’ve had to grow up a lot, and I don’t mind that. I like who I am. But I know what the important things in life are, and for me, it’s my family. I want us all together.” I smiled. “It would be awesome if Alex and Maria were there, too, but I understand that that might not happen. What’s important is that we do.” I walked over to him and hugged him. “I’m sorry for yelling at you earlier, Dad. I just needed to get that off my chest.”

“Hey, didn’t I tell you that we could be honest with one another? I’m glad you yelled at me about it and didn’t run off to bitch about me to one of your friends.”

I smiled, turning a little pink. “Well, Matt heard some of it.”

My father looked up. “You saw Matt?”

“Yeah. He found me at Starbucks. Why?” I always had this feeling that my father didn’t like the idea of my boyfriend. I thought it was just because he didn’t want me to date, but now I was getting scared that there might be something else.

“Nothing.”

“No. There is something. You always get so defensive and stuff when I start talking about Matt. Now what is the deal?”

My mother looked at him. “Max, is there something we should know? What makes you so uneasy about Matt?”

“I don’t know if I can explain it. I mean, I just don’t know what to feel about Xan’s boyfriend.”

“Max, are you upset because your daughter is in a relationship? She’s not a baby anymore. It had to happen, and Matt is a good kid.” My mother smiled at me, like that solved that.

“It’s not just that, Liz. I mean, I don’t really like hearing that my daughter is dating some guy who I’ve never met, but there’s more.” He started pacing and changed topics. “All of Xan’s friends know that Xan is not Alex’s daughter.”

“So?” I asked.

“That was your safety net, Xan. Alex’s name on your birth certificate was just another way for you to deny me.”

“But, Dad, no one knows you are my father. They don’t know who my father is.” I looked at my parents. My mother looked broken; my father’s face was a mixture of anger and frustration as he kept pacing.

“The problem, though, Xan, is that they know that 18 years ago, your mother and I lived together. They know that we’d been together for years. They know everything about us.”

I hated the way he said “they”. I knew he meant the government or the FBI, and that scared me. “But it says that Alex is my father. Why would anyone look into that?” I could hear the naiveté in my voice.

My mother reached out and took my hand. I moved closer on the couch to her. “Xan, the government still wants your father, Isabel and Michael. If you’re connected to them, they want you, too.”

“What about you, Alex, and Maria then? Does the government want you?”

“I don’t know. Probably. I know that we were all followed right after they left. I’m pretty sure they continued to follow us until we moved here. They even watched you.”

“Watched? As in past tense?”

“We don’t know.”

“I haven’t felt followed since we moved here,” my mother said. "But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been, Xan. They are professionals, and it’s been some time since I had to check over my shoulder every day.”

“So someone might have been following me all my life?” My voice was shaking.

“Xan, we don’t know that.” My father sat on the other side of me and he wrapped his arm around me.

“That’s what you’re worried about Matt for, isn’t it?” I started crying at the thought of all the lies I had been told by him. Was he really just in my life to see if I was an alien?

“You think Matt has been sent to follow Xan, Max?” My mother sounded horrified.

“I don’t know. I’m afraid that someone might be watching Xan. We know that more and more interest is returning to our story, Liz. Our sources inside the government says they’re thinking of setting up special investigation units into the activity we all did.”

My mother’s face paled. “Like Pierce’s unit?” My father nodded.

I was confused by that silent conversation, but I didn’t want to ask about it.

“What does this mean? Do I break up with Matt? Should Mom pull me out of school? What happens now?” My head was spinning. Could I trust anyone? What if it wasn’t Matt? What if the spy was Megan? Or one of my teachers? How would I ever face these people? I’m a horrible liar! And now I had to pretend that I didn’t know that there were probably people in my school watching me and waiting for me to do something that would confirm my abilities as an alien?

“Nothing. We don’t even know if Matt’s dangerous. He could really just be a 18 year old boy interested in you for only the things that 18 year old boys want. We don’t know. You have to go on with every day life, like nothing has happened.”

“Pretending I’m not suspicious of every single person I know?”

“Welcome to the life of the alien on the run, sweetie,” my father tried to joke.

No one laughed.

“Can I dream-walk him and find out if he’s after me or whatever?”

“I don’t want you to yet, Xan. You’re still relatively new to it and that might make it easier for you to mess up and make yourself known in his head.”

“You mean he could sense me?”

“Exactly. For now, you just have to pretend and start keeping an eye on the people you trust.”

“So I have to spy on my friends who are possibly spying on me?” I wiped at my eyes. I was past tears by then.

“I’m sorry, Xan.” He kissed my forehead.

“Xan, I know how hard this is. We all went through it when we were your age. You know who you can trust—“

“You, Dad, Maria, Alex, Isabel, and Michael appear to be it.”

“For now, yes. And eventually, we will figure out if you can trust more people you know but until then, you need to think of us as all you’ve got,” my mom whispered. “Because we are.”

I found more tears to cry. For the first time in my life, I felt alone, and I was not enjoying it one bit.



[ edited 52time(s), last at 9-Feb-2003 11:09:44 AM ]
posted on 15-Sep-2001 10:15:52 AM by Transparent Clear
Note: I am so loving this new board! *smile* It is awesome. I just wanted to say hi to everyone and say I'm sorry this took so long. With the events of the past week, I just found I had no words. Thank you all for reading. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Jenan

~*~Part 20~*~


The next morning, my father and I were in the basement working on my powers again. I had spent the most miserable night. I had insisted on being alone, partly because I didn’t really like an audience when I cried about my lost innocence and partly because I think my parents needed to just be alone for a while. I may not like to think about it, but I do know certain things about their relationship that are inevitable. Nothing had been said at dinner (made by Little Caesar—my father insisted he missed ‘real’ pizza) or later that night about my little outburst. I knew that they were both okay with it, but I wasn’t. I had never behaved like that and I felt guilty.

Finally, in between building my shield, which was still embarrassingly pink, and working on molecular manipulation, I sat down and looked up at my father. “Dad, I’m sorry for what I said yesterday. I—“

He sat down next to me. “I’m not sorry, Xan. I told you before: you can be honest with me. I’m glad you were. You needed to say all that to me before it got so bottled up inside you it led you to hating me. And whether I like to admit it or not, I needed to hear it. It reminded me of some serious things about our family, Xan, about what’s important.” He smiled. “After all, I get to bring you and your mother home with me soon.” He squeezed my hand.

“I wish we were going now.” I couldn’t help whispering that.

He chose to respond to it. “I know, but your mother and I want you to graduate high school first. After all, once you come with me, we’ll be together for a long time.”

“I know.” I said. “I can’t wait! Can Maria and Alex come, too? Can you, Michael, and Isabel offer to let them come with us?”

He didn’t say anything for a moment. “I don’t know. I mean, I hadn’t really thought about it.”

“Don’t even ask if they would be willing to give up their lives for it because we both know they would. And we both know that Michael and Isabel would love it.”

My father smiled for a second. “Yeah, they would.”

“Where are they right now?”

“Well, Isabel is actually visiting Alex on a business trip.”

“You’re kidding me?” I was so excited that they could be together in real life for a change. I wondered if they were talking about what I know Isabel wanted to talk about.

“No. When I decided to come up here this weekend, she decided to go see him. And Michael is visiting Maria. We all decided to take this weekend for ourselves.”

Something that needs to be done more often, I couldn’t help thinking. “That’s so great!” I exclaimed. “They all must be so happy!”

“I imagine.” He paused and then grinned. “Actually, I don’t imagine. Isabel is my sister and I’d rather not know what exactly was going on with her and Alex.”

“God, Dad, why did you have to go there?” I started laughing.

He grinned at the look on my face. “It might be time we have a little reality talk, Xan,” he teased.

I knew what he meant and I so did not want to hear that from my father. “No! We don’t need to talk about anything like that.” Hearing the most embarrassing talk with my mother in my life coming from my father was not something I was really particularly interested in doing. I turned serious. “Dad, can I ask you a question?” He nodded. “You said you’ve always had this connection with Mom?”

“And that is going to stay a secret between us. She doesn’t need to know that I’ve kept up with her feelings all these years.”

“Right. Well, did you ever dream-walk her?”

He hesitated. “I haven’t dream-walked your mother since you were born.”

“You dream-walked Mom while she was pregnant with me, though?”

“Yes. I had to. I had to make sure the two of you were all right. I mean, we didn’t know if it was even possible for us to have kids together, and I had to make sure that no matter what, she was going to be okay.” He smiled, remembering. “I will never forget when she was pregnant with you, Xan. Even though I was hundred of miles away, I was able to connect to you in those dreams, and it was incredible. Every night I could see changes in you. Your mother and I shared that, and I think it helped us through those first months apart. I know those dreams kept me sane.”

“But you haven’t dream-walked her since?”

“No. I’ve only kept the connection lightly so I could make sure she was safe.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“I think dream-walking someone without their permission is obtrusive and I didn’t want to do that to your mother.”

I looked at my father and wondered if he really bought the excuse he’d just given me. “Right. Now what’s the real reason?”

“God, Xan, I just left her. I was always so afraid to go into her dreams because I was afraid that they were representations of the pain I’d caused her or the fear she felt because of the trouble I brought into your lives. I love your mother so much; I hate knowing I hurt her like I did. I didn’t want to see it.”

“You know that she understood any pain you brought her, though, Dad.”

“Yes, I did. But I still think that when you dream, in your subconscious, you admit to things that you wouldn’t necessarily admit in the day, maybe even things you didn’t know you felt. And I was always afraid that was part of it.” He explained. “Why? Did you dream-walk your mother?”

“No, but I’ve been thinking about it lately. I mean, I want to know the things I feel she’s afraid to tell me.”

“You think she’s afraid to tell you things?”

“I think she’s trying to protect me from the stuff that’s happened to us, that even you probably don’t know about.”

“Do you think you really have a right to dig into your mother’s subconscious like that? I mean, if she doesn’t want you to know about it, there’s probably a good reason for that.”

I didn’t really have an answer for that.

“Just think about it before you dream-walk her, okay? And if you do, maybe you ought to tell her about it.”

I didn’t want to admit that I felt like a sneak for even wanting to. And I certainly didn’t want to then have to tell my mother that I invaded her privacy, but at the same time I couldn’t help but want to see. “I don’t know if I can talk to her about it. It would be so weird. I mean, Mom and I have always been so open with each other, but I just know that there’s a part of her that she doesn’t want me to know about. And I really, desperately want to know it.”

“What do you think it is? Just the things she’s hidden from you to protect you all these years?” He was asking all the right questions.

“No, it’s more than that, I guess. It’s Mom’s irrationality. I mean, for so long, she’s had to be such a grown up. And in her dreams, maybe she gets to just be a teenager for another few hours. I don’t want to rob her of that freedom by crashing into her dreams.”

“She doesn’t necessarily have to know, Xan.” My father started playing devil’s advocate. One minute I should tell her, the next I didn’t have to.

“I know, but I’d feel like such a rat sneaking into her dreams.”

“Do what you think is right. Maybe it would be good for you to see what your Mom really dreams about,” my father pointed out. “I mean, there are probably so many things that your mom wants to say to you that she can’t.”

“Maybe.” I nodded. I decided to change the subject. I didn’t want to think about intruding on my mother anymore. “So have you really talked to Isabel lately?”

My father recognized the need for the new topic and let me go with it. “A little. We don’t really get the chance to just talk very often. She is starting to worry me, though. I mean, she’s so… I don’t know. I think she feels alone or left out or something.”

“I know she does,” I whispered.

“What does that mean?”

“Issy’s been alone for a long time, Dad. She understood leaving us and Alex when you had to, but now… I think she just needs to be loved for a while.”

“She is.” I knew he was talking about the dreams.

“In person.” I said. I knew that that was going to hurt him, and I hated to do it, but I felt like I had to speak up for Isabel.

For a few moments, he didn’t say anything. “She knows that she can’t—“

“But that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to. What do you think she and Alex are talking about right now? He’s really the only person she has and I know that scares her sometimes that she can’t have the one person she wants.”

“It’s a pretty sad day when my daughter can make me have to rethink everything I’ve ever known to be true.”

“That’s what teenagers are for.” I teased.

“What does Isabel talk about with you?”

“Dad, you know I can’t tell you that. I just know that she’s lonely and I think it might be a really good idea to let Alex come with us when Mom and I come down there.”

He paused, thinking. “I can’t believe I’m about to ask you this. Does Isabel want a baby?”

I nodded. “More than anything. She’s tired of living vicariously through everyone else, I think. She just wants to be happy.”

“I know. That’s all she’s ever wanted.”

“Well, maybe now is the time that she takes that happiness into her own hands.” I hoped she would. No matter what my father or Michael said, she needed this. I guess it was true for all of us. We had let the government or whoever threatened us run our lives for so long that I think it was time for all of us to defy them and live for ourselves again. I found it odd that no one in my family had thought of this before, had never seen the possibilities in it. But I guess they were raised differently than me. My father, Michael, and Isabel were always afraid of what could happen. I was raised blissfully unaware of the could’s and only knew what should happen and what I wanted. Maybe a healthy dose of teenage optimism and arrogance that everything would be right was just what my family needed.
***



posted on 19-Sep-2001 5:41:59 AM by Transparent Clear
Hi, guys. It's been so long since I updated this... I'm sorry. I hate it when school comes in the way of what I love. Anyway, this chapter is really short and it was really rushed. (I wrote the entire thing during an unbelievably boring 2 hour class) the next part should be up this weekend, though. *smile* And just because I think this is the coolest smiley... *PACSMILIE*

Disclaimer: All I own are very expensive, useless psychology books... Maybe JK could read them to learn how to prevent the paranoia and despair he causes....

~*~Part 21~*~



My father left in the middle of the night. He wanted to wait until he felt that there was a limited chance of danger, at least that’s what he’d said. Mom and I stayed up till 2 a.m. with him, talking and remembering. Mom made alien blasts like they used to make at the Crashdown when I was little. And finally at 2, when the only noise you could hear was the crickets that were already coming out, my father stood up and looked at the door.

He hugged me first. “I love you, Xan.”

“I love you, too, Dad.” I whispered. “Take care of yourself.”

“You, too. Keep practicing, okay. And take care of your mother.”

“I will.” I made a promise to him in those words. I wouldn’t let anything happen to her; I couldn’t.

My father hugged my mother and they kissed. It was like they couldn’t bear to break it off. My mother held on to him like she used to hold on to me when I was little after I’d hurt myself. “I love you, Max,” I heard her whisper.

“And I love you, Elizabeth Evans,” he grinned. “We’ll be together soon, baby, and once we are, I’m never letting you leave me again.”

“I’ll never want to leave.”

“I’ll talk to you soon, Xan,” my father hugged me again and then he left. My mother and I stood on the porch, watching him walk away into the darkness until the streetlights didn’t show him anymore. I started crying.

My mother wrapped her arms around me and held me like I was four again, whispering soothing words to me. “It will be okay, Xan. We’re going to be with him soon.”

“I know. I just didn’t realize how hard it would be to watch him go.”

“I know.” She led me into the living room.

“How did you handle him leaving before?”

“Well, when he first left, I had Maria and Alex to help me. The 2 of them took care of me for so long. I guess we all took care of each other, actually. I was so heartbroken, I needed someone to take care of me and they were so lost that they needed someone to take care of. And then there was you to think about. Knowing you were coming made me strong.” She smiled. “And every time he visited and then left again, I had to take care of you.”

“I just wish there was someone to take care of you, Mom.”

“I can take care of myself. I’m a big girl.”

“You shouldn’t have to.”

She looked a little melancholy. “I know. Let’s go to bed, Xan. It’s late and you have school in the morning.”

I was not looking forward to that. It was like Day One of my new life. “I know.”

“Xan, just remember that the people who are important in your life will always be here for you.”

“I know. I just don’t know who’s important.” We walked upstairs and went to our rooms. “Good night, Mommy.”

“Night, baby.”

I laid down but I couldn’t sleep. I was too worried about tomorrow to sleep. And I kept replaying my mother’s reaction to my father’s leaving in my head. She was too calm about it. I mean, she had barely cried when he said goodbye. Then she focused on comforting me and being strong for me. I wished that she had at least cried. I wanted her to scream at my father for leaving her. I wanted to see her get mad about it all. I didn’t like that she was so used to it, I guess. She shouldn’t know this situation as well as she did. I couldn’t help but wonder how much of the calm reaction was a front for me. Maybe she didn’t want me to see her cry for him. Maybe she didn’t want me to see her get angry. Maybe she was holding all of this inside her.

I made my decision right then. I had to go into my mother’s dreams. I needed to know how she really was, and I knew she wouldn’t tell me the truth. I felt like a horrible person for doing it, but I couldn’t stop myself.

I waited till my mother fell asleep and then I closed my eyes and started thinking about her.

My mother was setting out a picnic on a big red plaid blanket that was in the middle of a big grassy field. She looked so happy and young. She was wearing a yellow sundress that I remembered from when I was a little girl.

Was she dreaming about when I was younger?

“Xan! Xan!” She yelled across the meadow.

A 6 year old version of myself ran to her. I was wearing an outfit that my mother had loved on me when I was little: these tiny blue jean overalls and a red shirt. “Yes, Mommy?”

“Help me set out the plates, baby. Daddy will be here soon.”

“When?” I started getting excited. “I want him to be here now!”

“Then what the princess wants, the princess gets,” my father spoke from behind me.

I turned around and threw myself into his arms. He handed me a stuffed puppy dog.


It was Wagner! I’d had that old puppy forever; he was still lying on the bed beside me. I couldn’t even remember where I had gotten him anymore. Was this real? Had I really gotten Wagner from my father?

“For me?”

“Of course.”

“What’s his name, Daddy?” I hugged the bear close to me.

“That is for you to decide, baby.”

I watched my parents greet each other. They were holding on to each other so tightly, like they’d never let each other go. My father whispered something in her ear, and my mother laughed. She sounded so free, like she had no worries.

My father looked back down at me. “So what’s the dog’s name?”

“Wagner.” I said so seriously. I looked adorable.

My mother burst out laughing. She hid behind my father so I wouldn’t’ see her obvious amusement at the name.

“Where did you get that name, Xan?”

“I don’t know, but I like it. It fits him.”

“It sure does.” My father lifted me up into his arms. “I love you, baby.”

“I love you, too, Daddy.” I smiled and then I changed the subject. “Am I really a Princess, Daddy?”

“Yes, you are, Xan.”

“So that makes you the King?” I was trying to figure this stuff out. I could see my mother in me as I asked questions.

“Yes.”

“Does that mean that Mommy is the Queen?” I looked over at my mother with excitement in my eyes. My mother smiled as she looked at the 2 of us.

“She sure is, Xan. She’s the best Queen there ever was.” He smiled down at her. My mother blushed adorably.

“Yay! I’m a princess!” I ran to my mom and hugged her. “And you’re the Queen. This is so exciting!”


I knew that that had never happened. There was no way I could forget such a thing. My mother dreamt about things she wished had happened? This was going to be hard to watch, I realized. She wanted us to be this normal family for all these years and there was nothing I could do to make her feel better or change it.

The scenery of the dream changed. This time we were in a park in what looked like Roswell. We were all aged up to today. It was the three of us together, though, and this time everyone else was with us! Alex and Isabel were over a few feet away on another blanket talking to one another. And Maria and Michael were sitting on two swings just holding hands. My father and I were talking about something “alien” and my mother was smiling as she watched us play with our powers.

“Your mom was always jealous of that power,” my father teased her as he showed me how to connect.

“Max Evans!”

“Liz Evans!” He teased. He leaned over and kissed her hard. “I love you.”

“I love you.”

Out of nowhere, the sunny day turned dark and cloudy. Suddenly the 7 of us were the only people in the park. Then a large black truck pulled onto the grass and several men dressed entirely in black jumped out. They looked at Isabel and walked past; they looked at Michael and walked past, but they stopped at me and my father.
“Oh, God, no!” My mother started crying. She reached for both my hand and my father’s in one instant.

“Maxwell Evans?”

“Who are you?” My father asked, shielding my mother and I behind his body.

“Alexandra Evans?”

I didn’t say anything. I could feel the fear in my mother just by the way she was breathing. She was shaking and holding on to us with all her might.

Not another word was said after my name. One of the men reached out and grabbed me. He pulled me to him easily, no matter all the fighting my parents were doing.

Then another reached for my father and captured him too. It was over within a second and my mother was left standing alone, watching as my father and I were boarded into a black truck. She started screaming,

“No! Xan! Max! No, they can’t have you! God, no, not my daughter, too! She’s all I have left in the world. You can’t take them both! NO!!!”


I pulled myself out of that dream so quickly I woke myself up. I had just seen the one thing my mother lived in constant fear of: losing me and my father. And it was the one thing that could come true without any warning. How were we to know if at some point we would be taken? All the assurances in the world that we would be safe and careful would never be enough to take away that fear. It was a risk we had to take, and while I knew she understood that, she was terrified of it.

I wanted nothing more at that moment than to go to her and apologize for invading her dreams like I had. I wanted to tell her the truth, that there was no guarantee, but that we had to live like we were going to be fine. I wanted to tell her that the love our family had would get us through anything but that seemed hokie, like a bad greeting card. I wanted to tell her I loved her, but that seemed to simple. I tossed and turned the rest of the night.

I watched the sunrise and decided that from today on, it was time for some honesty. My mother and I needed to be honest with one another, especially if we were all each other had left right now.

***


AN2: I don't know why this was so important for me to put this part in. From the beginning roughest draft of this story, I have had Xan dream-walk her mother to see what her mother feels. I just couldn't cut it out w/ everything else I have... (man, now I need to go look in my psych books!)

Edited by - Transparent Clear on 09/20/2001 05:44:17
posted on 23-Sep-2001 11:01:46 PM by Transparent Clear
Hi, guys. I just wanted to thank all of you for reading this and leaving feedback. I've had a really hard time writing lately, and this has just made it so worth it for me to come back and post. *happy* I'm still torn on where I'm going though so if you have any ideas please let me know! AIM: clear bead or email : clear_bead⊕yahoo.com. Thanks!

Oh, and Sandry, no I won't hit you with random fish... that's doesn't sound fun...

and b4echstarrynite, I understand the need for M/L... I'm a dreamer and I need them too, but I don't know how to incorporate them in this first person story of Xan's... (maybe a dream?) I'm willign to work in any ideas... *happy* (And thanks for the bumps!)
Another round of thanks to Ursa, calphysics, brigittabehr, Dreamy, SpyGirl314, roswellluver, b4echstarrynite, DreamerForever, and Sandry0260, I appreciate you for reading this and making me smile with your feedback. *happy* Next part up in a minute.




Edited by - Transparent Clear on 09/24/2001 23:02:30
posted on 23-Sep-2001 11:19:22 PM by Transparent Clear
quick AN: I hate modems that go down in the middle of a post!!! anyway,... on with the show..

~*~Part 22~*~



My mother was gone by the time I walked into the kitchen the next morning. I was relieved because it meant I had a little longer to figure out how to explain my late night dream-walking to her, but I was also afraid that I would lose the guts to tell her. I was afraid that I might be able to rationalize all my dream-walking away and never tell her, but I knew that I’d feel like an even bigger heel if I did that to her. All she left was a note on the refrigerator saying “Xan, they called me in early. I’ll be home by 6, though, and tonight I’ll make dinner. I love you, baby, Mom.”

I finished getting dressed and drove to school. I felt so normal. I was wearing my favorite Calvin Klein jeans and a t-shirt that had the name of an old band I’d never heard of but my mother had loved scrawled across the front. I was wearing my favorite shoes that always made me feel so daring. I had my backpack looped across one shoulder full of homework I hadn’t done, just like normal for a Monday morning. I even had a thermos full of Mocha Latte from Starbucks. I felt so normal, but the thing was, I wasn’t normal, not anymore, not ever really.

I wasn’t normal, and I couldn’t pretend that I was anymore. I wanted nothing more than to just be normal bordering on boring Alex Parker, but I knew I couldn’t. And my differences started to show the minute I walked into school. Normally, I would have searched for a friend to share my morning walk to my locker with, as we indulged in idle gossip. Now I walked alone, noticing how many people were grouped up, whispering and looking around. I watched as one girl caught my glance as she looked up. She started blushing and quickly turned away, back to whispering with her friends. I saw Matt and Megan talking a few feet away from my locker. They kept looking around anxiously. Why?

I was so paranoid! Were they talking about me? Was the girl I’d considered a best friend since I was 7 really spying on me? That seemed ridiculous. A child couldn’t be expected to spy. But what about her parents?, a nagging voice in the back of my head asked. They’d been around all the time when I was younger…they could have been watching to see what “unusual abilities” I had. God, I was suspecting my best friend’s parents of being spies because they had been good attentive parents? This was horrible!

But I couldn’t stop it.

And what about Matt? In the 2 and a half years I’d known him, he’d wormed himself into my life. First, he’d become my friend, as I tutored him in Chemistry. Then he’d been my buddy as he’d taught me how to play basketball. And then he was suddenly a member of my social group. And then he’d asked me out. It was all so normal. But what about all the questions he used to ask about my life? He’d always said he wanted to know me better and that he’d had to ask the questions because I never offered anything. That was true. I never liked to talk about my childhood and past. I always felt awkward because I was the only kid without a father, the only kid who hadn’t spent time with both sets of grandparents, the only kid who called her aunt and uncle who weren’t really an aunt and uncle by their first names. Maybe Matt did just want to know me better, and he’d ended up becoming a second best friend to me. I told him things no one else even knew about me. Was he taking notes all this time? Was he here just to get close to me and turn me over? Or did he just see the loneliness in me and want to know me?

God, what 16-year-old boy wanted that? I laughed as I thought it. But did that mean that he was my enemy? I wanted to scream! I hated to think like this. The closer I got to Matt and Megan, the more I wanted to turn around and run out of the school; I wanted to escape back to my house, the only place I felt free enough to be myself.

“Alex, finally, you’re here!” Megan rushed over to me and hugged me. She whispered, “Matt’s worried about you, Babe. We missed you this weekend.”

I nodded. “I know. I’m sorry.”

“So your Dad let you down again? He’s not going to come and visit?”

I wondered how she knew that. I mean, did Matt think it was his business to spread my personal information all around school? Well, of course, he did if he was an FBI agent. I shook myself out of that kind of thinking. He’d told Megan because he knew she was my best friend and would want to help me out. “I don’t know right now, Meg. It’s so complicated.” I was getting good at lying.

“Why? What’s so complicated about him coming to visit?”

“That’s my question, Meg.” The first bell rang. “I’ve got to run. I still need to apologize to Mrs. Landson for the way I behaved last week.”

“You mean not paying attention and reading whatever that book was instead?” Megan teased.

“Something like that.” I forced myself to smile. “I’ll see you in class, and tell Matt not to worry about me. I’m a big girl, and I’m fine.” I walked to the classroom.

The rest of the day was unbearable. I kept trying to assure all my friends that I was okay. I tried to at least act normal for them, but inside I felt these horrible walls going up around my heart to protect me from the possibility that one of them—I stopped myself from thinking it.

To prove my normalcy, after school I went out for coffee with Matt, Megan and a group of our friends. We took over a section of couches in the back corner and just hung out. We talked about what everyone except me had done all weekend. Everyone seemed to know what I’d done. And we talked about what we were going to do this coming weekend. Matt wanted me to go to a concert with him.

“I’ll have to double-check with my Mom,” I smiled, “but that sounds great.”

“I can’t believe you, Alex,” Megan’s boyfriend Adam Tygue teased. “You’re an 18 year old adult and you’re still asking Mommy for permission?”

“Adam, shut up. My mom is all I’ve really got right now. I respect her enough to talk to her before I make firm plans on anything.” I got all defensive and immediately regretted it. Since when did I start biting my friends’ heads off?

“Whoa, Alex, calm down.” Matt took my hand in his. “Adam was just teasing. We all know how close you and your mom are.

I relaxed a little and finished off my coffee. “I know.” I stood up and looked at my friends. “Does anyone want anything else?”

My friends all shook their heads.

“Alex, that will be your third cup of coffee today,” Megan pointed out.

I tried to joke it off. Everyone knew I was a strictly 2 cup girl. “I guess I’m just jonesing for some caffeine today. I’ll be right back.” I walked to the counter and ordered another mocha latte. I needed to calm down; I couldn’t keep freaking out like this. I had to act normal, like nothing was wrong with me! I couldn’t bite their heads off or jump down their throats at everything they said. And I couldn’t retreat into myself afraid of who they really were. These were my friends and they were acting like they always did. I was the only one acting weird. The only thing was now, I wondered who was real and who was acting. Walking back to the table, all I wanted to do was turn around and run home.

Once I sat down, Matt immediately wrapped his arm around me. I forced myself to smile and relax into him. “Are you okay?” He whispered.

“Yeah. I’m sorry. This has just been a really long, hard weekend for me.”

“I know,” he said sympathetically. “You know you can tell me anything, right, Alex?”

“I do.” I whispered, knowing I would never tell him another secret. I’d never share any of my secrets with any of these people again. I felt so sad at that thought. Even if they were all “clean” and not working for the FBI, I would still always have to be suspicious that they might turn me in if they knew anything was different about me. I felt like I’d lost a big part of me in that moment of realization.

“Just checking.” He kissed my neck.

I stayed at the coffee shop till a quarter to 5 with all my friends. After that, everyone started leaving and I felt free to go without having to explain anything. Matt followed me out on to the street by my car.

“Do you want to come shopping with me, Alex? I need to get my mother’s birthday present.”

“I can’t. Mom’s expecting me to cook dinner tonight,” I lied.

“Well, what are you cooking?” He changed the subject.

“I’m not sure. Maybe spaghetti, the best comfort food ever.” I had always found spaghetti to be the one thing that could make me feel better no matter what when I was younger and I continued that tradition today, always cooking it when I felt lonely or scared.

He smiled. “Maybe I should skip dinner with my family. I love your spaghetti.”

“Matt! You cannot skip family dinners!” I exclaimed. “I’ll bring you the leftovers tomorrow for lunch, if you want, though.”

“Promise?” He smiled the smile that made me fall for him in the first place.

“I promise.” I kissed him. “Tell your parents I said hi.”

“Will do. And I’ll call you later on, okay?”

I smiled and nodded as I got into the Jeep. “Bye, Matt.” When I got home, my mother was waiting for me.

“How’d today go, sweetie?” She asked sympathetically as she hugged me tightly.

“It was so hard, Mom.” She led me into the living room. “I kept second-guessing everyone all day. My friends, my teachers, everyone.”

“I know,” she whispered. “I could feel your confusion.”

I forgot that sometimes lingering mother-daughter connection we had. That could be a problem. “And all I wanted to do was search for normalcy again, but I knew I couldn’t. I kept suspecting my friends over and over. Anytime someone would whisper I’d think they were whispering about me. Anytime someone would look at me and then turn away quickly, I thought they were staring at me, watching me.” I jumped up and started pacing. “I’ve never been insecure but I am now! And I don’t like it. I feel myself turning into this paranoid creature that has no one to trust!”

“Xan, calm down!” My mother grabbed my hand and pulled me over to her. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. I just had 3 coffees today and I’m feeling kind of jazzed up.”

“3 coffees? No wonder you’re doing a pretty dead-on impression of Maria,” she teased.

“Very funny, Mom.”

“Xan, I understand how hard today was on you. I can’t tell you it’s going to get any easier. Just remember, I’m here for you.”

“I know.” I hugged her.

“So what do you want for dinner? I’ll make you anything you want.”

“How about spaghetti and meatballs?” I looked up to her like I was a baby
still.

“Ooh, we’re resorting to the old standby, eh?” I nodded. “I understand. I can’t tell you how many alien blasts I went through when all this was going on for your father and me.” She kissed my forehead and walked into the kitchen. “Why don’t you get started on your homework?”

“Okay.” I agreed and started pulling books out of my backpack.

“Xany, did you want to talk to me this morning?”

“What?” I put the books down. Did she know what I had done last night?

“I don’t know. This morning, right when school was starting, I felt like you needed me. What was going on?”

I didn’t know what to say. “Nothing, Mom.” Oh, God, I needed to talk to her about this. I had to be honest. I had to tell her I had invaded her privacy, her dreams, because I was curious. I had to build my guts up and fast in order to do that, though.

45 minutes later, my mom came back into the living room. “How’s the homework coming?”

“Almost done,” I lied. I hadn’t touched it. I had sat here, silently trying to build up strength to tell my mother what I had done.

“Dinner’s almost ready. Why don’t you set the table?”

“Okay.” I reached into the cupboard and nearly pulled out 3 plates. I sighed and took out 2. I put them on the table and got us each a glass of water. My mother brought in bowls of spaghetti and sauce and a plate of bread.

“I have always been so amazed by the way you could carry all those plates,” I admitted.

“A waitress’ skills never die,” she smiled. “Maybe I should send you to the Crashdown for a summer so you can learn them too.”

“No, thanks,” I laughed and we ate. “Mom, I did need to talk to you this morning.”

“What about, Xan?”

“Something I did that I’m not too proud of.” I said cryptically. I knew I just needed to say it but that was so hard to do.

“What are you talking about, baby?”

“I need to apologize to you, Mom. I did something absolutely horrible. I mean, I broke your confidence in me and did something so intrusive that I think it I were you, I wouldn’t trust me for a long, long—“

“Xan, it’s okay. I know you dream-walked me.”

I looked at her incredulously. “What? You knew?”

She smiled that perfect mother’s all-knowing smile. “Yes.”

“How?”

“Xan, how long have I lived around aliens?” She pointed out. “I know a lot of things you probably didn’t imagine I knew. Including being able to tell when someone is dream-walking me. Isabel taught me that years ago.” She smiled. “I even know that your father has kept a connection with me all these years.”

“But he said he was careful to make sure you never felt him.”

“Your father forgets that I always feel him. All those years he thought he was just keeping ‘an eye’ on me, I was doing the same to him through that connection.”

I looked at my mother with a new sense of awe. “That’s so cool!”

“Don’t tell your father I know, though, okay? I think it’s so cute how he still thinks that after everything we went through, he could still have a secret from me.”

I smiled then turned sober. “I’m sorry I invaded your privacy, Mom.”

“It’s okay, Xan. I understand why you did it. I mean, you were curious and you didn’t know how to ask. I went through the same thing when I was your age, but I didn’t have your abilities. I never really got to know my parents as well as you know me. I’m glad you did it.” She rubbed my cheek with her palm.

“I love you, Mom.”

“I love you, too, baby.”

We ate in silence for a few minutes. Then I asked her a question that had been bothering me all day. “Do you think that there really is another group like Pierce’s waiting to capture me and Daddy?”

She paused. “I don’t know, baby. But I do know that if there is, there is no way that your father or Alex or Michael would allow them to. I wouldn’t let them take you.”

“I’m not so much worried about me, really, as what would happen to everyone else. I don’t want to think about what happened in the white room to Dad happening to all of us. I want us all to be together and happy.”

“I know, Xan. And we will. Just keep reminding yourself of that, and it will come true.”

I hugged my mother and prayed that she was right. But I needed to change the subject. I didn’t want to think like that any longer. “So should I avoid any dreams of yours? I mean, would they give me nightmares of things children should never see their parents doing?” I teased.

“Xan!” My mom giggled. “You know it is inevitable for a child to catch her parents at some point…”

I burst out laughing. “Not this child.” I thought of something I wanted to see in her mind. “Can we try something?”

“What?”

“Well, I’d love to see your wedding. Can we try to dream about that tonight?”

“I’d love to.” My mother smiled. “And by the way, you got clean up tonight.”

“I knew that would become my new chore.” I laughed grateful that it was just me and Mom again... like normal.

***






Edited by - Transparent Clear on 09/24/2001 23:22:05

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Jan-2002 1:08:41 PM ]
posted on 1-Oct-2001 1:29:54 AM by Transparent Clear
AN: Ok. I really wanted to put this part out tonight before I start in on 34 hours of nothing but studying. (sounds fun, no?) Um, I think it's pretty self-explanatory but I'm going 3rd person w/ the dream-walk. (It was too confusing otherwise) and I hope you all enjoy it! Thanks to everyone who has read and left feedback for this story. I truly appreciate it. ~jenan


~*~Part 23~*~


That night I slept in my mother’s bed with her, holding her hand. She was holding a picture she’d just finally taken out of her bottom drawer of her wedding day. I’d stared at it for half an hour before bed. How was it possible for me to look so much like both of them? I couldn’t believe how perfect or happy they looked together as they stood in front of the church in their wedding garb. My father had this adorable grin on his face and was wearing a dark tux that just made him look like every Prince Charming I’d ever seen, and my mother was wearing this long white sheath dress that was so simple it was gorgeous. It had spaghetti straps and just fell around her body like it was made for her. She’d laughed and said it was because Isabel had “tailored” it for her. I smiled and wondered what kind of fun I could have with my own clothes.

“Mom, just think of that day,” I whispered as we fell asleep. And then I was in her dream!

July 21, 2003

“Maria, are you ready?” Liz paced in front of the door to Maria’s bedroom. I could hear her thoughts on the issue. ‘I should have told you we were leaving an hour ago!’ She smiled. ‘I bet Max is having just as much a problem with Isabel. She probably wants to bring 3 bags.’

“I’m almost ready, chica. It’s just hard to pack for this kind of trip, you know? I mean, what does one wear when she has a fake ID in Vegas?”

“Clothes!”

“Liz, don’t go there!” Maria warned from behind the door.

“Just don’t forget your cypress oil. None of us can handle you without it.”

“Ha ha.” She zipped up her bag. “I’m ready!”

“Finally!” Liz grabbed the bag from her. “We’re going to be late!”

“Honey, I think we’ll be early. After all, Isabel is coming, and that girl cannot be on time for anything.”

I laughed. Maria was one to talk.

“Ria, have you ever heard of the pot calling the kettle black?” Liz teased.

“Liz, shut up and let’s go. I haven’t seen my SpaceBoy in 2 days since he’s been working so much. I’d like to spend as much time with him this weekend as possible.”

“Ditto.”

“Aww, are you not getting to have your daily quality time with Max?” She teased.

“Shut up, Maria.” They walked out to Maria’s car and headed toward the Evans house where everyone was supposed to meet up. “Maria, have you ever wanted to do something completely crazy that would change your life forever?”

“Didn’t I already do that when I fell in love with an alien?”

“What if it could be even bigger than that?”

Maria stopped at the corner and turned to look at Liz. “Oh my God. Liz, please tell me you aren’t pregnant! And if you are, get your ass in the backseat and start digging for my cypress oil!”

Liz started laughing. “What? No! I’m not pregnant.”

Maria sighed. “Thank Buddha. We do not need any more possible alien problems.”

“You realize you just said Buddha. I think you’ve been spending entirely too much time with the step-brother there, Maria.”

“I know. I find myself saying it all the time.” She started driving again.

“I wish Kyle and Tess could have come with us. I mean, we hardly ever see them anymore.”

“I see them,” Maria teased. “But they’re busy, too, Liz. And this was kind of a last minute trip, you know. We’ll see them later.”

She sighed. “I guess.”

“So you don’t think that’s going to change the subject, do you? What were you talking about there?”

She smiled shyly. “You have to promise not to go crazy if I tell you.”

“I promise, but that promise is going to make it even harder to drive, you realize?”

“Good point. Maybe I should wait.” She watched Maria’s reaction.

“Elizabeth Ann Parker, if I do not hear something from you in the next 5 seconds, I will stop this car and never get you to your darling boyfriend’s home.”

Liz laughed. “Okay.” She took a deep breath. “You know Max and I are meant to be together—“

“Everyone who has ever met you knows that, Liz. You’re soulmates.”

“Right. And we’ve been engaged for a year.” She looked at the diamond on her hand.

“Right.”

“Well, I was thinking about maybe seeing if Max wanted to make it official this weekend,” she smiled.

“Oh my God!!!” Maria started exclaiming. “This is awesome! I can’t believe you, Liz! I mean, you’re going to ask Max to marry you this weekend. I never thought I’d see the day!” She forced herself to continue driving. “This is incredible! You and Max are going to get married this weekend!”

“If Max says yes.”

“Max can’t say no to you, Liz. When will you realize that?” Maria started getting excited as she realized this was really going to happen. “So how are you going to ask him? And my God, what will you do if he says yes?”

“Get married? I don’t know how to ask him, Maria. I mean, I’ve never done anything like this before, you know?”

“Where would you get married?” She started to ponder the practical questions.

“Maria, if Max says yes, I don’t care where we get married. We could get married by Elvis for God’s sake, and I’d be just as happy as if we were getting married by the Pope himself.”

“What about your parents, Liz? They’ll never be able to get there in time.”

“I know. And Maria, you know that if I told them I was getting married, they’d try to talk me out of it.”

“You aren’t going to tell your parents that you’re getting married?” She seemed shocked.

“No. I mean, I know it sounds bad, but come on. They would never support us.” She rationalized. “And besides, Max and I head back to New York next week, and we’re all ready living together.”

“I still want to know how you convinced your parents to let you do that?”

Liz smiled mysteriously. “I just feel like if we don’t get married now, we’ll never really be able to.”

“What does that mean, Liz?”

“Nothing,” she quickly said. “I just want this wedding to be for all of us, our real family.”

“Liz, what about all those plans we used to make for when we got married? Remember when we were little? That’s all we did for an entire summer was plan our weddings! Remember we talked about dresses and flowers and music--”

“Well, I think I’ve changed my mind on some of that. I no longer want the New Kids on the Block to provide music,” she laughed. “And none of that other stuff matters anymore to me. The only thing I want at my wedding is Max. And you guys to be there. I mean, the 6 of us are a family tighter than any other.”

“I know.” Maria whispered. “So you’re really going to do it?” She pulled up in front of the Evans house.

“If I can convince him to.” She smiled. “Maria, you had better not say a word to anyone until I can talk to Max about it.”

“I won’t. I promise.” She rang the doorbell.

Michael answered it looking decidedly flustered.

“Everything okay, baby?” Maria hugged him.

“Have you ever tried to talk Isabel into only bringing one suitcase?” He deadpanned.

“Ouch.” Maria said sympathetically. “Is Alex talking to her?”

“Yeah, the poor man,” Michael walked into the living room.

“I’m going to go check on Max.” Liz walked down the hall to his bedroom. “Hey, baby.” Max was just staring off into space. She thought he was so cute.

“Hi,” he kissed her. “Are we almost ready?”

“Alex just has to finish convincing Isabel that she can fit everything she needs for 2 days in one bag.” She smiled. How was she going to bring this up with him? “Let’s volunteer to take all the luggage with us in the Jeep. I want to talk to you.”


All of a sudden I could hear my father’s thoughts and worries, too.

What? Why does Liz want to be alone? Oh, God, she isn’t reconsidering the apartment idea, is she? I mean, I know she’s not happy to lie to her parents, but we want to live together.

Liz smiled. “Don’t look like that, Max. Everything is fine,”

“Promise?”

“I swear.”

Half an hour later, the Jetta and the Jeep pulled out of the Evans drive way. Max and Liz were alone in the Jeep. They didn’t really talk as they drove out of Roswell. I noticed that they just held hands, always having to touch. I could feel my father’s worry again.


How was it possible for me to feel my father’s thoughts? Unless maybe…was he in the dream, too? I felt like a freakin’ Jedi as I reached out with my mind until I could feel my father in this dream, too. This was so awesome! I’d get to feel both their thoughts!

Once they got on the interstate, Liz looked at Max and squeezed his hand. “Max I want to talk to you about something.”

Oh God, here it comes….

How was I supposed to say this? Now I know why the guy proposes…

“Max, I love you. I always have and I know I always will. I don’t’ care about however much danger we have to face or anything. So long as we are together.”

“Liz, what are you saying?” He was confused. This did not sound like the blow-off he was expecting.

She’d have to be blunt, she decided. “Max I want to be with you forever.”

Relief coursed through him. “Me, too, Liz. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

“I know.” She smiled. Maybe this would be easier than she thought. “Then marry me this weekend?”

Shock ran through him again. Had he heard her right? Had she just said that? Maybe he was just hearing what he wanted to hear. There was no way she’d just—

“Let’s just do it, Max. We’ll find some chapel; I don’t really care about that. And all our friends will be there and we’ll get married. It’ll be perfect.”

He sighed. God, that did sound perfect. They’d never be apart again. It was everything he’d ever dreamt of. And she wanted it too? He was overcome with joy. But then reality came crashing down on him.

They couldn’t get married in some Vegas chapel. Liz deserved more than that. He’d seen the flashes of her dream wedding. It had all her friends and her parents and a big church and a long white dress, not a tacky chapel in jeans.

“Liz, we can’t.”

“Why not?” She was ready for this. She’d known it would take some work.

“Liz, do you really want to get married in some tacky chapel?” He needed to change her mind before his determination fell to what he really wanted to do.

“I don’t care where we get married, Max, just so long as we get married.”

“What about your parents? Don’t you want them to be at your wedding?”

“Max, I don’t care.”

“Yes you do!”

She wanted to laugh. She loved it when Max thought he knew everything she wanted. “No, Max, I don’t.” She squeezed his hand as he focused on the road. “All I want is to be with you, for the rest of my life. I don’t care if we get married in a Vegas chapel; it will be perfect, because it will be me and you.” She rubbed her thumb along the back of his hand. “It doesn’t matter to me if my parents or your parents are there. Our family will be. Maria and Isabel will stand up for me, and Michael and Alex will do the same for you. They are our real family, Max. They know who we really are and that’s the important people I want at my wedding. They’re the people who have been there since day one of our relationship, before that even.” She had tears in her eyes remembering all they had gone through just to be together. “I love you, Max.”

“Liz, I love you, too. I just don’t want you to regret this someday.”

“Max, I could never regret marrying you.” She smiled, knowing she was going to win.

“But Liz—“ He could feel himself losing the will to keep this discussion going.

“And Max, if you’re insistent about a big church wedding, we can have one of those too. Later. After college or something.”

Before he gave up, he had to ask once more. “Are you sure?”

Liz laughed, knowing for sure that she’d won. “For the last time, Max, I’m sure. I asked you, remember.”

Max kissed Liz’s hand right over her engagement ring. “I love you, Liz.”

“I know.” She smiled and turned on the radio. Sheryl Crow’s “I Shall Believe” was playing. She sighed. “I love this song. I used to think it could be about us.” She leaned her head on his shoulder and they listened in silence. She felt so safe and happy as she sang along with the last few lines, “Please say honestly you won’t give up on me. And I shall believe.”

Max smiled, content to feel her next to him forever. “I’ll never give up on you, Liz.”

“And I’ll always believe in you, Max.” She whispered and then couldn’t help herself from laughing. “Just think, this time tomorrow, I’ll be Mrs. Elizabeth Evans!”

“Tomorrow, huh?” He teased. “Who says I’ll let you make it through tonight without marrying me?” His eyes were laughing.

She loved to see him like this. This was the Max she fell in love with and she knew that she was sometimes the only one who could bring it out. She vowed that she’d spend the rest of her life doing it.

The next couple scenes flashed through my mind as I saw both my father and my mother getting ready to get married. I saw Isabel ordering everyone around because everything had to be perfect. I saw Michael, Alex, and my father hanging out the night before the wedding at the craps tables. I saw Maria, Isabel, and my mother spending the night watching sappy movies together. And then there was the wedding.
I saw from Max’s perspective as my mother came walking down the short aisle in the Elvis Chapel. I could feel how beautiful he thought she was walking toward him wearing a white sheath that suited her perfectly, thanks to Isabel’s magic. There was not a doubt in his head suddenly that they were doing the right thing. This was meant to be.
I could feel from my mother’s perspective how handsome she thought he was in his tuxedo. I could feel how much she loved him and how she knew they would always be together… no matter what. I could feel how anxious she was as she walked down the aisle, how she wanted to just run to him.

Max and Liz joined hands at the top of the aisle and turned to look at each other rather than Elvis. They could feel each other’s love and excitement. They said their vows clearly while they looked into each other’s eyes. And when Max put the beautiful platinum ring on Liz’s hand, she couldn’t stop her tears. It was perfect. She didn’t know how he’d gotten a ring like this with so little time, but she just wanted to kiss him for it. And then Maria handed her a similar ring to give to Max. She stared at them all in wonderment, knowing that at some point, someone in their group had thought ahead for them. She knew then that this was the perfect wedding.

“I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Max Evans. You may-uh-kiss your bride.” Elvis said with a shake of his hips.

Max and Liz looked at one another and melted together.

“I love you, Liz.”

“I love you, too, Max.”

I moved out of my mother’s dream then, wanting to give her some privacy to remember whatever else she wanted to. So I went into my father’s. He was waiting for me.

“I thought you said you never dream-walked her.”

“I didn’t. Technically, I just dream-walked you. I didn’t know you’d be in her dreams, especially after we decided it wasn’t the most honest thing to do.”

“Mom knew I was in her dream. She invited me.” I smiled. “Why did you stay when you saw I was in there?”

“Maybe I wanted to relive that day, too.”

