TITLE: ONE STEP CLOSER (Awakening from within)
AUTHOR: Lee
RATING: I don’t know. Swearing for now, might get worse but I will warn you when it does.
DISCLAIMER: Umm, the characters are not mine. Please don’t sue me??
CATEGORY: Liz based, I am a dreamer and polarist, so I don’t know how it will end up swinging. At the moment I think it will end up being Max/Liz with a purely platonic polarist pairing! But there won’t be anything for a while, so don’t worry.
AUTHORS NOTE: Ok. This is my first fan fic. Um, I am quite nervous about posting this because when I read a fic where the author has said that it is their first fic. it ends up being really impressive and I am not that confident about this. Also, this hasn’t been beta read (is that it??) um so if anyone is interested in being my beta reader please get in contact with me! Um, what else? I am just a young English girl who recently realised how cool Roswell is. Plus I haven’t seen all the episodes (shock horror!) so some things might be wrong. Sorry!!

I faintly heard Isabel’s question to Max, and as he answered I mused to myself that trying to save his baby would be yet another hard, emotionally straining task. I wasn’t sure that I could handle any more grief, and that surprised me. Have I come to my end? Has Elizabeth Parker, girl who would do anything for the three aliens in her life, lay down her life if she had to, and had, had she finally given up? I was too tired to dwell on that idea and so I stored that away for later inspection. I looked around at my ‘family’ so to speak.

There was Max, who was gazing across the desert, inevitably trying to think of a way to save his son; Isabel who was looking at her brother with concern, but underneath that, there was something like vacancy: like the worry on her face was just a mask on a robot. Kyle looked like I had never seen him before: he looked lost. The Kyle I knew had always been in control of himself, and even when he wasn’t in control of the situation, he seemed so sure of himself and his feelings. I had admired that in him and so it was quite disconcerting to me that he looked so confused and bewildered.
Maria and Michael looked happy, and for that I was kinda glad. Michael looked at Max with the same concern as Isabel, and Maria looked sympathetic to Max’s dilemma, but as they shared a look I could see peace between them, and that did make me feel better…and slightly resentful.

These people were the ones that I trusted: we were all bound by a secret, and that made us closer than I was to anyone else in the world. However now I just wanted my real family: my mummy and daddy. I wanted my dad to make me some hot chocolate like he does when he knows something is wrong, and I want my mummy to sit with me and stroke my hair while I am in bed. I had been so distant from them since knowing Max, and I now realised how much I needed them.

No one seemed to want to move and so I openly sighed, ran my hands through my hair and started to walk away. To be honest, I didn’t care whether they followed me or not, but I for one wasn’t going to just stand around waiting for Max to move. In the past I had both waited for Max’s commands, and decided for myself, and I now realised that Max was only human and had made many bad mistakes and so I should rely on myself. Besides, I had succeeded in finding out the truth of Alex’s death by my own initiative and thus had more confidence in my own strength. There was one thing I knew for sure: things were going to change for me from now on.

As it happened, the others did follow me. We all crowded into the Jetta, and I was happy to drive so that Michael and Maria could snuggle in the back. I mean, everyone else had ended up in a quite shitty position, so it is nice that two of us can have some happiness. It was funny how Michael had complained that he had the worst situation but now he was one of the happiest people in our slowly decreasing group. That made me think: who would be the nest person to leave our ‘family.’

I drove straight to the Crashdown because I knew that we would inevitably be discussing what needed to be discussed. All the way there I could feel Max’s intense gaze on me, but I ignored it. I just didn’t know how I felt anymore. I, like Kyle, was lost. I didn’t know what I felt because I hadn’t been in touch with my emotions for so long. I had been this machine since Alex’s death, and I felt that façade slowly slipping away now leaving me feeling vulnerable, something I did not like.

There was a crowd outside the Crashdown when we got there, and we all looked at each other in concern. As we walked up to the front door, myself in the lead, I noticed one of our local customers standing crying. I was beginning to get scared and so I went up to him and asked what was going on. He was a relatively elderly man who had been a regular Thursday evening customer since I could remember, and the look on his face when he turned to me was something that I was unlikely to forget. He just kept muttering how sorry he was for me, and if there was anything he could do he would do it. His grip on my arm was strong but I wrenched myself free and ran into the restaurant. Inside was the complete opposite of outside. It was silent and the only person in the room was Valenti, sitting at a booth with his head down. I stopped abruptly just through the door as he looked up at me. As the others poured past me I remember thinking one thing: I no longer had anyone to lean on: I was alone.

*************************************************************

PART TWO:
I forgot to say where this left off. This comes straight after departure. Sorry!!


Um…ok. Where am I? I forgot for a second. For a moment there I was sitting by mine and Alex’s beach, sipping an ice cold lemonade watching Alex swim. A few years ago my kitten was run over. My parents weren’t that upset because they didn’t agree with having a cat in the flat, but I was distraught. It was the first time I had experienced death, and my cat was so young, I just couldn’t understand it. Maria didn’t really understand either, but because Alex’s grandfather had died the previous year, he could relate to what I was going through. My cat’s death made me think about things that I had previously taken for granted and I got so confused and messed up that Alex decided to get my mind away from reality for a while. So he made up this make believe place for us both: a beach. We described it with the most precise details so that it was perfectly suited for both of us. It was just ours, even Maria didn’t know about it, and when things got too much for either of us we would call the other up and describe what we would be doing on our beach. It helped us forget our troubles for a little bit.

But now I couldn’t call up Alex: he wouldn’t be able to take me away from this harsh reality. My eyes focused and I looked around. I saw Valenti; I saw Michael take Maria in his arms; I saw Kyle frown sadly as if he already knew what had happened. I saw Isabel fall into a stool; and I saw Max. I turned on my heel and left the building.

It was still fairly early: about nineish in the morning and the sun was already beating down causing an extreme heat. I briskly walked around to the side stairs up to the apartment and jogged up the steps. I got my keys out and went inside. I was not entirely sure about what I was expecting, but everything looked normal. I walked around the flat, finding nothing out of place. The only places I had left to look were the main bedroom and my own bedroom. It was at that point that Valenti and the others burst through the door. I turned to look Valenti straight in the eye, ignoring the others, before I went into my parent’s bedroom. I knew that I would find whatever I was looking for in that room and I was right. Everything was in perfect order: I got my neatness off my mother, and so there was not one thing out of place. Including my parents lying on the bed. It looked just as though they were asleep, and for a second I thought that maybe Valenti was just waiting for us and I had assumed the worst. Then I took a closer look at my parents.

