FanFic - Other
"Union"
Part 2
by Kath7
Disclaimer: I own the story, the characters Jennetta, Ren, Andrina and Tarsus. I am just borrowing the others with thanks. Lyrics by Patty Griffin, Dido, Garth Brooks
Summary: Third in a trilogy that includes Out of the Woods and Legacy. If you donít read them, you will be seriously lost. If you DO read them, I congratulate you, because even I am horrified by their length. I will also be tickled pink! This story began with Out of the Woods, which was Post-Destiny, so everything that has occurred during Season 2 is not applicable here. All couples are currently together except for Kyle and Tess. Jennetta is Michael and Mariaís daughter. Why she is grown-up is a long story and is told in Legacy. Max and Isabel also consider her to be their sister because she was raised by their alien mother on their home planet of Illyria. Maxís alien name is Jaxon Falconer, Isabelís is Mirana, Tessí is Sabrya and Michaelís is Tristandor. Michael and Tess are siblings.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Michael Guerin rubbed a hand tiredly across the back of his neck as he loped across the Evansí front yard. His tie was practically strangling him, but he had decided to dress for the Parkerís funeral before coming to talk some sense into Max.

He hadnít seen Max since the night of the fire. While Isabel and Jennetta had been giving him daily updates on how he was coping - not well by all reports - most of Michaelís time was spent with his girlfriend, Maria Deluca. She had gone into deep mourning for her best friend. Since Isabel was preoccupied with Max, Alex Whitman, HER boyfriend, had been spending a lot of time with them as well. Both Maria and Alex were absolutely devastated by the loss of Liz and Michael had been doing his best to help them through the worst of it.

But did the worst ever end when the glue that held you all together was gone? And that was what Liz had been - the one person that had bonded all of them. They all knew that it was unlikely any of them would have been friends if it wasnít for her.

Michael almost snorted as he reflected on how he would have sneered if someone had told him at the beginning of his sophomore year that two and a half years later not only would he be dating Maria Deluca, they would have a child together AND he would have admitted to himself that he loved her. He would have flat out laughed at the idea that he would be GLAD that humans knew the truth about he and Max and Isabel.

Liz Parker had been responsible for giving him the half-way decent life he now enjoyed.

Yes, it had been Max who had brought her in on their secret when he had healed her on that horrible day in the Crashdown - on that day that had only been delaying the inevitable it seemed - the inevitable that Liz Parker was meant to die young. But the things that she had done in the two extra years she had been givenÖshe had enriched all of their lives by steamrollering her way through Max and Michael and Isabelís defenses. She had made them trust her, had brought them other friends they could trust.

Above all, she had given them hope. Hope that they could form relationships, could be HUMAN, something Michael had never realized he wanted until LizÖ.until Liz and MAXÖ

Michael and Liz had never been extremely close - their friendship had never fully recovered from the time when Max had been lost to them on Illyria. Liz had barely held herself together during that time, but one thing that had helped her to be strong was to blame the whole debacle on Michael. Michael had been perfectly willing to shoulder that guilt because he had blamed himself too. While they had managed to move beyond that dark period in their relationship after Max came back - mainly because neither of them wanted to upset the one person who connected them - they had never really made any effort to bond with each other on the same level as they had with other members of their group.

And yet Michael mourned LizÖ

He mourned the way she always looked out for everyone else before herself. He still remembered the feel of her small hand on the small of his back as she comforted him when it had seemed that Jennetta was going to die in her pod several months before. She had seen his pain, had wanted to ease it, and in her own small way, she had.

He couldnít even begin to imagine how Max must be feeling.

Michael had his own brush with almost losing the two most central people in his life - Maria and Jennetta. He remembered the almost unbearable pain - it had felt like his heart was being torn in two - when Maria had flat-lined in the hospital before Jennetta had been brought back to her. He still felt the agony of the loss of his daughter Jennettaís childhood. It was now a dull ache, but it was still thereÖ

But Max and Liz had always been different. Neither was complete without the other.

Michael knew deep down that if he lost Maria, he would go on. Life would totally suck - but he would survive.

But MaxÖMichael hated to think it, but he was actually a little surprised that his best friend was still aliveÖ

And the scary part was that it seemed that the only reason Max was dealing with this situation at all was that he was in total denialÖor at least from what Isabel had said on the phone. Michael had no idea why she thought that he would be able to get through to Max. Max NEVER listened to him.

