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“New Beginnings”

Written by Kristin, Annie, Bri, Ericka, Liz and Mark

Edited by Liz, Mark and Monica

Playlist:

1. “Make a Scene” by the Goo Goo Dolls
2. “Earl” by the Dixie Chicks
3. “Alien” by Bush
4. “Crash Into Me” by The Dave Matthews Band
5. “Crawling” by Linkin’ Park

Ruth, Nevada – Journal Entry

I’m Liz Parker… actually, that’s not technically true anymore. Liz Parker was the little girl who left Roswell, who lied constantly to her parents and to some extent her friends for the past 3 years. I’m Liz Parker Evans, wife, writer, newest hybrid on the planet, and most importantly, the happiest woman on the planet. Although, dare I say that the people in this van might have a few other things to add to the list.

Lets start with Maria. Maria just doesn’t understand. Now, don’t get me wrong, she’s tried, and still is trying more than any friend would. Hell, even more than most best friends would, especially in these circumstances. Then again, how many 18-yr-olds are on the run from the FBI because half their friends are not from this planet, or even this solar system?

I can tell that Maria, in many ways, wishes she had never became involved with me, Michael, or the entire alien situation. It has been hard on everyone, but especially hard on her. Blame never gets passed, but I can still feel it. After all, we are best friends- it’s my job to notice these things.

I watched as Maria’s dream of becoming a singer and songwriter faded away. Her decision to stay with Michael has been a tough one on her and it shows. She gave up everything for him, yet he doesn’t seem to realize this… that is what she doesn’t understand. She’s lost without Michael, and yet she’s lost with Michael.

Deep down in my heart I wish that things could have been different for her, truly I do, and for the rest of us of course, but my selfish side is glad to have her here. I guess Liz Parker wasn’t quite as selfish as Liz Parker Evans. Then again, maybe she was, but avoided situations where she had to use it as much as now. I need Maria, as much as I need Max, maybe more. They play such different roles in my stability. Sigh. I keep smearing my words… Even a decent road would help my writing ability.

She didn’t have to come. Maria, that is. But she did, and for now I’m going to pretend that she mainly came for me, her best friend. But I know that is not totally true. She really came for Michael, more so than me. Yet, no matter how she got here, Maria is here and I am truly thankful for it.

Maybe it is me who really doesn’t understand in this situation. I know she loves Michael and the bond they have means a lot to her. And Michael, well, he loves her in his own self-controlled, petulant way; you can see it in his eyes when she’s hurt or lonely. Yet, anyone who sees them must admit that they drive each other crazy sometimes – a lot of the time actually.

Great for "making up" as Maria often explains to me. It’s just not always great for the rest of us. The downfall of living in a van for a month is having to listen to them bicker like children over little things, then someone else having to drive for an unlimited amount of time because they feel too inapt to say sorry. They invariably want their space, which there is obviously little of.

I guess that’s how things work in this situation, not that I would know, it just seems to be the way, for them at least. “Living” in such close proximity to one another does funny things to you, however I use the term living with quotation marks. It’s not really living. It’s…. unexplainable. It just is. I’m beginning to see how even your closest friends and the ones most dear to your heart can put strains and conditions on yourself and your personality.

It’s raining now. I really hadn’t noticed, although the soft beating on the roof can be heard over the drone of the tires on the road if you really listen. I guess little Lizzie Parker’s observance skills have gone right out the window. Perhaps I left them at the last rest stop, where Max changed the license plate yet again, and Isabel thought our dingy green van would look better as a rustic beige. Who knows?

I’m bored. Not that my journal is so much of a bore to me, it’s just awkward to be cramped in a van for many hours a day with an unclear future. Isabel sleeps a lot, and when she isn’t sleeping, she’s pretending she is. Although, the times I have caught her being properly awake, she’s been immensely silent. Not the regular happy silence, the silence of a woman who’s lost everything she loves… again. Well perhaps she did. First Grant, to some ugly squid thing, then Alex to another freaky alien thing, and finally Jesse, to well, another alien thing. It’s kind of a quiet reflection, if you will. It has been so long since I’ve seen her like this. Not since Alex died.

I guess everyone under-estimated how much she really did love Jesse. The fact she was willing to sacrifice their relationship for his safety says a lot about how strong she is, or at least how strong she pretends to be.

She didn’t cry. Not once, not even a single drop. Instead, she retreated into her little shell. She’s scared. We all know it. We also know that she’ll never admit it. Ice-queen Izzy. She sees emotion as a weakness, but I know she knows it really makes her stronger.

Kyle on the other hand, he can’t hide anything. He’s not the kind of guy I ever figured for crying, but seeing him leave his father like that, the one person who has supported him faithfully his whole life, I realized exactly who he was. He’s not some stereotypical “sensitive Mr. Popular” that everyone thought he was - he’s just Kyle, someone who is real. A real guy who misses his father, a guy who is every bit as lost and vulnerable as the rest of us are.

He tries to help, he really does. A couple of weeks ago, he even tried unsuccessfully for an hour to get us to play those traveling games you used to play when you were a kid going on vacation. You know the kind I’m talking about… road bingo or ABC’s. However, no one was really in the mood, not even him when it came down to it, and we soon returned to our thoughts of hiding from the FBI. Well, most of us did anyway.

Michael and Maria opted for an exciting round of "You’re driving too fast!" I had to laugh, even in this they could still find time to be trivial, although they probably wouldn’t admit that out loud.

I guess when it all comes down to it, who would have predicted things would turn out this way? I know that this time last year, I didn’t have a clue. Hell, nothing like this could have ever happened in my wildest dreams just a few years ago, and if it had, I would have woken up, screaming. The biggest irony is that now I’m the one who can predict things, see into the future. And to be honest, it scares the daylights out of me.

