posted on 14-Sep-2002 2:42:50 PM
TITLE: THE RETURN
AUTHOR: willowbv⊕yahoo.co.uk
DESCRIPTION: M/L, M/M fic,after DEPARTURE, the aliens left earth with Tess. Fastforward seven years and now they are back. Max is back for Liz but things have changed…Maria now knows that Michael is back on earth things, for her too have DEFINITELY changed and her life gets a lot more complicated
A/N: this first part focuses on how Liz and Max deal, the second will cover what happens when Michael and Maria meet up, which I can say it was very fun to write…
P.S FEEDBACK IS VERY WELCOME
DISCLAIMER: I do not own roswell, it belongs to Katims and Co and the WB and UPN

Max stood watching her read, noting everything; how her long brown hair occasionally draped in front of her eyes and the delicate way she pulled it back behind her ears. Instantly memories of his fingers running through that soft luxurious hair, her vanilla scent from her shampoo intoxicating his memories of their kisses…which now had to end. He had to say goodbye to her, the woman he loved with all his heart and soul.

Liz felt that sensation that familiar tingling which brought a blush to her cheeks. "Max", she whispered instinctively as she turned to see him standing outside her window. Things were awkward to say the least between them, after she had told him that she had slept with Kyle and after he'd told her to grow and seen him kiss Tess, things had been a bit…tense. BUT they had decided to be friends and that was good, Liz decided as it was better than the alternative, cutting all connection from Max and Liz didn't think that she could deal with that.
"Come in," she called to him. He tentatively entered and stood awkwardly glancing around her room till his eyes rested on her bed. Liz could almost see the pain he felt reliving the moment when he'd seen her and Kyle in her bed together. She wished there was something she could do, to change it all…but their future had depended on hurting Max.
"Liz," he began. The expression on his face told her all she needed to know. This was bad.
"There's something I need to tell you."
Liz knew that tone, it was the same one Future Max had used when he told her he needed her to make Max fall out of love with her; it was thick, strained and sad.
She crossed the room and standing a few feet away from him asked, "Max what's wrong?"
"It's about Tess-"
"You know what Max," she interrupted, "your relationship with Tess is really your business-"
"She's pregnant."
Liz froze.
Did he just say pregnant?
"Pregnant?" she repeated.
He nodded solemnely, "with my child"
Liz felt like she'd been brutally punched in the stomach.
Max had slept with Tess, her mind calculated, she was pregnant with his child!
Liz was numb. Somewhere she was in pain and she knew she'd feel it soon enough but now…she was numb.
No.. she wanted to scream, to cry but nothing, she was still numb.
"Oh" she whispered.
"The baby…my son" he amended, "can't last in this atmosphere…he's dying"
Momentarily forgetting about her beloved's betrayal, Liz said concerned, "Oh, Max that's awful-."
"But Alex managed to decode the book…" he paused sadly, "before he died…so we're leaving…I'm leaving."
Liz wasn't numb anymore, it was like she'd been doused with ice cold water, This was not happening. It couldn't be happening…it was too much…too much at once.
"When?"
"In two hours," he replied.
"Two hours!" she protested.
He nodded.
"So what, in two hours you leave Earth,".
He nodded.
Liz couldn't stand it, this cannot be happening, she thought. Max was not leaving, he couldn't leave.
But he is, said a quiet voice.
Enough was enough, her whole world crumbling around her, Liz started pacing.
"So that's it. It's over. After everything we've been through. After everything I've done for you"
"Liz, the granilith-" he protested
"I don't care about the damn granilith Max-",
"I have no choice-"
"You did Max," she accused him, "but then you had to-" she couldn't even say it. "God with Tess! Max I've broken laws for you," Liz knew she was getting hysterical but she couldn't stop herself, "I've lied for you! saved myself for you-"
Immediately Liz realised she'd made a mistake, Max caught it.
"Saved yourself for me!" he interrupted, "Liz you slept with Kyle!."
"Forget it," she waved her hand dismissively
"No, I won't Liz," he took a step towards her. The space between wasn't far enough to keep his scent from intoxicating her.

"Liz," he repeated and reached out to touch her arm. He'd barely made contact when a bright light flashed before his eyes.
Max could see Liz; her feelings, her actions. He saw himself a future version telling her to make him fall out of love with her, felt her pain and secret joy as she tried and failed to fix him up with Tess; and finally her emptiness as he walked away from her after she'd admitted sleeping with Kyle.
"Liz" he pulled away shocked and angry. Angry at his future self for making her go through that pain and angry and disappointed at himself for ever doubting her. She'd sacrificed her happiness…for him!
Suddenly he felt that knawing feeling of regret, regret over Tess…over everything, that he couldn't put into words but a kiss, he realised as he leaned in and kissed Liz with all the passion and longing he'd been harbouring, would tell her what his mind couldn't communicate. Max didn't realise when exactly they'd dropped onto her bed, but he could feel the mattress move underneath her as their kisses grew deep and passionate and as his hands tried to memorise every texture, every shape. This is the last kiss I'll ever share with Liz; his mind realised as the sweet happiness of their love mingled with the salted tears of their separation.

Liz almost cried out as Max's lips parted from hers, "Max," she whispered, her voice hoarse. She could barely stop her hands from touching him as he gently stroked her hair his eyes never leaving hers.
"Yes?"
"Do you love her?" His hands stopped their teasing and his gentle eyes filled with a powerful depth that Liz had never expected anyone to be capable of, "not like I love you," he replied.

SEVEN YEARS LATER

Rinngggggg!!!!
The alarm jolted Liz out of bed, "noo" she moaned as her feet hit the cold wooden floor and slowly made their way to the shower and her hands warm and searching turned the radio on to her favourite radio station. Her day always started like this, she loathed getting out of bed but after her walk to the bathroom and quick shower, she was always raring and ready to go. Afterall, she was getting to do what she'd wanted to do her whole life, be a doctor. She wasn't sure which field yet but right now she was getting a taste of everything and she loved it. Getting into her car, she drove the short trip to St John's hospital, Boston.

Liz entered the sliding doors and was immediately grasped into a bear hug by Nina, "hey Liz," she said as she tied her hair back in a pony tail, "had a nice night last night?" she asked with a knowing smile.
"It was great," she replied as they dodged an incoming stretcher, "we went for a movie and talked…that was it."
Nina gave her an I-don't-believe-that look, Liz just smiled. Nina was like that, if things didn't fit into her fantasy world, she sometimes chose not to believe them.
Just as she was about to tell her for the hundredth time that nothing had happened between her and Steven, a warm pair of arms enveloped her.
"Hey, Café Late, lunchtime," he whispered.
"Sure," smiled as she waved away Nina's raised eyebrow.
Just as Liz was about to greet her boyfriend with a kiss, she spied Dr Carson heading towards her. Dr Carson was a no nonsense doctor who try as she might want to make them think otherwise, had a heart. She was good at what she did and expected a lot from her med students and Liz wasn't about to disappoint.
"Hey Parker," she said as she approached, "I need you to take over from a patient of mine, nothing serious, just a cut that'll need a few stitches."
Handing Liz the paperwork on her patient, she turned on her heels and hurried along the corridor to a stretcher that had just come in.
"I gotta go," she said, disentangling herself from Steven.
"See you at lunch," he waved.
Liz walked past the delivered babies and smiled again as she watched the new fathers looking in amazement at what they had created, she turned into curtain 4 where her patient, seven year old Joshua with a cut in his knee was looking around the bare room bored.
"Hello," Liz greeted him, but as he looked at her to meet her gaze, she almost froze…he was the most adorable boy she'd ever seen. His dimpled cheeks and soft brown eyes made him look like an angel.
"Hi," he replied looking expectantly at her.
"I'm Dr Parker," she said as she sat down next to his knee, " and I'm here to stitch you up."
"Okay," he replied casually. Liz looked at him in surprise, most seven-year-olds would be yelling or screaming but Joshua was very calm.
"I take it this isn't your first cut?" she asked as she began stitching him up.
"No," he shrugged, "I've done it lots of times, so it's no big deal."
Liz smiled," what happened today?"
"Football," he shrugged, "I got tripped"
"Okay," Liz smiled. She liked this little boy. She couldn't quite put her finger on it but he seemed different somehow.
Liz finished stitching him up and led him to the waiting area for his father.
"Stay and meet him," said Joshua tugging at her sleeve.
She hated saying no to kids especially cute ones like Joshua, "if I'm not busy, I'll stop by," she replied.

Busy, turned out to be manic as Liz attended to three crash victims. Some idiot had decided to take his rage out on a defenceless family. Liz hated seeing families in pain, but then that's what she liked about her job, she concluded as she made her way back to the waiting area. She had the chance to contribute to repairing that damage.
"Hey," said Nina sympathetically, "long day?"
"Crash victims," she replied, "they're stable though," she added.
As Liz stood in the middle of the busy hospital floor, she suddenly felt a strange sensation…one she hadn't experienced in years.
She slowly looked around her, until she pinpointed where the familiar energy was coming from and gasped.
It can't be…It can't be
Liz felt like her world had been turned upside down and whirled in a blender.
"It can't be," she whispered in disbelief but it was… standing there lifting Joshua into his arms…was Max!
Ignoring Nina's questions, she rushed blindly towards him.
"Max!" she shouted.
He looked up, their eyes locked, Liz felt a jolt of electricity pass through her.
It was him!
"Max!" she shouted as she dodged a gurney carrying a patient.
She kept her eyes focused on him.
Was he real? Was she hallucinating again?
It seemed like the world was trying to keep her from reaching him as she stopped for a group of first years to go past.
Looking impatiently around them, she tried to find him again, but he was gone.
Liz looked around her frantically, he had to be here somewhere! but a quick sweep told her what her heart already knew, he was gone.
"Liz," said Nina gasping, "what's wrong?"
Liz turned to her blankly, the world and the images around her were turning returning to their normal positions.
He wasn't there, her mind told her.
But he was! Her heart insisted.
"Liz!" shouted Nina. Liz's finally focused on her.
"Where's the fire, are you okay?" she repeated concerned.
"I'm fine," Liz nodded slowly, "I just thought I saw someone I knew."

TBC....



