posted on 6-Sep-2001 1:53:07 PM
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make no profit of off this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)



Prologue
Inside a young girl, barely a woman, a baby grew. Its legs and arms had barely begun to form and stretch when the baby became aware of its surroundings. It sat quietly in a soft womb filled with warm, comforting fluid. It wanted for nothing.
Somehow, vaguely, the baby understood that its mother was debating its fate with another person.
"I'm sure you realize your options," the man said.
"I want an abortion," the girl said firmly.
"Are you sure? Do you want to talk it over with the father?"
There was a pause. "The father is gone. I want the abortion."
****
She swallowed her nervousness and tried to convince herself this was the best thing to do. She had to find the baby's father, and no one could know that she was pregnant. People were watching her.
She waited in a thin, worn hospital gown that seemed older than she was. The clinic didn't seem like the cleanest place in the world, but they didn't keep records and that was what she needed.
The doctor and a nurse came in, rolling a cart full of equipment. She winced. "Are you ready?" the nurse asked.
She only nodded, unable to speak. She lay back on the cot, closing her eyes and hoping it would be over with quickly.
But when the nurse reached for the edge of her gown and began to pull it up, she couldn't take the feelings of nausea that washed over her. "I can't do this," she said. She gathered up her clothes and fled, trying not to throw up as she walked out the door.
The doctor and nurse looked at each other. "Call Marcus," the doctor said grimly. "Tell him we lost Liz Parker."

Naked is a State of Mind
Part 1
Max Evans was very, very tired. He had never been so exhausted in all his life. His feet ached, his head ached and his heart ached. He missed Liz terribly, and without her he felt he could barely go on.
It had been two weeks since he left her during the night. He could only hope that she was okay. But he felt it had been the best decision to leave her. Without him there, the government, or whoever had been watching them, would leave her alone. They had no reason to harass her further. She could go on with her life.
He, on the other hand, felt as though he was living in the past. When he reached Roswell, he had been shocked to find the town desolate and near to empty. It seemed impossible, in the two months he had been gone, that so many people could have left. All his friends were gone, their houses abandoned and left to rot. He watched the high school one
morning and saw about twenty people go inside. That was all.
Even the Crashdown was gone. The building still stood, but where the restaurant had once been there was now nothing. Max wasn't surprised, at least about that. Liz's parents couldn't be expected to manage a restaurant after their only child died mysteriously.
Roswell was all but dead. Within a few years it would be nothing more than a ghost town.
Max had been attempting to find what could cause the near-abandonment of a large town virtually overnight. He found an empty gas station with a backlog of newspapers and began to inspect them carefully.
The first event had been a rash of mysterious fires, starting with the ones that destroyed the Evans home and Michael's apartment building. The sheriff's office and home had been next, then several other buildings that seemed unrelated. It occurred to Max that whoever had started it could have burnt the other buildings in order to attract attention away from the obvious pattern that was forming. Max read a death toll in a paper written a week and a half after they left.
Listed were himself, Liz, his sister, Michael, three or four other kids from their school that had been caught in the soap factory when it was set ablaze, his parents, and at the very end, Kyle and his father.
Max couldn't quite believe the part about Kyle and the Sheriff. The Sheriff had information that was too valuable to allow him to die. Or had he known too much?
Subsequent papers listed incidents of car crashes with unknown causes, which caused no deaths, but frightened the life out of residents. Then, a month after Liz and Max left Roswell, Max read the final issue of the Roswell Times.
"Local Chemical Factory Explodes, Killing Dozens, Releasing Toxic Fumes Into Air and Groundwater," Max read.
So the entire town had given up after that. There was little left to do, so they packed up and left. It was all too coincidental for Max to believe. Someone-probably the same someone who was after Max-had emptied Roswell on purpose.
But why?
****
Liz squinted into the sun, trying to decide if the figure coming out of the dust was a truck or a car. For some odd reason, she trusted truckers.
It was a semi. She lifted her thumb and raised it in the air, feeling the wind blow her skirt up above her knees. She hoped she wasn't giving the wrong impression. She was trying her best to be a cute, young redhead on the run. Who could resist?
She was in Nevada. It was only the beginning of May, but it was deathly hot. The last trucker to give her a ride had turned west. Liz needed to go south. She had to reach Roswell, and soon.
After she got over her initial depression, she felt a rising sense of anger. Max had no right to leave her! For all he knew, his sister and friend could be dead, but he went after them and left her, very much pregnant with his child, alone. She had even attempted the abortion, but in the end she couldn't go through with it.
Of course, Max hadn't known of the pregnancy when he left. Would he still have left if he had known? Liz could never be sure.
Liz smiled in relief as the gigantic semi truck began to slow to a stop. She pulled a water bottle from her backpack and took a swig. She waved, trying to look as friendly as possible.
The driver leaned over to the passenger side of the rig. "Need a ride, little miss?"
"Yes, please. I'm headed south."
"Well, so am I! Hop on in!"
Liz climbed aboard and strapped in, wiggling her feet in relief. She peeked inside her bag, nervously checking the loaded gun.
Max had left her about two thirds of their meager savings. However, he had taken the jeep. She didn't feel it was realistic for her to buy another car, trains were altogether too risky, and she couldn't afford a plane ticket. Besides, traveling on public transportation made it easier to catch her.
She had sold their one possession-the mattress-and headed for the pawn shop with a little under a thousand dollars in her pocket. She purchased her .44 Magnum there, a nasty-looking weapon that the owner of the shop taught her to use. He even warned her of the dangers of hitchhiking. How he knew, she could never figure out.
The gun was heavy, though. Luckily she hadn't gained any extra weight yet, but she knew it was coming soon. She was almost two months along. In another month or so she'd probably begin to show.
She only hoped she could find Max before the baby came.

Part 2

Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make
no profit of off this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)


Naked Is a State of Mind, Chapter 2
"So, little missy, what's your name?"
"Majorie," Liz lied, using a name that seemed familiar.
"Margie, huh? What's a young girl like you doin' hitchhikin'?"
"Just need to get to New Mexico," she said.
"Well--I'm Nash. Andrew Nash." The driver held out the hand that wasn't turning the wheel. Liz held hers out and the man pumped it vigorously.
"Ummm...Mr. Nash..."
"Andy! Call me Andy!"
"Andy, do you mind if I take a little nap?"
"No problem, hon. Lord knows I'm used to the quiet."
Liz settled back, closing her eyes. Her fatigue, which she assumed stemmed from her pregnancy, was totally surprising sometimes.


Abruptly she was standing in the desert, in the same spot she found herself when they healed Michael. She looked around, but no one else was there. There was simply silence, dust and wind.
"Liz."
Liz whirled in surprise. "Michael?"
"Yes. I've been trying to reach you for weeks. I couldn't get through.You have to tell Max to stop looking for us."
"Wha--why?"
"They'll torture him. They can find out everything he knows. They did it to me."
"Who's 'they'?"
"The government! The CIA, FBI, NSA, they're all in on it! They've been studying our species since the forties. Now they have two young, fertile aliens and they couldn't be happier."
Liz choked. "Is Isabel..."
"Pregnant? Yes." Michael closed his eyes and Liz could feel his pain radiating through the atmosphere like heat from an oven. "When the human seed didn't work they used--they used--" He broke down.
"Ssshhh, Michael, it's okay," she lied, wrapping her arms around him.
He shuddered. "I've been trying to reach Maria for weeks, but she doesn't respond. It's like she's trying to shut me out. I don't even know where she is."
"What about Max?"
"I did reach him. I talk to him every night, but every night he doesn't remember the night before. He wants to come find us."
"I know. I know."
Michael looked up at her. "What? What did he do?"
"He left! He's gone to Roswell to find you guys."
"Oh, Jesus Christ..."
"Can you reach him? At all?"
Michael shrugged. "I can, but it doesn't do any good. You have to find him, Liz. As fast as you can."
Liz stared at the soft, gentle blue of the sky that was characteristic of the Southwest. A few wispy clouds floated across her field of vision. "I'll try. Can you do something for me, Michael?"
"What's that?"
"If you see Max before I do, tell him I'm having his baby."

Liz jumped into awareness, covered in sweat. The trucker looked at her, taking his eyes off the road for a little longer than he should have. "You okay, Margie?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine." Liz closed her eyes and prayed that Michael could get her message across.
"Well, you've been out awhile. We're coming up on Albuquerque."
Liz opened her eyes in shock. "No!"
"Yes, hon. I even stopped once and you didn't wake up. Like you were in a coma or somethin'."
"How long?"
"Oh, you were out about ten hours or so. In another hour we'll be to Albuquerque. I'm guessin' that's your stop?"
"Ummm...yeah." Liz figured she could hitchhike from there, anyway.
****

After a few days, Max was fed up with watching and waiting. The houses of all his former friends, everyone from Alex and Maria to schoolmates from the third grade, were empty. He didn't know where to start. His whole plan had been to hunt down Maria or Alex and ask what they had heard.
Considering all his options, Max decided to visit River Dog. He had to have some answers.
On the road to the reservation, Max's jeep broke down. So he got out and walked. There was a small roadside stand that looked familiar, probably from his last visit.
Max walked up the dusty driveway, the wind blowing every tiny speck of dirt up into the air. He squinted and looked onto the porch. No one was there. God, he hoped it wasn't empty like Roswell.
He stepped onto the porch and knocked on the door.
The door opened a crack and Max could see only an eye. "What do you want?"
Max decided to be direct. "I'm looking for River Dog."
"River Dog is dead. Go away."
And she slammed the door in his face.
Max swore under his breath. "God damnit..."
The door opened a crack again. "I've seen you before, haven't I? What do you need to know?"
"Anything. Anything you can tell me. For instance, what the hell happened to my town?"