They were pale. They were lifeless. They were dead. Oh and there was a tip of a silver hand print peeking out of the top of my father’s shirt and my mother’s blouse. Either a sick joke or an alien had killed my parents. I felt sick. That’s all I remember feeling. I had reverted back into my ‘machine’: don’t feel emotions, don’t have to deal with them. I had to get out of the room though. I walked calmly out of the room and closed the door. I then walked into my room, again knowing that there was going to be something there for me. I didn’t disappoint myself. On my bed there was a plain white envelope with ‘Elizabeth’ written on it in Tess’s big bold writing. I picked it up and sat down to read it.

‘Liz. As you are reading this I will be back on my home planet handing Max, Michael and Isabel to Khivar. They will all be killed and I will make sure that it is a painful, slow death. I have won and you have lost.

It is amazing how much of your life I have ruined for you really, isn’t it? I mean, I was Max’s first, something you would probably have killed for. It was me who he was thinking about as he thrust into me, and it was my name he called when he came. My baby is part of him. He learned how to pleasure a girl through me; he learned with me. And also by him coming to Antar with me, he chose me over you. You are just a human, so its not surprising how weak you were, and how you couldn’t keep him faithful. I mean, he turned to me last year as well. So it wasn’t shocking now was it. It just shows how unappealing you are.

However, you pissed me off royally so I decided to leave you a parting gift. Michael and Isabel secretly admired your strength, but I doubt you are strong enough to lose your best friend, boyfriend and parents all in a few months. I had actually come here to kill you, but you weren’t here and your parents were. Shame for them, but its ok, the only sad thing is that I don’t get to be there when you crumble. But it was worth it. Telling your parents twisted lies about you before killing them made it all up to me. Their last thoughts were how you had deceived them time and time again. I hope you can live with that Liz, well actually I don’t care.
Tess’

I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t. I had no idea that people were that evil. I just had no idea what to do, I was so confused. Confused and numb. I walked outside to see that everyone had found a place to sit or stand. Michael and Maria were curled up on our big chair, Isabel and Kyle were sitting on the sofa, Valenti had brought a chair in from the kitchen and Max was standing. They all looked up at me as I left my room. From their faces I knew that Valenti hadn’t said anything to them and so I realised that it was up to me. I sighed and began. ‘Um…’ I squeaked. I stopped, cleared my throat and began again. ‘Just don’t interrupt me until I am finished ok.’ I pleaded ‘I need to get everything out.’ They all nodded to me so I started. ‘Mum and Dad have been murdered.’ I stated, looking at the floor. ‘Um, it was Tess.’ Several people looked up at me sharply at that. I continued in a scientific voice, devoid of all emotion. ‘Yeah, um, she left me a letter’ emphasising what I had said by lifting the letter in my hand. ‘It just says how she wanted me to have as much grief in my life as possible and how she enjoyed killing them.’ By this time Isabel had begun weeping quietly on Kyle’s shoulder while Maria was bawling loudly. I looked Valenti dead in the eye, and with a cold tone, voiced the question that had been nagging at me since I had seen my parents’ bodies. ‘Why didn’t you move them?’ Valenti looked briefly at Max nervously before answering, ‘I thought we should let the handprints fade before taking the bodies in.’ ‘Why?’ I demanded. ‘So that the FBI wouldn’t expect something.’ Was the reply that Valenti gave me. ‘Why are you still trying to protect them? They aren’t even supposed to be here! They are supposed to be dying a slow painful death about now!’ Valenti stood up. ‘But I realised that if something did go wrong and they stayed it would be dangerous for Max because the FBI would still have him on their list.’ I went red. I could feel myself burning up, I was that angry. ‘You protect the aliens even when they may not be on earth, but you let me see my murdered parents? It’s great to know who you want to protect the most!’ Kyle stood up to defend his father. ‘Just don’t Kyle, ok!’ I interrupted him before he had a chance to talk, ‘I just don’t need it right now.’ I stalked into the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mind had shut down. I just couldn’t deal, so I wouldn’t deal. I just needed sleep. I took a deep breath and walked into the other room. ‘Look I am sorry. I…’ I couldn’t find the right words: sleep was now overcoming me. ‘It is just something I have to deal with. I can’t handle this now. Can you all leave.’ It wasn’t a question but a demand, but they all looked as though they objected. Maria was the one to voice that objection: ‘We all need each other now Liz, don’t shut us out.’ I looked at her for a moment, and realised that I wouldn’t be able to argue against all of them. ‘Fine, you guys can stay and try and find room, but I am going to sleep and if anyone tries to come into my room they will be sorry. Respect my feelings, I need to be alone, and at the moment I need to sleep.’ With that I walked into my room and closed the door. I had stopped thinking at all and just grabbed my stuffed teddy before curling up on my bed. I was asleep a few minutes later, regardless of the hushed conversation going on outside my room.
*************************************************************

PART THREE:
So here’s the deal. I realised that if I wanted to make this story better I would have to include the thoughts of the other characters. However, I am not very confident on the characters that I have portrayed because I only feel like I know Liz’s. So sorry if the characters are crap, because I kinda feel like they are. Also I have changed the story around a bit to become a definite Max/Liz. Which I think should be better. Oh and the only reason Maria doesn’t have a pov piece is because she fell asleep and these thoughts were in the evening.


MAX POV

It was late at night. Liz hadn’t left her room since this morning when she went to sleep and no one had checked on her, respecting her wishes. So much has gone on in the last few weeks, and these last twenty-four hours concluded it dramatically. So much has changed that I don’t know how I can deal with it. There is so much going on now, loose ends to tie up due to the mistake that was Tess. I just can’t believe it. I don’t think I can stand anymore. As I held Liz as Tess flew off to Antar I just wanted to cry. I really did. I just wanted to go to Liz’s room, lie on her bed wrapped in her embrace and cry. I guess I am just a little boy like Tess said. I don’t deserve Liz. I am so frustrated, I know I am meant to be doing something but I don’t know what to do. I try to be the leader and to protect everyone but I just end up making mistakes and causing people harm.

