posted on 23-Sep-2002 10:54:24 PM
Okay, these are stories I've never really posted, but that I wrote during Season 1 and the summer after. And, I'm not good at poetry, I won't claim to be, but I wrote these poems (which were inspired by ROSWELL) and I'm going to post them here, hopefully I'm allowed to.*angel*

Author: Nicole
Category: M/L
Rating: up to PG-13
Disclaimer: Roswell does not belong to me.
Note: Poems and stories will be on accompanying posts.

If you do read this, please leave me feedback!!

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 30-Sep-2002 8:36:52 AM ]
posted on 23-Sep-2002 10:57:12 PM
I wrote this in 11th grade for Creative Writing class, it was a "Found" poem from one of my 5 minute writes.

*Inspired by "The Balance"


Control

Control.
Stay in control.
Show no emotion,
keep hidden, keep in control.

Out of control.
Wanted to feel-
normal, loved…
happy.

Too dangerous.
Break it off.
Lost any semblance
of control.

Waiting, smiling…
Control.
Voice in his head…
Stay in control.

posted on 23-Sep-2002 11:02:03 PM
Another 5 minute write "Found" poem during out romance unit in creative writing. Written using Max's Romance Tips to Michael.

*Inspired by "Crazy"


Silk, Satin, and Lace:
The Inner Workings of a Female’s Mind


It’s all about the little things.
A note in a locker,
A Queen for a King.

It’s a flower in the middle of the day,
A candlelit dinner for two,
And a picnic surprise in May.

It’s star-gazing on a clear night,
And consideration, opening doors,
Saying it was love at first sight.

It’s all about the gentle and sweet,
It’s all about knees going weak,
And an accelerated heartbeat.

It’s neverending butterflies,
It’s being happy and sad all at once,
It’s drowning in soulful eyes.

It’s being treated like a jewel,
Precious and unique.
Letting emotions go, not acting cool.

It’s wanting the earth to twirl,
To spin out of control,
And it’s all about being treated like…

The only girl in the world.

posted on 23-Sep-2002 11:07:28 PM
This one is actually A/I, I wrote it as a song for Alex to serenade Izzy with in my fic "Playing for Keeps".


The Real Girl Inside

They call her a dream,
The untouchable, unattainable supreme…
She’s their beauty queen,
But she’s not all that she seems.

She’s got red, pouting lips
With arresting brown eyes
And a body that kills,
But I can see behind the lies…

I see the real girl inside,
Not the beauty queen,
Not the captain of the cheerleading team
Or the head of the popular scene…
But the real girl inside.

Sure, she’s beautiful
But if it’s just the same,
I’d rather see her at a playground
In the middle of the rain…

Instead of up on that stage
In another homecoming crown,
Being made into the Princess again,
But that’s all she’s getting from this town.

I see the real girl inside,
Not the beauty queen,
Not the captain of the cheerleading team
Or the head of the popular scene…
But the real girl inside.

She’s made of passion and fire, not ice
Mixed with laughter and intelligence…
One of those old, loving souls…
And the smile of an angel I haven’t seen since…

That night all alone,
I got lost in her eyes,
And the look on her face
After the final goodbyes…

That’s when I saw the real girl inside,
Not the beauty queen,
Not the captain of the cheerleading team
Or the head of the popular scene…
But the real girl inside.

I see her inner perfection.
I see the sun in my sky.
I see my one ray of light,
There’s no need to hide…

I see the real girl inside.

posted on 30-Sep-2002 8:14:00 AM
REMEMBER


Dear Journal,

I know I haven’t written in awhile, a long while, but I have a good reason. One which will be explained thoroughly in the following pages, but for now, let’s start with a clean slate.

The spaceship landed, kicking up little dust. The six friends watched in awe as two humanoid figures appeared in the doorway. You couldn’t actually see them, they looked to just be made of light, it was radiating out of them. They didn’t talk, but a warm welcome was gently extended. Michael Guerin let out a whoop. He clapped Alex Whitman on the shoulder and hugged Liz Parker, then gave Maria DeLuca a passionate kiss before turning away and running up the gangplank. Isabel Evans had the sheen of unshed tears in her eyes as she kissed Alex on the cheek and hugged her two best friends. Then she too, fled up the gangplank and into the ship.

Max Evans stared up at the ship, he’d waited his whole life for this. Maria came up and tapped him on the shoulder. She hugged him tightly, kissing his cheek, “Bye.” She stepped back and Alex came forward, hand extended, “Good luck, man.” Then he turned and followed Maria, they hung in the background, waiting. Max turned to the last member of the group, struck, as always, at how beautiful she was. Liz had tears streaming down her cheeks. He gently brushed them away. Twining his hands in her thick, dark hair, he brought her to him.

God, how was he supposed to survive without feeling her lips under his, without the taste of her skin. The kiss ended. He let his fingers walk over her face, trying to remember every single detail of her perfect face. “I’ll come back, Liz, I promise.” She nodded mutely. He headed for the ship.

“Max!” the sound came out broken. He turned back, and then Liz was there, pressing herself against him. “I love you,” she whispered fiercely. He kissed her again, trying to convey everything he felt for her. But however long and full of love the kiss was, it was a finality. A good-bye kiss. He released her, walking backwards up to the ship, staring at her. He wanted his last memory on earth to be of her.

The door closed, blocking him from her view. She choked, trying to stop herself from screaming his name. As the ship took off, disappearing from sight, she fell to her knees. The sobs wracking her body couldn’t be stopped. She felt Maria’s arms around her, comforting, but it didn’t help. He was gone.
*~*~*
The flashes came, memories fading, going backward in time so fast… Until her mind was blank.
*~*~*
[Dream Sequence] Liz Parker woke up the next morning and went through her daily routine. But something was off, something was missing, and all that day she kept looking over her shoulder. Something important was gone, but Liz couldn’t figure out what.

Liz Parker looked up from the experiment she was performing in A.P. Biology. Ms. Hardy was talking to a new student. She brought him over, “Liz, this is Max Evans, he’s new. Would you mind being his lab partner?”

“Of course.” Ms. Hardy left. She extended her hand, “I’m Liz Parker.”

“Max,” he said, shaking it.

“Welcome to Roswell High,” she said smiling.

He smiled back, “Thanks.” She explained the experiment and they got started. They worked well together, she realized. She was normally picky about lab partners, they never seemed to be right. But he and she worked, like a well-oiled team. It was comfortable, right, like they did it all the time.

“You’re really good at this,” she said.

He smiled again, “Thanks.”

She studied him quietly as he worked. He was tall, dark-haired, seemed serious, and had an air of mystery about him. And his eyes. They were brown, but they seemed to have an inner, golden light. Maybe she was wrong about the serious part, his eyes definitely had a glimmer of mischief in them. He looked up, “What?” She blushed, embarrassed to be caught staring.

“Sorry, there’s just something familiar about you, I can’t put my finger on it, but I feel like I should know you.”

“Is that a good thing?” He didn’t seem offended.

“I think so. It’s a nice familiar feeling.” They smiled at each other, and Liz got that feeling of rightness again. The bell rang. “What’s your next class?”

“Lunch.”

She giggled, “Mine too. Do you want to eat with me?”

“Sure.”

They crossed the quad together, Max getting more than a few looks. She put her tray down next to Maria’s and pulled Max down. “Hey, everyone, this is Max Evans. Max, that’s Maria, Alex, and Kyle.”

“Hey,” they chorused.

“Hi,” he said shyly. Kyle leaned over and kissed Liz on the cheek.

“So, my girl’s showing you the ropes?”

Max looked at Liz, surprised, “She offered.”

“Oh! Yeah, let me see your schedule.” He took out his schedule and handed it to her. She scanned it quickly, a smile forming. “We have all the same classes!”

“Cool.” They smiled at one another again. Liz got a flash of deja‘vu. She and Max, Maria, Alex, a spiky-haired boy, and another blond girl. She shook her head. “Liz?” Max asked, concerned. She found herself staring into those soulful eyes.

“I’m fine, sorry for spacing.” The chatter started up, everyone giving Max advice on how to survive here in Roswell.

“So,” Maria said, “Do you believe in aliens Max?”

Max laughed, “You mean do I believe in little green men from Mars? No.” The bell rang. Everyone got up, heading to their classes.

Max and Liz walked slowly to their English class. “So, do you like my friends?”

“Yeah.”

“Good, because I have a feeling you’ll be spending a lot of time with them.”

“Oh really?”

“Yes, really.”

“I think I can live with that.” He grinned at her, she smiled back. Again she had a flash of deja‘vu. They stopped outside the classroom door.

“Friends?” she asked.

“Friends,” he agreed. They shook on it and walked into class.

The months flew by quickly, with Max and Liz getting even closer. In some ways Liz was closer to Max than she was to Maria. Maria didn’t mind, she and Alex had started dating and they were spending more time together than with Liz. Kyle and she still dated, but not as much as they used to. Max and Kyle didn’t get along, and Liz felt that Max’s friendship was more important than whatever she had with Kyle. There were moments, though, when she and Max were working closely, talking in the Crashdown Café, or hanging in each other’s rooms when she’d look into Max’s soulful eyes and her breath would catch. There was something in those eyes of his, something almost hypnotic, and she’d get that feeling of rightness. But the intensity would be broken and she would laugh at the thought that she could be romantically interested in her best friend.
*~*~*

It was a Friday night, Max was over at Liz’s, lying down on her bed while she was in the bathroom. “Why am I here again?” he asked plaintively.

“I need a fashion consultant,” she responded.

He sighed, “And why can’t Maria do it?”

“I need a guy’s opinion, plus she and Alex went out already.”

“Well thanks for making me your first choice,” he called, acting hurt.

“You’re welcome.” The door opened and Liz walked out, “How do I look?” Max took a casual look, than sat up, eyes widening appreciatively. Liz giggled, “Thanks.”

“For what? I didn’t say anything.”

“Your eyes did.” She was wearing a short black skirt and a black tank. Liz grabbed a black fishnet sweater and threw it on, then she grabbed a brush and some bobby pins and disappeared back into the bathroom. Soon her hair was up and make-up done. “Perfect.”

“Why are you going to some fancy restaurant? Why don’t we just go rent a movie or something?”

“Because. It’s Kyle and mine’s three-year anniversary, and tomorrow is the prom. Now, come downstairs and wait with me.”

The Crashdown was empty, it had cleared out nearly an hour ago, so Max and Liz sat at the counter and talked. The opening theme of “Close Encounters” chimed and Kyle walked in with Vicky DeLaney. Max jumped off the counter. “You tricked me,” he hissed, spinning to face her.

“You needed to get out. I don’t think you’ve been on one date since you moved here. Now hush.”

“Maybe I don’t want to go out,” he muttered rebelliously.

She glared at him, “Hi!”

“Hey,” Kyle kissed her cheek, “Um, Max you know Vicky.”

“Yeah, hi.”

“Hi,” she gave him a once over, smiling. Max blushed.

“So, we should get going,” Liz said. She had gotten a funny feeling in her stomach from the way Vicky was looking at Max, like he was a piece of meat.

Chez Pierre was the only expensive restaurant in Roswell, it was a very elegant place, with a wedding type of feel. The hostess led them to a table for four and gave them menus. Smiling, she said a waiter would be there in a few minutes to take their orders.

Kyle sat down in a chair and opened the menu, scanning the choices. Max looked at him and then at Liz, with her exasperated expression and pulled out her chair for her. She looked up, surprised. “Thanks,” she said, smiling. Kyle looked up to see Max pulling out Vicky’s chair and frowned. The guy was too perfect. Then Max pulled out his own chair and sat down with an aggrieved face. Liz laughed and smacked him gently.

“The pressures of being a gentleman,” she teased. He smiled at her, but whatever retort was on his lips was forestalled by the waiter’s appearance.

It had been a fun night, putting the tension between Max and Kyle aside. Kyle pulled his car up outside the Crashdown, everyone got out. “Max, don’t you need a ride?”

“What? Oh, no, I left my Jeep here, so…”

“Bye,” Vicky said.

“Oh! Yeah, I had a really great ti--.” He was cut off by Vicky reaching up and kissing him. Liz’s eyes widened, she felt like throwing up, and then a rage descended upon her. How DARE she kiss him like that?!

“See you tomorrow Max.”

“Yeah,” he said stunned, and walked into the café. Vicky smiled and got back into the car.

Kyle leaned in to kiss Liz goodnight, but she pulled away. “I’m not feeling so great, but I’ll see you tomorrow. Okay Kyle? Good night.” She turned away and went inside, leaving him.

“What?” Something was up with Liz, and as he got into the driver’s seat and glanced inside the Crashdown, he had a pretty good idea of what it was.

Max was standing behind the counter, drinking a cherry coke. Liz sat down on a stool, he offered her a sip. “Thanks.”

He shrugged, “What’s up?”

“What do you mean?”

“You didn’t let Kyle kiss you good night.”

“So? I didn’t want him to.”

“Why?”

“Because,” she yelled, frustrated, “I don’t like him kissing me anymore!”

“Oh-kay, just bite my head off.”

“Sorry,” she said sheepishly, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Kyle and I have been going together since the summer of freshman year, it’s good, but…”

“But what?”

“But something’s missing, something that should be there. I mean, I’ve been feeling like this for a long time, like the beginning of sophmore year. But in the past seven months, it’s just intensified.”

“So, basically you’re saying that you like Kyle, just not like THAT.”

“Exactly,” she exclaimed. Her voice grew quieter. “It’s like there’s someone out there, who is absolutely perfect for me, my soulmate, you know. And I feel him, but I can’t see him. It’s like I’m not looking hard enough.” Her voice trailed off, she was staring into Max’s eyes.

“Or maybe you’re looking too hard,” he suggested, staring right back at her. Liz felt her heart flip-flop. They leaned toward each other…

“Liz?” her mother called, breaking the moment.

“In here Mom,” she called back, not quite meeting Max’s eye.

“It’s time... Oh, hi Max.”

“Hey Mrs. Parker,” he said smiling. She turned back to Liz.

“It’s almost eleven, time to lock up.”

“Eleven! My parents are going to kill me.” He jumped over the counter and headed for the door. “Bye, Mrs. Parker, see you Liz.”

“Yeah, tomorrow.”

“Don’t think so,” he grinned, “I’m not going to the prom.” With that he ducked out the door.

“What?! Oh, we’ll just see about that Max Evans!” she called after him. She closed the door and locked it, shaking her head. “That boy,” she said fondly.

“I like him.” Liz looked at her mother, surprised.

“So do I, why else would he be my best friend? ‘Night Mom.” She went up the stairs to her bedroom.

“That’s not the way I meant,” her mother said sadly.

Liz rang the doorbell and then waited five minutes. She put her key into the lock and walked into the Evans’ house. The sound of Counting Crows filled the air. Liz slowly made her way down the hall. She stopped outside Max’s room. “Max!” she called, knocking. No response. He played that music so loud she was surprised he wasn’t deaf. She opened the door and walked in. Max was lying on his bed, eyes closed. Liz went to the radio on his nightstand and turned it off. He sat straight up, eyes wide and annoyed. “Depressed much?” she asked.

“Rude much?” he responded. She laughed and sat down next to him.

She suddenly turned serious. “I need to talk to you about last night.” Max lost his smile.

“Last night?”

“You said you weren’t going to the prom!” she cried out in dismay.

“I’m not.”

“Why?” she wailed.

“For a number of reasons.”

“Oh really?”

“Yes really.”

“Name them.”

“What?”

“Your reasons,” she clarified, “Name them.”

“Fine,” he snapped. “One, don’t have a tux.”

“Taken care of.” She dumped the contents of the backpack she had brought on the bed. “Just needs to be pressed.” He glared at her.

“Two, I don’t have a ticket.” She slipped one out of her pocket and waved it in front of him, smiling smugly. “Three, I don’t have a date.” He looked at her challengingly.

“There are several girls who are just dying to throw themselves at your feet, so no worries.”

“Like who?”

“Who? Um, Stacey Scheinin, Corrine Williams, Tish Okabe, and Vicky.”

“You mean Minnie Mouse on crack, party-means-getting-drunk girl, and little Miss Innocence herself? Not to mention the fact that Vicky like, rams her tongue down your throat.”

“They’re not that bad. And it didn’t seem like you minded last night.”

“I was frozen in horror.” She looked at his haughty expression and smacked him with a pillow.

“You’re going.”

“No.”

“Yes, and that’s final.”

“Fine,” he capitulated, “but I won’t have any fun.”

“That’s all I ask,” she said, smiling. “Now, if you don’t mind, I need to go get ready.”

Max, Alex, and Kyle waited downstairs for the girls to get ready. “So,” Kyle smirked, “No date Evans?” An angry look came over Max’s face, but whatever he would have said was stopped by Alex.

“Could you two please not fight tonight?” They stopped, but glared at each other. Kyle
and Max didn’t get along. There had been an undercurrent since Max had moved here. Alex really thought it was over Liz, but Max had never given out any vibes signaling he wanted to be more than Liz’s best friend. He shook his head, he really didn’t understand what was up with those two.

posted on 30-Sep-2002 8:16:13 AM
REMEMBER cont'd


Mr. and Mrs. Parker came downstairs with a camera. “Presenting Miss Maria DeLuca.” Maria came down in her normal hop and bop manner. Her blonde curls were done up fetchingly and she was wearing an ocean blue slip dress with frosted roses growing from the hem up. She was giggling at the stunned look on Alex’s face. “And now,” said Mr. Parker in a booming announcer’s voice, “Miss Elizabeth Parker.”

Liz slowly descended the stairs, she wanted to see their faces when she came down, wanted to judge their reactions. Her long, dark hair fell in curls across her shoulders and down her back. She had on a full-skirted red satin ball gown. The bodice was lined, and fit her like a glove. Nestled at the base of her throat, in the little hollow, was a simple ruby solitare on a thin gold chain. Her parents both looked proud, Alex and Maria looked approving, Kyle looked hungry. His eyes practically devoured her body. Liz shivered involuntarily, she didn’t really want him touching her tonight. Her eyes shifted to Max, and they stayed there the rest of the way down. His soft eyes were locked on hers and his expression was hard to judge. There was pain in it, and longing, and there was something hidden behind. She caught a glimmer of it, it was a knowing look.

Max saw Liz’s inquisitive look, but he ignored it. She stopped at the bottom of the stairs, her posture radiating confidence. She looked expectantly at Kyle. He was staring and Max didn’t like it. Maria gave a slight cough, breaking the hypnosis Liz’s entrance had caused. She glanced toward her wrist, where a bundle of white posies were permanently stationed for the night. Kyle got a deer-caught-in-the-headlights look. Max sighed and walked up to Liz, bringing out the corsage of red rosebuds he had bought. Slipping it on her slender wrist, he leaned toward her. “I knew he’d forget,” he whispered in her ear.

“Thank you.”

Pictures were taken, Mrs. Parker insisted. It’s prom, she said, so everyone submitted. First a group picture, then Maria and Alex, then Kyle and Liz. Liz was uncomfortable, Kyle had let his hand stray a little too far south and she had to force a smile. She broke away immediately, saying that Max didn’t have a date so she’d fill in. Their picture had to be taken twice. The first time, Max had taken the opportunity to tickle her and the picture had been snapped while she was bent over laughing and he was smiling, straight-faced. She elbowed him and told him to straighten up. The second picture went off without a hitch and everyone piled into the limo.


The prom was being held at UFOnics, but the committee had gotten permission to redecorate. Instead of all the bright neon lights and shaky meteor chairs, a soft white light shown and the chairs at the shiny black tables were actually normal. Liz drew a breath as she looked around. Blue and silver decorations hung all around, giving the impression of a meteor shower. The light glanced off the shiny surfaces of the decorations and glimmered like stars. “It’s like magic,” she whispered, awed.

They staked out a table and dropped purses and jackets. Maria and Alex took off at once, weaving their way through the jumble of dancing teenagers. It was a fast song and Maria soon lost herself completely to the music. It filled her, making her body move of its own accord. She loved to lose herself this way. The song ended and a slow one started up. Maria found herself in Alex’s arms. He gathered her close, kissing her softly. She smiled, she loved to lose herself this way too. She glanced at Liz over at the table, who was smiling. Maria leaned away from Alex, trying to see what was so funny. She stifled a giggle. Max was surrounded by a hoard of girls.

Liz was trying so hard not to laugh, Kyle looked incredibly annoyed, and Max mouthed “Help me!” as Stacey dragged him onto the dance floor. Vicky called she got next dance as she pulled up a seat next to Kyle. Corrine and Tish echoed her in both voice and deed, and then got into an argument about who got to dance with Max after Vicky. Liz glanced at Kyle. He was staring at Max with an expression of ill-concealed dislike. Liz looked away and caught Vicky staring at Max with avid interest. She felt sick, she didn’t want Vicky or any other girl around Max. Liz stopped. What was she thinking? Was she jealous? She looked up at Max, slow dancing with Stacey. She swallowed hard. Yes, she was jealous. She was very, very jealous.

Kyle stood up, pulling Liz with him. He wanted to dance, not listen to a bunch of girls bicker about who got Max Evans next. Kyle bumped into someone. “Watch it!” He found himself facing Lucinda Baker, the class slut. She simpered, “Never mind, bump into me as much as you like Kyle.” Then she saw Liz. “Hey Liz, your boy is in rare form tonight.”

“We haven’t even danced yet Lucinda.”

“What?” She looked over on the dance floor, “Max looks like he’s been dancing fine so far.” She took in Liz’s surprised expression and then Liz’s hand in Kyle’s. “Oh,” she smiled, craftily this time, “Haven’t staked your claim yet Lizzie? Too bad.” She sauntered off. Kyle looked at Liz. She looked angry. He pulled Liz into his arms as a new song started up.

Liz closed her eyes, not wanting to see Max dancing with Vicky. She was holding herself stiffly, Kyle was the wrong height for her. She blocked out whatever he was saying and let the music wash over her. It was Vertical Horizon.

*He’s everything you want. He’s everything you need. He’s everything inside of you that you wish you could be. He says all the right things, at exactly the right time, but he means nothing to you and you don’t know why.*
Liz lifted her head, she was directly in line with Max and they stared at each other.
*He means nothing to you and you don’t know why.*
Wrong, she thought, I know why. She was looking at the reason.


“Okay, everybody, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for,” the principal, Ms. Shaffer, said. “The crowning of this year’s king and queen.” Whistling and cheers came from the crowd. “Okay, okay, calm down everyone. This year’s prom queen is…” She paused dramatically, “Liz Parker!” Liz gasped. How had this happened? Maria giggled and steered her to the stage. Liz walked up the steps, dazed. “And this year’s prom king… Max Evans!” Liz abruptly came out of her daze as Max made his way toward her. He accepted the crown with a shy smile and then turned to face her.