Author's Note
A big thanks goes out to Patti for helping me with my writer's block! Patti, you rock!


Naked is a State of Mind, Part 3


Michael focused on the holes in the ceiling for about the fortieth time that day. He focused and unfocused his eyes to make the holes appear to pop out of the cheap tiles. It had a psychedelic effect he was really beginning to enjoy.
He'd spent the whole night after he finally reached Liz attempting to reach the others. Max ignored him, as per usual.
Maria...he could get into her dreams, but it was as though she was locked into a tiny corner of her mind. That corner, he finally realized, was grief. She was so consumed by her sadness that a mere dream of him caused her to retreat into herself.
Alex seemed to be a lost cause. No matter what he did, he couldn't reach him. In one of the few times he talked to Isabel, she had said briefly that she had entered a dream, but that he didn't believe she was real. Michael could believe that. He wasn't even sure if Alex had known of their dream-walking abilities.
He had been so surprised to finally reach Liz...in her case, it had been as though she weren't having dreams. He wasn't even certain if she was dead or alive. Then the awful news...he found her pregnancy amazing. The government's attempts to impregnate Isabel with human sperm had failed, despite the use of a new artificial insemination process that was supposedly guaranteed to work. So on her next fertile time, they had tried a different species.
Him.
He hadn't realized what was going on until it was too late. They had drugged him and delivered him to Isabel's room. After that, his next memory was of awakening, naked, next to Isabel as she sobbed.
He didn't have to ask what had happened. A few weeks later, a man he knew only as Marcus came to deliver the "joyful" news. Michael was going to be a father.
God only knew what Isabel was going through in the next room over. Occasionally Michael would hear her screams, but he had long ago learned it was better not to investigate. When he tried it, they made him watch.
Michael didn't know why Isabel warranted twice as many torturous "tests" as he did, but he was certain that if, by chance, they happened to survive, he'd pay for it in guilt for the rest of his life.
And he didn't need any more guilt than he already had. The last thing he needed was for Max to show up and be tortured along with the rest of them.
Or Liz. He felt like smacking himself for not warning her. She was almost certainly a more interesting specimen than Max, now, bearing an alien's child.
He wondered why it hadn't worked with Isabel.
Did an alien child have to be conceived in love?
****

Liz squinted into the sun as she waited at the bus stop. This time, she had decided to shell out the $40 that would get her a ticket to Roswell. If the bus was on time, it would be here in about five minutes.
She was happy to be back on her own turf, or, at least, close to it. The dry heat made her feel at home. She'd been to Albuquerque several times. Up until high school, she had even planned to attend the University of New Mexico.
Now her plans were just a little changed.
She sighed in relief as the bus came closer. She was glad that she no longer had to hitchhike, even though a bus felt risky. It felt like she was that much closer to being captured. She had given a false name for her ticket, of course. She hadn't even used
Marjorie, making up Valerie Donahue on the spot.
The bus hissed to a stop only a few feet away. Liz smiled and stepped on board, inhaling the familiar smell that all buses seemed to carry.
"Let's go, Greyhound," she murmured to herself as the bus pulled away from the curb. As she fell asleep once again, she began to wonder if her whole pregnancy was going to be like this.
****
She awakened to the feeling of an earthquake. The bus was shaking and shuddering so hard that Liz couldn't even see straight. The few passengers on board were screaming in fear.
"What the hell is going on?" Liz yelled as the bus tipped and rolled off the road.




Naked is a State of Mind Chapter 4
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make
no profit of off this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)

The ground shook and seemed to actually remove itself from underneath the bus. Liz closed her eyes and prayed as the bus flew through the air. She braced for impact.
The bus shook and collapsed inwards on itself as it hit the ground in a ravine below. It struck on the side opposite Liz, and she watched with horror as several passengers were crushed by the metal walls. Then her head hit the ceiling, and everything went black.
****
Isabel had been granted a window.
It was a privilege, certainly. And she enjoyed watching the clouds move across the desert sky. Occasionally a bird would fly across the horizon, and she sucked in her breath at the sight of another living creature.
She didn't include the staff of the "resort," as they called it, as living creatures. They had no soul, and it was evident in their eyes. When they came for the tests, they laughed at her screams. Once, she bit one of them and they slapped her across the face. If she tried to use her powers for anything but healing, they locked her into a dark room with no food. Apparently, they cared nothing for the health of her child.
Isabel supposed that a dead child could be of almost as much use to them as a live one.
After all, a dead child wouldn't put up a fight.
She felt bad for Michael, she really did. She knew it wasn't his fault. She had been able to tell that he was drugged, the whole time, and undoubtedly he was killing himself with guilt. But truthfully, he had been the gentlest of any of the so-called "lovers" she had had. The others, that first month, had been rape, and nothing else. But Michael had been gentle, even if he hadn't known what he was doing.
Isabel sighed and lay back, touching her stomach lightly. It hadn't begun to curve yet, but she knew she was pregnant. She knew from the self-satisfied looks on the faces of the staff. If they couldn't have a mixed child, they might as well have an alien one.
She wondered how Michael was doing. She hoped they didn't hurt him anymore. She didn't know if she could take the screams.
****
"Your town, huh? You really wanna know?"
Max looked at her. "Of course I want to know! I want to know where my friends went!"
"Well, let's think. First there were the fires..."
Max groaned impatiently. "I know about the catastrophes. But why? Do you know why they happened?"
The woman looked him straight in the eye. "They happened because certain people wanted everybody out of Roswell. And they wanted them out fast."
"But why?"
"So they can run things the way they want to with their new facility. It's about fifty miles outside of town, and this way they don't have to worry about people coming and sniffing around. No one will go near Roswell anymore. It's becoming a ghost town."
"What about you? The reservation?"
"A lot of them have left. Others have been killed. There's no one around to take care of us. The ones supposed to be keeping us from harm-the government-they're the ones who are killing us, now. We're just in the way."
"Was-was River Dog in the way?"
"I suppose he was. He wanted to help them, you know. The young ones they've taken. So they killed him."
Max swallowed, feeling near tears for the first time in weeks. "How far is it to the facility?"
"Not far, not far at all." She nodded toward the road. "Just keep going on that way. You can't miss it. But I wouldn't, if I were you."
"Why not?"
"You're one of them, aren't you?"
"One of what?"
"From the crash? All those years ago? I don't remember, I was too little, but my father always used to tell me about it."
"Who was your father?"
"River Dog," she said softly. "Be careful, little one."
****
Liz awakened to find herself outside the wreckage of the bus. She touched her head gingerly, and discovered that it was bleeding. How long had she been here?
And oh God, the baby...Liz moaned and winced at the pain it caused to get up. She could get up, though, and she knew that was a good thing. She stumbled over to the crumpled Greyhound and looked inside.
There was no one there. No blood, no bodies laying around. It was as though she had been the only one aboard. But she could remember the screams...and she knew she hadn't been the one crying out in terror.
Liz looked up to see how far away the road was. It was a steep drop of fifty feet to the roadside. In ordinary conditions she probably could have made it, but now she was certain she could not. There was just no way she could get up that hill. She'd have to find another way.
She stared up and down the edge of the ravine. The grade of the hill appeared to lessen as it went on in both directions. So it was left or right.
She chose left, gripping the dirt sides of the ravine as she walked along. She had to get help. She didn't know what had happened to the other passengers, but she had to get to a hospital. She had to see if she had miscarried her baby. It couldn't be possible, just when
she had gotten used to the whole idea of being a mother.
She looked into the sky, and studied the wispy, cottony clouds. She rubbed her face and tried to concentrate. Was it the blood loss making her like this? Her mind felt as though it were sinking into her feet.
She heard crunching noises behind her, and turned around. There was no one there. Then they were behind her again. She turned around, and once again there was nothing.
Liz sank to the ground and began to cry. It was all too much. What was going on? There was no way this could be coincidence, no possible way...
Then she felt the crunch of someone hitting her over the head, and the world went black yet again.
****
"Do you have her? Do you have her?" Marcus could hear the shouts over the cell phone. He shifted the young girl in his arms. She was surprisingly light, and he suspected that she hadn't been eating right.
"Bad, bad girl," he clucked. "We've gotta take care of that baby, don't we?"


posted on 7-Sep-2001 1:13:38 PM
Naked is a State of Mind, Part 5
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make
no profit of off this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)

Max crept toward the "facility" as stealthily as he could. He narrowed his eyes as the blinding heat made the air shimmer. He could see the main building. It was only a few yards away. He could make it, he knew he could. Then he could get Izzy and Michael, and find Liz, and everything would be right in the world.
He heard a sound of screeching tires behind him and looked up. A Hummer had pulled in several hundred yards behind him. The door opened and several men climbed out, but Max didn't see them. He took off at a dead run in the direction of the facility.
He had no place else to go. He was surrounded by barb wire fences on every side except the one behind him, and if he could just reach the facility before they did...
****
Michael and Isabel both looked up in their separate cells as they saw a body being dragged through the hallway. "It's Max," Isabel whispered. "Max! Max!"
"Oh my God," Michael said.
Marcus appeared, looking particularly pleased. "Now we have all three of the little invaders. Tell me, do you enjoy watching Isabel be tortured?"
"Why the fuck do you want to know, you sick bastard?" Michael growled through gritted teeth.
"Because," Marcus said with a smile. "I want to know if Max will enjoy watching Liz be tortured just as much."