I smiled. “That was so beautiful, Dad. I still can’t believe you got married in an Elvis chapel.”

He grinned. “I always promised her another wedding, in a church with all our family there. But it seems like after that point there was never enough time for it.” He sighed. “I’m so glad she talked me into that wedding.”

“Me, too. Legitimacy is a good thing,” I teased.

“Ha ha.” My father sat in a chair he “made” and “made” one for me, too. “So there was a reason I came to look for you tonight.”

“What?”

“I wanted to see how today went for you.” I sighed. “Talk to me, Xan.”

“It was horrible. I had to sit there, silently suspecting my best friends of spying on me. And while I did that, I had to act normal, like nothing was wrong with me. It was nearly impossible to do, Dad.”

“You did it, though, Xan,” he tried to reassure me.

“I know.” I couldn’t help the tears rising to my eyes. “I just don’t like it. I don’t like not being able to trust my boyfriend or my best friend. I want to know that they aren’t trying to find out information about me. I can’t keep getting jumpy every time they ask a question, you know?”

“Yeah,” he hugged me. “I don’t know what else to say, Xan, other than that at least you know the possibilities and that’s got to be better than not knowing.”

I sighed. “I’m not sure I agree with that, but it’s too late to go back, anyway. I wanted to know the truth, and now I have to deal with it.”

“Xan, soon you’ll be here with Isabel and Michael and me and your Mom and probably even Maria and Alex.”

“Are there other people like us, Dad?” It had never occurred to me to ask before now, but suddenly it seemed important.

“Yes.” He nodded. “There are lots of others.”

I didn’t know what to say to that. There were other people out there like me, going through exactly what I was going through? I liked knowing that. It made me feel normal again, almost.

“Xan, you can do this, okay? I know you can. I know it hurts, but you can handle it. And soon we will all be together again.”

I hugged my father so he couldn’t see my tears. I prayed he was right. But I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to make it through even another hour of sitting next to people who may or may not be spying on me. I just wanted to know for good, and I knew that dream-walking would tell me. So I had a decision to make: respect my father’s wishes and not dream-walk them just in case they could feel me or dream-walk them and find out who my real friends were.

***




[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Jan-2002 1:10:16 PM ]
posted on 12-Oct-2001 1:10:46 AM by Transparent Clear
*big* Ok. It's late and I'm tired, but I really just want to post something tonight. So here we go... I'll just update...

~*~Part 24~*~



The next day felt surreal. It was like I was outside myself watching my daily activities. Every person I talked to, I thought about what would happen if I just did it, if I just used this one little “super” power I had and looked into their dreams. It would be so easy to do, and it would answer so many of my questions. I’d know who I could trust and who was betraying me. I’d know who I could stop thinking about. I’d know who I could be myself with, well, the old myself anyway.
But what if my father was right. What if I exposed myself and what I am by dream-walking them? What if someone caught me doing it? I wondered if they could. Obviously, people who knew the truth and had been dream-walked before could probably tell that there was someone else in their head, but could someone who didn’t even know that aliens existed sense us? I wondered if that had ever happened to Isabel? I needed to talk to her about it, but I wondered if she would tell my father what I was thinking about doing. I knew he wouldn’t like it. But I was so tired of feeling helpless.

That night I searched out Isabel. She was dreaming with Alex. They looked so cute together, lying on a big blue couch whispering. I hated to interrupt their time together, but I also didn’t want to see something they wouldn’t want me to see.

“Isabel? Alex?”

They looked up shocked.

“Xan!” Isabel jumped up to hug me. “We haven’t talked in a while. I’ve missed you.”

“I know.” I smiled. “But I think we’ve both been busy.”

Alex hugged me. “How are ya, kid?”

“Good. How are you two? How was your weekend together?” I smiled. “Wait! Don’t tell me anything that would hurt my poor young ears, please.” We all laughed.

“It was the best weekend I’ve had in 18 years,” Isabel smiled.

“Ditto,” Alex wrapped his arms around her. They just looked so content to just be around each other. I hoped Alex came with me and Mom when we left.

“You both know that Dad’s letting me and mom move with him when I graduate high school, right?”
Isabel looked shocked. “No! I haven’t talked to him since he got back. I don’t believe it.”

“I know. It’s incredible.”

“How did you manage to convince Max that you and Liz should live with him?” Alex looked at me in awe. We all sat down on the floor.

“Well, basically, I told him I was tired of him playing God. I told him that it wasn’t fair that I wasn’t allowed to make my own decisions. I told him that I didn’t care if I never got to come back to this home again because my home would always be with my family.”

“And he listened?”

“Surprisingly, yes. After I graduate, Mom and I are
going.”

Isabel looked at Alex. “Do you know what this means?” She was near tears. “You can come with them! You can come live with us, too!” She threw her arms around him.

Alex’s entire body sighed as he realized it. “We’ll never be apart again, Is,” he whispered into her hair.

I felt like I was intruding on this perfect moment for the two of them. I started to leave. I could talk to Isabel about this stuff later. She needed to be with Alex.

“Xan, wait!” She noticed I had stood up and was walking away. “Where are you going? Why did you really come to see me tonight?”

“It can wait. I’ll talk to you tomorrow night, okay? You and Alex need this time. I love you both. Alex, I’m going to call you tomorrow at work, okay?”

“Absolutely.” He kissed my forehead.

“I think I’m going to go talk to Michael for a little while. I haven’t seen him lately.” I hugged Isabel and then left her dream.

“Xan, is that you?” Michael asked as soon as I entered his dream.

“It’s me.” I smiled and hugged him. “How are you? I haven’t seen you since my birthday party.”

“I’m fine. How was your weekend with your Dad?”

I smiled. “Wonderful. It changed a lot of things for us, I think.” I decided it was fair to turn the tables on him. “How was your weekend with Maria?”

Michael grinned wickedly. “I wouldn’t want to taint your pure little ears,, sweetie.”

I burst out laughing and hit him on the upper arm. “Michael, I cannot believe you just said that!”

“It’s what you were thinking, weren’t you?”

I smiled. “Let’s just say we both had good weekends.”

“Deal.” He smiled. “So I hear you and Liz are moving here after you graduate.”

“Yes!” I exclaimed. I was so excited about it. “I couldn’t believe it when Dad actually said yes. It was like all my dreams rolled up together.”

“Well, I guess you got your birthday wish after all, huh?”

“Yeah, I did.” I smiled. “Are you going to ask Maria to come, too? Isabel didn’t even ask Alex; they just looked at each other and knew.”

“Well, Alex never could say no to her anyway.” Michael shook his head. “I don’t know if I’m going to ask Maria.”

“What?” I exclaimed. Oh, lordy, I was going to have to knock some sense into this boy’s head. “You’re not going to ask Maria to come live with the rest of us?”

“How can I, Xan? She has this other life going on that I can’t just interrupt.”

I sighed and looked at him incredulously. “Before I knock some sense into you, can I ask you a question?” He nodded. “Do you think you’re very different from Max?” I wanted to smile at how similar these 2 were, whether they knew it or not.

“I guess. I mean, he’s full-on leader. I’m more the quiet but lethal guy in the back, I guess.”

“Guess again.” I met his confused eyes. “Do you know what’s kept him from coming to me and my Mom in the past years when you’ve been safe and asking us to come live with him?”

“Your safety and happiness?”

“Partly that, but he didn’t want to break up our ‘normal’ lives. Michael, Maria does have a life in Seattle, but it’s not the life she really wants. I mean, she loves her store and being her own boss and everything, but she loves you more. She wants to be with you as much as Mom and I want to be with my Dad.”

“You think?” He still sounded insecure.

“Michael, I know. She loves you! You love her! Just ask her if she wants to go with you, and I think we already know what her answer will be.”

“But, Xan, I’d be asking her to give up everything. She could never go back. And what about her mother?”

“Grandma Amy has only ever wanted Maria to be happy. And after all these years, I think she knows that you are Maria’s happiness. She’d understand, Michael.” I switched tactics a little. “Just ask her. I mean, this way, when Mom and Alex and I leave she won’t leave left out. Either way, she’ll know.”

Michael smiled a little. “Change of subject. So how are things going with you? I know it’s bothering you having to doubt everyone.”

“I don’t know how you did this your entire life, Michael. I mean, I feel so alone, unless I’m at home. That’s the only place I feel safe.” He wrapped his arm around me. “I just wish I could know if my boyfriend is spying on me or if my best friend is spying on me. I want to know who I can trust and who’s been lying to me for years.”

“Do you really want to know that, Xan?” He asked. “I mean, take your best friend. The two of you have experienced some pretty incredible things since you met her, and you remember all those things happily. Do you want to have to start analyzing all your memories if you find out she was really spying on you? Do you want to have to start doubting what you shared?”

“I’m doing that anyway, Michael. I can’t believe in anything I’ve ever known outside my family because what if it’s all just a huge act on their part. I mean, I know I can’t tell anyone what I really am, and I understand that, but not knowing who’s in my life to spot any changes in me is hard. And it hurts so much for me to think like this. I have never been a paranoid person, but all of a sudden, I feel like I’m constantly second-guessing everyone and everything I’ve ever known for hidden ulterior motives.”

Michael looked at me for a long minute or two. “So what are you planning on doing about that?”

“Nothing.” I shrugged it off. I couldn’t tell Michael what I wanted to do. He would just tell me that it wasn’t a good idea or something.

“Hey, don’t lie to me, Xan. I don’t deserve that. Be honest. What do you want to do?”

I looked down. I couldn’t look him in the eye when I said it. “I want to dream-walk my friends to find out the truth about them.”

“What’d Max say about that?” He asked.

“He told me not to. He said that there was a possibility that someone would be able to feel me tooling around in their heads and would realize what I was.” I looked at Michael. “Can that really happen?”

“Xan, I don’t know much about dream-walking. You ought to talk to Isabel about it. She’s the one with lots of experience.”

“I know, and I will talk to her tomorrow. I don’t want to interrupt her and Alex again tonight.”

I could see the evil thought running through Michael’s head. “I think you should listen to your father. He probably knows what he’s talking about.”

“But that means I have to just wait! And I can’t do that. I need some answers!”

Michael watched me pace for a few minutes. “I understand, Xan. And honestly, I can’t believe I’m the one about to say this to you. I mean, I’m not known for my resolve or my calmness, but I think you need to listen to what your father said. I mean, your safety has to come first, in front of everything. And you could put yourself into serious danger if you look into people’s dreams. Especially when you haven’t had that much practice at it outside of your immediate family.”

“Well, how am I supposed to get experience dream-walking others if I can’t dream-walk them for fear that they’ll feel me?” I felt like this was a huge catch-22 or something.

Michael didn’t have an answer. “Xan, I’m sorry. You know I wouldn’t say this unless I thought it was important. I just want you to stay safe. Paranoia is better than being turned in or hurt because of what you are.”

“I know.” I smiled and hugged him tightly. “I guess I just need to think about this some more.” I knew that if Michael was telling me to be careful that something might seriously happen to me. I just had to be careful.

“So other than feelings of paranoia and mass amounts of fear, what else has been going on in your life?” He grinned.

“Not much.” I shrugged.

“Your father told me that once you move down here, he and I are going to have to go through your wardrobe. Something about ‘not fit to wear out’.” He teased.

“Michael, Maria bought me half of my clothes. Be careful what you say.” I smiled.

He shook his head. “She always did have interesting taste.” He looked up
wickedly. “Not that I’m complaining, mind you.”

“Michael!” I laughed.



The next night I went back to Isabel’s dream. She was alone, waiting for me. She held me so tightly when she hugged me. I could feel how much she loved me. I liked that feeling. We sat down on the same big blue couch we had had our first girl talk on.

Isabel looked me over for a moment and then asked, “Are you really okay, Xan? I’ve been talking to Max and Michael, and they’re both a little worried about you.”

“I figured.” I knew Michael would talk to Isabel about our dream last night. He would want to talk to someone about the danger I was in. I also knew he hadn’t told my father because he understood it was something I should talk to him about. “I’m okay, I guess. I’m just so tired of paranoia, and I’ve only been living under it for a few days, really. I don’t know how much of these feelings I can actually handle before I go crazy.”

Isabel rubbed my hand. “Oh, Xan, I understand.” I knew she really did. “I lived with those feelings all of my life, non-stop, until I met Alex, Liz, and Maria. I was always so afraid that someone would see what we were and turn us in. I never allowed myself to get close to any of my so-called friends because of it.”

“Then you met Mom, Alex, and Maria?”

“Yeah, and finally, I had people I could trust. That I didn’t have to be paranoid about. That I felt safe with. That was when I started really living, I guess.”

“But Isabel, there’s no one I can turn to like that. I can’t trust any of the people around me. How am I supposed to find that feeling?”

“You will, Xan. I promise. And it doesn’t have to be where you are, remember. I mean, you’re leaving there in a matter of months and coming to live with us. Maybe the people you’ll be able to trust are here, with us.”

I looked up at her and nodded. “Maybe.”

“But that doesn’t help you right now,” she said. “What are you thinking about doing, Xan?”

“Dream-walking my friends to see who I can trust and who I can’t, to see who I can be real with and who I have to hide from.”

“But?” She prodded.

“Dad told me not to because there was always the possibility that someone would feel me in their dreams and know what I was.” I looked into her eyes. “Is there such a possibility?”

“I really don’t know, Xan. I mean, it might be possible, especially for a beginner.”

“Did it ever happen to you? Did anyone ever catch you?”

“Well, it was different for me, sweetie. I mean, when I was learning how to control my power when I dream-walked, I was dream-walking people who didn’t know that aliens were real. They didn’t know to be afraid of someone sifting through their subconscious as they slept. You could end up going into the dreams of a friend who knows aliens exist. They might be more sensitive to feeling people in their heads,” she sighed. “I really don’t know, Xan. I think your father is right. You should probably avoid dream-walking anyone outside the family until you learn how to do it really well.”

“But how will I learn if I don’t have anyone to practice on?”

“You do, though, Xan. You have all of
us.”

“You can all sense me, though. Well, at least, you, Dad, Mom, and Michael can.”

“Then the trick is to learn how not to let us sense you,” she said it so simply. “I spent years dream-walking you, Xan, so I could see what your life was like. You never knew I was there.”

“I also didn’t know it was possible to do such a thing.”

“True,” she smiled. “What you need to do is find some way to block yourself from connecting with the person you dream-walk. It might be as simple as not allowing yourself to talk to them. You have to learn to just observe someone else’s dreams. With the rest of us, it has always been about the connection, to get to know each other by talking. Now you need to work on getting to know someone without interacting with them.”

I thought about what Isabel suggested. It was a good compromise. I would be able to get some experience in dream-walking, and I’d get to know my family better. And hopefully, once I was good enough at this dream-walking incognito, I could find out the truth about my friends. “Okay. I’ll try that.”

“Good. One more thing, sweetie. You mentioned that you want to know who you can be real with. Can I made a suggestion?” I nodded. “Just be real. It’s so much more rewarding and it’s definitely easier than playing the role of an alien trying to be human.”

“But what if—“

“You’ve been around these people all your life, Xan. I think that if they were going to notice odd behaviors, they would have done so before now. I mean, it’s not like when you found out the truth about what you are that you changed anything about yourself, right? You were still just Xan. Just be her. Take it from the original ice princess. It makes life so much better.”

I nodded. “Okay.”

“And it will help kill some of those feelings of paranoia, if you know you’re just normal. I think part of those feelings right now is that you are so conscious of every single action you make that you feel different than you always were. Go back to your normal routine, Xan. Kiss your boyfriend good morning every day, call your best friend at 11 at night just to ask her if you should wear that skirt tomorrow. Live your life, Xan. If you give in to the paranoia, you let the FBI win, and we can’t have that.”

I nodded. “Okay, Isabel. I love you.”

I had to hand it to my aunt, she was brilliant. If there was anything to get a teenager to do something, it was a sense of rebellion. I couldn’t let the FBI’s possible involvement in my life change my life in any way. If I did, I was letting them win. I was letting them turn me into an alien on their terms, not on my own. I couldn’t let that happen.

I woke up feeling refreshed.




[ edited 3 time(s), last at 27-Jan-2002 1:11:30 PM ]
posted on 12-Oct-2001 1:38:16 AM by Transparent Clear
Another new part.. This is the latest.. written and posted on the other board this morning after a long night of margaritas and failing of tests. *big* Oh, well. Sorry, it's so short, but I was rushing this morning. Oh, and this could also be considered a (late) birthday present to my friend calphysics!!! Ha ha you're old!!!~jenan

~*~Part 25~*~

After talking to Isabel, I started dream-walking people to see if they could tell I was there. I didn’t want to get caught or anything so I only dream-walked my family. For instance, I dream-walked Maria or Alex or even my grandparents. I hated dream-walking Maria or Alex without telling them, but I needed to practice my powers, right?

Maria’s dreams were the most exciting to me. I mean, Alex always dreamt about Isabel, so his dreams revolved around them together in a little house with a couple kids running around. I loved those dreams, but I always felt like I was intruding on something holy and sacred with those. Maria was different. She dreamt in the most intoxicating colors and the loudest sounds. I thought of her dreams as a play-land where anything could happen. My favorite was the night she dreamt about a roller coaster. Of course, Michael was there for her to hold on to, but I managed to climb into the back car and feel the rush myself. I usually woke up out of her dreams feeling less than rested, but I didn’t mind. I liked seeing that Maria had so much joy in her that it reflected itself in her dreams.

One morning during a particularly dull Chemistry lecture, the lack of real sleep caught up with me, and I fell asleep hidden behind my book and the bodies of dozens of my classmates.


I was in the middle of my school. It was like a normal day. My friends were all around me and we were all talking like normal. I had no fear in me that they might be “watching” me to make sure I wasn’t different. I felt no paranoia. It felt like I was normal again.

Matt was standing next to me with his arms wrapped around me. He kept whispering about how much he loved me and how I was so special to him. And I believed him. I turned to him and kissed him.

Megan looked over at us and yelled that if we wanted to continue that, we needed to rent a room. We all laughed.

I felt so safe in this dream. It was incredible.

Then out of nowhere, a boy walked towards us. He was tall with black hair. He actually looked a lot like Alex, but he had eyes like Isabel’s. I was amazed to watch him. Was this my cousin or something?

Matt stiffened.

“Matt, what’s wrong?” I asked holding on to his arm.

He looked at me. “Don’t you see what this boy is, Alex? He’s an alien.”

“What?” I asked shocked.

“He’s one of those scum-sucking aliens that is trying to take over our world.”

“Matt, what are you talking about?” I watched the boy get closer to us. He looked so much like Alex that I just wanted to run over and hug him.

“This boy is an alien.”

“Matt, there are no such things as aliens,” I denied.
Megan looked at me. “Of course there are.”

Matt pulled something out of his pocket. It was small and silver and shined brightly.

The boy was so close to us now. I looked him in the eye, wishing I could warn him in some way to stay away, to turn around and run, but he kept coming toward me. It was like he knew me and wanted to see me or something. He smiled.

Matt pointed whatever he had in his hand at him and smiled, too. He pushed some kind of button and suddenly, the boy fell to the ground. There was a large wound in his stomach. He looked so innocent as he laid there taking what was to be his last few breaths.

He looked up at me and smiled. “Xan,” he whispered and then there was nothing.

“NO!!!!!” I screamed.



Someone was shoving me. “Alex? Alex, are you okay?” It was Megan.

I sat up. I was still in class. Everyone was staring at me. It had all just been a dream, but it felt so real. I had watched my cousin die.

I looked at all the people in my class. Matt was standing up, walking toward me. He looked so worried. Megan was trying to hug me or something. Even the teacher looked concerned. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t say anything, and I knew I couldn’t stay here and try to explain it. I just grabbed my backpack and book and ran out of the room with tears streaming down my face. What the hell was that supposed to mean? And where had that dream come from?



[ edited 4 time(s), last at 27-Jan-2002 1:12:24 PM ]
posted on 19-Oct-2001 1:07:26 AM by Transparent Clear
wow... it's been like a week since I last updated. *happy* I hope to have another part out soon (like in the next little while) just because I can. So this is just a bump to at least see my story...

jenan
posted on 22-Oct-2001 2:12:22 PM by Transparent Clear
well, so I kind of lied when I said I'd have it out soon the other day... *big* real life just seems to enjoy complicating itself. Anyway, part 26 is out now... and with some luck, part 27 will be out later on tonight. (well, luck and staying awake past 11.) Thank you all for reading this, and for leaving feedback. And calphysics Thank you so much for letting me ramble on and on about this! I totally appreciate it. ~jenan

[center]~*~Part 26~*~[/center]


I drove straight home from school. I didn’t stop at the office to check out or tell my teachers I was leaving. I just left. I knew they’d call my mother and that I’d be in trouble most likely, but I had to get out of there. I felt like I was suffocating. As I drove, I kept seeing the boy with Isabel’s eyes on the ground looking up at me. Was he real? My head was swimming with the idea of that boy and what had happened to him.

I had to take my mind off him. Instead, I started thinking about where that nightmare came from. Was it a figment of my own paranoid imagination? Or did it come from someone else in the class? I don’t remember reaching out to anyone, but what if I just picked up on the broadcast of that dream. What if proximity made me more open to dreams? Who else had been asleep during that class? How was I going to figure this out?

Once I got home I was so terrified of trying to figure out the dream that I ran up to my room and hid under my blankets. And I laid there till I fell into a peaceful, dreamless sleep. I woke up 3 hours later when my mother climbed onto my bed.

“Xany,” she whispered as she moved a few strands of hair off my face, “Xany, baby, wake up.”

“Mom,” I turned to look at her. “What’s going on? What time is it?”

“It’s noon. School called me at work. Why did you run out of class this morning?”

The memory of the nightmare came rushing back to me. I hugged my mother. “Oh, Mommy, it was so scary.”

My mother knew something was wrong when I reverted to the vocabulary of a 3 year old. “What was, baby? Talk to me.”

“I fell asleep in chemistry.” I looked at her sheepishly. “And I had this nightmare.”

“A nightmare scared you so badly you ran out of school?”

“Yes.” I looked up at her seriously.

“What happened? Tell me.”

“I was walking down the hall of school with Matt and Megan. And this boy started running toward me. It was like he recognized me, Mom. And we just stopped still. And Matt got all serious and said he wasn’t human; that he was an alien. That aliens were out to take over the world. And Matt took out this gun or something and shot him. I watched this boy just fall to the ground in front of me. Matt looked so pleased with himself. And the boy looked at me with the most beautiful eyes; it was like he trusted me, Mom. And then he called me Xan. And then he died.” I started crying again.

My mother hugged me tightly. “Oh, Xan, baby, it’s okay. It was just a nightmare.”

“It felt so real, though.”

“Did you recognize the boy?”

I looked at her. How could I tell her that I thought he was my cousin who as far as I knew didn’t even exist? I hated to do this, but I couldn’t tell her the truth. Not until I talked to Isabel, at least. “No, I don’t know who he was.”

“That nightmare was probably just a figment of your imagination.”

“What if it was the figment of someone else’s imagination, Mom? What if someone else dreamt of this?”

“You think you dream-walked someone? Who?”

“I don’t know. Usually, in order for me to dream-walk someone, I have to think about them. The only thing I was thinking about earlier was sleeping because I was so tired. I can’t figure it out but I think I was like pulled into someone else’s dream or fantasy.”

“Whose?” I could see the wheel in my mother’s head turning. She was worried about my safety again.

“I don’t know. I think it was either Matt or Megan because they were in the dream with me.”

“So you think one of them—“ She looked at me with wide eyes.

“I don’t know. I guess.” I had to stop myself from crying again.

My mother hugged me. “It will be okay, Xan. I promise. We will take care of this.” She sounded so determined. “We will be fine.”

I couldn’t argue with her. I needed to believe it too much.

My mother stayed with me throughout the rest of her lunch hour. Mostly she just kept hugging me to remind me that no matter what, I was okay. At the end of the hour, she looked at me, “Do you want me to stay, Xan? If you don’t think you’re going to be okay by yourself, I can stay home with you.”

“No, it’s okay, Mom. I’ll be fine.” I insisted, knowing I would never really be able to think this out if I had to edit it for Mom. “Today’s your meeting with Dr. Larson. I know how important that is.” I looked at her as she opened her mouth to object. “I know I’m more important, but I promise I’m fine. I’m probably just going to take a nap or something.”

“Baby, please, just don’t dream-walk anyone, okay? Just get some rest and we’ll figure out what’s going on tonight.”

“Tonight?”

She smiled. “I have this feeling your father is going to dream-walk me or something. We’ll all talk this out then.”

“Okay.” I nodded. That gave me the afternoon to get some of my own questions answered. “I love you, Mom.”

“I love you, too, baby.”

After my mother left, I called Alex at work. I wondered if he knew the answer to the one question I heard over and over again in my mind. The only thing was, how do you ask that question?

“Hey, kid. What’s up?”

“Not a lot, Alex. I just wanted to talk to you. Apologize for always interrupting your dreams with Isabel.”

“It’s okay, baby. We like seeing you in our dreams. Isabel misses you.” I could almost see his smile. “And of course I miss you. You’re my favorite kid.”

I knew with that comment that if there was a baby, Alex did not know about it. “Thank you, Alex,” I smiled, accepting the compliment while I still could. He was going to freak out when he found out! This was his biggest dream ever. I wondered why Isabel hadn’t told him yet.

“So why are you really calling me?”

“Can’t a girl just want to talk to her favorite uncle?”

Alex laughed. “I will tell Michael you said that someday, Xan. And the answer to that is not during school hours. Why aren’t you in school, by the way?”

“Long story. I need your help with a couple questions, though.”

“Xan, I am not doing your computer science homework, babe. Sorry.”

“Ha ha.” I tried to laugh. “This is actually about dream-walking.”

“Okay.” He paused. “Why are you asking me and not Isabel?”

“Because she’s not asleep. And you might be able to answer it for me anyway.”

“I’ll try.”

“There are different types of dream-walking, right? The kind where you just watch and then what I do usually, where I interact with the dreamer, right?”

“Sounds right.”

“So obviously the dreamer can feel me if I participate with them, right?”

“Right. Xan, stop asking elementary questions you already know the answers to. What is going on?”

“Okay. Has Isabel ever just strictly dream-walked you where she didn’t interact?”

“Sure. When we were in high school, she had to know if everyone could trust me with their secret, so she dream-walked me to find out.”

“How did you know? Could you feel her?”

“No. I mean, Isabel is good at doing that. It’s her favorite gift. She told me about it later, after we’d gotten together.”

“Oh.”

“Why?”

“I’m just wondering.” My mind was spinning with how much trouble I was in. No matter what happened, I was caught. Whether it was Matt or Megan dreaming, one of them was the FBI and they had most likely felt me in their dream. Oh, God… What was I going to do? What were we all going to do?

“Xan, are you okay? You sound really weird.”

“I’m fine, Alex. Listen, I’m going to go. Days of Our Lives is on, and I don’t want to miss Jonah finding out he is really the cryogenically frozen son of John Black which means that he’s in love with his neice.” I tried to sound normal.

“God, your mother and Maria used to make me watch that show back when we were your age. I still haven’t forgiven them for the loss of all those brain cells.” He laughed. “I love you, Xan.”

“I love you, too, Alex. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.”

“Bye.”

I hung up with Alex and started pacing around my room. I was caught. Someone knew my secrets, and they were going to use them against me and my family. Oh, God. What were we going to do? I needed to talk to someone, preferably Isabel about all this. I needed to know if it was true. Was she pregnant? Was the boy in my dream real?

But how could that be? I had fallen into someone else’s dream. Either Megan or Matt was dreaming about killing aliens. How could that alien be my cousin? How did this child who wasn’t even born, possibly not even real, be in a dream that someone else was having? I needed to talk to Isabel!

Maybe things were going to work in my favor today and Isabel was taking a post-lunch nap. I mean, if the answer to my question was yes, wasn’t she supposed to be tired? I just wanted her to be asleep.

Today was definitely not my day because she wasn’t. As I searched out with my mind as I slept, I could feel absolutely no one that I wanted to talk to. I understood that they were all probably busy working or whatever, but I needed them, and I hated that there was no easy way for me to communicate that to them. I briefly thought that soon I would be living with them, but that stopped when I realized that I was being watched by the FBI. How was I ever supposed to get to talk to them? I was going to be trapped here for the rest of my life, never really being able to see them. I had ruined my mother’s chances of ever being with my father again. And what about Maria and Alex? Not to mention Michael and Isabel? Had I inadvertently ruined their happiness as well? I flopped out on the bed and tried not to think about it.

It didn’t work.

I kept falling asleep and trying to find someone I could talk to about this. It was nearly 5:30 when I finally felt Michael asleep. I immediately went to his dream.

“Xan, what are you doing here? It’s the middle of the afternoon.”

“I know. I just needed to talk to someone.”

“What’s going on?” He immediately got all worried. “Xan, talk.”

I sat down on a big papasan chair that I had “created” and curled up into it. “Well, I had this nightmare today. In the middle of class.”

Michael tried to joke over the seriousness of the situation. “That’s my girl, falling asleep in the middle of class. I guess maybe your mom really did lie about who your father is.” He teased. I smiled with sad eyes. “Okay. Continue?”

“Um, in the dream, I was walking down the hall to my school with my friend Megan and my boyfriend Matt. And all of a sudden this boy came running over to us. It was like he knew me, Michael. He was coming straight to me. And Matt took a gun or something out of his pocket and pointed it at him. I freaked and asked why. And he said it was because this boy was an alien… and he shot him, Michael. And the boy fell to the ground. And he looked up at me with these big eyes and called me Xan. And then he died.”

Michael hugged me. “It’s going to be okay, Xan. It was just a nightmare.”

“No, I don’t think it was just a nightmare. I think it was more.”

“Like a dream-walk?”

”Something like that.” I sighed. “Someone knows my secret, Michael. He knows all of our secrets. And I’m afraid of what’s going to happen.” I started crying, which I hated to do to Michael since I knew he was absolutely terrified of a woman crying.

“Are you sure that someone knows? I mean, maybe it was just a nightmare. Or maybe someone who works for the FBI had the dream, but didn’t know that you are an alien. I mean, they weren’t shooting at you.”

“No, but I think… I just have this feeling that it’s out.”

“I hope you’re wrong.” He smiled slowly.

“Me, too.” I paused. “I have to find out though if it’s the truth, if Matt or Megan is really working for the FBI. I can’t just sit here and wait.”

“I know, Xan. But you need to talk to Isabel first. She can help you get through the dreams undetected, I bet. Just because you think they know doesn’t mean you have to confirm it to them.”

“Okay.” I agreed.

“You stay asleep and I’m going to go get Isabel and tell her to find you, okay?” He hugged me. “It will be okay, Xan. I promise.”

Cynically I thought that Michael shouldn’t be making promises he couldn’t necessarily keep, but I kept that to myself. “Thanks, Michael.” He left my dream and I sat curled up in the chair for another 10 minutes until Isabel showed up.

“Xan? What’s going on? Michael told me you needed to talk to me.”

I hugged Isabel. “I had a nightmare.”

She looked at me. “Okay.”

“I think I had it because someone was dreaming about alien hunting, pretty much. Someone really close to me.”

She sat next to me in the chair. “Okay. What are we going to do?”

I needed to ask her the question first. I needed to figure out what was going on. “Um, before we talk about that, I need to ask you a question.”

“Okay.” She smiled. “Shoot.”

“I don’t know how to ask this, but it does have to do with that dream. And I’m really curious about what the answer actually is, because it’s really scary for me to think about it. I mean, what it could mean and stuff.”

“Xan, stop babbling, and just ask me.”

I looked at her and smiled. “Okay. Is, are you-um- pregnant?”

Her face lost all its color. “Xan, how did you know? I haven’t told anyone, not even Max or Alex.” Her eyes started getting blurry.

My eyes teared up as well. I was so torn. This was the best news I’d heard in ages; I was so happy for her and Alex. But now I had to tell her the dream? How could I do that? I could see how happy she was and for me to tell her that I’d seen her son get killed…..that was just heartless.

“Xan, talk to me.”

I looked at her. “A little boy?” I whispered.

She nodded. “How do you know?” A few tears trickled down her cheeks.

I started crying, too. “My nightmare.” I paused. “I dreamt that Matt and Megan were walking me down the hall when a boy who looked exactly like Alex but with your eyes came running to me. And Matt shot him. He looked up at me and called me Xan… and then he died, Is.” I sobbed and hugged her tightly.

Isabel couldn’t say anything. She was practically in shock, I think. She held me tighter for a few minutes and then tried to compose herself. “And you’re sure it wasn’t just a nightmare?”

“Yes. It felt like I was in someone else’s
dreams, sharing it with them, almost. I mean, I could feel my reactions and I could sense them there.”

“Who was it?”

“I don’t know. Either Matt or Megan. I’m not sure which.”

“But it was Matt who shot the boy?” Her voice broke.

“Yes.” I looked at her. “You think it’s Matt? That he’s the FBI agent?”

She nodded. “But we’ll check out both of
them.”

“That’s what Michael suggested.”

“You told Michael?”

“Not about the baby. I told him I wasn’t sure if it was Matt or Megan and he said you’d help me check the 2 of them out.”

“Okay.” She nodded.

“Why haven’t you told Alex about the baby
yet, Is? He’d be thrilled.”

“I know. I’m just nervous and a little greedy. I can feel this baby already, Xan. We have this connection that is so incredible. Your mom had it with you, but I could never have imagined it would be like this.” She smiled.

“I’m so happy for you, Isabel. This is awesome. And I’m so sorry to throw this on you now.”

“It’s okay, Xan. We’ll work this out. I plan to raise my son with all of my family present.” She said determinedly.

I smiled. Whatever Isabel wanted, Isabel got. My mom told me that a little while ago. I hoped her streak continued. “So what are we going to do? Do we have to wait until they go to bed tonight to dream-walk them and find out what’s going on in their heads?” I didn’t think I could wait that long.

“No. We’re going to go into their heads now.”

“But how?”

“Well, Xan, once you get better at doing dream-walks, you find easy ways to get into people’s subconscious’s without waiting for them to fall asleep. And this way, we won’t have to deal with if it’s a dream or reality for them. Now we’ll know their realities.”

I sighed. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to know. It scared me that people I trusted could be hiding something so serious. “Okay. So what do we do?”

“We look for Megan first. And I’ll take you into her mind. It’s a little shocking the first time you try it, so try to be prepared to see a whole rush of things at first until we can sort out what’s going on.”

“Okay.” I took Isabel’s hand and somehow we found Megan’s mind. We were hit by a blur of images and scents and sounds.

The taste of a cold pepsi.

The smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

“The sum of squares rule applies to….”

“A long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me cry…”

“Gotta get gas”

“Damn it! I forgot my Spanish book!”

A blur of red as Megan took off her sweater to reveal a tank top. Looking through her closet for a new shirt. Reds, blues, greens swinging by on hangers.

“God, I hope Alex’s okay…”

Isabel and I focused on that thought.

“I wonder what that whole nightmare was about. I mean, she completely freaked. And I can’t believe she ran out of class without a word. She looked so scared. She couldn’t even look at me or Matt. It was like she was afraid of us. What the hell is that? Alex cannot be afraid of me! I’m her best friend.”

Megan’s mind flashed through a series of memories of the two of us. Playing dress-up in their mother’s clothes, learning how to cook together, doing homework, getting dressed for their first double date together.


Isabel and I pulled out of Megan’s mind and looked at each other.

“It wasn’t Megan,” I whispered. I was so torn. My best friend was really my best friend. She hadn’t betrayed me or anything. She was my friend through all of it. But that meant that Matt was working for the FBI. He’d come into my life specifically just to get information on me and what I was. He was waiting to hurt my family and destroy any dream I’d ever had. Thinking about that broke my heart, I started crying.

“I know, babe.” Isabel wrapped her arms around me. “Can you handle doing this? You don’t have to do it. I can go alone if it would hurt too much.”

“No, I have to go. I need to know all of the truth.” I said determinedly.

“Okay.”


***edited b/c I forgot to format earlier.... *happy*

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 27-Jan-2002 1:13:56 PM ]
posted on 26-Oct-2001 2:09:14 PM by Transparent Clear
~*~ Part 27 ~*~

I looked at Isabel and tried to make myself feel as positive as I sounded. It didn’t work. I was so not ready to see how this person I had loved could betray me like that.

“You can do this, Xan. Just remember that once you get through this, Matt can never hurt you ever again.”

“I think he’s hurt me enough now to last a lifetime,” I whispered and tried to stop myself from crying.

“Xan—“ Isabel wrapped her arms around me.

“I can do this!” I said determinedly. I had to do this.

“Then let’s get this over with.” Isabel took my hand.

We “found” Matt and got into his head. There was a blur of confusion once we got there, but once we could sort it out, it all made sense.

A tall blonde with a beautiful smile.

Me.

The sound of an announcer on a baseball game.

The hiss of a can of beer opening.

An FBI badge.

A family picture that was unlike any family picture he had ever shown me.

Agent Jeremy O’Neill.


We focused on that thought and it was like we were in a recent memory of his. We watched everything. The only thing that kept going through my mind was that I didn’t even know his real name. That hurt.

“Agent Jeremy O’Neill to see Special Agent in Charge Sassler.” He walked into an office with a short redhead behind a massive desk covered in paperwork and files.

“Agent O’Neill, it’s been a while since you’ve had anything to report.” She smiled. “What has been going on with Ms. Parker?”

I looked at “Matt”. He looked different; older, more mature. He was wearing a dark suit and had fixed his hair so that it laid flat against his head. But that wasn’t what was bothering me. He felt different, not like the “Matt” I knew.

He looked at her and carried on the report officially.
“Subject: Alexandra Parker, age 17, daughter of Elizabeth Parker and Maxwell Evans.”

At this point, Agent Sassler looked up from her file, presumably on me and looked at “Matt”. “The file says her father is Alexander Whitman.”

“He and her mother lied, to keep her safe. I have an audio tape from the night Alexandra found out what she is, proving that Evans is her father. And in conversation, she always refers to Alex as her uncle. She knows that Max is her father. They talk all the time, nearly every night.”

“Really?” She sounded shocked. “We have no trace of that, but than again, you never can tell with Evans.”

“In the past 5 months, she’s talked more about him than ever before.”

“Do we know who made the contact?”

“According to her, he did.”

“And does she talk to anyone else?”

“Isabel Evans and Michael Guerin.”

“And she knows what she is?” The disgust in this woman’s voice was apparent. I felt ill just watching this conversation.

“Affirmative. We have an audio tape from the recorder we put in the dining room of her mother telling her the truth. We also have video confirmation that her father visited her for a weekend several weeks ago, right after her 18th birthday. Audio from the dining room confirms conversations about talking to Isabel Evans between Alexandra and her mother.”

“Do we have anything from the time Max Evans was at their home?”

“No. As best we can tell, they talked about everything serious in the living room or the basement.”

“And were there not bugs in those rooms?”

“The bug in the dining room hasn’t been functioning for about 5 months. We believe that a glass of wine was spilled into it at a Christmas party. Unfortunately no one on my team has been able to get in and either fix or replace it.”

“I see.” She looked through my file again. “What about Maria Deluca and Alex Whitman? Has anything come from the bugs at their residences?”

“There are still phone conversations between Mr. Whitman and either Alexandra, Elizabeth, or Maria about him talking to Isabel but we have no confirmation of that. The same weekend that Max Evans came to visit his family, Alex disappeared for 3 days. He successfully lost the man following him and disappeared on a Friday afternoon. He reappeared Monday morning and nothing has been unusual since. Ms. Deluca gets occasional untraceable phone calls from Michael Guerin. We believe that he comes to visit her on occasion, but we are unable to confirm that it is him.”

“And you believe that Alexandra Parker will lead us to them?”

“Yes. She’s going to spend the summer with her father and presumably Evans and Guerin. So either he’ll have to come get her, or she’ll meet him somewhere and we can track her.”

“And she has no idea what you really are?”

“No. She thinks I’m the perfect boyfriend.” He smiled.

“Perfect.” Sassler smiled. “Stay with your assignment for now, O’Neill. You should be out of there soon. You’ll be able to resume your real life again.”

“Yes, sir.” He smiled even bigger. “I can’t wait to get out of this little hell hole and come home.”

Isabel and I looked at one another after watching that. She was ready to leave. We had the information we needed, but I wanted to know one more thing. What was the deal with that dream?

I “walked” through his memories and went to that dream. It was Matt who was dreaming it. He had thought all those horrible things about killing aliens. He wanted me to see that. He knew I could dream-walk him, and he wanted me to see that. I felt ill.


Isabel and I stepped out of his mind.

“Xan, are you okay?”

“Isabel,” I started crying. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen.

She hugged me tightly. “Hang on, babe. I’m going to go get Michael to come in here for you. Then I’m going to get everyone else. We all need to talk about this.”

I looked up at Isabel. “No! How can I talk about this? I have ruined everything, Isabel? Because of me, the FBI knows everything. How can I look at all of you and admit that?”

“Xan, it’s not your fault. You heard him. He bugged your house. He betrayed your privacy and your trust. You couldn’t have known.”

“I should have thought about this!” I knew that was completely irrational.

“Xan, you didn’t even know the truth about yourself. How could you have known that there were people out there evil enough to worm their way into your life just to betray you at the earliest opportunity? You were just a 17-year-old girl looking for answers. You did nothing wrong.” She wrapped her arm around me.

Suddenly Michael came into the room. “If anything, we should have thought about this years ago. If anyone is to blame for this, it’s us.” He hugged me and Isabel.

“No!” I insisted, wrapping my arms around him.

“I’ll be right back with Max and everyone else.” Isabel looked at Michael poignantly, as if to say ‘take care of her’. She disappeared.

“Xan, it’s going to be okay.”

“Michael, no, it’s not.” I sounded so sure of that. “Nothing is ever going to be okay again.”

“I take it Matt was the one.”

“Yeah. His name’s not even Matt; he’s Jeremy O’Neill. He came into my life specifically to find out things that would lead the FBI to you.” I sounded so bitter. It was unreal. “And now he knows enough and we’re all screwed.”

“Xan, don’t talk like that, okay?” Michael hugged me again. “I’m not doing this really well, but this is probably the first time I’ve ever gotten to play the one positive things would work out. Max or Liz or Maria usually plays this role. I know we’re in trouble, Xan. But we’ve always been. Someone has always wanted us, and we’ve always faced that. And look at us: we’re still together, in the best ways. We haven’t let them beat us, even when we’ve been separated for years. And we won’t start letting them hurt us now. We’re stronger than that.”

“Thanks for saying that, Michael.” I didn’t necessarily believe it, but I loved that Michael cared so much about me that he would talk to me like that.

“It’s the truth, Xan. And trust me, this O’Neill guy can’t be any worse than Pierce and we survived him. In fact, we kicked his ass.” His eyes got haunted.

I knew that Michael had been forced to kill Pierce and that he had been left with feelings of guilt and his own evilness. I hugged him. “Very true. We do what we have to do to protect all of us, right?”

“That’s right.”

Maria, Alex, and Isabel came into the dream.

“SpaceBoy!” Maria ran into Michael’s arms. She hugged him tightly. “And SpaceGirl!” Maria threw her arms around me.

“SpaceGirl?” I had to laugh at that. Maria was always the person who could make me smile at my worst moment. I needed her now.

“I’ll be right back. I still have to get Max and Liz.” She smiled mischievously. “Please don’t let them be dreaming together. I can’t handle intruding on that tonight.” She disappeared.

Alex hugged me and then Michael. “What’s going on?” He looked between us.

“Alex-“ I started.

“Why don’t we just wait till everyone is here? This way it only has to be told one more time,” Michael suggested.

“Okay.”

Alex looked me over. “Are you okay, though?”

“Yeah.” I smiled as bravely as I could for him.

He nodded. “Okay then. Start making some couches and chairs. We’re all going to need someplace to sit.”

“All right.”

Maria and Michael were having this odd little conversation with their eyes. It was so beautiful to watch. God, I hoped I hadn’t ruined all of this for them!

A couple minutes later, Isabel returned with my parents. My mom ran over to where I was sitting in my chair and hugged me. “Xan, what’s going on? Isabel said it was an emergency!” She ran her hands over my arms and legs as if she were looking for wounds. She hadn’t done that since I was about 10.

My father hugged me. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah.” I nodded. “I’m okay for now.”

“For now? What does that mean?”

Isabel took over. “Okay. I think everyone should just take a seat and we all need to talk about this.”

We were all sitting in a little circle. Couples were paired up on chairs or a sofa and then I was alone in my papasan chair. I felt alone. I took a deep breath. I knew this was my story to tell.

“Something happened today and it’s really not good.” I sighed. That was a horrible way to start a conversation like this, but I didn’t know what else to say.

“Xan, I don’t like this new dramatic side of you,” Maria said. “What’s going on?”

“Okay. I was in chemistry this morning, and I fell asleep. And I had this nightmare. In it, I was with my friend Megan and my boyfriend Matt. And we were in school in the hallway and all of a sudden this boy came running up to us. And Matt pulled out a gun and shot him. And the boy fell to the ground and looked up at me. He said my name, and then he died.” I could see the tears in Isabel’s eyes as I re-told the nightmare.

“Did you know the boy?” Michael asked.

I looked at my mother who was about to answer for me, and nodded. “I’m sorry for lying to you, Mom, but I did know him. Well, at least I recognized him.” Isabel’s eyes got wide. I couldn’t betray her secret then. She needed to tell everyone when she was ready to. “He looked a lot like me, with Dad’s eyes and your smile, Mom.” I lied.

My parents let out a collective gasp.

“It scared me so much because he looked so much like me, like the two of you, and he called me Xan. And Matt killed him, calling him an evil alien out to take over the earth or something. I couldn’t tell you about the boy until I was sure that it was Matt’s dream and not just some figment of my imagination.” I reached out and took my mother’s hand. She had a steady stream of tears going down her face. My father wrapped his arms around her and let her cry on his shoulder.

“We won’t let that happen, Liz. I promise,” he whispered over and over.

I looked at Isabel. She was trying to fight her tears, but she couldn’t tell people the truth. Not now.

“Go on, Xan,” my father encouraged.

“So I talked to Michael and Alex and then finally I got to talk to Isabel, and we went into Matt and Megan’s minds. We wanted to see if there really was something going on in one of them, all the while hoping that my imagination was better than it really is.” I took a deep breath. “Megan’s mind was clean. She was worried about me. She really is my friend,” I cried. I just realized that my best friend was still my best friend. It felt so incredible to think that. I felt like calling her and crying to her for thinking that she would have betrayed me.

“But Matt?” Maria said.

“His name’s not Matt. He is Jeremy O’Neill, an FBI agent assigned to me for the past couple years. His job was to find out how much I knew and to find you guys. In his mind, he was turning me in, basically, telling his supervisor, a redheaded bitch named Sassler all about me. And you.”

“What did he know about us? All of us?” My father started worrying. I could practically see the wheels turning in his head. How could he make everyone be safe again? Where would they have to go? What would he have to do to make sure none of us were hurt? What would have to be given up in the name of safety?

“He knew the truth about you guys and me. He told his supervisor everything. They had bugs in the house. They’ve known everything from the night Mom told me the truth. They know that you were here for a weekend, after my birthday. They know everything.” I took a deep breath. “If you come to get me, they’ll arrest us both, probably. If I go to meet you, they’ll follow me. There’s no way for us to be together.” It had occurred to me that no matter what I was in trouble, both Mom and I were actually. The FBI knew I was an alien and that my mother had given birth to an alien. We were definitely wanted. I didn’t want to talk about that though. I knew what would happen, and I didn’t want to watch my father fall further into this nonstop guilt that he kept torturing himself with.

My Mom hugged me as I cried. She understood how much I hated every single word I’d just said.

“Xan, there has to be a way. Especially now,” Maria said.

“What does that mean?”

“If they had your house bugged, there’s no way they haven’t done the same to me and Alex. I mean, the reason you were being watched was because your mother spent a lot of time with Max. Alex and I spent just as much time with Isabel and Michael. They have to be watching us too.”

“Yeah! Matt—“ I stopped. That wasn’t his name. Matt was a good person. “Jeremy mentioned that there were bugs in both your apartments. They know that you talk about talking to Isabel all the time. And they are nearly positive that Michael came to visit you the same weekend Dad came to visit us.”

“Damn it!” Max exclaimed. He started pacing around all of us.

“Do you think they know we communicate with each other?” Maria asked.

“Only through Xan’s boyfriend.” Alex said. He held on to Isabel’s hand, gently rubbing his thumb over the top of her hand. It looked so natural for him to do that.

I shook my head. “No, they know more. When Mom told me the truth, we were in the dining room where they had a bug planted. She told me about Isabel’s ability to dream-walk. That’s how I started talking to you, because I decided to try to figure out how to do it. Jeremy knows that we can communicate through that.”

“He didn’t tell Sassler about it,” Isabel pointed out. “Maybe he didn’t believe we can actually do that.”

