posted on 9-Sep-2001 6:36:41 PM
Title: Another Sunset
Author: etoile1 aka Eva
Email: etoileone⊕
Rating: pg to nc-17
Category*tongue*olar...AU. Other pairings k/I, m/a.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Roswell belongs to people with very different ideas!
Summary: After an accident life will never be the same for Liz!
AN: Alex is alive and is Liz's brother. No Tess. Jim and Amy are married. Anything else I haven't thought of will be noted later!

Anyway I wanted to clear up the ages of the characters here first because that might cause some confusion later.
Kyle and Michael are both college seniors and are 21.
Alex and Isabel are college juniors and are 20.
Max is a college freshman and is 18.
Maria and Liz are high school seniors and are 17.

Another Sunset


Liz could taste the blood in her mouth. Its metallic flavor a reminder of the fact that her entire body felt like an open wound. It hurt way too much to move. She couldn’t even open her eyes. If she could have she would have been horrified.

Another wave of pain ran through her body. It felt as if someone was stabbing into her flesh with tiny knives and then scraping them across her skin. She tried to move once more, but the comforting black of nothingness overtook her world.


Jim Valenti shook his head. A drunk driver had effectively destroyed what he had always termed as the perfect All-American family. He had known Jeff and Nancy Parker for years; their kids were friends with his son, Kyle, and stepdaughter, Maria. Now Liz was lying amid the wreckage of their old ’86 Volvo as the ambulance men strove to save her life, and Alex was about to find out that the world as he knew it was over.

Jim had seen the same scene over and over as the Sheriff of their small town. Only this time he tried to hold on to hope. Liz Parker didn’t deserve to die, she was so young, she had so much ahead of her. And Alex Parker sure as hell didn’t deserve to lose everything at once.

The EMT guys were loading the ambulance, through a haze Jim heard them say that the girl was stable, but the sooner she was taken to the hospital the better. It was serious. Jim nodded and waved them off. It was time for him to make a few phone calls with the numbers the dispatcher had recited to him over the two-way earlier.

He always hated this part of his job, calling people up to tell them hey life sucks and your does more because blah blah blah. As he dialed the number to Alex’s cell phone an ungenerous thought popped into his head.

At least the lousy son-of-a-bitch who caused this mess had the decency to kill himself on impact as well. All too often they were the only survivors.


Alex looked at the phone number on his cell’s caller id. He didn’t recognize it and wasn’t really in the mood to answer it. His girlfriend, Maria, was singing, and he was her number one fan as well as her accompanist. But when the phone continued to ring, he sighed and answered it and listened to the sound of his world falling to pieces.


Maria watched as Alex dropped the phone, all the blood draining from his face. She picked it up and heard her stepfather’s voice as he told her what had happened. Somehow she remained calm. She who usually was the first to freak out, asked Jim for the name of the hospital. She would drive Alex there. She asked Jim to call Kyle and her mom. They would need to be a family on this one.


Shattered lives have a funny way of coming back together again. But one thing that remains true is that once broken it will never be quite the same again. Humpty-Dumpty couldn’t be put together again, not the way Liz was. And had he survived his own fall, the scars would have remained as testament to the fact that life has a way of biting you in the ass. Amy and Jim saw the relief on their children’s faces when they heard Liz would survive. But Alex collapsed, his joy buried under layers of pain. Because how would he put his life back together again? How would Liz and he survive without their family?

Part 1

The smell of disinfectant on linoleum is unique to hospitals. It is never comforting and becomes an association that will always recall feelings of anguish and terror.

Alex Parker never knew how much he hated hospitals until he spent what felt like years in one, actually it had been seventy-two hours, but two days and a half in one would feel like eternity to anyone. The smell was what hit him the worst. He could almost taste the industrial strength cleaners burning in his throat like the bile that rose when he had gone to the morgue to identify his parent’s cadavers.

