|"A Dreamer's Christmas Carol"|
Disclaimer: Roswell and the characters, and situations are owned by the WB
and Melinda Metz. No infringement intended.|
Summary: Post A Roswell Christmas Carol. The title is self-explanatory :)
|"Thanks for walking me home Max," Liz said when they got to the Crashdown.|
"Sure," Max said and smiled. "Thank you for being there for me this week."
Liz returned Max's smile. "You're welcome."
Max paused and looked down at Liz. He didn't want the night to be over. More than anything he wanted to ask the one question that he swore he would never ask again. He told Liz tonight that he believed in her and that was the truth. He believed in her faith and her kindness, but that didn't mean he understood her or understood why she would sleep with Kyle, if she slept with Kyle. And if she didn't, why would she lie to him? "Well, I'd better get home. Mom will probably wake us up early with a holiday breakfast concoction she learned from Martha Stewart."
Liz laughed. She wanted to say something to Max, but the words just weren't coming. She finally just said, 'Good night', and turned to unlock the door.
"Night," Max said and turned and walked away.
After Liz opened the door, she turned and watched Max walk in the direction of his Jeep. "I love you," she whispered and went inside the door.
The last two months had been incredibly hard for Liz. Lying to Max and Maria were the hardest things she ever had to do. At least Maria knew the truth now. That helped a little, but she still had to lie to Max. Tonight he had said he believed in her, but how could he? She had been lying to him for so long, she was starting to forget why she started lying to him in the first place.
Liz sighed and walked inside. Her parents were probably asleep already so she tried to be quiet as she went up the stairs and into her room. Liz quickly got ready for bed and grabbed her journal. She felt she had a lot to write tonight. But as she lay on her bed, pen poised, the words just wouldn't come. Her mind was racing, but she just couldn't write it down. Finally, Liz put her journal aside and climbed under her covers and turned off her light.
After watching the clock for 15 minutes, she turned over and forced her eyes close. She had to get some sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a long day. Liz concentrated on the humming of the refrigerator that was coming from the kitchen. It was an older refrigerator which made a lot of noise and it didn't work too well so it ran most of the time. Her mother always joked about how she wished it would run out the door, but Liz loved the old thing. It had helped her get to sleep many times over the last couple of months. Liz was able to focus on the noise and let her mind go blank and eventually she fell asleep. Liz hoped it would work tonight. She was definitely going to miss the old fridge. Her father had gotten a new one for her mother for Christmas. It probably wouldn't make any noise, so Liz would have to find another way to get to sleep on nights like this. Liz turned over again and looked at the clock. It now read 2:00. She closed her eyes and focused on the hum, letting her mind go blank and she finally drifted off to sleep.
Liz woke to the sound of children singing Jingle Bells. When she looked around the room to see where the noise was coming from, she couldn't believe her eyes. Isabel was sitting on a chair with what looked like a child's toy record player on her lap. Liz remembered having one of those when she was a kid. Liz made herself blink and when she opened her eyes, Isabel was still there in her room. She looked over at the clock. It now read 2:13. "What are you doing here?" Liz finally asked, observing Isabel was wearing what looked like silk Christmas pajamas.
"You tell me," Isabel said simply and stood up. She gently placed the toy record player on Liz's dresser and walked over to Liz's bed. "I'm here because you called me. You're lost and you're looking for some sort of guidance."
"What?" Liz asked more confused than ever. She closed her eyes and shook her head, hoping this was some sort of weird dream. She pinched her arm and opened her eyes again. Isabel was still standing there and the toy record player was still playing Jingle Bells.
"Do you remember that record player?" Isabel asked.
Liz nodded. She was sure she had to be dreaming. This was just too weird. Liz stood up and walked over to the record player. "My Grandma Claudia gave it to me for Christmas when I was 6. That was one of my best Christmases ever." Liz sighed, remembering that year. It was just before her father had bought the Crashdown. They were living with Grandma Claudia in the house her father had grown up in.
Liz reached down and touched the record player and suddenly the room around her changed. Suddenly, she was back at her Grandma Claudia's house. She looked around the room and saw all the old Christmas decorations and that horrible aluminum tree Grandma Claudia had insisted on using. Grandma Claudia couldn't stand the idea of cutting down a tree just so it could decorate her house for a week and then get thrown away. Liz's dad had tried to get her to buy a fake green tree, but Grandma Claudia insisted on using the aluminum one because her late husband had bought it for her.
Liz looked to her left and saw that Isabel was standing there next to her. "What's going on?" Liz asked.
"This is your journey Liz, not mine," Isabel said and looked around the room. "The person who invented those aluminum trees should be shot." Isabel paused and looked at Liz, "Actually, shooting is too good for him, it was of course a man who would think that was suitable for Christmas. Well, wherever he is now, I hope he realizes his mistake."
"My Grandfather bought that tree for my Grandma just before he died. She couldn't bear to part with it no matter how ugly it was," Liz explained. "Wait a minute, if this is my journey then why are you here?" Liz asked more, confused than ever.
"I'm here to help. You can't find your way alone."
Liz was about to ask for an explanation when she heard a child's voice. "Wake up Mom, Dad, Grandma! It's Christmas!" When Liz turned, she saw herself at the age of 6 run into the living room. She ran immediately to her stocking that was hanging near the tree. Her stocking was overflowing with treats. Mostly healthy treats, because her parents didn't believe in letting their daughter eat too much sugar, but also some cookies her Grandma had slipped in there. She had always told Liz that it was her job to spoil her just a little. Liz watched as her younger self pulled down the stocking and dumped the contents onto the floor. She sorted through it, pulling out the stuff she wanted right away and neatly putting the rest back in her stocking for later.
Liz turned to Isabel. "What is this?" It was a stupid question. She knew what this was. This was the Christmas she got the toy record player. She just didn't know was why she was here.
"You know what this is. This is your past. This is where your journey began," Isabel said and pointed to the little girl who was now sorting through all the presents that were under the tree. She was dividing them carefully into stacks.
"My journey began? I don't understand. This was a special Christmas, sure, but how did my journey begin here? And what journey are you talking about?"
"Just watch," Isabel said and pointed toward her Grandma Claudia, who had just entered the room.
"Honeybear," Grandma Claudia cooed as she walked over to her granddaughter, "Merry Christmas." She knelt down and took Liz into her arms. "Did Santa eat all the cookies we made?"
Liz nodded her head yes and struggled to get out of her Grandma's embrace so she could go back to sorting through the presents.
Grandma Claudia let Liz go and sat down next to her looking at the piles she had formed. "Did you get any presents from Santa?" she asked with a knowing smile.
Liz turned and shook her head no. "Just my stocking. I didn't find any others. I tried to be extra good this year."
"Uhm, well I think you were extra good this year. You can open one of presents I bought for you."
"Can I?" Liz asked and smiled at her Grandma. "Which one?"
"Whichever one you want," she replied and laughed as Liz picked the biggest gift in her stack and started tearing the paper off.
After Liz finished opening the gift, she squealed, "It's a record player." She then turned and hugged her Grandma. "Are there any records?"
Grandma Claudia smiled and reached for a smaller gift and handed it to Liz. Liz ripped the paper off and started playing her new Jingle Bells record on her new record player. She was singing along when, suddenly she turned to her Grandma and frowned. "Why didn't Santa think I was good, Grandma?"
Grandma Claudia smiled at her granddaughter and sighed. "Did you check the garage? Maybe your present was so big that he couldn't get it into the house."
Liz's face brightened up at the idea. She immediately stood up and ran to the garage leaving her Grandma laughing behind her.
Liz watched her Grandma Claudia and her younger self closely. She felt tears welling up in her eyes. She missed her Grandma Claudia a lot. She was the most amazing person Liz had ever known. She would do anything to talk to her one last time, to ask for her guidance. When her younger self left to go see what was in the garage, her father and mother came into the room. "So she's already started," Nancy Parker said with a laugh looking at the piles of presents her daughter had created and the discarded wrapping paper.
"Yeah," Claudia responded and stood up. "I sent her to the garage to find her gift from Santa." She turned to her son. "You were supposed to bring it inside."