***FIVE MONTHS LATER***
Liz awakened, feeling happy and well-rested. She curled her body into a ball on a feather-soft bed, and then started as she felt the bulge of her belly. She sat up abruptly and touched the rounded shape that malformed the whole front of her body. The room was dark and she could barely see the outline of her own hand. Where was she? What the hell was going on?
She closed her eyes and it all came back to her. Roswell, the fires, running as far and fast as they could, finding out she was pregnant...Max. Max had left her!
"Jesus Christ," she whispered. "What the hell happened to me?"
There was no answer from the empty room. She set her feet on the carpeting and wriggled her bare toes in the soft thickness of it. She could tell simply by the sensations that it was a shag carpet. Liz stood up and stumbled toward the wall, feeling her way around a chair and a table. Sighing with relief, she found the light switch and flipped it on.
She shrieked and fell back as the simple yellow lights blinded her. She opened her eyes slowly, letting them adjust to the new abundance of light. She looked around in amazement at an old motel room, covered with fixtures dating to the seventies.
Liz reached up to scratch her head, and realized that her hair was an awful lot longer than she remembered it being. She rushed into the tiny bathroom and peered at herself in the mirror, wincing at the sight.
Her body looked normal, except for the bulge of her pregnancy, which showed clearly through the thin nightshirt she was wearing. Her hair reached to her chin, and the ends were a ghastly light red, while the rest was nearly black. Dark circles framed her sunken eyes. Liz closed her eyes and tried to remember the last thing that had happened to her.
The last thing she remembered was being in a canyon, and a bus crash-"Oh my God," Liz whispered. "What did they do to my baby?"
****
Max looked up as a doctor ran in through the heavy metal door at the end of the hall. He could hear Isabel vomiting through the glass partition that separated them. He sighed and rubbed his face. Isabel was sick and everyone knew it. She hadn't been able to keep anything down since her pregnancy began, and she would be malnourished if not for the needles they stuck in her veins to provide her body with some sustenance. She was horribly thin anyway; all the nutrients went directly to the baby.
Max was simply glad that Liz wasn't here for them to experiment on like they did Isabel. From what Michael told him, at one point they had Liz, and then they lost her again. Michael didn't know how they lost her; she was just gone.
He groaned in shared pain as Isabel began her dry heaves. The doctor pulled at her arm to pull her away from the toilet, and she swatted at him angrily. She was six months pregnant and all three teens doubted that she would carry her baby to term, no matter what the doctors did. There was just something wrong.
Max remembered how he had vomited when Michael told him of Liz's pregnancy. He had left her alone and pregnant, and he had never known. She had never told him! That was the thing Max couldn't understand. She had to have known. That must have been the reason for her disturbed behavior in the last few days before he left. And yet, she had not even hinted. He never would have left her, had he known.
And now there was nothing he could do.
****
Liz had no clothing but the thin shirt she wore, and she couldn't have cared less. There was a single car key on the worn table. She recognized the symbol for Honda on the plastic part of the key. She opened the door and sure enough, there was a maroon Honda Civic parked in front of the motel door. She looked up at the sign for the hotel. It said simply, "Motel 6 Roswell."
She looked around for a moment in shocked amazement. She didn't know who had done this, or why, but she was certain that she would find out.
For right now, she had one goal.
She was going to find Max, wherever he was, and whatever the cost.


Naked is a State of Mind, Part 6
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make
no profit of off this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)

Liz climbed behind the driver's seat of the tiny Honda and adjusted it so she could drive comfortably. She was dying to ask the motel manager a million questions, but she sensed that she should get out of here as soon as possible. She didn't know why, but she sensed that something was about to happen and that she was an integral part of it.
"It's probably just pregnancy paranoia," Liz muttered.
She began to get an even stranger feeling when she turned onto the freeway. There were no other cars headed for Roswell. She passed one car going in the opposite direction. There hadn't been many cars at the Motel 6, but who expected a dumpy motel outside a small town to be crowded? But the freeway...if she judged correctly by the time on the car's digital clock, it was rush hour. She got off at the familiar exit and drove through town.
Liz was shocked by what she saw. The town seemed almost dead. The stores were abandoned and boarded up. The weeds grew uncontrolled and uncut in the front yards of the homes. Liz felt almost as though she had been transported to another world. Where was the Roswell she knew and loved? Judging from the size of her belly, it had been about seven months since she and Max had fled. A town couldn't die out in that short
amount of time, could it?
She turned down the familiar street that led to home. When she saw the restaurant that had been her home since childhood, she let out a moan.
As she stumbled out of the little Civic, she clutched at her stomach protectively. The Crashdown Café was obviously abandoned. Roughly hewn boards crisscrossed the windows and the door had nearly fallen off its hinges. Liz moaned, leaned over, and vomited in the street. She saw stars and forced herself to remain upright.
"Don't faint, goddamn you," she muttered to herself. "Don't you dare faint."
"Liz? Liz Parker? Oh my God..."
Liz turned around, saw who had called her name, and promptly fainted.
****
Maria stared out the window pensively, watching the snow fall in the mountains a few miles away. It was only October, but there were already a few feet in the upper peaks of Colorado.
She really felt that the snow healed her. It was a rare thing in New Mexico, and she was glad to see it both last spring when she and her mother had first come here, and now it was back.
It was only recently that she began to feel human again. She and her mother had moved only a week after the fire, after Maria's second suicide attempt. Now, finally, more than seven months after losing everything in the world, she was finally being a teenager again. She had even gone on a date, a few weeks ago.
"Maria? Maria, sweetie, where are you?"
Maria turned around and called, "Here, mom."
Her mother appeared through the door. "I've been looking all over for you, young lady."
Maria shrugged. "Sorry."
"Well, this came in the mail for you." Her mother handed her a thick envelope.
"Thanks, Mom."
She watched as her mother headed back for the kitchen. She looked at the return address on the envelope and dropped it as though it had burned her. The address said simply, "Alex Whitman, Roswell, NM." There was no specific address.
Trembling, she picked it up off the floor. Why was Alex writing her? She hadn't seen him since the funerals. And why was he writing her from Roswell? From what Maria understood, that place was a ghost town now.
She opened the envelope slowly and began to cry when she saw what was inside.
****
Alex watched his former best friend as she slept, amazed at the sight of her. He had been certain that he was hallucinating when he first saw her, standing teary-eyed outside the Crashdown. But this was really her, her hair oddly cut, wearing nothing but a nightshirt, and clearly very pregnant.
When he found out that Max, Michael, Isabel and Liz were dead, he simply wasn't able to believe it. He had searched the hills surrounding Roswell for any trace of them, and hadn't found a thing. But the bodies of Liz and Max had never been found, and that hope sustained him for a long time. His parents had sent him to military school, praying that he would forget his friends.
But Alex could never forget. He kept up his search, researching the cases of the fire and the various catastrophes around Roswell from the military school. Finally, he decided to leave.
His parents still didn't know. He'd been home for the summer and then had returned to the school in September, but he left soon after. He staked out his parents' old house and started to live there again. As far as he knew, he was the only person living in the town of Roswell itself. And nothing bad had happened since he got here.
He had his run of the place. Most of the stores, including the Crashdown, had been looted in the months following the fires. Their doors were open and Alex wandered freely, finding odd trinkets of lives left behind.
He hadn't had the courage to check out the Crashdown, the hub of his teenage life, until today. And his shock at seeing Liz was incredible. But now, all his hopes were renewed.