Alex had always been close to Liz. He loved his sister unconditionally, but now she was all he had. He spent the days by her bedside, willing her to get batter. To open her eyes and awaken from the coma. He understood her inclination for oblivion. He wouldn’t mind a bit of it himself. Dealing with funeral arrangements and wills and other grown-up stuff was more than he could take. Most of all though he wanted to stop feeling so alone.

Most of all he wanted his sister to wake up.


Maria, Max, Isabel and Kyle sat in silent vigil for their friends. This measure of tragedy was beyond their scope and more than not knowing what to do; they didn’t know what to say. So they sat in a strained quietude, hoping that someone would come in and say: hey this is all a nightmare, wake up and you’ll see that the world around you is just as it’s always been. But that wasn’t happening. Not anytime soon.


Michael Guerin was an orderly. He’d been working as one for the total of one week, and he hated it. Working with the patients wasn’t bad. Even the doctors were pretty decent. After a while you even got used to the smell of hospital. What Michael hated was the suffering. He hated being a witness to people’s lives falling to pieces. Death, chaos, destruction wasn’t nearly as interesting as it sounded.

He knew why he hadn’t quit though. He was helping people. And that affected him like nothing else did. He wanted to make everything okay for these strangers who’d lost everything normal in their lives. He was even thinking of taking up nursing classes. Although God knew the guys would never leave him alone if they found out he was studying to be a nurse.

Michael went by the nurse’s station to pick up his latest instructions; they needed him to mop the ICU. No patients for him today. All the orderlies knew that ICU meant boring. At least in other sections they could actually help the patients. Michael loved the pediatric ward, he hated the fact that the children were sick, but watching them handle their illness was a testament of strength and courage. Besides it meant that he could play with them for a bit, the kids made his job seem a lot less like work.

He walked by a group of somber teenagers. Mopping the floor as he went along.



-Yeah. What are you doing here?

-Me. I work here. What’s going on? You look like you’re in a funeral.

-Yeah. You know Alex right?

-He’s with you at Westmore right?

-Right. Well, his sister was in an accident that killed his parents. He’s Maria’s boyfriend.

-Whoa. Crap. I have to go. My boss’ll kill me if I don’t get this mopping done. Tell him I’m sorry. Or whatever it is you say in a situation like this. I’ve been working here for a week and I still don’t know.

-Sure, no problem. I’ll see you later. And I’ll tell him. Hell, I’m still not sure what I’m supposed to say.

Michael walked away. Hospitals sucked more when you knew something about the people who were stuck in them. Not that he knew Alex all that well. But he knew of him.

He’d known Kyle for years; they’d attended Millford Academy together. They’d played on the same football team. When they’d graduated Kyle had gone to Westmore College and he’d gone to Garwood so they played on opposing teams. But they remained friends, and he had gotten to know Alex as a pretty cool guy. It sucked that some fucked up drunk had killed his family.

Michael was suddenly reminded of Hank, his father, and thought to himself that thank God Hank had killed his drunk ass by driving off a cliff, he’d feel terrible knowing that his father had killed someone by stupidity.


-Who was that Kyle?

-My friend Michael, from high school. He’s at Garwood, so now he plays there. You remember him ‘Ria.

-Yeah. I used to have the hugest crush on him. Thank God he never paid attention to me, I like Alex a lot better.

Kyle gave his stepsister a look. She was crazy. And why was she thinking about that now anyway.

Maria shrugged. It had been true. Before Kyle had brought home Alex, the love of her life had been Michael Guerin. Not that he knew that. But still.

The group quieted once more. Not one of them wanted to leave. Fearing that they would miss some important event by staying away. But the waiting room was dreary. Everyone else seemed so busy. As if they had some purpose. And they probably did. Saving someone else’s life. But they were only concerned for Liz. It was her life that mattered to them now, because it was her life that was in danger.


