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.
Authors Note: 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. Dedication: To Sheeijan and Abs, both of whom are excellent ‘backers and obsessors. Title comes from Remy Zero’s “Yellow Light”. Extra points if you can name the episode it was featured in. ;0)
|“Liz,” Alex called out as he sat beside her on the
front park bench. “Where’s the rent-a-cop?“ Liz didn’t
even acknowledge his presence. Alex leaned his arms on
the back of the bench. “Got lured away by a jumbo
cream-filled doughnut, no doubt.“ The silence went on
for a moment and Alex went through what he had planned
on saying to her. Their last conversation had been
playing over and over in his mind and he needed to
talk out his thoughts. He looked over at Liz and
sighed. She was still lost in Michael-land.
over and rubbed her back. Liz jumped as and looked
over at him sharply. “Quit sneaking up on me,” she
said with a heaving breath. |
Alex started to defend himself, but then realized that she had zoned out again. She suddenly frowned, jumped up and started inside.
“What is it,” Alex asked, following her diminutive figure as it disappeared into the house.
“Hold on, just- let me get this straight and I’ll tell you,” she said as she located a pen and paper and sat at the kitchen table. She drew out three squares, and divided each of them into four smaller squares. The first large square was quickly filled up with names he recognized: Max, Tess, Isabel and Michael, one name in each smaller box. Then Liz crossed out “Tess” and drew a line out to the side with her own name there.
“Oh, I get it,” Alex said as he pointed to her paper. “That’s the four square. And you took Tess’ place. Now, the four of you together,” Alex put his hands on his hips and boomed out in his best dramatic announcer’s voice, “form an integral part of Earth‘s only defense against evil alien invaders. You are- inserting dramatic pause here- the Foursquare.”
Liz completely ignored him. Alex took a seat beside her. He still thought the powers thing rocked, no matter how wigged out it made him. Not that he really wanted to participate, though. ’Cause, yeah, it’s all fun and games ‘til the corpses hit the floor.
A toilet flushing nearby grabbed Alex’s attention and he listened as the bathroom door opened. A middle-aged, balding cop walked in the living room and scrutinized Alex carefully. Alex sighed and stood up, holding up his hands. After he did a three-sixty, the guy seemed satisfied and nodded at him slightly. He exited without a word.
“You know, if he wants to keep someone from killing you, I’m thinking he should probably check me for weapons before I come in and spend five minutes alone with you. But maybe that’s just me.”
Liz was already scribbling in the second large square and Alex turned to watch her with interest. He recognized Joey’s name in one small box of it, and Justin’s in another. Then the third box had Michael’s missing sister, Kate in it. Liz left the fourth blank.
Alex frowned. Someone was still missing. Then Liz’s hand moved over to the third square. Out of the four names she wrote in it, only one was familiar: Christopher. He was the guy Max had gone to see this morning, which was the other reason why Alex had stopped by. The other boxes in the third square were filled in with the names Shelley, Delia and Tug.
“Tug“? Alex frowned. “What kind of a name is that? It’s a verb.”
Liz was still ignoring him. She sat back and chewed on her pen as she listened more to Michael. Then her face relaxed and she finally focused on Alex.
“Sorry about that,” she said with a slightly tense smile. “Max is fine. Christopher is on the up and up, and we’ve found Michael’s little sister.”
“Always a good thing,” Alex said, nodding. “Now what are those things you were drawing?”
“Well,” she looked hesitant. “I don’t actually know. I was just trying to organize Michael’s thoughts a little better. It sounds like there are twelve of them and they pair up as mates and then again as partners to make groups of four. Their power is strongest that way. So there’s three sets of four.”
Alex just nodded, trying to let all of this sink in. “So, everyone on the planet is like that, the pairing and grouping thing? Isn’t that a little weird?” Alex pulled the piece of paper from Liz as she puzzled over his question. The boxes were so logical, so precise the way Liz had drawn them, but he knew they represented something as far from logic as you could get to him- alien mating charts.
“Maybe,” Liz hesitantly agreed. “but it’s also very possible that it has something to do with being royal, or whatever it is that they are.”
Alex slowly moved the paper away from his face. “Royalty? As in tabloids and tallyho... knickers and crowns, that kind of thing?”
“Oh,” Liz said, frowning. “Where’s Kyle?”
“I don’t know,” Alex watched her jump up and head for the phone in confusion. “What is it? Wait- who’s royalty?”
