posted on 31-Jan-2002 4:29:00 PM by leaving_normal
Crash and Burn

crashandburn

Author: leaving_normal (aka Jo)

Rating: PG-13 for now, but there will be NC-17 bits later

Disclaimer: Nothing to do with Roswell, none of the characters are mine… they belong to the Roswell creators…

Synopsis: This is a challenge response fic, but also loosly based on the song lyrics by Savage Garden. I’ll outline the challenge here:

1- Must be all couples M/L, A/I, M/M and any other couple you decide.

2- Okay now all of them must not know each other except (Liz and Michael because they are siblings) and if you choose to make any one else siblings also it's okay.

3- they are all sent to this sort of foster home (kind of like higher ground) because their parents died or whatever. They are all sent to this house in which they must live, it's kind of like a boarding school.

4- They all must meet for the first time and then you decided how the couples come together. Each person has to overcome whatever issue they have ( it must be bumpy at first)and you decided what, how and all that.

5- All characters must be very similar to the way they are on the show.

6- You can add any one else you choose

So basically, the Roswell gang are all alone, facing very different problems, until they’re all brought to the same foster home. This fic shows them dealing with their problems, becoming friends and making enemies… To give you a taste of what’s to come, there will be cat fights, all night parties, lots of tears, lots of couples getting together, it’s interesting who else will appear later in this fic!

Crash and Burn, Savage Garden

When you feel all alone,
And the world has turned its back on you,
Give me a moment please, to tame your wild wild heart,

I know you feel like the walls are closing in on you,
It’s hard to find relief,
And people can be so cold.
When darkness is upon your door and you feel like you can’t take anymore…

Let me be the one you call, if you jump I’ll break your fall,
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night.
If you need to fall apart, I can mend a broken heart,
If you need to crash then crash and burn you’re not alone.

When you feel all alone,
And a loyal friend is hard to find,
You’re caught in a one way street
With the monsters in your head.

When hopes and dreams are far away
And you feel like you can’t face the day…

Let me be the one you call, if you jump I’ll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night,
If you need to fall apart, I can mend a broken heart,
If you need to crash then crash and burn
you’re not alone

When you feel all alone,
And the world has turned its back on you,
Give me a moment please,
To tame your wild wild heart…

Let me be the one you call, if you jump I’ll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night,
If you need to fall apart, I can mend a broken heart,
If you need to crash then crash and burn you’re not alone....



[ edited 69time(s), last at 28-Jan-2003 7:07:42 PM ]
posted on 31-Jan-2002 4:39:26 PM by leaving_normal
Crash and Burn

‘And the world will never be safer than when you’re in my arms Lizzie’ I remember that night so well. I remember every little sound, every feeling, every smell. That was the last night I ever saw my dad. The last night that I ever, ever felt safe again.'

Liz felt the wind run through her outstretched fingers, and felt the sun make her olive skin glow with happiness. She inhaled deeply, wishing to surround herself in the atmosphere of summer. She lay further back on the soft grass, watching as Michael played soccer with their dad. Michael would fake right, but her father knew it was coming. Liz sighed contentedly. This was where she loved to be. Under the sun, surrounded by everything, and everyone, she loved. She looked earnestly over to her brother. She smiled to herself. Every girl in Liz’s grade had wanted to be her friend when they’d found out who her brother was. Liz could hardly believe that they were related at times, the strong, athletically built Michael towered inches about Liz’s petite frame. Their interests also contrasted, she was a science-whiz whilst anyone was lucky to find a book in Michael’s room. He was the rebel, but no one could deny that Michael had a huge heart. And she loved him. Her loving gaze shifted towards her father. His muscular physique and broad shoulders meant that him and Michael were like walking clones, which Liz didn’t think Michael minded. But her father’s eyes matched hers, they were deep brown. Michael’s eyes were green, maybe even a little greyish, but Liz and her father shared the same chocolate brown eyes. She thought back and laughed when Michael had requested contact lenses, so that he’d look exactly like his father. She laughed as her dad threw Michael across the field, Michael laughing and retaliating, knocking her father flying. For as long as she could remember, Michael had idolised their father. He wanted to walk like him, talk like him, act like him, dress like him. She smiled lovingly, they were all so happy. Even now that mum had left, maybe it was for the best. They were the Parkers – and no one would ever break them apart.

Liz watched as the sky drew darker, and darker and darker still. A breeze picked up, and she lifted herself off of the grass. The rain began to drip out of the sky, as she began to call out to her father. She crossed her arms. Why couldn’t they hear her? She began to panic, and run towards them. But the faster she ran, the further away they were. She screamed as the thunder and lightening in the ebony sky transformed the peaceful scene into one of terror, and agonising familiar pain. She was in their house, about to watch it all happen again…

* * *

Michael swept his dark hair back off his face. He stood on the hard wooden floor of the dark room, as the pipes creaked in time to his shallow movements. His huge blue sweater covered his hands, as he grabbed onto them to keep himself warm. His bare feet were scratched and bleeding, but he couldn’t feel anything anymore. He couldn’t sleep anymore. He peered out of the shattered window, where the draft was coming through endlessly. It must have been just coming into the early hours of the morning.

‘I should really board that up,’ Michael thought subconsciously to himself. Of course, there wasn’t any point anymore.

The rain was coming down faster and faster, reflecting his present mood. It tapped on their old tin roof, and it was this that actually keeping Michael awake. When he was little, Michael had quite liked the sound. It was soothing, peaceful even. Now? Now it just meant that the roof needed fixing. His attention was brought back to reality by the murmuring coming from the double bed that him and Liz shared. They were too afraid to sleep alone at night. Sometimes, not that he’d admit it to anyone, he’d wake up and just watch Liz sleeping. Just watch her take slow and even breaths, and know that he wasn’t alone. He grimaced as his heart tugged at him, as he wished he could give her more. Her brown hair was spread all over the pillows, as she cuddled further and further into the covers for support,

‘ She’s having another bad dream,’ he realised, as he wandered his way over towards her. He past the dresser, placing his mug of semi-hot coffee on top of it. He climbed in beside her, leaving her wrapped up tightly in the covers, but shivering himself from the cold. A month ago, they’d had to move out of their nice suburban house. It was huge, they each had their own bedroom, and it was brightly decorated. All the colours of the rainbow coloured the walls, and photographs were found everywhere. Photographs of all three of them. But that had disappeared now, and appeared to be nothing but a dream. They had no family now, none at all. God knows where their mother was, and their father had never introduced them to any other members of the Parker family. Michael had once tried to bring up the idea of meeting Grandma and Grampa Parker, but received nothing but a sharp look. He assumed his father and his parents just didn’t get on well. Michael swallowed hard again, trying not to let himself cry. Now they lived in what could be described as a shed, and not a particularly nice one at that. It was wooden, cold and creepy. Michael had to fight anger, hatred and regret all at once, as well as focus on just keeping Liz breathing. She’d refused to eat or drink, or do anything that required moving. She’d just cried. They both had. They’d laid which each other, crying for days on end. When the funeral was over, people started asking questions… where would they stay? Who would take them in? It made Michael so angry; who were they to decide anything? They’d just lost their father! But he had no choice now. They were moving, moving to live with someone they didn’t even know. But at least they were going together.

Liz began to thrash out violently, shouting in her sleep. Michael’s grey eyes flickered in concern. He’d have to wake her up again. He knew what dream she was having – he’d had the same one every night since…. Well, since that night. Suddenly Liz’s eyes opened wide. She stared straight at Michael, tears glazing her frightened eyes, threatening to fall again. He gently pulled the hair back out of her hot face. She trembled, and whispered,

“ It was a dream wasn’t it? He’s not here anymore,” Liz quivered, making Michael’s heart break all over again. He nodded silently, as Liz closed her eyes and buried her head in the crook of Michael’s neck. She sobbed and sobbed, never running out of tears. Michael felt the violent tremors of her body run through his, as they lay together.

‘She needs so much more than this,’ he thought, stroking her hair lovingly. She didn’t deserve this broken down house. She didn’t deserve to cry in pain every night. She deserved a family. Michael knew that this was the best thing to do, they had to leave this place. Liz had tried to calm herself down, but was still hiccuping through her tears. She turned to Michael again, grasping onto him tightly, so afraid that someone would take him away from her.

“ Michael?” she managed to whisper. Michael looked down into he scared brown eyes of his frightened baby sister, “ Please don’t leave me,” she finished, her voice quavering through her tears. That was it for Michael. His heart began breaking all over again, sending shoots of pain all through his chest. His eyes filled with tears, and the lump caught in his throat. She settled back down on his chest, her own chest still rising and falling erratically. He held her close. The tears silently slid down his cheeks, as he gave his sister another squeeze.

‘I’m never leaving your side,’ Michael whispered lovingly, careful not to let Liz hear the catch in his voice. He closed his eyes and tried to ignore the thumping in his head. He held Liz tightly in his arms, careful never, ever to let go.

* * *

It was near breaking day. The harsh New York sun was glazing the apartment. Climbing slowly from the table, to the chair, and finally to the large double bed in which Isabel slept peacefully in. The rising and falling of her chest showed her state of peacefulness, although, her outer physique didn’t quite match. Her long blonde hair could have made her the supermodel type – her long legs and perfect complexion would have completed the package. But that wasn’t Isabel’s style. Her blonde hair was streaked with purple, blue, orange, green – Isabel had lost count with the amount of colours in her hair. Her chunky platform boots weren’t exactly lady-like either. But Isabel didn’t care. She’d never cared. That’s why she lived the way she did. She rolled over and opened her eyes cautiously. Her eyes traced the features of the man she was lying next to. Isabel shrugged, knowing full well what had happened last night.

“ Well at least this one’s cute,” she thought to herself. She was still wearing her underwear. It obviously hadn’t been that good a night; usually she wasn’t wearing anything at all. She sighed unhappily. Why did she keep on doing this? It wasn’t even fun anymore. She woke up every morning next to a different guy, wondering how the hell she’d ended up there. Usually the result of some drunken party, or some wild trip with the fellas from Rachel’s Rat Shack. She sighed, as she searched for her other platform boot. No education, no home and no family had taken its toll on Isabel. And apparently, breaking and entering into a bowling alley was a result of her ‘mis-guided youth’. To Isabel, it was a result of being hungry and wanting something to do. What kind of a place was closed at one in the morning anyway? As a result of that final straw, as the authorities put it, Isabel would now go into a care facility until she turned eighteen. Isabel stretched and felt under the sofa, finding her other boot. She sat on the chair, trying to unbuckle it so it would shove onto her foot. Her contacts itched incredibly. She strode over to the mirror, and played with them. It wasn’t enough for Isabel to wear those clothes, that bright green mini-skirt and fuchsia pink tank top. She had to have the contacts that made her eyes swirl as well. She sighed, and wondered what she actually looked like under all that purple lipstick and blue eye-shadow.

‘Ah well, you’re not going to find out standing here all day’ she said to herself quietly, not disturbing what’s-his name who was still snoring in bed. As she passed the coffee table, she noticed his wedding ring on the table.

‘ Honestly, some people have no morals,’ she said with a fake disgusted grimace, laughing evilly as she took his wallet off the table. A girl had to live, didn’t she?

* * *
Maria shuddered, hearing her mother’s screams in the next room.

“ Please don’t take her away from me! He’s gone! He’s gone!” her mother cried in pitiful sobs. Maria rocked herself back and forwards on her bed. She wished they’d stop yelling, this was worse than…well, worse than what had been happening. Her mum couldn’t change anything, and to be honest Maria didn’t know if she wanted her to change anything. She brought her knees up to her chest, the way she always did when she needed to hold herself together. Goosebumps spread up and down her skin. Her door swung open, a man entered, followed by her frantic sobbing mother,

“ Come with me Maria,” the man said, holding out his hand. Maria cautiously began to move off her bed, and slide on her trainers. She looked up to her mother,
“ Don’t go honey, things are better now. They’re better now,” she coaxed. Maria’s eyes brimmed with tears again. She was leaving her family, her friends. She pushed her mid length blonde hair back off her face, and stood up with conviction. The man grabbed her bags off the floor and pushed violently past Mrs.Deluca, echoing to Maria to follow him. Maria bit her bottom lip to stop it from quivering. She looked up at her mother,

“ I’m sorry mum, I don’t have any choice,” she started through the tears, but Mrs. Deluca turned away to face the doorway. Maria’s hands shook, as she grabbed Truffles, her bear, off the side. She walked slowly out of her room, taking time to savour everything that was hers. She looked around the room one more time. This time tomorrow she’d be sleeping in someone else’s house, someone she didn’t even know. The thought terrified her. She closed the door behind her on the cries of her mother, and hastily left the house. She settled in the passenger seat of the man’s car, and as they pulled away from the only home Maria had known, she saw her mother come running out of the house. The man carried on driving, as Maria watched her mother disappear from sight in the rear-view mirror,

“ I love you mum,” she thought silently as the heavens opened and the rain began to pour.

* * *
Alex Whitman stood outside his sunny California home. His bags were at his feet, ready and packed. He wiped away the beads of sweat that were forming on his forehead. If his dad didn’t get here soon he’d have to walk to the airport. He sat down on top of his biggest suitcase. Trust his dad to be late. It was possibly the last time in possibly years that Mr. Whitman would get to see his son, and he was still late. As if on cue, his father came speeding around the corner, stopping abruptly at Alex’s feet. The noisy car came to a halt with a screech. Alex looked up from his slump on the floor,

“ Load em up!” his father ordered. Alex sighed; this was obviously not going to be a big, heartfelt goodbye. He opened the trunk and put his few possessions into the back, and took a seat in the back of the car. When the engine started, he looked out the window, watching the scenery flash past.

“ This is only a temporary situation Alex,” his father said, taking off his reflective sunglasses. Alex hated those sunglasses, he could never tell if there was any kind of emotion in his dad’s eyes. His sharp military uniform said it all – he just didn’t have time to have a son. Surprisingly, this time, Alex wasn’t bothered. How many times had he been sent to live in a different town? With people he didn’t know? He’d lost count. Twelve, thirteen times probably. And that was only within the last year. It seemed people just couldn’t hold onto him, he’d only super glued his Principal to his chair, and accidentally nearly burned down the house trying to make toast. It wasn’t like it was his fault or anything. He sighed, it didn’t matter anyway.

“ Yeah dad, whatever,” Alex said tonelessly as they approached the airport. As they came to a halt, Alex opened his door and removed his luggage. Alex waited for his dad to get out of the car. But he just sat still in the front seat, looking straight ahead. Alex swung one of his bags over his shoulder and began to walk away,
“ Alex!” his father called after him. Alex sat his bags down and bent down by the window to hear his father’s last words,
“ There will be someone waiting to pick you up at the other end. You’re staying with someone called…”

“ Mr and Mrs Valenti, I know,” he said obnoxiously, trying to escape the clutches of his father. His father’s blue piercing eyes seemed to drill an imaginary hole through his forehead,

“ Try not to blow anything up.”

These were the famous last words of his father, as the car reversed, leaving Alex alone in the big airport. He tore his ticket out of his back pocket.

Flight 365 – non-stop to Roswell, New Mexico.

Great, Alex thought, Roswell, NM, where the fun never ends. He chuckled to himself, taking a deep breath and plunging straight into the crowds. He whistled merrily as he sat down in the departure lounge, thinking about the hilarious possibility of meet any aliens in his new home…

* * *

Max Evans packed his last shirt into his duffel bag. His dark features and muscular frame couldn’t even hide the agonising pain he felt right now. Behind him, his foster family stood rigidly. His foster mother, April, stood close to tears, with the support of her husband George, who had his hand on their little five year old girl, Sophie. Turning around slowly, Sophie came running into his arms. Max held the little girl tight. He’d enjoyed living here for the past two years, he’d made a family, something he’d never thought he’d do before. Sophie tore away from him, her blonde curls getting wet with her tears,

“ Max please don’t go. We haven’t finished reading Charlottes Web yet,” she said, her chubby 5 year old hands grasping onto her bunny. The famous Mr.Wiggles hadn’t left Sophie’s hands since her first day in kindergarten, and Max doubted that she’d ever let go of him. She looked at his expectantly with her baby blue eyes. He smiled lovingly,

“ Your mum’ll finish it off with you. Won’t you mu… Mrs Miller?” he said, a lump in his throat. He’d nearly called her mum. Obviously she’d recognised his mistake, as her eyes began to fill with tears again. She grabbed Sophie’s hand,

“ Come on Sophie, Max and your father have to talk before he goes,” she said, trying to tug the little girl away from Max. Her little arms gripped strongly onto his neck, not wanting to let go. Max tried again to stop the tears from falling. He stood up, as Sophie wrapped her legs around his waist,

“ Come on Soph, I’ll visit, I promise. Go with your mum now, I think I smell cookies!” he said bravely. The little girl reached out for her mother, as she took her into her arms. She smiled thankfully at Max,

“ Thank you Max. Have a safe journey,” she said civilly. Sophie leant over and kissed Max on the cheek,

“ You can still be my big brother, even if you’re going to be far far away. I’ll still love you. And I’ll send you all my pictures. And you can have him…” Sophie said as she kissed Mr. Wiggles on the head and handed him to Max. Max gulped again, as he took the teddy out of her hands,

“ Thank You Sophie. I’ll make sure Mr. Wiggles is very happy. Be good okay?” he said as he waved her goodbye. They left his room. Max was left alone with Mr. Miller again. He bent down to pick up his bags, but Mr. Miller caught him by the hand,

“ Max, we want you to know that it’s only because of what happened, with you and that girl,” he stopped, feeling the muscles in Max’s arm tighten. Max looked at Mr. Miller, his grey eyes showed compassion and remorse, but that didn’t make him feel any better. He knew he was innocent, Max nodded,

“ I understand Mr. Miller. If I was in your situation, I’d do the same thing,” he said rationally, knowing that he’d never send his adoptive son out to yet another foster home. Not for something that no one could prove he had done. Not for something he knew he hadn’t done. Mr. Miller pulled a $20 bill out of his wallet and held it out to Max. Max shook his head,

“ I don’t need your money. You gave me a family, Mr. Miller, and for that I’m really grateful. Just look after Sophie for me okay?” Max said, picking up his bags and walking slowly out of the room. Max put his bags in the back of his jeep, and settled Mr.Wiggles down beside him in the passenger seat. He turned the key in the ignition, and began to make the eight-hour journey to his new home, in Roswell, New Mexico. He past all the familiar sights, and it was the sight of Tess Harding laughing with all her friends which made him sick to the stomach…

* * *

“ Jim, is everything ready?” Amy Valenti called upstairs from the spacious kitchen. She wiped down the surface for the millionth time as Jim came trotting to join her. He placed his arms around his wife,

“ Amy, the kids are going to love it here. And they’re going to love you,” he said as he kissed her on the nose. Amy smiled, though it didn’t ease away the butterflies in her stomach. She sighed and put down the dishcloth.

“ What was I thinking Jim? I’ve just taken on six teenagers. They’re all going to hate me,” Amy said, beginning to get flustered again. Jim smiled lovingly at his wife. This was her dream – their dream – suddenly coming to life. The Valenti Household, as they had named it, was a foster house, set up for teenagers who just needed to get away from everything and start a new. It’d been their dream ever since college. Amy began to look through the fridge again, counting the amount of Cokes and candy bars they bought. Jim laughed lovingly,

“ These kids aren’t going to know what hit them. They’ve got the best mum ever, don’t worry, just take it as it comes honey. But just remember, these kids have been through a lot, you know, about them being uh, well…”

“ Special?” Amy volunteered, closing the fridge again. She nodded her head, “ I know Jim, I just want them to have a nice ordinary life.”

“ And so we bring them to Roswell, home of the extraordinary!” Jim joked, his loving grey eyes dancing. Amy smirked,

“ I know, I know. I sorted out a couple of waitressing jobs, and some stuff at UFOnics, and oh, the museum…” Amy said, running the list off on her fingers. She stared up at the clock nervously.

“ Remember these kids might want to do some of these things themselves,” Amy’s eyes opened wide in fear,

“ I’ve gone over the top! What should I do Jim what should I do??” Jim chuckled again, trying to calm down his wife. He smiled gently,

“ You go and open the door and smile honey, I think the first two are here already,” he said with a light kiss. She took a deep breath and wandered through the lounge and opened the front door, waving to the small brunette and tall, muscular boy who were now approaching the doorway.

Relax and breathe Amy, relax and breathe!

* * *

It was a long intro huh? Please tell me what you thought!

Jo.x
*angel*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 31-Jan-2002 4:42:59 PM ]
posted on 31-Jan-2002 7:20:51 PM by leaving_normal
You guys are amazing! I posted this today and the feedback has made me waant to cry! Thanks so much! Some answers to your questions...

Crimson

What happened to Liz and Michael's dad is really really important - look for the clues!

Isabel - you'll find out something very interesting about her and a familiar boy very soon - its not Kivar and she isn't pregnant. She's not a prostitute either - just a bit wild.

Max and Tess? It was bad...She's recked his life, you'll have to keep reading to find out how and why!

Alex's story is sad - I cried writing it!

Maria's background has a lot to do with the man who her mum insists is gone...

Teflon babee xo

nope, this isn't the same Crash and Burn - but do u like mine?

Dreamers4ever

like I've said to Crimson - Tess did something SO bad to Max - and Maria is going to take a long time to get over what happened.

Rapunzel

Your fic is where I got my inspiration from! It's wikid!

I'm working really hard on this fic, I'm gna make sure each part is perfect before I post!

Thanks again,

Jo.x
posted on 3-Feb-2002 6:06:42 AM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

Update situation: I should have the next part posted by tomorrow, I've written a brief outline, its just a matter of adding things around it!

I'm sorry if its taking me ages to update, you wouldn't believe how much work I have to do! I'm English (in case you didn't know) and I'm studying for my A-Levels - English Lit and Lang, Sociology, Theatre studies and Business Studies, plus I'm on an English Plus programme! And I work at the weekends! So, as you can see I've got a lot on my plate! But Roswell is my first love (hope my boyfriend doesn't read that!) and I promise, promise, promise there will be at least ONE update a week!

I'd love to know about my readers, you know, your ages, where you're from and everything. Don't ask me why, I just think its nice to be on a personal level with my readers, because I'm writing for you guys!!

Check Back tomorrow and there should be a new part!

Thanks for all the feedback, you guys are great!

Jo.x

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 3-Feb-2002 6:08:14 AM ]
posted on 3-Feb-2002 4:28:10 PM by leaving_normal
Okay, I lied, I got in from work at 4pm and sat down continously till 9pm writing this bit. I hope it's okay. It's hard to write at the moment, becasue they don't really know one another - rest assured it will heat up when they get going! It's quite long, so please leave some feedback!!

Thanks for all the feedback I have been getting, I hope you all enjoy this part.

Part 2

Liz cautiously approached the woman standing in the doorway of what was to be their ‘new home’. The very thought of it made Liz sick to the stomach. She didn’t need a new home, she didn’t need anything. All she needed was her father back.

‘ Stop it Liz,’ she commanded herself, ‘you’ve got to give this a go.’

She took her bags out of the taxi, struggling with their weight. After all, she’d had to pack up every aspect of her life for the last sixteen years. She wasn’t exactly travelling light. Michael broke out into a grin when he saw her struggling, but instead of making some witty comment about how inferior girls were, he’d just picked up a couple of boxes and started to approach the doorway. She was glad the teasing would wait. The butterflies in her stomach began to mount, as she smiled timidly at Mrs. Valenti.

“ Hi, I guess you must be Liz and Michael?” the woman said. The woman was quite pretty, with short brown hair that was quite highlighted. Liz struggled to smile, finding it all too hard to take it. Michael rested a box on the ground, as he wiped his hand on his back pocket and stuck it out to shake Mrs. Valenti’s hand. Mrs. Valenti laughed,

“ Michael, please, I’ll feel like a business associate! There’s no need to be so formal. Do you want me to help you inside with your bags?” she asked, as she began to walk up to the taxi. Liz grabbed her bags protectively,

“ I’m fine,” she ordered hastily, before feeling really rude and adding a quiet “thank you.”

Mrs Valenti seemed quite unfazed by Liz’s reaction, and began to help Michael inside with some of his boxes. Michael looked over his shoulder at Liz, and raised his eyebrows. She knew that look. God, she’d invented that look. That look meant,

“ Come on Liz, please, for me?”

She smiled vaguely; at least some things would never change.

* * *

Michael let out a low whistle as he walked through the threshold. Jim smiled,

“ Quite a house huh?” he said, whilst Michael put down a box of miscellaneous belongings. Michael looked around. The front door had led them straight into a huge living room. Above him, the timber supports were visible in the roof, so much so it felt like they were in an old barn. Looking around the area, he saw two sofas and a couple of armchairs, which surrounded a 32” wide screen television.

Liz set down the box she was carrying, and looked around too. She was amazed at the size of the house. When Michael had broken it to them that they were going to be fostered, she’d cried. She didn’t want to leave familiarity; she liked her quite town life. She’d imagined some trailer park, where the people only fostered for the monthly cheque. She’d imagined crying herself to sleep in a cold, damp room, hearing screams of violence around her. But as she did a double take, and looked at the homely environment that was laid out in front of her, she started to ease a little. Michael stuck out his hand to Mr. Valenti, and Mr. Valenti shook his hand back.

“ This is a really nice house you have Sir,” Liz piped up, still amazed by her surroundings. Michael nodded,

“ We’re really glad to be here, Mr. Valenti,” Michael said, trying not to sound too fake. Sure, he was totally impressed by his surroundings, but it was nothing compared to his real home. The home that held every memory of his father. Michael felt a familiar lump rise up to his throat,

‘ Hold it together Michael. These people are going to think you’re a nutcase if you breakdown within the first five minutes you meet them!’ he told himself, forcing himself to take a deep breath. Amy laughed as she came through the door with another bag,

“ There’s no need to be so formal, honestly. Just call us Jim and Amy, that is, unless you’re uncomfortable with that?” Amy’s eyes flickered, as she brushed her hands down on her trousers. Liz smiled vaguely, Amy was really trying hard to make them feel welcome, and she’d just acted really cold towards her. Liz got that feeling in her stomach – the one she always got when she felt bad. She cleared her throat,

“ Sure, Amy,” she said with a warm smile. Michael came next to her and gave her a squeeze, showing his support. There was an awkward silence, until Jim said,

“ Well, seeing as you’re early why don’t you go on ahead and start settling in. The other’s will be here in an hour or so, dinners already cooking. Amy, do you want to show Liz to her room?” Amy nodded enthusiastically. Jim motioned for Michael to follow him, as they walked into the back room.

Liz became nervous when it was only she and Amy left in the room. She shuffled her feet uncomfortably, Amy bent down to pick up a box, giving her a sidewards glance,

“ This is all pretty scary huh?” Liz lifted her head to see Amy holding a box of hers. Liz nodded silently, still shuffling her feet,

“ I’m sorry if I seemed rude outside, I’m just a bit, well, you know. All over the place,” Liz said, with a slight smile. If she was going to live with these people, she had to make an effort to get on with them, and besides, Amy seemed really nice. At Liz’s words Amy’s eyes instantly brightened,

“ Oh Liz, I really don’t want you to worry about anything like that. You’re going to be living with people you’ve never met. That’s really scary!” Liz smiled, as her brown eyes began to fill with tears. She wasn’t being patronised; Amy really did mean what she said. For the first time since her father’s death, someone wasn’t taking pity on her because she was an orphan. Amy just wanted her to feel comfortable. Finally, she was being treated like a human being again.

Brushing her eyes discreetly to wipe away any tears that were mounting, Liz motioned to the stairs towards the back of the room,

“ So, is my room upstairs?” she said quietly. Amy nodded,

“ I’ll take you up. Do you want a hand?” Liz nodded gratefully. She took a deep breath and began to scale the stairs, carrying two boxes carefully balanced on top of each other. Amy chattered on behind her,

“ You’ll be sharing a room with another girl, she’s your age,” Amy said. Liz was a bit alarmed.

What if the girl didn’t like her? What if the girl snored? What if she was really rude and horrible?

‘ Oh god, please just let me get through the day,’ Liz thought, as Amy led her to the second door on the right. She desperately wondered where Michael was, right now, he was the only one who’d make her feel safe.

* * *

“ Does it look okay to you?” Jim said, opening the door to Michael’s bedroom. His eyes widened again. Okay? Was this guy kidding? Laid out before him was the kind of boy’s bedrooms you saw on T.V. The room was longer than it was wide, so that it was kind of rectangular in shape. At both ends of the room there were two single beds, Michael sat his box down on the nearest one,

“ Am I sharing with somebody?” he asked cautiously. His bed was already made up with a blue bed spread, which matched the walls. Behind his bed there were shelves, and a bedside table with a lamp to the left side of his bed. The room was pretty empty, waiting to be filled up with all of the guy’s ‘junk’, as Jim had referred to it in a previous conversation with Amy. Jim smiled,

“ Actually you’ll be sharing the room with two other guys. If you look round the corner of the room, it kind of bends so there’s more room at the other end for three beds. It’s okay cos the room isn’t small. Is it okay for you Michael?”

Michael nodded, making his way to the other end. Where he had thought it was rectangular, it had a kind of alcove bit just of centre, where there was another bed. Michael turned around,

“ This is just great. Wow, I’m kind of lost for words,” Michael said, beginning to investigate the room, pulling out drawers, and noticing there was a hi-fi system on one of the shelves in the middle of the room. Michael’s eyes opened wide,

“ This is for us?” he asked, already knowing the answer. Jim smiled again,

“ This wasn’t what you were expecting huh? To be honest Michael, this isn’t a state run foster home. I’m not going to lie to you, because I want our relationship to get off on the right foot. Amy and I can’t have children, and so when we came into a bit of money, quite a lot of money, we opened the Valenti household. Your Principal sent us yours and Liz’s details,” he said, Michael sat down. Jim leant on the sideboard behind him,

“ Right. Well, I suppose it doesn’t make any difference. There’s just one thing I wanted to talk to you about,” he started, raising his eyebrows. Jim nodded, waiting for him to continue,

“ It’s Liz, she’s still really upset about our father…” his voice trailed off. Jim nodded, and his eyes focussed on Michael in an understanding way. His hair was greying slightly, but his eyes were somewhat young at heart. He smiled, and patted Michael on the back,

“ I know Michael, and we’re not going to talk about it until you want too,” he said, as he prepared to leave the room. Michael stopped him,

“ No sir, it’s just that I wanted to warn you not to call her honey, or sweetheart or anything like that. Things like that, the pet names that Dad used to call us, it still upsets her. So, I’m just telling you, so no one gets hurt,” Michael said, his greeny-grey eyes dead serious. Jim nodded humbly,

“ I’ll tell Amy. Thanks Michael. Go on, start unpacking your stuff,” he said as he turned and left the room. Michael took a deep breath, well, things were going okay. For now.

* * *
Liz started to tear off the brown tape to one of her boxes. This was weird, really weird. At the moment, nothing had really hit her. Here she was, in her new room, unpacking all of her belongings. It was like some weird dream or something. She sighed as she felt into the box, drawing out a photo frame. Liz had chosen the bed near the window, right next to an old mahogany desk. Amy had obviously decorated the room herself, with purple walls and silver stars dotted around the room.

She looked at the photo frame in her hands. It was a picture of herself, Michael and their father. She smiled, lovingly tracing her father’s face. She sat it down on her bedside table, where the picture had been since her father had died. It felt comforting to have him looking over her. Liz took out another possession, this time her journal. Liz touched it, inside were all her memories since she had turned sixteen, not so long ago in fact. It was a present from Michael, but she guessed her father had given him a bit of help. Liz smiled again; at least she had some stuff to remind her of what home really was.

Liz jumped when she heard something come crashing up the stairs, and quickly opened a drawer in her desk, thrusting her journal inside. She stood up as the bedroom door flew open, followed by a blonde girl of about Liz’s height. On instinct Liz rushed to help the girl who was struggling to balance a number of large boxes in her hands. Liz grabbed a box off the top and set it down on the other bed which had been positioned opposite to Liz’s. The blonde girl’s cheeks were red, and it had obviously been a struggle getting up the stairs. The girl smiled timidly,

“ Thanks! I shouldn’t have tried to carry al those boxes up the stairs at once!” Liz shook her head as the girl began to rummage through her bags. The girl seemed kind of scatty, but she seemed nice enough.

“ Ah hah!” The girl cried, bringing out a bottle with a purple substance in it. She held it up to her nose and breathed in its essence. Liz giggled, amused by the sight. The girl stopped,

“ Oh my god, you must think I’m completely crazy or something! It’s aromatherapy. Lavender, meant to help reduce stress,” the girl explained, motioning for Liz to take a seat beside her. Normally Liz was really shy around people, and hardly ever made new friends. But this girl, she thought, she just seemed to click with. The way she acted around her, it was as if they’d known each other for years. Liz sat down beside her, as she threw the bottle underneath her nose,

“ You can keep that one, I’ve got loads! Which bed do you want?” the girl said, running around the room to investigate. Finally she sat back down on the bed and sighed. Liz giggled again. This woman was obviously a complete nutter,

“ I am so sorry. It was a really long flight, and I think you can guess that I drank quite a lot of coffee. I’m so nervous right now, and usually I wouldn’t tell this to anyone, but I guess we’re kind of in the same boat so I -”

“ Breathe!” Liz said, breaking the girl’s continuous sentence. They both grinned at each other. The girl held out her hand,

“ I’m Maria Deluca,” she said. Liz took her hand and shook it lightly,

“ Liz Parker,” she replied. The girls giggled again, both relieved that they’d met someone. Maria stood up again,

“ Do you think I’m crazy?” she asked, beginning to investigate the room again, this time a bit slower. Liz shook her head,

“ I did at first, but now I see you’re running on caffeine. I kinda thought about having the bed near the window, if that’s okay with you?” Liz said, returning to the bed se had claimed for her own. She wondered over to meet Maria by the window, where they watched as a boy drove into the driveway in a red jeep. Maria waved a hand dismissively,

“ Yeah sure, that’s fine. This is all a bit weird, isn’t it?” Maria said, tying her blonde hair back with a scrunchie. Liz nodded furiously, glad that she could finally talk about this with someone,

“ Yeah totally,” Maria replied something, but Liz didn’t quite hear her. Her eyes were transfixed on the guy who was grabbing his bags out of the front seat of a jeep…

* * *
Max greeted Jim and Amy as he came through the doorway, and exchanged a few pleasantries before running his stuff up to his room. He’d been here before, the Millers had brought him up to introduce him to his new foster family, thinking it’d be easier for him to re-adjust.

‘ Yeah, readjust.” Max thought as he pushed open a door.

Lost in his own thoughts, he didn’t realise there was another boy unpacking his stuff in the same room. He’d settled his stuff in the bed in the alcove, and turned around, searching for something to say. The boy looked at him. On first glance, Max thought the guy was kind of odd. His hair was long, and he looked like he hadn’t slept in weeks. Sizing him up, Max thought he could have been around the same age as him, maybe a year older. The guy was the first to speak,

“ Hey, I’m Michael,” he said, holding out his hand. Max looked at the guy,

“ Max Evans,” he said coldly, before turning back to unpack his belongings. Micahel raised his eyebrow, this guy obviously wasn’t a talker.

“ So, what music you into?” Michael asked casually.

‘ You’ve just walked into a foster home where none of us have any parents, and you’re asking the guy what kind of music he’s into?’ Michael thought silently. What else was he supposed to say? How did your parents die? That’s not exactly welcoming.

Michael shifted uneasily; there was something about the guy that was scary. It was like he walked in the room and just breathed power.

“ I’m just going to get another box,” Michael mumbled as he made a quick exit though the door and down the flight of stairs.

‘ That guy really creeps me out,’ thought Michael, as he approached the doorway.

* * *

Alex stumbled through the open doorway, looking around the place. Man, this place was huge. He sat down his shoulder bag, as the military man his father had arranged to pick him up started to bring his boxes through to the living room. A tall, muscularly built guy who looked about eighteen came running down the stairs, heading towards him. The guy looked slightly spooked, and Alex tensed up a bit, thinking of his own not-so-muscular physique. Alex gulped, admitting that next to this guy, he was a string bean. Surprisingly, the guy just offered his hand,

“ Hey, I guess you’re another homeless victim?” Michael said, firmly gripping the guy’s hand. Alex’s eyebrows furrowed in concentration.

“ That’s me. Just be sure to keep all electrical goods out of my reach,” he added with a slight grin. Michael laughed, not quite understanding the guy’s joke. Alex came inside and whistled,

“ Is this for real?” he said, not to anyone in particular. Michael too took a better look around the place.

“ You think this is good? Wait till you see our room!” Michael said, actually starting to get excited. It was hard for him. On one hand, he was being torn from everything he’d ever known. On the other hand, he was walking into a mansion. He thought that maybe he’d figure it out later,

“ Our room? Are we sharing?” Alex asked, starting to pick up one of his bags. The military guy came through and handed him his guitar,

“ We shall depart now, Sir!” the military person said, clicking his heels behind him. Michael raised his eyebrows, whilst Alex just patted the guy on the back,

“ Tommy, you don’t need to call me Sir, and yeah, go on, get outta here.” With an unsure nod, ‘Tommy’ left the room, leaving Michael flabbergasted,

“ Are you like, a criminal or something? What’s with the military accompaniment?” Michael said, watching the military jeep reverse out of the driveway.

“ Long story. So, you gonna show me to our room? I’m Alex by the way,” Michael nodded. Michael looked at the living room, which was beginning t look like a cheap garage sale with the amount of boxes in it. He picked up one labelled ‘Metallica’ and began to haul it upstairs,

“ Michael. Yeah, we’ve got a huge room, though the guy we’re sharing with seems a bit of a weirdo,” Michael commented. Alex trailed behind him, hoping everyone would all be as easy to get on with as Michael.

* * *

“ Is everything okay?” Amy asked as she set down the salad on the kitchen table. Liz sat opposite Michael, they were the only two at the dinner table at the moment. Everyone had all had a chance to unpack, and were starting to settle into the house. Liz had had a nice chat with Maria, and she seemed nice enough. Michael had told her about this weird guy he was sharing a room with, but had said another guy, Alex she thought it was, was cool enough. Liz twiddled her fingers, the way she always did when she was nervous. Amy called up the stairs again,

“ Guys, foods ready!” she called again. She walked back into the kitchen and took a place at the end of the rectangular table, with Jim at the other end. Liz watched as Maria came through the doorway, and sat down next to her. Michael kicked her underneath the table,

“ Oh yeah, Maria this is Michael, my brother. Michael, Maria,” Michael gave a nod, and Maria smiled.

“ Nice to meet you,” Maria smiled, and by the look on her face, she was really pleased to meet him. Liz smiled gently, it looked like her new friend had a crush on her brother. A tall, somewhat lanky guy wearing some baggy jeans and a long t-shirt came in next, who Liz guessed was Alex. He took a seat next to Michael.

“ Hey everyone. I’m Alex, and I’m really hungry,” he announced, Maria giggled again. Obviously the caffeine hadn’t worn off yet.

“ I’m Maria, and this is Liz and Michael. They’re brother and sister,” Maria stated matter-of-factually. Alex nodded,

“ Nice to meet everyone. So, is dinner done?” he asked Amy. She laughed,

“ Yes Alex, we’re just waiting for Max to join us. Jim, wasn’t Isabel meant to be here by now?” Jim shrugged,

“ There’s bound to be traffic. She’s coming all the way from New York,” Jim said, explaining to the rest of the group. Maria’s eyes lit up. New York, she’d always dreamed about going there and starting up her singing career.

Liz sat up straighter in her chair as Max entered. Liz gulped as Max skimmed past her chair and took a seat next to Maria. He was amazingly good looking. She thought that maybe it was his eyes. She’d walked into Michael’s room earlier and caught sight of him.

This was Liz Parker. The girl who hadn’t even kissed a boy yet. Well, she’d kissed a boy, but nothing special. Nothing that made her tremble all over. Why was she feeling this way about a boy she’d only just met?

He sat down at the table, not saying anything. Michael gave her one of those, I told you so looks; trying to prove a point that this guy was weird. Liz raised her eyebrows. There was hush around the table again,

“ Everyone, this is Max Evans. That’s Michael, Alex, Liz and Maria. So, are we all okay?” Amy asked nervously, trying to break the tension.

“ I am really really hungry!” Alex said, making Liz and Maria smile again. He hastily added,

“ But, this is also a really nice house Mrs. Valenti. Now can we eat?” Liz laughed again, as Amy took three quiches out of the oven,

“ I really didn’t know what to make, so I’m afraid it’s a bit mix and match tonight,” she said, setting the quiches down on the table, next to three different kinds of meat, so buttered bread, so french fries, and a huge salad.

“ It looks great Amy,” Jim said as he took some salad out of the bowl. There were murmurs of agreement that flooded the table. All of a sudden, Liz didn’t feel hungry. This reminded her too much of home. Sitting around the table, eating dinner. That was something families did. They weren’t a family, they were strangers. Liz took some salad and passed the bowl onto Michael.

“ I thought we could discuss some house rules over dinner, you know, just the basics.” Amy said, Alex moaned a little,

“ I know this was too good to be true. What is it, one of those, you-can’t-leave-the-house-unless-we-say-so kinda deals?” Alex said, shovelling food into his mouth like he’d never eaten before. Maria laughed at his forwardness,

“ No Alex, we’ve only got a couple of rules. Jim and I would like you to stay in tonight, maybe get to know each other a little. Otherwise, we’d like you to be in at around 11pm on a school night at the very latest, and at the weekend, that can be extended to 1pm, as long as we know where you are. Those are basically the only rules we’ve got. Apart from the universal rule, boys, leave the toilet seat down,” Amy said, winking at Alex who pulled a fake ‘moi?’ expression. The doorbell rang,

“ That’s probably Isabel, Amy, shall we go and greet her?” Jim said. Amy dotted her mouth with a napkin and they started to walk out of the Spanish decorated kitchen.

“ Isabel – Michael, I’m claiming her. Isabel seems like a nice name – I’m imagining tall, blonde, big-” he stopped when Michael elbowed him in the ribs,

“ What? I was going to say big feet!” Alex said innocently,

“ There is no way you guys are going to take priorities on who’s going to have Isabel. She’s probably a really lovely, shy girl. I will not let you two corrupt her,” Maria said, adding emphasis by stabbing her salad.

“ Killjoy,” Michael murmured, Maria shot daggers at him,

“ What did you say?” Maria said, Michael looked at her, ready to retaliate, but Isabel had just entered the room.

And the room went silent.

Before them stood Isabel. Complete in a bra-like fuchsia pink top, and lime green skirt, ripped fish-net tights and heavy boots. Liz tensed up a bit. Maria shot a look at Alex.

Max looked up from his dinner. Catching sight of the girl named Isabel; he’d had to do a double take. He’d hoped no one had noticed the low squealing noise he had made when she had entered the room, and she had obviously recognised him too. His eyes searched hers, but he couldn’t find any words to talk with.

“ Everyone, this is Isabel Ev-”

“ Just Isabel,” she said forcefully, staring at Max. Max went back to eating his dinner, trying to act normal. She sat down next to Alex, who visibly tensioned at the very brush of Isabel against him. She slumped in her chair,

“ Isabel, this is Michael and Alex, and this is Liz, Maria and lastly Max,” Amy said, making her way around the table. Isabel stared at Max; her contacts making her eyes seem the work of the devil,

“ Hey Max,” she said, with a hint of sarcasm lining her words. Maria turned to Liz and mouthed,

“ Oh-my-god!” to her. She had to agree, this girl was totally, uh, weird. Max gulped,

“ Hey Isabel, so, um, how was your flight?” Amy said, trying to ease the situation. Isabel just looked at her. It was so quiet you could hear the sound of their knives and forks scratching the plates. Isabel stood up,

“ I don’t do chatter. Where is my room?” Alex stood up,

“ I’ll take you there,” he said bravely, standing up. Isabel must have been a good two inches taller than him, but he hid his fear well,

“ No thanks, I don’t do geeks either,” she said with a sharp turn and walked up the stairs. Liz’s mouth was wide open, as Jim and Amy followed her up the stairs.

“ Oh wow, Alex, d’you know what, you can have her. All yours, I won’t even try to take her off your hands,” Michael said with a slight grin. Liz giggled,

“ Well, you know, if she washed those colours out of her hair, and um… Well she’s not my type really…” Alex said, looking around the table,

“ Are there anymore fries?”

* * *
It was getting on for near midnight, but Michael and Alex were still strumming away in their bedroom,

“ How long have you played for?” Alex said, strumming lightly on his base guitar, Michael shrugged,

“ Two, three years. My dad taught me,” Michael said, strumming his acoustic. Alex nodded,

“ Wish my dad had time to teach me. Always off fighting some war,” Alex said, as he leapt off his bed and walked towards the window. Michael swallowed hard,

“ Yeah well, just be glad you’re dad’s still alive,’ Michael said bitterly. Alex turned around,

“ Oh hey, I’m sorry man I didn’t mean to-” but Michael cut him off,

“ It don’t matter. We’re all strangers you know. Just don’t mention dads around Liz. She’s still really upset,” Michael said, still strumming away. Alex’s eyebrows merged as he asked,

“ What happened?” he said softly, sitting on his bed. Michael sighed. It was bound to come up sooner or later; it may as well come up now.

“ There was a storm one night. Liz’s always been afraid of thunder and lightening, so dad used to get up and stay with her until she fell asleep. So he’d got up, and started to go into her room, but we weren’t alone in the house-”

Michael was interrupted by a sharp knock on the door. Jim walked in,

“ Everything okay?” he asked, popping his head around the door. Alex nodded,

“ Yeah, yeah, fine,” he said, picking up his guitar again. Jim looked around the room,

“ Have you seen Max?”

* * *

Liz opened the door to the study. Inside loomed the dusty smell she loved about the library. She’d been amazed to find out hat the Valenti’s had a library all of their own. Wandering her way through, past bookshelves upon bookshelves of books, she walked straight into someone.

“ Oh I’m really sorry,” she said, as she knelt down to pick up the book he had dropped. She looked up into the eyes of the boy,

“ Max right?” she said uncertainly. He nodded. His brown eyes were intense, as they stood there for minutes, just looking at each other. His eyes were flickered with Amber specks. Liz looked at the book in her hands,

“Astro-physics,” she read, Max nodded again, taking a seat on the sofa behind them. Liz took it as an invite to sit next to him. She looked at him,

“ Can you actually talk?” she asked him, he laughed. He looked at her again. She had the most beautiful eyes, and there was something about her hair that just made him want to touch it. He shook away those feelings; he didn’t even know her!

“ Yeah I can talk. Sorry, this has all just been a little weird today, I think I creeped your brother out by being so quiet,” he said, taking his book off her. She looked down at his hands, and instantly wanted to entwine her fingers with his,

“ I know what you mean. Do you want to, like, talk about it? The weirdness I mean.” Liz asked,

‘ Liz, what are you doing? You don’t even know this boy!’ she told herself. But she wanted to know, she wanted to know why he was so quiet, why he didn’t say anything. But what she really wanted to know is why she felt so drawn towards him. Why did he want to know everything about him?

“ I don’t know if I can,” he whispered. Liz nodded,

“ I understand. Michael just seems to tiptoe around the subject when he’s around me. He doesn’t want it to be real because him and dad were really close,” Liz said biting her lip. Why was she telling him this?

‘Because it’s nice to have someone to talk to’ a little voice inside her said. Max squeezed her hand gently, and a million different feelings ran through Liz. He took his hand away,

“ I’m sorry. I guess he’s not with you anymore?” Max said, Liz nodded sadly, and leant back in her chair. There was something so normal about sitting here with Max, like she could have done it a million times before.

“ Yeah, he was killed two months a go,” she said in a whisper, as she lightly dabbed her eyes with the sleeve of one of Michael’s jumpers that he’d leant her.

Max sat back in the chair. She was crying, but what could he do? There was something so right about this. He wanted to sit and talk to her for hours. He’d known from the very first moment that he’d seen her that there was something about her. He couldn’t just let her cry,

“ I’m sorry,” he murmured, as he slipped his two strong arms around her. He rested her head on his chest. This was weird, really weird. She’d just met this guy, and now she was sharing a cuddle with him?

But this felt right. To both of them.

When she cuddled Michael, she felt secure and loved. But resting her head against Max’s chest, and hearing his heart murmur, she was sure there was nothing brotherly about this.

Max rested his head on top of hers. He couldn’t believe he was doing this. Weeks after Tess had. Tess. He’d thought of her. Suddenly, all the images of that night came flooding back to haunt him,

“ Tess? Are you okay?” he’d asked, touching her lightly on the shoulder. She’d turned to look at him, tears in her frightened baby blue eyes. It was a cold night, and she was sitting on the park bench all alone. It wasn’t safe.

The next thing he knew, Tess was screaming.

Then the whole town was talking about him.

And his foster parents were making him leave.


Max was suddenly brought back to reality. He removed his arms from around Liz, and picked up his book,

“ I’m sorry Liz, I better go,” he said hastily, and before Liz could say anything he was out of the room.

‘ That guy is really weird..’ she thought, as she searched the shelves for a good book to read before going to bed.

* * *

Isabel paced up and down her room like a caged animal. A bedtime? She’d never had a bedtime! Isabel began to scratch at her arms, the way she’d always do when she couldn’t have her own way. Her mind wondered. She’d been allowed her own room at least, after kicking up a lot of fuss. She didn’t want to share a room with that blonde bimbo or brunette freak.

And now Max was here. Why was he here? She thought she’d never see him again! She had to get out of here. She couldn’t stand it. She ran over to the window and slid it up. It was raining outside, but that wouldn’t stop her. She grabbed her jacket and hauled herself out of the window and onto the balcony, before thrusting herself down onto the ground.

Time to check out the night life in this town…

* * *

It was dark now, really dark. Maria and Liz lay in their beds. They’d done a good job of making the room their own, but there were still boxes lying strewn across the floor, waiting to be unpacked. Maria opened her eyes.

“ Liz?” she called across the room. Liz was still awake; she was finding it hard sleeping without having Michael next to her. She was all alone in a strange bed.

“ Yeah?” she answered. Maria shuffled around in her bed,

“ Can I ask you a question?” she whispered again. Liz smiled to herself, okay, she wasn’t exactly alone. Maria had given her numerous bottles of perfumed waters to keep her going. She was really beginning to like Maria,

“ Yeah Maria? What is it?”

“ Are you scared?”

Scared? God, I’m petrified.

“ Yeah Maria. I’m scared.”

She heard Maria sigh from across the room. She was glad she wasn’t the only one. Liz settled back to go to sleep. Five minutes later, she heard Maria whispering again,

“ Liz?” Liz smiled; Maria obviously wasn’t ready to sleep.

“ Yeah?”

“ Want to know what I’m most scared of?”

“ Yeah.”

Maria paused a minute,

“ Isabel – how scary was she!” Maria said with a giggle. Liz joined in. It was true, Isabel had terrified Liz. Maybe it was the black lipstick and eyeshadow that had done it to her.

“ Really scary,” Liz admitted. Maria sighed peacefully this time.

“ Goodnight Liz,”

“ Goodnight Maria.”

* * *



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 3-Feb-2002 4:31:06 PM ]
posted on 5-Feb-2002 4:40:00 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

I'm glad everyone's enjoying the story! I know you guys want the Candy and Dreamer stuff now...but come on guys...they've just met!! But I can promise you, the relationship stuff will come in the next part, which will hopefully be out sometime this week. I've got so much I want to write in this fic, there's a lot more surprises in store.

Black Rain

quote:
One day you're going to wake up and you're gonna realize what you missed. And it's going to be too late.


Your signiture actually hit me hard, my friend died in a car accident about a year and a half ago, and its the first time I've read something like that since. I mite also include that quote in my story, if thats okay by you?

I'll keep writing if you keep leaving feedback...

Teasers...

Kyle will be in this fic... but who's past will he haunt?

Jo.x


posted on 7-Feb-2002 1:37:44 PM by leaving_normal
I've started writing Part 3, it'll be up within the next couple of days!

To:

Roswelllostcause, lana_christiana, Lucky Star, Tobasco Liz, Rapunzel, Eraser Room, Krazykitti, roswellluver, pandas2001, Cinder and HB Tara B

I just wanted to thank you all so much! This is really one of my first fan fics, and everyone knows how nice it is to recieve feedback!

CleopatraRoswellEmperass

quote:
In the beginning I thought Liz's dad was struck by lightening

OMG! That made me laugh so hard! It would have made a lot of sense in relation to who their father was... But I've just finished writing what happens to Liz's father so its a bit late to put that in now ;)

And Kyle... he's not going to be a baddy! Maybe a bit moody, but he's going to walk in and realised he's connected to someone he thought he'd never see again...

To all those who want to know what happened with Tess and Max

You're going to have to keep reading, and even after I tell you... thats not going to be the end of it...

Thanks everyone!

Jo.x

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 7-Feb-2002 1:50:07 PM ]
posted on 9-Feb-2002 6:52:34 PM by leaving_normal
This is only a really short bit, just to keep you going till I can hopefully write more tomorrow. I'm sorry bout this guys, Ive got the next 2 chapters all plotted out, its just finding the time to sit down and write them. Plus I'm meant to be looking at Uni's atm... and if anyone cares, I've been told to apply to Oxford!!! *bounce*

Here you are, a little bit of whats to come...

Part 3a

Michael felt tentatively along his bedroom wall. He hadn’t slept yet tonight, the thunder and lightening was keeping him awake. But he’d heard a thump. It wasn’t the shed door, because his dad had fixed that the night before; and besides, this bang felt like it was inside the house. Reaching the light switch, he flicked it on and rubbing his eyes, reached for the doorknob.

The house was cold and empty. Michael loved his house, in the daytime it was full of sunshine, and happiness. All his friends would come over to his house, because his was the biggest and besides, they all loved his father.

Michael jumped as he heard another thump somewhere in the house. Approaching Liz’s room, he turned the doorknob slowly, and peered inside. Liz was sitting on her bed, wrapped up in her covers. Michael clicked the door behind him, and walked over to her, embracing her as soon as he was close enough.

“ Hey, come on, you’re sixteen now! Still afraid of a little thunder and lightening?” Liz smiled a little,

“ Oh come on, I’ll be afraid of it forever,” Liz paused for a moment, “Did you hear a thump? I think something feel off the bookcase downstairs.” Michael nodded,

“ Yeah, I was going to have a look. I suppose we could manage some chocolate chip cookies and milk whilst downstairs as well,” Michael said with a grin. Liz punched him playfully,

“ I’ll race you downstairs!”

* * *

Liz came plummeting down the stairs, laughing, although trying to be quiet as to not wake her father, who she knew could sleep through anything. He’d stayed up with her that night; she smiled, remembering his words,

‘And the world will never be safer than when you’re in my arms Lizzie’

That was why she loved her dad, he’d make her safe whenever she felt like she was in any trouble. When she was twelve, she was bullied because she loved science. When her dad had found out, he’d gone straight round to their houses and demanded an apology, and some kind of punishment for the perpetrators from their parents. She hadn’t been bullied since.

Liz went to go and switch on the light. She flicked it once. And again.

‘ Hmm, that’s weird,’ she thought, ‘the storm must have cut off the power supply.’

Michael was close behind her,

“ What’s up?” he asked her, placing a hand on her shoulder,

“ Nothing, the lights are out, that’s all,” she said uncertainly. Michael laughed,

“ Afraid of the dark as well?” he teased. Liz punched him again.

They made their way into the kitchen, and suddenly they froze.

This wasn’t right.

Cold, terrifying fear swept through Liz’s body.

Michael hands froze, and the smile on his face faded into the darkness.

There, in the middle of the kitchen floor, slumped their father.

“ DAD!” Liz screamed, running towards him. Michael caught her by the arm. She hadn’t seen the other man, hiding in the shadows. He’d pulled her behind him,

“ Liz, go and get help!” he whispered desperately, his stomach churning. The man came out of the shadows. His bala-clava only revealed his bright, menacing green eyes. Michael shuddered, as he pointed the kitchen knife at them,

“ No one’s going anywhere,” the man stated evilly. Liz began to shake. The kitchen knife gleamed with blood, as she followed the trail across the kitchen floor to where a red liquid was slowly surrounding her father.

There were no thoughts going through her mind as she threw herself across the floor at her father, only to get caught by the stranger in their house. His rough grip held her neck tightly. He thrusted her head up,

“ See what you made me do to your father!” he said sinisterly.

Liz’s eyes filled with tears. Fear crept over body once again. She thrust her head violently in the direction of Michael, who stood on the spot.

Michael’s body had turned numb. His father was lying dead on the kitchen floor. This madman had invaded their house. He felt like he was going to be sick. He had Liz. He stood feet away from the murderer.

“ Let her go,” he ordered. He set his feet apart. The man chuckled,

“ Michael. Do you think I’m that stupid.”

Fear swept over them both again. Where did they know that voice from? How did this cold-blooded murderer know their names? Liz screamed as she tried to bite the man. Michael lunged forward.

It all happened so quickly.

Liz bit the man’s fingers as hard as she could, as he thrust her away. Michael grabbed the guys throat.

He could feel the hatred run through his veins. He could feel the paralysing fear reach his throat as the madman hovered above him, thrashing the knife at Michael face.

Liz screamed.

The rain poured.

The knife plunged.

But someone intervened.

* * *

Michael gasped as he awoke. Sweat trickled down his back, and moistened his head. He held out his hand in front of him. Even in the darkness that surrounded his room, he could see his hand violently shaking.

‘ It’s a dream. That’s it. A dream.’

But thinking that didn’t make Michael feel any better. He brought his knees up to his chin and huddled in the covers around him. It wasn’t a dream. All that had actually happened. He felt his stomach begin to burn. He needed to talk to someone. He looked in front of him. Alex’s feet were sticking out of the end of the bed, whilst to his right, Max stay dead still.
But he couldn’t talk to either of them.

He needed his sister.

TBC... hopefully tomorrow
posted on 10-Feb-2002 1:42:22 PM by leaving_normal
Another short bit just to keep you going! As soon as I get my work out of the way, I'll write a nice long bit for you guys! Just a little request, I'm studying Shakespeare's 'Henry V' atm, no one out there is like a Shakespeare expert are they??? If you can help please b-mail me!!

Part 3b

Liz moaned softly at the feeling of someone poking her. Her blankets were cool on top of her, but as soon as someone had started poking her she could feel the heat radiating off of them. Liz opened her eyes slightly. It was still dark, but she could hear the birds singing. She heard a husky voice next to her,

“ Liz,” the boy was saying. Liz yawned and snuggled further into the covers.

“ What Michael? It’s not time to get up yet,” she said.

Not opening her eyes again. Michael took the covers off her and climbed in beside her. It was more cramped than in their double bed, and Michael feared that if he moved slightly he might fall out of the bed altogether. Liz rested her head on his chest.

He felt better, lots better. He started to relax as Liz cuddled next to him. There was something about that dream that scared him.

‘ Maybe the fact that it actually happened?’ he scolded himself.

Liz’s breathing became regular and even again. Michael gladly welcomed the warmth of her body against his, it meant that he wasn’t alone. A shiver ran through him. He could still see those green eyes staring at him, almost laughing. Michael began to shake again.

“ Michael. Are you okay?” Liz whispered, not moving. Michael still held her close.

“ Yeah. I had… the dream,” he said, his voice quivering. Liz shuffled uneasily. His bear chest was warm and uncomfortable, so she moved so that she was facing him. She eyed him up and down wearily; her soft brown eyes gazed into his frightened green ones.

“ You saw him again didn’t you?” she asked, her voice shaking.

She swallowed hard. This was a secret they’d been living with ever since it’d happened. No one knew they’d seen the murderer. She didn’t know why they’d kept it a secret. She knew why she had done it, because Michael had told her to. But why he’d told her not to tell anyone, she didn’t understand. But she trusted him, and right now he was the only one she had.

Michael’s eyes filled with tears as he nodded. Liz’s eyes glazed over and she cuddled into her brother, trying to support him as tears slowly fell from his eyes. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to forget, if just for a moment, that his father wasn’t here. That he’d never reach out and touch him again. That every time they’d laughed, or hugged, or watched football… that they were just memories now. Liz gripped him tightly, as a new wave of devastation swept through him, shaking his entire body.

Michael didn’t cry often. Come to think of it, Liz had never seen him cry until the death of their father. But when Michael cried, his whole body shook. Liz cried as she felt all the pain and hurt he was feeling blend into her own feelings of devastation.

In the darkness, the two of them cried with one another. They cried until they were too exhausted to cry anymore, when Liz fell asleep, clutching on to her brother so that he wouldn’t leave her. Michael stared at the ceiling through the darkness. The pain was still so raw, that anything was setting him off at the moment. A light breeze was flowing through the window, and the sun would be coming up in an hour or so. His chest lifted and fell again, in the most unnatural state Michael could think of.

His eyes wandered towards the other bed in the room. The girl lying inside was obviously dreaming. Maria, that was her name. Her blonde hair spread all over the pillows, as she looked peaceful in her sleep. Michael watched her for a long time. He watched as her eyebrows twitched, as if she was reacting to something. He watched as she rolled around, kicking the covers off of herself. He’d smiled slightly when he’d seen that. She was wearing Scooby Do pyjamas. Scooby was his favourite. Occasionally she would murmur in her sleep. Michael’s eyes traced every inch of her face. She was so peaceful, so elegant. He wondered what had ever happened to such a perfect girl for her to end up in a place like this. His eyes settled on her lips. They looked so soft, so perfect.

Michael’s stomach turned.

So perfect for what? For him to kiss her?

* * *

Max awoke to the sounds of the birds singing merrily to bring in the sunshine. He stretched out, and immediately rolled out of bed and started his regular daily exercises.

‘I’ll do a couple of push ups, go get Sophie out of bed and we’ll make pancakes for mum and dad…’

He thought. He brought himself up again, to sit on the bed. Immediately he recognised Mr.Wiggles. But that was about the only thing he recognised. Max looked around in a panic. Then he heard Alex’s soft snores radiating from the other side of the room and sighed a little.

He was at the Valenti household. Sophie wasn’t here. There weren’t going to be any pancakes for breakfast. He clutched Mr. Wiggles close to his chest.

This wasn’t fair. He’d been torn away from everyone and everything he loved. And he hadn’t done anything.

Apart from try to be nice. And look where that had got him.

Setting Mr. Wiggles back down on his unmade bed, he pulled on a pair of clean boxers, jeans and a T-shirt. His muscles ached, and his head was thumping. He hated new places. They always took so much getting used to. He wanted familiarity, he wanted regular sites. People he knew.

His mind drifted back to the encounter in the library. Liz was beautiful. When he’d first seen her, he’d thought he was pretty and left it at that. But when she’d bumped into him in the library yesterday, he’d looked into her eyes.

And that was all it had taken.

One look at her eyes was like coming home. Her eyes sparkled, they drew him in. And instantly he wanted to know everything about her.

Where was she from? What was her favourite colour? What foods did she like? What guys did she like?

But then he’d remembered Tess. He’d remembered that night, that one stupid night when he’d told himself to just leave her alone. But how could he? He was only human after all, and she was obviously upset. It didn’t matter about their past, it was dangerous for her to be outside all alone.

Max shook his head, determined not to remember anymore. He carefully opened the bedroom door, noticing that Michael wasn’t in his bed, and hoping that they wouldn’t run into each other again. Walking down the silent hall in his bear feet, he past her door.

He backed up, and stood outside it.

It had been such a shock last night. He’d never expected to see her again. And he’d never expected to see her looking like that. Her once gorgeous, long blonde hair was now destroyed by permanent streaks of colour, and her nice dresses and simple jewellery replaced with hooker outfits and tattoos. And all because he didn’t leave with her. She’d begged him, pleaded with him. She needed to leave, she cried for hours. But he’d said no, believing that she wouldn’t actually leave. And that was the last time he’d ever seen her, five years ago.

Max took a deep breath. He knew that she could be awkward, god, he of all people knew how awkward she could be. But he knew that he needed to see her, to say what he should have said five years a go.

Bravely he turned the doorknob, and whispered,

“ Isabel?”

* * *

I know its slow at the moment, but thats b/cos I'm writing in little bits! Promise to have an update this week, so keep reading and leaving feeback please
*angel*


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-Feb-2002 1:45:28 PM ]
posted on 10-Feb-2002 5:31:07 PM by leaving_normal
Theres a lot of mystery at the moment. . . . Thats something that'll always be there in this strory....
posted on 10-Feb-2002 6:39:50 PM by leaving_normal
Just a quick note before I go to bed (don't worry, it's nearly midnight over here)

In response to my feedback - I'm not letting on too much in the story yet.... these characters have very, very different lives, ones which are shocking, and turn so many corners so many different times.

Are Isabel and Max related?

They might be... they might not. But what could have happened to break them apart? What made Isabel go over the edge?

Why can't Liz and Michael tell people they saw the murderer?

Wouldn't you be scared of telling the police anything that may convince them that you knew the murderer? What if you knew that your father was in danger and felt guilty that he was murdered? What if you were terrified the guy was going to come after you next?

What happened with Tess and Max?

Something that Max definetly wants to put behind him. Thats all I'm saying!

But you guys may want to concider whether my characters are going to have alien powers? Whether they know they're aliens... Whether Amy and Jim are really just 'Amy and Jim'. Then again, I might just be trying to keep you interested....

Thanks for all the feeback!




posted on 12-Feb-2002 1:50:36 PM by leaving_normal
Just a quick note to some of my readers who at the moment are making me smile so much!

Eccentric One
You'll get the clues bit by bit! I'm studying for my AS levels at the moment, but I got 2 A*'s and 8 A's at GCSE. What uni did you go to?

tEFLON bABEE xo
Thanks for the feedback! You're right, everyone has so much to fear in this story.

Cinder
Who'd do anything to hurt a man who loved his children? You might be right about who intervened...

Eraser Room
It could be one of Michael's friends from school, but it might have something to o with who their father was... Also, about the ages, I'll put a note at the end about that.

Mudshovel5
Why did Liz and Max keep it a secret? They could be scared, or they could be confused, or Michael might be the one holding a deep dark secret... If I tell you it'll kill the story!

Transparent Clear
Thanks for the offer on Shakespeare, but I'm battling through it okay! Thanks for the feedback too!

Meagzie
Another question about the Isabel/Max relationship! It's pretty obvious that some of you guys are right in your guesses, but I'm just trying to keep as much mystery as I can in this story at the moment. You'll find out in the next bit anyway!

Thank you to everyone who posted feedback!

Ages of my characters

Well, it'll be said in the story soon but Liz is 16, Michael is 17, Max is 16, Isabel is 17, Alex is 16 and Maria is 15, very nearly 16.

Part 3c coming up next!
posted on 12-Feb-2002 2:16:31 PM by leaving_normal
Part 3c

Isabel watched her door slide slowly open. She was sitting at the window, after just returning from a night out. Not that Roswell had anything to offer her. She’d visited a couple of bars, a couple of clubs, but everywhere she went she was just gawked at. Normally she’d love it, all the attention, but people were staring at her like she was out of space or something. She’d ripped her fishnet stockings, and burnt a hole in her top; her mascara was running and the dark circles looming under her eyes made her look a state. She didn’t care; who did she have to impress?

She took another drag on her cigarette and brought her knees up to her chest, leaning against the wall and staring out the window to day break in Roswell, New Mexico.

The visitor just stood in the doorway.

“ You gonna come in or just stand there all day?” Isabel said in her thick New York accent.

She looked at Max. His browny-black hair was still cut in the same way, covering his eyes. He didn’t look much older than the night she’d run away, those scared eyes looked at her as if she was going to pounce on him at any moment. She laughed to herself, which seemed to make him even more nervous.

Max clicked the door shut and stood next to it, just looking at Isabel. She looked painfully thin, not at all like he’d remembered her. He cleared his throat,

“ You shouldn’t smoke. It’s bad for your health.”

Max, you haven’t seen this girl in five years, think of something better to say!’ He commanded himself.

Isabel snickered and threw the cigarette out of the window. She pushed herself off the windowsill and came to face him. She slowly looked him up and down.

“ So this is what you’ve become,” she said, turning and walking over towards the bag which still sat on her perfectly made bed. She started to rummage through it for something to wear. Max was lost for words.

“ You dyed your hair,” he said, thinking of nothing else to say, “ I never thought you’d do anything like that, you always loved your hair.” Isabel grunted,

“ Yeah well, things change. People change.”

Max shuffled his feet, not knowing what to say. He said the only thing he could think of,

“ I never thought I’d see you again,” he said gently, coming up behind her. Isabel laughed again,

“ Typical Max. State the obvious. Ain’t you gonna say how much you’ve missed me, and that now we’re livin’ here we’re gonna do all the things we never got to do? Start all over again?” She said dramatically, beginning to take off her top. Max spun around, giving Isabel some privacy. She may have been comfortable changing in front of him, but he certainly wasn’t ready to see that.

“ Isabel, don’t you just want to talk about what happened? I was so worried about you, I didn’t even know if you were still alive!” Max said, struggling with his emotions. He faced out of the open window. The sun had risen, and people had started to go about their daily business. Isabel laughed,

“ Yeah whatever Max. Since the day you abandoned me I’ve been livin’ out in New York. What else d’ya wanna know?” she said, standing in front of him. He looked her up and down. She’d grown up so much. She wasn’t the young 12-year-old who’d been begging with him to run away with her. She didn’t even look scared anymore, she was like a completely new person. Max’s soft brown eyes settled on hers. She’d taken out her contacts, and Max suddenly found his Isabel again. She was there, in her clear blue eyes.

Isabel stepped away awkwardly.

“ I ain’t just gonna stand around for you to look at,” Isabel said, beginning to get nervous. The tension in the room was incredible. The two just stared at each other. All of Max’s past memories came flooding back to him,

“ Isabel, we can’t leave. Mum and Dad, they’ll be mad!” An eleven-year-old Max said quietly. The cold breeze was flowing through the open window, and the stars were twinkling brightly.

