|"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!!!
|Liz was pacing, forcing back the flood of pain with a
simple pattern of steps that she repeated over and
over, careful to move her long skirt out of the way. |
Step, two, three, turn left, step past the lawn chair, step, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight...
It was something she’d learned when she was blind for a while, after Tess came. Counting was a very mind-numbing occupation. Kept her emotions from clouding over her better judgment, which she just couldn’t afford right now.
Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen and stop.
She loved the fact that the fifteen steps ended at the ledge, at the place that her loneliness ended when Max came.
Tears choked her throat as the memories of the events after the shooting came rushing back... the paramedics’ arrival, the pronunciation of Max’s “death” and her sobbing, screaming breakdown, right in front of everyone.
She buried her face in one hand at the memory. It went against everything in her to let loose like that. But she had to convince them that it was real, that Max was really dead and not healed and going on the run. And maybe it wouldn’t have bothered her to the extent that it did if it hadn’t felt so real... but his body beneath her, blood-soaked... and so still. The emotions provoked by the contact with that dead body had been real and horrifying.
And they were still with her, even though she wasn’t allowing herself to feel them. Not while there was something else to focus on. Like the fact that Max, though alive, was still leaving her.
She sucked in a deep breath, dropping her hand weakly to her side. Any minute now, he, Michael and Isabel were going to leave Roswell for good. They should have already been gone, but the Evans were holding them with long goodbyes just outside of Roswell, irritating Michael to no end. Their parents hadn’t wanted Isabel to go with them, but then they didn’t know about the alien hunter after her. She would be much safer with Michael and Max.
But Liz didn’t even want to think about how hard the Evans were taking this. They were relieved Max was okay, but it’s not like he could just come home. He was to be out of their lives forever, thought of as dead by all their family and friends.
Liz grimaced. At least the Evans got to say good-bye. And here she was, shut away on her balcony, unable to get past the mourners and reporters and police... while he left her.
No. Uh-huh. This was NOT going to happen. Michael was going to listen to her.
Liz walked back to her window, counting the steps religiously. Then she pivoted back towards the ledge and lifted the block on their connection. She made an effort to send out very orderly thoughts, courtesy of her counting walk. Then she went with a diversion tactic, a painful one, but a diversion nonetheless.
Michael? You have to tell me. What did my mother do?
She felt him hesitate.
*Yeah... okay. Remember the night that you two argued and Max went up to talk to her?*
*She taped that conversation. She pushed Max into revealing himself, and then she gave the tape to Larry.*
Liz swayed and sat down on the window ledge hard, but she clamped down on her emotions. Then she pressed on.
I have to see him, Michael. You know I do.
*Liz, I said- it’s too dangerous. What if somebody sees-*
Liz shook her head, feeling the paralyzing weight of fear and desolation begin to crush in on her again. Her shaking hands automatically went to her stomach and jerkily smoothed down the bodice of her gown. The sharp pain from her wrist shot through her and she automatically dropped it to her side and started to walk again, the long skirt tripping her up.
Everyone tried to get her to take the wedding dress off, but she wouldn’t. Not yet. The dreams she had of Max being the one to undress her... of the two of them together...
She gasped out a painful breath.
*Liz. Come on, it’s not that I don’t want to bring him-*
She shook her head and ignored him, railroading her thoughts over his.
She wouldn’t take the gown off. Her fists clenched at her side, and she ignored the pain. She would wear it until she saw Max again. And if anyone thought that she had just lost it, they could just- just go to hell!
In a flurry of rustling silk and tears, Liz lunged at the row of plants across from her. She heaved one against the wall with a shriek, enjoying the satisfying thud and crack of the pottery. She stared at the devastated plant and took in great, heaving breaths.
It was the purple one.
Hot tears spilled out of her eyes. She would wear the damn dress until she saw Max again. She swiped at the wetness on her cheeks and her eyes fell down on the smeared blood on the bodice of the creamy white silk. It was so bright.... Liz began to tremble.
*Liz, please calm down.*
She took a deep breath.
Michael, you’re sure he‘s okay?
*He’s fine. Just weak. And worried about you. And stubborn as hell.*
Liz nodded, taking a small comfort in the fact that Max wanted to see her. She swallowed hard against the lump in her throat and tried to breathe normally.
So it was just Michael preventing them from seeing each other. She threw her arms over her head and paced around the rooftop. There had to be a way to convince Michael. Her chest constricted and her breathing shortened.
You’re going to hyperventilate, she lectured herself.
Then her mind rebelled.
Yeah, I should hyperventilate. I should leap-frog off the freakin’ balcony and try to fly.
The whole world went mad today-
The whole world went mad today, Michael, and I think I might just join them if Max leaves me. Don’t you understand that?
Liz ran her fingers through her scalp and cradled her head.
*Liz, Max says- he loves you and he wants you to sit down and shut up.*
Max said he wants me to shut up?
*Okay, that part was me,* Michael admitted. *I can barely keep the freakin’ car on the road with your thoughts in my head.*
Deal with it. These are my feelings and they’re not going to get any better until you- BRING- MAX- HERE!
