FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"New Understandings"
Part 1
by Beowulf
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. Wish I did. I'm just borrowing them temporarily, and I promise to put them back none the worse for wear.
Summary: Roswell, based on the books NOT the TV series. Basically, this picks up immediately after the end of book #10 of the series. If you aren't familiar with the books, you might be lost. The some of the characters you won't know. Sheriff Valenti is dead. The Pod Squad is different. Max isn't a king. There is no Royal Four. Isabel is a cheerleader. Max is blonde. Liz's last name isn't Parker. Michael is not nearly as surly. Maria has curly hair. They have different powers as well. They can see auras, and a biggie is that they can not only change the shape of things, but change their appearance as well. There are others but I digress. Synopsis: Michael and Maria are finally together. Kyle Valenti is saved.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: I really enjoyed the Roswell High books. But I felt like Michael and Maria got short changed. The ten books spent a goodly amount of time developing Max and Liz's relationship. It seemed unfair that Michael realized how he felt about Maria and confessed his love to her, just to have the book and the series end a couple of pages later. Thanks To: I want to thank my beta readers, deah, Mysticalshevamp, ViLaNdRa194, and Tinkerbellgirl69. A very special thank you goes to shadowwalker. You are the *the best*! Your suggestions and comments were always dead on, and I think the story is better because of you. I owe you a lot.
"Too good to be true, too good to be true!" Maria's heart sang. Michael hadn't gone back to the home planet with Trevor. As incredible as that was, even more unbelievable was that he had actually said the magic words "I love you." Surely it was impossible to put all this emotion into one body without dire consequences. She felt she had to do something with all that emotion, so she wrapped her arms more tightly around Michael.

He returned the hug and then looked around the museum. "This place is a mess," he pronounced.

"Yeah, you'd think a whirlwind came through here or something," Alex said. "I wonder what got sucked into the wormhole. Aside from Trevor that is."

"Maybe we got lucky and that icky alien autopsy dummy got sucked into kingdom come," Isabel said. Everyone laughed.

Michael's thoughts flashed to his brother. He wondered if he had successfully made it to the home planet. He thought so. He felt sure he would have somehow known if something had gone wrong. Trevor had a monumental task ahead of him, but he had the Kindred to help him rebuild their society without the Consciousness.

From the time he had discovered that he wasn't like the other kids, he had thought of little except finding a way to go home. That opportunity had just passed him by, or in the end he had decided not to go. His reason for staying felt pretty good in his arms. He gave Maria a squeeze and looked down into her smiling face. He loosened his grip, and she took the hint, moving away and beginning to pick up the debris. Maria was always cool that way.

"Let's get after it, people," Michael said rubbing his hands together. "We have a grand re-opening this weekend, and there's a lot to do."

Isabel opened a nearby closet and began dragging out brooms and vacuum cleaners. Alex grabbed the closest bottle of glass cleaner, paper towels and a box of trash bags. He flipped the box to Maria as he passed by. She caught it deftly, whipped out a bag and began filling the first of many.

Everyone cleaned, swept and vacuumed around Max and Liz who stood pressed together, murmuring softly to each other and kissing softly. Liz kept moving her hands over Max's face and body as if to reassure herself that he was actually back with her. In one piece, body and mind. The Consciousness had very nearly claimed him completely. She kept having the irrational thought that if she held onto him tight enough, nothing else could touch him. She knew it was silly, but she couldn't seem to make herself let go.

"OK, you two." Isabel finally announced. "Enough already! This is getting embarrassing. Besides I'm not doing your share of the work. It would put my princess status in jeopardy."

"Goddess," Alex corrected.

"Goddess," Isabel acknowledged.

"We can't have that," Max said as he and Liz parted after one final quick kiss. "What do you want me to do?"

Maria handed him a trash bag and then surveyed the room. "You're tall, see what you can do about that stuff in the ceiling fans."


Hours later, covered in dust, everyone gathered around a table in the closed Crashdown. Maria and Liz distributed iced drinks to all. Max pulled a chair as close to him as possible and Liz sat down. Michael pulled Maria into his lap.

Liz didn't need to be able to see Maria's aura to know that her best friend was very happy. Michael had always been too focused with his individual goals to notice that Maria was completely gone over him. Liz didn't know what had changed in Michael to make him wake up and smell the hot sauce, but she was glad that it had. Isabel, on the other hand, seemed down. Liz leaned across the table and took Isabel's hand. "Are you alright?"

Isabel squeezed her hand in return. "Yeah, I'm OK. Or I was while we were busy cleaning up. Now that we're just sitting here I have time to think. I'm really going to miss him, you know."

"Do you want to talk about it?" Maria asked.

"Not right now," Isabel replied. "It's still too fresh. I need time to think about it myself." Change the subject, she thought. I do not want to sit here and cry. "There is one thing that we need to talk about."

Max pulled Liz back to him. "And that would be?" he said.

"Kyle Valenti," Isabel said.

"What about him?" Max asked.

"Well, he is kind of the reason that we were able to open the wormhole. We got the Clean Slate device from him. He didn't offer to tell Michael and Maria where he hid the device, but I did get the information from him."

"Yeah, how did you do that? What did you say to him?" Alex asked.

