FanFic - Other
"Road Trippin'"
Part 2
by Nina
Disclaimer: I don`t own Roswell and I don`t own "Road Trippin" or any of the other Red Hot Chili Pepper Songs I included in this fic. (All of these songs are from their new album "Californication")
Summary: On the road together running from their alien enemies, the four aliens will learn the hard way to accept the difficulties with each other.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: I`ve included songs in brackets throughout this story in scenes where these songs would be played and have included some of the lyrics to them. You`ll notice they`re all by the Chili Peppers. That`s just because I think their music sets the perfect mood I was going for with this fic. To prepare yourself for reading this story you must first throw away your current view of a Roswellian mood and instead imagine a PG-13 movie of four people on the highway with swear words and hard music included in it. It`s a whole new thing and I hope I pulled it off well.
Isabel was running along the highway road, running away from something...

[Otherside by the Red Hot Chili Peppers]

Isabel could feel whatever it was closing in on her, a poison darkness pressing on her back, dangerous and very, very fast. She tripped and fell and scraped one of her knees, and that was when she saw the long shedded strip of skin out in the middle of the road under the moonlight. There was not only the one chasing her. The Skins were everywhere.

[How long how long will I slide
Separate my side
I don`t
I don`t believe it`s bad
Slit my throat it`s all I ever

I heard your voice through a photograph
I thought it up it brought up the past
Once you know you can never go back
I`ve gotta take it on the otherside...]

Isabel scrambled back up on her feet and got herself running again. Her heart was beating so quickly it seemed to be vibrating inside her chest. She didn`t know which way to run. They had to be closing in on her from all sides. Where to go, where to go....

[Scarlet starlet and she`s in my bed
A candidate for my soul mate blend
Push the trigger and pull the thread
I`ve got to take it on the otherside....]

Isabel could now hear the pounding footfalls of her pursuer. She could tell the enemy behind her was not tiring. And she was oh so tired...her legs burned and every breath she took came less and less easily. She was starting to slow. "MAX!" she screamed. "Max, Michael, Alex, help me!" Then something hit her roughly in the back and she fell. Her chest hit the uncaving pavement so hard and she now had so many scrapes she could feel warm blood on little places up and down her arms and legs. But she had to keep going. She got up to her feet and that`s when the other figure jumped out right in front of her out of nowhere. Isabel screamed and sprung up-

And sat up in bed in a pool of sweat. Tess was sitting up and holding her shoulders. "Isabel," she said, trying to calm her down. "Isabel, are you okay?"

She must have been calling out pretty loudly in her sleep because Tess had turned the lamp on and when Isabel looked over at the other bed she could see Max moving under the covers as he woke up from a seemingly peaceful sleep. "Michael," Isabel said at once, not seeing him anywhere in the room. "Where`s Michael?..." She crawled right over Tess to see the clock on the nightstand. Michael had left for his walk almost two hours ago. "Chirst," Isabel whispered as she flew out of bed and ran to the door. The others followed as she tore away into the cold night outside, screaming, "MICHAEL!"

[Turn me on take me for a hard ride
Burn me out leave me on the otherside]

Isabel ran barefoot across the hard and cold parking lot of the motel, calling in panic for Michael, but he was nowhere and danger was everywhere and Isabel could smell it like it was breathing cold breath on her shoulders and neck. That`s when she noticed the shape lying in the lot, way out in an area in the shadows that the motel lights did not hit...

[I yell it tell it that it`s not my friend
I tear it down I tear it down and then it`s born again...]

As she ran to Michael`s body she could only scream out into the empty, lonely night, "NO!"

Max and Tess were just then catching up. When they got close enough to see Isabel on the concrete weeping over the familiar body they slowed to a halt. Tess raised the back of her hand to her mouth and sounded like she was going to throw up as she muttered, "Oh God..."

