FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"New Understandings"
Part 4
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.
Isabel lay on her bed clearing her mind to go dream walking. She took deep breaths and relaxed. Kyle's orb appeared before her. It was more like regular size, which was good news. She took the orb into her hands and began to hum, urging it to grow larger. She looked inside, and what she saw surprised her. She was already there! He was having a dream about her.

The part of her that was confident of her beauty and charm felt a bit of satisfaction that Kyle was dreaming about her. It wasn't like she hadn't found a guy dreaming about her before. The part of her that wasn't a complete snob was flattered.

She and Kyle were having a picnic under a tree. She was dressed in a pair of shorts and a rather revealing halter top. Kyle wore jeans and a T-shirt that showed off his chest to advantage. This was interesting. She couldn't hear anything and in order to be able to do that she would have to step into the orb and risk being seen. Her curiosity got the better of her and she decided to chance it. Isabel stepped in and immediately hid behind a nearby tree. Now she could hear the conversation.

"I'm really glad that you asked me to have lunch with you, Kyle," she said.

"I've always thought there was more to you than met the eye," he replied.

Isabel bristled. What the hell does that mean?

"Why thank you , Kyle. There is more to me. You know, I've always been attracted to you, but I never knew how a girl could go about getting your attention."

Isabel rolled her eyes. Pardon me while I hurl! Do guys have absolutely no imagination?

"I'll show you," he answered leaning toward her. He kissed her gently, and then all hell broke loose. She grabbed him and practically flung him to the ground and pounced.

From Isabel's hiding place, she watched her dream self climb all over Kyle. There is an up side to this, she reminded herself. If he's lusting after me it means he doesn't hate me anymore. In real life she could deal with an overly ambitious admirer. Besides, now that she really looked at him, Kyle did have a certain attraction when he wasn't being a complete ass. He was really good looking. The hours in the gym and the football practice showed. Pumped in all the right places. She had a definite thing for broad shoulders. I think he's ready for a visit in the waking world. She opened her eyes and sat up in bed with a satisfied smile.


The next morning Michael walked through his museum toward Max who stood at the door handling brochures to the tourists as they entered. His museum, what a strange thought. A place that belonged to him. He'd gone from a guy with no family, who'd spent his entire life being bounced from one foster home to another, to a business owner overnight. His circle of friends had expanded from Max and Isabel to include Maria, Liz and Alex.

He'd made other friends along the way too, but they were gone now. Cameron had split without so much as a goodbye. Adam had been killed. Trevor had gone to their home planet. All of these losses were painful in their own way, but it was good to feel some kind of pain over parting ways with people. It meant that he was alive and connecting with people. He had spent so many years building up barriers and making sure he couldn't feel. Looking back on it, the isolation had been hard on him. Harder than he'd realized at the time, or had been prepared to admit. He had never expected to be extremely happy. No one else was, right? He'd checked out enough auras to see that there was always a mixture of happiness and sadness, pleasure and pain. What was a normal amount of happiness for one individual to feel anyway?

But the dream he had seen had burst a hole in his bubble. Had Max just taken her home from the party, or had something else gone on? Something that he and Liz knew nothing about. Something that would break both of their hearts.

One thing was for sure, it was going to be a lot easier playing it cool with Max than with Maria. Max was, you know, another guy.

He walked up and smacked Max on the back. "How's business?"

"Pretty good, boss," Max replied with a smile. "We have an entire busload of Japanese UFO hunters in here."

"Can you believe anybody would travel all this way from Japan to Roswell, New Mexico to sightsee?"

"No," Max laughed. "I guess no distance is too great to see an alien."

"Speaking of which," Michael said as Isabel walked through the front door.

"When can we leave?" she asked.

"The museum closes in an hour. You can be a tour guide if you want to. You know, give it the personal touch," Michael kidded.

Isabel snorted. "I don't think so." She looked around. "Do you have coffee?"

Michael pointed toward the hospitality area and she wandered in that direction. She sat down on one of the visitors chairs picked up an old issue of UFOlogist Magazine and began thumbing through it.

Maria and Liz entered the museum. Liz immediately went to Max and gave him a soft kiss. "I just love a man in a uniform," she teased.

Maria approached Michael, but he only gave her the briefest of hugs and took off back upstairs to his apartment. Maria joined Isabel in the lounge area.

Alex entered the museum and sat down next to Isabel. "When do we leave?" he asked.


Two hours later they entered the reception area of the hospital. Liz approached the desk. "Hi," she said. "We're here to see Kyle Valenti."

"Kyle Valenti, Kyle Valenti," the receptionist repeated looking through the patient register. "Oh, here it is. Kyle isn't with us anymore. He was checked out earlier this morning."

"Checked out? He checked himself out?" Liz asked.

"No, the records here say that his father signed the release forms and they both left right after."

"His father?" Liz asked.

"That's what my information says," the receptionist said.

"Thank you. Looks like we came all this way for nothing." She turned worried eyes to the group, but kept her voice light. "Let's head back to Roswell and go by Kyle's house. Looks like we missed him."

They made their way back to the jeep.