I just can’t believe Tess would do something like that. I mean, fair enough to want to hand Michael, Isabel and myself over to Khivar, but to do so much harm to Liz when she thought we would be gone. And to rub it in that Tess was my first and not Liz. How I wish that I could take back a few months: If only there was such a thing as time travel!. I just don’t understand how anyone can be that evil. If that is what our alien sides are capable of doing, I want my human side to take control.

I can’t go to sleep. There are so many people here to look after, and it is my job to. I guess Maria and Michael have each other, but Isabel is all alone in a state of confusion, and Kyle must be feeling absolutely terrible. But there isn’t anything I can do about it. I wish I could take everyone’s pain away, but I realise that I can’t. It tears me up to think that I just have to sit back and watch as the people closest to me close up and try to deal with their feelings on their own because they don’t trust me.

And Liz, god, I have no idea what she is feeling. In the last few months we have gone from being intimate to being enemies, and if I thought we had stuff to deal with when Tess left, this is going to be even worse. How can she stand being with us aliens when one of us caused the death of her best friend and parents? I just, I just feel like it is all my fault. I just can’t get over this. I don’t understand this. It’s as if my brain doesn’t want to grasp this situation. I have no idea how Liz is feeling, I have no idea how she is going to react, and I have no idea what she is going to do. Is this really what has become of our relationship? I have no idea how she is going to take this when a year ago I would have known exactly, and she would have come to me for help. . All I want to do now is comfort her, but after the last few weeks she won’t want me around. I guess I will have to just stay back and let her deal and be there for her if she wants me. Yet how can I be of any use when I feel that I am about to crumble into nothingness?

ISABEL POV

I asked Max what we were going to do now but the truth is that I don’t really care. I don’t. It was why I didn’t mind going to Antar. It doesn’t matter to me where I am or whom I am with. The only person that matters to me now is Max. I mean, I can’t afford to love anyone else if they only end up getting killed. First Grant and then Alex. It’s a joke. Knowing an alien has killed them both and now Liz’s parents. I think that Max and I should have listened to Michael when Liz first found out about us and ran.

I can’t believe that Tess betrayed us like that. Max told us of what she had said in the chamber. I just don’t believe how stupid and gullible I was towards her. She killed Alex. For that I want to see her suffer; I want her to have this pain inside her that consumes her every waking day and dominates her dreams at night. It’s like a form of torture that doesn’t seem to end. It’s times like right now, when I am lying down pretending to sleep while hugging myself in loneliness, that I wish my alien side would be more in control. The side that doesn’t believe in human emotions except to feel that they are weaknesses. But, alas, the pain is still there inside me, overpowering me, engulfing me. I just wish that Alex were here; I feel so alone.

MICHAEL POV

God, how does anyone expect me to sleep when there is so much shit going on. Like anyone here is actually sleeping! Wait there is: someone curled up in my arms that cried herself to sleep. My angel. Ha! Michael Guerin being sentimental: That’s a first!

When I came out of that chamber I was so happy. For the first time in my life I felt that I belonged and instead of running away from it I was willing to leave the only family I had for it. I still just want to shout out to the world about how happy I am but I guess that wouldn’t really work out because everyone is so unhappy.

God that Tess really is a piece of work. If she were here I would quite happily strangle her…slowly. I mean, I can’t believe she would hand us over to Khivar, but what she did to Liz was incredible. I would not wish that on my enemy and Liz was always civil to Tess even when I would have bitch slapped her one for kissing Max. The worst thing is that Liz is so nice. I mean, I honestly don’t know a better person. And she wasn’t with Max. God. I mean, I never have really paid that much interest to Liz. She and I never had anything in common: we were, in fact, polar opposites. But now, I am pretty much the only one who could comprehend what she is feeling, and I wish that she wasn’t feeling that way. She doesn’t deserve this. GOD! I just wish there were something I could do to take away her pain. I wish it were me.

Its sad how alone she is. I mean, no one here but me knows what it is like to be without a family, and I was used to that, she just suddenly has to deal with it. It’s sad how obvious it is that no one can comprehend how she feels now. That became clear after she left to go to bed. Maria was upset about the way she had acted. I asked her how I dealt with a problem and she replied with a tarty: 'You don’t, you just ignore it and everyone who tries to help.’ That shut them all up.

I don’t know what things are going be like around here for the next few weeks. Everyone has so much on their minds at the moment anyway, its just too much. I have to make Maria and Liz my main priority at the moment because I doubt Liz will want Max near her and Isabel and Kyle have their own problems to deal with. I think it will be tense between Maria and Liz also, because Maria just has no idea what Liz is dealing with. Heck, I only have a slither of an idea.

But at the same time I feel guilty. I just want to spend some alone time with Maria. Last night was so special to me, that I just want to hold onto it for a little longer. That makes me feel so selfish! But I can’t help how I feel.

KYLE POV

Does this grief never end? I have too much to deal with. I can’t imagine how Liz is feeling. If I were her I would banish the aliens from her life. I mean, how can she trust them? I certainly cant. How can one person be so god damn evil? And I trusted her. I stood up for her. I helped her murder one of my best friends. And Liz, god, Liz has never done anything to anyone. Okay, except that thing with Evans but still! Knowing these aliens has only made things in our lives worse. I just wish they would disappear. I just don’t know what’s happening anymore. I always used to be in control: I thrived on that. In a sense I was like Liz in that respect: we both liked to be in control of our lives. And we were until Evans showed up.

When I walked into the Crashdown this morning, I just saw my dad and the world stopped for a minute. I just didn’t think I had the energy left to handle what ever else had happened. And from Dad’s look it was grim. And it was: it was the worst thing I could have imagined. I just need time to think. I need time to put some space between the aliens and me. Yet I also want to be here for Liz. I get the feeling that I am the only shred of normalcy she has left. I would do anything for Liz and now she needs me the most. I am going to have to put my emotions about everything and my feelings towards the aliens to the side and concentrate on Liz. That is what she would do for me.


PART FOUR

I woke up the next morning feeling like shit. However, after a shower and about 20 aspirin later I knew exactly what to do. At first I thought that I wouldn’t be able to handle everything, but now I was confident that I could do just that. I walked out of my room in time to see everyone waking up. There were bodies all over my sitting room and they were all starting to move like a sea of snakes.

