|"Always With You"|
by Watcher Tara
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Roswell.|
Summary: Do you want to know what happens after Destiny? This takes place a week later, when Liz and Tess face off over Max, and the gang must fight off an unspeakable evil with a familiar face. I'm betting money that I guessed the whole first half of the next season.
Authors Note: You'll love it, or your money back! Please, please e-mail me with your thoughts.
|Michael woke up to a sense of purpose. He wanted Maria back. He missed
her. Her wit and quirky personality had grown on him, and damn it, he loved
her. He wanted to kiss her, and hold her in his arms again.|
As he showered and dressed, he planned out what he was going to say to her. She could be so damn prickly. He didn't know if the direct route was best, a simple 'I'm sorry, Let's get back together' might get it done. Or it could take some actual groveling. Whatever it took, he was willing to do it to get her to come back to him.
Flowers would be a good start, he decided. An hour later, he knocked on Maria's door, and her mother answered. Taken aback, Michael quickly hid the bouquet he was carrying behind his back. "Uh, hi, Mrs. Deluca. Is... Can I talk to Maria?"
"Michael, right?" Amy Deluca wasn't likely to forget this spiky headed kid. Not after she caught him asleep in her daughter's bed with her daughter one morning. Maria assured her there hadn't been any sex that night or any other, but Amy was skeptical. She remembered saying the same thing to her mom when she was only a little older than Maria is now. Amy had been glad, at first, when Maria told her they had broken up, but after seeing how miserable her daughter had been these past weeks, she decide that she just wanted her daughter to be happy. "Come in." She held the door open. She ushered him into the living room, and hurried down the hall. "Maria, there's someone here to see you."
"No. It's that boy, Michael."
"What!" It was practically a screech. There was a flurry of activity from the other side of the door and she peeked inside. Amy almost laughed not only at the perfect blend of happiness and disbelief on Maria's face, but also at her appearance. Her hair was sticking out every which way from her shower, and she'd obviously thrown on the first thing she saw.
Amy stopped her daughter's headlong flight down the hall. "Wait, brush your hair and teeth. I promise you he's not going anywhere if I have to sit on him to get him to stay. You don't want to kiss and make up with morning breath, do you?"
Maria hugged her. "Mom, you're the best."
"So are you," she whispered.
A couple of minutes later, a more presentable Maria walked into the living room as casually as her shaking knees would allow. "Hey."
Michael was looking at her like he hadn't seen her in months. Greedily, hungrily. "Hey." He held out the flowers. "These are for you."
Rather than taking them, she threw herself in to his arms. "Thank you."
He hugged her to him. "You're welcome." There was a long silence as they just held each other. "Look, I'm sorry. I just... I needed to be alone. To figure things out."
"I know. Did you?"
"Yeah, I think I did. I was afraid. Of me, of what I can do. I was scared that one day you could wind up like Pierce. Dead because of me."
"Michael. What happened to Pierce was an accident."
"Yeah, I know, but I needed some time to work a few things out." He looked at her beautiful face, and couldn't stop himself from touching her cheek. "I've been practicing my powers, and I think I've got more control now."
"So, you came over here to tell me that?" She was floating at the look in his eyes.
"Yeah. And to ask you if you'd give me another shot."
"Yeah." She leaned in and pressed her lips to his. The flowers dropped on the floor as her crushed her to him. He kissed her like he was never going to let her go which was just fine with Maria. She wouldn't let him, not again.
When Liz showed up at Michael's that night for their 'session', she was surprised to see Maria's Jetta parked out front. Hoping there wasn't some new catastrophe afoot, she hurried to the door to knock. It took Michael a minute to answer the door. "Hi."
"Hey." He looked uncomfortable.
"Is everything all right, I saw Maria's car."
"Yeah." He glanced over his shoulder, then allowed Liz to step into the apartment. Maria was mussed, but looking very happy. Her lips were red from kissing.
"Oh." Liz was happy for her friends, and obviously unwelcome here tonight. "Oh, hi. Um, I was, um, I didn't know... I think I'm just going to go." She smiled at them both.
"Wait, Liz," Maria was calling her. "What are you doing here?"
"I just... um, I wanted to talk to Michael. But it can wait." She hurried out the door.
