posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:10:39 AM
Author: Meagzie
E-mail: meagzie⊕hotmail.com
Rating: R
Category: mainly M/L
Disclaimer: I own nothing and am nothing but a lowly servant of my computer and endless hours of fanfic. (Ok, maybe not.) Ooo, but I do own Adam. Mine. Mine mine mine.
Title: A Present Unseen
Summary: It's about two years after A Past Forgotten. Graduation is just around the corner, but so is trouble.
Author's Note: This is the second part of a trilogy. The first part is called "A Past Forgotten". You can find it here:
viewthread?forum=repost-fan-fiction&id=16393&sr1=a+past+forgotten#post16393

Ok, I know I say this a lot and I talk too much as it is, but FEEDBACK. I need it... it keeps my blood pumping and my fingers typing. Please? Love you guys!

*****

Maria flopped into a booth at the Crashdown. She was insanely tired, and her feet were probably covered in blisters, blood and bruises… okay, probably not, but it sure felt like it! Maria sighed and leaned back against the booth. Tired did not even begin to explain how she felt these days. It’d been two years since Tess went *poof* and left the Pod Squad with way too many questions. As it seemed, space beast (a.k.a. Khivar) never showed up and probably wouldn’t. Then again, they didn’t know how long it took to hurl through galaxies. That being the problem, each member of this conspiracy was rarely left alone other than at nighttime and during class. To say the least, it had been a strenuous two years.

“Got room for one more?” Adam asked, smiling down at her. Maria just nodded, and pointed to the seat across from her. He too flopped down into the booth, throwing off his apron. After it had somewhat quieted down, Adam permanently moved in with Michael, although he didn’t really have much to move in with. Adam got a job at the Crashdown working in the back like Michael so he could help pay the rent. Adam fit the group perfectly though… it seemed like he had grown up with them all their lives. He was in school with the Pod Squad as well, going through the torture with them.

“Tell me that door is locked,” Adam muttered. Maria saw that Adam was beginning to wind down, and his usual cheeriness was fading. Maria just smiled and nodded at Adam.

“So, girlfriend, what’s on the schedule tonight?” Maria asked Adam. Over the past two years, she and Adam had gotten pretty close. Usually on nights like this when they were closing together alone, they would just end up going back to Adam’s place and watching a movie.

“I don’t know… is there a movie we haven’t seen?” Adam sighed, resting his chin on his hand. “Where’s the rest of the gang tonight?”

“Uh, well, Max and Liz are… y’know what? I don’t want to know what they’re doing. As for Isabel, Michael and Alex, they went to see a movie at the theatre.” Maria, too, sighed. So much for making something of her night.

“I say we rent a horror. The last billion times we’ve rented movies it’s always been either a sob story or a romantic comedy. I need some bloodshed tonight,” Adam stated. “The restaurant is clean enough, let’s bail.” Adam stood up and walked to the backroom. Since Maria didn’t really have any other choice, she too walked up and went to the backroom. If you can’t beat them, might as well join ‘em, right?

****

“Oh, Max,” Liz sighed. She ran her fingers through his raven hair while his lips left trails of kisses on her neck. She could feel the heat that boiled from each spot of her body his lips had graced. Max’s right hand wandered down the side of her body, resting at her thigh. His hand caressed her body gently, lovingly.

“Have I told you-” Max kissed her neck- “-lately that I am completely-” Max kissed her jaw-” and utterly” Max kissed her cheek-“-in love with you?” Max kissed Liz adoringly on the lips. Liz giggled, and wrapped both of her arms around Max’s neck.

“Well, Mr. Evans, I think you have, but it never hurts to hear it again,” Liz replied, smiling sweetly at him. Max’s chocolate eyes danced when he peeked up at Liz’s own eyes.

“Liz Parker, I love you,” Max replied. He couldn’t wipe the grin off his face for all the money in the world. He leaned in against her again, kissing Liz’s bare chest where he had unbuttoned her shirt. Liz closed her eyes and leaned her head back. Her hands began roaming all over the place-

“OW!” Liz yelped. Max’s head jerked up at Liz. He saw her pull her hand to her face for inspection.

“What happened, baby?” Max asked worriedly. He pulled Liz’s hand gently into his own, and saw a bloody gash marked on the inside of her hand.

“Ouch, I must have caught it on something,” Liz muttered. She watched in horror (yet odd fascination) as blood dripped from the cut. Max waved his hand over the cut and it disappeared. Liz smiled at Max.

“My knight in shining armor,” Liz sighed. She placed a hand on Max’s face and leaned in to give him a soft kiss.

“More like, alien in a crappy jeep,” Max grinned sheepishly. He sat up in his rusty jeep, and attempted at straightening up his appearance. He glanced over at Liz, who was now buttoning up her shirt. She appeared no better than he did. He grinned again sheepishly.

“So, Max,” Liz started as she turned towards Max.

“So, Liz,” Max said back to her.

“You know, I do believe we came out to Buckley Point for a reason other than to make out. I just don’t remember what that other reason is.” Liz smiled at Max, and leaned against his arm.

“Well, it must have not been important,” Max grinned. He leaned in and began to give Liz the most phenomenal kiss of her life.


“So,” Maria started. She took a quick peek at Adam.

“Yeah?” Adam answered as he lazily stretched out his legs on the couch and started flipping channels.

“Graduation. It’s coming up.” Another quick glance at Adam.

“Uh huh,” Adam replied, half-mindedly.

“Sometimes boyfriends do special things for their girlfriends during grad time, y’know? To celebrate?” Maria was now staring at Adam’s face, waiting for some sort of reaction.

“Maria,” Adam sighed. “I don’t know if Michael is planning anything and if I did, I don’t think I’d be allowed to tell you anyways.” Adam kept flipping channels.

“Adam! I would never ask you to tell me about something like that.” Pause. “You live with the guy for Pete’s sake! You have to know SOMETHING!!” Maria bursted.

“Knowing Mikey, he’ll probably show up at your place with a stained wife beater on and a bucket of chicken in his hand for dinner.”

“Nuh uh, he promised me something special,” Maria gloated. She smiled at the memory that surfaced in her mind. She and Michael had been making out on the very same couch Adam was seated on. Maria had ran her hand through his hair and asked about grad. (Yes, she admitted it wasn’t the greatest timing, but it was the only way she could have a conversation with him without arguing.) He had promised to make Maria’s grad night one to remember. (Then again, that was when he was pulling off Maria’s shirt and seemed kind of preoccupied.)

“You do remember, Maria, that when he said that he had his head encased in your breasts, right?” Adam stated simply.

“They’re very nice breasts as well, thank you very much! Anyways, he knows I’ll kick his ass if he forgets. Besides, Liz and I are going dress shopping next weekend.” Maria saw Adam’s head jerk up. Hah! Gotcha!

“You and Liz, huh? Perhaps I should join you guys. Y’know, for a guys opinion on dresses. And also for protection, just in case something happens.” Adam nodded his head affirmably.

“Right, because those big, foofy grad dress might eat us up. Oh dear lord, what are we girls to do?” Maria teased. “Besides, on the serious note, nothing Czechoslovakian has happened for 2 years.” And for that, Maria was thankful. “C’mon Adam, you don’t need to hide anything from dear ol’ me. I know you have strong, undeniable feelings for our alien Princess Liz.” Adam reddened at Maria’s accusation. “See?”

“Maria, you are so far from the truth, it is not even funny.” Adam let out a long loud sigh. “Anyhow, if I did like Liz, which I DON’T, Max would fry my ass if there was even a hint of it.” Adam rubbed his eyes, a sign of his current fatigue.

“Well, if you did like Liz, which as you said, you don’t, then it should be easy to move on, right? Before his Royal Alieness beheads you.” Maria gave Adam a sympathetic smile. Adam really is a great guy, but he didn’t stand a chance against Max. Liz and Max are soul mates and completely devoted to each other. The thought of what Max would do to Adam if he found out about this… it made Maria cringe.

“Well, since I don’t like her, getting over her isn’t a big problem. Despite that if I did, I would have had an uncontrollable desire for her for years. Even before I met her.”

“Don’t worry, space cowboy. Leave it to me. I will find you a grad date!” Maria rubbed her hands evilly.

“Maria, I don’t need a grad date. I need to get my heart out of this grave it’s dug. Erm… I mean, the grave that could be if I loved her.” Maria’s eyes shot up.

“Love?” Maria repeated. She shook her head. This was bad. “But you DON’T love her. You don’t even like her that way, REMEMBER??”

“Right.” Adam let out another long sigh.

“Adam, my dear, I know millions of cute girls who are ALWAYS asking me about how to get into your pants! You are quite the stud muffin at our beloved school. Please trust me and let me get you a date.”

“I’m not looking for anyone, Maria.”

“Hey, I’m just getting you a grad date, not a soul mate, all right?”

“Fine, but no one spinny. Or completely serious. Or boring. Gosh, I can’t stand being around boring girls. Oh! And self-centered girls really irk me. They go on and on-”

“Adam!” Maria shouted. “Girlfriend, calm down! I know all of this. We’re trusting me, remember?” Adam nodded his head at Maria. She smiled. “Thanks space cowboy, I always love these talks about not liking people.” Adam cracked a smile. Maria moved over to Adam and gave him a hug.

“Honey, I’m home!” Michael’s sarcastic voice rang out. “Hrm, am I interrupting something?” Michael saw Maria’s body hanging lewdly on Adam.

“Yeah, Michael, geez. Maria and I were about to have hot, sweaty alien sex. Care to join us?” Michael’s eyes narrowed and he glared at Adam.

“Whoa, calm down, my little space boy! We were about to turn on a movie. You going to watch with?” Maria asked. She stood up and joined him near the entrance. Michael opened his arms and brought her close to him. Maria couldn’t even begin to describe how content she was.

*****

“Got room for four more?” Alex’s voice called out as he, Isabel, Max and Liz walked into Michael and Adam’s apartment. Michael just grunted at their entrance.

“I thought it was date night tonight?” Maria asked the two couples who walked in.
Max and Liz were standing by the kitchen entrance, his arms protectively wrapped around her waist. Isabel and Alex were already sprawled on the floor.

“Yeah, it was, but we saw these two on their way to the Crashdown,” Alex replied. “So Izzie called them and we decided to meet here.”

“Because it’s not like we would be sleeping or anything,” Adam said jokingly.

“Well, are you?”

“No.”

“See?” Alex smiled in satisfaction and pulled Isabel closer to him. “So what are we watching?”

“Horror,” Michael mumbled. His eyes widened in excitement as yet another innocent, large breasted young girl was slashed savagely to death. Maria shrieked, and buried her head into Michael’s shoulder.

“Right,” Max said, uninterested in the movie. He turned his attention towards Liz. The way her silky hair just cascaded itself across her shoulders warmed his soul; he could spend his day just touching and petting her hair. It’s smooth texture made him want to bury his face into it and relish in its pure softness…

“Max?” He looked up from Liz’s hair into her eyes. The angel had just called his name. Heaven help him if he could never hear that beautiful voice again.

“Uh huh?” Max moved forwards and placed his lips on her neck. Liz let out a soft giggle as his lips made constant contact to her skin.

“Hey! We’re trying to watch a horror over here, not some porn in the making,” Michael bellowed. Max glared at him.

“Right, sorry bro,” Liz answered sweetly. “I need something to drink, anyone else?”

“Coke for me,” Alex called out. Liz nodded her head and she walked over to the fridge. She could feel the intense gaze of Max’s eyes on her back as she opened the fridge door. She smiled to herself and leaned down to grab two cans of coke, teasingly wiggling her butt for Max. But before she could even reach the cans, she crumpled to the floor. Liz let out a tortured moan, writhing on Michael and Adam’s kitchen floor. The suddenness of Liz’s fall shocked Max.

“Liz!” Max shouted. He moved quickly to Liz’s side, and knelt beside her. He watched as pain etched its way on to her face. She kept making agonized noises as she lay helplessly on the floor.

Max put a hand on her stomach and made a connection with her. Images came rushing at him like a hurricane as the connection grew. He focused his attention on what Liz was feeling at that precise moment. He experienced the fear-provoking vision that was captivating Liz’s body. It was over more quickly than it began.

“Max? Liz? C’mon, guys, answer me,” Michael’s alarmed voice rang into Max’s head. Max put his hand to his head and closed his eyes in an attempt to gain some control again. He immediately opened his eyes and looked over at the currently passed out Liz. He then looked up at his wide-eyed friends.

“Max?” Isabel whispered. “What did you see?” She looked back into Max’s eyes and saw the fear and panic that erupted from them.

“He’s almost here. He’s almost here,” Max’s terrified voice repeated.

*****

That weekend:

“Oh, Liz, baby, you look oh-so-gorgeous in that dress! Red is an absolute for you!” Maria cried as a dazzling Liz displayed her latest try-on. Liz simply shrugged her shoulders at Maria, causing a frown to appear on Maria’s face. Maria put her hands on her hips and gave Liz a weary look.

“Ok, Liz, spill. What’s on your mind? You’ve been like this all day, what’s on your mind? Is it still what happened last Friday?” Maria gave Liz a searching gaze, finding Liz’s exhausted eyes staring back.

“It scares me, you know? Like this protective, dream bubble we’ve lived in for the past two years has popped. Or that I’m on the brink of insanity, having visions of him coming.” Liz shook her head despairingly. Maria recognized the flickers of disheartenment in her friend because she too had been feeling it since the previous week.

“Ok, girly friend, I say you put back on your street clothes and we make a trip to the greasy yet wonderful food court for a nice, vigorous chat. We’re meeting our space lovers there, anyways.” Without giving Liz a chance to disagree, Maria pushed Liz into her dressing room. Maria leaned up against the door of the room.

“I don’t think you’re insane, Liz,” Maria stated. “And despite how some certain Czechs are denying it, we’re all scared too. It’s like you said, reality is hitting us in the face. But this time we’re ready, and we knew it was going to come.” Maria wrinkled her nose. “It was just sort of creepy the way we found out.”

Liz came out of her dressing room, wearing her casual jeans and a light blue wool sweater. “Yeah, well, passing out on Michael and Adam’s kitchen wasn’t exactly a great experience for me either. You should really tell those boys to sweep their floor every once in awhile.” Maria smiled at Liz’s attempt at humor. Hey, she was trying, wasn’t she?

“Yeah, I know. But I can barely get them up and away from the couch to grab their own food, never mind actually MAKING the food. Those boys would be hopeless without me!” Maria swung her hand in a dramatic gesture. Liz just nodded her head in agreement.

“Getting back to the topic at hand, what do we do while we wait for you-know-who? It’s not like we can just sit around and wait for him to attack us.”

“Liz, we’ve been cautious for the past two years. Nothing changes, we just keep pretending we’re normal teenagers. In reality we’re all alien teens with horrid past lives and just as dim futures, who need to be extra careful of what we do. But like I said, we’ve always been that, so no changes.” Maria wrapped a comforting arm around Liz’s shoulder as they walked out of the store and towards the food court. “But you know, that alien lover of yours might want to lower the anal guard just a smidgen. I swear, I thought he was going to squeeze you to death after you woke up. Now, of course, I was just as worried, but dear lord! That boy was going to pop if you hadn’t woken up any sooner.” Then again, Adam had been no better, Maria thought to herself.

“I know,” said Liz, a faint sparkle appearing in her eye. “Max is a major reason why I know I can face all of this. Oh, Maria, he keeps telling me that no matter what he’ll protect me. He’s always there, picking me up in the morning or driving me home after school. He’ll sit at Crashdown during my shift just to make sure everything goes all right.” Liz sighed blissfully.

“Some would call that stalking. On the other hand, Romeo is acting no different than usual.” Liz smacked Maria’s arm. “Ow!”

“He is not a stalker, he just loves me. And Maria, I just can’t describe how he makes me feel. It’s like, when we’re together, all of this Czech business doesn’t even bother us. Cause as long as we’re together, things will be okay. Forever will be imminent.”

“Girlfriend, get your head out of the clouds. We need to get back on topic. So, last Friday, you passed out in front of the fridge. What exactly did you see in your vision anyways? You never really said. All we heard was Max saying space beast was almost here. Then that whole long conversation about what to do, and how to be safe, and blah, blah, blah,” recalled Maria. After Liz and Max’s brief freak out, the whole Pod Squad discussed about safety, and danger of the newest revelation. Maria could barely recollect the memory, because as she figured it, all they talked about was what they had talked about two years ago. This new information changed nothing. At least not yet.

“Maria, promise me you’re not going to pull a Michael and be all reckless. We all have to be safe.”

“Liz, don’t ignore my question.”

“Maria, don’t ignore my promise.”

“Fine.”

“Fine. Glad we have that settled.”

“Uh huh. Anyways, vision?”

“Oh.” Liz closed her eyes, reliving the frightening experience. “It was like my body was seeing things I couldn’t control. Like they were being sent to me. I can’t really describe the images precisely, just the feelings and emotions flowing from the, uh, connection, I guess. It was weird, cause it was like I could feel these opposing emotions and I was suppose to feel a certain way.”

“Ok, girlfriend, completely confused. Explain.”

“All right, it was like I was suppose to be feeling scared and terrified, whereas someone else was feeling victorious and triumphant. The creepy part is that the someone else was feeling that way because of my fear. Does that make sense?”

“Sure, I guess, in a way,” Maria replied, nodding her head. She pointed to a round table situated near the entrance of the food court. Maria placed her handful of colourful and (very full) shopping bags on the table, plopping down in a seat as she so.

Liz followed Maria and sat down across from her. The greasy aroma of the food court tickled Liz’s nose. Even after all the years of living above the Crashdown and working there, the stench of fried, fatty food could still make her stomach do flips like an Olympic gymnast. She wrinkled her nose and turned her attention back to Maria, who was incessantly speaking.

“…so I tell Michael, ‘Don’t you dare think I’m doing your laundry, I am not your little space bitch!’ Then he has the audacity to start sucking on my neck! I mean, geez, I am not a piece of meat here!” Maria exclaimed, her hands flailing in conviction.

“Did you end up doing his laundry, then?”

“That doesn’t matter. It’s not the point!” Liz smirked. Maria was such a sucker for that alien.

“Oh, well then, what IS the point?”

“That Michael is a horrible boyfriend and a messy person in general. He thinks that if he just slips me the tongue or gives me a grope, I’ll do anything he asks.” Liz looked at Maria, amusement radiating off her eyes.

“So, Maria, you didn’t answer me. Did you do his laundry after he kissed you?”

“Right. So, the weather has been really nice lately, hasn’t it?” Liz laughed out loud at Maria’s obvious discomfort. “Oh, look. Romeo and space boy are here,” Maria sighed happily in relief as she watched Max and Michael stride up to their table. Liz turned to see Max’s wide, glowing smile staring at her. She felt her body flush underneath Max’s affectionate gaze, making her heart pulse at an unbelievable rate. She welcomed him with open arms, and was greeted with a short but tender kiss on the top of her head.

“Any luck on the dresses?” Max asked as he sat down beside Liz and then pulled her into his lap. Liz smiled, as his bold move was something that Liz was very much accustomed to over the past couple of years.

“Well, I’m trying to convince Lizzie here that the last dress, this BEAUTIFUL red, sleeveless gown is absolutely stunning on her! Red is so her colour. Don’t you think, Max?” Maria hinted, obviously trying to get him to agree with her. Although the man probably had no clue what she was talking about, if Liz was to listen to anyone it would be Max.

“Liz would look beautiful in anything,” Max commented adoringly, his eyes gazing into Liz’s chocolate ones, melting them into puddle of nothingness. Liz blushed at her obvious loss of composure, but Max just kissed her reddened cheek.

“Yeah, Liz could wear a garbage bag with the odour of trash included and Max would still cream himself,” Michael snickered. Maria hit his arm and effectively gained a loud “Ow!” from the boy.

“I don’t know, guys,” Liz started, “I’m just not excited about all this. Maybe I’m just not in the shopping mood.” Liz sighed and leaned against Max’s hard, buffed chest. He entwined his long, powerful fingers with Liz’s slim ones.

“Liz, hon, you sound tired. Maybe I should just drive you home,” Max offered. Liz just shook her head no.

“I want to get this dress thing over with today. C’mon, Maria, lets keep the shopping going.” Liz went to get up from Max’s lap, but he pulled her back down into the comfort of his body, refusing to let her leave.

“Nuh uh, gorgeous, I came here to spend at least a teeny weenie bit time with my beautiful and stunning girlfriend.” Max kissed her neck in affirmation. “I missed you,” Max whispered softly into Liz’s ear, letting his hand drift to the side of her cheek. He nuzzled his nose against the soft flesh of her neck, taking in her sweet scent.

“Oh god,” Michael moaned. “Please! Not only am I watching my sister make out, I watching her make out with my best friend.” Another smack from Maria.

“Not like you could actually show some affection for ME in public. And speaking of your stupidity, I’m still mad about your laundry! Not only did you treat like a piece of meat, you…” Maria began her rant as Michael rolled his eyes in annoyance.

“Thanks Max, look at what you started!”



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 24-Feb-2002 7:56:41 AM ]
posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:16:05 AM
Adam swept blindly at the grease-infested Crashdown floor. He had sent that retched hag Agnes home. Why the Parkers ever hired that lazy heinous woman completely bewildered Adam. She was constantly taking a smoke break, or talking to her mysterious (and probably shamed) boyfriend, or cursing at Adam for one thing or another. Yes, it was definitely less frustrating to close up the shop without that dreadful beast moaning and bitching about something.

Adam’s mind instantly began to wander, his thought occupied, as always, by Liz. Liz Parker, beautiful, stunning, sexy, intellectual, thoughtful, compassionate. And that was only skimming the surface of the wonder called Liz Parker. He could feel his heart already beating erratically at the sound of her name, making his blood boil until it poured out of his ears. Her silky, dark tresses curled playfully around his finger as he stared into her eyes, gazing as thoughtfully into her eyes as she did into his. The heat radiating off their bodies would begin a fire that would melt and burn every aspect of their world, mind, body and soul. Her soft, delicate lips enveloped in sweet, glistening glossiness. Those inviting lips staring him straight in the face, begging and pleading to be kissed and loved like never done before. He’d flick his tongue against the softness of her lips and taste its sweet flavor. His hand would rest against the side of her neck, gracing his undeserving fingers with the feel of her velvety skin, tingling him from his fingers to his unworthy toes…

Adam! Get a grip. This is Liz Parker, Max Evan’s lifetime love and soul mate. Off limits. Remember Max Evans? Your king? And Liz Parker, the one person in the world you should be protecting not fantasizing about. Adam shook his head in attempt to clear the lustful thoughts that had just crossed his mind. Liz Parker would never be his, and he had to make sure it stayed that way. Even though every molecule of his being yearned for her, even though he couldn’t go through one single minute without dreaming of her, even though… hell, he couldn’t breathe without the thought of Liz. Was it shameful of him to think of his Queen like this? Max would definitely have Adam’s head chopped up and eaten by a pack of snarling wolves. But this was Earth, and not Antar. He could dream of any woman he wanted, he just needed to make sure it stayed that way. Just dreams and nothing more.

Adam let out a long, tortured sigh. Perhaps Maria was right, this was nothing but self-inflicted torment that could tear him into itty-bitty pieces. Maybe Maria’s pick for a date would prove to be interesting, maybe possibly turn his head away from Liz Parker… right. Who was he trying to kid? Liz Parker…

“Liz!” Adam jumped as the object of his fantasy walked through the front doors. He closed his eyes momentarily, not wanting to seem as flushed as he felt inside. Of course this angel would walk in when I was having this huge inner-battle to FORGET her… what curse this is! Adam glanced over at the beauty. A gorgeous curse, at that.

“I’m sorry, Adam! I didn’t mean to scare you,” Liz said, giving him an apologetic smile.

“Uh, no biggie.” Adam attempted to smile back but it turned out as clumsy grin. “Well, I’m almost done cleaning up. I’ll lock up as soon as I’m done.”

“No, no, don’t worry about cleaning up. The gang is coming back here in a little bit,” Liz informed him. It was then that Adam noticed Liz was carrying a large bag, shifting it from hand to hand.

“Grad dress?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. She nodded shyly. God, she’s so adorable. Her petite form and shy actions just make Adam so… complete.

“I hope Max likes it.” Ouch. Was that ice you just threw down my pants? Ow.

“Well, I’m sure he will. ” Adam forced down the bile that kept threatening to spew out. Adam began to sweep again, anything to stop looking at her. To stop breathing in her luxurious scent.

“Adam?” Liz looked at him curiously. Oh god, this is it. She’s going to look him in the eye and accuse him of loving her endlessly. She’ll scream she could never love a man as pitiful and disgusting as him. Then she’ll grab his heart and begin playing pin the heart on a dead alien…

“Adam!” Liz shouted frantically.

“Uh, s-sorry… w-what?” Adam stuttered, trying to regain focus all the while keeping his breath in.

“I asked if I could try on my dress for you. You know, for your opinion.” Whoa, ok, Adam, calm down. She did not say anything about your feelings for her. She doesn’t even know about them. She would never hurt you, anyway. She would never hurt anyone. Wait… what DID she say? Something about a dress.

“I, uh…”

“I love Maria and all, but our styles are a bit… different. I’d really like a second opinion.” Liz. Dress. Opinion. Ok, no drooling. Don’t even open your mouth. Just nod. There, good.

Liz let a radiant smile rip free on her face and she scurried excitedly to the backroom. She wanted everything, absolutely everything, to be perfect for Max on their grad night. He was so wonderful to her and anything he said could make her body heat up wildly, desiring him to the very core of her. Ever since that one night two years ago when he had comforted her after a horrifying nightmare that left her shaking into the night. Max had tenderly held her close and kissed away all her fears. They had to stop themselves before it went too far that night, and plenty of nights afterwards. Last night had been one of those nights…

~ Liz and Max lay comfortably on the lounge chair on Liz’s balcony. Max turned to her and smiled.

“You’re so beautiful, you know that? Everyday I’m more and more convinced that heaven is missing one of their angels.” Liz blushed under Max’s sweet talk.

“The only problem is,” said Max, “that I’m not willing to give her back.” Max took a length of her silky hair and twisted it around his finger.

“Mr. Evans, are you trying to flatter me?” Liz asked playfully, leaning closely into him.

Max cocked an eyebrow. “Is it working?”

“I don’t know, I don’t think you’re done yet.”

“Oh? I’m not?”

“Nope. Everyone knows that when you attempt to woo a girl, you always end it with an earth-shattering kiss.” Liz grinned impishly at Max. Returning the grin he brought her delicate hand to his lips and laid a light kiss upon it. He slowly began to trail kisses up her arm, leaving glossy paths of affection. He brought his hand up to her bare shoulder, caressing it as if it were a precious gift sent to him from above. His anxious lips graced the tantalizing flesh, feeling the rush of shivers enrapturing Liz’s body. His grateful lips inched towards her neck, discovering its new prey. Max wraps a muscled arm around Liz’s waist, taking a firm grip on her body. His other hand pulled her neck closer to his lips. He nibbled the smooth skin, its delicious taste savoring in his mouth. Max sneaked a devious glance into Liz’s soulful eyes before devouring her mouth. Deepening the glorious kiss, Max brought his hands to her sleek hair, toying with the silky strands.

“So,” Max breathed as he pulled away. “Did it work?” Liz’s closed eyes scrunched up.

“Huh… Did what work…”

“My trying to flatter you, duh,” he replied coolly, pulling his body away from her and beginning to get up. Liz pulled him down and literally threw herself on top of his very hard, very firm body.

“I don’t think it worked,” Liz said naughtily.

“No?”

“Nope, you’re just going to have to repeat that last step over and over…”

“Yes ma’am.” Max leaned in, closing any distance between their lips. ~


Liz let out a dizzy sigh. That man could make her hot like no one else. She knew that going further, like as in all the way, things could get a bit bizarre. Max was an alien, for Pete’s sake! Who knew what kind of side effects could arise from making love? But she was ready. She was ready to give him everything, her heart, her soul, her body, her mind, and her love. Although, it was all already his and would forever be his. She could never give her heart to another, and making love to him would only strengthen that bond.

Trust. Loyalty. Love. They were all the main components of their relationship. Girls always would tell her how lucky she is, Max being the perfect, devoted boyfriend and all. If they only knew their whole history together, of being destined for each other beyond life times.

Cindy Lloyd always said that if she could read her boyfriend, Luke Manster’s, mind, he would only be thinking of how to get her into to bed or how to break-up with her. Liz would just pet her arm and tell her not to worry.

Besides, Liz HAD read Luke’s mind (of course, as a favour to Cindy… though she didn’t know it) and maybe he wasn’t looking for marriage but he definitely feeling something towards Cindy. Then again, if the any of the Pod Squad knew about this mind reading, they would probably had a nice little freak-fest. Ever since Liz read Tess’ mind and the male aliens had to kill Tess to keep her from destroying Liz, the group thought it was best for Liz that she never use her powers unless it called for urgent measures. Except for Adam. A few weeks after Tess’ death, Liz became more and more interested in her powers. She wanted to explore her powers to its fullest extent so she convinced Adam to continue training her. Having Adam around for not only a protector and trainer but as a friend as well was really… nice. She didn’t feel so lost about her newly discovered alien side. Max didn’t really know anything about Liz’s past, and Maria and Alex, they just didn’t understand all this alien stuff (although Liz loved them despite that). Isabel, well, she still wasn’t close to Liz, even with the knowledge of them sharing a past together. And Michael? Well, Michael is Michael. ‘Nough said.

Adam is such a sweet guy and he was always willing to help Liz with anything. He’s encouraging her to do whatever she wants to do, and he’ll assist her with anything. Adam deserved the best! Perhaps she should help Maria find him a date… someone good enough to be with him. Then again, that won’t be hard because every girl in their school would approach her asking if they could have Adam’s number or what Adam liked in a girl. Liz just could not understand Adam’s complete disinterest in dating anyone because girls practically swoon over her.

“Liz?” Adam called out shyly. “Did the dress eat you or something?” Liz smiled at Adam’s teasing. That teaser. We’ll see who has the last laugh.

“Actually, yeah, it did. Now I have, like, no clothes on. Oh gee, I guess I’ll have to walk around in the nude, huh?” She heard a choking sound. “Adam? Are you all right? I was kidding. Geez, Adam. From the way you act it’s like you think I’d be ugly buck-naked!”

“Uh huh.” Adam groaned. “I, uh, I-I… um, I’ll be right back.” Liz heard the door open and close quickly.

“Righty-o.” Liz said to herself. She opened the bathroom door and walked out into the employee area. She smiled when she heard the soft swishing sound of her dress. What a princess must feel like. Maybe this whole alien Queen thing could be a lot more fun than she thought.

****

Whoa, Adam, breathe. BREATHE. She was just joking. You know, ha ha? She did not mean anything more than that. Max? Remember him? Alien king? Could and would fry every part of your body? And I mean, EVERY part of your body! Ouch. Ok, good body. Calming down.

Adam opened his eyes. He began to take in his surroundings, sneaking a glance at his pale hands. They were tightly gripping the counter, his knuckles a ghostly white. He slowly eased his hands off the counter, as if in fear that any sudden movements could harm him. Adam pulled himself up straight and took a long, deep breath.

All right. She’s waiting for you. No losing your mind. Now go.

Adam marched towards the employee door like a determined soldier. He held his hand out defensively and shoved open the door… and almost fell over from a heart attack.

Liz stood there in all her shining glory. The red velvet of her gown clung protectively to her body, seeming as just another layer of skin. The strapless dress accentuated her bare, glistening shoulders, its dark, rich colour highlighting her glowing cheekbones. Her hair was swept casually against her exposed skin, spotlighting her delicious neck.

Adam’s eyes began to slowly sweep down Liz’s body, spotting the mini-train flaring out at the bottom of the strikingly elegant dress.

“That’s… it’s… I… wow, Liz,” Adam coughed out. Any words he had in his little alien mind had flown out the minute he walked into the room.

“Why, thank you, Adam!” Liz giggled. “But I know I don’t look as good as you’re pretending I do! Although I appreciate the gesture.” Liz winked at him. “Just look at me though, I’m wearing runners with this dress! And my hair, ugh, lets not go there.” Liz picked up her hair and let it fall limply. She smiled again, and twirled around. “Other than that, what do you think?”

“Well, I uh… um… wow.”

“Adam, you said that already.” Liz rolled her eyes, and put her hands on her hips.

“Right. Ok. Let me pop my eyes back into their sockets. Liz, you look…”

“I look…?”

“Like a godess. Simply breathtaking.” Liz smiled, blushing slightly. Suddenly a squeal emanated from her, and she ran to Adam, hugging him tightly.

“Thanks so much, Adam. I just wasn’t sure about this dress, but now I am. Oh! Your brother is going to love this!” Eek. Brother. Adam smiled weakly and stumbled back out into the dining room.

Brother? Hah, what a joke. He was happy that Michael and Liz acted like real siblings, but Max being Adam’s brother was way too weird for him. Especially since he had the hots for his brother’s girlfriend, soul mate and Queen. Brother weren’t supposed to feel that way about their brother’s girl. Not unless they expected a noogie or a wedgie.

Adam sat down on a chair beside the counter. He felt the puffy cushion exhale underneath him as he sat down. He propped his elbows on the counter and rested his head on his hands.

Tired. Very tired. Too much work, definitely. Then again, it may be the only thing keeping him sane. He rarely did anything with the group any more outside of school and work. He mostly hung out with Liz and Maria. He worked with both of them, and Maria was just really fun. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and can make a person grin from her witty comments. And Liz? Well, Liz is just Liz. Charming, intelligent, funny and beautiful, all rolled into one wonderful package.

When Liz first asked him to continue training her, he wanted to refuse. One on one with that exquisite creature? But soon those sessions became vital to his life. Like breathing, like air, like water. He didn’t even want to know what would happen he could never be near her again. If he couldn’t breathe in her luscious scent or gaze into her chocolate eyes, desperately drowning.

On the other hand, he didn’t want to know what Max would do without her. Max was still on his MUST-PROTECT-LIZ-FROM-EVERYONE rampage. Messing with Liz could create a mucho dangerous situation. Then again, Liz didn’t seem to mind it either. This was one of the reasons Adam hated to attend the Pod Squad summits (as he and Maria so affectionately called them). Max and Liz would have theirs hands all over each other. For that matter, Iz and Alex, Michael and Maria were usually going at it too. He felt like such a seventh wheel. But the only hands he wanted on his body were taken.

Sometimes Adam missed home. Roswell is not home. Some far-off planet with a crazy past life is definitely not his home. Home was his human parents. Home was his faithful golden retriever, Missy. Home was friends who had known him since elementary. Home was a normal boy, minus the foretelling dreams; minus the secret keeping.

It was weird. These past two years, when they all were lying low, waiting for their possibly horrific doom, Adam hadn’t felt more normal since…well, since home. Having friends like Maria, Alex, Michael, Max, Isabel and Liz, or cramming all night for a Physics final. That was normal.

But home, home was not this. He missed coming home from school and smelling the freshly baked Tabasco and peanut butter cookies his mother would make just for him. Or his father asking him about his day during dinner. Even just reading a book in front of the fireplace with his parents (ok, a little geeky… but he was just big of family stuff!).

He had some really awesome friends too. Ben Fisher, his best friend, was the funniest guy. He was quirky and spontaneous like Maria, but sarcastic and easygoing like Alex. Ben was a totally laidback, mellow guy who loved live. Adam remembered the days of just sitting by the nearby lake and checking out Melissa Schumaker’s new two-piece. Back in those days, not long before he left, Adam was quite the catch. Girls adored him and practically threw themselves at him. Then again, Liz and Maria always tell him girls love him here in Roswell too.

But on those adventures to the lake, Ben and Adam were never alone. The other best friend, Owen MacDonald, would tag along, completing their trio. Shy, quiet and mastermind Own MacDonald. From their mischievous, trouble-making childhood to their even more trouble-making teenage years, the three were constantly together. Though, every once in awhile, Sandy, Ben’s younger sister, would join them, much to Ben’s protest against it. Adam didn’t mind. It actually thought it was sort of adorable the way she made lovey-dovey eyes at him.

Maybe he should call Ben or sometime. He never got to say goodbye. To them, to his parents, to his life.

But it’s better this way, Adam told himself. Mom and Dad died because of who I am. Khivar, Tess and their army of bandits had set Adam’s house on fire, seeming to the outside world as only an accident. Adam knew better. Khivar had found him, so Adam had to leave, before more people died. Adam had to find and resurrect the Royal Court, or the Pod Squad as Maria called them. He’d be damned if he let anything happen to anyone. Ben, Sandy, Owen, Liz… no way.

“Hey space fiend,” Maria greeted Adam as she sat down beside him. He offered a smile.

“So whatcha thinkin’ ‘bout?”

“Stuff,” Adam answered shortly. “Where’s the gang? You guys just get here?”

“Oh, we got here probably about ten minutes ago. The rest of the space crew are in the kitchen, no doubt. I saw your lonely alien ass out here and thought I’d come and see what’s up in the alien abyss.” Maria grinned at her joke, but quickly defused the grin.

“My dear, what troubles you? Is it a certain extra-terrestrial Queen troubling you?” Adam dropped his head on to the counter with a loud thud. “I’ll take that as a yes.” Pause. “Adam.”

“What?” Adam asked, cranky.

“I found you a date.”

“Oh, great, I’m oh-so excited.” Sarcasm, great.

“Uh huh, she was really excited when I talked to her. She’s really friendly and pretty. I bet Sherri is wonderful in-”

“Sherri? Sherri Winters?”

“Uh huh. Not bad, huh? I know all the guys want her. Probably because of her, uh, sizeable bust. But to tell you the truth, I think she’s wanted you for some time…”

“No. Maria, no. She hangs all over me during class. She acts like a total spin case. And those high pitch giggles could make anyone want to claw their eyes out.”

“She’s nice and actually really friendly. Trust me. So tomorrow night, you and her at Senor Chow’s.”

“Thanks for asking, Maria.”

“Yeah, no, problem.” This bantering was getting to be too easy for Maria.

“Good evening my worthy friends,” Alex chirped as he and Isabel strolled out into the dining room. “Food is on its way. We called pizza.”

“I think I’m going to head out. Tired.” Adam stretched and faked a yawn.

“No, you can’t go,” Liz said as she, Michael and Max walked into the dining room as well. “You got to stay for pizza! I got the new Barenaked Ladies CD the other day and I’m forcing everyone to listen to it.” Liz flashed an excited smile, as she leaned against Max’s arm. Adam wanted to close his eyes. He was NOT going to lose it here. Not in Liz’s smile or her nonchalant act of touching Max in the most common way.

“Oh, right. I’ll, uh, go grab some plates then.” Adam scurried to the back room, leaving before anyone could say anything.

Adam walked into the kitchen, heading over to the stack of clean dishes he had personally washed not too long ago. He picked up seven of the sparkling plates that were sitting on one of the counters. He had washed those dishes just a bit before Liz walked in. Ahh, Liz…

Stop it. No more.

Adam grabbed some forks with the plates. He began to walk out the door when the phone on the wall caught his eye. He should call Ben. It was going to be Ben’s birthday in a few days. His 18th birthday. Adam should be there with him, celebrating with him. Adam should be taking Ben out on the town, or causing some trouble, or something.

He should at least call him.

Grow up. Adam, you left all that behind you. Ben probably doesn’t even want to talk to you. If your best friend left without a good bye and never even called, you’d be pretty pissed off.

But it’s his birthday.

Which means the anniversary of your parent’s death is coming up too. You don’t really want to bring all that back up, do you? Adam stared heavily at the phone, not sure if he wanted to pick up the receiver and dial or if he wanted to pull that thing right off the wall and stomp on it until the little wires were poking out like thorns.

“It’s ok to remember. Sometimes it helps, especially if it’s all you have.” Adam turned towards Liz’s voice, finding her looking worriedly at him. Beautiful, concerned Liz.

“Liz,” Adam whispered. Wait, what was she talking about? Uh oh. She read his mind. Shit. If she dug far enough, she’d know about his feelings for her. Crap, crap, crap.

Watching the uneasy emotions springing on Adam’s face, Liz spoke up.

“I didn’t mean to hear your thoughts. I just felt these strong emotions coming from here. I wanted to make sure you were all right. I didn’t look into your mind, I promise. I just heard the last few thoughts and I pulled out. I’m sorry.” Liz nervously clasped her hands together. Adam instantly smiled. She thought he was angry. He could never be angry with her.

“It’s all right. Don’t worry about it, Liz. I don’t have anything to hide.” Hah, when did you become a liar, Adam?

Adam began to walk out of the kitchen but Liz’ voice stopped him.

“What I said is true. It’s ok to remember. You should call him, whoever he is. Just from your emotions, I could tell he’s important to you.” Adam stared straight ahead of him, indicating no change in emotions. Except he was experiencing a turmoil inside of him. He could feel the knife twisting his heart with no pity whatsoever. The knife he put there himself. He had to remind himself of that. He put that knife there so he had to live with it.

“I’m sorry, I overstepped my boundaries. I won’t say anything.” Liz turned to leave, but this time, Adam stopped her by gently grasping her arm.

“You’re right, he was important to me. But life is here now. Everything in the past… it just has to be forgotten.”

“No, Adam, it doesn’t have to be. Don’t walk away from your past, embrace it.” Liz moved closer to Adam, and put comforting hands on his quivering shoulders. She gazed caringly into his eyes, pouring warmth and strength into his body.

“I hope you know, Adam, that no matter where you are, no matter what your past is, you have a family, a home. Here, with all of us.” She enveloped Adam into a hug, and rubbed his back reassuringly. Everyone needed a friend at some point or another, and Liz planned on being that friend for Adam. He’d be one for her for two years.

“Sometimes it hurts. A lot.” Adam closed his eyes. He just confessed something to Liz that he could barely confess to himself. What was it about her that could make him turn to a puddle and just want to curl up in her arms?

“What hurts, Adam?” Liz asked softly, intently. She still kept him close to her, sending him waves of encouragement and understanding.

“Remembering, ending up here. I caused a lot of pain and suffering back there.” Adam sighed in frustration, attempting to blink back a fresh array of tears. He hadn’t cried in years. Not even when he realized the house and life he lived, the life his parents lived, were all over because of him.

“I miss it…” Liz barely heard Adam’s last few words, as he had whispered them quietly.

“Adam, ease up. I can feel the guilt and self-loathing rolling off of you. Everything’s going to be okay. We’re all here for you. I’m here for you.” Liz raised her hand to his hair, petting it lightly. Adam couldn’t even describe how comforting her touch made him.

“Thank you, Liz.” Adam nuzzled his face into her shoulder, finding solace in just being in the presence of her.

“For what?”

“For being here for me, without asking a million questions. For just understanding me without strings attached. I know I own you some explanations-”

“No, Adam, you don’t owe me anything. Just know I’ll be here if and when you want to talk, ok?” Adam nodded mutely, and hugged her closer. To live in these arms for even just the briefest moment would make Adam die a happy man. What did he do to receive such loyalty and such compassion from this remarkable young woman?

Liz smiled sadly at Adam. She could tell he was battling some nasty demons inside of him. But how long has he been fighting them? Was it a losing battle? It’s so disheartening to see such a wonderful person as Adam to have to experience all this. He simply did not deserve it. She’d be here for him, definitely. Friend to friend.

“Ahem.” Adam and Liz turned to see a disgruntled Max standing in the doorway, shooting fatal alien eye-rays at Adam.

“Everything ok in here?” Max asked pointedly, staring at Adam. Adam definitely did not like the way Max was glowering him. So just to piss him off, Adam hugged Liz closer to him. Okay, stupid move, but he wasn’t going to let Mighty King Max scare him. He had already had it with infuriating people today.

Max could feel the steam pouring out of his ears by the gallons. Adam had his hand on MAX’S Liz. He knew Adam was just trying to aggravate him, but damn, Adam was doing a good job. And if Adam didn’t take his filthy hands off Liz soon, the boy would soon suffer a punishment worse than death. Protector or not, Adam was not very far from Max ripping his head off.

“Max, honey, Adam and I were just talking,” Liz said coolly, attempting to keep some sort of peace. She slipped out of Adam’s arms and walked over to Max. She needed to diffuse this situation before it got really hideous. The surge of disgust between the two males was enough to make Liz want to retreat under a rock and not come out until safe.

The moment Liz reached Max’s side he captured her in his arms and pulled Liz close to him. His protective arms that were slung tightly against her body gave Adam the message loud and clear. Liz was Max’s and that was that.

“Uh, I better go back out into there, Maria and Alex are probably wondering where I am. You guys coming?” Liz wanted all of them back out in the dining room as quickly as possible. That way the chance of an alien smackdown was a little less likely. Certainly not impossible, but slimmer chances.

“We’ll be right out, Liz,” Max said tightly, his eyes still fixed with Adam’s. Adam, being the male that he is, did not back down but rather took an angry step towards Max. He wanted a fight? Fine. The poor excuse for a king would get one.

“BOYS. DINING ROOM. NOW.” Liz’s booming voice echoed violently against the kitchen walls. The force of her voice was enough to break the glaring contest. Liz suddenly found two pairs of eyes on her, questioning where the strength of her yell came from. Yet noticing her angry posture, they didn’t push it.

“I’m just going to go, Liz. You guys have a nice night,” Adam replied calmly and steadily, as he strolled past Max and Liz. He grabbed his jacket from his locker, and walked out the backdoor, effectively slamming it loudly. Liz sighed heavily, putting her hand to her forehead.

“Liz, I-” Max started, turning to her as he was about to apologize.

“Max, I don’t want to hear it. I’m hungry and tired and I just want some food. Forget it, all right?” Max nodded silently and walked back out into the dining room with her.

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:21:16 AM
“So they started fighting right in front of you?” Maria asked as she shoved yet another piece of pizza into her mouth. Adam and Max were having a smackdown and she missed it? Now that was the supreme of all unfairness.

“Um, not so much fighting but more like the clash of the evil alien eyes.” Liz picked up her napkin and began folding it and playing with it. Man, that was awkward in the kitchen. Liz knew that Adam had some sort of crush on her, but she REALLY did not need those two guys clawing each other to death. Liz didn’t think her parents would appreciate the Crashdown’s kitchen burned to pieces because of two green-eyed aliens.

“Hey Liz, maybe this is more than just some crush. I mean about Adam. Maybe he really wants you, badly.” Alex leaned his back against the counter, putting his take on the situation. The three Musketeers, as they use to call themselves, were all engaged in this conversation. “I mean, if he didn’t then what was with his being all defensive with Max? Obviously he’s keeping some insatiable desire for Liz a secret.”

“Well, thank you, Dr. Whitman, but next time I want a diagnosis for Adam, I’m not going to ask you.” Liz plopped down on one of the stools that lined the Crashdown counter. Maria sat down next to her, with Alex leaning on the counter between them. Their counterparts sat at a booth across the restaurant, seemingly engrossed in a conversation with each other.

“Anyways,” Liz said, “Whether Adam has feelings for me or not, I love Max. This lifetime, past lifetimes and future lifetimes.” Liz took a piece of pizza and chomped on it aggressively.

“Whoa, calm down there, Princess, the pizza is innocent.” Liz gave Alex a warning glare, but he just smirked back at her. “Anyways, wouldn’t loving the Queen be punishable? I bet Max could get a whole army of Starship troopers to kill Adam personally.” Liz smacked Alex’s arm, and gave him a mean glare. “What? It’s true! Right, Deluca?”

Maria smiled awkwardly. This was SO not a conversation she wanted to get sucked into. Adam IS in love with Liz, more than she can even imagine. But Alex was right when he said Max would have him killed. The only difference in her opinion was that Max would probably kill Adam himself.

“Deluca, what are you hiding?” Alex asked inquiringly. Before she could deny anything, Alex remarked, “I see that look on your face. You know something.” Maria shook her head profusely, knowing that if she opened her mouth, something she didn’t want to come out would.

“Deluuuuca,” Alex nagged. He held his fingers out, warning her, “Tell me or I’ll tickle it out of you!” He raised his eyebrows in attempted intimidation. Maria couldn’t help but laugh out loud at his futile endeavor “Whaaaat? I thought I looked pretty threatening.” Liz smiled at her friends. Silly yet entertaining. But she wanted to hear what Maria was hiding too…

“Maria, so what are-” Liz was cut off by the shrill ring of Maria’s cell phone. Maria silently thanked her lucky stars. She knew what Liz was going to ask, and Maria did NOT want to answer her. Maria grabbed the ringing technology out of her purse.

“Hello gracious person, you’ve just become my best friend, what can I do for you?” Liz and Alex rolled their eyes at Maria’s greeting. They’d get it out of her later if not now.

“Maria? Look, you got to do something? Is Liz there? Maria, I-”

“Adam? Dude, slow down. Yes, she’s here. You know I should skin you for what happened earlier. I’m being interrogated right now,” Maria whispered fiercely into the phone. Not only would he feel the brunt of Hurricane Deluca on the phone, she was going to kick his ass later too.

“Maria, shut up and listen to me. Tell Max and Michael to get Liz out of the Crashdown. All of you need to get out of there.”

“Adam, what the hell are you talking about? Why do we have to leave?” Liz and Alex turned towards Maria, slightly worried about Maria’s rise in volume. It could mean something was going down.

“I was followed home, and I’m pretty sure someone has the Crashdown staked out. Get Liz out of there now. Don’t come here either. Just get out of there now!”

“What? You were followed, shit!” Maria turned towards the rest of the group, all of their eyes watching her intensely. She turned to Max and Michael, and gestured to Liz.

“You two, get her out of here. Adam was followed home and he thinks the Crashdown is being watched. Out!” Everyone’s eyes widened in alarm. Max flew to Liz’s side and wrapped his arms protectively around her shaking body. This is it, this could very well be it. Khivar could be here and ready to swoop in and capture Liz. No, no, no, this isn’t happening. The thought ran through everyone’s mind.

“STOP!” Michael’s authoritative voice rang out through the restaurant. “Look, we don’t know anything yet, so just calm down.” He looked over to Maria and walked up to her. “Give me the phone.” Maria handed it over to him willingly.

“Adam?” Michael grunted.

“Michael, what the hell are you doing? Get out of there. Get Liz out of there.”

“Where are you?”

“MICHAEL, LISTEN TO ME, IT DOESN’T MATTER. JUST GET LIZ OUT OF THERE.”

“Look, calm the hell down. We’re on our way out. We all have to meet and obviously if they followed you home, we’re not going to our place.”

“Liz, Michael, Isabel and I will take my jeep,” Max bellowed out to the group, taking over in his leader position. “Tell Adam to slip out and Maria and Alex will pick him up. We’ll all meet out in the desert where we were training.”

“No, I’m not letting Maria and Alex go by themselves. Maxwell, I’m going with them,” Michael commanded. Max just nodded and fled out the back door with Liz and Isabel.

Michael put the phone back to his ear. “Adam, you hear that? Slip out the door, and make sure no one’s following you. We’ll meet you at the corner of Raven and Cherry. In the back alley, all right?”

“Yeah, yeah, ok. Just hurry up.” Michael hung up the phone and put a shaking hand to his forehead. Man, this sucked.

*****

“Everyone all right?” Max asked the group as they all arrived at their predetermined spot. A unanimous nod was found around the group.

“This is really happening, isn’t it?” Maria’s shaky voice asked out. No one dared to answer her. No one wanted to acknowledge the answer in fear it, too, would become all too real.

“It’ll be all right,” Michael’s soothing voice whispered in Maria’s ear as her wrapped a comforting arm around her shoulder. Maria laid her head on his shoulder for suddenly it felt too heavy. Everything felt too heavy.

“We knew this was going to happen,” Liz replied boldly. She stood up from her previous crouched position on a nearby boulder. Max went to wrap his arms around her reassuringly, but she just shrugged them off. “No, like I said, we all knew this was going to happen so we’re not going to run scared now. Khivar can kiss my ass for all I care. He’s not going to get what he wants.” Everyone looked at her wide-eyed, somewhat surprised by her confidence. They almost believed her. Almost.

“Liz, you don’t have to do this,” Max said softly. He attempted to take her hand, but again she refused.

“No!” Liz screamed. “I’m not going to be scared. I am NOT scared. I am not going to let him rip my life from me. I’m not…” Her words trailed off as she felt her barrier breaking. Violent tears flowed down her face, despite her constant fight not to let them leak. She turned away from the group and began to run. In no direction in particular, just ran.

“Liz, no!” Max cried out. He began to run after her, when he felt an arm pull him back. He turned to see Adam’s face, and couldn’t resist the want to punch him.

“Let go of me,” Max growled. He jerked his arm away from Adam’s grip, but Adam refused to let him go.

“She obviously doesn’t want anyone right now.” Adam had a point, but Max chose to ignore it, instead letting bottled up rage take over.

“You’re just going to let her run off into the desert with no protection? When people have been following us, following her? People would like to capture her and do hell knows what to her?” Max pulled his arm away again, this time succeeding. He narrowed his eyes, and menacingly retorted, “Some protector you are.” Adam froze at Max’s comment and automatically stared off into the distance.

“Max,” Maria livid voice growled. “I know you’re upset, but don’t say things you’re going to regret. Or things I’m going to MAKE you regret.” She put her hands on her hips, about ready to do Max some bodily harm.

“Deluca, calm down,” Alex said to Maria. He put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “Everybody, calm down. Liz will be fine. If you boys weren’t so caught up in your bickering, then you would have noticed our very capable Michael Guerin is with Liz right now. So everybody lets just relax. Think this all out.” Audible sighs were heard out into the dark desert. What once was a beautiful, promising world just turned dark and deadly.

****

“Liz?” Michael called out. They had both been running a good twenty-five minutes, but Michael was out of shape. He wasn’t sure he could go much farther. “Slow down, all right? You’re going to make me have a heart attack.” He saw Liz begin to slow and finally park herself on a large rock. Her petite body slumped over and begin to shake with sobs. The sight was too devastating to watch. A kind-spirited woman like Liz should never cry like that. Michael slowed down beside her and sat down. He wrapped a soothing arm around her trembling shoulders.

“Shh, it’ll be all right,” he murmured in her ear. “We’re all here for you. None of us are going to leave you, never mind letting that bastard come near you.” Liz’s sobs quieted down, and she turned to him, fear brimming in her eyes.

“I’m so scared, Michael,” Liz whispered. She rested her weight against the side of his body, so Michael wrapped his arm tighter around her.

“It’s going to be okay, I promise. I mean, do you really think people want to mess with a scary older brother, a tough protector and a terrifying boyfriend?” Michael teased. Liz gave a sad little smile. Michael sighed, knowing he might regret saying what he was about to say. It could damage his very well protected stonewall image.

“Liz, I know I haven’t been the greatest person to you, never mind being a great brother. But I’m going to be here for you, and there’s no way in hell that anyone is going to get you. You were right back there. We were expecting this, which means we are prepared for this. And I don’t want you worrying about this. You deserve more than this, more than living in fear.” Liz’s head shot up. A look of awareness was expressed in her eyes, seeming as if she just realized something.