[ edited 2 time(s), last at 17-Sep-2002 3:36:14 PM ]
posted on 16-Sep-2002 5:44:07 AM
"So can I come in?" asked Steven.
Liz paused, anytime she would have said yes…but not tonight.
"I'm kind of tired, I think I'll just go bed," she replied.
Dinner with Steven had been great like it always was and Steven had been charming and gentlemanly as he always was….
So what's my problem? Liz wondered.
"Okay," he said as he leaned down and kissed her goodnight. His kisses were always soft and comforting… but not tonight
Noting her unresponsiveness, her pulled back "Liz…is anything wrong?"
"No…Why?" she asked an octave higher than she'd intended.
"It's just you seemed out of it tonight," he shrugged.
"Sorry, I'm just tired a lot," she apologised.
He looked at her, as if trying to read her but failing, "Okay…get some sleep.. Goodnight,"
"Night," she replied as she let herself into her apartment.
Closing the door, she threw off her shoes and dropped on her sofa. Opening the zip to her backpack, she removed Joshua's report. She'd photocopied it during her break, it was illegal she knew but it was for a good cause, her sanity. Before embarking on a journey that could change her life, Liz decided that this was too important to know alone. She had to tell someone. She had to tell Maria.
Maria picked up her cell on the second ring, "Liz, hi" she said. Liz could almost see her smile. Maria had a lot to smile about these days, being a famous recording artist with two successful albums was definitely worth smiling about.
"Listen Maria…I saw max today."
"Liz," sighed Maria," you thought you saw max, he's gone, not on this earth, he, Michael, Isabel and psychokiller Tess went off in their spaceship."
Liz took a deep patient breath; Maria had every reason to doubt her. Max leaving had had a massive effect on her; she'd stayed in her room for days just staring into space as her mind recounted her memories of him. She felt like her heart was divided into two, hers and Max's and without his she wasn't complete. When he left, she'd felt like someone had grabbed Max's half and ripped it out of her. It had hurt too much to talk or to move but once she did, she experienced hallucinations of him everywhere. He had been in her dreams and in her reality, standing in a bus queue, yet each time her hopes were shattered when she awoke or he turned around. It had taken her a while to get over the heartbreak and betrayal of him and Tess together…but she had. Maria, Kyle, Valenti and her parents had questioned her sanity for a while but Liz had recovered. Now…now it was different, she had proof Max was alive.
"No Maria, this time I did see max. I treated his son, I have his file right here," she insisted as her fingers trailed the file," Joshua Evans," she read aloud," Father Max Evans."
"Liz, your max wasn't the only max Evans in the world and if max were here on earth, don't you think you'd be the first person he'd run to?"
"Mari-"
"Listen Liz, I have to go. Michelle is getting cookie dough all over her. But…. are you okay?"
Liz was about to tell her that she wasn't hallucinating, it was Max but decided that it was fruitless. She needed to prove to herself and Maria that Max was alive and sitting here arguing on the phone was not going to accomplish that.
"I'm fine, it's just probably because I've been a bit tired."
"Good, are we still on for that getaway weekend at the end of the month?"
"Definitely."
"Bye Liz take care."
"You too."
Without waiting to think about the logic Maria had just planted in her brain, Liz grabbed her coat and strode into the cool night air with purpose.

Her heart pounding rapidly against her chest, Liz recapped.
I'm standing outside Max Evans' door, she thought nervously.
Maybe Maria was right, maybe she hadn't seen Max.
But Liz knew, she knew that feeling she'd had wasn't just part of some hallucination, it had been Max and this was his house.
Not waiting for her mind to rationalise her out of the situation, she rang the doorbell and waited, holding her breath as the door opened to reveal…a blonde woman about her age dressed in an apron.
"Hi," she said breathless thrusting her hand to the woman's, "I'm-"
"I know who you are," she interrupted.
Responding to Liz's surprised face she added with a smile, "Max told me you might come by. Why don't you come in."

Liz sat tentatively on Jena's sofa. So this is Max's house, she thought looking around; it definitely had a more feminine touch…probably Jena's she thought sourly. The living room was filled with pictures of Max and Jena together or with Joshua. Max had a son, she knew that..but married? She hadn't counted on that. She'd counted on Max being single and had been looking for her; she'd counted on starting again.
Yet it had been seven years, people changed, she certainly had.
Yet still married?
"All I have is lemonade," interrupted Jena as she sat opposite Liz, "Max is doing the shopping."
"Oh," replied Liz as she took the lemonade and gulped it down.
"So," began Jena as she leaned back and studied Liz, "you're Liz Parker."
"Yes," replied Liz, "Max has told you about me…about us?"
"Yeah," replied Jena rolling her eyes, "ever since I met him it was Liz this and Liz that, he's so sweet."
"Yes he is," replied Liz sadly.
Too bad he was taken.
"So how long have you know max?" she asked.
If she couldn't be with max, she could at least be involved in his life.
"About eight years now, we met on our home planet and things kind of kicked it off from there," she replied casually.
"So-"
Liz was interrupted by the door opening and a warm voice which sent exciting shivers along her spine, "Jena, I'm home," hollered the voice she had only heard in her dreams.
Liz turned around to see, Max freeze in the hallway mid-way into taking his coat off.
Liz thought that she'd stopped breathing, but then that was ridiculous or else she'd be dead, she rationalised. She wasn't dead or dreaming because Max Evans, the great love of her was standing in the doorway of his home. Liz knew this wasn't one of her hallucinations because in her dreams Max was always the seventeen-year-old Max who left Roswell. The Max standing before her was a twenty four-year-old young handsome man, with those same gentle brown eyes, which could make her feel like a floating molecule delving deeper and deeper into him. And his hair, it was no longer ''round-headed'' as Maria called it but shaggy complimenting his shadowed chin.
"Liz," he whispered as he stepped into the room. How long she'd waited for her name to be uttered the way Max uttered it and how long she had waited to feel that tremor that warm liquid, love adrenaline, flow through her once again.
"Max," she said standing to meet him. They stood, a few feet apart hungrily drinking every detail of each other, noting every new feature.
"Well," interrupted Jena, "I better be making myself scarce. You two… talk," she added as she squeezed Max's arm softly.
Liz felt a pang of jealousy surge through her.
"I saw you at the hospital," she began.
"I'm sorry," he replied hanging his head.
"Why are you sorry?" asked Liz confused.
"Let's go for a walk," he replied instead.

Max couldn't believe that this was happening, he had dreamt about it for so long that when he'd entered his home, he'd thought that it was another one of his daydreams. But no, this was real; Liz Parker the girl he had always loved was walking in the soft moonlit sky opposite him.
"Max," she said turning to him, "we've been walking for a while now and… I've got questions."
Max smiled a small smile; she was still Liz Parker wanting answers to everything.
He led her to a bench overlooking a pond and took a deep breath.
"Max," she insisted.
"How did you find me?" he asked turning to her.
She paused and then sheepishly answered, "I tracked you down from Joshua's details."
"Why didn't you find me?" she countered with a catch in her voice.
"I did," he whispered.
He'd forgotten how beautiful she was up close, how her brown eyes reflected the moonlight like pools of glazed chocolate and-
"Max," she repeated.
He knew, she had questions.
"When we left, we arrived on our planet to find it was a trap. Tess…"
"I know, she killed Alex and got pregnant as a way to get home," she finished.
Surprised, Max looked up at her sad eyes, "Kyle remembered…we tried to get to you…at the cave but we couldn't. I thought-"
"I know," he replied his voice low and husky with emotion.
"Kivar wanted to kill us, he almost did," he added as he relieved the terror he, Michael and Isabel had been subjected to. "But thanks to Jena and other rebels, they saved us and Joshua…Tess died in the crossfire. We left the planet in the hands of the new government, our home finally has peace like our parents wanted."
He paused as he felt warm hands clasp his. How he'd missed her touch, warm gentle loving…"We were home…but we realised this, Earth, was our home. So we came back to Roswell. We found that you had gone, so I came to find you. I tracked you down at Harvard. I remember the first time I saw you, it was a hot summer's day and you were sitting under a tree reading a physiology book. You were wearing a white flowered sundress with a little pink hat."
He smiled as Liz covered her eyes with embarrassment.
"I thought you looked beautiful," he added.
"I remember," Liz said softly, "I felt you. Why didn't you come to me?"
"I nearly did, till I saw your boyfriend James."
Liz nodded understanding.
"I watched you for a while and realised that no matter how much I loved you, I had to love you enough to let you go Liz."
Seeing the pained expression on her face he continued, "You were happy."
"How can you say that!" she exclaimed, "when you left …Max my heart broke."
"Liz," he said softly, "don't tell me that you didn't enjoy the peace of living a normal life, not worrying about some secret government agency, not having your life put in danger every day…You were happy and seeing me, me being in your life would disturb that and I couldn't let that happen. So…I left and made a life for Joshua, Jena and I here, became pre-med and I work at St. James."
"Wait a minute…you go to Boston?"
"Funny isn't it. I saw you one day walking in the halls, laughing with your friends. I realised that I had to be careful and stayed away from anything related to you."
"So what, you were going to keep avoiding me?"
"Liz you're happy," he stated simply.
Suddenly, Liz grabbed his head with both hands and stared deeply into his eyes.
"Max," she said slowly, "I am happy, but seeing you has made me happier. I know it's been seven years but you still mean a lot to me, you're still… one of my best friends. Now that I have you back, I'm not letting you go."

Liz sat on the restaurant table, smiling to herself. She was happy, really happy. Happier than she'd ever thought she could be. The past two weeks, she had discovered new things about Max. His experiences had made him kinder and more special then she'd ever imagined him to be. His return into her life was definitely welcome especially after she'd found out that he and Jena weren't an item or married as she had concluded. Joshua was great, even though he was the fruit of max and Tess's relationship, she loved him.
"So, how long have you two known each other?" asked Steven. Liz was beginning to think that suggesting a dinner with Max and Steven had been a bad idea. He seemed uncomfortable.
"From high school," replied Max, "but we lost touch," he added turning to her.
Liz could see his appreciation as his eyes swept over her dress and she blushed. She'd been blushing a lot these days. Everytime she looked at max, her mind flashed back to those amazing kisses in the eraser room. She missed his touch, his fingers running through her hair, his warmth…something which Steven's kisses were lacking lately.
Liz looked across from Max and Steven as they talked about Med School, lately staring at max had brought back memories of the two of them together, laughing, talking, kissing. His kisses, she remembered them, soft, warm, giving. Liz could feel herself blushing; she had to leave, if only to take a break from looking at max. Excusing herself, she left the two young men in conversation.

