|posted on 21-Jun-2002 4:15:06 PM|
|Title: A New Beginning|
Summary: The gang begins to see changes take place all around them to the point where their life changes drastically. But all in all, they must learn to deal with all of the new things life is throwing at them... together or apart.
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell but this sequel thing is all me!!! =)
Author's Note: This is the SEQUEL to True Destiny... and if you like it, please let me know!!! =)
"What are we gonna do?"
"Well, we should go shopping. If you want to live in Roswell, you have to look the part. We don't want any suspicion going around about you."
"So I have to look like Tess?"
"Exactly. And I know just who can help us out with that." Liz picked up the phone and called Maria.
"Hey Maria, it's Liz. We really need to talk, so can you come by?"
"Is everything ok?"
"Everything's... well, it's a long story. We'll talk about it once you get here. Just try to hurry."
"Don't tell me you changed your mind about Max."
"What?! It's possible!"
"Just get over here."
"Ay ya yay. Fine." Once the click on the other end was heard, Liz looked back over at Ava who sat, looking a little bewildered by it all.
"So that's it?"
"No... not quite. There's other things we have to deal with, like housing..." Mid-sentence Liz was cut off by the bell signaling someone entering the Crashdown. In came Max, Michael, and Isabel. At the site of Ava, Michael and Isabel stiffened and Max put his hand on their shoulders.
"It's ok. She's a friend."
"Are you sure?"
'Positive Iz. Sit guys, there's a lot we need to talk about." The five of them sat at a table in the middle of the Crashdown. Thank God it's Sunday and we don't open today. Max sat next to Liz and grabbed her hand.
"So what? Did you guys decide to get married after all?" Ava shot a look at Liz, her eyes wide. Liz smiled shyly and then Ava glanced over at Max.
"Not quite. See, we were enlightened last night, and there's something we want you to know." Isabel looked at Max unsure of what to think.
"She's not pregnant is she?"
Liz shook her head violently at Isabel.
"NO! No way... no, that's so far from what's happening right now."
"So then let's get to it, we don't have all day Maxwell."
"Actually Michael, we're waiting for Maria." Just as her name was said she walked in, as if on cue.
"Ok so what was the big deal...?" Maria looked at everyone gathered at the table, then at Ava.
"What... what is she doing here?!"
"It's ok, Maria. She's a friend. Ava this is Maria."
"Yea. Nice to meet you." Max took in a deep breath and closed his eyes for a second.
"Ok guys. Here's the deal. Ava will be our replacement for Tess. She won't raise any suspicions as to why Tess has left. No one will know about who she really is, NO ONE. We keep this between us. Sheriff Valenti and Kyle are the only ones outside of us who will know, because they will be housing her, just like before. Everything will go back to normal, like it was before. The only thing is, we have to teach her the ropes. She needs to seem natural. We have the summer to do it, so by the time school starts, she should be in tune with it all. So you all know, I'm with Liz. There's no changing that. There's one more thing. Serena is back."
Everyone sat and looked at Max stunned. Maria looked over at Liz wide-eyed and tried to keep herself together.
"Why is she here? Is something bad gonna happen?!"
"No! That's not why... she's here with valuable information." Michael looked at Max, very interested in what he had to say.
"What kind of information?"
"Well, basically, the whole destiny book, might have just been a fraud. A scam intended to make us believe we had to do a certain thing, and to eventually get us... me to trust Tess, that way she could go through with his deal in bringing my baby back to our planet."
"So she was an fake?" Isabel looked amazed.
Liz jumped in to help Max. "Not quite. See, the essence that Tess carried, that Ava carries, is the essence of an actual person from Antar. This person was in fact Max's wife back on your planet. The only thing is, he was forced to marry her, for political reasons. He had learned to love her since he figured they'd be together for a long time. However, at some point, he met a woman. She was different from most of the people on the planet. She was half human. They started to see each other in secret. The only problem is, they fell in love."
Suddenly a voice came in and intervened.
"That changed everything." Serena came and grabbed a seat at the table. "They became like Romeo and Juliet. Sneaking out at night to see each other, making secret visits, and eventually getting married in secret. During this time, the kingdom was flourishing. In the brink of a golden age. Things were going beautifully. And the king was exceptionally happy. Then the queen found out. For her safety, the girl was banished to Earth as a hybrid and was visited frequently by the king through human mental possession. The king started to lose himself. He missed his love greatly and started getting careless. He began to make harsh decisions and ignoring the requests of the people, his heart throbbing harder everyday. He lost track of his sister, whom he had once shared everything with, and in a moment of weakness, she turned on him, feeling he had betrayed her. That's how Kavar reached the throne and how the revolution started."
The table was quiet, all unbelieving eyes on Serena. Michael in particular looked amazed. Suddenly, he closed his eyes and thought for a second, that he remembered.
"Vilandra fell in love with Kavar and he told her he'd marry her if she killed her brother and made him king." Michael said without thinking.
Everyone turned to face him, trying to read any hint of possible sarcasm. There was none.
"That's right," Serena said smiling.
"But I said I wouldn't. I couldn't kill my own brother, regardless of whether or not he had tuned me out. So I gave him the chance to do it himself," Isabel said, tears forming in her eyes, a thick lump in her throat.
"You remember." Max let go of Liz and went to hug his sister tightly.
Michael stood up, more memories giving him a rush of energy. "So Kavar and Vilandra made the plans, but he never intended to marry her because he had an affair going with Ava, the queen. She would help him kill Zan who she held a deep jealousy towards, because of his lover. So she would be spared death if she helped him. Then I was killed because I refused to drop my loyalty to Zan, because he was like my brother."
"Exactly." Serena pointed at Liz who looked around nervously.
"She's the girl. The half human hybrid whom Max fell in love with in his other life. She was killed by Nasedo and her essence was placed in a complete human body for protection. Tess was recreated as a distraction. To see if things would go back to normal. To the way they were before Max had fallen in love with Liz. But as in the past life, Max met Liz, and fell head over heels, all over again. The thing is, because Tess took longer to be born, the other in which it happened was different this time around. Giving Nasedo the advantage in training Tess. But at Liz and Max reuniting, they awoke something in each other, a hidden power they share. The visions they get when they kiss, their physical chemistry, and their strong, almost immediate attraction help Max and make him more powerful. This helps all of you become more united. She's essential to survival, just as Tess would have been."
Maria looked at Liz and then back down at the table. She looked at her hands, then over at Michael.
"So Liz is the real queen?"
"Yes." Serena watched Maria's reaction. She wasn't sure what she would say to her. She didn't think it was time to get into details about anything else.
"Right. Well, I have to go, I have so much to do... see you guys." Maria rushed out of the Crashdown.
Michael looked over at Liz confused, and then got up after her.
"MARIA! Where the heck are you going? This is important."
"Maybe to you. Don't you see Michael? I'm alone. Completely and utterly alone. All this time I thought I was part of this, I'm not. I'm just some human girl you came across. God Liz! Even Liz! The only person in the world who would've understood is gone! Alex is gone and now Liz is part of your group. There's no room for me Michael."
Michael grabbed Maria tightly by the shoulders and gazed directly into her eyes. "You do have a part in this Maria. You belong with me. You make me feel... "
"Yea. And I love feeling that way." He kissed her demandingly and held her close.
"You'll always hold a special place with us Maria. You have helped us so much." He grabbed her hands and pushed her into the Crashdown with him. The radio began blasting "Stranded."
I can only take so much
These tears are turning me to rust
I know you're waiting there for me
To come back
I'm too afraid to show
It's coming over you
It's coming over me
Crashing like a tidal wave
That drags me out to sea
And I wanna be with you
If you wanna be with me
I'm crashing like a tidal wave
That I don't wanna be
Stranded... Stranded... Stranded.... Stranded
Liz went to hug Maria and she burst out in tears.
Max went and hugged them and Michael started pushing them away as they all laughed. Serena stood up and smiled at the group and how truly united they were.
"There's more to the story, but I think we should wait to tell the rest. There are things that I don't think you guys are ready for. But, all in due time."
Isabel stood up and looked at Serena.
"You came from the future right?" Serena shook her head.
"Tell me something, please. Do I do it again?"
Serena turned to faced Isabel. "Do what?"
"Do I betray my brother again? And am I alone forever?" Isabel said, the tears starting to flow slowly. Serena stepped over to her and placed her hand on her shoulder.
"No. You're not alone forever. I promise. But it's not something we should talk about now. And no... you don't betray your brother." Serena grabbed her purse and started to walk out.
"Where can we reach you if we need you?" Max turned from hugging Isabel to the door.
"I'll be around. Just try to stay low key and alert. Be careful, things aren't completely over yet. And please... follow your hearts. It's your best bet to everything." Serena went out into the streets and disappeared amongst the traffic.
"Ok. Maria, can we go shopping?" Liz looked at her friend and smiled.
"Sure why not?" She grabbed the keys to her Jetta and Liz and Ava got up to leave.
Then Ava turned around at the door and faced Isabel. "Hey, you wanna come?"
"Me? Sure, I don't see why not." Isabel smiled and Ava smiled back as she got her purse and ran after them. Max and Michael looked at each other and laughed.
"Michael you hungry?"
"How about breakfast? My treat."
The four girls placed the bags in the trunk of the car and got in laughing and all talking at once.
"I know don't you hate that! I find it sooo funny. 'Oh baby, I'm sorry, I just can't get committed right now'."
"Yea, yea or... 'I think we're rushing into things!' Like they don't want to. Please."
"No, no. How about: 'I just need some space.' Like living miles away isn't enough."
"Wait... I have one that will top them all. 'We're just not of the same species.' I think that's the topper."
Ava and Isabel looked at Maria and then at each other. There was a short silence and then they burst out laughing. Maria turned on the radio and started singing along with Mandy Moore's "Walk Me Home."
Liz started to sway from side to side and put her hand in the form of a microphone to sing along.
Isabel and Ava looked at each other and Isabel put her hand through the space between the seats. The stations began to change wildly as she used her powers and finally they reached a station where Linkin' Park's song "Runaway" was playing. Ava smiled and sat back.
"Now that's music."
"Ah! Excuse me! If you wanted to hear a different station all you had to do was ask. No need to do your hocus pocus."
Isabel laughed and she and Ava exchanged high-fives. They had taken out her piercings and lightened up her makeup. Her hair would have to stay multicolored for now. They put her in jeans and a purple low cut v-neck shirt.
"Ok time to check in with the Valentis." Maria drove up to the house and parked up front.
"Don't worry. They'll love you." Ava shrugged her shoulders and walked out with Liz. As they rang the doorbell Kyle opened and looked blankly at Liz and Ava who stood next to her.
"Kyle don't freak out..." Suddenly, Max appeared from the kitchen.
"Not to worry. We've been told. I just hope she's who she says she is. And please, no brain warping. Ok? That stuff is dangerous and well... I'll have my eye on you."
"Kyle, it's only until she can get her own place. She's not Tess, so don't treat her as if she was some killer. She's a totally different person. Just with the same face. And she's trying just as hard as we are to figure out what's going on. Ok?"
"Ok... whatever you say. Just remember we're the ones at risk." Max smiled at Kyle.
"We'll keep you under close surveillance. You can have my word on that." He grabbed Liz's hand and they went out to the car where his sister and Maria sat.
"Where are you headed?"
"To drop off Isabel and then to go home. Why?"
Max lowered his mouth towards her ear and whispered. "Maybe we could go out tonight. Play pool."
Liz smiled shyly and nodded her head. "Sure. I don't see why not."
He leaned in and kissed her and she got in the car.
"Iz... you can come with me if you want. I'm going home now."
"Ok. Guys, I'm going with Max ok?"
"Ok, see you Isabel." Isabel got out of the car and hopped into the new Jeep they bought.
Maria and Liz drove off and Liz sat entranced by the hanging feeling of Max's hot breath near her ear.
"Oh great. You're pathetic you know that?" Maria sighed and turned her head helplessly.
"Actually Liz... now that we're alone. There's something I've been meaning to tell you."
"Ok, what is it?"
"Well, you know a couple of weeks ago, they thought they were going to leave to go back to their planet and things were different then you know because we thought we'd never see them again so maybe we said and did things we wouldn't normally because of the moment we were in."
"Maria, slow down. What did you do?" Liz faced her friend, a genuine look of concern on her face. Maria chuckled nervously and tried to keep her face focused on driving.
"Well, it was nothing really, I mean, it's really no big deal. It's just that. Well the night before they left Michael invited me over to his apartment and he had dinner all prepared for me and we had this really deep conversation and he did something I never could have imagined."
"Like what?" Liz was now completely into the conversation.
"He held my hands and let me see him. The way you see Max when you guys kiss. I had flashes Liz. I saw him as a kid. I saw him as he is now. And I saw the way he sees me." Maria was looking over at Liz with tears in her eyes.
"You don't understand what that did to me Liz. Just the way I felt when he touched me. It was unbelievable. I mean... it was like I was the center of his universe. In his eyes...."
"You were beautiful." Liz finished the sentence, a small sense of reminiscence coming to her at the thought that she too had said those exact words.
"Exactly. So we started kissing and something else happened." Maria looked to catch Liz's reaction, who was still in her own world, remembering something.
"Liz? Did you hear me? Something else happened. I kind of slept with Michael."
Suddenly Liz's eyes looked up and dead into Maria's. She waited for another word but nothing came.
"You're kidding right?"
"No. And it gets worse."
"What do you mean it gets worse?"
"Well... I'm sort of..." A loud sound of screeching tires came from very close and Liz looked out of the front window petrified.
"Maria! Watch out!" The cars slammed head on and all they heard was the sound of a distant siren before everything went dark.
Max sat with Isabel in the kitchen watching TV. He had tried calling Liz almost five times now and her parents said, she still wasn't home. He tried Maria's house, but it seems she hadn't gotten there either.
"Maybe they went out to eat."
"She would have called to tell me. Something's not right Isabel. I'm telling you I can feel it."
"Just don't think so negative Max. I mean seriously. Maybe she just decided to spend some time with Maria. You saw how she got today."
"Yea. I saw how you got today too." Isabel looked at her brother, and then looked back at the television.
