|"Taking A Step Back"
by Mary N.
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
|Michael, Maria, Isabel, and Alex are hiding in Topolski's former bedroom. The plan is to wait until she moves into the living room and joins Max and Liz. At which time they will move out on the balcony where they can watch and listen to what is being said without being detected. From their vantage point they will also be able to see the door of the study, where Kyle and Sandie are watching the monitors. If any unexpected guests arrive, one of them will poke their head out letting them know. That would be their signal for them to unite their powers and do whatever's necessary to keep the unwanted guests at bay until Max is done with Topolski.
When they think she's had enough time to join Max and Liz, Isabel slips out to make sure all is clear. Summoning the others with a wave of her hand, they join her quietly and listen.
Ms. Topolski enters the house closing the door behind her. She looks around cautiously and proceeds into the living room where Max and Liz are waiting for her. "Hello Max, Liz." She greets them pleasantly.
"Ms. Topolski, we're glad you agreed to meet with us. There are some matters we need to discuss."
"Where are the others? I was sure they would want to hear what I have to say."
"Don't worry, they're around. Have a seat Ms. Topolski."
Ms. Topolski sits in the wing backed chair facing them and moves straight to the purpose of this meeting. "You did it didn't you? You killed Teomner."
The group wasn't sure how she would take the news, even though they were fairly sure she would be relieved. The excitement they hear in her voice tells them they were right. "Yes, that's why we asked you to meet with us. We wanted to explain that his death was something we couldn't avoid, and we need to know where you stand."
"It doesn't matter to me how he died, just that he's dead. As to where I stand, if you mean will I turn you in? No, quite the opposite, you have my gratitude. You succeeded in doing something I've only dreamed of a million times over. Does that surprise you, that I wanted him dead? It wouldn't if you had lived my life. The only thing that had stopped me from trying to kill him myself, was the knowledge that he could kill me faster than a fly on the wall. You saw how powerful he was, so you must know that I'm right. When I heard about you, I knew you were the ones that could finally kill him. That's why I put things into motion."
Hearing Topolski talking like this shocked Liz, she's never known anyone that would actually want someone else dead. Even Michael, after how Hank has treated him all of these years, she was sure he didn't wish him dead. Just out of his life. She doesn't understand what she meant by putting things into motion, but she plans to find out. But first, "You wanted us to kill him?"
"Yes, him and his men. They were all hateful, cruel, evil men, but Teomner was by far the worst."
"Hate to disappoint you, but his men are not dead." Max informs her.
Standing quickly to her feet, Ms. Topolski asks in a panicked voice, "What!? What do you mean they aren't dead? They'll kill you, and now me. . . ."
Liz interrupts her and tries to calm her down. "Ms. Topolski they won't be hurting anyone. We aren't letting them roam, we're not stupid. We put them in stasis chambers until we better know how to deal with them. You see we aren't killers Ms. Topolski. It's like we said, if it could have been avoided, we wouldn't have killed Teomner."
Making sure she's understanding them correctly and wanting more information she asks, "They're in stasis chambers? For how long? And where did you get stasis chambers?"
"Let's just say they will be sleeping for a long time. At least long enough. Where we obtained the chambers, doesn't matter right now. What matters is they won't be hurting anyone." Liz explains further.
Sitting back in her seat, Ms. Topolski lowers her face into her hands fighting back tears of relief. She quickly regains her composure. "With that out of the way, I suppose you would like to know everything I know about you. That is why you really wanted me to come, isn't it?"
Sure they all want to know, but they never expected her to volunteer the information. They still aren't sure if they can trust her.
Wanting to know everything he can about where Isabel, Michael, Alisha, and he came from, he decides to hear her out. Max, in one simple word tells her to continue. "Everything."
"Maybe everything is the wrong word." She replies simply, "Lets start with what pertains to you and the others. We don't have time to cover everything right know. I can't risk being missed."
"Missed?" Asks Liz curiously
"I still work for the F.B.I. and I have a new assignment." Looking straight at Max, Ms. Topolski begins to explain what she knows, and how things unfolded. Basically explaining what her part has been in everything that's happened. "Max, you where the first gleam of hope I've ever had in my entire life. When you healed Liz that day in the Crashdown Cafe, you started into motion a chain of events. I was working for the FBI as a mole for Teomner. He'd been looking for signs of any survivors from the ‘47' crash here in Roswell. After the healing, he told me to use my talents to get assigned to the case. I have to admit, I would have done it even if he hadn't told me to. I wanted to know if it was possible that you could be one of those fore told about in a prophecy I memorized from one of Teomner's books when I was younger. I hoped you were.
The first thing I tried to do was find out if you really were from the other world. You didn't make it easy on me. You used your powers so scarcely I was about to give up. But I couldn't, I just wanted you to be the one so badly, that I decided to find another way to be sure. I started watching Isabel and your friend, Michael Guerwin hoping they would give me a clue. What a minute, let me clarify something for you. The bureau only suspected you, Max. Me on the other hand, I knew if Max was who I hoped he was, there would be three others. My first real clue that I was right about you was Kyle Valenti's locker being melted shut for the inside. I knew the two of you were having problems concerning Liz. So it wasn't hard to put two and two together. I continued to watch Isabel and Michael, and before long, I'd discovered their secret as well. Now I knew three out of four of the identities the prophecy foretold of. However, I never did discover who the fourth alien was. But that doesn't really matter, does it.
