Disclaimer: I don't own "Roswell", that title goes to Melinda Metz and the
WB. The kids are my characters, though ;)
Authors Note: This story is the sequel to "The Language of Longing". If you're basing it on "Destiny", it's set seventeen years into the future. (Adam-Michael - born after graduation- is fifteen, Jordana is ten.)
| "Maria, can you grab another trash bag for me, hon? They're under the sink." Isabel said, picking up various paper plates and cups strewn around her living room, the last remnants of her son Zachary's birthday party. Maria nodded, walking into the kitchen and coming back with a large white bag. "Maria, you don't have to stay, you know. Go home to your kids."|
"Oh, stop it! Do you think I want to put whiny Miss Parker Marie to bed? I'll let Michael take care of that one tonight." Maria said, smiling, helping Isabel put trash in the bag. A squealing echoed through the house and Isabel sighed.
"Ryan. I hate the terrible twos." Isabel said, dropping the bag to the floor.
"You go help Alex, I'll finish this." Maria said, reaching for the bag.
"No, it's OK. My husband's a big boy. He can handle it." Isabel said, smiling. The crying continued to grow louder and louder, even while Alex's soothing voice tried to calm his baby son. Maria and Isabel continued to clean up the living room and the kitchen as Michaela walked solemnly into the room.
"Mom..." She said, her voice cracking and her eyes filled with tears. Isabel dropped the trash bag she was holding and ran over to her daughter with concern.
"Sweetie, what's wrong?" Isabel asked, searching her daughter's eyes for answers.
"Something's...wrong..." Michaela said, closing her eyes, her head aching fiercely. Maria ran over to them when she saw that her niece was in pain.
"What's wrong, Michaela, honey?" Maria asked her, placing her hand on Michaela's shoulder.
"Something's wrong...Jordana...she's hurting...something's wrong..." Michaela kept repeating, her eyes shut tight and the tears flowing freely from them. Isabel leaned down closer to her daughter, taking her face in her hands.
"Michaela, you have to calm down. What is wrong with Jordana?" Isabel said, her voice wavering with emotion.
"I don't know...there's just... something...I can feel it. Ryan can feel it...that's why he's crying!" Michaela said, crying. "I'm worried about them, Mom!" She flung her arms around her mother and Isabel was bombarded with images of chaos, anger, fear, and confusion.
"Max!" Isabel screamed as she felt herself fall to the ground, letting go of her daughter and landing softly on the carpeted living room floor. She closed her eyes and she could see her brother and his family running around their trashed house, looking with disbelief at what had happened. She could see her nephew Adam running up the stairs into his bedroom and finding a small picture of his real mother and himself when he was just a little boy... before he came to live with his father and Liz. The flash ended and Isabel looked into Michaela's eyes. She knew her daughter was feeling the same overwhelming presence... the fear of Tess Harding. She had felt it when she was only a little baby, when Tess had tried to hurt their family the first time... when Michaela was only an infant. Maria ran over to Isabel, wrapping her arms around her best friend as she shook violently.
"Babe! Izzy, what's wrong?" Maria asked her. "Is it Max? Liz? Oh, God, what happened to them?" Isabel looked into her eyes, a cold expression radiating in her brown ones. Michaela knew that her Mom needed help. She ran into the bathroom where her father was giving her baby brother a bath.
Ryan was still screaming. Michaela reached her hand out, touching the top of his head. He immediately calmed down. "Dad- Mom needs you, something's wrong with Uncle Max and Aunt Liz..."
"What?" Alex cried, looking at his eldest child in alarm. He grabbed Ryan out of the tub, quickly wrapping a towel around him as he walked out of the bathroom into the living room to find his wife crumbled to the floor. Maria was cradling her in her arms. "Isabel!" He cried, rushing over to her. He kneeled down to them, handing Ryan to Maria and taking Isabel into his warm embrace. He tried his hardest to soothe her cries. "What is wrong...Izzy, baby, what's the matter?"
Isabel looked into his eyes. A look of surprise washed over her. "It's Tess... she's... she's alive."