I half-heartedly asked if anyone was going to be going to school but I already knew the answer. My suspicion was confirmed as Michael shot me an ‘are you crazy?!’ look and Maria, Isabel and Kyle all shook there heads. I noticed that Max wouldn’t look at me but I didn’t want to study that now. ‘Fine, but if you are staying to help me out then just shut up and help me do the necessities. I don’t want to talk because honestly I haven’t thought about it, and I don’t intend to until I have time to. Got it?!’ I knew that I was being harsh but I also knew that I wouldn’t be left alone if I hadn’t stood up to them now, and I was tired of being walked over. Everyone nodded yes and I rewarded them with a small smile.

I saw that everyone had picked up a bag of clothes each yesterday and so I suggested that they got changed and met me downstairs while I phoned Mr Evans, my lawyer. I walked into the Crashdown only to notice that Max had also come down, having already been up and dressed. He gave me a soul searching look that for once didn’t get past my eyes and frowned sadly when he realised that I had raised a wall guarding my emotions. Despite wanting to put him at ease, I was angry with him over the last few months and we needed to sort it out. But that was just something else that I needed to put aside before I was swept up in this tide of grief that I was just barely controlling. I knew that there was a tough time ahead for me and so I really needed to just take one step at a time and everyone would just have to be ok with that because at this point, I just didn’t care. Max interrupted my thoughts.
‘Are you really sure that you are ok to do this?’ I rolled my eyes and put my hands on my hips. ‘Please respect my feelings. I told you I wasn’t ready to confront my emotions so please leave me be!’ Max nodded and apologised and I immediately felt bad. He was pretty fucked up too. I had given them the letter before I went to bed yesterday morning and he must have read it. ‘Look.’ I said trying to make peace. ‘Can you stay here with me whilst I call your dad? I kinda just need moral support.’ My efforts were rewarded with a shy smile and I was relieved, and happier than I care to admit. Maybe there was a possibility for us after all.

Half an hour later everyone was sitting around the counter looking at me expectantly. I had written a list of things to do and hoped that everyone would accept what I wanted and help me. I cleared my throat. ‘Okay, basically I have so much to do that I need you guys to help.’ I looked around nervously. Maria, Kyle and Michael were giving me compassionate looks, Max was looking at me waiting to know what they were, and Isabel, well, Isabel wasn’t really paying attention. ‘Okay, um. Here’s the deal. Michael.’ I looked at him as he raised his head. ‘I was wondering if you could be in charge of the Crashdown this week.’ I rushed on worrying that he would say no: ‘I understand that you still have school and everything, and that comes first, but just it would help if someone was around to be in charge.’ I looked at him cautiously, hoping that he would agree to help. I was surprised to find him smiling, and that made me confused. ‘You really trust me enough to handle this?’ He asked me in awe. I was again surprised. ‘Yeah Michael, um, my Dad was going to ask you if you wanted to be an assistant manager during the summer.’ I told him hesitantly. He looked so happy that I was glad that I had mentioned my dad’s plans no matter how hard it was for me to do that. ‘But why don’t you just close the Crashdown for a while. I mean no one is expecting it to be open.’ Maria spoke quietly, obviously trying not to piss me off. ‘I mean,’ she continued. ‘You really need to grieve, and you sound like a robot. Isn’t this just another reason to keep the Crashdown closed?’ Maria was right, I hadn’t even thought about that. She was waiting for me to explode in her face but I gave her a small smile. ‘Yeah, I guess that would make more sense, you’re right. I don’t know why I thought of that.’

She smiled at me then and nodded. I looked back at Michael. ‘Ok, well then if that’s settled can you help me find someone to manage this place? I mean, in the long run?’ He nodded. I really didn’t want to give up this place, but if I was to own it I would need someone to be in charge while I was at school. Besides I only barely knew how to run the Crashdown and I wasn’t ready for a full time job just yet.

I looked at Maria and then Isabel. Isabel was still staring into space and so I quickly changed my plans and addressed Maria: ‘I know this is a lot to ask but I was wondering if you and Kyle could help arrange the funeral. Obviously I will help but I wouldn’t be able to do the running about and stuff, plus I would need help choosing the different things.’ Both Kyle and Maria nodded but I was still worried. ‘You really don’t have to, its kind of morbid…’ I trailed off and waited for a response. ‘No that is fine chica, I am glad to help.’ Kyle nodded in agreement. ‘Anything for you Liz, just name it.’ I noticed Max glance up at that and Kyle threw him a dirty look. I sighed; I couldn’t handle those two like that.

‘Ok,’ I looked to the last two people. ‘Isabel, I would like you to help Maria with the party here after the funeral. Just the catering and stuff.’ She glanced at me and nodded, as did Maria. I finally turned to Max who was looking down. ‘Max,’ I said softly. ‘I would appreciate your help with the legal stuff. I mean, like the will, and I want to be able to live on my own like Michael.’ Max smiled slightly and accepted. ‘Thanks, most of the time you will just be there for moral support; I know you have a lot to deal with that’s your own, so I don’t want to crowd you.’ Max looked shocked at that. ‘No Liz, this is about you at the moment. I will help you in anyway I can.’ I smiled but that disappeared as I heard Kyle murmur ‘You already have done enough.’ under his breath. My eyes filled with tears at this. I guess Michael saw this because I felt him kick Kyle under the table, and I smiled at him in thanks.

‘I guess that is it really. I just want to thank you guys, I am kinda just struggling to keep on top of things and this will help a lot.’ Maria cleared her throat nervously. ‘Uh, Liz, you seem kinda normal. I mean, don’t you just want to stay in bed for a week? It seems like you aren’t dealing at all.’ I sighed and closed my eyes briefly. Maria looked worried that she had upset me so I answered her softly, showing her that she hadn’t. ‘Look, I know that it seems like I don’t care or that I am not dealing with it but the thing is there is so much to deal with. I have to deal with the fact that I have lost my parents, I have to deal with the fact that Tess did it, I have to deal with Alex’s death, I have to deal with the events of the last few months, I have to deal with all the secrets that are being kept from each other, I have to deal with the fact that I am now completely responsible and alone for the first time in my life, without my family. It’s just a little overwhelming so I am doing the best I can, in the best way for me.’

