FanFic - Other
"AFTERMATH"
Part 2
by Brad Fondak
Disclaimer: I donít own any of these characters, settings, etcÖ They are all property of Warner Brothers, Pocket Books, etcÖ, ©1998, 1999, 2000 and so on. I am just renting them for the purpose of the below story.
Summary: So what happens next?
Category: Other
Rating: PG
Authors Note: The events in this story take place immediately following the events of the season finale ďDestinyĒ. But, itís also written more like an episode, so plotlines are not necessarily all tied up neatly here. I thought it might be fun to write an original story to take the place of new episodes in some small way during the summer hiatus. This is the first time that I have ever attempted anything like this, so be kind. Comments, constructive criticism, please email bfondak@home.com.
The hour that Tess and Max spent on their assignment passed without any further incident. There was no double entendres, no uncomfortable moments. It was like they had spent all year together in class, which of course they hadnít. This canít be a good thing, Max thought. Michael & Isabel came in, ready to go. They went downstairs, told the Evansí that they were heading for the Crashdown to Ďpick up Maria, make sure she got home alrightí, and took off.

All four of them were really quiet, eerily quiet, as they got to the center of town and parked across the street from the cafť. It was like they were all lost in their own thoughts, and didnít have any further energy to expend it making small talk. But when they parked the car, Max stopped them short.

MAX: We need to have a plan.

MICHAEL: What do you mean? This is Maria and Alex we are talking about here, not the FBI.

ISABEL: (She lightly punched Michael) How unfunny was that Michael? The last thing I need to hear about is the FBI right now, donít you think? And besides, Max is right. We have to approach this whole destiny thing in the right way. I for one donít want to lose any of them. Theyíve become too important to me. I know its weird for me to depend on others, but they have shown time and time again, all three of them, that they are there for us, and we should be there for them, tell them the whole truth, and make them an equal part of this.

TESS: But they arenít a part of this. Theyíre human. Weíre not. We have a mission, and they canít be a part of this. They know that. Why do you think that Alex let you go, Isabel? And why do you think that Liz left the cave, Max? Itís the four of us. No one else. We have to act like that the way it is now, because it is.

MICHAEL: If thatís so, Tess, then why are we talking to them in the first place?

MAX: NoÖIsabel is right. We have to find a middle ground.

TESS: Thereís no middle ground here Max. You know Iím right. Go ahead, go in there, but you know Iím right.

MAX: These people have stood by me through every situation so far. I canít treat them like castoffs. Not Alex. Not Maria. NotÖLiz.

Tessís cold gaze was enough to freeze fire. She was sick of hearing about Liz, and happy that she wouldnít be there tonight. Max would get over her, she knew, but the interim was going to be trying. Maybe she could coax him a little, show him that she was his true love. But she had to be careful, had to lay off the mind control and the destiny angle. She had to show him that she was his soulmate not just because the visions and the book said so, but because she was.

MICHAEL: Itís going to take some time, but we need to keep our friends. They are too important. All of them.

TESS: Ask yourself, Michael, all of you, is that your minds talking or something else?

Tess got out of the car and slammed the door, and started to cross the street.

ISABEL: Doesnít she get it? Doesnít she understand anything about us?

MAX: She doesnít. Remember. Nasedo saw all humans as unimportant. Thatís who she learned from. Itís all she knows. We just have to show her that they do have a place in our lives, an important one.

The other three got out of the car and caught up to her in a few seconds. They entered the Crashdown and sat down in one of the front booths. The last customers were clearing out, and they saw Maria clearing some dishes from the bar. Michael walked back to the kitchen and got some drinks from the cooler for the group. He didnít meet Mariaís gaze as he walked the long walk all the way to the back of the restaurant, and then came out and walked all the way back.

ISABEL: Oh, this is starting out real well.

Alex walked in a few moments later. He said hi to everyone, and took a chair from one of the empty tables, pulling up on the end. He seemed unaffected by all of the circumstances. Heís truly remarkable, Isabel thought, I wish things could be different. He is so understanding, Iím glad we gave him the chance to be so.

The five of them tried to make some small talk while waiting for Maria to finish closing up. Alex started talking about the big dance coming up the Friday night before finals. His band was going to be playing, and he wanted everyone to come. Maria was probably going to sing. It was harmless, and so the rest of the group was really into it. All except for Tess that is. She hadnít said a word since they had sat down.

ALEX: So Isabel, are you still going to go to the dance?

ISABEL: I donít know. This isnít really the time or place to discuss it, donít you think?

And so the booth turned quiet. A few moments later, Maria joined them, and Max, assuming that Liz would not be there, started talking.

MAX: Alex, Maria, I wanted to let you know about everything that happened yesterday after you left. We were able to heal Nasedo, and then we were able to use the orbs. They gave us a message from our mother. (He said this while pointing to him and Isabel)Ö

He basically explained the entire scenario. Maria had heard most of it, but hearing it from Max brought its seriousness to a whole new light for her. A whole planet relying on the four of them. Teenagers in a far-off place. A destiny which canít be ignored. It was basically what Liz had said, but different all the same.

ALEX: This just keeps getting weirder and weirder. You know, if you would have told me this six months ago, I would have laughed at all of you. Three months ago, I still may not have believed all of this, but nowÖbut nowÖ

MARIA: I know.

MICHAEL: Hell, Iím stunned myself, and I have seen it all. I mean, I had always known that we were put here for some reason, but something this big, wohhÖ

ALEX: So what do we do? How do we find these peopleÖerÖothers? How do we even go about it?

MAX: I donít know. But I have a feeling that we wonít have to do much searching. If what Nasedo says is true, if by doing this we have warned someone or something to our presence here, they will be coming for us, and we will have to be ready for them.