Alex walked out of small room the staff had set up for Liz. He was tired of hearing the machines beep along with her heart rhythm. At least she was breathing on her own, hearing a ventilator whoosh the air in and out of her lungs would be less than encouraging.

He walked straight into Maria’s arms. Holding onto her for all that he was worth. He could hear her heart beat just a little bit faster for him, and he was comforted. She was the one thing he was sure of.

-How’s she doing sweetie?

-The same I guess. She’s breathing. But she’s pale and fragile. I’m so afraid to touch her. I’m afraid she might break. She looks so small lying in the hospital bed, swathed in white bandages. But she’s breathing. The doctor’s say that’s good. That she’s taking her time in waking because her body needs to take the time to repair itself.

-That’s good news though.

Alex looked at Max. Liz’s boyfriend. He’d been so torn up about what this was doing to him he hadn’t really thought about the others. About how they were feeling.

-Yeah. It’s good. But all I want is for my little sister to sit up and yell at me to stop staring at her. ‘Cause you know she hates that.

Max smiled slightly. It didn’t really reach his eyes. Worry for Liz, the love of his life, showed in his every gesture.


Max remembered receiving Maria’s call. He couldn’t believe the words she spoke. Not Liz. Not hurt. Not when they were in the middle of an argument. He hated that she was mad at him. He hated that if something worse happened he would never have the chance to say I’m sorry.

Max had knocked on Isabel’s door and told her what was going on. After that all he remembered was being at the hospital. In the waiting room. Waiting for the doctor’s to tell them her prognosis. Waiting for Liz to awaken from the place her mind had escaped to while all this was happening. Max was sick of waiting. He wanted Liz to be safe. To be alive and in his arms.


The waiting room is always an uncomfortable place. You can’t speak. You can only whisper, and even then it feels wrong. Laughter is prohibited. And sobs are frowned upon. You can of course catch up on your reading. It’s always a good idea to bring more than one book too. Because in a waiting room you’re in it for the long haul.

The tiny hospital room wasn’t a better place. The blips and beeps of the monitors were distracting. In fact only a person in a coma could manage to get some rest. The constant flow of nurses, stopping in every hour or so. The doctors that would check in every three. They did their jobs, without focusing too much on the patient, even less so on the patient’s family. They looked at the machines and at the charts. They’d jot down numbers and read and write instructions.

It was past midnight. The staff was at a minimum when Liz fluttered her eyelids and spoke.


I can't help that I love a fictional character...

*defiant dreamer*

**passionate polarist**

Edited by - etoile1 on 09/10/2001 19:25:18

Edited by - etoile1 on 09/10/2001 21:36:28
posted on 9-Sep-2001 7:33:41 PM
Part 2

-Where am I?

Michael paused as he collected the medical waste from the small hospital room. When you were in the intensive care unit you never expected to hear anything but the beeps on the monitors. He was pretty sure this patient had been in a coma until a minute ago.

At a loss, for he had never found himself in this situation, he walked over to the bed cautiously and spoke to the girl. Well he spoke to the girl after he was floored by her beauty. Even with her head wrapped in a huge white bandage, she looked so fragile in the hospital bed. Exquisite, her dark brown eyes were deeply penetrating, even vulnerable you could see the inner core of steel that had kept her alive to this point. But there was a hidden sorrow in her soul. Michael could feel it as if it was his own. It was his own.

-You’re in the hospital. Lay still. You don’t want to reopen any of your injuries.

-What happened?

Michael looked at her sharply. Suddenly worried about her lack of memory. More than just dazed she looked lost and confused. He was startled by the overwhelming need to protect her.

-You don’t remember?

The girl scrunched up her nose as she thought about his question. Michael couldn’t remember her name, although he was pretty sure this was Alex Parker’s sister. He knew a few details about the accident, her parents had died, it was caused by a drunk driver, but not much else. Although he wondered what else was there to know.

-No. Do you know?