Liz grabbed the phone and dialed quickly. “Max is. And Isabel, and Joey, too. Really, all the twelve are to some extent. That’s why they were sent here.”
Alex shook his head in frustration. He stood and walked over to Liz quickly, then pulled the receiver from her and hung it up. He put his hands on her arms and peered down into her beautiful, slightly clouded brown eyes. “I need the whole story, now.”
“Okay, Alex, I’m sorry,” she said, then shook herself and launched off into the quickest explanation he’d ever heard. “Max’s family is like the head royal family. He’s first in line for the throne, as the oldest male child. Isabel and Joey are something like princesses, I guess. Michael’s family is the next in line, making Justin the second heir to the throne, and Michael the third. Is that enough? We’ve got to find Kyle.”
“Because I’ve been going over and over this and the only way I can think of to keep everyone safe is if-”
“Hey, are you blocking Michael now,” Alex interrupted.
The last thing they needed was for Michael to know about Kyle‘s torture.
“Oh, no, I wasn’t,” she said with a pale face. “Thank you. Anyway, we can’t leave anyone alone. If those guys want information, why would they stop with Larry and Kyle? Larry probably told them a whole lot of useless, paranoid junk, and Kyle probably didn’t tell them anything. So they’ll be looking for more information.”
Alex swallowed hard. She was right. “So, we have to stay together, at least make it harder to get to one of us.”
“Yeah, and I’ve been thinking.“ She bit her bottom lip. “Maybe we should tell Sheriff Valenti.”
Alex felt his jaw drop.
“Not everything,” she said hastily. “But just enough to protect Kyle, to let his Dad know that some people hurt him. He doesn’t have to know that it had anything to do with Max, right?“
Alex gulped and nodded slowly. Could they do that? Tell the Sheriff enough to get him to help protect them, but not enough to involve him? “That makes sense, I guess. Let me think it through a bit more, though.“
“Right. Listen, I’m heading home in a few hours. Would you drive me and maybe hang around for a while?” She looked completely overwhelmed.
Alex opened his arms and she gratefully walked forward into them. “Of course I will.”
Liz’s arms tightened around his waist. “I’m just not smart enough to handle all of this, Alex.” Her voice was husky with unshed tears. “I know I haven’t figured it all out and it scares me. There’s something I’m not thinking of, something important.”
Alex rested his chin on her head. “You’re doing great, Liz. Just- stay calm. You can outthink anyone even on a bad day. And on a good day, forgetabouddit!”
Liz cracked a smile beneath his chin. Much better. Maybe he’d be able to rescue her from herself after all. “Now about this royalty thing, would that make me a prince if Isabel and I got married?”
Max desperately wanted to talk things over with Liz. There was so much running through his head, threatening to topple even his basic understanding of who he was. He put his thumb and forefingers to his lips as he thought.
There was no reason to distrust Christopher at all. But it was a big step, taking his friends to meet the four of them. The more people they let in, the more danger there was. Of course, everyone else had voted to go ahead, but the responsibility for all of them was on his shoulders and he knew it.
Finally, he looked up at Michael’s tense face. “Alright then, we’ll do it.”
A relieved look passed between among the group but Max just grabbed the phone and skipped the pleasantries.
Christopher answered on the second ring, expecting their call. “Yeah, it’s Max. We’ll come over tonight, if that’s acceptable to you.”
“Acceptable? Max, you’ve got to work on this thing. You give the orders, we obey. It’s probably pretty cool once we get it going right.”
Max managed a small smile at Christopher’s insistence. “Right. Be expecting us at eight, then.”
“Hang on just a second,” the hesitant tone in Christopher’s voice made Max pause. “We have to discuss something I don’t think you’re going to like.”
Max just waited silently. “Look, we’ve had run-ins with the FBI before. You might have seen that through our connection.”
“Yeah,” Max nodded. “I did. It looked rough.” Rough was an understatement. The emotions he’d gotten from Christopher during that memory were gut-wrenching, and there were so many dead bodies that Max hadn’t even had time to count them.
“It was. I’ll tell you the whole long, drawn-out ordeal when you get here. Anyway, we contained the situation, but there could still be someone out there watching. Having you show up here might be a bit... short-sighted.”
“What do you mean,” Max frowned.
“Do you have any idea how many people watch that show ‘Insight Nightly?’ It’s primetime on a major network. Your face has soaked into the social consciousness. It’s dangerous for you to be walking around out here looking like yourself. Someone could easily recognize you.”