Isabel sobbed like Max had never seen his brave sister sob before. She held Michael to her chest and buried her face longingly into his shoulder as she cried out unclearly, "Oh God, not him, oh God, NO..." Max`s breathing was suddenly fast and panicky, like something had just happened to him when nothing had at all. He felt sick as he turned away. And then he saw the white shred of something far away in the grass. He couldn`t see it very clearly but he knew what it was. The Skins had followed them the whole way. The Skins were here.

"Isabel," he whispered as he turned and looked back at her. "We have to get out of here. Isabel..." Tess met eyes with him in fear. Her expression reflected what he was feeling.

Isabel got back up on her feet and looked around like she had suddenly realized something was closing in on her. Max came over to her and tried to sound as soothing as possible as he said, "Isabel, we have to go. Now."

"Where is it?!" she raged, tearing her head back and forth, desperate for just some kind of sign of Michael`s killer. "Where is the son of a bitch?! I`ll kill it!"

Max held her and tried to pull her away but she started to fight him. "Get the fuck off me!" she shouted as she squirmed around to pull herself free. "The bastard! I`ll kill it! I`ll kill it!"

Max hadn`t even noticed her leave, but Tess was running back from their room now with the few belongings they`d taken into the motel with them. So the three of them, with Max half-dragging half-carrying the desperate and angry Isabel, ran to the jeep and got in as fast as they could and Max tore out of that parking lot with a speed more than illegal. Max zoomed down the highway with his foot constantly on the gas until he`d gone about five miles away from the motel. There was no way the Skins could have followed them now.

As soon as he`d stopped the jeep Max got out of the car, slamming the door behind him, and walked over to the side of the road. He nautiously went into the grass, bent over, and vomited.

[How long how long will I slide
Separate my side
I don`t
I don`t believe it`s bad
Slit my throat it`s all I ever had]

Tess watched helplessly as Isabel also got out of the car. She no longer acted so angry. Her strength had failed and now she could only drop to her knees and cry out everything she had.

Max was lying in the back seat of his jeep looking up at the atmosphere above him. How could the world be so stable and the night sky so clear and the cold air so pure when his whole world had just collapsed over him?

Isabel and Tess were a small distance away from the street in the itchy, clopped grass. Tess was sitting up on the ground as Isabel lay down with her head in Tess`s lap. Tess stroked Isabel`s with her gentle fingers as she spoke comfortingly to her.

"Maybe we could have done something to help him if we hadn`t left so quickly," Isabel said quietly.

"No, don`t think like that," Tess said. "The Skins do damage that`s far beyond our help. There`s nothing you could have done."

"Do you think he knew how much I loved him?" Isabel asked. "How much we all loved him?"

Tess lay her hand on one of Isabel`s shoulders. "Maybe in death he now knows and remembers both of the lives he lived. And in that life, Isabel, I`m sure you told him once how much you loved him."

Isabel turned her head just slightly in Tess`s lap to look up thoughtfully at the bright stars overhead. "Do you think that`s true? Do you think maybe we go home when we die?" She thought vaguely of something she`d read once in history about African-Americans slaves, about how they had believed that in their afterlives they would return to their home in Africa.

Tess smiled and she also gazed up at the dark azure blanket of sky that was where they both came from. "It would be heaven enough for me. I live for the day that I can go back."

Max was still all by himself as he sat in the car letting the evening breeze brush by when Tess left Isabel to go back into the jeep. She saw him sitting there and said very softly, "Max?" He looked up but said nothing and the sadness there in his eyes stung Tess as if it was her own pain. She slowly climbed into the car and slid in next to him in the back seat. He was so distant and somber, like a sad broken doll, as Tess lifted his chin up so that he would look at her. "Max?" she said once again as she held his shoulder with her other hand, just wanting him to say something, anything.

Max was telling himself that he didn`t want Tess to touch him. But her neck and shoulders were like roses and he was so, so sad and in this dessert he was lost in she was home. Max hugged himself to her and she held him as he sobbed into her shoulder. Tess ran her fingers comfortingly through his hair and whispered, "Shh, it`s all right. It`s all right, Max."