* * * * *
"No...I won't believe it. It's not true, Max...it's all just a big misunderstanding..." Liz said, pacing around her bedroom with Matthew cradled in her arms. She refused to leave any of her children alone for even a second. Adam-Michael was clutching Dylan tightly to his chest and Jordana was curled up in Max's lap on the bed. In the thirty minutes that had passed since they had returned home to find their home in shambles, Max and Adam-Michael had managed to clean up most of the broken glass in the living room, the kitchen, and all the bedrooms. They decided not to let Liz do that job... seeing the pictures of her most precious family and friends just tossed on the floor in a messy, broken heap like that would just send her into a tailspin of anxiety. And she was already anxious enough for all six of them.
"Liz," Max said quietly, rubbing Jordana's long brown hair until she fell asleep. "I'm not going to let anything happen to you... to any of us. We just have to be...careful from now on." He said, eyeing his oldest son, who was lying in the rocking chair, his eyes closed, his baby brother stretched out on his chest and asleep as well. "We trust no one. She could be anyone at anytime."
Liz's eyes lit up with sheer terror. "Max, you don't mean..."
"Liz...we saw her die." Max lowered his voice to a whisper so their children wouldn't have to hear the morbid conversation. "How else could she be back? She lost her human body, Liz... she can't live here on earth in her alien one..."
"So she's like...Nasedo now?" Liz asked, shuddering. She remembered ten years ago how Nasedo had pretended to be her best friend Morgan in order to get close to her and to kill an unborn Jordana.
Max looked at her with sad eyes. It was killing him to know she was so desperately afraid, and it was his fault. He still couldn't believe that Tess was back... and that meant Nasedo wasn't far behind. "Come here, love." He whispered to her, beckoning her to come to him. Her bottom lip began quivering and tears began forming once more in her deep brown eyes. She and the baby curled up in Max's free arm. He kissed the top of both of their heads and smiled. She gently laid the sleeping baby on Max's chest. He barely stirred. Max smiled down at Matty, whose tiny body was rising and falling with each breath he took. Liz looked up into her husband's eyes, placing her hand on the side of his face and kissing him. After breaking away, he rested his forehead on her own. "We'll get through this. I love you."
"I love you." She said, burying her face in his neck and allowing herself to relax. Their blissful rest was interrupted by the sound of Adam's voice penetrating through the sound of six bodies slowly breathing...
"Mother!" He cried, waking up from his nap and jolting forward in the chair, still holding Dylan tightly to him. Liz and Max immediately woke up.
"Adam?" Liz said, leaving Max's arms to run to her son's. "What's the matter? What did you see?"
"Oh, God, Mom..." Adam-Michael said, finally breaking down. He wrapped his arms around her neck and began crying loudly. "I won't let her hurt you, I won't..."
"Son, it's not your fault..." Max said from across the room.
"Adam-Michael..." She said, rubbing his soft brown hair and kissing Dylan's tiny head. She grabbed her eldest son's arm, willing him to stand up. "Come on, there's room for you." Adam didn't reply, he just followed his Mom's orders and laid on the bed with his family, his head barely touching Jordana's stomach, his baby brother lying on top of his chest. Max looked lovingly at his family nestled safely in his arms. Nasedo and Tess and the rest of the world be damned- his wife and children were his number one priority. He would do anything to protect them.
"Max! Liz!" The voice echoed through the house, disturbing their peaceful silence.
"Liz! Max! Are you all right?"
"What the hell is going on here?"
"Max! Liz! Kids! Are you OK?"
Liz looked up at Max and smiled with relief.
They knew something was wrong. They had come to help them.
"We're in our bedroom!" Max called out, biting his lip when he realized he'd woken up Jordana. "I'm sorry, sweetie..." He whispered. "Go back to sleep."
Jordana's brown eyes fluttered open, then closed again. She snuggled even tighter into her father's arms until her face was buried in his neck. She was terrified.
Michael, Maria, Isabel, and Alex filed one by one into the room, followed by the Guerin clan and the Whitman brood. They were all taken aback by the disarray of the neat freaks' normally perfect bedroom.
"Shit, Maxwell." Michael said under his breath. Maria smacked his arm.
"*Children* in the *room*, spaceboy!" She replied in shock. Isabel rushed over to her brother and his wife.
"Are you all right? What happened?" Isabel asked frantically.
