by Abbey Rhode
Disclaimer: All characters in this story are not mine. Please don't mistake them for my own.
Also, the lyrics written below are off of the first Dixie Chicks CD, 'Wide Open Spaces.' I don't
usually like country music, but the lyrics just seemed to fit along with this fic.
Summary: Destiny and choice changes with the flick of a coin.
Category: Unconventional Couples
|Maria gazes out the rented Chevy Suburban window, out into the desert sky. Itís streaked with
purple and orange clouds. The desert is absolutely amazing, Maria thinks. She was recently
accustomed to blaring city lights, smoggy sunsets, tall buildings, seeing this again nearly
takes her breath away.
"Iím thinking that we quit our jobs, and blow our pensions on a big cabin," Max suddenly declares as he gives Maria a quick look over. Maria throws him a smirk, and nods her head.
"Seriously... I want to move back here when we retire," Maria urges.
"You donít have any complaints from me," Max urged as he kept his focus on the road ahead. "I miss the desert. I miss the sunsets... the sky. The peace." Mariaís smirk is kept constant, as she takes the opportunity to look back to the middle seat. Ian is strapped in, but his head is leaning against Danaís car seat. Dana had her head nestled against the nest of pillows in her seat.
Dana Katherine Evans was born 5 months before, on December 24th, 2013 at UC Berkeley Medical Center to Max and Maria Evans. She had sparkling brown eyes, and a head of golden brown hair. She was their Christmas miracle.
But now it was May, and Dana was nearly five months old. Spring was at full-mass, and Liz and Michaelís wedding was in a few days. Tess, Kyle, Max and Maria decided that it would be best to come a few days early, just to get into the feel of Roswell once again.
Maria looks out the window once more, and catches the overbearingly obvious sign advertising the UFO Center. A smile instantly falls on her face as she recalls climbing up to that sign to blow the fuse in the electric current that Nicholas and his cronies had left for them.
When they approach the stop light heading into downtown Roswell, Maria spots that gas station where she and Michael stopped at before Michael dragged her all the way to Marathon, Texas down 285 South. She absently smiled. Further into town, they reached the Crashdown. So many memories of the Crashdown she didnít know where to even begin.
They passed over the UFO Center, and Maria absently sighs, "I wonder if Broady still owns the UFO center."
"Letís go find out," Max declares as he pulls the suburban into a spare parking space. Downtown Roswell is filled with Alien-Hungry patrons, eager to catch a peek at flying lights in the sky. Visitors are pouring into the UFO Center in large numbers.
As they both get out of the car, they spot Kyle pulling up in his similar rented SUV. "What are you guys doing?" Tess calls out from the passenger seat.
"We want to check on a few things," Maria replies as she straps Dana out of her car seat. Dana moves her head sleepily to her motherís shoulder, and plops down to sleep. Kyle and Tess waves them good-bye, and leaves them alone in the UFO Center parking lot.
"Whass goiní on?" Ian asks sluggishly.
"Itís okay," Max assures him as Ian leans his head back on Maxís shoulder. Before shutting the car door, he quickly takes a peek at his watch.
"They close in a few minutes," he tells Maria. They pick up the pace, and rush into the doors before the Security Guards can say anything. They walk past a few newer exhibits, with their sleeping kids strewn across their bodies, until they finally encounter a tour guide.
"Excuse me... can you tell me if Broady Davis still owns the UFO Center?" Max asks politely.
"Max Evans?" a voice with an obvious Australian hook inquires from behind. Max immediately turns around to find Broadyís smiling face gleaming back at him. He looks different; wiser and experienced. Broady reached forward to offer Max his hand, and Max immediately takes it firmly.
"Itís good to see you again," Max says with a smile across his face.
"You too, Max. Is that your son?" Broady questions. Maria turns around and leans up against Max. Max nods his head firmly.
"And your wife?" A smile falls on his face.
"Broady," Maria says. "And I thought we were girlfriends," Maria protests sarcastically.
"Maria?" he squints his eyes through his tiny wire frame glasses. Maria replies with a graceful nod of her head, and an offer of her handshake.
"Have I changed that much?" Maria inquires as Broady quickly takes her hand into his.