“No, he knew. When I looked into his head and found out that my nightmare definitely came from him, it was like I could feel that he had the intention for me to see that dream. That he wanted me to know that he could do something like that.”

“What are we going to do?” Isabel asked. “Is it safe to leave you guys in your current situations, trying to ignore the fact that people are following you?”

“Do they know about all our powers?” Michael asked.

“Jeremy didn’t really mention any to his superior. HE just said I knew everything. He didn’t tell her if I had any powers.”

“Then that might work for us.”

“I taught Xan her powers in the house, though. They have to know.”

“No. We worked on them in the basement. That wasn’t bugged.”

My mother’s eyes got big. “Matt-Jeremy knows we suspected him! We talked about that in the living room the night you talked your father into letting us come live with him, Xan.”

“No, I don’t think so, either. Matt said the bug he’d placed in the living room had stopped working somewhere around Christmas. He thought someone had poured wine on it or something.” I said. “So they don’t know that I have certain powers or that we knew he was possibly bad.” I started pacing the room. “I just don’t understand why he didn’t tell Sassler the truth about the dream-walks.”

“Xan, don’t worry about that right now. We need to think about some other stuff first.” Alex said.

“Like?”

“Like what are we going to do?” Isabel asked.

I looked at them bluntly. “It’s obvious, isn’t it? We all stay where we are. Mom and I try to live like we don’t know we’re being watched and recorded every minute of the day. Maria and Alex do the same. You guys stay wherever you are. We see each other in dreams, maybe an occasional phone call.” I started crying. “We give up.” I didn’t even want to think about the fact that Mom and I would probably be arrested for our “alien-status”.

“Xan, I cannot believe you just said that,” my mother said.

“We most definitely do not give up,” my father agreed. “We’ve been through things like this before, and we’ve come through. And we’ll come through this too.”

“The most important thing is to make sure everyone’s safe, though. That means we stay where we are.”

“No, it doesn’t,” Maria whispered. “At least not you, Xan.” She looked around. “Think about it. They know Xan is an alien, and they know that Liz gave birth to an alien. You don’t think the FBI is going to give up the opportunity to take her?” She voiced my every fear. “And they’ll probably want to see what having an alien child has done to Liz’s human genetics.” I started crying more.

There was an eerie moment of silence in the room. We all looked at one another trying to figure out some way to deny what Maria had just said. There was none.

“So we get Xan and Liz out of there.” Michael said.

“How? You know we’re being watched.” I hated sounded so negative but I had to be the voice of reason, if I could.

“Xan, Xan, Xan, you need to realize that with the people around you, we can do anything we want,” Maria smiled. “So let’s start with basics.”

My mother spoke up. “No matter what, Xan has to be safe. I can handle anything if I know she’s okay.”

“Mom, don’t talk like that!” I insisted. I couldn’t handle hearing my mother talk like she was okay with being experimented on as long as I was okay. I needed her to be okay, too.

“We all have to be safe,” my father agreed. “But you’re right. Xan is most important. She’s the child of an alien-human mix. They want to see what that’s like. So how do we get Xan out of there without drawing too much attention to her?”

“Do we assume that someone is watching her 24 hours a day?” Alex asked.

“Pretty much.”

“What about making her like a runaway?” Michael suggested. He started walking around the room too. “It could work!” He looked at all of us with a light shining in his eyes. “Okay. Obviously, we need to get Xan out of there safely without alerting anyone specifically Jeremy that she knows what’s going on. So what if she just ran away? Left letters for everybody even. She drives away and meets one of us somewhere and we bring her here.”

“Why would Xan run away?” Isabel asked.

“Maybe Liz tells Xan that she’s not allowed to see Matt anymore,” Maria added. “And that she won’t be going to spend the summer with Max.”

“They’ll know Mom and I never talked about this.”

“No. Because when you tell Matt all about being forced to break up with him, you tell him that your mother sat you down in the living room last night and told you all this.” Alex finished.

“Then you go home, and in the dining room, you yell at your mother that you did what she asked. That you gave up your life because she wanted you to. And you fight, stuff about never forgiving her would be nice. And then that night, preferably tomorrow night, you sneak out to your car and drive away.”

“What if someone is following her?” My mother asked.

“Then Xan drives in such a way that would make her lose her license if she were to get caught, but don’t get caught.” Michael smiled.

“That could work.” My father agreed. “Think you can pull off lots of fake tears at school in the morning?”

“They wouldn’t necessarily be fake. They might not be for what I’m talking about, but I’m sure I’ll be crying.” I agreed. I could do this plan. I would get out of there. “But what about everyone else?”

“That we’ll do as planned.” Max said.

“Planned?” Maria exclaimed. “There’s a plan now? I want to know what the hell is going to happen? Liz and Xan are going to go off and live with you guys. And Alex and I are supposed to just stay here? Trapped?”

“No!” Alex insisted. “We go, too. I won’t lose Isabel now that we’re so close to being together.” He wrapped his arm around her.

“How?” Maria asked. She looked straight at Michael.

Michael looked at her. “We’ll figure it out, Maria. Don’t worry.”

At those words, it was like Maria could just calm down. She believed in Michael enough that she knew it would happen if he said so. It was so cool to watch.

“So it’s settled. Tomorrow, Xan, you break up with Matt, make mention of fighting with your mother and write some run away letters,” Michael said. “Then tomorrow night you’ll leave to meet us. And we’ll all meet again to discuss how everyone else is going to come to meet us.”

I nodded. “Sure. That’s all in a day’s work for me, I guess.” I started crying.

My mother wrapped her arms around me. “It’s going to be okay, Xan.”

“No, it’s not. I’m so sorry. I got you all into this again. I mean, you were all so happy and everything was finally going to work out. And now it’s not. And it’s all my fault. If only I hadn’t trusted that---”

“No, honey, it’s not your fault. This is what is supposed to be happening. We can’t stop destiny, even when we want to,” my Mom said wisely. I didn’t miss the look she shared with my father. “And when you met Matt, I agreed with you that he was a great guy. I should have thought about it, that maybe he was someone out to get you. I mean, I knew he was new to town and that should have told me to be careful, but I didn’t. I allowed us to become complacent in our silly little civilized busy life. I should have taken more care for us and your security. I mean, you are an alien. I have known that since the first second I realized I was pregnant. I should have protected you,” she was crying and holding on to me as I cried on her shoulder.

“Mom—“

“Stop,” Isabel said. I could see she was near tears. “Blame and guilt is going to get us nowhere.”

“Than what are we going to do?”

No one had an answer for me.

“It’s almost time for you to go to school, Xan. I think we all just need to think about this today, and we’ll figure something out by tonight, I’m sure,” my Dad said. “Just be sure to break it off with this guy, but don’t make it suspicious. He can’t know that you know the truth about him.”

“Right.” I nodded. I didn’t know if I could really do this, but I knew that I had to. I had to take care of my family. That was what was most important.



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Jan-2002 1:15:40 PM ]
posted on 26-Oct-2001 2:12:38 PM by Transparent Clear
Just a quick AN: I have to explain the Matt/Jeremy and Sassler story... I had to make Jeremy evil b/c I modeled him after this evil guy I work with and I couldn't make him good, no matter what. Same for Sassler. My boss, the bitch. *happy* Those are like 2 of the only things the original story I started with has held on to... (in other words, everythign else has changed....)

Sorry if this bothers anyone... Also, this chapter was for calphysics who loves to "encourage" me for new parts and Sandry. Also, mucho thanks to all of you for responding and leaving feedback and making me feel better through the many hellish days of school. *happy* I hope to have another (short) part out this weekend before I head to Chicago.

thanks! I love you
Jenan

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 26-Oct-2001 5:01:21 PM ]
posted on 31-Oct-2001 4:50:34 AM by Transparent Clear
Just a quick AN before I leave the board for 5 whole days... (sob...)

Thank you all so much for your feedback! And I know I said I wanted to get a part out before I left for Chicago, but I have 1 hour till I have to be at school to get on a bus... and it didn't happen. I do plan to write the entire way to and from and probably in between so hopefully next sunday or monday there will be at least one new part! *happy*

And I feel like I'm going to go through withdrawal from the board and all the stories I read. :( But I'll fill that void w/ good coffee and wonderful food that I can't find in my little burgh... *happy*

Thanks for reading, Jenan
posted on 8-Nov-2001 1:34:56 AM by Transparent Clear
AN: New part! Yay. I'm sorry if this sucks. I wrote it in a car w/ 7 other people and they distracted me. A lot. And there should be another part out soon because I sat through my most boring class of the semester tonight and I wrote like 6 pages of text for this story! *happy* Thank you all for reading.
love, Jenan
p.s. here's a quick idea, if you haven't read "A Forbidden Love" by Linda, do it! you'll be muchly happy.

Part 28

I walked into school the next day, looking rough. I hadn’t even tried to fix myself up. My hair was pulled back in a shabby ponytail and there were still tear tracks down my face. I made my way to my locker and tried very hard not to look at anyone else. I was almost afraid of what I’d do, especially if I saw Matt. Or Jeremy, whatever his name was.

All I wanted to do was find Megan and hug her until I felt better. My best friend was really my best friend! She didn’t have any ulterior motives; she just wanted to be my friend. I felt horrible for even thinking she had.

“Alex!” Megan said coming over to my locker. “Where were you last night? I tried calling like a thousand times.”

“I turned off the ringers and just slept. Sorry.” I whispered and turned to look at her for the first time.

“Oh, my God, Alex, are you okay?” She hugged me.

I started crying. “No.” I might as well start getting this story out.

“What’s going on? You haven’t really talked to me in weeks. I feel like I don’t know anything about my best friend’s life anymore. Talk to me, please?”

“Meg, it’s gotten so confused.”

“What has?”

“Everything. My relationship with my mother, my father, with Matt. My future. Everything.” I started crying again.

Megan led me to our first class and sat down with me. “Okay, Alex, calm down. Now tell me what’s going on.”

I wiped my eyes. “It all goes back to my Mom. It’s like she has decided to make my life miserable.”

“That doesn’t sound like Liz.”

“I know. It’s like she’s become this deranged version of my mom. She keeps saying over and over how she can’t let me turn out like her. And that she has to protect me. And that she’s doing it for my own good.”

“Doing what?”

“Well, first she’s making me break up with Matt.”

“What?” Megan looked shocked. “Your mother is making you break up with Matt? Why?”

“She says she doesn’t’ think I need the stress of a boyfriend at this stage in my life. And that ever since I got with Matt, I’ve changed. And she keeps saying she doesn’t want me to turn out like her. She doesn’t want me to get so serious with one guy so soon.”

“Alex, I’m sorry. That’s so unfair.”

I looked at her with tears. “It’s like she thinks I’m going to be with Matt and he’d do something like my father did to her. Does she think I’m that passive? I saw what my father put her through! There’s no way I’d ever live like that!”

Megan hugged me. “Oh, Alex, I’m so sorry.”

“And then she tells me that I won’t be going to see my father this summer.”

“Alex—“

“And she’s going to talk to him and tell him that he’s not allowed to have any contact with us anymore. She’s cutting him out of my life.”

“Oh my God, I cannot believe that Liz would do something like that.”

“I know. Me, either. It’s like she’s trying to kill me or something.”

“Are you going to listen to her?”

“I’ve got to. She’s my mother, and she’s all really have. No matter what, I need her.” I started crying.

Megan hugged me. “I understand.”

“But I am so angry with her right now that I can barely stand to look at her. I mean, we can’t even talk without fighting.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. Break up with Matt. Live with my mother till I go off to college, as far away as possible.”

Megan hugged me for a few more minutes as I cried. “I’m sorry, babe. Things will get better, I know they will.”

“Thanks, Meg.”

“So what was that nightmare about? Why did you run out of class like that?”

I shook my head. “My mom and I were fighting in my nightmare. And she started saying things that I can’t even repeat. And she slapped me. And in my dream, I reacted and slapped her back. It was so real, Meg. I mean, it freaked me out how real it felt. I hit my mother. I would never do that to her, and I know that she would never hit me. I had to get out of here, I had to go see my mom to make sure she was okay. It freaked me out.”

Megan nodded. “I bet it would. So what are you going to tell Matt?”

“I don’t know yet. The truth, I guess. He has to have seen something like this coming. I haven’t really talked to him as more than a superficial conversation in weeks.”

“We’ve all noticed that.”

“Maybe he won’t question this then.”

“Alex, you know he will. Matt loves you. He wants you in his life.”

“I know.”

“Maybe if he talked to your mother, she’d let you stay together.”

“You think she’s going to trust him? My father probably told my grandparents that he’d never hurt my Mom and look at what he did.”

“You can’t compare the 2.”

“Mom can and does.” I whispered as the bell rang and the room started filling up. “Don’t say anything about this to Matt, okay? I need to tell him.”

“Right.” Megan hugged me again. “Everything will be all right, Alex. We’ll figure something out.”

“Thanks, Meg.” I walked back to my desk and put my backpack on my seat. I met the teacher at her desk and apologized for my behavior the day before. And after giving me an extra homework report, I’m sure she felt better, too.

The bell was ringing as Matt walked in. He stared at me. “Take your seat please, Mr. Cravens.” He nodded and walked to his seat beside Megan. He kept turning around to look at me. Even though I could feel his eyes on me, I never looked at him. I focused on my notebook and filling it with Mrs. Cranstom’s words.

Halfway through class, I realized that this was going to be the last day I was even in this class. Tomorrow I would be God only know where doing who knows what. And all because people like Jeremy O’Neill had to make my life miserable, just cause I was ‘different’. It was so unfair.

People like Jeremy had robbed my parents of a life together. My father missed out on watching me grow up. I lost 17 years worth of getting to know my father. Maria had never gotten to have kids, which I knew was her most honest and secret wish. Alex never got to show the love of his life off to all his friends in the geeky computer industry. Michael didn’t know what it was like to live this perfectly normal life that he never thought he could have but was so close to grasping before people like Jeremy had ruined it. Isabel had lived the past 17 years without knowing the perfect simplicity of living with the one person who mattered most to you. My mother had been forced to live 17 years of loneliness without being able to tell anyone how loved she was. My father was forced to live without the one person who gave his life meaning. I might never get to find the one person in the world who would love me like my father loved my mother. Because of people like Jeremy, I missed out on everything.

And I could understand that fear drove him to do it, but that didn’t stop me from hating him and all the people like him. Why couldn’t he understand that just because we’re different doesn’t mean we want to hurt him? I thought getting to know a person who was different from you was supposed to lessen your prejudice and hatred of them. Why couldn’t Jeremy have watched me and seen that I am just like him? That even if I do have alien powers, I am still the same girl who watched Who Wants to be a Millionaire? with him and let him win because I knew how important winning was to him? Why couldn’t he see that I was just like him except I didn’t lie about who I was, well, not because I wanted to? I wiped at my eyes before I started crying again.

I gave myself a quick peptalk. ‘You’re strong, Xan. You can do this. Remember why you’re doing this. That’s what’s most important.’

The bell rang and I hurried out of class to my locker. Matt met me there.

“Alex, what’s going on with you? Are you all right? You look like you haven’t slept all night.”

I looked up at him and started crying. Just knowing that behind those beautiful blue eyes there was a monster was enough to kill me. “Matt.” I hugged him tightly wishing everything was different.

“Alex, what’s wrong? You’re worrying me.”

“Meet me for lunch, okay? Just the 2 of us. We need to talk.”

“What’s going on, baby?”

“We’ll talk at lunch.” The bell rang and we dashed into our English class.

Lunch came much too quickly, and I still wasn’t’ sure of what I was going to say to him. How do you tell someone that you can’t be with them anymore? I’d never done this before.

“Alex, what is going on?”

We were sitting outside under a big tree. It was such a perfect day.

“Matt, there’s stuff going on in my life right now, and I’ve been trying very hard to keep you, well all my friends, out of it. I don’t know if I should have now.”

“What is it, Alex? Why have you been so distant?” He asked. “You know that you can tell me anything.”

I tried to smile through my tears. “I’m just not sure about how to tell you this, I guess.”

“It can’t be that bad.”

“It’s worse.” I took a deep dramatic breath. “My mother is making me break up with you.”

“What?” He sounded outraged.

“You heard me, Matt. Please don’t make me say it again.” I tried to sound distraught.

“Why?”

“She gave me all kinds of reasons. My grades are dropping, she never gets to see me. Stupid excuses really.”

“I don’t get it. I thought your Mom like me.”

“Me, too,” I sighed. “I think she’s just afraid.”

“Of what?”

“Me turning out like her.”

“A highly successful doctor and mother? Since when is that a bad thing?”

“Matt, she has been in love with my father her entire life. She’s still in love with him now, years after he left her pregnant and alone. They’ve been together less than a dozen times during my entire lifetime, and she can’t give him up. She doesn’t want me to wind up like that.”

“Alex, we are not your parents.”

“I know.” Silently, I added, Cause they’re honest and in love and they mean everything to each other. “But my mother still worries about that.”

“So because your mother can’t get past your father, she’s punishing us?”

“She’s punishing all of us, Matt. Even my father.”

“How?” He looked at me. I could almost see the eagerness in his deceptive little eyes.

“Remember that summer trip to see my father?” He nodded. “She’s cancelled it and has told my father he is to have no contact with me at all, ever again. Well, she’s telling him that tonight.”

“You’re kidding me!”

“No.” I’m just lying my ass off to you right now. Big difference.

“She can’t do that.”

“Matt, she’s my mother. She can do whatever she wants.”

“What are you going to do, Alex?”

“What can I do? She’s my mother.”

“And you’re an 18 year old adult, Alex. She can’t order you around.”

“Matt, she’s my mother, the only real family I have in the entire world. I can’t lose her, you don’t understand.”

“So you’re really breaking up with me?”

“I have to.” I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to see the relief in his eyes. I was making his life easier, I supposed. “I’m sorry, Matt.” I reached out and touched his arm. “I love you, but—“ I ran away.

‘I can do this.’ I chanted that thought over and over. No matter what, I would do this.


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 27-Jan-2002 1:18:07 PM ]
posted on 14-Nov-2001 2:02:52 AM by Transparent Clear
AN: Okay. I should be writing a very important paper for my class but this was stuck in my head. Maybe getting it posted will help me write the paper. (I hate being such a procrastinator!) Please keep the feedback coming. It absolutely makes my day! *happy* (And I'm afraid that tomorrow I might need it.) This part is for calphysics because she's taking me to see Harry Potter in 3 days. (If I'm still alive....)

love you all, Jenan



Part 29

My mother met me at the door to the house that afternoon with a big hug.

“How’d it go, baby?” she whispered.

“Okay.” I sighed and started crying. “I’ve got to stop crying.”

“Xan, if it helps you to cry, cry.”

I nodded. “It’s not like wanting to stop actually helps me stop.”

“Why don’t you go pack whatever you’re taking?” She suggested. “You can use the time to prepare for the big fight.”

I nodded, knowing I’d need the time to prepare for that. I didn’t know how I would be able to handle yelling at my mother after everything else that had been going on in the past few days. “How much can I take?”

“Try to keep it to a backpack, okay? Just in case someone catches you. I’m going to hide a backpack of photo albums and other important stuff in your car, too.”

“Okay.”

“Try to bring a couple days worth of clothes with you, too. Just in case.”

“Right.” I felt like I was in shock. I was just going through all the appropriate motions, doing what my mother told me to.

“Xan, it will be okay. I promise.”

I hugged my mother and went to my room. I put my 2 favorite pairs of pants and my 4 favorite shirts in my backpack alone with my hairbrush and other essentials. On top of that, I added a box with all my jewelry, including my diamonds from Isabel, and other ‘treasures’ in it. I pulled the pictures of my family and of me and Megan out of their frames and slid them in my journal and added it and my mother’s journal to the bag. It was a little scary to realize that my entire life was going to fit in a backpack, but I knew that once we got to wherever we wound end up, we’d all build a new life together. And that was cool with me.

The thought of that new life was what kept me going. I couldn’t wait to get to watch Alex and Isabel as parents. And maybe Michael and Maria, too. And maybe I could finally get that little brother I’d always wanted. I knew that would make my parents so happy. I couldn’t wait.

I thought about whether I would ever have those things again. I mean, watching my parents together, I knew that was what I wanted some day. I wanted someone who looked at me and could see all the way to my soul or something. But how could I have that if I had to hide everything about myself from everyone else? I couldn’t have the love and relationship I wanted without honesty.

“Alexandra!” My mother yelled up to me. That meant it was showtime, time for me to go ‘fight’ with my mother. I knew that this was all planned but I hated to fight with her.

I met her in the dining room and hugged her quickly. “I love you,” she whispered in my ear.

“I love you, too,” I whispered. Then I walked away to a corner and sat in a big chair. “What?” I made it sound as close to attitude filled as I could.

“Xan, don’t cop that attitude with me! We have always had a good relationship based on respecting each other.”

“Mom, you’re showing me absolutely no respect so how can you expect me to show you respect?”

“I am your mother. And while it may seem that I’m not respecting you now, I am respecting your future. I’m taking care of you—“

“By ruining my life?” I exclaimed. I picked up a notebook off the table and wrote a quick note to my mother. I love you.

She smiled. ‘I’m trying to protect you.”

“Mom, sometimes I have to get hurt. You can’t protect me from everything.”

“You’re my baby. I can’t help but try to protect you. Especially from making the same mistakes as me.”

“Mom! What are you talking about? You’ve got this great life!”

“Xan, I’ve lived only half a life, at least it feels that way. I’ve missed out on so many things—“ She stopped herself. “I don’t want you to wake up some day and feel all these regrets, too.”

“Mother, I do not believe I’ll wake up one of these days with regrets. I love my life.”

She smiled at me, knowing the truth in the statement. “I didn’t really plan on waking up with these regrets, either, Xan. But I have them.”

“And to protect me from these regrets you make me break up with my boyfriend? It seems to me like that would create the possibility for more regrets.”

“Don’t get coy on me.”

“It’s the truth. Matt could be so important in my life, Mom, and you’ve pushed him out of it.”

“He could also hurt you worse than anyone should.”

“So instead, you have!”

“Xan!”

“It’s the truth. You’ve pushed my boyfriend away. You’re going to talk to my father tonight and forbid him from having any contact with me. What else? Are you going to push Maria and Alex away too? All you’ve done is make me alone, just like you.”

“Xan—“ My mother gasped appropriately.

“It’s the truth. I was just a normal kid with a great boyfriend and lots of friends. And ever since you started getting scared that I might find my own life, you’ve worked to destroy it.”

“Xan!”

I help up a note saying ‘I’m sorry’. She smiled and nodded.

“Don’t try to deny it, Mom. You say you’re trying to protect me, but it’s not that. You’re trying to keep me with you forever. You saw me getting closer to Matt, and you got scared. So I had to break up with him. You saw me and Daddy getting closer. First by phone, and then by him visiting. And when he was ready to agree to let me go live with him this summer, it scared you. You thought he might take me away from you forever, and you couldn’t have that. So you have to separate us. So tonight when he calls, you’re going to tell him to stay away, to not contact us. You’re being selfish, I think. Just because you’re alone and angry, you have to destroy me and my father.”

“Xan, I’m not destroying you or your father.”

“Oh, really? My father has always wanted a family. And we dangled that in front of him, and now we’re taking that way from him. Because of you. And all I’ve ever wanted was to know all of my family, more than just you, Alex, and Maria. And I was so close to really knowing my father, but you stole it away. You did, Mother. I don’t think I can ever forgive you for that.” I raised my voice as loud as I dared to. I hated saying that to her. I wasn’t having to pretend to cry for the tapes. This was all too close for comfort.

My mother responded, loudly but calmly. She kept smiling at me and using her eyes to remind me that this was all just an act. “I can understand you think I’m destroying your life, Xan, but I think you’re forgetting one thing. Yes, he’s your father, but Max is the love of my life. I have waited for him for years! And he has never come for me. Not once. I have dreamt that he would come and take us back to wherever he is, but he never did. And I’ve watched you these past couple weeks talking to him, falling in love with him, and I can’t let you wait for him for the rest of your life, too. You deserve better, Xan. And even better than Matt. I know you don’t understand now, but someday, I hope you will understand. I love you.”

“You have a funny way of showing it,” I muttered.

“I have to go to work for a little while. You’re on your own for dinner. I’m sorry.”

I didn’t say anything as my mother kissed me on the top of my head and left the house. I walked slowly up to my room and cried. Then I pulled out a box of stationary that my grandmother had sent me months ago, but I’d never used. It had all kinds of stars on it. I loved it, but I wasn’t really a letter writing person. I was more of an e-mailer. But the letters I had to write tonight were not meant to be sent to a computer. I would drop these off in lockers tonight as I drove out of town.

Dear Megan,

I don’t really know what I’m doing. I can’t believe I’m actually writing a letter like this. I mean, 4 months ago the idea that I’d be fighting so horribly with my mother that I would run away from home was just bound to be followed by a punchline in a really bad joke from my uncle Alex. But this certainly isn’t a joke, and so much has changed.

I wish I could tell you everything, but I don’t think there’s enough paper in the world for me to write it all on. You know the basics, though. And tonight we had this fight that just hit me to the bone. I know she thinks she’s protecting me, but I can’t help but see that she’s being greedy from fear. And I cannot live like that.
So I’m leaving tonight. I don’t know where I’m going, not that I’d really tell you anyway. My mom’s going to think I went to see my father, but I don’t even know where he lives. I imagine they’ll look in all the normal places I’d hide: Alex’s, Maria’s, maybe even my grandparents’. I won’t be there.

Meg, you have always been my best friend, and I want to thank you for everything you have ever done for me and with me. You are the best person I could ever imagine entrusting all my secrets to, and I hope that someday we can get together and share even more. I have the feeling that the next time I see you, we will both have more than enough ‘adventures’ to share with one another. (Do you remember how that was all we wanted when we were little? To have adventures? Well, now I think we’re heading for some fairly adventurous times, and I’m really not sure how they’ll turn out.)

I’m making you a promise here and now. Someday, you’ll get a phone call or an email or maybe even a real letter, and it will be from me, telling you when and where to meet me. And we’ll get together again, and talk.
I love you, Megan. Thank you for being the sister I always wanted and the best friend I’ve always needed.
Love, Alex.


That was the easy letter to write. How did I write a believable running away letter to the person who was causing me to run away?

Dear Slime-Sucking Asshole,

No, that wouldn’t be good. It’d let him know we were on to him.

Jeremy,

Nope. Same reasons.

Traitor.

Too true, but not right.

Dear Matt,

Not exactly what I wanted to say to him, but it was good enough. What can I say to him? I had to let him believe I still loved him.

I am so sorry. I’ve hurt you in ways I could probably never pretend to understand.

Ha! I understood real pain more than that bastard ever could.

I didn’t want to, and I do regret it, more than I could ever say.

Unlike you, you lying bastard. You probably are giving yourself mental pats on the back every time you think about me and my stupidity to actually believe in you.

I know you think I should just tell my mother no and live my own life, but I can’t do that. Even though all we’ve been doing lately is fighting, I still love her. She’s my mother, and for the past 18 years, she’s been the only constant in my life. She’s still really the only family I have, and I can’t lose that. She’s right; boyfriends come and go. Moms stay with you forever.

I had to smile as I wrote that. But I don’t know where to go now; I have to convince Matt that I am running away and telling him how much I love and depend on my mother is not a good precursor to it.

Of course, just because I love her doesn’t mean I’m not angry with her. I’m so pissed at her that I can barely stand to look at her, and I definitely cannot live with her.

Okay, Xan, now it’s time to rationalize this. You can do that!

I mean, all we’re doing is fighting, of course. She just can’t seem to understand that I am not like her, at least not always. I have my own life and I will live it. And I know you would say that I should prove this to her by staying with you, but Matt, I can’t. I mean, do you really think we’re going to be together forever? If there’s one thing getting to know my father has done for me is, I don’t think I believe in forever anymore.

Nothing like throwing in a few more lies here. I knew I believed in forever, I just didn’t believe he was worth forever. I knew that true forever came with honesty and love, not with Matt.

I do love you, but we’re growing apart. I know I caused this rift, but maybe it’s for the best. I mean, you’re going off to college next year at State. And I’m going to Stanford. Do you really think we can survive long distances? Our relationship would just turn into an obligation and not the privilege we currently have. I don’t want that.

I will always love you, though, Matt. Never doubt that. You will always be my first real boyfriend, the first guy I ever thought I was going to be with forever, the guy who taught me how to shoot the perfect free-throw, the guy who believed I was smart enough to do anything. And I will always love you for it. But I don’t think we’ll be together very much longer.

Actually, I know we won’t. Because by the time you read this letter, (I know…I’m being predictable), I don’t know where I’ll be. I do know I won’t be here. I’m going someplace where maybe I can prove to myself (and my mother) that I am an adult and mature enough to take care of myself. I don’t know what I’ll do, but I will prove that I can live a life just like I want to.


Yep, with my mother and father and aunts and uncles. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

And I know this is a really horrible thing to do. Just leaving you this note to say goodbye, but Matt, I don’t think I could do this if I had to look you in the eye and say goodbye. Not again. Running away might seem completely pointless in your eyes, but for me, I’m seeing it as my only hope and salvation.
I love you, Matt.


Truth. I did love Matt. I just wished I knew who he really was.

Alex.

I smiled and stuck the letter in an envelope.

Part Two of our plan was done. Now all I had to do was deliver these to their respective owner’s lockers and then I could get out of here.

5 minutes later, I threw my backpack in my car and drove to the school. I snuck in through an old door in the science wing that never completely locked. They really needed to fix that, I thought. I snuck down the dark hallways to Megan’s locker and slid the note I’d written for her in. “Bye, Meg,” I whispered.

Then I went to Matt’s locker. I was just about to slide his note in when I heard,

“Alex what are you doing here?”

I spun around slowly and looked at the person who’d caught me.



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Jan-2002 1:19:36 PM ]
posted on 27-Nov-2001 2:49:46 AM by Transparent Clear
~*~Part 30~*~

“Matt!”

“Alex, what are you doing at school at 9 o’clock at night?”

“I needed to get something out of my locker,” I said quickly.

“Then why are you standing by my locker?” He asked.

Damn, I hadn’t thought about that. I looked at him. “Fine. I’m not here to get something out of my locker. I wanted to leave something in yours.” I might as well be honest. Wasn’t that the best way to lie?

“What?” He asked. “I think you made it rather clear this morning that we are through.”

“Matt, I’m sorry. I had to do it. My mother is—“

“Not the boss of you. You’re an adult, Alex. You ought to behave like it.”

I didn’t reply to that. “You know, I realized this afternoon that I ought to make decisions on my own more often. So that’s why I was coming to put this note in your locker,” I pulled out a note Megan had passed me in class that afternoon from my pocket. “I wrote this tonight. It’s actually asking you out for coffee. I know what I said this morning, and I regret that. I want to just be with you, no matter what.” I felt absolutely sick lying to his face. I hated lying in general, although lying to him wasn’t really causing any real moral problems for me.

“Alex,” Matt hugged me. “I knew you’d come to your senses. We’ll be together again. Your mom can’t keep us apart.”

I decided now was the time to put into play all those acting talents I dreamed I had. I smiled. “I know.” I kissed him. I tried not to think about how nasty this was. “What are you doing here?”

“I was on my way over to your house actually, when I saw your car heading this way so I followed you,” he said.

Right. He was probably watching the house to see if anything “interesting” happened. “I’m glad you did.” I sighed dramatically. I was getting better at this lying and scheming thing. Maria would be so proud. “Are you sure you can deal with this relationship, Matt? We’re probably going to have to sneak around on my mother and stuff. For some reason, I do not see her changing her opinion of this relationship anytime soon. We’ll have to hide at least until we both head off to school.”

“I can handle it, as long as we’re together, Alex.”

I wanted to die when I heard those words come out of his mouth. He was such a lying bastard. I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t even want to be around him anymore.

I looked up at him and smiled. “Well, I’m still going to leave the note in your locker for you in the morning, Matt. Promise me you’ll wait till then to open it.”

“Only if I can walk you to your car.” He said it in such a way that I knew I was going to have to kiss him again tonight. I didn’t want to do that, but it was better than some things.

“Okay.” I smiled and slid his note in his locker. “Let’s get out of here. My mom will be home soon, and I really do not want to have to explain to her where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing.” I held his hand and walked out to my Jeep. “Thanks for being so understand, Matt. I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Absolutely.” He smiled. “And we’ll make it through this, Alex, trust me.”

I smiled. “I do.” I kissed him quickly. “Night.” I jumped in the Jeep and drove away.



I drove home and stayed there waiting for my mother. It felt like I was really alone for the first time, and all the little fears and insecurities I was feeling about this came out. Could I really do this? I mean, I was barely 18 and what did I know about running from anybody, least of all men specially trained to track me? What if I screwed up and led the FBI right to my family? I would jeopardize and probably lose everything they had been working for for so long. Isabel would have to raise her baby in a cell. That poor little boy would be raised with tests and surrounded by fear. Just thinking that made me understand the only option my father had felt he had all those years ago. I could not let that happen to that baby or to the rest of my family. I had to make it through this, I had to keep them safe. The only question was, how?

What if I was followed? What if I were caught? How could I ever keep them safe? I started doubting everything. Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea for me to go live with my father. Maybe I needed to just go on living my life here, trying each day to not cause suspicion to myself, to live knowing that there were men outside in cars watching every move I made.

Just thinking about that, I knew I couldn’t live like that. I’d go crazy. It freaked me out now, knowing that out in that blue sedan there was a middle aged FBI agent watching me and my mother to see if we did anything suspicious. I couldn’t live like this forever. I had to get out, and my mom had to get out too. It was the only fair option. I refused to allow myself to even think that the world wasn’t fair. I might be living in my own little fantasy world refusing that kind of thinking, but damn it, it was nice there.

I jumped nearly 5 feet out of my chair when the door opened and slammed.

“Xan?” My mother walked into the living room and my pulse returned to normal. I had known it would be my mother, but….

“Hi, Mom.”

“You ready to go?”

I looked at her. No words were required. She came over and hugged me. “Baby, it’s going to be okay.”

“But what if it isn’t? I mean, something could happen. We could all get captured or we could lead everyone into a trap. Matt could follow me and hurt them. Or—“

“Xan, stop thinking like that. It isn’t going to help you.”

I couldn’t stop thinking like this, though. It was the only thing going through my brain. “And what in the world makes me believe that I can make it, running from the FBI? I mean, Mom, half the time I can barely hide from that annoying guy at the grocery store who wants a date, and I’m supposed to hide from the FBI? I do not think so. I know absolutely nothing about running away. And I can’t imagine what to do when running from the FBI. I mean, I’m not built that way. All I want is a safe little life!!!”

My mother smiled. “Do you think any of us were ready to run from the FBI? It’s not something you can think about, honey. It’s something you just have to do.”

“Have you?” I asked. She nodded. “When?”

“Form a connection and I’ll show you. It might be hard for you to see, but I think you need to. It might help you through this. I mean, if Maria, Alex, and I can run from the FBI, you most definitely can, kiddo.”

I had to smile at that. “You, Maria, and Alex ran from the FBI?”

“Yup.” She met me square in the eye to make the connection. I formed the connection quickly. It was so easy to connect to my mother.
Flash!
I saw the rescue from the white room. I’d only heard stories about that so far, but now seeing it was kind of scary.

My mother drove with several Jeeps following closely. I could hear my father’s ragged breathing and I could feel how scared he was. I heard the shots that blew out the windows. I saw them running down a hill. God, my father looked ready to collapse. Then they came to the bridge. They were trapped on all sides but one.

They looked at one another. Then they looked at all the men coming in to surround them. They kissed. I could feel how much they loved each other in that one kiss. They joined hands and jumped off the bridge.


My mother had jumped off a bridge? She had that much faith in her and my father that she jumped off a bridge, without even thinking of her own safety? I mean, I’m sure she knew that there was water down there to break their fall, but still, she jumped off a bridge. She loved him so much, so young? I could feel my heart clench, both in joy at how their love has lasted and in pain, knowing that I would never have that experience.

I saw my parents trapped in that van. I could feel their fear. God, they loved each other so much. I heard my father’s vow to my mother.

“I just wish that I could have stopped you from saving my life that day in the CrashDown.”

“Don’t say that.”

“Max, the day you saved me, your life just ended.”

“No, that was the day my lfie began. Liz, when I was in that room, and they did what they did to me. You’re what kept me alive. The thought of you. They way your eyes look into mine. Your smile. The touch of your skin. Your lips. Knowing you has made me human. Whether I die tomorrow or fifty years from now, my destiny is the same: it’s you. I want to be with you, Liz. I love you.”

“I love you.”


The connection broke there. I hugged my mother. She’d gone through so much that day. I knew that was the day they had found out their so-called destinies. That was the day my mother tried to walk away from my father. “I love you, Mom. That was incredible.”

“I love you, Xan.”

“I can’t believe you ran from the FBI.” I smiled.

“We do what we have to do, Xan. Remember that. You never really know what you can do until you do it. I mean, I never thought I could raise a child, but look at me now. I’ve raised the most incredible girl in the world.”

I hugged her again. “We do not need to start crying now, Mom, okay? Let’s save the tears for when we’re safe.”

“Deal.”

I sighed. “Let’s get this show on the road. I just need to grab my backpack from my room.”

The doorbell rang. We stared at each other for a second. Who would be ringing our doorbell at this time of night?

“Mom?”

“Calm down, Xan. It’ll be okay.” She squeezed my hand. “Run up the back stairs and change into some pajamas. Then come back down.”

“Be careful.” I whispered.

“Yes, Mom,” she smiled. I ran up to my room trying to listen to what was going on. I threw on a pair of flannel pants and grabbed my backpack. I hid it in the kitchen and walked into the foyer.

“Mom, who rang the bell?” I walked into the living room.



[ edited 2 time(s), last at 2-Jan-2002 12:46:12 PM ]
posted on 4-Dec-2001 11:46:57 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: I want to thank everyone who's left feedback both here and on the other board. I fully intended to post sooner than tonight but then this little joy called senior thesis popped up and drowned any true happiness I had in my life. But here it is tonight! And let me just say, re-watching the Pilot made me happy b/c it was nice to see the real characters again, but it also killed me knowing what has happened to them... :( And why didn't anyone tell me EotW is next week? I have finals!!!! (Screw 'em... that eppy is more important...)

~*~Part 31~*~


There was a tall, dark-haired guy standing in the middle of the living room. He was dressed entirely in black and looked to only be a couple years older than me. My mother stood about 5 feet away from him. His palm was out to her, like he wanted to give her something, but my mom wouldn’t take it. They were locked in a staring match.

“Mom?” I whispered. “What’s going on?”

At once they turned and looked at me. I could see the worry and concern in my mother’s eyes. She looked almost confused, like she didn’t know what was going on. The man’s eyes were completely different. They reflected someone who knew they had a purpose, a goal. But something else grew in his eyes when he saw me. It was like a sense of recognition, like he knew me. But I had no idea who he was.

“Xan-“

“What’s going on ?”

“He says—he says that—“

“Max sent me to you. There’s danger. You need to come with me.” He spoke with such a soft, determined voice. I looked at him for a second.

I looked back at my mother and knew she wasn’t sure if she should trust him. “And we’re supposed to believe this? Do you have any idea how much we have been through to just trust the words of some complete stranger? We need some proof.”

He held his palm towards me. There was a ring in it.

“What is this?” I looked at it for a moment. It was like I was afraid to touch it. I turned to my mother.

“He says it’s—“

“Max’s wedding ring,” this nameless man finished.

“And we’re supposed to believe that? Anyone could have faked a wedding ring.”

“Which is why one of you ought to take this ring from me. Then you’ll know the truth.”

“How?”

“You’ll be able to sense it, to feel the owner of the ring. You’ll know this is truly Max’s ring.”

I looked at my mother. “Have you ever gotten flashes off just an object before?” I knew I never had. Although I hadn’t really tried or anything. I mean, I didn’t necessarily want to get flashes of the previous 8 owners of my calculus book or anything.

She nodded. I still hesitated from taking the ring from his hand.

The man started getting frustrated. “Listen, we do not have a lot of time for this. We knew you wouldn’t trust me and that’s why Max sent the ring. God, only 7 people in the world, plus me now, even knows you’re married, Mrs. Evans. Please just take the ring so you can trust me and we can get out of here.”

I looked at him and quickly snatched the ring from his hand. I was hit by wave and wave of emotion from my father. There was no way anyone could have ever replicated these feelings. I felt all the love and longing my father had for my mother. I felt his love and concern for the 2 of us. But I also felt something new on it. Someone else was worried about my mother and I. I turned to look at this mystery man again. His eyes met mine. I stared for a minute. I couldn’t look away. It was like those eyes were right where I needed to be.

I realized we were wasting precious time. I handed the ring to my mother. She started to cry immediately.

For the first time in my life, I knew I had to be the strong one. And for some unknown reason, I felt ready to do this. I hugged my mother. “It’s going to be all right, Mom. We can do this.”

“I know,” she whispered. “We need to get out of here.”

“Right.” I turned to look at this man who I knew was here to help us. “Okay. Who exactly are you? Name? Any other really important information?”

“I’m Seth Ronan. Max sent me to get you and take you back to Roswell.”

“Why Roswell?”

“It’s the only safe place to meet?”

“Meet?”

“All of you: Alex, Maria, and you will be coming with us.”

“Tonight?”

“Now.”

I nodded. “Okay.” I looked at my mother. “Mom, go grab what you absolutely need.”

She smiled. “I’m ready.”

“Are you sure?” She was really ready to give up everything?

“Yes.”

“Okay.” I hugged her. I looked up at Seth. “How are we getting out of here? We know we’re being watched.”

“Well, we’ll just have to lose them,” he smiled wickedly.

I suddenly feared for my poor Jeep’s life. “Let’s go.”

We went to the garage and opened the door. Seth jumped in the driver’s seat. I climbed into the back and my mom sat shot gun.

“Just keep your eyes open for me,” Seth asked.

“Xan, keep yourself down,” my mother said.

“Mom—“

“Xan—“

“We are about to be in a chase for our lives with the FBI. I think you need to worry less about me and more about yourself!”

“Alexandra Maria Isabella Parker Evans, I am your mother. It is my job to worry about you more than I worry about myself. Now keep your head down.” She looked at me as seriously as she ever did.

We were all quiet for a long moment. Then my mother and I burst out laughing at the very oddity of our conversation. Seth looked at us like we were crazy and started the car. He backed out of the driveway and started driving slowly through the streets.

“Seth, correct me if I’m wrong, but when you’re being followed by the FBI who wants to hunt down and imprison the people in your vehicle, should you not go a little faster than 15 miles per hour?”

“We’re in a school zone, Xan,” he said it so logically.

“Silly me! Rescuing us is not more important then speeding through an area where children will not be for another 8 hours!”

Seth and my mother both started to say something.

“Xan, if we start speeding now, they’ll know we suspect them. We have to be cautious.”

“You know, baby, sometimes I think I left you alone with Maria way too much when you were little.”

“Seth, first of all, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that we let those people know that we know they’re watching us. And Mom, are you implying that I’m over-reacting?”

“I would never imply that, baby.” She turned around and smiled at me. “That’s a direct statement that you’re over-reacting.” She laughed.

Seth looked at my mother. “Do you always act so casually when you’re running from the FBI, Mrs. Evans?”

“What am I supposed to do? Freak out? We usually had Maria around to do that for us. It was more important to me to stay calm and that’s how we did it. This one time, I made Max sing to me the entire time we were driving to whatever was on the radio. For as long as I live, I will never forget Max Evans singing “Genie in a Bottle”.” She laughed.

“Oh, my God, that’s why you always play that song on long car rides, isn’t it? I thought it was just to torture me!”

“And, Seth, thank you for calling me Mrs. Evans. It’s been nice to hear it after all these years, but my name is Liz.”

“Okay.” He looked at my mother slightly in awe of her. I smiled. That meant that people knew about my parent’s relationship. The fact that they respected her so easily meant that they knew just how important it was for my parents to be together. It would make all this so much easier on my Mom.

“So where exactly are we going in Roswell?”

“The podchamber. Max said it was the safest place for all of us.”

“What’s the podchamber like?” I asked. I was lying on my back staring up at the ceiling of the Jeep. I really needed to clean it more often.

“I’ve never been,” Seth said quickly.

“Mom?”

“It’s probably one of the most important places for you to see, Xan. It’s where the pods holding Max, Isabel, Michael, and Tess—“I watched Seth’s face when my mother said Tess’s name. It was obvious he didn’t like her. I wondered what the story was there. “--were held until they were—“

“Hatched?” I laughed. I knew Maria used to say that about them.

“Born,” my mother laughed.

I turned to serious as I remembered what else had happened in the podchamber. “That’s where you heard the destiny message, isn’t it?”

My mother nodded. “Yeah. Worst day of my life.” First my father had told he loved her, that she was all he’d ever want. Hours later, she heard that it didn’t matter what Max wanted, he was meant to be with Tess. For such a short time, she’d had everything. And then it was all stolen away.

I reached out and held my mother’s hand. “Just remember, it worked out in the end,” I whispered.

“Thanks, baby.”

We drove in silence all around town.

“Seth, have you noticed that black sedan behind us? They’ve been there for about 20 minutes.”

“Well, let’s see if we can’t lose them then,” He turned quickly without using his blinker.

“What if we can’t lose them?”

“We can.”

I felt like an emotional yo-yo varying from really worked up to perfectly calm. I wanted to believe that everything would be okay, but I didn’t know if I could. I wanted to be the strong alien princess I was supposed to be, but I was really so scared and unsure about what I was doing.

“Are they still behind us?” Seth asked as he watched the curves in the road.

“Yes.” My mother said tensely.
I wish I could see. This was so nerve racking. “Is it now time to put the pedal to the metal?”

My mother laughed at me. “Yes.”

Seth immediately sped up. He started driving like I’d only seen on Nascar, taking risks even the craziest teenager wouldn’t dare.

“Boy!” I exclaimed. “If you get us killed, my father will be seriously pissed.”

Seth laughed. “Will you ever be satisfied, Xan? First it’s go faster, now it’s be careful! What next?”

“Just so long as I’m alive,” I laughed.

“Xan, keep your head down! Please.”

“Mom—“

“Xan.” She looked at me with those eyes that could always make me feel guilty.

“Will the two of you please just hold on?” Seth exclaimed. “My God, I wonder if Max realizes what he’s getting into.”

“He does, and he can’t wait.”

“Are they still following us?”

My mother turned around again. “Yes, and they’re getting closer.”

I lifted my head a little from the seat and looked out the rear window. The sedan was getting really close. I focused on the driver. It was Mr. Young! He’d substituted for my chemistry class last week! God, these people were such bastards. Not only were they destroying my faith in boyfriends by sending a mole into my life, but they were ruining my education, too! Sending in agents as substitutes? How low could they go?

“Xan, head down!”

“Okay,” Seth said. “We’re going to lose these people before we hit the interstate.”

“We’re going to take the interstate?” My mother asked. “Wouldn’t it be better if we took small backroads? Less possibility of coming into contact with cops?”

“We will. This is just the fastest way to our next stop.”

“Stop?”

“We need to get rid of the Jeep.”

I wanted to object. This was my car, my baby, but I knew that getting rid of it would keep the FBI off our backs for even a little while longer. Bye, bye, darling Jeep, I thought.

Seth took a corner on 2 wheels. I slid across the seat. I watched my mother turn to check on the sedan. They were still there.

“Okay,” my mother started thinking. “You need to floor the gas, Seth. At the first red light, turn right, then turn right into the first alley, and go all the way down to the other road and turn right again. If this works, we’ll end up behind them. And Xan, for God’s sake, keep your head down.”

Seth and I both looked at my mother with serious awe in our eyes. I never knew my mother was so good at forming escape plans. Seth followed my mother’s instructions to the letter.

I sat up a little and watched him drive. My mother kept looking behind us. We were completely silent in the car. We were on 2 wheels again as we turned down the road and immediately into the alley.

“Turn off your lights,” My mother encouraged, “and drive quickly!”

“I hadn’t planned on slowing down,” he muttered.

I wanted to laugh at that. It was totally something I would have said.

We pulled out from the alley and started driving toward the interstate again.

“Anyone behind us?” I asked.

“Nope,” my mother smiled.

“Great directions, Mom. I am suitably impressed.”

“Thank you.”

Seth smiled for the first time. “So here’s the plan. We’re going to stop in the next little town and switch cars, and we’re going ot change the way the Jeep looks a little. Then you 2 need to change the way you look, too. And then we go to the podchamber.”

“How are Alex and Maria getting there?” I asked interrupting him.

“Michael went to get Maria. They’re making her disappearance look like a break-in/attack. Isabel went to get Alex—“

“Isabel?” I asked quickly, interrupting again. She was pregnant! What was she thinking putting herself in danger?

“Yes, she insisted.”

Crazy, stubborn woman!

“Alex’s disappearance will look like he just walked away from his house to go for a walk and never returned.”

“And we’re all meeting in the podchamber?” My mom asked.

