|posted on 16-Feb-2002 9:59:31 PM by JO|
|I've been posting this elsewhere and thought I'd bring it over here.|
_Pathos_ is hanging around on this thread somewhere but I'm going to try and get that situation 'fixed' tomorrow.
Hope you all enjoy this!
Catagory: Post-Departure/Season 3 (until Control), Future Fic, EotW AU
Summary: Max and Liz drift further apart as Max’s search for his son takes over his life. With the end of the world upon them, Maria convinces Max to travel back in time to the moment that changed all their lives.
Just because it's there, doesn't mean you see it anywhere,
Maybe it's a trick of the light, maybe
Max stumbled forward, frantically grasping behind him for Maria’s hand. Her foot had gotten caught in the rocks only moments earlier causing Max to have to use his powers to disintegrate the rock. He had cursed them orally and now didn’t know if his words or the pain in her foot had caused Maria’s tears. He pulled her more harshly now as his ears boomed with the echoes of their
pursuers’ weapons. They were running for their lives and Max knew he was leading their enemies straight for the thing they desired most - the granolith.
He shoved Maria through the pod chamber entrance then quickly caused a miniature rock slide on the outside of the entrance. He knew the diversion would only hinder their pursuers for seconds but he hoped it would give him enough time to complete their crazy plan. He rolled his eyes, wondering once again how Maria had managed to convince him that the granolith could be
modified for time travel. They had finally agreed to attempt it only after Michael’s death, which had left Max and Maria struggling to outrun their enemies before they too were killed. He focused his attention at the entrance and could hear their pursuers just on the other side. Maria glanced at him and deep in her eyes, Max could see the fear she was trying so hard to hide from
him. At that moment he wanted nothing more than to tell her how wonderful it had been to have her friendship through everything. He didn’t want to be the king leading her to her potential death. He wanted to be the friend holding her hand as the end came. Their eyes locked for mere seconds before Max forcefully shoved Maria through the pods into the granolith chamber.
“You’re sure about this,” he asked one final time as he removed a long crystal from his front pocket. He grasp it tightly in his hand, feeling an enormous sense of power pulsate through his veins. Glancing at Maria, he recognized she noticed it too.
“You have to do it, Max. You have to try.” Her eyes met his and Max saw determination etched in her features. Had this been years past, he could almost imagine Maria thrusting her hands on her hips in frustration, her high-pitched voice dripping with sarcasm, but that Maria was gone, having died the moment Michael did. Max violently shook his head, wanting to remove the mental images of Michael’s death. It was horrible enough to be haunted by it during the night. He needed a clear mind if this plan was going to succeed.
“What if it doesn’t work?” He fell to his knees at the base of the granolith, his right hand holding the crystal like a weapon. He felt Maria’s hand brush his thigh as she fell with him. “What if -”
“There’s no time for ‘what ifs,’ Max,” she screeched, jerking the crystal from his hand. Max watched as she inserted it into the base of the granolith and a light purple hue filled the chamber. “We’re all going to die if you don’t.”
“They’re out there, Maria,” Max screamed over the hum of the granolith, grabbing her shoulders in his hands. “You’ll be left behind. I...Michael would never forgive me for letting them take you.”
“If you’re successful, Max, we won’t have to worry about that. And I’d rather die trying this than to let them take me. You know they’ll never take me alive.” She moved away from his grasp and unsteadily stood, her eyes drawn to the granolith and its transformation. Max stood slowly and took her hand into his.
“This is crazy, you know,” he said, pulling her into a tight hug against him. He smiled against her cheek as Maria threw her arms around his waist.
“We’d be crazy not to try it,” Maria whispered in his ear as the granolith chamber began to shake. With one final look at Maria for reassurance, Max pressed his hand against the floating cone-like shape and Maria watched as Max was magically transported inside. She smiled bravely, her eyes never leaving Max until a flash of white light knocked her to the ground. She hurriedly stood on
her feet, the granolith chamber once again calm with Max nowhere to be seen.
Liz Parker sat with her knees against her chest in her favorite chair on her balcony intently watching the night sky. Dry tear tracks marred her face and her stomach rumbled loudly but she did not notice. It had been a little over an hour since he disappeared. One minute he was holding her in his arms and the next he was gone, a shooting star streaking across the sky. She had numbly sat down in the chair and began watching the sky, desperately hoping to see another shooting star. She had hoped that by seeing one, it would give her some sense of confirmation that he was okay, that she would be okay too. But there was nothing unusual about the sky and she could almost swear the stars were a little dimmer than they had been the night before.
She inhaled slowly and closed her eyes, surprised when she felt him all around her. She had never liked Max with long hair, never wanted Max with long hair. During their childhood, and especially when he first began living with the Evans, his hair was long. His hair now was almost too long for her taste but there had been something about Future Max’s long hair that mesmerized
her. She wanted to run her fingers through it, to have it brush against her face, to have it fall against her neck as they kissed. For one fraction of a second during their dance, she felt him open himself up to her. She felt his hair tickle her cheek. She felt his hands roam her body. She felt his love, his passion, his soul. As quickly as Max has allowed her entrance into the deepest
recesses of himself and their love, she had destroyed him, destroyed them both, simply because he asked.
Exhaling, she felt anger boil just beneath the surface of her skin. She quickly hurried through the window and into her room, intent on destroying something, anything that would help alleviate some of the rage she felt. She had ruined a future, her future with Max for the sake of Tess. Nothing could ever make her feel as wretched as she did in that moment. She blindly stumbled toward her bathroom, unaware of the bright light that flashed outside on her balcony.
[ edited 17time(s), last at 29-May-2002 8:37:02 PM ]
|posted on 17-Feb-2002 10:04:19 PM by JO|
You sure do have a lot of questions for someone who's also writing a fic. "Unknown friend," hmmm? (I don't think that's the exact term you used but close enough.) We've all got to have mystery or else no one will read our stories. Not all of us are masters of prose like Deidre.
Seriously, I'm glad you (and all lurkers and fb'ers) are enjoying this story. I'm enjoying it too! Part 2 should be up tomorrow.
[But it's also posted at the Bordello, if you're interested in reading, say, parts 1-7]
|posted on 18-Feb-2002 7:08:19 PM by JO|
|Author's Note: Wow - you all are awesome! So glad that you like my fic! This one is probably by far my favorite of the ones I'm trying to write now.|
Hope you all enjoy!
Max teetered from side to side, his mind a whirlwind as the realization hit him that Maria’s crazy plan had worked. He was standing on Liz’s balcony, a place he hadn’t set foot on in almost three years. His hands quivered as he ran them through his hair and he tried to calm his rapidly beating heart. He stooped slowly to Liz’s window, placing his hands on the glass for leverage from his shaking body. The room was dark and against his better judgment, he carefully stepped inside.
As his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting of Liz’s room, he saw just how different her room looked. In his old life, Liz had become a quiet shadow of her former self. She had remained in Roswell as he searched the southwest for his son. Looking at her room now compared to what it became, he realized just how badly he had hurt her, ignored her and her feelings. He had once sworn to her
that she was the only person that would ever matter to him and yet he had unintentionally thrown his sexual escapade with Tess and his son in her face time after time. But this Liz didn’t know all that. This Liz was innocent of all the world’s horrors and, in that moment, he swore he would never tell her what would become of her life.
He jumped at the sound of Liz’s bathroom door creaking open and the echo from the clicking of the light switch. Then, as if in slow motion, she appeared. At first, it was just her shadow, the outline of her body which he knew so well. Next, her scent filled the air, enveloping his nostrils with her wonderful strawberry smell. She stepped out of the shadows toward him, slowly crossing the length of the room as if it were a thousand mile journey. Max’s jaw twitched in response with each step she took, knowing that Liz Parker should not still have this effect on him but willing, for this one moment, to let his heart lead his path.
“Max,” she asked in an excited whisper as she continued to inch toward him. He looked so...unusual. His hair was cropped short and he was wearing a black leather biker's jacket, something Liz would have never pictured being in Max’s closet. His dark blue jeans and black t-shirt looked equally as strange but his clothes or his appearance didn’t matter to her. The mere fact that Max
was standing in her room after the spectacle he had seen earlier that night was a miracle. “You...you’re really here,” she choked, closing the several step distance between them and crashing into his arms.
“Liz, I’m not who -”
“I don’t care. I..I’m sorry, Max. I’m so sorry. I...I didn’t sleep with Kyle. It was all part of a plan. An incredibly stupid plan. I love you, Max. I...I want to be with you.” She wrapped her arms tighter around his neck
and plastered her lips to his. Max stiffened at first touch but once Liz’s mouth began to feverishly plead with his, he placed his hands on the small of her back and pulled her petite frame toward him. Instantly, when Max fully opened to her, images flashed through Liz’s mind. Distorted images that she did not understand. Pushing out of his embrace, Liz stumbled backwards toward her bathroom, covering her mouth with her hand.
Max sprang forward as the horror from Liz’s face reached her eyes and he reached out for her. “Liz.”
“You...you’re not Max,” she said, her voice shaky. Max lunged for her but she quickly twisted out of his reach, tumbling onto her bed. “Who are you,” she asked as she straightened herself on the other side of her bed opposite where Max stood. “What do you want?”
“I am Max, Liz, just not your Max.” Liz’s brows furrowed in confusion as Max took off his leather jacket and threw it across her bed. He paced in a small circle, running his fingers through his hair while muttering to himself. Liz strained forward, hoping to catch a fragment of what he was saying when he abruptly stopped pacing and faced her again. Liz jumped backward in response and crossed her arms protectively over her chest. “What I’m about to say is going to
sound crazy.” He paused again, raising his face toward her ceiling. Liz followed his gaze, her eyes rapidly darting back and forth between her ceiling and the man who claimed he was Max. “I..I’m here because I need your help.”
“I saw things,” she replied, her fingers gently grazing her lips. “Are you and Tess -”
“I can’t tell you that. I can only tell you what you need to know.” He slowly stepped toward her, extending his arms as a sign of peace. “The next few days are critical to the history -”
“Oh, that’s bull,” Liz spat, side-stepping him quickly. Max lunged for her again and almost stumbled as he narrowly missed grabbing her arm. He straightened quickly while Liz watched him from what she considered a safe distance. “Why do you need my help?”
“I can only tell you what you need to know,” he repeated, this time slower as if he were placing
emphasis on each word.
“You’re going to tell me what I want to know,” Liz began, stepping closer to Max, “or....or I’m not helping you.” She pursed her lips tightly and defiantly crossed her arms over her chest, her chin rising slightly. Max watched for several seconds as Liz continued to stand her ground. His shoulders slumped forward and he carefully sat on the edge of her bed.
“What do you want to know?” He bowed his head forward, suddenly mad at himself because he had let her win. He was a king, a leader and his heart had once again defeated him. He had agreed to this crazy plan to save the lives of those he loved yet here he was, back in Liz’s room, acting like the love-sick school boy he had once been. He followed her shadow with his down-
cast eyes, watching as she circled in front of him and sat beside him on her bed. Her scent caused his nostrils to flare and he cleared his throat, mentally reminding himself that she was a traitor, that she had destroyed his entire life. “What do you want to know,” he repeated, more gruffly this time.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 18-Feb-2002 7:14:38 PM ]
|posted on 20-Feb-2002 7:51:28 PM by JO|
|Author's Note: Again, thanks to all that are leaving feedback. I LOVE feedback. Even if you're just reading, that's quite alright as well. As much as I love getting feedback, I'm not so good about leaving. I'm a lurker, in a big way.|
Just to let you all know, Max is different. Pay attention to that and please don't forget it. It'll help you as we go along in this fic.
Two Hours Later
“So,” Liz began, her voice trembling as the realization of the images she had seen when she kissed Max were actually true. Max slept with Tess. Alex died. Tess pregnant with Max’s child. “You and Tess.” She turned away from him when the tears began to fall, knowing in her heart that she had caused this to happen.
“I made a mistake, Liz. I made a lot of mistakes.”
Liz turned her head to the side, her eyes widening in anger. “You made a mistake,” she asked, unable to control the tone and inflection of her voice. She stood slowly from her bed, fearing her knees would buckle underneath her as she walked toward her window. “You slept with Tess and got her pregnant, Max. That’s the mistake...to surpass all other mistakes.” She turned her back to him but not before she noticed he too was rising off her bed. “I believed you, Max,” she quietly said as she felt him step closer to her. “All those times you said she meant nothing to you. I trusted you and now....to know you slept with her and she has your child -”
“You don’t understand,” he said, interrupting her. Liz whirled around quickly to face him, her hair fanning out from the sheer force of her turn. She watched as Max lowered his head and backed away from her. “You just don’t understand.”
“Explain it to me,” she spat. “How does one accidentally sleep with someone else?”
“This is so typical of you,” Max shouted, stepping closer to her. “You blamed me for everything. You blamed me for Tess. You blamed me for Alex’s death. You blamed me for all of it.”
“Alex died,” Liz screamed, closing the distance between she and Max so they were mere inches apart. “You could have...should have saved him. And as for your son, well, that’s your own fault for being so careless. You had a condom in your pocket when you came to see me night of the Gomez concert.” Liz realized immediately that she had said too much. She covered her mouth with her hand and stepped away from Max. This time, however, Max’s reflexes were much quicker and he managed to grab her wrist before she spun away.
“What did you say?”
“N...nothing. I didn’t say anything.”
“No one knew about that, Liz.” Max tightened his grip on her wrist, pulling her closer to him. “No one knew how far I was willing to go to convince you that I still loved you. How did you find out?”
“It doesn’t matter,” she said, wildly avoiding Max’s eyes.
“You were always a terrible liar,” he replied, slinging her violently toward her bed. Liz’s body hit the bed once and bounced, causing her to land on the floor with a thud. She cried out in pain as she felt her wrist bend backwards and snap. Tears welled in her eyes as she gingerly held her broken wrist against her stomach. “Look, Liz,” Max began as he briskly crossed the room to her side. Liz tried to shrink away from him, but Max’s movements were too swift and he overpowered her within seconds. He gently took her wrist into his hands and Liz felt the warm tingling sensation of Max’s healing power. “I don’t know how long I’ll be here,” he continued once her wrist was healed. Liz lowered her eyes to her wrist, still firmly contained in Max’s hands. “I’m just trying to change...something so the world doesn’t end in three years.”
“Three years,” Liz asked, gently removing her wrist from Max’s hands. Max caught her hands in his and began to help Liz off the floor. “Not fourteen?”
“What are you talking about,” Max asked, jerking his hands away from Liz’s causing her to crash back onto the floor.
“This,” she screamed, flailing her arms as tears began to run down her cheeks. “Why you saw me in bed with Kyle. Why you’re even here at all.”
“You pretended to sleep with Kyle so I would back off pressuring you for a relationship,” Max responded as Liz slowly stood from the floor and slumped onto her bed.
“I pretended to sleep with Kyle, Max, because you from fourteen years in the future told me Tess left Roswell and our enemies invaded Earth. You told me Tess left because of how you treated her after we made love the night of the Gomez concert.”
“That’s crazy,” Max said after several seconds, dismissing Liz’s announcement with the flip of his hand. He sheepishly looked at Liz out of the corner of his eye while she straightened her clothes and rubbed her wrist.
“That’s what I thought too,” she softly replied, “but he knew things, told me things that were going to happen if Tess didn’t stay in Roswell, so I came up with the plan.”
“To pretend to sleep with Kyle,” he stated and Liz nodded like he had asked it as a question. He
rubbed his hands across his face, suddenly so confused by what he needed to do. When Maria had convinced him using the granolith to change the future was possible, he had been determined to return to Roswell so his loved ones might live. But now, knowing that a future version of himself had already visited Liz, making her change the course of future, clouded his once-clear
purpose. “What happened? In his life, I mean?”
“Does it matter,” Liz responded with a shrug.
“Everything is so screwed up now, especially if I’m
supposed to believe what you say.”
“It happened, Liz. I can assure you. Everything I told you was the truth.” He sat down beside her on her bed, remembering how many nights he dreamed of being in this bed with her. He had spent the majority of that fall on her balcony, doing anything to convince her they were meant to be together. He had even went as far as to sing with a mariachi band for her. Oh, how he had
once loved her.
He drug his fingers down his cheeks and for the first time, Liz noticed a scar from his hairline to his cheekbone. She cautiously reached out for it, mesmerized by the depth and jaggedness of it
and wondered why, with all his abilities, Max had not healed it. Her fingers lightly dusted the scar, causing Max to flinch away from her, his own fingers reflexively tracing it, like he was making sure it was still there. “Who did that to you, Max,” she asked, inching toward him on the bed. “What happened?”
Max traced the length of the scar again and slowly allowed his hand to drop to his lap. He glanced momentarily at Liz, her full lips parted and her chocolate eyes dripping with concern for his malady. “I was betrayed by someone I...loved. After that, one by one, everyone I ever cared about was destroyed.”
“Who could betray you like that, Max, and hurt you so badly?” She was mere inches from his face, her delicate fingers once again tracing the length of the scar. He felt her hot, sweet breath seer his skin. He swore silently and thought for a moment he could almost feel the texture of her lips against his, the smooth curves of her body folding against his sculpted edges. He jerked his head slightly, leaving Liz’s hand hanging in the hair beside his head.
Max made certain he had her full attention and that she caught the look of anger flashing through his amber eyes. Grasping the wrist of her floating hand, he stared deep into her eyes. “You did, Liz. It was you.”
|posted on 22-Feb-2002 10:47:55 PM by JO|
|shameless bump on my part|
Part 4 posted Monday unless I have board or computer or internet trama
Thank you all SO much for reading....
|posted on 25-Feb-2002 9:32:22 PM by JO|
“No,” she said, her voice cracking as her eyes frantically searched his face for the truth. “I...I wouldn’t do that. I love you.” Max squeezed her wrist tighter and Liz winced slightly as pain shot up her arm. Max closed the distance between their faces, his hand still fully enveloping Liz’s tiny wrist. She was surprised that she was actually afraid of him. She had never been afraid of
Max before, even in the aftermath of the shooting. He was so gentle and loving toward her that to see him react so violently was quite disturbing. “I love him,” she whispered, amending her earlier statement. Max released her wrist as soon as the words exited her mouth.
“Love is a...funny thing,” he smugly responded as he stood up from her bed and walked toward the window. “Did you know I used to come to your room every night while you were in Florida that summer? I...I never told anyone about that. Coming here, sitting on your balcony made me miss you so much. I thought about you all the time, did you know that?” He turned toward her, somewhat surprised to see her cowering on her bed with her knees pulled up to her chin. “And I
did love you, Liz. I would have damned my destiny a thousand times over just to be with you, but you were so stubborn, so righteous, so moral.” He sat down at the edge of her bed and faced away from her.
“What do you want,” she seethed, surprised by how much she hated this man in her room. She was also saddened because whatever had happened to him in his life, he was still Max and he was alone. She cleared her throat loudly when he did not immediately answer. “Why are you here?”
“I want to change my life, Liz Parker, and I’m starting with you. You’ve been holding me back for too long.”
“If everything you say is true, I can see how she betrayed you,” she sputtered, unable to contain
her thoughts silent any longer. “You were a selfish bastard.” Max whipped his head toward her and Liz watched as his amber eyes turned golden brown. It was the same look of anger that had flashed in them when he told her about the scar. “Look at it from her point of view. She loved you, sacrificed everything for you and you basically treated her like dirt after you were contacted by your son. Did you ever find him, by the way?”
“I don’t want to talk about him,” he replied and pushed himself off the bed once again. Liz stood on her knees, watching his face for some sign of what was brewing inside his brain.
“Why not,” she pressed, feeling brave. “Junior not good enough for you once the search was over?”
“Ouch,” he responded with a sly grin crossing his lips. “You’re very good, Ms. Parker. When did you become so cynical?”
“Yesterday,” she said as she stood up from her bed. She felt oddly like Maria when she planted her hands on her hips, tilting her head to the side. Max’s eyebrow raised in response to her stance and he slowly and methodically folded his arms across his chest. He took one step toward her and she responded in kind. They continued their duel until they met in the middle of her room, almost in front of the foot of her bed. “Do we kill each other now,” she asked, tilting her eyes up at Max.
He glanced at her through hooded eyes and Liz felt a cold chill skim across her skin. He stepped forward, closing the gap between their bodies to mere millimeters. Just as his forward progression stopped, Liz felt warmth radiate off of Max’s body followed by the same strange chill shooting down her spine. She sought out Max’s face, her confusion mounting as her senses
became more acute the longer Max stood so close to her. She shook her head several times and her eyelids fluttered quickly. Dropping her head, she felt Max’s hand brush lightly up and down her arm, just as he had done when she returned to Roswell after the summer in Florida. Her tear-filled eyes darted once again to his face. “Do we kill each other,” she repeated, her voice suddenly deep and throaty, each syllable sheathed in a sensuality she did not know she possessed.
“Yes,” he responded as he pulled her to him, his lips instinctively seeking hers. Max threaded his hands through the chocolate mass of hair while Liz wrapped her arms around his waist and back. Distorted images again flashed through her mind and Liz tried her hardest to push Max away, determined to get to the bottom of exactly what had happened in his life. When she tried to push him away, Max wrapped his arms tighter around her body, his mouth trailing fire down either side of her throat. As Liz tried to push back from him, Max snaked his arm down the small of her back and planted it firmly on her backside.
Liz’s eyelids fluttered rapidly and for a moment, she was lost in the sensations she felt coursing through her body. Falling quickly from Max’s intoxicating kisses and stumbling back into the awkward moment of being kissed so passionately by the wrong Max, she used her elbows to try and push him away, but Max was too caught in the moment for her struggles to have much effect.
“We were good together, Liz,” he whispered in her ear and Liz felt her knees go weak in response to the huskiness of his voice. Her vision became blurry and she felt all the air rush out of her lungs. She had only felt this type of intensity with Max when they found the first orb. He captured her mouth again and Liz felt a rush of images, the setting eerily similar to the place in the
desert near the old watch tower. “But like all good things, it had to end.” He released her and Liz gasp as the breath surged back into her body.
“Did you want it to end,” she finally asked when she could form coherent thoughts again. She ran her fingers across her lips, still tingly from Max’s kisses. Max was sitting on her bed, his forehead resting in his hands and Liz thought she saw his body quaking.
“You and...she? Did you want it to end?” She sat beside him on the bed, suddenly aware of a new feeling simmering inside her heart: jealousy. She was jealous of what she had seen take place between Max and his Liz in the desert underneath the blanket of stars. Jealous because no matter how horrible Max had said his life was, he and his Liz had shared that one intimate moment, something she feared she had tarnished with her Max forever.
“That’s not why I’m here, Liz.”
“Take me there,” she pleaded, placing her hand on his knee. “Take me to the desert.”
He turned his head to the side to look at her. Liz expected some violent tirade to erupt from his mouth at any moment for her insistence. She had, after all, learned much more from this version of Max than the first Max that had visited her. She felt it was only natural to learn as much as he was willing to share so she could make sure certain mistakes would not be repeated. She was pleasantly surprised when, after staring at her for several seconds, Max agreed to take her to the desert.
|posted on 27-Feb-2002 9:37:34 PM by JO|
“This is the place,” he said, thrusting his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket. Liz stepped slowly from behind him, her shoulders slumping forward as she turned in a small circle, admiring the silence and beauty of the desert. She was standing in almost the exact spot where she and Max had spent the night together, the place where she proved to Max she would do anything to
help him. “Let’s go,” Max growled and Liz heard his boots scuff against the rocks as he turned to leave.
“I said let’s go, Liz. There’s nothing out here.”
“I want to know what happened here,” she replied and Max could see traces of tears reflecting on her face in the moonlight. “I deserve to know.”
Max heavily rolled his eyes, an audible sigh escaping from his throat. Once again, Liz’s hold over him reared its ugly head. “It was late fall,” he quietly began as he climbed back onto the desert floor. He waved his hand across two jagged rocks, smoothing them instantly into a stone bench. He glanced at Liz before he sat down and his eyes never left hers as she slowly walked toward
him and sat beside him on the bench. Dropping his head toward the ground, he continued.”We’d been drifting apart for months. Of course, I would have never admitted it then, but,” he paused, unable to finish his sentence. Liz raised her eyes from the desert floor to look at him. She was surprised by his display of emotion; his display of any emotion that didn’t have anger or hatred as a backdrop. He faced front and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees while his hand drew circles in the sand as Liz shifted closer to him.
“What happened next,” she quietly asked and Max turned his head quickly, having felt her breath on his neck. He quickly straightened and stood away from her. Liz lowered her head while she watched him pace for several seconds, the tension between them at an awkward peak. She folded her hands in her lap, continuing to watch him out of the corner of her eye.