As soon as the door closed behind her friend, Maria turned to Michael. "Ok, Michael, look, that's the second time Liz has been here. I want a reason. What is going on with you two?"
"It's not what you think. Ok?"
"Ok, you avoid me for weeks, Michael, but Liz is free to come and go? You owe me an explanation."
"Nothing happened. Would you just drop it?"
"Why don't you trust me? How can we have a relationship if you won't trust me?"
"It's not about us. Liz needed some help with something. I helped her. End of story. Now just drop it." Michael was practically yelling now.
Maria normally not one to back down, decided whatever it was, it wasn't worth shaking him up over. "Ok." She began planning on cornering Liz as soon as possible.
Across town, Max was thinking about the disturbing conversation he'd had with Nasedo, who was still masquerading as Agent Pierce of the FBI. According to Nasedo, he had taken a box of pictures from one of the FBI agents who were in Roswell observing him since November. "But those pictures were destroyed."
"They weren't destroyed. We just got them from your house."
"That doesn't make sense. We got rid of them the day we got them."
"Yeah, me and Tess."
"Did you actually get rid of them yourself? I mean how did you do it?"
"Tess burned them up in the fireplace. She told me it took her an hour to burn all of them there were so many."
"She told you?"
"But you didn't actually watched her doing it?"
"Well, no, but I saw the ashes. There were pictures. Why would she lie about it?"
"That's what I'm going to find out." Max paused as he thought of the implications and possible motives for Tess's actions. "Agent Pierce," calling the shape-shifting by his assumed name, "did you see any tapes from the surveillance cameras that were planted here in Roswell?"
"No, but I know where they'd be."
"Good. Find them, especially the ones from Michael's apartment and melt them down. Personally."
They hung up, and Max thought about Tess, and wondered why she would keep that box when its existence put them all in danger. What reason could she have for holding on to it? Max wasn't getting an easy answer. He decided he would go and confront her tomorrow.
Liz had spent most of yesterday after leaving Michael's apartment and part of the afternoon today working on her powers. They weren't real strong, well, to be honest, they were kind of tentative, but then Liz wasn't putting a lot of 'umph' behind them, either. The memory of the cup crashing into the wall at Michael's, as well as Pierce's body flying backward with a force great enough to kill him kept her from pushing full steam ahead. Still, she was getting better.
Simple molecular structure stuff was easy, once you got the hang of it. Changing the color and appearance of an item was pretty uncomplicated. Changing something into something else was a little more difficult. She'd been trying to change a bunch of green grapes into strawberries for an hour, and keep winding up with red grapes. She thought she succeeded once, but had a strawberry that tasted like a grape. When she was down to the last three grapes she was finally victorious. One after the other, she successfully made three bright little red strawberries from sweet green grapes.
She really felt like it was a major accomplishment. Twirling around, she made a decision then and there to go see Max. She wanted to tell him everything: her powers, Tess, Michael, everything. She hopped in the shower, and then was standing in her bedroom looking into her closet. She pulled on jeans and a light pink sweater. Humming a little song, she didn't hear the door open behind her. Liz analyzed her appearance in the mirror. She liked this sweater, but suddenly decided it would look better red. She closed her eyes and concentrated. With a pass of her hand, the sweater turned colors. She opened her eyes, and giggled. Happiness welled up in her. She put on some light make up, blusher, eye shadow, and lipstick. The only thing left was her hair. Again, closing her eyes as she concentrated, she ran the comb through her hair, and as the comb passed through it, her hair was drying instantaneously.
Once she put on her shoes and socks and she would be ready to go. She turned toward the dresser, and noticed the door to her bedroom standing ajar. She thought she had closed it. Well, her dad was downstairs working, so it was unlikely he'd come walking by. Shrugging her shoulders, she didn't give it a second thought. Within ten minutes, she was out the door.
Maria sped toward Max's house. She was on her phone calling Alex and telling him to meet her there. Her brain could hardly function. All she could see was Liz using alien powers. 'Alien' powers. Which could only mean one thing. She though longingly of the small bottle of cedar oil she'd stopped carrying months ago, determined that nothing would flap her again. Well, at this point, she was beyond flapped. She had long since passed over into panic.