Isabel was beginning to get cold as she sat out in the dirt and she got her sore body back up onto it`s feet and began to slowly tread back over to the road where the jeep was. Sleep would take the pain away. At least for a few hours. She knew there would be another day to face tomorrow, but she didn`t have the energy to even think about that now. She just wanted to rest.

When Isabel reached the car she saw the two of them sleeping in the back: Tess lying across the seat with her head up on the arm rest and her feet barely fitting in on the opposite side, holding Max to her with his head pressed against her neck. Isabel looked for only a moment and then she got into the front and looked under the driver`s seat where, sure enough, she found a green blanket folded up there. She took it out and threw it over her freezing body and then cuddled up to go to sleep in the stiff seat. Maybe she would wake up and Michael would be there again.

Driving once again.
Three in the car this time, not five.

[Savior by the Red Hot Chili Peppers]

[Dusting off your savior
you were always my favorite
always my man-all in a hand...

Now you see what I came for
No one here is to blame for
Misunderstand-all in a hand

Just like you cause you made me
All that I am-all in a hand

A butterfly that flaps it`s wings
Affecting almost everything
The more I hear the orchestra the more I have something to bring
And now I see you in a beautiful and different light
He`s just a man and any damage done will be allright
Call out my name
Call and I came

Dusting off your savior
The life that you have narrated
You were my man]

They stopped to eat twice. It began to get dark. They were now very avoidant of the dark. They stopped at the next place they passed and got a hotel room.

Isabel immediately went into the bathroom to take a shower and while she did Max watched a crappy show on TV and Tess left the room to go stand out on a sort of balcony thing that surrounded the outside building. She`d stayed in a hotel room once before with Nasedo. But that time it had been in Florida, and there had been palm trees to look at. All she could watch now were the cars roaring by so fast it was like they were angry about something. It made sense by Tess`s point of view: in her life right now at least, there was plenty to be angry or sad about.

"Hey," said Max as he came out through the door. His show had gotten pathetically unentertaining, as everything would be to him at this point. He went over and stood next to her. It was pretty dim outside now, and under the shadow of the roof that was over them it was really dark where they stood.

[Porcelain by the Red Hot Chili Peppers plays]

"Hi Max," Tess said. "Who gets the shower after Isabel? You or me?"

Max smiled. "You can have the honors if you want." He paused and turned away from the edge of the balcony so that he was facing her. "Listen, Tess. About what I said yesterday, the thing about reincarnation being for the purpose of correcting our-"

"I know," Tess stoped him, "You don`t have to apoligize."

Max looked at her for a while. "You and I weren`t a mistake, Tess. I don`t think that. I`m sure what we had was very special. I`m sure the life we lived together was wonderful. But that was then. I have a different life now. I can`t go all the way back just because you showed up, not now that I`ve gone this far."

There was a silence as Tess looked into his eyes, thinking. Then she said, "Do you ever look at something from your past-like maybe a teddy bear you used to play with or a sweater your grandmother made you when you were five-and hold it to your heart, just so you can remember just for one moment what it was like back then, what it was like to be young?"

Max smiled as he thought about that. "Yeah. Sometimes."

She put her hand on the side of his face. "All I ask is for you to let me do that, Max. I`m not asking you to go all the way back. I understand that it`s too late now and I`m too old to play with teddy bears and the sweaters from kindergarten won`t fit over my head anymore. But just let me do that, Max-let me have you, keep you, remember..."

Max smiled and gripped his hand over her wrist, bringing her hand down from his face. "Something seems to come back-I get just a hint of deja vu when..."

"When I touch you," Tess finished. It wasn`t a question. She was sure of it as if it happened to her too.

Max nodded. "Sometimes." He blinked and looked out at the street under the balcony. "Don`t stay outside too long."

That was the first time Tess actually believed that he cared about her safety.

Isabel was brushing her hair by the sink and had her bathrobe on over her pajamas when Max walked in. He didn`t say that Tess was going to take a shower now or ask her who was going to drive next when they got back on the road tomorrow. He just silently walked over to her, and she said nothing when she looked up at his with that pained expression on her face. They hadn`t talked much after what had happened the night before. Isabel put her arms around him and he hugged her back, tightly squeezing her waist. "He`s really gone," Isabel whispered. "What do I do, Max? He`s gone."