“Yes. We’re all supposed to be there by 7 a.m. tomorrow.”

“And Max is waiting there?” Her mind covered the most important things first.

“Yes.”

“Why didn’t he come get us?” I asked.

“It’s too dangerous. We have sources inside the FBI. They found out that the FBI was coming to capture you in the morning. He sent me to you because he knew if anyone saw him you’d all be taken immediately.”

“But he’s okay?”

“Yes. He’s anxious, waiting for you.”

“Xan, can you try to sleep and dream-walk him? Let him know we’re okay.”

“I’ll try.” I laid back down on the seat. As always when I wanted to dream walk, I fell asleep immediately. I thought I’d have to look for him, but he was waiting for me.

“Xan, are you okay?”

“I’m fine. We’re fine,” I stressed.

“Seth Ronan is there?”

“He’s driving right now.”

“And your mom is?”

“Fine, Dad. She’s just anxious to see how you are. She’s the one who suggested I try to find you around here somewhere.”

“She understands I worry.”

“And I’m sure she’s worried about you, too, Dad.”

“Tell her I love her. And tell Seth to be careful.”

“Will do.”

“And I love you, Xan. Keep your eyes open, okay?”

“Always do.”

“Once you get to Roswell, come straight to the podchamber. Liz knows where it is.”

“Okay. And then we’re going home, right?”

“Right.” He smiled.

“I’d better wake up then, Dad. Just in case.”

“I’ll see you soon.”

I smiled, realizing how true that was. “Okay. Be careful.”


I woke up and looked at my mom. “Dad’s fine. He’s waiting for us.”

“I hope everyone’s okay,” my mother said quietly, Knowing that both my father and I were safe allowed her to start worrying about everyone else.

“I’m sure they are,” Seth tried to reassure her.

“Absolutely,” I agreed. “I mean, compared to making it through their teens, this is a piece of cake.” I paused. “And they get to be together, at least.”

“Yeah,” she laughed. “Maria and Michael are probably fighting over what type of music to listen to as they drive.”

“And Alex and Isabel are probably planning how many kids they’re going to have, and picking out baby names.”

My mother squeezed my hand. I smiled.

15 minutes later, we stopped at a closed gas station. We grabbed the 2 backpacks and switched them into the new car. I changed the color of the Jeep and Seth stole some Kentucky license plates off a broken down car.

“All we need to do now is change your appearance.” He looked at me.

I’d never done this before, I was a little nervous about doing it.

My mother stopped in front of me. “Do me first, Xan. I’ve always wanted to be a blonde.”

“Mom—“ I looked at her. I knew she’d be able to see my doubt.

“You can do it, baby. I have faith in you.”

I smiled. “Blonde?”

“Absolutely.”

I took a deep breath and tried to remember everything my father had taught me about molecular manipulation. I ran my hand over my mother’s hair and opened the eyes I hadn’t realized I’d closed. She was blonde!

“Now change the clothes!”

I laughed and gave her a form fitting black dress.

“A dress will not work here, Xan,” she smiled mischievously. “But I will take it later when I’m alone with your father.”

“Mom!” I exclaimed. I saw Seth blush as he leaned against the car. I put her in a pair of sweats and a red tank top.

“Better.” She smiled. “Now do you!”

I gave myself some serious fire red hair and changed my clothes to a pair of training pants and a tank top. I was comfy.

“This is so going to keep my wardrobe fresh! Being an alien is great!”

Seth laughed. “I’ve never heard anyone rationalize it that way before.”

“I’m sure Isabel’s thought it a time or two, though,” my mother interjected. I laughed, agreeing with her.

He looked at us. “Okay. Now we start fluctuating between interstate and small country roads. The way we’ve figured it, we should get to Roswell around 7 or 8 tonight. We’re all going to need to take turns driving though.”

“Works for us,” my mother smiled. “I’ll drive if you want to get some rest, Seth.”

He gave her the directions he had and climbed into the backseat. We headed out. Within 10 minutes, Seth’s breathing had evened out and we knew he was asleep.

“You okay, baby?”

“I’m fine.”

“I’m really proud of the way you’re handling this. You’re doing a wonderful job.”

“I just can’t believe it’s all happened so quickly. I mean, I knew I was going to have to run away, but I didn’t think it would be like this.”

“I know. But just think, this time tomorrow, we will be with your father.” She smiled.

~*~

AN2: OOH! I had this great thought as I was formatting this! What if the reason they're showing us EotW is b/c they're going to go back to that episode w/ the next new one.... and fixing it so that the next day Max wakes up and goes to Liz... and she breaks down adn tells him the truth and they live happily ever after for 14 years... *happy* did I mention I'm delusional. I'm tired and sleep is really sounding good... I can almost hear my pillow callin! but hey, it's a nice idea. *happy*

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 2-Jan-2002 12:53:58 PM ]
posted on 12-Dec-2001 8:44:29 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: Well, 2 finals down, 1 to go. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. *happy* *bounce* And I took the extra time since I got out of my final early to actually type this up! YAY me. *happy* Ok. I'll be back this weekend with more, because I will be free! *bounce*
Have a great Thursday everyone! jenan

Part 32

My mother drove for 6 hours through the night. I stayed up with her for most of it. I started dozing just as the sun came up. I felt kind of bad leaving my mother all to herself but I was just so tired. We stopped for breakfast a couple hours later, and Seth took over driving while Mom and I both slept.

I woke up around noon, completely disoriented. I was sitting in the front seat, and through the window I could barely see trees and other cars passing by. I sat up and looked around as the memory of it all came flooding back to me. I leaned back against the seat.

“Good morning, Xan,” Seth said quietly.

I looked at him. “Is it really good?” I started playing devil’s advocate in my head, thinking of all the changes and all that could go wrong.

“We’ll be meeting your father in several hours. Don’t you think that’s good?”

“Well, yeah. It’s just—“ I stopped myself from complaining to Seth. He hadn’t signed up to hear all the problems in an alien teenager’s life. I started to wonder why he had even volunteered for a job like this. “I’m sorry. You don’t want to hear about this.”

“You can talk to me, Xan. I’ll even try to understand,” he smiled.

I noticed for the first time how adorable his smile was. I hadn’t really seen it the night before between car chases and all. “It’s just weird to think I’m really leaving.”

“You’ve already left. We’re hundreds of miles away from there.”

“I guess it’s just hard to believe that I’m really leaving. I didn’t realize how hard it would be, emotionally, I mean.”

“To leave a place where you’ve been lied to your entire life?”

“Yeah. The thing was, that lie was such a small part of my life. There was a lot of truth there, too.” I didn’t think I could really explain this well. Even though, I had spent my entire life there being lied to by Matt, there had been so much truth in the relationships I had with Megan and my other friends, and even in the life I lived before I found out that I was an alien. After that, everything changed.

“But you’re leaving it for someplace so much better.”

“Better, because I get to be with my family, yes. But in exchange for that, I have to lie to everyone I meet.”

Seth looked at me. “Why would you have to do that?”

“Seth! Do you know what could happen if anyone found out the truth about me? About my family? I mean, that’s why my mom and I and Maria and Alex are running like this. It’s bad enough that you know.”

“That I know?” He started to smile.

“I mean, it’s obvious that you know. And that my father trusts you. He wouldn’t have sent you if he didn’t. But how many people are there in the world that I can completely trust, to the point that I let them know I’m an alien?”

“In the world, I don’t know. In the community we live in, 3,000.”

I turned to Seth in shock. There was no way I had just heard what I just heard. “What do you mean 3000?”

“That’s how many of us there are in our community.” He knew what I wanted to know but he was stalling.

“And by us you mean?” I prodded. He’d obviously never met anyone who’d been raised around Maria. I could ask questions all day.

“Aliens.”

“So you’re an alien, too?” I forced myself to whisper this thought. I was afraid I’d wake my mother up otherwise. This was too much to believe.

“Yes. The community we’re going to, where you’re going to live, is made up almost entirely of aliens. The rest are humans who know our secret and have chosen to make their lives with us.”

“No way!”

“Yes.”

“You have to be kidding me!”

“I’m not.”

“Why didn’t anyone tell me? My father never said a word about that!”

“I don’t know. Maybe he wanted to surprise you or something.”

“This is….” I didn’t know what to say!

Seth laughed.

Questions started whirling through my head. “So wait. What’s the deal? Where is everyone from? Will my mother be okay? Are we safe? Will I be able to learn more powers? What does everyone do there?”

Seth smiled watching me. “Do you really expect me to answer all those questions at once?” He’d adopted an attitude that reminded me of Michael.

“Yes!” I laughed. “Okay. First question first. The destiny message said that my father was supposed to go back to wherever he came from—“ I looked at Seth for a little help there.

“Antar,” he supplied.

“Right. To fight against their enemies from their past lives and take it back.” I looked at Seth to see if I had it right. Or maybe I was testing him to see if he really knew what was going on with the whole alien history? I just couldn’t believe that he was really an alien. I mean, rationally, I knew that no one would say they were an alien if they weren’t, but it was so hard to accept that there were other aliens… After I’d been so afraid that I would never really be accepted again.

“Right.”

“Okay. So why haven’t we gone back? Why didn’t my father go back? He’s their King, after all. And why are all these Antar—“

“We like to call ourselves Antarians.”

“Okay. Why are there so many of us on Earth?”

“Well, you’ll remember that the destiny message also said Max was supposed to be with Tess. But he was determined to be with your mother. Destinies change.”

“Because I’m with Max?” My mother spoke up from the back seat. I wondered how long she’d been awake for.

Seth turned to look at her. “Liz, no! You and Max being together has nothing to do with so many Antarians being on Earth.” Seeing as how my mother didn’t ask anything about that, I assumed she’d been awake for quite a while. “I was just trying to explain that destinies aren’t necessarily set in stone. At one point, to return to Antar was Max’s destiny, but that changed. And it had nothing to do with him falling in love with you, Liz. The war back there was apparently getting worse. I don’t know too much about it. They never really like to explain it—“

“They?”

“The people who went through ti.”

“You didn’t?”

“No, I was born here on Earth.”

“Really?” I was amazed. That meant the aliens must have been here for years before I was born.

“Yes.” He nodded. “Anyway, the war turned brutal. Khivar was going crazy. He did something to destroy the atmosphere of the planet. He’d become maniacal. So the leaders of the resistance at the time decided that instead of waiting for our savior—“

“Max?” There was a hint of a smile on my mother’s face at calling my father a savior.

“Yes. Instead of waiting for him, we decided tocome to him.”

“When?”

“24 years ago.”

“We were all together then, in school.”

“Yeah. We didn’t make contact right away. We actually didn’t make contact until they’d left you.”

“Why did you wait?”

“I don’t know. I think it was a shock to their system when the survivors first got here. They’d been fighting for so long, I don’t think they really remembered how to live. It took them some time to get settled, to form homes.”

“How did you get in touch with them? With Max, I mean?”

“I don’t know really. I mean, I was so young then. I just remember them coming and feeling like it was the best day on the world.”

“So there are 3000 aliens on Earth?” My mother asked.

“Well, there are 3000 people in our community. And there are several other communities and groups. I know that 11000 Antarians came to Earth.”

“11000? That’s it?” My mother asked. This had been an entire planet full of people and 11,000 people were all that escaped?

“Yeah. Khivar destroyed us.”

“So you came to Earth and started building a new society?”

“Right, and we’ve succeeded. It’s incredible. You’ll love it.”

“I’d love anyplace where I can just be myself.” I said wistfully.

My mother reached up from the backseat and squeezed my shoulder. “We’re going there, baby.”

~*~

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 12-Dec-2001 10:00:46 PM ]
posted on 20-Dec-2001 11:31:58 AM by Transparent Clear
Hi, all! Finally, I update! *happy* It worries me when my break from school is just as busy as my school week!
Here's the latest part, I hope it answers some of the questions about why Max didn't bring them all together immediately... jenan

~*~Part 33~*~

The next couple hours in the car were pretty much quiet. I think we all kind of retreated to our own corners, to think through everything that had just come out in that conversation. Well, Mom and I did anyway. We’d both learned quite a lot. At the next rest-stop, I took over driving. I thought better when I drove. I kept repeating over and over in my head, there are at least 3,000 other aliens in the world, on Earth. There were 3,000 people on this planet who were just like me. Ever since I found out about this whole alien thing, my biggest fear was that I would be all alone for the rest of my life, lying to everyone. And now, I found out that I didn’t have to be alone. I could maybe someday find my soulmate or at least someone I could fall in love with. My life just suddenly opened to at least a million possibilities I’d tried so hard to not think about. I couldn’t believe it was true! It was kind of hard to accept in just a few minutes.

And underneath all these happy feelings of getting to be like everyone else was total confusion. My father had been in this safe community for all these years, and he had never sent for us before? He and Isabel and Michael had been living off in this safe little accepting home, and they just left the rest of us out there to do as we would, to survive in a world where we would constantly be under suspicion. Because of our relationship to them! They left us to live like that! My God, now—

My inner monologue was interrupted by my mother. “Xan, we’re about an hour from the podchamber. Are you sure you want to keep driving? You’ve been going straight for hours.”

“I’m fine, Mom. I like to drive, remember.” I tried to smile for her.

She wrapped her hand over mine. I had a brief flashback to her teaching me how to drive a stick, her hand had morphed over mind on the gear shift so she could teach me the motion and the feeling of it. That was such a great day… It felt like such a long time ago. “Do you want to talk about it, Xan?”

“What?”

“Whatever has been going through your mind for the past couple hours?” She smiled.

“I just can’t believe that there are really all these other aliens. I mean, I thought I was going to have to spend the rest of my life along, lying to everyone about who I am. But now, it looks like I’m going to have all these chances to be real. Maybe even more real than I’ve ever been before. That’s a little overwhelming.”

“Right.” My mother ran her hands through my hair just like she used to when I was little and upset about something. She’d always had the power to calm me down. “So now why don’t you tell me what you were really thinking?”

I looked in my mirror. Seth looked dead to the world back there. I glanced at my mom. “I-uh-I guess I’ve just been thinking about why Dad never told us where he’s been living.”

“Well, Xan, we haven’t really talked to him every day for all these years.”

“By his choice.” I could hear the biting tone in my voice.

“What?”

“Mom, it’s not like you would have hung up the phone had he called. He chose not to call and be in contact with us.”

“Xan, it’s not like he had a choice.” My mother’s voice was weird. She was trying to sound confident, but at the same time, I think she was wondering the same thing as me.

“Didn’t he? He’s been living in this Utopia-esque community for the last 18 years. Why didn’t he call us? Why didn’t he ask us to move down there with him? He knew we’d be safe there but he left us here, in constant danger!” My grip on the steering wheel tightened.

“Xan—“

“It feels like one minute I was so excited, almost unable to wait to go live with him, but now I’m so angry with him that I just want to yell at him till I can’t breathe anymore!”

“You know you have to talk to him, right?”

I nodded. I needed to talk to him about all this. I needed to be honest with him and hope he would be honest with me. “What do I say?”

“You have to figure that out. But just remember, whatever you said last time worked out really well.” My mother smiled.

I nodded. “Right.”

45 minutes later, we were in Roswell. Mom gave me directions to the podchamber.

“Wake up, Seth!” I exclaimed, parking the car at the base of a rock formation. “We’re at the podchamber.” I wanted to smile for a minute as I watched Seth adjust to the glaring sunlight and the obvious change in surroundings. He’d fallen asleep and there’d been grass, now there was nothing but desert.

We took our bags with us and climbed to the entrance.

“How do we get in, Liz?”

“I guess we bang on the door here till Max comes out to let us in,” my mother laughed. “The only people I’ve ever seen the podchamber work for are Max, Isabel, Michael, and Tess.” She pointed to a panel that looked like rock but had a gloss like smooth surface. “I think that scanner is programmed to recognize their genetic signatures.”

“Which means—“ I put my hand on the panel. “This machine should recognize me.”

The door slid open.

“Awesome.” I smiled and walked in. “Dad?” I called. “Where are you?” My mother took my hand and we walked into the chamber.

“Max?” She said once. Then she started looking around the chamber. It had been a long time since she was in here. It hadn’t changed much, according to her description of it.

I walked around, and looked in total amazement at the pods that had once held my family. They looked so old. I reached out and touched one and was amazed when I got a flash of my father coming out of this pod.

“Xan,” my father whispered. He entered the chamber from another one further in.

“Dad!” I couldn’t help myself. I ran over and hugged him. I was still so happy to see him, no matter what questions I had for him.

My mother joined us, wrapping her arms around the 2 of us.

“Are you all right?” He looked the two of us over. “Did anything odd happen on your way here?” He looked at Seth.

“Everything was fine, Max. No problems.”

“Ok. I need you to go hide that car, Seth. Destroy it if you have to. No one can recognize it.”

“Right.” Seth left the podchamber.

“Is anyone else here?” My mother asked.

“No, just us,” my father smiled. He held her hand. “I’m so glad we’re finally together.” He looked me in the eye.

I had to look away.

“Xan, what’s wrong?” He asked.

My mother let go of his hand and walked to the door of the chamber. “I’m going to go help Seth. I’ll be back.”

He watched her walk out of the chamber. “What’s going on, Xan?” He looked at me.

“We need to talk, Dad.”

“Okay.”

He was acting so calm! Couldn’t he be at least a little worried? “Okay,” I took a deep breath. “Seth told us you’ve been living in this Antarian community ever since you left Mom.”

“Well, we ran and avoided the FBI for close to a year first, actually.”

“So you were still running when you came back on the night I was born?” I filed that information away.

“Yes.”

“When did you actually move to the community?”

“Right after you were born, I started having the weirdest dreams. It felt like someone was trying to contact me, only they called me Zan. After a few weeks, Isabel started having similar dreams. Then Michael did, too. Then Tess. We worked out what those dreams meant and met up with some people from the community a week later. Then we all went back together.”

“So you’ve been there 17 years?”

“Yes.”

“You’ve been in this safe, secure community for 17 years and you never though tot ask Mom and me to come live with you? You left us in that kind of danger!” I could feel all the anger in me pouring out of me.

“Xan—“

“I really want you to explain this to me, Dad. I mean, I don’t understand it at all, and that is really scary to me.” I tried to be as honest as I could. I didn’t want to hide what I was feeling anymore. I shouldn’t have to, not with him.

My father sighed. He wiped his hand over his eyes. “Xan—“ he started. He looked at me for a minute, like he knew that whatever he was about to say would change everything.

“What?”

“Okay, the truth. When we got to the community, the first thing Michael, Isabel, and I did was start making plans to bring you to us. At that point, you were all living together in New York still. The plan was so easy,” he smiled. “We were just going to go in and take you, no covers, nothing. Kind of like what we did today.”

“Then why didn’t you?” My voice became very small when I asked that. I think I was afraid of the answer.

My father started pacing. It was a little odd to see him nervous now. I just wanted him to be honest with me, and it seemed that that scared him which in turn worried me.

“Dad?”

“You’re going to hate me for this, Xan,” he started.

“Just tell me, okay? I’m going with you either way.” I tried to smile, but I was really nervous.

“Michael, Isabel, and I went to the apartment you were all living in. I think you were about 6 months old. We were disguised and everything, Isabel had been working on the power that you used today to change appearances. She was so proud,” he remembered. “Anyway, we went to the apartment. We watched as your mother and Alex took you for a walk. It was kind of chilly and they had you wrapped up in the most adorable little pink coat. I don’t know which of you Isabel wanted to run to more, you or Alex. She just fell in love with you from that second.” Despite my worries about what was being said, I smiled. “We figured we’d watch your routines for a couple days and then just take you all as you were on a walk or out to dinner or something. That night, Liz had to work, and we watched as she left and Maria took you out to the store for some groceries. I could hear the breath catch in Michael’s voice as he saw everything he had ever wanted walk in front of him. We started watching in shifts. For 4 days we watched as Alex left for work, and then Liz would come home and Maria would leave and Alex would come home. We watched them have these conversations with you in front of windows pointing toward the stars. On the fifth day, we all sat down in this little coffee shop across the street from the apartment, and we compared your schedules and figured the best time to get you. But then we started discussing your daily routines and anything weird in them. And we realized you were all being followed. There were always people watching you, from the cabbie who took Liz to the hospital to the guy who always hit Alex up for money on the corner.”

“We were being watched even back then?” I whispered again.

“Yes.” He ground the word out through clenched teeth.

“So why didn’t you take us then?”

“We wanted to. God knows, we wanted to just burst into your apartment and grab you and run until they couldn’t catch us.”

“Why didn’t you?”

He sighed. “Because there were certain responsibilities that we had to live up to.”

“That overrode our safety?” I was shocked that I had to ask that question. I mean, I thought my father always put my mother and I first.

“Yes.” He looked me square in the eye. I could see the haunts of his past in his. I could see how much he hated to tell me this. “See, Xan, on Antar, when I was Zan, I was King. It was my responsibility to put the lives of my people in front of my own and to make sure that they were safe and alive. That’s why I married Tess in that life, because a union with her family would provide my people some safety. It wasn’t like it is here on Earth, where we get to make choices. We did what we had to do to protect our people. And I had to do that again that day.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I had to choose between my own happiness and protecting the community full of people I had failed in my last life.”

“You couldn’t do both?” I wanted all of this to make sense!

“Not at that point.”

“Why?”

“Xan, had we taken all of you that day, it would have been confirmation to the fact that yes, we were aliens, and yes, so were you and that your mom, Alex, and Maria were our accomplices. The FBI would have never stopped looking for us. They would have followed us to the community. They would have destroyed us.”

“So instead you left us there to be followed for our entire lives?”

“The FBI didn’t know for sure anything at that point. They didn’t know that we were really aliens, they just had suspicions, correct suspicions, but no proof. They didn’t know that you were an alien. They were essentially just following you hoping that we would come back so they could capture us then. They could never do anything to you without proof.”

“Pierce captured you without real proof.”

“Pierce warped all the rules of the FBI to capture me. We made sure that that wouldn’t happen again when we sent Nasedo into the division.”

“But what about all the tests he ran on you? Wouldn’t that prove you’re an alien?”

“We destroyed it all. The FBI wouldn’t didn’t know anything for sure about aliens until—“

“They followed me as a teenager,” I provided.

“Yes. That’s why we had to come get you now, today.”

“Why? How did you know?”

“We’ve got informants in the FBI now, in the division that’s been following you for so long. She got us word 3 days ago that they were going to take you today. We couldn’t have that happen.”

“Why didn’t you tell us?”

“We didn’t want to worry you, in case this didn’t succeed.”

I got a chill up my back at that thought. If Seth hadn’t gotten mom and me out of that house last night, we’d be in FBI custody right now. What would they be doing to me now? I would be their own little experiment to do with what they would.

“Xan, I have regretted for so long not taking you with me that day. I mean, what kind of father just leaves their baby and the love of his life to deal with people following them every day of their lives when he can take them away from all that? I hated that I had to protect the community over you, but there was no way I could let all of them pay so I could have a little time alone with you and your mom. As much as I wanted to be selfish, I couldn’t. Not that time.” He sighed. “Please forgive me for this.”

I started pacing around the podchamber. I needed to think this through. “Is this what it’s like to be King, Dad? You have to make decisions like this, huh?”

“Yes. Usually they’re much easier, but every once in a while, you have to decide things that make you hate yourself.”

“But all these years, you’ve always known we were okay? That the FBI wasn’t going to hurt us?”

“Yes. We infiltrated the division right after we left you in New York. We’ve always known that all of you were okay.”

“And when you found out that we weren’t? That they were going to come after us soon?”

“We started making plans to get you out of it. I promise you, Xan, I would never make you and your mother live in more danger than you could handle.”

I almost smiled when I realized he just assumed we could handle levels of danger. “So now we’re going to go to this community?”

“As soon as everyone gets here, we leave.”

I nodded. “Okay.” I didn’t know what else to say. I smiled up at him.

“We’re good?”

“Yeah, we’re good.” I said. I understood now why he had done it, that didn’t mean I had to like it, but at least I could understand it. “When does everyone else get here?”

“Soon.”

~*~

an2: wow... next part in my head is called "reunion" which is what this story was originally called, way back when it was only like 5 pages and not very good..... *happy* more soon, I hope!
posted on 2-Jan-2002 12:29:10 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: Wow. This took way longer than I expected. I always thought winter break was supposed to be about relaxation, but apparently nope... And this isn't all I had hoped to have written, but I'm tired of obsessing over this part. It's what it is, I think. Happy New Year! I'm so proud. Day 2 and I haven't broken any resolutions yet. And I promise, I'll try to have more of this out in the next couple days... I'm thinking that posting this will help me get past this huge block I've been having lately with words. ::sigh:: As always, thanks for reading! jenan
Part 34

After my little talk with my father, I went outside and got my mother and Seth. They were sitting behind a boulder just talking. My mother hurried into the chamber, needing to be as close to my father as she could be. Seth hung back and walked in with me.

“So did you get to talk to your dad about everything you needed to know?” He asked slowly.

I turned to glare at him. We were still just outside the chamber. “How did you know what I needed to talk to him about?” I looked forward, wondering if my mother had told him.

“Your mom didn’t tell me, Xan. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but I woke up in the car while the two of you were talking.”

I nodded slowly. “I guess this isn’t the image of a so-called alien princess you’ve always had in your head, huh? Who ever thinks of a princess drifting in insecurity? Or being suspicious of her father?”

Seth stopped me before I walked into the chamber. “Xan, you don’t have to explain your behavior to me. I mean, it’s understandable.” His eyes clouded. “There are things I’d like to ask my father about that are a lot like the conversation you just had with Max.” He paused and his hand came up to squeeze my shoulder. “And I never had a preconceived image of an alien princess, Xan.” Somehow, his thumb grazed my cheek. It was the softest touch.

I looked at him for a minute completely in awe of how safe I felt around him. “We’d-uh better get inside. You know my parents, they tend to be overprotective.” I started walking in. I had the most incredible feeling of butterflies in my stomach just talking to him.

Seth laughed. “Right.”

Inside the chamber, my parents were sitting over in the corner, as close to each other as they could get and remain decent, whispering back and forth. They barely looked up when Seth and I walked in. We walked over to the other side of the room, near the pods.

I couldn’t help staring at the 4 pods in awe. My father had lived in one of these pods for years. I reached out and touched one of them.

My father came over almost intuitively and smiled. “That one was mine.” He touched the one right next to his. “Isabel’s.” Across from hers, “Michael.” Then he pointed to the one in the corner. “Tess.”

I could see the anger in both my father and Seth’s eyes even at the mention of her name. I wondered what the real deal on her was. I knew my mother only told me what she knew, but obviously some stuff had happened before she left them that had caused such an impression on Dad and Seth. I wanted to ask, but before I could, my father silenced all of us with a look.

“There’s someone outside.” He whispered. My mom grabbed my hand, and my father walked over to the entrance.

I knew that it was most likely Isabel or Michael, but I still felt a jolt of something like fear, maybe anxiety, going up my spine. My mother looked at me and smiled as if she knew how I felt. This mixture of anticipation at meeting my family and fear of what was behind the door was eating at me.

The door slowly opened and in walked Maria with Michael following behind her, checking carefully behind them to see that they weren’t followed.

“Maria!” My mother hurried over to her.

“Chica!” They hugged.

I watched Michael whispering to my father about something. He looked so real! I don’t know what I was thinking. I mean, he looked the same as he did in the dreams, of course. I guess I was expecting some difference or something. He looked just like the uncle who had gotten me through the scariest day of my life, without ever having touched me or anything. I needed to hug him.

At once, our eyes met. He smiled. “Xan,” he whispered. I rushed over to him and the next thing I knew I was trapped in his tight hug. I heard Maria’s breath catch as she watched Michael and I hug. Michael kept whispering how glad he was that we were together. I don’t think Maria had ever really seen him like this.

I was crying when we separated, and I knew Michael was a bit overwhelmed too. I watched Maria walk over to him and wrap her arm around his waist. “Maria, his hair isn’t so bad! I think you were overreacting when you said he looked like someone off bad 80s TV.” I teased.

Everyone laughed. The overwhelming fear and anxiety started to fall off of us as we started to feel a little safe with one another. Now all we had to do was wait for Isabel and Alex. Then we’d all be together again, and we’d be heading to our new home. It felt good to just think those words. We were all going home.

Maria came over to me and hugged me. “You okay, babe?” She whispered.

“Fine.” Maria gave me that patented ‘I-don’t-believe-you’ look that I only thought mothers had and I sighed. “I’m just kind of overwhelmed with some stuff I learned today. I’m fine, though.”

“Okay,” she smiled. “I’m here to talk if you need me, though, babe. Remember that?”

“I will.”

She looked over my shoulder to where Seth was watching all of us with a quiet smile on his face, like he had never seen anything like us. “Who’s he?” She whispered.

Knowing there was only one person in the chamber that Maria didn’t know, I whispered back “Seth. He’s from the community we’re going to.”

“Aaah,” Maria whispered. “Michael told me about that place. All aliens, huh?”

“I know. It’s hard to believe that soon I’ll be living in a place where I won’t be different from the everyone else.”

“Well,” Maria teased, “you’ll always be different.” I smiled. Maria looked back at Seth. “So tell me about Seth.”

“I don’t know that much, Maria. Dad sent him to bring me and Mom here.”

“So Max must really trust him, huh?”

“I guess.” I knew that he did.

Maria was quiet for a moment. She started to smile. “He’s cute.”

“Ria!” I exclaimed.

“He is.” She said simply. “Don’t tell me you hadn’t noticed!”

“Ria, he is not my type.”

“Bull shit.” She called my lie. “I think we spent quite enough time in parks staring at men in your life for me to know that he is exactly your type.”

I looked at Seth. Maria was right; he was my type. He was tall with dark hair that was just a little bit too long, like he’d forgotten to get a haircut for a couple weeks. And he had the most incredible blue eyes. They were so bright and alive! Just talking to him was a selfish act on my part because I got to see all the emotions turning his eyes into hypnotic devices. And the way he moved reminded me of the soccer players back at the park we always went to in New York. I was so young when we were there, but I can still remember the ease and grace in their movements. Seth had that.

Maria laughed at the way my cheeks started blushing. “Told you!”

“Shut up, Ria.”

“Why?” She smiled. I knew she wanted to just break out into a little “I-am-right” dance.

“Because nothing is going to happen, okay? I just got out of the most hideous relationship, and for all we know, Seth has a girlfriend back there. He’s my friend, and that’s it.” I said firmly.

“Right. Convincing yourself?” She taunted.

I sighed. “Mom,” I exclaimed, “Maria’s making fun of me!” I sounded like a child complaining about her sister and Maria laughed at it.

“I always wanted a kid sister!” She exclaimed.

Michael walked over to us and wrapped his arms around Maria. “Baby, stop annoying your neice.”

“So,” my mother walked over to us and wrapped her arm around Maria’s waist, “how’d you get here?”

“Well,” Maria started getting all excited, “I was completely shocked when SpaceBoy showed up at my apartment. I mean, there I was, getting ready to watch a few Tom Cruise movies on another boring Thursday night, and someone’s knocking on my door.” Maria sat on the floor and looked up at the rest of us expectantly. She was going to tell her story and she wanted to get comfy. My parents and Michael joined her on the floor. I walked over to Seth who’s sitting by the door to the chamber.

“Why don’t you come join us?” I asked quietly.

“It’s your family time, Xan. I don’t want to interrupt. I’ll just wait here, in case someone else comes.”

“Come join us, Seth. There’s no need to stay here.” I don’t know why I’m trying to convince him to join us; it was just going to give Maria more ammunition for the whole ‘Xan-likes-Seth’ campaign, but I didn’t want to see him alone. I knew better than most that feeling alone was the worst thing in the world, and I didn’t want to see him go through it. I took his hand and led him over to the semi-circle my family had formed. I sat between him and Maria. I looked at my parents and couldn’t help myself from smiling. My mom was sitting between my father’s legs with his arms around her. They looked like high school students all wrapped up in each other.

She was continuing the story. “So basically, we turned my apartment into someplace that no one would recognize and left.”

“Did you get to call Amy?”

“I did. I told her I loved her, but of course I couldn’t tell her what was going on. I think she’ll understand though. She wants me to be happy.” She squeezed Michael’s hand. “And even through the long hours of riding in that godawful truck with no air conditioning, I’ve never been this happy.” She smiled. “So I’m assuming that Isabel and Alex will be joining us shortly?”

“They should be here anytime,” my father looked at his watch. “Isabel dream-walked him and told him exactly how they were going to leave. So it shouldn’t have taken too long.”

“Of course,” Maria started with a tell-tale twinkle in her eyes, “we never can tell what happened once they actually got together. I mean, it’s been a while since they’d seen each other.”

My mom and Michael started laughing at the look on my father’s face. “Oh, dear God, don’t make me think that way about my sister ever again.”

We all laughed, but I couldn’t help but wonder if the reason they were taking so long was because Isabel had told Alex her surprise. I could only imagine how he would take the news that he was going to become a Daddy. He was probably being extra careful with her, taking only the safest routes and lots of breaks. I couldn’t wait to see the look in his eyes of him knowing he was going to be a father. It’s what he’d always wanted.

“Xan,” my mom started, “are you hungry?”

Her voice pulled me out of my revelry. In the space between us, there was a large picnic basket filled with food. My stomach growled. I smiled sheepishly wondering if anyone else had heard that. I saw the smallest smile on Seth’s face. “Yeah, I am. What’s for dinner?”

My father opened the basket. “Well—“

“Wait! You didn’t cook it, did you?” I teased.

Michael laughed. “She knows you well, Max. No, he didn’t cook it. Well, he did make it but I don’t think anyone can mess up sandwiches.”

“Eat.” My father tossed me a wrapped up pepperoni sandwich. I loved this stuff; in some varieties it was hot enough to eat without Tabasco.

“Thanks, Dad.” I smiled.

We all sat around for the next couple hours, talking about the future and how different our lives were going to be. Seth and I talked alone for a little while about the other kids my age on the ranch. I had to wonder a lot about them. I mean, they knew who I was. Would that make my relationships with them different from the ‘normal’ I wanted? I overheard my parents talking about Mom practicing medicine with my father. And Maria told Michael how badly she wanted to do something useful in the community, but she was afraid that she didn’t know what to do. No one said a word about how long it was taking Alex and Isabel to get here. It was like we were afraid to open our mouths for fear of what could come out or something. But I knew that underneath the pleasant conversations, all of us were thinking, “Where are Alex and Isabel?”
~*~
posted on 27-Jan-2002 1:28:27 PM by Transparent Clear
Part 35

“Should it be taking them this long?” I couldn’t help myself from asking Seth. He and I were in the back of the cave looking at the pods again

“I don’t know, Xan. Everyone’s supposed to meet here by dawn; that’s all I was told of the plan other than to get you and your mom,” Seth whispered. I followed his gaze to my father. He and Michael were talking about something pretty passionately. It looked like Michael was trying to convince him of something.

“Michael wants to go look for them, doesn’t he?”

“I don’t know. I can’t hear them,” Seth smiled. “Probably.”

“Do you think he ought to?”

“That’s not my decision, Xan.” He said slowly. “And I wouldn’t want to be the one making it.”

“Me, either.” I turned so I didn’t have to see them argue. I looked around the pods again. I find myself staring into my father’s pod. I could see something shining behind it. “What’s behind the pods, Seth?”

“I don’t know.” He came over to look into my father’s pod with me.

I looked at my parents, still talking at the other end of the chamber. “Well, I want to know what it is. Cover me?” I smiled.

“Xan, what are you doing?” He watched as I climbed through the pod. “Xan, are you okay?”

I couldn’t answer him. I was staring at the most incredible object I’d ever seen. I couldn’t put what I saw into simple words.

A moment later, Seth joined me in this new chamber. “Oh, my God,” he whispered.

“What is it, Seth?” He looked up at it in awe. I was amazed by the look in his eyes; it was like he was one of those fanatics who saw visions of Mary in a bagel. The wonder in his eyes was just incredible. “Tell me!”

“It’s the granolith.”

“The what?”

“The granolith.” He looked at it, as if he wanted to touch it but was afraid to.

“What’s that?” I walked closer to it.

“It’s…something holy that was sent with Max and the others when they came to earth.”

“Why?”

“This holds all the wisdom and traditions of Antar. It was meant for the Royal 4 to learn from so they could come back to our planet and save us all.”

“What?” That didn’t make sense to me. It was a religious computer?

“Within this machine are all the secrets of Antar, our science and technology, the planet’s history, everything. Max’s parents sent this with him, knowing that when he was reborn, he would remember nothing about his home. They sent protectors who were supposed to teach them how to use the granolith when they became of age so that they could use it to return home to save their people.”

“Well, that obviously failed.”

“Nasedo was killed before he could, that’s true. But by that time, it wouldn’t have mattered, our planet had already been defeated. But the wisdom and knowledge of our world is still inside it.”

“And you didn’t know it was here? Does Max?”

“He knows where the granolith is, yes. He’s just never known how to use it and he never spoke to any of us about where it was. He said it was for our own safety that we not know the actual location. Just in case there were still supporters of Khivar out there.”

“Are there?” I asked vaguely. I wanted to know who all the enemies were.

“I don’t know. I doubt it. I think that anyone who made it through that war while here on earth hardly wants to go back.”

“How do we use this thing then?” I walked around it, as if I were looking for the start button.

“I don’t know, Xan. It’s not like any of us ever expected to see it. As far as I know, the only people who can use are the Royal 4—“

“What about descendants of them?”

“I don’t know.” He looked back towards the pod. “We’d probably better get out of here. I mean, your parents are going to start wondering where we are.”

“I’m sure they’ll figure it out, Seth.” I smiled. “I just wish I knew how to work this.” She ran her hand along the base of the machine. “I bet Alex would know.” She smiled.

“Then let’s wait for him to get here,” Seth said.

“Why are you so anxious to get me out of here, Seth? I know it isn’t just because you think my family might start missing me.”

“Xan, the granolith is incredibly powerful. Other than giving information about our history, it has been told that it can affect the user’s powers. Part of the use of the granolith before everything that happened happened was to bond the Royal 4 to become a stronger group.”

“By increasing their powers for when they went back to Antar?”

“Yes.”

“So when all that drama was going on with the Skins and them wanting the granolith, it was primarily so that the Royal 4 wouldn’t use the granolith to become stronger and go back to their world and defeat Khivar?”

“Yes.”

I started walking around the granolith again. “And you really don’t know how to use it?”

“No. They didn’t teach me that in alien training school, sorry, Xan.”

I turned quickly and stared at him. He thought he was being funny; how cute. I didn’t smile at him. “Come on, Seth. This is important to me.”

“I know it is, Xan, but I really can’t help you. Maybe your father can or something. I don’t know,”
I felt like I needed to use this granolith, to understand it’s secrets in order to understand all my family secrets. I just needed to figure out how to do it and I didn’t need my parents’ help to do so. I could figure this out on my own. I reached out and touched the swirling cone of the granolith.


posted on 27-Jan-2002 1:31:42 PM by Transparent Clear
Part 36

The minute my hand touched the granolith, it was like there was an electrical charge in the air. It felt similar to connecting with my father, but this time there was much more power. And the connection was different. Whenever I had connected with my father, he was trying to show me something specific. Connecting to this machine was more of a 2-way thing. It was trying to learn about me and I could feel that it was completely open to me to find whatever I wanted to know. But when I didn’t reach out to a single thing, it just started filling my mind with everything. It all came to me in flash after flash of amazing clarity and detail.

FLASH!

It was like I was flying through space, passing stars and moons and planets until all motion slowed to a stop at a beautiful planet that reminded me a lot of Earth. I could make out several continents and a lot of water. I knew it was Antar, though, because Earth definitely did not have 2 moons. Looking around the stars, I recognized the V-shaped formation that my mother always pointed out to me when I was little. This was home.

FLASH!

I saw an ever-changing view of Antar, complete with the most gorgeous landscapes I’d ever seen. I saw the cities and small farming communities complete with people working in the fields. I saw the castle my family lived in. It was huge, something straight out of every 7-year-old girl’s dreams. There were so many large windows that I just knew carried the light into bedrooms and dining rooms and playrooms. My family had lived here for more generations than I cared to count.

FLASH!

I saw 3 small children playing in a garden. Even though they looked completely different than I knew them, I knew that this was my father, aunt, and uncle. They looked about 5 and they were so happy just to be playing outside. They looked innocent. I wondered how much longer they would be this carefree, knowing that soon this world would end. I looked around the garden, and for the first time in my life, I saw my grandparents. They actually looked a lot like my father and Isabel did in this time. I wondered if this was before any of the tension on the planet started because my grandfather looked at my father with such pride…and worry in his eyes.

FLASH!

I saw my father on his wedding day to Ava, and I understood why he was marrying her. I understood the politics behind it; she was a princess of one of the other planets and it would combine their powers. This marriage was the only way to display a united front against Khivar. I could feel his regret that he would never experience the love his parents had for one another.

Looking at Isabel and Michael at their betrothal ceremony, which was right after my father’s wedding, I knew the love between them was that of a brother and sister. I saw in their eyes that they too would sacrifice true love to protect their people.

FLASH!

I saw glimpses of the last battle between my family and Khivar. I saw the most incredible powers that my family was using to fight off their enemies. I understood then that all the powers we were using here on Earth were poor imitations of the real abilities. I wondered if we could ever learn the real powers. In the next second, I saw my father, his wife, my aunt, and uncle die. And then I saw the technology that brought them to Earth, to live again, to be reborn in this very chamber.


I pulled my hand away from the granolith, feeling different, changed. I felt more like an alien than I ever had before. I looked at Seth, who was staring at me with this look of pure concern on his face. “How long was I holding on to it?”

“Maybe a minute. Are you okay?”

“A minute?” I had learned so much in only a minute. Maybe aliens brains were more susceptible to information or maybe the granolith knew how to enhance the actual usability of the brain. Either way, it felt like I had been connected for hours.

“Are you okay, Xan?”

“I’m fine, Seth. Better than fine. I feel incredible.”

“What happened?”

“I connected to the granolith—“

“You what?” My father’s voice came from the entrance to the chamber.

I looked over at him sheepishly. “I formed a connection with it, somehow.”

“You connected to the granolith?”

His voice sounded so serious. I wondered if this would be that first time I got in trouble with my father. I immediately started to ramble, trying to make excuses. “I didn’t mean to. I just wanted to know what it was and what it could do. And Seth told me what he knew, but that wasn’t enough. And I couldn’t help myself from reaching out and touching it. I didn’t try to connect to it; how was I to know that connecting to it would work? I just touched it and the next thing I know, I feel like my mind suddenly became open and the granolith was just like giving me all this information at once. It felt like I was connected to it for hours or something, but when I came out of it, Seth said I’d only been connected for a minute. It was so intense.”

“Are you okay, Xan?”

“I’m fine. I understand things a lot better than I ever thought I could, though.”

“Like?”

“Why you were sent here in the first place. Why you married Ava back on the home world. Everything.”

“Really?” My father looked interested in that last part.

“It was like the granolith recognized me and wanted to give me my history, to give me the knowledge you were supposed to use to take back the planet. The granolith wanted me to have it to face my future, wherever it leads me.” I smiled. It was all finally making sense, even as I knew that there was now information in my head that I had no knowledge about. I wondered how I would ever be able to use things I didn’t consciously know. Would these random thoughts and ideas just appear in my head as the situation called for them? Would I mistakenly start calling this intuition?

My father put his palms on either side of my forehead. “Are you sure you’re all right, Xan?”

“Yes. I’m fine.” I smiled. “Are Isabel and Alex here?” I prayed that was why he had come to find me, but deep down, I knew they weren’t here.

“No. Your mother and I noticed you were missing, and I knew this was the only place you could go.”

“Why didn’t you ever tell me about this place?”

“To be honest, Xan, we didn’t quite know how to work it. We knew we had to protect it, to be sure, but using it was a complete mystery to us. We didn’t know it could connect to you.”

“Maybe you ought to try to connect to it, Max,” Seth suggested.

“Later. Right now, we need to talk out in the chamber. There’s a decision to be made.”

I felt a shiver run up my back, knowing what the decision was. I didn’t want to make any decisions for Isabel and Alex; I wanted them here to make their own. We all climbed out to the main chamber where Maria, Michael, and my mom were sitting, waiting for us.

“It’s past dawn,” my father said. “When we left for here, we all agreed that we would meet here by dawn today, knowing that if we weren’t here, that meant there was trouble. Isabel and Alex are missing.”

“What are we going to do?” Maria asked immediately. I could tell she’d been holding that question in for a long time.

“We have a couple options, but the only one that really seems viable is that Michael and I stay here and go look for Izzy and Alex while Seth takes the 3 of you back to the ranch.”

“That’s not fair, Dad! I want to help find Isabel and Alex. What if something serious has happened to them? I could help!”

“Xan, if something serious has happened to them, you’re the most important person to make sure isn’t there. You have to go back to the community and that is final.”

“No, that’s not fair!”

“Xan, fair isn’t an option here,” my mother said. “I agree with your father. No matter what you go back to the ranch with Seth.”

“You, too, Liz.”

“Now that’s where you lose me, Max. I know you want me to be safe, but I can be of help in this situation. I’d be much more likely to get near the apartment without having a thousand FBI agents surrounding me—“

“Yeah, there’d only be a hundred,” Michael interrupted. “Because the FBI would never want the mother of the only known human/alien hybrid.”

“Michael!” Maria exclaimed.

“It’s the truth, babe, and you know it because not too long ago, you pointed it out. The FBI would love to study a human who’s had an alien baby. We can’t give them that opportunity.”

“You’re not sending me back to the ranch like some innocent child!” Liz exclaimed.

I caught on to the last few words of her statement. “Innocent child? Is that what I am now?”

“And do not even think about sending me away for my own safety, SpaceBoy! I made it through how many years of you borrowing my mother’s car with me in it doing God only knows what. I can make it through this!”

“Maria, you need to be safe! It was different back then.”

“How?”

“We didn’t know what we’re facing. We do now, and I do not want to lose you to it,” Michael looked at her.

“I don’t want to lose you to it, either, Michael,” Maria whispered.

“So we’re assuming that they were captured?” I asked.

“Xan, that’s all we can assume,” my father said.

“No, we can assume that they’re running late. Or that Alex couldn’t leave right then and they had to wait a little longer, throwing off the time line. We can assume that they are finally enjoying their time together after so long and they’re taking romantic little stops at all the rest stops on the way here. We do not have to assume the worst!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t get my mind off the fact that Isabel was out there somewhere pregnant. I hoped Alex knew. I wondered if I should tell them? I mean, if there was something wrong, if they were captured, shouldn’t everyone know that we needed to rescue them immediately? I didn’t know what to do. It was Isabel’s secret; she needed to make the decision to tell everyone.

“Xan,” my mother wrapped her arms around me, “I know this is hard to hear, but it’s the way we’ve always done it.”

“That doesn’t mean it’s right!”

“No, it doesn’t, sweetie,” my father said. “But we live by these rules.”

“And the rules say sending the innocents away so you can go and do God only knows what?”

“Sometimes, yes.”

“I don’t like it. I feel like I ought to be with you, like I can do something. I mean, I connected to the granolith; I have all this information stored inside me. Maybe we can use some of it to help.”

“But, Xan, we don’t know what that information actually is. How would we know to call on it for help?” My father asked as Michael said,

“You connected with the granolith?”

“Yes, Michael.” I looked back at my father. He did have a point. “Maybe it will be like subconscious stuff now. It’ll come up when it’s needed.”

“We can’t base our plans on that, Xan. I’m sorry. You go back to the ranch with Seth.”

“And Maria and I go with you, Max.”

“Liz—“ My father turned to face her.

I stood up. “I’m going to go get some air, okay?”

“Be careful, Xan.”

“I am.” I walked to a small rock formation right outside the granolith entrance and leaned up against the rocks. I just wanted Isabel and Alex to show up and then we could all go to the ranch, rather than having these awful conversations. I wondered if I could persuade everyone not to go into action until I tried to dream-walk Isabel.

I’d been sitting outside for about 20 minutes when I heard a car in the distance. I watched as it came closer and closer to us. It was an old Chevy truck. I didn’t know what Isabel would be driving, but I knew that everyone inside that cave would want to know that there was someone coming. I hurried in.

Maria and Michael were going back and forth, while my parents kind of stared at each other. Poor Seth was in the middle.

“Guys, I don’t want to interrupt, but someone is coming! An old red truck is on the road.”

They all stopped talking. “That’s what Isabel was driving.”

We all kind of hid by the entrance to the granolith, just in case. We didn’t see anyone following the old truck, but that didn’t mean that they weren’t there. The closer the truck got, the harder I looked to see who was in the car. By the time it stopped, I recognized Isabel, but I couldn’t tell if there was anyone else with her. She climbed out and walked around the front of the truck.

I ran down the hill to meet her. She was still standing by the passenger door; she looked dazed. “Isabel?” I whispered. This was not how I had pictured our first meeting.

“Oh, Xan,” she hugged me so tightly. I could feel the sobs leave her body as she cried on my shoulder.

“Is, what’s going on?” I asked. Everyone else surrounded us.

“Xan—“ She sounded so scared. I hugged her tighter, trying to make her feel better, somehow. All I knew was that Alex wasn’t here, and that was not good.

posted on 30-Jan-2002 12:33:31 PM by Transparent Clear
Part 37

“Isabel, are you okay?” My father came up to us. He tried to move closer to her, but she was clinging to me.

“Where’s Alex?”

“What happened?”

The questions came from each of us, trying to figure out what was going on and what had happened to make Isabel so...empty.

“Let’s get her inside.” I said, leading her up the hill. I didn’t think it was a good idea to be outside with the possibility of people following Isabel still there. As we were walking up, I whispered, “Are you okay?” She knew that I was asking about the baby.

“Yes.” She whispered back. “But Xan, it’s not good.”

“What happened? Is Alex okay?”

“I don’t know.” We all sat down in the middle of the chamber.

“What happened, Isabel?” Max asked from the other side of her. He held her hand tightly.

“I went to Alex’s like we’d planned. And I wish you could have seen his face when he saw me standing at the front door to his condo. He lit up,” she whispered. “And we went inside and we talked,” she looked straight at me so I would understand, “about everything, what was going on and stuff.” He knew she was pregnant. “And he was ready to leave right then, but we knew we had to be careful who saw us. So we got his stuff ready. We laughed because the only things he wanted to bring were his laptop and his camera. I had to make him throw in some clothes.” My mother and Maria smiled because that was the Alex they knew; he would throw it all away for Isabel. “And we were ready to leave, but Alex said he felt something was wrong. He made me leave the house, and I hid in the truck. I wasn’t even out there 20 minutes when the FBI arrived.”

In the absolute silence of that statement, I could hear my tears. Alex had been taken? How? What was happening to him?

“He-uh—They took him. He struggled, but they took him. And I swear to you that he looked at me as they pulled him out and threw him into the van. He kept screaming for me to run, but I couldn’t. I just sat there, in the truck, and watched the love of my life being carried away.”

I hugged Isabel. “It’s going to be okay, Is. We’ll get him back.”

“Do you know where they took him?” Michael asked.

“I followed them, but they lost me. They were heading to an old section of town with lots of warehouses. I couldn’t find them again. That’s what took me so long to get here; I spent yesterday and half the night creeping around town looking for clues.”

“Ok,” Max took charge. “We have to get him out of there. God only knows what they are doing to him.”

“But they know he’s not an alien!” I sounded naïve to myself.

“That doesn’t mean they won’t do something to him, Xan. They want us, and he’s a sure way to get us. And they knew that Isabel was with him right before they took him; that’s why they came so quickly. Our operatives inside the FBI knew nothing about this in advance. They were just waiting for this.”

“Because they knew that you had taken me, Mom, and Maria,” I whispered. “They knew it would only be a short time till you went for Alex.” I couldn’t figure out the feelings that were crashing through me. It was guilt mixed with fear mixed with anger, and underneath all that I was a little relieved to be here, safe. And that made me feel the worst.

“Xan,” my mother looked at me, “stop thinking like that. You can’t feel bad that Alex isn’t with us.”

“Because we have something much more important to talk about. What are we going to do to get Alex back with us?” Maria asked.

“What we said earlier. Seth is taking Xan, Maria, and Liz back to the ranch. The rest of us will go searching for him.”

“No!” Maria started immediately protesting that.

I looked at Isabel and whispered, “Is, you can’t go.”

“Xan, yes, I can. I have to.”

“No! You have what they want most. I don’t think they’d hesitate to steal that.”

“I can’t leave him there.”

“Then let everyone else go. You can’t. Alex would want you to take care of the baby.”

“Alex will want to see his baby,” she whispered.

“And you think he will if you get captured too?”

“I won’t!”

“How can you be so sure, Is? You could. Everyone could.”

“I am going, Xan.”

“No. You can’t. Isabel, please, think about the baby.” My voice had gotten kind of loud there.

We hadn’t noticed that in the entire time we were talking, the other conversations around us stopped until they were staring at us.

“Baby?” My father said slowly. “Xan, tell me you’re not pregnant—“

“What?” I exclaimed. “No!” I nearly shouted. At that same time, my mother said, “Alexandra, if you were that stupid, I will—“

“I’m not pregnant!” I exclaimed.

Michael and my father looked at Isabel. “Is?”

“I guess you can just start calling me Mommy,” she said sheepishly.

“Oh, Is,” my father hugged her. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Just say that we’re going to get Alex back and home with us before I have this baby.”

“We will.”

Michael hugged her. “Congratulations, Isabel. I know how much you’ve wanted this,” he whispered. To the rest of us, he said, “This changes everything. Is, you go back with Maria, Liz, and Xan. Seth, you’re coming with us.”

Seth nodded. He was ready to go.

“Whoa! You are not sending me back to the ranch like some bad child. I might be pregnant, but I can take care of myself, and I want to be involved in saving Alex. I have to be, Michael!”

“Isabel, we have to keep you safe. Alex would want that, too.”

“Well, what about what I want?”

“Is, that baby is more important than this. You know that if the FBI finds out that you’re pregnant, they will never give you or the baby up. The two of you are what they want most.” My father repeated most of my words.

“Max, I can take care of myself.”

“I don’t doubt that, but you have to let us take care of this for you. I’m sorry, Is, but please understand.”

“It’s not fair.”

“No, it’s not. But that’s the way it’s got to be,” Michael said.

Isabel sighed and sat down on the floor of the chamber. I knew she was feeling powerless, and I sat next to her.

“It’s going to be okay, Is. I know it will.”

“They have to get Alex out of there, Xan. I need him. Our baby needs him.”

“I know. And he will get out of there. Dad and Michael will save him.”

“When do we leave?” Seth asked above us.”

“No one is leaving until we get one thing straight,” Maria said. “I will not be going to that ranch wherever it is with Xan and Isabel. I am going with you, Michael. And Liz is going, too, Max. We have spent the past 18 years pretending to be safe but knowing in our hearts that we were anything but safe. We can decide what’s in our best interest, and for me, it’s to be with you, Michael, no matter what.”

“And I need to be with you, Max. I can handle whatever we have to do, you know that.”

“I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

“Max, I don’t care if I get hurt or what might happen to us. I just want to be with you.”

“What about Xan?”

I spoke up. “Xan understands that her parents ought to be together for this. And I promise she will be fine and waiting for all of you to return to the ranch.”

My father looked at me and nodded.

“Michael—“ Maria started.

“Just because Max and Liz are crazy enough to risk their lives together does not mean that I’m going to let you do the same, Maria. I want you to go back to the ranch.”

“You’re going to let me do what?” Maria exclaimed. “Michael, I am an adult who can make her own decisions, thank you very much. I decided to leave my so-called safe little existence to come here with you and now I decide that I want to help you save my best friend. Those are the only decisions that really matter to me. I am going.”

“Maria—“

“SpaceBoy, please,” she whispered.

“I’ll never forgive myself if something were to happen to you.”

“You’d be right there with me. You wouldn’t have to.” She kissed his cheek. “I love you, and I’m not letting you go alone.”

Isabel spoke up beside me. “You know, Michael, you’ve been trying to win a fight with her for over 20 years, and uh, it hasn’t worked yet. Now I think you guys need to get going as soon as possible. Xan and I will make it back to the ranch on our own just fine.”

“No, not on your own. Seth, I want you to go with them. Keep them safe.” My father said.

“Max, we don’t need a chaperone, and you need all the help you can get.”

“Please, humor me.” He smiled. “Go with them, Seth.”

“Okay, Max.” He looked a little disappointed that he wouldn’t be going with Max. I guess he really wanted to prove himself to my father; I wondered why.

I stood up and helped Isabel up. “I promise we’ll be fine.” I looked at the adults. “Please just take care of each other and bring Alex back to us as quickly as you can.” I hugged my Mom. “Be careful.”

“I will, Xan. I love you, baby.”

“I love you, too.”

I hugged Michael. “You know, taking Maria with you is what you need, Michael.”

“There are too many independent women in my life, you know?”

I laughed. “I love you, too.”

I hugged Maria. “Be careful, Ria. I love you.”

“I love you, too. And do you really think Michael is going to let me do anything too dangerous?” I laughed at that.

My father hugged me tightly. “Be good. And watch out for Isabel for me.”

“I will.”

“And listen to Seth. He knows what he’s doing.”

“I will. I love you, Daddy.”

“I love you, too, Baby. And I promise we’ll all be together soon.”

“I know.” I squeezed him tightly one last time and then moved over to the corner of the room. I watched him hug Isabel and whisper something to her. She nodded. Then he talked to Seth for a few minutes.

Isabel came over and took my hand. “It’ll be okay, Xan.” The comforted became the comforter.

“I know,” I said as bravely as I could muster.

We all walked outside to the cars together. I hugged my mother again and tried not to cry. “Be careful, guys.”

“We will be.” They took the Jeep Maria and Michael had brought with them. Max took the first shift driving. “Now this feels familiar.”

Isabel smiled. “Bring him home, okay, Max?”

“I will, Is.” They drove off.

Seth, Isabel, and I returned to the chamber to clean out the rest of our stuff. I really wanted to go try to connect to the granolith again, to try to figure out what was in my head, but I knew that there were more important things to do. I wondered if I’d ever see it again. I crawled into the granolith chamber for one last look. Isabel followed me.

“So you discovered the granolith, huh?”

“I connected to it.”

She looked kind of shocked. “Really? How’d you do that?”

“I don’t know. I just touched it and the next thing I know, I’m connected. It was awesome.”

“Try again.”

“Is, we don’t have time—“

“Do it, Xan.”

I reached out and touched the granolith. I waited for a few seconds, but nothing came from it. I looked at Isabel. “I don’t know why it didn’t work.”

“Me, either. But we’ve never been able to connect to it.” She walked around it. “What’s this?” She picked up a chain with a pendant on it. I looked at it.

“Never seen it.”

“Xan, this wasn’t here when we got here. I was in here right before I went to see Alex.”

“I don’t know where it came from.”

Isabel handed it to me. “Maybe you should keep it, though.”

I stared at the design on the pendant. “I saw this when I touched the granolith. I saw this on the planet somehow.” I couldn’t place where I’d seen it, but I knew I’d seen it.

“Put it on, and let’s get going. There’s someplace I want to stop by before we leave.”

“Where?”

“You’ll see.” She smiled.

“Are we ready?” Seth asked.

“Yup.”

“What car are we taking? And what are we going to do about the other one?”

“I don’t think that truck has many more miles left in it, Seth. So we need to get rid of it. The easiest way to do that would be to just head to Roswell and leave it in a parking lot there.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” She said positively. “You can drive it, and Xan and I will follow in the car. But I want to drive Xan by someplace before we leave so we’ll meet you out front of the Crashdown as we’re leaving.”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea? Don’t you think the FBI will be looking for you?”

She smiled. “There has to be some advantage to being an alien.” She swiped her hand in front of her and disguised herself as a redhead with glasses. I followed suit and made myself a blond supermodel with pigtails. “Good job.” She smiled.

“Okay. Just be careful. Max will kill me if anything were to happen to you, and I don’t even want to think about what Michael might do to me.”

I smiled. “We’ll be careful, Seth.” We went out to the cars and headed to Roswell.

posted on 4-Feb-2002 12:42:21 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: Ok. This is a part I've wanted in this story since I first started writing it, and after a lot of thinking about it, I decided to just put it in. It doesn't necessarily fit in but this was important to me... so here we go. There should be another part tonight. *happy* jenan

Part 38

“So where are you taking me, Isabel?”

“There’s someone I want you to see.”

“Who?” Who was left that was important to us in Roswell?

“My mom.”

“Are you serious?” I looked at her and just knew she was. I knew she regretted a lot of things about her relationship with her mother, but could we really just swing by and see her? I mean, surely the FBI would be watching her.

“Yes. I know they’ll probably be watching her so we can’t go talk to her or anything, but I just want to see her again, and I at least want you to know what she looks like.”

“You really miss her, don’t you?”

“Other than not bringing Alex when we ran, she’s my biggest regret. She did absolutely nothing but love us unconditionally, Xan, and Max and I just left her without an explanation or a hug or anything. She doesn’t even know if we’re alive right now. And for all those years, we lied to her. She doesn’t even know the truth about us, Xan, but she’s loved us anyways. I go into her dreams sometimes, and I can feel how much she loves us. We weren’t fair to her.”

I squeezed her hand. “That’s what mothers do, Is. They love their kids unconditionally.”

“I know. She taught me that so many times. I just hate that I always had to lie to her. And that there was never any time at the end to tell her the truth.”

“You were trying to protect her.”

“And in doing so, we let her believe that her kids didn’t even care enough to say goodbye.”

“If you could talk to her today, would you?”

“I don’t know. I want to tell her so many things. About the baby and Alex, and she would love to meet you, Xan. But there’s so much danger to bring her into any of it.”

“What about your Dad?” I asked. I knew absolutely nothing about my paternal grandparents.

“He died 4 years ago.”

“Oh,” I whispered, unexplainably feeling his loss. “I wish I could have met him.”

“Me, too. He was incredible, Xan. I mean, he was this powerful lawyer guy who would put everything on hold for his kids. I remember the night they found us, he wrapped me in his arms to take me to his car, and I just felt so safe. And for the rest of my life, anytime he’d hug me, I’d feel just as safe and protected. It was incredible.”

“Does Alex make you feel that, too?”

“Yeah.” She smiled.

“Why don’t we bring your Mom with us? What does she have to stay for in Roswell? I mean, at least, let’s give her the option to come with us?”

“Xan, we can’t do that. She doesn’t even know what we are.”

“I don’t think that’s going to matter to her. I think if we were to give her the option to be with her kids again, she’d jump at it.”

“Max would kill me. We decided long ago to keep her out of it.”

“Well, think of it this way. If we leave her here, she will probably be followed for the rest of her life and never even know it. The FBI will be a constant in her life, just waiting. If we take her with us, we take her somewhere safe, right, where she can do what she wants and be with her family. I think there’s really no choice to it.”

“Xan—“

“Just think about it, Is.”

“I will. That’s all I’ll think about now.”

I smiled. “Besides, I’d love to get to really know at least one of my grandparents.”

“You aren’t close to Jeff and Nancy?”

“Not really. I saw them like once a year, if that. They had a hard time accepting Max after he left Mom pregnant. They knew that Max was my father; they knew my mother would never turn to Alex, and they hated that he just left her. Mom told them that if they were going to be judgmental of the man she loved, she didn’t need them in our lives. Of course they said they wanted to be in our lives and would try to accept Max, but it was strained to say the least. And they don’t like to leave Roswell anymore, and Mom doesn’t like to go back. I mean, I think she was always afraid of the memories here.”

“I can understand that. We went through a lot in this little town, Xan, and not all of it was great.” Isabel drove into the residential side of town almost on autopilot. She slowed down as she turned down Murray Lane. “This was our street. I can remember Max, Michael, and I playing soccer in the street, running to the sidewalk when cars came or when Mom brought out cookies.” She grinned.

“Which house?”

“Up there. The white one with the blue shutters.”

I smiled. It looked so quaint, a lot like the house Mom and I had. “It’s pretty.”

“It’s my Mom.” She smiled. We circled the block once to just see if there were any cars sitting around watching the house. We decided there were none. We parked caddy corner from it.

“Want me to go knock on the door and run to get her to come outside?” I smiled.

“No. She’ll come out on her own.”

“How do you know?”

“I know my mother. She loves the outdoors, and she always used to take a walk at this time every day. Well, after we left, anyway.”

I smiled. “So why don’t we get out of this car and walk after her? We can talk to her, Is. Even if we have to pretend we don’t know her.”

“You don’t think this costume would actually work on a mother? My mom would know me anywhere.”

I hoped that was right. I didn’t want Isabel’s heart to be broken. “Okay. Then let’s change into some sports attire and follow your Mom.” I looked up to the house. “She’s coming out!”

We quickly changed our clothes and got out of the car. Isabel stared at her mother for a few minutes. “She looks the same, Xan. It’s incredible.” I squeezed her hand.

“Okay. We’re going to let her get to the end of the corner, and then we’ll start following her,” I said. “We’ll jog, and get in front of her, and then I will have a little accident that her motherly instincts won’t be able to resist.” I smiled.

“Jeez, Xan, it sounds like you’ve done this before.”

“You don’t think I run for the sport. There are some really hot guys on the track team.” I smiled.

“Wow. You are my niece.”

I laughed. “Let’s go.” We started jogging at a slow pace. I didn’t really know if Isabel should even be jogging in her condition, but I figured as long as we kept it slow, everything would be fine. Her mother turned the corner and we followed. We started to speed up and passed her. I swore I could smell the most beautiful smell of roses as we passed her. I smiled, hoping that was her perfume. I looked over at Isabel and nodded. Out of nowhere, I fell. I immediately started cradling my ankle.

“Are you okay?” Isabel asked politely as she bent down next to me.

“No, I think it’s my ankle.” I started to rock a little holding on to it.

“Oh, no.”

Her mother stopped in front of us. “Are you all right, dear?” She asked.

I looked up at my grandmother for the first time. She was beautiful. She still had wheat blonde hair and the kindest blue eyes. I saw so much love and empathy in those eyes. I could sense that Isabel had gotten a lot from this woman. “I’m fine. My ankle just popped out. It does that way too often.”

“Sounds painful. Would you like me to go call an ambulance?”

“No,” I assured her. “That isn’t necessary. I just have to work it out for a few minutes.”

“Are you certain?”

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry. You must think me completely rude to come butt my nose in and not even introduce myself; I’m Diane Evans.”

I smiled. “I’m Xan.” I looked pointedly at Isabel.

She opened her mouth to start and then closed it. I could see her taking a deep breath before trying again, “I’m—“

Diane’s head turned at the sound of her voice. “Isabel?” She whispered. Her eyes filled with tears. “Is that you?”

She nodded. “Yeah, it’s me.”

“Oh, baby!” She started to cry and immediately hugged her.

“Diane, why don’t we go to your house and maybe we can explain some of this.”

She nodded. “Why do you look so familiar, Xan?” She looked me over once or twice, each time getting stuck on the blond hair.

“That’s a long story.” I smiled and allowed them to help me to my feet. I started walking normally. Diane watched me for a second, holding on to Isabel. “Let’s just say that nothing is as it seems.”

“Obviously. My daughter would never be a redhead.” We went back to her house after Isabel looked around to make sure we were okay. Once the door was locked, Isabel threw her arms around her mother so tightly I was afraid she’d never let go. I went into the kitchen to make some tea.

“Mom, it’s so good to see you!” She was crying.

“Isabel, I don’t understand. You’ve been gone for so long and now you suddenly appear at my house looking completely different.”

“I know, and I’m so sorry for that. I just—it’s complicated.”

“Are you and your brother all right? And Michael and Tess? What’s going on? Why did you leave so quickly? And where have you been?”

“A lot of places. We’re okay; Michael, Max and I are all together and safe.”

“Why did you leave?” She repeated.

“That was kind of out of our control, Mom. There’s so much you don’t know, that we hid from you. And it’s really hard to try to explain it all right now.”

I walked into the living room with a tea service on a tray. “Would you like some, Diane?”

“I think I need some.”

Isabel nodded, too.

I served the 3 of us and sat on the floor to look at them. Isabel looked so relieved to just be sitting with her mother again. And Diane looked confused but happy.

“Who are you?” She asked me.

“Well, my full name is Alexandra Maria Isabella Parker Evans, but you can just call me Xan.” I smiled.

“Max and Liz?” She whispered.

“Yeah.”

“Oh my God,” she hugged me tightly to her. She started to cry and I hugged her back as tightly as I could. “I’m so happy to meet you.”

“Me, too.” I smiled.

“Why didn’t Liz ever tell me? I once asked her, the last time I saw her in New York, who the baby’s father was, but she didn’t answer.”

“She couldn’t, Mom. She couldn’t tell anyone that Max was the father. It was the only way we could really keep her safe.”

“Safe? Why wouldn’t she be safe?”

“Like I said, there’s a lot you don’t know.”

“I want to, though! You’ve never given me the opportunity to know everything about you. You’ve always hidden something, haven’t you?”

“Yeah. And I hated to do it, Mom, but we had to. We had to keep you safe.”

“From what?”

“Who we are.”

“What does that mean?”

“I don’t know how to say this,” Isabel looked at me. “I mean, I haven’t exactly had practice with it or even really thought I might have the opportunity to say it.”

I squeezed her knee. “You can do this, Is. Just tell her.”

Diane looked at her. “You know I’ll never stop loving you, baby. Tell me the truth, please.”

“Mom, you remember that night that you found me and Max?”

“Of course I remember that night. That was the night I found my babies.”

“Did you never find it weird that you found 2 6-year-old kids who couldn’t speak a syllable or do anything to function correctly in society just wandering around in the desert?”

“It was a little odd, Is, but we didn’t know what kind of abuse the 2 of you had been put through wherever you came from before. I mean, if a person could just drop off 2 kids in the middle of the desert, God only knows what else he was capable of.” Diane looked at her. “There’s a reason for that, isn’t there?”

“Yeah.” She sighed and held my hand for strength. “The night you found us was the night we were born, Mom.”

“What? You were 6, baby.”

“I know, but that was the first night we ever drew breath or opened our eyes.”

“Isabel—“

“Please just listen, okay?” She had tears in her voice.

“In 1947, an alien craft crashed in Roswell. The government denied it, calling it a weather balloon; but there was an alien crash here. On that ship, in pods, were the bodies of 4 children just waiting to be born, I guess.”

“Isabel—“

“Mom,” she said firmly, “please just listen. Somehow, I’m still not sure quite how, really, those 4 pods were placed in an empty cave in the middle of the desert. I think it had actually been prepared for that purpose, but I’m not sure. Fast forward about 40 years, and somehow 3 of the 4 children wake up and break free from their pods.” I could tell Isabel was remembering that day, reaching out to Max. “Those kids were me, Max, and Michael. We’re aliens, Mom.”

“Isabel! I cannot believe you’d make this up.”

“I’m not, Mom. It’s the truth. Max, Michael, and I left the cave that night and started walking through the desert. I can still remember the way we all felt, holding hands, totally afraid of this world we knew nothing about. And then we came to the road and saw the lights from your car. Max and I walked toward it. I like to think that we knew something good would come from following those lights. Michael ran away, and we didn’t see him again till we all started school.”

“Oh, my God, this is real, isn’t it?”

“It is.” I smiled.

“We tried our hardest to not let anyone know the truth about us, Mom. I mean, we did a good job, not even you or Daddy knew. We knew you loved us, but we were always so afraid of what would happen if you knew the truth. We thought you’d hate us or fear us or something, and so we swore to never let anyone know. But then one day, something happened and Max let our secret out.”

“What happened?”

“My mother got shot in the CrashDown, and my father healed her.”

“Healed her?”

“We kind of have these powers.” She smiled.

“And Max can heal people?”

“Yes.”

“So that time with the bird in the park?”

“He healed it.”

“Oh my God.”

“Anyway, after Max saved Liz’s life, it seems like there was constant trouble. Maria and Alex found out the truth about us, too. Tess came. The FBI brought people into the school to watch us. I mean, it was crazy.” Isabel decided to gloss over a lot of the information. “We took care of everything, and thought it was all behind it us until one day when we were all in college, Michael, Max, Tess, and I all got visits from FBI agents investigating things that happened while we were kids here in Roswell. And that’s when we knew we had to leave. They were getting too close to us again.”

“So you ran away?”

“Yeah. To a community of other aliens eventually. We couldn’t tell you before we left; it was too dangerous. I mean, they were watching us and Liz and Maria and Alex. We didn’t want to put you guys in the same danger.”

“So for the past 18 years, you’ve been running from the FBI?”

“Well, kind of. They’ve been watching Liz, Maria, Alex, and Xan this entire time. 3 days ago, we decided it was time to get them away from the threat of the FBI which had been growing because they knew for sure that Xan was an alien. We’re on our way back to that community now.”

“All of you?”

“Eventually.” She didn’t want to think about Alex’s capture or where the others were going.

“Why did you stop to see me then?”

“I miss you, Mom. We all miss you, and I just had to see you.”

Diane hugged Isabel. “I’ve missed you guys, too. And your father did, too.”

“I know.” She sighed. “I don’t know why I came. I don’t want to disturb your life, Mom.”

“Disturb my life? I don’t think you can do that, baby”

“Not even when we leave?”

“Not if you take me with you.”

“Mom, you don’t know what you’re saying.”

“Yes, I do. I want to go with you. I want to get to know my granddaughter and see my kids again. I’ve missed you. I will always love you, and I need to see you again. I don’t care about any of this so-called life I lead in Roswell. I just want to be with you guys.”

“Are you sure? You could never come back, Mom. And the life we lead isn’t always exactly safe and doesn’t always have all the comforts you’re used to.”

“Isabel, I’m sure I want to be with you and Max. You two have lived in fear your entire lives of really being open about who you are, and I just let you live in that for all those years. This is my opportunity to show you that your father and I would always support you. You’re our kids, no matter where you came from.” Diane looked at me. “And I want to get to know Xan. I’ve missed so much of her life. I think she needs a grandmother.”

“I think so, too.” I smiled.

Isabel looked between us. “Max will probably kill me for this.”

“Max will get over it.” Diane stood up and started taking a few favorite pictures down from the wall. “You two have spent your entire lives afraid of what would happen if I ever learned the truth; well, I know it now, and I will not turn away from you.”

“Mom—“

“I love you, too, Isabel. Now go get me a bag out of the closet. I want to bring some of these pictures with me.”

~*~


posted on 5-Feb-2002 12:41:39 PM by Transparent Clear
Thank you all for the feedback. *happy* I totally appreciate it and really love it! *happy* Happy Tuesday!

Part 39

20 minutes later, we drove over to the CrashDown. My grandmother had one bag filled with pictures and things her husband had given her. Everything else, she had just left in the house she’d lived in for more than 30 years. And it didn’t seem like she had a single regret about it. Seth was sitting at an outside table, waiting for us. He stood up when he saw the car approaching and looked into it with the most unreadable expression on his face.

I jumped out of the driver’s seat and walked over to him. “Hey, Seth.”

“Xan.” He looked at the backseat of the car where Isabel and Diane were sitting. “Who’s in the back with Is?”

“Diane.”

“As in Diane Evans? Her mother?”

“Yeah,” I said. I almost sounded guilty in my own mind. That was crazy. I had nothing to be guilty about. We were taking my grandmother to a place she wanted to be; there was nothing wrong with that.

“You went and saw her?”

“Yeah.”

“And she’s coming with us?”

“Yes.” I sounded calm. I knew that any second Seth was going to erupt.

“Xan, how could you do that? Did you two even think about the danger involved with bringing her with us?”

“Seth, we’re going home, to the safest place on Earth for us. There is no danger!”

“Have you noticed that we’re not quite home yet?” He started pacing. “Or did you forget that there are people following us? People who probably saw you at her house? And watched as you all walked out together? The same people who want to capture us and make us into their little science experiments?”

“Seth—“ I’d never seen him get this worked up. Of course I’d known him for less than 3 days, I hadn’t seen him in that many situations. But when he got all worked up like this, he reminded me of a cross between Alex and Maria; it was a little scary.

“Xan, this could be really not good.”

“Or it could be the best thing ever. My grandmother has been completely alone for the past 4 years, and she spent the 14 years before that thinking that her kids didn’t love her enough to even say goodbye when they ran away. She knows the truth now, and she wants to come with us. And as for someone recognizing us, in case you didn’t notice, Isabel and I still look absolutely nothing like ourselves. No one could recognize us.”

Seth ignored my last few statements in favor of returning to something I’d said earlier. “You told her the truth?”

“She deserved it, Seth.”

“Xan—“ He looked like he was ready to do that thing Michael does with running his hand through his hair when he’s stressed.

“And about this so-called danger you speak of, I thought we were going to the safest possible place for us. Do you think we’re going to run into unknown dangers on the way there?”

“No, but—“

“But nothing. Diane is coming with us. I don’t think you could get her out of that car, anyway.” I smiled. “Now do you want to drive or should I?”

“You can.” He looked at me. “Does anyone ever win a fight with you?”

“Well, Maria taught me well, but I’ll let you know if that should ever happen.” We got in the car.

“Seth,” Isabel said from the backseat, “meet my mom Diane. Mom, this is Seth.”

“Pleasure to meet you, Seth.”

“The pleasure’s mine, Miss Evans,” he said politely.

“Just call me Diane. There are way too many Miss Evans in this car,” she smiled.

I pulled out on to the road and headed south.

“Where are Max and Liz?” Diane asked about half an hour later. “Will they be meeting us at the ranch?”

We all kind of froze, unsure of what to say. Seth and I looked at each other as Isabel answered.

“Max, Liz, Michael, and Maria aren’t at the ranch yet. Before they can head there, they have to go do something.”

“What? Are they safe?”

“They are," she didn't add what we were all thinking. 'For now'. "They have to go get Alex.”

“Alex? Where is he?”

“He’s been captured by the FBI.” She started to cry just saying that.

“What?”

I took over for Isabel. “From the day Max, Michael, and Isabel disappeared from our lives, all of us have been followed by the FBI. We told you that earlier. Mom and I were followed constantly. They even followed you.”

She gasped. “Oh my God. Why?”

“They hoped that they’d make some kind of contact with us that would lead them to where they were hiding. I don’t know how closely they followed you, but the FBI infiltrated every part of our lives. They bugged the house. They sent people into my school. They were just waiting for something like this to happen to bring Max, Is, and Michael back so they could capture them.”

“That’s why Liz couldn’t tell you that Max is Xan’s father. We thought it would keep them safer if the FBI didn’t know. I mean, they knew that Liz was involved; they didn’t have to know that Xan was, too.”

“Whose name is on Xan’s birth certificate?”

“Alex.”’

“And where is he?”

“When Seth came to get me and Mom, and Michael went to get Maria, Isabel went to get Alex, too. But she must have been the last one to reach him because I think the FBI was waiting for her, already knowing that the rest of us had disappeared.”

“I got there, and Alex and I talked for a few minutes. And then it was like he knew something was wrong. And he pushed me out of his house, back to my car. And not 20 minutes later, the FBI broke down his door and took him away.”

“Oh, Issy—“Diane hugged her.

“And there was nothing I could do to help him.”

“I’m so sorry, baby.”

“So that’s where everyone else is right now. They’re going to rescue Alex.”

“I’m sure they’ll bring him home to us, Isabel,” Diane whispered.

“Me, too,” I smiled.

“Me, too,” Isabel whispered without a lot of confidence in her voice. She looked up into the mirror and met my eyes.


posted on 13-Feb-2002 10:20:48 AM by Transparent Clear
Note: This part was much shorter than I had planned on posting, so look for another part this afternoon! *happy*

*~*Part 40~*~

Isabel was driving when we reached the ranch. Diane and Seth were in the backseat sleeping. I was sleeping in the front, even though I’d sworn I’d stay up to keep Isabel company.

“Xan,” she rubbed my arm, “wake up. We’re almost home.”

I sighed, stretched and smiled. “Sorry for falling asleep.”

“It’s okay. You needed some rest.”

“But I bet you could have used some company.”

“I had my company.” She held up a CD and started playing some boy band from the 1980s. I only lasted one verse of “Please Don’t Go Girl” before I broke down in hysterical giggles.

“That’s horrible, Isabel.”

“Xan, I’ve heard some of your music. You have no room to talk.”

I smiled. “How are you feeling?”

“Fine.” She patted her flat stomach. “My baby is good to me.”

“When are you going to tell Diane?”

“Soon.” She looked ahead. “There’s the ranch.”

I looked up immediately. What they called a ranch was really a huge community. There were dozens of houses, all surrounding one large house. On the outskirts of the houses were several small stores and what looked to be a school. People were everywhere. It looked like this idyllic little community.

“Oh, my God,” I whispered. “This looks so perfect, Isabel.”

“I’m not sure that it’s perfect, but it is home.” She stopped in front of the largest house in the center. “Welcome home, Xan.”

I looked at the house. “We live here?” She nodded. “Wow.”

Isabel turned around and woke up her mother and Seth. “We’re here.”

Diane looked at the house and shared my reaction to it. “Wow.”

We got out of the car, grateful to be able to stretch our cramped muscles. Seht grabbed the few bags we had and walked into the house. Just by walking into the foyer, I could see Isabel’s touch on the house. She had definitely decorated this place by herself.

“Is, I’m going to go see my Mom. Call us if you need anything.”

“Thanks, Seth. Don’t let out about Max and Liz and everyone else, okay? I’d really like to keep this quiet.”

“No problem, Isabel.” He smiled and started to walk out.

I ran after him. “Hey, Seth.”

“Yeah, Xan?” He turned to look at me.

“I just wanted to thank you. You didn’t have to come help me and Mom. You put yourself at risk for us. Thank you.”

“You don’t have to thank me, Xan. Max asked me to help him, and it was my pleasure to bring you home.”

I smiled. “Thank you, anyway, Seth.”

He nodded and started down the steps. “See ya later, Xan. I’ll show you around the ranch if you want.”

“I’d appreciate that.” I watched Seth walk toward a blue house down the street. I felt like there was something about Seth that I just had to know, something I really wanted to figure out.

Isabel and Diane came into the foyer. “Come on. I want to give you the grand tour.” Isabel wrapped her arm around my waist and we headed into the living room.


posted on 13-Feb-2002 12:39:48 PM by Transparent Clear
Ok. 2 parts in one day... I must be sick... or inspired. *big*. Either way, happy Wednesday!

Part 41

“So how will we find out if Max and the others get to Alex?” Diane asked as the tour ended in the kitchen.

I made myself at home, walked to the refrigerator and pulled out the stuff necessary for a salad. I thought we could all use some food, especially if we were about to have this conversation.

“Some of our powers can help us,” Isabel explained. “Tonight, when I go to sleep, instead of going into my own dreams, I’ll find Max’s dreams, and we’ll communicate that way.”

“You can do that with Max?”

“Actually, I can do that with anyone. It’s one of my main powers.” She smiled at me. “Xan’s, too.”

“Xan has powers too?”

I nodded.

“What other powers do you two have? I mean, I know you can change your appearance, and now this dream thing. What else?”

“Well, Max can heal, we told you about that. And Michael has these really incredible defensive powers.”

“Wow. What about the people in the community here? Do they know?”

“Everyone in this community is an alien, Mom. Either that or they know we’re aliens. They all have powers, although for some reason, Michael, Max, Xan, and I have powers that are significantly stronger than most people’s.”

I was cutting lettuce when I heard Isabel say that. I started remembering some of the things the granolith had shown me. “It’s because we’re the ones who are supposed to go back to Antar and save the planet.”

“Go back?” Diane asked.

“We aren’t going anywhere, Mom. Don’t worry.”

“That’s why you were always so secretive? So closed off? You were afraid you were going to have to go back?”

“No attachments,” Isabel whispered. “That was our motto. Then Max had to go and let Liz in, and everything changed.”

“For the better,” I added pointedly.

“Definitely for the better.”

I set the big bowl of tossed salad in the middle of the table and passed out some plates.

“You cook, Xan?” Diane looked at me.

“Well, this is only a salad so there really wasn’t any cooking involved, but yeah, I do. With Mom working crazy shifts at the hospital, I learned young.”

“And from what Max tells me, she’s a pretty good cook at that.”

“I like to think I am.” I laughed.

“Maybe we could cook dinner together one night,” Diane said hesitantly.

“That’d be great,” I smiled. I sensed that my grandmother was a little nervous about making plans with me, not wanting to seem too over-zealous. I immediately decided to set her at ease. This was my grandmother; I wanted to get close to her. “Maybe you can teach me some new dishes.”

“Absolutely! I used to have a full subscription to Martha Stewart that gave me some of the most interesting ideas for dishes—“

Isabel groaned a little at the mention of the food. “Well, I want to go take a nap,” She stood up.

“I think that’s a good idea,” Diane said. “I’m ready for one myself. My head is swirling around information that I need time to digest.”

“I’m going to go find Seth. He said he’d show me around.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to get some rest, Xan? It’s been a long couple days.”

“I’m sure. I’m so excited to be here that I don’t think I could sleep anyway,” I smiled.

“Seth lives right down the street in that blue house,” Isabel pointed out the door.

“With his parents?” I knew absolutely nothing about his life, really. And he seemed to know so much about mine.

“With his Mom. Have a good time.”

“Thanks, Issy.” I laughed and left.

Walking down to the blue house, I couldn’t help but notice all the people staring at me. They definitely weren’t used to strangers in their community.

Seth’s house was cute; it reminded me a lot of the house Mom and I used to live in. I climbed the steps to the door and knocked hesitantly. I was probably interrupting Seth’s homecoming with his mother. I shouldn’t be here. I had nearly talked myself into leaving when the door was opened.

A tall, red-headed woman stood behind the screen. She had the most open green eyes. “Oh my God, you look just like him! I mean, I’ve heard of family resemblance, but this is just uncanny!” She threw open the door. “I’m sorry; I’m being terribly rude. Come on in, Xan.”

“Hi, Mrs. Ronan.”

“Don’t call me that!” She exclaimed laughing. “It sounds so formal and makes me feel so old! You can just call me Molly.” Her laughter was easy and infectious. “And I hope this doesn’t make you uncomfortable, but I have to hug you. Seth told me how much you have been through in the past couple days, and if anyone ever deserved a hug, it is definitely you.” She wrapped her arms around me in a move that can only be called motherly.

Seth came barreling down the stairs. “Mom, who was at the—“ He saw me. “Xan.”

“Hi, Seth,” I smiled from his mother’s arms.

“Is there something wrong at the house? Is everyone okay?”

“They’re fine, Seth. Isabel and Diane are resting. I was hoping for that tour you promised me earlier.” I looked at Molly. “If that’s okay with you, Molly. I mean, he just got home and I’m taking him away again.”

“It’s fine, Xan.” She smiled. “Show her around, Seth.”

“Thanks, Mom.” He kissed her cheek.

“Come back when you’re hungry. I’ll have some sandwiches waiting.”

“Thanks, Mom,” Seth echoed. We walked outside. “So where should we start?”

“I’m not the one who knows this place.” I smiled.

“Okay. Let’s go check out the park. That’s where most people our age hang out.”

“That’s someplace I suppose I’ll need to learn, assuming my parents ever let me out of their sights again,” I smiled.

“I’m sure they will…eventually.”

“Do you think the other kids will like me? Or accept me?” She started voicing her most serious concerns.

“Sure, they will.”

“Even though I’m different?”

“Because you’re Max’s daughter?”

“Well, that, but I mean, I’ve been raised by a human. I don’t even really know what it means to be an alien or behave like one.”

“Xan, it doesn’t matter about that,” Seth assured me. “Sure, at first, it might be a little weird for the others to realize you’re the princess of our people, but eventually they’ll get past that. And no matter who you were raised by, you’re just as much as alien as we are.”

“No, I’m not, Seth. I’m half-human.”

He sighed. “I know, Xan, and this is really hard to explain. The easiest way to explain this is that if you have any alien blood in you, you’re an alien. There’s no halfway about it. Your medical tests would show up abnormal and everything.”

“What about my father? He thought of himself as a hybrid.”

“Yes, but he now knows that he is completely alien. It’s not that hard to adjust to, really. I mean, wouldn’t you rather be one than half?”

“But what about my mother? I get half of all my genetic stuff from her and she is human.” I was the daughter of a doctor; I knew my genetics.

“You’re still her daughter. That never changes, and you do have certain inherited traits from her, but the way you are made is what makes you different. It’s like the alien DNA and stuff transformed your human DNA.”

“So you’re just like me even though both of your parents were aliens?”

“Yes.” We walked into a perfectly manicured park. There were teenagers in the far corner of the park, sitting at a picnic bench. “Do you want to go meet them? You’ll like them.”

“The question is more, will they like me, Seth.”

“They will. Just remember that you have a huge advantage here, Xan. You are Max’s daughter, and while that might freak them out for a little while, it will also draw them to you. Everyone wants to know Max and be close to him and his family—“

“Because he’s the King?”

“Yes. That will transcend to you. Everyone will want to know Max’s daughter.”

“Max’s daughter?” I smiled. I could get used to being called that.

“That’s how they know you. Very few people on this ranch even know your name, Xan.”

“Why?”

“Max always just called you his daughter, as a sense of pride type thing, I think.” He smiled. “I don’t think anyone ever had the guts to ask your name.”

“Not even your Mom?” I teased. “She seems to have enough for this entire community.”

“True,” he laughed. “I don’t know why she never did. I did once when I was maybe 4. And Max looked at me with the most honest eyes and said, ‘We call my little girl Xan’.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah. My father started apologizing profusely, like I’d made the world’s biggest mistake by asking Max that question. But he didn’t seem to mind.” He smiled. I wondered if it was because he was thinking about his father or mine.

“Where’s your father now?”

“He left, with Tess.” His eyes got dark when he said her name. I’d already noticed that they tended to, and I was beginning to see why.

“Why?”

“I don’t know.”

“God, Seth, I’m sorry. I can’t imagine how hard that must be, and for me to start asking questions—“

“It’s okay, Xan. And I’d think you would understand better than anyone. You spent the first 18 years of your life almost thinking that your father did the same thing.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s true,” I said slowly. “I don’t understand why Tess ever led people away from here. I mean, the planet was destroyed to the point that we couldn’t live on it anymore, right? Why would she want to go back there?”

“I was little when all this was happening. I remember her saying that she wanted to go someplace where we would be free.”

“Free to do what?”

“Be ourselves, not have to hide.”

“Are we really hiding here? I mean, I thought this place was our safe haven.”

“It is. Tess wanted someplace where we wouldn’t have to be careful about using our powers or mentioning Antar. I don’t think she realized that this place is it.”

“How many people followed her?”

“I don’t know. 30, 40, maybe. I was a kid. All I knew was that my father left with her, and that my mom was really upset.”

“Why didn’t she go with him?”

“She felt that our home was here. She didn’t want to leave. She tried to convince him not to go, but he walked away. He barely even said goodbye to me.”

“Seth, I’m sorry.”

“Thanks.” He shook his head a couple times, as if to clear his mind. “So do you want to go meet the others?”

“How about not today?” I smiled sheepishly. I tried to sound confident. “They can all fall in love with me later.”

“Tomorrow.” He said firmly.

“Okay. That’s a deal. Now what else can you show me in this town?”

Seth took me everywhere. We walked nearly all around town with him pointing out things that I doubted I would ever be able to remember.

“Wanna go have one of my mom’s sandwiches? No one spreads peanut butter like her,” he smiled.

“That’d be great.” I laughed.

Back at their house, Molly had left a note saying she had gone over to a friend’s so we took the plate of sandwiches she’d left and headed into the living room.

“So you didn’t know anything about aliens or powers until you were told you were one?” Seth asked.

“Exactly.”

“Why did your Mom just finally choose to tell you the truth?”

“Well, I forced her to. I demanded to know the truth about my father because I barely knew him. And for some reason, she decided to tell me.”

“How’d you take the whole alien thing?”

“I thought she was lying at first, until I realized that my mother never lies to me. And it honestly helped me to understand a bit about the whole never getting to see my father thing. I really resented him for abandoning us, and knowing that there was a purpose behind it helped.”

“How did you find out you had powers?”

I laughed. “The night my Mom told me about my Dad, she also told me about Isabel and Michael and their powers, too. And I started wondering if I could dream-walk like Is, and so I fell asleep, thinking of my father and that I’d like to talk to him. The next thing I know, I’m in my father’s dream and we’re talking.”

“Cool.”

“Yeah, it was. We talked all night until I had to wake up for school, and the next night, I talked to Isabel, Michael and my father. It was so great.”

“You seem to have accepted alien-ness pretty well, Xan, if I do say so myself. I remember when Katie fell in love with James and told him the truth, he tried to have her committed! And you knew just as much about aliens as he did.”

“It just felt right for me, you know? Like I knew all my life that something about me was different but I wasn’t able to explain it until my mother finally told me the truth about what I am.” I admitted.

He smiled. “I think that deep down in all of us, human or alien, there’s this intuition that tells us who we really are. It’s so incredible to think that you might not even know anything about yourself, but you still can feel who you are.”

I nodded. “When I found out, so much stuff made sense all of a sudden. I mean, I seemed to develop these powers overnight, but looking back on it, I’ve always had some sort of power, whether it be hearing people’s thoughts inside my head or admitting to myself that sometimes I did things I couldn’t explain. But it took hearing the truth about what I am to open these powers up to me, to use at will. It is so incredible, too, Seth.”

“I grew up knowing I had powers and that I was different. I can’t imagine what it’s like to find out at 18 that you’re different than you always thought you were.”

“Well, for me, it was okay, because it also meant that I had a new sense of belonging and stuff. It gave me some sort of a bond with my father, which I really needed, and that’s been the hardest part for me, my relationship with my father. I mean, deep down, I think I still feel somewhat abandoned, and that causes a lot of problems with trust. Like back at the podchamber, it really hurt me to know that he could have taken my mom and I years ago to be with him, but he left us. And I understand, especially after seeing this place, the danger that would have caused to the entire community, but there’s still the want that he had disrupted his entire world for me.”

“You wanted to be the most important thing in the world to him.”

“Yeah.” I smiled sheepishly.

“Well, you know, I’ve been here all these years while he’s been separated from you, and I know that he has missed you every single day of your life. And that no matter what it may appear, you and your mom are the most important people in the world to him. He has these responsibilities here, but I think he only did them because he knew that one day you would be here and they would benefit you. I mean, do you really think he hooked this place up to the Internet for the good of us? He wanted to keep an eye on you, maybe, or he wanted you to have the familiar when you came here. Have you seen your room in the house yet?”

“Isabel took us on the tour, but I didn’t see…”

“Yes, you did. It’s the one that’s midnight blue with the stars on the ceiling.”

“That’s my room?”

“Yeah. And if you look directly over the bed, you’ll see the formation of the sign of Antar, Xan. He redid that room so many times. When you were little, it was pink and the bed was fit for a princess. And did you go through a punk/goth phase at like 12 because for some reason that room was done in the darkest red I had ever seen.” I smiled. “And he redid it again a couple months ago when you guys decided that you would be coming to the ranch no matter what. I think he wanted to give you a home.”

I didn’t know what to say. I smiled, just imagining that room as my home.

“He loves you, Xan, that’s the most important thing to remember.”

“Thanks, Seth.”

“You’re welcome.”

It was starting to get dark out and I knew Isabel and Diane would be wondering where I was. “I’d better get home. I mean, I don’t think it’s a good impression to make on your grandmother to stay out late the first night you meet her.”

Seth laughed. “I’ll walk you.”

“Seth, it’s like half a block. I can walk by myself.”

“Xan, you realize that Max would probably have a conniption if you so much as like tripped on the curb, right?”

“Good point.” I stood up. “I’ll help you clean up before we leave, though.”

“Clean up? I think it’s going to take half a second,” he smiled and waved his hand over the dirty dishes making them clean. “Done.”

I laughed. “I’m not used to being able to use my powers so openly, remember?”

“You’ll get used to it.” He smiled and walked me home.

posted on 1-Mar-2002 5:45:33 PM by Transparent Clear
Hi, all! Sorry it took so long to get this part out... life is freakin busy here... I had planned to make this part longer, but... I'm getting ready to go out *happy* My school has finally brought a decent band here and I must support them in this behavior. so maybe there'll be more tonight when I get home from the concert... happy friday!

Part 42

That night, I climbed into my new bed for the first time with the lights out and stared at the ceiling. I could see the v-formation of stars directly over my pillows and smiled. My father had put this room together for me because he knew I would like it. And I loved it, for that reason and more. It was the room of my dreams. I’d grown up in love with astronomy, always thinking about what it would be like to be on a star or something. I used to be able to name all the constellations in the sky. And now my father was reminding me of my love of astronomy with my room.

I was staring at the ceiling, identifying constellations, when there was a short knock on the door and then it opened a crack. “Xan, can I come in?” Isabel stood in the doorway in the cutest pair of silk pajamas with bunnies on them I had ever seen.

“Of course.” She came over to the bed and jumped in with me.

“What did you think of Seth’s tour?”

“This place is incredible, Isabel.”

“Did you meet anyone else?”

“Well, Seth wanted to introduce me to a bunch of kids, but I was a little nervous about that.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know,” I shrugged self-consciously. “Maybe it’s the new girl in school phenomena carried on into real life.”

Isabel smiled. “They will like you, Xan. Not just because your Max’s daughter, although that will win them over initially, but because you are Xan, and that’s pretty cool.”

“Thanks, Is.” I knew she was going to be the most incredible mother. “So were you a little scared to dream-walk alone?”

“Yeah,” she whispered. “I’m worried that they might be doing something to Alex that he’ll never be able to forgive me for.”

