Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
|"I'm going to get some air, Cordelia can fill me in on whatever you guys discuss. I can sense that some of you are uncomfortable with me here right now." Angel says leaving the Crashdown.
"So what big, bad, evil is out there? I know there is something going on, otherwise we wouldn't have been sent." Cordelia asks.
"We have had so much happen in the last 6 months that it's hard to figure out who's out to get us. That's why we tested you, we had to be sure you weren't a spy." Isabel explains.
"Well, start at the beginning then, what happened 6 months ago." Cordelia asks, taking a seat.
"It all started in September. There was a shooting in this very room. They never found the bullet. They never found it because it was inside of me, killing me. Until Max placed his hand over the wound. Ever since that day we have had the town sheriff after us, as well as the FBI, not to forget the crazy alien hunter who almost killed Max. Now it's like it's to calm, to quiet, and I feel like someone's watching me." Liz says, taking a deep breath.
"I've felt like someone was watching me too. I just thought it was Valenti, or that Larry guy, but whenever I looked there was nothing out of the ordinary." Maria replies.
"You should have said something if you were feeling uncomfortable." Max says to Liz and Maria.
"Well you've been avoiding me remember? Actually that's why I called this meeting to begin with, I really was going to tell you." Liz responds.
"What's your excuse then?" Michael asks Maria, almost harshly.
"I thought you couldn't be bothered with me, remember you made it very clear, you wanted nothing to do with me. So why should I mention it?" Maria retorts.
"OK you two, separate corners, you can fight later. We do have more important things to talk about. Sorry about them, bad breakup, fighting is their preferred way of communication." Isabel says, apologizing to Cordelia.
"No problem, I can totally relate. Can you tell me about these people you mentioned? This Larry person and Valenti?" Cordelia asks.
"Well, Valenti is the town sheriff, he is hard to figure out. First he's following us, and harassing us, practically stalking us. Then the one night he could have caused us trouble, he let us go. Like I said hard to figure out." Max replies.
"As for Larry, I don't think he can cause us any real trouble. He was here the day of the shooting, since that day he's become kind of alien obsessed. Like I said it's been really quiet here, and that scares me." Liz admits.
Before anyone else can comment as to whether or not they felt uneasy, the door opens. Angel walks in with a young man by the collar. "I found this kid outside watching all of you. I thought I should bring him in." Angel says gruffly.
"Kyle? What are you doing here at this hour?" Liz asks.
"I overheard my father talking last week about what happened at Pepper's Cafe. I put two and two together and came up with you three, I've been watching Liz and Maria ever since. I didn't want anything to happen to them. You don't have to worry, I'm not the enemy here. If I were I wouldn't have let this guy drag me in here, or even if I had, would I have told you why I was here?" Kyle answers.
"OK, someone explain to me what is going on?" Cordelia asks.
"Cordelia Chase meet Kyle Valenti, my ex-boyfriend." Liz answers.
"Hey, Liz I thought we were friends? Remember your promise?" Kyle asks.
"You're right, I did promise that we could try to be friends again. Sorry I was so uptight, its just been a very stressful day." Liz says, softening her tone.
"Lizzie, can we wrap this up? I'm really tired." Maria asks, pleading with her eyes to be released from being in the same room as Michael.
"Why don't you go on upstairs, I'll fill you in later when I come up." Liz says, sending a look of understanding to her best friend.
Maria shoots her friend a look that says 'Thank you' and leaves.
"Some people just can't handle conflict." Michael says snidely.
"Michael, don't start. You know full well she left because of you and your indifference." Isabel says loudly.
"Well if I'm so unwanted why don't I just leave." Michael responds, and gets up and leaves.
"all right then. I think we have figured out who was watching Liz and Maria. So why don't we make a list of who might be our mystery man, or woman." Cordelia says changing the subject.
"Well maybe we should start with people who have disappeared. It seemed like that deputy was always around, what was his name? And we can't forget Topolsky, she just disappeared, no one ever saw her leave town." Alex suggests.
The others look at Alex, suddenly remembering he was still in the room. "How is it you thought of those right off the top of your head?" Isabel asks Alex.
"Well if you'll recall, everyone shut me out for awhile. What else was I supposed to do, my best friends had abandoned me, it was my sacred duty as a best friend to spy on them." Alex replies with a grin.
"Well you are right at least about Deputy Blackwood, he for time off a few months ago and disappeared, no one has heard from him since. Topolsky, as in Miss Topolsky the guidance counselor? What does she have to do with all this?" Kyle asks, slightly confused.
"Miss Topolsky is an FBI agent and may still be around, she is definitely someone to watch out for, she could be major trouble." Liz answers.
"Wow, this is so much to take in, why would it be important about Blackwood? He's just a deputy, no one important. Unless you count him being a workaholic and having been a deputy longer then anyone else." Kyle answers.
"How long has he been in Roswell?" Isabel asks.
"Years, I can remember my dad telling stories about him and things he had done. I have heard about him all my life I guess. Why do you ask?" Kyle asks Isabel.
"I have a feeling about him, when was the last time anyone saw him?" Isabel asks.
"The last time I remember seeing him was the day the house got robbed, the day we came back from Marathon." Max answers.
"I saw him the day I got arrested for breaking into the museum." Michael says, as he re-enters the room.
"Why is it important when anyone saw him last?" Liz asks, not understanding what Isabel is getting at.
"The day the house got robbed, I saw him too. He was in my room to get a statement. He saw I wasn't in any from of mind to give one and said he would come back later, before he left though he caught sight of the pendant I got at Atherton's. Remember, I told you he was the one who told me about the reservation. He never came back for my statement, one of the other deputy's took it. Not long after that, we met River Dog, I think River Dog is Blackwood." Isabel replies, stunning them all.
"It can't be, I told you about my talk with River Dog. He hurt himself in the woods, and when I asked him why he didn't heal himself, he said he wasn't one of us. Besides how could he look like one person one minute and someone else the next?" Michael informs Isabel.
"What you told me was he said he wasn't your father, you also said when you made the connection you only saw images of yourself, nothing from his past. Plus you add in what Hubble said when he confronted Max, about the thing that killed his wife being a shape-shifter. It isn't so far-fetched is it?" Isabel answers.
"One thing you are forgetting, if River Dog is one of us, who is Nasedo? Is River Dog him, or was River Dog just sending us on a wild goose chase?" Max asks.
"I don't have all the answers, this is a theory, but is it possible?" Isabel questions.
"Who is River Dog? I guess in your theory you answered that, but this is a name I hadn't heard before." Kyle asks, after looking at the confused looks on Cordelia and Angel's faces.
"River Dog is an Indian from the reservation. He's helped us out quite a few times lately. He really is a good man, why would he help us if he was only out to hurt us?" Liz explains.
"I think the only answer to this one is to ask River Dog about all this. He seemed to know more then he was saying last time I saw him." Alex answers.
"I think you're right, Alex. I'll go wake up Maria and we will all go, together, as a group, right? No one taking off ahead of everyone else?" Liz suggests, as she looks directly at Michael.
"How about this, we leave Maria here and go on without her?" Michael replies.
"I say we leave them both behind! I'm tired of their petty, childish bickering." Isabel says, turning and heading out towards the JEEP, with Alex on her heels, like a little puppy.
"It might be best if only one of you came with us, River Dog can be a little unwelcome of strangers." Max tells Angel and Cordelia.
"Cordy, you go. I'll wait at the hotel. You can fill me in when you get back." Angel tells Cordelia. Angel leaves and Cordelia follows him
"OK, now explain to me again why we are going out to the reservation in the middle of the night?" a sleepy Maria asks.
"Because Izzy has some wacky theory about River Dog being someone other then River Dog. She and Alex are already in the JEEP let's go, and by the way, she's mad at us, so we had better lay off the bickering." Michael tells Maria as they leave the Crashdown.
"We can't all fit in the Jeep, how are we all going to get to the reservation?" Liz wonders aloud.
"I have my car, the three of us and Cordelia can ride in there." Kyle offers.
Stunned, Liz says "Thank you." the three leave the Crashdown and Liz locks the door behind them.
"OK, here are the seating arrangements, since we all can't fit in the Jeep. Iz, you, Alex, Michael, and Maria in the Jeep. The rest of us in Kyle's car." Max declares.
"Great, I'm stuck with them." Isabel mutters under her breath. She pulls herself into the drivers side, and immediately turns on the radio hoping to drown out any potential fights with music. Waiting for some argument about having to sit with each other from Michael or Maria, but none came. Isabel looks back to find Maria already asleep, she had heard that Maria sometimes slept on car trips, not matter how short. The other thing that caught her attention was Michael was staring at Maria, not in that 'I hate you way' but in the "I love you, but I'm afraid to show you way'. Michael could be so caring sometimes, Isabel wished for him to find some happiness. As long as it didn't put her life in danger she didn't care, and as long as she didn't have to deal with their fighting anymore.