Getting through to Max might not be the best thing anyway. Because Michael really believed that if he started to accept that his Liz was gone, Max Evans would not be long for this world.

Michael had paused under Maxís window to gather his thoughts. He knew exactly the approach that he had to take to get Max to that funeral. It wasnít going to be pleasant, but Max would never forgive himself if he didnít go.

It had to be done.

As Michael pounded on the window he realized that there was really no reason to be going into the Evansí house that way. He knew that everyone else had already left for the funeralÖhe could just walk in the front door. But somehow this seemed the natural thing to do, and so he did it.

Maxís face appeared a moment later. He looked like crap. He had dark circles under his eyes and his hair was standing on end, like he had been constantly running his hands through it - or maybe trying to tear it out would be more accurate. He also looked like he had lost weight. Michael guessed that he probably hadnít eaten a bite since the day of the fire.

Max stared out at Michael for a moment, an eyebrow raised, then rolled his eyes and opened the window. "Arenít you supposed to be at the funeral?" He asked as he turned and walked towards the desk, picking up a volume that lay open there.

Michael climbed through the window frowning. "Arenít you?" He demanded, going into annoying Michael mode right away. The way to get through to Max was to piss him off and if anyone could do it, it was Michael.

Max didnít even look up. "Iím busy." He replied. He sighed in frustration, threw the book down on the desk. "Nothing! I canít find anything."

Michael eyed him for a moment as Max started shifting other alien volumes around on the floor. "What are you looking for exactly Maxwell?" He picked up a volume that sat on the bed, his eyes nearly crossing at the gibberish that stared up at him from the silver pages. Michael might have had his memories of Illyria returned to him, but the language was still a mystery. He knew that he had been unable to make heads or tails of it when he had been on the planet with Maria too.

Max stopped fumbling around, looked at him suspiciously. "Give me a break. I know Isabel told you that Iíve gone crazy." He rolled his eyes, shaking his head in annoyance. "Clearly I must be insane since I KNOW that Liz isnít dead and that Tarsus came and took her. I mean there was a body and everything. We SAW the smoldering ruins of the Crashdown. Lizís parents are both gone too. Liz MUST be dead and so I MUST be crazy - driven completely loony-tunes by griefÖIsnít that right?"

Michael swallowed. "Well, she might have said something to that effect." He admitted. "You canít deny that it looks a hell of a lot like that Maximillian."

Max narrowed his eyes. "I know Michael. I know sheís not dead." His tone was so certain, Michael blinked.

"But what if she is Maxwell?" He finally asked. Max froze in the process of throwing some of the books on the floor onto his bed.

"Sheís not." He said quietly, swallowing hard.

"But what if she is?" Michael continued. "And you donít go to her funeral and pay your last respects? I mean, its LIZ Max. You owe this to her. Itís going to suck big time - but you have to do it."

Max straightened, looked sad. "I know sheís not Michael."

Michael clenched his fists in frustration. It was like talking to a brick wall. "And if youíre right? What about her parents? If Liz comes back someday, how are you going to explain to her that you didnít go to her parentsí funeral?"

Max just looked at him. "I never thought of that." He glanced down uncertainly at the book in his hand. "I just need to read all of these. And I havenít even been to the Crashdown since they took down the police tape. Thereís got to be something there. I donít have any time to go to the funeral. I need to find out how Tarsus did this and then I need to find her. She needs me Michael."

And then Michael knew exactly what to say to get Max to the funeral. "Iíll help you."

Max stared at him, perplexed. "What?"

"I said Iíd help you - but only AFTER the funeral. And ONLY if you come with me." Michael knew that it probably wasnít the best plan in the world to humour Max - not in the complete state of mania in which he currently existed - but he was desperate here. The funeral began in fifteen minutes. He needed to be there. It might be the only way to get him to start accepting that this nightmare was legitimate.

Maxís expression brightened. Michael sighed. Isabel was NOT going to be pleased. "Okay! Great! I really should go so that I can tell Liz about it. She is just going to be devastated. I owe it to her to be there." He threw the book down, looked around in confusion. "What the hell am I going to wear?" He looked completely lost suddenly.

And it was in that moment that Michael knew that although Max might want to believe with his entire soul that Liz was still alive - he wasnít one hundred percent certain.

This was only going to get worse.

