posted on 8-Sep-2001 3:03:24 AM
Title: In the End It Doesn’t Even Matter
Author: Sugarplum17 aka Lynn
Disclaimer: I don’t own it because if I did it wouldn’t be turning to shit...
If you have not seen Cry Your Name and you don't want to be spoiled, don't read this. It does have some slight spoilers for It's Too Late and Too Bad too.
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Author’s Note: At the time I wrote this I was very upset with the spoilers that I was reading. Out of that came this. Hope you like it. Title came from a Linkin Park song.
--part 1--
I’ve been watching them for a while now. Not just her, all of them. I never knew how much I meant to them all until I was “gone”. I mean I knew it’d be hard for Liz, Kyle, Isabel, Maria and my parents. But I never even thought that it’d be difficult for Max, Michael and Tess. I never thought that Amy and Jim would be so upset. I never thought that it would affect Liz’s parents or Max and Isabel’s parents like it did.

At first it was really hard to watch them. I couldn’t take seeing all the pain that they were in, all because of me. I can’t lie, it hurt. If I were still there they wouldn’t be in such pain. If I didn’t have to leave the way that I did, if it had been someone else...I would’ve been devastated too. But I would be the one trying to console everyone, and make them feel better by tossing out jokes and sarcastic observations. But it was me.

Eventually, over time, it got easier and easier to watch them. When I was there we had slowly been drifting apart, all of us. And once I was gone, it got worse before it got better. Relationships were so strained that the little things resulted in fights for them. About the only relationship that wasn’t strained was Michael and Maria’s relationship...which was a really big shocker, to everyone but me. I knew he loved her, I knew she loved him. I knew that it would take a “tragedy” for them to ban together, and make them stronger. There was an alien/human rift in the group, which was hard for me to watch. But eventually things sorted themselves out. They solved the clue that I left for them; they banded together and became a group again. They’re tighter than ever now. They didn’t realize it, but they got strange looks from people when they were in school, because ‘those seven people were always together’...never apart. Once upon a time, I would’ve been there getting strange looks and not realizing it too. It would’ve been ‘those eight people’ instead of ‘those seven’. For a while Maria was so angry with me for throwing the group dynamic out of whack, it was supposed to be even, 4 girls and 4 boys...not 4 girls and 3 boys. She used to say that there was an alien for every human and a human for every alien...that was another reason it was hard to watch them at first.

Isabel had become the odd man out. Before we got together at prom, she had been throwing herself into relationship after relationship...although they weren’t really relationships. First there had been Grant, what was she thinking there? Well, that didn’t work out because not only was he possessed by some evil alien parasite, he was a butt ugly, old creepy guy. Not that I’m every teen girls dream or anything. Then there was that guy after Grant, the one in Las Vegas...I like to call him “The Chin”, but I think his real name was like Dave or something like that. He was a real piece of work, again old and creepy, but also a real scumbag. He just tried to use her and get into her pants. But my girl got the hell out of there, before something she knew she’d regret could happen. I say good for her. Then we come to me. She needed me. She needed me to give her the stability she thought she’d never have, and if I couldn’t give it to her, she at least needed me to promise her I would...even if she knew it was an empty promise. She needed me because with me she didn’t have to pretend, she needed me because with me...she could be exactly who she really was...no games, no lies, no secrets. Yeah, I know I left her, but what else could I do? I had no choice. When you’re called, you’re called and you can’t back out of it.

Honestly I could’ve backed out of it, but hey...who would pass up a chance like this? Definitely not me...to be part of a bigger plan, to be part of something great...would you give it up? Now I know you’re saying, “But you were part of something Alex, you were a part of a group. You were a part of a family.” Yes I know you’re not talking about the Whitman family. I know exactly what family you’re talking about. But you don’t understand. I had to be a part of the bigger picture, for them. I had to remove myself from the group, to be a part of something else that would benefit all of them in a much greater way then my staying and being part of the group ever would’ve. What is it you ask? I’ll get to that later. But you see what I’m really trying to say is that everyone has a destiny. Yes I know that a lot of people hate that word. I’m aware of that fact...for a while I myself hated the word ‘destiny’. But whether you like the word or not, I’m speaking the truth. Everyone does have a destiny. Liz’s destiny is to show the world that true love can conquer all, to have the babies of a King and help merge our world with theirs. I know, you’re saying that’s crazy. But in alien mythology...Liz is a very important human being. Yes I said human being. Just trust me on this one ok?

