|posted on 30-Aug-2001 8:21:14 PM|
|Title: New Developments|
Category: M/L mostly, CC
Disclaimer: UPN, Jason Katims, and Melinda Metz are the owners of Roswell. I'm not.
Summary: Well, something’s happening to Liz, there's something left behind by FMax, and all this other stuff. Takes place after EOTW, but before MTD and MITC.
Author's Note: Once again, big gap between parts. I am SO sorry.
Liz walked upstairs from the Crashdown feeling like she could hardly stand on her feet. She had been feeling sick lately, and, even though it was only 8:30, Maria had told her to go up to bed. Feeling to beat to protest, Liz had obliged. She stumbled into the bathroom, still in her uniform. She quickly changed into her pajamas, and glanced at her face in the mirror.
‘Oh, man, I look awful!’ she thought to herself. ‘I definitely need some sleep.’
She walked out of the bathroom and climbed into bed, too tired even to perform her nightly ritual of writing in her journal. She turned off the light and drifted off into a fitful sleep.
She never noticed the simple envelope addressed with one word, ‘Liz’, that had been lying on the table in the bathroom, nor the long, gray hair that lay across it.
Liz groaned and looked at the clock. 1 AM. Ugh. Her stomach was killing her. She felt a wave of nausea come over her and she stumbled to the bathroom.
She must have fallen asleep again, because the next thing she knew, her mother was knocking on her bedroom door.
"Lizzy? Are you up? Liz?"
Nancy Parker didn't know what was wrong. Her daughter had been extremely distant lately, not to mention depressed. She tried the knob and found it wasn't locked. "I'm coming in!"
When she opened the door and saw her daughter's bed empty, a million thoughts ran through her head. 'What if she's run off with that Evans' boy again?'
When she heard vomiting noises coming from the bathroom, however, she knew it wasn't the case. She hurried into the bathroom. Liz was lying on the ground. When she saw her mother there, she tried to sit up, but sank down again.
"Just stay there, Liz. You're not going to school today."
"I'm fine, Mom. I'll go." She once again tried to sit up, but failed.
"No, you're not going. Maria can bring over your notes."
"But what about science?" Liz asked weakly.
"Oh, that's right, Maria's not in your science class."
"Neither is Alex."
"Right. Well, I guess you get them from either Max or Tess." Nancy watched the emotions flicker over Liz's face when she mentioned the two names.
"I'll get them from Tess." Liz said quickly.
'Hmm, that's interesting. She must of had a fight with Max, or she would have picked him in a heartbeat.' Nancy thought to herself, but said aloud, "Okay, I'll tell Maria when she comes to pick you up."
Maria turned around and rolled her eyes. She knew what was coming. Max caught up to her and asked, "Where's Liz?" He still felt betrayed and everything, but he knew he still cared for Liz, more than he wanted to admit.
"Hello to you, too, Max." Maria said, rolling her eyes again. 'Why haven't those two gotten back together yet?'
"Oh, hi, but where's Liz? She wasn't in science." Max said, worried.
"Well, I went to pick her up this morning, and her mother said she was sick. I'm getting her notes for her."
"Oh," Max said dejectedly. "What about science?"
"She's getting those." Maria said evasively. She had already spoken to Tess about getting those for Liz. Tess had said it was okay. Maria just didn't want Max to know Liz was getting the notes from Tess instead of him.
"From who? I'm not getting them for her, and the only other person who's in our group in our science class is..." he trailed off.
"Tess." Maria confirmed.
'Wow, she must really be trying to avoid me if she's getting the notes from Tess.' Max thought. "Oh, well, see ya Maria."
"See ya." She watched Max retreat. 'He and Liz really need to get back together. It's for their own good. I mean, what if Liz's sickness has something to do with the Czechs?' The bell rang. 'Great. Now I'm late for English lit.'
At Liz's house:
Liz sat on the floor of the bathroom and leaned her head against the wall. The nausea had passed, but she still felt dizzy and lightheaded. Something caught her attention from out of the corner of her eye. She leaned over and took the envelope. She gasped when she saw the long, gray hair.
'It's from Max! Well, not Max, but Max!'
She tore open the envelope and read its contents.
I'm writing this while I watch you get ready for your charade with Kyle. You're so beautiful. Anyway, I'll leave this in the bathroom. Hopefully, you find it after I disappear.
There is something I haven't told you about that night of the concert, and about Tess leaving. That night, when we made love, well, it wasn't the only thing we made. We made a baby.
Why didn't I tell you about this? Because I couldn't. I couldn't see your face when I told you what happened.
I mentioned that things got worse with Tess. Well, they got a lot worse than I implied. Somehow, she found out about us sleeping together, and she got extremely possessive of me. She used her mind control more than once, on both of us. I got so mad at her, we were barely speaking. You tried to be friendly with her, but she didn't want anything to do with you. And when I accidentally let the pregnancy thing slip--I was so mad at her. She threatened you when you two were alone, saying that if you were gone that she would have full claim on me. I came around the corner when she was saying that, and accidentally said something about not talking to the mother of my child like that. She turned completely red and said she'd get you if it was the last thing she did.
And she did. One night, she went to your house, put her hand over your stomach, and killed our child. She left you alive though, wanting you to suffer with the pain. She left a note saying that the only person who would have the heir to the throne would be her. We also found out that she had made it impossible for you to have kids.
That was the night she left. It was a good thing, too, because I'm pretty sure that I would have killed her if she had stayed around. I wouldn't have been the only one, too. Everyone in our group wanted to get her, especially Alex and Maria. By the way, never upset Maria, she has a mean right hook.
I realize that the death of our child was mostly my fault. I wasn't exactly nice to her before Gomez, and afterwards, I all but shut her out. You, like I said, tried to play mediator, but to no avail. I've regretted being mean to her every day of my life. She just went crazy.
About the pregnancy. From what we could tell, the child was conceived on the night of Gomez, not in the bus. You guessed you were pregnant a few weeks after Gomez. You had been feeling dizzy and a bit nauseous for a little while after it. Finally, you got Maria to get you a test. It turned out to be positive. And no, Tess did not know we slept together on the bus that night. Besides, I think she felt more betrayed that I slept with you after we found about destiny.
