|posted on 6-Jan-2002 10:38:34 PM by mrsjbehr|
|Author's note: I hope this works this time, I had problems posting before. Here are the next two chapters in the story. Those who are new, you can find the first few on the repost board of the old Fanfic page.|
“Welcome home Zan.” Three words that seemed sharper than any knife cutting through his skin could have. Max tried to keep his cool, standing there, only ten feet away from his enemy. The air around them seemed charged with energy; past and present memories seemed eerily present around them as they stood, staring at each other.
Looking at Khivar, Max could almost remember him and all the pain he caused his family and his people in the past. He saw the man fiddle with a chain around his neck, immediately drawing Max’s attention to it.
Something about it was so familiar, but before he could say anything, Tess’ sudden movement to embrace her father that broke the glaring match.
“Father,” she spoke happily embracing him. “It’s been so long. I…”
But her sentiments were cut short when the elder man moved coldly to push her away, barely speaking her name.
“This is not the time Ava. Go to your room while I see about your husband.” He stated condescendingly. Max didn’t fail to miss the despondent expression that only briefly graced Tess’ face as she left.
“Is that the way you always treat your daughter?” Max finally spoke. Khivar turned back to face him, only mildly surprised that Max knew the truth.
“My daughter, your ‘highness’” he spoke, vehemently “could never keep her mouth shut.”
“I think she did quite well. She kept your secret until a few minutes ago, when she thought she was safely ‘home’. And I still don’t think she told me everything.”
“Maybe she doesn’t know everything.” Max added suddenly thoughtful.
He saw Khivar’s smirk as he moved slowly, threateningly around the room. “I hope your son turns out to be as determined and as persistent as you are Zan. Then your people would bow down to me.”
“No!” Max stated angrily, lunging at the age-old enemy. But nothing happened, Max didn’t move. He seemed frozen. “What’s going on?”
“Tsk tsk…Your anger was always your weakness. You were impulsive and headstrong, which always made you a worthy opponent Zan…but it also made you easy to destroy.” Khivar retorted shaking his head as he let his arm drop back to his side. Just then, the whizzing sound of the door opening, revealed four armed figures – Guards dressed in dirty green suits labeled with a strange emblem that Max guessed belonged to Khivar.
“Your eminence I have important news.” One of them reported. The young man, head held downward seemed to cower in Khivar’s presence.
“And you always ruled by fear Khivar…I see that has yet to change.” Max remarked,
“Take him away.” He heard him say.
Max glanced behind him as the guards moved to take a hold of his arms, just in time to see Khivar’s expression change to a smile as the young guard whispered his news so only they could hear.
Liz held the brown leather-bounded book in her lap, knowing just how much of her life was translated into words on its pages. Ever since Grandma Claudia had given it to her, Liz had kept the book as a near and dear reminder of every special moment of her life. She hadn’t been able to write much of anything in it for a while however, but now, it seemed to be calling out to her. She opened its cover, turning slowly to a new, clean page and began to write. This time, she addressed it differently:
Journal entry 45
My darling Max,
I have so many things to tell you my love. I guess the first and most important thing is that I’m pregnant. We’re having a son Max… a little boy. I know it seems impossible, after all, we kept saying how different we both were, but you were half human.
God, I wish you could be here with me.
I spoke to Isabel today. You should be very proud of Michael. He’s keeping his promise to you. He and Maria were the ones to get Isabel and I together to talk, and it really did help. I guess I’m not alone after all.
I miss you so much. I’ve been having some really strange dreams and horrible nightmares. The memory of the day you died just wouldn’t leave me alone Max. Each night I have to come out here under the stars just to be able to sleep.
I try to think about the baby… Hmmm, I already know he’ll look just like you… and with each passing moment, I love him even more. He’ll be our little miracle Max.
I haven’t told anyone about him yet. I’m just afraid that if I do, the Skins would get to know and come looking for us. I can’t end his life before it’s even begun. He deserves so much better than that…
Liz looked up at the V constellation above before closing her eyes in that moment. She was beginning to feel tired and knowing the baby needed the rest as much as she did, she closed the book and placed it back into its hiding place.
