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.
|“Now the devil is in my face; |
She seems to be looking down.
And hey, have you heard about Mr. Crow?
(Well, I think so but I don't know.)
Well, you can't let your panic show.
(My bones begin to shake...)”
The power suddenly expanding in the room had Max on his feet even before the shimmering light appeared. He held Liz tighter in his arms and watched, stunned, as a figure stepped through the light- a figure that looked exactly like him... another Max.
“I see you’ve found my new little toy.” Max watched the hazel eyes glitter as the shapeshifter gestured to Liz. “But you might want to put her down if you intend to fight me. You wouldn’t want me to inadvertently kill her, now would you?”
Max shook his head to clear it. This was Croazoh and his suggestion wasn’t for Liz’s benefit, he was sure. But Max couldn’t take a chance on her getting hit. And without the benefit of that pulsating power that had helped him earlier, he was extremely weak. Max’s best shot at protecting her was simply blocking her with his body. So he bent over, slid her gently to the floor and stepped in front of her.
Blood pounded in his ears as he contemplated the person in front of him. He forgave every bad “B” movie he’d ever seen that relied on the unlikely existence of an “evil twin” to prey on the protagonist. The fact was, it was just as unnerving to face oneself as they made it out to be. Max steeled himself. This man had come here for the specific purpose of killing Isabel and revenging Tess’s death on him, which had included draining him almost to death and now included hurting and humiliating Liz. Max’s eyes burned and his stomach muscles tensed until they cramped. Croazoh was evil and Max relished the thought of taking him down.
“What’s wrong, Max, can’t get that image of Liz begging for mercy out of your head? She will, you know, after I get her back home and begin my little games with her.”
The feeble power in Max’s body was churned up by a violent hatred. His breathing quickened. He could blast Croazoh right now, and do some damage, even as drained as he was. But he wanted to be in control of the situation, not baited into violence by taunting. The fact was, Croazoh was more than his match. And as Max willed himself to keep the whirling emotions and energy at bay, a voice at the door made him jump.
“Max!” Max jerked his head to see Michael- carrying Maria? “M-Max?” Michael was now staring at the doppelganger with confusion.
“Shapeshifter.” Max’s low tone and protective stance of Liz must’ve been enough to convince Michael, because he started toward them immediately. Then his eyes widened and he pointed beyond Max. “Liz!! Get Liz! Get her!”
Max turned back to see Liz’s body shimmering- Croazoh was going to transfer her out of here! Max threw himself over her and held on tight. He forced his power into her, strengthened by fear and anger now. There was a foreign essence in her, as he had thought, but it gave way easily beneath his enraged assault. And for the first time, Max could feel her respond.
Joey didn’t have a great plan or anything. Intimidation by power release and then, escape.
So far, so good. The crowd before her was intimidated, to say the least. They were also horrified, terrified and repulsed. And Joey didn’t blame them a bit. In her effort to gather power, she had tapped into something completely different. She was burning up, combusting inside herself and yet somehow staying alive through it. She couldn’t hardly stand to look at her own lightning-yellow hand. What must Kyle be thinking? She finally gathered the courage to look. He was still on the ground watching her with... something amazing on his face. She stared at him. It wasn’t fear, or repulsion. It was... pride. And now he was smiling at her.
Joey just stood there, power flaming out of her insides, amazed. How could Kyle just accept this? How could he sit there and- love her when she was such a freak?
A short burst of pain in her chest caught her attention. A bullet? It dissolved quickly, only to replaced by three more- four more. Tears rolled down her face as they each took their toll before disappearing. Her energy was gathering itself, ready to defend her. But she didn’t want to. She just wanted to scare them...
More bullets hit her and she sobbed. Why didn’t they understand she didn’t want to hurt them? But as the bullets dissolved, she realized that her body wasn’t listening.
The roaring in her ears grew louder until she vibrated. If she let it go, it would kill everyone. So she fought against it, gritting her teeth against the influx. But it wasn‘t going to work long...
