|Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and the situations are owned by Regency Television and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
Summary: This is in response to crossover challenge issued by Carol on the RoswellDreamGirl list. Being a fan of both, I couldn't pass it up. . . Disclaimer: the usual; I bow down to the great and powerful Katim's and company, by whose good graces I mangle these characters. . .
Category: Crossover Stories
Another story, another Red-Eye flight to the middle of no where.
"Are we there yet, Clark?" Lois could feel the jet's engines shifting and slowing down for their descent, but she wasn't quite ready to remove her sleep shades yet. Just like she wasn't ready to deal with their present assignment. Actually, it was Clark's assignment, but since he'd roped her into going along with him, she felt compelled to be involved. Never let it be said that Lois Lane (Lois Lane Kent) could pass up any journalistic opportunity. Even if it was about alleged aliens in Roswell, New Mexico. Under the shades, Lois rolled her eyes.
"Hmmm, what was that, Lois?" Clark said in his half-listening, automatic-wife-responding voice.
With a slightly dramatic sigh, Lois gave up and greeted the day.
"Nothing, dear," she said. Leaning over, she gave him a quick peck on the cheek, then pulled back sharply. "You're gonna shave before we hit town, aren't you?"
Clark gave her a look over the top of his glasses that made her smirk. It was his "yes, dear," look and she never got tired of it. They'd been married for four years now and she still reveled in the little things, even those signs of his light-hearted annoyance. Yesiree, just the sight of him still gave her the chills. Her man. Her man of steel. [shiver]
"Cold?" he asked, concern in his voice. Putting down the stack of papers and photos he was leafing through, he pulled the thin cotton airline blanket up around her arms.
"I'm fine," she said, grabbing his hand and giving it a squeeze. "You know I'd follow you to the ends of the earth, Clark, but tell me again why we're covering a story that's been dead for over five decades?" She rolled her eyes a second time. "Aliens?
Please. . ."
She could see him stifling a smirk, then his handsome face became serious. When he spoke, his voice was very low. "Why is it so hard to believe, Lois? You believe in me, don't you?"
Suddenly realizing what she'd said, she corrected herself. "Of course, I believe in you. But you're right here in front of me. And there were circumstances that brought you . . . to earth," she said, finishing in a whisper.
"And maybe there were circumstances in Roswell, too." Clark kissed her on the forehead, a move so tender it never failed to break through whatever funk she'd worked herself into. And this one was a little funk. "Try to keep an open mind, okay?"
"Oh-kaaaay," she purred, curling against his side. "Just tell me we'll be out of here in a day, and I'll be a good little journalist's wife. . ." Something was suddenly wrong, though, because she felt Clark stiffen in his seat. She sat up straight. "What? What is it?'
Clark's sigh was her answer. Not one day in Roswell. More than one day in Roswell. Oh, lovely. . .
"How long will we be here?" No answer. "Clark?"
It was clear Clark knew his wife well enough to know he should be feeling some fear right now; she could read it on his face. Chewing his lip, Clark finally responded. "We're booked at the Tumbleweed for a week."
"There are some things I want to . . . you know, investigate, Lois. I think I might really be able to find something out here. . ." He looked up then, his face stricken-an open book-and she was suddenly struck by just what being in Roswell could mean for her orphan alien husband.
She felt herself melting.
"Oh, Clark, I'm sorry. I never thought of that. . ." She touched his face, relieved when his expression softened. "I just. . ." She kissed him again. "Of course we'll stay as long as you need to." She squeezed his strong hand. "Whatever you need."
She snuggled closer to him, pleased to feel his arm close around her shoulder. He didn't say anything, but the warmth of his body, and the kiss he placed against her forehead, said it all.
In his arms, she awaited their arrival in Roswell, New Mexico, if not with glee, then at least with a renewed sense of purpose. Maybe Clark would be able to find some connections here. And wasn't that what everyone was looking for?