"Look Iz, I just want you to know that whenever you need anything, to talk, or just a shoulder to cry on, I'm here. I don't ever want you to think you can't count on me. Ok?"
"I know Max." She tried not to look at him so she wouldn't cry.
"I know you're scared. So am I. But we can do this. We're all together now. And we're stronger. Just... try to keep me informed of what's going on, that's all."
"I'm just so scared Max. Vilandra... she's...she's like this demon I carry around inside of me. She was evil. Lonnie is evil. And I feel like everything I do, I'm carrying around this weight on my shoulders. Watching my every step to prevent from messing up. I wouldn't ever do anything like that on purpose... you know that don't you?"
"Of course I do...." Max was cut off by the sound of the phone ringing.
"Finally." He went and picked up the receiver expecting to hear Liz's voice.
"Hello Max? This is Jim Valenti." Max's heart dropped and he slumped in the chair.
"What's up Sheriff?"
"I just heard something over the radio. It's really bad."
"What is it?"
"There's been a terrible car accident off the main streets by the Crashdown." Max felt as if his heart stopped beating for some seconds.
"Liz and Maria were on their way home and a car drove into them head first. I don't want to worry you, we don't know how they are yet. But they're being taken to the hospital as we speak."
"I'll be there soon." Max hung up the phone and just looked at his sister.
"Liz and Maria are in the hospital. They were in a car accident." Isabel looked up as her head began to spin. Teenage boy from West Roswell High believed to have committed suicide in car accident. She thought back to Alex and closed her eyes.
"Isabel! Did you hear me?"
"Maybe it's not so bad...."
"That's what I'm hoping. Come on let's go." He grabbed his keys and headed to the Jeep. As Isabel got in all she could think about were Serena's words.
Be careful, things aren't completely over. This sounded bad. Really bad.
Michael grabbed his wallet and started heading out the door when Max knocked.
"What are you doing here?"
"Yea. Crashdown. I'm hungry again. Besides, Maria will cook for me." Michael smiled at the thought.
"No she won't. She's at the hospital. She's been in a car accident. We have to go now." Max started walking out before Michael could take it all in.
"Wait what? Maria's been in an accident?"
"No. No that's impossible. She's like the best driver. You've seen her drive. This is a set up. A set up like it was for Alex." Isabel looked at Max and then back at Michael.
"I hate to say it Max, but he may be right. How likely is it that we find all this new stuff out and all of a sudden there's a car accident. Doesn't sound like too much of an accident to me." Max looked straight ahead, too many things in his mind going at once.
"Let's just go and see how they're doing. We'll decide what to do after." They all jumped into the Jeep and headed off to the hospital. They met up with Kyle, the Parkers, Amy DeLuca, and Jim Valenti. Amy left the strong hands of the Sheriff and went to hug Michael.
"How is she?"
"She's unconscious. They're running tests now. They won't know until later tonight or tomorrow morning what's going to happen."
Michael hugged her tightly and looked over at the Sheriff. His eyes seemed sad and hopeless. Max went straight to the Parkers and stood looking for some sign of hope in their eyes. There didn't seem to be any. Finally, Mrs. Parker spoke to him.
"She's also unconscious. But they said she hit her head. So, that may be a serious problem."
Max lowered his head and tried to be strong. He held her hand and nodded reassuringly. "She'll be fine."
Hours passed and they all sat in the waiting area, awaiting any kind of information. Kyle and Isabel had gone to get everyone some drinks and food and Amy had fallen asleep on Jim. The Parkers sat, hand in hand, dozing off and Michael and Max paced the floor madly.
Suddenly, a doctor came out Maria's room.
"Mrs. DeLuca." Jim nudged her and she awoke immediately.
"Yes. Yes Doctor... how's my baby?" She looked at him pleadingly and Michael stopped pacing to stand by her.
"She is in very delicate condition. She will be ok however. There's only been one complication."
"Complication?" The doctor held out a file.
"It seems Mrs. DeLuca that your daughter is pregnant." Max stopped pacing and looked incredulously at the doctor.
"WHAT?!" Michael stood his head down, his eyes confused.
"She is about three weeks pregnant." Michael's breathing became a little irregular and Max just stared at him.
"I need to get some air." Michael gathered himself and walked right out of the room. Max quickly followed him.
Outside, Michael sat on the bench, head in his hand. Max came from behind and sat next to him.
"She's pregnant. I didn't even think... what if... what if something happens to her?"
"Why didn't you tell me Michael?"
"You didn't exactly talk to me about your personal life until it was too late either Maxwell." He looked at Max's concerned face.
"I'm sorry. I just... if something happens to her... or my baby... I don't know what I'll do with myself. Oh God. I can't believe this is happening." Max sat, so many things happening at once were giving him a sickening headache.
"It's going to be fine Michael. I promise. You want to come back inside?"
"No... I need time to think." Max nodded and walked back into the building. As he reached the waiting room he heard some commotion. He ran in to see what was happening. The Parkers were running into Liz's room. He ran in right after them.
"Liz, oh Liz sweetie are you ok?"
"I'm fine Mom. Just a little dizzy. But fine. What happened?"
"You were in a car accident. A pretty nasty one."
Max's heart caught in his chest as he heard her voice. She's fine. The doctor walked into the room with them and Max followed him. The doctor asked for a second with the parents and he took them out.
Finally, Max had Liz to himself. He took the seat next to her bed and rubbed her head softly, opening her eyes.
"I'm here. Are you ok?" He looked deeply into her eyes and saw something strange. Something he couldn't expect. Some sort of unfamiliarity.
"I'm fine. What are you doing here? And where's Kyle?"
"Kyle?!" Max's eyes looked at Liz hurt and confused. The Parkers walked into the room, Mrs. Parker crying. The doctor walked in with them and closed the door.
"Liz, what day is it today?" She looked at the doctor confused and answered with a matter of fact voice.
"1999 of course."
Max looked at Liz shocked and back at the Parkers who shook their heads. Max looked back at Liz helplessly.
"Liz, it's 2001. And it's the summer. We're heading into our senior year. Don't you remember?" The doctor looked at Max and motioned to him to come out of the room with him.
"Are you her boyfriend?"
"Yes. What's wrong with her? Why can't she remember me?"
"Liz suffered a severe injury to one area of her brain when she hit the glass window of the car. She's suffering from temporary amnesia, and as a result, can't remember anything past September 15th, 1999."
"So she'll remember September 19th as the day comes right?"
"No. I'm afraid not. She'll remember it in her own time."
"How long will that be?"
"Can be anywhere from several days to years." Max tried to swallow the lump that had formed in his throat as Kyle walked into the room and Liz smiled.
She has no clue who I am.
"How is she?"
"She's still unconscious. The doctors say her vital signs look good but... something seems wrong Max."
"How long do you think she'll be in there?"
"I don't know. I can't seem to figure out what it is that's wrong with her. I mean, she hit her head with the steering wheel, but she didn't get cut, she didn't have severe damage, she's just really really weak."
"That's because she's pregnant Michael. Maybe human-alien pregnancies cause side effects."
"Yea maybe." Michael looked down and got up to get a soda from the refrigerator. Max sighed and looked over at Michael.
"I'm not blaming you Michael."
"I just keep thinking. If something happens to her. If she... well I don't know... I would lose it Maxwell. I mean, I would really lose my mind. I know I should've stayed away from her, but I just can't. She makes me feel..."
"Human." Max finished for Michael. They looked at each other and Max smiled.
"What about Liz? How is she doing?" Max's smile faded as he lowered his eyes.
"It's been two weeks and she doesn't remember anything. Not the shooting, not who we are, not Topolski. Nothing. She thinks she's still dating Kyle and that Alex is still alive. Or at least she did. Kyle is trying to help her remember."
"I don't like the sound of that."
"Because her and Kyle are going to get all chummy again and who knows what'll happen. Maybe she will never remember."
"No. No, I don't believe that Michael. Liz is... well... she's my..."
"Yes. So there's no way that she would forget what we had."
"Max. What you and Liz had was... well it was intense. But she doesn't remember any of that. If she doesn't remember, she won't react."
"Michael I didn't remember Tess. But I began to remember her."
"That's because that was your destiny."
"Yea well so is Liz." Michael shrugged his shoulders and drank his cola. Suddenly, Isabel came through the door. Michael shot up from his seat.
"How is she?"
"Same. Nothing has changed since you saw her about an hour ago."
"Ok, so are we gonna do it?"
"Do what?" Max looked on amused at the conversation.
"Isabel offered to dream walk Maria to find out if she's ok in there. If she tells us what's wrong then maybe we can help her. Like maybe you can heal her or something."
"I don't know how possible that will be Michael. I really think that..." Michael looked over at Max pleadingly.
"Fine. I'll see what I can do."
"So can we start?" Isabel sat on the couch and Michael brought her the group picture from Vegas. She placed her finger on Maria's smiling face and closed her eyes. At first there was a resistance, but then Isabel felt herself drifting in.
~Maria's Subconscious ~
Isabel walked around what seemed to be the Crashdown. Suddenly, a very pregnant Maria walked in through the back room door. Isabel stared at her shocked and tried to recollect herself before saying anything. She watched Maria sit at the bar counter and an unknown waitress asked her for her order.
"Just give me a Will Smith platter with Saturn Rings and an Alien Blood Smoothie." Maria placed her chin in her hand as she sighed loudly.
Isabel could hear Maria's thoughts. I know why Liz isn't working here. She's probably dead. I killed her in my car accident. I probably also killed my baby. I should've told Michael. Now, he'll never know. What if I die? I forgot to say good-bye to my mother. I forgot to tell her I loved her! I have to say good-bye! Oh my God... I can't do this by myself. Where is everyone? Alex? Are you here?
Isabel walked over to Maria from behind and placed her hand on her shoulder. Maria's chair spun around and when she saw Isabel her teary eyes widened in disbelief.
"I thought you never liked me much."
"Maria... I'm not part of your dream. I'm real. Are you ok?"
"Oh God Isabel I'm so scared!" Maria embraced Isabel, and for the first time she felt a true connection to her.
"I know, I know. You're going to be fine. What's wrong? Where did you hurt yourself? Maria... Maria!"
Suddenly Maria started trembling and fell from the chair unto the floor. Isabel kneeled down to make sure she was ok and saw Maria's eyes roll back. The sweat seemed to thicken and she had a high fever.
Isabel took her into the back room and rested her on the couch. This looks too much like when Michael was sick.
"Maria! Are you ok?"
"Isabel..." Maria said through heavy gasps.
"What? What is it?"
"Something's... something's wrong. I think... it's... the baby."
Isabel looked around frantically and placed a moist towel on Maria's forehead.
"You... you have to go." Maria began to pass out and the scene began to fade. Immediately, Isabel closed her eyes and was taken out.
~ Reality ~
Isabel's eyes opened in a shock as she just sat there regaining herself. Michael and Max seemed to be saying something, but she had made a connection with Maria, and she was feeling weird.
"Well. What happened?!" Michael asked impatiently.
"Something's really wrong Michael. Very wrong. I think the baby may be dying. She was so sick. She was panting and sweating and ... oh God we have to help her!"
"I don't know, I figured you'd know."
"Of course I don't know! Jesus Isabel!"
"Hey, I'm trying ok?"
Max looked at them and thought to himself.
"Guys! Let's just take it easy. We'll visit her this afternoon, by then we should have it all figured out."
"Kyle, what happened to Grandma Claudia? What happened to Alex? I don't understand. I think I would remember my best friend dying."
"He died in a car accident Liz."
"I know, you've told me that. But I don't believe it. Kyle, you know Alex. He doesn't even own a car. Come on. There's something else, and you know what it is. I need you to tell me Kyle."
"Liz, if you want to know what's going on, I'm not the person to go to. Max is."
"But I don't even know Max."
"Liz... yes you do. You guys dated. You had this whole solute destiny thing going on."
"Me and Max? No."
"Look... I think you're great Liz. You know I always have. And we're great friends. And if you need my help with anything, I'm here. But you love Max...."
"You know I wish people would stop telling me what I'm supposed to do or supposed to feel, or supposed to be acting like! This is sooo frustrating!" Liz placed her head in her hands and began to cry. Kyle walked over to her and hugged her. As he held her she felt a strange instant feeling of guilt. She pulled away quickly and looked at Kyle with wide, confused eyes.
"What is it Liz?"
"You were there... so was Max."
"There... where's there?"
"At the hospital, when Grandma Claudia died." She looked around, her sudden epiphany making her pace back and forth.
"Yea, we were there. That was the night you broke up with me." Liz turned around and looked at Kyle.
"I remember." She went to grab her purse and before Kyle could say anything else, she had left out the door. She walked all the way to the hospital and went up to Maria's room. As she went to walk in, a man was walking out.
"Hello Liz." They walked right past each other when Liz stopped right in the middle of the hallway. She stood and thought and realized she had unknowingly remembered his name. She shrugged it off and walked into Maria's room. Suddenly, Maria awoke, as if from a nightmare.
"Liz!" The doctors rushed in from the hallway and pushed Liz out of the way as they made her way through to Maria. They ran quick tests and put on her oxygen. She pushed them away and called for Liz.
"Guys, I'm fine! Geez... so rude." Maria smiled weakly and motioned with her head for her friend to come in and sit. The doctors walked out and Liz sat.
"How are you feeling?"
"Oh, I'm fine. Better, now that I see you're ok. I thought something bad happened to you Liz, I was so scared."
"No, Maria I'm fine. I'm just having some problems remembering some things that's all. No big deal."
"Things like what?"
"Just memories... like, you're my best friend right?"
"Don't tell me you don't remember that?"
"Of course I do! No that's not it. People are saying that me and Max went out. Max Evans."
"You don't remember that Liz?"
"Max Evans, Maria? That's like so impossible."
Maria looked around and leaned in to whisper. "You do remember about Max, Isabel, and Michael right? How they're Czechoslovakians?"
"Czechoslovakians? I thought they were from right here."
"Oh my God... you really don't remember anything."
"Oh! Maria... did you hear about Alex!?" Maria nodded her head in disbelief and just looked at Liz shocked.
"Nothing. Look Liz, I think you should go see Max. Talk to him. I think he could really help you, remember a lot of things. But you have to trust him Liz. You have to keep an open mind and just trust him."
