FanFic - Other
"What Remains Behind"
Part 10
by Joy Elizabeth
Disclaimer: Not Mine.
Summary: Future fiction. Michael has died and the rest of them must deal with his death, as well as some other unresolved issues among them.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This part's for Tara, who's feedback makes my day!
Maria shut the door behind her and listened as Isabel and Paul drove away. She sighed and turned the light on. She didn't know how much longer she could stay awake. But she was determined not to go to sleep. She sat down on the couch and took one of the photo albums from the coffee table. Slowly, she began to turn the pages and allowed the memories to wash over her.

It was the album from their senior year. The first picture was of the first day of school. Alex, Isabel, Liz, and Max, all smiling with their arms around each other. If you looked very closely, you could see Michael's hand. It was to the right, nearest to Max. You really had to know where to look to see it, but she did. He had refused to be in it, of course. He didn't smile. Or so he said.

She turned the page. There were many pictures of Liz. Liz and Max, smiling and happy. That seemed like a lifetime ago. They had no idea that the life that they were leading then was the most normal that it would ever be. But somehow, they must have known. She had always envied them. She had always envied Liz. Liz knew, even when they were seventeen, that Max loved her. How rare was that? They dated. They laughed. They smiled for pictures.

The first picture of Michael was actually close to the middle of the book. He wasn't smiling. But he was perfect. She had the desire to laugh at the absurdity of it. She had spent so many years trying to make him smile. It seemed like a big waste of time now.

She sighed and looked over at the urn on the mantle. She still wasn't sure what she should do with the ashes. When it happened, that had been the only coherent thought racing through her mind. Cremated, he had to be cremated. His body had to be burnt. It was the only way. But now she was left with these ashes. She had no idea what to do with them.

She wanted to put them in the sky. She wanted to box them up and send them to his home. She could write a note saying, "He died for this place. Why couldn't you take him back? You can have him now." But that wasn't true anyway. He hadn't died trying to get home. He had tried to die that way many times. But in the end, it was her that had killed him. She squeezed her eyes shut and forced the thoughts away.

She returned her gaze to the photo album. There was a picture of the two of them at the Crashdown. She was laughing, he was sort of smiling. He had his arms wrapped around her. She stare d at the picture, burning the memory of it back into her brain.

>>> "Okay, guys, say cheese!" Liz said, aiming her new camera. It was a birthday present from Max.

Isabel laughed as Alex wrapped his arms around her. Maria watched in envy as Liz snapped the picture. She looked over at Michael and shook her head. He would never agree. He didn't smile. At least not for pictures.

"Okay, who's next?" Liz asked, looking around.

"Max, you never should have bought her that thing," Alex said, his arms still wrapped around his girlfriend. "Now we'll never get a moment's peace."

"Maria, Michael, front and center," Liz demanded.

Michael didn't move. So Maria walked over to Max and put her arm around his neck. "Here, this is a much better picture," she said. "I mean, at least Max smiles."

Liz laughed and took the picture. She handed camera to Alex and took Maria's place beside Max. Maria stepped out of the way and felt two strong arms come around her.

"Hey," she said softly.

He buried his head in her neck. She closed her eyes. At least she had memories, even if she had no pictures of them. She opened her eyes to see Liz take the camera from Alex and aim it in their direction. She poked Michael in the ribs.


"Will you do me a favor, Spaceboy?" He nodded. "Will you please smile, just this once?"

He looked into her eyes and sighed. "You asked for it." With that, he began tickling her. And he smiled. <<<

She turned the page of the album. Isabel smiled back at her, perfect as ever. She stared at the picture, wondering why Isabel's eyes had lost their sparkle. It had happened after the move to New York. It wasn't that Isabel wasn't beautiful because she would always be that. She just wasn't the same anymore. At first, she had thought that it was because Michael was angry with her. She had just packed up her bags and moved halfway across the country. She didn't want to search for answers anymore. Isabel had decided that she wanted to be human.

>>> "Michael, this is a waste of time."

"A waste of time? You think that looking for our home is a waste of time?" She had rarely seen him so angry. Maria stood back, a bit afraid of what he might do.