Max looked at Liz, walked toward her. He smiled, gently setting the delicate tiara on her head. It was gold washed, set with little fake rubies. Max made them real. She deserved real rubies. They sparkled in the light, taking his breath away. She was so beautiful. Tonight, he thought suddenly. TONIGHT. A spotlight shone on the two. He leaped off the stage, extending his arms to Liz.

Liz let Max swing her gently to her side as “Thank God I Found You” began to play. She got another flash. She was wearing a green, sheer-looking dress. Homecoming, she thought, sophmore year. But she wasn’t dancing with Kyle, she was dancing with MAX. //”I was thinking we should kiss, people are going to be expecting it—since we’re king and queen and everything,” she said. Max’s eyes widened. “If you really think we should,” he whispered. And then he kissed her.// She could feel it, the sparks it sent through her.

“Are you all right?” Liz looked up into Max’s eyes.

“Fine.” She wrapped her arms around his neck while his went around her waist. He didn’t pull her closer, but she wanted to be. She took a step forward, leaning into him. His arms tightened around her. Yeah. This was right, she fit up against him perfectly. She sighed, laying her head on his shoulder. He lifted his head slightly, tucking the top of her head just under his chin. Liz’s heart was beating wildly, so was his. He’s trembling, she realized.

Liz had a slight smile on her face as Max swung her to his side. Kyle glared at them. MINE, something snapped inside him as Max held Liz close to him. Kyle swore and took another sip of his beer. Lucky he had thought to bring it. It was going to be a long night.

The prom was winding down, everyone was getting ready to leave. Liz looked around, she had a determined air about her. There was something else she had to do tonight. Two somethings actually. And both were incredibly important.

Alex opened the limo door for Maria, who climbed in, he followed. Max looked around for Liz. “I think I’ll walk home,” she said.

“I’ll come with,” he volunteered.

“NO!”

“Liz?”

“Sorry. Kyle, could you walk with me?”

“Sure,” Kyle said, smirking at Max.

“Liz…”

“Max, please.” He looked at her, her mind was made up, he could tell. Max nodded and got in the limo. He looked out the back window as the limo pulled away from the curb. I hope Liz knows he’s been drinking.

Liz stopped a few yards from the Crashdown and turned to face her boyfriend. “Kyle we need to talk.”

He smiled, “Talking is so overrated.” His words slurred together. He’s drunk, she realized. His smile grew wolfish and he stepped closer. She stepped back. Into a wall. Kyle leaned forward, Liz ducked and started toward the restaurant. “I thought you wanted to talk to me,” he called. She turned back to look at him.

“We need to break up. I don’t feel for you what I should be feeling, and its not fair to you if I keep on pretending.” Kyle didn’t say anything. “Kyle?” she asked. He walked toward her slowly, but not threateningly. She tensed, prepared to run to the Crashdown if she needed to. Kyle came within a foot of her. “I’m sorry Kyle, really. But, it just happened, and I still want to be friends. You’re a really nice guy and all…” she trailed off. “Kyle? Are you all right?”

“Fine,” he said as he reached out and grabbed her. She tried to scream and run. But she couldn’t do much of anything. One hand had gone over her mouth and the other kept her arms pressed firmly to her sides. He dragged her over to the alley and pushed her up against the wall. Oh. My. God. What had she been thinking? You do not break up with a drunk guy. She looked toward the Crashdown, tears blurring her eyes as Kyle reached for her dress. She had to make it home. To her safety, to her salvation. Oh, God, she was not going to let this happen. BAM! Her knee came up and Kyle groaned. She then promptly kicked him in the stomach. He keeled over and she ran. Fast.

Max was surprised to hear the tapping at his window. He went over and opened it. “Liz!” he gasped. Her dress was torn, hair tangled, and tears were running down her face. She stumbled over the windowsill and fell into his arms. He hugged her close. “What’s the matter?”

“I…I can’t. Please don’t make me…not now.”

“Ssh. Don’t worry, take your time.” She gulped back another sob.

“Kyle…Kyle tried to…He tried…”

“Don’t, you don’t need to say it, I understand.” And he did. The flash he had just gotten told him exactly what had happened, and he was going to make sure Kyle never came near Liz again.

“I knew, I knew I had to get home, that I’d be safe. So I fought back. Then I ran.”

“If you wanted to go home, then why did you come here?” he asked slowly. Hope formed and was justified. She looked at him, eyes wide with disbelief.

“You’re my home,” she stated matter-of-factly, as if surprised that he hadn’t known. But he had. He’d been waiting for her to realize it for seven months.

“I know,” he whispered, staring down into her beautiful face, “I know.”

Liz was confused. “You knew all along?”

“From the very first day,” he said back. The first day. The moment their eyes had met, she had gotten that perfect feeling. That feeling of being one, of being whole. Why hadn’t she realized it before? It would have spared her all that aggravation. But then she realized she had known.

“I didn’t. I…I knew there was something. Everything felt right that day, like the universe was in complete harmony or something. I haven’t felt like that for a long time.” She looked at him, hard. “For two years, I have been looking over my shoulder for something that was supposed to be there. I could feel something missing. When you showed up I lost that feeling. How come I didn’t suspect? How come I didn’t know? How could I have been so stupid?”

“You weren’t,” Max said, “It was my fault.”

“What do you mean?”

He sighed, “I was your best friend, you had a boyfriend. What would’ve happened if I had kissed you? If I had told you how I felt?”

“I don’t know!” she burst. She jumped out of his arms. “Why didn’t you try?”

“I didn’t want to lose anything I had with you!”

“It was you, all along. I’ve been waiting and waiting for you to make a move. For you to kiss me, so that I would know for sure. But you didn’t. And I felt stupid for feeling this way about you and you not feel the same way about me.”

“Why did you feel that way about me?” he questioned cautiously.

“I don’t know. I just did. I still do. I…I think I love you Max.” Max felt his heart stop.

“I don’t want you to think. I want you to KNOW.”

Liz stared at him. Straight into the eyes of him, and something inside her fluttered. Something familiar. She had known him before this year, known him by his heart and soul. The same way he knew her. And she knew she loved him. “Help me out with something?” she asked.

“What?” he said surprised.

“I’ve been having flashes.”

“Flashes?”

“Since the day you walked into my A.P. Bio class, I’ve been getting these visions.”

“Visions of what?”

“The first one was at lunch that day. Instead of it being Maria, Alex, Kyle, you, and me, it was Maria, Alex, you, me, another blonde girl. She was pretty, supermodelly. And then there was another boy. Spiky hair, sullen look.” Max smiled. “And then tonight, at the dance, when we were together. It was sophmore year at Homecoming, I recognized the dress, but I was dancing with YOU. Not Kyle. And then you kissed me and HELLO fireworks. Then the dream…”

“Dream?” he interrupted. She turned away from him.

“I had a reoccurring dream. It started out on my balcony. I would be sitting in my lawn chair, writing in a journal. Then a fog would roll in, and I’d get up, standing on the edge of my balcony in a long, white evening gown. I’d look up, the sky was full of stars, but one constellation burned brightest. Five stars, in the shape of a “V”. I would stare up at it for a long time, then I’d hear someone climbing up the ladder. My heart would speed up, it was HIM. Even in a dream I could feel it, feel him. The fog would get thicker, all I was able to see was candlelight and a faint shadow. It was enough. He’d lift up his arms and whisper, ‘Liz.’ I’d go, of course. He was here, with me, where he was supposed to be. But he disappeared when I reached him. Then the balcony would disappear, the fog, everything into blackness. The only things left were me, the constellation, and his voice. He always said the same thing. ‘I’ll come back Liz, I PROMISE.’” Liz lifted her head, staring into the mirror. “I haven’t had that dream in seven months, not since you came.” She turned toward him, eyes wide. “Why is that Max?” He had had his head down, now he lifted it slowly. He reached out his hand…

“Liz,” he whispered softly.

She came to him, eyes all full of trust, she put her hand in his. Max drew her into his arms, where she was supposed to be. He looked down into her eyes. “I did come back, just like I promised.” She gave a little cry of recognition.

“Max!” she gasped. He kissed her softly, then more thoroughly. He had been waiting two years to hold her like this.

Liz felt like flying as Max kissed her, felt like a giddy little schoolgirl. Memories came flashing back. How could she have forgotten? The day she was shot, the Crash Festival, Homecoming, hanging out, all those longing looks, flirting, and the kisses. Every kiss she and Max ever shared came rushing back. Their first kiss, standing on the balcony after he had just told her that whatever they went through it was worth it, because they were together. Their second kiss, the break up kiss. And then all the making out that happened after they got back together. Finally the real good-bye, when he had left her.

She sighed, leaning against him. “I remember,” she said, “I remember.”

“You don’t know how long I’ve waited to hear you say that.”

“About as long as I’ve been waiting for you to come home to me,” she responded seriously, “I have been waiting Max, even if I didn’t know it.”

She looked so serious, trying to make him believe, but he already knew. He kissed her again, trying to restrain himself from just throwing her on the bed. When they stopped kissing, he gently stepped away from her. It might be easier to resist temptation if he put on something more than boxers. Grabbing a pair of sweats and pulling them on he turned to her. “Wait here.” He went to his parent’s room and took a nightshirt from his mom’s drawer and returned. Handing it to her he said, “Here, put this on. You can stay here if you want.”

“Of course I want,” she said, taking the shirt. She walked toward the door. “Don’t disappear.”

“Promise.”

Liz came back with a slight frown on her face. “What’s the matter?” Max asked, his brow furrowing a bit.

“I need to call my parents,” she said, a little embarrassed. Max grinned, then chuckled, Liz felt her own face relax. “I need to call Maria first though, as an alibi.”

“Go right ahead.”

“Hello?”

“Hi! Alex! What are you doing at Maria’s?”

“Watching Planet of the Apes.”

“Can I talk to Maria?”

“Sure.”

“Hey.”

“Hey, hi, does your mom know Alex is over?”

“No. She and Sheriff Valenti went away for a romantic weekend. Ugh. What’s up?”

“I need to use you for an alibi.”

“Why? Where are you going to be?”

“Max’s.”

“Max’s!”

“Yes, Maria calm down. Will you cover for me or what?”

“Yeah, sure, of course. One condition.”

“What?”

“Tell me EVERYTHING!”

“Fine.”

“Great, bye.”

“Bye. Oh, and thanks Maria.”

“No problem babe.” Liz hung up and then dialed her mother.

“Hey Mom.”

“Liz, honey, where are you?”

“Maria’s. Is it okay if I spend the night?”

“Oh, sure honey. Have fun.”

“Thanks Mom, love you.”

“Love you too honey, buh-bye.”

“Bye.”

Liz sighed, then slipped under the covers and cuddled closer to Max. His arm came around her, pulling her even closer. “Now what’s the matter?” he asked.

“The parent issue. How come your parents remember, but no one else does?”

“I’m not really sure how any of it happened. But I do know that any memories of Isabel, Michael, and I were taken away. Or buried, I guess, in everyone who had contact with us on earth. The situations were replaced by other situations or the people involved were replaced. I’m not sure what happened to my parents, but they were moved to New Orleans and then just moved here. When I came back, they got their memories of me back. They don’t remember Isabel though,” he said thoughtfully.

“How is Isabel? And Michael?”

“Fine. They’re “dating.” How weird is that?”

“Just as weird as Maria and Alex, believe me.” She glanced at the clock, 2:00 a.m. “Good thing we don’t have school today.”

“What?” He glanced at the clock. “Yeah. We should get to sleep anyway.”

“Yeah.” She snuggled up to him. He kissed the top of her head.

“Good night Liz.”

“Good night Max.”

“I love you,” he said.

“I know.” She looked up at him and grinned. “I love you too. Always,” she promised.

“Always,” he echoed, meeting her eyes.

Dear Journal,

It’s April 30th, 2002, and I’m Liz Parker. The balance is restored, the universe is at peace, and all is right in the world. Why? You may wonder, because. Because Max Evans has finally come home.
*~*~*
fini
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

posted on 30-Sep-2002 8:18:55 AM
LOOKING BACK

Part One: Max’s Point-of-View


The playground was full of laughing, shouting kids. Max and Isabel Evans sat away from the mass. Isabel suddenly took off at the sound of her name, it was her turn at jumprope. Max watched his sister as she integrated herself into the giggling group of girls playing. He sighed, she had fit in so well at Roswell Elementary. He glanced around the playground and saw her.

He had noticed her the moment he had stepped off the bus this morning. She had been playing with a blonde girl. Max had been captivated at once by this petite figure. Her long brown hair blowing in the wind, laughter lighting up her face, and then… Then she had looked up and she saw him, and smiled. At him. That was when they had been surrounded by a bunch of kids. Isabel dragged him with her when they invited her to play. Max had looked back to catch a glimpse, but she was gone.

Max’s disappointment faded when he and Isabel reached their classroom. She was in his third grade class. Max and Isabel were introduced to the class and then they were separated. For the first time. Isabel had to sit in back of Kyle Valenti. “Max,” Ms. Shapiro said, “Why don’t you take a seat behind Liz.” The dark-haired girl raised her hand. Max’s eyes widened and he gulped. He was to sit by her.

She smiled as he approached. “I’m Liz Parker.”

“Max,” he whispered back shyly as he slid into his seat. She smiled and turned back toward the front.

Max didn’t cry that night. His adopted mom, Diane, thought it was because of the little toy house she had bought him to make him feel at home. But she was wrong. Max didn’t cry because he had something to look forward to. Tomorrow he would see Liz.
<>

Max looked up and gasped. He tapped Izzy’s shoulder. “What?” she hissed. He pointed. She sucked air into her lungs and looked back at him. Up front, talking to Mr. Tollifson, was a spiky-haired, gangly, little boy with a sullen expression. Mr. Tollifson pointed to the seat in front of Max, and the boy walked toward it. Max and Izzy stared at him. He stared back. Recognition clicked, everyone smiled.

Michael Guerin soon became a key component in Max’s life. They were best friends. Isabel had other friends, she had started a Miss Popular thing. The only time she dropped the act was around Max and Michael. They were her brothers. Max didn’t have very many friends, almost no one after Michael and Izzy, but Liz. He and Liz weren’t close, he worshipped her from afar, but they could talk. And when they did talk it was stuff that Max couldn’t talk about with the others, they didn’t get it. Not like Liz did. But he had barely seen Liz this year, she wasn’t in any of his classes.

Max turned and bumped into someone, knocking all the books on the floor. “Sorry,” he muttered, kneeling to pick them up.

“It’s okay.” Liz Parker came into view. Max felt his stomach drop. Oh no, he thought, now she’ll think I’m clumsy. But she just smiled. “Hi, Max. How’s fifth grade been for you?” He gave a tentative smile back.

“Hey, fine. You?”

“Good. Maria and I have added Alex Whitman to our twosome. Or now threesome.”

“Cool.” Maria DeLuca was Liz’s best friend. They barely went anywhere without each other. “I, um, I have to go,” he said, wishing Michael hadn’t asked him to come over today. He desperately just wanted to stand there and stare at her.

“Oh! Sure, see you.” She turned and walked to a table. He ran out of the library door, then glanced back in through the small window. Liz’s dark brown braid hung over her shoulder, a studious little frown on her face as she opened her books. Max sighed, banging his head on the wall. Why couldn’t he just tell her he liked her?
<>

Basketball. Oh! what fun! Max thought sarcastically. He really didn’t like basketball, but he was good. Very, very good. They had done a process of elimination thing. Now he was going one-on-one with Kyle Valenti. They were the last game, the deciding game of who the best basketball player was. Big whoop, like I care, he thought. Of course, he didn’t really like Kyle and wouldn’t mind kicking his butt at a game that was almost as important to Kyle as football.

Max was winning, 1 to 0. It was tough, Kyle was so serious about this game he actually considered winning a big thing. He took the ball away from Kyle with ease and started dribbling down the court. There was a lot of cheering, but one voice came out crystal clear. Liz. Max looked up, straight into her eyes, and froze. He didn’t even notice when Kyle stole the ball and scored a point until the Mr. Soloman’s voice brought him back. “Evans! Don’t get distracted by a pair of pretty eyes!” Max felt his face flush. Liz smiled. He turned away, embarrassed, and started to check the ball.

“Don’t get any ideas Evans. Liz is my girl,” Kyle sneered. Max felt like a ton of bricks had been dropped on his head. WHAT!! That was one of the reasons Max disliked Kyle. Kyle thought Liz was his, he was continually flirting with her and Max got really jealous. He didn’t have any right to be. Liz wasn’t his girlfriend, probably forgot he existed half the time, but he hated any guy who talked to her. Hated them with a fiery vengeance. With the exception of Alex Whitman, he was her second best friend and, practically a brother.

Max was angry. He was going to wipe that cocky smirk right off Kyle’s face. He started forward fast, getting past Kyle’s defense, but Kyle was just as angry. He rammed Max from behind and sent him sprawling. Definitely knocked the wind out of him. Liz was suddenly there, her face concerned, asking anxiously if he was all right. He told her he was fine and started to get up. Then stopped. He glanced down at his arm. Funny, it hurt a bit, and it was at an odd angle. It’s broken, he realized. Mr. Soloman helped him up, saying something about a hospital, setting the arm, and a cast. Max agreed, looking at Liz. Her face was white. He told her not to worry. She gave a little smile. “Be okay,” she whispered. Max felt better already. Liz Parker cared about him.
<>

Max sat in a booth at the Crashdown Café, watching Liz and pretending he wasn’t. Liz came over. “What can I get you?”

“Um, a cherry coke please, and an order of Saturn Rings.”

“Coming right up.” Max looked down at the table as she walked away. Isabel said he was pathetic. He agreed.

Since the fifth grade, Max had been trying to tell Liz he liked her, and it hadn’t happened. He’d start conversations, but the awkward pauses occurred when he tried to get it out. He was hopeless. His crush had led to infatuation, and now he knew he was a goner. He had fallen in love with Liz Parker, and he could barely even talk to her. Of course it wouldn’t have mattered. He didn’t want some two-week fling with her, he wanted a real, lasting relationship, and he couldn’t have that. Not since they’d found out what they were. It was too dangerous to get close. To open up. To get attached. They couldn’t trust anyone, not even Liz. Plus, she was dating Kyle Valenti. How much did that suck?
<>

The first day of sophmore year was like a dream to Max. Liz was in almost every one of his classes, and Ms. Sommer had assigned them as Biology partners. He really didn’t care if she was still going out with Kyle. He could be near her for a whole hour, just sitting there, luxuriating in her presence, and filling his lungs with her jasmine scent. Max smiled, it was a good day.

Max spent most of his spare time at the Crashdown. It was easier since he got his Jeep. Studying, eating, hanging, anything that gave him a little more Liz time. He had convinced Michael to come that day. The day Liz was shot.
<>

Max looked at the girl sitting next to him in the Jeep. She looked so happy, so full of life. She was the love of his life. “What are you thinking of?” she asked.

“You,” he responded. Liz Parker blushed and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Then another, and another. “If you don’t stop I’m going to have to pull over,” he warned.

“Oh, really?” she challenged. Max pulled off the road and onto the desert floor. Unbuckling his seatbelt, he reached for her. He needn’t have bothered, she was all ready halfway into his lap.

Max loved kissing Liz, he loved the feel of her body, and loved the taste of her skin. In fact, Max loved Liz in general. And she loved him.

After the make-out session had reluctantly come to an end, and it had to, neither of them was ready for the beyondness, they headed back to town. Max was driving with one hand, the other was lightly clasping Liz’s. He glanced at his girlfriend wonderingly. She turned and caught his look. A smile gently curved her perfect lips. “What?”

“Just you,” he whispered, awed, “How did I get so lucky?”

She laughed, “You trusted me Max, and the rest just fell into place.”

Max was extremely happy. He had everything he wanted, everything he needed, everything he had ever looked for in Liz. She completed him. She was his heart, his soul, his home. They were like one person who had been split in two. Soulmates, that’s what she said they were, soulmates.
<>

posted on 30-Sep-2002 8:20:44 AM
LOOKING BACK cont'd

Part Two: Liz’s Point-of-View

Liz Parker and Maria DeLuca were playing rock-paper-scissors while waiting for school to start. They were in the same class this year. Liz and Maria had become best friends last year when they had bonded over a hurt baby bird. Liz smiled, “Rock beats scissors.”

“Cheater!” Maria exclaimed. Liz laughed and looked up as more buses pulled up, something caught her eye.

A little boy and girl had come off the bus, hand in hand. The girl was blonde, pretty, she looked excited, but the boy… He was dark-haired, soft-eyed, tense. He looked ready to run, as if all the children and noise scared him. The boy looked up and Liz caught his eye, smiling. She wanted to make him feel better.

She looked up when the door opened. They walked in, still hand in hand. “Class,” Ms. Shapiro said, “This is Max and Isabel Evans. Isabel, please take a seat behind Mr. Valenti.” Kyle raised his hand, showing Isabel where he was. Isabel walked over, releasing Max’s hand, a panicked look came over his face. He’s terrified, she realized. Ms. Shapiro asked Max to sit in back of Liz. She put a smile on her face, trying to let him know there was nothing to be afraid of.

“I’m Liz Parker,” she whispered. His golden-brown eyes widened in surprise.

“Max.” She smiled and looked back toward the front of the room.
<>

It was the middle of fifth grade, Liz and Maria were eating lunch, talking the usual lunchtime talk. “Can I join you?” asked a voice. They looked up, a boy with dark hair and intense blue eyes was standing there.

“Sure.”

“Thanks.” He sat, “Alex Whitman.”

“Liz Parker.”

“Maria DeLuca.”

“I know,” he grinned.

“Oh! You were in our class last year,” Liz cried, “And you’re in my English class!”

“Yeah, not that you take any notice,” he said good-naturedly.

“Sorry,” she said, sheepishly, blushing slightly.

“No prob. Can I be your friend now?” he asked, giving them big puppy eyes.

“I’m sure we can work something out,” Liz managed to sound serious, but then she dissolved into a fit of giggles.

Alex Whitman soon became a big part of their lives. He was funny, and they could really open up to him. Liz thought he liked the girls-as-best-friends thing as much as she did. Plus the fact it ticked his dad off.

Liz looked over her selection of books, she had just gotten a telescope and had become interested in astronomy. Someone bumped into her and the books went flying. “Sorry,” the boy who bumped into her said. He bent to pick up the books. The dark head was familiar. Max Evans!

“It’s okay.” She knelt down to help. He looked up at her and an expression of dread crossed his face. She wondered what the matter was.