"Why should I? I mean, Kyle told me that..."
"Liz! Forget what Kyle told you ok? I'm your best friend. You trust me right?"
"Of course, with my life."
"Ok then. Go see Max. I'm telling you, he can help you remember everything." Liz nodded in agreement and hugged Maria.
"I'll come by tomorrow. Ok?"
"Sure... will you call my mom tell her I'm awake?"
Liz went into the waiting room where Amy slept on the couch. Liz went and tapped her on the shoulder.
"Hi Ms. DeLuca. Maria is awake. She wants to see you." Amy jumped up and ran into the room. And Liz made her way out of the hospital.
"Oh God, I thought you were... oh sweetie it's so good to see you. Don't ever do that to me again, do you understand me? You're not riding that car for a long time missy." Maria laughed as her mom hugged her tightly.
"Mom, of course I won't ride it for a long time. It was totalled."
"Exactly." Amy sat and asked the nurse for some food. Maria tried to sit up and felt a sharp pain at the end of her stomach.
"Ah! Oh God..." Amy looked at her daughter and helped her up. Then she sat down and with a stern face looked at Maria.
"We have to talk."
"Mom, I know what this is about and..." Just as Maria went to finish her sentence Michael ran in.
"I heard you were awake and...." He looked at Amy sitting by Maria and saw her face.
"Maybe this is a bad time...."
"Oh no Michael. This is a great time. Take a seat."
Michael sat and looked at Maria. She gave him a sorry look and just sighed.
"I was a teenage mother. I know how hard it was to raise Maria without a father, and I am not willing to let her go through the same predicament that I did.
Now, I am very disappointed that you two even did what you did. Maria knew how I felt about her having sex at this age and I don't appreciate her breaking my rules. Especially not for some guy she won't even see after high school..."
"Now wait a second Ms. DeLuca. I have done nothing but care for and serve you and your family. When Alex died I was there for all of you, I helped you all deal with the difficulties. I have spent late nights with you, I have trusted you and your family and you've been like a mother to me. And if nothing else, I've loved Maria more than myself. So sure, I'm not the world's best boyfriend. I know that. But, I try so hard. And I truly love her. So much that I can't see myself with anyone else. Ever."
Maria looked at Michael and began to cry. Amy stood speechless and then hugged her daughter.
"I'm sorry Mom. I didn't mean to hurt you... I just... I love him so much Mom. I loved him enough to know that I was willing to give him that special part of me..."
"But Maria... and Michael. What you two don't get is that if this baby is born, you two are gonna have a serious issue on your hands. You're going to have to get through your senior year with a baby, you're going to have to get married, and you're probably going to have to forget about college. I just want the best for you two. And a baby isn't something I feel you two are ready for."
Maria began crying even harder and Amy looked at her daughter trying to figure out what was wrong.
"I'm sorry Maria but..."
"No... no Mom call the doctor. Something's wrong."
Max hung up the phone to his room and Isabel, who had been at the edge of his bed talking to him, looked up at him to find out what happened.
"Oh thank God! Is she ok?"
"She... it seems she had a miscarriage."
"Oh... poor Maria."
"Yea. Michael must be a wreck. You may wanna go help him out."
"It's 3 AM, and I don't know if they want a personal moment. Besides, what about you Max? Are you ok?"
"Yea. Yea I'm fine." Isabel looked at her brother making sure.
She grabbed her purse and walked out. As Max closed the door behind her he began to break down and slid to the floor as he cried, his hand on his head. Suddenly, he heard a knock at the window. He looked up through his watery eyes and saw Liz. He rubbed his eyes to see if he was seeing right and got up to open the window.
Liz looked at him for a second with her own red eyes and weakly smiled.
"Can I come in?" He shook his head and grabbed her hand to help her in. Something about this was too familiar.
"Why didn't you use the front door?"
"It's 3 am."
"And... I just felt like this is what I was supposed to do." Max turned around to look at Liz right in the eyes.
"What do you mean?"
"I came to talk to you. There's so many things in my head that are confusing me. So many memories that I'm not sure what to believe. But the one thing they all have in common, is you. So I came to ask for your help."
"I keep having these nightmares. They seem impossible but it's the way I feel. They feel... real."
"Like what?" Liz looked down and smiled to herself.
"This is going to sound stupid... but... did I get shot?"
"I told you it sounds stupid. I mean, I keep dreaming about the strangest things. I got shot, but I have no scars. I see a recurring image of this cave... that looks familiar but I know isn't. And there's a girl. She's so clear in my mind. She's blonde with blue eyes. I don't know why, but she was in one of my dreams with you. And I cried. I don't know why but I cried."
Max looked at Liz and took a step closer.
"God Max, I just don't understand what's going on. Why don't I remember all of this? It's like, I lost a part of myself in that accident. I can't remember who I am, or who my friends are! I'm losing my mind Max! My life is falling apart, because I can't even remember what happened last week!" Liz started to cry and Max hugged her tightly. Liz stood sobbing on his shoulder and remembered something else.
"You... there's something about you that I can't quite put my finger on. You hugged me just like this when Grandma Claudia died. I remember. But I don't remember you and me... not together. I mean, I see us doing things together, but they're like impossible. Why do I see us jumping off a bridge? Running from the FBI? Spending the night in a truck?" Liz pulled away from his hug and looked at him straight in the eyes.
"And why is it that I feel so much every time I look at you?" As the tears fell from her eyes, Max couldn't help it and he just grabbed and kissed her so passionately he caught her off balance. As they kissed, she felt the strong flashes of everything she had said and more. She pulled away in a panic and looked at Max.
"What was that? How did you... you have them too don't you? They're real aren't they? I'm not crazy! And who are you?"
"Liz, it's just, it's going to be weird for you to hear this." She stared at him blankly.
"Your memories are real. All of them. And you were shot... but you were saved."
"So where's my scar?"
"You have none."
"Max what are you talking about? How could I have no scar?!" Liz began to get hysterical and Max tried to comfort her. Before he could even get close to her she was getting her things and leaving right back out the window.
"Liz wait!" He ran to the window and by then she was gone. Max threw himself on his bed and closed his eyes. He wasn't even asleep before he had a vision, like he was in someone else's dream by accident. From the darkness of a cave a woman came running and knocked into him.
"Max! Max help me!"
"No... it's Ava! I need your help! Hurry! It may be too late to save the others if you don't hurry."
Max saw a male face and the dream quickly faded. He shot up in bed and thought it was a nightmare. He turned off his light and disturbed he went off to bed.
Liz climbed into her room from her balcony and put her keys on her night stand. As she turned on her lamp she saw a small note and picked it up to read it.
There's serious danger ahead. Warn Max and the others if I don't get to them first. Keep the locket, it will bring you unexpected strength. Your most secure power is Max. You and him together are unstoppable. Please, never forget that. Take care of Isabel and Ava, they're being targeted. And look out for Larek. He will hold all the latest information if you need his help. He will also hold news for Michael and Maria. I'll keep in touch.
Liz touched the locket by the letter and was thrown on the floor from the strength of the flash.
"I have to see Kyle." She grabbed her things and headed off again into the night. About fifteen minutes later, she had arrived at Kyle's front door. She knocked lightly, then a little harder as she stood out in the dark. Suddenly, a frightened Jim Valenti swung the door open with a baseball bat in his hands.
"Woah! It's me... Liz!"
"Oh God Liz! You scared me. What's going on? Are you ok?"
"Actually... I had some scary nightmares and it seems I may be remembering some things from the past two years. I just need to clear my mind. Can I speak to Kyle?"
Valenti nodded his head and walked her to Kyle's room.
"Huh?! What?! What's going on?"
"Liz is here. She needs someone to talk to. So wake up." Kyle closed his eyes and threw his head back on the pillow and Valenti left the room.
"What's up Liz?"
"I had a nightmare. I... think I'm beginning to remember things. Just bits and pieces, but enough to put together a puzzle. I just don't get it. There's like a huge part of the picture missing. I mean, there has to be something that ties it all together. Something that you know... that you're not telling me." Liz looked pleadingly at Kyle, begging for some answers. It seemed like he hesitated for an instant then he sighed.
"You didn't speak to Max did you?"
"What did he say?"
"We didn't really get a chance to speak about everything... other things kind of came up. But something happened... something I'm not quite sure I can explain myself."
"He kissed me... and when we touched... I saw things. Like images, flashes. That were like the ones in my nightmares. They were of me jumping off bridges, running from caves, seeing things, feeling things, I've never even imagined. Kyle... please, help me."
Kyle sighed and threw on a tee shirt and jeans. He and Liz went to her balcony and he went to reach under a break in the brick of her balcony. He pulled out a small brown notebook.
"My journal." Liz finished for him. She remembered buying it but never remembered using it.
"Ok. Now I want you to read it after I leave, but I need you to know some things first. There are going to be things in there you may not understand. Things that although you yourself wrote, you may just not believe. Just try to remember the way you felt when you wrote. If anything, go to Maria or Max. They can tell you better than I can. Ok? Now I have to get to bed. If I don't my mind is going to lose its connection to my body and I will not be able to follow..."
"Ok.. Kyle, don't take it personally, but... you're weird." Liz smiled and laughed.
Kyle made his way down the balcony when Liz called him. He made his way down and looked back up at her, for a second, she had a flash of Max standing at the bottom. She shook her head to get the thought out and called to him.
"Max Evans... he's not normal, is he?"
"Let's just say, we all share a secret. We all shared a secret that united us, but also destroyed us."
"This secret... this secret killed Alex didn't it?"
"Talk to Max." Kyle made his way down the street and finally Liz got to bed.
|posted on 21-Jun-2002 4:16:01 PM|
"I'm so tired. I can't wait for Maria to get out of the hospital. She's so depressed, she needs to get out. Now she thinks I hate her because of the miscarriage. She thinks her mother jinxed her and her mood swings are ridiculous."
"Liz came to see me last night. She's starting to remember things. Granted, they're small things, but something is something. I thought maybe if I got her alone, I could heal her."
"How do you plan to do that?"
"I don't know." Isabel walked in with a dark, rugged man. His eyes were deep and dark, his hair light and airy. She laughed loudly as he smiled. She walked to her brother's table and smiled.
"Max, Michael. This is Malachi. He's new in Roswell."
"So what is he doing here?"
"How'd you two meet?"
"At the cemetery." Max and Michael looked at each other.
"I'm sorry, could you excuse us for a minute?" Max grabbed his sister, and dragged her into the back room.
"Isabel, what are you doing?"
"I'm trying to get on with my life Max."
"Wrong time to play the social butterfly Iz."
"Look, I'm trying to move on... to try and be myself again. You two just never seem to stop and think of how hard it's been for everyone. Even me. In case you two forgot, I'm alone now. Alex is dead. In part, because of us. Grant is dead. Because of us. I'm tired of being the enemy Max. I want to make friends. True friends. People I can relate to. I mean, Ava and I are getting along, but it seems she's disappeared." Max's face dropped and he looked over at Isabel.
"Well, she went out to Vegas a week ago, and hasn't come back. Either she got sucked into the slots or decided not to come back."
"Or got kidnapped."
"What?!" Isabel and Michael stared at him incredulously.
"She came to me last night. I thought it was a nightmare. She just popped into my head. Out of nowhere. It was strange."
"Just like Laurie did to me." Michael broke in before the situation could be discussed further.
"You guys are reading too much into this. This could just be a set up. Don't you see? Just like Tess, she's gonna drag us into some trap. You know, maybe she was kidnapped by Isabel's new friend."
"Look all I'm saying is wake up guys ok? We've got too much going on to think of things like this."
Michael began to walk right out of the room. Isabel and Max followed. They grabbed their bags and left Isabel with her new friend.
"So why don't we go somewhere?"
"Out... tonight. You could meet me here at the Crashdown at 9:30 p.m."
"It's usually closed here at that hour." He smiled and looked at her with his intense eyes.
"Right. I'll see what I can do." Isabel went to leave and turned around at the feel of his intense glare. She walked back up to him and bent to his eye level at the seat at the counter.
"Why is it that I feel like I know you? Your eyes are so... familiar."
"I don't know. Maybe, we've met before."
"Maybe." She walked out of the Crashdown.
"In another life perhaps." He smiled and made his way out too.
"I'm so confused. I know that you're gone now and that I should move on with my life, but... I feel so strange. This guy... he's not exactly, I mean, I don't even know him but... God Alex I miss you."
Isabel sat at his tomb and placed a fresh bouquet of flowers down. She sat just crying for several minutes then looked up at a small cough. Kyle stood looking down at her, then he took a seat.
"No... not really."
"You know I wasn't too close to him, but from what I knew he was a pretty amazing guy. There's one memory in my mind that sticks out the most. When we were trapped in the cave with the crystals together. You know, we really thought we were going to die, and there was Alex mentioning how special we were to have known a secret that six billion other people on Earth didn't. The fact that you guys were... well you know. So we sat there and we began to sing American Pie, and then we figured out how to kill the crystals. We saved the world. I think that was one of the strangest days of my life. But, definitely, one of the funniest."
Isabel looked over at Kyle with red, teary eyes and smiled. "Yea, Alex was one for great ideas. And just at the right moment comments."
"I wish I had known him better." She nodded and put her hand on the tomb.
"Kyle? Can I ask you something?"
"If you had just lost someone you loved, and wanted to move on, how do you know if it's too soon?"
"You met a guy?"
"Well, that depends how you view it. I was on my way here today, and we bumped into each other. He offered to buy me coffee and next thing I knew he's making a date tonight at the Crashdown. I just, I don't know if I'm ready to open up again. Not the way I did with Alex...."
"Or the way you just did with me?" Kyle looked at Isabel, and for a moment they held the glare, then they turned away.
"It's just... this guy, he makes me feel weird. Like something about him isn't right. I don't really like the way he looks at me, as if he knows something."
"Of course he doesn't, you just met him."
"I know. It's weird. You know, Alex was obsessive, but it was sort of cute and annoying. What this guy seems to do... it creeps me out. He makes me feel a way I don't think I should."
"Well then, maybe you shouldn't meet him tonight."
"Yea, but Max and Michael are on a power trip again, so I sort of have to. To prove myself I guess."
