|"Fading into Twilight"|
Disclaimer: It’s not me, really. It’s all them:
Melinda Metz (the creator of such amazing characters),
Jason Katims (the perpetrator of such a lovely t.v.
show with those same main characters), and the actors
who flesh them out for us so wonderfully. Please take
no offense at my offering; this is just a tribute, not
a theft. :0))
Summary: Tess is gone. Doug is gone. Both aliens brought more harm and fear than good. But there is more out there “than is dreamt of” in their philosophy. More to discover, more to fear. More danger approaches as they move toward learning about their origins, their purpose.
Authors Note: This is an alternate reality to WB's Roswell. My characters are in line with the show up through "Sexual Healing" and then we deviate into "Captivated by Darkness", and two years later, we see the group in “Fight the Break of Dawn,“ the prequel for this story. My storyline doesn't follow the show at all after Sexual Healing: so remember, Topolski never returned, Max was never tortured, Nasedo never told them they were part human and the Mom-0-Gram never happened. Try and bend your mind around that!! Dedication: to Irene, Joey, Miranda and Bella, who are such encouragements to me; you make it worth while-- really!!!
|Maria heard Alex call again, but she couldn’t even
whisper in return. She blinked several times, but the
image didn’t disappear. It had seared itself onto her
eyeballs, just as if she had been staring into the
The shapeshifter was gone. After glowing brighter and brighter in a frenetic display of pulsating brilliance, she had disappeared with a blinding flash of light.
No sound, just... light.
Maria kept trying to blink away the yellow hunter-shaped splotches in her vision, then suddenly realized the hunter may have just transported.
She spun around in a circle, desperately trying to spot the re-materialization when Michael’s groan reached her ears.
She was over to him like a shot, well, like more a hobbling fool. But nevertheless, she reached his side in seconds and hit the ground. “Michael, Michael are you okay?” Her hands stroked his face, his hair and she valiantly tried to stop the tears that were dropping on him from her spitefully disobedient eyes.
“I’m fine,” he insisted, looking nearly dead but beautiful, oh so beautiful to Maria.
She heard the sound of a body hitting the ground and looked over to see Max down. He was writhing, breathless with agony, blood pouring out between his fingers as they clutched at his leg. Maria’s heart constricted at the sight.
“Someone help him,” she pleaded with the other aliens, who were just now beginning to move sluggishly themselves. She looked over at the window, praying Valenti wasn’t on his way in.
“Max, hang on!“ She turned back to see Joey over him in a second, one hand covering the badly burned flesh on his leg.
Isabel immediately knelt beside her with a determined face. They could help him.
Maria leaned forward and rested her forehead against Michael’s cool cheek, grateful that he wasn’t injured as badly. “I love you,” she whispered.
Of course, he wasn’t actually moving yet, and he didn’t say anything in return, but that was okay. He was okay.
“Max! Please,” Alex’s sharp yell pierced through Maria’s relief and it deflated instantly.
Max could feel the pain lighten and a warmth spread through his body. He just laid back wearily and let it wash over him. That hunter had drained him of so much energy...
After a minute, his mind began to sharpen up. The events replayed in his mind and his ragged nerves hit upon the knowledge of Liz’s disappearance with mind-numbing suddenness.
He broke the connection to Joey and Isabel, struggling immediately to sit up despite the wave of dizziness that overtook him.
“Max, no,” Isabel started to argue.
“Liz,” he cried out hoarsely, finally gaining his balance with a little help from Joey. “Where is she?”
“I think- I think Alex found her in the back,” Maria said hesitantly behind him.
Max turned to see Michael laying on the floor, his head in Maria’s lap again. Maria was crying.
“Found her,” Max asked, dread beginning to pool in his gut.
“I can’t feel anything from her,” Michael croaked out, his eyes panicking with the realization. “It’s like she’s...”
Max was up and on his feet in seconds, forcing his unsteady legs to cooperate. Grim determination got him to the counter, but then his knees gave out and he lurched onto it suddenly. Cursing his weakness, he held onto the counter and then propelled himself toward the wall. Then Joey was there to slide an arm up under his shoulder and help him through the swinging door.