The pregnancy seemed to progress normally. It was a good thing we hadn't told our parents yet, it would have been kind of hard to tell them you were pregnant, and then have all traces of the baby gone, and you unable to have kids.
Isabel and Alex, however, did end up having a kid, a daughter actually. They named her Rebecca. The Skins, however, took Rebecca and had her killed. With you unable to have kids, Rebecca was the heir to the throne, and they couldn't have that.
I am so sorry that I had to convey all this to you on paper, but I can't bear to tell you face to face. And I thought that you needed to know. I'm sorry. I love you.
All my love,
Max (the one from 2014)
Liz looked down at the letter, the ink smudged with tears. 'My god!' Then another dizzy spell hit her, and she lay on the bathroom floor, crying silently.
Liz went to school the next day. The nausea had seemed to pass, and although she was still a bit dizzy, she still wanted to go to school. Tess had told her that there was a major test in biology the next day, and that there was going to be a review. The many Czech problems had caused her to be behind on her schoolwork, and she really needed the review.
She thought back to the conversation she had had with Tess. The blond had come into the Crashdown at 5:30, when Maria had told her to, with notes that were already xeroxed. Tess had comparatively neat handwriting, and it was easy for Liz to read the notes from the day. Tess had been actually pleasant to her, and had offered to help Liz with understanding anything. Liz had been surprised by the show of friendliness. Could Tess have really killed her and Max’s kid in the other timeline?
When Liz thought about it, she answered that, yes, Tess could have. The Tess, that is, who had been hurt and angry and probably not thinking. Liz didn’t know if the Tess that had been semi-accepted into their group (and she stressed the semi) by Max could have. Was she actually changing for the better? Still, Liz was wary around her. Courteous, yes, but wary. After learning what Tess had done to her, she didn’t think that the blond alien was someone to mess with.
When Maria had picked her up, Liz had been bombarded with questions. “What is wrong with you? Are you okay? Why did you stay home? You never stay home. Did you get the work? How was Miss Destiny when she gave you the science stuff? Are you avoiding Max or something? Did you know there’s a rumor going around school that you slept with Kyle Valenti? Max asked about you. He seemed worried.”
“Really?” Liz asked a smile crossing her face. Then the smile disappeared. ‘No. That’s not supposed to happen.’ Then her brain caught up with the rest of what Maria had said. “Wait. Back up a sec. What about me and Kyle?”
Maria grinned. “It’s stupid isn’t it?” She parked the Jetta in the school’s parking lot. “I mean, I know you guys dated last year, but seriously, anyone can see that you’re completely in love with Max, I mean Tess even sees it and you wouldn’t do such a thing.”
Liz pushed the door open. “Oh my god. Who could have told?” she said softly to herself, but Maria heard her.
“What?!?” But Liz was already running to the school.
Liz avoided Maria the rest of the day. She did see Kyle, though. She was incredibly pissed. HE must have been the one who had started the rumor. Granted, he might of thought he was helping her, but seriously.
When she bumped into Kyle, she quickly pulled him into the janitor’s closet. “WHAT IS WITH THE RUMOR GOING AROUND SCHOOL?!?” she screamed at him.
“What rumor?” he asked obliviously. She glared at him, and he understood. “Oh. THAT rumor.”
“YES, THAT RUMOR! WHY DID YOU START IT?” Liz yelled.
“Start it? I didn’t start it. Why did you think I was the one who started it?” Kyle asked, confused.
“Because I didn’t!” she answered.
“Well, why does that automatically make me the one who started it? It could have been Evans.”
As soon as Kyle said this, he regretted it. Liz’s eyes flashed and she pushed Kyle against the wall. “You want to know why I know that Max didn’t do this? Because I know him. I LOVE him. I’ve seen his SOUL! And I know, without a doubt, that no matter how mad he was at me, he wouldn’t do that to me! Okay? THAT’S what I know.” She took a step back. “And I didn’t start it. So that leaves YOU.”
Kyle held his hands in front of him. “Okay, okay. But I didn’t start the rumor. I don’t know who did. And who knows? It could have nothing to do with…that night and just be some random person stirring up trouble.”
Liz nodded, calming down a bit. “Okay. Well, I got to go. Nice talking to ya.” She opened the door and walked out, right into Max. He looked up, surprised.
“Liz.” He saw where she had come from and who had also been in there and his eyes narrowed. “Kyle.” He nodded to the both of them. Then he said, after a short period of silence, “I gotta go. Got a test next period.” He walked off.
Liz watched him go, with tears in her eyes. She said softly, “He has lunch next period.” Then she went to the bathroom to cry.
Liz composed herself. She had already missed half her lunch period, but she had brought her lunch, so she had some chips. She was usually a light eater, and with her stomach, she didn’t want to make things worse. Plus, she wasn’t that hungry.
She was getting ready to go to lunch when she got dizzy again. She held on to the sink for support. It didn’t help much. She felt herself slipping into blackness. She didn’t even feel herself hit the floor.
‘Where is Liz?’ Maria thought to herself. They had lunch together and always ate at the same table. She wasn’t sitting with the pod squad; their table had a view of their table. Maria had made sure of that when she picked it. She made Alex sit on the other side, with his back to the others’ table, so she and Liz wouldn’t look like complete idiots. He had been upset at first, until she and Liz had pointed out that he could pretend he was looking at the clock and checking the time. He had cheered up a bit after that.
Back to Liz. She had been ignoring Maria all day, and now she was skipping lunch? This wasn’t like her. Alex had just gotten off the lunch line and Maria waved him over.
When he got there he said, smiling, “You know, Maria, I sit here everyday. You don’t have to wave me over here.”
Maria waved that comment away. “Do you know where Liz is?”
Alex shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe the bathroom.”
Maria looked at him. “For half the period?” she asked with disbelief.
“Well, maybe she’s not feeling well. Or she’s avoiding us. You could always check.”
