|"Always With You - Part Two"|
by Watcher Tara
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Roswell.|
Summary: This takes place two weeks after Always With You. Tess's allies have come to town looking for her, and Kyle is back from basketball camp with issues of his own. Also evil wears a familiar face as dead bodies start popping up in Roswell.
Authors Note: You REALLY should read Always With You first, but if you haven't, here's what you've missed: Tess was evil and not the fourth alien, the gang killed her and Liz discovered she has powers, too. I hope you like part two. Please, please e-mail me with your thoughts.
|In the CrashDown the following morning, Liz and Maria were hard at work. It
was impossible for them to call in sick, since Liz's parents owned the
restaurant, so they decided to go with the buddy system. Max had been torn
between staying in the motel to watch the monitor, and coming along to watch
her. She had insisted that she would be fine. The aliens wouldn't do
anything to her in a public place, she'd argued. Besides, if he were
keeping an eye on them, then he would know before she did if they were
coming after her. After seeing the logic in her arguments, he'd relented,
but he still wasn't happy about it.|
The group of them had talked long into the night over the best course of action. Alex thought that they should warn the Valentis' that the aliens would be looking for them, but Max and Michael had argued that telling them wouldn't help, and in fact might make it worse. If the aliens thought they were acting suspiciously, they would swoop in and kill them without any warning. It would be best if they were kept in the dark for now. Max finally won by saying that it was up to them to keep the sheriff and Kyle safe.
Michael was insisting that they retrieve the scrolls, if possible, from the other alien's motel room.
During the evening, Isabel had tried to dream-walk them to see if she could find out what they were planning, but like with Tess, she wasn't able to get into their heads. So when morning came they were back to square one. The current plan was to watch and follow them and look for an opportunity to try to get the scrolls. They were gathered around the monitor when Liz and Maria left to walk to the CrashDown. There weren't many customers in the restaurant yet, so the girls spent most of their time looking busy, but actually talking about everything that had happened the day before. "...I can't even believe Isabel found it." Maria was saying. "It was more like a burrow than an actual cave. I'm just glad the current resident was out when we showed up."
"Thank god you found it, or Max would be dead right now." Liz didn't like to think of how close they'd come to losing him.
Maria shot a quick glance around the room to make sure they were out of earshot of the customers, and asked, "So what was it like? You know, using the Shield?"
Liz closed her eyes to recapture the feelings she'd felt when she was encased in the shining blue world inside the Shield with Max. "It was incredible, Maria. I've never felt anything like that. It was scary, the scariest thing that's ever happened to me, but at the same time, it wasn't. It was like there were only the two of us in the world. Just me and Max. A part of me wishes we could stay like that forever, it was so beautiful."
Liz blushed, and said, "Yeah." She hurried off to refill someone's coffee.
Needing a break from the motel room, Alex and Isabel went for a walk down the streets of Roswell. They wound up at the Dairy Queen where they shared a banana split. They didn't really talk much, each person caught up in the strange chain of events that were unfolding across town. When they were passing the UFO Center, Alex suddenly came to a stop and stood still for a moment.
"Alex, what is it?" Isabel asked.
"I'm not sure..." he said. He looked absently at the door to Roswell's alien museum for a minute, and then a thought gelled. He took her by the hand and pulled her toward the building, "Come on," he said.
"Where are we going?"
Alex didn't answer, but pulled Isabel inside and bought a couple of tickets. Shortly after he'd found out about Liz's new friends being aliens, he'd come here to try to get an understanding of what they were. In hindsight, the idea was laughable. There wasn't anything in the Center that accurately described Isabel, Max or Michael, or gave him an idea of how to deal with them. But he had a good memory, and he suddenly figured out something that had been bothering him since the first time he'd seen the Scroll of Conflicts.
The plaque he was looking for was placed way over to one side, as if it had been an afterthought. There in the upper right corner was what Alex was looking for. It was the symbol from the Scroll of Conflict: The bisected circle with the back-to-back "C"s on either side of the middle bar. All of this time Alex had been trying to remember why it had looked so familiar.
"I knew I had seen it somewhere before." Alex said of the symbol on the wall. The plaque read, "To make first contact is to open our world to theirs. We continue searching for the truth, looking for the answers, and in the end finding only more questions. - James Atherton, 1958."
"Oh, my god, Alex, it's the Shield." Isabel reached out and traced the raised edges of the top symbol. "He really did have the scrolls."
In the bottom left corner was another symbol. Looking at it, they guessed it was probably from the other scroll, the one that talked about Michael's Sword. "He probably had the Sword, whatever it is, at the same time."
"Yeah, so the Sword thing might still be hidden there, just like Michael said."
"Yeah, I mean, it could be." Reading the last sentence on the plaque again, Alex said, "Boy, does he have that right." "What do you mean?"
"It just seems that for every answer you guys get about... you know, it comes with ten more questions."
"Yeah, I see what you mean."
"Isabel," Alex pulled her close in a gentle hug. "I'm glad we've made first contact," he whispered into her ear. "I thank God everyday that you are in my world."
She smiled and kissed him gently on the lips and said, "I'm glad you're in mine, too."
There was a loud throat clearing behind them, and they sprang apart to see Milton standing behind them with his arms crossed. They hurried out of the Center and back to the motel to meet up with the others.
An hour later the CrashDown had drawn a bustling crowd and Liz and Maria were busily waiting on customers when Sheriff Valenti stepped into the Café with his thermos. "Good afternoon, Miss Parker."
"Hey, Sheriff." Liz was dying to tell him what they'd learned from the aliens the night before, but she realized that Max was right. The only way they could protect the sheriff and Kyle was for them to act completely normal. As long as the aliens suspected the Valenti men, they could be taken by surprise by Michael and Nasedo. It gave the teens a much-needed advantage.
Unaware of her thoughts, he also had something on his mind. He studied her intently for a minute and said, "Are you ok? From yesterday?"
"Yeah, Sheriff. I never got to thank you for what you did."
"Don't mention it." He paused then added, "That was quite a show."
She didn't know if he meant the Shield, or what happened later with the stones, or both, so she smiled shyly and said only, "Yeah."
He handed over his thermos and watched her while she filled it. When he looked at her, he wasn't really seeing her today, but remembering what she had looked like sheltered in Max's arms inside the protective barrier of the alien shield. Then he saw her laying so lifeless on his sofa.
There was a moment of silence before he softly said, "Liz, I know that Max is a good kid, and that he cares about you a great deal... I'm just a little worried that it might be too dangerous for you to be around him so much."
"I'll be fine, Sheriff. You know, those... strangers will be gone soon, and things will go back to normal."
"Yeah. That's not what I meant, though." He leaned in close as so not to be overheard. "Yesterday, when Max pulled you into that blue light thing, he was saving you from getting hurt, but you wound up being hurt anyway."
He paused, searching for the right words. "I know you want to help protect Max, so do I, but don't forget to protect yourself, too."
Liz looked down to hide her expression. She knew that if it ever came down to a choice of her life or Max's, it had been decided long ago. She would do anything to protect Max. She said only, "Thank you, Sheriff."
Still he hesitated, needing to ask Liz about what had happened in his living room with the Healing Stones. "Liz..."
"Hello, Sheriff." Jeff Parker walked up behind his daughter. He put a hand on her shoulder and pulled her close to his side. "Is there something we can help you with?"
Valenti looked from Jeff's smiling, curious face to Liz's suddenly tense one. "Jeff." Of course Liz hadn't told her dad about Max and his friends. The sheriff picked up his coffee and said, "Nah, I'm just seeing how Liz has been doing."
Mr. Parker hugged his daughter to him and said, "Let me know if she tells you anything. She's been so busy this summer that I haven't hardly even seen her."
"Dad." Liz was hoping to stop this before it got too embarrassing.
"Well, I should get going. Bye." Sheriff Valenti headed back to his office.
Jeff looked down at his daughter and said, "So, honey, what did he want?"
"Nothing." Liz was busily wiping the counter. "Kyle's back from Basketball camp," she said, hoping he'd assume that was what they were talking about.
"I thought I heard him mention Max. Isn't he that boy you are seeing?"
"So what did he say?"
"Nothing. You know, I don't even really remember, so it must not have been that important."
She started to move down the counter, when he grabbed her arm. "Lizzy, if there was something going on you'd tell me, right."
"Dad, there is nothing going on. I promise you that everything is fine."
The rest of the afternoon passed swiftly for them. Mr. Parker stayed in the restaurant, running the register and keeping a close eye on Liz. Closer than she had thought. When she picked up a pot of cold coffee, and used her powers to heat it back up, she was careful that the customers wouldn't see, but unfortunately Mr. Parker caught her at it. He froze for a moment of disbelief. And then he smiled.
It was two thirty when the girls were finally able to change into their street clothes. They hurried back to the motel, and never noticed that Jeff was behind them every step of the way.
After waiting most of the day, the two aliens finally left their room. Max, Michael, Isabel and Alex were set to follow them, except they had left the scrolls tucked inside the travel bag that was at the foot of the bed. After a quick debate, Max and Michael went to break into the now empty room, and Isabel and Alex got into the jeep and prepared to follow the aliens to where ever they were going.
While Max searched the rest of the room looking for anything else that might give them some information about the aliens, or specifically where they came from or where the rendezvous point they had been talking about was, Michael went to the bag that contained the two scrolls. When he reached in and touched them, he was knocked off his feet by the force of the vision that overtook him. He cried out, and Max ran over to him.
"Michael. Michael!" Michael's body was shaking, and he was breathing like he'd run for a year. Inside, his head was full of images. He saw the ship crashing to Earth, and heard a man running through the desert. There were shouts and sounds of pursuit. He saw a sack being shoved into a hole in a tree, and heard a voice cry out as seemingly hundreds of booted feet ran past the area where the sack was hidden. Another image flashed, the bag had been retrieved, but whoever carried them was in a lot of pain, both physically and mentally. Then a man was extending his hand in friendship. "Call me Jim." The geodesic dome flashed with sounds of talking, which turned into cries of fear and pain. "What's this?" "Where did you find that?" Then a different voice "We have scrolls old man. Where is the Shield? Where is the Sword? What did you do with them?" Then silence bled into the sounds of someone ransacking a house looking for something. Looking but not finding.
Finally, it was over. Michael's head was pounding, and he was trying to assemble everything he'd seen and heard from the flash. He clearly recognized the man, 'Jim' as James Atherton by the picture from the back flap of his book. The man who had carried the scrolls to safety had to be Nasedo. Only two aliens had survived the crash, they knew. While the government had captured both, only one had ever escaped: Nasedo. James Atherton had found him wandering around the desert in desperate need of attention and had befriended him, only to take the Sword and scrolls hide them at his first opportunity. When Nasedo had discovered them missing, he'd gone to his 'friend', but the arrival of the other aliens had precluded getting Jim to tell him where they were hidden. He'd killed Atherton so that the secret would die with him. No one had ever found the Sword's hiding spot, but Michael now knew exactly where it was hidden. The very last thing he'd seen as the flash had ended was the location of the stolen Sword.
"Are you ok?" Max was concerned, but happy to see color returning to his face.
As he helped his friend to his feet, he asked, "What did you see?"
On the other side of the building, Maria and Liz had barely shut the door to their motel room behind them when it was flung beck open again. A furious Mr. Parker was standing in the doorway.
"Dad!" The girls exclaimed simultaneously.
"Do you want to tell me what you're doing here?" His voice was heavy with sarcasm.
"It's not what you think." Liz said approaching him.
He watched with satisfaction as she neared. "Is that right?" Neither girl noticed the malice in his tone.
"Yeah, we were... um, we... It's just..." Liz was having trouble coming up with a plausible explanation for what she and Maria were doing in Roswell's infamous No-Tell motel. She was saved the trouble when he reached out and grabbed her by the arm, hard. She cried out in fright. Maria stepped closer, torn between protecting her friend, and staying out of a family argument. She'd never seen Liz's dad act like this before.
"Let me guess," he said pulling her so that their faces were separated by inches. "You just come here for sex?" Liz stared at her father, appalled. "No, wait, you're sweet, innocent Liz Parker, Max's girlfriend. He'd never bring you here to place like this, so either you're meeting someone else here, or you must be a shape-shifting alien who is here to kill Max, Michael and Isabel." Both girls gasped. What did he mean? How could he know about the aliens? "How clever of you to pick this form. He'd never suspect his precious Liz." Suddenly Maria knew. This wasn't Mr. Parker. She was moving towards them as he finished. "Lucky for them I'm not that gullible." He brought his right hand to Liz's chest just as Maria barreled into them. The two girls scrambled free as Nasedo rose to his feet. "Stay out of this girl," Nasedo warned her.
"No, I'm not going to let you hurt Liz."
"She's no more Liz than I'm her father. That's one of the aliens."
"What?! No, she not, she's just..."
"Interfere again and I'll kill you, too." He stopped, a thought occurring to him. "Or maybe you're an alien, too..."
Maria backed away, shaking her head.
Liz said, "Max is going to kill you if you touch me again. So you'd just better get out of here." She darted her eyes around the room looking for a weapon, a hiding place, a way out. Anything. There was nothing there. "You know, he told you to leave me alone."
"How convenient for you, but I'm not that stupid." He started to stalk her across the room, forcing her to back up with each step. "Did you kill Liz?" he asked her. "Max isn't going to like that."
"What makes you think that I'm an alien?" Liz asked hysteria in her voice.
"Oh come on, I saw you. Back at the restaurant, I saw you using your powers. How stupid can you be?"
Both girls groaned. Liz thought about telling him about how she'd been developing powers ever since Max had healed her last year, but figured it would be a waste of time. Nasedo would never believe her. The girls exchanged glances. They were running out of options, and floor space. They had to get to the door, which was behind Nasedo, on the other side of the room.
At the same time, both of them darted round him each going a different way. He ignored Maria, and caught Liz. She kicked him hard in the shin. Instead of releasing her, he punched her in the mouth. Maria screamed and jumped on his back. She held on like a monkey, until he put his hand on her arm and fried her soft skin. She cried out and dropped back to her feet. He let go of Liz long enough to grab Maria and toss her into the wall on the far side of the bed. She slid down and lay stunned for a moment, her ears ringing.
"Maria!" Liz screamed. She moved to help her friend but stopped as the alien stepped towards her.
With an evil smile, Nasedo asked her, "Now where were we?"
On the other side of the motel, Michael had just finished telling Max about everything he'd seen in the vision. They were walking toward the door when it suddenly opened, and there stood the larger alien from the cave. "Well, what do we have here?" he asked. "It must be my lucky day." The two boys looked at each other, as Bubba stepped inside and shut the door behind him.
There was no need for conversation. Tossing the scrolls onto the bed, Michael stepped up and threw the first punch, and then the fight was on. The alien was big and strong, but Max and Michael were no weaklings. They rolled on the floor, careened off the furniture, and slammed into the walls. The alien was outnumbered, but he wasn't easy to hurt, and gave back as good as he got. It started out as an ordinary fistfight, each side reluctant to use their powers, uncertain what abilities the other team had, but as their bodies began to wear out, it became necessary.
Max 'pushed' Bubba into the bathroom counter, and helped Michael to his feet. When the alien came back in, he sent a blast of heat into Max that set his clothes on fire. Michael used his powers to help him put out the flames. The stench of burning flesh and hair filled the air, was causing them to gag.
Max pulled together his energy, and sent out a blast of electricity into the larger man. It caught him and he jerked like he had touched a downed power line. It didn't last long however. As soon as it ended, Michael moved in and punched him under the chin, snapping his head back in the process. Dazed, the alien fell to the ground. After one good whack on the head with the dresser lamp, he was out. Michael moved in to finish him off as Max tried to shake off the dizziness which was claiming him. Max sat heavily on the bed and held his spinning head in his hands. Dropping the lamp, Michael came over to him and asked, "Max, Max, what's wrong?"
"I don't know." The teen remained wearily on the edge of the bed for a minute, concentrating on taking deep breaths. His head was pounding, and his ears were ringing. A delayed reaction to the beating he'd taken, he decided. He looked down at himself and grimaced. His clothes were scorched and torn. He'd need to change before Liz saw him like this. Michael didn't look much better. He had a split lip, and bruises were already beginning to color his flesh.
"What are we going to do with this guy?" Michael looked at the unconscious alien.
"I'm not sure. We can't just leave him here so he can come after us again."
Before they could make a decision, Liz's cell phone rang.
Back in the other motel room, just as Nasedo was approaching Liz, the door behind her opened, and Alex stepped into the room. "Alex! Get out of here!" Liz yelled, terrified Nasedo would turn on him, too.
"What?" he took in the room in a glance. "What's going on here?" Alex asked, puzzled. "Mr. Parker..."
"It's Nasedo." Maria said from behind the bed where she was just climbing to her feet.
