|"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 łThe Max and Liz Project", who is an awesome writer and a great encouragement to me.
|Maria awoke and immediately threw a hand up to the
back of her neck.|
She winced and carefully turned her head to one side and then the other.
Sitting up on the couch, she laughed to see Liz's even more uncomfortable position beside her.
Then she frowned.
How had Liz fallen asleep like that?
Her back was arched over the back cushion, her feet up under her, her arm thrown over the side..
Maria leaned over her friend, touching her gently on the arm.
Liz's chest moved slightly as she breathed, but her face was so white...
Maria forced down the panic rising in her chest and suddenly remembered Michael.
She turned to see him hunched over the counter, asleep on one of the bar stools.
Maria looked back at Liz, careful not to move her as she stood unsteadily to her feet.
Rubbing her face, she stumbled over to Michael.
She shook him awake.
"Michael, wake up. I think something's wrong with Liz," she said, glancing worriedly in her direction again.
Michael sat up suddenly, very wide awake.
He looked at Maria and jumped off the stool, hurrying to Liz's side.
Maria followed, watching his speed with surprise.
Michael bent over Liz, swallowing nervously.
"Liz...Liz," he whispered fearfully.
There was no response.
"Something's wrong," Maria said as she watched Michael gently ease Liz's body into a more comfortable position.
He stood up, avoiding Maria's eyes.
"I'm sure she'll be fine," he said, rubbing a hand across his mouth. "She probably just needs to sleep."
Maria pulled her arms around herself and leaned into Michael.
"God, I hope things aren't getting weird again," she muttered.
Michael held her close and finally averted his eyes from Liz's prone body.
"Hey," he whispered to Maria. "No worries, babe. I'm all over it."
Never had Liz felt so peaceful, so at rest.
She lay on her back, feeling the warm sun beat down on her skin and the soft green grass cradle her back gently.
There were beautiful butterflies sipping nectar out of the tall wildflowers all around.
Liz's eyes moved to the skies.
The changing clouds were awash with colors, painted like a glorious sunset.
Except the sun never actually set.
She had been here forever, and the colors just kept changing from one beautiful combination to another.
A gentle, insistent tugging at the back of her mind turned her thoughts elsewhere.
There was something waiting to be dealt with... something was wrong.
Liz sat up slowly, unable to focus her mind on the problem.
Here everything was so perfect, and the feeling of unease was terribly jarring.
She wished it would just go away.
A butterfly flitted over to her, dancing in the air like a puckish fairy.
Liz smiled as it flew closer and closer.
But the nagging feeling of doubt grew quickly.
The purple wings came closer and closer until she could almost feel them brush her finger...
Then the pain from her conscious mind suddenly broke through...
And Liz screamed in agony.
Maria jerked so hard that the bowl of salsa flew right out of her hand, smashing all over the floor.
She looked over at Liz fearfully.
Michael was already beside the shaking, sobbing girl trying to sit up on the couch.
"Liz, tell us what happened," he commanded her.
She just looked at him with wide eyes and suddenly stopped crying.
"You-" she choked out before stopping herself.
Maria got there just in time to see the exchange.
She stared at Michael, then back at Liz.
"What are you trying to say, Liz?"
Liz's mouth opened and shut several times as she stared up at Michael. Then she glanced down and bit her lip.
"It was a bad dream. Michael was in it. That's all," she managed to say between deep breaths. She wiped a shaking hand across her cheeks. Her whole body was trembling, and she focused her energy on trying to stop it.
"I c-can't stop shaking."
Maria sat beside and drew her in for a hug.
"Michael, go get another blanket," Maria ordered as she felt Liz's forehead. "You're burning up. Oh, god. Why did this have to happen right when Max left town?"
Liz stared at Maria and then groaned, letting her head fall down in her hands.
"For just a minute, I forgot he was gone. But I'm fine, really. I wouldn't want to worry him."
"You need to eat. When's the last time you ate? You always get sick when you don't eat. I'll make you some toast," Maria headed to the kitchen without an answer.
Liz tried to stand and follow, but her legs felt like Jell-o.
She fell back on the couch, her mind a jumble.
What had happened last night after Michael kissed her? She couldn't remember a thing, but her whole body ached.
Her eyes automatically jerked up to Michael when he approached, trying to read the expression on his face as he held out a blanket.
And for the first time in years, she was afraid of him.
Liz spent the rest of the day in bed.
With the fever and body aches she had, it was easy to convince everyone that she just had the flu bug.
And, really, it was pretty easy to believe herself.
Michael couldn't have kissed her.
She knew how he felt for Maria. He and Liz were friends, nothing more.
But should she tell Maria?
Liz turned over on her side with a sigh, letting sleep reclaim her.
No. It had probably been just a fever-induced dream, anyway. She'd get better soon.
Her mother's strident voice jarred her awake.
"Sweetie, are you feeling better?"
Liz pulled her hands over her ears quickly.
"Mom," she whispered. "not so loud."
She opened her eyes to see her mother staring at her strangely.
"Okay," Nancy Parker whispered. "Have you got a headache?"
Liz frowned in confusion as she squinted in the bright morning light.
"What," she finally managed.
"Let me get your migraine medicine," her mother walked over to the bathroom and disappeared inside.
Liz sat up dizzily.
She did have a headache.
She could hear her mother pulling the drawer open in her bathroom, the clock ticking loudly, the buzzing of voices downstairs in the cafe... even the sound of her blood pounding in her ears.
And the brightness of the colors in her room made her want to duck under the covers.
Liz squinted painfully, wondering why everything seemed so different...
"Liz, here you go," her mother whispered and handed her the medicine and a glass of water.
"Thanks, Mom," Liz said, her voice expressionless.
"You'll feel better soon."
Liz turned to look at her mother, but she was already gone.
Max picked up the phone with a smile.
He already had so much to tell Liz, even though they had only been apart a day and a half.
For some reason, it hadn't been as hard to be away from her as he had thought it would be.
Knowing they had a lifetime ahead together made the separation so much easier.
"Mrs. Parker, this is Max. Is Liz there," Max asked politely.
"She's here, Max, but she doesnąt feel very good. I'm sorry she can't talk. I'll tell her you called."
Max stared at the receiver after she hung up. The coldness in her voice had been chilling.
He had no way of knowing if she was telling the truth or just making him suffer for breaking his agreement with Mr. Parker to wait on proposing to Liz.
What if Mrs. Parker intended to keep them from talking the entire six weeks?
How would he know if something really happened?
Things just tended to fall apart so quickly when they weren't together.
The last time he had tried to stay away from her, the results had almost been deadly for Liz.
Of course, Max reminded himself, Tess gave her a little help on that one.
He frowned at the recollection.
Now he was definitely worried.
But being a little paranoid beat the hell out of Liz being a lot dead.
His throat was suddenly very tight.
He would call back tomorrow.
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