Just then, Max noticed Liz, who had been standing in the back entranceway. She had come down from the balcony, but wasnít just ready to join the others, but she had heard most everything that had been said.

MAX: LizÖ

Liz walked over silently, grabbed another chair, and sat down. She spoke emotionlessly.

LIZ: What do we do about Kyle?

MAX: Our next topic. I think that heís going to find out about us. Thereís no way he canít, given the circumstances. How do we break it to him? Can we do it in a way that the whole school, scratch that, the whole town doesní t become privy to this. I donít know if we can trust him to keep that secret, especially after all we have put him through over the course of the year.

LIZ: But, Max, you saved his life after his father shot him. He has to know that that counts for something. His father can help. He should be there.

TESS: Iíll talk to him.

Tessís sudden entry into the conversation surprised everyone. She hadnít said a word since they had come into the Crashdown.

LIZ: I donít think thatís such a good idea.

TESS: Why not? Iíve spent some time with him. I havenít completely burned any bridges. Heís not going to be in the right frame of mind talking to you, I can see that, and having Max speak to him might freak him out further.

ISABEL: Maybe Tess has a point. She may be able to prevail on him more effectively than any of us.

MARIA: Wait a minute hereÖ

LIZ: NoÖI donít like it.

TESS: What youíre saying is you donít trust me.

They glared angrily at each other for a beat.

MAX: WohhÖwait a minute hereÖletís not fight over this. Liz is right; Valenti should be there. We can talk to him tomorrow, at lunch time. I told the Sheriff that I would call him when I got home tonight, and Iíll tell him to be there. I think that all of us, all seven of us, should be there. Itís important to all of us, and we should all be able to put our spin on it, counterbalance each other. It will help.

MICHAEL: I agree. If we have to break it to him, this is the best way.

MARIA: WaitÖyou two agree on something?

MICHAEL: Heís right.

Max settled into the Ďleaderí role easily. Itís a role he had played all of his life, and the confirmation earlier today that it was his destiny, his past and his future, only further cemented his confidence, at least when it came to something like this. He made a decision, and provided a center for the group. Whether or not that group was 4 or 7 (or maybe even 8 or 9) remained to be seen. It was a question that all of them would continue to wrestle with. But especially Max. Because making that choice was more important than the group. Making that choice was making the choice whether or not to be with Liz. He thought he had made that choice. He wanted to be with Liz more than anything in the world. But was it more important then his pre-destined path? Liz seemed to think that it wasnít. It was a question without an easy answer. He wished so much that he could go back in time, maybe even to that morning, when he told Liz he loved her, and she said she loved him, and that they would be together forever. Tremendously sappy, but he didnít care. He had meant what he said, and he still meant it. He wished that he could give up being an alien. He really did. But that wasnít reality, that couldnít be.

ALEX: OKÖthen we do it.

ISABEL: Yeah (not too excited, it was getting really late.)

TESS: OK.

MARIA: What I wouldnít give to just be able to concentrate on finals like any normal kid right now? No wait, I canít believe Iím saying that.

ALEX: Ainít that right.

Even Liz cracked a little smile at that one. And then she retreated back to her apartment. Max tried to follow her, but Maria stopped him.

MARIA: Sheís not ready to talk to you. Itís just too hard.

Max, after a beat, turned around and started to walk back toward the front door. Michael had taken the brief opportunity afforded him by that diversion to very casually high-tail it out to the town square.

MARIA: GeeÖavoiding meÖ

Neither Tess nor Isabel said a word in response to that. They just turned for the door. Alex tried to think of the right thing, but even he was speechless, a rarity for him. He turned after Isabel.

ALEX: So Isabel, about the dance?

ISABEL: Iíll talk to you in English tomorrow morning. Goodnight Alex.

Surprising even herself, she gave him a quick hug and then left with Tess and Max for the Jeep. Alex and Maria were left in the booth, neither in any hurry to take off.

MARIA: Why do our lives have to be so complicated?

ALEX: If it wasnít one thing, itíd be another. So what do you think about all of this?

MARIA: (after a pause) Itís like my life has become some TV drama. I mean youíve got it all, your romantic tension, your unexplained happenings, just the enormity of it all. Itís like something gigantic is happening every time you turn, and each thing keeps building on the thing that came before it. Iím so buried that I donít even know where to begin. I mean, like I have to go to school tomorrowÖitís like the last thing on my mind. I felt like its been weeks since Iíve been there, and Iíve done so much. How can I concentrate on something so mundane. No wait itís notÖnow we have tell someone something that people everywhere has thought was just a big scam is absolutely true, and worse, people that he sees everyday are aliens. I mean, when Liz told me, I freaked out. (getting louder) Now stuff that would completely freak me out before happens, every week, no, every day, and Iím supposed to be on an even keel about it. (louder still) Well, I canít be! (a little softer) I mean, itís all just getting to me.

Maria took out some of her cedar oil. She really needed any kind of release; even a placebo would have helped her at that point.

ALEX: I know. A lot of my suspension of disbelief is by the wayside at this point. But I know that this is whatís happening to me and my friends. I have to deal with it. And trust me, Maria, this might not be what youíd like to hear, but things seem like they are only going to get weirder. We all just need to hold on and live day to day, and hopefully in the end we can all get what we want. (skips a beat) Well, I have to get home. Do you need any more help closing up?

MARIA: NoÖI just have to lock up, and then I am going to go back up and sit with Liz for a while. Iíll probably just crash here tonight. I better let my mother know.

ALEX: Sure. See you tomorrow in homeroom.

Part 1 | Index | Part 3
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
Crashdown is maintained by and . Design by Goldenboy.
Copyright © 1999-2004 Web Media Entertainment.
No infringement intended.