“I just had to see you,” he began again after clearing his throat. Liz watched as a calm seemed to drape across his body, loosening his inhibitions, and he placed his hands into his jacket pockets, his head tilted upward toward the stars. “I...I’d failed everyone I ever loved. I broke down in front of you. I was so full of pity for myself because I’d failed, but you...you just placed your
arms around me. We went to the car and just drove around in silence. I don’t know how long I drove or where we went.” He laughed slightly and kicked at the ground with his toes. “I wanted to run away that night, just like when I got drunk in high school. Do you remember that?”
Max spun around abruptly to face her and for the faintest twinkling of a moment, Liz thought she saw tears reflect on his face in the moonlight. Liz blinked hard and glanced away from his gaze for a moment only to find the tears gone when she returned her eyes to him. Max’s gaze, however, had remained on her and for a moment, Liz thought she saw her Max staring back at
her. “Of course you do,” he muttered, glancing downward quickly, breaking the spell. “But you...God, what did I ever do to deserve you. You said we had to go back, that people depended on me. So,” he said, shrugging his shoulders, “I turned the car around. It started to rain and I pulled off the road to put the top up. That’s when you jumped out and ran down here.”
“I shouldn’t tell you any more, Liz. It isn’t right. I’ve told you too much as it is.” He kicked the desert sand with the toe of his boot and he swore to himself when he felt her touch his shoulder.
“I promise what happened in your life won’t happen again. I’ll do anything I can to make sure that you’re not hurt, that we’re not hurt.” She stepped in front of him, placing her hands on his upper arms. Max looked down at her without moving his head and he watched as Liz’s sweet smile flashed across her face. He could feel himself softening, his tough resolve melting the longer she stood so close to him, the longer her chocolate brown eyes continued to pierce his soul.
“It’s not safe,” he hoarsely replied, spinning away from her. “It’s not safe for you and me to -”
“I don’t care,” she whispered, once again stepping in front of him. “You’re still Max, just a different one.” She lovingly traced the scar on his face and Max closed his eyes as her touch went straight to his heart. “I’m still the Liz you once loved, just a little different.”
“But you betrayed me,” he sputtered, swatting her hand away from his face as he stumbled backwards. “We came here and danced in the rain and made love but I woke up and things were different.”
“What do you mean,” Liz questioned, following him as he tried to walk away from her.
“I can’t tell you any more, Liz,” Max said as he strode past her. “I was stupid to think that this would change anything and definitely stupid for listening to Maria about the granolith. I shouldn’t have -”
“Maria? What about Serina?”
Max stopped dead in his tracks. Slowly, he turned around to face her, his mind a jumbled mess of
feelings, emotions and memories. He had to get away from this place, away from Liz Parker, away from how she made him feel. She may have known very little about the first Max to visit her, but she certainly knew all the right things to say to hit him where it hurt. “What about Serina?”
“You said Maria told you about the granolith but the other Max told me it was Serina that knew about the granolith’s power. Who is she? What happened to her?”
“She was a skin,” Max replied, his voice snappish and harsh. “And I killed her.” He looked away when he heard her gasp, somehow knowing she would be upset by his announcement yet trying not to care. He had once thought Liz was his saving grace, his balance, but now, he couldn’t really be sure of what Liz truly meant to him.
He briefly thought back to the moment he had held her quaking body against his own, the solitary moment together making every trial they had faced pale in comparison to the emotions coursing between them. He cursed himself for remembering the way her face had reflected in the moonlight and for a split second, he could have sworn he heard her whisper his name. Turning quickly to look behind him, he saw only the present Liz standing with her face in her hands, her
body shaking uncontrollably. He watched her for a moment, his heart saddened by her tears. “Let’s go,” he called, as he continued his path to the road. “It’ll be morning soon.”
|posted on 8-Mar-2002 7:21:56 PM by JO|
She was scheduled to work in the cafe beginning at noon, but managed to convince her mother she was sick. Nancy had examined her bloodshot eyes, the black circles surrounding them, her pale skin and weak appearance and agreed that Liz could sleep until she felt like working. Hugging her mother tightly, Liz sulked back into her bedroom, greeted by Max leaning against
her desk. “You’re still here,” she asked with mild disgust as she threw back the covers and climbed into her bed. “I thought you’d went poof.”
“No such luck,” he replied as he picked up the framed photo of she, Alex and Maria. How different Maria looked. He had never noticed how alive and vibrant she seemed before Michael’s death, but, like everything he’d seen in this time, he now noticed how different they all were. “You’ve got to change something for me to disappear.” He carefully placed the frame back in its
exact spot and turned to Liz’s antique mirror atop her chest of drawers. Glancing at his face from side to side, he too saw just how different he looked and quickly turned away from his reflection.
“I’m sorry....about yesterday,” she whispered. “I...I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” She adjusted the pillows and comforter so that she could see him as she lay on her side. He nodded and removed his jacket, tossing it idly across her desk.
“Yes, well, you do things to me, Liz,” he responded.
“Things that shouldn’t bother me now, but they still do.”
“Future Max said we got married,” she blurted as she squirmed underneath the sheets almost as if she didn’t hear his semi-apology. “In Las Vegas when we were nineteen. Isn’t that crazy,” she asked, a fake laugh erupting from her throat.
Max shrugged and placed his hands in the back pockets of his jeans as he crossed her room and stood at the corner of her bed. “It doesn’t sound that crazy.”
Max sat on the edge of her bed, watching with slight amusement as her feet twitched underneath the covers. “You’re special, Liz. That other Max didn’t tell you much, and I’m sure he had every intention of keeping his life with your private, just like I did, but some things just slip out.” He sheepishly glanced at her, surprised to feel his stomach rumble. “You are Liz, you know, just different.”
Liz sat up in bed, a soft smile dancing across her face.
“Max,” she began, but paused as soon as she said his name, desperately wanting to tell him so many things. Their eyes met momentarily and they leaned toward each other, their mouths opening in preparation of a kiss when Max quickly shifted his weight, destroying the moment. “What happened to you,” she whispered as
she caught sight of his scar. Max shifted his weight again, this time to stand up and Liz caught his arm.
“And don’t say you can’t tell me. You’ve told me lots of things about that life. I want to know, Max. I need to know how you got this,” she pleaded, her fingertips lightly tracing the length of the scar. She watched Max close his eyes and lean into her touch, her whole hand
growing warmer the longer their skin touched.
“I don’t think I could tell you,” he replied, pulling away from Liz’s touch. He turned slightly away from her, facing her balcony and rested his hands on his knees.
“Max, please,” she said as she pushed the covers off her body, leaning toward him.
“I mean, I...I couldn’t put it into words.” He glanced at her over his shoulder, not exactly meeting her face. “I’ve lived a hard life, Liz.”
“You could show me...connect with me.”
“You’ve never imagined the things I’ve seen, Liz. I...the things I went through....it wasn’t an easy life.”
“If you’re not sure, Max, I don’t want to force you.” Mesmerized once again by his scar and a little sad that she might never know the truth about its origins, Liz tentatively reached for it. Her delicate fingers hovered just above Max’s face and Max felt her shift closer to him. She stood on her knees, resting one hand on his shoulder while the fingers of her other hand dripped feathery strokes beginning at his hairline, darting around the corner of his eye finally completing their journey near the apple of his cheek. She traced this same path several times, each time causing another part of Max’s body to twitch. She had no idea the emotions she was stirring within him. His stomach rumbled again, his eyes immediately glancing toward Liz thinking she might stop her perusal of his scar and was pleasantly surprised when she did not.
He closed his eyes as her fingers continued to dance down his face, her hair brushing lightly against him as she moved to and fro. He felt the fire within him beginning to build and closed his eyes tighter, silently reminding himself of what she had done, that the person who was touching him now had in fact given him that same scar. His jaw twitched as the love he felt in his heart partially contorted to hatred. He raised his right hand, intent on pushing her away when he felt her breast accidentally graze his shoulder. In that fraction of a second, the axis shifted and his building hatred surged into desire. He ferociously grabbed Liz’s face with his hands, also raising on his knees to push his body flush with hers, and ensnared her mouth with his.
They collapsed backwards against the headboard of her bed, their bodies oscillating and writhing against each other in a dance of forgotten love and neglect. Images sped past Liz’s inquiring mind’s eye; thoughts and feelings from another time that left her reeling in the aftermath with more questions than answers. She saw Max’s life as he lived it: making love to her in the desert;
the deaths of their friends; her disappearance; killing Serina; her appearance in his enemy’s camp; hugging Maria good-bye. So many horrible things to see and for Max to relive them, sharing his pain with her, pain that she was partially responsible for, caused Liz to remove her lips from his.
Liz’s eyes remained closed for several seconds after she broke their kiss. She rested her head against Max’s forehead as she had done so many times and pulled her bottom lip into her mouth, chewing on it delicately. “I,” she began, only to have her voice crack and tears stream down her cheeks. She tightened her lips and closed her eyes as she felt Max’s hands frame her face. “I won’t let that happen to us,” she whispered, clasping her trembling hands on Max’s face. “I’ll never let anything happen to us.”
“You said that before,” Max replied, the warmth in his voice now replaced by cold and menacing inflections.
“It was a lie then, just like now. You betrayed me, Liz, the moment you allowed yourself to be willingly taken by him. I saw you that night, the night Michael died. You knew what was coming. You knew,” he screamed, angrily shoving Liz’s head backwards. “And you did nothing.” She thought for a moment that her neck had snapped at the sheer force with which he’d thrown her. Her upper body slammed into the headboard and wall and Liz winced as pain shot through her shoulder.
“That wasn’t me,” she pleaded, the need to defend herself and her love for Max growing in infinite amounts as the seconds ticked away. She slowly climbed out of bed, pulling her shoulder back into its socket. She gasp at the audible pop and wiggled her fingers, crossing the room to Max’s side. “I’m right here and I won’t hurt you, Max.”
“You already have,” he yelled, his face turning crimson and the veins in his neck and forehead bulging and pulsating wildly. “You destroyed me that night, Liz. My life ended the moment I saw you in Khivar’s camp, the moment I saw him touch you the way lovers touch. And you knew what you’d done.” Max was past any point of anger Liz had ever witnessed. Harshly, he grabbed her shoulders and felt her struggle against his grip. She would never win against him. She could get her thrashes in the exchange; it was how he had gotten the scar in the first place, but she would never win. She would never break down the walls around his heart again. He had been hurt by her too many times in the past to allow that to happen again.
“I loved you,” he seethed as he gripped her tighter and began to violently shake her. “I loved you and you destroyed me.” Liz’s hair sprang wildly around her head and shoulders as Max continued his violent outburst. She felt bruises forming on her upper arms followed by the tingling sensation of Max’s healing touch. All the while he continued to bruise her. Bruise then heal. Bruise then heal.
Mustering all the energy she could, she managed to shove out of his arms for a split second. Confusion flashed in Max’s golden eyes and before he could even think about hurting her again, Liz pressed her mouth to his. Their connection, having never fully broken from the earlier kiss, sputtered triumphantly to life and Liz sent love from the very deepest recesses of her heart to him. He stumbled backwards in the onslaught of her emotions but Liz was undeterred, matching his stumbles step for step, keeping her mouth firmly planted on his. With one final push of love, and feeling the air leave her lungs, Liz simply closed her mouth and collapsed at Max’s feet.
|posted on 8-Mar-2002 7:28:33 PM by JO|
“Liz! Liz,” Maria screamed, crouching over Liz’s body, straddling her waist. “Liz,” she screamed again, this time forcefully shaking Liz until Liz moaned. “Oh, thank God,” Maria squealed, collapsing herself on top of Liz as she wrapped her arms around her friend. “God, you’re burning up.”
“Maria,” Liz mumbled as Maria began to help her off the floor. “What are you doing here? Where’s Max?”
“Whoa, Liz. Max? I...I haven’t seen Max all weekend. Why would you think Max was here?”
Liz rapidly blinked her eyes several times, adjusting them to the sunlight streaming through her window. Her whole body was on fire and she knew without a shadow of a doubt that Max had been in her room. Her head jerked from side to side, causing Maria to grab her shoulders to steady her. “What is wrong with you, chica?”
Liz opened her mouth to respond when she noticed part of a black jacket peeking out from underneath her bed. It hadn’t been a dream. Max had been in her room, just not the Max she wanted. Shakily running a hand through her hair, she smiled sweetly at Maria. “I’m fine, Maria, I swear.”
“When I came in here, Liz, you were passed out cold. I heard you fall as I was coming up the stairs to check on you. Your mom said you were sick and now I believe her.” Maria spun away from Liz quickly. “I’m going to tell her to take you to the doctor.”
“No, Maria,” Liz said with much more excitement than she meant. Willing herself to be calm as Maria slowly turned around and planted her hands on her hips, Liz began formulating a lie. “I...I just haven’t eaten, you know. These mid-terms are killing me. I...and Max....it’s just -”
“You want a burger?”
“God, Maria,” Liz sighed. “That would be wonderful. And some green lime pie. Could you put in the order?”
“Of course, chica, and I’ll bring it up to you too. You sure you’re okay,” Maria again questioned, subjecting Liz to a very scrutinizing gaze.
“I’ll be back with the order in a few, okay?”
“Thank you, Maria,” Liz replied as Maria disappeared down the hall of the apartment back to the cafe. Liz closed the door behind her, her head falling backwards against it.
“Your heart stopped,” Max said, causing Liz to jump. Her hands covered her mouth as her heart hammered through her chest. “Sorry,” he replied sheepishly as he threw the jacket on her bed.
“What?” She stepped away from the door once it had been securely locked, her eyes never leaving Max’s. “My heart stopped?”
“I...had to...heal you,” he said and pointed to her chest. Liz darted to her grandmother’s antique mirror that stood on top of her chest of drawers and pulled open the top two buttons of her pyjamas. Just as Max had said, a silver handprint glowed across her heart. She traced it with her fingers, tears pooling in her eyes and she saw Max sitting on the edge of her bed, watching her reflection in the mirror. “I didn’t know what else to do,” he began as she turned around to face
him, her hand dropping to her side. “I’m sorry.”
“For what,” she asked, standing opposite Max.
“For that,” he responded, his fingers pushing open the pyjama top to reveal the handprint, his handprint. Liz lowered her head, watching as he reverently brushed his fingers against the swell of her breasts, seemingly mesmerized by the mark he had left. She felt her nipples harden and instantly remembered she was not wearing a bra. Jerking away from him, she crossed her arms
over her chest, the warmth from his touch still radiating through her.
“Oh,” she whispered, pulling her lower lip into her mouth. “How did you know about Maria? I mean, that she was coming up here.”
“I felt her.” Liz’s eyes widened as the thought of her connection to Max not being sacred to just the two of them. “Maria and I are connected,” he said, sensing her confusion. He stood slowly and crossed the small space to her side. “We just aren’t connected like you and I are.” He brushed a stray hair out of Liz’s face and behind her ear.
“Hair thing,” she questioned, a slight smile appearing on her face as she wildly avoided Max’s gaze. “Right.” Max placed his hands gently on either side of her face and closed the distance between them.
“I know I shouldn’t kiss you,” he whispered, his breath warm against Liz’s face. Liz pulled her bottom lip into her mouth again, chewing on it wildly. “I just can’t stop...someone’s coming.” Liz inhaled as he pushed away from her and grabbed his jacket, prepared to hide underneath her bed again.
“The bathroom,” she whispered, pointing excitedly.
“Lizzie,” her dad called from outside the door. “I’ve got your food.”
Max rushed into her bathroom and hid behind the shower curtain and Liz slowly made her way to the door. She could feel blood pumping viciously through her veins and knew that she would not look like a woman who had just passed out to her father. Buttoning her pyjama top, she slouched her shoulders and allowed her mouth to drop open, willing her heart to stop beating so loudly.
“Hey, Dad,” she said as she opened her bedroom door.
“Hey, sweetie. Maria got caught with a customer so I thought I’d bring your food. Feelin’ better,” he asked after sitting the tray of food down on her desk. “I worry about you, Lizzie.”
“I know, Dad,” she replied as her father swept her into a hug and kissed her forehead. “School’s been hectic, you know. Midterms, papers, projects...it’s just been crazy.” A nervous laugh slipped out before she could control it but she was glad she had not let it slip to her father that making out with her alien ex-boyfriend’s future self was the real root of her problems.
“Okay, well, Maria said she might come back to see you.” Liz winced, not wanting to deal with Maria at this moment, especially when Max was hiding out in her bathroom. “I take it from that look you’d rather be alone.”
“I’m just really tired, Dad. I’d like to eat my food then go back to sleep.”
“I’ll break the news to Maria,” her father said, hovering inside the door frame. “You’d better lock your door though. We know how Maria gets when she’s determined.” They both laughed and Jeff kissed his daughter’s forehead once again before leaving the room. Liz closed the door behind him and locked it, hoping Max could work some alien magic on it so they could continue without interruption.
“He’s gone,” she said, pulling back the shower curtain, surprised to find Max asleep in her bathtub. She pulled the jacket out of his firm grasp, startled when he murmured her name in his sleep as the jacket left his hands, and covered his chest with it. She closed the bathroom door slowly and quietly, not wanting to disturb him while she ate her food.
|posted on 8-Mar-2002 7:35:11 PM by JO|
Okay. It is my goal to update these fics once a week with one new part. However, given this board's tendency for slowness of late, I've had a hard time trying to find my fics. If you all (my loyal readers) would be so kind as to offer me shamless bumps, I'll do what I can to get this posted on a consistent weekly basis.
|posted on 13-Mar-2002 8:16:25 PM by JO|
In the safety of Liz’s bathtub, despite the fact that his heart was in his throat for fear of discovery, he was unable to keep his eyes open any longer, his brain lulling him to sleep. He had not felt safe for almost two years and was surprised the last conscious thought that floated through his brain was that he felt safe because of Liz.
He found himself standing in the desert, a blanket of twinkling stars overhead. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his pants and raised his head to the heavens, a child-like fascination of the stars fueling him. It had been so long since he simply looked at the stars without hope or fear clouding his mind. Closing his eyes and inhaling slowly, a meek smile spread across his face. His
soul felt finally at peace, his mind miraculously blank, and as he opened his eyes and stared out into the darkened desert, he felt like he was finally home.
“I knew I’d find you here.”
The words startled him from his reverent moment, a feeling of deja vu trickling through his brain. His jaw twitched and he continued to stare out into the desert, silently hoping that the voice he had heard would melt back into his subconscious.
He spun quickly, his heart in his throat and his eyes wide in horror and confusion. He blinked rapidly, trying to convince himself that this was all a dream, that she was all a dream. Rubbing his hands across his face, he was even more confused to see that she was in fact not a dream but a vision from his past, and that she was walking across the desert toward him. “Liz? Wh..what are you doing here?”
“I’m here to help you, Max,” she replied innocently, a faint smile forming in the corners of her mouth. Max shook his head and stumbled away from her. She had spoken those few words as if helping him were the most natural thing in the world.
A million thoughts raced through his mind: why was she there; what did she want; how could she help. He thrust his hands out in front of him, defending himself from her advances. “No, no. I...I don’t need your help.”
“You’ve always needed my help, Max. Sometimes you’re just too stubborn to admit it. Why do you think two future versions of you ended up on my balcony? Why is it you always came to me for advice? Michael was your counselor, remember.”
“Don’t bring Michael into this,” he spat, familiar anger filling his heart. “Th...this is crazy. You’re not really here because you’re working for Khivar. I know that. I saw you with him. You’re with Khivar.”
“You’ve seen a lot of things, Max.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” He was beyond confusion now. In the moment when he had reawakened Liz’s stopped heart, he had concentrated on the love he had once felt for her in order to connect with her. She was Liz, after all, and she was nowhere close to being the Liz that had betrayed him. He had been sure of Liz’s love for his younger self, had felt it radiate off her body the second he touched her. But the Liz before him now, this Liz was the real monster, the Liz that had built him up only to tear him down brick by emotional brick.
“I’m so lost for you.”
“What,” he screamed. “How can you even stand there and pretend you love me? You betrayed me. You destroyed whatever love I felt for you the moment you allowed yourself to be taken by him.”
“You feel it for her.” Max opened his mouth to respond but paused and quickly looked away from her. Liz, in whichever connotation, knew him completely. This Liz, his Liz, somehow knew that her younger self was worming her way into his heart. A heart that had been dead for almost three years, dead to every mention of Liz’s name that passed from Maria’s, Michael’s or Isabel’s
lips. He had closed his heart off in the months following her disappearance, pushing himself farther than he’d imagined possible, all to find her and bring her back to Roswell. “I’m still Liz, you know, just different.”
“Don’t,” he seethed, his fists clinched at his side. “Don’t you dare repeat what she says. You’re not fit -”
“Don’t you see what’s happening here, Max? We are doomed to live this moment over and over again. That’s why I’m here to help you. If we don’t change one moment in time, we’ll be playing out this scenario for the rest of our lives, all of our lifetimes.”
“What are you talking about?”
“This,” she replied, sweeping her arms outward from her body. “All of this started because you wanted to save the world. And you came to me, Max, and asked me to help you fall out of love with me so Tess would stay in Roswell.”
“It worked,” he spat, crossing his arms defiantly over his chest. “You and Kyle made it pretty convincing.”
“And that’s the moment our lives went to hell. Don’t you see that, Max? If we want to save the world, we have to be together. All of us have to be together, including Tess. That’s what you’ve got to do. That’s what you have to change.”
“We don’t have to be together,” he stammered, pointing quickly between he and Liz. “I don’t care anything about you. I just want to protect -”
“Michael and Isabel,” she said quietly, finishing his statement. “But I know you, Max, and deep down, underneath those layers of hate and anger, you want to be with me. You would damn your destiny a million times if you thought it would change anything about our lives. Things between us may be irreconcilable but they aren’t between the other Max and Liz. That’s why you need
me. You aren’t seeing things clearly. You’re not seeing the whole picture.”
“I see things just fine.” He turned away from her and began to stalk into the desert. Who does she think she is, he wondered, muttering to himself as he continued walking away from her. He didn’t need her. He hadn’t needed her in a very long time. “And I don’t need you.”
“You do need me, Max. That’s why you came to see her. You didn’t want to because you knew she’d change you and you’d become the boy you once were. But I loved that boy. I still love that boy.”
“If you love me,” he began, almost running back to the spot where she stood. “If you love me, why stay with him? Why not escape? Why not contact me? I’d have done everything in my power to save you.”
“Don’t you think I know that? Don’t you think I wanted to escape? Do you think I willingly stayed with our enemy? That I.....that I wanted to be with him?” Liz stepped closer to Max, her eyes brimming with tears. She examined his face for signs that her questions had hit their mark, and indeed they had. “You do, don’t you. You think I chose him. What if I said I...I didn’t have a choice? That I had to stay to keep you alive.”
“If Khivar wanted me dead, Liz, he’d have killed me. He killed everyone else. You think you have that much control over a monster? You think he let me live because you stayed?”
Liz lowered her head and wiped her face with her hands. “You said it, Max, not me.”
“This is bullshit. My life was not spared because you aligned yourself with Khivar. My life was spared because....because....” He looked at her and was surprised to see a love he thought had died reflecting in her deep brown eyes. More than anything he didn’t want to admit that she was right, that she had always been right. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t think of a more plausible excuse. Maybe Liz had saved him once again.
“I relive that night in the desert every day, Max. I close my eyes and feel your hands on my body, your kisses on my face, your soul touching mine. That was the most wonderful night of my life.” She paused and cleared her throat, pleasantly surprised to see that Max was almost as emotional as she was. “When you healed me, you changed me, Max. And now, I’m different.”
“I never meant for that to happen,” he whispered honestly.
“I know and I don’t regret a single moment of the life we shared. But we can share so much more. You have the power to give us happily ever after. That’s what you have to change. You can make our life anything you want it to be. But you have to change something, Max, otherwise we’re doomed to repeat these mistakes.”
“You don’t have any regrets?”
Liz stepped cautiously toward him. His guard had dropped and for the moment, she felt like he was the Max she had fallen in love with. “I’d jump off any bridge and lie for you for the rest of my life. I’d do anything to protect you, Max. I’d hoped you would know that by now.”
Max clasp his hands together and rested them on the back of his neck. So many questions filtered through his mind, so many emotions coursed through his veins.
“Why did we make love that night, Liz? I...when I told...her about it, it didn’t seem real.”
“You were...different when you came back from L. A.,” she said, pausing slightly to carefully choose her next words.
“But I failed you,” he interrupted. “How could you want me when I’d treated you so horribly?”
“Because I loved you.” She ran her hands through her hair, pulling it around her face while she sheepishly sought out his eyes.
“I never did anything for you, Liz. I spent half the year chasing my son and it was only after Cal basically called me a selfish bastard that I realized what I’d become. She called me that too,” he said softly, a slight chuckle erupting from his mouth.
“When was the last time you actually felt like yourself, Max? Do you remember?”
