posted on 4-Nov-2001 5:53:36 AM
These are all fics that have either already been finished or won't ever be finished.

Perfect
Broken Promises
In the End...
The Valenti Bunch
Bad Boy (only the 6 parts that I've done.)
Stranglehold
Dealing with the Demons
See No Evil
Never Enough
Home for the Holidays
Let Me Love You Sweetheart
From Riches to Rags
See No Evil 2: The Sequel

[ edited 6 time(s), last at 2-Apr-2002 2:53:11 PM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 6:11:24 AM
Title: Perfect
Author: Sugarplum17
Disclaimer: I wish I did, but sadly no, I don’t own them.
Summary: Maria sits writing in her diary, reflecting on her life, and how it came to be that she's with Alex.
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: PG
Authors Note: There aren't many groupie fics out there, so I decided to write one. Hope you like it.
---
Sometimes I sit in the big oversized chair in the corner of our room and watch him sleep. I just love him so much; it’s unbelievably unreal, if I couldn’t have him it’d be borderline obsession. But I do have him, I never thought I would, but I do. I’ve had two of his children, felt him inside of me almost every night, morning and afternoon for the past 8 years. I’ve made him breakfast, lunch and dinner, slept beside him in our bed, felt his breath on my neck. God, I love him so much. There was a point in my life when I thought I’d never love anyone as much as I loved Michael. That was puppy love compared to this. Don’t get me wrong, the love I had for Michael was great, but it’s nothing like the love I have for and with Alex. He’s my best friend, he always has been.
The two of us getting together was at first just to get back at our ex’s. Even though Isabel and Alex were over long before Michael broke up with me to pursue his destiny with Isabel, Alex still had feelings for her. So we decided that if they were gonna do this to us, we were gonna do it to them. It was during our senior year that Michael and Isabel had decided to go with Destiny. Isabel avoided me for nearly a month; Michael wouldn’t even look at me when I approached him. I had come to the realization one day while in the back room of the Crashdown, that it was over, for good this time. I couldn’t even describe how I felt at that moment, standing in the back of the restaurant, looking through the diamond shaped window and seeing Michael and Isabel, together. They looked so happy, he was smiling at her, touching her, being affectionate with her, opening up to her. Things he’d never really done with me, especially in public like that. Since when did Michael Guerin start expressing PDA?

Since he dumped me and hooked up with Isabel, that’s when. I turned around, sat on the couch, partly in shock, partly in grief, and just cried. I felt unloved, unwanted, heartbroken, and ugly. Then Alex came in through the back, saw me crying and immediately came to my side to comfort me. Good old Alex, always there when I need him. That’s what I thought about him back then. He was just good old Alex to me. Now, he’s something completely different. I can honestly say that I now know what Liz’s life must’ve been like at 17, and what her life is still like today. Being so completely butt crazy in love with a guy that knew everything there was to know about you and is butt crazy in love with you too.

It was the day after I saw them in the Crashdown together, looking so happy, when I came up with my crazy plan. I hopped in the Jetta, drove over to Alex’s house and unloaded my plan on him. He was skeptical at first, but he went along with it anyways. I still remember what he said to me, “I don’t know if it’ll work Maria, but if it’ll make you feel better...I’ll give it a try.” Even then he was all about making me feel better, making it easier for me, he cared for me that deeply...of course I had no idea just how deep his love for me ran, and neither did he.

We saw that my plan was working, despite how much Michael and Isabel claimed to be happy with each other, we would notice the looks that they gave us. Michael would constantly glare at Alex, gave him the death look whenever he saw him. When Isabel would look at me, I could see jealousy and anger in her eyes. I’m not really sure if the anger was there because of the fact that Michael was jealous, or if she wanted Alex to forever be her little lap dog, drooling all over himself for her and her only. They kept it to themselves but Alex and I knew that there was trouble in paradise. So we took it up a notch, we started showing PDA in front of them, kissing each other, giving each other what we like to call ‘Max and Liz’ looks, doing heavy flirting. Michael and Isabel held out longer than we had expected though, they were together until a week before graduation, forcing Alex and I to be together all that time too. We were very determined to make them see what exactly they were missing.

On the day that Michael and Isabel broke up, he came to me, Michael that is. He came over to my house and he told me that he and Isabel called things off. He said that he wanted me back. “Oh, so you and Isabel couldn’t cut it and now you want me back? I’m like second best huh?” I was pissed. Pissed that he dumped me, pissed that he was with someone else all this time and pissed that he was coming back to me after it didn’t work out. He babbled for a few minutes trying to find the right thing to say, and if I remember correctly he said something along the lines of, “I love you, I’ve always loved you. I never really loved Isabel, I know that the explanation of ‘because I was curious’ isn’t gonna do much for you, but I was and now I’m not.” I didn’t know what to say to him, he was so open, so honest. I’d never seen him like that before, so I just stood there. Then he kissed me. A deep, long, passionate kiss. It took me by surprise, but what surprised me more was that I wasn’t kissing back. I was thinking about Alex, I was mentally comparing Alex’s kissing style with Michael’s!

Alex’s kiss was soft and gentle, deep and slow, caring and loving. Michael’s was hard but gentle, deep and fast, loving and caring, and something else, urgency was in his kiss. Like he had a limited amount of time to make me see that he and I belonged together. I guess he finally realized that I wasn’t kissing back because he broke the kiss off. “What’s wrong?” I couldn’t believe that he had to ask so I said nothing, I looked at the ground instead. “Oh. It’s Alex...you love him, don‘t you?” He had realized what I still hadn’t. “Yeah...I mean no! I could...but I don’t know.” I was so confused. There was the guy that I had been trying to win over with my little game for the whole entire year, standing in front of me, proclaiming his love for me and stealing my breath away with a kiss that I had wanted since the day he broke up with me, and what was I doing? Mentally comparing his kissing style to the guy that was playing house with me, wishing it was him that was standing before me saying all of this stuff! I was so confused, did I love him? Did he love me? What if Isabel was with him? What if she kissed him and he liked it? What if he didn’t?

Little did I know that she was with him, and she was kissing him, and that he was thinking the same thing that I was. A very similar scene had played out in the Whitman living room that day. I didn’t try to get a hold of Alex for two days; he didn’t try to get a hold of me either. We were both confused, I didn’t know that he was confused and he didn’t know that I was confused, but we were.

Finally one day I was working in the Crashdown and Alex came in, he didn’t know I would be there, he infact thought I wouldn’t, thanks to Liz. I was in the kitchen when he sat down. Working in that restaurant from the time I was even old enough to legally work, I had grown to know my way around so that I didn’t even have to look where I was going. Liz told me that someone had come in and sat in my section, she told me the table number and I went. My feet took me exactly where I needed to go, readying my order pad before I got to the table, I didn’t see who was sitting at it. “What’ll it be today?” I asked him looking down at my order pad. He recognized my voice immediately and put his menu down. “I thought you weren’t working today?” I was shocked, I looked up to meet his gaze, “Um, Liz said that you weren’t working...” I guess my facial expression betrayed me, I hadn’t wanted to show him that I was hurt that he didn’t want to see me. “Maria, we need to talk. Can you sit?” He was the only customer in my section so I sat. “Isabel came to see me the other day; she and Michael broke up.”

Here it comes, I thought to myself, he’s gonna let me down gently and good old Alex will be there when I need him no more. “Yeah, Michael came to see me the other day too.” I wondered if it was worry that I saw in his eyes when I mentioned that, but brushed it off. “Um, well the reason I haven’t called you or anything like that in a few days is,” Here it comes, he’s gonna say it, he wants to get back with Isabel and I’ll be crushed. “Well it’s just that I’ve been really confused. I mean here we are playing games to try to win these people back and when we finally do, I’m not sure that’s what I really want anymore...am I making any sense?” I nodded. “Yeah, you’re making complete sense, I’m confused myself, there Michael was, kissing me and the whole time I was thinking about you.” He smiled, we talked some more, and there was no more confusion. I got his food; he ate it and left. And we’ve been together ever since.

We got married 3 years after graduation from high school, and had twins the next year after that. Michael and Isabel got back together, and they’re still together. We’re all good friends again. Alex and I are blissfully happy, sure we have our problems every now and then, but we always work them out. I never dreamed I could have the life, love and family that I’ve always wanted with none other than my best friend, Alex Whitman! He’s got a job that he loves, I’ve got a job that I love, we’ve got children that we love, a beautiful house, a puppy to play with the kids in the back yard, everything is perfect. He knows my fear of abandonment and has done everything humanly possible to show me that he loves me and that he won’t abandon me, or our children. I’m so lucky. The kids should be getting up soon, and I have no doubt in my mind that they’ll run in here and wake up their daddy. So I should probably stop writing and crawl back in bed until they come, then I’ll get up and Alex and I will make breakfast together, like we do every Saturday morning, while the kids watch cartoons. Until next time.

Maria Whitman
posted on 4-Nov-2001 6:16:16 AM
I was revising Broken Promises, but then I stopped. It got put on a back burner for a really long time and now I'm just gonna say forget that. I'm going to repost the new revised parts and then I'm going to post the older parts from where I left off. So it's going to be like, going all good one minute then when you get to part ten it's gonna be like bam! Bad writing. Sorry guys. *sad*


Title: Broken Promises
Author: Sugarplum17
Disclaimer: None of it’s mine, I’m just borrowing, don’t sue me!
Summary: When Michael, Max, Isabel and Tess leave for Antar, their respective others promise to wait for them. Ten years later, when they return, they’re shocked to discover that their humans have moved on, with each other.
Author’s Note: Nehal’s challenge, Broken Promises. When I first wrote this fic, I was just starting out in the fanfic world and I wasn’t all that great a writer. I’ve improved some since then and I’m going to be re-writing it. It’s going to have the same outcome and plot, but I want to cut out some of the melodrama that I used before and just make it better.
- - -

It was so eerily silent in the dining area of the Crashdown Café that Max could swear if a pin dropped upstairs they’d all be able to hear it. They stood in a V formation. Max out in the front. Isabel slightly behind him and to his right, Michael and Tess slightly behind him and to his left and they waited for the reactions. He wished that they would say something. On any other day, if you looked into the window of the diner after closing, you’d see seven, sometimes eight happy friends laughing, arguing, and dancing with each other. However on this day, all you could see were four silent teenagers and one silent adult.

Just moments ago Max had dropped the bomb shell on them. Isabel was on the verge of crying, even though she’d already known about it and wasn’t surprised like the rest of them had been. Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess had been on edge all week and everyone finally knew why. They’d been discussing whether or not they were truly going to go and if so what they were going to tell everyone. Max guessed that they were all in shock. That shock was broken when Maria calmly got up from her seat and looked at them. She opened her mouth to speak and when nothing but a small squeak came out, she closed it and calmly turned around to walk into the break room. Minutes later, the distinct sound of sobbing could be heard filtering through to the dining area. Liz looked toward Michael to see what he would do and when he looked down at the floor, she got to her feet and without a word to the group she and Alex walked into the back room. Entering the back room they heard the it coming from the bathroom. It was a broken cry now, broken up by sounds of someone throwing up.

They found Maria knelt on the floor in front of the toilet. To her it felt like she was throwing up every organ in her body. Her throat was sore, partly from crying and partly the barfing that wouldn’t seem to stop. She hardly even noticed when Alex burst through the door with Liz following close behind. When she felt his hands sweep her hair back, she was startled and jumped slightly before realizing that Alex was holding her hair back for her while she puked. With his free hand he was rubbing little calming circles on her back in an effort to calm and comfort her.

While Alex was doing the comforting, Liz was preparing for the clean up. She went to the kitchen to fill a cup with water and wet a paper towel. When she returned to the bathroom, Alex was sitting on the floor with his back against the wall and Maria was curled up in a fetal position at his side resting her head in his lap while he gently stroked her hair as she cried.

“Maria...here sweetie, I brought you a paper towel and some water.” Liz said in a soothing voice as she knelt down next to her best friend.
“Thanks Lizzie.” She said sitting up and trying to force a smile. “You guys are so much better at dealing with the emotional stuff than I am.”
“No, we’re not.” Alex told her as he watched her wipe her mouth, take a sip of the water and swish it around before spitting it out in the toilet. “We’re just better at hiding it.”
Tucking her hair behind her ear Liz smiled sadly at Maria, “Our turn to cry and puke will come later on when everyone is gone.”
A week after Max dropped the bombshell, graduation happened. Nobody was sure when the aliens would leave so they all spent as much time together as they possibly could, both as a group and separately.

**Michael & Maria**
Michael was laying on his bed spooning Maria. They had been lying like that since she came in about three hours ago. He didn’t want to admit it, but he was really gonna miss her. He was going to miss the way they fought, they way they made up, the way she constantly challenged him, the way she made him feel, he was just going to miss everything about her.

“Michael?” She asked bringing him back from his thoughts.
“Yeah?”
“I want you to promise me something...” She started hesitantly.
He knew what she was going to say, but he decided to let her say it. “Depends on what it is.”
“I want you to promise me that you’ll come back to me.”
He sighed a heavy sigh. He knew it, he knew that’s what she was going to say. “Can’t.”
“Why not?” There was that all too familiar catch in her voice that let him know that she was on the verge of crying. He’d heard it many times before, when they fought and he’d gone a little too far and hurt her feelings. Tightening his grip around her waist he pulled her closer.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it.” He said as if it would explain everything. Hoping that it would explain everything so that he wouldn’t have to. Unfortunately, Maria needed more than that, and let him know it.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to come back.” He elaborated for her. “I don’t want my mouth to write a check that my ass can’t cash.” He knew that wasn’t enough for her, but that was all she was going to get. He didn’t know how it was going to play out once he got up there. What if he got up there and he liked it? What if he got up there and in the heat of battle, he died? Michael Guerin was not one to make promises, unless he was absolutely sure that he would be able to keep them.

Feeling her body shake in his arms and hearing her whimpers, he knew that she was crying. He also knew that she was holding back, trying to keep it under control so that he wouldn’t be able to tell that she was. He wanted to smack her upside her pretty little head for getting to him the way that she had. For making him care about her. For making him want to take all her pain away. In a feeble attempt to stop her tears he whispered into her ear, “I can make some other promises though...”
“And those would be?” She asked sniffling.
He couldn’t believe that he was about to say this, it was such a Max, lovey-dovey, romantic mushy thing to say but he couldn’t stop himself from saying it. “I can promise you that whether I come back to this planet or not, I’ll always love you and that I won’t ever forget you.”

“You know. That’s just so typical of you Michael.” She said angrily, surprising him. He thought she’d turn to mush with his mushy romantic declaration of love. Turning around in his arms he could see that tears were trickling down her face and he hated her again for making him want to wipe them away and make them stop. “It’s just so typical of you to say those three magic words again right before you’re about to leave me. You have this whole love me and leave me thing going on.”

They laid like that for a few minutes, just looking at each other, before another word was spoken.
“I’ll promise that to you too, Space boy.” She said with a sad smile. “I’m also gonna promise you that I’ll wait for you to come back to me. Because I just know, you will.”
A playful but mischievous smile appeared on his face. “Oh you do?”
“Yup, you can’t resist me. You know you can’t.”

He wanted to tell her not to wait for him, to go on with her life because he might not come back. He might not be able to come back, but instead he decided to use the rare moment of peace between them to kiss her instead of fight with her.

- - -
Part 1a
- - -
**Alex & Isabel**

“So where exactly are you gonna be up there?” Alex asked, laying on his back and gesturing towards the sky with his hand in a sweeping motion. She studied the sky for a few minutes before turning her head to look at him, “I’m not sure.”

She studied his profile as he lay next to her, gazing at the stars. She could see, even from where she was laying next to him on the blanket that his eyebrows were knitted in thought, as if he were trying to figure it out for himself. “I’m gonna miss doing this with you Alex.”
He turned his head to her then, his quest to find the stars around the planet that she’d be on forgotten for the moment. “I’m gonna miss it too.” He said sadly. He watched her face, as she seemed to be fighting a private battle inside her head. Finally, she rolled over onto her side and propped herself up with her elbow, prompting Alex to do the same. They lay there on the blanket, staring at each other for what seemed like hours.

“I know this is bad timing on my part.” She whispered to him, even though nobody else was around. “Since I’m leaving and all. But seeing as how this could be our last night together I have to say what needs to be said.”

He opened his mouth to say something but Isabel placed a finger over it. If she didn’t say this now she didn’t know if she’d be able to later, and although he probably knew what it was that she wanted to say, she needed him to hear her say it. She needed to hear herself say it. “Don’t ok? Just let me speak.”

Removing her finger from his mouth she took a deep breath. “I love you Alex. I’m sorry for pushing you away after I found out about my destiny, I’m sorry about Grant and that guy in Las Vegas. I’m sorry for all the times I hurt your feelings and for all the time that we’ve lost and all the time that we’re going to lose.” She said in a rush. He started to open his mouth again but she quickly replaced her finger. “But I just want you to know; I’m coming back. When whatever it is that needs to be done up there is done, I’ll be on the very first ship back here, to come home to you.”

She removed her finger and waited for him to say something and when he rolled over on his other side and said nothing, she became confused. “Alex?” It was then, at that moment that she heard him sniffle and realized that he was crying. In all the time that she’d known him, he’d never, ever cried infront of her. Infact, she remembered Liz and Maria telling her that he never cried infront of anyone.

She gently pulled on his shoulder a little to try and get him to face her, but Alex wasn’t budging. She scooted closer to him and wrapped the arm that she wasn’t using for support around his chest and rested her head on his shoulder. “Alex, you don’t always have to be my rock. I can be yours too.”

He sat up then and faced her and she followed his lead. They sat like that for a little while, her drying his tears and trying to keep hers from spilling over, she had to be strong for him, they couldn’t both be crying.
“So then I guess I’ll wait for you.” He said grabbing the hand that was lovingly stroking his cheek. “If you’re saying that you’ll come back to me, I’m saying I’ll wait for you.”
They shared a brief but intense kiss before they returned to gazing up at the sky some more before they had to go home.

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 30-Jan-2002 10:34:37 PM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 6:23:33 AM
Broken promises 1b-2

- - -
Part 1b
- - -

The Valenti house was almost completely dark, with the exception of the living room light and the flicker from the television. The house was almost completely empty with the exception of the two teenagers that were sitting on the couch in front of the TV. Jim was out with Amy Deluca again, so the house was completely quiet. Tess sat on the other end of the couch watching the tv but not really watching it and wished that he was home. For all she knew, this was her last night on earth and she wanted to spend it with her “family”. Unfortunately Amy baked Jim some pie and she expected it to get eaten. She really didn’t even want to know what kind of sick little metaphor that was supposed to be.

“So when you’re up there, are you gonna have to marry Evans?” Kyle asked, startling her when he suddenly broke the silence.
“Why would I have to marry him?”
Not taking his eyes off of the TV, as casually as he could manage replied, “You know he’s the king and you’re supposed to be his queen...”
Interesting point. She’d never thought of what would happen if they got up there and she and Max weren’t a couple, but that was probably because she’d never thought that they wouldn’t be one. “I don’t know. I never really thought about that. They might want us to get married, but we won’t.”
“Why not?” He asked. His eyes still glued to the TV but unseeing of what was on it.

“He doesn’t want to be with me...” She said, her gaze on the TV faltering and then refocusing. His heart sank. “...and I’m not sure that I really want to be with him.”
“Really?” Kyle asked whipping his head from the TV to focus his eyes on her. She was leaning there, against the arm rest, her arm propped up on it and her head resting on the fist her hand was making. “When did this little revelation happen?”

She shrugged, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to say that Tess Harding did not want Max Evans, “A while ago.”
She sighed and then dropped her arm to dangle over the side of the couch and her head dropped back to lean against the cushion. “Whatever we had is in the past. I’ve got all these memories and impressions of someone else’s life...I need to make my own memories.”

‘With me?’ He thought to himself, he wanted to ask her so badly, but bit the question back. Asking instead, “Been talkin to Maria?”
“A little.” She shrugged again, as if were an everyday occurrence that Maria Deluca gave Tess Harding advice without hurling insults at her. “She just helped me realize that I’ve been spoon fed that whole destiny thing since I came out of my pod, and how much it really affected me. Nacedo trained me to love a man that I didn’t even know. I was never in love with Max, not in this life anyway.”
“So are you gonna come back?” He asked, allowing himself a glimmer of hope.
“I don’t know.” She said shrugging. “I don’t know if I’ll have anything to come back to.”
Before he could stop himself, he blurted out, “You have me...and my dad.”

“Yeah I know that.” She said rolling her head to the side to look at him. “But who knows where you guys will be in your lives when I come back, if I’m even able to come back. Jim could be married to Amy and they could have kids. You could be married with kids and there wouldn’t be any room for me in your lives.”
Her eyes followed him as he stood up and walked out of the room mumbling about going to meditate on something. When he was out of sight, she dropped her head back on the couch and closed her eyes thinking that it was absolutely hopeless.

“So what’d Buddha say?” She asked, sensing his reentrance 15 minutes later, not taking her eyes off of the TV.
“He said I should stop being such a wuss about this.” Kyle answered moving himself to stand directly in front of her, blocking the TV. She looked up at him with a mixture of curiosity and confusion, “About what?”
“This.” He said pulling her to her feet and kissing her. She broke the kiss and then reeled back in shock. Half of her was overjoyed that he’d finally done it but the other half was completely grossed out. He thought of her as a sister, that’s what he’d told her. “What was that?!” She asked wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.
“It was a confession...” He stated hesitantly. He was going to kick his own ass if she didn’t want him to kiss her. “When I told you at prom that I thought of you as a sister I was confused and...I lied.”

“I don’t think of you as a sister.” He continued. “And I don’t want to try to make myself believe the lie anymore. I...I think I’m in love with you.” He closed his eyes and waited for her to slap him, yell at him, make fun of him, or storm off in anger. But instead of hearing insults or the sound of retreating footsteps or skin slapping skin he heard her crying.

“Oh god, don’t cry. Please don’t cry. I don’t love you.” He lied trying to calm her down. “Just my luck, I confess my love and she cries.” He said under his breath.
“No, no, no.” She was really confusing him now. She was saying no and crying after hearing how he really felt about her and at the same time throwing her arms around his neck. Shaking his head, he wrapped his arms around her waist and hugged her, “I’m never gonna understand women.”

When she finally composed herself, she sat down on the couch and then pulled him down next to her. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to freak you out.” She said apologetically. “It’s just that I thought you didn’t feel the same way I do, and when you said you did the damn just kind of broke open.”
He nodded in understanding but the only thing he’d even heard was, ‘I thought you didn’t feel the same way I do.’ He saw her lips moving as she said the rest, but he didn’t hear any of the words that they were forming. When her statement finally stopped replaying in his head, he was able to refocus on what she was saying to him. “Which is why I was so gung-ho on getting Max to accept his destiny...but now...I know that Nacedo was wrong. The person we were searching for, my destiny, wasn’t Max. It was you.”

Leaning into him, she kissed him with all the passion that she had in her to give him and when he pulled back, she smiled at his dazed expression and the smile that he wore on the lips that moments before she’d been kissing. She thought he was smiling because she was smiling, she was completely unaware that the reason he was grinning like an idiot was because her dazed expression matched his own. “I’m gonna wait for you...to come back. You will right?”
“I’d be crazy not to.”

- - -
Part 1c
- - -

“Yeah Maria, it’s no problem.” Liz said into the phone. “Uh-huh, I think I’ll be here all night. Ok, love ya babe. Be safe.”
“Maria staying the night at Michael’s tonight?” Max asked as he swung his legs over onto the balcony. Liz nodded her head yes before crawling through her window and moments later pushing some blankets and pillows out. When she had finally cleared the window, Max made a sweeping gesture with his hand to the blankets and pillows that he had spread out. “Shall we?”

They shifted uncomfortably for a few minutes before Liz turned on her side and rested her head on his chest. They laid like that for a while, just enjoying the silence, both thinking about how they were going to live without each other. At least before when they had been separated, they’d still been able to see each other. This time, they were going to be separated by a huge distance, and might not ever see each other again. The road back to each other had been a bumpy one, but they traveled it, only to be told they had to be separated again. It wasn’t fair to either of them.

“Come with me Liz.” He asked as he gently stroked her hair. She knew it was coming, she would’ve been worried if he hadn’t asked but he already knew her answer.
“Max...I can’t. You know I can’t.”
“Yes you can. You all can. I’m the king, if I say that they have to take you, they’ll have to.”
“Ok, suppose we do go Max.” She said after a sad sigh. “Let’s just pretend that the ship is gonna take Maria, Alex, Kyle and me along too. How do you think those people, your people, will feel about that?”
After a lengthy silence he spoke, “They’ll probably love anyone that we love, and if they don’t who cares?”
“They’re probably expecting their once great king to be with their once great queen. They’ve been waiting a very long time for your return Max...you can’t disappoint them by bringing your human mistress into the palace to be treated like a queen while you treat the real queen more like a sister and watch as she makes eyes at a human.” She explained. “Somehow, I don’t think they’ll approve. They will care and if you’re going to be their leader then you should too.”

He knew that she was right. She was always trying to get him to be a better person, and he loved that about her. She was always telling him to do the right thing, even if it hurt them both in the process. Knowing that whatever else he had to say wouldn’t convince her he said the first thing that came to his mind. “You’re not my mistress. You’re the love of my life.”
“And you’re the love of mine, but to them I’ll just be the other woman. They know the love of your life to be Tess...or Ava, or whatever, not me.”

He wanted to debate the issue some more, but he knew that she was once again right. “Fine. I won’t go.” He knew what she’d say to him, but he had to give the possibility that she’d let him stay a chance. Even if he knew she wouldn’t, he had to try.
“You can’t. As much as I want you to, you can’t. It might be bad for both planets.”
“I know...I had to try.” He said with a sigh. “I’m coming back to you, the very first chance that I get.”
She closed her eyes wishing that he would, hoping that it would be true but she knew that he might not ever get the chance. That his people had long awaited his return and once they finally had him again, they might be like her and never want to let him go. “I know you will Max...and I’ll wait for you. Forever if I have to.”

Author's note: And on with the show! It's 10 years later now. Thanks for the fb! Get ready my true ship colors are gonna show!
- - -
Part 2
- - -

**Liz’s journal entry**
You know life has one hell of a sense of humor. It’s all bad timing and not so funny jokes with life. You can wake up one day and find that the life you were living, life as you know it, is completely different. There you’ll be, waiting for this one specific thing to happen to you. You wait for years for it, and then one day you wake up and you find out that you’ve moved on, life has come along and something totally unexpected happened. And just when you’re getting comfortable with the fact that the one thing you were waiting years for is never gonna happen, life comes breezing along and it suddenly does happen, making everything change and become complicated.
***

Liz smiled to herself as she put the finishing touches on the cake and then licked the spatula. “Kyle, will you go round up the kids?”
“Yeah, no problem.” He said, jumping down from his perch on the counter and kissing her on the cheek before exiting the room. Walking into the main dining area of the Crashdown Cafe he was bombarded with shouts from all the kids. He thought it looked like a battle zone in there! Making his way to the center of the room was not an easy task. It was like playing dodge ball in gym class, only this time the balls were the little fleshy kind with hair and missing teeth.

“I’m gonna have a hell of a time cleaning this up.” He said as he pushed streamers and balloons that hung from the ceiling out of his way to see the face of his best friend. Alex smiled warmly at him before patting him on the shoulder, “Don’t worry Kyle. We’ll help.”
“I don’t know why Maria insists on going all out every single year.” Kyle mumbled before turning back to the battle zone and cupping his hands to his mouth. “ALL RIGHT LISTEN UP!”

He almost got scared when twenty little bodies stopped in their tracks. It reminded him of Children of the Corn or something like that when twenty little heads and twenty pairs of eyes turned in his direction to look at him. He waited for the confetti that had been stirred up from the floor of the restaurant to settle down before removing his hands and clapping them together. “CAKE TIME!”

For a fleeting moment he almost turned around and ran into the back room to hide when twenty little bodies rushed toward him. He sighed with relief when they turned and scurried to the tables that had been set up for them. Maria walked by, on her way to the back room to help retrieve the cake, covering her ears. “Gee, way to calm them down Kyle.”

Alex made sure that all the kids were sitting at the table before walking over to flick off the lights, signaling Liz and Maria. Maria walked out with the first cake, a small round one with a candle in the shape of a 9, baked especially for the birthday girl. Liz followed close behind holding the larger cake that she’d bought at the store. It was bigger than the one Maria held and had no candles but it was for the rest of the children. Maria started singing the Happy Birthday song as soon as she had entered the room, and everyone else had joined in shortly after. Setting the bigger cake on the counter Liz rushed over to the table and joined in. When the song had finished and the cake had been set down on the table, Maria leaned down and kissed the little girl’s head. “Happy birthday baby, make a wish.”

The little girl smiled and then closed her eyes to make the wish. Once it was made she took a deep breath and blew out her candles. Not breaking birthday tradition everyone began to clap and cheer loudly for the little girl, so nobody heard the bell above the door sound, but Liz did notice the light from the door. She couldn’t make out who they were but there were four figures entering the restaurant. Running to the light switch she quickly flipped it on and shouted over the noise, “I’m sorry but we’re...”

Her words trailed off as she turned around to see the party crashers. Here eyes were focused on only one of them but she heard Maria’s gasp and then Megan’s yelp of surprise. She turned her head long enough to see that Maria had yanked her daughter out of her seat and was now crushing the young girl to her body. Looking over to Alex and Kyle she saw nothing but shock written on their faces.
“A party for us? You shouldn’t have.” Michael said cynically.

The people in the entrance stood there, waiting for someone to say something and the people in the restaurant stood stone still, not knowing what to do or say. The children seated at the tables looked back and forth from their friend’s mother and her friends to the strangers standing in the doorway. “Mom, can we have cake now?” The little girl that Maria was crushing to her asked, quietly. Her question seemed to knock everyone out of their daze.
“Oh! Of course...Megan, sorry. Alex...could you cut the cake, please?” She asked releasing her grip on her daughter and turning toward Alex. He looked just as worried as she felt but turned away from her without saying a word to cut the cake.
“Thanks daddy.” Megan said happily, sitting back down in the seat that she’d been ripped from just moments ago. Alex froze. He was hoping that she wouldn’t say that, but she did. He ignored the two heated gazes that he felt on his back and cleared his throat saying still somewhat unsteadily, “No problem sweetie.”

Maria also avoided the stare that she knew she was receiving. Her attention focused on the little hand on Isabel’s leg. Craning her neck and squinting her eyes she caught sight of a sandy blond head of hair and a pair of hazel eyes. When she gestured to the little girl, who looked to be about a year or two younger than her own daughter, Isabel took hold of the hand clutching the material around her thigh and pulled her out in front for all to see. “This is Alexis. My daughter.”

Finally Alex had the courage to whip his head around and look at Isabel. After hearing the name Alexis, he’d thought for a brief moment that Isabel’s daughter might also be his, but she looked nothing like him and was far too young to be his. He let his gaze momentarily flicker to Isabel, who was looking straight at him, before returning them to the cake he was still cutting. Maria covered her shock, masking it with a smile as she walked up to Alexis and kneeled before extending her hand. “Hi Alexis, I’m Maria. Would you like a piece of birthday cake?”

Maria had to bite back her laughter as the little girl cautiously stepped up to her and took her hand shaking it vigorously before rushing out, “Yes please thank you.” And then looking back at her mother. It was quite clear that Isabel had tried to teach her daughter about manners on earth and how one should behave. Maria guided her to the table and took the piece of cake from Alex. She helped pass out the rest of the cake but couldn’t stop herself from watching as Alexis tentatively touched her tongue to the cake. She bit back another laugh as the little girl recoiled, looking at her mother with a horrified expression. It was then that Liz remembered the special sauce. She walked behind the counter and grabbed a bottle, smiling to herself as she walked back over to the table and set it down infront of Alexis. “Here sweetie, try this on it.”

Alexis looked to her mom for approval and then reached for the bottle when her mom gave her the ok. When Alex had passed out the last of the cake he exchanged looks with Maria, Liz and Kyle that said they needed to have an ‘I-Know-An-Alien-Club’ pow-wow, immediately. He motioned with his head toward the back room, and when the aliens were reluctant to follow he waved them back. Max immediately stepped up as leader of the pow-wow to voice what Michael, Isabel and Tess had been thinking. “It’s really nice to see you all again, we’ve missed you all.” He said looking in Liz’s direction, momentarily confused as to why she wouldn’t meet his gaze. “But um...as soon as Lexi is finished with her cake, we’ll go. We don’t want to ruin Megan’s birthday.”

“No Max, it’s fine.” Maria said waving his suggestion off. “You guys are welcome to stay, but let’s just not do any catching up tonight. I know that it’s been forever and that we’re dying to know what’s going on with you and you’re dying to know what’s going on with us, but let’s save it for a time when we don’t have 20 kids running around. Ok?”
Satisfied with having everyone in agreement Maria stood there, smiling to herself. Liz’s quiet voice brought her back to the reality of the situation though. “So, um...should we set up a meeting or something?”

At the time it sounded good in her head but having said it, Liz felt incredibly stupid. A meeting? She wanted to set up a meeting to talk to the love of her life and her friends? How ridiculous was that? She kept her eyes trained to the ground and completely missed Max’s look of confusion. “Yeah, a meeting is good.” He had no idea why Liz wanted to set up a meeting, but he was just going to go with it. From the looks of it, things had changed while they were away. Maria was sporting a nice shiny rock on her finger and had a child with Alex, which left Max to wonder what was going on with Liz. She was all fidgety and nervous. He noticed her wring her hands a few times before sucking in a breath and shoving them in her pockets.

“Tomorrow?” He heard Alex ask. He had been so wrapped up in trying to figure out what was going on with Liz that he hadn’t even heard Michael ask them when a good time would be.
“At the Crashdown?” Tess asked absently. She was also trying to figure Kyle out. He wouldn’t stop looking at the ground, or take his hands from behind his back, the place where they’d been ever since they walked into the back room.
“No, my place.” Maria said walking over to the bulletin board. Taking off a piece of paper she quickly wrote down her address and handed it to Max. Recapping her pen she looked up at him, “Let’s say around two?”

When he nodded his head in agreement, Alex gently grabbed Maria’s arm. “May I have a word with you?” He asked pulling her to the bathroom. Tension and awkwardness settled over the occupants of the back room. Kyle rocked back and forth on his feet as Liz swayed from side to side, shifting her weight. If someone didn’t say something soon, she was going to blurt it out. She’d never been more relieved when Kyle absently said, “I wonder what the kids are doing?”
“We should...go and see...” She said pushing turning on her heel and exiting the back room. Kyle followed closely behind. Tess was the next one out of the room, followed by Max, Isabel and a reluctant Michael.
- - -

Alex and Maria entered the bathroom and stood there for a few minutes. He hadn’t turned around to face her, and his hand was still on the knob. “Are you going to tell him?”
“Not right now.” She sighed. “Not tonight, but I do plan on it.”
“I don’t think you should.” He said finally turning around the face her. “He might take her away. Like off this planet away.”
“He’s her father Alex...he has a right to know that-”
“He left her!” He hissed interrupting whatever it was that she was going to say. “He has no rights! Michael may have been the one to plant the seed but he is not her father!”

“He wasn’t the one to hold her in his arms and rock her to sleep after she came home for the hospital! He hasn’t been here to tell her bedtime stories or hold her after she wakes up from a bad dream!” He hissed in a hushed but angry whisper. “He doesn’t know that her first word was shit and that after she said it she wouldn’t stop saying it. Ask Michael what her favorite color is, I’m sure his answer won’t be yellow. Ask him what cartoon she can’t live without, I dare you. Watch him say Pokemon instead of Sailor Moon. He wasn’t there with the goddamn video camera recording her first step, and the first time she got on the bus to go to school. I was! He doesn’t know the important things that a father would know, I do!”

Finishing his speech he stalked over to the toilet that 10 years ago he’d watched Maria puke in and closed the lid in a fast angry motion before sitting on it and resting his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. “It’s bad enough that I might end up losing you, please don’t take her away from me too.” He said in defeat before he started to cry.


[ edited 3 time(s), last at 30-Jan-2002 10:38:01 PM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 6:26:12 AM
Broken Promises parts 3-4

Author's Note: So if you haven't figured it out, I'm 100% completely Groupie. Which is an Alex/Maria shipper. I'm glad that so many people are agreeing with me on the A/M pairing! Groupie-ism is makin a come back!
- - -
Part 3
- - -

Maria stood against the wall, completely shocked and unable to move. Her husband to be hardly ever raised his voice to anyone, or in the situation they were in, whispered in that tone to anyone, let alone to her. He rarely ever cussed and there were only a few occasions when he allowed himself to cry infront of other people! He didn’t even cry at his own father’s funeral until they were alone in the car. Before she knew what was happening, she was sliding down the wall to sit on the floor near the toilet. “Sit with me?” She asked softly.

He’d managed to compose himself but didn’t move to sit on the ground when he heard her soft plea. “Alexander Charles Whitman, come over here and sit with me.” Maria commanded from her spot on the floor, patting the spot beside her. This time he stood up and turned so that his back was against the wall. He slowly slid down it, looking at the toilet. He remembered the day he sat in the same spot Maria was sitting in and stroked her hair as she cried into his lap. Seeing that he was making no effort to get closer to her, Maria scooted over to him and took his bigger hand in her smaller one, resting her head on his shoulder.

“I know you love her like she’s your own, Alex.” She started. “I do know that, but she isn’t and I’m sorry but I have to tell him. I can’t let him go on with his life never knowing about the one that he helped to create.” She finished softly.
“What about me?” He asked looking away from their joined hands toward the toilet.
“What about you?” She asked indifferently. “You’ll still see her every day. She’s not going anywhere. You’ll always be her daddy, even if you’re not her biological father. When she looks back in 10 or 15 years and remembers her dad, she’s going to remember you lying in her bed reading her Rapunzel for the 225th time.”
“227th.” He corrected.

“Whatever.” She said with a smile. “The point is you’re the one that she’s going to remember that way. Not Michael. Believe me, if I know my daughter, she’ll warm up to him and think of him as her father, but you will always be her daddy.”
There was a brief silence before Alex turned his head to look down at their joined hands again and asked “What about you?”
“What about me?”

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, ready to hear whatever it was that she was going to tell him about their relationship. “I mean us. What about us?”
She knew that he had no intention of leaving her, and she knew that she had no intention of leaving him for Michael, but he needed to hear it. “Nothing changes everything stays the same.”
“Do they?” He asked skeptically. “I’m not so sure.”
“Planning on leaving me for a certain buxom blonde with a child?” She asked lightheartedly as she lifted her head up from his shoulder to look at him. “You really think that just because Michael shows up again, I’m gonna just throw you and what we have away like yesterdays paper?” His silence said it all.

“You know I should just smack you right now for that Alex.” She said with a sigh. “But since you’re so damn adorable when you’re jealous, you’re getting off easy.” She turned his head toward her and made him open his eyes so that she was sure he was listening to every word that she said. “I love you. I’m not gonna lie, I still love Michael, but it’s in a completely different way now. When I walk down that aisle in six months I don’t want anyone but you waiting at the end of it. You are gonna be stuck with me for the rest of our lives Alex. We’re getting married come hell or high water. Is that understood?” Her only answer was a deep and passionate kiss, another thing that reminded her of why she wasn’t giving this man up. Alex had been her first real, sturdy relationship. What she had with Michael had been so on and off that half the time she wasn’t even sure if they were dating or not. The only time it’d been strong and sturdy was in the weeks leading up to his departure from her life for the last 10 years. She used to tell herself that she would get bored with a sturdy relationship, that she wouldn’t be able to handle it, but those were lies she told herself to make her feel better about not having one.

- - -

When Liz entered the main dining area, she took her hands out of her pockets and slid the wedding band off of her finger. She would tell Max that she was married, but in her own time, at the meeting. She didn’t want him to see the ring and jump to the wrong conclusion. Well, technically the right conclusion, but she didn’t want him to find out like that.

“Could you pass me a cup Liz?” Kyle asked with a forced smile. She smiled a tight smile in return and then went to grab a cup. Looking down at her hand he noticed that her ring had been removed. She noticed him looking and reflexively pulled her hand back, the way that you do when you want to hide something. “Kyle...I-”
“It’s ok.” He said holding up his hand. “I took mine off too. I didn’t want her to...find out that way.” He added, glancing over at Tess.

- - -

Around 8 the party started to die down and parents started to come and pick up their children. Megan was completely pooped and nodding off to sleep in, what used to be Max, Michael and Isabel’s favorite booth.
“Maria, Kyle and I can clean up if you and Alex want to get Megan home to bed.” Liz offered.
“No, it’s fine.” Maria said waving her hand dismissively. “You guys just go on ahead and Alex and I will take care of everything.”
“Are you sure?” Kyle asked coming out of the back room and hearing the tale end of that conversation. “Because we can stay.”
“It’s fine, go. We’ll lock up when we’re done.” She said gathering up some paper plates and used up napkins. “But maybe if you guys wanted to help out you could take Meg home and put her to bed for me?”

Liz let out a sigh of relief and smiled at her friend. She really needed a distraction from everything right now. She knew that she and Kyle had some talking to do, but she couldn’t help wanting to put it off and focus on something else. Something that didn’t really have anything to do with their situation. Walking over to the booth she gently picked up the drowsy birthday girl with a small grunt. “Come on birthday girl; let’s get you home to your nice comfy bed.”

As soon as Megan gave Maria and Alex a sloppy hug and waved to Max, Michael, Isabel, Tess and Alexis telling them with a yawn that it was nice to meet them, they were on their way. Leaving the aliens to say their goodbyes, after Maria practically yelled that they didn’t have to help clean up and retreat to the Evans house for the night.

Author’s Note: This is like three pages long in Word Perfect, so I’m splitting it up. Here’s some more groupie goodiness...kinda. The song is Tuesday's Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
- - -
Part 4
- - -

At 1:30 on Tuesday, Liz and Kyle arrived at the Deluca/Whitman house, separately. Liz had insisted that they take separate cars incase one of them needed to leave early, but she found herself wondering on the ride over if that was really the case. They waited on pins and needles for the clock to strike two and when it did, they were not surprised in the least to hear a soft knock on the door.

They were welcomed into the home and looked around, noticing how nice and...unique Maria’s house was all at the same time. Photos were plastered to the walls. Photos of Liz, Alex and Maria as children, photos of Maria and Alex as children and adults. Photos of Megan as a baby doing all her cute little baby things. Liz was grateful that she got married in Vegas and there weren’t any wedding pictures for them to see.

Isabel managed to tell Maria that she had a nice house, to which both Maria replied, “Thanks, the ugly stuff belongs to Alex. I brought in all the cool stuff.”
Kyle had to stifle his laugh knowing that Alex was inwardly calling Maria a big fat liar. He’d brought in all the nice looking things. If he’d left it up to Maria to decorate, their kitchen would’ve been fire engine red with a pink tiled floor. And their living room would’ve been painted orange with that hideous abstract looking furniture. It was bad enough that they were keeping with Deluca tradition and she’d made him install the extra door knob on the front door.

Eight adults stood in uncomfortable silence in Maria’s living room, fiddling with their hands, or playing with their clothes, or just looking the place over. Finally Maria broke the awkward silence. “Before we start talking each other’s ears off, I need to talk to you Michael. Alone.”
He nodded stiffly and followed her into her bedroom where they stood for three minutes just looking at each other.

“It’s been a long time huh?” He asked some what self consciously.
“Yeah, it has.” She said looking him over. “You look good. I’m glad you finally got a hair cut. I always liked the spikes better.”
Running his fingers through his hair self consciously he thanked her. “You look good too. Different,” He said gesturing to her breasts, “but good.”
She looked down at her breasts and laughed a little. “A girl can stop growing anywhere from 18-20. Not to mention having kids makes them swell up like balloons.”

“Megan is a really beautiful child.” He said, quickly changing the subject. “I talked to her at her party the other night. She seems really smart.”
“She is, thanks.” Maria said, giving him a warm smile. “She’s yours you know.”
He was momentarily taken aback by that last comment. Had he heard right? Megan was his daughter? “What?”
“She’s yours. And mine. She’s ours.” Maria explained gesturing to the space in between them.
“How? I mean, I know how, but...how?” He asked collapsing in the chair in the corner of the room. This was a mind-blowing revelation, he’d convinced himself once he got back and heard Megan call Alex daddy that he’d lost Maria forever. Now he wasn’t so sure he had.

- - Maria’s Flashback - -
Pulling the Jetta into the driveway of the Whitman house she quickly turned off the car and threw open her door to get out. His parents weren’t home, like usual, and they wouldn’t have cared even if they were that she just opened the door and walked into their house, unannounced and without knocking. They loved her. Seeing no sign of Alex in the house, she walked out the back door, knowing exactly where he’d be. She heard him strumming his guitar and softly singing the lyrics to a song that they absolutely used to love as children.

“Train roll on, on down the line,
Won’t you please take me far away?
Now I feel the wind blow outside my door,
Means I’m leavin my woman behind.
Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
Oh my baby’s gone with the wind.
And I don’t know where I’m going.
I just want to be left alone.
Well, when this train ends I’ll try again,
But I’m leavin my woman at home.”

She’d managed to climb up the ladder that rested by the side of the house, completely unnoticed and smiled to herself at how wrapped up in playing and singing he was. Sitting down next to him, she smiled wider as he jumped and looked in her direction when she joined him on the chorus.

“Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
Train roll on many miles from my home,
See I’m riding my blues away.
Tuesday, you see, she had to be free
But somehow I’ve got to carry on.”

“What are you doing here?” He asked strumming the rest of the song on his guitar after they’d stopped singing the chorus.
Turning her head to the stars she smiled up at them, “Just came to see you.”
“Lair.” He said turning his head as well, to look up at the sky. “You miss him don’t you?”
“Yeah.” She replied quietly, her eyes searching for something to let her know where he was up there but finding nothing.
“I know the feeling.”
“Oh I don’t think you do.” She replied skeptically, taking her eyes off the sky and looking down at the roof she sat on. “I really need him right now. It’s like my dad all over again. I just needed a dad and he wasn’t there. Right now I just need Michael and he’s gone.”

He frowned, tearing his gaze away from the stars and turning to look at his best friend. Abandonment rears its ugly head, yet again. But he could see, like only a best friend could that there was something more than abandonment issues going on with her. “What’s wrong?” He asked her while putting down his guitar, unable and unwilling to hide the concern in his voice.
“I’m...pregnant.” She told him in a voice that didn’t even sound like hers. “It’s his, obviously. And mom is gonna kill me.”
“No, she won’t. She’ll understand Maria.” He tried to sound comforting but even he knew that Amy Deluca was going to bust a nut when she found out that her only daughter was pregnant and alone.

Maria gave him a doubtful look before turning her head back to the sky. “I’m repeating her mistakes. She’ll say, ‘Well at least you graduated before you went and got yourself knocked up.’ But she’s gonna look at me with this...look. You know the one that a parent gets when they’re extremely disappointed in you?” She asked looking at him once again.

He nodded his head saying that he understood her. “Yeah well, she’s gonna think that Michael found out about the baby and split on me. She’s gonna just look at me and think, ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ And the one thing she never wanted me to do was to be like her.” Maria said wiping a tear from her cheek. “She never wanted me to know how hard it is being a young single mother, and the unsavory types of things that some single mother’s have to do just to put food on the table.”