Maria’s destiny is to tame the wild beast we like to call Michael. From what I see, she’s doing a pretty good job at it. That’s not all that lies ahead for Maria. She’s just as important as Liz is in alien mythology. Liz can’t help the planets merge all by herself. You see Maria is going to become very famous on earth. She’s going to be bigger than Madonna, almost Pope like. When she’s famous people will follow her to the ends of the earth.

Kyle’s destiny...I know you’re going to say that he got the raw end of the deal in the destiny department...but I’d love to trade him places even if were just for a day. Don’t get me wrong, I like my destiny and it’s great and everything but...to be the protector of Liz and Maria...well, I would truly be in heaven then wouldn’t I? I would give up my life for those two girls, and if you think about it, I sort of did. But not the way you’re thinking. It isn’t like I’m up in heaven on some cloud telling you all of this. Now back to what I was saying about Kyle and his destiny. I thought it was my destiny, to do as he’s doing now. I thought that I would be there for them when the unthinkable happened. He’s even helping to take care Isabel. They won’t ever have what Isabel and I have, had, I mean, but they’ll always remain close friends.

I don’t need to tell you what the destinies for the aliens are you already know that so it would be stupid of me to repeat it. So I’ll just go straight into mine. Yes, I know you’re shocked...I was too. Alex Whitman has a destiny?! Yes, apparently he does. You see Max’s supporters recruited me. I had been living a double life for quite sometime. I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone, and I kept the promise that I wouldn’t. I never even told Liz and Maria. I never even told Isabel. Instead I kept it to myself and for almost a year I lived this double life that nobody knew about. When Liz went away for the summer, and everyone was still shaken up about destiny, they came to me. They came to me in my dreams. I knew exactly what my role was and what I was supposed to do.

I was supposed to translate the destiny book for them, so that they would know what to do, and then I was supposed to get the hell out of there. At first I didn’t want any part of it, I went to that stupid psychic with Maria to see if my destiny was true. That’s when I knew it was. You see they told me that Isabel would be leaving me soon, that we just couldn’t be right now. When that psychic told me almost the same thing, I knew it was true. So I began to decode the book. When I was nearly half way done, they came to me in my dreams again and told me to stop. They told me my job was done and that I was needed on their planet. They told me that I would first have to remove myself from the group, in a major way...they showed me what I would have to do. I did it and then I left town, to the designated pick up spot. I didn’t get to see what all went down until later. You see, those people, Max’s people...they taped everything we did. We never knew it, but they taped every single thing for the history books they said. From before Liz was even shot, they taped us all. Anyway once I got up there, they gave me the tapes and I watched what happened after I left. It was really hard on me. The group was in such turmoil. But you already know that don’t you?

So anyway...where was I? Oh yes, I was telling you about my destiny. Well, once I got caught up to speed on what was going on down there, I got to work on what I was supposed to be doing up there. I was part of a secret operation up there. We’d infiltrate the rebel camps and then we’d hack into their computers and get their information. Along with that I was also supposed to strategize our attacks, and I was in control of everything computerized.

It was so weird to be up there; it was just the same as earth but so different all at the same time. Up there, with Max’s people...I was a god. Like they had been waiting for their king’s return, they had been waiting for me to come. I was in alien mythology just like Liz, Maria and Kyle were. I was treated like a king, and I guess you could say I was kind of acting in the king’s place until it was time for him to come. Now for a while he thought that he was coming with Tess, and their baby business, but that was all a sham.

