FanFic - Other
"Anna Begins"
Part 3
by Anne
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network or the author, Melinda Metz.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Lyrics, Vanessa Williams, "Best for Last."
Sometimes the Sun goes round the Moon.
Sometimes the snow comes down in June.

Liz stood, nervously bouncing Anna from one hip to the other, as she waited for admittance to the small office just off this hallway. She'd only been inside that room one other time before today. It had been four months ago. Four very long months. Anna started to squirm as her mother's anxiousness began to filter through to her tiny nervous system. As Liz noticed the change in Anna, she quickly forced herself to calm down. Losing control would not accomplish anything. Instinctively, she knew she would get no where that way. She had to be strong. She had to do this . . . for his sake.

The door opened and a disembodied voice extended an invitation for her to enter. Standing on legs that slightly shook, Liz straightened her spine, shifted Anna one more time, and forged ahead.

The room was so bright it hurt her eyes until they adjusted. After a few moment's discomfort, she was able to see the two people responsible for deciding her future . . . and Anna's. Liz sent up a silent prayer of thanks that Anna hadn't started to wail when the light hit her eyes, but then again . . . maybe her eyes didn't hurt . . .

Two voices in unison addressed her, causing her to start just a bit. Try as she might, she would never get used to that. Two different people speaking the same words at exactly the same time, all the time. It was . . . disconcerting, even after four months . . .

"What is it that brings you here today?"

Liz: (closing her eyes and taking hold of more than just courage with both hands) "I've seen him."

"Of course, you have. That's what you wanted. We tried to tell you that it wasn't good. You insisted."

Liz: (eyes darkening with the approaching storm of anger) "What else did you expect me to do?"

"No different, but we had hoped you would eventually change your mind . . ."

Liz: (feeling very small and very alone here) "I won't ever change my mind."

"We understand."

Liz: "Do you? Do you understand anything?" "Do you understand that he's miserable? Do you understand that he's barely living? Do you understand that he hasn't moved on like you promised he would?"

"It will take more time."

Liz: "That's ridiculous!"

Time passed audibly as she waited for a response . . . her heartbeat marked off the moments sounding loudly in her ears . . .

"What is it you want from us?"

Liz looked at Anna and knew she was going to risk whatever it took to get her back to her dad. He needed her . . .

Liz: (quietly) "Send us back."


Liz: "Why? . . . You brought me here. You can send me back."

The two stared at each other in silence for a moment before turning back to her with matching sympathetic expressions.

"We are sorry for your suffering, but you would have died had we left you there, and your presence here is invaluable to us. We need more time to study Anna and monitor your condition. You must understand. You are the first human to have a baby by our race. We must know everything."

Liz: (exasperated) "How long do you plan to *study* us? It's been four months!"

"Four months is nothing. We need to study Anna for a lifetime in order to learn all that we need. Your planet, your race, may be the key to our survival. Without you, we face imminent extinction."

Liz: (mind focusing and sharpening as their words penetrated) "So, I am no longer here because I have to be in order to survive, but because you *need* to study us. Is that right?"

A moment of silence passed . . .

"Not entirely."

Liz: "Meaning?"

"We are not certain of your ability to survive were you to return. It is possible, but we have no way of knowing what would happen to you without the care you have received here."

Liz: (distracted for a moment by Anna who had fallen asleep, began rocking her gently) "Please don't misunderstand me. I'm grateful for all that you did for me. For us. I am. I just know that I have to go back. I am needed there . . . "

"Are you so unhappy here?"

Liz: (searching for the words to explain) "No. It's just that I can't ever be a whole person without him. I'll never move beyond this point in my life and neither will he."

Liz searched their faces with pleading eyes that begged them to understand what she couldn't explain herself.

"Please go back outside for a few minutes. We'll call you in when we've reached a decision."

Liz wanted to argue and scream and try harder to make them understand, but she knew there was no point. Turning, she fled the room, tears pouring down her face as she went. She'd held them back as long as she could. Control be damned. This was her life. Anna's life. Max's life. Why couldn't they understand?

The hallway was cold and empty as she stood outside the door. If they wouldn't let her go they surely wouldn't let Anna. Liz tried to think about leaving Anna behind and going back alone, but that would be like cutting out her own heart and trying to live as if it were still there. The only solution was for them to both return together.

Her arms began to ache from holding Anna in a comfortable position so she could sleep. Just when she thought she might slide down the wall and sit on the floor, the door opened once more.

No invitation was issued this time, but she stepped through the opening and across the threshold into the chamber that held the key to her survival.

Walking steadily forward, she noticed that the light in the room was significantly dimmer than it had been before. How long had she been standing outside?

She began to wonder if she should say something as the silence stretched out . . .

"You may return tonight."

Liz: (letting out the breath she didn't even know she'd been holding) "And Anna?"

"Unfortunately, she must remain with you, and we cannot keep you here against your will."