Jeff laughed. "I got carried away with eating the cookies you left out and forgot." He walked over to his mother and kissed her on the cheek. "Merry Christmas."
Claudia laughed at her son. "Well, I'm going to start some breakfast. I hope cereal is okay, because I don't plan on cooking two meals today."
"Cereal is fine, Claudia," Nancy said and smiled at her mother-in-law, "and Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas," Claudia said and turned and went into the kitchen.
Liz looked at her parents. They had always been so happy together. Liz felt very lucky to have such wonderful parents. Jeff Parker sat down on the couch and reached for the remote. When he turned on the TV, Nancy grabbed the remote from him and turned it back off. "You can't watch TV. It's Christmas."
Jeff looked up at his wife and smiled. "I promise not to watch any football today, but I was hoping to catch the news."
Nancy sat down next to Jeff and snuggled up against him. "Okay, you can watch the news until Liz comes back. Then you have to turn it off."
Jeff kissed his wife on the forehead and said with a laugh, "That doll house is liable to keep her occupied for hours." Jeff turned the news back on.
Liz was absorbed in watching her parents when Isabel asked, "Do you remember what happened next?"
Liz turned to Isabel and then back to her parents. They had shifted positions on the sofa. They were no longer snuggling, instead they were sitting on the edge of their seats watching a special report.
"The orphanage fire," Liz responded to Isabel.
"And you remember what you did?" Isabel asked.
"I gave all of my new toys to the kids, including my new doll house and the toy record player my Grandma got me."
Liz turned to Isabel, realizing what this might mean. "Were you in the orphanage at the time of the fire?"
Isabel nodded. "The Evans hadn't adopted us yet. We could barely talk to other people, but Max and I could communicate to each other."
"Oh my God, the fire must have been terrifying," Liz said. She remembered the loneliness Max had shown her when he connected with her last fall.
"It was, but we made it out okay and everyone was very nice to us and the other kids, including you."
"You came with your Grandmother to drop off the gifts at the makeshift shelter they made at the high school. You played with some of the kids while your Grandmother helped out."
"I forgot," Liz muttered as memories came back to her. Liz remembered her parents and Grandmother telling her what happened to those kids. Liz didn't hesitate when Grandma Claudia suggested she could give some of the kids her toys. In fact, Liz remembered insisting that she could give them all her toys, including her dollhouse and toy record player. Her parents and Grandma were so proud of her they took her to the store the day after Christmas and replaced all the toys she gave away.
Liz also remembered going to the shelter with her Grandmother. There were at least 50 kids at there. Most of them were still in their pajamas, because all their clothes were destroyed in the fire. Liz played with a few kids while waiting on her Grandmother to hand out all her toys. "I don't remember playing with you and Max."
"No, you didn't, but we got to play with your toys. I got the doll house and Max got the record player."
Liz gasped. "I had no idea."
"There was no reason you should know. Your Grandma gave them to us. She was very sweet and patient. Max and I were scared to death. The only people we remotely trusted were our parents, the Evans's. But they hadn't adopted us yet and they had to go out of town that holiday because of a death in the family. We felt very alone even though we knew we would be adopted by them very soon."
"You met my Grandmother?" Liz asked, amazed. "Max never told me that."
"I don't think he realized it was your Grandmother that gave him the record player. He barely looked at her. Max has never been very social, but back then he was down right anti-social," Isabel explained. "He muttered thanks to her for the present without even looking at her and then took it to a corner to play with it."
Liz laughed at the image.
"Well, its time we went to the next step in your journey," Isabel said.
"No," Liz exclaimed. "I want to see my Grandma Claudia again."
Isabel reached out and took Liz's hand. "I'm sorry Liz, but there isn't time."
"I thought you said it was my journey. If it's my journey, why can't I control it?" Liz asked. She missed her Grandma Claudia so much that the thought of leaving without seeing her again was too much.
"Liz you need guidance and I am here to guide you. This is only the beginning of your journey. You have more to see."
"No," Liz exclaimed again as the room shimmered and disappeared around her.
|Index | Part 2|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|