|"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 hesitantly forked over the dough and grabbed the
ticket from the dorky alien in the ticket booth. His
prey, Larry Trilling, had disappeared inside the door
moments before. |
Kyle sighed and followed him. He’d lived eighteen years in this town and never once set foot in the UFO CENTER, or any of the other blatant tourist rip-offs. But then, a lot had changed in his life lately, and he wasn’t one to quibble over details. When you suddenly find out aliens are real, are successfully romancing your ex-girlfriend and can fight evil aliens using just their minds... well, you basically toss out the old handbook and bring on the new.
Of course, the fact that the new handbook reads a lot like an X-Files episode (which he’d become devoted to since all this alien-conspiracy-from-beyond crap had appeared) was just another shock to absorb.
The crash of ‘47 was real.
Aliens were real.
And, get this, aliens put Tabasco sauce on chocolate cake.
Kyle shook his head and watched Larry stare at the “Elvis connection” display. What an idiot. Elvis wasn’t an alien. No real alien would call that much attention to himself.
Kyle blinked. Or at least, he didn’t think so.
Another thing to ask Liz about.
He glanced away and found himself looking at a display that made those little hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. He moved around a partition to see it more clearly.
He swallowed hard at the sight before him. A life-size mannequin dressed as a surgeon was opening up the chest of one of the little stuffed alien creatures on top of a table.
It struck him that that had probably happened, too. Probably to one of Max’s relatives. And that’s what would happen to all of them if anyone found out. Even Liz. Hell, they’d probably be more interested in her and that transformation she’d just had than anyone else.
Kyle suddenly found it hard to breathe and he moved into a side exhibit.
Wait- didn’t Max used to work here? What the hell was he doing, trying to give himself a psychosis? There was no way Kyle could sit and look at even a model of someone he might be related to being treated like that.
Alright, alright, he lectured himself, enough with the empathy crap or you’ll be sending Max flowers and a lovely “sorry you’re an alien” card. Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to follow Larry in here. It‘s not like he would stop in the middle of the museum and announce to the world exactly what his evil plans were.
This was a waste of time.
Just as Kyle headed for the door, his gaze fell upon a girl looking at one of the exhibits. It was difficult to see her features from this distance, but she looked sort of like Liz, only taller and more built. And longer, curlier hair. Her messy clothes threw him for a loop, and the dirty duffel bag. She obviously wasn’t from around here.
Which meant that she probably could use a friend- a close friend. Kyle smiled wickedly. After all, he did need to keep an eye out on any suspicious strangers in town, for the good of the group. And she definitely looked... dangerous.
Kyle slipped his keys back into his pocket and fixed a charming smile on his face. The I’m-a-varsity-quarterback smile that still worked even though he had graduated, not that he’d tried it out much.
But the girl was transfixed at the sight before her, arms crossed in a defensive position. Kyle hesitated. Just the firm way her hands gripped her arms told him that it had to be the alien-slice-and-dice exhibit that held her attention.
She shivered and tore her glance away from the scene, and he got a full look at her face. He was stupid enough to stand stock still, like a squirrel facing down an eighteen-wheeler, but he managed to give her a quick nod before finally turning to the exhibit on his left.
Did she buy it? Was she staring at him? His breath was coming in short gasps. He felt her walk behind him and over to another exhibit, the tension in his shoulders easing just a bit. Then he turned and forced his legs to walk in the direction of the stairs.
And his legs were obeying. Good, ‘cause they were on their own. His mind was still grappling with the fact that when she had looked at him...
When she had looked at him... it was like Max Evans’ face had been torn off and stuck on this girl.
He shook his head. What the hell did that mean???
“I just can’t go up there again. I can’t,” Liz said tearfully from within his arms. “She’s like a completely different person. How can she do this to him?”
Alex shook his head slowly, watching Michael pace. He had known Mrs. Parker had a thing about Max, but he had been so sure that her logic would win out over fear. And now... he wasn’t so sure at all. “Shhh,” he whispered to Liz, ignoring his train of thought. He gently guided her over to the couch. “We’ll take care of it. We won‘t let anything happen to Max.”
As she sat down, he followed, putting his arm around her and pulling her to him. A sudden memory of when she had been blinded and hysterical came to his mind.
