FanFic - Other
"One Day in the Future"
Part 3
by loki
Disclaimer: No one belongs to me. Not in the slightest. It's so, so sad, I say.
Summary: I'm not giving anything away. No.
Category: Other
Rating: PG
Authors Note: This is a bit different from what I normally write… I want to thank Elizabeth and Fionna for giving me *such* wonderful criticism which resulted in a much better fic. And to Laura, who continually inspires me in more ways than she knows (and somehow manages to keep my tenses straight *g*)

The car ride was dead silent once again, he stared straight ahead with cold eyes as he drove back towards town. They stopped at a motel not unlike the one from last night. He threw the keys on the table and pointed at the bed.

" Sleep."

His commands no longer angered her. She could tell it's his way of keeping his voice even and calm. Because when that broke, then his walls would break and it was all over. Besides, she was exhausted and a real mattress – no matter how stiff – was a welcome change from a car seat.

She kicked off her shoes and pulled the blankets over her. Within minutes she was asleep.


It wasn't as if she hadn't wondered why he took her. She asks herself that question almost everyday. In the beginning, anyway. In the past few years, it all became all painfully clear.

One by one, they all died. Alex – sudden, progressive cancer. Kyle – inoperable brain tumor. Her mother and Jim Valenti – car crash. Liz – apparent suicide. One by one, they were taken at such young ages. It provoked a study to see if Roswell was like one of those cities with sewage or nuclear disposal issues. If cell towers were causing cancer or the water had become tainted. Three years, and nothing was ever determined conclusively.

'How could it be?' she thinks, watching yet another town disappear in her rearview mirror. They were looking for physical causes, man-made reasons for the deaths. And their deaths had nothing to do with men.

She still hasn't been able to reason why she is still alive. Sometimes she wonders if it's because of what he did to her. Other times she decides she was just able to cover her tracks the best – moving so far from home. But she tries not to dwell on that one, especially when she's already consumed with so many other thoughts.

The letter should be there today. It should have been there when her husband walked out for the paper in the morning – taped to the glass door. Knowing him, she smiles, he probably didn't even see it until he came back in the house. She is always teasing him, saying that he would lose his head if it weren't attached. He always tells her that's what he needs her for – to find his head. But if she weren't there, he wouldn't mind – because without his heart, he doesn't want his head.

'I married a sap,' she chuckles.

Jamie. A simple name, a not-so-simple love. Then again, when has she ever sought out simple things? It wasn't a whirlwind romance or anything like that, and he taught her that passion comes in many forms. And he taught her, ironically enough, that people *do* stick around when things get hard.

She married a man who sometimes says the perfect things and does the perfect things. She loved him from the moment that she knew in her heart that he wasn't afraid to love her. That he often says the wrong things and does the wrong things makes her love him more.

He sits down in the kitchen and inspects the odd envelope before tearing off one end. The scenes play out in her mind's eye – and she orchestrates each move and emotion. There is a key and a note. His hands begin to shake when he realizes it's her handwriting. 'Is it a kidnapper? Is it a ransom note? What does he need to do with the key?' Yet she can't decide if he's relieved or distraught at the realization that it's from her, and that she left of her own accord.

" I have to go, I made a promise long ago and now is the time. I'm sorry I can't tell you where I'm going, it's not safe. I love you – all of you with all of my being and I think of you every second of every day."

There are instructions about the key and the safety-deposit box it opens. Inside he'll find the hundreds of letters she's written to each of them – to be opened on certain birthdays and milestones. And the books – keepsake scrapbooks that she has painstakingly maintained over the past seven years.

But she doesn't give him any more explanation than that – due to fear rather than duplicity. She has seen her friends die because they knew things they shouldn't have and she refuses to put her family in the same peril. There is no way to put into words the torturous hell that will come to pass if she hadn't left. That her concerns are for them, and them alone.

She hopes that, even if he doesn't understand why she left, he knows that she loves him. Loves her son and daughter – her family. Always.


She woke up to an unexpected, yet not unfamiliar voice. Rolling over, she looked over the side of the bed and saw a form huddled against the door. He was weeping, so silently that anyone else would have slept right through it. But not her. She never could.