Max looked after Liz as she disappeared around the corner.
"So Max," said Steven. Max turned his attention to Steven; he was a nice guy. Max had wanted to hate him, find some fault but had found none. Steven was a nice guy and he was good to Liz.
"You and Liz aren't just friends…are you?" he asked seriously.
"No," he replied, "we were together for a while…but that was a long time ago," he added.
Steven looked at him dubiously and opened his mouth as if to add something but closed it again.
"Well listen," he began again, lowering his voice in a secretive manner.
"I wasn't expecting you tonight, the thing is…."
Max watched as he nervously retrieved something from his pocket. It was a small blue velvet box. Suddenly Max knew, "You were going to propose…" he nodded with understanding.
"Yeah," replied Steven.
Max smiled politely but inside he felt hope deflating. He knew Liz and Steven were involved, but to marry him? Suddenly sadness overtook him, an anticlimax to the great week he'd been having. He realised that somewhere, somehow, he had hoped that he and Liz could be together again, to start over…but now, he realised that it was too late, Liz was on a different path to him, he had to let her go. "Liz is happy with you, you make her happy" producing his hand for a hand shake, he added, "I wish you the best," and left the table.

Liz bumped into a figure as she made her way back to the table.
"Max" she said in surprise, "are you leaving?"
He looked up at her and Liz immediately sensed that something was wrong, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he replied, "it's just the hospital paged me…to go sort out some stuff I forgot to do."
"Oh," she replied not quite believing him, "okay, see you tomorrow?"
He smiled and slowly bent down and kissed her cheek softly. Liz didn't get a flash but she felt it's energy and Max's feelings…he was sad…no more than that…and…why did it feel like goodbye?
"Max," she said as he walked past her, "I'll see you tomorrow?" she repeated.
"Goodnight Liz," he replied.
Liz watched his retreating figure wracked with confusion. Something was wrong, she decided, something was very wrong.
Maybe Steven said something to him, she thought as she made her way to the table.
"Hi," he smiled cheerfully.
"Hi," she replied noting his hyper greeting, "is everything okay…with max?"
"Oh," he said crestfallen then shook it off and replied," it's fine, he's a great guy."
"Yeah he is," she said wistfully.
"So Liz," he began taking a more serious tone. Liz watched as he struggled with his jacket pocket and finally pulled out a blue velvet box.
The size of a ring, she realised, then shook herself…. No it couldn't be…. Steven wasn't going to-
She watched in shock as he got down on one knee and presented her with a simple sparkling diamond ring.
"Liz," he said looking into her wide eyes, "will you marry me?"

Max watched in the window as Liz looked at the ring and at Steven's earnest face, his heart slowly breaking with each glance, each movement and when she covered her hands with her mouth and looked lovingly at Steven, Max knew it was over. He smiled sadly, she was happy and that was all that mattered.

Liz nervously approached Max's door. She felt as nervous as she had been when she'd tracked him down…. It seemed like years and not weeks since that had happened. She raised her knuckled hand ready to knock on the door waiting for the hardwood reply, which never came.
"Liz!" exclaimed Jena, "what are you doing here?" she asked, her voice an octave higher than usual.
"I came to see Max," she replied eyeing her strangely as she walked past her into the house.
"Oh…he's…um…. In his room," she replied pointing along the hallway.
"Thanks," replied Liz.
That girl was very strange.
Liz had decided that she'd do all the talking first because if she let max do it…somehow the effect his voice had on her body made her words not apply to the situation or completely vanish. Yet when she entered his room, she was speechless. His room was almost empty! No pictures on the wall, no covers on the bed, no clothes in the wardrobe. Just a load of brown cardboard boxes. Liz once again felt her stable world being removed from under her feet.
What was going on?
The answer came when Max stepped into the room with another set of boxes.
"Liz!" .
"You're leaving," she said as she continued surveying the empty box filled room.
"You're leaving and you weren't going to tell me," she said locking her gaze with his, "were you?" she insisted. The look of guilt in his eyes told her all she needed to know.
"Liz-" he began taking a step towards her
"Max! You were going to leave without telling me!"
"It was easier this way," he replied, taking another step.
Liz was too confused, too angry to step back, "easier for who Max, you or me?"
Max flinched at her tone, "Liz you're getting married," he replied quietly.
"Wha-…Ohh".
He knows, she realised, that was why he left yesterday…he knows.
"You," he continued closing the gap between them," are happy. There are no aliens, no risking your life-"
"But max-"
"Liz," he interrupted as he softly caressed her cheek, "these past few weeks have been some of the happiest of my life-"
"I…max-"
"Shhh," he said quietening her lips with his finger, "I thought that if we couldn't be together, we could be friends…but I realised I don't want to be friends with you Liz-"
As he said those words Liz felt that heart stomping paralysing pain that had haunted her many years ago…
"- I don't want to watch you get married to someone else while all the while wishing it were me…Liz…I love you and my staying here won't help-"
Liz smiled inwardly as he broke off, light and joy had broken through the momentary pain, his voice heavy and constrained with emotion continued, "I love you enough to let you go and be happy" he finished as he wiped the tears sliding down her cheek," but I won't watch you marry someone else."
"Max," she began silencing him by covering his hand with hers. "Steven proposed…I said yes, but then I said no."
She smiled and lovingly wiped the tear that rolled down his cheek, "I said no because I realised that I'm in love…with you-"
"But Liz-"
"I know that my life will always be in danger and that our relationship will have complications Max…but don't you know who you are to me…who you'll always be? You are the love of my life Max Evans…everyone else will always be second best…"
Cupping his face in her palms she added, "there will never be another you Max and I'm not about to let you go."
"I -"
Before max could finish his sentence, Liz did what she had wanted to do ever since Max Evans had walked back into her life, she kissed him with all the passion and all the love that their years apart had stored within her and once again as their kisses mingled with the salt of their tears; Liz felt that familiar energy as images of Max and his life…the parts that she had missed flashed in her mind. She could feel everything he felt…the horrors and sadness of war…. His love for her…She knew he could see her too and she wanted him to. She wanted to share her life with this man; she realised as the images came faster and faster as their kisses deepened. Liz felt like was floating on air. That her and Max, their bodies locked together as one were floating above the earth-
"Hey! What the heck!" Jena's exclamation drew a dazed Liz and Max back to reality and back to the ground Liz realised as slowly their feet touched the wooden unwelcome floor.
"Max?" She looked at him questioningly.
"We were…"
"Floating" Jena finished.
Liz looked at Max and grinned as he took her in his arms and dipped her, "wanna do it again," he said as his lips met hers one more time, fading out Jena's mutterings of having to go for a walk to get some peace and quiet.
Liz moaned in protest as Max broke their kiss, "I love you Liz Parker" he whispered.
"I love you too Max Evans," she replied as her lips reclaimed her to her lost love and soulmate.


TBC.....

posted on 17-Sep-2002 5:22:46 AM
AN; thanks for the feeback*happy* Okay, so Max and Liz have been dealt with for now...Now enter Michael and Maria...