“Michael, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything. I mean, you guys have all lived in fear for your whole lives-” Michael shook his head. He put a silencing finger to her lips.

“That’s not what I was trying to get at.”

“I know, but I’m sorry. I should have known better. And before you say anything, we all deserve more than this. We constantly live our lives in fear. It isn’t fair.” She looked up at Michael, and smiled. “Thanks Michael.” He just smiled back and nodded. “Despite what you might think, I know you’re a great brother. I bet we were close in our past life.”

“You know what? I bet so too, Lizzie bear.” Liz giggled at the inane nickname.

“Lizzie bear?” she asked imploringly.

“What? You don’t think it fits?” Michael smirked. He was delirious inside. He put that smile on her face, on his sister’s face. This is what life is about.

“Lizzie bear.” Liz put a very thoughtful expression on her face, as if she were deep in concentration. “I like it.” She smiled again.

“Me too, Lizzie bear. Me too.”

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:23:22 AM
“Before you say a word, I’m going to tell you what’s on my mind and what’s going to go down,” Liz’s demanding voice called out as she approached the concerned group. She loved everyone in this group, but she needed to lay out the ground rules first before they began to drive her insane. The rest of the gang just looked at her silently, knowing it would be insanely stupid to infuriate Liz right now.

“I know I freaked you guys out, but I’m okay now.” She threw a smile Michael’s way. “Now I’ve, obviously, have had time to think this over, and we don’t necessarily know if these guys are Khivar’s men or not.” She held up her hand before the others began to protest. “Whether or not they are, precautions are necessary. But I cannot and will not have my life taken away. I will continue to live the life I lead. I am not going to live in a shell. I am not going to give up my life, and before you guys start bitching, I’m going to tell you what is going to happen. I’m going to be safe, have no fear in that. I trust you guys, the most loyal and trustworthy people I’ve ever met, to ensure my well-being. To say it in simpler terms, I trust you guys to make sure I don’t do anything careless. I, uh, know that I’m sometimes high maintenance but-” Liz took a deep breath so she wouldn’t lose her cool, “But I love you guys. I know you would do anything for me and for the whole group. I just don’t want to lose my life to fear, to Khivar, to anything. So Michael and I have come to a deal of some sort. I’ll have two, uh, escorts with me at all times and, um, one of the escorts must be a full blooded alien.” Her sympathetic smile to Maria and Alex fell on blind eyes. “But while I’m being imprisoned by you guys-” Michael hit her lightly, initiating a stuck out tongue from Liz. “Right. I mean, while I’m being surrounded constantly and endlessly by the people who love me, I need my space. I won’t do anyone any good if I go insane. I’m going to continue going to work and going to classes. Also, I figure that if we pretend nothing is really all that wrong, it may give us an upper hand in the end.”

A silent agreement was heard among the group. And even if someone did want to protest, no one was about to challenge Liz. An angry alien queen could definitely end in a fatal situation.

“There’s still a few aspects not being consider,” Adam spoke up. All eyes turned to the arms-crossed teen, so he took a step forward. “Nighttime arrangements? I know it sounds, uh, impersonal and intrusive, but all bases have to be covered. He turned to Liz directly and spoke, “I’m sorry.” He really did feel bad for intruding on what was once her personal life.

“Don’t be, it’s all part of my life now, right?” Liz replied bitterly. “As much as I’d truly love to have you lurkers watching me at night, I think the parental unit would have somewhat of a problem with it.”

“Liz, there’s no way you’re going to be alone at night,” Max commented matter-of-factly.

“Nuh uh! You’re not going to stalk my sister while she sleeps,” Michael stipulated. No guy, even if it was Max, was going to guard his Lizzie bear while she slept. She was still his sister.

“As much as I’d hate to admit it, Max is right.” Adam turned to Michael, knowing he was going to be a tough cookie about all this. “Liz can’t be by herself at night. I mean that would be a prime time to ki-” Adam paused uncomfortably. “It would be a prime time for something to happen.”

“But she’s also not going to have you or Romeo over there gawking at her body while she sleeps. Who really knows how much ‘protecting’ might actually be going on-”

“BOYS!” Maria’s harsh voice rang out into the cold desert air. “As much as you manly men are entertaining, the topic of your conversation is standing right here. Maybe you should actually discuss this with HER before fighting about this nonsense.” She put her hands on her hips, signifying she was nearing her boiling point. The three fighting aliens turned to Liz, who wasn’t even paying attention anyways. She had her eyebrows scrunched up as if in deep concentration. Suddenly her eyes lit up, a brand new idea striking her over the head. But the light dimmed again, suggesting the debate that was currently taking place in her mind. Maria took that as her cue.

“What are you thinking, chica?” Maria asked, moving over to Liz and slinging an arm over Liz’s shoulders. Maria continued to watch the hamster run frantically around that damn wheel.

“Here,” Liz replied. She touched Maria’s forehead and transferred images and thoughts from her mind to Maria’s. The physical contact wasn’t absolutely necessary, but it made the transfer somewhat easier.

Alex watched the scene in front of him with
complete and utter awe. No matter how many times he saw Liz do her funky alien mind thingy, it always seemed to be too cool to him. Tapping into someone’s mind could actually make a fun pastime of some sort.

Maria’s expression turned from deep thought to an awkward smile.

“It’s uh, definitely a good way of killing two birds with one stone.”

*****

“I don’t know if I can do this,” Liz said nervously, as her nails became shorter and shorter. She turned to Max and flung her body at him, burying her face in his hard chest. He gathered her in his arms, pulling her close in his warm embrace.

“You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” Max whispered lightly in her ear. He brought his hand to her hair, stroking the silky strands between his fingers. The rough texture of his fingers felt inferior against the softness of her hair.

“As much as I love watching you grope my sister, I think Liz should do her thing.” Michael gestured towards Liz’s apartment door that lay at the top of the stairs. Michael leaned back against the wall beside the stairs, while Max and Liz stood on the middle landing.

“Isn’t this morally wrong or something?” Liz asked, obviously procrastinating. “I’m a bad person. This makes me a bad person. I mean, is this actually safer. OH MY GOD. I’M GOING TO GO TO HELL FOR THIS. OH MYGOD! OH MY-” Max put a silencing finger to her lips and smiled tenderly at her, wanting to calm her racing nerves. With his other hand, he tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear.

“Liz, you don’t have to do this. We’ll find another way if you want. We always do.” Max placed his lips against her forehead and gave her a soft kiss. She tucked her head underneath his chin, fighting the overwhelming desire to just lose herself against Max’s body.

“I’m just… scared. This is really happening.” She closed her eyes, trying to desperately remember why she COULDN’T lose herself in Max’s warmth. She unintentionally bunched up Max’s shirt in her fists, drawing him closer to her.

“Okay, Liz,” Michael begrudgingly said. He hated to make Liz do this but better safe than sorry. For her parents too, not just Liz. They were getting something out of this anyways. Weren’t they?

Liz tugged her head away from the security and warmth that Max supplied her with, and instantly missed the deep comfort it had given her. But when she looked up at Max’s face and she found the strength she needed. Only he could do this, only he could make her feel this way. She caressed the side of his face and took a courageous step back from Max. She gave Michael a quick, steady smile and slowly took the steps up to her apartment. She took the steps up to her loving parents who never wanted anything more than honesty and love from their daughter.

Liz took one last glance back at two of the most important men in her life. She produced another smile, and then turned to face the door again. She put a hand on the knob, and turned it. Pushing the door open, she dashed inside the apartment. A wave of nostalgia drowned her. This is her home, her family. For years, this was the whole world to her.

Her parents never asked for this. They thought they had raised a truly honest and loyal daughter. She hated to prove them wrong. Her parents are loving people who care for their daughter more than anything. If they ever found out her true heritage, an alien queen from a completely different planet and lifetime, they may just shock themselves to death. Never mind evil aliens trying to kidnap their sweet, precious daughter.

And that’s why she had to do this. They protected her all their life and would do anything for her. It was time she protect them. From unwanted knowledge, and from actual physical danger.

“Liz, honey?” Nancy Parker called out. Liz cringed at the sweetness in her mother’s voice. This was going to be hard.

“Hi mom,” Liz answered, trying to muster all the enthusiasm she could. She walked to her kitchen and found her parents sitting at the table. The table was littered with bills, scrap paper and endless calculations.

“You’re home kind of late, Lizzie,” Jeff said in a wearisome voice.

“Sorry dad.” Liz walked over to him and kissed the top of his head. Jeff smiled up at his angel, letting Liz know he wasn’t angry. Just tired.

“So guys,” Liz started as she sat down beside her mom. Her parents turned to her, giving her their complete attention. Ok, show time.

“I was thinking you guys should, uh, take a vacation.” Here goes nothing. Liz concentrated and effortlessly entered her parent’s minds.

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:25:43 AM
“So remind me why we’re sitting, and potentially being watched by evil aliens,” Isabel spat out. Khivar wants to kill them, so, to Isabel, it seemed supremely stupid that they were just sitting in a booth at the Crashdown. She exhaled and propped her head up with her arm that was currently resting on the table. She watched Maria fiddle with her fingers across the table, then crossing and uncrossing her legs, and then rolling and twisting her hair between her fingers. A person could go mad just watching her erratic and unsettled movements.

“Maria, if you don’t calm down, I swear I’ll zap all that hair off your head,” Isabel’s irritated voice cackled. Maria jerked her head up and abruptly stopped her motions. An apology peeped out of her lips

On the other side of the restaurant, Alex and Adam were hunched over the counter, conversing in hushed whispers.

“So, you walked out of the Crashdown after the little kitchen blowout and then what?” Alex asked intently. Adam never really got to explain the whole story and Alex thought they should go over what happened just in case there was a clue they were missing. That and he just wanted to know what happened exactly.

“Well, I started walking back to the apartment when I felt these eyes staring at me. Piercing my back and all that freaky stuff. So I turned around to check it out. Of course, I was very slick about it.” The side of Adam’s mouth curved slightly upwards in a grin. “Didn’t want to alert anyone if they were there. I didn’t see anyone but I heard footsteps.” Alex nodded his head, but didn’t express any sort of emotion on his face. Adam couldn’t tell what Alex was thinking about this.

“So no person, but you could hear footsteps and you could feel that creepy feeling that makes you want to scratch the back of your neck?” Adam nodded.

“Alex, I know it sounds insane but they’re here. It’s like I can feel it. I can feel this threatening force that’s ready to attack. And for some reason I don’t think, no, I know I shouldn’t take this feeling lightly. Like I have to believe it. Or else.” Alex stroked the imaginary beard on his chin, as if in thought.

“I don’t think you’re insane. Actually I think we can all feel it. I mean, we never questioned what you were saying, we just all knew it was time. It’s kind of weird, you know? I’ve lived most of my life with reason and now it’s like I have to depend on this new way of perception.” He gave Adam a crooked smile. “Maybe I’m not cut out to be an alien.” Adam grinned at Alex. The boy could lighten up any mood.

“On the same note, we’ve all been worried about Liz. We’ve got to protect her at all costs. No, I mean, I’ve got to protect her at costs. I mean it IS my job, right? Anyways, you guys have to worry about yourselves too. We all have to be safe. Khivar wants us all dead, except Liz. And what he plans to do to her is way worse than death. But if we’re dead, then Liz is helpless. And I don’t think I could handle that. Liz deserves a great life with great-”

“Adam. I get the point. Me safe. You safe. Equals Liz safe.” Adam shot Alex another grin.

“Annnnd since we’re on the topic anyways,” Alex started, “You need to keep yourself safe from not just Khivar. Comprende?” Adam looked at Alex strangely. What the hell is he talking about?

Alex rolled his eyes. “King Max? Queen Liz? Starting troubles around here and putting tension in the group is going to get us all dead, so can the petty rival for Liz’s affection wait until after Khivar is gone?” Adam opened his mouth to say something but automatically shut it. Alex had a point.

“Obvious, huh?” Adam asked, avoiding eye contact with Alex. This thing was kind of embarrassing.

“If I said no, would you believe me?” Alex joked. Adam playfully punched Alex’s arm, attempting to wipe the smirk off his face.

Adam’s jovial smile quickly disappeared when he saw a distraught Liz walk through the employee doors, followed by Max and Michael.

Liz trudged over to Alex and surrendered herself to the stool next to him. She collapsed over the counter, her body hitting the counter with a loud thud. Alex’s arms automatically went around Liz in comfort and support.

“Didn’t go so well?” Alex asked, softly. Liz’s head jerked up and the resisting tears in her eyes made Alex’ heart swell. He hated to see his best friend like this.

“Oh no, it went well. So well that my parents are leaving tomorrow. They’re packing oh-so excitedly that it makes me sick.” Her sarcastic tone didn’t escape anyone. Liz, once again, purposely smashed her head against the counter with loud sound effects.

“Lizzie,” Maria spoke gently, her previous nervous fit now over. She walked over to her two best friends, she, too, wrapping her arms around Liz.

“This isn’t your fault. It’s gross and unfair, and I know you feel guilty, but we’ll get through this, I promise. You’re doing the right thing.” She placed a friendly kiss on the top of her head.

“Then why do I feel so awful? I mean, for God’s sake, I just mind warped my parents into thinking they want to go on a vacation. I just violated their right to think freely, their right to make decisions for themselves, their right to TRUST their own daughter.” Liz rolled her head side to side on the counter, mumbling curses. “This sucks.”

Max looked brokenheartedly at Liz, understanding the pain she felt caused by lying to people you loved. When she had come back down from the apartment, Max saw the absolute devastated expression on her face. He wanted to just take her in his warm arms, and cradle her body to his for the rest of his life. He wanted to kiss her everywhere and wipe that upsetting look from her much too precious face. He wanted to coo tender, reassuring words into her ears, and feel her delicate mouth breathing steadily against his skin.

But Liz had walked right past him and Michael, and right into the Crashdown. They had taken the hint and quietly followed her inside. But it still didn’t stop Max from wanting to grab his precious angel and drive far, far away from here. To somewhere he could keep her safe and in his arms always.

“Liz,” Max murmured softly. “We love you, and we’re here for you, ok? We just want you to be safe.” He took a step towards her before Liz jumped out of her seat, and out of the embrace of her friends.

“Well, maybe I don’t WANT to be safe. Maybe I’d rather die than be here, putting people through crap they shouldn’t have to.” Liz closed her eyes in frustration, as her hands clenched and unclenched in fists. The silence in the room was deafening, and almost violent. Liz instantly regretted for snapping at Max.

“I-I’m sorry,” Liz said quietly. “I just need to be alone.” She ran out of the restaurant and up to her apartment as six pairs of eyes followed her. Each sat in the awkward quiet, unsure of what to say.

“Someone should, uh… stay with her tonight…” Adam remarked. Max’s eyes turned red with fury.

“You’re not staying with Liz.” Max’s bold statement etched conviction into everyone’s mind, except Adam. Adam stood up fully, squaring his shoulder.

“Well, obviously neither are you, considering she ran off after you opened your mouth and-” The crimson rage that flashed through Max’s eyes nearly burned each person in the room.

“STOP.” They all turned to look at Michael, who clearly had enough of the bickering between the two men. He would fry their asses before they treated his Lizzie bear like a piece of meat.

“Like hell you guys are going to stay with her. You both are acting like assholes, so get the hell out of here before I kick both of your asses. I will be staying here, end of discussion.” He not only saw, but felt the two pairs of eyes stare at him in objection.

Maria was about to boil over, but Isabel and Alex were the only ones who actually noticed. Alex knew better than to laugh at the ironic event. Three protective alien defenders of their precious Queen, and Hurricane Deluca about to throw more than just a fit at the boys, but probably throw some chairs at them too. But the funniest part was Isabel. She still sat at the table, with a bored look on her face. What he wouldn’t do to have a camera right at that moment.

“I’m going to say this once, and only once, so you jackasses better listen to me,” Maria growled. Alex bit his lip in fear he would let a thunderous laugh rip free. Maria Deluca was pissed off enough to actually growl at the boys.

“If any three of you come even CLOSE to the block in which this lovely establishment is built on tonight, I swear you’ll have more to deal with than just Khivar. I will rip you boys from limb to limb, starting with the most prominent part. Got the point?” Maria’s hands rested on her hips, the look on her face almost too smoldering to look at.

Although against every thought they had running through their minds, the three men nod their heads. They knew better than to piss off Maria even more.

“Alex, we’re going to have a sleepover at Liz’s. Let’s go.” She left quickly out the employee door, and Alex obediently followed her. The four remaining teens all sighed in chorus and got up to leave.

*****

“Sir, what should we do now?” the timid attendant asked his superior who looked coldly out the window.

“Get out of my face is what you should do!” His voice rang out harshly at the lowly subject that attempted to call himself a soldier. He sneered at the idea. These men had no idea what it meant o be a warrior, to feel the blood of people on your hands. To feel the victory of war would never cross the minds of these pitiful fools.

“Sir, I-”

“OUT!” The fearful subject scurried from the room as if his heels were on fire. He shook his head in despair. If he actually had the armies he was used to, this mission would have been over and done with in one-fourth the time it was taking. But these stupid human bodies had taken so damn long to get adjusted to. Humans are so weak and their bodies could never reach even the lowest ability of an Antarian body.

But this mission had to be done. He would not let that pesky King brat ruin what he’s worked for his entire life. Each member of the Royal Court would fall to their knees and beg for mercy, feeling each painful strike to the very core of their beings. And the most glorious triumph would be that the very last sight they saw would be the gleaming in his eyes. The last thought of each of them would be how they failed their Queen. The King would realize that his precious Queen now lay in the hands of his enemy. And he would win. Not only the war but the hand of the Queen and their valuable heir as well. Life would be grand.

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:30:24 AM
Liz stared at herself in the full-length mirror, slightly swinging her hips side to side. She smiled to herself when she heard her skirt making that familiar swish sound.

She walked over to Maria’s dresser and brushed her fingertips over the glossy pictures that bordered the dresser. She smiled when she saw the picture of her, Maria and Alex in their Halloween costumes from seventh grade. They wanted to do a group costume that year, so Maria and Liz persuaded Alex to join them in dressing as Charlie’s Angels. Liz giggled at the picture, remember telling Alex that she was jealous of him because he looked better in a mini-skirt than she did. People had laughed and teased the boy merciless all day, but Alex just grinned and laughed alongside them.

Liz let a greater smile take over her, thinking of how she had the best friends in the world. Not just Maria and Alex, but the whole group. She had felt pretty stupid after her freak out but her friends had totally been there for her. Alex and Maria had been waiting for her in her room that night, while she washed away her sorrow in the shower. They spent the night consoling her, and Liz woke up the next morning cuddled up with her best friends.

But it didn’t end there. Every morning Max had left a bouquet of white roses on her balcony. When she had asked why, he told her that he was so sorry for upsetting her and being a jerk. (Although, Liz didn’t really think he was being THAT much of a jerk… okay, just a bit… the whole fighting with Adam thing was kind of annoying!) So in return for each rose, she kissed Max twelve times each morning. To say the least, he was extremely pleased with the act.

Michael had also apologized to her for acting like a creepy, overprotective brother. Once again, she wasn’t sure if he really needed to be apologizing, but as soon as he whipped out the teddy bear he was holding behind his back, she had melted. Michael had shifted nervously foot to foot as he explained that since she was his Lizzie bear, a teddy bear sounded suitable as a gift. She just smiled, trying to keep the happy tears from spilling and then encased him in a huge, loving hug.

The whole week hadn’t been grin and giggles though. Once the Parkers had left Liz to fend for herself, the group quickly gathered and made solid arrangements. Since Michael and Adam were the only two of the group that could actually spend the whole night with Liz without making anyone else suspicious, they were appointed as her official guards. At first Michael wanted to stay in Liz’s room while she slept, but Max, Adam and Liz quickly shot down that idea. Michael and Adam refused to stay on the couch while Liz was in her room. Who knows who could sneak through her balcony?

Liz remembered the distinct feeling of wanting to bang her head repeatedly against the wall for having to discuss her own privacy. The whole situation resulted in Michael staying on the balcony, right next to Liz’s window, while Adam resided outside Liz’s bedroom door. Liz bit her lip after that, trying hard not to protest too much. It was better than the two boys actually sleeping IN her bed with her, which she was sure Michael was close to suggesting.

“Hey chica, everything all right?” Maria’s singsong voice asked. Liz turned around to find Maria putting in her dangling, silver earrings. She wondered when Maria had walked into the room. Liz must have been way too deep in her thoughts.

“Yeah, everything’s perfect,” Liz said, smiling. Even though some immoral, a-hole of an alien was trying to kidnap her and use her to his own discretion (literally) tonight was going to be carefree. She was graduating for heaven’s sake! It was time to celebrate! She was going to have fun even if it killed her.

“Good, good, girlfriend! I’m almost done here, and then the boys should be here. Izzy said she’d be coming in the limo with the guys, so I’m sure they’ll be on time.” Liz giggled, knowing the guys must be having a hard time with Isabel. Everyone knew how seriously Isabel was taking her graduation, and she was determined to make her night perfect to every last detail. The thought of even being the slightest bit late wouldn’t even dare to cross Isabel’s mind.

“Poor boys!” Maria nodded in agreement to Liz’s statement.

“But then again, I feel even worse for Adam. Sherri is dragging him along with all her more, uh… popular friends. Jocks and all.” Maria let out a giggle. “Including Kyle Valenti!” Liz stared at Maria for a moment then burst out into laughter. Kyle Valenti? Liz had dated him for a while, but the moment Max walked into her life, everything was over with Kyle. He hadn’t really taken it that well… and to say the least, he proved to Liz he wasn’t happy with her decision.

“Oh my gosh, do you remember the first time Kyle saw you and Max kissing in the hall? I swear he was going to go off the deep end! He grabbed the nearest girl and started to make out with her in an attempt to make you jealous, but you were too busy sucking Max’s face!” Liz and Maria burst into another fit of giggles.

The shrill sound of the doorbell rang throughout the house, causing Maria and Liz to look excitedly at each other. They both smiled freely and squealed. Maria half ran and half skipped to the front door, with an equally excited Liz trailing right behind her. Maria threw open the door and found Max and Michael smiling warmly at them. Maria shrieked and jumped Michael, wrapping her arms around his neck and hugging him.

“Whoa! Down girl!” Michael told Maria, but still wrapping his arms around the slender girl. He kissed Maria lightly on the cheek and pulled her to his side.

Maria’s baby blue dress clung tightly to her body, not leaving much to Michael’s imagination. It’s length ended at least two inches above her knee, and the tiny, barely there spaghetti straps peeked up confidently from her body. Her hair lay gorgeously on her shoulders, it’s long silk straightened to perfection. Man, she looks hot.

Liz looked up shyly at Max, unsure of his reaction to her appearance. The dropped jaw and bulging of the eyes made Liz giggle again, and she took a step towards Max. He instinctively wrapped his arms around her waist, and leaned back, taking a good look at her.

“You look… beautiful. No, you look more than beautiful. There’s not one single word in any language to describe how stunning you look.” Liz blushed and immediately hid her face in his neck. Max just grinned and placed a kiss on the top of her head. She snuggled even more into his arms.

“Guys! You’re here!” Amy Deluca screeched as she came running breathlessly from the hall. Maria rolled her eyes, knowing they now wouldn’t be able to leave for another twenty minutes. Man, Izzy was going to be pissed.

“Pictures! Everyone, I want pictures!”

*****

The group of six walked through the dimly lit but brightly decorated gymnasium of West Roswell High. The gym’s walls, once bleak and boring, were now smothered in congratulation and graduation banners.

Max and Liz, leading in front, looked excitedly at
the scene, wanting to take it all in. Well, Liz was trying to. Max was more trying to take in Liz’s dazzling appearance. Although he already knew he’d never forget this night, and he’d never forget the way Liz sparkled and shone, beauty radiating off of her.

“Hey guys! Our table is right there,” Maria shouted out over the music. She pointed to a large, empty table with a number assigned to it and a red reserved sign sitting on top. They all moved over to the table, placing all their excess belongings on it.

“C’mon, we’re dancing,” Isabel told Alex, leading him out the dance floor. He shrugged at the group and held on to her hand, following her. Maria followed Isabel’s lead, and grabbed Michael, dragging him on to the dance floor. He looked pleadingly at Max and Liz, but they just grinned wickedly. He glared at them before turning and obediently followed his girlfriend.

Max sat down in his seat, and pulled Liz on to his lap.

“Hey gorgeous,” Max whispered seductively into her ear. She beamed, and twisted her body so she could lay a soft, sensual kiss on his welcoming lips. His hands gripped her waist tightly, his body reacting fiercely to the warm presence of her lips. His hands slowly wandered upwards, rubbing her in miscellaneous areas on her back.

Their highly enjoyed moment of touching was quickly ruined when they heard a loud, distinct cough. Max’s angry eyes glimpsed up at the disturbance and found a slightly annoyed Adam staring at them. Somehow Liz missed the show of emotions from both men.

“Hey Adam!” Liz flashed him a wide grin and patted the chair next to her and Max. Adam hesitated at first, but then quickly sat down. He propped his arm up on the table, in an effort to try and shield his face.

“Adam, what are you doing?” a bewildered Max asked. Liz nodded, also wanting to know what the hell Adam was doing.

“Sherri,” Adam spat out. “She’s driving me insane. I swear, if I have to dance with her or take another picture with her or have to hold her damn drink one more time I’m just going to- hey Sherri!” Adam faked a smile to the slim blonde who was dressed in a black cloth. Adam couldn’t call it a dress… it didn’t cover anything. Or at least not anything important.

“There you are,” Sherri said, obviously annoyed. Her hands dropped on to her hips, giving her a pointed look. She stood right in front of the three, ignoring Max and Liz. “You can’t just up and leave me at the table. You’re my date. My date. You know, just because you’re handsome doesn’t mean you can just leave me hanging. I’m part of a high society and to be-”

“Sorry, Sherri, we’re going to dance.” Liz leaped off of Max’s lap, gave him a quick kiss and grabbed Adam’s hand. She led him out on to the dance floor, not saying one more word to Sherri. The girl was, to say the least, shocked.

Adam laughed at Liz’s bluntness. She just flashed him a sinful smile, and began to dance out on the dance floor. Her body moved in time with the music, and she carelessly threw her hands up in the air. Liz waved her arms around, moving her hips around to the music. Adam tried not stare, but failed miserably. Every inch of her body was swinging to the beat, and teasing his poor, helpless eyes ruthlessly.

You rocked my world, you know you did
And everything I’m gonna give
And there ain’t nothing we could find
Someone like you to call mine


Adam could feel a silly grin creeping up on his face and decided to lose himself to the music too. Tonight was a night to let loose, and that was just what he was going to do.

*****

“Oh man, look at those girls,” Alex groaned. He, Max and Michael stood off to the side, pretending to be drinking that ridiculously pink stuff in their cups. In reality, they were watching their girls go at it on the dance floor. Liz, Maria and Isabel were all dancing in a circle, their bodies dancing with the energy of fire. At first, Ice Queen Isabel had looked awkward beside Liz and Maria’s wild movements, but she soon lost herself and the three were dancing as if it were their last day on Earth.

“They look hot,” gargled Alex. He was sure he had drool running down his tux from just staring at Isabel’s spicy moves.

“Dude, that’s my sister you’re talking about,” Michael growled.

“And MY sister that you’re slobbering over,” Max commented, an edge of tension in his voice. But he couldn’t really create a menacing tone because he was far too busy watching Liz wiggle her body in ways he could only imagine of.

“They still look hot.”

“Oh yeah, they do.”

*****

“Look at them, they’re practically drooling all over themselves!” Maria exclaimed, putting an extra oomph into her hip swing. Liz laughed when she saw this.

“You are so bad, girl! You’re going to make Michael go insane.”

“Good! That’s the objective!” Isabel smirked at Maria’s comment and continued to dance along with music. The three of them had been sneaking inconspicuous glances at their men, and every time they were met with eyes full of awe and sparkle, and mouths wide open and drooling. To say the very least, they were all pleased with the outcome.

“Oh man, I love this song!” Maria called out, and grabbed Isabel’s hands, making her sway her body with Isabel’s. She pulled Isabel’s hand above her head and twirled underneath, then did the same for Isabel, their dresses swaying alongside their bodies.

“Come on Lizzie!” Maria shouted, as she began to sing along with the music.

Volcano girls, we really can't be beat
Warm us up and watch us blow
Now and then we fail and we admit defeat
We're falling off
We are watered down and fully grown


Liz laughed at Maria’s singing outburst, and caught Isabel’s eye. They smiled at each other and decided to join with Maria. They began screaming and singing the lyrics.

Leave me
Lying here
Cause I don't wanna go
Leave me
Lying here
Cause I don't wanna go


The song played its melody and the girl’s ecstatic voices carried over it. The song soon ended and they heard the next song take its place. They each exchanged glances and strolled over to Max, Michael and Alex.

“Good evening, gentlemen,” Maria’s throaty voice greeted them. Michael nearly choked when he heard the sultry in her voice. He gave a tiny nod in response to her greeting, because he was much too afraid what would come out of his mouth if he opened it.

Isabel smiled at this and continued slowly, “We were just wondering if you’d like to-”

“Dance with us pretty little ladies. We’ve gotten awfully lonely over there,” Liz finished for her. Each of the boys exchanged meaningful glances, then immediately grabbed their own girl, making their way to the dance floor.

“Gee, mister, you’re awfully pushy,” Liz said in her innocent voice. Max grinned and kissed her vigorously on her soft lips. She giggled. “And assertive too.”

Max pulled Liz close to his firm body, and tucked her neatly in his arms. It just felt so natural, she felt so natural to him. Their bodies were made for each other, fitting together perfectly. Liz put her head underneath her chin, resting her cheek right underneath his neck.

There is something that I see
In the way you look at me
There’s a smile, there’s a truth in your eyes
But an unexpected way
On this unexpected day
Could it mean this is where I belong
It is you I have loved all along


Michael’s steady arms wrapped themselves around Maria’s waist, and fit her body to his with ease. Maria’s own arms were twisted around Michael’s neck, her hands aimlessly rubbing sections of his neck. Michael, once unfeeling and ignorant, gave his girlfriend a soft, affectionate kiss on her forehead.

It's no more mystery
It is finally clear to me
You're the home my heart searched for so long
And it is you I have loved all along


Alex took Isabel’s perfect hand into his own, and held it over his heart. With his other arm, he pulled Isabel’s body tightly against his, and swayed alongside her. Isabel pressed her cheek against Alex’s, and closed her eyes, losing herself to this one, perfect moment she’d never forget.

There were times I ran to hide
Afraid to show the other side
Alone in the night without you
But now I know just who you are
And I know you hold my heart
Finally this is where I belong
It is you I have loved all along


Adam gazed longingly at Liz, but quickly scolded himself for it. It was time he let go, he had to. Looking at her with Max was… well, to be honest, it was beautiful. Any stranger could tell that those two truly loved and adored each other. But Adam isn’t just some stranger, and he knows their love is worth more than just one lifetime. Who was he to tell his King and Queen that they shouldn’t be together just because he loved her? But to free this devotion, this love for Liz was much too painful. So he was going to love her, and admire her from afar. And no matter what, he was going to protect her with all he had.

It's no more mystery
It is finally clear to me
You're the home my heart searched for so long
And it is you I have loved all along

Over and over
I'm filled with emotion
Your love, it rushes through my veins
And I am filled
With the sweetest devotion
As I look into your perfect face


Max basked in the love he could feel Liz giving him. This was the way it was supposed to be. Him and Liz, living, breathing and loving each other. Forever and ever together. Life wasn’t about aliens, or being different, or living in fear. It was this, loving and being loved by the most important person in the world. And for all this, Max was extremely thankful.

It's no more mystery
It is finally clear to me
You're the home my heart searched for so long
And it is you I have loved
It is you I have loved
It is you I have loved all along


posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:35:59 AM
“You don’t own me! I’m not just one of your many toys!”

“You don’t own me! Don’t say I can’t go out with other boys!”

“And don't tell me what to do! And don't tell me what to say! And when I go out with you, don't put me on display!” Liz, Maria and Isabel collapsed into a fit of giggles. They linked arms with each other and began to skip merrily through the school halls. As they neared the front doors where their limousine awaits, the girl’s voices became louder.

The girls sang in chorus, yelling out to the world their light hearts.

“I’m young, and I love to be young! I’m free, and I love to be free! To live my life the way that I want; to say and do whatever I please!” Another outburst of laughs was heard from them.

Max, Michael, and Alex walked a little ways behind the girls. They each had their jackets slung over their shoulder and one of the girl’s purses in their other hand. They couldn’t help but smile at the commotion Liz, Izzy and Maria were making. Girls were laughing at them, not mockingly, but in joy. Those girls looked so happy! Even Ice Princess Isabel Evans was letting it rip.

Guys, on the other hand, stared at their asses and other assets while the girls skipped along. They received three harsh glares from three very protective boyfriends.

“No, no, you don’t own me! You don’t own me! You don’t own me! Forever young and free!” Liz, Maria and Isabel were now outside, twirling underneath each other’s arms.

“Uh, how much alcohol did we give them?” Alex asked Max and Michael, watching the girls continue to sing and dance.

“None,” Max answered.

“Oh, right.” Right then, Maria took the lead and belted out one of the verses. She hopped up on to one of the benches.

“I'm young and I love to be young. I'm free and I love to be free; to live my life the way that I want; to say and do whatever I please!” Liz and Isabel bopped behind Maria, posing as her backup dancers.

“All right, girlies!” Maria turned around, looking at the very flushed backup dancers/singers. “We no longer have any school. We are free, young, beautiful women!” Maria began to address all the women that were outside, staring and watching her.

“You! You are beautiful!” She pointed to a petite brunette who was sitting on a school step outside, beside her friend. Maria then pointed to her friend. “And you too! You are beautiful people! Don’t let people tell you otherwise. Always love yourself and others! Never let people put you down and always smile! A smile wasted isn’t a smile at all!” By this point, Liz and Isabel were cracking up, watching Maria continue on her jovial rant.

“Max, I thought you said she didn’t drink anything,” muttered Michael. He walked over to the bench where Maria was, and looked up at her. Although slightly embarrassed by Maria’s sudden outburst, he couldn’t help but grin and chuckle at her. She was so passionate about things that it made her all the more gorgeous to him.

“C’mere, beautiful,” Michael said, placing her hand in front of her for her to take. She put her hand in his and hopped down from the bench. She threw her arms around his neck, and hugged him. Surprised at first, he hugged her back.

“You think I’m beautiful?” Maria asked, smiling at him.

“Always.” Maria melted and gave him a world-shattering kiss. Michael happily complied. Who was he to complain?

When Maria pulled her lips away, she turned to the girls who were still sitting on the school step. “Hey you guys! One more piece of advice! Always love your boyfriends!” With that, she blissfully strolled back to the group with Michael, where Isabel and Liz were already situated beside their boyfriends.

Max and Alex started applauding Maria’s performance. She took a step and bowed gracefully.

“Thank you, thank you.” She cracked a grin at them.

“Well, Miss Ross, if you’re done singing, we’ll be on our way?” Alex offered, not wanting to give up a good chance to bug her. She smacked his arm playfully.

“I don’t know if I should grace you with my presence any more,” Maria scoffed. Alex rolled his eyes and pushed Maria towards the limo.

The chauffeur of their limousine already had the door opened for them, and Isabel and Alex climbed in. Liz was about to jump in when she heard her name being called from behind her.

“LIZ!” Liz turned around to see who was calling her and she saw Kyle Valenti running towards her. Max and Michael straightened their shoulders. If Kyle wanted trouble, they wouldn’t think twice about giving him some. Liz just rolled her eyes and pushed the two boneheads to the side. She didn’t hate Kyle for being a jerk, and she could understand why he was mad at her for dumping him. She couldn’t and didn’t give him a good reason, because the real reason was a guarded secret.

“Kyle,” she said as he approached her. He looked awkwardly between Max and Michael, a bit anxious about the two. Liz turned to them and said, “Guys, you can get in. This won’t take long.” Michael was about to protest when Maria pushed him inside. Max followed Michael, but not before he gave Kyle a long, cold stare.

“Sorry,” Maria quipped. “We really do have a hard time taking them any where. Take your time, guys.” She gave Liz a wink and climbed into the limo herself. The door clicked close behind her.

“So… Kyle. What can I do for you?” Liz asked. She wasn’t sure why he wanted to talk to her, but by the look of it, it was important.

“I, uh… wanted to dance with you.” Liz stared at Kyle oddly, as if he had grown another head.

“Uh, Kyle, we’re about to leave so-”

“No, Liz! I’m sorry, that didn’t come out right. I wanted to dance with you tonight, but you guys had already left. I wanted to talk to you.” Liz eased up her stare, but was still confused as to why he wanted to talk to her. He hadn’t talked to her for over two years.

“I’m listening, Kyle…”

“Okay, I just want to say I’m sorry-”

“Kyle, it’s ok, you really don’t need to apolo-”

“No, Liz, it’s not ok. Just listen, k? When you left me for Max, I was hurt. I didn’t want to lose you but it was a lost cause. The minute you two met, it was perfect for you guys. And I’m sorry I tried to stand in the way of that for so long. You’re such a special person, and when I was with you, I wasn’t this big, burly jock type. I felt as normal as anyone, and very special at the same time. I hope you can accept my apology, because I really want us to be friends. I don’t want to end up on Maury one day because I was that asshole of a guy that ruined everything. And if I were a good friend, I would have just let you go to Max anyways, instead of holding you back. I want you to be happy, Liz.” Liz smiled genuinely at Kyle, truly touched by his words. She threw her arms around him and gave him a friendly hug.

“Oh, Kyle, of course we can be friends! Always. I know how hard that must have been for you to say that, so thank you. It means a lot to me.” When she pulled back, she took his hands in hers.

“Thank you, Liz. I hope Max knows what a lucky guy he is. And if he doesn’t I’ll be sure to kick his ass.”

“Oh, I think he does,” Liz replied, smiling. “But I have a question. What made you think about all of this after so long?”

“Well, I was talking to someone earlier tonight and he convinced me that you guys were the perfect couple. And it just got me thinking, I guess.” Liz raised her eyebrows in question.

“Adam?”

“Yeah, but don’t tell. I wasn’t supposed to say anything. But after I talked to him, I’m pretty sure he’s your guys’ number one fan.” Liz just nodded. She leaned over and gave him a light kiss on the cheek.

“Thanks Kyle for this. I’m really glad we resolved this. Friends forever?”

“Forever!”

*****

Max and Liz waved to the parting limo that held their friends. Maria and Michael were being dropped off at Michael’s, and Isabel and Alex were going to take a long cruise in the limo. Max and Liz were currently standing outside the Crashdown. It had taken a couple days to convince Michael and Adam to let Max and Liz have some private time tonight, but fortunately they had won the war. The only rule was that they would all come back to Liz’s apartment at spend the night there together. Though they weren’t sure about Adam, he could still be under the wrath of Sherri.

Max pulled Liz to him and kissed her lightly on the forehead. She smiled and curled against his body. They walked to the door and quickly stepped inside the restaurant. Before Liz could walk any further, Max’s hand pulled her back, halting her. He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a long, silk scarf.

“Before I give you your surprise, you need this,” Max said, grinning. He placed the scarf around in front of her eyes, tying it at the back of head. She giggled, feeling kind of silly with the blindfold.

“Buster, this better be a good surprise,” Liz replied. She put her hands on her hips, with a mock glare on her face. He just chuckled at her stance. Before she could say another word, she was swept off the ground and placed gently in Max’s arm. She let a loud squeal out, startled by the sudden movement.

“Max! What are you doing?” Liz cried, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck. Max let out a chuckle again, as she continued to tighten her arms around him.

“Liz! You’re going to have to ease up your arms or I’m going to suffocate!” Liz stuck out her tongue, accidentally licking his face due to the severe lack of vision. Max groaned.

“And you can’t do that either, or I’m going to drop you,” Max commented. She smiled and laid her head on his shoulder. She felt him carrying her up the stairs in the back of restaurant and up into the apartment. Liz heard her apartment door swing open, unlocked probably by Max’s powers. But before she could contemplate her trip through the apartment, Max carefully placed her on her feet. She went to take off her blindfold, but he stopped her fingers.

“Nuh uh, not yet. I’ll be right back.” He kissed her cheek tenderly and then left her side. She heard a window slide open and him climb out. So I must be in my bedroom. The question is, what’s he doing on my balcony? She waited (somewhat) patiently, her hands moving restlessly at her side. All of a sudden, she heard a soft song begin to play in the background.

On a perfect day
I know that I can count on you
When that's not possible
Tell me, can you weather the storm
'Cause I need somebody who will stand by me
Through the good times and bad times
She will always, always be right there


Liz grinned at the song. She loves this song, and Max knew that. What was that scheming little boy planning?

“Okay, you can take off the blindfold.” Liz whipped the scarf off and took a step towards her window. Max was crouching right in front of the window, so she couldn’t see behind him. He reached out for her hand and helped her out onto the balcony.

Liz’s eyes widened in astonishment at the sight that rest before her eyes. Her balcony was brightly lined in glowing tea lights, illuminating in the dark night. The floor below her small feet was ultimately lined in layers and layers of soft, red clusters of satin. On top of the material, petals of white roses were scattered in multiple piles. In the middle of the balcony was a large circle, outlined in long, ivory candlesticks and more white rose petals. Inside the ring, lay an unopened bottle, two wine glasses, and a pile of billowy, velvet pillows.

“Oh my god,” Liz breathed. This was beautiful… absolutely breathtaking.

“Max… Max, when did you do this?” Liz asked,
unable to tear her eyes away from the sight that melted her heart. The sight in which Max had ever so lovingly prepared for just them and their time alone together.

Liz felt Max’s arms wrap around her waist from behind her. He kissed the side of her neck lightly before whispering delicately in her ear.

“Before we came-” Max nibbled her ear “-to pick you-” kiss “-and Maria-” nibble “-up.” He leaned down, towards the side of her neck, and kissed it gently, tenderly.

“Oh, Max, this is just so… so…beautiful.”

“Beautiful? The only beautiful I see here is you.”
His tongue flicked over her neck, eliciting a moan from Liz. She closed her eyes and rolled her head to the side. Max just smiled, and pulled his lips away from her salty taste.

“Not just yet, my beauty.” Max stepped in front of her and took her hand, leading his lady over to the large circle. He swooped her up into his hefty arms, and crossed over the candlestick barrier. He set his love down in the mountain of pillows, letting herself crawl into its cozy comfort. Max placed his hand over the candles and they all immediately lit. He looked down at the beauty lying below him, her magnificence glimmering even more so by the luminosity of the candles. He lowered his body behind hers, laying out his legs so the beauty could curl up between them. He raised his hand towards the stereo and upped the volume.

Sunny days
Everybody loves them
Tell me
Can you stand the rain
Storms will come
This we know for sure
Can you stand the rain


Max draped his arms around Liz’s body again, leaving a light trail of kisses down the side of her neck. He couldn’t get enough of the sugary sweetness taste of her. If he could spend a lifetime doing this, just breathing her, he would die a euphoric death.

“Max,” the beauty called. Max barely moaned a response.

“Are you excited?” she asked. Max grunted, as if asking her what she was talking about.

“About UCLA, about us, about our life that we’re going to be starting.” Max barely nodded his head.

“We’re going to have our own apartment, and be going to the same university. I’ll be the molecular biologist that I’ve always wanted to be, and you’ll be the lawyer your dad wants you to be.” Another slight nod. He continued to kiss her to oblivion.

“Max,” Liz giggled. “Max, what are those?” She asked, pointing to the wine bottle and the glasses accompanying it. Max actually lifted his lips away, and focused on what Liz was pointing at.

“Ah, well, you see, my darling, that would be sparkling apple juice. Boring, I know, but uh, previous experiences have taught me not to drink.” He continued to kiss his beauty, his hands roaming amorously on her waist. He made no move to get Liz a glass.

“Well, Mr. Evans, aren’t you going to pour me a glass?” Liz teased, lacing her fingers with his. He knew just where and how to touch her.

“Nope.”

“No?” She asked, mocking incredulously.

“Too busy.” Emphasizing his point, he pulled her body closer and moved his lips further down her gorgeous body to her bare, glistening shoulder. His lips grazed her exquisite skin, tasting all of its flavor and rewards.

“Max,” Liz’s soft voice sighed. She turned her body and pushed him downwards until he was lying back on the pillows. Liz lay down on top of him, capturing his lips with her own. Max’s hand moved to her neck, grazing its skin with the stroke of his thumb. His other hand lay on the small of her back, keeping her firmly fit to his own body. He instantly missed the heat of Liz’s lips when she pulled away and began a path of kisses down his chin and to his neck. Her tongue began to play its part, leaving its own trail down her love’s neck. Liz’s petite hands rose to Max’s dress shirt, promptly unfastening the buttons that lie in her way. Before fully realized by her love, the shirt was completely open and showing off his eye-catching, muscular chest to the world. Liz’s sharp intake of breath proved to Max that she fancied his well-built muscles, and she immediately browsed his chest with the delicacy of her fingers.

Love unconditional
I'm not asking this of you
We've got to make it last
I'll do whatever needs to be done
'Cause I need somebody who will stand by me
Through the good times and bad times
She will always, always be right there


Liz pulled Max’s arms out of the sleeves of his now useless shirt. She threw the garment away from their heated bodies. Her fingers carried on its path, creeping down his chest to his washboard stomach. Her lips soon followed, gracing his craving skin.

Sunny days
Everybody loves them
Tell me
Can you stand the rain
Storms will come
This we know for sure
Can you stand the rain


Max’s body couldn’t stand the lack of movement, so his hands accepted a life of their own. His hands traced up Liz’s back, up to the concealed zipper of her dress. The strident sound of the descending zipper rippled into the night, but was still unnoticed by the occupied lovers. Max pushed the dress down Liz’s body until it had no more use and was no more of a hindrance to him. He gently pushed Liz away from his body and rolled her on to her back. He smiled lovingly at her and was returned with an even grander smile.

“Liz Parker, I love you,” Max whispered into her ear as he bent down to kiss her.

“And I love you,” Liz murmured back, meeting his lips with her own.

No pressure
No pressure from me baby
'Cause I want you
And I need you
And I love you
Will you be there for me?


Max’s hand drifted up to Liz’s soft breast, caressing it gently with his very capable fingers. Liz’s own hands drifted downwards towards his belt buckle, quickly undoing it and whipping it off, becoming another member of the pile of Max’s clothes. Their lips still fused together in a devoted embrace, hands wandering freely and affectionately. Liz wasted no time in undoing Max’s pants, adding yet another futile piece of clothing to the pile.

All the while, Max’s hands were going about their own way, slowly working off the interference of Liz’s bra. The once firmly held breasts were now free, and were blessing Max with their naked presence. He sighed inaudibly and caressed the milky mounds that made his body so heated, so intense with pleasure.

In the background, the lovers barely heard the next song take its place…

I'll give my all
Or not at all
There's no in between
I'll give my best
Won't second guess
This feeling deep in me
You make me want to love you
With every breath I'll love you
Endlessly
I'll give my heart, give my soul
I won't hold back, I'll give you everything
All of me
Completely


Liz’s hand continued their journey, traveling underneath Max’s silk boxers. She found the treasure she was looking for, much to Max’s pleasure. Max had difficulties keeping up with her passionate lips when her hands began to stroke his obvious arousal. A strangled moan erupted from his mouth, making Liz chuckle, but not lessen her hardening caress.

You fill me up with your love
Oh, I just overflow
When we touch, I can't get enough
And I want you to know
You make me want to love you
With every breath I'll love you
Endlessly
I'll give my heart, give my soul
I won't hold back, I'll give you everything
All of me
Completely


Max decided to fight fire with fire, and pulled his lips away from the warm comfort of their lips embrace. He let his lips voyage down towards Liz’s waiting breasts, kissing the tops first. Licking his lips seductively, he glanced up at Liz’s burning eyes and quickly latched his lips to her impatient nipples. The fiery moan that escaped Liz’s luscious lips nearly made Max lose his mind. But the Liz’s response only riled him up more, and his hand slipped to Liz’s lonely breast.

“Max,” Liz moaned quietly. “Make love to me.”

The cool, breezy air hit Max’s bare legs with an intense rush. His constant stroke and caress of Liz’s body immediately ceased, reality hitting him hard. This was bad. Michael was going to KILL him if he ever found out. Liz and him were lying out here, virtually naked, on the brink of driving each other crazy (if they weren’t already there yet, that is). OH, this was so bad.

“Max?” Liz’s apprehensive voice questioned, a bit louder than before. “Max? What’s a matter?” Max’s body jerked upwards, instantly in an upright sitting position. He scooted away from Liz, afraid to touch her. Oh, Michael would absolutely slaughter him if he found Liz and him like this.

Max handed Liz her bra, and her dress, still not saying a word to her. He wasn’t even sure he could get a sane word out with her undressed and so beautiful like that.
Liz, on the other hand, was extremely hurt. What had she done to turn him off so much? He had made her feel oh-so-good, and she didn’t want him to stop. Maybe he didn’t want her, or maybe he realized she wasn’t the one. Or maybe…

“Liz,” Max choked as he saw the near-breaking dam of Liz’s tears. She leaped up, and used her wrinkled dress to cover up her exposed skin. Liz ran out of the lit circle and off her balcony, stumbling into her room. A nearly naked Max followed her.

“Liz, wait!” He went to grab her arm, but she was too quick for him and was out of his grasp. She rushed to her bathroom and slammed the door shut, locking it.

“If you even attempt to unlock this door, I swear I’ll kill you!” Liz’s angry voice screeched. Max, torn, leaned against the bathroom door and slid down so that he sat against it. He slumped his head against the door, unsure of what to say.

“Liz, please, listen to me,” he cried. “I’m sorry, it’s not what you think. I promise. It was just getting too serious. We can’t let it go that far and-”

The door suddenly opened and Max’s body plummeted to the bathroom floor, with an angry and still undressed Liz staring furiously down at him.

“Max Evans, if you think you’re helping your case, you’re sadly mistaken! I could just- I could just-” Liz balled her hands into a fist, unable to think of an appropriate word. A frown crossed her face, and her arms fell to her sides.

“I could just kiss you.” Max began to smile at the thought, but quickly disposed of that idea. He didn’t think it was such a great idea while Liz’s emotions were running high.

Max sat up, and patted his lap, gesturing for Liz to sit down. Instead of his lap, she sat down beside him. He frowned slightly, and wrapped an arm around her shoulder, which she quickly shrugged off. Max frown deepened and he let out a deep, frustrated sigh.

“Liz, you know we can’t let this, this heat, this passion take over. As much as I’d love to make you mine forever, it’s just not the right time.”

“Max, you’re wrong. I know you felt what I felt out there. I am yours forever, and I have always been yours. I will always be yours forever. In every sense of the word, we are forever each other’s, so why do you think we can’t do this? I love you, Max Evans, as much as you piss me off. And I want you to make love to me like we’re meant to.” Max turned to her and cupped her face gently, lovingly.

“Liz, we can’t-”

“No, Max, we can. The only thing holding us back is you.” Another frustrated sigh emitted from Max’s lips.

“Michael would kill me if he found out. And-”

“First off, please never, ever mention my brother’s name when we’re having a discussion about our sex life. Second, Michael doesn’t matter. It’s none of his business. I love you, I trust you and, oh god, I want you so bad right now.” Max smirked, casting a sideways glance at Liz. She smiled shyly, and hooked her arm with his. She snuggled her head into the side of his arm.

“Max, please, we’re adults. We can make decisions for ourselves. I mean we’re going to be going to UCLA together soon, living together for the rest of our lives. We’re going to be starting the rest of our lives together, despite whatever some evil alien has in store for us. I want us to start our lives together on a good foot.” Max couldn’t help but grin, and kissed the top of the beauty’s head.

“Elizabeth Parker, I love you to no end.” Liz smiled, a creeping blush appearing on her face. She stood up and pulled Max up beside her. She led him to her bed, and sat down beside him. She cupped his adorable, lovable face in her petite hands, adoring him more and more. She placed her lips against his lightly and softly.

“Max Evans, I love you and I will always love you. I’m forever yours, so please, take me for your keeping.” With that, she placed her arms around Max’s neck and kissed him more passionately than she ever had, and continued to kiss him passionately all night.

You make me want to love you
With every breath I'll love you
Endlessly
I'll give my heart, give my soul
I won't hold back
I'll give you everything
All of me
Completely


posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:40:41 AM
“So how was your night?” Alex asked as Maria and Michael climbed into the limo. He leaned back against his seat, wrapping his arm around Isabel’s shoulder and took a look at the entering couple. Maria’s previous neat, tidy hair was now disheveled and lay limply in a hasty ponytail. Michael’s own hair stuck out at its own accord, not like its usual wavy length. He was already out of his suit and in a pair of jeans and a lazy t-shirt.

“You know what? Never mind, I don’t want to know,” Alex remarked after the sum of their appearance. Maria rolled her eyes and stuck her tongue out at him.

“Whatever Alex! Like you weren’t doing anything in this spacious limo. Or at least fantasizing about doing something!” Alex’s face reddened and he shut his mouth instantly.

“What’s that?” Isabel asked, pointing to the shiny ring that was lying on Maria’s finger. She obviously wanted to change subjects. But then she realized what she changed the subject to. “He didn’t!” She turned to Michael, who looked like an innocent deer caught in the glare of headlights. “You didn’t!”

“Hah! No! I don’t think so, Miss Evans,” Maria snorted. “It’s called a promise ring.” She grinned and held her hand out for Isabel to admire the ring. The silver band was decorated in a round cut diamond surrounded by two emeralds. Alex whistled.

“Oh, I bet I can just imagine WHAT he promised too! Woo, must have cost a few bucks there, Guerin. Very smooth.” Alex smirked, and Michael did the same in response.

“Apparently, Maria thought so too.” Michael gestured to her wrinkled appearance, and received a loud smack on his arm.

“If I didn’t like this ring so much, I’d throw it at you!” Maria glared at Michael, crossing her arms across her chest. He went to touch her arm and she jerked her body away from him. He rolled his eyes and leaned against the door, looking out the window. Maria’s livid eyes stared a hole into the back of his head.

Alex and Isabel exchanged looks. Damage control.

“So, I hope Max and Liz are still up,” Isabel piped. Michael’s head jerked his head towards Isabel, his eyes blazing.

“And why the hell wouldn’t they be?” Michael glowered. Isabel looked towards Alex, not sure what to say. Michael didn’t know about the elaborate balcony dress up, and he was pissed enough as it was.

“Oh, cool your jets, space boy,” Maria muttered. “They’re not STUPID. They wanted time alone, what the hell do you think they were doing?”

“If he-”

“Michael, we’re talking about Max here, Captain Responsible. Not going to happen,” Alex assured Michael. “We’ve been hiding from an alien who wants Liz’s to behr his child. They probably just did some friendly hand holing and making fun of you.” Alex KNEW there was more than just some friendly hand holding going on, but an enraged, domineering older brother and alien was more than he wanted to deal with at that moment.