His eyes found them in an instant. Alex was bent over Liz’s prone form, giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Oh god, she wasn’t even breathing...?
He stumbled forward, throwing himself on the floor beside Liz.
Alex pulled back and met his eyes with tense assurance. Determination passed between them silently.
“Your turn,” he said quickly.
Max nodded and looked back down at Liz, able to see her face now: the beautiful brown eyes, glassy, the skin pale and tinged with blue. Terror slammed into his heart.
“Max,” Joey prodded him.
He reached out his hands and focused all of his mind on Liz, on helping her. From deep inside, he felt the drained energy supply somehow generate more and they connected. She was alive; he could feel her heart beating faintly beneath his. The blood still moved in her veins, though sluggishly. But he could hear no thoughts, feel no emotion from her. She was so far gone... and he hadn’t even known it. Max tried to swallow down the bitter ache in his throat. Michael’s mysterious pain... it had been Liz being attacked...
Why didn’t Michael know it was her, the question screamed in his head. They had taken too long. It was too late.
NO! He forced away the suffocating feelings and turned his thoughts on her again. He began sending controlled energy through her body, gently pushing her heartbeat a little faster, breathing for her, in and out, in and out. The oxygen flowed through her, revitalizing her blood, feeding her recovery.
What else was damaged? He did a quick survey... nothing. She wasn’t hurt, just drained. That hunter had done to Liz what she’d done to Max and tried to do to Michael. And no one had even known to help her. Why hadn’t Michael-
Max cut off his thinking with a grunt. More power. Fill her body with the energy she lost. He reached out a hand to Joey and connected with her. The images of her stunted childhood filled his mind but he ignored them.
Liz has been completely drained, Joey, Max thought out to her. Help me.
*Of course, just... show me what to do.*
He felt Joey’s determination and energy flood through him. Placid and strong, it helped him gather the small bit he had left to offer and send it to Liz. And his love. He sent his love pouring into her.
Liz, please, Liz. I can’t live without you. Please...
The pulse was stronger now; the heartbeat almost normal.
Yes! Please Liz, wake up. Liz?
In seconds, her body had completely taken over from Max. And he felt her disorientation, her extreme weakness, but her will to push on, to survive as one name filled her consciousness: Max. He smiled as he felt her love for him drive her and give her strength. Joey sent a smile as well and then pulled out of the connection.
*Liz, are you okay?*
That was Michael. The connection between the two of them had sprung to life again. Max shook his head. He wanted to be alone with Liz now.
Sweetness, I’m here. You’re alright.
*Yeah. The- the-*
Her thoughts stuttered, visions of meeting herself on the stairs completely taking over. Then the connection between them wavered and broke.
Max looked down to see Liz gasping for breath with a horrified look on her face. Then weakness flooded through him and he fell back against Joey.
“Liz... so sorry...” He felt himself slipping in and out of consciousness, even though he fought to stay awake and take care of Liz with everything in him. She had looked so traumatized...
“No,” he whispered as he felt his body being moved away from Liz.
“It’s okay,” Alex said in a low voice. “We’re moving both of you.”
Max relaxed when he felt the couch underneath him. Voices circled and fazed in and out of his mind, but he knew nothing else until he felt Liz’s warm body laid against his.
The hum began between them and then he fell into oblivion.
Michael was disoriented by Liz’s wildly incoherent thoughts. What had happened to her? And why in the hell hadn’t he felt it?
Liz? Are you okay?
*Michael?* That was Max. Michael pulled back, feeling Max’s reluctance to share the moment. But he waited breathlessly, still not able to detect any pattern to the thoughts he was getting from her. Then they started to focus.
Michael smiled. Of course. Relief and happiness that Max was there were coloring everything he was feeling from her. But Max‘s assertion that she was okay now brought back the whirlwind of emotions and thoughts.
*Yeah. The- the-*
Michael could feel the horror she had felt as she had come face to face with herself on the stairs. He was suddenly able to see the memory, fresh in Liz’s mind: the imposter slowly descending, a smile on her face.
Liz was frozen, mesmerized by the impossibility. He felt how she wanted to scream, but the sudden realization of who this was held her back. She scrambled to block her thoughts from Michael, knowing that they would lead him right to her, to the hunter. Liz had tried to keep him safe.