Maria picked up the phone on it's fifteenth vibration, with her perfectly manicured nails, she accepted the call.
"Hey Liz, what's up?"
"Maria," the urgency and excitement of her tone made Maria apprehensive, she sounded exactly like she had during her Max hallucinations.
"What's wrong?", she asked as images of Liz walking around the streets of Boston chasing after an invisible Max Evans filled her mind.
"It's Max…he's here."
The confirmation made Maria inwardly groan.
Not again, she thought. It had taken Liz, her…all them affected by the Czechoslovakians, a long time to get over them.
And now…it's back.
"Liz, we had this discussion, Max, Michael, Isabel and psycho-killer Tess left Earth-"
"Mari-"
"they are gone"
"but-"
"not of this earth-"
"Maria!" she shouted cutting her off. "Max is alive, he is here, with me…now"
"Liz-"
"I'll put you on the phone with him"
"Wha-"
"Hey Maria". The familiar warm voice hit Maria's eardrums with such force that she moved her head away from the phone.
Tentatively she placed it back to her ear, "Max, is that you?".
"It's me" he confirmed.
This is too unbelievable. If this is Max, then-
"Hello?"
"How do I know this is really Max Evans?" she asked dazed.
"You're kidding," he said.
"Humour me," she replied. As her breathing became more urgent and shallow. She had to be sure, because if it really was Max, Liz's Max, then her life was suddenly going to get a little more complicated.
"Okay, during the summer after we found out about our destiny, we hung out a lot, me and you and talked about Liz and figured out ways to win her back"
"Oh my gosh," she whispered as the inevitable steamroller feeling began running its way up her body.
"…then you told me to do something instead of you doing all the work especially after Liz saw me walking with Tess, so I did…do you need me to continue?"
Maria quickly reached for her trusty cedar oil and took a deep calming sniff.
"Maria, you there?"
Her reply was an ear splitting scream, "Totally!, Max, it is soo good to hear your voice!"
"You too, listen I'm gonna hand you back to Liz now, okay?"
"Okay, but we will definitely talk later mister," she smiled
"Maria?"
"Liz!" she shrieked, "Oh-my-gosh, how, what, where, when?"
Maria still in shock could practically see Liz smiling, she didn't blame her, she had every right to be.
"Okay," she began her voice lowering to the level of gossip mode, " Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess left earth-"
"been there got the emotional scars Liz," she interrupted.
"So anyway, turned out Tess had made a pact with Kivar to…well have them killed when they got there-"
"Bitch!"
"I know," added Liz, "luckily the resistance on their planet rescued them, in short they defeated Khivar, got Max's son Joshua who by the way is a complete angel and came back to earth."
"And Tess?"
"Totally dead," she replied joyously then caught herself, adding "that wasn't a nice thing to say."
"Well Tess, wasn't exactly doing anyone any favours alive,"
"Maria!" she gasped.
"It's true," she shrugged, "So anyway, Max came looking for you and you guys got together huh?"
"yeah, it feels so good to have him back again"
"I'm happy for you Liz,".
Maria waited out the long silence following.
"Aren't you going to ask about Michael?"
"Well, since you brought it up, how is he?"
"He's here, on earth…I told Max,"
"I would have been surprised if you didn't and did he tell Michael?"
"he didn't tell him everything, just that you had something to tell him."
Suddenly the world stopped, her heart stopped, "What!"
"I figured you wanted to tell him yourself."
She jumped off the couch and started pacing, this could not be happening.
"Oh my gosh Liz, how could you do this to me," she babbled, "I'm not ready, when is he coming?"
"In about five minutes"
Again her heart stopped, there was too much information, her head felt like it was about to explode.
"You didn't, Liz you are my best friend how could you do this to me!"
"because I'm your best friend and I know that you would have left it for years…you have to tell him Maria."
"I know," she sighed.
I just kinda hoped I wouldn't have to, she thought.
Then the doorbell rang.
"Liz, it's him!" she squealed as she listened fervently for footsteps walking across her marble floor towards her living room.
"Maria, keep calm, deep breaths"
Maria took a deep breath, hoping to calm her nerves, but it wasn't working. Michael was here, in her house, alive…here!
"What am I going to tell him?"
"The truth" said Liz, "now hang up and go talk to him" she ordered.
"Okay, call you later?"
"Good luck."
Just as she pressed end on her cell phone, there was a swift knock of the door.
"Come in" she called out in what she hoped was a stable, confident tone.
The door swung open to reveal Rita, her maid and Michael.
Maria inwardly gasped. He cleaned up nice. He was no longer wearing his grungy clothes and 70s hair do. No Michael Guerin was wearing a suit, probably armani, his hair was short, spiky but not gel overdo. His face, the same but more…experience was etched in his every movement, the only thing that was the same were his lips, defiant, dangerous and oh so alluring.
Okay Maria, cool down, she coached herself as Rita left, be cool and collected.
"Michael"
Great start.
"Maria" he replied equally cool.
"So", she began crossing and uncrossing her arms, " Liz just called me to tell that you're…well alive, so why don't you fill me in on how you got to be standing in my living room."
He stood staring at her for what seemed like eternity. He didn't speak, just stared, just when Maria was about to repeat her question, his lips moved.
"Okay. We left, got there, turned out Tess was going to ship us in, got rescued by the rebels, kicked Khivar's ass, set up a government, came back to earth. Max went off to find Liz, Isabel to university, wants to be a social worker. I got a job as a security guard, got promoted, the company boss took a liking to me. Referred me to a body guard service, got in with old man Hartley. He died, left me the business."
Maria almost burst out laughing. Now this was definitely not real.
"Wait you expect me" she pointed at herself, " to believe that you" she pointed at him, " own a company?" she asked incredulous.
"What's so funny about that?" he asked defensively.
"Michael, if you wanted to impress me, you could have at least come up with a believable lie"
He looked at her expressionless, "I'm not here to impress you," he replied as he showed her his business card. Sure enough there was his name in small print Michael Guerin. Maria looked closer at the two names next to his and their emblem.
"Wait a minute", this was just too out-there to be true, " you're the Guerin of Hartley, Fish and Guerin Bodyguard services?"
"Its what the card says," he shrugged.
"The same company who have been giving me bodyguards since I went global?"
"Don't freak-"
Maria freaked. "Oh, don't worry I won't, it just strikes me as interesting, no scratch that, selfish and soo typically you that you'd know where I was and not stop by to say hi, guess what Maria, you don't need to worry anymore cause I'm alive!."
Before Maria could launch into another tirade, a wave of loud laughter filtered through the room, reminding her suddenly of why Michael was there.
"Is that your kid?" he asked as he moved to the partly open playroom door.
"Yeah," she replied stepping up behind him. He quickly moved to let her get a view.
"What's her name?" he asked, his eyes fixed on Michelle.
"Like you don't know," she whispered.
"I don't," he replied flatly, "I don't directly handle client intel."
"Oh, her name's Michelle."
"Who's the loser, the father?"
"Ray, is not a loser," she whispered harshly as she shut the door, "he's one of the nicest, most considerate people on the planet and you could learn a lot from him."
"Doubt that," he replied.
Okay, this was not going the way she planned. Him being here, being near him had sent all the words and explanations she had planned fleeing out of her mind, the who's , how's and where's all went out the window; instead she asked the only question she really needed an answer to.
"Why, Michael?" she asked.
"Why what?"
"why no call, no email, saying Maria I'm okay, was your schedule that busy?"
He looked at the closed playroom door, then back at her, "Things change Maria."
"I'm sure they do," she replied heart pounding wildly against her chest.
"Look, I didn't come here to argue with you. Max said you had something to tell me, so what is it?"
She stared at him, the person he had become and shook her head. This wasn't going to work, how could she have thought that it could.
"You what Michael, it doesn't matter."
"What?"
"Sorry to waste your busy schedule and all but thinking about it, it's not that important."
She saw his eyes flare; Oh here it comes
"So I got dragged all the way here, for you to rag on me and tell me to go?"
"Pretty much" she shrugged folding her arms.
"Well if its not so important, tell me"
Maria avoided those eyes, she knew that with one look he could tell if she was lying. She knew, she knew that if they kept arguing like five year olds; him asking and her consistently saying no, she would crack. She just wasn't ready to tell him, she needed time to prepare.
"Michael" her tone icy she continued, " things change like you said, so I have decided that it's not so important, so thanks for stopping by but go."
Maria figured he'd just get mad and go like the old Michael, but like the old Michael he was stubborn and just stood there.
"I didn't come all the way here just to go back with nothing," he said trying to catch her gaze.
"Well I'm sorry but I have nothing to tell you. So go".
Maria could see his eyes were on fire. That was it, she had pushed it.
Good, she needed him mad, too mad to ask or try to penetrate through her lie.
"Fine," he said and turned to leave.
Against her better judgement she called out to him, "Michael".
"What?" he asked through gritted teeth.
She smiled a small smile, "Its good to know you're alive"
He stared at her, shook his head, walked across the marble floor, opened the door and disappeared into the night. The only trace left of him was the echo of the slammed door.

Michael cursed silently as he strode over to his car. Now he remembered why he'd never bothered to make contact with Maria, she drove him crazy.
That and other things, his mind corrected him.
The phone in his pocket vibrated.
Great , he thought…Max.
"Hey Maxwell," he said dryly
"What happened?"
"Well, she went crazy on me-"
"What did you say?"
"Why do you assume that I did something?". Max ignored the question.
"Did she tell you?"
"No, she didn't think it was too important."
"Michael," he sighed.
"Max", he countered, " if it's not that important or life threatening then I don't need to know."
"You do"
"So you tell me"
"I can't…Maria has to."
Michael rolled his eyes, this was going no where, if he kept talking to Max he'd just get frustrated and go back to Maria to shut him up. That however was not an option, at least not tonight.
"Well, then I wouldn't hold my breath…listen Max I gotta go, got a date tonight call you later."

TBC...

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 17-Sep-2002 3:37:41 PM ]
posted on 20-Sep-2002 6:53:59 AM
Max sighed as he ended the call to Michael. Liz's expression mirrored his, one of exasperation, as she hung up on Maria.
"How can two people who need each other, be so-"
"stubborn?" she supplied.
"Yes."
"That's Michael and Maria, that's why they're perfect for each other, like us," she said as she leaned in to kiss him. Reluctantly breaking away from her kiss, Max asked, "what do we do now?"
"We keep trying, till they actually talk."
"Then…"
"Then, let's hope it goes well."

Michael opened the door to his apartment, feeling exactly the way it looked, minimalist, sparsely decorated, empty. Tonight's date with Cassandra had gone okay and usually he brought his dates back to the apartment, but tonight was not the night. Because tonight for the first time in years, his mind kept flashing back to the blonde haired pixie, he had left back on earth seven years ago. Though years had passed, she was still Maria, stubborn, infuriating-
STOP! He ordered himself. Stop thinking about her, things have changed, she has a kid, a live-in boyfriend and you have your life.
Whatever was between him and Maria was over years ago. She had moved on, so had he.
But tonight she looked so beautiful, that spark in her eyes, it was still there and her lips were stil-
STOP it he ordered himself again as he went from switching the t.v. on to off, blaring loud indistinguishable music to blast the thoughts out of his mind and finally settled for dropping on his bed, closing his eyes and counting sheep. Only each sheep began to look increasingly like Maria…

Something was ringing, Michael registered, it sounded like an alarm, no a phone… his phone was ringing he realised as his hand grasped his bedside table for it.
"What"
"Morning to you too Michael" replied a cheerful voice.
"Izy? Why are you calling me at" his blurry eyes glanced at his alarm clock, "2pm in the afternoon?"
"because Michael most people are actually awake."
"what's up?" he asked as he sat up in bed.
"Maria."
Michael groaned, he should have known Max would rally up the troops.
"Michael you have to talk to her."
When will the torment end? He thought
"Did that, yesterday didn't work out," he replied simply.
"Probably because you said something wrong," she replied. He could practically see an I-told-you-so grin on her face. For the second time, Michael was filled with amused indignation.
"Why am I always the bad guy with this?"
"Michael, this is really important you, have to talk"
"She doesn't want to talk", he protested.
And it kills me that she doesn't want to, he added silently.
"So get over yourself and make her talk, if she tries to leave don't let her until she tells you"
"Tells me what?" he asked. What was this big thing that everyone wanted him to know but wouldn't or couldn't tell him?
"You won't find out unless you talk to her Michael," her voice softened, "and believe me, you do"
"Fine," he sighed defeated, " I'll stop by-"
"-today, five o clock, she takes Michelle to this stars playground up in the hills and usually spends time in the gardens writing."
What did they do run a profile on Maria's activities?
"Thanks."
"No problem and Michael?"
"What?", he sighed. What other possible pain could they want to instil on him this time?
"Please do this."
"Sure Iz," he smiled.
"Okay, bye."