"I went into this dream orb dressed like," she stopped cold, blushing. "That's not important."

Everyone exchanged significant looks, much to her added embarrassment.

"The point is that he is stuck in that awful place. I can't help but feel like we should do something to help him get out. He isn't crazy, you know. And he blames Liz for getting him locked up in a mental institution."

"Me?" Liz asked.

"He says that they came and hauled him away right after you told the press that he was having trouble since his father disappeared."

"You had to do that or he would have exposed Adam," Michael said.

"I thought so at the time, but I think I agree with Isabel. We need to help him get out." Liz appealed to the group.

Maria looked at Liz and made her decision. She went into her best-friend- full-and-complete-support mode. "I agree with Liz. We owe it to Kyle to help him if we can."

"Why help him get out?" Michael asked. "Can't we go and visit him in the hospital or something. I think the guy is trouble walking around Roswell. He seriously hates us. He thinks we killed his father."

"Michael!" Maria exclaimed, swatting him on the side of the head.

"What?" he said. "Don't tell me you think he would just forgive and forget."

"Probably not. But we do owe him, in a backward kind of way." Maria defended her position.

"They're right," Max said. "If it wasn't for Kyle, Michael and Trevor wouldn't have been able to open the wormhole and destroy the Consciousness. I'd still be stuck there too. Smothered." A shiver went through his body at the memory. Liz put a comforting hand on his leg.

"So what do we do? Anybody have any suggestions?" she asked.

No one spoke up.

Isabel sighed. "I started this thing. I'll visit him again in the dream plane and see if I can find out anything useful."


Isabel took deep breaths and concentrated on tightening and relaxing muscles in her body until she felt herself drifting away. The power she enjoyed the most was being able to walk into other people's dreams. Over the years she had matched almost all the orbs in the dream plane to the people she knew. She looked for Kyle's orb. Finally she spotted it and realized why she had had so much trouble. It was small. All of the orbs were of different sizes, but Kyle's seemed smaller than what she thought was normal. She frowned in concern, and began to hum calling the orb to her. When it was in her hands she began to draw her hands apart, urging the orb larger.

She looked inside, and her frown deepened. Kyle was dreaming about the hospital again. He sat slumped down on the couch in front of the lounge TV. He was alone. It was too sad that he couldn't escape even in his sleep. She stepped inside and looked around. Drab, institutional gray walls with drab, institutional gray furniture. The guy definitely needed some color in this place. Her sweater changed from light green to bright red, got a smidgen tighter and the neckline got more than a smidgen lower. She held a bouquet of colored balloons in her hand.

"Hi, Kyle!" she said brightly. She sat down next to him on the couch. "What are you watching?" She turned toward him and tucked her legs under herself.

A look of suspicion quickly replaced the flash of pleasure at seeing her. "I'm watching a show about people who have been abducted by aliens. Do you have anything to add to the discussion?" He crossed his arms across his chest and returned his attention to the program.

Isabel paused. "Why no, Kyle, why would I know anything about that?" She touched his arm bringing his attention back to her. "I brought you these," she leaned forward making sure he got an eyeful down the front of the sweater as handed him the bouquet of balloons.

"Thanks," he said taking them from her and immediately letting go of the strings. The balloons sailed to the high ceiling. He turned back to the television. Isabel moved a bit closer to him.

"Kyle, I came all this way to see you. Won't you even talk to me?"

"Sure," he said turning off the TV with the remote. "Don't want to seem ungrateful for an actual visitor. What do you want to talk about?"

She sighed inwardly. "You know what, can we get out of here? Someplace where we can talk in private." She stood up and pulled him to his feet.

"I can't leave the hall without a pass."

"I'll take care of that, " she said.

And they were outside walking along a crushed limestone path. All the shrubs and plants were in full bloom. The air was filled with the perfume of flowers and newly mowed grass.

Kyle stopped and looked around him. "How did I get here? I need a pass."

Isabel caught his hand. "I have it right here. See?" she waved a slip of paper in his face and then stuck it in her pocket. She pulled him along as she walked down the path. "Isn't this nice?" she asked.

"I've never been out here. It's good to be out."

Well, at least he isn't fighting me anymore, she thought. She led him toward a bench beside the path. Sitting down, she pulled him down beside her. She didn't let go of his hand. "How are you feeling, Kyle?"

"My father is dead. I'm in a loony bin with no prospects of getting out any time soon. How do you think I feel?"

"Actually, that's what I came to talk to you about. I want to help you get out of here." She decided to turn on the charm. She leaned toward him and put her palm on his chest. "Tell me what I can do."

He looked at her dumb struck. "Uh, you could talk to the doctors. You know, tell them I'm not crazy."

She scores, she thought triumphantly as Kyle's eyes riveted themselves on the cleavage displayed by the sweater. Guys are so predictable. "Oh, I will!" she promised. "But you have to help too. You really should stop talking about all that alien stuff. Tell them you were wrong. You were just really upset and jumped to all kinds of conclusions." She ran a finger along the neck of his shirt. His eyes met hers and she smiled sweetly. "Promise me?"

"I promise," he said.

"Time to wake up Kyle. I'll come to see you again tomorrow." Isabel stood up and walked toward the closest bushes. As she walked through, she waved back at him.

Index | Part 2
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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