Michael gritted his teeth. If Max even thought about doing something-

“MICHAEL. STOP THOSE WHEELS IN YOUR HEAD.” Maria glared at Michael. Knowing him, he would probably storm up into Liz’s room and beat the crap out of Max for just being in the presence of Liz. This overprotective bit was starting to get on her nerves. What the hell made him get so protective of Liz anyway? Whatever it was, he wasn’t going to ruin whatever happiness Liz and Max have. She was not going to let him destroy what is supposed to be a perfect night for the two lovebirds.

“Oh, look, the Crashdown,” Isabel stated flatly. She stepped out of the limo, Alex right behind her. Maria and Michael followed while Isabel completed some business with the chauffeur. The two couples stalked their way into the dark alley behind the restaurant, and entered through the back. Michael effectively unlocked the door with his powers. They quietly made their way up the stairs to find an empty, quiet apartment. Before Michael could storm to Liz’s room, Maria stopped him.

“Don’t even think about going near Liz’s room. Alex and I are going to tell them we’re here.” She trudged over to Alex and grabbed his arm, dragging him towards Liz’s room. Isabel’s humoured voice was the last thing they heard as they moved out of the room. “Michael, you’re in the DOGHOUSE tonight!”

*****

“They’re not going to be, like… doing it, are they? Cause I really wanted to grab that sweatshirt I left here and if they’re- eww,” Alex remarked, as he and Maria stood in front of Liz’s bedroom door.

“Are you kidding me? You’re the one who called Max Captain Responsible!” Maria shook her head. Maybe her friends were horndogs but they were also the most responsible people she knew too.

“Right, right.” Alex opened the door and briskly walked through the room to the balcony. Everyone had known about the setup except Michael and Liz. A small squeak from Maria made him turn around to her, as she was still standing in the doorway. Her widened eyes and stiff posture made Alex follow Maria’s eye path. And he found a happy looking Max and Liz. A very naked, happy looking Max and Liz.

“Oh my god,” Alex choked. He stumbled backwards and hit the window noisily with his back. Nothing but a small stir from Liz emanated from the couple. “They didn’t… you know… they didn’t, like…” Alex stuttered.

“NO!” Maria’s whispered shriek startled Alex. “No way! They were just… playing.” Maria nodded her head, as if it would help her believe it.

“Playing nakedly,” Alex added. “And it smells like-”

“No! It doesn’t.” Maria closed the door behind her and started to pace. If Michael saw this, he was going to FLIP. And Antar would lose their King except this time to Michael. Max and Liz had just been touching and feeling… Michael and her did that all the time. It was just a fun make-out session that went a little farther. Naked farther. But not SEX farther. No. These people were way too sensible and responsible for that.

“Maria,” Alex said, as he wrinkled his nose. “It smells like se-”

“HERE!” Maria yelped as she ran to Liz’s dresser. She threw him the bottle of lavender scented room spray and began to pace again. She heard the loud hissing sound of the bottle, and she turned to look at the couple. They still didn’t move.

“Don’t you think we should, like… cover them up or something?” Alex asked. He picked up Liz’s bed cover and dangled it in front of him. He didn’t want to know why or how it got on the floor.

Maria nodded her head and helped him cover up Liz and Max. Yet again, they didn’t even move an inch. “Just get your sweatshirt and lets get out of here,” she hissed.

Alex nodded and took a quick peek around for his sweatshirt. He found it neatly folded on the top of Liz’s desk. Liz, that neat freak, must have put it there. He walked over to the desk and went to pick up the sweatshirt, but something stopped him. He picked up the square shaped, plastic wrapper in his hands. When he realized what he was holding, he immediately dropped the wrapper as if he had been burned. A shudder ran through his body and his body wrinkled in disgust.

“What is it?” Maria asked, annoyed. She sauntered over to where Alex was standing and looked over his shoulder. Her eyes became saucers as they landed on the wrapper.

“That’s- that’s-”

“Little Maxie’s happy hat,” Alex answered. Maria stifled the high pitch scream that was threatening her and ran out of the room.

*****

Liz awoke to the glowing sun warning the world of its presence. Her body hummed blissfully at the new day, all her senses coming full force. The heavy feeling of her eyelids that usually accompany the morning rousing began to fade, and she took a look at her surroundings. The window that rested just a few feet away from Liz admitted the sun’s gleaming ray, basking her in utter brilliance. Although, it was not the time for the sun’s complete entrance, so the sky lounged in bright colours. Early morning had always been a favourite of Liz’s because the appearance of the sky could just brighten her day.

Tired of sight, she closed her eyes and took a vast inhale. The air smelled like love, Max… and lavender? Odd. Liz smiled and shook her head. Whatever.

But Max… oh, he smelled so delicious. The previous nights events overtook Liz’s mind, and she let herself indulge in the memory. Max had been so gentle, so tender. Every kiss, every touch, every thought was for her, and he let her know that. Max had been so worried that he would hurt her but he could never hurt Liz. Max could run over Liz with his jeep a million times over, and she’d be delirious because it was he who was driving. It’s sick and twisted, but all too true. To love someone this much, to spend every moment with one single person and still be unsatisfied… well, it was frightening.

But just the thought of Max reassured her to no end. He loved her, in every sense of the word. Even in his sleep, as he was right now, his devoted arms clung around her waist protectively. Always so passionate, and so adamant about her knowing how much he loved her. It tickled her continuously and she couldn’t think of a better way to live her life.

Liz felt the need to stretch but Max was still sleeping, and she refused to wake him up. Then again he might wake up anyways. Last night something had changed between them… like their connection had deepened. And Liz smiled broadly when she could feel that something special stir inside of her. But then a sigh followed, as she knew if she didn’t get out of bed eventually, she was going to wet the bed, and she could live without that humiliation.

Liz checked over her shoulder to see if Max was still sleeping. As she expected, his eyes were closed, and his breathing was deep, his lips toying with a slight smile. The sight warmed her heart, and almost debated leaving the warmth of his body. Wouldn’t he feel her absence as much as she? Wouldn’t he yearn to touch her and kiss her the way he had last night, as much as she wanted him to right now?

But Mother Nature called, so Liz quietly and slowly inched her way off her bed. Max’s body slumped into the gap where Liz’s body once was and shivered instantly. She kissed his forehead lightly and Max’s body calmed. Liz grinned and scurried off to the bathroom.

After her call of nature, she decided to see if the others made it to her apartment all right. She had forgotten about them until about a moment ago, and hadn’t heard them come in last night. It was odd, she at least expected to hear Maria’s shrill scream awake from her slumber during the night, but alas, she never awoke Liz. Liz tiptoed over to her dresser and pulled out a pajama set. It had purple, cartoon elephants all over the cotton pants and a plain white tank top. Not very sexy, but it would do. Liz tiptoed over to her lover and kissed him once more before sneaking out the door.

The moment Liz entered her living room she had to stifle laughter that endangered her. Alex and Isabel were lying on her couch, both tangled in each other’s arms. Each was still in their previous night’s attire, although indisputably wrinkled. Maria and Michael, on the other hand, were seated on opposite sides of the room. Maria lay comfortably on Liz’s other couch, whereas Michael lay awkwardly on the floor near where Liz was standing. Liz wondered what Michael had done now to piss Maria off. Liz shook her head in amusement.

Liz glanced over to the clock that hung on the wall. It was about 5:30am and the Crashdown wouldn’t open for a while now. Her parents had left her in charge, but with all the uncertainty in the air, she handed over the responsibility to her dad’s assistant manger, Craig. Liz didn’t see why her parents didn’t just do that in the first place, but her dad repeatedly told her it was just that she would have more access to the Crashdown since she lived there and that she knew the Crashdown better than anyone other than himself. Liz would just roll her eyes and agree with whatever he said.

Liz made a quick decision and scampered out her apartment door. She’d make a pot of coffee for herself before the group got up, which she was sure wouldn’t be for a long while. They would all flip out if they knew she was actually *gasp* going somewhere without them! Sometimes it really amazed her that she could go to the bathroom by herself. She knew it was about safety, but REALLY, a girl needed SOME privacy.

Liz strolled contently down the stairs and towards the Crashdown when something caught her attention. The lights in the dining room were on. She didn’t leave them on, did she? No, she couldn’t have. Would the gang have turned them on? No, they wouldn’t have. Liz’s throat closed up and she rethought the whole idea of coffee. Actually, screaming would probably help the most right now. Yep, it would. Only if her damn throat weren’t closed up. Only if her damn feet would move.

“Liz?” a voice called out as the employee door swung open. A sigh of relief swept through her and she ran to Adam, giving him a great, big hug.

“Oh, well, good morning to you,” Adam joked. She
smiled and hugged him again.

“Good morning!” Liz replied energetically, regaining her happy state. “I was just about to get some coffee. The others are dead to the world.” Adam smirked.

“Great minds think a like. Coffee is already made.” He ushered her into the dining room, and seated himself where he was sitting before he had discovered Liz. Liz grabbed a coffee mug and poured herself some steaming hot coffee.

“Mmm,” Liz murmured as she took her first sip.

“Needed a caffeine fix?” Adam asked, watching Liz devouring her cup.

“Always,” Liz said, smiling at him. She took the seat next to him and turned to him. “So why you here?”

Adam looked at her oddly. “Am I not supposed to be here or something?”

“Oh no! I didn’t mean that! You’re always welcome here,” Liz responded quickly. “I’m just wondering why you’re here, drinking coffee by yourself-”

“Correction. Drinking coffee with you.”

“Right.” Liz nodded. “Drinking coffee with me early in the morning and not with your date and all her lively friends?” Adam unexpectedly dropped his head heavily on to the counter, causing a large thump. Liz jumped at the startling action.

“If I ever talk to her again in this lifetime or the next, it’ll be way too damn soon.” Liz laughed at his remark, and placed a comforting hand on his back. He turned his head, which was still lying on the counter, and looked up at her sympathetic eyes.

“That bad, huh?” she asked, rubbing his back soothingly.

“Uh huh. I swear I was more like her accessory than her date. She probably would have checked me in with her coat if she could have.” Adam picked up his head and thumped it against the counter again.

“Aww, it’ll be ok, Adam. But you know, this is your fault. Now you’ve learned your lesson. Never let Maria pick any of your dates. It’ll turn out to be a disaster, I guarantee it.”

“Point taken and filed.” Liz nodded her head and smiled. She took another sip of her coffee, and then looked towards Adam. His innocent but seemingly scarred eyes looked up at him.

“Do you miss it?” Adam looked at her questioningly.

“Miss what?” Adam asked cautiously.

“Home.” Liz watched for Adam’s response and was rewarded. His eyes clouded over and he straightened his body. His whole body seemed to stiffen, and he was quiet for a few moments.

“How could I not?” Liz nodded considerately. “But what is home?” Adam continued. “It’s not what it used to be. It’ll never be home again. Everything’s too different. I’m too different.” Liz gave another understanding nod. She knew that feeling. Life was so unlike the life she used to know before Max, Isabel and Michael. She wasn’t even sure if she would be able to recognize that life.

“Why do you ask?”

“I don’t know. I mean, if I were you, I’d probably wonder a lot about it. Like if home is as different as I am.” Liz paused thoughtfully. “It must have been hard.”

“What must have been hard?” Adam asked again, not sure if he was following her train of thought.

“Leaving everything you ever known.”

“I had to do what I had to do.” Adam just shrugged, acting as if it didn’t matter. But Liz had struck a chord. It was hard, and still is hard.

“You’re pretty admirable, you know.” Adam smirked at Liz’s comment and raised his eyebrows in question. “I don’t think I’d be able to leave all of this. I mean, sure, I’ve changed a lot of the years, but I still have this piece of myself that’s with me because I’m here, surrounded by things that are somewhat familiar.”

“You’re familiar to me.”

“Is it the same?”

“No.” An insecure silence swept over them. Liz glanced at Adam again.

“This may seem selfish, and I’m sorry if it comes out that way, but I’m glad you came. I don’t know what would have happened without you. I know I’d be missing out on a really wonderful friendship, for one.” Adam smiled at Liz sincerity.

“Me too. Maybe I left a lot behind me, but I sure gained a lot here.” It was Liz’s turn to smile, and she did it proudly. She hugged him again. Maybe she couldn’t take away the pain that resided deep in him, but she’d be damned if he went through it alone.

Liz began to pull away but Adam’s arms were firmly placed around her, not budging. Liz tried to pull away again, but Adam squeezed her tighter.

“Adam-” Liz began, but was abruptly cut off by a sharp shushing sound. Her round, doe eyes looked into Adam’s concentrating eyes. Before Liz could realize what was happening, Adam had thrown her and himself to the ground, his body guarding hers protectively. In the next instant, the Crashdown windows burst into tiny pieces, glass chunks littering the floor. The thundering shatter of glass pierced the previous calm that had occupied the air, and Liz wanted to scream except her throat closed up for the second time that morning. The split second of silence was disturbed by Adam’s constant line of curses. He stood up and pulled her body up with him.

“Adam what’s going-”

“I’m getting you out of here.” He grabbed her hand and ran towards the back of the restaurant before a large fireball launched towards them. The restaurant immediately erupted into flames and Liz finally found the voice to scream. But the scene rapidly disappeared in front of her as she and Adam ran out the back door of the restaurant.
posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:41:29 AM
Max woke up with a start. He rubbed his eyes lazily, full consciousness not yet greeting him. Max took a whiff of the air and couldn’t help but place a silly grin on his face. He could smell the scent of vanilla and… lavender? Huh? Weird.
Something didn’t feel right though, something was scratching at the back of his mind, dying to get out. Somewhere in the back of his head, his mind was registering what it was. Think, Max, think. Liz. Where’s Liz? Max’s eyes jolted wide open and became panic-stricken as they darted around the empty room.
“Liz?” he croaked out. He threw the bed cover off his nude body and jumped off the bed. Please, please, be here.
Max looked out the window and onto the balcony, frantically calling out Liz’s name. No response. Max felt himself coming apart and losing all sanity. This wasn’t happening, it couldn’t.
He grabbed his crumpled boxers off the floor and ran out of the room, all the while pulling his boxers on his quaking, bare body.
“Liz!” Max hollered as he stumbled into the living room. Max barely noticed its occupants and scurried into the kitchen.
Max’s tortured voice called Liz’s name again as his mind slowly dwindled away from his grasp. He wasn’t sure if that inane feeling of dread that was overcoming him was because he wanted to cry or because he wanted to puke.
By now, Alex, Isabel, Maria and Michael were stirring and desperately trying to clutch awareness. Max’s wild cries for Liz jolted Michael cruelly and made him vault upwards as Max ran out the front door and down the stairs to the Crashdown. Before Michael could follow suit, a voice stopped him. Liz’s distressed voice made its presence known in all of her friend’s minds.
“Guy, you have got to get out of there! The Crashdown, it’s on fire!” The four teens, still situated in the living room, stared wide-eyed at each other. The thoughts that ran through each of their minds troubled their souls mercilessly.
“I’m with Adam, I’m fine! Just get out!” The teens tried to absorb the fresh information that arrived too damn early in the morning, but Isabel was the first to respond.
“Max! Max! He’s down there!” Isabel screamed. She bolted for the door and was quickly followed by her companions, each thundering their path down the set of stairs. The smell of smoke intoxicated the employee’s back room and each of their nostrils. A straining heat hit their bodies, taunting them with its fever. Maria started to cough uncontrollably and her eyes watered instantly. Alex grabbed her and Isabel’s arm, pushing them towards the back door and out of the restaurant.
Michael partially covered his face with his shirt, and shoved open the swinging door to the dining area with his shoulder. Smoke lingered restlessly in the air, but no fire seemed in attendance. Michael instead found a withering Max, coughing painfully against the peril of smoke. His body leaned up against the black, smoldering wall that was formerly enraging the fire.
Michael grabbed Max’s arm and pulled him out the front doors of the Crashdown, where Max collapsed on the front sidewalk. Michael bent his knees, leaning his hands on them, taking slow, deep breaths in attempt to clean his lungs.
“Max!” Isabel shouted as she came barreling from the back alley. She ran to her brother and wrapped her arms tightly around his crumpled body. “Oh god, Max, are you all right?”
“Izzy, I’m fine,” Max wheezed. His eyes looked fearfully into Isabel’s, every part of his body strained with emotion. “Where is she? Where is Liz… and Adam?” He heard too, Isabel concluded. She almost didn’t want to answer him, afraid he would either go completely insane or bawl like a baby.
“I-I don’t know,” Isabel replied quietly. She rubbed her hand against his back, and for the first time, noticed he was wearing little to nothing.
“Guys!” Maria’s voice called out as she and Alex made their appearance from the back alley. “My car! It’s gone!” Max and Isabel looked at her bewildered, as to what importance the new information held at that very moment.
“I left my car here yesterday before Alex dropped Liz and I back at my place. It’s gone, and I think that’s how Adam and Liz got away. It was parked in the back alley, and the only way it could have gone was with some special alien voodoo because I have the keys.” A long list of incomprehensible curses strung itself out of Max’s mouth.
“Well, where did they go?” Max asked tightly. But he knew, as well as everyone else, that they had no way of knowing. Maria’s slight shrug answered his futile question.
“Can anyone connect with Liz? I mean, obviously she can connect to our minds easily, being a powerful alien queen and all, but can anyone connect with her back?” Alex’s question raised eyebrows but no positive answers. He then turned to the troubled Max. Questions were running endlessly through Alex’s mind. “Max, how’d you put out that fire? Liz made it sound like it was more than just some small fire.”
“I used my powers.” Max left his answer short and curt.
“Why the hell wasn’t she with you this morning?” Michael said fiercely, his first words of the morning. Michael’s abrupt change of topic was evidence enough to show the wheels were turning rapidly in his head.
“I don’t know,” Max answered, starting to sound lost. His miserable eyes looked up at the group. “I woke up this morning, no, something woke me up this morning. I could feel something. She wasn’t in bed with me this morning when-”
“WHAT?” Michael roared. He turned his furious, burning eyes on Maria’s slowly shrinking body. “You told me he was on the goddamn floor! And why the hell aren’t you-” pointing to Max “-wearing any fucking clothes? You filthy son of a bitch! If you so much as touched her, I swear I’ll kill you. You can’t even protect my sister when she’s right fucking next to you! I swear-”
“Shut the hell up, all that doesn’t matter right now, damn it!” Max yelled, the forlorn boy replaced once again by rage. “She’s not here, and someone is who wants to hurt her and the rest of us.” He stood up, shaking Isabel off him, and looked eye to eye with Michael. “I’ll be damned if something happens to Liz or anybody else. And besides that, whatever happens between Liz and myself is exactly that. Between us, not you.” He stomped into the Crashdown and slammed the door heavily. Alex shook his head with a grave sigh, and rubbed his forehead with his hand. Maria, on the other hand, was fuming. Max had a point, and whatever happened between Max and Liz last night was none of Michael’s damn business. Especially now, with Liz and Adam gone to hell knows where.
“Goddamn it, Michael! Why do you have to be such a prick? Especially now when all this shit is going on, considering it’s only going to get worse from now on. You just make me so- ARGH!” She threw her arms up into the air and shrieked into the morning air. She stepped right in front of Michael’s hard face, and matched his own tight lips. “Liz isn’t here, so we have more to worry about than your damn protective problems. You better hope to god that Liz commands me not to kill you, because otherwise you’re a dead man.” She spun away from him and followed Max’s actions, stomping into the Crashdown and slamming the door. Michael stared at the closed door for long moments, unsure of what to say or do. Everything he cherished had left him in a matter of moments.
“Michael,” Isabel started softly. She stepped behind him, and placed a hand on his shoulder. He turned to her, his dejected eyes shifting from Alex and Isabel. His lips turned down, as if trying desperately to fight off the offending tears.
“I just- I just- god, I just don’t know what the hell to do,” Michael said quietly. “I should have done something, I should have been there.” Isabel shook her head and gripped both of his shoulders tightly.
“There’s not a thing you could have done. All you can do now is keep it together and it’ll all work out. Liz is okay. She’s with Adam. It’s not like Khivar has her, and if we play it smart, he’ll never come near her.” Michael nodded obediently, his eyes staring down at the ground.
“I’m just…”
“I know,” Isabel replied softly. She wrapped her arms around Michael and embraced him in a comforting hug. If only it could make everything all right.

*****

“Adam, where are we going?” Liz asked, shifting nonstop in the passenger seat of Maria’s Jetta. Adam glanced over at Liz from the driver’s seat, her shifting starting to make him worried. He didn’t want to scare her, which he had already done when he had been barking orders at her earlier. But then again, he wasn’t going to lie to her.
“I don’t know yet, Liz. We just can’t stay back there.” Liz nodded her head, yet barely registering his words. All she knew was that this morning she woke up the happiest woman in the world and now she was running for her life. She started tapping her fingers against the dashboard.
“Liz,” Adam said, smiling sadly at Liz’s anxious movements. “You got to calm down, all right? You’re fine, and I’m sure they all got out of the apartment before any major damage happened. The fire department is probably checking it all out right now. They’re fine, ok?” Another distracted nod presented itself. “Liz. Listen to me. You told me you could read what they were thinking, so you obviously got through to them. Stop worrying, just relax or this is going to be one long damn car ride.”
“It already is,” Liz muttered under her breath. She caught herself too late though, already noticing the hurt look on Adam’s face. “No, Adam, I didn’t mean it that way. As much as I love running for my life with you, I’d just rather be-”
“Home. I know,” Adam replied, a half smile on his face. “Don’t forget, this is me you’re talking to. Master Runaway and Alien Problem Specialist.” Liz grinned at him. “It could be a lot worse, too. You could be stuck with Michael.” Adam warmed when Liz (adorably) stuck her tongue disgusted at the thought.
“You’re right, it could be a lot worse. I’m sure Michael would be checking my seatbelt every two seconds.” Liz started to frown when she thought of Michael. What if she could never go home? What if she never saw Michael again? Never got to hear Michael lecture her on teenage boys like Max (and himself), and how they were after only one thing. And Max, oh god, Max. If she never saw Max again, she wouldn’t want to live. She might as well kill herself now.
Max, I love you. I miss you, I need you here with me right now. I don’t think I could live a day without knowing I’ll get spend the rest of my life with you, life just wouldn’t be worth-
“Stop that, Liz. Whatever you’re thinking, stop it. I can just see those wheels moving in your head, and you need to just stop. Everything is going to be all right. Khivar won’t be able to find us, or at least not any time soon. Keep in mind that you made our escape hidden to anyone in the whole city. There’s not a damn way anyone could know we even left except for the gang.”
“What if it didn’t work? What if they’re following us right now? What if-”
“What if I grew ears and called myself Dumbo? What if’s are for the unprepared. We, on the other hand, are perfectly fine. We’ve been expecting this, so we’re not going to crumble. And I know your mindwarp worked, why wouldn’t it?”
“If we’re so prepared, where the hell are we going?”
“Ahh, no fears, my lady. All our answers lie in there,” answered Adam, as he pointed to the gas station not far up the road. “I need gas anyways.” Adam grinned and shrugged his shoulders. Liz playfully punched his shoulder.
“How can you be so calm about this? We’re running away from our home because our lives are at risk. And Maria’s going to absolutely freak when she finds out we took her car. She’s going to drown you in her cypress oil.” Another grin appeared on Adam’s face.
“Psh! Maria is nothing. I could take her with my pinky toe.” Liz rolled her eyes.
“Oh, I’m sure you could.” She crossed her arms and stared out the window. Adam is a great friend and she loved him to death, but nothing could be better than being with Max. And that’s where she wanted to be right this moment. In Max’s arms, being masked by Max’s tender kisses. Last night had been so special to them and now all this crap happened. Fate must hate her. That was it. Fate hated her guts. She would tell fate to kiss her ass if she could.
Liz thumped her head against the glass of the passenger window. After the huge explosion, everything happened so quickly that it still hadn’t registered in her brain yet. Adam had pushed her out the back door and spotted Maria’s car almost automatically. He manipulated the locks and they peeled away from the back alley and away from Roswell. Liz didn’t even get a last glimpse of her beloved hometown because she was too busy concentrating on making sure no one saw them speeding away and connecting to her friends all at the same time.
Liz just wished this would be over. Really, what did a bunch of teenagers know about alien politics? All of it was stupid nonsense anyways. A planet was depending on their survival when they could barely make it through a normal day. Some stupid evil alien leader wanted her to have his child, all the while watching her lover and her best friends be slaughtered by the same evil bastard. How did she get into these things?
Oh right, being the essence of an alien queen, that’s how.
This may be a longer trip than she expected.

*****

Max was leaning his forehead against the cool pane of Liz’s bedroom window when Maria slipped into the room. She came up behind him and just stood beside him, staring out at the balcony like Max. She was quiet for a few moments before she placed a warm hand on Max’s shoulder.
“Are you all right?” she asked gently. Maria took a quick glance over Max’s body. His whole frame was stiff and rigid, emitting closed off emotions. His eyes were tightly shut, and remnants of tear tracks lay on his face. His breathing was deep and shallow. He was dressed though, his slacks fitting comfortably on his legs, and his dress shirt resting open on his body.
“No,” Max murmured. Maria wrapped her arms around his waist in a friendly hug. “I need her, Maria. I can’t stand knowing she’s out there somewhere without me and someone wants to hurt her. I hate knowing that at the most important moment, when I had to protect her, I failed. Miserably.”
“No, Max, you didn’t,” Maria said. “None of us even know what the hell happened. Liz seemed to skip the details with us earlier, although justly. But we still don’t know what happened, and blaming ourselves isn’t going to do us any good.” She sighed, turning away and leaning her body against Liz’s desk. “I guess I shouldn’t have yelled at Michael.” Max turned too, facing her.
“You too?” Maria nodded.
“Yeah, I kind of went of on him. I feel bad, but god, he just makes me so mad sometimes. He shouldn’t be making such a big deal of things that aren’t even his business and don’t matter right now. He should be thinking about other things especially when Liz is- er, when things are crazy.” Max sighed, and sat down on the bed. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a velvet black box, placing it on the bed. Maria’s eyes amplified at the box, quickly looking up at Max’s face.
“You didn’t get to…” Maria stopped, unable to finish. Max just shook his head.
“No, we sort of got, uh, sidetracked last night. I was going to ask her this morning, but alas, fate hates me.” He rested his elbows on his knees, and smothered his face in his hands. “I love her, Maria. I’ll die if anything happens to her.”
“I know, Max. I know.”

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:41:56 AM
Liz let out a lazy yawn as she stirred from her sleep. She stretched her stiff arms and legs as far as the confines of the car would allow her. Liz blinked her eyes a few times, attempting to regain focus. She looked over at Adam, who was staring out the windshield, his eyebrows knitted in deep concentration. Liz sighed, not wanting to disturb his thoughts and gazed out the window herself.
Night had already descended on them while she had been sleeping. The moon hung proudly in the luminous sky, its stars twinkling as if they had their own little secret. Liz had her own secrets though. The heavens had been smiling on her and Max the night before as well, and Liz couldn’t help but want to just force Adam turn around and go back. Hell, she didn’t even know where they were going. Adam just kept saying they had to leave and hide for a while. Liz didn’t think even Adam knew where he was going. If Max were here, he would probably have the whole trip planned out already.
Max, Max, Max. Her mind couldn’t think of anything but. What is he doing right now? Does he miss her as much as she misses him? What would it be like to just be safe in his arms right now, or to taste his luscious lips again? It felt like years, no, centuries since she last seen Max. In literal terms, it had been less than 24 hours, but still, no Max makes Liz a grumpy alieness.
Liz took another quick peek at Adam to find him still deeply encased in his thoughts. He had warned her not to connect with anyone yet just in case, but to hell with safety. She needed something comforting, or rather someone comforting, and Adam was too busy trying to figure out what to do next.
Liz took a deep, calming breath and closed her eyes. Her mind functioned so easily for her now that she had so much more training on her hands. It almost seemed like an unconscious effort. She found the restless mind she was searching for, and slowly lulled it into the world of slumber…

*****

Max sprang up away from the ground he had suddenly found himself lying on. Below him laid a vast green field, seeming to be continuing infinitely. The golden sun unfolded above him and he could feel the warmth pouring down on him.
“Max.” That sultry voice that always made his heart leap called him. His whole body jerked towards the sound and there he found his goddess, lying carefree in the pillows of grass. A light, lively smile played amongst her desirable lips. Max fell to his knees beside his beauty and scooped her tightly into his arms.
“Liz,” he cried, his lips dancing across the sweet flesh of her body. “Oh god, Liz, I’m so sorry- I should have- you’re all right- I love you- Liz, never again-”
“Max!” Liz yelped, pulling herself from the tangle of his body. She placed her hands on both sides of his head and stared directly into the anxious amber eyes that never ceased to melt her. “Max,” said Liz, a bit more softly. “I’m fine. See?” She gestured to her unharmed body. “All okay.” Max smiled at her antics and pulled her close again, kissing her cheek tenderly.
“I love you, Liz,” Max whispered softly into her ear. Liz smiled, nuzzling her head into the comfort of his chest. Maybe this was just a dream world for right now, but it would do, and Max’s dream body was just as delightful as in reality. She felt Max’s fingers twined themselves around strands of her hair, and she recognized the feeling of just wanting to touch the one you loved so much.
“Liz, where are you?” asked Max. Liz slightly pulled away, looking up at Max.
“I don’t know, and I don’t know where we’re going. We’ve been driving ever since we left Roswell. We’ve stopped, maybe, twice. Every time I ask Adam where he plans to go, he just mumbles incoherently.” Liz shrugged helplessly.
“But you’re ok, right?” An edge of anxiety sharpened Max’s question. Liz reached up with her hand and stroked his face lightly.
“I’m fine,” she said, smiling at him. She wondered if they could just stay here, just live in this dream world of theirs. No one could hurt them here and nothing would ever interfere with them loving each other.
“You know, it’s not very nice to make people fall asleep when in the middle of something,” Max teased. Although he had been running around like a chicken with its head chopped off just moments ago, his body was now calm and collected. Only Liz could do that. Only Liz could make him want to walk to the moon and back just to touch her for one, single moment.
“Oh really? And what were you doing that’s oh-so important, more important than yours truly?”
“Well, now that you put it that way…” Max leaned into her and kissed her passionately, his arms snaked around her waist. He was afraid to stop touching her. He was afraid to let go. He was afraid she’d never come back. And that terrified, because without Liz, there was no Max.
“LIZ!” Liz turned to see a running Isabel coming near her. Max unintentionally tightened his grip on Liz, but she tugged away and went to Isabel, much to Max’s dismay. The two girls hugged, feeling as if they were friends who had lost years of their lives together.
“I saw Max passed out, and I connected with him to make sure everything was all right. And lookie at what I found!” She motioned towards the two of them. She twisted her body towards Max and smacked him a good one on the arm. “You scared the shit out of me, and the rest of us.” Max rolled his eyes.
“Excuse me, but Miss Parker here pulled me into sleep land.” Liz just stuck her tongue out at them.
“As much as I love you all teasing me, I assume that I have three other people waiting to see if Max is dead or not.” Liz winked and faded momentarily. Max stiffened at the loss of Liz. He knew she was just connecting with Michael, Maria and Alex, but the prompt Isabel had cut his alone time with Liz short.
Michael, Maria and Alex all found themselves embedded in the green field as they too, joined the group. Maria shrieked when she saw Liz, and dashed to her side. Her best friend quickly swallowed her in a choking hug. She felt the tears already pouring down her shoulder from Maria.
“Oh, girlfriend! You’re alive! I’m so glad to find you in one piece!” Liz pried herself away from Maria’s chokehold, and smacked her lightly on the arm.
“First you choke me and then you remind me of my crappy situation.” Maria knew Liz was joking, but she started to cry again. Liz instantly felt bad for her comment and let Maria engulf her into another suffocating hug. Liz looked pleadingly towards Alex, who just nodded and smiled.
“You know, Deluca, you might want to let her breathe now and again,” Alex ribbed. Maria flashed her glaring eyes at the boy, but she reluctantly pulled away. Alex wrapped Liz in a quick hug, and kissed her cheek softly. “I’m so glad to see you,” he whispered into her ear quietly. She smiled at his tenderness, and nodded at him.
Liz didn’t expect the bear hug from Michael, though. It was as bad as Maria’s, if not worse.
“I’m so sorry,” Michael murmured. “I wish I had helped you. Don’t you worry; I’m going to make sure everything turns out right. No one is going to touch you or even think about touching you. I’ll kill them before they get the chance. Liz, you’re going to be all right-”
“Michael! I know! I think it’s you who need the pep talk,” Liz replied. She pulled out of his embrace, and grinned up at him. She leaned in and said quietly to him, “I missed you too.”
Liz returned to Max’s warm and waiting arms, and sheltered herself in them.
“So where are you, chica?” Maria asked, her usual spunk showing its head.
“I don’t know. And no, Michael, I don’t know where we’re going either.” Isabel snickered, receiving a threatening glance from Michael.
“Look, you guys have to relax. Adam is taking great care of me, well, as much as can be expected for spending endless hours in a car.”
“Speaking of which,” Maria stated, “My mom is going to kill me once she knows my car has been jacked. By my best friend, no less.”
“Just tell her you lent it to me,” Liz replied briefly. She then addressed the whole group. “Ok, so, here’s the rundown on what happened before any of you even ask. I woke up early and went downstairs, finding Adam drinking some coffee. I joined him and we were just talking when the big explosion happened. We escaped, and I mind warped anyone in the whole radius of the city.” She nodded affirmatively. “So the restaurant… what happened?” The other five teens shifted uneasily at the new question.
“Well, Max stopped the fire before it got real terrible, but a whole wall got burnt pretty badly,” Isabel replied. “Michael and I tried to repair it, and we got most of it, but you can smell the smoke like crazy. Maria had to convince Craig for about an hour to not open the Crashdown today. He only complied when she told him that Ms. Deluca would send him three coconut cream pies for his family.” Liz smiled sadly, wishing she could have been there. Wishing she could be there more than anything.
Max sensed Liz’s discomfort, and kissed her head softly. “You’ll be back before you know it,” he declared to her, hoping she believed him. Instead, she turned to him and smacked him hard on the arm. “OW! What was that for?”
“For being stupid and stopping a fire when you could have been burned to death.” Alex and Maria snickered at Max, but Liz gave them a good smack on their arms too. “And you guys, for letting him almost get burned to death!”
Maria was about to protest when the background started to fuzz up suddenly and began to fade slowly.
“Oh crap, I’m losing energy, I can’t keep up all these connections for so long,” Liz said, her voice sounding breathy. Max’s eyes widened, frightened of Liz’s fading energy and body. “I’ll be fine,” Liz said, looking at Max’s expression, “But I have to break connections. I love you guys.” Without another warning, the momentarily comforting dream world slipped away from them all.

*****

“So how’s everyone?” Adam asked curiously, as Liz began to gain awareness for reality. She rubbed her eyes tiredly, blinking profusely. “You ok?” Adam stared at Liz for a moment, it seemed she depleted a lot of her energy. Liz just nodded to him.
“Look, we’re almost there, it should be about another ten minutes. We’ll get a motel room as soon as we get into town. You going to be all right?”
“I’ll be fine,” Liz answered, yawning. She then smirked at Adam.
“What?” Adam asked under her stare.
“You suddenly have a destination now?” Liz was awarded with an identical smirk. One moment Adam is just mumbling words in an effort not to answer her, and now he has some great destination.
“Ahh, you have no faith in me, Liz. I’ve always had a destination, just not one I shared with you.” Adam raised an eyebrow cockily, and gave her a grin.
“Uh huh,” Liz replied wearily, closing her eyes again, drifting easily into sleep.

*****

“Did you look at that,” Alex whispered to Max as they crouched down below the balcony brick ledge. “They probably think that Liz is still here. They’re crawling all over the place.” Max eyed the two cars and three vans that were all situated around the block. They had concluded that if Khivar or his men were still kicking around, that would be them. There were two men for each of the cars, and three men per van. The only time they got out of their vehicles was to get food and take a bathroom break at the Crashdown. The real kicker was that they asked for a bottle of Tabasco sauce for each individual guy.
“Do you think they’ll attack again?” Alex asked. “What could they be thinking right now? And why the hell didn’t they storm the restaurant after they blew a big, bad fireball at us?” Alex shook his head in disgust. Too many questions were swimming in that swelling brain of his.
“I don’t think they want us dead yet. They were probably just trying to scare us so we’d do something stupid.” Max leaned against the wall, his butt firmly planted on the balcony cement. It had only been a few days since he had held Liz so closely on this very balcony. How quickly things had changed.
“I bet if they knew Liz that left, they wouldn’t be so hesitant in wanting to kill us. Khivar has objectives, you know.” Alex then busied himself with the cameras he had placed along the balcony ledge. He flicked on the two surveillance televisions that were seated next to him and got a clear picture. The four cameras glared at the suspicious vehicles and projected its clear picture.
“Geez, Alex, where’d you get all this stuff?” Max asked, obviously not wanting to discuss anything about Khivar right now. Alex grinned at him.
“Who knew that disposable cameras and some pocket radios could be so valuable? Hell, who knew that Michael could actually use his powers in a beneficial way?” Max grinned. At least Michael was doing something.
“Hey, I use my powers in a beneficial way all the time!” Michael called out as he crawled out the window and joined the other two boys. “Eggo’s don’t cook by themselves you know.” Alex laughed.
“Right, right. And Guerin, if you could spare some measly time, I wouldn’t mind those eggo’s with the maple syrup in the middle? They’re good,” Alex responded. He paused for a second and looked at the other two aliens. “I’ve been thinking, and what if all these people aren’t actually Khivar’s people? Maybe they’re a whole different alien species.”
“Great, just what we need, another race of aliens wanting to kill us,” Michael muttered, slinking down beside Max against the brick wall.
“No, we’re not going to think that way,” Max stated matter-of-factly. “We need to get rid of Khivar and that’s our primary concern.” He sighed heavily. “I wish Liz would connect with us again. It feels like we haven’t talked to her forever. What if something happened to her? What if Adam can’t protect her? What if she’s h-hurt?” He dropped his head into hands. He really needed to stop thinking like this. All it did was distract him and if he didn’t start getting it together, he was going to lose Liz and all his friends forever.
“Hey man, don’t worry about Liz,” Michael responded. Michael’s growing amiability no longer shocked any of the group. Max figured that Michael had been paid a visit by Liz, because after the “nap” Michael took the same day Liz had first connected to the whole group, Michael mysteriously became much more compassionate. And Max only knew one person who could create such a change in Michael, in anyone for that matter. Liz. In total, Liz had only connected with the group once but that one memory was permanently embedded in his mind. What he wouldn’t do to just be with her again.
“-If I know my sister at all, she’ll kick anyone’s ass before they touch her,” Michael pronounced, as Max had unintentionally stopped listening. “But I miss her too.” Michael exhaled the last part quietly, but Max still caught it. Another sigh erupted from his lips. At least Michael was in a similar boat.
“Shit,” Alex hissed suddenly. He jumped up from where he had been formerly crouching by the televisions and ran towards the window without another word, scrambling inside. Max and Michael looked at each other, baffled by Alex’s hasty exit. They rushed to the screens and let out shouts at what they found.

*****

“Wow,” Liz breathed as she swung back forth on the swing. Adam stood behind her, giving her pushes to give her greater height. She felt like she was five again, so carefree. Not a doubt in the world or for the world.
“Yeah, so that’s my story,” replied Adam. The park was silent and the moon was gradually descending on them. The sun was bidding its farewell, and with it was colouring the sky. The park, with its large, overbearing “Sunny Oaks Park” sign, wasn’t much of a park. One wooden picnic table lay in the middle of an open field, with a set of swings hanging deafly next to it.
“How’d you know it was on fire? Your house, I mean,” Liz asked. She stopped the swing and twisted it so she was looking at him. Adam brushed a tired hand through his hair and went to sit down on the picnic table.
“I wasn’t even home at the time, I came back when the house was almost, completely burnt down. I don’t know how, but I just knew it was Khivar. The whole week prior I kept getting these feelings like I was being followed, threatened. So I fled. I wasn’t sure if I’d be next, but I couldn’t take that chance. I already knew that you were out there somewhere, and risking my life was a complete no. So like I said, I left and found you guys.” Liz nodded solemnly. She stood up, walking towards and wrapped her arms around Adam. He basked in the sudden warmth, unsure whether he should let go or hang on forever.
Liz leaned in and whispered into his ear, “Thank you, Adam. For saving my life and giving away your own.” Adam smiled up at her.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m in-” Adam bit his lip, hard. Too close, too much to lose.
“You’re what?” Liz asked, confused as to why he was desperately chewing his lip.
“I’m, uh… insisting- YEAH! I’m insisting we go back to the motel. I’m a bit chilly and it’s going to get really dark soon.” Adam gave her a quick grin and hopped of the table, walking away. Liz stood still for a moment, shocked by his abrupt movements. She turned and ran after him.
“Adam,” she called. “Adam, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up all that stuff on you. I just wanted to let you know I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for me.” She grabbed his arm and made him turn to her. “I’m sorry.” Adam looked at her puzzled for a moment, as to why she would be sorry. But he realized his abrupt reaction to her must have confused her. It wasn’t like he could finish what he was going to say.
“Oh, Liz, I didn’t mean it that way. I’m glad I let it out, and thank you for listening to me. You have nothing to be sorry for.” He smiled and hugged her. “C’mon, I really am cold, lets go back.” Liz just nodded and walked beside him.
Liz looked up at Adam and bit her lip, unsure if she should ask the question that was brewing in her mind. Their whole situation would start to make a little more sense if he answered how she thought he would. But would he?
“Adam?” Liz uttered. She glanced nervously up at him and then looked back down at her seemingly methodically moving feet. “Where was home for you, anyways?” Adam looked at her, suddenly uncomfortable. Bingo.
“Sunny Oaks.”

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:43:04 AM
Maria glanced over Isabel’s shoulder, checking out the new threads in the Cosmo magazine. Her eye caught on a bright red miniskirt that would SO totally flatter her hips, not to mention match that new tube of lipstick she had bought yesterday. She leaned in closer to get a better look.
“Maria, if you don’t stop reading over my shoulder, I swear I’m going to throw this cherry coke right on your uniform.” Isabel swiveled in her seat, narrowed her eyes and gave Maria a pointed look. Maria grinned sheepishly and scampered off behind the counter.
Maria picked up a damp cloth and began to wipe the counter. The Crashdown was more than ultimately dead, so she had shooed Craig off earlier and told him to go home to enjoy his pies. He had willingly obliged (although Maria didn’t think it would have been much more than a twist of his arm). Jose was the only cook on shift at that moment, but knowing him, he was probably jacking off in the corner. She hadn’t heard a peep from him for a while, but she also didn’t want splatters on her if she walked in on whatever he was doing. So she just shrugged the whole situation off. What she didn’t know couldn’t hurt her. At least not in this situation.
Maria gave a heavy sigh, leaning her weary body against the cool of the counter. She stared out at the world through the clear, sparkling window (which she had just spent fifteen minutes wiping) and wondered what Liz was doing that very moment. Her very best friend was out there in the world without her and all she could think about the whole situation was that it made Maria feel trapped and incredibly lonely.
Liz had made her promise last night not to tell anyone that she visited Maria. And being the great best friend that she was, swearing to a best friend was an oath never to be broken. The worst part though, was that wasn’t the only secret she had to keep.
When Liz had first connected to her, Maria was absolutely peeing her pants (ok, not literally). She was exceedingly terrified something had happened to Liz or Adam! What if an alien abducted her, no pun intended, or what if Adam was lying dead on the ground? Surely, Liz couldn’t expect Maria to save her ass.
But Maria quickly threw out that notion, because this was LIZ. Liz Parker, Maria’s best friend since grade school. If anyone knew Maria inside and out, it was Liz Parker. And Liz Parker knew that Maria Deluca would probably shit her pants if Liz were in trouble. The smartest thing to do was avoid telling her until necessary.
But Liz HAD contacted Maria, which meant it HAD to be important. The girl wasn’t even in calling distance. What could it be? Could it be life threatening? Was Liz going to die? Was Adam dead? Was Maria next? Oh god, SHE IS GOING TO DIE.
~ “Maria, you’re not going to die,” Liz said, rolling her eyes at Maria’s overactive drama. Maria clasped her hands on Liz’s shoulder and looked her dead in the eye.
“And you’re still alive, right? Adam too?” Maria wasn’t kidding. Every bit of her voice held seriousness to it.
“Maria!” Liz moaned. “Will you stop? We’re fine. F-I-N-E. So don’t go all spastic on me, all right? I need you to stay sane.” Maria bit her lip and nodded her head. No going crazy until Liz left her mind. And having insane thoughts would probably drive the both of them off the deep edge.
“Ok, Maria, you have to promise me you won’t tell anyone I visited you. You have to promise me, because this is important. What I’m about to tell you is important and you can’t flake on me.” Another unsteady nod came from Maria’s head. “Ok, Maria, I’m going to tell you where I am, but you can’t tell anyone. I’m trusting this in your hands.”
“Liz,” Maria squeaked. “Why can’t you just tell all of us? You seem hesitant in even just telling me.”
“Because, Maria, if all of you know where we are, and Khivar comes looking for you, he can extract the information so easily from your mind that you won’t even realize it. That’s why Adam doesn’t want anyone to know.” Maria shook her head in confusion.
“Then why are you telling me?”
“Because if something happens, you’ll know where to find us. Because Michael, Max and the rest of them would never let you get hurt. Because I trust you. Because I just felt like I had to tell someone.” Liz bowed her head in attempt to hide her dam of tears. “Maria,” Liz whispered, looking up at Maria through her teary eyes. “Something is going to happen. I can just feel it. And I’m scared. I’m living my life second by second, not sure if I’m really living or slowly dying.” Maria’s heart broke into tiny pieces and she swept her best friend into a comforting hug.
“Liz, babe, you know we’re all here for you, and if for whatever reason something does happen, we’ll always be there for each other. Liz, I’m always here for you. I love you, girlfriend!” She hugged her friend closer. No matter what, she was going to be there, front and center, for her best friend. Until the end of time and even after then.
~
“Excuse me, miss?” Maria’s head snapped up and she looked into the deep, enchanting eyes of a broad, captivating man. Every distinction about this man held importance, a magnitude of significance. Maria could sense the merit of this man rolling off of him, and he knew it. He knew he was so goddamn sexy. And to describe him was to simply unjust the man, no, the god that stood gorgeously before her.
“Yuh huh,” Maria mumbled, taken deeply into his eyes and depths of her own consciousness she never knew she even possessed. Maria shook her head. Bad, Maria! She and Michael may be in a little tiff but that certainly did not mean she could be drooling over stunning strangers... no matter how hot they looked in a suit. A very sexy, mind-activating suit.
“Er, I mean, what can I do for you today, sir?” Maria was greeted with a warm, hypnotic smile. Somewhere in the background she heard Isabel twisting in her seat, watching the stranger intensely. She probably thought the guy was a hottie too. Who wouldn’t?
“Actually,” he whispered lowly, bending to speak in her ear (as she just couldn’t deny him the intimacy… that would be rude, right?), “I was wondering what I could do for you.” He pulled away slightly, showering her in that sly, mystifying grin of his. He toyed with a loose strand of hair, his rough finger outlining her jaw and she felt the electrified tingles to her spine.
“What the hell do you think-” cursed Isabel’s harsh voice. She stood from her seat but before she could take a step she was flung against the solid wall with very little effort of a wave from the man’s hand. Maria didn’t take notice of anything in her surroundings, too enchanted by the dark mystery hidden in the mystically spirited eyes.
“Come here, darling,” the soft texture of his voice called. Maria willing obeyed, setting her seemingly petite hand in his large one. The laughter that danced joyfully in his eyes captured Maria, leaving her weak to her knees and toes.


“MARIA!” Michael screamed. “MARIA! NO!” He watched as she followed obediently behind the tall, dark stranger. But Michael could guess who he was, and where the hell he was taking her. That bastard.
Michael already had his hand out in front of him, trying to aim at the figure leading his lady, but he was deathly afraid of hitting his precious Maria in the process. The anger boiling deeply in him did nothing to help his focus either. But he’d be fucking done for if Maria got hurt in the midst of all this alien bullshit. Hell, he’d kill himself.
Whilst Michael was too slow to react, Max already had his blasts raining down on the man in a brightly dancing circle. He successfully missed Maria every hit, trying to skim the stranger’s body. Max wanted to kill the bastard, but Maria was too close to do any actual damage to the guy.
The man started bolting for one of the vans that was roaring to go, and he grabbed Maria’s trance body closer, pulling her with him. Michael aimed for the van and blasted it into small smithereens. Max followed his lead and abolished the other vehicles, the empty street becoming a plague of thunderous fire.
Michael had begun his descent down the fire escape ladder while Max covered him, blasting anything that so much as stirred. By now walls of sky-reaching flames surrounded the man, but it did nothing to reassure Michael because Maria was inside that barricade. The moment Michael felt his feet brush the ground, they were already bounding towards the great blazes. The flames seemed to elevate higher as he neared the blaze, making his eyes feel like they were smoldering into small pools of muddle. He reached out in front of him with his hand and waved it side to side, easing the fire, eventually calming it until it became nothing but a few scattered ashes on the ground. He wiped desperately as his eyes, trying to persuade his eyes to clear and let him reassure the rest of his shaking body.
Michael fell the ground on his knees, coughing agitatedly. He felt Max come up behind him and place a hand on his shoulder. Michael cleared his throat and let his eyes close momentarily. His eyes then flickered, slowly giving passage to the scene before him. The desolate street was silent now, and not one sound was heard throughout the entire vicinity. But the sight that made his heart clench and his teeth grit was the unconscious Maria, lying weak and vulnerable inside a ring of black ash. And she was completely alone. The bastard was gone.
“What the hell was that?” a dazed Kyle Valenti asked, coming out from the smoking brick wall just behind the two aliens.


“Come on, Adam, you can do it!” cheered Liz, who was encouraging Adam as he paced back and forth in front of a cozy house placed in a cozy neighborhood. Sunny Oaks was a typical small town, just like Roswell. Liz could probably point out every rock, stone and tree in Sunny Oaks, which was saying lots because Adam hardly let them go out. It was a damn struggle just to get him out of bed this morning (separate beds that is… can you say NO?) and she had to drag him here, literally.
“Liz, he probably doesn’t even remember me, lets go,” Adam muttered as he turned to brush past her but she held her arm out to stop him.
“Ben equals best friend which, consequently, means he HAS to remember you. I mean, Adam, it wasn’t like you suddenly forgot about Ben, so why would he forget you? Now get going and knock on that door before people start thinking we’re stalkers!” Adam shook his head.
“No. I can’t believe I’ve been so stupid. Anyone could be staking out around here, and here we are, out in plain sight. Goddamn it, I suck at this protecting thing. Liz, we’re going. End of discussion.” He grabbed her arm and pulled her along with him, but was quickly subdued when Liz gave him a loud thwack on the head. “OW! What was that for?”
“Ok, first of all, you ever pull that ‘end of discussion’ crap on me again, I swear I’ll kick your ass all the way to the North Pole and let those little evil elves have their way with you,” Liz started, heaving her hands irately on her hips. “Get your ass up to that door and knock on it until it explodes for all I care, but you’re going to knock on that door, you hear? I am NOT spending another day in that stuffy hotel room where we watch soaps all day long.” She pointed one long finger towards the door that lay just ahead of them. Adam looked down at the ground for a moment and then looked back up at her, shaking his head defiantly at her. Liz chewed on her bottom lip for a moment, deciding what kind of action was necessary. She made up her mind and marched up to the door before Adam could catch her. She began knocking on the door while a wide-eyed Adam stared at her, wanting to protest against her and her rash actions.
The door swung open in front of them, and a young, teenage girl stood before them. She was dressed in casual hip hugger jeans, and her tanned belly showed proudly beneath a short tee.
“Can I help you?” the girl asked Liz, looking her up and down. Obviously she sizing Liz was up, and Liz did her best not to make some snide comment. She wasn’t the one wearing a belly shirt with that ridiculous (and very clearly) fake tattoo of a dolphin on her stomach.
“I was wondering if you could tell me if-” Liz started, but Adam cut her off abruptly.
“Sandy…” Adam whispered. The girl, apparently named Sandy, whipped her head towards Adam, glaring at him.
“Excuse me,” she said nastily, “But my name is Sandra and if you have a problem with- OH MY GOD!” Her loud, sudden shriek penetrated Liz’s skull and she couldn’t help but cringe at the sound. Sandy’s previous arrogant stance was now replaced by a shaken and vulnerable appearance, her body trembling nonstop. Her hand gripped the door tightly and they became deathly white.
Adam stepped forward to help her but she pulled away instantly as if he had stung her fiercely. Liz witnessed the destroyed look on Adam’s face, and felt all the guilt in the world molding her body.
“Maybe we should just-” Liz started again, wanting to diffuse the situation as quickly as possible.
“YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD! THEY SAID YOU WERE DEAD!” Sandy’s loud shout shocked both Liz and Adam, causing them both to simultaneously take a step back. Sandy, on the other hand, fell to her knees, weeping like a child who had just lost her mother, father and best friend all in one moment.
“Sandy?” another young voice called out from somewhere in the house. “Sandy! What’s wrong?” A youthful teenage boy came bounding towards the front door, crouching next to the weak girl. He looked like he was in absolute confusion, and he probably was in absolute confusion. Hell, even Liz was pretty damned confused herself.
“Who the hell are you?” questioned the boy, who looked up at Liz and Adam. But again, like Sandy, he paled at the sight of Adam. And yet again, the guilt washed over Liz in a tidal wave. How could she have expected this to turn out picture perfect? Too much Maury. No more from now on.
“Jesus, Adam- what the fuck are you doing here?”

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:43:38 AM
Michael laid his head down against the soft palm of Maria’s hand, pleasuring himself in the light caress of her silkiness. She was sleeping soundly underneath the covers of his bed, her breath a soft, melodic tune for Michael’s unworthy ears. He tilted his head so he could watch her velvet lips purse in such a delicious manner that it took everything inside of his body to stop himself from ravishing her senseless.

Maria hadn’t woken up since her little encounter with Khivar. Michael knew he had been right when he suspected that bastard was Khivar. It was in Khivar’s presence, how he conducted himself within just a few moments, which tipped Michael off. And Michael wanted to kill that son of a bitch if it was the last thing he did.

Maria kept mumbling words and small phrases in her sleep, and once she had screamed out piercingly, making Michael want to gouge his own eyes out with a dull pencil just so she would never make such an excruciatingly painful sound like that again. She kept repeating the words princess and Khivar, but never anything that made complete sense to him. She just looked so vulnerable and defenseless lying there. Michael didn’t want to do anything but wrap her in his arms for the rest of their lives. He felt so damn guilty for everything that happened to her, for her whole life-threatened existence. If only he had stayed away from her, she wouldn’t be caught up with this stupid alien shit.

Yes, she would, Michael’s (sometimes) reasonable side rationalized. She’s just as alien as you are, she’s got a whole alien history like you do.