Maybe she could divide the deadly force into millions of smaller, harmless rays...
Just as the dam broke free in an explosion of blinding light, she sliced through it. The force still knocked her ten feet backwards to the pavement and she hit hard.
Drawing in deep breaths, she rolled on her side and let the pain of her landing roll over her in waves. She was scraped, bruised and stung. Tears filled her eyes again.
I killed them. I killed everyone...
Michael felt the power in the room jump up about ten notches as soon as Max went down. If the shifter let loose with that much power, Max and Liz would be fried in two seconds.
Michael shifted Maria and lurched awkwardly toward them just as a sizzling bolt headed across the room with Max‘s name on it.
Michael swore and time seemed to slow...
His head pounded...
couldn’t make it...
needed to move- the way Max did...
Michael closed his eyes and felt a burning overtake him. He slumped-
Then he was there- in front of Max and Liz- absorbing the bolt into himself.
What the hell?
It didn’t hurt, nothing hurt. The power from the shifter just filled him until finally he had to release it back. Wicked. His triumphant thrust of power pushed the shifter’s energy back and the center of the two meeting forces sparked the air between them. Michael concentrated hard, and the white hot center moved back toward the shifter. The burning left his body slowly. Sweat popped out on Michael’s forehead, and he smirked just a little. This guy wasn’t so tough after all.
But the Maxshifter just smiled back creepily and looked over to the door. Michael scowled. How stupid did this guy think he was? He wasn’t about to look at the door and break his concentration.
The shifter’s eyes caught his eyes again and raised his eyebrows. “She must not mean too much to you after all, though I was sure with you carrying her in and all...”
Michael’s jaw dropped. Maria. He jerked his eyes over to the door and there she was, crumpled on the floor. She hadn’t transferred with him!
He looked back at the shifter and then over to Maria.
Then the shifter twisted his power stream and Michael’s crumpled. What the hell? He couldn’t jumpstart it again. Frantically, he watched the shifter turn to Maria and hold up a hand.
“NO!“ Michael grimaced and felt the burning take over again. He slumped into the power until he was suddenly there-
Kneeling in front of Maria, holding out a hand steadily despite his weakness. The shifter smiled again.
“Marvelous powers you have there, although I imagine you’re just about all tapped out, huh?”
“Dream on, asswipe.”
“Of course. I have much more pleasant things to dream about.” The arrogant smile on the shifter’s face was so un-Maxlike that it just pissed off Michael more. If he’d had one more iota of power, he’d have fried the guy right there.
“You mean like me?” Liz’s voice cut the air like a scalpel. “Dreaming is all you’ll ever do.” Michael looked over to see her standing beside Max, her face full of tears and rage. Max threw out his hand and sent the shifter flying back. Controlling the power came easy to Max, of course.
Michael shook his head and watched the shifter staggering to his feet. All Michael wanted was one nod from Max and he’d do his best to take him out. But somehow, he knew it wasn’t going to come.
Liz was shaking with anger and fatigue- and fear. Why was Maria crumpled on the floor behind Michael? Where was everyone else? Had they come to rescue them? She didn’t dare hope too much. Max being here was enough.
His arm was around her waist, and she leaned into him. If he hadn’t stopped the transfer, Croazoh could have had her transferred anywhere by now. The thought made her tremble and she wiped the sudden tears away in frustration.
*It’s okay; I’m here. He’s not going to hurt you.* She could feel Max’s love surround her, stealing through the icy fear and despair that still held her heart.
Too much had happened. It was too hard to believe that it might soon be over.
*It will be over soon. I don’t want to kill him but...*
Liz looked up at Max with one eyebrow raised. His edgy look confirmed her thoughts.
*Okay, so I DO want to kill the bastard for what he did to you. But I won’t, not unless he forces me to.*
Liz turned to face the shapeshifter. She couldn’t help but wish that he would transform back to himself. His Max face made this so much more horrific. But then, he probably wanted it that way.