Naked is a State of Mind, Part 7
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make
no profit of off this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)
Liz's eyes twitched as she opened them slowly. "Alex?" she whispered. "Is it really you?"
He smiled and took her hand. "Yes," he said. "Liz, I've missed you so much."
"Me too," Liz said, sitting up for a hug. He squeezed her tightly, trying not to crush the bulge of her baby. "Where am I now?"
"My old place," Alex admitted. "There's not a whole lot left of it."
"So what have you been up to?" they both asked nonchalantly and simultaneously.
Liz laughed softly. "Not much."
Alex looked at her belly doubtfully. "Well, you've obviously been up to something. Were you with Max?"
Liz nodded slowly, her eyes filling with tears.
"What's wrong? That's great! Everybody thought you guys were dead!"
She buried her face in her hands. "For all I know, he could be dead."
"Tell me what happened, Liz."
Liz smiled bitterly. "You want the whole scoop, huh?"
Alex nodded.
"All the details, however gory they may be?"
"Everything, Liz."
"All right, then. Let's start from the beginning. It's not a very long story, I guess.
"As you obviously knew, Max and I were very much in love. We went out to the desert in the middle of the night, intending to consummate our love." She watched Alex's face for a reaction. A year ago she would have been incredibly embarrassed to talk about her sex life with Alex in any capacity. Now it didn't bother her at all. The consequences of what they had done were right out in the open for him to see. "But it didn't happen because Max got a flash of his sister and Michael being hurt. We didn't know what was going on. Max's flashes went away and we drove back to Roswell. By the time we got there, his house and Michael's apartment had gone up in flames. We panicked and
took off. After a while we realized that we were being followed, but we didn't know who was following us.
"We finally lost them and we wind up finishing what we started in the desert the first night. I'm assuming that that's when I got pregnant. Uh, a few days later-" She saw Alex's faint grin at that. "A few days later, we took off again. When we crossed the California border, I saw Topolsky. So we decided that we should probably change our appearances. Hence this," she said, lifting up the dyed ends of her hair.
"We found a place in a little town in California and settled down. We figured if they were still following us, they'd follow us forever.
"Then one day Max came home from work and found Topolsky in our apartment. She told him Isabel and Michael were still alive and that they were being experimented on. He believed her, of course. I came home, suspecting I was pregnant and intending to tell him right away. But when Topolsky was there, I got totally distracted and forgot about it. I didn't know for sure, after all. Then, that night, after Max was asleep, I took the test. It was positive. The next morning, I woke up and he was gone."
Liz was in tears. Alex took her in his arms and rubbed her back gently. "Ssshhh," he whispered. "You're here now. We can look for him together."
Liz pulled away and shook her head. "No, that's not all, Alex. There's more." She took a deep breath. "I was a little hysterical at first, and they put me in the hospital and confirmed my pregnancy. I thought about getting an abortion, but in the end I couldn't do it. As mad as I was at Max, this is his baby and my baby. And I still love him." She sniffled and wiped her nose.
"So I hitchhiked down from California. I made it as far as Albuquerque, and I got on a bus to Roswell. But the bus crashed. I woke up outside bleeding from the head. And I don't remember anything after that."
Alex stared at her, confused. "And..."
She shrugged. "There isn't any 'and', Alex. I woke up this morning in a Motel 6 outside of Roswell in this night dress with a car key laying on the table."
He sucked in a deep breath. "You mean you don't remember anything for, what, several months?"
"What day is it, Alex? I forgot to ask."
He looked at his watch. "It's October 6."
Liz inhaled sharply. "When I boarded that bus, it was May 16."
"Jesus Christ. You mean you're missing almost five months? I've heard of lost time, but...did...are you hurting anywhere? Do you have any marks, or anything X-Filesy?"
Liz shook her head. "No, nothing. As a matter of fact, when I woke up I felt fantastic. And I've felt the baby kick several times, so it must be okay."
"I need some time to absorb all this, Liz."
"I know. So do I."
****
"Maria? What was in the envelope, honey?"
There was no response from her daughter's room. Amy crept slowly down the hall, looking inside the tiny room. Her daughter sat on her twin bed, tears streaming down her face. "Honey, what's wrong?" She looked down and saw the pictures on her daughter's lap. "Who sent you these, Maria?"
Maria swallowed and hiccupped. "Alex did. They're Liz's old pictures, Mom."
Amy sat down next to the teen and wrapped her arms around her, trying to comfort the sobbing girl. "Is Alex back in Roswell?"
"I guess so. That's his return address, but I doubt there are any post offices open there. So he must-he must-" Maria tried to contain her crying. "He must have been there at some point."
"Did they bring back some old memories?"
Maria smiled faintly and picked up the photographs, flipping through them. There was one of Liz and her as kindergarteners, scowling at the camera. Another where they were considerably older, as Maria blew out the candles on her birthday cake. One of Liz, Maria and Alex as younger teens, goofing off for the camera. Then the pictures of Max; there were several of him with Liz. They looked blissfully in love in each of them, just as Maria remembered them. It was how she always wanted to remember them. Then came
the ones that caused Maria to sob all over again. There were two photographs of Michael and herself. In one, Michael frowned at the camera in his typical manner as Maria hammed it up next to him. In the other, Michael didn't have a chance to frown. He and
Maria were kissing deeply, and their love for each other had been captured intimately by the camera. Maria hadn't even known that Liz had these pictures.
"Yeah, Mom," Maria whispered. "A lot of memories."
****
Liz looked at Alex pensively. "So what have you been up to?"
"I got sent to military school," Alex admitted sheepishly.
Liz looked at him for a moment, then burst out laughing. When she finally recovered, she sat up and looked at him again. And then she began to laugh even harder.
"Yes, it's very funny," Alex said sourly.
Liz wiped her eyes. "I'm sorry. It's just the thought of you marching in line..." She began to howl again.
Alex waited for her to calm down. "My parents sent me there because they said I was obsessed with the dead."
Liz frowned. "How do you mean?"
"They meant that I was obsessed with you guys. I was convinced that you were still alive, somewhere, and I was determined to find you. They thought I was crazy. But I guess I was right, huh?"
"I guess so," Liz murmured.
****
Maria rose from her bed in the dark of night and padded down the hallway to her mother's room. "Mom?" she whispered in the darkness.
"Yeah, baby?" Her mother's voice was slurred by sleep.
"Can we go back to Roswell?"




Author's Note: In case you're wondering why I have suddenly started to write again after a silence and a few bad
chapters of Wonderland, there are really two reasons.
a. Finals are over.
b. The X-Files season finale, which really reinspired my hope in television in general. I know I should be saying,
"Thank you, Jason Katims" but I'm screaming, "Thank you, Chris Carter! You are a god among men!" I'm dying for
November!


Naked is a State of Mind, Part 8
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make
no profit of off this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)

When they did their experiments on him, Max dreamed of Liz. He could picture her face, and her body, most certainly enlarged with her pregnancy by now. What was she, six, seven months along? He pictured the gorgeous swell of her stomach and the tiny baby inside it. Was it a boy or a girl?
Marcus's threats had never come to fruition. From what little he understood of the events surrounding Liz, the van bringing her to the facility had been intercepted. By who-or what-Max didn't know. He could only pray that wherever she was, she was free from harm. In truth, he didn't even really know if Liz was alive. But he felt certain that if she died he would know it. He would feel it in the place inside himself where Liz was a part of his soul.
Michael, meanwhile, had given up on dreamwalking. Instead of insisting that he was a ghost, Maria now blocked him entirely. Alex and Liz seemed to be lost causes as well, and Max couldn't dreamwalk. At least, he had never been successful at it.
He closed his eyes and tried to sleep. It had always been difficult, with the noises of medical personnel moving through the halls in the night and Isabel's occasional vomiting in the next cell over. But two days ago, when it was clear that Isabel was about to miscarry at six months into her pregnancy, they had taken her away.
Max shuddered and turned over, finally drifting into oblivion.




"Hello, Max. Long time no see."
Max whirled around. Liz stood alongside a riverbank, the sun setting behind her. She wasn't pregnant; in fact, she looked just as she had before any of the events that so changed their lives had begun. Her long brown hair swished around her face in a gentle breeze. She wore an ankle-length flowered skirt and a flowing blouse.
"Is this a dream?" Max asked shakily.
She gazed at him calmly, her face revealing no emotion. "Maybe. Maybe not."
"But I thought...I thought you were pregnant," he said, totally confused.
Finally her face crumpled. "Why? Would you care? After all, you left me in the middle of the night! Was this how you wanted me?"
"Liz...I didn't know. I had no idea! I thought that it was best for you!"
She glared at him, her features showing a level of hate that Max would have thought impossible coming from her. "Well, you were wrong, Max. And you have no idea how wrong you were."
Max hesitated and approached her slowly. "Liz, I can't pretend that I know what you've gone through. And I can't ask you to forget what happened. I can only ask you to forgive me."
"Why should I?"
Max tried to hold back tears. "Because I love you, Liz. I want you, and I want this baby. I want us to be a family, together." He stepped up to her and she clung to him, tears running down her face.
"I don't know if I can forgive you, Max. But I can try."
He lifted her chin to look at her face. "Is this the real you, Liz? Or are you only a part of my dreams?"
Liz shook her head slowly. "I'm real, as far as I know."
"In that case-" Max kissed her firmly on the lips, delighting in the familiar taste of her after all these months. She moaned lightly and kissed him in return, twining her hands in his hair.
They fell to the ground together, Max landing gently on top of Liz. He pushed her into the soft riverbank as she reached for the button of his jeans. He pulled her long skirt down and away. They didn't bother with their shirts. The need for each other was too urgent, unfulfilled for so long. He found her entrance and pushed inside her. Liz let out a gasp and wrapped her legs around him.
"Max..." seemed to be the only word she could manage. The feeling of him inside her was almost too much to bear. He thrust in and out of her and she luxuriated in the delicious sensations. She could feel him reaching his peak. He reached down and touched her where she needed it most, and the came simultaneously, Liz screaming and Max groaning. She felt him explode inside her.
For a few minutes they lay intertwined, totally exhausted. Liz felt Max's heart beating against hers. Finally, and much to her regret, he rolled off her.
"Max, will I ever see you again?" she asked, touching his face.
He stroked her arms and sighed regretfully. "Liz, don't try to find me. It's too dangerous for you and our baby."
Her lower lip trembled. "Max, I can't let them have you. And what about Izzy and Michael?"
He shrugged and sat up, pulling her with him. "No, Liz. Don't come after me. I thought my plan was absolutely foolproof, and they got me anyway. I can't let them hurt you. I've hurt you enough already."
"But, Max...won't you even tell me where you are?"
"No, Liz. I love you too much to let you do that."
Liz was crying again. "Max..."
"Sshhhh," he whispered, and kissed her.