His own words didn’t calm his qualms any less though. He was just a big, dumb idiot. He couldn’t save his sister, he couldn’t save his girlfriend, and he would probably end up getting himself killed too.

“She all right?” Max asked as he shut the door quietly behind him. Michael turned and nodded his head at Max, just aware of his new company. Michael went back to laying his head in the tender caress of Maria’s hand.

“How’s Kyle?” Michael asked quietly.

“Oh, I think he’s still twitching on the couch… I still don’t see why Isabel had to tell him.” Max sat down on the floor beside the bed. He pulled his knees up and wrapped his arms around them

“Right, because covering up an alien battle consisting of energy beams and great walls of fire out in the middle of the street is as easy as pie.” Max glared at Michael for his sarcasm.

“There could have been another way. I mean the guy hates us as it is. What makes you think he won’t tell anyone? The only people he can actually stand in our whole group is Maria and Liz, and wow, guess what? Liz is off to hell knows where, and Maria is comatose!” Max’s harsh whispers made Michael’s blood boil, and if he weren’t so focused on being there for Maria, he would have hit Max. Hard.

“Just leave it alone,” Michael replied coldly. “It’s over and done with, and if you were any kind of leader, you would realize having another person on our side could turn out to be an advantage. And don’t you think he would have ran out of here by now if he was going to turn us in?” Michael turned his head away from Max. He didn’t want to be reminded of the mess he called his life. He really shouldn’t be angry at Max cause everything he said was the truth. But, again, he didn’t want the clutters of his life thrown in his face.

The silence in the room was deafening as it continued for a few minutes. Both boys were lost in their own thoughts as Maria was lost in her own, separate world.

“Michael,” Max started uneasily. The tone in his voice called for peace. “Do you want me to…” He gestured with his hands to Maria.

“No, I don’t think this is something you can heal. I think she needs to find her own way out.” Michael sighed, purring against Maria’s skin. Actually purring. “But thank you,” he added, signifying peace between the two. Max just nodded. It was his cue to leave and so he stood, quickly walking out the door.

*****

“You-” pointing to Isabel “-are an alien. You-” pointing to Alex “-are an alien too, but not.” Kyle was trying to work this all out in his poor, fragile little mind. His grandfather wasn’t crazy. Then again maybe he was crazy, and Kyle is crazy too, and he just got a little too wasted last night. Yeah, that was it.

Alex and Isabel only nodded. They didn’t want to confuse Kyle any more so they didn’t explain anything more. He kept asking the same questions over and over and over again. Isabel’s temperament couldn’t handle much more. It was like feeding a child with candy and the child throwing it in her face, not even realizing it’s candy. Why the hell didn’t she listen to Max? They could have said they were practicing for the next time the circus came to town. Introducing the Evan, Guerin, Deluca and Whitman show: the Circle of Fire and Ashes. Stay for the after show and maybe we’ll show you how to make a delicate gerbil entree. They could make fortunes.

“No, no, no, wait!” Kyle exclaimed. “You ARE alien, I am human.”

“YES, KYLE, YOU DUMBASS, WE ARE GODDAMN ALIENS.” Isabel’s fury bounced off her with uncontrollable recoil. She was taking deep, heavy breaths by now, and her eyes were widened with immense irritation.

“Uh, maybe I should take it from here,” Alex said, wanting Isabel to stay somewhat calm. Telling Kyle aliens existed and then killing him the same day could really raise suspicions about their alien reputation. Not that there was really one they could protect.

“Ok, Kyle, just let me run through this one more time, all right? Don’t ask any questions until I’m done. Are we agreed?” Kyle nodded his head. “All right. Max, Michael, Isabel, Liz, Maria and I have this alien past. Max was an alien king of the planet Antar in his past life with Liz as his queen, and Michael his second-in-command. Izzy, Maria and I each had our own positions in the kingdom. Max, Michael, Iz, and Liz are all from the royal heritages, Antarian and Nalan. Michael and Liz are brother and sister. Max and Iz are brother and sister too. So, we have your typical love story. Two royalties fall in love, marry and rule a planet together. They form what’s called the Royal Court, with each of us having a position as I stated before. Things were happy wappy for years until evil bastard, or space beast, as you’ll hear Maria call him, decided he didn’t like us having the throne. Details are presently shady, but the queen, a.k.a. Liz, was kidnapped and killed. The Royal Court fell apart afterwards, basically handing over the throne to the enemies. We were defeated. Afterwards, we were all sent down here to someday return and gain the throne back.”

“Uh huh…” Kyle said, nodding his head. If he pretended he understood maybe one day he would actually understand. And then that little illuminate flashbulb appeared above his head and the troubled clouds seemed to dissipate from his eyes. Hey! It worked!

“Royal aliens,” Kyle said, pausing. He had to think this out in his mind for his whole essence to absorb it. Ok, people who are aliens and aliens who are people. Living on his planet, planet Earth. Ex-girlfriend is an alien. Ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend, and the rest of their clan are aliens.

“If Liz, Alex and Maria are aliens then how come no one knows? Because of blood tests and all, I mean. All of you have been to the hospital at one point or another.” Alex didn’t want to wipe the grin off his face because Kyle, jock supreme, was finally getting all this through his thick head. Of course he’d have questions, who the hell wouldn’t?

“In our past lives, Maria and I never really had advanced powers because of our lack of royal blood. Liz primarily had mind powers, which for whatever reason doesn’t make a big difference in the general mold of the body. It only affects the brain so our blood is perfectly human. And that’s why we came out of human bodies during birth rather than incubation pods.” Alex could see the trouble Kyle was having digesting all the new information, but he never doubted Kyle’s loyalty. Especially since he knew Liz was involved. Liz always said Kyle was a really good guy, maybe a little misguided, but all in all, a pretty good guy. That’s all Alex needed to trust him. Plus the fact that he hadn’t gone run screaming and crying the instant he saw Michael and Max using their powers didn’t hurt either.

“All right, this sort of makes sense, in that whole out-of-my-body experience type way. But what about Adam? He just appears one day and you all take him into your elite group here. He’s alien too, isn’t he?”

“Bingo, brainiac,” Isabel commented. She stood up and paced the length of the room as she continued to answer Kyle’s questions. “On Antar he was Liz’s protector and part of the Royal Court. He didn’t know anything about his alien heritage until he started having dreams about our past lives. His parents were killed in a fire caused by Khivar’s men and he fled. He started searching for Liz and the rest of us, and surprise, he ends up here a year later.”

“Then where are they? Adam and Liz?” Isabel glanced at Alex momentarily before resuming to her previous cold stature. She was unsure whether to divulge all of their secrets, but Alex’s confident appearance made her uncertainty melt.

“Another brief history lesson: there was a girl named Tess. She was whore and tried to get into my brother’s pants to gain the throne and an heir. Tricked us all, before Adam showed up. He revealed everything he had learned in his dreams and we found out Tess was the blonde bitch she had always been. Some… uh… things happened and Tess died. But that was after we found out Khivar was on his way to Earth so he could mate with Liz and secure the Antar throne for himself forever. That, and to kill the rest of us.” Kyle twiddled his fingers. Interesting.

“As great as the guy sounds, remind me never to get on his bad side.” Kyle gave a small smile, but quickly dissolved it when he saw Isabel’s hard face. “Uhhh- anyways, that doesn’t answer my question. Liz and Adam?”

“Well, if you’d shut your trap then I would answer.” She gave him a sharp look, but before she could continue, she was cut off.

“He wants Liz, and came looking for her,” Max answered, sauntering into the room. “Basically blew the Crashdown to pieces, and before we knew it, Adam took Liz off to ‘protect’ her.” Max dropped himself on to the couch beside Alex. “And no, we don’t know where they are. They’re just not here.”

Alex glimpsed at Max and saw what he expected to see. A weary, jaded teenage boy who literally had a planet on his shoulders. The dark bags were growing larger every night, and Alex suspected most of it had to do with the lack of Liz in his life. At first Alex thought Liz would connect to Max every night but apparently, she hadn’t. She couldn’t have if Max looked this shitty.

“How’s Maria?” Alex asked Max. Max looked up at him, seeming as if he hadn’t even noticed Alex was sitting right next to him.

“Oh, she’s all right. Still hasn’t woken up.”

“She’s just sleeping right? No funky mind blockades or anything, right?”

“Yeah, when I tried to heal her earlier, it seemed as if she was just unconscious. But I think she’s having troubles waking up, for what reason though, I have no clue.”

“Maria’s made of Teflon, she’ll make it out.” Alex gave him a reassuring smile. He had no reason to fret. He believed everything he said down to the core. Maria was strong, just like his Liz, and those two girls could make it out of anything.

Alex heard the bedroom door swing open behind him. “Speak of the devil.”

Maria came bounding out of the bedroom, her whole appearance in total disarray. Michael was following her, apparently too confused to stop her unexpected actions.

“PRINCESS, KHIVAR, PRINCESS! LEANDRA!” Maria’s voice screamed as she darted to each side of the apartment, her entire body jiggled with boisterous movement. Her frantic eyes whooshed through the room, not stopping on anything specific. This wasn’t the type of entrance from Maria that Alex expected.

“Maria,” Michael said slowly, gradually inching his way towards her. He was afraid any rash movements might provoke her. “Maria, calm down. We’re right here. Don’t worry, Khivar-”

“KHIVAR! LEANDRA!” Maria started flapping her arms around and Michael had to step back as to miss her hit.

“Someone stop her!” Michael shouted. Alex and Max both rose from their seats and steadily walked towards the uncontrollable blonde pixie.

“Maria,” said Alex. “Look at me, Maria. Maria, it’s me. Alex. Alex Whitman. Your best friend. Look at me.” He took a step closer to Maria and reached out to touch her. The moment his hand touched her body, Maria’s whole existence stiffened tightly but didn’t pull away. “Maria, babe, you got to look at me.” Slowly Maria’s head raised and her eyes locked on Alex’s. “Good, good. Now Maria, what’s going on? What can I do?”

“Alex,” Maria cried, tears pooling at the edges of her eyes. “Oh god, Alex.”

“What? What is it, Maria? Come on and talk to me. Remember? Me good. You, me and Liz-”

“LEANDRA!” Maria screeched. Her body started to tremble.

“Right, Leandra. You, Leandra, and me, we’re all best friends. We share everything. What’s wrong? You can tell me.” Alex smiled at Maria, struggling to make Maria comfortable so she could confess what was plaguing her mind. But Alex was terrified… something was terribly wrong.

“Leandra… Khivar… kept telling me… WOULDN’T STOP! MAKE IT STOP!” Maria screamed incessantly. Alex placed both of his hand on the sides of Maria’s head and forced her to continue eye contact with him.

“What did Khivar say? I can’t make it stop until you tell me what it is he said.”

“Khivar,” Maria whispered. “He-he told me. Last thing he told me. Kept talking. Won’t stop playing.”

“Uh huh, Maria, what did Khivar say to you?”

“Said- he said that Leandra, our precious Leandra, she’s his. Told me to-” Maria stopped all her reckless motions abruptly and ripped herself away from Alex’s hand. She pointed her finger towards Max and stared at him with wide eyes.

“Message for you, Zan. ‘You couldn’t save your princess last time and you won’t this time. Leandra is mine. Before, now and forever.’” With that, Maria collapsed into a limp pile.

*****

“Sir, what are your next orders? Your soldiers are waiting patiently for your next command.” Khivar grinned at the lowly servant. He actually grinned. Things were going so well according to his plan.

“Nothing. Don’t do a thing. I don’t want one single man moving until I say so.” He then signaled for the servant to leave his room. Khivar sat down in his large leather chair and swiveled it around in a large circle. Humans were so peculiar. He couldn’t imagine taking pleasure in such inanimate objects. He lived his life on politics, lived, breathed and killed for it. The only other thing that could hold his attention was Leandra. That beautiful goddess from years before.

When Khivar had finally learned of Leandra’s present existence, he couldn’t help the uprising giddiness. Not just because she was alive, but that he could finally secure the Antarian throne to himself. People could condemn his devious plan all they wanted but in the end they would be nothing but charred pieces of flesh.

Leandra was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. He remember the intriguing conversations he had shared with her years and years ago, before he had even began the obliteration of the Royal Court. He remembered everything about her. But in the life of politics, beauty and adoration had no part whatsoever.

On the contrary, he could see why Zan would choose her as his Queen. She was probably hot in the royal bed. Hiding a wild tigress beneath her polite manner. Producing an heir with Leandra wasn’t such a chore, more as an added bonus. And by now, Zan should have received his personal message.

The next part of his plan was going to include much more entertainment for him. And he was going to commence the plan immediately.

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:44:25 AM
“I-I, uh…” Adam stammered. That poor, lost little boy appeared in his expression again, and Liz wanted to bang her head against the wall for making him do this. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Ben glanced over at Liz, looking her up and down. He was obviously sizing her up. No wonder Sandy and Ben are related, Liz thought to herself.

Liz felt insecure beneath his scrutiny, making her inch behind Adam’s back. She peeked over his shoulder so she could watch the rest of the scene unfold. If something was going to happen, at least she wanted to be able to witness it.

Ben stood up from his squatting position beside his sister and looked directly into Adam’s already frightened eyes. Ben squinted his eyes, as if trying to figure out a puzzle hidden within Adam’s eyes. After a moment, he took a quick step back, stumbling as he went. “H-How is this possible? Are you actually alive?” Ben asked quietly, but it was obviously a rhetorical question.

“That’s me, Adam, in the flesh,” Adam muttered with little ease. “Why are you so surprised?”

“Because they told us you died with your parents! They even told us they found your body! Your goddamn burnt-to-ashes fucking body!” Sandy screamed. Her once frail body was now standing with ferocity burning in her pumping veins. Her tiny hands were clenching and unclenching into tight balls. Liz definitely did not want to get into a fight with this chick… ever.

Adam’s reaction was somewhere between shock and deep sorrow. His eyes showed that misery Liz occasionally saw flickering there time to time, but this time it didn’t stop. The pain, the memories, the hurt came rushing through his head and he wasn’t sure if this was a movie or actually his life. The lies that overwhelmed him for much too long came floating up like a vicious wolf stalking it prey.

But suddenly, his world came settling back down, and the whole planet seemed to regulate its course again. Liz had affectionately put her arms around him in an attempt of comfort, though she knew that only the resolve of his own mind could put him at ease. But he needed a friend, and as always, she would never deny him that. She wouldn’t deny anyone that.

Two pairs of eyes observed the sight in front of them, one with curiosity and one with jealousy.

“You are-?” asked Ben, looking straight at Liz. She glanced up from Adam’s shoulder and smiled. Liz stepped away from Adam’s body to offer her hand to Ben and Adam felt the loss immensely. Adam quickly scolded himself nonetheless, now was definitely not the time to pine over Liz. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

“Liz,” she anwered “Liz Parker. I’m a friend of Adam’s.” She smiled warmly at the Ben, and Ben himself felt drawn to her. Not because of any feelings of desire, just something about her pulled him to her. A sense of familiarity. Something primal.

“Well, Liz Parker, nice to meet you. I’m Ben Fisher, and this is Sandy, my sister.” Sandy gave a snort and turned away from the group, walking into the house. They all heard a door slam loudly. Liz couldn’t help but want to write Isabel Evans all over Sandy’s forehead. Liz remembered that exact temper.

“She’s not a real friendly one. Please come in,” he said, welcoming Adam and Liz into the house. Adam refused.

“Ben, it’s all right. I’ve made a mess of things all ready, I’m sorry we bothered you. We’ll just get going now,” answered Adam. He grabbed Liz’s arm, starting to pull her away, but being as stubborn as she was, she stayed firmly rooted in her spot, sporting a “move-me-and-die” pose.

Ben saw Adam’s wish to leave, but it was too soon. He had too many questions. There were way too many things left unsolved. Their lives would never be normal again. Not that their lives were role models for normality in the first place.

“Adam, no! Don’t go, please. We should just talk- about things.” Ben looked down at his feet, suddenly extremely interested in them. This was harder than he expected. But it wasn’t like he ever expected Adam to be alive either.

Adam didn’t know what to do. One part of him wanted to run far, far away from this and all of his past. Bringing Liz here was probably one of the most stupid things he had ever thought of. But the other part of him (and most of Liz too), wanted him to stay. To work everything out and finally go to sleep with a clear conscience for once. Actually be free from the guilt that cursed him his whole damned life. Thinking over the whole situation in his head he quickly came to the conclusion. Who was he to refuse his queen’s request? (Ok, not such a great excuse, but still an excuse.)

Adam nodded at Ben’s invitation and stepped into the house he had formerly known as well as his own. Not much had changed. The living room still rested to the right of the entrance, guarded by a large bay window. The whole dwelling was covered in purples, blues and blacks. Ben’s parents, well particularly his mom, always liked darker colours. She always was a little shady. Her jokes were always a bit dry… then again so was her cooking. If she weren’t always so friendly to Adam, he would swear she dealt drugs.

“If you boys would excuse me, I need to use the little ladies room,” Liz said, excusing herself.

“Oh sure, it’s just down that hall, second door on the right.” Liz thanked Ben and headed down the hallway, leaving the two boys in awkward silence.

“So…” Adam said.

“Yeah, so…”

*****

Liz took a quick peek down both sides of the hallway before closing the door and locking it securely. She took a deep breath and leaned against the solid door. Something had been itching at her mind all day, and it just got worse. Liz had no clue as to what that something was, but she kept getting pretty dreadful vibes. They were getting so bad that her head was one inch away from pounding off her whole body.

Liz didn’t want to think about possibilities of why she had this feeling. Every option came up terrible and unpleasant. But despite her constant flow of denial, she couldn’t let this continue.

Liz slid her body down to the floor and took another deep, soothing breath. Letting her body relax completely, her mind reached out and connected…

*****

“MAX!” Liz shouted as she ran towards him. The background was faceless and unimportant right now. All that mattered was Max’s arms.

“Oh god, Liz,” Max murmured as Liz came running into his arms. It had been too long, just too damn long. “You’re safe, you’re safe, you’re alive.” He squeezed his love closer to him, wanting to make sure she was protected and actually right there in his arms. He smothered kisses all over her face, her forehead, the crown of her head, basically anywhere his lips could touch. “Liz, I love you so much, I love you…”

“Max,” Liz said softly, her hand resting against the side of his face. Her pleasant, harmonious voice stopped his motions and he gazed into her entrancing eyes. She smiled sweetly at him and he couldn’t help but grin goofily back at her. “What’s going on, Max? I’ve been feeling weird all day.”

Max’s eyes widened and not even the Pope could convince him to wipe off that look of total and utter fear that suddenly swept over his face. “Love, you have to stay safe, I don’t care what Adam does, he has got to protect you! Promise me you’ll be safe, promise me you won’t get hurt, and promise me that you won’t-”

“Max, what’s wrong? What’s got you so worried?” asked Liz, a bit frightened by Max’s outburst of panic. She did not like what this was amounting to.

“Liz,” Max sighed. “Maria, she- well- something’s wrong with her.” Liz jumped from Max’s arms and her eyes held the absolute horror Max’s face had just possessed.

“What do you mean something is wrong with her? What the hell is wrong with her? Oh god, tell me she’s all right! Tell me she’s okay and you guys took care of her and she’s her normal bouncy self and-”

“Liz.” It was Max’s turn to calm Liz down, but Liz wouldn’t hear of it.

“Max, if you ever want me to spend another day with you, you better tell me what the hell is going on there! Damn it, I never should have left. I could have done something! She gets tortured because of what I do. I can’t believe how dumb I am! I should have just-” Max’s finger landed on her lips suddenly.

“Calm down, Liz, I haven’t even told you what- wait, what do you mean Maria gets tortured because of what you do?” Max’s eyes rose in suspicion, suddenly aware Liz was keeping something from him. (Apart from where she was at that very moment, what Adam was doing to ensure her safety, if they were still in the same state… and just about everything else.)

“You first, what happened?” Liz directed. Max nodded in his approval.

“Alex, Michael and I were up on your balcony, securing the surveillance cameras we had. We’ve been noticing specific cars staking out your place ever since you left with Adam. They had no clue you had left. Then Isabel and Maria were downstairs in the Crashdown, and from what Isabel said, some strange guy walked in and started talking to Maria. It was like he was hypnotizing her or something, and Izzy tried to interrupt but the guy flung her across the room with his powers-”

“Powers?” Liz asked incredulously. “No, no, no, you must be mistaken. Powers means bad, so no powers, right?” Liz stared at him, begging him with her eyes to tell her she’s right.

But Max could never ever lie to his love. “He had powers. And the guy lured Maria outside. We think he was trying to get her into one of the vans. Alex picked it up on one of the monitors, so Michael and I stopped the guy. To spare you the details, there was a big confrontation involving lots of fire. The guy disappeared before we could get to him. But Maria’s bad off… she hasn’t said a coherent sentence in hours. Alex found Iz knocked out on the floor. She had a pretty bad bump on her head but I’ve already healed it.” Liz vaguely nodded, telling Max she was listening to him.

“Is she all right? Other than her rambling, which is pretty normal for Maria, is she okay?” Max’s silence answered her question. “Well then, what else? What else happened?”

“Iz and I have been trying to connect to you most of the day because Maria had a little message for me. From Khivar.” Liz’s head jerked up, looking at Max with horrified eyes.

“So the stranger-”

“Was Khivar. We all went to Michael’s after the Maria/Khivar stunt. She had been sleeping in Michael’s bed when she suddenly came vaulting out of his room, and screaming things.” Max paused. He really didn’t want to continue.

“Max. What things?”

“Well…”

“Max.” Her stern manner indicated that she wasn’t going to let him mumble himself out of this one.

“At first she was kept screaming ‘Khivar’ and ‘Leandra’. Alex tried to calm her down and it started to work when she finally turned to me. Khivar sent me a message.”

“Uh huh…”

“Yeah.”

“Max, I do believe we’re already established that he sent you a damn message. Will you just tell me what it was?” Max glanced at Liz, feeling divided between wanting to protect her from harm and wanting to protect her from the truth.

“She, uh, called me Zan. She wouldn’t let us name ourselves anything other than our alien names. Khivar’s message… uh, was, ‘You couldn’t save your princess last time and you won’t this time. Leandra is mine. Before, now and forever.’” Liz’s body began to tremble and she fell to her knees. Max felt completely guilty for doing this to her, for making her scared, for scaring her.

Max went to his knees too and put his arms around Liz’s unresponsive body. He kissed the side of her face tenderly, trying to ripple his love to her. His hands rubbed her back soothingly up and down her back, gradually gaining a reaction from her. “Liz, baby, we’ll be okay. I love you, and that’s all that matters.”

“I have to save her.” Liz’s brisk statement shook Max down to his bones. He knew she was going to do this.

“No, Liz. You can’t. Please don’t,” Max replied quietly. “What if… what if you get lost too? We don’t even know what’s wrong. I’m not going to let you go.” Max’s plead fell on Liz’s unhearing ears, but he continued. “Liz! Please listen! She’ll find her own way out, but just stay away. What if Khivar’s waiting for you in Maria’s mind? What if this is all part of his sick little game! Please, Liz, I’m begging you.”

“Max, I’ve got to rescue her! Maria… so help me god if something happens to her.” Liz ripped herself away from Max’s arms and began to fade away when Max let out an animalistic scream

“NO, LIZ! NO! I CAN’T LOSE YOU!” Max’s eyes were wild and brimming with fearful tears. Liz reached out with a fading hand and caressed the side of his cheek.

“I’ll be back before you know it. I won’t get lost, I promise. I love you.” With that, her body completely vanished and all that was left was a shadowy background and a tearful Max.

*****

Dark shadows illuminated the inner recesses of Maria’s mind, pressing eerie dimness against Liz’s presence. Liz rarely visited Maria’s mind but this gloomy world could never resemble anything close to Maria’s bright personality. It was just so dark. Sinister smoke clouded Liz’s eyes and she couldn’t tell whether she was moving or just standing while the smoke encircled her.

“Maria?” Liz called out apprehensively. She wasn’t sure if Maria was there alone, or even there at all. Both thoughts terrified her.

Liz trudged forward through the thickness. If anything, she was determined to find Maria and bring her out of her evident misery. Whatever Khivar had done to her, it must have been bad, because Liz found herself wanting to retch at the cloudiness that engulfed her.

“Maria, answer me,” Liz coughed. Liz pawed at the increasing smoke with one hand while her other hand covered her mouth. She was amazed that a mind could create such gloom, such desolation. She was even more stunned that Maria’s mind could produce this world.

“Maria, hun, I’m here for you… please answer me…” Liz gazed up towards the gray and seemingly lifeless sky. She could feel the menacing chills through her whole body, and she willed them to leave her. To leave Maria too.

Liz continued on in her endless journey through Maria’s concoction of her mind, and it seemed as if she were going nowhere. Liz had to stay sane while she was in here, so she thought back to all the times Maria had been there for her, and vice versa. There was that time when Liz had gotten the chicken pox. Maria had been so grossed out by the red spots, yet she promised to stay with Liz and watch cartoons with her all weekend. Endless Pooh and Bugs Bunny cartoons had danced across Liz’s television all weekend.

Or the time when Alex had twisted his ankle when the three of them had been sneaking out to go to one of Kyle’s blowout parties. They were sneaking back to Alex’s house and he tripped over a fallen twig. Both Maria and Liz had pounced him, covering his mouth so he wouldn’t scream or make any sort of noise. His parents finding them coming back from a party was not a risk they were willing to take. They practically dragged the poor, injured boy through his window and threw him on his bed. They made up some cover story the next morning about Alex falling off his bed in the middle of the night and twisting it.

Liz’s eyes broadened as the dirty clouds begin to thin little by little in front of her. Liz knew her thoughts were impacting Maria, so she continued.

“Maria, I remember when you, Alex and I would spend everyday together just talking about stupid, little things. But at that time, it meant the world to us. Even our teeny bopper phase was so important to us!” Liz smiled at the memory. It was from before the aliens. Their pre-alien stage.

“Or on your fourteenth birthday, you were so depressed about not having your dad around. Alex and I showed up on your doorstep, Alex with his guitar and me with a pan of brownies. We sang and ate the whole nightlong. Do you remember that song we kept making Alex play so we could sing along? For days afterwards, we sang that song nonstop.” The clouds were still thinning, gradually.

She's a fallen angel
She's just flesh and bone
She's the Rock of Ages
She's a Rolling Stone


The lyrics flowed smoothly from Liz’s lips, lyrics she and Maria had spent a week memorizing. They both had fallen in love with the song, not just because of the music, but because the lyrics reminded them of themselves. They were at that point in their lives where they had been marking their path towards their future, their life, their growing independence.

She's nobody's girl
She walks this road alone
She calls her soul her own
She knows she's on her own in this world
She's nobody's girl


Liz reminisced over the memory of her and Kyle’s first breakup. She had caught Kyle making out with Vicky Delaney behind the school bleachers. She had been so naïve back then, thinking her entire world would lead a path with Kyle Valenti. How wrong she had been.

It had been Maria’s turn to bring the brownies that night. Alex again strummed away on his guitar while the two girls twirled and sang to their delight. The three of them had danced, laughed and comforted each other in the way only young innocence could.

She's some kind of devil
She's some kind of saint
And if her hands are dirty
Well her spirit ain't


Something was missing here. Or rather someone.

Liz became silent for a moment and vanished. Not a moment later, she reappeared, accompanied by a somewhat confused Alex. Liz put her index finger to her lips in a signal to quiet his questions. She waved her hand over his, and a guitar appeared in his hands. She winked and began to sing again.

She's nobody's girl
She walks this road alone
She calls her soul her own
She knows she's on her own in this world


Alex quickly caught on and began to play his music, letting its melodic tune stride against the harsh coldness of his surroundings.

Now if the world don't claim you
It don't own you too
She don't belong to me; no, no
She don't belong to you


Liz’s soft but demanding voice rumbled overtop of Alex’s music, the lyrics pouring from her lips freely. And the clouds thinned even more so, much to Liz and Alex’s delight. Liz sang louder, and Alex strummed with energy playing in his bones.

She's nobody's girl
She walks this road alone
She calls her soul her own
She knows she's on her own in this world
She's nobody's girl


Liz was about to continue in another chorus when she heard a slight whimper. Alex’s abrupt stop to his music indicated he had heard it too. They exchanged frightened glances and started to walk towards the cry. That sad, painful cry split Liz’s heart in two, she already knew it was Maria. Max had been right, Maria was lost in her own mind.

“Maria, sweetie, we’re coming,” Liz called out as she began to run with Alex treading behind her. Liz would have missed Maria if she hadn’t tripped over her. There lay Maria, curled into a tiny, tight ball, her head buried in her knees. Her whole body was in disarray, and it reminded Liz of when Maria’s father left. The dismal cry that escaped Maria lips was too much to take, and Liz wrapped her arms around her best friend.

“It’s all right, Maria, we’re here.” Alex crouched on the other side of Maria and he too put his arms around her. Liz placed both of her hands on the sides of Maria’s face and made Maria match her tear-streaked eyes with Liz’s. Liz gave Maria a comforting smile, letting her know that both of her best friends were here to help her.

“Maria, what happened?” Liz asked softly. Maria was silent for a moment before answering.

“I don’t know exactly. One minute I w-was in the Crashdown, and the next minute I’m in here. Lost. And scared. Oh god, you guys, I’m so scared. I tried so hard to get out and warn you, but he d-did something. H-he…” Maria’s sob rang in both Alex and Liz’s ear, and from that moment on, they both swore revenge on Khivar. The terror that plagued Maria was too frightening for her to handle by herself, and they were ready to assist her in anything she needed them for.

“Liz,” Maria cried as she locked eyes with Liz again. “I-I don’t think he knows where you are. I tried to block him, like you taught me. He kept trying but I wouldn’t let him in. That’s why… why he trashed the rest of my mind.” Maria tearful eyes penetrated Liz’s. Maria added quietly, “I want out.”

Liz couldn’t help but smile at Maria’s statement. No matter what happened to Maria, she always had fight in her.

Liz stood up and waved her hand over the air that surrounded her. It instantly became clear. “Maria, don’t you see? This is your mind, and your mind alone. You can do anything in here that you want. If you want out, then leave.” Maria looked at Liz questioningly, as if disbelieving her. Timid at first, Maria stood up by herself. Following her, Alex stood too. They all looked at each other and smiled. They quickly enveloped each other in an enormous hug.

“See? Maria, this is your mind and no one else’s. I’m so proud of you for blocking Khivar. Not because you know where I am, but because you stood up against him. You’re stronger than you think, girlfriend. I knew I told you for a reason,” Liz stated, winking at her. Alex raised his eyebrow at the two girls.

“You know where Liz is?” he asked Maria. She nodded. Liz glanced over at Alex, obviously thinking deeply about something.

“Maybe it’s time we all reunite,” Liz commented. “Khivar knows I’m not in Roswell now, but he doesn’t know where I am either. You guys need to get out of Roswell, he’ll probably try and find another in the group and pry out information.”

“But if we meet you, he’s going to find out where you are anyways,” Alex replied. “Wasn’t the whole purpose of you leaving was to make sure he didn’t find you?”

“Yeah… I guess I have selfish reasons for wanting to see you guys.” Liz grinned sheepishly. She wrapped an arm around Maria’s shoulder. “I just miss you guys.”

“Lizzie, we miss you too. As you can tell, things have gone kind of crazy without you.” Maria smiled tiredly at her. She looked exhausted, and still a bit spooked, but she’d make it. She always did.

“Hey, guys, I’ve lost a lot of my energy, so I have to break connection right away. Maria, all you have to do is break this continuous connection you’re having with your mind.” Maria nodded at Liz. “I promised Max I’d connect with him, but I don’t think I have enough energy to last me. Tell him I love him, tell Michael not to blame himself, and tell Izzy I miss her. I love you guys.” She blew a kiss to them and vanished soon after.

*****

Liz flung herself upwards, her whole back stiffened considerably. She rubbed her eyes and looked around at the motel room she had become accustomed to. That connection hadn’t taken as much effort as she thought, but her energy had been zapped for being in there for so long, and then bringing Alex in too.

Wait. Motel room? Wasn’t she in Ben’s house when she slipped into the connection? Ooh, if Adam found her, he was going to be mad.

“Have fun?” Adam’s curt voice asked. Liz turned to see him sitting in a hard chair in the corner. She smiled weakly at him.

“If I said yes, would you be mad?” Liz joked. But Adam’s face showed no indication of laughter.

“Liz, if you want me to protect you, you can’t go off to happy la la mind-land every minute I’m not looking. Can you imagine what I had to tell Ben when we found you passed out on his bathroom floor? I had to make up an excuse, nothing short of you being a drug addict.” Liz wanted to laugh at that. Lizzie Parker a drug addict? Funny. But going with her better judgment, she bit back her giggle.

“So, how’d the reunion with Ben go?”

“Don’t change the subject.”

“Right. Ok, before you blow up even more, let me tell you why I went. I’d been feeling strange all day, like something was itching me in my mind. It felt bad. So I connected with Max to check if everything was all right back in Roswell, and of course, it wasn’t. Something happened to Maria, Khivar paid her a little visit. He messed with her mind, and made her all confused. I went to help her, to get her out of her own mind. She was really scared.” Adam’s tough face had already softened, especially at the mention of Maria’s situation. He never wanted anything to happen to one of his really good friends.

“Is she all right?”

“She should be now.” Adam nodded. He went over to Liz’s bed and sat down next to her.

“I don’t mean to be a hard ass, I just want to make sure you’re safe. And it’s kind of hard to do that when you’re connecting to people without letting me know. It’s terrifying to see you passed out on the floor and not knowing whether you’re just in a connection or if something actually happened to you.” Adam sighed and looked at Liz. Innocent Liz.

“I’m sorry, Adam. I don’t mean to worry you and freak you out. Really,” Liz teased. “Okay, sometimes I do, but I do it with love.” Liz grinned. She leaned over and hugged Adam, then shooed him off her bed.

“If you don’t mind, this girl needs some beauty rest.”

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:45:10 AM
Max scratched his belly lazily as his eyes tightly squeezed shut before opening again. The sun was obviously an early riser today or perhaps the tremendous lack of sleep that had been troubling Max recently was leaving greater effects. Getting used to few hours of sleep was one of the last things that Max needed to add to that long list of stress.

What he wouldn’t do to just have his Liz back in his arms, so he could hold her and never let her go again. The day he could finally put that ring on her finger and call Liz his own forever would be the day he could die a blessed man. How he missed the simple pleasure of just touching a silky strand of her hair, or stealing adoring glances of her when she wasn’t looking. Even just witnessing her smile could make his heart flutter uncontrollably. And the blissful experience of her laugh… Max had to stop. This was going to drive him insane. There were other matters to deal with.

Like Maria. The moment she had actually woken up, Michael had attacked her. Max was sure Maria would have suffocated if he hadn’t peeled Michael off of her. But he couldn’t blame Michael for his reaction… Max would probably end up suffocating Liz in a tight bear hug the moment he would reunite with her. But then misery would knock on his door again because Liz ran out of breath and then Max would die an old, bitter man and he’d spend the rest of his life in an insane asylum blaming himself and wearing those disgusting white straitjackets where he could bounce off the walls of his perfect white room for the rest of his pitiful life.

Ok. Getting off track.

Something was still missing in Maria’s eyes when she had awoken though. There was… fear? Kind of. She wasn’t so much scared but apprehensive, she had said. But she left it at that. What she was nervous about, Max was completely clueless. And he had a feeling everyone else was pretty much left in the dark about it too. Like most things in this godforsaken situation. Except Alex. Max could tell both he and Maria knew more than they were letting on, and it just irked him. How were they suppose to be a team when no one knew anything, and if someone did, they weren’t willing to share? Max wouldn’t call on Alex and Maria though, in fear he would offend them or be completely wrong.

But he knew the moment Alex was sucked into the connection with Maria and Liz that it was a situation Max couldn’t have helped in. The three of them were best friends, and if Liz included Alex in on the connection, it was only them who could solve Maria’s problem. But still. It hurt. Liz hadn’t even connected to him afterwards. Granted, Maria relayed her message and he understood Liz’s apparent lack of energy, but he missed Liz more than anything. He needed her like air, and right about now, he felt like he was in desperate need of an oxygen tank.

Max gave a deep sigh and rolled over onto his side. The rigid flooring of Michael’s apartment was providing Max with an equally rigid back. They were all sleeping in Michael’s apartment that night, well, morning now. Liz’s apartment was now on their “don’t-want-to-die-so-can’t-stay-there” list. That list was getting awfully long. Max was starting to think Michael’s apartment was already on there.

They had decided to get a move on, and leave Roswell today. A night of rest and then it was the open roads for them. It was summer vacation so their absences wouldn’t be noticed by a single soul. But they had no clue where they were going. Liz’s location still being unknown to him, he just figured they’re travel until something happened. Not like they could do much else. They had few to none cards in their hand. So the open roads were the last option. Maybe they’d get lucky and end up in the same place as Liz. Or maybe Alex and Maria would just tell them where she was. Max grumbled.

Max felt guilty for dragging Kyle into the whole alien mess. Sure, he admits it, he never really liked the guy, but Kyle had handled the whole deal pretty well, apart from the lengthy session of stupidity when Isabel and Alex were first trying to explain their original heritage to him. Max wanted to apologize for making Kyle drop his entire life and forcing him to leave Roswell for a while, but there was no other choice. It was either he join them, or possibly stay in danger in Roswell. Max didn’t want the death of Kyle hanging over his head.

But Kyle was just so… dumb sometimes.

~ Kyle sat idly on Michael’s couch, his eyes darting from corner to corner of the room. After Maria’s previous freak out, he had remained pretty damn quiet. This was all a little too bizarre to him, but way mind-blowing at the same time. Aliens. He knew real, live aliens. He had even dated one (despite not knowing at the time, but it still count… and she was a queen too!). Intergalactic wars, alien royalty, rebirth, it was all real. And really, how do you respond to being told all of that, other than wanting to ask billions of questions. But he knew from experience, testing Isabel Evans’ patience was something you avoided at all costs. AT ALL COSTS.

Michael and Max had carried Maria’s body back into Michael’s room and Michael was still in there. Isabel and Max were talking quietly in Michael’s kitchen about lord knows what, probably some funky alien shit. Michael was sitting with Maria again, and Kyle didn’t dare bother them. Kyle was worried about Maria, but he wasn’t willing to risk the wrath of Michael Guerin.

Alex was sitting next to him, with a far-off, spacey look on his face. He was in deep thought, obviously. He was paying no attention to anything around him, just thinking and concentrating. Kyle was bored, so he watched Alex. Maybe if Kyle threw paper at the guy, he would come alive again.

Then Alex’s eyes rolled back, and his head hit the top of the couch. Kyle stared at the brief and sudden scene that had taken place right in front of him. He could have sworn Alex was alive two seconds ago. Crap. Maybe Kyle’s presence killed him. Maybe aliens couldn’t be in the presence of humans. Wait. They walked among humans everyday. At school, in the street, at work. Well then. What the hell was wrong with this guy then?

“Hey Alex, buddy, I don’t think your eyes are suppose to roll back like that,” Kyle commented, wondering whether he’d get a response from him. He didn’t. Damn it.

“Alex? I know I said I was cool with this alien thing, but going all horror-movie on me is not helping. Whitman?” Kyle poked Alex gently at first, and then really rammed his finger against Alex’s arm. No response. Shit.

Was he even alive? Kyle glanced over at Isabel and Max who were still talking in hushed voices. He sighed and took another peek at the comatose Alex. Kyle inched closer to Alex, afraid that if he got too close Alex would intoxicate him with one of those evil alien belches or farts. Some kind of sick, cruel joke or something Whitman was playing on Kyle.

But Alex’s appearance gave no indication that he was going to rouse anytime soon, to fart or otherwise. Figures that Kyle would have to deal with something like this on his first shift of alien bullcrap. Damn.

Kyle had found out that poking the guy wasn’t going to do anything, so he had to consider his next option. Maybe a quick inspection? He had been to the doctor millions of times. This should be easy.

Kyle leaned over and looked directly into Alex’s ear. He called out, “Anyone in there? Hello-o-o-o?” He was unsure of what he was looking for or even why he was looking there, he just remember his doctor always did that. Except his doctor had one of those ear probe thingies. Damn, anal probes, ear probes… aliens always had something to do with probes. Kyle was going to have to watch his orifices at all costs.

Finding nothing of interest, Kyle rolled his eyes. This really sucked. He came up with another idea, but he needed to shift his body in order to do this. He moved so he was kneeling on the couch, facing Alex. He leaned towards Alex’s eyes and lifted his eyelids. Kyle immediately let them shut though, because the sight sort of freaked him out. Eww…

“KYLE! What the HELL are you doing?” Isabel’s voice screeched. Kyle behind him and found a very horrified Isabel. He looked guiltily at her. He didn’t think she would appreciate him mauling her boyfriend. Kyle figured Max would probably be laughing if he didn’t look so damn disturbed. Damn, what the hell was up with these aliens? Maybe the anal probes weren’t just for unsuspecting humans. Eww…

“I, uh… your boyfriend… he, uh, sort of passed out on me.” Kyle quickly turned around and sat on the couch. Properly. He gently placed his hands in his lap. They were safer there.

Isabel stepped towards Alex, eyeing Kyle suspiciously. She couldn’t even leave him alone for ten minutes before he’s getting into mischief. But wait…Alex passed out? That wasn’t right. She took a closer look at him, and Kyle was right, Alex didn’t look conscious at all.

“He’s probably in a connection,” Max said, tiredly. “Liz went to Maria’s mind, and I bet she pulled him in.” Max walked towards Michael’s bedroom, lightly rapping on the door before entering.

“Oh.” Kyle avoided Isabel’s glare. Man, that chick really needed to chill out, before her ice crown froze the rest of her body.
~

Max glanced over his shoulder and found Kyle snoring heavily a few feet away from him. Isabel was lying stretched out on Michael’s couch, peacefully dozing. Michael and Maria were probably still sleeping in his bed- wait. Alex. Where the hell was Alex?

Max sat up immediately, glancing around the room hurriedly. Last time he had checked, Alex had been on the couch with Izzy. The guy was probably just in the washroom. Max needed to calm down. But just for good measure, he stood up and checked over the apartment, turning up with a still missing Alex and an empty bathroom.

Max was about to go into Michael’s room when the door opened before Max could even put his hand on the doorknob. Michael’s frantic eyes met his, and Max knew things had just gotten worse.

“Maria’s gone.”

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:45:44 AM
Liz chewed on her stale chocolate bar, occasionally glancing at it, wondering if that due date was right or if it was a year off. Or two. Probably five.

Liz let her back drop against the headboard, reclining on the bed rather than sitting up like her previous position. She had just woken up a few minutes ago and was greeted with a terribly rumbly tummy. Since Adam wasn’t real big on leaving the motel during daytime, and she was desperately lacking food, she had to resort to the crappy chocolate bar. But hey, it was food nonetheless.

Adam was in the shower, but she had heard the water turn off just a moment ago so he was probably on his way out of the bathroom. Hurrah for company. Considering she had fallen asleep almost as soon as she had woken up the night before, she never got to interrogate Adam about his conversation with Ben. The connection with Alex and Maria had taken a lot more energy than she had thought it would. She was sure she had been sleeping for almost all of the evening, all of the night, and the better part of the morning.

Liz yawned, throwing her empty chocolate bar wrapper in the garbage basket. This whole hiding out thing was beginning to be silly. Ok, maybe not because of the whole imminent danger thing, but she was just so bored out of her mind. She missed everyone, Maria, Alex, Izzy, Max, and even her overbearing oaf of a brother, Michael. She was used to seeing them all everyday and at least getting one kiss a day from Max. It felt like her lips were on strike without her permission. It sucked.

As expected, Adam walked out of the bathroom, a mob of steam following him closely. He had a towel hanging around his neck and nothing but a pair of jeans on. His wet chest glistened nicely against the soft light emanating from the bathroom. If Liz was any other girl, she probably would have been drooling all over herself by now… but she isn’t and she wasn’t.

“You know, you look pretty studly like that. Maybe you should dress like that all the time,” Liz teased. She whistled at him, and he grinned at her.

“So, the Sleeping Beauty awakes,” replied Adam as he came over to lie down beside her. He turned his head towards hers and asked, “And how did the princess enjoy her slumber? Very well, I hope?” Liz smacked his arm, and rolled her eyes. She moved over to make more room for Adam, and shifted to lie on her side.

“So, girlfriend, you never shared the details with me,” Liz said. Adam raised an eyebrow and the smirk didn’t leave his face. Adam gained a high pitched voice and responded, “You know, Chiquita, a diva never kiss and tells!” Adam rolled his eyes in a dramatic gesture.

“Very funny, next time you audition for stand up comedy remind me to bring rotten tomatoes.”

“Ouch. You’re worse than me.”

“Uh huh, anyways, Ben. What happened?” Adam’s eyes instantly clouded over and he flung himself off the bed. He tottered a moment, before walking into the bathroom and closing the door, without a single word to Liz. She stared, stunned to say the least, at the shut door. Change in moods was not one of Adam’s fortes.

Liz stood up slowly, unsure of her footing or herself. That was… well, weird. She could tell Adam had shut down immediately but she didn’t know why. The only possible reason for him to shut her out that quickly was that his meeting with Ben had gone terribly, terribly wrong. And even that was surprising to her, because Adam had opened up a lot to her, especially since they arrived in Sunny Oaks, so wouldn’t he just confide in her? It made her wonder what was so bad that made Adam completely shut down.

Liz knocked lightly on the bathroom door. “Adam? What’s going on?” A silence implanted itself. “Adaaam, c’mon, let me in! Please? Pretty, pretty please?” Liz’s half joking tone made no difference to the continuous silence. “Adam, talk to me. What happened?” Liz continued on, softly this time. “Don’t close yourself off, especially when we’ve gotten so much closer. You’ve still got many years for me to bug the hell out of you, so shutting me out now is going to make it a lot harder for me to piss you off. And you can’t take that away from me… because then all I’d have is Michael to bug, and we all know that’s a lost cause. Maria does it enough for all of us.” Liz knew she heard a soft laugh behind the door. It was step in the right direction. She went to turn the knob so she could enter the bathroom but found out the door was locked.

Liz sat down beside the door, heaving a sigh. She certainly had no clue as to what upset Adam so much, but she was going to get it out of him even if she had to-

“We talked.” Liz’s ears perked up, and she leaned her head against the door, bringing her knees up to her chest. She was ready to listen. On the other side of the door, Adam too sat down and leaned against the door.

“What’d you talk about?” Liz asked softly.

“We didn’t really get to talk about a lot. He asked me why I left. I think he was still stunned to see me alive.”

“What’d you tell him?”

“That I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. My parents had died in a fire and I couldn’t keep living here, suffering with the pain. I told him that I had seen the house on fire and fled. I mean, it was partly true, the whole not wanting to be here. It hurts to remember. Even now.” Liz heard the heavy sigh that leaked from Adam, then a mocking laugh. “You know what he said? He told me ‘It’s ok to remember.’ Just like you did.”

“Adam, is that what’s upsetting you? Coming back here and being reminded of everything? Cause if it is-”

“No, it’s not. I’ve learned to take those feelings and shove them down. I never had time to think about that, and whenever I did, it hurt so much that I wouldn’t let them back up. I… I don’t even notice any more. Kind of sad, huh?

“ I told Ben I missed him and I wanted to call him everyday. And to this very day, I still consider him my best friend. I told him I was sorry for not being there every time he needed a friend, I was sorry for every birthday I missed, every girlfriend he had, every fight he had with his parents.

“He told me it was tough after I left, after my parent’s death. Sandy sort of lost it and thus her ice princess wall. It just got worse after…” The harsh silence cut through unexpectedly in the course of his speech. The ending of his sentence was left hanging lifelessly in the air, making Liz curious as to what he was holding back.

“What, Adam? After what?” A choked sob could be heard across the door, and Liz cursed the damn chunk of wood that stood between them.

“Owen. He’s dead.”

*****

Maria fiddled with the volume handle, cranking the system. She leaned back in her seat, relaxing and just letting the tunes roll through her body. Sure, Kyle was going to KILL them once he knew that she and Alex had jacked his car but what a way to go. This puppy was a real smooth cruiser and damn, it just looked so gorgeous. Especially with her in it. It was just so… hot. Kyle wouldn’t really mind that they had taken it... maybe. Mi casa et su casa, right? Just in this case, it was a car, not a home. A really, really hot car.

Alex was in the driver’s seat, and Maria could tell he was enjoying every minute of it. How often did they get to steal a sports car, cruise out of town in search of Liz and STILL escape without one of the aliens noticing before they left? Never. Ahh, what a life it is to live on the wild side.

But on the other hand, the rest of the Pod Squad was going to KILL them. She could just see it. Michael would be infuriated and screaming obscenities, Max would be on the brink of a nervous breakdown, and Isabel would be just about to wrap her fingers around Kyle’s neck in frustration. Poor guy.

Maria really wanted to bring Kyle along with them, but Alex said it was dangerous enough with just the two of them going. They may be aliens, but they lacked any sort of powers. Then he added that they shouldn’t have even left in the first place, and he was only encouraging the escape because of Maria’s dream. (But Maria knew he also left with her because he wanted to drive Kyle’s baby… his car.)

Maria had been a bit overwhelmed when she had awoken from the connection with Liz and Alex. People were flinging their bodies at her and hugging her. Especially Michael… hell, he hadn’t even let go of her until she secretly fled. And even then it was difficult. He had a good grip on her even in his sleep.

But the biggest surprise for her was Kyle, now a resident of “I-know-an-alien” club. Maria’s first thought was that he really doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into. But he seemed, overall, pretty secure about the whole situation. Shocking at first, but Maria knew that Liz always called Kyle loyal, above all else. That was all she needed to rest her fear about Kyle and any consequences that could arise from his new knowledge of extraterrestrial life.

But Kyle was really in for a ride. Maria had been a permanent member of this so-called club for about three years and if she learned anything it was that nothing was ever normal. Especially these damned dreams.

Maria could feel the horror crawling up her neck and playing seductively with her senses. She had fallen asleep not long after her rousing from the terror of her mind. At first it was just a peaceful slumber, but her dreamland came into play and her senses went crazy. Her dream started off fuzzy and undecided, grayness and silence overcoming her. But then she heard the screams. Those awful, horrifying, sickening screams that tore out each tendon in her heart, making her feel enormously nauseous. And they got louder and louder until all Maria could do to escape the cries was nothing short of violently ripping off her ears.

That was when it happened. It. Her. A figure appeared before Maria, crying and screeching for help. A small, crumbled being howling in pain or fear or both. Maria had taken a step towards the individual, reaching down to touch her and perhaps comfort her, but he stopped her. He, that dark, menacing character that threatened her to the very soul. There was something so familiar but not, about him. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but it was something so recognizable to her. How? She didn’t know.

The man swooped the figure up over his shoulder and slowly moved away from Maria, the figure screaming even louder, and pounding relentlessly but futilely against her captor’s back. At that very second the figures head jerked up and pleaded wordlessly into Maria’s eyes. Then Maria knew. Liz. She was Liz and something was near and threatening her.

“Hey, clueless, you awake in there?” Alex’s voice snapped Maria out of her recollection. She looked over at Alex, who was glancing at her periodically. She shook her head of disorder and straightened in her seat.

“Yep, yep, just thinking,” responded Maria, wearily.

“Oh? About…” Alex paused, taking another good glance at his best friend. “The dream?” Maria nodded her head silently. She turned her head and gazed out the window, out to the mysterious, conspiring world.

“Figure anything out? You know, you never answered my question earlier. About Khivar.” Maria sighed. She could list the many things she would rather be doing than discussing this.

“I don’t think it’s him. It didn’t… feel like him.” Maria shrugged carelessly, still gazing out the window.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, when Khivar… did what he did to me, I got this certain feeling from him. And I didn’t feel it in the dream.”

“Feeling? What do you mean? I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say anything about this before.”

“I don’t know what’s going on myself. This whole sensation-feeling thing is new to me too. It’s like I get these emotions or impressions of feelings from different people. I feel so much more… perceptive.” Maria again turned, but this time facing her friend so she could perhaps engross herself a bit more into the conversation.

“Oh. When did this start? You think this could be… a Czechoslovakian thing?”

“Could be… actually, I’m pretty sure it is. It started when I woke up earlier. I have these different sensations from each person. I can’t really describe it that well. Each person has a different… flavor. Well, at least I think so, from the different flavorings I felt from you, Michael, Max, Iz and Kyle.”

“How can you feel Khivar then? You said it started when you woke up.” Maria paused for a moment, contemplating Alex’s question. He was right. How did she know what Khivar felt like, if she didn’t gain this new… ability until after she saw the space beast?

“Maybe the damage he did to me left his feeling imprinted on my brain?”

“Perhaps. But then that arises the question of why you suddenly have this capability. The facts are that Khivar captured you and he did his mind melt to you-”

“His what?” Maria asked, surprised by Alex’s terminology.

“Oh, I just named it. What he did to you. I thought it was appropriate, no?”

“I guess.”

“Right. Anyways, as I was saying, he did his mind melt on you, and you eventually escaped your mind. Now you have this new power thingy.”

“You think space beast did something to me, don’t you? To activate this whole new power. But I felt Khivar’s flavor when he did his… what’s it called… mind melt on me. Maybe these powers have been gradually developing and- Wait. When did we say this was a power? I’ve always been perceptible to feelings. This could just be me becoming more enhanced.”

“No, this is new and different. Powers. Remember we have an alien past, so powers are possible for us.” Maria noticed Alex suddenly becoming stiffer and restless in his body language. Then again his body language was out of whack all morning.

Alex fidgeted for a moment before giving Maria a weird, undecipherable look.

“What? What are you thinking?” Maria asked, curiously. Alex gave Maria another look as if he were trying to decide something. This ought to be good.

Alex took a deep, cleansing breath before waving his hand over the steering wheel. The previously black leather steering wheel changed into a cheetah print cover. Maria’s eyes widened and a sharp intake of air was all that was heard in the car other than the numbing music in the background. What. The. Hell. Was. That.

“You… that… what…huh? ALEX!” Maria shrieked.

“Calm down, Deluca. Don’t freak. I started getting these powers just a little while ago.” Maria looked at him, mostly with shock and disbelief.

“That’s all you’re going to say? You get these new powers, which you’ve obviously had for awhile since they seem pretty well tuned, and all you have to tell me is that I shouldn’t freak. Are you INSANE?” Maria’s pitch kicked up another notch.

“It’s no big deal. And besides, this Khivar thing has been occupying all of our minds. Furthermore, you’ve started to gain powers, so why is it so startling that I have to?”

Maria stayed silent, mostly because she didn’t know what to say. Alex keeping quiet about new powers was so unlike him. Alex is the type of guy who always helped and rooted for the home team, so keeping a secret like this from them was totally uncharacteristic. She wasn’t shocked by the whole having powers thing, just by his secrecy of it. And he should know that, being her best friend and all.