*******************************************************

Kyle Valenti sat in a pew near the back of the church, his elbows on his knees, his head in his hands.

He was still having trouble believing it but being there was making it entirely too real.

Liz was really gone.

Kyle had not been surprised at the intensity of his grief. He had loved Liz. She had been his best friend in a lot of ways. If there was anyone who believed in him, it was Liz. Even when he had become the distant jerk he had been for the last few months, she still cared about him, worried about himÖ

And she was the only other person on the face of the planet who understood what it meant to have been healed by an alien king.

He was completely alone now.

It had been his choice to distance himself from the others, to deny what they meant to him, but his regrets were immense now. Death had a way of doing that to you - especially the death of someone so young, so beautiful, so full of life, so full of hopeÖ

How were any of them going to go on?

Kyle raised his head, realized that the service was half over. A friend of Mr. Parkerís was at the podium giving a eulogy about what a wonderful person Lizís dad had been.

The church was absolutely packed. Kyle and his dad had been late, the Sheriff having been delayed at work. It had been a lucky thing that Hanson had been in charge of crowd control or they might not have been allowed in at all. Apparently even the Mayor was in attendance. The death of the family who had owned the Crashdown Cafť, one of the biggest landmarks and tourist cash cows in Roswell, was a fairly big deal in this one horse town. Some of those security guards hadnít seemed to give a crap that Kyleís dad was the Sheriff. As it was, they were stuck back in the nose bleed seats.

Kyle glanced up the aisle. He could see Mariaís blonde head near the front. She was sitting with Jennetta, her daughterís arm around her shoulder.

He had almost had a heart attack when he had seen Lizís best friend walk in with the tall dark-haired beauty. He had not laid eyes on Jennetta since she had emerged from the pod - had not even been aware that it had even happened. He recognized her right away though.

She was the spitting image of Maria, although she had apparently inherited Michaelís height and his dark eyes too. Jennetta had turned in her seat at one point and had stared right at him. He knew that she recognized him. He had felt a little woozy after that. Some of this alien stuff was still too weird for him.

This woman was Michael and Mariaís DAUGHTER. And she was older than themÖit was just plain freaky.

Kyle shook his head. Now was not the time to reflect on the insanity that was their lives. Now was the time to think about Liz and to try and figure out how he was going to fix the mess he had somehow gotten himself into.

Tess.

As usual, it always came back to her.

He hadnít seen her yet, but he knew she was there. Of course she was there. She would be there to support Max most of all, but she had loved Liz too in her own way. She had even been willing to share Max with Liz towards the end there. Just the thought of it still made Kyle feel sick, but he knew that it was time to mend fences.

He missed her. And he was tired of being mad and sad and lonelyÖ

He was willing to take whatever she was willing to give. He wanted her friendship back, if that was all she was willing to give. He knew that he would never be a Max Evans, but she seemed to want him, Kyle, in her life. He would be grateful for what he could get.

Life was just too damn short.

He remembered the last words she had spoken to him at the prom: "I have things to say to you - things you havenít let me say. Iím tired of running Kyle." She had reached out and touched his cheek. "Iím so tired. And I think you are too. I just wantÖ"

He had never found out what she wanted -they had been interrupted by his date Vicky Delaney - since then he hadnít even let himself speculate, to hope too muchÖ

He just knew that he would give her whatever it was she wanted.

And he would thank Liz everyday for making it happen. Because he didnít doubt that she was responsible.

He was going to miss her so much.

Kyle felt his father nudge him. "Kyle, its ending. Stand up son."

Kyle stumbled to his feet. He watched as the three coffins were carried down the aisle.

"Good-bye Liz." He whispered, swallowing hard against the tears that threatened to fall.

And that was when he saw him.

Max Evans was staring right at him, his dark eyes unreadable.

Kyle took a deep breath, preparing to go over there to give his condolencesÖ

It took him a moment to realize that Max was not the only one looking at him. His eyes shifted to the right and down.

Tess Harding was there too, holding Maxís hand, and glaring at him.

Kyle had not realized that it was possible for him to be more miserable than he had been two minutes before. And yet, apparently it was, because it really felt like his heart broke when Tess put her arm around Max and turned him towards a side door, effectively showing Kyle her back.

Her meaning could not have been more clear if she had marched down the aisle and screamed in Kyleís face.

It was over. Before it had ever begun.

Part 1 | Index | Part 3
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