Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Summary: Sequel to "Endgame." Michael and the others are gone, and Maria is crushed. Unexpected news shakes things up even more.
Authors Note: Lots of people seemed to like "Endgame," (unless they were just being nice ;), so I thought it would be neat to write a sequel. This idea was kicking around in my head even as I was writing "Endgame" itself. I suggest you read that before reading this, or you might be a tad lost. All considerations I asked you to keep in mind for that fic still apply here. Also, any medical stuff I throw into this fic has no basis in medical reality-- or at best, a slim relation. In general, I'm going on common sense and fantasy. I don't know from medicine! Hopefully people won't throw this back in my face! I know Spazzie wanted me to set this farther in the future, but I just HAD to write this story! Please enjoy!
Mrs. Deluca sputtered for breath, while Liz and Alex simply stood there, mouths gaping. "Excuse me?" Maria's mother exclaimed. "Did you say PREGNANT?"
"But...but...she doesn't SHOW!"
"In cases of severe malnutrition such as this, it is often possible that the mother will show little to no sign of being pregnant. Of course, the health of the child is often adversely affected, too." She pulled a green and black sonogram from the clipboard she held, and handed it to Mrs. Deluca. "But if anything, the baby seems to be strong and healthy as a horse. Either this is a miracle, or the parents have physical constitutions of mythical proportions." A knowing look passed quickly between Liz and Alex-- if only she knew.
Maria's mother was staring at the sonogram, and the image it provided of the tiny form curled up in her daughters abdomen. "My...grandchild," she murmured.
Despite the otherwise tense situation, Dr. Peters managed a smile. "Yes, Mrs. Deluca. Your grandchild. The positioning is such that we can't tell the gender, but he or she is alive and kicking." Her face grew grim. "For now."
All eyes snapped to her. "What do you mean, for now?" Alex demanded.
Dr. Peters took a deep breath. "I won't lie to you," she said firmly. "Maria is in a delicate state. All the nutrients we are pumping into her are going to go straight to the baby. I don't dare hit her with more than we're giving her now-- it could shock her system too much. We've stabilized her condition, but she isn't completely out of the woods." Her eyes swept the three worried faces surrounding her. "Maria is incredibly weak right now. What she needs is strength. But strength takes time to build up, and I don't know if Maria has that kind of time." She sighed. "We could still lose her. And if we lose her..." She paused. "If we lose her, we lose her baby as well. Strong or not, the child is just too young to survive outside its mother."
The news hit the three listeners like an iron fist. Liz was finding it very hard to breathe. Alex's mouth went dry as desert sand. And Mrs. Deluca looked as though she had preceded her daughter into death.
"I...I have to be with her," she said. Dr. Peters nodded, understanding.
"Of course, Mrs. Deluca," she said softly, standing and helping the other woman up. "I'll take you to her right now."
She began to lead Maria's mother out of the waiting room, but stopped when Liz and Alex started to follow. "I'm sorry," she apologized sincerely. "Only family are allowed in the patient's room at this time."
Liz fought for something to say, but was saved the need for speech when Maria's mother broke in. "They ARE family," she stated firmly, if slightly dazed.
Dr. Peters gave her a quick look, but nodded grudgingly. "All right," she said. "Follow me."
The room was dimly lit and a sickly shade of beige, with ugly mauve chairs in all four corners. A single window, venetian blinds pulled shut against the darkness outside, was set into the right hand wall. Speckled tile covered the floor. All in all, it looked like a place that totally failed to be homey.
In the center, illuminated in a wedge of pale lamplight, lay Maria.
Her eyes were closed, a breathing tube attached to her nose. More long tubes snaked down from an IV bag hanging beside the bed, next to the heart monitor and brainwave indicator. The white sheet and sickly beige blanket were pulled up to her elbows and folded over in clinical fashion. Beneath the covers, Maria wore a typical greenish white hospital gown. Liz swallowed hard. Her friend looked so...alien.
"My baby," Mrs. Deluca murmured, crossing to her daughter and cradling the young woman in her arms. "Oh my little sweetie," she cooed. "Mommy's here, honey. Mommy's here."