Isabel grabbed his hand. Her eyes were ocean blue, and her long sunshine blonde hair was reaching down to her waist now. She was the picture of innocence, but tonight she was determined. Max shook his head, but Isabel persisted,

“ Max, they’re not our real parents. Our real parents are out there,” Isabel said, pointing through the open window. Max gulped again. Isabel grabbed his bag off the side,

“ Izzy please, why can’t we stay here? We’ll get lost in New York! It’s bigger than Roswell,” Max said, pleading with Isabel. She turned and faced the window.

‘This isn’t going to work’ she told herself.

Tears begin to fill her eyes,

“ Sure Max. Go back to bed. It was a silly idea,” Isabel said, turning to tuck him up into bed. He snuggled down deeper into his covers and smiled as she tucked him in.

“ It’ll be okay Isabel. We’ve got each other. Me and you remember?” Isabel closed her eyes,

“ Yeah Max, I remember.”

Isabel kissed him on the top of the head, and walked out of his room back into the hallway. The tears began to fall as Isabel watched Max fall asleep.

She couldn’t stay here. She had to find her real parents.

No matter what it took.

Max shook his head, and plunged back into reality. The anger built up inside him,

“ You left me Isabel! I was eleven years old, you and me, don’t you remember?” he said, staring at her. Isabel’s eyes seemed to soften for a moment, before returning to her cold, icy stare,

“ You made up your mind Max. You chose strangers over your own sister,” she said spitefully, and turned and walked away from him.

“ Isabel!” he called after her. She spun around,

“ I’m not your Isabel anymore Max. I’m not your sister. You can go on believin’ in your own little world that we’re gonna have this amazin’ bond and make up for all the time we’ve lost. But that ain’t gonna happen. I’m a grown woman, and you, you’re just a little boy,” Isabel said with disgust, before turning away and hanging on the doorknob.

‘ What are you doing Isabel! This is your brother, the person you spent so many nights thinking about, worrying about! And now you’re pushing him away again?’

With final determination, Isabel opened the door, stepped through it and slammed it shut.

After all, growing up on the streets, you had to learn how to push your feelings aside.

Otherwise you might just break altogether.

* * *

“ I had a dream last night,” Alex said as he reached over to the fruit basket and took and apple. He munched on it hungrily. Michael scratched his head and yawned tiredly,

“ Yeah man? Supermodels in swimsuits dream?” he asked, pulling out a chair and resting his arms on the pine table.

The two sat at the breakfast table, idly chatting as Amy fussed over them. Alex had been the first downstairs, after being woken up by shouting in the next room. Seemed like Isabel wasn’t a morning person.

Alex shook his head,

“ Nah, this one was far more graphic. I’m talking…” Amy looked at Alex, giving him the warning eye,

“ …about that really lovely old woman on the corner of the street. Isn’t she a babe?” Alex said, giving Amy a wide smile and taking another bite of his apple. Michael snickered. He liked Alex; he seemed all right in a not-all-there kinda way.

Kinda like Maria, he thought to himself. He pushed all thoughts he was having of her to the back of his head.

Michael nodded in agreement,

“ Yeah total babe. Talking of babes, you spoken to Isabel yet?” Michael said, making Alex nearly choke on his apple. Michael slapped him on the back, as Alex continued to splutter. He regained his composure before continuing,

“ I told you, not my type,” he said, patting his chest. He decided to give the apple a miss and poured himself a tall glass of orange juice. The pancakes sizzled in the background,

“ Not your type huh? What type do you go for?” Michael said, too tired to reply with any kind of witty comment. Alex placed the finished glass back on the table,

“ The type with a heartbeat, a pulse, oh and if they can squeeze it in, a soul,” Alex said as he began to harass Amy for more cereal. Michael laughed,

“ I don’t know,” Michael said, motioning for Alex to come in closer. Alex leant over the table,

“ I’ve heard those wild types are pretty good in bed,” Michael finished. Alex’s eyes grew wider, as he sat down, apparently considering the possibilities.

Max came into the kitchen and sat down at the top of the table, not acknowledging their presence at all. Michael raised his eyebrows, but Alex just shrugged,

“ So when you thinking about making your move?” Michael asked as Amy set the first lot of pancakes on the table. Michael went to reach for it, but Alex got there first. For a tall skinny guy, this boy could eat! Alex began to shovel the food into his mouth,

“ Well, Isabel seems a little bit, uh,” he said, taking another bite of his pancakes. Michael stabbed his with his fork,

“ Scary?” he ventured, Alex laughed. Max looked up from his position of staring at the table.

“ Are you talking about Isabel?” he asked, although, as Michael realised it was more of an order for them to tell him.

‘ Why does this guy seem to breathe authority?’ he asked himself. Michael raised an eyebrow,

“ So you do talk!” Michael said sarcastically, stabbing his pancakes again. Max turned to Alex,

“ It’s not a good idea to go after someone like Isabel,” Max said quietly. Alex put his food down,

“ Max, I know we’ve only just met and all but I do know what I’m capable of,” Alex said, taking the orange juice carton off Michael and pouring himself another glass. Max stared at Alex with big brown eyes,

“ Alex, I’m warning you,” Max said with a firm voice. Michael raised his eyebrows,

“ Warning him? I don’t think he needs warning okay-” Michael started, but Max cut him off,

“ Just leave Isabel alone,” Max ordered. Michael stood up, and stood close to Max,

“ Look man, I don’t think he’s going to take orders from you, and as a matter of fact I’m getting a bit pissed off with just listening to you spout out orders all over the place. Alex can do whatever he wants!”

At this point the both looked at Alex, who was still stuffing his face with pancakes. He looked up at them,

“ Okay guys. Just sit down and calm down okay?” Alex said, his stomach turning. If they were like this on their first morning together, they’d be unbearable to live with. Amy came back into the kitchen,

“ Everyone okay?” she asked cheerfully. Michael and Max stared at each other, and replied through gritted teeth,

“ Fine.”

Amy just looked at Alex, who simply held up his plate and asked politely,

“ Can I have another pancake?”

* * *

TBC...
*angel*

Sorry if the story seems incredibly slow, its just I only ever have time to write little bits at a time. The reason these parts are parts 3a, 3b and 3c is because they're all meant to be part of the same chapter. So I can either keep on posting like this, small and frequent, or starting posting once a week with a big part. What would you prefer?

posted on 13-Feb-2002 8:16:35 AM by leaving_normal
I'm at college atm, but justw wanted to say thanks for the replies!
posted on 13-Feb-2002 3:27:03 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note:
Okay, I am so totally amazed with the amount of feedback I've written another part for tonight *happy* although, I just want to say again that this is still part of part 3, its all meant to be one thing, you know, like a chapter that I actually wanted to put in one post but you guys ouldn't get updates for two weeks at a time if I did that! Okay, and please don't give up on this fic because it doesn't have candy/dreamer bits yet, I promise the next installments the relationships definetly start to heat up! Cos remember, they're only just beginning to get to know each other.

Thank You for all the Feedback! I'm sorry I haven't replied individually tonight, I've got loads of work to do but being a roswell fanatic, I just had to write this part!

Part 3d

Maria peered into the shop window, pushing her blonde hair behind her ears. It was nearly midday, and Liz and Maria were in town with Alex and Michael searching for jobs and generally trying to get a few bits together whilst checking out the town.

“ Hey Liz, there’s vacancies here,” she said, waving her hand so that Liz would follow her to the window of this funny looking restaurant. Liz stepped away from Michael and peered inside,

“ I don’t know, it looks kinda quirky,” Liz said, as she scanned down the notice. Michael and Alex were sharing a joke about some swimsuit dream or something, whilst Maria turned to Liz.

“ Do you know what? We should so have lunch there. We can find out about the positions and check out some of the locals,” Maria said, a small grin twitching on the corners of her lips. Liz smiled; she looked up at the restaurant,

“ Crashdown Café huh? I suppose we could give it a go, you gonna join us Michael?” she said, turning to her brother. Michael took a sideways glance at Alex. He cleared his throat,

“ I’m actually gonna go with Alex. We’re gonna check out the record stores,” Michael said, pulling Liz to give her a hug, “ You gonna be okay by yourself?” he whispered into her ear.

Liz smiled and nodded softly. There had to be some things they did separately, and sometimes, being around Michael hurt so much, because every time she looked at him she saw how hurt he was. And how much he was like their father.

She waved him goodbye and entered the Crashdown, where Maria started to rate every guy she walked past. Liz smiled, she really liked Maria, and as she gazed on at her as she chattered on mindlessly, she wondered vaguely if they’d be best friends. Liz had never had a best friend, apart from Michael and technically that didn’t count because he was her brother. She’d always been too tied up in her love of science to go out with friends. But sitting across from Maria as she chatted idly about her past love life, Liz played with the straw in her smoothie and realised that this is what it was like being normal.

And she finally felt at ease.

* * *
Isabel walked through the mall on the busy Saturday afternoon. Everywhere she went people’s heads turned. Isabel had terrified some fourteen year-old boys by exposing her tongue stud, then making it bleed. The little blonde girl had nearly thrown up when she’d seen the blood. Isabel had just laughed. It’d hurt a bit, but the look on their faces was priceless.

She was hungry. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d eaten, and having the money to buy a burger was a new experience for her. Usually she’d have visited a friend living in Brooklyn, and if she got really hungry they’d have fixed her up. But on a day-to-day existence she’d have to lie, cheat and steal just to get a good meal. Isabel smiled slightly. She missed New York. Everything was so exciting there, nothing was normal. Here? Well, the look on the two old people Isabel passed on the escalator said it all.

She approached the burger stand, and restlessly joined the end of the queue. Normally she’d storm up to the front, not caring what anyone said, but she was tired and achy. She hadn’t slept for forty-eight hours; although, living on the streets you learnt to live with not sleeping. If you slept, you could have been raped, mugged, murdered.

The first months that Isabel had lived in New York she was terrified. She’d started to look for her mum and dad, asking at offices and waiting at train stations. But no one would take her seriously, seeing her for the naïve little twelve year old blonde girl she was. She’d slept on the streets, well, she hadn’t exactly slept. The one night she had slept, she’d woken up to a group of boys surrounding her, and she may have been naïve but she knew exactly what their plan was. She’d only just managed to escape, and had cried for hours and hours down an alleyway, just wishing that she’d stayed with Max. But then she’d met Griff. And what happened in that moment changed her life forever.

Isabel approached the front of the queue but immediately lost her appetite. She took the hand that was grasping the $10 note out of her pocket, and made a quick exit out of the mall. It was that name, Griff. It made her stomach turn, and it made her want to cry all at the same time. But Isabel didn’t cry anymore. She hadn’t cried since her last night with Griff, and she’d never cry again.

Reaching the outside she breathed deeply. The freshness of the air was sickening; as she took her cigarettes out of her pocket and lit one, placing it loosely between her parted lips. The sunshine was shining brightly, falling upon Isabel’s pale face. She crossed the road, and sat on a swing in the small park.

Isabel turned her head and watched a couple of random girls flirting with some guys that she couldn’t quite see.

‘ That’s so degrading’ Isabel thought to herself, as she stamped out her cigarette and drew out another one. The girls were still obstructing her view of the guys. So wrapped up in her observation, she didn’t notice the guy sitting on the swing beside her. As the girls moved, Isabel dropped her cigarette.

Who was he?

The guy that the girls had been drooling over had apparently been worth it. His blonde spiky hair and eyes such a clear blue that Isabel could see them from her swing made him irresistible. Isabel bent down to pick up her cigarette and noticed another pair of shoes. She looked up and saw a guy with dark brown; slightly burgundy coloured hair staring at her,

“ Take a picture, it lasts so much longer,” Isabel said sarcastically, ignoring the stranger again. He snickered,

“ The new girl in town huh? Let me guess, you come from New York, you were sent here for being a bad, bad girl?” the stranger said, not taking his eyes off her. Isabel turned to him,

“ Oh yeah, I was a bad, bad girl. If you ain’t careful, I’m going to show you why I got arrested,” Isabel said, calmly threatening to show the guy the same move that had broken that police officers arm. Well, the police officer had started it. Isabel went back to stare at the guy flirting with the rest of the girls.

“ I’m up for any moves you want to show me baby,” the guy said, drawing a cigarette out of his own pocket. Isabel laughed, that must have been the worst line she’d ever been given. She ignored him again, watching the guy she was becoming increasingly attracted to thrown another guy across the grassy area they were playing on. The guy blew out his drag, and turned to Isabel,

“ Forget it baby, Fletch ain’t going for someone like you,” he said. Isabel immediately stood up and stamped out her cigarette,

“ And what you tryin’ to call a girl like me huh?” she asked him. He stood up. He was about her height, and those piercing green eyes were so mysterious. Isabel checked his profile; she could take him,

“ I’m sayin’ he’s a cheerleader type. Girls like you, you need someone who can accommodate for your needs,” he said, beginning to put his hands on her waist. Isabel was caught off guard, but moved away suddenly. He looked at her,

“ I ain’t gonna hurt you,” he said slyly, Isabel spat at his feet,

“ Sure you ain’t, cos you ain’t comin’ no where near me. See ya, pretty boy,” Isabel said as she flicked her leather jacket over her shoulders and began to walk away from him. She wasn’t scared of him; she’d been around enough to know when a guy was simply all talk.

“ So, I’ll see you around Baby?” he called after her, she stopped and turned around,

“ Call me Isabel,” she said with a coy smile and a flick of her hair.

There was no point in letting a potential opportunity slip by. Even if she was formulating how to get to know Fletch a lot better…

* * *

“ Uh huh, no way. I can not see myself working here. Have you seen those uniforms?” Liz said as she bit into her ‘Will Smith’ Burger. It was good, she couldn’t deny that. Maria laughed as she wiped the mayonnaise off the side of her cheek,

“ You’d so look cute, and besides, I don’t think Max would mind!” Maria said wiggling her eyebrows, Liz eyes flew wide open as she scrunched up her napkin and threw it at Maria,

“ Hey, that is so not true! Besides, have you even spoken to Max?” Liz said, taking another bite of her burger. She chewed thoughtfully, thinking about him in the library. She’d felt weird just starting to cry on him, but what else could she do? Any memories were making her cry at the moment. But there, in his arms, that was something so different. He was so warm. Sure, she had Michael, and she loved him for everything. But this was different. Max was on the outside, and until he’d pushed her away, she felt completely at ease in his arms, something she’d never been able to do before.

Maria snapped her back to reality, giving her an I-knew-it-grin,

“ What?” Liz asked her, finishing her smoothie. Maria laughed,

“ You Chica, are hooked!” she said, finishing her own cola. Liz laughed, she wasn’t hooked. Well, not yet anyway. Maria seemed to change like the weather, as she started up another conversation,

“ Hey so, we start school tomorrow? You scared?” she asked thoughtfully, attacking her burger again. Liz cocked her head to the side,

“ I don’t know, I kind of like it. I’m kind of interested in science,” Maria’s eyes widened,

“ Oh! I love that too. The chemical stuff, blowing things up, and oh, things from outer space. Like aliens on Mars and stuff!” Maria said, starting to get excited and drumming her hands on the table. Liz smiled, and couldn’t resist laughing,

“ Yeah, er, kind of!” Liz said cheerfully. She finished her burger and picked at her fries. She had to ask Maria that all-important question. She hesitated a little,

“ Are you, one of those, uh, cheerleader types?” she said quietly, as if it was a deadly disease or something. Maria’s smile dropped,

“ No, why, are you?” she asked in an equally quiet manner. Liz shook her head,

“ Hell no!” Liz said, making Maria laughed,

“ God, you said it like it was a disease or something!” she said cheerily, “ I’m not a cheerleader person, I kinda do things my own way you know? Don’t follow the crowd. It’s much more exciting that way,” Maria finished in her matter of fact manner, as if to illustrate the point, she started to sniff her cedar oil.

Liz smiled. This was what it was like having friends. She’d almost forgotten that. Maria finished her fries and smiled at her,

“ This might sound really weird, but, are you still scared? I mean, the thing is, I was thinking this morning and I don’t really know you at all. But I feel like I trust you. And I suppose its because we’re both in the same boat. I was terrified about coming here, but now, well, it’s not so hard,” Maria said.

Liz felt like crying, Maria was so sweet and nice to her; not at all what she’d thought it’d be like.

“ Well, I think if we stick together, we’re going to be okay,” Liz said as they started to get up to pay the bill. Maria smiled warmly. She was so, well, she guessed relieved was the right word. She’d imagined some girl who was tall and scary ordering her around. She laughed again,

“ I just had this mental thought, can you imagine Isabel as a cheerleader?” Maria said, cringing at the thought. Liz laughed out loud,

“ Out of all the times I’ve seen her, I think that’d be the scariest!” Liz said as Maria handed her her application form and they began to walk out of the Crashdown Café, knowing that they’d soon return as waitresses.

Liz smiled as the sunshine greeted her face.

So this is what it was like to have friends.


* * *
Alex whistled merrily as he strode down the halls of West Roswell High, with the general thought of,

‘So many people to make laugh, so little time!’

Honestly, he was actually starting to feel a little lonely. Hanging out with Michael the day before had been cool. They’d talked about music, and thankfully avoided the topic of Isabel. Alex grinned to himself; of course he could have her, if he really wanted her that was. He shook his head, passing a number of different lockers. At least he was starting this school at the start of the school year. The past schools he’d been at he’d had to start in the middle of semesters, and making friends was hard because everyone had already sorted themselves into little groups.

The smell of this school was fresh, and the bright yellow lockers actually made him smile. Noticing a couple of familiar faces, he made a beeline towards them,

“ Hey Liz, hey Maria. How’s the first day of West Roswell High going?” he said cheerfully, watching Maria tape up a picture of some guy in her locker. He leant on the lockers next to Liz, before taking his schedule out of his pocket. Liz smiled,

“ It’s weird being around so many people. So much happened over the summer,” she said, biting her lip and willing herself not to cry. She only had to make it through the day. She scanned the halls again, searching for Michael. Spending this much time away from him was hard. Before, she’d spent day in, day out with him, and she still needed him.

Alex looked thoughtfully looked down at his timetable,

“ Hey, do you guys know where room 203 is? I’ve got French now, and I’ve been late for every class I’ve had today. Oh you guys never would have guessed what happened in biology this morning,” he said, and as if on cue, the ‘disaster’ that had happened this morning came sliding down the hallway.

Mr. Pete, Alex’s biology teacher, couldn’t have been taller than five feet tall, with whispy white hair and gentle brown eyes twinkling. Alex smirked as the student continued to wheel the teacher past on his desk chair. Apparently someone had found it rather funny to superglue their teacher to his seat. Alex saluted the teacher as he rode past,

“ Okay Mr. Pete?” he said cheerfully. Mr Pete turned his head around,

“ Mr Whitman!” he said warningly, although when Alex pulled a fake ‘me?’ expression, the teacher broke into a smile and shook his head. Liz and Maria turned to Alex, their jaws nearly hitting the floor,

“ You didn’t!” Maria said, a smile beginning to form on her lips. Alex wiggled his eyebrows at them. Liz slapped her hand over her mouth and began to laugh. Alex looked at his schedule again,

“ Come on, I’ve got more havoc to rage in French. Where you guys headed?” he said, as the bell rang and he began to walk with them down the hall, winding their way through numerous students. Liz and Maria quickly scanned their timetables, and laughed,

“ I guess it looks like we’re all in the same class!” Maria said cheerfully. Alex rubbed his hands together,

“ Ah ladies! I will show you my ways now. Come on, maybe we can go for ice-cream afterwards! J’ai tres faim!” Alex said, putting an arm round each of their shoulders, whilst Liz laughed,

“ What does that mean?” Maria asked, confused,

“ It means he’s hungry!” Liz said between giggles. The halls were empty as they approached the room, laughing and teasing Alex about his constant hunger!

* * *
Michael paced up and down the living room in the empty house. Well, Alex was playing guitar upstairs and Max was off being moody somewhere, but the person who should be home wasn’t. Michael checked the clock. It was 6pm. School had let out hours ago. Where was she?

He sat down and buried his head in his hands. Why hadn’t he checked on her? Why had he let her slip out of her sight? He knew how dangerous it was for them to be apart. His hands began to shake as those piercing green eyes began to haunt him again.

Suddenly the front door swung open and Liz, Maria and Alex came walking leisurely through the door. Michael breathed a sigh of relief. Maria and Alex headed upstairs, as Liz made her way over to him. She settled on the sofa next to him, and placed her books on the coffee table,

“ Me, Maria and Alex just went out for ice-cream after school, I’m telling you, the things that boy has done! Has he told you about the time he-” Liz started but stopped when she saw the serious look on Michael’s face. Michael stared at her, his worry slowly turning into anger,

“ I was worried about you Liz! I didn’t know where you were!” Michael said in a low tone, but expressing his anger none the less. Liz’s soft brown eyes looked at Michael pleadingly. She placed a hand on Michael’s knee,

“ It’s okay Michael. I’m safe!” she said comfortingly. She knew how Michael could worry. Michael snatched away from her gesture and began to pace up and down,

“ No Liz, you’re not! You’re spending afternoons with people you don’t even know! Anything could happen to either of us, and you’re off parading around like nothing ever happened!” Michael said, his voice raising. Liz rose to her feet also, preparing to defend herself,

“ You went out with Alex! And besides it wasn’t far!” Liz argued, beginning to feel her cheeks heat up. Michael stared at her,

“ You shouldn’t get so close to these people. They’re not family Liz,” Michael warned her, taking her by the shoulders. Liz took a step back, shaking her head,

“ Michael, we’ve been here a week, why shouldn’t I start making friends? I want to be normal again.” she told him. Michael turned his back on her, something that Liz hated. She hated being closed out of her brother’s life. Michael turned back around, and it was then that Liz noticed the tears forming in his eyes,

“ You’re forgetting dad already aren’t you? Just because you’ve come here, you think he doesn’t exist anymore!” he said spitefully, causing Liz to break out in a flood of tears.

Fear and anger raked through Liz’s body. How could he say something like that? They stood there, staring at one another,

“ How can you say something like that Michael?” she asked him quietly, tears beginning to spill over her eyelashes. Michael turned away from her, and began to walk upstairs,

“ Because it’s true. You just don’t care!” Michael shouted as he stormed upstairs, leaving Liz to grab her books and head back out the front door in a flood of tears.

* * *

Was that part as bad as I think it was?
*angel*

posted on 14-Feb-2002 2:02:37 PM by leaving_normal
Oh my god! I nearly had a heart attack, the board wasn't letting me log on! I just wanted to say thanks for all the feedback and everything!

Actually, I made like, a huge mistake in that bit, whoever noticed that Alex was upstairs playing the guitar and walking through the door at the same time, you were right! I'll have to edit that bit out! I'm sorry!

Happy Valentines Day everyone! I'll update asap!

Jo.x
posted on 16-Feb-2002 5:07:45 AM by leaving_normal
hey everyone

Just a quick note to say I've been working on the next part, and it should be out soon! It's going to be a long part so look forward to having something long to read!

Jo.x
posted on 17-Feb-2002 6:47:57 AM by leaving_normal
Hopefully you'll like this bit *happy* I've been writing it for a while, so that I wouldn't forget anything! Sorry for the long wait... but tell me how you think it turned out!

Part 3e

Michael paced up and down in his room.

Why did I do that? He asked himself.

“ I am the biggest jerk!” he said out-loud, feeling like punching something.

He was still angry, although this time he was angry with himself. He ran his fingers through his long hair and sat down on his bed. He’d been worried, and it’d come out all wrong. And now he had pushed Liz completely away. He knew how sensitive she could be, and he didn’t blame her. He’d just been so worried that the minute he’d seen her he’d got scared again; scared that he would lose her.

“ You’ve so blown it this time!” Michael said throwing himself down onto his bed. Alex looked up from his guitar,

“ Is this like, a private conversation between you and your imaginary friend? Or can anyone join in?” Alex said as he get up and lounged on the desk chair opposite Michael. Michael put his hands over his face and groaned,

“ Not now Alex, I’ve just done something stupid,” Michael said, staring at the ceiling. Alex rocked backwards and forwards on his chair,

“ Argument with Liz? What’s the big deal? You're brother and sister, you argue don’t you?” Alex said, picking a chocolate bar out of the desk drawer. He munched thoughtfully. His brown eyes stared at Michael until he rose up to sit no the edge of the bed again,

“ Well no, we don’t really argue. Well, sure we did, she’s kinda like this neat freak and…” Michael’s voice trailed off. He hated admitting that he was wrong, it frustrated him so much when he didn’t do things right, and hated it even worse when he hurt someone else by doing that. Alex still sat there, his brown eyes open and not judging Michael at all. Michael smiled,

“ Did you argue with your brothers or sisters?” Michael said, looking at Alex. A cloud seemed to darken Alex’s face, but lift in an instant,

“ I’ve always been an only child. Don’t live anywhere long enough to form any brother/sister relationships,” he said simply, slam dunking the wrapper of his chocolate bar in the bin and picking up his guitar again,

“ Hey, I’m sorry man, I didn’t mean to strike a nerve or anything,” Michael said, getting up. Alex looked up at him,

“ Yeah I know. No probs. Just be happy you’ve got a sister, a sister who’s only in the next room…” Alex said, his brown eyes coming over all meaningful. Michael nodded, and turned to walk back to the door, pausing momentarily on the handle to look and Alex and frown slightly, wondering why a guy like him had to have it so hard.

* * *

Maria held the cell phone up to her ear as she unfolded another box of her clothes. She held up her favourite purple three-quarter-lengths and smiled; the little mirrors she had sown on had been an excellent touch. Maria hummed into the cell,

“ Mmm hmm. Yeah. Fine,” she said. She kept trying to distract herself from the person on the other end of the phone. She didn’t want to be having this conversation, but she knew she had to. A lump caught in her throat,

“ Yeah I’m fine. Everyone’s really nice here,” she mumbled. A knock came on the door as it slid open slightly. Maria’s heart leapt into her throat as Michael placed his head around the door and invited himself in.

Why was he so good looking? She cursed herself. He clicked the door behind him and started to talk to Maria,

“ Where’s Liz?” he ordered, looking around the room. If it was one thing Maria couldn’t stand it was taking orders. She turned her back on him and continued on the conversation,

“ I started school today,” she continued on, taking another one of her favourite tops out of her bag.
Michael flustered around her, beginning to get impatient,

“ Aren’t you listening? I asked you where Liz is, its not going to take long to answer,” Michael said ignorantly, Maria turned her back on him again, beginning to get some slight pleasure in his pathetic bargaining techniques,

“ No! No of course not!” Maria said, her eyes flying wide open as a response to something the person on the other end of the phone said. Maria felt tears begin to well up in her eyes as the person on the other end sobbed, Maria hearing every cry, and every hiccup. Michael was getting too impatient, so he reached out and took the phone off her, pressing the cancel button. Maria screeched,

“ What the hell do you think you’re doing! That was an important call!” she screamed, battling to get the phone off of him. Michael held it higher, so that she couldn’t even reach it on tip-toes.

“ So what, it’s one of your cheerleader type friends talking about what skirt to wear tomorrow. My conversation, on the other hand, is very very important. Where is Liz?” Michael said as Maria began to jump up and down after the phone. She groaned with frustration, she hated being short.

“ I don’t know Michael. Why should I know? You’re the one who’s scared her away,” she said bitterly. An invisible blow seemed to come to Michael’s stomach, as he backed down. Maria snatched the phone off him.

“ Now get out of my room.” She ordered. Michael gave her an evil stare as he stormed out of the room, slamming the door after him.

* * *

Max sat in the garden, his knees tucked underneath his chin. The garden was massive, with loads of apple trees, and even a fountain. Max loved the smell of the outside. It was fresh, new and exciting. Every time you breathed in, you were breathing in something new. He sighed. The first day of school had been hard. He was used to being the loner, in fact, he actually preferred it that way. But all through school today he’d just felt lonely, and desperately just wanted someone beside him.

He groaned again, as the image of Tess flashed in his mind. He wanted to forget about her, God, he wanted to forget about her. But when she’d taken his life in her hands and wrecked it beyond compare, it was hard to just forget about her.

He pulled his notebook out of his backpack, and turned to the back. He grabbed a pen and began to jot down random things he was feeling.

Loneliness, heartache, rejection, frustration

He put his pen down and watched as Liz came through the garden gate, slamming it behind her. Her wild brown eyes were furious. Her wild brown hair flew behind her, as she walked with confident strides. She didn’t seem to notice him, but she disappeared around the side of the house. Max looked back at his notebook, and picked up his pen again and scribbled,

Lust, want, belonging.

* * *
Isabel skipped around the side of a dumpster, trying to get a better look at Fletch. She’d followed him, and the rest of the cheerleading squad, home to try and get a better look at him.

And she was right the first time, this guy was gorgeous.

“ Okay girls, I’m afraid you’re going to have to let me go now. I’m home,” he said hugging a couple of them. Jealousy spread over Isabel. The girls waved goodbye and hung on until he closed the door. Isabel sighed, her heart racing.

She had to have him.

* * *

Maria looked at the clock. She’d been sitting there a whole hour. Her pad of paper still lay empty on the kitchen table, and her pen was still playing the role of her chew toy. She slammed it down on the table,

Why is this so hard? She asked herself.

She took the pen out of her mouth and wrote on the top of the page,

Dear Mum.

She put down the pen.

Now what do I write?

Maria felt like crying. She didn’t know what to say, she didn’t even know why she was writing. Well sure, she knew why she was writing; it was because Michael had hung up on her mum earlier. She threw down the pen in frustration and placed her elbows on the table, resting her head in her hands. She’d been kinda glad Michael had hung up on her mum. She was crying like anything, screaming that she’d lost her only daughter. What was Maria supposed to say to that?

Someone else came storming into the kitchen. She looked up and groaned again,

“ What, are you everywhere?” she asked him, placing her head back in her hands. Michael frowned,

“ Just shut up with the stupid comments okay? Have you seen Liz?” he said, placing his hands on the table and looking dead into her eyes. Maria stood up and looked straight back at him,

“ You asked me that an hour a go and I said no,” she said, their faces just inches apart. Michael gulped,

“ I’m not asking you about an hour ago, I’m asking you about now!” he barked through gritted teeth. Maria tore away from his stony glare and picked up her pad. She turned her back on him,

“ Where are you going?” he ordered, grabbing her by the arm. Maria turned around, and in that instant, Michael felt like the smallest guy alive. Maria’s eyes were brimming with tears, their blueness being made even brighter by the film of tears. He gulped. He hadn’t meant to make her cry,

“Michael, I don’t know where Liz is! Just let go of me!” she said quietly, visibly trying to keep the tears from falling. Michael released him grip and watched as she walked away from him.

Great, in the space of an hour he’d hurt two people he cared about.

* * *

Alex strummed his fingers lightly along the strings of his guitar, singing along to the smooth chords. A light tap came against the door,

“ Come in,” Alex said, placing his guitar on the floor. Jim entered through the doorway,

“ Was that you playing?” Jim asked softly, Alex grinned sheepishly,

“ Yeah, oh, I’m sorry was it too loud?” he asked, making Jim chuckle. He sat down beside Alex on the bed,

“ You’re really good at it. Are you in a band or something?” he asked, picking up the guitar himself. Alex laughed,

“ Well, it’s kinda a one man band. Me,” he said, as Jim laughed. Alex kicked at the ground,

“ I don’t really have time to form a band. I kinda move around a lot. Well hey, the change of scenery is always a bonus!” he said with a grin, though Jim thought he could see the glint of sadness in Alex’s eyes. Jim patted him on the back,

“ Well hopefully Alex you’ll be with us long enough to form a band. That is, if you like it here,” Jim said beginning to get off the bed. Alex looked up thoughtfully at him,

“ Yeah, it’s great here. Amy’s a brilliant cook!” Alex said enthusiastically, his stomach growling hungrily. Jim laughed,

“ I can tell you like your food! Dinner will be a half hour, do you want to try and round everybody up?” he asked as he began to shut the door. Alex nodded as he began to strum his guitar again, Jim hesitated inside the doorframe,

“ Alex, you really are good,” Jim said, closing the door behind him. Alex couldn’t help but smile as he whispered,

“ Yeah, I wish my dad would say the same.”

* * *
Liz walked quietly through the library. She’d stormed out of the front door about an hour ago, but soon realised she had no idea where she was going or even how to get there. She’d walked through the back gate and walked around the side of the house, climbing an old apple tree and sitting there for hours until the sun had set. Then it had started to get cold, so she’d decided to come back into the library.

She ran her fingers past the spines of so many books on politics, science, art and history. She picked up a book on the solar system and just smelt it; she loved that dusty smell. Her father used to read to her for hours and hours. And she’d listen to every word he’d said. She sat down on the sofa and flicked through the pages. Her father had talked to her all about the stars and the planets nearly every day, and as a result of that Liz was fascinated by it. Super novas, giants, it all reminded her of the lust she and her father shared for science and astronomy.

Suddenly Liz became aware that someone was standing next to her. She closed the book and looked up at the stranger. Max smiled at her,

“ We’ve really got to stop meeting like this,” he said as he smiled, taking a seat next to her. She smiled at him. His brown eyes seemed troubled, yet at the same time they were so open, and honest. And he smelt great, as Liz noticed, and her heart began to race faster and faster. Max picked up the book from Liz’s lap, touching her bare legs as he did so. Sending shivers all through Liz’s body. She smiled at him,

“ So you’re into the solar system too?” she asked him. Max nodded,

“ Yeah, it just amazes me to think that the big bang created all of this from nothing you know?” he said, frantically skipping pages. Liz smiled,

“ That’s exactly the way I feel about it, it just takes my breath away,” she said wistfully. Max began to flick past a page, but Liz stopped him, reaching over him and making him stop on a certain page. Liz looked up at him. She was nearly sprawled all across his lap, and their faces were inches apart. She gulped as she looked at his lips. She was so close, and there was a part of her that so desperately wanted to kiss him.

But he backed away nervously, returning to the book. Liz looked at him, wondering why he’d rejected her again. Max cleared his throat,

“ What’s so special about this page?” he asked her. Liz took a moment to regain her thoughts as she touched the picture,

“ This is the whirlwind galaxy. So far we’ve only been able to get this one picture of it. My dad used to rant on and on about it all the time. He’d even joke that he’d take me and Michael there one day,” she said smiling. Max touched her hand again,

“ You miss him a lot don’t you?” he asked. Liz nodded,

“ It’s so hard because Michael looks so much like him. We were all really close, and now me and Michael have just had this huge fight,” she said looking up at him,

“ Did you used to argue with your siblings?” Liz asked. She wanted to know so much about Max; she wanted to know why he was afraid every time they got closer. Max nodded,

“ I used to argue with my foster sister Sophie all the time, she was only little so they were fun arguments,” he said, but bit his lip. Liz looked at him,

“ If you want to talk about things Max, we can. I know it’s weird and I don’t even know you, but there’s this part of me that is just aching to talk to someone,” she said, this time placing her hand on top of his.

Max watched as their fingers entwined and his heart leapt about 3 feet in the air. She was so loving, so caring. He wanted to tell her everything too, and smiled as he gazed down at their hands, bringing them up so he could hold one of her hand with both of his,

“ I’m sorry if every time you come near me I’m like a nervous wreck,” he said, looking into her soft brown eyes. She smiled,

“ It’s okay, all of us, that’s all of us living here, we’ve all been through so many different things. Maybe that makes us all closer in a way,” she said. He nodded,

“ I’ve never really had friends before,” he said, and she nodded,

“ Neither have I,” she said sadly. Max continued, taking a deep breath,

“ But where I came from, before I lived here, there was this one person who was always trying to make friends with me. But she just wasn’t the kind of person I wanted to be friends with. And everything kind of just got so messed up, and that’s how I ended up living here,” he said. Liz looked confused, and knew that he wasn’t telling her all the details, but he was opening up to her. He licked his lips and continued,

“ That’s why I kind of backed away from you the other day. I’m just scared that if I make friends with anyone, I’ll lose everything that means anything to me – for the second time,” he said, tightening his fingers around hers.

She looked at him, he was so honest, so open and so hurt by whoever had done this to him. She couldn’t resist it anymore, but threw herself into his arms and held him tight. She felt so amazingly happy when she felt his arms tighten around her waist. She reluctantly drew back,

“ I’m sorry for what happened with you Max. But I know what it’s like to lose everything,” she said sadly. With building confidence, Max put his arms around her, and buried her in a cuddle. Liz sighed,

“ Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, and I’d have been crying so hard I’d have to remind myself that I have to breathe. I hope that someday I’ll go back to not having to remind myself to breathe, that it’ll just be part of my life again,”

She looked up at him with her big brown eyes that made him go weak at the knees, maintaining her entrancing eyes; he took one hand and stoked the side of her cheek. His stomach was in knots and he didn’t know if she could feel him shaking, but this felt so right. He breathed in, and whispered as her face came closer to his,

“ I don’t think life is about the number of breaths you take,” he said slowly, placing her strands of hair behind her ears. He paused and cupped her chin,

“ I think it’s about the number of moments, in life, that take your breath away,” he said as he brought her lips up to his.

Liz’s stomach was turning. Her lips were seconds away from touching his, and with every second that past, she wanted to kiss him for longer and longer.

Max was shaking as he cupped her face, and parted his lips. He knew he should be more careful, after everything that had happened to him, but how could something that felt so right be so wrong?

A sharp tap came at the door, throwing them apart. Liz jumped away and tried to stop her heart from racing. Alex popped his head around the door,

“ Dinner’s going to be about fifteen minutes,” he hollered as he came walking towards them. He looked at them, first at Liz, then at Max,

“ Did I interrupt something?” he asked, taking a seat in between them. Liz groaned silently,

“ No Alex. Nothing at all,” she said, biting her tongue. Max gave Liz a quick smile. And Liz’s heart began to race again.

* * *

Michael walked through the lounge after dinner. Liz hadn’t been at the table; in fact, she’d skipped dinner all together. She’d told Amy that she didn’t feel well, but Michael knew that it was an excuse so that she wouldn’t have to face him. He stopped as he noticed Maria curled up on the sofa by herself, watching a horror film from behind a pillow. He felt his heart tug at him, he’d been so horrible to her all day. He came and sat down at the other end of the sofa, kicking off his shoes and curling his feet under him, Maria looked at him,

“ What, are you here to shout at me again?” she asked, still keeping the pillow in from of her so that she couldn’t see all of the screen,

“ I just wanted to sit and watch the movie okay?” he shot at her. Maria smiled,

“ I suppose that’ll have to do as an apology,” she said with a smile, turning back to face the screen. Michael smiled a little but tried to appear pissed off. He cleared his throat,

“ So, you planning on watching the movie or just listening to it,” he said as he took the pillow away from her. She covered her eyes with her hands,

“ This is really scary actually,” she said, fighting him back for the pillow. He gave it to her and she cuddled it into her chest,

“ Sure it is. I can watch anything, it’s only a movie,” Michael said, Maria looked at him,

“ Sure you can. What are you trying to prove?” she asked him, they both went back to looking at the screen, where the murderer was just sneaking up on his victim. Maria tensed all over. Then, at that dramatic point where the music changes and he’s stabbing her to death, they both screamed and Michael covered his eyes. Maria laughed in hysterics, and handed him the pillow,

“ Maybe you need it more than me,” she said with a smile. Michael smiled back and took the pillow, before hitting her over the head with it.

* * *

The thunder and lightening was surrounding her, beating faster and faster. Liz came into the dark kitchen, illuminated only by the erratic bolts of lightening. Coming closer, she screamed,

“ DAD!”

A million thoughts were running though her head, as she began to run towards him by Michael caught her by the arm. He pulled her protectively behind him,

“ Liz, go and get help!” he whispered desperately, his stomach churning. Liz’s eyes gleamed with fear as a man came out of the shadows. His bala-clava only revealed his bright, menacing green eyes. Liz felt Michael shudder, as he pointed the kitchen knife at them,

“ No one’s going anywhere,” the man stated evilly. Liz began to shake. The kitchen knife gleamed with blood, as she followed the trail across the kitchen floor to where a red liquid was slowly surrounding her father.

There were no thoughts going through her mind as she threw herself across the floor at her father, only to get caught by the stranger in their house. His rough grip held her neck tightly. He thrusted her head up,

“ See what you made me do to your father!” he said sinisterly.

Liz’s body began to scream, as she got an up close view of her father. Liz’s eyes filled with tears. Fear crept over body once again. She thrust her head violently in the direction of Michael, who stood on the spot.

Michael’s body had turned numb. His father was lying dead on the kitchen floor. This madman had invaded their house. He felt like he was going to be sick. He had Liz. He stood feet away from the murderer.

“ Let her go,” he ordered. He set his feet apart. The man chuckled,

“ Michael. Do you think I’m that stupid?”

Liz stopped cold. She was absolutely petrified now. This man, this monster that had just murdered her father knew them. She screamed as she tried to bite the man. Michael lunged forward.

It all happened so quickly.

Liz bit the man’s fingers as hard as she could, as he thrust her away. Michael grabbed the guy’s throat.

He could feel the hatred run through his veins. He could feel the paralysing fear reach his throat as the madman hovered above him, thrashing the knife at Michael face.

Liz screamed.

The rain poured.

The knife plunged.

And suddenly, their father came lunging across at the man, knocking him off his feet. The man’s green eyes seemed to glow with fear, as he turned on his heel and ran out of the house. Michael cradled his father’s head in his lap, whilst blood began to seep into his own T-shirt. Liz sunk down beside him, and watched as her father took shallow, raspy breaths. Michael screamed at Liz,

“ Go get an ambulance!” he screamed, and Liz, paralysed, just obeyed his every order. She could hear Michael talking to her father as she took the phone off the receiver, her hands shaking violently,

“ Dad, it’s going to be okay. Liz’s is going to get an ambulance and everything’s going to be okay,” Michael choked through the tears. He watched as his father opened his eyes, he placed a bloody hand around Michael’s face,

“ Michael, look after Liz. You and her are very very special,” his father said. Michael began to brake down,

“ No dad, we need you! You can’t die!” he pleaded, tears raging down his face.

Liz’s trembling fingers frantically dialled 911.

“ I need an ambulance, and and the police, we’ve been broken into and my dad’s lying on the floor, I think he’s dying he’s been stabbed! Please come quickly!” Liz said quickly.

All of a sudden a bright white light seemed to spread through the whole house. Liz closed her eyes as it blinded her, and she dropped the phone.

She heard an agonising scream from the next room.

And then all went black.

* * *
Liz awoke with a gasp. Her hair was drenched in sweat and her hands were trembling. She slowly got out of her bed and made her way through the door and along the hall. She didn’t hesitate as she opened Michael’s door and slowly crept into bed beside him,

“ Liz?” he whispered. He felt her cold hands against his chest and her hot tears follow. He put his strong arms around her, and stroked her hair,

“ Shhh Liz. Shh it’s going to be okay,” he whispered as she cried. She looked up at him,

“ I’m sorry for making you worry Michael,” she whispered through the tears. Michael lowered her head back onto his chest,

“ It’s okay Liz. I’m sorry for shouting at you, I just got scared,” he said, as he felt Liz nod.

“ Michael?” she asked. He hummed in recognition,

“ You won’t ever leave me will you?” she asked quietly. Michael’s heart ripped in two, as tears slowly fell from his eyes,

“ No Liz. I’m never leaving you.”

* * *

Feedback please?
*angel*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 17-Feb-2002 6:52:29 AM ]
posted on 17-Feb-2002 5:20:49 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone!

Instead of answering individual questions, I've decided to just take what people have said and give some feedback...

Are they Aliens?

I'm so glad someone picked up on this!!! But am I just teasing you??? I'm fighting back he urge to spill it all out to you guys!! You're just going to have to keep reading.

Who was the murderer?

As I said, I can't giveit away because it'll ruin the whole story! But it's very, very significant who their father was.

Who is the guy Isabel likes?

How will he fit into the story? Well, he or his friend will definetly bring Alex into the picture... And has anyone concidered who Griff was to Isabel? Don't worry, it'll all come together!

How could Michael be watching a horror film?

I did that on purpose so it's easier to bring him and Maria closer together, you'll see. Have faith guys, I do everything for a reason!

Thanks for everyone who leaves feedback, if it wasn't for you guys I wouldn't keep writing!

*angel*

posted on 19-Feb-2002 1:17:01 PM by leaving_normal
Hey, me again,

This story is so distracting! I get in and I'm supposed to do my homework, but I came in today and re-watched 'Destiny', and I've got some great new ideas for this fic, and guys, it's going to be around a long time! I was watching the Liz and Max bits and nearly in tears again, they're so good together. I also watched Independence Day, and Michael in that just made me think 'you know, he's like my Michael in my story!'. I'm focussing a lot more on season one characters in this story, to be honest, they've never been as good as they were in the first season!

Thanks to everyone who left feedback, the next part will be up soon!

Jo.x
*angel*
posted on 20-Feb-2002 4:28:50 PM by leaving_normal
Hey everyone, I wrote this part especially for all of you *happy* I'm not sure what you're going to think of it, but I'm still at that stage where I'm trying to get all the characters to where I want them to be to start the really dramatic storyline, so bear with me... please tell me if I'm going in completely the wrong direction.

Part 4A

Max rolled around in his bed. It’d been a good night dreaming, but now his eyes seemed to be super glued together. He could hear the birds singing merrily in the trees, knowing it was morning. He smiled to himself. Another day at school, and another day with Liz. His stomach knotted as he remembered how close they’d been to actually kissing yesterday. He pulled the dark covers up to his chin and sighed,

How could it be so easily to fall in love with someone after what happened? Max silently asked himself. He rolled over onto his side and looked across at Michael. Max did a double take.

There, lying facing him was Liz Parker. Her lips slightly parted and her brown hair flowing around her face, Max’s heart began to race again. Various questions plagued him,

Why is she in Michael’s bed? Max nearly laughed to himself,

Because she’s his sister. He reminded himself, not pausing to even blink.

She breathed softly, seeming quite content to be in Michael’s arms. Max felt a tiny pang of jealousy hit his stomach. There was a huge part of Max that wanted to be the one cuddled up with Liz. But then, realising the very limited amounts of clothing he was wearing he blushed. Maybe he could be wearing just a little bit more when he was that close to her.

Liz stirred in her sleep as she began to wake up. Max squeezed his eyes shut and pretended to snore softly. He could feel her movements in the room as she lifted herself out of bed, and placed the covers back over Michael. He opened his eyes very slightly, enough to catch sight of Liz walking across his bedroom floor in her long shirt and panties. She clicked the door behind her. Max took deep breaths to calm himself down. He stumbled out of bed with vague thoughts of catching Liz before anyone else was awake.

But what was really playing on his mind was the possibility that the next time Liz came into his room, she’d be coming to see him.

* * *

Isabel couldn’t help but snort as a familiar guy sat next to her in the quad at lunch. Isabel had scared away a bunch of freshmen for this table, a table with a perfect view of Fletch. She was infatuated with him, and had even gone as far as to steal a copy of his timetable from the office. She wasn’t about to let this guy ruin it for her,

“ Get lost dork,” Isabel said bluntly, coming straight out with her feelings. She ducked her head around him so that she could see Fletch a bit better. She let out a snarl when Fletch placed his hands around another girl. The guy laughed, his green eyes still as mysterious as they had been that day in the park.

“ I see you’re still admiring the wonderful world of Fletch,” the guy commented sarcastically. He lit up a cigarette, which, in the middle of the quad, was strictly prohibited. Isabel had to give the guy his props, he didn’t care what other people thought, that was for sure. That was kind of attractive. Isabel scowled at the guy,

“ I told you the first time pretty boy. Ain’t ever gonna happen,” she said, following his example and sparking up her own cigarette. They seemed to be gathering quite a lot of attention, and Isabel smiled inwardly as she noticed Fletch looking her way. The guy just laughed,

“ Enough with the pretty boy stuff. I’m Adam, and I’m a lot more wiling than Fletch will ever be,” he said. Isabel turned to look at the guy. His burgundy coloured hair fell across his face, and his pale skin looked as if the sun hadn’t touched it in weeks. His nails were coloured in black, but what amazed Isabel the most was his eyes. They were green, not just any green, but a shiny, emerald green.

“ And what makes you think I’m so willing?” she asked him flirtatiously. With a second glance, this guy wasn’t as bad as she thought he’d be. Sure, he was a little up himself, and sure, he was different. But that’s what Isabel wanted. Different. The guy turned to her, and looked into her eyes. Isabel had never had such an intense moment in her life. His eyes seemed to overwhelm her, invade her somehow. In a way it was kind of scary. But in a way… she kind of liked it. He took her hand,

“ Because I’m tellin’ you, this town ain’t got anything to offer nobody. Come out with me, Friday night. I’ll show you a good time,” he whispered seductively. Isabel looked at the guy. He was persistent; she could give him that. Isabel’s gaze flew over to Fletch, who seemed deeply interested in what the two were talking about. Isabel licked her lips, formulating a plan. If Fletch was this involved in one conversation she was having with another guy, imagine the possibilities of what Fletch could feel if he saw her with another guy. She smiled,

“ You know what, I’ll think I’ll give it a chance,” Isabel said, leaning forward and kissing the guy softly on the lips, with hopes of making Fletch extremely jealous. Isabel was slightly taken back when Adam ran his tongue along her bottom lip, and before she knew it, she was actually enjoying kissing him…

* * *

Alex stabbed at his frog in Biology. He’d been thankful to know at least one guy in his class, although he hadn’t been overjoyed when he’d found out Michael was just as useless at Biology as he was. Alex poked at it with the scalpel again, and turned to Michael,

“ Yep, it’s dead,” he said, a serious look of pain on his face. Michael managed a smile,

“ Alex, you’re crazy you know that?” Michael said, taking the scalpel off Alex and cutting the frog open. Alex grabbed at his chest,

“ Oh! You got me!” he cried, slumping over the table.

Michael shook his head. Alex was a real nutcase, though Michael couldn’t deny he was hilarious. He watched as Alex snuck up behind an unsuspecting group of girls who had their back turned to their project. He took the frog off the dissecting plate, and said,

“ Girls, I think your project has got up and walked away,” he said, holding the frog in one hand behind his back. Michael snickered as he watched the girls hunt for the frog, and at the best moment, Alex slid the frog down one of the girl’s tops, and ran back to his seat next to Michael to watch the proceedings,

“ Aggghhh!!! There is a dead frog in my top, get it out, get it out!” the girl squealed, whilst Alex and Michael struggled to contain their laughter. Michael fished out the frog’s intestines,

“ What possesses you to do these things Alex?” Michael said as he scanned the list of body parts and ticked off heart. Alex played with his bit of paper,

“ I just think people are way too serious. They need to lighten up a little you know? How bout you and Liz, you sort everything out? I think its kind of my fault, I suggested that we go out for ice cream and one thing kind of led to another…” Alex said, poking the frog’s intestines lightly. Michael looked at him, sweeping his hair back off his face,

“ Yeah I know. I kind of flipped out when she was late. You must think I’m a total jerk,” Michael said, ticking off more names on his sheet. Alex shook his head,

“ Hell no, I mean, if Liz were my sister I’d be protective too. You know what’s really creepy? Max. He was all protective over Isabel. Do you think he likes her or something?” Alex said curiously. Michael laughed as Alex squashed the frog’s intestines harder. There was no doubt in Michael’s mind that Alex wanted Isabel himself, although personally, Michael couldn’t see the attraction,

“ Probably. The guy freaks me out, I think Liz has been spending a load of time with him, and I’m not happy about it,” Michael said as he sat on his stool and rested his head on his hands. Alex stopped poking the frog for a second,

“ Isn’t it her life though? You’ve got to be careful, you know girls can be really touchy when they think they’re being over-protected,” Alex said. He smiled as he thought of Liz and Maria at the Ice Cream parlour the other evening. They’d chatted for hours, Liz about biology and vanilla ice cream, and Maria about her herbal remedies and singing career. It was so normal, and Alex loved it.

“ But Liz’ll get too close too quickly, and she’ll get her heart ripped out. Kinda like frog over here,” Michael said, looking at the frog. He hadn’t admitted it, but he’d hated cutting it open. Same as he’d hated watching the horror film with Maria, but felt that he had to stay – for her. He sighed,

“ I have to protect her Alex. I’m the only one she has,” Michael said, as Alex began to prod the frog harder and harder. Alex coughed,

“ But what happens when you need someone? If you’re always protecting Liz, who’s going to look after you?” Alex asked. Michael shrugged and began to poke at the frog with Alex, until their scalpels collided and a yellowy goo splattered all over their faces. Michael wiped the goop off his face and stared at Alex,

“ What, does trouble just follow you everywhere?” he said with a grin.

* * *

Max dropped his heavy school bag at the bottom of the stairs, and walked into the kitchen to get a drink. It had been a long day at school, and to top it all off he’d run into Isabel at lunch. Well, he’d ran into Isabel and whoever the guy she was kissing was, at lunch. Max’s eyes had nearly popped out of his head when he’d seen that. He still remembered her as the twelve year old, innocent Isabel who’d always been with him. The same Isabel who’d spent hours climbing the trees in the park, and watched as Max caught fire flies on vacation. But to take one look at her now was like looking at someone he didn’t even know. And he didn’t know her. Max sighed as he opened the fridge and took out the orange juice. Reaching to get a glass down, his mind wondered into his dark past.

How could my life have become so complicated? Firstly I don’t know who my real parents are and get fostered, then my sister runs away, then I get sent away to another foster home for something I didn’t even do, then to top it all off I find my long lost sister living at the same place as me.

Breaking out of his thoughts, Max realised there was no orange juice in the carton, and read the note on the fridge. Apparently Alex had finished off the juice this morning and promised to pick up some more on his way home. Max laughed. Turning on the tap and filling his glass with water, he noticed an envelope on the side. Turning off the taps and reaching out for it, he recognised the handwriting. It was addressed to him, and instantly his eyes began to flood with tears again. He knew who it was from.

Storming through the kitchen and into the lounge, Max’s eyes were stinging as he struggled to keep the tears to himself. Michael and Alex came laughing through the doorframe as Max tried to rush out, bumping into Michael in the process,

“ Hey watch where you’re going!” Michael snarled, giving him a push on the shoulder. Max dropped the letter and lunged at Michael, a blaze of anger and frustration filling him. Michael stood, taken back by Max’s lunge at him. Michael hit him back, catching Max around the eye, until Alex threw himself between the two,

“ Okay, okay enough!” Alex said, placing one hand on either ones chest. Max panted heavily, holding his eye.

“ What the hell is your problem?” Michael shouted. Max paused, keeping his hand on his eye and grabbing the letter off the floor. He turned around and stormed out of the door, jumping into his jeep.

Alex turned to Michael,

“ What was that all about? Did you say anything to him?” Alex said, standing next to a dazed Michael,

“ Jesus, I don’t think I’ve said two words to the guy, and all of a sudden he’s knocking me out. I’m telling you Alex. That guy is weird,” Michael said, rubbing his cheek where Max had hit him. Alex looked out of the door before closing it, and wondered what had just happened, and more importantly, what was going to happen now.

* * *

Michael shook his head, trying to shake off the weird feelings he had gotten from Max earlier. Usually when someone punched him, it didn’t hurt at all. Liz often joked and called him her ‘iron warrior’, but it was true. Michael had never been hurt before. He’d fallen out of a tree once and survived with not even a scratch. But as Michael pulled up a mirror now, and surveyed his cheek, it was bruised and swollen.

He grabbed a towel off the side and darted across the hall, trying to be as quick as possible so that Liz wouldn’t see him. He opened the door to the bathroom, whilst still looking behind him, and it almost scared him to death when he heard the piercing scream,

“ Michael!” Maria screamed as she frantically wrapped a towel around herself. Michael stood open mouthed, not having any words to say. Maria stood, her anger building,

“ You could learn to knock!” Maria said as she turned her back on him. Michael scanned her back, where an assortment of red, purple and black bruises were scattered across her skin. Further down her back there were what appeared to be cigarette burns, and scars of all kinds. Michael leant down and picked up his towel, still lost for words,

“ I’m sorry,” he said slowly, causing Maria to turn around again. She looked at him, her eyes gleaming with tears.

“ I suppose you saw them then?” she said, her voice quivering although she was trying to remain strong. Michael swallowed hard and she walked past him, slamming the bedroom door shut behind her. He closed the bathroom door behind him and locked it shut. Tearing off his T-Shirt and sliding off the rest of his clothes, he stepped in the running shower, and massaged his hair. He ached all over, as if the simple punch from Max had drained him of all his energy. The hot water massaged his back, as he rotated his neck. His heart was still racing from that encounter with Maria, but from past experience on walking in on Liz in the shower, he knew it was best to leave girls to calm down before going after them.

But what did the bruises on Maria’s back mean?

* * *

Alex tapped his feet on the floor. Then he tapped his fingers on the desk.

Man, this is really boring he thought to himself, sitting in his bedroom. Michael had gone for a shower, and apparently walked in on Maria, Max was, well, to be honest Alex was even a little scared of Max. Liz had stayed after school for science club, and Alex was all alone.

There was no denying that Alex’s childhood had been incredibly lonely. Sometimes he wouldn’t even stay in the same city for more than two days, and moving around so much made it hard to learn names, let alone form relationships. And here he was now, in a house full of people the same age as him and there was no one to talk to. He got up on his feet and walked around the hallway, until he passed Isabel’s door. She sat on her bed, flipping through a magazine. He gulped and knocked on the door,

“ Is it okay if I come in?” Alex said, expecting a no. Isabel looked up from her magazine. She smiled a little,

“ Might as well, got nothing better to do,” she said. Alex took that as a compliment and walked into her room, shutting the door behind him. He looked around her room, it hadn’t changed in the two weeks they’d been living there. Isabel had her own room, with a single bed at one end and an arm chair at the other. Alex sat on the chair and looked up at Isabel, who barely acknowledged his presence,

“ Hey Alec, what do you think of this girl?” Isabel said, thrusting a picture of a tall, skinny, pale gothically dressed girl in his face. Alex screwed his face up,

“ Firstly I’m Alex, AL – EX?” he said, drawing the letter in the air in front if him. Isabel lay tummy down on the bed, and continued to flip through the magazine. Isabel shrugged,

“ Whatever,” she said unenthusiastically. Alex went over to join her on the bed,

“ I think she’s okay, but I think she’s hotter,” Alex said, pointing to a picture of a girl with long blonde hair wearing a simple purple dress. Isabel raised her eyebrows,

“ Isn’t that a bit… normal?” Isabel said, searching for the right words. Alex slowly took a seat beside her.

“ I guess, just in my opinion, that it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside. If you’re an interesting person on the inside, it doesn’t matter what you wear,” Alex said, gently resting on the bed. Isabel laughed,

“ That’s a load of crap. Guys want big breasts and tight clothes. It don’t matter what’s on the inside, unless they’re undressing you of course,” Isabel said, giving Alex just a bit too much of an idea of what Isabel had experienced during her lifetime. Alex gulped and pretended to look through the magazine with Isabel,

“ You sound like that mystery brother of mine,” Isabel said, picking up the magazine and chucking it to the middle of the empty floor. This motion seemed quite bizarre to Alex, but he continued,

“ Oh, you have a brother?” he asked, and when he noticed the weird look on Isabel’s face he gave her an equally weird look back,

“ What?” he asked, Isabel shook her head and laughed,

“ I thought he’d tell you. He never used to keep a secret for anything,” Isabel said, almost nostalgically. Alex’s brain worked in over time, but came up with no explanations,

“ Isabel, I actually have no idea what you are on about,” he said, getting off her bed. She looked at him,

“ Max is my brother,” she said simply, beginning to go through a drawer and throw clothes across the bedroom. Alex went into shock,

“ Max? As in Max who shares my room Max?” Alex said, struggling for breath. Isabel laughed and nodded,

“ Hard to believe huh?” she said, taking off her top. Alex looked away embarrassed, and completely taken back at the same time,

“ Oh…yeah…wow.” He said, facing the window and scratching his head. It could explain his unresolved anger issues,

“ Alex, don’t you go spreading it around this nutty house. I’m warning you,” Isabel said, coming up to him, her fist shaking. Alex’s eyes opened wide,

“ Hey, hey, no need for violence. I’m fine, won’t tell a soul,” he said, holding up his hands. Isabel nodded, then scrunched up her face,

“ What is that smell?” she asked, stepping away from Alex. He blushed slightly,

“ Well, this frog kinda exploded on me and Michael earlier,” Alex explained with a grin.

* * *

Maria paced up and down her bedroom. She wasn’t angry, she was terrified. Michael had seen the bruises on her back. Was he going to tell Amy and Jim? Would he tell everyone else?

She sat down and bit her nails nervously, and nearly jumped out of her skin when a sharp knock came at her door.

“ Uh, come in,” Maria said unsurely, not sure who it was going to be. Maria got the second biggest shock of her life when Isabel walked through the door and headed straight to the wardrobe. Maria lowered her eyebrows,

“ Can I help you?” Maria asked, holding the hairbrush in her hand. Isabel turned around,

“ Yeah, I wanna borrow one of your dresses. I’m goin on a date tomorrow, I gotta have something to wear,” she said, as she chucked items across the floor. Maria looked at her,

“ That’s Liz’s wardrobe,” Maria managed to splutter through her astonishment. Isabel dropped the clothes.

“ That explains it all,” Isabel said, turning to the other wardrobe and empting out its contents, before stopping on a purple mini dress. She held it up to herself; Maria lowered her eyebrows again,

“ That one’s kinda short on me, and your legs are much longer,” Maria said, completely dumbfounded. Isabel shrugged,
“ The more you show the further you’ll get,” Isabel recited effortlessly, as she walked out of the bedroom, closing the door behind her. Maria sat back down on the bed, and ran the brush through her hair.

Well, my first conversation with Isabel didn’t go that badly… she thought to herself as she surveyed the damage created by hurricane Isabel.

* * *

Friday night came around too quickly for Alex’s liking. It just meant another night in, with no one to talk to. Alex felt a kind of repetition in his life, and looked up from his helpless slump on the sofa as Michael came in, and collapsed beside him.

“ Hey Man, your cheeks looking a lot better,” Alex said, channel surfing. Michael groaned,

“ Yeah, apparently I heal real quick. Alex, you want to you out tonight? I got invited to UFOnics by a couple of guys, and I aint going unless someone I know’s going,” Alex’s eyes lit up,

“ Yeah sure, I’m well up for it,” Alex said, coming across as a little too eager. Michael raised his eyebrows at Alex’s desperation.

“ I mean, sure, whatever,” Alex said, trying to act cool. Michael laughed,

“ You ready to got then?” Michael asked Alex. Alex looked at him,

“ You wana go now?” Alex said, looking back at Michael. Michael nodded,

“ Yeah, I kind of wanted to pick up a sorry gift for Maria, you know, she’s avoiding me after I walked in on her yesterday,” Michael said, taking the remote off Alex. Alex laughed,

“ Yeah, I heard that. What you gonna get her – a list of things I suggest you don’t get her are bubble bath, shower gel, shampoo, a pink fluffy towel…” Alex said until Michael hit him around the head with a pillow. Alex jumped off the sofa and ran upstairs to get his wallet, but did a double take when he stopped at Isabel’s door.

“ Wow,” Alex breathed. Isabel turned around. The streaks in her hair matched the colour of the purple mini-dress she was wearing. Isabel smiled,

“ I take it you approve,” she said, sliding on her boots with it. Alex leant in the doorway,

“ I guess it depends on if you’re going out like that,” he joked, but immediately held up his hands when Isabel gave him a fierce look.

“ Okay okay, I’m kidding. Have a nice time tonight,” Alex said as he opened the door to his own room and lunged for his wallet. He raced down the stairs, grabbed Michael on his way out, and the two were soon walking into town, laughing and joking as they went.

* * *

Liz turned the knob to her bedroom and walked in, stopping as soon as she had taken two steps into the place. The floor was covered in a colourful array of clothes, and shoes. She turned to Maria, who was sitting on her bed,

“ What happened?” Liz said, putting down her schoolbooks on her desk. Maria shook her head,

“ Hurricane Isabel came back for another visit,” she said, a smirk on her face. Liz began to pick up Maria’s clothes off the floor. She sat next to her on the bed,

“ We practiced this yesterday Maria, what did we say we’d say when Isabel came in?” Liz said, folding the clothes up into neat piles,

“ No! Please! I surrender at your mercy!” Maria said dramatically, then turned and smiled at Liz who was desperately trying to suppress a smile. Liz gave up and laughed. Maria pulled her trainers on,

“ Are you sure you don’t want to come out tonight?” Maria said, grabbing her purse off the side. Liz shook her head,

“ I just don’t feel like it. You and Amy go have a good time,” she said, taking the clothes that were hers and putting them on her bed. Maria pulled a face,

“ It’s only the Aquarium. I’m just going to keep Amy happy. She’s a really nice woman,” Maria said, hanging at the door. Liz agreed, all week Amy had asked if she needed any help with her homework, or if there was anything she wanted to talk about. She smiled,

“ Go on Maria, it’ll be fun!” Liz said. Maria gave her a ‘yeah, sure’ look, and walked out the door. Liz sighed. She was looking forward to having the place to herself tonight. She needed a break, people were constantly around her and it was starting to become irritating. Liz hummed merrily as she heard the door slam downstairs.

She took the opportunity to go downstairs and check the discovery channel for anything interesting tonight. The doorbell rang a second later, and, expecting it to be Maria forgetting something (which, as Liz had learnt, was one of Maria’s many quirks), she opened the door. Liz’s eyes widened as she stared at the guy standing in the doorway.

The guy must have been about six feet tall, dressed in a long back trench coat, his dark burgundy hair falling over his sunglasses, which were shading his eyes. Liz gulped,

“ Can I help you?” she said quietly. He walked past her through the door. Liz left the door open, as she became increasingly afraid of being left alone in the house with a stranger. He turned around, not removing his mirrored sunglasses.

“ I’m here for Isabel,” he said. Liz nodded quietly, as Isabel came bounding down the stairs. She paused momentarily, before grabbing Adam’s hand and dragging him out of the doorway. As he approached Liz again, he took off his shades.

A cold fear swept over Liz.

“ Nice meeting you again, Liz,” the guy said, trailing over his every word. Isabel pulled him out of the door, and Liz slammed it shut quickly. Her heart was racing a million miles an hour. She held her hand out in front of her. She was shaking like a leaf.

Stop being stupid Liz.

You can’t freak out every time you see a guy with green eyes.


* * *

What do you think?

posted on 21-Feb-2002 1:52:36 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

Once again, thank you so much for the feedback. Some of you have definetly got the right idea about things in this story, but I just have a couple of questions to ask you all...

Firstly, I want to know what you think about all this Destiny stuff. I don't want to give too much away, but if I was to write destiny into it, would you guys br for or anti it? It's just with destiny, things get so much more heated... It opens so many doors...

And I'd like to know who are your favourite characters and moments, and what you want to happen.

I'm trying to build a story up, and I know where I want it to go, god, it's going to go in so many directions, there's so much more to come! I just want to know what people think...

Plus, did anyone like that Biology Michael/Alex scene? I tell you, I wasn't even intending to put that in! It just kind of came out, it was so fun to write!!

Thanks everyone, I love to write, and having feedback is just the greatest thing!!

*angel*
posted on 24-Feb-2002 3:52:22 AM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

Thanks again for all the feedback! Writing this story is so fun, it lets me unleash everything that I've wanted to about Roswell in a totally AU way!

Right, as for updating, I'm so so so sorry, but I just don't have the time to write a new part today like I usually do, b/cos I have a huge amount of college work to do and I'm working all day.

However, I have written a brief outline for all parts up to Part 9... and just to give you some teasers... there are going to be two new characters in my fic, one of whom won't be around very long... There are going to be some cat fights! And hmm, what else can I say? The idea of little green men will be exposed in a very similar way to the pilot.

Thanks everyone!

*angel*
posted on 24-Feb-2002 2:36:28 PM by leaving_normal
okay, again, I lied. This is a short bit though, and it's a M/L scene. But it's really important to the rest of the story... the next time we see Max and Liz, it's going to get a bit hotter...

Part 4B

Liz picked up her white cardigan from her bedroom floor and pulled her arms through it. She looked at the mess and sighed. It could wait. Usually she’d have to tidy it up, it’d irritate her if she didn’t.

“Oh my god, Michael’s right, I am a neat freak!” She said to the open room, sitting on her bed. She pulled her knees up to her chin and placed her head on her knees. She rocked herself backwards and forwards. The guy at the door had terrified her. Liz shivered again.

What if it was the same guy? Liz thought in a panic, tears springing to her eyes. Then the rational side of her took control,

“ Liz get a hold of yourself,” she said to herself. She got up off the bed and started to pick up the clothes off of her floor, until she heard a rattle coming from her window.

The wind.

Totally, just the wind.

Without looking behind her, Liz ran straight out of the door and into the hall, slamming the door shut behind her. She took a deep breath.

Just breathe Liz, she told herself.

Maybe having the house to myself wasn’t such a good idea, she thought as her eyes caught on the door opposite her own. She sighed; she knew Michael had gone out with Alex.

But what if Max was in there?

* * *

Max re-read his letter for the millionth time. When he’d stormed out of the house, he’d wanted to drive all the way back to see Sophie, and had even gotten half-way there before pulling into a side road and slamming his hands on the steering wheel in frustration.

He ran his fingers over her painting that she had sent him. A picture of herself and Max, both holding Mr. Wiggles made him smile, but at the same time made him want to cry. He missed it so much. He missed her so much.

A light tap came at the door, as Max hid the letter and painting under his bed covers.

“ Come in,” he said quietly, leaning back on his elbows. Liz’s head swung around the side of the door.

“ Hi,” she said shyly. He smiled, every time he saw her she was more beautiful. She shut the door and moved to speak again,

“ I was wondering if I could just sit in with you. I’m kinda lonely by myself,” she lied, thinking that she didn’t really want to be alone in case someone was waiting for her. She didn’t like living in constant fear, but what could she do?

“ Sure. Is everything okay?” Max asked, making a space for her on his bed. She sat down beside him, desperately trying to hold in the tears. She held back that lump in her throat, knowing that if she talked everything would come out. Everything.