So here I was up on this other planet, I had guards who were protecting me because I was this really important guy. No, I wouldn’t change how things went down at all. Liz feels guilty, she thinks she killed me because she changed the future. But she didn’t, she made me realize just how alive I am. I feel guilty for having to deceive her and make her feel like she killed me, but when I see her again, I know she’ll understand. She’ll understand because she knows better then anyone that sometimes you just have to keep secrets. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing and keep everyone safe but keep it to yourself. Like for example the whole Future Max thing. She told Maria, but she had to let that secret slip, if she didn’t it would’ve killed her. I can’t lie, it hurt that she didn’t tell me, but I can see why she didn’t. I wouldn’t have told him, but the fewer people that knew the better.

The secret that I’m keeping, that all this time I’ve been alive, and I faked my own death and put everyone through such grief...well, that’s a secret I don’t mind keeping to myself. Yes, I did it for the benefit of everyone else, it would just be easier if they thought I was dead, I know things that they don’t need to know yet, I know things that they can’t know yet. I’ve seen things they’re not ready to see I’ve done things that they aren’t ready to do. I’m preparing myself, so that later I can help prepare them. I’ve learned all the alien customs, I’ve learned their language, and I know more about Max’s race then he does. I know more than Nesado could have ever hoped to know.

Now I know I just said that they weren’t ready to know certain things, but the time has come, you see...for me to come out and reveal myself to them. The time has come that they know the truth about my “death”. I’m back on earth, and I’ve come to tell them some things. You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all of this, aren’t you? Well, honestly it’s because I’m nervous. You see I don’t know how they’re going to react. Liz will be relieved and overjoyed as will everyone else. But Isabel, Maria and my parents...now those are the only people I’m worried about, they might try to physically hurt me for putting them through so much pain. You know a physical blow for every emotional blow. But I better get going now. They’re all going to be at the Crashdown tonight. It’s the 3-year anniversary of my “death”. They all like to close down the restaurant this night and then remember me.
***
Alex got up from his seat on the bench and patted the top of the dog’s head. He had spilled his story to some mangy mutt that had no owner and was wandering around the park. Breathing a sigh of relief he thought it felt good to finally unload all of that, even if it was just on a dog. He stepped up the pace a little and walked from the park to the Crashdown. He stood there for a little while just watching them sit around the table and eat. They all looked different from the last time he saw them in person. Seeing them all together in person was so much better then watching them as he had been doing for so long. Taking a deep breath he reached for the door to pull it open before he stepped into the restaurant.


Edited by - sugarplum17 on 09/09/2001 03:09:47
posted on 8-Sep-2001 3:06:58 AM
--part 2--

So I walked into the Crashdown. The bell above the door announced my presence before I could. Now everything seemed to go in slow motion. My parents were the first ones I saw. My mom dropped her cup to bring her hand to her mouth like she was trying to hold back the gasp. She didn’t even notice that her drink was spilling onto her lap. My dad just stood there with a shocked expression on his face. When he saw me he stood up quickly, knocking his chair over in the process.

I shifted my gaze from my parents to Isabel. She looked amazing, she was so much more beautiful than she had been on the Jello TV screen that I had been watching her on for all those years. The people up there really had a thing for Jello. She dropped her fork, a lot of people did actually. Anyway she dropped her fork like I said and there were tears in here eyes. She kept blinking, it was either to blink back the tears or to see if I was real or not. Like I would disappear if she blinked.

I was aware that there were other people in the room, but I kept my gaze on her and her alone, even though I heard gasps and someone, probably my mom, chocking back a sob.
“Tess?” Maria’s voice had a waver in it.
“Yeah?” The same waver that was in Maria’s voice was in Tess’s too, shock also registered in her voice.
“Are you mind warping us?”
“Maria, no! I wouldn’t do that again, it happened two years ago...and I only wanted to make everyone happy...”