She hadn’t talked to Max in awhile, but she had seen him around. He and Isabel had made a new friend, well, Isabel had tons of new friends, but this Michael actually seemed close. She asked him how school was and he asked her, it was a pretty nice conversation, if short. Max had said he needed to go. She agreed immediately, he looked so uncomfortable, and walked over to a table. She looked up and saw Max practically run out of the library. A small frown appeared on her face as she opened her books. Why was he so shy? She was sure he would be a good friend if he would just open up.
<>

The girls seventh grade gym class headed to the gymnasium. Swimming had been cancelled, someone had thrown up in the pool, so now they were going to watch the guys play basketball. They had been doing an elimination game apparently. A ring of boys surrounded Kyle Valenti and Max Evans as they played a one-on-one game. The girls joined the ring. “Who’s winning?” Maria asked.

“Max, it’s 1 to 0. They’re both really good,” Alex replied.

Kyle had the ball at the moment, but Max snatched it away. “Yea! Go Max!” Liz shouted, along with the rest of the cheering kids beside her. Max stopped, looking up, straight at her, his beautiful brown eyes surprised. Kyle stole the ball and scored.

“Evans,” came Mr. Tollifson’s voice, “don’t get distracted by a pair of pretty eyes.” To Liz’s surprise, Max blushed, and turned back.

He and Kyle faced off. Kyle said something and a shocked, almost pained look came to Max’s face. It was quickly replaced by anger. He checked and started forward. Kyle rammed into him and Max was floored. “Foul!” Maria cried.

“Max,” Liz gasped. She ran out onto the court. “Are you all right?”

“Fine.” He started to get up, but stopped. “I think I broke my arm,” he said, staring at it. He had landed funny and now his arm was set at an odd angle.

“Oh, God,” Liz whispered. He looked at her.

“I’m fine. I think we’ll have to postpone the game though.” Mr. Tollifson helped him up.

“We better get you to the hospital.”

“Sure.” He mustered a smile.

Liz was amazed. He acted like he was in no pain. Max caught her worried glance. “No worries,” he said quietly as he passed her. She smiled bravely.

“Be okay.”
<>

Liz looked around and sighed, the Crashdown was so crowded. Of course, she considered, I’m lucky to even have a job my freshman year. Of course, it also helped that her parents owned the café. Her eyes fell on the dark-haired head of Max Evans. She walked over to him and took his order. An order of Saturn Rings and a cherry coke, his usual.

Max was here almost all the time. She couldn’t figure out why he would want to study in such a noisy place, but… She glanced back at him. He looked so sad. Liz decided that if the dinner crowd left before he did, she’d go talk to him. Max was always looking so stressed, he obviously had a lot on his shoulders. She sighed and brought him his order, she wished he would let someone in.
<>

“No way Maria. Max Evans and this?” Liz exclaimed. She glanced over at Max, who was sitting with Michael Guerin. He had relaxed more this year, but there was still something hidden in his eyes. He had the most adorable eyes. Liz blushed, Maria was wrong, Max didn’t have a crush on her. And even if he did, he wouldn’t say anything. Max was way too shy, she thought regretfully. Wait. Stop thought. She was going out with Kyle.

It was funny, Liz was thinking of Max when she was shot.

Liz came to slowly, she felt warm hands on her stomach. They sent a shock through her, the touch was gentle, tender, loverly. She had never been touched like that before. She opened her eyes to find them looking into Max’s. Her breath caught. “You broke the bottle when you fell. Okay Liz? You broke the bottle when you fell,” he whispered urgently, pouring ketchup on her uniform. Covering up the blood. “Don’t say anything, please.” He ran, glancing back at her pleadingly, worriedly.
<>

Liz glanced over at Max. He was looking at her. She smiled, “What are you thinking of?”

“You,” he said simply, looking at her with those eyes. Liz felt her heart speed up, Max’s eyes just went into the very core of her being. He made her feel special. She kissed him gently on the cheek. Then she kissed him again, and again. He threatened to pull over. She grinned, she wanted him to.

They were driving back to Roswell, hands clasped together on the seat of the Jeep between them. Max had stopped their make-out session before they went too far, which was good. It was also good that he had enough control to do it, because God knows she didn’t. Liz lost her calm, cool, collected self when she was around Max. He affected her in a way no other guy could or ever would. She glanced at him tenderly, he had just said the sweetest thing in the world and she had responded as truthfully as possible.

“You’re wrong Max,” she said suddenly, looking back through all the years they’d known each other.

“What?”

“You didn’t get lucky, I did. You saved me Max, in every possible sense of the word. You saved me by loving me, and nothing I do will be able to make up for how much you’ve given me.”

Max shook his head, “You’re wrong to, but let’s not fight. We’ll make a compromise. We rescued each other.”

She grinned, “Okay.” He kissed her then, showing her how much he loved her. She wanted the kiss to go on, but he had to watch the road, so she pulled away. “Watch the road,” she said teasingly, “We don’t want to get in another accident.

“True,” he agreed.

Liz looked at Max again, promising him everything. He looked back, he understood. Someday, when everything was perfect, they would be together completely. Mind, heart, body, and soul, nothing would separate them. Because they belonged together, and both of them knew it.

She smiled upward, silently thanking her grandmother for the good advice. Always follow your heart, no matter where it leads you. She stole another look at Max, and she smiled again. Her heart had led her to her soulmate.
<>

posted on 30-Sep-2002 8:24:32 AM
MAKING UP

Max Evans was sitting at his desk, head down, burnt out. The search for the Stone was coming up as a dead end. They’d never get Alex back. A knock came. He sat up ramrod straight as Liz Parker walked in. He forced a smile. “Hey. What’s up?” She looked a little serious. He turned back, straightening up the papers strewn about. Wait. What was that? He picked up the paper. This could be something important.

“Max.”

“What?” he asked distractedly.

“I think we should break up.”

“Fine,” he said, not really hearing her. He was scanning the information intently, so he missed her outraged expression. He heard the door to his room slam distantly as what she had said registered in his brain. “What?!” he cried. Dropping the paper he raced after her. “Liz wait!” She stopped at the front door, closing it.

“Now what?”

“What do you mean we should break up?” He stared at his girlfriend. His beautiful, wonderful girlfriend and felt like panicking. She kept him sane, gave him a reason to keep on living. She was his heart. And she was saying they should break up! Her look turned from anger to disbelief.

“You didn’t even hear me, did you?”

“No! I was looking for a way to save Alex.”

“Max!” she said exasperated, “We will find Alex, together. All of us, it’s a group thing. Not a just you thing.”

“Fine, a group thing, great. Now stop all this nonsense about us breaking up.”

“It’s not nonsense!” she cried, “We have a problem Max. You barely even speak you me anymore, and when you do, you’re not speaking to me. You’re looking at my shoulder or at the floor. I don’t think you even notice me anymore. I could be a rock for all you care!”

“Liz…”

“I’m not finished!” She stopped, took a deep breath and looked him straight in the eye. He felt his heart break at the hurt in her dark eyes. “I want my boyfriend back Max.” He took her hands in his.

“I’m right here.”

“No. You’re not.” She looked away. “You’re in another galaxy. You haven’t even kissed me in weeks.” Her voice broke. Max hugged her to him, he had no idea she had felt this way. She had been there, supporting him, through everything. And he didn’t even thank her.

“Liz…” he whispered, tilting her head up. He brushed away her tears gently. “I’m sorry.” She shook her head.

“It’s too late Max.”

“No,” he said fiercely, “I love you, I’m not letting you go.” He kissed her then, desperately trying to make her stay, to prove how much he needed her by him. She pushed away at first, but he wouldn't let go. Slowly she relaxed, responding warmly, wrapping her arms around his neck. Pulling him closer. Max picked her up, not releasing her lips, and brought her back down the hall to his room. Locking the door behind them, he placed her on the bed, lying down next to her. His lips traveled down to her neck.

“Max,” she gasped, “This is not going to make up for it.” He lifted his head.

“Can it be a start?” he asked. Brushing the hair back from her face, he kissed her again, all over her face. She smiled.

“Okay,” she agreed quietly. He grinned, renewing his loving. The situation intensified, they barely stopped touching. Only when Liz slid his shirt off did they separate. Max kissed the side of her neck while unbuttoning her purple and white plaid shirt. He then slid his hand down her waist to unzip her short purple skirt. Liz’s hands were caressing his back. The smell of jasmine and ylang-ylang invaded his senses, mixing with his cedar. The connection started up. His emerald green aura combined with her warm, rich amber, forming a sparkling white light that slowly enveloped them. How was it possible for him to feel this way? How could she cause his brain to just shut down? Their passion rose, and they melted into each other.

Max woke up at peace for the first time in weeks. He looked down at the sweet armful cuddled close to his side. He kissed the top of her head, waiting for her to wake up. He needed the tangy taste of her skin under his lips, needed to bury his face in her thick, dark hair. He needed to tell her how much he loved her. There. Max could feel her long eyelashes brush against the bare skin of his chest. She looked up, kissing him gently. He smiled, holding her closer. She snuggled against him, sighing contently. He closed his eyes again, tightening his grip. He could wait for her, as long as she needed him to. He could wait until she understood that he understood how important she was to him. That he loved her more than anything.
<>
posted on 30-Sep-2002 8:27:56 AM
INSIDE OF HER


I should have known something was wrong when I heard the tap on my window and saw it was her. When she apologized and begged me to take her back, when she started kissing me. I really should have guessed.

Liz doesn’t go back on her word, and she certainly never begs. I should have suspected when I noticed her eyes were lighter, more blue than brown, or that she tasted too hot, like Tabasco sauce. Liz’s skin had never tasted like that.

I dismissed it, she’d been away so long, maybe she’d changed. I can’t believe I pushed my suspicions away like that.

I was confused as we landed on the bed. Naked. Her skin was too pale, her kisses too sloppy…I was more confused when I realized this wasn’t what I had thought it would be. This was primal, an animal need…The instinct was scaring me.

This was just sex. But while my brain and heart told me to stop, my body kept going.

The connection started when I first slid into her, the flashes came lightning quick. But these weren’t the cute visions I’d had before. There was no brown-haired little girl playing dress-up, or sitting on her grandmother’s lap reading, or swinging at a softball. It was just barren landscape.

My eyes flew open and I saw her.

Tess was beneath me, eyes closed, waiting for completion. I gasped in horror and recoiled out of her, denying my body its release.

I grabbed the nearest clothes I could find, throwing them on as quickly as possible, not caring if they were inside out or not. I had to get away from her. “Max?” she called as I started out the window. I looked back. Liz’s face stared back at me.

I left.

She wouldn’t trick me again. Hatred and guilt welled up in me. Some for myself, at what could possibly have happened, but mostly at her. For using me, for trying to defile Liz…

I wandered around the streets of Roswell for awhile, trying to work off the pent up energy. My body couldn’t stop shaking. Exercise wasn’t helping, I needed something else. I needed to be sated. I shook my head, starting to jog.

Even as my body took off, my mind was running around in circles. I couldn’t get those flashes out of my head, or the feelings that accompanied them. Tess was like Nasedo. She cared nothing for human life, she only cared about herself…and her desires.

The problem was, Tess desired me. A lot.

She wanted me to belong to her. To be with her. In her. And I almost was. Almost. I shuddered and suddenly came to my senses. I found myself in the alley by the Crashdown Café, staring up the ladder that led to Liz’s balcony.

I didn’t know what possessed me, but I soon realized that I was climbing up ladder. I looked around her balcony, the same balcony I’d first kissed her on. Where I first broke up with her, where I tried to make things right.

It was dark, the candles were blown out, but the heart on the wall seemed to have its own light. I smiled, touching it. The red glow still shone, pure and bright. The M.E.+L.P. never dimming. Liz had never let me erase it. I glanced at the window.

It was open.

I climbed in gently, trying not to disturb anything. I had no idea what I was doing there. I just needed to see her. The real her.

And there she was, surrounded by her comforter. I sat down on the edge of her bed, not completely sure of what I was doing. I looked down at her and raised my hand. It slowly ran over her eyebrows, her soft cheeks, and her perfect lips, ending up tangled in her silky hair.

Funny, my mind felt detached from my body. I leaned in, just inches from those lips…My body abruptly attached itself to my brain, clamoring with need. I loathed myself at that moment. To think of using my dreamgirl to purge myself of Tess…I backed up quickly.

I needed to leave.

“Max?” The whisper stopped me mid-flee. I turned back to see wide, star-filled eyes fixed on me. I swallowed hard, unable to speak. She didn’t say anything more, she just sat there, staring at me. I knew she was trying to work up the courage to ask me what I was doing there.

I didn’t know what I was going to say. What could I say? Liz, I almost had sex with Tess because I wanted it to be you so bad she easily manipulated me. Yeah, right. That’d go down real well.

I didn’t know that my eyes were talking for me. She told me later that I had the most expressive eyes she’d ever seen. I guess they just expressed my confusion, surprise, guilt, fear, need, longing, and want pretty well, because I saw acceptance suddenly come into her eyes.

She got out of bed. I had to remind myself to breathe. She was wearing one of those tank top and underwear numbers. I struggled to keep my eyes on her face, trying to ignore the demands my body kept giving me. She came over to me, so close…I could smell the mixture of her jasmine shampoo and ylang-ylang perfume. It was intoxicating. Her hand brushed against my cheek…

I had to fight to keep my hands to my sides. She just stared up at me as she stepped closer. I tensed as her hand slid down from my cheek to my chest, undoing the buttons of my flannel. It didn’t take that long, they weren’t properly buttoned. I had been in such a hurry to escape Tess, that I hadn’t exactly thought, as threw, clothes on. She slowly removed my shirt and then allowed her small hands to travel back down over my abdomen.

I just gazed down at her as she looked at me questioningly. Her eyes hesitating, as if afraid she was doing something wrong. She had absolutely no idea of the total havoc her touch was creating in me. She bit her bottom lip as her hand hovered over the clasps to my jeans. Her eyes again plagued with doubt.

I couldn’t take it anymore.

She gasped in surprise as my arms came up around her, pulling her close. My lips descended on hers…

This was the Liz I remembered. Her sweet, hesitant kisses, her strawberry and sugar skin…Her big brown eyes telling me she loved me.

She sighed softly against my mouth. I smiled, my hands slipping from her waist to further down.

She stripped off my jeans without further deliberation, tugging me towards the bed as I lifted her tank. There would be no stopping this time, my body was consuming my brain with need. But still, even with all the urges running rampant through me, she was the only thing I could concentrate on. So I ignored my emotions, trying instead to go slow. To make sure she was all right. To make sure I could make her happy.

I wanted to please her more than anything.

This going slow thing was hard. I needed to be inside of her. NOW! But I couldn’t rush. Not with Liz, never with Liz. I wanted to experience everything. Her touch, her taste, her thick hair, her full lips, and her soft, soft skin. I ran my tongue lightly over her neck, down the between her breasts. Her little giggle as I traced her stomach drove me wild.

I could feel her hands all over me, finally spearing into my hair and bringing my mouth back to hers.

That was it.

I finally allowed myself to cover her, to enter her. It was the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me…Making love to her for the first time. I felt as if I had been made for her, as if I had been designed to be buried deep inside of her.

The ecstasy was more than could be imagined, and we hadn’t even reached the climax yet. She moaned, clinging to me, arching her back, trying to bring me further into her. I didn’t give in though. I had to go slow. I couldn’t hurt her.

We both could tell that we were getting closer and closer to that point. The images flashing across my mind weren’t just bits and pieces anymore, they were her whole life. I knew that she was seeing my life as I was viewing hers. And I knew it wasn’t just this life, it was my past also.

I worried about what she’d see. I had no idea what had happened in that other life. She didn’t say anything though, just tightened her grip on me. The passion began to overwhelm me, and I cried out her name even as she called mine.

She drifted off to sleep, head resting against my chest, her arm wrapped around my waist. I couldn’t sleep. I just turned my head to hers and lost myself in her scent. I didn’t want to think about anything, but I couldn’t help it.

What was going to happen now? Where were her parents? What had she seen? She made a little noise, as if sensing my distress, and snuggled closer. I immediately forgot whatever it was I had been thinking and pulled her tighter against me. My eyes were suddenly drooping, and I felt so tired…

I awoke to the feel of soft lips kissing me everywhere. Liz was above me, exploring me, making sure she hadn't missed something last night. My laugh rang out joyously. She blushed. It was hard to tell. The sun was just rising, and the room was awash in colors. She was in a rainbow-rose haze. But I knew she was blushing.

I suddenly remembered and sat up quickly, glancing at the door. She followed my gaze. “They’re gone,” she whispered, understanding my apprehension. Then she chuckled, pressing herself against me, pushing me down. The mixture of love and lust in her eyes was enough to get me sufficiently aroused.

We went even slower this time, if that’s even possible. It was still new, but we knew each other intimately now, so we went leisurely. Making sure every part of each other received equal attention.

I don’t think I could ever fully explain how I felt when I was in her arms, or when I had her in mine. It was…It was like when you find a part of yourself that you didn’t know was missing. I felt complete. Whole.

I’m not sure why I felt that way with Liz. Why I loved her. I knew I wasn’t supposed to. I knew she wasn’t my destiny, but I didn’t care. She was mine and I was hers. But I still didn’t understand why I loved her when I was supposed to love Tess (I shudder at the very thought).

It was then that I discovered Liz’s newfound ‘ability’ to read my mind.

“You never loved her,” she stated.

“What?” I asked.

“Tess. You never loved her. Not once.” I just looked at her, confused. How had she known what I was thinking? Then guilt overtook me as I realized ‘What?’ was only the second word I’d spoken to her in over a day. “Max!” she explained, “I don’t know how I did it, and I don’t care what you say, as long as you’re here!”

I smiled at her, she was so beautiful in her earnestness. “Sorry,” I apologized, “What were you saying?”

“I was saying that you never loved Tess. Not even in your past life.” I frowned, but she continued. “I saw everything. I could feel everything. It was an arranged marriage, you thought she was nice, smart, and pretty, nothing more than that. But you convinced yourself you were happy. That you loved her.” She wasn’t really focused on me. He eyes were sad, almost haunted.

“You died not knowing love, Max.”

I could feel her heart breaking. For me. I took her hand in mine. “Then I guess it’s a good thing I found it now, and that I’m not going to let it go.” Warmth bled back into her eyes as she looked at me. “I love you, Liz,” I whispered.

She smiled, “I love you, too, Max.”

I felt like flying as I kissed her again. Definitely, I thought, I’m definitely never letting go. Not for anyone or anything. Not even for destiny.

“Thank you,” she said as I once again slid home inside of her.
<>
posted on 30-Sep-2002 2:54:54 PM
NEVER LEAVE YOU LONELY


Max Evans woke up totally at calm and relaxed, but a bit disoriented, then he realized why. Another body was pressed against his. Liz, he thought as he rolled over. He froze. NO! He quickly got out of bed. Tess was lying there, blonde hair strewn over his pillow, a serene smile on her face. Max shook his head, trying to remember last night, and then he did. It had been past midnight, Tess had come over. He hadn’t thought to ask why. And then the kissing, a lot of kissing as he reviewed the events. All of a sudden he stopped. What was the matter with him? In his vision Tess had been replaced by Liz, but that’s not how it went. Tess replaced Liz. He and Liz had broken up nearly two months ago.

//Tess had leaned over and kissed him, and, surprisingly, he had found himself kissing back. But when he raised his head, he had seen Liz just behind Tess, an expression of betrayal on her face. Then the tears came. “Liz,” he breathed. Tess turned around. Liz shook her head, the word “No” forming on her lips. Then she turned and ran. “Liz, wait!” he called, starting to run after her. He caught up to her in the bio lab. “Liz, let me explain.”

“There’s nothing to explain,” her voice was cold, unfamiliar. She turned, a set expression on her face. “I understand.”

“No, you don’t.”

“Yes I do.” The façade broke and tears started forming. “I do,” her voice was breaking, “She’s smart, pretty, practically the perfect human being, except for the fact that she’s not human, well, perfect match. I’ll back off.”

“What? No, Liz, I love you! She looked at him.

“Maybe you do, or maybe you were right the first time. Maybe we don’t belong together. But, it’s up to you Max. Take time off, from me. Spend it with Tess. See where your heart leads you. I’ll wait, for forever if I have to, but I’ll always be here for you if you need me.”

“Wait,” he said, confused, “What’s going on?” She looked at him sadly and kissed his cheek.

“Good-bye Max.”//

He got up to take a shower, and when he came back, Tess was gone. Max sat to think, repeating the question to himself. What’s going on?
<>

Liz Parker was still sad, even after two months. She ignored Max and Tess, and had totally separated herself from the group. So she was incredibly surprised when Max caught her by the arm and dragged her to his Jeep. They pulled out onto the old highway. “You know we’re missing Biology, right?”

“I realize that.”

“Okay, just so you know.” They drove in silence, Liz wondering what was going on. Max looked confused and determined at the same time. Something must have happened. A little later Max pulled over, by the group’s meeting place. He got out quickly, going to the edge of one of the small lakes. Liz followed more slowly. “What’s the matter?” He didn’t answer immediately. He picked up some stones and started skipping them over the water’s smooth surface. This was hard for him, she could tell. “Max?”

“Tess and I had sex last night.”

“WHAT?!” He wouldn’t look at her.

“We slept together.” Liz felt as if her heart had been torn out of her body. He mind was screaming. NONONononononono! Why had he told her this? They only thing that had kept her sane was the knowledge that Max would come back to her. Realize that he loved her, but now… It was impossible. She felt empty, alone. For the first time since the shooting she wished she were dead.

“And you felt I had to know this why?” she asked, all emotion had been leached from her voice. She sounded dead, hollow. Max turned to her then, he hadn’t been able to face her when he told he, but now… He couldn’t bear the expression on her face now. Her dark eyes had lost all their light, her face was frozen, the mouth hardened. Oh God Liz, what have I done to you? But Max couldn’t stop now. He had to tell the rest, had to tell her everything.

“Wait. I’m not done.”

“There’s more?” She sounded angry. At least that was something, some emotion.

“When I woke up and felt another body, my first thought was of you. And when I went over what had happened, I wasn’t thinking of Tess. I needed to figure out what was going on. I needed someone to talk to, and you’re the only one I’ve ever been able to open up to.” Now her eyes were snapping, practically on fire.

“I’m sure you could have talked to Tess. She is your girlfriend after all.”

“No. I can’t talk to her the way I talk to you.”

“Oh, gee, thanks,” she said sarcastically.

“Liz don’t!” he cried.

“Don’t what?” Fury was whipping through her body as she rounded on him, but her next words were stilled as she got a good look into his eyes. They were haunted and confused and terrified.

“Don’t be mad,” he said in a small voice. “Please.”

“What do you want from me Max?”

“I want your help, to figure this out.”

“Figure what out?”

“Figure out who I should be with.” This stopped Liz cold. The only emotion filling her now was a blinding hope.

“What?” she whispered. Max turned to her, his face showing confusion, his inner turmoil.