"Hey, you still have me," Max said. "You still have both of us."

"How long until there`s another one of you that isn`t here anymore?"

"No, Isabel. I can`t let that happen again and I won`t. I promise you no one else is going to get hurt. From now on there`s no risks. We`ll give them no opportunity to attack. None. I don`t care if I have to keep you indoors after dark every day for another five years."

Isabel kind of laughed but not very enthusiastically.

"But we`ll be okay, Iz," Max said. "I promise."

By the time they were all at least twenty-one they had made California their home.

They lived in an apartment with a little balcony and all three of them had decent jobs that they had at first considered extremely temporary but had kept for years by now. The three of them never again contacted their friends in Roswell and made no friends there but just had casual acquaintances at work. Life was draggy and desolate for all of them but managable. They still had eachother, they remembered.

Max more or less accepted Tess. The two of them got to know each other much further. Max discovered the part of Tess he`d been misisng all along. He grew very close to her and it got to the point where he cared about her so much that he would pretend if it would make her happy. Though there was always some feeling that Tess sensed it was not real when he held her in his arms, for if she had thought it was real she would have tried to take what they had much further simply because she could. But Tess respected Max more than she used to, and she would keep an acceptional distance and stop from going too far with him as to not make Max uncomfortable. After all, whether it was a friendly thing or something to do with their destiny, she cared about him now, too. Max and Tess`s relationship to eachother was some strange thing between friendliness and something much more than friendliness. They were far more than friends, and yet lovers was not the right word. Because Max was not in love with her, even though she probably loved him deeply. He loved Liz. But he cared about them both now, and the way he was with Tess was, to him, just the only way he was ever going to be able to be close to her in any way. Maybe this is just what happens when two people care about eachother and one wants it to be a friendship and one wants it to be something more, Max thought. It just hangs somewhere in between.

Isabel watched them get closer with both appreciation as well as worry. She was happy that he loved her. But she wanted him to be happy, and she knew he still loved Liz and still wanted to be with her. She could see it in the way his eyes always had a certain sadness behind them, even when he smiled. The depressing thing was that because of Tess being this way with him, Liz`s name was practically forbidden to say now. Maybe this was because Max thought talking about Liz would make Tess think she meant nothing to him after all. Or maybe he was making his new life easier for himself by trying to forget about Liz. Whichever one it was, Isabel didn`t know. But the way he threw his old life away scared her. Sometimes she got the feeling he had forgotten Roswell completely, whatever sense that made. It was as if the old Max had been thrown away and replaced with an actor who didn`t know the pain of those memories from Roswell.

Isabel soon decided it was time for her to be on her own, and she left to go live independently somewhere else in California. They heard from her a little, but not as much as they wished they would, as if Isabel wanted to let them be. Max was losing everybody. Tess was all he had left.

Isabel`s departure from their lives could only bring them closer together. They had some good times together, eating chinese on the bed and staying up late watching old movies with popcorn. All friendly things, only when they sat on the bed talking Tess was usually in small pajamas she`d never wear in public, and when they sat on the couch watching TV she would lean her head on Max`s shoulder.

It was one night that Tess was dusting all the insides of Max`s drawers that she found something in one and asked him, "Was this Isabel`s?"

She was holding up a small necklace of glass beads that were different shades of blue and purple. Max had totally forgotten it. Max took it from her and looked at it. He lied, "Yeah, it was. I think she was looking for it one day a long time ago. How did it get in there?"

Tess shrugged and continued cleaning. Meanwhile Max went off into his own world as he stepped out onto their little balcony with the necklace in his hands. As he held it all the memories seemed to come rushing back to him. Liz came rushing back to him. How had he let himself forget? The memory of her was all he had left, along with this necklace she had given him, and he`d let them all slip away.