Michael pulled in front of Hillcrest Playgroup. Previously he would have been shocked these places actually existed, a place for stars' kids to mingle, but the bodyguard business definitely opened up his eyes.
"Hello, may I help you?" asked the young red headed secretary. She was short and cute, if he didn't have Maria on his mind he would have probably asked for her number. One day after seeing that girl and she was already interfering in his life.
"Michael Guerin," he said flashing her his company ID," here to see Maria Deluca."
"Oh," she asked as she gave him an appreciative look, " she's in the west wing gardens," she showed him along a corridor, "just along this hall and to your left…I could take you there if you want to," she offered.
"I can manage thanks," he replied.
The corridor led to an opening which presented him with beautiful sprawling neatly tended grass lawns with paths that reminded him of the yellow brick road in the Wizard of Oz. The problem, Michael realised was that he wasn't sure which garden Maria was writing in, there were paths leading straight ahead, to the left and right of him with no signs. Trying for the most logical he took the path on his left and found himself surrounded by hedges. It was a secluded spot he realised, somewhere for kids to hide playing hide and seek or for couples to sit, talk and kiss. Hearing the sounds of laughter, he peered through the hedges and saw Michelle and her friends throwing a ball around. He watched as the ball she threw sailed through the air missing the catcher and rolling to a stop in front of the hedge.
"I'll get it," he heard her yell as she ran towards him.
Michael figured he could do two things: get out from his hiding place and give her the ball, go find Maria or stay and watch. Curious to see how much she looked like Maria, he chose the third option and stayed and watched as she ran towards him, with her mother's strawberry blonde hair dancing in the wind. He watched amused as she approached the hedge, but instead of coming closer to pick up the ball, she looked back to her friends then to her left and right, as if to make sure no one was looking and then fixed her gaze at him.
No not at him, at the ball, he realised.
His eyes grew wide as it slowing floated towards her and landed softly in her hands. While Michelle ran back happily to her friends, Michael dropped onto the bench. His mind reeling. The pieces were suddenly becoming clear.
Michelle just floated a ball to her, Max and Isabel were insistent that he speak to Maria, she was edgy even though she wouldn't admit it and didn't want him to see Michelle or Ray…That meant-
Michael knew what that meant, it meant Maria had betrayed him. It meant, that he was nothing to her, that he'd risked everything for nothing. Fists clenched, blinking away his blurry eyes, he marched back to the reception desk and asked for directions to the west garden. The garden was a circular opening, closed off to the world by a circular hedge. A conservatory in the background, surrounded with flowers and a tall willow tree in the centre. Under that tree sat Maria, writing. Michael stood there watching her scroll down some revelation, watched her stare out into the cloudy electric sky as if searching for something. Her every move sent sharp pains into his chest, he was finding it hard to breathe. The image of Michelle and ball, dulled the pain and sent roaring fire coursing through him instead.
"Maria!" he shouted as he approached her.
He watched her eyes grow wide in surprise as she got up and dusted herself off.
"What are y-"
"She's one of us isn't she?", he said fists clenched.
Her wide eyes confused she asked, "who?"
"Michelle, I saw her float a ball," he stated.
Droplets started falling from above, curling his hair and making his eyes blurry, but Michael didn't care. All he focused on was Maria's shocked expression of being discovered.
"Oh, I can expla-"
"-that's what Max and Isabel wanted me to know wasn't it?"
She opened her mouth and closed it again, "Michael," she tugged at him pulling him towards the conservatory, "it's raining, we need to get ou-"
"That you," he spat shrugging her off, "slept with an alien and was stupid enough to get pregnant."
"Michael-"
"So what Mara, on the rebound after I left and banged the first guy who came along….little green men a turn on for you?"
He saw her flinch with every word but he didn't care, she was going to feel exactly the way he felt right now.
"Is that what you think!" she shouted her little body rigid and tense, "that I'd fall into somebody's bed right after you leave?"
"The alien love child speaks for itself," he said coldly. "So tell me Maria, what does an alien do these days to get you to sleep with him huh? Whisper sweet nothings in your ear…or just show you his alien power and you're his human toy."
He watched drenched as her fists clenched and unclenched, slowly she raised her eyes to him brimming, the pain as readable as a red exit sign, "that was low Michael", her voice low and filled with hurt," even for you,"
"the pot calling the kettle black!," he called after her as she stormed past him.
Michael made no attempt to follow after her, made no attempt to get out of the rain, just stood there, his anger washed way, giving way to a wave of intense gut-wrenching pain. Him and Maria were over, but then again, they had never been together anyway.

Maria wiped the tears falling gently down her cheeks. Isn't good to cry and drive, she told herself, especially on a wet day like this one.
"Mum are you okay?" asked Michelle.
"Fine hon," she reassured her, "just a little emotional right now…I got inspired."
"Cool,"
"yeah," she whispered. Only it wasn't cool, it was painful. After Michael, she'd waited for 'Shelly to finish, it was no use disrupting her daughter's social life for her problems. It had given her time, time to play back every spiteful word Michael had practically spat at her and the look of disgust in his eyes, it sent another slash of raw pain within her. She hadn't expected him to react that way, to think those things…but then things had changed and they had changed, Michael obviously not for the better.
Good thing she found out now instead of waiting and hoping that somehow, someday-
It didn't matter now, her and Michael were over before they even began again.
"Mumm"
"Yeah,"
"There's a guy standing in the middle of the road up ahead," she pointed.
Maria shook off her self-pity and focused on the man standing in front of the road.
"Looks like his car has broken down," she said as they neared him.
"Uh, Mum are we going to stop?"
"I'm trying," said Maria, panic enveloping her. The brakes, they weren't working!
She slammed down hard and they weren't stopping, instead they were accelerating.
What the-
"Mum!" screamed Michelle.
Maria frantically made a last attempt at braking, the guy wasn't even moving out of the way!
"Mum stop the car!" yelled Michelle.
The last scream dragged Maria out of her panicked state, a surge of adrenaline caused her to take the one option she had left. Taking a breath Maria swerved the car off the road and into the overgrown forest and crashed straight into a tree: Then the world went black.


TBC...

posted on 24-Sep-2002 4:43:59 PM
Maria was awoken by the loud continuous beep, it couldn't be her alarm clock.
No wait, the memories came rushing, the man in the middle of the road, her swerving hitting into a tree.
Thank God for airbags, she thought as she lifted her head shaking off the glass which had fallen on her. The windscreen was a mess, a tall branch had crashed through sending glass everywhere including on Michelle, Maria realised as she unbuckled her seat belt and climbed over to check on her daughter's still form.
"Shelley," she said softly as she carefully pushed back her hair to feel for a pulse. She nearly jumped when her head moved.
"Mum?" she said as she raised her head and shook off the glass.
Maria sighed with relief, they were both fine.
"What happened?" she asked as Maria continued to get rid of all the glass particles from her body and made sure her legs, her arms and fingers were intact. Apart from a few scratches they were both fine.
"I don't k-"
A piercing, screeching sound stopped Maria mid-sentence, her jaw dropped as the door to the driver's seat was…ripped. Blown, sent flying from the car crashing into a nearby tree.
What the heck!
"Mum", Maria could hear the fear creeping into her voice.
"It's okay," she reassured her, heart beating, palms sweaty she siddled back to her seat and was about to exit through the now gaping open door when a shadow blocked her. Startled she jumped back.
The shadow leaned into the car, it was a young guy, probably her age or older. Maybe he was the guy in the middle of the road, she'd missed.
"Hey," she said.
"Are you alright?" he asked, his blue eyes glistening with concern.
"Yeah, we're-"
"Good," he said briskly, then with a flick of his fingers Maria felt a wave of pressure suddenly hit her head and then nothing.

Michael wearily opened the door to his dark apartment. It was late, he figured since the sun had gone down a couple of hours ago. He'd spent that time driving aimlessly around in the rain, then after remembering he had a meeting broke the speed limit in getting there. All because of Maria.
Damn that girl, he thought. She'd been in his life for a day and suddenly his life was…a mess.
The phone rang. He ignored it, he'd turned off his phone, he didn't need Isabel or Max ringing to make sure he'd talked to Maria and to see how he was holding up. Right now he needed sleep, the machine would get it. His greeting came on and asked to leave a message.
"Michael, it's Max," his urgent tone made Michael freeze halfway up the stairs.
"Listen, I tried your cell but you're not picking up…um-"
"Max I'm here," he said breathlessly.
"Michael…why aren't y-"
"never mind what's up?"
The silence at the other end of the line made Michael feel uneasy.
"Max"
"It's Maria."
Michael sighed with relief, he was as expected checking up on him. His relief however was only momentary.
"There's been an accident."
Michael stopped cold, "what? Where?"
"I don't know, Amy just called us, Liz said she was too upset to be clear but just that there's been an accident and she's at Central. Liz and I are on our way to the airport we should be there in a couple of hours. Michael are you there?"
"Yeah, I'm here" he yelled as he grabbed his coat, "you're on speaker, I'm on my way".

Max heard a door slam, "Michael?" he called.
No reply.
Hanging up the phone, he turned to Liz who had been staring straight at the road.
"He's on his way," he said softly.
"Good," she smiled as a tear rolled down her cheek.
"She's going to be okay, Liz," he said stroking her hair, "if it's serious, we'll heal her."
"I know Max," she said, "it's just Maria is my best friend, she is like my sister and I lost you once….I just dont want to lose her too," she finished as a fresh set of tears rolled down her cheeks.
"You're not going to lose her, Michael's there, he won't let that happen."

Michael swerved like a maniac through Los Angeles traffic ignoring the beeps and honks he received from fellow drivers. Screeching to a halt infront of Central hospital, he ran through the sliding doors and screeched to a halt. Around him in the waiting area were cameras, notepads and of course reporters. Rolling his eyes, he walked up to the welcome desk.
"hi, I'm Michael Guerin, I'm here to see Maria Deluca"
The dark haired, rigid wicked headmistress nurse narrowed her eyes and said, "are you a member of the family?"
"well no-"
"then I'm sorry sir, but as you can see, there are reporters out there many who have pretended to be a friend of the family, so I'm sorry but I can't let you in."
Frustrated Michael showed her his company id, "look I understand, but Ms Deluca is a client of mine and so I would like to know how she is."
Her eyes still dubious, he said, "call Amy Deluca, she'll vouch for me…please."
"okay," she signed as she punched in a number on the phone.
"hi, Miss Deluca, I have a Michael Guerin here, says you know him?
"Uh huh. Okay, I'll send him right up."
Michael sighed with relief as she hung up the phone, "second floor, room 312," she told him.
"thank you," he nodded as he headed for the stairs.
Running up the stairs gave him time to think first about Maria; what had happened if she was okay and then her mother. He hadn't seen Amy Deluca in years, did she know her daughter was living with an alien or had an alien daughter and would she even speak to him, afterall he didn't exactly stick around to be with her daughter.
Wracked with thought, Michael opened the door to the waiting area. It was small, but luxurious, figured the hospital didn't want to stick the mother of Maria Deluca in a grey, hard-chaired room.
Her mother looked up as he entered the room. Her red eyes held his for a moment, was that a flicker of anger he saw in them?
"Hi Michael," she greeted him, still sitting down eyeing him.
"Hi Amy," he replied settling himself in a corner.
"So what's going on?" he asked after a silence.
"I don't know what's going on," she replied her voice breaking, "they called me and told me that there was an accident and told me to come here, now they have me stuck in this room and won't tell me where the hell my daughter and grand-daughter are."
Scenarios ran through Michael's mind, maybe they tested Michelle's blood and found out that she was an alien, maybe the FBI or someone else had-
Stop! He ordered himself as he ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. Until he knew what was going on, the best thing to do was stay here with Amy. Michael had never seen her look so weak and drained, the fighting Deluca spirit, that sparkle Maria had inherited was gone, washed away by tears.
"it's going to be okay," Michael assured her.
Granted an empty gesture, not backed up by fact, but that was all he could think of.
She sighed in reply. Michael sighed, this was not his situation, he was action man, not waiting around man and definitely not comforting guy.
"Do you want a drink or something?," he offered.
"no thanks I'm okay," she replied.
"okay," he nodded and went back to staring at the white ceiling.