Max woke up abruptly. He could clearly remember the dream he'd just had and he could have sworn that he could still taste Liz on his lips. The dream had been so real...it was almost like when Isabel had dreamwalked into one of his dreams. But it made no sense! He couldn't dreamwalk!
****
Liz awoke with a start, sweating and aroused. Her sheets and nightgown were soaked through. "Jesus," she muttered. "That was realistic." Had Max come to her in her dreams? Could he even dreamwalk like Isabel? She didn't know. If he could, why hadn't he done it before now? He could have told them where he was. They could have rescued him! And the Max in her dream didn't even want to be rescued. Liz shook her head and got up to change into one of the new pieces of clothing Alex had brought her.
****
Max looked up as the door opened to his cell. "Come on," said the guard.
"Why should I?" Max retorted.
"Because if you don't, I'll drag your sorry little ass all the way down the hall."
Max reluctantly left the cell he had called "home" for five months. He looked down the hall and saw Michael being carried bodily by three guards.
"Where the hell are we going?" Michael demanded.
The guards ignored his questions entirely.
"Where is Isabel?" Max asked.
"She's around," one of the guards replied tersely.
"How is she? How is the baby?" Michael asked.
"You'll find out soon enough."
****
Alex slept restlessly, his dreams interrupted by screams of pain and calls for help. In his dream, Isabel was giving birth. Only something was wrong; there shouldn't be this much blood. And Isabel wasn't pregnant...
Isabel sat upright from the bed and screamed his name, reaching out for him. "Alex!"
Alex woke up covered in cold sweat. He bolted out of his old bed and ran to Liz's room. She was already awake. "Liz, something's wrong. We have to find them, now!"


Naked is a State of Mind, Part 9
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make
no profit of off this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)
Deliver me, out of my sadness.
Deliver me, from all of the madness.
Deliver me, courage to guide me.
Deliver me, strength from inside me.
All of my life I've been in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me, loving and caring.
Deliver me, giving and sharing.
Deliver me, the cross that I'm bearing.
All of my life I was in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me,
Deliver me,
Oh deliver me.
All of my life I was in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me,
Oh deliver me.
Won't you deliver me.
--Sarah Brightman, "Deliver Me"
Alex was about as close to panic as he had ever been. Liz was fumbling as she pulled on clothes over her huge belly. He watched her wince as she smacked her head on the cabinet in the kitchen.
He shook his head and smiled faintly. "Liz, go back to bed."
She looked up, rubbing her head. "What? What are you talking about?"
"I can't let you do this. Look at you!"
Liz looked down at her swollen stomach and then looked back up at him. If looks could kill, Alex would be stone cold on the floor. "Fuck you, Alex."
"Liz, I..." he'd never heard profanity like that from her before.
She finished tying her shoe and walked toward him. He backed away until he was forced against the wall. "Alex, if you think for one second that I am not going with you to rescue the father of my child, you've got another thing coming."
Alex groaned. "Please, Liz...I don't even know where the hell I'm going."
"Exactly, Alex. But I do."
He just shook his head. All of this was just altogether too odd for him. Visions, aliens, love...
****
Maria looked at her rearview mirror, sighing as she once again saw the blindingly bright lights of the car that had been following her since she reached the New Mexico border. At the last second she turned to take the state road through Cimarron Park, instead of going down the wide-open freeway. It was out of her way, but she knew from road trips that she could cut back across east towards Roswell after she passed Taos.
She drove through the twisting mountain roads, totally unnerved by the darkness. The high cliffs around her were eerily illuminated in the moonlight, and she could see the occasional high waterfall that ran heavy with the fall rain. Maybe it had already snowed up here, she mused.
"Maria...where are you?"
The voice echoed in her head as clearly as daylight. Maria screamed and pulled over to the side of the road. The sound had been Michael... Michael screaming her name. She rubbed at her temples, hoping the echo would go away. It wasn't real, it couldn't be real. She was going to see Alex, and that was all.
"Ma'am...open the window, ma'am."
****
Alex glanced from the road over at Liz. They were driving his old Pontiac, not her shiny new Civic. It just seemed a little too obvious to take that one.
She stared straight ahead, her vision focused on the road. Alex couldn't have known that she was having a conversation in her head.
*Max, where are you?*
*Outside town...a facility...go southwest, you can't miss it.*
Alex started to turn onto the main freeway and Liz broke from her reverie, shrieking. "No, don't! Stay on that road!"
He steered forcefully back out of the turn lane, wincing as his ears rang. "Okay, Liz. Jesus."
Liz closed her eyes. *Stay with me, Max.*
*I don't know if I can, Liz. I'm not doing this.*
*Max, it's me. I'm doing it.*
There was an incredulous silence. *How?*
*I don't know. I think it's the baby.*
*God...Liz.*
*Just stay with me, okay? I need to stay connected with you to know where you are.*
*I'm not where I used to be. I don't know where I am.*
*Don't worry about it, hon. I'll be there soon.*
*Yeah...that's good. I hope...* His voice trailed off and Liz panicked.
*Max? Max, where are you?*
*I'm here, Liz. They're just...never mind.*
Liz started to cry, both in reality and the conversation going on in her mind. *Max...they aren't hurting you, are they?*
*Don't worry about it, Liz. Just keep my baby safe, will you?*
Tears streamed down her face, and Alex reached across and took her hand. *Of course, Max. Always. I love you.*
*I love you too, Liz.*
His voice vanished and the connection was gone, as suddenly as it had come. "Max!" Liz wailed aloud. Alex squeezed her hand gently.
****
Maria squinted as the cop shone a flashlight in her eyes, inspecting her face. "You're not drunk, are you, ma'am?"
She shook her head. "Oh, no, sir."
"Well...I'd like you to get out of the car now."
He took the flashlight away and Maria gasped aloud as she recognized him. He was the FBI agent who'd followed them around Roswell
at the beginning of last year!
"Ma'am, get out of your car..."
Maria hit the gas, accelerating as fast as she could in her little Jetta. She left the cop/FBI agent behind her in a cloud of dust.
The agent shrugged and pulled out of his phone. He pressed one of the pre-record buttons and held it to his ear. "Marcus...Maria DeLuca
is headed your way. Everything is falling into place."
****
"Liz...if you don't mind me asking...what the hell happened just then?"
Liz swiped at her tears with the back of her free hand. "I was talking to Max."
"Talking to Max...are you sure you're all right?"
She laughed softly. "I don't know if I'm crazy, Alex. I might be. I don't know. But I was talking to him. That's how I knew to stay on the road. It's how I know where he is. I just sense him."
"So how come...this sensing thing has never kicked in before?"
"Alex, I've been awake for two days, remember?"
"Oh, right. I just...never mind." Alex shook his head and groaned. When this was all over...if it was ever over...he really needed to figure this all out.

posted on 8-Sep-2001 3:40:08 AM
Naked is a State of Mind, Part 10 (out of a possible 12???)
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make
no profit of off this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)
Deliver me, out of my sadness.
Deliver me, from all of the madness.
Deliver me, courage to guide me.
Deliver me, strength from inside me.
All of my life I've been in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me, loving and caring.
Deliver me, giving and sharing.
Deliver me, the cross that I'm bearing.
All of my life I was in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me,
Deliver me,
Oh deliver me.
All of my life I was in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me,
Oh deliver me.
Won't you deliver me.
--Sarah Brightman, "Deliver Me"

"Where the hell are you taking us?" Max demanded. "What is going on?"
The guards didn't answer. They were too busy trying to contain Michael.
They were traveling hallways unfamiliar to Max after all his time in this government facility. He didn't recognize a single doorway. He tried to concentrate on what was going on inside his head. It had to be a hallucination, it just had to be.
*Max? Max, where are you?*
The guards opened a door and shoved him through. Max gasped and moaned when he saw the gore inside. *I'm here, Liz. They're just...never mind.*
He could feel her worry brimming over into tears. *Max...they aren't hurting you, are they?*
Max closed his eyes and tried to erase what he had seen from his memory. *Don't worry about it, Liz. Just keep my baby safe, will you?*
*Of course, Max. Always. I love you.*
Max moaned as he felt the connection begin to close. *I love you too, Liz.* He let reality come back into focus and heard Michael crying softly next to him. He looked over to see tears streaming down his best friend's face.
Isabel lay on the table before them, clearly unconscious. The table was slick with fresh and dried blood. Marcus, along with one of the numerous nameless doctors, stood next to her, looking at the two.
"Well, I suppose you can imagine what you two have been brought here for," Marcus said drily.
Michael walked hesitantly toward the table and reached for Isabel's hand, ignoring the blood that coated it. "Isabel...I'm so sorry. This is all my fault."
Max watched, feeling sick. Isabel didn't respond at all. "What did you do to her?" Max demanded.
Marcus shrugged. "Well, I'm afraid your sister had a miscarriage. We tried to stop it, but...as you can see, we were too late."
Max growled deep in his throat and, before Marcus even had a chance to react, had grabbed him by the throat and lifted him into the air. "Tell me the truth! What did you do to her? What are you trying to do here?"
"Max...we..." Marcus gurgled as his air supply was cut off. The doctor reached under his monitor and pushed a button. The same guards that had dragged them to this room returned and pried Max's hands off Marcus's throat. They held him back, his muscles straining as he tried to get free.
Marcus shook himself indignantly. "I was telling you the truth, Max. You see, when we realized that we could not save the baby, the mother herself was near to death. So we brought you here."
Max squeezed his eyes shut painfully, and then opened them to look at his sister. "Can we help her, Michael?"
Michael shook his head. "I don't know, Max. She might...she might be too far gone already. But we can try."
They each took one side of the girl they had both known since childhood. They placed their hands on her and began to heal her.
****
Maria got off the freeway at the Roswell exit, glancing nervously around the dark, deserted town. She headed straight for Alex's old house. If he was staying anywhere, Maria was willing to bet it would be there. She gaped in awe at what she saw on her way. She had heard that it was deserted, but to actually see it put things into perspective. It was difficult to believe that all this could happen in just a few months.
She pulled up behind at his house and saw a car parked in the driveway. She walked closer and squinted at it in the darkness. It was a Honda, and a fairly new one, too. She wondered when Alex had gotten rid of his rusted-out old Pontiac. He had loved that thing like a baby ever since he turned sixteen.
Maria walked up to the front door and knocked. There was no answer. She tried to peer into the house through the glass plate on the door. From what she could tell, it had been recently occupied. But right now, nobody was home. She tried the door again. It was
locked.
She sighed and sat down on the porch. This made no sense at all. She knew Alex had been here, yet it was 2 A.M., his car was here, and nobody was home.
Unless Alex wasn't alone in Roswell. But who else would be here with him, in this ghost town in the desert?
****
"Turn right," Liz said tersely.
Alex obeyed. For the last hour, her directions had been leading them further and further into the desert. Yet he could sense something near, something they were coming towards. He knew that Liz felt it.
He couldn't explain anything that was going on, and for once in his life it didn't bother him.
In the distance, a rambling cement structure appeared. "This is it," Liz whispered.
As they approached it, they realized the simple scope of what they had to do. The facility was enormous, several football fields long and a few wide. It was only one story that they could see, but who knew what was under the ground? It could take them days just to find a way in.
Liz closed her eyes and searched for Max. *Max...Max, I need you now.*
There was a faint response from Max, so faint that Liz could barely make it out. *Liz? Are you here?*
*Yes, Max, we're outside the facility. You have to tell us how to get in, and how to find you.*
*I don't know if I can.*
*You have to. We'll never be able to find you otherwise.*
*Liz...I can feel you near.*
*I know. I can feel you too.*
She could feel his soft laugh. *My stubborn Liz.*
*Why am I stubborn?*
*I told you not to come, and you did anyway.*
*Izzy called Alex, Max. She's hurt.*
*I know. I know. We've been trying to heal her, but...* Liz could feel the desperation in his words. *I don't know if we're strong enough. She's just so sick.*
*Just hold on, Max. Hold on.*
*Liz, to get in...there's a door. It faces a steep cliff. It isn't guarded. But it is locked.*
*Okay, where do we go after that?*
*Liz...* She could hear as his voice trailed off.
"Dammit," Liz cursed aloud.
Alex looked at her. "Were you, uh, talking to Max?"
Liz nodded unhappily. "You were right, Alex. There's something wrong with Isabel."
Alex swallowed. "Have they healed her?"
"I don't know. They said she's too sick."
He moaned softly. "Liz, we had better get in there soon."
"Max said there's an unguarded door facing a cliff. We just have to find that door."


Naked is a State of Mind, Part 11
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make no profit off of this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)
Deliver me, out of my sadness.
Deliver me, from all of the madness.
Deliver me, courage to guide me.
Deliver me, strength from inside me.
All of my life I've been in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me, loving and caring.
Deliver me, giving and sharing.
Deliver me, the cross that I'm bearing.
All of my life I was in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me,
Deliver me,
Oh deliver me.
All of my life I was in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me,
Oh deliver me.
Won't you deliver me.
--Sarah Brightman, "Deliver Me"
Liz squeezed inside the door, wincing as the doorframe pushed against her belly. Alex followed, closing the door gently behind him. It had been amazingly easy to pick the simple lock on the door. Too easy, almost. It had only taken a bent bobby pin, even with
Liz's lack of experience in such matters. No alarms sounded, no guards came running.
The facility seemed dead in the dark of night. Liz closed her eyes and listened for Max. *Max?* At first there was no response, and the sense that he was near began to fade. She tried again. *Max?*
Then it came, as a shout inside her head, causing her to wince in pain. *Liz, get out of here. They're on to you. Leave now!*
*No! Not without you! Not now!*
*Liz, go!* He sounded desperate.
*I won't!* Liz turned around as she heard Alex yelp, the connection closing instantly. A guard held him closely, seemingly immune to his struggles. "Shit!" she cursed. She didn't try to run, knowing it was hopeless and terrified that they might shoot and hurt her baby.
Arms, strong like steel, had wrapped around her from behind. She was lifted bodily into the air as a scrap of cloth was thrown over her eyes.
****
Liz hit the floor with a thud and groaned in pain. She reached up to lift off the blindfold.
Standing before her was Max, his mouth open in awe and astonishment. "Liz," he moaned, and it sounded more like a prayer than a name.
They stood in silence for a moment, Liz on her knees on the dirty floor, Max standing a few feet away. Then Max rushed to her and lifted to her feet, crushing her in his embrace.
Neither of them said a word, simply happy to be in each other's arms once again. Liz inhaled his familiar scent, moaning slightly with the memories it brought. She felt one of his hands move toward her belly and caress it gently. She placed her hand on top of his.
"Liz...we have to get you out of here," he whispered, breaking the silence.
Liz shuddered and said nothing.
"They knew you were coming. I don't know how, but they knew. They told us what they're planning to do just a little while ago."
She was almost afraid to ask. "What?"
"They want to take our baby, Liz. They want to make it their little plaything. And then they want more babies. Alex is here, you see, so they're hoping to get Isabel pregnant again. But I don't know if Isabel will ever be able to have a baby, Liz."
"How do you mean?"
"She miscarried, really bad. Michael and I healed her, but...I don't know if she'll ever be the same again. She was just so far gone by the time they brought us in there. I don't know..."
Liz reached up to wipe away his tears. "Sssshhh. So who are they going to get another baby from? I won't be able to get pregnant for at least another few months, and Isabel is..."
Max looked at her in confusion. "Isn't Maria here?"
She shook her head slowly. "She didn't come with us, Max. I haven't seen her. I didn't even know where she was."
"Well, somebody did. Marcus told me she was coming."
****
Maria walked back toward her car, contemplating this turn of events. Who else would be here with Alex? Who would want to come here at all? God knows she had been happy to leave...she turned her wrists over and looked at the scars in the moonlight.
She'd done it the "right" way, slitting them from top to bottom as opposed to from side to side. The first time, her mother had been out, buying them new dresses to wear to the funerals. Maria had awakened to find her mother gone, a note on the table explaining her whereabouts. She took a shower, not crying for the first time since she heard the news. Instead she was totally dry-eyed, totally calm and collected. When the water ran cold, she wrapped a towel around herself, walked to the kitchen, found a paring knife and slit both her wrists open.
She could imagine what a sight she must have been, lying on the floor in a towel soaked with her own blood. Maria had awakened in the hospital the next day, after several blood transfusions. Her mother was by her bedside, and when Maria opened her eyes she began to sob, which only made Maria feel worse.
So when she was released, she did it again.
This time, when she got out of the mental hospital, she came home to find empty rooms. Everything had already been packed and shipped to Colorado Springs. Her mother bundled her into the car and away they went, never saying goodbye.
Maria traced the scars with her fingers, feeling the faint indentations where the stitches had been. More than anything, she regretted hurting her mother. Amy DeLuca didn't deserve a suicidal daughter after all she had been through. She was the best mother a girl could hope for, and this was how Maria repaid her.
Maria sighed a little. Maybe she should head back home, just put all this behind her. In another year, she'd have college to think about. If she got her grades up now, she could probably get into a pretty good school. She tried not to think about the FBI agent who had followed her here. After all, if she left, what use would he have for her?
She walked towards her little Jetta slowly, pulling her keys out of her pocket. She never heard the man who snuck up behind her.
"You'll have to come with me, ma'am."
Maria whirled around, a terrified scream escaping her lips. It was the FBI agent who had stopped her before. "No! Fuck you! Get off me!" she screamed as he grabbed her and dragged her to his car.
****
Liz had fallen asleep in Max's arms on his cot. She didn't know why they had been allowed this time together, but she was eternally grateful for it. She could feel the rise and fall of his chest against hers, and the gentle swish of his eyelashes against her face as his eyelids twitched in REM sleep. Liz couldn't fall totally asleep, though; she drifted in and out of consciousness in her worry about what would happen to them. The baby had been kicking inside her almost continuously for the last few hours.
It was almost as though the baby was aware that something was about to happen. Sighing at the sensation, she realized that Max had never been able to feel the baby kick before. She nudged him gently and kissed him, hoping to wake him.
He mumbled, half-asleep, "Wha's goin' on?"
"Max? Do you want to feel the baby kick?"
He smiled, slowly coming awake. "Yeah, yeah, I do."
Liz guided his hand to her stomach, spreading his fingers so he could feel the vibrations coming from within. "Isn't that awesome?"
"It's...it's amazing, Liz." Max seemed moved almost to tears by this.
"That was how I knew the baby was still alive, when I woke up in-" Liz cut off, realizing she was mentioning her disappearance. She hadn't intended to, not wanting to worry him any more than he already was.
Max was totally awake now. "Knew the baby was still alive? What are you talking about, Liz?"
Liz cursed inwardly, knowing she was never going to get out of it now. "I, um...we never really talked about the last few months, did we?"
"No, we didn't. You know where I was. Where were you?"
She tried to keep from shaking. "Uh, I don't really know. I, um...I don't remember anything from the last five months or so."
Max was silent for a moment. Then he took a deep breath. "Did they have you? What did they do to you, Liz?"
"Max...I don't know who had me. But I don't think it was the government. When I woke up, I was in a hotel a few miles outside Roswell. Why would the government put me there?"
"Why would they put you anywhere in particular? God, Michael must have been wrong..."
"Wrong about what?"
"He said he overheard one of the guards saying that they got you, but lost you on the way here."
Liz thought for a moment. "Max, who did they lose me to?"
He didn't get a chance to answer. The door opened, and Marcus poked his head in."Okay, kiddies, time's up. We've got you all here now. It's time for the fun to begin."