“I don’t know,” his voice broke, as if the words had been ripped out of him. “I don’t know. It didn’t feel completely right, having sex with Tess. I felt like something was missing, something that should have been there and it wasn’t. And then… I was thinking about you, and I just didn’t know. Should I be having sex with Tess or should I be making love to you? I just, I don’t know.” He turned back to her, eyes pleading.

“Take me back to school.”

“What!”

“School. Take me back.” She headed to the Jeep, Max trailing along behind.

What was up? Max looked over at Liz again, he was confused. She hadn’t said anything since she’d asked him to drive her back to school. But she didn’t look angry. If anything she looked thoughtful. He pulled into the parking lot at school. She looked at him. “I think what I thought before. Take time off, but from Tess this time too. Take days, weeks, whatever, just have some time to yourself. Somewhere quiet, away from everything, and think. Listen to yourself. Follow your heart wherever it leads you, because it knows what’s right.” She climbed out of the Jeep, then turned towards him. “Having sex is a lot different than making love,” she said as she left. Max watched her go. She was right, as usual. He went home and packed a duffel, then he wrote a note to his parents and left.
<>

Where was Max? Isabel stared out across the parking lot. The Jeep was gone. God, her brother was such an idiot. He wasn’t with Tess either because here she came. “Hey Isabel.”

“Hi.”

“Have you seen Max? He wasn’t in any of his classes.”

“What?! No. The Jeep isn’t here. Do you think something might have happened?” Isabel was worried, she glanced around again. Michael was getting a ride with Maria and Liz, no room for her and Tess. Plus there wouldn’t be a warm welcome. Isabel was going to kill Max. Then Alex pulled up.

“Need a ride?”

“Sure.” Izzy got in the passenger side and Tess hopped in the back. Alex frowned. He didn’t like Tess, but she was Isabel’s friend, so he wouldn’t be mad or rude.

Isabel went into the house, the Jeep wasn’t here either. Now she was really worried. Was Max in trouble? She dropped her stuff on the kitchen table. Noticing a note, she picked it up. MOM and DAD was written in Max’s neat script.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Don’t worry, I’m fine. I won’t be home for a couple of days, maybe longer, I’m not really sure. A lot of stuff has been happening and I’m just confused. I need some time to think, so I took off. Please don’t worry. I have food, clothes, everything I need. I’ll be home as soon as I figure everything out. I love you all.

Max

God, what was Max thinking?
<>

Max had gotten his camp set up. He hoped his parents wouldn’t be too angry. Max sighed, it was night, the stars were shining down. He looked up, “What am I going to do?” He thought about Tess. The way her curly blonde hair bounced when she giggled, the way he felt when she kissed him, and the way her eyes lit up when she was excited. He thought about the way her eyes flashed with some deep-seated emotion when Liz walked into a room.

Liz, Max’s breath caught in his throat. She had been conjured up before him. Confidant pose, her straight dark hair shining, and brown eyes sparkling. She stared at him with so much love in those bright eyes… And then the vision disappeared. Max sighed again and lay down. He needed to sleep on it. And when he dreamed, his dreams were not of Tess.

Max took a deep breath, hiking took his mind off all the problems. Problems were for the night, that’s when he dealt with them. The majority of his time was spent hiking or doing homework he knew would be due when he returned, otherwise his mind drifted back to the Liz/Tess issue and he couldn’t make up his mind. Max sighed as he headed back to camp, he had been gone nearly two weeks and he knew his parents would be worrying frantically. He hoped Michael hadn’t gotten into any trouble. Max shook his head, he had to go back soon, before something happened. He raised his head, drinking in the night sky. He had to make a decision now. Tonight.

He sat now, thinking about the only two girls he had ever seriously dated. Tess was smart, pretty, and one of them besides, but something was off when he was with her. Like I was never supposed to be with her, he realized. Max straightened, why hadn’t he thought about this before? He had never been able to talk to Tess, really talk to her, and he should have been able to. He should have been able to tell her anything. He should have been able to talk to her like he talked to Liz.

Liz… Max could tell Liz anything. She listened with an intense concentration to whatever he had to say. Max laughed at himself, he should have known. He should have realized it that day at the movies when Liz had walked in with Kyle Valenti. Then he had attributed the sickening feeling to the elbow Tess had jammed into his ribs to get him to pay attention, but now… Now he knew that feeling had been his heart breaking, acknowledging the fact that he should have been the one to walk in smiling with a goddess on his arm. But no, he being the idiot he was had turned away, pretending he hadn’t noticed them at all.

He sighed, imagining Liz’s smile, he dimple appearing as she laughed. He imagined the way her eyes looked at him adoringly when he walked into a room. Then he remembered. Remembered every conversation and every kiss they ever shared. Remembered the taste of her lips, the scent of jasmine from her hair, the soft, silky texture of her skin as he held her. He was such an idiot. How could he possibly have thought he was in love with Tess? What had possessed him to even consider the thought? He loved Liz, and she loved him. He could see it in her eyes, whether she angry or not. She belonged with him. They belonged together. Max smiled and began packing, with any luck he’d be back in time for school.
<>

Max woke up the next morning in his own bed. Smiling as he got dressed he wondered what Liz would say when he told her. Max froze, smile fading. What if she didn’t want to be with him anymore? He banished the thought immediately. Liz still loved him, she had as much as told him the last he had seen her. She probably all ready knew who he would pick when she had left the Jeep that day. Max shook his head, that girl knew him too well.

Downstairs, Max put a plate of apple-cinnamon muffins on the table. His parents and Isabel came in. He registered the shock on their faces. “Good morning.”

“Morning,” his dad said gruffly. Izzy took the keys.

“I’m driving.” He grinned, they were going to pretend nothing had happened. His mom wrapped her arms around him and kissed him on the cheek.

“I love you honey.”

“I love you too, Mom,” he whispered, gently returning her hug. She smiled at him, turned, and sat down at the table. Buttering a muffin she looked at him curiously.

“Did you find what you were looking for?”

“Yeah,” Max said, thinking of Liz. “Yeah I did.”
<>

Liz had been in turmoil for the last week and five days. When was Max coming back? The only thing that kept her from leaving to look for him was the sick pleasure she derived from watching Tess suffer. Obviously no one had seen fit to tell her what was going on. Liz smiled, when Max got back everything would be all right.

She stopped, standing in front of the open Eraser Room door. Her eyes scanned the hallway. He was here, she could sense him. However that fact did not prevent her tiny cry of surprise as strong hands grabbed her and pulled her into the Eraser Room. The door closed behind her, she could hear it lock. He was holding her hard against him, her whole body was tingling. “Miss me?” he asked, voice husky. Shivers of happiness went down her spine.

“I didn’t even notice you were gone,” she said tartly, breaking away. “Welcome back.” She turned to face him and felt her insides melt. He was wearing that tiny half smile. That shy, hesitant, private smile he reserved only for her. Only for her.

“You knew,” he accused gently.

“Knew what?” she inquired innocently. His grin broadened.

“That my heart would lead me to you.” A simple statement, but one that took all the breath out of her lungs, sent her stomach to her knees, and liquidated all her internal organs. “Oh Lizzy, I missed you.” He slowly gathered her into his arms.

“Max,” she whimpered. He was trembling. They both were.

Max tilted Liz’s chin up, making her face him. He could feel her heart beating crazily, he could feel the warmth of her skin. Max leaned in, but Liz pulled away. “No.” She looked at him pleadingly. “I don’t want Tess to find out the same way I did.” He nodded. He understood.

He reached out, gently touching her cheek. Liz breathed deeply, trying to calm the butterflies in her stomach. She wanted nothing more than to fling herself into his arms and stay there for all eternity. A rush of giddy excitement filled her. Max still loved her. He had come back to her, he had chosen her. “We should get to Biology.”
<>

Tess was in a big group talking excitedly. She was incredibly annoyed at the tap on her shoulder. Death was guaranteed the tapper as she turned around. Then her expression softened, a smiling forming on her lips. Max.

Max saw the annoyed expression on her face dissolve into sweetness and light. Tess hadn’t known it was him. Max sighed, Liz was able to sense him the moment he stepped into a room, could pick his voice out in a crowd. “Max!” Tess threw her arms around him, hugging him tightly. He gently disengaged himself from her embrace, expression serious. “Max?” He glanced at the group, took her hand and led her away. “Max what’s wrong? Where have you been?” Tess asked again. Why wasn’t he answering?

“I needed time to think. Alone. And I figured something out.”

“What?” she asked. He took a deep breath, a looked her straight in the eye.


“I don’t think we should see each other anymore.” Tess felt all the blood run out of her face.
“I’m sorry, it’s just… I still love Liz.” Tess blinked and looked up at him. He wasn’t joking, he still cared about that worthless little human, that insect.

Isabel looked over at Tess. Something was up, she seemed way too self-controlled. And where was Max? With him just back she figured he would want time alone with Tess, but he had said that he was going to walk home. “Here’s good,” Tess spoke up.

“Okay,” Isabel said as she pulled off road and onto the desert. Tess was going to teach her some new ways to use her powers.

They had been working awhile with telekinesis, and now they were trying to burn a rock. Isabel focussed hard, imagining the rock smoking. And then it was. She smiled, Yes! Izzy glanced at Tess, she was smiling too. Iz heard a little shriek, she glanced away. Oh! A little bunny-rabbit. It was smoking. Iz looked back at Tess, horrified. “Tess, stop.” Nothing happened. “Tess, stop! STOP!” she yelled. The bunny exploded.

“Oh, God!” Tess cried, looking at the bunny guts in shock. “Oh, oh, oh. I’m sorry…I didn’t mean.” She looked at Isabel, blue eyes wide.

“It’s okay. We should probably go home now.” Tess nodded. She seemed genuinely sorry, but Isabel thought she saw an inkling of a smile as Tess turned and headed to the Jeep.
<>

Max sat on his bed, smiling, thinking of the extreme make-up make-out session with Liz. How could he have forgotten how much he needed her? Isabel came into the room, interrupting his flashback. He was going to give her a dressing down until he saw her face, something had happened. “What’s up?” Isabel asked.

“Liz and I got back together.”

“Oh.” She sat down.

“Izzy, what’s wrong?”

“Um, Tess and I went out into the desert to try out our powers.”

“How’d it go?”

“Um, yeah, good. Up until the point when Tess blew up a bunny.”

“What!” Max straightened.

“She blew up a rabbit.” Max frowned.

“We’ll figure something out.”

“Yeah,” she paused, her eyes widened, “Max?”

“Huh?”

“If Tess could do this to a poor, defenseless little bunny, what do you think she’s going to do to Liz?” Max felt all the blood drain out of his face. He picked up the phone and dialed the Crashdown. Come on, come on, he thought. The line went dead.

“I’m sorry, this line has been disconnected,” the operator’s voice said. Max hung up, totally numb. Then a blinding pain seared through his heart, Liz. Someone was hurting Liz. No, not someone, Tess. Oh, God.

Liz wiped the counter slowly, she was daydreaming. Her mind kept drifting back to the extreme apology kisses Max had been giving her. The “Close Encounters” theme rang throughout the café. “I’m sorry,” she said, turning. “We’re closed for the… Tess.”

“Hi Liz.” Tess came forward slowly, locking up the door behind her.

“Hi Tess.” Tess smiled, a slightly malicious smile. Liz began to feel frightened.

“Parents home?”

“No, it’s just me.”

“Good.” The phone rang. Liz reached for it, but suddenly it flew across the room. Liz looked at Tess, now seriously afraid.

“Good?” she squeaked. Tess’ smile widened.

“No one around to her you scream.” Liz ran for the door, but it was sealed shut. She turned, trapped. “You see, I’ve decided something Lizzy.”

“Really?” she asked, trying to be brave, but she could feel her bottom lip trembling.

“Oh yes.” She lost her smile. “See, I love Max. I belong with Max. I want Max. Unfortunately, he thinks he still loves you, and we can’t have that now can we?” Her eyes narrowed. “You know what you are Lizzy?” Liz shook her head. “A pest, Lizzy, an insect. Well, someone finally called the exterminators.” Liz felt tears burning her eyes.

“No.”

“Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes. And, when you’re gone, Max will be mine.” She advanced on Liz. “Like it should be.” Liz closed her eyes. Max, she thought.
<>

“Max, where are we going?” Isabel asked again. And yet again, Max didn’t answer. “Max!”

“Valenti’s,” he said.

“What? Max, no, we can’t.” He looked at her, she could see the pain in his face.

“Liz is dying Izzy, we need Valenti.” Isabel groaned and sat back in the Jeep, he was right. They couldn’t let Liz die. She looked at her brother, spasms racked his body at irregular intervals, and he was speeding. Mr. Responsibility was speeding through the streets of Roswell like a madman.

Max pulled up into Sheriff Valenti’s driveway, jumping out as soon as the engine turned off, and ran up to the door. He rang continuously. “I’m coming,” Kyle said. He opened the door. “Evans.”

“I need to talk to your dad.”

“Why?” Max sighed, exasperated, and started forward. Kyle’s hand shot out and blocked the door. “Watch it Evans.” Max glared at him. He was going to lose it and Kyle was going to end up through a wall. Kyle stepped back a bit, nervousness appeared in his face. Max started forward again, but Kyle wouldn’t give anymore ground.

“Mr. Evans,” Valenti’s calm voice said. “Can I ask what the matter is?”

“You have to come to the Crashdown. NOW!”

“The Crashdown,” Kyle asked.

“Why?” Valenti said.

“It’s Liz.”

“Liz?” Now Kyle’s voice held a touch of worry in it.

“And what’s wrong with Miss Parker, Mr. Evans?” Max could feel her pain and fear. He looked Valenti in the eye.

“She’s dying.”

What!! Kyle thought, he’s got to be kidding. But, as Kyle looked at Max, he could see the pain whipping through his body. “Why do you think Miss Parker is dying?” his dad asked. Kyle looked at his father, he was talking calmly, as if to a wild animal that might run away at any sudden movement. But his face showed concern. Max gave a cry and collapsed against the wall. He looked at Kyle’s father, eyes haunted.

“I can feel it. She’s terrified and hurt. I can feel the life slipping out of her.” Now Kyle was beginning to think Max was seriously insane, but his eyes said otherwise. Dad obviously believed him.

“Kyle, stay here,” Dad said. He walked out the door to the cruiser. Max pushed himself away from the wall.

“Like hell,” Kyle said as he followed Max.
<>

The Crashdown was dark. Max pounded on the door, it was welded shut. “Liz!” he cried.

“Max,” Izzy said. He looked at her.

“I can’t feel her Iz, I can’t feel her!” Max felt like dying. If they couldn’t save her he’d probably kill himself. All of a sudden he was angry. Deathly angry, Tess was going to pay. A bright blue light formed around his hand. He didn’t care if Kyle or Valenti was there. He had to save Liz.

The door flew off its hinges on to the floor. Max immediately sent an electric shock into the air. The lights came on, illuminating the restaurant. Or, what was left of the restaurant. It was a mess. Table and chairs were overturned, glass broken, blood. Oh no, Max thought, glancing around frantically. He ran forward, heedless of the broken glass littering the floor.

Liz was lying behind the counter. Bloodied, bruised, mangled, and not looking like Liz. Max felt his heart break as he knelt beside her. Sheriff Valenti, Isabel, and Kyle all gathered round. “What…?” Kyle began.

“Ssh!” Isabel hissed. Max reached for Liz, cradling her broken body against his chest. She was breathing, barely, but she was unconscious. She would die if he couldn’t do anything. A tear ran down his cheek, he brushed it away. No time for that now, he had to concentrate. Max pushed the blood-matted hair away from Liz’s face. Liz’s face, it was bruised and cut, with blood trickling down. No, he though. How could anyone do this to her?

Max reached within himself for the power. Then he focused it on Liz, on healing her. The connection was made and a flash of images came. Max and Liz. Always Max and Liz. Every kiss, every touch, every conversation. Liz was breathing evenly now, he could feel it. Now he put new images into her mind. Images of them at the dances, at graduation, at college, at home. A family. That’s what he wanted her to see, to know. He and she would be together forever. He would always be there. And then Liz was whole. Perfectly, wonderfully whole. Max disconnected reluctantly, he didn’t want to be alone again. He opened his eyes, staring down at the girl he loved, and he smiled. He’d never be alone.

Liz felt herself swimming in a pool of darkness. She was lost, drowning, but then… A light appeared, bright white and warm. It enveloped her, healing her, making her safe. Max, she though calmly.

She opened her eyes, staring straight into Max’s soulful, goldenlit, brown ones, and smiled. Max caught his breath. “Liz,” he said. He kissed her gently, as if afraid to break her. Liz snuggled closer, she felt warm and safe now, and she just wanted to fall asleep in Max’s arms. “Liz,” he whispered again. She looked up, he was crying. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t,” she cried, putting her fingers to his lips. She smoothed away his tears. “Don’t.” Liz realized something and oh no! “Max!” she said urgently. He looked at her questioningly. “The man, when we found the orb, the man. He was here, he knew Tess. He told her to hurry, they had two more to get rid of. I don’t remember anything else, but Max… Maria and Alex.”

Isabel paled. Alex! Sheriff Valenti took off. “Wait!” He turned around. “Alex first, Maria will be with Michael.” He nodded and left. “Max?”

“Yeah.” He helped Liz up, obviously afraid to leave her.

“I’ll stay,” Kyle offered. Liz looked surprised, the frowned, puzzled.

“Okay,” Max said, looking at Liz. He released her and then kissed her. “I’ll be back, promise, as soon as we deal with Tess.” Liz nodded and Max kissed her again.

“Come on!” He followed her, taking one look back, then climbed into the Jeep.
<>

Kyle was trying to wrap his mind around what was happening. Max Evans had slammed open a door, lit up a room, and healed a half-dead girl. And he was the only one surprised. He looked at Liz, sitting quietly in a booth. Her mangled body had been healed, she was sitting there, perfect as ever, glancing occasionally at him or the clock. “What’s going on?” Liz looked at him, took a deep breath, and exhaled loudly.

“It all started the day I got shot…”

Liz watched Kyle as he shredded a napkin. He was having trouble with this new idea she had given him, the one in which aliens really existed and that he’d known three of them for half his life. They’d been waiting for awhile, Liz was worried about her friends. Tess was dangerous, she knew that first hand. Liz shivered, Max…

An hour passed and the door opened. Liz spun and Kyle jumped in front of her, ready to defend against an attack. Then they both relaxed. Valenti was there. “Dad?” Kyle asked. He smiled, nodding, and walked forward. Behind him came Alex and Isabel, holding hands! Then Michael and Maria, and finally Max. Her heart leapt with joy and she raced to him. His tired face filled with love as he gazed down upon her. He hugged her tight.

“It’s okay,” he whispered in her ear. She smiled.

“I know.” Liz twisted in Max’s arms so that she was facing the Sheriff. “Tess?”

“Miss Harding is dead.”

“So is Nasedo,” Michael said. Liz looked surprised. “He attacked Maria,” Michael clarified, “I got mad.”

“Oh.” It was quiet.

“We should talk in the morning,” Valenti said. Everyone agreed. Kyle and his dad left. Then Maria and Michael, who took Alex with them. Isabel looked at her brother. Liz tightened her grip on his arms.

“Stay with me.” He nodded and looked at Izzy. She nodded and left after Max tossed her the keys to the Jeep.
<>

Max looked at the girl who had stolen his heart. She was wearing a white satin nightgown, he was wearing his black boxers. She lay wrapped in his arms, digesting all the information he had given her. “So, what do you think?” he asked. She sat up and faced him. He had to struggle to breathe, she was so beautiful. The movement had caused the satin to brush against his bare skin, the white made her skin glow. He was sure her skin felt like satin too.

“I think I love you.” Max smiled and pulled her against him.

“Good.” He kissed her then, long and full, and pulled away. He looked down upon her, taking in the whole scene, just staring down at the petite figure cuddled trustingly in his lap. Max met her eyes and waited. Liz’s expressive dark eyes were a turmoil of emotion. Want and need and longing and uncertainty all flickered, but then the doubt was gone. The only thing in those eyes now was love. For him. He drew in a breath sharply. Liz was so amazing.
<>
Max woke up slowly, feeling like he never had before in his life. He opened his eyes reluctantly. He wanted the night to go on, and on and on, until past forever. The sound of sheets rustling brought him fully awake. He leaned over Liz, waiting for her to open her eyes. She did, and Max smiled, savoring the look of delight on her face when she realized he was still there. “Morning,” he whispered.

“Morning,” she said back, her tone as low as his. She smiled shyly as she reached up and brushed the hair off his forehead. Max felt his heart speed up when she touched him. He needed to touch her back. He caught her hand and kissed it in a courtly fashion. Liz smiled, the dimple formed in her left cheek. He kissed his way up her arm until he came to her shoulder, by then he was fully stretched out beside her. She turned over, so that she was facing him. They lay nose to nose, staring into each other’s eyes, seeing each other’s souls. Liz giggled and leaned closer, using her long lashes to give him a butterfly kiss. He grinned and tickled her lightly. The giggling increased.

Liz stopped laughing and just lay there, looking up at him. She could feel him now, inside her, it was like they were one person. Now she knew what Max meant when he talked about his connection to her. She sighed, content, and wondered if she should tell him. “Hey! Babe, we have a restaurant to run!” Maria called from outside the door.

“Coming! Gimme a minute. Geesh, you think being half-killed would give me a time off excuse, but no,” she yelled back.

“You’ve got ten minutes! Hear that loverboy, you’re on the clock!” The last comment was directed at Max, who blushed. Liz groaned and slid out of bed. She gasped as the cold morning air hit her naked body. Max was there suddenly, she was in his arms, and she wasn’t cold anymore.

She glanced around her room, her safe haven. It was even more sacred to her now. She turned back to Max, his shirt in her hand. Kissing him, she let her hand travel down his chest, it stopped over his heart. The skin began glowing. Liz looked at Max in wonder. He smiled gently, tenderly, and finished buttoning up her uniform. He put his shirt on and headed toward the fire escape. Liz followed.

He kissed her good-bye. “I love you.” She echoed it back to him, not releasing her grip on his hands. He tightened them, obviously just as reluctant to lose this moment as she was. She let go.

“Liz!” She looked toward the door.

“Coming!” Looking back she saw Max’s dark head disappearing down the ladder. She felt alone as she went downstairs, but as she put on her apron she felt something, a new awareness inside of her heart. It’s Max, she realized happily. Max was still with her. He always would be, just like she’d always be with him. Liz smiled as she cleaned the milkshake machine and waited for the others to come. It was a good day.
<>

end
posted on 30-Sep-2002 2:56:08 PM
REFLECTIONS

“Maria,” Kyle Valenti called. He walked over to where she was sitting in the quad.

Maria DeLuca looked up, “What do you want Kyle?”

“I need help in English. Jeez, what’s your problem? Do you have to be so rude?”