Michael shook his head. Liz, you shouldn’t have blocked me out like that, dammit. How’d you even do it?
Waves of emotion crashed into him- regret, fear, pain, weariness.
Okay, okay, I’m sorry, he backed down immediately. Listen, you need to rest. Go sleep.
*Max...* she thought wearily.
Right. Sleep with Max, he agreed with her, knowing from her thoughts that she was being carried to the couch.
Michael wearily opened his eyes and stared up into Maria’s beautiful face. “She’s okay, they managed to put Humpty back together again.”
“Oh thank god,” Maria smoothed his hair. “This is getting so ridiculous...”
*Michael? You rest, too. I’m glad she didn’t...*
The flood of relief and pain from Liz over his encounter with the hunter showed him just how much she meant it.
Michael shook his head.
“What is it,” Maria asked, her eyes troubled.
“Nothing,” Michael whispered. “Just Liz being Liz. She took on that hunter by herself because she didn‘t want us to get hurt.”
“I’m going to kill her,” Maria began.
“Get in line,” Michael growled, having a feeling that Max would be first.
What’s wrong, Michael frowned at the sudden jump in Liz’s emotions.
*Max is... he’s unconscious. Oh god, she hurt him, too, didn’t she? She hurt both of you...*
Michael was too exhausted to deal. Liz... sleep, he growled. He’s fine. I’m fine. We’re fine. Stop obsessing.
Maria stirred behind him. “Listen, spaceboy, we’ve got to move you to a booth. Valenti will be in here any second. Can you walk?”
Michael knew he couldn’t, but he had to try for her. “Yeah,” he grunted as he pushed to a sitting position. Everything whirled around him. Then he felt hands under his arms and a big shove in the right direction.
He was standing at the booth before even he realized it was Justin who had helped. He barely managed a nod before he collapsed into the booth. He couldn’t ever remember feeling this... drained before. His thinking was fuzzy. Someone was knocking at the cafe door and he knew he should be concerned. There was something he should be doing...
He used his last bit of energy to throw his arm on the table before his head crashed down on it. A muddle of voices...
Alex stepped back and stared at Liz and Max, completely unconscious beside each other on the couch. Liz had managed to crawl up under Max’s arm, but that was it for her. He desperately wanted to check her breathing again, but willed himself to relax. Alex leaned back against the wall and put his hands behind his head. He couldn’t believe what had just happened. He took a deep breath.
Isabel stepped closer to Alex and pushed her trembling body into his. At least, Alex thought she was the one that was trembling.
He lowered his arms and pulled her in close, rubbing a hand across her back automatically. There were others in the room, but he couldn’t think about them. In fact, his mind wasn’t processing information at all at the present moment.
He was completely overwhelmed. Too many hunters, too little time.
Joey was watching her older brother’s chest rise and fall and trying to take comfort in it when she felt Justin’s arm slide around her. A comfortable hum started between them and she leaned into him, immediately tearing up.
“I almost lost him,” she whispered.
“I’m sorry,” he said quietly. “I should have seen it seen it immediately. Hunters are-”
“No, thank you,” she looked up into the dark brown eyes gratefully. “You helped save his life.”
She saw his smile and her heart lightened. For some reason, his happiness meant everything to her. She felt like she’d known him forever, and yet... she looked down, suddenly feeling shy.
“Justin, huh,” she whispered, not able to meet his eyes for a moment.
“Yeah,” his eyes twinkled as she looked up. “Nice to meet you, Joey.”
She watched him move closer and knew he was going to kiss her. She swallowed and closed her eyes...
“Alex,” Isabel forced herself to say the words. “Liz whispered something about her Dad before she finally went under. I think we should check on Mr. Parker.”
Alex took a moment to digest the information, then his eyes slowly grew determined. She loved that about him.
“Right, you stay here and I’ll check it out,” he said, glancing nervously toward the stairs.
“No way, Joey and I will go with you,” she insisted.
“I think she’s got other ideas,” Alex said dryly, pointing loosely toward her sister who was currently stuck to the face of the new guy- uh, Michael’s brother? The thought hit Isabel hard, but she forced it away and walked quickly over to the pair.