"That's weird. OK, I'm stating the obvious, but we know that the sheriff is dead. How can he be here checking Kyle out of the hospital?" Isabel asked.

"He can't," Max replied. "It has to be somebody else posing as Kyle's dad. I don't like to think about this, but I'm betting that it is one of the Clean Sate operatives. Maybe they think that Kyle knows something about his father's work. Or, maybe they think Kyle will have information on the aliens in Roswell."

"It feels funny saying this, but poor Kyle," Maria said. "And I realize after what he did to Kevin and the rest of us feeling that way qualifies me as totally schizoid."

"There's only one way to find out what's going on," Liz said. "Let's get back to Roswell and we can go over to Kyle's house and see if anyone is at home."

"Let me go alone," Isabel said. "I think he might freak if he sees all of us beating on his front door."


Isabel pulled the jeep in front of the Valenti house. She automatically checked her makeup and hair in the rear view mirror. Satisfied with what she saw she walked quickly up the walkway and rang the doorbell. Kyle answered the door.

"Hi, Kyle," she said brightly.

"Uh, hi," he replied, looking around toward the back of the house. "What are you doing here?"

"Aren't you going to invite me in?" she asked.

There was a muffled crash from the back of the house. Isabel felt her smile start to slip, but she plastered it on determinedly.

"Maybe it would be better if I came outside," Kyle said stepping outside and shutting the door.

"I went to see you at the hospital today," she said. "They told me that a relative checked you out earlier today. Did your mom come to get you?"

"My mother doesn't care if I'm dead or alive," he said bitterly.

"I'm sure that's not true," Isabel said.

"It's true enough," he said. "She left Dad and me about eight years ago and we haven't had so much as a Christmas card since." He waved a vague hand toward the house. "These are some of Dad's … uh … relatives come to help me sort things out."

Just then the door flew open and a stern man stood in the doorway. "What the hell are you doing outside? I thought we told you to stay in the living room and watch TV."

"Uncle … uh … Fred, this is Isabel. I go to school with her," Kyle said.

"Nice to meet you Isabel. Get in the house Kyle," Uncle Fred said.

Kyle took a small step toward the house, and Isabel reached out and grabbed his hand stopping him.

"Sir," she said. "We've all missed Kyle a lot at school, and we just got the good news that he is home now. I fell like I haven't seen him in forever. Wouldn't it be OK if we stay right here and talk? Please?" She gave him the smile that had successfully melted many an irate male, adult or otherwise, in their socks. Isabel pulled a stunned Kyle closer to her.

"Five minutes," Uncle Fred said. "Right here."

Isabel beamed at him. "Thank you."

Uncle Fred went back inside and pushed the door semi-closed.

Isabel moved Kyle further away from the door. "Let's sit down here on the grass. That way Uncle Fred can see us from the window and we're too far away for anyone to eavesdrop." They sat down and Isabel positioned herself so she could see if anyone came to the door. "Kyle, the hospital said that your Dad checked you out. We both know that's not true. Who is that man?"

"That's the thing," he said. "I don't know who he is. He showed up and the next thing I knew we were leaving the hospital. He and another guy brought me back here. They're going through all Dad's things, taking some stuff and shredding other stuff. They told me I'd better behave and tell everyone that they are relatives, or else."

"Or else what?"

"I don't know, and I don't want to know. They say they want to find out what happened to Dad. I want to know that too."

"Kyle," she said gently. "We told you what happened to your father. I'm sorry, but we told you the truth."

"I believe you. I didn't want to for a long time, and I was looking for someone to blame. But I believe you now, especially with what's going on in there." He made a small gesture toward the house.

"You know, you have something in common with Michael Guerin now."

"Yeah? What's that?"

"You're both going to be living on your own. Michael inherited the museum and the apartment upstairs from Ray when he disappeared. Social Services have pretty much cut him loose, even thought he isn't eighteen yet. I can't imagine they would try to put you into foster care. Since you're older and have a house you're probably going to be lower on their priority list than one of the young kids." She winced. "That came out bad. You know what I mean."

"You think?" he asked hopefully.

"Yeah, I do. Michael's a great guy if the both of you would just give each other a chance. He knows what it is like to be alone. You could be good friends. He'll help you. We all will."

"Maybe," he said. He pulled up blades of grass while he digested that idea. "You were in my dreams while I was in the hospital," he said totally shifting the subject. He looked up at her. "Is that something you people can do?"

Isabel hesitated, but realized there was little reason to try to deny the obvious. "Yeah."

"You saved me in that bad dream when all the aliens were after me."

Isabel nodded.

"I was looking for the device that I had hidden. I couldn't find it. Is it gone?"

She nodded again slowly. She was almost afraid to hear his response to this.

Kyle sighed. "That's OK I guess. I'd hoped it would help me find my father, but apparently there isn't anything to find."

"I'm sorry, Kyle," she said.

"Thanks. I'm actually getting used to the idea that my old man's gone. I mean, it wasn't like he was really around all that much. He spent more time in the compound than he did here with me anyway."

Part 3 | Index | Part 5
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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