Maria's head hurt, a moan escaped her.
"Well," said a voice pulling her to consciousness, "you're awake."
Eyes wide open in panic maria surveyed her surroundings, she was in a cave or something with bluey green lighting, it looked like the pod chamber back in Roswell before Max and Michael left but it couldn't be could it?
"Who are you, Where am I?" she asked eyeing the figure as he moved into the light, it was the same guy from the car and the road. "Where's my daughter?" she demanded.
"Wow, hold on there," he said his tone casual and friendly, " one question at a time. You're back in Roswell in my space ship, landed in the caves and your daughter is back in L.A. right where you left her, although somebody's probably found her by now."
With each sentence, he had been inching closer and closer to her, Maria tried to move but the jiggling of chains told her she had no chance. That and the fact that she was in a space ship. She could feel the fear overtaking her paralyzing her as he bent down till they were nose to nose.
"As for who I am, I'm Khivar."
She looked clueless, into his expectant green eyes.
"Uhh-"
"You don't know who I am?" he asked surprised.
"Well if I did I probably wouldn't be asking" she replied. Despite the fear, there was one thing she couldn't control, her mouth.
"I'm Khivar, the enemy" he said making invisible quotation marks around the word enemy, " the royal four left earth to fight."
Maria flashbacked to her conversation with Michael, Khivar, the evil power mad but good looking maniac who Isabel in her past life had betrayed her family for, the Khivar who had wanted to kill them.
Panic and terror were now coursing through her veins on overdrive. This could not be happening, it was one of those things which just didn't happen.
Wake up Deluca, you thought aliens didn't exist, you were wrong.
"Ah," he said acknowledging the terror reflected in her eyes and enjoying it, "now you know me."
"Yes," she nodded, pressing herself against the wall, "what do you want with me?"
"Simple, I want to use you for revenge," he shrugged, " you see they stole my power and my throne and now I want payback. Tess, rest her back-stabbing heart, told me a little about their earthly relationships here. You and Michael, Max and the brown eyed brunette and Isabel and….well he's dead. So it took me a while but I got here. I tried to get Liz but those two are inseparable so you won the draw"
"So you want to…"
"Basically ruin their lives by destroying their loved ones"
Maria didn't know whether it was the panic and sheer nightmare like structure of the situation but a small laugh escaped her, then it grew and grew till her sides hurt.
"What's so funny?" asked Khivar confused.
Breathless, she said, "You should have stuck with Liz. Michael doesn't love me…at least not anymore, things have changed the last time Tess was here. The only reason that he's going to come with them is that we're friends….maybe not even that, but the point is he doesn't love me, so revenge won't be soo sweet."
"Huh," he said, "well that's disappointing, so is the lack of fear in your eyes. The point is they will come, I will kill you in front of them, then kill Liz in front of them, then kill them. But meanwhile," he said approaching her with what looked like an electric taser.
Slowly he bent down till they were nose to nose again, Maria's eyes grew wide as the blue electricity danced before her eyes, "lets see that terror again."

TBC
posted on 1-Oct-2002 4:12:17 PM
Michael looked up as the door to the waiting room burst open. He tensed as Ray hair dishevelled, brown eyes wide with worry, "Amy," he said as Maria's mum ran into his arms.
"Ray, I'm glad you're here," she said.
"I came as soon as I heard," he said leading her back to the couch, "what happened?"
"I don't know", she replied with frustration," they'" she pointed at the door as it were the medical faculty, " are not telling me anything"
The ringing the corner caused everyone to jump Amy picked it up. Michael had been watching Ray ever since he came in, you'd never have guessed he was an alien, well you wouldn't have guessed that he was an alien. And Maria had-
No we are not going down that road Guerin
"Hey," he nodded acknowledging him.
"Hey," replied Michael. After an awkward silence, he said, "I'm-"
"-Michael Guerin, I know, Maria told me about you. I'm-"
"-Ray, I know" he replied.
"Listen thanks for being here…with Amy."
Michael shrugged, "I didn't do anything."
Ray smiled, "without you being here, I think she would have probably gone crazy, trashed the room, attacked a few nurses that sort of thing."
"Oh, then no problem."
Amy hang up the phone, "Liz, Max and Isabel are on their way up."
Oh this just got better, thought Michael. Whatever this was.

Ray glanced at Michael.
So that's him, Michael Guerin.
The Michael who had managed to capture and win Maria's heart, the Michael who she always thought about when she looked up in the stars at night or when she sung "Space-boy", a song inspired by him. He'd seen the pictures but finally seeing this grown young man his age in real life lead to a pang of jealousy and envy. It had been a long time since Ray felt those emotions but they were coming back with a vengeance. He'd met Maria five years ago but it felt like he had known her forever. She was his best friend and she was out there missing with some weirdo.

The waiting room door burst open again with Liz's dishevelled hair and brown eyes full of worry, she was followed by Max, Isabel, a doctor and a police officer.
"Liz!"
"Ms Deluca," cried Liz as they hugged.
"Hey Michael," said Max as they hugged.
"How are you holding up?" asked Isabel.
"I'm fine," he replied, "I'm not the one in the accident," he added.
All eyes turned to the doctor as he cleared his throat.
"I'm Doctor Wallis," he said greeting everyone in the room.
"Doctor what is going on" demanded Amy.
"Maria and Michelle were in a car accident, Michelle's okay just needed a few stitches, we'll keep her in overnight in case she shows signs of post traumatic shock."
There were sighs of relief all around the room, "What about Maria?" asked Liz. The doctor's silence made Michael uneasy, "Um, I think I'll let Detective Stone take over from here."
Instantly Michael's heart started racing, where was Maria if she wasn't in the hospital?
"Detective?" prodded Amy.
"We have reason to believe that your daughter has been kidnapped."
Eyes grew wide, gasps echoed around the room.
This cannot be happening, thought Michael. He'd heard of kidnappings and been involved in rescuing some but to Maria? He knew what most were like; over obsessed fans, greedy desperate money hungry and those were the safe ones, there were those who wanted them to be their bride or sacrifice them to some god, those were the ones to watch out for.
"How did this happen?" asked Liz.
"Well from Michelle's account and from the scene we've got a few theories-"
"I'm not interested in theories," spat Amy, "I want to know what you know."
"Well what we know is, this was a very carefully planned out kidnapping. Someone rigged Maria's breaks so she couldn't stop and had to swerve the man standing in the middle of the road. She hit into a tree but no one was injured. The man then approached the car, took Maria and left Michelle. What doesn't make sense though is the car door."
"What do you mean?" asked Michael
"Well, Michelle said it just flew off, our guys back it up too, it's like someone pulled it off and flung it a few metres away but no one would have the strength to do that."
No human being thought Michael as a bitter taste slowly rose up his throat.
"Look I don't care about the door, I want to know where my daughter is and what you people are doing to find her," said Amy.
"We're searching the scene looking for clues, interviewing everyone who came into contact with Maria during her last few hours. Speaking of which," he turned to face Michael, "Mr Guerin I understand you visited Maria at Hill Crest this afternoon?"
"I did" he answered
"May I ask why?"
"Maria and I used to date…a while back, we just needed to sort some things out, that was about sixish and then I left."
"Where were you between six and eight?"
"What are you trying to say, that Michael-"
"Relax Iz," he said, "he's just doing his job. I went to a meeting at the Meridian, over five hundred people can vouch for me."
"Thank you," he nodded. "Has maria been receiving any threatening fan mail or anything peculiar?"
"Um no," said Ray, "we've just been getting the regular stuff."
The detective nodded, " well I have to get back to some other leads. We'll keep you updated on anything we have."
"Thank you" muttered Amy as the doctor and police officer left.
All eyes turned on Michael.
"What happened?" demanded Isabel.
"I was on my way to meet maria in the west gardens, made a pit stop," he paused as eyebrows urged him to go on, "funny thing happened", he raised his eyebrows to Max, Liz and Isabel, "can I talk to you guys outside?"
"It's okay Michael, I know about your other worldly origins, Maria told me" said Amy.
"Oh, okay,".
Who hasn't she told?
He continued, "saw Michelle float a ball towards her. I did the maths. Talked to Maria about it, voices were raised, she left, I left."
"What exactly did you figure out Michael?" asked Max, was that an amused twinkle in his eyes?.
Michael ignored it.
"That Maria and Ray there had an alien child" he couldn't hold back his anger, "for freaks sake Max why didn't you tell me! we don't even know if he's an enemy or a friend-"
"-hold on," interrupted Liz, " so you think Ray's an alien?" she asked a look of utter disbelief crossing her face.
He looked at them confused, what was wrong with them, "the alien baby speaks for itself" he said slowly.
"Okay that's it," said Isabel as she stood up," I know you guys were going for tact and patience, but that's a lost cause."
Michael yelped in surprise as she shoved him against the wall
"Iz what the-"
"shut up Michael. Let me break it down for you since it seems that it can't get through to your dense head."
Across her shoulder he saw Max smirk. What the hell, had everyone lost their minds?
"Michael look at me and listen very slowly," she said, "how old is Michelle?"
"seven" he replied.
"okay," she nodded, "cast your mind back say seven years when we were a few hours from leaving earth. You there?"
His eyes told her all she needed to know.
"Good, now the fog clears to reveal a younger Michael telling a certain earth girl. We’ll call her Maria that he loves her. Him and said girl slept together and he leaves. Said girl is surprised to find herself pregnant, six months later the baby comes, gets discovered begins a prosperous music career, meets Ray here who agrees to not deny or confirm rumours about him being the father of her baby. And if that wasn't enough she names her little girl Michelle. Michael, Michelle both start with M are we getting any clearer?"
It was clear, as clear as glass, as clear as air but Michael just had to be sure, "are you saying…"
"yes Michael, Michelle is your child," she added softly, "she's your alien baby."