Liz clenched her fists and opened her mind completely to Michael. All the emotions raging through her fell free: the sharp sting of loss, the dull ache of shame, the crushing weight of her mother’s betrayal and the panicked fear of loneliness that threatened to push her over the edge. It was all seething from her as she let herself feel all of it for him, drowning in it with him-
*Alright, Alright! My God- if I could block you out-*
Liz smiled hollowly.
*We‘ll figure it out.*
You’re coming, Liz’s eyes opened wide.
*Yes. You- block. Now,* he commanded her. *I have to think.*
Liz nodded, and blocked gratefully, heading inside to her room. She had a phone call to make.
After that was done, she counted and paced... paced and counted, then felt it again and shuddered and staggered. Then she sat and wrapped a piece of hair around her finger, wound it tighter and tighter until the finger turned purple. But it helped. And the time passed.
There was still one person in her room who refused to go away, and god only knew how many people downstairs talking to her mother and poor father. At least he was okay and didn’t even have a concussion.
Liz felt a cold, hard pang of satisfaction at the knowledge that Trilling had suffered for his crimes. Of course, officially, he had just disappeared from the squad car, which was why there were so many police down there. They were worried that he might show up again for Liz.
Liz just found herself wondering about Jennifer. Had she found out about her estranged husband going crazy?
There was a scattering of rocks down below. Max! Liz jumped to her feet and schooled her emotions. She wouldn’t make this harder on him. She wouldn’t.
Looking over the ledge, she saw a motorcycle cop down in the alley and was taken aback. But as he walked toward the ladder, she saw the long, familiar lines of his body. “Max?”
“Liz, it’s me,” he pulled off the helmet and looked up with wide eyes. She was descending the ladder in seconds, knowing that he was too weak to make it up.
The long skirt wrapped around her feet, but she kept moving until she was rewarded with the feeling of his warm hand on her back. She half-turned and watched him as he put his hands on her waist and helped her jump down, in that sweet, familiar way. His face was so pale and weary, but his smile was brilliant as his arms slid around her sides to pull her into his arms.
“Max,” she breathed, closing her eyes in sheer joy. He was alive. He was here. Now she believed it.
She opened her eyes and reached up to smooth his cheek with her palm. He reached up to envelope her hand in his, moving his lips to kiss her palm. His lips were warm and soft- and they were trembling. Liz slid her hand back up into his hair and pulled his face toward her. As he was a breath away, she whispered “I love you.“
It was a slow, soulful kiss, one that sent warmness sliding all through Liz’s body. She could feel the emotion behind it and wasn’t surprised when Max pulled away.
“Liz,” he said in a hoarse voice. “I’m so sorry- I should have- I didn’t tell you about your mother. I didn’t think it would-”
“Shhh,” she looked up into his expressive eyes and couldn’t stand to see the pain and questions there. “I understand. I’m the one- who’s sorry. I can‘t believe she did that-”
A sudden lump in her throat prevented more words. Max’s arms around her grew tight and he choked out angry words.
“And the wedding- oh god, when I saw Larry grab you and put that gun... oh, sweetness,“ Max’s words turned into a moan and Liz decided right then and there that this wasn’t good for him. She pulled away and cut to the heart of the matter.
“But I’m fine. And you’re- fine. So what happens now, Max,” she asked him quietly.
His eyes held hers for a long moment and she dared him to speak the words aloud. “We’re leaving.”
She swallowed hard. “And I’m staying?”
His eyes were shimmering with unshed tears as he whispered, “For a while. Then we’ll come get you, when things calm down and people stop- stop talking.”
Liz couldn’t stand the look of hope in his eyes, not when her heart was breaking in a thousand pieces. “How long, Max?”
His jaw grew tight. “Three months.”
She stopped breathing. “No. I can’t... I can’t do that...” She felt panic building in her chest. Her breath came back in short gasps...
“Liz, Liz,” Max grabbed her arms and tried to force her to look him in the eyes again. “Right now, everyone has to think that I’m dead. You disappearing would be suspicious. We can’t have that right now. Not for the others.”
The others? She couldn’t live for three months without him, for anyone.
“Liz, please, for me, do this,” Max was begging her.
She looked up into his eyes and straightened her back. Okay, then. “Three weeks.”
His eyes looked shocked, and then he shook his head. “Not long enough. Two months.”
“Too long, Max,” Liz insisted. Then she paused. “One month. That’s all I can do. If I can do that much...”
He nodded. “One month.”
And with those words, she felt the weight of that time span fall on her like a prison sentence. One month. The words reverberated in her head until she felt faint. Her knees gave out and she collapsed.
Max caught her and fell back against the wall. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered, sliding down the wall and pulling her into his lap. “I don’t want this. I don’t.”
“I know,” she managed to say. He tightened his arms around her and they just sat there, breathing. Slowly, the hum began between them. Then Max laced his fingers with hers and made the connection. His despair at leaving her and his rage at being forced to hide like a criminal was thrust upon her. She felt weakened by his pain, and knew he must feel the same desolation from her pain as well.