Once Michael realized she was staring he turned his eyes towards the sky to watch the stars fly overhead. The stars were one of the few things that comforted him. Ever. When he felt like an outcast from everyone at school. When he felt left out of the Evans family, when Hank hurt him. Even the night he ended things with Maria, although those stars didn't seem to bring as much comfort as before.
Meanwhile in Kyle's car, things were going better then expected. Everyone was kind of alone with their thoughts like in the Jeep, Liz thinking about how Max and Kyle were in the same place and not fighting, or trying to hurt each other. She was also amazed at how cool Kyle was with the situation, and how lucky they were that he had realized the petty war between him and Max was before he found out the big secret.
Kyle drove in silence, for the first time realizing what Liz saw in Max, and why he lost her, it was nothing he or Max had done. Liz just wasn't destined to be with him and he could handle that, as long as he didn't lose her as a friend.
Max too was lost in thought, he was trying to concentrate on River Dog and what Isabel had said, but his thought kept coming back to Liz and her comments earlier in the evening about him avoiding her. He never meant that, he thought that it was best to give her space so she could get on with her life. In that moment when she said she was being watched, he realized he never wanted her in that situation again. He wanted to be the one to protect her, he realized that neither of them was any better off alone. Max vowed in that moment that when everything was over he would apologize and tell her everything in his heart.
Cordelia watched the three all obviously lost in thought and suddenly wished she could read their thoughts. Although she hadn't known them long, she was relatively sure what they were all thinking, and it wasn't about what lie ahead of them on that reservation. They all had that look of nostalgia on their faces, possibly thinking of what could have been.
The ride to the reservation was not a long one and soon they were there.
Isabel parks the Jeep and Kyle pulls up right beside in his car. "I think we should head straight for the cave, if he isn't there I'm sure he will be eventually." Max says, leading the way to the cave.
"Good idea, we should probably make sure that Cordelia and Kyle are in the middle, so we can protect them." Liz suggests, remembering her and Max's first meeting with River Dog at the cave.
Once inside the cave Michael is immediately drawn to the map, remembering his dreamvision when he was dying.
"Whatcha thinking about spaceboy?" Maria asks Michael, already knowing the answer.
"Why do you do that?" Michael responds.
"Do what?" Maria asks, dumbfounded.
"Ask questions you already know the answers to, you know fullwell I'm thinking about the last time I was here, when you saved my life." Michael answers.
"Don't make this about me, all right? I'm not the one who is running away, whenever I start to get to personal, you get like this. All I wanted to know was if you were OK. You were to quiet on the ride over here." Maria answers back, almost yelling.
"What do you know about it, you slept the whole time." Michael yells back.
"I wasn't asleep, I just figured it would be better if I pretended to be asleep, then Isabel wouldn't yell, and you and I wouldn't fight. I thought it would be better for everybody. You think I didn't feel you boring wholes into me? I feel your eyes on me always. You know why I didn't say anything about feeling like I was being watched? Because I knew you were there too. I knew as long as you were there I was safe. Happy now?" Maria screams at him and then leaves him standing speechless.
"Wow, I thought I had problems with boys in high school, not like those to anyways. They seem very passionate." Cordelia surmises.
"You don't know the half of it, one of these days he is going to realize how much he cares about her, and Max is going to give up on any hope of life without Liz and I'll be all alone. The only one to keep our promise to not get involved. I'm scared of what will happen if they ever do get it together, especially Michael and Maria. Max and Liz are trouble whether they are together or not, he loves her and she loves him plain and simple. Michael and Maria are different, like I said its gonna be trouble." Isabel says with a sigh.
"What about you Isabel? Aren't you interested in falling in love? You know you remind me alot of myself when I was your age. I was the girl everyone looked to for the latest fashion trends, I was popular, I always felt like I was on the outside though. Even in high school when I found a group of people who saw me as a person and not just some ditz, it wasn't the same. It wasn't until I started working for Angel and met someone who changed my life that I realized how precious life is, and you don't always have tomorrow's. I wish I could say I had no regrets, but that wouldn't be true, all I can say to you, is live in the now, not the past, or some future you may never have." Cordelia tells Isabel.
"The face I saw when I connected with you, he was someone special wasn't he?" Isabel asks.
"He was, his name was Doyle, and he's the one who cursed me with these visions I have. Sometimes I wish I could see him one more time, just to say I'm sorry I wasted so much time, but that's life. Like I said, don't waste any of it." Cordelia says, leaving Isabel with her thoughts.
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