I know in a way I’m lucky to have such a gift, because if I didn’t, Max, Isabel, Michael and I would probably all be dead by now. They say miracles happen for a reason, and this must be one. As for Kyle and Maria…God knows what they must have been going through, or what would have happened if the FBI had set their sights on them as well. Now THAT truly scares me, and although I haven’t had a premonition since we left Roswell, I still get scared whenever I touch somebody. Kyle jokes that I always know when there was a truck stop coming up, but I think that has more to do with the fact that we all need a break by the time we finally stop.

Max is driving now. Max. My husband. The man who I would give up anything to spend the rest of my life with. Everyone in this van says that Max and I are stuck to each other like glue. If you think about it, we really aren’t. That would imply that we are two separate beings. I don’t think that we are really separate anymore. Everything we have become is because of each other and linked together, woven tightly like silk.

We haven’t spoken since I started writing in my new journal an hour and a half ago. I guess he realizes I need some time alone to think. He always knows that sort of thing. Even though I love him, I still need time to myself… even silk needs to breathe.

Max chuckles about a lot of things under his breath when he thinks no one is paying attention, but I always hear it. I’m always paying attention, even when he thinks I’m not. He once told me that he thinks about life when he’s driving; that he finds having control of something, even an old, rustic beige van gives him strength and hope. Ever since the incident with Michael becoming king, he’s been more careful to keep everything in his power under control. I guess that’s what being a King is about, keeping your kingdom under control. Only he isn’t a king, not in this lifetime anyway. He was, although he really doesn’t remember any of it, and to some extent he always will be a leader, but he’s not a King. Not to me. To me he’s just my husband and soul mate, as he always has been and always will be.

Control. I guess I can’t really see where we have much of it in the first place. No one has actually said where we were headed yet. A month ago, Valenti managed to get us to Arizona safely, but now we’re on our own, truly on our own. Ideas… suggestions… comments have been thrown in as to where we might be headed, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Antar… Yet all we seem to be doing is driving, and driving, and driving. Sometimes we stop, get lunch, or use the bathroom, which is always followed by more driving. We stopped in Nogales, Mexico for eight days, but when we saw the border patrol being handed pictures of Max and Michael, we got out of there as fast as possible. Nowhere is safe.

Yesterday, Max suggested Yosemite – lots of people to blend in with and things to do - and even though that was not our intended direction, he’s currently driving that way and has been for awhile now. I have a feeling that is where we’ll end up.

But until then, I guess this is me signing off. Liz Parker Evans, writer in the wilderness.

**

1. “Make a Scene” by the Goo Goo Dolls

Mono Lake, California

“Good morning Elizabeth Evans,” Max said as Liz woke from another night of sleeping on the road. The lumpy van seat wasn’t the most comfortable place to sleep, but that didn’t matter when Max uttered those magical words.

“Good morning, Max,” Liz said with a smile and yawn.

The whole way to Yosemite, Max had driven with Liz next to him, her hand on his knee. This wasn’t abnormal for them lately, sometimes they just needed to be close, and this was one of those times. After all, they had just been married, wasn’t it normal for them to want to be close? Max and Liz certainly were anything but normal, but they did still have some “normal couple” tendencies. Liz had grown accustomed to being very close to Max over these past few weeks, and always sat up front with him when he drove. The exception being when Michael, Kyle, or Maria would drive of course, then they both could get some shut-eye in the back together. Of course, this invited all kinds of comments from the others, so it was not practiced frequently.

Liz moved her hand over the fabric of Max’s jeans, just a soothing motion that she wasn’t even truly aware of making. That is, until his hand covered hers. He brought it up to his mouth, kissing it lightly. Once he had claimed her attention, he whispered, “I love you.” Liz smiled. “I love you too,” she whispered back.

She wished that she could yell it, really scream it from each one of these mountaintops, but looking into the back of the beat up VW van, she knew exactly why she couldn’t. This was hard on them too, and especially for Isabel - Max and Liz showing their love was more of a slap in the face then a testament of how things could work out against all odds.

Liz watched Michael and Maria, sitting next to each other in the back, yet not saying one word. Kyle sat reading a book on “Diamond Way” Buddhism, its many pages dog-eared from all the times he had been reading (and chanting) it in the van. And Isabel, she was “sleeping.” Not really asleep, but pretending to be. You could tell that she was not sleeping by the way she moved sometimes, that was her way of telling the others she didn’t want to be bothered.

Liz turned around, bringing her attention back forward to Max. This was going to be their honeymoon, she knew it, and even though it might not be ideal, they were determined to make the best of it.

They joined hands across the space between the two front seats, and continued down the road towards their future, their future of abnormality, their future into husband and wife, and their future into the unknown. The future had always been unknown to Max, nothing had ever been clear for him. But with Liz’s new visions, they had a tremendous new advantage, the advantage of knowing a small slice of the future. And no matter what, they always had each other.

Maria awoke suddenly, she hadn’t even realized that she was asleep until she felt the van come to a stop; the squeaking brakes waking her. She immediately found her eyes searching for Michael in her confused state. They settled on the back of his head as he made his way to a small concession booth. He bought a candy bar and a bag of potato chips, the “flaming hot variety,” and started eating both of them at the same time. One candy bar. It was a Snicker’s too, he knew how much Maria loved Snicker’s. Snickers sounded so good…

“Typical,” Maria grumbled to herself as she rubbed her eyes and looked out the other window. The big sign outside read “Yosemite Creek Cabins.” She spoke again, this time out loud, reading the sign in front of her slowly as if she might still be dreaming.

“You really have to stop this whole talking to yourself thing,” Kyle said quickly, coming up behind Maria. He intended to startle her, and was rewarded with a slight jump.

“Yes, Buddha Boy,” Maria said, waving him off as he jumped out of the van. Maria then followed in suit, too interested in her new location to scold him for scaring her.

Michael walked his typical five feet in front of Maria, half-eaten candy bar and chips in hand, leaving Max and Liz to lead the group. Isabel stayed in the van alone, typical of her since leaving Roswell. “I’ll watch the stuff,” was the usual reply.