“Well, I do,” she said. “You acted like the Max I fell in love with that night. You broke down in front of me, letting that control that dictates your life fall and I saw you, for the first time in a long time. But I also saw other things, too.”
“What are you talking about,” he said as he brushed her hair off her shoulders. Liz inhaled sharply at his touch and pulled her lower lip into her mouth. He rested his hands on her shoulders, his eyes searching for hers in the darkness. “What things? Like flashes?”
“This is all a dream, Max, and you can choose what happens. All you have to do is wake up.” She spun away from him and began walking back toward the spot where she had first appeared to him.
“What are you talking about, Liz? Are you saying you’re not really here,” he questioned, walking briskly to catch up to her. “You feel real to me,” he said with a smile while grabbing her hand.
“Wake up, Max. Try to remember the last time you really felt like yourself, when you felt like you were in control of you.” She placed her hand gently on his scarred cheek, her thumb lovingly tracing the length of the scar.
“You’re not answering my questions, Liz. What did you see? What are you talking about?”
“All you have to do is wake up.”
“How,” he cried, pulling her close to him. He felt her slipping away from him and struggled to keep her body close to him. He had never realized how much he ached for her, his Liz. In all the years following her disappearance and as the war began, he had hardened his heart with thoughts of her, portraying her as the monster in his fairy tale. Looking at her now, struggling with all his might to keep her with him, he knew that had been a lie. She was the same Liz. She was
his Liz, the same Liz that had healed all those years ago in the corner of the Crash Down. “How do I wake up,” he repeated, desperation pouring out of his mouth.
“That’s up to you,” she quietly said, her sweet smile splayed delicately across her face as her image faded into oblivion.
He shook himself awake and stumbled out of Liz’s bathtub into her bedroom. Liz slowly stood from her bed and he was glad to see that some of the color had returned to her face. She cradled his jacket lovingly in her arms, her face wearing the same confusion he supposed was running through her brain. “Max? Are you okay?”
All you have to do is wake up.
“I..I need to go out,” he stuttered. He ran his hands through his hair, not caring about its condition. His mind and his heart was cluttered, lacking a clear focus and he blinked his eyes rapidly. “Would you come with me?”
“Of course,” she replied, carefully laying his jacket across her bed as she walked to her closet and began pulling together an outfit. “Where are we going?”
Try to remember the last time you really felt like yourself, when you felt like you were in control of you.
|posted on 19-Mar-2002 8:46:00 PM by JO|
Max jumped from the cab and ran clumsily toward the observatory. Liz’s words echoed through his brain and he wondered if in fact this was the last place he had felt like himself. Liz followed him for several steps, staring in confused awe at his change in demeanor when the cab’s blaring horn broke through the silence. She jumped, her eyes returning to Max’s faint form for a second as the horn once again clamored. She stomped angrily back to the cab and pulled a ten-dollar bill from her pocket. Making sure she had brought her cell phone, she dismissed the cabbie with a wave of her hand after she had flung the money into the passenger side window and ran to find Max.
She found him huddled against the corner of the outside retaining wall on the top floor of the observatory. His eyes were wide with wonder and as Liz approached, she noticed he was staring into the corner opposite where he sat. She slowly bent down by his side, surprised to find his lips quivering and his eyes filled with tears. “Max? Max, what’s wrong?”
He jumped at the sound of her voice, quickly wiping his face with the back of his hand. He raised his head and focused on her eyes, concern and worry manifested throughout their chocolate depths. A shadow danced just on the fringes of his vision and he quickly turned his head, startled to see a reflection of he and Tess writhing on the floor. Tears blurred his vision while an audible moan erupted from his throat. “I...,” he stuttered, his tongue suddenly like a lead weight in his
“Max?” He felt Liz collapse almost on top of him, her hair delicately tickling the sides of his face and neck. “Max,” she repeated, gently caressing his face, forcing him to look at her. He felt tears stream down his cheeks as he slowly shifted in order to face her. He had seen the same look flash through Liz’s eyes the night he was rescued from the white room, the night he had told her he wanted to be with her, his destiny be damned.
You would damn your destiny a million times if you thought it would change anything about our lives.
Whether I die tomorrow or fifty years from now, my destiny is the same: it's you.
He closed his eyes tightly and grabbed onto Liz’s shoulders as a slight tremor ran through his heart.
“You’re scaring me,” she whispered, lowering her face to his neck. “Please Max. Tell me what’s wrong.”
He released her shoulders and, using both his hands, he brushed her hair away from her shoulders and face. Liz gasp at the touch, the same noise Liz had made in his dream, and Max felt her body tense when he lightly brushed his lips against her neck. Inching his way upward from her neck, he hungrily ate at her lips, pulling them selfishly into his mouth. Wrapping his arms around her body, he pulled her into his lap while Liz adjusted her legs around his waist. He wound his fingers underneath her sweater, snaking his fingers roughly up and down her sides. He pulled his mouth down her throat once again, prepared to push this encounter to fruition when a picture of Tess’ face entered his mind. He stopped cold, his hands bound in the straps of Liz’s bra. “This is it,” he
huskily replied, carefully disentangling himself from Liz.
“What are you talking about, Max,” she asked, hastily readjusting her clothes as she glanced around to make sure no one had seen them. She couldn’t believe they had been so careless. It was not quite five o’clock and while the observation deck had been closed, Liz had not
questioned Max’s motives when they left her house. What if someone had seen them?
“This is the last moment when I felt like myself.” He stood and leaned against the wall, once again staring absently toward the opposite corner.
“I’m sorry,” she replied, also standing. “I don’t understand.”
“This is where Tess and I...” He broke off, sheepishly looking at her just before hanging his head.
“This is the place,” Liz questioned, taking several small steps away from Max. “This is where your son was conceived? Wh...why would you bring me here?”
“Wh...why would I want to come here? It’s bad enough I know she killed Alex, but to bring me here...to the place...Max, how could you?” She spun away from him, cradling her face in her hands.
“Liz, no,” Max quickly said, stepping after her. He grabbed her elbow and spun her back around to face him. Gently pushing her hands away from her face, he framed her face with his hands, coaxing her to look at him. “I..I’m sorry, Liz. I never wanted to hurt you. What happened here, I...I don’t think it was real.”
“What do you mean,” she questioned, her eyes meeting his in an intense gaze. “But you said -”
“I know what I said,” he whispered, pulling her into her arms. He rested his mouth on her forehead, pressing small kisses onto her skin. His body relaxed considerably when he felt her arms wrap around his waist and return the hug. “I’m not sure what’s real anymore, Liz. I’m not
sure what I can believe.”
|posted on 25-Mar-2002 7:48:45 PM by JO|
|Two parts tonight. Just to keep the story moving along....|
“So your son was a mindwarp? Everything was a mindwarp?” Liz and Max sat next to each other on her balcony, watching while the daylight faded into darkness. After he had told her he wasn’t sure of reality, they had rode back to Liz’s in silence. Despite the silence that lingered between them during the cab ride, Max had tenderly held her hand in his, refusing to release it even as they exited the cab in the alley outside the cafe. Now, the questions rattled through her
brain and she longed to talk the problem out in hopes of finding a solution.
“I don’t know,” he sighed, raking his fingers through his hair. Liz winced as she felt his familiar tinge of anger enveloping his words and leaned away from him, preparing for another outburst. Instead, Max gently wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her underneath his chin. He sighed, his breath dancing lightly across her scalp and she leaned into his embrace. “I’m sorry, Liz, but I just don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.”
“Why did you want to go to the observatory,” she asked as she settled against his shoulder, her head tilting slightly toward him.
“I had this...dream earlier. You..well, the other you, came to me and asked when was the last time I’d felt like myself.”
“And it as at the observatory?” Max glanced at her momentarily and nodded slightly. “It’s okay, Max. If we can get to the bottom of this, we can change the future for the better. Right?”
Max glanced into her eyes again, bringing his hand up from his lap to cradle her face. She was so young and so hopeful. He tightened his lips and smiled slightly, unable to tell her that he had no way of knowing what would happen to them now.
“That means Tess was lying to you, manipulating you. That there was no baby.”
“I think the baby was real.”
“There was a baby,” Liz asked, startled by Max’s answer. If she hadn’t changed the future in the first place, she and Max would be together now. But this Max, the second one from the future, now claimed that there was a baby. “You and Tess still had a baby?”
“I...I don’t know. I just feel like the baby was real.” He picked up her hands and cradled them tightly in his. “I know this sounds crazy but I feel like there was a baby...somewhere.”
“Maybe the baby was a memory,” Liz offered. “You know, from the other future or from your original life.”
Max furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. “Did he tell you there was a baby?” Liz quickly shook her head no and Max struggled to make sense of the confusing thoughts in his brain. He slowly released Liz’s hands, willing his mind to blank out so he could concentrate. He focused on his entire past, everything that had happened to him.
He remembered the feeling of Tess’ mind games when she first came to Roswell, how he felt like she was inside his brain, how she had scared him. He remembered the night Brody short-circuited himself, unable to distinguish between his life as Brody and the life of Larek. He remembered the night Tess had found him at the observatory, the night he told Liz their friendship was over if she went to Sweden. He had never felt as alone in all his life as he did just before Tess found him. He
remembered how horribly he had treated Liz in the days following Alex’s death. How she had been hell-bent on discovering the truth and how he had been so crazed by her actions. He had even went so far as to forcefully restrain her in the hallway. Somehow, Tess had managed to integrate herself into his life at its lowest point.
He opened his eyes and looked at Liz who was watching him intently when he felt a ripple through his brain. It wasn’t necessarily a painful experience; just one that he had never experienced before. Liz leaned toward him, her mouth opening slightly to speak when a new visual image assaulted his mind. Tess in his room. He was slouched against his bed and she sat at his desk chair. He shook his head to clear the picture but it would not go away. He watched as she talked with her hands, oblivious to the fact that he was not listening to a word she was saying. He felt so tired, so numb and he couldn’t seem to push past the thought of Liz and Kyle in bed together.
“Max?” Liz’s voice startled him from his semi-dream and he realized that it was a new memory. That Tess was in his childhood room right now, talking to his younger self. His eyes widened in horror as the image of three moons flew past his mind’s eye. Tess was doing something to him, to his younger self. “You look frightened. What’s wrong?”
“Tess is at my house,” he said, barely above a whisper.
“You...you have to do something, Liz. She’ll ruin...everything.”
“What can I do,” she asked.
“Tell him the truth.”
* * *
Max sat motionless on his bed, his legs crossed at his ankles as he pretended to listen to Tess drone on about her shopping trip with Isabel. He had sat in his room for the majority of two days, only leaving long enough to go to the bathroom and to eat, for his mother’s sake. Right now, he didn’t care whether he lived or died. The image of Liz and Kyle in bed haunted him constantly, in his dreams and while he was awake. Over and over in his head like a movie, he repeated his actions of Friday. Climbing up Liz’s fire escape, checking himself to make sure he had the tickets, bending to step into her room, seeing the look of shame on Liz’s face and the blank look on Kyle’s, the way Liz’s bare leg contrasted to the red of her comforter, how Liz held the comforter against her body when he appeared. Rewind and press play. Sometimes, it played in slow motion and he wondered what he would have done had he arrived just a few seconds earlier. What would they have been doing? Shaking his head, he focused on Tess once again.
“Huh,” he said, wiping at his eyes. He glanced to the clock on his night stand and wondered exactly how long Tess had been in his room. “I’m sorry, Tess. What did you say?”
“I asked about your English paper. It’s due on Friday and I just wondered what you were writing about.”
“I..I’m not sure yet.”
“Max,” she began but quickly hesitated. Despite the hesitation in her words, Max watched as she moved from his desk chair to the foot of his bed. She sat down gently, like he was a piece of breakable china and too much motion would cause him to shatter. “Is something...did something happen between you and Liz?”
“Why would you ask that,” he snapped, surprised by just how quickly his temper had flared. Liz? Why was Tess bringing Liz into the conversation? As long as he had known Tess, the last thing she had ever wanted to talk about was Liz Parker and Max’s feelings for her.
“You both just seem -”
“What do you mean ‘both of us’? When did you talk to Liz?”
Tess stood quickly and walked to Max’s desk to retrieve her purse. “I..I didn’t mean anything by it, Max. You knew that Liz set up that whole book thing at the Crash Down. I just mean you both seem...sad.” Tess strapped her purse across her shoulder and watched as Max remained motionless on the bed. His eyes were moving quickly from side to side and Tess could almost
hear the gears turning inside his brain. She closed her eyes, surprised by just how easy it was to get into Max’s brain. The moment she was inside, she saw exactly what had made Max react so strongly. Liz and Kyle in bed together. The V constellation flashed from her mind to Max’s and she promptly removed any presence of her infiltration from Max’s memory. Liz and Kyle in bed together. The reason for Max’s depression was perfectly clear now and she knew this knowledge
could come in handy in the future.
|posted on 25-Mar-2002 7:54:43 PM by JO|
“Wh-what? I...I can’t tell him. I promised I wouldn’t tell him.” Liz stumbled away from Max but she was still trapped on her own balcony. She instantly sought out his face, her mouth open in anticipation of forming another rebuttal to his insane plan. “It’s...it’s crazy. I can’t tell him.”
“You have to, Liz. You have to tell him the truth.”
“He won’t believe me,” she pleaded.
“I believed you.”
“That’s different. You’re not him,” she said, gasping as soon as the words left her mouth. She covered her mouth with her hand in horror that she could say such a thing. Of course he was Max, just not her Max, but he could be hers. She had seen the signs. Through all his anger, hurt and confusion, he was still her Max. Her heart beat just as loudly in his presence as it
did whenever the other Max Evans were present.
“I...I’m sorry. I didn’t mean -”
“I know,” he replied softly, bowing his head momentarily. He tentatively stepped toward her and
after taking her hand, he lowered them both onto her lounge chair. “You have to do this, Liz. You have to find a way. We are all depending on you.” Tears sprung to her eyes, causing Max to lovingly hold her face in his hands. “Things will be different on Monday.”
“What happens on Monday?”
“Congresswoman Whitaker dies.”
“Wait,” she said, slowly pulling his hands off her face. “I thought she was already dead.”
“Whitaker was a skin, Liz.”
Max grimaced, remembering exactly how simple his life had been before he knew about his enemies. They had all been so innocent but, one by one, their innocence had been lost: Liz to Nasedo, he to the white room, Isabel to Whitaker. Glancing back at Liz, he saw traces of this same innocence imbedded in her eyes. “Skins are our enemies. They’re called skins because they can’t survive in this atmosphere so they use skins or husks. Whitaker was a skin and killed Nasedo she said, because he was standing in Isabel’s way.”
“Isabel’s way? What did she mean by that, Max?”
“It seems that Isabel was quite popular in our other life.” He laughed nervously, running his hand through his hair.
“I’m not sure I’m following you,” Liz said after releasing her own nervous laugh. “I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s okay. I...this is just difficult to explain, I guess, and I’m not doing a very good job. Isabel, or Vilandra as she used to be called, was betrothed to Michael, which you know.” He arched his eyebrows at Liz and she nodded. “What none of us knew then was that Isabel was playing both sides. She had an affair with Khivar, who was responsible for killing all of us, and, I think, with Nicholas, Khivar’s general. Understand?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“Good. Nicholas, in the form of a husk, was sent to Earth to track us down. You, me, Isabel and Tess went to Copper Summit, Arizona once we got word of Whitaker’s funeral.”
“What’s in Copper Summit?”
“The harvest,” Max replied. Liz shook her head slightly, her brows furrowing in confusion. “The husks have a life span of about fifty years,” Max continued. “Copper Summit is a town completely inhabited by skins. The four of us went there because three of us knew exactly what Whitaker was. You were the only real connection we had to her.”
“Because I work at her office.”
Max nodded, refusing to meet Liz’s eyes. “After that trip, the skins knew exactly who we were, what we looked like, where to find us. They came to Roswell and used some sort of time sorter so they could find us easily.”
“What did this time sorter...thing do?”
“It suspended the humans in one time dimension and left the rest of us wide open -”
“For an attack,” Liz replied, finishing his thought.
“Yeah,” he said, a faint smile crossing his lips. “I’m sorry, Liz. I really didn’t want to explain all of this to you.”
“I’m glad you did, Max. Now, I just have to stop us from going to Copper Summit.” Her voice quivered slightly and Liz brought her hand to her face to wipe the tear stains away. After several seconds of trying to compose herself, she realized Max was being unusually quiet. “Right, Max?”
Max shrugged, hesitantly raising his head to meet her perplexed gaze. She looked so hopeful, hanging onto the notion that this plan would indeed work. That after this sacrifice, she and her Max would have their lifetime together. He wanted so badly to lie to her. “I’m not sure exactly what to do. Things in my life were certainly different from the life of your other future Max.”
“None of that matters now,” she said with an edge of sorrow in her voice. Max watched in concern as several fresh tears dripped down her face before she hastily wiped them away. “Our future is what we make of it. To be determined.”
“I’m sorry for causing you all this pain,” Max placed his hand on her knee and squeezed it gently.
“Max,” she began but her voice caught in her throat. She cleared her throat and shook her head slightly. “I’m helping to save the world...again. If I can convince Max of the truth behind what he saw, I hope we’ll all be better off this time around.” Max nodded slightly, releasing her knee, and pulled his hands back into his lap. “What about Tess?”
“What about Tess?”
“You said she was in his room. Is she still there?”
Max shook his head. “She’s gone.” He watched as Liz sighed slowly and stood up from the lounge chair. She balled her hands into fists and sighed again, her first step toward the fire escape a tentative one. “Liz,” Max said, louder than he had intended. “About Tess -”
“I know what you’re going to say,” Liz replied, raising her hand to silence him as she spun away from the ladder. “I...I don’t want to trust her. I...I don’t even want to like her and part of me could care less if she left and never came back, but she’s a liability. She’s a liability just like I’m a liability. If Max’s enemies ever knew how important I was to him -” She lowered her head and wrapped her arms around herself.
Max stood and crossed the small distance between them, taking her shoulders gently into his hands. “Don’t think about that right now. You’ve just got to focus enough to try and tell Max the truth. Think about Tess later.”
“Right,” Liz agreed, raising her head to meet Max’s eyes. “I’ll just talk to him,” she whispered. “I...I’ll try to talk to him.” Turning quickly out of Max’s semi-embrace, she lowered herself down the ladder and onto the street.
|posted on 1-Apr-2002 7:58:20 PM by JO|
|Finally! Geez Louise! I never thought I'd ever find my way back here again.|
BTW - If anyone wants to read the 'real time' progression of this story, I'm posting it at the Bordello.
Without further adieu, here's 3 new parts!
Max threw himself on top of Liz’s bed after she disappeared down the fire escape. He was really unsure how he felt about watching her leave. It wasn’t a great plan, but clearly it was better than pretending to sleep with Kyle. Would the truth really set them free? Could his younger self forgive Liz for being noble when, in fact, she was just doing as he’d asked? Whatever the case,
he knew he did not want to feel his emotions when Liz finally confessed the truth. He closed his eyes and allowed himself to drift to sleep.
He was standing in the desert again, in the spot that had been so special to he and Liz. He patiently sat down and waited for her to appear because he knew, sooner or later, she would. “I’ll wait forever, Liz. I’ve got nothing but time.”
“I’m right here, Max.”
“I knew you’d come,” he said, glancing over his shoulder toward the desert. “I knew it.”
“You know me too well,” she mused, a slight smile teasing her lips. “I’ll have to change my ways.”
He stood slowly, unsure of exactly what he was going to say to the love of his life. “I’m so glad to see you again.”
“Into your heart, I’ll beat again.”
“I never wanted to lose you, Liz. You have to know that. I never asked for this life.”
“You can’t lose me, Max. Our bond proves it. We’ve just been...out of touch and you haven’t seen me. You see me now, don’t you?”
“I’m whole again, Liz. You did that. You helped me.” He walked toward her, lightly touching his arm when he was within reaching distance. Their connection sparked to life, skittering through their blood. “God,” he said with tears in his eyes. “I’ve missed you.” He pulled Liz
tightly against his chest, surprised by just how natural it felt to hold Liz, his Liz, in his arms. He planted searing kisses against her forehead, kisses that traveled from the depths of his soul, transfixing all space and time.
“How...how have I lived without you for so long?”
“I left you with questions, Max, the last time we met like this.”
“I don’t care about them right now. All I care about is being with you.”
“You have to care about them,” she said, pushing him away. Max stepped toward her quickly, but she held up her hand to stop his forward progression. “You have to make sense of the confusion in your head. You have to work it out, Max. You can’t just ignore this.”
“I’m not ignoring anything,” he snapped but instantly regretted his tone. Liz, however, did not seem to notice.
“Yes, you are. Tess hurt all of us, in one way or another. She killed Alex, Max, and made you believe you had slept with her and fathered her child. Those are pretty serious offenses.”
“How am I supposed to find her, Liz? She blasted off in the damn granolith -”
“The same granolith you used to travel back in time,” Liz asked, her face etched with pointed detail.
Max stumbled backwards as the weight of her words hit him. “What are you saying,” he asked after several seconds of his internal mental debate.
“I’m saying that not everything is as it appears to be. That this...all this...is just a trick of the light. You have to find out what’s real and what’s not. You have to determine who you trust and who you don’t. And you have to fall in love with me again.”
“But I am in love with you!”
“In your eyes, love it grows, Max, but not for me. You’re thinking of a different me, a younger me.”
“You’re jealous of her?”
Liz shook her head. “We’re the same, Max. She and I. We both love you with our whole heart. We’d both do anything to prove that love. She’s just within walking distance to her Max and you’re in another place.” Liz stepped forward, her eyes never leaving Max’s face.
“He has to trust her again and right now, he can’t do that. You have to help her help him.”
“She said the other Max disappeared...after they changed the future.”
“Then you can’t change it,” Liz offered simply.
Max’s nostrils flared as he felt the familiar anger bubble within his heart. Did Liz know what she was asking?
Did she even understand all the confusion that had grown in his heart and mind in the days following that horrible night? “I came back to change it. Everyone we loved died, Liz. Michael, Isabel, everyone. I have to change it so it doesn’t happen again.”
“I know what happened, Max. I lived it and I lost those dearest to me, too. I’m still living the nightmare. I’m still struggling to survive, waiting for you to put the pieces together and come find me.”
“You’re out there, Liz, and I’m here, in another time. How could I possibly find you?”
“I’m closer than you think.”
“You’re talking in circles again,” he snapped, his temper almost to its boiling point. He turned away from her, wanting desperately to get his emotions in check. “You have no idea how much you infuriate me, Liz,” he seethed as he clenched his fists. “I had to find out the truth from her. At least one Liz is honest with me.” He saw her stoop to the ground on the periphery of his vision and turned his attention back to her fully. In front of Liz stood a small dark-haired boy. He was the almost the same height as Liz was in her hunched position and his tiny hands were clasp together in an awkward position near his mouth. Max stepped closer to
them, mesmerized by Liz’s behavior with the boy. “Liz? Who is that?”
She never heard him. Clearly, her focus was on the little boy and Max watched as Liz tenderly pulled the child’s hands away from his face. “I told you not to come,” Liz said firmly yet softly to the boy. “Remember? I told you to stay away.”
“Liz,” Max screamed, startling both Liz and the little boy. Liz stood slowly, placing herself between Max and the boy. Max watched the boy with particular interest and was surprised to see some of Liz’s features already apparent in such a small child. The boy clung to Liz’s left leg. He held on tightly, hiding his face behind her thigh so Max could only see his left eye and part of his
body. “Who is that,” Max asked, pointing toward the little boy.
“He’s my son, Max,” she calmly said, her left hand reaching lovingly for the boy. Max’s eyes widened as he glanced at Liz and the boy several times. Liz had a son. Liz was a mother. He stumbled away from her for the second time during this meeting, his eyes flooded with tears.
“Khivar’s son,” he said, turning slowly as the realization hit him. This child was why Khivar had taken Liz. Liz had slept with the enemy, to get back at him for sleeping with Tess and had given birth to his son. Khivar’s heir. “He’s Khivar’s son.”
“You’re putting words into my mouth,” she said angrily. Max’s face bore the shock of Liz’s uncharacteristic anger. She had only showed such forceful emotion with him in the days after Alex’s death, particularly the day of Alex’s funeral when she confronted the group with her
theories. He had been surprised by her reactions then, just as he was now. “Think about it, Max, really think. Why would Khivar hold me prisoner? What is it about me that would be valuable enough for him to keep me alive? He obviously could have killed me at any time. You said as much yourself.”
“If you have a son -”
“Not just any son, Max,” she corrected, her tone once again her own. “Think. Why do we always meet here? What is so special about this place?”
Max looked around the desert area. This was the place they had journeyed to in the middle of the night to see exactly what her visions were about. It was the place where she had placed herself into his hands, unafraid of their next step, willing to take it if he were holding her hand. It was the place they had consummated their relationship after his horrible experience in Los Angeles.