“Who the hell are you?” Michael’s anger and underlying fear washed over Liz. Their connection was somehow getting stronger, either it was, or he was. She couldn’t tell which.
“Oh, do I have to go over this again,“ Croazoh faked annoyance. But he was glad to revisit the subject; Liz knew it. “It’s so dreadfully boring. I’m Sashaset’s daddy.”
Michael’s eyes shot to Max. “Yeah, he’s Tess’ biological father.”
Liz felt the rumblings of Max’s deep voice through his body, but Croazoh ignored him. He was going on as if he were a professor lecturing his favorite class. “And before you ask, No, I’m not a part of the Royal Quadrangle, though I should have been. The bloodline descends by the eldest son. And I was, unfortunately, third in line. Tragedy,” he gestured loosely. “But I managed to inject a little of my bloodline into the picture through the beautiful Minasha. We had a daughter together- Sasha.”
Liz was nauseous, seeing a reflection of her Max talking this loosely about rape. The images from her earlier forced connection with him were still haunting her.
*Oh god, he made you see that? I‘m so sorry, sweetness...*
Liz found Max’s hand on her waist and squeezed it. Her gaze darted over to Michael, who was sending out very confused feelings. She tilted her head to the side.
Why was he still on his knees?
**Because I’m too damn weak, that’s why.**
Liz jumped and she felt Max stiffen beside her.
Michael was still looking at Croazoh.
**I need to recoup. The orb took a lot out of me. Keep him talking.**
Liz couldn’t help but feel a lift in her heart at hearing Michael’s thoughts again. He had helped her so much-
**Stop being so sappy, Parker! Keep him talking!**
Keep him talking? Oh he’s not done by a long shot, Liz thought dryly. Croazoh was just now recounting Sashaset’s growth into the perfect, chubby angel that she was when she left the planet, destined to return the queen of his planet. Liz rolled her eyes. She was feeling very unplugged; her weary and overtraumatized body refused to go back into adrenaline overdrive. Max caressed her back and side with his warm hand.
*It’s okay, Liz. Just coast; I’m here. Michael, can you hear me, too?* Max kept his gaze fastened on Croazoh, Liz noticed.
I guess you’re both connected to me again. Liz felt Michael’s amusement and Max’s old jealousy/frustration mixed with relief. At least they could communicate without alerting Croazoh.
Michael, is Maria okay?
**She’s transforming- I think.**
Oh my god, what happened?
Michael looked over at her, the corners of his mouth in a trademark smirk.
**I kissed her.**
Liz bit back a smile and felt Max trying to do the same. Croazoh was watching them with a bemused expression. Michael sobered up quickly and Croazoh continued his lecture. “Of course, it is an honor to finally meet the great Chatamalinkasohn, all grown up and ready to take over Dagon like Daddy wanted.”
Liz’s mind reeled and she felt Michael and Max trying to get their bearings as well.
Dagon. Their planet?
*Yes...* Max seemed sure it was.
“But, imagine my horror to find out that he was the very reason my darling Sasha is dead. She died at the hand of her filthy hunter in a fire, like the sniveling hunter said when returned, but then the orb brought her back to give Max another chance at her hand. Imagine, the wonder of it all, another chance at life, at love and destiny. And then he-”
Croazoh’s expression was changing, becoming dark and hard with hatred. “He chose a human girl, which led directly to Sasha’s second, even more painful death.”
The silence stretched on for a moment. And Liz just knew Michael was going to break it. He did.
“Right. And that must have been the point when the chubby, angelic b*tch went psycho on us.”
Croazoh turned to Michael, fire in his eyes. “I’ve just been playing with you until now, peon. You think I’m just some hunter you can screw over with a few bangs and whistles?” His smile was sinister. “I may not be the king, but the blood that flows in my veins is nearly the same as his. And from the look of things, I’d say you’re in no position to fight back at all.” His gaze lightened. “Or are you on your knees out of respect for me?”
“Go to hell,” Michael spat out.