Max looked her up and down unsurely. She was hiding something from him, he knew that. He cleared his throat.

“ Do you want to talk abou-” but before Max had finished his sentence, Liz was already in his arms. It took him a while to realise what was going on, but he placed his strong arms around her. Holding her close to him. He could hear her soft cried echoing throughout the room, as he rocked her back and forth. He stroked her hair with his strong hands, and rested his chin on her head,

“ Liz, you don’t have to talk about it, but maybe if we do, it might help?” Max said, gently easing her out of his arms. She nodded, but didn’t continue. She pulled the sleeves of her cardigan over her hands and wiped her eyes. Max put his hands underneath the covers and drew out his painting. He gulped,

“ I thought maybe if I shared something with you, you’d trust me,” he said, unfolding it gently. Liz smiled a little, pointing at the red and blue smudge on the page,

“ I guess that’s you huh?” Liz said, sniffing. Max smiled,

“ Quite a resemblance, don’t you think? These are from my little sister, well, foster sister,” Max said, beaming proudly. Liz smiled, and touched his hand,

“ Is this why you got upset yesterday? Because she sent you all these things?” she said, but bit her lip quickly. Max tore his gaze away,

“ Yeah, I guess it is. Liz, there’s so much we don’t know about each other,” he started, until she caught hold of the side of his face, stopping him in mid sentence. She slowly drew his face to face her own, and looked deep into his brown eyes,

“ And there’s so much I want to know about you,” she said quietly. Max smiled and looked downwards. Liz turned away embarrassed too.

“ How’s your eye?” Liz asked looking at it. It was still purple, but the swelling had gone down. He touched it gently,

“ It’s okay. I think Michael heals better than I do. I’m sorry for punching him, I was just…” Max said, before Liz laughed,

“ Oh god, Michael’s my Iron Warrior, you didn’t hurt him. Trust me,” Max’s stomach did a funny turn again. There it was – the jealousy. The rain started to pour outside,

“ Ohh! It’s done nothing but rain since we got to Roswell,” Liz said, getting up and closing the window. Max looked at her. There was something that was still bothering her, and he had no idea when it was. He sighed, and she lounged on Michael’s bed,

“ Well, I showed you what’s eating me inside. What’s your secret?” Max said, trying to keep the conversation light. She looked up at him,

“ Max, like you said there’s a lot you don’t know about me,” Max nodded, but used her own excuse against her,

“ But there’s a lot I want to know about you,” he said, smiling coyly at her. She punched him with a pillow.

“ You’re just like my dad was. I’d say something and he’d completely use it against me,” she said, smiling at the memory. Max sat cross legged facing her, after reaching under the bed. She looked at him, as he held out a tub of vanilla ice-cream and two spoons,

“ I kinda overheard Vanilla was your favourite, and I also knew that Michael eats it by the bucket. So I kinda put two and two together…” Liz smiled as she took a spoon,

“ And I suppose you anticipated me coming in then? Hence the spoons?” she said with a smile. Max blushed,

“ Well hey, I can but hope,” he said quietly, feeling more embarrassed by the second. Liz smiled as she took her first spoonful of ice cream. Liz sighed,

“ My dad died, at the start of the summer. And ever since then, I’ve been so afraid,” Liz confided in Max, making her first spoonful of ice cream her last. She put the spoon down, the thought of that night making her sick. Max looked up at her, surprised that she was confiding in him,

“ I know what it feels like to be afraid,” Max said sadly, putting his spoon back in the ice-cream tub. Liz looked at him,

“ What happened to you?” she asked softly. Max looked out of the window. She was asking him how he felt, ever since it had happened, she was the first person who had ever asked him how he felt, what he was feeling. And he wanted to tell her,

“ It was something to do with a girl. I went to try and help her one night, and she took it the wrong way. And what really cuts me up is that I had everything going great for a while, to be snatched away by someone who meant nothing in my life, I just…I….I’m sorry Liz, I just can’t talk about it,” Max said, getting off the bed and looking out of the window. He starred at the rain, as it began to get heavier and heavier. Liz sat and watched him for a moment, before getting off the bed and coming up behind him. She fought the tears,

“ My dad was murdered. I lay awake at night and I think about how I could have stopped it. Maybe if I hadn’t have been afraid of thunder. And then I’ll wake up and scream, because I’ll see it over and over again.”

Max turned around and his heart fell apart. Standing there in her blue jeans and her white cardigan and tears slowly sliding down her cheeks, she looked so alone. Max never imagined wanting to take care of anybody so much, he rested on the window sill,

“ You saw it?” Liz’s eyes jerked up, and looked at him in horror. She’d told him, she’d sworn she wouldn’t tell anyone. She panicked,

“ Please don’t tell anyone, I can’t tell anyone, please!” she pleaded, her eyes begging him. Max put his arms around her,

“ Liz, Liz, stop panicking, please, it’s okay. I’m not going to tell anyone. Liz, you have to tell me what’s going on, I’ll worry about you,” he said, taking her by the hand and sitting her on his bed. Liz shook her head,

“ Max, I can’t,” she mumbled through her tears. Then she looked into his eyes. She could see him, but not only that, she could feel him. Every time she looked into his eyes, she knew him.

“ I want to tell you,” she whispered quietly. Max grabbed her hands, still kneeling at her feet. Liz felt her eyes swell with tears,

“ I saw it happen, I saw everything. Me and Michael, we were there. And I haven’t told anyone,” Liz said, breaking down and collapsing in Max’s arms. Max rubbed her back,

“ Oh god Liz. God I’m so sorry,” he said as she cried uncontrollably. There was one question biting at him, gnawing at him. He bit back the lump that was forming in his throat as Liz wept,

“ Why didn’t you tell anyone?” he asked her, Liz stopped. She didn't look at him, she couldn't. But she had to tell him.

“ Michael said I couldn’t. Max, I’m scared that I’m all alone. Michael loves me, he’s my brother and I trust him, but he doesn’t tell me why I can’t tell anyone. And I’m so scared that one day I’ll go to bed,"

Liz paused,

"and not wake up,” Liz said quietly, through her fearful tears. Max took a moment to gather everything in his head. He looked at her,

“ Is that why you’re here?” he said as she nodded. Max’s heart murmered. She trusted him enough to tell him the hardest thing in the world for her. She'd come to him for protection. He wanted to tell her to go to the police, and tell them everything, but he couldn’t. Not when she was so afraid. Maybe he’d talk to Michael. Max felt Liz drawing away from him,

“ Max, it’s not just that. I opened the door for Isabel's date. And he's...Isabel’s date, he’s, it’s…” she said, and Max took her hand,

“ It’s his eyes, Max, they’re evil.”

Max gulped. Was his sister in danger?

* * *

It kind of sucks, but its because it's so short. Sorry!

posted on 25-Feb-2002 1:47:22 PM by leaving_normal
Hey!

Thank you all! The feedback to this story is amazing! The next part is underway, I'll give you some quick hints...

Part 4C

* Something happens to Isabel on her date *
* Startgazer moment *
* Candy moment *happy**
* More about Max and Isabels past*

Also, I know I promised hotter M/L scenes, but I'm going to make you wait a little while. But never fear, Part 5 will have a development in the relationship with Max and Liz! Its so funny, cos I know what I'm going to write, its just getting the time to write it down!

Thank you all again, so so so much!

*angel*


posted on 25-Feb-2002 2:29:45 PM by leaving_normal
Just a quick request:

If you like this fic, will you have a go at my other fic: Elevation?

I've been writing it longer than this one, and its got a pitiful 12 replies :(

it's called 'elevation' and it's about bringing Alex back...

thanks everyone *happy*

posted on 25-Feb-2002 8:28:29 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone...

It's been driving me crazy trying to post this bit, b/cos it's 1.30AM and I have an early class tomorrow and for some reason the thing is going really slow!

Anyway, an update for you guys (although it's not as much as I would like to have written, it's a fair chunk *happy*)

WARNING! I'm not too sure about American ratings, but there is a kind of dodgy bit in this part, nothing too bad, but I wanted to warn you first.

Part 4C

“ Tell me again why I let you talk me into this,” Liz said as she placed the bowl of hot, freshly popped popcorn on the coffee table. She sat on the comfortable sofa, and watched as Max put a DVD into the player. Sinking in to the soft blue sofa and making herself comfortable, she took a handful of popcorn and scooped it into her mouth. She wiped the edges of her mouth, making sure there wasn’t any salt left there. The corners of her lips twitched into a smile when she saw Max hopelessly pressing a huge amount of buttons to open the DVD drawer,

“ Because it’s a good film, you can’t tell me you haven’t seen it!” Max said, looking back with a grin.

It had been his idea to watch a film, and a light hearted one at that. Max’s arms were plagued with goosebumps. What ever Liz had seen in the guy Isabel was seeing really got to her, and even though at first Max had been afraid, he reminded himself of the ordeal Liz had seen. Max silently glowed inside. Liz had confided in him, someone she hardly knew. But it meant she trusted him. And every time he was around her, he never wanted to give her a reason to distrust him. He wanted her to trust him.

And even deep down.

He wanted her to love him.

Liz had calmed down and told Max that she was wrong about the guy; and that the only reason she’d thought that Isabel’s date was scary was because he had green eyes. Max still failed to understand most of this, but as he placed the DVD box on the coffee table and took a seat besides Liz, he didn’t think about anything else but keeping her safe.

“ Dude where’s my car is hilarious,” Max said, taking his seat besides Liz on the sofa She cuddled into his shoulder and he smiled, reaching for the remote. The front door squealed open. Liz gasped a bit, obviously still a little edgy from earlier. She breathed a sigh of relief when Alex, Michael and Maria came walking through, arguing about something or other,

“ How was I meant to know you’d be at the Aquarium?” Michael asked as Maria stormed in front of him. Maria turned around in a state of fury.

“ Not only did I make sure everyone know, but even if I wasn’t there, why in the hell would you want to stick a huge ‘all you can eat - $5’ sign on the whale tank?” Maria said, her eyes racing with fury. Maria stood face to face with Michael, until Alex popped his head between the two,

“ Yeah Michael! An all you can eat sign?” Alex said, a slight smirk on his lips,

“ It was your idea!” Michael said, exasperated. He spun around to see Liz and Max watching the argument with bemused expressions. His eyes widened, as he gave Liz the look. Maria smiled,

“ Were we interrupting something?” she teased, forgetting her role in the argument. She came and sat down beside Liz, whilst Michael still stood gawping at her. Liz tried to ignore Michael’s look of disapproval, and she giggled with Maria. Alex grabbed the popcorn bowl and took a seat next to Max,

“ Oh my god, dude where’s my car? That’s like, the funniest film! Shibby!” Alex said with a cheesy grin, imitating the actor in the film. Max smiled a little, Alex obviously wasn’t mad at Max for hitting Michael. Michael was the only one standing up. Maria and Liz exchanged looks, before Maria asked cheekily,

“ Are you going to join us Michael?” she asked in a sweet tone. Michael shook his head, and walked up to the sofa, taking a seat between Max and Liz. He squashed himself right between them, making five people sit on a three seater sofa, with Alex just hanging onto the arm. He put his arm around Liz protectively. Liz sighed; sometimes it was amusing when Michael played the big brother role.

Other times it was just damn annoying.

As the film started, Max caught a glance of her behind Michael shoulder. Michael was obviously doing this to get back at him for hitting him yesterday, and to stop any interest between Max and Liz from progressing. Max’s eyes caught Liz’s, and in silent understanding, he passed on the message,

‘ Meet me in the library later?’

* * *

Isabel laughed with giddiness as Adam went swerving around another corner. She lit up another cigarette.

“ Where the hell did you learn to drive?” she said, as she saw his knuckles grip tighter on the steering wheel. She laughed again as she was thrown into the side of the car when Adam made a sharp right hand turn. Adam laughed,

“ I didn’t! What’s the use in learning when it’s more fun when you have no idea what you’re doing?” Adam said, deeming it quite methodical himself. He began to cruise down the Roswell strip, lighting up a cigarette as he went.

Isabel gulped a little.

What’s wrong with you girl? She asked herself, noticing that her hands were shaking. She hid her fear behind a trail of shallow laughter, until Adam pulled the car in a 360 turn, pulling it to a halt. Isabel’s heart was racing, but why wasn’t she enjoying this?

Because you know if he carries on like this he’s going to kill us. A little voice inside Isabel triggered. Isabel hated that voice. It sounded like Max. Of all the voices her conscience chose, it was Max’s. Isabel looked out of the car window,

“ Where are we Adam?” she said, throwing the car door open. She looked around the never-ending dessert. There seemed to be a rock formation couple of miles away, and Isabel could just about see it in the distance. The stars twinkled in the dark sky, with only the headlights as any kind of artificial light. Isabel shivered with the cold. Adam wrapped his arms around her,

“ Don’t you think it’s a eye full?” he asked her. Isabel nodded lightly,

“ Yeah it’s pretty,” Isabel said, unsure as to what Adam considered an ‘eye full’ to be. Adam looked up to the sky, and pointed towards a constellation,

“ You see that? Those are five planets,” Adam said, pointing up to an arrangement of stars in the shaped of a V. Isabel snorted,

“ Yeah right you’re shittin’ me huh?” Isabel said, breaking away from him. She rested her elbows on the bonnet of the old Cadillac that she presumed Adam had hot-wired for the night. Adam suddenly went over all serious,

“ Shittin’ you? You think I’m kiddin’?” Adam said, his green eyes beginning to blaze with anger. Isabel tipped her head,

“ What y’got all uptight for. There ain’t no planets up there,” Isabel said making her way back to the car. Adam seemed to stare at her for a long time, his green eyes menacing and confused. He stood there for minutes, just watching Isabel.

Suddenly he turned and got back into the car, barking at her to follow. Isabel stubbed out her cigarette and snorted again. This obviously wasn’t going to be the night she hoped for.

* * *

Halfway home, Isabel was getting fed up of all the silence. She hung her hand out the window and looked over at Adam, whose knuckles were white, he was gripping the steering wheel so tightly.

“ Hey yo, what’s gotten into you? Is this all because I wouldn’t look at your stupid planets?” she said, looking at him, he turned to her.

“ Want to try something dangerous?” he asked her, his voice low and menacing. Isabel’s skin began to crawl. But she couldn’t escape him; they were speeding along at 90 miles an hour down the stretch before home. They’d be home soon. Isabel coughed, and tried to conceal her fear,

“ What y’got in mind?” she said, looking straight in front of her. She recognised the houses, they’d be home in 20 minutes, tops. He looked at her,

“ Depends how fast you can take off your clothes,” Adam said in the same, toneless voice as before. Isabel shuddered. Adam was making her feel cheap and dirty, and she couldn’t wait to be out of the car. She laughed,

“ Sorry handsome, not your night tonight,” she said, although as she suspected the fear was starting to shine through in her voice. Isabel watched as the scenery began to flash past her faster and faster. Adam began to speed faster, as he took his eyes off the road,

“ I don’t think you understand, it’s not an option,” Adam said, racing the car faster. Isabel watched in horror as he started to unzip his black jeans. She started to panic. She couldn’t get away. If she threw herself out of the car she might be killed. Her panic rose as Adam started to raise the hem of her short mini skirt. Isabel threw his hand away,

“ Adam, I ain’t doin’ nothin’ with you tonight,” Isabel said firmly, this time her voice shaking. Adam laughed, and as he did so the whole car swerved to the left, forcing Isabel on top of him. Isabel tried to get away, but with one hand he pinch her waist, holding her on top of him. Isabel screamed as she tried to hit him,

“ Let me out of here!” she screamed, trying to lash out at him with anything he had. Adam laughed evilly and began to raise her skirt again; Isabel suddenly lunged for the door, forcing it open.

Before Adam knew what was happening, Isabel had thrown herself out of the driver’s door and was tumbling across the tarmac.

Isabel picked herself up, and ignoring her elbows and knees, which were bleeding, she ran as fast as she could. She knew the house was only five minutes away, although she fear five minutes wasn’t short enough to save her, as the headlights of Adam’s vehicle came up behind her…

* * *

posted on 26-Feb-2002 4:48:35 PM by leaving_normal
Okay, I'm spoiling you now *happy* another update *happy*
I know you're all gagging for M/L scenes...well, you're just going to have to wait to see what happens... but I promise, Part 5 definetly has M/L's first kiss *wink*

Part 4D

Alex laughed as the final credits began to scroll down the screen,

“ That’s a classic!” he said, getting up off the floor and switching off the TV. Maria yawned.

“ Yeah, it was okay. What’s the time?” she asked as she got off the sofa, stretching a little. Michael’s arm was still firmly around Liz’s shoulders, as she sat rigidly. Max sat on the end of the couch in silence, checking his watch,

“ One am,” Max said, getting off the sofa himself. He reached for his glass of juice and finished it, before picking up the empty popcorn bowl and taking it out to the kitchen. Alex lounged in the armchair. He had a strange smile on his face; and he wasn’t too sure why he was so happy. He thought that maybe it had to do with watching the film with everybody – it made him feel so much less alone.

Max came through the kitchen threshold, holding another bowl of crisps. He looked up as the front door opened, and instantly the bowl fell from his hands.

Suddenly, the front door opened and Isabel fell through, rapidly slamming it shut. Isabel sunk to the ground, placing her hands in front of her as she struggled to breathe. Liz got up instantly and ran towards her.

Isabel’s breaths were shallow and rapid, and blood was trickling from her knees and elbows. Her coloured hair shadowed her face, but Maria was sure she could hear Isabel crying. Everyone stood in shock.

Liz’s stomach wrenched; a small pool of blood was forming around Isabel, as the blood from her elbows leaked down her arms. Liz bent down in front of Isabel, trying to hold her steady. She shouted to Michael,

“ Go get the first aid box or something!” she yelled, trying to hold Isabel’s arms. Isabel pushed her away,

“ Get…away…from…me,” she managed to say through raspy breaths. She pulled herself up and made for the stairs, falling on the way. Max suddenly sprang into action and came up to Isabel,

“ What happened? Do you need me to carry you?” he asked quickly, reaching to carry her up the stairs. Alex stood still in shock,

“ Get away from me! All of you!” Isabel said as she battled them all away, hurrying as fast as she could up the stairs. All that was heard was the slamming of her door. The gang stood in silence, amazed by what had just happened.

Was Isabel okay?

What had happened to her?


Liz wrapped her arms around herself and looked at Michael, her bottom lip trembling. Michael came up and hugged her, trying to calm her down,

“ Liz, she’s going to be okay,” he said. Liz breathed deeply,

“ Yeah I know Michael, it was just the sight of all that blood,” Liz said, the word making her feel queasy again. Alex swallowed hard and began to make his way up the stairs,

“ I’m going to talk to her,” he said, before Max caught his arm. Alex looked at him, as Max said with authority,

“ I’ll go Alex,” Alex shook Max’s arm off and continued up the stairs.

* * *

“ Isabel?” Alex called again. Isabel could hear him; he’d been calling her for the last half hour. Tears slowly ran down her cheeks, as she wiped them away with frustration,

Isabel Evans does not cry, she reminded herself. But that only made her cry more. She’d wrapped her knees and elbows in an old t-shirt, not wanting to move out of her room. They were absorbing the blood, but it was making Isabel feel sick and dizzy. She rocked herself back and forth, trying to stop herself from being sick.

“ Isabel please, just open the door. It’s only me,” Alex called desperately. Isabel quivered again. She slowly lifted herself off the bed, trying not to stretch too much, her t-shirt was already soaked in blood. She cursed as she walked over to the door and touched the doorknob, but instantly took her hand away again.

Isabel Evans doesn’t need anyone, she said to herself. And with that, she slid down next to the door and cried.

What’s happening to me? She cried, tears thundering down her cheeks as her whole body shook.

She reached for her cigarettes, and with a shaky hand managed to light one. She emptied the ash into a small dish, as she continued to cry.

* * *

Alex slid down, his back against Isabel’s door. He sighed,

“ Isabel if you won’t let me in I’m just going to have to talk to you through this door!” he said. He could hear her crying on the other side, and had even contemplated climbing through her window. His heart jumped as he heard her choke on her tears, and he swallowed the lump in his throat,

“ I’m going to have to bore you with all my stupid stories!” he teased, and his hopes rose when he heard that familiar snort come from the other side of the door. He turned around and faced the door,

“ It all started in first grade with Missy Robinson’s hair band. She had brown hair and her hair band was green, so I thought it’d look better in red so I got out the paints…” Alex chattered as he felt his side of the door.

Alex crossed his fingers and smiled.

The only thing he wanted now was to make Isabel feel better.

* * *

Isabel leant her head against the side of the door. Alex continued to tell her about his adventures,

“ Then in eighth grade,” Alex said, his voice growing horse.

She’d stopped crying a long time ago, and a dozen cigarettes now sat smoked in the ashtray. Now her eyes were sore and she ached all over, and checking the alarm clock, it was getting close to five am – and Alex hadn’t left her once. He’d stayed throughout the night, telling her about the time he’d wondered if snow would burn, and about the time he’d glued his friends fingers to a bowling ball.

Isabel smiled, and felt an unfamiliar pang in her heart.

For the first time in years, she wanted to let someone in.

Slowly, she got up and twisted the doorknob.

* * *

“ Isabel?” Alex whispered, his voice coarse and rough. Isabel stood shakily in the doorway, leaning on the half open door for support. She tipped her head to the side slightly and smiled a little,

“ I’m okay,” she said uncertainly, wobbling a bit. She felt dizzy and sick, and as she started to sway, Alex caught her.

“ Okay, I think it’s time to get some sleep,” Alex said, lifting her to her bed. He looked at her make shift bandages, which were soaked through with blood. She had some cuts and scrapes on her face, as he laid her on the bed and push back her hair. Isabel couldn’t protest, she was too weak to move. Not that she would have protested anyway. Alex stroked her hair,

“ Do you want me to change your bandages?” he whispered. Isabel shut her eyes,

“ No, they’ll be fine. Trust me, I’ve been through worse,” Isabel said with a slight laugh. Alex’s eyebrows furrowed in worry, wondering how much worse she could have been hurt. Alex pulled the covers over her, after taking off her boots. He looked at her, the sun was slowly rising and cast a ray of sunshine over Isabel’s bruised and cut face. Isabel opened her eyes slightly,

“ I know I’m not a looker in this state,” she joked. Alex laughed,

“ Oh, Isabel, I think that’s the first joke you’ve made in this house,” he said, teasing her lightly. Isabel just smiled. Alex got up and pulled the curtains,

“ Do you want me to get you anything? Max has been up all night too, he’s worried about what happened to you,” Alex said softly, making one last check around the room. Isabel moaned,

“ I don’t want to talk about it now, right now I just need to get some sleep,” Isabel said, laying still in her bed, and closing her eyes again. Alex nodded and made his way out of her room, turning off the light switch as he went. As he was about to walk out, Isabel whispered,

“ Alex?”

“ Yeah?”

“ Thank you, for stayin’ with me. Not a lot of people would’ve.”

Alex smiled,

“ Anytime. Goodnight Isabel,” he said as he closed the door firmly shut. He took a deep breath once outside. He ached all over, and his throat was sore. But he felt good inside. Even if it was only a little, he had started to melt the ice princess.

* * *

Maria sat in the kitchen, eating her cereal and laughing at the funnies in the morning paper. Liz had stayed up worrying about Isabel all night with Max, and was now finally sleeping in bed.

Maria still had no idea what had happened to Isabel; maybe Adam had tried something on and Isabel wouldn’t go with it. But Isabel didn’t really seem like the kind of girl to oppose. Whatever it was Maria knew Isabel would be all right, god knows, Maria had been through it enough times. Maria’s hunger suddenly disappeared when she started reliving moments in her life,

“ Where is that worthless daughter of yours!” he screamed, making the way through to her bedroom. Maria hurried, trying to put on her shoes faster, so that she might escape before he came. But she was too late. The door slammed open and he stood in the doorway. Maria cried,

“ Please! No! I haven’t done anything!” she screamed, but it wouldn’t do any good.


Someone coughed behind her, and Maria shook her head, instantly coming back to reality. She put her hand on her heart,

“ Oh my god Michael, are you trying to kill me?” she said, putting the spoon back in her bowl. He pulled out something from behind his back. Maria looked at him confused,

“ What’s this for?” she asked as she took the item, wrapped in silver paper. Michael took a seat next to her, and tapped on the table,

“ I got you something, kinda to say I’m sorry for walking in on you in the shower,” Michael said, running a hand through his hair. Maria smiled a little,

“ Well, I guess that’s nice enough. It’s not going to explode is it?” Maria said, shaking it. Michael laughed,

“ No, I promise,” Michael said, crossing his heart. Maria placed it on the table, and put her blonde hair over her shoulders. Her brown eyes suddenly looked up in concern,

“ Is there any news on Isabel?” Maria asked, as Michael leaned back in his chair,

“ Yeah, Max went in there a little while a go. Apparently the guy she was with tried it on. She threw herself out of the car,” Michael said, a serious look on his face.

At least she escaped, Maria thought silently, thinking about all the times she hadn’t escaped. Maria nodded,

“ God, that’s awful. But I didn’t think her and Max even talked, why did she tell him?” Maria said, not taking her eyes off Michael’s.

“ That’s the weird part. He’s her brother,” Michael said in a whisper. Maria’s eyes opened wide,

“ Really? Wow, that’s really weird!” Maria said, beginning to play with her present. Michael nodded,

“ You’re telling me. Well, are you going to open it?” he said impatiently. Maria smiled a little; still confused by everything she’d just heard. She tore back the paper a little, before saying,

“ I’m still not amused about the sign you put up at the aquarium,” she warned him playfully. Michael held his hands up,

“ I told you, it was Alex!” he protested, but Maria just smiled. They didn’t have to argue now. Maria held up the box,

“ Michael! How’d you know I like Scooby Do?” she said, delighted. She took the alarm clock out of the box and smiled, looking at it. Michael shrugged,

“ Lucky guess,” he lied, shrugging his shoulders. Of course he’d known Maria like Scooby, he was on her pj’s that night Michael had crept into bed with Liz. Michael got up to leave, but before he did, he turned around and looked at Maria, who was still playing with the alarm clock.

“ Maria?” he called, Maria looked up and hummed.

“ I’d never let what happened to Isabel happen to you,” he said, before turning and leaving the room.

Maria sat at the table and smiled to herself.

Maybe Michael wasn’t all that bad.

* * *

Max sat on the end of Isabel’s bed, watching her sleep. When Alex had returned to their bedroom he’d been exhausted, and Max had taken watch over Isabel. He sat the cup of hot tea on her bedside table, as she stirred. She opened her eyes slightly,

“ Max?” she said quietly. Max nodded,

“ Yeah Iz, I’m here,” he said, taking one of her hands. She smiled,

“ No one’s called me that in so long,” she said, trying to sit up. Max pulled some pillows up behind her, and handed her the cup of tea. She pushed her long coloured hair off her face. Max had to do a double take. She had a cut along her chin, and the start of a black eye.

“ I uh, I made it the way you liked it. Well, the way you used to like it,” Max said, staring down at the covers. Isabel smiled,

“ I can’t believe you remembered,” Isabel said softly. Max looked up at her, surprised,

“ Your accent's disappeared,” he commented. Isabel blushed slightly,

“ I never had one in the first place. Max, I’m sorry about the other week. It’s just you don’t understand what I’ve been through these last couple of years. You’ve got to learn to shut people out,” Isabel said, a new wave of understanding passing over her. There was no use in not telling Max anything but the truth; after all, he was her brother. And if she was certain about one thing, it’s that her brother would always accept her.

Max coughed,

“ I still don’t understand why you left Isabel, we were happy,” Max said, taking her hand to show her he wasn’t mad at her. There was no point in being mad at her for something that happened so long ago, especially when he had the chance to get to know his sister again. Max had spent so many nights awake, calling out to her. But she’d never come back. But she was here now, and that’s what mattered.

“ I left because I needed to find our real parents Max. I needed to know if what I thought was true,” Isabel said, biting her bottom lip. Max looked at her,

“ So did you find an answer? Do you, you still believe that?” Max asked her. His stomach turned. It was something he hadn’t thought about in so long. Isabel nodded,

“ Max, when I was in New York, so many things happened to me. A lot of which I don’t ever want to talk about,” she said, taking a deep breath,

“ But I didn’t find our parents. But there was one guy I met, and he knew an awful lot Max. He talked about the stars and the planets. Max, do you still…” Isabel said, her voice trailing off. She placed the cup of tea down on the side and paused. Max shook his hands,

“ The day you left I stopped using my, well, whatever it is, I stopped using it altogether,” Max told her. Isabel nodded. Max looked up at her,

“ Do you, can you still, you know, see people’s dreams?” he whispered. Isabel held his gaze,

“ It’s the only way I knew you were still alive Max,” she said, leaning forward and hugging him. Max held his sister tight, until she groaned a little.

“ I think I still need some more rest. Go back to bed Max. Or better still, go jump into bed with that Parker girl,” Isabel said, giving him a wink. Max blushed as he walked out of her bedroom, staying just long enough to make sure Isabel’s breaths were slow and even.

Max shut the door behind him.

He sighed contentedly. That was it, he had his sister back.

But what about Liz?

* * *

Michael walked up and down his room, and halted when Max entered. They stood staring at one another for a while, until Max backed down and returned to his bed. Michael stared at him,

“ I’m going to say this once. I’m warning you Evans, stay away from my sister,” he said, standing over him. Max stood up to full height,

“ There’s nothing going on between me and Liz,” Max said firmly. Michael glared at him,

“ I don’t care if there is or isn’t. But I’m telling you to stay away from her. I’m not going to let my sister be hurt by someone like you,” Michael said with an authoritive glare. Max turned away and got into bed. Michael stormed out of the room, slamming the door. Max sighed.

He didn’t want to give up on Liz. At the moment, she was what was making him feel so alive. Every time he was near her he’d been awe struck, there was something about her that just drew him to her.

And he needed to know if she felt the same way.

Something that felt this right, just couldn’t be wrong.

* * *

Amy rolled over in her bed. She was half asleep, but knew that Jim was right next to her, fully awake. She yawned,

“ How are the kids?” she asked. Jim put an arm around her,

“ They’ve coped really well. Isabel will be okay, won’t she?” Jim asked, raising his eyebrows. Amy snuggled closer into his chest,

“ Isabel is tough Jim. She’s exactly like I thought she’d be,” Amy said with a smile. Jim sighed uncertainly,

“ I’m worried about these kids Amy. First Michael and Max are punching each other, and now Isabel throws herself out of a moving car? I thought you said we had to protect them?” Jim said, Amy pulled away from him, and looked into his gentle grey eyes,

“ Jim, these kids are special. You know why they’re here, I know why they’re here. But they need to learn to accept one another. They need to learn to be a family,” Amy said, entwining her fingers with his. He leant down and kissed her on the nose,

“ I trust you Amy, I’m just afraid they’re going to be hurt. It took you this long to find them, I don’t want you to lose them,” he said, pulling her into his strong embrace. Amy sighed. She knew everything was going to be okay. They were already beginning to bond and accept each other. Though the butterflies in her stomach began to mount, as she knew the day that she would have to tell the truth was coming closer and closer…

* * *

Liz yawned as she came into Michael’s room. She’d popped in on Isabel, who was fast asleep, and was now looking for Michael. She couldn’t help but take a peek to see if Max was in his bed. She smiled when she saw he was, and better still, he was awake.

“ Hey,” Liz said in a whisper. A slight breeze was circulating the room, making Liz feel cold in her red tartan shorts and long white jumper she used to sleep in. She wiggled her toes,

“ I checked in on Isabel, she’s still sleeping,” Liz reported, taking a seat on the end of his bed. Max nodded,

“ And Michael told me about you and her being, uh, well, related,” Liz said with a smile. Max nodded again,

“ I’m sorry I didn’t tell you,” Max said, shifting over to give Liz more room on his bed. The sudden thought that Liz, the Liz he thought was so incredibly beautiful, was sitting on his bed making him shiver. Liz lay down beside him, making his heart race even more. Liz smiled,

“ It’s okay. I know there are so many things that we don’t know about each other-” she yawned. Max put an arm around her. Liz closed her eyes,

“ Liz, I know I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but when I’m with you, I don’t know. Something inside of me goes off. It’s like every time I’m with you, I don’t ever want to be without you and I-” Max said, looking down at her. He smiled. Her breaths were slow and regular, and her eyes were peacefully shut.

He was trying to spill out his feelings for her, and she was asleep. Max smiled and tightened his arms around her.

Well, at least he could enjoy this moment with Liz, alone, in his bed. He traced along the side of her face with his fingertips, and studied her perfect complexion.

And slowly, exhaustion took over and he fell asleep.

With Liz Parker still wrapped up in his arms.

* * *

What did you think?


posted on 26-Feb-2002 5:35:28 PM by leaving_normal
Hey...

There's been a lot of questions about who the aliens are in this fic, you're going to have to wait to find out, like I've said. But I'll tell you something, they're not all aliens. There's 5 or 6 Aliens, and there are a lot of clue to who they are already.

Thanks for the feedback!

Jo.x

Editted to Add the 'or 6' part, because I'm introducing new characters soon...

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 26-Feb-2002 6:04:38 PM ]
posted on 26-Feb-2002 6:45:24 PM by leaving_normal
Hey all... me again I know *happy*

I was just wondering what you thought about how I'm bringing out the information about characters. Like the latest bit and Isabel and Max's conversation, where Max asks Isabel if she still sees people's dreams? And the bit with Maria remembering what happened to her at home. Do you think those bits are going well, or do you think I need to be a bit more blatant?

I'm just a bit worried that people are missing really important bits, for example the bit where Adam is showing Isabel the stars....

Just a question, sorry if I'm too demanding!

Jo.x
posted on 28-Feb-2002 5:11:07 PM by leaving_normal
Hey everyone,

Thank You again for every single bit of feedback I've gotten. It really means a lot *happy*

Oh rite, update situation... there will hopefully be a new part out tomorrow, depending what time I get in from college.

It's so interesting to see who you guys are the aliens. I'm not going to tell you whether you're right or wrong, because it'll spoil it! Let me just tell you there are going to be a lot of tears when the truth finally comes out.

Oh, and I'm actually going to be really cheeky and borrow bits from my other fics and the actual series to put into this fic *wink* I guess that's okay, b/cos I'm only writing this for fun and all.

Oh, and the bit about Alex sitting outside Isabel's door telling her stories? Yeah, that was in a Roswell book, but I used it because thats what I thought Alex'd do, rather than plagerising (I know, my spelling sucks) anything! Although, when I use bits from the series, I'll be using actual lines.

Anyway, thought I'd tell you about the update situation,

Thanks everyone!

*angel*
posted on 3-Mar-2002 1:24:21 PM by leaving_normal
Authors note: I'm really sorry this took so long, I've had so much work to do. But if you're lucky, I might just update again tonight *happy*. The thing is, the action hasn't even started yet. this fic is taking a long time to heat up b/cos no one knows each other. But to all of those who knew Michael would freak at seeing M/L in bed, well, you're right. He sure did.

Part 5A

Isabel stepped into the empty bathroom, closing the door quietly behind her. Her tracksuit bottoms and t-shirt were fresher than what she had been wearing, and certainly less blood stained. She sighed. Her muscles ached as she walked, and her hands were still shaking from lack of energy. Slowly she pulled herself up to the mirror, resting her hands on the white marble sink.

On seeing her face, another wash of anger flowed through her veins.

What had he done to her?

Slowly bringing her hands up to her eye, she ran her fingers past the purpleness and swollen areas. It was so swollen she could hardly see, and to make it worse she had a cut running along her chin, which looked as if it’d scar. Isabel’s mind reeled. Max’d said he hadn’t used his gift since she’d left. But that didn’t mean it didn’t still work. Gulping slightly, she raised her hand above the sorest part of her eye, and concentrated.

Her knees were weak, and her stomach churning. Her talk with Max earlier had woken something up inside her again. And again, she was curious. She wanted to know. She needed to know.

All her life Isabel had felt different. She’d noticed it when she was seven, and adopted by the Evans’. Max and Isabel could barely talk, and didn’t possess the basic skills that any normal seven-year-olds would hold; Isabel remembered learning to use a knife and fork, learning to chew and swallow. But it wasn’t just that.

Isabel slammed her hands down in frustration. She couldn’t do it. Then again, she’d never been able to do it. A wash of tears came over her, as she shrunk down beside the chest of drawers.

She didn’t know what was happening to her. Three weeks a go, she was a solid as a rock. Nothing could break her. She could spend her days carefree; she hadn’t a worry in the world. But now? Now she felt like she was changing again. And she was scared.

Isabel trembled as she picked herself up off the floor, and struggled down the stairs; one hand on the banister and one hand around her stomach. In an attempt to find Max, she saw Amy sitting on the sofa, her sewing box out, humming merrily to some oldies station. She turned around, and caught sight of Isabel,

“ Isabel honey, you’re up. Are you feeling okay? You look pretty sore,” Amy said, putting down her sewing and helping Isabel to the sofa. In a way, Isabel wanted to resist. She wanted to do things by herself, only rely on herself. Like she had been doing for the past five years. But she took Amy’s extended hand, and knew that it was time to start accepting people.

Amy sat her down on the sofa and examined her eye,

“ Do you want me to put some cream on it or something? It looks like you had a really bad fall,” Amy said, touching it lightly. Isabel backed away in pain when Amy blew on it.

“ No! I mean, no, thank you. It’s fine as it is,” Isabel said, arranging her hair so that it would cover her eye. Amy sighed,

“ Do you want to tell me what happened Isabel? It can just be between you and me, no one else needs to know. Not even Jim Did this boy hurt you. When I say hurt you did he, well,” Amy said, struggling to convey her feelings. Something suddenly clicked inside Isabel as she shook her head violently,

“ Oh god no, he tried, but I threw myself out of the car before he could, well, you know, do anything,” Isabel said. Amy’s face instantly fell, her arms enveloping Isabel in a hug. Isabel was cold, and sagging against her at first. But Isabel’s cold exterior couldn’t fight the little girl inside her who still wanted to be accepted; who wanted a mother. And slowly, Isabel’s started to hug Amy back.

Amy smiled at the feeling of Isabel hugging her back. She sighed, and let go of her slightly. The tears running down Isabel’s cheeks were slowly dripping off her chin. Amy gently tried to wipe them away,

“ I’m sorry if I hurt you, did I squeeze too tight?”

Isabel laughed, and wiped away the rest of her tears, which were starting the make her cuts sting. She shook her head,

“ No, Amy, it’s not you. I feel like something’s waking up inside me, there’s this part of me that wants to go back to how I was before I lived in New York,” she explained, whilst Amy nodded furiously. Isabel sighed and looked away from Amy, too scared that she’d reveal more. Suddenly Amy sat upright,

“ How about I treat you to a nice haircut or something? That always cheers me up!” Amy said, bubbling over with enthusiasm. Isabel gave her a far from enthusiastic look,

“ I think people are going to stare a little,” Isabel said, running her hands through her untamed hair. Amy waved a hand and picked up the phone,

“ I’ve got a brilliant friend who’ll come over and cut your hair for you,” Amy said, dialling before Isabel could protest. Isabel even smiled a bit, thinking that perhaps it was time to start trusting people again. Especially people who were trying to help her. She smiled,

“ Do you think the colours could come out too?”

* * *
There was nothing running through Michael’s mind as he walked along the hallway. Okay, that wasn’t exactly the truth. There was a lot running through Michael’s mind as he walked along the hallway. Images of Maria were floating through his head, and the image of how happy she was when she saw the Scooby do clock seemed to be permanently imprinted on his brain. He smiled, was this normal?

At first Maria had really pissed him off. She was one of those hippy types who drove Michael mad with their herbal remedies, yoga and peace/love crap. Now though, she didn’t seem so bad. Michael opened his bedroom door, and felt the sunshine come beaming at him. After a steady downpour, the sun was now shining, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. He smiled, maybe he’d drop by Maria’s door and take her for a walk or something. Girls loved that stuff. But before he did that, he had to change. Walking over to his bed, and sniffing a variety of different shirts, Michael found a clean one, well a cleaner one and slipped it over his head. He waked over to the middle of the room where their full length mirror was and smiled.

He had to admit it. He looked good.

Spinning around with a new wave of confidence, his energy and up-beat attitude soon resolved into anger as his eyes drifted over Max Evans’ bed.

Michael stood, his rage mounting by the second.

Alex strolled into the bedroom, oblivious to Michael state and waved at him casually,

“Hey Michael,” he said simply, going down and sitting on his bed. Michael still stood, his mouth wide open.

“ What you looking at?” Alex asked, following Michael’s gaze. Alex gulped, as Michael finally snapped,

“ ELIZABETH!” he screamed, diving onto the bed and grabbing Max by the neck, and dragging him onto the floor. Liz’s eyes opened with a start, as Max yelled at Michael,

“ What the hell are you doing?” Max said, as Michael threw him onto the floor,

“ I told you not to go near my sister! And I find you in bed with her!” Michael yelled, preparing to pound Max so hard he wouldn’t be able to walk, until Liz ran up and grabbed his arm.

“ Michael, for god’s sake calm down! I fell asleep next to him! It’s no big deal!” Liz insisted, giving Max time to get off the floor. Max braced himself, as Michael looked his way again,

“ I don’t care Liz! I told him to stay away from you, and when I say something, you listen!” Michael said, lunging to punch Max again. Alex threw himself between the two, hoping to break the two up. Liz held Michael back, screaming at him,

“ You told him to stay away from me? Michael, do you not think I can make up my own mind?”

Alex grabbed onto Max’s trousers, as Max lunged at him,

“ What the hell is wrong with you? Liz said we didn’t do anything, so we didn’t do anything!” Max yelled.

Alex gulped, as Liz lost her grip on Michael’s arm, and Michael proceeded to knock Max over onto the floor and started to wrestle with him. Alex tried to jump into between the two, but jumped in at the wrong moment, as Michael’s fist cam crashing into Alex’s chin. Alex squealed in pain, as Michael stood back up,

“ Oh hell Alex, man, why’d you get in the way!” Alex stood up, holding his chin,

“ Right, you,” he declared, pointing at Michael, “ get out of this room and go and think somewhere, and you,” he said, turning to face Max, who was still lying on the floor, “ Go and put a shirt on and you go somewhere else to think. Cos you both are driving me crazy and I want you out of my sight,” Alex finished, as Liz raised her eyebrows at the apparent authority in Alex’s voice. Michael stormed out, obviously not happy about being told what to do. Max raised himself to his feet again,

“ Alex, I’m sorry about your chin, but honestly, me and Liz-” Max said, until Alex shook his head,

“ I don’t want to hear it. Your argument isn’t with me, it’s with Michael,” Alex said, crossing them to go into the bathroom. Liz stared at Max as he lifted a shirt out of his wardrobe. She walked up to him,

“ Max, I’m so sorry, this is my fault,” she said, until he turned and faced her, those same greeny-brown eyes melting into her own. He shook his head,

“ Maybe we should just stay away from each other, you know, until Michael calms down,” Max said, unsurely. Liz nodded, ignoring the part inside her that was screaming,

No, no, no, no, no, no! I want to be with Max!

“ Sure, maybe that’s best,” Liz agreed, feeling her stomach churn.

* * *

TBC....


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 3-Mar-2002 1:34:59 PM ]
posted on 3-Mar-2002 4:48:49 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone!

Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm going to post another little bit tonight.. you have Max and Liz together in Biology to look forward to *happy*

*angel*
posted on 3-Mar-2002 5:25:44 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Here it is, just another little bit. I thought I'd write a bit more, cos I haven't posted a lot lately. Well, hope you enjoy it.

Part 5B

Maria groaned as she spilt the flour over the floor for the third time that afternoon. It was mid-week, and Maria was still desperately trying to make something that would at least pass as edible in cooking class. But as it stood – she was having little luck.

Michael slammed the back door and laughed as he saw Maria on her hands and knees, trying to scoop up the spilt flour. Everyone had noticed the tension between Max and Michael, and Maria smiled, it was nice to see Michael laugh, even if it was at her expense. She cupped her hands together and scooped up the flour, laughing at herself,

“ Okay, so I’m not a brilliant cook. And apparently my co-ordination skills are nearly as bad” she said, missing the bin and dropping the flour on the floor again. Michael helped himself to an orange juice from the over-stocked fridge and proceeding to sit on the work-surface. Maria stood with her hand on her hip as she stared at him. Michael laughed,

“ Are you still trying to cook that stupid cake type thing? Didn’t that have to be in like, two days ago,” he said. Not that Michael actually met any deadlines himself, but girls were freaks over that kind of stuff. Maria sighed,

“ Actually, it was a week ago. But look at the results I’m getting,” Maria said, holding a piece of her first attempt today, and throwing it against a wall. It bounced back off the wall, and skidded across the floor. Michael nearly chocked on his orange he was laughing so much.

“ That’d make a good Frisbee,” he joked, sliding off the table, and peering over Maria’s ingredients list. He laughed again,

“ You’re using plain flour Maria,” he said, laughing again. Maria looked at him,

“ So?” she said, looking at the bag. He looked at her,

“ Maria, you have to use raising flour. It adds air and lightness,” Michael said, looking into the fridge. Maria’s mind slowly ticked, and an imaginary light bulb seemed to appear above her, as her eyes lit up,

“ Oh Michael… you know that you’re brilliant and amazing and wonderful…” Maria said, coming up behind him. Michael turned around,

“ Uh huh, no way. I don’t cook,” Michael said, picking up his rucksack and making his way through the lounge. Maria trailed after him,

“ I’ll pay you!” Maria said, as Michael turned around, a bemused expression on his face,

“ Are you that desperate?” he said, as Maria pitifully nodded her head. He laughed,

“ You don’t need to pay me. Come on, let’s see what we can do,” Michael said with a grin, as Maria jumped up and down, in her little ‘pixie’ dance, as Michael referred to it as. He smiled; he had no idea why he liked Maria so much.

* * *

Liz stared across at Max in the advanced Biology classes they were both taking. It was good to be in Advanced Biology, it meant she was with people who actually loved science as much as she did. Never mind that they were after school. She chewed on her pencil thoughtfully. She knew he was avoiding her. And she even knew why. But why was he still sneaking looks at her from across the classroom? Liz had found it hard staying away from Max. Strike that, hard wasn’t the right word, impossible was more like it. But her and Michael, they had to stick together. And Liz knew that however much Michael pretended that everything was okay, and that he was dealing with it fine, he was a nervous wreck underneath it all. She even knew that the reason he was so protective over her was because he felt like he had to be a father to Liz now, and that he was so scared he’d lose Liz, and be totally alone.

“…is that okay with you, Miss Parker?” Mr. Pete, Liz’s biology teacher finished. Liz looked up and nodded in agreement,

“ Um, yeah, that’s fine,” Liz said slowly, looking to her friend Miranda for any sign of the teacher’s actual question. The teacher nodded and seemed to tick her off in an imaginary book,

“ Okay then, that’s settles, Evans and Parker will be lab-partners, everyone, feel free to get on with your assignments,” he said, as he began to fiddle with some chemical concoction that he just couldn’t leave alone. Max approached Liz’s bench,

“ Hey Liz,” he said quietly, taking out a Bunsen burner and strapping it to the gas tap. Liz sighed,

“Is it really that bad that you have to make petty conversation when we’re lab partners?” she said, taking out their plant specimen and beginning to carry out some tests on it,

“ I thought that’s what we agreed, you know, so that Michael…” Liz began to heat up with fury again,

“ But Michael’s not here now Max,” Liz reminded him, and Max smiled,

“ Okay, I take the hint. And besides, I’ve been dying to talk to you about this anyway. Look what I found on the internet,” Max said, taking a book out of his rucksack. He opened it carefully and showed her a piece of paper. His hands momentarily brushed Liz’s, and Liz met his gaze in mutual understanding. Max placed his hand comfortably on top of hers and smiled. Liz concentrated on the paper,

“ Max, this is the whirlwind galaxy!” Liz breathed, moving her hand away from his in her excitement. Max’s eyes lit up,

“ I know. I went onto this web site, and there are constellations in the sky which match the exact same pattern,” Max said, tracing his finger around the system. Liz stood in awe,

“ Oh, we have to star gaze tonight Max. I have to see this,” Liz said, tracing the familiar pattern with her fingers. Max sighed,

“ I’d love to Liz, but Michael watches me like a hawk. You know what’s creepy? I swear he watches me when I sleep,” Max said, a serious expression on his face. Liz laughed,

“ My brother is not that obsessive,” Liz said, but by the look Max gave her, it was obvious he disagreed. The secretary came running in, and handed a piece of paper to Mr. Pete,

“ Miss Parker, your brother called, he says you’re needed at home.”

Max gave Liz a sarcastic smile as she picked up her books.

“ Okay, so, maybe he is obsessive. I’m sorry Max, if I don’t go and it’s actually important…” Liz’s voice trailed off. Max nodded,

“ It’s okay Liz. I’ll see you at home later. Hopefully. You never know, we might be able to sneak in a conversation before dinner,” he added with a smile. Liz smiled back, her heart racing again. She stepped out of the classroom, and raced to her locker, wanting to get home and yell at Michael. Sure, he was trying to protect her, but this was obsessive.

On going to place some books into her locker, a piece of paper slipped out of her science book. Liz bent down and picked it up, unfolding it slowly. She smiled as she read the message,

I want to star gaze with you. Meet me in the library, midnight. Max.

Liz’s heart fluttered again. No way was she going to miss this meeting.

* * *

TBC...

Editted to add that Advanced Biology Lessons are after school hours... sorry, should have put that in before*wink*


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-Mar-2002 4:54:49 PM ]
posted on 4-Mar-2002 1:18:11 PM by leaving_normal
Hey everyone,

Once again, thank you so much for all the feedback. Lol, some of you have even got me feeling sorry for Michael...honestly, he's not that bad. It'll all be revealed, but bear in mind that he's been through so much...his father died in his arms... Liz is the only thing that keeps him stable at the moment.

Thanks so much everyone, hopefully a new part out today or tomorrow *happy*

*angel*
posted on 5-Mar-2002 2:31:12 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone *happy*

Ah, another new part for you. I'm having a tough time at the moment, cos I'd like to be updating in larger chunks. But as it goes, I just don't have the time. So instead of keeping you waiting 2 weeks for each bit, I'll update with relatively small bits. Don't worry, after this, things are going to get very interesting...

Part 5C

“ And you’re sure that you’re only meant to use two eggs?” Maria asked, her head halfway into the fridge, on tiptoes and reaching towards the back.

Damn, I’ve really got to grow, Maria thought, as she stretched that extra little bit.

Michael laughed,

“ How many were you using before?” he asked her, as she presented him with the egg box. He put down the mixing bowl and spoon, and took the carton off her. Maria shrugged,

“ I think I used four last time,” Maria said, picking up the mixing bowl and stirring it. Michael shook his head,

“ And I thought girls were meant to be able to cook!” he teased, provoking Maria. Maria playfully removed an egg from the carton, which was on the work surface and tossed it to him,

“ Catch Michael,” she said, letting the egg fly into mid-air. Michael went to catch the egg, which then splattered all over his new t-shirt. Maria slammed her hand over her mouth,

“ Oh my gosh Michael!” she said, through the giggles. Apparently, Michael didn’t find it so funny, and took out another egg and threw it in her direction. Maria squealed when the egg hit her short skirt, and declared,

“ Right, that’s war,” before taking the flour bag in her hands. She approached him slowly, as Michael backed away,

“ Now think about this carefully Maria…” he coaxed, but by Maria’s mischievous grin, even Michael knew it wouldn’t do any good. Although, as Maria came closer to Michael, she slipped on the egg that had dripped onto the floor, and the flour bag went up into the air. Michael lunged to break Maria’s fall, and as a result, the two were encompassed by a white cloud of flour.

Maria laughed, caught up in a tangle of arms and legs,

“ You look like Casper,” she teased, whilst Michael lay on her heavily. He laughed again, and sat against the work surface. Maria sat next to him, picking bits of eggshell off her skirt. Michael brushed down his arms,

“ Where the hell did you learn to cook? I thought girls and their mums did all this stuff together! I bet you were one of those girls who had GI Joes instead of Barbie’s, am I right?” Michael said, looking at her, his legs spread out in front of him. Maria smiled sadly,

“ About the dolls, you’re right. About my mum, you couldn’t be more wrong. She had so many different men I never really saw her all that much,” Maria said, avoiding his eye line and continuing to pick eggshells off her skirt. Michael gulped,

“ That’s tough, you know, I never really knew my mum either. My dad said she left when me and Liz were still babies,” Michael said, not meeting her gaze either,

“ Yeah well, at least you had a dad. What did I end up with? Different men who’d either ignore me or pay me too much attention,” Maria said, biting her bottom lip when she realised what she was telling him. Michael turned to face her, her blonde features picked out in the cloud of white flour that powdered her face. He knew what he was telling her. She’d been abused. It stirred so many different emotions in Michael. He was angry, how could someone abuse such a lovely, fun loving girl? But it also struck him into sympathy for Maria. He put an arm around her,

“ Oh, I um, well, it’s hard to say something to that. I’m just sorry you had to go through anything like that,” Michael said, as Maria began to brush Michael’s hair. She seemed untouched by it all. Michael momentarily thought that maybe after suffering abuse for so many years, you learn to distance yourself from your problems. Maria nodded,

“ Yeah well. I’m just glad it’s all over now. But I really miss my mum. Before I got taken here, we were actually starting to get close, and I, I kind of miss that,” Maria said, brushing whatever flour she could out of her own hair. Michael just nodded; there wasn’t much else he could do. Maria looked at him,

“ Hey come on, haven’t we got a cake to bake?” she said brightly, throwing her hair into a scrunchie and picking up the mixing bowl. Michael shook his head,

“ Don’t even think about touching that,” he said jokingly. Maria smiled as she watched him crack the eggs on the side of the bowl and mix them carefully. There was still flour in his hair and his clothes were really dirty, and he was even scruffy in a handsome-kinda-way. She sighed.

Why was it Michael could really piss her off sometimes, but at other times, she just wanted to kiss him for hours?

* * *
Max paced up and down in the library. He checked his watch again. It was dead on midnight. He wondered vaguely that maybe Liz hadn’t got his note. Or maybe she didn’t want to meet him. Or maybe Michael had locked her away.

Max smiled as the library door opened, and Liz cautiously felt her way through. He smiled at her through the darkness,

“ Hey,” he whispered. She smiled back at him, pulling her purple hat down to cover her ears,

“ Hey,” she whispered back. Max led her to the window,

“ I thought you weren’t going to make it,” he said, climbing out of the window onto the balcony. He extended his hand to Liz, who refused it and climbed out of the window without any effort,

“ Yeah, I had to wait for Maria to fall asleep. She was telling me all about how her and Michael,” Liz paused, looking around, “ Why are we whispering?” Max smiled,

“ I don’t know,” he said, his voice returning to its normal volume. Liz smiled,

“ Where are we going then? I can’t wait to find this. I didn’t know anything about these star constellations,” Liz said, beginning to get excited. Max motioned to the ladder,

“ I thought maybe we could sit on the roof. It’s kinda flat before it slopes upwards, so we can sit there,” Max explained, letting Liz climb up the ladder first. Liz laughed,

“ What are you, scared I’ll fall?” Liz said, reaching the top and holding a hand out to Max. Max smiled,

“ Actually I just wanted you to see that,” Max said, spinning Liz around. Liz smiled, looking over the red and white checked picnic blanket Max had laid out for them, complete with picnic basket and two sodas. Liz squeezed his hand gently,

“ That’s really sweet Max, thanks,” she said, settling herself down on the rug. Max shrugged,

“ Hey you know, it was nothing,” Max said modestly, taking a soda and handing it to Liz. Liz tried to wrap her sweater further around her, shivering from the cold. Max looked up to the sky,

“ I can’t see it Liz. I can see Aries, right there,” Liz teeth chattered, making Max laugh. He put his arms around her,

“ Any better?” he said, as Liz nodded shyly. She looked up to the sky,

“ So where did you find the printout?” Liz said, tugging on Max’s arms a little, so that she sat rested on his chest, with him behind her. Max smiled, enjoying holding his arms around Liz.

“ I don’t know. I was looking on some science web sites, and it kind of just took me there. I remember you telling me about it, and I thought you’d like it,” Max said, blushing a little. Sure, when he’d found it, he’d been as excited as a kid on Christmas. He’d wanted to drag Liz out of her lesson and show it to her there and then. Liz sighed,

“ This reminds me so much of my dad,” she said. Max squeezed her a little.

“ We can go back inside if it’s too much for you,” he offered, not removing his arms from their warm embrace. Liz shook her head,

“ I know some people think that when someone dies, you just don’t want to talk about it. But I do, I mean, I want to talk about my dad,” Liz said. She felt Max rest his head on her shoulder, and smiled as he asked,

“ What was he like?”

“ He was a lot like Michael,” Max groaned playfully,

“ So he wouldn’t have liked me either then?” he proposed semi-seriously. Liz turned around, positioning herself in front of Max,

“ I think he would have liked you. He always talked to me about finding this special person, you know, like a soul mate,” Liz started unsurely. Max crossed his legs as Liz did, and took her hands into his. He looked at her with his soulful eyes, as she continued,

“ He always told me that one day, I’d meet someone who’d save my life, and that when I found that boy, to never let him go,” Liz said, looking into Max’s eyes. He smiled at her,

“ Sounds like a plan to me,” he joked, rubbing her hands to keep them warm. Liz smiled,

“ Yeah, it was kind of like a bedtime story, you know, girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, someone interferes and he said that I’d always win, because the boy would love me unconditionally. All that whilst other kids were getting the regular ‘little red riding hood’ stories!” Liz joked, resting against his chest again. Max smiled,

“I used to tell stories like that to Sophie,” Max said, smiling. Liz murmured,

“ Including the stuff about made for each other, written in the stars?” Liz laughed affectionately, “ My dad would go on forever about the stars. He said that there were so many solar systems, and used to tell me all these stories about different planets. And the Whirlwind Galaxy? He talked about it like it was in his own back yard,” Liz paused a moment, “ God I miss him.”

Max lay with his head against the sloping part of the roof, as Liz lay against his chest. He stroked her hair lovingly as she sighed,

“ Max I’m sorry about Michael,” she said out of nowhere. Max lowered his eyebrows,

“ What made you say that?” he asked. He felt her eyes drift up to the sky,

“ I was just thinking about him and dad. They were really, really close. Max, my dad died in his arms. Something you’ve got to understand is that I’m the only thing that keeps Michael breathing. When he sees you with me, he gets scared. I know he’s being a total jerk, and it sucks that we have to sneak around like this but-” Max stopped her, jumping up from their cuddle and kneeling in front of her. He held her hands tight,

“ Liz, don’t ever feel that you’ve got to explain anything to me. I get what you’re saying about Michael, and if it means sneaking you away to secret rooftop meetings, there’s nothing that’s going to stop me from seeing you,” Max said, running his hand down the side of her face. Liz smiled,

“ How is it that I can feel this way about you, when I don’t even know you?” Liz asked, placing her own hands around his face. Max blushed,

“ It depends how it is you feel about me I guess,” Max said, smiling shyly. Liz smiled too, and brought her face closer to his. Her heart was racing, and her hands shaking. And evidently so were his.

Max’s insides churned. He parted his lips, and drew her in closer, until the restless thought he had held since he’d first seen her passed through him mind again,

What if I hurt her when I kiss her?

Max backed away awkwardly, kissing her lightly on the forehead. Liz looked at him, a confused expression on her face. Max smiled at her,

“ I uh, I think I heard Michael moving down there,” he lied badly. Liz’s eyes opened wide,

“ Oh no! Quick Max!” Liz said, pushing him over and shoving him towards the ladder. Max could kick himself.

Why did this have to happen to him?

Kissing her was what he wanted more than anything in the world.

But hurting her was what scared him the most.

Max picked himself off the floor and brushed himself down, following after Liz’s desperate whispers. He cursed himself,

Damn it Max, why’d you have to be an alien?

* * *
So you know who one alien is... and just as a promise... Max's alien status wont keep Max and Liz apart for long.

posted on 6-Mar-2002 1:11:18 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: I've been writing for five solid hours today... You've got three new parts to look forward to *happy* I'm going to post them all tonight, although only after I get feedback for each part... I know I'm cruel Sorry!

Part 5D

Isabel opened her locker and peered inside. Adjusting the mirror to her height, she smiled. She stroked her blonde hair again. It was weird, looking in the mirror and seeing someone who looked so healthy, and so full of life. Isabel had succeeded in getting all the colours out of her hair, so that it was now just past her shoulders and a sunshine blonde. She’d taken out her contacts, and her blue eyes now shone through. After two days away with Amy in a Health Resort, her cuts and bruises were nearly healed too, so that she looked like a completely new person. But it wasn’t just that, she felt like a new person too. Suddenly she was starting to realise that there was more to life than all night parties, sex and alcohol. She actually had the chance to have a life. And taking out her heavy Algebra book, she decided that this time around, she wasn’t going to screw it up.

The last bell rang and Isabel slammed her locker shut, making the way to her class. She searched the halls for familiar faces, as she hadn’t seen anyone from the house since they had left for the resort two days ago. She sighed; she’d have to catch up with Alex later.

Tripping on her sandals a little, she rushed past a closet of some kind. All of a sudden, two strong arms pulled her into the cupboard and threw her in, and closed the door behind her. Isabel reacted quickly, standing up with her fists clenched against the sides. The colour drained from her face when she realised who it was,

“ Adam, let me out of here,” Isabel said forcefully, backing up as it took steps towards her. He held out his hand,

“ Hey, hold up. I ain’t gonna hurt you. I wasn’t even sure it was you. What you do? Get a face lift?” Adam said, stopping and leaning on a pile of books. Isabel scowled,

“ Well when someone tried to attack me, I got a bit roughed up. And if you don’t mind, I’m going now,” Isabel said, reaching for the doorknob. Adam caught her on the shoulders, making Isabel’s skin crawl,

“ Come on baby. I was as high as a kite that night; tripping on some bad stuff. Give me another chance,” he said slyly. Isabel turned around; standing so close she could smell his smoky breath on her skin, she smiled at him. He smiled too, thinking he had won her over. Running her hands down his chest, she swiftly brought up her knee in between his legs and hit it as hard as she could. Adam rolled onto the floor in pain, as Isabel pulled her shoulder bag tighter,

“ Get lost Adam. And don’t you ever, ever come near me again,” she said spitefully, closing the door and walking confidently down the hall. She smiled at the confident new her. She liked being this Isabel Evans.

* * *

“ Michael!” Maria called excitedly in the hall. Michael turned around, as Maria threw herself into his arms. He hugged her in surprise, as the smell of lavender fragranced the air around him. She jumped up and down excitedly,

“ I did it, I got an A in cooking!” she said, jumping up and down. Michael laughed at her,

“ Yeah, whatever,” Michael said, fighting the urge to jump up and down with Maria. Maria’s face fell,

“ Aren’t you at least a little bit happy for me? After I slaved away for hours in the kitchen…” Maria said, beginning to follow Michael down the hall. Michael shook his head,

“ Hey, I kinda helped in there a little too you know,” Michael commented, stopping at his locker. He tossed his books inside as Maria continued to stare at him,

“ Michael. I asked you to assist me… I think we both know that it was my own secret recipe…” Maria said, leaning against the lockers and waving her hands around in a I-know-best kind of fashion. Michael cut her off,

“ That was producing Frisbees?” he ventured. Maria erupted in fury,

“ Oh my god Michael! Can you not just say ‘yeah, well done Maria?’ or ‘that’s good Maria’?” she stared at him. The bell for lunch rang and Michael began to get agitated,

“ Yeah, well done Maria,” he said sarcastically, as Maria’s eyes blazed with yet more fury. Michael snapped back at her,

“ God, Maria, this is no big deal!” he said, walking into the quad, with Maria still trailing behind him. She threw her cooking book at his head as her turned around, rubbing the back of his head,

“ Jesus, that’s the last time I help some chick just because she’s cute!” he said angrily. Just when Maria thought she couldn’t be any angrier than she already was, Michael succeeded in making her furious again,

“ Chick? Cute?” she screamed. Michael laughed at her,

“ Yeah, now, I’m going for lunch,” Michael said, sitting at a table and opening his soda. Maria screamed in frustration and walked off. Michael laughed; she looked so damn good when she was angry.

* * *

Max tapped lightly on Isabel’s door.

“ It’s open,” Isabel called, as she sat on her bed, chewing her pencil and tackling the fifth question on her algebra assignment. Max entered and did a double take,

“ Wow, Alex said you looked different, but this is a huge change! And you’re doing homework? Okay, who are you and what have you done with my rebel of a sister?” Max joked, smiling and sitting in front of her. She closed the book and rested it on the floor, smiling a little,

“ Yeah, Alex saw me and didn’t speak for like, minutes. He just drooled a lot,” Isabel said, laughing fondly at the memory. Alex’s chin had nearly hit the floor when he’d seen her. Of course Isabel didn’t mind. That was kind of the reaction she was hoping for. Max smiled at her,

“ So, was it good to get away then?” Max said, making casual conversation. Isabel laughed at him,

“ Boy, things really don’t change. What’s the problem?” she said, as he looked up at her with a confused expression on his face. She laughed again,

“ Max, I’m your sister. Come on, you used to do this all the time when you wanted to ask me something but didn’t know how to say it. Remember when you wanted to ask me about Fluffy, the rabbit? You wanted to know why she was white? You gave me this whole big talk about how the sky was blue and the sun was yellow and thing before you even asked. And right now, I have an issue with Algebra to get through, so how about you just tell me what’s up?” Isabel said. Max smiled a bit,

“ It’s like you never left,” he said, hugging her. She smiled,

“ It’s nice being back. What’s up then? School? Girls? Or is it to do with…” Isabel motioned two little antenna’s growing out of her head. Max laughed,

“ Kind of about that and about girls…well, about Liz really,” he said, staring at the bedspread and blushing. Isabel laughed,

“ So what is it?” Max didn’t answer her, and her face instantly fell,

“ Oh my god Max, you didn’t tell her did you? That we’re, that you’re…” she said, catching his face,

“ Oh god no! Isabel, I’m not even sure what we are, I’m not about to go shouting it out to the rest of the world,” Max said, remembering how scared he had been when Isabel had first told him that she knew that they were different. What if the wrong people found out? Would they cut him open? Would they put needles into his skin? Would they perform horrible experiments on him? Max shook his head,

“ I want to um, well, as it goes, we came close to…” Max mumbled, and Isabel laughed,

“ You’re going to sleep with her and you’re worried it’s not going to be normal?” Max blushed furiously,

“ No! I just want to kiss her and I’m worried I’ll hurt her or she’ll see things that she shouldn’t see,” Max said, getting severely embarrassed. However much Isabel was one of the closest people to him, even if she’d been gone for years, he was not about to discuss sex with her. Isabel chuckled,

“ Well none of the other girl’s you’ve kissed have blown up, have they Max?” Max looked up again, his fringe falling over his embarrassed eyes. Isabel gave out a little moan,

“ Oh my gosh. You haven’t even kissed a girl?” Max shook his head,

“ I was watching X-men one day and you know Rouge? Well, the first time she kissed someone she put them in a coma, because she drained all their power. And well she’s a mutant and I’m uh, not of this earth so I thought…” Isabel had, by this time, collapsed into a fit of giggles and was struggling to breathe. Max frowned,

“ Isabel, it really isn’t that funny,” he said. But found it hard to resist smiling himself. Isabel caught hold of his hand and laughed again,

“ Max, they’re cartoons okay? This is real life. You are not going to make her blow up, and you are not going to drain her power or whatever. God, if you were this scared about kissing a girl, what were you going to do about doing the dirty deed?” Isabel said, looking at him,

“ I uh, well, I guess I never found a girl I wanted to do it with. So I take it you’ve…” Max said, letting his voice willingly trail off. Isabel’s face seemed to cloud over a little, and Max knew that she was remembering her past. Isabel frowned sadly,

“ Yeah well, I’m not a virgin. Just be careful about the connection Max,” Isabel warned him, obviously not quite ready to tell him everything about her past. Max’s forehead creased in concern again,

“ Connection?” he asked. Isabel sighed,

“ When you touch her, she’ll be able to feel things that you feel, see things that you’ve seen. You’ve gotta block that out, otherwise she might get a little freaked out that she’s seeing you hatching or something,” Isabel added. Max smiled gently,

“ Thanks Isabel. But what about Michael?” he asked nervously,

“ What, you want to kiss him too?” she teased. Max pulled a face,

“ No, urgh, Isabel that’s disgusting. He’s so protective of her. What if he like, I don’t know,” Isabel picked her Algebra book back up off the floor.

“ To be quite honest, he’s getting too involved with Maria at the moment. And besides, use it to your advantage, you know, the whole romantic Romeo and Juliet thing going on,” Isabel said, opening up to her page again. Max smiled and nodded. She was right; he should just go for it. He rested his hand on the doorknob,

“ Is there anything you want to talk about Iz?” he asked, as she looked up from her book, shaking her head. He nodded, and walked out, closing the door lightly behind him.

When she was sure he was gone, she felt tenderly under her pillow, until she found what she was looking for. She smiled sadly, as she felt the strip of photos.

A blonde, happy Isabel sat on a handsome boys lap. His raven black, spiky hair, and dark eyes smiled happily into the camera, and made his way to Isabel’s lips between each snap shot. Isabel touched the photos tenderly, and let a single tear slide down her cheek, remembering a time where she had been so, so happy. And so completely in love.

* * *

Want another part tonight? Leave me feedback please!

posted on 6-Mar-2002 1:56:20 PM by leaving_normal
Okay, lil old impatient me has decided to post the other two parts anyway *happy*

The only thing I ask if please leave feedback!

Part 5E

Alex strolled into the garden, his hand submerged in a bag of potato chips. Passing under the biggest apple tree, he heard a sniffle coming from above him. He looked up, confused. Either that was one big bird, or someone was up there. And they weren’t happy.