Maria snapped her fingers. “That’s it!”
Alex raised his eyebrows. “You haven’t checked yet?”
Maria ignored him. “I’ll get a bathroom pass, fix my makeup a bit, then check around the school.” She jumped up to talk to one of the lunch monitors.
After successfully getting a pass from one of the monitors, Maria traveled to the closest girls’ room. ‘I wonder if I should put my hair up. Or maybe I’ll just leave it down.’
When she got into the room, however, all thoughts of her hair flew away. “Liz!” she cried. She was shocked to find her best friend lying on the floor of the bathroom, with blood pouring steadily out of her head. ‘I knew the tile floors weren’t good!’
Several things were running through her head at the moment, but the most prominent was that she needed to get one of the Czechoslovakians, but which? It obviously had to be a girl, and Maria didn’t want to entrust Liz’s life with Tess, so it would be Isabel.
Maria ran to the cafeteria faster than she knew she could. She ran up to the Czech table and said breathlessly to Isabel, “I need your help.” When out of earshot of the rest of the pod squad, she said, “Go to the nearest girls’ room quickly, I have to get Alex. I’ll meet you there in a sec.”
Maria ran to her lunch table, where Alex was sitting, after checking what time it was for a very long while. “Alex! We need your help!” she whispered urgently. “Come on!”
They started to walk out of the room, but a monitor stopped them. “Where are you two going?”
“Bathroom.” Maria showed the monitor her pass.
“Both of you?” the monitor said, with one eyebrow raised.
‘Shit! I don’t have time for this!’ Maria thought. All of a sudden, however, the monitor looked away from them and start arguing with the air.
“Quick!” Maria heard Max say from behind them. “Tess is mind-warping her!”
That was all Maria needed to hear. She quickly took off, with Alex, Max, Michael, and Tess at her heels.
They reached the bathroom in record time. Maria went in and found Isabel concentrating on connecting with Liz.
A few minutes earlier:
Isabel hurried to the bathroom. There was something in Maria’s voice that made her seem like this was a very urgent matter. There was also something else, some presence, in peril, that was pulling her to the bathroom. She couldn’t explain it, but she felt connected to the presence, but she didn’t recognize it.
Isabel gasped when she saw what was on the bathroom floor. She ran over to Liz and pulled her head up, she got rid of all the blood that was in her hair and could now see a jagged cut on the back of her head. A few minutes later, however, blood covered the cut, making it no longer visible. Isabel put her hand on the cut, and tried desperately to connect with Liz and heal the cut. She had never really healed before, at least nothing this serious, and prayed that it would work.
She heard Tess and Maria enter the room. She lifted her head up and gasped, “I can’t do it.” Tess, without a second thought, knelt down on the other side of Liz. She put her hand over Isabel’s. “Let me help.”
Together, with some difficulty, Tess and Isabel formed a connection with Liz. They focused on her head, and healed the gash. When they disconnected, though, Liz was still unconscious. They cleaned the floor stood up
The three girls, supporting Liz’s body, went out. As soon as they got through the door, Max asked, “What happened?”
Maria was the one who answered. “Presumably she got dizzy and fainted. She hit her head on the floor and was bleeding. Tess and Isabel healed her.”
“But then why is she still unconscious?” Alex asked, worried for his friend.
“We can’t heal comas and unconsciousness. I’m surprised Tess and Isabel could even connect with her, if she couldn’t look at them. Maybe it was because it was the both of them,” Max answered.
“Oh,” Alex said.
Tess, Isabel, and Maria were having some trouble holding Liz up. “Uh, guys, a little help here?”
Max quickly picked her up and held her. He turned to Maria. “I’m guessing you’re taking her home?” At her nod, he started off to the parking lot.
Max placed Liz in the Jetta, feeling empty without her in his arms. Maria hopped in the driver’s seat and turned the key. Nothing happened.
She tried again, but the car kept stalling. “Great!” she exclaimed. “Just great!”
“Um, I can take her,” Max said eagerly. Sure, she had betrayed him, but was Kyle here? Was he worried? And something is his heart told him she had not done anything.
“Either that or I can fix the car,” he offered.
Maria shook her head adamantly. “Nuh-uh. There is no way I’m letting you fix my car. The last time one of you tried to fix it, the engine ended up in flames. You can take her home. But I am coming with you.”
Max sighed. “Okay.”
In the end, it ended up that Maria and Alex went with Max and Liz in the jeep. Liz still hadn’t woken up. Max drove, Alex was in the passenger seat, and Maria sat in the back with Liz’s head on her lap.
Liz’s eyelids fluttered. What was she doing lying down? The last thing she remembered was that she had been in the bathroom and felt dizzy. Now she was lying on someone’s lap. She slowly tried to sit up.
“Liz, you’re awake!” Maria shouted as Alex said, “We’re here.”
“Ow! Geez, Maria, could you talk a little lower? You’re hurting my ears,” Liz said.
She sat up, still feeling semi-woozy. She jumped out of the jeep. She landed on her feet, but would have crumpled to the ground had Max not held her up. She moved his arm off. “I can walk myself, ya know.” She took a step and swayed so much that she had to grab the closest thing to her to make sure she didn’t fall—Max’s arm.
“Sure.” Max said. She took another shaky step, and Max stopped her. “That’s it.” He picked her up. “You can’t walk. I’m carrying you. No arguments.” Liz pouted, but was secretly glad that he still cared.
Max carried Liz into the Crashdown, with Maria and Alex behind him. He walked to the Parkers’ living quarters and saw Mr. Parker. Max walked up to him. “Mr. Parker?”
“Yes? Oh—Max! What are you doing here? Liz?”
Maria and Alex came up to the group. “Hey Mr. P. Liz must have been feeling dizzy or nauseous or something because she fainted in the girls’ bathroom. We were bringing her home but my car wouldn’t work, so Max offered the jeep. She woke up when we got here, but she still wasn’t very steady on her feet. So we brought her in.” Maria summed up.
“Okay.” Mr. Parker blinked.
“Where should I put her?” Max asked.