Again, she had placed herself and her heart in his lap that night, just as she had the night they had found the orb. Now, he returned to this sacred ground in his dreams and Liz had told him she was a mother. He stared back at Liz, who was now holding the tiny boy lovingly in her arms, rocking him back and forth.
Max stepped forward slowly, finally understanding as the distance between he and Liz diminished that Liz had not given birth to Khivar’s son; she had given birth to his. His eyes burned with unshed tears, remembering how he many nights he had ached for Liz, when he had allowed the sorrow he felt to burst through. He had cried many times for what could never be, especially after Liz had disappeared from Roswell. “He...he’s mine,” he questioned, his hand gently stroking the boy’s head. His eyes met Liz’s in the darkness and was glad to discover they too were tear-filled. “It was one night, Liz. I...I can’t believe -”
“He’s your son, Max. I swear it on my life. He’s yours.”
“I...I believe you,” Max said, stepping forward and taking his son from Liz’s arms. He held the boy tightly against his chest and was not surprised when he began to cry. “He’s perfect,” he whispered before he kissed the top of his head.
“He’s the one thing we both did perfectly,” Liz responded, one hand maintaining contact with her son and the other wiping Max’s tears away.
“But Serina said she killed my son.”
“Serina’s a skin, Max. She lied.” Max felt Liz’s body jolt and watched as she looked over her shoulder. “We don’t have much longer with you,” she whispered and Max hesitantly relented as Liz took their son back into her arms. She stepped away from him, only to have Max blindly grab for her hand.
“I want to be with you, Liz. Both of you.”
“Then turn the world around, Max. Come and find us.” She smiled and shielded her son’s face with her hand as their image faded and Max was left alone in the darkness of the desert.
|posted on 1-Apr-2002 8:08:11 PM by JO|
Liz stood in the shadows outside Max’s bedroom window. From her hiding place, she had an
excellent view of Max sitting at his desk, his pencil tapping furiously against several books. A book lay open-faced on his desk but during the several minutes she had been watching him, he hadn’t turned a single page. She knew without a doubt that his mind was elsewhere, just as hers was.
Fear rippled through her body and she felt herself shudder slightly. Willing herself to be strong, she raised her hand and rapped her knuckles against the glass. She stepped forward into the light cast from his bedroom, her hands damp and shaking. Max appeared in front of her, his shadow looming over her, and she was surprised when he opened his window.
“Hi, Max,” she said meekly then quickly cleared her throat. “Hi,” she repeated, wanting to sound more upbeat than she really felt.
“Liz,” he responded in kind and Liz raised her head to look at his face. His voice was monotone and there was no emotion of any kind on his face, no spark reflecting in his eyes.
“Can I...come in?”
Max turned away from her and walked back to his desk. Her jaw twitched and she felt tears pool in the corners of her eyes. Reminding herself that she could get through this and that she and Max would have a future after he knew the truth, she climbed gracefully through his window as she had done almost five days earlier. Glancing at him again, she was surprised to see he was
sitting at his desk in the same position as before she had knocked, almost like he was ignoring her entirely.
“Wh...whatcha doing,” she questioned, slowly walking toward him.
“Working on my English paper.”
“Oh,” she whispered, immediately drawing her bottom lip into her mouth. “The one that’s due on Friday?” She almost laughed aloud at the thought of the handsome Max Evans sitting at home studying on a Saturday night when the rest of Roswell High was out enjoying their youth. Max simply nodded, his back still toward her.
“What are you going to write about,” she asked, taking
one large, unsteady step toward him. If she was going to have to go the ‘friends’ route with him, she thought she might as well act friendly.
“The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and its parallels with real life.” He was facing her now, his beautiful amber eyes that had once upon a time been filled with love for her were now cold and empty, dejected and defeated.
“Oh,” she replied and she was momentarily blinded by tears. She blinked rapidly and turned slightly to her left, pretending to run her fingers through her hair. “Wow,” she began when she felt she had regained her composure. “That’s a...a big topic.”
“Right.” Max picked up the pencil closest to him and began scribbling in the margins of the text book. “I’d kinda like to get my outline finished tonight, Liz, so if that’s all -”
“No, Max,” she said, suddenly feeling brave as she walked to the edge of his bed and sat down. Max swivelled his desk chair to the right and was staring at her when she raised her head. “I need to talk to you...about what you saw.”
“I know what I saw,” he said quietly, spinning away from her so he was facing his computer monitor.
“No, Max. No, you don’t.”
“I saw you and Kyle in bed together, Liz.”
“I’m trying to be honest here, Max. Can’t you please just let me explain?”
“What’s to explain,” he asked, standing up from the chair. He pushed his bangs out of his face and began to pace back and forth in front of her. “I know what I saw. You were in bed with Kyle. You...slept with Kyle. I can accept it. I don’t understand it, but I can accept it.”
“I didn’t sleep with Kyle, Max,” Liz said, standing up from his bed slowly. She could feel this conversation’s purpose slipping from her grasp. The last time she had confronted Max, she had made a speech to him but now, she was struggling for the right words, the right things to say to make him see the truth.
“So you’re saying you just hopped into bed with Kyle to make it look like you had slept with him? What were you trying to accomplish by doing that?”
“Please, Max, let me talk. Please. It was a horrible mistake. I...I love you. I...I want to be with you.”
“You really have a funny way of showing it. Weren’t you the one that came here, what, five days ago and said you wanted to date boys, normal boys?” Max stepped closer to her and for the first time Liz realized just how hurt he was. “Well, I’m not normal, Liz. I’ll never be normal.”
“I know that, Max, and everything that I said that night...was a lie. I...I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any of it. Please let me explain what happened. It was just a terrible, horrible mistake.” Liz was unable to control her emotions any longer and the tears came pouring out of her like water out of a faucet. She fell down onto his bed, her hands covering her face as her shoulders shook
Max stooped down in front of her, taking her shoulders into his hands. “Liz? D...did Kyle force...himself...” He couldn’t finish his sentence. He held onto Liz’s shoulders tighter as he lowered his head toward the floor. He too was becoming overwhelmed with emotions, too many
feelings were swirling around inside of him.
“No, Max. Kyle...wouldn’t do that,” she whispered, wiping her hands across her face.
Max released her and stood, suddenly aware of the powerful pull Liz had over him. Even through all his hurt and anger, he had still been concerning for Liz’s safety first. “You made it look like you’d slept with him, Liz. You have to know how much that hurt me.”
“And I’m not hurting? God, Max, your face. I...I’ve never wanted to undo anything as much as I want to erase that single moment.”
“Every time I blink or close my eyes to try and sleep, I see the two of you in bed together. I...I look at you right now and all I can see is you...in bed...with him. I...I can’t trust you anymore. I...I can’t trust anything about how I feel about you.”
“I know I was pushing you,” Max continued, sitting at the head of his bed while Liz remained seated at the foot. “For a relationship, I mean, but I...I never thought you’d do this just to push me away. All you had to say was that you wanted out. It would have been hard but I would have left you alone.”
“But I don’t want out,” she cried, crawling forward several inches. She opened her mouth only to close it quickly, trying to form the right words in her brain.
“Remember when I saw you kiss Tess that night in the rain?”
“You’re saying it was a mindwarp? That Tess was in your bathroom the entire time?”
“No,” Liz said, shaking her head in frustration. “Kyle and I were in bed together, Max. That part is true, but nothing happened.”
“Then what does Tess have to do with any of this?”
“I remember how I felt that night, Max, after seeing you with her. And you,” she paused slightly to wipe her face. “You told me that you loved me, that I was the only one for you. I just kept replaying that kiss over and over in my mind. And while my eyes told me one thing, my heart, Max, my heart said that you would never do that.”
“What are you saying,” he asked as he finally met her face with the same stony gaze he’d shown her when she first arrived.
“I’m just asking you to believe what your heart is telling you, Max. Listen to your heart.”
Max lowered his head slightly and crossed his hands in his lap. “I guess that’s the problem then, Liz. I can’t listen to my heart. I can’t trust what it’s telling me because it’s broken.” He raised his head slightly, just enough so he could capture Liz’s eyes with his. “You broke it and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to trust it or you again.”
Liz’s eyes widened as the impact of Max’s final statement hit her square in the heart. No matter what their previous problems with Tess had been, they could always trust each other. Now, because of the end of the world plea, the man she loved more than her own life and trusted with every fiber of her being could not trust her.
“I think you should leave.” She stared at him in shock, tears threatening at any minute to stream down her face. “I can’t ask you again, Liz,” he replied and Liz heard the tiniest squeak in his voice as it cracked. She reached toward him, instantly recognizing what a mistake that was. He jerked away from her touch, leaving her hands dangling in mid-air and his back to her. She crawled off his bed slowly and carefully climbed out of his window onto his mother’s favorite
rosebush. She was barely out of his yard when she heard the window close and latch behind her.
* * *
Max had wandered the streets of Roswell since awaking from his dream, desperate to share with Liz exactly what his Liz had told him. When he had awoken in Liz’s bed, he had felt like he’d been kicked directly in the stomach numerous times and that his heart had shattered into a million pieces. It had only taken him moments to realize that his younger self had not only not listened to Liz, but that he had told her he couldn’t trust his heart or her. After thoroughly searching Liz’s room for her and finding her missing, he had decided to walk to the park, remembering that he had went there after he had seen Liz in bed with Kyle. “Liz?” He had stumbled upon her by
accident and even from a few yards away, he noticed that she did not look like herself. She looked tired, broken and defeated, something he never thought possible for Liz Parker. “Liz, are you okay?”
“Hey, Max,” she whispered, not raising her head. Her hair hung around her face, shielding it like a curtain. Her shoulders fell forward and had it not been for the slight wheezing rhythmic sound he heard, he would not have known she was breathing. “He didn’t believe...me,” she managed to stutter before her face contorted again in tears.
“I know,” Max replied as he sat down on the park bench beside her. “I’m sorry, Liz.”
“Maybe I should just run away, you know? If I left, Tess would never leave Roswell. Maybe she and Max would be together and I’d certainly never have to witness it happen.”
“He doesn’t want you to leave.”
“Yes, he does. He hates me. He said he can’t trust me. How can you love someone you can’t trust? How can you have a relationship with someone you can’t trust?” She sighed loudly, her lips quivering once again, and tucked her hair behind her ears, leaning backwards against the bench. “It’s over. I’m going to be alone. I’m going to be alone...and I did it to myself.”
“No you’re not,” Max said, placing his arm tightly around her shoulders. “That’s not what fate has in store for you, Liz.”
“How do you know,” she mumbled, leaning against his shoulder hesitantly. “Before Max healed me, I had this whole life plan. After the shooting, that plan just went out the window and all I wanted was to be with Max. Maybe this is fate’s way of telling me I can’t compete with destiny.”
“Will you run away with me,” she asked, tilting her head upwards toward his face. “We could start a whole new life together, just me and you. Everything in Roswell would remain the same and I...I’d still have you.” She touched his scarred cheek with her hand, gently tracing the lines with her thumb.
“But I’m not the Max you want,” Max quietly stated, turning his head downward and he felt both their hearts break a little more. Liz sat up straight again although Max’s arm remained looped around her shoulders. “I am a different person, Liz, because of the things that happened to me. And no matter how much I want to be with you, I’ve got to find my Liz.”
“I had another dream again, except I don’t think they’re dreams. They are like dreamwalks.” Max glanced at Liz and pulled his arm away from her. She wrapped her arms around herself, suddenly cold after the void of Max’s warmth dissipated. “I think she’s close, Liz, and I have to find her.”
“Of course you do, Max. You love...her.”
“We have a child together, Liz,” he blurted out more awkwardly than he’d originally intended. “You’re the mother of my son.”
|posted on 1-Apr-2002 8:30:52 PM by JO|
Liz cuddled against his warm shoulder, her eyes swollen from tears and her body aching for sleep. No matter how tired she felt, she could not let her body relax. Her mind was occupied by Max’s statements in the park and she had repeated them over and over in her head after Max had drifted to sleep. We have a child together, Liz. You’re the mother of my son. The
implications of those statements hit her straight in the heart. Despite everything Max had told her about his life, he and his Liz had managed, for one moment in time, to rectify their problems and to create a life from their love. While the thought of having Max’s child should have filled her mind with concern, she was, in fact, almost giddy with excitement. She and Max were young,
yes, but their love for each other was so passionate and so real, she knew they would have had a long and happy life together if not for the end of the world. Add to that love the possibilities of children with her hair and Max’s eyes, and Liz felt herself wishing she felt the imprint of a tiny foot on the inside of her stomach.
Max stirred in his sleep and wrapped his arm protectively around her, his palm unconsciously splayed out across her flat stomach. He smiled sweetly and Liz felt herself smiling in return as she intertwined her fingers with his just before sleep finally claimed her.
* * *
Maria adjusted her long pony-tail as she bounded up the stairs to the Parker apartment. Mr. Parker had told her yesterday that Liz had simply wanted to sleep and after hearing the rumors last night, she knew exactly why. Liz had slept with Kyle, or so the rumor went. Maria had at
first laughed it off when Michael told her but his grave facial expression told her that he was serious. He had sought her out late Saturday night because he was worried about Max and desperately wanted some advice from her. After relaying what little information he had pried out of Max, he had asked a stunned Maria to get to the bottom of what was really going on.
Mr. Parker had welcomed her into the cafe and after assuring her Liz was awake, he told her she could go up to Liz’s room. Maria stood outside her best friend’s door, suddenly uncertain about what she was going to say to her. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Liz had not slept with Kyle, and had told Michael in no uncertain terms her opinions last night, but because she had
promised, she agreed to question Liz about the incident. She exhaled slowly, wishing she’d brought a vial of cedar oil with her, and placed her unsteady hand on the doorknob. Pushing it open quickly, she marched into Liz’s room, her eyes unconsciously closed, and felt a rare feeling of deja vu, reminding her of her confrontation with Liz the night of the Crash Festival when Liz had revealed the truth about Max Evans. Turning toward the bed, she opened her eyes and found herself unable to speak because not only did Liz Parker have a guest in her bed, the guest was Max Evans.
“Liz!” Maria walked to Liz’s side of the bed and gently poked her friend with her index finger, careful not to touch any intertwined limbs. “Liz, so help me, you’d better wake up right now.” Using both of her index fingers, she alternately poked Liz in the shoulder. A scowl appeared on Liz’s face followed quickly by a smile and Maria inhaled sharply, her frustration brimming to the
surface. “Liz! I’m going to get your mother if you don’t wake up!”
Liz opened her eyes, running a hand over her hair.
“Maria,” she questioned and started to turn toward the blurry figure standing impatiently beside her bed. She turned slightly and felt a warm weight shift around her middle then an arm clutch her tightly. She met Maria’s accusatory glance and her own eyes widened. “Maria, this is not what it looks like.”
“Michael told me a rumor last night, Liz, about you and Kyle.”
“Michael,” Liz asked as she carefully moved away from Max’s sleeping body. “Michael knows?”
“Michael knows what? I told him there was no way you’d sleep with Kyle. Are you saying it happened? That you slept with Kyle Valenti?”
“Maria, please,” Liz said, practically running across her room to close her door. The last thing in the world she needed was for her parents to hear about sleeping with Kyle and that Max was asleep in her bedroom. “You’ll wake Max.”
“And what is Max doing here anyway? Michael told me he was so distraught he wasn’t eating or sleeping. Both Michael and Isabel...hell, even Tess, are worried about him. He managed to tell Michael that he saw you in bed with Kyle before he just shut down.”
“What do you mean ‘shut down’?”
“I don’t know. Michael was pretty freaked out about it, but he wouldn’t tell me any more than that. He just asked me to get to the bottom of this so Max would stop acting like a zombie. I don’t understand it, Liz. If Max is here -”
“I’m not really Max,” Max said as he slowly stood up from Liz’s bed. Liz and Maria both watched him as he moved toward them and Maria was surprised to see him fully clothed, noticing for the first time that Liz was as well.
“You’re a shapeshifter,” Maria squealed. “Liz, my God, you know what shapeshifters -”
“Maria,” Liz calmly began, placing her hands on Maria’s shoulders to try and calm her. “He’s not a shapeshifter.”
“I think you’d better sit down, Maria.”
“Wh...why? What is so bad that I need to sit down to hear it?” She glanced sideways at Liz as Max pulled Liz’s desk chair underneath her and Liz carefully placed Maria into the chair. “Liz? You’re scaring me. What’s going on?” Maria grabbed Liz’s hands, her eyes pleading with her best friend for some sort of clarity in this typical alien abyss moment.
“Just listen to him, Maria.”
Maria watched as Max and Liz sat on the foot of Liz’s bed. After several seconds of silence, Max turned toward her and began his tale. “Maria, I know this is hard to imagine, but I’m from the future, 2004 to be exact, and you and I were the only members of our group still in Roswell. I used the granolith to travel back in time here to Liz so that I could prevent the future from
happening but I didn’t know that I was the second visitor from the future Liz had received......”
|posted on 10-Apr-2002 7:30:33 PM by JO|
|Whew....finally am back on board here.|
I wanted to apologize for not updating more regularly. Actually, I am updating.....just can't seem to do so here. I would like to invite all of you that read "Trick of the Light" (or any of my fics) to join my e-group --
I should have it all set up with my fics current on the site by Friday night or Saturday. So please join (if you're interested, of course).
And, if you can't wait until I get the e-group ready, go to the Bordello to read "Trick of the Light" in 'real time' --
Again, thanks to all of you for being so patient. I really want to post here. I think I'm just picking the wrong times to do so....maybe I'll get a good system going.
Thanks again and Happy Reading!
|posted on 26-Apr-2002 6:39:10 PM by JO|
|Okay - this is insane!|
Here's a Part 15, for your enjoyment!
“Okay. I don’t know what kind of drug you two are on, but could you please share some with me because I’m in serious need of intoxication.” Maria nervously crossed her legs, folded her arms over her chest and began to gnaw on her newly-manicured nails.
“I know this sounds crazy, Maria -”
“That’s the understatement of the millennia,” Maria snapped, instantly sorry she’d used such a tone with Liz. “I’m sorry, Liz.”
“Maria, it’s okay. I thought it was crazy too the first time. Time travel isn’t logical, you know. It breaks all the rules of physics and to think that this...granolith from Max’s home planet can be used for that well...it’s insane.”
“But you believe it?”
“I do,” Liz answered quietly as she pulled her knees to her chest. The mid-morning sun had begun to filter into her window and Max had excused himself to her bathroom so the two friends could talk more freely. “He just knew things, Maria.”
“Both of them but the first one seemed more romantic. We’d had fourteen years together before the end of the world.”
“And the Max that’s here now?”
Liz sighed. “He lived an entirely different life.”
“Where Tess killed Alex and betrayed us all.” Liz nodded slightly while Maria joined her on the edge of her bed. “So what do we do?”
“What do you mean?”
“We have to do something, Liz. We can’t just let Alex die. We can’t let the blonde hussy win. That’s what happened to this Max, right? So, what’s the plan?”
“I tried to talk to Max, my Max, last night, but he didn’t believe me. He...he wouldn’t even listen to what I had to say.”
“I can’t say I blame him.” Liz opened her mouth to argue when Maria silenced her with a look. “Think about it, Liz. Put yourself in his place. I know exactly how I’d feel...how I felt...when I saw Michael and Courtney together.”
“I know, Maria, but there has to be something I can do to make this right. I’m the one that messed everything up in the first place.”
“That’s not entirely true, Liz,” Max said, causing Maria and Liz to turn around as he exited Liz’s bathroom. “I came to you. I wanted to change it.”
“What do we do now, Max,” Maria asked, surprised to see Max grimace at her question. “We can’t just let Alex die,” she responded harshly, wanting to let this Max know she had no intention of simply watching her life change. Not when she had the power to stop it from happening.
“You’re right,”Max responded quietly, joining them on Liz’s bed. “I don’t want to sacrifice my son, but I don’t know what to do. I just don’t know what to do.”
* * *
Liz sat at the small table in front of the large-pane window. The mid-morning sun was shining brightly half-way above the horizon and she smiled slightly as the sun’s warmth passed over her. She never thought she’d ever set foot in Roswell again. Tess had brought them back moments after Max had activated the granolith and he himself had disappeared. Liz’s one regret, other than
allowing Tess to bully her into submission, was that she had been forced to watch Tess kill Maria, unable to help her best friend for fear of retaliation against her son.
Khivar had taken Liz in the middle of the night mere days after her desert encounter with Max, the night their son was conceived. Several skins had broken into her room in the dead of night, forging a note to her parents, and had whisked her out of Roswell before she could even begin to fight them. They had taken her to Khivar’s base camp outside Carlsbad, where she had remained
for almost two years. It was there she had learned the extent of Tess’ manipulations, and that Tess had been on the run after botching an assignation attempt against Khivar. It seemed that Tess could fool anyone into believing anything, including Khivar, and that she had decided she should kill him before he killed her. Needless to say, her plan had failed and she was forced to
abandon the only faction that had readily accepted her. It was also while in Carlsbad that Liz learned she was pregnant with Max’s child.
Looking at the bed closest to the window, she smiled slightly as her son slept peacefully. His left arm clung tightly to the edge of the comforter while his right lay folded underneath his chin. She laughed to herself, thinking she had never seen him look more like Max than he did at that moment. She wondered if she had gotten through to Max the previous night, if she had made him
believe that she still loved him and that she and their son were practically in his back yard. She could see Highway 285 from the window of their hotel room, knowing that Tess had managed to elude Khivar’s minions by hiding in seedy places like this. She saddened a bit as she thought of Khivar and wondered if his followers were still pursuing Tess or if they had simply scattered like dust after his death. She had seen several familiar faces since being taken hostage by Tess and shuddered to think that they had crossed the threshold from following a semi-benevolent leader to
a wickedly atrocious beast.
She had called Tess that once to her face, the night Tess returned to Carlsbad almost four months earlier. The night she had finally succeeded in killing Khivar. The same night Tess had threatened Colby, which had forced Liz to side with her. Now with the life of her son at stake at all times, she was more careful in the way she addressed Tess, even though Liz wanted nothing
more than to clean Tess’ clock for all the horrific acts she had committed. Just as Tess’ abilities had multiplied, so had Liz’s, and she regularly thought back to Ava’s warning that because Max had brought her back, he had changed her. It was her enhanced abilities that had enabled her to step into Max’s dream for the second time in as many days.
She realized now that it had probably been a mistake to try and contact him, especially when Colby appeared in the dream too. In his typical toddler behavior, he had only wanted a drink of water. The longer he had stayed with her in Max’s dream, the more frightened he had become, culminating in his crying outburst when Max picked him up. She understood that he had been
frightened for several reasons, having sensed her fear and Max’s anger but, more substantially, no man, alien or human, had ever held him. She imagined that at the moment Max held Colby in his arms, realizing for the first time he had a son, that father and son had inadvertently connected, probably scaring the two-year-old in ways she’d never understand.
|posted on 26-Apr-2002 6:42:35 PM by JO|
“This is pointless,” Maria groaned as she stood to pace around Liz’s room. She, Liz and Max had been debating ideas back and forth as to how to deal with Tess and convince the present Max that what he had seen between Liz and Kyle had been a lie. “God, do you have any idea how much I’d like to nail Tess’ ass to the wall? I’ve never liked her, Liz.”
“I know, Maria,” Liz responded quietly, her hands folded calmly across her stomach as she reclined on her bed. “Believe me, I know.”
“So,” Maria began, turning her attention toward Max.
“Did the harlot just keep filling your head with the destiny crap until you caved?”
“What? I just don’t understand how you can go from telling Liz you’re coming for her, that all you care about is her, that she’s your destiny and then you....you get freaky with Tess, of all people?”
“It’s not that simple, Maria,” Max replied, once again feeling severe shame for his actions. Even though they had not necessarily happened to this Maria and this Liz, he still felt the pang of guilt that his actions had somehow sealed Alex’s fate. “After Alex died, we all just...splintered apart. Isabel and Kyle became good friends, Liz went on a rampage searching for the truth behind Alex’s death, you withdrew and Michael spent his time comforting you. Tess and I became closer,
especially after beginning the memory retrieval exercises.”
“Memory retrieval? What are you talking about?”
“I was trying to remember my past life, my first life. Tess helped me. We started after Brody short-circuited his head then we just increased the exercises after I kissed Tess at the prom.”
“So you and Tess went the prom together?”
“No,” Max responded. “I actually went with Liz.”
“And Liz saw us kissing, which sent her running straight to Sean.”
“Sean? Sean who?”
“You are seriously deranged, Max. Liz? Liz Parker? The same Liz that’s sitting right there?” Maria pointed toward where Liz was sitting on her bed, leaning back against the headboard. Max nodded his head but Maria was too far into her outburst to actually take notice.