She finally answered. And he did know, but instinctively he decided to tell her only he obvious.

-Well, there was an accident. A car accident. You were hurt pretty badly.

Michael wasn’t sure how much he should say. He didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news. He was pretty sure he shouldn’t be talking to her at all. Getting a doctor and real nurse seemed like the better plan. But he couldn’t help the feeling of protectiveness that rushed through his body when he looked at her. He wanted to stay close. Spend time with her.

He really shouldn’t feel this way. He didn’t know her. He didn’t even know her name.

-What’s your name?

She asked the question suddenly. Almost as if she were suspicious of the answer. Afraid of it for some reason.

-Michael. I’m an orderly here. What’s yours?

-My name? My name. Michael, I can’t…I don’t know my name.

-Shh, Calm down. I’ll call a nurse.

Michael was freaked. Although not nearly as agitated as the girl. He pressed the call button for a nurse; they’d know what to do. They’d know how to handle this. Michael grabbed one of her hands and pressed it reassuringly. He wanted to hold her. Wipe away the tears that were dripping down her face. Take away the fear that shone brightly in her eyes.

The door opened and Michael sighed with relief at seeing Myrna Hodgekiss walk in. She was the good sort, mothering and soothing. He liked her and she had taken a shine to him. Not usually the case in respect to his elders, but she always seemed to see more than just appearances. Which was nice, although sometimes creeped Michael out.

-Myrna. Hey. She woke up while I was picking up the trash. I’ll leave now, so you


The girl’s shout echoed throughout the room. Michael Myrna looked at her surprised, disconcerted.

-You can’t leave me. Michael. Please. You’re the only one I know.

Michael looked Myrna’s way. Asking her silently what was best. She shrugged in response.

-Stay Michael. If it makes her feel better that’s all that really matters.

Michael looked into the girl’s beautiful brown eyes. And the depth of trust she saw there stunned him. He could see the shadows of pain that had ravaged her life. Pain she didn’t even understand, or recall. How could he not stay and offer a small amount of solace with his presence.

-What’s her name Myrna?

-Elizabeth Parker. I thought you knew her. She knows you.

-Nah, we just met. That’s why I called you, she doesn’t remember her name.

Myrna glanced at him sharply before turning to Elizabeth.

-Hon, do you know where you are?

-Yes. Michael told me. There was an accident and I got hurt. So I’m in the hospital.

-But do you remember any of it?


-Do you know your parents’s names?


-Do you have any siblings?

-I don’t know.

-How old are you?

-I don’t know.

-What’s the color of your eyes?

-I don’t know.

Michael watched as Elizabeth struggled to answer Myrna’s questions. Her anxiety grew as she realized she couldn’t remember anything. Michael longed to hold her in his arms and comfort her. But he knew that it wouldn’t be nearly enough. Elizabeth had so much pain and grief locked inside, he knew he woudn’t be the one she would chose to help her. At least not once she started remembering.

-Hold her still Michael. I’m calling Dr. Torino. Stay with her. Talk to her about something else.

Myrna stepped out of the room. Michael was alone with Elizabeth.

-I’m scared Michael.

-I know. I’m scared too you know.

-What color are my eyes.

-They’re brown.

-Brown. Such a plain color.

-You have amazing eyes. They’re the color of coffee.

-And mud.

-Come on Elizabeth. Trust me you have beautiful eyes.

-That doesn’t feel like my name.

-Maybe you use a nickname. Like Liz, Lizzy, Beth, Eliza, Bethy? Any of those ring any bells? Or maybe it’s cause you don’t remember having a name.

-Well that’s nice. Rub it in why don’t you.

-I didn’t mean

-I know. What do you think works best?

-I like Elizabeth.

-I’m guessing no one is allowed to call you Mikey.

-Nope Michael it is and Michael it shall always be.