I blinked back the tears and rushed on with passion. ‘If I can just push all my feelings to the side for this one week so that I can get everything done that needs to be done then I can just come to grips with my feelings in my own time and I won’t have to worry about me being stable in all other areas. Does that make sense?’ Maria nodded but then added. ‘I know you have just lost your parents, and I can’t even begin to say how awful that is, but you aren’t alone, honey, you have us.’

I know she was trying to make me feel better, but it honestly made me feel worse. ‘That’s the thing Maria. I don’t feel like I have you guys. I know that sounds really awful, but I don’t. I see you and Michael, having just made this huge step in your relationship and I feel guilty for ruining this precious time, but also a little resentful of your happiness, and that makes me feel worse. I have never been close to you,’ I said turning to Michael ‘and I feel like I shouldn’t be burdening this on you, and I don’t even understand why you are here at all because you have never been nice to me, only barely civil and that was only for Max and Maria’s sake.’ I looked at Kyle next, as I was gaining momentum, my feelings finally releasing themselves, after weeks of being locked inside. ‘I don’t feel close to you because I feel guilty. You resent Max for bringing you into this world, but it was through knowing me and caring for me that did that. The only thing that Max did was save you. And I hate the snide comments and dirty looks aimed at Max, because I think they should be aimed at me. I don’t feel close to you when there is all this guilt hanging over me.’ I looked at Isabel. ‘I don’t feel close to you because I see Alex in you. And I see what losing Alex has done to you. And I resent that it has hit you so hard when all you did last year was play with his mind. Yet I know that you loved him and I resent life for taking that away from you. I have never felt close to you because you have never let me, and I really don’t know why you are here either, possibly because you feel you have to.’ Finally I turned to Max, ‘I obviously don’t feel close to you, and you know why. But another reason why I don’t feel close to any of you is because I don’t know who I am anymore and I don’t have my best friends or my ‘family’ around me like I was led to believe. I have people, with the exception of Maria, who are bound to me with a secret. We aren’t friends, we never have been, and it has taken this to make me realise that.’

I took a deep shuddering breath in. ‘I just, I know that you are all feeling exactly the same way as me, and we need to resolve that, but at a later date. Now, after what I have said, does anyone want to leave, because I can accept that.’ No one said anything, and I sighed realising that I had just made things so much worse.

PART FIVE

23rd May 2001. Damn, this last week has been exhausting. I am so glad it is over. So many things have changed. It’s been a week and a day since Tess left and I found my parents dead, and I am only now ready to start dealing with that. That is why I have picked this up. It is now that I need to really examine everything and deal with it all.

But first I will talk about my week. I was pretty much with a different person each day; it was so weird. And very, very awkward. On Monday, after talking to the whole group, Maria, Kyle and Isabel started working on the funeral, Michael went about putting adverts out about the position of manager for the Crashdown, and Max went with me to see his dad.

Okay, first off, my parents did not tell me we were so rich. I knew so little about them. I was given everything owned by my parents, and Grandma Claudia had left me a summerhouse that was to be mine on my 21st birthday. However, because my parents died first, I get it now. That is something else I need to deal with. Apparently, I get all my grandma’s stuff too, so I am one rich young girl. That makes me feel better: that I am financially stable. Max was so good to me. He sat there and held my hand. He managed to make me feel comforted without cornered.

That evening everyone wanted to be with their parents. I think the effect of me losing mine made them want to re-bond with theirs. I thought that was really good, and to be honest I wanted to be alone. However, Michael stayed with me due to Maria’s incessant nagging. That was actually good. We talked for a bit about casual things such as the Crashdown and then we watched a video. It was quite awkward but also nice. It was just different I guess.

After that night, Michael stayed every night after. He has kinda adopted the spare bedroom! Its been nice having him here; I don’t feel so alone. Yeah, ok, we don’t talk that much but that was mainly because of me not wanting to as he has told me that he would be ok if I wanted to talk to him. I was surprised but also pleased. I think that Michael is the only one who has any idea of how I am feeling, and so I have a theory that I may need him around for a while. Poor him! I know how he hates to deal with the ‘emotional stuff’. He has been a good friend in the last few days, and its nice to know that even though we weren’t close at all, he would be there for me when I most needed it.

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday helping Maria and Kyle with the funeral plans. I sent Isabel and Max away on Tuesday and Wednesday because they really need to talk. Isabel rarely speaks and I know everyone is worried. Out of anyone, Max would be the person to get her to open up, plus Max needs to talk to someone and I think the person for him to do that is Isabel. I know for sure that they need to resolve the issues between them; they really are family.

It was nice working with Maria and Kyle on Tuesday. They made me forget for a little while. I really love the both of them. Maria’s choices were really tasteful, which surprised me, and Kyle arranged the after party. On Wednesday I divided my time between helping Maria and Kyle, and looking through applicants for the managerial place with Michael. There were a few people who looked good and we made appointments with them for Friday. Thats how busy I have been!

The funeral was on Thursday. It was a fairly quiet affair. Some relatives and close friends. I liked it that way. Maria stood by me the entire time, just holding my hand. Of course Michael had to be by Maria’s side because she was pretty hysterical! But it made me remember how close we were and I realised that or friendship had drifted slightly. Kyle was also there holding my other hand. God, he is such a good friend. Max and I still have unresolved issues, but despite his anger towards Max, Kyle kept quiet, just focusing on me. I don’t understand how good he can be after the way I treated…

I looked up at the knock on my door. ‘Come in.’ I called. Michael stuck his head through the door. ‘Can I talk to you?’ He seemed serious and so I told him to come in. I shuffled across my bed giving him room to lie down next to me and asked him for a minute. It was surprising how comfortable I was around him. I was perfectly happy to finish writing in my diary while he was there.