"No... God, you look the same. I just... never expected you to marry Max Evans. What ever happened to Michael... youíre non-boyfriend?" Broady asks with a pleasant smile.
"Hmmm.. things change," Maria replies candidly. "Howís your daughter?" Maria inquires, as Sydney and the ĎSilver Handprint Miracleí pops abruptly into her mind.
"Sheís off at Stanford, getting her degree in Engineering," Broady replies.
"Thatís nice," Maria responds. She smiles back at him, and sighs. "Itís getting late, and we still have to settle in at home... and get the kids to bed. How about breakfast tomorrow?" Maria inquires. "At the Crashdown."
"Thatíll be nice," Broady declares.
+ + + +
When the front door swings open, and her mother is standing there.
"Oh, sweetie," Amy says softly, as she takes Dana into her arms.
"Itís nice to see you too, Mom," Maria says quickly before she leans over and drops a kiss on her momís cheek. She scoots by Amy, and closes the door behind her.
"Whereís Max?" Amy asks absently as she touches her finger to Danaís soft sleeping cheek.
"Oh, I forgot Danaís diapers at home so he took Ian with him to get some more," Maria replies as she disappears into the kitchen. Tess is sitting up on the counter, with Derek situated in between her and her husband. Across from them sits Jim Valenti, with Piper planted firmly on his lap.
"Hi Maria!" Jim exclaims. "Whereís Max and Ian?" Jim inquires loudly with a loopy smile across his face.
"We forgot Danaís diapers back home. He went to the local drugstore to get some," she assures Jim. "How are you doing, Sheriff?"
"Just fine," Jim declares. Piper turns around to whisper something into her grandfatherís ear, and he chuckles.
"Yeah, we can do that."
"Do what?" Kyle asks suspiciously as his eyebrows narrow over his fatherís frame.
"Itís a secret, Daddy," Piper whispers as she hops off the counters.
"Can I be Ďscused to the potty?" Piper inquires as she tilts her head up and meets her fatherís stern gaze.
"Sure," Kyle replies. "Do you want me to take you?" Kyle offers. Piper fervently shakes her head back and forth.
"I can do it by myself," Piper assures him. Amy languidly makes her way over to the kitchen, and takes a stand against the fridge. She gently rocks Dana in her arms, as she sleeps soundlessly in Amyís arms.
"You were such a pain in the butt when your five months old, Maria. Dana must get her Ďsweetnessí from her fatherís side," Amy announces with out looking upward.
"Hey, thatís funny Mom," Maria assures her mom; her tone dripping with satire. Jim looks up to smile.
"So howís are you doing, Derek?" Jim inquires. Derek looks up from his video game and shrugs his shoulders.
"Iím fine." Kyle cups the crown of his sonís head with one hand, and dishevels his already unruly hair with a twist of his wrist.
"Derek made the all-star team in his baseball league, Dad," Kyle points out proudly.
"Yeah, Grandpa. You should have seen the look on Rick Fieldís face... the other short shop candidate. He thought he was so good..." Derek pronounces.
"Thatís excellent, Derek!" Jim exclaims beaming with pride.
"Is Piper still doing martial arts?" Amy inquires as she looks up from Dana.
"Yep. She just recently made green belt," Tess replies; her voice dripping with satisfaction as well. They catch up over the missed time, spilling academic, personal, and sport-related tidbits about their kids. Maria tells her mother and her step-father about Ianís high honors courses, and his soccer team which made it to the finals... Tess is telling the group about Derekís new Ďgirlfriendí when the doorbell cries out sharply.
"Iíll get it," Maria announces, before she takes off to answer the front door. Upon her natural instincts, she peeks up to look through the peep-hole, and a wide grin spreads across her face upon looking through. Maria immediately throws the door open and smiles back at the equally happy face gazing back at her.
"Isabel," Maria sighs with delight. Isabel opens her arms widely to her sister in-law, and Maria steps inside her embrace.
"I thought that you werenít coming into town until tomorrow."
"Well, we werenít. But Adam managed to get an earlier flight," Isabel confesses.
"Come in," Maria invites immediately. "Max isnít here yet. He went out to get Danaís diapers." Maria lets out a comfortable sigh. "So... tell me more about Adam." Isabel releases a soft smile.