On instinct Alex scooted closer to her and started to rub little circles into her back. “Everything is gonna be ok Maria. You’ll see.”
Shaking off his hand she pinned him with an angry look. “Alex, I’m going to disappoint my mother. You know how important it is to me not to disappoint her, she’s all I have. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of my life and I have no idea how to take care of a baby!”

Putting an arm around her shoulder he pulled her to his side and leaned his head on hers. “Your mom isn’t all you have Maria. You got me, Liz and even Kyle and the sheriff now too. Your mom won’t have to be that disappointed and you won’t have to do this alone.” He said reassuringly. So reassuringly in fact that she almost believed him. “I’m gonna be there for you, every single step of the way. And we’ll just tell your mom that it’s mine. She loves me so she won’t be that mad.”

“Do you know how much it would take to pull that one off?” Maria asked him quietly.
He nodded his head as he told her “Yeah, and I’m willing to do it.”
“You are?” She asked with awe in her voice. She knew that Alex was a great friend, but she never really realized how great a friend he was until that very moment, sitting on his roof under the stars with her head leaning against his shoulder.

“You’re my best friend, of course I am. I know if something like this were happening to me, not that it would because I’m a guy, but if it was you’d do the same.” He said rubbing her arm with his thumb. “Besides, I know how you never wanted your kid to grow up without having a dad, like you did. I’ll love your baby likes it’s my own. I promise.”
Maybe it was her hormones, or maybe it was just the fact that she was deeply moved and touched that her friend would go to such great lengths to help her avoid seeing disappointment in her mother’s eyes. And maybe the reason that she was crying so hard now was because he was going to give her baby the one thing she never had but always wanted. A father.
- - End of Flashback. - -

- - -
Part 4 cont...
- - -

Maria sat on the edge of the bed, watching Michael. She couldn’t quite tell from the look on his face what it was that he was feeling and she knew then that things had changed. She used to be able to read his moods and feelings so well, by just looking at his face and his posture. Now she couldn’t tell at all.

“I’m really sorry Maria.” He said after a lengthy silence. “I never would’ve left had I knew. I never wanted you to feel...abandoned.” As he said the word, his heart constricted in his chest. He knew from the very beginning, all those years ago, that he could never promise her forever but that didn’t stop him from wanting to. It didn’t stop him from wanting her to never feel the way she did after her dad left her without so much as a glance back. In that moment it was clear to her that he’d changed. The old Michael never would’ve said that, he would’ve shrugged his shoulders and bottled it up.

“I want you to be in her life Michael.” She said, knowing that he knew the exact reason why. “Just promise me that you won’t take her off this planet. She was born right here on earth, and this is where she belongs.” He nodded his head in the affirmative before looking down at the carpet.
“Does she know about me?” He asked quietly.
“Yeah. She’s known for a long time now.” Maria answered.
“Does she...hate me?” He asked quietly. Afraid of what Maria’s answer might be. He jerked his head up when he heard her soft laugh.
“Why would she hate you?”
“For leaving her, for abandoning her...and you.”

“You didn’t even know about her when you left. I didn’t even know about her when you left.” Maria told him, “No. She doesn’t hate you.”
Looking down at the carpet he sighed heavily, “I missed everything. Her first word, her first step, her first day of school...I missed it all.”
Softening her voice, she stood up and walked over to where he sat, laying a hand on his shoulder. “It’s ok...Alex video taped everything. I swear, the camera was like permanently attached to his hand until she was seven and asked him to stop. You can borrow the tapes sometime.”

- - -

In the living room Alex stood next to the bay window peering out into the front yard, avoiding Isabel’s stare. Max and Liz had gone off down the hall not long after Maria and Michael. Tess and Kyle not long after Max and Liz. That just left Alex and Isabel standing in the living room.
“I thought you were gonna wait for me?” Isabel said breaking the silence. “I promised you that I’d come back and Isabel Evans never breaks a promise, you know that.”

“I didn’t know that I’d be waiting 10 years.” He said, focusing on the pink flamingo that Maria insisted they put in their yard. He knew that this was coming, and maybe in some small way he deserved it for breaking his promise to her.
“10 years? From what I gather you didn’t even wait a full month.” She said walking over to the fire place and looking at the pictures on the mantel.

“I waited 4 years.” He said with his back still to her.
Her eyes traveled over each of the pictures finally resting on one that was in a beautiful silver frame. The black and white image of Maria in a pair of overalls and a big floppy hat digging around in the dirt made part of Isabel want to cry. But at the same time she wanted to smile at the image of a smiling Maria looking over at a dirt-covered toddler in a white tee shirt and diaper as she held up a worm between two dirt covered chubby fingers and scrunched up her face in disgust. It looked like one of those pictures you’d find hanging on the wall at a professional photography studio but she knew that Alex had been the one behind the camera that day.

“Did you now?” She asked after clearing her throat and turning away from the picture. “Megan is 9 now, so that means that she was conceived sometime during the year that we left. It’s March and yesterday was her birthday so count back nine months and you’ve got the date of conception narrowed down to sometime during the month of June, the month that we left.”

“And what about Alexis?” He asked whirling around to face her. “She’s like what? A year or two younger than Megan? I’m not the only one who broke promises.”
“I never promised I wouldn’t get lonely and make a few mistakes. I wasn’t planning to have her, I got lonely and Michael was there and it just kind of happened.”
“Michael?” A stunned Alex asked her. He wanted to say maybe he got lonely too, but his brain completely wrapped itself around the Michael information, and he started to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” She asked defensively. She’d been worried for six years that he would be extremely upset by that fact because of the whole destiny thing. She hadn’t meant to let it slip out like that, she wanted to tell him a different way, but she just couldn’t stop the words that were flowing out of her mouth.

With her hands on her hips, glaring at him and taking on an annoyed stance, she waited for him to get himself under control. “I’m sorry.” He said after he’d composed himself. “Michael sure does get around doesn’t he?” At her confused expression he chuckled and then sat down on the couch. “I’m not Megan’s biological father.” He watched her face as the statement registered in her brain.

“I really did wait four years, Iz.” Alex said as he got up from the couch and walked over to stand next to her after she’d gone back to looking at the picture in the silver frame. She’d been so sure that the emotion she felt when looking at it was love that it was rolling off of the picture in waves, but as she looked at it she wondered if the emotion belonged to Alex or to Maria.

“I took that 6 years ago in the back yard when my little Meggie was 3.” He said pointing to it with his finger. “I know you don’t want to hear what I’m about to say, but this was the exact moment that the charade became real for me.” He said as he lightly touched Maria’s face with the tip of his fingers. “This is the exact second that I stopped waiting.”

When she turned around and took a few deep breaths to keep herself from crying, he felt bad for telling her what he did but he didn’t regret it. It was something that she needed to hear. It was the truth and he knew that she’d want it, even if it hurt.


[ edited 5 time(s), last at 30-Jan-2002 10:50:41 PM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 6:28:51 AM
Broken Promises Parts 5-6. Because I seem to have run out of room here, you can find the remaining parts on the second page.

- - -
Part 5
- - -
Walking into the room hesitantly, Liz waited for Max to get in before turning to close the door behind them. Shutting out everything that was outside, and leaving only the two of them standing in what used to be Alex’s bedroom before he moved into Maria’s. She stood there for a few minutes, her hand still on the knob and staring at the wood just thinking of what she was going to say. She didn’t have the slightest clue how to tell him. She knew that Max needed to know but she didn’t know how to say the words.

She felt herself being turned around and crushed to a hard body and realized that it was Max. She let herself be pulled into his embrace and by force of habit let her arms wrap around his waist, leaning her head on his chest. She shouldn’t have been surprised at how much she missed the feel of being in his arms. Or how much she missed the smell of his scent invading her nostrils. He wasn’t surprised at all by how much he missed holding her, or the smell of her hair. “God I’ve missed you so much Liz.” He said tightening his hold on her.

“I’ve missed you too Max.” She said quietly, before breaking free from his embrace. Stepping back, she looked him over. He looked so different, yet still the same. Starting at the top of his head, she noticed that his hair was shorter. Gone was the hair that sometimes resembled a helmet and in its place was a cut that looked similar to Michael’s old hair do, only much shorter than that. She decided that she liked it before moving down. His eyes were still the same, as was his face. He looked slightly older, and as her gaze traveled down she noticed that his muscles hadn’t really gotten bigger, but more toned and defined. “You look good Max.”

“So do you.” He said with a smile. “You haven’t really changed much.” He said noticing her long brown hair, it was the same length as when he left her, style the same exact way. Her face and body had aged slightly, but not by very much. He started to walk toward her, slowly but stopped when she took on the look of a deer caught in head lights. She’d seen the look in his eyes and she knew that his intention was to cross the room and kiss her. When he stopped in his tracks she felt both relieved and disappointed.

She stared blankly at him for a few minutes trying to decide how to tell him. Finally she concluded that she couldn’t bring herself to utter the words. She would have to show him. She crossed the room to where he stood, looking at her with concern and raised herself on her tiptoes to tentatively touch her lips to his. Immediately he responded to the kiss, deepening it after a few seconds. The moment that their lips touched, the connection was formed and to keep him from breaking it she held the back of his head to with both of her hands.

Images of the last 10 years flashed through Max’s mind one after the other, and then suddenly she pulled back and broke the connection. Turning away from him, she walked to stand by the dresser. Part of her was amazed that after all the time spent apart, the connection was still so strong.

He stood there staring blankly at her back. Images of Liz and Kyle in bed together all those years ago came floating back to the surface of his mind. He knew that it wasn’t real then, but it sure was real now. Liz had married Kyle. He was thankful that she had broken the connection right before he would see what happened on their wedding night. He didn’t want nor did he need to see that. He knew that Liz still loved him, he could feel it through the connection, but the only thing his mind would focus on was the fact that she was now Mrs. Valenti.

“Say something Max.” She said quietly, breaking the silence that had consumed them.
“What do you want me to say Liz?” He asked, his tone harsher than he’d intended. “Congratulations? Do you want me to tell you some sob story about how much I still love you? My soul mate married the one person on the planet that I would never want to see her with, ever. What would you like me to say?”
She sighed heavily, wrapping her arms around herself and staring intently at the dresser. If she’d married another man, any other man, Max would be hurt but definitely not as much. “You have to let that go Max. It was years ago and it wasn’t even real.” She said referring to the Future Max fiasco.
“But it felt real. The pain that I felt, that was real!”
“I know...”

“Did you even stop to think of me when you said yes? Did you even care how I’d feel when I got back?!” He yelled at her back.
“Please don’t yell.” She said meekly. “Of course I thought about you. I thought about you every day.”
“Really, you did?” He said mockingly. “I don’t think you were because thinking of me every day would’ve consisted in you NOT marrying Kyle Valenti, Liz!”

“I thought of you every day.” He said calmly. “Did you know that I was pressured to marry Tess from almost everyone up there? Even Isabel and Michael! But I didn’t Liz. I didn’t and we all know why. I was foolishly still pining away for you, counting the days till I could come back to you. What a mistake that was on my part. Had I know that you were getting cozy with Kyle I would’ve stayed up there and married Tess!” His words were so bitter and laced with so much venom that she flinched before whirling around to face him. She was not going to let him make her feel like she was worthless and in the wrong for doing what she did.

“Stop it Max!” She yelled surprising him. “How the hell was I supposed to know anything?! For all I knew you and Tess were getting cozy too! I spent seven long years waiting for you. I had no signs that you were ever coming back and I had to move on Max!” She yelled at him, defending her honor.

“I couldn’t sit there in my little apartment any more crying over you and wishing that you’d come back home when it was becoming perfectly clear that you weren’t! I couldn’t sit there pining after you with out any distraction from it! It just happened, while I was waiting life just happened to me!” She stood there, glaring at him while trying to get her breathing under control and calm herself down. She had no idea how their talk got so out of control, but it had and they’d ended up screaming at each other. It was a Michael and Maria thing to do, but there they were, Max and Liz, doing it. “The last three years have been good Max. A lot better than those seven years I spent being lonely and missing you. We needed to move on because we thought you and Tess broke your promises to us. After seven years with no word, we gave up hope that we’d ever see you guys again. So yeah we just upped and got married, just like that.”

She paused briefly to suck in a breath before continuing, “And don’t you dare expect an apology from me Max Evans. Because that is not going to happen, I have no regrets about doing what I did. You weren’t here and you don’t know how hard it was for me!”

“Like it wasn’t hard for me either?!” He fumed.
“Oh please, spare me! You had a planet to run Max! I’m sure that kept you busy enough didn’t it?!”
“Yeah it did, but that didn’t stop me from being lonely and missing you at night!” He said running his hands through his hair roughly.
“Are you trying to tell me that you spent 10 years without companionship? Because I really don’t believe that. I’m sure there were women up there who were only too happy to please their king.” She said crossing her hands over her chest. “You’ve got needs Max, just like I do!” She poked her finger into his chest, hard to emphasize her point.

“Whatever Liz, I can’t talk about this with you right now.” He said turning to leave the room. “I have to get out of here.” He was momentarily startled when he saw her jump over the bed and throw herself on the door.
“No, you stay and I’ll go!” She yelled throwing open the door and stalking out of the room.

Isabel and Alex turned their heads at the sound of a door being thrown open and someone stomping down the hall. Alex thought for sure that it was Michael coming to kick his ass and was surprised to see a very pissed off Liz emerge from the hall instead.
“Liz?” He asked, his face showing his concern. When she didn’t answer him, he said her name a little louder.
“I’m going home. I need to get out of this house and away from its occupants. No offense.” She angrily threw open the door and stepped out only to slam it behind her. Seconds later they heard a car peeling out of the driveway.

- - -
Part 6
- - -

Kyle took Tess back to Megan’s room so that they could talk in private. Once they were there, neither one of them had the slightest clue what to say. Tess just wanted to kiss him, give him a proper greeting like she hadn’t done at Megan’s party, but for some reason she couldn’t. Maybe it had something to do with the way he was acting all skittish and jumpy around her, like he wasn’t quite sure what to do with himself.

“Um...I have something to tell you Tess. I think you should sit down.” There wasn’t any way to dance around the subject. If he was going to tell her, he was just going to have to come right out and say it. Figuring out how to phrase it was the tricky part. ‘Sorry honey but while you were gone, I married Liz.’ Probably wouldn’t go over too well. He wondered if he should try to ease into it. First saying how much he missed her and how some things have changed and then just slip it in there. Sort of like an ‘Oh yes, and by the way I got married. To Liz.’

“What’s wrong Kyle?” She asked cautiously, pulling him from his thoughts. She noted the way he was pacing around and thought to herself whatever it was that he had to tell her must be very important. Though she couldn’t shake the feeling that she already knew what he was going to say.

Finally after deciding that it wouldn’t matter how the fateful words were uttered, that her reaction would be the same no matter what he just looked her square in the eye and blurted it out. “I’m married.”

There was an awkward silence between the two of them for a few minutes before Tess looked down at the yellow carpet. “I knew it.” She said quietly. “I knew that you’d move on. I told you that I’d have nothing to come back to, that you’d get married. But no, you didn’t listen to me, you had to go and confess your love. You should’ve never told me that I’d always have you to come back to because you’d wait for me if you couldn’t keep your damn promise Kyle!”

Another awkward silence consumed them. He didn’t know what to say, he wanted to say sorry but it didn’t seem like enough. Moreover she was right, he never should’ve made the promise if he couldn’t keep it. Although at the time, he thought, he could handle it. He thought she’d come back in a few months, a year or two at the most and everything would be good between them. He didn’t know that he would have to wait ten long years to see her face again.

“Who is she? Do I know her?” Tess asked, standing up from the bed and crossing her arms. “Where’d you meet her? I want to know everything.”
She wasn’t going to be happy at all when she found out. Bowing his head he remained silent.
“Who is she Kyle?”
His voice was so quiet that she almost didn’t hear it. “Liz...”

He watched the emotions play out over her features. She stood completely still at first, as if she hadn’t even heard what he’d said to her. Then her bottom lip began to quiver and she looked like a little girl, lost in the mall without her mother. Before the tears could spill out of her eyes and roll down her cheeks she checked that emotion and steeled herself. Her features becoming hard.

“It figures it’d be Liz. She seems to have a thing for my left overs.” She said flippantly. “Somehow that little bit-”
“Stop.” Kyle said, waving his hand in the air in a cutting motion. He knew what she was about to call Liz and he didn’t like it one bit. She opened her mouth to speak but was again cut off. She turned her head to look at the wall as she registered Max’s voice coming through it loud and clear.

“Did you even stop to think of me when you said yes? Did you even care how I’d feel when I got back?” He sounded so hurt and angry. For the next ten minutes Kyle and Tess were unable to speak as they listened to the verbal fight play out in the next room. They listened as the yelling stopped and the door to the next room was thrown open, banging loudly against the wall. They listened as Liz stomped off down the hallway and then as the bedroom door slammed shut again, shaking the wall with its force. They listened as the front door was slammed shut and then to the sound of a car’s tires squealing on the pavement as Liz sped off.

“How did it happen Kyle?”

- - Kyle’s Flash Back - -
It was June 13 again. Liz, Kyle, Alex and Maria sat in the empty Crashdown. It was 5:00, the busiest time of the night, yet the place was totally empty with the exception of the four people sitting in their usual booth. Liz had convinced her father to close the restaurant, all day that day. He of course did so without argument. He knew what this day was. It was the anniversary of the Tuesday that his daughter became a mere shell of the girl that she used to be. She was once full of life, but now she was just mostly depressed. Her eyes were constantly bloodshot, red and puffy, rimmed with tears. None of them were the same anymore, they were no longer the kids that Jeff Parker had come to love almost as much as he loved his own.

No, now these kids were depressed. Maria and Alex held themselves up for their little girl. They weren’t as bad as Liz and Kyle. They had something to keep them going, a reason to get up every morning and live their lives. To Liz and Kyle it seemed that they didn’t, and that worried Jeff. It would be all too easy for them to give into the depression. Looking out from the diamond shaped window in the door leading to the break room just one last time, Jeff sighed heavily and then went upstairs. He’d let them have their anniversary party.
- - -
A small cd player was sitting in the middle of the table playing Everybody Hurts by REM. It was their ritual. Every year on June 13 the four of them gathered in the Crashdown, sitting at their regular booth and listening to depressing music and when they were of age, they brought in the alcohol.

Liz sat there silently; every now and then tears would slowly trickle down her face. She felt like shit. Looking down at her half empty glass she realized that the Vodka probably wasn’t helping matters much. She slowly looked around the booth, observing in her drunken stupor the faces of her friends. Kyle was drinking something at the moment, but she could tell that he was feeling exactly what she was feeling. Alex was staring at the table. He looked, to Liz’s surprise, somewhat happy and not really the least bit sad. Sure she was drunk, but she could see it. She could see it in the way he looked at Maria. He was becoming happy, becoming accustomed to his new life. A life without Isabel. He probably still missed her every now and then, but not as much.

Tearing her gaze away from Alex she turned it on Maria, who was staring off into space and idly rubbing Alex’s forearm. Even in her drunken state Liz could see that Maria wasn’t quite to the place where Alex was, but that she would soon get there. They weren’t surrounded by the same darkness that she and Kyle were. They were in the gray area, almost in the clear. Close enough to touch it if they just reached out.

She wanted to be there in that gray area, reaching out to enter the clear. She wanted to be out of the darkness. Her eyes darted back and forth from Maria to Alex when the realization hit her that they had never really been in the darkness, as she had. They’d always been one foot in and one foot out. Partly because they had each other and partly because they had Megan.

Liz wished that Max had left her a little something behind for her too. They’d gone all the way the same night that Michael and Maria had. The night right before they left. She figured it was just her luck that she wouldn’t end up with a beautiful child like Maria had. For Alex and Maria, Megan was a distraction. They loved her, of course but she was still a distraction. Something to take their minds off of everything for a little while, even if she did look like a mini-Michael. Getting up from the booth, she staggered around a bit before raising her glass to her mouth and finding it empty.

She could feel her anger starting to rise. She was always left wanting, always left thirst. It always seemed like whatever she got it was the raw end of the deal. She never got what she wanted or what she deserved. She couldn’t laugh about it and just brush it off with that old saying, bad things happen to good people. Because bad things were always happening to her and she thought she was a damn good person. Bringing her hand past her head she thrust it forward and watched as the glass flew out of her hand and broke against the wall.

Cocking her head to the side she looked at the shattered pieces of glass laying on the floor by the wall and wondered if that’s what her heart looked like. She hadn’t noticed everyone else in the booth jump when they heard the sound of glass breaking, and she hadn’t noticed them staring at her either.

“They’re not coming back.” She said. Her voice completely calm.
“They are Liz, Isabel promised she would. And we all know that Isabel Evans never breaks a promise.” Alex said getting up to comfort his friend.
She whirled around on him, smacking away the hand that was on her shoulder. “No Alex, don’t you see?! They’re not ever coming back. It’s been seven years and we haven’t seen or heard from them!”
There were a few minutes of silence, everyone thinking over what Liz had said before she started up again.

“Why is god doing this to me Alex? Is there even a god?” She asked laying her head on his shoulder. “I meet the love of my life, my soul mate only to find out that I can’t have him because he has a destiny and if we’re together the world will end. Then here’s the icing on the cake guys, he gets sent away to his stupid home planet right after we get back together! God gives me a taste of him again and then what does he do? He rips him right out of my arms...AGAIN!”

“Liz, this didn’t just happen to you ok? This happened to us too.” Maria said getting out of the booth and walking over to where her two best friends were standing. “Yeah, I’ll admit you had it rough what with that Future Max/world ending business but we all had to deal with Destiny. It wasn’t just you, so stop making about yourself because we’re all grieving too.” It was probably just the alcohol in Maria’s system that was doing all the talking but it was the alcohol that had given her the courage to say it in the first place. She was getting really sick and tired of Liz’s ‘It’s all about me, life hates me, god hates me, woe is me’ attitude.

“I think we better go before things are said that we’ll regret later.” She said turning to Alex. “We should go pick up Megan.”
“Yeah run away Maria, don’t deal with it. Go play house.”
Before Maria could respond, Alex placed a hand over her mouth telling her what a stressful day it’d been for everyone and not to say something that she’d regret later. Holding out his hand he turned to Kyle. “Give me your keys and I’ll take you home.”
Kyle shook his head no, but fumbled around in his pocket for his keys and then tossed them to Alex when he finally found them. “I’m gonna hang out here for a while.”

The second that Maria and Alex left the restaurant, Liz plopped down in the seat across from Kyle. They sat there for a few minutes, staring at the table before he spoke. “I believe you Liz. I don’t think they’re coming back to us either.”

Resting her elbow on the table, she leaned her head against that hand. “Do you believe in god Kyle?”
“I used to...but I’m with you now. There is no god; there is no Buddha, and if there is then he’s got something against us, doesn’t he?” She smiled at his attempt to be funny given the circumstances they were in.

“I know what you mean about Maria and Alex playing house.” Liz nodded her head and then laid both of her arms out on the table and leaned against it. He leaned in as well and before they knew what was happening their lips were touching. She didn’t break the kiss when he deepened it by sliding his tongue into her mouth, instead she sent hers into his. Eventually when the need for air was immediate, the kiss broke and the only sounds were the heavy breathing of two drunks. They stayed quiet until they managed to get their breathing under control.

Out of the blue Kyle took her hand in his and stroked the back of it with his thumb. “Let’s get married.” He said finally breaking the silence.
She laughed at first, thinking he was joking but then quickly became serious when she realized that he was not. “But...we don’t love each other. Not like we love Max and Tess...”
“I know but they’re not coming back remember?” He reminded her. “We don’t deserve to be lonely Liz. That’s why we should get married. We can help each other forget about them.”

He watched her face as she thought it over, very hard. Even in her drunken state she was weighing out the pros and cons of it. If she hadn’t been drunk, maybe she would’ve said no. She probably would’ve said that she promised him she’d wait forever, and forever is how long she would wait. She would’ve told him that nobody could ever make her forget about Max Evans, but instead all she said was, “Ok. Let’s do it.”
- - End of Flash Back - -

“And that’s how it happened.” Kyle said with finality.
Tess had taken a seat at Megan’s desk, her feet tucked underneath her. “Do you love her?” She asked.
“I grew to...yeah.”
Swallowing the lump in her throat she tried to steady her voice, “And you want to be with her?”
“I don’t know...I love her but when I saw you...old feelings resurfaced.”
Closing her eyes, Tess felt a tiny flame of hope burning in her heart. “So you love us both then? Well you can’t have both. You can only have one of us looks like you need to figure out which one of us you really want.”

He looked down at the floor and sighed, “It’s not that easy.”
“Meditate on it.” She said without a second thought.
“Tess...I don’t-” He started to tell her that he didn’t meditate anymore because he didn’t believe in Buddha anymore, but the look that she pinned him with stopped him from doing so.
“Just try it Kyle. It worked for you 10 years ago, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t work now. You shouldn’t have lost your faith because of this.” She said leaning in, “Maybe this will help too...”

She leaned in and pressed her lips soft and sweet at first, then growing more and more passionate. She’d had so much bottled up passion from her stay on Antar that she thought she was going to eat him alive. She was not going to just lay down and accept this. She was going to fight for her man. Liz Parker had ruined any chance she had with Max, a long time ago and she was not about to let Liz take another one of her men. She couldn’t and wouldn’t lose another one to Liz Parker.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 30-Jan-2002 11:21:03 PM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 6:44:45 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.
*S
*P
*O
*I
*L
*E
*R
*S
*
*sorta
*
*
*
*
*

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.

--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.

--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.

--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.
posted on 4-Nov-2001 6:54:13 AM
Title: The Valenti Bunch
Author: Sugarplum17 aka Lynn
Disclaimer: If I owned them, I’d be off playing with my new boys. I own nothing, so please don’t sue me; you won’t get anything good anyway.
Summary: This is OrangeNish’s challenge.

quote:

From the Fic Challenge Thread: 3) Jim Valenti, a recent widower, has four boys: Kyle, Alex, Michael, and Max. He is engaged to Amy DeLuca, whose husband has left her. Amy has four daughters: Maria, Tess, Isabel, and Liz. After the wedding, they hire cleaning person/butler Ed Harding. Think "The Brady Bunch". Extra credit if you elaborate on this line: "Here's a story/About a woman named Amy..."
M/L: age 17 M/M: 15 A/I: 13 K/T: 10
Must be funny and foofy. There can be romance between the stepsibs, if you wish.


Author’s Note: I’m not really sure I know how to do foofy and funny, but I hope this is close enough. If people like it, I’ll continue, if they don’t...I won’t. Sorry if someone already took this, and Orange, I hope you don't mind that I did, but the extra credit part of the challenge was calling out to me. I had to do it, I hope you like it.
-------
“I can not believe this! How could she do something like this? She’s always telling us to be responsible, be mature, use our heads and think before we act and what does she do?! The exact opposite!” Maria screamed as she paced across the room that she now shared with her older sister Liz.
“Calm down Maria, it’s not that bad...really.”
“Not that bad? Not that bad?! Liz, she went off to Vegas and married Sheriff Valenti! Now we have to live with the morons he calls children! I had to give up my room to Michael freaking Valenti! The biggest freak in 9th grade! No in the whole school!” Maria yelled as she threw her hands up in the air and stared at her sister in disbelief. “I mean what the hell did she think this was gonna be like? The Brady Bunch?!”

“Here's the story of a woman named Amy,
Who was bringing up four very ugly girls.
Three of them had hair of gold, not like their mother,
The youngest one in stupid curls.” Michael sang from the doorway of the room that Maria and Liz shared. Liz couldn’t help but crack a smile, but then she noticed how pissed off Maria looked, and the smile faded.

“Here's the story, of a man named Valenti,
Who was busy with four idiots of his own,
They were five dorks, living all together,
And I wish they were still alone.” Maria sang back. ‘Oh lord this is gonna get ugly, unless I put a stop to it.’ Liz thought to herself.

“Till the one day when the lady met this fellow
And they knew it was much more than a hunch,
That this group would somehow form a family.
That's the way we all became the Valenti Bunch.
The Valenti Bunch,
That's the way we all became the Valenti Bunch.” Liz sang interrupting whatever it was that Michael was going to sing next.

“The Deluca-Valenti Bunch, thank you very much.” Maria said with a little more attitude then she intended, before pushing past Michael and stalking out of the room. Sighing Liz went back to reading her book, and Michael went back to the room he now shared with Max, his older brother.

Down in the kitchen, Ed stood behind the stove stirring a big pot of spaghetti and meatballs.
“Mmm, that smells great Ed!” Amy said with praise as she stood on the other side of the counter.
“Thanks, dinners ready Mrs. V, call the troops.” He said, dishing it out onto 10 plates. Amy walked over to the swinging kitchen door, opened it and yelled out as loud as she could so that she could be heard from anywhere in the house, “Dinner’s ready kids!” She took her seat at the table, and was joined by her new husband Jim, his four boys and her four girls. She hoped that this would work out, she was really in love with Jim, and she loves his boys. She knew that she couldn’t replace their mother, just like Jim could never replace her girls’ father, but she hoped that one day the boys might come to think of her as a mother figure, and that the girls might come to think of Jim as a father figure. She knew it’d be hard, but she really, really wanted it to work out.
“So Liz, how was your day?” Jim asked before taking a big bite of his spaghetti. Maria watched in disgust as the boys devoured their food, using little to no manners at all. She was going to have to train them all. Especially Michael, he was the worst out of all of them.
“Oh it was fine; I got an A on my project for English.” Congratulations and woo hoo’s were given from Amy and Jim, a couple of gagging noises from some of the boys, clapping from Max, who actually looked like he cared, a 'big whoop' from Tess, a nice smile from Izzy and a Marsha, Marsha, Marsha from Maria. ‘This is gonna be hard with Maria always making Brady Bunch references.’ Liz thought to herself.

Ed quietly came round to Maria, and stuffed a roll into her mouth, “Put a sock in it blondie.” He said, setting the rolls on the table. “I just got these from the bakery, fresh baked this morning from Sam. They’re delicious.” He said once he had turned his attention to Jim and Amy.
“How is Sam?” Jim asked the caretaker. Ed didn’t like being called a maid or nanny or anything like that.
“Oh she’s fine, still waiting for that engagement ring though.” Ed said with a wide smile before untying his apron and hanging it in the closet. “Well, I’m off for the night. Big date, Sam and I are going bowling.”
“Try not to have a heart attack from all the fun, Alice.” Maria said sarcastically. Ed’s response was to pick up a roll that was lying on the counter and throw it at her head, leaving her slack jawed and speechless, “I won’t Jan. Night folks.” He said before he left the house, with a huge smile on his face.

TBC?

---part 2----

The rest of the night passed by pretty much uneventfully. Alex and Isabel were left in the kitchen to do the dishes, Max went up to his room to study, Liz went up to hers to finish her homework, and everyone else sat down in the living room to watch TV. For a little while Michael and Maria fought over the remote, until Jim told them that he’d be piloting the remote and to both sit back and enjoy the ride or go somewhere else in the house. They chose to sit back and try to enjoy the ride while glaring at each other occasionally. When Isabel and Alex joined them from the kitchen, the fight began again. They had been watching COPS and making jokes about the perps on the show. When Maria and Michael suddenly realized they were agreeing with each other, they then started spouting off stupid things that the other would do if they were on cops. It almost turned physical when Michael said that Maria would be the white trash fat lady in the background with missing teeth, and that’s when Jim and Amy decided that it was time for everyone to go to bed. The kids went without complaint.

“I’m home!” Jim yelled as he entered the house the next day and hung his coat on the coat rack near the door. Amy came bounding out of the kitchen and jumped into his arms attacking him with kisses.
“Well, I missed you too.” He said chuckling softly.
“Jim, I just came up with the greatest idea.” Amy said dragging him into the kitchen so that the kids wouldn’t be able to hear her idea.
“We’re almost to that point Jim I can feel it. Michael and Maria were actually agreeing last night, until they realized that they were. We’re almost a real family. Now all we have to do is take a family trip or something.” She said excitedly. “Well, take the kids and Ed and we’ll go to the park for a family day or something like that.”
“I don’t know Amy...” He was about to protest further but one look at how her face lit up; he lost the battle and decided to go with the flow. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to have a family day or that he didn’t want their two families to blend into one, he just didn’t think the kids would be into it. Maybe Kyle and Tess would, but they were little. Alex would rather be inside dinking around on the computer or playing video games. Jim was sure Isabel wouldn’t like to be one with nature, even if it were just for an hour or two. Max and Liz probably had better things to do, friends to hang out with, and Maria would probably have a field day with Bradying that one up.

An hour later when all the kids had assembled in the living room, Jim and Amy stood in the front of the room. Maria was silently hoping that they were dropping the bomb on everyone that they were getting a divorce.
“Ed’s in the kitchen right now packing up a picnic, Jim and I want all of you to go upstairs and change into something warm and comfortable because we’re going to the park today. As a family.”
There was a groan from everyone, but they did as told.
“I hope you don’t think we’re gonna sit around the blanket eating our potato salad and talking about how our day was with everyone, oh and you’re not gonna make us potato sack race are you?” Maria asked before standing up and walking towards the stairs.
“Of course not honey. You really need to get over this Brady Bunch thing.” Amy replied before Maria disappeared up the stairs.
“Go take the potato sacks out of the trunk.” She whispered to Jim.

---Part 3---

“Guys wait for me!” Isabel called as she trudged up the little hill, it wasn’t that steep, but the shoes she was wearing was making it harder to hike and keep up with the rest of them. Alex left his place by Michael to go back and walk with Isabel.
“Do you want a piggyback ride or something?” Alex asked as he finally reached her.
“No, I can do it. You guys are just moving too fast for me.” She protested.
“Isabel, why don’t you just let Alex help you? It’s clear that you’re an indoor girl.” Michael called from a head.
“She is not! She can be a hardcore nature chick when she wants to be.” Maria protested.
This clearly grabbed Michael’s attention because he whirled around and faced her.
“Oh she is?” He said with just a hint of mockery in his tone.
“Yeah she is.”
“Ok, answer me this G.I. Jane. Ever peed outside?” He asked turning to Isabel and closing the distance between them, coming to a stop directly in front of her. Isabel’s face contorted in disgust and she brought her hand up to her chest while stepping back a little.
“God no! I’m not an animal Michael! Civilized people use a bathroom.” She finished with a flip of her hair.
“Hey I’m civilized but when you’re camping and there isn’t a bathroom the woods will do. Strike one. Next question. When you go camping, if you’ve ever been, do you sleep in a camper, vehicle or a tent?”
“Tent.”
“Ground or air mattress?”
Taking a defensive stance, she crossed her arms across her chest and looked at him. “Well, I have a bad back, so I have to sleep on an air mattress. The ground is too lumpy and hard.”
“You’re 13; your back is fine. Strike two. Next question; do you now or have you ever played with or touched a bug? And I’m not talking it crawled across your foot here.”
“That’s an unfair question, some people have bug phobias.” Maria commented from her spot standing next to Alex.
“Every kid plays with bugs, doesn’t matter if they’re afraid of them later.” Michael said turning to her and then back to Isabel waiting for an answer.
“I never played with bugs, even when I was little. New question.” Maria demanded.
He let out a heavy sigh and looked up at the sky before returning his eyes back to Isabel.
“Fine! Ever climbed a tree? I don’t want to hear about tree phobias or height issues, Maria.”
She wanted to say yes, she really did. But the sad fact of the matter was that she hadn’t really ever climbed a tree. Before she could answer Maria stepped infront of her.
“She’s an expert! Climbs like a monkey.”
“Oh really?” Michael asked skeptically.
“Maria!”
“Now Izzy, don’t be modest, you know you can.”
“I’m not sold. Prove it.” Michael commanded.
Trying to feign coolness, Isabel simply shrugged. “I don’t feel like it.”
“Strike-”
“You are such a child! Pick a tree!” Maria yelled interrupting Michael from saying Strike three, proving that Isabel really was an indoor girl.
He gave a quick look around before he spotted the perfect tree. The limbs were pretty high up, so she’d really have to work to get up there, and they were few and far apart. That would be the perfect tree. Even if she had climbed a tree before, it’d be difficult, but looking at Isabel, he some how couldn’t help but think that Maria was talking out of her ass.
“That one.” He said pointing to it.
“How far does she have to go?” Maria said looking at the tree in horror. It was big.
“At least halfway.”
“Um, that tree is a beast. I don’t think she should try to climb it.” Alex said, tossing in is opinion on the matter. She shot him a grateful look before her hand was grabbed and Maria was pulling her to the tree.
“Maria, you and I both know that I’ve never climbed a tree in my life. I’m damn well not going to humiliate myself infront of Alex and Michael Valenti trying, just so you can win some little pissing contest you have going on with Michael.” Isabel said in a hushed voice, which was effective in doing only one thing. Stopping Maria and making her turn around placing both hands on her little sister’s shoulders and looking her in the eye.
“Isabel, you have to do this. Not just for me, but for every single girl that’s ever been called an ‘indoor girl’. He insulted you and you’ve got to prove him wrong.”
Sighing, Isabel stepped up to the base of the tree and looked up.

*Meanwhile back at the ranch...*

Jim and Amy were sprawled out on the blanket. They had a little time to their selves for the first time today. Kyle and Tess had gone off to play on the play structure with the other little kids. Ed, Max and Liz went fishing in the river, and Michael, Maria, Alex and Isabel went on a nature walk in the surrounding woods.
“That one over there looks like a little bunny.” Amy said pointing up to the cloud she was talking about. Jim’s lips formed a wicked little smile and he leaned over to whisper something in her ear about the cloud behind that bunny and what it was doing to said bunny, eliciting a giggle from Amy and a playful smack in the stomach. They spent what seemed like an hour kissing when all of a sudden a bee flew over and landed on Jim’s face. He was deathly afraid of bees so he jumped up and began running around a little bit. This pissed off the bee and it began to chase him. He ran in circles around the blanket when finally he just took off in a straight line towards the river. By the time Amy got up and made her way over to the river she found Ed splashed with water, and Max, Liz and Jim standing up from the water...all soaking wet. In the process of getting away from the bee Jim had taken out Max and Liz when he made his mad dash to the river and jumped in. She stood there for several minutes trying to hold in her laughter before she just couldn’t take it anymore and let it all out. Liz and Max couldn’t help themselves and they started to laugh too, but the reason for their laughter was entirely different from Amy’s. They were watching Isabel march out from the woods, looking horrible. Leaves and twigs protruding out of her hair, but that wasn’t what was so funny to them. What they started laughing about was that on her way down the hill, Isabel slipped, sliding down the hill on her butt and about half way rolling on to her side flailing her arms and legs around as she picked up speed going down the hill.

Once she had stopped rolling she got up only to fall down again when she tripped on a stick. Finally she was able to make her way over to the river where she spotted her family.
“I hate the stupid park! I’m not a nature girl! I AM an indoor girl! I got stuck in a tree, which I had no choice but to fall out of, I have grass stains on my clothes, there are leaves and god knows what else in my hair, and to top it all off I fell down some retarded hill! I’m going to sit in the car and when you guys can find the time to stop laughing please end my hellish nightmare and join me!” Isabel yelled as she stomped off in the direction of the parking lot mutter cusswords under her breath.

“If that’s a hardcore nature chick, then Weezer isn’t Alex’s favorite band.” Michael said from the top of the hill, in between his laughter.

It's been a long time since I updated this one. I might possibly decide to continue it, I don't know.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-Nov-2001 7:48:18 AM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 7:00:42 AM
There are 11 parts to this fic but I only wrote 6 of them. Cookieman1234 wrote the rest and they can be found here: http://pub10.ezboard.com/frandomroswellramblingsroswellianfanfictionspace.showMessage?topicID=2187.topic

Title: Bad Boy
Author: Sugarplum17 aka Lynn
Disclaimer: Roswell and it’s characters aren’t mine. Please don’t sue me.
Summary: Maria lives in Seattle with her mom, Liz and Michael live there too. But Amy decides she wants to get out of Seattle and move to Roswell. There she befriends Alex Whitman, resident geeky good guy. Read the rest to find out more.
Author’s Note: This is my own AU challenge that nobody wanted to take...so I had to take it. It’ll probably suck...right now it’s CC but eventually it’s gonna be UC. I got the idea when I read Olivia Goldsmith’s book, Bad Boy. It’s similar...but not exactly the same. If people like it...I’ll continue.
----

I sat in the passenger seat of my boyfriend’s car as we drove down Pike Street looking at the various shops and homes. This would be the last time that I’d see this street, at least until Christmas Break.

I remember it like it was yesterday, the day my life practically ended. The day all of my plans for my senior year flew out the window. The day my mother told me that we were leaving the city that I loved, to move to some cheap tourist trap of a town called Roswell, who’s only claim to fame was a stupid weather balloon accident that was mistaken for an alien ship crashing in 1947. Seattle is famous for it’s coffee, the birth of grunge and alternative, and it’s computer moguls. I’m moving from a city where stars were made, multimillionaires work and live, and the best damn coffee you’ve ever tasted is made, to some two bit town smack dab in the middle of some stupid hot desert, with hicks, cheap alien merchandise and a cheese factory. Isn’t life grand?

It really shouldn’t have been such a big shock to me, about the move that is. My mom had mentioned it before. Her boyfriend Phil had just broken up with her so she went out partying with the girls. Needless to say she came home ⊕#%$ drunk, complaining of Seattle men, the crappy Seattle weather and how we were getting the hell out of here. Given my mom’s condition and everything, I honestly didn’t believe her. I simply said, “Ok mom, whatever you say.” Then I helped her into bed. All was forgotten until about two weeks later when I came home to a for sale sign resting in our front yard and my mom standing in the living room holding a deed to some cheesy alien themed restaurant in Roswell, New Mexico.

The fight she and I got into that night was like no other fight that we’d ever had. Things were said that neither of us really meant, and in the end I was out the door and two blocks later crying on my best friend’s bed.

A hand on my shoulder ripped me from my thoughts and brought me back to reality, where I found the car had stopped infront of Liz’s house.
“Oh, sorry.” I said, opening the door and getting out so that Liz could do the same.
“I’m going with you and your mom to the airport tomorrow...so I’ll see you then. But call me tonight ok?”
I nodded in the affirmative to my best friend, Liz Parker, because I didn’t trust myself. If I had spoken, I would’ve ended up sobbing. So I nodded and pulled her into a big hug, and then I got back into the car. Once inside the car I turned around as Michael drove off and waved with a sad expression on my face, while I watched Liz get smaller and smaller as we drove down the street.

“Michael?” He looked at me to show that I had his attention for the moment, before turning his eyes back to the road.
“Do you really want this? The long distance relationship I mean. You’re a man with needs and I don’t think I could handle it if I found out that you were getting your needs met by someone other than me...so if you don’t want this tell me know.” I knew full well that he wasn’t going to tell me. Infact I knew exactly what he was going to tell me. It wouldn’t be what I wanted to hear, but it’d be good enough I guess. He looked thoughtful for a minute before answering; “I don’t really care Maria. Whatever you want is fine with me.”

That’s how everything was with Michael. He never had an opinion about anything, except for art. All I wanted to hear from him was three little words, but the chances of me hearing those words from Michael Guerin were slim. I just wanted him to say, ‘Yeah Maria, I want this too because I love you.’ With Michael everything was always so complicated...he never offered his opinion on anything, unless it was art related. He was never passionate about anything but his art, and sometimes even about me, but those were rare occurrences. Sometimes I looked at him as a project. I vowed to myself that I’d dig through that personality that was so complex, and I’d find the real Michael. The Michael that shared opinions was capable of saying I love you back to me when I said it to him, instead of saying ‘ditto’ all the time. Which basically to me meant, ‘I love you but not the way you think I should, so hopefully ditto will do’. I’d find the Michael who could sleep with me and not be distant afterwards.

I was again pulled from my thoughts when I felt the car stop, infront of my house. For a few minutes I sat there, I don’t know exactly what I was waiting for...but I sat there just the same, waiting for something. His hand was on my cheek before I knew what was happening and he pulled my face towards his and into a kiss. We were having a nice make out session, and when it ended I was left with a happy fulfilled feeling. But it didn’t last, because the most annoying thing about Michael is that he really, and when I say really...I mean REALLY knows how to kill a mood.
“Cya.” He said to me as my hand went for the door. Now this really set me off. In the time it took for me to hear his ‘Cya’ my fulfilled happy feeling left my body to be replaced by disbelief and anger.
“Cya?” I repeated, he said nothing. He just rolled his eyes and rested his head on the headrest waiting for me to continue with the rant that he knew was coming.
“Cya?! Michael, I’m leaving tomorrow...for good. I’m moving away, across the freaking country and all you can offer your girlfriend of almost a year is a ‘Cya’?! No, I love you’s? No I can’t wait till the middle or end of summer when I can come out and visit you and then for Spring Break when you can come back and visit me because I’ll miss you so much? It’s just cya?!” I looked at him, waiting for an answer...an explanation, and got nothing. Why was I so surprised? The great Michael Guerin never explained himself to anyone...silly me for thinking I was different. Throwing open the car door I gathered up my things and got out, slamming his door behind me and stomping up to my house. My mom was definitely right about all Seattle men being jerks.

TBC?

Disclaimer and all that in part 1.
--Part 2--

I stormed into my house, up the stairs and into my bare room. All the anger I was feeling flooded out of me at that point. I had almost forgotten that my mom had sent all the big stuff already. I’d totally forgotten that for the past week I’d been living out of a suitcase and sleeping on an air mattress. I had come up here, to my room for comfort, but instead of feeling comforted, I felt a wave of sadness pass over me. I realized that I’d never again lay in my bed and stare up at the ceiling. Someone would buy this house and they wouldn’t want some strange girl coming into their home and staring up at their ceiling every time she came back to Seattle.

I dropped my backpack by the door and stood there for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do with myself. It’s not exactly like I could go downstairs, plop down on the couch and watch TV or anything. Those things had been sent along with the rest of it. The only possessions I had were some of my clothes, my portable CD player, a few of my favorite CDs, and a couple books. The rest had already been sent in the moving vans to my new home, an apartment above that stupid diner my mom bought. I sighed and grabbed a book and lying down on my air mattress to read for a while.

I must have drifted off because I woke up feeling disoriented, it was dark in my room except for the little bit of light drifting in from the hall and I could hear my mom calling me from downstairs.
“Coming!” I yelled angrily. Rolling off the mattress and onto the floor I pushed myself up. Ever since I got into that fight with my mom we haven’t been speaking. Or at least I haven’t been speaking to her, and when I did it was usually a one-word answer said in an icy tone.

Making my way downstairs I found that my mom had ordered pizza for us.
“Is Liz coming with us tomorrow?” She asked me trying to make conversation. I looked up from my pizza and said in the hardest tone I could muster up, “Yes.” We ate in silence for a little while until she tried again.
“How was the last day of school?”
“Fine.” This time I didn’t even look at her.
“Did you do good on your exams?”
“Yes.” Another silence over took us. Finally my mom couldn’t take it anymore. She tossed her pizza down on her plate and looked at me. I returned her stare, my eyes not wavering.
“Maria, I know you’re mad at me right now, but you’re got to give me more than one-word answers.” Says whom mom?
“Whatever.” I replied, picking up my pizza and casually looking at it as I ate. Whatever seemed to be my new word lately. I used it whenever fine, ok, yes and no didn’t apply.
“All right Maria, you just be a little baby then.”
“Ok.” I said looking at her again. My confident, unwavering stare must’ve pissed her off because she pointed to the stairs and said, “Go to your room, I won’t have you disrespecting me like that in this house.” I threw my pizza down on my plate and stood up. Looking her directly in the eye, I said in the iciest tone possible, “Whatever.” Then I casually strolled out of the front door. She knew exactly where I was going, and she really couldn’t stop me.
***
I walked the two blocks to Liz’s house and climbed up the tree to her bedroom window. I knew she’d be in her room reading or some junk like that...she always is, and there she was. Once she saw me at the window she put down her book and went over to the closet to roll out the sleeping bag and get the extra pillow. We talked about Michael and about my mom.