As I closed my book I turned round to lie on my front by his side. ‘What’s up?’ I asked. He too turned onto his front. ‘What do you say we get out of Roswell for a while? Just the two of us.’ I looked at him thinking that he must be joking but his face was completely serious. I no longer had school because they had given me leave, however he did still have a week of school. That was my first objection. He sighed. ‘Come on Liz, you know that I rarely attend. It won’t make much difference if I take the last week off. What would we be doing anyway?’ I thought about that. Normally I would say no straight off but I knew that I needed this holiday. ‘Are you sure though? I mean, I am going to want to sort out my feelings this week, and it may not be pretty.’ I really didn’t want him to feel like he was obliged to do this. He scratched his eyebrow. ‘Look, this isn’t just about you. I need to get away from everything. From Max and Isabel and their ties to my alien side, from Kyle and his bitterness towards us, from Maria and our relationship. I also need to deal with stuff. At the moment, you are the only person who I don’t have to put up some sort of front.’ He smirked and slightly nudged my shoulder with his. ‘Besides I think we could deal with certain stuff together, you know bounce stuff off of each other.’ I smiled at that. ‘Yeah, I might even get you to open up a bit!’ I said jokingly. ‘Quite possibly Parker, but then I would have to kill you!’ I laughed at that. Who would have thought that I, Elizabeth Parker, would ever be joking around with Michael Guerin? I sat up. ‘Okay then when do we leave?’ He looked up at me and then stood. ‘Get your stuff together Parker, we are leaving ASAP.’

PART SIX
Sorry this is so short, but I can’t really continue until this is out the way. I also didn’t want to write it all out because everyone has seen the episodes so it would just be rehashing everything. So I hope it makes sense, and the next chapter will be longer. the relationship between Michael and Liz is going to be purely platonic. I want Max and Liz together for this one. But they will be close friends.

So here I was, on the back of Michael’s motorbike, heading to Grandma Claudia’s summerhouse. It took us all day to get there, only stopping twice, once to get some lunch, and again to fill up with gas. I had never been on a motorbike before and after the initial fear, it was incredible: I felt free. I made a mental note to get Michael to teach me how to ride. When we got there I made us a small dinner of gas station snacks, and then we took a look around the house. It was a shore-front bungalow, but it was huge! Michael was shattered from riding all this way and so he went to bed straight away but I sat outside on the porch listening to the waves crashing gently on the beach. For the first time in a year I felt at peace.

It was at that point when I realised that I needed to start writing. I made some coffee and took my place on the swinging chair on the porch. It took some time to write out everything that I needed to. I wrote about how guilty I felt about Max saving me that day two years ago and how I wished sometimes that he never had. I wrote about how angry I got when Isabel and Michael didn’t try to get to know Maria and myself, and how Isabel tried to scare Maria. I wrote about how bad I felt lying to Alex and how guilty I felt when I told him. I felt ashamed of myself then. I wrote about how frustrated I got with Max’s mixed signals; how freaked out I got when Tess entered our lives, and how jealous I was when they kissed for the first time. I wrote about the whole ordeal when Nacedo kidnapped me, and again how guilty I felt when Max was kidnapped. I loathed myself when he got caught, I kept thinking that if he hadn’t saved me. Every problem came back down to me. I wrote about the destiny; that summer in Florida; how I felt that Maria took Max’s side secretly; how I wanted to be anywhere but Roswell during that time. I wrote about Michael and Maria’s relationship; Alex and Isabel’s relationship. I wrote about Kyle, and the Sheriff. I wrote about Future Max; I wrote about Laurie Dupree and how I felt when we were all working together. I wrote about the prom; Alex’s death; and how only Michael and Maria had helped. I wrote about when Max came to see me before they were meant to leave and how crushed I had been. I then wrote about my parent’s death and how I felt guilty about that also. I wrote about the Dupes, and the Granolith. I wrote about all I knew on the aliens. I wrote about how Grandma Claudia’s words had caused me heartache. And then I wrote about the future and what I thought would happen, and what I expected. I wrote about how I wanted the group to come together as a family, like it never has done before. I then wrote about everyone individually. About what I thought of them: what I liked and disliked about them, how I thought I should try and resolve things between each of them and me. I then wrote about myself and what I wanted for me, and how I had changed. As I finished I felt this weight being lifted off me; for the first time in a year I felt hope.

PART SEVEN

Having finished writing I went to bed and slept all the way through until Michael banged on my door at lunchtime the next day. ‘Come on Parker! We didn’t come here to sleep ok!’ I could hear him grumbling about the lazy women in his life as he walked back down the corridor and laughed. I scrambled out of bed and had a shower before pulling on my jeans and a jumper of Max’s that he had given me because I liked his smell.

I walked into the kitchen to hear a sarcastic ‘I thought that I would put the food away since someone can’t seem to move at the moment.’ I ignored his comment and Michael’s smirk to go to the fridge. I looked in it to find only a few chocolate bars and some soda. I turned round to him giving him a look. ‘That must have been so hard on you Michael, however can I repay you?!’ Michael just looked at me innocently and I had to laugh. ‘Come on then, let’s go buy some food.’ ‘Yeah well, I’ve been waiting for some food all morning, it’s 1:00!’ I stopped and turned to him. ‘You really are grumpy when you don’t have food, aren’t you?’ He gave me another smirk before replying, ‘Yeah, and don’t you forget it Parker.’

Luckily for me there were some shops a few minutes walk away. We got some basic groceries and then decided on some chips for lunch. I noticed how Michael’s mood suddenly picked up and realised that I would have to remember that. In fact, he was being quite fun, playful even. He wanted to go into one shop but wouldn’t let me go in with him so I had to stay outside with our bags and chips. He came back out looking mysterious so I just rolled my eyes and kept walking. We got home and left the groceries to unpack later, and went to sit outside to finish our chips.

‘So Parker, how come you slept so late. I would have thought of you as an early bird myself. I couldn’t believe it when I woke up and you still weren’t up!’ I stopped eating to look at him. ‘Late night.’ At his questioning glance I continued. ‘Last night after you went to bed I sat out here. I was just looking at the waves and I realised that it was time to start writing. I stayed up for about four hours just writing about the last two years. It was exhausting but I feel better now. But anyway, that’s why I slept so late today. But I feel good now. Raw, but good.’ Michael nodded slowly. ‘It really helps you to write stuff down yeah?’ I nodded ‘Yes, it’s like, once I have it down on paper I can step away from it and analyse it objectively. If I can describe the problem, I usually feel better about it and then I can come to a solution, or closure.’ Michael grunted. ‘I guess that’s the same for me and painting. If I have a problem I will paint or draw and the problem goes away for a bit.’ I smiled, ‘And here I thought that you just ignored the problem until it went away!’ He smirked, ‘Yeah, well, you sort out your problem, and I just avoid it or confront it. Your way works for you, mine works for me. My way just gets everyone else pissed off.’ I laughed slightly at that and Michael grinned.