“When my best friend’s ex-boyfriend, who happened to stalk her almost to Texas, comes up to me all friendly-like, what do you expect me to think? What part of the English?”

“The grammar.”

“Okay. I’m not a very good student, but… First of all, get out your book. Second, review and find out what you need help in. Third, ask for help. It’s a very simple process. Get started. We only have 25 minutes left, and I don’t really want to spend my whole lunch period doing English homework due next hour.”

“What?” Kyle asked in disbelief.

“WHAT, what?” she asked, glancing at him. He wasn’t looking at her or at his English book. She wondered what had caught his attention and followed his gaze. Oh. Max and Liz, holding hands.

“What does she see in him?”

Maria laughed. He glanced at her, baffled. “You really don’t get it, do you?” she asked. The laughter had died. He saw only sympathy in her eyes.

“Get what? What is there to get? I mean, it’s Evans, he’s not even good-looking. Right?”

Maria looked Max over. Liz was right, guys really didn’t notice other guys’ bodies. Max was tall, dark-haired, great body, and really soulful eyes. Sure, his ears stuck out a bit, but the boy definitely had it going on. “You’re wrong Kyle. Max is majorly hot, but that’s not why Liz likes him.”

“Then why?”

“They’re destined for each other, it’s a written-in-the-stars type of thing. They’re soulmates.”

“Soulmates?” He watched Max and Liz. They were sitting in a group, right next to each other. Kyle watched Liz. Liz Parker. The beautiful, intelligent, perfect Liz Parker. He watched the way her dark hair moved over her shoulders, he watched as the dimple formed in her left cheek. Laughing at something Alex Whitman had said. He sighed. How had he lost her? Then he looked at Max Evans. That’s how, he thought bitterly.

“Soulmates,” Maria said seriously.

“What exactly are soulmates?” he asked, extremely frustrated, “How do you know when you’ve found one?”

“You just know,” she responded. “Take Max and Liz, they’re only sixteen, and they already found the love of their lives. That’s what soulmates are. They’re people who know each other totally and completely. They know each other’s hearts and minds, and they still love one another. And I’m not talking about that dime a dozen love, I’m talking about real love. The kind that only comes around once in a lifetime. Max and Liz have been through so much, and they survive it all, just to be together. I mean, look at me and Michael. We’re in love, but it doesn’t even compare. They’re way past passion, way past lust. They have that whole look into my eyes thing. That thing where they could be in the same room for hours and be content to just stare at each other, where they could wake up every morning of their lives and be happy as long as they had each other.” She sighed and sipped her Sprite. “I, for one, am jealous.”

“I’ll agree with you there,” he said, “You know, for someone who isn’t a very good student, you’re very smart.”

“I try,” she said smiling. Then she got up and headed over to her group. Kyle watched her go, she squeezed in between Alex and Michael Guerin. She made some comment which sent everyone into gales of laughter. The calm afterward was interrupted by little conversations between the people around her. He watched as Max leaned over to Liz, whispering in her ear. She giggled softly and whispered something back. Max grinned and kissed her cheek. He sighed, there was something in their eyes that excluded everyone in the world but them. He wondered if they even noticed all the people around them.

The bell rang, lunch was over. He looked down. Damn, he hadn’t got his homework done. But, as he watched Max and Liz leave, he didn’t really think his time had been wasted.

He sighed again. He was jealous. He really didn’t like Max Evans, he had always seemed too hidden, like he had some big secret. Kyle shook his head, heading to class. He hoped Liz was happy.
<>

fini
posted on 30-Sep-2002 2:57:11 PM
AFTER DESTINY
Pt. 1

It had been four years, four long and lonely years, and now he was back. Max still couldn’t believe it, as he sat there, conversing with his parents, couldn’t believe he had come back. Why? he wondered in his head, Why had he taken the chance? * * *

Roswell, New Mexico. A small town with small town people and small town dreams. She had vowed never to come back when she left four years ago. Vowed to leave the pain and the memories buried in the small desert town. Liz pushed open the door to the café, and smiled as her parents rushed towards her. What if… Her heart stopped. Now she came to the real reason she hadn’t wanted to come back. What if she saw him? * * *

College had been easy, he had gotten his doctorate in just four years, and he had already gotten a job at Roswell Memorial. He knew he didn’t really want to stay, but his parents insisted. They needed him to be close. Diane and Phillip Evans hadn’t seen son or daughter for four years. Max knew they wouldn’t see Isabel for even longer. She was in Paris now, working on a new line for the fall show. Izzy and Max meant everything to their parents, and the years apart were starting to show. * * *

Liz sat out on her balcony, candles lit all around her. Everything was exactly the same. Liz Parker was a world-renowned molecular biologist, a 21 year-old genius. Funny, she thought, how all these geniuses started popping out of Roswell and no one commented. No media about aliens possessing the children or anything. Maybe no one realized that all six of them came from the same town, the same school, the same class… Maybe no one realized that all six of them had hung out together all of sophmore year.

She shook her head, she had never really thought about this before. Maybe she shouldn’t be surprised that no one else had. Except her mother, that’s why she had thought about it at all.

“Ironic,” her mother had said, “how all of you are famous.”

“What?” she had asked.

“You and your friends. Maria and Alex have the band, that Michael kid is a wonderful artist, Isabel Evans a fashion designer… and that boy you used to date. He’s a doctor now.”

“Oh,” she had replied, “That’s interesting. I’ve never really thought about it before.” Her mother had looked at her strangely, she remembered, but hadn’t said anything more. * * *

His mother waved slightly, smiling. Max looked up and froze. The Parkers were walking towards them. He looked at his father. “Your mother invited them. We’ve been getting together every week. You know, moral support for the empty nest syndrome.” Max nodded. He really didn’t mind Mr. or Mrs. Parker, it was just the fact that Liz was with them. He rose, almost mechanically, to greet them.

Liz didn’t let her smile falter as she shook his hand. You knew something like this would happen, she told herself, you knew. So then why did she come back? She had wanted to put him behind her, leave him in her past, but she had known that if she came back she would see him. That she would eventually have to face him, talk to him, and she dreaded it. So then why? Because, she realized, a bigger part of her had wanted it. Wanted to look into those golden-brown eyes again, and drown in them. That’s why she had risked it.

She was still so beautiful, her long brown hair fell in waves halfway down her back, and she wore a simple gold dress. It started out like a tank top, going straight down to her feet, with slits up both sides. She wore no other ornaments, no rings or bracelets or necklaces. A sheer, gold wrap dropped from her smooth shoulders as she sat down. Max sat down next to her, looking down at the table, unable to look at her again. Afraid that if he did, the dark brown eyes would capture his and he wouldn’t be able to look away. * * *

“Liz?” She looked up at Mrs. Evans.

“Yes?” The conversation thus far had been mainly about college and their careers. Now, Liz had a feeling, it was about to get personal.

“Are you seeing anyone special?” She felt Max stiffen beside her and resisted the urge to glance at him as she answered.

“I’ve been dating, yes, but there’s really no one that I feel… serious about.”

“You’re young yet,” Diane stated, “I’m sure you’ll find him soon enough.” Liz smiled, a little sadly, still refusing to look at Max.

He had felt his heart nearly stop when his mother addressed Liz. It was a question he had been afraid to ask, even wonder about in his own head. What would he have done if she had said yes? Probably just keeled over and die. A person couldn’t live if their heart had been trampled on, broken, and shattered into a million pieces. It was physically impossible.

“Speaking of relationships,” Liz said. He felt her turn towards him. He looked up, her eyes were fastened on his shoulder. Blank and emotionless. “How’s Tess?” Her voice was also emotionless.

“I wouldn’t know,” he responded. He could hear the anger creeping into his voice. How could she ask something like that? He felt like screaming at her. How could you think I was with Tess? How could you think I would just accept my destiny? That I would just move on? How could you think I would forget about you and how I felt about you? How I still feel about you? But he didn’t. He took a deep breath and continued calmly. “I never tried to keep in touch with her after high school.” Max met her eyes squarely, and he thought he saw a flash of something, some feeling in them.

She broke eye contact before they could connect. Before he would be able to figure out what she was feeling, before she could feel his emotions. For six years she had avoided this type of situation. A situation where she would have to be near him, near enough to feel his warmth, to… She stopped. She couldn’t do this anymore.

Liz stood up, saying she didn’t feel well just as Max proclaimed he was tired and wanted to head home. They stared at each other as the parents stared at them. “Why don’t you walk Liz home then Max?”

“Fine,” he said tersely. * * *

Half an hour later they were standing outside the entrance to the Crashdown Café. The walk home had been silent, neither one talking or looking at the other. Liz put her key in the lock and her wrap fell to the ground. They both reached for it at the same time, hands meeting. Max pulled away and stood up, but as he did, something fell out of his pocket. “Damn,” he said, reaching again, but he was too late.

Liz picked up the small velvet box. She glanced at him, he was looking at the ground, but she could see his blush even through the night. She opened the box and gasped. Inside, on a delicate gold chain, was a pendant. It was the symbol on the orb. It was pure gold and the triangle in the middle was made of diamonds. No, it was one single diamond, perfectly perfect in every way.

“This is beautiful Max.” She looked up at him, and he met her eyes this time. “Who is it for?”

He hesitated a moment, then… “You.”

Liz froze. She stared. “What?” It was barely more than a whisper. He walked forward, taking the box from her.

“I had it made after we found the orb. I wanted to give it to you as an anniversary present. I had it all planned out,” he explained. He took the necklace out, shutting the case and putting it back in his pocket. “On September 18th, I was going to take you to Chez Pierre, then walk you home and give this to you.” Liz’s heart sped up. It was September 18th today, they had had dinner at Chez Pierre, and he had walked her home! “I knew, after what happened, that I shouldn’t keep hoping. I knew I should’ve let the past go, but I couldn’t. So I kept it. I have it in my pocket everyday.” She turned and his arms came around as she lifted up her hair. Cool metal pressed against her throat. She shivered as his warm breath neared her ear, “I couldn’t let you go.”

Her thick hair tumbled back down. He adjusted the pendant just as she reached up to do the same. This time, as their hands met, he didn’t pull away. She turned back towards him, eyes bright, and his hands slid back, tangling in her hair… She lifted her chin as he leaned down, their lips met, it was a gentle, sweet, fireworky kiss. They slowly pulled apart, and just stood there, staring.

It was a moment. A moment that took away the pain and loneliness of the last six years. A moment that filled them with hope and life again. * * *

It’s September 23rd, I’m Liz Parker, and five days ago my whole life changed. Again. It’s funny, how in one instant, one single moment, a person’s life can change. From an empty past of one destiny, to the full future of another. But the really amazing thing is, it was Max Evans who did it. Again. So, there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this; You can’t deny your heart. * * *

posted on 30-Sep-2002 2:58:13 PM
AFTER DESTINY

Pt. 2

A knock sounded on the door. “Maria! Hurry up, we’re going to miss the plane!”

“I’m coming Alex!” she yelled back. Jamming the suitcase shut, she stared around the room, checking to see if she forgot anything. No, everything was in order. She grabbed her keys, shut off all the lights, and locked the door to her L.A. penthouse.

As the seatbelt light went off, Maria unstrapped, heading for the bathroom. She bumbed Alex slightly as she tried to reach the aisle. He grumbled unintelligibly in his sleep and swatted at her. She giggled. He slept like a rock. Of course, she didn’t think rocks actually slept at all, considering they were inantimate objects. Non-living and all that. Oh well, it was just an expression…But, come to think of it, who made up illogical expressions anyway? It didn’t make any sense. Well of course not you moron, she thought to herself, if it made sense then it wouldn’t be illogical! Then she thought she was crazy. “I’m losing my mind,” she muttered. * * *

The walls of the studio were covered in paintings. His paintings. Paintings that expressed him better than he could. Michael atared out across the New York skyline. It was a big city. Loud, noisy, tons of people, and yet…Here he felt more alone and isolated than he ever had back in Roswell, with no family or friends, or much of a life.

He turned back, eyes wandering over the paintings. He lay down on his cot, waiting for morning, waiting for his return to…Well, the closest thing he had ever gotten to a home. * * *

She heard the squealing and knew what was going to happen before she even opened her eyes.

“Oh my God! Oh my God!”

“Did you see?”

“It’s them, it’s them!”

“Do you think we can get autographs?” She looked up as two teenage girls came up, nervous and excited. “Um, excuse me?” one said, “Are you, um, by any chance…um, well…”

Maria smiled, “Yeah.”

“Wow!” the other girl said breathlessly, “This is soooo cool!”

“Can we have autographs?”

Maria exchanged a glance with Alex. “Of course,” they chorused. * * *

The plane ride was boring to say the least. He had a window seat, which was good. The landscape and clouds up here were good for inspirations. He sat sketching as the woman next to him droned on about her fear of flying, safety precautions, and crashes. He listened half-heartedly, trying to concentrate on his drawing. Unfortunately, neither that or the lady could stop his brain.

He was going back, to all the memories he had left behind, he thought forever, but he could see them now. Playing over and over in his head. He knew he wouldn’t see her at least, she was in L.A. now…But he had never wanted to take the chance, never wanted to return to Roswell.

So why was he now? Simple. His best friend was getting married. Max was getting married. He couldn’t comprehend it. Max hadn’t been seeing anyone, hadn’t even looked at anyone but Liz…And now he was getting married. To who? * * *

Maria looked at the letter again. Liz was getting married! Maria couldn’t believe it. Liz had tried to move on, but she had never connected to anyone like she had with Max. Who had she found that would give her that pure a love? Who would she let that deep into her soul? How had she done it?

Maria couldn’t. She couldn’t let anyone in again. She was afraid of getting hurt again. He’s in New York, she reminded herself, halfway across the country. She would have preferred it if he were still all the way across the country, but there was nothing she could do about it. She shoved the whole thing out of her mind as the taxi pulled into the driveway.

“Maria! Alex!” her mother called. Amy DeLuca, now Valenti, came running out of the house. Sheriff James Valenti followed more slowly, shaking hands while Amy hugged and kissed her daughter and her daughter’s best friend. “Come in, come in! Welcome home! Oh, I just have so much to tell you. Alex we had the guest room made up for you. Maria you’re in your old room. Hurry up! We’re going to the Crashdown for dinner.” Maria smiled as her mother babbled on and on. * * *

Michael stared around the Evanses spare room, he dropped his stuff on the bed, opened his suitcase, and started to unpack. The welcome today had been much warmer then he had expected. Back in high school he hadn’t really got along with Max and Izzy’s parents, but that was four years ago, and a lot can happen in four years.

He heard laughter coming from the living room, five different voices. Max, Isabel, Mr. and Mrs. Evans, he knew those voices, but the fifth…It sounded familiar, he couldn’t put his finger on it though. It was probably Max’s fiancee. I better go meet her, he thought, considering I’m the best man and all. He walked into the living room and froze.

Liz Parker looked up from her position on the couch and smiled. “Welcome home, Michael.”

“Liz!” he said, astounded.

“What?”

“You, you’re…You’re marrying Max?”

“Of course.”

He grinned, “I should’ve expected it.” She giggled and snuggled back up to Max. His wry smile softened as he looked at them, and then a new thought occurred. Max was marrying Liz, which meant…He felt his heart stop.

He’d have to see Maria. * * *

The pie just melted in her mouth. Oh, it had been too long since she had had a piece of her mom’s Men in Blackberry pie, since she had had any of her mom’s pies actually. “This is delicious, Mom.”

“Yeah,” Alex chimed in, “it’s the best pie I’ve had in four years.”

Amy laughed, “How’s the band?”

“Great.” The Whits were #1 in the country, three hit C.D.’s, and they were considered one of the best alternative bands in the world. They had got a record deal right out of high school and things just went up from there.

She looked at her mom curiously. “Mom, who’s Liz marrying?” Amy looked at her surprised.

“Max.”

“Max Evans!” Maria screeched.

“Yes.”

She fell back into her seat. Figures, she thought sarcastically, it just so figures. She shook her head. It was amazing really, but she should have known.

“Good,” Alex stated. She looked at him. “They belong together,” he said defensively. She shook her head again, but this time in disgust. Oh God! The thought had just penetrated her brain.

Michael. * * *

He stared at the blank canvas in front of him. All the sketches he had done on the plane weren’t going to work. He needed something to paint. He needed something to do.

The park, he decided, I’ll go for a walk. Maybe than his brain would stop running around in circles, maybe then he’d stop wondering what he’d say to her, or what she’d say to him, or…Stop it, he told himself firmly, just stop, or you’ll drive yourself insane.

The park was beautiful. Just the type of inspiration he needed. It was the beginning of May, spring was gently fading into summer, not that you could really tell one season from another in Roswell, but the light and airy feeling surrounding the place was wonderful.

He glanced around at the bounty of Nature. The green grass, the little bunches of flowers, the willow trees, Maria, the stream…Wait! His eyes backtracked. Yes, there she was, completely oblivious to his presence. Thank God for small mercies.

She was picture perfect. She lay on a powder pink blanket, stretched out on her side. Her sparkling green eyes focused solely on the small glittery notbook in her hands. Her golden hair was twisted ‘round her head like a crown, an emerald ribbon threaded through it, the long ends lost in the wealth of curls cascading down her back and over her shoulders.

She seemed totally unaware of her surroundings, of the gentle wind blowing wisps of hair and ribbon into her face, of the pink blossums falling from the cherry tree that shaded her, of the way her flowing dress offset her eyes.

Totally unaware of how intently he stared at her, drinking in the first sight of her in four years. He turned away, not letting himself cry out to her as his heart told him to. Not letting himself feel the pain of walking away again. * * *

On that hot June day
You said I love you and good-bye,
And then you turned away,
Not seeing the tears in my eyes,
And not hearing me cry.

She looked over the end of the poem, brushing her hair over her shoulder. With a few rearrangements, she could make a song out of it. She frowned slightly. Stupid spiky-haired Czechoslovakian, bringing back those memories. She felt tears well up. She wiped them away quickly, gathering up her things.

She needed to talk to Liz. * * *

“It’s amazing,” Maria said to Liz, “absolutely amazing.”

“What?” Liz asked as she stopped at a red light.

“That you avoided a guy for six years and then just fell into his arms the first time you saw him again. That is just so typical of you.”

Liz flushed, “I did not just fall into his arms…”

“Oh really,” she interrupted, “Then how long, precisely, did it take?”

Liz’s cheeks got pinker. “Two and a half hours.” Maria snorted. “Maria, you can’t blame me, if you had only heard what he said to me, and the way he said it, ooh,” she ended in a sigh, staring dreamily up at the light as it turned green.

Maria could just guess what Max had said. How much he loved her and missed her, how much he wanted her back. All those words to express what was in his heart…All those words Michael could never say. * * *

Almost done. The painting was almost finished. He hadn’t meant to do it, but as soon as he sat down it had just come over him. He’d never been able to paint this quickly or surely before. It was just like the scene imprinted in his brain had to escape. And he let it.

His hand had a life of its own, mixing colors, using different brush strokes…Everything just came together.

He put deep, ocean blue flecks near the center of her eyes, slowly and tenderly added the finishing touch to her peaches and cream skin, and he gently put a lighter shading on her raspberry lips. Almost there, he thought, just a little more… * * *

“Maria, I left my measuring tape in my room. Could you go get it?” Isabel asked.

“Sure.”

“Thanks.”

Maria smiled as she headed up the stairs. She couldn’t believe it. Isabel had volunteered, volunteered being the key word, to design the bridesmaid’s dresses and Liz’s wedding dress. She had said that she refused to wear some cheap, ugly, ill-fitting dress from a store, plus she already had an idea for Liz. Something that, no doubt, would be the most fabulous, beautiful, and perfect wedding dress ever made. La Isabel originals, how cool was that?

Her breath caught in her throat. He was there, across the hall. She knew she shouldn’t, but she couldn’t help it. Maria eased the door open a little more, it made a little creaking noise. She winced, looking up. He hadn’t noticed. He was working too intently. What was he so absorbed in? She inched forward and then froze.

It was her. The painting was of her.

She stared, amazed by his skill, amazed by the fact that she was beautiful in his eyes. It had a dreamlike quality to it, the colors melting and fading into each other. It was from this afternoon, she realized, he had seen her in the park. Why hadn’t he said anything? Why…

“MARIA!” Isabel yelled up the stairs. She jumped. * * *

He heard the gasp and spun. She was standing behind him, looking at him like a kid with their hand caught in the cookie jar. For a minute, neither said a word, then he felt warmth suffuse his face.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he yelled at her. Get your foot out of your mouth, his brain ordered.

“I…I was…” Her gaze flickered to the painting, then her hands clenched and her eyes took on a sheepishly defiant gleam. “I had to get Isabel her tape measure. I saw you and I was going to say ‘hi’,” she paused, “Obviously it was the wrong thing to do.” He saw her bottom lip tremble as she turned to go.

“Maria, wait!” She stopped, her head tilted back slightly to let him know she was listening. “I’m sorry.”

She whirled around, eyes wide. In his voice was more than an apology for yelling at her, it was for everything. For all the hurt he’d caused her over the years. She smiled broadly, ignoring the tears she felt on her cheeks.

“It’s okay,” she told him. And it was. * * *

Nearly a week later she heard her bedroom window slide open. She watched as Michael climbed in. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

He looked at her seriously. “I need to talk to you.” Maria’s curiousity was piqued, they hadn’t really been alone together aince their reconciliation.

“What about?” He took both of her hands in his and her heart began to beat rapidly.

He looked her straight in the eyes, trying to work his mind and mouth around what his heart was telling him. “Maria…” He swallowed. Why was this so hard? He licked his bottom lip and tried again.

“We’ve, we’ve had it hard. Mainly because of me, but…I’m tired of it. I’m tired of you scaring me away and me scaring you away.” He released her right hand, and, going down on one knee, reached in his pocket…

She looked down at the ring. Five bands, alternating gold and platnium, and five diamonds. Two placed in the first gold ring, two in the second gold ring, and one in the last. It was the constellation on the map. The constellation that made up his home.

Definitely not a traditional ring. But, she thought happily, he’s not a traditional guy.

He watched her eyes, the excitement shining in them, and his anxiety disappeared. He could ask now, he knew, but he had one last thing to say. Something she needed to know. Michael waited until she was looking at him again.

“I’m tired of running.” He slid the ring on her finger. “Maria, will you marry me?”

She didn’t say anything, and he felt all his fears come rushing bacj as he waited breathlessly for her answer.

“Yes,” she said simply.

“Yes,” he repeated. She nodded, laughing at his astonishment.

Michael swung her up in his arms, twirling her around in circles. His happiness mirroring hers. She tightened her hold. Oh, yes, the future was going to be very bright indeed.