"I don't think you have to prove yourself to anyone. If the way you've handled things in the last month and a half aren't enough to show how strong you are, I don't know what is. But that's my opinion. Anyway, if you need a place to crash after a bad date... I'll be home watching Varsity Blues on DVD." He smiled and placed a rose on the tomb. Then he slowly walked away. Isabel sat trying to figure out what to do.
"Well Alex, I guess, I'll give it a shot. If not, then I'll just visit Kyle." Isabel got up and turned to leave as she felt a pair of eyes staring at her from behind.
AT THE CRASHDOWN:
Max walked in through the double doors of the Crashdown Cafe and sat at the usual booth waiting for Liz. He needed to speak to her. After last night, she must've been a wreck. He was so involved in his own thoughts that he didn't even realize she came in and slapped an envelope with her name on it on the desk.
"I spoke to Kyle. He said we held a secret. That this secret united us, and destroyed us. I want to know if Alex was killed because of this secret." Max just looked at Liz for a second and then tried to reason.
"Just tell me Max. Because, see, I found these pictures of Alex in Sweden. But I know he wasn't in Sweden. And I know it has something to do with this deep dark secret we're all supposedly hiding. So what is it Max? What is this?" Liz placed the locket on the table and finally sat down in front of Max in the booth.
"You're just not ready to hear this...."
"I don't care! I need to know this!"
"Fine... I'll tell you, I just...."
"LIZ!" Liz's parents came from the back room and called her over. She looked at Max demanding he stay put. As she walked away Kyle stepped in. Max tried to resist the urge, but found himself up and grabbing Kyle's arm, practically throwing him into the booth with him.
"What the heck did you tell Liz about us?"
"Woah, Max! Nice to see you too..."
"Kyle, I'm not kidding what did you say to Liz?"
"I'm breaking her into the truth little by little. I mean, I'm not gonna lie to her. She needs to know what's going on. What if something bad happens, her life is at risk."
"You don't think I know that? Just mind your business Kyle. In case you're on this whole power trip against me..."
"Look Max, don't flatter yourself ok? I'm trying to help her for you! Because I know she can never feel about me the way she does for you. And I know that if there's anything I TRULY know about Liz Parker, it's that she doesn't make drastic changes. She likes things to be... well... normal. As normal as they can get anyway." Max went to say something as Liz walked back.
"Kyle, what are you doing here? What were you guys talking about? Was it the secret?" Max and Kyle quickly yelled in unison.
"NO!" Max stood up and held her hands in his.
"Ok, you got us. We were telling a secret. It's actually about Maria. We hear she gets out of the hospital today and we thought we'd..."
"Throw a party! An all out welcome home party for both of you. And you know how Maria loves surprises. We thought it would make her feel a ton better. What do you think? Could we use the Crashdown tonight? We could do it after closing... if it will keep the customers out of our hair?" Kyle gave her an innocent smile and she shrugged her shoulders helplessly.
"Sure. I don't see why not."
"Finally I am getting out of here. This has been a way too long trip. And I am tired, and stressed, and depressed. I really need to see the sun on the other side of these stupid walls." Maria went on and on and Michael sat next to her, just listening, watching.
"Nothing. Just glad you're getting out today that's all."
"So why are you looking at me funny Michael?"
"I am just amazed. At how things are turning out. How close we are. How I never imagined things would be this way." Maria looked at Michael and her eyes saddened.
"For disappointing you. I know how mad at me you must be for killing our baby..."
"Hey, hey! Don't say that ok? Things happen. I love you more now that we've been through this. Besides, what's to say we can't have another?" Maria smiled and kissed Michael.
"Not any time soon. So please unglue!" Amy came in the room with two large bags. The two laughed and looked over curiously at Amy.
"So what's in the bag Mom?"
"Gifts." She started pulling things out of the bags and out came a nice halter top shirt and dark denim jeans.
"OH MOM I LOVE YOU!!! Finally, out of this stupid nightgown!" Maria grabbed the clothes and ran into the bathroom to shower and change. Michael smiled and started making his way out the room.
"Michael wait!" He turned to face Amy.
"I have something for you too." Michael looked at her surprised. She pulled out a toy bear, a shirt and a set of keys.
"Don't get too funny with them ok? They're just in case you ever need a family. I know how lonely it can get when you live alone at your age." She smiled and took out some more gifts for Maria.
"Thanks Ms. DeLuca."
"No problem." He walked over to the bathroom door and knocked.
"Maria, I'll be back in an hour to pick you up. Don't make plans for tonight." He grabbed his things and left. A while later he was at Max's house. He came through the window and heard some voices in the hallway. They got closer to the door and finally it swung open.
"Isabel I need your help. Just a couple of hours! I'll explain when we get to the Crashdown."
"Max, I'm going to be busy tonight, so I have to get myself ready."
"Ready for a date that's not even happening for three hours? Iz, please. It's just me and Kyle right now, and I think Michael is with Maria..."
"Actually, Maxwell, I'm right here."
"MICHAEL?!" Isabel and Max said in unison.
"Hey... nice to see you guys too. So what's the deal?"
"Max says they need help over at the Crashdown, but he won't say for what until we get there. I have a date tonight, and I need to get ready, so if you're not busy, I think Max could use your help." Isabel walked away without another word and Max sighed and looked at Michael.
"We're throwing a party for Maria and Liz tonight at the Crashdown, to get Maria's hopes up a bit and to see if we spark any memories in Liz. I need you to help me get everyone there. It's a friends only party. Just me, Kyle, you, Maria, Liz, Isabel (if she's not too busy with her date), the Sheriff, and maybe their family. That's it. Besides, I need to get Liz alone, with everyone distracted I may just be able to."
"You know, that's not too bad of an idea. Things have been way too gloomy around here lately. Max? Have you heard from Ava? I'm starting to get the feeling she isn't who she said she was..." Max and Michael went to the Crashdown and set up for the party quickly. They got the food and drinks prepared and called everyone to make the arrangements.
Finally evening came around and the party began. Maria's shocked face and huge smile showed she was greatly appreciative. She stayed near Liz for a while but started to say hi to people she felt she hadn't seen in ages. Max went and whispered something into Liz's ear and they went to the back room and out the back door, just as Isabel came in to a crowd with a surprised Malachi.
"So it's closed at this hour? I'd hate to see it when it's open." He smiled and waited hesitantly at the door of the Crashdown. Isabel met Kyle's eyes and he smiled, welcoming her if she were to change her mind.
"Isabel, let's get out of here. Go somewhere a little more private."
"Actually, all my friends are in here and I'd love to..." He cut her off as he grabbed her arm and pulled her to the side of the doors.
"I said let's go."
"What are you doing?! Don't touch me..." Her words faded as he touched her head and she fell into a deep sleep.
"Max what is this place and what am I doing here?"
Max went up to Liz and gave her back the pendant with the alien symbol. He placed it in her hand and closed it, keeping his warm touch on hers. He faced her closely, and held her gaze so strongly, she had to look away.
"I want you to see me. I mean really see me. You tell me you don't remember me. Or what we shared. I think if I were to try to help you remember, it'd be easier. But you have to trust me." Liz looked at him suspiciously and shook her head.
He placed his strong hands on the sides of her face and embraced her. They stared at each other as the rush of images filled their minds. He filled her with the earliest memories to the most recent. Excluding all the alien stuff, which she was going to have a hard time understanding. As he pulled away slowly, she looked at him. Remembering only a small percentage of what she saw. She went to say something when they heard a loud blast.
"Ok, enough of this crappy sentimental garbage. I'm not one for the lovey dovey type." Tess stood at the entrance of the Granolith, inside was Ava and Isabel tied to the actual black crystal. Liz looked at her, the familiarity showing in her face and Max stood horrified and shocked at the same time.
"What Max? You thought I'd just let you play with me, my emotions?"
"I thought it was the other way around."
"Oh shut up. I just came to kill this..." Max grabbed Liz and pushed her behind him and stood protectively covering her.
"You know Max I never understood what you saw in her. Never. Not on our planet, not here. I AM YOUR WIFE! Get it?! ME! Not this stupid human girl..." Tess started getting furious and her temper was becoming more and more obvious.
"I tried so hard to be a good wife! And for what?! So you could cheat on me with a freak! A half human girl, who... who wasn't even royalty!"
"I didn't love you Tess. I just thought I had to."
This comment sent her over the edge. She put up her hand and went to attack. Max stood his ground in front of Liz. She began getting up and she looked amazed at her surroundings. It was all coming back to her. Slowly, she began remembering things, but they were blurry. As Tess went to attack a man came in from the Granolith chamber. He stood tall with dark brown eyes and dirty blonde hair. Max recognized him immediately.
"Now Ava, you know how many people would miss him if you were to mysteriously kill him off. We have to make this realistic. We have to shoot him. Make it like a robbery or something. And kidnap his sister."
"I knew it! I knew you were after Isabel! Who are you?"
Tess smiled in a way he'd never seen before, her once innocent face distorted by the evil within.
"This is Kavar, Max. My new husband. And the father of my child." Max's eyes grew wide at the sound of the last sentence. His temper grew and he plunged himself towards Kavar who disappeared in thin air.
Instead, he got close to Tess who put up her hand to hurt him with her powers. At this moment, Liz got up and yelled as she ran in front of Max. She was hit with a small bolt of something that felt like electricity and she fell to the floor, bumping her head severely.
"What are you doing to me?!" Max ran to the floor to Liz and didn't see Tess pull out the gun. He hovered over her for a second and when he went to look back up, Tess had shot the bullet. Max went to put up his green shield, but was distracted by the sight of Isabel jumping on Tess and knocking her to the ground, and Ava yelling something at him he couldn't understand. It was as if it was all going in slow motion. Then he felt the strong feel of the bullet against his side before he fell to the ground.
The air in the Crashdown was a festive one as everyone celebrated the return of Maria and Liz. Both families were busy laughing and talking and reminiscing. Michael looked around the Crashdown for Isabel and Max. He saw neither. He looked for Maria who was in the back room. He ran in there and they almost bumped into each other.
"Oh Michael you scared me!"
"I don't know I was looking for her myself."
"What? Michael what are you talking about?"
"Look, I have to go. I'll call you...."
'NO MICHAEL! You are not leaving without me!"
"Look , I've hurt you enough. I don't want you to get in the way of this. It may be really dangerous."
"I don't care. I'm going. If it's gonna be dangerous then I have to make sure nothing happens to you." She smiled flirtatiously and grabbed her jacket. Just as they were about to leave, Kyle came into the back room.
"Going somewhere?" Michael and Maria looked back at Kyle from the back door and Michael sighed in frustration.
"None of your business Valenti." Kyle nodded sarcastically then took out an earring from his right jacket pocket.
"Right, right. None of my business. See this? This is the earring Isabel had on earlier today at the cemetery. It's one of her lucky earrings. It's also the earring she had on when she showed up at the Crashdown for a couple of seconds and then mysteriously disappeared. Now, I've searched all over town, and I can't seem to find her. All I found was this earring outside by the back alley. Right around to the left of this back door here. So tell me, why would Isabel be coming in the back way, with this new friend of hers?" Michael stood shocked and quiet.
Maria thought and came up with the only available answer.
"The pod chamber."
Michael looked at her thinking right along those lines.
"I'm going with you."
"NO Kyle, you stay here."
"Look Michael, I found the earring, I pieced the puzzle together, and I know that Isabel was uncomfortable with this guy to begin with. Now if you guys had talked to her instead of jumping down her throat about this guy, she wouldn't have felt so pressured to date him, so since I seem to be her only real friend at the moment I'm coming along!" Kyle grabbed his jacket and ran back into the main lobby.
He whispered into his father's ear and his eyes grew in horror. Jim nodded his head in agreement and got up to walk to the back with him.
"Be careful out there. If you need my help you give me a call. I mean it."
"Yes Sheriff." Maria smiled at the comforting words and took Michael's hand. Michael looked at Kyle and rolled his eyes.
"Well come on, we have to go now."
AT THE POD CHAMBER:
Liz slowly began to gain consciousness and saw the love of her life lying next to her bleeding. She got up and her head throbbed, two years of memories floating through her head again. I remember! I remember everything! She looked over at Isabel who was crawling, struggling as if she were seriously hurt, and Ava and Tess! It seemed Ava and Tess were battling it out in the Granolith room. Liz looked at Max again and panicked, realizing he had been seriously wounded and was dying. She got up over him and touched the wound softly. He flinched but he reached for her hand.
"My God Max I'm sorry!" She started to cry and he started to hesitate as he spoke.
"I... I love you... Liz."
"No! NO Max please! Not when I just got you back." Liz looked over at Isabel desperately.
"Isabel help! Isabel?!" Just as she went to get up Isabel fell to the floor and passed out.
"OH NO!" Liz shook her head and looked around frantically for a solution. The scenario seemed oddly familiar. Liz thought back to the September day she had gotten shot. Max had stood over her, panicked for a second, but then he did something amazing. He saved her life. She thought hard and it came to her.
~ FLASH ~
They sat in the Crashdown, Isabel was frustrated because of her failure to contact Max in New York City. Ava got up desperately and grabbed a chair for Liz to sit on.
"Liz can do it."
"What?" She looked at Liz with her blue eyes and Liz could see the memories of Zan in her soul.
"If he brought you back... you're different now."
"No time to explain, but you can do it."
"But Isabel tried it and it didn't work, what makes you think I can get to him?"
"I know my brother, if there's anyone's voice who he'll hear no matter where he is, it's yours. Now give me your hand."
~ REALITY ~
Liz grabbed Max's hand and placed it in between both of hers. She put her hands over Max's wound and closed her eyes. I hope this works. For some reason, Liz reached up and rubbed the locket. Then she picked up Max's face. He was slowly losing consciousness and losing a lot of blood.
"Max... Max you have to look at me." Max struggled but managed to open his eyes enough to look into hers. She concentrated hard on him. His eyes, the eyes that had taken her so many different places. Slowly, she began to feel a strange sensation as if some power was traveling from his skin through her hands and into her body. The locket began to glow and she began to see images. But these weren't their regular images, these were images of Max as a King. These were his locked away memories from Antar. And she found herself in them. She was with Max and with Brody, or better yet, Larek in a small chamber beneath the church. He was marrying them in secret. She saw Serena, who shared a love affair with Larek and who was there as Liz's bridesmaid. Serena looked a lot like Maria then, or at least her essence was similar, which could explain Brody's liking to her. Then she saw the most incredible of them all. She saw her son... strong and tall, with his father's strong features and his mother's brown hair. And he fought his half brother for the kingdom.