That had been almost two years ago. He had held her then, too, and felt about the same amount of helplessness. He looked up at Michael, who met his eyes and then glanced away.
Liz suddenly sat up and stared at Michael. “No,” she whispered fiercely. “This is my mother, Michael, not some informant. You can’t just get rid of her.”
“I didn’t say that,” he said quickly, lifting his hands up in a conciliatory gesture.
“You didn’t have to,” Liz jumped up and fumed at him.
Michael stared at her, clenching his jaw tightly. With sudden fury, he turned around and pounded his fist into the lockers. “Something has to be done,” he hissed out in one breath.
Alex raised his eyebrows. Michael had hit the cheesy, magnetic alien character decorating the lockers right in the face. Nice shot. “You guys have to know by now it’s stupid to fight each other, right,” Alex said as he slowly stood and unkinked his long legs. “It’s pointless. It’s like having an argument with yourself. And take it from me, schizophrenia is not fun, no matter what he says about it.”
Michael and Liz were staring at each other. Alex changed his voice slightly. “Don’t believe him, it’s a blast being a woman trapped in a man’s body.” Still staring at each other. No response. Alex changed his voice back, entertaining himself if no one else. “You would think so, since you’re the one who gets to take all the bubble baths. When’s it going to be my turn?”
Alex grinned at himself. Then frowned. That was way too easy. Shouldn’t it be harder to fake a split personality? Oh well, maybe I’ll go get a drink and come back to this riveting display of alien telepathy. Just when he was headed out the swinging door, he heard two loud slams behind him and turned to see Liz pushing her way past him and Michael heading out the back door.
Apparently, things didn’t go too well. There was another dent in the lockers, and a slightly melted lamp on the floor. Alex whistled a long, high note. If Liz had let power out, she must be incensed.
“Hey,” Alex called after Liz as she went into the diner. He had no choice but to follow and try to keep her from doing any more damage out there. Heaven help Jennifer if she dropped more plates tonight.
Alex smiled tensely as he pushed his way through the door. She just might get an alien blast for real.
Max drove with careful attention to the driving regulations he had memorized years ago. He stopped for exactly three seconds at the stop sign before his street, then looked both ways before continuing on.
Yeah, it got on his nerves that he turned into Mr. Anal-retentive when he was upset, but right now, it kept him from breaking down and that was the main goal.
Max reached the house without once betraying his stoic facade. He jumped out and walked to the doorway as quickly as possible.
Now, if only he could get through the house without having to answer any questions. It was going to be close. Every step nearer to his room brought the emotions closer to the forefront. He didn’t stop to wonder why, it was enough to deal with just to feel them.
“Max, is that you,” he heard his mother ask. He tried to answer as he bypassed the kitchen in the dining room, but all that came out was a choked sound from deep in his throat.
He fled to the back of the house, to the sanctuary of his room.
And the moment his door closed, it hit him, what he had lost, what he never had... and what he is.
He saw it on Mrs. Parker’s face, the look he had been afraid of his whole life- revulsion, fear and loathing. Max shuddered to the core of his being. He suddenly felt like he was a kid again, with those dark stories of abduction and experimentation burned into his psyche by the overripe exposure in Roswell.
At nine years of age, when he divined his alien-ness for the first time, his natural horror of those stories had turned inward against himself. He spent his days trying to disappear at school, shoving the fear deep inside and vomiting it out in the bathroom when it got to be too much to handle.
He drew a shaky hand across his mouth and moved to sit on the bed. The picture of Mrs. Parker as she backed away from him suddenly appeared in his mind and he forgot everything else. Tears sprang into his eyes and his throat constricted until it hurt. He bent over, resting his arms tensely on his knees. A hot flush crept up his neck as he continued to fight the emotions and choked down on a sob. With frustration, he felt the tears rolling down his cheeks and he clenched his jaw tighter. The tension built in his body until he trembled with the effort, but the tears just kept coming.
There was a soft knock at his bedroom door. “Max?”
Mom. She can’t see me like this... I can’t explain... Max scrubbed away some of the wetness on his cheeks, but knew his control was too tenacious to actually answer her.
“Max, can I come in,” she asked quietly.
He still couldn’t answer, though he worked his throat muscles a few times in preparation.
The door opened a crack and his mother peeked in. Max couldn’t look up. This pain was too close to him, too hard to shove down and smooth over. So he just sat there, frozen.
A breath of air perfumed with gardenias wafted toward him as his mother walked over to the bed. She stopped in front of him, resting a tentative hand on his bowed head.
“Honey, do you want to talk about it,” she asked.
He did, but there were no words to describe it, and he had no voice to speak with.
“This is about Liz’s mother, isn’t it?”
Max couldn’t stop from looking upward at her concerned face in amazed affirmation and that broke through his control even more. Immediately more tears filled his eyes and he forced his head back down, grinding his teeth to keep from completely humiliating himself. How did she know?
“Oh honey, I’m so sorry. Your father and I were afraid of this. Nancy has become so distant lately, and we wondered if she somehow knew the truth about you.”
Max hardly registered her sitting beside him. The tears stopped flowing. The eyes stopped seeing. The heart stopped beating. No breath flowed in his lungs. He was all fear- raw, unthinking, immobilizing fear.
He couldn’t take it... not twice in one night... He felt her eyes on him as he waited.
“Max, honey, she’s just scared. It was hard for us to come to terms with it, too. Just give her some time.”
Was he in a parallel dimension suddenly? Was this somehow the world in which nightmares and dreams all come true- at the same time? He wanted to ask her something- anything, but the words escaped him. No, they were there, but they were too important to voice.
“Max, look at me,” she urged him.
He realized that he was breathing now, that his heart had jump-started again, but that didn’t mean that he could move... not yet. She must have sensed that after a moment when he didn’t respond.
“Honey,” she reached out and slid her hand down his forearm. “You are our son, no matter where you come from. We love you. I love you. Please don’t be scared to tell me what has happened. I told you once before that nothing would make me feel any differently about you and I meant that.”
Max blinked and the beginning of a completely sappy smile started at the corners of his mouth. His mother loved him. Loved HIM, Max the alien, Max the extra-terrestrial, Max the liar. He had lied to them... countless times. Then he turned to her, his doubt wiping away the tentative smile.
But his mother’s tender smile washed it all away. “We know who you are, and we love you, son. Everything is going to be fine. We’ll help you and Liz. It will all work out.”
Max knew a few more tears had wormed their way out, but his smile ignored them and joined in his mother’s joy. Then he bent over and scooped her up in his arms, spinning her around the room. He was delirious. He was making an idiot out of himself, but he didn’t care.
She laughed at his relief and he joined in. The fear that had always been there was being banished at her words. It was incredible, freeing in a way he‘d never felt before...
“Isabel,” he put his mom down at the thought and opened the door, yelling into the hallway. “Isabel!!”
She came running, worry on her face immediately. But his smile quickly became contagious.
“What is it,” she asked earnestly.
Max pulled her into his room and shut the door behind her. He shook his head at how difficult it was to stop old habits, but he didn’t try to correct that now. What he had to say to Isabel was going to change her life forever.
He reached out and grabbed one of her hands, then turned each of them toward their mother. With a simple grin at both of them, he spoke. “She knows, Izzy. And she still loves us.”
The transformation of Isabel’s face was something Max knew he would never forget. She turned deathly pale, and turned to him with a fierce gaze that flickered between fear and hope. “She knows?”
Max just nodded and watched her turn back to their mother.
Diane Evans walked forward and put her arms around Isabel. “We’ve always known that you were different. And now we know why. It doesn’t change a thing, sweetheart. You will always be my daughter.”
Isabel covered her face with one hand and her whole body shook with sobs of relief. Max’s throat tightened again and he rolled his eyes as tears again coated his eyes.
“Good grief,” he muttered and threw his arms around both of them. But their joy was contagious and he basked in it. It was one of the happiest moments of his eighteen years, and he dared himself to ruin it.
Of course, there was plenty of ruinous thoughts running amuck in his mind, of another mother who didn’t feel the same way, but he sternly forbade them from being fully realized.
My god, he thought, another smile breaking loose. My mother loves us.
My mother... loves ME. ******
Kyle found Liz immediately. “We have to talk,” he said, grabbing her arm and steering her to the back.
