|"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! I'm 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
|Max woke up with a start. Liz was sitting beside him
on the bed, face turned away.|
"She knows," Liz started without preamble. "I don't even want to tell you what she said."
Max sat up slowly and ran a hand down Liz's silky hair. She still wasn't looking at him.
"Your Mom knew? How? How did she find out," Max said slowly, his hand moving down her back. Despite himself, having Liz here in his bed was a little... distracting.
"It wasn't anything we did. Someone warned her."
This time, the deadness in her voice really reached him. He leaned over on one hand so that he could see her face. She was staring straight ahead, tears rolling off her chin.
Max was disgusted with himself for not hearing the tears in her voice sooner.
"Liz," he whispered and moved around until he was leaning against the headboard. Then he leaned forward and gently pulled Liz up into his arms. She was rigid against him, and his brow wrinkled in concern.
"What did she say?"
Liz took a shuddering breath and shook her head.
"Well," Max sighed, "I would kiss you to find out, but I haven't exactly got the best breath right now-"
Before he could finish his sentence, Liz's lips were pressed fervently against his. They were salty and wet, but it went perfectly with the flood of misery and pain she was sending him.
Nancy Parker had threatened his life if he married Liz. There were other images, but he was too dumbfounded to even let them register. When Liz pulled back, he just sat there, perfectly still.
For some reason, it hurt him. A trace of self-revulsion surfaced, from the time in his life when he had hated his heritage. Amazing how feelings like that never totally go away...
"Max, I am so sorry," Liz's timid voice pulled him out of his reverie. "I don't think she would do it. She's just... scared."
"Yeah," Max forced himself to nod. "I'm sure she was just trying to protect you from what she sees as a threat."
"I probably should have gotten her to tell me more about the phone calls," Liz acknowledged as she laid back against Max¹s chest again. "But I was just too upset. I- I told her that I was one of you now."
"What," Max raised up off the headboard in surprise. "Oh god, Liz... are you okay?"
He had never been able to force himself to tell his parents. A rejection from them would be too all-consuming.
Liz collapsed against him.
"No, I don't think I am okay. I listened to Mom cry for a while, and then I just had to leave. I know I should've stayed and made sure that she wouldn't do anything rash, but I just had to..."
"Get away? I know," Max said in a soothing tone. "It's okay, I'm glad you came. Why don't you just sleep here tonight?"
Liz nodded quietly.
She couldn't go home, Max knew. Not until Mrs. Parker calmed down.
Max shifted down on the bed, taking Liz with him until they were lying down together. That electricity between them started humming immediately, but Max tried to focus on soothing Liz's ragged emotions. She was still crying and he pulled her in closer.
"Liz, I'm here. Shhh," he whispered. "We'll be fine. It's okay."
And it would be.
He and Liz were together, and that was all that mattered now.
"Max, honey," his mother's voice barely penetrated Max's foggy brain.
He squinted against the bright morning light, wondering what had happened to the thick blanket of darkness that he had just been enveloped in.
She was beside him, lying still. It was her hair, he suddenly remembered. His face had been buried in her sweet-smelling hair.
Then the door slowly opened and his mother's face appeared.
"Max," she smiled, then froze. "Honey, what is Liz doing here?"
"Shhh," Max whispered, slowly pushing himself off the bed and walking over to her. "She had a fight with her mom last night."
Max felt a yawn begin deep down in his chest and he stretched all of his weary muscles as it washed over him.
"Oh, was it about getting married," Diane watched him carefully.
"Uh, yeah. Mrs. Parker really, really doesn't like me," he admitted as he ran a hand through his untidy hair.
His mother's gaze rested on him so seriously that he stood straight, waiting for her next words.
"Max, I don't think that's it. I know she likes you, but she seems... honestly, she seems afraid for Liz. And I can't help but think that she's feeling whatever it is that you've been keeping from me all these years. You know, the thing I'm not supposed to ask about? Secrets make people scared, honey."
Max levelled a gaze at her, then turned to look at Liz's small, graceful form sleeping on his small bed.
"And sometimes, the truth makes people even more scared."
"Bye kids, have a good day. Don't rest too hard," Mr. Evans' voice sounded cheerful as he left for work right behind Mrs. Evans.
Liz couldn't believe how easily they had accepted her being there. She had eaten breakfast at their table and the talk had revolved around Isabel and Max's internships mostly. That and the blue vase they had given their mother, which now stood unwrapped on the table.
It was so hard to believe this was the same kitchen that had to be cleaned up from the mix of blood, dead alien, and gunshot holes earlier. With a little help from their powers, the Evans' kitchen was as good as new. At least Max's parents didn't suspect anything.
Liz picked at her food, dreading the idea of going home.
"Liz, maybe you should call your Mom first, and see how she is before you head home," Max ventured quietly. His caring gaze had hardly left her face all morning, even though it was him Liz¹s mother had threatened so callously.
The phone rang, and Liz flinched.
She rolled her eyes at her nervousness.
Isabel put down the business card she had been nervously playing with and got up to answer the phone. Just then, a knock sounded at the back door. Before Max could get up, Liz reached out and grabbed his hand.
"It's Michael," she said with a slight smile.
Max stared at her and then sat back in his chair.
Michael's head peeked around the corner of the foyer and Liz smiled at him.
"Hey," he scowled in return. "What's the matter with you? I'm trying to sleep last night, and I have to fight the urge to run over to the Crashdown and pound on your Mom. What did she say to you?"
Max and Liz exchanged glances. Michael was getting more than just emotions from her, he was almost reading her mind...
"Liz," Isabel said tentatively, "it's your Dad."