“There is no way Liz Parker would ever be interested in Sean DeLuca. What damn alternate
universe are you living in?”
“I think we’re losing focus here,” Max cautioned, standing up from Liz’s bed and walking over to the desk chair Maria had vacated.
“I think I have earned the right to lose focus,” Maria screeched. “I just found out my best friend prevented the world’s end by pretending to sleep with her ex-boyfriend, my other best friend was killed by my first best friend’s soul mate’s reincarnated wife, and that my first best friend was interested in Sean...DeLuca! Oh, the room is spinning. I...I’m seeing black spots.
“You’re being over-dramatic, Maria. The things that happened in Max’s world aren’t going to happen here.”
Max glanced at her, his brows furrowing slightly in response to Liz’s confident statement. “I can’t lose my son, Liz.”
“And this would be Liz’s son too correct, or did you actually impregnate the tramp?”
“Maria,” Liz said, sighing in frustration and heavily rolling her eyes.
“Oh, like you really want her to stick around, Liz. You and Max would certainly be better off if she left town. Maybe if there was something to keep her distracted, she wouldn’t be all over Max.” Maria chuckled lightly as she plopped onto Liz’s bed. “You’re sure we just can’t kill her? It would be so much easier.”
“You sound like Michael.”
“Will wonders never cease because in this instance, I agree with him.”
“We can’t kill her, Maria,” Liz offered, her tone indicating that she wanted to have the final say in the matter.
“Tess, as much as we hate and distrust her, is part of the four square. If it’s broken, it will leave Max, Michael and Isabel...unfulfilled. I can’t risk their lives just to get Tess out of my hair. Would you be willing to risk it?”
“No,” Maria dejectedly replied, picking at a loose thread on Liz’s comforter. “But we’re just back to where we started. Having no plan and a mindwarping strumpet in our midst. This sucks.”
* * *
Michael paced nervously inside his apartment. Maria had called him the night before to let him know she would stop by on her way to school to tell him what she had found out about the Liz and Kyle situation. No matter how hard he’d pressed, she wouldn’t divulge any more information than that. He had spent a restless night wondering just what type of news she had for him and
how school would impact Max’s already fragile mental state.
When he heard her hover just on the other side of his front door, he threw open the door and pulled her inside before she could even think about knocking. “Well,” he asked with bated breath.
“What are you doing up so early, Michael? And so chipper too,” Maria mused as she smoothed the tendrils framing her face. “Wait,” she began, a shocked expression crossing her face. “You’re not Michael, are you? You...you’re some kind of...shapeshifter with the ability -”
“Cut the crap, Maria. Did Liz and Kyle do the nasty or what?”
“Oh, you’re Michael, alright,” she replied with a slight chuckle prompting a glare from Michael. “No, Michael,” Maria sighed. “Liz and Kyle did not do ‘the nasty’ as you so eloquently put it.”
“But Max said he saw them in bed together.”
“Oh, they were in bed together.”
Maria sighed heavily, running her hand quickly over the French twist styling of her hair. “Like everything nowadays with you pod people, it’s complicated.” Michael rolled his eyes then grabbed her upper arm, forcefully pushing her out of the apartment. He slammed the door behind him without stopping their forward progression. “What are we doing?”
“We’re going to Liz’s.”
|posted on 26-Apr-2002 6:46:30 PM by JO|
“Stop pushing me, Michael,” Maria said forcefully at the bottom of the ladder leading to Liz’s balcony. He had driven the Jetta like it was her last journey ever with Maria cursing him the entire way to Liz’s house.
“If you don’t move your ass up that ladder so I can get a straight answer about what’s got Max so freaked, I’m going to find out just how far I can throw you.”
Maria’s eyes widened momentarily before she narrowed them sharply in a glare that could have killed him, alien powers or not. Strapping her purse across her shoulders, she began climbing up the ladder to Liz’s room with Michael hot on her heels. “Lizzie,” Maria called as she threw herself over the top of Liz’s casement.
“Michael’s here. Liz.”
“Move.” Michael brusquely shoved past her and climbed through the open window into Liz’s bedroom. He had only been in the room one other time, the night he took her journal. He heard Maria mumbling to herself as she followed him into the room and chose to ignore her grumblings, knowing they were about him. “Liz?”
“Michael,” Liz gasp as she quickly pulled a olive green sleeveless shirt on over her bra. “Maria.”
“Liz.” Liz, Michael, and Maria all looked toward Liz’s bathroom as Max appeared in the room, holding a toothbrush and not wearing a shirt.
“Max,” Michael questioned.
“Michael.” Max felt his throat close slightly and his voice crack in response to the emotion that now tugged at his heart. He had not seen Michael in many months. His last memory of his best friend was holding him in his arms as he died while Maria clung desperately to both of them.
“Max,” Liz said and was at his side instantly. Max looked at her, surprised once again by just how well she knew him, knew every emotion he was going through. She gently wrapped her hands around his arm, leaning against him slightly.
“What the hell is going on here,” Michael yelled as Maria sat on Liz’s unmade bed. “Why are you here? Why are you both half naked? Why are you holding a toothbrush?”
“Michael, calm down,” Liz cautioned, not removing her hands from Max’s arm.
“Calm down?!? What are you doing here, Max? And I want to know the truth.”
Max exchanged glances with Maria and Liz. Lowering his head, he gently removed Liz’s hands from his body as he walked toward Michael. “You want to know the truth, Michael? The real truth?”
“Sit down,” Max softly replied, motioning toward Liz’s bed. Michael glanced at Liz and Maria and complied, slowly lowering himself onto the bed next to Maria. “The truth is, Michael, I’m not from around here.”
* * *
“I can’t believe the plan was for us to go to school,” Maria complained as she and Liz walked into the main hallway at Roswell High. “This has got to be the worst plan in the history of plans.”
“It’s not a bad plan, Maria. I admit that it’s not what I wanted to hear, but -”
“We can’t just sit idly by while the fate of the world is at stake.”
“Maria, I think you’re over-reacting again.”
“No, Liz,” Maria whispered, as she grabbed her friend’s hand and steered her away from their lockers. “You know what we have to do.”
“Take our Western Civ. midterm?”
“We have to go to the one place I’ve spent my entire high school career avoiding.” Maria grabbed Liz’s wrist and dragged her down the long corridor. Liz stared at her friend in confusion as Maria pulled her further and further away from their Western Civ. midterm and closer and closer toward the library.
“You’re serious, Maria? We’re going to the library?”
“Damn straight, Liz. We have a golden opportunity here,” Maria whispered quietly as she sat down in front of one of the many computers available for use in the school’s library. “What was the name of that place again? Where all the skins are?” She typed furiously on the keyboard, opening MapQuest with relative ease.
“Copper Ridge. Copper Peak. Copper -”
“Summit. Copper Summit, Arizona.”
“How’s my two favorite females?”
“Oh, hey, Alex.”
“What are you doing in the library, DeLuca? Parker here I can believe because she practically lives in the library but you, I didn’t even think you knew what a library was, much less that grand ol’ Roswell High had one.”
“She’s here with me,” Liz blurted out, her lips thinning the moment the words flew from her mouth.
“Yeah, gathered that,” Alex smugly responded as he moved in closer to the monitor. “Road trip, eh? Excellent, excellent,” Alex replied, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his pants. “And would this be for a science class?”
“Yeah, Alex, it’s a science project.”
“Have I ever told you that you’re a terrible liar, Liz?” Liz lowered her head slightly, causing Alex to sweep her into his arms and plant a loud kiss in the middle of her forehead. “But I still love you anyway. Seriously, what are you two working on?”
Alex sighed loudly and glanced around the library as he released Liz. Maria had managed to print out a detailed map listing driving directions from Roswell to Copper Summit. The printer whirred to life and the paper slowly threaded through the ancient machine. “When you say it like that, I know it has to be alien-related so just lay it on me...gently.”
“It is, Alex,” Maria whispered, spinning around to face her best friend. “But we can’t really tell you what’s going on.” She and Liz exchanged gravely unmasked looks between them before Maria turned around to retrieve the print-out.
“Does someone have to die before you two start being honest about what you’re involved in?”
Liz’s head shot up, her eyes instantly pooling with tears. She felt Maria grab her hand for support, for strength, for friendship, for every other reason that beat through her heart, and Liz knew that she once again had to tell Alex the truth. “We’re going to Copper Summit, Arizona, Alex. Yes, it is alien-related, but none of them know we’re going.” She glanced down at the print-out Maria had shoved under her nose and realized that they had to leave right now if they were going to attempt this crazy plan. “I can’t tell you any more than that right now. We don’t have time. But if you want to come with us, I’ll explain everything to you on the way.”
Liz nodded. “Everything, Alex. I swear.”
“We’ve gotta go, Liz.”
“Then I’m coming too,” Alex announced and followed his two best friends out of the library into the parking lot of Roswell High.
“We have to make a stop first,” Maria said as she started the Jetta and Alex and Liz got settled into their seats.
“Pee break already? Geez, Maria. We haven’t even left the parking lot.”
“Actually, we have to see Courtney,” Liz responded softly, turning in her seat so she faced Alex as Maria maneuvered the Jetta out of the high school parking lot and toward Courtney’s apartment.
|posted on 27-Apr-2002 3:08:56 PM by JO|
|Date: May 7, 2002-May 17, 2002|
Event: A live, online fan fiction auction on e-bay to benefit FSMA
Questions: Contact RosDeidre⊕aol.com or link to: http://pub82.ezboard.com/froswellfanficfsmafundraiserfrm1
“Don’t you know what you are to me? What you’re always going to be? You’re the love of my life.”
“I just wish that I could have stopped you from saving my life that day in the Crashdown.”
"It's like the porno version of Aladdin.”
"Buddha forgive me, but I am going to kick your ass!"
Ever since the pilot of Roswell, the series’ hallmark has been memorable writing. So it comes as no surprise that this beloved television show has generated one of the Internet’s most imaginative and devoted group of fan fiction authors. LivE. Breathless. Kath7. Linda. Ash. EmilyluvsRoswell. Tasyfa. Majesty. RosDeidre. Names that call to mind favorite stories that we’ve cherished; authors who spin worlds as magical as the show we’ve treasured since we first heard the strains of Dido’s Here With Me.
And although Roswell may be ending forever on May 14th, you have a rare opportunity to own some of your favorite stories permanently. You can treasure them year after year; long after Roswellian fan fiction sites vanish from the Internet. All auctioned stories will be professionally bound, with laminated covers—many beautifully designed by artists such as Schurry, Blanca, and fishish25.
Roswriters for FSMA is an informal collective of fan fiction authors banding together to help find a cure for FSMA. On May 7, 2002, we are launching an auction on e-bay, and approximately 35-40 original fan fiction stories will be gathered in eight separate tote bags being auctioned off individually. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to bid on these hand-painted totes, each with a different specialty theme, such as Dreamer Tote, UC Couple Tote, NC-17 Tote, just to name a few.
Participating authors will be LivE, Breathless, Kath7, Linda, Ash (Ash_a_Leigh), Tasyfa, RosDeidre, EmilyluvsRoswell, Majesty, BennieBA, Cookie, ShellSueD, Carol, Watcher Tara, and many others. As a special bonus, three Dreamer Totes will also contain CDs of more than 800 of bigspam’s original photos, including images from one of Roswell’s last days on location, while filming the finale.
One very unique Dreamer tote will also contain a gorgeous, hand-designed “Max Quilt.” This lovely work of art has been crafted by Cookieman789 (Stacey), and will be a great way to snuggle up with the Dream Guy himself.
PHILADELPHIA GATHERING AUCTION
Further, a special tote will be auctioned at the upcoming Philly Roswellian gathering on May 10th. Tote contents for this event:
LivE’s THE EXPERIMENT
Linda’s US SIX AGAINST THE WORLD
Kath7's OUT OF THE WOODS
Breathless’ SPECIAL KIND OF LOVE
RosDeidre’s ANTARIAN SKY
Bound Compilation of these short stories: Majesty's PULSE, EmilyluvsRoswell’s RIPPLE EFFECT, Carol’s HOLIDAY DREAMER SERIES, Tasyfa’s THE FORGING OF A LIFEBOND (short version), Ash’s FLOOD and BennieBA’s BEFORE I SLEEP
Additionally, there will be one of bigspam’s rare picture CD’s, featuring some 800 original photos from Roswell on location included in this Philly tote.
Here’s a reminder of the high quality images Big Spam has shared with fans in the past:
Please visit our message board site for updated press releases and links to the auctioned totes, or watch on Crashdown for links beginning May 7, 2002. Email Rosdeidre⊕aol.com with questions. Visit our site at: http://pub82.ezboard.com/froswellfanficfsmafundraiserfrm1
|posted on 13-May-2002 8:26:58 PM by JO|
|FINALLY!!! I'm sorry for the delay. The board was frozen or unstable or something and I couldn't get on to post...anyway, I'm here now and I'm getting you people as up to date as they are at the Bordello, damn it.|
“So you’re a skin, huh,” Alex quipped, cutting through the deadly silence that had filled the car since Courtney was so abruptly dropped into his lap. He and Courtney shared the back seat as Maria and Liz murmured amongst themselves in the front seat. Maria had angrily shoved Courtney into the back seat with Alex almost forty minutes earlier and there had been no communication between any of the Jetta’s passengers since that time except between Liz and Maria.
“Yeah,” Courtney replied sarcastically and turned her shoulders away from Alex. Thus far in the journey, Alex had discovered that Courtney was an alien and that the absurd rumor floating around school about Liz and Kyle had been completely false, which he had known the entire time. At this moment though, his main concern was why Maria suddenly needed Courtney, the same Courtney that had shown up at Michael’s apartment scantily-clad not less than a week earlier resulting in his bruised knuckles and Maria’s bruised pride.
“And that would mean,” he shot back, hoping he would get a straight answer from one of the three females in the car. Courtney rolled her eyes at him and flopped back against the back seat of the Jetta. Alex glanced at the rearview mirror and noticed Maria was watching Courtney’s actions too. He returned his attention back to Courtney just in time to see her pull a piece of skin from her arm and flail it in front of his face. The skin disintegrated after several seconds of shaking and specks of dust littered his jeans. “Interesting super power you got there,” he wisecracked, wiping the dust from his jeans onto the floorboard of the back seat.
“Just who the hell do you think you are?”
“Alex Charles Whitman, third musketeer,” he retorted quickly, offering his hand for her to shake. Courtney laughed slightly and took the hand offered her, shaking it once. Alex smiled at her and waited until she leaned forward to talk to Maria to wipe his hand on the back of Maria’s seat.
“This is a horribly bad idea. You realize that, right?”
“Listen here, fancy pants,” Maria began. “No one is asking for your opinion here. We simply need you because you’re a skin. That just means you can get us to the other skins because you all are tight....and shit.”
“Tight and shit? Did you inhale too much cedar oil today, Maria? No one says ‘tight and shit’ anymore.” Alex crossed his arms over his chest, shrugging his shoulders after catching the death look Maria had shot him in the rearview mirror.
“If I were all ‘tight and shit’ with the other skins, what would I be doing in Roswell?”
“Well,” Alex said, ignoring Maria’s mouthed protests to keep his mouth shut. “Roswell is a quaint little town.”
“If I wanted to live in Hickville,” Courtney snapped, “I’d have just stayed in Copper Summit.”
“This is because of Michael, isn’t it? You’re in love with him. You’re stalking him.”
“Not technically, no.”
Maria sighed loudly, her foot inadvertently pressing harder against the accelerator. The Jetta sputtered slightly then zoomed forward. “Out of all the aliens in this world and others, why do you have to stalk Michael? Why do you have to love Michael?”
“What do you want with Michael,” Liz interrupted, sensing another Maria moment in the works. “Max is the leader, not Michael.” She paused slightly, an aura of understanding on her face. “Wait.”
“What is it, Liz,” Alex asked, leaning forward so he could be formally included in the conversation.
“If there were warring factions on Max’s home planet, who’s to say these factions didn’t want someone else as their leader? We don’t really know what the fighting was about and neither do Max, Michael, Isabel or Tess.”
“Go on,” Alex suggested.
“Are you suggesting that the skins wanted Michael as their leader,” Maria asked. “Michael,” she repeated with a laugh. “Stonewall Guerin? To lead, not just watch and bitch?”
“Who the Royal Four are now are not the same beings they once were.”
“Then that’s it,” Alex replied. “If Max wasn’t living up to the expectations of his planet as king, what’s stopping the factions that don’t want him as king in the first place from going after Michael? Isn’t that what’s been going on with Isabel since Whitaker told her about Vilandra? That she could have betrayed Max, leading to their deaths. It makes perfect sense.
“Those of us that followed Rath, Michael in his first life, thought Michael would be a better leader than Zan.”
“Max,” Liz stated.
“Right, but the majority of skins, the skins that are in Copper Summit, don’t support Michael or Max. They support Khivar. He’s really responsible for their deaths and he’s the one in control now.”
“Let me see if I’m understanding you,” Maria asked, gripping the steering wheel tightly. “You came to Roswell to try to get Michael to usurp Max’s authority and you thought the best way to do that was to get him into bed like the cheap floozy you are.”
“I was willing to do whatever it took to get Michael to see his true potential.”
“You make me sick,” Maria seethed.
“You were the ones that brought me along and again, for the record, I have to say this is a very bad idea. You aren’t equipped to deal the kinds of powers these skins possess.”
“That’s why you’re going to tell us everything we need to know about the skins and their harvest,” Liz replied calmly, fully turning around so that she met Courtney’s eyes.
* * *
“Have you seen Liz,” Kyle asked the moment he saw Michael enter their second period Spanish class. “I’m worried about her.”
“Why,” Michael asked and instantly grimaced, realizing his attitude was more brusque than he’d intended.
“We had a Western Civ. midterm today. Both Liz and Maria missed it.”
“Liz Parker missed a test?”
“I know,” Kyle whispered as Senorita Garcia began to lecture the class. “Something’s up.”
Michael ran his fingers through his hair and linked his hands together behind his neck. “Wait five minutes then ask for a bathroom pass. I’ll meet you outside.”
“What,” Kyle frantically asked but Michael had already stood from his desk and was making his way to the door.
“Senor Guerin,” Senorita Garcia called after him. “Senor Guerin!”
“No speaka Spanish,” Michael replied just before he slammed the door behind him. Kyle’s knees shook violently as he waited for the five minutes Michael suggested to tick away.
“Screw this,” he muttered as he grabbed his back pack off the floor and stood to follow Michael out of the classroom.
“Senor Valenti! Senor Valenti!”
“Sorry,” Kyle muttered, smiling slightly because he knew Senorita Garcia was one of the few female teachers that couldn’t resist the Valenti charm. “He’s my ride,” he said, pointing into the hallway. Arching his eyebrows quickly, he too exited the classroom as the door slammed to a close behind him. Once in the hallway, he saw Michael hurriedly shoving his books into his locker. “Michael,” he called, a strange sense of fear suddenly overpowering him. “What’s going on? What’s wrong?”
“We have to find Max and tell him the truth about what happened between you and Liz.”
“Because I think Liz and Maria are walking straight into a trap.”
|posted on 13-May-2002 8:29:00 PM by JO|
“What do you mean? What trap?”
Michael sighed as he continued to flip through the file cabinet full of student records. “It’s...complicated, Kyle. Just keep watch, okay. I can’t help Liz and Maria if I get busted.” Kyle rolled his eyes heavily and turned around in the main office. Michael nonchalantly joined him several minutes later. “Tess and Max have Geometry right now and Isabel -”
“Is walking right toward us,” Kyle muttered before loudly clearing his throat.
“Hey guys,” Isabel said with a smile before tilting her head to the left in suspicion. “What’s going on with you two? What are you doing behind the front desk...together?”
“Right.” She paused, running her finger down the late admit list attached to the front desk. “Have either of you seen Alex this morning?”
“No,” Michael replied as he and Kyle walked from behind the desk and followed Isabel out into the hallway. “Why?”
“Because I can’t find him. I’ve been looking in all of his usual haunts: band room, computer lab, library, but he’s not in any of those places.”
“Maybe he’s missing with Liz and Maria,” Kyle offered, much to the chagrin of Michael.
“Liz and Maria are missing?” Isabel grabbed Michael’s arm and pulled him into the nearest empty classroom.
“What’s going on? Since when do you two hang out?”
“We need to find Max, Iz. I think Liz and Maria are involved in something big...really big.”
Isabel’s eyes widened while the implications of Michael’s words hit her in the heart. “And if Alex is with them -”
“They’re all heading up shit creek without a paddle.” Michael and Isabel glanced at Kyle then at each other with dazed looks on their faces. “What?”
“We’ve got to rally the troops, Michael, so to speak.”
“Well, Iz, that involves getting Max and Tess out of class first.”
“Why do you need us out of class,” Max questioned, startling Kyle, Michael and Isabel.
“Damn it, man, don’t you knock? You just took five years off my life. Help me, Buddha.”
Max stepped further into the room after being coaxed from behind by Tess. He stayed away from Kyle but watched his every move like a hawk watched its prey. “What’s going on,” Tess asked as she pulled up a desk and sat next to Max.
“I think Liz and Maria are in trouble,” Michael began.
“And Alex too.”
“Liz can take care of herself,” Max snapped, ignoring Isabel’s remark. He stood quickly and extended his hand forward toward the door when Michael’s words sent a ripple of pain through his entire body.
“They didn’t sleep together, Max,” Michael blurted out. Max froze and for a second, Michael wasn’t even sure if he was still breathing. “It was all just a set up.”
“I don’t understand,” Isabel said. “Max said he saw Liz and Kyle in bed togther.”
“I did...see them...together,” he replied softly, turning around to face the group. He wildly avoided Kyle’s eyes for fear his confusion and anger might get the best of him and he’d be forced to punish Kyle within an inch of his life. He needed to be focused, especially if Liz, Maria and Alex were in trouble. “She tried to tell me...but I wouldn’t believe her. I...I wouldn’t even listen.”
“But the rumors,” Tess said. “We’ve all heard the rumors.”
“I didn’t tell anyone,” Kyle began, “and I know Liz didn’t either. I don’t know how they got started.” He lowered his head, digging his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “Liz loves you, Max. It’s always been you.” Michael and Isabel quickly exchanged glances and Isabel managed to catch a flash of guilt on Tess’ face for a split second.
“Tell me what you know, Michael,” Max quietly demanded as he made himself comfortable in the desk near Tess.
Sighing loudly, Michael told Max, Isabel, Tess and Kyle the basic things he had learned that morning from the future Max, Liz and Maria. He thought it best to skip any parts regarding why Tess had left Roswell in both futures and concentrated solely on his theory that all hell was about to break lose.
“And you think it’s a trap,” Max asked as soon as Michael had finished speaking, much to Michael’s amazement. He didn’t even seem to budge at the thought of losing his entire family in a war that had stemmed from their heritage, and he certainly didn’t flinch after hearing Liz’s involvement in changing the future.
“I don’t know what to think, Maxwell, but right now, Liz, Maria and Alex are missing, presumably on their way to Copper Summit to prevent the harvest. I think we have to go there
“What if things end up the same,” Isabel asked quietly.
“What if we do this and nothing changes?”
“Right now, Liz, Maria and Alex are in danger because of us,” Max said. “I don’t want them to get hurt, Iz, and if we can help prevent that, then we have to do whatever we can.” The group shifted, preparing to leave for Copper Summit as soon as they could get to their cars when Max asked a question Michael had not been prepared for. “What was he like?”
“Me...th...the other me. I mean, did Liz...look at him...”
“She’ll never be more happy to see you, Maxwell. I’d stake my life on that.” Michael threw his arm haphazardly around Max’s shoulders as they followed Kyle, Tess and Isabel into the hallway.
Max smiled slightly, willing himself not to think about exactly how brave and selfless Liz had been in her actions and how they contrasted so differently from his own. “Where is he? Is he coming to Copper Summit?”
“I don’t know, but I do know he can’t come into contact with you.”
“Why? What do you mean?”
“I don’t really understand it but Liz said that if you and he meet, you’ll cancel each other out.” Max wrinkled his face at Michael, showing that he did not understand what he was talking about. “Both of you will disappear...cease to exist.”
* * *
Tess burst into the hotel room, startling both Liz and Colby. She dropped the grocery bags she carried on the floor as soon as she entered the room and walked to the bed where Colby lay in semi-sleep. Liz sidestepped her, just barely managing to separate Tess from her son. “What are you doing, Tess,” she seethed as Tess reached past her and cradled the small boy in her arms.
Tess glared at Liz and pulled a gun from her back pocket, aiming it at Colby’s temple. Liz’s eyes widened when she realized that the gun was loaded and that Tess had a strange psychotic look in her eyes, one that Liz had never seen before. “Get in the car, Liz.” She kicked Liz’s shin hard, almost sending Liz to the floor, as she uncocked the gun and removed it from Colby’s temple. Liz struggled to her feet while Tess stepped past her.