“You can put me in my bed. I AM here, you know.” Liz said.
“Yes, ma’am.” Max said and carried her upstairs. He blanched at the bed, the vision of Kyle and Liz flashing across his mind. He placed her down gently, then went downstairs to join Maria and Alex.
“Thank you, guys.” Mr. Parker was saying. When he saw Max he added, “You too, Max. Thanks. I’ll call the school and tell them about this, so you won’t get in trouble.” They all nodded, and walked into the restaurant.
As they were leaving, a customer caught Max’s arm. “Where are you going? Why aren’t you going to stay with your wife?” he asked.
Max looked at him strangely. “Huh?”
“Your wife. That pretty little lady that you were just carrying over the threshold. Why aren’t you up with her?” the man said, winking.
Alex and Maria had caught the end of the conversation and were laughing hysterically. Max turned red and said, “No. She’s just my friend. She fainted and I was carrying her in.”
“Oh.” the man said. “Well it was nice meeting you.”
“You, too,” Max said nodding, looking at the man strangely. “Bye.”
The three teenagers walked out the door, Maria and Alex still laughing hysterically. “It’s not funny!” Max said, turning red again.
“Yes it is!” they chimed together.
At 7:00 PM:
Liz woke with a start. She had been sleeping straight since Max had brought her up, with a small break for eating. Her mind was reeling. There was something she needed to remember. It was something Maria had said. What was it. ‘feeling dizzy or nauseous or something, because she fainted in the girls’ bathroom…’ That was it. She’d heard something like that before.
Liz shot up in bed. ‘OH. MY. GOD.’ She rushed over to where she was hiding the letter from Future Max. She scanned it and found the paragraph she was looking for. She read it and her eyes widened. ‘Oh shit.’
Liz went to the phone by her bed. She dialed Maria’s number with trembling fingers. Maria picked up on the second ring. “Hello?”
“Maria? It’s Liz. I need a favor.”
“Liz? Hi. How are you?”
“I’m fine. I think. But we might have a problem. That’s why I need a favor. Where’s your mother at?”
“Mom? I think she’s going on a date with ‘Jim’ in about five minutes. I can get her if you like.” Maria said.
“NO!” Liz said forcefully. “I mean, no, I don’t want you to do that.”
“Liz, are you okay?” Maria was starting to get worried. Liz was starting to act like she had in the beginning of last year, when she had first found out about aliens.
“Yes. I guess. I mean, yeah. I’m fine. I just need you to do me a favor. When your Mom leaves, I need you to wait five minutes and then…”
Maria listened to what Liz’s plan was. “What?!?” she exclaimed. “Why do you need me to do that?!?”
“Maria, calm down. Just be here in twenty minutes. Sniff some cedar oil. And while you’re at it, bring a whole vat here. I’m afraid we might need it.”
“You got that right.” Maria muttered under her breath. If Liz was right, all the cedar trees in the WORLD, ‘And universe’ she reminded herself, wouldn’t be enough to calm her down.
“See ya later, Liz.” Maria said.
“Yeah, bye Ria.”
They hung up. Maria heard someone knock on the door. ‘Yeah, the Sheriff’s here.’
After sharing some polite conversation with Maria, the Sheriff and Amy left for their date. Maria let out a semi sigh of relief. ‘Part 1 of the plan done.’
She waited for five minutes to make sure her mother wasn’t coming back for something she had forgotten, then went to her mother’s bathroom. She searched through the drawers until she found what she was looking for. Why Liz wanted it she had no idea. But Liz was her best friend, so she would help her.
She stuffed the box into her purse. Her mother probably wouldn’t miss it; why there were so many Maria didn’t know. Then she went to Liz’s.
As were Liz’s instructions, Maria climbed up the ladder onto the balcony. Liz was waiting there anxiously.
“Did you bring it?” Liz asked.
“Of course, Chica.” Maria handed the box to Liz, and they both climbed into the room through the window. Liz disappeared into the bathroom, but came out a little bit later.
“Now we wait.” Maria said.
They spent the time staring into space, both wondering what would happen if what Liz expected was true. The buzzer of the clock they had set brought them out of their thoughts.
“Do you want to check or should I?” Maria asked softly.
Liz swallowed and got up. She entered into the bathroom and then reemerged. There were tears in her eyes. She held up two fingers and choked out, “Two.”
Maria got up and went to Liz, engulfing her into a hug. “I always thought it would be me who was the first,” Maria admitted. “But now you’re…” She couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence. Saying it would make it all too much more real.
But Liz could. “I’m…pregnant,” she gasped out. Then she got hit with another dizzy spell and fainted.
Maria sighed, still holding Liz. “I guess I’m gonna have to get used to this.”
“Liz, come on, wake up.” Maria said, looking at her best friend. Liz had been out for ten minutes, and Maria had absolutely NO idea what to do. After all, it wasn’t every day that she came across a human who was pregnant by her alien boyfriend, who wasn’t really her boyfriend anymore, but who she still loved and who still loved her.
‘Oh, no, it’s a story out of the Astral Projector!’ Maria thought to herself.
(Note: The Astral Projector is a National Enquirer-like magazine from the books)
Liz stirred and slowly sat up. “Lizzy!” Maria exclaimed, running over to her.
Liz held her head. “Ow! I’ve got this major headache, and your screaming isn’t helping much.”
Maria bit her lip, thinking about something. Finally, she opened her mouth. “So why don’t you just heal it?”
“What?” Liz asked in disbelief.
“Heal it. You know, presumably, if you have a Mini-Max growing inside of you, you should have SOME power.” Maria said thoughtfully.
Liz stared at her. “Well, maybe, but I don’t know, I mean, the letter didn’t mention anything about powers or…” Liz’s hand flew to her mouth, but Maria had already caught the slip of tongue.
“What letter?” Maria asked suspiciously.
“Letter? I didn’t say anything about a letter. I said we BETTER find out about powers.” Liz said, hoping her cover-up worked.
Maria had apparently been her best friend too long, because she saw right through it. “Yeah, sure Liz. Now are you going to tell me what you were REALLY talking about?”