Sliding out of the covers, she crept over and sat next to him. Her fingertips touched the side of his head, her thumb stroking the tears from his cheeks. He choked as air tried to make it past his sobs. She moved to face him, although there was little either one could see in the virtual blackness. His breathing steadied gradually and hers quickened when he took her free hand and clenched it between his.

" I'm sorry," he murmured ruefully. " I thought you could… I should have realized that you couldn't… I mean, it's not your fault. You're just not one of…"

It hit her then, and before she lost her nerve she climbed over and straddled him. She – who loved another – ripped her shirt over her head and tossed it to the side. She heard him suck his breath in harshly and realized that no part of him was touching her. Taking his hand in hers, she placed them on her hips and felt him pull away.

" Please," she said, her first word since he grabbed her. " Please," she – who was promised to another – repeated.

His lips grazed across her breast and she could have sworn her skin was scorched along that line. He unbuttoned her jeans and guided her onto her back. Each moment of contact made her gasp – from his hands sliding up her hips to his tongue brushing over her collarbone. Her body was ablaze and she nearly drowned as he let her in in ways he'd never been able to before.


Now she knows all the roads by heart. As soon as she got her license, she would take off and drive through every local town and street she could find. It was a good way to wind-down from another frustrating fight at school or a drag-out fight with her mom. Ironically, it came in handy a year or so later when outrunning the FBI.

She can barely hit the turn-signal lever, and she worries about getting out of the car and making the walk up to the cave. Her left hand is clenched over the wheel like a claw and her left leg hasn't been able to move since that last bathroom break. They're close. And they are doubling in number.

'Ten more minutes, ten more minutes,' she chants over and over – trying to psyche her body up and ignore the pain. It's funny that a bunch of teenagers could easily outrun a major government agency while she, the predestined wacky-sidekick, is the only one left to fight a race of powerful enemies. With a pain that reminds her there *are* fates worse than death.


The room was pitch-black when she rolled over and woke up. They had passed out on the floor, atop their discarded clothes. Fumbling every step, she made her way to the bathroom for water. She never turned on the light – seeing herself, naked in this motel, in the mirror would make it all too real. But she knew it was too late – it was already too real.

He was breathing heavily, lost in another world of slumber. Laying across the bed, she listened to his long inhalations and the slight catch at the back of his throat before he exhaled again. She didn't want him to spend another night in a cramped position or on a rock-hard floor, but he was finally at rest and she could tell that was a rare occasion.

Tugging the blankets down, she spread them out on the floor as a thin, barely-there mattress. He rolled towards her warmth and she enveloped him beneath the comforter. His hands grasped her hips, holding to him firmly. He was asleep, she knew, but wrapped her legs around his waist and cradled his head to her breasts.

Wide-awake, she stared off into such darkness where nary a shadow could be found. It made no difference, she was already haunted by the things she had seen. As soon as she felt his lips on hers, his breath in her, the images flew in and ravaged her mind and body. That's when she began to understand.

They had made it back to their planet in hopes of putting a final end to the Great War waged against their people.

One time, her grandfather had subjected her to hours upon hours of World War II footage on the History Channel – but it had in no way prepared her for this. Against their world, ransacked European cities and gutted housing projects seemed like resorts. Only the devastating aftermath of Hiroshima could compare to the scenes that she saw in his head.

His fear. Fear-terror-panic – no word could even begin to describe what he felt about the absolute destruction that assailed him from every angle. Their world was in pieces, more and more crumbling down with each passing second. He would try to build one small hut back up and a minute later buildings taller than any skyscraper on earth would explode.

There were some that remained loyal to the memory of the Royal Four, and they tried hard to bring the new immigrants up to speed. However, there were many more who had reigned in their absence and resented their sudden reappearance. After two weeks, they were burnt. None of them had expected to find everything in such a state of ruin. Still, they battled on.

In time, Isabel uncovered an ulterior motive to the war – an agreement between Khivar and the Emperor of three planets in the galaxy. The Emperor had promised Khivar a place in his court if he'd turn over Antar for repopulation of a separate race. Their people would be forced into slavery so that the new world could be constructed quickly, then they would be killed.

Unfortunately, she deciphered the last of the communications after Max had taken his battalion out towards the fourth wall. Michael hurried after him on the fastest horse, trampling over his people and enemies alike. But he was too late.