I didn't tell Teomner about my findings. I knew you weren't ready for him yet. Max, you were still fighting your feelings for Liz, and the three of you, Isabel, Michael, and yourself really hadn't let the others in yet. I knew I had to stall for time. It worked out for a while, but the problem arose when Liz and Alex blew my cover. At that point I was forced to tell Teomner about my findings. Not all of them mind you, just about Max. I figured he was going to know about you anyway from my report I had to file with the F.B.I. I wasn't the only one watching you, and it wouldn't have worked out if my report was different from the other agents.
The main reason I didn't tell him about Isabel and Michael was, I was afraid he would draw the same conclusion about you guys as I did. That you were the ones the prophecy predicted would come. I was never so grateful that I had learned to hide things from him as I was that day. If he'd had any inkling that I was hiding something from him, he would have killed me and then all of you.
Knowing how his mind worked, I appealed to his need for more power, and convinced him if he could convince you to trust him, he could use you. He was so arrogant, he actually believed it. At first anyway, but then he saw how close the two of you were getting, and somehow he learned about Isabel and Michael. He figured out who you were and decided to put and end to the prophecy by killing Liz. That was about the time Larry Trilling came back into town. He decided to use Larry's need to prove Max healed Liz that day in the Crashdown Cafe, to get him to kill her.
His plan was to convince you, Max, that it was too dangerous for anyone to be around you. That they would end up dying just like Liz. In the end, convincing you to stay away from them, which in turn, would keep you from bonding with another human. Therefore putting and end to the prophecy. He even even hoped over time you would turn to him, and allow him to be your teacher and guide."
"How did he convince Larry to try and kill Liz?"
"He went into his dreams, and suggested to him that if she was dying, you would save her even if it meant revealing your secret. It wasn't hard for him to do, since you'd already taken that risk once before."
"Thank goodness his plan didn't work. If he'd convinced Larry to shot to kill, it would have worked. I would be either dead or Max would have revealed his secret."
"Oh, but he did convince him to shot to kill, Larry aimed for your heart. He was truly convinced that it had to be something where you wouldn't have made it to the hospital alive. Teomner made sure Larry believed that was the only way Max risk his own life in order to save you in front of a crowd of people."
"Then how did I, . . . you. You saved me the way you said Teomner did. You controlled where the bullet hit."
"Yes I did. I remember being really scared that day, and being surprised that Max didn't pick up on it. I assumed it was because he was so scared himself. I was scared because I wasn't sure I could do it, my powers aren't very strong. It took everything I had to move the bullet an inch or two to the right causing it to hit you in the left shoulder."
The same fear Max felt that day rushes over him like an unexpected tidal wave. His fear quickly turns to rage as he thinks about how Topolski risked Liz's life on the chance she could alter the bullet's trajectory. Knowing now is not the time to lose control, Max masks his emotions, but he can't hide one physical change, his eyes. They turn a dark chocolate brown, almost black.
Liz, being very aware of Max's thoughts, knows how close he is to losing control. She squeezes his hand trying to draw his attention to her, but he doesn't seem to notice.
The look in his eyes hasn't gone unnoticed by Ms. Topolski, nor have the strong emotions she feels coming from him. He has the right to feel what he does toward her, but she hopes to change that. She would rather have Max and Liz as allies rather than enemies, that's why she feels she has to tell them everything. She doesn't want any secrets hanging over her head. She's seen secrets coming out later, and they always have a more damaging result than if they talked about up front. She's relieved when Max turns to look at Liz. Something about the way they look at each other helps her to relax.
Liz placed her hand on the side of Max's face, *Max, look at me! We may not like how she did things, but she did save my live.*
The anger immediately drains from him when he looks into Liz's warm, loving eyes. *How could she have risked your life like that? * He wraps his arms around her, pulling her into his arms as if his life depends on it.
*It's okay Max, what happened is over with now. Everything is going to be okay.*
*I just can't lose you Liz, I love you more than life it's self.*
*As I do you.* Pulling back from his embrace, Liz tells him what he already knows. "We still want her help, right? *
*Yes, but I think it's best if you do the talking for now.* Liz smiles understandingly. When she knows Max is ready, she turns her attention back to Ms. Topolski.
Ms. Topolski watches the exchange between Max and Liz curiously. It seems to her, either these two really know each other well or Liz has some power over Max, because without even saying a word, Liz some how calms him by making simple eye contact.
There are still answers Liz wants about Teomner and why he did the things he did. "After Larry's attempt failed, why didn't Teomner kill me himself? After all it was his profession."
"Max. He couldn't risk Max linking him to your death."
"But he came into our dream and trapped me in the dream world. He linked himself to everything then."
"Yes, but only after he realized you two were sharing dreams. I don't know everything about what happened after that. The bureau sent me away on another assignment. However, I do know he was concerned about how close you were getting. Something about Max coming into his full power and becoming the leader once he took a mate."