Max closed his eyes. He did not like the idea.
“Max, what is it,” Isabel sat beside him.
“Just a minute,” Max said to Christopher.
“Yes, sir,” came the emphatic response. Max rolled his eyes. “Iz, he wants me to disguise myself.” He waited for her to explode with laughter, but she and Michael just exchanged glances.
“He’s right,” Michael said plainly.
“Face it, Max,” Maria piped in. “Those dark, brooding good looks of yours are not good for blending in. Not that Isabel’s cleavage is that forgettable, either. Or Michael’s hair.”
“Hey,” Michael shot at her. “Leave my hair out of it.”
“If Max has to do it, then we all should,” Maria continued reasonably. “And besides, Michael, Isabel, you were on the broadcast, too. It’s possible that you being with Max just looking like yourselves could tip someone off.”
Max couldn’t help but grin as she backed them into a corner. Then he sighed and put the receiver back up to his ear. “Alright, alright. We’ll be there at eight, disguises in place.”
After hanging up, he turned to see Maria walking towards him, eyeing his hair with a wicked gleam in her eyes. “What do you think, guys, blond, brown or red?”
Kyle looked over at the bleachers, where Joey was sitting, her long legs stretched out on the seats in front of her. She gave him a small smile and his heart just sort of swelled inside. He gave her a wave, not giving a rat’s ass who saw the pansy in him creeping out.
She was a great girl.
Of course, he knew why she was really there, just wanting to keep an eye on him and keep the bad guys away. He could tell the connecting thing had wigged her out.
And, truth was, after all the things that he’d been through and couldn’t remember, it just felt better have her be there, just in case. At least she’d be able to remember things for him.
And maybe pull a Wonder Woman thing with those powers of hers, like she did during the fire. Of course, if it was FBI guys, that wouldn’t be cool. Kyle sobered immediately. The protective feeling that washed over him almost took his breath away. Wow. So this is how Liz feels about Max, about protecting his secret. It’s no wonder I said she’d become a different person back when all this was first starting.
The ball suddenly bounced off his chest and Ken Hancock guffawed loudly as Kyle grabbed at it. “Get in the game, Kyle. Or do you need to go ask permission first?”
Kyle watched him glance up at Joey and felt like breaking his nose. But he just took the ball out of bounds and started looking for the first available opportunity to completely humiliate Hancock. Shouldn’t be too hard.
And if that asswipe looked at Joey again, it was going to be a long, hard game for him. Kyle tossed the ball to Paulie and ran through the middle to catch the forward pass. He went up under the hoop and did a neat lay-up. His eyes automatically went to Joey, who was quietly smiling at him. She didn’t cheer and scream like Liz did, but her smile was enough for him. He turned back to the game with gusto.
Joey just couldn’t feel angsty on a day like today.
The connection to Kyle still haunted her. It was just so unreal to her that someone could hurt him like that. But the longer she sat here, the pain and horror of it gradually faded into a much more manageable disquietude.
The air was cool and the humidity low. A breeze blew the smell from the nearby cheese factory far, far away, for which she was very, very glad. It was hard to get used to it, really. Such a strange smell.
Joey, you have better things to think about, she reminded herself. Like Kyle, for example, who just happens to have a beautiful jump shot and the clearest blue eyes you’ve ever seen. And those muscles...
She watched him race around the court, her heart giving a little flutter in her chest. She had no idea what that meant, but she knew it had to be something good.
She jumped when a figure suddenly plopped down beside her on the bleachers.
“Joey,” Justin kept his eyes on the game. “Watchin’ your pet play his little game?”
Joey almost fell off the narrow seat at his venom-filled words. “Justin, what is your problem?”
“I just don’t understand your signals, that’s all,” he turned his hooded brown eyes her way. “When I met you, it was all fireworks and kismet crap. Now, I can’t even get close enough to talk to you. Mind explaining the sitch?”
Joey felt herself shutting down. She took several deep breaths, forced herself to remember that she had nothing to be afraid of, and looked him square in his accusing eyes. “First of all, Kyle isn’t my pet. He’s my friend.”
“Whatever,” Justin said with a wave of his hand. “I really don’t care. I want to talk about you and me, because I thought we were headed somewhere.” His voice dropped in volume. “I thought you- felt something, like I did.”
“Yeah, I guess I did, Justin, but I barely even know you. And, to be honest, the way you‘ve acted, I don‘t even want to get to know you.”