Just then, she snapped out of it and pulled away. Max slowly began to awake and finally sat up, his wound, perfectly healed. He looked at Liz amazed, and she looked at him shocked, unsure of what had just happened.
"You saved my life!" Max grabbed her shoulders and pulled her in for a hard kiss on the lips. He pulled away quickly and got up to help his sister. That's when Michael, Maria, and Kyle ran in.
"What the heck is going on!" Michael yelled and ran to the floor to help Max with Isabel. Maria looked over at Liz, full of Max's blood and panicked.
"Oh My God Liz are you ok?!"
"I'm fine Maria." Liz smiled and hugged her best friend, glad to see her again. Kyle smiled at Liz and she smiled back. Then he heard some yelling. He called Michael's attention to the Granolith room.
"Oh that's right! Ava and Tess are dueling it out in there!" Max looked over at Michael and without a word they got up and made their way in there. Kyle sat beside Isabel supportively, trying to wake her. He held her head in his lap and shook her lightly. He stared at her soft face and without thinking, he softly kissed her lips.
Liz got up and looked over just as their lips touched. She looked at them, turned her head, then shot a second look. Her and Maria stood shocked, as Isabel regained consciousness.
She looked at Kyle for a second, then stood up quickly, a confused look in her eyes. She ran into the Granolith chamber and as Tess fought off Max and Michael she grabbed Ava from the corner.
"Are you ok?"
"I'm not feelin' too hot Isabel..."
"I know, I know. Just, just hang in there. It won't be long I promise." Isabel helped Ava up and they went behind Michael and Max. Isabel put her hand on Michael's shoulder and Ava on Max's. They closed their eyes and focused their energy on Tess. She began to scream and she stopped using her powers to put her hands on her head.
"How could you do this to me Ava?! Your own kind? Yourself?"
"They musta gotten us mixed up... I didn't belong with Lonnie and Rath... I belonged here. So drop dead Tess. You helped kill Zan." Ava took in a deep breath and closed her eyes tight and put all her strength into her thoughts. She began to scream and fell to the floor from the pain, just as Tess yelled with her and finally combusted from the force of her own power on her mind.
Ava fainted and fell as Isabel rushed to grab her. Liz ran in the room with Maria and Kyle and they looked at Ava, who looked like she was slowly dying. Liz looked at Max with pleading eyes.
"Can you help her?"
"I don't know. I've never seen this happen before."
"I have faith in you Max." Liz walked over and put her hand on his shoulder. Maria stood behind them all with Kyle and suddenly she felt a sharp pain in her temples shooting through her brain and behind her eyes. She started to scream and cry and held her head in her hands and Michael ran to her.
"Maria? Maria what's wrong?!" He looked her over and she was unharmed, at least on the outside.
Suddenly, Ava's eyes shot open... and she stared blankly at Isabel.
"I gotta tell you somethin' before I die."
"Ava stop it, you're not going to die, we won't let you."
"Just listen Isabel, I ain't got time. I saved Maria's life. When she was in the hospital she was dying. The baby was making her bleed inside and all. I've noticed how important she is to all of you guys... so I called on Larek to help me. Together, we saved her life, and by mistake killed the baby. I'm sorry... we did it to help her. But Larek helped me do something else. He told me what my fate was... that I would die in my own hands. So I took a risk, and transferred part of my powers into Maria. It will help you guys remain strong... as if I was still here. But, she gets to still be herself. Larek also told me about your fates. Stay together, I promise, things will flow. Thank you guys... for making me feel the small part of human in me." As she finished speaking, her eyes closed and her life faded.
Isabel looked up tears in her eyes. Max stared down unable to believe what had just happened. Michael and Liz looked baffled at Maria. Michael walked up to her and when he touched her hand an intense heat ran from his hand throughout his body and through his finger tips into hers. They formed a connection they didn't understand quite yet. But he knew he read her, felt her emotions, and even her thoughts.
Liz went to hug Max and as they touched the locket on her necklace began to glow. They had finally united and started to fulfill their destiny.
ONE YEAR LATER: "Finally... we're out! Ha, ha! High school is not quite an experience I'd like to repeat." Maria grabbed Michael's hand and hugged him with so much joy. She looked him deeply in the eyes, and before she could get it out he "read her mind."
"I love you too." She smiled and pulled him over towards her mother to take pictures.
"Have I ever mentioned how yellow is not my color?"
Liz looked over at her friend and laughed and Max came from behind and grabbed her waist.
"Hello." Liz smiled shyly and turned her head to kiss him.
"So when do we leave?"
"Give it time... we just graduated."
"I know, but I'm getting a little restless." Liz laughed and went to congratulate Kyle. He hugged her and when they pulled away he shook his head.
"Who woulda thought we'd make it... alive?"
"Yea, I know. I'm a riot."
"Yea, you're cocky too." Michael said eavesdropping from the side.
"Look who's talking spaceboy." Maria shot back quickly.
"Don't forget who's driving you to the party."
"Who? You? In my car?" Maria responded quickly and with a lot of wit.
They all gathered together and took a picture in their cap and gowns, and Isabel joined in from the crowd, to support her family and friends. They went off to the graduation after party at the Crashdown and everyone was having a ball. They ate and laughed and had a ball. Once it started getting dark, the group, Max & Liz, Michael & Maria, and Isabel and Kyle who had started dating, went off to the beach.
They laid down some long towels and took out some sodas and sandwiches. The group laughed and joked around, taking in the fact that this would be a life changing event. Michael took some CD's out of Maria's car and played them in his hands.
"Don't do that you dork! What do you want? For people to see you? Get the boom box from my trunk.
"Jesus, what am I gonna do with you?" Michael rolled his eyes, and got up to get the radio. As they played the music, Kyle took Isabel's hand and they danced barefoot in the sand. Michael pushed Maria into the sand, and she pushed him back and they ended up making out in the mud. Max and Liz laughed and he held her close to him.
"Like I promised." He took off his school ring and placed it on her finger next to the promise ring he had given her just a year ago.
"Thank you." She looked up from her place in his lap and kissed him. At that moment, Max got a strange feeling he didn't like. It was a feeling he didn't understand. Almost as if this would be the last time he would be with her for a long time. Or one of the last times. He tried to ignore the feeling and enjoy himself. But it was strong. Stronger than anything he had experienced in almost a whole year.
That night the crew dispersed and drove home happy.
Max and Isabel went upstairs, laughing and joking, feeling closer to each other than they had in years.
"You know Max, staying here was one of the best decisions we ever made. I feel so at home here. Mom and Dad, you, Michael, Kyle."
"Yea, I know exactly what you mean. This is home. Now get to bed, we've got a long day tomorrow."
Isabel hugged her brother and went off to her room.
Max went and took his tuxedo out of the closet and placed it on his chair, everything was ready. He lay down, and as he closed his eyes he was startled by the sound at his window. There before him stood Brody, with the Pentagon.
Liz was just falling asleep when she heard a rumble on her balcony. She opened her eyes to see Max climbing through her window.
"Hey... what are you doing here?" Max's face was sad as he tried to speak.
"I need to talk to you."
"I don't know how else to say this... but... I'm leaving at dawn." Liz stood up, unsure of what she'd heard.
"What do you mean Max?"
"I mean me, Michael, and Isabel are leaving at dawn. This time it's for real."
"But that's impossible. The Granolith was destroyed remember?" Liz's voice began to swell up with emotion as she tried to control herself.
"Larek came to me tonight and told me this is our last chance to fix things. To get my son back. If I don't leave now, I may never get another chance to help him. He said Kavar is raising him now that Tess is dead."
"Max?! What about tomorrow?!" Max lowered his eyes and looked down at his feet.
"It's our wedding day tomorrow!"
"I know... I'm sorry." Liz's eyes watered up and she began to cry.
"How can you do this to me?! I've gone through so much for you! I thought finally we were doing this for real! Finally we were showing people that we were meant to be! And you have to leave! Just a year ago you had to leave and you stayed! Stay again!"
"Liz you have to understand... the only reason I stayed is because I found out Tess killed Alex ok?! If I wouldn't have found that out I would've left."
Liz's expression changed from sadness to anger. She looked up at Max shocked and obviously hurt by his words.
"Oh I see... you didn't care enough to stay for me. Not like Michael cared for Maria. You would've left me here in the dust and gone off with your wife. Let me tell you something Max... if you leave tonight... don't bother coming back." The words ran through Max like knives. He took Liz's hands and she pulled away from him.
"Liz, try to understand. I need to find my son."
"Well, go ahead. Nobody is stopping you."
"I need to know you'll be here when I come back."
"IF you come back."
"You think I'm just gonna forget about you?! I have loved you too long and too hard to forget about you. Anywhere I go... you're in my heart. I'm coming back for you Liz... I promise." Max walked up to her and finally she broke out in tears. He hugged her tight and ran his fingers through her hair as she cried.
She pulled away and he kissed her with more passion than they both ever imagined. That night would change her life forever.
FIVE YEARS LATER: "LIZ!!! Liz you're already running late, now hurry up!" Maria sat in front of the TV, her hair up in a bun, looking bored out of her mind.
"I know I'm coming!" A 23 year old Liz ran down the stairs, her purse in one hand, shoes in the other. She looked over at her best friend and thanked God for having her always there.
"OH girl you look great! Look at you! I'm jealous... ok, now put on this lipstick. I love the way it looks on you."
"I was actually not going to..."
"Put make up on? Don't even think about it. Here. Now don't worry, I have everything under control. I have your cell phone number, the number to the restaurant and blah blah blah. She'll be fine."
Maria turned around and from the kitchen came a beautiful little girl with dark brown hair and brown eyes.
"Mommy... you're leaving again?" The little girl looked up at her mother with sad puppy eyes.
"This is my last date, I promise." Liz picked up her daughter and gazed into the eyes of the man she loved.
"God you look just like your father." The little girl smiled proudly and kissed her mother's nose.
"I love you."
"Me too. Maria... 9 PM. The latest!"
"Yea, yea." Liz walked out and closed the door. Maria looked at Isabella and laughed.
"Come on. Let's go and get some ice cream too."
Maria grabbed Isabella Marie, who they simply called Marie, and went into the kitchen to order pizza. She sat her down and put on her favorite movie. While Marie watched cartoons and ate ice cream, Maria went up to the room she stayed at when she baby-sat for Liz. It was homey, a lot like her room when she was a teenager, the one place she felt at home. Ever. She pulled out her photo album and closed her eyes as she thought about Michael. Somehow, at some point, she had fallen asleep.
Maria was on her bed as she peacefully awoke. It was going to be a big day. Liz's wedding to the love of her life would take place, and everything seemed to be going perfect. Maria awoke to a letter on her dresser. It was from Michael. What it said changed her completely. She remembered reading it aloud.
"Maria, you know that you are absolutely the only person in the world I want to be with. There's never going to be anyone else who makes me feel the way you do. Sure you annoy me sometimes, and although I'm always so great, you put up with me anyway. I'm sorry I can't be here for you... the way I promised. We had to go back. We had no choice. I hope you understand.
I'll keep in touch somehow. I promise.
I love you always and forever,
Maria had put down the letter and cried. She called his house... the phone was disconnected. She called Liz, who wasn't home. This wasn't good and she knew it.
Months later, Michael had contacted her somehow. In her dreams, he explained what was happening. How things were going. Maria failed to do the same. She refused to let herself get closer to this image she knew she'd never see or touch again. As Maria thought about these things her dream was interrupted by a familiar voice.
"Maria?" She turned around to Michael's familiar face, the way he was five years ago.
"Oh great. I'm pathetic, now I'm dreaming that you're here."
"This isn't a dream. This is real."
"Hey Maria." Isabel came in from the shadows, a huge smile on her face.
"So what, are you guys dream walking me?"
"Sort of. How are you?" Michael walked up to Maria and when he grabbed her shoulders she pulled away.
"Fine. I'm fine. It's been almost three years since you last contacted me... what do you want?"
"I have some important news to tell you."
"Well... I don't want to hear it! Ok... I'm not going to sit around and be crazy about you. Not anymore. I'm not a teenager anymore Michael. I've grown up. And I'm engaged." The words hung thick in the air. Michael walked up to her and looked at her without backing down.
"Do you love him?" Maria hesitated and shot Isabel a look.
"Of course I do, that's why I'm marrying him."
"Actually you're marrying him to forget about me."
"Talk about conceited. Please! I don't need you. Ok? It's been five years... you left without saying good bye and you expect me to be head over heels for you?! Uh uh space boy, it doesn't work that way."
Isabel interrupted the moment and tried to approach Maria.
"Maria something really important is happening. We have truly made a difference here and have learned so many new things.... we need your help..." Before Isabel could finish, Maria was abruptly awakened by the jumping of Marie on her bed.
"Aunt Maria! Aunt Maria! Mommy's home!" Maria shot up and ran downstairs. It seems she had slept for almost 3 hours.
"Liz I'm so sorry."
"Maria... I expected Iz in bed by ten the latest. It's almost midnight. She had pizza and ice cream! What am I going to do with you two??!!"
"I'll put her to bed right now. I'm sorry." Maria went upstairs and tucked Marie in. When she came downstairs Liz was on the couch crying.
"Liz what's wrong? Was the date that bad?" Liz laughed at her best friend's humor and shook her head.
"I was thinking about Max today. Out of all people... it's been almost three years since I last thought of him. It's like all of a sudden, he's back in my system. Like he's near. And I'm really frightened Maria."
"Maybe it's just time he finds out the truth. He left behind a daughter and a wife..."
"Wife to be. We never married and never will. I told him if he left that was it. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I won't be able to say no to those eyes of his."
"You have to be strong Liz! Come on... you and Sean have been doing great. And who knows... maybe he'll actually propose." Liz looked at Maria strangely and felt a lump in her throat form.
"Did he tell you that?"