Michael caught the small smile Elizabeth sent his way. He knew he had helped. And it meant the world to him. Her smile lit up her whole being from within. And Michael felt his heart lurch in response. He hoped it was with pity. Sympathy. Something not quite so tender and less raw. Because he knew that any involvement with Elizabeth Parker was going to be beyond difficult.

Part 3

Liz was afraid. Make that terrified. When she’d opened her eyes, she’d recognized what the décor meant, but not why she was there. It had hurt to move; even opening her eyes had seemed a form a medieval torture.

Michael. That was the orderly’s name. Elizabeth was hers. Myrna it seemed was the name of the nurse. Liz recited the few facts she knew about herself like a mantra. She didn’t know who she was. She didn’t know anyone, and something about the way Myrna and Michael had talked about the accident told her there was more to the whole thing than even they were telling her.

She had brown eyes. She looked at a tendril of hair on her shoulders; she apparently also had brown hair. Myrna had asked her about siblings and parents, it was odd thinking that there were people that knew her, people she must have lived with her entire life, were people she couldn’t even remember.

Everything felt like it was happening to someone else. Like in a soap opera where the heroine is in a terrible accident and suffers amnesia falling madly in love even as her past life fell to pieces. What happened when the young heroine remembers, the present falls to pieces. What matters more? Liz knew it wasn’t a soap opera because there wasn’t a camera crew filming, because she couldn’t remember facts about who she was, although things like soap operas and camera crews and the fact that George W. Bush was president came easily to her mind.

What was it about memory that made some things fade and something stay and others disappear altogether?

She wanted to ask Michael. He was sitting perched precariously on the edge of her bed. Looking at everything in the room except for her. He’d been staring at the watercolor seascape for the past ten minutes when the door opened.


A young man stood in the door. Lean and tall with dark brown hair and blue eyes, he looked into the room worriedly.

-What are you doing here?

-I’m an orderly here. She woke up while I was cleaning up. She’s…

Liz interrupted as Michael spoke.

-Who are you?

The young man started. Concern lining his face as he forgot about Michael’s presence in the room.

-What do you mean? Liz it’s me. Alex.

-She can’t remember. That’s why I stayed with her. I guess you’re a Liz then.

-Am I? Are you my brother?

-Yes. I don’t understand.

Michael watched as Alex’s face fell. He felt really bad for him. Not only had he been suddenly orphaned, but also his sister didn’t remember who she was, or that she had a brother. Michael knew about being alone. But he was sure he had never been alone as Alex felt in that instant.

There was something terrifying about the idea of being forgotten. It was one thing for someone you went to high school with not to remember who you were when you ran into them ten years down the road, quite another was to have your own flesh and blood forget. Because right now all that tied Alex and Liz together were genetics. It was as if the Parker family had ceased to exist.

-They think she might have amnesia. I’ll leave you guys alone now. Get reacquainted and stuff.

-No. Michael please don’t leave.

-Liz, it’s okay. I know Alex; he’s a nice guy, your brother.

-I just feel…will you come back?

-Sure. When my shift’s over. I promise. Sorry man.

Michael sympathetically pat Alex on the shoulder before leaving the hospital room behind him. He hated himself for feeling glad that she hadn’t wanted him to leave. He knew that he would have come back regardless of the fact that she wanted him to.


Alex remembered Michael from the football field. He remembered that Kyle knew him from high school. He seemed a decent guy, but he didn’t want anyone hanging around his baby sister.

Only his baby sister didn’t know that. She didn’t even know she was his baby sister.

Alex had just wanted Liz to wake up. He wanted to see the trust and warmth he’d always seen in her chocolate colored eyes. But all he saw now was wariness. Her gaze kept skittering to the door. As if she was silently willing Michael to walk back through it.

He knew Liz felt trapped. And he hated the fact that he was the warden in her eyes.

How was he supposed to tell her that she shouldn’t feel afraid? All he could feel was terror. Oh, there was grief, he’d lost his family, he’d loved his parents. But most of all he felt terror. And knowing that Liz didn’t remember any of the things he did only increased that feeling.