Liz: (confused) "So, what? It's just like 'beam me up, Scotty,' and poof, I'm back?"

"Who is Scotty?" The two looked at each other in intense confusion before turning their displeased faces back in her direction.

Liz: (mumbling) "Never mind."

"You will return the same way that you came to us. You must pass Anna through to her father before you can go yourself. We cannot guarantee your health once you leave here. Do you understand?"

Liz: (quietly) "Yes. I understand."

"We would be very pleased if you would agree to return at a prescribed interval, so that we may monitor your progress and Anna's."

Liz: "How long would we have to be here?"

They even sighed in unison.

"Not long. We will keep the visits to the minimum time required to gather the information we need."

Liz: "All right, on one condition."

"What is it?"

Liz: "You must let Max come with us."

"Done." . . . "Thank you."

Liz: (hardly able to believe that she'd won her case) "No. Thank you."


Max wandered around the empty apartment for the seventh night in a row. At first, he had been grateful for the solitude, but now he just wished the others would return from their hiatus in Florida. He didn't even know it was possible to feel this alone.

Dinner was so eerily quiet that he wasn't really sure why he had bothered with it. He didn't care if he ever ate again. Hunger was a sensation he was no longer capable of. He washed the single plate and dried and put it away, before turning out the lights and heading for the bedroom.

Pausing in the doorway as he did every night, he felt the familiar rise of panic coupled with anticipation as his eyes fell on "the wall."

What in the world would he ever do if the visions stopped coming? Shoving the thought as far away from his conscious as possible, he glanced at the bed and didn't feel tired. The bathroom was the next stop for his weary gaze, but he didn't want to take a shower. He felt so strange tonight. Nervous. Adrenaline flooded his system with no apparent cause. Instantly alert, he made his way throughout the entire apartment finding nothing out of the ordinary. Standing by the front door, he made up his mind to get out for a while. Maybe a walk would help . . .


Walking turned into running. Five miles later, Max returned home, and had managed to work off the worst of the anxiety that had driven him out the door in the first place. His skin still felt much too tight, but his breathing no longer resembled panting. Locking the front door, he let his forehead drop against it and closed his eyes. No matter how often or under what circumstances, every time he walked through this door, pain rolled over him in waves. Moving through the crippling force and away from the door, he approached the bedroom for the second time that evening. Standing in the doorway, he felt nothing. No anxiety, no panic, nothing . . . except the ever-present sense of loss . . .

The bathroom held no mysteries, either. The same toothbrush hung in the same holder, beside the other one that hadn't been used in four months. The water still ran, the mirror still mocked. The hamper still held the dirty clothes. Her soap and lotion and shampoo still filled up every available space in the tiny bit allotted. The shower had felt marginally warmer than the luke warm he'd gotten used to in the past few months. Other than that, nothing seemed different, but yet . . .

As he stepped into the bedroom, the numbers on the clock seeked to remind him of the time drawing closer . . . not that he needed the clock to know. He could feel it with or without the device.

Slipping in between cool sheets, he was acutely aware of the smallest elements that made up his physical being. His nerves felt as if the skin that normally covered them had gone on vacation without the rest of the body. Vaguely, he thought about worrying over his condition, but decided it was a waste of time. Who could tell all the different ways that grief could affect a person? Especially a person who wasn't even human.

Midnight came and went, leaving Max in a torrent of confusion. He could feel the same sensation he'd felt every night as the vision approached, but yet, it hadn't come. Sitting up in the bed, he fought panic ruthlessly, refusing to give in. Something strange had been happening all night. If he gave in to despair he might miss something important.

Taking deep breaths, Max forced himself to lie back on the bed once more, and concentrated on not going quietly insane. The minutes dragged by with a measure of cruelty that only a clock could deliver.

At 26 minutes and 39 seconds past midnight, Max was delivered from the private hell of wondering whether or not he would be given one more night . . . to see them, to fill a heart so terribly empty with just enough to make it through one more day . . .

The light glowed, but this time, he felt the warmth of that glow on his skin . . . just like that very first night. Like no night since then . . .

He sat up again and watched carefully, but there was nothing there this time . . . nothing but light . . .

He waited in a vacuum of agony . . . and waited . . . and waited . . .

He watched that light so long that he began to imagine that he saw Liz and Anna only to find a moment later that they weren't really there at all . . . .

And, then, suddenly, she was there. The reality this time. Or, at least, as real as an image could be . . .

She stood just at the edges, just like before. Anna's eyes mirrored her mother's. So similar . . . almost identical . . .

Max got up and walked toward them having no idea what was happening . . .

As he moved up close to the surface of the projection, Liz smiled as if he'd just come into her field of vision . . .

As they stared at each other across light years, and impossibilities, Liz kissed Anna and held her out towards Max. He could just barely make his arms move to reach for her, not believing this could be happening.

As Anna, crossed without incident from one dimension to another, the light years became mere inches and the impossibilities became a world of opportunity . . .

