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?”
Mrs. Parker stood in the doorway, clutching the purse slung over her shoulder like a quarterback deep in the pocket. Her eyes even darted around like she was wishing she could pass the ball, or hell, just punt. She looked like crap, lots of hair pulled out of her ponytail, eyes bloodshot and her skin even paler than usual. It made Kyle nervous when she suddenly tried to smile. “Kyle, are you alright?”
“Oh, sure. This has been great.” He moved his head to the side slightly. “I mean, besides facing down a crazed mob and watching Wonder Woman go freaky on me and blast everyone in a fifty feet radius completely senseless and then having her disappear out of my arms in the middle of a...” He stood up. “Which all happened only AFTER I spent the worst night of my life trying to figure out exactly how many of my friends were dead, or diseased, or kidnapped, or being tortured, or hunting down kidnappers and torturers with the sole intent of making chop suey out of them.” Kyle stopped. Even the sarcasm wasn‘t stopping his pain from leaking out. He shook his head and sucked in a breath. “So THIS- you know, the questioning, everyone thinking that I’m crazy, or dangerous, or in love with E.T... piece o’ cake.” He looked back out the window. His mouth was pumping out saliva and he swallowed hard.
“This all must have been very scary for you.”
Kyle was keeping too tight a lid on his emotions to laugh at the compassion in her voice. The best he could do was a dead, dry voice. “Nah. I’ve been through scary. This is nothing.” He meant it. He wasn’t scared, just pissed ’cause it all hurt so bad.
“I’m sorry, Kyle.” Her tentative apology suddenly reminded him of the part she had played in all of this- bringing the FBI in, which had led directly to him being taken and tortured for information by the “Good Guys,” who had apparently pulled a Darth Vader at some point and gone over to the dark side. Anger started broiling to the surface of his overwrought emotions. Oh yeah, that’s exactly what I need right now.
“I think this is all my fault.”
Kyle cursed her inwardly and held his tongue. The words that wanted to come out just might draw blood and it wasn’t his place. Yeah, she had burned him, but not directly. It was Max she had handed over, and Liz she had demolished in the process. Kyle’s whole experience was still a muddle in his mind, but it seemed to him that the reason he had been taken and questioned probably had more to do with him tailing Larry than anything Mrs. Parker had done. Of course, he had been tailing Larry because Liz asked him to BECAUSE of Mrs. Parker’s unknown loyalties. Whatever.
He finally went with sarcasm. “Do I look like a priest to you?” He glanced over at her frozen form and then looked back at the window. That didn’t help at all. Now his stomach was cramping.
“I have lost my daughter twice already.” Mrs. Parker’s voice was edged with steel, despite her tears. Kyle‘s glance fell to the floor. “First, because of my fear. Second, because I didn‘t protect her the way I should have. But I know she is still alive and I’m NOT going to lose her again. I’m going to Berkeley.” Kyle’s head snapped up. “I’ve chartered a plane. Whoever wants to go is meeting at the van in ten minutes and going to McDonough field. The plane will be waiting there.”
Kyle felt his brows knit together as he looked at the determination on Mrs. Parker’s face. He had never seen any resemblance between Liz and her mother before, but that look on her face... it was Liz through and through.
“How did you-”
“Money. Lots of money. Not all ours. The Evans and the Whitmans pitched in. In ten minutes, there’ll be a distraction- take advantage of it.”
Kyle was mystified. “Yeah. Right.”
Mrs. Parker nodded and walked back out the door, her shoulders straight.
By plane, they should be able to get there in a third of the time. Kyle felt a grin start on his face. Yeah. If Joey was still on earth, that’s where she’d be, he was sure of it. Now, if only they could get there while she was still there...
Kyle looked at his watch. Ten minutes. He could do that.
The twelve were together at last. Michael looked around the huge, white room at his family, his people. They were spread out, some searching the room, some holding hands and some resting. It wasn’t a moment of celebration. This was still part of a war- and they’d had some casualties.
Michael could feel it- that some were missing... especially Kate. And it was like someone had taken a weedwacker to his heart. He winced. Grief was oozing out of places that he didn’t even know he could feel.