She pulled up to the curb outside the Evan's house seconds behind Alex, who lived only a few blocks away. "Maria, what's going on?"
"I'll tell you in a second. Come on, let's go inside." She practically dragged him to the door. Isabel answered the knock.
"Alex, what are you doing here?"
"No time for that," Maria said as she pushed her way into the house.
"Right here," he said, coming around a corner. "What's wrong?"
"It's Liz." He froze.
"Liz? What is it, what's happened to her?"
"Liz isn't Liz. She's an alien."
"What?" from the whole group.
"She's not Liz. I mean she looks like Liz, and sounds like Liz, but she's a shape-shifter. He's kidnapped Liz or worse and took her place."
Max was trying to grasp what she was saying. "How do you know?"
"I saw her. I went to her room to talk to her about Michael, and I saw her. She was using her alien powers to change the color of her sweater. She just wiggled her nose and blinked her eyes, and poof her sweater was red. She's an alien, I'm telling you. What are we going to do?"
"We need to find her," said Alex.
"But how? I mean, who knows how long she's been gone?" Isabel added.
Max remembered that disturbing kiss they'd shared the last time she'd been here. The day he'd kicked her out. "I should have known. I mean, I knew something was wrong." Wait a second, he thought, that had been like two weeks ago. His Liz had been missing for over two weeks and he hadn't known it? There blows the whole theory that he would know if something were to happen to her.
"What would Nasedo do with her? Why would he be impersonating her to begin with?"
"It's not Nasedo. It's can't be. I just talked to him in yesterday. He was in Virginia."
"You talked to him? Why?" Maria was confused.
"I wanted to ask him about the pictures and to tell him to find the videos that were used to make them."
"Oh. So if it's not Nasedo, then who is it?"
"I don't know." His voice roughened. "But I'm going to find out."
The doorbell rang. Alex peeked out the window. "It's her."
"Liz is here?" Maria was hysterical.
"What are we going to do?" Isabel sounded frightened.
"We have to let her in. She must have seen our cars out front. She knows we're here. Just everybody stay calm," Alex said.
Max went over and opened the door. There stood Liz. In a red sweater. It was all he could focus on for a moment, then he looked at the face. The aggression that had been flowing through him drained away. He realized that every instinct in his body has telling him that this was his Liz. The one girl in the world he was drawn to. He reached out and took her hand. The touch of her skin felt so right against his. For a moment, he forgot about the others standing there, about their fears and suspicions. This was Liz. He knew it as surely as he knew he was alive. He pulled her into his arms, and kissed her passionately. Deeply. She responded by throwing her arms around him and kissing him back with all the ardor that had been bottled up inside her since that day in the pod chamber; since she broke up with him. Flashes of Liz began to flicker across the back of Max's eyelids. First, Liz as a small girl, then as an adolescent, then as a young woman... He saw her looking at him, touching him, in the CrashDown, in Michael's apartment, at school. He then saw what for him is really only a fuzzy memory: the night he was rescued from Pierce. With perfect clarity, he felt her terror not for herself but for him as they ran down the highway. Her fear when she realized they were trapped between the two FBI vehicles, and her resolution to save him at any cost. He heard again her urging him up onto the guardrail. He felt the serenity that came over her as she looked into his eyes and kissed him for what could be the last time, just before they jumped into the inky blackness below, holding tightly to his hand all the while. He raised his head, and breathing hard they looked deeply into each other's eyes. "Liz."
His head was descending again when Isabel screeched, "What are you doing? Stop it. Stop it." Maria was suddenly pulling at him, trying to separate them. Max's brain began to function once again.
"Maria, Maria, stop. It's Liz. It's our Liz. I promise you. It's not anyone else."
Liz realized for the first time since seeing Max in the doorway that everyone was staring at her with various degrees of mistrust, dislike and now puzzlement.
"What do you mean, I'm Liz, of course it's me, who did you think I was?"
"Maria thought that you..." It suddenly sounded too ridiculous to say.
"Liz, were you in your room a few minutes ago?" She nodded. Max tightened his grip on her arms. "Liz, Maria thought she saw you... doing something... something that shouldn't be possible."