How was he supposed to hold their lives together?

-What really happened?

-What do you mean?

-The accident. There’s something more to it than me getting hurt. What is it?

Alex closed his eyes. He knew he would have to tell her the truth if she ever was going to trust him. But he was afraid that she would hate him for it, blame him for it. He was afraid that just maybe the knowledge might make things worse. He swallowed convulsively before replying.

-Our parents were killed. A drunk guy slammed into the car, they were killed instantly.

-Oh. What were their names?

-Nancy and Jeff.

Alex watched closely as Liz nodded and shrugged. The knowledge not affecting her more than the police briefs you read in the newspaper about how a guy walked into his own home and killed his young pregnant wife and three children with a switchblade. That flicker of horror and then you move on to the next page. It’s another person’s life. It’s not real.

Alex realized that the Liz he knew was gone. She wasn’t real. There was someone else sitting there on the bed with her name. But the memories that made his sister real to him weren’t there any more. And he understood then, why she preferred to be with Michael. She didn’t have to play a role with him. She didn’t have to care about people she couldn’t even remember the names of. She could be real.

-I want to get to know you.

-But you already do. I’m the one who doesn’t know me.

-Yeah. I know you’ll be getting used to a lot of stuff. And you’re going to have to figure out who you are, because if you can’t remember you’ll be starting over. I love you. You’re my baby sister. No matter who you are. And it’s okay. We can go slowly.

-Why? How did you know?

-‘Cause I feel the same way. Only I haven’t forgotten. I’m figuring out who I am also. I can’t lose you too. But I know I can’t force any expectations, and if you can’t remember we’ll start from scratch.

-What’s your name?

He smiled. Knowing instinctively what she was doing. It was what he’d hoped she’d do.

-Alexander Charles Parker.

-I’m Elizabeth…

-Elizabeth Claudia Parker.

-It’s good to meet you. I think you must be the best big brother on the planet.

-Yeah. Well you’ve got to be the best baby sister this side of the Milky Way.

Alex looked into Liz’s eyes and saw relief. And he knew he had done the right thing. He’d keep what was left of his family together, no matter who each one of them turned out to be.

Part 4

Doctors have this way about them as they walk the halls of hospitals in white lab coats and bejeweled in stethoscopes. They lend the institution the age-old dignity that the walls and activity never manage to achieve. They are the all-knowing. They hold lives in their grip, or rather they hold a scalpel, but still they have the know-how necessary to extend the seconds of time left on life’s clock.

Doctors Leilani Torino and Jesse Grant were very curious. They’d never treated a case of amnesia before. And they were excited about it. Imagining glory as they tried new and torturous procedures to figure out the inner workings of the brain. They were sure that the other was wrong, and surer still that they were right. Arrogant and sharp, their compassion marred by ambition, they were riding the coattails of grief to reach the fame they’d always dreamed of.

Doctor Torino was an elegant woman in her mid-forties, her dark hair and hard eyes a contrast of sensuality and intelligence. It had taken her a long while to get where she was. Years of hard work. And now she had to deal with an upstart. She was the renowned neurosurgeon who had taken care of Liz when she’d been brought into the ER.

Doctor Jesse Grant was in his mid-thirties. His handsome face less lined and remarkably friendly. His ascent hadn’t proved to be quite so difficult. A wealthy man, and charming. He was the kind of guy you told things you never meant to say. Which was a quality that had proved useful to him when he specialized in psychiatry.

They walked down the hallway to poke and prod and question their case, each arguing over which method was most appropriate. Torino was sure that there was no need for the shrink to be there. But Grant was just as sure that there was no need for MRIs and CAT scans. Traumatic events had led to the patient’s memory loss.
Traumatic blows to the head, responded Torino.