The three other people in the room watched the exchange with sympathy. Liz felt her eyes tear over as Mrs. Deluca pulled a chair to her daughter's bedside and sat, eyes never leaving Maria's face.
"Does anyone know the whereabouts of the baby's father?" Dr. Peters asked softly. "He might want to be told."
Liz swallowed, biting back tears. "No," she choked out. "No, he left. Months ago."
The doctor nodded. "I have to make my rounds now," she told Liz and Alex quietly. "If you need anything, press the call button. A nurse will answer. I'll be back in a few hours to check on Maria's status." She gave them an encouraging smile, and sedately slipped out the door.
The next hour was an agony of slowness. No one spoke. Liz took a seat in the chair farthest from the window, while Alex leaned against the wall by the door. Mrs. Deluca continued to tenderly stroke her daughter's hair, now and then squeezing her hand. Whether it was to comfort her daughter, or to assure herself that Maria truly was still alive, Liz couldn't tell.
An emotion other than worry and grief began to build in Liz Parker's chest then. An emotion that she couldn't quite get a handle on. Frustration? Perhaps. But it was stronger than that. Sharper. Hotter. Fear? No. It didn't tremble in her stomach like fear. Fear was feeding this emotion.
Then it hit her.
Liz Parker had never been more furious in her life. Furious at the doctors for not being able to fix what was wrong with her friend. Furious with the University for not KNOWING that Maria was slowly killing herself through starvation. Furious with herself for not seeing the signs-- not noticing Maria's uncharacteristic silences and frequent absences from social activities.
But most of all, she was furious with Michael Guerin. She raged at him in her mind, for turning her friend into the hollow shell laying in that hospital bed, with nothing to fill her but an empty wish that he would return someday, and a growing child that might never open its eyes to daylight.
She seethed silently in the corner, eyes burning. They needed help. They needed someone who could show these doctors that Maria WASN'T a lost cause. Someone who could wake her up and make her healthy again. Someone to give her the "strength" she needed.
They needed Max Evans.
"Well and good, Liz," she scoffed silently. "But in case you hadn't noticed, he's not HERE anymore. None of them are. And you aren't going to find them anytime soon." It was nonsense to even think it.
Or was it?
No. She wouldn't let herself believe that three...people, beings, whatever, could simply disappear without a trace. It just wasn't possible. Someone out there had to have a CLUE where they were. It was just a matter of narrowing down the possibilities.
Once again, for the millionth time in the months since the trio had left, Liz found herself wondering about the phantom informer who had warned them out of town. Who was it? Max had refused to tell them. For the safety of all involved, according to him. "Safety be damned," Liz fumed. "I need to know who it was."
Perhaps it was Max's boss from the UFO Museum. If ANYONE were to know they were aliens, he would have been her first pick. Admittedly, the guy was a little fruity, but she was pretty sure he'd want to keep Max and the others out of the government's hands.
No, it just didn't fit. If he'd found out Max was an alien, he would have started showing him off as one of his central exhibits, not tell him to get out of town, soon, and don't let the door hit you in the ass, thank you very much. So he was out.
Perhaps some unknown alien buff. God knew plenty of them came swinging through town often enough. All it would have taken was one.
But no. There again was the attachment issue. If some outsider had discovered the trio's secret, he or she would have had the story spread on the covers of every trash tabloid around the country, if not the world. But there had been nothing-- just the typical Baby of Bigfoot and I Saw Elvis at McDonald's stories. Another brick wall.
She needed someone who KNEW them. Really knew them. Someone with a vested interest in their welfare. Someone-
And she knew.
Liz's eyes went wide as saucers-- the flying kind-- when the epiphany struck. How could she have been so damn BLIND? And if anyone knew where the three aliens were, their "friend" would be the one to ask.
With a little cry, Liz catapulted herself out of her chair and towards the door.
Alex and Mrs. Deluca, shaken from their reveries by the first real sound in quite some time, looked up in surprise. "Liz?" Alex asked as she swung the door open and began to breeze out into the hall.
She turned on him only briefly. "I have to go, Alex."
She gave him a triumphant grin. "To get Maria some strength."
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