|"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!!!
|Kyle couldn’t believe they were creeping around the
outside of Larry’s house in the middle of the morning
like idiots. But neither he nor Alex could think of a
better way to get this done in the few minutes they
had before picture time.|
They reached the window and Alex looked inside first. “He’s right there in bed, Kyle.”
Kyle frowned. “What?” Sure enough, there was Larry in his skivvies, all sprawled out on his stomach. Just like normal.
Except that it was 11:00 in the morning and he was usually up and at work by now. Kyle huffed out a breath in frustration.
Something had happened to Larry last night, he just knew it. Something had happened to both of them, dammit. He reluctantly followed Alex back around the house.
He was beginning to feel like one of the UFO abductees, with their necessarily disbelieved stories of disappearing hours or days and strange physical problems from experimentation... next thing you knew, he’d be driving an RV around the country in pursuit of “THEM” and going on the Larry Springer Show.
Except, of course, he already knew THEM. And that was the beginning point of his problem.
“We’ve got to get to the church, Kyle,” Alex said lightly. “Larry isn’t going to cause trouble right now.”
Kyle stopped and started to argue, but Alex just kept walking past him. “Wedding first. Then we’ll get everyone together and figure this out, okay?”
Kyle still didn’t move.
Alex raised his voice slightly as he continued. “Look, if we’re late, Liz will panic. And that is NOT what I want for her today. She is going to have a wedding day completely free of conspiracies and hunters if I have anything to say about it. Got it?”
Kyle nodded, feeling oddly guilty. “Fine,” he muttered.
“Right. After the wedding, we’ll have plenty of time to deal with Larry. Let’s go,” Alex said firmly as he jumped in the truck.
Kyle muttered to himself as he started up the engine. Alex was starting to sound more and more like Evans. It was freakin’ cult.
Liz was going to remain calm... she was. That argument with Michael had been her fault and she had readily admitted it to him in the end, prompting a few tears (hers) and a nice hug (his). But the apology hadn’t gone very far toward making her feel better. Liz chewed on her bottom lip, as she pulled up to the church.
The feeling was growing, no matter what she did to combat it.
She was really starting to get scared.
“Liz, smile, please,” the photographer called out in a sickly sweet voice. “It’s your wedding day.”
This picture-taking crap was really getting on Michael’s nerves. Not one to smile much, anyway, the past half hour of endless posing and straightening and waiting had sucked the life out of the few smiles he did manage for his friends‘ pictures. His jaws ached with the effort and he had the beginnings of a headache from the constant emotion Liz was sending out.
And so help him, if that photographer asked Liz for a “wedding day smile” one more time, Michael was going to take that camera and shove it right up his-
“Michael,” he heard Liz’s strangled voice behind him right as the flashbulb went off.
That should be a great picture.
And Michael smiled.
“Alright Liz,” the director said loudly, over the hum of voices. Maria paused in her glowing appraisal of Liz‘s beauty and listened. “It’s time for Max to get his pictures with the guys. Go on back to your dressing room. Don’t want to be late on your big day. Maria, why don’t you go with her and make sure she’s hidden before Max comes out?”
Maria felt special to be the one allowed to approach Liz as she stood up on the front platform. Maria paused, realizing that Liz hadn’t heard the director.
She was still posed with her pale pink rose bouquet in her hands, veil streaming back and the sky blue velvet curtain cascading from floor to ceiling behind her. It made a heavenly picture. How she wished they could leave Liz like this for Max to see...
“Liz,” Maria finally climbed the last few steps and stopped in front of her. Up close, she could see the tenseness in her body and it puzzled her. What was she looking at?
Maria followed her gaze to the center of the aisle. There was nothing there. She looked back at Liz. “Liz... what is it?”
Liz started violently. “What?” Her brown eyes were wide as she glanced around the room.
“Are you okay? It’s time to go to the dressing room,” Maria watched her face carefully. “Max will be out here any second. And you know, bad luck to see the bride before the wedding.”
Liz just stared at her for a moment, then descended the stairs in a rush. She brushed by the well-wishers who had already arrived and were trying to compliment her on her gown. Maria waved at several of them and followed her, wondering what was wrong with Liz.