*Michael, he’s baiting you. Don’t lose control.*
Croazoh turned back to Max and Liz. “Let’s get on with it, shall we?”
“Get on with what,” Liz asked inanely, trying to keep him talking.
“The fighting/dying thing, of course.” The Max-a-like smiled again. “Who shall we start with? Not you, of course, my dear. But which one of your cohorts? Chatamalinkasohn himself, who never deserved the throne to begin with, or the third in line for the throne, Krynasettah? Oh, that reminds me,” Croazoh’s face fell in mock sorrow. “Did you have time to mention Krysnasetsa’s demise to her poor, tortured younger brother?”
Liz felt the wild fluttering of Michael’s thoughts.
She closed her eyes in pain for him. I’m sorry, Michael.
**WHAT? You found her?**
“I promise I had nothing to do with it, hunter’s honor.” Croazoh held up three fingers in a mock swear.
“She’s dead?” Michael’s whisper was so pained, so fragile that Liz almost couldn’t stand to hear it. His thoughts were still scrambling, competing with emotion for dominance.
*Michael, Kate looked okay when we found her. No bruises, no blood, she was just... gone. I‘m sorry.*
Max’s words calmed Michael’s thoughts into a furiously calm stream of hate. **Then that’s why Maria is transforming... taking Kate’s place...**
Yeah I guess so.
“So, now that that’s over with, let’s move on. Krya, does the latest sibling news make you feel like dying? Want to go first?”
Max pushed Liz behind him. *Michael we fight together or not at all. Don’t do it!*
**I can’t take him. I‘m too weak. We all are.**
Michael’s disgust came across loud and clear. At full strength maybe they could do it, but all of them had been zapped. They would need an almost inexhaustible energy supply to defeat him.
Liz blinked. What about the orb, Max? Why can’t I tap into the orb’s power like I did before?
*Well, you didn’t control it before, did you?*
No, it just... happened.
**Why did it happen, Liz? What were the circumstances?**
Croazoh was apparently assuming their hesitation came from fear. “What, no one’s going to step forward and offer to be the first to die?”
They ignored him. Liz thought about Michael’s question.
Well, Max was strapped down in that horrible lab and they were going to hurt him.
**The one downstairs with Cheez Whiz for a door? That was you?**
*You should have seen her. She was awesome.*
Liz blushed a little at the adoration in Max’s thoughts and rested her head against his back.
No, it wasn’t me, Max. The orb did it. Because you were in danger.
Max looked over his shoulder at her. *The orb helps us when I’m in danger?*
Liz narrowed her eyes at him. Yes, I guess. But-
Max squeezed her hand quickly and strode forward.
“NO!” She shouted and grabbed at his arms.
Max turned to her with desperation in his eyes. “I have to do this- it‘s the only way!“
“Ah, a volunteer. Chat, I see the self-sacrificing gene still runs in the family after all.”
Again, Max forced Liz behind him, and held her arm tightly to keep her there. Liz struggled to get free until something struck Max in the chest. Pain radiated through the connection as they flew backwards. Her head cracked the wall so hard that her teeth vibrated. She slumped down underneath Max’s heavy weight.
Everything hurt. She couldn’t even think of where...
the pain was... coming from...
Her thoughts... were so... slow.
Michael was running for the Maxshifter in a sudden fit of rage and strength he didn’t know that he had. Rage and strength... and stupidity. Why was he running? He should stop and use his powers. Dammit! He threw his hand up as he closed in, but icy fingers reached into his chest. He slammed to a halt as his heart constricted, then his lungs-
He couldn’t breathe.
His heartbeat slowed down...
As he fell, everything went silent.
The impact of his face on the tile should have made a noise, right? But it didn’t. It should have hurt, right? It didn’t.
And the sight of his girlfriend, standing up and glowing like a freakin’ Barbie doll nightlight should have stunned him.
And... it did.
Maria was- somehow- up on her feet now, her body radiating light and heat- and power. How in the hell...
|Part 34 | Index | Part 36|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|