****
The five of them watched as the guards dragged Maria to the dank-smelling room. Michael smiled when he realized she was cursing up a storm.
Marcus followed her in and locked the door behind him. "Well, kiddos, I hope you've been enjoying your stay in this lovely facility. But now, in order to repay me for the cost of your stay, we've got some work to do."
"And what the hell would that be?" Michael snapped. He reached up for Maria as she cried at the sight of him, pulling her into his arms.
"Well, it's already begun, actually. Thank you, Max, for getting Liz pregnant all by your little self."
Max glared up at him.
"You've probably assumed we just want hybrids or little alien babies running around to do nasty little experiments to. That's not entirely true.
"We're engineers here, really. And we want to engineer the perfect assassin."
"So what does that have to do with any of them? Or even any of us, really?" asked Alex, helping Isabel to sit up.
"Well, we figure that a hybrid with a combination of human and alien traits would be just dandy. At first we thought maybe, hey, we can just engineer the aliens, but as Isabel's failed pregnancy showed, we couldn't really do that. But Liz's baby, on the other hand...along with any children you six may produce in the future...could be quite valuable, I think. And since we already have you here, and we know that you're
perfectly willing to breed with each other, why bother with anyone else?
"Unless, of course, any of you fail to produce viable hyrbrids, and then we may be forced to take more drastic action." Marcus looked around at the crowd, a pleased smile on his face. "Was any of that unclear in any way?"
There was no response from any of the teens. They looked at each other. Max sat with Liz beside him, his hand protectively over her swelled belly. Liz's hand was tightly curled around Max's as she tried to hide her fear. Maria still had tears streaming down her cheeks, and nothing Marcus had said had quite sunk in yet. Michael held her protectively, whispering in her ear that everything would be all right. Alex kept an
arm around Isabel, supporting her weight. She still looked deathly pale and very weak.
"Well, if we all understand each other, Miss Parker needs to come with me."
"No!" Max barked.
Marcus shrugged. "I'm afraid you don't really have a choice. The doctors tell me we'll still be able to study and alter the baby's genes this late in the pregnancy, but not for much longer. We really don't have any time to lose." He raised an arm and the door opened behind him, ten guards rushing in.
They all rushed to form a protective circle around Liz, but they were too late. Three guards held Max down while two rushed Liz away. The rest held the group at bay.
"Max!" Liz screamed at the top of her lungs. She watched as he struggled and the guards hit him, trying to keep him from getting loose.
She screamed as loud as she could, knowing that no one could hear her and that it had all come to this, utterly hopeless.
Then a blinding with light exploded around them, and chaos erupted.


Naked is a State of Mind, Part 12
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or anything related to it. I make
no profit off of this.
Summary: Sequel to Survival
Rating: NC-17
Category: Max/Liz
Spoilers: thru Sexual Healing
Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕yahoo.com)
Deliver me, out of my sadness.
Deliver me, from all of the madness.
Deliver me, courage to guide me.
Deliver me, strength from inside me.
All of my life I've been in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me, loving and caring.
Deliver me, giving and sharing.
Deliver me, the cross that I'm bearing.
All of my life I was in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me,
Deliver me,
Oh deliver me.
All of my life I was in hiding.
Wishing there was someone just like you.
Now that you're here, now that I've found you,
I know that you're the one to pull me through.
Deliver me,
Oh deliver me.
Won't you deliver me.
--Sarah Brightman, "Deliver Me"


Author's Note: A special thanks for parts 11 & 12 goes out to CharlieJ, who may or may not remember helping me map out the plot for this a few months ago...thank you, Charlie, I would have been lost without your help!
Another Note: In my little world of fanfiction, Tess doesn't exist. She was never hatched out of her little pod or whatever. This fic split off after Sexual Healing, before we ever met the Gerbil, or even learned of their "destiny" (blech). Okay?