“Is—“

“I mean, if he hadn’t gotten all tied up in this because of me years ago, he’d be living this happy safe life right now and not be trapped in some FBI building being interrogated about what he knows about aliens. I mean, when Liz told him the truth, he didn’t even want to believe it, but then I--”

“Isabel, stop thinking like that. I think I just found scientific proof that guilt must run in the family! You know that’s how my father felt when everything was happening with mom, right? Just remember what she told him. She chose to be with him and face everything they went through. And so did Alex. I mean, he could have chosen to be with someone else, but he loves you, Isabel. And that’s more important than whatever he might be going through right now. You and the baby are more important to him than anything!” I said with total confidence in my voice. I knew Alex, and I knew what was important to him. I was looking at it.

“Thanks for reminding me, Xan.” She grinned sheepishly.

“That’s what I’m here for.” I smiled. “So do you want to dream-walk Alex or Max?”

She smiled. “Do you really even have to ask that?”

“I thought I’d be polite.” I laughed. “But I guess predictability wins.”

“Just be sure to remind Max that if he needs us, we’re more than ready to go. No matter what he thinks about our safety.”

“I will.” I knew he would never take us up on that offer, though. “Tell Alex I love him.”

“He knows, but I will,” she promised. She turned over and fell asleep. Apparently, falling asleep easily was an alien trait, or at least when we intended to dream-walk someone.

I reached out, searching for my father. I couldn’t feel him, though. I started reaching out to anyone up there with him, hoping that nothing was wrong and instead they were just searching for Alex. I found my mother was asleep.

“Mom!” I hugged her.

“Hi, baby. We figured you’d try to talk to us tonight.”

“Where’s Dad?”

“Max, Michael, and Maria are all checking out leads on Alex. How are you and Isabel?”

“We’re at the ranch. Mom, you are so going to love this place!”

She smiled. “I’m sure I will.”

“So what’s going on?” I could tell she was pre-occupied, thinking of something else.

“We’re here, but the leads are few and far between. The industrial area Isabel followed them to has so many warehouses that we’re having to search practically one by one to see anything.”

“How long will that take?”

“A while,” was all she’d say.

“Mom, let Isabel and I come and help you!” I couldn’t think of any reasons why they should, but I just felt like we should be there helping.

“Xan, no. You know that your father would never allow the 2 of you to be in danger.”

“Even if we want to be?”

“Even then. To him, you and Isabel’s baby are too important to allow the FBI to even see. We’ll find Alex, sweetie, don’t worry. And we will all come back to the ranch.”

“I just want you here now, Mom.”

“I know. Just give us some time.” She hugged me.

“Mom, how did Alex know? I mean, he had to have known that something was happening to get Isabel out of there so quickly.”

“Xan, when we figured out that someone was following us, we all started paying a lot of attention to our daily lives and our routines. I didn’t want to worry you, but I always knew when I had someone following me and who he was. Alex probably did, too. Remember, we’ve done this before. I’m sure he just noticed the change in patterns as they were starting to get closer to him, especially after the rest of us had left.”

“Then this is our fault? The FBI only went to him because they knew that the rest of us were gone.” I whispered.

“Xan, don’t start thinking like that.”

“Why not, Mom? It’s the truth. If we had planned better—“

“Xan, all of us learned a long time ago not to live in the woulda-coulda-shoulda’s. It happened and we will get him out of it. That’s all you need to focus on.”

I nodded. “I’ll try.”

“Good. Now I’m going to wake up and start helping again.”

“Tell everyone I love them?”

“I will. Get some rest, baby. I love you.”

“Bye, Mommy.” I felt like a little girl, saying goodbye to her mother for the first time. “Take care of yourself.”

She smiled. “Like Max would let anything happen to me.” She disappeared.


I woke up. I wasn’t sure how much I should tell Isabel about what my mother had said. I didn’t want to worry her anymore than she already was. I just hoped that she was talking to Alex right now, giving herself a little peace of mind. She seemed peaceful so I turned over and went to sleep.

I woke up again to Isabel thrashing around on the bed. She was still asleep and didn’t know what she was doing, but I had to turn over to miss a flailing left arm. I reached out and touched her, hoping I could calm her down enough to wake up. She was shivering.

“Isabel,” I whispered. “Isabel, wake up.” She kept tossing and turning. Whatever she was trapped in was scaring her to death.

Knowing only one other way to wake her up, I fell asleep and went into her dreams. She was standing in a big room without any lights, but somehow I could see her. She was all alone and she kept screaming for Alex.

“Alex!” Her voice was getting all hoarse, as if she’d been screaming for hours, which she very well might have. “Alex!”

I walked over to her. “Isabel?” I whispered.

She kept looking around, waiting for Alex.

“Isabel, look at me.” I said. I stood a foot in front of her. “Isabel.”

Her arms immediately went around me. “Oh, Xan, I can’t find Alex. I’ve been sitting here, waiting, thinking maybe he hasn’t gone to sleep yet or something, but it’s been hours and I can’t find him.”

“Isabel—“ I didn’t know what to say to help her.

“What are they doing to him, Xan? Why won’t they let him sleep? Oh, God, why did this happen? How can we help him, if I can’t even talk to him?”

“Isabel, we’ll find him. I know we will.”

“Did Max say that they’d found him? Did you get through to them?”

“I talked to my mom. They’re still looking for him, but they will find him, Isabel.”

“I just wish I knew where he was, Xan. I mean, in the past 18 years, I can count on my hands the number of times I haven’t dreamt with him. I don’t like this feeling at all.” She said. “Before I knew the reasons why I couldn’t, I knew he was safe. Now, I just don’t know what to do.”

“Isabel, we just need to calm down and wait. I know it’s going to be impossible, but we have to try. We have to have faith that they’ll be able to find him.”

“I know.”

“Now let’s go to sleep. We both need the rest.” I said.

“I don’t know if I can sleep, Xan. Not without Alex,” she whispered.

I hugged her. “I’m here for you, Isabel. We’ll get through this.”


She held my hand and we fell asleep.


posted on 6-Mar-2002 4:32:26 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: Ok. Last part before we really get back to Alex. I just had to do this part. I've really liked writing Isabel in this story and I had to do this part... Next part this weekend (hopefully!) Spring break must mean something!
thank you all for leaving feedback! It makes my day (and helps midterms go buy a little nicer). Kat--happy birthday! *happy* If you're like me and counting down to the weekend, 2 more days, guys! *happy* jenn

Part 43

The next morning, Isabel and I woke up early and we went down to make breakfast before Diane woke up. While I made breakfast, Isabel played assistant, getting me what I needed. She looked so sad; it was written all over her eyes that she was missing someone very important to her. I really wanted to cheer her up, and I knew the easiest way to do that.

“Is, why don’t you tell your Mom today?”

“What?” She looked up from her plate.

“You should tell Diane about the baby. She’ll be so happy to hear about becoming a grandma again, and just think that with every person you tell, it becomes more real.” I smiled.

“I don’t know, Xan. I’m kind of thinking I should wait till Alex gets here to tell anyone.” She sighed. “I kind of feel like if I start telling people without Alex being here, it’ll be like admitting he’s not coming.”

“Is, he’ll be here. They’ll bring him home and then everyone can know, but for now, why don’t you tell your Mom?” I put a helping of eggs on her dish. “Think about it this way, Is. You have always hated keeping stuff from her, and now you don’t have to.”

“Maybe. I don’t even know what I’d say,” she smiled.

“Hmm, how about ‘Mom, you’re gonna be a grandma’ or ‘Which do you want: a granddaughter or grandson’?” I laughed.

She shook her head. “There are times when I really think you need help, Xan.”

“And there are times when I probably do.” I set my plate down across from hers. “Think about it, okay?”

“I will.” She started eating. “These are incredible, Xan.”

“They’re eggs, Isabel,” I shook off the compliment. “It’s not hard to make them.”

“But they have the perfect amount of Tabasco on them. Michael never gets the Tabasco right,” she laughed. “He might have just been replaced as house cook.”

“Gee, thanks.” I grinned.

Diane walked into the kitchen. “I thought I heard my daughter laughing down here.” She sighed. “I thought it was a dream at first.”

Isabel hugged her. “I’m real, Mommy. You’re really here with us.”

“I know. Remembering that made waking up perfect.”

“Breakfast?” I jumped up and went to get the eggs I’d made for her, without Tabasco in them.

“Thank you, Xan. You didn’t have to do that. I could have made breakfast this morning. Especially seeing as how you made dinner last night.”

“It was my pleasure. Besides, you were asleep and we were hungry.” I grinned.

We ate in silence for a little while. I kept watching Isabel take short glances at her mother. I knew she was going to tell her about the baby soon. She could never keep something she was this excited about a secret.

“Mom, I need to tell you something.”

“What more can you possibly tell me?” She tried to joke.

“Well, it’s kind of about why I’m here.” She hurried to correct herself at the look in Diane’s eyes. I almost laughed. “At the ranch, not on Earth. I don’t know why we’re on Earth, but I can explain why I’m at the ranch and not with Max, Michael, Maria, and Liz trying to find Alex.”

“I was kind of wondering. I guess I just figured it was because they wanted someone to protect Xan,” she smiled at me.

“Well, there was that, yes. But that’s not the only reason.” She looked at me and I smiled and nodded. “See, um, wow, this is kind of hard to say.”

“You’re not in trouble, are you, Issy?”

“No, I’m not in trouble. Um, before Alex made me leave his apartment, I got to tell him something I’ve wanted to tell him for years. And when I told everyone else, they definitely wouldn’t let me go with them into danger.”

“Isabel, this cryptic nature of yours really needs to go. Just tell me the truth; I think I can handle it.”

She smiled. “Mom, I’m pregnant.”

“What?” Diane looked shocked.

“Alex and I are having a baby.”

“Oh my God, Isabel!” She shrieked. She hugged her daughter immediately. I could see the relief in Isabel’s eyes at telling her mother.

“So of course, Max and Michael decided it was safer for me to come back here with Xan than go with them to get Alex.”

“They were always protective of you,” she smiled. “I can’t believe this. In the past 2 days, I’ve found out that my children are aliens. I’ve moved to a ranch in God only knows where to live with them and a community full of aliens. I have the most incredible18-year-old granddaughter and now I’m going to be a grandmother again.”

Isabel smiled. “Not bad for one day, huh?”

“I’m thinking that it might just be the best day of my life.”

I leaned back in my seat and watched Isabel and Diane hug and talk. I knew how much Isabel had missed this over the years, and I didn’t want to disturb them. I quietly left the kitchen and got ready for the day.

~*~

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-Mar-2002 4:37:55 PM ]
posted on 17-Mar-2002 8:51:56 PM by Transparent Clear
Part 44

”Mom, what is going on? You have been up there for 4 days, and you still haven’t found him?” I asked my mother during our nightly dream together.

“Xan, we’re looking.”

“Mom, we have to find him. This isn’t good for any of us. Isabel is going crazy because she hasn’t been able to talk to him in a week! She’s terrified her baby might never know his daddy.”

“Xan, we won’t let that happen.”

“Let me and Seth come up there. Please? We can help. Maybe I could do something. I’ll get in touch with Matt, maybe he can lead us to Alex.”

“Xan, no! You would end up being in danger then.”

“Well, the rest of you could get me out of danger then. I know that Matt is somehow involved in this, let me--” I noticed my mother’s eyes when I said Matt. “What is it? Have you seen Matt?”

“The other day. He’s here.”

“Mom, you know I can do this. Let me come help. Matt will lead us straight to him—“

“As he takes you in with him. We will not let you risk yourself like that, Xan.”

“I want to risk myself! I can’t stand sitting her, twiddling my thumbs while my family is separated and the man who practically raised me is in danger! I feel like I owe Alex something here, Mom. Like I have to make it possible for him to see his child.”

“Baby, I know it’s hard, we’re feeling it too. But safety—“

I’d heard this so many times in the recent past I was sure I’d be reciting it in my sleep for the rest of my life. “I know, comes first. It’s just so hard.”

My mother kissed my forehead, not an easy feat considering I was taller than her. “Listen, I’m going to go help your father. We think we have a pretty good lead on where they might be keeping him. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

“Okay. I love you, Mom.”

“I love you, too, baby. Take care of Isabel for us.”

“I will.” I promised and then I woke up.


Isabel wasn’t in my room tonight. She was sleeping alone, still trying to reach Alex, I knew. I prayed she could get through. She needed to know he was safe. It might help her get through this.

I turned over and wrapped my arms around a pillow. I wanted to do something! I needed to do something! Matt was there, possibly doing something to hurt Alex, and I was here, hiding from him! That wasn’t right! I couldn’t live feeling like I was afraid of someone. I knew I wasn’t supposed to do it; dream-walking Matt was potentially dangerous, but I needed to know what he was up to. Besides, it’s not like he could find where I was, even if he did know I was in his mind.

I turned over again and fell asleep. I immediately found myself in Matthew/Jeremy’s dream.

It looked like we were in my old high school. I recognized all the students standing in the hallways; I’d known them forever. But I didn’t see myself or Matt. I walked down the hall a little bit. All the kids were talking about me.

“Did you hear about Alex?”

“I hear that’s not even really her name.”

“I can’t believe we never knew the truth about her. Imagine all those years, we hung out with her.”

I still didn’t see myself. Where could I be? I noticed the large group of people hanging around the door to the biology lab. I walked over and looked in.

‘I’ was sitting in my normal seat, but there were 3 FBI agents surrounding me. Matt was standing at the table, looking into a microscope.

“Why are you doing this, Matt?”

“Because I need to know the truth about you, Alexandra.”

“You already know the truth about me, Matt! You know me!”

“Apparently, I don’t. I don’t know anything about who you really are because according to this slide,” he held it up, “you are not human. You really are an alien, aren’t you?”

“I guess you already know the answer to that if you were even looking at that slide for proof.”

“You know when I came on to this case and they told me what they suspected you are, I thought they were crazy! I mean, you were just a normal teenage girl, right? I can’t believe I could be so wrong.”

I watched as the version of me in Matt’s head looked at him in defiance. I wanted to yell at him that I was the one who’d been wrong. At least I hadn’t intentionally lied to him about everything.

The 3 FBI agents moved away as Matt walked over to me. “My name is Jeremy O’Neill. I am an FBI agent, and you are under arrest, Alexandra Parker.”

“For what?”

“Unofficially, being an alien. Officially, a threat to the safety of our great nation. We can only imagine what your people want.”

“This is insane, Jeremy!”

“No more than aliens being on Earth.” He handcuffed her. “We will take you into a secure location, for our safety, not yours, Alex.” He led her through the halls, with all her friends watching. He spoke to them. “I hope you all look at her! And remember how she tricked us all into believing she was just like us!”

I saw Maggie looking at me with tears in her eyes. “I thought you were my friend,” she said and turned away.

“Feeling victorious, Jeremy?” I spat out.

“Quite.” He put me into the backseat of a police vehicle. I woke up as the door shut.


Great, he was still dreaming about being the victorious little FBI agent who got the alien hybrid. I had to find out where they were keeping Alex! I wondered if there was any way to really guide his dreams. I thought about asking Isabel, but she’d probably tell me not to even dream-walk him again. Who else could possibly know?

I decided to go talk to Molly tomorrow. She’d help me if she could.

************

“Xan, what are you trying to ask?” Molly asked me the next morning after I had fumbled with about 6 different approaches to asking her for help.

“Okay, I guess I’m just going to come right out and ask. Do you dream-walk?”

“I’ve been known to every once in a while. Why?”

“Well, Isabel thinks that’s one of my main gifts, and I need to know more about it. I mean, I’ve been dream-walking my family since I found out about it, using that to get to know them and then to organize the whole coming to the ranch thing.”

“Your father told me that’s how he really got to know you,” she smiled.

“Yeah. Here’s the thing. Every time I dream-walk I basically just let the dream lead me. Except for when I want to get the attention of the person I’m dream-walking, like my Dad in which case I somehow interrupt the dream. And then he knows I’m there. What I need to know is, is it possible to make a dream-walk go the way you want it without making yourself known to the person you’re dream-walking?”

“Why do you want to know, Xan?”

“Well—“

She read into the hitch in my voice. “Tell me the truth, please.”

“I want to dream-walk Matt.”

“Who’s Matt?”

“My ex-boyfriend. He’s really an FBI agent, and I know he’s working where they’re holding Alex. I want to try to influence his dreams to get him to show me where they’re holding him and what they’re doing to him.”

“Xan, you could be in danger doing that, especially if he realizes you’re in his dreams. I’m pretty sure that your family would not want you to do that.”

“I know they wouldn’t, Molly. But the thing is, I can’t sit here and do nothing. I have to help them in some way.”

“But dream-walking this man—“

“Is the best way I can help right now. I’ve thought about asking Isabel to do it, I thought she might know more tricks, but I can’t ask her. What if she saw something she couldn’t handle? It has to be me.”

“Xan, I think you might need to respect your family’s decision that they don’t want you in danger.”

“I was afraid you were going to say that, Molly,” I whispered.

“It’s just if anything were to happen to you, I would feel responsible.”

“Please? This is my decision. I feel responsible for Alex even being there, and I need to do something. I understand that my family doesn’t want me there. I can live with that. What I can’t deal with is not doing something to help.” I paced around her living room, throwing my hands around as I spoke. “I mean, if we had planned it better, Alex wouldn’t have been taken. I can’t help but think about that.”

“Honey, Alex was being watched. He would have been taken.”

“No, he wouldn’t! The only reason the FBI took him that day was because they knew that the rest of us had already left. That’s why they moved in on him right then. We’d all been followed for years and they’d never moved close to capturing us. If we had planned it better, Alex would be here with us now.”

“Xan, you can’t feel guilty about you being safe because Alex isn’t.”

“Why not? It’s how I feel.” I looked at her and tried to blink the tears back into my eyes. I did not want to break down crying right now.

“I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but I’ll say it anyway. Your family wants you safe. You’re their responsibility, sweetie. I think they feel that as long as you are safe, nothing else matters for them.”

“That’s ridiculous! It matters for them to be here with me! That’s all I’ve ever wanted, Molly.”

“I know, and you will get it. You just have to let your family take care of it.” She hugged me.

“Thanks, Molly. I appreciate you listening to me.”

“No problem, Xan.”

I turned the conversation back to the dream-walking. “I just don’t understand why it’s dangerous for me to dream-walk him. He already knows I’m an alien. And even if he does recognize me being in his head, it’s not like he can come get me. No one even knows where I am. I don’t even know how to tell someone to get here!”

Molly laughed. “I know it doesn’t really make sense, but you need to trust your family.”

“Molly, I need to help them first.” I said quietly. “Please help me. Just tell me if it’s possible. I’ll do all the experimenting.”

“Xan—“

“I know my parents don’t want me to. But I think I need to. And maybe I know better than them. I mean, didn’t you ever do something your parents hated when you were my age? And didn’t it turn out okay?” I tried appealing to her inner sense of rebellion.

“Xan, I wasn’t the princess of a people. I didn’t have any dangerous situations like this when I was growing up.”

“Well, stop thinking of this as a dangerous situation. Just think of it as me rebelling.”

“Sweetie, rebelling is changing your hair to purple or stealing your Dad’s car for a road trip. This is dangerous.”

I looked her square in the eye. “Is it possible?”

She sighed. “Yes.”

“How?”

“You have to interact but make them think they’re interacting with a dream character,” Molly said. “It’s very complicated. I’ve never truly been able to do it. Isabel has. She used to with you.”

“So I thought I was playing with a doll and it was really Isabel?”

“Something like that.”

“Wow.” I couldn’t help myself. “So that’s all I have to do?”

“Xan, don’t make it sound like it’s easy. What you want to do is very hard, and it takes a lot of skill to do it. I can’t tell you how to do it, and I don’t know if even Isabel could really tell you how she’s done it.”

“So basically, I have to figure it out on my own?”

“I don’t know what to tell you, sweetie. I’m sorry, but this is not something I really like to think about or do. It’s an intrusion on someone’s privacy, no matter what the reasons for doing it. And dreams aren’t always reflective of the person. I dream that I can sing, but everyone knows not to leave me alone with a microphone. It’s not pretty.”

“But that’s why I’d be leading Matt to. I want him to show me the truth.”

“Xan, I know it won’t work for me to tell you not to, so I won’t. I will just ask for you to be careful. This could lead you to more than you’re ready for.”

“Thank you, Molly.” I hugged her.

I made the decision. I would start that night; I would figure out how to find out the truth about what Matt was doing to Alex and where they were. But until I did it, I wouldn’t tell anyone, especially not Isabel. I had to do this, and I didn’t want her to try to stop me.

~*~
posted on 31-Mar-2002 2:06:11 PM by Transparent Clear
Quick AN: I just wanted to apologize real quick for how long it took me to get this new part out, and for how short it is. for some reason, lately, words are hard. Thank you all for reading and leaving feedback, it makes my night!
jenn


~*~Part 45~*~


I went to bed early that night, but no one asked me any questions about it. They knew I was trying to get in touch with Mom every night, and they accepted that I wanted to talk to her. I don’t know what they would have said had they known the truth about what I was doing….I guess I didn’t want to hear it anyway. I was going to do whatever I had to to find Alex, and there was no talking me out of it.

Falling asleep, I found my mother quickly. There was of course still no change in the progress of the search for Alex. I tried to hide my disappointment. She looked at me for a second, and I was afraid that maybe she could still read me like she always had when I was younger and had done something I knew she wouldn’t like.

“Xan, are you okay? What’s going on?” She wrapped her arms around me.

“I’m fine, Mom. I just wish that everyone was here. Or that I could do something more to help you.”

“Just stay safe, Xan. We’ll be home soon.”

“I know. I love you.”

“I love you, too.”


After she slipped out of the dream to go back to work, I took a moment in a dark room to prepare myself to enter Matt’s head, Jeremy’s head, whatever. I could do this. All I had to do was manipulate something to make him go to where I wanted him to go. I could do this.

He was dreaming about me and my family again. But this was different. This time he dreamt that he had captured us all. He walked around a room, where all 7 of us were handcuffed to chairs. We were in a circle, and Matt walked around the outside of the circle. I was sitting in between my parents and across from Michael. As Matt stopped behind my chair, I could see the anger in Michael’s eyes. I waited to see what Matt would do.

He leaned down and started whispering in my ear, “I finally got you, Alexandra. I’ve got your entire family, and I can do whatever I want with them. And there’s nothing you or anyone in this room can do about it.” He laughed.

From the corner of my eye, I could see my father straining against his handcuffs. Michael looked ready to drag his chair over to me to protect me. I took a deep breath. I decided right then to take my own role in this dream. I was going to see if I couldn’t lead the conversation to where I needed it to be.

He would expect some defiance. “You know there are people looking for us, Matthew—“ I was impressed when I saw the words come out of “my” mouth. I couldn’t believe I’d done this so easily.

“Don’t call me that. My name is Jeremy.”

I looked at him cheekily. “Nice to meet you, Jeremy. I’m Xan, Xan Evans.” I could see Michael’s smirk. “And this is my family, but I think you know who they are already.”

“I knew you all would come to get your precious little Alex. It was just a matter of waiting.” Jeremy said coldly. “And now that I’ve got you, the waiting is definitely over.”

“You’ve got us, Jeremy?” Michael laughed. “You don’t have anything. Not dignity or respect or trust. You’re just a puppet for a government that lives in fear.”

“So you’re admitting that we should be afraid of you?”

“Stop trying to turn words to serve your purpose, Jeremy,” I said.

My father spoke. “So you have us now. What do you want?”

Jeremy turned to face him. “The King speaks.”

“Just answer him, Jeremy.” I exclaimed.

“We want you. We want to see what the children of hybrids and humans can do. Imagine if we could train others like you to support our armies, it would be incredible.”

“You intend to use us as weapons?” Maria exclaimed.

“Not all of you,” Jeremy stopped behind Isabel. “Xan, and any other children like her.” I could see the shock in Isabel’s eyes.

The moment he said that, I could feel a chill run down my back. “Where are we, Jeremy?” I had to find out where he was keeping us.

“Your new home, Alexandra.” He smiled.

“How about a little more specific than that?” I needed him to tell me.

He looked at me like he had no intention of telling me. And then he just started speaking, “Remember that day we took that oh-so romantic drive through the city and were looking at warehouses?” He seemed surprised that he was talking.

I wouldn’t look him in the eye. “The ones you wanted to renovate for the club you wanted to open some day?”

“You’re being held in what would be the center of Deja’s bar.” He smiled. “I bet you never thought you’d help to pick out your own prison, huh, Alexandra?”

“Can you just stop calling me that?” I was getting frustrated now. “My name is Xan. Alexandra is some made up girl, just like Matt.”

“Well, than, Xan, maybe it’s time we started to figure out what makes you different from the normal teenage girl.”

“Other than my impeccable fashion sense that balances out my horrible taste in men?” I taunted. I didn’t want to think about what he was really referring to.

2 men came into the room and removed my handcuffs. They dragged me out of the room.

“No!” My mother started screaming. “No! Xan! Xan!”

“Mommy, I’ll be okay!” I tried to yell back at her.


I jolted out of bed trying to hold my scream in. My heart was beating a mile a minute and I could barely catch my breath. I kept my eyes closed, almost afraid of what I’d see if I opened them.

I felt someone wrap their arms around me and I was shocked to see Seth climbing into the bed with me. “Seth?” I hugged him tightly.

“It’s okay, Xan, you’re safe.” He rubbed my hair and back and kept whispering reassurances to me over and over until I had calmed down.

“What are you doing here?”

“Mom told me about your conversation today. She figured you’d dream-walk him tonight, and I thought you might need someone to be here when you woke up.”

“Thank you, Seth.” I snuggled into his shoulder and we laid down.

“Did the dream work?” He whispered.

“I know where they’re holding Alex.”


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 31-Mar-2002 2:45:43 PM ]
posted on 7-Apr-2002 12:15:59 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: Hi, all. I'm really unsure about this part, but I haven't written anything in a while and this story is like haunting me. Hopefully posting this will make it easier for me to write on my other one. *happy* Thank you all for reading & bumping! love, jenn


~*~Part 46~*~


The next morning, I made breakfast for Isabel, Diane, Seth and Molly. I had to tell them all the truth about my dream, and we needed to make a plan. We were closer to saving Alex than we’d ever been, whether they knew it or not.

I finished serving my famous omelets and sat down next to Seth and across from Isabel.

“So what’s going on, Xan?” Diane asked. She hadn’t touched her food; she was staring back and forth between me and Isabel.

I looked at Isabel. She looked so tired; I knew it was because she hadn’t been getting the proper rest. She spent all night searching for Alex, instead of sleeping.

I took a deep breath. “Last night, I dream-walked Matt.”

“Xan, I thought that was dangerous!” Diane said immediately.

“I decided it was a risk I ought to take, seeing as how he is the one person who might be able to get me to Alex.”

“So you just dream-walked him? Did he show you anything that would be useful?” Molly asked, knowing the answer to the first question.

I looked at her for a second. “I didn’t just dream-walk him. I manipulated some things in his dreams to get him to tell me where he’s holding Alex.”

“He told you?” Diane nearly choked on the breath she was taking. Her eyes got as wide as saucers.

I had expected Isabel to speak at some point here, but she was sitting quietly listening, thinking. I spoke directly to her. “I know where they’re holding Alex, Isabel. We can go get him.”

“I know, Xan.” She wouldn’t look me in the eye. “I know where he is, too. I was in your dreams last night.”

“You followed me into Jeremy’s dreams?” For some reason, I started to panic even though nothing had happened in that dream that should make me worry.

“Yes. I knew you were going to do it and I wanted to see what he said, too.”

“You knew I was going to—“ How had she known that I was going to do that. I immediately turned to look at Molly who just shook her head proclaiming her innocence.

“Xan, you went to bed at 8 o’clock last night. I knew something was up.” She smiled a little. “I guess my maternal instincts are kicking in.”

I tried to smile. “So you saw everything than?”

“Yeah.”

“When do we go?” I asked anxiously.

“We don’t, Xan.”

“What?” I knew my voice was a little louder than necessary, but I couldn’t help it. We weren’t going to help save Alex?

“I dream-walked Liz last night. I told her where Alex is; they’re working on a plan to get him now.”

I didn’t know what to say. I felt like I had failed or something; like I was missing out on something important. I felt like I had to be there to face Jeremy. It was only fair after all he’d done for me; I wanted to show him that he could never hurt me again. And now Isabel was telling me I’d never get that opportunity? It wasn’t fair. “Isabel—“

“Xan, you know that your safety is more important than anything else, and Max and Michael can rescue Alex without our help, we both know that.”

“But—“ I didn’t know how to explain what I was feeling. I didn’t care about my safety if it meant that I could get back at Jeremy. For the first time in my life, I knew what it was like to want vengence and to make someone feel as bad as they made me feel. As scared as I was of these feelings, I also welcomed them. It meant that I wasn’t powerless. It meant that he really couldn’t hurt me.

“He’ll be home soon, sweetie.” Diane squeezed my hand.

I nodded and tried to eat. As soon as everyone else left the table, I bolted for the door. I had to be alone; I needed to think. I knew I ought to be happy that Alex would be coming home, and I mostly was… but there was a small piece of me that just wanted to—

“You okay?” Seth followed me into the large backyard.

“I’m fine, Seth.”

“I saw your face in there, Xan. You’re not fine.”

I smiled as genuinely as I could fake. “I’m great. Alex is coming home; that’s all that matters.” I tried to convince myself.

“Xan, you’re a horrible liar.”

I sighed and looked at him. “I just wanted to do something—to have a more active role in this.”

“You dream-walked him! You knew what was going on.”

“Not that. I wanted to—Do you know what it’s like when someone you think you can trust, someone you love, betrays you? Jeremy betrayed me; I wanted to do something to show him that he could never hurt me again. I wanted to show him that I’m stronger than he will ever know.”

“Xan—“

“I know it’s dangerous, Seth. And I know my family would kill me if I even tried it, but I want to do it so badly.”

“Xan, I think you just need to trust them right now. Facing Jeremy won’t help anyone right now. All that matters is that Alex is coming back.”

“I know!”

Seth looked me right in the eye. “But I do understand. If someone had betrayed me like Jeremy did you, I’d want to make him pay in every way possible. It’s just maybe you need to trust them right now to make him pay.”

I sighed. “I guess.”

“Xan, just promise me you won’t make any really important decisions alone, okay? Talk to me.”

“Seth, I’m not going to make any important decisions at all. My family won’t let me.”

He nodded a little. “Yeah, well, still just talk to me.”

I nodded. “I will.” I couldn’t help myself; I reached out and hugged him. “Thank you, Seth. You’ve been the best.”

He laughed, but I noticed his voice took on a weird quality. “Yeah, well, I do what I can.”

“Just please, don’t mention this conversation to anyone, especially not Isabel. I don’t want her to know—“

“I won’t say a word.”

“Thanks.”

Seth smiled and took my hand in his. “Come on. We’re going to the park.”

“Seth—“ I exclaimed as he pulled me after him. I looked down at our joined hands as we walked and smiled.

“Not another word, Evans. It is definitely time you had some fun, and I won’t take no for an answer.” He slowed down till I was walking even with him and squeezed my hand. “I know you want to show Jeremy that he can’t destroy you, and maybe this is the best way. You need to live and enjoy your life; that’s something he can never destroy.”

“Damn, Seth, when did you get so smart?”

“I think I learned that from Max.”

“Figures.” I had to laugh at that though. I mean, did my dad really live his life when he was separated from my mother and me? I guess he was better at giving advice than taking it…


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 13-Apr-2002 8:46:36 AM ]
posted on 6-May-2002 3:45:47 AM by Transparent Clear
AN: All together now, "I hate writer's block!" I'm sorry this took so long, guys, (for all of you who are still reading...) I had this horrid little problem with writing this fic and I think it's mostly b/c I totally over-reacted to the idea of this part and stuff... so here it is. I promise more will be out soon! B/c now I know where I'm going.. (but sorry, lori, this will take me more than 3 parts!) also, I hope you can read this tomorrow after your exams! good luck!

Jenn


~*~Part 47~*~

“Alexandra.”

I knew I was dreaming. I could feel that I was dreaming. But this was not a dream I’d ever had before. I was in a room in complete darkness. And I didn’t recognize the voice that used my full name. No one who could dream-walk me ever used my full name.

“Alexandra.”

“Who are you?” I listened to my voice echo in the room. “What is this?” I turned my head to look around in the darkness.

“You mean you don’t remember me?” The voice chuckled. “I’m a little depressed by that.”

I instantly knew who this was. I focused my eyes on the darkness and suddenly I could see him. “I wish I could say that it was nice to see you again, Jeremy.” He came and stood directly in front of me. “But it isn’t.”

“Alexandra, just because you hate me doesn’t mean you have to be rude.”

“You’ve never seen me be rude, Jeremy.” I wanted to spit in his face. I wanted to beat him until no one could recognize him. Before all that though, I needed to figure out what he was doing in my dream. I hadn’t intentionally set out to dream-walk him. I wondered if I had just subconsciously searched his evil mind out. Or maybe this was a nightmare. I hadn’t had one of those since I was 6 years old, but who knows? Maybe they were coming back. “What do you want, Jeremy? I am so tired of playing these games with you.”

“Too bad. You’re my favorite player.” He walked around to the other side of my chair. “So by now, I bet you’re wondering if I’m real or if this is all a nightmare. I can only say that the answer is inside you.”

“Geez, when did you get all mystic?”

“Just remember, Alexandra, I’ve won this game. I have your dear uncle Alex, and soon I will have your family. I know they must be planning some sort of rescue attempt. My men and I will be waiting for them and then we will have every person you love.”

“You think my family is stupid enough to get caught by you?”

“The problem with your family is that they think with their hearts more than their heads. Look at yourself. You picked up your grandmother! Did you not think we would notice her missing?”

“Well, you know what they say, you’ve got to keep your family close.”

“You could do that here, too. All you have to do is come back and turn yourself in. Then I swear, you’ll be with your family all the time.”

“As you perform hideous little tests upon us.” I spat out at him. “I hate you, Jeremy.”

He laughed. “Again, being rude is not the way to treat someone who’s trying to tell you the truth.”

“My family will never be captured by you, Jeremy. I will make sure of that to the last breath in my body. And someday I will give you what you deserve for treating anyone like this.”

“Alexandra, I’m getting a raise for catching Alex.” He laughed. “You can’t give me anything.” He leaned down close to my ear. “Well, nothing except for the knowledge that I won. I beat all that so-called alien ability. And you can never take that away.” He started walking away from me. “I won, Alexandra. Never forget that.” He stood several feet away, just barely visible in the darkness. “So, here’s the question again. Was this a dream or the truth?”



***


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-May-2002 3:49:12 AM ]
posted on 8-May-2002 3:40:37 PM by Transparent Clear
~*~Part 48~*~


I bolted out of bed, What had that been? A dream? Had I made that horrible scene up? Or was it the truth? Had I somehow dream-walked Jeremy? Had I seen his real feelings, his real plans? Had I taken my own place in his evil plotting? How could I tell the difference?

I hadn’t tried to intentionally dream-walk him, that much I knew. But if it was an automatic thing now? What if my dream-walks were uncontrollable? I didn’t really know how to control them anyway? All I’d ever had was a few minutes of Isabel telling me what they were about and how I could do them without being noticed by the people, how to do dream-walks outside my family. What did this mean?

And what if it were true? Was I going to just let Jeremy take my family away from me—and Isabel? She would never survive that, not again. I had to do something. They’d spent all this time protecting me; it was my turn to help take care of them. I got out of the bed as quietly as I could and changed into some jeans and a tank top. I threw some clothes into my backpack and opened the door to the room. I peeked into the hall; it was completely dark. I tiptoed down the hall to the stairway and started down, carefully avoiding the 5th stair from the top which I knew was squeaky. I walked through the foyer and opened the door. I walked over to the SUV that Isabel had in the driveway.

Praying she wouldn’t be mad, I climbed behind the wheel and turned the key. I’d driven about 20 feet when I saw someone in my rearview mirror. I cringed wondering who it was, but I found that I couldn’t make myself put my foot on the gas.

Seth walked up to the window. “So thinking of going somewhere?”

“Seth, please. No lectures. I have to go.”

“Alone?”

“Who do you suggest I ask? Diane? Isabel? She’s pregnant. She can’t be in danger.”

“But you can?”

“Seth—“

“You should have come asked me, Xan. You know I would have come.”

“Seth, I can’t ask you to risk your life for my family. I don’t even really know that they’re in danger. I just know that I’m afraid for them, and I will not relax until I can know that they’re fine. I have to go. You don’t.”

“I think I’ll make that decision, if you don’t mind—“

“Your mom—“

“Will understand.” Seth smiled. “She always knew I was going to serve the Royal Family.”

“No—this isn’t serving the Royal Family, Seth. I mean, I’m going—“

“Xan, you’re the daughter of our King. That makes you part of the Royal Family. And like my parents, I swore to protect that family.”

I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want Seth to come with me; I didn’t want him to get hurt on this mad little trip of mine.

“I’m coming, Xan. And that’s all there is to it.”

I sighed. “If I get you killed, your mother will so kill me.”

“True.” He smiled. “We’ll just have to make sure that there is no killed involved.” He walked around to the passenger door and climbed in. “Drive on, Princess.” He teased.

I glared at him for a second and then turned back to the road. We didn’t really talk; I just focused on the road, hoping I could handle whatever was to come.

We stopped right over the border into America for some food as the sun was coming up. I filled the Jeep up with gas and followed Seth into the diner for some food. When we came back out to the Jeep, there was someone in the driver’s seat. I started to panic, What was going on? Who would have found us here? Were people following us?

Seth moved so he was in front of me and started walking to the driver’s side of the Jeep. He reached behind him and took my hand. He squeezed it as if to say that he would take care of me. I was embarrassed to admit that I felt better after that.

We stopped a few feet away and looked in. I couldn’t tell who it was. They were wearing a hood over their face. Seth and I looked at one another as if asking how to handle this.

The hooded figure turned toward us. “So I figured it was my turn to drive, seeing as how you drove all this way.”

***


An: short, I know... I'm thinking that posting again in so soon will make up for that... I see the light at the end of the tunnel here so look for more in the next few days! and thank you all so much for your feedback! I really love it! Jenn
posted on 3-Jun-2002 10:20:38 AM by Transparent Clear
AN: Ohmygod... have I really gone this long w/out updating Xan? I hate writers' block! I really do. I've sat here, staring at my black page just begging the purple Parade pt. 12 to flow...and nothing! I am so sorry! But here is the new part. I'm not too sure about it, but when am I ever sure about anything I write? Thank you all for the feedback and for reading my little "baby" here. I promise I'll be more regular in posting new parts of post this and Dial-Up if you read that. (As soon as I can convince my bosses that I should not be there constantly) Thank you all again for everything. *happy*
Jenn
p.s. Lary, my new chant is 3 more days! 3 more days! I just hope I don't kill anyone till then.

~*~Part 49~*~




“Isabel.” Seth said slowly. “Hi.” He looked at me with the most confused look in his eyes. “Xan—“

She cut him off. “Don’t even try to make excuses, Seth, or you either, Xan. None will work.”

I looked at her and instead of giving her excuses, I gave her the truth. “Is, I couldn’t stay at that ranch any longer knowing my family might be in danger. I had to do something and no one would let me. So I had to take matters into my own hands, and I do not regret it! And I will not feel sorry for it! I have to help them, and I hate that none of you understand that!” I felt my face getting hotter and hotter the madder I got.

Isabel looked me over for a minute and then turned to Seth. “Seth, I think you need to get in the car while I have a little heart to heart with my niece, okay?” She smiled her best ‘yes’ smile and slid out of the car. She took my arm and started leading me away.

“Isabel—“ I looked at her and then looked at the ground, starting to feel guilty about the way I had talked to her. I shouldn’t have yelled at her like that; she was only doing what my parents wanted her to do. And now she was involved and I could be putting her and her baby in danger if I didn’t turn back. I couldn’t live with either part of that option. I couldn’t go back; I might never get a chance to leave again, but I couldn’t bring Isabel with me into most likely danger, either. She could get hurt and I couldn’t live with the thought of that. “Why did you come with us? How did you get in the car before us? What about the baby? Why would you put the 2 of you in so much danger? You know where I’m going, Isabel! You know what could happen, why—“

“Whoa, slow down, Xan.” She took a breath. “I got in the car last night because I figured you were going to be doing something like this.”

“You knew I’d do it last night?” I looked at her wondering if she had dream-walked me again.

“I saw your face when I said we weren’t going, Xan. I knew you wouldn’t take that for an answer. You have too much Michael in you to accept that.”

“So you were just waiting in the car in case I did decide to leave?”

‘I couldn’t let you come alone.”

“I brought Seth. You should have gotten out of the car, Isabel. I can’t believe you’d put yourself into so much danger.” I said. “What about the baby? This is still a risky situation, Isabel!”

“I know that, Xan, better than you could ever imagine, I bet. As powerless as you’ve been feeling just sitting at the ranch, I’ve been feeling 100 times worse! You at least get to talk to your mother; I haven’t been able to connect to Alex for so long….I can’t even feel how excited he is about the baby. I told him the one thing he’s wanted for so long, Xan, and then he was captured. I just need to get him out of there. Or at least be there when he gets out of there. I don’t care. I have to go.”

“Isabel, I’m just afraid for you and the baby. I mean, that baby is what they want the most. You saw my dream from the other night; if that’s true, they’d kill all of us for the baby.” I looked at her. “And then I had a dream last night that prompted this little trip. It was weird, Is. I felt like there was a presence of Jeremy in that dream, and at the very end he asked me if it was a dream or the truth. Was I making that up in my apprehension of even being in a dream-walk that I hadn’t intended to make? Or was Jeremy really thinking that and somehow managed to transmit his real thoughts into my head?” Isabel didn’t have an answer; I wished she did. “If that’s true, then we could be sending them into a trap, Is!”

“Xan, that’s not necessarily true—“

“We don’t know though. He could have been waiting for that dream-walk. What if he figured out how to find that he was in one? And then he learned how to fight it so that what he wanted to happen happened and not what the dream-walker wanted? He could have done that Isabel. They studied aliens back in the original crash, didn’t they? My father was taken and studied, wasn’t he? What if the government really managed to learn something?”

“Xan, that’s a lot of what ifs. I mean, you wanted to find out that stuff the other night about where Alex is. Jeremy didn’t just automatically tell us; there was a hesitation. That means that you were in charge of that manipulation, not him.”

“But what if he remembers that he told us?”

“Xan, we can’t live like that.” She looked at me, reading the worry on my face. “In all my times dream-walking, unless I specifically made it so that someone would remember the next morning, they never did.”

I was seriously getting worried, though, and Isabel’s words didn’t reassure me as they were intended. Was I sending my family into a trap? God, how would I ever live if I had gotten them all captured? “We have to stop them before they go, Isabel. We have to!”

“Then I suggest you get in the car and we’ll go.” Isabel said.

I knew that my father and Alex would want me to protect Isabel’s baby at all cost, but they’d also want me protected at all costs. I couldn’t let them make decisions for us from so far away. And no matter what, we all had to help on another. I vowed to protect Isabel and the baby at all costs and then looked at her. “So you’re driving?”

***


sorry it's so short....and kind of pointless. I'm hoping that posting will help me start writing again...
posted on 18-Jun-2002 3:47:05 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: Finally! apparently, all it takes to break from this writer's block hell on Xan is to actually find the time to sit down with a pen and paper and write... I'm sorry it took so long, but I swear I'm working on more now... (it's all in my head now) And there will be new Dial-Up probably tonight. *happy* And this part is for Lori, for entertianing me with an amusing vax convo when AOL decided to be mean... here's something to read! I hope you enjoy. jenn


~*~Part 50~*~


Seth, Isabel and I drove into town at 4 a.m. Seth was driving, and Isabel and I were in the back seat pretending to sleep. There was absolute silence in the car. I was looking out the window, watching as all the familiar sites that used to make me excited to know that I was on my way to Alex’s passed. It was amazing how different everything could look in the dark. From all the trips Mom and I had made here when I was younger, I knew that we were passing things like an old-fashioned barbershop and a grocery store. But now I saw them as places for people to hide or watch. It could just be under the circumstances but I could definitely feel myself becoming a very suspicious person.

Isabel reached over and squeezed my hand. “Xan, everything will be okay.”

I nodded but didn’t say anything.

“Where should I drive to?” Seth asked. “We need someplace to stay while we figure out what we’re going to do.”

‘I don’t know where Mom and Dad are staying. Do you, Is?”

“Not yet. Give me a few minutes to dreamwalk them and we’ll see.” She smiled and fell asleep.

“Are you okay to keep driving, Seth? I can—“

“I’m fine. Besides, you didn’t get any sleep last night, Xan—“

“How do you know that?”

“You were too anxious to be asleep, and you were projecting that energy all night.”

“Sorry.”

“Don’t be. It helped me stay awake as I drove.” He met my eyes in the rearview mirror.

“Seth, do you think we’ll really be able to get to Alex.”

“Xan, why do you keep asking that? I know that none of us will leave here without Alex.”

“What if I’m putting everyone’s life in danger of no reason? I mean, I am putting Isabel’s child’s life in danger and there are no guarantees—“

“Xan—“

He tried to interrupt me but I was having none of that. “Do you know why I headed out to this car last night, Seth? I had a nightmare about Jeremy; that he had all the power in this situation and the idea of that killed me. I felt like I had to prove something to him, like I had to prove that I was worthy without him or that I was good or strong or I don’t know—better than him. And now I’m effectively leading you and Isabel into this situation that could put us all into more danger than Jeremy is worth, and I’m covering it under the pretense that we can save Alex. I’m pretty sure that Michael and my father are quite capable of doing that on their own.”

“Xan—“

“”I am putting all of us, including my parents and Michael and Maria, in danger because I feel the need to face Jeremy. Because for some reason, I am letting his opinion matter to me. And I’m terrified that I am going to do something completely stupid and mess everything up to beat these feelings.”

“I won’t let that happen, Xan. I promise you.”

“In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not that great at taking directions, Seth.”

“Yeah, well, my mom will kill me if I let anything happen to you.” He grinned into the rearview mirror.

Isabel sat straight up next to me. “Seth, we need to get to the Best Western off Highway 231, room 41.”

“How’d they take the news that we’re here?” I whispered.

“Xan, I wouldn’t make any plans for the next couple years. I’ve never seen so much anger in your Mom’s eyes.”

I nodded. “I figured. And Michael is going to be like 4 times worse.”

“Yeah. We might as well just get used to the ranch. We’re never leaving it again.” She sighed. “Although once Alex is there, I might never want to.”

It took us nearly half an hour to find the Best Western and once we did it was easy to find room 41. It was the only one with lights on.

Seth and I started to climb out of the car.

“Wait!” Isabel exclaimed. “Look in that car, the gray sedan. That’s the FBI guy following them. We have to be careful.”

“How are we going to get in? The guy is awake, drinking coffee.”

“Xan, we just use our God or alien given talents.” She looked at the car for a minute and then raised her hand. A moment later, the man in the car fell fast asleep.

“Wow.” I said and followed Isabel to room 41.

The door opened immediately letting us in and then slammed behind us. My parents, Michael and Maria stared at us for a moment in total silence.

“Dad, I—“

He ignored my voice and focused on Isabel. “What were you thinking? How could you risk yourselves—and your baby, Isabel—to come here where we have everything under control?” My father’s voice was strong and steady and absolutely terrifying to me. He turned away from the 3 of us towards my mother.

“Max,” Isabel started, “ I had to come. Every day I live without connecting to Alex is killing me—“

“So you decide to come put all of us in danger to help us?” Michael stood perfectly still. “I cannot believe you would be so immature and irresponsible.

“Michael—“

“Don’t say it, Is. You know what’s at risk and you willfully threaten that.”

“This wasn’t Isabel’s idea!” I exclaimed. “I was the one—“

“I know that, Xan, and do not even get me started on your behavior,” Michael said.

“I had to come.” I didn’t know what else to say. “I belong—“

“Back on the ranch, safe.”

“Xan, you knew the reasons we wanted you to stay back home. With you being here, it gives them even more opportunities to hurt us. You are what they want now, Xan, and by coming here, you’re making it even easier for them to get it,” my father said. “And with Isabel here, that is giving them all new possibilities. We’re getting ready to go get Alex. We won’t be able to protect you.”

Seth started to speak up but one look from my father quieted him.

"Isabel and I don’t need people to protect us. We can do it ourselves!” I said defiantly in all my teenage arrogance.

“How can you say that when you don’t even know what we’re fighting?” My father said seriously. “I know you think you have all these powers and that you’re pretty damn close to invincible but you’ve never had to use them, Xan. You have no idea—“

“Dad, I have to be here! I promise Seth and I will keep Isabel safe—“

“You can’t be sure about that,” my father said. “I wish you could.” He looked so serious and nearly defeated.