“Where are we going,” Liz asked, standing dumbfounded in the doorway of the hotel room while she watched Tess gently lay Colby into the backseat of the car.
“We’re going to Copper Summit, not that it matters to you anyway.” Tess pulled the gun from her back pocket again and aimed it into the backseat, prompting Liz to move carefully toward the car, her eyes never leaving Tess’ gun. “I’ve finally figured out the perfect way to get rid of you once and for all.”
|posted on 13-May-2002 8:30:37 PM by JO|
“You’re insane,” Liz spat as Tess drove the car out of the parking lot and onto Highway 285. “What good is it going to do to go to Copper Summit?” Liz had not seen or thought about Copper Summit, Arizona in almost five years. Her memories of the trip were intricately entwined in the deception she had created for Max the night of the Gomez concert. She had been their only true link to Congresswoman Whitaker and now, reflecting on how different her life could have been, she wished she had simply denied Max his request. Then again, she thought, hindsight was twenty-twenty and she had rarely been able to say no to Max, in any incarnation.
“Just shut up, Parker, or I’ll make your worst nightmare come true by killing Colby.”
“Tess, why are you doing this? There’s no one that can hurt you now. This is a different time.”
“If it’s so different, why haven’t we disappeared? Isn’t that how the theory goes?”
“What,” Liz said, her words strangled in her throat.
“What are you talking about?”
“This whole time travel thing. Quantum mechanics. If the world ended because I left...do you know how important that makes me?”
“I’m sorry, Tess. I’m not following you.”
“Don’t play dumb with me, Parker,” Tess screamed, almost steering the car into the drainage ditch along the highway. “I know you know why we’re going to Copper Summit, and I know you know what I’m planning on doing there. You’ve been a thorn in my side for much too long.”
Liz stiffened and turned her head to look into the backseat. Colby had fallen asleep, thankfully, causing Liz to smile sweetly at her child. Tess had been right in assuming Liz was playing dumb. After all, it was Liz that had begun their entire downfall by pretending to sleep with Kyle. She knew the entire story behind Serina’s quantum mechanics theory, and she knew that Serina should have used her knowledge for the good of the whole as opposed to helping Tess with her
machinations which ultimately had lead to her own death. Tess was taking Liz to Copper Summit in hopes that she and the present version of herself would meet and cause each other to disappear.
What Tess did not know was that now Liz was plotting to do the same thing to her.
* * *
Max burst into the hotel room, almost tripping over the bags of spilled groceries in the entryway. He jumped over them and began frantically searching the rooms. He knew Liz was there, that Liz and their son were there. After thoroughly searching the rooms, he slumped onto the bed and ran his shaky hands through his hair. When Liz had placed their son into his arms almost two nights earlier, Max had been surprised by how quickly the connection had flared between them. He had spent the remainder of the two days picking up images and impressions from his son. He couldn’t technically explain the lasting connection but he had to assume it was because they were close to Roswell. Hell, he thought, Liz had even told him they were closer than he thought that night, but things had been so hectic after Michael and Maria had discovered his presence that he had not had the time to focus on exactly what the impressions were that he was receiving from his son.
He flopped backwards onto the bed, the connection to his son causing instantaneous images to flow into his mind. He knew they were images of something that had happened very recently in this room, their imprint woven into the room’s make-up. He saw Tess grab his son and point a loaded gun at him. He felt Liz’s near-hysterical concern, but most importantly, he watched as Tess mouthed the words ‘Copper Summit’ and the refrain repeat over and over in slow motion.
He sat up quickly, his heart aching for Liz and their son and his mind reeling with the thought that Tess might actually hurt either one of them. Then he remembered exactly what time of year it was in Copper Summit and he blanched, knowing that Tess had taken Liz and their son to Copper Summit for the sole purpose of destroying them all.
* * *
“This was such a bad idea,” Alex said as Maria drove the Jetta down Copper Summit’s main street. “It’s like we’ve just went back in time...to ancient Appalachia.”
“Can it, Alex,” Liz said but she too could feel an unknown fear swelling in the pit of her stomach. What exactly had she and Maria done?
“Oh...my...God. I hate to admit the hooch is right, Liz, but we’re so not equipped for this.”
“Where are the unborn skins being held, Courtney,” Liz asked turning in her seat to face Courtney and Alex.
“That’s just it. I don’t know. I left before most of this was built. They could have moved the harvest to any of the larger buildings in town.”
Liz glanced anxiously between Alex and Maria. The three of them had been flying by the seat of their pants in coming to Copper Summit, especially without Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess. While they had assumed bringing Courtney would be a good idea, it now looked as though whatever semblance of a plan they had had was disintegrating before their eyes. The part that kept flashing through Liz’s mind however was not that she and her friends had probably walked into the biggest snafu of their young lives, but that Max - any form of Max - was not here to help her.
|posted on 13-May-2002 8:33:58 PM by JO|
“We’re leaving,” Maria stated as they continued to drive down the main street of Copper Summit. “We are so leaving this hellhole.”
“Maria,” Liz pleaded. “We can’t do that. You know about the harvest. You know we have to find it and destroy it.”
“No, Liz, what I know is that we are seriously outnumbered. We have no idea about anything. We just know Whitaker’s....husky thing...is here somewhere.” Maria drove down a dead end street and began to turn the Jetta around. “I know we were going to do it ourselves, Liz, and save the world but this is just too big. I can’t handle messing up the future again. It was bad enough knowing Alex died.” Maria’s eyes widened as she realized her slip and she and Liz slowly turned toward each other. They continued their motion toward the back seat and Alex, whose face bore the same look of confusion as Maria’s when she had discovered the truth.
“I died? You’re telling me I...I died...or that I will die like...tomorrow?”
“We could all die tomorrow,” Courtney offered. “Some of us might even go today.”
“You’re not helping, harlot,” Maria seethed as she pulled the car into an abandoned parking lot.
“You didn’t tell me you were trying to get me killed when I agreed to help you.”
“No, Alex,” Liz began, pulling herself onto her knees in the passenger seat of the Jetta. She glanced awkwardly at Maria who had copied Liz’s stance so they could talk to Alex. “You don’t understand. It was all Tess.”
“Tess, Alex. That’s right. It was all Tess.”
“I don’t even really know Tess.”
“That’s not the point, Alex.” Liz opened her mouth to continue but paused, reflecting on exactly what Alex deserved to know. After several seconds of debating with herself, she decided that Alex needed to know everything, the entire truth. “This is going to sound completely crazy, Alex, but I promise you that everything I am about to say is true. Okay?”
“Let me have it,” he answered quietly.
“Okay,” Liz began, glancing one last time at Maria before she turned her full attention to Alex. “Almost a week ago, I was visited by Max...from the future...”
* * *
“And you believe this,” Alex asked, pointing at Maria. “You believe this...magnificent yarn that Parker here is trying to pull over our eyes.”
“I believe her, Alex. I swear I do. Everything Liz said was the truth, right down to your...death. Future Max told me the entire story and I believe him.”
Alex laughed nervously but it was not his normal laugh. Liz and Maria exchanged glances as his laugh quickly turned into a cackle. “Oh, this is so not how I wanted to live my life, man. Aliens in the universe I can believe, but aliens killing me for my computer skills....it’s insane!”
“Alex...Alex,” Liz said but couldn’t find the words to finish her thought. Everything Alex felt was completely natural. It wasn’t every day that someone found out a member of their group of friends was going to kill them. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am about this. If I hadn’t changed the future, none of this would have happened. You would have danced at my wedding. You...wouldn’t have...”
“Liz,” Alex began, reaching across Courtney to console one of his best friends. “None of this is your fault. I think that blame should be placed on the guilty party, which is Tess. How could you have known? You weren’t just trying to save your own ass. You were trying to save the entire world, an admirable feat in of itself. ”
“I know but,” Liz mumbled, wiping at her face with her hands. “I’m just so sorry you died.”
“I’m not dead, Liz. I’m right here,” Alex climbed over Courtney, gently shoving her to his side of the back seat. He carefully grasped Liz’s heaving shoulders in his hands and pulled her to him. “I’m not going anywhere. We’re not going to let her win. We can’t let her win. I’ll still dance at your wedding, I promise.” Reaching his left arm toward Maria, he pulled his two best friends closer to him in the cramped space. “I’ll dance at everyone’s weddings.” Both girls were now openly weeping against Alex and his shirt had begun to look like a used hanky.
“I hate to break up this special after school moment, but we are just sitting ducks. I for one don’t want to be around when Nicholas discovers we’re here. If we’re going, let’s go while the getting is good.”
Liz reluctantly pushed away from Alex, wiping her face one final time on his sleeve. She and Maria laughed slightly as the three best friends settled back into their seats and Maria started the Jetta.
* * *
Max drove the jeep on Highway 285 toward Copper Summit, his hands almost choking the steering wheel. Michael rode beside him, reading directions to him as necessary. Tess, Isabel and Kyle were wedged in the back seat of the jeep with Tess’ face reflected back at him every time he looked in his rear view mirror. She had had little to say since discovering the truth about Liz and Kyle and Max wasn’t exactly certain how she was taking the news. He himself had been so shocked by Michael’s announcement that he had spent the majority of the drive processing the sacrifices Liz had made. In addition to the confusion and joy he felt finally knowing the majority of the truth behind that horrible moment, there was another emotion lingering in the back of his
mind that he hadn’t shared with anyone; an emotion that had always tickled the underbelly of his love for Liz: fear.
* * *
Max erratically drove the stolen car toward Copper Summit. He hadn’t picked up any more flashes from his son and fear continued to fill his heart as the miles between he and Copper Summit disappeared. He knew he shouldn’t think about her, but his mind drifted back to the young Liz, the Liz he had originally visited. Thoughts about her sacrifices flickered through his mind and he couldn’t help the mournful sigh that crossed his lips. They were both the same: selfless, brave, noble. The young Liz had never really understood how horrible his life had been. There had been no way to adequately describe to her the effects of the war, and part of him had wanted to maintain her innocence from such graphic acts. His Liz, however, his Liz had changed the future, almost destroying his life and yet, she had given him a future to finally fight for, one that he desperately wanted to live with her and their son. He pressed the gas pedal harder, determined to get to Copper Summit in time to stop Tess from destroying his life again.
|posted on 13-May-2002 8:36:46 PM by JO|
Max felt his younger self before he had crested the ridge on the highway. He slowed slightly, refusing to glance to his left at the Qwik-E-Stop, knowing his younger self was there. He knew Isabel had made his younger self stop the car so she and Tess could use the bathroom. But he knew the jeep’s occupants had no idea exactly what was waiting for them in Copper Summit and he hoped he could get there in time so that they never found out.
He drove past the dilapidated gas station, silently praying that his younger self paid no attention to this car. He had stolen it from a Crashdown patron, changing its color and plates so that he wouldn’t be caught before his mission was complete. Then he had begun his quest for Liz and their son. A soft smile crossed his lips as he thought of his son, a small boy with Liz’s dark hair and his eyes. He didn’t even know his own child’s name, hadn’t even known he was a possibility until Liz placed him into his arms. He now knew how mothers felt the first time they touched their child - he loved his son instantly, without question. To think that Tess could hurt him or Liz, he quickly pushed the thought out of his mind and pleaded with the car to make it to Copper Summit, only 50 miles away.
* * *
Tess parked the stolen car on the street opposite the Universal Friendship League building, the barn containing the skins’ harvest not an whole block away. She turned toward the back seat to check on Colby, scowling at Liz during her turn. Tess reached toward Colby, Liz’s hand quickly stopping her forward progress with a determined grasp on Tess’ wrist.
“What do you think you’re doing, Tess?”
“I’m going to wake him up, Liz. He’s been asleep the entire time.” Tess jerked her arm away from Liz and gently began shaking Colby awake.
“Let him sleep,” Liz suggested as she watched Tess closely. As long as Tess was near Colby, Liz watched her closely. On the one hand, Liz knew Tess would never hurt Colby because, as far as Tess knew, no one knew that Colby was Liz’s child. And if Tess somehow succeeded with her plan to make both Lizs disappear, she could use Colby as a bargaining tool with their Max. But what Tess didn’t know was that their Max did know Liz had given birth to Colby, that he was their son, not the son Tess had claimed to be pregnant with after Alex’s death. “If you wake him up -”
“What? What will happen if I wake him up?”
“We won’t be able to hide in plain sight,” Liz offered, hoping she could convince Tess that Colby’s purpose was better served asleep and out of sight. Not only was her worst nightmare that Tess might harm Colby, but being in Copper Summit, she also had to fear the involvement of the skins, especially since Colby was Max’s son, his heir. “If too many people see him, we’re screwed.”
Tess reclined against the dashboard of the car, her eyes alternating between Liz and Colby. She pursed her lips in thought and slowly turned around in the seat so she could look out the front windshield. Liz quietly exhaled the breath she was holding, glad that Tess had, for once, heeded her advice. “Why do you care if we’re seen? Colby will be safe.”
“Being here in Copper Summit and given the fact that Colby is Max’s son already means he’s not safe. You brought him straight into a war zone, Tess.”
“Colby will always be safe when I’m around.”
“Really,” Liz snorted. “I seem to remember the skins were willing to kill us, all of us, the last time we were here.”
“This time is different,” Tess replied, absently weaving her fingers through her blonde curls. “This time I know exactly what I have to do to get rid of you so Max will finally be completely mine.”
* * *
Maria weaved through the dirt roads of Copper Summit, trying to find her way back to the main highway so they could leave this place and never come back. It was only after she noticed that she had passed the same old red tractor three times that she accepted they were lost in Copper Summit. She screeched the Jetta to a halt and slammed her fists against the steering wheel. “We’re lost,” she sighed, her frustration evident by the tears pooling in her eyes.
“I could’ve told you that almost twenty minutes ago, Blondie.”
“Can it, Jezebel,” Maria snorted, staring at Courtney’s reflection in the rear view mirror. Courtney met Maria’s glare with no hesitation as Alex and Liz watched the stand-off. It almost reminded Alex of the time he had walked in on Courtney and Maria in the Crashdown kitchen at Isabel’s birthday party.
“Knock it off,” he said, swiping at Maria’s face to distract her from Courtney. “I’d hate to see one of you burst a blood vessel in your oh-so-beautiful faces.”
“Her face is beautiful,” Maria shot back, her attention now fully on Alex. “Are you insane?”
“That’s my Maria,” Alex cooed as he lovingly kissed her cheek before glancing at Liz and wiggling his eyebrows up and down several times. Maria rolled his eyes and shoved him away from her and he playfully fell against the back seat, pretending serious injury to his arm.
* * *
Max drove past the old barn that housed the skins’ harvest. He knew his younger self, along with Michael, Tess, Isabel and Kyle had just entered the town and was relieved when they stopped under the guise they were lost and decided to formulate a plan to rescue Liz, Maria and Alex without alerting the skins of their presence. Max slowed the car at the end of the block and turned around, willing to bide his time in Copper Summit until he saw that Liz, both of them, would be safe. Glancing to his left in the middle of his u-turn, he did a double take as blonde ringlets reflecting in the sunlight caught his eye. Tess had brought Liz and his son here. And he knew that Tess was fully equipped and more than willing to once again destroy everything he loved.
He carefully completed his u-turn, trying not to draw undue attention to himself, and was heading in the direction he had just come from, away from the car that held Tess, Liz and their son, when he saw the familiar site of Maria’s Jetta several yards away, slowly creeping his direction. A slight panic attack rumbled from the core of his soul and he paled because Liz, one of the two he sought to save today, was unknowingly heading for her own destruction. The ripple in his brain alerted him that his younger self and all the jeep’s occupants were also careening toward this same intersection and that unless he did something, they would all collide, bringing a definite end to three of their lives.
He stalled the car in front of the barn, mentally listing his available options as he silently realized he would have to do something drastic to prevent these two worlds from colliding. Turning his head to the right, he glanced momentarily at the old barn, knowing the future of the skins lay directly underneath its floor. He quickly thought of Liz and sent his love to her and their child, praying it reached them, and that Liz would understand exactly what he was planning to do and why it had to be done.
|posted on 13-May-2002 8:39:17 PM by JO|
Max raised his head slightly and looked ahead. He could see the Jetta was less than a block away from him. He knew his younger self was close to where Tess and Liz sat in wait and he calmly exited the car, standing several yards away from it but in the direct path of the Jetta. Raising his hand toward the stolen car that had brought him thus far in his journey, he effortlessly pushed it toward the old barn. As the car skidded toward the barn, Max concentrated on the gas tank, mentally conjuring a picture of fire in his mind. He glanced to his left and right, he being the only obstacle standing in the way of the two Lizs meeting. With one final tweak with his powers, he caused the gas tank in the car, now fully imbedded in the barn, to explode. Only seconds before the explosion reached a pinnacle, he began to run toward the Jetta, and toward Liz.
* * *
I love you, Liz. And I love our son.
Max, she almost mumbled aloud but caught herself before she had said his name. Turning toward the backseat, she noticed that Colby was awake but hadn’t stirred. She smiled slightly at her son before glancing at Tess out of the corner of her eye. Colby’s eyes opened wider and he presented his mother with the widest smile she had ever seen. He pulled his hands underneath his chin and Liz knew that Colby had heard his father’s words too.
I’m here in Copper Summit.
Her entire body warmed and she again glanced at Tess in the driver’s seat, wondering if Tess had any idea what was going on in her presence, if Tess had ever been aware of the powerful connection she and Max shared. Not even the end of the world, which was surely upon them now, could stop their connection or their love and Liz silently rejoiced that Max did, in fact, love her with his entire soul.
Run away from the barn, Liz. There’s going to be an explosion. Take our son and run.
No sooner had she heard and processed Max’s warning did the barn where the skins’ harvest was held explode into a ball of flames. Tess immediately straightened her posture, as if that was the sign she had been waiting for to begin her diabolical plan. Colby clutched his blanket tightly under his neck and sat up in the backseat, his amber eyes wide as the flames soared toward the sky. Liz reached for him around her seat and calmed instantly when she felt his tiny hand rest in hers.
Tess turned toward her, a sadistic grin crossing her lips, her mouth pursing as she tried to think of the perfect thing to say about Liz’s now-certain demise when Liz did something she had wanted to do for so long: she punched Tess in the face. The force with which Liz hit Tess’ face caused the blonde’s head to crash backwards through the windshield, shattering glass onto the road and across Tess’ shoulders and chest. Liz’s eyes widened in horror and she felt Colby squeeze her
hand tighter as Tess’ head ricocheted and slumped forward, her chin resting on her chest.
Liz quickly scrambled out of the car amidst flying debris from the barn and gathered Colby tightly against her chest. Colby buried his head against her neck, sheltering his face from debris, his tiny arms and legs clinging to her body as she ran toward the most welcome sight Liz had ever seen: the jeep.
* * *
Max drove the jeep to a halt in the middle of the road as an explosion vibrated the ground and flames crested over the top of the other buildings. They quickly abandoned the jeep and ran for cover in the vacant-looking buildings lining the street. Tess and Kyle broke apart from Max, Michael and Isabel and ran to the opposite side of the street as the others. Tess buried her face against Kyle’s shoulder while they ran and they crouched in the doorway of what was had once been a department store.
Michael grabbed Isabel’s arm, dragging her toward the doorway of another former department store. Shielding her head, he turned and saw Max standing dumbstruck in the middle of the street several steps away from the jeep. Standing upright while trying to moderately shield Isabel, Michael’s eyes widened as he saw precisely what had rendered Max almost useless: Liz, running toward them, a small child clutched tightly to her body.
* * *
I love you, Liz. And I love our son.
Liz’s eyes widened as Max’s voice echoed through her mind. She jerked her head toward Maria and then toward Alex, wondering if she had simply imagined the entire thing. She looked out the passenger side window again, trying to refocus her attention to finding a way out of Copper Summit.
I’m here in Copper Summit.
“My God,” Liz gasp, covering her mouth with her hand as she reached out for Maria’s closest arm.
“What’s wrong, Liz,” Alex echoed from the backseat, leaning forward to grab Liz’s arm.
Run away from the barn, Liz. There’s going to be an explosion. Take our son and run.
“St...stop the car, Maria,” Liz whispered. Tears threatened to spill down her cheeks again and she ran her shaky hands down her face in a vain attempt to calm herself.
“Liz,” Maria began, slowing the car slightly, “you’re scaring me. What’s going on?”
“Max....Max is he...here....”
“What,” Maria screeched, slamming her foot on the break pedal, almost catapulting Alex and Courtney into the front seat with Maria and Liz. “What are you talking about? How do you know that?”
Before Liz could respond to Maria’s semi-freak-out, one of the buildings several yards in front of them erupted in flames, causing the Jetta to shake violently. Fearing for their safety, the four occupants awkwardly stumbled from the Jetta and watched in horror as the remnants of the building rained down upon their heads. Through the dust, Liz held her breath as she saw a shadowy figure running toward them. She clung to Maria and Alex, who was desperate to protect his two friends and tried to shove them behind the open car door of the Jetta. Once the dust settled, a lop-sided smile appeared on Liz’s face and she ran toward the shadowy figure which Maria recognized instantly as Max, Liz’s future Max.
|posted on 13-May-2002 8:46:08 PM by JO|
|AN: Please note that Alex displays a certain 'R' rated use of the language. Excuse he - he's nervous.|
“Max,” Liz screamed as she ran toward him, clutching Colby against her chest. “Run, Max.” She swept past him in the direction she saw Michael pull Isabel and felt Colby shift his head, looking backwards. She spun around quickly and after realizing Max was still standing in the middle of the road - an open target - she ran back for him.
He willingly took her extended hand and wordlessly followed as she pulled him out of the street toward Michael and Isabel’s hiding place. “Liz,” he questioned, his eyes drawn to Colby’s small form. He stumbled slightly, almost pulling Liz down to the ground with him but quickly regained his footing when he saw fear flash through Colby’s eyes - eyes identical to his own. “Liz, what’s going on?”
“Not now, Max. We have to get out of sight. Where’s Tess?”
“Tess,” Max questioned, almost stopping again to scan the street for any signs of Tess. Liz’s fierce tug on his hand quashed any thoughts of stopping and he was once again drawn to Colby, a sweet smile spread across the child’s mouth. “What about Tess?”
“Tess and Kyle aren’t with us, Maxwell,” Michael offered, opening the door of the abandoned department store, welcoming Max, Liz and the child into their hiding place.
“Something must have happened after the explosion.”
“I bet they’re just across the street,” Liz said, dropping Colby to his feet as she carefully walked in front of the large window. She glanced toward the Universal Friendship League headquarters up the street, knowing this was not the best hiding place for them but she couldn’t risk exposing Colby to any skins. All of their lives were in danger now, especially since it was now confirmed that everyone important to her was in Copper Summit. She ran her hands through her hair, slowly backing away from the window and turning her attention to the younger versions of Max, Michael and Isabel, who were watching she and Colby like they had the plague.
Colby tentatively stepped toward Max, dragging his trusted blanket behind him. He reached for Max, the same sweet smile crossing his lips again. Max stooped to his level, Michael and Isabel flanking him, and motioned for the child to come to him. Smiling widely, yet showing none of his teeth, Colby quickly teetered into Max’s open arms. Liz turned just in time to watch as Max carefully scooped Colby into his arms, a smile identical to Colby’s reflected on his face. “Daddy,” Colby sighed, wrapping his arms tightly around Max’s neck, squeezing with all his might.
“Daddy,” Michael questioned, the grimace on his face instantly changed to a look of confusion.
“Liz? How is this...”
“I am Liz, Max, just not your Liz.” Liz stepped closer to Max and Colby, amazed at how quickly her child accepted Max and how Max had not instantly objected to being called ‘Daddy.’
“You’re his Liz, aren’t you,” Michael asked, realization dawning on him as he stepped forward toward Liz. “The other Max...from the future. The Max that came to get Liz to change the future again.”
“That’s right, Michael. The other Max and I were...together.”
“But I thought he and Tess had a son.”
“What,” Max asked, glancing quickly between Colby and Liz. “This...this is Tess’ son?” He held Colby at arm’s length, examining the small boy. How could this be Tess’ child? He didn’t love Tess. He didn’t want to be with Tess, especially in ways that could result in children. This small boy looked nothing like Tess...and everything like Liz.
“No, Max,” Liz responded, tenderly brushing hair away from Colby’s forehead. “This is our son, yours and mine. His name is Colby.”
* * *
His name is Colby.
“Colby,” Max whispered as he slumped against Liz in the warehouse Alex had chosen for them to hide in.
“What,” Maria snapped. “Who’s Colby? What’s going on, Max? Why are you here? Did you blow up that building? Why did you blow up that building?”
“What the fuck happened to your face?”
“Alex,” Maria and Liz corrected at the same time, both of their faces displaying shock and disapproval of Alex’s choice of words.