“Goodnight Mom, Dad.” Isabel called before closing her room door. They were happy to see that she had at least left the house today, and Isabel was glad that she did. Talking with Liz made her feel like she had someone else who felt exactly what she was going through, and it was comforting.
Moving under the covers, she thought about all that Liz had said. She’d given up so much because she loved him. Now, all she was left with were nightmares. ‘None of this seems fair.’ Isabel thought, laying back and closing her eyes. She could feel something else was amist with Liz, she just didn’t know what it was.
Not long after she’d fallen asleep, Isabel found herself standing in a familiar room. The glowing purple and green light was enough for her to realize just where she was…the Granolith chamber.
“Max stop! It was Tess. Tess killed Alex!” she heard Liz’s voice as she screamed the words again. Isabel moved back against the wall, knowing everything that was going to happen.
Max and Tess were already in the Granolith. It was happening again. The menacing look in her eyes as everything happened in slow motion. Isabel saw herself staring, unable to move. She looked over at Liz’s expression of terror as Max’s body dropped to the floor. “No!” she heard Liz scream.
She was in Liz’ dream.
As the chamber began to crumble the scene seemed to wabble about her, suddenly changing to another familiar place - the Crashdown balcony:
“Liz, you have to help me fall out of love with you.” Isabel turned in the direction of her brother’s voice, not expecting to see someone who looked so much older, and emotionally worn… ‘Future Max.’ she whispered, staying back and watching the scene unfold.
“The world will end if we get back together Liz. We needed Tess. She made the three of us a unit. Without her, we couldn’t face the Skins and Khivar won.”
“No…” Liz replied, shaking her head.
The scene wabbled again as it shifted,
“What happens now?”
“I don’t know. We did all we could. I guess that’s it.” The older version of Max replied, moving closer to Liz.
“Would you dance with me?” she heard Liz ask, “I’d like to have my wedding dance.”
Isabel looked on as Max took Liz into his arms and they danced. She felt the loss that Liz had gone through. Then, as Max spun her around, he disappeared and again, the scene changed.
They were back in the chamber…but this time Liz was alone, watching helplessly as Tess killed her beloved over and over again.
“Liz,” Isabel whispered, walking up to her, but it were as if she wasn’t there. Liz didn’t respond. She kept on staring, crying. Before Isabel could reach her though, everything around her seemed to melt away, leaving a dark void.
“Liz?” she called, trying to move around. She knew someone was there, she could feel it, but somehow it didn’t seem familiar. A loud drumming noise filtered through the darkness… a rhythmic beat…a heartbeat.
“Who’s there?” she called again, closing her eyes.
As if in answer Isabel felt herself being bombarded with a plethora of emotions: love, terror, happiness, but most of all – fear. Opening her eyes, several different scenes flowed like a river quickly in front of her…too quick for her to see much of anything, but the last three went the slowest.
- Max and Liz, in bed together…Isabel watched as he kissed her before leaving, whispering ‘I love you’.
- A group of stars that seemed to flow together, forming what looked like the whirlwind symbol with one difference…instead of a triangle in the middle, there was a strange new symbol, that slowly seemed to magnify.
- Suddenly the last image flashed in before her eyes…it was Liz, and she was holding a baby boy with the same symbol laying on a chain around his neck…
He seemed to reach out to Isabel, as if he knew she was there.
“Oh my God.” Isabel whispered, shooting up in bed as realization dawned, “Liz is pregnant.”
Deep in the Forests of Antar, off the boundary of the castle fortress someone else was reporting important information to his superior. The elderly man knocked on the door, trying to contain his excitement.
“Come in.” the gentle female voice stated from behind the door.
“Your highness. I have news from the planet Earth.”
“Yes Talek. Is it my daughter? My son?” The queen questioned, worry evident in her voice. Talek looked up to face his Queen. She had been so strong for so many years. Holding on to the alliance and working night and day to make sure that her children were safe. Now he had to inform her that one of them wasn’t.
“Your highness. Princess Vilandra and Lord Rath are fine. They are still on Earth with the humans, but Zan is here, in Khivar’s hands.” He saw Queen Talia’s expression change as she reached to sit on her bed. “He’s with Ava.”
“How did this happen?” she asked, looking over at her faithful friend. “We sent them the warning. The guards down there were to make sure this didn’t happen until they were ready.
“Rumor has it that Ava’s pregnant, and the child could not survive on the planet.”
Talia frowned in thought, her son had moved quickly. Then, Talek’s last statement registered.
“That couldn’t be right…Ranna and Jalem ran the tests over several times. They were certain that any children produced by my son and his wife, would survive…on both worlds!”
Isabel stood nervously outside of the AP Biology Lab, glancing at her silver wristwatch. She had five minutes before classes let out for lunch and Liz came through the door. She had thought about it all night since the dream, but she still didn’t know how to broach the subject with Liz; yet she needed confirmation. The last time she’d been pulled into a dream like that, was to save Michael’s “sister’s” life. Was this another such case? If Liz was pregnant - which seemed incredulous - was the baby reaching out to her because something was wrong?
Isabel leaned back against the wall, taking a deep breath as she attempted to take a mental step away from the hundreds of questions that ran through her head. She couldn’t afford to face Liz being all nosy and persistent; it would just make her defensive and close off again. If Liz was pregnant with Max’s child, whether she believed it or not, she was going to need her, Maria, Michael and even Kyle!
Just as Isabel glanced at her watch again, the bell rang and the classroom doors opened on cue as the hungry West Roswell High students spilled out. The empty halls were quickly jammed with students scurrying about, making Isabel look around anxiously to find Liz. Finally spotting the petite brunette a few steps ahead of her, she tried to make her way through the other students. “Liz!” She called out, but the noise from the other students drowned her out. Hastily pushing her way through the lunchtime traffic, she quickly came up behind Liz, reached out to touch her shoulder and called her name again, “Liz.”
Liz spun around to face her, and Isabel smiled a bit at the younger girl's surprised expression. “Sorry, I know, I know...I scared you half to death,” she said, repeating Liz’s words from the other night. Then she grew more serious. “Listen, I have to talk to you.”
Liz nodded, and they were off to what had become known to the group as "their little private office" - the Eraser Room.
After locking the door behind them with her "alien magic," Isabel turned to face the petite brunette that she’d come to think of as part of her family. She fumbled around for a bit, trying to find the easiest way to bring up the question that weighed heavily on her mind, but the right words just seemed to evade her. Finally, she decided to just be blunt. She had never been known for her great tactics before, so why change that now? “Liz, are you pregnant?”
Liz stumbled backwards, sliding down onto the old bench that was usually stored in the room. Her mind blanked for a moment until one thought seemed to penetrate the haze, Oh God. How does she know?
When Isabel had caught her by surprise in the halls and asked to talk, she'd been happy to come with her, thinking that it had to do with the conversation they'd had about Max the other night. She never once suspected that Isabel knew anything about the baby. She’d tried so hard to keep it a secret. No one could know. It was imperative that the pregnancy remain unknown for as long as possible, for the baby’s safety and their own. She couldn’t afford to lose someone else close to her. She couldn’t lose another member of her family. She hadn’t begun to show yet. How could Isabel know?
Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe it was just an innocent question. If I deny it, then maybe she'll drop the issue.
“No,” she said, raising her head to look at Isabel, a determined look in her eyes.
Isabel stared back at Liz, stunned that she would so openly lie to her after the way they had bonded the other night. She felt a bit hurt, but couldn’t let go of the issue. “Why are you lying to me? I know you’re pregnant.”
She immediately noticed the change in the Liz’s expression. She seemed to be battling with whether or not to tell her. Isabel decided to help out. “I saw him Liz, in my dream last night.” She said softly, moving closer to her.
“You dream walked me?” Liz asked, astonished at first. “How could you? My dreams and my thoughts are private things Isabel. I’m not one of your enemies or puppets whose minds you think are open to you whenever you feel like invading.” she ranted, getting up and moving for the door.
“No,” Isabel quickly replied. “The baby reached out to me.”
Liz stopped in her tracks and spun around to face her.
“He pulled me into your dreams Liz, and then into his own.”
“Oh God.” Liz whispered, fear evident in her voice. She slumped back against the wall.
Silence settled in the room as Liz tried to comprehend the situation.
“But why? Is something wrong?” Liz finally spoke, voicing the major concern that brought Isabel to her in the first place.
“I don’t know. He seemed fine when I saw you holding him. You were both so happy.” Isabel said, going back into the dream for a moment. When she refocused back into the real world, she found Liz crying. “Liz?”
“Isabel, I was so scared. I couldn’t tell anyone. The baby, he’s the only part of Max I have left, and I don’t want to lose him. If the Skins found out, they’d kill him or take him away. I can’t let that happen.”
“Liz, that’s why you need us--all of us. Together, we can protect both of you. We’re a family. We won’t let anything happen to you, or the baby.” Isabel walked over to her, and Liz fell into her arms in a hug.
“I’m sorry,” Liz whispered
“It’s okay.” Isabel replied.
That’s how Maria found them when she opened the Eraser Room door with Michael’s help.
Having missed Liz after the first few minutes of lunch in the Quad, she’d excused herself from Michael and Kyle, and set out on a search to find her. Michael had soon followed. The Eraser Room was the last place she’d looked, and now she felt as if she’d been left out of a major development. Maria tried to keep her unease covered up, after all she had agreed with Michael in getting the two of them to open up to each other.
“Uh umm!” Maria said, clearing her throat to draw their attention. She saw Liz look away and quickly wipe at her eyes. Had she been crying? What was going on?
Before she could ask though, Isabel bent down and whispered something to Liz, to which Liz simply nodded.
“Maria,” Isabel said, looking at Maria and Michael, “Something important has come up that everyone needs to know. Go get Kyle and meet us at Valenti's house. We're going to need the privacy.”
“Okay,” Maria said, but before she left she looked to Liz who still had her face turned away, “Liz, are you okay?”
Liz turned, her lips curling into a forced smile and answered, “Yes Maria. Everything’s fine.”
Khivar stood, staring out of the ceiling-to-floor window that looked out onto the ocean below. The room was silent and almost totally dark, save for the two tall lamps that stood at opposite corners of the sitting area. For a day that he’d been waiting for almost twenty years on Antar now, everything seemed so - normal. To think, after all of his planning through the years, it was now beginning. In due time, he would have his revenge on Talia and the wretched Royals and be able to take his rightful place to rule this planet, even if it would be from the sidelines.
He brought his right hand up to rub at his chin pensively. Having Zans son, the true heir to the Antar throne, part of his bloodline and ruling by his laws would be a definite glory. The Antarians and all other members of the Penta-planetary council would have no choice but to agree to stop revolting and give him the respect he deserved. Right now, he just had to ensure that Ava had done what he had expected her to.
Suddenly feeling her presence, he spun around to face his daughter.
“Father?” he heard her say, as she tentatively approached him, still dressed in those horrible Earth clothes.
“Yes, Avaria.” he replied, trying to conceal his detest until after he had found out what he needed to know.
Tess smiled at the familiar term of endearment he'd used, hesitating only briefly before running into his arms.
Khivar stiffly placed his arms around her before pushing her away from him. “You’ve been among those humans for too long I see.” he said, and moved to sit in the leather chair behind his desk. “Now, tell me...why am I only holding one prisoner?”
Slightly stung by her father's brusque treatment, Tess sat down in the chair across from him. “It couldn’t be helped.” She stammered.
He simply stared at her, waiting for an explanation.
“Things didn’t go the way we planned,” she said, shifting uncomfortably under his piercing gaze. “Max, Isabel, Micheal; they didn’t want to believe me when I first arrived and told them who they were. Max especially. He was in love with this girl - Liz Parker...the annoying bitch.”
Khivar heard the hatred in her voice at the human’s name and couldn’t help but smile. He knew of the girl’s existence, but said nothing. That would come out later, when he’d tell her what he had learned.
Tess continued. “She kept coming between us, even after they’d broken off the relationship. It was like she had some kind of hold on him.”
Khivar listened intently.
“After Nasedo was killed, Max seemed more protective of me and I jumped at the opportunity to go with him to New York to meet at the Summit with Nicholas. That’s when the dupes made the attempt on Max’s life, but once again Liz interfered”
“She appeared somewhere across the street.”
“You mean she followed you?”
“No, an image of her appeared. At least that’s what Max said.”
He stood and walked back over to the window.
His silence bothered Tess. She didn’t like not knowing what he was thinking, but she pushed on. “After we got back to Roswell, Nicholas went into action. I don’t know what he did, but everything had begun to go smoothly. I got Max to make love to me and get me pregnant. All I needed to do next was convince him that they needed to get back here and the others were certain to follow.
“And?” Khivar demanded, growing impatient.
“I did. I made them believe that the baby was sick and couldn’t survive in the Earth’s atmosphere. The only problem was getting the book translated.” She took a breath before continuing. “We had to mindwarp one of the humans, but he was weak and died as a result.”
“Where is all of this going Ava? You wear my patience.”
“I’m getting to it Father,” she replied. “Alex’s death tore apart any remaining threat that may have bound the humans to the Royals, which would be all well and good, but unfortunately, it pushed the bitch to play Ms. Detective. Liz began nosing around. I never thought she'd be able to figure it out, but she did. When she turned up at the Granolith chamber, everything was over.”
Tess sighed. “I did the only thing I could. Time was running out so I made them think that I’d killed him. They were too stunned to move until it was too late and could only run to save themselves.”
He was silent again, and it was beginning to rack at Tess’ nerves. She knew he wasn’t pleased about not having Vilandra and Rath back on Antar, especially since she knew he still had feelings for the Royal Antarian Princess, but she felt that he was holding something back and that scared her. Being able to remember things about her past life, Tess knew exactly how her father reacted when things didn’t go his way. She remembered his anger when Vilandra was accidentally killed in the massacre that ended the Royal family’s reign – she just wondered if it had even affected him when she was killed?
“Interesting.” He said, his voice penetrating her thoughts.
She watched as he approached her, hands held behind his back.
“So tell me Ava, how far did you go to get Zan to come with you?” Tess stared at her father, feigning confusion.
“I…I told you father. I made him think that his son was dying.” She stuttered.
Tess lowered her eyes as she answered, “I don’t understand? What are you asking me?”
She felt him move, looming so close over her that she could feel his breath against her skin. Tess could hear her heart beat within her chest, anxiety causing her palms to sweat. Finally he spoke,
“Are you pregnant Ava?” he asked, his voice suddenly low and deep, “And do not lie to me. I’ll know it if you are.”
Tess swallowed nervously and licked her lips. “I’m sorry father,” she whispered, “I’m not pregnant with Zan’s child.”
At her words, Khivar could feel the anger within him rise and he straightened in response.
“You,” he started slowly, hands clenching at his sides, “You insolent child! I trusted you to do this one thing. One simple task! And you couldn’t accomplish it.”
“Don’t!” he warned. “Do you realize what you’ve done to me now? You’ve destroyed everything! I’ve waited twenty long years to have my revenge on the Royal Family. I planned, and waited. Calculated every step and left one part for my daughter to accomplish.”
“Shut up!” Khivar shouted, his voice filling the entire room. He moved away from her his face unreadable, save for the hatred in his eyes. “You are as weak as your mother was!” he stated turning his back to the blond girl sitting on the sofa.
It wasn’t long before he heard her stand up and walk towards him.
“Please…forgive me…father.” She sobbed, her voice cracking, “I tried everything, but the time was just too short. Liz and the others were getting closer to figuring out what I was up to. The stupid bitch wouldn’t leave Max and I be!”
Khivar barely listened. Complain, all she’d done since getting her was complain.
“You blame your failure on a mere human? You are a princess, born of my blood! Yet you act like a human! Look at you, still dressed in their simple, plain attire.” He said with disdain. “I’m ashamed to call you my daughter! You aren’t worth the air that you breathe.”
“If you give me another chance please Father. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll make sure that I get pregnant this time.” Tess pleaded, “Liz isn’t here. There’s no one here to oppose me.”
It was then that Khivar remembered what he had been told earlier and it seemed to calm him. There was something he needed to do. He moved away from the window and headed silently to the door.
Just before he left though, he turned back to face Tess, “One more chance Ava. You have failed me twice now. I shall not stand a third, not even from my own blood.” And with that he was gone.
The Palace Dungeon:
He’d been through this before, in the white room and he’d survived. Why then was it so hard to bear now, especially when he thought he was so much stronger than he was? Yes, their methods were different, but their goal was the same…the FBI and now Khivar…they wanted him to suffer and they’d rejoice if he just died. Was that why he felt everything so much more now? Was that why his heart was beating so slowly, yet loud enough to echo against the cool, metallic-like torture table they had him strapped to? Was that why he wanted so much to die, and give Khivar exactly what he wanted?
He knew why he felt this way. She wasn’t here. She wasn’t coming with her small soft hands to take away the pain. She wasn’t searching for a way back to be by his side and guide him to safety. Her beautiful brown eyes weren’t ever going to look upon him and make his body heat up like a furnace, thawing away all of the coldness of his solitude. He closed his eyes again, wanting so much to call out her name…hoping somehow she’d hear. “Liz!” his mind screamed. “My Liz…”
It seemed so hopeless. He felt the echoes of regret filling his soul. He should never have come back. He should never have slept with that blond demon. She had been his kryptonite – drawing his seed to fulfill a plan drawn up by Khivar, who was none other than her father. He’d been so foolish to believe all of her lies. Why hadn’t he seen it? What hit him the hardest though, was that only one person had seen right through her from the beginning – and it wasn’t Isabel or Michael.
“Oh God Liz.” He cried out again, groaning as his skin burned with the tears that seeped painfully from his eyes. She thought he was dead now. They all did, and it drove him crazy at the idea. He was alone…so alone.
“I need you.” He whispered, before being drawn into a void of darkness – asleep.>>
Outside Max’s cell, from the corner of the hallway, the redhead stood looking in at her King. It seemed strange to be there looking in at him, so close by. For most of her life, she’d been hearing about Antar’s great King who would one day return to save them all. Her parents had died for the cause, and she, like them devoted her life to it. They’d stood behind the Queen mother, infiltrating Khivar’s ranks and spying on his every move. They were waiting for the time King Zan would come back with his sister, Princess Vilandra, Rath and Zan’s future queen. They were the four who together would be strong enough to bring Antar back into its ruling glory.
But something had gone wrong, and now Zan was back with only Ava. And, rumor had it that she was pregnant with an heir.
Serena stared again into the iridescent white chamber that held Zan. His face was contorted in pain from the chemicals that Khivar had had pumped into him – all in the name of torture. In the deep silence she could almost hear him groaning and her heart went out to the young king.
She couldn’t stay long though since the guards would be back soon from their break. She knew her cover would be blown if she were found down here. Turning her back, she was about to leave when Zan’s sudden cry stopped her movement. What was he saying? she wondered and leaned in to the glass wall, listening intently.
“Oh God Liz” she heard him say.
“Who’s Liz?” she whispered to herself. But her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps approaching her position. Quickly, Serena ducked into the shadows and snuck up the back staircase. She’d return another time, after she met with Talek and Queen Talia.
Max felt himself at peace for the first time in too long. Wherever he was, it was paradise.
He lay back against the plush green grass under the shadow of a large tree. The soft, warm rays of the sun were filtering through its branches. He could hear the gentle chirping of the birds, the splatter of water from a nearby fountain, and it was all so calming. But there was something else. It was soft and consistent - like a whisper through the air. Wind? No, it was too rhythmical.
He reached out in the direction of the sound, feeling his hand pass against a small body - a baby’s body!
Quickly, he turned on his side to look at the sleeping form and the boy took his breath away.
He was so beautiful, lying there on his stomach. His head was filled with dark brown hair, his eyes closed, the long lashes pressed against his cheek and Max wished he would wake so he could see their color. The baby had the cutest ears that only slightly stood out from his head and his small hands with those tiny fingers – they were so perfect.
Max smiled softly at the innocent child lying by his side, and knew instinctively, this was his son. Slowly, he picked him up and cradled him against his chest.
Suddenly, he felt another presence. Someone else was near. Someone who wanted to take his son!