"Heís a pilot for Delta. He has a wonderful thirteen year old daughter named Ophelia, who gets along wonderfully with Jacey. Previously married for nine years to a wicked witch. Heís 37, great head of hair, strong shoulders, incredibly romantic.... and a cute butt. What else is there in life?" Isabel asks sarcastically. Maria lets out a chuckle.
"Cute butt? Youíre right. Thatís all there really is to life," Maria assures Isabel.
"Whoís cute butt?" Maxís voice inquires sternly from behind. Both Maria and Isabel turn to find Max standing in the doorway, with a package of Pamperís tucked under his left arm, and Ianís sleeping form strewn across the left side of his body.
"Adamís cute butt," Isabel states flatly as she leans forward. She presses a kiss to her nephewís still head, and another kiss to Maxís cheek.
"So where is your fiancee? Iím very eager to meet the lad," A smile swells across Isabelís lips.
"I left him back with mom and dad. I managed to sneak out during the customary inquisition."
"Oh, youíre evil," Max points out. Maria carefully moves to extract Ian out of Maxís firm grasp.
"Iím going to put him to bed while you two catch up," Maria offers. Ian slumberly wraps his legs around Maria, and rests his head upon her shoulder.
"Iíll be up with Dana soon," Max calls out as Maria lugs Ian up the stairs.
"Can I ask you a question?" Max asks Isabel softly.
"Sure." He takes a quick peek over his shoulder.
"Do you think that telling our kids.... about who we really are... Who they really are... When do you think we should tell them?" Isabel lets out a lingering sigh as she plops down on the couch.
"I think, that Jacey... And Ian, Dana, Piper, Derek, and the kids that Michael and Liz have, deserve to know what they are, and what it means to be what they are," Isabel replies.
"When do you plan to tell Jacey?" Isabel licks her lips. "Since sheís the proud leader of our alien-offspring," Max jokes.
"I donít know. I need to consult her father first, of course... And I think Iíd like it if the four of us were there." Max softly touches her hand.
"I-I just want to protect them," Max stammers. "I want them to know who they are, and I want them to know how to use their powers." Max shakes his head. "But for the most part, I donít want them to have the paranoia, and fear that we had through out our childhood, and teen years...." Maxís voice trailed off. "I just want them to be safe. All of our kids."
"Thatís what I want too," Isabel assures him.
+ + + +
It was just like how he remembered. From the sparkly red plastic booths, down to the blue tiles, and alien paraphernalia. Max Evans smiles widely as he scoots his chair closer to his wife, and wraps his arm around her shoulder.
From across the table, Kyle picks a sugar packet up, and runs his index finger across the white package. He proceeds to rip the paper open, and douse his coffee with granulated sugar. Maria smiles as she spots Isabel with a tall man. They enter the restaurant, and two teenage girls drag slowly behind.
"Oh, Isabel wasnít lying about his butt," Maria mutters to Tess. Tess cranes her neck to look, and she instantly smiles.
"Uh huh," Tess whispers with a constant grin across her lips.
"Hey," Isabel replies cheerfully as they made their way toward them. "This is my fiancee Adam Travert, and his daughter Ophelia." Isabel turns to Adam. "Adam, thatís my brother Max, his wife and my friend, Maria," Isabel declares. They both nod their head at Adam. "And those are my friends Tess and Kyle." They all exchange the customary awkward first greetings. Isabel parks herself right next to Tess, and Adam sits next to Isabel.
Jacey jogs over to Max and Maria to drop quick kisses on their cheeks. She soon migrats toward Kyle and Tess to hug them.
"Where are all the kids?" Jacey asks in general, before taking a seat next to Ophelia.
"Amy and my Dad took all of them down to the carnival in Santa Fe," Kyle replies as he looks up from his menu. Just as Broady arrives, a fresh-faced waitress with that same blue uniform with chrome tint arrives at their table. They order their drinks as Maria greets Broady with a hug. He settles down next to her, and Isabel starts a conversation with Broady about the UFO Center.
"So, Uncle Max," Jacey suddenly says as she plays with her orange juice.
"Hmmm?" Max replies as he sets his menu down on the formica table.
