|"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.
|Michael Guerin had just gotten home from work. He'd left early; telling his
boss that he didn't feel well. The man wasn't happy, but Michael had been
such a hard worker since he hired in a month ago that he didn't mind letting
him knock off a few hours early. As long as it didn't become a habit, he
said. Michael assured him it wouldn't, got his coat and left. The long
walk home had helped him clear his mind some, but he still couldn't pinpoint
what was wrong with him. He felt like there was a big cloud of doom hanging
over him. Like something was about to happen. His instincts were telling
him to get out, to hide, that he wasn't safe here. He didn't know what to
think. With Tess gone, they'd had a quiet time of regrouping and relaxing.
He'd spent most of his evenings here with Maria, and most of his days
working. He knew it was the same with the rest of his friends.|
Michael entered the coolness of his apartment and enjoyed the silence. He was so glad to be able to have a place to relax. When he lived with Hank, he was constantly on pins and needles, waiting for the next blow from his large hand. Hank wasn't exactly what you'd call a nurturing kind of person, and he was hard on his foster son. They couldn't even be in the same room without fighting.
When Michael was younger, he didn't know why the older man was always riding him. He had thought that maybe he was at fault, but as he grew older, it dawned on him that the problem was with Hank himself. He was just plain mean. His father had been just like he was now, he'd told Michael once. Unforgiving and uncaring. When Michael had finally realized there would be no winning him over, he'd quit trying, and learned to stay out of his way when he could, and ignore him when he couldn't.
Having to go to a judge and go through the process of becoming an independent minor had been worth it, no contest. He'd moved out of Hank's old trailer, and hadn't looked back. He barely gave the other man a thought anymore except at times like these when he compared his past existence to now. And of course Michael never saw Hank these days because he had picked up and left town shortly thereafter. 'Good riddance' was all Michael had to say about that.
He went to the fridge and pulled out the milk. After removing the lid, he drank thirstily straight from the carton. If Maria were here, she's say something to him about his manners. Michael grimaced, and reached for a cup, then stopped. She wasn't here, so who was he trying to impress? He carried the carton to the sofa and sat down. He leaned his head back and wondered if things would have been different if he was the one the Evans' had picked up off the side of the road eleven years ago. He wondered if he would be a different person today. More trusting, more innocent. More like Max.
Not usually one for introspection, he shook off his mood and decided to watch the TV. He spotted the remote across the room on the kitchen counter. Reaching his hand towards it, he concentrated. After a minute, the air was filled with crackly static electricity. His eyes were closed as he focused all of his energies towards the remote. He could hear it start to slide across the counter towards him. When it reached the edge, it fell to the floor. The back popped off and batteries went flying. "Damn it," he said angrily as he went over to pick it up. He was getting better at using his powers, but there were still a few glitches. He had been working at pushing things away with Liz, but lately, he'd started trying to drag things towards him with marginal success. Moreover, levitation didn't appear to be one of his abilities at all.
Sitting back down, he replaced the batteries, and snapped the cover back into place. He spent the next few hours flipping channels, but the strange feeling that something was coming never left him alone. He hoped that Maria was coming over to see him after she got done helping her mother pack up some inflatable alien dolls. When she was here, in his arms, there was no room for anything else in his head.
Max was lying on his side, watching Liz doze. He had won the basketball game, and in the process had worn both of them out. When Liz suggested finding a quiet, sunny place to rest, he had agreed. They were lying on the grass in the park on the blanket he'd been carrying in his jeep lately. It had come in handy when they'd spent the evening stargazing. Also when they'd had an impromptu picnic last week. It was the same blanket he'd laid on the ground when he and Liz were going to 'look for clues' the night they'd found the orb. He decided whimsically that he would keep this blanket for the rest of his life.
Looking at it, he let his thoughts drift to the night they'd dug up the orb. That was first time he'd gotten to hold her in his arms until the sun rose to wake them. As long as he lived, he would never forget the emotions that had been controlling him that night. He had been motivated by something from inside himself to be as close to her as possible. Now he knew it was the awakening of his biological drive. It was powerful, intense, overpowering. It was frightening. Being in control was something the Max Evans strived for, but that night he had been driven by forces he hadn't understood, and couldn't contain. He had almost consummated their relationship that night. God, if he had hurt her...
He was afraid of what could happen if... when... they became completely intimate. Even though it was as inevitable as the next sunrise, Max was still concerned. Not emotionally, lord knows. Being with Liz like that... It was thoughts like that that kept his own fantasies going. But his reservations were more along the physical side. He was an alien, after all. What did they know about his body, really? His knew his fears were probably groundless, but when it came to Liz and her well being, no worry was too small. They knew that his body was mostly human: his bone structure, internal organs, circulatory and pulmonary systems... all a hundred percent human according to Agent Pierce, but among the parts of him that weren't human were his blood, which the FBI had discovered, and his saliva, which Liz had discovered the day after he'd healed her. She'd said that she'd scraped some cells from his pencil in Biology. He'd been holding the pencil in his mouth prior to asking for a bathroom pass to escape having to donate cells for an experiment.
He should have known that Miss Scientist here wouldn't let him get away that easily. Max was afraid that if his blood and saliva weren't human, then maybe none of his fluids were human, including... He actually blushed at the thought. If it weren't so embarrassing, he would have taken a sample to the biology lab at the high school to check out long before Topolsky and Pierce came to town. Humiliation aside, the other reason for not having done it was that he was terrified he'd discover that he was right, and his reproductive fluids weren't human at all.
It would all make a sick kind of sense. The people who created him, his mate, Isabel and Michael had intended them to pair up to reproduce. It was also anticipated that they would return to their home world to live. Therefore, it was totally possible that the scientists who had engineered them would have set their reproductive organs to be one hundred percent alien. That way if Michael and Isabel ever produced a child together, it would be a continuation of their original race with no human elements. A child that had the powers and abilities of true aliens like Nasedo and Tess. A child that could live on the home world with out fear of being made to feel different than the other children around it.
If that were true, and the more he thought about it, the more right it seemed to him, where did that leave him and Liz, and Maria and Alex? What kind of relationships could they have then? They could never go back to where they were last year when he'd told Liz that they couldn't be together because they were too... different. She'd bought it at the time, but she wouldn't again. She wouldn't let anyone or anything, including himself, come between them again. However, if by being with her... together... meant that he might hurt her in anyway... He shuddered at the thought.
Just the memory of the look of trust and acceptance on her face as she lay underneath him out in the desert while they were preparing to "look for clues" still, to this day, had the power to turn his knees into jelly. He could still hear himself asking, "Are you sure?" It echoed in his head, with the uncertainty, love, fear and passion he'd been feeling that night.
She'd looked so beautiful with the moonlight shining on her face, and the stars reflecting in her eyes. Her hair had been spread around her head, and he had barely been able to believe that she was real. When he'd touched her, he'd almost felt like she was sure to disappear beneath his fingers. What if she'd said yes? What if she hadn't heard the orb beeping away even under the layer of dirt that had hidden it? What if he had kissed her and touched her like he'd been dying to do? The summer breeze lightly blew a wisp of hair across her lips, and the small movement drew him back to the present. Max gently smoothed it away and tucked it back into place behind her ear. Everything about her was soft and silky, he reflected; her hair, her skin, her lips. She sighed and turned slightly towards him. Her shirt had drifted up to expose a strip of skin above her belly. Unable to stop himself, he lightly trailed his fingers across that patch of skin. It was in this same area that the bullet had entered her flesh. He was glad there wasn't any mark left to mar the perfection of her body, though some small irrational part of him wished she still sported the silver handprint. It had marked her as his in a way nothing else ever could.
Max thought of how much Liz had changed this past year, and everything she'd been through. Because of him. He didn't bother wasting time in regrets. He hadn't done anything he would have done differently if given the chance. It was as if the past sequence of events had been written in the stars long before he'd set eyes on Liz Parker. What worried him was what was happening to her right now. Because of something he did, she was changing, on the inside. When Nasedo had told Michael that their powers were human, they hadn't fully understood the implications of what he was saying. Not until Liz had put the puzzle together. Somehow, when he had connected with her and healed her that day in the CrashDown, he had activated her human powers.