The room receded in size, his breathing shallow, Michael felt like he was being suffocated with too much information. Stumbling he headed for the door.
"Where you going?" asked a voice faintly
"I need to get some air," he called over his shoulder as he headed for the exit sign.

"Think, he'll be okay?" asked Liz
"He'll be fine," Max assured her, "he just needs time to get used to idea."

Michael took deep breaths as he stared out into the night sky.
I am a father, he thought. Him a father, with child…with Maria, he added. The thought that he and Maria could have made a life filled him with joy-
Which was quickly shadowed by gut-wrenching guilt as his mind replayed slowly every hate filled word he'd spoken to her and replayed every tear that slid down her cheek and every flinch he'd caused by his words. He was scum, he was lower than low-
"Hey," said a quiet voice behind him.
"Max,"
"Just checking that you're still breathing and conscious."
"I'm fine, just a little bit-"
"Shocked?"
"Shocked and stupid. I mean what person fails to recognise his own daughter and to put two and two together Max, I mean seven years do you know how long that is. How much I've missed, her first walk, word, smile. I promised myself that I wouldn't be like Hank-"
"You're not Michael"
"No, not about that, the first few years of my life weren't happy memories Maxwell and I promised myself that I would be there for my kids if I had any. And I wasn't"
"She has great mother and you're here now. Look you can't go back, but you can go forward and spend now with her."
"Does she even know I'm alive?"
"Yes, Maria told her, told her everything."
That made him feel a little better, that she at least knew that if he had had a choice he would have stayed seven years ago.
But you had a choice five years ago, four years ago, he chided himself
"So are you coming?" asked Max.
"Why not" he replied, he could do with some more guilt.

Michael held his breath as he looked through the half closed blinds at his daughter, laughing and talking to her grandmother and Liz.
"She's amazing," he breathed in awe.
"and as stubborn as you and Maria put together," smiled Isabel.
"That's my daughter," he repeated, the words completely alien to him.
"Yes, do wanna meet her?"
A second ago he would have said maybe or that he wasn't ready, but now after seeing her and knowing who she was, he was more than ready.
"Yes," he replied as she led him into the room.
He watched nervously as her eyes travelled to Isabel and then on him, did a double take and grow wide.
"Michelle, I there's someone here who wants to see you" smiled Isabel
"Daddy!" she shrieked as she bounded over her bed and wrapped her arms around his knees . Michael stood there shocked at the little thing wrapped around him.
"I think we'll leave you alone" whispered Amy as she ushered the others out of the room.
She slowly disentangled herself and took a step back to slowly survey him. Michael cringed at the scrutiny, what was she hoping to find, what if he didn't compare to Ray?
"You look exactly like the pictures, except older," she said as she sat back down on her bed. Michael took it as an invitation to sit closer.
Unsure of what to say, he asked the first thing which entered his head, "Um…do you know who I am?".
"Uh huh," she nodded with excitement her eyes never leaving him, "Mum told me that you had to go save your planet and that you'd be back when everything worked out…and now you're back." She said hugging him, "I missed you."
Michael's heart grew warm as he returned the hug, "I missed you too and I'm sorry-"
"For what?"
"For missing out on seeing your grown up"
She smiled, Maria's smile, wide, mischievous and welcoming, "Well mom says I'm not all grown up yet and that I'll be a terror in my teens, so you got plenty more to look forward to"
"Yeah" he mumbled, "I guess I do".
He watched as Michelle grabbed her pink bag and took out her wallet, "here," she said showing him a picture of him and Maria in Las Vegas," you can have it back now, she gave it to me to remember you, but I don't need it anymore."
Her references to Maria increased his guilt, like a ten pound weight pressing against his heart; while he had been living a life as a playboy, Maria had been busy raising their child, telling her about her father and the first thing that he did was jump to a very wrong conclusion.
"Have they found her yet?" she asked sensing his thought pattern.
"No," he said slowly an idea formulating in his head, "Michelle, can I try something on you so that we can all see what you saw today?"
She looked at him suspiciously, "will it hurt?" she asked
"No, promise," he said
She cocked her to one side as if assessing the pros and cons of the situation, then smiled widely, "okay"

TBC


posted on 16-Oct-2002 3:54:39 AM
Michael turned off the lights in the waiting room.
"Okay," he said as he stood behind Michelle, "I'm going to connect with you give you sort of a power boost, then I want you to remember what happened when you were driving home. The images will be projected so we can see who the man was okay?"
She nodded nervously "okay"
Taking a deep breath, Michael placed his fingers on her temples and felt an instant connection. Eyes open he stared towards the wall as images started appearing.
Everything was seen from Michelle's point of view, Michael looked up to Maria with her to see the tears rolling down her cheeks. He tensed as he heard her ask if everything was okay and Maria reply that it was.
He was scum, he'd made Maria cry.
They were looking up ahead at the road, Michelle said that there was a man standing in the road. Michael's heart raced as he saw the panic grip Maria as she tried to stop, eyes grew wide as she swerved and hit the tree.
Everything went black for a few minutes, to Michael they felt like painful hours until he heard Maria's voice break through the silence. He watched as she dusted glass out of Michelle's hair and made sure she was okay.
Suddenly all attention was placed to the door as he heard it squeak as if someone was pulling it, no ripping it off. Then gasped with Michelle as it flew off, just like the Detective had said. He watched as Maria eyes wide with fear slide over to look outside. He saw her jump back blocking Michelle's view. All he could hear was a voice asking if it was okay.
The voice, it sounded familiar.
He watched as Maria moved to the side, as the figure peered into the car.
"Just a little to the left," he muttered as he squinted his eye.
"Oh my gosh" he heard Isabel gasp
"What is it?" he asked, then nodded with understanding as the face came into view.
Those eyes, that evil self-satisfied smile.
"Khivar," he muttered, then everything went black again.
Michelle pulled away from him, "that's it," she said, "was it any help?"
"Yeah it was," nodded Michael in shock.
Khivar here on earth and with Maria?

Ray looked around the room and what he saw he definitely didn't like. Isabel, Michael, Maria and Liz all had the same look in their eyes, of horror and worry. Dread cascaded over him. This was more serious than a Maria obsessed weirdo. This was alien related.
"Who the heck is Khivar?" he asked.
"Kivar's the guy we fought back home" Michael replied almost mechanically, he looked shell shocked.
"I thought he was dead," said Liz
"So did we" he said
"What does he want with Maria?" asked Liz

"Revenge," replied Michael slowly as the enormity of the situation took a hold of him. Khivar was evil, psychotic and looking for revenge, he had Maria, he had his Maria.
"Isabel"
"On it" she replied as she turned to Amy, "I need something of Maria's, hair a picture anything"
"Um, I don't have anything-"
"Here," said Michael as he thrust the picture of him and Maria in Vegas into her hands, "use that."
Isabel glanced at it and smiled, lying on Max's lap for support, Michael watched as she stared intently at the picture and her eyes slowly close.
She was going in.

Isabel felt the world around her disappearing fast, shrinking until there was nothing but darkness around her. That meant that Maria was barely conscious, it was easier for her to dream-walk when people were asleep, when they were awake she made an uncomfortable pit stop into a dark void. The dark slowly morphed into brown, rocks in fact. The void was turning into a space, consisting of rocks…a cave. She realised as it materialised. She was in a cave, it looked like the one which harboured their pods but the walls were glowing green. Isabel took in the surroundings, it was empty apart from a body huddled in the centre of the far wall.
"Maria" she whispered as she rushed over to her. Isabel touched her face and immediately pulled away, her sink was cold and she was shivering.
"Isabel?" she asked faintly.
Grabbing her head between her palms, she said, "Maria! it's me Isabel, tell me where you are"
Maria closed her eyes and opened them again, this time she was more awake, "I'm in Roswell," she said her blue eyes alert and hopeful, "Khivar kidnapped me-"
"we know, where exactly are you?"
"I don't know, in one of the caves"
That was too vague, realised Isabel, in the Roswell desert caves were plentiful.
"Anything else?" she asked.
Hesitant, she said, "Uh, when I look up, I can see the North star directly above me".
North Star. Good
"Okay, we can work with that" she said frantically
"how's Michelle is she-"
"she's okay, she's fine but you're not doing so good" she said as she took in the sweat drenched hair and clothes, the bruises on her face and that look of fear in her eyes.
"We're going to get you out Maria I promise just hold on"
Maria's eyes suddenly grew wide, Isabel could see her shrinking into herself, "He's behind you," she whispered.
Isabel whirled round to see Khivar smiling, "Hello Vilandra or should I say Isabel"
She stood up ready to face him, " Okay," he shrugged, " bye Isabel" he added as she crashed into the cave wall. Air knocked out of her lungs, the cave vanished suddenly.

Michael jumped as Isabel rose up suddenly gasping for air, he bombarded her with questions, "Is are you okay, what did you see, where's Maria?"
"Easy Michael" said Max, "let her get her breath back."
"She's in Roswell," began Isabel, "in one of those caves"
"There a lot of caves," said Liz
"Only in this one she can see the North star directly above her"
"That doesn't help" said Max
"Yes it does, I know where it is. Alex told me about it, it's just a few miles out of Fraiser Woods"
"How's Maria?" he asked her
She looked at him for a moment, "We need to get her out of there," she said grimly.
"The next plane to Roswell leaves in about an hour," said Ray
"Okay let's go," said Michael
"I'm coming" said Amy,
"No you're not," said Michael, "you won't do Maria any good being there, you're better off here looking after her daughter"
"Well I'm coming," said Liz, "Michael Maria's my best friend and I'm coming"
Arguing would waste time besides Max would probably back her up and she'd end up going anything, at least this was they would lose time.
"Okay," he nodded.

Michael was walking down a long passageway, fear gripped his every movement. There was something laying there at the end of the corridor. He knew who it was, he didn't want to go further but his feet led him forward. The body was limp, like a discarded garbage bag. Hands shaking Michael rolled it over to see the face he'd permanently embedded in his mind…Maria. Only it wasn't his Maria, the Maria he'd known years ago or the Maria he'd been rude to. This Maria wasn't moving, her face was literally black and blue, the only thing that indicated that it was Maria was her matted blond hair and that blue in her eyes-
"Michael" she whispered suddenly.
Michael jumped nearly out of his seat, looking rapidly around him for the lip whispering Maria. Instead he found the eyes of a very concerned Isabel next to him.
"Michael," she repeated, "you okay?"
"Yeah," he replied sighing with relief, " just a bad dream. What time is it?"
"We'll be in Roswell in about an hour" she replied.
"Iz," he said suddenly, "when you saw her, was her face…okay?"
"She was pretty bad Michael, but we'll get to her."
"I know" he replied as the black and blue image lingered in his mind.

It was afternoon when their rented car screeched to a halt in front of one the caves, which looked exactly like the other few they had driven past except at night this one had the North star shining directly below it at night and in this cave Maria was being held captive by a vindictive, mad vengeful man.
"Okay guys," said Isabel tensely, "how do we play this out?"
The tense determined but fearful look etched on her face was something Michael hadn't seen since they were back on Antar preparing for battle.
"I don't need to say that this is a trap," he heard Liz say.
"Yeah," said Michael as his eyes stayed trained on the entrance. Either way Maria was somewhere in there and he had to get her out.
"Michael," said Max.
"What?"
"We need a vague plan, we do this together, we don't know what or how many Khivar has with him" he added.
Michael nodded, Max level-headed as usual had brought him back from images on his fist smashing into Khivar's face.
"Okay," he began, " We go in together, me and Izzy up front and you and Liz behind" he ordered
"Fine" said Max.
While they climbed up to the entrance all Michael could think about was Maria and what Khivar was doing to her. The pictures filled him with hot red powerful adrenaline. He was going to get her back and alive. That was the least he could do afterall this was all his fault anyway.
The four stood in front of the entrance. Michael took a deep breath, muscles taut he looked back to Max whose eyes told him everything he needed to know. He was ready and they were getting Maria out. He nodded, "ready Iz?"
"Let's get Maria out" she breathed.
Quietly they descended along a long darkening passageway.
"Lights anytime soon?" whispered Isabel
"when I can't see the floor, we'll turn them on" he replied. He couldn't afford to let anything jeopardise Maria's safety. When he couldn't see the floor, Michael and the others flicked on their flashlights. Michael increased his pace as they walked deeper into the cave.
"Michael will you slow- ow!"
Michael spun around to see Max on the ground and Liz helping him up.
"What's wrong?"
Max touched the space infront of him and jumped backed when suddenly it crackled to reveal a green jelly like wall blocking their path.
"What is it?" asked Liz
"force field" said Max as he tried to use his powers to break through it.
"It's too strong," he said then looked at Michael, "I can't do it alone."
Michael nodded with understanding, this was their only way out and it needed to be open when he and Maria came back.
"Okay, Iz, you stay here and bring down the field. I'll go get Maria"
Isabel nodded and squeezed his arm softly, "be careful"
Michael nodded and continued along the passage way until the echoes of Max and Isabel's efforts to bring down the force field had faded.
He was alone.
He was Maria's only hope and he wasn't about to let her down when all of this was technically his fault. Him and his proneness to anger or run away instead of staying. As he turned a corner he pressed his palm against the cool stone until it glowed red, then moved on.


posted on 16-Oct-2002 3:56:28 AM
After so many twists and turns that his head began to spin, Michael finally walked into an opening. He turned off his flashlight because the blue green glow from the wall and the light coming in from a funnel at the top was enough for him to see. It was a small clearing obscured by a few rocks. Walking around them his eyes fearfully scanned the area for Maria.
He froze when he saw her. Not her to be exact but the limp body which had haunted his dreams asleep and awake.
"Maria" he whispered rushing down to her. Breathless he shook her, relieved to hear a moan he wasted no time in breaking off the manacles on her hands.
"Michael" she said her voice tired and faraway. Her eyes grew wide as he lifted her off her feet.
"Michael, it really is you" she said her relief slowly down his runaway heart rate.
"Yeah, we're gonna get you out of here," he said as he walked towards the passageway.
"No," she protested as she broke out of his arms.
"wh-"
"It's a trap"
"We know tha-"
"No, he wanted you to find me" she insisted looking around her with apprehension, "he's here somewhere"
It was the first time Michael had seen her properly, her skirt was torn and wet, blood was dripping from her cut leg and her face. Bruises were everywhere all over her arms, her hair was matted with what he guessed was blood. Anger boiled through him, he was going to kill Khivar. Not slowly, but quick and to the point.
"We'll face him when he appears, let's go," he said grabbing her hand, "can you walk?"
"I'll make it," she said as she limped behind him.
"How did you know?" she whispered.
Michael smiled, she was still Maria, even in a crisis her mouth would still be moving.
"Michelle"
When he said that word he heard her stop.
"So you know," she said.
"Maria could we talk about this later, when we're not running for our lives?"
"okay," she nodded as they resumed their walk.
After a few minutes of silence she said, "how do you know where we're going?"
He stopped and raised his hand and concentrated, the walls suddenly glowed red. "Hansel and Gretel of the 21st Century" he smiled.
She laughed but then groaned as she sank to the ground clutching her stomach Michael turned to her, "what's wrong?"
"We’ll check it out when we get out, " she said as she rose to her feet. Michael looked at her dubiously.
"Let's go," she insisted.
He grabbed her hand, squeezing it a little, "okay".
"What did she say?"
"Who?"
"Michelle"
"She knew who I was"
"I told her about you"
This really wasn't the time to be having a conversation like this but as long as they were having it anyway Michael decided to take advantage of it.
"Thank you" he said.
"why wouldn't I, you are her father and after she noticed that she was a little different…what else could I say" she replied.
"Right."
Silence passed, time passed, " why didn't you tell me?" he said.
"Like you gave me a chance" she replied.
"You could have made me listen" he whispered back.
"Made you listen!" she whispered harshly
Michael heard voices up ahead, they were close.
"We're almost there"
"Made you listen," she continued, "Michael" she pulled him to a stop just before they left the passageway to the clearing where Max and Isabel were still working on the force field.
"Maria-"
"-Michael, I could take you and your new life…but for you to even think for a moment that I would jump into bed with anyone let alone an alien just after you left…that just says it a-"
"Maria!" he shouted.
"Liz!" she said as she pushed past him and into the clearing.
"Stay back" ordered Isabel as she and Max focused their powers to break it down.
"We need to get this down now," said Michael as he joined them.
After that, then he could crawl and beg with Maria.
"What's is it?" she asked.
"a force field we're trying to-"
"you!," he heard Maria gasp. In a blink of an eye, Isabel, Max and Liz collapsed to the ground.

Michael turned around to see Maria backing away from Khivar, he quickly rushed to her side.
"Yes me," he replied as he raised his hand and took aim at them.
"Michael!" Maria screamed suddenly and pushed him out of the way. As Michael hit the ground he saw a green ray hit Maria and fall to the ground. Not wasting a moment he shot a blast in the direction it came from and heard a moan and then an explosion of orange light.
Whoever it was was dead now.

Michael struggled to his feet. Quickly he did a damage check, isabel, max, liz and maria were down. Khivar followed his gaze, "don't worry, they're not dead…yet. But her" he continued as he knelt down beside Maria's still body. Michael watched, his muscles ready for action as he felt for Maria's pulse,"…barely". He watched, his breathing low as Khivar wiped the now dark blonde hair which had covered her face away and he lift her head, "cute isn't she and feisty".
Michael moved forward, then stopped, this was what khivar wanted and to react to attack would be to fall right into his path. He was sick like that, but Michael forced his body to comply. He flinched as Khivar dropped her head to the ground, it landed with a dull thud.
That's it, thought Michael, he is going to fry.
"We had a nice talk while you were gallantly on your way," he said as the two began circling each other. "We got close and she shared her life with me."
"What did you do to her"
"Nothing, we just talked about her life…or maybe I detracted it from her mind whatever, anyway from what I could gather, which wasn't a lot because she is a fighter, while I just thought you were stupid in the military capacity…turns out you're stupid all around."
"and you're still as psycho as ever," he said.
"Shall we?"
"lets," said Michael as he shot a red crackling sphere towards him. Khivar deflected it with his blue force field and stumbled a few steps back.
"not bad," he said, "but not good enough". Two large red spheres shot straight for Michael, he raised up his shield but found himself not stumbling but slamming into the wall and sunk to the ground. Khivar had more power than him that was for sure, his power was fuelled by revenge only. Getting up, Michael aimed more shots at him with more force each time. Like a dance red sphere's sailed across the room, deflected without impact.
This is going nowhere, thought Michael breathlessly. He was holding up but he couldn't hold out much longer. Finally the blow that he'd been expecting, anticipating, steeling himself for came. Air was slammed out of his chest, he heard a dull crack as his body hit the wall and slumped.
"The great second in command," sneered Khivar as he stood over him. Michael's eyes grew wide as the energy ball in his palm grew bigger and bigger.
I have to do something! He panicked inwardly, he couldn't let Khivar kill Max and Isabel, he wouldn't let him have Maria. Okay so by alien power Khivar was more than his match, but hand to hand….maybe he had a chance. With renewed strength, Michael used his feet to trap him and bring him to the ground. Using the wall as a support he pulled himself up.
"I accept" replied Khivar to the unspoken challenge.
"And I will proceed to kick your ass," said Michael, as he attacked him with a barrage of kicks and punches. Some were dodged, but Michael loved the ones which produced that dull thud of bone to bone action. The final blow sent Khivar back to the ground, Michael stood breathless towering over him.
"Okay! You won," panted Khivar as he raised his arms in defeat. Michael stayed alert, waiting for his next move, "You won fair and square" he added, "but-" Michael blinked for a second. His eyes opened. A red mass of burning energy was heading towards him. "I don't play fair," finished Khivar.
Khivar blinked for a second. He opened his eyes. A red mass of burning energy was heading towards him, only he unlike Michael he wasn't prepared.
Michael shielded his eyes as Khivar exploded into ash, falling gently to the ground reminding him of soft snow.