Michael shifted Maria down into his arms, cradling her body close so that he could feel her body heat. He buried his face in her neck. Not even that could push Kate from his mind. He had lost her. They had lost her.
He glanced over at Delia and saw a tear slipping down her cheek. She hadn’t even responded when Max had pretty much announced Kate’s death to the group by making the new foursquares. But now, it was obvious that she had taken it in. And now that the twelve were together, in one room... she seemed to be feeling the loss, too. Maybe somewhere in them there was a deeply embedded awareness of who Kate had been. Michael closed his eyes. There had to be, because he could see Kate. At least, someone he thought was her. He wasn’t sure if he’d gotten it from Liz or maybe somehow from Justin from when they‘d connected before, but he could see Kate- all big brown eyes and a sweet, dimpled smile that reminded him of Delia. Something stirred in him. He frowned as he tried to focus on the memories that were suddenly there... where were they coming from?
Kate’s giggle had always made him smile. She had taken his side against Justin a lot. She had always been the peacemaker in the family. And he was suddenly there... young, running... with Justin, knowing that Delia and Kate were tagging along behind. He could almost taste the excitement in the heavy air and hear the laughter as they ran through the woods together- daring adventure at every turn. He was tumbling over logs, breaking through the brush, then suddenly stopping to help Kate, breathlessly frustrated that Justin was getting ahead. Oh man. The memory was so clear. Kate had been afraid in the woods that day and he had helped her, been proud to help his older sister.
A hand grasped his arm and his eyes flew open. It was Delia- here, now- green eyes swimming with tears. They were connected.
*She’s dead, Michael. Isn’t she? And Justin- that’s him, isn’t it?*
Michael suddenly realized she had never even been introduced to her older brother. He looked over to see Justin staring into space with a dead look in his eyes.
Yeah, that’s him.
*Why does he look like that, Michael?*
Michael paused, but he knew the answer. He knows she‘s gone.
*We’re going to lose him, aren‘t we?* The sudden stab of pain from her made Michael’s breath catch. He was just as desperate as he was to keep their family alive and together- what was left of it.
No. NO! We’ve lost ENOUGH!
He strode over to Justin with Maria still curled up in his arms, and looked his brother square in the eyes.
Justin regarded him stonily. “What?”
“We still have each other.”
Justin’s wide eyes made contact with him. “She’s dead, Michael.” In the silence, his eyes bled tears. “I let them get to her. I let them...” Michael reached out awkwardly and clutched Justin’s arm in his hand. “You did your best. We know that.“ Michael indicated Delia with a nod of his head. Justin’s eyes traveled over to Delia. It took him a moment to process. Then he blinked. She half-smiled. He reached out a stiff hand to touch her face, her dimple, right where Kate’s had been. Then a small smile broke on his face. “Illnyasettsa.”
Delia smiled wider and nodded. She stepped forward and ducked her head tentatively into his chest. He was stiff for a moment, then put shaking arms around her.
Michael saw Delia close her eyes and he stepped back. He was ODing again. Waaaay too much emotion.
*Is everything alright?*
Michael looked over to see Liz watching them with concern. He nodded. But he had his doubts.
Isabel wouldn’t let go of his hand. Not even when she was talking to Joey. And this after all of the complaining she’d done about Max and Liz’s PDAs! Alex couldn’t keep the idiotic grin off his face. The soft hum that had sprung up between them and the electric feel of her soft skin against his was quickly making the last few days, or however long it had been, a distant memory.
Not that he remembered a lot. Apparently the chemo took quite a few brain cells with it, although, to tell the truth, he’d never felt better in his life... although he would like to find that doctor and wring his scrawny little neck with his own freakin’-cold stethoscope.
Trying to save my life, my skinny white ass! Alex shook his head. Yeah, trying to save my life AFTER pumping me full of horse shmegma and enough chemicals to clean a pool the size of Cinncinnati.
He felt Isabel’s hand tighten on his. It was so warm. He felt a little pucker form over his eyebrows. What had he been thinking about? Pools. Yes. Pools. Swimming pools? Why was he thinking about them? He wasn’t sure, but he had a verrrrry nice image to go with it- Isabel in a little-bitty-teeny-tiny-zebra-striped bikini. Whoa. Major blood rush to interesting areas...