We took the empty wrappers back inside and put away the groceries before settling outside again. Michael was sitting in the swinging chair to the right while I sat on the top stair leaning against the banister facing him. ‘So, what now?’ I asked him. Normally I was the one to take charge, but I felt like I could sit back and let Michael take control. It was stressful always being the responsible one and here I was comfortable enough to let go.’ Of course Michael wasn’t that much help: he shrugged and said he didn’t know. ‘Actually yeah ok I know. Look, the thing is, I don’t really know you that well and you don’t know me that well, except through what we have heard from our significant others, whose views are biased. So I think that maybe we should just ask each other questions. You know, like what you have always wanted to know about Michael Guerin but never dared to ask. And vice versa. It could get out some of the crap that we have been dealing with over the last few years and give each other at insight into out life before that day two years ago. What do you think?’ I blinked and then looked up at him. That was a really good idea. ‘Um sure that would be fine. But wait, is this going to be vague replies, personal, or things we have never told anyone?’ Michael shrugged and looked a bit uncomfortable, but I had to know how to take the questions. And to be honest I wanted to be completely honest with him and get everything off my chest. I guess he felt the same way because his reply was ‘To infinity and beyond, hold nothing back.’ He had seen Toy story. Interesting!

‘Ok, seeing that this was my wonderfully brilliant idea, I will go first.’ Michael smiled arrogantly at me and I rolled my eyes. ‘Ok, uh, I have been wanting to know the truth about this ever since I heard the rumour but I couldn’t ask Max because he wasn’t the one who had told me and Maria wouldn’t say: Did you really sleep with Kyle Valenti?’


PART EIGHT

I looked up at him in surprise. How did he know to ask the one question that would be the hardest to answer? I sighed. We had agreed that we were going to tell each other the complete truth, I just hoped he believed me. ‘Okay, this is a long story so please don’t say anything until I have finished.’ He nodded his head in acceptance and I began. I told him everything. Absolutely everything. Even about going to the psychic and what she said to Maria. He winced at that but I kept going. I told him the facts, I told him about how I tried to get Tess to be more desirable, I told him how I had taken the idea from Maria and his problem with Courtney, I told him about all of it. And then I told him how I felt. I told him that I could pinpoint the exact moment when I realised that Max and I would never again be together. I told him about the agony within me that felt like physical pain each time I saw him. I told him about how conflicted I was about telling them all and how heavy my guilt was on my shoulders when Alex had died and Tess had taken off. Because of the way I handled things, Alex had died prematurely and if Michael hadn’t come out of the chamber they would be dead now. I started to cry. Last night when I wrote it down I stepped back from it to think about it rationally but talking about it, telling Michael made it so real. I now knew how Max felt being the leader: one wrong or stupid move could cause serious repercussions.

As soon as I started crying Michael slid down to sit next to me and held me in his arms. I just sat there and sobbed while he stroked my hair and made soothing noises. I had been why Alex had died. I had again had all of our lives in my hand, and I had failed them. I realised that I had to tell them all, but I was so scared of them hating me. In the end, they were just puppets playing to the beat that I set out; and it was the wrong beat. I couldn’t put all the blame on Tess because I was more to blame than she was. I caused the situation and she just acted on it.

I looked up at Michael. ‘Why did I have to do this? Why did I have to be the one responsible?’ I implored. ‘I am only a child Michael, I am not able to make decisions. Why me? Why Alex? It’s so unfair and I killed him! It was my fault, not Tess’s but mine. I am nothing but a murderer. I’d leave now before I harm you too.’ I looked out at the sea my tears slowing. ‘I don’t know how Max handles it. I don’t know how any of you handle it. You are so strong and I take that strength for granted.’ I whispered.

Michael pulled me around to face him and looked me straight in the eye determinedly. ‘Liz, we aren’t the strong ones here. You are. I can’t believe you carried this by yourself for so long. And to see Tess and Max together and know that it was meant to be but still love him. Any other one of us wouldn’t have been able to handle it.’ He swallowed thickly. ‘And all this guilt you have put on yourself Liz. It’s not for you. You only did what he told you to do. You were the puppet doing all you could do in that situation.’ He shook his head before continuing. ‘My God. You saved us from that other life. At least now we know our enemy. We can do something about it. You saved our lives Liz.’ He said that last part in whispered awe. ‘You gave up everything for us. And what have we done in return. Treat you harshly and order you about. We are the ones that have taken you for granted. You couldn’t have known that Alex was going to die. Okay? You didn’t know. So stop. You are such an amazing girl. None of us realises how incredible you are. How do you put up with us?’ He smiled lightly then. It was the longest speech I had ever heard from Michael and I was crying more by the end of it. It was so heart felt that I hugged him at the end. ‘Thank you, thank you so much.’ I whispered in his ear. I wiped at my eyes and Michael picked me up and placed me on the swing seat before disappearing into the house.

He came back a few minutes later with a washcloth and a glass of water. I smiled weakly at him and took them. A few minutes later I had got control again and we were sitting next to each other on the swing with me facing him with my legs crossed in front of me. ‘Well there you go. The answer to your question was no, I didn’t sleep with Kyle.’ I spoke self-consciously. I was terrified that he would think about it some more and hate me. He turned slightly to face me. ‘Yeah well, to be honest Parker, I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that you would choose Buddha boy over Maxwell, however dorkish he may be!’ I smiled at him and his face turned serious. ‘You really amaze me. You have no reason to be ashamed Liz. None at all.’ He leaned over and kissed me one my forehead. ‘So, your question.’