"Another one?" Nasedo sounded exasperated, but not really concerned about this new arrival to the party.
"Nasedo?" Alex stepped over to where Liz was standing. He could see she was shaking violently. Her face was starting to discolor from where she'd been hit. "Liz?"
"Alex, please, will you just get out of here."
"No, I'm not leaving until you tell me what is going on."
"Enough of this." Nasedo had better things to do than stand around here discussing their impending deaths and the weather. He focused his eyes on Liz. He raised his arm, and she was flung against the table hard enough to cause the flat screen monitor sitting on it to topple over. With an exclamation, Alex rushed over to her. "What are you doing?!" He yelled at Nasedo.
"He thinks I'm one of the other aliens." Liz whispered. Her mind was working furiously. This was all her fault. Max had warned her about using her abilities in public, but thinking that it would be ok as long as she was careful, she had ignored him. If only she hadn't, then they all wouldn't be in this mess. She was desperate to protect Alex and Maria, but she also was terrified for herself. She couldn't defend herself against someone as powerful as Nasedo. She was running out of time. She needed a plan and she needed one now. Unfortunately, nothing was presenting itself to her.
"Move away from her. Now." Nasedo warned Alex.
"No, I won't let you hurt her." Alex bravely put his body between his friend and the alien that was trying to hurt her. "You're making a mistake."
"Have it your way." Nasedo sent a blast of energy through him. Alex yelled out in pain.
"Alex!" both girls cried out simultaneously.
Again, Maria was launching herself at him, and again he shook her off, tossing her towards the other two. Things were getting desperate. Knowing she had to do something and do it now, Liz reached inside herself for the source of her powers. She caught a hold of the door, and held it wide open in a way she never had before. Instantly she was filled with energy. She stoked it higher, then higher still. Raising her arm, she released a bolt of energy that sent Nasedo crashing into the door. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to stun him, and after regaining his balance, he approached her, chuckling. "What, is that all you've got? This is going to be easier than I thought." The three of them were again being backed into the corner. Suddenly, both Maria and Alex came up with different ideas. Maria reached into her purse and pulled out her cell phone. Turning it on, she hit the speed dial button. At the same time, Alex reached over to the bed and tossed the covering away from the Shield.
Nasedo was arrested at the sight of the alien object lying there on the bed. It had been nearly fifty years since he'd seen it last, but he instantly recognized it. When had these guys found it? And what did they think to do with it? If they thought they could use it to bargain for their lives, they were wrong. Without Max and/or his mate who was dead to work it, the thing was practically useless.
Liz saw what Alex was planning, and had a moment of anxiety. She still remembered the sucking whirlpool of power she had almost drowned in the last time she had used it, and that was with Max to help her. By herself, she wasn't sure she could control the Shield enough to keep it from pulling her in. But one look at Nasedo told her that she didn't have a choice. It was the only chance she had until Max got here with Michael. She could hear Maria talking hurriedly to them on her phone. Her powers were still churning inside her from when she'd 'pushed' Nasedo, and she began stoking them higher.
The Shield gave a crack of electricity as Alex grabbed it. He would have dropped it had he not been ready. The energy jolted up his arm as he quickly held it out to Liz.
Nasedo was smirking as he stepped close enough to touch Liz, saying, "This will hurt you more than it does me." He again reached his right hand forward.
Liz grabbed the Shield from Alex, and as before it began to hum. Instead of holding it over her head as Max had done, she held the Shield out in front of her, with Alex and Maria both safely behind her. Closing her eyes, she again called up the source of her powers and let them pour through her in a tidal wave of energy. Instantly, they were separated from Nasedo by a wall of blue light. "What the..."
Maria, who was still holding her phone, said, "Oh my god..."
Alex whispered, "Wow..." both were transfixed not only by the beauty if the Shield's protective barrier, but also the currents of energy they could feel emanating from both it and Liz.
Nasedo was dumbfounded. In amazement he reached out and touched the barrier only to have his fingers burned. "How is this possible?" he asked aloud, not expecting an answer. He looked into the face of the creature who held the Shield, suddenly not sure if she was human or alien, friend or foe.
Liz was again completely at the mercy of the Shield's energy pull. Much quicker than before, without Max's presence to help her, she was sucked under. Her control was draining away at an incredible rate. It would all be over in a couple of seconds.
|Part 12 | Index | Part 14|
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