The fact that she was developing powers of her own both worried him, and reassured him. On one hand, it gave him the conviction that she was meant to remain with him in whatever the future might bring to them. On the other hand, what was happening to her wasn't completely natural, and he worried that the powers might get out of control, or hurt her in some way. To prevent this they found time to practice their abilities together. Under his watchful eye, they had strengthened their powers and stretched the limits of what they could do. The speed at which she learned how to use her gifts amazed Max until he realized how often she used them. It seemed that every chance she got; she was practicing on her own. It occurred to him that she was like a kid who got a big box of presents for her birthday, and was eager to play with all of them. He wanted to caution her not to use them so freely, but he knew she used them only when it was safe and she was alone. Even so, after only having them less than a month, she was remarkably adept.
He chuckled remembering their basketball game. She had more than once "pushed" the ball upward and into the net to score. When he'd finally caught on to her tricks, Max called her on it, and she claimed that she needed a handicap since Max was a foot closer to the net than she was, being so short. He'd given her a lecture on cheating, and she'd ignored him. Which was fine with him. As long as she was laughing, and he could bask in the warmth of her smile and company, she could tie him up and set fire to him for all he cared.
Max sighed happily and bent down to kiss her cheek. Her beautiful eyes opened and she smiled at him. "Hi," she said, shy at the expression on his face.
"Hi." Max didn't know how much longer things would stay quiet in Roswell or what his future with Liz might be, but for now, he was just enjoying the present, and being with his dreamgirl. "Are you ready for a rematch?" He grinned down at her.
She groaned and said, "Not on your life."
Nobody noticed the dirty, well-traveled car that drove slowly past the now empty house that used to be the home of Ed and Tess Harding. Or the four strangers that looked at its dark interior in questioning silence. They had been waiting for months for an update from their agent. Tess hadn't checked in with them since immediately after she'd relocated with Nasedo to Roswell. She'd told them that the three alien hybrids they had been sent here to destroy were definitely here. She was confident that she could make contact with them at the school. She reminded them that these human half-breeds were weak. They couldn't shape-shift or anything like that. Taking them down would be like taking candy from a baby, she'd boasted.
Then that was the last they'd heard from her. The man behind the wheel was aware that she'd had an agenda aside from just annihilating them: she wanted to bring them to their knees, as she had done back at home with the original group. It had been such a coup to bring down their enemy's beloved ruler and his wife, sister and second-in-command through treachery from within. Tess was unquestionably the best agent they had. She was a top-notch spy to boot. There was only one answer to her extended silence, and that was that something had gone terribly wrong with her plan. Unfortunately, that didn't help them figure out where she was. He could only imagine that she was very ill or wounded and waiting for them to find and revive her. But where was she?
They returned under the cover of darkness and broke into the house looking for clues. Fortunately, no one on the quiet street noticed the light their flashlights gave off when pointed carelessly toward an uncovered window. The search was futile, however. The house had been wiped clean.
The leader of the small group made a frustrated noise. Without Tess, they were back to square one, where they'd been when they'd landed on this planet fifty years ago. The only thing that had gone right so far was that she had located the pod chamber. At least they had managed to get one of them out of the way. In addition, according to Tess the one she'd killed was the wife. That was good news all around and for more than one reason. With her gone, it made getting to the rest of them that much easier.
That still left the other three, however. She alone knew what they would look like at this time. She'd said that there was a book around here with pictures of them in it. They'd already checked the library, and it was gone. So where did that leave them? Nowhere. It wasn't like Tess to be so careless, and when they finally did find her, she was going to face swift punishment for fouling up the mission. The only thing that would save her was if she'd been successful and the others were already dead.
He decided the best place to begin looking for her was to ask the neighbors how long she'd been gone. They went next door, and knocked on the door. The man who answered asked, "Can I help you?" They pushed their way inside and shut the door. Ten minutes later he'd wished he'd gone with his wife and sister to see the "Gone With The Wind" / "Titanic" double feature at the movie theater. Ten minutes after that he was beyond wishing for anything... he was dead. The four aliens dragged the body out to his car and tossed him into the trunk. One alien drove away and abandoned the vehicle somewhere it wouldn't be found for a good long while. The leader was beyond annoyed. The man had known nothing. He'd never even met the Hardings. The alien wasn't out of ideas yet, however. They still had the military post where Nasedo had worked as Mr. Ed Harding to check out. Tomorrow they'd see if they couldn't find anything out there. And if that didn't pan out, they'd try that old Indian... what was his name? Riverdog? Maybe he knew something...
|Part 1 | Index | Part 3|
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