She watched as his best friend was killed in front of him. Max had been squatting at the edge of a muddied stream, splashing water on his face. A soldier – by his uniform, high-ranking and probably a captain – emerged behind him, unsheathed a massive sword and took his head off in one swipe. Tess, who had been in the makeshift strategy tent ran to him, fell to her knees and held his body in her arms. The bride wailed in agony, holding her hand up in a futile attempt to use her exhausted powers against the enemy.

Tears streamed her face as she looked through his eyes, staring helplessly, unable to the inevitable as Tess' body fell over Max. Her arms could not move as his paralyzation filled her body, caught between avenging his best friend's death and protecting his promised one. The world stood still – bombs dropped at a snail's pace and soldiers and civilians collapsed in slow motion.

Then, with a start, he jumped on the horse and galloped back to the fortress. In a fatal irony, on approach he saw Isabel being led to one of the turrets. He pulled the horse back and fixed his eyes upon her. His promised one acknowledged him with a dejected smile. She sent him all her thoughts - everything she'd discovered about Khivar and his plan, how far he planned to colonize the universe, and how to stop him – then leapt before her captors could slip on the noose. Even in death, Isabel was proud.

Now completely and utterly alone, he sped off to the forest. Most of it had been burned but the landmarks were still there. She felt her own breath quicken as he dug furiously in the strange dirt. Four silver discs – each with a different crystal embedded. He continued to tunnel down until he hit the hollow they'd built. He jumped down and entered the craft – firing it up and tearing out of his galaxy towards the one who could save them all.

He began to tremble in her arms, almost as if he were reliving the events as she was watching them. She kissed his head, wiping her tears away with his hair. Sighing, she listened to the way his heart beat in tandem with hers. She knew that it would not carry on much longer and that he so desperately wanted her to finish what he could not do.

So much he expected of her… so much he just assumed she would be capable of. How could he have so much faith to cross the universe and find her, entrusting the fate of the world to her. She never wanted any of this – at sixteen, yanked into something so much larger than her capacities could handle. One day, her friend was shot and her life took flight down a very long and treacherous road. She never asked for it.

But she understood him now. Truly understood him. He never asked for this either, never asked to be dealt his hand: forced to live in squalor as a child and assumed to be the savior as an adult. She gulped down a sob and hugged him closer. In the stillness, she made him a promise.

She promised that she would do whatever necessary. No matter what turns her life takes, she will do what he will ask.

The next day, she was able to open the door.


Indulging a whim, she drives past her old house. Her mother no longer lives there – sold it five years back – but it is the place of her childhood. For more than half her life, that simple building was her womb, her safety. It was the place where she could run to when the mean girls would tease her about not having money, and where she and her best friend would stay up all night and giggle about boys while devouring quarts of ice cream. It was home.

Her home is something different now – her husband and children. She thinks about her house so far away and wonders if they'll drive past it with the same nostalgia one day.

One day in the future.

That's what this is about, really. It's about having that one day in the future. Where memories are about good things and not about some life that was almost unrecognizable. She wants her children to have that, to sit back and tell *their* children about silly stories and broken hearts. She wants them to have that happiness of holding their own babies in their arms and cooing softly to them.

She wants it so badly that she is willing to give it all up. She already has.


They crawled through the pods and circled the Granolith. He was quiet for a long time so she set herself up on the floor and waited. Placing both hands on the enormous entity, he built up his energy field until the Granolith began to glow a vibrant cobalt blue. It was quite amazing, really, the way the room filled with colour and purple and green bolts shot around them.

Marveling at its intensity, she leaned back against the wall and he soon joined her. He pressed a small disc into her palm and stared at the glowing object.

" They are coming – and there is nothing we can do about it. Max, Isabel, Tess – they're all gone. I barely managed to escape in a pod, but I'm not too long for here either."

Her hand brushed against his leg and he took it in his.

" I came back here because it's our last hope. They are planning on colonizing the earth and no government has any defense for them. But the Granolith… I need you to do this for me. When they come, I need you to get in here and blow everything up."

These were all things she knew, though she didn't say a word. There was an urgency about his words – desperate for her to bear witness to his nightmares. Yet another thing he asked and another thing she gave of herself.

" But can I? I don't have your…" She looked at him sadly.

Pointing at the disc, he continued. " This is all you need. This button will engage it, and this will make it all explode. It will take all alien and alien-hybrids out at once, no matter where they are in this universe. But~"

" It will take me along with it," she stated flatly.

" I'm sorry," he gulped. " I wish there was another way."

She let out a long, pensive sigh and returned her gaze to the Granolith. " Why can't we do it now?"

He looked at her for a long time and she knew he had asked himself the same question. " We can't take the chance. Blowing it up in one universe may not affect the others. I only know for certain that it will work when they are here. On *this* planet." His thumb ran over her palm. " I don't know when they are coming," he said softly. " I just know that I won't be… able to do it… and I need you to."

Reaffirming the promise she'd made to him the night before, she rested her head on his shoulder. " Don't worry. I will."


The car is parked in the small crevice between the two walls. She uncurls her fingers from the wheel and pushes open the door. Wincing, she gets out onto one foot and then the other. She grabs her suitcase from the backseat and pauses. This is her last look at the place she was born, and the last place on earth she will see.

The wind is calm and the sun is making its way towards setting. She closes her eyes and spreads her arms, taking it all in for one last time. Each step she takes in her small circle grounds her a little more and somehow – probably psychosomatically – lessens the pain. She finishes spinning, takes a deep break and makes her way towards the cave.


He waited with her at the bus station.

Boarding had begun while she perused the newspaper stand. Grinning, she handed him six magazines and a few snacks for the trip. He made a big show of spending *more* money on her, and she happily reminded him of her worth and importance. And after everything, she was taking the bus home.

It would have been too dangerous for him to drive back and he didn't tell her that he probably won't even be alive long enough to take her home. But he bought her ticket and even paid for lunch – neither of which made up for what he'd asked of her and what he was asking of her.

They headed to the gate when final boarding was announced. He stopped her halfway there as the weight of everything closed in on them.

" Are you sure – sure that you want to do this?"

Cocking her head to the side, she smiled at him. " Yes. I want to do this."

" You don't – I mean, you *don't* have to. I'm asking a lot~"

" Michael, I want to do this. I promise you that I will do this. Just don't – don't ask me again or I might change my mind."

He nodded and they kept walking until she grabbed his arm and pulled him back.

" How will I know?"

He scrunched his eyebrows quizzically. " Know?"

" That they're here," she said nervously.

" Oh." He thought for a moment. " You just will. You'll feel it and you won't be able to fight it. You might not realize what it is right away, but it never leaves. When it gets so unbearable that you can't stand it – that's when it will be time."

The gate was right in front of them and the last passenger was about to make his way up the stairs. The driver asked if she was getting on and took her ticket. Sadly, she followed him out the door and towards the bus without turning around.

Her foot was on the first step when a hand on her shoulder spun her around. A smile was on her face before she could even see him. He grasped her by the waist and embraced her – almost smothering her in his chest.

" Thank you, Maria" he whispered into her hair and released her.

She reached up to touch his face one last time then turned and got on the bus. He stood there as the bus pulled out and took her back to her new life. She pressed her nose against the window and watched as he grew smaller and smaller.

That's when the pain began.


The door slides open easily and she has no problem getting through the pods. She settles on the opposite side and goes through the contents of her suitcase. Wrapping her husband's sweater around her for warmth, she takes out a stack of pictures and places them in rows. Her children, her husband, her friends and family. People who have meant the world to her – and people who she is saving the world for.

Pain's temporary lull has disintegrated and she knows that there is precious little time left. She can hardly move her arms and her legs are now completely immobile. The dial is the last to be removed and she cradles it in her hand carefully.

Arming the Granolith, she closes her eyes and listens to the low hum. More movies drift in and out – each new one popping up in a vicious fight for dominance. Amused, she scolds them and says that each person and story will get their turn…

Winter's smile, Gabriel's laugh, Jamie's voice. They dance around with black and white images of the past seven years. Slowly they allow earlier memories to take precedence and she is absolved of the remaining fear in her soul.

At peace for the first time in seven years, she opens her eyes to see the sparkling blues and greens and purples. Probably more amazing than anything else she'd ever see outside, but it doesn't hold her attention long. She closes them again and floats into a world where friends and family mix, memories overlap and all she feels is utter contentment.

Her finger moves to the second button and she smiles.

This is her promise. This is her destiny.

Part 2 | Index
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.