Liz and Max felt like a couple finally on their honeymoon, hand in hand, as they walked to their resort lodge. They were going to have a good time, regardless of anything else that could possibly happen. What didn’t look so natural about this were Michael, Maria, and Kyle following closely behind.

2. “Earl” by the Dixie Chicks

Max and Liz walked up to the front desk and approached the young clerk, whose nose was buried in the latest issue of People magazine.

“Excuse me, we would like to get three economy cabins please,” Max said.

“Sure,” muttered the clerk without even looking up. The clerk hopped down from his stool, quickly typing on the computer. After a second he announced, “You’re in luck. We have exactly three cabins, two standard double econos and a queen with a nice view, at lookout point. They’re fifty bucks for the doubles and seventy-five for the queen.”

Liz stood back from the desk, letting Max take control of the situation. He pulled out his wallet to pay for the rooms and she recalled a few weeks ago, watching Michael turn a ream of paper - purchased at one of their stops in Arizona - into four stacks of $10 bills, complete with that little silver stripe-y thing in the center of each bill. Michael was going to make all $100’s, until Max suggested that might draw too much attention. Of course, everyone was reluctant to use fake money at first; until Michael pointed out that technically this money wasn’t fake- it was the real thing.

Michael, Maria and Kyle looked around the lobby. It was a nice space, complete with tiled floor, a coffee machine, and free rolls and pastries laid out for the patrons. If the lobby was any indication of the rooms here, it should be a nice stay. Even though the weather wasn’t tropical, there were a few varieties of exotic tropical plants spread around the room, some in planters and a few in a small garden. Maria shook her head at Michael as he poured himself ONE cup of sugar, added some coffee to it, and sat down in one of the single chairs. Jerk!

“They’re all fake,” Kyle said to her wryly.

“What? Oh, the plants.” Maria said, distracted. “I don’t know, are you sure?”

Kyle, being sure he was right, grabbed a miniature tree-looking plant and tugged, expecting it to bend. Much to his surprise, it broke and yielded a slew of leaves, which fell on the floor. Kyle then hurriedly tried to pick them up.

Maria just shook her head. Well, if she couldn’t be pleased, at least she was being amused.

Max filled out the paperwork using one of the fake names and signatures that they had come up with at the last gas station, and handed the clerk some of their genuine alien cash. In turn he took keys for the three cabins.

“Thank you Mr. Swift,” The clerk said as he slid the cash into the register just under the counter. “Check-out time is 11 am sharp, please return your keys to the front desk by that time.”

With a nod, Max returned his hand to Liz’s and they walked to meet the others, who were spread out doing various things. And Kyle looked to be gardening, of all things.

“For me and my beautiful bride, Mrs. Swift, a nice secluded cabin, fit even for the craziest of Czechoslovakians,” Max announced happily. “Mr. and Mrs. Perkins have cabin number 129 down the river. And the brother and sister travelers of Lisa and Theo Armstrong have the cabin just next to the Perkins, 130.”

“Lisa Armstrong?” Isabel thought to herself.

Liz smiled knowing that Max was smart enough to get their cabin away from the others. It was the only secluded one left actually, but somehow it all worked out perfectly. If it’s one thing the group was never short of, it’s miracles. Tonight, even if just for one night, she wanted her husband all to herself. There could be no interruptions, not from anyone.

“So let’s go get settled already,” Michael said matter-of-factly, grabbing his key out of Max’s hand and walking back out to the van.

The drive down to the cabins was uneventful. The scenery was beautiful, however. Liz had never seen a place so amazing before in her life. Yosemite was such stark contrast to the flat desert she had grown up in. Yosemite had rolling mountains, waterfalls, and trees, oh so many trees! The winding road leading up to the cabins went right alongside a small creek, then was flanked by rows of huge redwood trees that must have been thousands of years old. The evening sunlight all but disappeared under the massive canopy, and Liz wondered if anyone else from Roswell had ever seen a sight so magnificent as this.

After a few minutes, the group reached a parking lot which had trails leading to the “Perkins” and “Armstrong” cabins. These four started unloading their belongings from the cramped van.

“Kyle?” Max spoke up, motioning for him to come closer.

Kyle looked around at everyone else before warily stepping closer. “Yea?”

Max whispered, “Our cabin number is 117, please only call if it is an absolute emergency. And whatever you do… don’t tell Michael our room number! We will come over tomorrow morning at 11 and meet up with you guys.”

“Yes sir, your secret is safe with me,” Kyle said with a mock salute. “And remember… no alien funny business!”

Max and Liz watched as the others walked to their cabins, until they disappeared from view. They smiled at each other.

They then drove the old van towards their cabin, about a mile further up the road. The reality of the entire scene was finally starting to sink in for both of them- they were alone, and on their honeymoon, at a beautiful resort in amazing territory.

“Max, it is so beautiful here,” Liz said gazing out her passenger-side window into the wilderness.

“It sure is,” Max said, looking over at her. “But not as beautiful as you.”

Liz felt herself blush at his comment.

“I can’t believe we are finally alone,” Liz sighed. “It’s almost eerie.”

“Well believe it, I have you all to myself and nothing is ever going to come between us again,” Max said with firmness in his voice.

“I love you,” Liz whispered. Max echoed her words as they pulled into their private lot. Max parked the van and walked around to open Liz’s door for her.

“Mrs. Evans,” he whispered, leaning close to brush a kiss on her temple.

“I still find myself looking around for your mom when you say that,” Liz laughed. Max smiled as he grabbed their small overnight bags from the back of the van.

3. “Alien” by Bush

Liz led Max along the small path to the more secluded cabins. There were a few picnic tables and gas grills setup here, and from the looks of it, they were used quite often. There was a volleyball net setup in a small field behind the cabins, and the vista over the edge was breathtaking. He knew that it wasn’t going to be often that he and Liz would be able to be alone like this, and he was planning on making the most of it.