“Get your hands off of me,” Liz jerked him to a stop and pierced him with seething eyes.
Kyle let her go and took a nervous glance at her hands. No glowing. Good. “Liz, it’s me, Kyle. I’m one of the good guys, remember,” he asked her impatiently.
Her eyes relented slightly and she turned to go to the back. Alex, who had just walked up with his mouth open to say something, just turned and followed her.
Kyle looked around nervously and went through the swinging doors. He found Alex and Liz seated on the couch. Liz still looked nothing like her usual calm, control-freak self. Her eyes were blazing and made him hesitate.
“Okay, you have no idea what I’m gonna’ to say, so why are you looking at me like I’m your next meal or something.” Then he saw the lamp. “Did you do that,” eyeing Liz and the lamp nervously.
The melted lump of metal looked like it had seen the business end of an blow torch, its burnt lampshade hanging on by one undamaged wire.
“Uh, Kyle,” Alex stood up between them, breaking into Kyle’s stunned thoughts. “There’s been a few developments and if you aren’t careful, you might actually be her next meal. Of course, that’s only if Michael stays away.”
Kyle felt stupid. Again. “Guerin? What does Guerin have to do with anything?”
Liz rolled her eyes and stood to her feet. She took three steps forward and leaned into Kyle. “Speak. Now.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Kyle nodded and swallowed, feeling like a total pansy for letting her spook him. “What would you say if you saw...” he hesitated, laughed at himself. “If you saw a girl, about 5 feet, 10 inches, black curly hair and a face that looked exactly like Max Evans.”
They looked as stunned as he expected. Liz took a step back. Kyle just enjoyed their response for a moment.
“Exactly,” Kyle pointed at their reactions. “See? That look was me ten minutes ago at the UFO Center.”
Liz shook her head. “She looks like Max?”
“That’s not a strong enough word picture here. Imagine Max, skinnier, with boobs and long, curly hair.”
Alex grimaced, and Kyle laughed. “Exactly,” he pointed at Alex again. “So, I’m not crazy. I should be totally grossed out, right?”
“Oh my god,” Liz whispered. “I have no idea what this means.”
“I know what it means,” Kyle smirked. “It’s time to play, ‘Name That Alien’ again. Yeah, I‘ll take ‘Favorite Torture Methods of E.T.’ for a thousand.’”
The laugh out of his mouth was only partly hysteria. He felt a little better just knowing they were as freaked out as he was. Well, maybe not completely. After all, he was talking to an alien-lover and a newly-transformed alien.
“Kyle, keep your voice down,” Liz hissed, looking past him into the kitchen.
“He’s right, though, Liz,” Alex walked closer and admitted. “We haven’t exactly had a stellar past in this arena. It would pay to be cautious.”
“Yeah,” Kyle added, despite himself. “Whenever a new one comes to town, they tend to try to kill you, remember?”
Liz blanched and looked away.
“Of course, that was before she crossed the Great Divide, right, Lizzie,” Alex reminded them. “If we face this green, slimy chick down, I want Liz on my team.”
“Yeah, because I’m green and slimy, right,” Liz asked sardonically, a small smile on her face.
The outside door opened and Michael appeared. “Hell yeah, just like the rest of us,” he barked out as he came right on in. He gave Liz a quick nod. “Heard there was a sighting.”
Kyle couldn’t help but move out of the way. Michael must’ve been tramping around in Liz’s mind again. Yeah, yeah, sure- it was a connection-thing or whatever. All Kyle knew was that if any alien tried to get their mind stuck to his like that, he’d show them a “connection” alright. Especially if there was any of this kissing/transforming crap going on. Kyle shook his head at Alex as Michael and Liz continued a silent conversation. He’d have to petition to include a few more humans in their group. It was getting on his nerves to be so outnumbered.
Alex prowled around the UFO Center as nonchalantly as possible. He was having trouble getting the image of Max with boobs out of his mind. “Thank you, Kyle,” he muttered as he rounded the last corner of the last room.
No one there. The place closed in five minutes and was almost empty. But Kyle had been adamant about what he had seen. They’d have to go with plan “B.”
Divide and scour.
|Part 5 | Part 7|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|