But a lot of shocking things had been happening lately. This was just adding to the pile. The large, overpowering pile.


posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:46:20 AM
“They can’t be more than an hour or two ahead of us,” Michael said, through gritted teeth. He crossed his arms furiously, and glared hard at the rapidly moving scenery. Max was next to him, in the driver’s seat, silent and mulling over their current situation that always seemed to worsen with every moment. As for Isabel and Kyle, they were scowling in the backseat, Kyle because his baby was gone and Isabel because she had to be near this fool… and well, just because she’s Isabel.

“I can’t believe they took Bambi,” Kyle muttered. His precious, darling sugar baby was gone. Taken by aliens, no less. What if she was in trouble? What if she needed him right now, and he couldn’t be there because SHE WAS STOLEN?

“What’d you call your car?” asked Isabel, with that unmistakable Ice Princess tone.

“She’s not just a car. She’s a beauty. God’s gift to… well, god’s gift to me. And I must cherish my baby everyday, like she’s my very own child. Wait… she is my child, my baby.”

“It’s a hunk of metal, Kyle,” Isabel commented, distastefully. “Get over it.” Kyle stared at Isabel in complete disbelief. His mouth was literally hanging limply from his head.

“It-it… I… s-she,” stuttered Kyle. He narrowed his eyes in anger. “If you’re damn boyfriend didn’t steal my baby, I wouldn’t have to be stuck in this goddamn car with a bunch of ALIENS! Stuck-up, bitchy-”

“HEY! Cool it!” Michael roared from the front. He turned around in his seat and found what he thought he would. Isabel eyes narrowed in complete rage, and seething furiously. Kyle was about half a step from becoming an utterly scorched human to the point where not even dental records could identify him.

“Kyle,” Isabel growled. “I’m going to-”

“Hey, Michael said cool it, so that includes you too, Isabel,” Max’s commanding voice called. He glanced in the rear view mirror and saw Isabel retreating at his order, simmering in her own corner of the jeep. Max let out a sigh. At least she wasn’t going to kill Kyle any time soon. At least not when Michael or he was around. She could be so difficult.

Max was silently boiling inside too, but flying off the handle wasn’t going to help him any. And he knew Maria and Alex well, so he knew that they were leading him to Liz anyways. It saved him a lot of time from driving aimlessly across New Mexico since neither Maria nor Alex would tell him where Liz was. Of course, Max didn’t have solid proof that they knew where Liz was, but he didn’t need any. Liz had connected with her best friends, and if anything, she would tell them where she was. It was Liz, and Max knew Liz, and he knew that she would want to tell someone. Of course, she would tell Maria and Alex. Max was trying to resist the urge to feel hurt for not being told.

“I don’t get it,” Michael said, irately. “Why would they just up and leave by themselves, especially after what happened to Maria yesterday. Considering that with Liz being gone, we’re screwed as it is. What the hell is wrong with them?” Michael clenched and unclenched his balling fists. In frustration, he extended his arm out the jeep and blasted a nearby sign to smithereens. Well, no one would be going to the town of Glover Hill any time soon.

“Michael, you can’t use your powers like that,” lectured Max. “We may be in a complicated situation, but we have to be careful all the time. You know that. Letting our powers go at leisure is something we can’t risk.” Max checked his rearview and side mirrors again. That paranoia was kicking in again.

“Max, I really don’t give a damn. I just want to get Alex, Maria and Liz back, take care of Khivar and go home.” Michael paused for a moment. “And I want to know why the hell they keep running from us.”

“Maybe Alex and Maria got sick of your pathetic alien loving and got it on between the two of them,” Kyle suggested. Two pairs of alien eyes struck Kyle viciously, both baring their ferocious anger and irritation. “Or not.” Kyle slouched in his seat to escape the invisible death rays obviously being shot at him.

“Kyle,” Max called out, with a slight smirk on his face. “If you really want to live a long life, you may want to stop harassing these two. They do have alien powers.” Kyle nodded silently, retreating further back to his corner and becoming silent.

“Besides, Michael, they wouldn’t leave without a good reason,” Max continued. “Maria and Alex are too smart to play it dangerously. I just wish we knew why-” Kyle’s cell phone ringing cut off Max. Max glanced in the rear view mirror to see Kyle answering his phone.

“Hello? Hanson! Hey… Yeah… Oh, we’re just going to go get it… Uh huh… Well, like I said before, I got drunk last night, and for some reason I got my buddy who lives out in the country to drive Bambi home… Right, better than her getting stolen at a party… She’s good, a real smooth drive… Oh sure, one day I’ll take you out in her… Yup… Tell Dad I’m going to spend the night out in the country with a couple of my buddies… Thanks, Hanson. Oh, and thanks for tracking my Bambi down… Yup, we headed out north on highway- oh, ok, well, have a good day, Hanson. I’ll talk to you later.” Kyle hung up his cell and put it back in his pocket.

“Wow, you can actually be a decent human being,” Isabel spat.

“You know, Ice Princess, at least I am a human being. And if I weren’t here, you wouldn’t have a clue as to which direction Maria and Alex are heading. You wouldn’t be able to get Hanson to track down my car without getting suspicious so you’d probably be stuck in this jeep with Max and Michael, cruising around in circles like lost monkeys. So either take out a blow dryer and defrost or continue your ice parade without making nasty comments.” Kyle finished his short rant with a hard glare and then turned to stare outside. Isabel was, well for lack of better terms, speechless.

Max and Michael on the other hand, were biting their lips from the risk of bursting out in laughter. Kyle had balls for standing up against the Ice Princess herself. Then again, they felt bad for him. He was going to pay for it later. Big time.

“So if we continue down this highway, where will we end up?” Michael asked, breaking the silence and ice.

“Well, Hanson said that this highway leads straight to some town called Sunny Oaks. There’s a bunch of side roads on the way, but Hanson said Bambi has been heading straight down this highway.” Kyle shrugged.

Max heaved a sigh. There wasn’t much of an option here. “Sunny Oaks, here we come.”

*****

“He was like our third musketeer, you know? He was really funny when he opened up, and so intelligent, it would blow you away. We all use to joke around saying that he would become the next Bill Gates so Ben and I could live off his money. Owen was super quiet though, but when the three of us were together, we were loud and always getting into trouble.” Adam sighed, reminiscing over old, forgotten times. He threw another rock out against the pond, watching it skid effortlessly across the water.

Liz sat a few feet away, perched upon a larger boulder. She had her elbows propped up on her knees as her chin rested on her palms. Liz was watching the captivating sunset being reflected on the water, giving her a whole new perspective on nightfall. She had gained a new perspective on a lot lately.

Adam had kept himself locked in the bathroom for hours the day before, almost until nighttime. Soon after he made a brief appearance to Liz, he stated he was tired and just crawled into bed. Liz didn’t want to push anything so she just spent some bonding time with the rusty, old television.

Today had gone by pretty fast though, both Adam and Liz continuing in their present routine of sleeping in and lazing around until sunset. He had kept quiet most of the day until he had said he wanted to show Liz this place where he, Ben and Owen had wasted a lot of time when they were kids. And it was beautiful, breathtaking. It was like a picture out of an art book, with a glossy layout of a pond mirroring nature’s charm. The peaceful serenity of their backdrop helped Adam open up to Liz, and reveal more of his past to her.

“So he was like your… Alex?” Adam paused momentarily, then smiling at the comparison.

Nodding, he said, “Yeah, sort of. Just a bit more shy. We always had a good time. And even though Ben won’t ever admit, whenever Sandy joined us, we were just… complete. Especially the last year before I left, we were all really tight. Including Sandy.” Adam sighed, throwing another rock.

“So how did Owen, uh… pass away?” Liz looked inquiringly at Adam with soft eyes.

“A fire at school in the chemistry lab. It was an accident, happened about six months ago. Ben told me that Owen was there after school finishing some lab report that was due and something went wrong. The whole lab went up in flames, and Owen didn’t make it out. He was the only one in the lab at the time.” Adam sighed, throwing a trio of rocks against the water, disrupting its calm.

“I’m so sorry, Adam. I know I’ve said it before but… I just can’t imagine losing Maria or Alex. I want you to know that I’m always here for you.” Liz smiled tenderly at Adam, hoping he could hear the sincerity in her voice and the gentleness in her smile. Adam glanced at Liz, and smiled back, sadly. Even if his life was turned upside down over and over again, like it had been in the past few days, only Liz could ease him. Liz’s kindheartedness calmed Adam continually.

“Thank you, Liz. I’m thankful I have friends like you, it makes me feel less alone.” He walked over to the boulder where Liz was resting, and sat next to it. “I just feel cheated, I guess. I missed out on growing up with my friends and my family. I couldn’t spend the last year and a half of Owen’s life with him. I couldn’t mourn with Ben and Sandy. Hell, I couldn’t even mourn my own parents death.”

“Adam… why did you leave? Why didn’t you just stay?”

“Because I had a duty. I still have a duty. Liz,” Adam said, shifting his head so he could look up at her. “My first concern is your safety, and always will be. Not because of some past life of mine, or royal duties. Because you’re one of the best friends I’ve ever had. You’re beautiful, inside and out.” Liz blushed against Adam’s softhearted compliments.

“Thank you, Adam,” Liz said quietly, still reddened. She shook her head instantly, berating herself for becoming flustered at a compliment. She wasn’t a ten year old being admired at. So instead she thought hard about their current situation.

“Adam, have you ever been to, you know, the cemetery? Well, no, you couldn’t have been. You and I have been together ever since we’ve gotten here. Have you wanted to see their- ahem, graves?” The wetness that pooled at the corner of Adam’s eyes made Liz want to kick herself, but she knew Adam needed to bring some sort of closure to this.

“I-I don’t know if I could handle it.” Liz slid down the rock and sat beside Adam. She wrapped one arm around Adam’s shoulder and pulled him into her side.

“Well, then we’ll do it together, all right?” Adam looked at Liz hesitantly, reminding her of that forlorn little boy he so often displayed to her. She stood up and pulled Adam up with her. “C’mon, let’s go.”

*****

The tall gateway of ‘Sunny Oaks Cemetery’ hung lifelessly before Adam and Liz, breathing nothing but chilling air, as if they knew what lay beyond their entrance. Despite its rasping appearance probably due to the actual content of the cemetery, it was nicely trimmed with a long, winding path concealed in small pebbles and stones that traveled far ahead. Accompanying the path’s sides lay rows and rows of marked graves for loved ones blessed in vibrant flowers. Miscellaneous trees and plants grew idly in the scenery of the rapturous scenery with its morbid core.

“Not quite as eerie as most graveyards. At least there’s still a little bit of sunlight left,” Liz commented as she and Adam walked through the iron gates of ‘Sunny Oaks Cemetery’. Adam briskly nodded, acknowledging he heard Liz, but not really reacting to the actual comment. He really didn’t need to see anyone’s grave. Really. He believed they were dead.

“Liz, this is crazy. I don’t need closure. I’m fine. And anyways, there’s a whole heap of graves here. It’d take forever to find Owen and my parent’s graves. Too bad.” Adam turned to leave but Liz grabbed his arm before he could take a step.

“Not so easy, cowboy. At least give it a conscious effort.” Liz took Adam’s hand and led him through the gravel path amongst rows of burials. Rapidly she felt Adam’s body halt and stiffen greatly. She twisted to give him more encouragement but stopped herself when she saw Adam’s narrowed eyes, infested with animalistic instinct.

Adam slowly moved his head about, his eyes grazing every region carefully. He pulled Liz’s body tightly behind him, his prey intuition coming full force. It had come quickly, that gnawing feeling that warned him of a stalking presence. The awareness of company was another “perk” to the whole protector duty. But it really came in handy for shielding Liz from foreboding characters.

Adam let a low, deep, protective growl seep from his lips, warning whoever was watching them. Slowly Adam raised his hand, not totally sure as to where their shadow was located. Distantly he felt Liz’s body fighting desperately against the quivers that threatened her mercilessly.

“Adam, what the hell are you doing?” a strong, feminine voice rang out. Adam’s head snapped towards the voice, his still apprehensive eyes seeking out the form.

“Hey man, relax,” Ben’s cool voice called after. He and Sandy came sauntering out from a hiding tree both wearing confused expressions by Adam’s protective stance.

“Oh, sorry, man,” Adam apologized, slightly blushing. That was a close one… his self-esteem and guilt level would have done double time if he had accidentally blown his best friends away with alien powers. Whoops?

Liz immediately took the initiative, stepping away from Adam’s defensive shelter. “We, uh, thought that someone was following us. It must have been the graveyard creeping us out. Sorry about that scene.” Liz smiled sincerely. “So, what are you two doing out here? Isn’t it kind of dark out to be stalking the dead?” Liz meant it in a joking manner, but Sandy didn’t seem amused.

“Well, what about you? Shouldn’t you be hiding in your dark corner?” Sandy sneered. “Not that it’s any of yours or Adam’s business, but Ben and I visit Owen and Mr. and Mrs. Redmond’s graves everyday. You know Adam’s parents? Oh, wait, you wouldn’t. Considering neither you nor Adam have been here since their death. Well, actually you’ve never been here. Maybe that just further proves my point that you don’t belong here either.” Sandy turned and stomped away from Liz, Adam and Ben.

Ben looked at Sandy’s distancing back with a dropped jaw. That was just… cold. And cruel. He turned towards Liz and Adam, giving them a truly apologetic face.

“Guys, I’m so sorry about that. She’s really had a rough time since-”

“Ben,” Liz said softly. “You have nothing to apologize for. Neither does Sandy. She’s been through a lot in her life, I’m sure I’d be the same way. Besides, our friend Isabel is much more callous. Sandy is but a minion compared to Isabel.” Liz grinned at Ben, letting him ease.

“Thanks Liz,” Ben replied quietly. She was an exceptionally gentle person, her whole charisma cried maturity and peace.

Liz stepped up and looped her arm with Ben’s. Grinning, she said to him, “Care to show me where I can find Owen and the Redmond’s graves? I’d like to pay my respects. From all that I’ve heard, they were truly amazing people.” Ben grinned back and led her down the path.

Adam trailed behind silently, lost in a parade of thoughts. He should have been here this whole time for Sandy and Ben. Why couldn’t he have just stayed for a while before embarking on his journey to Roswell, to Liz?

But he already knew the answer to that. Liz’s life was, is and always will be the most important thing to him. And to deny that was to deny a part of him.

But Sandy was one of his best friends, almost like a little sister but not. If he had only kept in touch, if only-

If only you’d get your butt in gear and be there for her now.

Adam’s head jerked up to glance at Liz. He knew that was Liz’s voice in his mind, but when he looked up he saw that she was still happily chatting with Ben.

Didn’t I tell you to go after her? Men, never ever listen.

Adam grinned at Liz’s jokingly irritated voice. He nodded slightly, even though Liz couldn’t see him, and ran off towards the far-off figure.

*****

Sandy bent over the hard stone, slowly lowering herself to a kneeling position beside it. She traced the engraved letters with her right index finger, reminiscing over past times and memories. The coldness of the stone against her finger cooled her immensely, temporarily numbing that agonizing and always raw feeling that consumed her body.

“Owen and I comforted each other when you left,” Sandy started, already sensing Adam’s presence behind her. Her eyes never left the grave, her finger continually following the flow and curves of the chilly letters.

“Ben keeps saying I couldn’t handle you leaving, but it was him who couldn’t survive. I heard him crying and sobbing every night, and after the first three weeks, I couldn’t stand it any more. Can you even begin to understand how many nights I spent at Owen’s house, comforting myself in just his company? When you left, a massive hole formed between the three of us. Our group sort of just dissipated. Ben wasn’t himself any more and he pulled away, always off researching something or other. He never once believed you were dead.

“Owen and I, we found comfort in each other. We took the news with dignity, not letting ourselves get lost like Ben. Of course, we were crying and fighting inside like a son of a bitch, but we refused to let others see it. We couldn’t stand the pathetic, sorrowful looks people gave us at school, as if they knew what we were feeling. They had never known, and would never know. We just wanted to mourn in peace.

“While Ben grew more distant, Owen and I grew closer. We weren’t just best friends any more. No, it was more than that. We became lovers, but not in the physical sense of the word. We were comfort pillows for each other. While other girls consoled themselves in chocolate, I turned to Owen. We shared a bond that no one, absolutely no one, would ever understand.

“I’m sure you can imagine my agony when Ben told me about Owen’s accident, about his death. That’s when I realized we’re not really people living life. We’re just pawns in this large, sick, twisted game, all waiting for the inevitable fatality that will consume us and people around us. Getting attached will only hurt more in the end, for you and others. So I stopped caring. Stopped feeling.

“For the past six months, I’ve been nothing but a walking, talking shell. I can’t feel any more. I don’t even know if I remember how to.” Sandy bowed her head in the pain that surfaced, but tears wouldn’t seep. She had no tears. She had nothing but emptiness.

“I thought I was in love with you so long. Out of Ben, Owen and you, you were the only one who was willing to be my friend. You actually went out of your way to make me feel wanted, threatening to beat up Ben whenever he teased me until I cried. You never shied away from me when I wanted to just hang out with the ‘boys’. Losing that bond, that security, had hurt too much. I can’t do that again. I won’t. I’m not willing to get hurt again.” Sandy finally turned to look behind her at Adam.

Although he had soaked every word Sandy had said him, his eyes couldn’t shift away from the gravestone that Sandy was kneeling next to. It was just too real. Too goddamn real.

Adam Redmond
Beloved friend and son.
May he rest in blessed peace.
1983-1999


posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:47:00 AM
“Well, lookie, lookie at this,” Maria said as she stretched her legs. The dark night had grown on them not long ago, and they had finally made it to Sunny Oaks. It was a quaint little town, reminded her of Roswell minus the quirky alien theme.

The ride had been long, considering Alex wanted to make as little stops as possible along the way. Thank god for her large, strong bladder otherwise that trip would have been impossible. She didn’t know how Alex could do it.

Along the way, Maria had grown a special, loving bond for the red, hot little number of a car that Kyle owned. She had already named the beauty Hannah. Kyle wouldn’t mind.

“So this is Sunny Oaks, huh?” Alex asked, as he rounded the car and stood by the stretching Maria. “You think she’s in there?” Alex gestured towards the closed door just a small distance from them. In front of the room sat Maria’s red Jetta… it looked so plain and boring compared to Hannah. At least Maria thought so. Maybe Kyle would be up for some trading. Well, whenever she would see him next that is.

“You know, Alex, I’m starting to think this was bad idea. Coming out to Sunny Oaks without telling anyone. I don’t even know why I didn’t want to tell the rest of the Pod Squad. This is wrong and-” Maria’s bumbling words came to a halt when Alex clasped his hand over her mouth.

“Maria, be quiet. You’re rambling. You said we shouldn’t tell them because it wouldn’t be safe. You said that if it were just the two of us, Liz wouldn’t freak out so much. Remember?” Maria looked into Alex’s eyes, pondering for a moment before giving him a nod.

“Oh, right. Of course. Stupid me.” Maria turned away from Alex abruptly and walked over to the closed motel door. She looked over her shoulder at Alex, yelling, “Are you coming? Or are you just going to wait there like an immobile?” Maria started to pound on the door.

*****

The four stone headstones lay side by side, each marking its gloomy and treacherous attendance. Four teenagers crowded around the graves, silent and lost in their thoughts. The ultimate question swam through all of their minds, battering them senseless. Why? they asked, but would never receive an answer.

Adam still hadn’t moved from his previous spot, but his eyes kept darting from grave to grave. His mother’s grave, his father’s grave, Owen’s grave… and his own grave, all lined up before him like row of soldiers waiting for a command. Chills kept running up and down his spine, pricking him viciously.

How could this even be? Unless someone was playing a mean, dirty trick on him, he was pretty sure he was living and breathing. Well, he wasn’t particularly certain about this very moment. His breath seemed to be caught somewhere in his throat and He certainly couldn’t feel his body or any functions his body would normally perform.

Liz stepped away from Ben, pulling her arm away from his, and knelt beside Sandy. Liz slowly and delicately placed a warm, gentle hand on Sandy’s shoulder, offering her comfort and support during her obvious distress. But Sandy refused any solace and brusquely shook Liz’s hand off. Liz gave her a sad smile that Sandy never saw, but it never fazed Liz. Just because Sandy didn’t know Liz, it didn’t mean that Liz didn’t care.

“Owen’s parents thought that burying his body next to Adam’s would give both of them a sense of peace,” Sandy spoke softly, every word sounding its anguish. “That maybe if their bodies were close to each other, they wouldn’t be so alone.” Aching tears rolled quietly down her cheeks.

“But that’s not the case, Adam, is it?” she continued bitterly, whipping her head towards him. Her voice heightened until she was almost screaming at Adam. “He’s all by himself. Owen, he’s down there, lonesome and scared. Because of you, Adam. You selfish, son of a-”

“Sandy,” Ben spoke sharply and swiftly, taking a warning step towards her. Ben did not like where she was heading. And still Adam stood frozen in place.

“Of course, Ben, you’d stand up for him. Perfect Adam. ‘He must have a reason. He’s a great guy. He didn’t know.’ WELL, I DON’T CARE IF HE GODDAMN KNEW. OWEN IS DEAD BECAUSE OF HIM.” Sandy’s scream sliced through Adam’s haze, and he gazed at her.

“What do you mean, Sandy? Why is he dead because of me? Didn’t know what?” Adam’s shaking voice rang out into the suddenly cold, harsh world. He needed answers. Answers to questions that he didn’t even know were there.

“Adam, we shouldn’t talk about this here. Not now.” Ben commanded gently, trying to push Adam away from asking more questions. Ben grabbed Adam’s arm in attempt to calm him, but Adam yanked it away. His quivering body, trying its hardness to stay strong, kept focused on Sandy. He wanted to know why she blamed him, not that he didn’t agree completely with her.

“Of course, Ben,” Sandy spat, standing up defiantly. “It’s never the right place, or the right time, or the right person, or whatever fucking other excuse you can think of. Will you please just start dealing with this instead of pretending nothing happened? Like it doesn’t matter. Your best friends died for Christ’s sake! And when this shitface mysteriously comes back from the dead, you immediately accept him, never asking a damn question. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you didn’t even give a shit-”

“Hi there, I’m Liz. I’m a really good friend of your son, Adam. He hasn’t really told me much about you, but from what I’ve witnessed from the way your son acts, you must have been great people. Only wonderful, remarkable people could raise a son as noble as yours.” Liz smiled softly while her warm, generous words flowed smoothly as she kneeled next to the two graves. Her words grasped the attention of the other three teenagers around her, stilling their argument. Liz seemed oblivious to them.

“I hope you know that you’ll never have to worry about your son because he has marvelous friends who love him, like myself. And I know for a fact that he misses you everyday, so you don’t have to worry about that either. He loves you, always has, and you will everlastingly live in his heart forever. And even though I never got the pleasure to meet the both of you here on earth, I know you will live in my heart as well.” Liz placed a kiss on her fingers and touched each grave. She nodded her head solemnly and continued quietly.

“Thank you for introducing the world to a magnificent man, and thank you for giving me a remarkable friend. I hope you can rest in peace now and forever more.”

Liz gave a small smile before moving to Owen’s grave. She sat down, crossing her legs and stared at the burial for a moment.

“I’ve never met you either, but from what I’ve heard from your friends, you were a pretty amazing person. You have three incredible friends here who lost so much in such a short time, and in the process, lost each other and themselves. But throughout it all, they still remember the praise and love they hold for you. They may be confused and lost, but I know you will somehow guide them back. I have faith in you. Your friends have faith in you. And just because you can’t be right here beside us, you will always live right here in our hearts. We won’t give up on you, if you don’t give up on us.” Liz repeated the same action she had done with the Redmonds. She kissed her fingertips and pressed them against Owen’s grave.

“Thank you for bringing these three together, and showing them what it means to have friendship. None of us will ever forget you. We’ll all see you one day, and hopefully you’ll be waiting for us. Until then, I hope you sleep silently and peacefully.” She gave his grave one last glance before standing up and walking over to Adam. She wrapped her arms around him tightly, and he did the same. It was just a friendly hug but meant so much more to the both of them. A union of friendship, understanding and love.

“Thank you, Liz. Thank you.” Adam tipped his head so he could bury his face in her silky tresses. For just this moment, just this one, single moment, he could pretend it didn’t hurt. That everything was going to be all right.

*****

“You’d think they would add more than just one bacon strip when you ask for extra bacon. I mean, geez, I had to pay fifty-nine cents for this extra piece of bacon. People today are such cheapos,” Maria mumbled as she took another large bite of her burger. She lay lazily on top of Hannah, her legs extended on the hood.

Once she and Alex had finally come to the conclusion that Liz and Adam weren’t in the room in front of the Jetta or any of the rooms surrounding it (well, they realized it after they accidentally stumbled upon an embarrassing scene of a couple… making love), they decided they needed food. Well, Maria decided that she needed food. Alex wanted to just sit and wait for Liz and Adam, but Maria wouldn’t hear of it. She needed food in her belly, now.

“I don’t understand this whole food concept,” Alex stated with a very serious look on his face. He was perched on Maria’s Jetta, gazing intently at his obviously stale fry that lingered on his finger. “You pay for something you’re going to shit out anyways? It’s a moronic idea, if you ask me. And this food is gross anyhow, especially this hard, unidentifiable fry.” He chewed on said fry. Yum. Hard and chewy.

“Well, you could just not eat. Lets see how you’d do on that kind of diet.” Maria threw one of her fries at Alex and hit him right on the forehead.

“Ow! That was hard.” Alex rubbed the spot where the fry hit him, actually seeming as if the flying fry had hurt. What a baby.

Maria sighed, throwing her used burger wrap on the ground. She had eaten, so now she was bored. Being lazy only had so many perks. Waiting for people who you weren’t sure were coming back… well, that just plain sucked a big fat one.

“How long have we’ve been waiting?” Maria asked, twiddling her fingers as she rested on Hannah. She laid her head against the cool windshield, staring up at the fallen night sky. Stars winked at her, and Maria felt like she was being included on some otherworldly secret with them.

“Just over an hour. Hmm, I wonder where they went.” Alex too stretched out on the Jetta. He placed his hands behind his head in an action of relaxation, but was frequently checking if Liz and Adam were on their way back.

“You know, Sunny Oaks isn’t so bad. It’s nice and quiet. Somewhere you could just get lost in. I could live in a town like this.” Maria sighed dreamily.

“You do live in a town like this.”

“No, I live in a town like this plus aliens.”

“It’s still a town like this.”

“But I want a town minus the aliens. Maybe multiply the number of malls though.”

“Then you’d have to divide the number of trees.”

“Why? They make the town look so pretty.”

“Because you need room for the malls.”

“Oh. You’re right. Maybe I could just plant some flowers or bushes or something around the mall. Or perhaps- LIZZIE!” Maria’s sudden screech made Alex jump, and he fell off the car. Right on to the hard ground. Damn you, ground.

Maria catapulted towards Liz’s approaching figure. She whirled her arms around Liz’s body, embracing her in a tight hug. Whispering something softly into her ear, she pulled away and took a good look at Liz.

“Well, girlfriend, you look pretty damn good! As always. But I assure you, I look much better… no offense.” Liz’s face was still caught in surprise, unsure what was really happening around her. Before a moment of peace, she was swooped into Alex’s arms.

“Hey Liz, we missed you,” Alex said gently. He cocked her a smile.

“Uh, hi guys,” Liz choked, coming out of her flabbergasted daze. “What are you doing here? Did something happen?”

“Nope, girlfriend. We just wanted to see you!” Maria flashed Liz a great, big smile. “And you too, of course,” Maria added, turning to the quiet Adam. She hugged Adam, who was standing to Liz’s right, and apparently still in a daze.

“Guys, I told you that-” Liz started.

“Rules, schmules, Lizzie. I missed my best girlyfriends, so I came to see them.” Maria stood on her tiptoes and glimpsed behind Liz and Adam’s shoulders. There stood two people that Maria didn’t know.

Being the friendly person that she always is, Maria pushed Liz and Adam apart and stepped through the middle of them. Holding out her hand, she greeted the two new, unidentified characters. The guy looked like he was ready to bolt at first, and the chick just looked pissed. Ooo, a young Isabel Evans. Fun.

“Hi there! I’m Maria Deluca, resident best friend and ass-saver of Liz and Adam.” Maria’s tone was perky and energetic, completed with a toothy grin.

“That’s great, Marsha-” replied Sandy with a touch of sarcasm in her voice, and she crossed her arms insolently.

“It’s Maria, thank you very much. Learn it, love it, live it.” Flashing her teeth again, she blew Sandy a kiss.

Ben grinned, already liking Maria’s spunk. He extended his hand to shake hers. “I’m Ben, and this is my sister, though I rarely admit it, Sandy. Welcome to Sunny Oaks.” Maria smiled back and looped her arm with Ben’s instead of shaking his hand.

“I have a feeling we’re going to get along just fine!” She pointed towards Alex. “That’s my buddy Alex Whitman.” Ben waved at Alex, enjoying Maria’s candidness.

“So Benny poo, how do you know my precious Liz and Adam?” asked Maria.

“Adam and I are, uh, childhood friends. How about you?”

“Me, Alex and Lizzie go way back. You should hear us jam together! We sound-”

“Maria!” Liz shrieked, impatience evident in her voice. Maria looked over at Liz, apology marked in her eyes. She stepped away from Ben and moved towards Liz.

“Maria,” Liz whispered harshly, drawing Maria’s ear closer to her lips. “What are you really doing here? Where are the rest…?”

“Ah, my dear Lizzie, don’t I always tell you that you worry too much?” Maria waved her hands in the air. “We can talk later. You need to show me this lovely motel room of yours. There better be no door a-rocking, because you know I’m gonna come a-knocking.” Maria bounced towards the motel room, with five pairs of eyes gazing at her back with millions of questions in their mind.

“C’mon Adam, be the strong, handy man I know that you are, and pop open this door for me. I think Mother Nature is calling-” Maria’s voice was cut off abruptly when a loud roaring of a vehicle came rounding around the corner and into the parking lot.

“Oh shit.”
posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:47:42 AM
Max rounded into the parking with impatience. He knew Liz was there. He could feel it. He could feel her. And it was painful. Painful that he knew his love and beauty was so close but he couldn’t touch her yet. How he longed for that moment when he could finally swoop her into his arms, and never ever let her leave again. When he could kiss her, and taste her sweet, tender lips, claiming them as his own. And not in just some dream world but in this real world where fears and trials troubled you, yet as long as he had the one his love, everything would turn out all right.

“BAMBI!” Kyle squealed from the backseat. He jumped out of the jeep as soon as it neared a full stop. Hurling his body against the cool metal of his car, he placed kisses all over his Bambi’s hood.

The three podsters stepped out of the jeep afterwards, each burning with strength and authority. These three held the key to worlds unknown just by the way they rendered themselves to others, but felt much deeper inside. The King, outside glorified and strong, but inside trembling, as he was so close to his love yet with only bittersweet memories of loneliness in the recent days.

The rebel, best friend and brother stood boldly with energy propelling through his whole body, but internally he was relieved, terrified and angry all at the same time. It took much strength to remind himself that at least their Court had finally assembled together again at last.

And last but never least, the Princess radiated arrogance and superiority beyond confidence, but never revealing to the public her inner feelings. To be naïve and vulnerable only showed weakness, something she could not afford in the public’s eye.

And Ben looked on in awe, Sandy in distaste and distrust.

“Oh… hey, uh, M-Michael…” said Maria, the first words to be spoken since the new arrivals other than Kyle’s giddy squeal. She was trying to shift away from Michael. He looked pissed. Really pissed at her.

“What, uh, a nice surprise. Who would of thought of meeting y’all here?” Maria gave a nervous laugh while slowly taking another few steps back. Her awkwardness was disrupted when a loud sigh was heard from their King.

“Liz,” whispered Max, taking a shaky step towards her, his eyes glued to her petite and seemingly tired body. The authentic smile that graced her gorgeous face was too precious to forget. That smile was just for him, just for his eyes, and he despised the idea of anyone else seeing it. Yet before he could even take another step in Liz’s direction, Michael was already engulfing her in an embrace.

“Lizzie bear,” he whispered into her ear, as if just saying her name made it more real. His sister was okay and all right and breathing and living. “I missed you.”

Liz felt herself turning into a big, mushy puddle of love suddenly. She had been missing all of her friends for so long, and poof! They appear. It was sort of hard to absorb. It was all happening so fast.

“Michael!” Liz exclaimed softly. She was returning his hug, and kissed his cheek sweetly before pulling away. Looking up into his eyes, she added, “I missed you too, big bro.” She cracked him a grin. Michael playfully messed up her hair, causing her to punch his arm.

“Hey Liz,” Isabel addressed. She gave Liz a quick hug, momentarily letting her guard down. But she was still disturbed as to why those two strangers were watching them so intently. So lifting her guard back up, she stepped away from Liz. It was that whole weakness thing again.

“Hey Izzy,” Liz replied, cocking her a smile. Even if Isabel refused to let Liz in, Liz would still love her. Isabel has a heart of gold, it’s just she rarely lets people see it. Besides, her and Isabel were practically sisters.

Liz turned to Max, flashing him another smile. The longing in his eyes penetrated her, and she couldn’t hold back any longer. She ran to his arms and embraced him tightly, her arms circling his neck. The yearning that they both had been holding inside for so long was finally being released. Max’s arms easily slipped around her body, and he drank in her precious scent, her honeyed skin, her tiny figure. He missed her, and she missed him. Plain and simple.

“Liz, oh Liz, I love you,” Max whispered to Liz, letting only her cherished ears hear the deep ache that resided within for her.

“Max,” responded Liz, lightly. Her lips found his and they finally connected in a way they had been missing for so long. Nothing could surpass this feeling where life was just so perfect for that one moment. Their lips fused together, not demanding but tender and gentle, and their arms twisted around each other in warm embrace.

“I don’t know who’s more entangled, Liz and Max, or Kyle and Bambi,” Michael muttered. He stepped up and clapped his hands loudly in Max’s ear. “Ok, that’s enough face sucking. Break it up.” He physically pulled Max’s lips from Liz’s, interfering with the make out session for now. Max may be his best friend and king, but Liz was still his sister and that came first.

Liz blushed at her obvious loss of control but Max just grinned goofily, keeping his arm tight around her waist. Nothing could faze him right now.

Michael on the other hand, was evaluating the situation, like any good commander would. “You,” Michael rudely pointed to Ben and Sandy. “Who are you?”

“Michael,” Liz said patiently. “These our are friends Ben and Sandy Fisher. They knew Adam before he came to Roswell.” Michael just grunted causing Liz to roll her eyes. He could be so anti-social.

“And who the hell are all of you?” Sandy questioned. She’s a spicy one, Michael thought. He knew too many spitfires as it was.

“And what in God’s name are you doing to that car?” Sandy asked Kyle, who was still smothering his car in kisses.



Without moving from his spot, he replied, “Kyle Valenti. And I’m just reuniting with my beautiful Bambi.” Emphasizing his point, he placed a loving kiss on his windshield. Sandy wrinkled her nose in disgust.

“You know, you seem kind of bitchy,” Michael stated flatly. Sandy’s eyes flashed towards him, venom shooting out. Michael just shrugged his shoulders.

Liz looked confusedly at the group who just arrived, pointedly paying no attention Michael’s ignorance. “Kyle, ah, what are you doing here?”

Many pairs of eyes turned to her in question, and then turned to each other.

No one told her?

He didn’t tell her?

She didn’t tell her?

Why didn’t anyone tell her?


“Uh, we thought he’d be great company. Yup. Isabel and Kyle really hit it off,” Michael added with a smirk, wanting to leave questions for later. For the second time that night, venom eyes turned to him.

“No, Michael, I think you’re mistaken. I do believe you’re the one that has a crush on Valenti. Or did you forget about telling me how hot you thought he looked in his jeans?” Isabel put her hands on her hips in an act of anger. Kyle peeked at his ass. Hmm, not bad, Valenti, not bad at all. Perky as usual.

“Isabel,” Michael said with sickening sweetness. “Don’t worry about Alex, he won’t be hurt. Probably thinks you and Kyle would make a great couple, right, Whitman?” Alex looked over at them and shrugged.

“Yeah, sure, whatever.” Isabel’s eyes widened at Alex’s lack of interest.

Maria glanced at the increasingly terrible scene and quickly defused it.

“Well, it looks like we’re all going to have to bunk here for the night, so uh, me and Isabel will go get some rooms.” Maria grabbed Isabel’s arm, and dragged her away from the group.

Silence filled the air for a moment before Sandy gave an irritated sigh.

“You never told me who the hell you all are and what the hell you’re doing here.”

Kyle finally slid off his car, but not without giving Bambi one last kiss. He walked over to Sandy and circled around her. Eyeing her suspiciously, he stopped right in front of her line of vision. Giving her one more look over, he tossed over to Michael, “You’re right, she does seem kind of bitchy.” Kyle then walked over to Ben, eyeing him suspiciously before leaning in and saying, “Your sister is kind of hot, though.” Kyle winked at him before settling himself next to Adam.

“Dude, what the hell is wrong with you?” Ben yelled. “That’s my SISTER.” All Kyle did was grin and shrug.

Liz rubbed her forehead in frustration. The day had been long and well, this night was just ending in stupidity.

“Ben, Sandy, that jackass is Kyle. Ignore him please. And while you’re at it, ignore Michael. He’s my brother and well, just isn’t very bright.” Michael feigned hurt but Liz rolled her eyes at his failed attempt. She continued with the informal introductions.

“You both know Alex and Maria, and the girl with Maria right now is Isabel. And this,” Liz smiled, cuddling closer to Max, “This is Max. Isabel’s brother.”

“And Liz’s boyfriend,” added Max, for good measure. He pulled Liz closer, leaving a small kiss on her head. She flashed him a playful smile.

“Well, nice to meet you Max,” Ben replied, smiling. He seemed nice enough, but Max knew not to throw caution to the wind, especially with his beauty around.

“So you two-” Sandy pointed to Max and Liz “-are together?” Max and Liz nodded and he gave Liz another peck on the cheek.

“What brings the whole gang to the town of Sunny Oaks?” Ben asked, deciding to avoid the previous topic.

“Well, we, uh, all missed Liz and Adam, thought we’d join them on their little trip,” Max responded quickly. Another fake grin.

“How nice,” Sandy replied sarcastically. Her crossed arms illustrated her obvious annoyance with the whole situation in general.

Kyle retorted, “You should really loosen up. Maybe take a-”

“No more, please. No more bickering tonight, please guys,” Adam’s tired voice sounded. Max realized it was the first time he spoke since they had arrived. The guy looked tired, worn and completely rundown. For once, Max actually sympathized with the guy. Whatever happened to him looked bad, and he deserved some peace.

Liz peeled herself away from Max’s side unexpectedly and gave Adam a hug. Whispering something into his ear, she gave him an understanding smile and pushed him towards the motel room. Adam gave a grateful look and turned around just to add, “I’m out for the night. Max, I’m assuming you and Liz will spend tonight together, so send whomever to my room for the night. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.” Adam pulled out his key and unlocked the door, pushing his tired body into the room.

“He looks worn-out,” Max whispered into Liz’s ear after he tugged her back to his side.

“Long night,” Liz murmured back. She kissed his cheek softly. “I’ll tell you about it later.”

Just then, Maria and Isabel came striding back towards them. Maria pranced towards Max and Liz, handing them a key.

“We figured you two would want your own room. Heaven forbid any of us hear your moans throughout the night,” Maria teased, throwing Max a wink. Turning to the rest of the group, she added, “Izzy and I decided that we get the other room, and you boys get to bunk with Adam.”

“Max and Liz are NOT staying together. For that matter, Maria, you and Iz aren’t staying alone either,” protested Michael sternly.

“Me girl, you boy. Got to stick with my home girl, right, Iz?” Maria bumped hips with Isabel, but she barely made a move. Isabel gave Alex one last glance before quietly heading inside her motel room. Alex shrugged again and slipped into Adam’s room.

“Well, that went well,” muttered Maria. “C’mon, space boy, I don’t want to spend the night alone with the Ice Princess any more.” Maria waved to the rest of the group.

“Night guys. I’ll see you around, Benny Poo. And Max, I’ll be disappointed if I hear Liz moan.” Maria slid beside Max and whispered to him, “She better be screaming.” Giving him one more wink, she grabbed Michael’s hand and slipped into their motel room before he could object any more to Liz and Max being alone.

“God, they’re embarrassing,” Liz mumbled. She turned to Sandy and Ben and asked if they were going to head home.

“Sounds like a plan,” Ben replied. “You guys going to be around in the morning? Maybe we’ll stop by for breakfast or something.” Sandy was about to protest but Liz answered first.

“Sounds great. We’ll see you two tomorrow.” Liz waved goodbye to them.

Max glanced at Kyle, who was standing quietly off to the side. “You going to bed, man?” Kyle shook his head.

“I’m going to spend the night with my Bambi. We need to catch up.” Grinning, Kyle hopped into the front seat of his car and cuddled up in the seat, whispering the newest details of his life.

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:48:08 AM
Max pushed Liz up against the door, leaving hot trails of kisses down her neck. Waving his hand over the side of the door, he locked it securely. His hands traveled down Liz’s length, resting on her waist. Pulling her bottom closer, Max lifted his lips to hers, slipping his tongue into the soft caress of her mouth.

Liz’s own hands trailed up and down the length of Max’s back, finally relaxing around his neck. Hot, desperate touches grazed her body as she felt Max’s hands become restless yet again. His lips were roaming again, a path wandering towards the base of her neck, licking her collarbone with desire.

“Liz,” he moaned against her glossy skin, wanting to worship like the worthy Queen she is. “Liz, I’ve been dreaming about you, dreaming about this. About being with you again.” His tongue gave a light lick before he glanced up at Liz, his eyes dancing a passionate fire.

“Max,” Liz sighed so softly, but Max could hear the craving that it was enriched with.

“Liz, I want to cherish and worship you forever. You are my Queen. Not of some distant planet, but of my heart.” Max swooped Liz’s lip into another desired kiss, his tongue brushing the inner recesses of her mouth, wanting to taste, touch and tickle her senseless.

But Liz pulled away from the kiss, with her arms still wrapped around his neck. Max shook himself out of the daze that was always caused by his beauty and looked at Liz questioningly. And he saw it. Them. The tears that coursed down her cheeks and cursed her with horrid torment.

“Love,” Max called warmly, his eyes searching for an answer. “Did I hurt you, baby?” He raised a hand to her cheek, caressing the side of her face with such tenderness that Liz wanted to cry even more.

“No, Max,” Liz replied, a faint smile playing on her lips. “You. You’re just so beautiful and wonderful and I’ve missed you so much, and I can’t believe we’re together again and there’s just been so much going on and-” Max placed a finger against her lips as more tears lumbered down her stained face.

“Liz, love, my Queen, I love you. Let’s just take this time for you and me.” Max kissed again, but soft and soothing, not demanding or aggressive. “We have our whole lives together to face ours and the rest of worlds troubles. I just want to be here with you, just breathe you and love you right now. I just want to hold you and not let you go.” Liz moved her arms to his waist and wrapped them around tightly. Resting her head against Max’s chest, she closed her eyes and let out a sigh. It was her turn to take a moment.

Knock, knock.

“Guys, I know you’re probably having sex or something, but can press pause for like, just five minutes? I really need to talk to you.” Maria’s voice was quiet and lacked its usually rich and bouncy tang.

Liz peeked up at Max, and caught him rolling his eyes. Letting a small, unexpected giggle escape, she pulled out of his arms and let him answer the door. Before Max could greet her, Maria was already in the room and pacing the length of the room.

“Nice to see you guys are still fully dressed. Late start?” Maria asked, attempting to joke but coming out flat. Maria glanced over at Liz, noticing her tear-tracked cheeks. She rushed over to her and wrapped comforting arms around Liz, surprising her.

Maria glared at Max, saying harshly, “I said scream, not cry, you big dumbass.” She smacked Max on the arm.

“Ow,” Max whined. “I didn’t make her cry.” Max rubbed the spot where Maria hit him.

Liz pulled away from Maria’s suffocating embrace and held Maria by the shoulders. “I’m fine, Max didn’t do anything to me. Now, what’s so important?” Maria bit her lip, nervously looking at Liz and then at Max. She started to pace again.

“What? Maria, what’s wrong?” Max asked, coming to stand beside Liz and drawing her close to his side. Liz immediately snuggled up against him.

“Well, uh,” Maria stuttered, continuing her pace. “Isabel just went to bed and she was all upset and I think she was holding back tears and Michael was worried so I told I’d watch her but I snuck out because I made him take a shower because, well, the boy stunk but now Isabel is alone and maybe I should just back there cause she really shouldn’t be alone and I can’t believe how stupid I am and I’m just interrupting you and I’m a horrible best friend because of it I should just-”

“Maria!” shouted Liz. “Calm down. And stop rambling on, because if that’s what you really wanted to tell us, we’re kicking you out.” Maria gave an apologetic smile.

“No, it’s not. I’m sorry for interrupting. You guys are just so cute.” Maria gave her aw-aren’t-they-cute? Look.

“You wanted to tell us that we’re cute?” Max asked, scratching his eyebrow.

“No! That’s n-not what I, uh, wanted to t-tell you…”

“So what is it, Maria?” Max’s voice was gaining an edge of impatience. It had been a long day and all he wanted to do was be with his love. Alone.

“It’s, um, Alex.” Liz’s head perked up, and she looked at Maria in question. Maria rushed on.

“He’s been acting really weird. He was being real quiet on the drive here but then we started to, uh, talk about things. About powers. About our powers.” Max and Liz both raised their eyebrows in surprise, but Maria hurried on before they could interrogate her about it.

“You see, ever since Liz, Alex and I broke out of the connection, I’ve been getting these different… tastes, flavors rather, from different people.”

“Flavors?” Liz asked, incredulously. “You’ve been licking people?”

“What? No! I mean, these different feelings from people. It’s hard to explain. It’s like… well, it’s like you and Max. I can recognize the difference between you without even looking because you give off these different… vibes. I can tell if you’re near or far or whatever. And ever since everyone’s been gathered together, they’ve been getting stronger. I’m starting to feel what people are feeling, like their emotions. But that’s been fading in and out.” Maria plopped herself on to the bed, laying back.

Liz pulled away from Max and sat down beside Maria. “That’s, well, that’s… just wow. I didn’t even think you would have powers.”

“Well, guess what? We do. Alex too.” Liz’s eyes popped out.

“What?”

“Yeah, but see the thing is, Alex has had them for awhile and he just hasn’t told anyone. His powers are pretty well tamed. I mean the guy freaking changed the steering wheel right in front of my eyes without even breaking a sweat! First it’s all black and leatherish, and poof! It’s cheetah print.”

“All right,” Max said, crossing his arms in concentration. “So both of you are getting new powers and Alex hadn’t told anyone yet. What’s the huge deal?”

“Alex wouldn’t keep anything that big from us,” Liz answered. “If it was as important as this power thing is, he wouldn’t keep it a secret.”

“That,” Maria added, “And the way he treated Isabel tonight. First he’s pretty quiet and then he acts as if he doesn’t really care about Iz. C’mon, I mean, geez, that boy practically worships the ground Iz walks on! He’d lick every pair of shoes and high heels Isabel has if she asked him to. And he knew that he had hurt Iz’s feelings but didn’t do a damn thing about it. This isn’t out sweet, little Alex. Something isn’t right.”

“Maria’s right.” Liz glanced at Maria and then at Max, unsure of what to make of it.

“But then what is going on with Alex?” Max questioned.

“I don’t know, what do you think, Maria?”

“Well, what if-” Maria was rudely interrupted when a loud pounding was heard on the door.

“Hey Maxwell, Liz. Is Maria in there?” Michael’s loud voice sounded through the door. He walked in a moment later and found the scene before him. Maria and Liz were sitting beside each other on the bed, both in deep thought. Max was leaning against the wall, arms crossed, with one hand rubbing his forehead.

“Uh, did I interrupt something?” Michael stood dumbfounded at the entrance of the door. He quickly shut it, and looked at the rest of the group. “What? What did I miss?”

“Nothing, space boy,” Maria responded, quickly standing up. She gave him a sugary smile and pushed him towards the exit. Quickly turning around before departing with Michael, she mouthed, “Don’t tell. Talk tomorrow.” Promptly afterwards, the door clicked shut quietly behind her.

“That was… odd,” Max stated. He walked over to Liz’s side, sitting down beside her. Immediately, Liz curled into his side, kissing his cheek softly.

“You’re right. That was odd. But Maria had a point. Alex hasn’t been himself especially including all that stuff with his powers. Alex just wouldn’t keep that from us. He just wouldn’t.” Sighing, Liz nuzzled her nose against the firmness of his chest.

“But why would Maria want to keep it from Michael?”

“Because he’s Michael,” Liz said simply. “He’d start jumping to conclusions. For all we know, Alex could just be stressed, cause we know for a fact, he gets a bit… bizarre when he’s tense. But on the other hand, this could be involving some alien circumstances. We don’t know.” Max felt his muscles tightened. If this did include Khivar or anyone working for him, they could all be in trouble right this second. Liz could be in danger.

“Liz, maybe-”

“No, Max. We’re not going to go gallivant around because of danger. I’ve been doing that for long enough. We’re stronger when we’re together. Don’t you see? Not just you and I, but the entire group as well. The Royal Court. It’s time to actually become that. A unit.” Liz’s attempt to persuade was still unsettling. So Liz pushed on.

“Maria said once she was with the whole entire group, her powers increased. Doesn’t that tell us something? We’re more powerful as a team. So we have to stick together as a team.”

“But what if Alex-”

“What if the world ends tomorrow? We need to cherish today.” Liz pushed Max’s body down against the bed, and quickly straddled his chest. “And I, for one, am ready to treasure what’s right here in front of me.” She leaned down towards Max’s inviting lips, and ‘cherished’ him in every way thinkable.

*****

If I never knew you
If I never felt this love
I would have no inkling of
How precious life can be
And if I never held you
I would never have a clue
How at last I'd find in you
The missing part of me


Liz woke to a soft caress against her cheek, with light kisses being peppered along the crown of her head. She sighed softly, letting a stifled yawn follow afterwards.

“I’m sorry if I woke you,” whispered Max’s gentle voice. “You just looked too precious not to kiss.” Liz smiled softly, nestling her head further into the crook of his neck. She felt Max’s hand wander adoringly up her bare arm, attentive to each area of her creamy skin.

In this world so full of fear
Full of rage and lies
I can see the truth so clear
In your eyes
So dry your eyes
And I'm so grateful to you
I'd have lived my whole life through
Lost forever
If I never knew you


“You look so beautiful and peaceful when you sleep,” Max continued. “You look beautiful when you’re awake too. You always look beautiful. Always.” Taking her hand in his, he brought it to his lips, devoting a kiss to each one of her petite fingers.

“Sometimes I wonder if you’re an angel sent to me for all my wrong doings, in the past, in the present and in the future.” Max placed kisses across her shoulder, leading a path down towards Liz’s hand again. “But then I realize, whether or not you’re made for me, I know in here-” with Liz’s index finger, he pointed to his heart “-that you complete me in every way possible.”

If I never knew you
I'd be safe but half as real
Never knowing I could feel
A love so strong and true
I'm so grateful to you
I'd have lived my whole life through
Lost forever
If I never knew you


“Are you sure it’s not the other way around?” Liz question, finally looking up into Max’s round, adoring eyes. Max’s hand found its home against her jaw, stroking her cheek again.

“Nope. Wings wouldn’t fit on my back. Broad shoulders, you know.” Max grinned causing Liz to giggle at his jesting. The innocence and purity of her laughter affected Max deeply, and his grin deepened. This was heaven.

I thought our love would be so beautiful
Somehow we made the whole world bright
I never knew that fear and hate could be so strong
All they'd leave us where these whispers in the night
But still my heart is singing
We were right
If I never knew you
If I never knew this love
I would have no inkling of
How precious life can be


Letting another soft sigh emit, Liz laid an arm across Max’s well-sculpted chest. “I could wake up like this every morning. I could just live like this forever,” Liz admitted softly.

There's no moment I regret
Since the moment that we met
If our time has gone too fast
I've lived at last...
I thought our love would be so beautiful
Somehow we'd make the whole world bright
I thought our love would be so beautiful


“As long as you’re with me, I don’t care where or how I wake up and live my life. I just want you to be there with me.” Liz traced invisible circles along Max’s nude upper body.

“There isn’t anywhere else I’d rather be.”

We'd turn the darkness into light
And still my heart is singing
We were right
We were right
And If I never knew you
I'd have lived my whole life through
Empty as the sky
Never knowing why
Lost forever
If I never knew you


posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:48:43 AM
“I just feel so unwanted,” Isabel sighed, leaning against Maria’s shoulder. Maria placed a sympathetic arm around Isabel’s shoulder, sighing with her.

Isabel, Maria and Liz sat on the hard, lumpy bed that rested in the midst of the impossibly grungy motel room. Just a few feet away, the door that connected Max and Liz’s motel room with Maria, Isabel and Michael’s room lay open with only the sounds of a hockey announcer echoing. Beyond the open door was Michael watching the medium sized television, fuzzy sound included.

“Trust me, I know the feeling, sister! Michael would marry his TV if it could give him blowjobs during a hockey game,” Maria grumbled.

Isabel and Liz traded glances, and then burst into a fit of giggles.

“That’s so gross, Maria,” Liz said between giggles. “He’s my brother, and touching him that way? Eww! I don’t know how, or even WHY you do it!”

“Hey, we ALL know you touch Max that way and he’s Isabel’s brother!” Maria exclaimed. Liz blushed furiously while Isabel gained a repulsed look on her face. “Got ya.” Maria smiled smugly.

Liz coughed, scratching her head with one hand. “Weren’t we talking about Isabel and Alex?”

“Yeah, sure, go on and change the subject, Lizzie,” Maria teased. Then she broke out into another fit of giggles, which eventually turned into a giant, shimmering smile. “I can’t remember the last time we did this. I miss you, girlies! Group hug!”

The three girls pulled together and embraced each other affectionately. Only rare occasions could they all open up like this and be with each other in the real, friend way. Girls just chatting about boys, life and other complicated happenings without letting any alien problems interrupt them. In truth, it was ironic, considering they were trying to escape their alien troubles all the while being in the middle of an alien undercover mission to save their lives. But yet, the girl time continued.

“You know, it’s not often our Izzy takes the time to let down her walls and spend some girlfriend time with us!” Maria ribbed. Isabel decided to ignore the comment with a slight wave of her hand.

“Speaking of walls,” Isabel inserted, “That Sandy girl is a real brick.” The slight upturn of Isabel’s nose indicated her dislike for the girl

“I think she’s just… lost,” Liz stated honestly. “She’s been through a lot in her life, and she’s had little time to deal with it all.” Liz twirled a long strand of her around her finger. Liz really did think Sandy was a nice girl, she just needed something or someone to help her open up.

“But she doesn’t have to be such an iceberg,” replied Maria, acquiring Isabel’s scornfulness. “You were being all nice to her, inviting her for some girl time with us, and all she did was sneer at you. Sounds like a bona-fide bitch to me. And I should know.” Maria gestured towards Isabel, causing Isabel to roll her eyes.