Max looked at the little glimmering choker. It seemed to shine and glow so much even though it must have been so old by now. Max sighed and tossed the necklace over the balcony. He couldn`t hold onto it. Tess thought that he loved her. And it was far too late to go back to Roswell now, even though he thought about it every day. This was his home now. Tess was all he had, and he couldn`t let her go.

Max walked back over to the doorway that went out onto the balcony and leaned against it. He could see Tess was done with her little chores and about to get ready for bed. He returned to the end of the balcony as she opened up the drawer of her dresser and started to unbotton her shirt. She was about to take it off when she noticed Max out there. Without bothering to button her shirt back up, for it was a stuffy night, she slowly made her way over to him. He didn`t notice her approaching until she slid her hands over his shoulders and leaned her chin on one of them. "Nice night, isn`t it?"

He put his hand over one of hers on his chest, and nodded. She said, "But not for you."

"I`m fine," Max said.

"No, you`re not," Tess said like she could see inside him. "You`re broken. You`re lost."

Max was silent as he sqeezed her hand a little. She hadn`t talked like this the entire time they`d lived together in their little apartment.

"You`ve always seemed happy," Tess said sadly. "But I know you`re not. I guess this proves you can`t be...not without her."

Max closed his eyes and sunk his head. Tess made her way around him so that she was facing him and cupped his face in her small, comforting hands. "Hey," she whispered soothingly. "It`s all right." She lifted his head so that he opened his eyes. His expression could have broken her heart ten times if she hadn`t looked down and put her face into his chest. "I want you to go to her, Max."

Max rubbed his hand across her back. "What about you?"

"I like having you here with me," Tess said. "I really do. But it took me a while to realize it isn`t really the whole you here. Part of you is with her. If you stayed here, and I could keep you for myself, it wouldn`t mean anything to me because you would be miserable. You would be incomplete."

Max said, "I don`t want to be without you either."

Tess lifted her head and looked up into his eyes. "Believe me, Max, you`ll be fine without me. You`ll return to her and she`ll love you again and as soon as she wraps her arms around you I will be forgotten."

Max leaned his head forward so that he could look closer into her eyes, as if that would make her believe him more. "That`s not true, Tess. I couldn`t possibly-"

She took his head in her hands and kissed him gently on his lips. It didn`t last long but it made Max go silent. Tess pushed him away from her a little and said quietly, "Go."

Max stared at her for a long moment before running back inside. There was nothing for him to take with him. He just grabbed his jacket from the coat hanger. He wanted to say something to her but she had already said everything for him, so he just gave her one last quick glance before he left.

Max took in a deep breath before getting out of his jeep to step out onto the parking lot of the restauant he used to visit daily: the Crashdown Cafe. Many things had changed, but the Crashdown was the same.

Max walked around the side of the building to the familiar brick balcony where Liz still kept little Christmas tree lights hanging and candles set around the ledges. But the candles were not lit, and there didn`t seem to be any light on in her bedroom. It looked liked no one was home.

"She went to to the park on Mattis."

Max turned around and saw Maria. He almost didn`t recognize her without the spunky clothing. She was an adult now. She wore a white boatneck tank, a powder blue iredescent skirt, and thin hoop earrings. What was the most different was her hair: she`d died it a very light red. But Maria still had the same caring expression and the same childlike wildness in her eyes.

Max walked forward. "What are you doing over here?"

"Saw you pull up," Maria answered.

"You don`t still work here, do you?"

"Oh, hell no. Still my number one place to hang, though." She paused as she looked toward the direction of the Crashdown doors. "It isn`t the same, though. Not anymore."

Max came closer and he put an arm around her shoulders to pull her forward in a heavy hug. "I know what you mean."

"Liz quit long before I did. I think there were just too many memories for her there."

Max hesitated and then began, "Michael..."

"I know," Maria said. "Isabel was here a couple months ago."

Max nodded solemnly. "Tell me," he said as he pulled away from her. "Has Liz moved on?"

Maria hesitated, and then just shook her head sadly. "She never put herself back together after you left. I mean, she`s got friends, she has new interests, but she was never the same again. She never dated anyone else either. Just could never...let go."

