Disclaimer: I'm just borrowing characters
from Melinda Metz and Roswell on WB because I'm so
lame that I can't do it on my own. It's all them.
Summary: Dark, dark alter-reality for M2tM; serious R rating, folks
|"I'm all out of faith,|
This is how I feel.
I'm cold and I am shamed,
Lying naked on the floor.
Illusion never changed,
Into something real.
I'm wide awake
And I can see the perfect sky is torn.
You're a little late,
Everyone was quiet, lost in their own thoughts. And no one was touching the pizza.
Liz, for one, wasn't hungry at all. Looking around at her friends, she could see that no one wanted to voice the question that was all in the forefront of their minds. Especially with Kyle hanging around.
"Kyle," Sheriff Valenti called from the kitchen. "Come help me get some plates and things."
"Dad, I'm kinda busy. So, you guys figured out how to 'phone home' yet," he crossed to Max and grinned obnoxiously. "Okay, that was low, I know it. I have another question for you, though, a real serious one: Are Earth girls easy? Or are Martians just a tad more skanky? Be honest, Max, you can trust me."
Liz's eyes widened at the look on Max's face. Kyle was getting on his last nerve.
"Kyle," came his Dad's voice again. "Get your ass in here, now!"
Kyle sighed, "Don't start Twister without me. I'll be right back."
And the entire room seemed to breathe easier.
Alex was the first to move, and Liz watched him cross to Max without the least bit of surprise. He wasn't one to mince words.
"So, Max, when do we kill the son-of-a-bitch? You can count me in, of course," his face blank.
"We're not going to kill Nasedo... are we," Isabel asked in strained voice.
"What do you mean, you're not going to kill him," Maria's voice was accusing. "What, is this a 'me-alien, you human' thing? He raped Liz twice, for God's sake! If he was a human, what would you do?"
Liz winced and buried her face in her hands. She felt Maria's hand rest on her shoulder but didn't look up as Michael swore under his breath and crossed to the couch.
"Maria, all she said was that we weren't going to kill him. Of course, we'll go after him."
"No," Alex said calmly, his brow furrowed. "That's a good question. If he were a human, what would you do? There shouldn't be any difference."
"Yes, there should," Liz somehow found the strength to speak. She felt everyone in the room turn toward her. "I've thought and thought about this. If he were a human, Valenti could throw the book at him. But he can't."
Despite her best efforts, Liz's voice grew raspier with each word, emotion threatening to choke her off completely. "Nasedo looked just like Max. All the evidence would point that way... so we can't let there be an investigation. No one can know except us. But he's shown me that I can't stop him. He could be... anywhere, at any time. He kills people and he hurts people."
"Damn straight," Alex bit out.
Liz was shaking with emotion, afraid of saying what she knew she had to.
Max crossed to her and blocked the view of everyone's discomfort at her words.
He took her face gently in his hands, making her look at him.
"Liz, whatever you want me to do, I'll do it. All you have to do is tell me. No matter what it is."
Liz felt everyone's eyes on her, but she kept her gaze on Max as she whispered steadily, "I want him dead."
And she did. The thought sickened her, but it was the truth.
Max assented with his eyes, the hazel darkening with intent. It unnerved her.
Michael was instantly at their side, "No, Max. You can't kill him!"
Max turned on him slowly, "You donšt think he deserves to die."
"It's not that. But you can't kill him. We can't take a life, you know that," Michael said with intensity.
Max tensed his jaw, "Nasedo stepped over the line. Hell, he demolished the line." The bitter laugh that came out of Max's mouth quickly turned into a sob.
Liz gripped Maxšs arm, feeling his anguish at the betrayal.
But he fought back for control, slightly turning his head and taking a deep breath.
Michael must have understood, because he simply nodded.
"Wait," came Isabel's teary voice. "If we kill him, how will we ever learn anything about where we come from? He's the only one who has the answers."
Max gazed at her stonily. "Tess knows everything he knows. I'd bet my life on it."
"Yeah, but she has her own agenda, remember," Maria finally piped in. "It's not like she's going to just spit it out."