I laughed then, I had seen the whole thing play out on Jello TV. Tess had mind warped them on the first anniversary of my “death”, the scene was very much like this one. Everyone had been so pissed off at her for nearly two months. I have to agree that what she did was wrong, but she had nothing but the best of intentions.
“Well, the door was locked Tess. It’s not like he could use his non-existant powers to open the door. Not to mention the small pertinent fact that he’s dead.”
“Maria, I learned my lesson the first time ok? I’m not doing it.”
“Maybe he’s a ghost.” Max was finally able to find his voice. I remembered the tape of the Christmas I had been gone under the pretense of being in Sweden, when I had really been decoding the book. Max had the chance to save someone and instead he let them die...only to be haunted by the ghost of the man that he could’ve saved but didn’t. I knew exactly what he was thinking.
“Don’t do that to yourself Max, there was nothing you could do to save me.” I said reassuringly, all the while never taking my eyes off of Isabel.
“So...you’re a ghost?” Liz asked hopefully.
“No Lizzie, I’m the real deal. I’m not a mind warp, I’m not a ghost, I’m not a shape-shifter, I’m Alex Whitman...in the flesh.”
“How?” That was all Isabel could force out of her mouth. There was so much that she wanted to say running through her head, but she couldn’t find the words to make all of her thoughts a coherent sentence.
“I’ll explain later ok? It’s kind of been a long trip.”
“Where were you?” She asked me.
“I’ll explain later, Iz.”
“All the parents know, you can explain now, it’s ok.”
“Isabel...”
“Listen, I don’t know who the hell you think you are but this isn’t funny. Get the hell out of here.” She knew it was me, in her heart she knew that I was the real deal, but her brain, it just wouldn’t agree with her heart.
“Isab-” Liz started to say something, but whatever it was going to be, she was cut off by Isabel standing up in a motion that sent her chair flying backwards and skidding half way across the room.
“No! I don’t want to hear it Liz. The Alex we all knew, he’d never make us wait for answers. He’d never make me wait.”
“Well, the Alex you knew, isn’t the same Alex standing before you. I’ve changed Isabel. You know it’s me, don’t be like that. I promise you’ll get your answers but for right now I’d just like to spend a little time with my parents ok? I haven’t seen them in so long. I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m home.”

My mom broke down and started to weep, I finally found the strength to tear my gaze away from Isabel and settle it on my mother, so that I could see her as I walked over to where she stood to pull her into a hug. With my mom safely tucked under my left arm, I put my right arm around my dad’s shoulders and started to lead them out of the restaurant, to go home. Leaving everyone else just sitting there, with slack jawed expressions on their faces and not knowing what to say.
***
“I must really be losing it if I keep talking to you.” Alex said as he stroked the dog’s head. He named it Oscar, the mangy mutt had followed him to the Crashdown...waited around for him, and then followed him home. He now laid next to Alex on his bed as the top of his head was being stroked by his new master.
“Night Oscar.” Alex said as he concentrated on turning out the light still petting his new dog on his bed.




posted on 8-Sep-2001 3:07:36 AM
--part 3--

The next morning Alex got up from his bed and went out to talk with his parents. For the duration of the conversation Alex’s mother cried and his father sat silently listening to what it was that his son had to say. He couldn’t believe that Alex was alive. Last night he had thought it to be a miracle, now he knew different. He spent half the day telling his parents about all the things that he’s done and filling them in on his life. They tried to fill him in on theirs but everything they told him, he seemed to already know.

When the talk with his parents was finally over he called up the Mr. and Mrs. Parker, Jim and Amy, and Mr. and Mrs. Evans so that they could get a hold of their children and inform them that Alex would be holding a meeting at his house to discuss things with everyone. They all came without reluctance, except for Isabel. She came reluctantly still unwilling to believe that he was really Alex. She thought maybe he was a shape-shifter, even though he said that he wasn’t. Like he said before, she knew in her heart that he was really who he said he was, but without answers, without explanation...her brain wouldn’t cooperate with her heart. Yes, it was so unlike Isabel to need answers instead of going on blind faith. It was something that everyone would expect from Liz, but it just wasn’t that way anymore.

Once they were all there and seated Alex began his story, telling them first how Max’s followers came to him in his dreams during the summer that they all found out about destiny. He told them next how he didn’t believe it but a trip to the psychic convinced him that it was true, he told them about his double life that he had been leading and how they all thought that he went to Sweden but that he was really at some college translating the book, then he told them about how he got called to go to the planet and he told them everything he was in charge of up there, and how they treated him like a celebrity/god while he was up there. He told them how much he missed all of them, but how he got to watch them on Jell-O TV every day. When he was finally done, they all just sat there in shock. He apologized profusely for making them all believe that he was dead all this time but he explained that it just had to be that way. That it was the easiest way, they couldn’t know where he was going or what he was doing and if he just up and left one day then they’d look for him.