Liz sighed. “It’s a long story.”
“I’ve got time.”
Liz sighed again. “Okay, but it’s a very confusing story. And completely Czech-related. It’s a completely confusing Czech story.”
“Okay, then. Speak.” Maria commanded.
“Okay. Okay. You know, we’ve been saying ‘okay’ a lot in this conversation. Do you think that’s normal? Maybe we should…” Liz babbled.
“Liz, stop stalling. Tell me why you are so sure you won’t get powers, why you and Max are awkward around each other, why Max all of a sudden hates Kyle, and WHEN you got pregnant!”
Liz took a deep breath. “Okay. Last year, remember when we were being chased by the FBI and your car got, um, shot up?” Maria rolled her eyes, as if to say, “Could I forget?”
“Anyway, Max and I had to flee and we stopped in some van. That’s where we said our I love yous and where Max told me that his only destiny was me.” Liz smiled in reminiscence. “And that’s when we, sort of, went to the next level.” Liz blushed.
“And you two, two of the most level-headed people I know, did not even THINK about using protection?!” Maria said loudly.
Liz rolled her eyes. “We DID think about it. There just wasn’t any dispenser in the van!”
“And you didn’t have any on you?”
“Maria! No, I didn’t, and Isabel had given Max his clothes, so he didn’t either! And as to why we didn’t wait, it just…felt right. It felt right in a way that nothing had felt right in my life.”
“Except for the time leading to when you found that orb. I’m glad to find out that Max didn’t bite your head off, though.”
“Maria!” Liz said, laughing. “Anyway, so, after I left Max for destiny, it hurt too much, so that’s why I didn’t tell you.”
Maria nodded. She could understand that.
“I went to my aunt’s for the summer, and when I came back, Max was still trying to get me back. When I went into the fortuneteller’s that night with you, she told me that the man I loved would choose me over destiny. I went home, and started practicing my vows for my wedding. Then there was this flash of light, and standing on my balcony was Max. But he wasn’t Max.”
“Okay, confused here,” Maria said, pointing to herself. “Very confused. How can it be Max, but not Max?”
“It was Max, but he was from fourteen years in the future. He came back in the granolith. Oh, and before you ask, yes, it was Max. He knew what was going to happen right before it did. He wasn’t a shapeshifter.”
Maria looked skeptical. Liz sighed. “Seriously, he was definitely Max. And, supposedly, according to him, the world would end in fourteen years if the events over the next few days played out the way they were going to.”
“Uh, still confused over here.” Maria said.
“I’ll explain a bit. For example, the present Max had asked me to a Gomez concert. I said no. Supposedly, he came over the night of the concert to try to persuade me again to go with him. And, um,” Liz said blushing, “We never did make it to the concert.”
Maria looked at her. “Well, you certainly make up in exponentially increasing, um, sexual ways. Let’s see, first, when you guys got together, it was one kiss. Then, you broke up, and when you got back together, you made out in the kitchen. And this time, when you got back together, you guys had sex! Wow, if Michael and I were like that, well, let’s just say it’d be interesting.”
Liz laughed. “Yeah, well, we made it seem like it was our first time, I think I might have not wanted to hurt your feelings. Tess found out, and she left town. Max and I eloped at 19 to Vegas. We invited you, don’t worry. Anyway, the Skins attacked years later, and without Tess, we weren’t strong enough to defeat them. Isabel died two weeks before Max came back in the granolith. And he had just held a dying Michael in his arms.”
Maria made a strangled noise and put her hands over her mouth. Michael and dying were two words she did not want to hear together.
Liz went over and hugged Maria. “So Future Max came back and told me that I needed to get Present Max to fall out of love with me, or the world would end. I tried a lot of things, but nothing worked.”
Maria gasped. “That was what the whole ‘I don’t want to die for you’ speech he told me about was for.”
Liz nodded glumly. “But it didn’t work. Max still loved me. So when you told me about seeing Michael and Courtney together, I figured that was the way to make him hurt so much that he stopped loving me.
I set something up so that Max would come and see me in bed with Kyle. It hurt me almost as much as him. Soon afterward, Future Max disappeared, and I knew I had succeeded.”
“Okay,” Maria said, “But what about the letter?”
“You know how I’ve been feeling sick?” Liz asked. “Well, that day that I stayed home from school—wow, was that only yesterday?—I found a letter from Future Max in the bathroom. Here, you can read it if you want.”
Liz handed Maria the letter, and Maria read it quickly. “Oh my god!” she said.
Liz nodded. “I know. I’m guessing that alien/human pregnancies aren’t normal, you know, nine months, and that it just took this long to show up, in both timelines. Max didn’t mention anything about Isabel’s term, but then again, that was a half-alien growing in an alien, so it would probably be different. It could just be about eight months from now, or it could be totally different. I really don’t know.”
Maria put the letter down. “We need to tell the others,” she said firmly.
“No, we can’t. I mean, first of all, there’s Tess to worry about. I don’t know what she’ll do if she finds out I’m pregnant. Second of all, Max will think it’s Kyle’s kid, and then there’s nothing that they really have connected to it. And nothing to worry about. I have to leave Roswell. I’ll go to my aunt’s in Las Cruces.”
“What? Liz, you can’t. Besides, what’ll you tell your parents? I mean, you can’t tell them you’re pregnant if it isn’t a normal term from now, and what reason will you have to go?”
“I won’t tell them I’m pregnant. I’ll just show them this, and tell them I need to get away from here for a while. They’ll let me go. If it progresses normally, then I’ll tell them about being pregnant. If not, I won’t.” Liz showed Maria some papers. “I got accepted a while ago. If I want, I can go at the end of the semester, which is next Friday.”
“But Liz, are you ready for college? I mean, I can see WHY the guidance counselor gave you these, you probably have overfulfilled the requirements with all the extra classes, but are you sure.”
Liz nodded. “I’m sure. I’m going.” She just couldn’t figure out why she had a growing uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach.
And there was definitely a reason for it. There was a danger lurking on the horizon that none of them were expecting.
