|"Fight the Break of Dawn"|
Disclaimer: All glory goes to Melinda Metz and the
makers of the show Roswell for giving us these
brilliant characters. All bow before TPTB! Išm just
borrowing them to flesh out some ideas that won't
leave my head! No infringement intended!|
Summary: Two years after Tess is finally out of their lives, the six move on with life after graduation. But are alien relationships ever going to be simple? More danger is approaching as they move toward learning more about their origins.
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", the prequel for this story. My storyline doesn't follow the show at all from there, so try not to be confused! Title from the song "Save Tonight" by Eagle Eye Cherry Dedication: to Angie, webmistress for "The Max and Liz Project", who is an awesome writer and a great encouragement to me.
|She almost jumped out of her skin when Michael's voice
came floating out of the darkness.|
"Liz," he said quietly.
Liz threw her hand to her throat in an effort to calm her wildly beating heart.
"Michael," she asked as her eyes searched the darkness for him. She could barely make out his form where he sat on the couch in the break room. "What are you still doing here?"
She heard the couch hiss as he stood.
"I need to talk to you," he said even more quietly.
Liz waited until he came forward into the light streaming from the window. The pale white band of light stripped his face of its usual color, and the effect was slightly unnerving.
"About what," she mumbled, as she searched her mind for something applicable to the situation.
Michael crossed over to the order window and leaned over on it in silence.
Liz turned and watched him curiously.
"Where's Maria," she asked after another minute of silence.
"Up in your room, I think. I need to..." Michael took a deep breath and pushed himself to a standing position before trying again. "I need to ask you something."
Liz tried to read his eyes in the scattered light, but it was impossible.
"Okay," she whispered, suddenly afraid this would be about kisses and glowing hands and breaking glasses, none of which she had any answers about.
But Michael crossed over to the lockers and drew something long and rectangular from behind them. He stood facing her, the back of the canvas to her.
"I need to know what this is," he said clearly, watching her eyes as he turned the canvas around.
The chalky world with its sunshine... little lambs... and, oh god, butterflies.
She suddenly realized that she was shaking, fighting hard for control as absolute panic threatened to overtake her. She was already backing away; she had to get away from it.
Michael dropped the painting and rushed to grab her.
Liz didn't even feel his arms as her eyes stayed glued to the clouds... the butterflies as they lay still on the floor. Why didn't they move? She didn't want them to, but shouldn't they?
Liz shook her head.
This was a painting, for god's sake, a *painting!*
"Liz, what is it," Michael's voice was tense as it floated down to her. "What the hell is this thing?"
She looked up at him and wished that she hadn't.
His face was changing, or at least his expression was...
It was becoming slack, empty, his eyes emotionless as he leaned down over her.
Panic gripped her as she realized it was happening again.
"No," she managed to scream before his lips crushed down on hers.
Then, the chalky little butterflies came to life before her eyes.
Maria stopped singing and listened. She was reclining on Liz's bed, waiting for her latest "date" news.
Hearing nothing, she straightened up on the bed and listened harder.
Was that Liz?
She closed the magazine she'd been flipping through and walked slowly to the door. In the hallway she saw Mrs. Parker peering out of her bedroom door, clad in her pajamas.
"Maria, honey, would you go downstairs and see if Liz has her keys to get in the apartment. I think I heard her voice."
"Sure," Maria agreed, immediately heading for the door.
If that was Liz's voice that she heard, she hadn't been calling for keys. Something was wrong.
Michael fell back against the lockers, holding his hands to his head in agony.
"Dammit," he groaned.
A thousand little knives were poking into his skull.
Looking on the floor at the little pile of Liz, he fought through the pain to kneel beside her.
"Liz," he grimaced, forcing himself to touch her feverish skin. She was so pale...
The overhead light came on without warning, making Michael jerk to close his eyes against the painful brightness.
"LIZ," Mariašs voice tore past the pain in his head, propelling him to his feet.
He looked up and saw her running down the stairs.
A thousand emotions ran through him... guilt at the forefront.
Between the throbs of pain, Michael cursed himself.
There was no getting out of it this time. He was going to have to explain this, somehow, and hope Maria would understand.
Max still wasn't sure exactly how Isabel had pulled this one off.
They were walking around a street festival in L.A., surrounded by some of the strangest-looking people Max had ever seen.
The booths of arts, crafts and services were littering the sidewalks, catering to the night-time browsers. And from the look of things, they wouldn't be closing up any time soon, even though it was after... eight. Max sighed as he checked his watch.
"Iz, are you ready to go yet?"
But she was walking toward the stage area, where a band called Pinking Spears was playing a grinding blues song.
"Max," Isabel complained loudly as she glanced over the crowd, "could you just enjoy yourself a little bit? You know, cut loose and dance or something?"
Max just rolled his eyes as she swiveled her hips back and forth beside him. Then he noticed several bikers checking her out greedily.
Grabbing her arm, Max pulled her away from the band area.
"We aren't in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. You have thirty minutes and then we leave."
"God, Max, you are so infuriating! This is the only night we've had out so far, and you're completely ruining it for me," Isabel jerked her arm out of his, but walked stiffly in the direction he wanted.
Max looked away in frustration. He knew the only reason she walked away was because she felt embarassed by his big-brother act.
"One word, Izzy- Alex," he bent over and said it firmly in her ear.