“Do you mind,” she said in an annoyed voice, struck by just how often she had to do this to her siblings. “I need you to go upstairs with me, Joey. We have to check on Mr. Parker.”
Joey pulled away immediately and nodded her head in embarrassment. Well, at least she had the decency to blush about it, not like Justin, who was staring at Isabel with barely disguised anger.
“Excuse me, who do you think you’re glaring at,” she snapped at him, refusing to let him think he had the upper hand.
“Eliyamalinka,” he stated smugly.
Isabel’s eyes widened in shock. “What did you call me?”
“Eliyamalinka,” he repeated with less rudeness. “That’s your name.”
“Oh.” Isabel scrambled for some sense of presence and grabbed Joey’s hand. “We’re going upstairs.” Alex followed.
Kyle knew he was staring at Maria, but the girl was a wreck. Her hair was all the place, which never happened. Her eyes were red and tear-stained, even though she had plastered a big fake “hi, Sheriff Valenti” smile on her face.
Then, of course, there was the corpse in booth number six imitating Michael Guerin. For some reason, that was a huge tip-off in the area of “something’s not right in Roswell.” Then he took another glance around the room.
It just felt wrong. Very wrong.
Then he realized that Maria was staring at him, indicating something with her eyes. Kyle frowned.
“So, where’s Jeff,” the Sheriff asked Maria lightly. “He doesn’t usually leave you kids alone down here alone after closing time, does he?”
“Oh, he ran upstairs to get something, said something about... h’ors d‘oeurves for the reception, I think,” Maria said with another big, cheesy grin.
Kyle narrowed his eyes at her. What the hell was going on? And who was that coming in from the back? Tall guy, with an automatic frown and shady eyes. He looked familiar, but then again...
And why was he in the Crashdown?
“Ah,“ his Dad said loudly. “You must be who I’m lookin’ for. I was wondering what a motorcycle was doing illegally parked outside the Crashdown after hours. Is that your Harley?“
The guy immediately adopted a swagger as he came over, head thrown back like he was Dennis Rodman or something.
Give me a break. Kyle shook his head as his Dad came through with that patented “coming-down-hard” speech he liked to throw around so much. The punk was smirking like he’d heard it all before, which Kyle figured was likely. He looked like the type who’d been interrogated more than once.
Then the swinging door opened and in came Joey, looking pale and shaky. Her eyes came to rest on Kyle with a frown.
Kyle gave Joey a little wave and was relieved to see her face lighten a little.
But Maria still looked nervous, glancing at the punk beside her. She was scared, and Kyle could feel his adrenaline spike. Why would she be afraid of a him?
Something must’ve just gone down.
Kyle felt his eyes widen at his next thought. Could the punk be an alien hunter? Oh man, another one? What is this, open season on aliens? Time to get the old man out of here. But before Kyle could come up with an appropriately urgent-but-not-old-man-clueing-in idea, Mr. Parker entered the room.
“Hi, Sheriff,” came Mr. Parker’s voice from the swinging door. “What can I help you with,” He looked slightly puzzled at the four of them talking. His eyes kept going from the punk to the Sheriff and then back again.
“Oh, no problem, Jeff,” Kyle’s Dad asserted. “Just covering my territory, making sure the visitors to our fair town know that we like to keep it clean around here.”
“Right,” the punk nodded. “I get your drift, Sheriff. Thank you for the warning.”
Kyle could see that the meaning behind the words was completely different than what he’d actually said. But his Dad just put his hat back on and waved to Mr. Parker. “Be seeing you on Saturday, if not before. Hope it’s good weather for a wedding.”
Kyle followed and stopped briefly beside Maria. “You alright,” he whispered.
Maria nodded, to his relief. “I’ll tell you later, Kyle, okay? Just go home.”
He wanted to bristle at her command, but he knew Maria too well to get mad. He glanced back at Joey and the punk, who were standing a little too close for his taste as they talked.
“Just go, Kyle,” Maria insisted.
“Yeah, going,” he said as he backed away.
Isabel suddenly walked out of the swinging doors and pulled Joey with her as she walked over to Michael.
Ah, now he could leave.
|Part 17 | Index | Part 19|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|