"Isabel...how did you know to come?" Liz asked, a calm smile on her face.
"Ryan started crying hysterically, then Michaela came in and said she felt that Jordana was in trouble... then I got flashes of...your house...oh, Max... I'm so sorry." She said, reaching in between the many bodies lying on the bed to get to her brother's hand.
"It's okay, Isabel. It's okay now. She's gone." Max said softly, calming his wife's occasional sobs with the touch of his hand.
"For now." Michael finished, searching around the room for any clues as to who was really here. His eye caught the melted glass that used to be Liz's mirror on her dresser. Lying in the pool was one of the pictures that Tess and Nasedo had planted. Michael picked it up, in awe of seeing his sister's face for the first time in years. He had burned all her pictures ten years ago... he still blamed himself for her death.
He held the photograph and concentrated on getting information from it.
*Someone moving slowly up the stairs, into Liz and Max's bedroom.*
*Someone ripping pictures off the wall, scattering picture frames stood up on the nightstands, ripping sheets off the bed and lying beneath them in a pathetic ball.*
*The mysterious figure moving towards the mirror, placing the picture of Tess and Adam-Michael on it.*
*The reflection of the person is finally shown. She is taller than Tess was, with auburn hair and piercing blue eyes. And she's very pregnant.*
Michael broke away from the flash and his family looked at him with awe.
"Michael... what did you see?" Max asked him.
Michael paused, holding the picture of Tess and Adam-Michael up for everyone to see. "I saw someone put this picture on the mirror. It wasn't Tess... she had dark hair, a totally different face, and she was pregnant..."
Max's heart jumped into his throat. He jumped to his feet, handing the baby to Liz and moving to the other side of the room. He began pacing around violently. She picked up the baby and moved across the room towards him. He turned around when he saw her following him and wrapped his arms instinctually around her, letting his hands rest on her womb, which had carried life not too long before...
"Honey, what's the matter?" Liz asked, a look of concern washing over the sadness and terror in her eyes. Isabel, Maria, Michael, and Alex all stood around the couple, waiting for his answer.
"I know her." Max croaked out to the others. "She is one of my patients."
"What?" Everyone in the room screamed in unison. Michaela and the other children walked over to the bed and curled up with their cousins, not realizing the importance of what their parents were talking about. Liz turned her head around to look at him with tears in her eyes once more.
"Why didn't you...tell me?" She cried.
Max's face scrunched up with pain. "Because I wasn't sure... not until now. She was in our *home*, Liz. I don't know how it happened, but she's really Tess... her name is...Theresa Bingham."
"Tessa-Theresa. How convienient. God, she pisses me off! Why doesn't she just die already? Why can't she just leave us all alone?" Maria said quietly, rolling her eyes. Alex put his arm protectively around Maria.
Alex looked at them all in confusion. "Now, wait a minute. So she died, now she's back from the dead, and she's in a different body? How the HELL did that happen? I mean, I thought you guys couldn't do that... you know, shapeshift or whatever?"
Isabel took her husband's hand and turned to face him. "We can't, Alex."
"Maybe when Tess died, she lost her human body, but..." Max began, burying his face into Liz's hair.
"The alien inside remained." Michael said quietly, staring off into space at no one in particular. Maria shuddered at the dark timbre in her husband's voice. For a split second, he frightened her. Evan walked up to his parents then, tugging on his mother's arm.
"Yeah, Evan?" Maria said, leaning down to her son's eye level.
"Are you OK?" He asked quietly. All his aunts and uncles were looking at him with concern and it was freaking him out.
Maria half-smiled. "Yes, sweetie. Everything's fine. Why don't you and the other kids go in Adam-Michael's room and play?"
"NO!" Liz cried, breaking out of Max's embrace. Her eyes were on fire. The rest of the adults gave her questioning looks. Max pulled her back into his arms as she quietly explained. "No. I mean, I want all the kids here...where we can see them... who knows if..."
"Liz, you've got to calm down. She's gone. Nothing is going to happen to anyone." Michael said firmly.
"Calm DOWN? You want me to calm down, Michael?" Liz said, gritting her teeth together in frustration and anger. She instinctively tucked the baby tighter into her arms.