*The leader Liz, I am the Leader. Maybe she knows more about what that means.* Liz smiles a shy smile just for him. *Ask her Max.*
"The leader, is that from the prophecy you keep referring to?"
"Yeah, I think I can remember how it goes."
While Topolski concentrates on remembering how the prophecy goes, Max and Liz return to their private conversation. *Max, do you really think this prophecy could be about us? *
*I don't know, but it does make since so far. Besides, what can it hurt to listen. What I can't believe is how she's acting. It's like . . . *
*. . . . Like were old friends or something. Yeah, I know it's weird isn't it? The question now is, how much do we believe? *
*It doesn't matter if we believe any of it so far. Everything she's told us are about things in the past and doesn't really affect us now. What we have to decide is how much do we trust her now and in the future? *
*Easy enough, we don't. We only tell her what we have to and nothing more, nothing less.*
*I agree, but we still have to ask her about. . . .*
"I think I have it." Topolski declares drawing their attention back to her.
World of the past, world of the new, together united, four couples be true.
With one in the lead, with his hearts true mate, unite us they will, goodness against hate.
First uniting our worlds through truth, love, and light, their powers be strong, unite as they fight.
Vanquish great evil will be their quest, As new mother of all, true mate show us the rest.
I'm pretty sure I got it right."
Max and Liz look at each other in surprise. This really does sound like their group, even if they don't understand what it all means. They both wonder why prophecies always seem to be so vague on the information you need the most. Hoping she didn't catch the extent of their shock, Max asks, "It's this prophecy that convinced both, you and Teomner, that I was to be the leader, and Liz was to be my mate? It's because of it that he tried to kill Liz, and later trap Liz in some alternate dream world? Which he almost got away with it, if not for my father, might I add."
Ignoring the question, Ms Topolski questions, "Your father, Mr. Evans? How did he. . . ."
"To clarify Max interrupt, "No, my real father, Teomner's brother."
"Your father was Teomner's brother? The one he was looking for all of these years? You were related to Teomner?"
"I think your catching on."
"I had no idea, but then that doesn't really matter does it? He didn't care who you were, all he cared about was ending the prophecy and use your gifts as he did mine. That's all I know about what happened and why. I've told you this, I am grateful to you for giving me my life back. If there is anything I can do to repay you, all you have to do is ask."
"Actually, there are three things we hope you can help with." Max informs her.
Topolski looks surprised, "If I can, I'll do it. Whatever it is." Liz gets up and walks into the study. As she does Michael, Maria, Isabel and Alex descend the steps, in that order, and stands between the front door and where Topolski sits. She nods to acknowledge their presents and continues to listen to what Max is saying."
"Teomner hired three men to watch us?"
"He hired men, are you sure? He never mentioned it, normally he would have so that I didn't interfere with them."
"Very sure, they came to town looking for Teomner, then followed us hoping we would lead them to him. It seems he never payed them."
Liz returns to the room and hands three folders to Topolski. She then returns to her seat next to Max. Topolski opens each folder and scans through it. "These are some heavy hitters. How did you get them to back off? Never mind, what do you want me to do?" It there is anything Topolski has learned from Teomner and the F.B.I. it's not to expect to many answers.
Max doesn't mind telling her, it might even help her understand that this needs to be taken care of right away. "They only backed off because we had the upper hand at the time. They know we have information on their activities. When they think they can catch us off guard, they'll return and either try to finish us off themselves, or they will send someone else to try to do it for them. We don't want to have to watch our backs constantly for them."
"Done, I'll take care of them. The second thing?"
"We want the house kept a secret, and the property turned over to us legally. Go through my father, Mr. Evans to make it more acceptable."
"There is no house."
Thinking she's just agreeing with them, Max's response is, "Exactly."
"No, you misunderstand me. There is no house. This . . . " She motions to their surroundings. " . . . was Teomner's ship, and as for the property? There are seven large pieces of land in the U.S. and three abroad. He would move the ship to whichever sight suited his needs."
Michael's excitement gets the better of him, "Max all this time we've been looking, and it's been right here."
Max is trying to understand how this is possible, and Michael's out burst isn't helping. "Hold up Michael. Ms. Topolski, how is this possible? We can see the outside of the ship on Teomner's monitors, and everything about this . . . ship looks like a house."
"That's not Teomner's ship on the monitor, it's the ship that crashed in ‘1947.' He continued to watch it just incase any of the survivors ever tried to reclaim it or anything from it. As to why it looks like a house on the inside, I can only speculate. He often had guests here, mainly people that worked for him. He may have just liked it because it was so different from what he grew-up with. I never asked and he never said, I never really gave it a lot of thought. It's just always been this way." Still harboring bad feelings about this place, and everything she was put through within these walls, Ms Topolski doesn't care what happens to it. "If you want the ship and his properties, they're yours. I'll see to the paper work and have it all put in your names."
"It's going to be that easy? You're going to turn it all over just like that?" Questions Michael, he's never known anyone to give something away for nothing.
"Not quite, but I don't think what I want in return is asking much."
|Part 46 | Index | Part 48
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours