Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the original characters
from “Roswell.“ They belong to Melinda Metz and Jason
Katims and the wonderful people at WB. I have invented
a slew of characters to go with ‘em, though and I hope
the originals aren’t too insulted to have them mix and
mingle and perhaps fall in love here or there.
Summary: This has become an alternate universe over the course of the other three stories. It was in line with the show through “Sexual Healing” and then my own version of Tess hit the atmosphere in “Captivated by Darkness.“ Two years later, we picked up the story and began the mythology with “Fight the Break of Dawn,“ where Liz was transformed and they met Christopher in L.A. Next came “Fading Into Twilight” which was NOT a wedding fic, but did contain the ill-fated nuptials which led our characters to this point. Now, in my AU, remember that I diverge from the show and Sheriff Valenti is still an unknown quantity, Pierce doesn’t exist, my Tess is very dead (and deservedly so) and the Evans and Mrs. Parker know the truth about the aliens.
Authors Note: Dedication: To Sheeijan and Abs, both of whom are excellent ‘backers and obsessors. Title comes from Remy Zero’s “Yellow Light,” featured in The White Room episode from season one.
|Isabel laid back on the bed and closed her eyes. She
could hear Max breathing from where he knelt beside
“Just relax, Izzy,” he said in a low voice. He reached out and grabbed her hand, squeezing it tightly.
A tear escaped her eyes and rolled down into her hair. She didn’t want to do it. She was afraid of what she might find. Dreamwalking could be scary, and if Alex was hurt...
“I’m here,” Max whispered.
He knew her so well. She nodded and felt another tear slip down her cheek.
She opened her eyes and held the picture of Alex up in front of her. It was his senior picture, the most serious one she’d ever seen of him. His eyes were so brilliantly blue and you could see the intelligence and warmth shining in them. She smiled in spite of herself and whimpered as the tears flooded her eyes.
Max moved to the edge of the bed and pulled her up so that he could hold her. She couldn‘t believe that she was crying again. “Look, Alex may be fine. But we’ll have no way to knowing unless you try it. And if Alex is there with Liz, then maybe he can tell us something.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?“ Isabel could barely get breath enough to say the harsh words burning into her mind. “I don’t want Alex there with her. I don’t want him to help us find her. I just want him safe.” She was begging him to understand and not judge her. She wanted to be glad Liz wasn’t alone, but she just couldn’t be, not if it was Alex there with her.
Max was silent, his hooded eyes giving away nothing.
She wiped at her eyes, knowing that he would never have said something like that to her. “I’m sorry. I don’t want Liz there, either. Okay? I’ll try him. I’m ready now.”
Max nodded shortly and moved off the bed. She laid back down and touched Alex’s picture. Then she closed her eyes and tried to relax, brushing her mind with hypnotizing rhythms.
There was never any break to her. Alex was so familiar, even his dreams, that it was usually an instantaneous trip. But now she found herself in blank darkness.
After a minute, she opened her eyes. “He’s not sleeping.“ Her worried eyes went from Max’s blank face to Michael and Maria huddled over at the table. “What does that mean? He should be sleeping right now, shouldn‘t he?“ They were all watching her quietly.
Maria wiped away a tear. What was wrong with them? Didn’t they realize what this meant? “I’ll try calling Joey again.” Maria stood and walked unsteadily to the phone.
Isabel was fighting hysteria. “Michael, is Liz awake yet?” He shook his head and slouched over the table. “Then I can dreamwalk her. Max, do you have a picture?”
He didn’t even look up. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Isabel.”
“Why not,” she snapped.
His eyes were red and pained as he looked at her, obviously worried for her sake. “Because of what you might see.”
“I‘ll be fine, Max. Right now, I don’t care. We have to know.” He nodded and she jumped up off the bed. His wallet was there on the dresser and she grabbed it and pulled out Liz’s senior picture. She did care about Liz. Maybe she could help her somehow. And find out if Alex was okay as well.
She sat down on the bed and laid back again. The picture rippled as she touched it with her index finger.
Then she closed her eyes and was immediately pulled into the screaming darkness. Isabel threw her hands up over her ears. The screaming went on and on. It took her breath away, the pain and the noise. Then she saw a bright light over to the side and walked toward it, still cupping her hands over her ears.
The screaming broke down into sobs. It was coming from the light and Isabel walked into it. Everything was blinding white and Isabel couldn’t see a thing. She squinted and finally held her hands up to shield her eyes. There were colored blobs in the distance and she walked toward them. As the blobs became more distinct, she suddenly realized that the pain and sobbing were now behind her and growing distant.
Was this Liz’s dream? She was in it now, amazed at the general fuzziness that remained despite her nearness. It was a clearing in a wood, only it was a wood that Isabel had never seen before. It was clean and perfect. There was no brush of any kind, just trees that were so tall that the clouds obscured the tops from her eyes. The lawn of green grass was soft and mushy underfoot. In fact, it squished between her toes like mud. Not a pleasant feeling, but not exactly unpleasant, either. She reached down to the ground and ran a finger over the smudgy grass. It was powdery, but moist, too. Strange. She stood to her feet and shivered. The quiet solitude was chilling. Not a breath stirred the air.
The quiet voice startled her. And she swung her gaze around the clearing desperately. “Liz? Where are you? Are you okay?”
Suddenly, out of the corner of her eyes, Isabel saw a shimmer. She looked over to see Liz with her back turned as she sat on the ground, knees pulled up to her chest. Her long, dark hair was the only thing covering her nude form.
Isabel took a hesitant step toward her. “Liz?”
Liz looked back over her shoulder so that Isabel could see her profile. “I was hoping you‘d come.“
Isabel let the silence go on for a moment before breaking it. “Are you okay,“ she whispered. “Is someone hurting you?“
Liz didn’t answer.
Isabel took another step forward, determined to get some answers. Maybe she should try a less direct approach. “What is this place, Liz? I’ve never seen a dream like this before.“
Liz gave a small, husky laugh. “I know. It’s weird, isn’t it? I’m not exactly sure what it is. I went to a place like this when I was being transformed. I think it’s a way for my mind to deal with the- the-“
“Isabel,“ Liz said in an anguished voice. “I’m sorry. I don’t know where we are, but they have Alex, too.” Isabel fell back a step. “He’s being so brave. You’d be really proud of him.”
Isabel put a hand over her mouth and wrapped the other around her stomach. The words hurt so bad.
“I’m sorry,” Liz continued. “He shouldn’t be here. It’s all my fault.”
Isabel shook her head and wiped her tears away determinedly. She walked over to Liz and knelt beside her. Her voice came out rougher than she intended. “It is not your fault, Liz. None of this is your fault. Is that clear?”
Liz glanced at her sideways and then nodded. Isabel took a deep breath. “Now, do you know where they took you?”
“No,” Liz whispered, still looking away into the woods. “They haven’t said anything. They won’t answer my questions. They won’t even... talk to me.”
Isabel saw her pain. “Let‘s try something. Do you like these woods, or would you like to be somewhere else?”
Liz looked over at her curiously. “I can think of places I‘d rather be. It’s kinda‘... dark here.”
“Well, there‘s no reason why I can‘t change it, if you‘ll let me.”
Liz‘s face brightened a bit. “Maybe my bedroom at home?“
Isabel smiled and reached out a hand to Liz’s shoulder. Immediately, a covering of soft, pink silk shimmered over Liz’s body. Liz gasped and then climbed to her feet, pulling the robe tight and belting it around her waist. The look she gave Isabel was one of pure joy. “Thank you. I tried, but I just couldn’t focus, or something.“
Isabel smiled back and wiped away an errant tear. Then she turned to a nearby tree and put her hand against the rough, chalky bark. It crumbled beneath her fingers, then began to shift. It grew wider and the brown grew darker until it was door-shaped and a handle began to grow. Beside it, the walls began to take shape, then the ground rippled. Isabel closed her eyes and tried to remember Liz’s room the last time she had been there, for their last dress fitting...
She heard Liz gasp and opened her eyes. It was done. Just as she remembered it, minus the wedding dresses.
“Thank you,“ Liz whispered.
Isabel nodded. “I have another idea. You stay here.“
“Wait,“ Liz said with an anxious face. “I don’t- I don’t know if I can hold this when you leave.“
Isabel frowned. “Okay. I’ll be right back.“
“Okay,“ Liz whispered as she sat down on her bed.
Isabel shook her head and forced herself to leave the dream. She didn’t want to tell Liz her plan and get her hopes up. It was possible that Max just wouldn’t be able to piggyback her dreamwalk. But she had to try. This time, the screaming pain didn’t take her by surprise as she went through the dark recesses of Liz’s mind.
Max’s anxious face was the first thing she saw. She tried to smile.
“Liz?” Max called out in a choked voice as he walked toward the light with Isabel. The echoes of Liz’s pain were still reverberating through him. “LIZ?“ A dark forest came into view. And there was a quiet sobbing in the distance. It was her. He ran toward it. “LIZ!”
“Wait, Max!” Something in Isabel’s voice halted him immediately. He turned to look at her. She gave him a piercing look and walked in the direction of the sobbing. Apparently, Liz was hiding behind a tree.
His mind started to churn and fear choked his throat. Was she afraid to show him how hurt she was? What had they done to her?
He forced the thoughts out of his mind and strained to hear to Liz’s whispered words. “Isabel, I tried. I just couldn‘t hold it...“
Isabel nodded and held out her hand. Max couldn’t see what she was doing, but he felt the power used to change something. And when Liz stepped out from behind the tree, he gasped.
She looked beautiful. Tears immediately blurred the vision of her, but not before he recognized the strapless black ball gown she had worn to their senior prom. His knees felt weak as he rushed forward and took her fragile body in his arms. She felt so real and smelled so good, so Liz...
But this wasn’t real. What was real for her? Could he protect her from it? Just for a while?
“I- I...” He tried to force out some words to explain what he was feeling as she pulled back to look at him. Her eyes were so beautiful, so mesmerizing, but the tears were devastating. He brushed them away from her cheeks and held her gaze with his own. “’Come hell or high water,‘ wasn’t that what I said?“
She nodded slowly. “I guess this is the hell part.“
“I am not going to break my promise to you. I am coming back for you and then nothing will ever separate us again.”
“I know,” she whispered, love and hope crystallizing in her eyes. Her faith in him broke his heart. He pulled her face forward until his lips rested against her forehead. He felt the trembling in her body and enveloped her in his arms again. “Is this any better at all?”
“Yes, but I can’t feel you,” she said with a sudden sob.
“What,” he pulled away gently.
“I can’t feel you. I can see you, but it doesn’t feel real. Why doesn’t it feel real?” Her eyes were pained, disappointed. He looked over to Isabel in desperation. She looked around as she thought, her expression fierce. “I guess it’s just what the rest of her mind is having to deal with... I don’t know.”
Max ignored the images brought up by her words and looked down into Liz’s sweet face. He stilled himself and willed her to do the same. “Liz, you have to focus. Just think about me. Only me. I am standing here and you are in my arms.” He ran his hand gently along her face. “I’m caressing your cheek.“ He slid his fingers down under her chin. “Can you feel it?”
“No,” she huffed out with frustration.
“Close your eyes,” he commanded her. “Now, I’m sliding my hand through your hair.” He smiled in spite of himself. “It’s so soft and beautiful. It flows through my fingers like silk. Can you feel me?”
“Y-yes,” her joy-filled answer made his heart thunder.
“Good.” He brought his hand back around to her neck. “I love to touch you, especially here. I love to trace the delicate curve of your neck with my fingers. Do you feel that?”
She nodded and sighed.
He leaned down and nuzzled his lips against her soft skin. Liz arched her head back. “Do you feel me kissing your neck?”
“I do, Max. Please... don’t stop.”
Whoa. She had no idea what those words did to him. Even here. Even like this.
He jerked his eyes over to Isabel, who had thankfully already walked away. She was touching a tree, transforming it into... what? No matter. His body was taking over and his mind tuned out blissfully. He had intended to make her forget, but he was forgetting in the process. She was the whole world to him right now.
“You stopped,” she said in a breathless voice.
He moved his hands up into her glorious hair again and looked at her ravished face, the half-closed eyes, the flushed skin. “I was just looking at you... You’re so beautiful. May I kiss you?”
Her eyes were radiant as she nodded. He bent down and gently brushed her lips with his own. Electric sparks shot through his body. He closed his eyes and licked his lips. “Sweetness, tell me you felt that.”
Her only response was to slide her fingers into his hair and pull his lips down on hers demandingly. Her tongue teased his lips open and he groaned as he felt her tongue slid against his. A deep breath shuddered through him and he pulled her body up against his. Her hands pushed aside his jacket and ripped his shirt up out of pants. Jacket? He had on a tux. They were in W. Roswell High’s gym now, all decorated for the prom. The gym was empty and tinkling music filled the air. He took all this in while never breaking their passionate, mind-altering kiss.
Liz’s hands were all over his chest, which was suddenly on fire. Or was his skin cold as ice? He couldn’t tell, but there were goosebumps all over his body. He just wanted the clothes off so he could feel that way all over. Liz was already pushing off his jacket and he broke free to help. As it hit the floor, Liz jerked at his buttons until they were all gone. Max smiled just a little and discarded the shirt as well. Then she was in his arms again, her bare shoulders and arms feeling warm and soft against his chest. He took in a deep breath and sighed. His heart was thundering. Liz didn’t seem to want to push it any farther and he clenched his jaw to comply. It took a moment to catch his breath. He would be whatever she wanted him to be right now. He felt a few wet tears slide down his stomach. He cringed and slid his arms around her and under her until he could lift her against his chest. She was light and she just snuggled in against him like that was exactly what she wanted.
The music playing caught his attention. He was swaying with her, feeling her soft hair against his chest, listening to the soft voice singing words that he knew by heart.
“And I... am wanting.
He so desperately wanted that for Liz. A moment without fear, without pain, with total assurance of their future. But he didn’t know how to give it. He wished the connection would open between them, so he could make her feel his love, but it wasn’t working. Probably because he was only doing this through Isabel.
“Oh Max,” Liz whispered against his chest. “I love you so much. Thank you for everything.”
She sounded so... resigned. He dipped his head to try and see her face, but she just kept her head buried. “Liz, what is it?”
“It’s getting worse,” she whispered. “I’m going to wake up soon.”
Alarm shot through him. He had to show her, make her feel his love somehow. He pulled his hand off of her back for a moment and concentrated. A different song began playing over the sound system. This was what she needed. She needed to hear it. He cleared his throat a little. And as his voice took up the words of the song and not Edwin McCain‘s, Liz lifted her face up to his in surprise.
“Lyin’ here with you,
She was watching him in amazement, and he couldn’t help but blush a little. He’d never sung for anyone in his life before.
“These are the moments I thank God that I’m alive.
Liz slid out of his arms and stood facing him, her eyes shining with love. She was feeling it. He reached out to take her hands and pulled her closer. He wasn’t sure he could sing with her looking at him that way. She resisted a bit, still wanting to watch him.
“Looking in your eyes,
She started moving to the music and relaxed against him. He sang low and soft in her ear.
“And these are the moments
When he heard her soft voice join his, his eyes slid shut. She sounded like an angel and he quieted until she was singing alone.
“I could not ask for more than the love you’ve given
She stiffened in his arms suddenly and Max knew it was almost over. The eye of the storm was about to pass. He tilted her head up gently and looked into her tear-filled eyes. “I will find you. As soon as you wake up, Michael will be there. We will not rest until you are safe.” Max looked over to find Isabel already gesturing wearily. This had been hard on her.
Liz nodded, her eyes already full of tears. “Please go now. Please.” She was bouncing on her toes nervously.
His heart clenched. “I don’t want to leave you.” He couldn’t go like this. He didn’t know anything more now about what she was facing than when he’d come in here.
She nodded and fell forward into his arms. “Go, Max. Now.” Her eyes pleaded with him. He pulled her in gently and kissed the top of her head. Then he forced himself to let her go. The changes were happening all around them. He ran to Isabel, sick to his stomach with fear for Liz. The ground was melting under his feet, running brown and sticking to his shoes in clumps. In seconds, it was deep enough to trap him up to his ankles. He looked back at Liz to see her once again in a forest, huddled on the floor... with no clothes on.
The sight struck fear into his heart. “LIZ?” She waved him away.
Isabel grabbed his hand. “We’re leaving Max- NOW!”
The darkness closed in on them.
When he next opened his eyes, he was on the bed in the motel room, tears streaming unendingly down his face.
|Part 14 | Index | Part 16|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|