“Aleeeeex?“ Isabel was grinning at him.
She leaned over to whisper in his ear. “I can feel the heat coming off of you from here. Anything you want to share?”
Alex cleared his throat and raised one eyebrow suggestively. “Later.”
Isabel’s grin melted away and her gaze fell to his lips. “Right.”
Alex’s arms went around her hips and he pulled her closer. He shook his head at the look of absolute surrender on her face. She was leaning in closer... and closer... her lips were parted.
The hum was louder and he couldn’t even- Someone clearing their throat nearby stopped Alex cold. He looked around, startled.
They were in a room full of people.
People looking around and trying to find an alien hunter so that they could kill him. Right.
Isabel straightened her sweater (drawing Alex’s eyes to her cleavage neatly) and turned away. Alex felt his mouth quirk to the side.
So THIS was why Max and Liz were always so... so... He looked over and- Yep, there they were again, going at it right in front of his little sister, too. She was moving away slightly, with the strangest look on her face.
Damn. Alex tried not to watch them. Whatever was supposed to happen in twelve hours, he hoped it allowed for a little alone time... or someone was going to explode.
Liz had run her hands up into Max’s hair, kissing his lickably blunt lips and feeling as if she might die if they didn’t get closer- soon. His desire for her was an aphrodisiac that stung and filled her in the strangest consummation she’d ever felt. Max’s hands were on her hips, but the pressure he was using to keep his hands in place was almost painful.
Move them, Max. Please, I need to feel your hands on me.
Max groaned into her mouth. *I can’t. Not now. Please... hunter... sister... twelve...*
Liz shuddered and flung her head back, gulping in air fiercely. She squared her shoulders. She looked up and saw Max’s amber eyes glazed with desire.
That is NOT helping.
Liz pulled her hands down and turned, moving two inches away. Too far. She leaned back until she could feel his body heat at her back. Much better.
He sighed and she felt his struggle as he forced himself to grab her hand ONLY.
Liz sighed and squeezed his hand. There was no need for words. Hunter- then time alone. Was this getting worse, or was it just her?
*Worse. Definitely worse.*
Joey had been still for a long time. She could feel something building inside her... a burning. It slowly spread throughout her body- pulsing power in a rhythm she’d never felt before. It was so strong. But because of the hunter’s grip on her, there was little she could do. She took a calming breath. Maybe...
She instinctually let a little of the power leak out into the air. It swirled around slowly within Joey’s cocoon. Then it thinned out, stretching longer and longer until she could just barely feel its existence anymore. But it stayed connected to her, somehow. She willed it out, toward the others and it eased out of her prison.
Joey almost cried for joy. Then it continued on, stretching out across the room. She closed her eyes and gave her mind over to the seeking.
Max. She remembered seeing him for the first time in that darkened school hallway, the way he’d fought her hunter, and the way he’d tried to warn her about Justin. God, he’d been right. And then she remembered the time he’d been going to buy a wedding gift for Liz and how he blushed and hid his face when Isabel teased him mercilessly.
Max. My brother.
“Does anyone have any idea where Croazoh went?” Max hoped his voice sounded more in control than he felt.
Liz was still so close to him, but he couldn’t stand for her to be any further away. Dammit. This was getting ridiculous. He wanted to touch her so badly... He heard what could only be described as a growl come from Liz. Her body vibrated with the sound of it, an inch away from him. And he felt it down to his bone marrow. He clenched his jaw and took a deep breath.
Yeah, I’m sure you are.
Finally, Joey spoke up and rescued him from himself. “We‘ve been all over this room. Let‘s check and see what’s beyond those doors.”
Liz shuddered and Max could feel the fear rising in her again. The memory of what they did to her in this room suddenly came back to him and he winced. He pulled Liz back into him, ignoring the humming that grew louder. “I am so sorry, sweetness.”