I’d never seen him like that, and I never wanted to gain. Seeing that look of defeat and disappointment in his eyes killed me. I knew I had caused it. Of course I had. A part of me wanted to rationalize all this as rebellion and hope that he would accept that, but I knew I couldn’t. I was willfully putting everyone I loved at risk and that meant I had to take some responsibility. I couldn’t hide behind words or age or emotion. I had to accept that the look in my father’s eyes was for me and deal with it. And for me, that meant telling my father the truth. I looked him square in the eye. “Dad, can I talk to you please? Alone.”

“Xan—“

My mother spoke up for the first time. “Use our room.”

We walked through the door to my parent’s connecting bedroom. I shut the door behind us. My father sat on the bed and stared at me almost expectantly. I’d never seen him like this. I just kept waiting for him to hug me and tell me everything was going to be all right. I suddenly realized that my father was not a superhero or superhuman or anything like that, and that shook my confidence a little. I always thought of him as bigger than reality and for the first time I was seeing that he wasn’t.

“Ok. I know you’re pissed at me, and I know that whatever I’m about to say won’t change that. But maybe it will make you understand my motivations a little.” I started walking around the room. How did I begin this talk with my father? “Okay. I guess this all starts way before I knew the truth about myself and you and everything. I didn’t know exactly how I was different but I felt like I was. I always felt there was something wrong with me, and I don’t mean wrong in a bad way. I just didn’t know what made me different so I was wrong compared to everyone else.” I sighed knowing I was not expressing the things I wanted to say very well. “Anyway, I felt different, and I always felt like Mom, Maria, and Alex were the only people I could be real with and trust. I didn’t even trust my best friend. And no one, absolutely no one, knew how different I felt. In some ways, I felt like an observer in my world. I could see myself smiling and having fun, but I didn’t feel it.” I leaned against the door. “I felt—unreal around everyone I knew almost. And then I met Matt or Jeremy or whatever I’m supposed to call him now. And it was different. I met him because I was smart; I tutored him when he first moved here. No one else even really knew that I was smart, but Matt encouraged it. He was the only person who could tease me about my brains. And then he taught me how to play basketball. And for the first time around someone outside my family, I felt real. I will never forget it. We were on the basketball courts outside my school. And I hit the most perfect lay-up. And he ran over to me and threw his arms around me and hugged me. It was unbelievable, Dad. I just felt real. Like for the first time, I didn’t have to think about what the correct response was. I felt safe in who I was even with being different, but I kind of forgot about being different with Matt.” I sighed. “I told Matt things I hadn’t told anyone else, not even Mom. I told him about the way I felt different and how lonely I was. I told him how I felt about you and your not so frequent visits. I feel like I bared my soul to him and he took all of that and put it into some official file they have on me.”

“Xan, I understand you feel betrayed—“

“No, it’s more than that. I do feel betrayed, but there’s more. I mean, that’s not the reason I really came here, at least I don’t think it is… I don’t know. Ever since we got to the ranch, I’ve been having these dreams, Dad. The first was right after Mom told me that Matt was here. I dream-walked him.” I saw the emotion rise in his eyes. “I know I wasn’t supposed to, but I had to see what he was doing. And he was dreaming about capturing me back in my high school. He wanted to expose me for what I am in front of everyone.”

“Xan, that was a dream-walk. You saw what his subconscious wants, not the truth.”

“I know. And then I convinced Molly to teach me how to manipulate dreams to see what I wanted. That’s how I found out where Alex was being held. And then the next night, right before we left the ranch, I had this dream and I can’t explain it. I don’t know if it was a nightmare or what, but Jeremy was there and he was taunting the fact that he was going to get all of you and I couldn’t handle that, Dad. I had to come and see what was going on. I felt so weak and helpless on that ranch. I had to be here.” I paused. “I swear that I didn’t know Isabel was with us until too late, and then she refused to turn around.”

“So basically, you’re here because of a nightmare?” My father said so seriously.

“I’m here because I gave him so much power in my life, Dad. I cannot just let that go. I want to, but I can’t. I have to do something. I feel like I have to put him in his place—“

“So you’re here, putting everyone’s lives in danger, out of a sense of revenge?”

I looked at him “Is that what this is?” I asked. “I feel so mad and so angry, Dad. I feel so lost and confused and vulnerable. I feel like I’ve been used and trampled on and I just want him to feel the same way. I want to hurt him. So I guess, I did come out of revenge…” I didn’t know what to say, but I knew what he was going to say. “Please don’t make me go back to that ranch, Dad. I need to do something. He’s had all the control in this situation. I need to finish this with some sense of power and self.”

“Xan, I understand what you’re feeling, but I cannot let you use this search for power and revenge as a reason to be here. It can get you hurt.”

“Seth won’t let that happen! We both know it.”

“You’d be so much safer on the ranch, Xan. It would make us all feel better as we went to get Alex.”

“Dad, safety is subjective. I’d be there but I’d never feel like I was alive or empowered again. I would always know that Jeremy beat me.”

“What do you want me to do, Xan? Let you face him? I do not think so! You are not going to be exposed to him ever again, there are too many risks with that!” He jumped off the bed and looked me in the eye. “You have to know that we will never let you put yourself into that kind of risk.”

I didn’t say anything to that. I still wanted to do something.

“Than what will you gain by being here? You’re just going to hide in this hotel room until we’ve rescued Alex.”

“Not if you let me help.”

“Xan, have you listened to a word I’ve said? You are not going to put yourself at risk so you can make yourself feel better. It’s too dangerous.”

“I can help though!” I looked him square in the eye. “I can do something, even if it’s as simple as distracting him.”

“I am not using you as bait!”

“Something then! Just don’t make me sit here like a child!”

“That’s what you’re behaving like, Xan.”

“Dad, I can do something! I know it! The granolith gave me this!” I held up the pendant I had been wearing since that day in the granolith. “It has to mean something. Maybe it will help me—“

“Xan, we don’t know what that is or what it can do. Maybe all it is is to show that you’re the heir—“

“You’ve never had to have a pendant for that.”

He looked at me exasperated. “The point is, we don’t’ know what it is for, Xan.”

“Maybe it can like boost my powers or something!”

“Xan, we don’t know what it does, and we cannot just take risks at this point. Michael, Maria, Liz and I are ready to go rescue Alex. What if that pendant changes something? We can’t risk that! You are going to stay here with your aunt and Seth and wait for us to get back with Alex and then we will all return to the ranch. Got it?” He said with a voice full of authority.

“Dad—“

“Xan, you cannot put yourself in danger. You’re too important to all of us. We can’t lose you.”

“You wouldn’t!”

“By now, you should realize that there is no such thing as a guarantee in this life, Xan. You just have to trust me here. Stay in this hotel room and don’t do anything.”

I looked up at my father and sighed. “I don’t like this. I came here to do more than watch free HBO.”

“Either you agree to this or I send you back to the ranch right now. And you know Seth will listen to me, even over what you want.”

I sighed again. “Fine.”

“Xan, I’m just trying to keep us all as safe as we can be. I kind of like to think of that as my job. I love you so much, baby. I can’t lose you.”

“You won’t—“

“I can’t take the risk of losing you.” He hugged me. “I love you, Xan.”

“I love you, too, Dad.” I whispered.

“Come on. You can help with the planning but that’s it.”

“Okay.” I said and followed him back into the first room.


posted on 12-Aug-2002 11:09:21 PM by Transparent Clear
Author's Note


Ok...first off, I am soooooooo horrible! I can't believe I have abandoned my darling Xan for so long. If you guys knew me, you'd know that this story is like my chid, and the idea of parting with her is horrid to me. (god, I'm trying to think of ways to prolong what I have planned!)

The problems are 1) at some point, while writing this, I feel like I completely lost track of who Xan is... and so I had to re-read the entire thing to find her again, (good news: I think I've got her!) and 2) I'm still recovering from a wicked case of writer's block where Xan is concerned, but 3) I'm soo busy right now that I haven't really gotten a time to reconnect the Xan I just found back to the story. But I promise I will! I swear! I vow on all that I hold holy (I.e. my episodes of Heatwave, Sexual Healing, and the first 12 minutes of Destiny).

Not many of you know that this story has seen a huge change from when I first started posting it and I've been fighting a lot lately as to bring some of the original back, and I'm not sure really how to do it right now...

ok.. I'm babbling, but it's late and I've been up for over 16 hours and I'm pretty sure I won't be going home for a long long time...

thank you all for your feedback and thinking of my story! I love you all!

Jenn
posted on 23-Aug-2002 9:50:54 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: Can we all say finally! yay! I can't promise that this is very good... but I'm working on this story again. apparently sitting in a classroom is good for me because this new part was written entirely within 4 class periods. Enjoy, and thank you all for your encouragement adn feedback. *happy*
Jenn


~*~Part 51~*~



“Xan,” my mother sat down next to me on the bed. My father, Michael, and Maria were all getting ready to head to the warehouse where Alex was being held to do another round of recognizance. They were determined to be prepared for whatever might happen.

I looked at her, knowing what she wanted to hear. “I promise I’ll stay in this room, until you get back.”

She smiled a little. “Oh, I know that.” She hugged me. “I’ve just missed you, baby. This is the longest we’ve ever really been apart.”

“I know, and I’ve missed you, too.” I sighed. “I’m sorry, Mom. I don’t want to be in danger or cause any trouble… I just couldn’t stay away—“

“Shh,” my mother hugged me again. “We can deal with all that later.”

“Liz,” my father walked over to us, “it’s time to go.” She stood up to get the last of her stuff together. “Xan—“

I hugged him. “I’m sorry, Dad. I—“

“We can talk about that later. I love you, Xan.”

“I love you, too. Be careful.”

“I am.” He looked at the other. “We’ll be back later tonight.” It was implied that we should not leave until he returned. I could tell this by the determination in his eyes and the fact that he pulled Seth to the other side of the room to have a talk with him.

I hugged Maria and then Michael. “Take care of yourself, Michael. Don’t do anything stupid.”

“I’m leaving that up to you, apparently.” He teased me.

“I love you, too.”

They left and locked the doors behind them.

“I’m going into the other room to get some sleep. Enjoy the free HBO.” Isabel smiled and disappeared behind a closed door.

I threw myself back onto the bed. Seth sat next to me and grabbed the remote control.

“So what did my dad say?”

“That if you try to walk out that door, I’m supposed to tackle you and use my powers to tie you to the bed.”

I had to laugh at the idea of that coming out of my father’s mouth. “Well, that’s just a little kinky coming from my father.”

Seth turned an adorable shade of pink and tried to ignore the comment.

I smiled and reached for the remote. “I’m not in the mod to watch some hokey movie. Let’s just watch MTV and talk.”

“About what?” He looked over at me.

“I don’t know. Normal stuff, I guess.”

“Like?” He smiled. “Remember I’ve always been an alien; I don’t really know what normal is.”

I laughed. “What’s your favorite color?”

“Green.” That adorably rugged little grin was back. “Yours?”

“Silver, but only when it’s shiny. Other than that, blue.” She looked at him. “Your turn to ask the question.”

“Favorite poet?”

“A 13th century Sufi mystic named Rumi.”

“Eliot. His poem The Four Quartets has this part about going on an exploration only to return home and truly know the place for the first time. I’m wondering if this trip will do that for me.”

“Favorite coffee flavor?”

“Black.”

I crinkled my nose. “Uck, how boring. You need to try chocolate caramel. It is a slice of heaven in a cup.”

Seth laughed. “Favorite song?”

“The only song I can think of is Brown Eyed Girl which my Mom overplayed when I was little. She always said that I was her brown-eyed girl. I’ve been thinking about that song a lot since all this started.” I looked at him. “What was it like to grow up with your Mom?”

“It’s all I really know. I mean, I was like 4 when my Dad left. Mom was always what I had. I guess it was probably a little different compared to the other kids on the ranch, but my mom made up for all that. She never let me feel like I was missing anything because I didn’t have a father. She taught me how to play all different sports, and she went camping with me. And she introduced me to your father.” He smiled. “There’s a reason I came to get you and your mother that day, Xan. Your father took an interest in me and taught me so much, most of all about family. He told me how important you and Liz were to him, not by words, but by never giving up on getting you there. He took me in as part of the plan, instilling in me a layer of protection of you that cannot be broken, that doesn’t revolve around your title, but involves you being you.” He paused. “I know I’m not expressing this right, Xan. I mean, you missed out on having your father with you your entire life and I had him there with me. But please know that your father never stopped thinking about you. And he taught me so much about how to be a man and what family meant. I owe him so much.”

I nodded, unsure of what to say.

He started talking, taking my silence as a cue for him to continue talking. “I’m sorry, Xan. I know that doesn’t make up for anything—“

“Seth, no! You don’t have to make up for anything. I don’t hold it against you or anything because you got to grow up around my dad and I didn’t. It wasn’t your fault, and in a lot of ways, it wasn’t even his fault. I’m glad you got to have my dad around.”

“Thanks, Xan.”

I nodded, signaling that there was nothing more to be said about that.

“Subject change. When you were little, what did you want to be?”

“I don’t know. A doctor, like Mom, I guess.”

He nodded. “Now what did you really want to be?”

I looked up in his eyes, impressed that he understood that there would be something deeper. “Astronaut.”

He teased. “The dream of every young alien.”

“Did you want to be an astronaut?”

“Sure. Somewhere between fireman and owner of a candy shop.” I laughed at that admission. “I was 6!”

I rubbed the pendant around my neck, deciding to change the topic yet again. “What do you know about the granolith, Seth?”

“I told you, Xan. It’s a religious symbol from Antar that stores everything we have left of that place. You know more about it than me; you were connected to it!”

“But there’s something I’m missing, Seth. I saw all these images—of Antar and stuff—but I don’t know how to use it. I mean, how am I supposed to use the images to help us now? I just feel like I’m supposed to know something else, like I should have learned something else.

“You were attached to it for seconds, Xan. You can’t expect to learn the entire wisdom of a planet of people in seconds.”

“What if I was supposed to? What if I was able to connect to the granolith for just one minute, and I was supposed to take all the knowledge we needed to survive. And what about all these images in my head? They have to mean something.” I started to pace. “You know, when I first connected to the granolith, it was like it was waiting for me to ask it or lead it somewhere. But I didn’t know what to do so it led me. What if I had asked it to show me how to use our powers? Why didn’t I think about that?”

“Xan, calm down. You can’t start second guessing yourself now.”

“Why not?” I interrupted the pep speech I knew was coming.

He looked at me exasperatedly. “Xan, if you’d asked the granolith a question, you may never have seen what a beautiful place Antar was. You wouldn‘t have seen your family or understood what happened back there. I think that’s just as important as figuring out how to strengthen your powers.”

I looked at him. “I don’t know. I think I’d rather have Alex here with me.”

“He will be, Xan.”

“I just wish I could be doing something right now, Seth. That’s why I came here.”

“I know.” He grabbed my hand so I had to stop pacing. “Let’s just calm down, okay?”

“Seth—“

“Sit.” He pulled me onto the bed. “Breathe.”

I looked at him and had to laugh. He looked like Michael when he tried to calm Maria. “So is this the time you have to tie me down?”

He turned another interesting shade of pink. “No, this is when I force you to watch whatever cheesy movie is on HBO.”

I kept running my fingers across the pendant around my neck. “I just wish I understood all of this, Seth.” I held the pendant tightly for a few seconds.

“You will.”

“I should warn you I’m not really one for patience.”

He laughed. “I kind of sensed that about you.”

I sat up suddenly. “We need to go back to the granolith chamber.”

“What?”

“We need to go back to the granolith.”

“Xan, you know that can’t happen, right? Max will never let us go.” He stopped me before I could say anything else. “And we are not going to sneak away, either. I personally would like to see my next birthday, and I’m pretty sure that if we go running off to Roswell without warning, that will not happen.”

“Seth—“

“Xan, if you feel so compelled to go, talk to Max, explain that to him. You know I’ll go with you, but get his permission first.”

“He’ll never give his permission. And even if he does, Michael will never let that happen. He’ll be the one tying me down to the bed.”

Again he turned pink. “Why do you feel like we need to go to the granolith?”

“I just think that maybe if I could connect to it again, I could figure something out. I mean, learn something more that might help us.”

“Explain that to them. Don’t think that they’re always going to say no to you, Xan. They might just surprise you sometimes.”

“If they say no, will you come with me anyway?”

“Xan—“

“I’ll take the fall, Seth! I promise.”

He laughed. “Xan, your father won’t kill you. I am a different matter entirely. And I’m the one who’s supposed to be watching you—“

I laughed at that. “You did not say that.”

He smiled. “And if I did?”

“You know, you alien being, I bet there’s one normal thing you definitely don’t know about. Especially because it mostly applies to the females of the human species.” I reached behind me and grabbed the pillow off the bed. “See, when a person attacks you with harsh words—retaliation is only fair.” I slammed his head with the pillow and then fell backwards laughing.

Being the smart alien he was, Seth acclimated to this new ritual rather quickly. So much so in fact, I missed the pillow aiming directly for my head.

posted on 31-Aug-2002 11:25:08 AM by Transparent Clear
~*~Part 52~*~


My parents came home a little while later, looking discouraged.

“What’s happened?” Isabel asked from the door that connected the 2 rooms.

“The pattern was different tonight.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“We have to wait a few more days to get the pattern down again before we go to rescue him.”

“But what if tomorrow night’s pattern is different than tonight?”

“Then we wait longer.”

“Do you think the reason the pattern changed is because I dream-walked Matt?”

“Xan, he couldn’t have known you were in his mind. In order for that to happen, you have to 1) understand how dream-walking works and 2) how to sense that someone else is there and 3) you’d have to reveal yourself to the person as someone dream-walking them. Jeremy couldn’t have known.”

I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding. I’d never been so happy to have a nightmare in my life. “Then why did they change?”

“We don’t know. Maybe they got some new personnel or maybe they have fewer people now. Or maybe the shift schedule changed. Don’t’ worry, Xan. We’ll figure this one out, too.”

“I know.”

“We need to get some rest,” Michael said. “It’s been a long day.”

“Yes, it has.” Maria led Michael toward their bedroom door.

“Xan, you and Isabel can share the extra bed in here. Seth can have the extra bed in with Michael and Maria,” my father said.

Seth looked at me before he went into the other room. I knew he was telling me to talk to my father. I just didn’t know how. My life wasn’t a TV movie. I couldn’t just ask my parents to send me out into possible danger.

My mother sat on her bed. “So, Xan, what movies did you watch?” She teased.

“Ha ha.” I said, turning serious. “Did you see Matt?”

“He was there.” My father’s tone was all business.

A rush of curses thrown at Matt ran through my head. I still couldn’t believe I could have been so wrong about a person. “Is he in charge?”

“It appears that way.” He looked at me for a second and then changed his attitude. “Xan, you cannot—“

“Dad, don’t worry. I’m not asking to go after Matt.”

“Good.” He sat down next to my mother.

Before I could chicken out, I forced myself to say. “But I would like to ask something else.” What an opening there! I had to go through with this now.

My father didn’t say anything. He just waited for me to speak.

“Okay. I know how this is going to sound, but…Anyway, I want to go back to the granolith chamber.”

“Xan—“ Isabel started.

“I know you’re going to say it’s dangerous and that might be true, but I feel like I missed something when I was connected to it, something that could help us. I just want to go back and form that connection again to see what I missed.”

“How do you know you can even form another connection? Didn’t you try before we left the chamber and nothing happened?” Isabel pointed out.

“Well, maybe it was too soon after the first connection.” I sighed, afraid to hypothesize anymore. “I don’t know why I couldn’t connect again. But I did get the pendant from the granolith then.” I pulled the pendant out of my shirt and showed it to my father. “Maybe this is what happens when you make a second connection. I just feel like I missed something that I need to know, that we all need to know.”

“But, Xan, this is still a very dangerous situation. You could be caught trying to get there.” The reason in my father’s voice made me think seriously about how to approach this with him. But I knew that this wasn’t something I could rationally explain. I just felt, knew that I needed to go.

“I’d be careful, and Seth would go with me.”

“Then you’d be putting both yourself and Seth at risk.”

“And we both understand that. Seth and I have talked about this already. He wants to go to the granolith chamber with me. He’s willing to put himself at risk with me.”

“But it would still be your responsibility if something were to happen.”

I nodded. “I understand that. I just feel like the granolith can teach me more, and I want that.”

“Xan, I—“

I could sense that my father was about to say no.

“Max, I think we should let her go.”

I rotated on my heel at the first words our of my mother’s mouth since this conversation started.

“Liz—“

“Max, Xan and Seth can make it to the granolith chamber. They’ll change their appearances and leave. I think they’d be safer in the granolith chamber where we are the only ones who can get in than here where that door could come busting down at any moment.”

I wanted to look at my mother and give her some form of thanks, but I was afraid to jinx it.

“And of course, they’d be careful. Seth would die to protect Xan, and Xan has a pretty strong sense of responsibility going on now. I think we ought to let them go.”

My father looked between my mother and me. “Is, what do you think of this plan?”

“None of us want to put Xan or Seth in danger, Max, but I think it’s a good idea. For years, we have been so curious about the granolith, but none of us have ever been able to connect t it. Well, Xan can. Maybe she can find out the answers to some of our questions.” She paused. “And Liz is right; Seth would die to protect Xan. You know he won’t let anything happen to her.”

He nodded and thought for a moment. “You know, Michael will probably kill me for letting you go.”

I smiled. “Naah. He told me I’m supposed to do all the stupid stuff now.”

“You have to promise us you will be careful.”

“I will, Dad. I don’t want anything to happen to me or Seth, remember that. I just can’t help but think that staying in this room is helping no one. I could be doing some good by at least trying to connect to the granolith.”

“Okay. You and Seth can go tomorrow. Just promise me one more time that you will be careful. That means you change your appearances before you leave this room and do not change them back until you enter the podchamber. You make no unnecessary stops. You don’t go reminisce at the Crashdown. You go straight to the podchamber and stay there until we come meet you—“

“What if I learn something from the granolith that could help us here?”

He looked at me and Isabel for a second. “Every night, you’ll meet Is in her dreams to let us know you’re all right. If you learn anything, let her know and we’ll figure out a way for you to come back.”

I nodded. “Okay.” I could barely contain my happiness. Finally I was going to get to do something to help this horrible situation I felt partly responsible for.

“Xan, I haven’t heard the promise yet,” my father looked me straight in the eye.

“I promise I will be as careful as possible, Dad. I won’t do anything stupid, and I’ll try to protect Seth just as much as he tries to protect me.”

“Okay.” He nodded. “Now I think we all should get some sleep. It seems we all have a big day ahead of us tomorrow.”

“I’ve slept most of the day away anyway,” Isabel said. “I’ll just take first watch. Make sure our friends in the hideous cars outside don’t come back.”

I hugged my mother first trying to send without words my thanks for backing me up. Then I hugged my father before climbing into the bed. I couldn’t help but smile as I noticed how they seemed to just naturally curl up around each other the second they fell into bed. I turned over so my back was facing them and started to fall asleep. I decided to dream-walk Seth to let him know we were going.

I found his dream quickly and the next thing I knew I was in it.

Seth was sitting in the park at the ranch. It looked like he was on a picnic but I couldn’t see who he was with. He was smiling and laughing and it looked like he was telling a story. Intrigued, I walked over to hear what he was saying.

“So there I was, 8 years old with powers that were becoming really hard for me to control. And I was sure Max would kill me if he came into the barn and saw all of his horses painted purple and red and blue. But I couldn’t get them to change back. I was so scared that someone would find out that I couldn’t concentrate enough to get my powers focused on the horses. Instead, I just kept changing everything’s colors. The stalls became red and white, and the bales of hay looked like a purple and green checkerboard.” He smiled, turning a little pink at the memory.

His companion spoke then. “What happened next?”

I turned abruptly to look at whom he was with at the voice. A replica of me was lying on the blanket beside him. I was wearing a long cranberry red dress that had a slit in it up to just about my knees on both sides. My hair was wavy and just a little bit windblown. I looked like I was having a wonderful time, just on a picnic with Seth.

He smiled and reached out to touch ‘my’ cheek. “Well, I’m alive so obviously Max didn’t kill me. He walked into the barn, just as I managed to turn a saddle yellow. And the look on his face, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before, except maybe your face when you are really trying hard not to laugh at one of Maria and Michael’s arguments. He was trying so hard to be serious, but he just burst out laughing. Naturally, I thought I was in trouble, but Max just laughed and helped me to concentrate so I would be able to fix the colors. After I left the barn and realized what had happened, I was so embarrassed. I mean, I was 8 and supposed to be a man, and there I was acting like an inexperienced child—“

“Which you were,” ‘I’ chided, stroking the back of his hand.

“I still felt horrible. So I went to apologize to Max, but he wouldn’t hear it. I thought I was in trouble then, but instead, he just took me to the far side of this field, and we started working on my powers that day. He trained me in so many ways. I can’t imagine where I would be without him.”

‘I’ smiled. “Turning everything you touched to look like a Picasso painting?”

“Maybe.” He grinned. He leaned closer to ‘me’ and I watched as they kissed. They looked so natural together. I couldn’t believe I was watching this.


I slid out of that dream quickly. What was going on? Why was Seth dreaming about me in that situation? What did that mean? What was I supposed to do now? Did Seth like me or something? Or was that just a random act of the unconscious? Did that mean that he did like me and was denying it or was he using my image to represent someone else? Oh my God….

***

posted on 4-Sep-2002 9:42:50 AM by Transparent Clear
Yonkers--

Wouldn't dream-walking yourself be therapy? Of the Freudian sort?

oh god... now I have a picture of Sigmund Freud sucking on a pipe sitting in Xan's little head...oh, dear god....

Jenn
posted on 17-Sep-2002 12:31:43 PM by Transparent Clear
~*~Part 53~*~


I tossed and turned for most of the rest of the night. I knew that my restlessness was a combination of anticipation and guilt. I was so excited that I was going to get to go to the granolith chamber again. I was so confident that I would find something to help us, to get Alex out of that jail he was being held in and to maybe help the people back at the ranch somehow. Maybe by learning all about our past, we could build a better future.

But I knew that deep down, it was guilt that was keeping me awake. I’d dream-walked Seth. I’d knowingly gone into the head of someone I considered my friend, someone I knew I could trust implicitly. I’d invaded his privacy. He was dreaming, his unconscious was active. He wasn’t really responsible for that, and I had invaded it. How could I have done that to him?

Should I tell him? What would he say? How could I tell him? If he knew I knew what he dreamed—that he was dreaming about me—I couldn’t face him again. But what could I say to get past this, to make this better? I didn’t know what to do, and I suddenly understood why dream-walking was so dangerous and sensitive.

Isabel woke me up early. “Just to share, you are a very violent sleeper.”

“Sorry, Is. I was having some weird dreams.”

“Don’t worry about your dreams, Xan. It’s all just your unconscious. You aren’t responsible for them.”

I thought about that. Maybe Is was right. Maybe I just shouldn’t worry because Seth wasn’t responsible for the role I’d played in that dream, well, not really, anyway. His unconscious was just filling people he knew into desired roles.

“I know.”

“Let’s get you ready. You’re heading to the granolith chamber soon. Max, Liz, Michael, and Seth are all talking about strategies and ways to stay safe.”

I rolled my eyes, glad I, for once, wasn’t involved in that conversation. But I did get up and started to get my stuff together.

An hour later, we were all gathered together in one room, saying our goodbyes again. I hated how many times I’d had to say goodbye to a family I’d never truly gotten to enjoy together.

“Be careful,” my father looked between Seth and I.

“We will be, Dad.”

“I won’t let anything happen, Max,” Seth promised.

“I know.”

“Let’s change your appearances. You need to leave quickly,” Isabel said.

We nodded and I ran my hand over my hair and face. My hair was now red, and I bore a stunning resemblance to the woman on the last cover of Cosmo I’d seen. Isabel helped to turn Seth from his normal look to a punk. I had to admit he looked pretty good as a punk. Maybe he ought to think about keeping---

I stopped myself from finishing that thought. What was I doing? I couldn’t think like this!

“Ready, Xan?” Seth asked, trying to look natural in leather.

I hugged both my parents again. “I’ll see you soon.”

“Be careful, baby,” my mother said hugging me one last time.

“You, too.”

Seth and I snuck out of the hotel room and went to the Jeep. We were completely silent as we drove through the streets, anxious at every car we saw. Only after we’d been on the road completely alone for 20 minutes did Seth look at me.

“I think we’re safe,” he said. It was like he was waiting for me to say something, but I really didn’t know what to say. I was so afraid that if I even opened my mouth everything I’d seen would come pouring out, and I didn’t know if I could do that. How would he react?

“Xan, are you okay? You’ve been so quiet all day.”

“I’m fine, Seth. I’m just a little stressed, I think.”

“Well, calm down. I need a good driving partner.” He smiled and turned on the radio.

I tried to relax and have a good time, but I was just so unsure of what to say and do. How did I react to this?

We stopped at a gas station at dinner time to get some food and stretch. I walked through the stores grabbing things and then went back to the car. Seth came back outside. He got in the car but didn’t start it.

I looked over at him. “What’s wrong?”

“What is going on, Xan? And I do not plan on starting this car until you tell me the truth.” He looked at me determinedly.

I took a deep breath and accepted that I was going to have to tell him the truth. “Seth, I really don’t want to say this, but I guess I will.”

“Xan, what are you talking about?”

“Last night when Dad finally agreed that we could come, I couldn’t wait to tell you. So I decided to go into your dreams—“ He started to interrupt. “But I didn’t make myself known.” His face clouded over as he remembered his dreams. “I am so sorry, Seth. I never meant to intrude on your privacy.”

“Xan—“

“And I swear that I will never ever mention anything I saw. I know that they were your unconscious thought and you had no control over them—“ I was prepared to pull a Maria and babble for all I was worth.

But Seth’s next words shut me up.

“Xan, I know what I was dreaming about. I’ve always known about my dreams about you.”

My head snapped back to meet his eyes, and for the first time I was afraid of what I might see.

posted on 4-Oct-2002 10:01:15 AM by Transparent Clear
AN: Ok... I know I've kept you in suspense long enough....but it will have to be just a little bit longer. *happy* I've started the next part, and it shouldn't take too much longer to finish (as I'm incorporating a lot of original story parts into this...) Give me the weekend? I'd say tonight, but Aerosmith and STP are calling my name...and I'm not sure how lucid I would be after that concert to write. *happy* (if you find a part from me tomorrow morning, read w/ concern)

thank you all for all your feedback and bumps. I literally did a happy dance when I saw that someoen had bumped this story the other day. *happy* (unfortunately, the 7 other people in the room thought I was insane.)

I'll be back soon!
Jenn
posted on 7-Oct-2002 6:48:48 PM by Transparent Clear
AN

Hi, guys. First of all, as always, thank you so much for your feedback and attention to this little story. And I know I promised you an update...soon. And I have it all typed up at home. So you're thinking, great! a new part tonight. Well, that would happen if I could get my computer to run word. unfortunately, I cannot. grrrrrr

I'm working on fixing that, and I promise that asap there will be a new part.

Thanks again!
Jenn

posted on 13-Oct-2002 10:52:46 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: Finally! I have been sooo busy lately, but I have finally finished the new part...(which is somewhat short but I think it was necessary). (I even skipped Porn & Chickento write...) I hope you all enjoy, and please let me know what you think....(even if you want to kill me for waiting you wait so long for this small part)

And Yonkers, Matt (yes, his name is Matt) will be dealt w/ soon....

And now...on w/ the show!


~*~Part 54~*~


All the air left my body as my eyes met his. I was looking into dark pools of honesty, full of love and acceptance and trust, all these emotions that I’d only seen in 2 other people’s eyes. My parents, when they were looking at one another or touching one another or even thinking about one another. Oh my God…I couldn’t be seeing these emotions in Seth, not directed at me. He didn’t even know me. We’d only known each other for a few weeks. To him, I was just Xan, daughter of Max, his idol and leader. He was lying to himself, wanting to be connected to Max somehow and the easiest way was to get close to me. That had to be it. He couldn’t feel that way about me…he couldn’t.

“Xan—“ he started. His eyes were staring into mine.

I interrupted him. “Seth, I—I don’t know—“ I couldn’t hear this. I knew he would try to play like he loved me, and I didn’t want to hear him talk like that. This was absolutely ridiculous.

“Xan, let me talk,” his voice was strong and steady, like he knew exactly what he was about to say, like he’d prepared this speech before. “I need to explain some things—“

“No, you don’t, Seth. I shouldn’t have invaded your private thoughts. That was completely unfair of me. You don’t need to explain anything to me—“ If I could just keep babbling, I could make him stop. Didn’t Maria teach me that? “Why don’t just turn on the radio and go? We need to get to the granolith chamber as quickly as possible.”

“Don’t change the subject, Xan, and the granolith will wait until we talk this out. I do need to explain some things to you. I want to, Xan. I’m not ashamed of how I feel—“

“Ashamed? I don’t think you should be ashamed. I mean, this was all—“

“Just be quiet and listen, okay.” He looked at me for a second before continuing.

I nodded, trying to prepare myself for whatever I was about to hear. Oh my God…

“You know that most Antarians believe in a sense of destiny. Max was destined to be our King—and Tess was supposed to be our Queen—“

“But my father defied that destiny. I came about because he defied that destiny.”

“I know. Unlike Tess, most of us believe that while there is that destiny, there is also a choice in it. We are all made with a purpose but then we get to choose if that purpose is what we want to live.” He ran his hand through his spiky hair.

He looked so cute doing that….Whoa, I had to stop thinking like that! There was nothing cute about this! Nothing!

“The interesting thing is how we find out about this destiny. Some of us are born with a sense of knowing it, like my mom. She knew from her earliest memories that she was meant to serve the Royal Family of Antar, no matter where they lived or who they ruled. Other people only find out their destinies after they are confronted with them, like I was.”

Oh, I knew I did not want to hear this.

“I knew my destiny was to serve you, Xan, in any way you wanted, from the first moment I saw you.” He looked me in the eye.

I took his meaningful pause as an opportunity to jump in. “You saw me for the first time a couple weeks ago! How could you say that you wanted to serve me from that moment on? You were doing what my father, your hero, told you to! That’s all this is, Seth! You’re just trying impress my father or something. I studied this transplacement in school! You’re putting the emotions you miss of your father onto mine. That’s it. There is no destiny here.”

“Xan, you don’t understand yet—“

“Understand? How can I understand? You’re sitting here trying to tell me, a person who thinks the word destiny is a cruel joke of the world’s, that it is your destiny to ‘serve’ me. In whatever way I want? What the hell am I supposed to say to that? You say this destiny has led you to love me! How can I accept that? You were not put on this earth to serve me or anyone else, Seth. That’s all there is to it. I know you’re going to say that this is what you believe, but you know what, I think you need to recheck those beliefs. Destiny does not play a part in our lives anymore, if it ever did. Do you understand that? You can go out and do anything you want! It does not have to revolve around the Royal Family of Antar. There is no Antar anymore, it doesn’t matter what the roles were back there. We’re all just people now.”

“Xan, it’s more than that. And you know it.” He looked away from me for the first time since the conversation had started. “Back at that ranch, the Royal Family of Antar matters. They give those people hope, especially the ones who can remember Antar. Seeing the Royals alive and well and prosperous makes them believe that they will survive too. They need that. They came to this planet, completely unsure if they would be welcomed or if they would be hunted. They didn’t know if their futures would ever include children or careers or doing the things they loved back on their home. The first years were really rough for them. It wasn’t until the Royals came that they really started believing that they’d survive. And it wasn’t till they found out about your birth, that they knew they’d prosper.” He sighed and turned to face me again. “Don’t you understand how important you are, Xan?”

“And because of that so-called importance, you’re in love with me? I’m your destiny?” I couldn’t help my voice from rising. “You realize how ridiculous that sounds, right?” I paused. “I now know how my father felt when Tess showed up in Roswell talking about destiny. It’s not right, Seth. You can’t expect feelings because of what you think you are destined for.”

“Xan, it’s not like that. I don’t expect you to feel the same way about me. But I cannot deny the way I feel about you. Not any more. I won’t.”

“Seth, how do you know you feel this way for me? I mean, you barely know me. You can’t be in love with me.”

“I am.”

“Seth—“

“There’s stuff you don’t know, Xan,” he sighed. “I guess I didn’t explain myself too well.” He looked away for a minute. “Did you know that your father didn’t come to the ranch immediately after leaving your mom? They were on the run for a while, nearly the entire time until you were born. They were just about to come to the ranch, we’d finally made contact with them, when your father just knew you were being born. So he postponed coming to the ranch until he’d gone back to see you, just to make sure it was truly safe, for everyone.

So when they finally get to the ranch, we all, of course, knew who they were. Some of the people were old enough to remember seeing their former selves on Antar, and everyone had seen pictures. It was all we’d worked for for so long. I was 5 when they got to the ranch, and meeting Max was like a dream to me. I’d heard my mom and my dad talk about him my entire life. I was so proud to meet him. I can still remember the exact moment I saw him up close for the first time. I was in my dad’s arms and I could look Max square in the eye. And it was the weirdest thing in the world for me because I got a flash.” He looked me in the eye. “I got a flash of you,Xan.”

“What?” I exclaimed.

“I saw you, as a newborn, in Max’s arms.”

Any rational thought in my head swirled around and disappeared. Seth had seen me as a newborn in my father’s arms? How was that possible? What did that mean?

“And ever since then I’ve had these really vivid dreams—of you. I saw you when you had your first fight with your best friend. I saw you when you and your mom tried to go camping. I saw your first dance in elementary school. I saw everything, Xan. I saw your life, that’s how I know I can be in love with you. You became this entire other person in my life. I had my family and my friends and then at night there was you.”

“So you’ve seen my entire life?” I didn’t know what to feel about that. Part of me was feeling a little invaded. I mean, was there no such thing as privacy? First, I find out that my boyfriend is only with me because he wants to find out the evil ways my alien traits can emerge and now I find out the person who claims to be in love with me has seen everything about my life.

“Most of it.”

“Oh my god…”

“But in between my dreams of you, there were like these dreams of the future when I was with you. When I was helping you, defending you. I knew from the time I was like 6 that I would one day serve you, Xan. And as I grew up, I started hoping it would be as more than a warrior.”

Warrior? Whoa…that sounded a little too action movie to me.

“I never told anyone about these dreams. Not even Max. I think the closest I ever came to telling anyone about them was one day talking to my Mom. I told her I dreamt about fighting. She told me that a seer had once told her I would be a fighter, of some sort. That just confirmed my destiny to me. I was meant to—“

“Seth—“ I stopped the words from coming out of his mouth.

“That’s why I was so willing to come and help you and your mom, Xan. I’ve always known that I would help you…that I’d fight for you. I’ve always been willing to.”

“Seth, there can be no destiny between us. I won’t live my life like that. I can’t. I mean, I want a choice about my future and about who I marry and everything. I know that you all think I’m this big alien princess or whatever, but I’m also just Xan, an 18-year-old girl who would like to experience a normal life for the first time. I mean, all I want is my parents living under one roof and maybe cousins or even siblings. And someday if I do decide that I want to get married or whatever, I want to do it as my own choice. I want to date and find someone and fall in love. I don’t want it to be a matter of destiny.”

“Xan, I understand that. I know you want a choice, and that’s why I hated to tell you the truth, but at the same time, I had to. You needed to know where my loyalties lie and why they are there. I thought it might help a little with the whole trust issue. And please know that I don’t expect you to just fall into my arms as this helpless girl who has fallen in love with me because it is destined. I don’t even really know if that part is destined. I just know that I love you…and that there is no one –“

I had to stop this conversation. I couldn’t hear anymore of this. Not now. There was far too much to absorb as it was. “Seth, please. I—I can’t handle anymore of this. I need some time to think about all this. I—I can’t—“

“Okay, Xan. I understand.” He started the car. “I’ll take the first shift driving.” He eased out onto the road and headed toward Roswell and the granolith. His eyes never left the road.

I didn’t want to think about why that disappointed me.

***


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 15-Oct-2002 7:59:16 PM ]
posted on 15-Oct-2002 8:00:56 PM by Transparent Clear
quote:
YonkersMe originally wrote:
FYI, TC --

By my count, we now have two Part 53s. The last two chapters have both been labeled 53. Am I skewed? ;-)


I never claimed to be able to count... *happy*

thanks for letting me know!
posted on 29-Oct-2002 3:54:17 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: Well, as some of you know, I'm leaving for Salt Lake City tomorrow, for a conference. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten the next part of this finished yet. So I will write it on the plane, in hotel rooms, and during conference presentations that are boring. *happy* And since I am using writing as a way to avoid striking out at people, I think there should be a lot of this to come (as well as dial-up, and maybe a new story I'm working on)

talk to all of you soon!
Jenn
posted on 29-Oct-2002 3:56:28 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: Well, as some of you know, I''m leaving for Salt Lake City tomorrow, for a conference. Unfortunately, I haven''t gotten the next part of this finished yet. So I will write it on the plane, in hotel rooms, and during conference presentations that are boring. *happy* And since I am using writing as a way to avoid striking out at people, I think there should be a lot of this to come (as well as dial-up, and maybe a new story I''m working on)

talk to all of you soon!
Jenn
posted on 18-Nov-2002 3:39:14 PM by Transparent Clear
I am back... I'm just currently feeling some serious stress...and lots of anger...and lots of stuff due.

I do however have most of the next part written and mostly done...and I will use this story as an escape from all my misery as soon as I can.

thanks for thinking of me!
Jenn
posted on 18-Nov-2002 9:53:57 PM by Transparent Clear
lol!
posted on 19-Nov-2002 11:54:04 AM by Transparent Clear
AN: So I go away for such a long time and then I return with such a short paltry part.... I'm sorry. I thought this part would be a lot longer, but in the end, I couldn't really find much to say. It does however allow me to jump ahead into some more exciting parts... and I will try to post sooner. I've recently taken a lot of pressure off myself (whether that's good or not for me remains to be seen) so hopefully I will have more time to write. *happy*

Thank you for your thoughts and remembering my little story. *happy* Jenn


~*~Part 55~*~


We reached the granolith just as the sun was setting. It had been a long, silent drive. I didn’t know what to say and Seth was respecting my request for time to think. I don’t think I really got much thinking done, though. The only things going through my mind were the look in Seth’s eyes when I first looked into them after telling him the truth and occasionally snippets of his declaration of—of devotion, love?

I didn’t know what I was going to say to him ever again, really. He was my friend, but he wanted more, I knew that. No matter what he said about not really expecting me to develop feelings more than friendship, there would be an awkwardness about our relationship now. And I hated to think that I was the reason this had all happened. I had essentially forced him into admitting all those things, simply because I couldn’t stay in my own dreams. And then I couldn’t live with what I had seen enough to just keep my mouth quiet. If I hadn’t allowed this overactive sense of conscience and guilt in me to take over, I never would have said a word to Seth, and we would be fine. We’d probably be driving around, joking, singing and having a good time on our way to whatever we were meant to discover. But instead, we were both silent and possibly miserable.

I let us into the podchamber with Seth watching the area around us to make sure no one had followed us. I doubted that was possible. The only thing I’d done during my tenure in the passenger seat, Seth had wound up driving the entire way, was stare in the rearview mirror to make sure there was no one behind us.

“Do you want to try to connect to the granolith right away?” Seth asked.

“Seth—“ My voice started to crack. I felt horrible for all of this.

“Xan, don’t. It’s okay.”

“Seth—“

“We’re fine, Xan. I promise. Let’s just figure out what we’re going to do. I know you want to help your family as quickly as possible.”

I wondered how he knew…from my dreams or from talking to me. “Yeah.” I made my way through to the granolith chamber. “I guess I’ll be out…eventually.” I walked right up next to the granolith.

It somehow seemed bigger than I remembered it. I reached my right hand out and ran it along the smooth glass. I was so sure that something from this machine would bring about a total change in me. I knew it. I just had to be open to it.

I realized that was the most important thing I had learned during my first connection to it. I had to be open and willing to accept what I was going to learn. I couldn’t go into this asking questions, demanding to know my past and the way to save my family. I had to go into it as a clean slate, waiting to be filled with whatever information would come.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I knew I would connect to the granolith. And I knew I would get what I needed, not necessarily what I wanted, from it.

It started as flashes again, filling my mind with all kinds of information. I could hardly process it at all it was coming so quickly, but I knew that this was teaching me about defensive powers and ways to use them. I was being filled with information on how to protect myself. And then I was being filled with a sense of pure energy. I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do.

And then the slowest wave of knowing swept through me. I understood everything. I understood the sense of destiny we all had inside us, the necessity to forget it, even. I saw how destinies were made, and how they were denied. And I saw how they were chosen. I understood why Seth had had to tell me about his feelings; to deny them would have been to kill him. And I saw that he was truly willing to accept any boundaries I put forth for any relationship we might have. He just needed to know me. He wasn’t going to be like Tess and force this destiny upon me; he wanted me to choose it as well. And if I couldn’t, he would learn to accept that.

I pulled my hand away from the granolith and opened my eyes. That was the most incredible experience of my entire life. I felt so---changed. I was powerful. I knew how to use my abilities in so many ways. I could do something now to save Alex, but more importantly, I could help myself. I could help us all.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 19-Nov-2002 11:59:26 AM ]
posted on 6-Dec-2002 12:49:26 AM by Transparent Clear
Hi, guys... Just a quick note to say that I will be back to this fic, after this little thing called finals is over... I mean, I have 2 papers due and 2 finals on Monday itself... but after that I am free! whoo hoo!

so I will return soon... with a new part. *happy*

thank you for your bumps and feedback; they've made what I like to consider hell week so much better *happy*

Jenn

posted on 17-Dec-2002 1:22:13 AM by Transparent Clear
AN: I know, it's been way too long! And I'm afraid this part is terribly short, but I am hoping by posting it, it will lead me to the next part I want this story to go. I feel I must thank each and every person who has left feedback and bumped me (maxzhot! you made me feel so special!) and kat, thank you for catching up. I'm trying to find end now.... *happy* I feel like I ought to post the original manuscript of the ending somewhere for you guys, just so you can see how much this has changed. (of course, I'm still trying to work some of the original ideas in... he he he... if you like this seth and xan, you shoudl have seen them in the orignial!) anyway, any input you all have is always welcomed. sometimes, you help trigger my mind towards things I hadn't even thought about. and I'm always interested in how you guys like where I'm taking Xan and her story...
thank you for reading my little story here... she means a lot to me and to know that you guys enjoy it too just makes me all happy.
Jenn


~*~Part 56~*~


I walked out of the granolith chamber confidently. I just looked at Seth, wondering if he could tell just by the way I stood how incredible I felt.

He jumped up from his perch by the door and moved over to me quickly. “Are you okay? Did you connect to it? Did you learn what you wanted to?”

I smiled. “No, I learned what I needed to. And I have never ever felt so incredible, Seth.”

He smiled. “What did you learn?”

“Everything.” I felt like I had. “I mean, I know what we can do to get Alex out of there. I know how to accomplish so many things now.”

“So you got what you wanted from it?”

It seemed like he didn’t understand that I had gotten what I needed from it, not what I had wanted. That didn’t seem to matter anymore. “I got what I needed, Seth. I mean, I couldn’t have controlled what I just received from the granolith. I couldn’t ask it to show me specific things. I needed to just accept what it gave me. And by doing that, I think I’ve learned so much more than I could have ever imagined.”

“You think?”

“It was like having a supercomputer download its entire database into your head. I’m now just trying to sort all that information into control centers or something. I can’t even think to access the files right now.” I smiled. Alex would be proud of that analogy.

“So what do we do now?”

“We go back to meet my parents. I have a plan, and I think it will work.”

“What does it involve?”

“Getting into the mind of Jeremy. I’ll manipulate him until he comes searching for me. And then everyone else can go in to get Alex out.”

“Do you really think your father is going to let you do that? You can’t put yourself in danger, Xan. Maybe once all that stuff starts to clear up in your head, you’ll understand why you are so important.”

“Maybe—but maybe that will be after I convince my father to go through with this plan?”

“What if it backfires, Xan? What if Jeremy finds you?”

“I’m stronger than that.”

“You know that explanation is not going to work with Max, Xan. There is always a chance that you won’t be as strong as you think you are.”

“I am, though, Seth!” I insisted. I had all the power of the granolith inside me now. I was strong.

“But what if Max and Michael don’t agree to it? What will we do then?”

“I’ll make them agree to it. It’s the best way, with the least potential for problems.”

“To everyone except you.”

“Some risks are—“

“Xan, don’t even finish that sentence. You know that none of the risks that might come up in this are acceptable, especially not to your father. No matter what you want, you know he’s going to look out for your safety first.”

I nodded. “I’ll figure out what to say later. Let’s just get out of here.” I opened the door and we made our way to the Jeep. I got into the driver’s seat.

“Are you sure you’re up to driving, Xan? Maybe we should stop and wait somewhere.”

“I have just had the most incredible experience, Seth. I have more energy than I know what to do with right now.”

***

posted on 24-Dec-2002 12:37:57 PM by Transparent Clear
AN:

Merry Christmas!