"Oh, jeez, now you've done it, Michael..." Alex said under his breath. Isabel nudged him to keep quiet.
"...the woman who tried to kill me AND my daughter JUST trashed my home, and you expect me to be calm? How dare you say that to me!" Liz yelled, causing the baby in her arms to begin stirring and crying as well.
"Liz, stop it, okay? It's not going to help any of us to fight about this. We have to stick together." Max said sternly.
"Now, more than ever." Isabel said quietly, reaching out to touch Liz's hand. Adam-Michael stood up from the bed and walked over to his parents.
"Mom." He said quietly. "I can take the kids in my room, it's fine."
"Adam, no..." She replied, pleading with him. "I'm just afraid..."
"Liz, how about if I stay in there with them? They don't need to hear all this fighting. It isn't good for them." Alex said firmly.
Liz turned to look into Max's eyes. He nodded in approval and she did the same. Alex left the circle and rounded up the kids.
"Come on kids, we're going into Adam's room..."
"Yes! Playstation 4!" Evan cried, pumping his arms in excitement.
"Only if Adam-Michael says it's ok..." Maria warned her son as Alex and the mass of children left the room. Max walked over to his son before he left the room.
"Here, let me have him... you have fun." Max asked, extending his arms to take baby Dylan from Adam. Adam-Michael hugged his dad.
"I love you, Dad."
"I love you too, Son."
Isabel smiled. "Michaela seems to have calmed down considerably since she saw Jordana."
Liz and Max smiled. "Yeah, Jordana was a wreck until you guys got here."
"They're like the closest thing to a sister each other has." Isabel said, smiling. "Cause we sure as hell aren't having anymore kids..."
Max and Liz smiled, looking down and their babies and each other. They weren't so sure about that one.
"OK, enough sweet talk. We need a plan." Michael said firmly.
"I agree. We can't let it get out of control like we did last time." Maria piped in.
"Oh, and that's MY fault, Maria? Everything's MY fault, isn't it? Tess has come back to kill our family again and it's MY fault?" Liz cried, the anger bright in her eyes.
"Liz, no one is saying this is your fault--" Isabel said.
"And who says that Tess is here to kill you? You're being kind of paranoid, don't you think?" Michael said, fuming.
"Michael, I think Liz has a good reason to be upset." Max said calmly.
"Oh, and you're taking her side-- typical." Michael replied.
"YES, typical. Dammit, Michael, she's my wife!" Max cried. Dylan woke up and began squealing. He began walking around the room with the baby, bouncing him gently and singing lightly in his ear.
"Michael-- Liz went through hell the last time Tess was here..." Maria began.
"We all did." Isabel added in, walking over towards her brother to help him calm the baby.
"...We need to all make sure that she and the kids are protected this time... we can't let her get to them again." Maria finished.
"We won't." Max said firmly. "I'll kill her--and Nasedo. Both of them."
"Max, you're not killing anyone!" Michael cried, anger rising up in him. "They're our people, Max." He walked towards Max, trying to get in his face.
"Michael, that argument is getting really tired." Max said in anger. "Don't preach to me about how she's one of our own, how when we lost her we each lost part of ourselves-- I tried to make it work with her many, many years ago. She is not like us, Michael. I will not be associated with something as evil as her."
"Stop it! Both of you!" Isabel said, putting a hand on each of her brother's chests' and separating them. "Tess is here now. We have to do something about it." Liz's eyes began filling with tears. She broke away silently from the rest of the bickering group and lied down on the bed she shared with her husband. She gently placed her sleeping baby on his back and curled her entire body around him. She placed her hand on his stomach, relishing in the feel of his chest rising and falling. The arguing and yelling swirled around her, but she didn't notice. Being with her baby was the only thing that mattered at that moment.
Tess would not be taking any of her children away from her. She shuddered at the thought of killing Tess once again, wrapping her hands around the sprite's tiny neck and strangling her until she stopped breathing.
Her hatred of Tess made her think those horrible things. She could never really kill anyone--
She cried softly, her warm, wet tears running down her cheek and into Matthew's sweet-smelling hair.
"I can't believe this is happening." She whispered.