“So how are you going to tell everyone that you’re leaving?” Maria asked.
Liz bit her lip. “Well, I think I’ll have to ask my parents if I can go first, but I don’t know. I don’t want to just drop a bomb on everyone, but I have to tell them soon. I’m gonna miss you guys so much, though. But if it’ll save my daughter’s life, then I have to…”
“Hold on, hold on,” Maria said, holding up her hand. “Daughter? How do you know?”
Liz looked startled. “I don’t know. It just came out.”
“So you’re really gonna leave?” Maria asked.
“Yes. And the sooner the better. I don’t know how long it’ll be until I start to show.” Liz said.
“But what are you going to do when you have the baby? You are having the baby, aren’t you?” Maria asked.
“So are you going to put the child up for adoption, because you can’t hide a kid from everyone?”
“Well, if the pregnancy continues normally from now, in other words, if it takes eight or nine more months, then I will have the baby in July or August, probably. I’ll be in college still, and after a while I can visit back here, and, I don’t know! I’ll figure it out somehow. Maybe by then Tess’ll be okay here or she and Max will…” Liz swallowed hard. “Be together.”
“I don’t think that’s going to happen.” Maria said. “They’ll probably be friends at best. He loves YOU. I know he does. He still loves you.”
“No!” Liz exclaimed. “Max disappeared, so that means Max doesn’t love me anymore.” Liz consulted her watch. “You know, I should really talk to my parents soon, because they’re probably going to want to talk it out. I’ll talk to ya tomorrow, kay?”
Maria sighed. “Call me if your parents say yes.”
“I will.” Liz hugged Maria and watched her descend down the ladder.
Maria drove away talking to herself. “I can’t deal with this. I can’t lose my best friend. I have to talk to someone about this. Well, not all of this, but about the her moving bit. But who can I talk to who won’t tell anyone? I can’t trust Tess or Isabel not to tell Max, and frankly, I wouldn’t tell Tess even if I knew she WOULD keep her mouth shut. I can’t trust Kyle and Alex not to tell Tess or Isabel, and telling Max would defeat the entire purpose of the story not getting back to him. Who can I talk to?”
Unconsciously, she started to drive in a certain direction. She reached her destination and stopped. “Oh, no. No way! No.”
A few minutes later she sighed and went up to knock on the door.
At Liz’s house:
Liz knocked on her parents’ bedroom door. She was anxious to talk to them, but she didn’t want to walk in on…anything.
“Come in.” her dad called from inside.
She opened the door and walked in. Her father was working on the desk, and he looked up when she came in. “Yes, Liz?”
“I just wanted to…” Liz stopped when she heard a sob come from the bed. “Mom?”
Liz looked over and saw her mother holding a huge book, Famous Plays of William Shakespeare. “Oh, sorry, Lizzy, I’m just reading Romeo and Juliet. It’s so sad! I mean, they were so in love, even though they were so young, and it was like they just weren’t meant to be. Have you ever heard a such a story of two star-crossed lovers?”
Liz had to bite her lip so as not to say, “Heard? I’m living one!” Was it an omen of some sort?
“Actually, I just wanted to talk to you guys about something important.”
“Sure honey, just let me mark the page.” Nancy said. “1,947. Okay, got it.”
“What?” Liz asked, her mouth hanging open.
“I’m on page 1,947. Now, what did you want to say?”
‘What?!?’ Liz’s mind screamed. ‘She’s reading Romeo and Juliet, a story of two ‘star-crossed lovers’ and she’s on page 1,947? And I come in at this exact moment to talk about something that has everything to do with Max? Now that, that has got to be an omen.’
“Well, it’s about school, sort of. I got something from the guidance counselor which says I can graduate early, and I got accepted to a college in Las Cruces, and…I want to go.”
Liz watched her parents’ mouths fall open in shock, and they stayed that way until her father spoke. “Well, if you’re asking for permission to go, I guess my answer would be…”
“Well, I guess my answer would be that I don’t know. I need some time to think about this. I mean, sending you away for college? I thought I’d have another year before I have to deal with that,” her father said.
Liz’s face fell. She had hoped he would agree right away, but somehow she knew he wouldn’t. “Mom?” she asked hopefully.
“I don’t know, honey. College? Are you sure you’re ready for that?” her mother asked doubtfully.
Liz gave a short laugh. “Mom, I’ve been ready for college since kindergarten. Don’t you remember? All the other girls my age played house. I played leaving for college. Besides, I’ll be able to get away from Roswell. And some people in Roswell.” She added the last part under her breath, but her parents still heard her.
“We’ll think about it, Lizzy. That’s all I can promise now,” her father announced. Liz nodded glumly and walked out of the room.
Jeff looked at Nancy. “So what do you think about this?”
Nancy sighed. “I think she wants to go for reasons that she’s not telling us. I don’t really know if she’s ready for college, but if anyone is, it’s her. I don’t really want her to go, but I don’t want her to be miserable here, like she has been.”
“She’ll only be gone for the semester. Then it will be summer, and she’ll come back. Let’s see, my sister lives in Las Cruces. I’m sure she’ll be glad to take Liz in, so that she doesn’t need to live in the dorms,” Jeff reasoned.
“I just don’t know. I guess, if it’s what she really wants. But…I’m gonna miss my little girl,” Nancy’s lip trembled.
Jeff went over and hugged his wife. “Yeah, but we’ll get through it together.”
Maria paced in front of the door. No one was coming to let her in. ‘Oh, good, maybe he’s not home. Aw, who am I kidding? Where would he be? Max’s, I guess. Well, it doesn’t really matter, as long as he’s not here. I can’t believe that I almost spilled by guts out to him!’ She turned and started to walk away. From behind her, she heard the door open. ‘Darn!’
She turned back to the door, smiling tensely. There stood Michael, looking tousled and very sleepy. “Maria?” he asked. “Is there some reason you came here at the awful hour of…” he glanced back at a clock in his apartment, “7:52 PM? Don’t you know I always take my nap at that time?”