“ Hello? Liz, Liz is that you?” Alex called up to the tree. He held onto the bag of potato chips with his teeth, and settled himself on a branch of the same level as Liz’s. Liz sat with her knees pulled up to her chin, and her head resting in the space that left. Her eyes were red, and Alex didn’t know quite what to say. He held out the bag of potato chips to her,

“ Want a potato chip?” he said, as Liz wiped her eyes and laughed,

“ Are you eating again? You’re going to eat us out of house and home!” Liz said, with forced enthusiasm. Alex shrugged,

“ I’m a growing boy. Besides, no one eats these, they’re those Pizza flavoured things,” Alex said, reading the packet. Liz smiled slightly. And went back to looking out of the green leaves and at the sky. Alex coughed,

“ So um, do you come here often?” he joked, still munching on the chips. Liz smiled a bit,

“ I’m sorry Alex, I’m in a different place altogether at the moment,” Liz said quietly, shivering a bit. Alex frowned,

“ Is it about your dad?” he ventured carefully, as Liz nodded sadly. Alex carefully sat the bad of chips down on a nearby branch, and held his arms out. Liz carefully fell into his hug, and rested her head on his chest,

“ See, I get all the best women,” he joked, making Liz smile again. Alex put his arms around her,

“ So, you just thinking?” he asked her, pushing his feet out to another branch. The light came peering through some of the leaves casting various patches of light on certain areas, and casting some parts into the shadows. Through some of the gaps, you could see the clear blue sky. But the best thing about being up here was that it was so quiet, you felt like you were in another world. The sun shone strongly, reaching Alex’s face.

“ I just don’t want it to be true. I want to wake up and go out for a walk with him, or have him tell me stupid stories, or even embarrass me at the supermarket. I just want him to be here,” Liz whispered. Alex squeezed her a little. Sometimes he wondered if he could think of his dad as still being alive. But in one way, Alex had never known his father long enough to get attached. A week here, a week there, and that was about it for their relationship.

“ I just find it so hard to wake up in the morning and remind myself that he’s gone. I keep thinking about every time I touched him, every time I spoke to him. And I look at Michael and I see my dad in him, then I see how much Michael hurts. Please don’t tell him I told you any of this,” Liz said, as Alex shook his head,

“ Don’t worry, I won’t tell him any of our girlfriend stuff,” Alex said, making Liz feel a little more at ease. She sighed,

“ He’ll try and protect me, he’ll be there by my side every time I need him. He knows he can’t replace dad, but god Alex, I’m worried he’s just going to crush himself one day. He wants us to be a family so much, and I think there’s even a bit inside him that thinks dad is just going to walk through the door one day,” Liz said, feeling the tears swell up in her eyes and rage through her heart,

“ But he’s not coming back,” she said, her voice catching as she buried her head in Alex’s chest. He didn’t move his arms from around her. He sighed,

“ This probably isn’t going to make you feel any better. But my dad, he’s in the Army. And since I was born, I think I must have seen him about two, three times a year, at the most. All those memories you have of your dad, they’re so special. If my dad died tomorrow, I wouldn’t know how to feel about it,” Liz’s brown eyes caught Alex’s light brown eyes questioningly,

“ Alex, you’d still be devastated, no matter what you say, your dad is your dad,” Liz said, searching his eyes. Alex tore away from her gaze,

“ But what I’m saying is that you shared all those special times with your dad. What was the best time you can remember?” Alex asked her, and Liz smiled,

“ We were about eight or nine years old and he took me and Michael camping. We stargazed and ate marshmallows all night. And that was the first time my dad told us all about the galaxies,” Liz said lustfully, smiling as she recalled the tale, Alex squeezed her hand,

“ Those Liz, are things you’re never going to forget. I don’t have things like that to share with my dad. But I’m not asking you to compare my dad to your dad or whatever, I’m telling you that all those times are moments that make everything you shared so special. They’re gifts he’s left you even if he’s gone Liz,” Alex said softly, as another tear slid down Liz’s cheek,

“ You’ll always remember him through his smile, his touch and through you and Michael. Nothing will change who he was. He’ll always be your dad, and he’ll always love you, even if he’s not here to show you,” Alex concluded, holding Liz tight. Liz gulped, trying to force the lump in her throat away, as she looked at Alex,

“ Thanks Alex. I never thought that someone who’s such a joker could make so much sense,” she teased him, wiping her eyes with her long purple sweater. Alex smiled,

“ Hey, we do what we can. So, you ready to raid the kitchen? My chips are all gone, and I think I smell dinner,” he said temptingly. Liz smiled,

“ You go ahead, I’m just going to sit up here for a while,” Liz said, moving carefully back onto the part of the tree that split in three, forming a nice little seat for Liz. Alex nodded,

“ Okay, but I’m warning you that there might not be any pizza left if you don’t come soon,” he said teasingly. Liz smiled as Alex descended the tree and went inside, turning to look back at her, making sure she was okay.

Liz smiled again. She was going to be okay.

* * *

Maria nervously took clothes out of her drawers and folded them neatly. A chill swept through the pretty room, making Maria shiver. She leant over to the window and closed it, surveying the dark sky and telltale dark clouds. She sighed, mixed emotions running through her veins.

As she turned round, she saw Max peering around the door,

“ Oh hey Max,” Maria said unenthusiastically. Max greeted her, and looked around the room.

“ Have you seen Liz?” he asked nervously. Maria smiled, and leant casually on her chest of drawers.

“ No, not since this morning. Is there something going on between you two?” Maria asked, a knowing smile on her face. Max smiled shyly.

“ Kind of,” he admitted. Maria smiled triumphantly,

“ Ah hah! I knew it,” she cried, making Max laugh, “ You two are totally hooked on each other.”

Max casually sat on Liz’s bed, and watched as Maria folded more clothes into a pile on her bed. Max vaguely wondered why Maria was taking clothes out of her drawer and putting them on her bed. He was sure it was meant to be the other way around. Although, he reminded himself, Maria did kind of do things her own way.

“ So uh, has Liz said anything to you about us two?” Max asked, rather less that tactfully. Maria laughed,

“ She tells me every night how ‘Max says’ or how ‘Max did the funniest thing’,” Maria teased, turning around to face him,

“ She does?” Max asked, a goofy grin on his face. Maria nodded,

“ But if you hurt her Evans, I will hunt you down and snip…” Maria said, motioning a pair or scissors. Max nodded; he definitely understood what that meant. He got up to leave, but Maria called after him,

“ I think she’s waiting on the rooftop for you.”

* * *

Michael paced up and down frustrated. Maria had to be so awkward. First, she’d ask him to help her. Then, she’d say he didn’t help her. Then, she’d just piss him off.

That was it. He was swearing off women altogether.

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t a good idea. Michael threw himself onto his bed, and continued to think whilst he hugged a pillow.

Why was she driving him so insane? She was only a girl, it’s not like she was anything special. Although he did kind of like it when she did her ‘pixie’ dance. And when she did that cute little smile thing, yeah, that was cute too.

Michael slammed his head into the pillow.

He knew it.

He was hooked.

Throwing the pillow to the side he picked up himself and walked with intent out of the doorway. There was only one thing to do when he felt like this. He rested his hand on Maria’s door, as a funny nervous feeling filled his stomach.

Michael, you’ve been out with loads of other girls. This is no different. he told himself.

But of course this was different,

He’d never been out with Maria.

* * *

posted on 6-Mar-2002 2:00:13 PM by leaving_normal
Okay, the final installation for today...

Part 5F

Jim strolled merrily through the house. Passing his wife, he gave her a playful nudge and smiled, taking her into his arms,

“ Have I told you how much I love you?” he said, swinging her around. Amy laughed,

“ Hmmm, not since yesterday,” she said, drawing him in for a kiss. He swung her around again, until placing her back down onto the sofa. He sat down beside her,

“ So, I see Isabel cleaned up nicely,” he said, watching Amy concentrate on her sowing. Amy nodded,

“ Yeah, those days away really helped her. I tell you Jim, I can’t remember being this ecstatic. When I first found out about the four of them, or you know, remembered about them, I thought I’d never find them. Now here I am, almost there,” she finished with a sigh. Jim smiled at his wife,

“ I’m so happy for you too Amy. I’m happy for both of us. Now these kids have invaded our house, and raided or fridge, it feels like a proper home,” he said, kissing her hand lovingly. Amy smiled, and couldn’t remember the last time she had seen Jim so happy. Sure, it had been a struggle, and for years she’d come up with nothing. She’d had to trace adoption records, sneak in to private buildings, and there were a lot of other things she had gone through that she wasn’t proud of. And now she was so close, soon they’d all be together, and they’d all know the truth. And she’d finally have some kind of link to her past.

The doorbell rang, snapping Amy out of her dream world and back into the present day. Jim smiled at her, as she put down her sowing,

“ I’ll get it, don’t worry,” Jim said, getting off the sofa and reaching for the door.

Opening it slowly, nothing could prepare Jim for the shock he was about to get.

Standing on his doorstep was a boy who looked about sixteen, with short, chestnut hair with a sharp middle parting. Holding a bit of paper, the boy looked up, and a pair of blue eyes stared back at Jim.

Jim gulped, as his heart sped up.

The boy looked at him, studying his face, a look of complete shock and horror on his face.

Jim managed to find his voice.

“ Kyle?”

* * *
Alex sat on his bed after dinner, strumming on his guitar. He smiled happily. Isabel had told him he looked good tonight. This was definitely a step up in the world. At first, he wasn’t sure if he had any kind of chance with her. He’d always been a bit or a nerd, and to think of it even a bit dorky, but Alex really hadn’t cared. But Isabel, she just seemed a bit…well, different. She clearly hadn’t any respect for superficial people, and certainly had a mind of her own. Although, she had also been rude, obnoxious, and even disgusting. Alex laughed. Although, something attracted him to the Ice-Princess. She was like a packet of Pringles. He’d got the taste of her and he wanted more. Alex’s stomach rumbled at the thought of Pringles, and as he went to open the door, Isabel entered his room.

Once again his mouth was wide open, and he was staring at her thin frame as she hovered in his doorway. Her small pink t-shirt and blue tracksuit bottoms looked good on her, although there were still scabs on her elbows, Alex didn’t mind. Her blonde hair up in a ponytail, and a smile on her face, she came up to him.

“ I just thought I’d say thank you for looking after me,” Isabel said quietly, coming up to Alex. She looked at him,

“ Alex. Stop drooling,” she said playfully. He shut his mouth and scratched the back of his head, taking a seat on his bed. Isabel stood in front of him,

“ Hey, it was nothing. Anyone would have done it,” Alex said modestly. Isabel shook her head,

“ No, no they didn’t. And they haven’t. I mean, no one ever stayed with me like you stayed with me, and I just wanted you to know that you were the one who made me realise that I should start opening up to people again,” Isabel said, staring at him with her dark brown eyes. He looked up at her and smiled,

“ I’m glad you’ve realised that we’re not all out to get you,” Alex joked. Isabel laughed; he had no idea about the irony in his words. Alex kicked at the floor. Isabel stood in front of him,

“ Was there something else Isabel?” he asked, and before he knew it, she had pushed him back onto the bed, and was resting gently on top of him.

Alex blinked furiously.

Was this actually happening to him?

Was he dreaming?

Was an incredibly beautiful blonde on top of him?

In his bed?!

Alex looked up at her,

“ I think you, uh, you tripped,” he stammered, not taking his eyes off her. Isabel smiled gently,

“ No, I didn’t,” she said slowly, as she lowered her lips down to his. Their noses brushed, as Alex’s heart started to beat so fast he feared it would burst. Her soft skin grazed against his, as he lifted a hand up to the side of her face, and stroked it gently. She ran a hand through his hair, as she finally let her lips brush against his, feeling his soft lips envelop hers. He kissed her gently, and felt his heart leap when he felt her tongue brush with his as she deepened the kiss, kissing him faster and with more urgency. Alex wrapped his arms around her waist, and continues to caress her lips with his, rolling her over so he was on top and once again deepening the kiss…

* * *

Liz pulled the blanket further over her knees, and watched as Max pulled himself up the ladder and onto the rooftop. She smiled,

“ Hey, come to stargaze?” she asked him, as he smiled. He handed her a flask as he climbed under the blanket with her. Liz opened it and smelt inside,

“ Mmm, hot chocolate, just what we need,” she said, taking a sip out of the container and handing it back to Max. Max smiled, as he slipped his arms around her again. They laid back onto the sloping part of the roof. Above them, a starlit sky set off a perfect evening. Max carefully brought the blanket over Liz’s arms, as Liz smiled,

“ So, still think Michael’s watching you?” Liz said with a smile, turning to look at him, with her face still resting on the side of the cold roof. Max smiled; she was even more beautiful by moonlight. Her chocolate brown hair was being blown around by the gentle breeze, and her chocolate brown eyes were soft and expectant. He smiled,

“ I don’t know where he is. He wasn’t in our room so I came straight up here,” Max said, feeling for Liz’s hand underneath the cover of the blanket. Liz smiled at the fell of her fingers intertwining with hers. She sighed,

“ Everything is so beautiful up here,” Liz said breathlessly,

“ It’s definitely beautiful,” Max said, not taking his eyes off Liz. Liz smiled and blushed,

“ Max Evans, anyone would think you’re flirting with me,” she teased him. Max moved his free hand to cup the side of Liz’s face, and made them both sit up, causing the blanket to drop to the ground.

“ Anyone would think you’re complaining,” Max replied, gazing softly into her eyes. Liz smiled, as she felt the butterflies mount in her stomach,

“ I’m not complaining Max. But I went away and I thought a lot last night. Maybe it’s best you didn’t kiss me. We’ve both got problems, and everything would get so confusing if we kissed,” Liz said softly, not taking her eyes off Max’s. Max smiled softly, as he gazed down to her lips,

“ Why would they get confusing?” he asked, stroking the back of her neck. Liz smiled softly, as she whispered,

“ One kiss would lead to more kisses,” she started softly, watching as Max’s face came closer to her eyes,

“ Sounds good to me,” Max whispered, and Liz smiled,

“ And before you know it, we’d be kissing everyday,” she said, feeling his breath on her skin. Max rubbed his nose gently against hers, as Liz brought her hands up to his chest,

“ That doesn’t sound so confusing,” Max whispered, Liz feeling his lips move against hers. She smiled,

“ Somehow it isn’t as confusing anymore,” she whispered as she felt gently along the soft skin of Max’s cheek with her nose. Her eyes closed gently, as they both moved in for the kiss.

Inside they were both trembling. The butterflies in Max’s stomach were making his heart race, as he finally took Liz in his arms, and grazed his lips against hers, sending a million different feelings through both of them. Liz parted her lips, feeling Max take her bottom lip between his. His lips were warm, and his breath chocolaty and sweet, as she ran her tongue teasingly over his bottom lip, he opened his mouth slightly. Max held her tight as she kissed him deeply, her tongue grazing against his, making his heart race. Liz could feel him shaking, as she gently pushed him over, laying him on his back as she kissed him slowly, savouring every moment, every second of it. Liz lay on top of him, one hand on his chest, and one hand running through his hair.

Liz drew back from the kiss, gasping for air. Max looked up at her, stroking her hair with his fingers,

“ Was that confusing?” Max whispered, looking at Liz with his soulful eyes. Liz smiled,

“ If it was, I wouldn’t mind being confused for the rest of the night,” she said, leaning down again, and taking his lips into hers again, kissing him with more urgency and passion. He held her tiny waist so tight, as they rolled around under the stars, and suddenly Max realised that nothing had ever felt so right in his life, other than when Liz was in his arms.

He belonged.

Kissing Liz wasn’t scary, and it wasn’t wrong.

It was magical, amazing and most of all...indescribably perfect.

* * *
Michael tapped lightly on Maria’s door, and walked though. Maria was sitting on her bed, looking through a photo album. Michael sat in front of her,

“ Maria, I know you’re pissed off at me, but you just need to listen for two seconds,” he said, but Maria started to protest,

“ Michael,” she said, reaching for his hand. He grasped it tightly and told her to ‘shh’.

“ Maria, you’ve been driving me crazy ever since I got here, and some nights, I’d lay awake at night thinking about all the times you’ve pissed me off,” Michael said, as Maria smiled gently,

“ But then I’d think about how much fun we had watching movies, or baking that stupid cake. And as much as you piss me off, I can’t stop thinking about you,” Michael said, looking into her eyes. Michael looked at her with concern when her eyes filled with tears, and he looked around her room.

“ Why are there so many boxes, I thought all your stuff was unpacked?” Michael said, not letting go of her hand. A tear slid down Maria’s cheek, as Michael took his hand back. In the distance, the thunder rumbled, and it began to rain. Michael and Maria sat on the bed, staring at each other,

“ Maria, what’s going on?” Michael asked, getting off the bed. Maria stood up too,

“ I spoke to my mum earlier Michael,” she said softly, her voice catching. Michael shook his head, as the thunder got louder. Maria nodded,

“ I’m going home.”

* * *

Okay that bit was full of action *happy* What did you think?

posted on 6-Mar-2002 4:58:32 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

Aw wow, thanks for all the feedback! I'm so happy I've finally got to this point in my story now, cos after this, there's hopefully going to be so much action!

Right there's a couple of things I should point out.

1) Alex wasn't dreaming...Isabel kissed him!And in answer to someone's question, she really looked at Alex differently when he stayed with her and told her stories that night. She realised that he's actually pretty decent, and come on guys, who could resist Alex?

2) The person in Isabel's picture isn't Kyle, it's a person who I have mentioned in this story, and who's really important later on.

3) Maria will leave...temporarily. Trust me on this one, Michael needs to realise some stuff before he's allowed Maria *wink* don't be dismayed... it's all part of my plan... hehehe. Don't worry, I'm not about to ruin the life and soul of my version of Roswell!

4) Kyle. Bet you weren't expecting that one! Just so you guys have got one this straight... Jim knows Kyle, Kyle doesn't necessarily know who Jim is. And in the guidelines for this challenge, I know people aren't meant to know each other, but I'm going to cheat a bit.

5) The Aliens. Hmmm. I know who they are, obviously. But there are going to be some major relevations in this fic...soon. You know that Max is definetly an alien, and so is Isabel, to clear that one up. There are loads of clues to who they are, but I'll tell you that, in total, I've mentioned more than 4 people who are aliens. I'm not going to give you a definent figure, cos it'll make it too easy for you.

6) A few hints... there's going to be another new character in my fic, a party, a cat fight, arguements, tears, another first kiss, a run away, a robbery, the obvious bit of finding out they're aliens... and loads more.

Please keep reading and leaving feedback! I write for you guys,

*angel*

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 6-Mar-2002 7:50:07 PM ]
posted on 6-Mar-2002 6:05:13 PM by leaving_normal
Hey... another note from me...

Please don't stress... Maria will not be gone for long!

*angel*
posted on 7-Mar-2002 4:35:07 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone.

Okay, you probably think I'm mad. Well I guess I am. I've written another 2 parts for today, and I'm working on the third. Okay? So to show your appriciation... loadsa feedback would be incredible *happy*

Right. I'll post the bits in a minute.

*angel*
posted on 7-Mar-2002 5:16:27 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Yes, I'm definetly Crazy. You have another three parts tonight. I'm working on the fourth.

I've spent hours and hours writing this tonight, mainly because I love it... but please make it worthwhile. Please leave feedback!

Part 6A

Michael slammed the TV remote down on the table, and fell into a seat on the sofa beside Alex. Alex shook his head,

“ Dude, here’s a phone,” he said, handing him the cordless, “just give her a call, see how she’s doing.”

Michael shook his head, taking the phone and slamming it down on the table next to the remote. Isabel raised her eyebrows,

“ Michael, will you please stop slamming things. You’re giving me a headache,” she said, continuing to file her nails. Michael looked at her incredulously,

“ Oh, suddenly you’re the centre of the universe and everyone else doesn’t matter?” Michael said, getting angry again and pacing up and down. Isabel looked at him and then dismissed it. He was mad, and she was filing her nails. She didn’t have the energy to answer him back anyway.

Maria had left to go home to her mother yesterday. And ever since then, Michael had been in a constant bad mood. He’d slammed doors, played music maliciously loud, and spent his time sulking in his room. He hadn’t even said goodbye to her, it’d hurt too much. If he had listened, he would have known that Maria’s mother had been desperate to get her back. She had straightened out her life, and got rid of the man who had abused Maria. And now Maria wanted to get to know her mother again. Michael scolded himself, he knew better than to get involved with anyone. People he cared about left him.

Isabel looked at him,

“ Michael, you are being a complete loser. You just let her leave without even asking her to stay. Of course she’s going to go,” Isabel said, ignoring a sharp look from Alex. She gave him a teasing smile and continued to file her nails. Michael sat back down on the sofa,

“ Look. I’m not going to phone after some girl. She obviously wanted to leave; I’m not going to go begging with her to come back. God, I have some dignity,” Michael said, leaning back on the sofa and handing his head over the edge. Alex laughed,

“ Well, I think he’s in love. What do you reckon Isabel?” Alex said, giving Isabel a smile. Isabel shrugged,

“ I think he needs a shower. Is it me or does he reek?” Isabel said, getting up and brushing her skirt down. Alex smiled. They hadn’t talked about their kiss since it happened. Alex didn’t know whether she wanted to just leave it at that, or maybe…well, kiss a little bit more. Which is definitely, definitely what he wanted. Alex leant over and smelled Michael,

“Oh hey man, she’s right. You stink,” Alex said, getting up to stand beside Isabel. Michael looked up,

“ Great so now I’m a loser and I smell?” Isabel nodded.

“ Yes,” she picked up a magazine and leafed through it lazily. Her eyes brightened up at the sight of an add,

“ Oh my god, I totally forgot about Halloween. We have to have a party,” Isabel said, making Michael laugh.

“ Just a few weeks a go you were calling us all dorks and walking around here like you owned the place. Now you’re wearing pink and organising parties?” He said, sarcasm trailing through his sentences. Isabel gave him a cold stare.

“ I happen to think it is a great idea,” Isabel said, flipping through the pages,

“ And besides, it’ll help Kyle settle in.”

* * *

Amy rested her hands on the side and tried to stop from blacking out.

“ Jim, do you realise what you are telling me?” she said, taking deep calming breaths. Jim nodded, and stood in front of her,

“ Amy, I thought I’d never see him again. When I left Maggie, she told me never to come near her or Kyle again,” he said, pleading with her. Amy glared at him, furiously.

“ Jim, you have a son that you never even told me about! A son that has just turned up here, on our doorstep!” Amy said, her face turning red. Jim watched as Amy’s eyes focussed behind him, staring into the doorway, where now stood Kyle, at nearly six foot tall and stony eyed, he stared at Jim. Jim looked down at the floor.

“ I put my stuff in the room, like you said,” he started nervously, taking a seat around the kitchen table. Amy and Jim sat either side of him, Jim cautiously avoiding Amy’s glare. Kyle coughed,

“ Okay, all I can say is that I’m a bit freaked out right now. Mum told me that you were dead, that you died in an accident when I was two years old,” Kyle said, looking at Jim. Jim shook inside. Of course Maggie had told him that. She hated him. Jim closed his eyes and squeezed them as tight as he could. He couldn’t believe this was happening, he couldn’t believe that his sixteen-year-old son, who he hadn’t seen in fourteen years, was sitting right in front of him.

Jim’s mind was a blur of information, as the events of the past whirled through his mind,

“ Maggie please listen to me, I don’t want to go but I have to,” a young Jim Valenti said, putting his suitcase in the hall. A blonde haired woman, with short curly hair and deep brown eyes stood close to tears in the hallway, desperately grabbing hold of her two-year-old son.

“ Jim, if you walk away from this house tonight, I guarantee I will not be here when you come back,” she said spitefully, putting the young toddler down on the ground. Kyle grabbed at his fathers legs with his chubby hands. Jim leant down and picked the toddler up, bouncing him up and down. Maggie leant on the wall, tears in her eyes,

“ Jim. If you tell me where you’re going, I will forgive you. Every other night you go into the darkness and I don’t see you for weeks, only to have you return to say ‘it’s classified’, or ‘not now Maggie’. But this time Jim, it’s the last straw,” she said, taking Kyle off him again.

Jim looked down to the ground. He wanted to tell her. He desperately wanted to tell her. But he knew he’d really never see her again if she knew what he did all those nights he was away. She’d be taken to some government facility, and have her mind erased. He shuddered, thinking about everything that could happen to her. Everything to government were able to do to her. No, he had to do this. To protect her.

“ Maggie, I’m protecting you. Please,” Maggie held up her hand and bit her bottom lip. This was the final straw for her. She couldn’t watch Kyle grow up with half a father. She couldn’t lay awake at night anymore, staring at the empty side of the bed, wondering if Jim would ever return home.

She forced away the lump in her throat,

“ Go Jim. But don’t expect to see me, or Kyle, again,” she whispered, as Jim picked up his suitcase and opened the front door. He looked back at her, as Kyle perched on her hip, waving goodbye to his daddy. Jim gulped,

“ I love you Maggie,” he started, but Maggie’s glare remained firm and stony. She looked at him, and said,

“ Just go, Jim.”

Maggie watched in horror as the man she loved walked through the front door, not looking back. As the door slammed shut, Maggie dropped to her knees and cried, hearing vague cries from Kyle of

“ Where’s daddy gone?”

Maggie sat on her knees, holding her arms out to Kyle. The little boy cam running into her arms,

“ It’s okay honey. It’s just you and mummy now,” she said, rocking him back and forth. Maggie looked up to the front door again, knowing that this time, she had lost her husband to his work.

Jim was no longer Kyle’s father.

He was simply another FBI agent.


“ Kyle, what happened to Maggie?” Jim asked, clearing his throat. Kyle’s face turned ashy, and his confused expression turned into one of grief,

“ She died, a month ago. She had cancer,” Kyle said quietly, keeping his gaze firmly on the table. Amy’s heart suddenly went out to the teen in front of her. He didn’t know what was going on, his whole world was upside down. She couldn’t afford to be selfish now. Jim reached for Kyle’s shoulder,

“ Son, I’m really sorry,” he said, until Kyle’s chair screeched across the floor, and he stood up,

“ I’m not your son. I walk in here expecting to find an uncle, and I get a father. I thought my father died years ago, and now mum’s gone… oh hell, don’t you start playing the parental card. Let me get one thing straight. I am not your son,” Kyle said forcefully. Jim nodded,

“ I understand,” he started, until Kyle started to pace the kitchen floor again,

“ No, no, you don’t understand, don’t tell me you understand,” Kyle said, beginning to work up his anger, Amy looked worriedly across at Jim,

“ My mother told me to come here, and that I’d find my uncle and he’d look after me. Shit,” he said, staring out of the back window onto the garden. Amy put down her cup of coffee, moved slowly from the table, and put a hand on Kyle’s shoulder,

“ Kyle, you’re very welcome to stay with us,” Amy said softly. Kyle turned around, and looked at her,

“ Thank you, Amy. I’ll stay until I get my feet on the ground,” he said, looking at Jim. Jim stood up, and watched in horror as Kyle walked straight past him, and through the lounge. Jim hung his head, as Amy approached him, putting her arms gently around him.

“ Jim, however much I am angry at you for not telling me the truth, I know you have your reasons. And you trusted me, before you knew my secret, and even now, when you know who I really am, you love me. I’ll stand by you Jim,” Amy said, holding him tight. Jim sighed, holding his wife tightly,

“ Thank you Amy,” he said, letting go of her slightly. He ran a hand through his thinning hair,

“ What do I do now?” he asked her. She handed him a hot cup of tea.

“ You wait until he’s ready to talk to you,” she said, taking his free hand and holding it tight. They had a long road ahead of them, and it wasn’t going to be a smooth ride.

* * *
posted on 7-Mar-2002 5:32:52 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Hey, another part. *happy*

Part 6B

Liz ran her hands down Max’s chest and groaned,

“ Oh Max,” she whispered, unbuttoning the top button of his shirt, Max smiled, easing off her a little. Liz lay flat out of the library sofa, at 6am. She’d met Max in the library an hour earlier, and so far couldn’t keep her hands off him, although, he didn’t seem to mind. She breathed heavily, her body temperature rising every time he touched her. She couldn’t remember exactly how they’d ended up in this state of passion; the only thing she knew is that she couldn’t stop herself.

He stroked her face lovingly,

“ I don’t know what it is about you Liz, there’s something so special,” he started, until she pulled him down by his shirt, enveloping his soft lips with hers. Max drew away and smiled,

“ You really don’t waste any time do you?” he asked, a cheeky grin on his face. Liz smiled,

“ Well, when I know that everyone’s going to be up in a half hour, how can I not make the most of my time with you,” she teased, ruffling up his hair. He settled comfortably on top of her,

“ Liz,” he breathed, stroking her hair. His brown eyes melted into hers, as she cupped his face in her hands, pulling herself up to kiss him, forcing him to sit up, and grab her around the waist, deepening their kiss and holding himself as close as he could get to her,

“ God Liz, you’re amazing,” he said between kisses. Liz was in heaven. She could feel Max’s skin next to hers; she could feel his warm breath on her skin, she could smell his spicy scent; and all of it made her want him so much more. She rubbed her nose against his,

“ Max, this is incredible,” she said, caressing his neck with her kisses, making him want to explode. How did she know exactly where to kiss him? How was it that the feel of her against him felt so right, when he had been terrified about ever letting a girl anywhere near him.

A cough came from the other side of the library, making Max jump off Liz, and fall onto the floor. Liz desperately struggled to position her hair so that it just appeared that her and Max had conveniently met in the library, totally by accident.

Isabel appeared in front of them, a smirk on her face. She looked at her brother, who was sitting on the floor, a bright shade of scarlet spreading across his cheeks. Isabel laughed,

“ You two really don’t waste any time do you?” she said, reaching over to the shelf of books behind the bookcase and removing a book on Algebra. Liz gulped,

“ Are you going to tell Michael?” she asked, Max standing up. Isabel looked at her. She’d definitely have to teach this girl how to handle herself. She smiled again,

“ No I am not going to tell Michael,” she said, making her way out of the library. She turned around, watching Max’s astonished face. She turned to Liz,

“ Just take it easy on my brother. You’re his first,” she said, winking and leaving the room. Liz turned to a very embarrassed Max,

“ Your first what?” she asked him playfully. He smiled nervously,

“ Kiss,” he said quietly. Liz smiled, slightly shocked but amused none the less,

“ Well I think you need some training then,” she said, pulling him back onto the sofa, and pressing her mouth against his, feeling his strong arms once again bring her body firmly against his…

* * *

Kyle wondered down from the third floor, where Amy had told him he could have the attic. He sighed as he walked around the empty hallway. He’d been introduced as another foster kid, so that he wouldn’t have to explain then and there that he’d suddenly found out Jim was his long lost father. Of course it’d all come out sooner or later, but he’d much rather it be later rather than sooner. He’d been told there were three others in the house, Liz, Michael and Max. There seemed to be quite a fuss going on as to whether Max and Liz were getting it together or not, but right now, Kyle didn’t care.

Lost in his own little world, Kyle was knocked flying as the boy who was called Alex came rushing into him. They both landed on the floor with a thud, as Kyle sat up, rubbing his head,

“ Hey, oh, sorry man, I totally wasn’t looking where I was going,” Alex said, extending a hand down to him to help him get up. Kyle took his hand. Alex looked at him,

“ So hey, I’m Alex, we uh, met downstairs last night? How you finding it?” asked Alex, opening his bedroom door and welcoming Kyle into what Michael referred to it as ‘their organised mess’. Alex jumped onto his bed, and began searching for his favourite plectrum. Kyle laughed,

“ I uh, it’s okay. The people seem a little crazy,” Kyle said, as Alex gave out a triumphant yell, and picked up his guitar. Alex nodded,

“ Yeah. Well, Maria left last night, and Michael? He liked Maria so he’s a bit pissed to say the least. Hmmm,” said Alex, concentrating in deep thought. Kyle looked at him, taking a seat on the desk,

“ What?”

“ I’m just thinking about stuff you need to know. Isabel and Max are brother and sister, not that anyone knew that till about a week and a bit ago, Liz and Michael, they’re brother and sister, but Liz likes Max, Isabel’s brother, but Michael doesn’t want Liz to get involved with him,” Alex said, confusing himself. Kyle laughed,

“ Looks like I just walked into a soap opera,” Kyle said, breaking into a grin. Alex nodded,

“ Yeah, it’s a bit of a madhouse really. My dad’s in the army, so he drops me off at random foster homes throughout the year. But as it goes, this one’s okay. Jim and Amy are great folks,” Alex said, noticing the reaction in Kyle when he noticed Jim’s name. Kyle had noticeably tensed up. Alex frowned,

“ Are you okay?” he asked, but before he got an answer Liz came through the door,

“ Hey Alex have you seen Max?” Liz said, staring as Kyle turned around. She broke out into a massive grin,

“ Kyle?” she squealed, running up and giving him a hug. Kyle held her, amazed,

“ Liz?” he said, putting her down. Alex scratched his head,

“ Okay, I get the feeling I’m missing something,” Alex said, as Liz laughed,

“ Our dad sent me and Michael away to camp one year and that’s where we met Kyle,” she said, not quite believing her eyes. Kyle stood speechless. She looked as gorgeous as even, in a pair of light blue jeans and a lavender top. Kyle smiled,

“ Wow, I… wow this is totally weird. So what are you doing here? How’s your dad doing? Oh I remember that time on parents day when he played soccer with all of us…” Kyle’s voiced trailed off as Alex and Liz’s eyes hit the floor. He looked at them,

“ What?” he asked, looking from face to face. Michael came walking through the door, putting a protective arm around Liz.

“ Our dad died, a couple of months ago,” Michael said softly. Kyle’s eyes fell,

“ Oh man, I’m so sorry. My mum just passed away so I know what you’re going through,” Kyle said, holding out a hand to Michael. He shook it thankfully. Him and Kyle had gotten quite close that summer when they were fourteen, almost like brothers. Him, Liz and Kyle had been inseparable. He smiled a bit,

“ I guess it’s all a bit edgy around here huh?’ he asked Kyle, who nodded,

“ To be honest, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I’m thankful I know you guys. It’s been a long three years huh?” Kyle said, kicking himself for bringing up their dad. This place was getting majorly freaky. First of all he’d found his father, now he was finding friends he’d met summers ago.

What’d happen next?

* * *

posted on 7-Mar-2002 6:10:49 PM by leaving_normal
Yes, I know I'm spoiling you, but I can't help it.

Part 6C

Liz sat sullenly on her bed, staring at Maria’s side of the room. It’d been over a week since Maria left now, and Liz was really starting to miss her. She missed their little conversations, and the way Maria was always thrusting some kind of herbs in her direction. She sighed, returning to her chemistry assignment. Michael came walking through the door,

“ Liz, I want to call Maria,” he stated, coming in and sitting on her bed. Liz looked at him, a bit lost for words. Why was he telling her?

“ Okay, well, you’ve got the phone, that’s a good start,” she said sarcastically. Michael looked at her,

“ But seriously, what do I say?” he said, fiddling with the aerial. Liz smiled softly. Her brother had it bad.

“ Just ask her how it’s going,” she said smoothly. She laughed inwardly; she wasn’t exactly the world’s smoothest talker, and here she was giving her hopeless brother love advice when he had basically condemned any type of relationship between Liz and Max. Liz blushed, thinking that she had been rather less than innocent with Max lately. Michael took a deep breath.

“ Right, I’m going to call her, “ Michael said, dialling her number. Liz tried hard not to laugh. Since when did Michael get all stressed out about calling a girl? Michael jumped up a bit, and mouthed,

“ It’s ringing,” Liz nodded, and replied,

“ Good.”

An imaginary blot struck through Michael as someone answered the phone, and the butterflies grew in his stomach.

“ Hello is Maria there?” he said politely. Liz looked at him expectantly,

“ It’s me,”

Michael stood silent. Now what did he say? Liz gave him a nudge,

“ It’s Michael. I just wondered how you were doing,” he asked casually, taking a seat on the bed. Liz sat in front of him,

“ I’m fine,” Maria said shortly. Michael listened hard, as he thought he heard shouting in the background,

“ Is everything okay there Maria?” he asked, avoiding Liz’s alarmed eyes. He stood up and paced the length of the room,

“ Yeah, yeah I’m fine. Listen Michael I’m going to have to call you back,” she said, and hung up the phone, as the shouting got louder. Michael slammed the phone on the desk and turned to Liz,

“ Something’s wrong Liz. They were shouting,” he said hurriedly, grabbing a jumper of his off her bed and thrusting it on and diving out of the room. Liz followed him,

“ Michael, where are you going?” Liz asked him, following him as he ran down the stairs,

“ I have to go to her Liz. What if they’re hurting her?” he said, standing in the kitchen. Liz pulled on his arm, sitting him down,

“ Michael, listen to me. If Maria was in any kind of trouble, the first thing she’d do is come back,” Liz said sensibly. Michael slammed his fists down on the table.

“ This isn’t fair!” he said, frustrated. Liz looked at him, surprised,

“ Michael, did you really like her that much?” Liz asked him softly, as he removed his hands from his face.

“ I don’t know what it was Liz. She really pissed me off, but I just was so happy being around her,” he admitted. Liz smiled a little,

“ Sounds like a certain brother I know who wouldn’t let his sister make her own decisions,” she teased. Michael sighed,

“ I’m only trying to protect you,” he said, putting an arm around her. Liz smiled,

“ I know, but sometimes I have to follow my heart too you know?” Michael looked at her. When had she grown up so much? Michael smiled a bit and sighed,

“ Okay okay. If you like that guy, I guess I shouldn’t say anything. Just promise me something?” he asked, looking at her. Liz smiled; glad she’d sorted everything out with her brother. She hated not feeling close to him. He was her only link to her past, and she needed him.

“ What?” she asked. Michael smiled,

“ Well, I guess it’s two things. First, don’t kiss him in front of me. Knowing my little sister is dating someone is weird enough, but seeing you two making out? That’s just wrong,” he said, as Liz laughed,

“ Yeah okay, I suppose that’s fair enough,” Liz said, “ What’s promise number two?”

“ Just because you go out with Max, it doesn’t mean that you stop talking to me okay?” he said seriously. Liz felt her heart break. He was so scared about losing her. Liz nodded,

“ Michael, I don’t think I could ever stop talking to you. Not even if I wanted to!” she joked, giving him a sisterly hug. He smiled.

Right, now what did he do about Maria?

* * *

Alex flipped through a chick magazine casually, desperately trying to make it seem like he was actually interested in it. He gazed across ast Isabel, who was sitting on her bed, concentrating hard on her homework. Now, how did he go about this?

Isabel, you know we kissed?

Or

Isabel, I was wondering about when you kissed me…

Or

Do you want to do it again?

Alex grimaced to himself. He’d finally hit pathetic. He closed the magazine and cleared his throat,

“ Hey um, Isabel?” he said, as she looked up from her homework. Alex nervously played with his fingers,

“ Did, when we kissed, did that mean anything to you? Cos it’s been like a week and you haven’t said much to me so am I right in thinking you think it’s the worst mistake of your life?” Alex said, still not meeting her eye line. Isabel laughed,

“ Alex, it was one kiss. Don’t take it so seriously,” she said, looking up at him. Alex’s stomach sunk.

Don’t take it seriously?

It was the most amazing kiss of his teenage life, how could he not take it seriously. Alex didn’t know whether he was going to laugh, be sick, or cry, but he decided whatever he was going to do it’d be better to do it when Isabel wasn’t in the room. He nodded, and left the room quickly, returning to his room and falling flat on his bed, face down.

How could you have been so stupid Whitman? She’s blonde and beautiful. Why would she ever go out with someone like you? he thought numbingly. He took a deep breath and refused to feel like crap. Which is, obviously, exactly how he felt. He spun around, and raised his eyebrows when he saw Isabel standing in front of him.

“ You didn’t let me finish,” she said, climbing on top of him again. Alex gulped. Was it just him, or was she playing it hot and cold?
“ Alex, if I ever, ever wanted one kiss to become more than one kiss. It’s with you,” she said, leaning down and softly brushing her lips against his. Alex protested a bit,

“ Isabel, okay, you’re beautiful and I think I’m crazy. But you can’t keep giving me the hot and cold. If you want me, god, take me. But don’t put me through the torture of not knowing,” he said, as Isabel smiled cutely. Alex looked up at her,

“ You think I’m beautiful?” she asked, as he nodded. She smiled again, as she kissed him again.

“ It’s okay Alex. I want you,” she said, as he smiled that goofy smile that actually attracted her. She kissed him longer and harder, letting the connection flow from Alex to her. She loved the feel of his hands around her waist; she couldn’t remember anyone ever touching her so softly, so meaningfully.

Then she did.

And everything she had shared with Griff came flooding back to her.

posted on 7-Mar-2002 6:51:10 PM by leaving_normal
Last Bit fo tonight, I'm knackered. Happy reading all *happy* I'm off to bed (it's 12am over here)

Part 6D

Michael felt the tears streaming down from his eyes and over his cheeks, as he held his father. He could see the blood gushing from his father’s wounds, as he tried to apply pressure, forcing them to stop bleeding. Blood was seeping slowly through Michael’s trousers,

“ Go get an ambulance!” he screamed to Liz, as she ran to the phone in the hall.

He pushed his father’s hair out of his face, and saw his brown eyes beginning to fade,

“ Dad, it’s going to be okay. Liz’s is going to get an ambulance and everything’s going to be okay,” Michael choked through the tears. He watched as his father opened his eyes again, he placed a bloody hand around Michael’s face,

“ Michael, look after Liz. You and her are very very special,” his father said. Michael began to brake down,

“ No dad, we need you! You can’t die!” he pleaded, tears raging down his face. His father smiled at him,

“ I’ll always be with you Michael. You know who you are,” he said, and suddenly they connected, sending a wave of images through Michael’s mind.

Images of a red sky and green clouds. Images of a space craft. Images of Michael and Liz holding their fathers hand. Images of a crash.

Michael gasped as the connection broke, and his father smiled at him. Michael held him tightly,

“ What does it mean dad?” he whispered, but he was too late. Fear, anger, devastation all swept through Michael’s body, as he screamed.

And suddenly a white light spread throughout the room. Michael watched as the white light spread from his hands all over his father’s body. Michael was shaking furiously, as the white light brightened the room, until he could no longer open his eyes…

* * *

Michael sat bolt upright in his bed. He panted, and held his hands out in front of him. They were normal. They were shaking. But they were normal.

He leapt out of his bed and scuttled down the hallway, opening Liz’s door slightly. She looked so peaceful. Michael stood and watched her for a moment, just watching her breathe slowly, knowing that she was alive. He rested his head on the door. He didn’t want to wake her; she’d been having enough troubled nights of her own. She needed her rest. Michael closed the door quietly, and paced downstairs.

He was still fully clothed. His Metallica hoody and blue jeans were the most comfortable outfit he owned, and he had no trouble falling asleep in them. He sighed as he poured himself a drink.

Why had his dad said they were special? What did the flashes mean?

Michael rested his head against the fridge, desperately wanting to tell Liz everything. But what if he told her about the flashes, and the white light, and she had him committed. Michael seriously considered having himself committed, and he’d actually experienced the things. Liz was devastated enough as it was, she didn’t need a freak of a brother too.

But her father had said they were both special. What if Liz was a freak too?

Michael sat down at the kitchen table, and saw Maria’s social studies book lying in the centre. He picked it up. God he missed her. The moonlight shone through the window, reflecting off the set of keys in the fruit bowl. Michael picked up the keys in his other hand.

They were Max’s keys. Max’s car keys.

Maria’s home was a five-hour drive. He could make it there and back by the time everyone got up. He thought about their phone call, and about how distant she had sounded. She wasn’t happy there. He knew it. And he wasn’t going to let them hurt her.

He got up off the kitchen table and walked through the lounge, and opened the front door with intent. He put his hand on the latch, and swung it open.

Michael’s heart fluttered.

The rain was pouring down, and the wind was blowing.

And there, on the doorstep, stood Maria, soaked to the bone. She was drenched right through. But the only water Michael noticed was the tears running from her eyes. Her black and purple eyes.

Michael stared for a moment, the car keys still in his hands. Maria stepped into the light, and saw the true extent of Maria’s injuries.

Across one eye there was a cut, from her eyebrow to the top of her cheekbone, and the area around it was swollen and purple. On her other eye, it was bruised all over.

“ He wasn’t gone,” Maria cried, her body shaking from the cold and from fear. Michael threw his arms around her, holding onto her tight, he closed the door and stood with her, letting her cry into his shoulder. The wetness soaked through to his skin. But he didn’t care.

He managed to move Maria to the sofa, and took two towels out of the cupboard, handing them to her. She looked at him, water still dripping from her nose. He helped her take off her thin jacket, and rubbed her arms. Maria stared at him. Michael looked into her frightened eyes,

“ Maria, I’m so sorry I didn’t come sooner,” he said quietly, running the towel through her soaking hair. Tears continued to stream down her cheeks,

“ It was going okay. Until he came back. He thought he’d got rid of me, he was so angry,” she sobbed. Michael’s heart ached. He held her tightly, rocking her back and forth. She broke away from him, and dabbed her face with the towel. She looked up at him,

“ Michael, why do things like this happen?”

Michael looked at her, stroking her hair. His greeny-grey eyes almost housed tears themselves, as he replied,

“ I don’t know. But no one, no one should ever, ever hurt someone like you,” he said softly. Maria smiled a bit.

“ You wont hurt me?” she said softly, pleading into him. Michael shook his head,

“ I wont hurt you,” he both confirmed and promised. Slowly Maria leant forward, and took his lips into hers, brushing them lightly together. She drew back, and looked at him.

He smiled softly, placing his hand behind her hair, holding her behind the neck. She smiled too, as he leant forward and captured his lips with hers. Her strawberry lips made him hungry, as he deepened their kiss, giving it more soul and meaning. His lips were rugged, and felt good against hers. His spicy, rebel scent made her heart swell, as she felt his hands gently cup her face, and kiss her so gently, so soulfully, and so tenderly that she felt like the only girl in the world.

She felt like she belonged.

He felt like he had found home.

They felt perfect together.

* * *
posted on 9-Mar-2002 6:06:49 AM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

Thanks again for all the feedback, it's really good to know how I'm doing.

I have a couple of questions that I need help on. Being English, I'm not exactly sure how the school system works over there. I think I've got it figured, its freshmen, sophmore, junior, senior. But what age are you when you're in each Grade? Sorry, I just want to make sure I get this right, b/cos at the moment, I've got about enough storylines running through my mind to last the characters at least two years! So sorry folks, this is going to be a long fic!

And when are your spring breaks and summer holidays, and how long do they last?

Also, I asked this before but didn't get much of a reply, would you guys be okay wiht it if I kind of went along with the show sometimes? Take Viva Las Vegas as an example... It wouldn't be exactly the same, but I want to write a bit of the story where they all get away from it, and I think Vegas is the best place to do it.

Oh, I want to write so much of this fic! I've planned up to part 11, and by that time... They will know about the aliens. It's just finding the time to sit down and write!!

Anyway, I'm off to work, thanks everyone,

*angel*
posted on 10-Mar-2002 1:17:17 PM by leaving_normal
Okay, just a short note to say the next part will be up soon.

Thanks to everyone who reads this fic, and thanks to MelK who helped me out with the whole American schooling thing! I'm getting there, honestly, I promise *wink*

Hmmm... Well, I just wanted to get you guys thinking, so, I'm finishing off Part 6 today, Part 7 is the Halloween Party, Part 8 is a load of M/L, M/M and A/I relationship stuff, as well as more 'alien' developments, and a HUGE arguement...And Part 9??? That's the one I'm looking forward to writing. I'm not giving anything away!

There you are... Next Part shall be up tonight *happy*

*angel*
posted on 10-Mar-2002 2:35:02 PM by leaving_normal
Authors note: Hello all. Another part, just rounding up part 6. Part 7 will be underway by Tuesday, as I've got a Girly Night out to go to tomorrow night *happy* my friends going to Kenya for a month... all I can say is wow! Anyway, here it is... (I'm scared it sucks a bit though, I had a hard time writing it)

Part 6E

Max awoke, startled again. He snatched at his covers, trying desperately to remember where he was. He locked onto the familiar sights of Alex hanging out of bed, and the sound of Michael snoring softly. He took a deep breath.

It’s only a dream Max. He told himself, looking around the room. It was cold and empty. He couldn’t just go back to sleep. These dreams were returning after years, and now they were more powerful than ever. Max’s skin became plagued with goose bumps, as he slipped out of bed and pulled a T-Shirt over his head, slipping silently out of the door and down the hallway.

“ Isabel,” he called softly, shaking her. Her blonde hair was sprawled out across the pillow, as she lay peacefully on the pillow. She scrunched up her eyes and groaned,

“ Wrong room Max. Go and jump into bed with Liz, I’m tired,” she both teased and moaned at the same time. Max didn’t have the time or energy to bother with her jokes. He shook her again, before whispering,

“ Isabel. My dreams. They’re back,” he said, as she opened her eyes slowly. She looked at him quizzically,

“ The same dreams?” she said, barely above a whisper. She leant over and turned on her bedside lamp, jumping at the sudden light. Max shook his head,

“ No. Before I’d see images. Like the red sky, and the green clouds, but they didn’t feel real. This was different. I couldn’t see things, I could feel things,” he explained demonstrating by taking her hand. Isabel shuddered,

“ Did you see anything that’d tell us who we are?” she asked him desperately. Max shook his head,

“ No, it was like being surrounded in all these feelings. I felt afraid, scared, anxious. All at the same time. And it was like I could feel other things too, like I could do more than just smell, touch, taste, hear and feel. It was like a sixth sense. I just knew,” Max said, his face turning paler. Isabel’s eyes began to fill with tears,

“ Max, you used to cry, every night when I wouldn’t come home, didn’t you?” she said, beginning to feel the guilt of leaving him alone to fend for himself rise up inside her again. Max nodded slowly,

“ You could feel me?” he whispered, moving into a hug. He held her tight as tears slowly fell down her cheeks.

“ I could feel it every time you cried, and how lonely you were. I’d get this feeling inside of me, and I just knew it was you. And I could feel exactly what you were feeling, but at the same time I felt like I was feeling at the same time. It was like having two sets of feelings running side by side through my body,” she explained, as Max released her a little. He watched as she bit her lip, and shook her head,

“ I’m so sorry for leaving you. I know that I shouldn’t have, I know that I left you in so much danger. The Government could still be onto us Max, does that still scare you?” she asked. He nodded slowly, the moonlight catching in his eyes,

“ Of course it does, but Isabel, how do you know that we’re aliens? I mean, couldn’t we just be gifted?” Max asked, knowing that he was being naive. He’d battled against it all his life. He desperately wanted to be normal. To be human.

Isabel sighed a little. All the time she’d spent in New York told her she was an alien. You didn’t get those kinds of powers by being ‘gifted’. She shook her head,

“ Max, I know you stopped using your power, but I developed mine,” she said, holding out her hand to the light. It flickered out. Max’s eyes opened wide. She reached onto the side and grabbed a CD case, and ripped the CD out of its case. She held the CD up to her ear, and a faint pink glow surrounded it. Max’s eyes grew even wider as quite rock music filed the room. He gulped,

“ What else can you do?” he asked quietly. Isabel shook her head,

“ I can change things, heat things up, and there’s other things that I can do that I don’t even want to talk about,” Isabel said, turning to face away from Max. He put his head down. He couldn’t fight it, he’d never been able to fight it. He was different, he wasn’t human and he knew it. He snapped up again,

“ Isabel, summer last year, when I was fifteen, I was walking and I suddenly felt this, I don’t know, this energy. I felt like breaking down and crying, it was like someone had just died or something. I felt like my whole word was ending.”

Isabel froze, her skin cold and pale. Max looked at her,

“ Something happened to you, didn’t it Isabel?” he asked quietly. She closed her eyes, knowing exactly what he had felt. He’d experienced her feelings at the lowest point of her life.

“ I don’t want to talk about it Max. There are a lot of things that went on in New York that you don’t need to know about,” she said, softly cuddling into her covers again. Max carefully slid off her bed, and watched her a moment.

What was she hiding?

* * *

Kyle quietly wondered down two flights of stairs and into the lounge. He couldn’t sleep. Every time he closed his eyes he saw his mother’s pale face, and himself holding her frail hand. He took a deep breath and tried to stop the tears gathering in the corners of his eyes. He knew it was going to happen; the doctors had diagnosed her six months before she died. But that didn’t prepare him for feeling so lost, and so alone. He missed her so much; he missed her optimistic smiles and her teasing about Kyle’s girlfriends. He missed her cooking, and he missed her moaning at him for using all the hot water. But most of all – he just missed his mum. He just wanted her soft embrace around him now, the way she’d do when he was down. Or when he just needed a hug. Or when she just felt like cuddling him. Kyle smiled to himself, watching the TV flickering to life, as he remembered all the Saturday nights he’d spent with his mum since he’d found out she was ill. She’d nag at him to go out, go and enjoy his life. And he’d tease her, saying that he went for older women. But the truth was that for the last six months of her life, Kyle hadn’t left her side. He had his whole life to have fun, but he only had six months left of having a mother.

Kyle felt the familiar feeling in his stomach, as a tear slowly sailed down his smooth cheek, as he wiped it away, frustrated. He buried his face in his hands,

Why did she have to die? He asked himself, making him choke up more.

At the sound of someone in the kitchen, and the sight of sudden light, Kyle quickly struggled to wipe the tears from his face, and casually resorted to watching the TV. Kyle’s face dropped as he saw Jim’s reflection in the TV. He switched it off and prepared to go upstairs, desperately not wanting to face his new found ‘father’. But Jim wanted to talk to him,

“ Kyle,” he called softly. Kyle turned around from the bottom of the stairs and faced him,

“ What, Jim?” he called tonelessly. Jim winced,

“ Kyle, I don’t want us to start off as enemies,” Jim said softly, taking a seat on one of the comfortable armchairs. Kyle watched as the middle-aged man ran his hands through his greying hair. It was obvious the guy hadn’t slept, and that he hadn’t thought about anything else but Kyle in the last 48 hours. Kyle sighed, as he carefully took a seat on the sofa. He swallowed hard,

“ Surprisingly enough, neither do I,” he said. He swallowed hard. He was mad at Jim for a lot of things. For leaving him when he was only two years old. For never trying to find him. For letting him believe he was dead. But most of all, Kyle was angry that he’d left his mother. She’d had to suffer bringing up Kyle on her own, and then to die of cancer? Kyle shook his head. If it was one thing his mother taught him, it was that he had to give people a go. He had to trust Jim, because at one point or another, he had to have loved his mother.

Jim smiled slightly, although as Kyle realised, it was more of a relieved smile than one of gratitude. Jim gazed across at Kyle. The last time he saw him he’d been a toddler. Now looking at him, he was almost a man. How could he have missed so much of his life? Jim cleared his throat,

“ Kyle, this is so weird for both of us. But I know I’ve missed so much of your life, and I know you’re going to resent me. But I don’t want the past to stop me from getting to know you now,” Jim said, lifting his head to look at his son, coating his words in sincerity. Kyle looked at the man. He didn’t hate him. God, he didn’t know him. Kyle played with the place mat on the table,

“ I’m not sure what I want to know about the past, but all I know is that the only family I ever really knew has just died. I don’t want to destroy something that could tell me more about what my mum was like,” Kyle stopped, afraid that if he continued, he might break down altogether; and by the look on Jim’s face, it looked as if he may break down as well. Jim nodded,

“ I’m grateful that you’ll let me have that Kyle. If you want to ask me anything, or if you want me to do anything for you, I don’t want you to be afraid of me,” he said, picking up his coffee mug again. Kyle nodded solemnly. Suddenly, an idea popped into his head,

“ Hey Jim?” Kyle asked, as Jim ascended the stairs,

“ Yeah Kyle?”

“ Does anything include a Halloween party?”

* * *

The colours swirled inside Max’s head, turning from amber to rich gold’s and reds. It felt like a warm mist surrounded him, as he held out his hands and rotated them in front of him. He willed the mists to clear. As they drifted to the sides, Max stepped forwards. He couldn’t talk, but he knew Isabel was out there. He reached out his right hand, and took Isabel’s.

He turned to her, as the two watched the mists seep away, leaving them in the dessert, in front of a giant rock formation. Max watched as Isabel drew symbols in the sand, and watched as him himself helped her to draw them.

As Max looked up, he caught sight of two other people walking towards him in the dessert. Max watched, surprised at himself, as he held out a hand to Michael.

But he was weary of the other girl.

He watched as she shook her blonde curls, and smiled warmly.

She took Isabel’s hand, as the four stood in a circle.

And all of a sudden, Max found himself falling through space.

* * *

Max gasped as he woke up. This had been the most realistic dream yet. But had also been the only dream that had involved more people than him and Isabel. Max shuddered. What did this mean?

He took out his drawing pad and sketched the rock formation. Then suddenly it clicked, and he was racing downstairs, and grabbing the keys to his jeep.

* * *

Standing in front of the rock formation, Max looked around. There were no symbols. The cold dessert air ran through him, as he clung to himself, his hair being blown around in the wind.

“ What are you trying to show me?” he whispered quietly to the wind. He looked around, receiving no reply. He sighed, returning to his jeep.

He gazed up to the sky, desperate to know what had brought him out here. He knew where this rock formation was. He knew that he’d been here before. But how did all of this fit together?

Max’s eyes drifted up to the sky, where, without a doubt, stood the constellation that him and Liz had been searching for.

It was the Whirlwind Galaxy that Liz was so interested in.

There it was, plain in the sky.

But why could he see it now?

Why had Michael been in his dream?

Why was the constellation that Max saw in the sky around this rock formation the same one which Michael and Liz’s father had told them so much about?

Unless.

Max’s eyes widened,

Unless they were different too?

* * *

TBC

posted on 11-Mar-2002 4:55:28 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone

Wow, thanks for the replies! I was worried cos I thought that bit sucked!

Anyway, okay, a few of you are getting freaked out about Tess POSSIBLY being in my fic. Okay, I don't want to give too much away... but I will promise that IF and WHEN Tess does appear in my fic... VERY bad things will happen to her. VERY VERY bad things. Trust me, I hate the gerbil as much as the next person.

Anyway, I've just got back from my night out with the girls, and I think it was more depressing than anything else, but thats a long story.

No updates tonight guys, I've got Sociology coursework (blah) Business Homework and English Coursework to do... not good stuff I know but it has to be done. New part hopefully up tomorrow night... When the Halloween Party gets underway!

Thanks again everyone, you're all such amazing people for leaving feedback!

*angel*
posted on 12-Mar-2002 1:49:41 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone...

Hmmm, it's interesting what you guys have to say about Tess... I feel the same way. Although, my anger is focussed... I'm going to make something really horrible happen to her in my fic, whether she appears in the house or not. And Dreamers... she'll actually be responsible for bringing Max and Liz closer together... so no worries there! This is a dreamer friendly fic... with a big dreamer friendly storyline coming up in Parts 8 & 9, which may lead in their secret being revealed.

As for tonight, I've got a little bit to post, so watch this space!

*angel*
posted on 12-Mar-2002 4:36:39 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Firstly, thank you to everyone who left feedback! Usually I split my parts up so they're about 3 pages (in MS word) each, but this time I've spoiled you again and written 7 pages for tonight. I hope you like them! They've taken me ages to write, and I'm battling with my english homework... GGGRRR. lol, I've got so involved in this fic, it's almost like I'm a friend of theirs, looking in on their life. A huge part of me wants to see so many of the fan fictions I read acted out by the actors on the show... Anyway, I'll stop my ramblings, here you go...

Part 7

Alex kissed Isabel long and hard, wanting to savour every moment of it. Since he’d worked out that Isabel wanted to make it more than just one kiss, that she really did want lots of kisses, they’d done exactly that. Kissed. Lots of times. And Alex was in heaven.

Alex smiled to himself, and Isabel noticed, smiling herself.

“ What are you smiling at?” she asked him breathlessly. Alex stroked the hair off her face, and stared into her ocean blue eyes. Her chest heaved up and down, struggling to breathe. It was getting intense with Alex, but every time she kissed him, she just felt like she knew him better and better. Alex smiled again,

“ I just can’t believe… how amazing… all of this is,” he said, in between catching his breaths. Isabel squirmed underneath him, and flipped him playfully so that he was lying face up on her bed. She held his hands above his head with one hand, not that Alex protested! She lowered her head to about an inch above his, and let her long blonde hair surround his face.

“ Hmmm, but what do I get out of it?” she teased, tracing along his chin with light kisses. Alex smiled,

“ A faithful companion?” he ventured, closing his eyes as she moved slowly down his neck. She carefully grazed her lips over his soft skin, and nuzzled into his neck,

“ I could get a dog if I wanted a faithful companion,” she teased, beginning to undo the top button of his shirt. Alex laughed,

“ You want to be arrested for crimes against animals? Go ahead,” he teased, as she kissed down his chest.

“ Ah well, I’ve been there, done that. It’s not fun, so I guess I’ll just have to put up with you,” she said teasingly, working her way back up to his lips. She released her grasp on his wrist, and let his hands flow to around her waist, flipping her over so that he was once again on top. His hands stroked the waistband of her trousers teasingly, as her skin felt electrified at his touch. His hand slid up further, playing with the skin on her stomach. Her lips began to press harder and harder against his, getting more passionate by the second. She was careful not to let the connection flow from her to Alex, but enjoyed receiving the occasional image from him. She could see him as a little boy, colouring in pictures of him and his dad. Pushing another girl on the swings in a park. She could feel how lonely he was sometimes, when his father would leave him with strange people. She knew how he felt; she’d been alone nearly all her life. Isabel began to get intense, unbuttoning a few more of his buttons, and running her hand down his chest.

“ God I love you Isabel,” Alex breathed. Isabel froze, her eyes darting open,

“ What?” she asked him. He opened his eyes and looked at her too. She looked at him questioningly.

“ What?” he asked, still lying on top of her. She squirmed a bit,

“ Did you just say you, that you…” Isabel said, looking up at him. Alex’s face blushed furiously.

“ Oh hey I was caught up in the moment,” he said shyly. Isabel bit her bottom lip,

“ Good cos you know Alex, this is fun and all but love…” she started; only to have it smothered by kisses. Alex laughed good naturedly,

“ Isabel, I was caught up in the moment okay? Now, where were we?” he asked teasingly, kissing Isabel gently down her neck again. Isabel remained stiff for a while, until she loosened up again and began to react to Alex’s kisses.

Alex cursed himself,

Whitman, you’ve got to learn to keep those kind of things to yourself!

* * *

Michael knocked lightly on Maria’s door, and strolled in casually. He smiled at the sight of her. It was early, and she was still in bed. Liz, however, was not in bed, and knowing full well that Max wasn’t in bed either, well, he didn’t want to put two and two together. He sat down gently beside Maria,

“ Hey lazy,” he teased, shaking her a little. He sat the glass of water down on her table with an aspirin, and watched as she stirred.

“ Michael please go away, I look terrible in the mornings,” she moaned, covering up her head with her covers. Michael laughed,

“ Hey, I have a sister okay? It’s nothing I haven’t seen before. You’re not grumpy in the mornings are you?” he teased again, poking at the covers, which were now concealing all of Maria. Maria squealed as he started to tickle her, and threw the covers off of her,

“ Hey no fair,” she said, sitting up with the covers still around her bottom half. Michael touched her eye tenderly,

“ How’s it feeling?” he asked. She backed away. The cut looked quite deep, and Michael was concerned that she might need stitches or something. The bruises around her eyes were still dark, although the swelling had gone down quite a bit. Maria bit her lip,

“ It hurts, and when I look out of one eye things are kind of blurry,” she said carefully. Michael looked at her with concern,

“ I could take you to the doctors,” he offered, although, as Maria smiled, she knew it wasn’t a case of ‘shall we go’, it was ‘you’re going whether you like it or not’. Maria put her hand on his shoulder gently,

“ I’m okay Michael, honest,” she said, crossing her heart for good measure. Michael looked at her, unsure again,

“ Okay, but if you feel sick, or dizzy or anything, we’re going,” he ordered. Maria laughed,

“ Yes sir,” she said, mocking him gently, he swung around so he was sitting up with his back against the wall, in the same position as her. It was quiet for a moment, before he asked her,

“ Do you want to talk about what happened?” he asked, carefully taking her hand. The purple curtains were still closed, as they cast a purple light into the room. He studied her face. She looked so withdrawn, so alone. And he wanted to fix all of that. He shuddered at the thought of his recent dreams. And a cold fear swept over him, scared that anything like that would ever happen to Maria. He must have shaken a little, as Maria turned to him,

“ Hey, you’ve gone all pale. Are you okay?” she asked, tightening her grip on his fingers. He smiled at her. She was really caring. He nodded,

“ I’m worried about you,” he confessed, as she rested her head on his shoulder. The smooth cotton of his t-shirt gladly accepted her burning eye, as she felt herself slipping away in Michael’s embrace again,

“ It was horrible Michael,” she confessed. His arms immediately tightened around her, as she rested as much as she could on his chest without hurting herself. A tear slid down her cheek, but she carried on. She had learnt that the longer you waited to tell someone your problems, the bigger they would become.

“ I went home to my mum. Everything was going fine, you know, we weren’t buddy-buddy or anything, but we were talking, and laughing. Getting to know each other again. And for the first time since my dad left, I wasn’t scared to be in my own home,” she said, as he stroked her hair. She breathed deeply,

“ But last night, he came back. I always said to my mum that he wasn’t good for her. He came in and saw me and mum sitting on the sofa, watching a girly film, and he totally flipped,” she said, her tears coming in heavy bursts. Michael held her tightly,

“ Shhh, it’s okay,” he said. But inside he was screaming. How could any of this have happened? Why wasn’t he there to protect her? Maria’s tears continued to flow,

“ And he started throwing things around the room, and he threw things at me and my mum. He grabbed me by the neck,” Maria said, getting off Michael and wiping away her tears. She moved aside her T-shirt to show him more ugly bruises at the base of her neck. Four finger marks were clearly visible. Michael’s stomach turned, how could anyone do this? Not just to Maria, but to any woman?

“ And he threw me on the floor. And I thought he… I thought he was going to, to,” Maria choked, trying to get past her tears. Michael took her into his strong arms again, knowing what the end of Maria’s sentence would be. And it sickened him. She was a young, sweet girl, and this man, whoever he was, was a horrible, horrible monster. Maria’s soft cries dulled, as she hiccupped softly,

“ I was so scared Michael,” she whispered, holding onto him tightly, “ but I just left. I got on a bus and left.”

Michael rubbed her back,

“ That took a lot of guts Maria. I’m glad you came back too. To be honest, I was going crazy without you,” Michael joked, and his heart leapt when he heard her laugh a little. Still not letting go of her, she smiled,

“ Did you miss me then?” she said quietly, still struggling to control her tears. Michael laughed,

“ Hmmm, I’m not sure missed is the right word. It was quiet; I’ll give you that. There was no one around here pissing me off,” he teased, as Maria hit him with a pillow. She’d just about calmed herself down now, although was still finding it increasingly hard to see. Everything around her was still a bit blurry, and if she opened her eyes too wide it hurt.

“ So, there’s a new guy around. I know him actually, went to summer camp with Liz and me one year. He’s talked Jim into letting us all throw a party tonight, for Halloween,” Michael said, resting on his stomach and handing her the glass of water and aspirin. She took the water but refused the aspirin, reaching to her bedside table and sniffing one of her magical concoctions. Michael noted the worried expression on her face,

“ What’s up? I thought you’d be all into parties?” he said, taking the empty glass off her and sitting it on the floor. She looked at him,

“ Michael, look at me. I’m a state. Anyone who looks at me is going to scream, and not because its Halloween,” she said, looking at him meaningfully. Michael’s eyebrows knitted in concentration, until his eyes lit up and he smiled,

“ Hey, what about using face paints? We could turn you into a butterfly or something,” Michael said, beginning to boil over with enthusiasm. Maria smiled,

“ Wouldn’t that kinda hurt my cut more?” she said softly. Michael frowned again.

“ What about a mask or something. One of those little eye things?” he proposed. Maria looked at him,

“ An eye patch? What am I going as, a pirate?” she said, wrinkling her nose. Michael laughed,

“ No, one of those cat woman type of things, you know, that just cover your eyes. That way you can look sexy and mysterious,” he taunted her. She hit him with the pillow again,
“ I think that’s my best option,” she said sighing. Michael’s heart sank,

“ Hey I was just trying to help, you don’t having to go bashing my ideas,” he said annoyed. Maria laughed, and cupped her hands around his face. She tilted her head nervously, and bumped against his nose slightly,

“ Sorry,” she said, embarrassed. Michael laughed quietly,

“ It’s okay, I’ll let you off this once, your visions still blurry,” he joked, as he enveloped her lips, tasting the salt of her tears. He kissed her gently, careful not to touch her bruises. Maria let go of his lips, and pulled the covers around her again,

“ Okay then, I’m going back to sleep,” she said, snuggling into her cover. Michael looked at her; she was so damn cute it was unfair. He sighed, making his way back to the door, Maria called to him,

“ You know, you could stay and keep me company,” she suggested. Michael smiled. She so wanted him.

* * *

“ Hey Kyle,” Liz said, yawning as she climbed up his stairs. Kyle turned to see who was coming into his room. He sat topless in front of his TV, to which he had plugged his games console into, and was now playing what looked to Liz like a Mickey Mouse game. His room was a complete state, with boxes upon boxes scattered everywhere, and a few dirty plates and cups coupling with them. Liz laughed as she looked at the screen,

“ Of all the games you choose Mickey Mouse?” she asked, climbing onto his double bed. The attic was huge, with varnished floorboards and a skylight. Kyle’s double bed was in the middle of the room, with the rest of his junk spread around it. Michael had tried to convince Kyle into giving him his double bed, with cries of, ‘I’m taller, I need it’, but Kyle hadn’t surrendered it. As it goes, Liz thought Michael was trying to convince Alex to give him his single bed to join up with his own, so that Alex could buy a double for him and Isabel. Liz smiled to herself, she’d have to talk Alex out of that one later.