Joey couldn’t get over the way Kyle was staring at her. It was really nice to be thought of as pretty, but she still felt a little freakish, like someone might come in and announce to the world that a little scumbag like her shouldn’t be pretending to be a nice girl.
But she clung to the love she had found in her new family and their assurances that had a home here... and to that look on Kyle’s face, the look that told her he thought of her the way she wanted to be thought of.
Justin looked at her that way, too. Where was Justin? She looked around the slowly filling pews. Surely he was coming.
Kyle was startled by the hand on his shoulder. “A little jumpy there, son,” his Dad’s voice sounded hard, like he was about to come down on Kyle for something.
Kyle turned, figuring he knew what this was about even if he had no idea what to say. Fact was, he still couldn’t remember what had happened. “Tommy and Paulie came by last night,” his Dad began with a glance off to the side. “Wonderin’ why you didn’t show up like you said you would. So I drove around for a while, lookin’ for you. Found the truck parked across from the Trilling’s house, where you hit Maria.”
“Yeah, Dad, I know. I went and got it this morning,” Kyle looked around and pulled his Dad to the side. “Look, I’m sorry I cut out on you last night. It won’t happen again. I just had some thinking to do.”
“And that thinking included getting drugged up?”
Kyle’s jaw dropped open. “What?”
“I found you at three o’clock in the morning passed out on our front step,” his Dad leaned in as he talked, his blue eyes crackling with intensity. “You weren’t drunk, but you were so out of it that I had to carry you. Was it drugs, Kyle?”
Kyle had no idea what to say. So that was how he had gotten into bed...
The silence stretched between them.
Then the organist started up with a song and his Dad pulled away. “We’ll finish this talk later.” He shoved his hat on his head and stalked over to the door.
Kyle took a deep breath and buried his face in one hand. How in the hell was he going to come up with an explanation for that? ******
Maria came up behind Michael and slid her arms around him. Man, his muscles were tense. She pulled away and leaned around him to see his face.
“You need to go see Liz,” Michael said abruptly.
“Yeah, I’m headed that way now,” Maria agreed, her voice soft. “Mrs. Parker was in there before, so I’m giving her a moment or two alone.”
“I know that,” Michael bit out.
“O-kaay,” Maria came all the way around and looked up into his face as he contemplated the window behind her. “You know, you look pretty hot in that tux.”
He shook his head slightly and looked down as if seeing her for the first time that day. A small pucker appeared between his eyebrows and he slid his hands down her arms. “You look pretty good yourself, Deluca.”
Maria smiled. “Thanks. I’ll go check on her now. See ya’ down the aisle.” She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and headed down the hall.
Max was sitting and contemplating the green carpet with its many faded spots and stains when the door opened. He immediately jumped to his feet.
Michael stuck his head in the door. “It’s time, you lucky undeserving dog, you.”
Max smiled and took the offered hand. Then he drew Michael in for a rare hug. “Thanks, man.”
Michael gave him a clap on the back and pulled away quickly.
“How’s Liz,” Max asked as they headed out the door.
“She’s fine,” Michael shot out. “A little bit... emotional, that’s all.”
Max looked at him strangely, wondering what he wasn’t saying. But then they were at the side door to the sanctuary and the Pastor was smiling at them. Time for the walk to the front of the church. Max took a deep breath and followed the other men inside.
Liz was sitting and staring at the green carpet on the floor when she heard a soft knock. “Come in,” she said shakily and stood to her feet.
Maria walked in with her cute, full-cheeked grin in place, replete with dimple. Liz tried to smile back, but she only managed a weak nod.
“Liz, you have no idea how beautiful you look, or you would be beaming,” Maria walked over and took her hands. Then her eyes grew concerned and sad. “Chica, what is it?”
Liz reached forward and pulled Maria into a desperate hug. “I don’t know. I just have this feeling...” She felt Maria gearing herself up to “make-Liz-feel-better” and had to pull away.
“Liz, this is just wedding day jitters,” Maria offered as expected. Liz tried not to get angry; she knew Maria didn’t understand. “As soon as you see Max out there, you’ll feel tons better.”