"NO! No, I'm just saying it's possible! I mean he loves Marie as his own." Maria turned her head and rolled her eyes disappointed in herself. How could she let that slip? Liz looked at Maria demandingly and Maria shrugged her shoulders maintaining her silence.
"You know Liz, now that we're on the subject... I actually got contacted by Michael... and Isabel."
"Yea. He came to me in a dream. He was trying to tell me something. It could have something to do with your funny feelings. Or it could be indigestion." Liz looked at Maria completely unamused and Maria's smile faded.
"Sorry. It wasn't really that funny."
"Maria do you know what my feelings are?" Liz looked at her with an expression Maria could read as only one thing.
"NO WAY! Come on Liz. How totally impossible is it that they'll show up again after all these years? No! I refuse to believe it!" Maria walked upstairs and into the 'gym' section of her room. She got on the electric runner as Liz kept debating the possibilities.
"What did you tell him?"
"What do you mean what did I tell him? Nothing! Not about you anyway. So Max shouldn't suspect anything... unless..." Maria hesitated and looked away from her friend at the digital miles on the machine.
"Unless what Maria?"
"Well, you and Max have always had that whole psychic, soul mate, forever even when apart connection crap going on...."
"Yea well at least Michael tried to contact you."
"Max just didn't want you to suffer more than you had to that's all." Liz's temper suddenly flared.
"Don't stick up for him Maria. I had an illegitimate child and have no way of explaining to her where her father, aunt and uncle are or who she really is. I can't take her to the doctor, though she barely gets sick anyway. I mean really, you and Kyle are like my only friends." Maria stopped the machine and looked at Liz disappointed.
"Look Liz, you're not the only person suffering! Michael didn't even say good-bye ok? He contacted me and then totally stopped for no good reason and expects me to just sit back and wait for his highness to come for me! This isn't easy for me either!" Liz lowered her head in shame for not understanding her friend's pain.
"I'm sorry Maria. At least you were smart enough to move on...." Liz went to finish her sentence when Isabella screamed. The girls ran in to check on her.
She seemed to be having some sort of dream. She was mumbling some words they couldn't understand. Maria sat next to her goddaughter on the bed and Liz kneeled by the bed. Maria grabbed one hand, Liz grabbed the other. Then simultaneously, they felt the rush as they were transported into Isabella's dream.
The place was hazy at first, but then it became oddly familiar. It was the Crashdown as it was when Liz and Maria were teenagers. They looked at each other and held hands as they walked through the front door. At the 'alien booth' sat Isabella Marie Evans. She was a beautiful mixture of both of her parents, and as she sat there it was as if she knew that's where she was supposed to be. Liz approached her at the booth.
"Sweetie, what are you doing here?" Liz sat across from her daughter who smiled a beautiful smile with several missing teeth. She looked a lot like Liz when she was a child, but she definitely had her father's eyes. Shy, secretive almost scared eyes.
"Mommy, this is Grandma and Grandpa's old store right? Why did it close?"
"They got too old to take care of it, and they were tired. So I closed it down."
"I wish it was still opened. I really liked-it it. Oh look what I can do?!" She touched the ketchup bottle on her right and it began to bubble and right before their eyes it began to turn color.
"See Mommy. It's mustard now." She smiled her cheesiest smile.
"Who taught you how to do that?" Before her daughter could answer, Isabel stepped out from the back room.
"I did. I thought it was important for her to know what she could do." Liz's eyes widened in disbelief and she gasped.
"Liz. By the way, thanks for naming her after me, it's really flattering." Isabel smiled sweetly.
"How did you know?"
"Someone kept calling me. She was in my dreams calling me. I didn't know who she was until I saw her eyes. Then there was no doubt."
"How did she know how to..." Isabella jumped up from her seat and pointed at Maria.
"Auntie Maria did it! I saw her and copied it her!" Maria looked at Liz then at Isabella. She smiled guiltily not knowing she had been watched. She pushed Isabella playfully and whispered.
"Thanks a lot." Liz looked worriedly at Isabel.
"Does Max know?"
"No. But I think you should tell him."
"No. Look Isabel there would be no point in telling Max anything ok? Or telling Isabella... why should I tell her about a father she'll never meet? Or explain why he left? I can't. I don't want her to suffer like I did, so I won't."
"Wait Liz!" before Isabel could finish Liz had grabbed her daughter and walked out the doors of the Crashdown in anger, leaving Maria behind. Maria got up to walk after them, and just as she did, Michael was coming in through the back door and into the dream. They locked eyes for an instant, but as Isabella awoke, Maria vanished.
~ Reality ~
"They're coming back!"
"What?! Maria you're delusional."
"Seriously Liz. That's why they keep trying to contact us."
"Mommy! Will I get to see my Daddy???" Liz looked at her daughter and shook her head in despair.
"Can this happen?"
Maria leaned over Liz and tried to open her eyes.
"Liz... LIIIZZZZ!!" Liz's eyes slowly opened and she was startled at her friend's appearance at that hour.
"What time is it?"
"It's Saturday Maria. The only day I get a break from work and school... ok? I need to rest."
"And rest you will. I got Kyle to take care of Isabella and we are going to get make overs. So come and get dressed. Our appointment is in half an hour."
"Our appointment? Kyle! What are you talking about?"
"If Max and Michael are supposed to be coming back, then we need to look good. We can't look like we've been waiting around! Although we have... but anyway. Besides, we look the same since we graduated from high school ok? That's, well pathetic."
The girls got ready and drove off to get things done. They returned late afternoon with bags of new clothes, manicures and pedicures, and a new look. Liz unlocked the door to the house and there on her couch lied Kyle and Isabella, sleeping shoulder to shoulder.
When she closed the door behind her, Kyle woke up. His eyes adjusted to the light and then he tried to put together why these girls looked just like his two best friends. Maria was standing in front of him with shoulder length, layered, golden blonde hair. She was wearing her high school style clothes. She had on low cut jean bellbottoms and a red tank top with a jean jacket over it. She had on some red lipstick and her hair was loose and straight. She looked like the old Maria again.
But it was Liz who he couldn't put together. The longhaired beauty he'd known so many years was sporting a short chin length hair cut, very in style and razor cut. She had on makeup and a knee length floral print summer dress. She truly looked beautiful.
"Ok, who are you guys and what have you done with my friends?" Liz smiled and nodded her head in Maria's direction.
"It was Maria's idea."
"OH... I see. Got paid again DeLuca?"
"Yea, well you know me and money." They all laughed when suddenly the phone rang. Kyle reached over and passed the phone to Maria.
"It's your boyfriend." She walked over to the phone and composed herself.
"Hey Richard. How are you?"
"Richard? Why the formality sweetie?"
"Just not in the mood to talk I guess."
"No. I just have things on my mind."
"You wanna talk about it?"
"Positive?" Maria gasped in exasperation. She rolled her eyes and burst.
"Richard - it's about one of my ex boyfriends and I don't think you want to hear it. Now I gotta go. Bye." Before he had a chance to talk, Maria hung up the phone.
"What was that all about?" Kyle looked at Maria in surprise.
"I just didn't feel like speaking to him."
"But he's your fiancee. You're going to have to learn to speak with him." Maria sat with Kyle and a still sleeping Isabella on the couch and sighed out loud.
"Will you remind me why I said I'd marry that creep?"
"Cause you were desperate?" Kyle smiled at Maria and she threw a pillow at him. The doorbell rang and Liz got tense. She shot Maria a quick nervous look and Maria nodded in agreement. Liz went and opened the door.
"Hey Sean." She tried to hide her disappointment.
"What did you do to your hair?" Sean ran his fingers through her new short cut and she flinched away from him.
"I still need to wash away the excess hair." She told him to sit and grabbed Isabella to put her to bed upstairs. When she came back down Maria had taken out a bag of chips and everyone was on the couch talking and watching TV. Liz went to join them and sat next to Sean who was sitting next to Maria. He was laughing at something that had been said and he freely put his hand around her back on the sofa. They had been there only about one hour just kidding and joking when Sean got up and turned off the television set.
"There's something I need to say." Liz looked up and Maria smiled.
"Liz. We've been seeing each other for almost six months now. And I love Isabella as if she were my own daughter. And I thought maybe...." Just as he took the ring out of his back pocket, the doorbell rang.
Maria jumped up in anger.
"Don't worry... stay right there. I got it!" She ran to the door and when she opened it, her mouth hung open. She tried to speak but it came out almost as a whisper.
Maria was staring into the familiar brown eyes of a different face. The Michael she was facing was a little rough and unshaven, his hair looked about the same length as he had it in high school, except he had it slicked back. But it was his eyes that never changed. She held her breath to see if it was real.
He seemed to read her mind, so he reached down and grabbed her waist. As he pulled her in close, he kissed her lips tenderly, and she was overwhelmed by his scent. Finally, she got herself to pull away. I have a fiancee, I can't be doing this.
"Maria." He smiled at her, his eyes glistening. I've got her back. Finally, we can be together. Michael waved his hand at the other people in the car and out came two very familiar figures. Maria gasped and looked back at Liz.
Her eyes held an expression Liz couldn't understand. Liz hadn't seen Michael, she had just seen someone grab Maria and kiss her, making Liz immediately figure it was Richard. Sean saw Maria's expression too, and he knew his cousin was nervous about something.
"Maria... what's the hold up?" Sean got up, truly ruining the moment, and when Maria moved over, Liz's face completely dropped at the sight of the three people at the door. They stood as they had the first time she saw them all together. There at her doorway stood Max, Michael and Isabel.
Max stared at Liz from the door, years of longing now expressed through his eyes, looking at a woman he barely knew, yet he knew so well. Liz stood up and went to the door, almost in slow motion. She stood in front of Max and Sean just watched from the side, afraid he knew exactly what was going on. Max reached out without a word and put his hand in Liz's hair, touching her new do. She put her hand next to his and closed her eyes, years of memories flooding back. Then, she remembered what was happening, who she was and who was there and she pulled away.
"Liz?" Liz swallowed hard trying to form words that made sense and she invited everyone in. Isabel walked in and looked around as if expecting to see someone. Liz looked her way with a demanding look. Max could not find out he had a daughter! Not now!
"Max. You remember Sean right?"
"Of course." Max extended his hand for Sean to shake and Sean looked at him jealously.
"Yea. Been gone for a while huh Evans? What brings you back to Roswell?"
"I came to see Liz."
"Oh... my girlfriend?" The words sent Max into some bewildered state. He turned to look at Liz and she lowered her eyes. She thought for a second, and then came up with an idea.
"Sean, will you excuse me for a second and hold that thought?" She grabbed Max's hand and took him out to her back porch. It was small, but it had a nice view of her huge yard and a seat swing. She closed the window doors and sat Max down on the swing. In the light of the stars, Max's eyes seemed to glow. He grabbed her hand and had her sit next to him. She tried to speak but he put his finger on her lips to quiet her.
She stared at him, a different Max than she remembered, but his eyes were still the same. He had a little roughness to him, just as Michael did. His hair was a little long, but it hung over his face. He was starting to look a lot like Future Max. She looked into the aged face and searched for a sign that he wasn't Max. But she found none.
"Liz... I'm so happy to see you." Liz leaned her head on the strong hands that were now caressing her cheeks. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. It gave her the strength to pull his hands off although she strongly wanted them there.
"Max, we need to talk. A lot has happened since you left. It's not going to be all fun and games. I have a life. And for five years, you haven't been a part of it."
"But I'm back. Just like I promised. I came for you Liz."
"Well, you shouldn't have. I told you if you left not to bother coming back. Besides, I can't leave. I have too much going on right now." Liz looked away from the only man she'd ever loved.
He put his head down as he thought and looked back up at her.
"I know you're angry with me. I'm sorry it had to happen that way. I didn't want to leave you Liz. You need to know that."
"That was a long time ago Max, I've moved on."
"Yes." She refused to look at him, afraid she'd fall in love all over again.
"I see." Max grabbed her face and made her look at him. He looked all over her face, exploring every angle and every inch of her face. He hadn't realized how much he'd missed her until then.
"Max. Max... I, I'm getting proposed to tonight."
She raised her eyes to meet his and he did, with so much passion, she was afraid he'd read her mind.
"Do you love Sean Liz?" She waited for a second, trying to think and realized she never wanted to leave Max's arms.
"Not like I love you." Max smiled and looked down at Liz's hands seeing she had never taken off his class ring. He moved in close and let his nose touch hers, his lips touch hers, then he kissed her. The flashes of their last night together encircled them. Sean looked through the doors and shook his head. He knew. He had known as soon as he saw Max, he'd lost Liz forever. He grabbed his jacket, without a word gave Maria a kiss goodnight, and left.
Isabel sat next to Kyle catching up.
"So what have you been up to all these years?"
"I'm the football coach at Roswell High."
"Yea. What about you? Look at you. You look... different." He softened his last word and she stared back at him with a sweet smile. She had cut her hair short and dyed it brown. She wanted to be a new Isabel Evans. A more independent woman. A grown woman. Kyle smiled back and turned the TV back on.
"So? What kind of TV do they have on your planet? Like the human channel? Do they dissect humans for the fun of it?" Isabel looked at Kyle and burst out laughing at the comment.
"Now I know why I missed you." She looked around and realized that Michael and Maria were gone. Suddenly, she heard a small cry.
"Mommy! Mommy! Auntie Maria!" Isabel looked at Kyle, and he realized she might not know about Isabella. As Isabel got up, she heard the fall of pots and pans. Maria ran out of the kitchen, excused herself, and went upstairs. Michael walked out of the kitchen wiping his lips and smiled at Isabel. She laughed and shook her head in a humorous disgust.
That's when Maria brought down Isabella.
|posted on 21-Jun-2002 4:17:06 PM|
"Isabella. I want you to meet some very important people." Outside Liz heard Isabella's small cry and pulled away from Max. It was as if she remembered who she was again, and came back from a brief trip to teenage hood.
"Oh no. There's something I forgot to tell you."
"But first I need to go inside for a second." Liz got up looking slightly perplexed. Max ran after her.
"Liz what's wrong?" They hadn't made it past the living room when Liz froze in her path. She looked at her daughter who was dancing in the middle of the living room to the music of the television for her 'crowd.'