I had hoped to be posting today but I am unfortunately running late to work (I have to work on Christmas Eve... how mean!) So hopefully, tomorrow afternoon, whenever I actually make it to my house, I'll update

I hope you all have a merry and safe Christmas!

love,
Jenn
posted on 25-Dec-2002 8:19:22 PM by Transparent Clear
Hey, guys! I hope you've all had a merry Christmas! *happy* I am covered in sweaters from family members, and considering the hideously cold weather outside, I think that's a good thing! anyway, I'm posting 2 parts tonight, because I'll be out of town for the next 4/5 days for my sister's wedding....It's like freezing outside and I'll be a maid of honor in a sleeveless dress on Saturday.... you know I love her when...

anyway, I'll be back around new years, hopefully w/ a new part *happy*

Jenn


~*~Part 57~*~


Max was pacing the hotel room again, with one hand going wild through his hair. He stopped, looked at his daughter, and then started pacing again. “I—“ He turned, looked to his wife, and continued pacing. “I don’t know how many ways I can say this, Xan—“

“Let me try, Max,” Michael said from his corner of the room. “No.”

“Dad! Michael! You have to listen to me at least. I only gave you the basics of the plan, not the specifics!” Never mind that until this minute there had been no specifics. “Just listen to it!”

“Xan, your outline was convincing enough. No.” Michael said again. “There is no way that you are going to get into the head of that bastard you used to call boyfriend. You are going to leave him alone. I knew it was dangerous when you came here. I knew you were going for revenge or something like it. But Xan, that can’t happen. We have to keep a cool head about this for all of our sakes.”

“That was rich, Michael, especially coming from you.” I bit out. I couldn’t believe he wouldn’t even listen to my ideas.

“Xan,” my mother said warningly. She could hear the rebellion in my voice and she knew it was not going to help any of us.

“Please, all I’m asking is for you to listen to me.” I said as calmly as I could manage.

Isabel nodded. “Okay. We’ll listen. We will all listen,” she repeated for both her brothers to hear. “What is the entire plan, Xan?”

“Like I said before, I’d have to manipulate Jeremy’s mind into thinking he was capturing me; we all know that I am what he truly wants. He’d be willing to take some risks to get me.”

“We are not using you as bait!” Michael exclaimed. If I didn’t know he was overreacting out of love, I might want to hit him. Heck, I still might.

“I know that! And he would never get close to me.”

“And how would you ensure that?” Isabel asked.

“There would be two ways. One would be a mindwarp, like Tess used to do.” I saw my mother cringe at that thought. “I would call him and get him to meet me somewhere, and then I’d make him believe he was capturing me.”

“How close would you have to be?” My mother asked. “I mean, to do this mindwarp?”

“I’m not sure. I’ve never really done one that I’ve been conscious of anyway so probably pretty close.”

“Unacceptable.” Maria spoke for her soulmate. “That is just too much risk, Xany. And you know it.”

“Which is why I’m leaning towards my second idea.” I said quickly. “I’d project an image of myself to him someplace and allow him to capture that projection. In the time that he’s busy dealing with my projection, we could go in and rescue Alex. Or you could go in and rescue him while I concentrate on the projection. Whatever.” I looked at the contemplating faces. “I wouldn’t really have to be too close to him. From what I’ve learned from the granolith, I could maintain a successful projection to him for hours, probably, over long distances.”

“The granolith taught you to project?” Isabel asked.

“Well, on Antar, projection was used to communicate a lot across great distances. It’s better than a phone call or email, I guess.” I smiled. “I’d be using it to communicate with Jeremy, hopefully over great distances.”

“And he wouldn’t know it was a projection? I mean, what if he touched you? He’d have to when he captured you.”

“He wouldn’t know it was a projection. I would feel like a body. I’m sure of that.” I said confidently.

My father ran his hand through his hair again. “I’m still worried about you, Xan. What if he were to figure it out. What if he found out where you really were? I don’t mind risking one of us to go into the building to get Alex. I just don’t want you to be hurt, not now.”

“That’s a risk I’m willing to take.”

“It’s not one I’m willing to accept,” my father said. “And that is final, Xan. You have to be safe.”

“What if I were constantly moving?” I asked. I looked over at Seth. “What if Seth was driving me around, waiting for you to meet us or maybe even waiting for you? I mean, it would work. He could protect me and we could meet you.”

“That would be better,” my father conceded.

“I still don’t want you in danger, Xan.”

“Michael, I know you don’t. And I wish I weren’t. But we all are, simply because we are who we are. I don’t want to change that. This is my chance, though, to really take control of my life. I can tell Jeremy to suck it or whatever. He’s put me through so much. I feel like I’ve been a victim to him. I don’t want to live my life feeling like that.” I knew Michael would understand that.

He shook his head. “I just don’t know, Xan. I’m the warrior, you know? I’m the one who’s supposed to take these kinds of risks,” he admitted.

I heard Maria gasp at his words. He was being so honest.

“You’re the one going in to get Alex; that’s risk enough. I’ll take care of Jeremy.” I said. “Please.” I looked him in the eye.

He held my gaze for a minute and then nodded. “But if you even think about doing something stupid—“

“I won’t!” I said a bit too quickly. I smiled sheepishly. “I’ll do whatever we have to do for this plan to work, but that’s it. No unnecessary danger, I promise.”

Michael turned to look at my father. “Then I think her plan might work.”

I squealed with excitement and then immediately shut up. My father still had the final say, and I didn’t want to press my luck.

“Before I agree to this,” he said wearily, “I want to hear the entire thing one more time. I want a strategy here, Xan. I want to know what each of us will be doing and how we will communicate. Everything.” He looked me in the eye. “This is serious time.”

I nodded. “Okay. For the first part of this plan, you, Mom, Isabel, Michael, and Maria will all be hiding in one of the buildings by the warehouse they’re holding Alex in. I’ll call Jeremy and make up an excuse to meet him. I’ll get him someplace public, like Starbucks or something.”

“What about when he asks why you’re here?” My father said.

“I’ll tell him I’m looking for Alex.”

“But Xan, he’ll think you’ll think he’s a couple hours away,” Maria said. “Why would you suddenly call your ex-boyfriend from here when you think he’s hours away?”

I paused, realizing that was true. “Fine. Then I’ll tell him the truth. That I know who and what he is. That I know he has Alex. And I’ll tell him I’ll give myself up in exchange for Alex.”

“Won’t he be concerned about the rest of us?” My mother pointed out. “He knows how protective of you I am.”

“I’ll tell him I ran away or something. I don’t know.”

“The thing is, we need to know, Xan. That’s the only way this mission will work.”

I nodded, knowing my father was right. “Ok, then I’ll tell him I ran away from you guys intent on finding Alex. You guys are searching somewhere else, like Roswell or something. I’ll tell him I’ll turn myself in in exchange for Alex. He’ll agree because we know that’s what he really wants. He wants to see what I can do and how the government can exploit that.” I paused waiting for any more questions. “Anyway, after he agrees to meet me, Seth and I will monitor that location until we see him arrive. Once we do, I’ll start the projection. When I walk into that coffee shop, Seth will contact you and let you know how many people have followed Jeremy so you’ll know how many people you will have to get past to get to Alex. I’ll maintain the projection until I know that you have gotten Alex out of wherever he is being held. That’s when I’ll let him capture me and take me back to the warehouse. I’ll keep him distracted there for as long as I can until we have all met up and we are on our way home.”

“How are we going to know where Alex is being held?” Maria asked. “I mean, I know we know where, but don’t we need to know the exacts? Shouldn’t we know exactly how to get to him in the warehouse?” For all her flightiness, I suddenly realized what Maria was to this group. While so many of them were intuitively leaping from plan to plan, like myself, she kept it realistic. She reminded us of the details that we sometimes tended to gloss over.

“Either Isabel or I will have to dream-walk Jeremy before we go through with this plan. It’s possible to manipulate his dream so that he will show us exactly what we want. We just find out the exact path to Alex from that.”

“And he won’t detect that? You’ve been worried about him sensing dream-walks for a while now, Xan.” Maria pointed out.

I nodded confidently. “He can’t detect it. I know that now. The granolith confirmed that for me.”

“How do we get rid of the guards? No matter how many people go to capture you, Xan, there will still be people guarding Alex.”

“Michael and my father can blast them.” I realized how heartless that sounded. “I don’t want to hurt innocent people, even if they have taken Alex. They don’t really see what they’ve done. They’re just scared. The blasts could just incapacitate them, nothing too serious. Maybe knock them unconscious.”

My mother spoke up quietly. “What about Jeremy, Xan? Is he innocent?”

I looked at her, without an answer.

“Will you be content to merely outsmart him?” She left off asking if I wanted another, more physical revenge.

I wondered about that for a minute myself. “I’ll have to be.” I said slowly. “To do anything else would be to bring danger to all of us.”

My father nodded. “There are still some things that need to be wrinkled out, but I think this plan will work.” He smiled at me. “I’m proud of you, Xan.”

“I just want Alex home with us.”

“And he will be.” Isabel smiled.

My father took over the strategizing. “Okay, starting tonight, I want to monitor the warehouse they’re holding Alex in for 2 days and night, nonstop. Michael and Maria, you’ll take tonight and the day after tomorrow. Xan, Seth and Isabel, you’ll take tomorrow during the day. And Liz and I will take tomorrow night. We need to try to get a count of how many people there are there and where they are located. We need to pay careful attention to during the afternoon, as that will most likely be when Xan gets in touch with Jeremy. Notice any weapons and shift changes.” He said seriously. “Isabel, you dream-walk Jeremy tonight and see if you can’t find out exactly where Alex is being held and as many ways to get there as possible. Check on any security restricted access points as well. I know we can get through them with our powers, but it’s good to know how many we’ll be dealing with.” Isabel nodded. “Xan, did the granolith give you any insight into a way to dream-walk Alex? We need to warn him that we’re coming.”

I thought for a minute. “I’m not sure. I might be able to force the connection—“ I let my thought fade off as I noticed Isabel staring at me. She looked a little hurt. Of course, she would want to be the one to contact Alex. She had so much to tell him.

“Try tonight.” He looked at his sister. “If you get through, try to patch Isabel in.”

I saw the hope leap in Isabel’s eyes and I hoped that I didn’t let her down. “Okay.”

“Maria, Michael, get some rest. And I think we all know what we need to do.”

There was a silent agreement as we all separated to various parts of the 2 rooms we were occupying.

***

posted on 25-Dec-2002 8:20:54 PM by Transparent Clear
~*~Part 58~*~



That night as Isabel and I both slept, I snuck into her dream. I knew she would be carrying out her part of the mission with Jeremy’s mind. I wondered if she was done with that. It shouldn’t be too hard to get through to him. Her skills were incredible.

I knew as soon as she was done with that, she would be searching for Alex, again. I wanted to help her out a little and maybe accomplish something for the good of our plan, too. And even though I would never consciously admit this to anyone, but I was a little worried about using all these new powers that the granolith had given me. I didn’t know how they worked or what they were supposed to do. I just knew how to do them, instinctively now. I needed someone who might be able to make sense of them. And if it were about physical powers, I’d go to Michael or healing powers, I’d go to my Dad. But these were all about the mental stuff, and that meant I needed Isabel.

I found Isabel in a dark room. It looked like she was trying to find Alex or make a connection to him somehow from her memories. I tried to approach her slowly and cautiously but she knew I was there.

“Xan.”

“Hey, Is.”

“Why are you in here? Has something happened?”

“No, everything’s fine. Have you dream-walked Jeremy yet?”

“I got all the information we need, and maybe a little more.” She looked at me sympathetically. “You know, there’s some part of him who really is the Matt you knew, Xan. He does feel some regret about—“

“Is, let’s not talk about this. I do not care if Jeremy feels regret. He should feel a lot of it and even more shame over the things he has done.” She nodded. “So how’s the search for Alex going?”

“Same old, same old,” she sighed. She turned to look at me with a new look in her eyes. “Can you reach him? Did you learn how to break through whatever they’re doing to him?”

I knew she was asking if I could do things she couldn’t, and I knew it hurt the hell out of her to ask me that. “I learned a couple things from the granolith, yes. But I need your help, Isabel. I’ve never done anything close to this, and I’m scared.” I said honestly.

“Xan, you have the granolith’s power in you now. There’s no reason to be scared.” She moved closer to me.

“There’re plenty of reasons to be scared.” I smiled bravely. “But I want us to reach out to Alex. I’m afraid of what they’re doing to him, and even if I can break past whatever it is that’s keeping us from making the connection, I think he’s going to need you. And you need to talk to him, Isabel. So let’s do this together.”

She nodded. “Okay. What do we need to do?”

I smiled. “Let me just connect with you and you can see what the granolith showed me about this stuff. Maybe you’ll actually know how to use it.”

She nodded again, and I easily formed a connection. For a few moments, pure information passed between us. When she’d seen all I knew about this, she looked at me with wide eyes. “Wow.”

“Exactly.” I smiled.

“Okay. I think this is what we have to do.”

I smiled and listened eagerly.

20 minutes later, we were working together to break into whatever was keeping Alex away from us. Isabel took the direct approach, trying to make a normal dream connection. I took the new approach the granolith had taught me. I calmed myself down to the point of meditation and just reached out for any part of Alex. It didn’t have to be a dream or a consciousness. I just needed something that was Alex: his breath, his thoughts, his heartbeat.

We’d worked together for nearly an hour when I felt something that I knew was not coming from either Isabel or myself. It was low and quiet and cold, but there was a thread somewhere close to me of absolute fear. As much as I hated to think it, I knew this was Alex. I reached out for it, following its path until I reached the source.

I was in a completely black room. There was no light, no sound, and despite what I thought, no presence of any other people. I reached out and touched a wall and used it to guide me. I thought for a minute and decided to manipulate this a little bit for my own good. I took my hand away from the wall and a light bubble formed in it. I tossed it up in the air, as if I was letting it encompass every part of the room. And that’s when I heard the noise from the far corner that was still covered in shadows. I walked closer, willing more light into the room.

Sitting in the corner, curled up in a ball, was Alex. He looked scruffy, his face was covered with hair and his hair was sticking out in every direction. His back was to me, but I could tell, just from his position, that he was terrified of whatever was happening to him. I moved till I was only a foot or two away.

“Alex?”

“No, no, no, you’re not real,” he chanted.

“Alex,” I leaned down closer to him, “it’s me. It’s Xan. I’m real, I promise. I’m here.”

“No. I will not believe this lie. I know you’re not real. I know you aren’t here. This is just another trick.”

“Alex, it’s real. I’m here. I’m dream-walking you.”

“No.”

“Yes. I’m here and Isabel will be here in a minute. She wants to see you, Alex. She has so much to tell you.”

“Isabel?” he whispered. “God, why can’t you just stop torturing me? I don’t know anything. I can’t do anything for you. I’ll never tell you where to find them because I don’t know!” He screamed.

“Alex, believe in me. I promise you that I will not hurt you. I’m here to help you. Isabel and I are here to help.” I reached out to Isabel to get her into my mind. She needed to come help me with Alex.

“Alex, listen to me. Do you remember the time we were in New York and you took me to the Yankee baseball game? I was like 3, and you put me on your shoulders so that I could see over everyone else in line. Or the first time I came and stayed with you in California all by myself? I was sooo scared that I wouldn’t find you in the airport. I was so sure that I was too small to be noticed in the airport crowds. What about the time I called you after my first date with Jeremy? I was so confused about what it meant that he had tried to hold my hand. And you kind of laughed at me, but I guess it was because you were thinking about Isabel, huh? And what about Isabel? You and she have so many things to look forward to, Alex. I don’t want you to miss it, but you have to help me help you. I need you to trust me that I’m real.”

Isabel appeared in the room. “Alex?” Her voice caught.

Alex started rocking back and forth. “No, no, no, this is not real…You’re not here. This is just another dream. You aren’t real,” he whispered.

“Xan, what’s wrong with him?”

“I think he’s just confused. I don’t know. I’m afraid of whatever they’ve done to him. He doesn’t believe we’re real.”

Isabel looked horrified. “He has to know it’s us. He just has to.” She sat down a few feet away from him. “Alex, it’s me.” She said in the calmest voice she could manage. “It’s Isabel. I’m really here, baby. I finally got through the barriers, well, Xan did. We’re both here.”

“It’s not you. This is all just a trick.”

She smiled. “No, baby, it’s me. I’ve been trying to get in here ever since you were taken that day, and I haven’t been able to. Xan connected to the granolith and now we know how. It’s a miracle, really.” She smiled. “Xan’s getting pretty good at this alien stuff, you know.” She looked up to me. She was so helpless.

“Alex, remember the time that we went camping? Me and you and Maria and Mom? And you wanted to stay out all night and look at the stars? Mom and Maria went to sleep, but you just wrapped your arm around me and we stared for hours. Do you remember the shooting star? You said shooting stars were so special you only saw them when you were with someone you loved. Do you remember?”

Isabel understood what I was doing. “And all this time, I thought I was the only girl you ever looked at the stars with,” she whispered. “Do you remember that night, Alex? I was so cold. But you were awesome. And even though our fathers were looking for us, we just sat on that log and stared at the stars. We saw a shooting star, too, didn’t we? And you reached over and took my hand and squeezed it. I felt so special.”

“Isabel—“ he whispered. His rocking had stopped but he was still scared.

“I’m real, baby. I know it’s hard to believe that, but I promise you. I am real. So is Xan. We’re here to help you.”

“You’ve said that before.”

“But this is the truth. I know you, Alex Whitman. I know every embarrassing story. I know how proud you were the day you signed the contract with the firm. I know how impressed you are by everything Xan does. I know you have a secret collection of kid’s books in your condo, just waiting. And I know how much you’ve been looking forward to the day we can finally be together. I know what you want.” She moved to touch him. “And Alex, if you’ll just believe me, I can help you get everything you want.” She ran her hand down his arm. He didn’t flinch away. “That’s me, baby. And I can make your dreams come true.” She started whispering. “I know all about the dreams you’ve had—we’ve had—of the day we would have a child of our own, one we can raise and love and teach. And I know you’ve had to wait for that for so long, but not anymore. Baby, I’m real, and once you know that, I can connect you with our baby. You can feel his heartbeat and know how real we are.” She met his eyes. “Please, just touch me. You’ll know the truth.”

I found myself praying that he would reach out and touch her. For both of their sakes. I watched as his head lifted, looking at her and then me and then back to her. His eyes were so dark but somewhere I saw a glimmer of hope, of belief in them. He reached out and took her hand. Isabel sighed as she felt his touch for the first time in too long.

“Isabel,” he whispered with confidence in his voice.

“Shhh,” she took his hand and led it to her stomach. “This is the truth, baby.”

His face filled with awe as he realized what she was talking about.

“We’re?” He didn’t know how to finish his question.

“Yes.” She kissed him. “Yes!”

He hugged her for a minute, just breathing in her scent it seemed. Even though he was still scruffy and obviously confused, there was a sense of calm in the room.

Then he pushed her away. “No. You have to leave, Isabel. What if they can somehow understand this? What if they know where you are? You have to be safe. Please.”

I moved closer to him. “We are safe, Alex. I promise you. No one else knows we’re here. And we’re going to get you out of wherever you are. I promise you that.”

“Xan—“

“We just need you to help us.”

He looked at us as if he was wondering what he was capable of doing.

Isabel smiled. “I’m going to connect to you, and if that works, you will be free within the next couple days. And you’ll be coming home with us, back to the ranch, where we belong.” She promised.

He nodded. “That’s all I want, Isabel.”

“I know.” She kissed him again and formed the connection.

A few minutes later, she looked at me. “I know everything Alex knows about where he’s being held.” She smiled.

“Okay.” I looked at the two of them just wrapped around each other. “Connect with me for a minute. Give me the information. Then I’m going to go tell Dad and Michael. You guys enjoy this for as long as you can.”

Isabel nodded and connected to me. I couldn’t help but flinch when I saw the torture he’d been put through. God, how had he survived? Was that what they wanted to do to me? If Jeremy felt so much regret over what he had done, how could he do this to another human being?

I looked at them and hugged Alex. “I love you, Alex. I will see you soon.”

“I love you, too, Xan. Tell your mom and Maria the same.”

“I will—until you can.” I whispered.


I left their dream as quickly as I could. This was their time. They deserved it.

***

posted on 8-Jan-2003 10:54:36 PM by Transparent Clear
Hi, guys. I really really really wish I were updating this fic right now. But instead I have had to come to a friend's house to let you all know that my computer is apparently dead and until my computer savvy friends can fix it, I'm non-communicado from home, which really isn't a big deal (other than the fact that I live via my online convos w/ people and stuff...and that I hate being apart from my IM for more than like an hour...) What's really tragic is that all my writings (including all parts of Xan and Dial-Up) are only on that computer. There are no back-ups, well, at least not recent ones.... I will try to rewrite what I already have written and update from school as soon as I can, but I just wanted to let you know I am so sorry!

I hope to talk to you all soon and update sooner!
Jenn

ps if you know why a hard-drive would start sounding like a ticking clock (my theory is it's the taliban), let me know!

posted on 10-Jan-2003 7:08:21 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: School's back in session and I spent all my time in my first couple classes writing this! yay! jenn


~*~Part 59~*~


Spending the night in a dream with Alex rejuvenated Isabel in a way that nothing else could have. She woke up the next morning, ready to go and willing to do whatever it took to get him home. She got everything ready for the day, which would be spent staking out the warehouse where they were holding him. She then woke me and Seth up to get ready.

Being the non-morning person of the group, apparently, she had a little more trouble getting me out of the bed than she would have liked. She finally resorted to leaning close to my ear and whispering “Alexandra Maria Isabella Parker Evans, if you do not get your butt out of that bed right now, I will never give you another dream’s rest!”

I woke up soon after that threat was issued. I looked at her as I tried to wipe the sleep from my eyes.

“Shower,” she pointed. “Now.”

I followed her fingers into the bathroom and took a short but hot shower. I found clothes for the day sitting on the countertop next to the sink. I quickly got dressed and then went back into the room. Seth was lying back on my bed, looking just about as awake as I felt. But Isabel had the most serene look on her face, like everything was falling into place.

“You ready?” She asked as I sat next to her.

“Of course.” I smiled. “Are you?”

“You’d better believe it.” She looked at me for a moment. “Thank you, Xan. For last night, I mean. I really—I mean, we really needed that. It’d been so long, you know, and without that connection… well, just thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Isabel, but really, I am so glad that I could help you form that connection. I know you both needed it. And the thing is, I hope you won’t soon.”

“Me, too.”

“Is he ready?”

“Absolutely. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get out of there.”

“Well, he’s already helped. After I left your dream, I connected with Dad and gave him all the information Alex gave us—“

“All of it?” She asked quickly.

I knew what she was talking about. “No, not all of it. I held some stuff back. If Alex wants to share that, he can. I just feel bad that I saw it at all.”

Isabel nodded. “In the state he’s in, he can’t really control what he sends out and what he doesn’t. But he’s okay, Xan, and that’s all that matters.”

“I know.” I tried to smile. Alex was going to be out of there so soon, and then we could all go back to the ranch and everything would just be perfect. “Does he know?”

She smiled. “I told him last night.” Her eyes got wet as she remembered. “Xan, he just looked so amazed. I mean, really amazed. He connected to the baby and I swear I have never seen so many emotions go through his eyes at once. That’s why we have to get him out. He needs to really connect. He needs to see all the changes I’m going to go through. And I need him to be here with me when it happens.” She whispered.

It was my turn to reassure her. “He will, Isabel. I know it And he will be the most doting father ever!”

“I know.” She grinned.

We took a minute to hug and then she reached over and smacked Seth on the leg causing him to jump. “Come on, bucko. We are going to stake out a warehouse.”



Staking out a warehouse is not as much fun as it looks on TV and in the movies. That’s what I learned that day. Seth, Isabel and I sat in that car for 14 hours, just watching a building. Occasionally, we’d be able to count the people in the doorway, but that was it. There was nothing else to occupy ourselves with. Isabel seemed the most intent on watching that building, every second getting her closer to Alex’s return. But Seth and I sat in the back seat together, half awake, half asleep, just thinking about all the things that we could be doing. Well, that’s what I was thinking about. I wanted to be more active than this! I understood planning, but this was ridiculous! I was so bored!

I looked at Seth and based on the way his eyelids drooped, I’m pretty confident he was just as bored. How could Isabel keep this up?

“Just go to sleep,” Isabel finally said, breaking the silence. “I’ll keep watching and if I need you, I’ll wake you guys up. I’m tired of the yawns and the dazed expressions.”

“Sorry, Isabel,” I tried to excuse myself. “I mean, this is just so boring.”

“I know it is, but it’s something we’ve got to do.”

“Are you sure you wouldn’t mind if we slept?” Seth asked. “I mean, I don’t want all this work to fall to you.”

“I’m fine. Just go to sleep.”

Seth and I looked at each other for another minute before saying “Thank you” in unison and getting ourselves comfortable across from each other in the backseat. I fell asleep quickly and found myself in the most beautiful field full of flowers and sunlight. I felt like I was in heaven or something. But I had to wonder how I had gotten here. I’d never seen any place like it before.

I turned around and looked. There were trees off in the distance in one direction and it looked like a brook or stream in the other. And as I turned towards the sun, I saw someone walking towards me. I moved closer to them, wondering who it could be. Who had I made up in my dream? Had someone forced themselves into my dreams? Was it Matt? What was he trying to do?

I was shocked to see it was Seth, walking through the field at the most leisurely calm pace towards me.

“Seth?” I couldn’t help but sound unsure. I mean, what in the world?

“Welcome to my dream.” He smiled.

“What? Your dream?” I looked around again. It was changing slightly. Suddenly there was a blanket a few feet away in the grass.

“Yeah, this is my haven.”

“How am I here?”

“Well, when I was younger, Mom taught me to pull her into my dreams—in case I had nightmares.”

“So you’re having nightmares now?” I couldn’t help teasing him.

“That wasn’t the only thing I’ve used this trick for.” He grinned and let me to the blanket where we sat down.

“So why are we in here?”

“I just need to talk to you, and there doesn’t seem to be any time to do so in the real world.”

“Seth—“

“Xan, please let me talk.” His tone was so conservative and quiet. I wished that I could help him out. I understood so much more now than I had during my initial outbreak at the idea of him feeling we had a destiny together. I realized that I hadn’t really told him much of what I’d personally gotten from the granolith, just what I’d learned that could help us in saving Alex. But I understood that he just really need to say it. So I nodded.

“Okay,” he took a moment as if he was trying to prepare himself. “I guess I just need to apologize in some way for saying what I did in the car the other day. I mean, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, and I can’t help but think it was completely ridiculous of me to just announce this grand destiny I feel we are meant to have and then expect it to come true. Especially knowing your history with the word destiny and the effects that might have on a person. So I’m sorry.”

I looked at him for a moment. I couldn’t believe that my behavior had caused this incredibly honest man to regret sharing himself with me. I mean, he did what he only felt was natural, and I caused him to regret it. What in the world was wrong with me? How could I have done that? “Seth, no. You don’t have to say that to me, and I’d hate it if you did feel sorry for being honest and just trying to live your life the way you want to. I don’t want to be the cause of you changing like that, with anyone, and especially not with me.”

“Xan—“

“My turn to talk.” I smiled. “I did learn a few things from the granolith that I haven’t gotten around to telling anyone yet, you know.” I paused. God, how did I say all this? “I understand what you meant when you told me you were destined to serve me. I really understand now that you have chosen that and everything. The granolith showed me what that means to you, to us, to accept a destiny. I guess, all you’re really waiting for is for me to accept it as well, but I’m still not sure about it. I mean, the idea that you’re supposed to be—working, protecting, whatever, for me for the rest of my life is just a little absurd, don’t you think? I can’t comprehend that, and yet at the same time, I understand that I can’t fight you on it.” He smiled a little. “I just don’t really know how to respond to all this. I guess I just need you to understand that I am different than you. I mean, we have so much in common except for the ways we were raised. And I know that you said you’ve seen everything or the major stuff in my life, which probably led to me feeling so confused about it when you told me that. But while you may have seen my life, you don’t know how I was really raised.

“My mother raised me to be independent and strong-willed and hard-working and all these noble gestures that really don’t mean much I guess. She taught me to believe in a love that while it may start at first sight needed to grow based on respect and work and honesty and…. I just couldn’t accept the idea that someone could love me when they didn’t even know me.” I couldn’t really look him in the eye. “I don’t know that I’m expressing myself very well, right now, I’m sorry. I just want to be honest with you, at least as honest with you as you have been with me.”

“Thank you.”

I looked at him absolutely amazed by everything about him. How could he be so calm and mature when I just bared my soul against everything he’d said and completely confused myself? This just wasn’t fair. “Anyway, listen, I know that before my idiotic dream-walking interruption, we had a really great friendship, and to tell you the truth, I really need something like that in my life. I mean, in a lot of ways, I’ve never had a real friendship, without all the bull of maybe someone is searching for alien traits type thing….I need that. Please?”

***

posted on 25-Jan-2003 6:41:21 PM by Transparent Clear
AN: I totally need to thank Lynda for saving my life here on this story as well. If you hadn't saved it....

I just found out that everything on my hard drive is gone. I had to get a new one and all that jazz....It kind of sucks, but I'm trying to forget all the stuff that was on it that I lost.... (papers for schools, stories, etc.)

I hope you enjoy this next part. I think Michelle and I might be thinking entirely too much alike. *happy*

~*~Part 60~*~


Seth looked at me. “Xan, I will always be your friend.”

I let out a huge breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. Why had I been so worried?

“But I need you to acknowledge that you know I want more than just friendship—“

“I understand that your idea of our destiny calls for that—“

“It’s more than that, Xan. And I guess I’m just now brave enough to admit it.”

I can only imagine how large my eyes got at that statement. “Seth—“

“Xan, yes, I was slightly biased toward you when I met you because of what I feel of our future. But there’s more. From the minute I met you, the minute you first took my hand, I just knew there had to be something special about you. And ever since I saw that, I have spent the rest of the time from that day learning just how awesome you are.”

“Seth—“ I could sense compliments coming on, and I was so bad at accepting compliments.

“Xan,” he smiled, “you are the bravest woman I have ever met.” I opened my mouth. “And don’t even deny it. In the space of just a few months, your entire world has completely changed. You find out you’re an alien. You find out everyone around you is spying on you. And you still prevail. You’re still fighting. That makes you braver than anyone I’ve ever known.” He smiled. “And nothing you can say to deny it will make it less true.”

“Seth—“

“Xan, that’s just the top of the iceberg. You are so loyal. You’re proving that simply by carrying out this plan. You’re willingly putting yourself in danger—“

“For Alex. He helped raise me, Seth. Of course I’d take risks for him.”

“You say that like anyone would,” he smiled, amused.

“They would.”

“I’m not so sure about that, Xan. You’re risking your freedom and going against the possibility of being experimented upon for him. I don’t know many people our age who would do this.”

“You’re doing it—“

“But I—“

“Out of a sense of duty,” I said, just letting the words pour from my mouth. “You think you have to. For me—and my father. You’re risking your life out of an idea of destiny and the need to impress.” I could not believe I just said that. I regretted the words as soon as they were said.

Seth looked at me for a second. “Don’t feel bad about saying that, Xan. It’s the truth.”

I rushed to say something. I felt like such an ass. “I undesrstand, though, Seth. I know why—“

“Xan, I know,” he said again. “And you’re right. I am doing this because I feel it is my destiny to serve you and your father like this. And in a lot of ways, you’re right. I am trying to impress your father. Who wouldn’t want to impress the only father figure he has ever really known?”

Those words struck something in me. Seth just admitted that he thought of my father as a father figure for him. He was trying to impress my father…that was the key to his life apparently. I looked at him for a second and wondered if I could really believe anything out of his mouth about what he felt was our destiny. Maybe he really just thought that it was his destiny to be as close to Max as possible. Maybe that was why he was so willing to go along with my plan. It would certainly put him in a good light with my father.

“Xan—“ He started to talk. His voice said he wanted to calm things down or something.

I couldn’t hear that from him. I didn’t want to have to think that everything he said was about getting closer to my father. I couldn’t think like this. I couldn’t start thinking about him like this. I couldn’t! I didn’t want to have to start second guessing everyone again, especially not Seth. “No, Seth. I’m sorry. Let’s just forget I ever said that.” I suggested hoping he would agree. He opened his mouth and she just knew he was not going to let this drop. “Listen, we have too much to do right now. I have an uncle to save and you have to help me. If you want to rehash this once we’ve done that, that’s fine and I will. But right now, I really just need to focus on that.” I knew I was making excuses. And while I hated to do it—excuses never caused anything good; they only lead to lies and doubt—I needed them right now. I couldn’t deal with this. I needed to be able to trust Seth. If I had to start second guessing his every move, wondering if he was doing it to help himself look good in front of my father, I’d go crazy.

“Xan—“

“So I’m going to wake up now and let Isabel take a nap or something. She could probably use the break, too.” I said as if determined that that was the plan and there was no getting around it. I looked at him one more time and then woke up.

“Sweetie, were you okay? Did you have a bad dream or something?” Isabel asked when she noticed I’d woken up.

“No.” It wasn’t a dream. “Why?”

“You just didn’t seem to really be restful,” she said. “Your eyes kept opening and shutting like you were trying to wake up.”

I shrugged. “Nope, it was fine.” I hated lying. “Why don’t you relax for a while? I’ll take over watching.”

She smiled. “That would be great. I didn’t realize just how boring this could be,” she admitted.

I took turns watching the building and Isabel and Seth sleep. I couldn’t help but almost wish that Seth would wake up. I needed to know that he wasn’t using me to try to get closer to my father. I needed to know I could trust him. But he didn’t wake up and there were no reassurances of what he felt or wanted. I knew though that I couldn’t go through these next couple days, rescuing Alex and the tricks it would take to do so, without trusting Seth. He was my partner in all this.

So I made a decision. I would trust him. At least until we had Alex safe and home. I’d have to trust him. After all, he was doing this to help Alex, no matter what his motives behind it were. I could trust that.

posted on 4-Feb-2003 5:45:22 PM by Transparent Clear
Maxz, if I can make it through tomorrow, (after about 4 margaritas and possibly just shots) I will finally get the next part out. *happy* School is evil. That's all I have to say about it. *happy*

Xan will be back soon! I promise. And thank you for your bumps! They've really made my day.

Jenn
posted on 6-Feb-2003 12:37:27 AM by Transparent Clear
Maxz, I just wanted to let you know that while I sat through class tonight (pre-margaritas), I wrote 3 pages on the next part of Xan. Hopefully I'll be able to see the keys well enough in the morning to type and work on the rest. *happy*

Jenn
posted on 9-Feb-2003 10:59:50 AM by Transparent Clear


First of all, thank you all for your incredible bumps (especially Maxz and Lost!). It's taken longer than I though to get this part out --stupid school! But I hope you enjoy it. As I was writing on this part, I realized that I could have a few very important plot things done in this one part and that would dramatically change this story. I guess I'm kind of attached to these characters, because as you can see, there will be more after this part.

I guess I just wanted to thank you guys for all your concern and caring for this story and its author. Margarita night went wonderfully... I totally needed it. *happy* (Because as a friend of mine pointed out, nothing makes things better like strawberry margaritas)

So now I'm off to try to work on the next part of Dial Up (if you read that one!) and there should be new Xan soon, provided I make it through classes this week. *happy*

thanks again,
Jenn

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 9-Feb-2003 11:08:46 AM ]
posted on 9-Feb-2003 11:03:27 AM by Transparent Clear
**all in italics is the projection, regular text is reality. *happy*

~*~Part 61~*~


“Xan, are you sure you’re ready for this?” My mother asked. She was so nervous for me.

“I know I am, Mom. We all are.”

We’d watched the warehouse for 3 straight days. We knew there were 20 men working at the warehouse every day in 3 different shifts. We knew when those shifts ended. And we knew how bored several of the outside guards were, especially in the daytime, thanks to some dream-walking Isabel and I had done. Isabel had also connected to Alex each night to share our progress with him, and we knew he was ready. I’d practiced my projection. The plan was completely ready. All I had to do was puck up the phone and call Jeremy to put all our planning into action.

“Promise me one more time that you’re going to be careful.”

We’d been going back and forth like this for the past 20 minutes. I had already promised to be careful—and to avoid unnecessary risks—15 times. “Mom, I—“

“Alexandra Maria Isabella, humor me!”

I smiled a little. I always had to laugh when she called me by my full name. “Mother, I promise you that I will be careful and avoid any and all danger and do only that which Dad and Michael would approve of.”

She hugged me. “Thank you, Xan. Now you can call that evil bastard.”

I smiled.

“Don’t let on that you know what he is, Xan,” my father warned me for the 7th time. “Just tell him that you need his help.”

I nodded and dialed Matt’s cell phone.

“Hello?” His voice sounded so familiar. I could easily remember why I’d fallen for him so quickly just by speaking to him. “Hello?’

I turned on my scared, hurt voice. Oddly enough, it wasn’t that much of an act. “Matt?”

“Alex, is that you?” He suddenly sounded worried and interested.

“Matt?” I cried a little harder.

“It’s me.” He sounded so comforting. He shouldn’t work for the FBI; he should be an actor! “What are—where are you? What’s going on? No one has seen you in weeks. I mean, other than that note in my locker… Did you really run away, Alex? Where have you been?”

“Yes, I really ran away, Matt. I can’t tell you where I’ve been—I figure I’m going to be going back there soon.”

“Why are you calling then? I have been so worried about you, baby. I mean, one minute you’re saying we’ll be together forever. The next—you’ve left this note in my locker that answers nothing and is just a long goodbye, really. What is going on?”

“God, Matt, so much has happened lately. I don’t know how to explain it all. I never intended to.”

“Then why are you calling me?” He had just the right amount of anger in his voice to make it seem like he really did care.

“I need your help.” I sighed. “I’m sorry for doing this to you, Matt, but you’re the only person I could think of to call. You’re the only person I know who would actually help me.”

“With what?”

“I’m in California, at my uncle Alex’s.”

“Why?”

“I came here because I started to feel really guilty about my mother. I can’t believe I just left her without a goodbye or anything, you know. I wanted to call her and let her know I was okay, but I was afraid to. So I thought I’d come see Alex and have him help me. I don’t know what I was thinking. He would have tied me up until my mom got here and took me home—“

“Would have?”

“He’s not here, Matt. Alex is missing. No one has heard from him in weeks. And when I called my house, my mom wasn’t there either. I called her work and they said they haven’t seen her since the day I ran away, Matt. Something is going on here, and I am so confused.”

“Maybe he and your mom are together, looking for you, Alex.”

“I don’t know. It just seems so—I can’t believe that, Matt.”

“Why not?”

“Because I know Alex. He would never leave his email for so long without at least checking in. And he hasn’t checked since the day I ran away. Something is going on, Matt.”

“What do you want me to do? I can’t—“

“I need you to come help me find him. Please. I know I’ve hurt you, Matt, but you are the only one I can trust. Please help me.”

He sighed. “Give me an hour, okay, and I’ll meet you somewhere.”

“An hour? Matt, you’re hours from here.”

“Don’t worry about that. I’ll meet you in an hour—“

“Can we just meet at Starbucks? I need some coffee if I’m going to make it through this.”

“Sure,” he laughed a little. “I’ll see you soon, Alex.”

“Thank you, Matt.” I whispered and hung up. I looked at my family. “He’ll meet me in an hour.”

“Okay,” my father nodded decisively. “Let’s get going.”

Both my parents hugged me tightly. “Take care of yourself—“

“I will,” I said exasperated. “I promise.” I calmed down a little. “You guys need to promise you’ll be careful, too, all of you.” I looked at my family meaningfully.

“We are careful, Xan. We’ve had a lot of practice at this, remember?” Maria smiled.

I nodded. “Okay.”

“So we’ll meet you outside city limits as soon as you call to let us know you have Alex,” Seth confirmed the final leg of the plan.

“Agreed,” Michael nodded. “Be sure to stay in motion. We won’t know how many people will be there to watch or follow. They might even call in some who aren’t working the warehouse.”

“Right.” Seth agreed.

We all took a long hard look at each other, as if confirming that each of us knew that we were going to bring Alex home today no matter what. Then we all took off. Seth and Michael went to get the cars ready. Maria and my parents started moving everything they’d need from the hotel rooms to the car. And Isabel walked me to my car.

“You’re ready for this, Xan. I know you are.” She hugged me.

“Thank you, Isabel.” I smiled and climbed into the car.

She shut the door for me and looked at Seth. “Now please be careful driving, Seth. We don’t need any accidents today.” She smiled.

Seth shook his head. “I’ll try.” He smiled and we drove off towards the Starbucks we had scouted out the day before.

We were both silent as we drove. I guess Seth thought I needed some time to concentrate or get mentally ready or something. I just didn’t know what to say to him. I was so afraid that anything I might say would lead us to a huge discussion on trust and who we were. I just wanted to be calm before I did the biggest thing I’ve ever done.

He pulled up across the street from the coffee shop. “You should definitely change your appearance, Xan. I mean, he might see you from wherever he parks.”

I nodded. I thought about what I’d like to look like and closed my eyes for a second. When I opened them, I was a redhead again with dark sunglasses and black clothes on. “What do you think?”

“You’re a goth’s dream.” He teased.

“Thank you.” I started looking to see if Jeremy and his people were here. The road looked perfectly fine. There were a bunch of empty cars, and the crowds seemed perfectly fine. “Do you think they’re here all ready?”

“Not yet. I think we’d know.”

“How?” I was confused as to what he was talking about.

“Intuition, I guess.” He shrugged. “I just know they’re not here yet. We’ll know when they are.”

We waited for a few minutes more. Then a black truck pulled into the parking lot beside the coffee shop.

“That’s one of them.” I looked at Seth. “I know it is.” He nodded.

We watched for a few more moments as a long black van pulled up right in front of Starbucks and then Matt’s old car pulled up, too.

“How many people are there? We need to let my Dad know.” I tried to count, but all the windows were black.

Seth concentrated for a few minutes. “As best I can tell there are 8 of them.”

“8? How can you tell?”

“I can just feel it, I guess. Being an alien isn’t exactly a hard science, Xan.”

I wanted to laugh at that, but I kept my mind on the focus at hand and watched the scene in front of me. “Okay. Matt just walked into Starbucks.”

“Start the projection walking out of another building or something. Don’t let them see you around this car.” Seth urged.

I nodded and looked at some of the closest buildings. I chose to walk out of the GAP, with a bag in my hand. I might as well get something cute out of this operation. I concentrated for a few moments.

I walked out of the GAP, carrying a bag with a red sweater in it. I pulled a black hat over my hair and looked around suspiciously as I made my way down the block to the Starbucks. I slid in, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible. I scanned the room and focused on Matt.

I walked over to him. “Matt?”

He jumped up. “Alex?” He wanted to hug me, but he just looked me over. “Are you okay?’

“I’m fine.” I sat down across from his chair. “How did you get here so fast?”

“Don’t worry about that, okay?”

“No, Matt, I’ve been suspicious of everything and everyone. I mean, I was even curious about the guy behind the counter at the GAP. I need to know the truth of what’s going on here. From everyone, even you. Until I find my family, I trust no one. So how are you here so quickly?”

He looked at his coffee. “Okay. I’ll tell you the truth. I’ve been trying to find you since the day you left. I knew at first I couldn’t talk to your mother about it, so I didn’t even try. I just tried looking on my own. But last weekend, I decided to ask your mom if she’d heard from you. When I couldn’t get in touch with her, I started to get really worried. So I decided to talk to the rest of your family, the people you’d be most likely to get in touch with. Maria wasn’t at her house, at least she never answered my calls. So I called Alex, and he wasn’t here either. So I decided to come down here this weekend to see if I could find him.”

“Why?” I couldn’t keep the suspicion from my voice.

“Alex, I was worried about you.” He said a little angrily. “I mean, that’s why I’m here. I was worried about you. I came down here to see if I could find Alex so I could find you.”

I nodded. “I’m sorry I’m so paranoid, Matt. I just don’t know what to do. Thank you for being here and willing to help me.”

“So what do you think we should do? Have you thought of a plan for this?”

I shook my head. “Not really. I’ve been so paranoid. I just want to find him.” I looked at him. “You’ve been here, what? All weekend? Do you have any ideas? Have you got any leads?”


I would make this completely easy on him; he could just take me right on in to the warehouse. But what a surprise he would have once he got there!

“Well, I do know of one place where he might be.”

“Where? What’s going on?”

“I found a building, a warehouse, really. Kind of like the ones back home that we used to dream of making into a club.”

“What’s he doing in there?”

“I don’t know. I’m not sure that he is in there, even. I just know that I saw his car in the parking lot of the place.”

“Maybe we should call the cops, Matt. I mean, have them go in and search.”

“No! I mean, it might really be nothing. Maybe Alex is just turning the place into an apartment or something. I don’t want to have the cops barging in on him for no reason or anything.”

“Matt, if he were doing something like renovating a warehouse, he’d tell us. I mean, Alex wouldn’t do that anyway. He’s not exactly what we’d call handy.” I smiled a little. “But if you saw his car there…”

“Do you want to go see if it’s his? See if we can find him there?” Matt offered.

“Seth, he’s offering to take me to the warehouse. He says Alex’s car is there. Are they ready? Have they gotten him out?”

Seth was already on the cell phone with Isabel. “Not yet. Max, Liz, Maria, and Michael are in the place though.”

“Does she know what’s going on?”

“No, not yet. Just buy them a few more minutes, okay?”

“Are you ready to go, Alex?”

I hesitated. “I don’t know if I can do this, Matt. What if there’s really something wrong with Alex? What if he’s been kidnapped or something?”

He laughed. “Alex, who is going to kidnap a grown man who makes his living in computer programming? What are the odds of that?”

“I don’t know. What if he discovered some awesome new program that no one else has ever seen yet and there are people out there who want to take that program before he can publish it? What if he could do all kinds of good with it and someone wants to take it away to do something bad?”

“Alex, I think you’re over-reacting here—“

“Over-reacting?” I silently thanked Maria DeLuca for everything I was about to say. “You think I’m over-reacting because I’m worried about my uncle? The man who raised me like he was my father? I don’t think that’s over-reacting. I think that’s what I like to call caring or loving someone.”

“Alex—“

“And you might think that that idea is a little out there but in my opinion so is the very concept that my uncle Alex who can fix the world’s computer problems would ever be doing something that would involve a hammer and nails. I mean, seriously, this is Alex. I don’t think I’ve ever even see him use a screwdriver that wasn’t involved in opening a hard drive or something.”

“Alex—“

“And that little event could have happened. Don’t you watch the news? There is all kind of espionage going on in the business world! People are becoming more and more underhanded to try to get the jump on other businesses. I mean, just last week, CNN—“

“Alex, don’t make such a scene!” He hissed.

“So now I’m making a scene? Oh, I see. I’m showing some emotion, aren’t I? Heaven forbid, I do that. Well, I’m sorry, Matthew, but I am a highly emotional person. I can’t help but react to situations involving the people I love and care about. Don’t you remember how I got when my mother forbade me from seeing you? For God’s sake, I ran away from home!” I knew my voice was getting kind of loud. I didn’t care. So what if people saw me yelling at him? It’s not like it was the real me…

“Alex, if you keep screaming like this, you’re going to draw a crowd. How do you think they’ll react to that phrase?”

“Don’t be like that, okay, Matt?” I sighed. “I can’t help how I’m feeling here, okay? I mean, my God, in the space of just a couple weeks, my entire life has turned upside down. I went from being best friends with my mother to not even being able to tell her anything. I went from having the possibility of a real relationship with my father to him being completely shut out of my life. I left you and Meg. Do you know what it’s like to just leave your best friend and know you can’t talk to her again, Matt? But I thought it was the only way, the only thing I could do.”

“I just don’t understand how the only thing you could do was run away, Alex. I don’t think I’ll ever understand that. I thought we had something.”

“Matt—I tried to explain that in the letter I wrote you. I’m sorry. I just didn’t see any other way—“

He stood up. “We shouldn’t talk about this right now. Let’s just go. Right now, we go or I don’t help you.”

I stood up. “Okay.”

“Seth, we need to move, now.”

“Xan, we’ve been moving since you said word one to him.”

I couldn’t believe it, but I didn’t open my eyes. “Tell Isabel Matt and the others are on their way to the warehouse. Have they gotten him out?”

“Just about, I think.”

“They need to get him out!” I exclaimed.

“Don’t worry, Xan. We’ll get him out. Max won’t fail.”

I prayed he was right.

***

posted on 21-Feb-2003 12:45:46 AM by Transparent Clear
Maxz, You are officially the greatest. Thank you so much for your bump. It made me feel soooo great.

I have started working on the next part of Xan... *happy* I hope to write some more tomorrow night while "preparing" for a conference presentation on Saturday. *happy*

BUT I'm not sure when it will be posted as Sunday is my birthday and I'm going out Saturday night post-conference to celebrate!

Soon, I promise!
thanks again,
jenn