“Well, no, how was I supposed to know…wait a second, why do you take a nap at around 7ish? What’s the point of that?”
Michael rolled his eyes and sighed. “I take a nap from 7:13 to 8:42 and that gives me about an hour and a half of sleep. Then I do stuff until 12:46, and go to sleep.”
Maria looked like she was about to say something, but closed her mouth and shook her head. She just stood on the doorstep in silence.
Michael watched Maria stand in front of him without saying him. After a few minutes he said, “And you’re here because…” letting the sentence hang.
Maria looked up, chewing her bottom lip. There wasn’t really anything she could say without betraying Liz’s trust. She didn’t even know why she had come here.
Michael’s eyes narrowed as he watched Maria chew her lip, her eyes darting everywhere but him. He knew what that meant. She had a secret she wasn’t supposed to tell. And that made him want her to tell him. Even though she looked absolutely adorable to him with that expression.
“Maria?” he asked, trying to sound innocent. She looked up into his eyes. ‘D⊕mn it!’ she thought. ‘He knows that I have a secret!’
“Maria?” he asked again. “Is there something you were here to tell me about?”
Maria wanted to tear her eyes away from his, but she couldn’t. ‘Okay, I can’t do anything while he looking at me with those puppy-dog eyes.’ Maria, realizing her resolve was about to crumble, did the only thing she could. She pushed him into the apartment, kicked the door closed, and kissed him passionately.
Before slipping into her “Michael-daze” she thought, ‘This is only to preserve Liz’s secret. That’s all.’ She could distinctly hear a little voice in the back of her head say, ‘Sure it is.’
Michael was surprised by this chain of events, but he couldn’t say that he was disappointed. He’d get the secret out of her some other time. Right now, though, he was going to have some fun. He put his hand behind her head, keeping one at her waist, and they slowly found their way to the couch.
Jeff pulled back from his wife and said, “I guess I’ll tell her the news.”
Nancy shook her head. “No, we’ll tell her together.”
Slowly, the two walked out of the master bedroom. They found Liz in the kitchen, eating a chocolate bar with some kind of reddish sauce (read: Tabasco sauce) and whipped cream on it. Seeing her parents, she put the candy down. “Hey. Do you guys want some?”
Her parents looked at the candy bar and shook their heads. “No, Liz, actually, we’re here to talk about college.”
Liz’s face fell. If they had decided that quickly, then it probably wasn’t good. “Yeah?” she asked half-heartedly.
Nancy, seeing her daughter’s expression, quickly said, “If you still want to go. If you changed your mind then…”
Liz shook her head adamantly. “I’m not changing my mind, Mom.”
Jeff sighed. “Then we agreed that…you could go.”
Liz squealed and jumped into her parents’ arms. “You mean it?” When they nodded, she squealed again. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” she exclaimed.
“As long as Julie gives the okay, which I’m sure she will, you can live with her. Because you are not living in those dorms at age 17,” Jeff continued.
“I’m living with Aunt Julie?” Liz asked. “I love you guys!” Then she ran up to her room. She tried to call Maria, but there was no answer. ‘Hmm, I wonder where she is,’ she wondered absentmindedly, but then lied down on her bed, imagining her life in college. Her last thoughts, however, were of Max.
The next day at lunch:
Maria dragged Alex and Liz over to the podsters’ table and addressed the four aliens there. “Okay, you four are going to be at the Crashdown this Saturday at 12:30 sharp, no excuses accepted. No ‘I wanna sleep in’ or anything like that. You will be at that party no matter what. And no, Tess,” Maria said to the curly-haired blond, who had been opening her mouth, “I will not accept ‘I have a hair appointment’, unless maybe it’s from Michael. You may bring a present, it is a nice gesture but not required. Alex will be handling the deejay/music part of the event…”
“I will?” Alex asked, surprised.
Maria turned and glared at him. “Yes, you will. Any CDs that you want to bring will be accepted. You will NOT bring guests; only you four are invited. No one outside of the ‘ever-burgeoning I-know-an-alien club’ will be there, save Liz’s parents, but they will make themselves scarce. In case I haven’t mentioned it, attendance IS mandatory. Because if you are not there, alien or not, you will not be safe from the wrath of DeLuca. Is that all clear? Good.”
Maria started to walk away, towing Liz and Alex once again behind her. Michael’s voice, however, stopped her. “Um, what exactly is this little shindig for?”
Liz turned slowly and said quietly, “I’m leaving Roswell. Next week is going to be my last week here. I’m going to college in Las Cruces.” She turned again and started walking away. She stopped a few feet away, with her back still to the table and said loudly, “Tess, stop smirking, it really isn’t becoming.” Then she continued her retreat.
Liz sat and watched Maria bustling around the Crashdown, getting new bottles of Tabasco sauce and placing them on the bunch of tables she had pushed together for a “buffet” table. She started to get up, but was stilled by Maria’s death glare. Every time she had tried to help, Maria had steered her back into the booth and sat her down, telling her that it was HER party, and so she would be doing none of the work for it. Maria then went on to say that she was lucky that she hadn’t made it a surprise party, because then she wouldn’t have known anything about it AND not done any of the work, and not complained about it. And the only reason that it hadn’t been a surprise party was because she didn’t think it would be good for the baby.
At the end of her speech Liz always had to quiet her, because her parents were in the next room, and Alex was on the other side of the Crashdown. She didn’t want anyone to know about her daughter yet, especially if the pregnancy wasn’t normal in length.
Speaking of Alex, Liz decided to go over and “visit” with him. He was setting up the music on the other side of the Crash, in the appointed “deejay spot”. And considering that he didn’t glare at her when she approached, she figured it was a whole lot better than trying to talk to Maria. Seriously, sometimes she actually reached the obsessive level of “Isabel at Christmas.” Now THAT was a scary thought.
Liz looked appreciatively over Alex’s selection. Her eyebrows rose. “Wow, Alex, I knew you had a lot, but I didn’t know you had THIS much stuff.”
He shrugged, bending over to plug in a speaker. “Yeah, well this is my stuff, added to Maria’s, with a little of yours mixed in. She, uh, kinda went through your room.”