And her face immediately changed. She had forgotten him again.
Max just nodded and let her stop walking.
He glanced around the booths as she stood silently, thinking.
"Let's do something constructive while we're here and go buy Mom her pottery , alright?"
Isabel met his gaze and nodded.
As Max turned toward a pottery booth, Isabel grabbed his arm.
"Just... remind me when it's nine o'clock, okay?"
Max smiled and nodded.
Liz screamed into the darkness in her little chalk world, gripping deeply into the soft ground beneath her.
Then she forced her eyes open, trying to enjoy the peacefulness she had once found here.
But not even the river could take away the pain this time; she could hardly even see it.
The butterflies swarmed around her, fluttering jerkily. Whenever one landed, a slow burning traveled up her body, taking her breath away with agony.
And they wouldn't stop. Every time one floated away, another would take its place.
She sat there, trying to endure the pain... but it wasn't going away.
Grunting fiercely, she pushed herself up on her knees and knocked away a few of the lavender bodies to the ground. Liz stared at her the round spots on her hands where the impact left purple chalk marks.
The rest of the butterflies jerked away, fluttering to a nearby tree.
And the pain finally faded.
Liz took a deep breath and swayed wearily before falling back down to the soft green earth.
Above her was still the black void where the clouds had disappeared. The lambs were gone, and so were the flowers. The melted chalk river was flowing crimson now, with streams of brown where it dragged at the trees.
It was still hot, Liz suddenly noticed, much too hot for comfort.
She wiped at her face, realizing that she was sweating profusely.
But as she pulled her hand away, it wasn't sweat...
A smear of dark crimson stained her hand.
Liz was too exhausted to be frightened, but was that chalk... or blood?
"What the hell are you doing, Michael," Maria screamed at him.
"What do you-" Michael winced before continuing on more quietly. "What do you think I'm doing? I'm trying to see if Liz is okay."
Maria leaned over Liz's prone from, slightly panicked.
"It's that dream, isn't it? She's having that dream again. We've got to make it stop."
But he was shaking his head at her before she even finished her sentence.
"If I knew how, I would. I can't control this. I don't know how it keeps happening."
Maria jerked her head up to look at him.
"What do you mean 'keeps happening?'"
He looked at her blankly, then forced himself to speak, "Something is controlling me. I keep- I mean, three times now, I have... kissed Liz. We connect and whatever the hell it is pumps some of my energy or something into her."
Maria blinked as he waited for her response.
She had none.
"And it hurts; it hurts like hell. But I can't stop it. I don't know why. I don't know how... But I just can't stop it."
Michael's chest was heaving as he watched her, but Maria just couldn't deal with all the information at once.
She felt like her brain had slowed down and was only able to let in one word at a time. She was just now working on 'kissed,' and feeling like someone had just punched her in the stomach.
Michael's voice sounded far away.
Finally, Maria looked down at Liz and snapped to.
"Michael, carry her upstairs to her bedroom. Don't let her parents see you. I'll call Alex. He'll know what to do. Then, I guess wešd better call Max."
Yeah, she wanted to rip every single piece of hair out of Michael's head for somehow letting kissing be involved in this, but there was plenty of time for that after she knew Liz was okay.
Plenty of time for that.
And if there wasn't a good explanation for this... she'd snatch that boy bald-headed.
Max and Isabel had been looking for about ten minutes when they finally found the perfect vase to buy. Diane Evans loved artsy, different-looking pieces and it was a tradition to buy her something wherever they went.
Max had wanted to buy a dull, boring platter, but the blue vase was much more stylish. The swirled colors reminded Isabel of the ocean. But as she handed the vase to the booth owner, she blinked.
The twenty-something guy on the other end of the vase was gorgeous. He was tall, lean and tan, with bleached-blond hair and bright blue eyes. He hadn't cracked a smile yet, but she was sure that it would breath-taking when he did.
Of course, Isabel sternly reminded herself, window shopping is *not* permitted any more.
So she gave the guy a sweet, unavailable smile and turned to Max.
He had noticed the look on her face and gave her a "remember Alex" look.
Isabel rolled her eyes, her fingers automatically going to her pendant.
"Twenty-five bucks," the guy said as he wrapped the vase in paper. Max pulled out his wallet.
Isabel frowned as she noticed the guy's eyes staying on her.
"Nice necklace," he said to Isabel casually, indicating the pendant.
"Thanks," she said automatically, purposely NOT looking at the "good going, Isabel" look Max was giving her.
A grin slid across Christopher's face and he nodded at Isabel.
"You know, you two stick out worse than a mohawk on an old lady. Where are you from?"
"Roswell, New Mexico."
"Ahh... from one tourist trap to another, huh? I'm Christopher Cross, not the singer. Welcome to L.A," the guy said, holding a hand out to Max.
"Max Evans. This is my sister, Isabel."
Christopher handed them the vase in a big bag.
"Here, let me drop one of my cards in here. It has my info on it, if you ever need anything while you're here..."
Max frowned slightly.
"Thanks," Isabel smiled and nodded, slipping her arm through Max's and pulling him away.
"Weird guy," she muttered.
"Do all guys hit on you like that," Max asked with a dark look.
"He was just being nice, Max. Relax."
Alex was the only guy she wanted. And she closed her eyes and thought of him... a whole ten minutes early.
|Part 11 | Index | Part 13|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|