Max looked at the little girl and almost as a flash saw Liz as a little girl, the way she had looked with her cupcake dress on. That's when he understood.
"You have a daughter?" Max looked at Liz with a mixture of confusion and hurt. The room stopped everything to look at them. Isabel saw the anguish on Liz's face and tried to bail out her soon to be 'sister in law.'
"Max, this is Isabella. Isabella this is Max."
Isabella curtsied and went to shake Max's hand. He kneeled down and looked into her eyes, recognizing something oddly familiar in them.
Michael smiled, proud to be an uncle of such an adorable little girl and he grabbed Maria by the waist. She pulled his hand away and rolled her eyes. Then she looked at Liz urging her to tell them. Liz made an embarrassed face and shook her head.
"Max. This is Isabella Marie. Isabella Marie... Evans." Max slowly turned to look at Liz. He searched her eyes for some sort of clue as to what she was talking about, but the look on Isabel's face, the look of pure pride, was not to be mistaken.
"Yea Maxwell. Looks like you gotta kid." Michael looked at Isabella and realized there was no denying her anyway. Isabella looked up at Max and pulled him down to her level.
"I know you. I think I seen you in Mommy's pictures." She touched his cheek and he just stared at her beautiful little face. Then her eyes all of a sudden widened.
"Max Evans?" He nodded his head in agreement.
"You're my daddy aren't you?" Max looked up at Liz and she nodded.
"Yea. Yea I guess I am." Isabella threw herself on him and gave him a huge hug. Michael smiled and Isabel tried to contain her tears. This was going to be an interesting evening. Michael looked at Isabella and motioned his finger so she came to him. He held out her hand to shake it.
"Hey. I'm Michael. Kinda your uncle I guess."
"Hi, Uncle Mickey." Isabel smiled at the little girl and offered out her arms in a hug.
"And I'm your Aunt Isabel."
"Woah. I gots it your name?"
"Yea. You do." Isabel picked her up off the ground and hugged her tight.
"So Liz, I was thinking maybe we could room here, since for right now we ain't got nowhere to go." Michael smiled at Liz who had turned out to be a true beauty. She smiled back.
"I guess so. But don't get too used to it."
"Great." He moved over next to Maria and whispered in her ear. "Ok so where's your room?"
"What?! Not in this lifetime spaceboy."
"Oh come on." He looked at her eyes and hoped she'd crack. She didn't.
"NO. Ok? Just N - O. NO. Besides, I just cleaned my room, I can't have you messing it up."
"How would I mess it up?"
"You just would. Dios mio, you ask a lot of questions. You're worse than Isabella." Michael laughed and Kyle got up to make his way out. Isabel realized he was leaving and ran after him.
"Do you really have to go? I was hoping you could stay and chat a while. I'd love to catch up."
"I'm sorry, but I need to get home. I have a lot to do tonight. How about this? What are your plans for tomorrow? We could hang out... think of old times... eat."
Isabel laughed and hugged Kyle. "I'd love that."
"Great." Without expecting it, Isabel kissed him.
"Goodnight." When Isabel went inside, Liz was setting up the sofa couch and some blankets on the floor. Isabella ran to Isabel and wrapped herself around her legs.
"Can I sleep with Auntie Iz tonight?" Liz looked at Isabel uncertainly.
"Of course she can. Is that ok with you Liz?"
"Oh yea, that's fine." They lay down and within minutes Isabella was asleep. Isabel turned on the TV and lay back on the couch. Michael fluffed his pillows on the floor and hugged Liz goodnight. Max came in from the kitchen and stopped when he saw Liz.
"Can we talk?"
When they slipped upstairs, Michael took his chance. "I'm going to the bathroom. Be back."
"Sure..." Isabel rolled her eyes. It's like we're back in high school. He made his way upstairs and listened carefully to the sounds coming from the inside of the rooms. Several doors down was Liz and Max whispering and the last room carried a small whimper into the hallway. He opened the door a crack and could see Maria looking into a book. He walked in quietly and she looked up from what he now could see was a photo album.
"What are you doing in here? And I don't know about you, but here on this Earth we have a primitive concept we like to call PRIVACY! Do you mind knocking first?"
"Why are you crying?"
"Did you not hear a word I said? Besides, I'm not crying, I got something in my eye."
"Oh please! You've been spending too much time with Isabella. I can see you were crying cause your eyes are puffy and your nose is red..."
"Maria, can we focus for a second?" Maria lowered her guard and looked up directly at Michael, her red eyes looking at him longingly.
"Look, I'm sorry I left the way I did, I mean..."
"Michael don't take this personally but I don't really want to hear all your little excuses or complaints about how horribly everything went or if it went horribly because I myself had a pretty rough five years and I have no intention in dwelling on the bad times because that would just be totally pointless, so what I suggest is that we just try and forget everything that happened and move on with our lives and get ourselves together and grow up..."
She hadn't even taken a breath yet and Michael just pressed his lips so strongly against hers she could barely breathe. When they finally pulled away Maria's eyes were wide in disbelief.
"What'd you do that for?"
"To calm you down. Now just shut up and listen to me for a second? I know that I am the worst boyfriend that ever walked the Earth, ok? You have made that perfectly clear. But I also know that I am capable of being loved, and there is no one on this Earth or on my planet that can make me feel the way you do. Like I've said to you before Maria, you're open. And I can never thank you enough for trusting your soul in my hands."
"Open?" Maria sounded sarcastic, almost unbelieving although she knew very well that he saw everything she was feeling.
"Yea. Like I know what you're feeling right now. What you're thinking."
"Really? What's that?"
"You're wondering what you're gonna do now that your life is being turned upside down. You're scared because you're getting this overwhelming feeling of memories and of love that you almost forgot what it felt like. You don't want to give yourself in to me since you are supposed to be getting married, and you're afraid that even that marriage may be the wrong choice. And biggest of all is that you know that I am the worst and most badly groomed boyfriend in the world but I love you more passionately than anyone since ever has, and our chemistry is so overwhelming even after five years apart that you just want to jump on me and kiss me until your mouth goes numb."
Michael smiled a cocky smile and looked down at the picture she was looking at. It was their junior prom picture. They had looked perfect that night.
"It's amazing how after five years you can just get more conceited."
"Yea, well it's a gift."
"Look Michael, I really need some time to think. Please. Just give me some room for now. If things change you'll know."
"Fine... but so you know I'm not going to lose you. Not to anyone and especially not for some preppy nerdy Richard guy."
"How do you know his name is Richard?"
"Because I know everything Maria. We're connected. You seem to have forgotten that." Maria began to cry silently and he held her in his arms until she fell asleep.
"So we had a daughter? Why didn't you ever bother to contact me and try to tell me?"
"Why didn't you ever try to contact me to tell me you were alive?"
"There was a lot going on..."
"Ditto." Liz was whispering to prevent Isabella from hearing her, but also to prevent Max from truly reading into what she was feeling.
"Liz, I wish I could've been there for her, for you."
'You know Max, it's really not that big a deal ok? I mean, it's ok if you want to be a part of her life, I'd understand."
"But not a part of yours..."
"Max, I told you. I told you that night that if you left, not to bother coming back to me. I'm just now getting my life together. Sure I don't love Sean, but maybe Sean isn't the one for me. Maybe someone else is. But how do I know you're not going to just pack up and leave again? My heart is delicate Max, I can only have it broken a certain number of times. With you it's already been three times."
"Yes. Need me to name them?"
"No, no. Ok. Well I guess the only thing to tell you is that to truly love someone you have to let them go in hopes that they'll come back to you. I mean, if the only way to show you how much I truly love you is to watch you love someone else, regardless of the pain, then I guess that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make." Liz nodded her head and smiled. It felt so good to have him there again. To have him there at her reach, and not necessarily have to give herself to him right away. Her heart needed to heal, and when it did, she'd be ready. And he'd be there waiting for her.
"I wanted to see if we could get Isabella to go out with me so we can get to know each other. Maybe we can visit somewhere tomorrow. Together. Like, with you too."
"That's a great idea. So I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Yea. Goodnight Liz."
"Goodnight Max." Max walked out the door and whispered, "I love you."
As he shut the door, Liz jumped out of bed and ran to the door.
Liz kissed him, soft, then intensely just to see if what she feared was true. And it was. That passion for him had never died. He still made her stomach rumble every time she looked at him. He still made her knees weak and lightheaded. And when she kissed him, she still got the flashes. The flashes of high school were the strongest. The ones from when they first met were full of the most emotion. It's as if she felt the heated chemistry rise in her and was afraid that it would run through him if she didn't hide it.
But he felt it too. He tried to keep himself from getting too excited, knowing that he'd make her glow. His alien powers made it impossible for him to hide how he felt. How there was this heat that ran through his veins. How he almost felt like they weren't on the ground, but rather they were flying in the air. He pulled away from her slowly. I have to respect her opinion and keep her alert. Maybe she'll miss me and come back to me. For now, I have to let her be. Max looked at her sad expression, then kissed her lips very tenderly.
"I love you." With that he walked away and down the stairs with a small smile on his face. This could be it. Finally, he'd be able to marry the one woman he's ever loved.
The next morning everyone woke up early, ready to face their new lives, with old friends. Everyone had places to go and people to see. Liz and Max got Isabella ready early and went out for breakfast.
Afterward, they were going to spend some time at the park and watch a movie. Isabel got up eagerly and called Kyle. She couldn't wait to see him again and to spend the day with him. She was hoping something could truly develop from there.
Michael had to get up and find an apartment and a job. Maria was the only one left without an activity and without a friend.
She packed up some things and headed out. There was something she needed to do.
"Yea, it's me. I need to talk to you."
"Coming sweetie." Amy DeLuca- Valenti came out of her bedroom and hugged her daughter.
"Hey honey, what's up?"
"Mom, I am so frustrated I need to talk to someone before I explode ok? You don't understand, I'm losing my sanity here."
"Ok, ok. We can talk. I'll make you some breakfast, and we can talk while we eat." Amy started getting out some things to make and Maria practically inhaled the granola bars on the table.
"Mom... I know we've spent a lot of money and effort on my wedding. And I really appreciate it all. More than I could explain to you. But I've started to get doubts..."
"Oh Maria, that's just cold feet."
"NO. No Mom. I mean, I'm starting to think that maybe marrying Richard isn't such a good idea." Amy stopped what she was doing and turned around confused.
She pulled out a left over pie she'd made and put two spoons on the table.
"Ok Maria what is this all about? I know you didn't just wake up this morning thinking this."
"You're right. Something has come up. It's just that... well do you think I should marry him?"
"Maria that's your choice, he's going to be your husband. You have to live with him and wake up with him every morning."
"I don't love him." Amy stopped short of her mouth with the spoon. She looked up slowly at her daughter, unsure of what to make of the comment.
"THEN WHY ARE YOU MARRYING HIM?!" Amy said the words articulately, slowly and very drawn out.
"Because I didn't want to be alone. Because I was hoping that someone could fill the empty spot in my heart that a rugged retard left. That maybe someone could come around and love me the way Michael had."
"But Maria, you know that Michael is gone. He's been gone for years." Maria looked guiltily at her mother.
"He's back?!" Amy looked baffled. "NO way!"
"Not only is he back, but just him being here in the state makes me want to just tie him to me so he won't ever go away. God Mom, I didn't even realize how much he meant to me until he came back. You know, I would be living a lie if I convinced myself that a life with Richard was a happy one. When I look at him nothing happens."
"When I look at him... it's like I'm a queen. I feel so complete. So secure, and yet so afraid."
"You're in love." Amy softened her tone and held her daughter's hand from across the table. She smiled as comforting as she knew how. "All I can say is, if you really don't love Richard, then maybe he isn't the right person for you. You have to go with your heart Maria. I think deep inside you know what you want to do. Just don't forget... Richard has feelings too. And he might have grown very fond of you, maybe even love you. Be careful, whatever you do. And make sure that your delicate heart is worth giving to Michael Guerin. And that he won't completely leave you in the dust."
Amy got up and kissed her daughter on her forehead and proceeded to make breakfast. This was going to be so crazy.
The next day, the group congregated for breakfast in Liz's kitchen. It seems no one had gotten an apartment in that short amount of time, so in the meantime, they'd be staying at Liz's house. They all sat in the living room around the morning cartoons that Isabella was starting amusedly at. That's when the subject of the Crashdown came up.
"So, are your parents still working at the Crashdown?" The statement had made Liz, Maria, and Kyle look up and look at each other rather uncomfortably. Liz lowered her spoon of scrambled eggs and shook her head.
"No. They don't own the Crashdown anymore. Ummm... when Mom died, Dad didn't want to run the place alone, and I refused to have anything to do with it. So, he got his own apartment and although the Crashdown is under my name now, it's been boarded up for about 3 years."
Isabel decided to ask some questions, to get to really know the girl who would become her sister-in-law.
"Why didn't you want anything to do with it?"
"Too many memories, I guess."
"Oh. But it still belongs to you? Maybe you could do something with it. You know make it a part time job, and give the tourists a reason to come to Roswell. I hear they still have the Crash Festival every year."
Maria tried to stick up for her friend, without seeming too obnoxious.
"Yea, well now there's no place for the troubled, misled teenagers to hang out in their idiotic costumes before it."
Michael shot back with another smart comment. "You must have been one of those troubled, misled, idiotic teenagers considering you did the Crash Festival every year. Right?"
"Well that is what you said isn't it?" Maria looked at Michael frustrated and he smiled.
"Anyway." Everyone continued to eat their breakfast and Michael broke the silence in the most unexpected way.
"Oh Maria. I'd like to see your mom, if she's still around. You know just to say hi."
Maria looked at Michael suspiciously and stopped eating.
"What for? If you want to say hi, give her a call."
"I want to visit her."
"Because, she's my mom and I don't want you to visit her and put all these stupid theories of who I should have become in her head! So just forget it!" Maria got up and went into the kitchen to put her plates in the sink. Isabel looked at Maria and then back at Michael.
"Why are you such a dork! Stop pushing her buttons Michael! She's going through enough as it is... don't you think that us coming back has a toll on them? God, give her a break." Isabel got up with an attitude and went into the kitchen after Maria. Liz followed them, not knowing quite what to say, but agreeing it had been settled.
Kyle started laughing and Michael shot him a dirty look.