Maria sighed contently, she felt whole again. Completely complete. She had discovered her new destiny, and she loved it. * * *

posted on 30-Sep-2002 2:59:14 PM
AFTER DESTINY

Pt. 3

Her brown eyes narrowed slightly as she scrutinized the dress. Yes, she thought, her expression clearing, it was perfect. Her hands ran over the delicate beading of the bodice, slowly the supply of beads dwindled off, a few sprinkles of it going into a “V” and scattered out from there into the full silk beige of the skirt. Liz would look like a princess in this dress.

Isabel sighed, gently placing the wedding dress, along with the bridesmaids dresses, into the suitcase. It was September 3rd, the wedding was the 18th, she had to get there in time for rehearsal so that she could get proper fittings. * * *

Paris was beautiful in the fall, she almost hated to leave, but, duty called. She couldn’t believe her brother was getting married. He was like, twenty-two-years old, she could never even think of settling down right now. Marriage would stop the parties, the male models, the fun. It would add responsibilities she just wasn’t ready to deal with.

Of course, Max was Mr. Responsibility and Liz was his perfect match, so it really wasn’t a big deal for them.

She sighed. Max and Liz had been practically married at sixteen anyway. It really wasn’t a surprise that they had finally gone forward with it. Or maybe it was. Not to her, but to everyone else.

They hadn’t spoken in six years, the sudden decision to marry would shock anyone, even their closest friends. Which it had. Except for Alex and herself, who stood firm in the belief that Max and Liz were meant to be together, everyone else had gone postal.

Not for long though, it was apparent they loved each other and weren’t going to listen to other people’s objections. Which was good in her eyes, very good. Isabel had hated it when they broke up. It hadn’t been right. Even if Max had made her sick talking about how in love he was and how Liz was his soulmate, she had never seen her brother so happy ot carefree. * * *

Isabel picked up her suitcase. It was her second time in Roswell in less than a year. She had never hated coming back like Max had, it was just she had no time.

She looked around for a taxi and saw a big sign. ‘ISABEL EVANS’ it read in big black marker. She frowned slightly. Who…Then a smile lit her face. Alex. * * *

“Hey, Izzy!” he called. Shoving the poster in the nearest garbage can, he ran to meet her. She was laughing at him as he swept her up in a hug. He tightened his hold slightly and then released her.

We’re friends, he reminded himself for the thousandth time, just friends. And that was that. No matter how beautiful she was, or how hard his heart beat when he was near her, they’d never be anything more than friends.

It wasn’t his fault, he knew, and it wasn’t exactly hers either. In high school she had been aloof, an ice princess to the fullest extent, but she had changed.

Slowly but surely, but she had still been afraid. Afraid to let someone in, to let someone see who she really was. He had broken through the façade, going so slowly she hadn’t been aware of the change, but she had been the one to take the first step.

Then, with the whole Tess/destiny issue, she had stepped back into her shell, ending their new relationship. He understood her need to deal, so he backed off, being the close friend, the confidant.

When they graduated and moved away, they still kept in touch. Unlike the others, who had severed their ties immediately after the aliens had learned their destinies. Which he thought was the most idiotic thing they had ever done, but hey, it wasn’t his call.

Luckily, that mistake was being remedied. Max and Liz had the wedding in a couple weeks, and judging from the ring on Maria’s finger, she and Michael weren’t far behind. As for him…

He glanced at Isabel and smiled. Strands of white-blond hair had escaped her braid and she tucked them back absentmindedly as she continued sketching. He had started over, step-by=step, going so slowly that every year was a day in his book.

Which meant they were seven days into a new relationship. Glacial, he thought darkly. * * *

The dress fit perfectly, as expected. Izzy beamed at her sister-in-law-to-be. Liz wasn’t one of those girls who got so nervous that they didn’t eat, or ate too much. No, Liz was exactly the same size she had been when Isabel had fitted her in May.

She glanced at Maria, who was playing with the ring on her finger, a secret smile hovered on her lips. Izzy often saw an identical smile on Liz’s face, as if there was some part to life only they were experiencing. She thought wistfully of love for a moment before remembering the final touches to the bridesmaid outfits. * * *

He pulled up in the street outside her house. Getting out, he looked up and saw her running towards him. He bowed low. “Whitman escort service, ma’am,” he said seriously, “May I inquire as to where the lady would care to venture?”

She assumed a haughty and indifferent air. “The craft store, please. And make it snappy,” she ordered imperiously. He felt a grin break out on his face.

“Yes, ma’am, right away, ma’am. The craft store it is. Would you care for some fries with that?” Isabel laughed as she climbed in the car.

“No. Just some ribbon.” * * *

The wind blew gently across her face as they rode home, six spools of ribbon in three different shades of pink on the seat between them. She listened intently as Alex described his day in detail, laughing at all the quirks he put in.

They grinned at each other, he could always make her smile. Good old, dependable Alex. He was always there when she needed him. He was the only guy who never pushed or tried to maul her.

Alex was sweet, the kind of man any girl would be happy to have in her life. She glanced at him through the corner of her eye. He had everything; looks, charm, personality, money…So why didn’t he have a girl? And why did she feel so relieved at that fact?

She peered back out the window again. I’m not ready to open up yet, she told herself firmly, I’m not ready for a relationship. Right. So why did all these feeling appear when she saw him or thought about him?

Stop it, she told the annoying little voice in her head. Leave me alone.

Fine, it responded.

Thank you!

For now, it threatened. She let out a little growl of frustration. Why did the brain have to come up with all these thoughts? * * *

It was the big day. She stared at Liz critically. She looked fabulous. The beaded band across her forehead made her look like an Indian princess, and the off-white veil gave it a touch of classical elegance. There was a knock on the door.

“Hey, Liz?” Max called, opening it.

“NO!” all three girls shrieked. Maria and Isabel barricaded the door before he could get in.

“Hey!”

“What do you think you’re doing, you great big idiot?” she asked her brother.

“I need to talk to Liz.”

“Well you can’t”

“Why not?” he questioned plaintively.

“Because, you moron,” Maria explained, “it’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding.”

“But I see her everyday.” He sounded confused. Izzy felt like smacking him. They heard a laugh and turned around. Liz came forward giggling. She had taken off her wedding garments and wore only a white robe and her pendant.

“Now he won’t see,” she said as she opened the door. Max stepped in, his eyes going straight to Liz’s. “What did you want to talk to me about?”

“Well…It’s more of a question.”

“All right then, what’s your question?”

He looked at her seriously. “Are you sure?”

“Fine time to ask, twenty minutes before the wedding,” Maria muttered. Isabel didn’t respond. She was too busy watching Liz.

She watched as Liz lifted her head, her eyes shining, a slight blush to her cheeks, and a shy smile on her lips. Izzy suddenly got the impression that the question had nothing to do with the wedding.

“Yes,” Liz whispered. Max smiled and kissed her gently. Again, Isabel felt a pang of jealousy. To love and trust someone that much… * * *

Alex smiled as Isabel approached him. “You look beautiful,” he complimented, “All three of you.” He felt his grin widen as he looked at his best friends.

“Thanks,” they chorused. They really did look great. Liz had this flush on her cheeks and stars in her eyes. He had never seen her this excited before.

Izzy and Maria wore matching pale pink dresses, ribbons braided into their hair, and bouquets of pink roses in their hands. Maria was practically bouncing off the walls.

“Calm down,” Michael told her, rolling his eyes.

“Just think,” she exclaimed, “In a year it’ll be out turn.”

Alex laughed at her enthusiasm and at Michael’s stricken face. He glanced at Isabel, surprised to see a wistful smile on her face as she looked at them.

She was, as usual, breathtakingly beautiful. He sighed, watching Michael take Maria’s arm to lead her down the aisle. He crooked his elbow for Isabel, ignoring the way he could feel her touch in his bones, and turned to Liz.

“You ready?”

She smiled, clutching her white roses. “As I’ll ever be.”

Isabel could tell the exact moment Max first saw Liz. His eyes widened appreciatively and his jaw dropped.

“Don’t drool,” she murmured as she took her place next to Maria. He glared at her and then turned to Liz. His expression softened, a depth of love in his eyes that almost frightened her. How could they give so much of themselves to another person? She wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to do it. * * *

It was a beautiful ceremony. Everything was so perfect. Isabel felt tears drip down her cheeks as she watched. Thank God they had finally invented tear-proof mascara.

She glanced around, mostly everyone was crying, even Michael. She almost laughed as he blinked rapidly, trying to clear his eyes. Izzy caught Alex looking at her, and indescribable emotion buried deep in his eyes before he looked away. She felt a blush stain her cheeks and her heart began to beat crazily. She glanced at him again.

He looked away from her, afraid that see would see everything in his heart. Everything he longed to tell her, but couldn’t. So he watched as Max and Liz exchanged their vows, promising each other that they’d never let go, that they’d be together forever.

He watched as Max slid an engraved gold band next to the heart-shaped diamond engagement ring. He didn’t allow himself to pretend that it was him up there, kissing Isabel’s soft, full lips as the priest declared them man and wife. He wouldn’t…

He felt Isabel link arms and he looked at her in surprise. She smiled. It was a somewhat secretive smile, like she knew something he didn’t. * * *

Isabel waited awaile, making sure she knew what she was doing. Making sure she knew she was sure. She was. So she marched over to alex as he was watching Max and Liz dance.

It was a great reception, everything had been perfect today. And, as she watched her brother’s happy face, her decision was reinforced.

Isabel leaned forward, kissing Alex gently on the side of his mouth. He turned, surprise written in every line of his face. As he looked at her, the surprise quickly turned to shock, and then to joy. He knew. A shy smile lit her face.

“I’m ready.” * * *

posted on 30-Sep-2002 3:01:07 PM
AFTER DESTINY

Pt. 4

The apartment room was a mess. Clothes were strewn to and fro across the floor, newspaper clippings covered the walls, and broken glass littered the vanity.

A small, pixie-like face stared out of the shattered mirror. The blond hair flung every which way, blue eyes were wild with madness, and blood covered hands and clothes.

She picked up a clipping, dripping blood from the cuts on her hands, she stared at it, hatred distorting the once pretty face. She stared at the picture of the happy couple, of their friends and family, and she ripped it apart.

A smile lit her face, laughter rose in her throat, and Tess Harding plotted her revenge. * * *

Kyle stared again at the picture. He still couldn’t believe it, didn’t want to believe it, but he knew it was true.

Liz Parker had gotten married.

He had received an invitation, but he had thought it was some sort of sick joke and had sent back that he couldn’t come. So he had missed it. Missed his chance to tell her that he loved her. Kyle had never been able to tell her, he had tried, but the words had never come out.

After Max had found out his destiny and Liz had walked away, Kyle had felt an ounce of hope. He had stayed by her side, trying to make her feel batter, trying to make her get over Max.

He had set her up on dates, even gone out with her himself, to get her to move on, but it hadn’t helped. So he and she kept in contact. He checked up on her often, making sure she was getting by.

Eventually she laughed again, went out on her own, excelled at school, and pretty much got over it. Or so it seemed. He knew, when her eyes darkened over, or when her smile fell, he knew she was thinking of Max.

So he bided his time, waiting for an opportunity that never presented itself…

He put the picture down. He couldn’t look at it anymore. Couldn’t stand the sight of Liz in Max’s arms. The guy was an alien for Christ’s sake!

He had never understood it. Never understood what she had ever seen in the guy. Max wasn’t hot, he wasn’t popular, and he never did anything to stand out. So why did she fawn all over him?

Then he had found out the truth about the shooting and about the sliens.

Sure, Max had saved her life, and she was grateful. Come to think of it, he owed Max his life as well as Liz’s, but he wasn’t going to fall head-over-heels in love with the guy. * * *

Tess watched, careful to keep out of sight, she didn’t want any of them to see her. Her gaze bypassed Maria and Isabel. They didn’t matter. Only she did.

Tess licked her cracked lips, testing blood. Her hands clenched and unclenched repeatedly. It may have been her conscious desire to crush that smooth neck of Liz’s, to hear her breaths coming and gasps, to feel her dying breath under her palms…A cruel smile hardened on her lips.

No, not yet, she told herself, be patient. She wanted to hurt Max and Liz. Hurt them so bad they felt like dying. So they felt as crazy as she did.

Once that was done she’d kill Liz. That would kill Max, literally. He couldn’t live without his precious human wife.

The smile grew as she focused on the objects of her plan. The boy and girl sitting on the carpet while their mother and aunts fused over them and their cousins. * * *

“Kyle Valenti!” He turned and was suddenly facing her. “I haven’t heard from you in three years. Where have you been?”

“Oh, you know…Around.” He gulped, he hadn’t been planning on actually seeing her.

“How were the games?” she asked. Her big brown eyes were curious, dark hair pulled into a french twist, and her figure was as slim and perfect as ever.

“Games?”

“You know,” she prodded, “The games that were so important that you missed both mine and your stepsister’s weddings.” Her look was disappointed.

“Oh, oh, right, yeah. I…I don’t really remember…”

“Uh-huh,” she said skeptically, “Sit down.” He sat.

For the past hour he had talked about college and turning pro, and she had talked about the weddings he had missed, and what had happened since them. Then the café door chimed and in walked Maria and Michael Guerin.

“Here,” Maria exclaimed, shoving two children into Liz’s arms.

“We have to go get ours,” Michael explained.

“Kyle!” He suddenly found himself in his sister’s embrace. “I wish I could talk longer, but we have doctors appointments. Come visit, ‘kay? Love ya. Bye, Lizzie!” she said in a rush as she pulled Michael out the door.

He stared after them and then at Liz. The babies were cuddled in her arms and she was cooing to them, her expression so soft and loving. He felt an ache start up in his heart. She looked up at him, softness still lingering in her eyes.

“Kyle, this is Joshua Alexander Evans and Claudia Elizabeth Evans. Josh, Claudy, this is your Uncle Kyle.”

They turned to look at him, eyes wide and aware. They both had golden-brown eyes and ears that stuck out a little too far, but the boy had Max’s black hair and the girl had Liz’s brown. They couldn’t have been more than a year old and they were already perfect.

He stared at Liz, whose attention was again fixated on her children. She was only twenty-five. * * *

Tess watched Liz and Kyle through the window in the back. She watched as Liz fussed and cooed over her babies, as jealousy overcame Kyle’s face, as Max walked into the Crashdown.

He was so gorgeous, so absolutely perfect. He was supposed to be hers. Those children were supposed to be hers, and Liz had taken all that away from her.

Tess’ hatred for Liz had never been as full blown as it was at that moment. Her whole body tensed with loathing for the small brunette. That human girl had taken away every hope of love and life she had ever cherished, and people acted as though it was her fault.

Everything should have been perfect, they were meant to be. It was there destiny after all. Once Liz walked away he should have been hers, but he hadn’t accepted that. No, he wouldn’t come to grips with reality, that he belonged with her!

Yes, all four of them had worked together throughout junior year, and the summer of junior year, to stop the evlidoers on Earth and free their palnet’s people from the oppression of those beings, but still…His real mother couldn’t even talk him into it, couldn’t talk any of them into it.

She really didn’t care about what Michael and Isabel did, just Max, and he had come back to Earth. So she followed him, trying and trying to get closer. It hadn't helped. Max had kept up the goo-goo eyes at Liz and kept pushing her away. Tess had eventually receded, watching and waiting until he was ready.

She had kept track of them all; Max, Michael, Isabel, Liz, Maria, and Alex. It wasn’t hard. They were all so famous. The waiting and watching and rejection had made her crazy. She took one last look, giggling insanely as she excited.

This was going to be fun. * * *

Dinner had been full of tension. In fact, his whole body had never been this tense before. I need a massage, he thought. Longing for all those privileges an NFL quarterback received. He needed to get back to Dallas. Quickly.

Liz had gone to put the twins to sleep and Kyle was left with Max in the living room. Great. What a perfect end to the evening, a sarcastic voice in his head said.

He and Max had never got along, bitter rivals for Liz’s heart. It wasn’t much of a competition. Liz never gave Kyle the time of day, and they were married now. But still, that…edge was still there. * * *

Kyle stepped out on the sidewalk, heading back to his father’s house. Maybe visiting hadn’t been such a good idea, it hurt too much to see her. It wasn’t fair, he thought, looking up at the house, it just wasn’t fair.

If he just closed his eyes, he could pretend that big, spacious house was his, with its perfectly decorated and furnished rooms, with…With Liz as his perfect wife, who would jump up off the soft sofa in those faded, stonewashed blue jeans and gray sweatshirt two sizes too big for her, her long brown hair spiralled (like she used to wear to parties) and pulled back in a clip at the base of her neck, and fling herself into his arms for a welcome home kiss that would last for what would seem like an eternity, until he let go. With two little kids with Liz’s hair and his eyes, or his hair and her eyes. It didn’t really matter as long as they were his and hers. Heck, he didn’t even need kids as long as he had Liz.

He sighed, shaking his head and wishing, not for the first time, that he had Max Evans’ life. God, he hated that guy! He started walking, not paying attention to his surroundings.

She bumped into someone accidentally. Not like she actually cared. “Hey!” She looked up.

“Sorry,” she said, not meaning it. The guy looked familiar. Where had she seen him before?


“Tess Harding?” he asked, obviously shocked.

“Kyle!” she exclaimed, her memory coming back. She had used him once, to get to Max, it hadn’t helped a lot. “How are you?” she asked politely, trying not to show how annoyed she was.

“Good, good. I’m visiting my dad.”

“Oh.”

“What’re you doing here?”

“I live around here,” she lied.

“Oh,” he said, echoing her earlier statement. “So…”

“So…”

He smiled slightly, “See you around.”

“Yeah! Right!” He left. “As if,” she muttered, turning her attention back on the house. * * *

Kyle woke up to the sounds of a hysterical woman. He groaned, he’d never be able to get back to sleep. Wait…The woman, it sounded like Liz. It was Liz, he was sure of it. Kyle leapt out of bed, running to his dad’s office.

He took one look at the scene. One look at the Sheriff’s serious face, at Amy’s worried and sympathetic expression, at Max holding Liz tightly, his eyes haunted, and Liz…She was sobbing so hard, clinging to her husband as if her life depended on it.

“What the hell happened?!” he exploded. Everyone looked at him, but he only saw Liz’s pale, tear-streaked face.

“My babies,” she said quietly, “Someone took my babies.” * * *

She looked down at their small, precious faces, and they stared right back at her. She shivered slightly. There was something in their eyes. His eyes. They were aware.

Tess put on her sugary sweet smile and picked up the boy. He immediately started crying and squirming, so did his sister. She lost the pretense of niceness quickly. She lay him down again.

“What’s the matter? Don’t you like your Aunt Tess?” They fell silent, just staring. “Don’t worry,” she assured them, “Your mommy will be joining us shortly.” * * *

She was crying silently now, Max’s arms still around her. He longed to tear those arms away and just hold her himself. Comfort her the loss of her children, even grieve with her. You’re sick, he told himself, obsessing when two helpless babies have been kidnapped.

“Who would do this?” his dad asked.

“I don’t know Sheriff,” Max replied steadily.

“You don’t know of anyone who might want to hurt you or Liz?”

He thought a moment. “Just Tess.” Liz let out a little cry, a shudder running through her petite body. Max’s arms tightened, Kyle’s fists clenched. “We haven’t seen her in nearly nine years though.”

Memory hit like a ton of bricks. Oh, God! “I saw her,” he gasped, “last night, when I left your house. I saw her. She said she lived over there. I didn’t think about it much, I didn’t…” he trailed off, staring at Liz’s horrified face.

“She has them,” she screamed, “That BITCH has my children!” Fresh tears welled up and she collapsed against Max. Her whole body just went limp. “She has them,” she whispered, sounding defeated. His heart broke. Max forced her to look at him.

“She hasn’t won yet,” he said fiercely, “We won’t let her.”

Kyle watched as Liz looked up at Max, their eyes locked, seemingly permanently. Then she straightened, wiping her eyes and tilting her chin. She turned to his father. “What do we do?” she asked the Sheriff, determination apparent in her face.

He felt his heart in his mouth. They had to find those kids, or Liz would never be Liz again. * * *

Tess watched intently as Max left the house with Kyle. They had left Liz alone. Perfect. Absolutely perfect, they were playing right into her hands.

Everyone had gone to the Evanses house, and then they had gone out in groups. The only people who stayed behind were the girls and the children. Now Maria and Isabel had gone back to their houses, against their better judgement, but Liz had sent them away.

Tess crept up to the door and snuck inside, using her powers to unlock it. “Max?” Liz called. She suddenly appeared in the hallway.

“Hi Lizzy!” Tess exclaimed cheerfully, “Just thought I’d drop in for a visit.” She watched as Liz’s expression turned from shock to anger to hatred.

“Where are they?”

Tess’ smile turned malicious. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Damn it Tess, tell me!” Liz advanced slowly, menacingly. She felt her smile grow.

“I have a better idea.” She lifted her hand. “I’ll take you to them.” The flash was blinding, but Tess had the pleasure of seeing Liz crumple to the floor, blood seeping out of her head. She picked up and dragged her to the car, mind-warping anyone in seeing distance, then she went back and dropped a note on the blood-soaked carpet. * * *

The house was completely dark. The emptiness of it unnerved him. Max turned on the lights. “Liz,” he called, looking around. Then he froze.

“Max?” Kyle asked. Max strode forward, picking up a small piece of paper from a dark spot on the floor. “Max?” he asked again, curious. Max let out a groan and shoved the paper at Kyle. He uncrumpled it…

And his stomach dropped into his feet.

I have them.
I have her.
If you want them back…
FIND ME!

“Oh man! How’re we supposed to do that? I mean…” he said, frustrated, “What does she think we’ve been going for the past two hours!”

“We just have to look harder,” Max said simply. Kyle glanced over at him, his whole body was relaxed, he seemed completely at ease. As if this was a walk in the park.

“You don’t care,” he stated. Max looked at him in surprise. “Your wife and kids have been taken and you don’t care. You don’t deserve her!” he flung out in disgust.

Max’s expression changed rapidly. His eyes went wild, his face angry, and his body completely tensed. “Don’t. You. Dare,” he said, slowly and delibrately, “Don’t you dare tell me I don’t care about them. They are everything to me. If I lose them…” He swallowed hard and turned away from Kyle. “I have to stay in control.”

He really did too.

For an instant, Kyle had seen a side of Max Evans he had never expected to exist. Vulnerability.

Before, Max was always so in control. He showed no emotion, but now…Now he realized that Max needed that control, it kept him from going insane.

That and Liz.

That was the second thing Kyle realized. Max actually loved Liz as much as she loved him. It was amazing really, even with all those years watching them together, he had never thought Max felt anything real for Liz. He had never thought that aliens could have the same emotions as humans.

Well… He was wrong.

“All right Evans, let’s go win her back.” Max smiled slightly at the reference to their past.

“Thanks Valenti.” * * *

She crouched down low, eye to eye with Liz as she came to. The low moan signaled awareness, but Liz’s eyes didn’t open. She was getting impatient.