The truth was of course, neither of them had an explanation. They didn’t know. Perhaps both things. Perhaps just one. The blood flow to the brain might have been momentarily cut off and memory cells might have suffered some damage. The loss of memory is a psychosomatic reaction to the incredible loss Ms. Parker experienced. Her mind needs time to process the grief, and as a result it has created a clean slate for her to heal in. It will come back to her when she is ready.

Liz watched as the doctors volleyed bitter remarks between themselves. She didn’t want to stay at the hospital a moment more than necessary. She would not become some case study for med students. Alex looked just as horrified as she felt. And she was happy to realize that he felt the same way she did.

-My sister and I thank you for your concern, but we have made other arrangements for her care.

-Excuse me? I am not discharging her.

-You may take the CAT scans and the MRIs. There is nothing wrong with her head. She will come home tomorrow. We’ve arranged for special medical care there.


-I think the healthiest environment for my sister will be at home, with things that she will come to find familiar. Now if you’ll excuse us, my sister and I are tired. We need to rest.

Alex ushered the speechless doctors from the room within two minutes. They’d forgotten that their patients were people, with valid thoughts and opinions. And that in the end it is the patient who pays the bill. The patient isn’t there for the doctor’s needs, but for his or her own. The patient pays for service. And Alex and Liz were already sick of the service.

-Thank you. Did you mean all that? You’ve arranged care and all?

-Well I sort of made that up. But I think Michael can help us out, he works here.

-Help out how?

Michael asked as he caught the tail end of what Alex was saying. He’d just finished up his shift. And was exhausted. But it was the kind of exhaustion that felt worthwhile. And Michael was more sure than ever before that he would study nursing. Once he finished up the semester at Garwood he’d have to make major life decisions anyway. And having decided on one of them made him feel like he had some direction in his life.

Although the only direction he was sure he was heading into was heartache. With a girl who couldn’t even remember her name. He was ten times an idiot. But Michael knew he was in love.

-Taking care of Liz.

-I’m not a doctor. I’m not even a nurse.


It was Liz who spoke. Her quiet voice asking to be heard. Michael closed his eyes briefly. He knew that he would lose this one. Because he wanted to take of Liz. He wanted to be there for her always. And he was an idiot. He didn’t say anything. He barely even listened.

-I feel comfortable around you. I’m already surrounded by strangers. I just want to feel safe. Please.

-How can I say no?

-Thank you man. Kyle always said you were the one decent player at Garwood. Now I know he’s right.

-No problem. When are you getting her out?

-As soon as the MRI and CAT scan come out clear. Which shouldn’t take long, considering.

-Considering what?

-That I feel fine.

Michael looked at Alex and Liz. It was obvious that the awkwardness evident between them when he’d left was no more. He felt like a third wheel. Like an intruder. Or even worse an ambulance chaser.

-Oh. That’s good then. So I’ll head out and leave you guys alone. To catch up and all.

Alex noted the uneasiness on Michael’s face and the sudden flash of hurt in his sister’s face. And he knew what he’d have to do. For some reason, Michael Guerin was whom his baby sister wanted to be with. And right now he was in a placating mood.

Besides he wouldn’t mind the chance to go over to Maria’s and tell her everything that was going on. They’d spent nearly three days in the waiting room. Hoping for a miracle. They’d gotten it all right, but true to custom a watched pot never boiled and Liz didn’t wake up until they had taken a break from it all.

-Actually Michael, would you mind staying with Elizabeth? I don’t want to leave her alone, but I should go tell Maria what’s going on or she’ll never forgive me.

Michael was stunned. He’d thought for sure that Alex didn’t want him anywhere near his sister. And he was surprised by the formality by which Alex spoke of her. He’d called her Elizabeth. What exactly did that mean?

-Sure. That is if you want me to stay?

-Please. I’ll sleep better knowing that you’re here with me.

I can't help that I love a fictional character...

*defiant dreamer*

**passionate polarist**