Max. Liz closed her eyes and felt the peace he brought with him for one brief, blessed moment. Yes, that was what she needed. She opened her eyes and seized the moment.
“Maria, go get Max,” she ordered.
Maria’s eyes opened wide. “What? Liz, are you sure?”
“Yes,” she said firmly.
*He’s headed your way right now.*
Oh, Michael, thank you. Thank you.
*Maybe now you can let up a little, huh?*
Sorry... I’ll try.
“Maria, never mind,” Liz waved her hand vaguely. “Michael is sending Max down here.”
“Oh,” Maria looked nonplussed. “Wow. That really comes in handy sometimes, huh?”
A knock at the door grabbed Liz’s attention. It was Max, she knew.
“I’ll see you down the aisle,” Maria flew toward her and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. “I gotta’ go walk!”
Maria slipped out with a smile and Liz felt the growing tension until Max’s handsome face appeared in the space at the door. Relief instantly flooded through her.
Max felt his chest expand at sight before him. There stood Liz, in her wedding gown, absolutely resplendent in the warm amber glow of sunlight. He could feel the worry drain out of him as he took in the glory of his bride. She always looked stunning in white with her dark beauty, but this...
He shook his head in wonder.
Her hair was pinned up in a smooth bun with the short veil attached to the crown. Small roses were tucked across the front, which he recognized from last night. She had worn them for him. His heart swelled with love at the gesture and he stepped closer, continuing his study of her.
The already lovely face was even more beautiful with the light of love shining in her eyes. His eyes skimmed down her body and he stepped even closer. The thin straps at the top of her dress made him want to slip his fingers up under them and caress the soft skin of her shoulders and bare neck. Then he wanted to slide his hands down the gentle curve of her waist, which the bodice skimmed perfectly. Just below her waist, the skirt swelled into a round cascade of silky material that fell in folds at her feet.
“Liz, I-” he whispered, trying to put into words how beautiful she was and just how honored and amazed he felt to be here with her.
“Max, please,” her eyes were full of desperation by the time he finished and he didn’t hesitate to cross the distance between them. He took her gently into his arms and looked down into the luminous eyes that were already wet with tears. “Sweetness, what is it?”
“I’m just so scared,” she whispered, her hands grasping at the lapels on his jacket with a helpless motion. He leaned down to slide his arm under her legs and lifted her to his chest, cradling her close. He could feel the shuddering breaths as she fought to relax against him.
His eyes closed in pain. He had pushed her into marrying him before she was ready. The idea killed him, but maybe they should put it off. Maybe she’d feel better if they waited. But, god it would kill him. There was a chair nearby and he walked them over to it carefully and sat down. She was trembling against him.
“Liz, we don’t have to go through with this. If you’re- if you’re having second thoughts...” Max couldn’t even finish the sentence for all the tightness in his chest.
“No, no,” she protested, seeking his eyes out with her own. “It’s not that. I want this more than anything... I just- have this feeling. You know? A FEELING.”
Max felt a thud in his stomach.
Liz was sensitive to things in a way that he wasn’t. The last time she’d had a feeling like that, Doug had been hunting him. Max swallowed hard.
“I want to marry you, Liz,” he heard the tremor in his voice but had to continue. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I have to have you by my side to handle it.”
“It’s okay,” she murmured, nuzzling in close to his neck. “We’ll be okay, right?”
Max felt his chest constrict again. He pulled her away and took her face in his hands so that she could see the determination in his face. “Right. I swear to you, Liz, I will protect you with my life and never leave your side again if that’s what it takes.”
Liz nodded, despite her tears. “I know. I know.”
Max kissed her trembling lips softly and then looked into the eyes that he had loved ever since he could remember. “All you have to do is get down the aisle. I’ll take it from there, I promise.”
Liz nodded, seeming to draw strength from him.
“Are you ready, then,” he asked her soberly. She nodded and started to stand up, but Max wouldn’t let her go. “I said all you’d have to do is walk down the aisle. And I meant it.” He stood up and carried her to the door, not intending to let her down until she was safely on her father’s arm. He gave her one more smile and started the short walk to the back door of the church.
He wasn’t taking any chances.
|Part 24 | Index | Part 26|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|