FanFic - Max/Liz
"Exhaustion"
Part 3
by Watcher_Tara
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in anyway with Roswell. (Roswell Quotes is all mine, however. Come visit me at www.roswellquotes.com.) Shameless, I know but had to do it. :-)
Summary: Post JTNY. Liz is getting sick, and her friendships are tested as the gang struggles to help her. No one is getting any sleep as Michael and Isabel start having strange dreams.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This was written before ARC, based on what Max said about not being able to just heal people in LN. As always, your feedback is much appreciated.
Isabel's dream started off like any other. She was in school, listening to some teacher drone on about some novel she'd flipped through in about thirty seconds the night before. Alex was sitting beside her, and they were passing notes back and forth.

*Do you believe in destiny?*

The words seemed to jump off the page at her, and twirl around her head.

She chewed the end of her pencil as she thought of her reply. Destiny. It meant her life had meaning, that she was here for a reason... that she was supposed to have sex with Michael.

*NO!* She underlined it twice before sliding it back in front of Alex.

*Do you believe that we can create our own destinies?*

He returned it back to her, but something was odd. That wasn't Alex's handwriting. She looked up and Max was sitting next to her. He looked at her out of the corner of his eye. He was waiting for a response. Was she in charge of her own future? Did she have any control over anything in her life? Suddenly she wasn't sure. She bent to write 'I don't know' on the note when it vanished and she found herself in Max's bedroom. Liz was standing in front of her, and she was talking.

"You know, you can't stop what's happening to you. Your life will always be dangerous. But mine, it doesn't have to be. My life is only in danger if I am with you."

What was she talking about? Then Isabel realized that Liz wasn't talking to her, she was talking through her. Max was standing right behind her. She turned to face him and wasn't surprised to see that he looked upset. But he didn't say anything to disagree with Liz. That was strange. Isabel knew that he would reject that statement with every fiber of his being. Why wasn't he arguing with her? Why was she dreaming about this? She wanted to dream about her mom. Her Earth mom, Diane Evans. Ever since the beginning of the summer when they'd seen the vision of their other mother, Isabel had pushed Diane further away from her without even realizing it. At her surprise birthday party, she'd barely said 'thank you' to the woman who had taken her and Max into her home and heart over ten years ago.

Isabel finally realized what she'd been doing the day Diane had disappeared, the day the 'Skins' came to Roswell looking for her. The thought that her mom might have been gone for good finally opened her eyes to the fact that she owed more to Diane than she did to some woman on some distant planet who had given birth to someone who wasn't even her. Someone Isabel was terrified of turning into.

Isabel shifted restlessly on the bed, causing her hand to lay against Liz's arm.

Ever since that horrible day, she'd dreamed about Diane on and off at night. But not tonight. Unconsciously, Isabel tried to focus on Diane, to bring her into the dream and found herself back in school. She was sitting apprehensively outside the door of the principal's office. She was nervously twisting her fingers in her lap. Feelings of embarrassment were crashing through her along with several indescribable emotions. Isabel heard her mother's voice raised in agitation, "...were cleaning erasers when they caused this disturbance?"

"No," the principal's voice was full of sarcasm. "They were what we used to call 'making out.' Were talking sexual activity here, not erasers."

Making out? Who was she making out with? She looked around and nearly fell off the bench. Max was sitting next to her. She had been making out with Max?!? HER BROTHER!?! What was going on here? Was this some sick orb dream? Like the one of her and Michael? Every particle in her body revolted at the thought of being with Max like that. But then, she realized, it wasn't. She was disgusted, but she wasn't. She was upset at having been caught, but at the same time, she was feeling protective of him. And so many other things. There was so much more that Isabel couldn't process any of it. All at once, she realized that the conversation had been swirling around her. No, wait, she'd been participating. What had she said?

The principal rebutted whatever her last statement was with, "Then perhaps you should have been less noisy."

Noisy? Could this get any more disturbing? Suddenly, a red headed woman was in front of her. Isabel immediately set out to placate her, "Mom, this isn't what you think right now. Don't you believe me?"

Mom? This was Liz's mom, not hers. Diane was still standing inside the doorway of the office watching the commotion. Why was she calling Nancy Parker 'mom'? It was strange, but like with all dreams, Isabel just accepted it without question.

Soon, she was in another boring class listening to another boring teacher drone on. Something about personal history... Wait, this one sounded familiar. Hadn't she heard this one before? Maria, in front of her, was complaining, "Wait, this is unacceptable, the guy's not even here!"

"Then it'll be like true field work... tracking down your subject," the teacher encouraged.

Isabel had a problem hiding her smile. She remembered this day. It had ended with a trip to Texas where they'd found her necklace. The one that had led them to RiverDog and the Healing Stones... and Nasedo. Nasedo. The shape shifter. He flashed across her mind as Ed Harding, and Agent Pierce, and as she'd seen him in the pod chamber when they'd used the healing stones to revive him after the escape from Eagle Rock. The many forms he'd shifted into until he'd stopped back at the form of Ed Harding. He sat up and looked around. Finding her with his eyes, he asked, "Do you believe in aliens?"