“WAKE UP! Sleepy-head!” she sing songed. Liz’s eyes flew open at that, murder in their dark depths as she tried to reach Tess. “Ah, ah, ah,” she said, stepping back. She wagged a finger at Liz. “That’s a no-no.” She reached out and hit her on the head. Liz gasped and slid back to the floor. Tess laughed at her pain. The sick pleasure she got from torturing her nemesis almost scared her.

Almost.

“Oh my, Lizzy, that’s a nasty head wound.” Liz glared at her, completely helpless as Tess restrained her with her power, building a sparkling purple-green wall between them. She grinned, shaking her head at Liz’s futile attempts to get out. She grinned, enjoying the colors of her madness.

Tears streamed down Liz’s cheeks as Tess picked up the boy. Both brats started howling again, they did it everytime she touched them. She turned towards Liz, enjoying her tears.

“Max will find us,” she said confidently.

“Of course he will, sweetie,” she cooed, cuddling the baby as he kicked and hit. She was tempted to drop him just to see what would happen. “You’ll be dead by then though,” she continued, “So it won’t do you much good.”

Liz’s eyes widened and she loked at her children. “No,” Tess giggled, “Silly me, I forgot, you won’t all be dead.” Her smile grew at the relieved expression on Liz’s face. Humans were so easy to play.

She bounced the baby in her arms, he cried harder. “I think I’ll keep him.” She turned and put him down next to his sister. “Like my own miniature Max.” She looked back, Liz’s face was stricken. “Oh, I know what you’re thinking!” she exclaimed playfully, “Girls are so much more fun; malls, boys, hair, make up, parties, et cetera, et cetera…I thought maybe, but…no. She looks too much like you, and I couldn’t stand that. Now, the problem is…Who do I kill first?”

“Me,” Liz pleaded, “kill me, let Claudia go. Please.”

“But that would ruin the plan Lizzy.”

“And what is the plan Tess?”

The fury in his voice chilled her to the bone. No, he wasn’t going to see the effect he had on her. She turned, smiling up at the love of her life, loving him all the more for his bravery.

“Why, to find your wife and daughter dead and your son gone, of course.”

His gaze flickered to Liz, still trapped, and his eyes softened, worry so obvious. Her hatred of the girl grew to phenomenal proportions.

“That’s not going to happen Tess. If you take one step towards them, I’ll-”

“You’ll what? Kill me?” she laughed gaily, “You don’t have it in you.”

The hate in his eyes hardened, it was almost a living thing. She took one mocking step toward his precious Lizzy…

And never felt it coming.

Tess fell to the floor, blackness overtaking her. She had never believed he would kill her. Not her Max…

Betrayal was the last emotion Tess Harding ever felt. * * *

The first thing he saw was Liz fall after the wall of power disappeared. He wanted to catch her, but Max beat him to it. The second thing he saw was Tess lying on the ground, eyes glazed over, stone cold dead. Good, he thought, she deserved it.

The third and final thing he saw before he turned and left was Max and Liz stumbling to their children. Kyle heard the delighted gurgles of the babies as their parents picked them up, and, yet again, his heart broke. * * *

Kyle waited in the chair for Coach Cooper to show up, trying not to think about Roswell and Liz and the adoring faces of those kids…

“Valenti.”

“Yeah, Coach?”

“I have a favor to ask.”

“Yeah?”

“My niece is in town, just started college here, she needs someone to show her around. I was wondering-”

“Sure, Coach,” he interuppted.

“That’s my boy. MELANIE!” he bellowed.

A slender girl of about twenty walked in, curly auburn hair and big leaf-green eyes. “Kyle Valenti?” she asked.

“That’s me.”

“I know, I’m a big football fan.”

“Really?”

She blushed, “Really. I’m Melanie Cooper.” He took her extended hand.

“Pleasure,” he said, mind wiped blank of the past few weeks.

Things were definitely shaping up, he thought with a smile. * * *

posted on 30-Sep-2002 3:02:12 PM
AFTER DESTINY

Pt. 5

It was vivid this time. She could almost see everything. The evil blond lady had Josh, but Claudy couldn’t say anything. She couldn’t walk or talk or connect to her brother. The lady was smiling, but it wasn’t a nice smile. Josh was scared…She was scared. The lady was talking, but Claudy couldn’t understand. She didn’t understand the pretty lights either, but she didn’t like them. They were keeping something from her and Josh.

Something she needed. * * *

Josh woke up fast, running through the bathroom that adjoined their rooms. Claudia was sitting up in her bed, sweat-soaked, crying, and covering her mouth to keep from screaming.

He ran over to her, holdeing her and rocking her. She clung to him, sobbing quietly. He could feel the turmoil and terror in her mind. “I had it again. The dream.”

“Nightmare,” he corrected, whispering.

“It was so real Josh. All of it…It felt so real.”

“I know.”

She shuddered again and looked up at him, smiling reassuringly. “I’m okay now.”

“You sure?” he asked anxiously.

“Absotively-posilutely.”

“Okay.” She lay back down and he kissed her gently on the forehead. “Night, little sis.”

“I’m only a minute younger,” she said, indignant.

“That’s still younger.” He stood up. “And if you think your as big as me…” he mocked flexed, “you’ve got another thing coming.”

She giggled, he grinned. “Fine. Good night, big brother.” He smiled again and turned to go. “Josh!” He paused at the door, turning again. “Thank you.”

“No prob.” * * *

He sat up in bed, thinking. Claudia shouldn’t be having those nightmares anymore, he had stopped years ago. He knew she didn’t have them as often as they used to, but she shouldn’t be having them at all.

Whaen they were younger, and both of them had them, their parents would come when they cried. When they had told them about the blond lady, their parents and looked strange…almost haunted, and Josh and Claudy had nearly had the breath squeezed out of them.

So they never spoke of it to their parents again, they just comforted each other. They could never figure out what the dream meant.

He looked up. Make it go away, he pleaded, make it leave her alone. * * *

Trevor Guerin sat with his brother Kevin at the lunch table with their best friend, Adam Whitman. “Great,” Adam groaned, “Attack of the Brain-Damaged Little Sisters!”

“Shut up, adam!” Rosa said pointedly.

Trevor grinned at Nicole as she bounced up, he adored his little sister, even if Kev didn’t. “Hey Nic,” he said.

“Hey Trev! Guess what!”

“What?”

She paused dramatically…”Brion Wood just asked me out!!”

“OH!” Rosa screamed at her best friend, “You’re kidding!” Nicole shook her blond head, blue eyes serious. “I hate you,” Rosa said jealousy, obviously pleased for her friend. “I’m still waiting.” Her glance slid briefly to Kevin. He didn’t notice. Trevor hid his smile.

“Don’t worry Rosie,” Kev said, “I’m sure someone will eventually get desperate.”

She turned red as the whole table erupted in laughter. Trevor’s laugh turned into a gasp as he looked up.

There she was. * * *

The whole table fell silent as they walked up. She smiled slightly, that adorable half-smile of her. “Hi,” she greeted them breathily.

“Hey,” everyone chorused. Kevin slid over to give her room, but Josh sat down instead and sat between him and Nicole.

“Claudy, guess what!” she asked her friend.

“What?” Her golden brown eyes registered interest.

“Brion Wood asked her out!” Adam squealed in a weird high-pitched voice, mocking Kev’s sister.

“Adam!”

“That’s wonderful, Nicole, “ Claudia exclaimed, “isn’t it Josh?”

“Just great kitten,” Josh told Nic, “he’s a good basketball player.”

Nicole rolled her eyes at him. “Is basketball all you think about?”

“Basically. That, food, girls, and Claudia.”

Kevin clenched his hands under the table at the last remark. He knew he shouldn’t be jealous. Josh and Claudy were twins, the bond between them was normal. In fact, the only guy Kevin really had to worry about was Trevor.

Claudia Evans was the only sore point in the brother’s relationship. * * *

Claudia looked awesome. Her dark brown hair was pulled up in a high ponytail and it shone in the sun. She was wearing white shorts and one of those cloud shirts in a pale green.

Trevor sighed, just as Kevin sighed, and they glared at each other. Trevor didn’t see why Kevin couldn’t settle for Rosa, she was pretty, looked just like Isabel, but no…

He silently went back to eating, contemplating on whether he should just ask Claudia out, but decided no. He wasn’t in the mood for heartbreak. * * *

The children had grown up together, right next door to one another their whole lives.

Michael and Maria had three: Trevor, Kevin, and Nicole, who were 17, 16, and 15 respectively. Trevor had his mom’s blond hair and blue eyes, just like Nicole, but Kevin was his father’s child.

Alex and Isabel had settled for two: Adam and Rosa, who were 16 and 15 and were best friends with the Guerins. Max and Liz also had only two, but they had never needed any more. The twins were special, and also, impossible.

According to all known medical laws, the twins could never have been born. They had come from the same cell, but were definitely not identical. Josh was his father, completely in looks and personality. The only thing different was that Josh was outgoing, he did social functions like parties and he was on the basketball team. He also dragged Claudia along to games and parties, but she didn’t care.

She adored her brother just as much as he adored her. Their love and regard for each other was amazing to see. They had lots of friends, but never needed them. * * *

He watched them quietly. He had been watching them for twenty-four years. All of them. The loss of his Tessie had been minor, she was unimportant compared to those he had to look after now.

He needed to enter their world. * * *

The water stopped abruptly and the shower door opened, she looked up surprised. She took the towel he handed her and wrapped it around her, the white making her golden skin glow.

“Did you hear?” he asked, staring into the mirror. His father’s face stared back at him.

“Hear what?” she replied, running fingers through her hair, drying it. He grabbed a brush and started on her hair as she sat down.

“We’re getting an exchange student.”

“Oh,” she paused, “I thought I locked the door.”

“You did. I just wanted it open, so I did that thing with my hand and came in.” She looked at him, responding wordlessly to his unspoken question. He nodded, agreeing, and went back to his room. * * *

She could see through his eyes as he looked around his green and black room, she could feel his confusion and broke the connection. Josh knocked on her door a few minutes later. “Come in.”

He shut the door behind him, staring around her neat amber and white bedroom before focusing on her. “Why can’t we tell them Claud?”

She could feel tears well up in her eyes as she looked at him, afraid to voice her fears. He came over and cuddled with her on the bed, just like they always did when one needed comforting. “What if…What if we tell them what we can do with our hands, how we can read each other’s thoughts, and go into each other’s dreams? What then Josh? What happens when we tell Mom and dad we’re different?”

“Why don’t we find out?”

“But Josh, what if they’re afraid of us? What if they don’t…”

“Don’t love us anymore? That’s not happening Claudy, they’re our parents. It’s unconditional.”

“But what if its not?”

“Claud…”

“Josh, please.” He stared at her, unscrutable, but she could feel him relenting.

“Fine. For now.” * * *

He looked up at the house, shouldered his backpack, and picked up his suitcase. He was cute; black hair, blue-gray eyes, well-toned for a 17-year old.

Or rather, Nasedo thought, a 92-year old in a 17-year old’s body.

He rang the doorbell and waited. Max answered. “Dr. Evans? Hi, I’m Ed Hardington, your exchange student.” He grinned as Max let him in.

Now, he just had to figure out what was going on. * * *

“Who’s that with Josh and Claudia?” Kevin asked. Trevor could hear the jealousy in his voice and looked up. Now he was jealous.

“Whoever he is, he’s hot,” Rosa pointed out. He gave her a look to whither grass.

“Hey guys!” Josh called. This id Ed Hardington. Ed, these are our friends; Trevor, Kevin, and Nicole Guerin. Trevor is your age. And our cousins; Rosa and Adam Whitman.”

“Hi,” Rosa said, smiling flirtatously, “Welcome to Roswell.” The boy smiled uncomfortably. Trevor had an uneasy feeling, and he was sure it wasn’t just about the way Ed was looking at Claudia. * * *

He had figured it out. He had expected Joshua to be the leader, and he had been half right. Josh was the leader of the group sometimes and Claudia led at other times.

Ed had decided to start with Claudia, it might prove more fruitful. The Guerin boys had crushes on her, which meant, basically, they were her slaves. Of course, Claudia never seemed to realize it . Nicole would go along with Trevor and rosa would go with Nicole, then Adam would follow Kevin. Josh either went with his sister or she went with him.

So his main goal would be the Evans children, as planned.

Ed looked at Claudia, not at all surprised that the boys had crushes on her. She was perfect by human standards. Claudia had inherited her mother’s dark beauty and petite figure. He smiled slightly.

Talking with Liz Parker had been a highlight. She was just as gorgeous at 40 as she had been at 16, and he could tell her mind and tongue were as sharp as before. He wondered if her daughter was as good a kisser. * * *

Kevin exchanged glances with Adam and Trevor. He could tell they all agreed this guy was dangerous. His hands clenched into fists, he really wanted to blow this guy into outerspace.

Don’t lose control, his brain warned. He stopped. Kev had almost used his powers in front of people. True, they were his best friends and family, but he wasn’t sure how they’d react if they found out what he could do.
Ed was staring at him, he narrowed his eyes and glared back. * * *

That’s it, Nasedo thought. The boy had been about to use his powers, he could feel the discharge in the air. They could too, he knew, they just didn’t know what it was.

He felt like laughing. That was the problem. They didn’t know what they were. They didn’t know they were half alien. Well, it was about time they found out. He couldn’t believe Max hadn’t told them yet. * * *

A few days later he discovered why. Passing the main bedroom, he heard voices from the half open door.

“Didn’t your powers show up about their age?”

“Yes, but Liz, if anything happened…If they did develop powers they’d come to us.”

“Would they Max?”

“Of course. But so far they haven’t shown any indication that-”

“Haven’t they?” she interuppted, “What about those dreams, Max? What they said…the lady…It was Tess, they remembered Max. They were one-year old and they remembered.”

“For heaven’s sake Liz, they haven’t had that dream since they were six.”

“Yes, they have.” She looked at him. “I know they have, they just haven’t come to us because of how we reacted before. I think they’re afraid to tell us.”

He shook his head. “No, Liz this is Josh and Claudia we’re talking about. They don’t keep secrets from us.”

“Don’t they? Max, they’re so dependent on one another…Sometimes I think they don’t need their other friends. Like they don’t need us,” she choked, crying. Max wrapped his arms around her.

“They’re only sixteen, and we’re their parents, of course they still need us.” He hugged her tight, brushing away the tears as he looked down at her. “Besides, Michael and Isabel haven’t heard anything from their kids. I think it’s been bred out of them, and we don’t need to tell them if it doesn’t effect them. The truth is dangerous, Liz, the truth could scare them.”

She nodded slightly. Nasedo smiled, so like her to go along with whatever Max said. He started to leave, but froze at the next words.

“Ed.”

“What?” Max asked. Liz looked confused.

“Ed. There’s something about him. Something familiar…it’s in his eyes. He scares me a bit.” Her husband just looked at her, a small frown furrowing his brow.

Nasedo cursed under his breath. So smart was that Lizzy. Too smart really, but no matter what happened, no matter how much she ruined his Tessie’s life…He hadn’t been able to kill her. * * *

Josh looked in to see if she was still up. Yes, of course she was. If he couldn’t sleep, she couldn’t sleep, it was the way it always had been.

She was nestled in her window seat, surrounded by fluffy white and yellow pillows, a brown teddy bear cuddled in her lap. Moonlight pooled around her, showing every detail of her exquisite face. She was such an angel, looking all the more frail and small in her nightgown. It spaghetti-strapped down, delicately embroidered over her chest, and ended in long green skirts made of some filmy material…

He walked over to her. * * *

Claudy could feel his hand on her shoulder, she had known the instant he had come in, but now she acknowledged his presence. She looked up at her handsome brother, in his black boxers and emerald grren terry cloth robe. Where was she going to find a guy who could compare with him? Claudia shivered, imagining a lonely life ahead when she lost him.

He chuckled behind her. “Believe me, sis, I won’t get married until I find you the right guy.” She smiled at him, grateful for the teasing. “I think either Trevor or Kevin would be exceptable.”

“What?!” Her heart thudded.

“Oh, come on, they both have the hots for you.”

She felt flustered. Josh was wrong of course, nobody got crushes on Claudia Evans. Why would anyone even consider…

“Sis? You’re the most beautiful girl in school, and I’m saying that in the most unbiased way as possible, so stop fishing for compliments.”

She smiled, “You shouldn’t go around reading people’s minds, it’s an incredible invasion of privacy.” Her smile faded. “Did you feel it?”

“Yeah.” The energy had been pulsing around the group. Who hadn’t felt it? Josh stared at her, she looked back up at him; golden-brown eyes, his eyes, their father’s eyes, wide and confused. His poor, soulful sister. She was so worried for him, for her, for all of them.

He sat down, pulling her to him. The little brown teddy bear fell to the ground. Josh stroked her silky brown hair, willing her to sleep. Slowly her breathing became even, and Josh carried her to her bed, tucking the covers around her. She seemed so fragile.

He picked up the bear, placing it back on the window seat. “So, what happens now?” he murmured, looking up at the night sky. The stars just winked back at him, not releasing any secrets of the universe.

He sighed and went to his room, not noticing the light on in the room down the hall. * * *

tbc...
posted on 30-Sep-2002 3:03:19 PM
AFTER DESTINY

Pt. 5 cont'd


Nasedo placed one finger on each of the seven faces in the photograph, willing himself into their subconsciouses. * * *

None of them knew what was happening. None of them noticed the other’s cars. Claudia and Josh got out of the red Jeep in a daze, barely seeing the Guerin children piling out of the silver Corvette and Adam and Rosa from the powder blue VW Beetle. They had no idea where they were going. * * *

Trevor shook his head, trying to clear the fog. Where was he? He looked around, seeing the others. They all looked like he felt, like they were just waking up.

Kevin was loking at him funny, his spiked hair messed up. Rosa let out a whimper, brown eyes frightened. “Don’t worry Rosie Posie,” Adam said in a whisper, hugging his little sister.

Trevor felt a tug on his sleeve and glanced down at his ister. He flung an arm around her, petting her long blond hair. “It’s gonna be okay Nic, I promise.”

He looked over at Claudy, who looked just as perfect as usual. Her long brown hair was braided, little curls circling her face, she was wearing a rose pink baby-tee and a pair of khaki capris. She was clinging to Josh, both of them confused, but not scared. * * *

Claudia felt no fear of the place, she just didn’t understand how she had gotten there. Josh didn’t know either, but he also wasn’t afraid.

She looked around. It was a fairly large cave, her eyes narrowed as she stared at the back wall. What were those? She gently diengaged herself from her brother’s embrace. She stared up at the four glowing pods.

Kevin, in true Guerin style, said what everyone was thinking. “Where the hell are we!” he exploded, “And why the hell are we here?!” * * *

That was definitely his entrance, Nasedo thought as he slowly left the wall. “You’re hear to learn the truth.” The seven of them turned to stare at him.

“Ed?” they chorused.

“What truth?” Claudia asked. He beamed at her. Of course she had her mother’s mind, went straight to the heart of the matter.

“The truth about what you really are.”

“What we really are?” Trevor repeated.

“Is there an ehco in here?” he mocked. * * *

Trevor felt his face flush, he started forward, grabbing Ed by the collar of his shirt and slamming him up against the cave wall. “Listen you little shit…”

“Trev!” He looked at Claudia. “Let him go Trevor. Please.” Her eyes were wide and scared.

“But Claud…”

“He’ll hurt you Trevor. Please just let him go.”

He looked at Ed, who smiled and raised his hand. There was a blinding flash and then he felt something hard hit him in the back. * * *

Kevin saw his brother go flying through the air. He linked his hands behind his back, trembling. I can do that, he thought, I can do that. He was numb. How could Ed do what he could do?

He stared at the boy with the cold blue-gray eyes, not even seeing his brother getting up, of Josh holding him back. His eyes were totally focused on Ed.

“Now, if there are no more unnecessary displays of temper…” he said, pointedly staring at Trevor, “I will continue.” * * *

Josh was having a hard time holding the other boy back. Though Trevor was a year older, they both had the same basic build and strength, but Trev was angry and that gave him a little extra power.

I wonder…Josh concentrated, trying to form a connection with Trevor like he did with Claudia. He felt Trevor relax slightly and took a chance at letting him go. Nothing happened. He felt a sigh of relief escape his lips and he looked back towards Claudy and Ed. She looked curious, he bemused, no one else noticed.

“I assume you all know about ‘the Roswell Incident’?” They all nodded. “well, it really happened, and there are only four living survivors, myself included.” * * *

Nicole felt a giggle rise in her throat. “You’re kidding, right?” Everyone looked at her. “I mean…It was a downed weather balloon, everyone knows that. And besides, it happened, like, 92 years ago. You’re 17.”

He smiled. She backed up into Rosa and adam, terrified and having no idea why.

“Time has no meaning to me little girl. I could be 30 tomorrow, or 6, or 92, or older. I have been more people then you will ever know in your life, and I am telling you the truth. My name is Nasedo. These powers I have, that you have, are characteristics of your alien heritage. I am only here to protect my leader and his family.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” Josh said, “you’re telling us that the powers we all apparently seem to have are alien in nature. You’re telling us we’re aliens.” Nasedo opened his mouth, but Claudia spoke first.

“No.” She was staring at the pods. “No, he’s saying we’re half alien.” She reached up, touching the broken membrane. “Michael,” she breathed. Her arm moved, “Aunt Isabel…Daddy…” * * *

She could feel the truth in his words, she could feel the conflicting emotions of the others. Her hand trailed over to the last pod, the image of her father faded to that of an unknown girl. Claudia shrieked, stumbling backward. Her brother and Trevor caught her.

“It’s her Josh. The lady.” She lgazed at Nasedo. “Why?” she begged. He just stared back.

“She was like your parents, one of you.”

“No,” Claudia protested, “No. She’s not like us, she’s evil.” The last statement was a whisper.

“Evil is in the eye of the beholder. Your parents consider me evil because I killed to protect them, because I kidnapped Liz Parker while pretending to be Max Evans."” Claudy gasped audibly, Nasedo smiled at her.

"Tess wasn't evil, she was simply insane. Her destiny was taken away from her. She was supposed to be you father’s mate, his wife. Like Isabel was supposed to be to Michael. Unfortunately, we arrived too late. They were already infatuated with three humans. Tess couldn’t keep Max’s interest while Liz was around, and even when she wasn’t, and she went mad.”

“But Daddy could never love anyone but our mama,” she sated firmly.

“That was precisely the problem child. That is what led her to take you and your brother, to threaten your mother, to Max killing her…to your dreams.” * * *

Josh felt Claudy’s revulsion to the implication that their father had killed. “Daddy wouldn’t do that.”