Liz peeked around the edge of trees lining the walkway, looking for any sign of a cabin set this far back in the woods.

“The sign said it was back here, but I don’t see it,” she observed.

“Look, over there,” Max said pointing her in the right direction. Liz stepped closer and saw that set back in the trees, was a small log cabin.

“Oh, it’s gorgeous!” Liz said, running off towards the cabin still holding on tightly to Max’s hand. She stopped at the door, grinning happily at him.

Max turned the key in the old lock and the door creaked open happily, giving them a view of the small yet surprisingly cozy cabin interior.

Liz started to step through the door, but Max stopped her.

“Wait,” he said, dropping their bags to the floor. Liz stopped in her tracks, confused. Max leaned down, sweeping Liz up into his arms.

“Well it isn’t really our threshold, but it is for the night,” Max said as he carried his wife through the doorway and kicked the door closed behind him.

Max carried Liz to the bed, laying her down gently on the soft mattress. He started to stand up but Liz held onto him, pulling his body on top of hers. They kissed deeply allowing their emotions to flow between them. Liz was overcome with a series of flashes. Flashes of her and Max together, flashes of who she used to be, flashes of the life that she used to live and perhaps the life she has yet to lead. But these flashes were different, these felt somehow more natural, more real, and less alien to her. Images of Liz as a little girl flashed through her mind like a slow-motion rotoscope, and she knew that Max could see and feel all of it, down to the temperature of her skin and the smell of her hair. In many ways, this was much more erotic than touching… it was the ultimate intimacy. But none of that mattered. Max accepted her as she was, unconditionally, and she felt the same about him. She knew this was true when images of Max healing the pigeons in the park came streaking across her mind, like a fiery stream of emotion, set ablaze. She could feel how he felt then as a little boy at the park, how healing the little bird made him feel useful and almost noble. These images only confirmed to Liz that she was exactly where she was supposed to be - in the arms of the one man whom she loved more than life itself.

Tonight was special and made just for them.

**

Maria stepped into her small shower, turning the water on as hot as she could stand it. She needed to cleanse this day - this week from her system. Michael was sitting outside on the deck, discussing some great one-sided theory with Kyle, who was more interested in the pizza he had brought than any alien spiel. She didn’t think she could take another single minute of it.

Maria just needed a little time, everything seemed to be moving so quickly, too quickly for her to stop and just hold Michael, or to stop and think about anything at all.

She just couldn’t understand Michael’s thought process. They had a whole room to themselves - a perfect opportunity to spend a romantic night together, or even just a friendly night together - and all he was worried about was the damn FBI. Not that she wasn’t worried about it too, it was on everyone’s mind - but it was just all that had been on her mind for the past day, week, month. It was never ending and she just wanted a break.

Maria stepped out of the shower, pulling on some comfy clothes to sleep in. She walked sullenly back into the main room of the cabin. There she peeked out the window, to find Michael arguing as usual, Isabel the victim this time. Kyle, who was now knocking on the door, was wise enough to escape. Isabel just sat there however, staring off into space… literally.

“What is wrong with them?” Maria asked as she let Kyle in.

“Dunno” he mumbled, looking back at the two. “But your pizza is getting cold,” he observed, offering her dinner.

“I guess you could just say that they are not normal,” Kyle continued, chuckling. He took a bite of his pizza slice and flopped down on the couch.

“Well I guess it’s you and me for a romantic night again Valenti,” Maria sighed wearily.

“You’re on,” Kyle said playfully, switching on the TV and going right to a baseball game.

“Ugh, men,” Maria muttered, getting up and stalking into the bedroom.

“What can I say, I’m charming,” Kyle said in his best English accent, before burping loudly.

**

Liz woke up from her dream. Her and Max had been at a beautiful cabin in the woods, fresh trees surrounded them, and she could hear a little creek running through their backyard, emptying into a small lake thousands of feet below. Her dream had been perfect. It wasn’t until Liz felt Max’s arms around her and she looked up to see a log ceiling that she realized her dream had been reality.

“Good morning beautiful,” Max whispered, sensing Liz waking up.

“Good morning Max,” she replied dreamily.

“How did you sleep,” he asked, pulling her warm body closer to his.

“Like a baby,” she smiled. “So much more comfortable than those van seats!”

“I’ll agree with that!” clamored Max, pelting her neck softly with warm kisses.

“I couldn’t think of a nicer time we could be having,” Liz says between shivers that race up and down her spine from Max’s soft touch. “It was amazing…”

“Me either, last night was unbelievable,” said Max dreamily. “Everything has been unbelievable.”

“So what is the plan for today?” Liz asked, turning to face her husband in bed. “Something as equally pleasurable?”

“Well I did tell the others that we would meet up with them sometime this morning, and it’s 9am already. What did you have in mind?”

“When we were checking in, I saw a flyer for a carnival up the road a few miles. It looks like a lot of fun and everyone can blow off some restless steam. Rides, cotton candy, me and you at the top of the Ferris wheel…” Liz said, kissing Max sweetly.

Max laughed. “Sounds great, now all we have to do is talk everyone else into it.”

“Just leave that part to me,” Liz answered.

**

Michael stumbled into the bedroom late, it must have been 2 in the morning. She could hear him and Kyle ranting and raving for hours earlier during that baseball game. Typical guys! But at least he had a chance to unwind a little and let his human side out, something very rare for Michael these days. She was sure he must have been possessed or something.

“Hi,” he said, an unusual human-ness in his voice.

Maria rolled over, not knowing exactly what to expect.

Michael sat down next to her on her bed. “Umm Kyle and I were watching TV, and during the game I realized that I’ve been a bastard to live with these past few weeks.”

“It took a baseball game for you to figure that out?” came her reply, not quite sure if she should scold him for this lack of tact.

“No, actually it took a baseball game and two hockey games,” he quipped tiredly.“But the point is, I had fun for the first time in a long time, and that made me realize how crappy I’ve been to everyone, especially you.”