"You gotta admit... they both got you good. Especially Isabel. Man, you are just not their favorite person right now, are you?"
"Kyle shut up."
"Hey man it's true. Don't get mad at me because you haven't changed a bit."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You still have that 'magical' sense when it comes to talking to Maria and Isabel. At least now Isabel sticks up for herself."
"Hey, Isabel has no reason to stick up for herself, I just tell her the truth."
"Or your version of it."
Michael went to say something and Max cut in.
"Ok guys please. Isabella is watching television and she can hear everything you're saying so can you take it easy? Be a little more considerate?"
Michael turned around and watched TV with Isabella, not getting rid of his attitude. Kyle kept laughing and got up to put some dishes in the sink. When he walked into the kitchen the girls were sitting on some stools by the counter and talking.
"Oh! I'm sorry to interrupt."
Isabel smiled at him. "It's no problem Kyle."
She watched him as he walked out and Liz saw the look on Isabel's face. Is it possible that they'll get together again? Isabel looked at Maria who looked aggravated.
"Ok, I have an idea. I know what helps me feel better. Let's go shopping. Let's just relieve all this stress and shock we've been going through for the past 3 days. Just get as much money as you possibly can without going bankrupt and let's just go."
Maria looked at Isabel amused.
"Are you serious?"
"Ok then. Liz, let Isabella spend some quality time with her father. Let's go shopping." The girls came out of the kitchen into a tense living room atmosphere.
Isabel who was usually the one with the authority, came out and spoke up.
"Here's the deal. We have decided that we are tired, frustrated, and stressed and we need to get these emotions out before we explode on you three. So this is the plan. Maria, Liz, and I are going shopping. We will be out for most of the day, and will have our phone ringers off, so don't call unless it's a life or death situation. We are leaving Isabella in your care, YOUR being all three of you, but mostly Max. You are her father after all. Any questions?"
The three guys sat dumbfounded, not quite knowing what to say to her demanding proposal. She smiled, got her purse, and stepped out, dragging the girls behind her.
It had been almost four hours since they had left the house to shop. Finally, the girls were tired and hungry.
"Where to? I'm starved." Isabel looked over at Liz who was thinking about a food place.
"You know, I would normally go to the Crashdown after shopping." Isabel looked to catch Liz's reaction.
Liz thought for a second, and almost as if Isabel had broken the ice, Liz responded.
"Well, let's go then."
"I thought you said it was closed?"
"It is. But I have the keys. I go there sometimes. When I need to think. Or when I needed to cry. When I needed to feel young again. My room is exactly as it was five or six years ago. The Crashdown is almost the same. But it's old, and there are boxes everywhere. There's food in the fridge upstairs where I stay. We can make that."
Isabel looked at Liz surprised.
"So you left the house the same but you didn't want to see the Crashdown?"
"The house had a sort of emotional value."
"The Crashdown didn't?"
"There were just things that happened there that I didn't want to remember."
"Like the fact that my brother saved your life and changed it forever?"
Maria looked up to see Liz's reaction. Isabel was really snapping on her.
"Look, they were just memories that were too painful."
Isabel kept driving, but she seemed to suddenly be far away somewhere.
"Let me tell you something Liz. And you Maria...."
Maria looked up to see Isabel's eyes get sad.
"There's something that I learned about memories. They can be really painful... sure. But the pain does subside. Eventually it goes away. And you're left with magical pictures of something that made you feel... complete." Isabel looked over at Liz at the red light.
"When Alex died, all I could do was hate myself for not loving him sooner. But I had memories, great memories. Although at first, I hated thinking about it, after a while, I felt like I had to. Like I was empty if I didn't. Yesterday I visited Alex's grave with Kyle. And I cried, memories were coming back to me stronger than they ever had. But I cried out of the happiness that I still remembered them. That I hadn't lost Alex yet."
Liz looked down feeling a little guilty and also a little enlightened.
"I never thought of it that way."
Isabel kept driving and they pulled up in front of an old, dark, boarded up Crashdown Cafe.
"You can't be afraid of love. You have to have it and enjoy every second of it, because you never know when it will be gone. And sometimes it'll be too late. I mean, think of how lucky you two are. Sure, you lost your loves temporarily. But they came back to you. And to let them go now would be... well it would be cursing yourself to never loving again."
Liz nodded in agreement with Isabel and to her surprise hugged her. Isabel laughed and hugged her back. But in the midst of it all, no one had heard Maria cry.
Liz put the last of the dishes in the cabinets and sighed loudly as she turned around. It was so great having everyone back. She didn't feel so lonely anymore, and there was never a dull moment. Her conversation with Isabel had really opened her eyes to things she hadn't thought about for a long time. She placed the towel on the counter and went up to her room. On her bed was Isabella, peacefully sleeping.
She smiled at her beautiful daughter and how happy she'd been. The day they spent at the movies was so strange. Everyone had complimented Max and her on their beautiful daughter, and for once in a long time, Liz felt complete. Just as Isabel had said.
She walked quietly to her night table, having left the door slightly open. She pulled out a small box. She sat at the edge of her bed and hesitated.
As she opened the box, Max walked by the room. He saw Liz through the crack in the door, and curious, he stood to watch.
She pulled out the pendant with the alien symbol on it that Max gave her the night before he almost left with Tess. Then from underneath it, she pulled out her locket with the same symbol. She looked at the locket and felt a sense of energy return to her. As if the locket had held years of youth in it. She put it on, and in a quick motion, she got up. She knew what she had to do.
As she walked out of the room, she came across Max, who was leaning by her door.
"You startled me!" Liz tried to keep her voice down.
"I'm sorry." Max whispered and just his voice sent shivers down her spine. "So where are you going? It's kinda late, don't you think?"
"Oh, I just have to do something."
"Just something. I've been thinking and I guess I just had to get myself to realize what's truly important." Max looked down at her locket and picked it up to look at it.
"Does this have to do with your sudden revelation?"
Liz smiled, a little embarrassed. "Yea, sort of."
"Liz, where are you going?"
Liz breathed in deeply and shook her head.
"What do you mean home?"
Max looked at her confused. That's when Liz got the idea.
"Come with me. I think what I'm going to do will have more meaning if you're there with me anyway."
She grabbed his hand and her keys off the table by the stairs. In minutes, they were at the Crashdown.
"Wow. I haven't even been inside, and it looks pretty bad." Liz laughed and they got out of the car. She unlocked the front doors which were boarded up and Max got a quick strange flash.
"You ok Max?"
"Yea. I'm fine." Max shook his head, to shake the image he hadn't even clearly seen. When she opened the door and looked back at him he felt it again.
Then he saw it. She was walking into the Crashdown after he'd kissed her six years ago. The night he was supposed to go back to his planet with Tess. He remembered how he had cried out in his car that night.
Then, just as quickly, he remembered the night it was raining and he had gone to apologize and reassure Liz that nothing was happening between him and Tess. The memories were strong, almost haunting, as if they'd been locked in there for too long. He walked in after Liz and looked around at a place he barely recognized.
The tables were covered in white blankets, now brown with dust. The counter was empty, the stools all upside down on it. And his favorite booth. The one where he sat almost every day for four years. He looked at Liz, and she smiled.
"To face my past." Liz grabbed a hammer and passed it to Max. She also grabbed a wet sponge and got to work. They worked practically all evening. It had only been about eight when they'd left. In about four hours, the place looked almost exactly as they had left it five years ago.
Liz looked at Max, and noticed how tired he was.
"I'm so sorry I made you do all this work. I just really needed to do this."
"You know what? I think I needed to do this too."
They took down two chairs and sat at a table. Max looked over at the corner of the Crashdown. The corner that changed his life.
"You know... for years after you got shot, I wondered what would have happened if things would've been different. You know? Like if, you hadn't gotten shot then I wouldn't have saved you, then you wouldn't have learned my secret, and we would have never fallen in love."
"You know Max... I don't think it's good to dwell on the past. However, the future should be important."
"What are you saying?" Max looked at Liz confused.
"I'm saying that after all these years of dwelling on what was and what could have been, I'm ready to start over. A new beginning is just about due. And when the old and the new meet, Grandma Claudia used to say it was a sign. That things were going to go forward, and that's when you made life's most important decisions. It's about time."
Max smiled at her and motioned for her to sit with him on the stools.
"So what you're saying is you're reopening the Crashdown?"
"What I'm saying is I'm ready to face my past and move on with my future. So yes, I guess opening the Crashdown would be a large part of that. But what I was getting at was... well, I want you to be a part of Isabella's life. She needs a father. And you're here. So...."
"What about you? What do you need?" Liz looked at Max trying to read into his question.
"Just for my daughter to be happy is fine with me."
"You know what I think? I think you need someone to love you. Someone to close that wound that I seem to keep reopening."
"It's not that Max...." Max grabbed her hand and walked her over to the corner by the back door.
"Liz... like you said. It's time for me too. I'm ready to settle down. And right here in this corner where I saved your life... where I risked so much but gained everything I could ever dream of. Here I am asking you now... marry me?"
Liz's eyes widened and she began to shake her head.
"Max... you know this is just not going to work... I can't...."
"Forget what HAS happened and try to focus on what we CAN have. PLEASE. Liz, your only good choice here would be yes, because seriously, it can't be any harder to be together than it was to be apart."
Liz began to cry and he grabbed her and kissed her, flashes of their Vegas wedding overwhelming them.
"We could be a family." Max looked into her eyes and it was as if he saw something inside her buckle.
"Ok. What else can I say? You can't fight love...."
Max smiled and kissed his bride to be.
"Thank you so much for coming with me Kyle!"
"No problem, I just can't believe that this place is open again. It's crazy!"
"I know. Brings back a lot of memories huh?"
"And to open right on time for Maria's bridal shower!"
"Yea, I just wish she would be as enthusiastic as you." Isabel laughed and held Kyle's hand. They were practically a couple without the title.
Max and Liz stood taking pictures with Isabella and a much older Mr. Parker at the opening of the Crashdown Cafe.
Michael hadn't shown up, neither had Maria. Richard sat around waiting and eating. Only immediate friends and family were at the party, but there were also a lot of strangers since it was the opening. Suddenly, Maria arrived. She walked in, solemn, and slightly indecisive.
"Everyone... I really need to talk to you. Especially you Richard."
"Ok... well you can start by telling me why you're late."
"I wasn't going to come."
"What do you mean? It's your bridal shower!"
"Then you should throw it for Liz, she's the only bride here."
Maria swallowed what seemed to be a huge lump in her throat and she looked Richard dead in the eyes.
"I can't marry you Richard. I'm sorry. And I'm sorry all of you had to come here today, for anything other than this great opening. There's still too much I need to come to terms with. And I can't. I mean, I haven't even lived yet. Marriage isn't something I want right now. So I guess I'm saying good bye Richard. For good." Maria turned on her heels and walked out.
Isabel sat shocked, but knowing exactly what had happened.
Liz looked at Max wide-eyed and he let her go so she can run after her friend.
Isabel ran after them.
"Maria!" She turned around, her eyes puffy and red.
She was hysterical.
"I can't! I can't do it! I don't love him. He's too nice, too sweet, too obnoxious! Besides, how mean would it be to kiss him and be thinking of Michael and the eraser room! I mean I feel like I'm cheating on Richard... I just can't marry him in good conscious. I don't even love Richard. God I hate Michael Guerin."
Isabel walked up and hugged Maria.
"He loves you too. Which is why he was just waiting to see what would happen." Suddenly, Michael walked out of the back of the alley. Maria's eyes widened as she realized what was going on.
"You were there! You heard?"
"Well isn't this great? First I make a fool out of myself in public, then in front of my friends, now in front of Michael. This is just ridiculous. Goodness, I hate everyone." Michael grabbed Maria close and put his forehead on hers.
"Thank you. Because, I truly don't know what I would've done if I'd lost you."
Isabel smiled and looked back at a waiting Kyle and Max and of course little Isabella. Finally, they were starting all over again.
"Welcome one and all to our housewarming party!"
"You mean apartment warming!"
"Same thing." Maria smiled and elbowed Michael.
"So the apartment is working out ok?"
"Well besides his constant mess and oh yea his smelly feet, yes the apartment is great."
Isabel laughed and sat on Kyle's lap.
"So what about you guys?"
"We're heading to Paris next week. I can't wait. Then from there we'll go to Sweden. Just to say goodbye to Alex once and for all. Then maybe Kyle will get the guts to ask me to marry him. Because goodness knows, I may end up having to." Kyle laughed and Liz and Max and Isabella walked in.
"Auntie Maria, Auntie Iz!" Isabella ran to the girls and hugged them. Liz and Max walked in laughing.
"Hey lovebirds." Maria laughed.
"Look who's talking." Liz rubbed Maria's pregnant belly.
"Oh hush yourself. So you guys staying for dinner?"
"Definitely." Everyone set the table and got ready for the food. As they sat around the table Max held up his glass of champagne.
"As we all sit here today, with all we've been through. I guess I just want to say, thank you all. For being friends... family, and just great people."
"Oh great. Count on Maxwell to get mushy."
"Yea. Tell me about it." Maria and Michael laughed and toasted. Isabel got up and raised her glass.
"Well I want to say something too. I want to say good luck to everyone... and I hope everything goes perfectly. We all deserve nothing but the best now. And Alex, Rest in Peace. I love you guys. Especially you Kyle. Thank you, for letting me open up."
Maria and Liz got up and toasted to friendship and love.
And Kyle and Michael toasted to reconciliation.
Isabella got up and toasted to Saturday morning cartoons.
And Max got up one more time.
"Thank you fate. For letting us all meet. For letting us all be together, although it was rough at first. We owe you everything. Liz, for not freaking out, and for opening yourself up for me to heal you. Maria for not telling our secret. Kyle, for supporting us and helping us even though you hated my guts. Alex... for being there until the end. Isabel, for becoming the beautiful woman you are and Michael for being yourself and turning into the brother I never had. Isabella... for being our one uniting force. I love you all. So here goes a toast. To a brand new start. A new beginning."
Everyone smiled and toasted their glasses. Finally, they were all together the way it should've been. Time had done nothing but brought everyone closer together. Life would be so different now, and it seems everyone was up to the challenge.