Isabel was suddenly sitting at a dinner table watching him pile mashed potatoes on his plate until there was a huge mound in front of him. He began sculpting them higher and higher with his fork until they resembled the peak of the mountain where the pod chamber was located. She gasped at him.

In an instant, the spuds were back to normal, and he was waiting for an answer. She shrugged and said, "It's just a theme." Huh? What did that mean? Tess was sitting next to Nasedo, gloating at her. Isabel was very uncomfortable and scared, and Tess knew it, despite her brave fašade to hide it. Tess and Mr. Harding were both playing a game of cat-and-mouse with her, but despite her fear, she wasn't going to let them win. There was too much at stake... Max's life for one.

Ed Harding smirked at her and stated, "Surely a girl as pretty as you must have a boyfriend."

Suddenly, he was up and grabbing her out of her chair and kissing her. Isabel instantly recoiled, but he held on tight. The room darkened and all she saw was lightening flashing in the distance across the backs of her eyelids. She jerked herself out of his arms and sat as far away from him as possible in the convertible. Convertible? She accepted the change in scenery as easily as everything else in this strange dream. When she opened her eyes, Max was there looking at her in confusion, breathing hard.

"What?"

"Nothing," she replied, wishing she were safe back at home.

Then the scene shifted again and she was back at the Harding's, around the dinner table. "What's his name?" Ed asked.

Isabel refused to answer. She knew who he wanted, and she wasn't going to give him up. Not for anything. She slowly put down her fork and prepared to make a stand.

"His name is Max." Her eyes flew to Tess's. The humored expression on the blond girl's face was nearly her undoing. 'Max, where are you?' she silently cried out with all her being. Then, amazingly, she felt him. He was right outside. She knew it as surely as she knew she loved him. She was unable to prevent herself from looking over her shoulder toward the door. 'Hurry, Max.'

Nasedo as Ed Harding said, "Maybe I should go clean that up."

Then she was back in the convertible as Max dragged a dead human body over to the side of the road and dumped it carelessly aside. The silver handprint on its chest glowed brightly even in the afternoon sun. Max smiled mockingly at her.

"Isn't murder what got you into this situation to begin with?" Isabel accused. She was angry with him and his careless disregard of human life.

The scene had shifted again, and now she was in the back room of the CrashDown.

"My job is to protect the royal four. Their survival is critical to the survival of an entire race." Ed Harding answered smugly.

Critical... critical. The dream screeched to a halt as that word echoed eerily around in her head. Critical. Something else had been critical. Something much more recent. What was it?

Isabel found herself in a dark room. No lights permeated the gloom. The only sound she could hear was a distant crying. Who was it? It suddenly became important that Isabel find whoever it was, but she couldn't see anything in the fierce blackness around her and she was afraid to move, worried that she would get lost. She stood still and reached out with her mind, using her powers to touch whoever was in the darkness with her. There was no response except the continued sobbing.

"Hello?" she called out.

She reached out again this time with her heart as well as her mind and touched something. Something that was darker than the pit in which she currently stood. She was instantly afraid, but before she could back away, the sobbing ceased and the lights came back on and the dream continued along its peculiar path. Now, she was standing on Liz's balcony listening to a mariachi band down on the street below. She looked over and couldn't believe her eyes. Max was down below wearing the most ridiculous sombrero she'd ever seen, singing to her in Spanish! This had to be the most bizarre dream she'd ever had in her life. Even as she was thinking it, she heard Max's voice whispering in her ear, "What's about to happen over the next few days is critical to the history of this planet." Critical. There it was again. Isabel tensed up at that word. She didn't like it. It had become her least favorite word in the English language. Didn't he know that Max was critical to her? What was he asking? What was he saying? And why was he singing in Spanish?

Disturbed at the feelings of trepidation coursing through her, Isabel rolled over to her other side on Liz's bed, hugging the pillow to her stomach. The upsetting feelings she'd been experiencing disappeared immediately, and she sighed, relieved. But the night was far from over...

The next morning, Maria arrived early and fixed a big breakfast for the three of them, and carried it into Liz's room. She chuckled to see Isabel half hanging off the side of the bed. She couldn't have gotten farther away from Liz unless she had slept in Liz's parents' room down the hall. Maria set down the tray on the desk, and reached to shake Isabel awake.

The other girl sat up, startled, disoriented. She looked around wildly, her eyes going from Maria to Liz and around the room. "Oh my god."

Maria started to laugh at her expense, until she caught the horror in Isabel's expression. Immediately concerned, she asked, "What is it?"

Isabel took a calming breath and another. "It was just a dream." Her frightened eyes met Maria's. "It was just a dream," she repeated, trying to make herself believe it.

"Are you ok? Cause you look like, well, I don't know what you look like, but it isn't good."

Ignoring her, Isabel got out of bed and headed for the bathroom. She needed a shower. That had been the strangest night she'd ever spent in her entire life.

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