"Michael, listen to me. We are stuck here, like it or not. I intend to make the most of it," she said. She wasn't afraid of him. He couldn't just bully her out of this. She wanted to do something for herself for once. Something that had nothing to do with hiding or searching or any of that. She wanted to be a girl going to college and that was that.

"Fine," he said, throwing his hands in the air. "Go on and go. But when I find what I'm looking for, don't expect me to come running to you with the answers." He stood up and grabbed Maria's hand.

"Michael, wait," Alex called after him.

"It's okay, Alex, let him go," Isabel said.

Maria felt like he was going to pull her arm out of its socket. "Michael, slow down," she pleaded. He went faster. They reached the car and he got in on the driver's side. She walked around the car and sat down in the passenger's seat.

"Give me the keys," he said flatly.

She shook her head. "I am not letting you drive when you're this upset. You'll kill us both."

He stared off into space. She didn't understand why he was so mad. He had known that Isabel had applied to schools in New York. It didn't seem fair for him to expect Isabel to put her life on hold. After all, if they hadn't found the answers in eighteen years, it was reasonable to think that they might never find them.

"I don't understand why she's doing this," he finally said.

"She has a right to a life, Michael," Maria said softly.

He turned his head to look at her. "I know that, Maria," he seethed. She hated the sound of her name on his lips when he was mad.

"Then what's the matter? It's not like she's gone forever, you know. She will be home for vacations and stuff. And she may not even like it there. She may move back."

He shook his head. "Maria, if you could get out of Roswell, would you ever come back?"

If you were here, Spaceboy, I'd never leave. <<<


Liz looked up at the sky from her old balcony. It was a clear night. She wondered if Michael was looking down at her. Maybe he was finally up there, she thought. She hoped so.

She didn't look at the sky much in Chicago. It was hard to see the stars in the city. It was hard to see anything from their apartment. But sometimes, when she was getting off work late, she would look up at the stars on her way home. She would wonder if they were there yet. She knew that he wasn't, she knew that he was safe and sound in Texas where she had left him. Maria would call if they ever found anything. She often wondered if he would come to say good-bye. That one day she might open the door and be face to face with him again, and he would say, "I'm leaving, Liz." She had been waiting for him to say that for years now. It was a hard thing to do, to love someone who only really wanted to leave. She wondered how Maria did it. At least with Max, a part of him had wanted to stay. She had always known that. Max truly wanted to be human, but he couldn't help the fact that he needed answers to questions that he had been asking for years. He had explained it to her before. She couldn't really understand it, but she tried. She knew that he would do the same for her.

Her memory wandered to the day that he left her in Texas. It was a day that she had often tried to forget. But now, with everything that had happened, she knew that she couldn't keep from remembering.

>>> "Liz, are you sure that you're okay with me leaving?" Max mumbled into her hair. No, of course not, she thought. But she nodded her head and pulled away from him.

"You need to do this," she said, for herself as much as for him. "I will be fine here. And you won't be gone long."

He put his hands on either side of her face and stared deep into her eyes. "I love you," he finally said.

"I love you too," she said softly. She was fighting the tears. But he needed to do this. She was not going to stand between him and his destiny. Alex truly believed that this was something. They needed to see if it was.

"Maxwell, could you hurry it up?" Michael called from the Jeep.

"You better go," she said.

"He can wait," Max replied, leaning in and capturing her lips.

"Max," she said, finally pulling away. "Poor Michael has been waiting for this for years."

"I have been waiting for you for years."

She smiled. "Go," she said, gently shoving him. "The sooner you leave, the sooner you'll be back."

He kissed her once more. "Good-bye," he whispered. And he turned and headed for the Jeep. She shoved her hands into her pockets. This was really happening. He turned back before he reached the Jeep. "I love you, Liz Parker!"

She grinned. "I love you too, Max Evans!"

Michael shook his head as Max climbed into the Jeep. He waved as they pulled away. <<<

Liz put her face in her hands. That had been the last time she had ever really seen Max Evans.

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