“Yeah, I know,” Liz said. She picked up one of the CDs. “Save Ferris? Nice choice.”
Alex looked up, his cheeks slightly red. “Um, you don’t mind if I play ‘Let Me In’, do you? It’s kind of Isabel’s and my song. I know it’s your party and all, but…”
Liz waved his concerns aside. “Yeah, sure. Whatever. Do what you want.” She looked down at a box beside the table he was using. “Um, Alex?”
“Who brought the Counting Crows?”
Alex looked over to where she was pointing. “Oh, Isabel brought that box over this morning.”
Alex stared at the box a second, then went back to what he was unloading. Liz took one look at it and started to back away. “Oh no. No no no no no no no. What are you doing with that?”
Alex stopped setting up the microphone and smiled sheepishly at her. “Um, it was Maria’s idea. I think she wants some ‘open mike time’ or something like that at the end.”
“Great,” Liz sighed and collapsed into a chair. She massaged her forehead as she felt a wave of dizziness begin.
Alex, through some best-friend connection, knew something was wrong. He was by her side in an instant, dropping to his knees next to the chair. “Hey, you okay?” he asked softly.
Liz nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine, Alex. I just got dizzy for a second.”
As far across the room as Maria was, she still heard those words loud and clear. She dropped the napkins she was holding on the table and rushed over to Liz and Alex. “Oh my gosh, Liz, you’re dizzy? Do you need anything? Should I call a doctor? No, of course I can’t call a doctor. Forget I said that. A doctor would be the stupidest person to call. Can I get you anything? Chocolate, crackers, water, Tabasco sauce? Anything?”
Alex surveyed the situation. There was a somewhat dizzy Liz, who was holding her head in her hands, a freaking out Maria, and a very confused him. “Um…am I missing anything?”
Maria’s head whipped around toward him so fast he was afraid she’d get whiplash. For a second there, she had forgotten he didn’t know about Liz’s condition. “Um, no Alex, of course not. I was just, um…I was…”
Liz cut in smoothly. “She was just making sure that nothing ruined this party for me. You know how she is. But if she wants to make sure that this goes off without a hitch, I’d suggest that she checks the napkins she put on the table, considering they’re all around the room.”
Sure enough, the napkins were scattered on the floor, due to a large gust of wind. Maria glanced at them and said, “Yes Lizzy, I think I’ll go do that.” She turned on her heel and started to walk away, but was stopped by Alex’s voice.
“Since when do you use Tabasco sauce, Liz? Why did Maria offer you that?” Alex asked.
Liz’s eyes widened. Now she was the one at a loss for words. “Um, it’s…um, it’s just…”
“Max withdrawal!” Maria blurted out.
Liz and Alex’s faces both turned to look at Maria incredulously. “Max withdrawal?” Alex repeated.
“Yeah!” Maria said, moving back to the music section. “You know, she misses him, so she has Tabasco sauce because it reminds her of him.”
Liz groaned and banged her head on the table. That had to be the WORST excuse she had ever heard. Max withdrawal? Maria really needed to work on her lies.
“See?” Maria said, getting into the story. “Look what she does at the mere mention of his name.”
Liz picked her head up and glared at Maria. She shut up instantly.
“Uh, Maria?” Alex asked. “If Liz is going through this ‘Max withdrawal’, why doesn’t she get back together with him? I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.”
“She’s afraid of alien bit—” Liz kicked Maria’s ankle. “She doesn’t want to start a long distance thing.”
Alex raised his eyebrows. “Um, hate to tell you, but Max would MOVE to Las Cruces if it meant he could be with Liz.”
Maria nodded vigorously. “Yeah, and she couldn’t let that happen! He would have to get a job, and it would be all this difficult stuff, and she really doesn’t want him to have to go through that just for her.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t think Max would mind just being a…for lack of a better phrase, a one night stand, but NOT literally.”
“Yeah, well, that’s what got her into this mess,” Maria muttered.
“What?” Alex asked.
All right, this was getting out of hand. Liz stood up. “Hey, I’m right here, people. I can talk. Maria, I am NOT going through some kind of Max withdrawal. Alex, I have discovered recently that I LIKE Tabasco sauce, it might be some consequence of the healing a year and a half ago. As for getting back together with Max, that isn’t possible, and there are going to be no ‘one night stands’. Okay?”
Alex and Maria nodded. Maria went over to pick up all the napkins.
Alex walked over to Liz. “Hey, Liz, um, can I talk to you for a second?”
She looked at him, surprised. “Sure.”
They sat back down in the chairs. “Look, Liz, we’ve been friends for a long time. And I just want you to know, that if you ever are going through any kind of ‘Max withdrawal’ or anything like it, I’ll be there for you. Even if you’re in Las Cruces. If you ever need to talk, I’m here. Or there. Or wherever you want me to be. It was about a year ago when you let me in on this whole big secret. You unlocked a world for me that I never even knew, or believed, existed. And even though that world is full of bullets, and the FBI, and skin-shedding pipsqueaks, I’m really glad that you showed me it. Because it’s also filled with love. Without you entrusting me with the truth, I would have never met my Isabel, I would have lost my two best friends, and never gained three new ones. I would have never become the person I am today. So, thank you, Liz, for everything. Thank you. And I know that you can never tell me some of the things you tell Maria, and believe me, I do not want to know how well Max kisses, but if there’s anything really important, I hope you will. But even if you don’t, I’m still here. I learned my lesson last time. I love you, okay? Take care of yourself at college.” He hugged her to him, and kissed her forehead. “Now I better get back to work, or Maria’s gonna kill me.”
Liz nodded, tears in her eyes. As Alex was about to walk away, she tugged on his shirtsleeve. “No, thank YOU, Alex.”
The three of them continued to set up (Liz working only in the “music” category, as to not upset Maria) for the next half an hour, until it was time for the guests to arrive. Liz was the first to notice, and she nudged Alex, who called to Maria. When Maria caught sight of the pod squad and Kyle, she sighed. “Let the party begin.”