He leaned back and rolled his head away, fighting some inward battle over his response to that. Joey felt herself growing tense. If he made a move toward her at all, she was out.
“Let me just bring it home for you, Joey,” his voice dropped to a whisper as he turned back to her. “We were made for each other. You and that human over there aren’t even physically compatible. What’s the point?”
Joey’s jaw dropped. “What’s the point?” She bit the words out with fire. “I enjoy spending time with him. That’s the point. I don’t go out with someone just because we eventually might have sex. Is that the only reason you want to be with me?” Anger was boiling inside her at the thought.
Justin just stared at her, not answering the question. “So you’d rather be with someone you have absolutely no future with. That‘s what you‘re saying.”
He was pushing all of her buttons with his cold, arrogant tone. “Yeah, that’s right, Justin. And you know what else I’m saying? You’re an egotistical jerk,” she whispered fiercely. “I don’t care what my DNA says, I choose who I want to be with. And, NOT that it’s any of your business, but IF I find someone I want to be intimate with- that’s IF, Justin, then I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. And for your information, I believe you just burned all your bridges. Leave me alone.”
Justin stared at her a moment longer and then stood to his feet. “You’re making a huge mistake, Joey. Huge.”
She watched him walk away, forcibly making herself not yell obscenities after him. After a few deep breaths, she looked over to see Kyle looking at her questioningly and pointing to Justin’s retreating figure.
Joey shook her head at him. There was no point in Kyle getting involved. She motioned back to the court. Kyle looked back over at Justin calculatingly and then nodded at her, trotting back off to the court full of guys waiting on him.
It was silly, but that made Joey smile. He thought she was important enough to make all of them wait. A little thrill ran through her. It wasn’t that she hadn’t thought about the compatibility issue, but it didn’t seem to bother anyone else. If it was meant to be, they would find a way.
She settled back into the bleachers with a hopeful sigh.
Liz grabbed the phone immediately when it rang. She swallowed down her apprehension and forced out a greeting. “Hello?”
“Lizzie,” it was her father’s hesitant voice on the other end. “It’s your old daddio. How- how are you?”
She felt a rush of guilt. She hadn‘t called in two days. “I’m okay, Dad. I was just going to call you. I’m going to come on home now. I‘m sorry I didn‘t do it sooner. It just sort of helped to... uh...”
“To be around Max’s family and his things,” he supplied quickly. “I understand that, I really do... Honey, I can’t put into words how sorry I am about Max. It just shouldn‘t have happened-”
“I know, Dad,” Liz cut him off. She hated not telling him the truth. “Could we- could we talk about something else? I mean, was there a reason you called?”
“Actually, yeah, I wanted to talk to Joey.”
Liz frowned. “Why Joey?”
“Well... we reopened the Crashdown yesterday and three of our waitresses didn’t show up for work today. It’s weird, all on the same day. But I’ve been down our list and no one can work except Jennifer, and you know how she is. I was hoping that maybe Joey could fill in for a few hours-”
“Dad, no, let me do it,” Liz said automatically.
“No, Liz, this is the last place you want to be right now,” he began with insistence.
“No, it actually sounds nice, doing something so familiar... everything’s been so strange lately.” She huffed out a breath of frustration at the automatic tears filling her eyes. A small silence ensued.
“Liz, are you sure you‘re ready for all of this, honey? Your mom will be here, you know,” the crack in his voice showed Liz how worried he really was. He was so wonderful to be warning her when he couldn’t possibly understand the gulf separating his wife and his daughter.
“I know. I need to talk to her, anyway.”
“Well, oooo-kay,” he said gamely. “I can’t say that I won’t be happy to see you here, honey. Can you be here by three? That will only leave Jennifer on her own for a few hours.”
“Yeah, Alex is on his way right now. Do you still need Joey?”
“If she can, great. If not, don’t worry her about it. She just lost her brother, too, and I can certainly understand her not wanting to work.”
“See you at three, Dad. I love you.” Liz hung up the phone, her emotions a tangle of leftover anger and unexplainable dread. Her instincts were telling her to put off going home a little longer, but she had put it off so long already. She wouldn’t tell Joey about working at the Crashdown.
Give Joey one more day to spend time with Kyle. A small smile crossed her face. Joey made Kyle happy, that was easy to see. And as far as everything else...
Liz sat down on the bed, trying to clear her mind of the muddled emotions. Maybe if she thought through the whole thing again, there would be some answers. She certainly hoped so.
|Part 4 | Index | Part 6|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|