“Wouldn’t he? Tess believed that too, and now she’s dead. She made a mistake in her judgement of your father. I, myself, learned long ago just what lengths Max would go for his Liz. I knew what he was capable of. She didn’t, her hatred blinded her to the truth, and he killed her.”

Josh didn’t care about that. If Dad had felt he had to kill, then he had to. “How did you know about our dreams?” he demanded.

“I overheard your parents,” Nasedo admitted.

Josh nodded, distracted by the visions in Claudy’s head. * * *

Trevor was confused by the scenes of the lady holding a baby, talking, taunting, of the wall of color, of the flash, of the lady crumpling, of the wall disappearing…Of Liz falling into Max’s arms.

Where was this coming from?

He could feel her trembling. It was coming from Claudia.

“That isn’t the point,” Nasedo said. Trevor felt like strangling him for the pain he was causing Claudy. “The point is that that is a type of power. Now, we need to figure out what else you can do.”

Rosa felt his eyes on her…She grabbed Nicole’s hand. “I can do little stuff. Change my nail polish, make-up, clothes color…”

Nicole nodded, “Me too. And I can, like, pull stuff to me. Like say I was on my bed and I wanted a pencil on my desk…”

Nasedo was nodding. He turned to Adam, who shook his head. “I can just change things.”

“Molecular manipulation,” Ed prompted.

“Yeah.”

“I can do what you did to Trevor,” Kevin piped up, “Not much more. The changing thing, and opening locks.”

“That’s basically all I can do too,” Trevor said reluctantly, “But sometimes if I touch siomething…I get a flash.”

“Yes, that’s all basic, you’ve barely tapped into your potential. Now, you two.” He focused on Josh and Claudia. “Tell me.” * * *

Claudia was still shaken, so Josh spoke for them. “We can do what they can do, plus dreamwalk and heal…and remember stuff from when we were babies. And we can connect, feel what the other person is feeling, hear their thoughts, see what they’re seeing…” he trailed off, “We thought we could only do it to each other, but I just did it to Trevor, and Claud…”

“I think I just did it to Trevor too. I can connect without touching tough, I just have to think hard.”

“Can you do it now?” Nasedo asked.

“I thinks so.” She closed her eyes, picking the first person to come to mind. Mama.

And suddenly she could feel her mother’s frantic worry, she could see her daddy and aunt and uncle and Maria and Michael. Max was pacing as she sat. Liz/Claudia couldn’t help but admire him, even through her fear. He was so amazing, so in control, so handsome. Mama’s mind raced as she studied her husband.

The panic of her children’s disappearance made Claudia wish she could tell her mother she was fine. But she wasn’t capable of mind-to-mind communication.

Liz/Claudia’s mind kept coming back to Ed, and suddenly the seventeen year old face morphed to a 45/50 year old one. The same cold eyes, but the black hair was gray and balding. Her mother’s fear escalated. Ed Hardington…Ed Harding.

Nasedo. * * *

He watched as her eyes slowly came back into focus. Her face had been flickering with emotions that weren’t hers. She had done it. He felt inordinately pleased, she was obviously the most advanced of the seven. She looked at him, a half smile on her face.

“She knows. My mother figured out who you are.” * * *

“Who the hell do you think you are? What made you think you haed any right…” Max fumed. Claudia stared at her father, she had never seen him this mad before.

“Right?” Nasedo questioned, “It is my job to protect you and them. I didn’t feel that I would be able to fulfill that duty if they didn’t know what they are.”

“We are their parents, it is our responsibility to protect them. Not yours. It is our choice to tell them. Not yours. You have overstepped your bounds yet again Nasedo. Don’t do it a third time or you may not like the consequences.”

“Are you threatening me Maxwell?”

“That appears to be the case.”

It was ridiculoous really, a 17 year old staring down a 40 year old. Claudia looked around, the silence was teeming with anger and distrust, all directed toward Nasedo. The children were on one side of the room, the parents on the other.

She was standing between Josh and trevor, the others were behind them. She felt a momentary shock, Trevor loved her! She had felt it when they connected. Claudia glanced at him, suddenly the future didn’t look so lonely.

She pulled her attention back to the matter at hand. * * *

He was silent, the leader had spoken, he didn’t have much just but to obey. His gaze flickered to the children, at least they knew now.

“Very well. You will not see me again, if there is trouble I will handle it alone.” He stopped.

“You know where the door is,” came a hostile voice. Nasedo looked at the human. Her dark eyes were flashing with anger and her hair was floating freely around her shoulders. She was heartbreaking even in her disgust of him.

He smiled, “Rest assured my dear, I’m leaving. There’s just one more thing to do.”

“Oh really? And what, pray tell, would that be?” her voice was dripping with sarcasm.

His smile grew as he held up his hand. Her eyes widened fearfully, but she stood her ground, even stepped closer. Good. He felt his features moving until he was Max. Again. They all looked so shocked.

Nasedo walked right up to Liz, grabbed her, and kissed her. Deeply. She struggled of course, but couldn’t push him away. Man, she was so sweet. Sweet sixteen. True, she wasn’t sixteen anymore, and this body was no longer 17, but the attraction…The feeling of vitality…It was still there full force.

He was so intent on her that he didn’t see the others. Didn’t see Alex grab Maria as she flung herself at him, didn’t see Michael holding Max with both arms, exerting power over his best friend to hold him back. Didn’t see the murderous expression in his leader’s eyes.

In fact, the only thing he was aware of was the softness of Liz’s lips, of her smooth skin, of the texture of her beautiful brown hair under his fingers.

She finally managed to break away, hatred burning in her eyes. “You bast-” she was cut off by a hand over her mouth.

“Children present, Liz,” Izzy reminded her.

Nasedo laughed, “Farewell my darling, we won’t meet again.”

“Good!” she spat. * * *

He disappeared, his full-throated chuckle lingering. “I’ll kill him!” Max exploded as Michael released him.

“You can have him after me, spaceboy,” Maria offered from her potatoe sack position.

“Um, Alex?” Michael inquired, “Can I ask you to unsling my wife off your shoulders?”

“Of course.”

Claudia glanced at the adults, they seemed to have forgotten their kids in their fury. Her parents were both wearing outraged expressions, and her mom kept wiping her lips. Maria was chewing out alex and Michael for holding them back, and Isabel for not doing anything. Claudy cleared her throat. * * *

All sound stopped as they stared at the children. “So,” Josh said, “We’re half alien.” He decided it was as good an opener as any. They actually had the grace to look embarrassed. “Interesting to know. Really explains a lot. Nice of you to tell us. Add this to the regular teenage problems and we’re just living in adolescent hell!” he sounded accusing, he knew, but he didn’t care. He wanted answers. Now.

They stared at the floor. His mother looked up, disappointment obvious. “Why didn’t you come to us?” Josh paused, at a loss for words.

“We were afraid,” Claudy said quietly, “That you would…That you wouldn’t…” Josh could see tears in her eyes, could feel the sadness coming off her in waves.

“Wouldn’t love you?” Liz asked. Claudia nodded. “Oh baby…” His mother came over, cradling Claudia, she looked at him, big brown eyes bright, and pulled him into the embrace. “Oh my babies.” All of them were crying now. He felt a pair of strong arms wrap around the tree of them and he leaned into his father for support.

Josh clasped Claudy’s hand. White light surrounded the four of them, weaving in and out, their love for each other visible for one second in time.

They slowly separated, and the colors separated too. Emerald green sparked around Dad, amber enveloped Mama, and a mix of the two glowed around Josh and Claudia.

He and Claudy were still pulled tight against their mother, who led them over to the couch. The families had slowly grouped together, everyone wiping wet cheeks, and they all gathered in the chairs and furniture scattered around the living room.

“I suppose explanations are in order?” Aunt Izzy said.

“Where to start?” Maria mused.

“How about the beginning,” Michael pointed out gruffly, rubbing his nose briskly. All three and Uncle Alex looked at Liz. She smiled and kissed her kids’ heads, then tilted her head back. Dad leaned down, kissing her gently on the lips.

“Well,” she started, “It was September 18th, 1999. It was supposed to be a usual day; school, work, homework, talking with Maria for a half hour…You know, the typical girl-stuff-in-a-small-town norm, but then, the most scary, most amazing thing happened. I died, and Max Evans saved me. After that, things got really weird…”
* * *

The End


posted on 30-Sep-2002 3:08:02 PM
ROSWELL

(alternative to Book 5)

The sun was warm on his body and the wind was blowing hard, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was that Liz’s body was pressed against his and that his lips were fastened firmly on hers. BOOM! A gun went off. He released Liz and looked up- Sheriff Valenti. He fired again, Liz jumped back, losing her balance as the wind knocked her off her feet. “MAX!” she screamed as she fell off the side of the building. He leaped forward, grabbing for her hands, but he was too late. “LIZ,” he yelled. She lay still on the cold, cement ground, blood pooling around her body. A thin trickle of red leaked from her mouth. She lay bloodied and broken, so pale and so still. “Liz,” he croaked in despair.

Max Evans sat up in bed sweating, shaking, trying to erase the vision of death the nightmare had left imprinted on his brain. “Max?” came a questioning voice. Warm hands wrapped around his waist and soft hair brushed against his shoulder, the scent of jasmine filled the air and a beautiful face looking at him worriedly registered in his mind. A face with glowing eyes and smooth skin. The face of someone alive. He pulled Liz closer to him, scared that she’d disappear if he let her go. “Max are you okay?”

“Fine, just fine.” He lay back down, pulling her with him. She snuggled closer and sighed, “You had me worried.”

“I’m fine Liz.”

The akino was over, Isabel had brought the stones just in time, and Liz had stayed over to make sure he didn’t relapse. Izzy had left with Maria and Alex to discuss their plan to save Michael. The sequence kept running over and over in his head; Valenti had Michael, Ray was dead, Max had been dead. He held Liz tighter, felt her warmth through his shirt, heard her heart beating reassuringly. Liz was alive, Liz loved him, Liz had almost died for him.

“Max you need sleep, I’ll be here in the morning, promise, but you need to rest.” Liz was looking up at him dark eyes full of concern. He smiled and kissed her gently, then closed his eyes and let sleep overcome him.

Liz was in the kitchen making waffles for breakfast, Max would be hungry, he hadn’t eaten in two days. She hoped everyone else was all right, Michael especially. The rest of the group was coming over later so that the plan could be revised.

She sighed, then smiled as she set the waffles on the table. She had enjoyed the sensation of waking up in Max’s arms. Footsteps sounded and she looked up with a cheerful expression and started to say “Good morn…” but the phrase never left her lips. She paled, Mr. and Mrs. Evans were standing there staring at her. They were supposed to be in Clovis until tomorrow.

She quickly stepped forward, extending her hand. They shook it, still looking at her with identical dumbfounded expressions. “Hi, I’m Liz Parker, Max’s girlfriend,” she could say that now that Max had finally lifted his ‘just friends’ policy. Mrs. Evans had lost the surprised look and had adopted a disapproving one, Liz suddenly realized why. “Which is probably not a good thing to say while just wearing your son’s T-shirt. Would you please excuse me.” She left them in the kitchen and headed down the hall. She knocked on Max’s door, he was dressed when he opened it.

He smiled, “Good morning,” then he saw her face, “What’s wrong?”

She looked up, “Your parents got back early.”

He looked in the direction she had just come from, “Oh,” then realization dawned, “OH!”

“Yup.”

Liz slipped past him and he went out, closing the door behind him. His dad looked really angry and his mom was steamed. “Kitchen, NOW!” Max sat down at the table, waffles, how nice of Liz, blueberry too, his favorite. “When your ‘friend’ is done getting dressed we are going to have a little discussion.” After what seemed like eternities later Liz walked in and sat down next to him.

His dad was pacing back and forth and Mom looked tense. Max looked over at Liz, she was looking at him. Mom spoke up, “Did…” They both looked up at her. “Did you use protection?” Max just stared at her, he could tell Liz was just as confused, then she started giggling. Max glanced at her, then grinned.

“You think this is funny? What if you got her pregnant?” his dad exploded.

Max lost his smile. “Dad,” he said seriously, “We didn’t have sex.”

“What?”

“Max was really sick this weekend. He just started getting better last night,” Liz said earnestly. His mom looked at him anxiously but then looked back at Liz as she resumed her story. “Isabel had to be somewhere, so I volunteered to stay with Max and make sure he was actually okay. Isabel locked her door, otherwise I would have borrowed pajamas from her.”

His parents just sat there, staring at her. “I’m going to drive Liz home while you guys digest this, okay?” He and Liz got up and walked outside to the Jeep. “Sorry,” Max said, embarrassed.

“It’s okay, my parents would have gone ballistic, too. I don’t think I made a good impression though.”

“I don’t think it mattered,” he sighed, “I also don’t think we can use my place as home base anymore.”

“Maria’s mom isn’t home, we could regroup there.”

Max nodded. Liz always kept her cool. He dropped her off and headed home.

Liz walked into the Crashdown Café and went straight to the phone, dialing Maria’s number. She answered on the second ring. “Change of plans, Max’s parents are home, we’re meeting at your house.”

“Got it.” They hung up. Liz headed upstairs to change her clothes.

Max opened the door to his house and shut it, trying to sneak down the hall quickly and quietly. “Hold it right there young man.” Max froze, wishing that his dad didn’t have such acute hearing, he sighed and headed toward the kitchen.

Max sat down, not looking at his parents, not offering any information. “She seemed like a nice girl. How long have you been dating?” His father appeared subdued for the moment. Mom had probably had a talk with him.

“Two months, on and off,” he replied.

“Liz Parker, Liz, she’s your biology partner isn’t she? The one at the hospital with you?” Mom of course remembered all the details. “I thought you were just friends.” Max frowned, just friends, he hated those words more than anything else in the world.

Mrs. Evans looked at her son, Liz Parker, she knew Max had mentioned her before.

//FLASHBACK// Max sitting in the hospital bed, “Mom, this is Liz.” A little more recently, “Yeah, Liz is a great bio partner.” And even more recently a picture of Max lying on his bed playing with a silver object, shoving it under his pillow when she came in. She excused herself from the argument her husband and son were in, and headed to her son’s room.

She opened the door to Max’s room and stepped in, looking around. It was the same as always, bed in the middle, dresser, nightstand with the radio and lamp, but she felt as if the room belonged to a stranger. She stared, on the dresser was a crown-Max’s Homecoming crown-she smiled to herself. Isabel had been so angry, she had wanted to be crowned queen and her brother had been king. There was a picture next to it, Max and Liz. They both looked so happy. Her hand trailed along the edge of the dresser, a jolt suddenly went through her. She looked down, her hand was resting on some fairly large stones, they seemed to shine with a white light. She concentrated, if she looked harder, she could see individual colors- an emerald green, a rich amber, dark purple, bright orange, and a deep, soothing blue.

“Mom?” She turned, Max was looking at her, she smiled and glanced down at the stones. They were dark. She felt foolish, I must be losing my mind she thought. Shaking her head to clear the light she looked at her son questioningly. “I’m going to the DeLuca’s okay?”

“DeLuca’s?”

“Maria DeLuca. Her number’s on Izzy’s speed dial, #4. Isabel will be over there too.” He left, she sat down upon the bed. He was drifting away from her, so was Isabel now that she thought about it. They needed to have a family discussion. She sighed and reached under the pillow. Her hand met with something cold, she took it out. It was a small, delicate, silver bracelet, a girl’s bracelet. She ran her hand over the braided metal. Her babies were growing up too fast.

The Jeep parked next to Alex’s VW Rabbit, Max got out and headed up the steps into the house. The others were sitting, looking worried about the whole situation. Liz perked up as Max entered the room, but she quickly lost the little smile she had given him. “We’ve come up with one solution. Alex and Isabel are going back to the compound.”

“I’m going too,” he said instantly.

“No, two people will be less noticeable, and Maria needs to stay here to guard the phone. I’m staying to keep an eye on you and you’re not going because you’d be a hazard,” Liz stated.

“A hazard!?”

“You died Max,” Liz pointed out gently, “We still don’t know if you’re completely healed and your powers are not going to be fully charged enough for you to use them.”

“I’m going.”

“No Max, you’re not,” Isabel said softly as she reached over and gently touched him.

She squeezed just a bit and Max fell to the floor. She felt bad about using her powers on her brother, but she couldn’t risk losing him. Isabel looked at Liz, who looked at Maria,

“We can put him in my room,” she offered. The four of them carried Max up the stairs, with Isabel using her powers to lighten the weight, and placed him on Maria’s powder pink bed.

“He looks so out of place,” she commented.

Maria giggled, “Not as much as Michael when he comes over. It’s like G.I. Joe invaded Barbie’s Dreamhouse.” Everyone laughed, but sobered quickly, if they didn’t succeed Michael wouldn’t be able to come over anymore.

Alex glanced over at Izzy as they drove through the desert in the rental car. Her beautiful blue eyes and blond hair were hidden under the facade of a fairly attractive, brown-haired, brown-eyed woman in her late thirties. Alex looked himself over in the mirror, graying-black hair, but the same green eyes. He hid a grin. Iz was good at the cover-up, they didn’t look like high school students anymore. Now if only they could trick the guards at the compound.

The rock wall was already open by the time they reached the compound. People were scurrying in and out of the place frantically. Like chickens with their heads cut off he thought disgustedly. He and Isabel casually slipped into the mass chaos and looked about anxiously. No sign of Michael.

“You two,” came a voice. They looked over, a large man was gesturing, “And you.” He picked someone else out of the crowd. The three gathered around. “The alien has escaped, we need to find him before Valenti comes. He’ll have all our heads. Search over in that direction,” he pointed, “Use the com-unit if you find anything.” Alex looked at Isabel, shrugged and started off. The others fell in behind.

Isabel was feeling a variety of emotions. Number one: disgust, these people were so unorderly, it would serve them right if Valenti did have their heads. Number two: relief with a hint of joy, Michael was free! Number three: anxiety, where was Michael now?, how were they going to find him?, and how were they going to get away from this guy?

She considered her options and decided it was best to just knock him out. She was just starting to reach up towards him when he shot out an arm and touched Alex. Alex fell.

“ALEX!” then, “Michael?”

“Iz?” The man asked, “Alex?” He looked toward the fallen form of Alex, who didn’t look like Alex. Isabel let her disguise fade and so did Michael.

“Michael!” She hugged him hard, then went to Alex, using her powers to heal the clot Michael had formed in his brain. Alex sat up slowly, the mask fading and looked up.

“Thanks for knocking me out.”

“Anytime,” Michael responded with a grin. They both laughed. Isabel shook her head. Their warped senses of humor came at the most inopportune times.

“Let’s move, different faces, Valenti’s not around. With all the panic getting away should be a snap,” Isabel said as she started rearranging her face.

Michael sat in the back of the rental car, thinking. Max was okay, Izzy had got him the stones in time. Ray was dead, but Michael all ready knew that. When he had come to he had seen two bodies lying on the beds next to his. Taking down the sheets covering them Michael had seen Nikolas and Ray’s faces. He shook his head, trying to erase the scene, block out the emotions. Iz looked back at him worried, he smiled and looked out the window. Alex started talking, asking him questions. “How’d you escape?”

Michael smiled, “They were stupid. I fought, knocked ‘em unconscious and took off in disguise. Figured I’d get out in the confusion and hitch back to town.” They were back within Roswell’s city limits and went back to the rental place to return the car.

Maria felt refreshed. Aromatherapy baths did that for a person. She was still worried, but she was sure everything would be all right. She wrapped a blue towel around herself and headed back to her room. Max was awake, sitting upright in bed and looking pissed. But Liz was holding his hand, telling him everything. He slowly lowered himself back down, but looked no less angry. Liz kissed his forehead and he smiled, glancing at her tenderly.

Maria sighed, she was jealous. Here Liz had this handsome guy who adored her, practically worshipped the ground she walked on, and Maria had Michael. Oh yes, Michael. The guy who said nothing when she told him she loved him, the guy trapped in a compound with who knows what happening, and Maria wasn’t there for him. She sighed again, more loudly this time and Liz and Max looked at her curiously. “I hate you, both of you!” Liz laughed, Max looked puzzled, but then he grinned. Maria giggled a bit too as she slipped into her fuzzy blue bathrobe and plopped down in her big pink chair. “I hope they’re all right.”

Max jerked up, “I should be out there, they need me.”

Liz scowled, pushing him back down. “You stay put, I will not have you putting yourself at risk. Max,” her tone softened, “They’ll be okay. You’re not responsible for everyone you know.” Then, so softly that Maria could barely hear, “I don’t want to lose you.” Max pulled her close, “You won’t,” he whispered softly in her ear. Maria felt a little embarrassed to witness this exchange, but Max and Liz seemed to have forgotten she was even there. She sighed again, sadly.

Max was worried, he reached out with his mind, trying to contact his sister. Isabel was still alive, so was Michael, Max could feel their emotions. Izzy was worried but happy. Michael was relieved and upset, filled with grief. Max smiled, “I think they’re all together and safe.” Liz looked supremely happy and leaned over, snuggling with him.

“I told you so,” she said smugly. He grinned and started tickling her. “No Max, no, STOP!” she said, giggling helplessly. Maria was laughing in her chair as Liz squirmed away and fell off the bed.

“Liz,” he gasped. The dream came back to him.

“I’m okay,” she said, gasping for breath, still giggling. “I’m okay,” she repeated, then grinned slyly, “But you’re not.” She grabbed a pillow and started hitting him, he put up his arm to ward off the attacks. He grabbed another pillow and started hitting her back. Soon a full-scale war was going on, with Maria cowering in her chair. She was laughing so hard tears were streaming down her cheeks.

SLAM!!

A car door slamming reverberated through the house. Max and Liz stopped mid-throw. Maria stood up as footsteps were heard just outside, the door opened. Isabel walked in, a pleased smile on her face. She was followed by Alex, and then….

….Michael.

Max started forward, but Liz grabbed his arm. He looked back, she was shaking her head. Maria noticed none of this. Her bright blue eyes had locked on Michael’s intense gray eyes the moment he had stepped into the room. Tears formed in her eyes and she stepped toward him.

Michael was extremely happy, he was safe. He looked around at his family of friends until he reached Maria, then his eyes stopped roaming. She looked adorable in the fuzzy blue bathrobe.

//FLASHBACK// Maria sitting in the cave, tears streaming down her face, just like now, “I love you, Michael.”

“Michael?” She had taken a step towards him, “Michael?” her voice came out small, quavering. He went to her, burying his face in her hair, holding her tightly. Then he lifted up her chin, kissing her softly. “I love you, too.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really.” Then he remembered that they were not the only people in the room and that their touching little reunion had been witnessed by a bunch of teenagers who were grinning like a bunch of idiots. “So, anyway,” he said gruffly, releasing Maria. She just smiled and sat back down. He turned to the rest of the group, they were still smiling, “What?!”

“Nothing,” they chorused.
<>

unfinished