“But how? I mean we buried you! We saw you in the casket, and we saw the casket being lowered into the ground!” Isabel yelled.
“It was a husk. Go dig it up if you don’t believe me. It’s probably still there, and if it’s not there’s a pile of dust in its place.”
“Ok answer me this one. If you’re really Alex, fully human Alex Whitman and you’re not some shape-shifter or a ghost...how did you get into the Crashdown last night? Huh? It was locked like Maria said.”
“Isabel, I’ve lived on another planet for three years...I’m bound to pick up a few things. I’m fully human but your powers are human too. Remember? You guys just use parts of your brain that humans don’t usually use. I’ve learned to use my entire brain...every single part.”
“So you have powers?” Liz asked.
“Yes. I can do everything that Isabel, Michael, Tess and Max can do...if not more...”
“So that means that if you taught us, Liz, Kyle, me and all our parents can have powers too and still be fully human?” Maria asked. His only answer was the nod of his head in the positive.
“And I fully intend on teaching all of you. You need to learn how to protect yourselves.” He said looking from his parents, to the parents of his friends and then finally to the rest of his human friends.

After they had talked some more, Jeff had suggested that they all go to the Crashdown and have a welcome home dinner for Alex. Oscar stood with his front paws on the windowpane and watched as they all piled into their cars and pulled out of the driveway. Once they were out of sight he padded into Mr. and Mrs. Whitman’s room and kicked the door shut with his hind leg. From underneath the door there was a yellow light that emerged, and a few minutes later a man walked out of the room wearing Mr. Whitman’s clothes. He walked out of the house and a few blocks away to a pay phone. Waiting a few minutes for it to ring.
“Hello?” Asked the female voice on the other end.
“Yeah it’s me. I’ve made contact with him.”
“So the plan is working?”
“Yes, shape shifting into a dog allows him to be completely inhibited; he tells me things and talks to me as if I were a real person. I can watch him without it attracting attention. People will just think I’m a loyal dog following his master everywhere. He calls me Oscar.”
“Well, good work Oscar. When the mission is complete and you come back home, we’ll have a big juicy bone waiting for you.”
“Funny, you’re a real comedian.”
“Call me next week to report. Even if nothing special or note-worthy happens, I want to know what’s going on.”
“Yes ma’am.”
After he placed the phone call he walked to the Crashdown and had a little dinner, before returning to the Whitman home, replacing the clothes into the closet and shape-shifting back into a dog. This plan was absolutely perfect...fool proof. His cover would never be blown.



posted on 8-Sep-2001 3:08:10 AM
--part 4--

Later that night Alex went for a walk, he was enjoying spending time with his parents, but as much as he had missed everyone, he found that he missed this town just as much. An hour after leaving his house, he found himself sitting on a bench in the park, looking up at the sky. He was quickly returning to his old habits, except this old habit, it just didn’t seem right. Without Isabel sitting beside him, stargazing just didn’t feel the same anymore. He took one last look at the sky before letting out a heavy sigh and pushing himself up from the bench.

He walked along the streets, lost in his own thoughts. He didn’t have a clue where he was going, his feet seemed to have minds of their own, taking him where ever. Truth be told, where ever his feet wanted to take him, was fine with Alex. He was so busy just thinking he didn’t even notice when his feet had stopped at their destination. Once he was stopped he took a moment to look around at his surroundings, so that he could figure out where he was. That’s when he saw her. She was sitting on the ground, her hair pulled into a messy pony tail, wearing no make up, it looked like she was in her pajamas, and she was absolutely beautiful.