"I have a question about..." she begins to say, just before she stops short. Her gaze freezes on the door. "Daddy?" Jacey suddenly asks as she moves to get up. Isabel instantly snaps her neck around, only to find him standing there with a smile on his face.
Jacey instantaneously moves into his open arms, and Alex Whitman drops a quick kiss on the crown of her light brown hair.
"I have missed you, so much," Alex professes as he steps back to look down at his daughter. Another, happier and satisfied smile spreads across his lips as he takes a look at her. "Youíre growing so much... I donít get to see you nearly enough." Jacey smiles.
"Daddy, itís only been a month, since I visited you for spring break," Jacey replies.
"I know," Alex says. He looks past Jacey, and his eyes fall upon Isabel. Sheís staring back at him, with a semi-smile across her face. She gets up to greet Alex, and he pulls her into an unpolished and very brief hug. Isabel introduces Alex to Adam, and they awkwardly shake hands.
"Are you going to join us for breakfast?" Isabel asks formally.
"I would like that." Alex pulls a chair up, and a one for his wife. His wife, Isabel thinks. How strange things work out. She never planned on getting pregnant at 18. Who does? She didnít plan to keep it. She and Alex had a nice family picked out. It could have been that simple. But nothing is that simple.
The second the doctor placed Jacey in her arms, she knew that nothing could ever be that simple. Things were meant to be complicated. Things were meant to be tough. Things were never meant to be handed out on a silver platter.
They tried to make it work. Alex managed to swing two jobs and his courses at Roswell Community College. She worked an additional part time job on the weekends in accordance with community college and her full time job at the book store. Simple? That was a joke.
They tried to be happy. But then again, things could never be that simple. Things were just not meant to be between Alex and Isabel. They both came to realize that they were simply not meant to be when Jacey was four, and they were both 22.
They agreed to take joint custody over Jacey, but things changed, like they always manage to do. Alex was accepted to Washington State University, and Isabel was offered a management position at Ralph Lauren in New York.
Alex graciously accepted to care for Jacey while Isabelís career took off. After being accepted to Med School, Isabel took Jacey. Things were definitely not meant to be simple. However, Isabel believed things were meant to be earned. And she definitely earned happiness. They all did.
+ + + +
He brushes her brown hair out of her face, just before he leans forward to capture her lips with his. The small crowd of people cheer madly as they continue to kiss with delicacy, and ease. He pulls away, and smiles down at her with his large brown eyes, and his big lips.
She knows that she is where she belongs.
He takes her hand, and their fingers lace together naturally. He leads her down the small path outlined with white carpet. A cloud of bubbles surrounds them as they walk through the crowd of people. They smile, they wave, and they laugh as they try to make it to the limo.
Michael opens the door for her, and Liz smiles up at him.
"I love you," she mouths, before slipping into the limousine. He sighs, and looks back at the crowd of people. He waves his hand back and forth, and they cheer louder. This is the beginning of life. This is why there is love, and beauty in the world.
He knows that he is where he belongs.
+ + + +
Maria had to admit that it was pretty difficult for her to watch Michael look into Lizís eyes with so much admiration and love. He never once gave her that same look while they were involved. As Maria touches her finger to a delicate rose petal in the garden, she feels two arms slip around her waist. She smiles, sighs, and leans back against him.
"Hi," he whispers into the soft shell of her ear. He knows that the shell of her ear is the one place that makes her knees buckle, and her stomach swim with butterflies. He knows this, and uses this too his advantage.
"Hi," Maria whispers back. She reaches out, and wraps her fingers around the rose. She peels two petals off, and looks back at the rose. She moves around in his strong embrace to face him. He gazes down at her with so much love, loyalty, respect and admiration, she almost canít stop herself from crying. She looked up at him, now knowing that she didnít care that Michael didnít give her the same respect. Maria touches her hand to Maxís cheek. And this is why.
"You make me feel so fortunate to be human," he whispers; his soft breath fanning her face.
"You make me feel so fortunate to feel alien," she whispers back. He smiles widely; and his lips touch the tip of her nose.
"Is that so?" Max inquires softly as he brushes the side of her cheek with his thumb.
"Yes," Maria responds. "Unquestionably." He takes his face in her hands, and kisses all of those unquestionable fears away.
++ end of story ++
|Part 2 | Index
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours