|posted on 22-Jan-2002 2:09:13 PM by Lizzybell|
Author's Note **** page 14
Chapter 10 **** page 13
Chapter 9 **** page 11
Chapter 8 **** page 10
Chapter 7b **** page 9
Chapter 7a **** page 7
Chapter 6 **** page 6
Note **** page 6
Chapter 5 **** page 4
Chapter 4 **** page 3
Beyond The Sea
Disclaimer: I don’t own them, just going to borrow them for a little while, I promise to return them when I’m done.
Category: M/L, everybody
Distribution: Ask me first please.
Feedback: Yes!!! Please. Especially with the view counter gone, I really want to hear from everyone. Even a yea or nay smiley would make me happy.
Note: This is the sequel to my story Secrets in The Past. You might want to read it first to avoid a bout of chronic head scratching. It could be helpful to read the companion story The Antarian Chronicles but its not necessary.
Here are the links where both stories may be found.
In the fan fiction section, under ‘L’ at
Summery: There have been many battles waged since that fateful day in the Crashdown, but this time it was the King with the victories. However its little conciliation because no victory of war will bring him back his Queen. Its only the intellect, ingenuity, and loyalty of his friends coupled with the ability to listen to his own heart that will get Liz home.
Note II: Yes, I did change the name from Searching For the Present to Beyond The Sea. I cut something out and the former title no longer applies the way I had intended it to.
Somewhere beyond the sea
Somewhere waiting for me
My lover stands
On golden sands
And watches the ships
That go sailing
Beyond The Sea
Antar, 6563 (1942), King Vanos’s chambers.
The com chime to outer door sounded, alerting the Queen that someone was seeking admittance to see her husband. Her dying husband.
“Nee.” Vanos wearily opened his eyes and smiled at his wife. “Its all right. I sent for a magus.”
“A magus? Vanos...” she shook her head uncertainly.
“Its all right,” he squeezed her hand again. “I know my time is limited. My questions do not pertain to myself. Its nothing to worry yourself over.”
“If you’re sure, but I don’t want you tiring yourself out,” she warned with a hand on her hip.
“Don’t worry,” he wheezed a small chuckle that made her wince. “I’m not going anywhere. Please let him in and give us a few minutes.”
She looked him over one last time and finally consented, “all right.” The queen let the door open and she exchanged pleasantries with Ninian before leaving the two men alone.
The magus came in and bowed shortly at the end of the bed, then took the chair vacated by the Queen.
“Sire, you sent for me?”
“That I did Ninian. I am not a fool old friend. I know this illness will take me from this plane. I’m not afraid, I’ve had a good life and I know Zan will be a good king. There is one thing that does concern me though.”
“And what’s that sire?”
“I have read the prophesies. The time of The Chosen draws nigh, does it not?”
“Yes, it does.” The magus smiled at him. He was very much looking forward to when The Chosen and Triad prophesies would be fulfilled. He was impressed that the King knew that these prophesies were coming though. They were difficult to interpret and, for a variety of reasons, not very well known. It surprised him further when the King’s next statement was such an affirmation, and not a question.
“She will be Zan’s love.”
“You are wiser than your years your highness,” Ninian praised after a moment of recovery.
Vanos let loose a deep laugh, “no my friend, just a keen eye.”
“Forgive me, but I do not believe you sent for me to confirm something you already knew sire.”
“Right you are. I do have need to know a few things.”
The magus nodded for him to go on.
“Do you know who she is?” He asked rather bluntly. Noting the instant apprehension on his face, the King elaborated, “I don’t need any specifics, I only want to know if you know.”
Ninian sat with his eyes trained on his lap for a long while, contemplating what to tell the dying king. Finally, when Vanos had just about given up hope of getting an answer, Ninian spoke.
“Yes, sire, I do know who she will become.”
“Can you tell me, are they a good match? Will they be happy?”
The magus smiled softly, “yes, they will be very happy. Everyone should be blessed with a love such as theirs.”
“And she is worthy of such a task? It is not every girl that has strength enough to be both Chosen and Queen.”
“She will be unsure of herself, as anyone would be, and there will be times of great hardship, but she will do her people proud, as well as her kingdom.”
Vanos sank back against the pillows and shut his eyes, seemingly satisfied with his answers. Ninian moved to leave, believing the other man had fallen asleep in his condition, when he opened his eyes again. “This girl, she is... special, is she not?”
“Yes sire,” he answered with a knowing gleam in his unusual eyes. “Yes, she will be very special.”
Oh, and I’m having some problems with cutting and pasting apostrophes, they seem to want to come up as ?s instead. So, if there is an odd ? somewhere or a missing apostrophe, please forgive me.
Sweet Roswellian Dreams
[ edited 20time(s), last at 15-Jun-2002 8:06:33 PM ]
|posted on 22-Jan-2002 2:10:03 PM by Lizzybell|
Beyond the Sea
Sunday, April 3rd, 2005
Santa Monica, California, United States
It was six am on a Sunday, way too early for her taste but she’d gotten used to it over the past few years. The petite brunette continued to take chairs down off the few tables in the small coffee shop she helped to manage. Moving to the new set Lisa, the shop owner, bought recently, Kate began taking down the aqua, vinyl chairs. Almost done, her hand brushed against the back of one of the new chairs as she moved away. Her back went ram rod straight and her breath caught in her throat at the familiar and not necessarily pleasant feeling of her oncoming vision. Suddenly she was assaulted with images, voices, and emotions from a past she thought was no longer linked to her.
With a final gasp she slumped onto the table for support. Those were faces she never thought she’d see again and certainly not in this manner. There were some she wished she hadn’t seen, it still hurt too much. Then, some pains were never meant to heal. Healing meant forgetting and she loved him too much for that.
“Hey Kate, you ok?” Lisa walked by breaking her of her daze.
“Oh, umm, yeah. Just allergies, ya know?” She made a show out of sniffling, scratching one eyes, and waving her hand in annoyed dismissal.
“Yeah, I hear they’re really bad this year. Kent’s even taking some kind of pills for it. The air quality’s got a yellow light today too.”
“That just bites! We live two blocks from the ocean. We’re supposed to have clean air.”
“Hey, don’t look at me,” the taller woman held up her hands.
“I know, I’m sorry. It just gets on my nerves sometimes. I’m having a weird day anyway, just ignore me.”
“No prob babe. We all have our days.” There was an amicable silence as the two went about the morning ritual of opening the small coffee shop.
“Say Lisa? Where’d you get that new table set that came in last week?” Kate asked trying to should casual while refilling the sweetener dispenser.
“Oh,” Lisa turned to glance at the small table and aqua chairs near the front of the shop. “At an estate sale in the valley. It was from a restaurant in the south west somewhere. I liked how kitchy it was.” Turning back to Kate, she rested one had on her hip, waving a dishtowel limply with the other, “you don’t like it?”
“Oh, no. Its not that. Its really cute. I was just wondering is all.” She turned back around, ending the conversation until a few minutes later when she abruptly turned back around and took off her apron. “Lisa, on second thought, I’m really not feeling all that well. Do you think you could get somebody to replace me for the next few days?”
“Sure honey, take as long as you need. You haven’t had a vacation in the three years you’ve worked here.”
“Thanks a bunch Lis.” Kate gave her a quick hug and ran out to her car. If she hurried she could be packed and ready to hit the 10 by noon and hopefully beat all the traffic.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
It was raining today. It always rained on this day. Like the skies knew what a travesty it was that she wasn’t here today. That she wasn’t here with him. He stifled a sob as his hand moved to press against the glass. His mind’s eye conjuring her on the other side, her hair wet, sticking to the curve of her neck, water droplets rolling down her precious face as she smiled up at him. Her eyes wide with glee as she spun around in the torrents and laughed.
“Liz...” His face contorted with the struggle to hold it all in, to try to be strong, but it was so hard. She was his strength. What right did she have to ask him to be strong without her?
“Max...” she brushed some of the wetness off his eyelashes, ignoring that which had formed on her own. “I know its not fair, but its the right thing to do. Please promise me you’ll go on with your life. ... please, you can’t let what happened on Antar happen again. You can’t let all those people die.
“If you won’t do it for you or your people, do it for me. If I’m not there in the flesh, I’ll always be with you in spirit. Don’t stop living because you lost me Max, live because you loved me.”
And he did it, he promised her. He would have given her anything, would give here anything. One day, he would do it too. One day he was going to find her. One day she was going to come back to him. One day she would sit at his side as his queen and he would give her two worlds on a silver plater, or a little house with a white picket fence in the suburbs. Whatever she wanted, just so long as he didn’t have to go another second without her.
Thunder clapped, blue lightening streaked across the black clouds and once again he was back there. Back in that cafe that had witnessed the most terrifying events of his life.
“Liz. LIZ! You have to look at me. You have to look at me.”
“You’re all right now. You’re all right.”
“You broke the bottle when you fell, spilled ketchup on yourself. Don’t say anything. Please.”
* * *
... blood. There was blood. Oh God. The buzzing in his ears grew louder and his breaths shorter as he realized the blood on the floor, soaked in the paper napkin, on his hands, was her’s.
“Max?” Isabel placed a light hand on his shoulder, startling him out of his self imposed terror. “Are you ready? We should go before the storm gets any worse.” She had watched from across the room as her brother stared out the window into the storm. He was usually so strong. He had his moments, as they all did, but since that day in the Crashdown he had been a pillar of strength for them all. He was their leader in every sense of the word. Today though, today seemed to be the one day that was able to break him. This inane ritual didn’t help much either, but there was nothing she could do about it. It was a hard day for all of them and all she could do was be with him and the rest of her family and make sure they made it to tomorrow.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“Come on Michael, we’re going to be late,” Maria held out his jacket to him. He continued to stare out the window of their apartment with unseeing eyes. She walked closer and caressed his arm comfortingly, “honey, did you hear me?” She asked in an uncharacteristically soft tone.
“I don’t want to go.” He turned to look into her face and she slid her arms around his waist and held him close.
“I know Space Boy, but this means a lot to your parents. Mom and Jim will be there, we haven’t seen them in a while.”
“I know, its just... I don’t... I...” He gave up trying to express what he was feeling and buried his face in Maria’s hair.
She stroked his back tenderly, “its hard,” she provided. He nodded against her. “It is for all of us, Michael. I don’t want to go either. I think its a stupid idea, but we did it the last year, and the year before that and we’re going to do it again this year.”
He pulled back enough to see her concerned features, “its just so stupid. Why do we have to go out and pretend its a happy occasion, like there’s nothing wrong at all? I mean, nobody even says anything. We all stand around looking uncomfortable, reliving our night mares, we have cake and go home. Its not what Liz would have wanted.”
“I know its not,” she pulled out of his embrace and put on her own jacket. “And Liz will probably throw a fit when she finds out Nancy made us all suffer on her birthday, but it makes her happy. So,” she handed him his jacket and headed towards the door. “We are going to put on our fake little smiles, kiss our mothers and play nice for three freaking hours. Afterwards...” she sighed as she locked the door behind them. “We’ll pick up the pieces again.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Roswell, New Mexico, United States
Gwyn stared out the window of her bedroom watching the water splash in the little muddy puddles out in the backyard. The big fat drops falling from the sky like large tear drops. Plop, plop, plop. Settling down on the large window seat in her bedroom, she pulled her knees up to her chest and rested her cheek against them. Justin had left fifteen minutes ago, reluctantly, and not without a small fight. She just couldn’t go this year. With certain new... developments, the whole drama was just too much for her too handle. She was too tired to do it anymore. During the day she could still put on her happy face and do her job, but the last week or so it had suddenly become to much. Biting her lip against the her tears, she tried not to think about how scared she was and how much it hurt to keep Justin in the dark about everything. She just couldn’t tell him though, not until she knew what was really going on. He knew how much she hated people worrying about her so he would understand, she hoped.
She hadn’t thought it was at all possible. It had never even crossed her mind, ever. In that way she was probably tempting fate by thinking she was invincible. There was no way around it now though, she had an appointment with Dr. Kinkaid for later this week. The changes, she wasn’t going to be able to hide them much longer and it was a miracle that Justin hadn’t noticed yet. One more heavy mission and she would be done for, someone was going to notice something and then it would be all over. The newest investigation and planing for the pending raid on an enemy camp had taken their toll last week and she needed to rest if she was going to be in any kind of shape for when the plan was put in motion. At least she had gotten out of the ‘party’ tonight. That was an emotional minefield that she didn’t have the strength to navigate this evening. As she watched the mud splash up on the the deck and overflow from her freshly planted flower beds, Gwyn’s mind wandered to all that had happened over the past few years and how she might have gotten to this point.
March 25, 2001. A day that would live in infamy, at least in Roswell. The day that Liz Parker was kidnapped from her home and murdered, or so the public thought. She hadn’t really been murdered, Liz was still alive and those that knew it had dedicated their lives to finding her and eradicating the world of the enemy that held her captive. Very few people knew what really happened that day. And even fewer knew that was the day a King was born.
It had taken all six of them that could perform little acts of magic until sunrise to get the Crashdown looking normal again. While they had been doing that, the Sheriff, Alex, and Kyle had done a thorough investigation of where Rob’s body was discovered and eventually found his car parked around the next corner. There had been rope and a bottle of chloroform in the back. It became obvious that he was coming to get Liz, or at the very least up to something very bad, and he’d either fallen from the balcony or one of Nick’s goons had taken him out. As the others continued to work on finding any clues to where Liz might have been taken, using everything from Alex’s retrieved memories courtesy of Max, to flashes from the air field, the Sheriff and the human members of the group worked on the cover up that would be needed when people began to notice Liz and Rob missing. As it turned out, Rob was much more help dead than he had ever been alive.
The next afternoon, when enough time had passed, Maria and Max officially filled a missing person’s report on Liz and called the Parkers. With a few well placed broken flower pots and an over turned lawn chair they created what looked to be the scene of a struggle on Liz’s balcony. When the police, led by Sheriff Valenti, came over they immediately found Rob’s body and began a full out investigation. When the police searched the McClain house they found that his room had become a virtual shrine to Liz with pictures, surveillance photos, video tape, even used kleenex. The really sick part came when they found that he had rented a storage room over in Carlsbad where, by the look of things, he had intended on keeping her indefinitely. To say everyone was creeped out was an understatement. How were they supposed to know that Liz was being stalked by not one but two psychos? All that worked in their favor though, to an extent. It completely removed all of them from suspicion and didn’t point in any way, shape, or form to alien abduction. The problem was that it worked a little too well. With the evidence of a struggle and Rob being dead, plus no sign of Liz yet, the police somehow came to the conclusion that she was dead. She must have been more of a fighter then Rob had anticipated so he killed her, they said. After disposing of the body he returned to the scene to clean up the initial mess, but he slipped on the ledge and fell to his death. The case was unofficially closed and they were all told, including the Parkers, that Liz wasn’t coming back and to go on with their lives. She could not be officially declared dead for seven years because there was no body but that didn’t stop everyone else from believing it. That was almost harder on the group than Liz being missing.
Where things went from there was blurry now. Somehow they got organized, Max became a real leader, The Underground became more ensconced in the town, they searched, followed leads, fought their enemies, and graduated from high school. All without Liz.
She and Justin had gotten married right after high school. It was very small and discrete. The only reason she agreed was because Justin formally went to Max and asked him if he thought it would hurt Liz that she missed it. Of course Max had said no and not only given his permission, but made a decree that they were to be married and gave Gwyn away himself. Sighing at the beautiful memory of her small nuptials she reached out with her mind and tried to feel Justin and give him a boost of support before the party. She felt bad about the small argument they’d had before he left but it couldn’t be helped. She was too tired, both physically and emotionally to endure the mockery of a party today.
Unsuccessful in her attempt to reach him, Gwyn closed her eyes, only having exhausted her self further, and slumped against the cool pane of glass as the welcome darkness took her away.
|posted on 22-Jan-2002 2:12:14 PM by Lizzybell|
|Hey Everybody :waves:|
I was ready to post this the day the board went down, go figure. Anyway, I had these responses to your feedback and questions all typed up and ready to go, so hopefully they’ll still make some sense to you.
I can’t thank you guys enough for all the feedback you left, it gave me big fuzzes to know you’re still hanging in there even after finding out about the four years.
Before I go on there is one thing that must be addressed for anyone who missed my note.
Kate is NOT Liz.
Ok, everybody got that? If it helps, Kate has slightly wavy hair. There just wasn’t really a place for a thorough description in chapter 1.
The other two big questions seemed to be
1. The Parker’s and Michael
Yes, the Parker’s know that Liz knew she was adopted. They also know Michael is her brother and they later adopted him. They don’t know anything about the aliens living among them or the special circumstances of Liz’s disappearance.
My lips are sealed on Gwyn for right now. That’s something that will come about fairly quickly so you’ll just have to wait.
bhoney ~ Some of your questions about Liz and Max’s connection aiding in finding her will be answered in this next chapter. Of course, I wouldn’t be a good author if it didn’t bring about a few more questions at the same time
Tim ~ you found two of my greatest grammar weaknesses, homophones/homonyms and combined words. I swear, with-out actually haunts me. Thank you so much for pointing out my little boo boos, and for doing it so politely
I hadn’t really thought about the visions Kate gets in relation to Cordy, but yeah, they are painful. No where near what Cordy’s were, Kate can live with them, she’s just not very receptive to her “alien” side.
-- Does she think Max is dead?
What makes you assume that its Max’s face Kate was seeing and referring to?
Sheejian ~ Yeah, the thing with Nancy is a bit morbid and icky, she’s not really handling Liz’s “death” well. There will be more on her farther into the story.
Katie ~ Lol! I’m not mad at you sweetie. I just got your email two days ago. Hotmail has become the bane of my existence this week and I changed my account to Yahoo! My new email is tobascogirl1947⊕yahoo.com Same name, different provider.
And you keep you’re little lips sealed, you hear me. He he, no the X Files is not a clue. You know how the title fits in and thats all Im giving you.
|posted on 22-Jan-2002 2:14:03 PM by Lizzybell|
|And now on with the story. I’ve gotten some feedback from elsewhere that this is also rather sad, I don’t think its that bad, but you be the judge.|
Beyond The Sea
“Max, are you sure you don’t want me to come in? Or you could come over to my place. The guest room is all ready, I changed the sheets this morning. I could make pancakes in the morning, the kind you like with the little chocolate chips and the Tabasco flavored butter.”
Turning the key in the lock, Max smiled half heartedly at his sister’s attempts to make him feel better and keep an eye on him. “Thanks Iz, but I’m ok, really. I think I’m just going to read a little and go to bed. Its late and I have a long day tomorrow. Besides, I was aware of Alex’s car following us here. You know how I feel about being in the apartment when he spends the night. There are just some things a guy would like to go though life believing, one of those being that his sister is pure as the driven snow. I have yet to see or hear anything that would confirm otherwise and I would prefer to keep it that way.”
Isabel rolled her eyes and allowed herself an annoyed chuckle. “Oh come on Max. I promise you’ll only have to hear me cry out “Oh God, Alex!” like, twice. The rest of the time we’ll be really quiet.” She just couldn’t resist teasing him. Sure he had always been shy, but she never would have guessed after all that PDA with Liz in high school her brother would turn into such a prude.
“Isabel!” Max cried in horror as he got the door to his apartment open and stepped into the darkened hallway. Turning around he kept the door open only a sliver to prevent her from walking right in and making herself comfortable, as she had habit of doing. He wasn’t really as scandalized by Isabel’s teasing as he usually portrayed. He knew that some members of the group thought him to be a little old fashioned when it came to discussing such things. It wasn’t really true but Max never moved to counter the assumption because in reality he didn’t want to be in on any conversations that involved the others intimate lives. It wasn’t because he had a high moral code, it was because of Liz. There were some places that were dangerous territory to let his mind wander in and that was one of them.
She shoved him lightly, laughing at the red flags on his cheeks. “I’m just teasing Max.” Sobering, she nailed him with a long appraising look. “You’re sure you won’t come up stairs? Not even for my own peace of mind?”
“No Iz, but I appreciate the offer. I think Alex might need you a little more than I do. He wasn’t looking so hot.”
Isabel’s eyes filed with tears for a brief moment as she swallowed past the building lump in her throat. “I-I tried to convince him that no one would blame him if he didn’t go this year. Nancy would understand if we said he had a test or something but,” she shook her head sadly. “He just wouldn’t listen.”
“He’s trying Izzy. He’s come a long way since this all began, we all have. You can’t expect him not to have his moments.”
“I know Max, its just, I hate to see him in so much pain. I think somehow he believes he still deserves to sit there and relive his nightmares.”
“He probably does,” Max responded quietly. His sister’s eyes shot to his in shock. “Isabel, you can’t expect him to go from feeling so guilty he tried to cut us all out of his life and told you repeatedly that he wanted nothing to do with us, to feeling completely innocent of the situation in only four years. When you say it, four years, it sounds like a long time but when you’re dealing with something like this, its not. You have to be patient and expect that there will be set backs and bad days.”
“Like I shouldn’t expect you to be a puddle all the time. I know Max, its just that seeing him in that much pain...”
“Hurts you too. Tell him that Iz, but don’t make him feel guilty about it. I know you want to fix it, but these things take time.” His lips quirked sadly, “and believe me, no one hates that saying more than me.”
She sighed in resignation and nodded sadly. “Well, if you’re not coming home with me I better get going, I don’t want to leave him alone too long.” She reached forward and hugged him tight.
“Good night Isabel.”
“I’m only one floor up if you need me.”
He couldn’t help but laugh, he thought his sister had been overprotective when they lived in the same house. Separating them by one floor of the same apartment building only seemed to straighten her instincts to care for her brother. With final good bye’s and a small shove, Max watched until she was safely in the elevator and on her way to her own apartment on the fifth floor before closing and locking his door with a small tired noise.
Not bothering to turn on the lights, Max made his way down the darkened hall into the kitchen. The room was dimly lit by the waning moon peeking through the window over the sink. He tossed his keys on the kitchen table along with the piece of cake Mrs. Parker had insisted he take and let the facade he had in place for Isabel fall. Draping his dinner jacket over the back of a chair he let his shoulders slump and his head hang with the fatigue of pretending he was ok. He knew no one really believed that he had been completely fine tonight, but to be honest, he really didn’t care. While he told himself it was to keep his sister off his back, it was more an illusion designed to trick himself because maybe if he pretended long enough that he was ok, then he really would be. Somewhere in the back of his mind he tried to remember that tomorrow would be better, tomorrow would not be quite as painful as today, but when pain clouds your vision its very hard to see all the way to tomorrow.
Standing in the kitchen, staring at the slice of white cake with yellow frosting, he tried to deiced what he was going to do now. Though it was late and the day had been extremely taxing, he knew sleep wouldn’t come for a long time. He hadn’t eaten all day but he still wasn’t very hungry. He’d never been able to choke down the cake Nancy made for Liz’s birthday and it wasn’t because he preferred chocolate. There was something so morbidly grotesque about the whole thing that it made his stomach turn. He could never bring himself to say anything about it though. It was his fault she wasn’t there to celebrate with her mother, the least he could do was humor her by going to a party once a year. At least this year Jeff had talked her out of piping Happy Birthday Liz and putting candles on the cake.
Leaving the dessert sitting on the table, Max made his way into the living room to light his candle. It was actually Liz’s candle. Next to the couch, a place were everyone could see it but not the focal point of the room, sat a small, round, end table with a tall vanilla pillar candle and a silver framed picture of his Liz. Murmuring his ritualistic oath to her of “I promise...” he struck a match and lit the candle, watching as the single flame burned warmly. Max did this every night. It had multiple meanings and significance's and he never missed doing it, ever. If they were away on a ‘trip’ he took the picture with him along with a small travel candle. He had failed Liz in the past but he was determined not to fail in the promises he had made to her the final days they had been together.
Lighting the candle had originally been Andrea’s idea. At first he had scoffed, thinking it a silly thing to do. Then one particularly bad night about six months after, he had climbed into Liz’s bedroom window to find Maria already there and dozens of vanilla candles lit around the room. It only took minutes for him to break down and the two of them sobbed and laughed and remembered while feeling surrounded by Liz’s presence because of the wonderful scent from those candles. The two, and eventually Michael, had become very close after that. It was inevitable really. The three shared the closest bonds to Liz, those of best friend, brother, and beloved, so their eventual camaraderie and commiseration was a long time in coming. After that Max began to light a candle as a way to feel close to her, if for only a moment. Then it became a calming routine, a way to find a tentative balance when he felt he couldn’t go on. Finally, a tactile way to renew his pledge and vow to her. Sometimes the thought of lighting that candle at the end of the day was the only thing that kept him alive to see the next.
When the small flame burned strong and bright he went to the large picture window and looked out over the landscape. The apartment building he and Isabel had chosen was high atop the bluff to the west of the city and over looked all of Las Cruses where it sat in the basin below. I-10 ran in from Arizona and you could watch the slow stream of red tail lights filter into the town and disappear. In the day time you could see what there was of the Rio Grande, which was really only grand when there was a rain storm that flooded what was usually a dusty and dry river bed. And if you stood at just the right angle you could watch the tail lights emerge out of the city and head north on Highway 70 into the majestic Organ Mountains. Huge mountain like rock formations that were named for their resemblance to a monstrous pipe organ, and disappear into them on their way to White Sands and beyond.
White Sands was beautiful, a national monument of almost 150,000 acres of snow white sand dunes, like a beach without water that you never missed. Liz would love it there. He and Michael had gone a few times a year since they had moved out to Las Cruses for school. They watched the experimental rocket launches at the missile range and walked along the dunes. It actually reminded Max a bit of one of the places Liz took him to in his dreams. The real Liz, not his dream version of Liz.
Max had always dreamed of her, ever since that day he stepped off the school bus. After she was taken he was haunted nightly by visions where he hadn’t been too late and they had lived happily ever after. Other images where his own demons of the white room and Pierce intruded upon their happiness had grown fewer over time, with Andrea’s help. But there were still terrors to be had of what Liz might be subjected to without him there keep her safe. He tried hard not to think on those things. Those musings were always the ones that threatened his constitution and sanity.
Isabel had exhausted herself for months on end trying to contact Liz by dream walking with no luck. Eventually Max told her to stop. Between Alex’s rejections and trying to find Liz she was killing herself. She still tried though, at least once a week, but something or someone was always blocking all their attempts. It was like Liz never entered the dream plane at all. Then, the January after she had been taken, Liz came to Max in a dream. He was absolutely positive it was her. He knew it was her in the same way that he knew for certain that she was still alive. He had been so ecstatic and relieved to see her all he did was hold her, kiss her, and profess his undying love. Liz had seemed to be as happy as he was at their reunion and he become so lost in the small amount of proof of her continued existence that before he knew it, the dream was over and the subject of where she was and how they could rescue her was never even broached.
Remorseful of his selfish behavior, Max had been a mess the next day waiting for night to come when he would be able to see her again and get the information he needed to get her back where she belonged. Only, she never came. Days passed, Isabel tried again, and still there was nothing. The others, and Max himself, all began to doubt that it had been nothing more than a particularly vivid dream. A month went by with Max still clinging to the hope that Liz would come back to him. Somehow, she would find a way to connect to him as she had done before. And she did, almost one month later. That was the first time she had taken him to wherever it was that reminded him of White Sands. It was also when it was confirmed that she was real, not some product of his lonely, aching heart. Unfortunately those were the only things that had really been clear from that dream.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Max lay back on the nubby wool blanket and watched the clouds roll by in the mild breeze. Liz was laying curled into his side, her head resting over his heart as his fingers played with the ends of her hair. She sighed contentedly and his arm tightened around her.
“Isn’t it nice today? Its so seldom this nice out.”
“It is beautiful, although it pales in comparison.”
“To what?” She adjusted so her chin was propped up on chest and she could look up at him. Max’s eye brows raised in response and he smiled when she blushed at his implication. After a moment his smile faded. His hand came up to cup her cheek, his thumb playing across the smooth, pale skin there.
“Mmm?” She mumbled as her eyes closed involuntarily and she leaned into his warm caress.
“This is wonderful, but, I need more.” Liz posture chanced and she sat stiffly. Max followed her movements until they were both sitting up and he held one of her small, cool hands in his.
“Yes. Liz, this is nice, but I want you. The real flesh and blood you. I want you with me in the real world. I need you to tell me where you are.”
Her forehead took on a pronounced crease and she tried to pull her hand away from him. “I d-don’t understand,” she got out shakily as small tremors began to shake her shoulders.
Max held firmly onto her hand, not sure exactly what was upsetting her, but knowing he needed information. “Liz please. Its been nearly a year. You must know something that can help us get to you. Does he let you go outside? Are there any landmarks you can tell us about? What about language? Do the people there speak english?” He rose up on his knees, becoming a little frantic at all the questions he had and the sudden sound of a clicking clock in the background reminding him of how precious each second could be.
“ Max, I...” he watched her mouth work soundlessly as struggled to pull her hand away. When she succeeded in freeing her hand from his, he immediately raised them to frame her face.
“Liz, sweetheart. Please! You have to give me something, anything.” Her hands came up to grip tightly around his wrists, trying to pull his hands away from her. His eyes bore down into hers with an increasing sense of desperation as Liz paled in fear... of him. He let his hand fall away at the realization and Liz scrambled backwards on the blanket, cowering from him. It broke his heart in ways he never realized were possible to see her afraid of him. Liz had looked at him with many different things reflected in her big, brown eyes before; anger, lust, concern. love, hurt, but never fear.
Max opened his mouth to try to soothe her in someway when his entire field of vision was suddenly blocked by a bank of mist that rolled between them. It was warm and scented lightly with flowers and when the odd apparition dissipated it left behind a woman in its place. She was strikingly beautiful and seemed to emanate a familiar kindness and gentility. He knew instinctively that whoever she was, she wasn’t a threat.
“Liz...” the woman smiled kindly at her. “I need to talk to Max. Could you go check on Blackie?”
“Of course,” Liz stood from her prone position on the blanket, not asking a single question.
Max watched Liz as she made her way towards a black mare that had appeared a short distance away. She seemed completely unaffected by both her earlier terror and the sudden presence of this woman.
Turning back to her, he looked her over briefly wondering at the strange sense of deja vu he was experiencing. “Who are you?” Max asked in an odd mix of awe and irritation.
She turned fully towards him, blocking his view of Liz. “Its not important, that’s not why I’m here,” she said calmly, but there was no mistaking her sense of urgency.
“Ok, then why are you here?”
“To stop you. You can’t ask her things like that.”
“Like what? About where she is? How else am I supposed to find her? She must know something by now. I need to know otherwise how can I help her? Why don’t you want me to help her?” He was having a hard time clamping down his panic. It was unnerving that she was in Liz’s dream at all, the only thing that kept him from believing she was one f Liz’s captors was the extreme sense of peace and warmth that exuded from her presence.
“Its not that Max. You need to understand that the part of Liz’s mind where this dream is happening, where you are kept intact, is for lack of a better word- closed to what is really going on around her. She is your Liz, but she doesn't really know what’s going on. You have to stop asking her about it Max, its only going to confuse and upset her.”
“No buts. If you persist that wall will start to break down and it will compromise her safety and health where she is now. These dreams, this hope of you, sometimes its the only thing that keeps her going and it needs to remain untainted. Do you understand?”
“When you were in the white room, what kept you going?”
Max's jaw dropped at that. “How do you know about that?” He hissed through clenched teeth.
She only tilted her chin, offering no response as she waited for his.
The calm reassurance and understanding somehow communicated from her eyes left him unable to not answer. “Liz. I thought about Liz.”
“And what happened when Pierce showed you that picture?”
Max was beyond asking how she knew these things anymore. “I- I gave up the orbs.”
“No. What happened to you?”
He was quiet for a moment, staring unseeing over her shoulder. “I went crazy,” he answered softly, his voice carried off in a whisper by a passing gust.
“Precisely,” she confirmed, looking pleased, but not unsympathetic to his memory.
“Wait,” Max shook his head as if to clear it, and a sudden absurd notion formed in his memory’s stead. “You’re saying that if I ask Liz were she is, she’ll go crazy?”
“In a manner of speaking.”
At the unmasked glare he sent her, she elaborated. “Max, you can not understand when you don’t posses the key to the door.”
“What?” Forget annoyed, now he was just confused.
“You can not change the past. You can only act when called upon to save the future.” Before he could ask her what the hell she was talking about, she tipped her head back and looking into the sky. “The phases are shifting and morn draws nigh. Liz,” she called out. “Its time.”
Even as she turned Max could see that Liz was disappearing. He called out to her but it was too late, she was gone.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
That was the last time for over a year that Liz came to him. It wasn’t until April of the next year that she was able to visit again. The dreams became progressively more frequent after that. There was one more in May of that year, then six the year after that, and there had been two so far this year. They did normal things like go for picnics on the white cliffs she seemed to like, they danced in a small night club she had him create, and they sat in the desert and gazed at the stars while he combed his fingers through her hair. They had wonderful experiences that Max ached to have in the real world but never once was he able to get her to answer questions about where she was and what was happening to her. On the rare occasions she would even acknowledge his question she got upset and confused. None of this did any good to put Max’s mind at ease that she would be all right until they found her. Then, at the end of every dream that same woman came and took her away. They had not spoken since that first time, but he knew Liz trusted her and he really didn’t have any choice in the matter anyway. He was never the one controlling the dreams.
Coming back to the present, Max continued to watch out the window as lights in town began to fade and flicker off as the hour grew later. The rain had stopped not long ago, cleansing the air of the loose desert dust and leaving behind muddy, brown messes in its wake. It was late and he should be getting to bed. There was a raid coming up, Gwyn and Michael had a meeting tomorrow and he would need to be briefed on the progress of the surveillance for their latest target. He had to drive into Roswell to see Andrea. Then there were his classes and the supposed life he was pretending to lead. There were absurd times when he wondered if this was how super heroes felt. Leading a double life as Joe average college student by day and alien King guy by night. Always having the girl ripped away at the last moment. All he needed was a cape and tights and he’d be good to go. Thank God flying wasn’t one of his powers, his life was already too surreal for words.
I lost all your feedback from the previous chapter before I could copy it, I would love some to replace it
|posted on 22-Jan-2002 7:48:36 PM by Lizzybell|
At the end of SITP many people said they found the time line helpful to understanding the overall events of the story. With that in mind I’m reposting it here for reference during Beyond The Sea.
For Secrets In the Past and The Antarian Chronicles
Antarian Year/Earth Year
Current Year: 6622/2001
Formula: to convert Earth year to Antarian + 4,621.
To convert Antarian year to Earth - 4,621
Note: For convenience sake an Earth year and an Antarian year are the same length. This was complicated enough.
Brown = events and dates relating to Antar
Blue = events and dates relating to Earth
Purple = Ages of main characters
6321/1700 ~ Skin’s planet Croath dies. They come to Antar, take over Jannar.
6521/1900 ~ Vanos comes to power.
6539/1918 ~ Eirya and Vonnie are born.
6540/1919 ~ Zan and Rath are born.
6542/1921 ~ Lillyah is born.
6545/1924 ~ Lillyah and Rath come to live at the palace.
(Z/R:5, V:6, L:3)
6549/1928 ~ Eirya comes to live at the palace.
(Z/R:9, V/E:10, L:7)
6550/1929 ~ Ava is born.
(Z/R:10, V/E:11, L:8)
6562/1941 ~ Lillyah and Valondra's diplomatic trip to Jannar where they meet Sininndor and Durton for the first time.
(Z/R:22, V/E:23, L:20)
6563/1942 ~ King Vanos dies and Zan is crowned.
(Z/R:23, V/E:24, L:21)
6565/1944 ~ Lillyah dies, is recreated human in the form of Liz Parker. Her pod is sent to earth along with the Granolith.
(Z/R:25, V/E:26, L:23)
6566/1945 ~ The ship containing Liz’s pod arrives on earth and she is entrusted to Claudia Parker.
~ Zan and Ava are married.
(Z/R:26, V/E:27, A:16)
6568/1947~ Antar falls to the rebel forces of Sininndor who is proclaimed Kivar. The royal four are killed and recreated by the newly formed Antarian Underground who’s goal is to someday retake the planet and restore honor to their fallen monarchy. The royal four and their decoy duplicates are sent to earth where the ship crashes.
(Z/R:28, V/E:29, A:18)
6571/1950 ~ Kivar and Durton get wind of the Underground's plan and know that the royal’s and the Granolith were sent to earth. Kivar sends forces to find and destroy them and bring back the Granolith. Durton agrees to command the forces with the primary goal of finding Lillyah and making her his.
6581/1960 ~ A ship containing a contingent of poded Antarian Underground members and sympathizers lands in the Arizona desert.
6605/1984 ~ Maria Deluca, Alex Whitman, and Kyle Valenti are born.
~ Lillyah emerges from her pod as a six month old infant, She is adopted by Jeff and Nancy Parker who name her Liz Parker.
6610/1989 ~ The royal four, their duplicates in New York and the hybrid contingent of the Antarian Underground including Gwyndolin Reynolds and Justin Walker emerge from their pods in the form of six year old humans. (6)
6612/1991 ~ Max Evans meets Liz Parker for the first time. The prophecy of the Roshina begins to be fulfilled. (8)
6620/1999 ~ Liz Parker is shot in the Crashdown Cafe and saved by Max Evans. (16)
6621/2000 ~ Future Max comes to Liz Parker and asks her to help him save the world. The prophecy of the sacrifice is fulfilled. Durton becomes aware of who and where Lillyah is. (17)
6622/2001 ~ The heads of the Underground finally find Lillyah in the form of Liz Parker. Thus begins our story. (17/18)
|posted on 25-Jan-2002 3:10:07 AM by Lizzybell|
He he, yes I know none of you know who Andrea is. What would be the fun if we didn’t start off with more questions than answers? You’ll find out who she is in chapter 4.
I’m not too happy with the main part of this chapter. I feel like its lacking, but I’ve been sitting on it for wayyyy too long and have decided to wash my hands of it and move on. So, sorry if its not so great. I might go back and play with it later, I’ll let you know if I do.
Anyway, here ya go and have a great weekend
Beyond The Sea
Kate yawned loudly as she pulled open the door to the 24 hour truck stop. It was nearly four am and she had just made it over the Arizona state line. She had gotten stuck in traffic not an hour after leaving her apartment because of another one of those damned high speed car chases. All of LA seemed to shut down for the stupid things and if you happened to be on a freeway the loony wanted to use, well it sucked to be you. She had planned on making it to Tucson by 11 the night before, obviously that hadn’t happened. Her new plan was to push through to Las Cruses or at least Lordsburg and spend the night, maybe two, and then go on into Roswell.
Shuffling her way to the coffee bar side of the store she noticed the lack of people at this time of the morning. She had thought there would be more long hall truckers making a pit stop so they could get a jump on the heat of the day. Instead both the connivence store and the small cafe seemed nearly empty, only a few teenagers milling about at the Burger King counter and a man in his mid thirties fixing a cup of coffee. Grabbing a bag of chips on her way to the counter she couldn’t help but continue to glance surreptitiously at the man who was taking his coffee over to the condiment bar. Tired, confused, and out of practice, Kate couldn’t stop the startled gasp that escaped when his smiling, jade green eyes connected with hers.
The world began to tilt at a precarious angle and blackness began to cloud her vision. Just as she felt the bag of chips and empty coffee cup she’d been about to fill slip from her grasp, two strong hands latched onto her arms and held her upright. Her head lolled backward until she was staring up into his placid face.
“I see my reputation precedes me,” he said with a chuckle after he was certain Kate, or whatever she was calling herself these days, wasn’t going to faint.
“I... its... you, but- how is this possible?” She stuttered out brokenly.
“One of the mysteries of the universe my dear.” The slight lilt in his voice musically filled the air, time and travel doing little to diminish his native inflections. “Are you all right now? Can you stand?” He slowly released his grip, watching for any lingering signs of shock. When she stood steadily and backed up a few paces he nodded in approval and bent down to pick up her dropped items.
Kate watched him as he picked up her chips in confused fascination. By all accounts he should be dead. Never mind the fact that he was on this planet, and how had he found her?
“Ok,” she shook her head to clear out some of the cobwebs. She didn’t cower in corners anymore, she had learned to protect herself. “What are you doing here?” She demanded cooly.
Handing her the chips and empty styrofoam cup he stood, his full height towering over her. He was impressed that she didn’t shrink back, maybe what he had observed was true for the inside as well as the out. Pointing to the little cafe where a few more truckers had gathered for their morning meal, he placed a hand on her shoulder. “I think you and I need to have a little talk.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“I love you so much.” Her teary eyes looked up into his as her small hand ran along his chin.
He roughly pulled her to him, pressing her body the length of his and breathing her in as if he may never get the chance again. Goddess knew, he might not. “What I wouldn’t give not to leave you.”
“Please be careful,” she whispered , tears running down her soft cheeks.
He pulled back again, looking into her beloved face. “Always. For you, always.” Her eyes feathered closed in anticipation when he bent his head, fearing that this kiss would be the last time. “Love you, always.” He whispered inaudibly seconds before his tender lips closed over hers.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Monday, April 4th, 2005
Las Cruses, New Mexico
With a startled gasp, she was thrown out of her dream, rocketing into a sitting position, hot, horrified tears streaming down her face.
“Mmm, baby? You ok?” The sleepy voice next to her mumbled at her sudden movement.
Taking controlled, deep breaths, she tried to get herself under control as she lay back down beside him. “Just a bad dream. Go back to sleep Kyle,” she assured softly, letting one of his arms pull her close.
Tess waited ten minuets until his breathing had depend to the even rhythm of sleep and his arm grew heavier where it was draped over her waist. With a quiet prayer that he would stay that way, she slowly picked up his arm, slipped out from under and replaced it with her pillow. Standing up, she stood in silent nervousness waiting to see if he would realize she had risen. After a garbled sentence about evil aliens in football helmets he pulled the pillow closer, none the wiser to her leaving him in the wee hours of the morning. Stealthily, she dressed in her discarded clothes from the night before, picked up her sandals and moved into the main room of the suite Kyle and Alex shared. Being careful to remain quiet and not wake up Alex, she sat on the sofa to slip on her sandals and scribbled a quick note to Kyle. Grabbing her backpack and purse off the table next to the door, she tiptoed out into the hall and finally made her escape.
The dorm was almost totally quiet at this time of the morning. That in between time when the kids who stayed up partying had passed out, the all nighter’s hadn’t come back from the library, and the insomniacs had finally crashed in the lounge. Only the hum of the overhead florescent lights and the vending machines in the lobby gave any objection to her slipping out on her boyfriend after dreaming about being in the arms of another man. Oh God.
Every step she took increased her speed until she was full out running towards the double doors in the lobby and holding a hand over her mouth to suppress the impending sobs. Throwing herself into the driver’s side of her white SUV, Tess shoved her belongings into the passenger seat and slammed the door, not bothering with her seat belt or that her jacket was caught half way out the door. Keys would take too long to find, so she started the car with her powers and got out of the parking lot as fast as she could without squealing the tires.
Keeping her undivided attention on the mile marker posts, she drove until she came to the small turnout ten miles from the campus and pulled to the side. Coming to a stop, her hands fisted around the steering wheel until her knuckles turned white. She began rocking forward and back as the tears rolled down her cheeks and she chanted quietly to herself, “I love Kyle. I love Kyle. I love Kyle.”
This couldn’t be happening, not again. Not now. She was in love with Kyle. He was going to graduate in a year and they had talked about getting married. Kyle wanted to marry her and she was having dreams about loving another man. A man, that for all intents and purposes was Max. The thing was, in the light of day, she didn’t love Max. They were good friends yes, but she didn’t love him like that and never would.
Over the last four years, despite the terrible things that had happened surrounding Liz’s abduction, Tess’ life had only continued to get better. She was beyond thankful, to the point of feeling guilty on some occasional that she was indeed so happy. Kyle or her sister were always there to remind her that Liz would never begrudge her any kind of happiness though. Liz wasn’t the type of person who wanted to bring others down with her. And up until about three months ago Tess been the happiest she’d ever been in her entire life. That was when the dreams had begun again.
Getting a modicum of control back, Tess was able to turn off the ignition and the headlights to preserve the battery. She had taken off so fast she didn’t even know if she had a cell phone. Leaving the emergency break lights on to avoid an accident on the dark highway, she climbed slowly out of the car and made her way farther off to the side and down a small embankment. There wasn’t really anything there. A few boulders big enough to sit on and some small trees that blocked the passing lights from the road, not that there were many this time of the night, or was it morning? Pulling herself up onto one of the rocks, she sat Indian style as she stared up at the pre dawn sky, squelching the desire to scream out at the fates that seemed to so enjoy her suffering.
Not long after Liz had been taken Tess’ dreams had all but stopped. Gradually she was able to put the few Antarian memories she had to the back of her mind and erect a small wall around them, partly for herself and partly so Kyle would never find them. Just the thought of Kyle accidentally seeing some of those memories made her shiver in fear. She loved him more than she thought it was possible to love someone and the possibility that he might find one of those and leave her chilled her to the core. Over the years, as she began to build a real life for herself in Roswell, she had allowed herself to forget and perhaps that was her mistake. Didn’t they say “its in forgetting our past that we are doomed to repeat it,” or something like that? But, a little voice in her mind asked, now that she had everything she’d ever wanted, how could she allow herself to remember?
Dropping her face into her hands she began to rock again. She wanted to go home, but she was afraid her sister would sense her coming and read her emotions. The again, Gwyn seemed to be having a distraction of her own lately. Tess didn’t know if others had noticed, or even if Gwyn herself knew she was doing it, but she had begun to avoid meeting with the group as a whole. Avoiding any large group meeting that didn’t involve the AU. She had noticed some calculated avoidance on Justin’s part as well. Tess had asked her if she was ok and got the expected “I’m fine,” answer. Gwyn was always fine though. If she had learned anything about her sister it was that she needed to be needed. Turning the tables and letting someone take care of her was like pulling teeth. The only thing she could really do was wait to see if Gwyn needed to talk or if it was just the time or the year getting to her.
Gwyn and Justin had continued to let Tess live with them while she attended college. Family was something that everyone in the group held dear and there was never really any discussion on the subject. She did spend quite a few nights with Kyle in his suite on campus that he shared with Alex. Kyle had gotten a football scholarship to ULC and was getting his degree in business administration. While it wasn’t exactly what he would be doing, the school hadn’t had a program for running a business that served as beard for various alien activities.
Kyle and Justin had become quite close since he had moved to town. In turn Kyle had become increasingly fascinated with how things ran at LGM. How they effected the Underground and the whole trickle down effect of aliens in their midst caught his attention much more than the hands on surveillance and planning that went on at The Core, the AU’s official headquarters. Tess thought it was having something concrete that affected both aliens and humans that appealed to him. LGM improved both communities and working with them gave him some sense of control. Eventually Justin took him under his wing and Kyle had a job waiting for him as a Jr. VP of transitional operations when he was ready. She was so proud of him.
Tess wouldn’t be graduating for almost three years but that was fine with her. She had taken a year off after high school to work on only alien related matters. She had never really considered a future on earth and it took her some time to decide what she wanted to do with her life. As it was she was still undeclared in her major. All four of the aliens attending college were somewhat behind their human counterparts anyway. The four of them had to deal with more things than just finding Liz. Like wiping out an entire rival species that was bent on their destruction and that of their respective planets. Sometimes defeating bids for global conquest could be time consuming. Again though, Tess didn’t mind. As a matter of fact, there were times when she reveled in it. They had become a tight knit unit of which she was a vital member. She belonged, she was loved, and she had people to love, that was all she had ever wanted.
Now all that was threatened and she wanted to crawl in a hole and die. Normally she would have fought tooth and nail to keep her home and family, but how did you fight a dream and the specter of a man who died fifty years ago on another planet?
After they had discovered that destiny was not meant for them, Tess never told anyone but Gwyn about her dreams and memories. There were a few instances where it looked like Max was going to ask something but she headed him off and it eventually fell to the wayside. When the dreams stopped she and Gwyn had reasoned out that they must have been implants from Nesado to keep her from asking questions as she got older. The explanation had been good enough for them, Tess only wanted it in the past, where she had thought they would stay. Until now.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“So, what you’re saying is that you want me to spy for you.” Kate stared at this- man across the small table tucked in a corner of the cafe. Reluctantly she had followed him over and listened as he recounted his completely ludicrous story. I mean, come on, she had heard some wild stuff in the past, both living in LA and having intimate knowledge that aliens where indeed among us had given her some great fodder for parties, but this... it was just insane. But those darned eyes of his, and a few flashes, where making it harder and harder to doubt. Even so, if she were to believe him, this- plan, if you could call it that, was beyond risky.
“I suppose. If you prefer to see it like that.”
The young woman rolled her eyes, his preference for being vague had always irritated her.
“You understand that I can not do this myself. They will not trust me and I can not risk disturbing the past.”
“Yeah, I got it. What is it you want me to do?” She shook her head at herself, she couldn’t believe she was still sitting here.
“You will need to go to the one in charge and confer with him. Find out what he knows, how much progress has been made, then come back to me.”
She laughed, hard, almost doubling over as her eyes welled up. “You honestly think... Max is just going to sit... down and have a... little chat with me?” She rasped out between bursts of laughter.
“Not Max, Justin.”
“I don’t know any Justin,” she told him, the slightest bit of apprehension leaking into her voice, replacing the previous mirth.
“I apologize. Kyron, his earth name is Justin.”
She choked and almost spit her soda out. “K-Kyron?”
“Yes,” he watched her reaction intently as she nervously tore at a straw wrapper.
“Is- she here?” She asked hesitantly.
“You do remember then,” he answered cryptically.
“In a manner of speaking.”
He merely nodded, apparently knowing who it was she referred to. “Yes, she is here.”
They sat in silence until the straw wrapper had disintegrated.
“No,” she suddenly declared. “Deal’s off,” she jerkily stood, nearly sending the chair over behind her.
“Wait,” he grabbed her wrist before she could move away from the table. “You do not have to encounter her. For the first phase I would prefer that you only have contact with Kyron. The others knowing would be a factor to volatile to control.”
When she had settled back in her chair he slowly released her wrist and she reached for a discarded sweetener packet to shred. “You say you know who I am,” she looked up to meet his startlingly beautiful eyes, “but do you really?”
“Yes,” he answered, never breaking her gaze.
When he didn’t elaborate she blew out an annoyed breath and leaned forward. “What I mean is, do you know who I’m not.”
“Yes,” he answered again, his tone unfaltering.
“And that doesn’t matter to you?”
“It only matters what you have become. Who you allow yourself to be. Not what others told you to be.”
“Then how do you know you can trust me with this? After all, this is not my fight.”
“True. Not by birth at any rate, but what of choice? It is no coincidence that I found you on your way to them, is it not?”
“You’re so all knowing, you tell me.”
“You have become shrewd, that is good. I worried over you once upon a time.”
“Yeah, well that makes two of us. Fine,” she agreed bluntly. “But I’m not staying. You hear me? I don’t want to be a permeant part of this, not ever again. After this, I’m out.”
“As you wish. If you work with me I will make sure you are cared for, without disturbance, for your natural earth life.”
“As long as we’re clear on that point. I like my life now. I have friends. After this its over.”
|posted on 25-Jan-2002 9:18:15 PM by Lizzybell|
Yes, I am shamelessly bumping myself. So sue me
|posted on 25-Jan-2002 9:39:41 PM by Lizzybell|
Tim I'm sorry! I had no intention of causing you distress! Chapter 4 is almost done, I'll try to speed it up just for you.
You should email me. I'm interested to know who you think Kate is. Your specs are usually very good.
|posted on 2-Feb-2002 3:02:50 AM by Lizzybell|
|I’m glad you guys didn’t dislike the last chapter. Actually it wasn’t the Kate part I didn’t like, I thought the Tess bits came across a little on the selfish side and whinier than I would have liked. Anybody else see that or am I nuts?|
I know I’m being paranoid, only 3 chapters into it and all, but a lot of people are expressing a great amount of confusion. Some is to be expected, as several people have put it “I like messing with your minds,” But is it bad confusion or good confusion? Like, is anybody so confused that they can’t enjoy the story or they are thinking of leaving? That’s not my intention, I just enjoy building the suspense. If you are having big problems please let me know or email me and I’ll fill in some gaps, I would rather spoil a little than lose a reader.
Tim ~ “Poor Tess! She doesn't want to be the bad guy, but her subconscious seems to be insisting.”
That’s a great observation. I hadn’t really thought about it like that, but you’re so right. I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to leave that knocking around in my brain for when I write her. That observation will really help me with some upcoming scenes.
I’m really curious to know who you think Kate and truck stop Mystery Man are. If you have a sec drop me a b or e mail
Pandas~ “Please for the love of God and everything that is good and pure, tell me that Zan DID NOT have a relationship with Ava other than a brotherly one!?.”
I’m sorry, but this had me laughing so hard. Don’t worry, you know me better than that. Zan was away for almost all the war, remember? And Ava was a child to him. There is much more going on here than meets the eye and will hopefully clear up some early S2 loose ends.
Becky and Pixi Chic ~
Yes, there will be much more of Max, Michael, and Maria. Just not for a bit. Maria is going to play a huge role in this story where she was more of a background character in SITP. I’m trying to catch you up on each character/couple while still keeping the story going and with 12 main characters its just taking a bit of time. But it is more exciting than my typing out a 20 page synopsis of what everyone has been up to, then still subjecting you to the ground work I’m laying right now. I’m doing the characters that will ultimately have smaller roles in the biggest plot first (with the exception of Max, he’s a major player, duh ) to set up their supporting story lines. Make sense? Theres going to be a lot of Gwyn/Justin/Tess/Kate for a few parts but most of that line will be cleared up quickly. Its important it come first otherwise everything will all go to hell at once and I would go crazy.
I’m working on getting a few scenes with M/M/M in them to demonstrate their dynamic before things start getting really hairy. Maybe a flash back or two.
I’m reluctant to say much about Liz or when her POV will appear because I’m afraid my saying anything will either really confuse people or give something away. For now all I’ll say is yes, you will eventually see Liz and know what’s been happening with her from her side of things. Until then, follow the dreams.
Edited to add:
Cookie! ~ Oh you have a theory? Tell me. I have been particularly interested in your take on Kate, for reasons I can’t say yet, but I’d love to hear your theory.
Technically, Tess is not dreaming about Max. She’s letting her waking emotions and acquaintance influence how she perceives her dreams. Zan, on Antar or on Earth, is not Max. Remember how the other three dreamed of their earthly incarnations not the Antarian ones? Its all a mater of how she’s interpreting things.
This is posted in two parts.
Beyond The Sea
It’s always darkest before the dawn. Wasn’t that how the saying went? Or maybe the one she was looking for was “every cloud has a silver lining.” Either way, she was looking for that dawn or silver lining to come along anytime now. Gwyn could see a long ways out into the desert from her sixth floor office window at the Core and from what she could see, the dawn had come and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. So what the hell did that mean?
She jammed her fingers roughly into her auburn curls and pulled as a frustrated groan sounded low in her throat. Another sign that things were going down hill, she was waxing semi poetic to herself. Never a good sign. She moved to use a quick swipe of her powers to fix her hair where she’d frizzed it but thought better of it. The old fashioned pat down method would have to work for now, recreational use of her powers just made her too tired. As she focused on her reflection in the window, Gwyn couldn’t ignore what she was able to keep hidden from everyone else. The slight pallor in her skin. The fatigue lines around her eyes. The way her clothes were fitting now. Meeting her own eyes and acknowledging the shadow there, she knew for certain, Gwyndolin Walker- Reynolds had never been so scared in her life.
A loud, exasperated sigh had her looking up to meet the eyes of the one person who was able to sneak up on her.
“We all know you’re gorgeous, you don’t have to preen constantly.” Michael rolled his eyes and tugged on a few of her ringlets.
Gwyn dawned a light smile and hopped she could infuse enough energy into her voice to cover her fatigue and the self pity perusal he’d walked in on. “Preen? Me?” She turned, looking up at him with wide eyes. “I think not. I am not the one who’s had six hair styles in the last four years.
“Oh,” he winced stepping back. “That’s a low blow.”
“I call ‘em like I see ’em.”
He looked around the office not wanting to take any more abuse about his hair, he got enough of that at home from Maria. “Where are the boys? I thought you said four.” By “the boys” Michael meant Alex and Chad. The three of them were meeting to brief Gwyn on their latest surveillance target. After graduation she had assumed the official position of head of The Antarian Underground running things at the Core, their official headquarters.
All the member of the council, as their group was referred to, underwent a period of training with members of the underground the summer after grad. They learned everything from proficiency in their powers and fire arms, to advanced surveillance techniques. Alien boot camp as Alex liked to call it. Afterwards several of them had taken official positions in fields they enjoyed and excelled in. The others filled in when they were needed and of course, did all they could to help find Liz.
Michael was the head of covert ops for the AU. It was fun and he’d become much better at being sneaky since the days of breaking into Valenti’s office. Alex worked with him when his computer expertise was needed or when the load got too heavy. They were both still college students after all. Chad was an original AU member but after the migration to Roswell he decided to bow out of active operations and became the financial liaison between LGM and the AU. Basically that meant when the AU needed something or a mission needed to be paid for and organized, Chad wrote the check.
Today there was to be a briefing and final plans made for an operation pertaining to a camp of skin they had been watching in a remote area of Washington’s Olympic National Forest.
“They shouldn’t be much longer. Chad is so anal I don’t think he’s ever been late,” she chuckled remembering a time when she, Justin, and him had been a team.
“We missed you last night,” Michael commented as he got comfortable in the cushy, tan leather chair in front of Gwyn’s desk. He was trying to be as subtle as possible but he had strict orders from Maria to find out exactly what was going on with her and Justin. While his eyes followed her, she walked back to her desk and began to shuffle some papers around. It didn’t go unnoticed that she wouldn’t look at him.
“I’m sorry about that. I haven’t been able to talk to Justin since before he left last night. Did everything go all right? Well, not all right, it couldn’t go all right.” She began to babble in an attempt to not answer his question and had to fight down a nervous giggle that threatened. “You know what I mean.”
“It wasn’t as bad as last year,” he answered distractedly, looking over her shoulder to the mural of the night sky that was painted high on the wall. “Dad talked her out of the whole streamers and balloons thing and more people found excuses not to be there, so it was mostly just family. If you could forget why we were actually there, it would have been almost nice.”
The buzzer on Gwyn’s intercom gratefully sounded, preventing her from further commenting on Michael’s recitation. She knew that despite his voicing the contrary, the previous evening had been hell for him.
“Yes,” she answered the com.
“Mr. Jenson is here, shall I show him in?”
“That would be great Brad, thanks.” Brad had been her assistant for a little over a year. She’d been skeptical about a male assistant at first, but she was an equal opportunity employer and if she could be boss, then a man could certainly be her secretary. He turned out to be a huge asset, much better with dates and keeping her on schedule than she was, and despite his human status he made incredible tabasco laced coffee. He wasn’t bad on the eyes either.
“Hey Chad, come on in,” she gestured to the chair next to Michael when Brad let him in.
“Sorry I’m a little late. I was waiting for a fax to come in.”
“It’s no problem, Michael only just got here himself and we’re still waiting on-”
There was a loud commotion as Alex came bursting through the door juggling an arm load of papers and poster tubes, something slipping out of his arms with every step he took. Brad trailed behind him picking up the things left in his wake.
“... Alex.” Gwyn finished her sentence with a barely suppressed chuckle as he unceremoniously dropped the lot of his load in a heap on the conference table.
“Sorry. Sorry guys. The printer was an idiot and I left some stuff at my dorm last night and got half way to Roswell before I remembered that I had stayed at Isabel's last night, so I didn’t have all the schematics of the buildings and...” He took a deep breath, flashing them an apologetic grin before grabbing a small file folder off the stack and taking the last vacant seat with the other guys.
“Everyone just got here Alex, don’t worry about it. So, gentleman,” she straightened and prepared to get down to business. “Where do we stand with the situation in the Olympics?”
All three men noticeably stiffened in their chairs at Gwyn’s tone. It was still an odd occurrence to actually see her go from overprotective, fun loving friend to a business woman and alien spy extraordinair. There was always a very definite change in her demeanor that made others change to reflect it for fear of reprimand.
Alex opened his file taking a quick glance before beginning. “We think that they are harboring some kind of communication device or information up there. So far its undetermined what its purpose is; spying, monitoring their own com, or if its something completely different. Maybe a way they communicate with Kivar on Antar. We do have reason to believe that Nicholas has been there several times in the last year but we are unsure about the facilities actual importance to their movement as a whole because security is laughably lax. It is very well hidden though, and if it hadn't been for that raid in Colorado last month and the information we got from that squealer, we never would have known about it at all. There’s a missing piece to the whole existence of that camp and whatever it is, my guess is its behind that communication center. Assuming that’s what it really is.”
Gwyn nodded thoughtfully as she jotted a few things down on a legal pad. “You’re saying that there are a lot of variables here but not many that present a danger if we do chose to go in.”
“Yes... unless,” he glanced at Michael before looking back at Gwyn.
“Unless what? If you have another scenario we need to know.”
“Well, because we know so little about exactly what it is they are hiding, there is a remote possibility it could be a weapon.” She didn’t respond, and surprisingly, neither did Michael. She only jotted down something else on her pad and continued the debriefing.
“Ok Michael, how about surveillance? Have you gotten a decent blue print of the compound?”
“Yeah. Like Alex said before, this group seems to be pretty unconcerned with security. The grounds are an old summer camp that was closed in the late 80’s. They bought it and have been using it ever since. We haven’t been able to deduce exactly what the originally intended purpose of the station was, but now it looks to be a communications relay station. Which coincides with the information Alex’s team has gathered and the stuff Max got from the skin in Denver.” He stood and drew out several of the maps and photos Alex had brought for him, spreading them across the unoccupied section of the conference table.
be right back...
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 2-Feb-2002 3:22:42 AM ]
|posted on 2-Feb-2002 3:04:49 AM by Lizzybell|
|...chapter 4 cont.|
Alex and Chad stood to follow and as Gwyn did so she fought against the wave of dizzy nausea that threatened. The three men turned when she didn’t approach the table and looked on in concern at her white knuckle grip to the desk.
“Are you all right Gwyn?” Michael asked, putting down the map he had been glancing over.
“Hmm?” She struggled to open her eyes and relax her grip. “I uhh. Yeah. My umm, my foot just fell asleep. You know my precious ego, I didn’t want to crash to the floor and mess up my hair.” She laughed nervously as she walked slowly to the table, adding a small limp for effect. The guys shared a glance and a shrug before returning to the business at hand.
“Ok,” Michael flattened out one of the maps with his hands and began pointing to different areas and structures. “Over here and here are all the cabins that were used to house the kids. We think they are using them as private dwellings now. There are at least 50 separated in two groups on either side of the compound. Assumingly, one side was for girls, the other for boys. There are three main buildings in the center of the camp. One large multi purpose facility that housed indoor activities, the dining hall, and an old house that was the care taker’s and used for staff meetings and stuff. It was later converted into office space on the ground level. From what we’ve been able to gather their communications center is there.
“Since the cabins are so spread out I think it would be a better idea to take the camp during the day with force rather than wait until night and sneak in. Everything is too spread out, there’s too much that could go wrong. Since the house is most likely where what we want is, we need to either take them during a meeting in the multi purpose center or during a meal, preferably the former. If we go during a meal we risk that not everyone will eat at the same time. But, if we hit during a meeting that demands a space of that size it would be safe to assume that the majority of the camp will be there. Anyone left should be easy to take down since we have firm confirmation on their lack of security.”
Having recovered from her little episode, Gwyn looked over the various maps and photos of the camp while contemplating Michael's proposal. “Do we know when they have gatherings scheduled?”
Alex pawed through the jumble of papers on the other end of the table, finally pulling out the newest report from their inside informant. “Deana reported that they have a huge meeting every Tuesday morning at 10 pacific time.”
“That puts us at tomorrow morning or a week from tomorrow. Michael, your thoughts?”
“I know its last minute, but with the low security and everything- I really think we should do this as soon as possible. That thing they’ve got could be really important.” He paused for a moment looking over the table’s contents. “I’ve just got this feeling we need to know what’s up there.”
She didn’t take more than a minute to debate the decision, she was having the same feeling. “Sounds good. Tomorrow it is. Which means we need to leave in,” she glanced down at the watch. “Four and a half hours. We need to be on the jet and in the air in by nine.”
“Which team is up?” Chad asked as he began mental notes for the preparations that needed to be done.
“Its something the green team could handle and I believe they are up, but I think team blue should take it.”
“We don’t really know about that com center, and going in daylight, I think we need more fire power rather than cognitive skill. Plus, Kyle has an exam tomorrow.” Gwyn quirked her lips at the the thought of the young man who was sure to become her brother in law. She was very proud of him and had even tried to steal him from LGM to come work at the Core with her. He was a fabulous strategist, rivaled Michael at times, he favored the business angle though.
Michael nodded, taking a last look at the maps. “Blue team it is then. You got the logistics Chad?”
“Yes sir. I’ll call and have the jet on stand by and file the flight plan. All your usual supplies will be ready on board. Anything special you want for this mission?”
“Make sure Alex’s weapon had the silencer. Alex? Need any of your computer doo dads?”
Alex sighed and shook his head. “Michael, Michael, Michael. You know, there is no shame in allowing yourself to become computer literate.”
“Speak for yourself compu-boy.”
Alex made and indigent sound, feigning a chest wound. “Don’t knock what you haven’t got Guerin,” he choked out. “This compu-boy has saved your butt on several occasions.”
Gwyn cleared her throat loudly before Michael could rebut. “Boys, could we get back on topic please?”
“Sorry ma’am,” Alex apologized while Michael only shrugged. “Anyway, I’ve got it covered this time Chad. I just need the usually set up, oh, and an extra converter b port cable.”
Chad jotted down his instruction on his palm pilot and turned to Gwyn.
“That’s it. If I think of anything else I’ll contact you before we leave. Make sure you ask Tess when you brief her.”
“Of course. Is Alpha joining this mission?”
Michael and Gwyn looked at each other, “I don’t know.” He raised an eyebrow in mock contemplation. Like ‘Alpha’ ever missed a mission. “Why don’t I pay our esteemed leader a little visit and find out?”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“All right Max,” Dr. Thompson opened the door to her office to show him back out into the reception area. “Just confirm your next appointment with Bianca and you’ll be good to go.”
“Thanks Andrea,” Max pulled his therapist into a light hug. While they had a very professional relationship they still considered each other friends.
That April four years ago, amidst everything that was going on with trying to find Liz and setting up the new AU and LGM offices, Justin had still made it a top priority to cary out her last few requests. He and Gwyn personaly selected Andrea Thompson from their list of doctors associated and dedicated to the cause and asked her to move to Roswell to help the king. Andrea had jumped at the chance to relocate from her practice in Chicago and had been in Roswell meeting with Max in less than a month. She was very well respected in her field and well liked by the her patients. She had also proven on many occasions that she could be trusted beyond the shadow of a doubt. That was important because the king’s therapist was human. It wasn’t all that uncommon to have humans working at LGM and there were some in the AU as well, but very few actually knew who and where the king and the rest of the royals were. It was just too risky.
Andrea had gotten involved when she met her husband. He was from Plinoria and one of the protectors sent to watch over the pods that were sent in the 60s. They had met in college in 1994, she a student and him there to learn more about human culture, knowledge, interaction, etc. Something about Damon had reached out to her and they began dating, eventually marrying and her finding out everything. In 1998, on a supposedly easy mission to investigate a lead on the whereabouts of the royals, he fell into a trap by the skins and was killed. Even after that Andrea had continued to support the Underground and all its causes with all she had.
When Gwyn called her and offered her the position she packed up immediately. Not only was this her chance to get away from a routine that had slowly been sucking the life out of her at not even thirty years of age, but it was a chance to give back to the AU for all they had done for her after Damon had been killed and help their King in a way few people could. Yes she was a therapist and could help in a clinical way, but she was also a young woman who had lost someone she desperately loved to an enemy and understood what he was going though on a deeper, more personal level.
In the beginning, Max was reluctant to say the least. Of course, the only thing needed to coerce him into the office was the notion that Liz had wanted him there. Eventually they formed a tentative relationship where Max felt comfortable to let his guard down and except the help she offered. He was a better leader for it. Over the years they became genuine friends, both sharing parts of their lives that were sacredly privet. It was Max’s confidence in her, and the obvious evidence of her success, that finally persuaded Alex, Michael, and Isabel into her office. Everyone saw her every couple months for a check up but it was the four of them that had the most issues to work though. Everyone in the group was better for her council.
“You’re sure you’re all right to drive Max?” When he pulled back she could still see the faint trace of tear tracks down his tanned cheeks and the barley perceptible tremble in his hands. She hadn’t seen him this bad in awhile.
He smiled again, she was always so kind to him. More so than her other patients, or that’s what he told himself. “Yeah I’m ok,” he answered quietly, shoving his hands down in the pockets of his jeans. A little boy gesture he’d never quite out grown. “I’m having dinner at my parent’s house, its not too far. I’ll probably just crash there tonight anyway. You know how reluctant mom’s are to let you out of the house once they get you back into it.” He actually laughed a little thinking of the various ways his mother had tried to black mail them into staying longer or spending the night when he and Isabel visited.
Andrea couldn’t resist reaching up and ruffling his hair a bit. “Oh, but you’re just so cute Max. How could she ever want to let you go?” Laughing at his attempts to get away, she let up and turned back to her office. “Ok, I’ll see you next week then. Have a good evening and say hello to you parents for me.”
Max bid her a hasty good night while smoothing down his hair. He had to smile though. Andrea was one of the few other people he’d met in the last four years that treated him as a equal without him having to remind her. If that occasionally meant a little ribbing he could take it, so long as it wasn’t too often. He turned towards the reception area where Bianca, Dr. Thompson’s new assistant, and an empty reception area waited for him.
Max took a deep breath and prepared himself for the usual come on that would come from the girl. That was just one of the things that set him on edge about her. Renee, the old receptionist, had left six months ago to have a baby and then decided to become a full time mom. Bianca’s temp job had then become permanent, much to Max’s dismay. There wasn’t any real reason Max could pin down as to why he didn’t like her other than her blatant attempts to get in his pants. There was just something unsettling about her.
He approached the desk slowly, waiting to see what she would do this time.
“Hey there Max,” she looked up at him batting her eyelashes and flipping her long, black hair over one shoulder.
“Bianca,” he nodded his head curtly, using his assertive, leader guy voice, as Maria liked to call it.
“You look nice today Max,” she complimented looking over his broad chest with relish. It made him shiver. He hated the way she said his name. Like she was trying to lick him with her voice. There were very few people he wished would address him by sir or his title, and she was one of them. Of course being who he was, he could have had her fired or transferred to where he would never come into contact with her, but he just wasn’t that type of guy. He tried to achieve normal whenever possible, and he was certain if he were an average guy there would still be people who gave him the creeps and he wouldn’t be able to do a darn thing about it. Besides, it seemed as though she did her job well and got along with Andrea, if anyone was going to remove her it would be her boss and no one else.
“Umm, thank you,” he nodded stiffly but didn’t return the compliment. Isabel and Maria had coached him at length on how to be polite and yet spurn advances of women who came on to him. A few more ignored yet uncomfortable flirtations and he was hustling out the door as quickly as he could. He was so desperate to leave he had almost forgotten to make his next appointment. Getting into his car he had to shake his head at the thought that he was running home to his mother because the big, bad, female had scared him.
It was a ritual that had begun his senior year. He went for a session with Andrea after school then went home for dinner with his family. Sometimes Isabel joined them and sometimes she didn’t, but the point was it was for their family only. There was something innately comforting about being able to go see his mom and having a home cooked meal after a really hard day. They never discussed or asked Max what he was doing with Dr. Thompson, his parents were just happy to have their son back. When asked what had changed his mind about going to therapy, all he ever said was that he and Liz had talked about it before she had been taken and he owed it to her to follow through on his promises. Gwyn had recommended Dr. Thompson and they had hit it off, on a professional level, and the rest was not open for discussion.
Kind of an abrupt ending, but there’s a scene that must come between here and Max’s dinner with his parents (*gasp* There will be parents in this story! In important roles too!) and this was a good place to break it off.
If anybody has any specs they don’t want to share or spoil on the board I would love to hear them in an email. Even if you think they’re wrong.
As always, feedback is much appreciated and salivated after.
Have a great weekend
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 2-Feb-2002 3:06:23 AM ]
|posted on 18-Feb-2002 2:12:06 AM by Lizzybell|
|Thanks for all the bumps guys!! |
I’m really sorry for the delay in posts for awhile, I just really needed to take some time away from all things Roswell. That included my fic, and the board. Trust me it was worth it, otherwise Liz probably wouldn’t have made it home... well, maybe in pieces. You know what, let’s not go there.
Anyway, I need to polish up chapter 5 and get back in “character”. I know I won’t be done tomorrow but hopefully sometime Tuesday evening.
Thanks so much for the patience
|posted on 1-Mar-2002 2:50:03 AM by Lizzybell|
I’m back, yea!!! I’m soooo sorry this has taken me so long to get out. As I said before, I really needed a break and then I had some trouble getting back into my groove again. So, this one might have a few more mistakes than the usual typos etc. because I thought it was really important to get it away from me so I could move on.
I should be working faster now that the show is on a break. It can be really distracting for me sometimes. I was actually going over the feedback from last chapter to check for questions and one of the first replies was something like “I’m so glad Max is seeing a therapist and getting help,” and I swear my first thought was “What the hell? Max just came back from the dead. When did he get a therapist?” Yes, I too am laughing.
To everyone I owe emails *cough* Katie *cough* Anne *cough, cough* That’s my next order of business. It seems my real life has taken over the one I pretend I have, isn’t that annoying! and I can only get one thing done at a time.
Ok, lil’ catch up since its been so long.
Last time on Beyond The Sea:
~ We saw a bit more with Gwyn and her internal struggle over her secret.
~ Michael, Alex, and Gwyn met to plan the next mission. The raid of a small camp of skins in The Olympic National Forest in Washington State that could have communications information that could aid in the search for Liz.
~ Max saw his therapist, Dr. Andrea Thompson and we learned about her past and how she was brought into the AU.
~ We met Bianca, Andrea’s receptionist who gives Max the creeps and wants in his pants even though she knows all about his status and his missing queen.
~ Max is now on his way to have dinner with his parents and Michael was on his way to see if Max, code name Alpha, was going to be going along on this particular mission.
For this chapter, the “endangered pink eyed zipper lizard” is totally made up. And it is posted in two parts, Diane was all talk. I practically had to beat her with a stick to shut her up.
Now on with the show!
Beyond The Sea
“Is there anything else you need from me Mr. Walker?” Justin looked from the photo he was holding to his new secretary standing the doorway.
“No thanks Victoria,” he smiled at her. “I’m sorry to put you though such a long day on your first week.”
“Its ok sir. I don’t mind. You sure I can’t get you some more coffee or something before I go?”
“No, I’m going to have a hard enough time sleeping tonight. You just head on home. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Victoria smiled sympathetically before bidding him good night and closing the door behind her. When he finally heard her heals clicking on the marbled elevator bay Justin relaxed back into his chair, took off his tie and loosened his collar. He hated the things but Gwyn insisted that most CEOs of major corporations wore ties to work. If he ever meet the guy who invented the things he would figure out how to use the Granolith and stop the whole thing before it ever started. Of course that would require him to actually know how to use the thing, which no one did, and he would have to be able to get into the chamber alone which would be next to impossible.
Since Liz was taken there had been round the clock armed guards at the Granolith chamber courtesy of LGM and the few strings it took to turn that section of the middle of no where into a privet reserve. The company’s generous donation to the national parks association and a few strategic discoveries of the endangered pink eyed zipper lizard that just happened to make the rock formations in that area home hadn’t hurt either. LGM was given special permission to study the specimen in turn for guarding and keeping up the land. For the first two years the guards had been in the dozens night and day, armed to the teeth. Everyone expected Nicholas to have mind raped Liz and come for the Granolith almost immediately after her abduction. Strangely, he never came. In the four years since she had been gone, the Granolith sat safe and sound in its chamber without a single attempt on it. Stranger still when you consider that it was one of the main goals of the skins coming to Earth in the first place.
A bit more comfortable without the tie, Justin reached again for the framed picture of Gwyn in her wedding dress that sat on his desk. Something was wrong. He didn’t know what it was but things between them hadn’t been right for a while now. She had been pushing him away, turning inside herself and he had let it go on. He loved her so much, so much that the notion that she might not be happy with him anymore was too much to bear. So when he began to notice that she was staying on her own side of the bed most nights and didn’t open their connection unless he asked he let it go, hoping it was just a phase and they would work it out eventually. But she continued to avoid being alone with him, or even in public with him on some occasions. In hind sight, Justin could see that he had begun to avoid her as well, making up excuses about working late or playing ball with the guys. When really he was too afraid of what being alone with her might mean. Too afraid of what she might have to say when she finally did want to open up to him again. He wanted to kick his own butt now for that stupid decision. It had gotten to the point that they barely talked at all, they were on completely different schedules and never saw each other. What’s worse was that they hadn’t made love in a month as far as he could remember. He had let everything become so bad that now he was desperately afraid it was too late.
Even now he couldn’t make himself go home despite the fact that he knew she wasn’t there. Gwyn had called while he was in a meeting, leaving the message that she was going on the mission in the Olympics and goddess strike him down, he was glad. What the hell kind of person did that make him? That he was happy his wife was going on a possibly life threatening mission so he wouldn't have to go home and face her, go home and face her silence.
His mental ass kicking was interrupted when the phone on his desk rang.
“Hello?” He answered.
“Is, is this J-Justin Walker?” The hesitant female voice came across the crackling line.
“Yes. And this is?” He sat up a little straighter in his chair, his sensors on full alert.
“Someone who can help you.”
“What makes you think I need help?” He asked cooly while his heart was hammering against his ribs.
“Listen,” the almost familiar voice huffed, past nervous and becoming irritated. “I know who you are and what, or shall I say who, you’re looking for.”
“Oh cut the routine. I know you’re not stupid. You’re probably taping this or something. My minutes are running short so stop beating around the bush.”
“Alright, what exactly is it that you have that I haven’t been offered before?” He responded skeptically.
“God, you weren’t always this annoying.” That statement did catch his attention but she rushed on before he could ask her what she meant by it.
“Look bubba, I need to meet with you in person. Don’t have a coronary now. I’m not gunna hurt you. Chances are I couldn’t even if I tried. I have some... stuff that might help you figure out where that little SOB took her.”
“And why should I believe you, or trust you for that matter?” Justin struggled to keep his breathing under control.
“You shouldn’t, that’s why you’re coming to meet with me. Duh.”
“And how do you know I’m coming?”
“Because I’m the first lead that’s ever come to you willingly without wanting something in return.”
The confirmation of silence filled the connection.
“Ahh, got ya there. Meet me out at the turn off past mile marker 36 on highway 70. Come alone, and if anyone follows you, and I will know, I’ll be gone before you even see me.”
“Ok, I don’t get it. Why be so secretive? If you know so much and you care as much as say you do, why not just stroll into the offices?”
“God, when did you become such a dumb ass? Death, mine. I have- access to some information that I know you want. Doesn’t it follow that other people wouldn't want you to have said information? And those people would be more than willing to kill me on sight even if I didn’t have anything to tell you.” A heavy sigh came through the line as if she were years away. “I don’t want anyone to know who I am that doesn’t have to,” she admitted reluctantly. “I got out of this shit a long time ago.”
There was another sickly pause, her steady breathing seeming conciliatory as if she were giving him a moment to let something click. He wasn’t fast enough for her though and her voice returned with its previously annoyed sharpness
“Look buddy, I don’t want Liz to be lost anymore that you do so, just get your butt out here ok?”
“Yeah all right.” He didn’t have anything to lose at this point. The girl genuinely sounded like she cared about getting Liz back. So much so that she would go out of her way to contact him. Besides that, she was right. Leads were few and far between and most had come from greedy mercenaries whose species were usually of an unknown origin. This thing in the Olympics was the most promising lead they’d had in months, and it wasn’t much.
“How will I know who you are? That’s a popular turn off for stargazing.”
He herd her let out a small snort, “you can call me Kate,” she answered amusedly. “Trust me, you’ll know me.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Max arrived to the always warm welcome that greeted him and the usual chastising for ringing the bell at his own home. They chatted amiably while Max set the table and Diane finished cooking. When she excused herself to the powder room before sitting down, Philip took him aside and thanked Max again for the cooking lessons he’d bought Diane the previous Christmas. Every year since the fiasco with the Martha Stuart subscription, Max and Isabel had conspired to get Diane things that would further her obsession with cooking in a healthy way, and make it more bearable for the rest of the family.
“How’s your sister doing?” Philip asked when they were all settled down at the table and passing around a surprisingly good chicken dish. “Your mom’s having lunch with her tomorrow but I haven’t talked to her since she was here for dinner two weeks ago.”
“She’s good. I think she’s been really busy with the shop lately. I heard her and Maria saying something about new spring collections being late or something.”
Maria and Isabel had opened a small clothing shop in Las Cruses the summer after freshman year at the university. It had originally been for surveillance purposes, a small sting engineered by the AU to weed out a new faction of enemies that had moved into the area. The girls had found themselves really enjoying their little shop though and decided to keep it going. Isabel had always been obsessed with fashion and Maria was no slouch on the subject either. Legal Alien, the AU enjoyed an ironic sense of humor when naming its dummy and cover companies, was kept open and they became quite the divas of their own little corner of the retail world. Somehow they managed to find a niche market in the middle of New Mexico for high end, first run, designer clothing. It had become one of the most successful shops in town and they were looking into opening a second branch.
“You saw her last night? I didn’t think you two did much together in terms of night time entertainment,” his mother pried.
Max only smiled and nodded, he was well versed on all her tricks to try to whittle things about one child from the other. He had been meaning to talk to Isabel about it but forgot, their mother seemed to be going through a particularly curious stage at the moment. “We do stuff together sometimes. I see her at least once a week when we all have dinner, you know that mom.”
“Right, right. Slipped my mind. Could you pass the rolls Philip?” Grabbing a bun from the basket, Max thought she might let the opportunity pass, but being a mother, of course she didn’t. “So what did you do last night honey?”
He shifted a little in his seat, his fork making a scraping sound on his plate. While she had thankfully given up asking if there were any new young ladies in his life, she still was as nosey as ever about the rest of it. He suspected it was a combination of his secretive nature and moving away from them. He had genuinely made an effort to keep his parents better apprised of developments in his life since high school, at least those that were safe to tell. Still, sometimes he found his mom’s curiosity a little suffocating, and he meant that in the best way.
“Well, we were at the Crashdown. Yesterday was Liz’s birthday and you know how Mrs. Parker likes to umm...” he trailed off not quite sure how to describe the festivities.
“Throw a morbid birthday party for her dead daughter and subject all her friends and loved ones to an annual night of torture?” Philip filled in for him. “Yes, I remember. She didn’t invite us this year so I assumed Jeff finally talked her out of the sick event.”
“Philip! Stop that,” Diane admonished, watching as her son screwed up his face as though he been hit. Max was usually all right when people talked about Liz, but if the word dead was mentioned in the same sentence it caused him near physical pain. He knew people believed Liz was dead and he knew he couldn’t tell them the truth but that didn’t make having to live in the world until she came back any easier.
His mom leaned over and patted his hand, giving him that look that said she would fix it if she could that only mothers could do. Then she abruptly changed the subject with a final glare thrown at her husband. “How’s that friend of yours, Gwyn, doing? I haven’t seen her is so long. She was so sweet to come over last year and teach me those recipes.”
Max smiled his thanks for her change of subject and willingly took the bate. “Gwyn’s doing pretty well, I think. I haven’t really talked to her in a while.”
“Oh, she wasn’t- with you all last night?” She leaned forward in interest while picking at her chicken.
“No. Justin said she wasn’t up to it. I think she’s been really busy lately and needed a night to rest. She pushes herself really hard.”
“Oh dear, I didn’t realize she worked.”
“She does something at LGM, just like Justin,” or at least that was what they told everyone.
“Really, that’s wonderful. I always thought it was such a shame that she got married so young and didn’t go to college with the rest of you.”
Max eyed his mother while reaching for his soda, wondering what she was up to now. She did have a penchant for scheming on occasion. “Why the sudden interest in Gwyn mom?”
“Max, its not sudden at all!” She exclaimed in her defense. “I’ve always felt protective of your friends. Usually I ask Izzy about the girls but we have some other things to discuss tomorrow and I’m not sure I’ll remember.”
Max could barely hide his smile at Diane’s vehement defense of herself. Something was definitely up, but from the sound of things it dealt more with his sister than him. He would have to warn her before she went to lunch tomorrow.
“Ok mom, I was just wondering. All my friends love you guys too.”
“I’m so glad! You and Isabel kept to yourself for so long. I never got to be the really cool mom on the block. I suppose I’m still catching up. Anyway,” she waved her hand and shooed away the distant look in her eyes. “About Gwyn, how are she and Justin doing?”
“Diane for pity's sake, leave the poor boy alone,” Philip finally interjected. “He’s a man, men don’t gossip about other men’s wives.”
Max laughed again, his parents were particularly funny tonight. “Its ok dad,” he dismissed, willing to indulge his mother’s inquires because he believed it was really information to ambush Isabel with. “Gwyn and Justin are very happy. They did get marred young but they’ve been together... forever, it seems like.”
“That’s right. Didn’t they move to Roswell together?”
“Uh, kinda. Gwyn moved to town with her dad when was transferred to help open the new branch of LGM here. Justin followed not long after that and moved in with them.”
“Oh yes, that’s right. Just around the same time your Dr. Thompson opened her practice.”
“They were around the same time, uh huh.” Max shoveled another fork full of food into his mouth. “It was actually Gwyn who suggested I meet with Andrea.”
“Oh really? I had forgotten that.” He saw the little spark in his mother’s eyes and wondered if he’d shared one too many things. He didn’t see how he had met his therapist could be incriminating for him or Isabel unless, unless she somehow had an inkling of the fact that technically it wasn’t Gwyn who had asked his to see Andrea, but Liz. But that was impossible, wasn’t it? Suddenly Max was very uncomfortable with how close the questions about Gwyn were getting to the true nature of his life and he desperately fished for something to distract her.
“Yeah. You know mom, this chicken is really great. Do you think maybe you could teach me how to make it sometime.”
She nearly choked, “you want me to teach you how to make something Max?”
“Well, yeah. I- I guess,” he stuttered and inwardly cringed. Cooking? He asked her to help him with cooking? The was never gonna work. Everybody knew the only things Max made were toast and spaghetti. Anything else was too much work. “I don’t have a lot of time to cook stuff, you know college and all,” he tried to explain backwardly, belatedly realizing his so called logic had made no sense.
Diane had seen the surge of panic in her son’s eyes that he had quickly suppressed. It would have been imperceptible had it not reminded her so of a time when he’d been in high school. She was getting close to something, one of those secrets she knew he still held and it was frightening her baby. The hurt and confusion she still felt from that period of time burned brightly for her and she was quick to gracefully ignore Max’s pathetic attempt to steer her away from the topic. She would just put it in a pile for another time, and possibly a different child.
“Honey, why don’t I just make a few extra servings next week and you can put them in your freezer?”
“Sure mom, that’d be great,” he smiled sheepishly. That seemed to divert his parents attention to whether or not he was taking care of himself and if he was getting too thin again. Conversation eventually drifted to the more innocuous and Max was finally able to breath and enjoy his dessert. After dinner Philip excused himself to look over some papers in his office and Max helped his mom clear and do the dishes. They worked in comfortable silence, his mother obviously deep in thought, until the sound of the back door unlatching disturbed the peace.
cont. in next post...
|posted on 1-Mar-2002 2:52:36 AM by Lizzybell|
|.. cont. chapter 5...|
“Michael,” Diane tipped her head in greeting, unfazed by his unexpected entry. “One of these days I’m going to let a prowler in here thinking its you,” she teased. After all these years and despite the fact that Max and Isabel no longer lived at home, Michael still dropped by Diane’s kitchen at least twice a week to say hello.
“Nah,” he came up and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “We’d never let anything happen to you Mrs. E.” There was more truth to that than she knew. A highly sophisticated security system with a little alien technology behind it had protected the Evans house round the clock for the better part of the last four years. It wasn’t a good idea to try to get to the king through his family.
Seeing the odd look his mother was giving him, like she was about to ask if she should be worried about her safety for some reason, Max headed her off. “What brings you by Michael?” He asked, putting the last of the dishes in the cupboard.
Releasing his hold on Mrs. Evans, Michael turned so that his back was to her but Max could still see his face. He swaggered over to the island and picked an apple out of the bowl, not bothering to hide his smile at Max trying to keep things from his mother. He had become of the opinion a long time ago that they should tell the Evans the truth. They were like parents to him and if Amy Deluca had handled it without completely losing it, then it probably wouldn’t even phase the Evans. Besides, it would be one less thing for Max to worry about. Despite his striving for continued sanity, everyone worried about Max on a daily basis. Those hours after Liz had been taken when Max broke down may have been short but none of them had ever forgotten how beaten Max had been that day. It haunted Michael almost as much as how he had failed Liz.
Michael tossed the shiny green apple into the air and caught it deftly before taking a bite. “You know that little trip we were thinking about taking Maxwell?” He said with his mouth full.
“You know, we had talked about going up north for a little while to see some friends of Gwyn’s she recently got in touch with?” He raised his eyebrows and cocked his head, watching amusedly for the look of recognition to light in the other young man’s eyes. “Tess, Gwyn, Alex, and I were thinking of heading up there later tonight. You want to come?” He named off the other members of his mission team as another hint.
“A trip?” Diane was suddenly in front of Max, blocking his view of Michael. Her voice trembling slightly, “up north? Max, do you really think that’s a good idea?”
“Mom,” he took in how she was gradually curling her fingers into one arm of his shirt and the little glimmer of, was that fear in her eyes? “We’ve been talking about going up to Santa Fe with Gwyn. We wouldn’t be gone more than two days.”
She looked skeptical and Max felt his stomach tighten anxiously. Why was she acting like she was never going to see him again?
“But you said you hadn’t spoken to her in nearly two weeks,” she offered as some kind of protest.
“Mom, really,” he gently loosened her grip from his arm and held her shoulders at arms length. “It’s fine I’ll call you when I get back, ok?”
She bobbed her head mutely and the boys could tell she was fighting for control. Impulsively, she threw her arms around him and kissed his cheek.
“I love you Max,” she whispered. “You know that don't you? Both your father and I love you so much.”
“Of course mom,” he soothed, rubbing her back. “And I love you guys too.”
When he was finally able to pry his mother off him, but not before she went weepy all over Michael as well, Max finally made his way out to Michael's car. He was going to leave his with his parents since they would be going straight to the air field from here.
“That was weird,” Michael said after they were on the road.
“Yeah, a little too weird,” Max answered, still stunned by his mother’s emotional display. He chose to push it to the back of his mind until later and shifted into leader mode. “Tell me about the mission.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Turning the corner onto Bruberry Road even the red Navigator he drove seemed weary. Justin still wasn’t sure he really liked the car. The thing was a giant, gas guzzling, monster. The kind of car his wife and her friends always made comments about the drivers compensating for a small umm... energy source with. He had wanted a silver Porsche Boxter, but Gwyn had said it would be wicked conspicuous in Roswell and he supposed she was right. He had reluctantly settled on the Navigator. He wanted some kind of status and power statement to be made with what he drove, didn’t all guys? But now he was kinda wishing he had gone for the smaller, if not more expensive, BMW or Land Rover SUV. He wasn’t this shallow, really. He just had to have something to keep his mind off of the completely unexpected turn his night had taken.
Justin hadn’t known what to expect when he went out there to meet this mystery informant, “Kate.” Ok, he had a small idea. He had assumed it was another defecting skin who assumed her information was the most important. Usually it was something small and of little consequence but they were always happy to have the inside information.
Mother of Antar, had he been wrong.
She probably remembered more from Antar than he and Gwyn combined and it seemed as though she had someone else feeding her still more information.
He normally would have been over the moon with this type of information but the way she was making him jump though hoops was making him more than edgy. She hadn’t responded well to his threats when she’d laid out her terms, laughed in his face as a matter of fact. He understood her motivations to a point, there were probably people out there who still wanted her dead and that didn’t even touch on the people who might think she had information that could help them. Amazingly it seemed as though she had successfully left this life behind and Justin could understand her desire not to leave normal now that she had achieved it. He tried to convince her that they could keep her safe, but she insisted that he be the only one that knew about her continued existence for the time being. If she found out he had told, and he had no doubt she would, she would be gone quick as the wind taking her information with her. He’d ultimately had no choice other than to comply with her wishes, agreeing to meet her again and to keep both their encounters and the information garnered a secret until he was told otherwise.
Justin wasn’t stupid though. He did ask for some proof. A giddy, almost hysterical laugh bubbled from deep within as he pulled into the garage. Proof. What Kate had was more than proof, it bordered on divine intervention. This mystery man she alluded to that was helping her, he must have been from Antar, or more accurately been a descendant of Antar, because she had presented him with one page of the missing Ninian scrolls.
Ninian had been a magus on Antar when they were young. He was very close to King Vanos but had always kept his distance from the children. He was a brilliant prognosticator and was well known for keeping his visions, or whatever it was he got his information from, to himself until the time was right. He always carried a large, old fashioned writing scroll and quill with him and would be seen in the various gardens watching the people and making notes. When the King died and Zan took the throne Ninian all but disappeared, staying locked in his room and only coming out for meals. Shortly after Zan announced his intentions of marrying Lillyah he passed away. His scrolls were never found. Yet, somehow here they were, on Earth, in the possession of a mystery man and his... Kate.
Normally the recovery of such documents wouldn’t have Justin turning cartwheels. Antarians, despite their advancements in some areas, remained a deeply superstitious and faithful people. There were many, many, prophesies and you had to sift with a very keen eye to discern the ones that might be true from the fallacies. The Ninian scrolls though, according to Kate, that’s what she was calling herself now, told of all that was happening with their missing queen, or at least what had happened. Of course there were no details and it was all in some kind of poetic code that all prophesies seemed to be in. Apparently, mystery man had told Kate that her highness was fine for the moment but time was becoming an issue, hence his decision to come forward with his information.
Climbing down from the beast he called a vehicle, he grabbed his backpack and jacket and shuffled into the house. He allowed his wife to strangle him with the tie but he drew the line at carrying a briefcase. His backpack worked fine thank you very much. As he tried to fit the key into the door he realized just how tired he truly was. Giving up, he waved his hand and disengaged the lock. This thing with Gwyn was really taking a toll on him and he winced as the thought passed though him that he was glad she wasn’t coming home tonight. Then again, meeting people you thought were dead in the middle of the night wasn’t exactly a breeze either.
He unceremoniously dropped his bag on the floor of the utility room and chucked his keys onto the kitchen counter as he went by. Already unbuttoning his shirt and lost in thought, he almost missed the lights in the living room and the hum of the television.
“Hey,” came the soft voice from the couch as the tv clicked off.
He jumped and spun around, nearly tumbling off the stairs, a suppressed curse filling the air. “Goddess, Tess! You scared the crap out of me,” he exclaimed, pulling his shirt closed roughly. “What are you doing here anyway? Aren’t you supposed to be on the thing in Washington?”
She leaned against the archway and fidgeted nervously with her hands and the hem of her ratty sweatshirt. “Yeah, I uhh. They didn’t really need me, and I kinda have a t-test or, something tomorrow... so, I stayed home.”
He rubbed the back of his neck, pressing on the kinks that had formed the last couple weeks. “Yeah ok,” Justin didn’t question her even though there was obviously much more to it than that. “Just don’t sneak up on me like that, you know how dangerous it could be.”
Tess nodded meekly, offering no pithy remark as she usually did. “I’m sorry.”
“Its fine. I’m just gonna hit the sack. G’night Tess.”
“Justin,” she called out hesitantly as he turned towards the stairs. “Can I ask you a question?”
He sighed inaudibly as he turned back around. “Sure,” he nodded his head heavily.
Taking a deep breath she offered him a grateful, if somewhat desperate smile. “Ok, hypothetically, say someone you care about...” she paused, pursuing her lips in internal debate. “You know, it would be easier if I had an example, is it ok if I use you and Gwyn?”
“Uh, I guess so,” he shrugged hiding his growing nervousness of this question.
Hypothetically. That was the same as saying “I have this friend...” when what you really mean is you. Now that she was bringing in him and Gwyn though... his stomach began to churn with dread and he wondered if it was possible for him to get an ulcer.
“Ok, hypothetically,” Tess began again. “What would you do if one night Gwyn woke up crying out someone else’s name?”
The air left his body as thought he’s been sucker punched. With the recent problems they’d been having this wasn’t a seed that needed to be planted. “Excuse me?” He managed to choke out.
Tess seemed oblivious to his personaly connecting her analogy and continued heedlessly. “Or what if you found out that she had been thinking, dreaming about another man. She doesn’t mean to, doesn’t even want to, but she can’t help it.”
Justin swallowed hard, his nostrils flaring. “Uh, how long has this- hypothetical dreaming been going on?”
“Three months,” she answered meekly.
“Three months,” he repeated, his jaw turning to granite while his hand fisted in his already wrinkled suit pants. “Well,” his voice was heavy with sarcasm as he spoke though clenched teeth, misinterpreting Tess’ reasons for not meeting his eyes. “I would think that after so long together she would have had the decency to tell me she wasn’t happy with out current situation. Since your “hypothetical” scenario didn’t include that, I’d say I would be furious that she didn’t tell me and devastated that our bond meant so little to her. Then,” his eyes sparkled darkly with rage and grief, “then I would find out who this man my wife was about to have an affair with... and I would kill him.
“Does that answer your question?” He ended, emphasizing what he really believed to be the probing of his wife though her sister.
Tess’ head shot up from where she was studying her feet. She nodded jerkily, her blue eyes wide. Oh God, he knew. He figured it out. Justin knew it was her and he was going to tell Kyle and they were going to kill Max. What had she been thinking when she asked? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
“K-kill him?” Was all her tight thought could get out.
Weariness suddenly washed over Justin like a wave breaking on shore. His entire body sagged with the weight of the day. “Tess, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to snap at you. I’m very tired and I just want to crawl in bed and forget that today ever happened.” But how could he, a voice in his head asked. How could he forget that he had just been all but told that his wife was on the verge of having an affair? If she wasn’t already. How exactly was he supposed to forget about that?
I think merry bushels of feed back would help in my motivation problem, don’t you?
[ edited 4 time(s), last at 21-Mar-2002 3:02:11 AM ]
|posted on 20-Mar-2002 4:43:05 AM by Lizzybell|
100 replies, yeah!!
Thanks for the bump Becky
Yes I am posting tomorrow (or is it today?) Sometime Wednesday anyway. I'm just too bloody tired to do it right now, sorry guys.
Thanks for understanding
|posted on 21-Mar-2002 3:08:28 AM by Lizzybell|
|I’m going to do a little mini Q&A before I answer individual questions below. |
I know you’re all dying to see even a little glimpse of her to check up on her and I understand that, really I do. Saying there’s not much I can do about it sounds like such a crock, I know, because I’m writing and there for control what you see, but - and I’m trying to say this without giving something away - if I let you talk to Liz, it will not only give away a vital part of the story, but make the intervening parts that make finding her possible rather boring for you. Does that make sense? There is a dream with them coming up that will hopefully be fairly satisfying. Oh, I’m really biting my tongue here. I can never tell what’s too much to say and what is just right so I’m going to leave it at that. If you need a bit more, email me and I’ll see what I can do.
(I received quite a few emails asking about this, so I decided to go ahead and post this here as well)
You remember that in SITP there were a few references, around chapter 30 I believe, to Tess having shared that she remembered and dreamed of Zan to some degree. I was pulling that line off the show so it didn’t look like she was lying and manipulating about that. According to Gwyn though, the royal four and Liz should not remember anything from their past lives. Through time some could reveal themselves like repressed memories do in humans, hence Liz and Michael’s dreams of Lillyah’s murder. Tess told Gwyn about the dreams she had of Zan and Ava and that they implied that they had been more than friends during their brief marriage, that’s why she was so zealous when it came to getting with Max. She believed she remembered them loving each other. It was never solved, in SITP, where those memories came from and if in fact they were real or not.
Its four years later and Tess had stopped having the dreams after she learned who Ava really had been to Zan. Only now she’s has just recently begun to have the dreams of Zan again. In her dreams she embodies Ava and is with Zan. So, to say that its Max and Tess in the dreams isn’t entirely accurate, but being that she still carries the emotions of said dreams when she wakes, its hard to differentiate between the two. Also, its not really Max she wants (or her subconscious self wants) its Zan. Max, however, embodies Zan in the same way that she embodies Ava so.... but for now, when she’s awake she has no feelings for Max other than friendship and confusion.
Bianca’s knowledge of Max and the AU
One of the reasons I most love feedback - so people can catch when I think something is stated or implied clearly when to people who are not in my head, it’s obviously not. Yes, Bianca does know who and what Max is, as well as the circumstances around his missing love. Most people working for the AU will unless it’s otherwise stated. Especially in Andrea’s office, Max and the others need to feel completely at ease. Having to worry that part of the staff would over hear about their alien status would not be conducive to a healing environment. Granted, neither is Bianca’s blatant overtures to Max but she seems harmless in the grand scheme of things. I am going to go add a bit to chapter 4 to make sure all this is clearer.
Here’s how knowledge inside the AU works in a nutshell ~
~ The members, of any species, that work in Roswell know everything, Aliens, who's royalty, etc.
~ Those assigned outside of Roswell, who were never brought to the hub, don’t know who the royals are, only that they have been found.
Meagzie ~ It’s ok. The while Tess/Justin/Gwyn situation is pretty funny in its absurdity. But trust me, this is only the beginning. Actually “Kate” has a very, very tiny connection to Mr. Mystery, frankly I’m surprised she knew who he was when they met at the truck stop.
Michelle ~ Yes, a handful of people who emailed me did guess correctly as to Kate’s true identity. And I believe there are two people, only two, that have guessed the bulk of Liz’s whereabouts. On the Kate front, I think people are over thinking things just as bit. She goes against my usual format in that it’s not as complicated as it seems.
Rookie ~ Hey Connie :waves: Gwyn, the thing with her is she doesn’t really see what she’s doing as keeping a secret. One, she knows that she will eventually have to tell everyone, in that sense she sees it more as procrastinating. And Two, as she has said, she’s terrified. Until she understands and has come to terms with what’s happening to her, she believes she is protecting both Justin and herself. Better that they be a little distant than he be frightened for her and force someone to take care of *her* for a change.
Max and his parents. There is going to be more about that in the next two chapters and I think one of the main reasons why he has kept it from them will surprise you. I think someone else will be able to explain it better than I can, so I’ll let her tell you in chapter 8
I’ve always thought Diane had pretty good raider, don’t you? I think the problem may have been that she learned a little too well to suppress her instincts and look the other way.
I know M/L are killing you hon, just try to hang in there a bit longer. I swear not to drag this out long. There’s too much I want to do after they find her for me to keep them apart for long. Its the finding her that consumes lots of paper time.
BelivnDreamsToo ~ This was Justin and Kate’s first meeting in person. They had spoken on the phone earlier in the day, that’s it. Kate didn’t tell Justin where Liz is or how to get to her because she couldn’t. For now she is pretty much a puppet for Mr. Mystery, and she can’t say anything that he hasn’t expressly told her to. Sounds odd now, but there are fine lines that can’t be crossed without major consequences so everyone must be very careful.
Yes, Justin did recognizes Kate, and he had reason to believe she was dead but he didn’t know for sure. Obviously, he assumed wrong.
Cookie ~ Hi Anne! :waves: Somehow I just knew you would like my involvement of Diane and the other parents.
ckchicken ~ Umm, I don’t have a web site. I’m glad you finally found the update though
coblet ~ Glad you finally are up to date! Welcome.
sabline ~ I’m so happy you found us! I know, I’m sorry about the name change. I changed a bit of the plot, and in turn I had to change the title. I’m not sure if this is going to be more, but it should be just as complex as SITP. More stuff should be cleared faster though. Thanks for staying up with me
Tim ~ You’re right. If you think about it, given the knowledge we have of Justin it shouldn’t be surprising that he would take off to meet Kate alone like he did. He is one step away from hating what he does, if it weren’t for being so heavily involved in what the AU does and being aloud on missions he wound be one very unhappy hybrid. In addition to that, remember on Antar he was a soldier, Lillyah’s official body guard. The guilt for not being able to save her that was talked about some in SITP, is only compounded by losing Liz. He’s just as desperate as everyone else and its well documented that desperate is often synonymous with stupid, irrational, and impulsive in male hybrids
Well, if it helps any the meeting between the two of them was rather boring. That’s why I didn’t include it. It took longer for him to drive out to meet her than for the actual encounter. They met, he said “you’re alive” she said “no shit!” and rolled her eyes. He asked what she knew, she said nothing really, its Mr. Mystery that knows everything. J: How could he trust her and Mr. Mystery, whoever he was? K: Here’s a piece of this old prophecy scroll thingy, its got stuff about Liz on it but she only knows what he tells her. J: Where is she now. K: Don’t know. I’ll contact you when he tells me to. She leaves.-- See, not much. Plus, it would have shown one of my hands that I’m rather content to leave hidden. I do like to reveal things rather dramatically, you know.
The whole Justin/Tess/Gwyn fiasco is rather Shakespearean isn’t it? I did base the initial idea for this particular line on my favorite play, though I won’t tell you which one yet. It doesn’t really resemble it anymore anyway seeing as how I took out the malicious intent. Still, since you know Kate’s true identity I’m sure you can see where the line has possibility to spin out of control And I would put money on Justin’s impulsive disposition to jump to conclusions to make everything much worse.
By the way, how do you know the pink eyed zipper lizard doesn’t have a fondness for bushes? Huh?
BLS40 ~ I didnt get to say congratulations on your wonderful achievement earlier, so congratulations! That’s a huge accomplishment, I am envious of you to no end.
I love stories that involve ancient prophecies - it must be the historian in me! I can't wait to find out more.
God, you have absolutely no idea how I’m having to bite my tongue right now!
LOL, yes I know how you feel about Michael, and ya know, I won’t be offended even if you don’t like mine. Not every character is going to appeal to everybody, no matter how hard I try
Ahh, passive aggressiveness. Another of the fabulous traits that seem to be inherent in male hybrids.
Katie ~ LOL, you know your honnie is the same age as you too. I think. And from Seattle, sweeties are spawned in Seattle you know . Hmm. I’m gonna owe you a note on a few things, so if you don’t see it here, expect it in your box.
To answer your question, no Gwyn has not revealed much about her and Justin’s past on Antar or on Earth. There are things mentioned in passing, like we know she has a rough scar on the inside of her left wrist but we don’t know how she got it. You remember that clue I gave you about Kate though, that people are looking too hard? I would go with that here as well. But that’s not to say-- you know what, email. He he, yes the whole mix up is pretty funny when you step back, do you see how its going to get worse before it gets better? I’m loving writing these parts, at least the concepts. The whole circle of coincidental misconceptions is playing out so great, in my head
Nancy, yes. She’s a little beyond Andrea at this point. There will be more on her and her mental health after we get this pesky raid out of the way.
LOL, love the “subtle” hint for a new Chronicle. You’re not the only one. I’m thinking about it. My other project, you know the one? Is presenting a slight conflict of interest there so I’m having to be careful to a certain point.
Like I said sweetie emial #2 soon.
Ok, I know that you are all expecting a part in the next post, but I’m not going to get it up until tomorrow morning. I had a horrible migraine all day and couldn’t finish up. (Looks like the cherry jell-o came back to bite me on the ass Katie )
I already had this typed up and ready to go. I feel like I owe you guys something for virtually lying about when I would post, so this is it. I only have to read it over and insert the coding and spaces between paragraphs, so it’ll be up mid morning pacific time.
I love you guys so much! Thanks for all the bumps and patience and great feed back. You’re all the best!
Before I let you go I have a question for you. It was rather interesting that the bulk of responses over Diane implied mother’s intuition in relation to the upcoming raid. The general feeling of dread concerning it is rather intriguing for me as the author.
Can I ask, is it primarily because of Diane’s reaction, something else that has led you to believe things will go badly, several people did comment that they thought it could be a trap or the lax security an illusion after the introduction of the mission. Or, is it past experience with my writing, in that I rarely let things come off without disaster, that leads you to believe that some catastrophe will strike our intrepid team?
*** Chapter 6 has been added, farther down the page.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 22-Mar-2002 12:50:26 AM ]
|posted on 21-Mar-2002 3:28:18 PM by Lizzybell|
| Ta dah! Here it is. Not great, but here none the less. |
Its a bit shorter than I would have liked but I took out a flash back that just wasn’t working for me. Let me know what you guys think.
Oh, and Alex asked me to say that if you all deemed my Max as Bond then he gets the be Ethan Hunt.
Beyond The Sea
Tuesday, April 5th, 2005
Roswell, New Mexico
Isabel sighed dreamily as she watched a little girl and her mother walk down the street holding hands. Maybe someday that could be her. Her hand drifted to play with the ring on her necklace while she imagined which of Alex’s features their children might have.
“May I get you something to drink while you wait for your guest
Miss?” A waitress startled her from her day dream.
“Oh, water’s fine thank you.”
“Ok, I’ll come check on you after your other party arrives.”
“Thanks,” she mumbled to the waitress’s retreating back, already letting her mind drift. She glanced down at her watch again wondering what emergency was keeping her mother this time. Ever since Diane Evans had begun volunteering at the St. Christopher Clinic on the outskirts of Roswell she lost track of time on a regular basis.
It had been quite a shock to the Evans children when their mother announced that she was going to be volunteering at the new clinic that opened three years ago. Not because she was volunteering, Diane had always been active in the community even before she cut back to only practicing law part time. It was a shock because the particular clinic she chose to volunteer at was fronted by LGM and serviced all their local employes, human and hybrid alike. There was some scrambling around but things worked out. After talking to her, Isabel convinced Dr. Kinkaid, the head physician, to take her mother under her wing. The good doctor was able to come up with enough tasks three days a week that needed to be done and kept Diane none the wiser, everyone was happy.
Isabel’s fingers were still fiddling with the smooth surface of her ring, the tangible evidence of why she was having lunch with her mom, while she planned her perfect family though the window. A goofy, very un-Isabel like grin spread over her features as the words ricocheted through her mind. She was getting married. She and Alex were getting married. A giggle bubbled up in her throat and she was helpless to stop it. She was so deliriously happy she just had to tell someone even though she had spent two hours convincing Alex to keep their engagement a secret for a while. That’s why her incredibly gorgeous two carat, platinum, Tiffany setting engagement ring was on her necklace instead of her finger.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Somewhere in the Olympic National Forest,
Alex shimmied though the underbrush, staying as low to the ground as possible without actually crawling. He was positioned to go straight into the building with the files and supposed com controls along with his two good buddies Hanz and Franz. Ok, so their names were Rick and Steve, two of the buffest body guards and soldiers that the Antarian Underground had to offer, but Hanz and Franz was so much more fun to say.
Shortly before Dawn their informant, Deana, had met with them at a road side fruit stand two miles from the enemy occupied summer camp to give them last minute particulars on who was where and what not. There would be a meeting at 10 am in the MP center, that would leave the target with little to no personnel guarding it. Alex, along with Hanz and Franz, were to go directly to the old caretaker’s house and begin gathering information. The rest of team blue and the small number of AU soldiers that were along for back up would take the MP center.
When they arrived at the edge of the forest where it broke to allow the small, two story cabin, Rick made one of those gesture thingys indicating they should stop. Settling down on their belly’s the two guards took the souped up riffles, scopes, and tripods off their back and with some movie-esque flipping and grunting had them all set up. Little red dots the size of a pea appeared on a wall near the front door of the house. Meanwhile, Alex was busy watching the windows with a collapsable pair of binoculars, trying to get a look at anything that could be considered important. Steve nudged him hard and glared, that being the only reprimand that the silence allowed. Alex took that as a the signal he was dawdling a bit too much for the military minded stud to his left. Not wishing any further tension, he quickly pocketed his goggles and picked up his smaller, yet no less manly, hand gun and steadied it with precision as he moved to a crouching position while they waited.
Their orders had been to wait for the initial explosion that would signal the blowing of the main doors on the MP center. Then, no doubt whoever was left in the cabin would run out onto the small wrap around porch to see what was going on, as you could see part of the other building from the house. When that happened, Hanz and Franz would fire their weapons that had been modified with a bit of alien magic to fire bullets that contained some kind of quick acting dehydrating- paralyzation compound. It was a goop like substance that if injected near enough to certain parts of their bodies- head, spine, heart, it would dehydrate the husk into temporary paralysis. He didn’t really understand exactly how it worked but Alex didn’t question it, he had seen it work enough to know that it did. After the initial opponents were immobilized, Rick would make his way on to the porch to dispose of them and wait for a small team from the MP center to make their way over and help secure the building. Alex and Steve were to go around to the back entrance, take out any more skins still in the building, and get to work gathering anything and everything of possible value in sight. What they wouldn't be able to get out in the few hours they had, Alex was to download to his lap top that was outfitted with a translator he’d been able to create from knowledge and technology gained on previous raids. All in all, one of the easiest missions he’d had in over a year. He wasn’t even expecting to get blasted. That was a first.
A hush settled over the forest in expectation. He would never admit it to anyone but Isabel, but this particular moment, right before battle, with the adrenaline pumping in his veins, the optimism of ambush taunting, and the theme to Mission Impossible playing in his head- he loved it. Absolutely loved it. He loved the thrill of waiting on pins and needled for the signal that would send him into a deadly situation. He loved the short staccato breaths that echoed from his tight lungs as each moment brought the greater high of anticipation and fear. He even loved the occasional coppery taste in his mouth from biting his cheek to remain quite. Sick? Perhaps, but true. Everyone of those things, the sights, the smells, and the emotions all amounted to one immeasurable thing: the absolute knowledge that he was in control of himself.
If he had a sharp clarity of all his surroundings he knew he was him. If he could smell the ozone from the release of an alien power blast sizzling in the air, if he could feel the adrenaline pumping in his veins, if he could control his body to carry him forward into a battle ground with only the thought of completing his mission, then he knew he was the only one in control of his mind. He knew he wouldn’t betray, hurt, or possibly kill any of his friends. He, Alex Whitman, was making a difference in a way he never thought possible and every time he reveled in those senses it meant he was one step closer to absolution. One step closer to finding the key that would bring Liz home. That was the greatest sensation of all, the anticipation of wondering if this mission, if what he found today could be the key that opened the door.
The familiar sounds of explosives, splintering wood, screams and shouts broke the stillness and for a split second the world slowed. Smoke reached his nostrils, the tendrils curling around and dancing though the trees. Two red dots danced slowly on a door that opened at a snails pace and shouts slowed and lowered, becoming elongated grunts. The world suddenly snapped into focus again and Alex caught the breath he’d been holding. The dull knell of two silenced shots rang next to him as he stood, watching two men fall to the ground after burst from the front door. Two seconds later and he was running for the back of the house, his gun held loosely in front of him.
Not even checking for Steve, he softly made his way up the back steps and positioned himself on one side of the closed door. Steve then appeared on its other side brandishing a smaller weapon of his own. After disengaging the lock, he held up three fingers and counted down after Alex’s nod. The door swung open easily when Steve jumped into the frame, his imposingly muscled body filling the space. He quickly moved inside and Alex followed, shutting the door behind and stepping fully into the the house. From there he could see that on the main floor every wall save the supporting beams had been knocked out to create a great room with the stair case to the second floor in the middle. All around were tables and shelves filled with state of the art computer equipment. One wall was lined with tall file cables, each neatly labeled in Jannarian. Interestingly there seemed to be very little equipment of alien origin, it was almost all Earth made.
While Alex gawked at the massive amounts of equipment, all possibly containing information they needed, Steve had secured the rest of the building and Rick was guarding the front. Tucking his weapon into the holster on his belt, Alex dropped the bag on his back and began to set up his own equipment to get as much as he could before Max and Michael would eventually order him out. With all the information here, this could be Mecca.
“Start over there,” he pointed Steve to the wall of filling cabinets. “Go through everything. If it looks even remotely important take it. Even its your grandmother’s chicken soup recipe.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“Isabel, honey, I am so sorry I’m late.” Mrs. Evans practically assaulted her daughter from behind, kissing her cheek and hurriedly apologizing. “There was a little boy who fell and his parents weren’t there with him, so I held his hand while they did his X-rays. I left as soon as his mother got there.” Diane rambled on as she slid into the chair opposite Isabel almost knocking over the water glasses.
“Mom, calm down,” Isabel soothed while reaching for the tilting glasses. “I understand,” she smiled affectionately at her as the waitress placed menus in front of them.
Diane only glanced down at it before looking her daughter over appraisingly, the way only mothers can. “Your hair look nice. Its getting longer.”
“Mom,” Isabel sighed in exasperation, they’d had this conversation too many times. “I cut my hair like, three years ago. Get over it already.”
“I know honey, but you have such beautiful hair. Why won’t you let it grow to at least your shoulders?”
“Mom,” her voice held a hint of warning. “I let if go back to blond and it has grown a few inches, that’ll have to do for now.” She didn’t add how impossible if had been to take care of her long, blond hair when fighting hand to hand in usually less than clean conditions. On an unexpectedly difficult mission where Maria almost lost an arm, a particularly bitchy skin had grabbed onto her pony tail and held her at laser point. When they finally got back to Roswell she chopped all her hair off. Her parents had thought it was an emotional reaction to her problems with Alex.
“I’m sorry Izzy. I didn’t mean that as a bad thing. Your hair is very nice like this. It makes you look more grown up. You know how I am about my babies growing up.” She gave her a watery smile and waved her hand in the air. “Now look what I’ve done, gotten all teary on you.”
Thankfully their conversation was interrupted when the waitress came to take their order, preventing any further debate over her choice of hair style. After going through all the specials and such, they decided to split two appetizers and then splurge on dessert. When the waitress left Diane went about trying to covertly get more information out of her daughter. She hated probing her kids about one another. Well, hate was such a strong word, but sometimes a mother had to do what a mother had to do.
“We had dinner with your brother last night,” she began casually as she buttered a carrot bread muffin from the basket the waitress had brought with their drinks.
“Really? That’s great. I haven’t talked to him since Sunday.” It wasn’t really a lie. Max had left a message on her machine telling her they would be gone for a day or two on a mission.
“Oh, since the party?”
Isabel looked down at her water, “yeah, Max talked you about that?” She asked, slightly surprised. It wasn't even a subject found suitable for their close knit group, let alone outsiders. And sadly, her parents were outsiders.
“He told us he went, but then your father started going off,” Diane rolled her eyes, “you know he he gets. I could tell it was really upsetting Max so I changed the subject.”
“That’s probably good,” she responds, not really knowing what else to say. “Its umm, not really something any of us liked to talk about. Especially Max.”
“Of course dear, I can understand that.”
They fell into a tense silence then. Diane was pensive about asking more, not really getting anything of value, and Isabel debating how much she wanted to tell her mom this time. Four years hadn’t made the lies and half truths any easier. The waitress came back with their food and they nibbled while exchanging small talk about Diane’s work at the clinic, Mr. Evans, and the boutique.
“So,” Diane pointedly picked up the conversation in an overly bright tone trying to change the somber mood they’d fallen into. “What was it you wanted to talk about honey? You said you had some important news when you called.”
Isabel’s face instantly lightened, her smile widening to show her perfect teeth and a sparkle flashed in her eyes. She slid her plate to the side and leaned over the table. Her voice was hushed but infused with an excitement Diane rarely herd in her children.
“We’ve decided to keep it a secret for awhile, but I had to tell someone, and I really wanted that to be you.”
“What is it Izzy?” She leaned forward as well, covering one of Isabel’s hands with hers. Her daughter’s smile was infectious and she couldn’t herself from getting excited just knowing they were going to share a secret. That was, until she found out what the secret was.
“Mom,” she began on a deep breath, fingering her neckline for her ring. “Alex asked me to marry him. And I said yes!” She nearly bubbled over at saying the words aloud and had to suppress a building scream of delight. She had been spending way too much time with Maria. She didn’t have to quelch her happiness for long though, the way her mother’s face fell at her announcement was damper enough.
“Mom?” She finally found her voice, though it came out small and unsure. She had forgotten just how much her mother’s approval meant to her.
“Oh, Isabel,” if came out on a sigh as she squeezed her daughter’s hand. Her tone though, it wasn’t what would be expected of a happy mother in law to be, but that of a weary parent trying not to be too harsh in light of a disappointment. “Honey, now don’t take this the wrong way, but are you sure that- that marrying Alex is really the best thing for you?”
“W-what?” Isabel pulled her hand slowly from her mother’s. She didn’t even have the thoughts to express how shocked and hurt she was.
Diane watched her daughter pale and her eyes glass over with a sheen of tears. God how she hated this part. She hated having to hurt her babies, but she was still their mother. Sometimes when you knew what was best for them you had to be cruel to prevent greater heart ache in the future.
“I know you don’t want to hear this, but,” she sighed. How was she supposed to say something like this, in public no less? “Honey, I know you love Alex and I’m sure he believes he loves you, but I can’t help being... worried, that this isn’t really the right decision for you.”
Isabel stared across the table at her mother in complete incomprehension. This was the very last thing she had expected. Her mom loved Alex. There had never been any problems with them being together before, what had changed?
“Mom, I don’t understand where all this is coming from. I, I thought you would be happy for me.” Her voice came out surprisingly calm for the lump in her throat she was talking over. “I thought you and daddy loved Alex. You’ve never said anything before.”
Diane looked down guiltily, her hands twisting the napkin in front of her. “I wanted to say something but your father convinced me that eventually you two would go your separate ways and that I shouldn’t interfere. Now I’m sorry I didn’t say anything before. I really didn’t know you two were so serious.”
Isabel shook her head, unsatisfied with her answer. “No Mom. Its good you didn’t say anything. It wasn’t your place. I see who I want to, when I want to, and nothing you or daddy could have said would have dissuaded me from being with Alex.” She saw her mother bristle at the cool tone in her voice, one she reserved only for use when addressing an enemy. She didn’t want to be rude or cold to her mother but this was her life, her love they were talking about. She wouldn’t be forced to choose.
“Isabel, I realize you’re upset, but I don’t appreciate you using that tone with me young lady. I am still your mother even when your mad at me.
“Honey,” she softened after a minute, not wanting to fight. “We just want what’s best for you and, and we don’t think that’s Alex.”
Isabel’s near icy wall crumbled under her mother’s caring gaze. “Why not mommy? I love him. Isn’t that enough?”
“Oh, Izzy,” she reached out and took her hand again. “I wish it was sweetie, but the more you love him, the easier it will be for him to hurt you. And I hate to say it, but he will Isabel. He will hurt you again.”
“What are you talking about?” She shook her head, her short bangs fluttering over her crinkled brow. “Alex has never, and would never hurt me.”
Diane closed her eyes and pursed her lips. “What about the nearly two years when you moped endlessly over him? Isabel, he broke your heart and you never let go.
“You changed. You cut off your hair, you changed what clothes you wore, who you socialized with, even adopted new interests. You stopped going out, you clung to your brother like you did right after we brought you kids home from the orphanage. You got so thin Isabel, with all that running and barely eating. Your brother was the only thing that kept us from sending you to that clinic in New Hampshire that you cousin Elise went to.”
“Mom, stop. Just stop.” Isabel leaned both elbows on the table and ran her fingers though her hair. She should have seen this, two years ago she should have seen this coming. Somehow though she had never guessed that her parents had blamed Alex for everything that had changed for her and not Liz’s “murder”. She had to tell her mom something now though, another lie, another half truth. Or maybe not. Maybe this time she could get away with nearly all the truth. She singled the waitress and asked for a togo box and the check. Composing herself, she smiled at her mom as she stood from the table.
“Let’s take a walk.”
Feedback - yes please.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 22-Mar-2002 12:37:30 AM ]
|posted on 21-Mar-2002 3:55:48 PM by Lizzybell|
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 22-Mar-2002 12:42:11 AM ]
|posted on 27-Mar-2002 10:11:14 PM by Lizzybell|
Just a lil' note. I had planned on updating tonight but the flu smacked me upside the head earlier today and it's really all I can do to comand my arms to stay functioning long enough to type this out.
Thank you so much for all the great feedback for the last chapter, I'm so glad everyone liked Alex's stint as a super spy.
I'm taking the day off tomorrow, if I can keep my meds down and get Isabel to shut up (the last chapter had more of her than all of SITP, apparently now she wants her time in the sun ) I'll try to get it up tomorrow.
Talk to you later
|posted on 5-Apr-2002 5:54:43 PM by Lizzybell|
Thanks so much for all the well wishes and such, I think I’m feeling better.
Isabel is 23, Kyle and Alex are 21, and everyone else including Liz are 22. Remember Isabel turned 18 in Surprise, so she’s a bit older.
ckkitten ~ I am so sorry!!! You know, I think I’ve been doing that for a very long time. I’ve got it now though, thanks for setting me straight.
I loved that just about everyone had the same reaction to Diane’s rejection of Alex: shock and surprise. But really, guys, do you ever expect me to do something less? It will all make sense though. You’ll see.
For this chapter:
~ There wasn’t really a place for me to put in a physical description of Max in his scene, but imagining him dressed ala Panacea (black turtle neck, etc.) I think will enhance the experience.
~ Starting with this chapter we are going to be seeing a different side of a few of the characters. In this particular chapter, if the way Iz describes Alex is totally irreconcilable with what you know him to be let me know and I can throw together a quick flash back.
~ This is only part A, but it is still more than 10 pages long. I want to work on the final scene a bit more but I didn’t want to continue to keep the rest away from you.
Let me know what you think.
Have a good weekend!
Beyond The Sea
Max stood silently at the side of the multi purpose building of the compound. Deana, their informant, stood next to him peering through the high windows with small periscopes. Yes, sometimes you really did use spy equipment when spying on the enemy. Sure this was a little more Dennis The Mennis than James Bond, but it was still really cool.
“That’s him, right there. The one in the navy polo and khakis up at the front. That’s Jay. He’s in charge of the com center. If there’s anyone who knows something, its him.”
“Great,” he mumbled. Taking stock of the rest of the room, Max half mindedly gave the description and his other last minute orders through his walkie talkie. After meeting with Deana earlier this morning, they had finalized their strategy, splitting the group into three parties initially. Alex and two guards would go stake out the building where they believed the information they wanted was, Michael would take the yellow team through the front entrance, and the orange team would come through the back fire escape.
Early on when they began organizing the army, mission teams had been grouped together and titled under colors. Each team had between 4 and 8 members all with different capabilities to enhance the effectiveness of the team. They trained together on a regular basis becoming a cohesive unit that worked together effortlessly. They were given color titles so as not to denote some kind of rank of skill proficiency. All teams were equally skilled and capable of any mission or they would not be given a color to begin with. Some teams were better suited to some missions than others, but all were equally prepared for anything. The only two teams that did hold higher ranking where the blue and green teams simply because they were made up of the royal council. Michael, Alex, Tess, and Gwyn belonging to the blue and Maria, Isabel, Kyle, and Justin made up the green team. Max did not have a set team because he would have made an odd number without Liz to fill out her place in the corresponding team. He liked to go on all the missions he could anyway.
On this particular mission Tess or himself normally would have led the orange team but she had asked to stay behind this time. She gave some lame excuse about having a paper due, which Max didn’t buy. Whatever her reason though, she was distracted and he couldn’t afford to have someone who’s head wasn’t completely in the mission risking other lives. This was a relatively low risk operation anyway, they wouldn’t need her mind warp so it was better to just leave her back in Roswell to sort out whatever was bothering her. He, Michael and Jared, the captain of the orange team, decided that it would be better to have Max wait and make a grand entrance so to speak, when the facility had been secured. Those that were held for interrogation would squirm all the more when they realized belatedly that the King they were warring against had indeed come along.
That distributed the high ranking team blue thought the mission, with the exception of Gwyn. She, like Max, would be used as a secret weapon. It was rather well known who she was after her illustrious career in the AU, her strong empathic abilities were noted by most ranking skins, too. Gwyn had almost as many personal enemies as Max after all the things she’d been involved in. She was often left out of an initial raiding party, hanging back on the side lines until control had been gained. Then she was brought in to assist in the retrieval of information during interrogations. She, Max and Tess often worked as a unit. The three of their powers used cohesively against an enemy to garner information was intimidating to say the least.
Once the facility was secure, half of team orange would go up to the old cabin to aid Alex in searching for information. A few select skins, including the one Deana had pointed out as leader, would be taken to separate cabins and interrogated. The rest that survived would be held under guard, giving them time to decide if Kivar and Nicholas were really worth their lives. If they had information that they were willing to give up or if they were willing to turn against Kivar and work for the AU, a deal could be struck. That was how Deana became an informant, she was a skin.
When Courtney had said all those years ago that Nicholas had the same powers Max did, she wasn’t lying. What no one realized at the time was that it went both ways. Max also had the same powers he did, including the ability to sift through people’s minds. The difference was, that when Max did it, it could hardly be called rape. He never did it without consent, was as gentle as if he were doing it to Liz, and never taunted or used personal information he found against its owner. It was simply the only definitive way to know if someone was telling the truth about wanting to defect to their side.
Despite protests, he refused to use the power randomly against his enemy, reasoning that they didn’t rape women when they went to a camp either. It was one of the many reasons that he was seen as such a good and fair leader. He knew and respected that this was war, people would die and there was nothing he could do to help that. But so long as he was King, he would not tolerate his men inflicting pain needlessly. There would be no torture, no rape, no spoils of war as Kivar had done so ruthlessly on both planets. They were better than that. That wasn’t to say he wasn’t aggressive when need be. As much as he was embraced for his compassion, he was also dreaded for his quiet ferocity. Tales of how his eyes grew black with rage and other slightly exaggerated horror stories circulated continuously though enemy installations.
As set as he was on being far and decent, he also wasn’t above doing what needed to be done. Especially when it came to Liz. All that said, it was no surprise that the rightful King of Antar was gathering a rather large following of skins on Earth, even those that had previously pledged themselves to Michael had agreed to follow Max.
On one of their walks at White Sands about a year ago, Michael had broken the customary silence to tell Max that she would be proud of him. That when she came back, Liz was going to be proud of the leader, the king he had become. That was it. He hadn’t waited for a response, only hastened his speed and left Max to sink into a dune. And he was right, there wasn’t a person, human or alien, that could watch him and not realize that he was a born leader. Confident without arrogance, he led with a calm but firm hand. He had grown into the kind of man that inspired fierce loyalty and blind trust, the kind of loyalty that won wars.
Breathing deeply of the evergreen scented air, Max listened intently to the silence around him. No birds chirped, no leaves crunched under a heavy foot, no wind whispered through the trees. It was time. Silence was always a herald it seemed. A mute battle cry for those that knew how to listen, and he’d spent the last four years learning to listen.
Quietly, he asked if everyone was in position and when he heard the four crackles of confirmation he peered one last time through his scope to make sure everyone in the room would be taken unaware. Then he gave the order to go and a series of explosions sounded, breaking the shrouded stillness that had descended. First a loud, fiery bang that splintered the front doors and left the frame as a ring of fire. Then another, taking out the back and blocking the alternate route of escape. Hysterical shouting and general panic filled the room as the unprepared enemies scrambled about for some means of escape. Shots and power blasts rang out, accompanied by the shrieks of their targets and the scorching sizzles of the misfires. Seconds and minutes passed, each ticked off by a tell tail cry of war. And then once again, there was silence.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Isabel stepped foot in the park with her mother’s hand held tightly in hers, just like when she had been a little girl. Her heels sank into the soft grass making her wobble as they headed towards the small bench near the playground. It was still early in the day and only a couple of toddlers were digging in the sand box across the way while their mother’s looked on from a picnic blanket.
All the way to the park Isabel had tried to think of what exactly she wanted to say to her mother. God, where did she even begin? How could she reveal one truth without unraveling her whole life? What could she say to her mother to convince her that her problems with Alex had very little to do with their relationship and everything to do with her being an alien with enemies without telling her that in fact, she was an alien with enemies?
Things hadn’t been complicated on this level in a long time. Sure there was the daily grind of leading a double life, but with the help of the Underground it had become routine, simple even. It wasn’t like the constant lying and looking over her shoulder in high school and before, she had someone to do that for her now. There were procedures and check lists and someone to call if you thought you made a mistake. Having the AU had definitely made their daily lives easier, maybe a little too easy.
It wasn’t like she didn’t see her parents often. Nothing like when she lived in their house though. It wasn’t really a matter of lying to them anymore, it was only that she kept certain parts of her life to herself. Feeling her mom’s soft hand wrapped around her own, she realized that now she was lying to herself.
She had been so adamant in high school, had wanted their mother to know the truth about them so badly. She had been struggling with all the crapy, tv movie - teen angst and then some and all she really wanted was to have her mother be truly there for her. For her be able to tell Isabel that she understood and that everything would be all right. But Max had said no. He was scared, and in hind sight it probably would have been a very bad time to involve them. Who knows how things would have been complicated further if they had their parents in the mix back in the days of Pierce and The Dupes and everything else. Then Liz had been taken and the tentative hold they all had on their lives fell apart a little more.
It went unspoken between her and Max that neither wanted to tell their parents after that. For her, the guilt of losing Liz and the mixed emotions she had for Alex compounded with a possible rejection from her parents was too much. The risk that she might lose someone else was too great. Sometime during their senior year Michael suddenly began campaigning to tell them, probably a result of his increasingly close relationship with the Parkers. Max had immediately shot the down idea though, reasoning that things were under control. They were moving out in six months anyway, there was no sense in worrying them or some how breaking their trust by admitting lying to them for the last 13 years. In retrospect though, Iz believed that Max actually would have been ok with telling their parents then. He was backing her up by saying no. Thing was, she wasn’t so sure no was the right answer anymore.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
While her daughter collected her thoughts, Diane sat next to her, grasping her damp palm and watching the little ones playing in the sandbox. A boy and a girl with brown and blond hair, respectively. They were maybe 18 months old, their chubby cheeks happily coated with sand. As they giggled and dug their little hands into the sand she couldn't help but compare them to her own. Had Izzy and Max ever been happy little balls of energy shoving fist fulls of sand into their mouths? Somehow she doubted it. For one thing, she couldn't ever imagine Isabel allowing herself to get that filthy, even as a toddler. And her sweet, shy Max. He’d never really been a child to begin with. Neither of them had really, always holding themselves with a certain knowledge, a wisdom that just made them older.
The little boy turned and smiled at her, but his bright green eyes broke the illusion. They weren’t the troubled hazel that Max’s were. His eyes used to haunt her, always so guarded, full of unspoken pain and loneliness. Loneliness they still held to this day.
“Isabel,” she abruptly broke the silence, not able to hep herself. Her heart had been aching for her boy lately and his sister was the only one she could talk to about it.
“Mom, I don’t know where to begin,” she admitted timidly, wiping her free hand on her camel colored pants.
Diane tore her eyes away from the children to give her an encouraging smile. “Honey, can I ask you a question?”
“Of course mom,” she squeezed her hand, glad to have a respite from the tension.
“Isabel, how’s your brother, really?”
Iz turned a little so she could study her mother, really look at her. There was something in her concerned expression that Isabel knew wasn’t looking for the usual answer and suddenly she was pondering the same question as before: How much information was too much?
“He’s- somewhere between good and bad.” Diane’s incredulous frown said the non committal explanation wasn’t going to fly. It had been worth a try though. Isabel sighed, “I know you want me to be honest mom, but this is a touchy subject, you know that. I understand though, I do. So, I’ll tell you as much as I can without breaking Max’s trust. Alright?”
The other woman nodded eagerly, still clutching her daughter’s hand. “Please Isabel.”
“Right now, he’s better than I expected him to be for this time of the year. Most of the time I would say he’s- ok. He’s not good, he puts up a good front but I know better. He hasn’t really been good since,” she trailed off bowing her head.
“Yeah,” she confirmed softly. “Since Liz.
Diane shook her head in exasperation. “I’m so worried about him Izzy. I know he’s been going to therapy and that seems to be helping. But its- why won’t he let go? I know he loved Liz, she was a wonderful girl, but its time he get on with his life. He’s young, he should be going out, having fun, getting to know lots of young women. Sometimes I almost think he wants to be alone if he can’t have her.”
Apparently the look on Isabel’s face was all the confirmation she needed. “No!” She gasped, covering her mouth. “He wouldn’t... Has he said something like that to you?”
“Mom, he just can’t be happy without her,” she answered honestly, and without thinking.
“Can’t or won’t?”
Isabel closed her eyes. Of all the cans of worms to have opened... She’d done it now though. There was little way around what Isabel had talked herself into than to talk her way back out of it. Hopefully, maybe, if she could do this right, her mother would be one step closer to the truth and Alex would be back in her parents good graces without she having going behind Max’s back.
“I’m gonna tell you a story mom, and it’s something that’s really hard for me to talk about so try to interrupt as little as possible. Ok?”
Diane nodded eagerly, desperate for any thing Isabel had to say on the subject.
continued in next post...
[ edited 3 time(s), last at 6-Apr-2002 2:41:05 AM ]
|posted on 5-Apr-2002 6:01:23 PM by Lizzybell|
|chapter 7 continued...|
Iz readjusted herself, pulling one leg up under her and propping an elbow on the back of the bench. “Where to start?” She said more to herself, releasing a tight breath.
“Just start at the beginning sweetie,” her mom said, trying to be helpful.
She laughed nervously, “there’s more than one beginning, that’s the problem.” Her eyes drifted to the cars passing by and the horizon behind them as she continued to mumble to herself. “Everything always begins with Liz, so I guess, I guess that day in the cafe is as good as any. Do you remember the day that we never came home? The day Liz was- taken?”
Diane answered solemnly, watching the far off look in her daughter’s eyes and wondering where she was. “Yes. The Sheriff called me at home, told your father and I to get down to the Crashdown. Given the circumstances he didn’t think either of you should drive home. You both looked so- weary. And Max, he was- I don’t know, both defeated and determined at the same time. A man trying not to be a little boy, I remember thinking that later that night.”
“It had been a long day.” There was a long pause before Isabel spoke again, seemingly picking up in a different place with a completely different discussion. “Alex and me, the way he left me, treated me, very little of that was about us. It was about Liz. He was in her apartment that evening mom.”
Diane blinked, startled at both the sudden switch in focus and confession. “What?”
Isabel finally turned to look at her. “When Liz was taken, Alex was with her. He was knocked out somehow, we’re not really sure what happened, just that he had a pretty bad gash on his head when Michael found him.” She tried to stick as close to the truth as possible. While Tess and Kyle were actually the ones who found Alex, it was in the police report that Michael had been the first one to discover everything.
“But I don’t understand. No one ever said anything about Alex being there. The story was in the papers for weeks.”
“I know, I’m getting to that part. When Michael found Alex he called Max and Valenti. The circumstances were such that there was a possibility that Alex could be incriminated, the only thing to do was remove anything that could point to him from the room. While Valenti had his officers out looking for Liz and her assailant, we covered up any trace that Alex had been there in the first place. We didn’t protect her but we could still at least protect him from being wrongfully accused.”
“My God, Isabel. That’s a crime,” she gasped.
“I know mom, but we didn’t have a choice. Its done now, anyway.”
“But, what if you destroyed evidence that could have helped Liz?”
“We didn’t mom. You’re going to have to trust me. The reason I told you was to try to help explain the way things were with Alex, with all of us back then. The way things happened with Alex and I, it had nothing to do with me, not really. He felt so guilty mom. He was convinced that if he hadn’t been- weak, he would have been able to save her. When it became apparent that she wasn’t coming back anytime soon, he let it consume him. We all did I suppose, in different ways.” She paused, running a hand though her hair. Her mother had been seriously shocked by their cover up, or her version of it. Hopefully she wouldn’t let that keep her from understanding Alex’s emotional state over the last four years. Looking back to the horizon she continued calmly, though the pain of recollection was obvious in her eyes.
“Alex, his guilt expressed itself though anger. In his warped version of things, his perceived weakness was going to get everyone he cared about hurt. He tried to- compensate for that by getting mean and pushing everyone away. If he stayed away from us and was horrible enough to keep us away, we wouldn’t get hurt. I knew what he was doing, we all did. I mean, how long have we known Michael?” They both laughed a little at the comparison. Michael had come along way since then.
“Of course understanding didn’t make what Alex was doing hurt any less, but it didn’t make me stop loving him either. As twisted as it was, it made me love him more. He was the most horrible to me.” She shuddered a little, remembering some of the terribly hurtful things he had said to her. “But that only served to prove that he really did loved me. If he had grown ambivalent and ignored me, that would have been worse.”
“I think I can understand that,” Diane broke in. “I don’t really see why you would put up with it though, especially when you knew what was going on. But I can understand Alex’s motivations a little more. That doesn’t mean that I can forgive him though, Isabel. You say that you understood, even loved him more, but what about what happened to the rest of your life? Everything fell apart that summer.”
“Yes it did,” she acknowledged easily. “But not because of Alex. That’s what I’m trying to explain. Things would have fallen apart whether we were together or not. It would have undoubtedly made things easier at first if he would have stopped being such an ass all the time, but it wasn’t his fault. It was Liz.”
“She was our glue. When we all- met, when our two groups merged during high school, we were all at turning points. We were each dealing with problems that for whatever reason we didn’t want to talk to our parents about.” Diane only nodded in understanding, that was the nature of growing up, she remembered it well. “Somehow in the midst of chaos and angst that was adolescence, we seemed to complete each other. We didn’t always get along, but we trusted each other with our lives, and Liz was the center of that. She brought us all together, her and Max. When she wasn’t there anymore, it wasn’t just a member of the group was missing, but the very life that made it worth existing. We all died a little bit that day.
“Alex was only a part of all the things I was trying to cope with. Actually, his behavior turned out to be more of a distraction than anything else. I loved him at the time, though I don’t know how in love with him I was. We hadn’t really been together all that long, and I definitely hadn’t been worshiping him forever like Max with Liz. Max was what was really consuming most of my attention, or what I was forcing my attention on anyway. With Liz- away, I needed to take care of him.
“Do you remember what he was like that summer she went to Florida? I couldn’t let that happen again. We all needed him too much. I think this is what you were referring to with my “clinging” to him, mom. I wasn’t clinging, I was being over protective. I felt, I still feel, that I owe it to Liz to watch out for him. I changed that summer because I had to mom. We all did. I focused most my attention on Max because it kept me from thinking about what happened too.
“I suppose we all had some vice that kept us going, focus on one another or the search. The problems I was having with Alex served as almost a relief part of the time. You only saw me after whatever happened set me off. In all the time we were fighting I never let him see me cry, I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of thinking that he’d hurt me that deeply. I gave it as good as I got it though. I yelled and cursed and occasionally threw things just as much as he did. There was no way I was going to give up on him by letting him win. It became a twisted way of releasing all the stuff we were keeping inside the rest of the time, to the point that I almost looked forward to our fights so that I could feel something else.
“When we finally did get back together, everything fell apart for real for me. Max was doing better with so other- interests and I didn’t have Alex to fight with. Nearly all my distractions were gone and I was forced to actually feel all the things that I’d been ignoring since that day. It got so bad I almost failed out of school first semester of freshman year. If it hadn’t been for Maria I probably would have.”
Isabel watched the shock, hurt and concern flash in succession across her mother’s features as she filled in some of the missing pieces to her life. Just one more thing to feel guilty about. It was a really good thing she was already seeing a councilor or this would have pushed her over the edge. The last thing she’d wanted to do by her confession, that she admitted got a bit away from her in the end, was to make her mom feel guilty or like she hadn’t been there for her.
“Before you say anything, I know we could always come to you but this was just different. Max’s connection to her, the way it connected her to all of us, it made things different in a way no one could understand unless they had been a part of it. For a long time, I just didn’t want to deal with it anyway. It was easier that way.”
Diane’s head was in a spin. She had known that Max had taken Liz’s death very hard, but she had no idea about Isabel. She hadn’t even known they were close. And what was this about her almost failing out of school? All this because of her brother’s girlfriend? And Alex, that poor boy. The horrible things she had said about him to Philip, that was a black smudge on her soul for sure. The poor boy, at least she knew he was getting some help now.
“I,” her mouth worked some, soundlessly trying to produce thought. She was simply dazed by all this and from the way Isabel spoke, her obvious slips, she had a sinking suspicion that the glimpse she’d just had into her children’s lives only scratched the surface. “I’m not really sure what to say,” she finally admitted.
“You don’t have to say anything, mom. Just, promise me that you’ll think about what I said. Try to give Alex another chance for me.”
“Of course honey,” she smiled genuinely now. “And thank you for telling me- something. I could see it was hard for you.”
She nodded mutely. “Do you have any questions?” That I can actually answer, she thought to herself.
“I- I’m not sure, it’s a lot to think on. Oh,” her head shot up suddenly. “Where was your friend Gwyn in all this?”
“What?” Isabel’s face scrunched in confusion. “Gwyn? Mom, what...”
“I know she moved to town and became friends with you around the time Liz died. Even worked at the Crashdown as I recall. I just wondered how she was, I always liked her.”
“Um, Gwyn is a good friend. She and Tess became really close,” she said, still looking at her mother strangely.
“That’s nice,” she said thoughtfully, her lips pursed in concentration.
“Uh huh. Mom, um. I know this is a lot to ask, but can you please not tell daddy about this?”
“Don’t worry,” she patted her knee. “I’m not going to tell him. I don’t think he’d be quite as understanding. About Alex I mean, I’m sure he would come to terms with the - other things. Eventually. We’ll just have to work extra hard to win your father over.”
“Honey, all we want is for you to be happy, healthy and safe. We just didn’t think your heart would be safe with Alex.”
“Oh, Mom,” fighting tears, Isabel wrapped her arms around her, holding on tight. “I am happy mom. Alex makes me so happy. I know you’ll just love him once you give him a chance.”
Diane squeezed her a little more. “I hope so sweetie.”
Holding her mother close, breathing in the comforting scent of her perfume, Isabel heaved a sigh of relief. At least she was going to give Alex a chance. As they said their quick, teary good byes and promised to talk on the phone tomorrow, she wondered just how long it would take her mother to realize she had never answered her questions about Max.
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 6-Apr-2002 1:17:08 AM ]
|posted on 12-Apr-2002 3:30:25 AM by Lizzybell|
|Author’s Notes: Ok, here it is, finally. Sorry, I didn’t get this up as soon as I intended to. I had a roll going with chapter 8 and I was afraid going back would throw me off. But hey, chapter 8 will be done faster this way This in more like 1/3 of a chapter than half, ‘cause that would be one freakin long chapter then. Its about seven pages long. This scene was kind of a spur of the moment decision, hence it’s lateness, I didn’t think of it until the day before I posted 7a.|
Anyway, I’m not quite sure what most of you were expecting, but this probably isn’t it. LOL. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out though. And I do have to give one of those character warnings again. We’re going to see another side of a character that has been alluded to but never really shown. Its a little graphic, but I’m using the toned down version. I don’t think its too bad.
The song used is Spys by Cold Play and I’m going to preemptively tell you not to read too much into the lyrics that I chose from it. Yes, it is appropriate for the story, but really I just happen to like the song and it was the right tone and tempo for the scene.
I’m just posting and running (crosses fingers that there aren’t any big mistakes), but I promise to respond to all the absolutely fantastic feed back for 7a next time I post.
Beyond The Sea
I said, which way do I turn?
I forget everything I learn,
But the spies came out of the water,
But you're feeling so bad cos you know,
and the spies hide out in every corner,
But you can't touch them though,
Cos they're all spies, they're all spies.
And if we don't hide here,
They're going to find us,
If we don't hide now,
They're going to catch us where we sleep,
And if we don't hide here,
They're going to find us.
The song was abruptly cut off when Gwyn flipped the dial. She wasn't in the mood for music. The calming sounds of the forest were much more to her liking these days. She loved the woods, there had been nothing like them on Antar. Sure there were trees, but nothing like the forests on Earth. Antar was a lot more like New Mexico and the arid parts of Arizona. She liked both climates but there was just something about dense forests and woods that spoke to her soul. The cool, damp air, the moist earthy-fresh smell, the soothing sounds of trickling streams, wind though the branches, and calls of the wild all helped to calm and renew her spirit. Right now, she would take any peace she could find.
She was sitting with her legs dangling out the passenger side of one of the rented Explorers they had parked off the side of the road. Her guard, Kip, was a few yards away in the bushes answering his own call of nature. Closing her eyes, she leaned her head against the door frame and breathed deeply. Anything to fight the sick feeling in her stomach.
She knew that most of the others actually loved, even thrived on the anticipation of this moment. The thrill of marching into battle and the rush of the first cannon blast, but not her. She used to love it. Now it somehow made her feel old and tired. While technically she was a new person, Eirya was not Gwyn, she was more her past persona than any other member of the group. Unlike them, she remember nearly every moment of her past life give or take a few years and at times she really did feel like the fifty eight year old woman she should be. She took off twenty eight years for when she was podded, that didn’t count.
Justin did suffer from the same ailments of remembering too much, she knew that. But his memories still were not as extensive as hers, that’s what happened when you were the one who helped design the system in the first place. He lucked out though, both sides of his personality it seemed, loved the battle. In fact, she knew that if he could, he would go on every mission as Max did, and dump running both LGM and the AU on her. And somehow, she wouldn’t mind that. The book work and day to day things weren’t what bothered her, it was the war itself. Somehow in the days following Zan’s death, when she still didn’t know if Ky would be brought back on a cot or in a box, she had tricked herself into believing that if she became involved with the cause, when she was ready to stop so would they. Her whole existence on Antar from that day forward had been about taking down Kivar and getting Zan to Lilly’s reincarnation on Earth.
Eirya had allowed herself to be podded. Gwyn wondered if any of the royals ever understood what a true sacrifice that had been for the Antarians like herself. She had committed suicide willingly and allowed herself to be recreated knowing she would not come back exactly the same, all for the cause. And when they all woke and adjusted to their surroundings, began to remember their mission, her goal was to find Liz and the others. For some reason she believed in the deep places in her heart that when she did, it would all finally be over. It didn’t work out that way.
She never regretted the sacrifices she had made though, in either life. There were just times she couldn’t help wondering when and if it was all going to end. If she would ever get the chance for a normal life and family. Or if death was the only way she was going to be able to rest.
Feeling the all too familiar unnatural charge in the air that pricked at her skin, she swallowed convulsively, gripping the edge of her seat as she prepared for the initial blast. The ground shook nearly imperceptibly when the fiery sound of explosives and cracking wood and plaster filled the air.
She counted to ten and rose from her crouched position behind a retaining wall. The diversion that was being made should have distracted the compound guards long enough for her to complete her mission.
Still disguised as one of the escorts sent for the princess’s body, Eirya made her way quickly and quietly through the back entrance of the palace. She walked with her head held high and her weapon concealed in the skirts of her mourning dress. Proceeding though a parlor and into the rotunda she made for the grand stair case. Fast and heavy foot falls echoed though the great room as one man appeared at the top and began to descend. Two more men quickly appeared at his elbow, all three of them stomping quickly down the stairs, the leader obviously annoyed.
Continuing up, Eirya clenched her jaw to keep her tongue. She could do it right here. She had a clear shot, she could take out the plith'nar and take revenge, but she didn’t. They were distracted by the diversion and did not register her as being out of place. It would be foolish to give herself away with only one target here.
Kivar and his men passed her and she met his eyes for a fraction of a second before proceeding onto her given mission. She refused to turn around and take the shot the open entry way provided her, it was not the time. She had a room full of other people waiting for her. People who would only be too glad to lead in Kivar’s stead should he meet an untimely demise.
Finally reaching the landing, she didn’t even stop to draw breath, single mindedly striding down the hall to the large conference room. She knocked briskly on the double doors, the noise sounding flat on the hard wood. Kaylan opened the door and inquired after her business. Kaylan was the daughter of the recently deceased governor of Tr’loiv. As her father’s beneficiary, she would hold his office until the next election, eight beta moons from now.
Eirya merely sidestepped her and entered the room. It was only two thirds full. There were only nine people when there was to have been fourteen. Some of the others must have gone down before Kivar to check on the commotion in the front court. Some was better than none though, she would still complete her mission to the best of her ability. It was all she had left now.
With her back to a surly gaping Kaylan, the impertinence of her waltzing right in to a room uninvited, Eirya raised and fired her weapon. She was able to take three men still sitting at the table before anyone could think to stop her. Kaylan lunged at her then, knocking the next shot askew. The elaborate draperies and upholstered walls exploded into blue green flames when the stream of her laser pistol made contact. The panicked figure heads erupted in chaos, scrambling about like children around the room. Eirya was still struggling with Kaylan and there for blocking the only viable means of escape. Of course that didn’t stop them from trying to break the safety glass on the barred windows.
Gaining a stronger footing by raising her leg against the door frame, Eirya was able to grip more firmly on the weapon held over her head. With both arms raised high she head butted the woman, hard, sending her stumbling back a few steps. It was just enough space for her to lower the angle of the gun and send the burning beam of the laser though Kaylan’s throat. By a stroke of luck the beam continued clean though and took out another man who had been trying to break out the windows.
Knocking the now dead woman’s body to the ground, she coughed at the poison air and raised her weapon to the man charging at her left. Even as he fell the glaringly bright blue flames began to consume his body. Three of the room’s four walls were now ablaze, along with a section of the carpet and the ceiling was already puckering and peeling with the intention of joining any second.
Smoke beginning to billow and burn her lungs, she jumped up onto the table searching for the last three. One woman was hitting the window futilely with a chair and was easy to take out from that angel. One shot to the back, quick and relatively painless. Eirya continued to search, spinning around when she heard something behind her. Suddenly something had hold of her ankle, catching her and pulling her down hard. Sprawled backwards on the table, she scrambled to get up, the surprise and lack of breathable air beginning to muddle her senses.
Pulling at the smoke covered specter that had her leg in his grasp, she strained to reach her gun that had flown to the other end of the table. A small burst of light illuminated the already bright room as the fourth and final wall combusted. Minutes more and the entire room and its occupants would be in flames. Finding a reserve of energy, Eirya violently kicked her leg, freeing it of its captor and allowing her to turn over and rise to her knees.
Feeling her way down the table, she was almost in reach of the laser pistol when a growl in her ear preceded two strong hands wrapping around her neck. Her hands automatically came up to claw at the fingers blocking her air way, her entire body jerking forward trying to get away. Her vision was quickly growing fuzzy beyond the smoke filling the room. Blood rushed in her ears, the pounding of her heart blocking the sounds of the fire that was rapidly closing in on the table.
Knowing she had only moments before death, either by fire or asphyxiation, Eirya began to struggle in earnest. She thrust her whole weight to and fro, gaining momentum and ignoring the added pressure the action brought to her wind pipe. She had to force herself to remove her hands from her attackers, raising them over her head and clutching his. Holding on tight, she let her body fall slack in his vice like grip.
Not expecting the sudden submission, Eirya’s attacker pitched forward with her, aided by her grip on his head. Sprawled once again on the table, she ignored the massive weight atop her and the tight burning in her lungs as she groped for her laser pistol. It was just out of reach, if she could just stretch a little more... Above her, the unknown senator tried to climb to his knees and slipped, still clutching her throat. Though knocking her head harshly against the table, his slip moved her up the precious inches she needed.
The senator was becoming frustrated with her refusal to die and began to shake her. Stretching to her limit and struggling with the man, she threaded her fingertip though the loop of the trigger and pulled the weapon towards her. It was in her hand in the next instant. What she knew was a final burst of adrenaline rushed through her body giving her the strength to lift the pistol. Her hand turned and aimed over her shoulder, her wrist protesting at the odd angle as she blindly pulled the trigger.
The ropes around her throat suddenly loosened and an abundance of dead weight dropped onto her. Eirya sucked in a mouthful of air only to send it back, coughing and choking on the toxic atmosphere that seared her air deprived lungs with a blistering chemical heat. Mustering all her strength, she rolled over and pushed the body that was bleeding all over her onto the floor and into the flames that were lapping at one side of the table. Sitting up she could barely see for the smoke that filled the room and the blinding glare of the blue flames.
On pure sensory perception, she slid off the cool side of the table and shrunk to the ground. Taking shallow breaths she made her way on the small bit of carpet that had yet to be consumed. She reached the door just in time to hear the loud splintering of the table as it cracked in half and continued to feed the fire. The crackling roar filling her ears, she dashed though the torching door frame.
She ran down the stairs haphazardly, past the guards and other staff that were rushing to the inferno. Through the back door she continued, beginning to stager with the force of her coughing. Batting at the sparks smoldering in her skirt, Eirya, stumbled till she was again safely behind the retaining wall. Seeing her associates waiting for her in the sparse tree line yards away she was unable to go on. A coughing fit finally consumed the rest of her strength as she crumbled to her knees gasping for breath.
Next thing she knew someone was pushing at her shoulders, trying to drag her arms over her head. She coughed and sputtered a few more times, the suddenly cool, damp air grating harshly on her abused airways. Finally able to take a deep breath, she opened her eyes and looked around in confusion.
“Ma’am? Are you all right?” Kip’s face suddenly appeared in front of her. He released her arms and helped her to stand. “Are you ok ma’am?” He asked again, waiting as she looked around disorientedly.
Raising a shaky hand to her forehead, Gwyn nodded. “Yeah, I um. I chocked on a hard handy,” she improvised, laughing nervously and rolling her eyes.
Kip smiled. “Phew! I was worried. You sure you’re ok?” He watched her carefully as he removed his hands and she swayed before regaining her balance.
“I’m sure, and stop calling me ma’am. It makes me sound old,” she chided lightly, trying to ignore the distant laser blasts ringing in her ears. Feeling her stomach flip again, Gwyn started for the nearby tree line. “I’m just going to...” she trailed off and blushed a little, leading Kip to believe that she was going to relieve herself.
“Oh. Oh! Sure thing ma- Um, Mrs. Walker.” She blew out an annoyed breath with her bottom lip, feathering her bangs. Yeah, that made her sound so young and girlish.
When she had safely ducked into the dense tree line, she leaned her back against the cool bark of a tree and fought the tears that threatened to fall. As if she didn’t have enough to deal with, now she was having memory flashes too. It had been so real, she could still feel the flames licking at her skin and smell of the burning flesh of Kivar’s senate members permeating the air. Emotions and pains from both worlds clashed violently as she lost the meager contents of stomach into a bush and sank to the ground, praying to the Goddess that it would all be over soon.
This was a little different from the norm. Be sure to tell me what you think.
Next time: King Max in action.
Oh, and maybe a clue or two
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 12-Apr-2002 3:46:20 AM ]
|posted on 12-Apr-2002 3:50:48 AM by Lizzybell|
Was 5 min. "NOW!" enough for you Becky? LOL!
|posted on 22-Apr-2002 2:51:53 PM by Lizzybell|
Bumping for update later today.
|posted on 22-Apr-2002 4:49:08 PM by Lizzybell|
Author's Notes ~
Becky ~ There is some group time coming up. See, the thing is there are 12 main characters in this story, it’s very, very hard to have them all in one room at the same time. Its easier on TV were at least you can see the people who aren’t speaking, with fiction it's harder to make sure the reader remembers all the characters in a scene so large and not make some of the characters seem extraneous.
As for interacting with each other, they are. I think your just frustrated that I haven’t gotten to M&M yet. They do have stuff coming up, but with so many characters and so many years to recap, there’s a balance I have to keep in giving background on the last four years in their lives and keeping the story in the now going. I could have given you two 30 page chapters of pure information on the interim in the beginning but I think that would have been really boring for both me and the readers.
Gwyn’s flashbacks aren’t the main feature. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure this is the first “on screen” one she’s ever had. I don’t like putting in too many Antarian flashes without a really good reason because it blurs the line of them being different people. If it makes you feel any better, everything with Gwyn is going to be very important to Liz and her situation later on. I can already see the wheels turning - no, Liz isn’t pregnant. Give me a little credit. I’m not that horrible a person.
I haven’t a clue how long this story will be. I know the line of the major events and have plotted with certainty up to chapter 11. I haven’t decided what event the story is going to end with yet either, I’m still deciding between a couple things. And I don’t do ETAs because its like washing your car, the next day it will rain. If I tell you I’ll be done on Monday, guaranteed I will get called out of town and I won’t be done until a week from Monday.
Sheeijan ~ Hey there, it’s always nice to hear from you. You bring up a really interesting question: If Liz had never been kidnapped, I wonder if Max could have become who he is today? I would have to say no, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he would be lesser for it, just different. I can think of at least a dozen different issues he would have had to work out with Liz for her to really become his equal on the field as well as off. Some of these will still have to be worked out later on, but the circumstances are completely different. And without Liz having been taken and Nick’s note of declaration, there is no way of knowing when the active war would have begun, they could still be biding their time in Roswell.
Liz already had the ball rolling to help Max cope with the things that were causing him to be so dependent on Liz. They eventually would have developed a much more healthy relationship with less codependent tendencies. When Liz gets back, I suspect there will be a bit of a role reversal in that.
Liz’s whereabouts and safety. I’m not sure this chapter is going to make you feel much better. But trust me a little longer ok?
PixiChic ~ Yep, the Parkers and Michael are very close. There will be a little more back ground on them in the next chapter.
burntofferrings ~ I’m glad you found your way over here. I know the name change confused a lot of people. And you read the Chronicles! I’m glad you liked them. They’re fun little pieces to do. Thanks for the note, but that is not my web site. I’m pretty sure you were at the site Pandas2000 has so graciously archived mine and other author's fics on. You might want to email her.
So it’s turning out better than you thought huh? Do you mind my asking what you were expecting? I find it interesting to see the differences between what I had in my head all along and what my readers were expecting me to do.
You were surprised they didn’t tell the parents? Really? I suppose that is a popular opinion that once they get older they would tell them. I think that its something they wouldn’t do unless really forced to or until they were truly settled. Max has this insane idea that them knowing would put them in harms way, how that makes just plain knowing him any less potentially dangerous only makes sense to Max. He has come to a place where he would be ok with telling them, he’s not afraid of rejection as he was in high school, he would just prefer not to. Isabel is the one whose putting the breaks on. Amy does know though.
Rookie ~ Oh! I haven’t scared you off yet. Yea! I’ll give you a little pep talk here then, this next chapter- pay attention to the date when its mentioned. Things are not nearly as bad as they look on paper.
BLS40~ “The memories of the old life together with the pressures of this life, are becoming too much to integrate and cope with?”
I would definitely keep that insight in mind for later on in the story. Along with what Gwyn said in SITP, that their Antarian memories (those they weren’t hatched with) should only “flash” as a portent or a result of extreme emotional stress.
Crazy 4 Max ~ Hey girl! I was wondering where you went to. Glad you’re still along for the ride
cobblet ~ actually, I haven’t told CC if or if not Gwyn is pregnant. Your question about her being depressed seems pretty valid to me. Have to think about that And I knew that was you even though it was under her sn. I know my readers
Hey everybody! I wanted to thank everybody so much for the great feedback for all of chapter 7. I was really, really expecting A to be a total dud and you guys made me feel totally great with all you great and insightful comments.
On this chapter, I’m not completely sure I like it yet. It didn’t turn out anything like I had originally planned and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. The style is a little different than any thing I have used for this story before, hopefully it still turned out ok.
Be sure to let me know if you liked it
Oh, posted in two parts, per usual.
Beyond The Sea
Michael dragged the skin, Jay, that they had isolated as being the leader into the darkly lit cabin where Max and Gwyn were waiting for them. He roughly shoved the struggling man down into a chair in the middle of the room. The whole scene was terribly cliché and Gwyn couldn’t help but smirk. The only light in the empty room was from a bare light bulb hanging from a cord in the middle of the room. Directly under that was an old chair that had previously been in the corner and Max stood just in front of the prisoner, his arms crossed over his well sculpted chest, looking ever the imposing commander that he was.
“Do you know who I am?” He asked while Michael redid the man’s restraints, binding each arm to the chair so he couldn’t get off any blasts or poof himself.
“I’d have to be a special kinda stupid not to, now wouldn’t I?”
Michael instantly back handed him. “I don’t take too well to people who mouth off to my King.”
“Take it easy Michael,” Max admonished lightly. “We have to give him a chance to tell us what he knows.” He glanced over at his second in command, “if he choses not to cooperate, then you can play with him.”
The larger man grinned feraly, eyeing the captive like his next meal while cracking his knuckles loudly.
“Now. Since you know who I am,” Max circled him while making quick eye contact with Gwyn who had moved out of the man’s line of vision. She nodded once to tell Max that she was getting waves off him indicating that he was indeed afraid, despite all outward appearances. “I’m going to assume you know what I’m looking for.”
“You’re going to have to refresh my memory,” he responded snidely. Max stopped his circling and bore down quickly on the man. His hands thrust out to hold the back of the chair, his arms tightly flanking his head while he lowered his dark eyes into his face.
“Don’t play with me,” he whispered darkly. “You wouldn’t like it. I’m selfish and I very rarely play fair.” His hot breath skittered across the captive’s skin, the deadly quality in his voice making him shrink back and swallow hard.
Having the desired effect, Max straightened slowly, crossing his arms over his chest. “Tell me where Nicholas is.”
“Nicholas is dead.”
Max rolled his eyes, this was hardly news. “Fine, whatever. Where is Durton then?” Since he’d taken Liz, he had abandoned his persona as Nicholas and most skins claimed he was dead. It was unclear whether they truly believed he and Durton were two separate people or not.
“Like I know,” he snorted.
“Ok then, when was the last time you spoke to, or saw him?”
“You honestly think I’m going to tell you anything? Even if I did know where he was, which I don’t, do you really think I’d tell you?”
“Oh, I know you will.” Max walked slowly to one side of the cabin, leaning casually against a wall. “Tell me something Jay, have you ever seen Nick- excuse me, Durton, mind rape someone?”
Jay’s bravado wavered as he audibly gulped. The dark, sparkling eyes of the enemy King pinned him from across the room. He nodded in the affirmative.
“Good, good. So you know. You’ve seen for yourself how truly painful it can be. How it can leave you a mere shell, rob you of every thought and desire until you can’t speak or move. You’ll be trapped in this- husk, for the rest of you wretched existence without even the control to push the trigger and end your own misery,” Max explained callously. “And do you think they’ll help you then?
“So, I’ll ask you again: Where is Durton?”
The sounds of the skin’s harsh breathing and his uncomfortable shifting in the creaky chair filled the room. Max’s heavy foot falls circled around his back and rain drops started a dull rhythm on the shake roof. Knuckles cracking behind his head sent a visible shudder up his spine and the men guarding the door with a gun grinned as fingers slowly worked their way into Jay’s hair.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“Mmm?” He didn’t look up from his screen where he was watching a succession of files download to his hard drive. So far he’d compressed and extracted files from four of the seven computer drives in the small house. Most were typed in the phonetic English equivalent of Jannarian and from what he could tell, much of it was medical research.
This was such a common place for him to be that he had developed quite the talent for extrapolating information and summarizing the things that flew by his eyes at light speed. He had even learned to speak Jannarian better than most of the aliens he knew. It wasn’t that difficult of a language really.
What was breezing past him now though, when he got back to the lab in Roswell he was going to need some help. He could read most of it, the problem was that once translated it seemed like scientific and medical jargon that he wouldn't have understood even if it had been in English.
“Alex!” Steve shook his shoulder again making him look up in annoyance. There was a brief lull in the drone of the room as the other people Max had sent him turned to stare.
“I think you should see this,” he said, fingering a file folder.
“Steve,” he turned back to the screen, punching a few keys while he spoke. “I appreciate your helping, but I’ll see everything when we get back. We don’t have time to ponder each file. Ok? So, just, go back to what you were doing.”
“No sir,” he protested tightly. “I really thing you should take a look at this, sir.”
Alex held out his hand in exasperation. “Fine. Give it to me.” It was wasting more time to argue than simply humoring him. Flipping it open, he skimmed the contents of the first page. Not even half a minute later he shot to his feet, his chair rolling out behind him and skidding across the room.
“Are there any more like this?” He pulled on his jacket, walking towards the door and talking to Steve all at the same time.
“If there are, we’ll find them.”
“Right. Make sure they get all the files and I need you to finish getting the stuff from those hard drives.”
“What are you going to do?”
Opening the door, he nodded to the guards patrolling the porch. “I have to show this to Max.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
His shrill protest split the humid room as he jerked forward, trying to get away from the probing fingers. Harsh, gruff laughter dulled his scream. The same hands moved from his scalp to roughly grip his shoulders and hold him upright. He continued to struggle in vein even after the King came into view and shared a smirk with his second.
“You’ll have to forgive Michael,” Max shook his head in mock apology. “He has a- unique sense of humor. You know though Jay,” he became serious again as he turned to pace, his hands clasped loosely behind his back. “You still haven't answered my question. Now, I hate sounding cliché, but are we gong to do this the easy way, or the hard way?” To punctuate his options, Michael tightened his grip painfully.
Turning from where he had stopped pacing, Max locked eyes with the skin and took a menacing step forward.
“Alright!” He cried out finally, his head falling forward in defeat. “Alright, I’ll tell you whatever you want. But I swear, I don’t know where Durton is.”
Max flicked his eyes back to Gwyn who nodded again. He was telling the truth so far as she could tell. That, and he was nearly pissing his pants for fear of Max.
“I see. And Kivar, what of him?”
Jay raised his head in surprise. His expression communicating his obvious confusion. “Kivar? I- um, what about him?”
Max sighed in exasperation.
“Michael, please release our guest, seeing how he’s decided to cooperate.” The two shared a brief, but heated stare before Michael backed down. He went to stand in the dark corner next to Gwyn, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. He briefly noticed how cold her skin was but kept his attention on Max’s progress with the prisoner.
“Kivar,” Max repeated, standing loosely in front of him. His posture dramatically contrasting with the steely quality in his eyes. “Were is he? What’s he up to these days?”
“Kivar has nothing to do with us,” Jay responded baldly. Taken off guard, Max stared at him for a moment. “Kivar has nothing to do with us,” the skin said again. “We work for Durton, only Durton.”
“Is that right?” Max began to pace again, his hands sliding into his back pockets.
Jay nodded emphatically. “I’m not even sure Kivar knows we exist. I was transferred here a little over five years ago, when the base opened. I’ve never had one order or communiqué from him in all that time.”
“So Kivar is in the dark about you? Why is that do you think?”
“I- I’m not exactly sure.”
“You’re not? In all the time you’ve been here, Durton has never told you his plans? Never told you why he’s here? You said yourself that you’ve been here since the beginning. You’re practically his right hand man. You tell me, does it sound logical that you would be in the dark?”
“Yes. I mean no. Its not like we actually see him often.”
Max tipped his head to the side, “go on.”
“The last time he was actually here was like, two years ago. Otherwise we receive orders and give him updates at arranged times when he calls us on secured channels.”
“I see. What is it exactly that he has you doing, all tucked away up here?”
“Well, for a while we did a lot of research. Stuff about Earth and humans. History, biology, ecology, all sorts of odd things. He’s the boss though, ya know? I don’t ask questions. We still do a lot of that, usually special things though. And now-”
A scuffle and raised voices at the door cut off Jay’s monologue.
“... and I told you he’s going to want to be interrupted!” Alex’s angry voice penetrated the suddenly still cabin.
“Open the door,” Max instructed the guard who was standing at attention, ready to fire if need be.
He went to the door, opening it in time to see Alex shoving his way angrily past the two armed guards posted on the outside of the door. He had a well packed file folder clutched to his chest to protect it from the light rain that was falling.
“Alex, is something wrong?” Max peered past him, out the still open door, looking for any signs of trouble.
“Well, I-” Alex looked down at the file in his hand, not sure how to describe his discovery. In lou of an answer he held the folder out to him. “You’re gonna want to see this Max.”
“Alright,” he stared at the other man oddly for a moment before walking farther into the cabin for better light. He flipped the folder open, sounds of the guard closing the door and Alex brushing water from his hair and damp jacket rustling behind him.
Taking a closer look, it seemed to be some kind of medical record. Confused, he glanced up at Alex who was flicking his gaze between Michael, the prisoner, and himself. Disgust was clearly written on his face when he stared long and hard at Jay, prompting Max to take a closer look at the cover page of the file. The first third was all in Jannarian that he couldn’t really make out. Something about an emergency and a ... goat? Then again, his verbal Jannarian was not great and his reading was even worse. Since Alex knew his language skills were bad, that couldn’t be it. Two thirds of the way down the page what looked like the patient history nurses took in emergency rooms began in English.
Be right back...
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 22-Apr-2002 4:51:14 PM ]
|posted on 22-Apr-2002 4:53:39 PM by Lizzybell|
. . . Chapter 8 cont.
Sedative/Pain reliever requested.
Female. Aprox. age: 18yrs. 105lb. 5’2”. Allergies: unknown.
Brown eyes/hair. Human.
He didn’t read anymore. Couldn’t. Snapping both the file and his eyes shut, Max pivoted to face the wall. His breathing was labored, his nostrils flaring as he tried to exhale the putrid, suffocating breath that was filling his lungs. His free hand fisted and shook, the motion moving up his arm and into his chest until every muscle was tight, vibrating with energy and countless unnamed emotions.
“Max? What is it?” Gwyn called out from the shadows. The sudden force of Max’s helpless anger and other frantic emotions filled the air around her like a wet blanket. He didn’t answer her, only handed the file to Michael when he appeared at his elbow.
While Michael read over the file, Max turned again and bore down on Jay. His eyes had turned that erie tiger’s shade of gold, the pupils dilated to mere dots. He growled something incoherent at him and simultaneously a power blast shot a hole in the wall across the room from Michael. His sudden unhinged rage combined with Max’s to push in on Gwyn’s temples like a vice. She was weak and their emotions were so strong she had no hope of blocking. She raised her hands to her head, leaning against the wall and whimpered as the men began to yell.
“I said where is SHE!?” Max‘s hands were clutching the prisoner’s head tightly as he stared down at him, yelling in his face. The impediment of his body was the only thing keeping Michael from tearing the bound man’s head off.
Jay held his eyes shut tightly, his body shaking with fear. “Who?” He shrieked hysterically. “I don’t know who you’re talking about!”
“Bull!” Alex was now standing there glaring down with the other two. “I have proof you’re lying right here, you piece of shit.” He waved the manila folder Michael had thrust back at him.
He opened his eyes and stared in confusion at Alex. There were thousands of files up in the office, he though desperately. “I-” he shook his head, not knowing what to say.
“When was she here? I know you know, damn it!” Max nearly screamed, his fingers tightening again. He was seconds away from snapping and finding the information himself.
“Do you expect us to believe that you didn’t know our queen had been here? Where is she?!” Michael shouted, his fists itching to release some of the energy racing though his veins.
“Your queen? What?” His eyes widened more.
“Right here,” Alex held up the file again. “It has all her stats, physical description, notations on drugging her. What the hell did you do to her?!”
Jay squinted and struggled against Max. Then he stopped abruptly and stiffened. Licking his parched lips, his eyes turned on Alex in recognition. “The, the little brown haired girl?”
“Yes, dip shit. Where. Is. She?”
“I- That girl- she was the queen?”
“She IS my queen and you better hope to God that you know where she is,” Max said lowly, the dim lighting glinting dangerously in his eyes.
Shrinking down in his chair, he looked helplessly between the three rage filled men, “I- I- I d-don’t.”
The sudden, faint howl of pain that echoed though the cabin was the only thing that kept Max from losing control and crushing his skull.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
She couldn’t stand it anymore. Too much, there was too much emotion in the room. It consumed her, wrapped around her, became her. She wanted to run, to hide, to kill someone, to scream, to cry. Their combined fear and helpless rage rolled on a nearly visible wave, weaving through her fragile body and shaking her soul. It hurt, Goddess it hurt so much. If she didn’t get out of here nothing would stop her from acting on their emotions, fueled by her own physical pain.
With her strangled cry, she stumbled past the huddled men and pushed out the door and into the light rain. She didn’t get more than ten yards before her strength gave out and she fell to her knees, still clutching her head and breathing harshly.
“Gwyn!” She heard Max calling to her and was vaguely aware of the guard she had pushed past that was now kneeling next to her trying to keep her dry with his own rain jacket.
Max came to a skidding stop on his knees, mud splashing up on his clothes as he nearly crashed into her. When he had herd her painfully cry and witnessed her flight from the cabin he had been momentarily shocked by the amount of emotion he’d had to reign in. Much longer and he would have killed that man in cold blood, whether he knew anything or not. He didn’t have time to dwell on it now, but his loss of control would disturb him greatly later on.
When Gwyn didn’t say anything, he reached out for her. She was obviously in pain, if she couldn’t articulate, he would have to find it himself. Just before his fingers brushed against her temples she jerked away from him though, falling back into Kip who was still hovering with his jacket over her.
“No!” Her pained eyes raised to Max’s as she let her body rest against the warm one behind her.
“Gwyn, I can’t help if I can’t touch you.” He tried to reason with her, still having no idea what was going on.
She crouched back as far as Kip’s body would let her, trying to get as far away from Max’s probing hands as possible. “If you touch me it will make it worse Max.”
He shook his head, obviously hurt and confused by her statement.
Gwyn was finally able to take a deep breath, being out of the confined space was helping. She was so tired though. “I’m having trouble blocking you,” she explained quietly, shamefully. “The four of you together, it was too much. It- hurt, a lot.”
“Gwyn,” Max breathed. His face contorting in guilt. He should have realized something was wrong, been more sensitive to her presence in the room. She was so strong though, he’d never known her to have trouble with her powers. Not like this.
“He’s telling the truth Max,” she continued before he could apologize or some such nonsense. She was the one losing all control of her body, it wasn’t his fault. “He didn’t know who she was or where she is now.”
“Oh,” was all he could respond, his eyes glancing over at the open door of the cabin where Michael was talking with Alex and two soldiers.
“He liked her though, felt bad. He felt bad about... something. I’m not sure,” her forehead wrinkled as she tried to sort out the residual emotions still in her blood. “That’s it,” she frowned in apology. “I can’t get anything else.”
“No, hey. That was great. It helps a lot. I should have-” he cut himself off. Not wanting to analyze his behavior yet, not while she was in such a state.
He watched apprehensively as her eyelids drooped and she sagged farther back onto Kip. She looked so pale. “Can I please scan you, just to be sure nothing else is wrong?” He added a bit of authority to his voice, but wasn’t able to actually order her to do it.
“No Max,” she said firmly. “I’m fine, I just need to rest some. I’ll be good as new after a nap.” She yawned, offering him what she hoped was a convincing smile.
Max wasn’t so convinced, but there was little he could do. Gwyn was very stubborn when she set her mind to something. They had even joked in the past that she was more suited to be king than he was.
“Alright,” he ran a hand though his wet hair, glancing back at the cabin. Michael was leaning against the door frame, obviously waiting for him. “Take her back to the jet,” he instructed Kip, completely ignoring Gwyn’s weak protests. She was too ill to be here and Max didn’t want her getting in the way of what was left to be done.
The young man stood, hoisting Gwyn effortlessly into his arms after wrapping her in his wind breaker. She conceded with a loud sigh and wrapped her arms around his neck. Max gave him a few last minute instructions and they were on their way back to one of the Explorers.
Max watched them for a few seconds until they disappeared around the path, making a note to talk to Justin when they got back. This wasn’t the first time he’d noticed something off with Gwyn lately. Not having the luxury to dwell on that either, he jogged back to the cabin, met by an agitated Michael in the door way.
Michael didn’t answer, moving out of the way and motioning him inside. Readying himself for another round, Max stepped into an empty room. “What the hell?” He whirled on Michael, gesturing wildly at the empty chair in the center of the room. “Where is he?”
He shrugged, his casual demeanor masking his true feelings of the situation. “His bindings must have loosened when he was struggling. When we turned our backs he dusted himself.”
Max began to pace again, running a hand tiredly over face. He hadn’t slept more than an hour on the way up here, too busy going over last minute plans. Michael leaned back against a wall, hands resting in his pockets, watching him.
“Took off. I think he let himself get a little worked up, probably taking it out on one of those machines of his up at the care taker’s place.”
“Right. I want you to pick out a couple guys to stay out here for a few days, maybe a week, and see if anybody comes back or tries to make contact.”
“Yeah, I already issued the assignments.”
Max looked up and smiled crookedly at him. They really had become a pretty good team. “Thanks Michael.”
“Sure. So, what’s next Maxwell?”
Max stopped and glared at Michael’s important smirk. They were both well aware of how much Max hated all forms of that question.
“Would it be bad if I said I’m not exactly sure?” He asked quietly, resuming his pacing.
“No. Not at all. I think I might be worried if you were.”
“Yeah,” he scuffed his foot on the floor, watching the dirt kick up in little clouds. “We all kinda lost it there.” He looked up at Max who was watching him now, “I mean, shit, we nearly killed Gwyn. But everybody’s got to give a little sometimes. If you said we were gonna go on some big killing spree or something, then I’d be worried.”
Max chuckled a little, “thanks, I think.” He rubbed at the tired muscles in his neck, “We’ll have to have a group meeting. Alex is going to spend all night working on that stuff no matter what I say, so let’s plan on tomorrow afternoon and hope Alex can get enough decoded by then. I would rather do it as soon as we get back,” he admitted. “But we’d be jumping the gun. At this point all we have is a old medical file that says she was here at one time.”
“It’s more than we’ve had before,” Michael interjected somewhat defensively.
“Not enough to go on though. It’s more of a start than we’ve ever had though. There has to be something else here, a bigger clue, we just have to find it.”
Michael's voice nearly broke as he slid down the wall, letting a little of his turbulent emotion show. “What if we don’t?”
Max’s eyes wandered out the door and into the forest, dark with the pelting rain. “We will. We have to.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“S’open,” Kate called out when the dull knock sounded on her motel room door.
It opened slowly, his head peaking in first before he slipped in and closed it with a small click. He stood there looking around the room, obviously uncomfortable with her lack of hospitality.
“It isn’t the Ritz but at least its clean,” she murmured defensively from her position at the head of the bed.
He frowned, shaking his head, “I was making no judgments.”
She didn’t really know what to say to that. She didn’t really know what to say to him at all.
“Ya know,” she broke the heavy silence eventually, glancing at him quickly. “I need something to call you. If we’re gonna keep having these meetings I can’t keep calling you my informant or whatever. I’ll slip up and call you by name and-”
“That can’t happen,” he agreed. “And you can’t use my Earth name either, not yet at least.”
“You have another name?”
“Mmm,” he affirmed absently, stroking his chin.
“And why can’t we use that?”
“It will disrupt the balance.”
“That’s your Earth name? What’s so special about that?”
“No, John is what you may address me as. Starting now, if you use it when we are together as well, it will lessen the chances of your tongue slipping.”
“Okey dokey, John.”
He nodded decisively, liking the idea very much, then took a seat at the small breakfast table. “Now that that is taken care of, tell me of your meeting with Kyron.”
“Justin,” she spat out harshly. “We like to be called by our Earth names, you know that.”
“Yes. I apologize,” he said, seeming sincere. “Some things are harder to remember than others.”
“Yeah, I can understand that,” she allowed. She looked down at the pattern on the worn bedspread, not mentioning how there were a few names he seemed to have no problem remembering at all. “Anyway, it went ok, I guess.”
“You guess? Do you not know?”
“Geez, your like a teacher, do you know that? Its really annoying”
“I could say the same to your slaughter of the language.”
“Look John, I don’t have to put up with this. I could be on the road in ten minuets. You just keep that in mind.”
He nodded his head thoughtfully, “yes, you may. There is no one keeping you here by force. If you do not wish to help the Queen then by all means, you know the way to the door. There are other ways I may go about my mission, I selected you because it would be the easiest within the limited time I have. I suggest you keep that in mind.”
Kate fell back on the bed with an exasperated sigh. Spreading her arms out wide she gripped the edges of the bed and inadvertently received a rush of images chronicling the illustrious life of her mattress. Groaning, she turned her palms up and surrendered. “Alright, fine. God, if I could only get rid of that damn thing.” She muttered to herself, sitting up again and swinging her feet to the floor.
John had watched her restless display with interest. “You still get flashes?”
She laughed dryly, “do I still get flashes? No. Do I get a close up and personal view of the entire history of just about everything I touch? Yes.”
“And you do not wish to have this gift any longer?”
“Uh, no. Its the only damn thing I can’t get rid of. Can’t control it in most cases either. Only in places I’m familiar, comfortable with.”
“Ah, I see,” he nodded enthusiastically. “This was the reason for your path then. The Goddess has sent you to them. To me.”
“When the time comes the Goddess will reward you for your service.”
She sat watching him closely, apparently that was all he had to say on the subject. She was almost getting used to his deliberately cryptic speech. “Ok then,” she put on an overly bright smile and clapped her hands. “About that meeting...”
“Ah yes, were you able to gain information from Justin?”
“Not a whole lot. But I got the impression on the phone that there wasn’t a whole lot of information to get. He was understandably reluctant to tell me what they did have, not sure if he could trust me. Not that I blame him.” She laughed, her eyes drifting at a memory, “it was funny to see him in a suit though. Even in his new body. He was never really the suit type, Gwyn must be tugging him around by his, ahem-” She raised her eyebrows suggestively and smirked, delighted that she was making her guest uncomfortable.
John glared at her, “and did you derive anything of actual use?”
“Oh, don’t get your boxers in a bunch. I got a couple flashes when I passed him the bit of scroll. Seems King Max and company are taking out some skins in the middle of the woods somewhere. I couldn’t get a feel on what exactly they were lookin for, but they thought the place had potential. Other than that, its been a dry season for them, information wise.”
“Oh.” He pursed his lips, pondering for a moment. “It is still early I suppose. I had hoped they were closer to connecting things than this. Perhaps next week, things will move faster then, most certainly,” he was mumbling to himself. He didn’t seem very convinced that whatever he wanted to happen was going to happen though.
“Ok I’ll bite,” she interrupted his musings. “What is it that they need to connect. Why not just tell them, wouldn’t that be easier?”
He only looked at her, his jade eyes darkening in the dim light of the room.
“The balance,” she filled in tiredly when he still said nothing.
“I am sorry. I understand your frustration, but I can not risk anything happening before its time. I can only tell you what you are to know. The fire that I am daring to dally with is very unstable. You would almost certainly become hurt and in turn hurt all the others and Elizabeth. It is not that I want to keep this secret to myself.”
“Yeah, yeah. I understand. Somethings are just better left unsaid. Besides, if its that big a deal I’m not sure I want to know. I don’t want to- to mess this up. So, so its better that you don’t tell me. K?”
He smiled kindly at her moment of vulnerability, resisting the urge to reach out and tug on one of her braids. “Alright then. We shall see what this latest conquest has brought out intrepid group and go from there. You will meet with Justin the day after tomorrow and find out what else he knows.”
Kate began shaking her head before he even finished. “He’s not going to spill his guts just because I say so. I’m gonna need a little something to grease the wheels.”
John nodded, “do not concern yourself about it. I have a little something that will give them a push in the right direction.”
She raised an eyebrow in question.
“You shall see little one, you shall see.”
|posted on 28-Apr-2002 2:12:23 AM by Lizzybell|
A few people have suggested and I finally decided to start my own yahoo group. I wasn’t going to since I’ve already got the mailing list, but I’ve been having some really great discussions with some posters though email recently and I thought they would be better served though a group.
Now, this isn’t going to replace the mailing list. That will remain separate. This is a place for you to ask more detailed questions, discuss the mythology, hear other readers theories, even talk about the what ifs like “What if Liz had never been taken?” You can even talk about other fics if you want. And of course, anything else Roswell.
Except spoilers - spoil something from the remaining three episodes and I will hunt you down and bring Tess with me. I’m sure some of you will enjoy the new venue to bug me about posting as well
There will more than likely be spoilers prating to the story though. I simply can’t discuss some things without disclosing something from the primer that exists in my head. - Not telling you where Liz is though, sorry.
Click to subscribe to Lizzybells_Stories
For chapter 9, I really thought I might shock myself and be done this evening but alas, it wasn’t to be. The characters have all decided they have something to say and it just keeps growing - I’m helpless to to stop them. At the risk of sabotaging myself, I’m going to try super hard to have something for you Monday or late, late Sunday.
Sweet Roswellian Dreams
|posted on 7-May-2002 3:36:50 AM by Lizzybell|
Making a few things clear:
~ John is the same guy that approached Kate at the truck stop. We’ve only got one mystery guy at this point.
~ In Gwyn’s flashback in 7b, she didn’t die in the end. Eirya passed out and that triggered the end of the memory. Eirya was like 29 in that flash and 42 when she died in order to be podded and sent to Earth. There will be more explaining the exact events of that flash soon.
burntofferings ~ don’t worry about not remembering. I’ve had the same problem with reading too many fics at once. At the end of SITP I stopped reading everything because I was actually confusing my fic with others - now that is sad.
BelevinDreamsToo & butterfly_girl~
Thanks so much for the bumps you two! Its so nice to know you don’t forget about me.
Cookie~ Of course you’re right. That scene was supposed to mirror the M/Pierce scene in Destiny. I watched it a few times to make sure there was an inkling of the same Max in my scene, only more grown up, more experience, more comfortable with the position, you get the idea Im so glad you thought that Max came off as intimidating and that his reaction was intense enough. I was very worried that the whole thing came off a little flat. Though the overtly tongue and cheek clich -ness of the scene was fun to do Couldn’t you just hear the bad, ‘70s type cop/drama music in the back ground? LOL
Katiebug~ OMG, Angelus?! Really? Wow, Im glad I didnt print the other version. There are two versions, one very dark and harsh, and this one with the clich yet, still dark banter. I thought the other one might make it hard for people to still see Max as himself if he could be so hard when he was in King mode- glad to know I made the right choice. Yikes! Given my affinity for Angels and Nesado Max though, I can see where I might have put that in subconsciously- Ill be sure to make it a conscious thing now though.
I laughed out loud at your smirk commentary ! We do love our evil/sexy smirks, don’t we? What were you going to say about another faction? Email me or put it on the Yahoo group if you think you’re too close to something. But you remember what I told you about Kate? I think the same thing applies to Durton. And while were on it, what were you wondering about John? I think you might know more than you think you do.
LOL, you know, I think you’re the only person who caught that little tribute to the Goat King. Still one of my favorite funnies.
Ahh about Goddess, Gwyn has said it before. I’m pretty sure she did in SITP. If she didn’t after chapter 40 in SITP then I made a mistake *Gasp*
Guys I am so, so sorry it took me so long to get this up. The first week in May holds some rather painful memories for me and this year it kind of snuck up on me.
This is the first chapter I have ever written that made me cry while I was writing it. I came close with the projection/good bye scene in SITP, but this was a first. I highly doubt that it will affect you guys so much, I even found it odd that it struck such a cord with me - more than likely because the scene took me totally by surprise. I hadn’t had anything like this confrontation planned, but it just happened. Anyway, high angst level with some nice CC moments as well.
Oh, If you didn’t see the note above, be sure to scroll up and see if you’re interested in joining the Yahoo! group I started for my fics
Ok, here ya go.
Happy Reading and Happy Ros day!
Posted in 2 parts, duh.
Beyond The Sea
Isabel walked down the long dim corridor towards the only lit room at the end of the hall. She had known Alex would be here when he hadn’t answered his phone at the dorm. After a mission if he wasn’t home sleeping he was in all likelihood in his office going over whatever had been found. Normally she would have just called to say she loved him and seen him in the morning, but she was still shaky and a little insecure after the day she’d had. Coming to a stop, she leaned against the door frame and smiled. She felt better already, and he didn’t even know she was here.
Alex was hunched over his desk, pouring over some papers while two monitors at his left scrolled continuously and the dull drone from a printer echoed though the room. His forehead was scrunched in concentration and he was chewing on a pen cap- a habit she had been trying unsuccessfully to break him of.
The shuffling of her feet caught his attention and he raised his head from his work, his eyes lighting up at the unexpected sight of her.
“Why hello there soon to be Mrs. Whitman,” he smiled, scooting his chair out from the desk.
Isabel came farther into the room, dropping her purse and jacket on the couch next to the door. “Hello soon to be Mr. Evans,” she greeted with a cocky grin.
Alex cocked his head, appearing to be thinking deeply while holding his hands out to beacon her closer. “Ok,” he nodded. “I’m secure enough in my masculinity to handle that.”
Isabel threw her head back, laughing lightly as he pulled her down into his lap. Her laugher died in her throat though when he sealed his lips to hers in a tender kiss full of love. He pulled back before it could become heated, content to just look into her beautiful, warm eyes.
“This is a nice surprise,” he murmured, his thumb tracing the steady beat of her pulse. “I wasn’t expecting to see you until tomorrow, not that I’m complaining.”
She leaned her head on his shoulder, stifling a yawn. “I just wanted to see you. How’d it go?” She asked, noting the extra tension in his shoulders and the accentuated fatigue lines on his face.
Alex let out a long sigh, his arms coming around to hold her tight, and rested his cheek against her head. “Liz was there.”
Isabel gasped. He felt her stiffen and quickly amended his statement. “No, no. I mean, she had been there. We found files, tons of files, and by chance one of my men glanced at one. It was a medical record that must to have been hers.”
“God, Alex,” she couldn’t sit up, his arms were holding her too tightly. “What did- what did they say?” She asked uncertainly, not sure she even really wanted to know.
“There wasn’t much we could read right there, some bits here and there were in English though. I’m not certain, but from the date on the one file I think they took her from Roswell straight there. It said they had given her a suppressant. I, I can only assume that it’s referring to- to,” he coughed a little, shifting unconsciously and rubbing Isabel’s back. “To the serum that I ga- Um. That was given to her here.”
He felt Isabel’s arms tighten around him briefly when he slipped and confused how he remembered the fight in the Crashdown four years ago with what really happened. He had never hurt Liz. Alex said the mantra so often that sometimes he even believed it.
“I don’t know how long the dose that was initially given to her would last, but she had to have been there for at least a few days if they were continuing to suppress her powers like that. There were also notations about giving her pain relievers and sedatives. Sedatives I can see, if she wasn’t cooperating, then it would make things a lot easier if they knocked her out.”
“But with pain relievers,” Iz picked up, “Liz would’ve had to have been in pain.”
“Yeah,” he sighed. Closing his eyes, trying to block out the possibility.
“God, this is horrible,” she exclaimed quietly. “Have you found anything that would suggest why she might have been in pain? Like, like...” she couldn’t say it.
“Like if they had been torturing her? No. Not a lot of this is in English, and the Jannarian is a lot of specialized language I can’t understand. Lots of medical and science jargon that I’m going to need some help deciphering.”
He felt her nod against his neck, “are some of your staff coming in later?”
“Yes. I called a few people. They should be here around four or five, I wanted to get a jump on the translating and maybe catch a few winks on the couch before they get here. Max called a meeting for tomorrow afternoon. I had to send him home because he was driving me crazy with his pacing and muttering.
“Enough about that,” his hand moved up to stroke the length of her hair. “How was your day, beautiful?”
She let out a tired sigh like his own and hugged him closer.
Alex frowned, feeling the melancholy that settled over her. “I thought you were having lunch with your mom?” He leaned away from her, trying to catch her eye, “Iz, what happened?”
Keeping her eyes closed, Isabel told him all about her talk with her mom in the park and the hodge podge of half truths she told.
“Isabel I am so, so sorry,” he told her quietly when she finished.
“No Alex, it wasn’t your fault,” she soothed. He was way more upset about this than she was. “I should have realized that something like that could happen. Anyway, the important this is that she seemed pretty convinced and I think she’ll help win over dad.”
“I suppose that’s something good. I’m glad we found out before we decided to announce our engagement. No offense Iz, but I’ve seen you’re dad angry and woah- Scary.”
“Yeah, I like you in one piece so much better.”
Alex nodded vigorously, “me too!”
Isabel felt the corners of her mouth tilting up. He always knew how to make her laugh and feel better no matter what the situation. “Have you gotten very far?” She asked sitting up and looking around at the various odd boxes and creates.
“Not really. I’m still feeding these through the translator. I’m having to guess on some stuff since phonetic spelling is subjective.”
“Ok, how about I start going though some of the translated stuff. I’m not sure how much good I’ll be, being a history major and all, but I can at least ear mark stuff that looks more important than others.”
He reached up to cup her cheek tenderly, looking into her eyes. “Just your being here at all helps more than you can know.”
She leaned into the sweet gesture, meeting his eyes with a wealth of love. “I wouldn’t be anywhere else.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Justin stood in the doorway watching her. It was nearly eleven at night and he had woken up a few minutes ago missing the warmth of her little body next to his. It was the first time in nearly a month that Gwyn had let him anywhere near her while she slept and he felt the sudden absence again keenly.
He had been in his office around two that afternoon when Max called him from the jet, saying that they were on their way home and could he please meet them at the air field. While that was the extent of the exchange, Justin had know there was something wrong with Gwyn. As little as he had been feeling from her lately, he still knew that something terrible had gone wrong. Then, when some beefy guard had followed Max and Michael off the plane carrying his small, unconscious wife he nearly lost it. Max had hurriedly explained what happened, or at least what he though happened, but Justin was sure there had to be something else. He kept his opinion to himself though. She had looked so pale and vulnerable it made his heart ache and all he wanted to do was get her home.
When Kip, her guard - who would be getting a change in rotation, finally thought he was stable enough to cary her, he’d handed Gwyn gently to Justin and she instantly curled into his body. As her fist gripped his shirt and she tucked her face into his neck he couldn’t help the little surge of content that thrilled though him. To know that even in her unconscious state, she still reached for him soothed a bit of the uncertainty and longing he had been feeling recently. It worried him though that whatever happened to her had wiped her out so completely that she was dropping her walls and letting him in. Much as he wanted to deny it, Justin knew that if Gwyn had any kind of control over herself her first order of business would have been to keep him at arms length. Even without her recent behavior, she absolutely hated to be coddled and looked after.
Once he got her home Tess had been there to help with doors and lights and getting her into bed, but she had quickly disappeared, needing to study or something. She had looked so small and helpless- a word he never associated with his strong and capable wife- that he couldn’t resist crawling into bed with her. Laying there, Justin watched her for a long time. The way her breasts rose and fell with her steady breathing, how her lips pouted and her cheeks flushed ever so slightly as she slipped deeper into sleep. How her fire colored hair contrasted so beautifully with her porcelain skin, giving her an ethereal quality that reminded him of how unworthy he felt of her. How whatever was happening between them must somehow be his fault. That she must have figured out that his being in her life, two times over, was all some cosmic mistake.
As if sensing the steady down fall of his thoughts, she probably was which made him feel even worse, Gwyn whimpered and cuddled closer to him. Patting his chest lightly, sooting his troubled soul. He fell asleep that way, clutching her to him as if his life depended on it. Now here he was, having noticed right away when she left his arms, watching her puttering around the dark kitchen.
He finally stepped into the room, flipping on the light over the island. “What are you doing?”
“Making tea,” she answered, not looking up.
Wrapping his arms around her waist and resting his chin on her head, he told her, “I would have brought you some.” He could already feel her walls closing him out but tried to fight them, sending golden spirals of adoration, love, and acceptance though the tiny strand of connection still available to him.
She sighed and leaned back, grateful for the warmth of his body. “I know. I needed to move around though, and I have a few papers I need to look over that I didn’t get to today.”
Justin frowned, “what you need is to rest.”
She suddenly stiffened in his arms, as if remembering she didn’t want to be there. He felt the soul shaking click as her final wall slid into place, blocking him out completely. “I did rest. Now I’m up. I can’t just sit around because I had some kind of weird episode.”
He didn’t respond, only dropped his arms when she removed his hand from her stomach and backed away. He watched as she busied herself getting out a cup, tea bag, and sugar, obviously avoiding further conversation.
Be right back. . .
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 7-May-2002 4:12:11 AM ]
|posted on 7-May-2002 3:43:29 AM by Lizzybell|
|. . . chapter 9 cont.|
Raking both hands though his hair, Justin fought the urge to stomp his foot in frustration. He didn’t know how much more he could take of this. Didn’t feeling the cold emptiness where their connection usually lived wear at her very soul? What was so bad, so worth keeping secret, that she wouldn’t even let him feel her golden light for a few minutes? Didn’t she feel like she was rotting slowly? Didn’t she hurt every time their connection was severed, like a limb had been taken. The only times they broke away were when necessity dictated- during battle and for the occasional birthday or anniversary surprise. It had been off and on now for over a month and Justin was beginning to think it would kill him.
Looking at her now, the way she went out of her way not to look back at him, he knew. He knew his wife was suffering just as badly as he was. Needlessly. No secret, no betrayal, no piece of information was worth this. It had to stop. Tonight. Now.
“This has to stop, Gwyn.” He finally voiced.
She looked up, startled. “What?”
“This,” he waved his hand between them. “This distance you keep putting between us. Cutting yourself off. I can’t take it anymore. Whatever it is you’re not telling me, it can’t be as bad as all this.”
She sighed quietly, not knowing what to say to appease him. The truth was out of the question.
“Gwyn, just talk to me. Please, tell me what’s going on.”
“Nothing is going on Jus. I told you, I’m fine. Everything is fine.”
“You are not fine.”
“Stop it!” He slammed his hand down on the counter making her jump. “Don’t stand there and tell me you’re fine! Not when you’re having so much trouble controlling your powers that you’re passing out for hours at a time.”
“That was an isolated incident, I told you,” she returned just as loud and indignant. “You weren’t there, you don’t know how strong everything was.”
“You’re right, I don’t know, and I probably never will. You know why? Because you never let me see you anymore Gwyn.”
The kettle whistled and she turned her back on him to flip off the burner. She didn’t know what to say to that either.
“Is it me?” He asked tiredly, the fight having left his tone and the charge from the room.
Without turning around, Gwyn close her eyes, her heart constricting at the question. “No, Justin. It’s not you,” she told him quietly, clearly. Admitting, but not, that things were not as “fine” as she insisted.
“Then what? Gwyn,” he was behind her again, not touching her but so close she could feel the delicious heat from his body pressing into her back. His hand hovered just above her right shoulder, wanting to touch her, but wanting the invitation more. “I love you. Please tell me how to help you. I,” his voice choked with emotion. “I feel like I’m losing you... I don’t know what to do. Please, Gwyn, tell me what to do.”
Goddess, this was killing her. She wanted to tell him so badly it hurt. But not as much as what she had to tell him could hurt them, change their lives, even tear them apart. It was worth hurting him now, worth being so cold and alone, to know for sure when she did tell him. That way he could make an informed decision with all the facts in front of him.
“There’s nothing for you to do but give me some time,” she answered finally, not turning to see the pain she was sure she would see on his handsome face.
Justin took in the stiff posture, her firm monotone, the black void where their connection should be and shook his head. He couldn’t believe she was putting him off again. Here he was pouring his soul out to her and all she could say was that she needed time? Anger suddenly clouded his vision, dulling the pain of his breaking heart.
“Are- are you having an affair?” He blurted out suddenly, unable to stop himself. As much as he had tried to qualch the idea Tess had planted in his brian the other day, he just couldn’t. Her near indifference to his concern and the bearing of his soul only furthered the idea that she no longer loved him. That she didn’t even really care.
Startled by his out-of-the-blue question, she spun around, indignation lighting her features. “Am I what?”
He backed away from her, his face becoming harder as he latched on to the idea. “You heard me.”
“I heard you, but I thought that maybe you’d gone temporarily insane and wanted to rethink opening that door.”
“I don’t think so. Actually, the more I do think about it, the more things start to make sense.”
“I can not believe I’m hearing this. When did you become so irrational? And paranoid? We can have problems, I can have problems, without it being related to our marriage.”
“What the hell am I supposed to think Gwyn? You don’t talk to me, I hardly see you. Don’t think I don’t know you’re avoiding me, I’d have to be an idiot not to notice. I ask you what’s wrong and you say nothing. Everything is fine. Like hell it is!
“Do you know how long its been since we’ve made love? Do you? Do you even care?”
Her eyes flashed a silver shade of aqua, “Ohh, now we see his true colors. You don’t give a damn about anything that I’m going through do you? All you care about is getting laid. I should have known, why should you be so different from any other man in the universe? I’m not in the mood for awhile and you, being such a stud, can’t fathom that sex isn’t the first thing on my mind. If I’m not getting it from you, I must be getting it somewhere else - is that it?”
“I don’t know,” he crossed his arms over his chest. “Is it?”
Enraged, she literally screamed, her face blushing to match her hair.
“Get. Out.” She growled between clenched teeth, pointing forcefully at the kitchen door.
His hands dropped to his sides, stunned. “Excuse me?”
Her eyes narrowed contemptuously, “you heard me. Get out. I will not take this in my own home. If you’re so hot to trot, I’m sure there are a few cadets that will be more than willing put you up for the night.”
All the air exploded out of his sails and Justin stood there with his mouth hanging open. She had a temper, but never had his wife thrown him out of his house, let alone suggested that he find entertainment with another women. He didn’t know what to say, but at the same time he heard the cutting jabs that flew out of his mouth as he turned to storm out of the house.
“Fine! Maybe I’ll do that. Goddess knows I deserve a break after putting up with all this crap. By the time you’re ready to let me back in, maybe I’ll actually be stupid enough to care again.”
Nearly ripping his jacket off the coat tree by the front door, Justin flung the door open. It hit the wall with a loud bang and he didn’t bother to close it as he stomped down the stairs and ran smack into Max.
“Justin, sorry I didn’t-”
“Whatever,” he glared at Max and the small bouquet of purple tulips in his hand.
“Uh, I just came to check on Gwyn. Is she up?”
The taller man snorted, flicking his stormy blue eyes towards the house. “Oh she’s up. And she’s fine. Just fine.”
“Maybe- this is a bad time,” Max started backing away, not sure what he had just walked in on.
“Do whatever you want. I’m not wanted here anymore. Who knows,” he threw over his shoulder on his was to the navigator. “Maybe you could get through to her. Assuming she considers you worthy of her company.” With that, he slammed the door shut and Max watched as he backed out of the drive, annihilating several planters along the curb, and took off down the street.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
She sagged back against the counter, jumping slightly when the front door banged against the wall in the foyer. One, solitary tear rolled down her cheek. Gwyn knew Justin hadn’t meant what he said anymore than she meant for him to go out and sleep with one of the many cadets she had seen lusting after him. That didn’t make it hurt any less though. They didn’t do it often, but when they fought, they fought hard, with everything they had. It wasn’t as though she hadn’t deserved just about everything he’d said either. She had done just about everything she could to drive a wedge between them, short of having an affair. It hurt less this way though, at least when he found out the real truth, she could delude herself into believing that he left her because she had lied.
Sighing at the inevitably of it all, Gwyn turned back to the kettle and began fixing her tea. Tea would be good.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“Michael! Stop pacing in there and come to bed!” Maria yelled into the living room where Michael was still pacing restlessly, from the bedroom where she was propped up with a book. He’d been on edge ever since he’d come home late that afternoon.
When he got home, Maria had been quietly paying bills and working on the orders for Legal Alien. Without a word, only a quick peck on the cheek, he went straight into the bathroom for what she could only assume was a long, hot shower. He came out nearly an hour later, his hair still wet and an aloha shirt hanging open over a white undershirt. They went about putting the finishing touches on dinner in companionable silence then. Michael had set the table and warmed the garlic bread while she pulled the lasagna out of the oven and finished the salads. When they had first moved in together the kitchen had been a major point of contention, but now they had a comfortable routine down. A routine that involved a select few dishes she was actually aloud to cook without supervision.
Maria was used to this brooding silent treatment by now. It took her a long, long time to get to a point where she could stand it, but she slowly learned that nagging him with her trademark rambling was totally counter productive in some cases. That wasn’t to say there weren’t countess other things to pester him to death about. But she knew this silence was different, he wanted to be alone with his thoughts but not necessarily physically alone. He only acted like this when they found something or a mission had gone badly. Michael would tell her when he was ready, if she pushed it would only make things worse. So they went through their usual routine, while she was secretly screaming for him to open his mouth.
She may have learned, but that didn’t make it easy.
Half way though dinner Michael finally turned the volume on the stereo down, Maria had managed to broaden his musical horizons to things that were appropriate during meals, and proceeded to narrate the entire operation for her from beginning to end. There was going to be a council debriefing tomorrow in the late afternoon to fill everyone in and see what, so far, had been garnered and concluded from the raid.
There hadn’t been a lot that Maria could say. After so long, it was just as scary to get information than to not get any at all. No one ever said anything, but she knew they were all just as terrified of the shape Liz would be in when they found her as they were of never finding her at all. That file they had found only made things worse by nearly confirming their fear, but leaving Liz still out of reach.
After dinner they did homework and watched tv, occasionally making small talk. It was hard not to bombard Michael with questions about Gwyn and Max, but he was so upset Maria knew he wouldn’t remember anything more than what he’d already told her. Eventually it had been too much inactivity for Michael and he began pacing and muttering to himself. Also behavior Maria was familiar with. She’d excused herself and gotten into bed with her newest romance novel, not able to concentrate with the mumbled rise and fall of his voice all around her. That was two hours ago.
“Michael!” She called out again. She was willing to give him space when he needed it, but this was getting ridiculous. Come on, she was still a Deluca. Mrs. Roamer down stairs would surely call to complain soon if he kept stomping around the apartment.
“Mi-” she stopped abruptly when he appeared in the doorway, shrugging into a denim jacket. “What are you doing?” She flung the covers off her legs and padded across the room, stopping in front of him, hands on her hips.
“Going out,” he grunted, avoiding her eyes.
“Out where?” She leaned on one foot taping the other.
“Just... out. I can’t sleep yet.”
“Uh huh.” She followed him when he turned, going into the living room and grabbed his keys off the hook by the door. “Do you read Jannarian?” She asked suddenly, calmly, blocking his exit.
“Maria,” he sighed in exasperation, running a hand though his hair. He had a stray thought that maybe it was time to grow it out again. At the moment it was a lot like Max had worn his hair in high school only a little more wind blown and longer in the back.
“Well, do you?”
“You know I don’t.”
“Exactly,” she exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air. “I know where you think you’re going Michael Guerin and let me tell you, you are only going to get in Alex’s way. He has a whole staff who actually know what they are doing. If they need more help they’ll call Gwyn or Justin or Max.”
“But I can’t just stay here and do nothing,” he grumbled, rubbing his forehead in agitation.
“Yes you can. I have complete faith in your ability to do nothing.”
He fought the nervous energy that wanted him to pace right there in front of her. Turning his tortured eyes on her, his fists clenched. He needed to get out of there. “Maria, I can’t turn my head off. I just keep thinking and thinking and I’m gonna totally lose it soon if I don’t get out of here.”
She smiled sympathetically, biting back the witty comment about his actually thinking and sashayed the few steps between them.
“Well,” she lifted her hands to roam slowly over his chest, dipping under his jacket. Her voice became husky as she looked up at him. “I’m sure we can think of something to distract you.”
His face remained stony until she took a final step and plastered her form to his, her roaming hands dancing up into his hair. As she leaned up for a kiss, pressing herself even closer, he finally cracked a smile.
“What am I going to do with you woman?” He teased, his voice rough like gravel, sending delicious shivers down her spine.
She wiggled her eyebrows as he leaned down to meet her lips. “That is the question, isn’t it?”
He chucked, the sound emanating from deep in his throat. He kissed her softly at first, kneading her soft mouth with his and then nipping at her bottom lip. Eager to taste him, Maria opened her mouth in invitation, moaning when his spicy flavor finally flooded her senses.
Just as his hands made their way around her waist, one settling on the small of her back and dragging her farther up his body, the phone rang. And rang. And rang.
Maria pulled away breathing hard and glaring at the phone, “Oh my God, I can’t believe someone would call us this late.”
“It must be important, better get it,” she heard him say and knew she hadn’t done a good enough job of distracting him. She would just have to try harder during round two.
“This isn’t finished mister,” she said, jabbing her finger into his chest. He grabbed and bit it lightly, growling as she squealed and ran into the kitchen to answer the phone.
“Hello? Oh hi, Jeff. It’s kinda late is everything alright?” She met Michael’s concerned expression with one of her own when he came into the room behind her.
“No, no. It’s fine, we weren’t in bed or anything. I mean, you didn’t wake us up.” She laughed nervously and looked away from his knowing smirk. “Anyway, Michael’s right here, did you want to talk to him?”
Michael moved closer to her, ready to take the phone but she shook her head no. “Umm, yeah. I needed to come down tomorrow anyway, I’ll just pick Michael up from the Center on my way. We don’t have any classes tomorrow, don’t worry about it. Ok, so we’ll see you tomorrow afternoon then. Uh huh. I’ll tell him. You too, good night Mr. P.”
Maria hung up the phone, looking perplexed.
“Your dad wants to see us tomorrow afternoon. It sounded really important to him so I said it was ok.”
“Did he say why he wants to see us?”
She shook her head, leaving the room and flipping off the light as she went. Michael trailed behind her taking off his jacket and tossing it on the couch as they walked though the living room.
“No. Just that he wanted to see us. He called so late, I figured it had to be important. I’ll call Max in the morning and tell him we’ll be a little late for the meeting.” She pulled down the covers on the bed again and slipped in, settling on her side and watching Michael strip in front of the closet.
“I don’t suppose it occurred to you to ask him why he wanted to see us?”
“Were going to see him tomorrow Spaceboy. Just be patient.” She said it as if it were something he was actually good at.
Down to his boxers, he left his clothes in a puddle on the floor and ignored the glare Maria sent him. “Tomorrow is just shaping up to be fantastic,” he grumbled, depositing his watch on the dresser before crawling in next to her.
“Aww, poor baby.” She snuggled up to his side, leaning over him and leaving small, open mouth kisses along his jaw line.
“Mmhmm,” he agreed distractedly, inching her tank top up to caress the smooth skin on her back. “What was that you were saying... about finishing... what we started?”
She laughed throatily, lifting her head and flipping her hair over her shoulder. Michael smiled suddenly at his fiery little pixie and thought to himself, forget about tomorrow- at least tonight would be fantastic!
Feed back would lift my spirits
Love you guys.
|posted on 21-May-2002 3:08:00 AM by Lizzybell|
I am soo sorry I took so long to update this time It’s a really busy time where I work and I just couldn’t get a few spare minutes strung together to edit.
On a more somber note, I think that I need to make a general reminder that I do have feelings and when people send things to me that are blatantly negative and in no way constructive, it can be pretty painful. I don’t mind asking/complaining about the lack of Liz up to now, asking me about future content you’re not sure you would be comfortable reading, making general requests for more of one plot line or things like that so long as it’s phrased in a constructive or playful way. I would have been stupid to not expect some whining and begging for Liz and I really don’t mind that, however, I do not expect to receive feedback so negative that it makes me cry every time I post. And honestly, if you still care that much you’re hurting yourself just as much because it takes me several days to convince myself to write again which only delays a post even longer.
If this makes no sense to you, then it doesn’t apply to you, simple as that.
I think that’s about it for me. Thanks for that AMAZING feedback and bumps here on the board, you guys are the best
If you haven't figured it out already, it’s posted in two parts.
Beyond The Sea
“Hey,” Max called quietly, knocking on the frame as he passed though the kitchen door.
After Justin had taken off Max debated going in side or just leaving the flowers he brought on the step, but he couldn’t leave the front door hanging open like that. Once at the thresh, he decided to check on Gwyn as he originally intended. If Justin were that upset, there was no telling what state she was in. Coming up next to her, he opened a random cabinet to look for a vase.
“Goddess Zan!” Gwyn cried out is surprise, the warm liquid from her tea cup splashing over her hand and onto the counter top.
Max dropped the tulips on the tile and rushed to help her, noticing curiously how she reached for a paper towel to clean up the mess instead of just using her powers. “I’m sorry, Gwyn, I thought you heard me knock. Here, let me look at that,” he reached for the hand she was favoring. Her skin was turing bright pink from the hot water already.
“No!” She all but yanked her hand away and turned to throw out the soiled towels. “I’m ok Max,” she explained breathlessly. “It’s just a little sting, it’ll go away in a minute.” When she turned back around he had that little boy-puppy dog thing going on, with his hooded eyes and pouty bottom lip. Damn he was good at that. She shook her head, reaching out to grasp his sleeve covered arm reassuringly. “It’s ok Max, really. Just... knock louder next time.”
He smiled a little in return, relieved that he’d at least gotten her to look him in the eye. “I’ll try to remember that.”
“Are those for me?” She asked, pointing to the forgotten tulips, anxious to change the subject.
“Oh, yeah. I had to go pick up my car from my parents and since I was in the neighborhood, I thought I would stop by to see how you were doing. My mother always said that you couldn’t visit someone who was ill without flowers,” he rambled on, opening cabinets and cupboards until he found a vase.
Gwyn picked up her tea again, sitting down at the breakfast table. “And this sudden decision to “stop by” happened without you realizing it’s nearly eleven o’clock?”
He turned on the tap, filling the vase and arranging the small bunch of flowers. “I said I was in the neighborhood. I figured Justin would be up, if not I would’ve just gone home and called in the morning.” Setting the bouquet in the middle of the table he smiled at her.
“Very nice. Thank you,” she returned his smile, gesturing to the seat across from her. She didn’t need empathic powers to tell her that he would be staying a while, woman’s intuition worked just as well.
“Would you like some tea or a soda or something?” She offered, something without caffeine she added to herself. He was practically bouncing off the walls.
“Some tea might be good,” he said, already getting out of his seat again. Gwyn didn’t bother to offer to get it for him. He would insist on doing it anyway and he knew where everything was.
“I just got some more of the cherry berry you like or, you might want to think about the lemon soother.”
He shot a sheepish grin over his shoulder, “yeah uh. The lemon might be a good idea. I’m a little-”
“High stung?” She finished for him, watching as he rooted in the tea drawer for the right one.
“You could say that. Ah, here it is.” He produced the bag triumphantly and went about getting a cup and filling it with water still warm in the kettle. “So,” he started casually, grabbing the bottle of honey doctored with chile powder Gwyn had strangely left in the tea drawer. “You want to tell me what all that was about?”
She stared blankly at him. “What what was about?”
“Justin took out three of your new planters when her tore out of here,” he told her matter of factly, watching for reaction.
She made an incredulous sound and glared at Justin's usual chair. “I just finished those last week, too.”
“Either he really didn’t like those poor violets,” he took his seat across from her again leaving the honey in the middle of the table. “Or, he was upset about something else. Keeping in mind how he nearly ran over me too, I’m going to go with choice number 2.”
“We had an... argument,” she admitted begrudgingly.
Max raised his eyebrows at the massive understatement.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Do you want to tell me the real reason you’re hanging out in my kitchen at eleven fifteen at night?”
Open hostility, definitely a bad sign.
These late night tea parties were not a rare thing for Max and Gwyn. While they hadn’t been close at first, things had changed a lot in the last few years. He now counted her as one of his closest friends, closer than his sister as far as confidences went, and she had told him on a few occasions that he was her best friend. They, their chats- he didn’t really know quite what to call them, began the summer before college. The summer Michael and Maria had moved in together.
The three of them, Max, Michael and Maria, had been next to inseparable up to that point, each deriving some kind of healing from their special bond. It didn’t matter how helpful Gwyn and Justin and other advisors had been, Max never would have been able to make the kind of decisions he had to or become comfortable in his leadership role if it hadn’t been for Michael and Maria’s council. For all the walks and lunches and movie nights where he and Michael had listened to Maria’s endless prattle, Max hadn’t been so involved in himself that he hadn’t noticed the progress of their romantic relationship though.
They worked hard not to be openly affectionate around him, only holding hands and sharing quick kisses and Max appreciated their sensitivity more than they knew. He was glad that their relationship had survived, thrived even, in the wake of everything, but he couldn’t help being envious, jealous, hurt, and at times humiliated that his friends had each other. He missed his Liz with each breath he took and seeing other people happy and in love made the ache so much worse sometimes. There were always awkward silences and glances pointed at him, his friends ever worried about his emotional state. In truth, it was the pauses and eggshell treading that punctuated Liz’s absence from an event for Max, reminding him that the chair next to his was the only one empty.
Max understood that it was his own set of circumstances that most likely brought the couples in his circle closer together. Every time they looked at him they were reminded of how short life was and of the instability of tomorrow. They had to gather their rosebuds while they had the chance. He knew it was selfish and perhaps childish, but he didn’t want to have to be around when he was the odd man out. Michael and Maria had realized early on that Max would leave if the atmosphere in a room became too couples oriented, or he wouldn’t show up in the first place. The two of them made a concerted effort in the coming years to make him feel included and somehow that meant pushing any mention of romantic entanglements deep underground. The entire group eventually learned the behavior until there were entire portions of their lives that were secret. All for the sake of Max’s feelings. It was a mistake with consequences they were still trying to deal with.
When graduation came and it was time to decide who was going to college and who would be living where, Maria and Michael broke the news that they were going to try living together. They were going to give it a trial run from June though the middle of August so that if it didn’t work, they could deal with it before school started. The happy couple had insisted that little would change and Max was welcome any time, day or night, but Max knew better. While the thought of not having them to lean on constantly terrified him, he was happy for his friends and felt he owed it to them to back off for awhile. He knew that if she were there, Liz and he would be struggling with that decision and if, no, when he and Liz were eventually living in the same house, Max certainly didn’t want Michael to be hanging around all the time. They had been wonderful friends, but he couldn't let his own emotional tie ups keep them from moving on with their own lives any longer.
The week they moved to Las Cruces, Max’d been walking the dark streets alone one predawn morning subjecting himself to a masochistic stroll down memory lane when he ran into Gwyn. Or more appropriately, she ran into him, literally.
“Gwyn? What are you doing?” He caught her shoulders to steady her. She instantly doubled over, bracing her hands on her knees, breathing hard.
“Running,” she managed to pant out.
“I see that. Why?”
“Iz... Isabel, does it. Says... she loves- it.” She eventually straightened, her breathing becoming even again. “She’s insane.”
Max chuckled, or tried to anyway. Instead, somewhere between his lungs and his mouth the sound turned into a strangled sob.
“Max...” Gwyn’s features fell in compassion as she pulled him into her arms without question, murmuring maternal assurances in his ear.
She had taken him to her home then and he went, not having the will to fight her. She sat him down at that very kitchen table with a cup of tea and cajoled him into bearing his bleeding heart to her. In return she had shared her own heart with him, both finding an unexpected safety in the other. That had begun their tenuous friendship. While neither ever said anything, both of them knew they hadn’t been friends before that night, two years after Gwyn had come to Roswell.
He would be hard pressed to admit it to anyone save Andrea, but Max had resented Gwyn’s presence in Roswell for a long time. Rationally he knew it hadn’t been her fault, but her arrival in Roswell began the count down to Liz’s departure. She had been doing her job, trying to protect them all, but the irrational part of his mind, the part that constantly asked ‘what if’, wondered if she had never come, would Liz have ever been taken. Max knew the convoluted blame was wrong, but in a twisted way it made him feel better to be able to share the blame of Liz’s abduction rather than take it all on his own shoulders. Of course that was before he was forced to get to know her.
Max looked at her across the table now, sulking into her tea. She looked lost, frightened and alone. He wondered if that was how he had seemed that night she found him with unnoticed tears coursing down his cheeks. Recalling the acute pain in his heart that night and how she’d helped him, he hoped that her problems weren’t as suffocating as his had seemed. Though, if her recent reaction and reception to him was any indication, Gwyn’s problems could be every bit as bad as his. With that in mind, Max broke the heavy tension.
“You haven't called me that in a long time,” he told her softly, his eyes pleading with her to let him help.
She looked up from her tea, shaking her head. “Called you what?”
“Zan. You called me Zan again.”
She let out a long sigh and slid lower in her chair, staring down into her tea cup.
“Gwyn, what’s going on? And I mean more than you and Justin. You’ve been distracted lately. You collapsed during a mission and right now, you don’t look a whole lot better than death warmed over.”
“Max, please, not you too. Look,” she curled both hands around her cup and held it in front of her like a shield. “I appreciate the concern, really, but there’s nothing to tell. What happened earlier was an isolated incident and the thing with Justin and me, that’s between Justin and me. It’s nothing you need to know about.”
“Gwyn,” he sat up then, taking a different tack. “Is there something I should know about?” Max asked, his voice becoming more formal. “You’re my friend and you value your privacy, I respect that. But what happened today? That can’t happen again. If you don’t tell me what’s going on I have no way of knowing if this was truly the isolated incident you say it was or if next time it’s going to happen during a battle. I can’t take the chance that whatever is going on with you could risk the lives of others.” His mouth was set firmly as met her shadowed eyes. “What I’m getting at here, Gwyn, is that until you tell me or demonstrate that you’ve- recovered, I’m going to have to ground you.”
She swallowed, nodding slowly and wrapping her arms around herself. “That’s,” she swallowed again, her mouth suddenly dry. “That’s probably a good idea, Max.”
Max closed his eyes and exhaled, that hadn’t exactly been the response he was expecting. “Gwyn, you’re really putting me in a difficult position here. You realize that? If even you think you should be removed from the field, what about your duties as head of the Underground?”
She raised her eyes in challenge to his tone.
“Oh don’t look at me like that,” he shook his head. “I’m not going to order you to tell me, though I would very much like to at this point.” He rubbed the back of his neck, fatigue slowly sweeping over him. “I just- I care about you Gwyn,” he said meeting her eyes sincerely. “You’ve always been there for me, why won’t you let me return the favor?”
“Max, it’s just not that simple.”
“Why not? Think of it like confession, I’m sure there’s some confidentiality clause somewhere in my title description.” He reached out for her hand again, only to have her pull it away reflexively.
Cringing at the now automatic action, Gwyn slowly looked up to find Max’s face marred with hurt and concern. “Memory flashes,” she whispered before she could stop herself.
“Memory Flashes,” she said more firmly this time. “I’ve been having memory flashes. That’s why I kept pulling away from you and I didn’t want you to scan me. I was- am afraid that you might flash on one and it would trigger your own repressed memories. I wouldn’t do that to you Max, not ever.”
Max nodded, processing the information. For as traumatized as they had all been by Liz’s abduction, he, Michael, Tess, and Isabel had recovered very few of their memories. Most of what they knew was from stories told by Gwyn, Justin, or someone else who remembered. The few unsavory details he had remembered made Max wonder why there was ever a time when he wished he could remember. The flashes of Zan’s life after Lilly were so cold and filled with pain that they left him shaken for days. Those that were of good times only made him miss Liz more and they usually ended him up at this very kitchen table again seeking some kind of solace.
Gwyn remembered the most of all of them and it often blurred her personality with that of Eirya’s, almost as if she were channeling the dead woman. It was one of the few things he knew she truly feared, that she would somehow get lost in between and lose the sense of self she worked so hard to maintain. He also knew she would do most anything to keep him or any of the others from experiencing that same fear.
He looked at her with sympathy, “have they been going on long?”
“No, I’ve only had two so far,”
“I sense a but there. Do you know what’s triggering them? They wouldn’t just spring up on their own. Would they?” His brow furrowed at the though.
“I have a pretty good idea what’s triggering them,” she confirmed, twirling her wedding ring on her finger. “And no, I’ve never heard of a case of spontaneous recollection. Mine are almost certainly stress related.”
Max stood, sensing that his concerned gaze was beginning to make her feel claustrophobic. He stretched his sore muscles lazily before rinsing his empty cup and putting it in the dishwasher. Turning back around, Gwyn had gone to stand at the bay window behind the table.
“Do you want to talk about it? The stress I mean?” He knew that sounded a little awkward, but he didn’t know how else to say it.
“Thank you Max, but I can’t.” He could hear the sad smile in her voice and it pulled at his heart. “I want to,” she said, turning to face him, her deep blue eyes brimmed with moisture. “I would really love to be able to tell someone, but this is between Justin and me. I-I have to tell him, and until I do...”
“You can’t betray him like that,” he completed with understanding.
She sniffed a little, wiping her nose with the back of her hand. He would have crossed the kitchen to pull her into a comforting hug at this point, but he knew better. It would only make her feel worse when she rejected the embrace for fear of giving him flashes.
be right back. . .
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 21-May-2002 3:12:03 AM ]
|posted on 21-May-2002 3:15:04 AM by Lizzybell|
| . . . chapter 10 cont.|
It was quiet for a few minutes while Gwyn bustled around the kitchen pulling herself together. Max moved back to his seat at the table, wondering intently what it was that would effect her in such an odd set of ways. There was only one plausible conclusion he could come to and knowing Gwyn, he understood why she was so afraid. He glanced up to study her when a large slice of strawberry rhubarb pie was plunked down in front of him.
“You forgot to have dinner, didn’t you?” She smiled knowingly, back in control of herself as she took the seat across from him.
Max flushed guiltily, eyeing the pie like a giddy child.
“I thought so. I’m sorry we don’t have anything more dinner worthy. It seems we’ve all been busy so the fridge is a little under stocked. It’s either that or a six month old, frozen, vegetarian lasagna of Tess’.”
“This is great,” he thanked her with a crooked smile, already pushing his fork into the flakey dessert. “How is Tess, by the way?”
“I haven’t really seen much of her in the last few days. I know she’s been staying here though. I think she’s asleep upstairs right now,” she threw a glance to the door as she spoke.
He nodded, chewing thoughtfully. “I was just concerned. It’s not like her to pull out of a mission on such short notice.”
“Hmm,” Gwyn leaned forward, cupping her chin with her hands. “I don’t know. I’ve been wondering if she and Kyle had a fight though. He’s left a couple messages on the machine. It didn’t seem like she was returning his calls. I’ve been distracted though, I could be wrong.”
Max didn’t comment, only kept on chewing. It was good pie.
“Anyway, enough about me. Let’s talk about you.”
Max choked at the blunt subject change, the thick filling sticking to his throat. He chugged down half the glass of water she’d set in front of him, “what?” he squeaked out breathlessly.
Gwyn bit the inside of her cheek to stop from laughing. You would think she just asked about his sex life. “You didn’t honestly think you could come over here and play therapist without my expecting to return the favor, did you? There is a method to our midnight madness, if you recall.”
Picking up his fork, Max denied any and all knowledge of what she was referring to.
Shaking her head at his stubbornness, she began without him. “It was a perfectly natural reaction Max. You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“What?” He dropped his fork onto the empty plate, jabbing at the remaining crumbs with his thumb and scowling.
Gwyn laughed. “Max, to an empath you’re wearing a neon sigh over your head that’s flashing I feel guilty. I feel guilty.” She imitated the blinking neon of a sign with her hands. “It doesn’t take a genius to know that this morning upset you more than it did the rest of us.”
He looked away, squaring his jaw.
“So,” she continued, well versed on how to appropriately get Max to open up. Two and a half years of these midnight chats had taught her a lot about her King. “Which is it? Liz or the skin?”
She paused for a moment, though she knew he wouldn’t say anything and that was fine with her. She was just getting started.
“Let’s see what’s on the menu for tonight’s guilty conscious, shall we? First up, the house favorite; Liz. We finally find a clue and it’s not exactly a treasure map where ‘X’ marks the spot. More than that, it possibly, possibly, indicates that she might have been hurt or mistreated.” Gwyn continued ruthlessly despite the deep wince and visible shudder her words caused in Max.
“And the soup de jour. You’re nearly ripping the head off that skin in an uncontrolled fit of rage. Key word being uncontrolled, something we all know King Max abhors, ‘cause Goddess forbid that he lower himself to the level of a normal being and-”
“ENOUGH!” He finally roared, springing to his feet and towering over her. She stared right back at him, her raised eyebrow daring him to do something, anything. They stayed like that for countless seconds until Max’s breathing finally calmed and his eyes softened.
“I hate it when you do that,” he bit out shortly, falling back into his chair with a rough exhalation.
“You’re so cute when you pout, I just want to pinch those cheeks,” Gwyn teased him, unable to resist.
Max glared at her sharply, wishing for those alien death ray eyes Alex was so fond of joking about.
“Say you have a stick balanced on a point in the middle.” Max rolled his eyes, Gwyn was really fond of hypotheticals and proverbs. Especially when they related to something that was bothering him. “Both ends are loaded with an equal amount of weight. What happens if you load too much on one end?” She gave him her best school teacher look, waiting for his answer. She liked this game because one, it drove him crazy; and two, it always worked.
“It tips over.”
“Right. The control is lost because too much attention was paid to one end and not enough to the other. Now, what happens if you put two much weight on both ends?”
Max sighed, catching onto where this one was going, and he resented being compared to a stick, thank you very much. “It snaps.”
“Exactly- anything under too much pressure is going to snap, be that physically or emotionally. And Max,” she waited until he looked up at her. “It’s ok.”
“No, it’s not!” He shouted, the proverbial stick cracking in half as his fist came crashing down on the table top. “Can’t you see that? I almost snapped that guy in half because he couldn’t talk fast enough for me, Gwyn. Not only was it wrong, I can’t afford to lose control like that- bad things happen.” His voice softened as he ran out of steam.
Gwyn shook her head, undaunted by Max’s outburst. “Max, I hate to deflate your ego here, but not everything will fall apart if you do. You are the one who designed things that way. You and Liz. If you go off your rocker, even just for a vacation, things will be under control. You may be our leader, but you certainly don’t do everything yourself.”
“I know that, I do.” He sighed, bringing his fidgeting hands up to rub at his neck. “But people are depending on me. If I lose control of myself, my emotions... Look at today,” he lifted a hand in the air as if to showcase the intangible. “If I would have had any kind of grip, that skin wouldn’t have been so afraid of me that he killed himself the first chance he got. Now we’ll never know what he did.”
Ah hah, now they where getting somewhere. “You don’t know that. I can’t tell you what he was thinking exactly, but I really believe he didn’t know anymore than he already told you. Nothing we won’t find out from Alex tomorrow anyway.”
Max rubbed a hand over his face and back into his hair. This was not why he came over here. He could torture himself all on his own, he’d had years of practice. Yet, he found himself still sitting in the chair, an inkling of hope sparking that Gwyn’s roundabout logic give his conscience some relief. Not that he deserved to feel better after what his selfish loss of control had cost them all today.
She was never going to forgive him.
“How do you think you should have reacted Max? When Alex handed you that file, what do you think you should have done,” Gwyn continued, unaware of Max’s drifting thoughts.
“I-” He looked up at her, his mouth turning down in a deep, tortured frown. “I don’t know. Differently. I shouldn’t have gotten so upset. I should have waited for a more appropriate time.”
Gwyn snorted, “you are not perfect Max. You’re describing a person so controlled and perfect that they’re a robot. Someone who thinks, feels, and acts with only their head and never considers their heart. If you were that type of leader Max, you wouldn’t be here to have tea and check on me. You would have been here to arrest me for interrupting an act of war that resulted in the deprivation of information.”
“What?” He sputtered, nearly offended by her accusation. “I would never do such a thing!”
Gwyn laughed, “that’s the thing Max, you wouldn’t. It never even occurred to you that losing that skin was my fault because I interrupted the interrogation, did it?” She saw his brow furrow in concentration as he thought over and rejected the idea.
“You want to be this perfect person, this perfect leader, but Max, the person you are makes you the perfect leader. You make mistakes and in turn make room for others to do so as well. Your people respect you, but they’re not afraid of you. There is not only black and white, right and wrong, or yes and no in war, and you see that Max. You not only see it, you embrace it. That’s why we’re winning this time, because you make room for the gray. But you can’t only apply it to your people and your army. You have to apply it to yourself as well, set the example from within, or it doesn’t matter what you tell them.”
Max let out a long breath, “I appreciate you saying all that,” he thanked her in a subdued tone. “I try to set a good example, and for the record: I know I’m not perfect. But that doesn’t mean that I can lose it like I did today. I told you,” he swallowed thickly, looking at his clasped hands on the table. “Bad things happen when I lose control.”
Gwyn felt tears prick at her eyes for the tumult of emotions in his voice. Leaning forward she place a hand over his in friendship and comfort. Max’s head snapped up, the extreme gesture not lost on him. “Max, this is not going to keep us from finding Liz,” she assured him softly. “We have all the files and disks and stuff from up there, more information than the one guy could possibly have known.
“No one would have been able to keep calm having that type of thing thrust on them, especially during an already tense situation like you were in. I felt what you were feeling, remember? I’m amazed you kept it together as well as you did. The important thing here, Max, is that you did feel something. There are other people, lesser people, who after four years might not have felt as strongly as you did.”
She stopped and watched him. His head was still downcast and she couldn’t see his eyes. If she could have reached, she would have swept his bangs off his forehead. When he still didn’t say anything, she continued quietly, “You can feel things Max, even let them break you down a bit. Losing control isn’t always a bad thing, it reminds you that you’re... human, at least partially. And most importantly, little moments like this will not keep you from getting to Liz.”
Still no response, and she wondered if he was even listening to her.
“Ok Max, just answer one question. Have you ever really had much self control where Liz was concerned?”
That certainly got his attention. “Of course!” He declared, eyes flashing gold. “I would never take advantage of her,” he balked, insulted.
Gwyn rolled her eyes, “but when it really counted?” She barely gave pause, answering her own question. “No. And I’ll tell you why. Liz has some kind of over-ride code to that precious control of yours and it’s a very good thing too. You know why? Because Liz would be dead without it.”
“I know that, I do. But this is different, I just, God.” He pressed the heals of his hands to his eyes, rubbing hard. He moaned quietly, “I miss her so much and it’s... I- I feel... like I’ve changed so much, and...”
“And days like today only make it worse,” Gwyn supplied when he finally trailed off.
His head bobbed sadly. “I just can’t help but think, what if- what if when she comes back, she finds out all I’ve done, all I’ve had to do w-without her and, and she can’t... forgive me? What if she doesn’t- like me, anymore?”
“Oh Max, honey, that’s not going to happen. She loves you, you know that. Just as you know she loves you. After all this time, I’m sure you’ll have to get to know each other again, but you love each other, that’s all that matters. As long as you have that, there’s something to build on. The other thing, she’ll forgive you Max. She’ll understand, and she’ll forgive you.” Really, Gwyn knew there wasn’t much for Liz to forgive, the things Max thought Liz would blame him for were beyond his control. That wasn’t what he needed to hear right now though.
Max’s face pinched and contorted with pain and anger at his uselessness. “Why?!” He raged, staggering to his feet and barely catching his fist before it went though the window. “Why would she?”
“Because she’s Liz,” Gwyn answered simply. She watched as his back hitched in a silent sob and felt the grief he tried to keep locked deep inside gush into the room like a tidal wave. She got up and gave him a few minutes to himself. While she had learned how to push Max, she also learned when it was too much. After putting his dirty plate in the dishwasher and tidying up her mess from making tea, she approached him where he still stared out the big bay window.
“Max,” she said softly, reaching for his arm. “We’re going to find her. Just concentrate on one thing at a time, ok? We have to find her before she can be angry at you.”
Max gave an attempt at a laugh, “you’re right.”
“Of course I am. And you know, I have a really good feeling that something in those files Alex is going through right now is the key. It may not tell us where she is, but I think the first step is in there. All we have to do is find it.”
Turning to her, Max’s damp eyes looked down into hers and tried for a smile but could only manage a slight nod. He knew Gwyn was right, he had the same feeling about the papers confiscated during the raid. Those files would lead them closer to Liz, he knew it, and that was exactly what Max was afraid of.
“Well,” Gwyn smiled, stepping back. “I am now thoroughly exhausted and you, your majesty, look like you’re about to drop.” She wasn’t oblivious to the course of Max’s thoughts, but unlike his previous fears there was nothing she could say to make this one even a little better. Voiced or not, she knew everyone was petrified of what they would find both in those files and when they actually got to Liz. Right now the thought of it all together was too just exhausting to dwell on though so she left that mutual fear alone for the night.
Max scratched at the back of his ear guiltily. “Yeah, I uh. I could go for a good nights sleep.” He yawned, feeling like he was suddenly walking though water, the emotional tolls of the day finally catching up with him.
“Come on upstairs and help me make up the guest room then,” Gwyn invited, patting his back as she moved past into the hall. “And just say yes. I haven’t got the energy to argue with you tonight.”
Max shut off the lights in the kitchen and followed her obediently up the stairs, finding the strength to chuckle at her last statement. “All evidence to the contrary.”
|posted on 15-Jun-2002 8:01:53 PM by Lizzybell|
It’s been a long time, huh? I’m really very sorry about that, May bordered on psychotic for me but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the bumps and well wishes.
Now, I have some good news and some bad news. Good news first, an unexpected and very exciting writing opportunity in the entertainment industry has popped up for me. Bad new, I’m afraid it’s monopolizing all of my time and is going to keep me away from fan fiction for quite some time. Don’t misunderstand me, I have no intentions of abandoning this fic, the series has become my baby, but I just can not work on it at this point in time. I really tried for awhile to do both, but I’ve finally had to admit to myself, and you all, that I simply can’t do it.
I deeply apologize for not telling you sooner and for leaving you hanging. It’s the very last thing I want to do, but I really don’t have a choice.
Assuming any of you are still speaking to me, because I am leaving the story in an awkward place I am willing to let you all pick my brain for answers to any questions you have about anything going on in the story or series. Nothing is off limits, meaning I will tell where Liz is, what’s wrong with Gwyn, specs on character development or anything I have planned for the future. The only thing is that the questions must be posed at my yahoo group because otherwise I might not see your question. Or you can always reach me at my regular email as well.
Thank you again for all your support
and this is not good bye, just see you soon.
Love you all