A sudden chill swept through Liz as she stood. Max and Michael gave her encouraging and fierce looks respectively.
"I'm okay," she said with a slight smile. Then she took a deep breath and crossed to the phone. Isabel handed it to her with a worried look. Liz put the receiver to her ear tentatively.
"Dad, I'm sorry I left last night," she said softly.
"Well, I'm sorry, too, Lizzie," Jeff Parker began without hesitation. "Both times you left, we were very worried. But your Mom told me she said some really off-base things and felt terrible about it. She wanted me to tell you that she was sorry."
Here he cleared his throat nervously. Liz smiled.
"She said that?"
"Yes, although she was right to be angry, Liz. You should have let us know where you were going and why you were so late. It's only fair. But Nancy also said she would be okay with you and Max getting married."
"What," Liz asked in amazement.
"I know, she did a complete 180 on us, but I for one am glad. Max won my trust a long time ago. Of course, your Mom's reasoning was a little different from mine. She said that there really wasn't much choice, anyway. And she wanted to go away for a week or so, up to Seattle. So, I let her. She wants to sit down with the two of you when she gets back."
Liz blinked. Her mother never took trips alone.
"She was a mess this morning," Jeff continued. "I've never seen her so..."
"Yeah, that's it."
Liz closed her eyes at the admission. She had to feel a little bit sorry for her Mom.
"She said you were probably at Max's. When you get home later today, we'll talk some more. Especially about how you're not going to be spending any more nights at the Evans. Okee-dokee?"
"Yeah, Dad. Okay. Bye," she said as she hung the phone up. She felt like this was a bad news/good news joke. "The good news is that your Mom will let you get married. The bad news is that it's only because she feels like there's no other option because you're a slimy alien just like your fiance. The good news is that she won't be home for week to breathe over your shoulder. The bad news is that she will be back in a week to talk about things that no one should ever have to talk about.
Like how you've been transformed into an alien.
And whether or not you'll have children and what species they'll be if you do have them.
Oh, and why the nice guy your mom tried to get you to fall in love with was actually an alien hunter who wanted your fiance dead."
"Liz," Max's voice was worried. "What did your dad say?"
Liz turned and took a deep breath. "Well, Mom hasn't checked into the insane asylum yet, but she did go off for a week-long trip by herself. Dad said she would agree to our marriage, though."
"What," Max jumped out of his chair and rushed over to her. "She said it was okay?"
"Well, yes, but-"
"That's great," Max yelled as he picked her up and spun her around.
Liz laughed at his enthusiasm. There were still so many problems ahead... but, Max's joy was creeping in through the immediate connection she felt spring up between them. Oh well...
She leaned her face over and kissed his smiling lips. Her dark hair fell like a curtain around them as Max stopped and held her close. His hazel eyes were sparkling and Liz's heart swelled with love for him.
Then a small whisper of sadness niggled it's way into Liz's mind and she turned to see Michael and Isabel watching them.
Max followed her gaze.
They glanced at each other and he put her down.
"Michael, so how did it go with Maria," Max asked softly.
"She, uh, she's good with it," Michael said shortly. "I mean, she hates it, but she's not gonna" skip out on me. She said she'd be willing to let the orb change her, if that¹s what it took."
Liz felt a shiver run over her. The thought of Maria going through what she went through was troubling.
"Well, at least the kissing part would be much more fun, right," Isabel said with a mischevious smile.
"Wait a minute," Max interupted with a serious look. "Does this mean Michael has to kiss Alex, too?"
Liz turned and slapped his arm hard.
"Uh, that would be NO, Maxwell," Michael said firmly. "Don't even joke about it."
"I've been wondering if maybe getting engaged was what started it for Liz," Isabel said quietly. "Maybe, if Alex and I got engaged... would it happen for us, too?"
Michael and Liz exchanged glances.
"I don't think so, Izzy," Michel ventured. "Liz was replacing a member of the team..."
"Oh. So, then, all I have to do is kill one of you off, and then Alex could take your place," Isabel said in a dead voice. "Great."
Max crossed to her and put his hands on her shoulders, caressing them lightly.
"It's okay, we'll find another way. We have the orb, and all four of us now. Anything is possible."
Isabel nodded and idly picked up the business card again, flipping it over and over in her hands as she thought.
Suddenly, Michael gasped and grabbed the card.
Liz instantly read his thoughts.
"Oh my god," she whispered, crossing to Max.
"What is it," Max asked.
Michael stared at the card in his hand and then held it up slowly. It read,
"Christopher Cross, artist" and there was a phone number on the bottom.
"Yeah, that's the guy we bought the vase from in L.A.," Max said. "What about it?"
Liz could barely breathe as Michael turned the card over.
Drawn in dark, bold ink was a symbol, a symbol they all recognized.
Isabel and Max gasped.
It was the symbol from the orb.
Liz touched Max¹s back and instantly made a connection. His mind was whirling, but she was able to see the memories he was recalling of he and Isabel getting the vase.
A tall guy, with bleached-blond hair and bright blue eyes leaning over to look at Isabel.
Max pulling out his wallet.
"Nice necklace," Max looked up to hear the guy say to Isabel as she fingered her pendant.
"Welcome to L.A. Here, let me drop one of my cards in here. It has my info on it, if you ever need anything while you¹re here..." Max watched him carefully, unsure as to whether Christopher had been hitting on Isabel or not...
Liz shook her head as the last image faded away. She felt Michael's awe as well as her own once the images were past.
She met his eyes quickly, then Isabel's and Max's. The silence grew, everyone thinking the same thing.
"Oh my god," Isabel whispered, "he's... he's one of us."
THE END (for now)
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