"Personally, I don't care what you do with Tess," Michael said firmly. "But I want no part in killing Nasedo."
Alex waved his hand and said pointedly, "Fine. To each his own, especially when it's his own kind."
Michael grunted in frustration, "It's not that, Alex. I just don't want to kill anybody."
"Even if it had happened to me," Maria voiced quietly from where she sat on the couch.
Michael stared at her a moment, then shook his head.
"I don't know. I hope not."
Maria looked nonplussed by his reply. Michael stalked over to the bookcase and rested his arm against a shelf, facing away from them.
Liz had never seen Max pace before. It looked like energy was just pulsating through him that had to get out. And so he kept moving, like a tiger in a cage much too small, his gaze focused and intense, murder and carnage in his eyes.
It frightened her.
Had she asked too much of him?
Without warning, a blast shook the room, making everyone lurch from the shockwave. Heat and smoke poured into the room from the kitchen.
"Sheriff Valenti," Max was the first on the run into the smoke, fighting back the flames with his hands outstretched as he went. Michael and Isabel followed.
Alex, Liz and Maria stumbled into the center of the room, reaching out to each other.
Then their attention was pulled to the hallway where flames and smoke began pouring out as well.
"Michael," Maria screamed and coughed as the flames blew toward them.
The fire alarm wasn't going off, Liz realized frantically. The security panel-
Alex reached out for her hand and tried to pull her to the window, but she resisted, heading for the hallway.
"Liz," Alex shouted above the roar. "This way!"
Liz looked back at him, smoke beginning to block her view already.
"Go on," she yelled. "I'll be right there."
Alex hesitated, then Maria lurched against him, coughing spasmodically.
Liz saw him pick her up, then she headed for the panel again. The smoke was getting thicker, and she pulled her shirt up over her nose and mouth to block it.
But a fit of coughing had her fighting to breathe and the panel blurred in front of her.
"Hit the button, Liz," she heard Kyle yell from somewhere nearby. If she could just find it, the fire department would automatically get the signal...
Suddenly, Tess was there, but Liz kept her attention on the panel, finally managing to find the right button. She punched it, filling the house with an alarm.
She slumped in relief.
Then Tess grabbed Liz's hand, pulling her toward the hallway, toward the fire.
"Liz, where are you," she heard Max yell from somewhere beyond the smoke.
Liz pulled against Tess, but a sudden jolt of energy through her body made her walk forward.
They headed through the smoke and suddenly the front door was open, smoke pouring out beside them as they exited.
Liz wanted to stop and take big lungfuls of the clean night air, but she couldn't stop until she was sitting in the passenger side of the Jeep.
Dammit! What was Tess doing to her?
She looked over at the driver's seat, at Tess who was holding her hand over the ignition, making the engine come alive.
Liz barely had time to realize that she was in control of her body again before Tess screeched out of the driveway, leaving the chaos behind.
Liz was dumbfounded.
"You did that, didnšt you? Why did you torch their house?"
Tess sat in silence for a moment, then said quietly, "Because that was the only way to get you alone. I heard what you said. You were going to get them to kill Nasedo. Kill him!"
Tess threw Liz a wrathful look as she shifted gears, her hair gyrating wildly against her face.
"You made such a big deal about him killing humans, and then you turn around and demand the same thing of Max. How convenient that you can forget your 'humanity' when you want to."
Liz was holding on for dear life as Tess spun around a curve at 60 mph, not even hesitating at a red light. As they barrelled through the intersection, a motorcycle barely missed slamming into them. Liz turned to watch as he spun out of control and flipped on his side, sliding into an oncoming car that was screeching to a halt.
Then the darkness swallowed him, but Liz heard the crunch of metal and gasped.
She looked over at Tess, not surprised that the accident hadn't even registered with her. That guy was just a human, after all.
Liz felt her heart sink. Like father, like daughter.
As they hit the highway doing 80 mph, it was too loud to talk anymore, and too dangerous to try and stop Tess. So, Liz gripped the seat and just watched the road spin by. Somehow, she managed to fight back the panic at being helpless again... and alone. But the familiar numbness came in its place.
She closed her eyes.
Maybe this time... she'd just die.
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