* * * * *
About an hour later Alex and Maria had taken their young children back to the Whitman home to spend the night while Isabel and Michael stayed at the Evans'.
Adam-Michael's brain was telling him that he couldn't sleep... that he was too afraid for himself and his family... but as soon as everyone left his room, his head hit the pillow and he was out cold.
In his dream, he was floating above his room, looking down on himself sleeping in his bed. He saw his own body getting further and further away as he floated out his window and into the desert night. In his dream, the rocky deserts of New Mexico were right outside his window. He continued to float until he came to rest on a very distinct cliff.
He didn't need to be told exactly where he was. He was standing at the entrance to the pod chamber, where his mother and father were born. He felt himself walk effortlessly over towards the cool, somewhat calming boulder in front of his face. He waved his hand in front of the boulder, gasping as a glowing silver handprint appeared on it. He placed his hand on top of the handprint and the boulder began to shake violently. He looked to his left and saw a large part of the rock was opening up, revealing a dim cave inside. He hesitated for a moment, then saw a figure in the shadows of the inside of the rock. He couldn't see her face, but he didn't have to know who it was... he felt it.
It was his mother. She was motioning for him to come inside the cave, to come closer to her.
So he did. Without realizing that his feet were moving, he was inside the cave, his mother's hands resting on both sides of his face. Her hands were cold next to Adam-Michael's warm skin.
She placed a finger to his lips, quieting his speech. "Everything will be revealed soon, my darling."
She took his hand forcefully, gently guiding him over to a large glowing figure- four unopened pods. Adam couldn't explain it but he knew what each of the four pods meant to him. They both stood in front of the four pods. He felt tears sting his eyes when he saw four creatures floating inside the pods. It frightened him.
*This is a dream. This is only a dream.* His subconsious screamed out to him. He walked closer to the top left corner pod. He put his open palm on the outside and closed his eyes.
"Michael..." He whispered, knowing instinctively that the child in the pod was his uncle. He moved slightly, leaning over to the top right corner pod, touching that one in the same manner. "Aunt Isabel..." He looked towards his mother with enchantment in his eyes. Tess nodded, taking his hand from atop Isabel's pod and placing it gently on the pod directly below it. Adam's hand immediately began to glow, and he was filled with a rush of images- images of strange-looking creatures fighting with each other, followed by an alien cradling another in its arms, pressing their faces together, dark tears streaming from its eyes.
"Dad..." His voice choked out. "Mother..." He said, turning his head to the final pod and wresting his hand on it, his voice echoing through the chamber. He felt a warm hand on his shoulder, and was transported to the desert. His mother was still by his side.
"Adam-Michael, someday you will understand. You will understand why I'm doing this." Tess said quietly, raising her arm and pointing to the stars high above them. He gasped as the sky came rushing towards them and five stars came swirling around their faces. He tried to reach out and grab them... but they vanished, only to be replaced in the distance by five people. "Come, darling." She held her hand out and he took it in his own as they walked further into the desert night, coming closer to the five people leaning against a large rock. They were all dressed in white. When they got close enough to see the faces of the angels, Adam-Michael let out a strangled cry.
"Mom! Jordana! Matty! Dylan!" He screamed, slumping to the ground. "Lauren!" He looked up to his mother with pain in his eyes. "Why are you doing this?" He beat his fists into her legs as Tess waved her hands over them and they disappeared, screaming, into the oblivion of his dream world. "No!" He screamed out in anguish. "No..." He shuddered against her body. Using her hidden strength, she pulled him up from the ground, looking into his eyes.
"One day you'll understand." She said with a slight smile.
"No, I'll never understand you. You are evil, Mother! Why?" He screamed, trying to run away from her, but finding that his feet were inexplicably planted on the cold, hard ground.
"Soon, Adam-Michael. Soon." Tess leaned over and gave him a small kiss on his cheek.
Then he woke up.
He didn't remember throwing a pair of khaki cargo pants over his boxer shorts, pulling a long-sleeved T-shirt over his head and slipping on his shoes and socks. He didn't remember making his way down the hallway of the quiet upstairs of his home and walking down the steps. He didn't remember grabbing his car keys from the kitchen table and walking through the front door onto the porch and towards the driveway. He didn't remember getting into his car and starting the engine.