Maria was flabbergasted. She sat up in bed, the dark room not revealing much for her to see, although she tried hard to make out his form next to her. She reached out blindly, finding his arm and pulling him around to face her.

“Do you really mean that?” Maria said, her eyes almost glowing in the dark.

“Yeah,” came the reply. “I… I want things to be how they were. You know, before all the New-York crap.”

“I want all of this tension between us to end too, Michael,” she said nervously, her skin almost trembling. “I miss you.”

“Me too,” he replied, grabbing her in the darkness and pulling her thin frame to his. “I need you,” he added, placing his red-hot lips on hers, the fire between them spreading quickly and uncontrollably like the hottest of infernos. They fell off the small bed and ended up on the floor, wrapped up in the sheets, the fire burning ever brighter, ever brighter…

“MARIA! Wake up already!” Came a loud, annoying voice as it turned on and off the light switch. “And get up off the floor,” it said, annoyed. Michael shook his head, closing the bedroom door behind him.

**

Liz and Max arrived at the other cabins just as everyone else had finished getting ready for the day. The two newlyweds couldn’t hide their smiles, every time they tried to appear like everyone else, they would fail to keep a straight face.

Isabel greeted them first, glad to have Max back in her sight. It was hard enough to be away from her husband, let alone her brother too.

“So what’s the plan for today?” Maria asked, distracted with Michael changing his shirt.

“Breakfast first and then there’s someplace I think we should go,” Liz said, linking her arm through Maria’s and heading up towards the front office.

“Sooo… spill all,” Maria leaned in close, a teasing tone to her voice. “I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours!” she added with a giggle.

“Maria!” Liz said, glancing around to see if the others were close by. “You didn’t!”

“No, but it was one hell of a dream!” Maria stated, wiping the sweat from her brow. “But c’mon, Liz. It’s not like I haven’t had alien sex before,” Maria said, beginning to talk with her hands.

“But that was different,” Liz started to protest, turning red.

“Liz!” Maria exclaimed. “That was so not different.” They laughed, walking through the lobby doors.

The rest of the group trailed behind the two giggling girls into the lobby. They all picked through the various items offered for breakfast and occupied the tables scattered around the coffee maker.

“So,” Kyle said between mouthfuls of cereal. “That was the best sleep I’ve had since Albuquerque. What are we doing today?”

“A carnival,” Liz answered, with determination in her voice.

“Mr. Perkins doesn’t do carnivals,” Michael blurted from his perch atop of one of the plastic tables.

“Michael,” Maria began, exasperated.

“Mr. Perkins does today, because Mr. and Mrs. Swift would like to go, and they would appreciate their friends accompanying them to this fun and relaxing event,” Max said, turning to Michael and giving him a pointed look. Max wasn’t going to let anything get him down right now, not even Michael and his negative attitude.

Michael shrugged it off. “Oh come on Michael, it’ll be fun,” said Max. He and Liz started gathering everyone’s things and heading for the van.

Kyle looked up from his second bowl of Cheerios to see Max looking at Michael expectantly. Finally, Michael got up and went out to the van without saying a word.

Before anyone else had a chance to speak, Liz and Max had loaded up the van with their belongings and it was time to go.

“I sure am going to remember this place, good for the karma,” said Kyle out of the blue. He grabbed several apples and oranges from the food table and shoved them hurriedly into his bag.

“Yeah, I’ll miss it too,” said Liz, eyeing Kyle strangely.

“What?” Kyle said. “Food is a tool for benefiting others,” he concluded, pointing to the new book in his bag.

As soon as everyone was inside the van, they headed back to the edge of town where the carnival was taking place. Before they had even reached the carnival, the tops of the rides were becoming visible in the distance.

Liz peered out the window of the van longingly, watching the rides get closer and closer in the cool morning air. The past day had been so memorable to her, she longed for the fun she would have at the carnival. As the van pulled into the parking area, Liz was reminded of being a little kid in a candy store.

“Oh Max, we’re going to have so much fun!” Liz said excitedly. “Thank you,” she whispered to him, leaning over and kissing him deeply.

“Ahhhem,” Isabel mumbled at the sight of the two lovebirds going at it yet again.

“My pleasure,” Max replied. Liz grabbed his hand and led him into the crowd hurriedly, the others struggling to keep up.

“This is a stupid idea Maxwell, we’re being hunted by the F.B.I.,” Michael said dryly, walking up to Max and standing close.

“Just try to have some fun for a little while, okay? Remember after the Khivar-Vilandra thing, when we went scuba-diving? Who knows the next chance we’ll get to do this,” Max said stoically.

Michael, after a quick glance to Maria, shook his head and went off in the direction of the bathrooms.

“I just don’t know what gets into him sometimes,” Maria said as her eyes longingly follow Michael’s silhouette as it disappeared into the crowd.

“Yeah, I don’t - hey, cotton candy!” Kyle exclaimed, making a beeline for the candy stand.

Isabel watched Liz and Max head off, not really interested in the carnival at all. Max looked back at her, motioning for her to join the group, but she just waved them on. There would be no fun for Isabel today.

**

Max and Liz headed straight for the Ferris wheel, wrapping their arms around each other as their bodies merged into the line of people waiting for the ride. They walked together, in unison, as the line moved forward until it was finally their turn to board.

Max took Liz’s hand, helping her onto the teetering Ferris wheel before he sat down next to her. His arm fell comfortably behind her in a protective manner. After a moment, the ride began to raise itself into the sky.

This reminded Liz of the moonlit flight they had taken off the bridge in Roswell on that red hang glider, and how that was also the night her father ordered Max to stay away from his daughter forever.

“Remember that flight we took off the bridge in Roswell?” Liz asked, wrapping her arm around him cozily.

“That’s funny, I was thinking the same thing…” came his reply. He gazed down at her and placed a kiss on the top of her head.