He watched from a distance as she snapped her fingers and the candles that were around her lit, and instantly he knew what she was doing. He couldn’t believe that she was still doing this, even though he was back. He crept up behind her, slowly reaching out his hand and placing it on her shoulder. She jumped a little and looked back at him.
“Oh god Alex! You scared me.” She breathed out, putting her hand up to her chest and closing her eyes. He looked at her with a small smile playing on his lips before he sat down next to her.
“Where were you last night?” She asked him, looking down at his head stone.
“I was at home. I had a long trip so I was really tired.” He answered. He waited for her reply but she didn’t give one.
“Isabel, why are you doing this? You don’t need to come to my grave anymore; I’m not dead.”

“But...I saw your ghost, in my dreams...right here on this very spot. I talked to your ghost; I danced with your ghost. For three years I’ve done this every night Alex, and every night I talked with you, danced with you, gazed at the stars with you. But you weren’t ever real.” She said, tears beginning to form in her eyes.
“I’m real now. I shouldn’t have done it, I know. I should’ve let you move on with your life, but I had to see you somehow, even if it was just in a dream or an astral projection.” Alex said with guilt dripping from his voice. He received a confused look from Isabel, and knew that he had to explain himself.

“I was in your dreams every night, because every night I dream walked you. I was here every night because I projected myself here. That’s why you could touch me, but nobody else could ever see me.”

“When I went out on dates, not that I hardly ever did...but on the rare occasion, you projected yourself there didn’t you?” Her question received a guilty nod and before he knew it, she was bringing back her arm and slamming her fist into his chin. He did nothing, he didn’t even say ouch; he felt that he deserved it.
“You made me feel like I was betraying you by showing up! You made me feel guilty and like I was doing something wrong! You manipulative, deceiving, lying bastard!” She screamed as she stood up and began collecting her things. Before he knew what he was doing, his hand shot out and grabbed her wrist, she stopped her movements completely and looked at him. Upon seeing the pleading look on his face and his pleading eyes, she dropped her things and sat down again, but at the same time keeping her distance from him.
“I know that I did a bad thing with projecting myself here and invading your dreams like that. I know I should’ve let you move on, and get over me...there isn’t any excuse for that.”
“I thought I knew you...but I guess I was wrong. I thought there would never be any secrets between us Alex. I told you my most guarded secret; I let you in...and what do I get in return? Manipulated, deceived, and heartbroken.” She said coldly as a single tear slowly slid down her cheek.
“Don’t you think I wanted to tell you? Because I did Isabel. I wanted to tell you so many times, but I couldn’t.”
“Oh that’s bullshit, if you really wanted to tell me, then you would’ve. With you I never had to pretend, I never had to lie about myself...I’m sorry you didn’t feel that you could be honest and open with me.”

“Iz...I never wanted to keep it secret from you. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for you. I couldn’t tell you, even though I wanted to, because they said not to.”
“Oh and if they told you to jump off a bridge would you?” She asked sarcastically.
He sighed looking up at the sky, before returning his gaze to her. It was soft, full of love, exhaustion, and sadness.
“What is it gonna take Isabel? I said I was sorry. I gave you up, I gave up my life for you, and I went to your home planet to help free your people. Not for them, not for me, all for you.” He said pushing himself off the ground.

“And what did you expect me to do? Run into your arms calling you my hero?” She asked looking up at him.
“I guess a small part of me did.”
“Well, I’m not. It really hurt me, hearing that you had been lying to me, that you weren’t the man I thought you were...it hurt, it hurts. You faked your death; you made me believe that you died in a horrible accident, or even worse, that it was murder. In all the times you projected yourself here, you never told me.”
“You wouldn’t have believed me, you said it yourself remember? I was a figment of your imagination. If I had told you, you would’ve thought that you were trying to make yourself feel better.” He said as he sank back down to the ground and laid his hand on top of hers. With his free hand he lifted her chin so that he could look into her eyes.
“Can’t we get past this Isabel?”
She looked down at their hands, then up to the sky, and all around the cemetery before her eyes finally looked into his.
“I want to...but right now...I can’t. I need time.” She said as she removed her hand from his and stood to collect her things.

When I wrote this fic I had no idea where I wanted to take it and what was going to happen, and I still don't. So I'm sorry to the people who enjoyed it and were enjoying it before I stopped writing it but I'm not continuing this one. Sorry.




Edited by - sugarplum17 on 09/09/2001 03:12:23