It dawned on him once he drove down the street that he didn't just need to get some fresh air- he needed Lauren.
Within minutes, he was in front of the modest ranch home she shared with her father, the Sheriff.
Adam-Michael climbed out of the car, quietly shutting the door. He didn't want the Sheriff coming out of the house then, guns blazing with fright...
He padded across the soft patch of grass in the front yard, making his way over to her window. He had never done this before, only in his dreams... the courage driving him to see her almost frightened him. Adrenaline pumped through his veins. It was exhilirating...freeing in a way.
He didn't know which window was hers, but he was going on instinct by choosing one on the far left side of the house. As he got closer, he realized that there was a small light on in her room.
It was 3 AM and she was still awake?
Adam-Michael arched his eyebrow but pressed further, finally stopping about ten feet from the window, slumping down behind a large tree trunk. He peered his head around to look into the window again. His heart jumped as he saw a shadowy figure move from the bed to the window, pulling the curtains back and revealing its angelic form.
Lauren looked intently into the full moon, letting its soft glow cascade onto her face. Her breathing was heavy and deep. She had been having the most peculiar dream about Adam-Michael before she had been woken up. Why had they been in the middle of the desert? And why had he wanted her to go inside some random cave with him?
Her heart jumped into her throat as she saw someone hiding behind the tree in her front yard. She was about to go into her father's room to get him until the figure caught her gaze and began moving towards the window. She calmly opened the window and poked her head outside as the figure came into better focus.
"Adam-Michael? What are you doing here?" She whispered, her mouth gaping.
He had been so confident just moments before, but now that she was standing there before him wearing skimpy bed clothes, her soft skin only inches from his hands... he couldn't move.
"Adam?" She repeated her demand.
"I-I'm sorry. I-I just had- had to see you." He said cryptically.
She gasped. "I-what do you mean? You *had* to see me? Is everything--okay?" She couldn't help but gravitate closer towards him. Her face was only inches from his own. She could feel his hot breath radiating on her face.
"Yeah--I mean, no...I mean, I don't know." He said, feeling frustrated and embarassed. "I shouldn't have come here--I don't know what I was thinking. I'm sorry." He turned to walk away from the window, but was startled when he felt her touch his shoulder.
"No--I mean, you don't have to go... is there something you wanted--to talk about?" She asked warily as the image of him kissing her in her dream flashed in her mind. He gasped as he had a flash of kissing her by the cave.
Had she been dreaming of him? He turned around slowly, meeting her deep blue eyes finally.
"I just--had a--nightmare..." Adam-Michael said, summoning the courage deep inside him to keep talking.
"Do you--want to talk about it?" Lauren asked, realizing her hand was still lingering on his arm.
"It was just--frightening." He shuddered as the image of his family and Lauren vanishing in front of his eyes washed over him. "I don't know why--I just had to come over and see you...in my dream...something happened..."
Lauren's voice caught in her throat. He'd been dreaming about her? "...to me?"
Adam took a deep breath. "Yes. I was scared, it was so real-- I wanted to--"
"--make sure I was all right?" Lauren finished for him. She smiled.
Adam-Michael nodded. He dropped his head down to look at his feet and stuffed his hands in his pockets. He didn't want her to know how frightened he'd been for her. He gasped as he felt her hand brush up against his face, pulling his eyes back towards hers. She ran her hand through his thick brown hair.
Before he could comprehend any rational thought, he felt her warm, soft lips brush lightly against his. Losing control of his body, he pulled his hands out of his pockets and placed them on either sides of her face, deepening the kiss between them. His mind was racing with images of the two of them together in the halls of West Roswell, in Bio lab, at the party tonight, and consoling each other on the bench outside his aunt and uncle's house.
Then he saw images he didn't recognize-- Lauren as a little girl playing cards with her dad. Little Lauren holding an old woman's hand as they crossed a busy intersection. A three-year-old Lauren putting on her mother's lipstick in the mirror and patting a powder brush all over her face. A ten-year-old Lauren in the school play, singing her heart out as the lead in "The Kids of Camelot". A six-year-old Lauren crying as she and her father placed roses on her mother's grave.
|Part 7 | Index | Part 8a|
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