Liz looked out over the horizon, amazed at the view from the top. The trees seemed to stretch out forever onto the horizon in wavy ridges. A view like this made her think that they all could find a little place like this somewhere to hide.

Just the thought of being able to spend time with Max in a place like this, so secluded from the outside world, and far from all their current known enemies and problems, made Liz’s heart soar.

A smile as bright as the sun set out over her face as their car reached the top of the ride. Being in this car was kind-of spooky, yet reassuring at the same time. Liz Evans, though confined in some ways, had never felt so free, so happy, so loved and liberated as she did in her husband’s arms here, high above the trees somewhere in California.

**

Liz, Max, and the others continued to ride the various attractions. Max and Michael had even managed to win quite a few stuffed animals for the girls, but Maria made Michael stop playing when she found out he was using his powers to win.

“Chill out,” he muttered in her ear, grabbing her by the elbow and dragging her away from the stand. “You wanted a stuffed animal, didn’t you?”

The feel of his grip on her arm reminded her of last night’s dream. As hard as she tried to shake this image out of her mind, it kept resurfacing.

“What I want, Michael, is for you to talk to me like your girlfriend instead of using a carnival to practice your powers on!” Maria retorted, wrenching her elbow from Michael’s hand.

“Hey, I don’t think you’ll be complaining when the FBI knocks on our door and I’ll be able to blast them,” Michael replied, looking warily around him.

“Does it look like the FBI is here right now, Michael?” Maria hissed tiredly.

“No, but you never know,” Michael replied, relaxing just a tiny bit.

There was an uncomfortable pause. Both wanted to say something, but didn’t. Maria turned to walk away, but Kyle ran into her.

“Hey, I found the biggest ride here –“ he began.

“Not now Kyle,” Maria muttered and walked off into the direction of the van. Michael followed her, lugging stuffed animals under both his arms.

“It’s called the Twister,” Kyle finished, deflated.

**

Max and Liz headed off to get some cotton candy while Isabel shopped at the craft booths set up alongside the Carnival. A young man from one of the concessions came up to her.

“Hi there, may I help you find anything?” came a soft voice from behind. It sounded eerily familiar and she turned, startled.

A man, in his early twenties stood in front of her. He was wearing jeans, a t-shirt and an irresistible smile. His thin face and dark brow reminded her exactly of Alex, and she quickly flushed this thought from her mind.

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there. No, I’m just looking,” she half-smiled back.

“Ok, well if there’s anything I can help you find, just let me know. The name’s Alan,” he said and returned to his chair.

Alan, huh. Isabel had enough to deal with without being reminded of her first love right now. Her heart ached constantly, for Jesse and yes, perhaps even still for Alex a little bit, yet there was no way she could be with either of them. Not now, perhaps not ever… and that is what really scared her. She was all alone, and nobody could possibly understand how she felt.

Frustrated, went to a booth full of books, where the first book she picked up was called Aliens Inside of Me, by Grant Phillips.

**

4. “Crash Into Me” by The Dave Matthews Band

Liz stood closely next to Max as they walked to the main food stand. It was lunchtime, and the lines were long in all directions. Both knew it was going to be awhile before they would make it to the front of the line, but if they had gone to any other concession stand, the line would be equally as long.

Neither Liz nor Max seemed to mind as they playfully nudged each other in a lover's bliss. Their gaze was magnetic, constantly gravitating towards each other. Soon, their public display of affection was added with words.

"You know what? I love you," Max said, squeezing softly the tiny hand that belonged to his new bride.

"I love you too," Liz said with a sparkle in her eye. She winked at him and laughed as he nibbled quickly on her ear, looking around to see if anyone was watching.

Neither one cared that people in the line started to look back at them. Some of the other women stared in awe, jealous that they didn't have a man that was just as loving or kind. A few of the men glared at the two also, knowing that Max was making them look bad in the eyes of their significant others.

Meanwhile, Max and Liz continued their nudging and winking, and before long, the line had dwindled down and the two had made their way to the front, left with task of ordering quickly.

Holding Liz's hand, Max began to tell the worker what they wanted to eat. Liz's eyes meandered around the Carnival grounds as her husband ordered the food.

“Get me a burger and fries,” Liz called, heading off towards the lavatory.

On the way to freshen up, Liz saw a woman off in the distance catch her eye. This woman was in a hurry, probably late for her shift, but something else seemed vaguely out-of-place about her, although Liz couldn’t put a finger on what it was. Through the crowd of people, Liz could see that his woman was jogging towards her, the woman’s deep auburn-red hair glistening in the sunlight with each stride. Time seemed to slow down for a split second as Liz watched this person’s arms moving in sync with her legs, air being huffed in and out of her lungs at a respectable pace. It was obvious this young woman was in quite good physical condition, whoever it was.

Liz watched, transfixed from behind a sno-crème booth, as the woman jogged past her and met up with two collegiate men at what must have been their predetermined meeting place, the little makeshift McDonald’s. It was not even a hundred feet from where Max was standing.

This sudden feeling came over Liz, perhaps it was just her high sensitivity or déjà vu, but she thought this woman may be in trouble. The two guys with her didn’t look dangerous - actually they looked more like science-fair gurus rather than carnival-fair gurus, which struck Liz as being odd. Nevertheless, she was determined to see for herself what future lie in store for this woman. It had been awhile since she had received any flashes, so she hoped it would even work. Liz reversed her course and walked right behind the woman with the flowing dark auburn-red hair, lightly brushing her shoulder as she walked past, careful not to reveal herself or her intentions in the process.

Liz stumbled and almost fell from the images that came rushing into her mind.

The scene played out in front of her. A young teenager had been jogging. She looked to be about 10 years old at the time, but her physical features were still very similar. It was this woman. Her auburn-red hair was a little longer then as it was now, with her striking hazel eyes and thin frame identical. Jogging beside her was an older woman; this woman was without a doubt the girl's mother. She looked to be in her late 20's to early 30's.