“Come on, guys, I’m not that big of a bitch,” Isabel protested. Maria snorted.

“You keep believing that, Ice Princes. Maybe one day your wish will come true when you click your heels together with your ruby red shoes that sparkle with alien pixie dust. Maybe if you suck off the big ol’ Wizard, he’ll help you and your Toto too.” Liz covered her mouth in fear Isabel would blow her top at Liz’s deafening laughter.

Isabel just scoffed. “You know, if I’m such a bitch, why am I sitting here with you two, giggling like a school girl?” Isabel placed her hands on her hips, giving the authentic Isabel signature. Bitch with an attitude.

“Just can’t resist the Deluca charm,” Maria replied coolly, giving Isabel a cocky grin. Isabel rolled her eyes again and playfully pushed Maria.

“Sandy would rather hang out with a bunch of guys rather than spend some girl time with us chicas. Just sounds odd to me,” Maria continued. She lay back on the bed, placing her hands behind her head in a relaxed position.

“It’s all she’s known though,” defended Liz. “Her whole life, it’s always been Ben, Owen and Adam. She probably doesn’t even know the meaning of girl time.”

“Personally, I don’t think I have the patience to show her the meaning,” Isabel returned frostily. “Besides, she’s in a room with Max, Ben, Kyle, Adam, and-” wrinkles her nose “-Alex. She can fend for herself. It’s her own choice to live that way.”

“Ouch, you’re freezing, Princess,” Maria joked. “But I agree, the offer was out on the table and she refused. Like everything else. If she hates being with us so much, then why keep coming back? It would be safer that way anyways, wouldn’t it?”

“Ben’s all she’s got left,” answered Liz. “And Ben wants to be here to catch up with Adam. So she follows. Besides, Ben is a great guy.” Liz shrugged her shoulders, as that was the only reasonable explanation she could conjure for Sandy’s reoccurrence.

“I like Ben. He’s fun. Real charmer once he opens up. My Benny poo.” Maria grinned.

“Haven’t had a full conversation with him yet,” Isabel added truthfully. “Seems like a nice enough guy. What do you think, Liz? You’ve spent the most time with him than anybody, other than-”

“They’ve got secrets.” Liz and Isabel both turned to look at Maria, both surprised by her unexpected outburst.

“He’s got a gentle soul, and she’s a bitch, but underneath they’re hiding something,” Maria carried on. “No clue as to what though.” Liz glanced upwards in thought, and then turned back to the girls.

“You’re right. They seem like they’re keeping something in.”

“Of course I’m right. It’s me, Maria Deluca. Truth extraordinaire.”

“Uh huh, whatever Maria,” Isabel countered. Liz stopped paying attention though. She swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood up. Advancing over to the small window that was situated on the wall at the back of the room, Liz gazed at the surroundings outside. Maria and Isabel’s chatter resonated in the background.

The moon had long fallen on them some time ago, allowing the sparkling stars to dance above them. Everything appeared so magical before her, a whole new world of love, laughter, hurt and tears. Somewhere out there stood a chance of hope in the world, to make it strong and pure. But in the distance, a tiny speck of bleakness was detectable by the trained eye and slowly approaching. She could feel the disparity and hurt that devoured the dark bleakness. It filled her from head to toe, and unloaded through her bones. Her heart felt uneasy and heavy.

Maria got up from where she was sitting and slowly crept towards where Liz was standing. Liz’s still posture was making Maria somewhat uneasy. She could sense a slight change in the air, and the emotions surrounding it. Maria placed a hand on Liz’s back, expecting her to be surprised but Liz didn’t even flinch.

“Can you feel it?” Liz asked, quietly. Her eyes stayed focused on the view before her.

“Feel what, sweetie?” Liz’s agitated tone alarmed Maria, but Maria kept the usual warmth in her own voice. She continued to let her hand rest on Liz’s back, urging Liz to continue.

“The darkness. I can feel it. It’s coming.” Liz’s eyes started to glass over and her still movements became eerie. Isabel was standing a few steps behind them now, hesitant about the sight before her. Liz looked… robotic, emotionless. She hadn’t moved at all since standing at the window.

“Michael,” Isabel called out, not moving away from Maria and Liz. “Michael, get in here.” Not more than a moment later, Michael came bounding into the room with an irritated look on his face. Until he witnessed Liz’s numb presence.

“What the hell,” Michael whispered fiercely, unable to produce a louder tone. His sister looked… drugged out.

“Lizzie bear?” Michael advanced towards Maria and Liz. Maria looked back at him with concerned eyes, unsure of what to do. Michael pressed on, taking long but slow steps towards her.

“Liz, look at me. Turn around and look at me.” Liz stayed still, her eyes still fixed on the outside background. “C’mon, Liz, pull away. Look at us, look at me, Lizzie bear.”

Liz obeyed this time, but her mechanical movements and her glazed over expression unnerved all three of them.

“I can feel it, can you? The darkness, the sorrow, the loneliness. It’s coming. Can’t you feel it? CAN’T YOU FEEL IT?” Liz’s shrill shout terrified each other to the bone. Such a drastic change in behavior within such a small time frame… This was definitely alien business.

“Maria, Isabel, go get Adam, Alex and Max.” Michael’s command was strict and refused any rebuttals. The two girls ran out the room and stormed down the motel to find Max and Adam.

Michael took another step forward and put a trembling hand on Liz’s arm, but she crumpled to her knees at the touch. Michael quickly withdrew his hand, his eyes getting more panicked by the second.

“Michael,” Liz wheezed. “Something is wrong. I-I can’t fight it.” Tears began to trickle down her cheeks. “Help me.” Liz slowly fell to her hands and knees. Michael sensed her true character slowly arising amidst the confusion and pain.

“Lizzie bear,” Michael responded, feeling himself drop to his knees in front of her. “Tell me what to do, I’ll do it. Anything. Let me help you. Please, Liz.” His own salty tears began to collapse down his face. “Fight it, Liz. I’m right here to help you.”

“It’s so dark,” Liz whispered. “So dark…” She glanced up at Michael with her red eyes, pleading for help, but Michael was clueless as to what to do.

“LIZ!” Max’s shout disrupted Michael’s intense concentration on his sister. Adam, Maria and Isabel followed behind him, all distraught by the scene unfolding. Michael’s body collapsed on the ground, his eyes slowly lolling closed.

“Michael!” Maria screeched. She flung to his side, shaking his body in an attempt to stir him.

Get out, everyone, get out… Liz’s tired, distant voice called out in their minds. I’m… something in me is draining the energy in the room. Get out.

“No, Liz,” Max responded solidly. “We’re not leaving without you.” He slowly walked towards her, but he could feel his existence starting to dwindle away from his fingers with every step. Instantly a glowing shield appeared right in front of his face. He whipped his head around to find Adam with his hand outstretched, projecting the shield.

“Adam,” Max growled. “Put the shield down.”

“Max, if we all lose our energy we won’t be able to help her anyways.” Adam stood in a daring stance, unwilling to change his mind.

Max let out a loud roar. “Can’t you see that it’s draining her energy too? It’ll kill her.” Maria and Adam both shook their heads in disagreement.

“No, it won’t,” Maria interjected. “Khivar wouldn’t kill her.”

“Khivar?” Isabel asked, with wide eyes of fear. “How do you know it’s him? Is he here?”

“He’s near,” Maria responded, closing her eyes in concentration. “I can feel his presence.”

“Ah, I always thought you were the smart one, Hansha.” The group turned to see Alex entering the room, with an arrogant smirk on his face. “The brains of the operation, no doubt.” Alex closed the door, and waved his hand over the locks, each emitting a small, glow before being sealed.

They all looked on in horror.

“Khivar,” Maria whispered fearfully. Alex let another smirk bestow his face.

“That would be me, and I’d like to welcome you all to the opening act. Let’s all hope you stay pass the first scene.”

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:49:34 AM
“I wonder what they’re doing,” Kyle pondered out loud to Ben and Sandy. They were sitting in Adam’s motel room, and he was getting bored. Actually he had been bored ever since he walked into the room, but it was better than sitting with a bunch of girls, giggling about boys and clothes.

Actually, rethinking that… sitting alone with a group of hot girls. Wait. What the hell was he doing in here with Ben and the Ice Bitch?

“Maybe I should go check on the girls,” Kyle said slyly. He stretched his arms, and plastered an aloof appearance. Cause then they wouldn’t know he actually wanted to just get a stiffy in the presence of three very fine chicks. Alien chicks, no doubt. He wondered if sex was better with aliens. It made him think of the whole probe thing again but he assured himself that if the time came that he got to entertain one of his “lady alien friends” that he would bring his own “probe”. Inspection guaranteed.

“Kyle, don’t move,” Sandy said sharply. She slouched in her chair, totally impassive but unwilling to let anyone else have some sort of fun. If she had to suffer through this torture of dullness, so should everyone else.

Ben stirred agitatedly in his seat. He had been feeling uneasy ever since Adam, Max and Alex left the room in a hurry. His body felt like it was buzzing, and it was really annoying. He only felt like this when his powers were surging, preparing to be released. It almost felt painful. His whole body felt achy and begged to be relieved. Something was definitely going on.

“You know, Sandy, maybe I should go check on the group,” Ben replied slowly but with much emphasis on each word. She eyed him carefully, and then shrugged her shoulders.

“Do whatever you want.”

*****

Max stared at Alex… no, Khivar… no, Alex. Half of him wanted to blow the asshole to little smithereens, but the other half wanted to reason with him. Max couldn’t hurt Alex. No way. Alex was one of his best friends.

“What are you doing in his body,” Isabel growled lowly. Malice fueled the fire in her eyes, and Max was sure she was going to blow. He was sure that he himself was going to blow. This whole situation was just so…. mind blowing.

“Dear Vilandra, I thought you would enjoy me in this body. Lovers from both of your lives rolled into one, nice package.” He took a step towards her, but Isabel stood her ground, daring him to challenge her. The whole group felt the eerie chill that swept the room after he spoke. It was Alex’s voice, Alex’ body, Alex’s eyes, but it wasn’t. Which made it all the more dangerous for them to be deceived.

“We used to make love in your brother’s bed, because you knew it would infuriate him. He hated me, and you hated him.” Alex took another step towards her.

“You were so angry with him and how he treated you. Zan always let Leandra have her way, and he never listened to any of your advice. You wanted revenge on him. You wanted him to feel the hatred you had stored up for him. You practically purred like a naughty little kitten when his room reeked of our love. Or what you thought was love.

“You were too young, too naïve to be a real threat to anyone.” Alex took one last step towards her so he could tip her head underneath his finger. She stared back at his eyes with a spiteful glare.

“And you were much too innocent to realize our fuck sessions were nothing but a good romp in the sack for me. Isn’t that what these humans call it? A romp in the sack. But it was good, my dear. You were so very good.” He leaned in to kiss her cheek, but she turned her head. He just smirked and leaned back, not moving his eyes away from her. Leaning in, he whispered into her ear, “I almost didn’t want to kill you. Your screams during our fucks were the same as when you begged for your life.” Isabel cringed at his words, but refused to give him the satisfaction of fear.

“Oh sure, you helped me bring your brother down,” Alex continued, ignoring Isabel’s desperate struggle for control of her emotions. “Gave me information about the palace only a member of the Royal Court would know. Told me things you were sworn never to tell anyone else.” Isabel turned her head back to him, her tear-filled eyes burning with uncontrollable rage.

Isabel’s lips, taut and pursed, spoke tightly. “I was not the traitor. I did not betray my brother or any of my friends. I did not betray our kingdom and it’s people. If anything, you are the traitor. Of love. You lied to me. To her. You used Vilandra for your own sick ways.” That damn smirk of his was really pissing her off. She didn’t want to do anything but wipe it off his face in the most volatile way possible. But this wass Alex. No, not Alex. Alex’s body.

“My darling, I never denied it. I used her and then killed her.” Alex grabbed her hand in his, looking her dead in the eye. “You weren’t the traitor in the end, no. You helped me in gaining the upper hand, but when it came down to the very last bite, you refused me any information. Information that I needed to complete my conquest. You even tried to make me change my mind. You thought I really loved you enough to obey your command. You thought I really loved you.” He threw her hand away, grinning like a madman. He rolled his eyes up in memory.

“It was a dark night out. You and I were talking in the large courtyard behind the palace. You often snuck me into the palace grounds so we could discuss issues concerning your brother’s overthrow. In your eyes, it made you seem even more defiant towards your brother although he never knew anything about it. It was the night before the Queen’s death, but you didn’t know that we had planned to kidnap her. You were quite oblivious to my plans.

“That night you begged me to rethink our tactics. That maybe if I addressed my ‘concerns’ to your brother about his ruling, things could be worked out without violence. Basically, you panicked.

“Of course, I couldn’t let you ruin my plans. Vilandra, you believed anything I would tell you. I could have asked you to bring me the sun and you would have brought it to me with your own hands, crawling on your legs. So I lied to you. Let you believe anything you wanted to believe. And you stayed loyal to me, Vilandra. So loyal.” He traced a finger down the length of her face.

“I am not Vilandra. I am nothing like her.” Isabel tilted her head up to Alex, but with a wave of his hand, Isabel fell to her knees.

“You are. I see it in your eyes. Each of you holds a part of your former lives in you. To deny it is to deny yourself.” Alex flung his hand in the air, and Isabel fell completely to the ground. Her body lay unconscious on the floor.

“Now if you excuse me, Krosia, I’d like to take Leandra with me and be off. This meeting has left me a bit weary.” Before Alex could even move towards Adam’s shield that encased Liz’s body, Max held his hand out to create another shield to halt Alex’s movement. Alex seemed amused.

“Now, Zan, do we have a problem? Because time is a-wasting.” Max glared violently into Alex’s eyes.

“Over my dead body will you take Liz,” he growled. His eyes narrowed, challenging Alex to attack him.

“Sounds like a good plan to me.”

Alex glanced at the shield, shaking his head in disapproval.

“Even in this body, the body of one your loyal friends, you continue to put your Leandra first. Tsk, tsk tsk. That was your first and worst mistake as king, Zan. You protected and treasured your love so much that you disregarded the millions of other people that existed in your kingdom.” Alex held his hand out and aimed a sharp, brusque ray of energy towards the middle of Max’s shield. The ray was quickly absorbed, not reflected, by the shield. Although Max didn’t cower, his eyebrows knitted in deep concentration

“Stop fighting it, Zan.” Alex exerted more force into his energy ray. “I want to keep what’s mine. To do that, I need to take Leandra and kill you. I’m really sorry about having to do this, but hey, you got to do what you got to do.” Max paid no attention to Alex’s obviously sarcastic and fabricated conversation, as he was too intent on keeping his shield up.

Max could feel his body strength quickly diminishing. He lacked much experience with his powers against actual enemies as his encounters only included the death of Tess and the inferno in Roswell. Yet all of his time spent training and sharpening his powers wasn’t useless and for nothing. His ability to concentrate and direct his powers was adept, but whatever Alex was doing was slowly unnerving him. The ray should be reflected off his shield but instead seemed to become absorbed into Max’s body. Max had to focus twice as much to keep it from destroying him instantly.

“Max,” Maria’s called out suddenly. She was standing between the two shields. Adam still had his up to keep them from getting their energy drained by Liz, and Max’s shield against Alex.

“Max, don’t use all your energy… Max, stop…” Maria’s desperate plea fell on his deaf ears. He was too far-gone. Maria looked desperately at the scene around her

Both Liz and Michael were passed out on the other side of Adam’s shield and Adam himself was tiring from the constant usage of power. Max was completely concentrated on the beam of energy that was engrossing him. Isabel was still down for the count on Alex’s side of the shield. And Alex… god, her best friend. He looked so evil, so intent of destroying Max. He was getting his jollies on seeing their Court suffer. Maria swore that when she found Khivar, not in Alex’s body, she’d kick his ass so bad. Oh, she couldn’t wait.

“Yeah, Zan,” Alex added cynically, breaking Maria out of her spell. “You should really stop. You might kill yourself this way.” Alex laughed mockingly.

“Max, listen to us!” Adam shouted, ignoring Alex’s ridicule. “Stop! You’re going to hurt yourself!” If only his words would reach Max. But Maria could see Max wasn’t going to let go until he had to. C’mon Max, if you’re going to be pigheaded, just hang on a few more seconds. Max, just keep hanging on. Everyone, hang on. Help is on the way.

Maria glanced at the door momentarily before it burst open, and a bright, blinding light came shooting forward, towards the back of Alex’s body. He plummeted to the ground, hitting it violently. His body started convulsing erratically. A large gust of smoke rose up from where the light hit.

Without the constant pressure on his shield, Max fell to ground himself, gasping for air. His glowing shield vanished and all that was left was his weak, faint body.

“We were in the neighborhood. Thought y’all might need a hand,” Kyle piped up, walking through the smoke. Ben and Sandy followed after him.

“What happened to Leandra?” Ben cried as his eyes landed on Liz. He ran to Adam and pushed his hand away, making Adam disengage the shield. Adam was about to warn him when he realized Liz was no longer draining energy. She was just out cold.

Ben knelt next to Liz, and waved his hands over her body. Her body shimmered momentarily, then faded back to its normal tone. Her eyes slowly opened and she looked up at him, smiling gratefully. Her head felt too heavy to lift, so she dropped it back down to the ground.

Ben moved over to Michael and ran his hands over his body. Michael stirred immediately and let out a loud groan.

“Shit.” Maria grinned crazily at Michael’s curse, and bounced on top of him. Wiping the apparent tears away, she kissed his head softly, and whispered something softly into his ear. He lifted his head and smiled at her. Whispering so only she could hear him, he uttered, “I love you too, Pixie.”

On the other side of the room, Sandy already worked her magic on Isabel and Max, who seemed to rising. Adam was sitting on the floor, trying to catch his breath after keeping his shield up for so long.

“Sandy’s better at the healing thing than I am, so you two,” Ben gestured to Liz and Michael, “might still feel a bit dizzy for awhile.”

Sandy silently stood from where she was crouching by Isabel. Her face was expressionless and she just stared at Ben long and hard.

Max coughed before saying, “And just who the hell are you?”

Sandy narrowed her eyes, and spit out sarcastically, “Oh, excuse our rude intrusion. Your dear majesty, we are part of the Protector Four-Square.”

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:50:12 AM
“He shouldn’t wake up anytime soon,” Ben said, standing over Alex’s body which laid on the floor beside the bed. “I readjusted some settings in his mind so that he’ll be taking a long nap. Molecular manipulation, ain’t it a beauty.”

“You sound like you’re fixing a machine,” Maria muttered under her breath, but Sandy still heard it.

“Well, having him asleep is better than him killing you, don’t you think?” Sandy snapped.

Liz rubbed her temple in frustration, collapsing onto the bed. Their situation had gone from bad to a hell of a lot worse. And this bickering was not helping any.

All of them, Max, Maria, Michael, Isabel, Kyle, Ben, Sandy, Adam, Alex and herself, were stuck in the motel room. They were too afraid to leave in fear of Khivar having men outside waiting for them, and too afraid to stay in fear of Khivar waking up in Alex’s body. So here they sat. Stressed, edgy and worried beyond belief. And that damn headache. Where’s Tylenol when you need some? What the hell had Khivar done to her anyways?

“You all right?” Max asked her softly, as he sat down next to Liz on the bed. She nodded slightly and leaned against his body. She needed his warmth and comfort right now because all she could feel was numbing darkness inside.

“All right, Khivar’s out for right now and we don’t have much time,” Michael stated plainly. He and Maria stood just a few feet away from Liz and Max. Adam and Isabel stood in the corner, both with distracted looks on their faces. As for Kyle, he sat in the middle of floor with his legs crossed, all ready for story time.

“I think it’s time you do some explaining. The both of you.” Michael gestured towards Sandy and Ben. “We’re all listening.”

Ben glanced over at Sandy, noticing her extremely crossed face. He didn’t want for it to get this far, and she sure as hell didn’t either. But it was time they ‘fess up.

“It’s kind of a long story,” Ben started, looking at each of the individual faces in the room.

“Then I guess you better start,” Liz said softly, giving him an encouraging smile.

“Well, we didn’t really know anything about the Royal Court, or Antar in general, before Adam left. We were all normal teens, Owen, Sandy and I. Adam too. We did normal things, and lived day to day like regular humans. Even now, I don’t remember how the four of us became friends. But it was instinctive, I’m sure of it. We had to be with each other.

“When Adam fled Sunny Oaks, that’s when things started getting weird. When Adam’s house set on fire, we were told Adam and his parents were inside the house and didn’t make it out. That they were dead.”

“Who told you?” asked Maria, her eyebrows scrunched in examination.

“Well, that’s the weird thing. This large team of… well, I don’t even know what to call them. They didn’t work for the government, I’m sure of that. And they weren’t a part of the Sunny Oaks police department. But they came along, handled everything and no one questioned them. I mean, we’re from a small town. We all just wanted to forget tragedy and go back to our pathetic little lives.

“It was a few days after the fire, when I started to get the dreams. They were blurry and perplexing at first, almost horrifying. All I ever remembered when I woke up was screaming and blood. Against my better judgment, I didn’t tell anyone. Sandy just thought I was just troubled from Adam’s death. But that wasn’t it. I knew in my heart it wasn’t it, that it was so much more. And I knew in my heart that Adam wasn’t dead. I could still feel him.

“But by the time I started making sense of all the confusing details, Sandy had already pulled away from me. I know she wasn’t angry at me, but angry at the situation we were in and she didn’t even know all the details yet.” He smiled at Sandy, even though she refused to meet his eyes.

“It was hard on us, on her. It’s partly my fault for her hatred of the world. When she needed someone, I wasn’t there. I had so many pieces of a puzzle but no picture so I hurled myself into figuring out what everything meant. I didn’t take the time to care for my sister. I’m glad Owen could.” Ben paused for a moment, letting the memory of Owen sweep powerfully over him. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Adam and Sandy had closed their eyes in remembrance as well.

“What were the dreams about? Did they ever get clearer?” Michael questioned, interrupting the reminiscent moment.

“Yeah, slowly. The dreams started coming more frequently, replaying over and over in my mind during one single night. They really confused and frustrated me at first, because I knew they held the meaning to something so important. But night-by-night, a new section became less blurry and more understandable. It eventually became one, long movie.” Ben stared at each member of the room.

“It was about the Royal Court and their ruling on Antar. I’m sure you know about most of it. Adam must have had his dreams by now. You know the deal, boy and girl fall in love, rule together with five others to form the Royal Court. There were two protectors, one for the Princess, and one for the whole Court. Khivar wanted to take over Antar, kidnapped the Queen, she fought and they killed her. The Royal Court falls apart and the enemy quickly takes over.

“Now here’s where the details are bit fuzzy. Owen, Sandy and I, we’re not part of the Royal Court. Never were. We were soldiers from Antar, three of the best. We were hidden after the downfall of the Royal Court. At this point, the scientists and loyalists worked underground because if Khivar ever found out about them, he surely would have killed them. Despite the reckless and inevitable defeat of the Royal Court, the people refused to believe Khivar had taken over. Khivar was, rather is, a cruel ruler fueled by lust for power.

“These scientists and loyalists were not delusional though, they knew the Court was dead. But instead of losing hope, they took the essence of six of the Royals and put them into pods that would eventually mature into human bodies, with the intention of them maturing on Earth. Somewhere that Khivar would never think to find you.

“But again, avoiding delusion, they wanted protection for the Court. They were really throwing caution into the wind, unsure of how anything would turn out. They weren’t even sure if you’d gain full capacity of your powers. So that’s why a second ship was sent. Us three, and Adam, were sent in there, each of us with our pods, to mature alongside the Royal Court.”

“I thought Adam was part of the Royal Court,” Maria interjected.

“Oh, he is,” Ben replied, smiling at her. “But he’s also our leader. The Protector Four-Square.”

“Oh.” Maria pursed her lips in thought.

“Then what happened? Obviously we didn’t grow up together,” responded Max. He shifted Liz closer to him. He was scared of learning more about his implausible history, but even more scared of not knowing.

“Honestly, I’m not completely sure. From what I’ve pieced together, our original destination was Sunny Oaks. All of us, both the Royal Court and the Protector Four-Square. But there wasn’t much time to orchestrate the whole thing, so the scientists were really rushing to get prepared thus not leaving much room for caution.

“Maria and Alex were not of royal blood therefore lacking much power, which evidently would interfere less with living on Earth. As you guys probably have already realized, our blood is different from humans. And from Liz, Maria and Alex’s too. Having strong, physical strength changes our blood cells, plus the years in the pods didn’t do much to help our normalize the cells to human cells.

“Just before the scientists were about to send us all off to Earth, they became conscious of these facts about our blood, and made adjustments to Liz, Maria and Alex. It was decided that they would be implanted in human women six or seven years before we all hatched. These scientists were brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I still can’t figure out how they managed to impregnate the women.

“Anyways, the ship that held the Royal Court was obstructed before it left Antar. It wasn’t known until after the deployment. The underground loyalists immediately killed the one responsible for the trouble. But it was too late to fix the ship. That’s why your ship crashed in Roswell, and why ours landed in Sunny Oaks.”

“Ok, I’m confused,” Kyle spoke up from his spot in the floor. “You know all this information about these guys and their past, but how? And what’s this Protector Four-Square crap?”

“Each of the protectors were implanted with dreams of the past,” Sandy answered, a bit more calmly than the group was used to her being. “We were all supposed to have them at the same time. Well, in fact, the Royal Court and the Protector Four-Square would aid each other in earth life, train together, and slowly build up our powers to work as a team. We share a special bond to the Royal Court. We were sent here with them to protect and help them defeat Khivar. But when our ships were separated, our bond was severely severed. Our bodies went out of whack, and each of us started to grow at different rates. That’s why Ben’s dreams came before mine and Owen’s and why we never had an inkling of what our lives really entailed.”

“Ok, but then what about this Protector Four-Square deal? What’s the purpose?”

Sandy stared off at the wall and paused for a moment, gathering her thoughts in her mind. Then lifting her head towards Adam, she stared at him directly.

“Adam is part of the Royal Court, official protector of the Queen… well, Princess for now. But when the scientists were issuing us into groups, they assigned him leader of the Protector Four-Square. He has the strongest connection to the Royal Court so it was a plausible choice.

“Apart, each of the protectors are strong, but together, we become a powerful son of a bitch. We complete a square, with the four of us. We’re connected to each other to form a group, a four-part square. And our square is linked to the Royal Court.”

“Wow,” Kyle said, sitting back. He looked up at her with awe. “That’s some deep shit.”

Sandy ignored Kyle, continuing her hard glare at Adam. “But once Adam left, our four-square was broken. For months after he left, Owen and I were oblivious to what actually happened. We didn’t even know we were aliens until about five months after Adam’s absence.

“All three of us decided to that we had to find out more about this alien business. Both Owen and I were getting our dreams by then, and the past became a lot clearer to us. Like why we were sent here, what our powers are, who Khivar is and such.

“All the while, Khivar was watching us. We don’t know how he found us, but we know that it was Khivar that tried to kill Adam and Owen.”

“Wait, tried?” Maria cut in.

“Owen’s not dead,” Ben answered flatly. “He’s alive. Sandy says she doesn’t feel it. For some reason, I seem to be more perceptible to all these connections, but I know Owen isn’t dead. I can still feel him.”

“Where is he then?” Isabel piped up, uttering her first words since Alex’s knock out.

“Our theory is that when Khivar first came for Adam, he thought that Adam was at home and planned to use him. Surprise for him, Adam wasn’t there so Khivar lit the place on fire. Adam left before Khivar could track him. We’re pretty sure Khivar has people working on Earth for him though.

“So the theory applies to Owen. Couldn’t get Adam, so he takes Owen. Another ‘accidental’ fire, and poof, no one realizes anything. We’re pretty sure he doesn’t know we’ve gotten our awakening.”

“Why wouldn’t he know?” Isabel asked.

“Because Sandy and I would be dead by now. Or captured. Too many deaths in one small town make people start questioning the situation. He could have the FBI on his tail in no time. Not that it would matter, because he could wipe them out with a wave of his hand.”

“Then why let you live? Pardon my bluntness,” Maria said.

“Khivar wants nothing to do with this planet. He wants Leandra and the death of the Royal Court. That’s it.” Ben crossed his arms, arming himself with the onslaught of more questions.

“Please,” Liz said quietly, startling Ben. “Don’t call me that.” Ben bowed his head embarrassingly.

“I’m sorry.”

“You knew who we were, why didn’t you tell us who you were when we first got here?” Liz asked, dismissing Ben’s apology.

“We didn’t know who you were exactly-”

A loud, overpowering burst of power came crashing through the door. Ben fell to his face, shuddering from the force of the strike.

“We got visitors!” Michael shouted. Liz stared at the hole in the door, horrified. It was so… sudden. This nightmare just wasn’t going to end.

“Liz!” Adam screamed. He pulled Liz and Max away from the rising smoke and towards the back of the room. Thrusting his hand out, he sent a beam of power through the wall causing a large gap to appear. Pushing them forward, Adam escaped with Max and Liz through the back. He heard footsteps follow behind him.

Pointing to the large cluster of trees that was not too far off in the distance, he grabbed Liz’s hand and began running to it. The cluster of trees turned out to be a bulky forest and a great hiding place.

“ADAM!” He heard Maria scream from behind him. Slowing his pace but not stopping, he turned to the running group behind him. Isabel, Maria, and Kyle were not far behind and gaining with his slowing pace.

“Adam! We’ve got to split up. We’re too noticeable to escape together. Those guys, they were Khivar’s men. I could practically taste the evilness oozing off of them,” Maria panted to him.

“You and Max go with Liz,” Isabel commanded. “Maria, Kyle and I will split off in the opposite direction of the forest. Liz, contact us when you’re in the clear.” Without another word, the three separate from Max, Adam and Liz heading in an entirely separate direction from them.

Max kept quiet, following Adam’s lead. Adam was Liz’s protector, and at this point, Liz’s safety comes first. Adam’s also the leader of the Protector Four-Square. A leader. He’s got to know what he’s doing. Because Max sure as hell didn’t.

“Guys,” Liz wheezed quietly. “My head… dizzy… I can’t keep running…” Liz started to slow down, and Max looked worriedly at her. Adam glanced at him then at Liz. Neither of them wanted to exhaust her but stopping was a definite no.

“Liz, I’m going to throw you over my shoulder, all right? I know it won’t help much, but we’ve got to keep going,” Max said, momentarily stopping. Adam did routine checks behind his back, checking to see if anyone was coming. He hated to say it, but thank god for Sandy, Ben and Michael staying behind. They would slow down Khivar’s men.

Max gently hoisted Liz over his shoulder and nodded to Adam when they were ready. Adam began running again, trailing off the visible path. He wasn’t really sure where the hell he was doing. He just knew that they couldn’t stay back there with Khivar and his men. Hell, staying there listening to Ben and Sandy had been a stupid mistake in the first place. They wasted time and they were paying for it now.

“Max,” Adam called out behind him. “Stop.” Max and Adam both halted, only the sound of their harsh breaths sounding into the air. Adam put a finger to his lips and concentrated hard on listening to the forest. A distant sound of crunching leaves and branches echoed in the near distance.

“Shit,” Adam cursed. “We’ve got to move faster. They’re gaining on us too quickly.” Adam began dashing forward again, with Max closely behind him. Adam cringed at Liz’s soft whimpers and moans, but kept pressing on. Either he or Max could heal her afterwa-

“FUCK!” Adam screeched as a large tree bough fell from above, hitting him square in the shoulder causing him to stumble and tumble to the ground.

“Adam!” Max cried. He extended his hand to help Adam up, but Adam refused.

“Go, Max! Run! Find somewhere to hide. Just get the fuck out of here. Get her out of here!” Adam winced in pain as he tried to move his shoulder.

“I can’t just leave you here!” Max replied frantically. Adam stared Max straight in the eye.

“It’s me or her, Max.” Max halted, his eyes full of fear. Nodding his understanding, he ran off into the distance, leaving Adam to suffer alone.

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:51:18 AM
“It’s cold here,” Kyle whined. Isabel slapped his arm hard, and put her finger to her lips as Maria shoved his head down.

The three of them were hiding in a large ditch off in the farthest corner of the forest. It was dirty, unattractive, and reeked of something only the bowels of wild animals could produce.

“Isabel, it’s been quiet for the past three hours that we’ve been waiting here. No one’s on their way to kill us. Hell, the stench is going to kill us before some aliens do,” Kyle whispered wretchedly. He wanted more action, less hiding. This had all the potential action of a Sylvester Stallone movie with an added sprinkle of aliens.

“Isabel,” Maria said softly. “What do we do? We can’t hide here forever.” Kyle had a point. Maria felt gross just being stuck in the pit, and she wasn’t sure how much longer would take before she started cracking.

“Maria, we stick to what we planned. We have to wait for Liz to contact us.” Isabel’s hard voice indicated what was really on her mind, what she was really thinking. She was scared. She didn’t know what to do.

“What if Liz…” Maria’s sentence drifted off into the silence. None of them wanted to even contemplate how that statement could end, because they didn’t want to know the answer.

A stiff crunch of a branch echoed nearby causing the three to turn to each other with wide, fearful eyes. Not even a moment later, a body came tumbling down into their ditch, a light moan escaping from their lips. The air was deathly silent as everyone quickly scrambled his or her brains as to what to do. The figure looked too injured to be dangerous.

Kyle slowly inched towards the figure, motioning for the girls to stay back. Kyle stopped just inches away from the figure, finding himself, again, unsure of what to do. He softly kicked the body in the thigh, emitting a tortuous sound from the body.

“Kyle!” Maria shrieked, half whispering. She ran to the agonized figure, kneeling beside him. “Guys, it’s Adam.” Maria brushed the dirt off of Adam’s body, rolling him so that he was lying on his back. His squinting eyes looked up at them.

“Adam?” Isabel called quietly. She and Kyle both kneeled beside the boy. “Adam, what happened? Where are Max and Liz?” She touched his arm lightly in comfort, but Adam cringed at the contact.

“My whole body,” Adam gasped. “It stings all over. I hurt my shoulder-” Adam gulped a large breath “-and I had to use-” more panting “-my powers to throw off the men-” Adam closed his eyes in pain “-and the rest of my energy to keep moving.”

Maria felt tears mount in her eyes. Adam was in so much pain but kept trekking to stay alive. There were obvious cuts frowning at her from his body, and bruises marred his skin. She turned to Isabel.

“Izzy, you’ve got to do something. Look at him, he’s in so much pain,” Maria pleaded. Maria begged with her watery eyes, but Isabel’s own eyes stared back, teary and terrified.

“I-I don’t know if I can… Max heals, I can’t. I-I’m… oh god, Adam, I’m so sorry.” Isabel started to openly cry, and Kyle pulled her into her chest. He stroked her hair as her muffled cries sounded into his chest.

“Adam,” Maria said softly to him. Stroking the side of his face gently, she asked quietly, “Where are Liz and Max?” Adam let out another tortured cry escape him before answering so softly that Maria barely heard his raspy voice.

“When my shoulder got hit… made them go. Liz not good… Max carrying her… left me…” Adam started to cough violently, gripping onto Maria’s hand for support. The loud, aggressive coughs ringed painfully in Maria’s ear causing her to cringe, but she stroked his back for comfort.

Adam turned to her, his eyes boring deep into hers. “You… have to find her. Liz. Safe. I need her to be… safe.” Maria smiled at him, with a touch of sadness, and nodded.

“We’re going to get you help as fast as we can, all right? You’re not allowed to freak me out like this for long periods of time. I’m going to make sure someone heals you.” Even though she meant every truth-filled word as a source of comfort for the both of them, she felt the tears rain down her cheeks.

“Maria, we can’t stay here,” Kyle stated, breaking the conversation between Maria and Adam. “I hate to say this but if someone was following Adam, we’ve got to go.” Isabel looked up from Kyle’s embrace, turning to Maria. She nodded her agreement silently.

“Guys, Adam’s hurt. We can’t up and move. And I am not leaving him here by himself. We’ve been safe in this ditch so far, and Adam said he threw off the guards. Lets just wait until Adam gets some of his-”

“Be quiet,” Adam’s hoarse voice sounded. The other three became silent with only Adam’s harsh breathing. Then a few sounds of crunching leaves and branches clattered the air, indicating more visitors.

Maria bit her lip in fear, but quickly assessed the situation. Motioning for Isabel and Kyle to help, they picked up Adam and helped him to move right against the wall of the ditch. It was their safest way to stay somewhat discreet in the eyes of wandering souls.

The crunching came closer just behind all of their heads. Pressing their bodies as tight as they could against the wall of the ditch, they dreadfully awaited for whatever fate decided for them.

Maria’s heart pounded horrendously, its invading pressure pouring fear into her body little by little. Her eyes blinked rapidly, tears cascading down nevertheless. She just couldn’t comprehend how things got out of control so quickly. Matters kept flying at her, kept troubling her, and she never had time to deal with it. Weeks ago she was enjoying herself at Graduation and now here she was, stuck in a disgusting, reeking, hell of a place, where dirt polluted her in places she didn’t even want to mention.

Maria felt Adam wince beside her, and she grabbed his hand. Not just for him, but for her too. Things could be a lot worse. She had to keep thinking positive. She could be by herself. And that would be bad.

All right, good job, Deluca. Calm yourself down.

“Guys! Oh my god!” Maria screeched. Propelling herself over the ditch wall and leaving her three confused friends behind, she began to sprint into the distance.

“MARIA!” Kyle screamed. He, too, threw himself over the wall but stopped to instruct Isabel to stay with Adam. Getting up, he began to run after Maria, but didn’t really go much farther than a few feet before colliding with a tall body.

“Valenti,” Michael growled. “You dumb ass.” Michael rubbed his chest in anger, and glared at Kyle. Kyle looked at Michael, astounded to see him. Beside him were Maria, Ben and Sandy. Ben looked weary and completely worn out with Sandy at his side, clutching his arm.

“Uh, hi,” Kyle squeaked. He eyed Maria, who was wiping away her present tears. She was tightly gripping Michael’s arm, body close to his.

They all entered the ditch, but not before Michael, Ben and Sandy all took a nervous glance behind them.

Isabel quickly looked up to find the new group before her. Relief flooded her face, and whispered to Adam who it was. He nodded his head, his jaw tightly clenched. She slowly helped to ease him down to the ground so he could lie down.

“Jesus,” Ben swore. “What the hell happened to him?” Ben quickly made his way to Adam’s side, crouching beside him. He immediately put his hands over Adam’s body, letting a glow release underneath his fingers. But quickly Ben fell over, gasping painfully for air. Adam didn’t look any better.

“Ben?” Sandy asked quietly. She kneeled down next to him, softly brushing sweated strands of hair to the side. He peeked one eye open and smiled.

“I’m fine, Sandy, just not enough energy to heal. Could you…?” Sandy nodded, obeying anything her brother would ask her. Leaving a small kiss on Ben’s forehead, she instantly moved to Adam’s side and began to place her hands on his chest.

Maria’s heart tightened. Understanding for the girl started to grasp her mind. Under Sandy’s coldness and insensitivity, there was just a frightened girl who just loved her brother. Even though she held such obvious distaste and hurt for Adam, she helped him because her brother asked her to. And maybe because somewhere deep down, Sandy didn’t hate Adam. She was just blinded by her hurt.

It distinctly reminded her of someone else.

Maria felt Michael pull her closer to him, and she obliged willingly. Quickly winding her arms around Michael’s fatigued body, she sighed against his chest. Michael stroked her cheek softly, shifting her head so he could finally look into her eyes. Maria let more tears flow at the tenderness parading his eyes. He looked so broken, so tired. Letting herself have one selfish thought, she wondered if he was as relieved to see her as she was him.

Smiling a sad but relieved smile, he leaned down and placed a small, delicate kiss on her forehead. Without words, Michael had just answered her question.

“God, I was so worried,” Maria stated quietly, unable to hide the onslaught of tears. Michael quickly wiped those tears away with the stroke of his thumb.

“I’m fine. We’re fine. We just- wait. Where’s Liz? And Max?” Maria watched as Michael plunged quickly into full-fledged panic mode. He pulled away from Maria and straightened his back, looking for Liz and Max in their makeshift home for the moment. But he knew he wouldn’t find them. Things just refused to go his way.

Isabel saw Michael slowly losing his grip, and Maria starting to freak out beside him. The last thing they all needed was for those two to completely lose it. She quickly scurried over to them, and grabbed Michael’s wrist, attracting his attention. Making him look her right in the eyes, she spoke softly but firmly.

“Michael, Max and Liz aren’t here. Adam got hurt and they took off before they could get caught. Listen, Michael, I need you to hear everything I’m going to say, all right? Max is not here and Adam is hurt pretty badly, so you have to keep it together. Promise me. You’ve got to be strong for everyone right now.” Michael nodded, signaling his agreement. For the first time ever, he damned his past for all the hurt, worry and grief it was causing his present.

A loud wheeze from Sandy was heard before she fell to the ground beside Adam. Kyle went to help her up, but she shook her head in refuse.

“Give me a minute,” she coughed. “I don’t have enough energy to heal Adam fully, but he should be good for now.” Slinging her arm over her eyes, she took a deep breath.

Beside her, Adam stirred a little. Opening his eyes, he saw his friends gathered around, all looking unsurely at each other. Ben and Sandy were lying on the ground not far from him. He felt his muscles slowly returning to strength but fatigue still wracked him hideously.

“You guys all right?” Adam asked, leaning towards the other two protectors. Sandy just nodded and Ben gave a thumbs-up sign. Adam took a deep breath and slowly aided himself to stand. Maria offered to help, but he refused.

“Where’s Alex?” Isabel asked, timidly, pulling her eyes away from Adam’s obvious discomfort. Michael looked down at the ground before answering.

“He’s gone,” Michael answered quietly. “There were eight guys that rushed the room. Sandy had to heal Ben from the blast that hit him, so it was just me trying to fend off those guys. I only got four of them. Then Ben got another two. The last two escaped with Alex.”

“Alex… or Khivar?” Isabel asked quietly.

“Khivar.” Isabel just nodded and turned her back to the group, for that was all the privacy she could have in this god forsaken place.

“Wait,” Adam interjected, his eyes flaming. “Khivar is on the loose? With two of the guards?” Adam let out a long string of curses. He started walking towards the top of the ditch, pulling himself over before anyone could realize what he intended on doing.

“ADAM!” Maria screamed. “You can’t go out there, you don’t have the energy to.”

“Liz and Max are out there, with no one to protect them. Liz could barely stand when I last saw her. I’m not going to let them wander around while Khivar is on the brink of capturing Liz.” Adam continued to walk away, but Maria yelled again.

“They’ll kill you without a second thought. What good are you to Liz if you’re dead?”

Adam halted for a moment, gazing at the dim sky. He needed to pull himself together and… well, not die. That was the cold hard truth. He didn’t have time to worry about his energy or death or any other plaguing ideas.

He turned around and caught Maria’s eyes with his. “It’s me or her, Maria. And I refuse to let it be her.” With that, he began walking back out into the forest.

Maria let out a frustrated scream. She turned to Michael, pointing frantically towards Adam. “Do something! Stop him! Drag him back here if you have to!” Maria’s eyes pleaded angrily with his, but the moment they met, Maria knew she was fighting a losing battle.

Michael took Maria’s hand instead, placing a kiss on her delicate fingers. Then he pressed his lips against hers, letting a lingering kiss take place before pulling back. With every ounce of truth in his words, he said, “I love you, Maria.” Kissing her forehead one last time, he hiked himself over the ditch and joined Adam on his crusade.

*****

“Liz?” Max panted. He stopped and looked around at his surroundings. Everything looked the exact same as it did when they first started running. He was in a goddamn forest for fuck’s sake. All that encircled them was tree after fucking tree.

“Liz, love, I’m going to put you down, all right?” Max slowly eased Liz off his shoulder, but she was still wobbly on the ground. She clung to him, with her arms tightly around his neck. She laid her head on the high of his chest, hoping that the temporary stilling of movement would ease the pounding that throbbed endlessly in her head. It didn’t.

“Max,” Liz moaned. “It hurts.”

Max felt his heart tear to tiny pieces at her cry. He wanted more than anything to let her sit and rest, so he could heal the hammering in her head, but they didn’t have time. They’d been running almost nonstop for probably hours, he could imagine. His legs were getting achy and he knew they had been going around in circles. This forest couldn’t be that big.

“Liz, look at me,” Max whispered softly. Not without wincing, she slowly turned her head up to look him in the eye. A small smile greeted her, and she felt his hand cup the side of her head.

“Max,” Liz panted painfully. “We don’t have time.” Max just made a shushing noise and told her to relax.

His hand started to glow against her skin, letting Liz feel the warmth creep into her and reside over the fixed pounding. But as quickly as it had begun, it ended, with a less aching pounding returning. It was better, but not much.

“Thank you,” Liz whispered, easing her head back to his chest. Max kissed the crown of her head lightly, letting his hand travel down to her silky strands.

“I’m sorry,” he replied, with pain creeping into his voice. “I just can’t use all of my energy. We’ve got to keep going.” Liz just nodded her understanding.

Max stole a glance at his beauty, cursing himself for letting Liz get hurt. He ached for the night before when it was just the two of them, just loving each other. He needed her. He couldn’t imagine or fathom a life that’s not graced with Liz’s intelligence, beauty, kindness and love everyday. He just wanted to put that damn ring on her, and take her far from these damn problems that continually interrupted their damn chance at a peaceful life. Right about now, he couldn’t even fathom a life of royalty without Liz.

“Liz,” Max croaked. It was now or never. He needed to let her know how much he loved her, even if they were being chased and hunted down, even if she won’t even remember this later, even if he had to die to save her precious life.

Max cupped Liz’s head again, but with both of his hands this time. She stared up at him, wonderment and trust blazing through her eyes.

“I know this is probably the worst time ever, and you’ll probably kill me later for doing it at a time like this, but I have to tell you something.

“I love you. I love you like no one will ever love you again. You are the most amazing, beautiful creature to walk not just this planet, but other planets as well. I thank my lucky stars everyday and every night that you found me and love me for who I am. You will always be my love, my life, my beauty. Without you, I’m nothing but a waste of flesh condemned to crawl through this life feeling nothing but loneliness and hatred of myself.

“Liz, I promise you that I’ll never stop loving you and cherishing you until my dying day, and even after that. I have found you twice in two different lifetimes. I’ll find you again. Please, please, say that you’ll love me back.” Max reached into his pocket and pulled out a chain with a dangling ring hanging from it.

Liz gazed at the beauty of the ring, absolutely shocked. The pain and tortuous torment subsided momentarily, her heart filling with love beyond words. This wasn’t just a spur of the moment thing. He had this planned for some while now. He had a ring. A gorgeous, shining ring.

“I love you, Max. I will always love you.” Through her shimmering tears of joy, she smiled at him. A tender, loving smile that Max would save in his heart for the rest of his life.

Max slipped the chain over Liz’s head, and kissed her softly on the lips. “I put it on a chain because I didn’t know if you’d want to parade around with a ring on your beautiful finger, as much as I love all of your fingers. I love your hand too. And your hair. And you eyes. And… I just love all of you. Everything from your cute toes to each strand of your beautiful hair.” Liz nodded, unable to voice anything. She loved the chain, the ring, and most of all, Max.

He kissed her again, letting their lips linger just a moment longer. Max smiled at her lovingly one more time, before offering his hand.

“You ready?” Liz nodded again. Just as Max was about to help Liz get back up, he felt a searing, hot pain strike him in the middle of his back. Max instantly fell to the ground, slowly losing grip of consciousness.

Somewhere in the background Max heard Liz’s frightened whimpers and cries of his name. He wanted more than anything to find the strength to stand and just start running again, but he had no strength. Only burning pain.

“So we meet again, Zan,” Alex’s cocky voice echoed in Max’s ear. Max barely acknowledged Alex as he slowly stalked towards Max.

“Oh dear, did I hurt you? That’s too bad.” Alex outstretched his hand and aimed another bolt of throbbing pain at Max. Max’s breathing quickened and began to transform into desperate pants. And still, all he could hear were Liz’s whimpers for Max. He was failing her and she knew it.

“Now, as much as I’d love to sit and have a cup of coffee with you, I’ve got places to go, people to kill, your girlfriend to impregnate. Bye bye, Zan.” Alex snapped his fingers, and pointed to Liz.

“Grab her,” Alex commanded to one of the two soldiers behind him. Swiftly, the male soldier picked Liz up and violently threw her over his shoulder. Liz let out a strangled cry.

“You,” Alex ordered to the other soldier. “Kill Zan. Painfully slowly. I want the peasants of Antar to be able to hear him.” The soldier nodded, and Alex walked off, with Liz and the male soldier following quickly afterwards.

The remaining soldier rolled Max over, causing a groan from Max. The soldier gave Max a chuckle and bent down towards his body. Whispering in Max’s ear, the soldier stated tightly, “I’ve been waiting for this my entire life."
posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:51:32 AM
“How could they be gone?” Ben shouted, making Maria and Sandy cringe at his fierce burst of anger. His quick, thumping steps were pacing back and forth through the filthy motel room as his rage bounced from foot to foot.

Soon after Ben and Sandy had regained most of their strength, them, Maria, Isabel and Kyle trailed stealthily back to the motel. Ben and Sandy were sure that Khivar and his men were long gong from the motel room, as Max and Liz were nowhere near it. Khivar was looking for Liz first, the rest could be disposed later. It was a horrifying thought to think but basically the truth.

Now the bodies of the men Ben and Michael had killed were gone.

“What would Khivar want dead men for? It’d be a hassle,” Sandy replied, her game face now on. Any signs that Maria had detected of love and kindness were long gone.

“Maybe they’re not dead,” Maria replied. “Invincible men. It’s genius. You can kill them all you want but in the end, they’ll continue to return to Khivar.” Maria shuddered at the thought. Was it even possible?

“Oh god,” Isabel whispered, “What do we do? They could be coming back right now! They’ll kill us, but we can’t kill them! They’ll keep coming for us! They’ll-”

“Ahem,” Kyle interjected, rolling his eyes at the group. Each could see the obvious annoyance of the group on Kyle’s face. “Khivar took the men because if the FBI found a couple of little green guys floating around in a motel in the middle of nowhere, they’re going to start snooping around. So Khivar would get rid of the evidence before anyone could suspect anything. Get rid of the hassle before it’s even there.” Kyle stated his explanation clearly and bluntly. He flung himself on to one of the beds afterwards though. This smart thing was kind of tiring.

“Either way,” Ben continued, straining to regain his composure after being outsmarted by Kyle. “Khivar or some of his troops must have been here to clean up the mess because even the wall in the back is fixed up. This room looks like what it was when we were first in here.” They all nodded in agreement.

“We can’t stay here, we’ve got to move. We don’t know how far they are from here, and there’s no way we can go up against them alone.” Sandy crossed her arms, finding it almost painful to say the next part. “We work better as-” Sandy coughed.

“As two complete units,” Ben finished for her. He had a bit of sympathy for his sister. A little bit. Ben turned to his sister and held her in a hug that she didn’t seem to refuse.

Maria’s heart softened again for the girl.

“What about Michael and Adam?” Isabel asked. “How the hell are we going to get in contact with them again? And what about Max and Liz for that matter?” Isabel shook her head at the mess that never ended.

“We can’t stay here,” Kyle squeaked. “The alien dudes are going to fry us! And personally, I’d like to stay the raw human being that I am. I may be outnumbered but I’m not dumb.” Isabel and Maria both bit their lips in hope they wouldn’t squeal in laughter.

“He’s right,” Ben added, seriously. “We don’t know where Khivar is and we don’t know where Michael and Adam is. And we certainly don’t know where Liz and Max are. It’s better to be safe from Khivar than be sitting ducks while waiting for the rest of our group.”

“No!” Maria screeched, striking everyone’s eardrums with surprise at her ferociousness. “We are NOT leaving! My boyfriend and my best friends are out THERE-” Maria pointed to the window “-and there’s no way in HELL you’re going to get me to leave. I am not leaving without THEM! If we have to wait around all fucking night, then be it, but so help me God if anyone tries to convince me to do otherwise.” Maria’s eruption quieted the room, but she knew that no one was agreeing with her quite yet.

Maria turned to Isabel, pointing a finger to her face. “You! You have a brother out there! Max! No, you have two brothers out there! You know Max and Michael would never leave without you, even if it meant sacrificing their own lives. Why can’t we do the same?” Isabel avoided Maria’s accusing stare.

“And you two!” Maria yelled, pointing at Ben and Sandy. “Your best friend is out there. Adam, your leader. As much as this is still digesting in all of us, Adam is your leader and your friend! Not only that, but your king and queen are out there! The two people in this world you are supposed to protect! Actually, no, forget I said that. They’re not your king and queen. They are your friends.

“And you,” Maria continued, now turning to Kyle. “You’ve just made some of the best friends you’ll ever make in this world. You may not like it, but since the moment you agreed to keep our secret and help, you’ve gained the greatest, tightest set of friends you’ll ever make in your life. As long you are there for us, you’ll never have to doubt that we’ll be there for you. It’s time to live up to the pact we’ve all made.”

Maria’s rant ended, and all that was heard was her furious, loud pants of breath.

“Maria,” Ben started softly. He thought she was going crazy… Maria thought she was going crazy too though. But instead of hearing it in words, she held up her hands in plead of silence. She turned away from the group, burying her face in her hands, choking down inaudible sobs. This wasn’t going to end, and Maria didn’t want to face that.

Kyle stood silently and walked to Maria’s side, putting a supportive hand on her shoulder.

“Maria,” Kyle said quietly. “Look.”

Maria’s head slowly eased up and the opened door caught her eye. Adam and Michael stood there, looking wordlessly at the group. Michael’s eyes zoned in on Maria, noticing her tear streaked cheeks. He began to move towards her, but Maria put her hand up again to stop his forwarding.

With hope shining in her eyes, she looked directly at Michael.

“Max and Liz…?” Maria trailed. Michael bowed his head down immediately, and after a hesitant moment, he shook his head.

And again, Maria felt like she was falling through an endless hole of desperation.

*****

Max groaned loudly as he felt life flowing back into his pathetic, weak body, and it was unbearably painful. So painful that he was sure that his teeth would crack into miniature pieces by the amount of grinding his jaw was executing. His head throbbed, a sharp, tiny prick pricking it repeatedly, and with a certain vengeance. His eyes pulsed with tiny, aggravating spasms, even underneath his very much-closed eyelids. His mouth was beyond parched, reaching the point of dryness not even know to man or woman. The dry scratchiness in his throat was annoying and beyond frustrating. His senses were irritating him to no end, and if that damn woman would shut the hell up…

Wait. What?

Max’s eyes flew open but immediately shut, not being able to ignore the rushing ache that cursed his body. But he could hear her. A woman. Her voice sounded in the backdrop, singing softly to herself with its carefree richness. Her voice sounded luxurious and sweet, emotion fulfilling each note, melody and lyric.