Rolling over on his bed, Liz smiled as she saw a picture of Kyle and his mum on his bedside table. Kyle looked at her,

“ Yeah I know. I actually meant to bring Evil Dead Three. But when I got here this was in the case,” he said, clicking on the start menu. Liz nodded her head,

“ Sure Kyle,” she teased him. She lay flat out on his bed, staring at the ceiling. She was actually pretty psyched Kyle was in the house; at least it was another person who she could talk to, and that she knew already, so there was none of that awkward moment stuff. He turned around, placing his soda back on the floor,

“ Hey, you want to play? Or are you scared of Mickey?” he teased. Yeah, he was exactly like she remembered him. Even down to the broad shoulders, parted hairstyle and tanned skin. She smiled,

“ Okay, but first, you have to put a shirt on. I haven’t seen you in like, two years. Last time I saw you, you were a skinny little nearly-fifteen-year-old!” she said, squirming off the bed and taking a control pad. Kyle laughed,

“ If I remember, Parker, you’ve seen me in less,” he teased, as Liz blushed furiously. Kyle laughed at her, as he sat up, taking another sip of his soda. Liz looked at him,

“ Yeah, but as I said, you weren’t so…formed…then,” she said. She laughed at herself,

“ I’m digging myself a hole aren’t I?” she said, as Kyle nodded. She sat cross-legged in her blue tracksuit bottoms and baby t-shirt, and concentrated on the game. Kyle snuck a look at her again; her brown hair trailed past her shoulders now, and her skin was still that perfect olive colour. His attention was quickly brought back to the game when Liz cheered,

“ You’ve lost your touch Kyle, remember when we snuck into the leaders cabin at camp? And we played on this thing all day, instead of doing all those sports? They were so mad when they found out!” Liz said, touching him on the knee. Even after all this time, Liz Parker still had her touch. Kyle looked up at her. He desperately wanted someone to talk to. They’d offered him counselling, but he didn’t want to spew his feelings to some counsellor who was seeing about a million other people as well. He wanted someone who knew him.

Liz looked at him, raising an eyebrow,

“ And I can still tell exactly what you’re thinking,” she said softly, putting down her console. Kyle looked at her, his blue eyes fearful. Was he ready to tell her everything?

“ I always hated you doing that,” he said, getting up and throwing himself on the bed. Liz smiled slightly, and followed him, sitting lightly beside him. She took the photo tenderly off the side,

“ I do know how you feel. My dad died and I miss him so much, so if you want to talk about it, you know, I’m still that geeky 14 year old,” Liz joked. Kyle turned his head sideways, so that he could at least see her. He sighed,

“ Can I just ask you something?” he asked her, not moving. She nodded, placing the photo tenderly back on the table and looking at him comfortingly.

“ When do I stop feeling like my world just ended?” he asked seriously. Liz’s heart went out to the guy. She knew exactly how he felt. She bit her bottom lip, as she rubbed his back. At the feel of her touch, the pain seemed to ease a little. There’d always been something about Liz Parker that’d made him feel better. Liz smiled slowly at him,

“ You just have to get up every morning and keep breathing. Things ease little by little, but it doesn’t mean you don’t still miss them like hell,” Liz said sadly. Kyle looked up at her, and lifted himself up. He leant over into his drawer and pulled out a box. Liz looked at him, confused.

“ What are you doing Kyle?” she asked, until he took out a small silver ring with blue stars engraved in it. She smiled as he handed it to her,

“ You kept this?” she asked him, sliding it onto her finger. He nodded,

“ Yeah, well, when the girl I’d been in love with all summer decides she didn’t love me anymore and throws the ring back in my face, you kinda keep it for the memories,” he said, teasingly. Liz felt a pang of guilt rise up inside her,

“ Oh yeah, about that, I’m sorry, hey, I was like, fourteen and you lived across the country,” she said, thumping him with a pillow. He laughed,

“ It’s okay Parker, my broken heart mended,” he said dramatically, getting up, until Liz hit him with a pillow again. He hit her back with another pillow playfully, and it soon erupted into a play fight. Feathers flew as Kyle grabbed Liz’s knees, and willingly brought her on top of him. Liz laughed as she lay against Kyle’s hard chest,

“ Valenti, still trying to get me on top of you? Some things will never change!” she said, trying to lift herself off of him, but his firm hands kept him in place. She giggled as he tickled her, and laughed continuously, until they heard a cough coming from the other side of the room. Still on top of him, Liz looked over to the TV, where a clearly not amused Max stood. Liz struggled to get off Kyle, and ran her fingers through her hair,

“ Max, uh, this is Kyle,” she said, pointing towards where Kyle still lay on the bed. Kyle waved,

“ Hey Max,” he said cheerfully. Liz looked nervously at Max, who turned to Kyle,

“ Hey Kyle,” he said quickly. There was a silence between the three, until Max said,

“ Liz, can I talk to you, it’s kinda important.” Liz bit her lip, and nodded her head,

“ Yeah sure, I’ll uh, see you downstairs Kyle, for breakfast,” she said, hurrying out after Max, Kyle threw her a knowing glance and tossed another pillow at her. Liz smirked and threw the pillow back at him, as Kyle bounced back onto his bed. He sighed, as he covered his face with the pillow.

“ Ah, I guess it’s back to good old Mickey Mouse,” he said to himself, launching himself onto the floor.

* * *

Max’s intense glare made Liz slightly uneasy, as she joined him in the hallway. She kissed him gently,

“ What is it Max?” she asked him, touching his arm. He looked at her weirdly, before looking up and down the hall. Liz looked at him,

“ Max?” she asked unsurely. Max quickly took her arm and swung her into a closet and locked the door behind them both. Liz looked around, bewildered. Max turned around and pushed her up against the wall, taking her lips into his in a passionate embrace. Her mind whirled as he kissed her harder and harder, his tongue searching for hers. She kissed him back, her hands running through his hair and her face brushing against his hot skin. He broke off their kiss, and breathed deeply, looking at her,

“ He wasn’t wearing a shirt,” he stated, looking at her uncertainly. Liz smiled a bit. It was so cute – he was jealous.

“ Nope, he wasn’t,” she said teasingly. Max raised his eyebrows, as Liz gave in and smiled,

“ I know him from camp, a couple of years a go. His mum’s just died, I’m just helping him out,” she said through the darkness. The small space meant they were really close, Liz could feel Max’s body heat radiate against her. She brought her hands up to her chest. He placed his forehead against hers, rubbing their noses together,

“ Nothing for me to worry about?” he asked her, his hands finding her waist and holding her tightly against him. Liz smiled,

“ Nothing for you to worry about,” she confirmed, kissing him softly. He kissed her again, his hands wondering up her t-shirt, and grabbing the skin around her stomach tenderly. Liz tried her hardest to suppress a groan, knowing everyone would be walking around and was likely to hear them. Max broke away from her,

“ Good, because you’re mine,” he told her gently, Liz smiled. She liked the sound of that. Max lifted Liz off the ground, and she wrapped her legs around his waist, as he held her against the wall of the closet that housed their vacuum and cleaning things. Liz’s hands wondered down his back, and down to the back pockets of his jeans, where a piece of paper was sticking out. She took it out curiously, and broke off their kiss.

“ What’s this Max?” she asked him, unfolding the piece of paper. Max looked at her, as her eyes lit up. Across the page, pictures that replicated the whirlwind galaxy sprawled across the empty void, and the constellation of five stars formed the perfect V. Liz looked up at him,

“ Where did you find these Max?” she asked him, still absorbed in the page. Max smiled at her,

“ I drove to the dessert last night and there they were, as clear as day,” he said, looking at the piece of paper with her. Liz’s forehead wrinkled in confusion,

“ What were you doing driving to the dessert in the night?” she asked him. Max gulped,

“ I just wanted the drive,” he lied, although Liz seemed to accept this as an answer. What was he meant to say? He had weird alien dreams that led him out into the dessert? Oh yeah, that would do wonders for their relationship. Liz looked up at him,

“ I can’t see these properly, I need some light,” Liz said, making her way out of the closet. Max tried to get out of her way, but not quick enough, and her foot caught on the lead to the vacuum and they both came stumbling out of the closet, landing a tangle of arms and legs in the hallway. Liz squirmed, as she looked at the pair of shoes in front of her. She looked up.

An amused Isabel stood in front of them,

“ First in the library, then a closet? God, I hope you’re using birth control,” Isabel said with a smirk as she stepped over them. Max’s cheeks turned rosy pink, as Liz looked at him, brushing herself down. She looked at the piece of paper again.

“ Hey, I’m sorry about Isabel, she has this habit of turning up at the wrongest moments,” Max said, quietly. But Liz was too absorbed in the pictures on the piece of paper to notice what he was saying.

“ Did you actually see the stars in this formation?” she asked quizzically. Max nodded,

“ Yeah, they were like, in this ‘V’,” Max said, tracing his drawing. Liz smiled,

“ My dad always told me that when those five stars aligned like that, something big would happen in my life. It happens like, every eight years or something like that, and they stay that way for the month. He said things would start changing for the better,” she said, tracing the formation. Max slipped his arms around her waist, holding her for support. She smiled as Max said,

“ Well I found you, you’ve changed my life.”

It was cornball, but it didn’t mean that she didn’t like hearing it. She smiled slightly, hoping that her dad was right, that things would start changing for her.

Because she was ready for the change.

She wanted to start moving forward. With her life, with Max.

She wanted to start living again.

* * *

*angel*

posted on 12-Mar-2002 6:30:42 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

I've lost my battle with English homeowrk... I'll let it win this time. Just wanted to drop in and say thanks for the feedback, did anyone like the Kyle/Liz interaction? I loved writing that bit, they've got a history too *wink*

Rapunzel, yeah! Course you can call me Jo!

And does Alex really love Isabel? Yeah, he does. He's a sweetie, and b/cos he died in the show, he's gna have a happy life in my fic *happy*

Off to my nice little bed to get up for college in the morning. Oh the joys of being a student.

Take Care everyone,

Jo.x
posted on 13-Mar-2002 2:22:13 PM by leaving_normal
Hey All

Okay, a question for you quickly. I've written a little bit of the next part, which is postable. I can either post it tonight or you can wait for the whole thing...

Up to you! I'll be checking in about 2 hours to see what you want... cos although this bit I've written is important, not a lot happens...

Jo.x
posted on 13-Mar-2002 4:41:09 PM by leaving_normal
Okay, so it's kinda short and not really that detailed, but it's what I intended for the first part of the party scene!

Should be another update tomorrow!

Part 7B

The loud beats of the club music that was blasting through the Valenti stereo greeted a bunch of sixteen-somethings as they crossed the threshold of the Valenti household. Isabel smiled as she waved to a couple of the girls, and continued swaying herself seductively. Alex watched on in amazement, as he helped himself to a soda from the table of refreshments. Liz smiled as Kyle came awkwardly down the stairs, edging past a few couples making out. He looked around the room for a familiar face, and seemed to settle for Max, even though they hadn’t had the best introduction ever. Liz smiled, Kyle was a flirt at heart, but she knew what losing a parent could do for your confidence. She smiled in encouragement as he approached a brunette in a cat outfit, with a mental thought of ‘you go Kyle!’

The house had started to fill up with various assortments of ghosts, ghouls, firemen, policemen and not surprisingly strippers about an hour a go, and the place was now brimming over with most of the students who attended West Roswell High.

Liz beamed as Alex danced with her in his own wacky way, looking sharp in his Michael Jackson ‘I’m bad’ type outfit, and Liz in her traditional purple flowing princess outfit. She’d thought about abandoning it this year, after all, she had been doing the whole princess thing at Halloween since she was six years old. But it was eerily comforting to dress up in a long flowing dress, complete with cone hat and vale. It kinda reminded her of the past, in a good way, when her dad would dress her up in her outfit, making sure she was the prettiest kid in the neighbourhood. Alex picked up Liz and swung her around to Madison Avenue’s ‘Don’t call me Baby!’, with Max standing by the punch bowl, watching her happy smile.

Alex leant over to her,

“ I didn’t think we were going to have this many people!” he shouted to Liz, trying to raise his voice over the music. Liz continued to dance and answered him,

“ Yeah I know! I thought Isabel said she’d only invited a few people!” Liz shouted back, as Alex twirled her around,

“ I think Isabel knows quite a ‘few’ people! This rocks, I can’t believe Amy and Jim actually left us the house!” Alex screamed, as he attempted to moonwalk across the floor. He failed miserably, and so proceeded to fall onto the sofa, interrupting a very involved Michael and Maria. Alex blushed a bit,

“ Geez you guys. Do you have to do that in public, it’s creepy!” he said, brushing down his black leather trousers. Maria smiled,

“ Wasn’t it just this morning that I caught you and Isabel coming out of the bathroom, together?” she teased, her hands still firmly around Michael. Liz rolled her eyes; sometimes her brother could be such a hypocrite! It was okay for him to be all over Maria in public, but for her and Max? No way, that was totally out of the question! Not that Liz minded him being with Maria, she was perfect for him. Liz laughed and dragged Alex back onto the dance floor, wrapping her arms around him and jumping up and down happily.

* * *

Isabel sat on the stairs, surveying her party. True, it was a ‘joint’ party, but she’d put all the work into it. She’d organised the snacks and dips, the candy corn, and even the decorations, balloons and streamers. This was so much fun – and so completely new to her. She couldn’t believe it. Here she was, two months after coming to this stupid home, and she was so happy. Things were finally starting to click. She looked good, and she felt good. She was discovering she was actually pretty smart, her grades were on the rise and she had a pretty good boyfriend. Isabel watched as Alex danced goofily. She cringed for him. Sure okay, dancing one of his strong points, but he was definitely a good kisser. Isabel smiled, as she continued just to watch her party – watching everyone enjoy themselves and feeling happy she was a part of it.

* * *

Liz smiled as a slow song came on, and held her hand out to Alex,

“ Shall we?” she asked him; he shook his head and gestured behind her. Liz turned around and smiled again,

“ I think someone else wants this dance,” Alex said, giving her a squeeze as he joined Michael and Maria who had finally come up for air. Liz smiled as Max took her hands and kissed her on the cheek, weary of Michael’s glare. Max tenderly wrapped his arms around Liz’s waist, as she slid hers around his neck. In his Prince Charming outfit, complete with tights and a sword, he looked a picture. But together, they looked like Romeo and Juliet. Maria’s idea, of course, and Max had spent the entire day searching for a Romeo costume, just to look perfect for his Juliet. She smiled,

“ So where have you been all night?” she asked him, staring into his brown eyes. He smiled back at her,

“ Admiring you from afar I guess,” he said, swaying her in gentle circles around the floor. Liz rested her head on his chest.

He leant down and whispered in her ear,

“ Do you want to get lost a bit later? Maybe stargaze a bit,” he said seductively, making goose bumps crawl up Liz’s skin in excitement. Liz lifted her head and whispered back,

“ Maybe we should make it sooner rather than later?” she asked him, rubbing their noses together. Max snuck a quick look at Michael, who was still staring daggers at Max,

“ I think we’re going to have to shake your brother first,” Max said jokingly. Liz looked over to Michael and Maria, who at this current time had Alex chattering on in between them. She laughed,

“ Max, I’m going to kiss you now anyway. I want everyone to see your mine,” she said, as she brushed her lips softly against his, arousing a few whispers to circulate the room. Max couldn’t resist kissing her deeper, no matter who was watching. She was just too much to resist. Max finally drew back and smiled,

“ What about getting lost now?” he asked willingly, seeing the mischievous sparkle in Liz’s eyes. Liz smiled as he gently pulled her through to the kitchen, and out into the garden.

* * *

Isabel felt another person come up behind her on the stairs. Without turning to see who it was, she shuffled to the side to let them pass. But instead, they sat right down next to her. Isabel turned to the person, who had dressed up like Zorro. Isabel laughed,

“ Hmm, the mysterious masked stranger,” she laughed, touching his mask to remove it. A hand quickly shooed her away. Isabel frowned at him, as he drew closer to her,

“ I know who you are,” he whispered into her ear. Isabel went pale, but swallowed, trying to keep her cool.

“ What do you mean, you know who I am? I’m a princess that’s pretty obvious by the long flowing dress,” she said sarcastically, her blue eyes searching his green ones. The stranger looked at her, as he extended a hand, and Isabel took it. Willingly she followed him up the stairs. Something wasn’t right here. She knew he knew who she was. Who she really was. But she felt like she knew who he was too.

She followed him as he took her into her bedroom.

That’s strange, Isabel thought to herself, I thought I locked that door.

* * *

Alex watched with curiosity as another guy extended his hand to Isabel on the stairs. Michael nudged him a bit,

“ Looks like someone’s moving in on your woman,” he teased as Maria left him to join Liz on the dance floor. Michael watched her carefully. Liz’s lips were full, and her cheeks rosy. Michael pushed those thoughts out of his head – he knew exactly what Max and his sister had snuck out of the room for, he was just glad they were back. Alex gulped,

“ Man, do you think he’s trying it on?” Alex asked, as Isabel disappeared out of sight. Michael laughed,

“ You could always go and find out,” he suggested, waving to some guy who he appeared to know. Alex shook his head,

“ No, I trust her,” he said, as Michael laughed.

“ I never said you didn’t trust her. But, on the other hand, what if she’s up there waiting for you?” he teased, as Alex turned to him,

“ Okay, maybe I’ll just check, there’s no harm in checking is there?” he asked, but didn’t wait for a reply, as he was already mounting the stairs and on his way up to Isabel’s room…

* * *

QUICK QUESTION

Am I updating too often? Cos what I could start doing is writing the same amount each night, but posting them in larger chunks. What do you think?


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 13-Mar-2002 4:42:41 PM ]
posted on 14-Mar-2002 9:50:23 AM by leaving_normal
Hey everyone!

I'm currrently in the LRC at college... I should be doing my Sociology Coursework - you know, the one thats been plaguing me for the last week. But hey, couldn't resist dropping in.

Thanks everyone for all the feedback. I'll write an update as soon as I get home!

About the guy Isabel has in the strip of photos under her pillow, and it's the same guy she thought of when she was kissing Alex... he's from her past in New York, and I've already mentioned him in the story. Anyone remember Griff?

Hmmm, The Zorro guy is not good. I'll tell you that.

Thanks again, I gotta get back to my lesson!

*angel*
posted on 14-Mar-2002 4:43:06 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Hey Everyone. Can you believe I've been writing this fic for 5 and 1/2 hours again today? This is really getting obsessive. Okay, well I'm posting the first part tonight, and I'll post the second part tomorrow morning.

Part 7C

Maria touched her face tenderly, whilst still moving her feet to the music. Liz smiled at her and touched her arm,

“ No one can tell Maria,” she said in a loud whisper, making sure no one else could hear her. Not that that was a problem over the loud music. The party was still raging on, and the house was overflowing with teenagers. Maria looked at her. Michael and Alex had spent hours trying to fix a mask for Isabel. With Alex’s creativity, a lot of glue and sequins, and Michael’s surprising artistic talent, they’d managed to make a beautiful butterfly mask which covered Maria’s cuts and bruises. Maria played with the mask again,

“ Are you sure? That girl Pam Troy has been staring at me all night,” she said, as she threw the girl another dirty look. Liz laughed,

“ Maria, in case you haven’t noticed, you’ve kinda been all over my brother all night. Don’t you think they could be talking about that?” she teased, as they made their way over to the refreshments table. Maria cringed,

“ Okay, so maybe I can’t really resist him. It’s his stupid smile Liz, and his hands, god his hands-”

“ Maria!” Liz protested, handing her a glass of soda. Maria looked at her, until it finally clicked with her why it was so weird for Liz to hear all about Maria exploits…

“ Yeah Maria, he’s still my brother,” she said teasingly, as they gazed at him and Alex, who seemed to be engrossed in a conversation on the sofa. Maria laughed,

“ Okay, no explicit details. But chica, I feel you’re holding back from me here. I’ve got needs you know, I’ve been gone a week and you haven’t said a word about you and Max…” she said as Liz broke out in a broad smile. Liz put her soda down on the side and dragged Maria back onto the dance floor. Maria laughed at her,

“ You aren’t getting out of it that easily! Come on, what happened?” she said, throwing her arms in the air and dancing with Liz again. Liz smiled,

“ He kissed me Maria, and my whole worlds spinning!” she said happily. Maria rolled her eyes,

“ I know what that feels like!” Maria said, grabbing Liz’s hands and twirling her around. Liz smiled,

“ So you and my brother?” Liz said, as Maria pulled away. Maria gave her a coy smile,

“ Well, its not the look-in-your-eyes-wanna-be-with-you-forever-thing, you and Max clearly have perfected, but hey, I like him. He’s a nice guy. Underneath that stubborn exterior, he’s a marshmallow,” Maria said, as Liz laughed,

“ A marshmallow?” Liz asked, gazing at her brother. That was one analogy she had never considered appropriate to Michael’s ‘here I am, deal with me’ personality. Maria nodded,

“ Yeah, he’s all fluffy and sticky. And oh, he tastes so good,” Maria said, as Liz hit her playfully. She watched as Maria snuck a look at Michael, who Alex had left sitting on the sofa alone, and caught the sparks flying between the two. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen Michael glow he was so happy, and as Liz looked at her blonde friend, she knew he had a reason to be happy.

* * *

Isabel walked through the bedroom door, cautiously. She turned around and watched as the masked Zorro locked the door. That didn’t worry her. She could unlock doors at the wave of a hand – literally. She sat on her bed,

“ So stranger, you claim you know who I am huh? Was it the princess outfit that gave it away?” she joked, not feeling afraid. It was quite a mixture of feelings Isabel felt. But what drew her in was her curiosity. Sure, it was dangerous to follow some stranger into the bedroom. But then again, she’d spent the last five years on the streets of New York, where there had only been four or five people she didn’t consider to be strangers in her life. The stranger took off his mask, and Isabel’s forehead creased,

“ Adam, I told you I wasn’t interested okay? Any guy who tries to rape me just doesn’t meet my standards,” she spat coldly, as he approached her. She stood up and backed away as he reached out to her,

“ You said you didn’t see the point in those five stars I showed you in the dessert,” he said plainly, as Isabel backed further away. She braced herself for any sudden movements,

“ You were talking crap Adam,” she said fiercely, the hatred she felt for that night burning her words. Adam shook his head,

“ Isabel, I tried to show you. They weren’t stars Isabel. They’re planets,” he said slowly, as Isabel stopped. She looked at him wearily, warning signs flashed in her mind. She fixed her cold ice stare onto his emerald eyes, as she said,

“ What’s that got to do with anything?” she asked him, standing two feet away from him. They both stood still, locked onto each other’s gaze. Adam looked at her,

“ One of those planets is Antar. You know that name, don’t you Isabel?” he asked soothingly. Isabel froze as she found herself actually knowing and understanding the words. Antar, planet of life. Isabel’s eyes opened wide, as goose bumps prickled her skin. Was it possible that Adam wasn’t just an ordinary person?

“ What if I know that name?” she voiced, as Adam smiled. She didn’t like his smile. That smile reminded her of something sinister. Something different. Something from her other side.

“ Then you’ll start remembering Isabel, about your home. About our home,” he said, reaching out and touching her arm. Isabel’s eyes saw deep into Adam’s, as an involuntary connection started to flow.

Isabel saw images of a red sky, with contrasting green clouds. The two moons that stood white in the deep purple night sky, she watched as the image changed to herself and Max, reading in what appeared a huge library. She watched as a boy watched her from across the room, and then watched in horror as two familiar boys scuffled, one holding a knife.

Not wanting to see anymore, Isabel broke the connection. His arm firmly rested on hers, as he looked deep into her eyes. Her heart racing, she looked at him,

“ I don’t know what you are, but stay away from me,” she shivered, taking his hand off her arm. Adam looked at her, frustration mounting in his eyes,

“ How can you not believe this? You saw it, I felt you see it!” he said, grabbing onto her again and starting another connection.

This time Isabel felt her lips be enveloped by another boy, he tasted sweet but spicy. Isabel felt her eyelids flutter open, and her heart jumped at who she was kissing.

It was Griff. He was here in her vision.


Isabel shook Adam off her, willingly breaking the connection. He threw her onto the bed, shaking from the drain of forming the connection. Isabel gasped for breath,

“ I don’t know what kind of freak you are, and what mind games you’re using on me, but I’m telling you, stay away from me,” she said forcefully, as he knelt on the ground in front of her. She watched as he breathed deeply, and looked up at her.

“ You know me Isabel,” he said, taking her hand and running it down the side of his face. Isabel shuddered. He was too weak to form a connection. He was too weak to move. Isabel looked at him, and for the first time saw past his eyes,

“ Farron?” she whispered, as a flood of images filled her again. Isabel’s mind became a blur of information, as she wondered her way through his memories and thoughts, knowing what she was fighting for. Then she found it,

A royally dressed Isabel stood in a room, and watched as a familiar dark stranger approached her.

“ You should leave most haste, my liege, for be you not of the House of Phoenix? This the night of my brother’s engagement, my parents will search for your kind, and on finding you will surely kill you,” Isabel warned the man, taking his arm and dragging him out of the palace. She knew the boy well; they had played at one time, all of them. They’d played for days on end, and had sworn to be friends forever. But that was before the war, they had been children. The man stopped her once they had left the palace grounds, and pushed her into the shadows,

“ I search for my brother Krauss, and my sister Hope,” he said hastily. Isabel felt herself enveloped in a warm feeling, as she repeated the name,

“ Krauss, is he here?” she asked, noticing the jealousy in Farron’s normally green eyes turn them into a deep purple colour, as the eyes did tell his true feelings. Isabel had learnt at an early age to discipline herself. The weakness of any Antarian were their eyes, as their colour changed according to their emotions. Isabel turned back to the palace and back again,

“ If my father sees them he will surely kill him. Why has Hope entered our grounds?” she asked quickly, searching his eyes for explanation. All she found was overriding jealousy,

“ It seems she cannot dispute her love for your brother, even though he seems entranced by his new mistress, the one they call Ava,” he said quickly, his cold words biting at Isabel. She had tried to dispute her own love for Krauss. But it was impossible. The mere mention of his name had filled Isabel’s heart with love once more, as she turned to Farron in woe,

“ Oh this bloody war denies us all our truer wish. My brother mourns your sister so, he has no desire to be married, as neither do I,” she admitted sadly, as Farron held her hand,

“ Then Lonnie, escape with me, we shall dock at the station and travel the skies, I can give you everything you want, fair sweet. My brother is not half the man I am,” he said, as Isabel snatched her hand away,

“ I am already betrothed to a man I do not desire, by my fathers wishes I marry Rath, the second in command to my brother when he is entrusted with the crown. I do not desire your attention, nor have I ever Farron, but my heart belongs to your brother, who I would gladly leave this place to be wrapped up in his arms,” Isabel spat, turning back to the palace. Farron grabbed her arm, dragging her back,

“ Than it is well your father should kill both my brother and sister, for love between the House of Antar and the House of Phoenix shall denote more blood to plague the grounds of this horrid planet. If I can not have you Lonnie, no man shall,” he said, forcing himself upon her and capturing his lips in hers.


Isabel broke the connection, and found herself paralysed. More worryingly, her lips were caught between those of Adam, as he pinned her on the bed. Isabel tried to scream, but it was useless. As feeling started to return in her hands, she watched in horror as Alex stood at the doorway, shaking his head and the colour draining from his face. Regaining her feeling, Isabel thrust Adam off her.

“ Alex!” she screamed, as he looked close to tears, slamming the door. She turned to Adam, who lay grinning on the floor.
“ I may not have succeeded in ruining your love for another in our first lifetime, but you have lost him now Isabel,” he said menacingly, laughing. Isabel shook her head, as she held out her palm and thrust him up against a wall. Adam stared at her, his green eyes dancing,

“ I knew it was you Lonnie,” he said, standing feet apart and smiling. Isabel shook from head to toe. She’d been looking at her past. She’d seen where they’d come from. She’d seen herself, Adam. She’d known who Krauss was. He was the same man she’d loved and lost in New York. And now she was terrified.

“ I won’t believe any of it,” she said firmly, the anger and terror building up inside her. She felt herself shake involuntary. All of a sudden she wanted to be normal. She wanted to have a normal life. She wanted to be human. Everything she had felt before this moment – that was real. The excitement of waiting for the party. The happiness inside she felt as everyone enjoyed what she had worked hard for. For the first time in her life she wasn’t curious about her heritage. She was ready to deny who she was, bury it away beneath her human exterior. She had too much to lose. Adam shook his head in anger,

“ You have to Isabel, this is not who you are,” he said, approaching her. Isabel felt her palms heat up, the way they did when she was angry. She held her glowing palm in front of her,

“ I have everything that means anything here to me. I will not give that up,” she said forcefully, as Adam laughed at her. Isabel felt the anger escape her, as a green light flew from her palm, and hit Adam in the chest, sending his crashing through her open bedroom window, and out to the ground below.

Isabel closed her palm and watched as her hand shook. She carefully walked over to the window, where below Adam was limping over to his car, barely enough energy to start the engine. Isabel knew he was no threat for tonight. She had had to drain people of their energy many times, mainly men in New York simply did not take no for an answer. She shook her head. She had some idea of who she was. And she didn’t like it. She didn’t want to be that person. That person was trapped.

She wouldn’t give up the life she had now. None of it was real. She had everything here. Her family, her friends.

She gasped as she remembered Alex at the doorway, as her stomach turned.

She wouldn’t lose him.

She wouldn’t let Adam win.

Not this time around.

* * *

What do you think?



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 15-Mar-2002 6:51:40 AM ]
posted on 14-Mar-2002 6:16:23 PM by leaving_normal
Hey People!

God, this is killing me! I really want to post the next part, but I want to wait for feedback on this part. I know its a lot of Isabel, but it's important that its her character that find this stuff out! And I promise, less Isabel and more Liz/Max stuff soon!

Okay, I really want to know what you thought about that snippit of the past. I've got them speaking in semi-shakespearean language, cos I've got a great Max/Liz scene lined up where they use that language, and it's going to be so romantic. Was it intriguing? I was getting all excited when I was planning this out. I'll tell you that briefly, there is the house of Antar, whereMax's dad is currently the leader (in that snippit) and the House of Phoneix, where Kivar is leader. The two used to be united, and all the kids, who are: House of Antar: Zan, Villandra and Rath and House of Phonenix Krauss, Ferron and Hope, used to 'play' together until the war started.

Lol, theres the history lesson for you. I'm so excited, this fic is really starting to pick up!

BTW, I'm going to rush things with Alex and Isabel a bit, but it'll all make sense in the long run!

Thank You guys, the more replies the sooner the next part will be up!

*angel*
posted on 15-Mar-2002 6:48:25 AM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone *happy*

At college again, I've finished for the day, only go in for two hours on a Friday *happy*

Thanks so much for the feedback! Clearing some things up, Farron is Adam and Krauss is Griff, or was Griff, depending on what way you're looking at it!

I'm so sorry for leaving out Max! Though, as you can see it was a pretty much Isabel bit! Don't worry, Max and Liz are still cute in the next bit *wink*

Okay, it's really frustrating because I've written the next part (which is nice and long) but it's at home and on my home computer I can't use the net until 6pm my time, midday your time. So check back at midday, and the next part should be up!

Thanks again everyone, more revelations to come! And in response to everyone who said Isabel was strong - she is. She's got a good life going - and is realising that she doesn't want to give that up. And Stargazers - she's not going to give Alex up without a fight! She might even tell him what happened with Griff!

I'll post asap okay?

*angel*
posted on 15-Mar-2002 7:12:34 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Sorry it's late everyone, but my firend had an impromto party at his tonight for his birthday, and I got so caught up! Here it is, as promised, although I havent proof read it yet, as I've had a little too much to drink, but hey, you're only young once right? And who cares if I've got work at 8.30am tomorrow morning!

Part 7D

Liz sat next to her brother on the sofa, and cuddled a pillow. His eyes remained fixated on Maria, as she danced with another guy she knew from school. Liz laughed at her brother,

“ You are so whipped,” Liz laughed, capturing Michael’s attention. Michael turned to her,

“ I am so not,” he said, hitting her with a pillow. Liz laughed,

“ Then why can’t you take your eyes off her?” she said, as Michael gave her an I-hate-it-when-I-know-you’re-right smile. Liz smiled triumphantly,

“ Yeah well, you were all over Max, why shouldn’t I be happy?” Michael said, getting defensive. Liz sighed,

“ Michael, you bonehead, I’m happy for you! Will you quit being all defensive, and start being my Michael again? The one that teased me about my boyfriends instead of staring daggers at them every time they put an arm around me?” Liz said, staring at Michael. Michael looked at her for a minute, before sticking out his tongue,

“ Fine then. I’ll be happy for you seeing as you’re happy for me,” Michael said, getting off the sofa and grabbing Maria out of the other guys clutches, spinning her around and kissing her. Liz smiled as Max found her again, and took the seat beside her, grabbing her and pulling her onto his lap. She smiled at him,

“ Why Prince Charming, you’ve come over all daring. Aren’t you scared what my big bad brother is going to say?” she teased him, rubbing her nose against him. Max’s fringe draped over his dark eyes, as he brought his lips close to hers and spoke,

“ I’m sorry princess,” he teased, as she felt his warm breath on her lips and smiled, “ but I just can’t keep away from you.”

Liz couldn’t wait any longer for his kiss, and brought her lips to his, kissing him teasingly. Max smiled, until Maria came and sat next to the too,

“ Right you two, we’re trying to keep this party rated PG-13, so please, keep it to yourselves. And besides, I need to borrow Liz for a bit,” she said, grabbing Liz’s hand. Max looked at her pleadingly, as Liz smiled,

“ Later honey,” she promised, trying to ignore his puppy dog eyes, as she leant down and left him with a kiss that tingled his lips before rushing with Maria into the kitchen.

* * *

“Alex?” Isabel said, her palm glowing as she slid the lock open from the outside of Alex room. She entered slowly, and closed the door behind her, locking it securely. She stood at the door humbly. She knew what Alex thought he saw. She still didn’t know how Adam had ended up on top of her, but right now she didn’t care. She cast her gaze upon Alex, who was lying face down on his bed, his jacket thrown on the floor. She started again,

“ Alex, what you saw in there,” she started, but Alex cut her off,

“ I guess it’s pretty obvious what I saw in there Isabel. I don’t know what I expected to come from this, oh yeah, I kind of expected you not to go around kissing guys who try to rape you. But I guess that’s too much to ask, hey Isabel,” he said bitterly, now sitting on the edge of his bed and staring at her.

Isabel felt about two inches tall. But she wanted Alex. She wanted to be with him. She wouldn’t let Adam ruin this for him.

“ Alex, I didn’t kiss him,” she said, until Alex laughed,

“ Oh my god you didn’t? I wonder what that’s called then?” he said sarcastically, still staring at her. Isabel felt herself steam in frustration. He was obviously hurt, who wouldn’t be. It was only this morning he’d said he loved her.

“ Alex, hekissed me. Do you really think I’d kiss him?” Isabel said, still standing in front of him. Alex looked at her wearily, as if considering the prospect. Alex shook his head,

“ I guess what matters to me Isabel is that whatever way you look at it, you let him kiss you, I saw it. And I just can’t be with someone who will do that to me,” he said, still looking at her with his hurt brown eyes. Isabel felt like crying. But determination swept over her. She would fight for Alex.

“ But I don’t want him Alex. I want you,” she said softly, feeling a tear involuntarily slide down her cheek. Alex gulped and looked at her,

“ However much I want to believe that, I know I’m just going to be your doormat,” Alex said, as Isabel shook her head violently,

“ No Alex that isn’t true,” she pleaded, as Alex walked past her and made his way to the door. Isabel broke down inside. She couldn’t watch another person walk away from her,

“ Alex!” she said, as he turned around. Tears slid down her cheeks. The vibrations of the loud music could be felt in the room. Isabel whispered,

“ Did you mean it, when you said you loved me?” she asked him. Alex bit his bottom lip, and approached her again,

“ I meant it this morning Isabel, but now I don’t know what’s going on. It’s not that you kissed someone else, it’s that you kissed Adam, after what he did to you,” Alex said softly, and Isabel sat down on the bed. Alex sat next to her. They sat in silence for a minute.

“ Alex, I’ve always been scared of loving someone,” Isabel admitted, as Alex shook his head,

“ Isabel I’m not going through all this ‘I’ve been hurt so many times before’ crap-”

“ Alex, the last guy I loved died,” Isabel said quietly. Alex squirmed, and shut his mouth. He took a deep breath,

“ I’m sorry Isabel,” he said. Isabel shook her head,

“ No Alex, I’m sorry. I should have told you before. When I was in New York, I did some really stupid things. I got into a bad crowd, and I was really low. One night a guy saw me sleeping on the streets, and tried to, well, do stuff to me. Griff saved me that night,” she said sadly. Alex reached for her hand,

“ I’m sorry that you had to go through that Isabel,” he said softly, squeezing her hand tightly. Isabel turned to him,

“ Alex, the point is that when Griff died, I didn’t want to fall in love again. It hurt too much losing him,” Isabel said, trying not to swell up with tears again. Alex put an arm around her comfortingly,

“ Isabel, if it hurts don’t talk about it now. I’m sorry I got so mad, we’re not even serious, it’s okay for us to go with other people,” Isabel cut him off, looking at him with her big brown eyes,

“ You’re right to get mad Alex,” she said, searching his eyes. He nodded,

“ Well yeah, it hurt,” he said, the anger leaving his words. Isabel bit her bottom lip,

“ Alex, I never wanted to fall in love again,” she started again, but Alex stopped her again, squeezing her hand tight,

“ And I can understand you not wanting to get involved with anyone,” he said. Isabel brought on of her fingers to his mouth.

“ Alex, will you let me finish?” she asked him, as he nodded she brought her finger away from his lips. She took a deep breath,

“ What I’m saying is that even if I didn’t want to fall in love again, it doesn’t mean that I can’t stop the way I feel,” she said, as she felt Alex sit up straighter. He looked at her, a confused expression on his face,

“ I don’t understand Isabel,” he said softly, as she smiled,

“ I can’t help it if I’m falling in love with you, no matter how scared I am about it,” she said softly.

Alex’s heart melted. He felt the anger leave him, as he took her hand,
“ Are you saying that you love me?” he asked softly, entwining his fingers with hers. Isabel nodded slowly,

“ I don’t know how I’ve fallen in love with you, but I have. I haven’t even known you for that long; I don’t even know your middle name,” she said smiling, as Alex continued,

“ But there’s just something between us, that you feel in the bottom of your stomach every time you’re near me, and whenever someone says your name,” Alex continued, watching Isabel smile and nod,

“ I smile when I think of your arms around me, Alex. I don’t want anything to make me lose someone I love again,” Isabel whispered. Alex stopped for a moment, and thought about everything. Isabel had kissed another guy. Or at least, another guy had kissed Isabel. But Isabel had just trusted him more than anything with her history, and had admitted that she loved him. He looked at her,

“ I’m confused,” he said slowly, watching Isabel’s face. She nodded,

“ So am I. Maybe the best thing for you to do is to stay away from me Alex,” she said, taking her eyes off his for the first time. A pang struck inside of Alex. That was definitely not what he wanted, he could feel his stomach protesting already. He caught the side of her face,

“ I can’t. I can’t stay away from you I mean,” he said slowly, as he stroked the side of her face softly. Isabel unwillingly let another tear slide down her cheek, as Alex wiped it away tenderly.

“ So what happens now?” she asked him, bringing her hands to his face as well. He leant forward slowly, still unsure as to what he wanted. But the moment his lips touched hers, he knew exactly what he wanted. He drew his lips careful away from hers, and noticed she was shaking. He ran a hand down her bear arm and gulped,

“ My middle name is Charles,” he said quietly, as Isabel smiled gratefully, as Alex once again took her lips tenderly into his. Isabel’s heart raced. When they had kissed before, it had been passionate, fiery, lust filled. But as Alex softly touched the bear back of her dress, Isabel felt the tenderness in his touch become romantic and entrancing…

* * *

Michael placed his hands down on the kitchen table, as a couple of people from the basketball team looked at him.

“ Hey man, you okay?” a guy asked him, as Michael nodded. All of a sudden, his ears filled with a scratchy, high-pitched noise, and he screamed, escaping into the back garden.

Once outside the noise stopped. Michael looked around him. He tried to take a step forward, but everything felt like jello. He held his hands out to steady himself. Again, the colours in front of him began to swirl, until everything was a purple colour. Michael fell onto the grass and looked up into the sky.

All night he’d felt things weren’t quite right. He’d been having hallucinations, seeing things that weren’t really there. But this was just getting weird.

Someone must have spiked my drink, Michael thought to himself, as he stared up to the sky. He smiled as he saw the familiar constellation in the sky. He traced the ‘V’ with his finger through the air, as he whispered sadly,

“ Where are you when I need you dad?”

* * *

Kyle wondered around the party, in high spirits. So far he had two numbers, and there was a pretty brunette in the corner he hadn’t even started on yet. He smiled as he ran his hand through his hair, and smiled coyly at the vodka bottle in his hand. He only intended to pour a little in, just to get people, especially the girls, a little happier than usual. He smiled craftily as he twisted open the top, and poured a little into the big punch bowl. When about a quarter of the bottle was in the punch, he went to go and put the lid on, but instead one of the jocks bumped into him, spilling the rest of the contents into the punch bowl. Kyle looked at the empty bottle. He shrugged.

A little bit happy, very happy, what’s the difference? he thought cheerfully, helping himself to a glass of the punch.

* * *

Alex drew circles on Isabel’s back as he held her tightly. He pressed his lips firmly against hers, his heart jumping as she slid her tongue seductively into his mouth, caressing his tongue with hers. Isabel brushed the soft skin of her cheeks against his neck, as he groaned with pleasure. Isabel let her hands slide up his white t-shirt, feeling the smooth skin of his chest, until he lay heavily on top of her, smothering her neck with kisses. His heart jumped again, as he felt Isabel raise his t-shirt over his head, until it landed on the floor. Alex slid off her for a moment, and ran his fingers through her long blonde hair. In the dark room, her brown eyes sparkled, as she smiled lovingly. Alex breathed deeply. Isabel ran her hand down his chest, and ran her fingers just on the inside of his boxers. He smiled and shook his head,

“ You are such a tease,” he whispered, as he kissed her softly on the nose. Isabel smiled,

“ Who says I’m teasing?” Isabel said flirtatiously, as she drew him in for a longer kiss. Alex could feel his heart racing a million miles an hour as he drew back from the kiss. He searched Isabel’s eyes meaningfully.

“ Are you saying that you want to, you want us to…?” Alex said, letting his voice trail off. Isabel smiled faintly at him, as she nuzzled into his neck. She drew back and looked at him, and whispered,

“ It’s up to you Alex, and how you feel about me,” she said, leaving the decision up to him. Inside she was aching for him. She could feel all his warmth, all his love, everything about him. And she wanted it all. She didn’t want to ever let him go, and she knew that once she felt that way about a guy, she would never let him go. Alex gulped, and his fingers down her neck,

“ Isabel, I’m not as experienced as you in these things,” he said, his voice catching. Isabel leant in and kissed his neck, making Alex close his eyes and groan once again in pleasure, Isabel drew back and looked at him.

“ Alex, we don’t have to do anything tonight,” she said with a smiled, tracing patterns on his chest. He looked at her. She was beautiful. But it wasn’t just that, she was beautiful on the inside too. He shook nervously,

“ I’m nervous,” he admitted, glad that it was dark and hopeful that Isabel wouldn’t notice his red face. Isabel didn’t laugh as he expected, but nodded in understanding,

“ I’m scared too,” she said quietly. And it was the truth. She was scared because out of all the men she’d slept with, Alex was the one who actually mattered. It didn’t matter how much experience she had, she’d never slept with someone who meant anywhere near to what she was realising Alex meant to her. Alex kissed her gently,

“ But I’m a virgin,” he said extra quietly, lower than a whisper. Isabel couldn’t help but smile at that remark, as she encircled his neck, and kissed him tenderly.

“ I love you Alex,” she said softly, as he ran his hand over her back. His heart jumped again, as he looked at her,

“ You really mean that Isabel?” he asked her, as she nodded. He smiled and kissed her lips, followed by her neck, and onto her chest. He swallowed hard,

“ I love you too, Isabel,” he whispered, as she felt her heart explode, as he pushed the thin straps of her dress off her shoulders…

* * *

Liz and Maria laughed on the sofa, as they watched Michael and Max attempt to dance to Nirvana’s ‘smells like Teen Spirit’. A jock sat himself down in between them, as Maria wrinkled her nose, the guys arms swarmed around them,

“ Ewww, excuse me but you’re invading my personal space,” Maria said, as Liz removed the guys arm from around her too. Liz laughed at Maria’s polite attempt to try and tell the guy to get lost, which he obviously didn’t take.

“ Aw come on ladies, there’s enough of me to go around,” he said. Liz waved her hand in front of her nose,

“ Who brought the alcohol? This guy wreaks,” she said, as the guy moved Maria on to his lap and put his arm around Liz. Maria kicked the guy, but it only seemed to encourage him more. The guy laughed,

“ What about a threesome hey? Two chicks, one guy,” he said, as Maria and Liz exchanged looks. Liz looked disgusted at him,

“ Oh just get lost okay?” she said, as she pulled Maria off the guys lap and they started to walk away, but the guy followed. Standing up now, the guy draped his arms around both girls, trying to grab at them, but a swift elbow in the ribs winded him, as Liz stood triumphantly. The guy got up again, and stared at them, pulling another one of his friends in front of them. Liz pulled a worried expression at Maria, as the two guys approached them.

* * *
Over the other side of the room, Michael watched as two guys approached Liz and Maria. He tapped Max on the shoulder,

“ Hey, what’s going on over there?” he shouted to Max over the music. Max’s eyes immediately locked onto a guy who had his arm around Liz, as jealousy sparked up inside him again. He blazed over in a fury, Michael close at his heels.

“ What the hell is going on here?” Michael demanded, removing the guy’s arms from Maria and placing her behind him, Liz rushed into Max’s arms and gave him a hug, before standing safely behind him also. The two guys looked from Max to Michael,

“ What’s it got to do with you?” he asked Michael, looking him up and down. Michael looked at the guy. He was puny, he could take him easily.

“ Well to start off, she’s my girlfriend and that’s my sister,” he said sarcastically. The guys looked at him,

“ Well listen mate, we’re just going to borrow them for a quick romp in the bedroom, and we’ll have them back as soon as possible, okay?” the guy said, but before he knew what was happening, Max’s fist was colliding with his jaw line. The second guy stood in shock. Max looked at the guy on the floor,

“ You don’t talk that way to a lady, especially my girlfriend” he said fiercely, looking at the guy as he got off the floor.

The second guy reacted by punching Michael, who twisted the guy’s arm around his back and made him squeal in pain. On seeing this, a couple of the jocks friends started on Max and Michael, piling them onto the floor. On seeing this, Kyle quickly jumped in, trying to pull the three guys off Max, as Maria kicked at the guy on Michael, stabbing him in the ribs with her stilettos. Seeing a girl trying to attack Maria from behind, Liz took the drink in her hand and threw it at her. The girl stood in shock, before turning and pulling at Liz’s hair, provoking Maria, who through a dive at the girl, knocking her to the floor. Soon it turned into a mass fight, with everyone hitting everyone, with a couple of girls pulling each other’s hair out in the corner.

No one noticed when Amy and Jim walked in.

Amy took one look around at her beautiful home.

Jim’s jaw hit the floor.

“ Right, every body out!” Amy screamed.

* * *

An hour later, in the incredibly messy living room, which was scattered with empty drinks cartons, packets of crisps, streamers and popped balloons, the five teenagers lined up on the sofa. Kyle perched on the end, a packet of frozen peas resting on his eye, followed by Liz and Maria, who had escaped without harm, Max next to her, with a tea towel full of ice on his jaw, and lastly Michael, who had a steak in one hand and a packet of frozen carrots in the other, one on his left eye and another on his jaw. All five of them looked extremely guilty.

Amy paced up and down in front of them.

“ We left you alone, with cries of ‘yeah we’ll be good’, and ‘don’t worry about us, Mrs. Valenti’,” she said, pacing up and down, working herself up. Jim took a deep breath,

“ I thought there were only meant to be a few people coming round?” Jim asked sensibly, watching his wife pace up and down. He’d seen what she could do at full rage, and none of these kids were ready for that. Michael nodded,

“ Ask the party Nazi, she was the one in charge of it all,” Michael said, taking the steak off his eye. Max laughed at Michael’s reference to Isabel as the ‘party Nazi’, but his smiled was quickly suppressed by Amy’s evil stare. Liz cleared her throat,

“ Amy we’re really sorry, these guys were coming onto me and Maria and Michael and Max tried to sort things out-” Liz started but was cut off as a girl wondered through the doorway, making her way carefully through the rubbish all over the floor.

Amy looked at the girl,

“ Excuse me, can we help you?” she said as politely as she could in her current state of frustration.

The girl put her suitcase down, and looked at Amy with her piercing blue eyes.

“ Is this the Valenti residence?” she asked timidly. Max’s blood froze, as he turned around slowly.

The colour drained from his face.

Liz looked at him with concern,

“ Max, are you okay?” Liz’s distant voice was heard, but it was too late.

Max’s world had already gone back, as he passed out on the floor.

* * *
Part 7D

Liz sat next to her brother on the sofa, and cuddled a pillow. His eyes remained fixated on Maria, as she danced with another guy she knew from school. Liz laughed at her brother,

“ You are so whipped,” Liz laughed, capturing Michael’s attention. Michael turned to her,

“ I am so not,” he said, hitting her with a pillow. Liz laughed,

“ Then why can’t you take your eyes off her?” she said, as Michael gave her an I-hate-it-when-I-know-you’re-right smile. Liz smiled triumphantly,

“ Yeah well, you were all over Max, why shouldn’t I be happy?” Michael said, getting defensive. Liz sighed,

“ Michael, you bonehead, I’m happy for you! Will you quit being all defensive, and start being my Michael again? The one that teased me about my boyfriends instead of staring daggers at them every time they put an arm around me?” Liz said, staring at Michael. Michael looked at her for a minute, before sticking out his tongue,

“ Fine then. I’ll be happy for you seeing as you’re happy for me,” Michael said, getting off the sofa and grabbing Maria out of the other guys clutches, spinning her around and kissing her. Liz smiled as Max found her again, and took the seat beside her, grabbing her and pulling her onto his lap. She smiled at him,

“ Why Prince Charming, you’ve come over all daring. Aren’t you scared what my big bad brother is going to say?” she teased him, rubbing her nose against him. Max’s fringe draped over his dark eyes, as he brought his lips close to hers and spoke,

“ I’m sorry princess,” he teased, as she felt his warm breath on her lips and smiled, “ but I just can’t keep away from you.”

Liz couldn’t wait any longer for his kiss, and brought her lips to his, kissing him teasingly. Max smiled, until Maria came and sat next to the too,

“ Right you two, we’re trying to keep this party rated PG-13, so please, keep it to yourselves. And besides, I need to borrow Liz for a bit,” she said, grabbing Liz’s hand. Max looked at her pleadingly, as Liz smiled,

“ Later honey,” she promised, trying to ignore his puppy dog eyes, as she leant down and left him with a kiss that tingled his lips before rushing with Maria into the kitchen.

* * *

“Alex?” Isabel said, her palm glowing as she slid the lock open from the outside of Alex room. She entered slowly, and closed the door behind her, locking it securely. She stood at the door humbly. She knew what Alex thought he saw. She still didn’t know how Adam had ended up on top of her, but right now she didn’t care. She cast her gaze upon Alex, who was lying face down on his bed, his jacket thrown on the floor. She started again,

“ Alex, what you saw in there,” she started, but Alex cut her off,

“ I guess it’s pretty obvious what I saw in there Isabel. I don’t know what I expected to come from this, oh yeah, I kind of expected you not to go around kissing guys who try to rape you. But I guess that’s too much to ask, hey Isabel,” he said bitterly, now sitting on the edge of his bed and staring at her.

Isabel felt about two inches tall. But she wanted Alex. She wanted to be with him. She wouldn’t let Adam ruin this for him.

“ Alex, I didn’t kiss him,” she said, until Alex laughed,

“ Oh my god you didn’t? I wonder what that’s called then?” he said sarcastically, still staring at her. Isabel felt herself steam in frustration. He was obviously hurt, who wouldn’t be. It was only this morning he’d said he loved her.

“ Alex, hekissed me. Do you really think I’d kiss him?” Isabel said, still standing in front of him. Alex looked at her wearily, as if considering the prospect. Alex shook his head,

“ I guess what matters to me Isabel is that whatever way you look at it, you let him kiss you, I saw it. And I just can’t be with someone who will do that to me,” he said, still looking at her with his hurt brown eyes. Isabel felt like crying. But determination swept over her. She would fight for Alex.

“ But I don’t want him Alex. I want you,” she said softly, feeling a tear involuntarily slide down her cheek. Alex gulped and looked at her,

“ However much I want to believe that, I know I’m just going to be your doormat,” Alex said, as Isabel shook her head violently,

“ No Alex that isn’t true,” she pleaded, as Alex walked past her and made his way to the door. Isabel broke down inside. She couldn’t watch another person walk away from her,

“ Alex!” she said, as he turned around. Tears slid down her cheeks. The vibrations of the loud music could be felt in the room. Isabel whispered,

“ Did you mean it, when you said you loved me?” she asked him. Alex bit his bottom lip, and approached her again,

“ I meant it this morning Isabel, but now I don’t know what’s going on. It’s not that you kissed someone else, it’s that you kissed Adam, after what he did to you,” Alex said softly, and Isabel sat down on the bed. Alex sat next to her. They sat in silence for a minute.

“ Alex, I’ve always been scared of loving someone,” Isabel admitted, as Alex shook his head,

“ Isabel I’m not going through all this ‘I’ve been hurt so many times before’ crap-”

“ Alex, the last guy I loved died,” Isabel said quietly. Alex squirmed, and shut his mouth. He took a deep breath,

“ I’m sorry Isabel,” he said. Isabel shook her head,

“ No Alex, I’m sorry. I should have told you before. When I was in New York, I did some really stupid things. I got into a bad crowd, and I was really low. One night a guy saw me sleeping on the streets, and tried to, well, do stuff to me. Griff saved me that night,” she said sadly. Alex reached for her hand,

“ I’m sorry that you had to go through that Isabel,” he said softly, squeezing her hand tightly. Isabel turned to him,

“ Alex, the point is that when Griff died, I didn’t want to fall in love again. It hurt too much losing him,” Isabel said, trying not to swell up with tears again. Alex put an arm around her comfortingly,

“ Isabel, if it hurts don’t talk about it now. I’m sorry I got so mad, we’re not even serious, it’s okay for us to go with other people,” Isabel cut him off, looking at him with her big brown eyes,

“ You’re right to get mad Alex,” she said, searching his eyes. He nodded,

“ Well yeah, it hurt,” he said, the anger leaving his words. Isabel bit her bottom lip,

“ Alex, I never wanted to fall in love again,” she started again, but Alex stopped her again, squeezing her hand tight,

“ And I can understand you not wanting to get involved with anyone,” he said. Isabel brought on of her fingers to his mouth.

“ Alex, will you let me finish?” she asked him, as he nodded she brought her finger away from his lips. She took a deep breath,

“ What I’m saying is that even if I didn’t want to fall in love again, it doesn’t mean that I can’t stop the way I feel,” she said, as she felt Alex sit up straighter. He looked at her, a confused expression on his face,

“ I don’t understand Isabel,” he said softly, as she smiled,

“ I can’t help it if I’m falling in love with you, no matter how scared I am about it,” she said softly.

Alex’s heart melted. He felt the anger leave him, as he took her hand,
“ Are you saying that you love me?” he asked softly, entwining his fingers with hers. Isabel nodded slowly,

“ I don’t know how I’ve fallen in love with you, but I have. I haven’t even known you for that long; I don’t even know your middle name,” she said smiling, as Alex continued,

“ But there’s just something between us, that you feel in the bottom of your stomach every time you’re near me, and whenever someone says your name,” Alex continued, watching Isabel smile and nod,

“ I smile when I think of your arms around me, Alex. I don’t want anything to make me lose someone I love again,” Isabel whispered. Alex stopped for a moment, and thought about everything. Isabel had kissed another guy. Or at least, another guy had kissed Isabel. But Isabel had just trusted him more than anything with her history, and had admitted that she loved him. He looked at her,

“ I’m confused,” he said slowly, watching Isabel’s face. She nodded,

“ So am I. Maybe the best thing for you to do is to stay away from me Alex,” she said, taking her eyes off his for the first time. A pang struck inside of Alex. That was definitely not what he wanted, he could feel his stomach protesting already. He caught the side of her face,

“ I can’t. I can’t stay away from you I mean,” he said slowly, as he stroked the side of her face softly. Isabel unwillingly let another tear slide down her cheek, as Alex wiped it away tenderly.

“ So what happens now?” she asked him, bringing her hands to his face as well. He leant forward slowly, still unsure as to what he wanted. But the moment his lips touched hers, he knew exactly what he wanted. He drew his lips careful away from hers, and noticed she was shaking. He ran a hand down her bear arm and gulped,

“ My middle name is Charles,” he said quietly, as Isabel smiled gratefully, as Alex once again took her lips tenderly into his. Isabel’s heart raced. When they had kissed before, it had been passionate, fiery, lust filled. But as Alex softly touched the bear back of her dress, Isabel felt the tenderness in his touch become romantic and entrancing…

* * *

Michael placed his hands down on the kitchen table, as a couple of people from the basketball team looked at him.

“ Hey man, you okay?” a guy asked him, as Michael nodded. All of a sudden, his ears filled with a scratchy, high-pitched noise, and he screamed, escaping into the back garden.

Once outside the noise stopped. Michael looked around him. He tried to take a step forward, but everything felt like jello. He held his hands out to steady himself. Again, the colours in front of him began to swirl, until everything was a purple colour. Michael fell onto the grass and looked up into the sky.

All night he’d felt things weren’t quite right. He’d been having hallucinations, seeing things that weren’t really there. But this was just getting weird.

Someone must have spiked my drink, Michael thought to himself, as he stared up to the sky. He smiled as he saw the familiar constellation in the sky. He traced the ‘V’ with his finger through the air, as he whispered sadly,

“ Where are you when I need you dad?”

* * *

Kyle wondered around the party, in high spirits. So far he had two numbers, and there was a pretty brunette in the corner he hadn’t even started on yet. He smiled as he ran his hand through his hair, and smiled coyly at the vodka bottle in his hand. He only intended to pour a little in, just to get people, especially the girls, a little happier than usual. He smiled craftily as he twisted open the top, and poured a little into the big punch bowl. When about a quarter of the bottle was in the punch, he went to go and put the lid on, but instead one of the jocks bumped into him, spilling the rest of the contents into the punch bowl. Kyle looked at the empty bottle. He shrugged.

A little bit happy, very happy, what’s the difference? he thought cheerfully, helping himself to a glass of the punch.

* * *

Alex drew circles on Isabel’s back as he held her tightly. He pressed his lips firmly against hers, his heart jumping as she slid her tongue seductively into his mouth, caressing his tongue with hers. Isabel brushed the soft skin of her cheeks against his neck, as he groaned with pleasure. Isabel let her hands slide up his white t-shirt, feeling the smooth skin of his chest, until he lay heavily on top of her, smothering her neck with kisses. His heart jumped again, as he felt Isabel raise his t-shirt over his head, until it landed on the floor. Alex slid off her for a moment, and ran his fingers through her long blonde hair. In the dark room, her brown eyes sparkled, as she smiled lovingly. Alex breathed deeply. Isabel ran her hand down his chest, and ran her fingers just on the inside of his boxers. He smiled and shook his head,

“ You are such a tease,” he whispered, as he kissed her softly on the nose. Isabel smiled,

“ Who says I’m teasing?” Isabel said flirtatiously, as she drew him in for a longer kiss. Alex could feel his heart racing a million miles an hour as he drew back from the kiss. He searched Isabel’s eyes meaningfully.

“ Are you saying that you want to, you want us to…?” Alex said, letting his voice trail off. Isabel smiled faintly at him, as she nuzzled into his neck. She drew back and looked at him, and whispered,

“ It’s up to you Alex, and how you feel about me,” she said, leaving the decision up to him. Inside she was aching for him. She could feel all his warmth, all his love, everything about him. And she wanted it all. She didn’t want to ever let him go, and she knew that once she felt that way about a guy, she would never let him go. Alex gulped, and his fingers down her neck,

“ Isabel, I’m not as experienced as you in these things,” he said, his voice catching. Isabel leant in and kissed his neck, making Alex close his eyes and groan once again in pleasure, Isabel drew back and looked at him.

“ Alex, we don’t have to do anything tonight,” she said with a smiled, tracing patterns on his chest. He looked at her. She was beautiful. But it wasn’t just that, she was beautiful on the inside too. He shook nervously,

“ I’m nervous,” he admitted, glad that it was dark and hopeful that Isabel wouldn’t notice his red face. Isabel didn’t laugh as he expected, but nodded in understanding,

“ I’m scared too,” she said quietly. And it was the truth. She was scared because out of all the men she’d slept with, Alex was the one who actually mattered. It didn’t matter how much experience she had, she’d never slept with someone who meant anywhere near to what she was realising Alex meant to her. Alex kissed her gently,

“ But I’m a virgin,” he said extra quietly, lower than a whisper. Isabel couldn’t help but smile at that remark, as she encircled his neck, and kissed him tenderly.

“ I love you Alex,” she said softly, as he ran his hand over her back. His heart jumped again, as he looked at her,

“ You really mean that Isabel?” he asked her, as she nodded. He smiled and kissed her lips, followed by her neck, and onto her chest. He swallowed hard,

“ I love you too, Isabel,” he whispered, as she felt her heart explode, as he pushed the thin straps of her dress off her shoulders…

* * *

Liz and Maria laughed on the sofa, as they watched Michael and Max attempt to dance to Nirvana’s ‘smells like Teen Spirit’. A jock sat himself down in between them, as Maria wrinkled her nose, the guys arms swarmed around them,

“ Ewww, excuse me but you’re invading my personal space,” Maria said, as Liz removed the guys arm from around her too. Liz laughed at Maria’s polite attempt to try and tell the guy to get lost, which he obviously didn’t take.

“ Aw come on ladies, there’s enough of me to go around,” he said. Liz waved her hand in front of her nose,

“ Who brought the alcohol? This guy wreaks,” she said, as the guy moved Maria on to his lap and put his arm around Liz. Maria kicked the guy, but it only seemed to encourage him more. The guy laughed,

“ What about a threesome hey? Two chicks, one guy,” he said, as Maria and Liz exchanged looks. Liz looked disgusted at him,

“ Oh just get lost okay?” she said, as she pulled Maria off the guys lap and they started to walk away, but the guy followed. Standing up now, the guy draped his arms around both girls, trying to grab at them, but a swift elbow in the ribs winded him, as Liz stood triumphantly. The guy got up again, and stared at them, pulling another one of his friends in front of them. Liz pulled a worried expression at Maria, as the two guys approached them.

* * *
Over the other side of the room, Michael watched as two guys approached Liz and Maria. He tapped Max on the shoulder,

“ Hey, what’s going on over there?” he shouted to Max over the music. Max’s eyes immediately locked onto a guy who had his arm around Liz, as jealousy sparked up inside him again. He blazed over in a fury, Michael close at his heels.

“ What the hell is going on here?” Michael demanded, removing the guy’s arms from Maria and placing her behind him, Liz rushed into Max’s arms and gave him a hug, before standing safely behind him also. The two guys looked from Max to Michael,

“ What’s it got to do with you?” he asked Michael, looking him up and down. Michael looked at the guy. He was puny, he could take him easily.

“ Well to start off, she’s my girlfriend and that’s my sister,” he said sarcastically. The guys looked at him,

“ Well listen mate, we’re just going to borrow them for a quick romp in the bedroom, and we’ll have them back as soon as possible, okay?” the guy said, but before he knew what was happening, Max’s fist was colliding with his jaw line. The second guy stood in shock. Max looked at the guy on the floor,

“ You don’t talk that way to a lady, especially my girlfriend” he said fiercely, looking at the guy as he got off the floor.

The second guy reacted by punching Michael, who twisted the guy’s arm around his back and made him squeal in pain. On seeing this, a couple of the jocks friends started on Max and Michael, piling them onto the floor. On seeing this, Kyle quickly jumped in, trying to pull the three guys off Max, as Maria kicked at the guy on Michael, stabbing him in the ribs with her stilettos. Seeing a girl trying to attack Maria from behind, Liz took the drink in her hand and threw it at her. The girl stood in shock, before turning and pulling at Liz’s hair, provoking Maria, who through a dive at the girl, knocking her to the floor. Soon it turned into a mass fight, with everyone hitting everyone, with a couple of girls pulling each other’s hair out in the corner.

No one noticed when Amy and Jim walked in.

Amy took one look around at her beautiful home.

Jim’s jaw hit the floor.

“ Right, every body out!” Amy screamed.

* * *

An hour later, in the incredibly messy living room, which was scattered with empty drinks cartons, packets of crisps, streamers and popped balloons, the five teenagers lined up on the sofa. Kyle perched on the end, a packet of frozen peas resting on his eye, followed by Liz and Maria, who had escaped without harm, Max next to her, with a tea towel full of ice on his jaw, and lastly Michael, who had a steak in one hand and a packet of frozen carrots in the other, one on his left eye and another on his jaw. All five of them looked extremely guilty.

Amy paced up and down in front of them.

“ We left you alone, with cries of ‘yeah we’ll be good’, and ‘don’t worry about us, Mrs. Valenti’,” she said, pacing up and down, working herself up. Jim took a deep breath,

“ I thought there were only meant to be a few people coming round?” Jim asked sensibly, watching his wife pace up and down. He’d seen what she could do at full rage, and none of these kids were ready for that. Michael nodded,

“ Ask the party Nazi, she was the one in charge of it all,” Michael said, taking the steak off his eye. Max laughed at Michael’s reference to Isabel as the ‘party Nazi’, but his smiled was quickly suppressed by Amy’s evil stare. Liz cleared her throat,

“ Amy we’re really sorry, these guys were coming onto me and Maria and Michael and Max tried to sort things out-” Liz started but was cut off as a girl wondered through the doorway, making her way carefully through the rubbish all over the floor.

Amy looked at the girl,

“ Excuse me, can we help you?” she said as politely as she could in her current state of frustration.

The girl put her suitcase down, and looked at Amy with her piercing blue eyes.

“ Is this the Valenti residence?” she asked timidly. Max’s blood froze, as he turned around slowly.

The colour drained from his face.

Liz looked at him with concern,

“ Max, are you okay?” Liz’s distant voice was heard, but it was too late.

Max’s world had already gone back, as he passed out on the floor.

* * *

Well? Was it okay?

posted on 16-Mar-2002 3:23:08 AM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

I can't believe I'm up at such a ridiculous hour - can you believe theres a 7.30 AM? Should be illegal on a Saturday if you ask me!

Once again thank you for the feedback! I really loved writing that scene between Alex and Isabel. But I've gotta ask you the question, should they have slept together? Because I didn't make it clear if they did or didn't for a reason - I wasn't sure if they should. The way Isabel feels at the moment is that she loves him, and she's just realised for the first time in her life since Griff (the guy she was in love with and died in New York) that she can love someone and he can love her back. So yeah she would want to go for it with Alex, and Alex is really lonely, after not being noticed all his life here's this beautiful woman telling him she loves him, and actually meaning it. So what do you think, should they have done it?

Okay, this Tess issue has really got me worried. I'll tell you that YES Tess is the girl who walked in and made Max faint. Okay, please don't screw at me, but I needed to bring the gerbil in to bring up the stuff from Max's past, like I'm going to develop Kyle's past by making him know Michael and Liz. And please don't worry, Tess will serve her purpose in this fic (she is responsible for Liz finding out Max is an alien) and we'll also see the much wanted bitch fighting scenes between Maria/Liz and Tess. And then I've not decided EXACTLY what will happen to her, but she wont be around for long! So please, don't stop reading just because Tess entered. She'll stir things up, but would you want a quiet, unneventful story?

Okay, Michael hadn't passed out in the yard. Michael was hallcinating, but he hadn't had anything to drink... (I'll leave you to make your own minds up as to what that means in the whole alien status thing)

And lastly, A HUGE thanks to everyone who posted feedback! I don't think I'll be writing another part tonight, I actually have such a bad hangover I'm going to go to work and then sleep soundly tonight! But by late sunday/early monday definetly!

Thanks Everyone,

Jo.x
posted on 18-Mar-2002 7:30:42 AM by leaving_normal
Hey Again Everyone,

On my lunch break at college... Just popped in to say do you guys want a new part tonight? I'm thinking about writing the next part, though only if it's desired!

BTW, I just finished reading Kath7's 'Between the Sand and Stone' and I just want to recommend it to anyone who loves Max and Liz. It's seriously such a great fic, totally worth the read!

Okay, well. I'll let you tell me whether you want another part tonight or not *happy*

Sorry for the lack of updates, it's been such a crazy weekend! I will make it up to you guys though!

I'll post soon, promise *happy*

*angel*

P.S. Is it appropriate to ask what you guys wana see happen in this fic?
posted on 18-Mar-2002 1:40:41 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Again,

I was re-reading some of the earlier parts in my fic, and there were people I've only had replies from once... are you still reading or didn't they like the fic??? Lol, me and my paranoia.

Okay, Part 8. Hmmm, I've written a little bit, and I'm going to write for another 2 or so hours, and hope that I can get the whole way through this chapter! It's going to be a long one, and if I don't get all the way through I'm sorry, but I will post something tonight!

To anyone who reads my fic, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave feedback, even if it's one word. I love knowing who reads my fic, and I try to read those fics of people who reply to mine aswell.

Also, can anyone help me out? I'm useless with HTML code, can anyone help me out? I want a link on my signiture to this story, but I don't want the whole adress, I just want it to read 'Crash and Burn', can anyone tell me how to do that?

thanks!