“I mean, Max, man, great to see ya. How’s it hangin?”
“Colby is our son,” Liz offered simply, ignoring Alex’s nervous outburst and focusing her attention back to Max. “Right, Max? That’s his name?”
Max nodded slowly and leaned against the wooden railing, trying to regain control of his emotions. He knew that his Liz and Colby were now safe with his younger self but that the younger version of Tess was missing. He wished he could find out how Liz had managed to allude Tess in order to get to the other Max. What he had to concentrate on now was somehow managing to get all versions of himself and Liz out of Copper Summit and back to Roswell. That had to be his first priority and he knew his younger self would not let anything happen to Liz and Colby while he charged himself with getting Liz, Maria and Alex the hell out of Copper Summit in one piece.
* * *
“So Maxwell knocked you up after he didn’t find his son with Tess?”
Liz laughed slightly as she watched Max cradle Colby in his arms. Michael had immediately shared with her, Max and Isabel exactly what he knew about Tess from both future timelines. Isabel, after hearing about Alex’s death, excused herself to the back of the room. Michael had offered support to her which she quickly refused. Max had clung to Colby after Isabel fled the room, suddenly understanding the implications of just how special Colby was. “That’s not exactly how it happened, Michael. There was no son, no baby. It had all been a mindwarp by Tess to get Max to return to Antar.”
“It’s your home planet,” Liz replied softly. “It’s a really long story, Michael, and one that I’d rather not relive. What we need to concentrate on right now is finding Tess.”
“Why,” Max asked as Colby stirred slightly in his lap. “Why not just let her go? It’s obvious things were better after she left.”
“Things were better, Max, but that’s not the point. Tess has a plan. Both versions of Tess have plans, and I refuse to let her win again.”
“She won’t win, Liz, I swear it.” Max stepped toward her, gently slinging a sleeping Colby over his shoulder.
“I’ve always known it was you that I belong with, not Tess. I love you. I want to be with you.”
“It’s not that simple, Max,” she said. “Things between us have never been that simple.” She sighed slightly, amazed by how quickly Max caused her to lose control. She raked her hands through her hair again, her frustration level almost to a boiling point. “I pretended to sleep with Kyle because I thought it was the right thing to do. Even if I had it to do over again, I’d still do the same thing. The good of the whole, Max. That’s what I believe in.”
“Well, if Tess is gonna become a psycho hose beast, the good of the whole will most certainly be better without her.”
“Michael,” Liz sighed, reluctant to laugh at Michael but somehow unable to hold a slight chuckle back. “I...I don’t think -”
“Do you think Tess can be rehabilitated, Liz,” Max asked. “Do you think she’s trustworthy? That she can accept you and I being together and forget about our destiny?”
“I don’t know,” she responded with a shrug while she began to pace. “Sometimes I wonder, you know. There were times when I didn’t hate Tess but after Alex died...everything changed. I...I’m not willing to cause that kind of pain, Max. I’m not willing sacrifice Alex.”
“Neither am I,” Isabel said as she stepped out from the shadows. “Tess killed Alex, plain and simple. She lied to all of us and abused our trust. She knew exactly what she was doing from the moment she came to Roswell and she felt no remorse for her actions. I can’t just stand by and watch her destroy us because that sounds exactly like what she’s planning to do.” Isabel stepped toward Max and lovingly ran her fingers across Colby’s face. “You have a son, Max and a future, hopefully with Liz, that you have to think about. I...I can’t trust Tess. I won’t trust her, not if it means losing Alex.”
“Are you suggesting we kill her, Iz?” Max unconsciously tightened his grip on Colby and ran his hand lightly across his son’s back.
“We don’t have to kill her.”
Max, Michael and Isabel quickly focused their attention on Liz and her statement. “What are you talking about, Liz,” Max quietly asked as he adjusted his hold on Colby once again.
“Quantum mechanics,” Liz said, a booming silence filling the room. “Right now, there are two versions of Tess, Max and I in Copper Summit. If one version meets the other, both versions will disappear.”
“So, if Tess #1 and Tess #2 meet, they’ll cancel each other out,” Michael questioned, looking to Liz for confirmation. When she nodded, Michael threw his hands into the air in frustration. “Then our problems are solved,” he offered with a shrug, turning on his heels away from Max, Liz and Isabel.
“I thought you killed Tess, your Tess, I mean.”
“I punched her, Max, and while that’s been building for a long time, I know she’s not dead. But if this works, then the Tess problem will be solved. That’s why she brought Colby and I to Copper Summit in the first place. Because the three of us exist, we have new memories from the things that have happened. She knew the other me, Alex and Maria were coming here because the younger Tess knew. If they meet and disappear, the only problem we’ll have to deal with will be the skins.”
“Skins are easily dusted away,” Michael said, stepping past Liz and Max, closely followed by Isabel. “Let’s get rid of Tess.”
“Michael, wait,” Liz called before Michael and Isabel had reached the door of the department store. “You can’t just barge out there guns blazing and expect everything to work out. We are in a town fully inhabited by skins, skins that want to four of you dead.”
“What are you saying, Liz,” Michael yelled, causing Colby to stir in Max’s arms. “I’m not going to just stand by as my life falls into the crapper.”
“You don’t understand what’s going on here, Michael,” Liz screamed, her face turning several intense shades of red. Michael quickly backed down from his own tirade, almost shrinking from Liz’s unknown rage. “I could disappear at any time. We have to think this through before you run out there with half-baked scheme. I know you, Michael, and I know your plans. They don’t work!” Her body shook as she felt Max place his hand in the small of her back. Colby, now semi-awake, reached for her and Liz gladly pulled her son into her arms, lightly kissing his cheek.
“Tell us what to do, Liz,” Max said, rubbing his hand across her back in small circles, trying to bring about some kind of comfort and peace to her. “Tell us how to win.”
|posted on 13-May-2002 8:48:59 PM by JO|
“I don’t like this, Maxwell. I really don’t like it.”
“I know, Michael, but I’m not leaving Liz...or Colby. She’s right. He is my son and we’re in a town full of...aliens that want us dead. This is the only solution.”
“Whatever,” Michael muttered, grabbing Isabel’s arm as he lead her out the door and onto the street. “But I still don’t like it,” he yelled at Max through the large-pane window, causing Isabel to slap him on the back to quiet down.
Turning back to Liz and Colby, Max couldn’t help but laugh. “Does he get any better...in the future?”
“I don’t know,” Liz quietly responded, gently laying Colby on a old blanket. He clutched at her hair in his sleep as she pulled away from him before pulling his blanket underneath his chin and sighing. Liz smoothed his hair away from his face, a smile cresting in the corners of her mouth. She stood slowly and turned to find Max standing almost directly behind her, his amber eyes wide in wonder as he watched their sleeping son.
“He’s perfect,” Max whispered. “Absolutely perfect.”
“That he is,” Liz agreed, pulling Max away from Colby so they could talk more freely without threatening to wake the sleeping child. “There are some things I...I need to say to you, Max.” She paused and linked her fingers together underneath her chin in a mannerism identical to the one Colby had made several minutes ago. Max smiled, exhaling a loud stream of air through his nose, startling Liz. “What,” she questioned, her bottom lip automatically tucking between her teeth. Max quickly shook his head and shoved his hands into his pants pockets, simply content to watch this Liz. Some qualities were the same: her facial expressions, the tiny mannerisms that most people would overlook but this Liz had a different air about her, an air that lead him to believe her life had not been easy.
“Oh,” Liz quietly responded, folding her arms across her chest. “Colby is a lot like me, but that’s not what we need to talk about. He’s here, Max, the other you, my you, and the only way I’m going to get to talk to him is through you so...just bear with me on this.” Max nodded and stepped away from Liz, sensing that she needed some space for what she was about to say. “I...I loved you, I love...you and being away from you was absolute torture. After Khivar took me -”
“He’s the current ruler of your planet, the...being that killed all of you in your past lives.”
“Why did he take you?”
“That’s what I’m trying to explain,” Liz pointedly answered, her eyes locking with Max’s. Again, Max nodded and Liz sighed slowly before she continued.
“Khivar wanted your heir so that he could rule through the child, using it as his puppet. He wanted the four of you dead, obviously, but Nasedo made a deal with him that Tess could produce, that she would produce, your heir.”
“That’s why she killed Alex.”
Liz nodded. “Alex decoded the destiny book for her. Tess claimed she didn’t mean to kill him, but...I don’t know.” Liz swallowed hard and wiped at her eyes. Thinking or talking about Alex always made her emotional. “She mindwarped you into thinking you had slept with her and fathered her child, and that the baby couldn’t survive on Earth so you’d have to go...”
“Right,” Liz said, tucking a stray hair behind her ear as she continued with her explanation. “Anyway, she failed and when Khivar found out I was pregnant, or that I could be pregnant, he took me to Carlsbad.”
“Why didn’t he kill you after you had Colby?”
“I think...I think he was in love with me. I’m not sure really. I...I don’t even know why I think that.” Liz laughed nervously, glancing over her shoulder at Colby. “He never threatened Colby, Max, ever, and by the time Colby was born, he had realized that Tess was not the most trust-worthy person. He kept me safe from her. He protected me...and our son, and while I hated him for taking us away from you, he started a war because of us, because of Colby, to protect us. All of this doesn’t really matter...it’s just that I want you to know I never stopped loving you and just because Khivar...had feelings...for me, I would have never ever betrayed you to him.”
“I know that, Liz,” Max said with a smile as he placed his hands on her upper arms. “I know you’d never betray me.”
“No, you don’t. You think....he thinks...he saw me with Khivar, the night Michael died -”
“But what you don’t know, what he doesn’t know, is that Tess was in Carlsbad the night Michael died. Because, Max, the night Michael died was the night Khivar died.”
Max stumbled backwards from Liz. Had she really lead such a life, a life filled with war and terror and danger? Had they all lead such lives? He opened his mouth to respond to her, to question how they’d been the ones to survive when he heard a familiar voice cut through the momentary silence.
“I could never say you weren’t smart, Parker. I hate your guts but I have to give you credit for your smarts.”
“Tess,” Liz seethed over Max’s shoulder, causing him to whip around suddenly toward the door. Inside the room stood the woman who had been his bride in a past life and a woman who was now threatening the lives of everyone he cherished. He grabbed Liz’s arm as she stepped past him, intent on making a wall of their bodies to separate Tess from Colby.
“Tess?” Her face and shirt were stained with blood and a large bruise had formed on her face, which Max knew was the result of Liz’s punch, but despite her appearance, he saw the woman who had haunted him for almost a year reflected in her blue eyes.
“Hi, Max,” she replied, her voice syrupy sweet as she slowly stepped toward them. “So, you know it was me that killed Michael and that I killed Khivar. But did you know it was me that gave you that wonderful scar down the side of your face?” She slowly traced the length of her face from her hairline down her jaw and Max felt his cheek twitch in response. He glanced at Liz for some sort of explanation but Liz’s eyes were keenly trained on Tess. “All this time you thought it was Parker: that Parker hated you; that Parker betrayed you; that Parker got Michael killed. Nope,” she replied, tugging gently on her blonde curls. “All me. Mindwarp is such an amazing gift. And now I have the utmost pleasure of finally killing the things you hold nearest and dearest to your stupid, little human heart. All you had to do was love me, Max. Is that really too much to ask?”
* * *
“You selfish wanker bastard! My skin was in there.” Courtney stepped toward Max and poked her finger into his chest several times. “Did you know that all hope of my survival is now destroyed because of you? Michael would have saved my skin. Michael would have thought of others first. You don’t change. Michael would be such a better king.”
“That’s it,” Maria screamed, stomping her feet and flailing her fists toward the ground. Alex stepped away from her as Liz quickly restrained Max. “Listen up, you floozy. I’m sick and tired of you thinking you are the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to female life forms. I have you know Michael is completely satisfied with what this 100% human specimen offers him, so just shove off.” Maria shoved Courtney with all her might toward the corner of the warehouse. What Maria did not know was that she had shoved Courtney directly into a metal rod which was masked by the shadows of the warehouse. Courtney fell backwards against the rod, striking herself in the middle of her back. Maria, Liz and Alex could only watch in surprise as Courtney disintegrated before their very eyes.
“Oh,” Liz offered, her hand covering her mouth.
“Where’d she go,” Maria questioned, turning back to Max. “Was that some new kind of power I don’t know about?”
“No,” Max said, shaking his hand. “All skins are made with a button on their backs. If it’s hit -”
“They turn to dust? That’s just a little too ‘Buffy’ for me,” Alex responded only seconds before he sneezed.
“Where’s a dustbuster when you need one?”
“Come on, Liz. The world is better off without Courtney. I know I sure as hell am glad she’s dust.”
“Wait a sec, Maria,” Alex said, stepping toward her with his brows furrowed in thought. “You got a piece of Courtney in your hair.” He dug his fingers into her hair, succeeding in nothing other than mussing it, and pulled his pinched fingers to his face for closer examination.
“No, wait, just dandriff.”
“Tess is here,” Max grunted, breaking up the playful moment between Maria and Alex. His heart beat with the force of a thundering herd in his chest, his eyes momentarily glazing over as new memories settled into his consciousness.
And now I have the utmost pleasure of finally killing the things you hold nearest and dearest to your stupid, little human heart.
“We have to go.” He grabbed Liz’s hand and pulled her out of the door of the warehouse onto the street.
“Leaving so soon?” Their pursuit was quickly stopped by group of skins, their faces peeling, their skin-like substance dripping off their husks. An older man stepped forward toward Max as Max pushed Liz behind him, his arm semi-outstretched, prepared for battle. “We haven’t even gotten reacquainted yet.”
|posted on 13-May-2002 8:51:14 PM by JO|
“Max,” Liz whispered as she glanced at the mob over Max’s shoulder. She placed her hands on Max’s back and felt the tension ripple through his back. She swallowed hard, slowly exhaling the breath she had not realized she was holding. “Who is that?”
“They’re skins,” Max responded calmly, turning his head so that Liz could hear him but never taking his eyes off the mob forming in front of him.
“So you do remember us,” the older man in front of the group replied. “And we thought you were just a bunch of stupid teenagers.” The entire mass laughed as Max cautiously moved his arm around to grab Liz’s wrist.
She gasp at the contact, so intimate in such a perilous situation. His fingers caressed the interior of her wrist and Liz bowed her head as several flashes penetrated her mind. Max had faced these skins twice before; once at Whitaker’s funeral with Tess supporting him while she had watched, the second in the halls of West Roswell when Tess had proceeded to annihilate the entire flock. She placed her hand firmly in the middle of his back, understanding that he had every intention of fighting them again.
“Run,” Max shouted, flinging Liz out of the doorway of the warehouse just before the skins advanced on him. She fell to the ground, rolling over and over several times until Alex and Maria stopped her forward progress. She raised her head and looked at the warehouse, her heart in her throat as she watched Max project a green energy shield between he and the skins.
“Come on, Liz,” Maria said as she and Alex pulled Liz up from the ground and began to pull her away from the warehouse.
“No! Max!” Liz struggled against Alex’s grip, beating him with her fists as she tried in vain to escape him. “Max!” She felt Alex grab her around her waist and for a split second, her feet were no longer touching the ground.
“No! No!” Turning toward Alex with tears streaming down her face, she buried her head against his chest, knowing with all certainty that Max was going to die in that warehouse.
“Get them out of here,” Michael yelled to Alex as he and Isabel ran toward the warehouse in pursuit of the skins that had cornered Max.
“Michael,” Maria questioned, taking several steps toward him before Alex grabbed her arm and pulled her into his embrace as well.
“Let’s get out of here,” Alex said, his grip firm on both of his friends as he pulled them away from the warehouse.
* * *
Before Tess had any time to react, Liz threw her hand outward in defense and shot Tess through the air, almost through the large-pane window. Max released her and curiously surveyed the hand that had held her arm, wondering silently if he had used Liz’s body as a vessel for his power.
“I did that,” Liz answered aloud, gathering Colby into her arms and placing him off to the side of the department store behind a grouping of old clothes racks. The small boy was wide awake now and Max watched as Liz whispered to their child. He was surprised to see a tiny green light emit from Colby’s cupped hands and quickly envelop the child into a protective bubble. “I taught him how to do that,” Liz said in response to the look of shock and wonder etched on Max’s face as she stepped away from Colby and back into the open area.
“H...how,” Max asked, his voice cracking as he tried to form words.
“When you healed me, Max, you changed me. And now I’m different,” Liz responded, glancing rapidly between the spots where Max stood shell-shocked and where Tess was slowly rising to her feet.
“I never -” Max’s eyes widened in horror, his true emotions rising viciously to the surface. He had never wanted to endanger Liz’s life; he had only been trying to save her and now she was changed forever.
“I know,” Liz quietly reassured him. “You didn’t hurt me, Max, and I don’t have any regrets. You just left some part of yourself in me after the healing. I studied at using the gifts you gave me and taught Colby everything I knew about them. I’m glad, Max,” Liz said softly, brushing her hand lightly against his face. “I would never change what you gave me. Never.”
“Ain’t that sweet,” Tess replied bitterly. Both Max and Liz snapped their heads toward her, just in time to see Tess brush her curly locks out of her face. “‘Oh, I love you Max, even though you turned me into a hybrid freak.’ Bitch!” Tess ran towards Liz at full speed, but Liz was completely prepared for the blow, side-stepping Tess’ attempt with ease. “You’re gonna pay now, Parker,” she seethed. “I’m going to enjoy making you suffer.” Tess lunged at Liz again, this time succeeding in knocking Liz to the ground. Max joined the fracas, grabbing Tess by the hair and pulling her off Liz. He was seemingly unscathed in his attempt to protect Liz until Tess raked her nails down the side of Max’s face, cutting him deeply. “Seems some things never change,” Tess mused as she threw her hand at Max, knocking him against the back wall.
Liz was on her feet when Tess turned back around and Tess stepped toward her slowly. “Let’s play nice, okay, Parker? All you have to do is give up Max and Colby.”
“Never,” Liz growled as she thrust her hand defensively in front of her, managing to knock Tess off her feet once again. She glanced up at Max, who was on his feet and healing himself, and quickly scanned the room for Colby, still enveloped by his protective cocoon in the corner. “Just face it, Tess. I win. I’m always going to win.”
Liz spun toward the door, her face showing her surprise to see Kyle standing in the door. She softened her stance a little, turning to fully face the friend she had not seen in almost two years and had feared dead.
“Kyle,” she whispered, amazed by how young he looked and silently wondered if she looked older than her twenty years. With her back to Tess, she could not see Tess’ outstretched hand aimed directly at her back.
She turned in response to Max’s screams and felt Tess hit her directly in the stomach, sending her flying backwards through the large-pane window. Her body crashed onto the sidewalk in front of the exterior of the department store, pain ripping through her lower back. Exhaling loudly, she stood as quickly as she could and dusted the glass and dirt from her clothes. Several of her ribs were broken, she knew, and she could feel blood oozing down the side of her face. Staggering back to the doorway, willing to battle Tess until one of them died, she stopped abruptly when she saw her emancipation standing beside Kyle.
|posted on 13-May-2002 8:59:50 PM by JO|
|Author's Note: Just to let you all know, you are now officially caught up to the other parts posted at the Bordello. Also, there are only 30 parts in this fic, but I have begun a sequel. I probably shouldn't but this fic has just consumed my entire brain for weeks now (months even). I do hope you enjoy the final 3 parts and the sequel Brave New World.|
Liz stalked toward the younger Tess and forcefully grabbed her arm, jerking her away from Kyle and toward the door of the old department store. Kyle reached for her but Liz shrugged him off with ease, considering the condition of her body, and hurled the younger Tess onto the floor. “What the hell has gotten into you, Liz,” Kyle questioned, following Liz into the department store, stopping abruptly behind her when he saw the older, bloodied version of Tess struggling to her feet. “Is this some kind of sick joke?”
“The joke’s on Tess,” Liz harshly replied, her eyes never leaving the elder blonde, her enemy, who was now almost to her feet.
* * *
Liz, Maria and Alex ran away from the barn where Max, Michael and Isabel were now fighting against the skins. They had abandoned the Jetta and just began running after Alex had said they were unarmed humans in an alien’s town. Liz had no idea where she was headed as she continued to run; she just felt she should keep running her current path. She had quickly distanced herself from Maria and Alex and slowed only when she saw the jeep parked in the middle of the street.
Cautiously walking toward the jeep, she surveyed her surroundings, knowing that Max, her Max, was here somewhere. She stopped several steps away from the jeep’s driver’s side and was suddenly bombarded by a flash that drove her to the ground.
“Max,” Liz screamed as she ran toward him, clutching Colby against her chest. “Run, Max.”
“Colby,” Liz whispered as she felt Alex’s hands underneath her armpits, hoisting her back to her feet. He released her slightly and her knees buckled but Alex managed to catch her before she fell. In that instant, she had felt her son, felt his tiny arms hugging her neck, his fear radiating through her own body and she felt the joy that beat through his little heart when he saw his father. “Colby,” she whispered again, looking at Alex for understanding, tears threatening at any moment to spill down her cheeks. “Max.”
“I...I don’t understand, Liz,” Alex said, leading her away from the jeep toward the old department store across the street. “We have to get out of here.”
“No,” Liz screamed, jerking away from Alex’s grasp and almost knocking Maria down in the process. “I...I can’t go in there.”
“Liz, what’s wrong with you?”
“I’m in there,” she cried, pointing at the building where Alex had wanted to lead them only a few yards from their current position. “I’ll die if I go in there.”
* * *
“I’ll die if I go in there.”
“No,” Max screamed, his shield rippling for a split second as his energy was focused elsewhere. “Liz!” Michael and Isabel ran to his side, somehow hearing his cries over the volume of the attack and watched in shock as Max screamed again, his shield transforming into a cone-like
structure hurling toward the unsuspecting skins. They glanced quickly at each other, curious as to when Max had become so powerful and how he had learned to manipulate his protective devices into a weapon. Upon contact with Max’s shield, the skins were instantly vaporized, scattering dust throughout the warehouse.
Isabel’s eyes misted, her mind recalling the patches of floating dust when she had killed Congresswoman Whitaker. She covered her face with her hands and felt Michael wrap his arms around her. “He did the right thing, Iz. There was no other choice.”
“I..I know,” she meekly responded, wiping the dust from her face as she scanned the area for any signs of Max. She inhaled sharply when she could not find him, grabbing Michael’s arm in response. “Max? Max!”
From the shadows of the warehouse, Max calmly appeared, his face stoic with a clear purpose on
his mind. “We have to get to Liz,” he said, brushing past Isabel and Michael, exiting the warehouse.
* * *
Tess hardened her face and glanced at Liz. She was confronting her worst nightmare - her younger self - and knew that she would have very little time left before both of them were completely gone. She squared her shoulders and tilted her head toward the ceiling, content to wait patiently for her demise as the regal queen she once was.
“You brought this on yourself,” Liz quietly said, limping past the two Tesses toward the back of the room. “It didn’t have to end this way but you chose a different plan for yourself. You chose this way, Tess.”
Tess opened her mouth to respond and she clutched her throat when she realized she could not speak. Her eyes locked with the younger version of herself then hesitantly turned back toward Liz and Max.
Max stepped toward her, mesmerized by the fact that Tess was disappearing before his very eyes. It was all he had ever dreamed of since she had integrated herself into his life, bringing their destiny along with her and hindering any forward progression he could have had with Liz. “Tess?” He watched as the older Tess bowed her head, her shoulders slumping in defeat as both
Tesses dissipated from their sight.
“You killed her,” Kyle cried at Liz just as Michael, Isabel, Maria and Alex entered the warehouse. “You killed her. You killed Tess. What the hell is the matter with you, Liz?” He stepped forward, his anger and confusion about what he had just witnessed propelling him. His foot fell in
the exact spot where the younger version of Tess had stood and after realizing this, he quickly retracted his step.
“Oh my God,” Maria sighed, surprised when Michael pulled her into his arms. Isabel threw herself at Alex, almost knocking him off balance. He recovered quickly and pulled Isabel into his arms, burying his face against her neck trying to sort out the myriad of emotions inside his head for the woman who had caused his death in the future.
“She would have killed us, Kyle. She already killed Alex and had no qualms about hurting each and every one of us to get what she wanted. We are at war and war is never easy.” Liz pulled Colby into her arms, repeatedly kissing his forehead as she made certain he had not been hurt. He clung to her neck tightly, his eyes never leaving Max. “I had to think about all of you...and my
“Your son? What,” Kyle cried in frustration, turning toward Michael, Maria, Isabel and Alex. “What in the name of Buddha is going on here? Would someone please explain it? What son? Liz?” Kyle turned back to where Liz and Max stood and gasp as he realized Liz was no longer in the room. “Where is she? Where’d she go?”