Max almost felt himself wanting to drift back to the land of dreams, where pain and troubles were nothing but passing thoughts. The caressing voice was lulling him rapidly back to the beloved unconscious state of mind. Where there was nothing but peace, calmness, and Liz… sweet, beautiful, loving Liz…

“LIZ!” Max’s jagged voice blurted, coming out strained and excruciatingly painful. The soreness that drowned his throat quickly became overwhelming, and he began to make distressing whimpers.

“Oh dear,” he heard the soft voice say, as a warm body sat down beside him. Feeling what must be a bed sinking down on his left side, he concluded that either this was a truly torturous way to die by letting the small pains consume him like a snail, or that by some act of heavenly beings, someone had come to his rescue before that soldier could torture him into death.

He remembered what happened. The tender moment, the special smile, the soft kisses, the silky hair, the smooth skin. Everything that was Liz. His finally being able to voice his promise of love and forever. Her warm body, pushed up against his, not caring that luck probably fled their side long ago. Nothing but their warm embraces together, forever.

But it ended much too swiftly for him, because after that all he could remember was overpowering heat and throbbing, and devastation. Devastation for being weak, for letting his guard down, for letting what happened happen, for being the foolish, irresponsible, endangering bastard that he is. But most of all, for letting Liz down. For promising her love and protection and failing not even a blink later.

Max felt warmth suddenly enrapturing his body, and without having any other choice, he savored the feeling. For he didn’t know when he’d feel this again, if he’d ever feel warmth again that is.

“Open your eyes. That should help a bit,” that voice called again. He wanted to open his eyes, but he didn’t. Opening his eyes meant facing the truth, also known as his failure. Opening his eyes meant letting the previous pain sweep through him. Opening his eyes meant dealing with what had to be dealt with. Opening his eyes meant living.

“Where am I?” Max’s voice cracked, as he slowly opened his eyes. He may be a failure, but not a coward.

His eyes quickly settled on a young looking woman, promptly seated beside his resting body. Her features were youthful, like her, and could not disguise the unmistaken beauty of a lover and a fighter. Her skin was smooth, almost silky, and her lips warm and full, glossy with its natural sheen. But her eyes, it was her eyes that Max couldn’t tear himself away from. Her whole body screamed with its innate young features, but her eyes, through the shining compassion, there was something aged. Masked pain, or unforgettable pasts, whichever, it was unavoidable and undeniable.

“You’re in my cottage, your highness,” she replied meekly, her eyes peering at him curiously. The wood walls and floor surrounded high above them.

“Excuse me?” Max whispered, unable to gain full control of his voice. A small smile graced the young lady’s face.

“If you don’t mind, sir, I think it’d be best for you just to gain some more rest.” She pulled up the covers that enveloped him, but he threw them off instantly, as if they were burning him. Shakily, he moved his body to an upright position, swinging his legs over the side.

Unable to plaster a grateful smile on his face, he said softly, “Thank you for your kindness, but I really must get going. My girlfriend-”

“You mean your queen. Leandra.” Max’s eyes shot up to the timid girl, who was now avoiding his gaze. He wasn’t hallucinating. This woman did call him his highness, and she knew who Liz is. Who Liz was.

“Who are you?” Max growled fiercely. He hated losing control. And right about now, he had none. No cards, no dice, no luck, and definitely no control.

“Your majesty, I really think it’d be better if you’d just relaxed and-”

“WHO ARE YOU?” Max roared, despite the agonizing ache that vibrated in his head because of it.

The young girl looked frightened for a moment, unsure of what to do. He could overpower her easily, and she knew it.

“I’ll tell you anything you want to know. Just, please, lay down. You need to be rested if you intend of rescuing our- er, your precious Leandra. Please, your Majesty.” Max eyed the girl suspiciously, but she just kept her head down, staring at the wooden, creaking floors. She shifted her weight from foot to foot.

Max sighed, knowing he didn’t even have the strength to leave the bed, much less leave the cottage. If the woman wanted to kill his sorry ass, she would have by now. So, against his persistently disagreeing mind, he laid back down on the bed. If he were to die, at least he’d be in comfort. But he highly doubted this young lady wanted to hurt him, much less kill him.

“Thank you,” the young girl replied softly. She scurried off to the side momentarily, grabbing the steaming mug of hot liquid. Pulling a seat up beside the bed, she placed the mug on the bedside table, knowing that if the king wanted the drink, he would reach for it when the time came.

“What, ah, what would you like me to tell you?” She spoke softly, with a characteristic quietness to her voice. Max instantly felt angry with himself for being unbelievably rude to this woman.

“Well, who you are would be helpful,” he replied, letting his voice become gentle again. She smiled gratefully at him, and then quickly turned her eyes back to her fluttering hands.

“I’ve been waiting for this my entire life,” she said quietly, almost inaudible to Max. Almost.

Panic etched his face, quickly being able to identify who she was.

“You’re the… soldier? You were going to kill me!” Max frantically inching away from the woman, trying to move with speed but failing horribly.

“No! No! It was a cover, please, sir! You have nothing to worry about! I won’t hurt you!” The girl yelled at him. She placed her palm on his arm, and instantly his body calmed. That warmth again, overriding his formerly intense panic. He could feel it in her touch, that she wouldn’t hurt him. That she had no intention of it whatsoever.

“W…Why? Why are you working for Khivar?” Max shivered at the name. That bastard had Liz. But he needed to be calm if he wanted to think rationally. Thus, he needed to forget Liz being captured momentarily. Thinking of her would make him indubitably lose his mind.

“I’m not,” the woman responded, easing into her smile again now that Max was tiding his hysteria. “I’m a loyalist, your greatness.”

“A what?” Max choked. “Are you from- holy shit.” Max’s uncommon curse pierced his own ear, and he shook himself lightly. She had to be kidding.

The girl just laughed lightly at Max’s amazement. “Yes, sir, I am from Antar.”

Max’s jaw dropped. Did she just say Antar?

“Wow. I mean- it’s just that- I can’t- holy shit.” The girl laughed again, a bit more loudly.

“There’s many of us on Antar. Loyalists, I mean. We all have faith in you coming home to rule. But we cannot rebel against Khivar, for if he ever even thought we existed, I would be long dead by now. He would kill without a second thought. He would steal a life without considering its effect on others, on his people. He would just murder someone in cold blood because of greed.” The girl’s eyes hardened, focused on something behind Max’s head. In a low voice, she added, “He has before.”

Max didn’t know what to say. This was a lot for his mind to absorb all the while his body aching, begging for his attention.

“What’s your name?” Max asked gently. This young girl had suffered much at the hands of Khivar, Max could tell. The hate and revulsion on her face told him exactly how she felt about the evil ruler of Antar.

The girl blushed slightly, bringing herself out of her daze. “I’m sorry, I have no earth name. On Antar, they call me Manika.” She smiled shyly at him. Max nodded, smiling back.

“Well, no more with this royalty stuff. Just call me Max.” The girl nodded in return. As she was about to say something, the door flung open and a loud, joyous voice filled the air.

“Honey, I’m home!” the male voice called, lightheartedly. Immediately Max stiffened, preparing himself for fight or flight. Most likely the second option though. Manika, on the other hand, was grinning and standing up to greet the new male.

The guy looked no older than Manika and Max, and apparently he was overjoyed about something. His towering body did not give him much of a powering image, as his structure was somewhat thin and scrawny.

“Ah, Manika, I see out guest has awakened.” She nodded her head, and gestured for the male to greet Max. He strode to Max’s bedside, but Max didn’t feel the motion of cowering. Something was familiar about him.

“Welcome to our makeshift home, Max,” the guy declared warmly. Max eyed him cautiously though, his sudden welcoming feelings for this man worrying him even more.

“Do I know you?” Max uttered, quietly.

The man grinned broadly, and offered his hand to Max.

“Max Evans, I do believe we have mutual acquaintances. It’s nice to finally meet you. I’m Owen MacDonald.”

*****

Liz felt the soreness flooding her small body, all her senses becoming aware to her new surroundings. She had yet to open her eyes though, too afraid of what would appear before her. The stinging in her body was becoming an annoying constant, something she couldn’t stop cursing.

Liz prayed that Max got away from the horrible beast that threatened his very existence. And hopefully he fried that bastard too.

But her angry thoughts couldn’t block the tirade of worry, grief and anxiety about their current situation. Her mind felt like a clutter of mismatched thoughts while her body hummed with tiredness. She couldn’t seem to pull herself out of the funk that consumed her greedily, only thoughts of her present danger fogging her vision.

Her sole comfort was that she knew Max wasn’t dead or dying. She could still feel him somewhere in the back of her consciousness, but he was weak. As weak as she was if not weaker, so connecting with each other was not feasible.

But how she yearned to be in his presence right now. She didn’t want to know what kind of hell she was going to be subjected to. So feigning slumber was what she had in mind.

“Ahh, good morning my dearest Princess.” And there went her idea.

No, no, no. This is not happening.

“Oh, but it is.” Liz slowly opened her eyes, unsure as to what to expect. A tall, muscled man stood a few steps away from her, his piercing blue eyes spearing holes into depths of her body she didn’t even realize she had. Liz quickly glanced away, scanning her surroundings. A dim lighted cell of some sort, rusty smell included, imprisoned her. She was lying on what appeared to be a mattress of some sort. A thick, metal door stood boldly behind the new stranger and-

“I’m not a stranger, my dear.” Liz’s head snapped up towards the man, staring back into the eyes of what could only be described as nothing else but evil.

“You’re reading-”

“-your thoughts,” he chuckled. “I had to disable any sort of blocks or powers you have in your mind. Your friend’s too. Can’t have you two gallivanting around with powers, now can I?” Liz’s eyes widened and she quickly glanced around the room, in search of her friend. Her eyes honed in on Alex’s crumpled, and terribly inactive body. With rage burning inside of her, she glowered at what must be Khivar’s present body.

“You asshole!” Liz flung herself at Khivar, attacking him with surprise. But Khivar waved his hand and she was quickly, and forcefully thrown against the cement wall behind her. Liz crashed her head against the wall, eliciting a tortured whimper from her. Her body slowly slid back on to the mattress.

“There are rules,” Khivar said, straightening his dark, clean-cut suit. “And that was definitely not part of them. Leandra, don’t fight it. You know you want it.” He leaned in, against her ear, and whispered, “I know I do.”

Liz did nothing but moan with excruciating pain. Her mind pulsated with extremely intense poundings and it was an effort and a half to comprehend what was happening.

“Don’t worry too much though, Princess. I’m going to have to get you to contact the rest of your merry gang. It’s quite ingenious actually. They’ll think they’re coming for you and your friend here, possibly Zan as well, but you and I both know he’s long gone. Instead they’ll find an army of my men ready to execute. I’ll be sure to let you watch.”

Khivar thought for a moment before slowly, and uncomfortably sitting down next to Liz’s crumpled body.

“I know this isn’t the greatest of rooms for you, but I need to keep you confined for the time being.” He took her limp hand in his, and kissed it softly.

“Don’t worry, Princess, we’ll be together soon. I just have to get some matters dealt with and then you and I can start our lives.” He smiled wistfully at her, before getting up and walking towards the door.

“Until later, my Princess.” Khivar waved his hand over the door, opening it, and he walked out with a smile on his face.
posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:52:29 AM
“So you know every inch of this compound?” Max asked as he gazed again at the layout of maps before him. This place was big. This was going to be tricky.

Owen nodded his head. “I’m one of Khivar’s best soldiers. He’s trained me personally since I’ve been added to his army. I think he just adores the idea that I’m supposed to be a protector of the Royal Court but instead I work for him. He still doesn’t have a clue that I know of my true destiny.” Max cringed at the last word, almost wanting to curse it.

All of his being wished that he and his friends were nothing but normal people, living normal lives. He and Liz might then have had an actual chance at having a normal relationship. Ah, what he wouldn’t do for the sanctity of normality. Damn destiny and its responsibilities.

Max, Owen and Manika all leaned over the table, analyzing the design of the compound where Owen knew Liz was being held.

“I’m one of Khivar’s best soldiers from Antar. It was my only ticket here,” Manika said quietly. “But he’s not one for precise details. If he had known who I really was, I would have never been accepted into his army.” She bowed her head slightly, taking a deep, cleansing breath. Owen gave a sympathetic smile, and went to put his arm around Manika. She smiled gratefully at him.

“Uh,” Max interrupted awkwardly. Obviously these two were close in relationship. “Where is Liz’s cell, and where will Khivar be?”

“Here is where she’s being held,” Owen stated, pointing to a small block on one of the maps. “We can gain entrance through here but there’ll be a couple of guards. Then again, there’ll be guards everywhere.”

“The longer we’re unnoticed, the better though,” Manika added. Max just nodded, but then glanced up at Owen and Manika, both who were staring back earnestly. One question kept running in his mind, and he was desperate for an answer. These two were willing to aid him with no questions asked and they were fully aware of the possible fatal outcomes. Not only were they willing to help him, but they were willing to help a whole world bring back order.

“Why?” Max questioned. It was short but sweet, and right to the point.

“What do you mean?” Manika responded somewhat confused by his question. Owen understood though, and looked Max straight in the eye.

“Although I’ve never met them personally, or even seen them myself, there are people out there waiting for us, for me. I’ve heard stories from other guards, the people actually from there.

“On Antar, there are people so desperate and their lives are so hellish that the only thing that heartens them is the very slim chance that here on Earth there are ten certain people willing to help them. Even if just one out of the ten people acknowledged the citizens of Antar, it would lighten spirits beyond hope. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t fight my hardest to help these people.” He looked at Manika fondly but glanced back at Max.

Whispering lowly, he added, “Too many people have been hurt by Khivar.” Max nodded solemnly, appreciative of Owen’s honesty and openness. Manika’s face shadowed over in pain, though, a hard expression forming.

“If it’s the last thing I do, I will make sure that the slaughterer pays for every life he’s ever taken.” Manika’s cold, bitter comment caused Max to do a double take, unsure that Manika had actually just said that. An aching person who lied close beneath the timid exterior replaced the young, shy girl he had met.

“There’s a lot of people on Antar, Max,” Manika replied, staring him straight on. “A lot of them are no better than Khivar. Sniveling, deceptive people who backstab to get what they want, but even them, they don’t deserve what Khivar has done to his people. No one does. And if I can’t imagine that kind of torture on my worst enemies, can you imagine the innocent people who are suffering? It’s not fair, none of it.

“I made a pledge when I became a loyalist. Not only to keep faith in the resurrection of the Royal Court, but to keep faith in my planet, my home. Loyalists aren’t just about allegiance to our Royals. We’re about restoring peace that we once knew too long ago.

“I’m not going to beg or plead you to help Antar when Leandra is home safe, but I need you to realize that people are counting on us. Only we can help them.” Manika took a deep breath, but found no relief in it. She quickly stood up and escaped out the door, letting herself a moment of peace.

Max stared at the closed door for a moment, shaken by Manika’s obvious loss of control. She was a soldier in so many ways that he couldn’t even count. She had already shown her loyalty to him in less than 24 hours. The only reason he could actually stand around and walk was because of her healing him. Only something horrible could make a soul like that experience such anguish.

“What did Khivar do to her?” Max asked Owen, turning to him. Owen offered him a small, sad smile.

“Horrible things. He stole everything that was precious to her. But that’s not the sad part, that’s not the part that makes both her and I retch in disgust. It’s that she isn’t the only one he’s destroyed. There are so many more out there.” Owen patted Max’s shoulder lightly. “But you don’t need to worry about Manika. She’s a warrior. She can handle anything.”

Max nodded again, unsure and unwilling to let the information absorb. For then the guilt and revulsion that gathered over the past few days would return, and he wasn’t sure whether he could survive that.

“We’re going to have to move fast,” Owen stated briskly, running over the maps with his trained eyes again. Max just nodded.

“Khivar hasn’t disclosed any of his plots to anyone. Everyone is completely unaware of his plans, so we don’t know when he’s planning to-” Owen halted abruptly, realizing what he was about to say.

Max felt queasy suddenly. He promised himself to not think about what Khivar was doing to his Liz right now, but it came flooding back to him. The images, the possibilities, the guilt of what Liz was enduring because of him. His Liz. He needed her. Now.

“I’m sorry, Max, I didn’t mean to-”

“It’s all right,” Max replied, flatly. “The more I get angry, the more rage I can direct at that son of a bitch.”

“Good idea.”

Max was going to fucking kill Khivar, if it was the last thing he ever did.

*****

Alex woke to a calming ambiance, a soft hand stroking his hair soothingly. It reminded him of Isabel, his little princess. He missed her. He wanted her right now. Her beauty could never cease to amaze him, and not just the physical features that outlined her body. It was her warm heart, and gentle strength that made Alex lightheaded from being able to know her, much less love her eternally.

Alex wondered where his princess was right now, if it was she who was stroking him so tenderly. Something told him it wasn’t her though, which sort of frightened him because for some reason, he couldn’t recall where he was or what had happened to him.

Alex opened his eyes but couldn’t bear to keep them open. The act sent harsh blows to his head, and all he could do was clutch his head between his hands, and moan in pain.

“You’re awake,” the voice of his best friend said. At least he hadn’t been imagining the presence of another. And at least that presence happened to be his very best friend.

“Liz?” Alex croaked, his voice sticky with ache. It was her fingers that were working their magic on his throbbing scalp. If he could, he would have begged her to never stop. The comforting touch eased his headache just enough to make it bearable.

“Yeah,” she replied, with a tone of sorrow in her voice. Just from her remark, Alex could tell something was very wrong and he needed to find out what. Alex clenched his teeth tightly and endured the inevitable pain.

“Hey!” Liz protested. “Keep your eyes closed if it hurts. I know I’m beautiful, but I don’t want you in pain for trying to look at me.” Liz’s attempt at light humour failed miserably, and all Alex could hear was the fighting despair within her.

“Liz, where are we?” Alex asked, trying to focus his eyes on their surroundings. Everything seemed really fuzzy and completely unfocused, his whole body felt off track. He was unsure whether it was because he was feeling pretty goddamn nauseous, or if this was a side effect of whatever had happened to him.

What had happen to him?

“Liz?” She hadn’t answered him yet, which made it all the more worse.

“We’re, uh… Alex, I-I don’t exactly know where we a-are. But we’re not in Kansas anymore,” Liz responded quietly, tears evident in her voice. Alex sat up from where he was lying, his head rising from Liz’s lap. He automatically went to wrap his arms around her in comfort, but was taken aback when he was met with bare flesh.

“Liz, you’re not wearing any clothes.” Alex felt Liz’s body start to shake beside him, so he put his arms tighter around her, desperate to shield her from her suffering. They were best friends, nothing to be shy about.

Everyone was naked underneath.

“Neither are you,” Liz whispered softly.

What?

Alex ran one hand down his arm and realized she was right. He was just as nude as she was. Goddamn his muddled senses. It baffled him as to why he was not able to perceive things as usual. Something was totally off.

“Liz,” Alex said, more forcedly than desired. “Where are the others?”

“I don’t know,” Liz whimpered. “Max- oh god, Max. He was captured when I was. Oh god, please let him be o-”

“What? Captured?” Alex’s ears perked up, thrown off by the change of direction in their exchange.

“Alex, don’t you remember? Anything?” Alex shook his head. He really didn’t like the sound of this conversation. All the facts were pointing in a very wrong direction. He could probably bet on where they were, but he decided that denial was a good choice for the time being. It only lasted all of five seconds.

“Alex, Khivar had control of your mind. He was trying to get to the rest of us through you. He caught up to me and Max- oh god…” Liz’s sentence trailed off as she broke into a fit of silent sobs.

Alex felt like retching, violently retching until his intestines came up through his throat and spewed all over the horrendously stiff, cold floor. He felt like running madly around the room and screaming bloody murder. He had, even though unknowingly, led his best friend to be captured and lured into a place that was probably just as horrible as imagined. If not worse.

Alex pressed his eyes closed again, willing them to concentrate and co-operate with him. Springing them open, objects became a lot less blurry, and by simple willpower, his sight was restored. He quickly cranked his head to look at the figure of his best friend.

Liz sat next to him, appearing completely broken inside. Her body shook with earth shattering cries, her face drowning in a sea of tears. Her thin strips of hair clung to her back, while she pulled her knees up to her chest. Her arms wrapped protectively around her legs, a guarded expression adorning her body.

But all that wasn’t what caught Alex’s immediate attention. Underneath those tears were menacing bruises and a long cut down the length of her face.

“Oh my god,” Alex breathed, taking in her appearance. He fingered the darkest bruise lightly, it’s appearance nothing but apparent even in the weak light. Liz cringed at the touch, obviously still tender from the hurt.

“Who did this?” Alex asked, his voice unable to increase in volume without cracking. Liz looked at him through her tears, shattered and vulnerable.

“One of the guards,” she replied quietly. “I tried to fight one of them when they stripped us. I-I couldn’t shield myself. Khivar raped me of all my powers.” Liz bent her head down and laid it against his shoulder, silent tears streaming down. “I’m so scared, Alex.”

“Liz, did he-did-” Alex couldn’t say it. The thought was much too horrible, and to voice it? Unspeakable.

“No.”

Liz paused.

“Not yet.”

Alex just nodded. Their time was running short and their chances were dwindling very quickly. And he was scared too. Absolutely terrified.

*****

“Who brilliant idea was this?” Maria muttered. She paced by the large window, looking out occasionally. For some reason (not that her best friends were missing… no, of course not) she could not stop moving. It could also be that said best friends are Queen and King of a planet, far off in la-la-space land. And said Queen is wanted to carry an evil alien baby by an alien tyrant. Said alien tyrant is quite evil.

“What about Alex? And Max? Where could they be?” Isabel sighed, propping her head up on the palm of her hand. She, too, shared Maria’s restlessness.

“This waiting thing kind of sucks, guys,” Kyle piped, rolling his head back and forth over the squeaky leather couch. He suppressed a giggle, but wiggled his butt to hear the squeaking sound again. A big goofy grin framed his face.

Sandy came up behind Kyle and smacked him firmly across the head. He whimpered at the hit, but quieted down when he noticed the impatient fury in Sandy’s eyes.

“Is it really safe waiting here?” Maria asked, turning to the whole group that was situated throughout the room.

“It doesn’t really matter where we are,” Ben replied, leaning back in his seat next to Kyle. “Khivar is most definitely going to want to contact us soon, now that he has Liz. We could go to the other side of the world, and he’d still find us.”

“We don’t know that he has Liz,” Michael retorted fiercely from his spot across the room, near the entrance. “She and Max could be looking for us right now.” Michael crossed his arms, positioning himself into stonewall mode.

“If they weren’t captured, she would have contacted us a long time ago,” Adam replied wearily. He too was pacing, but his steps were much more frantic and edgy. His nerves were completely shot and he felt that his second chance to protect his Queen had slipped through his very fingers.

How could he have let them go by themselves? Liz was too weak and Max wasn’t prepared. Adam could have just suffered the pain and gone with them. That’s what he should have done, but no, he stayed back. He was selfish. That’s what it was. Absolutely selfish. He was worried that if he kept going with Max and Liz, he would have gotten caught and tortured. How could he be so damn self-centered?

“Stop it, Adam,” two voices chorused together. Sandy and Maria looked at each other in surprise, eyeing each other suspiciously. Sandy backed off first, turning her head elsewhere.

“Adam,” Maria called. “If you don’t stop beating yourself up, I’m going to go crazy here. You’re making me taste all funny inside.”

Jaws dropped around the room, and stared at Maria in shock. What did she just say?

“Man, and you guys thought I was stupid,” Kyle muttered.

“You are stupid, Kyle,” Sandy replied. Kyle glared at her, but quickly diverted his eyes before she could land another blow to his head.

“Maria,” Michael said through clenched teeth. “Why the hell can you taste Adam, never mind taste him inside of you?” Michael turned to Adam with fury in his eyes. “I swear if you so much as…”

“Whoa, man! I didn’t touch Maria!” Adam yelled in defense. He threw his hands up in innocence. Maria had to be doing crack or something, because Adam had no clue what she was talking about.

“Space lover, calm down your extraterrestrial hormones, will you? It’s just my new powers.”

Silence.

“Yup, new powers,” Maria repeated, rocking back and forth on her heels. She laughed nervously underneath all the stares. Oh yeah, whoops, she sort of forgot to reveal to the rest of the Pod Squad that she gained these new flavour powers. Silly her.

“Were you planning on telling us?” Isabel asked, her eyes prodding Maria’s nervous form. “Or were you just going to keep this to yourself?”

“Uh, well, I didn’t keep this to myself.” She bit her lip, and gave a weak smile. “Alex knows.” Max and Liz do too, but that was something she was going to keep to herself for now.

Ben cleared his throat. “Well, what kind of powers are these?”

“I can feel things, people. Their emotions. Each person has this different ‘flavour’ to him or her. That’s how I know where people are coming from, their emotions and identities, all from their flavours.” Adam’s eyes perked up at her explanation.

“Then you can sense Liz and Max, can’t you? Couldn’t you tell us where they are?” Eyes again turned back to Maria.

“Uh, well, I haven’t tuned my powers quite yet. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. They seem to be stronger when we’re in a whole group, and they don’t work as well over… long distances.”

“Long distances?” Michael questioned, his face falling. They could be anywhere. Max and Liz were the two missing from the group, which lessened Maria’s alleged powers.

“Look, guys, please don’t get disheartened. Like I said, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I don’t even know-” Maria stopped mid-sentence. She closed her eyes, scrunching them in sudden concentration. The rest of the group looked on with detained breaths.

Maria squealed and abruptly ran to the nearby door, flinging it open to reveal the outside world. She dashed down the front path before bounding into a very startled Max Evans. Maria wrapped her arms around his neck and began the waterworks. Max stood there awkwardly, still surprised by Maria’s unexpected outburst and tackle.

“Where is she?” Maria screamed as she pulled away from Max. She noticed the two lone figures beside Max, both looking at her strangely. Maria whipped her head back towards Max, searching his face for answers but knowing she would find none.

Maria took a step back, tears coming down even faster. She stared at him with disbelief, but with horrid conviction in her bones.

“No…” Maria whispered, covering her mouth with her hand. Unable to support herself, she fell to her knees, shaking in horrible, horrible disbelief.

“I-I couldn’t… Maria, I’m sorry. I-I’m so, so s-sorry,” Max croaked, his voice unable to cover the cracks. Max already felt his eyes building tears.

Max wasn’t prepared for this. Ever since he had awoken in Manika and Owen’s cottage, he pushed the thought of Liz’s capture far down. He couldn’t deal with it and try to be a leader at the same time. That’s where he had gone wrong the first time and ended up with Liz in Khivar’s hands with Max nearly being killed. If it had been any other soldier, Max would be dead right now.

But seeing Maria’s crestfallen expression, all the barriers broke at once. The shame, the guilt and the hurt came rushing back to him until the mere thought of moving was painful. Maria suddenly brought herself to her feet and fled into the house, sobs escaping her.

“Max!” He heard Isabel scream. Again, another pair of arms came flinging around his body before he could fully organize himself.

“Hi Izzy,” Max replied, hugging her in return. Beyond her, Max saw the rest of the group file out, both with relieved and terrified looks on their faces.

“We were so worried,” Isabel sobbed into his shoulder.

“Don’t worry, Iz, I’m fine.” Sure, Max was fine, but Liz… Liz was not fine. And probably in more danger than he could ever realize.

“Max, where’s Liz?” Isabel questioned, pulling out of his embrace. “And who are they?” She pointed to Owen and Manika with added distrust.

“Oh god, Owen,” Isabel heard Sandy cry out. Soon another body was catapulted again, this time Sandy was hooked around Owen.

“Hey Sandy girl,” Owen replied with a smile. Manika had given him a tremendous friendship over the past few months, but this is what he needed. His best friends, all of them, including the ones he hadn’t made as of yet.

“Where’s Liz?” Michael boomed behind the gathered crowd. He, Adam, Ben and Kyle came up closer to the others. Michael stared Max dead in the eye, daring him to tell him what he knew was true.

“Max?” Adam called hesitantly, but Max just turned his head away from the group. A warm hand touched his shoulder, and he turned to see Manika offer him a comforting smile.

Manika turned her head to the group, stating firmly, “Leandra is gone. Khivar has her, and if we plan on getting her back, we’ve got to work quickly. Time is running out.”

*****

“Sir?” the soldier questioned timidly.

Khivar turned to the young recruit and sneered at him. His army consisted of both soldiers from Antar and Earth, but they all disgusted him. They were all merely puppets in this game of his, and much too stupid to realize otherwise.

“What do you want?” Khivar spat out.

“I, uh, well… the girl… she… uh-”

“TALK.” Khivar’s threatening voice echoed deafeningly off the walls.

“Both the prisoners are awake, sir.” Khivar’s tight lips curled up in a smile at the news. The time to play was to begin. He could almost taste it. Anticipation played with his nerves, and he was impatient to commence.

“Have her prepared. Actually, have both prepared. You know what to do.” The young soldier nodded. He was about to step out of the room before he paused and turned back to Khivar.

“Sir?”

“What is it that you want? Didn’t I give you direct orders?” Khivar’s irritation crept into his voice, and his tone was teetering on anger.

“I’m sorry, sir, I just wanted to know about the female prisoner. She fought the guard earlier, and he had to, uh, subdue her. Any orders you would like followed through this time?” Khivar again placed a grin on his face.

“No, continue as is. Earth women are known to be independent. We can’t have that now, can we?”

Khivar strode towards the soldier, actually patted the young man on the head and left through the door. And for a second time, he left with a smile on his face.

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:53:18 AM
Kyle tapped his fingers against the steering wheel, humming cheerily to himself. Outside the car, the land was about to witness a monstrous battle between alien enemies for the fight of peace, justice and love on a fated planet galaxies away.

Inside the car, Kyle was singing loudly to himself.

“Oops, I did it again! I played with your heart, got lost in the game, oh baby, baby! Oops, you think I’m in love. That I’m sent from above, I’m not that innocent!”

Kyle bounced his head along to the tune playing in his mind, as the words flowed from his lips. To say the least, he was bored. Being granted the latest membership to the Pod Squad and also being the only complete human, he was stuck with escape car duty. Though, it wasn’t so bad other than the dreadful wait. He and his dad watched COPS all the time. He was sure he could do those speedy car tricks like the criminals. Couldn’t be that hard, could it?

Dealing with this alien business was more than Kyle expected it to be. Then again, he wasn’t sure what he expected. Just a few weeks ago he had been planning to go off to college on a basketball scholarship, never knowing little green men existed. And BAM! Not only was he surrounded by Marvin the Martian but all his little Commander K-9’s too.

Kyle knew the Pod Squad was more than surprised when he willingly accepted the group, well… after his initial freak out and mostly shock. It was sort of enthralling, the whole taking-care-of-alien-business thing. Instead of shooting endless, boring, insignificant hoops with his drinking buddies, he was Super Kyle, fighting the evil nemesis Khivar of Antar. Kyle should really have his own theme song. Or at least a cape. A really cool cape with a decorative K on the back, maybe with sequins or something.

But on the other hand, he was afraid that if he kept spending so much time with these ET guys, he might end up acquiring powers of his own. You know, by the process of osmosis. Because Maria was acting really weird with all her new, freaky powers and this dream thing.

The whole group had gathered together in Ben and Sandy’s house after deciding that hugging and crying on their front lawn wasn’t very beneficial in the plan to save Liz and Alex. That, and the fact that Adam and Michael didn’t want to kill Max in broad daylight if they didn’t have to. Sure, they knew it wasn’t really Max’s fault that Liz was in the hands of Khivar, but they needed to place blame somewhere. Max was the only logical target.

Maria, on the other hand, escaped to one of the bedrooms, effectively slamming it with all the constrained rage and despair her body possessed. Kyle resumed his position on his favorite squeaky couch.

Manika and Owen discussed their plans on the breakout of Liz and Alex to the rest of the Squad. Max sat there beside Isabel, closed off with no expression of attention or care, and Isabel clung to her brother as a lifeline. Sandy clung to Owen, excessively elated over the discovery of Owen’s status of breathing. Ben, though, stayed pretty neutral through the whole encounter.

Yet their meeting was to be cut short by a shrill cry of torture that came from Maria’s place of isolation, which caused Michael to go bolting to her side, soon followed by the rest of the Squad. Tracks of tears pursued Maria’s face, and a look of horror cast itself upon her body. A shaking calmness overpowered Maria, and nothing but a shadow of fear and constant tears streamed in her eyes.

“God, no…” Maria whispered, seemingly oblivious to her new company. “Liz… Alex… please, no…”

The mention of Liz’s name snapped Max back into place and he too knelt by Maria’s side, ignoring Michael’s eye daggers.

“Maria, what? What happened?” Maria’s haunted eyes locked onto Max’s and she grabbed his wrist aggressively.

“Go. Go get her now, before it’s too late.” Maria’s stern façade collapsed and she broke into another round of sobs, flinging herself into Michael’s arms and thoroughly soaking it.

“I saw it, I saw it,” Maria cried into Michael’s shirt.

“What did you see, Maria?” Max asked patiently, putting a consoling hand on her back while Michael tried to soothe her.

“Him. LIZ. And HIM. In my dream.”

“What? What dream? What are you saying?” Maria closed her eyes tiredly for a moment before answering Max.

“It’s the reason why Alex and I left. I had a dream that night that Liz had been captured by Khivar. She kept screaming and screaming, yelling at me to help her. I-I tried to help her, I did! I swear I did! But he stopped me.” Maria whipped around and grabbed Max by the collar. “He’s going to hurt her, he already has. He ruthless and will do anything to get that heir. But that’s not all. He’s going to hurt Alex. Max! Listen to me, go get her, now! We don’t have time on our side.”

“You saw this in another one of your dreams? Were you even asleep?” Michael asked, pulling her back into the comfort of his arms.

Maria nodded her head, adding with a muffled voice against Michael’s chest, “I crashed when I came into here. Then the dream came.” Maria let out a wailing sob. “Save her, someone, please save her.”

Max turned his head towards Owen and Manika, nodding to them. “It’s time. It’s now or never.”

*****

Liz glanced around the room, a slight haze clouding her sight. Everything she saw was nondescript, except for the tiny metal rolling tray beside her with its shiny gifts strewn atop.

Liz wanted to touch the instruments, curious as to what they were, but her hands didn’t seem to have the drive to move. Or perhaps it was the thick bindings that held her wrists in their spot above her head. From her daze, Liz couldn’t really tell if she was sitting or standing or lying down or even perhaps doing a handstand.

Liz caught sight of her toes and let out a low giggle. She started to wiggle her toes but, try as she might, her legs were unable to move. Again, the bindings forced her body down against its will, unknowingly through Liz’s stupor.

“Liz?” Liz looked around, caught off guard by the calling of her name. She glanced through the undulating air, with its vague walls beyond. Liz felt a whine in her throat. She wanted to see who was there.

“Hello-o-o?” Liz called back. “Come out, come out from wherever you are!” She lifted her head and squinted her eyes, trying to distinguish solid forms but failing horribly. Her head fell back against hardness, creating a dull ring.

“Liz? Liz! Listen to me.” Liz scrunched her eyes closed and tried to concentrate on the voice. Shaking, as if it had shocked her, she found the voice had come from right beside her.

Liz turned her head and looked at very panicked Alex.

“Hey Alis-s-s!” Liz slurred, grinning at him.

Alex grimaced at Liz’s lack of sanity, realizing all of this was about to go down very badly. Both he and Liz were tied down to some very creepy tables with some weird kind of straps holding them down. All he knew was that if they planned on bailing, he was going to have to come up with a plan quickly, including the plans of powers to get these damned straps off.

He had seen the guard poke Liz with that needle, and it was going to take a lot more than sheer willpower to escape.

“Liz, c’mon, concentrate for me. We need to get out of here. They’re going to hurt us.” Alex watched Liz’s state of confusion reside for a moment before Liz blew up into full panic mode. Probably promoted by whatever had been interjected into her. Her emotions were flying around without a moment of restraint.

Liz tried to move her body, flailing anything that would move, but she was undoubtedly disappointed. She whipped her eyes towards Alex’s blurry form, and screamed out in anguish.

“Alis, get me outs, please!” Liz’s struggling forced her binds to tighten against her flesh, which made Liz cry out even louder. “Alis… pleash, use your powersh!”

Alex stared wide-eyed at Liz.

“What? Powers? Liz, I don’t have powers!” Did he? No, he would remember if he had powers. Wouldn’t he? But how could he remember having powers when he couldn’t even remember anything else.

“Khikhi, he’s going to hurt me! I don’t want to have his-s-s demon child! Help me! My child will be a KIWI.” If the situation had been any different, Alex probably would have laughed and hugged his best friend. Yet in this situation, he couldn’t even have the luxury of laughing for fear his bindings would tighten.

“Liz, even if I did have powers, he would have disabled them!” Alex was silent for a moment, trying to formulate a plan or something, anything in his mind to help them.

Alex jumped with an idea, but winced when the straps tightened. He ignored them for now. “Liz, maybe you can break through the blocks! Remember what you told Maria? It’s your mind! He can’t do anything to you that you don’t want him to! Liz, you’ve got to try!” Alex looked to see if Liz had even heard what he had said.

Liz nodded her head with immediate agreement. She was desperate to get out of this thing, and fast. Closing her eyes, letting concentration sweep over her, she reached out into her own mind. It’s creamy backdrop filled her sight, and she investigated her own mind.

Blocks to her powers were more than apparent and she began to dissipate them. Surprisingly, the blocks dissolved easily and soon the humming of her powers refilled her. Feeling utter stupidity for not trying before, because Alex was right. How could Khivar control her mind when it wasn’t even his to begin with?

“Alex,” Liz breathed, fighting off the effects of whatever drug Khivar had given her. “You can do it too, just reach out into your mind. Imagine yourself disbanding the blocks.” Liz’s breath started to turn to pants, as trying to hold her powers with the drug still in her body was strenuous.

“Liz, you’re going to have to help me. I don’t even know how to do whatever you want me to do. I don’t even know if I have powers.” Alex looked helplessly at his best friend, who still was trying to gain enough strength to open her eyes.

“Give me a moment…” Liz whispered, fighting off unconsciousness.

“Hmm, what do we have here?” Alex turned his frightened eyes towards Khivar’s towering figure. Khivar must have entered only a few seconds ago, as he was walking towards the Liz and Alex with a calm, but fiery glare.

“Now, Leandra, I thought we had discussed this. You’re breaking the rules again.” Khivar reached over and let a stinging slap encounter Liz’s face. She let a shrill scream, startled from her previously calm concentration.

“LIZ!” Alex screamed, earning him his own hit to the shoulder. Alex cringed at the throb in his shoulder, which inevitably tightened the straps again.

Khivar turned back to Liz, who was freely sobbing now. Fleeting moments of struggle appeared, but Khivar knew she was feeling the emotion of utter desperation. It excited him with only the taste of pure despair could fulfill.

“I don’t understand Earth people. They continue to defy and rebel against superiority, knowing they’ll never win, but continuing nonetheless. It’s a waste of time. Don’t you think, Leandra?” Khivar stroked a single finger down the side of Liz’s face. She jerked her face away from the offending touch.

Liz’s crimson eyes turned on Khivar, and she spit squarely in his face. “That’s where you’re wrong. We’ll win, and when we do, you’ll be wishing you were kissing my feet from your grave.”

Khivar’s expression was nothing but amusement. He took a small handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the slimy splatter off his face.

“Silly girl. I thought we could work this out, and maybe even have a child out of something similar to… love. But I guess I was wrong.” Khivar grinned with certain maliciousness, and waved his hand over Liz’s throat. “No more talking from you, stupid woman.” Khivar leaned down to Liz’s ear, whispering, “The only feet kissing we’ll have is you on your knees, bowing before your King Khivar.”

Khivar straightened again, and walked over to the door. He opened it and a line of guards and three unknowns came filing in.

“See, this was my plan,” Khivar continued. “I figured Leandra and I would have a little discussion, hoping to work out our little love session with contentment. I’m not blind though, because for backup, I brought in a group of some of Antar’s great physicians. You see, on my planet, knowledge of the human body is pretty rare. And what better to bring back to my people than real human body parts? Human body parts of a royal.

Khivar pointed to Alex, directing the non-guards to advance on him. They were all the same, characterless and silent. Alex just stared at each one of them, terrified and horrified by the thoughts that were running through their minds, but even more sickened by what Khivar could possibly be concocting.

“I know Leandra would have done anything to save her poor Rylo, but, ah, he recent actions have directed me otherwise.” Khivar turned to the doctors, and commanded them with strict tension. “Cut him apart. I want him alive and awake until the very last possible moment.”

Alex let out a cry of terror, horror enrapturing his whole body. Despite the breathless tight binds, he could do nothing less of thrashing around. His eyes moved to Liz, who was staring at him with absolute revulsion at what was about to happen. Regret shined through her coming tears, but Alex didn’t notice. His body was about to mutilated in every horrible way possible, and he’d be conscious through the whole thing. The heartlessness of the whole situation was swallowing him whole, and he wasn’t sure if he could even stay conscious before they began their slicing.

All three physicians came to Alex’s side, surrounding him. They callously poked and prodded at him, preparing him for his torturous fate. Alex wanted to scream, he wanted to cry out in fury, but he was paralyzed by the cruelness of the situation. He couldn’t even feel his fingers or toes except for the painful throbbing that overwhelmed his whole body.

“First incision,” one of the nondescripts called out into the steely room. Alex clenched his jaw, and tightly pressed his eyes shut. The coldness of the blade was still shocking, despite Alex’s knowledge of its’ descent. The deep cut bled immediately, and Alex could feel a stream of blood running down the course of his lower stomach. The numbness of his body couldn’t acknowledge where exactly the incision was made, but steady flow of blood could. They were starting with his stomach, and moving in.

Alex heard a loud bang of a door somewhere in the background, and whispers. Whispers that seemed to flood his body with its’ incessant distraction from the freshness of pain that captured him. Alex welcomed them willingly.

“Stop!” Khivar’s booming voice decreed. “Don’t continue until I return, something else is calling my immediate attention.” He pointed at two of the guards. “Come with me.” Khivar moved from the room, with his guards following him.

Alex didn’t even notice.

*****

“There he goes,” Owen whispered behind him. Michael and Adam nodded, as they both braced themselves for whatever they would stumble upon once they reached the door that just lay right ahead of them.

“You’re sure they’re in there?” Adam asked.

“Yeah, I can feel it,” Maria answered. She crouched lower against the wall, clinging to the back of Michael’s top. “Something is happening in there. Something bad.” Maria bit her lip, hard, for fear of failure to keep her own emotions in check.

The four of them were hiding just around the corner from the room, squatting low down against the wall. Owen was in front, frequently checking for more guards. Michael was behind him, with Maria clutching his back as a lifeline. Adam became the back part, he too checking for guards behind them.

“If I counted correctly, there should be only one guard in there. Khivar took two of his guards out of the room when he left, but I don’t know how long he’s going to be gone,” Owen whispered. “Lets just hope the rest of the gang can keep him occupied long enough for us to get them out.”

“Lets hope that they don’t get killed first,” Maria mumbled. They all ignored her comment, because she was hoping right. Little preparation and only half the Court present weren’t going to aid their battle.

“Well, lets get this over with.” Michael stood up, but Maria yanked him back down so quickly that he almost fell on top of her. He turned and gave her a hard glare.

“You want to just go charging in there? Are you crazy?” Maria whispered, frantically. “We’re not going to be much help if we’ve got blood and guts oozing from our bodies!” Michael rolled his eyes at Maria’s melodramatic excitement.

“Right, and how did Maria convince us to let her come?” Michael muttered.

“Oh, if you had left me with Kyle, trust me, I’d guarantee there would be blood and guts oozing from your body.” Maria slapped Michael for good measure.

“All right, all right, settle down, kiddies. Lets go,” Adam directed. Owen stood up, fully uniformed with his fellow “soldiers” standing after him. They each checked the two hallways for misguided guards.

Owen stepped in front of the closed door, checking both directions before waving his hand over the front of the door and pushing it open.

“Hey!” The guard from inside yelled at them. “What are you doing in here?”

“This.” Michael raised his hand and directed a beam straight at the guard, causing him to topple easily to the ground. Three other people discreetly crept their way towards the corner, but not discreetly enough. Adam aimed his own sweeping shot at the three. They, too, fell to the ground with noiseless thuds. The room became sickly with wounding silence.

“Oh Alex,” Maria sobbed, rushing to him. His eyes were rolled to the side, dozily sweeping the room in a semi-conscious blur. “He’s bleeding. Oh god, Alex, they cut you.” Maria ripped a piece of her sleeve off, and pressed it against the continually bleeding cut. Maria put one hand against the side of Alex’s face, trying to get him to look up at her.

Adam and Michael were already beside Liz, who was crying profusely now but insanely quiet. Adam waved his hand over the straps to rip them, but only seemed to tighten the offending binds. Liz made a face of what looked like she was crying out, but no noise came from her mouth.

“Liz?” Adam asked, looking straight back at her terrified eyes. “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to get you out of here.” He glanced at Michael, who’s face was hard with anger. Michael too tried to loosen the straps with his power, but failed.

“Lizzie bear,” Michael said in quiet rage, unsuccessfully holding his composure. “Do you know how to get these things off?” Liz shook her head, another wave of tears pouring from her face. Michael had to step back so he would let his anger take over from what they obviously had done to her. The bruises explained enough to him.

“Adam!” Maria screamed suddenly. “You’ve got to help Alex, heal him. He’s hurt.” Maria had her hand on Alex’s body, stained with his blood, and pressed against the cut.

Adam, somewhat torn from leaving his Queen’s side, shifted himself. Adam turned to Alex’s makeshift lying table and moving Maria’s hand, he placed his own over Alex’s wound. Adam took a deep, cleansing breath and focused his powers to healing the incision that marked Alex’s body.

“Uhh,” Alex moaned, as his flesh was being repaired. Maria smiled supportively through tears beside him, holding his still bound hand. “God, that hurts.”

“Owen!” Michael yelled. Owen was dragging the comatose bodies to the corner of the room, hiding them in case any wandering souls disturbed the group.

“Owen, how the hell do we get these straps off? Our powers only makes it worse.” Owen came to Michael’s side, and bent down, reaching underneath the table. He waved his hand over a hidden lock on the underside of the table and the straps popped off.

“There’s a lock underneath the table. Trying to rip them with your powers will only strength the hold.” Owen turned to Liz who was impatient to get off the table. Owen offered his hand to her for support.

“I’m Owen,” he said, with a smile. “Are you all right?” Liz just nodded meekly, stumbling to Michael’s side. Michael threw his arms around her protectively, causing Liz to snuggle more into his secure embrace.

“Oh Lizzie bear, you’re ok now,” he whispered into her ear. Liz clung to his body, quietly shedding tears.

“She can’t talk,” Alex wheezed from the other table. Adam stepped back from the table, taking a moment to catch his breath while Owen unlocked Alex’s straps. Maria immediately flung her arms around Alex’s neck as he sat up.

“What do you mean she can’t talk?” Michael demanded, pulling his sister closer to him. Liz, on the other hand, was closing her eyes from the mulling around going on in her head. She was sure things were supposed to feel this damn fuzzy.

“Khivar, he wasn’t too happy with a rebellious Liz. He did something to her voice box.” Alex rubbed his head in frustration, a throbbing ache taking place. “Lets just get out of here, all right? This place gives me the creeps.” Alex heaved himself off the table but staggered, resulting in Maria becoming his support.

“Adam, you ready?” Owen asked, turning to see if Adam was feeling well enough to leave. He nodded, but stopped at Liz’s side first.

“Do you want me to see if I can heal you?” Adam asked, pointing to Liz’s throat. She nodded. He was just about to place his hand over her throat when the door launched open, causing the group to stare at their newest guest.

“Aw, did you guys start the party without me? That’s a shame.” Khivar extended his arm and threw a blow causing Alex, Maria, Michael, Adam, Owen and Liz to go flying back against the cold, tough walls. Needless to mention, groans rumbled through the room with the addition of sounds of trembling limbs. More bodies were thrown against them, as the remainder of the Royal Court and Protector Four-Square joined the gathering.

“Shall we begin?” Khivar questioned, a sly grin greeting his face.

posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:54:02 AM
“That was almost too easy,” Khivar said with glee. “But I’ll take what I get.” The pile of bodies that lay amongst Khivar’s feet made him want to chuckle at their feeble situation.

A unanimous groan was shared among the scattered group, with the surprise of the attack still overpowering them. Each was trying to moderate the strain in their bodies that was causing them all great stress. A wave of panic swept through the group at their newest state and circumstances.

“Liz?” a moaning Max called out, yet received no answer. All he wanted was to make sure she was all right. He reached out to her, not even sure as to where she was. But he needed her, he needed to touch her just so he could know she was all right, that Khivar, that bastard, hadn’t hurt his beauty.

“Aw, isn’t that cute? The little prince calling out for his princess.” Khivar smirked as he sent out another blast of power towards the ground, shaking up the group again.

“You see, Princie, why you ever thought you could protect Leandra was beyond me. Even on Antar, you were so weak. You let her die right in front of you. Do you remember it? Because I do. Every. Single. Detail.”

“If you think you’ll win, you’ve got another thing coming, you stupid space beast!” Maria screamed at him, clutching a grunting Alex close to her. Khivar narrowed his eyes at her, dreadfully silent.

“I wouldn’t say anything you’re going to regret later, sweetheart,” Khivar hissed.

“Trust me, I haven’t said anything I’ll regret. Nothing I could ever say to the likes of you will be regretted.” Khivar seethed at her words and immediately lifted his hand to direct a bolting strike at Maria. Before anyone else could think twice, Liz had her shield raised in front of Maria and Alex, though wincing at the expense of using her still weak energy.

Khivar laughed at her attempt to defend them, and blasted energy right through the shield, causing Liz to fall to her knees with not a hint of a shield left.

“Fools. All of you.” Khivar extended his hand, and by the simple will of his powers, Liz’s body was dragged forcefully towards his. Max moved to stop him, but two guards were already threatening him not to move again.

“If you can’t accept that this is your destiny, not some second chance to run Antar, my planet, then I will just have to show you.” Khivar placed a hand on Liz’s head and she screamed in pain at the instant touch, but before anything else could process, a blinding light emitted from her forehead, and the room swirled insanely. Bright colours erupted and pictures began to pour out in the minds of Liz’s fellow Royal Court members and their protectors, connections being forced through Liz’s mind by Khivar.

*****

~“Leandra!” Leandra giggled as she ran away from her husband, pumping her legs as fast as her dress would allow her. She dodged servants and nobles as she continued to run from her lover.

“Zan! You’re getting slow in your old age!” She called out behind her, giggling again as she saw fluster encounter his face.

Leandra didn’t realize she was going to hit a dead end until her head turned back around to face in front of her and she nearly bounced backwards from her dead end. Said dead end being, of course, Rath. A very startled Rath at that.

“Rath!” Leandra cried, exasperated. “Out of my way!” She ran around him and continued her running, but lost her lead in the race and soon tumbled down in the grassy outdoors of the palace. Giggling again, she looked up at into the faces of a very breathless Zan and completely befuddled Rath.

“Leandra,” Zan growled. She smiled up at him innocently, and then turned her charm on her brother.

“Rath! Zan was chasing me through the palace!” Rath rolled his eyes.

“You are not pulling that sweet, innocent, little Queen act on me this time, dear sister!” Rath replied, crossing his arms and staring at her skeptically.

“Me?” Leandra questioned, pretending offense. “I am nothing but innocent and sweet!” She fluttered her eyelashes at the men and smiled simply at them.

“You’ve just made yourself a liar now,” Zan replied, crouching next to her. Leandra placed both of her hands on the side of his face and pulled him into a sweet kiss.

“But you love me anyways,” Leandra said as she pulled away, letting another grin sweep her face. Zan couldn’t help but smile back at his beauty. Letting Leandra put her arms around his neck, he lifted her up effortlessly.

“My sister has made a wimp out of you, Zan!” Rath replied, smirking at him. Leandra leaned in against Rath and kissed his cheek.

“Now, now, Rath, no need to get jealous!” Leandra whispered in his ear. She giggled again and cuddled back into the arms of her King. Rath just rolled his eyes again.

“Well, unlike you two, I actually have some duties to fulfill. I will see you later this afternoon.” Bowing to his King and Queen, Rath walked briskly off into distance.

“Well, well, well, what do I have here?” Zan stated, looking at Leandra with feigned menace.

“A woman you love and cherish with your entire being?” Leandra suggested, raising an eyebrow at him. She shouldn’t be teasing him as he was carrying her and without so much as a warning, he could drop her heavily.

But he would never do such a thing. Leandra was sure of that.

“Hmm,” Zan said thoughtfully, contemplating her comment. Leandra shoved his shoulder playfully, and he grinned at her. With simple yearning, Zan drew Leandra’s lips to his, letting himself devour her with an uncontrollable desire for the enviable taste of his beauty.

“Darling, don’t you think we should take this… elsewhere?” Leandra asked huskily, pulling away again. She wiggled an eyebrow at him, and he just smiled selfishly. Letting her down, she took his hand and they began to run through the palace again, yet this time their hands were entwined with playful grace just like the weaving of their souls.

*****

“You changed his all of his royal suits to the colour of pink, including his underwear?” Hansha laughed out loud at the absurdity of her Leandra and her Zan.

“He was so mad,” Leandra giggled in a low voice. “He was not even dressed before I was running out of the room and through the palace. Of course he had to put on some clothing and change at least one of the suits back! It gave me a running start!” Leandra giggled again.

“Oh dear, what did Zan do this time?” Rylo asked as he joined the two ladies in their late evening tea. He sat down beside his Queen, smirking at her. “I heard about this morning’s little prank, Leah. I bet Zan was awful angry!”

“Well, he should have been! I was angry too!” Leah pouted. Slouching back in her chair, obviously ignoring polite stature, she crossed her arms. “He didn’t take me seriously.”

“About what?” Rylo questioned. Liz immediately flushed, and sat back up straight. “Oh nothing for you to worry about, my dearest Rylo.” She kissed his cheek tenderly and ushered him to stand up. “Why don’t you go find Rath and Zan? They’ll probably be sharing their evening drink as well.”

Rylo just grinned and nodded, muttering, “I know when I’m not wanted!”

Hansha turned to her sister, by law, and gave her a very questioning look. “What were you fighting about this morning, Leah?”

Leandra heaved a sigh, slouching down again. “Vilandra. He doesn’t believe me, and quite truthfully, I don’t want to believe myself either. Yet I know something is going on with her. I’ve seen her wandering off at night, coming and going at the oddest times. Once I caught her speaking with… oh dear me, what is his name… Khivar! That’s his name.” Hansha gasped.

“You don’t think she’s seeing him, do you?” Leah shrugged.

“Oh, that would break our Rylo’s heart!” Hansha cried. Leah’s eyes widened and she put her finger to her lips.

“We mustn’t be loud about this, Hansha! Zan is already angry that I even suggested it. He forbids me to read Vilandra’s mind… but I don’t know, Hansha. Something is not right with that girl, and frankly, it frightens me.”