Then suddenly she was showed the mother lying in a field, a very green, empty, and flat field. Her head rested on the ground, her daughter kneeling beside her, feeling completely helpless.

The woman clung onto her life, gripping her daughter's arm in fear. She was growing paler by the second. Whatever sickness claiming her was taking its toll, but by no means was this a slow process.

The woman on the ground attempted to speak. Her words faltered, attempting to say something important. Her hands began to tremble and her eyes fluttered open and shut. Her lips were a deep shade of blue in contrast to her pale skin. The girl looked at her mother, tears welling up in her eyes, some crashing over and spilling down her cheek. This girl's emotions were rolling off in waves, emotions of fear, love, and loss. Her mother was obviously going to die in the next few moments, and the little girl felt there was nothing she could do to save her. The fear was heart-wrenching.

Before death claimed the woman, she managed to speak. Her words were simple but very powerful, and left a sense of mystery.

"Please… you must… find him.”

As soon as she said those words, the woman's eyes stared ahead, in a trance. Her limbs went limp and the girl's head fell onto her mother's lap, her body balled up into a fetal position. She broke right there, the floodgates flung wide open.

Liz regained her balance and looked around frantically for Max. She spied him sitting on a bench, a spread of food carefully laid out in front.

“Hi honey, I got you a spaceburger and chilli fries,” Max said, smiling.

“What? Oh yeah, thanks,” says Liz, trying to remember what was going on.

“Is everything ok, you look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Max asked, his smile faltering slightly.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Let’s eat, I’m famished!” Liz said, changing the subject quickly.

Liz attempted to delve deeper into this mystery during lunch, but the flash seemed to fade from her grasp. All of her other flashes seemed to have come from the future, but this one was obviously from the past. Who was that woman who left such a vivid memory burning in Liz's brain?

Liz's eyes skated across the carnival grounds over and over until she was positive there was no trace of the woman any longer. Her eyes darted back to Max, who was holding his sandwich in midair, looking at Liz curiously.

"Are you ok?" he asked, with genuine concern on his face.

**

Kyle jumped off the ride, looking for Isabel in the waiting crowd. He assumed they would have lunch together, since Michael and Maria had had enough trouble making decisions between just themselves let alone with the rest of the group.

Isabel sat down on a nearby bench, looking on as Michael and Maria bickered back and forth about which ride to go on next. For a moment there, it almost looked as if those two were just kidding around. Things between them were mending, although randomly, in short spurts. You didn’t have to be Liz in order to see that they would eventually get back together. It might take some time, a love found and lost, then found and lost again, the cycle repeating itself over and over. Just like Max and Liz. Well okay, kind-of like Max and Liz.

Max and Liz… little was standing in the way of their happiness now, at least nothing that they couldn’t handle together. The FBI all but vanished from their thoughts for the time being and everything was back to normal. This honeymoon was just a sign of what they could be together; the happiness that they could achieve together.

Reluctantly, Isabel found herself hating it all. While she was happy for her friends, their joy only served as a reminder for her loss. Her husband, her best friend, her soul-mate – the man she left behind in Roswell to a fate she’d never know - was gone. Her cycle was just repeating itself. She felt so alone, so betrayed. And, in truth, Isabel didn’t think she could survive another round.

"You in there," Kyle asked as he tapped lightly on the top of her head.

Isabel looked up at him, managing a tiny smile. "Yeah, I am. Just thinking about stuff."

Kyle nodded knowingly. "Ahhh, stuff. Well, you know that they say about stuff?"

"No," Isabel said, shrugging her shoulders and returning to her mental plateau.

"It clogs the brain," Kyle told her. "But it is nothing that a good ride on the Twister couldn’t fix."

Kyle reached for Isabel’s hand, only to find her shrinking away from him.

"Actually," she uttered, "I’m not feeling so well. I think that I’ll, go back to the cabin or something."

"Yeah," Kyle agreed, a hint of disappointment in his voice. "You’re looking a little tired. Maybe you should head back." He could tell that Isabel was in pain, that she was hurting somehow. He didn’t know what to say or do to make her feel better, especially not without overstepping his boundaries.

This had become their routine lately. Isabel would do her best to cover up how she was feeling, and Kyle would compensate for it. The night before, Kyle had tried to get Isabel to talk. He succeeded on getting her out of the room, only to be bombarded by Michael’s ideas on the FBI. After that, she had retreated into her shell and hadn’t said a word, except for “Michael, shut up.”

Kyle could feel Isabel place the lightest of pecks on the top of his head, and then walk off into the crowd. Watching her walk away, he knew it would have to stop. Otherwise, the group risked losing her forever. Isabel had to open up and talk to someone, and soon.

She couldn’t get away fast enough. Isabel couldn’t put enough distance between herself and the group, the events, the pain. Not because she disliked anyone, but because she needed peace, she needed to forget, needed to be alone. A solitary bench at the end of the park called out like a beacon, and Isabel made her way towards it.

"Better," she sighed, sliding into the bench seat.

A minute passed, followed by another, and another. Isabel just sat there, trying to fight back the tears. Everyone knew they couldn’t call home - all the phones would be tapped. And since cell phones could be traced, Max made everyone give up those too. There was no way she could even talk to Jesse ever again.

She wasn’t going to cry. Crying wouldn’t help solve anything.

Then, out of the corner of her eye, Isabel noticed a little girl standing there, watching her intently.

"Hi," said the little girl. "Are you sad?"

Isabel chuckled inwardly. Kids, gotta love them, she thought.

"Just a little," she admitted to the child. And it was in that second that Isabel looked up at her. The girl’s Hispanic heritage poured from every feature, starting with the dark head of hair tinted by the sun, to the soulful expressions in her round, dark eyes.

"My mommy calls sads “ti ti.” She’s good at fixing my ti ti’s. Maybe my mommy can fix yours," the child said to Isabel.