“Liz,” he sounded concerned as he slid his fingers down her wrist.
“Yeah, it’s broken,” she admitted.
“Why didn‘t you heal it,” he looked into her eyes sideways.
“I wanted you to do it,“ she choked out the words.
He stared at her a moment and smiled sadly. “Always,” he whispered.
She watched the concentration come over his face as he healed her, infusing her with his warm love and concern.
“I wanted to be the one to take this gown off of you, too,” he whispered as he opened his eyes again. Liz smiled at the playfulness in his eyes, not embarrassed even though she knew what he had seen in the connection. She took his hand in her own, sliding her fingers up and down the smooth, tan skin. She focused on sending her love back to him, and sent him some memories she cherished of them together.
He, in the Crashdown, lifting his hands to her face and reversing the connection, showing her the way he saw her.
Their first kiss, on her balcony. Their bodies slowly moving together, exploring the new feelings gently.
Their first reunion after the step back fiasco, in the kitchen of the Crashdown, a hot, breathless kiss that showed them the extent of their passion for each other.
Max’s marriage proposal and the acceptance that started the transformation-
A bright light pierced through Liz‘s thoughts, and broke their connection. It was a police motorcycle, slowly coming down the alley.
“It’s Michael,” Max said quietly. Liz sat back in his arms, not wanting to leave his embrace. “And don’t ask how he got it. You don’t want to know.”
“I already do,” she said with a glance at him over her shoulder.
“Oh yeah,” Max smiled, running a trembling hand through her hair. “So I guess we can keep in touch by the Michael connection, huh? It’s better than e-mail. We can just drop in unannounced and make sure you‘re having nice thoughts about me.”
Liz smiled at how easily that husky tone slid into his voice. Then she winced in pain, remembering the goodbye to come.
“Yeah, well you’d better be nice and call often, or I’ll just block him, and there where will you be?” She smiled at him briefly. Then the look of pain in his eyes cut through her facade and she jumped to her feet before she was tempted to cling to him forever.
“Please be safe,” she whispered, helping him to his feet.
“One month, I’ll be back,” he promised her, pulling her close again. “And then, I promise, I’m going to take care of you for the rest of your life, Liz Parker.”
Their kiss was full of intensity and desire, but Liz cut it off before she got lost completely. Max didn’t want to go; she could see it on his face. So she kissed him briefly again on the lips and turned to climb back up the ladder.
“Liz,” he called after her. “Please be safe. Don’t take any chances. Listen to your inner Max.”
She turned to see his face lit up with that crooked grin she loved so much. She’d remember this moment, and that smile.
“Max, let’s go,” Michael said urgently. “She’s okay.”
Yeah, right, Liz thought to him. When did you get to be such a good liar?
*Necessity. He’d never leave you otherwise.*
Liz shook her head and kept climbing.
Michael, you have to take Maria with you. Swing by and pick her up. She’s waiting.
*What, are you going to blackmail me into this, too?*
You’re a pretty good mind reader, Guerin. Anyone ever told you that?
She stopped and stared down at him on his motorcycle.
She can’t survive without you, Michael. Don‘t make her try.
Liz stared down at him as he slipped on his helmet and mounted the bike. That was too easy. Tears filled her eyes and she acknowledged the fierce jealousy stabbing her heart.
She had to stay here, to pretend to have lost her whole reason for living without giving in to the pain of the real loss there. Gravity and pain were pulling at her.
*Hurry up the ladder, Liz. You‘re making me nervous.*
Down below, Max and Michael were on the bike, already pulling away.
She started up again, not wanting to see them actually leave. She moved her mind onto the many questions plaguing her mind. There was so much to think about, so much to try and handle on her own. What had triggered Larry; what had happened to Kyle; where were the other aliens; and how they could protect the others without Max, Michael or Isabel here to help? Would Nasedo help?
Max was gone. She looked down into the alley and studied the empty pools of white light. He was gone. Liz tripped over the top of the ladder and landed in a heap on the cold, hard ground. Not having the strength to rise, she just laid down on the hard cement and looked up at the stars... the, endless, mindless, omniscient stars that mirrored her pain in small pinpricks of light against the velvet sky.
Michael, is he okay?
Silent emotions wound their way into her heart.
*About as okay as you are.*
Arms slipped up under her and a lanky body pulled her close.
Alex. The one who wouldn’t leave. Liz accepted his presence there without a second thought. After the events of tonight, he would be the closest friend she had left.
“They’re gone?” She nodded, letting out a little sob. “It’s okay, Lizzie,” he whispered. “You and me are gonna’ get through this. Somehow... we’re gonna’ get through this.”
She felt the warmth where Alex held her, and the coldness of the places where he couldn’t and studied the sky with a strange air of detachment. The silence grew between them.
“That cold front must have blown through,” Alex said quietly. “It’s getting colder.”
“Definitely colder. And darker, too.”
Then she heard a dry voice in her mind.
*Stop being so melodramatic, Parker. We’ll be back.*
Liz smiled despite herself.
A month of darkness, of coldness, of longing. Then-
Max would come back for her.
She could handle that.
The End... for now
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|