Max looked up at the balcony, thinking about that. "She went to the park?"

Maria nodded. Then she held his shoulders and said, "Please. Go bring the old Liz back for me."

He nodded. Then Max started to walk back toward the parking lot.

"By the way," Maria said. He turned. "I missed you a lot."

He smiled and then turned back away.

Liz was twenty-two now but had only gotten more beautiful. She was in the dark, lonely park, leaning against the pole of a swing set looking up at the moon. When she heard footsteps behind her she didn`t turn to see who it was. If she looked at whatever little kid had just come along than they might try talking to her, and she didn`t feel like talking to anyone right now. Then two big hands reached forward from behind her and and covered her eyes. He didn`t have to say "Guess who" or say anything at all. Somehow she knew right away that it was him.

Liz`s hands were a little shaky as she reached up and held them over Max`s. She slowly pulled the hands down from her eyes and looked at them right in front of her face. They were the same exact hands that had healed her and saved her life years ago because they were connected to a heart that loved her. They were the hands that had touched her so many times before when they had been alone in the dark. Liz closed her eyes and they were narrowed together in the saddest expression as she softly kissed one of his hands in the center of his palm. Oh, how she`d needed these hands for so long. She had been without their touch for too many years.

But something was wrong. It felt different. It was the same Max, but there was something else. It was as if she could smell the scent of another female on him. Of Tess. He`d returned, but it was too late, she knew. Tess had already taken him.

Max had his head leaned forward next to hers and she could feel his breath, so warm in the chilly night air. He ran his hands around her neck and down her throat, and he felt a cord around her neck. He looked down and pulled the alien symbol necklace out from the inside of her shirt. "Liz, you..."

"Of course of I held onto it," Liz said quietly. "It was the only hope I had that you would someday come back to me."

"Liz..." Max held her face and said, "I came back for you."

Liz looked down a little. She was crying. Max wiped a tear from her cheek and held her to him. "It`s okay."

"No, it`s not," Liz said. "You`re with her now. Isabel told me how you lived alone with eachother now, and...why else were you gone so long?"

"I care about her," Max admitted. "I love you."

"How do I know that that`s even true anymore?"

Max looked at her thoughtfully for a moment, and then when he started to lean into her it was very slowly, and he stopped just about an inch from her lips so that they could look at eachother for a moment with their eyes still open. Then he closed the distance with a kiss that was so full of the love he felt for her, the misery and sadness he`d experienced on that long trip four years ago, and all the longing and desolateness of the years he`d lived his empty life in California. Liz didn`t get any flashes, but somehow she felt everything he had felt in the past years they had been apart.

Maybe Max only had one true home and one woman that he belonged with. Or maybe all of life was just a road trip of old loves and new loves, old homes and new homes, and many different times when you don`t know where you belong, and other times when you know so surely where you belong that you never want to leave as long as you live. But for now Max was happy staying with his current soul mate until something happened to take him away, and he would once again be road tripping for a place to call home.

Road Trippin` by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Road trippin with my two favorite allies
Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies
It`s time to leave this town
It`s time to steal away
Let`s go get lost
Anywhere in the USA

Let`s go get lost let`s go get lost

Blue you sit so pretty west of the one
Sparkles light with yellow icing just a mirror for the sun
Just a mirror for the sun
Just a mirror for the sun

These smiling eyes are just a mirror for

So much has come before these battles lost and won
This life is shining more forever in the sun
Now let us check our heads
And let us check the surf
Staying high and dry`s more trouble than it`s worth
In the sun

Just a mirror for the sun
Just a mirror for the sun
Just a mirror for the sun

These smiling eyes are just a mirror for

In Big Sur we take some time to linger on
We three hunky dory`s got our snakefinger on
Now let us drink the stars
It`s time to steal away
Let`s go get lost
Anywhere in the USA

Blue you sit so pretty west of the one
Sparkles light with yellow icing just a mirror for the sun

These smiling eyes are just a mirror for
These smiling eyes are just a mirror for
Your smiling eyes are just a mirror for

Part 1 | Index
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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