Liz felt joy bubbling up in her. She could feel her powers humming inside her. She placed her hands on his chest, and said, "She saw me doing something? Something like this?" Before their astonished eyes, Max's shirt went from brown to blue then back again. She looked over his shoulder to her friends as if to say, 'Look what I can do.'
"Oh my god."
"How did you...? How is it possible?"
She looked at Max. "You. And I've been spending some time with Michael lately. He's been using his powers, and I've been ... watching. He told me that the powers you guys have aren't alien at all. They're human." Max frowned. "Didn't he tell you that? Nasedo told him that your brains were designed to be a few centuries ahead of normal human development, but they are human, and so are your powers."
"Wait, so what you're saying is that we all can do these things? All of us have these powers and we just never knew about them?" Alex sounded skeptical.
"I don't know. I don't think so, I mean that's where the few hundred years of evolution comes in."
"They how are you doing it?" Isabel asked.
"I think I have an idea." She looked back at Max. "Max, I need to ask you something... personal." He nodded. She could ask him anything. "Back in April, about the time when we found the orb, do you remember ever dreaming about Tess... at night, I mean? When you were asleep?"
"No." He sounded affronted.
"What about when she became friends with Isabel? You were having daydreams, right?"
"Did you have any night dreams? About Tess? That the two of you were together?"
"Who do you dream about at night, Max?" she whispered.
"You. Only you."
"Me, too." They kissed sweetly for a moment.
"Still confused here," interrupted Alex who was staring at his feet, not knowing where else to look.
Reluctantly, Liz broke the kiss. Staying cuddled in Max's arms, she asked his sister, "Isabel, did you ever have daydreams about Michael like that?"
"Daydreams, no," she shot a guilty look at Maria, "only at night, and only a couple of times."
"Ok, I think all of the daydreams Max had of Tess she made him have. We know she can put thoughts into people's heads, and make them see things that aren't there. But only when they are awake." To Max, "She played with your mind to make you see what she wanted to be. Not what was supposed to be. The constellations lined up in April, kicking off your biological drives, and awakened the changes in you; the dreams. The dreams that were to show you who you are supposed to be with."
Max caught on, "But I never dreamed of Tess, only you."
Happily, she nodded.
"So, Liz is the one you are supposed to be with, just like you said all along," concluded Isabel.
The two lovers gazed deeply into each other's eyes. There would be no more separating them. For better or for worse, it was done. Liz Parker was Max's destiny. A feeling of peace, strong and deep settled over both of them. Max hugged her tightly to him, and they rocked gently back and forth for a moment.
Not wanting to break up this moment, but still missing a piece of the puzzle, Alex asked softly, "So, I still don't get how it is possible for her to have the same powers as you."
"When Max saved my life that day, when I was shot, he did more than restore me, he altered my whole life. He created a connection between my soul my soul and his, and somehow changed me... inside." She faced Max, "You superimposed your destiny over mine, that day. I've been yours ever since, we just didn't know it." Looking at Alex, "I don't know how, but I'm guessing he stimulated the part of my brain where their powers come from. He 'healed' those cells, too, not just the ones that had been damaged by the bullet. They have probably been regenerating on their own ever since."
"It would explain why she's the only one who gets the flashes," Isabel mused. To her knowledge, Alex and Maria had never gotten flashes when they were around her or Michael.
"Oh, my god, Liz. I didn't mean to."
She smiled at him. "Don't worry about it Max. I'm glad." She touched his cheek, then trailed her fingers down his arm. He looked down at a tingling sensation. Following her fingers was a trail of light shimmering just underneath his skin. It was exactly the same thing he had done to her months ago in Michael's apartment just before they had discovered the orb. At the time, Liz had bemoaned the fact that she couldn't do it to him. Now she could. His lady Liz. "I'm more than glad."
They talked for a minute about what she's tried to do, as well as Michael's progress. Everyone congratulated Maria on getting back together with him. Max took it as a sign that things were better with his friend. He hoped that Michael had come to terms with Agent Pierce's death and his role in it.
"Max, I have to tell you something." She looked at her friends. "All of you. It's about Tess. Can we go for a drive to the cliffs? I don't want to be overheard."
|Part 6 | Index | Part 8|
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