“She disappeared,” Max offered quietly, bowing his head. “She changed the future and she disappeared.”
* * *
“Max,” Liz called, turning to face Max as he ran towards her. Upon reaching her, he pulled her into his arms, crushing her slender frame against his chest. “I thought you’d -”
“I thought something happened to you, Liz.” He pressed his lips firmly to her forehead and tightened his hold on her. “I was so...scared.”
“What do we do now, Max?” Liz clung desperately to him, the horrible feeling of deja vu flickering through her brain. She pressed her head against his chest, his heart beat echoing in her ears, and she willed its sound into her memory, fearing she would never hold him like this again.
“I don’t know,” he quietly said, releasing her so that he could place his hands on her tear-stained face and look into her eyes. “I’m so sorry.”
“I’ve hurt you so badly, Liz. I...I never wanted to do that, never. All I ever wanted to do was love you but because of who I am...”
“Max,” Liz interrupted, placing her fingers lightly over his lips. “Don’t say that. You can’t help who you are...what you are. You have a destiny and that is so much bigger than the two of us.”
“My destiny is you,” he whispered against her face, his lips burning her cheek. “We create our own destiny, Liz. You know that. Our future is to be determined.”
“I love you, Max.”
“I love you, Liz. Thank you for loving me.”
She raised her hands upward in a desperate attempt to keep his mouth on her skin a little longer, to not break their contact, to feel him envelope her in love for a few seconds longer. She gasp and pulled her lower lip into her mouth as her hands floated through the air in front of her, the air that now filled the space where he had been. Clutching her hands to her chest, she fell to her
knees on the ground beside the jeep, her hot tears falling onto the dirt beneath her.
|posted on 15-May-2002 7:21:41 PM by JO|
|Author's Note: Just a little transition for you - 2 more parts to go, plus an Epilogue, then the sequel!|
Liz awoke with her head buried in Maria’s lap, her legs tucked against her chest in the back seat of the Jetta. She blinked sharply, willing her eyes to dilate, as she slowly sat up. Alex sat in the passenger seat and Michael drove the Jetta, his hands tightly gripping the steering wheel. Turning to her right, she saw that Maria was asleep, her head thrown backwards onto the top of the back seat.
She ran her fingers through her hair, feeling dust and dirt dance underneath them as she scraped her scalp. Just ahead on the right, she saw the ‘Welcome to Roswell’ sign illuminating the night sky. She sighed loudly, startling Alex and Michael in the front seat. Alex turned and reached for her, smiling warmly. Liz gratefully accepted his comfort, her own slight smile appearing on her face. She glanced at Michael, who hesitantly met her reflection in the rear view mirror. She released Alex’s hand and fell back against Maria, her head resting on Maria’s shoulder. Maria wrapped her arm around Liz’s face, gently patting her cheek, as tears began to stream down Liz’s face.
Michael parked the Jetta in the alleyway behind the Crash Down and rushed to help Liz exit the vehicle. She smiled at him and was pleasantly surprised when Michael pulled her tightly against his chest, resting his chin on her head. “Thank you doesn’t cover it, Liz.”
“I’m glad you were there, Michael, for Max -”
“I’m not just here for Max,” Michael answered pointedly, releasing Liz from his embrace. “What you did...was...”
“You’re welcome,” Liz said softly, a slight blush creeping onto her cheeks. “I’ll see you later.”
Michael waved to her as she entered her apartment through the back entrance. Luckily, her parents had decided to take a trip to a restaurant convention in Santa Fe and had left the management of the Crash Down to her. But she couldn’t focus on opening the cafe in a few short hours for breakfast. All she could concentrate on was that the Max that had loved her had
disappeared, leaving her to deal with a Max that despised her, and had broken her heart all over again.
* * *
Max collapsed onto his bed fully clothed, his alarm clock flashing 2:09 a. m. He had somehow driven the entire way back to Roswell from Copper Summit on sheer adrenaline. His entire body ached but more that his bodily aches, his heart ached to see Liz. He had to see Liz, he needed to see her.
After the future Liz and Colby had disappeared, Max had found Liz in a crumpled heap beside the jeep. He had tried to talk to her, to tell her how sorry he was, but he had not been able to get through to her. She was in a semi-catatonic state and had not moved, even when Michael had placed her in the back seat of the Jetta. Max had reluctantly left her to Maria’s care and the seven teens sped away from Copper Summit and toward home.
He closed his eyes momentarily, a mental image of Tess disappearing flashing through his brain. His eyes flew open and he sat up on the bed. He had had no way of knowing how he would have felt after the fact as they had plotted Tess’ demise. The mental picture of Tess slowly fading from their view, her blue eyes widened in horror, would surely haunt him until the day he died. On the other side of the coin, however, he knew that had Tess remained in Roswell, the deaths of everyone he loved would have been imminent. Wiping his face, he stood and walked to his closed, no longer able to deny just how badly he needed to see Liz. Rapidly changing his dust-ridden clothes, he quietly crept out of his bedroom window and began the walk to Liz’s house.
|posted on 20-May-2002 7:16:12 PM by JO|
|Author's Note: Just a reminder - 2 more parts left -- BUT there's a sequel!! |
Liz tightened the terry cloth robe around her waist and slumped against her bed, fingering the pair of Gomez tickets Max had dropped on her balcony after his hasty retreat. Carefully placing the tickets back onto her night stand, she exhaled loudly as she ran her fingers through her damp hair. It had been less than a week since she had been visited by the first Future Max, and a little over six hours since Tess had been wiped from their lives forever. Thank you for loving me. Max’s final words again brought tears to her eyes and she flung herself backwards on the bed, silently
wondering if she would ever be happy again and if she and Max could ever repair what had been damaged between them.
The tears had just begun to run into her ears when she heard a slight rapping against her window pane. She wiped her face as she sat up and padded the short distance from her bed to her window. She unintentionally gasp as she realized that Max was in fact staring back at her and that he was not a figment of her imagination. “Max,” she sighed as she opened her window.
“Liz. Can I...come it?”
Liz nodded slightly and stepped away from her window, allowing Max full access into her room. He took a small step toward her but retracted it when he realized that he had not been in Liz’s room since before he saw her in bed with Kyle. He knew now that it had all been a lie but that did nothing to diminish the hint of betrayal that rose from a small corner of his mind. Promptly dispelling those untrue thoughts, he followed Liz and sat down beside her on her bed.
“I...I,” Liz began, her lower lip trembling as she tried to speak. She lowered her head and covered her face with her hands.
“Please don’t cry, Liz, please. I...I’m not here to make you cry.”
“I know that, Max,” she said, her voice muffled by her hands. She sniffed hard and wiped her face, trying very hard to gain her composure. “I...this changes everything.”
“I think that was the point, wasn’t it?”
“No,” Liz said, standing up and moving away from him.
“The point was not to kill anyone. Tess is dead, Max, or as good as dead.”
“You just did what had to be done, Liz,” Max responded, standing up beside her. “I’m glad you were...she was there. I’m glad I know exactly what Tess was like.”
“But it wasn’t supposed to turn out this way,” Liz cried, burying her face into her hands once again. “There wasn’t supposed to be any war. The world wasn’t supposed to end again. I changed all that the first time.”
“And you changed it for the better. If you hadn’t sacrificed so much the first time, I would have never met Colby. He wouldn’t have even been a possibility. I...I’ve been wrong about a lot, Liz, especially where our relationship is concerned. I am so sorry for the way I’ve treated you.”
“Let me finish, Liz. You deserve an apology, a complete apology.” He stepped toward her and gently took her hands into his. “I’ve hurt you so much and I’ve hurt our relationship. I...I never wanted to do that. All I’ve ever wanted to do was love you but because of who I am...”
“I don’t care about that,” Liz interrupted. “It’s never been about who you were, Max. I love you, regardless of whatever past life experiences you’ve had. I love you because you’re Max Evans and because you love me. I saw into your soul a long time ago,” Liz paused, pulling her bottom lip into her mouth. “I...I’m so scared something’s going to happen to you.”
“I’m just as scared something will happen to you,” Max said, pulling her into his arms. “When Michael told me you, Maria and Alex were missing, I...I couldn’t focus. I would die if anything ever happened to you, Liz. You have to believe that. You have to understand that I want to spend the rest of my life making good on all the mistakes I’ve made recently.” He grabbed Liz by her shoulders and pushed her out of his arms so he could see her face. “I was so wrong not to trust you and I was wrong not to let you explain what happened that night with Kyle. You’ve never done anything to deserve that kind of treatment. You were just asking that I listen to what my heart was telling me, the same thing I asked you to do when you saw me kiss Tess. I...I was
an ass, Liz, a selfish bastard. I...I couldn’t see past my own hurt to see that you were hurting too. Please say you can forgive me. I...I don’t want to live without you in my life any more.”
“I’ll forgive you if you forgive me.”
Max wrinkled his brow in response to Liz’s statement.
“What do you need forgiveness for? You haven’t done anything wrong. You’re the victim in all this.”
“Please, Liz, just say you can forgive me. If you can’t, then I...I’ll walk right out that window into this brave new world alone and I’ll never bother you again.” Max ran his fingers delicately through Liz’s hair, pushing back the stray strands from her face and tucking them behind her ears as he had seen her do so many times. “I love you, Liz, with all my heart and I...I just want to be
good enough for you.”
“You are, Max.”
“Then forgive me,” he pleaded. “Forgive me and tell me everything’s going to be alright between us. Let me make it right, Liz. Let me make it up to you. Let me love you -”
“Shut up, Max,” Liz said as she brushed her mouth over his, silencing him. She stood on her tip-toes and wrapped her arms around his neck, crushing their bodies together. Her robe fell partially open as their kiss continued but neither seemed to notice. Max regained his senses first and gently disentangled himself from Liz.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m stepping into the brave new world with you, Max. I love you. I want to be with you, no matter what happens. We create our own destiny, remember?”
“I remember,” Max said, hugging her against him once again. “So, tell me, Liz Parker. What’s your destiny?”
Liz smiled and weaved her fingers through his hair as he placed several kisses down her neck and exposed collarbone. “I only know the part I’m hoping for,” she replied softly as she captured his mouth with hers and they collapsed onto her bed.
|posted on 24-May-2002 6:05:23 PM by JO|
“Are you sure about this, Liz,” Max whispered against her neck, his arms wrapped tightly around her waist. Their legs were intertwined as they hungrily ate at each other and Max felt a friction building as Liz’s naked legs rubbed against and in between his. He buried his face in her hair, surprised by how quickly his desire had changed from simply needing to see Liz to needing her. “There’s not reason to rush.”
“Are we rushing,” Liz softly replied, her hands inching upward underneath the back of his shirt. Her robe had fallen more open in the moments since their tumble onto her bed, beginning to reveal the swell of her breasts for Max’s perusal. “I thought this was long overdue, that you were going to make it up to me.” A playful grin lined her mouth seconds before she shyly lowered her head.
“Oh, I see,” Max replied, pulling himself away from her. “Paying my penance with kisses.” As distance was added between their bodies, his eyes were instantly drawn to Liz’s exposed neck. He swallowed hard, his mind reeling with the possibilities of what he could do to her neck and the throaty sounds she would make in response. He cleared his throat quickly and sought out her eyes, hoping they would take his mind off of the fact that the only thing protecting Liz’s naked flesh from his greedy hands was a worn terry cloth robe. “What were we talking about?”
“Rushing into things.”
“Oh right,” Max said, rolling onto his back and lacing his fingers behind his head. “Where are your parents?”
“They’re in Santa Fe for the next three days. Restauranteur’s convention,” Liz said as she stood
up from the bed and cinched her robe tightly around her waist. Max exhaled as he sat up, the inner workings of his mind filled with thoughts of making love to Liz, finally uniting them in ways he had only dreamed about. “Does that matter,” she asked, stepping toward him and almost in between his spread legs.
“I’m just thinking about interruptions. Where’s Maria?”
Liz laughed and rolled her eyes, playfully swatting his shoulder as she sat down on his right thigh. “Hopefully Maria is asleep. We do have school tomorrow.”
“And will the lovely Liz Parker be attending West Roswell High tomorrow,” he asked as he settled his arms around her waist just before nibbling on her earlobe.
“I think that’s still up in the air right now.” She promptly ensnared his mouth, her tongue dipping between their joined mouths in a teasing manner. She wrapped her arms around Max’s broad shoulders and felt his arms tighten around her waist. Liz swivelled on his thigh so that she was partially facing him, their upper bodies almost flush with one another. Placing her leg across
Max’s left thigh, she gently lowered their bodies onto her bed again, she on top of him.
“Aren’t you scared,” Max sighed against her neck once their bodies were fully elongated and completely aligned. One hand held Liz around her waist, his other hand tightly fisted in her hair. Liz’s face was resting underneath his chin, her breath tickling his neck.
“Scared of what?”
“This is a big step, Liz, a huge step. I...we don’t even know if this will be possible -”
Liz pushed away from him, sitting up on his stomach.
“It’s obviously possible, Max, because Colby existed. We created a life together. You and I.” Liz’s eyes narrowed and she slouched forwards, slowly sliding off Max and back onto her bed. “You don’t want to do this, do you?
You...you’re having doubts.”
“No, Liz, I -”
“Yes, Max, you are. You’re scared about this because you’re having doubts about us.”
“Liz,” Max began as he reached for her. “I’m sorry. I’m not doubting how I feel about you. I love you. I know I love you. I’m just scared about the actual...act. I...I’ve never...and I just don’t want to leave you...wanting...”
“Oh God,” Liz whispered, covering her face with her hands. “Max, I...this is embarrassing.” She glanced at him through her fingers and was relieved to see a smile on his face. “I...I...oh God.”
“Nothing has to be done...today, you know.”
“I know,”Liz responded, shaking her head. She turned toward Max and took his hand into hers. “But if we agreed -”
“You want to,” Max asked, squeezing Liz’s hand tightly while cupping her cheek with his free hand. “I mean, because I want to but...we...don’t -”
“I’m just gonna put myself into your hands.” She closed the distance between their faces slowly, licking her lips at the last possible moment before Max’s mouth crashed onto hers. Their tongues cautiously dueled as they pulled up onto their knees in the middle of Liz’s bed.
Max rested his forehead against Liz’s and placed his hands on her shoulders, his thumbs brushing the skin around her collarbones. Liz smiled slightly, her skin becoming warm beneath Max’s touch and she placed her hands underneath Max’s shirt, resting them on his waist. Max slowly pushed the robe off her shoulders, his eyes never leaving Liz’s face. The robe refused to fall
completely open and Max lowered his hands to her waist, gently untiing the knot that had remained steadfast in maintaining Liz’s decency. He felt the robe sag somewhat and noticed that Liz’s shoulders were now fully exposed. He dropped his mouth onto her neck, caressing her skin with his lips as his hands made their way through the tunnels created by Liz’s robe until they met at the small of her back.
Liz gasp as Max’s hands lightly danced around her waist, his palms settling finally in the small of her back. Her hand unconsciously grabbed onto the waistband of Max’s khakis and she felt his body jolt in response to her hand placement. She met his eyes when he raised his head from her neck, biting her bottom lip when she saw the unmasked desire engulfing his amber eyes. Grabbing
the corners of his shirt, she methodically pulled it off his body, revealing his sculpted chest to her own hungry eyes. She had seen his chest only a week earlier. It had distracted her so much from her planned speech, she had asked him to put on a shirt but that had not meant she hadn’t burned its appearance into her memory. She had memorized every tones muscle, every sinuous curve, everything about his body that night so she could picture it again at will. She tossed the shirt to
the floor behind him, her hands reverently tracing his skin from his shoulders to his stomach.
He gently took her arm into his hand, pushing the sleeves of her robe down one arm and then the other. Liz’s robe fell softly onto her calves, the fact that she was now naked seemingly lost of the two almost-lovers. Max framed her face with his hands, pulling her toward him as his lips sought out her mouth. Liz moved toward him, wrapping her arms around him and snaking them up his back. Their bodies pressed together, the first such contact with no barrier separating them. Passion ignited between them like wildfire, their desire for each other sparking a mutual eruption of delirium. Max reluctantly broke their embrace in order to removed the final pieces of clothing preventing them from completing this rite of passage. Once his lower body was devoid of clothing, he joined Liz on her bed.
Inhaling sharply, Max rested his entire weight on Liz, her thighs surrounding his hips and they connected instantly, joining like two puzzle pieces interlocking to create a perfect picture. Liz gasp as the heat from Max’s body penetrated her insides and Max quickly stopped his forward progressions for fear he had hurt her. She smiled sweetly as she kissed him. “I’m okay. I love you, Max.”
“I love you, Liz,” he echoed, hesitantly continuing the friction between their bodies, wanting to use caution so that this perfect moment would last forever but knowing it could not. He kissed her again, wrapping his arms around her back and pulling her body as close to him as possible. He felt her wrap her legs around his hips while the friction continued to grow and multiply. He knew this first encounter would be over quickly and he shuddered involuntarily as he felt Liz’s breast graze his arm. A coolness washed over him and he heard Liz sigh, her body shuddering in response. In the back of his brain, before he really had time to process what was happening, he felt a tidal wave of sensations crash against him and his precious control spilled violently from his grasp.
He collapsed onto Liz, lying there for several seconds before he realized he was probably crushing her. He rolled partially away from her when Liz’s firm hand on his backside stopped him. Max adjusted himself, cuddling closer to her and smiled against her cheek, feeling her smile in response. At that moment, with Liz tucked closely against him, her breath lightly caressing his
neck, he felt at peace, like he had finally come home. Knowing Liz would be by his side for the remainder of their lives, the brave new world they had created didn’t seem so dreadful any longer because he knew whatever they did, wherever they went from this point forward - they would be together, creating their own destiny.
Author's Note: Epilogue to be posted Tuesday, then the sequel will begin the following week.
|posted on 28-May-2002 7:05:26 PM by JO|
|Author's Note: Sadly, this is the end of this fic. I've enjoyed writing it - so much so that a sequel is in the works - and I hope that you all have enjoyed it too. Thanks to all of you that left feedback and that lurked!|
Max pursed his lips, preparing to peck Liz lightly on her forehead, when his attempt was met by nothingness. He closed his lips and slowly opened his eyes, his body on full alert. His eyes dilated quickly to the dusky sunlight and Max realized he was no longer in Copper Summit. He spun around, the dust beneath his feet agitated by his boots, creating tiny cyclones around his
lower body before they vanished, blending back into the earth. Glancing toward the horizon in the western sky, he winced as he surveyed the war-torn desert surrounding him. No sign of life existed and for a moment, Max wondered if he had imagined the entire thing. If he were in fact just lost in the desert outside Roswell and that his entire interaction with Liz had been a trick of the light, the enigma of a dying man, desperate to right his mistakes. His knees buckled and he gave way to the gravity pulling him onto the ground. He raised his head to the heavens, Venus already visible in the shadowy almost-night sky.
He pulled his haggard body to his knees, scanning the interior for signs of life, for signs to prove he wasn’t alone or crazy. Several seconds passed and silence was all that remained, aside from the thundering of his heart in his ears. He allowed his head to fall forward and thought of everything he had lost. His parents. Michael. Isabel. Maria. Liz. Colby. Colby. The mental image hung in his mind of a toddler with Liz’s hair and his eyes. He could feel the tiny arms around his neck and an overwhelming sense of love burned in his heart for a child he had never known existed. But did he ever really exist, his mind wondered, and he buried his face in his dirty hands as excruciating pain of loss swept through his psyche.
“I’m not crazy,” Max muttered aloud, trying to quell the voice inside his head that told him it was all a fragment of his deranged and cloudy mind. “I’m not -”
“Liz,” he questioned, knowing the voice of his soul mate anywhere. It had haunted his dreams and driven him to madness during his waking hours. “Liz,” he screamed, tears streaming down his face and his voice quaking with emotion.
He turned slowly toward the horizon, shielding his eyes from the reflection off of the desert floor as he unsteadily stood to his feet. There, in the distance, running toward him was Liz, carrying Colby on her back. He could see his son’s head bobbing up and down in rhythm to Liz’s gait, his tiny hands reaching outward as he struggled to hold on to his mother’s neck.
Max felt his heart swell and stumbled toward them, intent on meeting them halfway. Losing control of his footing, he fell to the ground, rolling several yards from his starting point, but quickly regained his composure and ran at them full steam. He crashed into them headlong and with such force that all three of them almost tumbled to the ground. His mouth instantly sought out Liz’s and he wrapped his arms around her quaking body, pulling her tightly against his. Their
tongues dueled hungrily and Max rapidly moved his hands all over her body, unsure where exactly to caress first but knowing he just had to keep touching her. If he stopped touching her, he was certain she’d disappear.
“Liz,” he whispered as they broke apart and he rested his head against her forehead as he had done some many times before. He felt tiny hands nipping at his arm and leg and lowering his head from Liz’s face, he saw Colby had attached himself to his leg, hugging it
ferociously. “Colby,” he said with a laugh, loosening his son’s tiny arms and pulling him against his chest. “I thought I’d never see you again, either of you.”
“I...Liz, I really thought I’d imagined it all. I mean, I destroyed all the skins, an entire race, because I thought you were in danger. I...it’s -”
“You’ve always been very powerful, Max.”
“But I,” he began, pausing to cuddle Colby against him.
“Where are we?”
“Where do you think,” Liz asked, fanning her arms out across the desert. “Doesn’t this look familiar?”
“This is our place,” he responded quietly, his eyes scanning their surroundings, knowing he was in
the desert off Highway 285 that had always been so mystical and magical for them. “It’s only fitting, I guess.”
“Right,” Liz said, smiling widely as she nuzzled against Colby’s neck with her nose, causing the child to erupt into a fit of laughter.
“I almost lost you,” Max said, a sobering fact to his heart. “Both of you.” He pulled Liz close to him again, breathing in her scent as he rested his chin on top of her head. “I won’t lose you again.”
“You can’t lose us, Max. We’re here and we’re never going to be apart ever again. There’s nothing preventing us from finally living our happily ever after.”
“So Tess is -”
“Gone,” Liz quietly replied, wrapping her arm around Max’s waist. “I didn’t want that, Max. You have to understand it was the last possible option. I..I -”
“I trust you, Liz. I believe in you, and if you thought there was no other alternative...I believe in you.”
“Thank you,” she said softly, bringing her hand up to lovingly stroke his scarred cheek. “You should heal that, Max. There’s no reason to keep that reminder now.”
“I want to leave it.”
“Because I want to be reminded of how much I almost lost because I believed lies.” He pulled Liz’s palm to his mouth, tenderly kissing its heel. “I know the truth, Liz. About all of it.”
“I know,” she replied, running her hand through his hair, allowing her hand to drop to his arm. She smiled slightly and glanced around the desert at their surroundings. “So this is what the brave new world looks like?”
“Does it matter,” Max questioned, lowering his head until his eyes were flush with hers. The deep chocolate pools danced in the near-moonlight and he saw a blush creep into her jawline underneath his intense scrutiny. “We’re together. That’s all that matters.”
“Absolutely,” she replied, a wide smile cresting across her face as she gently pressed her mouth against Max’s. “Our future is what we make of it. To be determined.”
“I think I know our future, Liz Parker,” Max offered, kissing Colby loudly on the cheek, prompting the child to giggle and throw his tiny arms around his father’s neck. Max shifted Colby to his left side, wrapping his arm around Liz’s waist and pulled her tightly against his right side. “We live happily ever after.” They slowly began walking in the direction Liz and Colby had appeared, Max and Liz perfectly in step with each other. Liz smiled brightly at Max and rested her head against his shoulder and the small family faded into the desert, scattering their image as if they had been a mirage - a trick of the light.
Special thanks to:
Gomez for 'We Haven't Turned Around'
Dave Matthew Band for 'Crash
The sequel Brave New World will be posted next week. Thanks again! JO
|posted on 29-May-2002 7:07:55 PM by JO|
|MaryN: I'm going to stick with the new timeline (sans Tess). I just can't let go of Colby though, so he may reappear....|
Pathos: Did you know I wrote a story called 'Pathos'? It was quite angst-ridden! Glad you found the story and liked it.
imthecopilot: I'm a severe lurker myself so I know how 'scary' it can be to actually leave feedback. Thanks for leaving some!
begonia: I'll try to get it to the Repost section but I'm not making any promises. I do have a website though and Trick should be fully updated on Saturday night. [http://www.geocities.com/jolovesroswell]
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 29-May-2002 7:11:59 PM ]
|posted on 29-May-2002 8:39:13 PM by JO|
|Well, I don't know if it's a plea per se, but I do have a severe favor to ask.|
I'm interested in having a banner or picture for this fic. I'm thinking of binding it. Unfortunately, I'm so not the artsy-craftsy type. I've tried to manipulate pics but I'm just not that good at it.
Is there anyone that would be will to give it a try or to suggest someone for me to "hit up"??
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!