*angel*
posted on 18-Mar-2002 4:57:17 PM by leaving_normal
Hey, just a quick note to Cinder,

I totally forgot to mention Isabel! She will not be happy about what Tess did to her brother. Isabel will be the first one to get in on the action, and we will definetly see Tess get threatened by the Ice Queen. You're right about Max being emotional, but then I guess they all are, they've all been through so much.

Right, it's taken me all night, but I've writen part 8A. It's long okay guys, and Tess is an evil bitch, but please do not dispair! Liz will not let her come between her and Max.

Right, on with it then!

*angel*
posted on 18-Mar-2002 5:11:43 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Okay, as I said, Tess the Gerbil will meet her fate eventually, but I need to use her a bit first *wink* Please don't decide just to hate this b/cos Tess is being a destructive bitch! I'll be good, I promise, if you keep reading. Besides, it took me five hours to write this much!

Part 8

Alex stirred gently, the sunlight casting shadows over his face. His shoes and socks lay on the floor, next to Isabel’s princess vale and slippers. With one arm around her waist, he held her close to him, so that they shared the warmth underneath his covers. Isabel breathed deeply as she opened her eyes. She opened them slightly at first, getting used to the sunshine that was beaming through the windows. Isabel smiled, as she found herself lying on Alex’s bare chest, his arms around her as his breathing remained calm and even. She shifted her head, so that she laid next to him now, her head on the cool pillow and her hand resting lightly on his bare stomach. She brought her other hand up slightly, and traced along the contours of his face, her brown eyes casting her loving gaze across Alex’s face. He looked younger in his sleep, on seeing him she wouldn’t believe he was going on for seventeen. But what amazed her the most was the warmth she felt between them. She brought her face closer to his, and rested her forehead against his.

Alex took a deep breath, and began to stretch. When he found his arm was trapped under someone else, he opened his eyes slowly, until his gaze met hers. He smiled gently. He stroked the side of her face in recognition, and felt the warmness of her cheeks. He watched intently as she closed her eyes, letting a lonesome tear escape. Alex wrinkled his forehead in concern,

“ Isabel?” he whispered, as she opened her eyes again. He pulled her closer to him, and felt the warmth of her entire body fall against his. Isabel whispered,

“ I love you Alex.”

Alex smiled, as he released her gently and replied,

“ I love you too Isabel.” She smiled at him, but he still looked confused. Isabel looked at him questioningly.

“ Why are you crying? We didn’t do anything to regret did we? I mean, I’m not actually wearing my trousers but hopefully I’d remember something,” Alex said, until he heard Isabel’s soft laugh. She pulled his face back towards hers,

“ We didn’t do anything Alex. But what we did, me just lying here in your arms, has meant more to me than anything I’ve done before,” she said slowly, as Alex blushed. He looked back up at her,

“ Thank you Isabel, I’m sorry that we didn’t…” he said embarrassed, as she smiled at him again. She was glad they hadn’t done anything more that night. She’d learnt so much about Alex, just in the way he responded to everything that night. He was hurt when he’d seen Isabel kiss Adam, which was something completely new to Isabel. She’d never had someone care about her so much that they’d be hurt if she kissed someone else. Suddenly her actions were starting to affects others, and that was both scary and amazing at the same time. Alex brushed away the strands of hair that had fallen into her face, as she sighed. He looked at her long and hard, his bottom lips quivering,

“ Isabel, I know you might think that I’m crazy, but if we, you know, do do it, like, eventually,” he said quietly, as Isabel smiled, as he looked up at her and continued,

“ I want to make it really special for you. I don’t just want to do it for the sake of it, it has to be perfect. Because that’s just the way things should be for you,” he finished, as Isabel drew him in for another hug. She didn’t need to reply. She couldn’t reply. She was scared that if she did reply, she might just burst out in tears. In all her life no one had ever wanted what was best for her. They’d wanted as much as they could get out of her. But now, for the first time in her life, someone loved her unconditionally. They didn’t want anything out of her, apart from to be happy.

* * *

Max groaned as he awoke, his head throbbing. Without opening his eyes he smelt that familiar vanilla smell and smiled.

“ Hey,” he said hoarsely, struggling to talk. He rubbed his eyes gently, and opened them to see Liz hovering above him with a damp flannel. He scratched his head; as she leant down to kiss him. Her lips melted against his, as he absorbed their fresh and uniquely ‘Liz’ taste. He looked up at her, still resting on her single bed,

“ What happened?” he asked, as she smiled at him. He felt his jaw throbbing, as Liz rested the flannel on it again,

“ You passed out cold,” she said, a slight element of humour in her voice. Max raised his eyebrows at her,

“ I did?” he said as she nodded, wondering round the room. She took the flannel with her and submerged it into a bowl of water, before returning to his side. He looked at her,

“ So you’ve looked after me all night huh?” he asked coyly, wrapping his arms around her waist and forcing her to lie beside him. Liz smiled shyly and nodded,

“ Yeah, Kyle carried you up the stairs and you couldn’t get into your room, it was locked,” she said, drawing her face closer to his, “ I think Isabel and Alex were,” Liz finished, as Max groaned and rolled over. That was the last thing he wanted to hear. He turned to her,

“ You could have left out all the gory details,” he said running his fingers teasingly up and down her back. An idea suddenly popped into his head,

“ Hey Liz, why did I black out?” he asked, beginning to sit up. Liz looked at his strangely, rotating her stiff neck,

“ I don’t know, Tess came walking through the door and suddenly you were a heap on the floor. Hey I rhyme,” she said, a smile on her lips. Max’s eyes became wide, and the colour drained from his face. Liz gave him a worried expression, as she scrambled to support him,

“ Max I think you should lay down, you’ve gone a funny colour,” she said, holding his arm. But his gaze had already drifted towards the doorway. He gulped as he watched the petite blonde enter the room, her mischievous blue eyes menacing, as she smiled brightly. She remembered every one of those sickening curls that framed her round face, as she looked at the two of them,

“ Hey Max,” she said, holding out a hand. Max looked at her, silent. Liz looked up at him,

“ Aren’t you going to say hi Max?” Liz prompted, giving Tess a smile. Tess laughed, and took her hand away. Max suddenly found his will to move, and walked as fast as he could out of the room, and slammed the door behind him. A second later, they heard the sound of a second door slamming, coupled with a male scream, and after a female one. Liz cringed,

“ I think Max just found Alex in bed with Isabel, his sister,” Liz said, as Tess came and sat down next to her. Tess laughed,

“ It’s all happening around here!” she said, as she took a look around the room. Liz turned to her,

“ Yeah you turned up at a pretty wild time. I know how hard it is not knowing anyone-” Liz said as she got up and started to fold over some clothes and place them on Maria’s bed. Tess jumped in,

“ Actually it’s okay, me and Ma..” she said, until a skinny boy dressed only in his boxers and a bedroom pillow came in backwards through the door. Alex turned around, a shaken expression on his face,

“ Liz! Max just found me and Isabel in bed together and now he’s going to kill me because he thinks we slept…” he trailed off, as he noticed the blonde girl sitting on the edge of the bed, a bemused smile on her face. Alex coughed, as Liz laughed,

“ Alex, this is Tess,” she said, as Alex stuck out a hand to greet her. Tess nodded, as she gave him a look up and down. Alex blushed, embarrassed.

“ Charmed,” Tess said saucily. Alex gulped and looked at Liz,

“ I uh, I think I better go find some trousers,” he mumbled softly, before edging his way out of the room backwards, holding the pillow in front of him. Liz shook her head and laughed,

“ That’s Alex,” she said, a smile on her face which summed everything up, “ Sorry, what were you saying before he walked in?”

Tess shook her head, a mischievous smile on her lips,

“ Oh, it was nothing important. Really.”

* * *

Michael placed a hand either side of the bathroom sink. A towel draped around his waist, and his bare chest gleaming with water, he took six deep breaths. Either this was a really bad hangover, or he’d come down with really bad flu.

He steadied himself, and ran some cold water into the sink. Picking up the soap and running it through his hands, he smiled to himself, despite the throbbing pain in his head and all if his muscles; he was actually feeling pretty great. He’d rescued Maria from those goons, and even though she was insisting that she could have done it without his help, he still knew that deep down she loved him for it. He placed the strawberry scented soap back in the dish, and rubbed it over his face, splashing cold water all across it. He rotated his neck. He didn’t remember where he’d had any alcohol, but that was the only logical explanation for the reason he was feeling so bad. Michael drained the sink and looked up into the mirror again. Wiping his hand across it, removing the condensation that had steamed it up when he’d had his shower. He looked at himself in the mirror. Something wasn’t right.

He didn’t remember drinking at the party. And yet last night he could remember everything turned purple, and feeling like he was walking on Jello. He peered at himself closer in the mirror. His dad had always told him not to drink. He said it did things to him that he wouldn’t be able to explain in later life. Michael laughed at the thought, thinking that perhaps that is how he had met Michael’s mum and ended up with Liz and Michael. There was only 13 months difference in their ages, but their mum had left them when they were young, too young to remember any of it.

Michael brought his face up to the mirror again. Why wasn’t his dad here to tell him all of these things? To laugh at his son the first time he got drunk? Or to even shout at him for being so stupid. Michael placed two hands either side of the sink again as he went through another dizzy patch. He threw his head up in front of the mirror, and peered intensely into it.

I want answers, he told himself, his arms shaking.

“ I want to know who killed him!” he said, the emotion breaking through his voice. He broke away and turned away from the mirror, running his shaking hands through his damp hair. All Michael heard was a sharp snap, coupled with the sound of the mirror shattering. Michael turned around and watched as the mirror pieces fell off the wall, his heart beating. The frame lay steady on the wall. Only the actual mirror itself had broken and fallen to the floor. Michael’s heart raced,

How could he have managed to break the mirror without even touching it?

* * *
Kyle lounged on the sofa in the living room. He looked around the now tidy room, and marvelled at his own work. Okay, so sure Liz and Maria had done most of the tidying, but he helped! The place had been a bombsite, but at least hadn’t found that stain on her sofa yet. Kyle laughed to himself as he remembered finding the stain and simply turning the pillow the other way around.

“ Genius,” he said to himself. His heart jumped as he heard the voice behind him.

“ What’s genius?” the voice said, as Kyle grabbed his heart,

“ God, you’ve been here two seconds and you’re already trying to kill me?” he said sarcastically, as Tess sat down beside him, taking the remote control and sifting through the channels. He looked at her. Sure, she was cute. But he wasn’t sure about those blonde curls. It kinda made her face look a bit puffy. As well as making her lips look huge. But still, she was cute. She turned and looked at him,

“ So how comes you aren’t upstairs with all the others?” she asked, as she put the remote on the table, curling her legs underneath herself. Kyle leant back in his chair,

“ I only got here a week or so ago. I’m still a newbie really, so anytime you want to talk or whatever, I’m up in the attic,” he said, extending a hand of friendship out to him. Tess smiled sweetly,

“ Thanks, you know how scary it is coming here? And to walk in during the middle of Amy shouting at you all like that, I was terrified!” she said laughing. Kyle smiled, warming up to the girl.

“ Yeah, but Amy’s nice. We did kind of wreck her house, but it was Michael and Max,” Kyle said, beginning to tell her about the incident at the party. Tess looked up at him,

“ Max?” she asked innocently. Kyle smiled at her,

“ Yeah, the guy who passed out when he saw you, the one that, unfortunately, Liz is all over,” he said, with a slight hint of sarcasm. Tess pursed her lips,

“ Oh. So I take it you and Liz had something going on then?” she said with a friendly smile. Kyle tipped his head a bit and lifted an eyebrow,

“ Yeah but we were just kids. You know, one of those summer love things, talked about a load of things, then the end of the summer came and I had to go back to Florida, and she broke things off. It’s great coming back and seeing her again though,” he said, a smile on his face. Tess smiled herself,

“ I guess I know what you mean,” she said tenderly, as Kyle looked at her.

“ Yeah, I had a summer thing like that,” she said lustily, looking back at the TV. Kyle cocked an eyebrow at her. Why did he get the feeling that there was more to this girl than there seemed?

Kyle didn’t have time to think about it, as before he knew it Max came walking down the stairs and into the living room, looking pale and pasty. Kyle looked at him,

“ Man, you look like crap,” he said, getting off the sofa, and walking into the kitchen. Max stood at the bottom of the stairs, his brown eyes transfixed on Tess blue ones. Kyle came back and tossed them both sodas, before mumbling something about going to watch a basketball game with Alex if Amy’d let them out.

Max stood at the bottom of the stairs in complete and utter turmoil. He gulped as he looked at her. The sight of her made him feel sick. And she was smiling, which made it even worse. He had to get her out of here, and quickly.

“ What are you doing here?” he said forcefully. He placed the un-opened soda on the coffee table and stood at full height, towering above her. She simply leaned back and looked at him,

“ You can’t escape me that easily Max,” she said slyly, presenting herself to him. Max looked away, disgusted at her. He paced up and down.

“ Well after you destroyed my life I kind of got the impression that you hated me enough to let me go,” he said sarcastically, stopping in front of her again. She looked up at him again,

“ Oh yeah, sorry about that,” she said with a laugh. Max looked at her incredulously, searching for words.

“ Is that all you can say? You destroyed my life, made the whole town hate me, and all you can say is you’re sorry?” he said, standing in front of her. She simply shrugged,

“ You shouldn’t have raped me,” she said lightly, laughing it off. Max’s stomach turned.

“ I didn’t touch you Tess!” he practically screamed. He lowered his voice, as he saw that familiar glint in her eyes,

“ That’s not the way I remember it Max,” she said, as she got up and played with the top buttons on his shirt. He pushed her back down on to the sofa, and stormed into the garden. He was a mess. A nervous wreck. As if it wasn’t enough to ruin his life once, she wanted to do it all over again. He rested his elbow on the doorframe and looked out into the garden. Tess came up behind him, and placed a hand on his shoulder,

“ We can forget about all of this, if you just say you’ll be with me again,” she said carefully, pressing herself up against him. Max felt his stomach turn, as she continued,

“ We could have been so good together Max, we were good together before,” she said, running her hand down his back. He swirled around again, a face of fury greeting her,

“ I told you Tess. I don’t believe in any of that past life crap. Whatever you are I am not meant to be with you simply because we’re the same species or whatever,” he said in a heated whisper. Tess laughed at him,

“ You’re still denying who you are,” she said, fingering his top button again. He pushed her away again, more forcefully this time,

“ You’re not ruining my life again,” he said, standing with his fists by his side. She laughed at him,

“ Because of that girl up there? What is it Max, do you love her?” she teased, as he felt his anger flare up again. She touched him again, starting an instant connection with him, one that he wasn’t strong enough to combat.

“ Tess?” Max asked cautiously, placing a hand on her shoulder. The moonlight reflected in her eyes as she span around. It was a cold night, and a chill was running through the air. Tess sat on the park bench, alone, and a strap of her dress ripped. Max sat beside her,

“ Are you okay?” he asked carefully. Tess turned to him, her eyes smudged with mascara that had run down her cheeks. He gulped, as she blazed furiously at him,

“ Do I look okay to you?” she said spitefully, taking off her shoes. Max gulped again. He knew this wasn’t a good idea, but when he’d heard that there were police around, he couldn’t be too careful, after all, he knew Tess was different. Different in the same way he was.

“ Tess, I heard there were some police. You didn’t use your powers did you?” he asked quietly. Tess laughed at him, leaving Max unsure as to whether she had actually lost it altogether.

“ You think I’m stupid? Yeah Max, I made each and every one of them blow up! Oh shit, I hate this life!” she cried, as she lit up a cigarette. She shivered, and being the gentlemen he was he took off his jacket and put it carefully around her shoulders. He rubbed his hands together, as she turned to him,

“ Let’s run away Max, you and me, we’ll start a fresh somewhere else. Or maybe we’ll even go home,” she said quickly, the cigarette shaking in her hand. Max shook his head,

“ I told you Tess. I don’t believe any of that. This is home to me. I don’t care about what’s up there,” he said, looking up to the sky. Tess’ eyes began to fill with tears,

“ Why don’t you remember Max? Why do I have all these memories of you and me and you don’t remember any of it?” she shouted, as a couple of the other people returning from the party looked at her. Max tried to calm her down,

“ Tess, I don’t know what goes on in your head. But I’m not interested in you in that way,” he said quietly, which only seemed to frustrate her further. The truth was, he didn’t even like her, let alone being remember being married to her. As far as he was concerned, this was home. He’d even thought that Tess was making all of these past memories up. Sure, they were the only two he knew that had mysterious ‘powers’ but it didn’t mean they had to be together right? His sister, Isabel, had also demonstrated ‘powers’. But that was before she left.

He watched as Tess threw his jacket in the mud, and stamped on it,

“ Screw you Max Evans, if you can’t be happy with me, I’ll make sure you’re not happy at all,” she said evilly, beginning to walk away. Max caught her by the arm,

“ You don’t mean that Tess. We’re the same, we have to stick together for safety,” Max said rationally, shaking Tess. She smiled evilly,

“ I don’t give a shit Max. You’ve got one chance. Either you say you’ll be with me, or I’ll destroy you,” she said. A cold fear swept through Max. Cold realisation that she truly desired him so much she would destroy everything around him if she couldn’t be with him swept across him. He gulped and released her. He was not about to give up his freedom to some girl he could hardly stand to look at.

Max had always dreamed of falling in love. It’d be romantic, magical. Everything would be perfect, and he’d be able to trust the person with his life, even after she found out who he really was. She be so soft, and tender. And when he found that person he’d do anything to protect them. But he felt nothing but disgust for Tess. She was rude, obnoxious and irritating to put it politely, and there was no way Max would sacrifice the possibility of finding true love to be with someone like Tess.

He shook his head, and firmly said,

“ No Tess.”

The look in Tess’ eyes flashed from disappointment to anger, as she bit her bottom lip. She stared at Max a long time, before slowly saying,

“ Then I’ll destroy everything for you Max,” she said evilly, as she turned on her heel and ran away in her bare feet, screaming all the way…


Max finally broke free of her grasp and gasped, as did Tess. He slid to the ground, drained by their connection. He looked at her,

“ You ruined everything for me!” he said, approaching her and grabbing her by the neck. She shook her head desperately trying to loosen his grip,

“ Get off me Max!” she screamed, as she kicked at him, but he held on tight,

“ I loved my home. I loved my family. I was so happy, but you couldn’t just leave me alone?! You wouldn’t let me be happy without you!” he screamed, before throwing her back down into the corner. She gasped for air, as he towered over her,

“ I will not let you ruin this for me,” he said, the determination leaking through his words. He left as she gasped for air, stumbling to get up off the ground. She touched the marks on her neck, making them disappear effortlessly. It didn’t worry her. She’d have him. One way or another.

* * *
Liz tapped lightly on Michael’s door, she heard a faint,

“ Come in,” as she pushed open the door and saw Michael sitting on their wide windowsill. He looked out the window in a rather melancholic state, as Liz approached him, she sat opposite him, looking at him.

“ You okay?” she asked him, trying to search his usually warm greenie-grey eyes for explanation. All she found was confusion. He turned to her carefully, and lifted an eyebrow,

“ I don’t know what it is. I get these weird moments where I feel different, like everything goes blurry for a few seconds, and I’ll go dizzy,” he said, as she reached out for his hand. Michael looked up at her,

“ I feel like something inside me is changing Liz,” he said in a whisper. Liz swivelled around, and buried her head in his shoulder. He held her tightly.

“ Is it like what you had straight after dad died? When the doctor gave you those sleeping pills because you were making yourself ill?” she asked quietly. Michael shook his head,

“ I never took those pills and it’s not like that anyway. This is different, I just… Oh god, I wish dad was here,” Michael said, his words filled with genuine heartache. Liz felt that familiar lump rise up in her throat. Michael got off the windowsill and picked up a book out of his bottom drawer. Liz looked at him,

“ What’s that?” she asked, sliding herself off and walking up to him.

“ It’s all of dad’s drawings about the universe, and all his maps and stuff. He gave them to me the night everything happened. And I took them, before the police inspected everything,” he said, running his hand over the cover. Liz touched him, her eyes filling with tears,

“ I miss dad too Michael,” she whispered, as he lifted his head, she noticed the tears rolling off his cheeks and down onto the hard cover of the book. She pulled him into a tight embrace, and held him tightly. He released her gently, and brushed away his tears,

“ I want him to be here so badly. I’m so confused about everything,” he said, as he sat down on his bed. Liz sat next to him, taking the book off of him and running her hands over the old pages. She turned to Michael,

“ At least he didn’t leave us alone. We’ve always got each other, because I’ll never leave you, Michael,” she said, putting a hand on his knee. He turned to her, and gave her a tight squeeze,

“ I’m never leaving you either. God Liz, if I lost you, everything I’d ever known would have disappeared,” he said, placing his head on top of hers. She breathed softly,

“ But it’s okay, because we’re still family. And no mater what happens, nothing can ever stop us being brother and sister,” she said, still holding him tight. Michael smiled. She was right. There was a huge gap in his life where his father had been, but Liz was still there. But if he ever lost Liz, he didn’t think he could carry on.

* * *

Liz walked into the garden, just needing a bit of space. It’d been intense with Michael, and everything had just gotten to her. At least on her own she could gather all of her thoughts. Just be by herself. She considered writing in her journal again. But she couldn’t, she just found it too hard. Everything about life up until her father died was written in that book. It may have been stupid, but to Liz, continuing on with her journal would just make it more real that he had died. That maybe if she didn’t write about anything that happened after her father died, that she’d wake up and it’d all be a dream.

The sounds of soft sobs coming from the far end of the garden drew her out of her thoughts, as she ventured downwards. After coming to a clearing, she found Tess curled up, her knees against her chest, sobbing her heart out. Liz cautiously called out to her,

“ Tess?” she called, sitting lightly beside her. Tess looked up, her eyes red from crying. Liz touched her arm lightly,

“ Do you want me to do anything?” she asked, as Tess shook her head.

“ No one can do anything, I just wanted to start a fresh life! Something new, where no one knew me!” she cried, as Liz lifted her eyebrows. She didn’t know this girl, what was she meant to do. Tess choked on her tears,
“ I didn’t want any of this to come out, I thought I could live with it. But he’s here, and he wont leave me alone!” she screamed, and started scratching at her arms. Liz became concerned when she noticed the slit marks riding up the inside of Tess’ arms, where she had inflicted self-harm. Liz gulped, as Tess continued to scratch her arms, drawing blood. She took Tess’ hands away from her. Various thoughts crashed through Liz’s sub-conscious, was this girl dangerous? Was she mental?

“ Tess, Tess, who’s here? Who won’t leave you alone?” she asked quietly. Tess looked around, to see if anyone was watching her. She drew her face closer to Liz’s, as she whispered,

“ Max.”

Liz’s blood froze. Max? As in Max Evans? This girl must have been crazy. Max was the gentlest, most loving guy she’d ever met. She shook her head,

“ What do you mean Tess?” she asked, her voice shaking. Tess took her arms back, and wrapped them around her.

“ I’m terrified to be in the same house as him, I’m terrified about what he could do to me,” she whispered, as she rocked herself back and forth. Liz was starting to get a little too freaked out. For all she knew this girl could have walked straight out of a psychiatric department. But when Tess looked up at her, and Liz saw the terror in her eyes, there was no denying this girl was afraid of something. Liz took her hand,

“ What could he do to you Tess?” she asked quietly, as Tess stopped, motionless. Tess breathed slowly as she whispered,

“ He raped me Liz.”

Liz’s stomach churned, as she heard the word repeat around in her mind.

Rape, rape, rape.

Not Max. Not her Max. It wasn’t possible. She watched as Tess collapsed into tears again, scratching at her arms. Liz got up, and felt her legs sway, and begin to give way. She ran as fast as she could into the house, willing herself not to be sick.

Reaching the kitchen, she turned on the taps and let the water flow. She gathered some up into her hands, and splashed in on her face, and tried to stop from blacking out. She breathed in and out. A million different thoughts were running through her mind. Max couldn’t do that. Not Max. He couldn’t do that to anyone.

Turning around, she ran into the living room, wanting to just run upstairs and collapse on her bed. But she stopped in the doorway. He was there. Right in front of her.

* * *

“ Liz, are you okay?” he asked, approaching her. Her hair was a mess, her cheeks flushed and she looked as if she was about to vomit. Max extended a hand out to her, but she refused it.

“ Get away from me,” she breathed. Max looked at her,

“ Liz, what’s wrong?” he asked, as she backed away from him. Liz shook her head,

“ Tess said, Tess said,” she said, not quite able to get the words out of her mouth. It explained so much. It explained why Max had fainted when he saw Tess. It had explained why Max had had to leave his previous foster home. Suddenly, everything was making a bit too much sense. The colour drained from Max’s face, only confirming what she thought. Tears began to well in Liz’s eyes.

“ So it’s true what she said?” she asked, her voice quivering. Max stood silent for a moment, unsure what to say. Translucent tears began to fall from Liz’s eyes, as she pushed past Max and ran up the stairs. Thinking of nothing else to do but to follow her, he turned to follow after her, hearing an evil laugh coming from the other side of the kitchen. He turned around,

“ What have you done?” he asked her, as she came into the light. Tess shook her head,

“ I did what was necessary. Do you really think she could replace me Max?” she asked, as he turned away from her, more concentrated on saving what he had with Liz, rather than arguing with someone who meant absolutely nothing to him.

* * *

Max banged on the bathroom door.

“ Liz, let me in!” he screamed in frustration. He hit his head against the door, as he heard her cries coming from the other side. Liz sat on the edge of the bath, tears streaming down her face. She shouted through the door,

“ Go away Max! How could you do something like that? How could you lead me on-” Liz choked between tears, as Max leant on the other side of the door. He considered just unlocking it with his powers, but that would probably freak her out more than anything, and that was exactly what he didn’t need at this specific moment in time. He banged on the door again,

“ Liz, I didn’t do anything to her!” he shouted through the door. Liz got off the bath and sat with her back against the door. She buried her head in her hands. How could this be happening?

“ Then why would she say that Max?” Liz shouted through the door. Max sank down, and rested his back on the other side of the door. Max took a deep breath,

“ Because she told everyone that. She told everyone I raped her Liz, because she hates me. She was the one who tore me away from my home, my family. From Sophie,” he said, hearing his voice crack up. Liz’s head rose. Could he be telling the truth?

“ Why would she do something like that Max?” she asked slowly, not hearing a reply. She turned around and stood near the door knob, until he spoke again,

“ Because she loves me Liz. Or at least she says she does. She’s obsessed with us being together, and she thinks that if she destroys everything for me, I’ll come running to her. Liz, you know me, I wouldn’t lie to you.”

Liz felt everything run through her at once. Max had never lied to her. He’d made her feel alive again. He’d held her when she was crying. He kissed her when she needed to feel special. He made her feel like she was on top of the world. For the first time since her dad died, Max had shown her all the things that had made her smile. He’d shared her interests in the stars. She found herself smiling at his shyness the first time she’d met him in the library, when she’d asked if he could actually talk, or at their first kiss on the rooftop, underneath the stars.

She gulped as she noticed she was crying despite herself. She listened to Max on the other side of the doorway,

“ We had an argument, because I said I wouldn’t be with her. She’s adopted too, so she thought we belonged together,” Max said, trying to adapt the story slightly so that she’d understand and not get freaked out at the same time.

Liz gulped away her tears, as he continued,

“ So she decided to tell everyone I raped her. She tore me from everything Liz. They all believed her over me. She locked herself in her bedroom and cried for days, she cut herself, and everyone assumed that I had this dark secret. Including my foster parents. So they sent me away,” he said, his voice catching. Liz felt her stomach turn. She stood up and twisted the doorknob.

She opened it slightly, as she saw Max’s dark brown eyes peer through the crack. She opened it wider.

“ You didn’t do it, did you Max?” Liz asked, her brown eyes fearful. Max shook his head,

“ I can’t make you believe me Liz. But I’m telling you the truth, I couldn’t do that to her. I couldn’t do that to anyone,” he said. She looked into his eyes, and caught the sincerity.

She didn’t know how, but there was no doubt in her mind that he didn’t rape Tess. She breathed deeply,

“ I believe you Max, but I’m still not sure about this. Why would anyone hate you that much?” she asked, still standing away from him. Max shook his head,

“ I really don’t know Liz. She’s not right in the head. But I want you to know that I don’t want her to get between us. When I look at you, you do something to me Liz. It’s like I get this flow of electricity running through me,” he said, as he lowered himself so that he looked directly into her eyes,

“ When Tess destroyed my life, I thought it was over forever. I didn’t think I could trust anyone, first Isabel left me and then Tess destroyed everything. But I met you Liz, and everything inside me felt alive again,” he said, reaching gently for her hand. She was reluctant at first, but couldn’t fight the ‘rightness’ she felt when he took her hand. She looked up at him,

“ I won’t hurt you Max,” she said as she looked up at him. She saw as a film of tears settled on his eyes, then disappeared again. He couldn’t let himself cry. Liz squeezed his hand, as he tried to force the lump in his throat away,

“ I don’t want her to take you away from me,” he whispered. Liz nodded in understanding, and threw her arms around his neck. She felt herself ride another high on the emotional roller coaster that was her life, as tears of relief spilled over her eyelashes.

Max squeezed his eyes shut as hard as he could. He would not cry. He squeezed Liz a little tighter. No one could take Liz away from him. She was what had kept him breathing. And nothing that Tess could scheme up would tear him and Liz apart.

* * *

Okay, was that really bad?


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 18-Mar-2002 6:18:37 PM ]
posted on 19-Mar-2002 1:24:16 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone *happy*

Thanks for the feedback again! I know how much everyone hates Tess, but no worries, she will get her ass kicked! As for the next part, it'll probably be out tomorrow, It's a really long one, so it's gna take me 2 days to write *happy*

And about my signiture... Yes, it did really happen. I wasn't that embarrassed, everyone knows how obsessed I am with Roswell *wink* I got my hair cut like majandra's and I'm hopefully getting my tatoo of the whirlwind galaxy done soon...in henna first though!

Thanks again,

Jo.x
posted on 19-Mar-2002 4:56:21 PM by leaving_normal
Okay, I've just remembered that I have to write a huge huge huge essay for Thursday, which means I wont be updating tomorrow night. However, I have tried to write as much as I can tonight, and I'll post in an hour how much I've written!

Thanks,

*angel*
posted on 19-Mar-2002 6:22:08 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note :This took me absolutely ages to write, and I am so emotionally drained right now. I never knew writing could be that intense! This is it for Part 8, Part 9 will be even more interesting... And again, there is a gerbil warning attached to this part, you will hate her even more by the end of it, but trust me, you'll love PArt 9.

Enjoy.

Part 8B

Maria stood with Liz at her locker, rummaging through to find her stupid Algebra book for her stupid Algebra lesson. Maria sighed. She really didn’t like Algebra. Once again it was Monday morning, another thing she didn’t like, and as she caught sight of the dark circles under Liz’s eyes, and the bland expression on her face, it was obvious that Liz didn’t like Monday mornings either. Maria poked her friend lightly,

“ Hey, earth to Liz, are you awake or what?” Maria said, finally taking out her algebra book and brushing it down for dust. Liz turned to her,

“ Huh? What? Maria were you talking?” Liz asked, as Maria slammed her locker shut. Maria sighed, vaguely amused at her friend. A couple of girls walked past, chattering on about their wild Halloween party. Maria noticed Pam Troy looking her again, as Maria cautiously pulled her baseball cap lower over her eyes, trying to hide as best she could the bruises still very much apparent on her face. She’d put together the best outfit she could, with a little help from Isabel, who didn’t exactly agree with her hippy dress style, she’d manage to combat her purple chord flares with a tight white t-shirt and a few hippy beads, as well as her white baseball cap. But nevertheless, Maria still felt like she stuck out like a sore thumb, which usually she wouldn’t mind, but right now, she just wanted to go back to being invisible. She gave Liz a once over. Her outfit, however, remained her normal self. Her pretty light blue jeans and pink vest top were cute, just Liz Parker’s style. However, her normal chirpy it’s-Monday-morning-and-I-have-science-this-afternoon peppiness was just…missing.

“ What’s up with you? I know you weren’t with Max last night, so that doesn’t explain the huge dark circles under your eyes,” Maria said, fumbling in her bag. Liz sighed,

“ Maria I don’t think we should talk about it, me and Max, we just had this little argument,” Liz said, trying to disguise the tiredness in her voice. Maria gave her a knowing look, but before she could say anything, Kyle and Alex came bounding down the hallway.

“ Good Morning all,” Alex sung as he stood in front of Maria. Maria looked him up and down,

“ What’s got you so happy?” she asked suspiciously. Kyle laughed,

“ I think it has something to do with a certain blonde,” he said, as Isabel came striding down the hallway to join them. Kyle gave Alex a nudge, as Isabel approached them,

“ Hey, so, doesn’t anybody have a class?” Isabel said, giving Alex a quick kiss on the cheek. No one could miss the goofy smile on Alex’s face. Maria laughed,

“ Isabel, how can you suddenly have become so school-minded, when a couple of months a go you walked in looking like something from a different planet?” she asked, as she handed Liz a small bottle of purple mixture to hold. Liz undid it, and sniffed it, coughing and her eyes watering. Kyle looked at Maria,

“ A different planet? Miss Popular over here? Explain please!” Kyle said, looking curiously at Isabel. Alex put his arm around his shoulder,

“ Ah my friend, this is a long story, I shall tell you over the delights of our English Class, and the works of William Shakespeare. As it goes, it was on a summer night, amidst the glorious smells of the dinner table that Isabel first entered into our realm,” Alex began dramatically, beginning to walk with Kyle to their next class, as Isabel rolled her eyes.

“ Everyone meeting at the quad for lunch?” she asked Liz and Maria, receiving a little nod before walking slowly, or as fast as she could in her new silver sandals, walking to her class. The last bell rang, and Maria took another look at Liz.

“ Right that’s it girlfriend, you’re coming with me,” she said, grabbing Liz’s arm and dragging her into the ladies. Maria threw her inside and locked the door, with the protest coming from Liz of,

“ Maria, I have a class,” Liz whined, as she made for the door. Maria stood in front of her,

“ Shh! Liz, I am saying this as your friend, but you look terrible. Come here,” she said, taking her foundation out of her bag and rubbing a little on the back of her hand. Liz sighed and stood in front of Maria, looking towards the ceiling. Maria gently applied some foundation under her eyes, removing the dark circles.

“ Liz, you don’t look like you slept at all, and don’t try telling me you stayed up all night doing homework, because you were in bed the same time as me. So I’m asking you Chica, what is going on with you?” Maria said, closing the tub of foundation as Liz turned to look in the mirror. Liz took out a brush of her own shoulder bag, and looked in the tall mirror. Should she tell Maria what Tess had said? But Maria kind of had this ability to over exaggerate things. And she did that, a lot. But Liz sighed. She really did look terrible.
“ It’s a mess,” she said out loud, rubbing the foundation into her eyes a little more. Maria cried out in exasperation,

“ Excuse me but my make up skills are perfectly fine,” she started to ramble on, until Liz turned around and faced her, lifting herself up to sit on the marble top where the sink was.

“ Maria, I’m talking about me and Max, not your make up skills,” Liz said as she rolled her eyes again. Maria stopped and looked at her,

“ Okay then. I didn’t think you’d put down my make up skills anyway,” Maria said, a slight smile on her face. Liz sighed,

“ Promise not to get freaked out?” she said, as Maria put her hand on her heart,

“ Me, freak out? How can you even put those words in a sentence?”

“ Maria!” Liz said, looking at her meaningfully.

“ Okay okay, I won’t freak out I promise. Just tell me what’s bugging you,” she said, sitting beside her friend. How could Liz put this? Okay, there really wasn’t any other way to put it rather than just say it.

“ You know Tess? I was in the garden yesterday, and she was crying, so I went out there and tried to get her to calm down,” Maria waved her hand,

“ Yeah yeah, get to the good bit,” she said, hurrying Liz along. Liz sighed; maybe it was just better to say it,

“ Tess said that Max raped her,” Liz said sadly, making Maria fall off the side and regain her balance on the floor, before crying,

“ What?! He raped her!” Maria shouted, reaching for the door. Liz grabbed her arm,

“ No, no Maria, he didn’t actually rape her, that’s just what she said he did,” Liz tried to explain, as Maria let go of the door handle. She looked at Liz,

“ Do you realise that makes absolutely no sense what so ever?” Maria said, staring at her friend. Liz nodded slightly. Maria tilted her head and sighed, before wrapping her arms around Liz and giving her a tight hug. Maria felt Liz’s head on her shoulder,

“ How do you know he didn’t do it?” Maria asked quietly, as Liz pulled back. Liz took out her brush and ran it through her hair again,

“ He told me he didn’t Maria, they’ve got this history together. She really loves him, and doesn’t want him to be happy unless he’s with her,” Liz said, noticing the look Maria was giving her, “ I know, I know, this all sounds crazy to me too. But I do believe him, there’s just something about him. We fit so well together. And when he kisses me, it’s like every cell in his body finds mine and they just heat up,” Liz finished wistfully. Maria shook her head in disgust,

“ Well, I for one know that men aren’t worth trusting,” Maria said, taking off her cap and exposing her bruises. That tingle you get when someone looked like they were in so much pain, the one where all the pins and needles swam through your body swept through Liz,

“ I’m sorry Maria, here I am chatting on about Max and that stupid Tess,”

“ No, it’s okay. It’s a bit of a mess really. I mean, do you really believe Max? I mean, really really truly believe that he didn’t do it?” Maria said, putting her cap back on and adjusting it in the mirror. Liz nodded,

“ Yeah I do. Maria, he told me that I was his first kiss, and like, the first time we kissed he was shaking, he was so nervous. How could anyone as shy as that possibly rape someone?” she asked Maria. Maria gave her a frown,

“ Sometimes people surprise you Liz,” she warned, but Liz was quick to cut her off,

“ No Maria. Not Max. There’s something so deep between us,” Liz started to wonder off again, as Maria laughed,

“ Listen to the girl talk, it’s like she’s in love or something,” Maria said, still laughing. She looked at Liz, worried that she wasn’t laughing along with her. Maria raised an eyebrow,

“ You’re not are you? Like, in love with him or anything stupid like that?” Maria asked, as Liz just stood there with that grin on her face. Maria sighed,

“ Oh boy,” she said, almost mockingly. Liz’s eyes brightened,

“ It’s like I know him so well Maria. I think we’re,” Liz said, staring at the ceiling,

“ Oh god please don’t let her say it,” Maria said out loud,

“ Soul mates,” Liz finished, still staring off into space. Maria shook her head, putting Liz’s brush back in her bag, and grabbing her arm,

“ Okay, I think it’s time we shipped you off to whatever class you have now, because you’re obviously getting delirious,” Maria said, opening the door and pushing Liz out into the main hall. She shooed Liz off with cries of ‘yeah, the quad at lunch, I know!’ and walked towards her Algebra lesson. Maria stopped momentarily. Of course, she was already a half hour late. And she really didn’t like Algebra. Maria smiled as she turned around and headed towards the music room, where her and Alex had spent a few lunchtimes just messing around. Passing the infamous Eraser Room, Maria smiled a bit, a secret smile. The Eraser Room was famous throughout all of West Roswell High. It was apparently where Vicky Shipman had lost her virginity to Gareth Nicholson, and where many a student was caught in the middle of a hot make out session. Maria walked past it briskly, vaguely contemplating the possibility of her and Michael making out in the Eraser Room, but no, she was way too civilised for that.

Before she knew it, a pair of strong arms had circled themselves around her waste, and were pulling her into the Eraser Room. Dropping her books on the floor and being pushed up against a wall, Maria found herself kissing Michael, her lips pressing against hers in the heat of passion, and his hands beginning to wonder around her legs. She broke off the kiss in desperate need of air,

“ So I don’t even get a hello now?” she asked him, as he caressed her neck with sweet soft kisses. Sure, she didn’t mind being dragged into the Eraser Room and showered with kisses, but she wouldn’t mind a bit of conversation to go with that.

“ Fine, hello,” Michael grunted, continuing to caress her neck, until he found his way hungrily to her lips. Maria’s arms swarmed around his neck, holding herself close to him,

“ Shouldn’t we even talk?” Maria said, as Michael broke away from her. He looked at her, obviously annoyed,

“ Fine, what do you want to talk about?” he asked, going back to kissing her neck. Maria pushed him away,

“ No, I mean really talk. Like normal couples,” she said, standing in front of him. Michael scratched his eyebrow, the way he always did when he was irritated. All he’d wanted was a few moments of passion, and she wanted conversation?

“ Fine, like I said, what do you want to talk about?” Michael said, obviously irritated. He walked over and clapped the erasers together, sending a cloud of white mist to surround him. He turned around, where Maria stood with her arms folded over her chest,
“ What is it with you, for the past couple of days all you’ve done is mall me. Is it so wrong to ask you for a little conversation once in a while?” she asked, still with her arms folded. Michael sighed, she was only provoking him further,

“ Maria, all I wanted was to make out okay, I didn’t want to turn it into World War Three,” he said, shaking his head, but Maria rambled on,

“ Last night, we spent hours making out, and now you didn’t even wait to walk with me to school, is that all you want from me?” Maria asked, standing in front of him. Michael began to get really annoyed,

“ Look okay, Alex and me went to pick up my motorcycle this morning,” he said, picking up his bag from the floor. Maria huffed,

“ Why couldn’t I have gone?” she pouted. Michael looked at her incredulously,

“ Maria, it was a guy thing okay? I’m telling you to drop this now, I mean it,” Michael said, beginning to walk past her,

“ All I wanted was a little conversation!” Maria cried, as he opened the door to the Eraser room. Michael sighed,

“ Maybe you talk too much,” he said, as he slammed the door shut. Maria picked up her school bag and pouted again. So much for their romantic interlude in the Eraser Room.

* * *

Alex noticed Isabel sitting alone at a table at lunch, and smiled to himself. He held the white rose he’d bought for her behind his back, as he approached her from behind, giving her a kiss on the cheek.

“ Hey,” he said sweetly, sitting down beside her and sliding his bag over his shoulder. He held out the rose to her, as Isabel laughed,

“ Honestly, Alex, you didn’t have to! But thanks, it’s sweet,” she said, smelling the rose and putting it down on the table. She returned to her book, as Alex looked at her, reaching for her hand,

“ So, how’s the Chemistry going?” he asked her, looking over her equations. She looked up at him,

“ Actually not all that good, but you don’t need to worry about them,” she said, leaning over and kissing him on the cheek. He smiled earnestly, and looked down at the table,

“ So, me and Kyle were in English just now, and I was thinking, we haven’t you know, actually been out on a proper date. So I was thinking maybe going out to the movies tonight?” he said bashfully, as Isabel laughed again. He was so shy with her, even after they’d spent the night in each other’s arms. She nodded,

“ That would be great Alex,” she said, as he moved in to kiss her lightly. She touched his lips momentarily, and backed away. After withdrawing from the kiss, a person gazing intently at them caught his eye. He looked a bit harder at him, and noticed it was Adam. Alex lowered his head,

“ He’s staring at us Isabel,” Alex said nervously. There was something about that guy that made him totally uneasy. It wasn’t just that he’d tried to rape Isabel, and then tried it on again with her at the Halloween party. It was just his whole presence. He seemed to breathe authority, just like he felt Max had at first. Isabel gazed over to Adam, who turned away when she looked at him. Isabel turned back to Alex,

“ Don’t worry about him, if he tried anything, he won’t know what hit him,” Isabel said, as she kissed Alex again. Alex nodded but didn’t really understand. What would Isabel do to him?

* * *
Liz sank onto the sofa with Kyle and Alex later that night, and watched as Tweetie and Sylvester went through yet another escapade, making her smile despite how many times she’d seen the episode. She sat between the two boys, all three pairs of feet resting on the coffee table. Alex sighed,

“ This kind of stuff is priceless, pure comedy,” he said, involved in the cartoon. Kyle and Liz looked at him,

“ It’s a cartoon man, it’s not real,” he said, throwing him a funny look. Liz laughed at him,

“ Yeah come on Alex, cartoons aren’t as funny as real life stuff,” she added, as Alex shook his head.

“ You two obviously don’t appreciate the fine art of Sylvester an Tweetie Pie,” he said, shaking his head sadly. The three went back to watching the TV show, watching Sylvester fall out of a window whilst Tweetie Pie flew away. Kyle laughed,

“ Okay man, it’s funny, but no way pure comedy,” he said, as an advert came on. Liz turned to them both,

“ Have you ever noticed that you two spend way too much time watching TV?” she said as she laughed. Although, her laughter stopped as Tess wondered her way downstairs, and walked past the three on the sofa, into the kitchen. Liz tensed up, and stared straight ahead. Kyle looked at her,

“ What’s up with you and Tess?” he asked her, as Alex looked at the both of them. Liz shook her head,

“ Uh, nothing,” she stammered, which made Kyle give her that knowing look.

“ I can tell when there\s something going on with you. You start to fiddle your hair and get really uptight about things,” he said, watching as Liz stopped playing with her hair and scowled at him. Alex laughed,

“ How comes you know so much about her?” Alex asked, as Kyle relaxed again on the sofa. Liz turned to Alex,

“ Because he was a really annoying jock at summer camp one year, who just wouldn’t leave me alone,” she explained, as Kyle laughed,

“ Oh hardly! You were hot for me babe, and you know it!” Kyle said, striking an irresistible pose and flexing his muscles. Liz laughed,

“ I was young and naive Kyle, get over yourself,” she said as she threw a pillow at him. Alex laughed at the two,

“ God, you two, give it a rest,” he said, as Kyle and Liz both chucked pillows at him. Alex held up his hands,

“ Okay okay, I get the hint. Kyle, I’m going to have a jam upstairs, you want to show me what you can do?” he asked, as Kyle got off the sofa.

“ Yeah sure, I’ll show you why they call me magic fingers,” he said, as he demonstrated by playing air guitar. Liz laughed as the two boys started upstairs, with numerous male comments such as,

“ I bet that’s not the only reason they call you magic fingers!”

Liz laughed. Alex and Kyle were great fun to hang out with, but the minute they started to dive into a game of sexual puns, well, she’d leave the room. It was definitely a guy thing.

Flicking through the channels again, she didn’t notice a familiar male silhouette making his way towards her. Liz tensed up a bit as he sat next to her. She bit her bottom lip. He sighed a bit,

“ So you’re ignoring me?” Max said, still sitting far enough away from her. Liz shook her head, as she reached for his hand,

“ No, no I’m not ignoring you. I just feel a little weird around you. I know you didn’t do anything to her Max, but there’s still something nagging at me. I’m sorry,” she said, as she lowered her head and looked away. Max reached out and touched her face, and removed his hand again when she shuddered. He took his hand away from hers,

“ I’m sorry Liz,” he said, as he got up to leave. Liz bit her bottom lip, she couldn’t just let him leave.

“ Max,” she called quietly after him. He turned around. Liz approached him slowly, and placed two hands on his chest. She gulped nervously, as she tip toed and kissed him gently on the lips. He smiled shyly as she drew away from him,

“ You didn’t have to do that Liz,” he said, as he gently stroked the side of her face again. She smiled at him,

“ I believe you Max, and there’s no reason I should be scared of you,” she said, as she tip toed and kissed him again, as he lowered his head and kissed her back, deeply, romantically. He rested his hands on her waist, as she gently stroked the back of his neck. Liz’s heart was racing. Trusting Max was the hardest thing she had to do at the moment. But something was drawing her to him, like she shouldn’t even have to question his feelings for her. Somehow she just knew it was true.

Suddenly the image of her and Max lying on a grassy hill, looking up at the starlit sky appeared in her mind, as she broke off the kiss.

She looked at him oddly, as he looked at her, confused,

“ What is it?” he asked, as she looked at him. She smiled to herself; her imagination was getting the better of her.

“ I just had this little mental image thing, of you and me laying on a grassy hill, staring at the stars,” she said bashfully. Max smiled as he put his arm around her and led her back to the sofa.

Although deep down he was a little worried. That was the exact same thought he’d just had whilst kissing her. But he had no idea where the thought came from, nor how the thought had apparently passed from him, to Liz.

* * *

Maria pulled the bed covers up to her chin, and stared into the darkness. Michael had continued to ignore her for the rest of the day. And here she was. In bed. Still thinking about him. It was so annoying. She looked over at Liz’s bed,

“ Liz?” she called quietly, as Liz stirred,

“ What Maria?” she asked sleepily. Maria tilted her head, and moved so that she was sitting on the edge of the bed,

“ Has your brother always been this stubborn?” she asked, as Liz laughed a bit.

“ Why, what has he done now?” she asked sarcastically. Liz pushed herself up and rested her back against the wall, staring into the darkness at Maria’s figure. Maria sighed,

“ I tried to have a conversation with him-” Maria said, as Liz laughed again,

“ That’s where you went wrong then, when Michael’s with a girl, he likes to get some action in there Maria, he’s not so much of a talker,” Liz said, yawning slight. Maria frowned,

“ But he talked to me before. You know, about my mum and stuff. Okay, granted that most of the time we ended up arguing,” Maria said, breaking off into a grin. Liz walked over and joined her on her bed. The two sat in the darkness,

“ There are some things about my brother that no one understands. God, even I don’t understand them. But I can tell you that right now, Michael’s fragile. He’s scared Maria, he’s scared about what happened to our dad, and he’s basically hanging on by a thread till everything sorts itself out,” Liz told her, thinking about her brother’s state. Maria nodded her head sadly,

“ I know. But what I don’t get is that he always, no offence Liz, seems to put up this barrier, and seems to deny that he’s got feelings at all, and that you’re the one who needs all the support,” Maria said carefully, trying not to offend Liz. Liz smiled slightly at the thought of her brother,

“ Yeah, I know, he’s always trying to protect me. But you know, underneath that exterior, like you said before, he’s a marshmallow. You’ve just got to be patient with him, he’ll open up when he’s ready, just don’t push it,” Liz said, as she stood up and stretched, “ but right now, he’s not the only one who’s going to be grumpy, because I have an early start a head of me,” she finished, wandering back to her bed. Maria raised an eyebrow,

“ Sneaking in to see Max huh?” she said knowingly, as Liz smiled and snuggled down into her covers. She smiled again,

“ I’m going to surprise him with breakfast, just to show him I’m there for him and stuff,” Liz said, as she yawned, making Maria yawn too. She smiled as she drifted off to sleep,

“ You’re too good to that boy,” Maria teased, as she drifted off. Liz smiled, as she whispered to herself,

“ Yeah well, I love him.”

* * *

Tess gently crept out of her bed, and watched, as Isabel lay fast asleep in her bed. Tess smiled to herself. Sure, her first attempt at making everyone in the house hate Max hadn’t worked. In fact, Liz had been stronger than she’d thought. It seemed that Liz would believe Max about just about anything. But she could soon change that. She gently turned the doorknob, and was out into the hall. She crept along carefully, in her short baby blue silk nightdress, an evil grin on her face. Max would be hers, one way or another. Even if he hadn’t seen that she wouldn’t give up the first time, ruining his relationship with Liz would be the starting point. Sure, she wasn’t exactly being subtle, and she could just tell Liz that Max was an alien, and she’d probably run straight to the feds. Although, as Tess saw, Liz was infatuated with Max. She’d probably run to the feds and tell them Tess was an Alien. Tess shook her head; this was the only way to go about it.

And if this didn’t work, she’d mind warp him. It hadn’t worked before; Max was too strong to let her into his mind. Sure, she’d managed to do little things to him, like make him tell his foster parents that she actually had raped her. She smiled in amusement. Getting him out of here was going to be a piece of cake.

She remembered everything about her past. Although Max wouldn’t believe any of it. He’d called her crazy, and accused her of making it all up. But she could feel it. She knew her and Max had been together in another lifetime. They couldn’t have just been left behind. Someone had taken the time to hide them away from civilisation. They had to be special.

Tess slid open the door to Michael, Max’s and Alex’s room. She looked over the three sleeping boys. She closed the door lightly, as she watched Max’s chest rise up and down. She smiled in satisfaction. This would be enough to drive both of them out of the house. She didn’t care what people thought of her. She just wanted Max.

* * *

Liz carefully balanced the glasses of orange juice on the try, next to the scrambled eggs she had made. She took a deep breath as she carefully turned the doorknob. She walked in carefully, trying not to spill any of the orange juice, as she backtracked and pushed the door shut with her feet. She smiled, as she kept her concentration on the tray, as she approached Max’s bed.

“ Max, Max wake up,” she called, taking her eyes off the tray for the first time.

And she instantly wished her eyes hadn’t left the tray.

Her heart felt like it stopped beating.

The words stopped in her throat.

Then suddenly everything erupted, as she dropped the tray and screamed.

There was Max, in bed, with none other than Tess Harding. Liz continued to scream, making Max, Alex and Michael all sit bolt upright in their beds. Max looked from Liz and then down to Tess, who was just waking up. He looked at Liz, his eyes wide,

“ This is not how it looks,” Max said quickly, trying to get out of bed but realising he only had his boxers on, which made it look even worse. Liz screamed again, as she turned and ran out of the room. Michael stopped her,

“ Liz, Liz, what’s wrong?” he said, as Alex gasped from the other side of the room. Michael turned and focussed on Max’s bed, where he was desperately trying to pull on a pair of trousers, whilst Tess still lay in his bed, the covers pulled up to her baby blue eyes, which were brimming with tears. A red rage flew through Michael, as he loosened his grip on Liz and went over to Max’s bed, pulling him out of bed and throwing him onto the floor. Liz fled from the bedroom in tears, as Kyle and Isabel entered,

“ What the hell is going on?” Kyle asked, as he saw Michael standing above Max. Michael shouted at Max,

“ What did you think you were doing huh?” he asked him, pushing him on the chest, Max shook his head,

“ It wasn’t anything Michael, this looks so bad,” Max tried to reason, but Michael was too mad to hear any of it. Isabel and Kyle caught sight of Tess in Max’s bed and looked at each other. Michael didn’t wait for any more explanation, as he brought back his fist and slammed it into Max, as Isabel screamed,

“ Oh my god Michael get off him!” Isabel said, as she tried to help her brother up, Kyle ran to Michael, and aided by Alex managed to hold him back.

“ You bastard! How could you tell my sister you loved her, then go and sleep with that, that whore?!” Michael said, as Isabel looked at her brother,

“ You did what?!” Isabel looked at him incredulously, as Tess still lay in bed, the tears pouring from her eyes…

* * *

Liz rushed into her bedroom, knocking over the lamp on her desk as her hands shook as she tried to get out a pair of jeans from her chest of drawers. Maria awoke with a start, and looked at her, her eyes open wide. She could see the tears streaming down Liz’s face, and her hands shaking as she tried to pull on the legs of her jeans. Maria scrambled out of bed, and held her friend steady,

“ What’s wrong?” she asked her, as Liz fell into her arms. Maria rocked her back and forth, until Liz managed through her tears,

“ I, I, I… Tess, was… in bed, with…Max!” then Liz broke free of Maria’s grasp and pulled on a t-shirt and grabbed her bag. Maria stood still for a moment. Then in a matter of seconds, she was out the door and storming into Max’s room.

Maria saw Kyle and Alex restraining Michael from hitting Max, as he stood behind his sister. Maria looked around, until she caught sight of Tess, who was crying in bed. Maria marched over to her, clad in her Scooby PJ’s, and grabbed her short blonde curls. She pulled at them hard, forcing Tess onto the floor. The rest of them looked at Maria in shock, as Liz stood at the doorway.

“ Get up you whore!” Maria barked at her, as Tess lay limp on the floor. Maria kicked at her,

“ What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” she yelled, as Tess just cried on the floor. Liz felt her stomach heat up in anger, as she felt all the hatred run through her veins. Before she knew what she was doing, she had thrown herself across the room, and knocked Tess back onto the floor, screaming and tearing out her hair, as they rolled around, throwing punches at each other,

“ You bitch!” Liz screamed, as she punched Tess in the stomach. Michael lunged at Max again, punching him hard, as Alex and Kyle tried to intervene. Maria kicked at Tess, as Tess grabbed at Liz’s hair hard. Maria screamed at Tess, as she got up and threw her into the bed, as Liz and her both punched her hard, Tess screamed. Alex looked over his shoulder, and lunged towards the three, holding Maria back. Liz continued to punch Tess,

“ What the fuck did you think you were doing? First you cry rape now what?” Maria shouted at her, as Tess threw herself of the bed, knocking Liz flying. Michael let go of Max, and put himself in front of Liz, as Tess ran into him,

“ Do you dare touch her!” he barked, as she backed away. All of them now stood silent in the room. Max scrambled up into one corner, whilst Alex held Maria back, Liz stood behind Michael, and Isabel stood in front of her brother. Isabel looked around the room,

“ I think we should all just go back to our rooms,” Isabel said slowly, as everyone looked at her in surprise. Max wiped the blood away from his mouth.

“ Liz, I didn’t do anything with her,” he said, making his way to her, until Michael blocked him. Liz pushed in front of him, and stood eye to eye with Max,

“ I don’t care,” she spat, as she ran out of the room and down the stairs, followed closely by Kyle and Alex. Maria took one last look at Tess and spat at her. She turned to Max,

"You are disgusting," she said, as she walked out of the room, follwing closely after Liz.

Michael stood at full height in front of Max,

“ You stay away from my sister. I mean it, you ever go near her again, and I will kill you,” he threatened, as he too walked out after Liz. Max looked at his sister, who looked from him to Tess.

“ It just happened,” cried Tess from her heap on the floor. Isabel looked at her with disgust, and turned to Max,

“ What have you done Max?” she said quietly. Max shook his head,

“ I didn’t do anything Isabel. Tess came here to destroy my life,” he said, as his voice trailed off. Isabel looked at him sternly, as she turned to Tess. She was a pitiful mess on the floor. Isabel suddenly got a flash of herself, in the same horrible position, as she looked down at Tess.

“ Get up off the floor,” she barked at Tess, who didn’t move. Isabel picked her up by the arm and marched her to the door, as she snarled “ Pack your things, you’re leaving. Right now. I don’t care where you go; I don’t care what you do. Get out,” she finished, as Tess fled down the hallway. She turned to her brother.

“ Whatever you’ve done Max, you’ve changed everything,” she said, as he nodded pitifully. How had Tess managed to do this again? He shook his head,

“ Isabel, she’s been doing this to me all my life. She comes from back home, she’s infatuated with me,” Max said, trying to explain. Isabel wiped her hand across his face, and removed the blood from his lip. He looked at her, not quite understanding everything. She looked at him again, intensely, as if trying to analyse him.

“ You’re going to lose Liz over this, you know that don’t you?” she asked him, noticing the glare of pain in his eyes. Isabel gulped. This situation was all too real for her. How many times had she been used and abused? How many times had she had jealous wives trying to hurt her? She wouldn’t let her brother go through the same. Just because she’d suffered, didn’t mean he had to.

“ Do you love her?” Isabel asked, as Max reached for a shirt. He turned to her,

“ I don’t think I’m old enough to say what love…” he said as his voice trailed off. Isabel glared at him again,

“ Do you love her?” she repeated. Max nodded as he sat on the bed,

“ More than anything,” he said quietly. Isabel tossed him abetter shirt,

“ Then you have to fight for her. Go after her, now!” Isabel ordered, getting him off the bed. Max looked at her in alarm,

“ But what about Tess?” he asked, Isabel pushed him out of the doorway,

“ I’ll take care of her,” she replied, as Max gave her an odd look.

“ Why are you doing this Isabel? Why do you believe me?” he asked her sincerely. Isabel kissed him on the cheek.

“ I know what it’s like to lose someone you love because someone else doesn’t want you to be with them. And I believe you because you’re my brother,” she said, as she gave him a hug. Max smiled, as Isabel pushed him,

“ Go after her Max, and find her. She’ll believe you. I know she will,” Isabel said as he turned and bolted down the stairs. Isabel turned back to the bedroom.

She wouldn’t let this destroy her, Max or anyone else in the house. Max hadn’t slept with Tess; she’d know it just by looking at him. There was a unique bond they shared as brother and sister, and she wasn’t sure if Max could feel it just yet, but it allowed her to know exactly how he was feeling. And as she turned to close the door she knew that he was falling to pieces. And deep down, there was something more between him and Liz than just a teenage love affair.

* * *

Okay, it's really late over here, but I'm waiting to read the first reply. What did you think?


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 19-Mar-2002 6:49:49 PM ]
posted on 20-Mar-2002 8:18:50 AM by leaving_normal
Hey, thnaks for all the feedback!

I know there are a lot of unanswered questions, such as how comes Max didn't wake up when Tess climbed into his bed? Hmmm, well, going on my knowledge that guys are deep sleepers, and that episode in Season 1 where Max is sleeping like a baby, I just kinda used that and went along with it.

And everyone in the house is obviously not happy with Max or Tess. How is he going to be able to convince Liz? How is Michael ever going to let Liz go near Max again... ah, the highlights of Part 9! Mainly a Liz and Max part for all you dreamers *happy*

And I know Max should have told Isabel that Tess is an alien... similarly that Isabel should have told Max about Adam. But with all these emotions running high, I don't think now is the time to start saying, oh by the way, we're not the only aliens!

I'm really looking forward to writing Part 9, but unfortunatly real life is getting in the way. As anyone from England knows... A-Level exams start on the 20th May, and for little old me doing my AS exams in Theatre Studies, Business, Sociology and English Lit and Lang, it means time to do some serious revising, as well as fit in time for my 17th birthday in April (Yipee! Finally!) Feels like I've been sixteen forever!

Anyway, I'm rambling. I better jet off to my lesson, hmmm, the delights of acting out the Salam Witch Trials!

I'll try to update asap, but I gotta get this stupid comparitive Language Essay out of the way first! I hopt to have the first part of Part 9 up by Friday.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Jo.x

*angel*
posted on 21-Mar-2002 1:32:45 PM by leaving_normal
FrenchKiss70, you're comment about Max being 'on top' made me laugh so hard, you probably didn't mean it in the way I took it, but with my english teacher going on about sexual induendos all lesson, I just couldn't resist replying and telling you it made me laugh!

To everyone else who replied, thanks so much. I've started writing Part 9, and with some encouragement, I might have it out tonight! (That's thursday's tonight).

It's going to take me a long time, because a lot happens in Part 9... so guys, leave me some encouragement feedback and I'll see what I can do about having Part 9A out tonight *happy*

Thanks!

Jo.x
posted on 21-Mar-2002 6:06:47 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Okay, after several attempts tonight, I have decided I am hopeless with computers. All I want is a hyperlink in my signiture that reads 'Crash and Burn', not the whole long address. I've tried copy and pasting it from Front Page Express, but no nothing wants to work. If someone wants to B-mail/E-mail me telling me how to do it (I really want to know how, I don't want someone to just do it for me) I will write an extra part at their demand! Please! Someone help me!

Anyway, your new Part 9A. *The spelling mistakes of the little girl are intentional to add atmosphere to her language*

Part 9A

Liz sat on the comfortable sofa, Maria with her arms loosely around her as she rocked her back and forth. She stroked her friend’s long brown hair tenderly, as Michael stood jittery with Alex, who looked totally bewildered by everything. Liz tried to gulp back her tears, but inside her everything was shaking. She’d just walked in on Tess and Max in bed together. Did that mean that he had raped her? But if he’d raped her, why would she want to sleep with him? Her mind began to whirl again as she sobbed further into Maria’s shoulder. She hated crying, especially in front of people she didn’t know. But what she was feeling now was hard to contain.

Maria looked up at Alex, who was now watching Michael pace up and down, whilst Kyle walked in with a tray of various drinks. He placed it on the table and scratched the back of his head.

“ I didn’t know if anyone wanted anything,” he said quietly, as Maria gave him a helpful smile. Kyle raised his eyebrows and looked around the room.

Well, this is a fine mess, Kyle thought sarcastically, not daring enough to say anything out loud. Michael stamped in frustration,

“ I just want to kill him!” he shouted, throwing himself into an armchair. Liz looked up. At this point in time, an over-protective angry older brother isn’t what she needed.

“ I want to go outside,” she said firmly. She looked around from face to face, as their watchful eyes began to override her free will. This was driving her crazy. She couldn’t just sit here and cry. She had to get out. She had to get away from here. She looked at Michael meaningfully, his greeny-grey eyes showing his fury.

“ Don’t any of you trust me? God, what do you think I’m going to do?” Liz said, as she stared at Alex first, then at Kyle, before turning to her brother. Michael looked at her and gulped,

“ I knew he was going to hurt you Liz, I tried to warn you,” he said authoritatively. Liz immediately got up and stood in front of him,

“ Thanks Michael, you know exactly the right things to say to me don’t you?” she said sarcastically, before turning and proceeding out into the garden. Michael stood still and watched as she left, slamming the back door behind her. Kyle began to go after her, until Maria called him back.

“ Kyle, it’s not worth going after her. She needs to sort her head out,” she said softly, as Kyle continued to gaze out into the garden, where he saw Liz disappear down the garden path. He looked at Maria, a slight look of irritation on his face.

“ How long have I known her Maria? Longer than you, I think I know how Liz feels,” he said venomously, as Maria took a step back.

“ Excuse me? You had a summer fling with the girl two years a go and that makes you a better friend?” Maria said, feeling her temper run away with her, as Alex stepped in between the two.

“ Hey come on, this isn’t worth arguing over, Liz is the one-” Alex started to say, watching the intense glares fly from the two. Maria looked at Kyle,

“ What is it? Do you think you can get in her pants now Max has gone and slept with that bitch? Is that all you men think about?” Maria shouted, as Kyle protested,

“ Oh come on! I wanted to make sure she was alright, unlike you who wanted to leave her alone, that’s the worst thing to do!” he shouted, as Alex began to get worried as the two began to argue furiously. Seeing the two argue from the chair, Michael stood up.

“ Will you two put a sock in it? In case you hadn’t noticed, my sisters just had her heart broken okay? Can we focus here? I’m her brother, I know her best. And Liz needs time to sort her head out. It’s not like she’s far away,” Michael said, making Alex raise his eyebrows. Michael had never struck him as the rational type. Maria nodded,

“ That’s exactly what I said,” she agreed, as Kyle gave her a sharp look,

“ What has this got to do with you anyway?” he asked, as Maria turned to her, her eyes blazing again. Michael swallowed hard. He never liked Max. He knew there was something wrong with him the first time he’d laid eyes on him. It was like he had power over him or something. Something that Michael could just feel. But he couldn’t explain.

* * *

Liz carefully hoisted herself over the garden gate, and on landing over the other side, she broke out into a fast run. The morning was just breaking, and the air was fresh. The postman waved as he watched her sprint past, disappearing round the corner into a greenery of bushes and trees.

The tears were still streaming down her face, as she turned the corner and took the exit into the park, where she threw herself on one of the benches and threw her head into her shaking hands.

Trying desperately to catch her breath, she breathed heavily.

How could all of this become so messed up? Tess had only been in the house for two days, and already she had made Liz’s life a misery. Liz looked up, desperately trying to wipe away her tears. The park was almost empty, apart from a few enthusiastic joggers; there was hardly anyone around. Liz watched as a father walked past her on the pavement towards the duck pond. Holding a little girl’s hand with his free hand, and a baby boy balanced on his hip, the father looked at Liz momentarily, and paused in front of her. He looked her up and down.

“ Are you okay?” he asked quietly, as the little girl clung to his leg. Liz smiled at the girl’s short brown pigtails, and the chocolate around her face. She looked up at the man,

“ Yeah, yeah I’m okay,” she said quietly. The man smiled cautiously and nodded, beginning to walk away, the boy’s chubby hands grasping around his neck tightly. Liz watched as the little girl stood there, looking at her. Liz smiled slightly,

“ Don’t you think you better catch up with your daddy?” she told the little girl. The little girl shook her head, as Liz smiled a bit. The little girl was just like her when she was younger. Always ready to go off and explore. Liz bent down in front of the little girl, and the little girl pointed at Liz’s face,

“ You cry?” she asked quietly, as Liz looked at the ground. She nodded a little bit,

“ Yeah, I did,” Liz said quietly, noticing that the father had turned around and was watching them. The little girl looked at Liz again.

“ Why?” she asked, swinging her hips. Liz looked at the girl. She couldn’t have been older than three, and yet she was so inquisitive. Liz pulled her lips into a tight smile,

“ Because someone hurt me and made me cry,” she said, as the girl’s eyes opened wide. Liz smiled at her innocence,

“ Did you hurt dem first?” she asked. Liz couldn’t help but laugh a bit.

“ No, I didn’t. My friend told me a lie, and it hurt my feelings,” she said, suddenly starting to feel self conscious about revealing all her feelings to a little girl. The little girl shook her head,

“ Then break up. Dat’s wot my frend did, she pushed me over on da floor so we broke up,” the little girl said matter-of-factly. Liz smiled, if only things were that simple. If only she could say to Max ‘we’re over’, but of course it wasn’t that simple. First she had to deal with the fact that she had all these feelings inside for him, and secondly the fact that they lived in the same house. Looking at the little girl, Liz realised that the older you become, the bigger your problems become too. Liz looked up and saw the man waiting patiently for his daughter.

“ I think your daddy’s waiting for you,” she said, as the little girl turned her head to go see. She looked back to Liz.

“ What’s you name?” she asked, as her father came back towards the, Liz smiled.

“ Liz,” she said. The girl smiled,

“ Robin, honey, come on, we’ve got to feed the ducks,” her father said, hoisting her onto the other side of his hip. The man looked at Liz,

“ Are you sure you’re okay?” the man asked, as Liz got up and nodded politely. Robin shook her head in protest,

“ No Daddy, Lish said dat her friend told lies and it hurt her feelings,” Robin insisted, putting her thumb in her mouth. Liz’s eyes immediately dropped to the floor, and her cheeks flushed with colour. The father looked at his daughter with vague amusement, as he turned his attention back to Liz,

“ So uh, Liz, is it?” he said, balancing the two toddlers on his hips. Liz looked up at the man, noticing that the sunshine was now in full bloom, and that she must have looked a state. She nodded sheepishly,

“ Yeah,” she replied, as the father smiled. Robin bounced up and down on his hip impatiently, her brown bunches wobbling. She looked at Liz,

“ Can’t your daddy sort it out for you? My daddy sed dat if Sarah pushes me again he’ll talk to her mummy,” Robin said, as Liz felt the lump rise in her throat. He shook her head sadly,

“ My daddy passed away,” she said softly, as she watched the man’s expression changed. Robin’s face also saddened,

“ So he’s with my mummy, with the angels?” Robin asked, as the father gave Liz a pleading look. Liz nodded her head,

“ Yeah, in heaven with the angels,” she repeated, as the look on the father’s face changed to one of relief. He put the little girl down on the pavement again,

“ Come on Robin, honestly, I can’t take you anywhere without talking to people! Say goodbye to Liz,” he instructive, as Robin waved.

“ Bye Lish!” Liz laughed softly.

“ Bye Robin,” she replied, as the father looked at her.

“ I hope everything sorts itself out,” he said heartily. Liz smiled and nodded, silently thanking the man. She watched as they walked away, Robin holding his hand. Liz sat back down on the bench and brought her knees up to her chest. She wished she still had her dad here. Someone to make everything better again. Someone who would just whisk her away from all her problems with talks of the stars. Liz gulped, knowing that that wasn’t going to happen. That this time she was alone.

* * *

Max buried his hands deep in the pockets of his jacket. He stood behind a tree, watching her intently. He’d watched everything, Liz escaping out of the garden, crying on the bench, talking to the little girl. And the whole thing was tugging at his heart. How could he possibly explain any of this? Even if Isabel believed him, how could he possibly convince Liz? How could he convince her that Tess and him hadn’t done anything, that he hadn’t even realised that Tess was in his bed? And how was she meant to accept any of this?

An idea flickered through Max’s mind for a moment.

He could tell her.

He could tell her the truth.

If he explained that Tess thought they were meant to be together because of some alien heritage thing, maybe she’d understand.

Then Max felt like punching himself, but instead resorted on punching the tree. Hard.
Of course, come right out and tell her you’re an alien. Like that wouldn’t freak her out much.

Max sighed, wishing that he had some magic power that’d make all of this go away. He rested his elbow on the tree, and gazed across at her again. Sitting on the park bench, her knees pulled up to her chest and her hair blowing around in the light morning breeze, she looked the picture of innocence. Her Denim jacket, pink t-shirt and chords made her look younger than she actually was, and more vulnerable. Max couldn’t wait any longer. He had to tell her the truth, even if she didn’t want to listen, he had to try.

* * *

Liz stood off the bench and started to back away,

“ Get away from me,” she said in a low tone, backing away from him. Max gulped and extended his hand. Liz backed further away,

“ Don’t try and touch me,” she said in the same tone. Max looked at her, his eyes pleading,

“ Please Liz, what you saw in there, Tess is trying to break us apart,” he said, motioning back towards the house. Liz looked at him for a moment, trying her best to keep the tears to herself,

“ Well she’s done a good job. We’re history Max,” she said slowly, beginning to walk away from him. She walked with a quick pace, holding her head high.

Max stood and watched her, her brown hair swishing with her movements. She was walking away from him; the person who had turned his life around was walking away from him. And he couldn’t let it happen. Regaining the will to move, he started to chase after her, calling her name. She broke out into a swift run. Max chased after her,

“ Liz! All I want to do is talk!” he shouted, as Liz kept running. They past the duck pond, cutting across the park so they were running straight into town. Liz’s vision blurred, the tears starting to stream down her face again. Why couldn’t he just leave her alone?

* * *

A little girl looked up from the railings that contained the pond. She pulled on her father’s coat,

“ Daddy, why is dat boy chasing Lish?” she asked, as her father turned to see what was going on. With a rising panic, he put his son back in his buggy,

“ Robin, take care of Matt,” he instructed, as he ran to intercept Max.

* * *

Max ran short of breath, as he continued to run forwards,

“ Liz!” he called out, and watched in dismay as she exited the park and into the town. As if out of nowhere, a man came at him from the side, knocking him flying. Max looked up from the floor, astonished.

“ What are you doing?” he asked the man, still panting. The guy got off him, and looked at Max, still on the floor.

“ I’m a police officer young man, and that lady obviously didn’t want your attention, I suggest you go on home now,” the officer said, as Max got off the floor. His anger started to flare into the current conversation,

“ Do you realise I could do you for assault? How do you know she wasn’t my sister?” he said, throwing accusations at the man who had returned to his children. He watched as he picked up his little girl,

“ No brother would treat his sister like that. And besides, she obviously has no interest in you, I was protecting her,” the man reasoned, preparing to move his children away from the pond. Max stared at him. This guy had genuinely been looking out for Liz. Max swallowed his pride. He couldn’t protest about that, in fact, maybe keeping him away from Liz was the best thing for her. At the moment, he was ruining her life. The man turned to him,

“ Look son, I shouldn’t get involved in these things I know. But I’m taking it she is your girlfriend?” the man said, as Max began to walk alongside them. The man took the next exit out of the park, turning to Max and saying,

“ I always found chocolates said it so much better than physical assault. Go home and calm down, give her time to do the same,” he said, as he turned and left. Max stood alone in the park. Should he take the advice of a complete stranger? Or should he follow his heart.

His heart gave a little tug, as he gazed towards the exit that led to the town, which was slowly coming to life. Liz was out there. Upset, and all alone.

He had to follow his heart.

* * *

Amy came into the living room to find Alex, Kyle, Maria, Isabel and Michael all sitting around in complete silence. She looked around the room. Everyone seemed to be in deep thought. Raising an eyebrow she asked,

“ Did you break something?” The idea to her seemed almost comic, but apparently the rest of them didn’t find it funny in the slightest. Alex looked up at her,

“ Oh, hi Mrs Valenti,” he said, unenthusiastically. Amy looked around the room, her forehead beginning to crease in concern.

“ Is this about me grounding you because of the party? Are you all giving me the silent treatment?” she asked, as Jim joined her in the room, putting an arm tenderly around her waist whilst finishing his cup of coffee. Amy looked at him.

“ Are you guys ignoring us?” he asked, looking at his son. Kyle shook his head,

“ Max and Liz had a bit of an argument, that’s all,” he said, dismissing it lightly. Amy still looked confused.

“ What has Max and Liz arguing got to do with you guys all perched round the TV looking miserable?” she asked, as Maria tilted her head back off the sofa.

“ They’re seeing each other Mrs Valenti, and Michael over here never liked it so he’s decided he’s always right, and the same goes for Kyle, and Alex over there just doesn’t know what to do,” she said, looking at Alex balancing on the arm of the chair Isabel was sitting on. Amy looked at Maria,

“ They’re seeing each other?” she asked. Michael’s ears perked up at the slight tone of worry that was evident in Amy’s voice.

“ Why, would that be a problem?” he asked suspiciously. He took a quick look at Maria, then at Isabel and Alex. He hoped it wasn’t a problem. Amy shook her head unsurely,

“ Uh well, no, I just didn’t really consider it happening so fast,” she lied, as Isabel watched her intently. Why was Amy lying? What did she have to hide? Michael got off the sofa and tramped upstairs, as Isabel stood up,

“ I’ll go after him, he’s freaked and all, you know, bout Max and his sister being an item so I better go talk to him,” Isabel said, as she quickly bolted up the stairs too. Maria looked at Alex, who gave her a little shrug. Jim looked around the room.
“ So, is Tess settling into her room?” he asked, as he watched every set of teenage eyes roll in disgust.

This is not a good sign he thought to himself, finishing off the remains of his coffee.

* * *

Michael stormed up and down in his bedroom, until Isabel entered.

“ What’s up with you? It’s not like the world ended or anything, it’s a lovers tiff,” Isabel said, closing the door behind her. She hadn’t known why she had wanted to follow Michael, but there was something strangely intriguing about him. She hadn’t really paid any attention to him before, but now it was hard not to. There was an energy radiating off him, an energy that was visible to Isabel in the form of a red aura. Normally she could see the faint outline of a coloured aura around a person if she tuned into their wavelength, but this aura was strong and bright. She wanted to know the reason for that.

Michael spun around in annoyance,

“ Don’t you get it? Liz’s world has just ended. She put everything on Max, and for him to go and betray her like this, it’s going to send her back to where she was before!” Michael shouted, as Isabel looked at him. She studied his face. He had lines on his face that should have only come with age, and it was clear that Michael had seen far too many things for a seventeen year old. But then again, Isabel was hardly a stranger to pain. She looked at Michael curiously.

“ What do you mean, where she was before?” she asked suspiciously. Michael still paced up and down.

“ She’s not good at handling pain, she watched her father die for Gods sake! We had each other, and only each other, and that was enough! But then your stupid brother had to come into the picture and ruin everything!” he shouted again, as Isabel began to flare up in defence of her brother.

“ I don’t think he was the one making all the moves Michael, and he didn’t do anything with Tess, that stupid little bitch set him up!” Isabel screamed, as Michael looked at her incredulously. What did she mean, Tess had set him up? And did he believe her anyway?

“ And I suppose he told you that, because little old saint Max can’t do anything wrong!” he shouted, getting more and more angry. Michael watched as all the colours began to swirl in front of him again. He shook his head violently, but Isabel was too furious to notice.

“ Your sister’s no saint either! And are you calling me a liar?!” she shouted at him. She turned to face him directly again, and noticed his eyes were shut and he had his hands on his head. She looked at him,

“ Michael?” she voiced loudly, but before she could get an answer, she was covering her head and jumping onto Alex bed, after hearing the shattering of the full-length mirror that was beside her. Michael spun around,

“ Are you okay Isabel?” Michael said, treading over the mirror pieces and helping her off the bed. Isabel looked at him.

“ What happened to the mirror?” she asked, almost accusingly. Michael gulped. That was the second mirror in as many days to break. He could sense a theme running here.

Isabel looked at him.

Was it possible that that mirror didn’t break on its own?

* * *

Max ran into the town, dodging people in their cars on their way to work, and peering into shop windows where he could to try and get a glimpse of Liz. The panic was rising inside of him. He had the feeling that the longer he left it to talk to her, the harder it would be to convince her that nothing had happened, that Tess had staged the whole thing. Desperately looking in the pet shop window, he rejected it and moved onto the next shop. Looking for Liz in this place was like looking for a needle in a haystack. But he couldn’t give up. This was one needle that was worth finding. And no matter how far he had to look, he was going to find it.

Besides, Roswell isn’t exactly a huge town. She couldn’t be that far away.

* * *

Liz stopped at the drinks cabinet of the seven-eleven store. The old man sitting on a chair looked at her suggestively, which made Liz feel even sicker than she already was. Her stomach churned. She hadn’t honestly expected Max to come after her so quickly; you would have thought that he’d have the decency to leave her alone. Not that she was even sure what she was doing alone. She had whatever money she had left in her jeans from yesterday, and was pretty sure she didn’t smell too nice, not having the time to put on any deodorant. A man and a woman, who appeared to be tourists judging from their ‘I’ve been abducted’ t-shirts, were shopping in the store also, fussing over the numerous postcards that could be sent to someone called ‘Aunty Joanne’.

The store was only small, one of the smallest in Roswell in fact; with a tobacco stand in one corner, refrigerators with various articles of randomly placed food at the back, as well as the cash register. Liz scrunched up her eyebrows in vague confusion as to why anyone would want to place the cash register at the back of the store instead of the front, but as she thought back to her previous thoughts, that this was one of the smallest shops in Roswell, she seemed to arrive at the fact that maybe they didn’t get that many customers, and they certainly didn’t need to defined their shop against anything, they had nothing to steal. Liz searched the back of the refrigerator for a bottle of Coke, or even a bottle of water.

She turned around when she heard the bell ring signifying that someone had entered the store, and tried to look past the postcard stands and see who it was. A young man came into view, as Liz bit her lip.

Great, the smallest store in Roswell, New Mexico and Max Evans just has to walk in, she thought desperately.

Sure, the fact that he was looking for her probably accounted in the probability of him finding her, but now wasn’t the time to be rational. She went back to looking for a drink, and settled on a bottle of what looked like orange juice, but before she could move to pay for it, Max was standing next to her.

“ All I want to do is talk,” he said quietly, trying not to provoke attention. She swallowed the urge to turn around and punch him, feeling the anger rise up inside her. She couldn’t look at him. She kept facing the cabinet,

“ Then you should have said that to Tess last night instead of jumping into bed with her,” Liz replied sarcastically, the anger fighting through in her words. Max’s stomach churned at the thought of doing anything with Tess, let alone sleeping with her. Max resisted the urge to get angry, knowing it wouldn’t solve anything.

“ Liz, you have to believe me,” he said, until she spun around and looked him straight in the eye. It was that which made him feel two inches tall. Seeing the hurt and pain that she could not shield in her eyes, even though she tried desperately to hide from him how much he had hurt her. It made him feel disgusted with himself. He’d hurt her so badly. And he hadn’t even done anything wrong. She looked at him for a minute, just staring him.

“ Why do I have to believe you Max?” she asked him in a heated whisper, wishing not to provoke any more attention from the storekeeper than she was already getting. Max swallowed hard again. Why should she believe him? There was only one thing to say,

“ Because I’m telling you the truth,” he whispered, looking into her deep chocolate brown eyes. She seemed to melt for a second, looking for any truth in his words. His dark brown fringe fell over his eyes, and his jaw line stood firm and strong. His hands were by his side, but it was in his gaze that he was pleading silently to believe him. To trust him again, against everything she had seen.

She was standing so close to him, unable to move back unless she wanted to fall right back into the freezer, which is not something she was prepared to do. She took a deep breath, trying not to become drawn into any false sense of security he was creating around her. She opened her mouth, determined to stay strong.

“ You slept with her Max, how do I just forgive you for something like that? How can you even think to ask for forgiveness?”

Max gulped. She still didn’t believe him. Not that he was surprised, if he had walked in on what Liz saw he would have probably reacted the same way. His jaw throbbed from Michael’s punches earlier. He looked at her, grabbing her arm,

“ I didn’t sleep with her,” he said forcefully. The tourists began to look around, whispering something inaudible to Max. He looked back at Liz, who was staring at the tight grip Max had of her arm. She looked up at him, fear replacing the disgust that was formally in her eyes. Max gulped and looked at her, pleadingly.

“ Liz, you have to believe me,” he said as he removed his hand. She looked at him, the disgust returning to her expression.

“ I don’t have to do anything,” she said, walking up to the counter and placing her bottle of orange juice on it. Max stood behind her, trying desperately to think of some way to convince her. Someway he could prove it to her.

The bell on the door rang again, and Max heard heavy thuds coming up behind him. Liz handed the man the money for her drink, and waited for her change.

The colour on the mans face drained, as Liz looked at him, panic rising.

But before anyone could say anything, a rough, raspy voice was heard from behind them.

“ Get down on the floor!” the voice growled.

The bottom of Max and Liz stomachs sank, as they dropped to the floor in terror.

A cold, draining fear that Liz had only experienced at one other time in her life spread throughout her entire body as she gazed up at the man.

The balaclava clad, well-built man was towering above them.

Roughly pushing Max and Liz aside, but keeping them where he could see them, he turned to the man behind the cash register.

He brought something out of his pocket.

Liz instinctively reached for Max’s hand.

He wasn’t her biggest problem anymore. As the man waved a gun around, Liz’s whole body began to shake.

Getting out of this tiny little shop alive was their biggest problem.

* * *

posted on 24-Mar-2002 12:07:34 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone!

OMG, what a weekend! I'm on half term over here *happy* which means no college for two weeks... which (hopefully) means lots of updates, starting today!

I haven't started it yet, but I'll post either today or tomorrow with the new part... cos I have to tidy my room first *wink* I went out to this party last night... it was mad, I'm knackered and my feet are killing me after having 4 hours sleep and doing a 6 hour day at work... Roswell is calling me!

I'll post soon *angel*
posted on 25-Mar-2002 5:23:47 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Okay, I have had a really busy couple of days, so I haven't had the chance till now to sit down and write. I've written a little bit, which I'm going to post now, and I'm working on another little bit for tonight with max and Liz in it, but after that I'm sorry guys, I'm going away over night so there wont be an update tuesday or wednesday! I'm really sorry, but I'm trying my best to at least give you two new parts for tonight!

Part 9B

“ Something isn’t right,” Michael said as he bent down next to Isabel. She watched as he carefully picked up pieces of the broken mirror. His brick red aura was still bright, and his face twisted into an unreadable expression. Isabel wondered why she hadn’t noticed the energy that was so clearly radiating off him until now. Isabel put the broken fragments into a bin, and sat and stared at Michael. He picked up the remaining pieces, and put them in the bin also. She looked up at him,

“ What do you mean something isn’t right?” she asked him inquisitively. He raised his fingers to his eyebrows and scratched it in that annoying manner she’d picked up on. It meant he was thinking, and by the cloud of uncertainty that was passing over his eyes she knew that it was something important. He looked at her, still not being able to sit still.

“ Shit I dunno. Maybe it’s this Liz and Max thing,” he said, running his hands through his hair and turning to look at her. She obviously wasn’t as upset about this as he was. Then again, she had been an ice queen from the start. She looked at him again, as Michael began to get increasingly annoyed at not being able to read her expressions.

“ It’s not that is it? It’s to do with the mirror breaking,” she said boldly, as Michael gave her an odd look. Why was she concentrating on the mirror breaking? It had been an accident; he had nothing to do with it.

“ What are you talking about? It fell off the wall okay,” Michael said, beginning to get paranoid again. She watched him carefully. She’d always been curious about things she didn’t understand, heck, that’s why she’d ended up in New York. But ever since Adam had connected with her, she’d started to get curious again. At the time she’d been terrified, he opened the door to a completely different life to her. A life on an alien world, an alien planet, a planet that was completely alien to her.

Isabel had never been a ‘sticker’. She never had a real home, she never settled down. She was a ‘mover’. Someone who couldn’t stand being in the same place, with the same people. She had a mind of her own and loved the places that it took her. Sure, it had landed her into a few sticky situations, but that was the fun of living.

But when she’d come to the Valenti Residence, everything had changed. Here she was, Isabel Evans, almost (dare she think it?) popular! She had a great boyfriend, who trusted her even after seeing another boy kiss her, and finally had her brother back, and was starting a new relationship with him. She had a life here, and she didn’t want it to change.

But she couldn’t stop thinking about her connection with Adam. She had known the people from her vision. She had recognised the names, Farron, Krauss and even Zan and Vilandra. It was like being reminded of a dream, where she wasn’t quite sure if it were real or not.

And as she looked at Michael, who was standing expectantly in front of her, she couldn’t help feeling that he was part of the puzzle. And suddenly she was curious again.

“ But it shattered before it hit the ground,” Isabel pointed out, looking at the frame where the mirror had stood. Michael shook his head,

“ Oh just shut up okay. Shit I’m starting to think the shrink was right, maybe I am crazy. Dreaming of a red sky and green clouds, mirrors falling off the wall, it’s like something out of the twilight zone,” Michael said as he turned to the mirror. Isabel’s eyes flew wide open, and her mouth hit the floor,

“ What, what did you say?” she stuttered, her voice quavering. Michel turned and looked at her, his hands behind his head.

“ About the shrinks? They sent Liz and me to them after-” he began until Isabel cut him off.

“ No not the shrink part, the bit about a red sky and green clouds,” Isabel said as she got up and stood next to him. Michael gave her a strange look,

“ Why, what’s it to you?” he asked suspiciously. The thought about trusting him didn’t even cross Isabel’s mind as she lurched into a story, for she knew that any guy that obviously cared so much about his sister wouldn’t possibly hurt her if she told him the truth.

“ You said you dreamt of a red sky with green clouds. I know that dream Michael,” she said slowly as his mouth dropped open. He looked at her for a while; trying to figure out if she was for real.

“ Are you shitting me?” he asked with a dead serious expression on his face. Isabel shook her head, her hands beginning to shake. Was it possible that Michael was… could she even think about the possibility of him being…???

“ Max has too, he has them more regularly than me. There was this time, when Max was little, he dreamt of a little room, kinda like a chamber, and in it there were pods, like incubation things. He said there was a weird glowing light coming from inside,” she finished in a hurry, as the colour drained from Michael’s face. Isabel looked at him, her eyes darting over his face, trying in vain to read his expression. Michael looked at her,

“ I’ve had that dream,” he said coldly. Isabel’s heart began to pound, as the blood surged through her veins.

That wasn’t your run of the mill dream. And the dreams, the mirror breaking, it all added up to one conclusion. A conclusion Isabel wasn’t sure Michael was ready to hear.

* * *
posted on 25-Mar-2002 6:24:14 PM by leaving_normal
Okay, the other part for tonight *happy*

Part 9C

The blood pulsed through Max’s veins, as his heart beat faster and faster. The waves of fear began to crash throughout his body, causing him to shake uncontrollably. The balaclava clad man stood inches away from he and Liz, who were pushed up against a row of food cans, the shelves digging into their backs. The man stood tall and strong, his muscles gleaming through his black polo neck.

His gun glistened under the light of the dusty lamp situated above the cash desk. The metallic texture gleamed, and Liz’s brown eyes reflected it in all its terror. The man held the gun steady, pointing at the middle-aged shop keeper. The shopkeeper held his hands up, the panic within him evoking visible beads of sweat to fall from his forehead.

“ I want all the money in the register,” the man’s rough voice barked, as the keeper’s hands shook, taking them slowly down towards the till. The man leant forward and pressed the gun against the keeper’s head,

“ And I want it done fast!” he barked again, the hatred in his voice of which could not be missed. Liz felt fear sweep throughout her entire body, as she grasped onto Max’s hand, entwining her fingers desperately with his. Max momentarily turned and looked at her. She looked like she was going to be sick, and yet her eyes would not move past the sight of the robber holding the gun against the keeper’s head, fearing if she were to look away, he may just turn on her.

Max gaze was immediately brought back to the horrifying scuffle, as the keeper began to turn hysterical.

“ God! Keep that thing away from me! I got kids! You can have the money, take it!” he shouted hysterically, shoving notes into a bag. Liz’s face drained of all colour entirely, as the bell to the front of the shop dinged, and the two tourists escaped into the outside world, screaming for help. The robber turned too, and on seeing the two escape he cursed loudly, but seemed intent on completing his mission. His voice began to flounder, and his hands began to shake. His temper rose, as he waved the gun around menacingly.

Max watched as the robber panicked, his fingers loading the gun.

“ How much have I got in there?!” he shouted in panic. The keeper shook his head,

“ I don’t know, $200 perhaps,” he said, his voice shaking. His greasy grey hair shone in the light, as more sweat poured off his head. The gunman brought the gun to the man’s head again.

“ Two hundred bucks! That ain’t nothing! Where’s the rest?!” he shouted hysterically, as Max’s head turned to see the two tourists outside, talking to another person. Max prayed silently for any help to arrive soon and grasped Liz’s hand tighter, feeling her whole body shake.

The keeper broke down and cried, screaming in panic,

“ I have nothing else! It was all delivered at the bank this morning!” he wailed, as the robber turned to the shop window and went to escape. Max quickly pushed Liz to the back of the shop, trying to escape harms way. They landed up against the refrigerator, and watched as the man turned around again, and marched back to the keeper, who was on the floor in front of the cash desk, crying uncontrollably.

“ Shut the shutters!” the robber barked, hoisting the man off the floor and heading him towards the window. Two men from the outside began to run towards them, as the keeper screamed,

“ Help us! He’s got a gun! He’s robbing us!”

The men outside were inches from reaching the shop. Inches away from saving them. Inches away from a rescue.

The robber threw the shopkeeper against a display, and slid the key he was holding into a slot above the closed door, and the shutters began to lower on the outside of the door.

They fell lower.

And lower.

Until the heart metal clamp of the outside shutters hitting the ground demolished Liz’s hope of survival in one firm sound.

The robber spun around, aiming his gin at the shopkeeper.

“ What you tryin to do? You tryin to get me caught? Huh!?” the robber shouted, as the man still lay helpless on the floor. The robber looked down at him,

“ Well if they’re going to catch me, I ain’t letting no one live to tell the story!” he barked, as he lifted the gun to the man, and let his finger slide along the trigger.

Liz heart skipped a beat.

The hysterical cries of the man echoed throughout the shop, as he begged, pleaded and cried for his children. The man stood in front of him, his eyes menacing. Liz and Max watched as the man’s fingers pulled the trigger.

A sharp sound erupted, as the bullet was released from the gun. The noise echoed throughout the room, making Liz scream in sickening agony.

And suddenly the room went quite again.

Liz buried her head in Max’s shoulder, as he felt the urge to throw up himself. Max watched as the shopkeeper’s eyes rolled to the back of his head, and the trail of blood started to form in a crimson pool around him.

Max’s mind reeled fast, as the sickness in his stomach began to waver in his throat, with the nauseating realisation that he could save him.

Max had known from a young age he had the power to heal. He’d healed little things, like animal’s cuts and scrapes. Isabel had the ability too, although Isabel’s wasn’t quite as strong as Max’s. Max had the ability to breathe life. The only way he could explain it was that he nudged the molecules back together, as well as feeding his own energy into the creature, willing it to live.

A mental image of the shopkeeper with his family haunted Max. He was denying this man a life, denying his children the right of a father, something that Max had wanted himself all of his life.

Instead the shopkeeper would die alone, on the floor. With none of his love ones around him. Never seeing his children grow up, get married. Never see his grandchildren. Never experience all the things he’d missed out on.

Max’s eyes drifted over the ashy face of the shopkeeper, whose eyes had rolled so far back in his head only the white was visible.

It was too late now, Max realised. He had contemplated for too long, and now he couldn’t save him.

But as Liz cried into his shoulder, he felt everything run through him at once.

He’d just let a man die. He’d watched it happen, and even with the power to stop it he hadn’t. He’d let him die. Because he was afraid at what would happen if people found out he was different. He was afraid to admit he was different. He was afraid for Liz to know he was different. But the guilt that was washing over him right now made him feel physically sick and disgusted with himself.

Breaking Max out of his thoughts, the robber looked up at the two, catching sight of Max’s eyes. Max gulped, as the man approached them.

“ Get up!” he barked. The vague sounds of police sirens began to loom through the area, as Max hoisted himself and Liz to their feet, forcing Liz to stand behind him.

Max tried to push past his feelings of guilt and fear, as the man stood eye to eye with him, his gun pointed at Max. Max could see down the shiny barrel, and the man said quietly,

“ It’s just you and me kiddies. I don’t want you to move, I don’t want you to talk, and I don’t want you to do anything. Because if you do, I’ll kill you,” he said sinisterly, reaching behind Max for Liz’s arm. Max stood in front of the guy.

“ Don’t hurt her,” he warned, standing in front of her still.

Liz desperately let her eyes wonder around the room, wishing for an exit. But the shutters were designed to keep everyone out, but in their case, keep everyone inside. Her stomach began to churn again, as she cowered behind Max, wishing for her own bed, for safety, for anything or anyone to save her. She was helpless, totally helpless.

“ Don’t tell me what to do!” the man shouted, bringing the gun to Max’s head. Liz screamed and stood out from behind Max, presenting herself. The man looked at her and nodded,

“ Wise decision sweetie. Now sit over there!” he barked, motioning to the cash desk. Liz looked pleadingly at Max, who’s eyes were shimmering with fear as the guy still held the gun between Max’s eyes, pressing hard. Max squirmed, as Liz moved quietly and silently over to the cash desk, leaning on it for support.

The guy thrust Max backwards, as he landed with a thud against the refrigerator. He looked at the two.

“ We’re in for a long ride kiddies. And remember what happened when our friend here shouted for help?” he said, motioning towards the body of the shop keeper, “ it’ll happen to you two too. I’ll pump you full of lead so fast you won’t know what happened!” he threw vilely, pushing loaves of bread off a display and taking a seat on the shelf. He looked from one kid to the other, as the police sirens erupted into louder and louder bursts.

Max looked over at Liz, his breathing coming in heavy pants. He’d just had a gun to his head, and who knows what the guy would do next? But Liz was so tiny and helpless. He wanted to rush over and help her; better yet he wanted to rescue her. He wanted to rescue them both.

But he didn’t know anything about his powers to help him in this situation.

And he didn’t know if he could even risk using them, without the police asking questions when they reached the outside.

If they ever reached the outside.

posted on 31-Mar-2002 5:25:26 AM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone!

I know, I've been really bad this week with updates! Real life has its callings, and it's just been one thing after the other! But I have started work on the next installment, so it should be up soon, if not today, then tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who leaves feedback, thats what keeps me going! I'm really sorry I haven't updated!

Check back later and there should be an update,

*angel*
posted on 31-Mar-2002 6:53:01 AM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Well, here's the update for today *happy* I won't give anything away, but this is where it all begins... Oh and by the way, happy easter!

Part 9D

“ Okay, this is going to sound like a really dumb question, but where are Max and Liz?” Alex asked tentatively, stretching his legs out after sitting on the sofa for the past hour. Maria looked over at Alex, resting her magazine on the table, as Kyle shot her another evil look. Maria shot a look straight back at him, reassuring him that she had no intention of giving up. He’d been an ignorant pig earlier, well, in Maria’s view anyway. It was totally obvious to her that Kyle still had a thing for Liz, and was totally trying to use this to his own advantage. And Maria, being the good friend she was, was not going to let him take advantage of the situation. Maria turned her attention back to Alex again, who was looking out of the front windows, peering out onto the driveway. She cleared her throat,

“ Liz is still in the garden, and god knows where that creep is,” Maria said, getting off the sofa to join Alex. Kyle got up from his own chair and stormed into the kitchen, the heavy slams of the oak cupboard doors, and the rubber suction pads of the fridge detaching themselves as Kyle opened the refrigerator.

Alex merged his eyebrows, and peered out of the window in vain. He was as worried about Liz as the rest of them; he knew how vulnerable she was. You didn’t live in the same house as someone and not notice how their feeling, what upsets them, what makes them laugh or smile. That’s why it was so hard figuring out Max. At first he had been moody and distant, almost violent at times, but since he’d started opening up to Liz, he’d changed. He’d started smiling, laughing even; the way Alex thought of it he was remembering that he was still a teenager and not some middle aged old man. But then to go and sleep with Tess? Alex just couldn’t understand it, especially seeing as he was so smitten with Liz.

Another thought crossed Alex’s mind. How had Tess and Max managed to do ‘it’ without Michael and Alex waking up? Alex wasn’t experienced in these matters; in fact, he was totally inexperienced (and that was putting it lightly). But he was sure that if two people were having sex in the bed next to him, he would have heard it. And apart from that, why did they choose to do it in Max’s room, where Liz’s own brother would be asleep and they were almost certain to get caught? Come to think of it, Max even had his own jeep, so they could have even done it in there if they were really desperate.

Alex took a closer look out of the window, merging his eyebrows again.

“ Hey Maria, doesn’t Max have a jeep?” Alex said, as Maria joined him in his stare. Isabel and Michael came plodding down the stairs, Michael seeming vaguely annoyed, whilst Isabel seeming shocked. Isabel looked over at Alex,

“ Yeah, Max has an army kind of jeep,” she said, as Michael went his separate way, not stopping to talk to anyone. Maria watched, a slight annoying tug pulling at her heart as he walked into the kitchen without saying a word to her. Maria gathered up her hair into a tall ponytail, as she often did when she was annoyed,

“ Alex, what has Max’s jeep got to do with anything?” she asked, as Isabel rolled her eyes. For all that she liked Maria, she definitely gave blondes a bad name at times. Alex looked at Isabel, as she explained lightly that,

“ Max probably took the jeep to go and look for Liz,” she said lightly, as Maria rolled her eyes.

“ He doesn’t exactly need his jeep to go into the garden,” Maria said, stating the obvious. Kyle walked into the room, a confused look on his face,

“ Is Liz upstairs?” he asked Isabel as she shook her head. Michael walked in after Kyle, so that the five of them stood all in the same room. Michael rested on the doorframe, whilst Isabel sat on the stairs, Kyle in the middle of the room and Maria and Alex still standing by the window. Michael creased his forehead in concern,

“ Is she missing?” he asked, feeling the panic rise inside his stomach. She couldn’t be missing, could she? Liz knew better than to wonder off alone. But then again, she wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind to be thinking at all. Elevating Michael’s fury higher, Michael watched as Tess descended the stairs, now dressed in a pair of dark denim jeans and a green halter neck. Alex raised his eyebrows, noticing the glare of hatred flaring between Michael and Tess. He coughed, before trying to usher Isabel, Kyle and Maria out of the room. Kyle was easy to move, as he was more than intent of finding Liz, and Isabel followed him, worrying more about her brother than about the slut who ‘claimed’ to have slept with him. Isabel made a mental note to attack Tess later, but for now, she knew it was Michael’s turn. She would have to wait.

Maria however, proved harder to move.

“ Oh so I see the little slut is dressed now? Maybe you should learn to keep your clothes on,” Maria said sarcastically, as Michael refused to stop glaring at Tess, who was now stood at the bottom of the stairs. Kyle, Isabel and Alex left the room, not wanting to actually witness any bloodshed this early in the morning.

Tess gave Maria a sharp look, her blue eyes piercing,

“ I’d watch it, maybe I’ll start on your boyfriend next,” she said, eyeing Michael up and down. Maria’s temper flew with fury, as she lunged herself at Tess, only to be caught in Michael’s arms.

“ You won’t come anywhere near me. Or my sister. If she’s missing, and anything happens to her, I will kill you,” Michael said venomously. Maria watched as a shudder of momentary fear flew across Tess’ face, until her stony glare prevailed. Maria squirmed again, wanting to tear out Tess’ hair until she was bald. But Michael’s strong arms kept her in place.

“ I don’t care what happens to your sister, as long as she knows Max is all mine,” she said, as Michael felt his temper flip as he walked over and grabbed her by the neck, hoisting her against a wall.

“ Don’t you ever, ever say anything about my sister! I don’t care who the fuck you are, but you have nothing to do with me, or anyone else in this house!” he barked at her, as Tess’ feet dangled in the air.

Tess desperately scratched at his strong hands, trying to release his grip. Maria looked dumbfounded at Michael. This wasn’t like him, he was being really violent. Tess further provoked him by laughing at him,

“ Aw poor Liz, needs her brother to stick up for her huh? Couldn’t even hold on to her boyfriend?” she teased, as Michael felt his temper completely snap as he brought back a fist. A sharp shout was heard at the other side of the room,

“ Michael!” Jim shouted, rushing up and pulling Michael away from Tess. Michael landed with a thud on the floor, as Tess turned on the tears.

“ Oh Mr. Valenti, I didn’t want any trouble, it’s not my fault,” she wailed as Maria felt her own temper stretching its limits. Did this girl have no shame? Jim held Michael by the arm,

“ I think we need a talk in the kitchen,” he said sternly, as Michael followed unwillingly without choice. Tess stared at Maria from across the room,

“ See? You’re all just children. I’ll do whatever I want, and have whoever I want, and nothing or nobody is going to stop me,” she said lightly, smiling to herself. Maria looked at her. Unable to stand it any longer, Maria threw herself at Tess, catching her by surprise. Wrestling her to the floor, Maria began to tug hard on her blonde hair, as Tess screeched,

“ Get off me!” she screamed, as she threw Maria off her. Maria got up again, and tackled Tess to the floor, slapping her around the face,

“ You think you can do what the hell you want?” she said, slapping her again until her hands were raw,

“ Well you can’t! Not if it means hurting my friends!” Maria finished, slapping her again despite the throbbing in her own hands. Maria didn’t even notice a shouting coming from the other side of the room, until Jim picked up Maria and stood her on the other side of the room, in Alex’s grasp. Jim looked at the kids,

“ Right, I want you all to tell me what the hell is going on here!”

* * *

Liz huddled herself into a tight ball on the cold surface of the counter of the seven-eleven. She watched as the robber, who she now considered a murderer, opened another loaf of bread and began to wade his way through it, making Liz feel sick just at the sight of it. They’d been locked in here, with this, this murderer for over an hour now. And Liz was beginning to give up hope. Was this really how it was meant to be? Was she really going to die here?

She looked over at Max, who had his knees brought up to his chest and was resting his head on his knees, hiding his face from the disaster. Suddenly him sleeping with Tess wasn’t so important to her anymore. So what if he had? In the long run, Liz would get over him, and she always had her brother, who’d never leave her. Liz didn’t need Max, he was just some guy who she was fooling around with, and it didn’t really matter.

Max looked up, and the minute he caught his caring stare on Liz’s frightened gaze, she felt all of that disappear again. She was angry with him, angry with him for breaking her heart, for sleeping with Tess, for making out like she was special to him. But catching a glimpse of the murderer again, she knew that she couldn’t be angry with him, not now. She needed to trust him if they were ever going to get out of here alive, however difficult that was going to be.

She cleared her throat,

“ How long are you planning to hide out in here?” she asked the murderer bravely. Max looked up at her, an alarmed expression painting his face, as the murderer looked up in surprise.

“ Why missy, what is it I told you about talking? Don’t do it, otherwise I’ll have to kill you,” he said in the same monotone he had used before. Liz bit her bottom lip, as she heard the call of the police sirens outside,

“ We’ve got the place surrounded!”

The robber didn’t seem so fazed, although Max coughed too, gulping back his fear,

“ Shouldn’t you give yourself up?” he asked quietly, standing up slowly. The guy stood up also, aiming his gun at Max. Liz felt her skin crawl, and goose bumps prickle up and down her spine. Max was going to get himself killed! But Max continued, walking over towards Liz,

“ They might go easy on you,” Max lied, as the guy followed his path with his gun. Max stood in front of Liz, protecting her from the hungry gaze of the firearm. The robber laughed at him,

“ What you doing? Trying to protect your little girlfriend here?” the guy laughed, as Liz felt the urge to correct him,

“ He’s not my boyfriend,” she spat, as she saw Max tense in front of her. She knew it had been the wrong thing to say, but she couldn’t help it. Being considered Max’s girlfriend was the last thing she wanted right now, no matter what kind of situation they were in. But despite all of that, maybe, just maybe it’d keep the guy talking long enough to give the police time to get inside and rescue them.

“ Oh is that right? I think you got yourself a wild one here sonny. What is it missy, guy not good enough for you?” he said, coming closer to Max. Max tried not to let his fear show, but he could feel the beads of perspiration trickling down his forehead.

“ I don’t think this is the right time to talk about this,” Liz said rationally, suddenly realising she didn’t want this guy to know anything about her. The guy violently pushed Max aside, and stared at Liz. He studied her for a minute, still not removing his balaclava. Liz thought that perhaps that was the worst thing about this whole ordeal. The only part of the man that was visible was his eyes. The same part of her fathers murderer that she had seen. Liz gulped, as the man through her off the counter,

“ I think we should, to pass the time, unless you want to pass the time with me a little easier,” the man said, looking at Liz suggestively. Liz felt her stomach turn, as she backed away from the man. This was getting worse; Liz didn’t know how much longer she could go without screaming for help. Max stood up from the other side of the building,

“ Hey!” he shouted, diverting the robber’s attention over towards him. Suddenly the shutters began to rattle, as another call from the police came,

“ We’re coming in!” a police officer shouted, making the hope in Liz’s heart rise, if only a little. The sound of a blowtorch could be heard throughout the room, as panic became visible in the robbers eyes.

He looked at Max, as Max said calmly,

“ They’re coming in.” The guy shook his head,

“ I ain’t going to let them catch me, I ain’t going back inside,” he shouted, as Liz stood against them wall, pushing herself as close to it as she could. Max looked at him,

“ There’s nothing you can do now,” Max continued to keep the guy talking, hoping that the police would reach the inside soon. The guy looked at him,

“ Shut up you! You’ve done nothing but taunt me! I’m not going to get caught!” the guy began to get hysterical, and knocked over all the stands, making them crash and bang loudly. Liz covered her ears, and tried to refuse the urge to cover her eyes. The guy suddenly stopped and looked at Max.

“ I’m going to make you suffer,” he said sinisterly, walking up to him, his gun pointed at Max’s face. Max tried to back away, but he couldn’t go any further. Max gulped. This was it. He was going to die. This man was going to shoot him right here and now, and he’d die like the shopkeeper, alone. He’d die without telling Liz the truth. He’d die without saying goodbye to anyone.

Liz looked over at Max with panic, as the gun was once again pressed against his forehead. The police were getting nearer to opening the door, in another few minutes they’d be free. Liz felt her hands shaking, and her heart beating fast. The guy couldn’t shoot Max. She couldn’t watch Max die. Not another person she cared about. Trying desperately to speak, shout, or do anything to distract the man, she searched for her voice. But within all the terror she felt, she couldn’t bring herself to do anything. She was frozen on the spot. Watching as the guy took off the safety catch.

This is it, she thought, he’s going to kill Max

The guy stared at Max.

“ I’m going to make you suffer in the worst way possible,” the man said, as Max gulped and closed his eyes, preparing for the worst. Inside he’d already fallen apart, thinking about losing everything, everyone he cared about.

And suddenly the gun wasn’t pressed against his forehead anymore. Max’s eyes flew open, in time to see the guy pointing the gun in Liz’s direction.

“ You’re going to have to watch her die a slow and painful death!” the guy said sinisterly.

Everything happened in slow motion. Max screamed, as the guy released the trigger, propelling a bullet into the air. Liz eyes flew open wide, as she fell back, feeling the bullet pierce her skin.

Suddenly everything was back to normal speed. The guy fled into the back room, as Max rushed to Liz’s side.

Liz could feel everything draining away from her. The burning just below her ribs confirmed that she’d been shot, as she began to feel cold all over. She looked up at a blurry Max, as he hovered above her.

Max looked at her, his hands shaking, watching to blood, the life, drain out of her. Her glow was fading, fast.

She was dying, he knew it. Her aura was slowly beginning to blacken, as he watched the spark in her eyes begin to fade.

“ No,” he cried in a desperate whisper, beginning to run his fingers through her hair. He couldn’t watch the life drain out of her. He couldn’t watch her, the only person who’d ever wanted to understand him, the only person who had really cared, he couldn’t watch her die.

Suddenly realisation dawned on him. He could save her. The sound of the policemen carving through the shutters was a danger, he could get caught. And who knows if the robber was still watching. Max could get caught. They’d find him, dissect him. Put him through tests and torture.

But looking at Liz’s helpless figure, the glow of her skin beginning to fade, her coughing as her body began to shut down. He knew he’d give up everything for her.

He lifted her t-shirt, and placed one hand over the bullet hole, feeling the blood pouring out. He took his other shaking hand and held the back of her head tenderly, whispering,

“ You have to look at me Liz.”

* * *

Okay, if I get enough feedback, I'l write the next part later on today *happy* other than that, what did you guys think? Was it okay?


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 31-Mar-2002 7:02:56 AM ]
posted on 31-Mar-2002 4:32:49 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: I felt really bad for not updating sooner, so here's another long part *happy* I've taken some things directly from the pilot, and other things from the book and thrown in a bit of Jo in there too... so I hope you like it!

Part 9E

“ You have to look at me Liz,” Max repeated, holding onto the back of her head tightly, feeling her soft hair beneath his fingertips. His hands shook, as he gulped back his fear, trying to clear his mind of everything. Trying to block out everything around him. He could feel the blood pulsating against his hand, and Liz’s frail body beneath his touch.

Suddenly Liz’s eyes were open, and she was watching as Max’s warm brown eyes pleaded with her to look at him. Liz was getting colder, and realisation had set in. She was going to die. But at least she wouldn’t die alone.

Max stared into her chocolate brown eyes, clearing his mind of everything. He breathed slowly; trying to block out the sound of the blowtorch eating it’s way through the metal shutters. He took more deep breaths.

Think about Liz, he ordered himself. Think about everything that makes her so special.

Think about the way her eyes light up when she talks about the stars. Think about the dimple in her left cheek that she gets when she smiles. Think about the way she listens to you so intently, listening to every word you say.

And suddenly everything he ever felt about her was exploding inside of him. Everything he felt about her. And amazingly, he suddenly realised that he loved her.

The thought exploded into his mind. He loved her. He’d loved her ever since he’d first laid eyes on her, but he hadn’t admitted it to anybody, not even himself. Loving anyone wasn’t smart, let alone a human. It’d get you hurt, or in his case, dissected. But he couldn’t help it. He loved her, and he could not let her die.

He pressed his hand firmer against Liz’s delicate skin. He was almost there; he could feel Liz’s emotions binding with his.

Then suddenly, he was in.

Max felt himself surrounded by everything that made Liz who she was. The very touch of her, her scent, her laughter.

Images flashed so quickly through his mind that he couldn’t separate one form the next.

A stuffed bear with a red bow tie. The warm embrace of her father. A young scientist set. Liz at about age five wearing a red dress covered with cupcakes. Michael playing football with her father. A thunder storm. Rain beating down on a closed window. His own face.

Suddenly everything that was happening to her was happening to him. He felt the blood rushing out of her body as if it were his own. He felt the air inside her lungs. He felt the rhythm of their heart gradually get slower and slower.

He found his way to the bullet. Still taking slow, deep breaths, he could sense the lead in her body, and began to nudge the molecules apart. Dissolving the bullet, he moved on to heal the wound. Instead of nudging this time, he squeezed. Willing the molecules back together, surrounding her wound with his own life energy, will the wound to close.

Max heard the blowtorch again, knowing he had to disconnect. He removed his hand from Liz’s stomach and gasped, breathing heavily. He was out. He was separate again, feeling his own heart beating. He looked down at the space between Liz’s ribs where the bullet had been. It was clear and whole. He released a shaky sigh of relief.

Liz opened her brown eyes, who had regained their natural warmth She looked at him,

“ You…I…” she murmured, as Max grabbed a bottle of ketchup off the shelf next to him and broke it, spilling the contents all over Liz’s top. The police were nearly through.

“ You spilt this on you, when the robber pushed you,” Max said quickly, covering her in ketchup. She lay still on the floor, gasping.

Suddenly the police rushed through the door, seeing Max hovering above Liz.

“ Quick! Get the paramedics in here!” The policeman shouted. Max gave a pleading look at Liz.

What had just happened? Liz thought, Wasn’t I dying? And now I’m not?

The paramedics began to kneel beside her, as the policemen began to search the building for the robber. Liz got herself up, wrapping her jacket around her,

“ It’s okay, I…the robber…pushed me over and I spilt the ketchup over me,” she lied, her voice sounding horse. The paramedics sighed with relief, and put a blanket around her shoulders. Two other paramedics put a blanket around Max’s shoulders, asking him if he was okay.

Liz looked straight at Max, her dark chocolately brown eyes melting with emotion. He had saved her. Whatever had happened here today, he had saved her. Max felt his breath catch in his chest.

“ I’m okay,” Liz repeated, as they were both ushered out of the building.

* * *

The shrill ring of the telephone broke the tension in the Valenti household, as Kyle dived to answer it. So far no one had given Mr. Valenti any answers to any of his questions, and the tension was staring to drive everyone crazy. Apart from Maria, who in Kyle’s opinion was already crazy. Michael looked up at him, as Kyle answered the phone.

“ Hello,” he said clearly. Kyle face reacted to the news on the other end of the line, until his expression darkened, “ Could you repeat that please?” he asked in a strangled voice. Amy came through the threshold with one look at Kyle she rushed to her husband’s side. Kyle covered up the receiver with his other hand,

“ It’s the police, they want to talk to one of our guardians,” he said quietly. Amy took the phone quickly, with Jim by her side. The kids stood up, gathering tentatively around the telephone,

“ Yes, this is Amy Valenti,” she spoke quickly, her hands shaking on the receiver. Her face was suddenly drawn and pale, as Michael felt his whole body tense up. Something had happened to Liz, hadn’t it?

“ Yes, I understand, we’ll be there as soon as we can,” Amy said, putting the phone back down. Jim led her to the sofa, where Michael knelt in front of her.

“ What is it Amy?” he asked. She looked up at him,

“ Max and Liz have been involved in a robbery,” she said quietly. Michael felt the panic rise up inside him, as Isabel fled to his side,

“ Are they okay?” she asked quickly, as Alex’s arm slid around Maria condolingly. Amy nodded,

“ Yes, they’re okay. Shaken up, but okay. We’ve got to go down to the police station now. Is everyone coming?” she asked, as Jim grabbed his jacket and keys off the side. They made their way to the front door, as Tess followed them out. Maria grabbed her arm,

“ Don’t you think you’ve caused enough trouble?” she spat at Tess, as she looked at her with her stony glare. Tess shook her head,

“ I’ve got as much right to go as anyone else,” she said primly. Isabel appeared back at the door, giving Tess an evil look.

“ If you show up anywhere near my brother or Liz, I am going to kick your ass all the way back to wherever you came from so fast you wont know what hit you,” Isabel said, towering above Tess. Tess gulped slightly, as Isabel turned, Maria still looking at her in shock. Isabel could be a bitch when she wanted to. Maria looked at Tess with satisfaction, as Isabel called,

“ Come on Maria!”

* * *

Michael rushed ahead of everyone else, bobbing his head around the busy police station. Overwhelming urgency filled him. His hands were still shaking as he spotted Liz sitting in one of the rooms, a blanket draped around her shoulders. He pushed open the door as she looked up at him,

“ Michael!” she breathed, as he took her into his strong arms. He squeezed Liz tight, smelling the jasmine in her hair, and feeling the warmth of her body next to his. Everything ran through him at once. She was alive, she was here. She was okay. He hadn’t lost her.

He pushed back the urge to cry, as relief flooded over him. He kissed her hair gently,

“ I’m never leaving your side again, you hear me?” he whispered solemnly, still holding her tight. She felt the tears glide down her cheeks, as she hugged him back. She felt the warmth and security within his embrace, as she buried her head in his shoulder. He held her tighter,

“ I thought I was going to lose you Liz. You scared me so much,” he whispered, as she buried her head further into his shoulder.

“ I love you Michael,” she said quietly, as he returned her words with a mutual ‘I love you too’, and a tighter hug.

Isabel came rushing through the doorway, as Max stood up, a coffee in his hands. She wrapped her arms tightly around him, as he placed one hand across her back and gratefully hugged her back. It was more than nice to see familiar faces. Isabel hugged him tight,

“ Are you okay?” she asked Max, searching his body for injuries. Kyle, Alex, Maria and Mr and Mrs Valenti flooded the small room, checking on Max and Liz. Max nodded, placing his coffee on the side,

“ I’m okay, we’re just a little shaken you know,” he admitted, as Isabel hugged him again. Michael cast him a wary glare. Alex, catching the tension in the room, began to joke,

“ Honestly, we leave you alone for a couple of hours and you two go and get yourselves involved in an armed robbery!” he said, watching as Michael led Liz to a seat. Max sat down with Isabel on the other side of the room. Liz nodded,

“ But we’re okay,” she repeated, not quite believing it herself. The doctors had insisted on checking her over, but she had refused, telling them that there was no pint, that she was fine. But inside she was still trembling. Kyle shook his head,

“ The police said the guy had a gun, how did you guys escape him?” Kyle asked, looking from Max to Liz. They both fell quiet. Liz could still feel the resentment they felt towards Max for sleeping with Tess. But she couldn’t look at Max and think that anymore. He’d just saved her life, no matter how he’d done it, she owed him everything. She cleared her throat, her voice still husky,

“ Max protected me, he put himself between me and the robber. I owe him my life,” she said slowly, staring meaningfully at Max. He returned her gaze knowingly, watching as her eyes melted again. He knew that whatever happened to them as a couple, or to Max as an individual, he would never forget the way Liz was looking at him right now. She had the clearest eyes of anyone he knew, and right now they were so grateful, so warm. He couldn’t be afraid of her. She knew his secret. But he couldn’t be afraid of her. The look in her eyes was so warm and tender.

Isabel shot Max a knowing look, a flash of momentary concern washing over her again. Did she know? Had he told her about what they were?

Jim smiled, helping Max to his feet,

“ Son, you’re a hero, we’re proud of you,” he said heart fully, as everyone nodded, including Michael. Passing Liz onto Maria, who wrapped her arms around her with a faint chorus of ‘oh chica, what am I going to do with you?’, Michael stood up, holding his hand out to Max.

“ It’s not often I say I’m wrong. But if my sister said you protected her, then I owe you my life too. Thank you Max,” he said, firmly grasping Max’s hand. Max shook his hand back, relief flooding over him. Liz smiled faintly at the sight of Max and her brother. Amy smiled too,

“ I think we’re all ready to go home?” she said, as Jim returned to her side. Liz smiled and nodded,

“ That sounds really good,” she said, still holding the blanket around her. Michael held her on one side, and Maria on the other, as they made their way out of the door. Kyle and Alex followed, asking Liz various questions about the whole ordeal. Isabel held Max back, smiling and shaking her head,

“ I told you to find her Max, not get her involved in an armed robbery,” she joked, hugging him again. He breathed deeply, enjoying her embrace. Her soft touch was exactly what he needed. He sighed gently,

“ I know, trouble just seems to follow me around. I’m just so glad that you’re here,” he admitted, as she pulled away from him. For the first time he saw tears forming in her eyes, as she tried desperately to hide them again. Max gave her a lopsided grin, as she laughed despite herself,

“ Oh hell,” she cursed playfully, wrapping her arms around him again, “ don’t you ever do that to me again, you hear me? You scared the hell out of me.”

Max sighed, feeling the past catch up with him again. Although him and Isabel had started to rebuild their relationship, it was only now Max was really starting to see his Isabel again, the person she was all those years ago. He put an arm around her shoulders,

“ I’m not leaving you yet,” he said, as Alex poked his head around the doorframe,

“ Hey we’re waiting for you,” he said, looking from Isabel to Max.

“ Sorry did I interrupt one of those brother-sister momentie type things?” he asked as Isabel laughed. She willed Max out of the room, with Alex on one side of him, Isabel on the other.

Max looked around the police station, noticing more and more criminals being brought in. He watched as two men in black suits walked past him, sending a wave of fear through him.

They couldn’t be FBI, could they?

* * *

Liz closed the door of the hot, steamy bathroom, and rested thankfully against the door. Michael had refused to leave her side ever since they got home, and although it was only getting on to the late hours of the afternoon, she felt completely drained. She felt the patch of skin on her stomach carefully. It was really itchy, but apart from that there was nothing there.

Leaning over the bath, she turned off the hot tap and began to run some cold water. Had she imagined everything? In some wild, imaginative world, had she imagined getting shot?

Liz sat on the edge of the bathtub and thought carefully. She never usually lost control in a crisis. She was the one who prevailed most of the time, who came through strong. Could she really have imagined getting shot? Would she really have gone that delirious?

Liz approached the newly replaced mirror and wiped her hand across it, removing the layers of condensation. She looked at herself, her long brown hair flowing around her shoulders. She started to unbutton her jacket, which she had kept tightly buttoned up from the time of the incident up until now. She slid it off and placed in over the towel rack, still staring at herself in the mirror. Her eyes caught the reflection of her pink t-shirt in the mirror.

She touched it lightly.

There it was, there was the bullet hole. Liz touched it tenderly. She hadn’t imagined it, she had been shot. But how had Max… how had he healed her? She vaguely remembered him touching her, telling her to look at him. But it all seemed like a hazy dream, not a reality.

She knew that everything had passed through her mind. Everything about her childhood, about her and her father, even her time at the Valenti residence. She had felt herself being torn away from her life, being drawn towards a light, which was filled with millions of voice, millions of feelings. But at the same time she had felt Max, pulling her back. He’d willed her to return to him, to come back to everyone. And she’d followed him.

Liz looked at herself in the mirror again. She felt like she was going crazy. Peeling off her pink t-shirt, she poked her finger through the bullet hole, reassuring herself that it was real. She threw the t-shirt aside, and turned back to the mirror. Looking at herself, clad only in her black bra and blue jeans, she looked at herself again. She touched her stomach tenderly, feeling the itchiness return.

And suddenly her mouth dropped open.

There, on her stomach, was a glowing silver handprint.

And that was something she wasn’t imagining.

* * *

I'm so excited now... cos so much is going to happen over the next two parts, and then we're going to lunge straight into another deep stroyline! Lol, I'm getting carried away aren't I!?

posted on 4-Apr-2002 1:14:11 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone *happy*

It's me again *happy* I was looking through and a lot of people who started to read my story in the beginning but don't read it anymore... is that because its got boring now??? Maybe its my paranoia, but I'm so worried its getting boring for you!

Anyhow, I'm not going to stop writing the fic, I'm loving it. I'm hoping to get a new part out tonight *happy* so keep checking this space till I update *bounce*

Okay, as long as everyone wants me to keep writing, I will *happy*

Jo.x *angel*
posted on 4-Apr-2002 5:51:04 PM by leaving_normal
QUESTION FOR YOU

This is one I should ask after I've posted the next bit, but I want to sun it by you all and see what you think. Right, my story has a lot of background to it doesn't it? Like all their past lives and stuff, what happened to them before they all met up in the home. What I was wondering is if I wrote it, would you guys read the story of their lives before meeting in the house? Like stuff about Maria's past, and about how Liz and Michael were when they were little. They'd all be separate things, like Maria having one fic, Liz and Michael having another, and whoever else you'd want me to write one for. They wouldn't have to be that long, but I thought they might give a nice accompliment to the story. I also thought about writing a fic based on what happened to the aliens in this fics past life on Antar (featured in Isabel's brief connection with Adam). Well it's only an idea, I just really wanted your guys opinion, cos I thought it'd be interesting...

Jo.x

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-Apr-2002 5:53:30 PM ]
posted on 4-Apr-2002 7:13:04 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Okay, this bit is a bit longer than I intended it to be, but I just started writing and it flowed, what can I say I'm hopeless! I did intend to have more in this part, but I just havent got the time to write it at the moment, so please bear with me...

Enjoy!

Part 10

Maria closed her eyes again. She buried deeper into her covers, pulling them over the top of her head. Burying her head into her pillow, she squeezed her eyes shut again.

She sighed.

It just wasn’t happening. She just wasn’t going to sleep.

Huffing and pulling her hair back off her face, she rolled over in her comfortable bed. It was a cool night, and the air was just starting to breeze through her open window. Bringing her hands above her covers, she lay on her back and stared at the ceiling. She smiled at the glow in the dark stars that were now spread across the entire expanse, making it feel like she was sleeping underneath the stars. Completely free from everyone.

She laughed a little at that thought – being free. Ever since she was seven years old she’d wanted exactly that. She was seven when her dad left, and seven when her mum started to see other men. Ever since then she’d hated the number seven – that had been when everything had started going wrong for her. She remembered all too well clutching onto her teddy bear and running out into the garden, escaping to be under the stars. As long as she wasn’t in the house no one would hurt her. So she’d run into the neighbours yard and climb Tommy’s tree house. He didn’t mind, he knew how she felt. Tommy’s parents argued a lot too, so some nights the two of them would just sit in the tree house. Some nights they’d cry, and talk about how much they wanted to run away. Some nights they’d make up stories about how they were a prince and princess, and someday their real parents were going to come and take them away from this horrible place. And some nights they’d just sit in silence, just being there for each other. Then, as summers passed and they got older, they’d talk about their futures, and what they wanted to do with their lives. Last summer, the summer when it was really hot, when her mum’s current boyfriend had arrived, Maria had sat up in the tree for two days straight, too scared to move or think. When Tommy had joined her at about midnight of the first day, he’d looked at her with his amber eyes and nearly cried himself. Both fifteen then, they’d stopped crying about what happened every night a long time ago. After a while, things got so bad you couldn’t cry about them anymore. But this time they cried together again, and Maria felt as small and fragile as she had when she was seven years old.

The bruises over her back and around her eyes lasted for weeks, but that was nothing compared to the feeling Maria had every time she looked in the mirror. She remembered feeling that way. She remembered looking in the mirror and wishing she was someone else, anyone else. She’d started to believe that maybe this was all her fault; maybe she’d done something terrible to deserve all of this. So she’d ran away to her sanctuary again, to her tree house. She climbed the ladder carefully, placing her teddy inside. She pulled herself over the ledge gently, and stared at Tommy for a long time. He was just sitting there, looking straight ahead. Maria approached him softly, placing her back against the wooden panels of the old tree house, which was barely big enough to hold both of them anymore. Maria hunched her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them.

“ You want to talk about it?” she asked softly. She hadn’t received any reply, so had placed a hand on his shoulder, turning him to look around.

Maria would never forget the pain she saw in Tommy’s eyes that night. His rich, warm amber eyes were streaked with agony, as his hands shook. His pale face made Maria’s eyes fill with tears, as she wrapped her warm arms around him and held him close.

There had never been a time where Maria had held Tommy. They’d held each other. They’d been friends since they were seven years old, yet the only time they spoke to each other was when they were in the tree house. They’d pass each other in the corridors at school, and not say a word. They had separate friends, separate classes, separate lives. Looking back on it, what they had together in the tree house was special; they could escape into their own little world. If they spoke to each other outside of that little world it wouldn’t be as real to them anymore. But as Tommy continued to cry, Maria could feel the realness of her ‘tree house life’ slipping away from her. Suddenly she felt like everything was going wrong. Tommy stopped crying and turned away from her again. She looked out into the tree house entry. The green leaves of the tree guarded most of it, but Maria could see the blue flashes blearing through more clearly now. They were police sirens. Maria turned to Tommy, who she noticed was shaking. She placed her hand over his,

“ What happened Tommy?” she asked quietly, as he turned to her. His bottom lip quivered, as he pushed his tawny brown hair out of his eyes.

“ She killed him. He was beating her, so she hit him with the iron,” Tommy said in a low voice, his whole body shaking. Maria felt her stomach turn, as she watched Tommy collapse again. He looked like he might pass out at any moment, so she grabbed him and held him tight, as she too cried. Not for herself, not for Tommy’s mum. But for Tommy.

That was the last time Maria ever saw Tommy. They spent the night in the tree house, the police not even realising that the Crowshores even had a son until the following day. They’d fallen asleep together, Tommy giving into exhaustion and Maria not being able to stay awake. Then she’d woken up and Tommy had been gone. Taken into care they’d told her when she’d asked. She didn’t go back into the tree house after that night. It had been nearly another year until she’d been taken into care herself.

Maria grabbed at her teddy bear and held it to her chest. Its eyes were practically falling out and it had almost no stuffing left in it, but it was her bear, and she loved it. It’d gotten a bit darker outside now, but Maria still wasn’t tired. She rolled over onto her side and watched as Liz stared at the ceiling, her covers pulled up to her chin. She’d been really quiet since they’d got home, maybe because everything was just starting to hit her. Maria could see Liz was awake, the moonlight was reflecting off her eyes. She smiled gently,

“ Hey, you okay over there?” she whispered, as Liz broke out of her trance. Liz looked over at Maria, her hair brought into a low ponytail. Liz nodded,

“ I think so. It’s all still a bit weird you know,” Liz said slowly, not thinking of any other way to describe it. She sighed. Of course it wasn’t the robbery she was thinking about, although she was still shaking in fear over it. She tenderly touched the patch of skin two inches below her ribs where the silver handprint still was. It was Max Evans she couldn’t get out of her head, and the thought of him healing her. Maria looked at her,

“ Weird? I think you’re amazing you know that?” she said quietly, as Liz lowered her eyebrows. Liz’s brown eyes shined in curiosity.

“ Why do you think I’m amazing?” she asked, as she stared across at Maria. Maria looked on in awe,

“ Look at what you’ve survived through, I’m not half as strong as you are,” she said, wrapping her covers around her and hauling herself over to Liz’s bed, where she sat behind Liz, her back against the wall, firmly submerged in her covers. Liz frowned slightly,

“ Yeah you are, I know what you had to go through with your mum, that couldn’t have been easy,” Liz soothed, sitting up with Maria and leaning against the wall. These midnight chats were starting to become a regular occurrence, not that Liz particularly minded.

“ Yeah but Liz, my mum’s still alive, and I’ve never been in the kind of danger where anything could happen, like you were today. And look at you, you’ve come through everything,” she said, almost sounding proud of Liz. Liz smiled at Maria’s opinion of her.

“ Well, not everything,” she said, frowning a little. Maria took a quick glance at her. Did she want to talk about it? Or didn’t she. Maria couldn’t quite tell. Liz sighed, as Maria decided just to go for it.

“ Is it to do with that little bitch across the hall?” Maria said, making Liz smirk slightly. She’d loved it when Maria had lunged at Tess, that was true friendship for you. And on all accounts, Maria hadn’t stopped there, but had had another go at her just before picking them up at the station, ripping a chunk of Tess’ hair out. Liz nodded slightly,

“ That’s not over yet is it? I mean, I don’t know what’s going on between her and Max but there’s something someone’s not telling me,” Liz said, leaning over to her bedside table. She brought back a tub of marshmallows, which Maria seemed all too pleased to see. Maria took the tub,

“ You want to know something?” Maria said, chewing on a marshmallow. Liz waved her hand in front of her, showing Maria that she was open to anything at this point in time. Maria swallowed and gave the tub back to Liz,

“ I don’t think he did it,” Maria said, as Liz nearly choked on her marshmallow. Maria gave her a couple of slaps on the back, making sure she was okay. Liz looked at Maria incredulously,

“ What do you mean you don’t think he did it? This morning you were screaming at them, and now you’ve changed your mind?” Liz said, staring at her friend. Maria held her hands up in a surrender pose.

“ Okay, what can I say I acted on impulse. You were upset, it looked really bad, so I tore the girls hair out. But now, I don’t know Liz, look at him, he wouldn’t say boo to a mouse, let alone sleep with that she-devil,” Maria said, as Liz brought her knees up to her chest again. That was what had been going through her mind all day. She sighed again,

“ Then what did we see?” Liz asked Maria, who had resorted back to the marshmallows. Maria shrugged again,

“ Hey, I just forward my opinions, I don’t actually have theories behind them,” she said, as Liz smiled a bit. Well, at least someone was on Max’s side, because right now she wasn’t sure whose side she was on. Liz turned to Maria,

“ So you really tore her hair out huh?” she said, a smile on her face. Maria beamed proudly,

“ Sure did. God, her hair was all ratty and greasy, I swear, if I ever start to look like that, I want you to…” Maria’s voice trailed off as they heard snickering coming from the doorway. Liz could just about make out the shadow of Alex in the doorframe. It could only be Alex. His skinny little white legs practically glowed against his boxers and t-shirt, as he made his way over to the bed,

“ Do you girls do anything but gossip?” he whispered, as Liz budged over and he sat down next to them, reaching for the tub of marshmallows. Liz’s mouth dropped open,

“ How long have you been standing there?” she asked accusingly. Alex popped as many marshmallows as he could into his mouth,

“ Long enough, I have to tell you Liz, I don’t think he did it either,” Alex said, as Maria wrestled him for the marshmallow tub. Liz looked at him, confused,

“ You don’t? Why not?” she asked. Why was this suddenly turning into a Max-lovers room? This morning they had all been dead set against him, now they were all on his side. Alex finished his mouthful,

“ Because he’s Max okay. And I thought about this a lot, and it doesn’t make sense. Like, if I was going to do it with Isabel,” at which point both Maria and Liz sniggered, making Alex stop mid sentence, letting them get it out of their systems before continuing, “ I wouldn’t do it in my room, in my bed where Max is going to catch us at it,” he finished, poking his tongue out at both Maria and Liz.

“ And how do you know me and Isabel haven’t done it yet?” Maria looked at him,

“ Because, my friend, you might as well have virgin tattooed on your forehead,” she said as Alex instinctively touched his forehead, making Maria laugh again. Liz thought about what Alex had said, it actually made a lot of sense. Slowly she was actually starting to believe him. Alex looked at Maria,

“ So, it’s not like you’re not a virgin,” he said, cocking an eyebrow, “are you?” he added. Liz hit him in the stomach.

“ I do not need to know about my brother and one of my best friends okay, that is the kind of stuff that scars you for life,” she said, as Maria and Alex laughed. Maria caught the tub of marshmallows once more and scavenged what was left.

“ Well, I am proud to be a Virgin,” Maria proclaimed, as Liz nodded,

“ Me too,” she added. They turned and both looked at Alex. Alex just shrugged,

“ Well if everyone else it doing it I might as well be one too,” he added jokingly, as Maria punched him playfully. Liz raised an eyebrow,

“ Did you actually come in here for a reason?” she asked, as an imaginary light bulb seemed to light up inside his head. He nodded,

“ Actually yeah, Michael wanted to come in here and ask if it was okay if Michael spent the night in here with Liz,” he said, rolling his words off perfectly. Maria sighed,

“ So where am I supposed to go?” she whined. Alex shook his head,

“ Hey I’m only relaying the message. But he wanted me to come in here and check that you were both dressed before he came in,” Alex said, wiggling his eyebrows. Liz laughed,

“ And what if we weren’t dressed?” she asked. Alex wiggled his eyebrows again, as Maria hit him over the head with a pillow. He rubbed his head,

“ Well, if you’re going to be like that I wont invite you up to the attic,” he said, sticking his tongue out. Maria looked at him,

“ What’s going on in the attic?” she asked, as Alex jumped up and down on Maria’s empty mattress, he could be such a kid sometimes!

“ Me and Kyle are going to play on his Playstation, we’re up to level three on his Mickey Mouse game,” he said proudly, sounding like a seventh grader. Liz smiled, as Maria began to look through her wardrobe. Liz raised an eyebrow,

“ Maria, you don’t have to get changed you’re only going to the attic,” she said, as Alex watched with a bemused smile. Liz made him turn around and face the wall, handing him a candy bar to keep him occupied as Maria slipped out of her Scooby Do pj’s and into her purple silk ones. Maria sighed,

“ I gotta look good Liz,” she said, pulling a supermodel pose. Alex whined,

“ Can I turn around now?” Liz laughed and spun him around. He looked Maria up and down,

“ I liked the Scooby Pj’s better,” he said, a smile playing on his lips. Maria punched him playfully again as they began to walk out of the room. Maria looked at Liz whilst she was hanging on the doorframe, and said quietly,

“ You know Liz, when Michael found out you’d been in an armed robbery, he looked like he was going to pass out,” Maria said as Liz nodded. Maria continued, “ I know I don’t know Michael half as well as you do, but I know him well enough to know he thinks the world of you. The guy almost cried when he thought he’d lost you, he would have if we hadn’t have been there,” Maria finished, still looking at Liz. Liz nodded,

“ I know how much he cares about me Maria,” she said softly, as she got up off her bed and hugged her best friend.

“ Yeah I know, but I think he needs a little reassurance as to how much you care about him. Like I keep telling you, he’s a marshmallow,” Maria said, breaking away from Liz. Liz nodded,

“ He really nearly cried? He never cries in front of people,” Liz said, half to herself, half to Maria. Maria nodded tying up her blonde hair,

“ Well he loves you Liz,” she said looking at her. Liz nodded. She knew her brother loved her, but she hadn’t realised how much he thought he was going to lose her. She realised he was scared of losing her, god, she felt the same way about him. There was nothing that would ever stop them being brother and sister. Being brother and sister didn’t automatically make you best friends, but in Liz and Michael’s case, that was just an added bonus. They wouldn’t have survived if they didn’t have each other, and they both knew it. Liz saw Maria staring at her, as Maria walked up to her and gave her another hug.

“ I’m glad you’re okay,” Maria said quietly, as Liz squeezed her back. Looked like Michael wasn’t the only one who had been worried. Liz gave her one last squeeze before Maria turned and let the room, a series of ‘oomph’s’ following her as she walked into various objects in the hallway. Maria’s eyesight wasn’t the best in the dark. Liz climbed back underneath her covers, thinking quietly to herself. A light tap came at the door, as Michael plodded his way through. Liz looked up at him,

“ Couldn’t stay away from me huh?” she teased, as he sat down beside her bed. He just smiled at her, and looked at her for a long time. She looked at him too, and marvelled at how much he looked like their father. Michael grabbed Maria’s covers off of the floor, and squished in beside Liz in their single bed. Michael and Liz lay face to face, as they had done so many nights since their father’s death. They’d just look at each other. There was a sense of security, of understanding between them that you could only understand if you were in the relationship. Michael was the first to speak,

“ No matter what happens, we’re never going to stop being brother and sister, right?” he said, as his grey eyes shined through the darkness. Liz smiled,

“ Michael, I’ll never stop being your sister. I’m not going anywhere, I promise. I love you Michael, and I know that without you, I couldn’t have got through any of this,” she said slowly and quietly, as Michael put an arm around her.

Everything they’d been through made them so much closer than normal siblings. He didn’t know if he even understood it himself, but there was an understanding that ran between him and Liz that was almost supernatural. When he was with her he felt calmer, safer, secure even. She was his rock, and without her, he would crumble.

But nothing was taking her away from him, ever.

Michael gave Liz a tighter squeeze, as the sounds of her regular breaths were like music to his ears. He lay there for a while, thanking God for all that he had left, and just appreciating that someone up there had sent them down together.

Then his eyes opened in realisation. Trying to stay calm, his mind started to race at about a million miles a second.

The mirror breaking. The dreams. Everything Isabel had told him.

After everything that had happened, he didn’t want to terrify Liz with anything else. But he couldn’t get the thought out of his mind.

The two of them were sent down together…

* * *

Edited to add: OMG, I looked at the post and thought, that can't be 5 pages worth of writing! But it is! I'm sorry guys, I thought it was longer! But it did take me hours to write...


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-Apr-2002 7:16:09 PM ]
posted on 7-Apr-2002 12:36:22 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

Oh you guys are so great. You really are, I mean it.

Right, first of all this story is going to be soooo long, you'll all be reading it for months to come *happy*

Secondly, I haven't got a lot of time to update today, but I'm going to write for an hour or so and see how far I get, and post that tonight.

Once again, you're all brilliant.

Jo.x
posted on 7-Apr-2002 2:19:57 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Well, should have been doing homework, but here it is. This part needed to be written, you learn a lot about Isabel's past in New York... you finally learn who Griff is! And in the next part, don't worry, Liz will talk to Max about being...different! Not long to wait, then the Candy, Dreamer and Stargazer scenes will start rolling out!

Enjoy!

Part 10B

Isabel tossed and turned in her own bed. It was getting really late now. But one thing was really bugging her.

What had Liz meant when she’d said Max had protected her?

Did she mean he’d stood in front of her, and protected her against her against the robber? But if that was true, why wasn’t Liz gushing over Max again? Something wasn’t right here. Liz hadn’t been near Max since they’d got home. Sure, Michael refused to let her out of his sight, but she knew her brother, and usually he wouldn’t let Michael get in the way. No, something was going on. And she wanted to know what it was.

Pushing her covers off from on top of her, she paced out into the hall, pulling her dressing gown around her and lifting her hair out of the back of it. She tied it carefully as she made her way to Max’s room, which was the last room down the hall. She passed a room on her right and stopped for a moment.

It was Tess’ room. At first they’d wanted her to share with Isabel, but Isabel didn’t share her room with anybody. She needed her privacy, especially if she was going to levitate off the bed when she’d been out and had a drink. Alcohol seemed to affect her differently. Her powers would go haywire, and a lot of the time it’d what had caused her to keep moving. She remembered one time where she’d thrown a guy against a wall. If the guy had been skinny, it’d be okay. But this guy was huge! There’d been a lot of questions as to how an ‘ity bity thing’ like Isabel could do that, so Isabel had got up and left – and never gone back.

An evil grin came to Isabel’s face as she turned the doorknob. Peering in, she made out Tess’ figure asleep in the dark. Isabel hung on for a second. She wasn’t quite sure how to figure this girl out. There were weird vibes coming off her, and she didn’t like it. She didn’t like the fact that she was picking up vibes off Michael either – something strange was definitely going on. Isabel tilted her head. She could give Tess a really huge spot, that’d freak her out. Or she could make all her clothes disappear. Or she could be really terrible and…no, that was a little too bad. Isabel closed the door again. Tess wasn’t worth the hassle, yet. Sliding her hand over the door, Isabel’s palm glowed with a shade of green as she locked the door permanently. Tess wouldn’t be creeping out and sliding into bed with anyone tonight.

Isabel carried on down towards Max’s room. On opening it, she saw Max sitting at the extended windowsill, looking out of the window. She couldn’t see him clearly, but she could feel him. He was troubled, she could feel it. No one else was in the room, so she closed the door behind her and called softly to her brother.

“Max?”

He turned around, and smiled softly.

“ Hey Is. What are you still doing up?” he asked her, hanging his legs off of the side of the windowsill and looking at her. She tilted her head to the side and walked over to sit next to him.

“ I was worried about you. You’ve been acting different since you got home,” she said, sitting next to him. Max laughed a little,

“ Sorry, it’s just weird hearing you call anywhere home. You’ve always wanted to know where we really come from,” he said, continuing to look out of the window. Isabel lowered her eyebrows.

“ What’s brought all this on? I thought you didn’t want to think about where we come from, that you were happy here on Earth,” Isabel said, as Max avoided her gaze again. Isabel had always known she was different. She didn’t know how she knew, she just did. And she’d felt it from Max too. But now she was feeling it from Michael and Tess. What the hell was going on? And why was Max in this kind of a mood all of a sudden?

“ Max, does Liz know that you’re…” Isabel said, as she willingly let her voice trail off. Max gulped a little. The thought hadn’t left his mind all day.

Liz had to know he was an alien. When he’d healed her, he’d felt so many different things. But she was so beautiful. All the things he’d seen, all the things he’d felt. She was just beautiful on the inside, everything that made her Liz, was beautiful. But now he was scared. Scared at how she’d react, what she’d want to know. Not that Max had any answers to give to her. He didn’t know anything about himself.

But could he tell his sister what had happened? She’d go ballistic, totally ballistic. Isabel had made him swear countless times before not to tell anyone about their secret. And he’d kept it. Until now.

“ No, she doesn’t know,” Max said quietly, avoiding his sister’s gaze. If she looked into his eyes, she’d know he was lying. Isabel breathed a sigh of relief,

“ Okay, that’s good. So why are you two still weird around each other?” she asked, getting off the windowsill and looking at Max’s bookshelf. Max cleared his throat.

“ In case you hadn’t noticed, she still thinks I slept with Tess,” Max said, feeling himself tense up at the thought of it. How could she still think that, after everything that he’d slept with Tess? That was the one thing he’d hated feeling when he’d healed her. He felt how much he’d hurt her. It was going to take a long time for Liz to trust him again, whether he’d slept with Tess or not. Of course, that wasn’t the only reason Liz was avoiding him. She was probably terrified of him. Although she’d lied for him. She’d told the police the exact story Max had told her to tell them. That she’d been pushed and spilt ketchup on herself.

Isabel laughed from the other side of the room, and Max lifted himself off too. He pulled a face,

“ Isabel, this is serious, how can I convince her?” he said, flopping down face first on his bed as he had watched Michael do many times before. Isabel looked at him for a while, a clouded expression spreading across her face. Max turned around, and seeing the look on his sister’s face, he sat up on his elbows.

“ Isabel, there’s something you’re not telling me,” he said, as Isabel turned away from him. She started to head for the door, but Max held out his palm and stopped her in her tracks. Isabel sighed a little,

“ I wish I hadn’t have taught you that,” she said quietly, as Max laughed. His powers simmered out, as Isabel turned around. She looked at him,

“ Max, if you want Liz to know the truth, you can show her,” Isabel said, sitting next to him on the bed. Max looked at her,

“ By the connection?” he asked, as Isabel nodded. She’d told him before, but told him not to use it.

“ Yes. Max, I’m warning you, if you show her what happened, I’d never speak to you again. I only told you about it in case you were going to use it,” Isabel said, staying calm and cool. Max looked at his sister,

“ Why are you so afraid of the connection Isabel?” he asked her quietly. Isabel’s eyes began to get irritated,

“ Nothing good comes of it Max, trust me,” she said, dropping her eyes to the floor. What was it that had made Isabel so afraid? Max touched her arm,

“ I want to know what happened to you to make you feel like this,” he said quietly. Isabel looked at him. Was she ready to tell anyone what had happened to her? Was she ready for Max to know what she knew?

Could she survive much longer without telling anyone?

Isabel breathed slowly, as she touched the side of her brother’s face, and concentrated. In an instant, she was in, and Max was reliving everything that had made Isabel want to forget about the connection.

He watched helplessly as three men approached Isabel. She looked about fourteen, still being smaller, without any of the colours that had been in her hair that had been in her hair when he’d first met her. The three men were approaching her, as Isabel backed up against the wall.

He could see she was terrified of them. The alley was dark, and Isabel had seemed to make a bed on the ground, next to the dumpster. Max deduced he was reliving Isabel past, bits of it that she never intended anyone to see.

Isabel started to cry, as the men came closer to her, unable to escape their evil stare.

“ Please go away,” she moaned quietly through her sobs. One of the men seemed to hover a bit,

“ George, she’s only a little girl, maybe this isn’t right,” he said uncertainly. Max felt himself heat up, he knew exactly what they intended to do.

“ Shut up Larry! I like them innocent,” George snarled. As they approached Isabel, Max watched someone appear out of the shadows, and hit George on the back of the head with a metal pole. The man stood tall, breathing hard. The other two took one look at him and ran. Isabel began to shake again, as the man approached her. As he came into the light of the street lamp, Max could see he wasn’t a man at all. He was about fourteen, fifteen at the most. He held his hand out to Isabel,

“ Are you okay?” he said breathlessly. Isabel gathered up her bed, standing as far away as possible from him,

“ If you think jus’ cos you popped that guy one you’re getting’ anything from me you’re wrong,” Isabel said, as she stood, her blankets collected in her hands. The guy shook his head,

“ No, I don’t want anything. I saw the guys coming towards you, and I just didn’t want them to get to you. I don’t want anything,” he repeated. Isabel’s gaze turned to the guy called George, who was lying on the floor. Isabel looked at the boy,

“ Is he ok?” she asked, as the boy leant down to check his pulse. He nodded, signalling that the guy was still alive. Isabel nodded. The guy smiled at her. Isabel looked up at him as he came closer to her. He was quite good looking. His chestnut brown hair was scruffy, but his pale blue eyes were soft and gentle. He wasn’t going to hurt her. Isabel took his outstretch hand, as he smiled at her.

“ I’m Griff,” he said softly, as Isabel smiled shyly.

“ Isabel,” she said, as he looked at her for a while. Isabel began to get frustrated,

“ What you lookin’ at?” she asked him, backing away again. Griff held up his hands,

“ Nothin’, I was just wonderin’ if you wanted somewhere to stop, you know, just for the night. You’re a runaway?” he asked her, as Isabel nodded, but suddenly clicked onto what he wanted from her,

“ Hey, I told you Gruff,”

“ Griff,” he corrected her.

“ Whatever,” she continued, “I ain’t doing anything with anybody.”

“ And I don’t want anything from you. You don’t look too comfortable out here, and I live a couple of blocks away and thought you might want to stay for a night,” he said, beginning to walk away. Isabel shook her head, and chased after him.

“ Just for one night,” she said uncertainly. He smiled, and led her home.


Images flooded through Max at lightening speed during the next minute. He watched as Griff took care of Isabel from that day forward. He watched as she turned up at his window, night after night, and he let her in, often giving up his bed to let her get a good nights sleep. He watched as this sister fell in love with this guy, and he returned her love, their first kiss being on his rooftop under the stars.

But the next flashback made him feel sick.

He watched as Griff and Isabel argued, and Griff followed Isabel out onto the street. He watched as another person in a black cloak approached Griff, and pushed him against a wall. Isabel carried on walking, until she heard a piercing scream, and turned around. Griff slid down the wall, a wound in his chest.

The guy ran off, as Isabel crouched beside Griff, screaming for help. Griff caught her face,

“ Isabel, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner,” he panted as Isabel’s eyes began to fill with tears. She shook her head,

“ Griff, no!” she cried, as he held his hand out to her hip. She watched as his palm glowed,

“ This is where we come from, Isabel, you have to tell the others,” he said quietly, as Isabel watched his eyes fade. Isabel looked at her hip, as a black imprint appeared on her.

“ Tell me how to heal you,” she cried, as she placed a hand desperately over Griff’s wound. Griff shook his head,

“ I loved you Isabel. In both lifetimes,” he said quietly, as Isabel threw herself at his body, holding him tightly. When she left go, Griff’s body was dull and limp. Max felt himself rip apart as he watched Isabel weep over his body.

The next series of flashes past by. Griff’s funeral, where Isabel was turned away at the door. Isabel mourned him constantly, and turned to selling herself to live. He’d given her everything, and wanted nothing. And now she was lost without him.


Isabel released her hands from Max’s face, a solemn tear running down her cheek. Max looked at her, dumbfounded. He carefully put his arms around his sister, and held her tightly.

“ Isabel, I had no idea,” he whispered, rocking her back and forth. Isabel quivered,

“ Max, Griff was one of us. The connection was so deep, I felt everything he felt. And Max, god, when he died I felt so alone,” she said, holding onto her brothers shoulder. Max closed his eyes,

“ There are more like us? Oh Isabel, god, I just don’t know what to say,” Max said, releasing her slowly. Max breathed slowly, watching as Isabel rubbed her fingers under her eyes, trying to stop the tears from falling.

“ I don’t want to talk about anything alien now. But Max, if you show Liz what happened, that’s it. She’ll know about us. Griff was an alien, and he didn’t know anything more than I did. But he wasn’t the same as you or me, I don’t know. He felt different than us. But even though we were both the same species, the connection killed me. If you start something like that, the moment Liz leaves you; you’ll fell so alone. You wont be able to survive, breathe, nothing. It all goes the minute she goes,” Isabel said solemnly. Max gulped a little.

“ How did you two start the connection?” he asked. Isabel smiled slightly,

“ He healed me,” she said quietly.

* * *

Liz opened one eye. She could feel Michael’s heavy body next to hers, and he was snoring again. She sighed, finally, he’d fallen asleep. He hadn’t left her alone all day; he’d been there every minute of the day. It was comforting to know how much he just wanted to protect her, but there were things she wanted to do.

Slipping out of the bed, she walked up to the mirror and lifted the light vest top she was wearing to bed up a little. Glowing out in the darkness was the Silver Handprint on her stomach. Liz touched it, trying to make sure it was real. Half of her was terrified. What the hell had Max done to her?
He kept you alive, a small voice in the back of her head said. It was true; Max Evans had saved her life.

But she wanted to know how.

Taking one last look at Michael, Liz carefully slipped out of her room, clicking the door behind her, and walking down to Max’s room. She opened the door carefully, and peered inside. No one was there.

She closed the door shut again and rested on it. Why couldn’t he be in bed, asleep at 3am like a normal person?

Liz made her way to the west wing of the house, where the only other place she could think of to look for Max was.

Liz’s bare feet patted against the carpet, as she approached the library door. She opened it slightly, and walked inside.

Max lay stretched out on the sofa, looking at the ceiling. He sat up when he saw her.

Liz gulped as she stood in front of him, as he rose as well. She couldn’t think of anything to say. Here she was, alone for the first time with Max since the ‘incident’.

She gulped again as she raised her light vest top, exposing the silver handprint.

“ Woah,” Max breathed. Liz lowered her top and bit her bottom lip.

“ You can say that again,” she said quietly.

* * *

I edited to change Liz's last words cos I thought of these and they sounded better! Sorry!



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Apr-2002 3:37:13 PM ]
posted on 8-Apr-2002 2:03:52 PM by leaving_normal
Hey guys *happy*

Thank You once again for every bit of feedback *big* I'm on cloud nine.

Okay, don't worry dreamers, your Max/Liz talk will be up within the next two days!

And just to let you know...the part where Amy reveals who the aliens are is coming up in Part 11... and there are going to be some major revelations! After that, I have a couple of plots lined up, including 2 murders, a runaway, more about their past on Antar as another one of the orginal survivors turns up, a family revelation for Alex, involvement from the FBI... a visit to Antar...and a fire which will turn everything around...

Just to keep you interested *wink*

Thanks everyone,

Jo.x
posted on 9-Apr-2002 3:40:34 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

Okay, this isn't what you want to hear, but I'm stuck. I know what I want to write, but its just not flowing. Mainly because I don't have the time to sit down and write at the moment, but I promise you, the moment I have any time to actually sit down and get into my story again, I will. It shouldn't be too long, but I probably wont update for another week. Trust me, I hate it as much as you all do, but real life has this stupid way of interfering in my love for roswell. I'm so sorry guys, I'll be back as soon as I can.

Jo.x
posted on 10-Apr-2002 5:27:02 PM by leaving_normal
Hello everyone,

You know what, I just decided screw real life, I'll take a break. I'm just writing a load of roswell, that will hopefully be posted in about 45 minutes at the latest.

So look forward to an update *happy*
posted on 10-Apr-2002 6:45:17 PM by leaving_normal
Part 10C

Max couldn’t help but stare at the glowing handprint on Liz’s bare stomach. The gentle unbroken smoothness of her skin was momentarily touched by something not of this earth, and through the inhumanly illumination from the handprint, it was clear Max had left his mark. He mentally traced his five fingers and the palm of his hand. It was like nothing he’d ever seen before. It was almost magical, he thought momentarily, like a magical seal that had willed her life to stay inside of her, and not leave him. His brown eyes opened wide, his dark brown bangs falling sheepishly over his eyes as they covered his raised eyebrows, and he managed a low utterance of ‘whoa’.

Liz carefully lowered her thin vest and looked at Max, her brown hair hanging around her face and reaching just past her shoulders. Her brown eyes were sparkling questioningly, as she parted her lips.

“ What did you do to me?” she asked quietly, still looking at him.

Max felt the room chill a little cooler as the wind fell through the open window. Max’s eyes couldn’t leave Liz’s, she was asking him for answers he couldn’t give her, and Max was at a loss for words. How do you explain to someone that you come from a different planet? How could he explain anything to her? It was obvious the wait was starting to get too much for Liz, as she started to pace up and down erratically in front of him, her hands motioning her attempt to stay scientific and in control.

“ Maybe I’m going crazy or something Max, but I was dying. Was I? Well yeah, I was. I’m certain of it,” she said stopping in front of him and looking at him straight in the eyes. Max nodded a little, still dumbstruck. Liz looked at him again; reaching down and touching her stomach tenderly where the silver handprint grazed her skin.

“ So there I was dying on the floor of that convenience store and now I have this handprint glowing on my stomach and to be quite honest Max, I’m standing in front of you trying not to pass out,” she finished carefully, as he looked up at her. He couldn’t help smiling a little.

“ Please don’t do that,” he said softly.

“ Do what?” she asked him. Max gave her a small lopsided grin,

“ Pass out,” he said, as she smiled a little too. Liz gulped.

“ What did you do to me Max?” she asked him, watching his whole body tense. Liz knew that whatever she heard now would be a shock. She was bracing herself for it, feeling her palms become clammy and rubbing them on her trousers.

Max looked at her. Her brown hair now behind her shoulders, her brown expect gaze still slightly open, though the hurt still shining through in her eyes. He couldn’t tell her anything else but the truth. It was time to finally let someone in on this secret.

“ I’ve been able to do it all my life,” he said quietly, as Liz looked at him curiously. Her gaze seemed to open a little more, as she seemed to take some sympathy with him, appreciating how hard it was for him. She wrapped her arms protectively around her waist.

“ Are you like one of those people who go around performing miracles?” she asked him seriously, swallowing hard. Max grinned a little, as he shook his head. The thought of a career as a preacher had never appealed to Max, and for some reason he found the proposition strangely amusing.

Liz looked up at him, a curious glint in her eyes, as she slowly took a step forwards and came a little closer to him. Her careful footsteps echoed through the empty room. She seemed to hesitate a moment, almost as if something was on the tip of her tongue, but she wasn’t sure whether she was going to say it out loud or not. Liz fought the butterflies in her stomach for supremacy, as she came closer to Max. When she was close enough to feel the heat radiating off his body, and watch as his eyes looked down at her, she held out her hand very slowly, hesitating at first, before carefully reaching out for him and placing her hand tenderly on his thin shirt, over his heart.

Max watched as her hand shook, and her questioning brown eyes looked up at his. In an instant Max could see her innocence, like a lost child, not knowing quite what was real anymore.

Liz swallowed hard, as Max’s warm gaze met hers, and in the coldness of the library, she could feel his heart beating. She stood there a moment, feeling his beating heart under the palm of her hand, and feeling it race as she touched him. Her own heart was racing too. His soulful, peaceful warm eyes looked at her, as she whispered quietly,

“ Are you an angel?”

Max touched her warm hand with his cold one, and slowly took it away from his chest, holding it for a moment before letting go. His voice quivered, as he said carefully,

“ Think a little higher,” he said carefully, as Liz’s eyes opened wider. She raised her eyebrows,

“ God?”

Max couldn’t help but smile at the prospect of anyone considering a God, because he was far from it. The thought that you kinda had to be human in some sense to become a god seemed to dominate Max’s mind. He shook his head again as Liz began to get frustrated,

“ Then where are you from Max?”

He slowly raised his index finger, and extended it so it pointed towards the sky. His heart soared into the air. Liz looked at him, her heart beat racing.

“ Higher?” she repeated in a strangled voice, realising what Max had meant by the phrase earlier. The idea seemed to wrestle with her conscience for a few moments, until she shook her head,

“ No Max, it’s just not possible for you to be a, well, an, an alien,” she said looking at him. Max took his hand down and raised his eyebrows at her again,

“ What, it was easier for me to be an angel?” he said, but by the sharp look Liz gave him, he bowed his head, “ Okay, probably not a good time to joke.”

Liz walked past him and sat down on the sofa, seriously worrying about passing out. Max sat gently next to her. Liz looked at him again,

“ So you’re an alien. Where do you come from?” she asked him, looking at him as he scratched his eyebrow and was notably uncomfortable.

“ Well, we don’t exactly know. We think we were in the crash of ’47, and somehow ended up being,” Max said, but stopped when Liz looked at him, and asked a weak question of,

“ We?”

Max mentally kicked himself when he realised what he’d given away. Isabel was going to kill him.

“ Well Isabel’s…” he said, letting his voice willingly trail off as Liz’s eyes opened wide, and she seemed to turn a shade paler, if that was even possible. Liz took a deep breath,

“ Okay, I’m trying really hard not to freak out,” she said, as Max looked at her. She looked at him again, this time thoughts running a million miles an hour through her mind,

“ But wait Max, if you’re 16, how could you have been in the Crash of ’47?” she asked him. Max sat against the arm of the sofa, so that he was facing her. He took a deep breath,

“ We think we were in these incubation pods, and we were found, in the dessert in Roswell when we looked about six years old. The only way we know that are through dreams,” he said, as Liz looked curiously at him. She seemed to be relaxing a little, if it was possible for her to relax. Liz was quiet again, as Liz touched her stomach,

“ So is saving people a regular thing for you? How did you do it anyway? Are you like Superman or something?” she said, firing questions one after the other at him. Max smiled a little at her curiosity, and began to answer her questions,

“ I have some, well, powers. I can manipulate molecular structures,” he said, picking up a clay ornament off the bookshelf and concentrating to form it into a rose, and handed it to Liz. She looked up at him as he continued, “ and Isabel can see into people’s dreams sometimes.”

Liz looked up at him again, still not quite believing anything he said. She looked at him,

“ But why Max? Why did you do it? What if someone had seen, they would have taken you and done all these experiments on you and…” Liz said as Max held up his hand,

“ Please Liz, that stuff scares me enough as it is, I don’t need graphic detail,” he said, as she nodded. She took a deep breath,

“ Then why Max? Why me, and not the shopkeeper?” she asked. Max felt a sudden pang of guilt rise up inside him, as he remembered the shopkeeper lying on the floor, the life literally flowing out of him. Max swallowed hard,

“ It was you, Liz. If I’d have healed the other man, the robber or even the shopkeeper would have turned me over to the FBI and you’re right, they’d be cutting me open as we speak,” Max said gravely. Liz placed a warm hand on his shoulder, as Max looked at her. And for a brief moment, they saw each other again. Liz looked at him carefully,

“ How did you know I wouldn’t turn you in?” she asked him. Max shook his head,

“ There was no doubt in my mind Liz, I trust you,” he said, as Liz took her hand away from his shoulder, and sat in silence for a moment, trying to digest everything. She couldn’t believe that she was being so calm about this. But then, she wasn’t quite sure she believed it anyway. But every time she saw the silver handprint on her stomach, she couldn’t deny any of it.

Max broke the silence, asking her,

“ Are you okay?”

Liz looked at him and smiled,

“ Well I’m kind of disappointed you’re not an angel,” she said as Max smiled faintly. Liz looked at him. There were a lot of things she’d just learnt about Max that were scary to her, but there were also a lot of things that she couldn’t help but wonder about him. How had he lived all this time without telling anyone? Why did he look like a human? Why did he have powers? Why was he here, on earth?

But one look at Max told her everything she needed to know. He was just as scared as she was. And she understood that. She knew what it felt like to not know who you were, and she was sure of her species. She couldn’t imagine how lonely Max and Isabel felt.

But then her own loneliness came back to haunt her, as she felt the disgust and hatred flood over her about Tess. Tess was the girl who had started all of this off, who was the reason she’d left the house. And while she was on the streak of finding out the truth about Max Evans, she might as well find out the whole truth.

“ Max, did you sleep with Tess?” a quiet voice came from the silent background. Max shook his head violently.

“ No Liz, I wouldn’t have done it. There’s something you should know about her, she’s, well she’s…” Max said, not wanting to repeat the word ‘alien’ for yet another time. Liz looked at him in disbelief.

“ She’s one of you?” Liz almost shrieked. Max watched as Liz went into shock, and got up off the sofa.

“ Max I have to go. Back to my room. I have to go now,” Liz said, standing up. Max stood in front of her.

“ Liz, it doesn’t make any difference what she is. She doesn’t mean anything to me, but you Liz,” he said, looking at her carefully. Liz stopped and looked at his pleading eyes, “ You mean everything to me. You were the one who wanted to know me, the real me. And even now, when I’ve told you everything, I want you to know that I’m still me, and nothing I feel about you has changed.”

Liz took a step back. She sighed.

“ Max, I’ve just found out that my boyfriend, my boyfriend’s sister, and what do I call her? My boyfriends psycho stalker are aliens, I think it changes some things,” she said carefully. Max nodded. Liz looked up at him,

“ And I want to believe you about not sleeping with Tess, I really do, but it’s just hard Max. I can accept you’re an alien, because, well, I can hardly deny it,” she said sheepishly, touching her stomach again. Max looked at her. He breathed deeply,

“ Liz, when I healed you, I had to let this, this connection flow between us,” he started, as Liz looked at him curiously, wondering what any of this had to do with Tess. Max continued,

“ It let me feel what you were feeling, and when I connected to you, I got this rush of images,” Max said, his pace beginning to quicken. Liz shook her head,

“ Max, what do you mean, images? Did you read my mind?” she asked. He stopped in front of her.

“ No, there were things you were feeling that sent images to me, it was like watching a film of your life,” Max said gently, smiling. Liz looked at him,

“ What did you see?” she asked nervously, as Max laughed slowly.

“ I saw you, in like, third grade, and these girls were laughing at you because your dad had made you wear this dress with cupcakes on it, and Michael came over and pushed a girl in a muddy puddle,” Max said, smiling. Liz laughed too,

“ God, that was so embarrassing, and Michael got detention for like a week for that,” she said, until her face clouded over again. Max looked at her seriously,

“ I’m still the same person Liz, I’m still me,” he said, as she backed away from him again. She nodded her head.

“ I think I believe that Max. But this is a lot to take in, and I’ve got this whole thing going around in my mind that I trust you so much, because you saved my life. But I can’t shake this thing about Tess,” she said, as she walked over to the door. Max called her from across the room, battling against everything Isabel had warned him about,

“ Liz, I can show you that I didn’t sleep with her,” he said quietly. Liz stopped, still with her hand on the doorknob, her hands twitching nervously.

“ What do you mean?” she asked, not turning to face him. He came up behind her, and held her hand, spinning her around slowly.

“ I’ve never tried this, but maybe I can make the connection go the other way. So you can see that I didn’t sleep with Tess, and that I’m still me,” he said quietly. Liz gulped a little,

“ Max,” she started, as Max backed away from her again. He spoke quietly, trying not to scare her,

“ I have to touch you Liz,” he said, raising his hands to her face. Liz stepped away,

“ Max, I’m not sure I’m ready to share something like that yet,” she said, backing up against the door. Max’s eyes lowered in an attempt to cover up his embarrassment and feelings of rejection with feelings of understanding. Liz opened the door of the library, and looked out into the surreal hallway. Nothing seemed real after her conversation with Max, and suddenly and overwhelmingly, all she wanted was her own bed. And just space. Space to think about everything. Max looked up and called,

“ Liz?”

“ Yeah?” she answered quietly.

“ You’re the only one who knows about us. You can’t tell anyone, not Michael, Maria, nobody. If this gets out, well, my life is in your hands,” he said quietly, the distant look in his eyes the same as the first time Liz met him. Liz nodded. She didn’t need to question it, she understood. She smiled at him,

“ Goodnight Max,” she said quietly, as she walked out of the library, closing the door behind her. Max looked at the door, everything running through him at once. Had he done the right thing? What would happen now?

Suddenly he realised that none of this was in his control anymore. It was all up to Liz.

He breathed slowly, looking at the clay rose on the sofa. He picked it up and looked at the door, whispering,

“ Goodnight Liz.”

* * *

Michael’s eyes twitched in a troubled sleep. The sweat ran down his back and soaked into the covers around him, as he gasped, struggling for air.

“ Michael, Michael it’s me,” a voice called in the darkness. Michael felt the atmosphere around him. It was lighter, thinner almost. The vibrant colours around him encompassed him in a blanket of warmth and security, as he felt the familiarity of the scene make him nervous. He struggled to find his voice, stretching out into nothing, but everything at the same time. Suddenly the image cleared into another familiar sight. A dessert like, vapid landscape. Looking above him, Michael could see a deep violet sky with two white moons.

Michael stretched out in front of him, watching his hand glide effortlessly through the atmosphere. The voice continued to call him,

“ Michael? Michael? You need to listen to me,” a voice called, although the voice seemed to get further and further away. Michael looked around him, and suddenly a thousand voices encompassed him. Michael shook his head, trying to sort the voices out. And suddenly, Michael felt someone next to him. Everything went dark again, but he could feel it. Only as a purple flame, the heat radiating off it could Michael recognise the feeling. A voice echoed throughout the void he was in,

“ Remember the story Michael,”

Michael mentally reached out, trying to grasp onto the voice. But before he knew it, it was gone.

And he was awake.

In Liz’s room.

Safe.

He looked around him, seeing Liz looking out the window. He breathed heavily. Running his shaking hands through his wet hair. Liz hadn’t acknowledged his awakening, but continued to stare out into the night. Michael gulped and buried himself into the covers, feeling more exhausted than he had done before going to sleep.

Making sure he was firmly buried under the covers, so that Liz couldn’t see him, through the darkness and coolness of the room he whispered,

“ What are you trying to tell me dad?”

* * *

Isabel gathered her hair into a tight bun on the top of her head and looked in the mirror. She surveyed her right side critically, then her left side. Since coming the Valenti homestead, she’d started to eat regular meals, and it was apparently starting to catch up with her. Isabel threw off the pair of light blue trousers she was wearing and slipped into her favourite black ones. Black was always good if you were having a bit of an off day.

Applying a little more lip-gloss Isabel almost laughed at her reflection in the mirror. Who was this happy, smiling girl? Where were the lime green miniskirts? The dog collars? Even the attitude? Everything that Isabel had been up until a few weeks ago had disappeared. Now she looked good, was doing well in school, and above all she was actually happy.

Still on a buzz, Isabel walked down the hall, noticing a banging coming from one of the doors along the side of the halls. Knowing that Amy had permitted them one day off school, just to spend the day in with everyone, most people would still be in bed at 9.30am. An idea suddenly flickered across Isabel’s face, as she stood outside Tess’ bedroom door.

Isabel smiled in amusement as Tess banged on her bedroom door. The hard oak doors made quite a sound when you banged on them hard enough, although, they were also quite effective in keeping the sound out of your room. So whilst everyone was still asleep, here was Tess banging on her bedroom door with no one to let her out. Oh, what a shame.

With a bemused expression still painted across her glossed lips, Isabel waved her hand across the bedroom door and unlocked it, watching as a very red in the face Tess fell out of the bedroom. Isabel watched as Tess ungracefully got to her feet, and tried to calm her mangled bush of ringlets on the top of her head. Isabel smiled sweetly,

“ Sometimes you’ve got to pull and twist, it can get the slightest bit jammed at times.” Isabel leant against the doorframe, as Tess glared and grumbled,

“ Yeah I’m sure.” Tess began to walk down the hallway, as Isabel called out,

“ Where you going? Going to jump into bed beside my brother again?”

Tess spun around, her short purple nightie glimmering in the dull light of the hallway, and her eyes shining through with a clear distinction of distaste for the girl. She threw Isabel a piercing look, to which Isabel rolled her eyes. Tess looked at Isabel,

“ Me and Max go further back that you two, I was around after you ran away. I was the one who helped him through everything,” Tess spat evilly, as Isabel remained tall and dignified, not wanting to stoop to Tess’ level. Isabel rolled her eyes,

“ I didn’t know you then and I don’t want to know you now. But watch it little girl, my brother may treat you lightly, but I wont. You make one false move in this house and I’ll make your life a living hell, understand?” Isabel said, no longer leaning against the wall, but staring down at Tess. Tess stepped back from Isabel, watching her eyes not leave her figure once,

“ You don’t scare me,” Tess said, as Isabel approached her once again. Isabel smiled sweetly,

“ I don’t want to scare you Tess. I want to terrify you,” Isabel said, hovering intently for a moment, letting Tess squirm beneath her. Isabel strode off purposely, walking down the stairs and borrowing Max’s keys to the jeep.

Tess cursed under her breath and stormed back into her room, slamming the door behind her. She slipped on a pair of dark blue jeans and a deep red top, and started to run a brush through her hair.

A sharp knock came at her door, and not waiting for an answer, the person on the outside entered quickly, closing the door behind them.

Tess looked up, pulling her mass of curls behind her face. Her eyes opened wide.

“ What are you doing here?” she asked in rash rudeness, scorning herself at the amount of surprise evident in her voice. Tess hated being caught off guard, especially when she was half dressed.

Liz stood tall and firm, a black sweater hiding the handprint that was still glowing brightly on her stomach, and the dignity and determination spurring off her in waves. Liz swallowed hard; she was strangely calm about the whole situation. She stood still though, worried that if she got any closer to Tess, she may just rip all of her hair out.

“ Tess, I want to talk about what happened,” Liz began rationally. Okay, maybe she wasn’t as calm about it as she thought she was. The desire to beat her to a pulp was so overwhelming she didn’t know how much longer she could stand it, so she gripped the doorknob behind her tightly.

Tess raised an eyebrow,

“ You want to talk about your boyfriend luring me into his bed?” Tess said, waiting for a flash of anger to flare from Liz. But instead, Liz laughed.

“ I know you claim to know him ever so well Tess, but seriously I can’t see Max luring anyone into bed, least of all you,” Liz said with a slight snarl, pleasantly surprised at how calm and collected her voice sounded. Tess turned her nose up at Liz,

“ Yeah well, if he can’t keep his hands to himself then-” Tess began, sitting on her bed and tying her shoelaces. Liz cut her short,

“ Tess, I don’t think you quite understand. I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you at all. Not one word of it,” Liz said, watching Tess’ expression cloud over. A small triumph yelled out inside Liz, she was having the effect she wanted.

“ Then why the hell are you here?” Tess spurted out, beginning to get annoyed. Liz looked at her,

“ I don’t care about you okay? I don’t know anything about you, and what I do know about you I don’t like. But what I’m saying is that I’m going to be with Max no matter what, and you can’t do anything to stop that,” Liz said firmly, watching as Tess got off the bed. She looked seriously pissed, but Liz just continued to smile.

“ I don’t think it’s me you have to worry about. It’s keep your boyfriends hands on you and not on me,” Tess spat, standing face to face with Liz. Liz looked at her,

“ Oh I get it,” Liz said, waiting for Tess to real in the bait. Tess watched as Liz took a step back from her, and looked her up and down.

“ What?” Tess asked.

“ You’re jealous. You’re jealous because Max wants me over you,” Liz said, looking at her. Tess rolled her eyes,

“ Oh please. Me and Max have something deep, we’re destined to be together,” Tess said, as she watched Liz. Liz looked at Tess,

“ But look at us Tess. Why would he choose someone like you over someone like me? If you really think Max is your destiny, it looks as if it’s a one way thing,” Liz said, as she began to open the door. In a desperate attempt to save face, Tess called at her in the hallway,

“ Yeah, well, he slept with me!”

Liz simply turned around and watched the petite blonde stand in the doorway, looked her up and down and said firmly,

“ No, he didn’t.”

With that Tess slammed her door shut and stormed onto her bed, screaming into her pillow.

* * *

Liz closed the bedroom door and jumped up and down, waving her arms around and doing her happy dance.

Maria looked over from her wardrobe, and then looked at Alex who was messing around with the stereo, and Michael who was still in bed.

“ What ever she’s on, I want some.”

* * *

posted on 11-Apr-2002 1:30:16 PM by leaving_normal
AUTHORS NOTE

Hey Guys, thanks for the feedback *happy*

I think maybe my ego is getting the better of me. I'm so happy I get so much feedback, it really helps me improve my writing as well as want to keep the story going!

What did you think about the Angel line? I loved writing the Max and Liz scene, and when Isabel was talking to Tess was so great, because Isabel is such a great character to work with. And I wasn't even going to throw in the bit with Liz/Tess, but I just had to fit in there that Liz has made her OWN mind up about Max not sleeping with Tess, WITHOUT any help from Max. She trusts him. Liz saying all those things to Tess was incredible to write because I wanted her so badly to confront Tess in the show, and I got to write it!! *happy*

Okay guys, if you want any more soon, I need a little more feedback then I'll finish off Part 10... which, dreamers, ends on a very nice dreamer note... And for the Candies, a bit aof the typical M/M relationship coming up, but a HUGE bit in the next chapter, where Maria comes to his rescue!

As I said guys, the more feedback I get, the more I'll write *happy*

Jo.x
posted on 14-Apr-2002 3:56:25 AM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone!

Just a note to say thanks for all the feedback! This part was actually supposed to be longer, and finish off Part 10, but my mum sent me to bed with cries of " Jo, it's three in the morning" before I could finish it *wink* Parents??

Right, I think I have a few things to clear up. I know Amy and Jim wanted to know about what was happening with Tess and everything... but before they could find anything out Liz and Max were in the robbery and that kinda took priority... Do not worry, the truth will come out soon enough!

And hmm, about Tess' room. lol, it's hard trying to fit them into one house, so I was kinda thinkin maybe they converted a room or something, or technically someone with their powers could have made another room. I wont give away who though *wink* I mean, Kyles in the attic, Liz and Maria are sharing, Alex, Michael and Max are sharing... and Isabel has her own room. I think I'll draw a little diagram for myself, maybe it'll be easier *wink* I've also got to do something about the Jim/Kyle storyline, I keep trying to pick it up but poor Kyle just walks in and ends up in the middle of everything!

And one last thing about a Max/Liz connection scene... dreamers it will happen, but Liz is just a little bit freaked out right now, and she feels that if she makes the connection with him and sees that he didn't sleep with Tess, she'll feel terrible cos she didn't trust him. She just needed time to figure out that Max was telling the truth, so that WHEN she connects with him (yeah dreamers, it will happen *wink*) she wont have any guilt hanging over her. And don't worry, Tess really will get what she deserves, you've just gotta wait and see the storylines develop.

I'll post asap, but I've got work and a Christening to go to this weekend, and then coursework due in Wednesday and it's my birthday on the 16th *happy* I can't wait *happy* but I will post as soon as I can...

Thanks again everyone,

Jo.x


posted on 15-Apr-2002 4:42:48 PM by leaving_normal
Hello again,

I am so sorry its taking me so long. I really have got so much stress at the moment, but I just dropped in to say I have at least started the next part!

And this isn't really about my fic, but you know its my birthday tomorrow? My mum made me this roswell cake!! It's so cute, my sister who's like seven years old had to dip her hand in blue food colouring and press her handprint onto ssome icing and my mum stuck it on the cake and covered it in little silver balls.... I just thought it was so cute I had to share!

New Part ASAP, I promise...

Jo.xx
posted on 17-Apr-2002 1:27:23 PM by leaving_normal
Aw you guys are so great *happy* A lot of poeple forgot my birthday this year so it was so nice to come onto the board and read the messages *happy*

I'm determined to get another part out tonight, even if it's not very long!

And by the way, my cake ruled *big* Oh and I'm so happy, Roswell Season 3 is finally going to be aired in Britain!! And my boyfriend bought me the Roswell soundtrack *happy* he imported it from America *happy*

So look out for the new part!

Jo.x
posted on 17-Apr-2002 5:48:05 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: As promised, the next part... it has a bit of Michael stuff at the begining that took me ages to write becuase I wanted to get on to the good stuff, but it had to be written to fit in with my story... major dreamer bits here...well you guys see what you think...

Part 10E

Michael entwined his fingers with Maria’s, grasping them a little tighter. Maria shuffled further into the sofa uncomfortably. She looked at him, and then looked back at the television screen. She sighed,

“ Michael, if you grasp my fingers any tighter they’re just going to fall off,” she said, as she released her fingers from Michael’s tight grip. Michael shook his head,

“ Yeah whatever,” he said, reaching for the remote and channel surfing. Maria looked at him. He was being really difficult today. She could cope with him being difficult, but not this difficult. He’d hardly spoken to her at all since Max and Liz had got home, and it was really starting to bug her. He’d just sit there being silent. And that was more irritating than him sitting there being his normal annoying self. She sighed again,

“ Look Michael, Liz is fine okay? Will you quit worrying about her?” Maria said, watching the vein throb in his head as he began to get angry. Maria bit her bottom lip. Maybe she shouldn’t talk about this. But it was driving her crazy. All she wanted to do was talk to him, make sure that he was okay. But he wouldn’t let her in, and it was killing her inside. She sighed again, flicking her blonde hair behind her shoulders.

“ Michael look, one day you’re going to have to take down this barrier between you and the rest of the world,” Maria said, capturing Michael’s attention. He looked at her, his grey eyes transfixed on her gentle gaze.

“ What the hell is that supposed to mean?” he asked her, obviously offended and swivelling around in the chair to face her. She leant forward and held his hands lightly.

“ Michael, something terrible happened to you and Liz, something completely devastating and I understand that; I can see how much you want to protect her. But who’s looking after you? Who do you talk to?” she asked him, her baby blue eyes pleading. He seemed to melt for a little, as Maria began to relax, thinking that she was getting through to him, but in a moment his stony glare was back, and instead a slow anger was ripping through Michael.

“ You don’t know anything about me Maria,” he said coldly. Maria stood up forcefully,

“ What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked, as he stood up too. Damn, she hated it when he did that, it meant that he towered above her, looking down at her like she was nothing.

“ It means you don’t know anything about me. You’ve known me for two seconds, and suddenly you think you know everything about me. There isn’t a barrier, I swear, you woman talk too much,” Michael said, turning away from her. Maria’s fists clenched by her side, as she struggled to control her temper. She knew he wanted to let someone in, she could see it when he looked at her. He was bottling everything up inside him, and she knew how harmful that could be. She’d been doing it all her life, too scared to tell anyone her secret in case she’d be beaten again. She didn’t want him to go through what she had, but he wouldn’t let her in. He wouldn’t trust her. Letting the frustration get the better of her, she shouted at him in irritation,

“ God Michael, when will you learn people are just trying to help?!” she said, before turning and rushing upstairs, tripping and picking herself back up again. Michael watched as she fell, and ignored the urge to help her back up. What was he doing?

You’re making a mess, is what you’re doing, Michael answered himself, burying his hands in his head. Why couldn’t he open up to anyone? Why did he have to keep everything to himself? Why couldn’t he tell someone how scared he was, how much he wanted to know what his dreams meant, what the mirrors breaking meant? And why couldn’t he let Maria in? She was so soft, so gentle, and he knew that all she wanted to do was help. But he just couldn’t tell her.

He just couldn’t.

He looked up, and saw a smirking blonde looking at him from the other side of the room. He felt his stomach churn, as he looked at her face. Tess laughed, shaking her head and crossing her legs in front of him, resting her arms on the armrests and sticking out her chest,

“ Never mind Michael, there’s more than one blonde in the house,” she said seductively. Michael stood up, trying to leave the kitchen before his anger got the better of him. But Tess just wouldn’t leave him alone,

“ Where you going big boy? Afraid you can’t handle me?” she said suggestively. Michael span around,

“ I am giving your ugly ass to the count of three to get out of here, right now. One,” Michael started to count slowly. Tess laughed at him and got off her seat,

“ Come on Michael, what you got against me?” she said, walking up to him and tracing circles on his chest. Michael grabbed her wrist,

“ Get off me. The fact that you are the one responsible for nearly getting my sister killed may have some influence on my perception that you are a self centred, self obsessed whore.”

Tess looked at him. She wondered vaguely why he thought he was so important. She thought vaguely as to why she was even bothering to talk to him. But hey, it was some way to pass time. She flicked her mass of curls to one side, and started to walk around him in a circle.

“ Don’t blame me for any of that, if you ask me its all Max’s fault. If he had told Liz he had a girlfriend before I arrive, none of this would have happened,” Tess said, facing the front window so she had her back to Michael. He turned around and glared at her. Tess smiled, feeling his gaze burning into her back. Michael fists became clenched, as he started to feel the anger spread throughout his body.

“ I don’t give a shit about Max’s past, I don’t give a shit about you. He protected my sister when she needed him, all you’ve ever done is cause trouble,” Michael said in heated words, as Tess spun around. Her blue eyes were frosty, and her fists clenched by her sides.

“ So suddenly Max is a saint and what we did together doesn’t count for anything?” she shouted, coming to stand in front of Michael. Michael stood still, knowing that if he moved, he might just pick her up and chuck her out of the front door.

“ I don’t even think you and Max did anything together,” he said. He wasn’t sure if he believed it, but if Max was willing to risk his life for Liz, he knew the guy couldn’t be all bad. This seemed to anger Tess further, as she began to pace up and down the room.

“ All of you are so stupid, you can’t see what’s right before your eyes,” she said, continuing to pace. Michael cocked an eyebrow,

“ Tess why don’t you just leave, we don’t want you in our home,” he said, opening the front door. He gripped the door tightly, trying to restrain his anger. Tess looked at him,

“ Why is all of this coming back on me? Why do you hate me and not him?!” she screamed, standing next to the big mirror, which stood over the fireplace. Michael looked at her. Was it possible for her to be this dumb?

“ Maybe because you’re the whore in this situation?” he said calmly, leaning that Tess reacted more to calm people rather than when people shouted at her. Tess started to scratch at her head, and paced the small distance of the fireplace again, mumbling words to herself.

Michael raised an eyebrow. This girl kept getting weirder and weirder. She shouldn’t be in a foster home; she should be in a mental home.

Getting slightly freaked out by Tess’ ramblings to herself, Michael shut the door and walked over to her, grabbing her by the wrists. Tess proceeded to scream hysterically, crying rape and thrashing at Michael to let go of her. Then suddenly there was a loud crack, and Michael turned and looked at the mirror. There was one large crack down the centre of it. He stood still. That wasn’t him. He hadn’t done that. When the two other mirrors had cracked, he’d felt something, like a tiny burst of energy escaping from his fingertips. But now he wasn’t even angry. He looked at Tess, who was staring at him, fury in her eyes. Michael gripped her wrists a little tighter, making her yell. And that was all it took to crack the mirror completely, as Michael threw himself onto the sofa to escape the daggers of glass that were falling. Michael panted heavily and looked incredulously at Tess. Her icy glare had changed to one of some guilt and worried glaze, as her hands shook. Michael looked at her again, not even taking the time to blink. He lifted a finger and pointed at her,

“ You can do that too?”

Tess looked at him, her gaze now turning to one of intrigue. She looked Michael up and down,

“ What do you mean, ‘too’?”

They sat and stared at each other. Michael felt his stomach turn. There was something weird going on, and whatever it was, he didn’t like it.

* * *
Liz sat in her bedroom, perched on the windowsill above her bed. It was just turning to dusk again, and she was looking out of her window. Everything on the outside seemed so unreal to her. It’d taken a while, but the thought that she could have died right there, in that store, was just starting to hit her. Liz touched the windowpane, feeling its coolness brush with her bare hands. She could have bled to death, right there, not saying goodbye to anyone she loved.

Liz shook her head. It wasn’t even as if she could have died. It was that she should have died. She shouldn’t be alive right now. That bullet had gone into her, pierced her skin and had started to tear her away from her life. Liz gulped again.

But she hadn’t died. Liz rested her head on the cool window again, as she wrapped her arms around her and brought her knees up to her chest. Liz kept repeating it to herself. She was alive. Liz took another breath, and threw her head back, throwing the hair off her face. She was wearing one of Michael’s jumpers again. It always made her feel safe, like Michael was constantly around her. It was his favourite one, the blue one that covered his hands and kept him warm when the wind had blown in their ‘shed’ before they’d come and lived with the Valenti’s. Liz had a momentary feeling of nostalgia, but pushed it away as soon as she had felt it creeping over her. Thinking about the past hurt. But Liz felt her eyes being drawn to the photo that hadn’t moved from her bedside table. She placed her bare feet onto her soft cushioned bed and touched it tenderly. Just as Kyle had the picture of his mum smiling happily, with Kyle in her arms, Liz had her family picture beside her too. Liz’s eyes drifted towards her bottom drawer again, as she slid the old mahogany drawer open, and touched her journal gently. She brought it onto her lap, and took a deep breath. She traced the letters of her name engraved in script on the front.

She turned open the front page carefully, and looked at her first entry.

It’s June 17th, I’m Liz Parker and my life is amazingly perfect.

Liz gulped back the lump in her throat. Of course, that was written before her father died. When things really were perfect for her. She flicked past a couple of pages, scanning them as she went. Until she reached the last entry.

It’s July 6th, and I’m starting to think maybe things will be amazing for me forever.

I’ve always known I’m lucky to have dad and Michael, because some people don’t have anybody. Sometimes people would ask me what I thought about not having a mother, but it never bothered me. Because having dad around is like having both of them. And Michael just completes the package.

I’ve never missed out on anything, because dad makes sure he compensates for everything I would be missing. So in reality, I’m not really missing out on anything. He makes me laugh when he talks about the stars and planets sometimes; sometimes I think he’s from a different planet! There are times he’ll tell me about the whirlwind galaxy, and the five planets that will arrange themselves in a V constellation every eight years. It’s like I can almost reach out and touch them.

But what I love most about my dad is that he’s always told me that him, Michael and me are family no matter what happens, and to never listen to what anyone else tells me. And that he’ll always protect me, so I’ll never need to worry.


Liz’s eyes were glazed with tears as she shut the book. That entry had been made the night that her father died, and she had never written in it since. She didn’t want her life to carry on past that point. She wanted to go back to her life being perfect, with her dad around.

Picking up the journal and carefully putting on her shoes, she crept out into the hallway, hearing the laughter from downstairs as the others watched a movie. Reading her journal had made her realise that if she never wrote another page, that would have been the last impression she would have made on people. If Max hadn’t have saved her, she wouldn’t be here now. At one point she thought her life had made sense, but now, she was realising that maybe it would never make sense.

* * *

Liz carefully balanced her journal in her free hand as she hoisted herself over onto the top of the roof. The sun had completely set now, and the first stars were becoming visible. She pushed back her long dark hair with her hands, and gazed across the small area at Max. His brown hair was falling over his eyes again, and as his eyes met hers, she could see she wasn’t the only one who was feeling lost. The look of fear in his eyes meant that it was impossible to miss. Liz took a deep breath and started towards him.

She stood in front of him and kneeled down, placing the book beside him. Max gave her a puzzled look, as she took another deep breath, sitting crossed legged in front of him.

“ Max, everything I know about my life is written in this book, and suddenly, nothing makes any sense anymore,” she said, looking at him. His brown eyes seemed to show his hurt again, as he nodded his head. Liz struggled to find the words to continue, as she parted her lips again, and looked at Max.

“ You saved my life Max, you could have let me die in there, but you didn’t. No matter what could have happened to you, you gave all that up for me,” she said, moving around to rest against the sloped part of the roof with him. Max looked up at the stars.

“ That was never an option Liz. I’d do anything to keep you breathing,” he said quietly. Liz looked at him as he watched the stars. He didn’t have to be looking at her for her to know he meant it. Liz’s eyes traced his nose and lips, before speaking again,

“ Max, I didn’t tell you this, but I saw things, when you healed me,” she said quietly, causing his forehead to wrinkle in concern as he faced her.

“ What like flashes? Like what I told you about?” he asked quickly. Liz shook her head,

“ No,” Liz shook her head and took a deep breath, willing herself to continue, “Max, I saw my dad.”

There was a silence between the two. Max listened as the wind brushed through the trees, and the sounds of the night started to surround them. Liz’s stare remained loving, not frightened or sad. He raised his eyebrows, as she gulped again.

“ What do you mean?” he asked her quietly. Liz looked away from him again, but continued,

“ When you healed me, it was like there was this force pulling me in one direction, but you were willing me to go back from the way I’d come from. I could feel my body going cold, but then I could feel myself being surrounded in this warm mist. When I was coming back to you Max, when I saw you hovering above me, you weren’t the only one I saw. My dad, he was standing behind you,” Liz said. Max couldn’t resist reaching for her hand. He placed it loosely on top of hers, knowing that there was still a part of her that was afraid of him – afraid of what he was.

“ What did he do? I mean, was he just like, watching over us?” Max asked softly. Liz’s eyes were still dry, as she broke into a kind of smile.

“ It was really strange. It was like he was watching over us, and smiling,” Liz said softly. Without moving his hand, Max smiled at her,

“ Maybe it’s like a sign?” he said quietly. Liz nodded her head,

“ But he was just so clear, like I could have reached out and touched him,” she said, staring off into space. Max smiled, and began to get up and walk away,

“ Maybe he was watching over you,” he said with a smile. Liz nodded and got up too, brushing off her trousers, and pulling the sleeves of her jumper over her hands.

“ I hope so,” she said quietly. Max shuffled uncomfortably, and turned to leave, with a faint murmur of going to bed. Liz called after him quietly,

“ Max,” she said quietly, as he turned around, “I’m scared.” Although they were less than three feet away from each other, it felt like miles to Liz. Max nodded his head,

“ I understand Liz,” Max said softly, as he turned his back on her, and began to walk away. Liz caught him arm and spun him around gently.

“ No Max, you don’t. What I’m scared of, it’s…I’m scared of what’s happening now. I’m scared of things changing so fast. I’m even scared about what’ll happen in the future,” Liz said, and she reached down to touch down of Max’s hands. She entwined her fingers softly with his, and brought them up to rest between their chests. He looked at her with his soft brown eyes as he waited for her to finish.

“ But I’m not scared of you Max,” she finished. The look in Max’s eyes immediately changed, as relief seemed to flood over him. His stomach churned, as he released the breath he didn’t realise he was holding. He smiled as he looked into her eyes, and saw that she really meant it. Liz bit her bottom lip,

“ And I want you to connect with me Max, I want to share whatever gifts you have with you,” she said quietly. Max touched the side of her face carefully, brushing away the strands of hair,

“ Are you sure about this Liz?” he asked her, as she raised her own hand, touching the side of his face also as she nodded. He smiled at her,

“ Just take deep breaths, and clear your mind of everything,” Max said, trying to describe how he formed a connection. He watched as she closed her eyes, and he followed, thinking about everything that made Liz, Liz.

And suddenly, Liz was inside him, feeling everything he could feel. Liz felt herself wrapped up in the warm blanket of Max’s aura, as she watched the images unfold in front of her.

She watched as Max and Isabel tore their way out of a pod. She watched the two little children walk out into the dessert, holding hands. She watched as someone picked them up on the side of the road. She felt the security he had when he held Isabel’s hand.

She watched as Max started school. She watched as his foster parents told him Isabel had left. She felt his pain, his anger and his loneliness. She felt every tear that Max had shed run through her.

She watched as he approached Tess in park somewhere, and as she ran off screaming.

Then the amazing thing happened. Liz watched herself and Max share their kisses in the library, or watched as they fell out of the closet and landed in front of Isabel. She watched as he re-lived their first kiss, and she felt the nervousness inside him. But the most amazing thing was that whenever he thought about her, it felt like the purest feeling in the world. And Liz could see that through his eyes, she was beautiful.

Max tuned out the connection, as came back to reality. He watched as she kept her eyes closed for a moment, before opening them. And the way she looked at him, he would never forget.

For the first time in his life, someone looked at him with understanding. Her gentle brown eyes were clear, as she smiled at him. He released her from the touch of his hands, and looked at her.

“ Can you see that I’m still me?” he asked her in a whisper. Liz nodded slowly, as Max smiled.

“ Do you know that I didn’t sleep with Tess?” he asked her more nervously. Liz nodded again, and picked up his hand again. She swallowed hard,

“ I didn’t need to see into your soul for me to know that,” she smiled quietly. Max gave her a confused expression,

“ Then how did you know?” Max asked her. Liz rested her forehead against his and smiled,

“ Because I trust you Max,” she whispered. Max smiled gently again,

“ Liz, us being together is dangerous. Because we’re…” Max said, letting his voice trail off. Liz smiled again,

“ Different?” she ventured. Max nodded sadly, and went back to sitting against the roof. Liz smiled and walked over to join him. She balanced in front of him, taking his hands into hers,

“ That didn’t stop us before Max,” she told him, as he looked up at her again. He couldn’t believe that she still wanted to be with him, even after finding out he was an alien. It just couldn’t be true.

“ Liz, I know you think that its all a fairytale, but it’s not. I have to live being scared, scared that one day a government agent is going to find me,” he said. Liz drew circles on his chest.

“ It is a fairytale Max. You brought me back to life,” she said, as she leant forward. She carefully grazed her soft lips against his, feeling the warmth of his nose rubbed against hers as he responded to her touch. Max looked at her,

“ Liz, it’s dangerous…”

“ For us to be together yeah I know,” she finished, and kissed him lightly again. Max smiled slightly.

“ But you don’t seem to be reacting to it,” he finished in a laugh as she kissed him again. She drew back again, long enough for him to get a proper look at her. And yeah, she was just as beautiful as ever.

Liz looked at him, touching the side of his face,

“ Max, I told you, I’m not scared of you.” Max tenderly stroked the side of her face too,

“ But Liz, its dangerous to be with me, because of what could happen.”

Liz looked at him again, seeing the sincerity in his words. She looked at him and smiled.

“ You risked everything to save me Max, and I don’t care whether you say it’s dangerous for me to be with you or not, I can’t be apart from you,” she said softly, making him smile. She brushed his bangs out of his eyes, making sure she could see all of his face. She smiled,

“ And besides, danger turns me on,” she said quietly, pulling him in for another kiss as he laughed a little. He looked at her when he drew back. She now sat on top of him, her arms around his neck and gazing into his eyes. He raised his eyebrows, his eyes questioning,

“ So if you knew I didn’t sleep with Tess, why did you want to connect with me?” he asked her. She smiled at him again,

“ Well actually there were two reasons,” she started, “ Firstly I wanted to let you know that I trusted you.” Max nodded his head and murmured a thank you, still entranced by Liz’s reaction to everything.

“ What was the second reason?” he asked her. She grinned cheekily,

“ Well come on, you saw into my soul, it’s only fair I should see into yours,” she said as he grinned again. She looked at him seriously again for a moment, as he tucked her hair behind her ears.

“ Liz, are you sure this is what you want?” he asked her. Liz nodded and drew in for another kiss. She parted her lips so slightly, capturing his bottom lip between her two, as Max kissed her gently back, his hands cupping her face. Liz drew back for breath, as she rested her forehead against his.

“ What’s wrong?” Max asked her. Liz raised an eyebrow as she asked him,

“ Are you sure you’re not an angel?”

Max laughed and pressed his lips against hers, as she parted her lips further, grazing his tongue with his. He wrapped his arms around her tighter and tighter, not wanting this moment to ever end. To be wrapped up, with Liz Parker, underneath the stars, forever.

posted on 21-Apr-2002 1:35:24 PM by leaving_normal
Hey Everyone,

This is really bad news, for all of us *sad*

I wont be able to write an update this week, I know, it sucks and I hate it but I really have got ot get on with my school work. Because I spend so much time in my own little Roswell world I never seem to get any work done! But the good thing is that as soon as it hits June, I'll be free practically everyday to write an update. So please remember this story! I will try my best to get an update out, because I know exactly what I want to happen in the stpry, its just everytime I sit down for a "Half Hour writing session" I spend 6 hours at it perfecting it and everything! So I'm really sorry, but if I get a spare half hour, I will post as much as I can!

I'm so sorry!

Jo.x
posted on 24-Apr-2002 4:42:10 AM by leaving_normal
Hey, me again

Thanks so much for the bump, just confirming that there wont be a new part this week, its amazing how much goes on in real life at the end of the school year. Although, I'm going to write a part, even if its really short, on friday, so you'll at least have something to read!

Jo.x
posted on 28-Apr-2002 11:24:56 AM by leaving_normal
I'm so sorry, I know I should update, but time is something I just don't have at the moment *sad* and with the next part being so important, I've got to make sure it makes sense when I write it.

I'm still trying ot think of a way to get this written, but my first exam is on May 10th, and it's a performance for my theatre paper, so you can imagine how much work that is. Then from basically the 12th of May to the 11th of June I'm packed with exams! And when I'm not doing exams, I'm working. God, I hate real life!

I can't say when the next update will be, but I'm having serious withdrawal from roswell, so I don't think I'll last much longer! I'll send a Bmail round when I finally do update, I just can't say sorry enough!

Thanks for all the bumpage, and all the feedback, so just kepp waiting, I really really will try to have the next part out soon, even if its only a page long, I will get something out!

Jo.x
posted on 2-May-2002 7:03:01 PM by leaving_normal
Authors Note: Stupid Real Life, it's impossible! I have however, managed to get this little bit done. It's more about the characters really than anything else, as I want to build up the character before I drop the big one... and plus I don't have a lot of time to write the complicated stuff, but I thought hey, this is better than nothing... I'm sorry if it disapoints anyone *sad*

PERSONAL NOTE: I'm in a major dilemma. My Theatre Studies Exam is next Friday, and we're doing Vinegar Tom by Caryl Churchill. I'm playing Margary, and please, if anyone has read the play or has acted in it, will they Bmail me and chat with me about it?? I don't even know my lines yet!

Part 11A

Liz fell fuzzily through the delicate space between dreams and reality, and felt her warm covers on top of her. Her eyes firmly glued shut; she pulled the covers up to her chin and smiled. It’d happened. She had connected with him. And not only had she connected with him, she knew him. She knew everything about him. Well, not exactly everything, there were some things he didn’t even know himself. Liz sighed as she battled against the willingness of her eyes to stay shut, and greeted the morning sun. She heard a giggle coming from the other side of the room, and instinctively turned towards Maria. She lay on her side, the covers pulled up around her so that only her face was showing, and her golden hair was spread all over the pillow. Liz looked at her,

“ What? I know I don’t look that bad, you’ve seen me in the mornings before,” Liz said, mirroring Maria’s pose. Maria smiled again,

“ No, it’s just you I’m laughing at this time,” she said quietly as Liz laughed.

“ Well gee thanks Maria!” Liz said, laughing again. Maria looked at her and shuffled a bit.

“ So you didn’t reach your bed until 3am this morning, you gonna tell me what’s going on Chica?” she said, as Liz stretched out on her back. Liz sighed heavily. Of course, she couldn’t tell Maria what was going on. Well, not all of it. She sighed again,

“ It’s Max. He didn’t sleep with Tess,” Liz said, a slight amount of wistfulness in her voice. Maria hummed,

“ I knew it!” Liz looked at her and laughed again.

“ You so did not! That morning you went into that room and pulled out her hair!” Liz said laughing again. Maria laughed to,

“ That was unresolved anger. And besides, look how I lunged for Tess and not for Max,” Maria said, moving one leg out of bed to test the temperature of the air. Deciding it was too cold she placed her leg back under the covers again. Liz just laughed at Maria, there was nothing else you could do when she did one of her ‘Maria’ things.

“ Yeah okay,” Liz said, still laughing. Then it was quiet again. Liz looked up at her ceiling, with the curtains still drawn there was a blue glow on the room, and her stars were still glowing. She was so happy. And she couldn’t explain it. But she knew enough to realise that when she felt this good, she couldn’t let it go.

“ Liz,” Maria called, as she eased herself gently out of her bed. Liz turned to Maria.

“ What’s it like, being in love?” she asked, hanging her head on the open door of the wardrobe. Liz smiled, and thought a while, before replying,

“ Out of this world.”

* * *
Kyle shifted uneasily around his room. He picked up a pile of magazines off the floor, and put them on his nightstand, removing the cereal bowl and putting it on his desk. He stopped and looked around. He scratched the back of his head. He had meant to tidy up. Honest, he had. But things just seemed to move from one place to the other, and it didn’t make the room any tidier.

Liz leant on the banister of the stairs leading up to Kyle’s room. She couldn’t help laughing as he moved the magazines onto his desk, then moved the cereal bowl back onto his bedside table. Kyle turned around, sweeping the brown hair back off his face and laughing too,

“ Okay, my cleaning skills have a lot to be determined,” he said as Liz started to gather up random clothes off his floor, and arrange them into blacks, whites, reds and coloureds. Kyle looked at her,

“ Uh Liz, I don’t think that’s the best thing to do,” Kyle warned her. As she was about to ask why, Liz held up a pair of pink boxers. She raised an eyebrow, and stretching them out with both hands she held them up in front of him,

“ Oh these are big and macho,” she teased, as he swept them out of her hands and chucked them behind the bed. Liz laughed at him,

“ Why on earth did you buy them?” she asked, continuing to separate his laundry. Liz had been coming in to help Kyle for a couple of mornings now, just helping him keep things straight and provide him with a bit of company. The way she looked at it, it wasn’t easy being Kyle. He’d confided in her that Jim Valenti was actually his father, which had sent her mind reeling. Then when Kyle said he thought his father was dead, that made even less sense. Well actually, not a lot was making sense anymore. But at the present point in time, Liz was too happy floating on cloud nine she couldn’t think about any of it.

“ My mum bought them for me. Towards the end her eyesight was going,” he said laughing a little to himself. Liz felt her heart drop a little more. It wasn’t a happy laugh, it was a sad laugh. She put her hands in her lap as she watched him pick up his boxers from down the side of his bed where he’d just disregarded them. He sat down sadly on the bed and looked at his boxers for a while.

Liz felt slightly awkward, but at the same time, she knew what he was going through. She felt the same way every time she picked up her blue skirt her dad bought her but she’d never actually worn. It was one of the few things that still smelt of him, which is why it was in her bottom drawer still wrapped in the tissue he’d given it to her in. Liz brushed herself down as she got up, and sat closely next to him. Kyle rested the boxers in his lap,

“ She’d still want to get out you know, she wanted to make sure she did all the things she wanted to do before she, well, before she had to move on,” Kyle said. Liz reached for his hand as he turned to her,

“ She was so sick Liz, she was so pale and frail and all she went on about was me. She’d take my hand and tell me everything would be okay,” he said, his huge brown eyes glazing over. Seemingly frustrated, Kyle rose off the bed and stood facing out his skylight, his hands over his eyes and rubbing them furiously. Liz watched at him, and how frustrated he was. She sat still, knowing that this was just something he had to get out of his system. He cursed quietly,

“ This just isn’t fair. It’s not fair and it shouldn’t have happened,” he said quietly. Liz gulped, feeling her own feelings of frustration, pain and anger flare up inside her, and struggling to calm them so she could help Kyle. Liz stood behind him, placing a hand on his back and rubbing it in circles.
“ I just want her back Liz,” he said quietly, still not turning to face her. Liz gulped. She wanted her dad back too, god, she wanted that more than anything in the world. Liz gently