Um, I tried to think about it. What intrigued me about Michael Guerin? I started with something easy. ‘So what’s going on with Maria? I mean, over the last week or so you two have been attached at the hip when you can be, and I haven’t heard one insult fly between you.’ Michael smiled at that. ‘The lack of bickering. So that’s what gave us away!’ I smiled at him. ‘We uh, we cemented as you said, our relationship the night before we were meant to leave for Antar. I guess it took us to the next level.’ I nodded, and then asked. ‘Is that why you left the chamber?’ He shrugged and scratched his eyebrow, something that told me that he was uncomfortable. ‘You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.’ I encouraged. ‘Nah, I am just trying to find the words. I guess it was partly the reason. But at the same time… it was a bunch of stuff. Yeah, Maria was a predominant factor, but also other things. All my life I had the shitty deal: no real family; the role of the ‘screw up’; nothing that I was passionate about. Then over the last few months things started clicking together. Okay, there has been loads of crap going down, but I felt apart of something and I didn’t want to give it up.’ He sighed. ‘This is really hard you know? Um, I guess everything started going right. Maria and I were close, I had a good job, people around me who knew what I was and didn’t care. People who looked out for me. I guess I thought about when you, Maria and myself went to Las Cruces and I realised that I was apart of something good. Yeah it’s not normal, but good. And I thought about it. Max, Isabel and I have been friends because we had to be. We were tied together as family, or what ever. You guys chose to be with us. I doubt if Max or Isabel had been humans we would have spoken. So it was either staying here where I finally felt I belonged, or go and be in Max’s shadow. I had only stepped out of it; I didn’t want to step back in yet. Does that make me sound selfish? I don’t care. That was how I felt. Either way I had to make a sacrifice, but staying on earth meant sacrificing less than going.’ I looked at him, and I felt like I was seeing him for the first time. He was a really decent guy. I had always thought of him as a stonewall, someone who doesn’t have any feelings. Obviously I knew he did, but I didn’t really think about it because I assumed that he just avoided them. I told him that and he smiled. ‘Yeah well, my human side began overriding my alien side. Go figure!’ ‘You know its funny. You were coming to grips with your human side just as Max was getting to know his alien side. That’s good! It’s funny.’ I commented smiling. ‘Yeah, I guess I am not such a screw up after all.’ He joked. I turned serious. ‘You aren’t a crew up at all Michael.’ I smiled then. ‘In fact you kinda rock!’ Michael feigned amazement. ‘Elizabeth Parker! Did you just say, and I quote ‘rock?!’ I giggled and nodded my head. He chuckled and scratched his chin. ‘My turn huh? Now I will try not to ask a serious one. Okay, here is one. Why are you so good? You can’t not know the nicknames I have for you!’ I smiled. ‘And what would they be?’ ‘Oh just for starters,’ he began listing them off on his fingers. ‘Perfect Parker, Little Lizzie, St. Liz (I think I read that in some other fic. sorry)’ I smiled. ‘So what’s the deal Parker?’

I sighed. This was going to be another emotional story. ‘You really know how to pick them Guerin.’ ‘What is this another sob story so to speak?’ I nodded. ‘You don’t have to tell me about it. I just assumed it would be something like ‘I have goals’ or something.’ Michael looked concerned and I sighed again. ‘No it’s not a huge deal. Well it is, but this is something that is over with. As in it was done a long time ago.’ Michael looked sceptical. ‘Its fine really.’ I assured him. I took a deep breath and began.

Hee hee hee. Evil I know. Sorry! I can’t believe I left it like that. BUT! The next part will have Liz’s story of woe in it I assure you!! So you are going to have to wa

PART NINE

‘Okay,’ I took another deep breath and turned to Michael. I chuckled. ‘You know, that it’s weird. I have never told anyone this except Alex and I want to tell you. It’s odd.’ I sighed. ‘You really don’t have to tell me.’ Michael assured. ‘Nah, I mean, its cool. It was something that happened a very long time ago, and I am pretty much over it. I have dealt with it already.’ I sighed again. ‘Ok, well to start, I was also adopted. I was adopted when I was five.’ Michael gasped in shock. ‘No,’ he said. ‘No way.’ I nodded my head slowly. ‘Yeah. But didn’t you notice how I don’t look anything like my parents? Both of them have fair hair and skin, whereas I have dark hair and skin.’ Michael widened his eyes in realisation. ‘Ok, yeah, I see that now.’ I chuckled. ‘Well, the reason I was adopted was because my father was unstable. Um, my real mother died when I was born and my father took it out on me. Apparently she knew that there was a risk before hand but went along with it anyway. My father didn’t want the child if there was a risk to her, but she did it anyway. So, anyway. When my mother died, my father was left with this child who he didn’t want and no wife. So he began to take it out on me. Little things. I don’t really remember what he did when I was a baby, but my medical record is huge. But I can remember a little towards the end. He was just hit me or push me around. He would only bruise me where no one could see it; he knew what he was doing was wrong and he didn’t want to go to jail. Anyway, I always tried really hard to get him to like me. You know, by doing stuff around the house and doing well at kindergarten. It never worked, but I tried anyway.’ I took a deep breath. ‘Um, anyway. One day, it just came to a head. My next-door-neighbour was taking her child and myself out for the day. She came over and heard a scream and so entered to find him choking me. Um, after that things moved really quickly. I was put in foster care and then adopted by the Parkers. My father was given a few years sentence and then I heard he had drunk himself to death a few years ago.’ I had been looking out to sea and I looked down to my hands. ‘So, that’s why I try to be perfect. Because I wanted to be loved. The less hassle that I am I thought the more they would love me. We talked about it a few years ago when I had a breakdown because my marks weren’t brilliant and they assured me that I didn’t have to be perfect. But now it is just a habit.’ I looked at him to find him crying silently. ‘Michael what is it?’ I exclaimed, shocked, reaching to hug him. I had never seen him cry and so it was a big shock. I held him for a few minutes just stroking his hair until he pulled away. He sniffed and wiped his eyes embarrassed. He gave a chuckle. ‘I guess we are more alike than originally thought. You just chose a better way to deal with it than I did.’ He looked at me seriously. ‘You shouldn’t have ever had to go through that. But never again. I’ll make sure of it.’

The rest of the week went quickly. Michael and I got closer and closer. He taught me how to ride his bike and I taught him how to swim. It was odd, I thought everyone would know how to swim, but I guess my real father had never done that with me, and so how could Michael know. We got to know each other much better, and we began to trust each other more. He told me about his life, just little things that he hadn’t told anyone before because he thought they were stupid. And I did the same. Michael didn’t really have anyone to talk to; Max was always the leader, even before that day, Isabel more listened at him than with him, and his father didn’t care. He told me that he felt the closest to Maria, but there were certain things that he didn’t want to tell her because he was scared that she would judge him. I never judged him and he cared about me. It was surprising, but it worked, and I was happy for the first time in a long time