“Who is this Khivar fellow anyways?”

“I have no clue. Lets just hope he’s not dangerous, and that he isn’t going to hurt her.” Hansha nodded her agreement. Just then, Krosia came strolling into the room.

“Ah! Look who it is! My favourite little protector,” Leandra cried out. Krosia smiled at her, happy as always that their kingdom was fortunate to have delightful rulers as Zan and Leandra.

“How are my favourite ladies doing tonight?” Krosia questioned as he stood beside Hansha’s seat. Hansha patted his hand in a friendly gesture.

“Just peachy, dear Krosia!” Hansha replied, smiling. He nodded, and looked at his Queen, but her attention was elsewhere.

Vilandra, slightly tense looking, came strolling into the room. She nodded to the present company, but she seemed a bit too agitated for Leandra’s liking.

“Good evening, Vilandra,” Leah said politely, eyeing her suspiciously

“Good evening.” Vilandra’s greeting was short and curt. “Where can I find my brother?”

“Where he is every night at this time,” Hansha replied. “Outside with Rath and Rylo, enjoying their drinks.” Vilandra nodded again and scurried out of the room.

“You were right, Leah,” Hansha whispered.

“Right about what?” Krosia questioned, leaning closer to the two ladies.

“Vilandra,” Leah stated. “She’s been acting weird.”

Krosia furrowed his eyebrows and glanced at the vacant space that had just held Vilandra. He was hoping that Leah’s correctness about whatever the ladies had been discussing was just that, and nothing more. The time was much too peaceful in the kingdom for something to shake it off its rightful course.

*****

“Please, Zan? Please?” Leandra begged as her husband freshened himself for the day.

“Now, Leah beauty, you know we were gallivanting around yesterday. We actually have to accomplish something today,” Zan replied, trying to ignore the pleading that shone in his love’s eyes. Leah sighed heavily.

“Have Krosia go with you, darling,” Zan added. Leah stared at the floor, sighing again. Zan chuckled lightly at her pathetic appearance, which earned him a hard glare from her.

“You were laughing at me!” Leandra cried. She turned around and crossed her arms.

“No, no, no, darling, I was laughing with you,” Zan teased. He placed his arms around her warm body, pulling her back against his chest. Kissing the side of her neck softly, he whispered quietly, “I love you, my dearest beauty.”

Leandra melted and knew she could no longer press him.

“I love you as well, my gracious love,” she replied, turning around in his arms. Giving him a simple but sweet kiss, she gazed admiringly up into his eyes. Zan rested his forehead against hers, staring back into the wells of loveliness.

“I am sorry, my beauty, but I simply do not have time to join you on your morning walk.” Leandra nodded, and kissed him again. Pulling away from his embrace, she ushered him off to the door.

“Now don’t be late, darling. A late King would probably make my dearest brother angry!” She smiled again, letting him have one more sweet kiss before leaving.

“You will be there later for the meeting between the councilors?” Leandra nodded, and off Zan went to his morning of royal duties. Leandra sighed and leaned against the door for a moment before readying herself for the day.

*****

“Krosia, isn’t it beautiful out this morning?” He nodded at Leandra’s statement.

“Quite beautiful, Leah,” he replied, strolling alongside her.

“Promise me you’ll always cherish Mother Nature as you do with me on our walks.” Leandra looked up at Krosia with a certain earnest in her gaze. He just smiled simply at her.

“I promise, dearest Leah, but why the favor?”

“I don’t know why, Krosia, but I just want to make sure you never mistreat the dearest gift our Antar could receive. The gift of nature and it’s simplest but most loveliest beauties.” Krosia nodded, wrapping a friendly arm around her shoulder and pulling her close to his side.

“Krosia! Krosia!” Leandra and he turned to see a servant running quickly towards them.

“What is it?” Krosia asked the servant.

“The king! He needs your attendance right this instance.” Both Krosia and Leandra glanced at each other in suspicion.

“Did he say as to what he needed me for?”

“No. Just that it is urgent you be in attendance right now.” Krosia nodded to the servant, but looked apologetically at Leandra.

“I’m so sorry-”

“Don’t worry, Krosia,” Leandra replied, smiling again. “Zan needs you more than I do.”

“All right, but Leandra-”

“I know, Krosia. Stay inside the palace walls and don’t take candy from strangers! Now go!” Krosia placed a tender kiss on her cheek and ran off towards the palace.

Sighing, Leandra strolled out into the garden, one of her most favourite places on the whole palace grounds. The luxurious aromas of it’s wild and exotic flowers and its’ descendants tickled her nose, causing her to giggle to herself.

She didn’t expect it. She didn’t expect the cold, harsh hand clamping down on her mouth, ceasing all intelligible thoughts other than desire for immediate escape. Hot terror ran down her throat as appalling bile rose up, threatening to take Leandra away from the world of consciousness. The horrific ideas of what to come were enough to knock her cold to the ground.

“Don’t fight it,” the husky voice whispered into her ear, wanting to frighten her. But it energized her instead, causing her to fight more desperately against her captor. She bit his hand fiercely, the metallic taste of blood filling her mouth and a string of curses damaging her ears. Pulling away, she ran only to be stopped by more captors. There was at least three, maybe four of them. Too many.

Leandra cried out in fury, no matter where she turn, ending up in the arms of another evil.

“Please,” Leandra cried breathlessly.

“LEANDRA!” The howl was so distant, so out of reach to Leandra.

A rough hand grabbed her arm and pulled her close to the stench of a sickening man.

“Let her go,” Zan’s voice growled with a fierceness not even his worst enemies had ever heard.

The man never lost his grip, instead tightening his hand around her arm. Leandra winced at the pain that flooded her.

“We can work this out,” Krosia’s kind voice floated. “Just don’t hurt our Leah, we’ll do anything.” Again, the man stayed silent.

“I SAID LET HER GO!” Zan roared, his hand already aiming at Leandra’s present captor. Leandra flinched at Zan’s violent lost of temper.

“Don’t move!” the man screamed into her ear. Leandra lost all sane thought and began to struggle with the man, pulling and tugging her body away from his staggering grip.

“LEANDRA, NO!” Zan’s shout filled her ears, as an excruciating burning sensation flooded her body from the inside out. She didn’t feel the hand touch her back, and she still couldn’t feel it. All senses were fleeing her, and so was consciousness. The painful ache that seared her whole body was overpowering, and she could barely form any words.

Leandra’s body fell to the ground, her captor shocked at what he had done.

Zan fell next to her body, crying in deep anguish. His hand cupped the side of her face, watching the agony plummet through her body, and feeling it through his own being.

With only one tear falling from her precious face, Leandra took her last glance at her King and lover. In the softest voice, she cried quietly to him, “Zan… I love you…” With that, she took her final breath and closed her eyes forever. ~


*****

Liz fell to the ground in a heap, grasping for any energy that would fill her body and take her away from the emptiness that consumed her.

“You were right there, Zan,” Khivar bellowed into the room filled with staggering royals. The royals were lost in the muddle of the death of their Queen, and the loyalty lost within the group. Now they were fighting with their future, and still fighting their past.

“But she died. In front of you. You didn’t save her, and she was right there.” Khivar sighed. “The Queen was not supposed to die that morning, but things never go as planned, isn’t that right, Zan?”

Max stared hard at Khivar, hate consuming him with a passion so undeniable that Max was afraid he would hurt someone else in the process. His Liz, his Leandra, both captured against their will and punished for something that had nothing to do with her. He would die before he let Liz’s fate follow Leandra’s. He would die before he let Khivar touch his Liz in a way so intimate, so personal.

He loved her. She loved him. Zan and Leandra should have been forever, but their chance for eternal happiness was so cruelly ripped away that Max and Liz were still paying for it. Liz. Max’s Liz. His precious beauty, with strength to admire and a heart so large only his Queen could handle it.

How could a being be created with such corrupt in his veins that he would risk everything to destroy and conquer? Khivar had stolen everything that was dear to Zan in his life and Max’s life. Max had seen the marks that marred Liz’s precious skin, and the thought of them now was almost too devastating. The thoughts and actions that Khivar was going to implement in his beauty sickened Max, but he swore beforehand to make sure Liz was safe first.

Then Khivar was going to pay.

With the electricity in the air fuming between Khivar and Max, Liz crawled away from the evil vicinity of Khivar. Her attempted escape didn’t evade Khivar’s sight though.

Behind Khivar were eight of his guards, and he motioned to two of them. “Grab the princess, put her in another cell. Make sure she’s prepared, I’ll be along shortly.” They both nodded but as they approached the group, the warriors of the Royal Court and it’s protectors instantly stood strong.

“You’ll have to go through us before you even touch our Liz,” Michael hissed as he gathered himself. He, Max, Adam, Owen, and Ben stood in front, all donning protective faces.

“Oh, I was hoping so,” Khivar replied with delightful amusement. Motioning to his other guards, they challenged the defiant prisoners, energy blasts illuminating the deafening air.

The whole room sizzled with bolts of searing energy, neither side triumphant nor unsuccessful. Years of pain, lives lost, lives gained, trust, betrayal, loyalty. All were lying out right in front of them, staring each element of the royals right in the face. A battlefield between two eternity long enemies. To defeat the other was to prove worthiness of life, yet neither was willing to fail.

Alex grabbed Maria and Liz, pulling them down beneath one of the tables, swallowing the horrible pain that rippled through his stomach at the quick motion. Even worse was that Liz struggled from his arms, silent words streaming from her useless throat. Alex attempted to keep a tight grip on his best friend, but his weakness failed him in the effort.

Through the piercing flares, Max felt the familiar warmth at his back. The one feeling Max could identify without a word of warning, or a glimpse in advance. Liz crept her way to him, molding herself to his back. Just the sheer breath of Liz strengthened Max, and his powers intensified ten-fold through their wondrous connection of love missed and gained.

It also distracted Max.

Max tumbled to the floor from the lightening strike, barely a whisper falling from his lips. In slow motion, Liz watched as his body crumpled, limb-by-limb, to the floor into a heap of painful flesh. Tears brimming in her eyes and falling to her knees herself, Liz desperately cried out in silent agony for help for her precious one, but around her, her loved ones and protectors fought intensely, all slowly decaying next to their leader.

A soft, hand caressed her cheek, and she looked down at her love, a small, weak smile staring up at her. A tear slid off her face and fell onto Max’s, it saltiness exploding against his skin. Liz closed her eyes, placing her hand over Max’s, letting its warmth caress her flesh and soul.

~ I love you, Max Evans.~ Liz communicated to Max through her mind, and his eyes shone brightly up at hers. She didn’t need words to prove how Max felt about her. He said it all in the way he touched her, the way he touched her soul like no one ever could. The way he cherished her without a second thought. The way he looked at her in such a way that he could never ever look at someone else like that again. Actions always did speak louder than words.

Secure in the blanket of Max’s love, she didn’t let herself feel the arms of the guard pulling her away. Away from Max, away from her friends, away from the only life she had ever known. As long as she knew Max loved her through life and death, she’d be all right.

*****

Kyle drummed his hands on the steering wheel, starting to get uneasy in the warm car with its obvious location. The Pod Squad said to keep it in plain view, so it would be easier to find him, but now it was just getting kind of creepy. Paranoia seemed to be the correct word for him.

Shouldn’t he be driving a spaceship as a getaway vehicle for a bunch of aliens?

“Come on, Valenti, get your act together! Calm yourself down,” Kyle coaxed to himself. Kyle took a deep breath to cleanse his body, then a few hums to tune his vocal chords.

“It’s raining men, hallelujah! It’s raining men, amen!”

Kyle was pretty convinced he was good shit. Maybe he could go on tour with Maria or something, which would be pretty cool. The Kyle and Maria show. The Kyle show, featuring Maria. Or just the Kyle show.

Sick of singing, he clasped his hands together.

“One, two, three four, I declare a thumb war!” Kyle battled it out between his two thumbs, neither winning nor losing.

“C’mon thumb! Ahh! He’s beating you!” Kyle huffed in defeat as his right thumb eventually conquered. Kyle scolded his other thumb appropriately.

Before Kyle could go another round, a loud knock on his window stirred him. He slowly turned his head to glance out his window, fearing what he would see.

Oh shit.

A guard stood tall outside the car, and Kyle made a noisy gulping sound. Waving pathetically, Kyle said, “Uh… hi there. Nice day out, huh?”
posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:54:32 AM
Khivar put a halting hand in the air, and instantly his guards stopped their motions and retreated behind him again.

“Oh, all of the ways I can think of to kill you all! I just don’t know what to pick,” Khivar stated, sneering at the pathetic bodies writhing on the ground.

Across the room from Khivar, Alex and Maria were still huddled underneath one of the tables, hoping and praying for the best. Max was lying on the ground, with his loyal subjects strewn beside him. All were breathing heavy, and gripping at the last shreds of painless being.

“But I think I’ll start with this little traitor,” Khivar said, using his powers to force Owen closer. “It’s not very good to cross me, dear Owen. You could have had a great position at my palace, but ah, maybe it was I who was delusional in the thinking that you would not conform.” Khivar smirked at the boy. “No matter. You brought the royals straight to me anyways.”

Owen slowly stood up before him, glowering at the evil life form in front of him. This… thing was a horrible beast that harmed innocent people and destroyed millions of lives. Owen would be damned if he let Khivar have the last laugh.

Raising his hand, Owen challenged Khivar with the last shaking energy he had.

“You will never defeat the royals. You never could.” Khivar smirked cockily at Owen’s statement, just daring Owen to try to hit him. Aiming a blast at Khivar’s head, Owen quickly moved his hand to the side and wiped out all the guards behind Khivar. Startled by the change in motives, Khivar instantly raised his own hand, defending himself.

“Looks like you’re all alone now,” Owen stated, glaring at Khivar with all his mustered rage from the past few years. “You didn’t really think it would be that easy to kill the Royal Court and the Protector Four-Square, did you?” Khivar blinked at Owen’s sudden power force, seemingly regaining his energy. That couldn’t be possible. Could it?

“How’d your two seconds of power feel, Khivar?” Sandy called out behind him, entering the room with a guards’ uniform on... the exact same uniform the guard who had taken Liz away had been wearing. “It’ll be your last, most definitely.”

Khivar raised a hand at Sandy but a sharp bolt of energy from behind stung his hand before he could even muster the force to hit Sandy. He was losing control so quickly and definitely without his permission.

Khivar turned at once to the comatose guards behind him, narrowing his eyes at the one who now was holding up a shield against him. Her eyes screamed anger at him, but Khivar was too infuriated to be concerned.

“Disobedient brat!” Khivar screamed. Ignoring the shield, he forced energy against it, letting it be absorbed into the shield rather than reflected from the shield.

“You’ll have to do better than that,” Manika yelled back, keeping her shield steady. She watched as Michael, Adam and Ben crept up from their positions behind Khivar’s turned back, and slowly lost distance between them and Khivar.

Khivar was eyeing his enemies stealthily, watching as they surrounded him. Khivar was busy trying to determine a plan of action.

“Don’t think that without my soldiers, you can defeat me. I’ve spent years training for this day, wanting to kill the mangy child that threatened my throne.” Khivar eyed Max, wondering if he could kill him and still have enough time to escape the room.

“That’s too bad, Khivar,” Max replied coolly, standing up, fully recovered from his “hit”. “Because I didn’t even want your throne, but now that you’re offering it to us…” Max whipped his hand in front, aiming at Khivar. Khivar stared straight at his hand, neither flinching nor recoiling.

“I thought you were hurt, oh Prince Zan,” Khivar snarled at him.

“I guess you were wrong, huh?” Adam replied beside Max. “The thing you seem to keep doing is underestimating people of earth.” Adam shook his head in mock disappointment.

“Plans. Surely you know about plans, oh great one,” Isabel said sarcastically, circling Khivar. “I mean, you have a few of your own, don’t you? And really, are we that much of fools to come rushing in here without one?” Isabel leaned in slightly, saying in a lower voice, “You’re quite gullible, actually. Not everything is what you see.”

“You’re going to regret everything you have ever done in your life,” Max stated with a disturbing calmness. “I’m going to make sure of that. I’m going to make sure you regret ever thinking about my Leandra and my Liz.” The air around Max sizzled with power, and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could hold out. He was ready to kill.

“No, Max, please!” Manika cried out at Max’s stance. “Let me… I have a battle I need to finish with Khivar before we kill him.” Max nodded, and stepped off. Manika stared coldly into the eyes of a murderer, someone she hated with every inch of her body.

“Woman, you have nothing to say to me,” Khivar hissed. “You are a traitor like you’re friend Owen here. Nothing but a-” Another sharp bolt hit his shoulder, and he turned to glare at Michael.

“She said listen, jackass,” Michael replied. “You play our game now.” Crossing his arms, he watched Khivar closely.

“I never thought men like you existed, cold, mean hearted men who were so greedy that their insatiability would be their downfall,” Manika started. “Antar was once a place of peace, love, and security until you destroyed it with your evil methods, and deceptive actions. You shattered every single strand of harmony our royals had spent their lives making for us.

“I lived in your village, among the peasants. I lived with my mother, father and my brother. We were just normal citizens of Antar, keeping ourselves out of the political battle. We just wanted to survive like every other peasant after the downfall. My father and brother both worked endless hours just to keep us alive and somewhat sane.”


~“Mama, Papa, I’m home!” Manika yelled out as she entered her small cottage she shared with her parents and her older brother, Karan.

“Ah! The brat arrives,” Karan says as he greets Manika. She sticks out her tongue at him before running into the next room where her parents are. Karan follows after her.

Manika’s mother smiles fondly at her, glad to see her daughter home and safe. Her father welcomes her just as affectionately, opening his arms to invite her into a warm embrace. Manika enthusiastically runs to her father’s arms, hugging him back. Leaning back, she stares at her papa with passionate excitement in her eyes.

“Oh, what is it, Manika?” Papa asks, chuckling at her obvious eagerness to share something. “Come on, out with it, young one!”

Manika moves to her mother’s side, kissing her cheek lovingly before sitting on her mother’s lap. “Mr. Riln let me help him organize his book shop again!” Papa and mother both chuckled again.

“Oh Manika, that man is going to get sick of your persistence to aid him in his shop soon,” Mama teased, tickling Manika’s side.

“Or at least get sick of looking at your face!” Karan ribbed, earning him another tongue shot from Manika.

“He said I could come in whenever I want to help him!” Manika replied, grinning proudly. “He said I’m great help.”

“And I’m sure you are, sweet angel,” Papa said. He stood up from his seat, but soon winced from the effort.

“Papa! Did you injure yourself at work again?” Manika asked, concerned. Papa just nodded.

“I told Papa not to lift the heavy things as I would get them, but he never listens to me,” Karan sighed. “Papa, you’re getting much too old to be continuing working hard labor.”

“I’m perfectly able to do anything you can,” Papa responded. He leaned down towards Manika, kissing the top of her head. “Isn’t that right, sweet angel?” Manika nodded, agreeing with her Papa with an unknowing smile.~



“You destroyed my family and my life. You came to our village, with hundreds of your guards, setting fire to houses and exploding anything and every in sight. You barged into my home, and killed my brother and father with your bare hands. I watched you snap my brothers’ neck with the will of your hands. I will never, ever forget the horrific sound of breaking bones in Karan’s neck. I will never, ever forget watching you grin as Karan fell to the floor in a pile of dead flesh. And my mother… you gave my mother to your beast guards. They raped and killed her.”


~“MAMA!” Manika screamed from underneath the table. “MAMA!”

Her young body shook with unreserved horror, hearing the tortured screams from outside her dwelling. Fire was not near her, but the scorching of its flames already felt like it was blistering her skin with its fiery fierceness.

“Papa? Karan?” Manika sobbed, the loneliness consuming the very depth of her soul. She just needed someone to tell her it was all right, that her family was all right.

“Manika?” a voice whispered so softly that she wasn’t sure she heard it. Looking up from her kneeling position, she saw that Karan was crouching next to her, anxiously looking from side to side. He let a small, sad smile grace his face for a brief moment when she looked up at him. So innocent was his sister. So young was she to see these things.

“Manika, listen to me, sweet angel. You must be quiet. I can’t stay with you, but don’t get hurt.” He stood back up but Manika grabbed his leg before he could take a step.

With tearful eyes, she asked him, “Where are Mama and Papa? Please don’t leave me! I’m much too scared, Karan…” Karan softened, not wanting to leave his sister. How could he? How could he leave her with such horrid beasts out lurking? He would protect his sister. He might die, but he was going to die protecting her.

He crouched back down, and kneeled next to her. Instantly he wrapped his arms around her petite form, and pulled her close.

“Sweet angel, Papa is… Papa is no longer with us. And Mama… is gone as well. She cannot come back.” The heartbreaking cry Manika gave was enough for him to let his life be taken away just to ensure his sister’s safety.

“Why, Karan? Why would he do this? What have we done to Khivar?”

“You’ve done nothing, sweet angel. Khivar is just a horrible man. Don’t worry, all right? You be strong, just like Papa and I have always shown you. Don’t ever forget your Papa, and your Mama. Don’t forget, sweet angel.” Manika shook her head feverously.

“Never, Karan. Just stay with me, ok? Don’t leave me ever.” Karan did not reply. He just kissed the crown of her head and pulled her closer.~



“You kept me as one of your concubines. When you found out I was pregnant with your child, you fed me poison to kill me. You tried to kill me. When I refused to submit to your wishes, as many women have just to escape the pathetic thing you call a life for them, you gave me to your guards. They beat me until my child was no more, and I lost anything resembling sanity.”


~“Please stop!” Manika cried awfully. “You can have anything, but please don’t take my baby!” The kicking didn’t stop. The hitting didn’t stop. The curses and repulsive name-calling didn’t stop. The nightmare refused to stop.

“You can have my body, you can have anything you want, just not my baby’s life!” But her screams went unheard as the slashing of belts and bare hands rained upon her body, leaving her as nothing but a resistant yet futile, abused slave. A slave of torture, humiliation and immense loss. A slave of life.~



“I became hard then. Angry, disgruntled, and turned to the war. I joined your army, became the best woman warrior to ever serve in your military. It was my surefire way to join in the battle on earth, and aid the royals in hopes of rekindling a peaceful Antar.”


~“Manika, you’ve done wonderfully in this program!” her commander boasted proudly. Manika just nodded at him.

“You’ll be on that ship to Earth in no time. I will personally see to it that you are added to that mission!” Her commander grinned again and slapped her back. “I can’t imagine what would make you fight so vigorously, and I don’t want to know either!” The commander turned and walked off.

“Revenge,” Manika replied quietly to herself. Sweet revenge.~



“You killed my family, you killed my child, and in essence, you killed me. Because of that, you will never live to regret your mistakes.” Manika’s cold, hard stance was nothing compared to the shaking and grief happening inside of her, yet years of training and learning how to distance her emotions made her strong on the outside. Stable.

Max stared at Manika, shocked by the story expressed by her. A story so heartbreakingly tragic, a story so upsetting that Max felt like collapsing right there. The most horrible thing about it was that it wasn’t just a story, it was Manika’s life. Something she’s lived with everyday, been tortured to remember for every waking moment and probably every dreadful sleeping moment as well. And she looked so… cold, so detached from anything that could possibly mean everything.

Manika wasn’t the same charming young lady Max had first met when he awoke from his slumber. She was now an inconsolable being who’s been forced to drudge up her past just to show her tormentor what he had done to her. Khivar had done nothing but give her a life full of misery, pain, grief and unbelievable lost.

“But that’s not the sad part, that’s not the part that makes both her and I retch in disgust. It’s that she isn’t the only one he’s destroyed. There are so many more out there.”

Owen’s previous words flooded Max’s mind, and he felt his knees buckle underneath him.

“There are so many more out there.”

God, what had Khivar done to his people? The people he was supposed to protect and make better lives for, not devastate completely.

And here Khivar was again, messing with his life and the lives of the people he cherished most. The coldhearted bastard who couldn’t let things be.

“Such is war, sweetheart. There are winners and losers. There are strong and weak ones. There is death and pain,” Khivar stated plainly. “It is not my fault that you lost people in war. I do believe it is you who signed up for this war. Don’t blame me for your selfish reasons.” Manika narrowed her eyes at him, a cold fury passing over her. Max didn’t want to know what she had planned for the asshole, but he would deserve everything he got.

“There shouldn’t be a war in the first place,” Max growled at him.

Alex and Maria watched from their spot underneath the table. Not stupid enough to enter the clash, they kept quiet, just wishing to make it out alive. They didn’t want some stupid throne. They wanted to be able to take their next breath and be able to have families one day. Maybe even start a whole life with their Czechoslovakian lovers.

“Oh shit,” Maria whispered suddenly. Alex raised an eyebrow at her.

“What?” he whispered back. Maria bit her lip and pointed towards the door.

A moment later the door busted from its hinges and came soaring through the air, crashing on the dead floor with a deafening thunder. In its place stood a very angry, very aggressive looking Liz Parker with red rage burning in her eyes and clenched fists dangling dangerously at her side. Alongside her was Kyle Valenti, super sidekick supreme.

“That,” Maria stated bluntly. Alex closed his eyes in frustration. Couldn’t this just end already?

“Liz,” Adam warned tightly, joined in by silent warnings across the room. Liz chose to ignore each and every one of them.

“You know, I’m really pissed off. Actually more than that, I am tremendously angry,” Liz yelled out into the room. She stared furiously at Khivar, nearly burning holes into him already.

“Yes, incredibly angry. I have realized you agonized Zan, Leandra, and their fellow royalty, their faithful companions. You’ve managed to take the last two years of our lives here on earth and make us live in complete fear and chaos. You’ve had us running and running until we had nowhere else to run other than right into your devious hands. I almost watched you cut my best friend to pieces because you didn’t like what I had to say. You were about to kill him.

“You tortured an amiable soul like Manika’s, making her commit to a life that she never wanted. A life where she knows nothing but revenge. Not just revenge for her family, but revenge for her entire planet. You’ve taken lives that aren’t yours, and you’ve shattered people who have spent their whole existence to piece together what you’ve managed to damage in a matter of seconds.

“And it’s time for it to stop. For all of this to stop. You’ve pissed me off long enough.” With a blink of an eye, she raised her hand and a sharp, piercing bolt struck Khivar through his chest and he fell to his knees without so much as an effort. A horrid pain flashed through his face, and his whole body crumpled to the floor.

The silence overpowering the room was chokingly thick, everyone amazed and terrified by what had just happened. Eyes quickly honed in on Liz’s trembling figure.

“What the fuck was that?” Michael burst out, staring at his sister with something mixed between fear and awe.

“Liz… I thought you didn’t have physical powers,” Ben added quietly. She stared at him, wide-eyed. She looked just as frightened as everyone else.

“I don’t.”

“You’re talking… Liz, you’re talking…” Maria trailed, remembering how Liz was wordless before her ass-kicking moment. Liz turned her mystified eyes on her, completely taken aback as much as Maria was.

Max just openly stared at her. Was she really Liz? The woman he loved life after life? The woman who just completely obliterated their eternal enemy with less than an ounce of planning or time? The woman who’s eyes blazed in crimson fury and lost any benevolent bone in her body?

“I don’t know about you guys, but that was pretty fucking sweet,” Kyle exclaimed into the room. His face lit like a brilliant light bulb, his grin shining brightly. “And you should see the trail of bloody, frozen bodies from the car to here! Holy shit, man!”

Sandy did the room a pleasure and smacked Kyle across the head. A small “ow” came from his lips and he silenced immediately.

Liz felt the eyes of all her friends staring at her, and she heaved a sigh. She couldn’t even explain what happened to her, what was still happening to her. She felt so energized but so exhausted at the same time. And she was so ultimately confused.

“Just… lets just get out of here,” Liz sighed. Turning away, she walked out through the open doorway and disappeared. Without any other choices, the rest of the group filed out silently behind her.

Maria and Alex stood up from their hiding spot, Alex still leaning heavily on her. He looked Kyle straight in the eye and asked quietly yet sternly, “Why would you bring Liz in here?”

Kyle shrugged. “Wasn’t my idea, it was hers. She said she was connecting to you guys and heard Manika’s story. She was pretty pissed. And I mean REALLY pissed.” Kyle put a hand on Alex’s shoulder. “I learned a lesson early on in my life. Never piss off a bona fide alien queen with powers. Who knows what she could zap off?” He gestured downwards, and then shrugged.

Alex just nodded, letting a slight smirk sweep across his face. He and Maria slowly made their way out of the room, leaving Kyle to take one last glance at the room. A room that was ravaged by aliens in a battle of capture and domination… a room ravaged by simple greed.

Kyle looked down at the lifeless body of Khivar. With all the force he could muster, he kicked the alien with great thrust.

“Evil, schmevil, my ass.”

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 24-Feb-2002 7:55:36 AM ]
posted on 24-Feb-2002 7:55:50 AM
“WHAT?” Maria screamed in the middle of the Crashdown. Liz immediately covered Maria’s mouth with her hand and ushered both Maria and Alex to the backroom.

“Maria, I don’t exactly need you telling the whole world!” Liz hissed at her, bunching her frustrated hands into her already tousled hair. She was certain that a aggravated, hair-rising scream was lodged somewhere in her throat.

Alex moved towards Liz, placing his comforting hands on top of hers, and gave her a calming smile. Liz sighed heavily and let her body collapse into Alex’s arms, hugging him close to her. Right now, she needed to draw strength, any strength, from her friends.

Alex kissed Liz’s head softly, trying to reassure the doubt in her mind. “Liz, it’s going to be all right We-”

“No! It’s not going to be all right! Max has been distant from me for the past two weeks. He barely talks to me, and when he actually graces me with his presence, he doesn’t dare touch me. He just…” Liz heaved another sigh, looking up at Alex with teary eyes. “I think he’s afraid of me.” She let her head fall heavily against Alex’s chest, a dull thud sounding.

“Honey, I’m still scared of you,” Maria uttered a few steps away. Alex whipped his head towards her.

“Maria!” Alex scolded, giving her a pointed glare.

“What? I am. That was some freaky shit you pulled back there with Khivar. I’m still trying to get my mind around it.”

It had been two weeks since their escape from the compound. No one really talked about it. No one wanted to.

But it was driving Liz absolutely insane. She needed to talk about it. Her logical mind wouldn’t rest until. She knew that her burst of power and anger had shocked and terrified the whole group. Hell, she was pretty terrified herself. She didn’t blame Maria for being scared of her. She didn’t blame any of the group for being scared of her. It just hurt, that’s all.

Alex and Adam had been there though. For the past two weeks, Liz could confide in the two without worries of them turning their backs on her. Of course, she knew that the whole group would never turn their backs on her, but still, they were keeping their distance. So she had spilt her worries and hurt into the hearts of Alex and Adam. Alex because he had been in the cell with her, he had felt the same fear she had. Adam because… he was Adam, he never showed the slightest bit of fear towards Liz. He was almost awed by what she did.

Alex was battling his own demons though, and often ended up in Liz’s room by dawn. He told he kept having these nightmares that just haunted him until he felt the need to pull his kidneys out by hand just to stop the enduring horror of his nightmares. More than once Alex had shown up in tears, repeating over and over he was sorry for what he done to Liz, how he had gotten them into that mess. Liz always ended up crying with him.

Alex had figured out that parts of his nightmares were real and some not. With Liz and Adam’s reasoning, they figured that Alex’s mind was recalling everything that Khivar had done while being in use of his body. They pieced together with Alex’s nightmares that Khivar had gained access to Alex’s mind during the time of Maria’s meltdown, caused by, of course, Khivar. Through the link, Khivar used Alex’s mind with his own little on and off switch.

Alex puked for twenty minutes straight, horrified by the idea of the scum controlling his mind.

The upside of Khivar’s mind control, if there were any upsides, was that Alex had access to powers. Khivar’s awakening of powers stayed within his body, and Adam had already started to help Alex with controlling them.

“Liz, honey,” Maria said, softening. She moved to her best friends side, and looked at them intently. “Are you sure?”

“Well, it would make sense, wouldn’t it? The whole burst of my powers? Why I could suddenly talk that day? Why I could… kill Khivar…” Liz swallowed and buried her head into Alex’s chest, tears wetting his shirt.

“Oh Lizzie!” Maria exclaimed, throwing herself into the embrace between her best friends. “Lizzie, honey, you had to do that. That space beast got what he deserved.”

“Do you really believe that?” Liz snapped, staring Maria straight in the eyes. Maria was struck by Liz’s sharpness and stumbled back, away from Alex and Liz.

“Liz… Liz, what do you mean by that?” Maria asked, staring wide eyed at her.

“Well, lets see,” Liz spat at her, pulling out of Alex’s arms. Her hands found a defiant spot on her hips, clearly marking her building tension. “All of you have been ignoring me since we’ve gotten back to Roswell. Other than Alex and Adam, I haven’t so much as heard a peep from any of you, including Max. If I talk to any of you, it’s because I call you, or I come to see you. You may think that by coming to work and pretending to be normal will help, but it’s not!”

“Liz, maybe you should calm down,” Alex coaxed. “This can’t be good-”

“NO!” Liz screamed. “I’m sick of walking on goddamn eggshells for these people. I was there too! If for some reason your little mind can’t remember, I was the one who killed Khivar.”

“Eggshells?” Maria screamed back. “Walking on eggshells for us? You’re the one who’s flipping out here! If anyone is walking on eggshells, it’s us walking on freaking eggshells for you! This is what we didn’t want! You going absolutely insane and losing your mind! I can’t believe-”

“What the hell is going on in here?” Michael bellowed from the kitchen. A dirty spatula was in one hand and his other hand was resting on his waist. “Do I need to remind you that you’re screaming at each other in a public restaurant? Which, luckily, is dead at the present moment. I don’t think screaming out alien names or murdering aliens is going to help us any.” Maria and Liz both looked away, anger still glowing on their faces.

“Now what the hell is going on?” Michael repeated.

“Just a mild disagreement, Michael,” Alex replied, sighing.

“No!” Maria shrieked. “This is not just a mild disagreement. This is about Liz thinking she’s the fucking queen of-”

“Oh! Don’t even go there!” Liz screamed. She ran towards Maria but Alex grabbed her before she could pounce. Maria squealed and ran towards Liz too, but Michael quickly held her back.

“LADIES!” Alex yelled. “Calm down! To your respected corners!”

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?” Maria screamed at Liz. Her breathing was sharp and rapid, her eyes hard with anger.

“What’s wrong with ME? What’s wrong with YOU?” Liz screamed back. She was fighting against Alex’s grip, trying to reach Maria. Liz let out a frustrated cry, and suddenly the light bulb in the overhead light burst into tiny pieces. The whole room quieted immediately, each person still.

“What the hell…” Michael whispered. He, Maria, and Alex all turned their heads towards Liz. The leftover light from the room only illuminated half of her face, and a pale glaze settled over. She looked back at each of them, tears already forming in her eyes. Another shrill cracking sounded, and more glass pieces fell to ground.

“Oh my god…” Maria murmured, staring from where the light bulbs used to be to the glass pieces on the floor.

“Liz,” Alex said to her. Liz just looked up at him with a sense of fear gliding in her eyes. “Liz, you’ve got to calm down. You’ve got to get a hold of your emotions.”

“Alex, what’s wrong with me?” Liz half whispered, half moaned.

“It can feel your stress. It can feel your emotions. You’ve got to tune them down.” Liz nodded, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath.

“Oh god, you were serious. You’re- holy shit.” Maria threw a hand over her mouth, little tears falling from her eyes. Flinging herself at Liz, she wrapped her arms around her best friend, and cried with her.

“Liz, honey, I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry…” Maria cried. She felt Liz’s arms wrap back around her, and they held each other in a tight embrace.

“No, I’m sorry, Maria. I didn’t mean those things I said. None of it.” Maria just nodded.

“I’m sorry too.” Maria pulled away from Liz a little, and stared her dead in the eye. “You know that whatever happens, I’m right here for you, right? I’m so here for you. Whenever and whatever you need.” Liz nodded, and they pulled each other back into a tight embrace. Liz held her hand out and Alex took it, bringing himself into the circle.

“Uh, guys, anyone want to fill me in on what the fuck just happened?” Michael asked with an unsure quality. Liz looked up at Michael, and her face features softened. She kissed both of Alex and Maria’s cheeks and pulled away. Walking towards Michael, she tossed her arms around his neck, surprising Michael with a hug. Quickly, Michael returned the hug to his sister. Quietly, he asked her, “Lizzie bear, are you okay?”

Liz nodded, a small smile evolving on her face. “I’m okay. Michael, I’m pregnant.”

“WHAT?” Michael shouted, pulling away from Liz. Dejected, Liz shrank back from him. Michael flinched, regretting his outburst for Liz’s reaction but unable to keep his feelings to a minimum.

“Where is he? Where’s Max?” Michael growled. “I’m going to hunt him down and neuter that son of a bitch!”

“Michael, no!” Liz exclaimed. “You can’t! He… he doesn’t know yet.” Michael’s eyes narrowed.

“What do you mean he doesn’t know yet?

“I haven’t told him, and you’re not allowed to.”

“What? You’re just NOT going to tell him?” Michael yelled, his hands bunching in his hair.

“Michael, don’t be stupid,” Maria sighed. “Of course she’s going to tell him. But SHE’S going to tell him, you’re not.” Maria was back into normal mode: high strung and easily annoyed.

“But…” Michael’s voice trailed off, looking truly lost. “How could this happen?”

“And we all thought you passed sex education!” Maria exclaimed. Michael glared at her, not at all appreciating her sarcasm.

“You know what I mean,” Michael pressed on, staring directly at Liz. She bit her lip, nervous under his scrutiny.

“Michael, we were careful. I promise. You know Max and I are responsible like that.” Liz nodded, trying to further her statement with physical movement.

“They were- uh, careful,” Alex added. He scratched his eyebrow, looking down. “Maria and I found a … you know.” Michael’s eyes narrowed.

“No, I don’t know. Please, indulge me with what you found,” Michael replied. Liz put her hands on her hips, looking equally as suspicious.

“Yes, please, I too would like to know what you found,” Liz insisted. Alex’s face turned red and he begged Maria for help with his eyes.

Maria rolled her eyes, exasperated. “We found one of little Maxie’s fun hats. You know, his Crayola marker top, his monkey’s protector, the chickens shielded pecker-”

“MARIA, WE GET THE POINT!” Liz yelled, immediately throwing her hands against her reddened face. Liz paced back and forth before finally sitting herself down on the couch.

“You saw them… oh GOD. That’s my SISTER.” Michael threw himself against the wall, letting his whole body slump against it.

“We didn’t actually see them!” Alex shouted back. His face was red with embarrassment. “We, uh… just had to get something from Liz’s room. They were already sleeping.” Maria nodded in agreement.

“And that’s all beside the point,” Maria furthered. “The point is that they weren’t stupid and used a condom.”

“But Liz is still pregnant?” Michael asked, muffled by the wall.

“Yes,” Liz replied.

“So, what? We have super sperm or something?”

“Appears so.”

“Oh great.” Michael twisted his body towards Maria, pointing a finger at her. “You and I are never having sex.” Maria rolled her eyes and slapped his shoulder.

“How long do you think you’ve been… preggo?” Maria asked, moving to sit down beside Liz.

“I… uh… don’t know,” Liz stuttered, nervously glancing at Michael and then at the floor. Maria raised an eyebrow.

“Ok, Guerin, out.” Michael turned in surprise.

“Maria, what?”

“You heard me. Out. Girl talk. Liz, Alex and me only.”

“Alex isn’t a girl.”

“Fine then. Humans only.”

“You’re not human either,” Michael replied smugly.

“MICHAEL GUERIN, IF YOU DON’T LEAVE IN THE NEXT TWO SECONDS, I SWEAR-”

Michael quickly scurried out of the room. Maria grinned triumphantly. Turning back towards Liz, she said, “Ok, chica, coast is clear. Spill.”

Alex too came forward and sat on the other side of Liz.

“Well,” Liz started, still not looking either of her best friends in the eye. Why did she have to have the only relationship where it was vital to their lives that her sex life be shared?

“The last time we… uh, you know… was in the hotel at Sunny Oaks.”

“So he DID make you scream!” Maria yelped. “Cream too, obviously!”

“MARIA!” Liz exclaimed, hiding her face in her hands again. Alex put an arm around Liz’s shoulders, trying to wipe the smirk off his face.

“Ignore Maria,” Alex soothed. “Do you think you were pregnant by then?” Liz shrugged her shoulders.

“I don’t know, but I do know I was pregnant by the time I…”

“Obliterated Khivar?” Maria inquired. Liz nodded. Maria sighed in complete understanding. “So that’s how you did it.” Liz nodded again.

“Well, the whole reason Khivar wanted Liz to have his baby was because the child would be so incredibly powerful,” Alex explained. “Well, the baby would be even more powerful if the parents were Liz and Max. And poof, magic presto! You’ve got either a baby Max or a baby Liz fueling Liz’s power source.”

“So,” Maria replied slowly, trying to figure it all out in her head. “Your voice and your strength came back because of the baby.”

“That’s right,” Liz said. “Basically, the baby healed me.”

“Uh huh. Then baby Max or Liz made you do all that funky stuff that ended up killing Khivar?” Both Liz and Alex nodded at Maria question. “Wow.”

“We figure that the baby felt my anger and it wouldn’t rest until I got revenge-”

“Because the baby felt everything you did since Khivar had captured you!” Maria responded. She tilted her head in comprehension. “Like I said, that was some freaky shit.”

Maria moved down towards Liz’s stomach, rubbing it gently. Smiling, she said, “Hey baby Max or baby Liz. This is your Auntie Maria talking. Thanks for saving our asses.”

“Well, the baby says you’re welcome,” Liz giggled, letting ease settle over. She smiled at her best friends. “Thanks for being there for me, guys.”

“Where else would we be, chica?” Maria leaned in to hug Liz, and Alex soon followed.

“All for one, and one for all, right?” Alex replied.

“Right,” Maria said. She looked at Liz, gaining a serious expression. “You better share this with the rest of the group, especially Max.”

“I know,” Liz sighed. “It’s just that I don’t want to tell anyone else until I tell Max, but he’s been so distant from me, I’m not even sure how he’d handle it. We have all these plans now that Khivar’s dead, and this is just going to mess it up.”

“Liz, honey, if there’s anything I know for sure in this little brain of mine, it’s that Max Evans loves you. He would go the distance and beyond. If anything, he’s going to be excited about the little one.” Maria rubbed Liz’s belly again. “I know I sure am.” Liz smiled at Maria’s support.

“I’m going to tell him. Just give me a few days, all right?”

“You know Manika is leaving tomorrow. The ship is leaving in the morning. She should know. You really should tell Max tonight,” Alex insisted. Liz groaned.

“I know, I know. I’m just scared.” Liz closed her eyes, momentarily, and then started to nod. “I’ll tell him. Tonight. I promise. I can do this.”

“See, chica, you can do this!” Maria encouraged. “And even if he’s pigheaded about it, which I know for a fact he won’t be, you’ve always got Alex and me by your side. Oh yeah, and that oaf of a brother too.” Liz grinned, hugging Maria and Alex again.

“You guys are the best.” Liz leaned back against the couch, stretching her arms above her head. She moaned again, realizing something. “Oh god, my parents are going to kill me.” Alex rubbed her shoulders, hoping it would reassure her.

“When do Mr. and Mrs. P come back, anyways?” Maria asked.

“Next week.”

“You’ve got a week to figure out a way to sweeten the way it sounds. No problem-o, honey!” Maria winked and stood up.

“Ok, well, I think it’s time I get going. The group meeting is tonight, and I promised my mom I’d spend some time with her. She’s not so pissed about me ‘taking off into the wild unknown and venturing with my trusty companions’ anymore.” Maria snorted. “Yeah, if only she knew.” Maria blew a kiss to both of her best friends and strutted out of the room.

Liz turned to Alex, pondering for a moment. Liz huffed.

“She’s got that right.”

“What’s that?” Alex inquired.

“Our parents. The whole world. They’re completely oblivious to the fact that aliens live among them. My parents don’t know that their only daughter is an alien queen and pregnant with a royal alien heir.” Liz dropped her head onto Alex’s shoulder, sighing.

“If only they all knew.”

*****

“All right, let’s make this quick,” Michael said gruffly. He crossed his arms and stared at the group assembled in front of him.

None of the Pod Squad members sat near their significant other, all ending up fairly well spaced between each other. Maria, Liz and Alex sat on one of the couches in the Evans’ living room, with Adam standing behind them. Isabel and Ben took the other couch with Sandy and Kyle sitting at their feet. Max, Owen and Manika stood slightly to the side, all leaning against the wall.

“So what have you got for us, Manika?” Michael asked. She stepped forward, addressing the whole group in her quiet voice. The anger that had been directed at Khivar two weeks earlier seemed now as if it were a figment of the imagination.

“Khivar’s followers have all been informed of his death, including those on Antar. Many who followed him here have given up their life as an Antarian and are accustoming themselves with an earth life. All have lost hope and faith in the Khivar as a leader. A few will be accompanying me back to Antar to pursue a life they would have lived before the political chaos on our planet.” Manika gave a small smile, letting hope shine through the cracks for her planet. “We’ll be leaving on the ship that Khivar had landed here with.”

“A ship? As in a spaceship?” Kyle asked. His eyebrows arched in interest. Now that sounded fun. He wondered how much one of those was going for on ebay.

“Yes, a ship. Khivar had the most modern of technology available on Antar. This spaceship has been created with the best possible engineering out there.”

“And what about leadership on Antar?” Adam questioned. Manika wrung her hands together, her eyes suddenly nervously flitting from Max and to the ground. Adam narrowed his eyes at the act. Judging from the reactions of the others, Adam had been the only one to see Manika’s nervous act.

“I assume the loyalists will figure out what will happen to our government,” Manika replied quietly. Bringing her head back up, she stared everyone right in the eye. “I don’t know what will happen.”

Michael nodded at Manika’s answer, apparently accepting of it.

“So what about the rest of us?” Maria asked. Her hand was tightly gripping Liz’s, both drawing strength from each other; Maria for having to realize that her future was now staring her in the face, and Liz for having to face Max after the meeting.

“We go on about our lives,” Ben replied simply.

“Don’t you get it?” Sandy remarked, glancing at all of them. “This is our chance to be normal again. We can finally live the lives we’ve always wanted to. No more alien crap, no more dreams, no more running. I, for one, am grateful.”

“How can you say that? Don’t you feel freaked out at all? I mean, this thing has taken years from our life, how can we just put it all behind us?” Maria looked pleadingly at the others. She buried her head in Liz’s shoulder. “This is really over, isn’t it?”

“Sandy’s right,” Isabel continued through Maria’s moans. “We’ve waited for this for so long. I mean, we fought Khivar so we could have a normal life. It’s not so bad, Maria. We’re just going to college. We’ll all keep in touch.”

“Yeah, Maria,” Ben added, “all of us. Even when Sandy, Owen and I go back to Sunny Oaks, then off to college, we’ll keep in touch. An experience like this… it’s not something we can forget. Hell, we’re the Royal Court and Protector Four-Square. Even if don’t want to be, we’re all bonded to each other.” Everyone nodded in agreement. Maria lifted her head, smiling gratefully at them. She blushed, grasping the fact she just about went off the deep end with these people.

“Ok, sorry for my momentary meltdown,” Maria said quickly. Swiftly standing up, she wiped away any remnants of tears. “Is there anything else we need to discuss? No? All right. Meeting over. Everyone out.” Maria ushered everyone up and pushed them all towards the door. They were all surprised by Maria’s sudden change in emotions, but Maria completely ignored the moans and groans.

Soon everyone filed out except for Max, Liz and Isabel, with Maria standing by the door. Maria stared at Isabel, who was staring right back at her.

“Maria, I live here,” Isabel sighed with slight annoyance in her tone. Maria grabbed Isabel’s wrist and roughly pushed her out the door.

“Well, I think I hear Alex calling you,” Maria replied. Giving Liz a wink, Maria quickly left the house, shutting the door behind her.

Max and Liz stood awkwardly in the room, neither looking at the other. The silence between them was so loud that Liz was sure her ears would fall off.

“So…” Liz started.

“So…” Max replied. He sighed, putting his hands into his pockets. Liz tilted her head, staring at Max who was obviously avoiding her eyes. Liz tried to ignore the hurt that bubbled in her heart.

“Max, what’s going on?” she blurted out. Max finally looked up into her eyes, startled, and his breath caught. The hurt in her eyes was more than evident, and he felt like tearing himself apart piece by piece for putting it there.

“Wh-what do you mean, Liz?” he replied dumbly, playing the fool.

“You know what I mean!” Liz said, exasperated. She flung herself onto the couch, crossing her arms dejectedly. Max bit his lip, knowing that this was going to lead him into big trouble.

Max slowly walked towards Liz, pausing for a moment, unsure whether to sit down or not. Deciding quickly, he sat down beside her, trying to make sure he didn’t touch her. If he did, then he’d be in even deeper water. Don’t look, don’t talk, and definitely don’t touch.

“You can’t even touch me…” Liz whispered, watching Max’s hesitant moves. Tears sprung into her eyes, and Liz couldn’t decline the watery streams down her face. Max felt the knife twist just a little bit more. Ok, actually it twisted a lot more.

“Oh Liz,” Max replied, throwing caution to the wind. He took Liz’s hands into his own, letting his fingers weave with her petite ones. Bringing her hand closer to his face, he kissed each hand softly.

“Liz, you know that’s not true. I love you with all my heart, my beauty,” Max said tenderly. Liz’s tears didn’t stop though, and she bowed her head down, unable to look Max in the eye.

“Then why have you been ignoring me for the past two weeks? How come this is the first time in two weeks that you’ve touched me? You barely even talk to me.” Liz’s tears began to drip from her face, falling into a wet puddle on her legs. Max pulled one hand away from hers, using his index finger to tip her chin back up. Even through her aching tears, she looked so beautiful to him. His angel, his beauty, his love.

“I’m sorry, love, I never meant to hurt you. That’s the last thing I want to do… I just… I just needed time to deal.” Max cupped the side of Liz’s face, gently wiping away her tears with his thumb. “Liz Parker, I love you, and don’t you ever think otherwise. I’ll love you until my dying day.” Liz gave him a small smile, and Max couldn’t help but grin back. Leaning in, Max took Liz’s lips with his own, slowly caressing them in a honeyed motion.

“Max…” Liz moaned against his lips. She pulled away, licking her lips delightfully. She looked into Max’s eyes, her hand squeezing his gently. “I’ve got something I need to tell you.”

Max just nodded in response, unable to tear his eyes away from the glossy surface of Liz’s lips. He loved her so much. He loved the way she tasted, the way she moved, the way she talked, the way she made him go completely insane with just the flick of a hand.

“Max… I…” Liz paused, biting her lip.

“What is it, darling?” Max was very gradually leaning in to kiss her again, not waiting to waste those lips on forgotten words.

“I, uh… I lost the ring!” Max blinked, startled by Liz’s outburst. He softened when he noticed the frightened look in her eyes.

“The ring?” Max inquired.

“Yes! The ring… you gave me… on the chain… it fell off when... you know...” Liz’s eyes dashed around the room, completely avoiding Max’s general vicinity. He felt his heart beat a bit quicker, knowing that he could ease Liz’s mind.

“My beauty, that’s fine. Did you think I’d be mad?” Liz just nodded quickly.

“I could never be mad at you, love,” Max replied, leaning back in again. Max tangled his hand in her hair, slowly pulling her lips back towards his.

“There’s something else!” Liz half yelled. Max just grinned, ignoring her outburst this time. He put his finger to her lips, halting any more movement from them.

“No more talking,” Max whispered. He moved both of his arms to her waist, firmly pulling her body closer to his. In one swift pounce, Max captured Liz’s lips, kissing her in his own personal, passionate manner. Liz quickly obliged to Max’s persistence and let herself fall to the magic of his presence.

“I think,” Max said breathlessly between kisses, “that we would be more comfortable upstairs.” Liz just nodded, letting Max pick her up and carry her to a night she would never, ever forget.

*****

Max lazily scratched his stomach, not at all fazed by not receiving any sleep through the night. He did just what he wanted to do. He had his beauty in his arms and spent the much too short hours of the night watching her in her peaceful slumber.

Max glanced over at his alarm clock, noticing the bright red numbers that struck him painfully with every flicking number that passed. He needed to leave soon. Staying too long could result in very horrible results. Results he couldn’t risk.

He didn’t want to do this. With every fiber of his being, he did not want to leave the comfort of this very bed. The same very bed that held his angel, his beauty, his precious life. But he couldn’t stay. That was not even an option.

He would miss her. She was right next to him, and he already missed her. He couldn’t imagine not being able to stroke the silky strands of her hair between his fingers. He couldn’t imagine not being able to lay a kiss on her luscious lips. He couldn’t imagine not being the only one to touch her in places that only he had touched. He couldn’t imagine not being able to hear the exhilarating sound of her soft voice. He couldn’t imagine not feeling the sudden rapid heartbeat at just the mention of her name.

Sacrifices. This was what he had to sacrifice. The one thing that completed him inside and out. The one thing that compelled him to be a better person. The one thing he had to sacrifice.

But it was safer this way.

Max placed a soft kiss against Liz’s temple, letting his lips linger a moment longer. Sighing silently, he slowly untangled himself from Liz’s tight embrace, trying his hardest not to wake his sleeping beauty. Max steadily moved towards the edge of the bed, easing himself off. He took a small peek at Liz, who had stirred momentarily then quickly fell back to her deep slumber. Max couldn’t fight the grin off his face.

Max squinted his eyes in the dark, trying to find his clothes among the scatter on the floor. Darkness of the night remained in the room causing Max to crouch down and search for his clothing. Feeling the fabric of his boxers, he quickly and quietly slipped them on, followed by his jeans and shirt.

Max crept towards his desk, silently pulling out a piece of paper and pen. He glanced back at the gorgeous creature asleep in his bed. He abruptly turned his head away, knowing that one more glance at her would make him forget what he had to do. Picking up the pen, he scribbled a note on the paper and left it on the desk.

Max opened a drawer in his desk, drawing out a jewelry case. Opening it, he took out the chain that held a shining ring and placed it around his neck. Touching it lightly, he felt a pang of guilt for breaking promises that he held so close to his heart. Promises that Liz held so close to her heart.

Sighing, he pulled his fingers away from the delicate jewelry and tugged his leather jacket on. Making his way towards the door, he stroked the ring again. Halting, he closed his eyes and tried to fight off the overwhelming emotions of remorse. Opening his bedroom door, he took one last glimpse at his queen. The woman he had loved in his past life, in this life, and in all of his future lives.

Through the tears that poured on his face, he swallowed deeply. He took one more step before whispering into the deadly quiet night.

“Liz Parker, I love you.”

With that, Max Evans stepped out of the room, and out of that house forever.

posted on 25-Feb-2002 8:35:02 AM
Just to leave a little note. You can find the next part of the trilogy, A Future Untold, here:
viewthread?page=1&forum=dreamer-fanfiction&id=76738
It's not completed yet, but I'm definitely working on it.