Liz was trying to force it out of her mind, but she was having trouble. *I guess you sort of kept it in the back of my mind for a while. It was so... horrible.* She was crying and Max helped her turn so she could hide her face in his chest. He felt the terror resurfacing. He gripped her more tightly and wished for all the world that he could just blink themselves out of here so that they could deal with this alone. Her emotions were complicated by embarrassment now.
“Shhhh.” Everyone understands, Liz.
He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up to see Alex there. Wordlessly, Max turned Liz to see him and she flung herself in Alex’s arms. They had survived this room together. Maybe that realization could help Liz.
“So, what are we waiting for?” Michael was standing beside Justin, still holding Maria, neither brother showing any traces of the emotion Max had witnessed a few minutes earlier. Delia was standing off to the side.
“I agree. This place gives me the willies.” Max couldn’t see the owner of the English-sounding voice, so he stepped around Alex. “It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘throwing a whitey.’” Max blinked as he saw the tall, blond-haired guy with a ponytail. Then his gaze automatically sought out Christopher, who was silently checking out the other end of the room. Had Christopher seen this guy?
“Oh my god.” Shelley’s quiet voice told Max that she hadn’t seen him until now, either. He just had a way of blending into the background.
Max stepped forward. “I’m Max... uh, Chatamalinkasohn. I’m sorry, but I don’t remember-”
The blue eyes had lit up as soon as Max had started. “Eh up, d’you think I’m a tossbag? I guess I know the action man himself when I see him. I’m Nathan Jemison, reporting in to take my place. It has been my extreme good pleasure to serve alongside your sister here in the interim.”
Max was puzzled by the accent. “So you’ve been in England, then?”
“Right-o. My parents adopted me and straight away, my father was reassigned to do tech work for a company in England. He works on computers and all that rot. So I spent my formative years there, thirteen and up.”
“You were thirteen when you were adopted?”
Nathan nodded. “And when I hatched. I probably remember a good deal more than anyone, as far as that goes.” His gaze traveled over to where Christopher was puzzling over something. Max could see the sudden tenseness in Nathan’s posture. They had to be brothers.
“I can’t believe it. Christopher never said a thing!” Delia’s happy voice echoed in the big room.
Christopher looked up and saw everyone looking his way. “Yeah?” Max waved him over. “What’s going on?”
Max couldn’t keep the smile off his face. He was glad to have some happy news for once. But Christopher didn’t need to be told a thing. He glanced over at Nathan as he came toward them and his face went slack. He slowed down and finally stopped. It obviously did not compute. He opened his mouth once- twice- but nothing came out. Shelley moved to his side and shifted up under his arm.
But Nathan wasn‘t bothered by his response in the least. “What‘s the crack, little brother?” Christopher walked forward a few steps, amazement on his face.
Nathan’s smile wobbled a bit as his brother came closer. “Good to see you, Jasharet. I was afraid you were-” Nathan declined to finish the sentence.
Christopher was frozen. “How could I forget you,” he wondered out loud. “Now it‘s- it’s so clear.”
“That‘s good enough for me,” Nathan grabbed him into a bear hug which Christopher gladly returned. There was an undercurrent of fierceness to their emotions and Max’s mind automatically went to where he was sure theirs was as well. Tess hadn‘t made it. Their family wasn’t complete. Somehow, being together had made them all feel the absence of the missing ones stronger.
But for Max, it was all evened up in the blissful fact that Liz was here with him. Liz HAD to be here. He suddenly realized that he was not beside her anymore. He turned and walked back to her quickly. She was frowning. “What is it?”
*Do you feel that, Max?*
*Don’t say it out loud. See if you can feel Joey?*
Max looked over at his sister.
*No! Don’t look at her. Just- feel her.*
Max closed his eyes and sent out his energy, feeling for his sister‘s essence... and something brushed across his mind. It was something desperate, something afraid. He looked at Liz with wide eyes. Was that her?
*I think so. Reach out again- I’ll help.*
This time the whisper was urgent, frantic. There was danger to him- to everyone.
Max’s eyes sought out the Joey on his right. She looked fine- happy, even. Max gulped as Liz echoed his thoughts.
*That is NOT Joey.*
|Part 39 | Index | Part 41|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|