Liz watched everything around her as her vision cleared, wincing at the bright spots on her eyes. The world was moving in slow motion. She could see Max's face as he screamed her name, but she couldn't hear him. Her eyes widened as the constant kicking in her womb suddenly ceased altogether.
She noticed that the two guards no longer had a hold on her arms. In fact, she couldn't see them at all. She turned and looked around. The guards were all gone. It was just the teens and Marcus.
Max seemed to realize what had happened. He looked up in puzzlement. "Where'd they go?" he asked, echoing everyone's puzzlement.
Marcus seemed more shocked than anyone. He picked up his cell phone and started to dial a number. Then he yelped when it began to grow hotter, sizzling and burning his hand. He dropped it on the dirty tile, where it melted into a pile of black goo.
Liz hesitated, and then walked back through the doorway into the cell. Max looked at her, his eyes showing his fear.
"What the hell just happened there?" Michael croaked.
Liz sat down, feeling a little weak. "I don't know."
Maria looked up from her spot on the floor, her eyes watery. She seemed to be coming out of the state of shock she'd been in since she was brought here. "Is any of this real?" she whispered. "Am I hallucinating?"
"Not unless we all are," Alex said.
"Liz? You're still alive?" Her eyes turned downward. "And pregnant," she whispered.
Alex laughed. "That was pretty much my reaction."
Liz walked to her best friend and hugged her tightly.
Marcus looked at them. They looked at Marcus. He turned to run, and just as he reached the door it slammed shut in his face. "I don't think so, asshole." Michael said acidly.
Max and Michael got up simultaneously and yanked Marcus off his feet. "What are you going to do to me?" the tall, thin man asked, suddenly looking afraid.
The two aliens looked at each other. "I think we should kill him," Max said casually.
Michael shrugged. "Whatever you want."
Max looked as though he were struggling with himself. "He should die," he said softly.
Michael's mouth twitched. Undoubtedly he felt the same way, but he still didn't act. "Max, there's probably a reason he didn't vanish like the others. Maybe we should just leave him alone."
Marcus began to squirm as they dragged him over to the corner. "Does anybody have something we can tie him with?" Max asked tersely.
They looked around. No one had anything. Alex got up, walked over to the bed, grabbed a sheet, and ripped it into thin strips. "There you go."
Michael and Max tied his arms and legs, gagged him and left him in the corner. Marcus stared at them with absolute hatred in his eyes.
The door was unlocked, though Michael had shut it. Liz felt the same sense of unease that she had when she and Alex had broken into the complex. Max looked at her and she knew he shared her feelings.
They watched as Michael pulled Maria against him, massaging her arm gently. Alex scooped Isabel into his arms to carry her. His eyes widened in shock, and Liz guessed that Isabel, despite her imposing height and recent pregnancy, didn't weigh much. Malnutrition could do that to you. Isabel moaned a little and wrapped her arms around his neck. Liz noted that she hadn't said a word the entire time.
Max leaned down and kissed Liz for the first time in months. They clasped hands and opened the door. Then they stepped through the door, not into a dark hallway but seemingly into another world.
****
The first thing they saw was people.
Or at least they seemed to be people. They were lovely creatures, with flawless skin, delicate features and long hair of varying shades. Liz felt dizzy, lightheaded, as though something was wrong with the air. It was too thin, reminding her of the air in the mountains, only a hundred times worse. She looked to Max for help, but he didn't seem to be having trouble at all.
The people looked at each other and one left briefly. Within moments, Liz felt the air becoming normal. She inhaled deeply, trying to make up for the lost oxygen. The room they were in came into clearer focus.
It was spherical, shaped like a giant bowling ball. One entire side was made of a clear substance through which shone an odd unnatural light. It made Liz's eyes hurt, so she looked away. The walls and floors, which merged and became one and the same, were coated with a reflective sheen that made them seem translucent.
She clutched tightly to Max as two of the people slipped Isabel out of Alex's arms and hurried her away. "Hey, you can't take her!" Alex yelled.
"Please, we only wish to help her," one of the people said.
Alex reluctantly released his hold.
"Forgive us for not arriving sooner," said another one of the people.
"Who are you?" Max asked suspiciously.
"You don't know?" The people looked at each other in surprise. "We are your people, Max. We've come to retrieve you."
"Retrieve us? Why? Why now?" Michael demanded.
"We didn't know where you were," the tallest of them, a man with dark red hair, admitted. "None of you ever called for help, so we assumed that you were dead. When we heard the baby cry for help, we came as soon as we could."
"Isabel's baby called for help?" Alex asked.
"No," said the man. "It was the baby this young woman was carrying. It gave the strongest signal we have ever heard from any child. Once we were here, we could hear your signals, but they were fuzzy and barely detectable. We were uncertain as to your whereabouts. So we simply followed Liz."
Max looked at them, and then looked at Liz. "It's not that simple. I know it can't be."
"We'll be willing to explain it to you, if you simply come with us."
"But what about Maria and Liz and Alex?" Michael asked.
Another alien, this one petite and blond, shrugged. "They will be released back onto their planet."
"No!" Liz cried. "You can't take him away from me again."
"I won't go," Max said stiffly, holding tightly to Liz.
"You really don't have any choice," the red-haired man said patiently. "You're needed at home."
"Screw 'home'!" Max cried. "If they needed us so badly, why the hell did they abandon us here?"
The three aliens looked pained. "At the time, we thought it best."
"Well, I'm not going," Max said.
"Me either," Michael echoed.
The blond alien sighed. "We were afraid of this. You can't go, really. Isabel needs you. She'll die without your help, and without ours."
The third alien finally spoke. "Besides, haven't you always wanted to meet your real family?"
****
Max and Michael left silently, each one accompanied by one of the aliens in case they decided to bolt at the last second. Liz watched, tears streaming down her face. "Max," she whispered silently, hoping he would feel the connection.
There was no response at all. Liz sobbed as she felt Maria wrap an arm around her. "It'll be okay, babe," Maria said, but her eyes looked hollow and dead.
She felt Alex come up behind her and wrap an arm around her other side. They stood united, three humans in a place they knew absolutely nothing
about.
"If you'd please come with me," the remaining alien, the petite blond one, said.
They didn't seem to have much of a choice, so they went.
****
"When did my baby call for help?" Liz asked, breaking the heavy silence that had fallen over the group. They were walking downwards in what Liz assumed was a ship, taking ramps and hissing lifts over the steepest grades.
"About six of your months ago," he replied tersely.
"So you came and took me, right? So why the hell don't I remember anything for the whole time?"
"We saved you. If not for us, you almost certainly would have died. You were very ill when we took you from your government, and your baby was near to death as well."
"What was wrong with me?"
"You had a head injury-a tear in the membrane around your brain-as well as a serious blood infection which endangered the baby. We healed you and let you rest. You were awake and alert for most of the time."
"Why don't I remember anything?"
"We thought it best, all in all, if your memory of the visit was erased. We thought it may hinder you in your search for Max."
"So you experimented on me," Liz said, feeling sick.
"We did need to find what made you different from our species, and what made you similar enough that you could breed with one of our own. Naturally, some changes were made in Michael, Max and Isabel before they were born in order to let them blend in better here. But they shouldn't have been able to breed. We didn't really experiment on you. We just gave you a few abilities that may come in handy in the future. Also, we gave you our tracking ability, in order to better find Max."
"So that's why I sensed he was near," Liz muttered.
"You really are quite an anomaly, Liz. It appears that some major biological changes were made to your body when Max healed you all those months ago. We found it amazing, honestly."
"Yeah," Alex said. "Amazing."
"So is my baby--a mixed breed? Half human and half alien?" Liz said, ignoring Alex's comment.
"Yes, and unfortunately, I doubt that you or your baby would fit in well on our planet, or we might be willing to take you back with us. But I believe that staying here would be best for you all in the end."
Liz's lower lip trembled. "Will I ever be able to see him again?"
"No, probably not. He's needed at home now."
"For what?"
The red-haired alien pressed his lips together. "I really can't say. It would compromise us all if that information was released to the wrong people."
"Like what people? Like Marcus?" Alex asked.
The alien smirked, and when he did it reminded them all eerily of Michael. "You won't have to worry about that particular human anymore. In fact, I really doubt you'll be in danger from your own people."
"Why? What did you do?" Maria asked.
"Let's just say that the little facility you were held in is now a rather large crater."
****
They were dropped off in Colorado Springs, the ship coming silently out of the nighttime sky and vanishing again just as quickly.
Amy ran out of the house. "Maria? Honey, what the hell was that?"
"Don't ask, Mom," Maria said as her mother approached.
Her mother apparently forgot the ship as she saw Alex and Liz. "Liz, honey, is that you? Oh, my dear God! "Ignoring her own daughter, Amy wrapped Liz in a bear hug. Maria watched and laughed softly.
"Mrs. DeLuca? Can you help me find my parents?" Liz asked softly. "I need to see them."
"Of course, honey, of course," she said, looking disapprovingly at Liz's belly. "But first, I think we should get a good night's sleep."
They all walked toward the house in silence, Alex obviously amused that Amy had barely noticed him. But she turned around as they reached the door. "Alex Whitman, aren't you supposed to be in military school?"
Liz and Maria giggled for the first time in a long time. "Yes, ma'am," he managed.
Amy looked around again as she shut the door behind them. "Maria, where's the Jetta?"
****
After a week, Liz didn't cry herself to sleep. She was simply too exhausted, too worn down by the events of the last seven and a half months. She fell into a deep, dreamless sleep, curled onto her side to sleep most comfortably with the bulge of her stomach.
She woke slowly as she felt a cold breeze blow across her bare legs. There must be a window open that she hadn't noticed. She struggled out of the sheets, half-awake, and sat up.
"Don't get up, Liz," said a male voice.
Liz was instantly fully awake. "Max?" she whispered, unbelieving.
"It's me. Don't worry, I'll shut the window." She watched as he closed it and turned the latch gently. Then he sat in the chair across from the bed, studying her face. "I never really got a chance to look at you," he explained.
Her eyes filled with the tears she thought she was rid of. "Is that why you're here? Another goodbye?"
"Do you want me to stay?"
"What? Max? Why wouldn't I want you to stay?"
He sniffled a little. "I thought that you might not be able to forgive me again. Not after I ditched you twice."
"Max--this time I actually understood. You had to help Isabel. You couldn't just let her die. It hurt like hell, like I thought I was going to die, but I...I understood. But I thought that--that you had to go home. I thought they needed you there."
He shook his head. "Not as badly as I was needed here."
"What about Isabel and Michael?"
"Isabel and Michael are at a motel right now, sleeping. They'll be here in the morning. But they told me to come talk to you now."
Liz made a mental note to thank them. "I love you, Max. How did you talk them into letting you come home?"
He shrugged. "I didn't. We took a pod and escaped."
"So...so they might be back?" Max just shook his head. "C'mere," she said, and he climbed into bed with her.
Liz reached behind her head and smacked him. "Not forgive you?" she muttered in disbelief.
"Ow," he complained.
They lay in silence for a few moments, peaceful at last. They fit together perfectly, his shape wrapped totally around her to keep her warm. But she had something to tell him, still. "Max, um...there a few things you should probably know."
"Like what?"
"Ummm...well, maybe the aliens told you, but, um, I'm not totally, uh, human anymore."
She felt him stiffen and freeze behind her. "What do you mean?"
"They changed me, Max. And you changed me, too, when you healed me."
"Changed you how? What the hell did they do to you?"
"I don't know how to explain it," she said. "But I've been, uh, experimenting the last week." She sat up and grabbed a pen, twiddling it nervously in the moonlight.
"Show me, Liz," he whispered in her ear.
Liz raised her arm, her whole body trembling nervously. She released the pen in her hand, but it stayed in midair, wafting in the breeze. Max gaped, his mouth wide open. Liz concentrated and the pen flew across the room, embedding itself in the plaster of the wall.
"Oh my God," he muttered. "Oh my God."
Liz laughed nervously. "There are a few other things, too."
Max was silent for a few moments. Then he said, "Well, I guess we're going to have one hell of a kid, huh?"


Epilogue

A mother watched as two children, a boy and a girl, played together in the thick grass of a mountain meadow. A white puppy chased them, and the three frolicked together with boundless energy.
Had they not been different sexes and ages, the children could have been twins. Born barely a year apart, they did not remember a life without each other. Both had dark hair, hazel eyes and ridiculously cute ears. They had each inherited a studious expression and an impressive intelligence that was beginning to show itself at the tender ages of four and five.
Their mother was still considered by many to be a child. But her childhood had been lost before the birth of her boy-child, when she was only seventeen years old. She was hardened now, above the harsh cruelties of the world and the universe beyond. She wanted little outside the happiness of her children.
She watched with approval as the little girl caused, seemingly with no physical interaction at all, a stick to rise in the air. She giggled in a high-pitched tone and her brother scowled. The dog spotted the floating stick and dove for it headfirst, causing both to collapse with laughter.
She jumped a little as a pair of strong arms wrapped around her from behind. "So how are the brats?" her husband asked.
"More amazing every day," she replied, and turned around to kiss him.

The End



Author's Note:
See? I told you it had a happy ending! I am actually absolutely delighted to be finished with this story. It was a fun journey and a big thanks goes out to those of you who have made it all the way through with me. I can't even remember now when I posted the first part of Survival at the Crashdown, though I believe it was in February. So now I only have 5 stories to finish! Yay!
I must give thanks to all the girls (and guys) at RANA, who helped me whenever I needed it (which was a lot.) You guys rock!!!!
Also, if you're wondering, yes, the puppy in the end is my 5-month-old Westie, Max.
Below are the lyrics to the song that inspired the title of this story, Luscious Jackson's "Naked Eye."
NAKED EYE
Wearing nothing is divine
Naked is a state of mind
I take things off to clear my head
To say the things I haven't said
I live inside the elements
The earth and sky are my best friends
Water is the evidence
That washes me from end to end
With my naked eye
I saw all the falling rain
Coming down on me
With my naked eye
I saw all if I said it all
I could see
It's not a choice I tried to make
It's not a thought I couldn't take
Something told me it was time
To give you yours and leave me mine
My vision started to be clear
I watched the sunlight coming near
I knew the day I knew the night
I knew I could regain my sight
And it feels alright
And it feels alright
With my naked eye
I saw all the falling rain
Coming down on me
With my naked eye
I saw all if I said it all
I could see
With my naked eye
I saw all the falling rain
Coming down on me
With my naked eye
I saw all if I said it all
I could see
Last night I came into your home
To break some ice and throw some stones
I asked if we could be alone
I had some troubles of my own
Knew I had to say goodbye
To all the old things held inside
If I let the moment fly
I knew they'd all be magnified
And it feels alright
And it feels alright
Came around after dark
You are nothing but a lark
Know I snuck in like a narc
I knew I had to leave my mark
Wanted to be satisfied
I tried to be dignified
Wearing nothing is divine
Naked is a state of mind
And it feels alright
And it feels alright
With my naked eye
I saw all the falling rain
Coming down on me
With my naked eye
I saw all if I said it all
I could see
With my naked eye
I saw all the falling rain
Coming down on me
With my naked eye
I saw all if I said it all
I could see

It feels alright