|"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 ³The Max and Liz Project", who is an awesome writer and a great encouragement to me.
|Maria couldn't let it go.|
She trusted Liz, she really did.
But this alien crap... it made things complicated. And she had a feeling that the alien crap was about to hit the fan.
So she stood knocking on Michaelıs door, still in her uniform.
She wanted to see if Michael would actually look her in the eyes tonight, as he had refused to do all day.
He opened the door with a wary expression.
A streak of purple across his nose told her that he'd been painting.
"You're painting," she said as she pushed past him.
He shut the door behind her and grabbed a nearby towel to wipe his hands on.
"Uh, yeah," he said as he packed up the few paints still out.
Maria turned back to him with an expectant look.
"What," he finally stopped and looked back at her.
"Aren't you going to show me what you're painting?"
"No," he said shortly, crossing to put his paints away in the closet. "Next question."
Maria's eyes narrowed.
"Why are you and Liz acting so weird?"
He turned to her and blinked twice before looking away and squinting.
"What are you talking about," he asked vaguely.
Maria paused, changing tactics.
"Show me your painting and I'll shut up."
Michael stared at her.
"You don't trust me, do you? Okay, you want to see the painting? You think I'm painting nudes of Liz or something," he said as he crossed to the closet again with anger.
Maria's jaw dropped.
"What? What are you talking about? Nudes of Liz? Okay, there is definitely something going on- wait. That's what you're painting?"
She stared at the black canvas, lit up with blindingly bright pastels of happy sheep, flowers, trees and butterflies.
It was so bright that Maria had to squint against the colors.
"What, what is that," she finally managed.
Michael stared at it for a moment.
"I can't get it out of my mind."
Maria blinked, then looked over at the haunted expression on his face.
"Michael, what's going on?"
He looked at her.
"This is Liz's nightmare."
Maria stayed up late that night in bed after talking to Liz.
How stupid that her parents were going to make her go out with other guys.
Sometimes, over the years, she had been jealous about how protective the Parkers were for Liz. Amy DeLuca was just about the opposite.
Maria smiled. They were almost like friends, in a way, although Maria knew there were boundaries she couldn't cross.
But the Parkers, she thought, rolling her eyes, they were waaaaaay over the edge on this one. Max is probably the most responsible, well-intentioned boyfriend on the planet (probably his own planet, too, for that matter) and they treated him like he was... a delinquent.
She wondered what her own mother's reaction would be if she were to get engaged.
Yeah, fat chance, she turned over on her side in disgust. Michael Guerin wouldn't attach himself like that to you in a million years. You could take off all your clothes and jump in his bed and he'd still push you away.
Two years, and still no progress.
Maria let a few bitter tears fall.
And now this thing with Liz's dream...
Her mind played Michael's words over and over. He wouldn't say how he had seen Liz's nightmare, or what it might mean. But it was obvious that it was troubling him.
And she could see why. There was something about the way he'd painted the frenzied colors, the way that world seemed completely devoid of reason or logic... how did that come out of Liz's head?
She mentally shook herself.
Come on, DeLuca, dreams are always loopy. It makes sense that someone else's dreams would seem... insane. Doesn't it?
Well, even if Liz wasn't worried about it, Michael was, and that was enough to convince Maria that something was wrong.
Now, whether the real problem lay with Michael or Liz... that she just couldn't decide.
Max woke up with a smile on his face.
What a great dream he'd had, and after staying awake worrying about Liz for hours. She had called in tears about the argument she had with her parents. About him and the way he had broken their trust.
That was the last thing heıd wanted to do right now. But it had been the right decision at the time; he knew that. He had been intending to wait, like he agreed with Mr. Parker, but how could he leave her for six weeks and not know where they stood?
Somehow he just knew that Liz needed to know, needed to make that commitment to him.
Something had changed for them when she said, "yes."
It was almost as if...
Max searched for the right word...
It as almost as if she had locked something into place with her words... set something in motion.
But maybe all lovers felt that way, that their lives were entertwined forever in a way that transcended time, that was foreordained in the stars.
A smile drifted across his face as the dream came back into focus.
Liz at the beach, in the barest of bikinis, tan and dripping with the seawater. His arms had been around her, her happiness pouring into his soul. It had been a perfect day.
Max pulled his hands behind his head.
He let himself drift along the pleasant train of thought absently.
Liz was fine. He was fine.
Everything was going to be fine.
And in six weeks, they would be back together.
Nancy moved her laundry basket to her other hip and stared hard at Liz's innocent expression.
"You have a movie date for Saturday," she finally asked. "With whom?"
Liz turned quickly toward the cafe, casting her eyes around the room.
"Oh, um..." she stalled, finally seeing a viable candidate.
"Alex," she said, turning back with an innocent expression.
"Alex," her mother said with raised eyebrows.
Alex sauntered over from where he had been seated at the counter.
"Heard my name. What's going on," he asked casually, sipping at his root beer float.
"Oh, nothing," Liz said lightly. "I was just telling Mom about our date."
Alex turned to stare at her, lowering his head to emphasize his confusion.
"Yes, Alex," Liz nodded her head with raised eyebrows. "The date you asked me out on because Iım dating other people now."
"That's right," Alex finally caught on. "That would be the date I asked you on for Fri-"
Liz shook her head imperceptibly.
"I mean, Saturday night, right?"
"Right," Liz smiled at him, then back at her mother.
Nancy narrowed her eyes and turned to Alex, blocking Liz with the laundry basket.
"So, Alex," she said pleasantly. "What were you planning on doing on this alleged date Saturday night?"
Alex's eyes widened and slid past her to Liz, who was desperately doing the charades sign for 'movie'.
"Uh... movie? Yes, a movie," Alex nodded as Liz gave him an 'okay' signal.
Nancy smiled and looked back at Liz.
Liz dropped her hands quickly and grinned in return, moving away to wipe at the counter with a rag.
A smile crossed her face, but left just as quickly when her mother asked Alex, "Which movie?"
Liz whipped around.
"Mom, stop it," she said, trying to be light.
Nancy smiled and headed for the back room.
She paused beside Liz.
"Alex doesn't count, sweetie."
"Great, Mom. What, have you already got someone in mind?"
Nancy smiled mysteriously.
"Maybe. If I were you, I'd clean up a little before eight."
Liz narrowed her eyes and watched her Mom exit.
Alex appeared beside her.
"So, what movie are we going to see," he asked gamely.
"We're not," Liz said with a frown.
Alex stared at her.
"You know, you're never gonna get other guys to date you if you're gonna be so hard to please."
"Gee, you're finally catching on. Apparently, there's a master plan here, and you don't rate high enough on Mom's 'make-Liz-forget-Max scale.' I'm beginning to wonder who does."
"Well, I'm definitely hanging around until eight to find out," Alex grinned at Liz mischeviously. "I'm sure Max will want a full report when I talk to him later. He'll need photos, diagrams of possible weaknesses, hidden flaws, blueprints of the guy's house... etc., etc."
Liz smiled weakly.
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