Max held Anna close to him, aware on every level of her warmth, her heartbeat, her scent . . .

But, what did this mean? Focusing on Liz's face again, his must've been full of questions, because her eyes filled with tears. Even over this distance, she could still feel his emotions . . .

She drew herself up and took a deep breath, quickly swiping away the tears, knowing there was no way to explain to him what was about to happen. The sooner she got this over with, the sooner they might have a chance . . .

Liz retreated and eventually disappeared altogether.

Stepping back from the periphery, the light began to fade, and Max wondered how his shattered heart could break anymore than it already had . . .

Stepping backward on leaden feet, he felt the edge of the bed behind his knees and sank down on it. His chest heaved as the struggle to breathe continued.

Anna started to cry, pulling Max together faster than anything else could have. He automatically responded to her distress, comforting them both in the process. As he stared at her, he felt recognition of him trip across her awareness. They were connected to each other . . . just like he was with Liz. He was so profoundly grateful for her presence in his life again that his attention was completely absorbed by her.

A warm hand slid atop his shoulder from directly behind him, and Max closed his eyes, afraid that he was making up the sensation of that hand, and that if he looked, no one would be there . . . but, he could feel her presence in the room with or without her touch.

Frozen between fear of the limitations of the known world and the possibilities that only existed in the unknown, Max sat motionless . . .

Liz: "Max . . . "

Hearing her voice released him from the boundaries that supported his beliefs about life . . . and death. Turning slowly, he saw Liz. Not the projected image, but the flesh and blood, very much alive, woman.

Sometimes the Sun goes round the Moon.
Sometimes the snow comes down in June.
Just when I thought our chance had passed,
You went and saved the best for last . . .

Taking Anna gently from him, she laid her down in her bed that was still right where it had been the night she'd left. Once in her bed, she promptly fell asleep.

Liz turned back towards Max who had yet to say a single word . . .

Knowing there was much too much to try to explain in words, she stood in front of him, raising her hands to his face, and flooding his mind with her memories of the time they'd been apart.

Max's arms automatically wrapped around her hips, without even one conscious thought. His mind was completely centered on the details of Liz's life for the past four months. He could barely believe what he was seeing, . . . understanding.

His home. A planet so far away his mind could not even begin to grasp how she could possibly be here, when she had just been there not even a 1/2 hour ago. His home. No. Not his home. Not anymore. Home was wherever Liz and Anna were.

Finally, able to speak, Max pulled her close, burying his face in her now flat stomach.

Max: "You'll have to go back?"

Liz: "Yes, but they assured me that they would bring all of us together next time."

Max: (looking up into her face) "You mean . . . .?"

Liz: "Yes. You will be going home, Max."

Max: (quietly) "No. That's not right. I'm grateful for what they did for you, but this is my home now. . . . God, I missed you, Liz."

Helpless tears consumed them both as they struggled to accept all that challenged the very foundation of the reality they'd always believed in. Assurance came through touch, and hearts that had been broken beyond repair were knitted back together and restored but not the same. Never the same again. Now they understood both sides. The love . . . and the loss . . .


Anna awoke at 5 the next morning in her usual fashion, fully alert and quite hungry. Max padded around the bed to the crib and greeted his daughter with a smile for the first time since her birth. As he climbed back in the bed with her, he felt close to tears again and wondered if it would ever stop. She was so beautiful, and he loved her more than he thought was possible . . .

Liz held out her arms and Max handed Anna to her, reminiscent of another time, but that memory would soon fade, taking the pain with it. It would be replaced by new memories . . . just like today . . .

Two hours later, the Evan's household was invaded by four weary travellers and their luggage without so much as a knock on the front door. Isabel called out for Max in an almost frantic tone of voice, having left Florida in an almighty rush because she just knew something was horribly wrong with him. Running to the bedroom door, she halted dead in her tracks at the scene that met her eyes. Alex, Michael, and Maria all bumped into one another at Isabel's sudden stop and wondered what was happening.

Isabel stepped inside and to the right so the other's could enter and the four of them stood staring at the sleeping family where there had been none.

Isabel turned to Alex and held him as if her life depended on his presence, . . . and maybe it did. Sanity wasn't something that should ever be taken for granted because she definitely felt it slipping away . . .

Maria looked at Michael and picked up his hand, staring at it in wonder as the implications of Liz's return filled her mind, bringing the differences between them into sharp focus. Not that she cared, but she felt a little in awe of him at the moment. Wandering to the side of the bed, Maria brushed the hair away from Liz's face and kissed Anna quietly before moving back out of the room.

All four of them made their way to the living room quietly. Sitting together in shock, they alternately cried and were silent. They drew strength and comfort from one another, but also from the knowledge that the circle had been restored. The bond between the six of them flowed so powerfully in the small apartment that it was almost visible. They held each other and settled in to wait . . . for the answers that were sure to come . . . and the reunion that was sure to heal.

The End

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