* * * *
Max shivered as an early morning breeze threaded through his bedroom. Liz had left the window open when she'd come to talk to him last night and he'd been so caught up in what she had to say, and all that came after, that he'd never thought to close it until now. He knew, though, that if he was cold, she must be freezing. Even in her sleep. . .
He watched her breathing softly beside him and gently pulled the quilt up over her bare arms. She looked so peaceful, her soul finally freed, that it seemed a shame to wake her. But with dawn coming, she would need to be stealing back to the Café before her parents discovered she'd never come home last night and his discovered that she'd spent the night in Max's room. Talking. Of course, talking, but they would never believe that.
Why should they? Not with their history. . .
Gauging that he still had a little time before his parents woke up, and knowing that Michael was opening the Crashdown that day, (meaning the Parkers would hopefully be sleeping in), he indulged himself a few minutes to once again run last night's . . . revelations across the movie screen in his mind.
It had all been an act; an elaborate, staged lie.
Liz had not slept with Kyle Valenti, nor had she ever, for a single minute, stopped loving him.
Max listened to her retell, in a pained and faltering voice, the events of those fateful two days; of how a . . . a future version of himself had come to her; how "he" had begged her to help him, first, to see Tess in a new light, then second, to find some way to make him fall out of love with her. His Liz. Because somehow, in some way, their loving each other, would at some point in the future, bring about the end of the world. It seemed amazing, but he was forced to admit that if he was possible, so too was this. To protect the people she loved, to protect this world, she had told the greatest lie ever; that she did not love him, that she would not die for him, and in so doing, she had proven that lie wrong, though no one knew. She'd born that lie alone. For him. Until now.
And when he saw the raw, exhausted pain on her face, pain that had accumulated through six months of protecting that lie, his heart broke and the anger and confusion that had poisoned his life since then evaporated into so much nothing.
Why she'd done what she'd done. . . It was almost too much to bear. He loved her so much he didn't think he could ever truly express it.
They talked through the night and he never once pressured her about her choices, except to reassure her they would find a way to make it all work without sacrificing this thing that lived between them. And somewhere just a few hours before dawn, his arms held gently, protectively, around her, they both drifted off into a peaceful sleep.
A sleep from which he now had to awaken her.
"Liz. . ." A soft kiss to the forehead, lingering. Heady scent of almonds from her hair. "Liz, we need to get you home. Everyone will be up soon."
Liz awoke slowly, stretching her body easily against his, her cool hands sliding over his bare skin to hold him in an easy embrace. "Good morning," she breathed, placing a kiss over his heart to match the one she'd given him the night before.
Holding his breath, he counted to 10, slowly, focusing on the roses embroidered in ribbon on her pale pink sweater, the basketball resting against the bedroom door, the photo of he and Iz in clown makeup that was framed and sitting on his nightstand. . .
Taking a deep breath, he reluctantly moved her away from his side. "Home, remember?"
"Love you, remember?" she said softly, looking up at him with those large, liquid eyes.
His smile was broad and free and felt amazing. "How could I forget?"
Before he could say anything else, she was nodding. "You're right, though. If Mom catches me coming home at this hour, you may never see me again. . ." She grinned, then her eyebrows raised as an idea came to her. "I know! I'll go straight to the Café and put on my uniform. I'll just tell them I wanted an extra shift today."
"Liz Parker-brilliant even at five am. . ."
She gracefully accepted the compliment, slipping the blanket from her arms, stopping briefly to blush at the sight of Max's bare torso. Then she was off the bed and at the open window.
He caught her as she turned to say her 'goodbyes,' and giving in to what he was feeling, he gathered her into his arms. "Not without this," he said, his voice soft. And then he was kissing her and she was melting against him. In a rush of light and images, he felt their connection open and he reveled as much in their shared energy, as in the feel of her sweet, soft lips against his own.
How could he have ever thought he'd be able to live without this?
This connection. . .
His joy now was in knowing that he would never have to.
|Index | Part 2
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