I had promised to call Liz but going to her house seemed like a much better idea. I just couldn’t breathe in my house. It was like my mom was slowly suffocating me with just her very presence. I know that sounds bad, I know I’m supposed to love my mom...but right now...I hate her. She’s taking me away from the only thing I’ve ever known just because she can’t get a handle on her love life and she keeps picking losers.

Why does she have to punish me for her mistakes? It’s not like it’s my fault she never wants to go out with the good guys. It’s not my fault she just attracts loser after loser after loser. It really isn’t. Even my dad was a loser...she’s never dated a good guy and that is so not my fault. So I shouldn’t be getting punished. There are plenty of good men here in Seattle, despite what I said earlier about all men in Seattle being jerks; there are nice ones here. She just never wants to date them.

Disclaimer and everything in part 1.
--Part 3--
Liz POV

I woke up the next morning to the sound of Maria’s snoring from my floor, stretching and yawning I got out of bed and walked into the bathroom to get ready. When I came back in Maria was already up and ready to go. Not that she wanted to or anything, but what other choice did she have? Amy made a decision and there wasn’t anything Maria could do to change it.

As soon as we were both ready, we left my house. Maria was holding onto my old ratty teddy bear that I gave her earlier this morning. I didn’t have to tell her why I was giving it to her, because she’d been my best friend for so long that she automatically knew. I gave it to her because when I was little and away from home, I’d hold that bear and I’d imagine that I was home, in my favorite room in the house...my father’s study. Doing that would help me not feel homesick anymore, so that’s why I was giving it to Maria. So that she could hold Hemi, my bear and she could imagine herself lying on her bed staring up at her ceiling in her room. I thought that maybe it’d help her too.

We walked the two blocks to Maria’s house and went inside so that she could pack the rest of her things. She decided that she was going to give me something too. She reached into her suitcase and pulled out her favorite sweater and her favorite pair of jeans.
“I won’t need them in hell.” She said loud enough for her mom to hear, who was in her bedroom across the hall.

As soon as everything was packed up, they both had their carry on bags and they were ready to go they took one more last look around the house. Amy had a sad expression on her face...this was the house that Maria was conceived in, this was the house that she was raised in, and now Amy was selling it. Or rather she was leaving it to the realtors to sell. Maria also had a sad look on her face, she loved this house more than anything and she had to leave it now. She said the other night that she’ll never forgive her mom for this, but she will.

Maria lingered around the front yard of the house while Amy waited patiently for her to get in. I forgot that Michael was supposed to stop by on his way to work.
“He’s not coming...” I told her after looking at my watch. We work at the same coffeehouse, his shift started at 9...it was almost 10. Reluctantly Maria climbed into her mom’s car and we took off towards the airport.

We got there and loaded the bags onto the baggage wheel, and then we headed for the boarding gate for their plane. Maria pulled me into a hug and we both started to cry.
“Who’s gonna do your hair and make up before dances?” She said in between sobs.
“Who’s gonna sit with you at lunch and gossip with you?” I choked out. We cried on each other’s shoulders for a few more minutes until Amy must’ve felt guilty and joined the hug. I hugged her back, but Maria didn’t.
“Liz, do you have enough money for the cab ride back?” She asked me with a thick emotional voice; Amy Deluca was on the verge of crying. I nodded my head and wiped the tears from my face. Pulling me into a hug again she said, “You call us anytime you want to come and visit, I’ll even pay for the plane ticket.”

The announcer sounded that it was time to board the plane, so giving Maria one last hug I said goodbye, told her to call me as soon as she got there and then I stepped off to the side to watch my best friend of 16 years leave. She looked back a few times before she finally boarded the plane. Running over to the window I placed my hand on the glass and watched as the plane started to take off. I watched it until it couldn’t be seen anymore.

I sighed heavily, walked out front and hailed a taxi. On the way home an idea popped into my head. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten to mention it to Maria! I couldn’t wait to get home!


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 4-Nov-2001 7:06:21 AM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 7:10:04 AM
Bad Boy: Parts 4-6
--Part 4--

My mom read a book for the first hour of the flight while I listened to music. When I got tired of that I watched some of the in flight movie, but that soon got very boring so I read some of the book that I fell asleep reading the other night. Somewhere around the last hour of the flight my mom decided that she wanted to make conversation with me. She asked me a few questions to which I used my one-word answers to answer, and then she asked me why Michael hadn’t shown up earlier. I glared at her and then put on my headphones again. She never liked Michael, and in the beginning it was part of his appeal.

Finally the long flight was over and we were getting off the plane. We claimed our luggage and my mom was just about to go and rent a car when I noticed a boy around my age holding a sign with our names on it. I tugged on my mom’s arm and pointed to the boy.
“Who’s that?” I asked. My mom looked as confused as I did as she shrugged her shoulders. When she started towards the rent-a-car line I grabbed her arm and pulled her towards the boy.

He wasn’t particularly cute, infact he was kind of a nerd. But he did have a sign that read Deluca and I wanted to know why. Walking straight over to the boy with Elvis Costello glasses that had tape on them, who was dressed in dork clothes complete with a pocket protector and looked him in the eye.
“Who are you?” I asked rudely. I hadn’t meant to be rude to the dork, but I realized that it must’ve came out that way because he looked surprised and took a step back.
“I’m Alex Whitman...Liz Parker’s cousin.” He replied meekly. I made a show of looking him over and then asked in disbelief, “You’re related to Liz Parker?” When he nodded slightly I eyed him suspiciously.
“She’s never said anything about having family living in this hellhole.”
“I’m her very distant cousin. She probably forgot that I lived here.” He explained. He must’ve caught me staring at the sign because he started to explain that too. “She called me earlier today and asked me to pick you and your mother up from the airport. She was hoping that I could show you around and introduce you to some people...so you wouldn’t feel so alone.” I didn’t want to hurt this guys feelings because in his own little way he was adorable with his taped glasses and his pocket protector...but I highly doubted that I’d be interested in meeting fellow members of the Chess Club.

“Well, Alex...I’m Amy and this is Maria and it’s very nice to meet you.” My mom said offering him her hand. He took it and then offered me his, I took it. He stood there awkwardly for a few minutes, “Are you guys ready?”
We were about to pick up our bags when he said that he’d get them. I figured they’d be a little much for him to handle but he seemed to be able to pick them up easily. He led us out to his car and put our stuff in the trunk.

He and my mom made idol chit chat while he drove us to The Crashdown Cafe. Every time my mom had shown me pictures I kind of just threw them down...but this place...it was even dorkier than our escort! He was nice though and he had a good sense of humor. I had a feeling that we were going to become good friends this summer. It’s not exactly like I knew anyone else. Hence my mom’s plan for having me become a waitress in the stupid diner. Alex told us that it was a popular hang out for people our age...and that’s when my brilliant mother came up with her brilliant plan.

A week later my mom and I were all settled in, and she was opening up the diner. I was in some short teal green uniform with an alien head apron tied around my waist and a headband on my head complete with two glitter balls bobbing around for the antennas. What a joke. I’d worked at a coffeehouse back in Seattle so I knew what I was doing with orders and stuff like that. With my mom being management I skipped right over training and started my first shift, on a Friday night.

Two weeks later, I was working all the time and had been spending more and more of my free time with Alex. He was slowly but surely becoming my best friend in Roswell, even though he could never replace Liz. I was pretty sure that I was his only friend, poor guy. We were as different as day and night. But we did have the same sense of humor. The thing about Alex is that if you don’t get to know him, you miss out on knowing this really funny guy. People generally don’t try to get to know him. Sometimes he’d stay and help me close up after work, and he did keep his promise to Liz. He did introduce me to some people, and they weren’t in the chess club.

One person he introduced me to was Max Evans. Resident shy guy of Roswell who some how managed to be totally hot and popular. We became friends, and he introduced me to his sister. Now I have to ask, what is it about the Evans’ gene pool that creates gorgeous looking kids? Isabel Evans, Max’s sister, was the model. The one girl in town that everyone knew, and was destined to go out and experience things, life, and make it big. Of course this goddess looked at me and was so not interested, she gave me a little wave of her hand and then started to look around for more interesting people to talk to, and when I say interesting I really mean popular and time worthy.

Being friends with Max I got to know Kyle Valenti, Max’s best friend. Occasionally when I hung out with them I would see this girl following us. I was told she was Tess Harding. Now this girl was some piece of work. According to Kyle, he and Tess had dated back in their sophomore year, for about a week. He broke up with her and she’s been obsessed with him ever since. He kind of just ignores her and flaunts his relationship with Isabel in her face.

The summer pressed on, I called Michael almost every night, sometimes he was there and sometimes he wasn’t. Sometimes he called me and sometimes he didn’t. Liz and I decided that we would take turns calling each other, every Sunday night at midnight, Seattle time. One Sunday she called and told me that she was flying out here before she had to start school again. I couldn’t wait.

--Part 5--

The night before Liz’s plane was gonna land Alex came over to help me close up the Crashdown. He told me that he was excited about Liz coming to Roswell, that he hadn’t seen her since they were like 6 and he wanted to spend time with her.
“We used to play together at the family functions.” He told me. I couldn’t get over how genuinely excited Alex was. He hadn’t seen Liz since they were 6 years old, they were now 17 going on 18, and he was genuinely excited.

After he helped me close up we headed upstairs, we said hi to my mom and then retired to my room to hang out some more. Alex wanted to go with me to the airport in the morning when I picked up Liz, so we decided that it’d be better if he spent the night at my house. It wasn’t like it was the first time that summer that he’d spent the night. Nothing happened of course, I was with Michael. We were like Dawson and Joey but neither one of us liked the other. I guess my mom allowed him to stay because she saw it like we did, I was with someone else and we were just good friends. Not to mention the fact that she was trying to make it up to me about the move. I could’ve asked to have Kyle, Max and Alex stay over and she would’ve agreed. It wasn’t that she didn’t care about me or anything like that, but the way she saw it, the boys were my only friends in Roswell therefore she didn’t really care. Because she didn’t really think anything would happen with any of the boys and me, and it wouldn’t.

As soon as we entered my room he flopped down on my bed and flipped on the little TV while I went to take a quick shower, when I got back I found him with popcorn, two pops and stretched out on my bed watching TV.
“What are we watching?” I asked as I sat down next to him and towel dried my hair. He handed me the extra pop and placed the bowl on the bed between us, “Fatal Attraction.” He said with a mouth full of popcorn. I was getting irritated that occasionally some of the dialogue would be missing. Looking at the corner of the TV I noticed that we were watching TBS, the Super Station. I hated that network; it always bleeped out the cuss words and usually it played the same movie back to back, or at least twelve times a day. Super Station my ass.

When the movie was over Alex and I got to talking about psycho ex-lovers, and of course that led us to talk about Tess Harding.
“Well, I kind of feel sorry for her.” I said. He made a face at me and then shivered dramatically.
“She reminds me of Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction. She’s obsessed and she’s got the frizzy curly blond hair.”
“Tess has some pretty bad frizz going on but its not that bad!” I said smacking his arm playfully. “And I don’t think she’s as crazy as Glenn’s character was.”
“The girl creeps me out. You should see the way she looks at Isabel when she isn’t looking or when her attention is focus on Kyle. The look that Tess gives...it looks like Tess could kill Isabel. But then Isabel turns around and Tess gives her a friendly smile. It’s scary...that girl is full of artificial sweetener.”

“Whatever Alex,” I said laughing a little at his last comment about Tess. “Will you turn off the TV? We have to get up early tomorrow.” He got up and turned off the TV, took the popcorn bowl and cans out in the kitchen, said goodnight to my mom and then came back in and settled himself into bed. “Goodnight.”
“Night.”
***
The next morning we woke up early, 5 am. My mom was already up making us breakfast, eggs and bacon for her and Alex, eggs and French Toast for me. I would’ve been fine with what they were eating, but my mom didn’t think that just eggs was a very good breakfast, and I don’t eat bacon. I generally tend to stay away from the whole pork family.

After breakfast Alex jumped in the shower while I got ready to go and pick up Liz. Once we got to the airport, I waited near her boarding gate all jittery like. Finally I spotted her.
“Liz!” I yelled out, and started running towards her.
“Maria!” She yelled, dropping her carry on bag and running towards me. We met each other half way and threw our arms around each other and jumped up and down giggling and screaming like little girls who just opened up their doll house from Santa on Christmas day.

At some point Alex must’ve gone over and picked up her bag so that nobody would steal it and then he was back by our sides. Once Liz and I let go of each other, he gave her a hug.
“Wow...you haven’t changed a bit!” She said standing back and holding him at arm length to look him over. Apparently he was still the same dork he’d always been. Liz had never remembered him until the cab ride home from the airport on the day I left, but when she did she raced home and looked through her dad’s family photo album that he kept in his study. Sure enough, there was Alex in his Elvis Costello glasses, even back then. The only thing missing in the pictures was the tape on his glasses and the pocket protector in his shirt. He took the opportunity to look her over when she was holding him at arm length.
“You’ve changed so much!” He said with awe in his voice, and he was right...she had changed. When she was little she was...well, she was pretty fat! Now she was thin, and had turned into a very pretty woman.

“Well, come on...we’ve got things to show you!” I said taking her arm and motioning my head for Alex to go and pick up her suitcase. Once we were all settled in the car we took off, in the opposite direction of home. Alex drove his car, I was in the passenger seat and Liz was in the back.
“Here’s the Observatory; it’s really great! They’ve got-” He rambled on about all the things that the observatory had and how cool it was, but I wasn’t really listening and neither was Liz. I had turned around in my seat, rolled my eyes and mouthed, ‘What a dork’ to her. She giggled, and Alex stopped his lecture, looking out the window in embarrassment.

“Liz is more of a science geek.” I told him, trying to boost his ego. I didn’t mean to embarrass him, so telling him that Liz was into science was a good move. He pounced on the opportunity to tell Liz about all of the science-related places in Roswell.
“If you’ll look to your left you’ll see our lovely park. Obviously kids love it, not many people our age hang out there, but adults and old people frequent there.” I told her pointing towards the park and a cluster of old people walking down the path.

“Over there is the UFO Museum.” Alex said pointing to it.
“It’s pretty lame.” I told her, incase she was gonna want to check it out.
“And here to our right is our very own Crashdown Cafe.” I said with disgust.
She studied it for a little while. “It’s cute. I like it.” She said turning her pearly whites my way.
“Yeah...right. But that concludes our tour for the day. So lets get you upstairs and settled in.” I said clapping my hands together. She looked at me, a little confused.
“That was it? That’s all there is to do in this town?” She asked in disbelief. I nodded solemnly. The truth is that in Roswell, you’re either hanging out at someone’s house, swimming in their pool and eating their food or you’re sitting at a booth or table eating our food at the Crashdown. I don’t think I could’ve handled growing up here.
“Wow...I feel so sorry for you!” Liz said as she put her arm around my shoulder and started to lead me inside.
“Alex, be a dear and get the bags would you?” She asked as she opened the door and we disappeared.
***
“I’m gonna go get another change of clothes for tomorrow, I’ll see you guys in a little bit.” Alex said after he set down Liz’s suitcase, walked over and climbed out my window.
“Your mom lets Alex spend the night?!” Liz asked in shock, once she was sure he was gone.
“Yup.” I looked at her and she was blown away, “It’s completely platonic, Alex and I do not think of each other that way.” I explained to her.
“Yeah now, but eventually...you will.” Liz must’ve been suffering from jet lag or something; I laughed at her like she’d said the funniest thing in the world. “No, don’t laugh it’s true! Look at Dawson and Joey, it’s fact that you can’t share a bed with a boy and not have feelings for him...sooner or later my friend your feelings for my cousin will surface.” She said confidently.
“Liz, I’m with Michael. Alex isn’t my type; he’s the classic good guy.” I told her tossing Hemi at her.
“I’m calling it now types change. Mark my words Maria...you and Alex are gonna fall in love.” She told me; again in a confident tone while tossing Hemi the bear back in my direction.
Laughing I said those five fateful words that had been uttered to my mother when she came home drunk, “Ok Liz, whatever you say.”

--Part 6--

While Liz and I were waiting for Alex to get back we decided to go downstairs and catch up on all thing Seattle over a cup of coffee. We seated ourselves in a booth and ordered our coffee. Liz decided that she was gonna have a little piece of pie with her coffee, since the food on the flight hadn’t been all that great.

“So, tell me what’s going on back home?” I asked, giddy with anticipation.
“Well, there have been parties almost every night, the night before I came here Derek threw me a going away party and they all made me promise to tell them how you’re doing and all that. It was by far and away the best party that there’s been all summer...they’re just no fun without you.” Derek Anderson, of course he’d throw Liz a party, he’s been in love with her for two years. I didn’t even get a going away party and I moved here and that was for good! She’ll only be here for two weeks and she got a party. What’s wrong with that picture?
“Well, if it’s any consolation I haven’t been to too many parties here. Alex isn’t really the party animal type, if ya know what I mean.” I told her, “But Max and Kyle took me to one or two of them though.” I added putting cream and sugar into my coffee. I watched her as she did the same, took a drink and then made a face.
“Ugh! This is the worst coffee I’ve ever tasted!” She said, pushing her coffee away from her. She flagged down the waitress and asked for a cup of water or a pop instead.
“So what else is happening in Seattle?” I asked her. She watched me as I took a sip of my coffee and actually appeared to like it.
“First of all, I don’t know how you can stand this horrible coffee!” I couldn’t at first, but what was I gonna do? Have Liz send me some coffee? I think not. Instead of waiting for an answer from me she went on. “Sandy Thompson cheated on Bobby last week; their relationship is over.” I gasped like it was important, earth shattering news.
“Who’d she cheat on him with?” I asked her, hushing my voice like the people around us knew who we were talking about, or even cared.
“Gregory Sanders.” Liz told me in a mater of fact kind of tone.
“Oh my god! Really?” She nodded her head in my direction while shoving some pie into her mouth.
“It all came out into the open just before I left. It was total drama! Last week, Bobby didn’t go to this party and Sandy got really drunk and I guess she ended up blowing Greg in the bathroom. Apparently Greg can’t keep a secret. He told a few of his friends, it eventually got around to Bobby and at my going away party he stormed into the house, beat the ⊕#%$ out of Greg and the called Sandy all these names, broke up with her and left the party.”
“Oh my god!” I repeated bringing my hand up to my mouth. This was mind-blowing news; Sandy and Bobby were like the most committed couple that I knew when I was in Seattle!

“What’s Michael been up to?” I asked, trying to change the subject. That question is really best friend code for ‘Has he been seeing anyone else? Is he cheating on me?’ I’d just come right out and ask the questions but I don’t want to seem like the paranoid girlfriend or anything.
“He’s been working a lot; a new waitress has been hitting on him a lot lately. But he kind of shrugs her off or ignores her. He’s been to like two parties this whole summer, and other than that I haven’t seen him much.” I allowed myself to breathe a small sigh of relief, but just a small one. He could still be cheating on me...just keeping up appearances around Liz or something.

“Do you think Michael will cheat on me?” I asked her in a serious tone. She looked up from her pie and at me for a second before looking down again.
“I’m not sure...but I’ll keep an eye on him and even start hanging out with him if you want me to.” She offered. I couldn’t help but break out into a smile.
“Thanks Lizzie, you’re the best!” I said leaning over the table to hug her.

We talked about other things happening in Seattle and how her parents were. She was in the middle of telling me some story about her dad when the bell above the door rang; she looked up and trailed off. Her breath caught in her throat. Her eyes kind of glazed over and she had a far off dreamy look on her face. I turned around to see who had walked in and gotten my best friend so worked up, and a huge smile spread across my face. I waved them over to our table and they joined us. Before Alex could sit next to me I pulled Max down so that Alex would have to sit next to Liz, across the table from us.
“Max Evans meet Liz Parker, my bestest friend from Seattle.” I said smiling at Liz. He had the same kind of look that she did, he offered his hand and she just sat there looking at it like she was paralyzed or something, until I kicked her. She jumped a little and shook herself out of her Max induced daze, long enough to smile at him and shake his hand. She glared at me and I just knew that she was glaring for two reasons. One because I kicked her and two because I pulled him down to sit next to me. But really, I did it for her own good. She would’ve looked awfully obvious if he sat next to her and she just sat there staring at him the whole time. It was much easier for her to stare at him and not be obvious if he was sitting across from her.

“So Max, what brings you to the Crashdown today?” I asked.
“I’m just grabbing a bite to eat before I head over the UFO Museum.” He replied pointing with his thumb back towards the museum that was behind us.
“Why do you want to go there? Maria said it was lame.”
“I work there.”
“Oh...sorry.” Liz said blushing and looking down at her pie.
“It’s ok, it is pretty lame. But it’s money.”

We all sat there for like five minutes, in complete silence. Max and Liz were sneaking looks at each other, blushing and looking away when one of them caught the other. Alex and I were noticing the flirtation between the two and smiling.
“Hey what time do you get off work Max?”
“Five.”
“Well Alex, Liz and I were thinking about going to the movies, you wanna come?” I asked flashing him a smile.
“Sure.”

posted on 4-Nov-2001 7:12:15 AM
Title: Stranglehold
Author: Sugarplum17
Disclaimer: The characters, the song and the town don’t belong to me. The plot however, I’m thinkin it does.
Rating: I’d say R, it’s very dark.
Warning: Like I just said, this is dark. Its got some abuse and character death.
Summary: After seven long years of searching, Max finds Tess and his son. Back on Earth. What does he do? Read on. Max POV.
Author’s Notes: The song is Stranglehold by Ted Nugent. I took the title from that song. And this is really, really dark. Kind of weird and creepy. I know that I’m supposed to be taking a break from fic, but this popped into my head and I was compelled to write it. But there probably won’t be too many more after this. It’s 1/1.
----

Finally. After five long years I’d found her. My long search had finally ended. I’d learned from a very reliable source, that Tess was back on Earth, with my son. I’d packed up my truck after learning the general area that they were in, and I’d left Roswell.

It took me two extra years to find her in Michigan. I’d searched every square inch of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio. I scanned the faces of small boys, the faces of their blond mothers. I had no idea what my son would look like, although I imagined him to look something like I did when I was little. I had started to search Michigan, when I found her in a small town, Saline.

I was parked in the parking lot of some park behind a school, disguised in a ratty old hat of Michael’s, a pair of dark sun glasses and a beard. Carefully watching her as she watched my son. I watched as she got up from her blanket and stalked over to the small dark haired boy with big ears and piercing blue eyes, who stood crying in the middle of the play structure. I watched as she yelled something at him. I watched as he stopped crying and sucked up the pain for his mother, the pain from his mother. I watched as she grabbed his hand and jerked him towards the blanket, and as he was lugged behind. I watched as she grabbed their things and pulled him towards her car.

I’d be watching them for two weeks. Learning their habits, their routines. I watched, as she would yell at him, as she hit him. Starting up the car I made my decision. This would be the day it would stop.
---
I followed her to her house and got out of my truck. Standing behind a tree and listening.
“Get out of the car and go to your room Dylan! If you can’t take it like a man I don’t even want to look at you! You get more like your pansy ass dad every day!” She said as she slammed the car door. Taking a deep breath I stepped out from behind my tree.
“Thank god for that.”
She whirled around, and looked at me, startled.
“Max!” She yelled, startled. I took off the glasses and looked around before waving a hand over my face to remove the beard.
“In the flesh.” I said as she backed away from me and towards her house. As I watched her inch away from me, afraid to make any sudden movements I cracked a small but bitter smile. “What’s wrong Tess?”
“N-Nothing.” She said, eyeing me as I started walking towards her. “How did you find us?” She asked, keeping her eyes on me but waving her hand at my son, motioning for him to come to her. He glanced from me to his mother, and he went to her. Causing her to smile, as if she were throwing it in my face. As if he was choosing her over me. Hugging him to her body, her smile got bigger, “Well, I’m so glad you decided to stop by for a visit. I’d invite you in but the house isn’t ready for company.”

As she opened the door, she pushed Dylan inside and turned to go in herself. But in an instant I was behind her, closing the door and crushing her up against it.
“My visit isn’t over yet my dear.” I said in a cold, hard, menacing voice as I gripped the back of her neck and pushed her head further into the door. Gaining a small glint of satisfaction when she moaned out in pain. Not releasing my hold on her neck, I opened the door and pushed her into the house. Closing it behind me, I sealed the door shut and pulled out the alien device I had stole from Brody. The one he used to block our powers when he held us hostage that one time, and turned it on. “Wouldn’t want you mind warping me, or digging around inside my head to erase memories now would I?” I gave a look around the room finally settling them on my son.
“You better not hurt him Max. Kivar will be home any minute.” She threatened, lying through her teeth. I chuckled softly, tearing my eyes from my son and casting them on Tess. My chuckle became a deep throaty laughter.
“What’s so damn funny?!”
“You are Tess.” I managed to say. “You tell my son that I’m a pansy ass, but you’re terrified of me, and you cower when you see me. You know I’ve been watching you for some time now, you must’ve figured that out by now. Yet you lie through your teeth and tell me Kivar will be home any minute. We both know that he won’t.”

“And the fact that you’d even think of telling me not to hurt my own son? Hilarious.”
“Why’s that so fucking funny?” Kneeling down, I was face to face with her. My features had turned from soft and amused to cold and hard. Whispering into her face so that only she could hear I replied, “Because the only person I want to hurt in this house, is you.”

Standing up, I walked over to my son. “I’m Maxwell Phillip Evans. Your dad.” I said sticking out my hand for him to take. He looked at me hesitantly looked at his mother and then reaching out his little hand and grasping mine he shook it. “Dylan Alexander Harding. Your son.” Alexander? How fitting, considering the fact that she killed Alexander Charles Whitman to get Dylan Alexander Harding.
“Well, Dylan Alexander...it’s nice to meet you. I’ve been looking for you, for a very long time.” Looking up at me, his little lips curved into a smile. “I know.”

“Aw, how sweet.” Tess said sarcastically from behind me. “Now that you’ve met, let me show you to the door.”
“I’m not going anywhere Tess.” I said not bothering to turn around, or take my eyes off of my beautiful son. His eyes drifted from me to his mother and back to me again and turning around I was just in time to stop Tess from bringing a lamp crashing down on my neck. I asked Dylan then to bring me some rope or something, and when he returned with handcuffs I put them on Tess. A cheap child’s toy, but it would have to do.

I called Michael back at the hotel next. When I’d first found them, I called him in Roswell and told him that I needed him. He’d come, no questions asked. When he first got here he wanted to do this in true Michael style. Go in there, guns blazing take the kid and leave. He would’ve done it too, had I not explained to him and made him see what would happen if we did it his way. I had to painstakingly explain to him, that Tess would never allow someone to take what she wanted. He’d said something along the lines of “She allowed Liz take you.”
I’d laughed and asked him if he was stupid. Tess had never wanted me; she just wanted something from me. And in the end, she got what she wanted because she always did. One way or another. I told him that she never allowed Liz to have me, to take me. To take what she and I both wanted her to take. Tess got there first, and got what she wanted, what Liz had always wanted for herself. Later on in life of course. I explained to Michael that if we did it his way, it wouldn’t be over. She’d come for him and she’d get him.

I told him we had to learn her habits, we had to be patient and wait for the right time. Good things come to those who wait, that’s what I told him. He’d looked at me then, and he’d shivered involuntarily. The stonewall cracked for a second and he actually looked scared. Maybe it was because of the look in my eyes as I talked about waiting for the right time to kill her, or maybe it was the tone in my voice. Maybe it was both, all I know is that he shivered and said, “Yeah...ok...whatever.”

Suddenly the door was being opened and Michael stepped in. Shutting it behind him he quickly turned around and nodded in my direction, “Maxwell.”
“Michael.” I nodded back.
“Tess.” He said in a flat tone of voice.
“Michael.” She bitterly spit out, as if she were spitting venom in his direction.
“Kid.” He said with a small smile and a nod.
Nothing. No response. Michael’s smile dropped and looking to me he clapped his hands together and rubbed them, in the way that he always does when he’s ready to get down to business. “All right Maxwell, let’s do this.”

He’d come here expecting to do the dirty work. But his expectations of what was going to take place today were wrong. “Stay with my son while Tess and I go for a little ride.” I was met with a look of pure confusion and turning from it, I looked towards my son.
“Come give your mom a hug kiddo. She and I are going for a drive.” He did as he was told my boy. He sniffled, like he knew what was going to happen. But he was good, like he knew that this was the way that it had to be. And it was. She told him that she loved him and that he was the bravest, best son in the world. He said, “I know mommy. I love you too.”

“Dylan, this is Michael. He’s my very best friend and he’s gonna watch you until I get back ok?” He nodded and sat on the couch. Then as if he’d been sitting on a hot stove he jumped up and ran to his mom, giving her one last hug. He whispered something into her ear and she had to choke back a sob. Later I found out that he’d told her, “It’s ok mommy. I’ll take it like a man.”

And as I was walking out with Tess and the alien device I’d taken from Brody I heard him in soft quiet voice say, as he most likely stood with his hand outstretched in Michael’s direction, “Dylan Alexander Evans.” Smart kid.

Ted Nugent was blaring through my speakers as we drove.

Here I come again now baby
Like a dog in heat
Tell it’s me by the clamor now baby
I like to tear up the streets


It was pretty silent. Aside from the music.

Now I’ve been smoking for so long
You know I’m here to stay
Got you in a stranglehold baby
You best get out of the way


She cried.

Road I cruise is a bitch now baby
You know you can’t do me ‘round
If your house gets in my way baby
You know I’ll burn it down


She stopped crying long enough to look at me and ask me, “What are you gonna do with me Max?”

You remember the night that you left me
You put me in my place
Got you in a stranglehold now baby
Gonna crush your face


I looked sideways at her but said nothing.

Sometimes you wanna get higher
Sometimes you gotta start low
Some people think they gonna die someday
I got news you never got to go


And then we were there, parked on the side of some road and walking into a cornfield. Alien device in one hand, Tess’ arm in the other I lead us out into the middle of the cornfield where I was sure that we wouldn’t be seen, or heard. I put down the device and kept walking, taking Tess with me. I stopped just a couple of feet from where I knew the force field it was projecting ended.

Standing infront of her I squared my shoulders, spread my legs just enough to make me look huge and dominating and crossed my arms over my chest.
“On your knees.” I commanded. She looked at me then through her tears, horrified. I could see her imagining all the sick, dirty, horrible things I would do to her in this field. She cried then, harder than before. Looking down at the ground as she slowly got to her knees. “Max, please don’t do this...think of your son.”

The fact that she would bring up the main reason I was doing this set me off into a blind rage. In one swift, smooth movement I had her pinned to the ground on her back, me on top of her. Face to face, my forearm crushing down on her throat. “I am.”
I stayed like that for a little while, my face contorted in anger hers in pain and desperation as my arm slowly choked the life out of her. Then when I felt she’d had enough and she was on the edge, I let up. “On your knees.” I bit out harshly.

She gasped for air, as she got to her knees. “Why bother Tess? You’re not gonna need it in a second.” I told her as I walked behind her. I could feel it coursing through her, anticipation of what was to come. What the hell was I planning? She didn’t know.

I grabbed the sides of her head, closed my eyes and in one swift movement it was over. I should’ve made it more painful. I should’ve dragged it out. Killed her slowly, like she’d killed me all these years. Like she’d killed Alex all those years ago. But I didn’t. Getting up, I walked over and turned off the device. I walked back over to her limp and lifeless body and using my new power that I developed a while ago, I sifted through her memories. Then I took care of the rest of her. There would be nothing to suggest foul play had happened in this field.

I took her memories because I wanted all the memories of my son that I had to miss because of her. I even took a few of the times that were good when she was with Dylan, so that I could show him if he ever asked what his mom was like. Incase he didn’t remember her. I figured that I’d tell him we’d had an accident while we were driving and she’d died. That there wasn’t anything I could do. Of course I’d know that he would know. But if we didn’t acknowledge it, maybe it’d make everything better.

Waving my hand over the front and side of my truck, I made it look like there had actually been an accident. Then I drove back to her house and picked up Michael and my son. He cried, I got his bag together and we left the house hand in hand. He stopped just outside to stare at it. Knowing that it’d be the last time he’d ever see it. I let him take pictures of his mom, some of his toys, a few pieces of her clothes. Some of her things. Even though she wasn’t the greatest mom, even though she didn’t know how to cook and the only time she lifted a hand was to bring it down on his face or elsewhere on his body, Dylan loved her like a child loves a mother. Unconditionally. “Come on kid. I’ve got someone that I’d really like you to meet when we get to our new home.” I told him, giving his little hand a little squeeze and smiling softly at him. He smiled back, and we went home.

The End


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-Nov-2001 7:21:27 AM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 7:27:12 AM
Title: Dealing with the Demons
Author: Sugarplum17
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine except the plot and the character Dylan.
Summary: An older Dylan tries to deal with what happened the day his dad came to get him.
Author’s Note: Under advisement from SpencerHopeful, I’m posting this. Thanks Spencer! If you read this and you’re lost, I suggest you go read Stranglehold because this is the sequel.
----

I know what my dad did to my mom all those years ago when I was a little boy. I know what my mom did to him and his friends all those years before I was born. I suppose that in some twisted way she deserved what he gave her, but then you have to stop and think who deserves to die? When I ask myself that question I get confused. Obviously people who do bad things deserve bad things. It’s like that full circle karma thing that Maria and Uncle Kyle are always talking about. But if you kill do you deserve to be killed? I don’t know. I mean, she was my mom. My dad killed her and that makes him a killer. Does he deserve to be killed?

Those are thoughts that I, Dylan Alexander Evans, wrestle with every time I lay my head down on my pillow at night. They send me into a restless sleep, full of dreams of my mother. Sometimes they’re good dreams. Sometimes when I dream of my mom, I dream of the good times she and I shared with each other in our short time together. Sometimes they’re bad dreams. Sometimes I dream of the not so good times that she and I shared in our short time with each other. But more often than not, they’re the really bad kind. Most of the time, they’re the dreams that probably haunt my dad at night. Except the dreams he has are more precise, mine are just morbid guesses.

We don’t talk about what happened the day they went for a ride. He likes to think that if we don’t, it never happened. He likes to live in this fantasy world where he believes they actually did get into an accident and he did nothing wrong. He knows that I know. In all honesty, I knew the very first time that I saw him step out from behind that tree. I don’t know how, but I knew exactly who he was, why he was there and what he was there to do. I use an excuse to make myself feel better. I say to myself when I start to feel guilt, “There was nothing I could do. I was only a little boy. What could I have done?”

They would’ve went at it one way or another, the stronger of the two emerging from the battle victorious. Maybe if I hadn’t given my dad the handcuffs, it would’ve given my mom a fighting chance. But it’s doubtful; my dad had that device. Without it maybe my mom could’ve won, but with it her fate was sealed. Without the device, you’ve got the most powerful alien out of the four. With it, all you’ve got is a tiny woman who can pack a mean punch when she’s hitting a small boy. But put her up against a fully-grown man with bulging muscles and then try asking yourself if she can hold her own against him.

It didn’t take long for us to get home to Roswell. My stuff in the back of his banged up truck, me in the middle, Michael and my dad taking turns in the driver’s seat. We came straight to my dad’s apartment, saving introductions for another day. There was a room already made up for me. Filled with sports stuff. In the closet there was a present for every holiday that I’d missed. A present for every birthday that he’d missed, even though they were most likely bought on the wrong day. He helped me put my stuff away and then he helped me open the presents.

The next day rolled around and he took me to his parents’ house. He introduced me to the family I never knew I had, but always suspected was out there. Grandma Diane, Grandpa Phil, Aunt Isabel, her husband Kyle and their three year old daughter Lynzie. When Aunt Isabel heard my name, or rather my middle name, she excused herself to go have a good cry to mourn the man that was her first love. Liz was there, my dad’s girlfriend. She was nice and I liked her, but I didn’t want her to try and be my mom. So I was mean to her for a long time. She lived in our apartment too, but decided before we even got back from Michigan that it would be weird for me if she was there. So she moved in with her friend Maria.

Michael and his girlfriend Maria, the friend that Liz moved in with, were also at my Grandma’s house. Michael introduced me to her, and I was in love. She was beautiful, she was funny, and she was spunky and cool. She was the only one who looked me in the eyes, besides my dad and my grandparents. I guess it was too hard for the rest of them, to look at my eyes without seeing her. So they just didn’t do it. They would stare at my forehead when they talked to me, or maybe watch my mouth or nose but never the eyes. She was the only one who didn’t treat me like I was a piece of delicate porcelain that could break at any minute. Everyone was so tentative around me, so careful of what they said and did. But not her.

Three years after I got there, when she and Michael announced to everyone that they were getting married I’d cried infront of everyone and then I ran away. Not very far, just down three blocks to the park. She’d found me there, sitting under a tree crying my eyes out. I told her, even though I was only 9 that I was in love with her. She’d been speechless for a while, watching me as I cried. Then she’d told me that if I was older and she’d met me before she met Michael maybe things would be different. She said that she loved me, but not in the same way that she loved Michael. I was a great person, a beautiful person she said. She’d said she hoped that if she had a son, that he’d be just like me because I was the coolest kid in Roswell.

Despite my age, I knew a rejection when I heard one and Maria Deluca was definitely rejecting me. I was mad at her for two months and I didn’t go to her wedding. I hated Michael with a passion. But I still had a huge crush on her. It lasted until I was 15 when I realized that she was way too old for me, way too in love with Michael and way too pregnant with his second child.

I didn’t have any other friends besides Maria until I was 13. Lynzie was 10 and getting into sports. So we started spending a lot of time together, playing basketball in her driveway as her dad watched us from the side, coaching us. Sometimes there would be games going on down at the park. Kids from town just hanging out, playing basketball, baseball, football, and soccer. Whatever sport happened to be going on that day. So we’d go down there and play with the other kids. This one kid in particular gave Lynzie a really hard time about her wanting to play football with the rest of the guys, because she was a girl. She beat the crap out of him and he went home crying to his mother. I was so proud of her, for standing up for herself and definitely for holding her own against a boy who was 15 and twice her size, without using any powers. She definitely impressed the other boys, and she never had a problem with getting into a game she wanted to get into after that. That night when I was having dinner at Lynzie’s house, I told everyone at the table about it like I was bragging. Lynzie looked embarrassed when her mom looked horrified and her dad patted her on the back and said, “That’s my girl!”

The nightmares started to happen around then and I never told anyone. Lynzie could tell that there was something wrong with me, but she never pressed it because I always said it was nothing, that I just didn’t get enough sleep the night before. That day she beat up that older boy at the park, she got a lot of admirers. Yeah, a lot of the male population of Roswell was now scared of her, but one boy named Tucker fell hard for her. He followed us around like he was her puppy dog. When he wasn’t pining over my cousin, he was a pretty cool guy. So he became my best friend too.

If my mom had been alive, she never would’ve allowed it, my friendship with Tucker. She would rather have killed him, than let me be friends with him. But then again if my mom were alive, I wouldn’t be in Roswell. I wouldn’t be with my dad, I wouldn’t have ever met Maria, and I wouldn’t have ever met Lynzie. So I guess it’s another reason to be thankful. It sounds harsh, I know. What can I say? On one hand I’m living this semi-normal life, with moderate happiness here in Roswell with my dad. On the other, I was living this sheltered life, where I wasn’t allowed to play with other kids and I was yelled at and hit almost every day. Was it for the best that my dad came to get me? Definitely. Was the way he did it the only way? Hate to say it, but yeah it was. She would’ve never let me go. Was the only way the right way? I’m not sure. It’s back to that whole ‘If you kill do you deserve to be killed’ argument.

Most of the people that knew my mom would call her evil. So if you ask yourself the ‘If you kill...’ question maybe you need to factor that into the equation. If you’re evil and you kill, do you deserve to be killed? A lot of people, infact everyone who’s ever met my dad would say that he’s a really great guy, a really great person. So if you’re a great person and you kill, do you deserve to be killed? They say that my mom was evil because she killed. Is my dad evil now too? It’s really confusing. Maybe not for most, but for me it is. She was my mom; he’s my dad. How can I ask myself these questions about my parents? Why do I feel the need to rationalize my dad’s actions? Why do I feel the need to know if my mom deserved what she got? Why do I feel the need to know if my dad deserves something he’s given? Why do I have bad dreams almost every night about my mom and how she died? Is it because I know the truth? If I’d grown up believing that my mom got into a car accident instead of knowing what really caused her death, would I still have these dreams?

I’ve never been afraid of very much but lately, I’m afraid. I’m afraid for myself and of myself. They both had it in them to kill. Do I? If I get so angry at someone, like my dad was at my mom, could I kill them? Will I kill them? If I need my way so badly and nothing I do seems to work, will I be so manipulative? Could I? If I need my way so badly that I kill someone who was supposedly close to me, could I go on as if I didn’t care? Would I care? Did she? Did my dad enjoy it? Will I?

We don’t talk about that day much, my dad and I. But sooner or later we’re going to. I have too many questions that need answered. I need these dreams to stop. I need to know her last words, the way her face looked, if she was scared or if she was brave. I need to know if she saw it coming or if it blind-sided her. I need to know how it happened and where it happened. Is that morbid and weird? Maybe. But I need to know. I need to deal with my demons before I snap. Before I find out if I’m really capable of doing what they did. Following in their footsteps is not something I want to do. I don’t want to be a killer. I don’t want to kill. These are the demons that I, Dylan Alexander Evans, wrestle with every single day.

TBC...

posted on 4-Nov-2001 7:31:16 AM
Title: Dealing with the Demons Part 2 -- Unconditional Love
Author: Sugarplum17
Disclaimer: Dylan and the plot are mine. Everything else belongs to someone else.
Summary: Dylan has that talk with his dad.
Author’s Note: Ok so I lied about not doing another. And I say it every time; this is the last one. But this time I swear, this one is the last one. There’s nothing I can do with it after this. Hope everyone enjoyed it. I'm calling part two Unconditional Love. I edited this before posting to make some parts sound better.
---

“Dad, can I talk to you?” He asked me when he came home from school. Must be important, I thought. Because the tone he used was the tone he saved for anything of real importance. I thought he was having a girl problem.
“Sure, what’s up kid?” I asked him as I sat down in my chair.
“Um...I kind of wanted to talk to you...ya know about mom and what happened that day.” He looked fidgety, nervous even and the tone of his voice told me that he wasn’t talking about the accident, but still I pretended not to hear it.
“Dylan, I’ve told you about a hundred times already. We were driving down the road and when we came to an intersection some idiot ran the stop sign and-”
“No dad, I mean what really happened that day.” He looked annoyed. My heart stopped and I’m pretty sure I quit breathing. I knew it was coming and lately I’ve been having trouble pretending. Somehow I thought this day wouldn’t come until he was sitting in a chair next to my deathbed. Maybe I thought it would happen like that, maybe I wanted it to happen like that to spare myself the pain.

Not the pain of having to retell the story for the first time. I never even told Michael. I never told Liz. I’ve always blocked it out while we were connected. I never wanted her to see what I did. No, it’s definitely not the pain of retelling the story I wanted to spare myself. I think it was the pain of looking at my son and seeing him look at me differently than he always has. I think I wanted to spare myself the pain of seeing the love and respect in his eyes fade away and slowly be replaced by hate, distrust, and maybe even fear. I never wanted my son to see me ashamed of anything.

For a long while, I wasn’t ashamed of it. But years and years of living with something, thinking about it day after day, dreaming about it night after night, it gets to you. You start to think about it more and more. I’m not proud of what I did, I never have been. It was just the only way. Does the only way mean it was the right way? No, definitely not, but what could I have done? Called the cops? Yes officer, my ex-wife from another lifetime and planet kidnapped my unborn son. Do I know where she might have gone? Yes sir I do, she went back to our planet, Antar. I would’ve got hauled away to the loony bin for that one. It’s not like Jim was a cop anymore at the time and even if he had been what could he have done? It was a tad bit out of his jurisdiction.

I told myself at the time I was doing it, that I was doing it for my son. I told her that I was doing it for Dylan. That’s what I told everyone. I had it stuck in my head that I was doing this noble thing all for my boy and for Alex. I’ve come to realize these past years that I didn’t do it for them. I did it for my own selfish reasons. I didn’t do it to save him, because I had no idea that he needed to be saved. For all I knew before I found them, Tess could’ve been mother of the year. I killed her out of revenge. Revenge for everything she caused to go wrong between Liz and I. Revenge for killing my friend, revenge for turning Liz and I against each other, revenge for turning alien against human. Revenge for standing there at the morgue looking like a lost puppy when I couldn’t revive Alex. Revenge for crying when she’d found out he was in an accident. Revenge for taking my innocence, my virginity and my first born son.

When she’d asked me to think about my son that day, and I had told her that I was I wanted to tell her that I was thinking of every day I had to spend without him, every smile I missed, his first word, his first step. Everything he’d ever done that I’d missed because of her. I don’t know why I didn’t tell her that, but I know now that I wasn’t really thinking about my son directly. I wasn’t thinking of the years of abuse he had to put up with, and I wasn’t thinking of how lonely he was. I was thinking of me. I was thinking of what I’d missed. How lonely I’d been without him.

“Dad?” He asked tentatively. I realized I’d been quiet for a good 15 minutes. The whole time he hadn’t moved from his place by the door. It looked as though he was ready to bolt if I said no. Standing up from my chair and walking over to the window, I looked out and sighed.
“What do you want to know?” I asked him quietly not turning around to face him. If I was going to do this, if I was going to tell him what he wanted to know, I couldn’t look at him. Maybe I was doing something to lessen the pain for myself, yet again.
“Everything.” Everything huh? Everything I could do. I started to tell him of times when I was his age, I told him about Liz and the group. I told him about his mother’s first visit to Roswell. I told him of Destiny and Nacedo. I stopped briefly wondering if I should tell them about their plan, their deal. I decided against it, and skipped that part of the story entirely. If I couldn’t save how he would look at me, I could at least save how he would look at her. Even if he already knew that his mom wasn’t a saint he didn’t need to hear things like that. She was dead and no matter what had happened between them, what she did, what she said he loved her because she was his mom. Past wrongs don’t really stop the love that kids have for dead parents. Past wrong for live parents however, that’s another story.

I told him of Dupes and Skins. He already knew all of this, but I couldn’t just jump right into what happened that day. I had to take it slow. I figured if I worked my way up to it, I’d be able to do it. I told Dylan about Alex and then what happened to everyone in the years during my search for him. Finally I was there. To the part he wanted to hear the most. I told him that part of my life story with a wavering voice. It was so much harder than I expected it to be, retelling the story for the first time. I knew what he wanted and so details and an accurate retelling of what happened and what was said, word for word was what I gave him.

Afterwards there was a deafening silence. I almost looked back at him, but kept my eyes outside on the mailbox. I started to wonder if he was even still in the room, but then I heard his voice. Although his tone was soft his question was cutting “Did you enjoy it?”
I had to close my eyes then, and I had to fight to regulate my breathing or I was going to break down into tears right infront of my son.
“Of course not Dylan.” I was met with more silence. “Look, I’m not proud of what I did, but it was the only way. That doesn’t make it right, you and I both know that but what I was going to do Dylan? Call the cops? Let her have you? Let her hit you every day?” More silence.
“I didn’t want you being raised by her. Being raised to hate me, being raised to lead a lonely life full of hate. I didn’t want you to have the kind of upbringing that she had and the mentality she had because of it.” Silence. I started to look back at him and this time I didn’t stop myself. My amber eyes met his baby blues and I cried. I sank to my knees and I cried.

Not because what I used to see in his eyes had vanished, but because it was still there, shining as bright as ever. Sadness was there too, and I could tell that he was thinking about his mom.
----
Dylan POV

I rose from my spot on the couch and walked over to my sobbing dad. I got to my knees infront of him and even though I was too old to be hugging my dad without feeling weird about it, I did. I hugged him to me in a big bear hug, and I started to cry too. I told him that it was ok, that it would all be ok. I told him that he was the best dad and that I forgave him for what he did. It’s not my place to forgive anyone’s actions, especially when they weren’t directed towards me, but in this case I knew that I had to say it. He needed to hear me say it. I told him that I wasn’t afraid anymore, that I knew all I needed to know. I told him that I’d been given the best of her and the best of him and none of what was bad.

I’ve got bad in me, I know I do, but I don’t think I have it in me to kill. You can call it wishful thinking, but I don’t think that my mom enjoyed what she did. I think that’s why my middle name is Alexander. I think she gave me that name to remind her of what she did. To maybe make herself feel better? Maybe she thought that if she gave life to an Alexander, she could seek some sort of forgiveness from the Alexander whose life she took. I don’t think she enjoyed hitting me either. I think that I reminded her every day of what she had done, and she took it out on me by hitting me. I think it was the only way she knew how to deal with her demons. I think it was the only way she knew how to show her love to me. I think it was the only way she knew. It wasn’t the right way, but for her it was the only way.

We stayed on the ground, holding each other and crying for a good half-hour. That’s how my step mom Liz found us. She took one look at us and she knew. She knew that we had dealt with our demons and put the past behind us. She got down on the floor with us, hugged us both to her and she cried too.

The End...seriously this time!
posted on 4-Nov-2001 7:33:33 AM
Title: See No Evil
Author: Sugarplum17
Disclaimer: Some of the characters belong to me, but none from the show Roswell.
Summary: Kyle is the Sheriff now and somebody is out there killing kids and he needs to find the killer.
Author’s Note: All right, this is kind of another dark one. AU, no aliens, nobody from the show is bad. I kind of got inspired after watching The Gift awhile ago and I’m a little worried how people are going to respond to it so please be nice. Should I continue?
---
“God damn it!” Kyle yelled as he slammed his hand into the wall. Surprisingly enough it didn’t even hurt. Bowing his head and running his hands over his face and through his hair, he sighed heavily. Two weeks. He’d been on the trail for two weeks of the person who killed Amelia Davenport and Mikayla Farmer. What did he have to show from the investigation? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The trail was cold. He had no leads, no evidence and no clues.

Worse yet, his office was getting complaints and worried calls from parents. He didn’t know what he could tell them. He wanted to sooth their fears and calm them down, he wanted to tell them that their children were safe but if he told them, who would tell him? His daughter was 9; she could easily be the next target. So far it’d only been two ten year old girls with dark hair and dark eyes, but what if the pattern broke? What if the killer went after girls from the ages of 8 to 12 with sandy blonde hair and crystal blue eyes?

“Sheriff, your wife is on the phone.” His deputy announced over the intercom.
“Thanks Frank.” He said picking up the phone. “Hello?”
“Hi honey...is this a bad time?” She asked hesitantly.
“No babe, what’s up?”
“I was just wondering if you could go and pick up Eva from school...with everything that’s been going on lately, I don’t really want her walking home and I just put Owen down for his nap.”
How unfair was it to the children that had to walk home, for one child to get a police escort just because her dad was sheriff? “Yeah Tess. I’ll go pick her up.” He said with a sigh.

After talking for a few more minutes with his wife, he hung up the phone and grabbed his hat off the desk before walking out the door of his office. “Frank, I’m going to pick up Eva from school. Look after things while I’m gone and if anything happens I’m the first person you call.”
“Yes sir.”
---
Tess shot up from her chair and ran to the screen door as soon as she heard a car in the driveway. Kyle should’ve been home with Eva over 20 minutes ago and she was worried sick. She kept thinking over and over, something’s happened. ‘Something happened to my baby and that bastard isn’t calling to tell me about it.’ Of course it’d just been her irrational worried mind working over time.
“Where have you been?!” She yelled throwing open the door. “I’ve been worried sick! I called the school and the station looking for you!”

“Daddy picked up all the other kids that were walking home from school and took them home.” Eva said as she skipped past her mother into the house. Tess’ angry face immediately softened as she looked at her husband and remembered for the hundredth time why she fell in love with him. “You could’ve called. I was worried.”
“I told Frank not to patch you through to the car because I needed it clear incase of emergencies.” Kyle tried to explain to his wife.

She walked over to the car and hugged him to her, pressing her lips to his in a tender kiss. “You are the sweetest man I know.”
“I know, I know. I gotta get back.” He said returning the hug and kiss before getting into the car. “I’ll be home by 7, save me some dinner?”
She nodded her head before waving to him and stepping back into the house, smiling to herself.
---
Almost 7. Kyle thought to himself as he looked at the clock on the wall. He was almost off duty, and thankfully nothing had happened. Although that didn’t mean that it wouldn’t happen later during the night and he’d be called in.

At 6:59, as Kyle was getting ready to leave, Frank came rushing into the room.
“They found another one sir.”
“Who is it?” Kyle asked swallowing down the bile that was rising in his throat.
Frank looked almost pained, “Annabella Anderson.”
This time Kyle couldn’t swallow down the bile any longer, he leaned over to his garbage can and let it all come out. Wiping his mouth with his handkerchief he stood from his chair. “I’ll tell the parents.”

The pattern hadn’t broken this time; it was still little girls with dark hair and dark eyes. Amelia and Mikayla had angered him, but this time it was personal. Annabella Anderson was his daughter’s best friend.

“Call my wife, tell her what happened and tell her to try and explain it to Eva please.” He commanded softly before grabbing his hat and leaving the office.
---
Annabella had been found dumped in the alley behind a bar just outside of town, owned by Michael Guerin and Maria Deluca. One of the waitresses had been taking out the trash and spotted something in the dumpster that didn’t belong there. When she realized what it was she screamed and ran to get either Maria or Michael. She’d found Maria first.

“God Kyle...right now I’m so glad Michael and I have never had kids.” Maria said shakily as she talked to her stepbrother. “That poor little girl...her poor parents...” Maria said before breaking down and sobbing into Michael’s chest as he held her.

“Did anyone see anything or anyone Michael? Any regulars or anything?” Kyle asked stressing the word anything.
“Not that I know of.” Michael said in a daze as he shook his head no and idly stroked Maria’s back and hair. Kyle could see that he wanted to cry, and knew that later on in private he would but right now he had to be Maria’s rock.
“All right, well if that’s all.” He said closing his little notepad and returning his pen back into his pocket.

Just like the others, nobody saw anything out of the ordinary. They’d interviewed all the customer’s; all the workers and nobody saw anything. Annabella’s parents didn’t even know she was missing until Kyle came to their door. They’d allowed her to play outside in the fenced in back yard after dinner and she had been there, sitting close to the house playing with her Barbies just 15 minutes ago when they checked on her. It’d been hard for him to tell them. He knew they’d forever blame themselves, they’d forever think that if they would’ve said no or checked on her more frequently that they’d still have her. It was hard for Kyle to tell them because he had to watch John Anderson, his friend and a man he’d always thought of as being made of solid rock, crumble right before his eyes. It was hard for Kyle because he had to watch as Olivia ran from the living room and into the back yard where she abruptly fell to her knees, picked up the Barbie and clutched it to her chest.

He’d always looked at these people and thought to himself, if something bad were to happen John would be in the unfeeling daze and Olivia would crumble. It was a guess to a question that he never wanted answered, but now that it was he knew that he was wrong.
---
Frank had told him that he told Tess not to wait up, but Kyle knew that his wife would be. Just as he expected she was sitting outside of Eva’s bedroom door hugging her knees to her chest. She hadn’t always done it, but for the last two weeks every time he’d called home and told her he’d be late he’d found her there when he arrived home. Sometimes she’d be sitting there resting her head on her knees, sometimes she’d be crying or sometimes she’d be lying on her side asleep.

“Hey.” He whispered taking off his belt and sliding down the wall across from her.
“Hey.” She whispered back. “How are they?”
“John cried. Olivia, she just sat there holding Anna’s Barbie and staring off into space.” He said running his hand over his face for what must’ve been the 50th time that day. “How’s Eva?”

“I couldn’t tell her. She was sitting there coloring with Owen and they just looked so happy and innocent doing that...I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t want to either, I thought it’d be better if we told her together.” Tess explained letting a few tears slip down her face.

“How do we tell her Kyle? How do you tell a nine-year-old that her best friend was found in a fucking dumpster?” She asked burying her head into her hands and crying. He scooted forward and wrapped his arms around her.
“I don’t know...”

He held her for what seemed like an hour, and even longer after she’d stopped crying. “Did anyone see anything?” She asked in a small voice.
“Nobody ever does.” He told her. Another long silence consumed them before she raised her head from his shoulder.
“Kyle, do you remember back in high school? That girl who everyone thought was really weird?”
He thought for a moment before looking at her, “Yeah...Liz I think her name was. Why?”
“Remember why everyone thought she was so weird?”
“No?”

TBC?

---
Part 2
---
The bell above the door jingled as he opened it and stepped through. He took a quick look around to assess the place he’d always come to after football games with the team and their girlfriends. It hadn’t changed one bit. Walking over to the counter he cleared his throat to get the attention of the waitress behind it.
“Hi Sheriff, what can I get you today?” She asked readying her order pad.
“Actually I need to speak with Mr. or Mrs. Parker please.”

She led him to the back room and pointed to the stairs telling him they were upstairs in the office. He thanked her and walked up, knocking softly on the door when he got there. Nancy Parker came to the door, wiping her hands on a towel.
“Well if it isn’t little Kyle Valenti.” She said smiling. “Let me guess you remembered my daughter from high school and you came to ask me about her right?”

He stood there mutely, looking at her and nodding his head. “How did you know?”
“Oh we figured you’d be by soon enough. Especially with what the papers have been saying, no leads, and no clue. Come on in.” She said stepping off to the side to let him enter. He did as she asked and looked around; he’d never been upstairs before. It was a nice apartment. He was standing in the living room but looking off to the side he saw the office and Jeff Parker crouched over the desk.

“Jeff! Sheriff Valenti is here to ask about Liz!” Nancy called shutting the door and disappearing into the kitchen.
Jeff hurried out of the study and into the living room to greet Kyle with a chuckle while extending his hand.
“Was half expecting to see your dad standing infront of my door.” He shook Kyle’s hand and gestured for Kyle to come into the kitchen with him.

“We were wondering when you were going to stop by.” He said as Nancy sat a cup of coffee infront of him and offered one to Kyle, who politely declined.
“Mr. Parker, I really need to speak with your daughter. Does she still live around these parts?” Kyle asked as he watched Jeff pour creme and sugar into his coffee.

“Well she went off to Harvard after graduation, on a scholarship you know.” Nancy explained, “But she’s back now. Met some man up there, married him and brought him back with her just last year. Her married name is Evans now dear. Lives out there in the desert, about a mile away from town with him and their kids.”
“We see them every Sunday.” Jeff added as he took a pen out of the pocket on his sweater and a napkin from the napkin holder. “I’ll give you her address and number.”

Kyle thanked them for their kindness and took the napkin from Jeff. He said that if he had any more questions he’d be in touch with them and then he headed back to the station to give her a call.

“Hello Sheriff.” She said after picking up the phone.
“Liz Parker?”
“It’s Evans now, but I suspect you already knew that.”
“Yeah...I talked to your parents.”
“I know.”
After a rather lengthy silence she spoke again, “Did you call up just to reminisce with me or did you want something in particular?”
“Well, I kind of wanted to know...I mean my wife said that you’re, you know that you’re psychic...and well we’ve been having some trouble in town lately. I’m sure you’ve heard about it.”
“I have.”
“I was wondering if I could come out and talk with you?”
“Bring some personal affects that were found at the scene.” She said before hanging up.
---
Liz rose from her seat at the dining room table and walked into the entryway to open the door before Kyle got the chance to knock on it.
“Did you sense that I was here or something?” He asked her in amazement. Liz gave him an amused smile and a small chuckle; “No I heard your car pull up the driveway.”

Feeling a little stupid, Kyle looked down at the wooden planks of her porch.
“Well, come in.” She said stepping to the side to let him in and closing the door after him. “This is my husband Max, our son Jacob and daughter Camille.” She said pointing out the people in the living room. They paid him no attention and she led him into the dining room.

“Sit down.” Liz said gesturing to a chair and sitting in the one across from it.
“Look, I just want you to know that I don’t really believe in this, but I’ll do whatever it takes to catch this sick bastard. If keeping this town safe means using the aid of a ‘psychic’ I’m prepared to do it.”
“I know.” She said as she placed the deck of tarot cards next to her on the table, incase she needed them for later. He gave her the personal items when she asked for them, giving Amelia’s necklace to her first.

She closed her eyes and held it in her hand as she concentrated. It was 10 minutes before the vision and impressions started to come. She saw a little girl with dark brown hair and dark brown eyes walking through the park at dusk, twirling the heart charm of her necklace between her fingers. She felt the girl’s fear as she heard a twig snap behind her, and then looked as the little girl turned around to see what it was. Then the vision stopped and she just got impressions.

She repeated the process with Mikayla’s ring and Annabella’s barrette and afterwards told him every thing she saw and felt. Which wasn’t really anything useful with the exception of what she saw in Annabella’s case. According to Liz’s vision Annabella knew her killer. He stood by the fence looking over it and watching her play with her Barbies, and when she noticed him she smiled. He coaxed her into coming out and giving him a hug and when she did, he asked her to get some ice cream with him. She never said his name, and Liz couldn’t see his face.

“I need to see the crime scenes.” Liz said as she watched Kyle put the items back in their bags.
“Liz please, my men have been over every square inch of those places, do you really think you’ll be able to find anything?”
“Could any of your men receive visions and impressions Kyle?” His silence was enough to answer her question.

posted on 4-Nov-2001 7:36:20 AM
---
Part 3
---
Kyle finally agreed to take her to the crime scenes although he highly doubted that she’d find anything of any real importance there. He decided that they would visit one crime scene per day. Starting first with Annabella’s since the images and impressions would still be fresh.

Maria greeted them as they got out of the car. She remembered Liz very well from high school. Although they hadn’t spoken in years, back in high school they considered themselves friends. Liz had said that she needed to go inside the bar, and since it’d been closed ever since Annabella was found out back, Maria or Michael would be needed to open the doors.

She walked inside the bar, getting a feel for the place. It was her first time there and despite the circumstances in which the visit was under, she complimented Maria on it.

“He’s been here before.” She said walking out to the center of the room and then over to a booth, “He usually sits here.”
“A lot of people usually sit there honey.” Maria said to Liz from her perch on the bar.
“I see him in a uniform of some sort.” She said looking towards Maria.
“We get truckers, off duty cops and men who drive trucks for companies in here all the time.” She explained.

She sensed all that she could sense from the bar and then had Maria show her out back. She walked to the dumpster and then walked about 10 feet away from it. “He parked here.”
Kyle walked over to look and see if there were any tire tracks and there were, about 50 of them, criss-crossing and running together. Utterly useless.

“Annabella was still breathing when he dumped her.” Liz said walking back towards the trashcan. “He threw some trash over her and he left her here.”

Kyle was going to take her back home after she’d gotten done with the back of M&M’s Bar and Grill but Liz insisted on seeing where they found Amelia. She did basically what she did at the bar and told him everything she felt. She’d said that Amelia was done quickly and right here in the park by the drop spot. She didn’t suffer and she was his first ever. That was why she was done so quickly, she said that Annabella suffered and Amelia didn’t. So if she were to guess Mikayla wasn’t done as quickly as Amelia but also didn’t suffer. Liz told Kyle that the killer, whoever he may be, was getting braver.
---
Once Liz got home she collapsed in her favorite chair in the living room and looked out the window that was right next to it. It’d been a long exhausting day for her. Physically as well as emotionally. She’d done things like this before in Boston and that was one of the reasons she and Max had decided to move back to Roswell.

In Boston she was just too emotionally drained dealing with cases like these. She couldn’t focus on Camille, Jacob or at times even Max. She’d convinced Max that things like this don’t happen in Roswell, that it was always a safe little town and she’d never have to worry about using her gifts again unless someone wanted the winning lotto numbers, to find their lost gold earring or something trivial like that. So he agreed to move away from his parents, his sister and the only place he’d ever known as home, on the assumption that terrible things didn’t happen in Roswell. What a crock of shit. Liz thought bitterly to herself.
---
The next day Kyle took her out to Fraiser woods to visit the Mikayla Farmer crime scene. Her suspicions had been confirmed. Mikayla wasn’t done quickly but didn’t suffer. According to Kyle Mikayla’s mother had allowed her to walk home from school that day instead of taking the bus. He said that it took Mikayla a lot of begging but she finally convinced her mother.

Liz took what she could from there, walking along the road beside Fraiser woods. “She was picked up here. He stopped and asked her if she wanted a ride and she protested, but he insisted. He told her it was too dangerous for her to be walking on the side of the road. For some reason she trusted him, so she got in.” She stopped abruptly beside the road a few feet away from Kyle’s explorer. “He stopped here and got out. She was worried about something, a wounded animal maybe.”
“Can you see his face?” Kyle asked from behind her.
“No. I’m just getting impressions, no visions.”
Kyle took her to the exact spot where they found Mikayla and was informed that it was the spot in which Mikayla was attacked.
---
Collapsing in her favorite chair again Liz let out a heavy breath as her five-year-old daughter Camille came padding into the room.
“Mommy, Aunt Isabew is here!” She said clapping her little hands together and climbing up onto her mother’s lap. Liz smiled a little at her daughter’s inability to say L’s. “Is she?”

Camille nodded her head with excitement and bounced up and down. “Awex too!”
“Uncle Alex, baby.” She said kissing her daughter’s head. “Where are they?”
“Dad’s helping them upstairs.” Jacob said, coming into the room and sitting on the armrest of his mom’s chair and rolling his eyes. “They’re unpacking all of Aunt Isabel’s clothes.”

“Why are they here?”
“Aunt Isabel said that bad things were starting up again down here and that you needed help.” Jacob answered with a confused look on his face. “Why would you need help mom?”
“I think she meant help taking care of you and your sister. You remember when we lived in Boston don’t you Jake? It was really draining when I helped the police out, and I couldn’t take care of you guys like a mommy should.” She explained, hoping that would be enough for her son’s curious eight-year-old mind. Unfortunately it wasn’t.
“You’re helping the police again?”

“Yeah baby, I am.” Liz said looking at her son solemnly, while rubbing little circles in his back with her hand. “There’s some bad things going on in town right now and the police need mommy’s help to figure out who’s doing it.”
“What kind of bad things mommy?” Camille asked curiously.
“Nothing you need to worry about Cami.” Liz said kissing her daughter’s head again. “Why don’t you go get your Aunt Isabel to come down here and talk to me?” She asked setting Camille on the floor and watching as she skipped out of the room and carefully walked up the stairs.

“What kind of bad things mom?” Jacob asked moving from the armrest to his mother’s lap.
“There’s a man out there who’s killing little girls Jake.” She answered honestly. There wasn’t any use in sugar coating it. They subscribed to the paper and he read at a 5th grade reading level, despite being in the 2nd grade. If he wanted to find out what was going on and she wouldn’t tell him all he had to do was pick up the paper, or sit in her chair and concentrate by using his inherited gifts as she preferred to call them.
“Why?”
“I’m not sure, but the Sheriff and I are going to find out.”

She talked with her son for a few more minutes and reassured him that he was safe from harm so long as he remembered their home phone number and not to talk to strangers. She was at least somewhat thankful that they’d only been in Roswell for a year and lived way out in the desert. Jacob only got the chance to meet little kids at school and not anyone from town. When he promised her that he would remember she sent him to the corner of the room to watch some television and then went to set up her cards in the dining room.

Isabel sat down across from her and without a word from Liz cut the deck.
“You know if you wanted a reading you could’ve just called.” Liz told her.
“I know, but I missed you guys. Sue me ok?”
“Don’t tempt me.” Liz said jestingly.
Isabel laughed and then grew somber again. “The doctors say they think that I’m barren Liz...”

Liz looked down at her cards as she spread them out and sighed, “It will happen Isabel. You just need to give it time.”
“Are you just saying that to make me feel better? Or is it really in the cards?”
Liz looked up at her with a sincere look, “It’s there, give it time."

---
Part 4
---
Liz jolted upright in bed trying to suck all the air that she possibly could into her lungs. Swinging her legs to the side of the bed she leaned over and put her head between her knees gasping for air and within seconds felt Max’s comforting hand rubbing circles on her back.

“You ok?” He asked as he continued to rub circles into her back.
“Yeah.” She answered breathlessly. “Just had a nightmare that’s all.”
“Oh shut up, we both know what it was.” He said softly. “What’d you see?”
“A boy. Red hair, green eyes. Around 9.” She told him, sparing him the knowledge of what happened to the boy in her dream.
“Better call the sheriff.” Max said getting up to retrieve the phone. He dialed the station’s number and then handed Liz the phone before climbing back into bed.

“Police Department, this is Deputy Frank what can I do ya for?”
“Hi Deputy Frank, this is Liz Evans. Is Kyle in?”
“Yes ma’am. Just a second.” Liz was put on hold for about 15 minutes before finally getting through to Kyle.
“Still at the office huh?” She asked quietly.
“Got a serial killer to catch. No point in being home and doing nothing.”
“It’s midnight Kyle.” Liz said looking at the clock.
“Ok, no point in being home, lying in bed and staring at the ceiling then.”

A short silence fell over them before he asked “Did you call up to reminisce with me or did you want something in particular?”
“Oh that’s funny Sheriff.”
“Yeah, I thought so.”
“I had a dream tonight.” She said, “I dreamt of a boy, looks to be around 8 or 9, with red hair and green eyes. He died in my dream. I think he’s the next target.”

“Oh I don’t know Liz. That’s kind of stretching it. We’ve got a pattern here, little girls with dark hair and eyes. This red haired, green-eyed boy just doesn’t fit the profile.”
“What exactly are you trying to say Sheriff? That I’m wrong or imagining it?”
“Now I didn’t say that...I just don’t think our guy is gonna break the pattern.”

She sighed heavily, “Well, I don’t think this man has a pattern Kyle. I think it’s just a random coincidence that the first three had brown hair and eyes.”
“I don’t know...and even if you’re right what do I do? I've already issued a curfew for kids under 16, what else can I do? Make up some flyers and post them all over town? Call all the parents with 8 or 9-year-old boys that have red hair and green eyes and tell them to watch their sons like a hawk?”

“I don’t know Sheriff; I don’t have the answers to everything.” Liz said defensively. “Look you asked for my help and I’m giving it to you, what you do with it from there is up to you.” She said angrily before removing the phone from her ear and turning it off.
---
The next afternoon Liz was cleaning the kitchen with Camille’s help when the phone rang. “Hello?” She waited a few seconds and heard nothing, “Hello?” She asked again. This time she heard heavy breathing on the other end of the line. Shivering slightly she turned the phone off and set it on the table before looking at her daughter. “Let’s get back to work Cami, we have to get this kitchen spotless.”

She decided not to tell Max or Kyle about the phone call, thinking it must’ve been a telemarketer, or a wrong number. Telemarketers always sat there and made you say hello about 3 times before they said anything. A wrong number could’ve been sitting there trying to recognize her voice. It was definitely nothing, and she didn’t want to worry them over nothing.

Although the weird creepy vibe she got from whoever was on the other end wasn’t helping to convince her that it was nothing, she still kept it to herself. Over the next week she got 4 more of those calls, 2 of which were obscene. On the day that she received a threatening letter she realized that she couldn’t pass them off as prank calls, wrong numbers, or telemarketers any longer and she finally told Kyle. She got the distinct feeling from those calls that he was being watched. When she touched the letter, she got visions of Kyle and her walking down the street together. Whoever this person was, he knew Kyle’s every move. He was watching them both.
---
A few days after Liz had the dream of the boy she received a phone call.

“Hello?” Liz asked after bringing the phone up to her ear. She waited a few seconds and nothing. “Hello?” She asked again, more quietly this time so that her family wouldn’t become suspicious.

She was about to hang up when she heard him, “Liz?”
She couldn’t be sure but it sounded far away, like he was on a cell phone. “Kyle?”
“Liz, Timmy Martin is missing.”
“9, Red hair and green eyes?”
“Yeah. 125 Maple.” Kyle told her.
“I’ll be there in 15.” She said before hanging up.

She cast an apologetic look towards her husband and her children, and then towards Isabel and Alex. “I’m sorry but it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to join you guys for dinner.”

Jacob looked down at his plate and picked at his food while resting his elbow on the table and his cheek on the back his hand. It broke Liz’s heart to see the dejected look on his face, but she couldn’t ignore what was happening. One day, she thought to herself, Jake will go through this with his family.

“It’s fine. We understand.” Max said standing up to kiss her.
She glanced around the table one last time before standing up and retrieving her keys from the key rack.
---
She got to the Martin house as fast as her car would take her. She was informed that Timmy was taking out the trash for his father because he didn’t feel good. After 10 minutes when Timmy didn’t come back inside the house, his father got up from the couch and went to the front door to look for him. He saw nothing, and it angered him slightly that Timmy had forgot to put the lid back on the can.

He walked outside to replace the lid and then looked both ways down the street. When he saw nothing he called out to Timmy. After 15 minutes of not being able to find his son, he started to get panicked. He looked in the back yard, across the street at Timmy’s friend’s house, and the houses of the neighbors. He had his neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Goldsmith looking for him down the street while he called the police.

Normally Mr. Martin wouldn’t have been so worried but given everything that had been happening to other children he panicked. Liz had to put her emotions in check as she watched the grown man before her speak frantically to Kyle and ramble on about how his son was missing and he was upset about the god damn lid to the garbage can.

She walked outside to the garbage can and immediately started picking up impressions. From what she could tell Timmy was about to put the lid back on the can when he pulled up and offered Timmy a quick ride around the block. In his excitement Timmy forgot about the lid, and he got in the car. She walked down to the end of the block and stopped. Looking left and then looking right she crossed the street and continued to go straight.

When Kyle had finally realized that Liz was gone he jumped in his car and started to take off, only to have Mr. Martin jump infront of his car and demand that Kyle take him to wherever he was going. He didn’t necessarily think that it was the best idea but he agreed and took off after Mr. Martin climbed in.

They followed close behind Liz as she walked to the edge of town and then stopped.
“The Quarry.” She said when Kyle got out and stood beside her. “He’s at the Quarry.”
“Timmy?” Kyle asked. She nodded her head yes. “Is he alone?” He asked again hoping for a no instead of a yes because no meant that there was still a chance to find him alive. Liz nodded her head yes once more. “Is he...?” The answer to the question was another nod in the affirmative. He didn’t need to finish the question for Liz to know what he was asking.

They drove out to the Quarry and found him under a pile of rocks in a makeshift grave. Mr. Martin cried into Liz’s shoulder as she silently held him while Kyle radioed the station and told them what they found.

posted on 4-Nov-2001 7:38:59 AM
---
Part 5
---
Liz sat in her chair staring out the window at the car parked out by the road. It’d been two weeks since the Martin boy was found and nothing had happened but Kyle, Liz and the townspeople were still very much on edge. She’d gotten two more threatening letters and one day when she sent Jacob out to get the mail she’d noticed a strange car parked across from the box. She immediately got the phone and called Kyle as she ran outside and pulled Jacob back in the house.

It could’ve been her imagination running away with her but she felt like her son wasn’t safe. She was getting those weird creepy vibes again when she looked at the navy blue car and she felt like that was him, waiting to take her son or possibly even her. So Deputy Frank was assigned to watch over their house, keep an eye out for anything suspicious. They couldn’t even find the car and it made Liz very uneasy. It was almost as if the car and its driver had disappeared off the face of the earth. Not that it would’ve bothered Liz any if they had.

Shivering slightly she got up and walked into the bedroom to lie down and take a nap.
---
“Hi.” He said sitting down on a swing next to her. He had seen her on the playground every day since Annabella died, sitting there all by herself on a swing and staring at the ground. She looked so lonely and sad that he couldn’t take it anymore.
“Hi.” She said looking up at him for a brief moment before returning her eyes to the ground and pushing a rock around with the tip of her shoe.

“I’m Jacob.” He said holding his hand out to her, hoping that she’d take it. He smiled warmly at her when she looked up at him and took his hand in hers.
“Eva.” She tried her hardest to return the warm smile, but the corners of her mouth wouldn’t turn up.

“I know. My mom is helping your dad.” He said letting go of her hand and looking down at the ground.
“Are you psychic too? Like your mom?” She asked looking down at the rock and pushing it with her shoe again.
“Yeah.”
“That’s cool. I wish I was.”
“Why?” He asked looking up from the ground and over at Eva.
“If I was, I wouldn’t have to study for tests and I could figure stuff out.”
“What kind of stuff?”
“I could figure out who killed my friend.” She said quietly still pushing the rock around with her toe and not looking up at him.
He placed a hand on her shoulder and said confidently, “Don’t worry. My mom will figure it out.”
---
Liz woke up from her nap with a start. She’d only been asleep for 20 minutes before she started to have a dream. Her son was in it and so was a little girl with sandy blond hair and beautiful blue eyes. They were tied up and gagged in her dream, scared and crying.

Sitting up straight she craned her neck to look at the clock that sat on her husband’s nightstand. It was 2:20 and if Liz had to guess she’d say that Jacob was probably at recess with teachers watching over him. She tried to convince herself that he was fine as she got out of bed and walked into the living room to find Isabel and Alex playing with Camille.

“How was your nap?” Alex asked from the floor as he held Camille over him and moved her around like she was flying.
“Fine.” Liz said distractedly as she went over to the window and looked out. “Where’s Frank?”
“Oh he came to the door and said that Kyle called him to the station.”
---
Reaching into the backseat Tess picked up Owen’s bunny off of the floor of the car and made a few hopping motions with it as he laughed and clapped his hands before giving it back to him. She looked at her watch for the fifth time. Usually Eva was standing outside already by the time that Tess got there. She decided that she’d wait a few more minutes before getting Owen out of his car seat and going in the school to get her.

She sat and watched as buses full of kids departed from the school and started on their routes and as the number of kids waiting outside for their parents to come and pick them up got less and less. Glancing at her watch again she got out of the car and went around to get Owen out of his car seat. Hoisting her three-year-old son on her hip she walked into the school and down to Eva’s classroom.
“Hi Mrs. Letts.” She said as she walked into the classroom and glanced around. “Where is Eva?”

The old woman sitting behind her desk looked up at Tess with a puzzled expression, “She left during recess Mrs. Valenti.”
“Did her father come to get her?”
“Well, I’m not really sure dear. You’d have to check with the office but seeing as how you, her father, her grandfather, grandmother and aunt are the only ones with the authority to get her out I assumed that it was you or one of them.” Mrs. Letts said standing up and walking over to Eva’s cubby. “They didn’t even come in to get her lunch box backpack, so I assumed it was a family emergency.”

This time it was Tess who wore a puzzled look on her face as she took her daughter’s things from Mrs. Letts and turned around to walk down to the office. Something about this did not feel right at all.
---
Liz stood next to the window and watched as the bus stopped at the driveway and the doors opened. Her eyes remained glued to the doors of the bus as she waited for her son to step off and come running up the driveway. When the doors shut and the bus started to roll away from the driveway instead Liz closed her eyes and brought her hand to her mouth. “Oh god...” She whispered to herself.
---
“Hey Tess.” Sally, the office aide said as Tess walked into the office.
“Hi Sal, listen can you tell me who took Eva out of school today?” She said stepping up to the counter. She watched as Sally rose from her chair and walked over to the clipboard with the sign outs.
“Hmm, it doesn’t seem to be on here.” She said looking up at Tess and noticing the worried expression on her face. “Let me go ask Principal Downs, she might know.”

---
Part 6
---
“What’s wrong?” Isabel whispered, coming up behind Liz and making her jump.
“That sick bastard has my son.” Liz whispered back, eyes still closed.
Looking back at Alex who was still playing with Camille, Isabel had to mask her worried look, “How do you know?”
“I had a dream.” She whispered, moving her hand down to clutch the collar of her shirt, “I should’ve listened to my instincts. It’s my fault. If anything happens to him...it’ll be my fault...” Liz whispered to her sister-in-law.

“No Liz, don’t think like that. Maybe Max got off work early and picked him up? I’ll go call him.” Isabel whispered before leaving the room.
---
“I’m sorry Tess; Principal Downs doesn’t know either. Whoever handled it must’ve already gone home.” Sally said looking around the office for someone who might be able to answer Tess’ question.

Turning around on her heel and rushing out of the office Tess managed a mumbled thank you, before running to her car. With shaking hands she quickly buckled Owen into his car seat before slipping into the passenger’s seat and retrieving her cell phone. She quickly punched in the number to her husband’s private line at the station and tapped her fingers nervously on the dashboard as she waited for him to pick up.

“Did you take Eva out of school today?” She asked frantically as soon as he picked up the phone.
“Tess?”
“Did you?”
“No Tess.” He answered hesitantly. “I didn’t. Why?”
---
Isabel came back into the room moments later holding the cordless phone in her hand. Glancing again at a playing Camille and Alex she made her way to stand behind Liz.

“He didn’t.” She whispered to her. “He’s on his way home right now.”
“I know.” Liz whispered back to Isabel. “I need the phone.”
As Isabel handed the phone to Liz it began to ring.
“He has my son Kyle.” She said as soon as she answered it. Knowing exactly who it would be on the other line. “He has a girl with blond hair and blue eyes too.”

“My daughter Liz. He has my daughter.”
---
From his place on the floor, Jacob looked over at Eva. She was scared and crying. Later, he kept telling himself, he could cry later. Right now he had to be strong, for his mother and for Eva. He couldn’t let his emotions, his fear get in the way of what he had to do.

Before the gag was placed over his mouth he managed to say to her, “It’s ok Eva. Don’t cry. My mom will find us.”
---
“I had a dream.” Liz said, looking at Kyle as they stood outside of the school. “I saw Jake and Eva tied up and gagged in some cave or something.”
“Why didn’t you call me?” He asked, grabbing her arm and leading her away from the others. “I could’ve stopped it.”

“I don’t know. I thought...I thought it wouldn’t happen until a few days later. Like with the dream with Timmy. I wasn’t expecting it to happen so soon.” She said looking down at her shoes and crying. “I’m sorry. I thought he was safe at recess, with all the teachers watching over him and then he was gonna come home on the bus. I didn’t...”

Kyle grabbed her sobbing shoulders and hugged her to him, whispering assurances to her. When he’d calmed her enough they walked to the back of the school and stood at the entrance to the playground.

Out of nowhere a familiar hand reached out to grab hers and Liz looked over to see the encouraging smile of her husband. She’d completely forgotten about him. She’d left the house while he was rushing home from work to be with her and she’d forgotten about him. She looked to Isabel who gave a small but worried smile. At least someone didn’t forget about Max, Liz thought to herself before turning back to look at the playground.

She gave Max’s hand a quick squeeze before letting go of it and walking into the playground. For some reason she was drawn to the swing set, and as she touched the seat she was immediately sucked into a vision.
---
From her place across the playground she saw her son sit on the swing she’d touched, and watched as he reached out to the melancholy Eva. They talked for a little while and then he got off his swing and began to push her. A smile appeared on Eva’s face.

A man in a uniform approached them and her son shivered, Eva looked up at the man and smiled.
“Eva, your dad wanted me to come and get you and Jacob.” The man told them.

“I’m not supposed to go with strangers.” Jacob whispered to Eva. She grabbed his hand and smiled at him.
“It’s ok Jacob; he’s not a stranger.”

The man crouched infront of Eva and Jacob and took something off of his uniform. “See this Jacob?” He waited until Jacob nodded his head before continuing.
“This star means that I’m not a stranger to little kids. I’m one of the good guys.”
“No...” Liz whispered to herself as she watched her son shiver once again and pull back on Eva’s hand, shaking his head.

“Ok Jacob, but I’m going.” Eva said as she dropped his hand and walked over to take the man’s hand. Liz watched as her son silently looked from the man to Eva and weighed his options. Looking at her son, Liz knew. Jacob knew that the man holding Eva’s hand was the bad man, he could sense it. She watched as her son reluctantly reached out to grab the man’s free hand. When the turned around Liz shut her eyes and grasped her collar again.

“Frank...” She whispered coming out of her vision and collapsing in her husband’s arms.
posted on 4-Nov-2001 7:41:36 AM
---
Part 7
---
“What’s wrong with her?” Kyle asked as he watched Max scoop Liz up in his arms and cradle her against his chest.
“She had a vision.” He said as if it would explain everything.
“So? She’s had them before and that’s never happened.” Kyle stated anxiously. He really did not need her fainting on him at that particular moment.

The lives of her son and his little girl were hanging in the balance. Whether or not his little girl would be around to graduate or walk down the aisle on his arm all depended on one woman who was at the moment unconscious.
“What the hell is going on?!” Kyle yelled as Max started to walk away from him and the swing set. “Where are you going with her?”

“Look her emotions were heightened ok? It happens like this sometimes when she’s extra sensitive and touches something that Jacob touched.” Max answered, whirling around on Kyle. “I’m going to set her in the car.”

“It’s only happened twice.” Max explained after sitting Liz in the passenger seat of his car. “The first time it happened he was three and Liz’s grandmother had just passed away. She was trying to bottle her emotions up so she was cleaning up around the house and when she picked up a toy of Jacob’s she got sucked into the vision of his great grandmother giving it to him on his birthday.”

“What do you mean, ‘she got sucked in’?” Tess asked with curiosity.
“In a normal vision Liz only sees it like a movie but when she gets sucked in she sees it like she was actually there standing off to the side.” Max told them. “Seeing it like that kind of drains her energy and she faints.”

“How long does it last?”
“An hour, maybe more. I don’t know. Like I said, it’s only happened twice before.”
Running a hand through his hair, Kyle sighed and looked around the group, his eyes resting on his wife. He knew they probably didn’t have an hour, but he wasn’t about to say it infront of his wife. “We’ll take her to my house.”
---
When they’d arrived at the Valenti home, Kyle had called Maria to come and help with Owen and Tess had immediately gone off down the hall and disappeared while Liz was being laid on the couch. Kyle expected to find her sitting on Eva’s bed crying but instead he found her in their bathroom sitting in the middle of the floor.

Looking around he saw that the contents of the medicine cabinet were strewn about on the floor around her. The drawer in the counter had been pulled out and the contents dumped the cabinets to the counter open and everything inside thrown out on the floor.
“Tess? What are you doing?”
She briefly looked up at him from her spot on the floor and then dumping out the bag she’d been holding in her hands. “I’m looking for the smelling salts Kyle. Have you seen them?”

“Why are you looking for those?” He asked carefully, kneeling down beside her. He was convinced his wife had lost it.
She sighed pushing the contents of the bag around with her fingers before reaching for another bag, “I’m a cop’s wife Kyle, don’t patronize me. I know better than any of those people out there that we don’t have an hour. We need her up and now. Thus my search for the smelling salts.”

He expected her to break down and cry, that’s what he’d always thought she’d do if something terrible happened but the woman he saw before him was determined and on a mission. His father could look at any person and judge how they would react to something and 9 times out of 10 he would be right. Kyle could look at a person and judge how they’d react to something and 9 times out of 10 he’d be wrong. Obviously the art of judging reactions was one of those better with time type of things, Kyle thought to himself.
---
Closing his eyes and concentrating on his mother, he reached out to her with his mind.
“Mommy...” He called out to her, using the name he only called her when he really wanted something.

They’d only been able to telepathically connect to each other once. Jacob was 5 and he got lost in the mall. He was so scared and all he thought about was his mother, and in the next instant before he knew what was happening he could hear her voice inside his head, calming him. They’d tried to do it again, but one of them could never quite master it.

“Jake...”
“Mommy I need you. Come and get me.”
“Where are you baby? Tell mommy where you are.”
“I tried to watch where he took us mom, but I don’t know...Eva is scared.”
“I know baby. I’ll find you, I promise.”
“I know but I’ll still love you if you don’t.”
---
As Liz sat straight up taking in a sharp breath and her eyes snapping open, the room and people in it stilled.
“She’s awake!” Maria yelled. “Kyle, she’s awake!”

---
Part 8
---
Rushing in from the bathroom with Tess hot on his heels, Kyle kneeled down infront of the couch where Liz sat trying to regulate her breathing. “What’d you see?”
“It’s Frank.” She stated simply.
“What’s Frank?” Kyle asked in confusion. He thought for a brief moment that she was saying Frank was the man who took his daughter, but she couldn’t possibly be saying that. He’d known Frank forever and as far as Kyle was concerned there wasn’t one bad bone in Frank’s body. He violently shook his head no when she looked at him with that look. “No Liz, it’s not Frank. He’s an officer; he took an oath that’s sacred!”

“She wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true man.” Alex said in defense of his sister in law. “Obviously the oath to protect and serve the people of Roswell isn’t as sacred to him as it is to you.”

“We came up through the ranks together! It’s not Frank! He’s my deputy for Christ’s sake!” Kyle yelled stalking out of the living room. He was planning on going to cool off in the back yard but the ringing phone stopped him from reaching his destination.
---
Frank waited for someone to pick up the phone and wasn’t surprised in the least when he heard Kyle’s voice on the other end.
“Hello Sheriff.” He said mockingly.
“Frank?”
“The one and only.”
Kyle could just hear the smile in his voice. “Tell me it’s not you. Liz says you’re the guy, tell me you’re not.” Kyle pleaded.
“Wish I could man.” Frank said smirking. “Eva says hello by the way.”

Taking the phone away from his ear and rubbing it against his forehead he choked back a sob. “Please, don’t hurt her. I’ll trade places with her. I’ll do anything.”

“Sorry Kyle. That can’t be done. I have to hurt her, Jacob too.”
“Why?” Kyle asked quietly.
“Because I have to punish you Kyle.” He said as if Kyle should’ve already known.
Not fully understanding why he needed to be punished Kyle went with it anyways, “Then punish me. Take my life and not hers. I’ll hand myself over to you.”

“And have you come out looking like the big hero? I think not. It’s better this way Kyle; you’ll learn your lesson this way and then live with it for the rest of your life. I have more fun this way; it’s more fulfilling for me.”

“What’s my lesson Frank? What do I need to learn?”

“You’ll see.” Frank said after chuckling. “I hope you and your lovely wife told Eva that you loved her this morning before you sent her off to die.” He said before hanging up.

“FUCK!” Kyle yelled as he picked up the phone and threw it against the far wall.
---
After throwing the phone against the wall he grabbed his keys and headed for the door, only to be followed by Tess, Liz and Max.
“Stay here, Liz you come with me.” He ordered his wife and Max.
“I’m not leaving Liz. I want to help save my son.” Max said taking Liz’s hand in his; “I go wherever she goes, period.”

“Fine, Max you come with us. Tess you stay here.” Kyle said turning on his heel and walking out of the door.
---
Max shifted nervously in the back seat of Kyle’s explorer. He had no idea where they were going but he hoped they’d get there soon. As if she was reading his mind Liz turned around in her seat and looked at him. She gave him her best ‘everything will be all right smile’ before turning around again.

Finally, they pulled up to a rickety old house out on highway 285 and got out of the car. Kyle briskly walked up the steps and tried to turn the knob only to find it locked. He looked around before kicking it in with his foot. It wasn’t proper police procedure but at the current moment, he really didn’t care about procedure. He needed to find Frank and fast. Walking in through the door he motioned Liz and Max to follow him.

Hesitantly Liz got out of the car and grabbed a hold of Max’s hand. As they walked into the house Liz began to shiver and Max wrapped an arm around her to try and sooth her. “Do whatever you gotta do Liz, touch whatever you gotta touch. Just hurry up.” Kyle said before disappearing down the hall to rifle through some of Frank’s things.
---
Pushing open a door, Kyle peered into what he assumed to be Frank’s bedroom. He walked to the closet and opened it. “Holy shit...”

He quickly glanced at the pictures and news paper clippings. He recognized most of them. The paper clippings were from the local paper and they were all about Kyle and the arrests he’d made. The pictures were of him, his family, Liz and her family too but mostly of just Kyle.
---
15 minutes later they emerged from the house, some what at ease. Liz had touched everything she could get her hands on and she’d come to the conclusion that Frank wasn’t going to hurt the kids yet. He was playing a game with them; the phone call had been a dare. A taunt saying find me if you can. He wanted to be found but not caught.

She’d touched a pencil and saw a silver spoon. Which had immediately convinced Kyle that he knew where they were. There were two mines close by, the old silver mine in Galitas off horseshoe road being one of them.
posted on 4-Nov-2001 7:43:54 AM
---
Part 9
---

“So what’s the plan? What happens when we find him?” Max asked from the back seat, looking out the window and nervously rubbing his sweaty palms on his thighs.
“Going on the assumption that Frank is at the mine, Liz will stay in the car. Max you’ll hide yourself near the entrance and I’ll call him out of the mine. While he’s distracted, Max you’ll go in and save the kids. Once they’re safe I’m taking him out.”

Liz tried to protest, but Kyle had given her a stern, hard look saying that if she didn’t like the plan it was just too damn bad. He told her that he was running the show now.

Once they were close enough to the mine, Kyle pulled off to the side of the road and turned off the car. He ordered Liz to wait for them and then after waiting for Max and Liz to say goodbye and share a quick kiss, they left to take care of business. Before they had even gotten out of her line of sight, Liz began rifling through her purse looking for her spare set of cards. Once she found them she threw open her door and rushed to shuffle them on the hood of Kyle’s explorer. After a few short minutes she smacked them off of the hood with a mumbled, “Shit!”
---
Once Max had positioned himself near the entrance but completely out of Frank’s line of vision Kyle drew his gun and began calling out to Frank. After a few minutes, Frank emerged from the mine, gun drawn and pointed at Eva. Rooted to the entrance of the mine he smiled a truly evil and unnerving smile. “Good boy, you found me. I was hoping that you would.”

“Let her go Frank.” Kyle said, his gun pointed at Frank and ready to be fired.
“Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. You really think you’re gonna talk me down Cowboy?”
“I was kind of hoping I could.”
For some reason that statement really seemed to amuse Frank. “Well you can’t.”

“You know that you’re not going to get away with it. You’re gonna get caught.” Kyle warned. Hoping against hope that the fear of getting caught would make him drop the gun.
“It would all be worth it to see the look on your face.”
His gun still pointed at Frank’s head Kyle pleaded to find something that would make Frank stop what he was planning on doing, “I thought we were friends man.”
“Once upon a time we were.”
“What changed?” Kyle asked backing up, thinking that Frank would follow him. He didn’t.

“You know I never would’ve let it get this far don’t you?” Frank asked seriously. “I never would’ve let it get to Annabella. I would’ve found the killer faster, and you know I wouldn’t have had to use a psychic to do it.” Frank said in disgust.

“What are you talking about? How could I find the killer when the killer was at the scene removing any incriminating evidence?” Kyle asked incredulously.

“Did you even find me by yourself or did you use that bitch to help you?” When Kyle said nothing, Frank had his answer. “Figures.”

“I always was the better cop. You had potential, but I was better. I never would’ve let those kids die.”

“How are you the better cop? You took their lives; you did let them die!” Kyle yelled.
“No you did. Your inability to find me is what killed those kids, not me. All that time I was sitting right under your nose and you never even knew it. I would have.”
After mulling it over for a few seconds Kyle shook his head, “You’re crazy.”
“That may be so. Put your gun down and kick it over here.”

Looking from his frightened daughter to Frank, Kyle did as he was told, having no other choice. He couldn’t risk looking to Max because it would alert Frank. “Good, now get down on your knees and take off your belt.” Frank commanded.

Doing as Frank told him to do, Kyle took off his belt that officers were required to wear and tossed it aside. He watched as Frank untied Eva’s hands and gently pushed her toward her dad. “Go get your dad’s handcuffs out of his belt and cuff him for me sweetheart.”

With tears running down her cheeks she hesitantly walked to her father’s belt where she pulled out his cuffs and put them on him, like he’d shown her when she was 7 and wanted to play cops and robbers. Taking the tape off of her mouth she hugged her dad and whispered, “I’m sorry.”

“Good girl, bring me the keys.” Frank ordered softly. After she’d brought him the keys to the cuffs, he ordered her to come and stand next to him as he picked up the gun and got Kyle up from his kneeling position all the while holding his gun to Eva’s back. He told Kyle that if he tried to be a hero, she would die.

Once inside the mine, Frank separated them so that Kyle could see everything that was happening. “This is going to be so much fun.” Frank said in an almost giddy tone. “You see Kyle; my plan is working out perfectly. This little beauty right here,” he said turning towards Eva momentarily, “she was always my final target. The boy is an added bonus. You were supposed to find them but now that you’re here, well it just makes everything so much better doesn’t it? I actually get to see your face as you watch your daughter die. I’m so sick, aren’t I?”
---
Cursing himself silently Max peaked into the mine. From what he could see, Frank had his back turned towards the entrance; Eva was directly infront of him, Kyle to her left and Jacob to her right. He hadn’t believed that this whole thing was actually real until that very moment, seeing his son tied up with tape over his mouth. He moved to enter the mine when a hand on his arm stopped him.

“Don’t.” She whispered to him.
“I have to do something.” He whispered back, not taking his eyes off of Frank. “I can’t just sit out here twiddling my thumbs while Jacob is in there.”
“Max, if you go in there you’re going to startle him and then do you know what’s going to happen? That gun is gonna go off and someone is gonna die.” Liz whispered urgently.
“Who?” When she said nothing, he finally turned his head to look at her. “Who is it gonna be Liz?”
“You.”

Thinking it over for a moment he grabbed Liz and kissed her tenderly. “I love you.” He said after they broke apart. “Make sure Jacob and Camille know that I love them more than life it’s self.”

As he started to turn away from her, she grabbed him and used every muscle in her body to pull him back. “No!” She whispered fiercely. “You’re not going in there Max! I can’t lose you. Do you think that going in there and dying is gonna give Kyle more time to do something? Don’t be foolish!”

“What am I supposed to do Liz? Our son is in there and at any minute he could die. What am I supposed to do?” He asked her in a hushed, emotion filled voice.
“Let me go.”
“No! I couldn’t live with myself if I let you go in there.”
“Like I could? Like I could live my life any better with out you?”
Sighing, he ran his hands through his hair, “One of us has to go in there and do something, and it’s not gonna be you. Camille is gonna need a mother.”
“Jacob is gonna need a father.” She challenged back.
“This really isn’t the time to get into an argument Liz. I’m going in there and that’s final!”
---
Looking around at the faces of his captives, Frank smiled, his gaze resting on Eva. “Now who should go first? Little Jacob Evans or our precious Eva Valenti? Tough call. What do you think Eva?”

Looking down at the ground she cried a little harder. She didn’t want to say her own name but she didn’t want to say Jacob’s either.

“What’s that you say? You think that Jacob should go first? Well that’s mighty selfish of you, but I think I have to agree.” Frank said turning from Eva to Jacob. “You know I’m doing you a favor right? Who would want to live with a mother who thinks she’s got special gifts? I know I wouldn’t.”

Thinking that this was really it, that his mother wasn’t coming, Jacob closed his eyes and started to cry. Stealth like a cat, Liz crept into the mine. She was doing good at not being noticed by Frank until she accidentally kicked a rock. Frank whirled around, pointing his gun directly at her.

“Well, well. If it isn’t little Ms. Psychic. We were just talking about you. Tell me Liz, did you happen to see this coming?” He asked as he turned around, pointed his gun directly at Jacob’s head and started to ready it. Without warning Liz was being pushed to the side and watched in horror as Max lunged toward Frank. She jumped as a gun went off and a body fell to the ground.

---
Part 10
---

Frank hit the ground with a dull thud and began groaning and clutching his bloody knee, dropping his gun in the process. In a flash Max kicked the gun away from Frank and grabbed the one out of Eva’s shaking hands. He didn’t need her shooting anyone else in the knee.

She’d reacted so fast that she didn’t even have time to think. Frank had turned his head around to see who had entered the mine and she just saw the gun lying there on the floor snatched it up and aimed at Frank. She was amazed that she even fired it properly, and thanked god that he had forgot to put the safety on.
---
As backup arrived and Frank was taken away to get medical attention for his knee before being taken away to the hospital for the criminally insane, he shouted things to Kyle. “I should’ve been sheriff! You took my job you bastard! You don’t even deserve it! You used your goddamn connections to get it!”

Jacob clutched his father’s shirt in his hand as he laid his head on Max’s shoulder. Liz gently rubbed his back while she had her arm around Max’s waist and rested her head on his other shoulder, looking at her son.
“I thought you weren’t coming.” Jacob whispered to her.
She offered him a small but reassuring smile before whispering “I’ll always come when you need me.”

A few feet away from them stood Kyle holding Eva in his arms. She clung to him like if she loosened her grip any, she’d die. He’d had someone call Tess and let her know what was going on, she’d insisted on coming out to the mine but Kyle had told her no. He’d told her to meet him at the hospital, seeing as how he insisted that both Jacob and Eva be checked out.

“Are you all right precious?” He knew it was a stupid question, his daughter had just been kidnapped and shot someone. Why would she be ok?
“No.” She said quietly, as she rested her head on her dad’s shoulder and looked over at Jacob and his parents.
“You will be sweetheart. I promise.”
---
1 year later...

Liz rushed to the emergency room holding on to Isabel’s hand and giving reassurances. Among the general, “It’s all right, it really doesn’t hurt as much as people say.”, there was also, “Don’t worry Alex will make it!”

Once he arrived she stepped off to the side to let him be there in the operating room while his first child was being born. She returned to the waiting room and looked around at all the waiting faces. Maria was there, anxiously waiting while holding her small newborn daughter in her arms. Michael was standing to the side, looking at Maria and Megan. Max was there holding Jacob’s hand and telling an already excited Camille that her aunt would be just fine, and that pretty soon she was going to meet her baby cousin.

Kyle was there; holding hands with his wife as Eva sat in his lap and leaned back into him. Owen sat on Tess’ lap reading a book that happened to be upside down and last but not least, Diane and Phil Evans. They’d flown in from Boston to see their miracle grandbaby.

A little while later they were told that Isabel had a girl and that they could see her now. As they walked into her room, they were greeted with the image of Isabel laying in bed, holding her daughter as Alex sat on the side of it, touching his little girl’s tiny hand.

“Everyone, I’d like you to meet Hope Elizabeth Whitman.” Isabel said as she turned her head to the group and smiled.
---
5 years later...

Liz sat behind the table watching the people that had grown to be her friends. After what happened all those years ago, bonds were formed and friendships were made. Going through something so horrible somehow made everyone closer, but no bond that had been formed was stronger than the bond that Jacob and Eva shared. They had become inseparable after what happened to them, they even attended therapy together.

“May I have this dance?” Max asked, holding his hand out to her. She smiled up at him before taking it and being led out onto the middle of the dance floor. He held her close as they swayed to the music. “I can’t believe they finally did it.”
“I can’t either.” Liz said laying her head on his shoulder and closing her eyes. “I’m happy for them though.”
“Me too. I never thought Michael would pop the question though.”
She smiled before lifting her head up from his shoulder to look at him, “I knew he would.”
“Cheater.” He said with a sly smile before looking over at his son. “You think they’ll get married someday?” He asked nodding his head in their direction.
She followed his gaze to where Jacob was dancing with Eva, “Maybe.” She said with a secretive smile.

“What about them?” He asked looking over at Camille who was trying to teach Owen how to dance.
“Cami and Owen?” She asked looking over at them. “No.”

Max’s gaze traveled to Tess where his eyes rested on her bulging stomach. “Boy or girl?” He asked his wife.
She looked at Tess for a brief second before replying, “Girls.”
“So that’s why we gave her double of every outfit.” He said in understanding before his eyes traveled to Michael and Maria as they danced with their four-year-old daughter Megan. “Do they live happily ever after?”
“Yup.” She said looking at them. “Megan will give them hell; she’ll be wild. But they live happily ever after.”

“Do we?” He asked before dipping her.
She kissed him before saying, “We certainly do.”

The End!

Hope that you guys liked this part. I wasn’t sure how to end it. If you have any questions or anything I‘ll try to answer them.

posted on 16-Dec-2001 12:19:30 PM
Broken Promises is what I removed. It can be found on the main board. *happy*
posted on 17-Dec-2001 12:32:03 PM
Title: NEVER ENOUGH 1/1
Author: Sugarplum17
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Author’s Note: So I’m kinda mad at Liz and Max right now, having been watching the Pilot and seeing how it was then and how it is now, and I was listening to some Papa Roach song, and this just kind of came to me. I guess, to me, it’s how Liz should feel after talking with Maria. It's really short, and it's not meant to be like a real story or anything...just thought provoking I guess.
- - -

Max and I are fine. Yeah, when he was off in LA trying to save his son and I was stuck here, in Roswell, making him a care package that I had no clue where to send, we were fine. Even after he missed our phone date and ignored my phone call we were fine. Perfect, great even.

Okay, so things aren’t so great and maybe we’re not fine. And now with this breakup between Michael and Maria, I’m wondering if we’ll ever be fine. With every word that Maria says to me, I’m realizing things. I’m losing sight of the girl I used to be too.

I have sacrificed so much to be with Max. I’ve put my life on the line for him, on more than one occasion. I’ve lied, cheated and stole for him. I almost gave up my freedom for him. I even went so far as to give up the love of my life, my future with him. I was going to lead a life of loneliness and wanting, all because he asked me to. Because his future self was convinced that the world was going to end because we made love and Tess left. I don’t blame him for that though. He had no idea that she hadn’t just turned traitor but that she had always been a traitor. I blame myself because at least in that time line, when I gave into him and made love that night, I unknowingly prevented Alex’s early and untimely demise.

But back to the point, I’ve even come to realize that I’m willing to give up my dreams for him. With every single word that pours from Maria’s mouth, with every single word that I hang on I realize that all the things I’ve ever wanted since I was old enough to want them, I’m willing to just throw right out the window. As if they don’t matter to me anymore. But the thing is...they do.

I’ve found myself looking into the mirror on more than one occasion and asking my reflection who I am. Because honestly, I don’t know anymore. I’m so tangled up in Max Evans, so lost in the selfish, self-loathing, man child that he is, that I don’t even know who I am anymore. The only thing I know is that I love him. I know that on some level he loves me, but it’s not as it used to be. I rarely get to feel loved anymore. He rarely ever makes me feel as special and wanted as he used to. The only thing he cares about any more is his son. And I want Max to find his son. I do, because if he doesn’t he’s always going to be on this mission, this like, impossible mission and he’ll never be the same again. He’ll never be my Max Evans again. He’ll never be mine. But at the same time I don’t. I know it’s horrible of me to say, but part of me hopes that Max never finds his son. That Tess died before giving birth.

I know I said that I’d rather be with him than without him, but lately I keep asking myself which one hurts me more? Would I die without him? No. Would I die with him? That’s quite possible actually, seeing as how danger is like his mistress. He’s always sneaking off to see it. Would I be incomplete without him? Yes. Would I be incomplete with him? Yes, as I said, I don’t even know who that girl is. The one inside the mirror, who looks back at me every time. She looks vaguely familiar, like someone I used to know.

I keep looking into the mirror lately, and wondering. I think back on all that I’ve given up for him, and all that I probably will give up for him, because all he’s got to do is ask me for my help and I’m there. Even though everything with Max is just never enough anymore, I’ll probably still be there, ready to lie, cheat and steal no questions asked all because he asked me to. And I find myself thinking, besides a destiny that never even really existed, what if anything, would he give up for me? What would Max Evans sacrifice to be with me? He just let me walk away from him that day in the desert. He just asked me a few times about what had really happened that night with Kyle, and then he gave up on me and slept with Tess. Okay, so I told him to give up on me, but I never would’ve given up on him. Would he give up his son for me? Definitely not. Would he give up his throne? If he wanted it, no. He would say his goodbyes to me, telling me how much he would miss me, maybe he'll even cry while telling me how he had to save his people.

Maybe I’m being selfish, wanting him to sacrifice something that means the world to him. As I have and as I probably will. Maybe it’s selfish of me to want him to put the same effort into being with me as I’ve put into being with him. Maybe I’m just a selfish girl, but haven’t I earned the right? After all I’ve given up, and all I would give up, don’t I deserve something more? Something better? Because if things stay the way they are now, it’s never gonna be enough.

posted on 17-Dec-2001 12:35:21 PM
Title: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Author: Sugarplum17
Disclaimer: Blah, blah, blah. You know the drill.
Author’s Note: I started writing this just for myself and wasn’t going to post it but I decided what the hey. It’s foofy which right now is good because I need foofy after the last fic I wrote and everything that’s happened.
It’s AU, CC. Probably no nc-17 since I really suck at that. Enjoy. Oh and I have no idea when christmas break starts for college students or how long it is, so I’m making it two months long just because this is fiction and I can.
---

Liz stepped out of the cab and looked up at the huge brick house infront of her. She was home for Christmas break and had no doubt in her mind what the holiday would bring. This Christmas would bring what every Christmas had always brought, what every day had always brought. Jeff and Nancy Parker, her parents, conspiring with Phillip and Diane Evans, they’re best friends. As far as Liz was concerned they were already planning and plotting, they probably had been since their failed attempts the last time she was visiting.

Picking up her bags she thanked the cab driver and walked up the walkway and entered the house.
“Mom, daddy! I’m home!” She called, dropping her bags and turning towards the door to take off her coat and hang it on the rack. She smiled to herself when she heard his voice. “They’re at it again.”
“So what else is new?” She asked turning around towards him. He looked the same as he did the last time she’d seen him. He smiled back at her and picked up her bags. “How was your flight?”
“It was fine but you don’t need to do that Max, I can get them myself.” She said gesturing towards the bags.
“You know damn well that if our parents came out here and saw that I let you carry your own bags I’d never hear the end of it and they’d kill me.”
With a knowing smile she shrugged, “If you insist. You know where to drop ‘em.” Then she walked off into the kitchen to find her parents engrossed in what was most likely a cover conversation.

Ever since Liz and Max had been born, a month a part, her parents and his parents had tried to get them together. Hoping that one day the two would eventually marry. Whenever Liz and Max would be alone in a room with each other, their parents who were usually in the other room would strain their ears to listen to what was being said. Then when nothing more could be heard they’d fake conversation.
“Hi mom, dad, Mr. and Mrs. Evans.” Liz said with a friendly smile as she walked over to her mother and gave her a hug, and then her father.

“Oh sweetheart, just call us Diane and Phil!” Diane said hugging Liz.
“Sorry Diane. Where’s Izzy?”
“She’s in the living room entertaining Max’s friends.”
“Max has friends?” Liz asked in mock astonishment.
“Oh that’s funny Parker. You know I do.” Max said from the door of the kitchen.
“How much do you have to pay them?” She whispered to Phil, who chuckled, at her antics.
“You should become a comedian with all those jokes.” He said rolling his eyes. Crossing the room she eyed his clothes before cracking a smile, “The joke my friend is on you...literally. Where did you get that shirt? A flea market? Maybe from the shopping cart of a homeless man?” Self-consciously he looked down at his shirt and smiled, it was hideous. A girl he’d been dating had bought it for him a while ago. The entire interaction between the two definitely didn’t go unnoticed by their parents. Nancy and Diane were looking from their children to each other with huge smiles; Phil and Jeff were giving each other knowing glances.

“Well, I’m gonna go be a good hostess and introduce myself.” Liz said pushing her way past Max and walking out into the hallway. Running into the living room she sprinted as fast as she could given the space in the room and pounced on the couch, landing right on top of Isabel. Both of the boys that she was talking to watched, covering their ears as Liz and Isabel bounced up and down on the couch squealing and giggling.
“Oh my god Iz, I missed you so much!”
“I know I missed you and Maria like crazy!” Once they finally settled down Liz introduced herself to the two new people. Alexander Charles Whitman III and Michael Guerin were Max’s roommates at Princeton. Their parents were really rich and decided to go out of the country for the holidays, leaving their children to make other arrangements. They seemed like nice boys. Alex was funny, friendly and completely down to earth. Michael had an unruly head of spiky hair and definitely looked and acted like he was the rebel at Princeton.

Leaving the boys to their own devices Liz and Isabel excused themselves to go sit on Liz’s balcony and talk.

“I guess Kyle is in town.” Isabel said distractedly before sipping on her hot coco.
“Really?” Liz asked tentatively. Isabel and Kyle Valenti had dated all four years of high school and ended the four year relationship their freshman year in college. It’d been pretty hard on Isabel since she was hoping to marry him some day and wanted to try and make it work. She even went so far as to offer to transfer from NYU to U of M to be closer to him. He’d just said that they were growing apart and in different directions. He’d told her that the distance wasn’t the problem. He’d told her that college was supposed to be the best time of your life, where you experimented and found yourself. At first Isabel had thought that by experimenting he’d meant that he was gay, but what she’d later realized he’d meant was that he wanted to be free to be with other girls and not have to worry about Isabel getting hurt.

“Yeah...I guess he brought his new girlfriend.” She told Liz, looking down at her coco.
“I bet she’s ugly.” Isabel laughed a little at Liz’s comment, but quickly sobered. “I hope she’s beautiful.”
“What?! Why?” Liz asked incredulously.
“Because I don’t think I could take it if she was ugly. I mean, I can understand if he left me to be with someone who was beautiful and a really great person but if she’s an ugly bitch and he left me for her, what does that say about me?”
Setting her coco down, Liz got up from her chair and kneeled infront of her best friend. “Isabel Evans shut up. You are one of the most beautiful girls that I’ve ever seen. It’s not just your face and body that make you beautiful either Iz, it’s your whole entire personality. You’re a beautiful person inside and out. Don’t you ever forget it, or let Kyle Valenti make you think otherwise!” Liz said sternly. Isabel hugged her best friend, letting a tear slip down her cheek.
“Thanks Lizzie.” She said with a small smile.

Max waited a few seconds, until he heard the girls laughing before stepping out onto the balcony. “Iz, mom and dad are taking off. Do you want me and the guys to stay a little longer so you can catch a ride home with us?”
“Um, no that’s all right. I’ll just catch a ride with mom and dad.” Isabel said standing up and hugging her friend again. “Thanks again Liz. I’ll see you tomorrow, ok? Maria gets home at five so we have to be there.”
“All right, no problem.” Liz said returning the hug with a smile.
“I heard what you said to Isabel, just a few seconds ago...that was really nice.” Max said sheepishly once his sister was out of hearing range. Liz shrugged as if it were no big deal, “She’s my best friend, and it’s my job. Plus she’d do the same for me and it’s not like I was lying or anything.”
“I know, I just wanted to thank you...for saying that to her. She’s been down on herself ever since she heard about his new girlfriend.”
“It’s no problem Max.” Liz said with a warm smile. They said their goodbyes and Liz went downstairs to spend some quality time with her parents.
---
Part 2
---
“Is Kyle gonna be home?” Isabel asked as she got into Liz’s car, ready to head over to Maria’s. Taking a glance at her best friend in the passenger seat, Liz tentatively replied, “Yeah sweetie, he is.”
“Oh...well, it’s all right. I can handle it. I mean it’s been a year. I can do this...right?” With a nod of her head Liz turned the car and headed for Maria and Kyle’s house. Maria’s mom Amy had Maria when she was 17, it was quite the scandal, but it was made better when Amy married Maria’s father. They stayed married until Maria was about five and then divorced. Kyle’s mom had left his dad a year or two later. Being the two single parents in the group of friends, they started spending a lot of time together and eventually fell in love. They married when Kyle and Maria were 8 years old.

“What’s Max doing here?” Liz asked Isabel as she pulled into the driveway. Isabel looked at her crossly before pointing to her parent’s car. “Why else would he be here?”
“Ugh, when are they gonna stop trying?” Liz asked as she threw her hands into the air.
“Oh come on Lizzie, it wouldn’t be so bad. You guys are friends and then you’d be my sister!”
Liz bowed her head and clutched her chest, “Et tu Isabel?”
Rolling her eyes, Isabel got out of the car and walked into Maria’s house. Liz followed and was immediately jumped on by a girl her size with long blond hair. Again Max, Michael, and Alex covered their ears as they watched two girls’ jump up and down squealing, only to be joined by a third jumping and squealing girl. They listened as they heard onslaughts of “I missed you so much!”, “Oh my god I love your hair!”, “You look so hot!”, “You’re outfit is awesome! Where’d you get it?”, and “We HAVE to go shopping soon!”

After the girls had all settled down they all walked into the living room to hang out with Kyle and his new girlfriend. Isabel was the last one to enter and hung back a bit. She surveyed his new girlfriend with a careful eye. She was a lot shorter than Isabel was which was probably what Kyle liked. She’d always dwarfed him with her height when they were together. This girl had blond hair also, but it was lighter and curlier than Isabel’s was. She looked like she was in good shape, her body was great, and her eyes were beautiful. Her face wasn’t a thing of beauty but it was pretty.
“Hey Max!” Kyle said as he took his arm from around the girl’s shoulders to hug his best friend.
“Are you ok?” Liz whispered to Isabel, receiving a quick nod of her head. Kyle made his rounds hugging both Liz and even awkwardly hugging Isabel, making his new girlfriend a tad bit jealous. Which didn’t go unnoticed by anyone in the room.
“Everyone, this is Tess. My girlfriend.” She gave a little wave and a smile. “Tess this is Liz, Max and Isabel.”
“What about me?” Maria asked incredulously.
“She already knows you dork.”
Taking his chance to introduce his friends before a fight could break out Max cleared his throat. “These are my roommates from school, Alex and Michael. Guys this is Kyle, his girlfriend Tess and Maria.”

Everyone said their hellos and greeted each other before sitting down to watch some TV. When Tess started kissing up on Kyle as he talked with Max, Michael and Alex about football Isabel had to excuse herself. She walked out onto the back porch and looked out over the yard, letting a few tears slip down her cheek before brushing them away.
“You ok?” Alex asked, startling her and making her jump. She whirled around on him.
“Oh yeah, yeah. I’m fine.” She said giving him a small smile. Not wanting him to ask her any questions she decided to change the subject. “Why aren’t you in there talking with the guys about football?” She asked trying to wipe away the tear tracks.
He walked over to stand beside her, looking out over the yard and shrugged. “I’m not really into sports.” Leaning back against the railing of the deck she turned her head sideways and looked at him, “What are you more of a computer nerd or something?” He smiled, still looking out at the yard, “Yeah.”

They were silent for a good ten minutes before he spoke; “This yard is really beautiful. I mean with the snow and the trees and the view.” She turned around and rested her forearms on the rail, looking out over the yard as well. “Yeah, it was my favorite yard when I was a kid. You should come back and see it in the spring or summer. Maria’s mom has this beautiful garden that I used to spend hours in, and in the fall with the leaves falling and the view of the town below, it’s indescribable.”

Nothing more was said for another five minutes when Alex turned to her and looked at her with a soft gaze, “You really loved him didn’t you?”
“Excuse me?” She asked, a puzzled expression on her face.
“Kyle, you really loved him, didn’t you?”
She was silent for a little while, looking back at the yard. “Yeah, I did. I thought we were going to get married but I guess I just wasn’t good enough for him.” She answered with a sad sigh.
“I think you have that backwards.” He said with a smile.
“That’s doubtful but thanks.” She said returning the smile and shivering slightly.
“We should get back inside; it’s really cold out here.” He said taking off his jacket and putting it around her to warm her up. She thanked him as they walked back inside the house.

“Where have you two been?” Maria asked with an arched eyebrow as they walked in smiling at each other.
“Just outside talking. I was a gentleman and kept my hands to myself.” Alex said holding up his hands infront of him.
“Well, it’s my turn to talk with Isabel.” Maria said with an amused smile as she grabbed her friend’s hand and pulled her up the stairs to her bedroom.
“Ok spill it, what happened out there?” Maria asked as soon as she kicked the bedroom door shut. Liz tore her attention away from the magazine she was reading on Maria’s bed and looked up at her friends.
“Nothing. We talked. I shivered, he gave me his coat and ushered me inside where I was whisked away and brought up here to be interrogated.”
“Isabel you were out there for like 20 minutes with him, standing really close together and talking.”
“With who?” Liz asked from her spot on the bed.
“Alex.”
“We were just talking about the beautiful view and Kyle. We were probably standing close together to keep warm since it was really cold out there.”
“Yeah I’m sure he was talking about a beautiful view all right, and not my yard!”
“He said, ‘this yard is really beautiful.’ So nice try.”

Plopping down on the bed next to Liz, Isabel reclined on her forearms and sighed. “So give me the scoop on this Tess girl. What’s she like?”
“She’s all right I guess. She’s got more on her chest than she does in her head but isn’t that the way it always is with cheerleaders?” Maria answered sarcastically.
“She’s a cheerleader? At U of M?” Maria nodded.
“She makes Kyle look like a freakin genius! Which is probably why he likes her. When she’s around he’s the one that explains stuff to her. It makes him look smart to the average person, but to me it’s like the blind leading the blind.”
“He’s not stupid Maria.”
“No Isabel, you mean he isn’t THAT stupid.” Liz corrected.
“If it wasn’t for his football scholarship do you really think that Kyle could’ve gotten into the University of Michigan?” Maria asked sarcastically.

posted on 17-Dec-2001 12:39:02 PM
Title: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS parts 3 & 4
---
Part 3
---
“You better not be trying to get into my sister’s pants Alex.” Max whispered to his friend once he sat down.
“Hey man, she looked upset and I was just comforting her. All we did was talk about the view of the yard.”
Max eyed him suspiciously but let the whole thing drop for the time being.
“Did everyone see or something? That Maria chick was giving me the evil eye like I was trying to take advantage of your sister or something.”
“Yeah, everyone saw. I’m actually glad you went out there with her because I didn’t really want Kyle to see her crying over him again.” Max whispered.

Amy Valenti came out along with her husband Jim and Max’s parents, interrupting his whispered conversation with Alex.
“Kids, we’ve decided that we’re all going to go out to dinner tomorrow night. The whole group like we used to when you were little.” Amy explained with a quick glance around, “Where’s Maria and the girls?”
“Upstairs.” Kyle said rolling his eyes.
“Well, make sure they know that we’re going tomorrow at 6. We’re meeting here and it’s semi-formal.”
“You need dates.” Diane said looking directly at her son.
“Of course we would.” He said rolling his eyes. “Maybe I’ll ask Maria to be my date?” He said out loud giving Kyle a smile.
“Or maybe you’ll ask Liz.” His father’s statement was more of a command than a question.
“Or maybe Maria.” Max challenged back.
“Or Liz.” His mom said in a singsong voice.
“Fine. You win; I’ll ask Liz.”

Once the parents had left the room Max slumped back on the couch.
“They’re always pulling shit like this.”
“What’s so wrong with Liz? I think she’s hot.” Michael commented.
“She is hot, but that’s not the problem.” Kyle answered for Max. Getting confused and puzzled looks from both Alex and Michael Kyle explained.
“It’s not that our boy Evans doesn’t like Liz, infact I think he does. I think he wants her so bad he can sometimes taste it. There’s just one problem. Their parents. They’ve been trying to set them up from the day she was born. It’s kind of like an arranged marriage. Evans here, like most guys I know, doesn’t like to do what his parents want him to, he rebels. You know what I’m sayin?”
“Yeah that’s basically it, except for the wanting her so bad I can sometimes taste it part.”

Before anyone else had the chance to say anything the three girls came down from Maria’s room, laughing at something that was said.
“Hey, mom and dad said we’re all going out to a semi-formal dinner tomorrow and that we need dates.” Kyle announced to his sister. Isabel looked panicked for a brief second, until her eyes landed on Alex.
“Alex would you like to be my date?” She asked with a warm smile. He returned her smile and nodded his head.

Liz turned her smiling face from them and settled it on Max. “Let me guess our parents in another attempt to get us together have decided that you’re going to ask me, right?”
“How’d you guess?”
Liz sighed and shook her head “Will they ever stop?”
“Not until you have my last name and give birth to at least two of my children.” Max answered with a laugh.
“Maybe I’ll ask Kenny Fisher.” Maria said dejectedly. “I hear he’s back in town for the holiday. He’s always kind of had a thing for me.”
“Maria, Kenny Fisher brought his girlfriend back with him. Maybe since he’s going to be going anyways you should ask Michael here?” Kyle suggested.
Maria looked at Michael sitting in his chair, his untamed hair and scowl. He was mildly cute. ‘I guess he’ll have to do.’ Maria thought to herself.
“Wanna be my date?”
“It looks like everyone else is taken and I have no choice.”


---
After the dinner party...
---
Liz plopped down on her bed and sighed heavily. She’d never seen her parents so upset and angry. Her mother cried the whole way home. Her father drove over the speed limit, taking turns like it was nobody’s business. Dinner had been an absolute nightmare. She’d arrived with Max in his car but ended up going home with her parents in theirs after the huge fight that her parents had with his parents during dinner.

Running in prominent social circles the Parkers and the Evans’ knew how to argue without causing a scene or drawing attention from the people or tables around them in public places. Liz didn’t even really understand what the whole thing was about, one minute they were all happy and laughing the next her parents were saying hushed angry words directed at Max’s parents. Her father stood up, threw some money on the table to cover their part of the bill and went to get the coats.
“Come on Elizabeth, we’re leaving.” He’d said to her. She’d said goodbye to everyone and she’d left with her parents. On the way home, her father forbid her to see Maxwell and Isabel Evans ever again. She’d protested saying they were her best friends, she was an adult and he couldn’t tell her what to do. He’d said that he would not allow her to see them as friends or otherwise.
“If I want to see my friends you can’t stop me daddy. I’m 20 years old, I’m an adult and I’ll see them if I want to.”

After the Parkers left, Diane and Phillip decided that they weren’t going to stay either. They’d put some money on the table to cover their end of the bill and they’d left. Dragging Max, Isabel, Alex and Michael along with them. That left one very confused family sitting at the table.
Maria stared in shock at the door, which everyone else had used as an escape. “What was that all about?” She looked to her mother who looked confused and like she was about to cry. Maria couldn’t help but laugh at the lost little girl expression on her mom’s face.
“Maria, have some respect. Old friendships could’ve been shattered tonight and you’re laughing?!”
Sobering up quickly Maria looked down at her plate, “Sorry dad.”

Once Diane and Phillip got home they forbid Max and Isabel to see Elizabeth Parker ever again. Max had reacted in much the same way that Liz had acted towards her parents. Saying that he was an adult and if he wanted to see her then damn it he would. Isabel stood shocked for a minute but then launched into a frenzy. Yelling at her parents saying that they’d just had one stupid fight with Jeff and Nancy and if that ended their friendship they were all stupid. She’d yelled at them for trying to control her and saying that she would not let them tell her that she couldn’t speak to her best friend anymore. Then she ignored them for the rest of the night. Speaking only to Michael, Alex and her brother.

The next day Max was playing golf in the indoor golf dome with Michael, Kyle and Alex when his cell phone rang.
“Hello?”
“Hi Max, it’s me Liz.”
“Liz, hi!”
“How are you?”
“I’m all right considering what happened last night. How about you?” He said walking away from the other guys to have a little privacy.
“The same.”
“Did your parents forbid you to see Isabel and me?”
“Yeah, did yours forbid you to see me?”
“Yup.”
“What’s this whole thing all about anyway?”
“I have no idea, it was came out of no where.”
There was a silence for a few minutes before Max spoke again.
“Do you wanna go out for dinner or something tonight?”
“You mean like a date?”
“Yeah.”
A pause.
“Yeah.” He could hear the smile in her voice.
“Great! I’ll pick you up around 6?”
“All right, see you then.”

Ending the phone call he walked back over to his friends with a huge smile on his face.
“Who was that Maxwell?” Michael asked curiously.
“Liz.”
“Ah, so now that the fruit is forbidden you want a taste eh?” Alex asked swinging his club and smacking the ball onto the green.
“Maybe.”
“You’re a dog man.” Kyle said as he pulled his club out of his bag and placed his golf ball on the tee.
“She called me Kyle; it wasn’t the other way around.” Max said in defense of himself, sitting down in the golf cart.
“You guys are so predictable, I knew last night that this was going to happen. If I didn’t know better I’d say that your parents planned this whole thing.”
“Do you think they would?”
“They’ve done some pretty underhanded and sneaky things in the past. Remember prom? Liz was gonna go with my step cousin Sean but hmm, he suddenly got unavoidably detained at the last minute by the police. What happened to your date Max?”
“She called me saying that she had to wash her hair.”
“That girl was totally sprung on you too. She calls you up at the last minute giving some lame ass excuse and what do ya know, you and Liz are both dateless for the senior prom. Hmm what a coinkidink.”

Max mulled over this new theory of Kyle’s. “Do you honestly think our parents would stage a fight just to get us together?”
“I’d just like to add my opinion here if I may?” Alex asked, cutting off whatever Kyle was about to say.
“All right,” He said when he got the ok from Max, “I think Kyle is right. They’re running out of time, you and Liz are both in your twenties and in college. They’re probably figuring one of you is going to meet someone and then all their planning and plotting will have been for nothing. They’re most likely desperate.”
“No man, I said ‘if I didn’t know better’. I was just talkin out of my ass; you should’ve seen the look on my mom’s face last night. The fight was probably real.” Kyle said as he walked back over to his golf bag to return the club in its slot.


---
Part 4
---
Max sat uncomfortably in the living room of Jeff and Nancy Parker. Across from him, in his favorite chair sat Jeff, staring at Max giving him the evil eye. Every few seconds Max would glance at his watch or look towards the stairs waiting impatiently for Liz to come down and rescue him from his discomfort.

He’d known Jeff and Nancy all his life. They’d been like second parents to him. Infact, being his god parents; they were second parents to him! He couldn’t even remember one single solitary time he’d ever felt so uncomfortable, unwelcome and unwanted in their home and presence as he did now.

“So...” Max said trying to start conversation with Jeff. Getting only a blank look and then the evil eye as a response, he glanced at his watch again and shifted uncomfortably in his seat. It’d been three weeks and his parents still hadn’t spoken to Liz’s parents. His dad lectured both him and Isabel when they got home from spending time with Liz; his mom wouldn’t even acknowledge them. She’d call them, “those people” and when referring to Liz she’d say, “that girl.”
“You’ve been out with that girl again haven’t you?” She’d say to him.

Diane had said that phrase a lot in those three weeks because ever since their date that first night, Max and Liz had been inseparable, spending nearly every day together. Had their parents been on speaking terms they would’ve been absolutely thrilled that their two young children were spending so much time together. Max doubted if any part of them, even a small part was thrilled about the prospect of their children dating.

He and Liz had always been friends, how could they not have been what with their parents being so close? But they’d been growing closer and closer as a result of the fight. He’d spent so many years trying to fight his parents for control on whom he dated and rebelling against the idea of dating Liz that he never really got to know her. Pre big parental fight, he never knew her favorite color, movie, flower, ice cream flavor, food, book or band. He’d never noticed the cute little quirks that she had. Like tucking her hair behind her ear or wringing her hands and babbling when she was nervous or the way she said words ending with ing. He’d always known that Liz was a great person but he had no idea that she spent her Saturday mornings at the library reading to little kids.

Max had found himself wanting to kiss her, day dreaming about her, seeing thins that reminded him of her and buying whatever it happened to be on impulse. Thinking about her when she wasn’t around, smelling the lingering scent of her perfume in his car and missing her. He didn’t know if Liz was beginning to feel all the same things that he was, he didn’t know if she was missing him when he wasn’t around and he wasn’t quite sure that he wanted to find out. If he told her how he felt and she didn’t feel the same way, it would change everything between them. So he decided to let whatever it was between them be exactly what it was without labeling it, and kept his urge to hold her and kiss her in check.

“Maria, it’s been three weeks and nothing. Just friendly hugs, not even a peck on the cheek.” Liz said into the receiver as she paced around her bedroom.
“Maybe you should make the first move?” Maria suggested.
“I can’t do that!”
“Why not?”
“If I make the first move and he doesn’t feel the same way, it’ll change everything between us. I mean what if he’s just using me and the situation to get back at his parents?”
“Isn’t that what you’re doing?”
“It was, but it’s different now. I’m feeling all these feelings...”
“Liz, babe no offense but you’re screwed up.”
“Oh gee what a friend.” Liz said sarcastically. “I better get going; he’s waiting for me downstairs.”
“With your dad?”
“Yeah.”
“Ouch...I feel bad for him. He’s probably getting the death stare.”
“I know, that’s why I have to go. I’ll call you later if anything happens.”
“Bye babe.” Pressing off and tossing the phone on her bed she turned to the mirror and checked her appearance one more time. Her pink peasant top went well with the dark denim jeans she had on. Her hair was flowing down her back just the way Max seemed to like it. Nodding to her reflection she turned on her heel and exited the room.

He watched her as she floated down the stairs looking absolutely beautiful. Her hair bounced around her shoulders and back as she trotted down the stairs, gliding her hand down the banister. He thought about saying something along the lines of it’s about damn time, but decided against it seeing as how Jeff was right there.

She watched as he stood up from the couch the minute he saw her. He looked gorgeous, as usual. She always loved that catholic schoolboy type look. Like that actor, Skeet Ulrich, in that movie The Craft. Doc Martins, khaki pants a white tee shirt underneath his unbuttoned baby blue button down with the sleeves rolled up.

“You ready to go?” He asked hopefully, breathing a sigh of relief when she nodded her head and grabbed their coats from the coat rack. He helped her into hers and threw his on as he was ushering her out the door.
---

Throwing open the door to Maria’s house Isabel waltzed into the foyer with a huge radiant smile. Walking into the living room her smile didn’t fade or falter as she saw Kyle and Tess sprawled out on the floor engrossed in a heavy make out session.
“You know you do have a bedroom for that.” She said startling them out of their fierce game of tonsil hockey.
Rolling off of Kyle, Tess stood up in an irritated and dramatic movement, “Don’t any of your friends know how to knock?” Casting Isabel a dirty look she told Kyle exactly where he could find her when he was finished. The she sauntered up the stairs as seductively as she could.

Isabel rolled her eyes and still smiling as bright as she had been when she first walked into the house, she turned and walked into the kitchen. Pushing himself off the floor Kyle followed her. He watched as she got a glass and then opened the fridge for what was most likely going to be the juice.
“Why are you so happy?”
“No reason.” She answered pouring the juice into her glass and placing it back in the fridge.
“Yeah right. It’s that Whitman clown isn’t it?”
“If you really must know Kyle, yes it is. And he isn’t a clown.”
“Whatever. I don’t like him.”
“Why not?”
“His jokes are lame and...and I don’t think his intentions are honorable. He looks at you and sees the bod.”

She took a sip of her juice before looking at him. “I happen to think that his jokes are funny. They’re the funniest jokes I’ve heard in a long, long time.” Taking another sip of her juice she walked over to the kitchen doorway and turned around to face him. “He likes me for me. He doesn’t look at me and only see my body Kyle, you did. Whether Alex’s intentions are honorable or not isn’t really any of your concern anymore.”

“Iz, we went out for four years. We’ve been friends for even longer than that; I still care about you.” He said quietly.
“It’s nice to know that you care.” Isabel said as she turned around and walked towards the stairs. Kyle was hot on her trail, “And for the record I never looked at you and saw your body.”
“Oh right. That was a good one Kyle.” She said whirling around on him, almost spilling her juice. “The only reason you even asked me out freshmen year was because I was the only freshman girl with all the parts of a senior.”

“That’s not true.” Taking her hand he led her outside to the back porch. “Isabel, I asked you out freshmen year because when you came over and helped my mom in the garden she’d look so happy and it was different from when Maria was out there helping her. I wasn’t happy and I thought that if I were with you, you’d make me feel as happy as she looked.”

“Kyle that is such a load of bull.” Isabel said pulling her hand from his grasp. “What could you possibly have been unhappy about? You were the boy who had everything. Starter on varsity as a freshman, all the girls at school chasing you, the biggest house with the best yard and view. Tell me what you were so damn unhappy about.”

“I didn’t have everything. It’s not easy being a freshman and starting on varsity, you catch a lot of shit from not only the older guys on the team but from the other freshman on J.V. All those girls at school who were chasing me only wanted me for one reason. I was popular. They didn’t even know me and they probably wouldn’t have cared if I had a third nipple on my forehead. I was popular and that’s all that mattered to them. They wanted the recognition that one got from being Kyle Valenti’s girlfriend. The biggest house with the best yard and view came as a result of a broken home.” He paused for a few minutes to let Isabel digest all that made him unhappy when they were teenagers. “I loved Amy a lot back then, I really did but I missed my real mom. She abandoned me and never looked back, it kind of scars a kid.”

Not knowing what to say to him she said the first thing that came to her mind, “I must’ve made you happy then, right?”
“Yeah, for a long time you did.”
“Well why don’t I anymore? What changed? When did it change? Was it something I did?”
“Nothing changed; you still make me happy. I guess I just needed to learn how to make myself happy. You didn’t do anything.”

They were silent until a question came to Isabel that she really needed an answer to. “Kyle, did you love me?”
“What?”
“I mean were you ever actually in love with me? Because you keep saying I made you happy. You stayed and you wanted to be with me all those years because I made you happy but you haven’t said you stayed because you loved me.” There was a silence again that seemed to go on forever, “I’ll tell you right now that that’s why I stayed with you through all the bullshit rumors and jealous fights I had with you and with other girls over you.”
He grasped her hand in his again and looked at her. “Of course I did. I mean I do.”
Isabel froze. “No, no! I mean I still love you but I’m not in love with you. I mean I love you, because a part of me always will, but not the way I used to.” He quickly clarified. She sighed with relief.

“I didn’t tell you as much as I should’ve. Both that I loved you and that you weren’t just a body to me, except for those times that you were naked.” He said cracking a smile. “It’s the one thing that I’d change about us.” Another long silence was had as they leaned against the railing hand in hand before Isabel turned to him and hugged him. “I’m sorry.” His return of the hug let her know that it was ok and that he was sorry too. For breaking her heart like he had.

“Look Kyle,” Isabel said as the embrace broke. “Alex is a really sweet guy. He’s not trying to get into my pants, you know Max would kill him so just give him a chance ok?”
“Fine.” Kyle said throwing his arm around Isabel’s shoulder and leading her into the house. “But I’m not singing that bye, bye Miss American pie song with him again.”
“What?” Isabel asked with a laugh. “When did you do that?”
“Last week. He came over with Max and Michael and we all got a little drunk. He’s got a horrible singing voice. He’s all off key and shit.”
She couldn’t help but break into a laugh. She knew better, Alex had a beautiful singing voice because in addition to being a computer nerd he was also a musician. He’d sang for her once. Kyle was the one who had the horrible singing voice and was off key.

posted on 17-Dec-2001 12:41:43 PM
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS parts 5&6
---
Part 5
---
“Liz, darling your father and I are leaving. We’ll see you there.” Nancy called from the bottom of the stairs.
“All right, bye!” Liz yelled as she fastened her necklace around her neck. After she fastened and straightened it, she touched with the tips of her fingers and admired the diamond choker. It’d been a present from Max that she hadn’t worn in years. He’d given it to her when she turned sixteen. It’d been the best and most expensive gift she’d gotten from any of her friends. Of course his parents made him buy something so extravagant and special for her special day, but he’d been the one to pick it out.

She looked at her reflection as a whole. She wasn’t a vain girl but she had to admit that she cleaned up nice. Her hair was in a classy upsweep with curly tendrils in the back, she wore the beautiful necklace that Max had given her around her neck, tear drop diamond earrings and her dress was gorgeous. Isabel had helped her pick it out. Made of silk it was a strapless gown that hugged her in all the right places but flared out towards the bottom and flowed as she walked. It complimented her skin tone and hair beautifully. Navy blue had always been her favorite color. It was simple and yet elegant all at the same time.

It was the night of the annual Winter Solstice Charity Ball at the Country Club. To Liz it’d always seemed like a stupid event, just a chance for women to show off their expensive jewelry, dresses and firs. For men it was a chance to show off their Cuban Cigars and how big and deep their pockets were. But seeing as how it was for charity she attended every single year, sometimes with Max and sometimes not with Max. This year seemed different and Liz guessed that it was because this was the year that she’d be attending for the first time with Max and actually noticing the feeling of being held in his arms as they danced, and reveling in it.

Smoothing her dress with her hands she nodded to her reflection and walked downstairs to a waiting Max.

The second he saw her, his breath caught in his throat. She looked stunning every single year, but this year it was different and he knew exactly why. He noticed the necklace and smiled to himself. He’d felt like such an idiot giving her a diamond necklace. Everyone else gave her gag gifts, movies; concert tickets, CDs, or books. The stuff she really wanted, he had to give her expensive jewelry and a box of Godiva chocolate. It’d been embarrassing, but he remembered how the embarrassment faded away as she opened the velvet box. He remembered her sharp intake of breath, and then the way she gasped his name, “Oh Max...” Next came the 100-watt smile and the full body hug. “It’s so beautiful and I love it but you didn’t have to!”

He remembered saying to her; “A beautiful girl deserves beautiful jewelry.” He remembered her handing him the box and telling him to help her put it on and the way his hands shook slightly as he tried to clasp it. At the time he’d thought that it was because everyone was watching them and that the clasp was just too damn small for his large fingers to work.
“Are you just going to stand there or are you going to be a gentleman and help me with my coat?” Liz said as she stood next to the coat rack, with a patient but amused smile. Shaking himself out of his memories he looked down with an embarrassment smile before grabbing her coat off the coat rack and helping her into it.

They quickly checked their coats and headed to their table as soon as they got to the Country Club. There they found Isabel and Alex holding hands and being openly affectionate towards each other. Michael and Maria were glaring at each other from across the table while Kyle and Tess were already dancing out on the dance floor.

Liz watched them as they danced and she had to admit that they were cute together. For the most part Tess was a nice person; she was a little rude to Isabel but that could be expected seeing as how Isabel had once slept with Kyle on a regular basis. He told her his corny jokes and she laughed, he nibbled and kissed her neck and she sighed, he dipped her and they laughed together. Once in a while Kyle would let her lead, she’d try to dip him and they’d laugh. There wasn’t any denying that they were a cute couple.

“Would you excuse me Max? I need to go and freshen up.” Liz said getting up from the table. He nodded, a little confused seeing as how they’d just got there. She looked beautiful to him. “Girls?”

Silently Isabel tore herself away from Alex and Maria’s hateful stare turned soft as they got up from the table and left the men alone, to “freshen up.”
“Why do girls always do that?” Alex asked as his eyes followed Isabel out of the room.
“Always do what?” Michael asked as his eyes followed Maria out of the room.
“Go to the bathroom in a pack? They’ve been doing that since we were 12.” Max added as his eyes watched Liz leave the room.
“It’s like they need a bathroom buddy or something. ‘Here, hold my dress up while I do my business.’ It’s gross. What do they talk about in there?”
“Us probably.” Michael replied looking at his best friend Alex.
---
“What’s the deal with you and Alex?” Liz asked as she eyed her friend.
“What ever do you mean my dear Lizzie?”
“She means why are you two suddenly showing tons of PD frickin A? Why can’t you wipe that goofy grin off your face and blink that far off dreamy sparkle out of your eyes?” Maria clarified somewhat harshly.
“Hey don’t be mean to me just because you’re flying solo tonight, that’s your own fault.”
“Who exactly, was I supposed to ask? Michael? Ha!” Maria said as she turned to face her reflection and flipped her curly hair over her shoulder with the back of her hand.
“There is nothing wrong with Michael. He’s a really nice guy.”
“Oh yeah if you think being an arrogant, self-centered jerk qualifies as nice.”
---
“So what’s the deal with you and Max’s sister?” Michael asked with a mischievous smile.
Alex, suddenly becoming uncomfortable pulled on his collar, “We’re...you know...friends.”
“Oh, the kind of friends that can’t keep their hands off of each other the whole way here?” “Michael!”
“The kind of friends that sneak into each other’s rooms when they think Max is asleep? What do you guys do in there? Let me guess, you ‘just talk’ right?”
“Hey man, don’t take it out on me because you have no date and won’t get any tonight.” Alex said defensively.

“1. I don’t have a date by choice, not by chance. I refuse to ask that Deluca chick. 2. Are you implying that you will be getting some later?” Michael asked with the same mischievous grin on his face.
“Yeah Alex, are you?” Max asked eyeing his friend.
“Max, we just talk man. I swear. Ok so maybe we kiss too but that’s it, I promise. Michael’s just mad because he’s hot for Maria and she hates him.”
“I am not hot for Maria! She’s an annoying, vain, ditzy, loud mouth who drives me completely crazy!” Michael spat vehemently.
“Yeah I’ll bet she does, only not the way you try to play it off.” Alex quipped. Max and Alex shared a laugh. Everyone grew quiet for a few minutes before Michael raised his eyebrows and said, “You never answered question 2 Alex.”
“Is it hot in here?” Alex asked pulling on his collar again and wiping the sweat from his brow.
---
“You know you like him.” Isabel said looking at her best friend.
“He drives me crazy! I hate him.”
“Uh uh.” Came Isabel’s sarcastic reply and knowing smile.
“Stop changing the subject, what’s the deal with you and Alex?”

Isabel walked away from her friends and sat on the red velvet couch with a happy sigh. “He’s just completely unlike anyone I’ve ever dated.”
“Meaning he’s different from Kyle.” Maria said with a smile.
“He’s smart, he’s witty and charming, he talks about topics other than football. He writes songs and poetry. He’s cultured, extremely nice, adorably cute, so sweet and romantic.” She let out another happy sigh. “He’s a departure from what I’ve always known boys to be a change, one that I need. He makes me feel good about myself.”

“Well we’re happy that you’re happy again.” Liz said as she sat down next to Isabel and hugged her. Maria couldn’t suppress the aww any longer and sat down to join in on the hug. After 2 minutes Isabel broke the hug smiling. “It’s really nice to be held in your arms guys but there are another pair of arms that I would much rather have wrapped around me right now.”

As she was about to leave the room Liz called out to her, “Wait Isabel!”
“You guys haven’t...I mean have you guys...you know what I mean is have you...” Realizing what her friend was trying to get at and that she was too embarrassed to ever spit it out Maria got up and walked over to them. “She wants to know if you guys have,” she pushed the index finger of one hand through the circle made by the index finger and thumb of the other a few times to get the point across. “you know.”

“Oh! No. We’ve talked about it but he wants to wait until I’m sure that I’m ready. He doesn’t want to be a rebound or anything.” Isabel explained with a glowing smile. “Isn’t he the sweetest?” She asked as she opened the door and walked out.

“So what about you and Max?” Maria asked once Isabel was out of the bathroom.
“I think I’m gonna tell him.”
“What?! What happened to things will change?” Maria asked as she paced back and forth infront of the mirror.
“Things already have changed. Things are different now, things change all the time so it’s pointless to try and prevent them. If he doesn’t feel the same way it’ll be better to find out now instead of getting attached more than I already am.” Liz said defensively.
“No, Liz I don’t think you should tell him.”
“Why?”
“Because I just don’t.”
“Well, its not your choice to make Maria it’s mine. I’ve made it so deal.” Liz said pushing herself off the couch and resting her hands on her hips.
“Fine, do whatever you want Liz but don’t come crying to me when he laughs in your face!”

Liz stood there next to the couch completely shell-shocked. She couldn’t believe that her best friend had just said that to her. She didn’t understand why she was being so mean.
“How can you be so sure of what you’re feeling anyway? Are you sure that it’s not just because your stupid parents said no?”
“I know when I like someone Maria and my parents are not stupid!”
“Yes they are! They start some ridiculous mystery fight with Max’s parents and then put my parents in the middle telling them to choose who they like better. Your dumb parents made my mom cry for an hour and she didn’t even want to come to this stupid Ball that she helped to organize because of them!”
“Why are you being such a bitch about this?” Liz asked incredulously.
“I’m the bitch?”
“Yeah you are.”
“Whatever, I don’t need this shit.” Maria said pushing past Liz and throwing open the door.
---
Alex watched as Isabel came floating back into the ballroom with the most amazing smile on her face. She confidently walked over to him and held out her hand, “Dance with me stud.” He took it without a moment of hesitation and they departed for the dance floor.
“You ok with that?” Michael asked Max. He thought about it for a little while before nodding his head and smiling. “He’s a good guy.”

“Liz is looking for you Max; she’s got something really funny to tell you.” Maria said in a cold tone as she breezed past the table and stormed out onto the terrace.
“Do you mind?” Michael gave a dismissive way to his friend, but kept his eyes on Maria. As soon as Max was out of sight Michael made his way to the doors of the balcony and heard soft, hushed crying.
“Maria?” He asked stepping out onto the balcony.
“Oh god what now?” She said turning her tear-streaked face towards Michael. “What? Come to belittle me? Point your finger and laugh?”
He walked over to stand next to her, “Wanna talk about it?”
Her reply was curt and cold, “No.”
“Fine, sorry I was trying to be nice. It won’t happen again.” He said turning around and muttering “Bitch” under his breath.
“Ass.”

---
Part 6
---
She’d heard him call her a bitch, he felt slightly bad but not enough to apologize for it. She really was being a bitch. “Just what was it that crawled up your ass and died? Why do you have to be such a bitch to someone who’s just trying to help? I didn’t do anything to you.”

She sighed and waved him back towards the rail with her hand. “Look I’m sorry, I just had a really bad fight with Liz.”
“Wanna talk about it?”
“You’ll listen? And you won’t make fun of me?”
“I’ll try my hardest.” He said with a small smile.
“Ok.”
---
Liz walked out of the bathroom, intent on finding Max but what she found was her mother and Diane hugging each other in a darkened part of the hallway. She made her way towards them quickly but ducked behind a big round column so she could listen and not be seen.

“I know Diane; it’s been hard for me too.” She heard her mom say.
“I mean, I can’t even think straight anymore Nancy! I miss talking with you, sharing recipes.” Diane said breaking down into tears. Liz could just imagine her mom holding Diane and rubbing her back like she did when Liz was upset.
“Just give them some more time sweetie.”
“I don’t know if I can. All this sneaking around is getting to me.” Diane said in between sobs. Liz maneuvered herself so that if they walked to the bathroom she wouldn’t be seen and not two seconds later they walked to the restroom. Nancy saying reassuring things to Diane as she rubbed her back and talked about cleaning up the mess she’d made of her beautiful face.

She stepped out from behind the column and into the open hallway, processing what she’d just seen and heard. Had Diane and Nancy secretly made up? Had the fight been between her father and Phil the whole time? How long had her mother been sneaking around, speaking to Diane behind her father’s back?

“What are you doing out here all by yourself?” Max asked coming up behind her. Jumping she whirled around to face him. “Oh! N-nothing. What are you doing out here?”
“Maria said you were looking for me. She said you had something really funny to tell me.”
“She did?” Liz asked through clenched teeth. “Yeah, a song that I liked was on and I wanted to dance. Which is funny since I know you hate to dance.”
“I’m sorry you missed it, but how about I make it up to you?” He asked taking her hand and leading her into the ballroom.
“How?”
“We’ll dance to the next song instead.” He led her to the floor and put his hands on her waist as “I Shall Believe” started to play. She smiled as her hands found their way up and around his neck, one hand playing with the hair at the nape.
“This is my favorite song.”
“I know, I requested it.”
---
“So that’s why I was crying.” Maria finished.
“Maybe you should talk to Liz. Tell her everything that you told me.”
“I know. Thanks for listening to all my problems Michael that’s really decent of you.”
“It’s no problem.” He replied with a smile. “I think I’m gonna go find Liz, will you dance with me later?”
Rolling his eyes and sighing exaggeratedly he said, “I suppose.” Smiling she turned and walked back into the ballroom.
---
Liz didn’t think the night could get better, aside from Maria apologizing. She was dancing to her favorite song, being held so close to Max and resting her head on his shoulder. Things were almost perfect.

“May I cut in?”

Liz raised her head to look at Maria and then let go of Max and started to walk away but before she knew it Maria was infront of her, grabbing her hand and putting her hand on Liz’s waist.
“I wanted to dance with my best friend, not Max.” She said smiling. Liz almost forgot that she was mad at Maria and almost smiled back, but stopped herself.
“Look Liz, I’m really sorry about what I said in the bathroom. Your parents aren’t stupid and I don’t think Max would laugh in your face if you told him how you felt.” Maria said quietly.
“Then why’d you say it?” Liz asked with a confused look on her face.

“I said it because I was scared that if you and Max got together it’d make you and Isabel closer and I’d be phased out. All our lives it’s been the Isabel, Maria, and Liz show and I was scared that if you told Max how you felt that I’d be dropped from the act and it’d be the Izzy and Lizzie show. That my part would be reduced to a recurring guest.”

“Maria don’t be ridiculous, you’ll always have a lead role. Always. Do you think that if I tell Max how I feel about him and we get together, Isabel will listen to me talk about her brother like you would? Do you think that she’d want to hear all the juicy details? I could never share those with anyone but you.”

“I know. I talked to Michael; he told me that I was just being stupid and paranoid. He was actually really...sweet about the whole thing.”
“Oh really? Sweet huh?” Liz asked with an amused smile.
“Yeah, he promised to dance with me later. He’s not so bad.”
“Mildly attractive right?” Liz asked sarcastically.
“Ok, maybe a little more than mildly.” The girls laughed and finished out the dance with their arms around each other in a hug and their heads resting on each other’s shoulders.

“Well, go confess your secret crush.” Maria said pushing Liz towards the table. “Tell Michael I’m holding him to his word and waiting on the dance floor.”

Smiling to herself Liz made her way towards the table. “Michael Maria’s waiting for you on the dance floor. She’s holding you to your promise and wants to collect now.” She watched as he shook his head and got up from his chair mutter things about her being high maintenance and how was he supposed to find her on the crowded dance floor.
“So what’d Maria want to talk to you about?” Max asked as she sat down.
“Oh we had this awful fight earlier and she wanted to apologize.”
“You wanna get some air?” He asked standing up and holding his hand out to her.

She took it and he led her out onto the terrace.

“It’s a beautiful night.” She said looking up at the stars and shivering.
“Not a cloud in sight.” He replied as he took off his tux jacket and placed it on her shoulders.
“Thanks.”

They were silent for awhile, looking up at the stars, enjoying the view and company. Inside Liz’s head and heart were waging battle. Her head was saying, “Don’t tell him, he’ll laugh at you.” Her heart was saying, “Tell him, you know what he’ll do. Tell him.” Her head had been greatly influenced by what Maria had said earlier in the bathroom but her heart hadn’t heard a word of it.

“Max...”
“Yeah?”
Finally listening to what her heart was telling her she said “I have something I need to tell you.”
Instantly alarmed by the tone of her voice he turned his whole body towards her and asked, “What is it?”
“Oh, don’t worry. It’s nothing important. Well, I mean it is important it’s just not the bad kind-”

He grabbed her wringing hands to still them. “Liz, you’re babbling.” He said with a warm smile. “Just spit it out.”

“Ok, sorry.” She said with a chuckle. She took a deep breath before she began, “I’m not gonna do that whole Hollywood speech thing but I...Max, I love you.” After saying it, her eyes got wide and round, avoided his and finally closed. Any minute he’d start laughing at her, she thought. She hadn’t meant to say love, she really hadn’t. An hour ago she’d been using the word ‘like’ and now suddenly it was love? The word just slipped out of her mouth.

It was ludicrous really. Being in love with Max Evans. They’d only been dating for almost four weeks and she was already in love with him? They hadn’t even kissed! The whole idea was laughable. Laughable but utterly and completely true. Elizabeth Parker was definitely in love with Maxwell Evans, and there wasn’t a thing she could do to stop it.

Liz wasn’t the only one having trouble believing what she’d just said. Max couldn’t believe it either. He pinched himself several times to make sure that it wasn’t a dream. Did Liz Parker really just say that she loved him? And not in a friendly way?

When he saw her close her eyes he thought to himself, ‘Well, if I’m dreaming I might as well wake up happy. If I’m not then the proper thing to do would be to kiss the girl professing her love to me. Either way it’s a win-win situation.’ Closing his eyes he leaned in and tentatively touched his lips to hers. She jumped and he brought his hands up to cup her cheeks. Taking his lips off of hers he pulled back and looked at her.

Her eyes were still closed her lips slightly parted and being moistened by her tongue, her breathing stilled. She brought her hands up to his wrists and opened her eyes to look at him.

“I know it doesn’t seem possible since we’ve been seeing each other for such a short amount of time but I love you too Liz.” She closed her eyes and smiled one of her 100-watt smiles, and without warning she leaned in and pressed her moist lips to his.

As their kisses grew deeper, less hesitant, more loving and as their bodies started to move closer arms wrapping around each other, it started to snow.




[ edited 1 time(s), last at 17-Dec-2001 12:43:28 PM ]
posted on 17-Dec-2001 12:45:07 PM
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS 7-8

---
Part 7
---

As the snow started to fall all around them their kiss grew more passionate. To Liz the only thing that existed at that moment was herself and Max Evans. His roving hands, his body pressed up against hers, and his beautifully skilled mouth and tongue. She briefly registered something cold and wet on her bare arm but dismissed it completely and lost herself in his kiss.

“Oh my god!” They faintly heard Isabel yell. “Come on Alex, I so do not need to see this.”

Despite the interruption the kiss continued on, with Liz’s mind and heart fighting again. “Don’t be so stupid Liz, you’ve never been in love so how can you be so sure?” Her mind said, her heart was saying, “You just know when you know, and Liz, you know. This is it; he’s the one.”

Breaking free from the kiss and embrace Liz took a step back from him, listening to her head which was screaming it’s fears over her heart’s whispered assurances. “This is crazy Max; we can’t be in love.”
“Why not?”
“Because we just, we can’t be! Maybe we’re in lust or maybe we just really, really like each other but love?! Have you ever been in love before?”

“No not exactly.” He said half-honestly.

“How do we know what it feels like then? How do we know that this is it?”
“Can I get all Hollywood on you for a second?” He asked stepping forward and taking her smaller hands into his. She nodded and he led her over to the bench and sat them down still holding her hands in his.

“I know that it seems crazy because it all seems so fast but it isn’t. We’ve known each other our whole lives and we’ve always loved each other. Or at least I’ve always loved you, as a friend of course but it’s different now. I know things about you that I never knew and I see you through a totally different set of eyes.”

She smiled slightly, but still had her doubts.

“I miss you when you aren’t around; I buy things on impulse if they remind me of you. I sit in my car for hours after dropping you off until the lingering scent of you and your perfume fades away. My breath catches in my throat and I stop breathing every time I see you come into the room. I remember every word you’ve ever said to me, and that’s a lot. I can recall every single Christmas, birthday and Valentine’s Day present that I’ve given you and you’ve given me. Every card Liz. I remember every school dance that we didn’t attend together, looking over at you and your date and being slightly jealous. Of course I confused it with anger towards our parents but that’s not the point. You just know when you know and Liz Parker, I know you know that we both know.” He said as he dropped one of her hands and cupped her cheek.
Finally her mind grew quiet as her heart taunted her with, “I told you so.”
“I know.” She said trying to hold in her laughter. She couldn’t help the impulse to laugh, his speech really was heart felt and touching, but the last part just sounded so Friends. She could imagine Chandler or Joey saying something like that.
“I know, I know. That sounds so Chandler or Joey.” Max said taking his hand off of her cheek and laughing. “I know you want to, go ahead and laugh.”
So she did. They laughed together and then resumed the kiss when their laughter subsided.

For the next few days Liz was on cloud nine. All of her last minute Christmas shopping was done with a smile plastered across her face, a hop in her step, a sparkle in her eye, while she hummed pleasantly to herself. Her parents were constantly asking what it was that was affecting her mood but she’d pretend that she didn’t have the slightest clue what they were talking about. She insisted it was just Christmas spirit.

Max and Liz had decided that they would keep their blossoming relationship a secret, between themselves and their friends. At least until the fight between their parents was resolved or until they could find out what it as about. With all that happened the night of the Charity Ball, Liz had completely forgotten what she’d seen and heard between her mom and Diane.

“Hey babe.” Maria said as she got into Liz’s car. “Let’s go.”
“Why are you in such a good mood today?”
“No reason.” Maria answered, flashing her friend a dazzling smile.
“Uh huh.”
“So what are you gonna get Max?”
Liz thought for a few long moments before answering, “I don’t know. I want it to be special but I haven’t been able to find anything that’s special enough.”

The conversation ended with Maria telling Liz exactly what she could give Max, Liz calling Maria a pervert and then turning up the radio. They drove along the high way singing along to the music at the top of their lungs. They’d already gone through every square inch of the mall in their own town, so they were going to try the mall in the next town over. Liz hoping that she’d find something special enough to give Max and Maria hoping that she’d find something nice enough to give Michael. According to her, she didn’t even like him very much. He had that one shining moment at the Ball when he could’ve became a possibility but then he went and screwed it all up by opening his mouth and being himself again. According to everyone else, Maria had it bad for Michael and Michael had it bad for Maria. They just didn’t know how to go about being normal about it, so they fought like second graders.

“Oh my god!”

Liz quit singing and was instantly alert. “What?”
“I think I just saw your parents at that cafe back there.”
“So?”
“Well, my vision must be going bad because I swear they were with Diane and Phil.” “No, it must’ve been some other people who looked like them. My dad and Phil are still fighting and even if they made up they wouldn’t drive all the way out here in the middle of no where to meet at some greasy roadside cafe.” Liz explained.

“What’s the fight about anyways? My mom won’t tell me. She says that it’s none of my concern, she doesn’t want me to become a gossip.”
“It’s a little late for that isn’t it?” Liz asked eyeballing her friend.
“Oh shut up.”
“I don’t know what it’s about. Max doesn’t either. My parents won’t tell me but I have a feeling that it was always between my dad and his dad. I saw my mom and Diane at the Charity Ball talking in the hallway. Diane said she couldn’t take all the sneaking around and my mom said to give ‘them’ more time.”
“So you naturally assumed that ‘them’ meant your dad and Phil?”
“Well, yeah...who else could she have been talking about?”

---
Part 8
---

Amy rushed around the house, making sure everything was perfect. She was definitely on edge this Christmas Eve. Her two best friends and their husbands were still feuding and she had no idea why, although she had strong suspicions that whatever the reason it had something to do with Max and Liz.

She’d been against the pairing from the very beginning. Not that she wouldn’t love to see Max and Liz happy and if being together made them happy then that was great! But from what she saw Max and Liz didn’t want to be together. They fought and rebelled against their parents’ wishes since they hit puberty. That didn’t really seem like the actions of two people who wanted to be together. Amy refused to participate in any scheme, and as a result she was often left out.

She couldn’t believe how childish her friends were being. Diane refused to throw the annual Evans-Valenti-Parker Christmas Eve party that they threw every single year since their children were born. She’d said that she didn’t want “those people” in her house. Nancy refused to throw it because it was Diane’s turn. She said that maybe this year the families should just do their own separate things. So the responsibility had been left to Amy, even though she‘d thrown the party the year before. She refused to let their petty fight or stupid plan spoil tradition.

While Amy was frantically rushing around the house, putting the final touches on this and that Maria was upstairs wrapping presents. She’d managed to find something perfect for all her friends. To Michael, she was giving a brush and a book on personal hygiene. Isabel was getting a book on Kama Sutra and a gift certificate to her favorite store. Alex was getting two tickets and backstage passes a Weezer concert. Max’s present was actually wrapped up with Liz’s name on the tag, made of satin and lace, so that was her gift to the both of them. She got Kyle a Lakers jersey signed by the entire team and she was giving Tess a heart shaped locket with Kyle’s picture in it.
After bringing the presents down from her room, Maria helped her mom in the kitchen and then greeted the guests when they arrived. She noted how Diane and Nancy didn’t speak to each other and avoided eye contact. She observed Jeff’s death glare directed at Phil and Phil’s coldness towards Jeff and Nancy.

Tess surveyed the presents under the tree. All her presents were small, compared to everybody else’s. She was a little disappointed because she’d hoped that Kyle’s family and friends would like her, but by the looks of it, they really didn’t. She jumped when Kyle came up from behind her and wrapped his arms around her shoulders. “What’s wrong? You look upset.”

She sighed, still looking down at the presents. “All of the ones to me are small. I don’t think anyone likes me.” She said with disappointment.
“Baby, sometimes good things come in small packages.” He said reassuringly. “Everybody likes you and if they don’t, screw them. They’re not the ones dating you, I am.” He said kissing her neck, and then up to her ear where he whispered, “I love you and that’s all that matters to me.”
Turning around in his arms she kissed him soundly on the lips, allowing it to deepen a little. Hearing those words for the first time was like music to her ears. She loved him too and he knew it because she told him all the time, but to hear him finally say it was like being in heaven.

Everybody had congregated in the living room to look at the tree and drop off their presents under the tree. The Evans’ had conveniently forgot to bring the gifts for the Parkers and the Parkers had forgot to shop for the Evans’. The parents went into the kitchen or the dining room while the kids all stayed sitting around the tree. Maria watched as Kyle and Tess wandered away from the group after only 5 minutes, Alex and Isabel after 10, and finally Liz and Max after 15. That left her and Michael, alone, sitting in her living room trying to avoid looking at each other.
---
“Oh god Max...” Liz moaned as he attacked her neck. They had snuck off into Jim’s darkened study and stumbled to the couch to make out. She was about to moan out something else when they heard the door open, her father’s voice and froze. They tried to stop their ragged breathing and actually managed to. If Jeff Parker caught Max on top of his daughter, Liz was sure that he’d kill him. To her surprise her father wasn’t the only man in the room.

“I think the plan worked. Liz keeps asking me what we’re fighting about. She keeps saying that it’s important to her and that she needs to know.” Her father said.
“Max too. Pretty soon it’ll all be over.” Liz’s eyes grew wide as she realized that voice belonged to Phillip Evans.
“God I hope so. Nancy feels like she’s betraying Liz. She’s mad that she can’t tell Amy.”
“I know, Di is too. She keeps crying, saying she can’t take it anymore. She says she doesn’t even care if they end up together or not.”

They stayed and talked for a few more moments before someone left and then 5 minutes later the other left.
“Those sneaky underhanded bastards!” Max yelled as he jumped up from the couch.
“I should’ve known! How stupid am I?! God, it should’ve all clicked into place.” Liz said maneuvering herself into a sitting position and cradling her head in her hands.
Running his hand through his hair and sighing Max turned to her, “Don’t beat yourself up Liz, you didn’t know.”

“I saw them Max. I saw our mothers talking at the Charity Ball; Maria and I saw my parents outside of some greasy roadside cafe out in the middle of nowhere with your parents just the other day. Then of course there was that time when they said they were going to play racket ball with Amy and Jim but left their rackets in the closet. It all should’ve clicked together. How could I not have seen it?”

“You’re a smart girl Liz.” Max said pulling her to her feet and hugging her close to his body. “You suspected something, just like I did. We just didn’t want to believe that our parents would be so manipulative...we knew that they could be, but we didn’t want to believe that they would be.”

She nodded her head slightly and then rested it against his chest. “So what does this do to us?” She asked bringing her arms to circle around his waist.
“I’m not giving you up now that I have you. Well I mean I don’t want to.”
“I don’t either.” She said looking up at him before standing on her tip toes to give him a short kiss.

“So what are we gonna do?”
“I don’t know...I’m so mad right now that I could just go out there and kick our dads’ asses.”
A mischievous gleam sparkled in her eye and the smile soon followed. “Don’t get mad, Max. Get even.”
“What do you have in mind?”
“Just a little thing called revenge...”

Author’s Note: I want to thank SkySerpant for giving me this idea and LTL for expanding on it! I thought it wasn’t going to work out but then LTL and I had a talk about it and I got motivated and wanted to use it. So thank you! And by the way thank you to all the people who have been leaving me wonderful feedback! You guys are great!
---
Part 9
---
Max and Liz sat nervously holding hands across the table from their parents. They’d decided that the best way to give them the news was to do it infront of witnesses. After talking with Amy, Max and Liz were able to come up with the best punishment plan that they could possibly think of for their manipulative parents. They were going to shatter their parent’s dreams of their children leading the perfect lives.

According to Amy Jeff, Nancy, Diane and Phil had always had a mental picture of Max and Liz’s happy, perfect future. The first part they’d already managed to inadvertently shatter, but they were supposed to date all through high school. Next they were supposed to go off to whatever Ivy League school that they chose. Sometime around graduation or very soon after they were to marry, find fabulous jobs, a moderately sized house not too far from their parents, and then produce two beautiful children. That was perfect, that was how it should’ve been and should be.

“So what’s this meeting about kids?” Jeff asked with a secret smile. It was three days into the New Year, he’d come simply because Liz asked him too, and also because he and Nancy had “made up” with Phillip and Diane. He had a strong feeling that Max and Liz called the meeting to tell them that they were in love. He expected to hear “You were right and we were wrong. We’re sorry, we should’ve listened sooner.”

“Well daddy...um I don’t know how to say it but as you know Max and I have been seeing each other for a while now and I’m...well, I’m pregnant.” Liz watched as her mother’s drink was spewed forth from her mouth and Diane almost choked on a piece of bread. She was definitely surprised when Phillip slammed his hand down on the table, causing a few tables around them to look over at them, and even more surprised when he said rather loudly, “You’re WHAT?!”

“She is pregnant.” Max said calmly and slowly, as if it hadn’t sunk in the first time they’d heard it.

“How could you let this happen?! How could you both be so stupid?! Didn’t you use any protection?” Diane whispered in an angry voice. Unlike her husband she hadn’t forgotten about the rules of fighting in public.

“Don’t speak to us like we’re horny teenagers, we’re adults. We go to Ivy League schools for Christ’s sake! Of course we were safe and used protection.” Max whispered as he leaned in, trying to tell the parents that they weren’t stupid while at the same time trying to avoid being the topic of gossip.
“How far along are you Liz?” Jeff calmly asked his daughter.
“About 3 weeks.”
“Good, there’s still time. I’ll make an appointment for tomorrow.”

“You will not.” Max said firmly.
“I beg your pardon?”
“How dare you. She may be your daughter but you’ve got no right to be making appointments and trying to run her life like that. She’s an adult Jeff. She’s capable of making her own decisions and she’s keeping it.”
“Says who?” Jeff asked in an angry whisper.
“Says me!” Liz said slamming the fist that once held Max’s hand, down on the table. “You know you people are just greedy. We thought you’d be happy, here we are finally giving you what you’ve always wanted and you’re so un-fucking-grateful about it, it’s unbelievable!”

“Elizabeth Parker! Do not use that tone with us!” Her father said raising in his seat slightly, he half expected Liz to back down, but her face only got more determined and she stood up, knocking her chair over in the process.

“Sit down, you’re making a scene!” Phil said grabbing her arm and pulling her down to sit in her chair. “Liz, Max how do you plan on supporting this baby? Do you realize how hard it’s going to be going to school and trying to raise a baby? Do you expect us to pay for everything? Will Liz be transferring to Princeton?”

“We’ve actually thought about all of that dad, and we’ve decided that we’re going to drop out and get jobs.”

“Where will you live? What kind of jobs do you think you’ll get on a high school education? Almost every job that pays anything requires a degree of some sort now days.” Phillip asked, hoping beyond hope that using rational logic would bring them back to their senses.

“I’m going to go and apply to be a waitress at that road side cafe just out side of town, what’s it called again mom?” Liz asked casting an accusing look in her mother’s direction. “Max is going to apply for a manager’s position at the cheese factory in the next town over, and we’re going to get a trailer.”

“Oh no you will not! I will not have my daughter being white trash! You’ll live in that trailer park over my dead body young lady!” Nancy said leaning over the table and raising her voice.

“Mom, I don’t think you have a say really. I’ll live there if I want to and stop being so judgmental. Lots of people live in trailers and they aren’t considered white trailer park trash now are they?” Pausing to take in a deep breath she stood up from her chair and grabbed her coat and purse, “We don’t need you anyways. We’ll do it on our own without any of your money or help. We were planning on it anyways. Come on Max.”

He stood quickly and wordlessly not daring to look at their parents and followed her out of the restaurant. He was absolutely sure that they had attracted attention and that by tomorrow the town would be buzzing with gossip about Max Evans getting Liz Parker knocked up and their parents disowning them. Of course it was all completely untrue, but nobody but Liz, Max, Maria and Amy knew that.

Once inside the car Liz let out a strangled sob. “God, that was really intense.”
Max pulled her into an awkward embrace, and stroked her hair as she cried, “Yeah, I think we got a little carried away there.”
“I’ll say. I didn’t mean for it to go that far, but they started trying to control us and make our decisions for us again. The nerve of my father to tell me that he’ll make an appointment for me to have an abortion! That’s totally my decision, he has no right!” Liz said punching the dash with her fist. “Ow!”
---
Inside the restaurant Nancy and Diane excused themselves to go freshen up.
“I can’t believe this...it’s all our fault!” Nancy said placing her palms flat against the counter and leaning her weight on them. “We should’ve never gone through with this stupid plan!” She wiped a tear away from her eye furiously. Because of us, their lives are going to be ruined!”

“How can I call myself a good mother anymore?” Diane wailed. “We have to tell them.”
“Diane, what good will it do? The damage has already been done.” Nancy said dejectedly. “I can’t look myself in the mirror every day if I don’t.”
---
Over the next week, Liz and Max stayed in a hotel room while they pretended to make all the necessary arrangements regarding school and their trailer. Their parents were complete wrecks, fighting amongst themselves. Wife against husband, friend against friend and for really no reasons in particular. Finally when Diane could take it no longer, she called her son and asked him to bring Liz by for dinner.
---
She ushered them in the house and into the living room where Jeff, Nancy, and Phillip all sat waiting. It was a little awkward at first and Max and Liz just stood there looking at their parents.

“Well, lets sit down to dinner shall we?” Diane asked pleasantly. It was almost as if she was pretending like nothing had ever happened.
“Where’s Isabel and my friends?” Max asked cautiously.
“Oh they’re out dear.” His mother replied in a cheery voice.

Dinner was ate in silence, and afterwards they sat there for 15 minutes with nobody saying anything.
“Well, it’s late and I need my rest.” Liz said standing up from the chair, “Diane thank you for-”
“Liz wait...I invited you and Max here because there’s something you guys should know.”

posted on 17-Dec-2001 12:47:22 PM
---
Part 10
---

Liz sat down slowly looking from Diane to her parents. She knew, or at least she hoped that she knew, what it was that Diane had to tell her. She waited for about 5 minutes and when Diane said nothing she started to get up again.
“As you know your parents and I have always wanted the best for you and Max.” Diane said, halting the young girl and bringing her back down in her seat. “We’ve always known that for Max you were the best, and for you he was the best. So I hope you’ll keep that in mind when I tell you that...the fight was staged.”

The silence seemed to go on forever as Diane watched her son and Liz for their reaction to the news. Surprisingly enough, they were calm. Max had this unreadable, but calm expression on his face and Liz; well she had a blank stare. They didn’t seem shocked or anything. Finally one of them spoke, “We already knew.”

This time it was Max and Liz watching for their parents reactions, and they were not surprised in the least to see the shock written all over their faces. “We’ve actually known since Christmas Eve.” Seeing the shock once again, and the confusion Liz decided to tell them how they found out.

“You see dad and Phil over here thought they were being really sneaky, sneaking into Jim’s study to discuss ‘the plan.’ However, Max and I were already in there, and we heard everything.” She explained with a tight, forced smile.

“You knew all this time and you said nothing?” Nancy asked with a pained expression on her face.
“Oh please mom. Don’t act like you’re the victim here. Max and I are the ones that have been manipulated and lied to.”
Jeff spoke up in defense of his wife and their plan, “Which was for your own good.”
“What kind of parents manipulate their children and then try to pass it off as something done for their well being?” Liz asked, her voice rising in anger.

“So now we’re bad parents? Is that what you’re saying?” Jeff asked leaning over the table, prepared to argue that subject like he was in a courtroom.
“Now hold on. Nobody said that.” Max interjected. “Liz is just saying that we’re extremely hurt by your manipulation. She’s just saying that you didn’t do this for us, you did it for you.”

“Did you get pregnant just to teach us a lesson Liz? You know, for revenge?” Jeff asked with contempt.
Liz was fully prepared to play this game with her father, she would drag out the pregnancy issue for as long as she had to, “No I didn’t.”
Unfortunately for Liz, Max was not prepared to go the distance as she was. “We made that up, to get back at you. Liz isn’t pregnant.”
Relief flooded through the parents for a brief moment before they started in on their children. “How could you do something like that? How could you make something like that up, just to get back at us? I’m so disappointed in you two.” Diane said picking up her plate and rising from her chair.

“Disappointed in us?!” Max yelled, standing up. “YOU are disappointed in US?! I don’t think so. If anybody at this table has the RIGHT to be disappointed in anyone is Liz and me. We’ve got the right to be disappointed in you! Not the other way around mother. Now you know how it feels to have the shoe on the other foot don’t you. You can be the manipulator, no sweat but you just can’t stand to be the one getting manipulated can you mom?”

The words he bit out where harsh and bitter sounding, they made Diane falter. Dropping her plate onto the table with a small thud and then dropping her self into her chair where she sat holding her hand to her chest and staring up at her son. He’d never in all his life talked to her like that.

“You know you people are real pieces of work you know that? All our lives you try to control us, you even go so far as to manipulate us to get your stupid way and then when you’re given a taste of your own medicine...you all need therapy.” Max said as he grabbed Liz’s hand and pulled her up from her chair. Before walking out of the dining room, he called out a harsh and final sounding goodbye, leaving both sets of parents stunned.

“God can you believe them?!” Max asked, completely shocked as he slammed his door shut and angrily started the car.
“You know Max, it’s generally my job to get all worked up and angry. You know the good cop, bad cop thing. You’re the good cop. You don’t explode in a fury of anger.” Liz said with an amused smile on her face.
He looked at her and his angry face instantly softened; he even managed a smile. “Sorry.”
---
After the dinner, Max and Liz had just aimlessly drove around while they talked about what they should do. They had decided that they would leave early. Max didn’t know what Michael would want to do, or what Alex would want to do but he’d decided that he wasn’t going to stay in the town another minute. Unless of course the Parkers’ and his parents came crawling on their hands and knees to beg for his forgiveness. However, seeing as how that didn’t look too likely, Max decided that he would leave.

Liz had decided that she would leave as well. She didn’t think that she could spend one more night in her parents’ house. She was upset that she would miss out on the rest of the time they had to share with their friends but there wasn’t anything she could do about it. Her parents were practically forcing her to leave. She told Max that he could come and stay with her in her dorm room for the remaining time that they had left.

After everything had been decided, Max took Liz to her house and waited outside as she packed up her suitcases. Her parents, who had driven themselves home shortly after Max stormed out of the Evans house with Liz, stood in the entryway and watched as she carried her suit cases downstairs and out the door with out so much as a backward glance or a goodbye. It was very much the same way when Max picked up his things. Except, Michael walked down the stairs after him, carrying his bags.

Michael had decided that he was just going to leave early too. He said that he would just feel too weird staying in Max’s house when Max wasn’t there. Alex on the other hand, was now openly dating Isabel so he was definitely going to stay. On his way out Michael thanked Phil and Diane for letting him stay in their house and then said goodbye to Alex and Isabel. Max gave Isabel a hug and told Alex goodbye before turning around and ignoring his parents completely.

---
Part 11
---
When they arrived at the airport, they checked their bags and had to wait around for their delayed flight. An hour passed by with Michael impatiently waiting next to Max and Liz before they were told that their flight had been canceled due to snow grounding the flight in Chicago where it had a layover.

“Well, I guess we can go stay at Maria’s and then catch the next flight out tomorrow.” Max said, running his hand through his hair and sighing. “I really wanted to get out of here though.”
“Maria’s is fine. We’ll just leave tomorrow.” Liz said as she grabbed his hands. After retrieving their bags they drove over to Maria’s house.
---
“Damn it.” Maria mumbled after hearing the doorbell. Everyone was always interrupting her “me time.” Kyle took Tess out for dinner and dancing earlier and wouldn’t be home till late, her parents had gone over to Nancy’s house because they were having some crisis. That left Maria with the house all to herself for some much needed alone time.

She’d already started giving herself a facial and when the doorbell rang she was just sitting on the couch, eating some potato chips and watching some TV. She thought about ignoring whoever was at the door but when it rang again and again she knew she couldn’t. “All right I’m coming. Hold your freakin horses!”

“This better be good...” She said as she opened the door. Immediately she was met with the smiling faces of Max, Liz and right behind them a smirking Michael. A quick glance down told her that they had their bags sitting beside their feet. “Oh man! This is supposed to be alone time. You know time for me. Maria time.”

“Come on Maria, we need a place to stay.” Liz said picking up her bag and pushing inside the house.
“You have a place to stay. It’s called Casa De Parker.” She said turning around to face her best friend.
“Whatever happened to mi casa es su casa?”
“Mi casa es mi casa. Su Casa is su Casa. So go stay there my friends. I’m doing the alone thing tonight.” Maria said grabbing onto Liz’s arm and pulling her to the door where Max and Michael still stood waiting.
“Maria, come on. We aren’t speaking to our parents. They faked the fight just to get Max and me together. We really need a place to stay.”
Maria looked from face to face before sighing and throwing the door open wider as a gesture of invitation. “Fine, fine but you owe me which means I want details. Come in.”

An hour after Max, Liz and Michael arrived, Amy and Jim returned home. They stormed into the kitchen where they found Michael, Maria, Max and Liz all sitting around the table talking.
“We need to talk kids.” Jim said taking off his coat and laying it over the back of a chair.
“What about daddy?” Maria asked innocently. She just knew that he was going to find out about that scratch she accidently put in his car the other day.

“Maria sweetie, why don’t you and Michael go watch some TV. Your dad and I have to talk to Max and Liz alone.” Amy said kissing the top of her daughter’s head as she gently pushed her out of the chair and toward the living room.
“Um...ok. Come on Michael.” Maria said in puzzlement. As soon as Michael and Maria walked out of the kitchen she pulled him to the side and against the wall.
“What are we doing?” He whispered to her.
She removed her ear from the wall and turned her head to look at him. “What does it look like we’re doing? God and you got a scholarship to Princeton? How did you manage that one genius?”

Before he had the chance to reply she turned her head back around and pressed her ear to the wall. “Now be quiet. I can’t hear with you talking.” She whispered.
---
“Jeff, Nancy, Diane and Phil are just heartbroken about what happened.” Amy explained.
Liz scoffed at their remark and rolled her eyes, “Oh yes I’m sure that they genuinely are.” She crossed her arms before looking at them, “Our parents are quiet the actors aren’t they?”

“Now, now. I know what they did was wrong but they’re really hurt over the way you two reacted.” Jim explained. “I think you should forgive them.”
“Yeah ok Jim.” Max said seriously. Liz’s head whipped around but before she had the chance to say anything Max continued. “You just tell mom and dad that all they’ve got to do is crawl on their hands and knees begging for it and I’ll give them my forgiveness.”

“Now that’s not fair Max. They made a mistake-”
“Which they don’t regret and won’t apologize for.” Liz added interrupting Jim. “Did they tell you that they yelled at us for the whole pregnancy scam?” She asked. “Oh yeah they did. They acted like they were the ones who got manipulated, like they had a right to be upset. They said that THEY were disappointed in US! If you can believe that.”

“Well, no they didn’t tell us that but-”
“But nothing Amy.” Max said interrupting her. “We’re not forgiving them unless they come to us begging. That’s the end of the discussion. Oh and some therapy might be useful for them too.” Max said standing up and exiting to the living room. Liz sat there for a brief moment, looking from Jim to Amy and then to the doorway before standing up and replying a quick but definitive, “Yeah.”

---
Part 12
---
The next morning Max got up and called the airlines. He arranged for one ticket to Jersey and two to Boston before hanging up the phone and throwing on some clothes from his bag. As soon as he was dressed, he headed toward the house, across the back yard seeing as how he was staying in the guest house. The second he stepped foot in the house he wished he hadn’t. His father’s voice could be heard drifting through the house. He should’ve known that something like this would happen. Jim and Amy had called his parents and invited them over for “breakfast.” There wasn’t any doubt in his mind that Jeff and Nancy Parker were there, or would be arriving any second if they weren’t.

“Oh Max darling. Look who decided to drop by.” Maria said with a smile as she came out of the kitchen and loosely holding onto Phil’s arm. Her smile got a little bigger when he openly glared at her.
“Where’s Liz?” He asked, shifting his weight to his other foot.
Maria looked around before waving off the question, “She’s around.” She eyed him for a second before dropping Phil’s arm. “Come with me Max. We need to talk.”

On her way up the stairs Maria encountered Liz coming down them, on her way to the living room, from the bathroom. Without a moment of hesitation or a second thought, Maria grabbed her arm and pulled her up the stairs too. She quickly ushered them into her bedroom and then shut the door after entering.

“Don’t you guys think that this has gone on long enough?” She asked putting her hands on her hips and looking at them. “There’s been fake fighting, real fighting, and just a whole bunch of stupidity this whole entire time we’ve been here. Enough is enough.”

“Whose side are you on Maria? Theirs?” Liz asked as she stood up from Maria’s bed and crossed her arms. “You’re supposed to be my best friend not theirs, you traitor.”
“Liz? Shut up.” She sighed before gesturing to her bed, indicating that she wanted Liz to sit. When Liz didn’t, she gave her a look and gestured again. When Liz finally sat down Maria started with her lecture, “All I’m saying is that enough is enough. Yes, what they did, was wrong and they should apologize but at least you guys are together right? I mean if they hadn’t done this you two would probably end up married to real losers.”

“Yeah but-”
“But nothing Liz. It may have been wrong, and maybe it was a little selfish of them, but they saw something between you two that you couldn’t see.” Maria explained. “They did it for you guys and for themselves. It was a win-win situation.”

“They want you to come crawling and begging for their forgiveness.” Amy said as she poured coffee into her cup and added some creme and sugar.
“Figures they would.” Diane sighed, pouring herself some juice. “Well, I’m prepared to do that.”
Nancy looked at her as if she’d grown a second head. “Di, they manipulated us too. With that whole baby thing. I’ll only apologize to them if they apologize to us.” She said before taking a sip of her tea. “And at least they’re together now. They should be thanking us for finally helping them to realize their true feelings for each other.”

“You know...” Amy sighed turning the page of the newspaper laying in front of her. “I bet if you guys wouldn’t have pushed so hard, it would’ve happened naturally. A lot sooner than it did. That’s always been my theory. Remember when we had all the kids in one room when they were babies and learning how to crawl or walk? Maria and Kyle crawled to each other, Isabel crawled to me and Max walked over to Liz who decided to crawl over and meet him half way.”

She decided to remain silent and let them think over what she’d just said, so she turned her eyes from her friends and down to her paper. “Oh it’s going to be warmer today.” She said reading the weather section.

Max and Liz came down the stairs with Maria trailing behind. She’d finally managed to talk some sense into them. They were going to put an end to this whole stupid fight. Their parents would be happy, they would be happy and everyone else wouldn’t have to hear about it anymore, thus making everyone else happy.

They called their parents into the living room and sat them down. Liz was hoping that this wouldn’t turn into the whole baby fight all over again.
“What’s this all about?” Jeff asked sitting on the couch and crossing his arms over his chest. “I have to get to the restaurant soon, so lets make this quick.”

Liz rolled her eyes and briefly thought about calling this forgiving and forgetting crap off but decided against it and pressed on. Grabbing Max’s hand for morale support she gave it a little squeeze. “Max and I have decided that we’re forgiving you.”

“What you did was still wrong.” Max added. “But Liz and I are together now and that’s all that matters. So we’re willing to forget about it.”
“Yeah but I’d still like an apology. And a promise that you’re never going to do anything like this ever again. It really hurt my feelings. I’m an adult and you can’t control my life by manipulating me into doing something that you want me to.” Liz added sadly.

Nancy’s heart almost broke with the tone of voice that her daughter expressed her hurt in. She wasn’t going to give in and forgive them for their manipulation until that very moment. Pushing herself up from her seat she crossed to the center of the room where Liz stood and hugged her. “I’m sorry Liz, I thought it was for the best. I promise I won’t use manipulation like that ever again.”

They hugged each other and cried a little bit, while Diane did the same thing with Max. Although she cried and he didn’t. That just left Phil and Jeff sitting on the couch looking at their children and their wives. Liz was looking at her dad with a mixture of hope and expectation on her face. Finally Jeff got up and crossed the room to hug her. He never said he was sorry, because he wasn’t. He did say that he was sorry her feelings got hurt and he promised that he wouldn’t interfere in her love life again. That was enough for Liz. Phil got up from the couch and hugged both Max and Liz and apologized to both of them. He also promised that he wouldn’t interfere either. So long as they made the right choices. Which earned him a playful, but warning smack from Liz.




posted on 17-Dec-2001 12:49:16 PM
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS parts 13-14
Author’s Note: This part is really crappy but like I said, I had to type it up all from memory. I didn’t write it down on paper. Tell me what you think.
---
Part 13
---

The next few weeks went by slowly for Max and Liz. They spent every waking minute with their parents. They went out to dinners. They played tennis and golf. They were dragged to the theater and to the ballet. Not that they didn’t enjoy it, but they would’ve enjoyed it so much more had they been allowed to do everything by themselves. Instead their parents would tag along, or drag one of them away from the other for a little while.

Max would be drug off to play golf with Jeff and Phil and then afterwards he’d be drug off to sit in either Jeff’s study or Phil’s study to smoke cigars. Reluctantly taking a puff of the cigar, Max relaxed on the couch. He was just beginning to enjoy himself when he caught Jeff staring at him.
“So Max, what are your plans for marriage?” He asked taking a puff of his cigar.
Max almost choked on the smoke he’d inhaled when he’d heard that question, “Um...I don’t know...I really hadn’t given it any thought.”
“So you don’t intend to marry my daughter then?” Jeff asked eyeing Max.
“Um...we hadn’t talked about it or anything...”

Just as Jeff was about to say something, Phil gently slapped his son on the back and laughed, “Well, that’s ok son. You just go at your own pace. You marry her, that’s great. You don’t, whatever.” He said with a reassuring smile. After hearing his son’s sigh of relief he cast Jeff a disapproving look. Although he secretly hoped that Max and Liz would get married, they’d promised their children that they wouldn’t interfere and the last thing Max needed was Jeff pressuring him to marry Liz. That would definitely push thoughts of marriage right out of the window. Jeff shrugged after receiving the disapproving look and then got up to pour himself some scotch.
---
While Max had been dragged off to play golf, Liz had been taken hostage for some female bonding. Liz trailed behind her mother and Diane as they walked past the stores with bags in their hands. She’d never realized how boring her mother’s life was. Now she understood why they did what they did to her and Max. They did it out of sheer boredom. They had nothing better to do so they occupied their time coming up with schemes and plans. It wasn’t that they were unhappy with their lives, in fact it seemed to Liz that they were quite content. It was just that it seemed like they filled their days doing the same thing over and over again. Sometimes they’d go to the club to play tennis. Sometimes they would play golf with their husbands or just each other, sometimes Amy would join them. Sometimes they helped their husbands out at work. Nancy at Jeffery’s, the restaurant that Jeff owned and Diane at Phil’s law office. Most of the time they spent their time sitting at home, sipping tea and swapping recipes. The rest of that time was spent walking around town, or in the mall or in the mall in the next town over shopping and discussing linens and things that their husbands would like.

To Liz that just seemed like such a boring life. She’d decided that day that she was not going to be a house wife. Max would have his job and she would have her job. When they got married, she thought to herself, she was still going to be somewhat independent, like Amy. She’d lived the life that Diane and Nancy were living, once, but then Maria’s real dad had left and Amy was forced to go out and get a job. She liked the sense of responsibility and purpose that having a job gave her so after she married Jim, she kept that job and then eventually opened up her own store. That’s what Liz wanted to be. Independent.

“Liz, honey what’s wrong?” Nancy asked her daughter, startling her out of her thoughts.
Liz gave her mother a puzzled look before asking, “Hmm?”
“You were just standing there. Are you ok?”
“Oh...yeah mom I’m fine.” Liz said, smiling sweetly at her mom. When she realized that she’d just been thinking of being married to Max she’d stopped in her tracks. They’d just started dating, they were trying to take it slow and there she was thinking about marriage! She couldn’t believe herself!

- - -
Part 14
- - -
Liz stood on the Valenti’s deck, smiling at various people whom she didn’t even know and watching the interaction. Her dress gently fluttered in the light spring breeze. It had been an absolutely beautiful day, a perfect day for a wedding, she thought to herself. It had been such a happy day, for everyone.

She smiled to herself as she heard the faint voices of Michael and Maria arguing with one another from all the way across the yard. Apparently Michael was trying to get the DJ to play a little Metallica, which Maria would absolutely not have. Turning around she leaned on the rail and looked out over the yard, full of people and found them with her eyes. She smiled to herself, knowing exactly where they were headed in their relationship. The Parker/Evans/Valenti family would be putting on another wedding shortly. Although the bride and groom to be were unaware of the fact.

A warm hand on her shoulder sent an electric current through her, making her stand up straight and turn around. She smiled at Max and took the champaign glass from his hand. “Thank you.” She said kissing him on the cheek.
“Have I told you how beautiful you look today?” He asked her, wrapping his arm around her waist before sipping some of his champaign.
Smiling, she leaned her head on his shoulder, “About a million times, but one more time won’t hurt.”
“You’re absolutely stunning.” He said kissing her forehead before resting his cheek on the top of her head. “I’d even go so far as to say, breath taking. If I were Isabel, I would have thrown you out already. You’re out doing the bride.”

Liz laughed and poked him in the side. “Please, your sister makes a beautiful bride. Look at that dress!”
Catching her hand in his, he brought it up to his lips and kissed her wedding band. “She’s not as beautiful as you are. You were a beautiful bride.”
Smiling, she looked down at the wooden planks of the deck. She was completely amazed that after three years of marriage he could still make her blush with a simple compliment.

They’d gotten married not long after that day that Liz was shopping with her mother and Diane. They’d been out one day, aimlessly driving around and when they stopped they’d found themselves in Las Vegas. It’d been a spur of the moment, impulsive thing to do. Max had no intention of taking her to Vegas, but that’s where they’d ended up just the same. They hadn’t planned on stopping in front of the Elvish Chapel, and when they found themselves there, they’d been surprised. It hadn’t been terribly romantic, being married by an Elvis impersonator, but they’d had no regrets about it later. They’d managed to yet again, disappoint their parents, but Max and Liz couldn’t have cared less.

They’d come home for the holidays single and not looking for love, and when they left to go back to school, they were married and deeply in love with each other. It’d been quite a shock to Liz’s friends, and especially to her room mate, when Liz had packed up her things and got herself an apartment. Max had gone back to Princeton to finish the semester before transferring to Harvard to be with her.

Michael and Maria had fought all during Christmas break, had a long distance relationship for a little while afterwards and then broke up after being together for only two months. They apparently hadn’t spoken to each other in years, and when they arrived back in town for Isabel’s wedding they’d quickly jumped right back into old habits. Fighting with each other the whole time. But it was obvious that they cared for one another, and would probably have another go at a relationship, which would most likely work out this time. Liz knew, if they didn’t marry, they’d probably live together in sin for the rest of their lives. Which was fine by her. Because oddly enough, even when Maria was fighting with Michael, she was happy.

Kyle had asked Tess to marry him about a year after Max and Liz had taken the plunge. They’d been married in a huge church, with all their friends from college there and all their family. Tess had asked Maria, Liz and surprisingly enough, even Isabel to be brides’ maids. Max had been Kyle’s best man, and he’d even asked Michael and Alex to be in the wedding seeing as how he’d formed close friendships with the both of them. He’d become a father the year after that, giving life to Benjamin James Valenti.

Isabel and Alex went back to their separate colleges after break, visiting each other whenever they got the chance, seeing as how they were right across the river from each other. What with Alex being in Jersey, attending Princeton and Isabel being in New York attending NYU. Soon however, Alex was in need of more, and he asked Isabel if he were to transfer to NYU and get an apartment, if she’d move in with him. She’d accepted, and then a few months later, he’d asked her to marry him. She wanted the ceremony to be held in her favorite back yard, during the spring, and so it was.

“Ben makes a cute little ring bearer, doesn’t he?” Liz asked, watching the two-year-old bob up and down on the dance floor.
Max followed her gaze to the little boy with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. “He certainly does.”
“You know we’ve never talked about that?” She asked still looking down at Ben with a longing gaze.
“About what?” He asked unconsciously tightening his grip around her waist. “Having kids?”
“Yeah.” After a long pause she turned her head toward him. “How would you feel about that?”
He looked down at the bouncing two year old, who was giggling and happily dancing with his mother now, with a thoughtful expression. “I think...I’d like one. You’d make a great mom.”
She smiled. One of her 100-watt smiles before turning back to watch Ben and Tess dance. “That’s good.” She said removing his hand from her waist and interlacing her fingers with his, “Because we’re having one.”

She let a little giggle escape her lips when he heaved forward and spit out his champaign, turning to look at her with wide eyes. “You mean like...we’re HAVING one? As in...you’re pregnant?”
She nodded her head, smiling up at him. “I wanted to tell you when I found out, but...I guess I wanted to surprise you.”
“Mission accomplished.” He said quietly as he bent his head to touch his lips to hers.

The End!

Let me guess, you all thought it was Liz and Max’s wedding day didn’t you? Well, I hope you all enjoyed the ride. Sorry it took me forever to get parts out, I know how irritating that is when you’re feelin a fic and new parts are few and far between.


posted on 30-Jan-2002 11:23:11 PM
Broken Promies parts 7-8

Author’s note: So I just made this part a lot longer than it originally was, but that’s alright. I guess we’ll all just have to live with it.
- - -
Part 7
- - -
Maria rose from her seat on the couch and stalked over to the basement door. Ignoring the red light she yanked it open. “He’s here!” She yelled down into the dark basement. Closing the door she turned on her heel and crossed the living room, throwing open the front door. Stepping aside she waved him inside and closed it behind him when he finally entered.

“She’ll be up in a minute.” She said, turning around to face him.
“What is she taking a nap? Because I could just come back later, or tomorrow or something.” Michael said as he moved toward the door.
“She’s nine Michael. She stopped taking naps at noon years ago.” She explained with a mocking smile. “She’s down in the basement helping Alex develop the pictures from her party.”

Moments later they heard light footsteps coming up the basement steps. Michael waited, holding his breath hoping that it was Megan coming up the stairs. He was really hoping that Alex would just stay in the basement so that the whole situation wouldn’t be awkward. He let his breath rush out of him when his smiling little girl appeared and shut the door behind her. He’d seen her smile at her birthday party, but at the time he hadn’t notice that the smile was his. “Hey honey.” Maria said bringing the little girl closer to her body for a motherly hug. “How’d they turn out?”

“Daddy-” She said before catching herself and stopping to glance at Michael gaging his reaction to her slip up. “I mean, Alex, got a really funny shot of Tiffany picking her nose.”
“And what are we going to do with this incriminating photo?” Maria asked trying to keep everything normal. She’d seen Michael visibly tense up when Megan called Alex daddy. They’d had a long talk the night before about calling him that in front of Michael. Maria had said that ultimately the choice was up to Megan what she wanted to call whom, and Megan had said that in front of Michael she wouldn’t call Alex daddy, so that she wouldn’t hurt his feelings.

“Hold it over her head for the rest of her life.” Megan said with a mischievous smile.
“That’s my girl!” Maria said ruffling Megan’s hair with her hand. “Now go and get your jacket.”
“But it’s warm outside!”
“I know that, but I don’t know where you’re going or when you’re coming back and it might not be warm later, and why am I even explaining this?” Maria asked putting her hands on her hips.
“Fine, I’ll go get my jacket. Just don’t go on another one of your ‘I’m the mom’ power trips.” Megan said as she rolled her eyes and exited the room.
“I do not go on power trips.” Maria mumbled crossing her arms.

“Tiffany is her best friend.” Maria explained turning to Michael and trying to fill him in on Megan’s life. “Tiffany Troy.”
Michael tried to act surprised but found it hard to do because he actually was surprised. He never, in a million years, would’ve imagined that the child of Maria Deluca could be friends with a child of Pam Troy’s. “It’s no surprise that she never got out of this town.” He said dryly.

“Actually she did.” Maria told him. “Aside from you, Max, Isabel, and Tess she’s the only one who did. Everybody expected Liz and Kyle to get out with scholarships to big colleges but Pam’s the only one who actually got out of Roswell. She moved away right after she got pregnant and then came back last year.”

He nodded at this piece of information and they fell into silence as he waited for Megan to come bounding down the hall, jacket in hand. Finally after five minutes she came out of her bedroom and down the hall entering the living room holding it up and waving it around.

“You ready to go?” He asked her quietly. She nodded her head and threw her arms around Maria’s waist, burring her head into her mother’s stomach. Maria hugged her daughter to her and kissed the top of her head. She knew that Megan didn’t really want to go through with this. It wasn’t that she hated Michael and didn’t want to get to know him but he was virtually a stranger. She’d only ever seen him in photographs and a few home made movies that Alex had made of the whole group one summer, and in those he hadn’t been the nicest guy seeing as how he hated the camera. He was always rolling his eyes and telling Alex to go away. Maria gave Megan a quick squeeze before releasing her and ruffling her hair. “Be good baby.”

She’d told her mother that she would and then headed out the door with Michael. He’d opened up her car door for her and Maria had watched them pull out of the drive way from the porch. When they’d disappeared down the street and she couldn’t see them anymore she sighed and went into the house, closing the door behind her. She had no idea when Alex had come up from the basement but she found him spreading out all the pictures on the floor.

Without looking up at her, he reached out his hand to her and waited until she took it before pulling her down to sit next to him and caressing the back of it with his thumb. “Which one do you like the best?”

- - -

Megan looked back as they drove down the street, and saw her mom standing on the porch watching them. She felt uneasy knowing that in a few short moments she wasn’t going to be able to turn around and see her mom standing on the porch of her house anymore and she’d be left alone with this stranger that sat beside her.

They drove in silence for a little while before Michael said uncertainly, “I thought it might be nice if I took you to the pod chamber? You’ve never seen it right?”
“I’ve been outside of it, but never inside.” She said quietly, looking out the window at the passing scenery.
“Do you want to see it?” He asked uncertainly.
“Sure.” She said still looking out the window.

A silence fell over them as they drove out to the pod chamber. Michael wondered why she hadn’t called him dad yet and if she was going to. Before he had the chance to wonder about anything else she’d spoke. “No...I’m not gonna.”

“What?” He asked, throughly confused.
“I’m not gonna call you dad...at least not yet.” She said softly, still looking out the window. “I don’t want to hurt your feelings...but my mom said that I didn’t have to if I don’t want to. And since I hardly know you and you’re like a stranger to me...I don’t want to, yet. We have to work up to the dad thing.”
He was hurt by what she’d said but he understood them, and so he nodded his head. “I understand.”

Another silence fell over them before he realized that he hadn’t asked that question out loud. He’d been thinking it. “Megan did you-”
“Yeah.” She said, turning to finally look at him. “Aunt Liz taught me how to control it. I can turn it off and on whenever I want to, but I hardly ever use it because my mom says that it’s an invasion of privacy and that I should only use it when I need to.”
“And you felt like you needed to now?” He asked softly, his eyes trained on the road a head of them.
“Yes.” She said turning her head to look out the window again.

Another silence fell over them before she spoke again. “And no offense to you, because Guerin is a really cool name and everything but I’d like to keep Whitman. If it’s ok with you.”
It wasn’t ok. She was his daughter, he gave her life not Alex, but still he forced himself to say, “Yeah, I understand.”
“It’s just that it took me a really long time to learn how to spell it and I just...it’s the only name I’ve ever had...” She explained, looking over at the man who’d given her life.
“Yeah,” he repeated, “I understand.”

As he turned off the road and onto a dirt path, he stole a glance over at his daughter. He really did understand where she was coming from. Whitman was the only name she’d ever known, it was the name she’d used all her life even if she knew that it should be something else. He could understand the fact, even if it hurt him, that he was a stranger to her. A stranger she’d only ever heard about from her mom and seen in pictures and home movies. He was a stranger to her just as she was still a stranger to him. A little stranger, who bore a striking resemblance to him and whom he already loved in that unconditional way that a parent loves a child.

He wondered briefly if she’d turned her mind reading abilities off or if she still felt that she needed to use them. He wondered if she could hear him thinking how much he loved her already, even though he knew almost nothing about her or the life that she’d led before he crashed into it. He wondered if she could hear him thinking, as he glanced over in her direction again, who she would ask to walk her down the aisle when that day finally came. And he wondered if she could hear how he hoped that it would be him.

- - -

Liz walked down the aisle looking at the boxes lined up on the shelves, she didn’t know what she wanted. She laughed to herself, as she blankly stared at the boxes, unable to focus on them. After she’d stormed out of the meeting on Tuesday, she’d spent the rest of the week avoiding everyone. Including Kyle.

She’d gone home and cried for a little while and then Kyle had come home. They didn’t really talk to each other, he’d just stood in the doorway of whatever room she happened to be in and watched her for a little while before disappearing into the attic for hours. She didn’t know what he was doing up there and she didn’t try to find out. He’d been sleeping in the guestroom and that was fine by Liz. Because at that very moment, Liz had no clue what it was that she wanted.

She came to an abrupt stop and was ripped from her thoughts when her cart collided with someone else’s. Tearing her gaze away from he boxed food, she turned it to the cause of the crash. He met her stare, keeping silent. He almost looked surprised to see her there and she knew that he hadn’t run into her intentionally. He’d most likely been just as lost in thought as she had been.

They stood there looking at each other for a few short moments, unable to look away from each other’s eyes. The moment was broken, however, when Tess came rounding the corner and tossed a bag of carrots into Max’s cart. “Hi Liz. Haven’t seen you around much this week. Stole anyone else’s boyfriend lately?”

She seemed satisfied when a pained look flickered briefly across Liz’s face.
“Hi Tess, Max...it was nice seeing you both. Goodbye.” She said before maneuvering her cart so that she could go around them.
“That was uncalled for Tess...” He said giving her a stern look before turning the cart around to chase down Liz. He needed to take it with him, to have something to hold on to, he needed to use it so that he wouldn’t grab her and make a mad dash for any place out of Roswell, New Mexico.
“Liz...” He called after her. “I’m sorry...about what Tess said. She shouldn’t have been so rude.”

She hadn’t stopped, she’d just kept on pushing her cart down the aisle and he’d pulled up beside her, walking along with her. He watched her hair sway from side to side as she shook her head. “No, it’s ok Max. I deserved it.”
He hated it when she thought she deserved less than she did. When she doubted her worth.
“No, you don’t. Look,” He said reaching out and grabbing her arm to make her stop and look at him. “I’m sorry that I acted like that earlier this week. It was just...it was a really big shock. I shouldn’t have yelled and treated you like I did.”

She watched as he released her arm and bowed his head, looking at the tiled floor. “No, you had a right to be upset Max. It’s me who should be sorry.”
Somehow they always ended up in this battle for blame. “You don’t have anything to be sorry about. It’s all my fault. I’m the one who left and put you in this position...and you were just...” Doing what you needed to do, he wanted to say. Moving on, another voice told him to say. But he couldn’t bring himself to say either, so he just let his sentence drift off as he kept his eyes on the tiles of the supermarket floor. They were remarkably shiny and clean. He could almost see himself in them.

“It’s not your fault Max. You had to go...I guess its nobody’s fault really.” Absently she tucked a piece of hair behind her ear and looked down to see his face reflected in the shiny white tile beneath their feet.

“Can we get together and talk? I mean...we can’t really talk in the grocery store.” He asked, looking at her reflection.
They’d just had a whole conversation in the grocery store. An entire, somewhat open conversation the same as they would have any other place but Liz found herself asking him if the next day was good for him, at the Crashdown around six, and she’d heard him answer yes.
“I’ll see you then.” He said as he turned his cart around to go and hunt down Tess, so that they could finish their shopping.

- - -
Part 8
- - -
Isabel walked through the park hand in hand with her daughter. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in March and she wanted to show her daughter what Earth looked like, how pretty things could be on the planet. She showed her flowers and pointed out birds and animals. She’d let Alexis play on the play structure, although at first she was unsure of what to do so Isabel had to go and play with her, to show her.

They’d walked around the whole entire park, waiting for Michael to get back. He’d taken Megan out again today, this time somewhere to work on her powers. He’d discovered that she could mind read, but also that she could move things. That power was underdeveloped and she didn’t quite know how to control it, so she didn’t use it a lot. Isabel and Michael had decided to explain the whole Megan situation to their daughter once more, to make sure that she understood everything and since the park was the designated drop off spot for Megan, they’d come too.

Isabel looked down and smiled at Alexis, their clasped hands swinging lightly back and forth. It’d been such a good day. Coming off of a path, they saw Alex and Maria sitting on a bench. The path they had come off of was to the side and back, so they wouldn’t be seen unless one of them turned their head. She’d planned on going to sit with them to wait for Michael, but when they came into her line of sight she couldn’t do it. Alex sat there with his arm draped around her shoulders, Maria was leaning into his embrace, resting her head on his shoulder. He was looking down at her while she tipped her head back to look up at him, and they were talking. Isabel didn’t know what it was that they were saying because she was too far away to hear, but she saw Maria laugh and Alex smile.

Then as his lips made contact with Maria’s, Isabel turned her head and focused entirely on something else. She did not want to see Alex and Maria kissing. After a couple of minutes when she was sure, their kiss had probably already broken, she cautiously turned her head back in their direction and just stared at them, with a blank expression on her face. Alexis turned her head from her mother to follow her gaze, looking back at her mom again just one last time she turned her head away. She pressed her eyes closed and concentrated on her mom.

She looked at them, taken aback and blinked rapidly a few times. Moments ago, it’d been Maria sitting next to Alex on the bench and now it wasn’t. Now it was her, and she was kissing Alex. Then when the kiss broke it was Michael instead of Alex that she’d been kissing, and they had euphoric, happy looks on their faces. Shaking her head she looked down toward her daughter and sighed.
“Lexi...sweetie it’s not gonna happen.” She said before going into a min-lecture for at least five minutes about using her powers, and that was just how Michael had found them.

“Hey ladies.” Michael said interrupting Isabel’s lecture. “What’s going on?”
“I’ll give you one guess.” Isabel replied, fully irritated. “Alexis read my mind and then mind warped me.”
“Ok, ok, ok. So let me get this straight Alexis. You read your mom’s mind, without her permission, and then you manipulated her into seeing something?” He asked angrily, combing a hand through his hair. The only response he got from his daughter was the nod of her head. Her attention was focused, completely on something else. She was watching, with interest, as Megan’s parents interacted with her and each other and she knew that it was how families were supposed to act. How moms and dads were supposed to be. They were supposed to love her, and love each other.

She knew that they loved her, but she could hear their thoughts when she wanted too. And as Michael looked over to follow her gaze she heard him think to himself exactly what Isabel had thought when she’d been watching Alex and Maria on the bench. She heard him think, ‘That should be me.’

Releasing her mom’s hand she turned her angry, hurt eyes on her father. She knew just like she’d always known that she was an accident; a mistake and that they hadn’t meant to have her. And while she knew that they did love her, when they said things like that, or rather when they thought things like that it hurt her. Because if that was them, where would she fit into the equation? Or would she just not exist? She said nothing aloud about it because like her father, she had trouble expressing her emotions. So instead she rolled her eyes, crossed her arms over her chest and listened to her dad give her the punishment for using her powers on someone without permission. They’d explained to her many times that she was only to use her powers when she absolutely needed to. The same went for dream walking. When he was done, she gave him an angry mock salute and then turned away from them, stomping off to where she saw he’d parked the jeep.

She knew that if she were to speak up about how she was feeling, they would probably tell her that she was wrong, and then her dad would probably feel like ripping his heart out for making her feel like that. Because he hated it when people felt that way, when he made people feel that way. But she was not gonna say anything about it yet. She would give them a chance to realize it first.

- - -

Liz sat waiting in Max’s usual booth. Every time the bell above the door went off, she’d look up from her plate only to see that it wasn’t Max. Then she’d look at his food, which was getting colder and colder and then back at her plate. She did this 4 times before she gave up on it and just ignored the bell all together. When she finally looked up from her plate she jumped and dropped her burger. She hadn’t even heard him slide into the booth.

“Sorry I’m late.” He said looking down at his plate. “Thanks for ordering for me.” He looked around carefully to make sure he wasn’t being watched and then waved his hand over his cold plate when he was sure.
“Yeah...it’s no problem.” She said picking up her burger again and taking a bite. They ate their food in silence and when they were done and the plates had been cleared, they still said nothing.

“So...what-um what did you want to talk to me about?” She asked, looking down at the table and nervously tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
“I-I...well we...it’s not anything important.” He finally finished. “I guess I just wanted to apologize for acting like such a jerk on Tuesday.”
“Oh...it’s alright.”

They grew silent for a few minutes before Liz moved to grab her purse. “Well, if that’s all...I guess I better get going.”
“No. That’s not all.” He reached out across the table and grabbed her arm, stopping her from leaving the booth. “I know...that it’s hard to answer this question but I have to know. I mean I felt it but I need to hear you say it. Do you...still love me Liz?”
He watched her think about the question, and as she looked down at the table. His lungs were burning with the breath that he wouldn’t release and he’d yet to let go of her arm. She seemed to take forever to answer the question, even though she’d answered it in less than five minutes.
“Um. Yeah...yeah Max, I do.” She said quietly. He finally exhaled and released her arm. “But Max I-”
“I know, I know. You’re with Kyle now and you love him too. I know all that. I just...had to hear you say it.” He said as he looked back down at the table and played with the wrapper to his straw.

“Are you going to stay with him?” His question seemed to hang in the air between them. He’d spoken it so quietly it had almost come out as a whisper, and she wasn’t even sure if she’d really heard it at all.
“I don’t know. I have to do the right thing and if Kyle wants to stay together then I should stay with him.” She said looking down at the table. “It wouldn’t be right if I left him because you just came flying back into my life. I took vows Max, because I thought that you weren’t coming back, and I can’t break them just because you did...”

“Screw doing the right thing!” He hissed, leaning over the table toward her. “You and I, we always do the right thing and look where it’s gotten us. I did the right thing and I left to save a planet that I didn’t even remember and look what happened. I don’t know about you Liz, but I’m sick of doing the right thing. I want to be selfish, just this one time.”

“I can’t.” She told him, her eyes glued to the table top. Why hadn’t she ever noticed what a messy eater she was? There were crumbs all over. “I can’t not do the right thing. I took vows Max, and they mean something to me, even if I didn’t love him at the time I took them.”
“You were drunk when you took your vows. Technically they don’t even count. You weren’t thinking clearly.”
“I’m sorry...”
He was silent for a long while, sitting there across from her and just staring at her. “Alright...it’s ok. You need to do what’s right, because that’s who you are. I just want you to be happy...and if you’re telling me that you’ll be happy with Kyle, then by all means, be with Kyle. But if you’re gonna stay with Kyle just to make him happy then...”

“Then what?” She asked defensively, finally raising her eyes to look at him.
“Then...I don’t know.” He said standing up from the booth. “Call me when you figure things out.”
He tossed a twenty on the table to cover the bill and then turned on his heel and walked out, leaving Liz to stare after him.


posted on 30-Jan-2002 11:26:39 PM
Broken Promises Parts 9-11

I would already be posting part 10 right after this if my disk hadn't jacked it up. It supposedly "doesn't exist". Damn computer. I was really, REALLY happy with it too!
- - -
Part 9
- - -

She could feel his eyes on her as she sat in front of her vanity applying her make-up and knew without a doubt what he was doing. He was trying to size her up, trying figure out what she was thinking, and how she was going to handle everything that would happen later. In short, to see if she would leave him or not. He hated that she was going to dinner, alone with him, but what could he do? Impose on them? He would never do that. Especially when he knew, they had things that they needed to talk about.

“Alex!” Maria yelled throwing down her eye liner pencil and looking at him through the mirror. “Will you cut it out, please?”
“What?” He asked, holding up his empty palms and trying to act innocent. “What am I doing?”
“Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.”
He followed her with his eyes as she got up and walked into the closet, leaving the door open while she changed her skirt. “I don’t.” He finally said, knowing how lame it sounded.

“Right.” She said zipping her skirt and then slipping into her sandals. “If you don’t want me to go, just tell me. We’ll stay here and talk about it in the kitchen or something.”
“No!” He yelled quickly jumping up from the bed. “I mean, I’m not jealous or anything Maria. You guys are just gonna go, and talk about Megan, and then you’ll come home to me right? So you should definitely go.”

She smiled warmly at him from the doorway of the closet as she grabbed her earrings off the vanity and began to put them in her ears. “I love you.”
Crossing the room he pulled her into a hug and buried his face into her hair and neck. “I know you do.”
She waited a few minutes after returning the hug and stroking his back to ask sarcastically, “What you don’t love me?”
“You know I do.” He said bringing a hand up to brush her hair away from her neck, before lowering his lips to it. He smiled when she arched her neck and told him that Michael would be there any second. “What time will you be home?”
“No later than nine.” She answered running her hand up his back to run her fingers through the hair at the nape of his neck.

As the doorbell rang, she felt his grip around her tighten. Pulling back, somewhat, she kissed the tip of his nose and then his mouth. “Don’t be jealous, baby.”
“I’m not.” He said before kissing her back. As if he were trying to prove that he wasn’t.
“Uh-huh, if you say so.” Breaking the embrace she walked over to the bedroom door, but stopped abruptly and turned around. “I’m going out with him tonight, but I’m coming home to you, you big stud.”

“Oh you’re damn straight you are.” He said possessively as he walked over to her and yanked her into his arms, crushing his lips to her in a passionate kiss that left her breathless. “Now go, you’re date is waiting for you.” He said, smiling as he turned her around by the shoulders and smacked her butt. Smiling at him over her shoulder, she walked down the hall and into the living room. Retrieving her coat from the coat rack, she opened up the door and stepped out, casting one last look in Alex’s direction and blowing him a kiss before shutting the door.

- - -

They drove along in silence for a while, lost in their own separate worlds, until Maria looked out the window and noticed for the first time that they were no longer in town. Instead of seeing stores and restaurants, she saw rocks and desert. She surmised that instead of pulling up in front of Senor Chows, they were going to come to a complete stop in front of the path to the pod chamber.
“Michael...where are we going?” She asked, knowing full well where he was taking her.
Shrugging he looked in her direction for a second before returning his attention to the road, “I don’t feel like eating.”

“I told Alex we were going out to dinner to discuss the Megan situation.” Maria said, looking at him pointedly. “We should do that; I don’t want to lie to him.”
“It wouldn’t be a lie if you didn’t tell him.” He said shrugging casually again. “And besides, we were supposed to spend this night talking about Megan, and that’s what we’re going to do. Just not at Senor Chows.”
He heard a quiet, mumbled fine and out of the corner of his eye saw her cross her arms over her chest and look out the window. He could tell that he was getting to her like he used to so long ago after Liz was shot. He was getting underneath her skin and all he had to find out now was if she still liked it.

Finally, they pulled off the road and drove until they reached the base of the rocks that sheltered his old pod. He turned off the ignition and sat there in his seat looking out of the front window. After a few minutes of silence he turned in his seat, grabbing the sides of Maria’s face and turning her head in his direction. Before she knew what was happening, his lips connected with hers. Stunned, Maria opened her mouth, not even thinking that he would get the wrong idea. And he had. He sent his tongue into her mouth immediately after she opened it and caressed hers with his.

Uncrossing her arms she put the palms of her hands on his shoulder and pushed him off of her. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. Too stunned to say anything, she just sat there, looking at him in confusion.
“I knew it.” He breathed out on a euphoric sigh.
“You knew what?”
He smiled, the goofiest smile that she’d ever seen him smile as he reached out to touch some of her hair. “I knew that you still loved me.”
Needing to make sure she’d heard that right, Maria cupped her ear. “Say what?”

“I said I knew that you still loved me.” He said moving in to kiss her again. Only to be halted by her hands pushing on his shoulders.
“Whoa, slow down cowboy. Why would you think that?”
“Because...you opened your mouth...for me to deepen the kiss. You wanted it as much as I did.”
“Um, I’m sorry but I opened my mouth out of shock...”
“No, you didn’t.” He said, shaking his head vigorously in denial. “You opened it because you still want me.”

He leaned in, this time ignoring her pushing hands and brought his lips back to hers for another kiss, to prove to her what he thought he already knew. Except this time, he was roughly pushed away and smacked across the face. “Stop it Michael!”
The smack had caught him off guard and his head had been turned from the force of it. Letting go of Maria, he sat back in his seat and cupped his cheek. He was probably going to have a welt, or at least a red hand print.
“What is wrong with you?” She asked, fully turned in her seat and pasted against the door. She wasn’t scared of him, but at the present moment she felt the need to be very far away from him.

“...I’m sorry.” He said, idly rubbing his cheek and looking at the steering wheel with a blank expression. “I guess...I just thought that...”
“What? You just thought what? That you could come back here after ten years, kiss me and poof everything would go back to the way it was?”
“Well...yeah.” He said finally turning to look at her. “We belong together Maria. We understand each other. I’ve seen into you and you’ve seen into me.”

“Alex and I understand each other.” She said, relaxing in her seat somewhat. “Just because we can’t see into each other doesn’t mean that we don’t already know what’s there. And you and I do not belong together.”
“How can you say that?” He asked, trying to hide how hurt he really was by that comment. “After everything we’ve been through, and everything that we shared. We created a life together Maria, and now you’re going to try and tell me that we don’t belong together?”

Turning away from him, she closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. Wishing that she had some cedar oil with her right about now, she took a deep steady breath. “If you really believed that, you’d be with Isabel.”
“What?”
“You’ve been through a lot more with Isabel than you have with me. You share a lot more with her than you do with me. You created a life with her as well as one with me.”
“They don’t have anything to do with this. This is about us.”

“There is no us, Michael.” She said dropping her hands to her lap and staring straight ahead. “I’m with Alex now and I’m sorry but I can’t change the way I feel.”
“Oh that is such a load of crap!” Michael said, his voice raising in volume as he pounded his fist on the steering wheel. “You can change the way you feel because you’ve already done it! You told me once that you would always love me, but you don’t anymore, you’ve changed the way you felt about me, so why can’t you change the way you feel about Alex? Why can’t you stop loving him and start loving me again?!”

“Okay, one don’t yell at me. Secondly, stop acting like a little kid Michael. You know that people just can’t turn their feelings off and on like a light switch. And thirdly, yes I did tell you that once, and it wasn’t a lie.”
“Oh really? It wasn’t?” He asked sarcastically. “Well enlighten me then Maria.”
“I never stopped loving you. It just became a different kind of love. I love you in the way that I love Liz and Kyle.” When he didn’t say anything, she continued. “You and I were never really good for each other anyway. I know that during the better times I always said that I was fine with how off and on our relationship was but I was young then. I thought it was exciting and I liked the drama, because as Liz has always said, I’m a total drama queen. But I’m older now and I want different things.”

“I can give you different things.” He said quietly, turning his head to look at her. “I can give you whatever Alex can give you, and more. Think about Megan here. Maria...think about how it would benefit her to see her parents, her biological parents together and in love.”
“I am thinking of her. She’s happy. If she hated Alex, it would be a whole other story, not that it would end the way you’d like it to. But the point is that she’s happy with things just as they are. And again, if you really thought like that, you would’ve gotten together a long time ago.”
“Whatever.” He said curtly, waving off any further comments from her. “Let’s just discuss what we plan on doing with Megan now. That was the plan anyway.”

She thought that was going to be the end of that, but Michael however, had other plans. Being a fiercely stubborn person, in his mind if she could go from loving Alex like a friend to loving him as something else, then she could go back from loving Michael like a friend to loving him how she used to. He was going to woo her back. He was going to take lessons from the master of cheese himself, study up on all the ridiculously romantic things that Max used to do for Liz, and he was going to win Maria back. He was going to rent chick flicks and he was going to study up on romance. He was going to reinvent himself into everything that Alex was, but more.

Part 10

Liz was sitting at the kitchen table, glancing from the clock to the dinner plate that was getting colder and colder by the minute. He hadn’t been home last night when she got home, infact he hadn’t come home at all. She would’ve been worried under other circumstances, but she wasn’t. She had called the station a few times through the day but whenever she called he was always busy or out on a call or something like that.

Finally Kyle came in through the back door and set his hat on the table, he looked at the plate sitting in his usual spot.
“You, uh, you didn’t have to make dinner.” He said meekly.
“I know. I wanted to. I wish you would’ve called to say you were gonna be late though. I would’ve started it later so it wouldn’t be cold.”
“Oh, that’s ok. I can just reheat it.” He said picking up the plate and walking over to the microwave with it. There were a few minutes of strained silence between them as he heated his plate and brought it back to the table.
“How’d dinner go last night?” He asked, finally breaking the silence.
“It was okay. Max and I had a long talk, and when I got home I was going to talk to you about things, but you weren’t home.”
“Yeah, I was at the station. I decided to work over time.”
“I called...they said you weren’t there. That you hadn’t been there since you got off work earlier that day.”
When she said that Kyle dropped his fork onto his plate, and looked at her. There was guilt in his eyes, and she knew exactly where he had been. A little flicker of anger passed over her, but then relief quickly flooded through her.
“You don’t need to say it, I know you were with Tess. I don’t need to hear what you guys were doing, or where you were doing it. But I do have a question...”
He looked at her with guilt again, but this time more curiosity was in the look. He said nothing; he just waited for her to ask the question.
“When did you start meditating again?”
He smiled with relief, he was afraid she was going to ask him the question that was sooner or later bound to come up, should they get a divorce?
“Um, after the meeting. Tess kind of made me see that no matter what; I shouldn’t have lost faith in Buddha, that he had a plan for me. I still don’t know what it was though.”
“Me either.”
“I mean, was it just to make us stronger people? Did he take them away from us so that we could learn that we would be okay with out them if they did have to leave? Or did he take them away so that we could find our way to each other? What was it all for? I’m trying to figure it out, with the help of Buddha.” He explained.
“Um, Kyle...about us...” She said apprehensively. He looked at her, masking his feelings of fright. She didn’t seem too mad when she had figured out that he was with Tess last night...all night...maybe she didn’t really want to be with him.
“Yeah?”
“What do you wanna do...about us? I mean do you want a divorce so that you can be with Tess?”
“What do you want?”
“I just want both of us to be happy. If you don’t want to be with Tess...I mean if you still want to be with me, I’ll stay. Because I do love you, and I’ll stick to the agreement we made when we got married. It wouldn’t be like I’d be feeling trapped in a loveless marriage or anything.” She explained.
“Well, I feel the same way. So it looks like we both have to come clean and not worry about hurting feelings here and just be honest with each other about what we really want. Who we really want.”
She didn’t say anything for a few minutes, and he didn’t say anything either, he was waiting for her, and she was waiting for him.
“Come on Liz, let’s not beat around the bush with this.”
“Ok, well...how about we both write it down instead of saying it?” She offered.
“Yeah, that’s a good idea, we’ll do it like that TV Show. I think its called Change of Heart. We’ll either write stay together, or change of heart. Then we can just slide the paper across the table and pick them up on the count of three.”
With the plan set, they both got their papers and wrote down their choices. It was much easier this way, because that way nobody had to go first and the answers could be completely honest, instead of a changed answer because the other person had gone first and said something that the other person didn’t want. At the same time they slid the papers across the table and counted three together. On three, they both lifted up the papers and read them. Loud happy sighs escaped their mouths, and they both looked at each other smiling. The choice was made.

----------
Part 11

Liz and Kyle talked for about an hour more, before she hopped in her car to drive over to Max’s house. She told him that when she had made her decision she’d let him know. She thought about calling him and telling him, like he said. But it just didn’t seem right; she had to tell him in person. She was getting closer and closer to the Evans’ house, and feeling more and more nervous and anxious with each passing house. Occasionally her eyes would drift to the piece of paper sitting on the seat next to her. She’d relax a little and with out being able to help herself, a small smile would appear, only to disappear as quickly as it came. She needed to concentrate on driving and figure out what she was going to tell him. She always had to have a plan and this one of those times where she didn’t have one.

“Max, honey there’s someone here to see you.” Diane said as she stepped through the sliding glass door and outside to their pool area.
“Thanks mom, just send them out here ok?” He asked throwing Alexis up and into the water. He had been teaching her how to swim, in earth water. She was surprisingly a very fast learner; she picked it up in just minutes. He was about to throw her again when he saw Liz step out from the house and onto the deck.
“Hey Liz.” He said, setting Alexis down in the water. He kissed the top of her head and told her that he would throw her in a minute after he was done talking to Liz.

She watched as he got out of the pool and dried himself off. She couldn’t take her eyes off of his muscles.
“So...?” He asked breaking her out of the spell she had been in.
“So, I’ve made my choice...I thought about calling you and telling you, but then I just...I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it that way. It had to be done in person.”
He didn’t say anything; he just seated himself in a chair near the pool and waited for her to tell him what she wanted.
“I don’t have a plan, that’s weird isn’t it? I always have a plan...but I don’t have one this time...so I don’t know what to say.” She said looking down at her hands and noticing the paper that was there. He still said nothing, waiting for her to tell him that they were either going to spend the rest of their lives together, or they weren’t. It was all up to her, and she was beating around the bush...never a good sign.

It was his turn this time to watch her as she slowly walked over to him. She was probably walking a lot faster then it seemed but at that moment it was like everything was in slow motion. She was moving so slowly, extending her arm even slower, and dropping something on the table infront of him. It seemed to take 5 full minutes to finally land on the table. Falling through the air as delicately as a feather would. He picked it up and was confused by what was written on it. He looked at her questioningly before it sunk in that they would not be spending their lives together.

Liz watched his face as the look of confusion that was there turned into a look of disappointment and depression. Now it was her turn to wear the look of confusion.
“I understand...thank you for telling me.” He said quietly as he set the paper down on the table again.
“Oh! Oh Max no! It’s not what you’re thinking it is! This paper, it’s what Kyle wrote. We played this game, and we were supposed to write down what we wanted, that’s what he wrote about us, about our marriage.” She said moving closer to him.
“What did you write?” Max asked looking up at her.
“I wrote the same thing he did.” Liz said with a small smile on her lips. Without another word Max rose from his seat and pulled her to him, crushing his lips to hers.

‘Gross, I can’t believe they’re doing that right infront of me!’ Alexis thought to herself. ‘I’m going to have to ask mommy what making love is and why Uncle Max keeps thinking about it over and over. Looks like he isn’t going to be throwing me anymore.’ She again thought to herself as she got out of the pool and snuck over to the table. ‘Change of heart? Whatever...humans and their silly little game shows.’ She thought as she looked at the paper before rolling her eyes and entering the house.

posted on 30-Jan-2002 11:28:58 PM
Broken Promises Parts 12-14

--Part 12--

Tess didn’t want to impose on Max’s parents, like Michael was. He was staying with them, eating all their food, drinking all their drinks, hogging the living room and TV, and just really imposing on them. Of course he didn’t mean to, but he was all the same. So instead of staying at the Evans home, she was staying with Jim and Amy. He had been more then happy to take her in, and Amy just thought she was the sweetest girl, so she didn’t mind at all. Just like Tess had said to Kyle that night before she left, Jim had married Amy. She was wrong about the kids though. Their kids, Maria and Kyle, were all grown up now, and as much as they loved raising them...they really didn’t want to raise anymore. They just wanted to enjoy their time together. It was pretty much like Maria was Jim’s and Kyle was Amy’s anyways. Maria called Jim dad and Kyle called Amy mom.

So there she was, sitting on the couch watching TV all by herself in an empty house. There was nothing on, and she was getting really bored, really fast. Her mind kept drifting back to the night before. Kyle had come over, and they had made love. Afterwards he lay next to her, holding her. She remembered briefly wondering if this was how he held Liz after they had sex. She refused to say or even think that Kyle and Liz made love, ever. Tess preferred thinking that they just had sex, and that there wasn’t any emotion behind it. When she woke up this morning, it hit her like a ton of bricks. She had just made love to another woman’s husband. Even though that woman was Liz, she still felt bad. Here she was again, for the second time, trying to turn Liz’s world upside down by stealing her man. ‘He was my man first.’ Tess thought to herself trying to ease the guilt she felt, trying to justify sleeping with another woman’s husband.

A knock at the door pulled her from her thoughts and guilt, and she quickly got up to answer the door.
“Kyle, you could’ve just walked in. This is your dad’s house, you know.” She said stepping aside to let him in. He had a dreamy look on his face and he wouldn’t stop looking at her.
“What?” She asked, trying to sound annoyed but doing a very bad job at it.
“Nothing.” He said with a dreamy smile.
“You wouldn’t be standing in the entryway grinning like an idiot if it was nothing, so tell me.” Tess demanded putting her hands on her hips.
“Ok, ok.” He replied putting up his hands, before taking one of her hands from her hip and pulling her into the living room to sit on the couch. Once there he started to kiss her, gently pushing her down, so that she was lying on the couch, and as the kiss deepened, he slipped a hand under her shirt.
“Stop, Kyle.” She said in a breathy voice, breaking the kiss. He removed his hand from her breast and brought it to rest on her stomach and looked at her questioningly.
“It’s just that...you’re married. I’m not a big fan of Liz Parker you know that. But she’s still your wife and you’re still her husband. Last night, was wonderful. But I don’t want to do that with you again, until you’re mine.” She said in a quiet voice.
“Ok, I understand. But that day is gonna come sooner then you think baby.”
“She’s letting you go?”
“Don’t sound so surprised, Liz is a good person. She knows I want to be with you, and we all know she wants to be with Max.”
“I know I shouldn’t be surprised. I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I always thought she was out to get me. She wouldn’t let Max go when I thought I loved him, so I kind of thought that she wouldn’t let you go either.”
“Well, she did. She’s not out to get you. And Tess...she did let Max go. She let him go for you, and tried to help you get him.”

When Tess asked why, he had to tell her. He had to tell her because if they were going to be together, then he didn’t want to have secrets. Also because he thought maybe if she knew what kind of sacrifice Liz made, maybe Tess would have some new found respect for her and they might actually put the past behind them and become friends.

--Part 13--

The Evans household was quiet for a change. Philip and Diane had gone away on business, Alexis was spending the night with Megan so that just left Michael, Isabel and Max sitting at home. All that could be heard was the sounds coming from the TV.

“Tell me again why we’re watching this?” Max asked beginning to get bored with the movie.
“Because Maxwell, it’s a chick flick. Complete with romance and romance tips. I’m studying up on that so I can win Maria back.” Michael replied not taking his eyes off the screen.
“So that’s why you’ve been reading magazines like Cosmo.” Isabel joked.
“Yeah, I wanted to ask you and Max some romance questions.”
“Like?”
“Well, since you’re a woman I kind of wanted to ask you exactly what it is that women want from men.” He said pausing the movie and turning to her.
“This should be good. I kind of want to know too.” Max said, as he turned to look at his sister.
“Men are so stupid.” Isabel said under her breath. “It’s not that easy to just tell you what women want, because not all women want the same things. I could tell you what I want from a man, but I don’t think you’re interested since it’s not me you’re trying to win over.”
“Ok that was helpful. So Max, Liz liked it when you did all that mushy crap for her right? Like if you brought her flowers and that gazing into each other’s eyes and stuff?”
“I guess so...but maybe you should just let it go...” He knew that saying that was a risky move. It could really upset Michael...and it did. He noticed how Michael clenched his fists and anger flickered through his eyes for a brief second.
“OH, ok I get it now. It’s ok for you to win back Liz and break up her marriage but it’s not ok for anyone else to try and get back the person that they love. Screw that you damn hypocrite!” Michael yelled with as much venom as he could muster before standing and walking out the door, slamming it behind him.

“Way to go Max.”
“Iz...I didn’t mean...I was just trying to save him some heartache...”
“It’s not your job to save him.”
“It is my job. It’s always been my job to save him from himself. He needs it now more than ever.”
“It was your job to save him from himself when he was young and stupid...but he’s a man now. He doesn’t need you saving him...not this time.” She said before she stood and walked to the door.
“Since when did you become such an expert on what Michael needs?”
Walking out the door she chose to ignore that last comment that her brother had made. She knew he was just concerned so there wasn’t any point in getting into it with him. Plus she had to find Michael; he had taken the jeep so she’d have to do it on foot.
---

He had arrived at the park about 15 minutes ago. He was sure that at any minute Isabel was gonna find him and have a heart to heart with him. She always did after he and Max got into an argument. She’d try to convince him that Max was just trying to help, that he didn’t mean anything by it. Somewhere deep inside he knew that she would be right. He knew that he was probably going to end up fighting for Maria and losing her...but he had to try didn’t he?

“Hey.” Isabel said as she sat down next to him on the bench.
“Hey...” There was a long but somewhat comfortable silence as they sat there on the bench and observed all that was going on around them. People watching, as Isabel liked to call it.

“Michael...” Isabel said breaking the silence.
“Let me guess. ‘Maybe Max is right.’ Am I right?” He asked tearing his gaze away from two people strolling down a path, hand in hand and resting it on Isabel.
“Am I that predictable?” She asked with a small smile as she watched a little girl playing with her father in the sandbox.
“Yeah.”
She chuckled a little before she turned her head from the sandbox to look at him. “But maybe he is.”
“No...he’s not. It’s ok for him to break up Kyle and Liz but it’s not ok for me to try and win back Maria’s heart? I don’t think so. And what about you and Alex? Are you gonna even try to get him back?”
After he said it, he immediately regretted it. Her eyes got teary and she turned her head to look down at her hands.
“I’d love nothing more than to have Alex back. I want him as much as you want Maria...but maybe we just have to face the facts?”

He sighed and looked straight ahead, staring at an invisible dot in the distance...somehow he knew he wasn’t going to like this talk.
“Those would be?” He asked quietly.
“They’re happy, Michael. They’re happy and they’re in love with each other.” She said letting a tear slip down her cheek.

This is the part he didn’t get. It confused him more than anything ever had. They loved each other...but so did Liz and Kyle. So what made it ok for them to break up their relationship and go back to Max and Tess but not ok for Maria and Alex to end the relationship they had and go back to him and Isabel. It just didn’t make sense. And he decided that he was going to ask Isabel.

“I don’t think that what Liz and Kyle had, was what Maria and Alex have.” She said thoughtfully. She’d put a lot of thought into this. “Look Michael, as much as I hate to say it, I think it might be the truth...I think you and I are just lonely, and I think we’re holding on to something from the past.” She looked over at him to see his response, and he was shaking his head in the negative.

“No, that might be what’s happening with you...but not with me.” He said firmly.
“Michael...you’re hanging on to the Maria from 10 years ago. Just like I’m hanging on to the Alex from 10 years ago. We’ve been without a significant other for a good chunk of our adult lives...it’s natural that we’d be lonely...and it’s natural that we’d confuse things. We do love them, I’m not denying that...but...it’s just probably not in the way that we think it is. We’ve changed, they’ve changed.”

He again shook his head. He didn’t understand this. “I’m aware of the fact that it’s been 10 years and that over time people change. I’m a changed man...I know this. But I still just don’t get it. Max and Tess spent a good chunk of their adult lives without a significant other, and now that they’re back they’re just picking up where they left off. How come I can’t do that with Maria? How come you can’t do that with Alex?”

She let out a heavy sigh; he wasn’t making it easy. She had been having conflicting emotions ever since that meeting. It was the first time she had admitted that she did love him, but that she wasn’t IN love with him anymore. Then the Max and Liz, Kyle and Tess thing had happened and she thought about things in the same way that Michael was thinking about them. She understood where he was coming from.
“Michael...I don’t think that Liz and Kyle were in love with each other, at all during the course of their three year marriage. It’s not so shocking that she’d give him up for Max. Everyone expected that she would, what with their whole soul mates connection thing. It’s a shocker that Kyle and Tess are getting back together, because I don’t think anyone expected that...but maybe...maybe it’s because their love was new to them before we left. Maybe that has something to do with them getting back together now.”

There was another long silence between the two as they went back to people watching. Isabel was giving Michael time to think about all that she had said, and he was. He was thinking about it long and hard, and she did have some pretty good points. Finally after what felt like forever but was really only 30 minutes her soft sigh broke the silence.
“Everything happens for a reason, Michael. What’s meant to happen has, this is how it was meant to be...whether you and I like it or not.” She turned her head and kissed him softly on the cheek before standing up. “I’ll see you at home.” She said as she wrapped her arms around herself and headed in the direction of home.
“Hey...” He called after her, she turned around and he held up the keys. “Take the jeep...it’s getting late.” He said before tossing her the keys. She caught them and wrapped her arms around herself again, forcing a weak smile in his direction before walking to the jeep and climbing in.

--Part 14--

As soon as Isabel had disappeared Michael pushed himself up from the bench he was sitting on and just started walking. He passed by the Crashdown on his way and saw that Alex and the girls where sitting in a booth. He noted that there were only three bowls of ice cream sitting on the table, so Maria was probably sitting at home. He had a fleeting thought of going in and saying hi to his girls, but it was only a fleeting thought. They’d both be with him tomorrow night anyways. He’d have a whole 24 hours with them. He watched them for a couple more minutes, smiling to himself. They looked like they were enjoying each other’s company and getting along. He decided to start walking again before they noticed him. Before long he found himself walking down Maria’s street, coming to a stop directly infront of her house and staring at it for a little while.

Thinking about all that Isabel had said earlier on the bench, he walked up to the door and knocked softly. It seemed like an hour before she finally got to the door, but it was really probably a minute or two. She seemed to open it in slow motion. Her long hair was up in a messy ponytail; she wore a pair of pajama pants with vertical stripes of pink, yellow, white, red, and lime green, and a solid pink tank top. She had dust or something smudged across her cheekbone, giving her that I’m cleaning house look to her, and she looked absolutely beautiful.
“Hey Michael.” She said in a surprised tone while giving him a little smile. “The girls aren’t here...they’re at the Crashdown with Alex...”
“I was kind of hoping that I could talk to you...”

“Oh...um sure. Come on in.” She said while stepping to the side to let him in. She thought they had talked through everything re-guarding Megan, so she didn’t know what else there was to talk about. She briefly wondered if he was here to try and get back together with her again. Once he was inside she lead him into the living room, and gestured to the couch for him to sit down.
“Do you want anything to drink or anything?” He shook his head no, so she joined him on the couch.

“So what’s up?”
He sighed heavily trying to think up the words to tell her how he felt. He laughed ruefully before answering her question.
“Ya know I practiced all the things I’d say to tell you how I feel, and when I finally get my chance...it all seems so surreal. Honestly, I had some big plan to get you back, and win you over. I was gonna do serenades and flowers. A whole bunch of romance crap...but it’s not me...it wouldn’t work. So I’m gonna just be honest with you. I love you. Maybe I’m holding on to the Maria from 10 years ago, but I still love that Maria, and I know if we got together now I’d be able to love the Maria that’s sitting here. You gave up on us...you gave up on me...and you let me go. But I never let you go, and I’m not sure that I want to.” He was expecting her to say ‘Michael, we’ve been through this...it wouldn’t work...I love Alex...I can’t change the way I feel...I’m sorry.’ But instead she remained silent, and when he looked at her he saw a few tears trickling down her cheeks. Going on instinct he reached over and gently ran the pad of his thumb over her cheek, caressing it a little as he wiped the tear away. He remembered doing this once before he left. She cried, he wiped her tear and she kissed his hand. Only this time she wasn’t kissing his hand. He leaned over and pressed his lips to hers, cautiously running his tongue over her bottom lip. She didn’t know what she was doing. Maybe it was the words that he spoke, maybe it was because he was opening up to her, something that he rarely ever used to do with her. Or maybe it was just because she wanted to see if kissing him rekindled anything, any feelings for him. Whatever the reason she parted her lips for him and let him have entrance to her mouth. When he deepened the kiss, she found herself comparing the kiss to one from Alex, it was different and she felt nothing. Just as she was about to break the kiss she heard someone walk through the door.
***
“Hey, you two wanna play tag outside?” Alex asked with excitement in his voice. Tag was one of Megan’s favorite games. He watched as Megan nodded her head and jumped up and down clapping her hands and as Alexis got a confused look on her face.
“What’s tag?” Alex had to laugh a little, he couldn’t believe that Michael and Isabel hadn’t ever taught Alexis how to play tag.
“Megs, you stay out here and teach her, I’ll go get your mom and see if she wants to play too.
He reached for the door behind him and opened it walking backwards so that he could watch Megan teach Alexis.
“Hey Maria, you wanna play...” He immediately let his words trail off as he looked towards the couch and saw Maria break away from Michael and turn to him with a guilty look on her face. His eyes flickered to Michael, with a mixture of anger and pain in them. Alex was under the impression that Maria wanted to be with him, not Michael. He was under the impression that she loved him, not Michael. He was quickly getting angrier and angrier just thinking about it. He had been deceived. But why? He looked towards Maria who was standing up hugging herself now, looking down at the floor with a guilty expression on her face.
“What the HELL is going on?!” He yelled, his voice strained. He wasn’t aware of it but it caused the two girls outside to stop playing and quietly sneak into the house.

Michael stood up and put his hands up infront of him. He opened his mouth to say something to Alex, but closed it again when there wasn’t anything to say. He couldn’t apologize because he wasn’t sorry, he couldn’t say it meant nothing because it meant everything, and he couldn’t say they had just got caught up in the moment because, they didn’t. He had planned on kissing her, ever since he knocked on the door.

When nothing was said Alex became so mad that he lunged at Michael and slammed his fist hard into Michael’s cheek.
“No!!” Alexis screamed out before she even realized that she said it, she did not want to watch her father get the crap beat out of him. She didn’t even know what happened. She quickly threw up her hand, but Megan was quicker, she threw up her hand and a protective force field shot out and guarded Alex from Alexis’ burst of energy that would’ve sent Alex flying head first into the wall. Alexis looked at her, shocked that she would just let her father, her real father, get hit like that. Alex was oblivious to everything around him and just kept hitting Michael, he couldn’t stop himself. Until finally Michael threw one good punch and sent Alex sprawling out on his back. The whole time Maria had been covering her eyes and yelling for them to stop fighting.

Getting to his feet Michael walked over to the door and picked up Alexis, he asked Megan if she wanted to come with and she shook her head no. He looked towards Maria and found her sinking to her knees and sobbing.
“You coming?” He asked in her direction. She just shook her head no. He was about to walk out the door when her voice stopped him.
“Don’t go yet...” She said softly, trying to help Alex get to his feet only for him to yank his arm out of her grasp and turn his head away from her.

“Alex...we need to talk. Can you wait in our room for me please?” Silently he got up and stormed off down the hall slamming his bedroom door once he got there. She turned from the direction he had stormed off in, to look at the girls.
“Can you two go play in Megan’s room please? It’d really be a big help.” She forced a sweet smile, for their benefit. To reassure them that everything was gonna be ok. Megan reluctantly turned; grabbing the arm of Alexis who stood her ground firmly until Megan yanked on her arm. Once they disappeared and a door was heard Maria turned her gaze to Michael.

She gathered up all her courage for this, because he wasn’t going to be happy with what she had to say. The kiss had meant something to him, and to her it meant nothing.

“I’m sorry...I shouldn’t have allowed that to go on.” He took a step closer to her and cupped her cheek.
“It’s ok...it didn’t really hurt, much.” He said with a small smile. She quickly brought her hand up to remove his from her cheek, and then took a step back.
“No...I mean I shouldn’t have allowed the kiss to go on...”
“Then why did you?” He asked shrinking back and sounding hurt.
“Look Michael, I know that it meant something to you. I know you wanted it to start something and that you wanted it to be something more than it really was...but it just wasn’t. I don’t want to hurt your feelings but when I was kissing you...I wasn’t thinking about you...you’ve got to let me go...”
“I can’t.”
“You have to. I’m a different woman, in love with a different man...we’re getting married in 6 months, unless I’ve messed everything up.” She paused for a second. “If you could let me go...you could move on, maybe find someone else and have a nice healthy relationship with them. Maybe you could even have that with someone like Isabel?”

“I don’t know if I can ever truly get over you. You were my first everything, but because I love you so much...I’ll let you go. I just hope that this is what you really want. I just hope that Alex can make you truly happy. And if he doesn’t...”
“He will that is if I haven’t ruined things between us. I know right now that you and I can’t be friends...but maybe in time, I hope we can.” She said giving him a small, quick kiss on the cheek and a friendly hug. Before anymore words could be spoken between the two, Maria went off to Megan’s room to inform her that she’d be staying the night and tomorrow night with her father.

Megan gathered her things quickly while Maria went in her bedroom to tell Alex that Megan would be leaving sooner than planned. He came out and gave her a quick hug and kiss goodbye and promised to call her.

He walked back into the bedroom to find Maria sitting on her side of the bed. It was dark in there since Alex had been lying on the bed with the lights off and Maria didn’t bother to turn them on. He took note of the way her shoulders appeared to be moving up and down, and hearing her sniffle and little choked sobs come out, he knew that she was crying.

He felt deceived and really he didn’t feel bad for her one bit. He was the victim here; not her...so why was she crying?
“Just let me have it. Stop crying long enough to tell me that you lied to yourself and to me.” He said while walking over to the closet and picking up his suitcase.
“You’re leaving?” She managed to choke out in between sobs.
“Well, yeah Maria. Considering all that went down tonight, I think it’s for the best. All I ask is that you let me have visitation rights with Megan.”
She started to sob again, resting her elbows on her knees and cradling her head in her hands.
“I’ve ruined everything! Please give me a chance to explain before you go?” He sat down in the chair that rested in the corner of their room and waited for her to explain.
“I’m waiting.”
She got up from her spot on the bed and walked over to the chair where she dropped to her knees on the floor and leaned in between his legs resting her elbows on his knees.
“That kiss...it meant nothing to me. I told Michael to let me go, because when I was kissing him I was thinking about you. You walked in just before I could break the kiss...if you would’ve just waited two more seconds to come in, you would’ve heard me telling him that I’m a different woman, in love with a different man. That I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” She said in a strained voice, looking into his barely visible eyes in the moonlight that surrounded them.

He looked down at her...eyes puffy, hair in a messy pony tail, her face dirty, and her nose a little runny and right there...with her looking at him with love, guilt and a longing to be forgiven, he forgave her. He thought he’d remember the way she looked tonight forever, he’d remember it as being one of the most beautiful looks he’d seen her have. Standing up and bringing her with him, he kissed her and he kissed her deeply to let her know that she was forgiven. As picked her up and stumbled toward the bed, he mentally thanked god that Megan wasn’t here to hear what was about to take place.
posted on 30-Jan-2002 11:29:51 PM
--Part 15--

Liz sat on the couch watching her best friend pace back and forth in the small room, luckily she hadn’t puked yet and Liz was hoping that she wouldn’t. Maria puking had never really been a pretty thing. Finally deciding that she couldn’t take anymore of Maria’s pacing she stood up and firmly placed both of her hands on Maria’s bare shoulders.
“Maria, honey. You have to stop.”
“I’m sorry Lizzie...I’m just so nervous I don’t know what to do with myself.” Maria said with a nervous laugh, wringing her hands.

“Are you having second thoughts?”
“God no! It’s nothing like that...but What if I trip on the way up the aisle? What if I walk out there and I don’t realize that the back of my dress is tucked into my panties? What if-” Any further what ifs were cut off when Liz started to laugh, “It’s not funny Liz. What if I mess up on when I’m taking my vows?”
“Hon, you’re not gonna trip. If Jim feels you start to stumble, he’ll hold you up. Before we go out there, I’ll double check to make sure that everything is there in the back and not in your panties. If you mess up the vows, you know Alex will mess up on his just to make you feel better.”

Thinking it over Maria knew that Liz was right, she had nothing to worry about or be nervous about. But that still didn’t help. In just a few minutes she’d be walking down the aisle to become Mrs. Alex Whitman. She’d be walking down the aisle to spend the rest of her life with the man that she loved, and while she was over-joyed and ecstatic, she was nervous all at the same time.

***
In the other room...

“Alex, you have to stop sweating man. You’re gonna have pit stains on your jacket at the rate you’re going.”

Alex flashed Kyle a glare and took the deodorant from him. “It’s not like I can help it Kyle. I’m nervous...I’m about to do start the rest of my life with the woman that I’m going to grow old with. So ya know, I’m just a little nervous.” He said as he applied the deodorant with a shaky hand.

“Alex, take deep calming breaths. Focus. You’re going to be fine. And we’re ready for you to take your place.” Jim said as he entered the room. Before Alex could leave the room, Jim helped him into his jacket and helped him to straighten out his bow tie.
***
Liz cracked the door to see Jim’s face and opened it wider. It was obviously time.
“Maria, sweetheart it’s time.” He said, entering the room. She double-checked her hair and make up and then lowered the veil.

As the music began Alex waited patiently at his spot, he watched with baited breath as Liz walked escorted by Kyle, then as Tess came out escorted by Max. Their dresses were beautiful, and they looked beautiful...but Maria was going to be stunning. He just knew that she would be. A happy smile came across his face as Megan and walked out throwing her flowers around, smiling proudly and as her sister Alexis walked out next to her smiling and carrying a tiny pillow with two rings on it.
Then his smile faded briefly as he caught sight of Maria, her dress was stunning, just as he thought it would be. Her long hair was pulled up into a nice bun, with curly tendrils falling out of it. When his eyes locked with hers they both smiled an ear to ear smile. As she walked up the aisle, their eyes never left each other. Finally she came to a stop infront of him and the minister began.

“Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here today to witness the union of Alex and Maria. Maria, please face Alex, and hold his hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life. These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.

These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within you. These are the hands that look so large and strong, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time. These are the hands that will work long hours for you and your new family. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief wracks your mind. These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.” The minister finished turning away from a misty eyed Maria and towards an equally misty eyed Alex.

“Alex, please hold Maria’s hands, palms up, where you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life. These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurt, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it is time to let go.

These are the hands that will massage tension from you neck and back in the evenings after you’ve both had a long hard day. These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. These are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick, or console you when you are grieving.
They are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope, each time she tells you that you are to have another child, that together you have created a new life. These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.”

Placing his hands on top of Maria and Alex’s hands, he bowed his head and spoke again, “God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted in reaching for your perfection. May Alex and Maria see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide. We ask this in your name, Amen.” Taking his hands off of theirs he stepped back and asked for the rings.

Taking the smaller ring from the white satin pillow Alex held her hand in his and positioned the ring infront of her finger, “Maria, I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, With this ring, I thee wed.” He said sliding it onto her thin finger with a smile. Next it was Maria’s turn to take the bigger ring on the pillow and position it infront of her finger, with a shaky emotion-filled voice she repeated the minister’s words. “Alex, I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, With this ring, I thee wed.” She finished as she slid the ring onto his masculine finger.

“In as much as you have each pledged to the other your lifelong commitment, love and devotion, I now pronounce you husband and wife, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder. Alex, You may kiss your bride!” And those were the words from the minister that sealed the deal. He raised her veil and kissed her with a soft gentle passion. Alex and Maria were now man and wife.

They walked down the aisle, holding hands but looking at various people. Amy was bawling her baby had finally gotten married, and she was sure that Maria’s first marriage would last like hers didn’t. She had no doubt in her mind that Alex and Maria would grow old together, and love and cherish each other just as they had promised.

Liz was crying like crazy, but at the same time trying to control herself so that she didn’t mess up her make up. They still had pictures and the reception to get to. Megan had the happiest look on her face, Alexis looked pleased, and Max looked happy for them, but he also had a far off dreamy look on his face. Kyle was misting up, although he’d never admit to it, and Tess was crying and saying how beautiful it was. Alex’s parents were both crying, and Jim was trying to calm Amy, while letting a tear slip every now and then. He had married Amy a long time ago, and since then he had come to think of Maria as his own, and he was very proud that he could be a part of all of this and watch his little girl get married.

Isabel stood near Alexis, dabbing her eyes so she wouldn’t mess up her makeup, but looking genuinely happy for the two. Michael stood next to her, with a slight smile on his face and loosely holding her hand. He had come to the realization that Maria had moved on, and the fact that he was still hung up on her was causing him to push away something he never knew he could have, Isabel.

True, they did get drunk one night on Antar and created Alexis, but afterwards they pushed each other away because they were still hung up on Alex and Maria. When they were finally able to move on, they found that their paths lead them back to each other. He would never really be over Maria, fully. She was his first girlfriend, his first love, his first everything and he was positive that there wasn’t any way he could ever forget her. Just like Isabel would never forget Alex or the love that they had. It was hard for him at first, letting go of the past, but Michael finally managed to do it. Now he was beginning his future, a future without Maria and a future that could possibly be shared with Isabel.

Once outside the bridal party stood for pictures, and then a picture of the whole “group” was taken. Finally they made it to the reception hall. There was some dancing before dinner and just before everyone sat down to eat, Kyle had to make his best man speech.

“So it’s traditional that the best man makes a speech, and seeing as I’m the best man, I’ve got to give one.” Kyle said standing up at the table and talking loud enough for all the people in the back of the hall to hear him. Picking up his glass he let out a sigh and looked at the newly weds.

“Alex and Maria, you two have been together for 10 long years, and to be honest I’ve gotta tell you that we all saw this day coming sooner or later. Most of us thought it’d be sooner rather than later, but man were we wrong!” He said receiving a soft chuckle from the crowd. “When most of us look at you two, we see what every couple strives to be, best friends. Some couples can be married for 20 years and still not have the kind of relationship that you two have. You’ve marched to the beat of your own drum, you took things slow and made your life altering decisions when they were ready to be made, and I think I speak for most of us when I say, it’s about time!” After the crowd’s laughter died down Kyle continued.

“Maria, you may not be my real sister, but you are in my heart. You’re my sister in every way that counts, and I hope that the life you’ve chosen for yourself makes you nothing but happy. I love you, sis. Alex, you’ve been my best friend for years, longer than you and Maria have been together. Who would’ve thought it? The jock and the computer geek, best buds. If I could pick anyone to marry my sister, I’d still pick you. I know you’ll treat her right, and with the respect and love that she deserves. I hope that the biggest problems you guys ever have to face is what to watch on Saturday night. I love you too man, and I’m glad that you’re my brother. I wouldn’t want it any other way.” Kyle finished turning to the crowd and raising his glass, “To Alex and Maria, may they live out the rest of their lives together, in love and happiness.”

The night was filled with all the traditional wedding things and then Alex and Maria gave their friends and family hugs and kisses and got into their limo with the Just Married sign on the back and drove to the airport to take their honey moon in Italy. Leaving Megan to stay with Michael for a two weeks. Over the 6 months she’d bonded with her sister Alexis and with her dad Michael. Whom she now openly called dad, although she never called him daddy. She still saved that for Alex.

The End

posted on 2-Apr-2002 2:31:07 PM
Title: Let Me Love You Sweetheart

Disclaimer: The characters don’t belong to me. I got the idea for this from watching The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

Summary: A married Max and Liz move into a new house with their newly born daughter, Anna. However Liz soon finds that she can’t take care of the baby, finish unpacking the house and keep it clean on her own while she tries to write her novel and her husband is at work dealing with patients, so they hire a live in nanny/house keeper.

Status: Abandoned and unfinished.

Prologue

Running. She was running hard. Her heart was beating four times it’s normal pace as she pumped her legs, willing them to move faster. She could hear the dogs barking and the sound of the escape siren in the distance as her bare feet pounded the wet grass beneath them. She had to get away, that place was driving her crazy. She didn’t belong there. She had told them that over and over again. Looking behind her for the 12th time she muffled a scream as her body crashed to the ground.

“Damn log.” She hissed, her breathing coming out in heavy white clouds as she kicked it with her muddy foot.

Pushing herself up she tried in vain to wipe off the wet hospital gown that clung to her body. She had to hide. That was it, she had to hide from the dogs. Spinning around she frantically searched the darkness for some place, some secret place where no one would find her. In her excitement she let out a quiet yelp as her wide, frightened eyes found a cave. Hopefully they wouldn’t find her. Hopefully they wouldn’t drag her back to that awful place.

- - -

“Put that box over there hon.” She said with one arm extended, pointing to the spot she wanted the box. Max rolled his eyes as he picked it up again and moved it for the third time. He was getting mad. He was doing all the hard work while she...

That thought of his immediately trailed off as he turned his head and caught sight of her. She sat in the rocking chair, her breast removed from her shirt and bra, holding it in her hand. Their daughter was cradled in her left arm as she held her breast to their little girl’s mouth. Oh he wasn’t ever gonna get used to that, or the strange reaction it caused him to have. He was aroused yet strangely jealous of his small daughter at the same time.

He watched his wife awkwardly bend down to gently lay a kiss on the baby’s soft spot, and has her right hand left her breast to stroke the light dusting of dark brown hair on the baby’s head. Her own soft brown hair falling from behind her ear, creating a curtain over the baby’s head.

“Where do you want this one?” Michael asked as he noisily entered the room struggling with a large box.

“Michael!” Max yelled as he dropped his box and rushed over to stand infront of Liz. “God, ever heard of privacy? My wife is kind of exposed here!”

Michael laughed as Max tried to block Liz from view. “Maxwell, relax. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”

“What?!”

“Max, shut up. You’re upsetting Anna.” Liz scolded him as she reached up and pushed on his butt. “Go move that box.”

“I meant that mothers breast feed every day. Some even do it out in the open at the park. And I’ve seen a breast before you know.” He clarified. “Where does this go?”

Liz pointed to the corner of the room as Max grudgingly walked back over to his box. As Michael passed, he whispered, “I better not catch you ogling her goodies.”

Michael laughed as he dropped his box. “Ogling her goodies? Who are you?”

Liz giggled from her chair. “Max, please. Michael isn’t gonna ogle my goodies. Besides he’s already seen my p-”

“Liz!”

“Well someone had to tape Anna’s birth while you were laying passed out on the floor!” She yelled, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips.

He rolled his eyes at her and moved the box, dragging Michael out of the room when he left to unload another box. He wondered what they’d been thinking. Moving was hard enough, but to do it with a newborn? He was at least glad to be out of the small apartment they’d been living in. Liz had grown up living in an apartment her whole entire life and wanted their daughter to have the freedom of playing in a back yard that she could call her own. Maybe a play structure that she didn’t have to share with other kids, except for future brothers and sisters of course.


Part One

Max wrapped his arms around his wife’s slender waist. He was amazed that she’d gotten her figure back so quickly. Well, it wasn’t exactly hers. He was still getting used to the new fullness of her breasts. Pulling her down to sit on his lap he rested his chin on her shoulder and looked around the large living room. The white walls were still bare, the pictures that were supposed to be hanging, leaning against them. The only picture that she’d put up was their wedding picture. Their entertainment center was all set up, as well as the couches, chairs and tables. Their computer sat on the desk, the cords wrapped up and tied with one of those twisty ties that you find on bread. All of their books sat on the floor next to the built in book shelf that some of the few trinkets the couple owned were perched on. Packing peanuts were laying on the floor next to open boxes.

“Looks like you didn’t get much work done today.” He commented, bending his head to kiss her shoulder. “I’m sorry I haven’t been here to help you out.”

“I know.” She said on an exhausted sigh as she rubbed his forearm. “Duty called.”

She leaned back into his embrace and closing her eyes dropped her head onto his shoulder. They sat quietly, Liz’s hand absently stroking his forearm as Max’s lips rested on her shoulder, just listening to the soft even breathing that floated from the baby monitor. “You know it’s impossible to unpack and organize when you’ve got a crying two month old baby demanding your immediate attention. If she’s not hungry, she’s in need of a diaper change. If it’s not that she’s hungry. If it’s not either of those then she just wants to be held. She woke up twice during her nap today.”

“I’m sure it is.” He replied softly. He was feeling really guilty. He and Michael had arranged the furniture the way that she wanted it, moved all the big stuff, and then he’d left the rest of it to her. He wanted to be there, helping her fix the place up and make it homey but instead he’d been at Roswell Memorial fixing up other people. “You know, I’m sure Isabel wouldn’t mind if I dropped Anna off on my way to work tomorrow.”

Leaning forward she grabbed the baby monitor off of the coffee table and held it to her chest. “No. I’m not ready for that. I mean, I just had her! Besides those little kids at the center are infested with germs.”

He chuckled as she settled back into place on his chest. “Well then what do you suggest? We need to get those packing peanuts off of the floor before Anna learns how to crawl.”

Biting her lip she angled her head on his shoulder to look into his face. “I was kind of thinking about getting like a nanny or a housekeeper or something.”

“A nanny?” He repeated, looking confused.

“Uh, yeah...I was sort of thinking we could get like a live-in nanny or something. Just until we get everything settled, you know? And if we like her and she’s like this really big help to us we could keep her.” Liz told him. She was really trying to sell this idea to him, but he seemed hesitant. “I just need help Max, and you’re not here. And what about when I go back to the Rocket next month? I mean for now it’s ok to write at home, to be getting the crap stories that I can research on the internet or over the phone, but what are we gonna do when I go back?”

“But a nanny?” He asked again. “A stranger, living in our house and taking care of our daughter?”

“She won’t be a stranger after we get to know her. And she’d be helping out two new parents who have jobs and a new house to take care of.” She added before standing up and straddling his lap so she could see into his face. “We could always ask Michael but somehow I don’t think he’s the nanny type. Maria is busy running her mom’s store. Isabel’s schedule is really jam-packed what with the daycare and her night shift at the hospital. Kyle works the night shift, and Alex doesn’t even live in the same state.”

“Well what about our parents? My dad is retiring soon.” He told her, resting his hands on her thighs.

“Yeah next year. And do you really want your parents to move in with us?” She asked before she moved in and touched her lips to his ear whispering in a husky tone, “I mean, they’d take an upstairs bedroom Max. They would be able to hear all the things that go bump in the night.”

He smiled to himself, recalling the previous night. They’d gotten a little rough and their headboard started to bump against the wall. He was a grown man, but they were still his parents. If they ever heard anything, he didn’t know if he’d be able to look his mother in the eye ever again. “Okay, point taken.”

She straightened her back and smiled at him.“So we’re kind of out of options here my love.”

“You’ve thought about this all week haven’t you?” He asked after sighing heavily. She nodded her head and watched as he dropped his back onto the couch cushion. “Can I think about it?”

She gently nipped at his exposed neck. “You have three days.”

- - -

Where am I? She silently asked herself. The sun was blinding and hot. Her dirty sun dress that she’d found in a dumpster along the way was damp and sticking to her body. What’s that smell?

Looking around she noticed that she was crouching behind a dumpster. That could have very well been the stench she smelled, but as she ran a hand through her dirty oily hair she realized that it was probably her. She hadn’t showered in what seemed like weeks. Infact, the last time she’d showered was the morning she’d escaped.

“You ok honey?” A woman with shiny red hair and a thick southern accent asked from the end of the alley.

“Who are you?” She asked, shrinking back against the dumpster and studying the woman.

“My name is Samantha sugar. But you can call me Sam, everybody does.” The woman with shiny red hair, Sam, was tentatively approaching her. “Who are you?”

“T-Tammy.” She stuttered. “My name is Tammy.”

“Well Tammy, you look like you could use a nice hot bath and a good meal.” Sam said, walking up to Tammy.

“T-Thank you.” Tammy told her. “That’s very kind of you.”

“Oh it ain’t kind at all.” Sam said with a smile. “It’s just that good ole southern hospitality. If I were in your position, I’d sure want someone to do the same for me.”

“What state is this?” Tammy asked as they started to walk toward the exit of the alley.

“Don’t you know?” Sam asked, turning her head to give Tammy a surprised look. “You’re in Georgia sugar.”


Part 2

Three days later Liz found herself seated across from Max at the kitchen table, Anna in his arms as he gently rocked her back and forth. It was past Anna’s bedtime but Max insisted that this was a family discussion and Anna was a part of their family now, so her presence was mandatory.

“Now I’m not saying yes to this. I just want to make that clear right now.” He told Liz sternly. “But if we were to get a nanny, how would we even go about doing that?”

He watched as she sat up a little straighter and leaned in. As she began talking her hands started moving, gesturing. “Well, we could put an add in the Rocket.”

He seemed to think it over and opened his mouth to say something but closed it again when she started talking. “Or we could call an agency. I think that would be our best bet, you know so we don’t end up with some psycho.”

Cocking his head to the side, he looked up at the ceiling, contemplating his options. He could say no and start world war III or he could say yes and make her happy. Looking down at his small daughter he sighed. He really didn’t like the idea of some strange woman changing Anna’s diapers. He really didn’t like this idea at all. Raising his head he looked at Liz, the hopeful expression she wore broke down his resolve to say no to her. After all, hadn’t he promised to make her the happiest woman on earth when she agreed to marry him? “Fine. But I just want to say for the record right now that I don’t like this idea. I’m not happy with it, but if you think that it’s for the best...I guess I’ll agree to it.”

“Oh Max!” She squealed as she excitedly clapped her hands together and pushed herself out of her chair. “Honey, you won’t regret it I promise. It’ll be great, she’ll help us out a lot, you’ll see.”

He mutely nodded his head as she peppered his face with light kisses. “I hope so.”

- - -

Tammy sat huddled in a corner of the room, staring at Sam’s limp form. According to Tammy it hadn’t been her fault. The blame was to be placed on Samantha. She was calling them and Tammy couldn’t let that happen. She couldn’t go back.

- - -

“You’re calling them aren’t you?” She asked as Sam picked up the phone. “You’re calling them, you’re gonna turn me in!”

“Calling who Sugar?” Sam asked, utterly confused. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Don’t lie to me!” She screamed. “You’re calling them!”

Sam eyed the phone in her hand and slowly began to place the receiver back on it’s cradle as she watched Tammy pace around and mumble things. Obviously this girl wasn’t put together right, she was missing a few screws and Sam silently cursed herself for being so nice. Her friends and everyone else she knew had told her that now days southern hospitality was dead. You could get killed trying to be a good southerner.

“Look, I’m not calling anyone...I think you should leave.” Sam said as she slowly backed away from Tammy.

“No! You’ll call them after I leave!” Tammy yelled pacing the large living room. “You’ll turn me in! They’ll take me back! I can’t go back!”


- - -

Shaking off the memory, Tammy put her palms flat against the wall behind her and pushed herself up. She couldn’t remember how many days she’d been staring at Sam. The ringing phone startled her and made her jump. She looked around frantically. She had to do something with Sam’s body, before someone found out about what she’d done. They’d take her back to Cambridge for sure. Hooking her arms under Sam’s armpits, she drug the heavy southern bell over to the basement door. She dropped her by the door and stood upright, wiping her sweaty forehead with the back of her hand. Figures that Samantha wouldn’t have air-conditioning. For someone so slender she sure is heavy. Tammy thought to herself as she looked down at the lump of stiff flesh.

She opened the door and pushed the body down the stairs, following behind when she heard the dull thud at the bottom. Looking around she spotted a huge cooler. Perfect.

- - -

Shutting the basement door behind her, she wiped her hands on her dirty dress. A blinking light caught her attention, and she walked over to the answering machine.

“You have one new message.” The mechanical voice said. “Hi Sam, it’s Joe. We have a job for you in Roswell, New Mexico. Two new parents are looking for a nanny/house keeper. Max and Liz Evans I believe, two month old daughter. They won’t be needin’ you long, just until everything gets settled the husband said. They’re expecting you sometime next week.”

“Max and Liz Evans.” Tammy repeated as she walked away from the machine. “Roswell, New Mexico.”

She walked into Sam’s bedroom and opened her closet, fingering all the nice clothes that hung on hangers. She realized that she couldn’t very well stay in Sam’s huge Victorian home. Yes, she thought to herself. Roswell sounds like a good place to hide out.



posted on 2-Apr-2002 3:06:35 PM
Title: From RICHES TO RAGS
Author: Well it’s obviously me.
Disclaimer: None of its mine
Summary: Liz Parker is a spoiled little rich bitch who takes everything for granted. However one night when she gets arrested her father makes a wish that comes true and she’s got to learn the value of money and some responsibility.
Things to know: Max and Isabel are still brother and sister. Michael and Alex are brothers, their parents are Jim and Amy and their last name is Guerin. Oh and this fic is loosely based on the movie Maid for Hire with Alley Sheedy or whatever her last name is. (She’s the pathological liar in The Breakfast Club.) It's probably going to be CC and probably no NC-17, unless I decide to try my hand at it.
- - -

Jeffery Parker sighed as he looked out of his window with a sad expression on his face. His daughter had been out all night again, doing god knows what, god knows where, with god knows who. Tearing his gaze from the window he looked down at the $1,000 bill he held in his hand and sighed. She was burning up money faster than a gold digger. It wasn’t like $1,000 would hurt his wallet much, but what bothered him was that his daughter seemed to have no concept of the value of money. She had no self control when it came to spending. He wished with all his heart that his beloved wife Stella was still alive. Liz never would’ve turned out that way had Stella been there to help him raise her.

“Hi daddy.” Liz said groggily as she stumbled into the dining room and grabbed some toast. She was hung over again. Why should he be surprised? She was hung over a majority of the time anyway. He held up the bill between two fingers and looked at her crossly, “$1,000? You spent $1,000 last night?”
She looked at him innocently and smiled the best she could, “I met these really nice people and I took them dancing. They’d never been and it was their first time to the city. I was just being friendly daddy.”

He sighed as she came beside his chair to wrap her arms around her father’s shoulders. “I’m sorry daddy.” She said in a sugary sweet voice that sounded just a tad bit too fake.
“It’s not going to work this time Liz.” He told her shaking off her arms and raising from his seat. “I have to go into the restaurant, call if you need anything.” But he already knew that she wouldn’t.

After her father left Liz sat there, eating her toast feeling sorry for herself. Her father was always disappointed in her. The lecture never ended, although she was pleased she didn’t have to hear it this time. She would’ve just pulled out her nail file and started to file her nails like usual. After finishing breakfast and taking a shower, she snorted some coke and then left the house prepared for a day of fun. Her boyfriend Sean had just broken up with her last night and she’d been upset so she threw herself a party. She couldn’t tell her father that because he’d never even met Sean, and he definitely wouldn’t have approved.

She drove down the street in her little red convertible stopping at bar after bar and drinking drink after drink. By 9:00 she sat in her car on top of Buckley Point, just looking up at the moon. “I am so bored.” She said to herself. Starting up the car she headed back into town to go to another bar but pulled over when she heard the sirens and saw the flashing lights behind her. “Oh great.” She mumbled to herself.

The officer stood next to the car shining his light on her face, “License and registration.”
She grabbed her purse on the seat next to her and fumbled through it. “Damn, I know it’s in here somewhere!” She said smiling up at the cop and dumping her purse out on her lap. She tried to discreetly hide the little vile of cocaine that was in her lap but the cop was faster. He picked it up and opened it, getting just the tiniest bit on his little finger and then touching that finger to his tongue.
“Officer Valenti,” She said looking up at his name tag with a sly smile, “if you wanted some you just should’ve asked.”
“Step out of the car ma’am.” He said recapping the vile and handing it to his partner.
- - -
“I’m sorry Mr. Parker. It looks like Liz is in jail again.” Winnie, the head maid told her boss from the doorway of his study. It was killing her to see Liz do this to her father, week after week. “Should I go down to the station and bail her out sir?”
“No Winnie.” Jeff said with a sad sigh. “I think we’ll let her stay there over night this time. Maybe that will teach her something.”
“Yes sir.” Winnie said before turning to leave the room. She’d been with the Parker family since before Liz was born and it just killed her to see Liz doing what she was doing to not only her father but to herself. Liz was self destructing and there wasn’t a single thing anyone could do to stop it.

Jeff turned in his swivel chair to face the window. He sighed again, as he looked out the open window and up at the sky. It pained him to be thinking the thoughts that he was thinking but at times like this they were true. “I wish I never had a daughter.” He said quietly, while staring up at the sky.



- - -
Part 2
- - -

Liz rolled over on her side to face the wall. That damn transvestite/hooker had been staring her down ever since she’d first been shoved into the cell. Liz had played the staring contest game for a little while before finally giving up and turning over to face the wall. Her thoughts turned from the hooker to her father as she wondered for what had to have been the tenth time where he was. He was usually there with the money to bail her out already. Never once had he let his daughter spend the night in jail, Liz was certain he wouldn’t start letting spend the night now. Shifting to make herself more comfortable on her cot, she let out a sigh of boredom before closing her eyes and drifting off to sleep.

“Yo!” A voice boomed in Liz’s ear, waking her up from her nap. She rolled over onto her stomach and lifted her head to see a portly officer fishing through all the keys to find the one that unlocked her cell. “Up and at ‘em Princess. You’ve just been sprung.”
She rolled off the cot and looked upwards at the ceiling thanking god. “If I had to spend one more minute in this hell hole, I was gonna hang myself with my sheets!”
She walked out of the cell with a confident stride and over to the desk where she signed the release form to get her belongings back. When the woman behind the desk handed Liz’s purse back to her, she immediately started to rifle through it, checking on the contents.
“Hey where’s my stuff?!” She asked angrily.
“Your stuff sweetheart, has been confiscated. Seeing as how it’s illegal and all.”
Liz shifted her weight and sighed, “I meant my money and credit cards Kudjo.”
“Sweetie, whatever drug you had must’ve been the good shit.” The woman said before laughing. “There wasn’t nothin in that purse of yours but the afore mentioned illegal substance.”

Rolling her eyes Liz turned from the desk to go talk to her father. He was going to hear it for being late and then the cops in this place were going to hear it from him for treating his little girl like a common criminal instead of the superior human being that she was. That asshole cop that brought her in, K. Valenti was what his name tag said, being the first on the list.

She stopped in the main lobby looking around for her father or Winnie but not seeing either one. She was told that the person who had bailed her out was waiting here for her. A woman with brownish red hair approached her, clutching a briefcase in one hand and a file in the other.
“Parker, Elizabeth?” She asked reading off the name on the file.
“Yeah, who the hell are you?” Liz asked rudely.
“Nancy Monroe. The charges against you have been dropped so you’re free to go.” The woman informed her before putting the file back into her briefcase.
“Oh. Do you work for my dad’s lawyer or something?” Liz asked curiously. She’d never seen this woman before and David, her dad’s attorney always handled her cases personally instead of appointing someone else to do it.
Nancy smiled at her, a secretive and mysterious smile. “Or somethin kid.”

Liz looked at Nancy strangely and replied, “Um ok...whatever. Listen, thanks for gettin me off. See what you can do about getting my car back, these bastards say that I don’t even have one. Oh and I wanna sue this place for every penny it’s worth so get right on that.” She said giving the cops that passed by dirty looks.
“Yes ma’am.” Nancy said, mock saluting Liz. “Anything else your royal highness?”
“Yeah Nimbi-”
“Nancy.”
“Whatever, lose the attitude or I’ll have you fired.” She said flippantly before walking out the door.
“Good luck with that one kiddo.” Nancy said to herself with a satisfied smile.

As soon as Liz stepped outside, she blinked rapidly and threw her hands up to shield her eyes from the sun. When had it become so sunny? It must’ve been one or two in the afternoon, meaning that she’d spent the whole night in jail. How could that have been possible? Her father never would’ve allowed it. Squinting her eyes against the sun she walked to the curb and threw her hand up to hail a cab. Finally when she flagged one down she got in and gave the driver her address.

Nancy walked out of the station just in time to see Liz disappear into the cab and then disappear with the cab when it took off down the street. “Man that’s going to be one rude awakening...” Looking up toward the sky she threw her hands up, “This is what you give me to work with? I’m going to have my hands full with this one. You know that right?”

TBC!

Things to know: This Nancy Monroe woman is the same woman that is Nancy Parker. So to review, Nancy Monroe is Nancy Parker but she is not Liz's mother in this fic and her last name is not Parker. Are we all on the same page?



- - -
Part 3
- - -
“I’ll be right back with your money.” Liz told the cabby as she got out of the car. Those stupid cops hadn’t given back her keys either. They told her that she didn’t have any in her purse so when she reached the door and found it locked she grunted out of sheer annoyance and started alternating between knocking on the door and ringing the bell until Winnie came to the door.
“Can I help you miss?” She asked cracking the door. Liz tried to push her way through but found that it was chain locked as well.
“What are you doing Winnie? Let me in.”
“Do I know you miss?” Winnie asked from behind the door.
“Yes, it’s me Liz. Let me in.” Liz said putting her hands on her hips and taking an annoyed stance.
“I’m sorry I don’t know any Liz. Is Mr. Parker expecting you?”
It finally dawned on Liz what was going on, her father was trying to teach her a lesson or something by playing this joke on her. “Ha ha Winnie, this is very funny. Tell my dad I’ve learned my lesson and let me in the house.”
Winnie was getting annoyed now; this woman was not making sense. “If I don’t know you than I don’t know your father.”
“God Winnie, did you get into my stash or something?” Liz asked letting out an exasperated sigh, “I’m Liz. Elizabeth Parker. My father is Jeffery Parker. You changed my diapers. Remember? Is this like an old age memory loss problem?”
“I’m sorry Miss.” Winnie said curtly, standing up a little straighter. How dare this punk call her old! “Mr. Parker does not have a daughter and if he did she’d behave better than you!”

And with that the door was slammed in Liz’s face. Liz’s face was frozen in complete shock. Sure Winnie had been tough with her once or twice, trying out the tough love thing but she’d never been so mean before and this little game was going way to far! Turning around she walked half way down the front walkway before she stopped and realized that the cabby was still out there waiting for his money, which she didn’t have. She stood there for a few seconds not knowing exactly what to do. She whirled around to face the house when she heard the door open. She figured that Winnie had felt remorseful for saying those things to her and came to apologize. Instead her father walked out holding his briefcase and decked out in his suit and tie. He was most likely on his way to his restaurant to do the books or something, Liz thought to herself.

“Daddy!” She yelled half upset with him and half elated to see him. She watched as he halted in his tracks and looked around.
“I’m sorry do I know you?” He asked looking at the young woman in a black party dress. She looked oddly familiar to him.
“Oh stop with this stupid joke. I learned my lesson...it’s just plain mean now. You should’ve heard what Winnie said to me!” She said walking up to the door and moving to go inside. “They were so mean to me in jail and they took my money, my credit cards and my car! They wouldn’t even give me my house keys. They said I didn’t have any. We need to sue them.”
He grabbed her elbow when she moved past him to get inside the house. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“In the house...to get money to pay the cab driver dad. Geez, settle down.”
“Look, here’s some money.” He said handing her a twenty, not knowing where she came from. “And stop calling me dad, I don’t have a daughter. Please get off my lawn.”

He let go of his elbow and left her to stare after him as he got into the Bentley. He looked back at her and thought for a split second that he recognized her from somewhere, she almost looked like his beloved wife Stella. Unfortunately she’d been barren, so she couldn’t have been her daughter.

- - -
As the Bentley pulled out of the drive Liz turned around and walked to the back of the house, using the method she used to use to sneak out of the house to this time sneak into it. Quietly she opened the window and climbed into what used to be her room. Gone were her bed, dresser, vanity and all the posters. In their places exercise equipment stood. Walking over to the closet she threw open the door and walked in, noticing that her huge, beautiful walk in closet was filled with junk. All her beautiful designer clothes were gone.

Turning around leaving the door wide open, she walked out of her bedroom and down the hall. She noticed that all the pictures of her had been taken down and replaced with pictures that looked like they should be hung in a cheap motel room or something. Oh yes, this little plan of her father’s had just gone too far. She ran down the stairs to his study thinking that he’d at least still have her baby picture, the one where her mother was holding her with this big huge radiant smile on her face, still perched on the corner of his desk. She was horrified to find that the picture had been replaced by just a picture of her mother and father. She left the study pushing past a startled Winnie, feeling abandoned, betrayed and just plain sad.