The faint smile that had been on Isabel’s lips started to fade. "She can’t," she managed to say, almost choking on the short syllables.

The disappointment was apparent on the little girl’s face, and Isabel immediately felt guilty. However, before she could say anything, another voice called out near her.

"Jessi," a woman called out. "Jessica where are you?"

"Coming mommy," the little girl called back to her mother.

It was too much for Isabel. She couldn’t handle anymore reminders of her Jesse, or her Alex, or her Grant. She wanted it all to fade away, for everyone to leave her alone! Closing her eyes, almost instinctively, Isabel longed to be forgotten.

"Can’t it all just go away," she mumbled to herself.

5. “Crawling” by Linkin’ Park

A hum of energy rumbled through her body, gaining strength quickly and without warning, crashing over her like the crest of a wave suddenly and violently decomposing from ordered wave into turbulent surf.

Meanwhile, the little girl ran off to get her mother. "Mommy, I made a new friend," she stated confidently.

The woman smiled at her daughter. "Oh, and where is this new friend, darling?"

The little girl pointed to the bench. "Over there!"

However, Isabel was gone. The woman shook her head. "I don’t see anyone," she told the girl, turning back to face her daughter.

The girl looked back at the bench, seeing Isabel sitting there, her eyes closed. "But mommy," the girl whined.

"Enough Jessica," the woman scolded, not looking back. "We need to find your father."

With that, they walked off in the opposite direction, accidentally bumping into the young man who was just standing there.

Kyle had decided that he needed to take matters upon himself and get Isabel to open up about her feelings. He of all people knew what it could do to keep those emotions bottled up. Isabel had helped him after the whole Tess charade, and by Buddha, he was going to help her.

So he went searching for her, but the scene that unfolded in front of him was not one he was entirely prepared for. He watched as a little girl walked up to Isabel, and laughed inwardly as her young eyes sparkled with curiosity. He also saw that sparkle disappear as the mother called out to the girl. Something else looked interesting about Isabel, but he couldn’t put a finger on what it was.

What happened next terrified the hell out of him. Kyle felt the slightest of something come over him as Isabel closed her eyes, then she was gone. Almost an instant later, she reappeared. To the casual passerby, it would have seemed like they just blinked without knowing it, or had experienced déjà vu. Hell, nobody else noticed, except Kyle.

The feeling was familiar, like losing a memory you knew you had experienced. Isabel had mindwarped them. Mindwarped everyone around her. She had mindwarped him.

Kyle just stood there as the realization hit him. He didn’t feel Jessica’s mother run into him, or even hear her apologize. He just watched as Isabel stiffened in her sitting position, her eyes flying open suddenly. Realization had hit her as well, bringing terror with it.

Roswell, New Mexico – Present time

It was after hours at the Crashdown Café and Jeff Parker was inside, reading his daughter’s journal. He had received it the other day and had spent most of his spare time reading it over and over again. He had hoarded it all to himself, ignoring his daughter’s request for his estranged wife and friends’ parents to know the truth. He couldn’t share her with them just yet. This small string of a bond that was between them now made him so very proud. He marveled at how strong and smart his daughter was; how courageous she could be, how humble and selfless she had become.

As he paged through it, he reflected on the past three years. Now he knew the whole story behind where Liz was when she’d disappear for days at a time, claiming to be on a “camping trip” with Maria. Jeff knew full well that Maria was far from the camping type. It also explained why, whenever Liz disappeared, so did Max… and Michael, and usually Isabel and Kyle.

Max Evans. He was no longer a menace in his life, a threat to his daughter’s safety. He was now his daughter’s husband and his son in-law, and an alien king from a corrupt planet called Antar. Max was more selfless than Liz was, even healing the kids for no reason at the hospital two Christmases ago. Jeff had been so wrong. Wrong about Max, wrong about Liz, wrong about all of his suspicions.

Jeff leaned back in his chair and sighed, wiping the tearstains from his cheeks with his damp shirtsleeve. It had been so long ago, so long in the making, and he knew nothing of it. Nothing at all.

“You’re the poem, Liz. You’re the poem.” He remembered saying to her that night in the Crashdown, not too many months ago. But in truth, there was another poem. He knew that. Nancy knew that. But Liz only knew this person felt undeniably close. Or at least she had fourteen years in the future – in a different timeline.

Jeff paged back to one of Liz’s last entries before she stopped writing for over a year:

October 31, 2000. I’m Liz Parker and I’ve been visited by the future.

His heart always stopped at the line where she had scrawled, “and Future Max said that I would be friends with someone named Serena one day.”

Could it be? Jeff had pondered the question of her existence ever since he had first read that sentence. Could Serena be alive? It seemed impossible, a coincidence. But, if according to her journal entry, if Serena was alive – at least at one point - and she became friends with Liz…

Jeff shook his head to clear it. It was just a coincidence. He didn’t know anything anymore, but he knew this had to be a coincidence. He closed the journal and rubbed his hands over the smooth surface. He tied the ribbon together, carefully manipulating it into a bow. Standing up, he cradled the journal next to his side and ascended the stairs to the apartment above the restaurant.

Walking into Liz’s room, he found the loose brick in her wall that she had kept the journal in. He carefully placed it inside and slid the brick back into place, making sure it looked even with the rest of the wall.

It was just a coincidence…

©2002 Kristin Alquist and Roswell: The Final Chapter. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Any similarities to events, real or imaginary, are strictly coincidental. Roswell: The Final Chapter is in no way affiliated with UPN, the WB, Regency Television, 20th Century Fox, or Jason Katims Productions.

© 2004-2005 Roswell: The Final Chapter. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Any similarities to events, real or imaginary, are strictly coincidental. Roswell: The Final Chapter is in no way affiliated with UPN, the WB, Regency Television, 20th Century Fox, or Jason Katims Productions.

© 2006-2007 Roswell: The Final Chapter. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Any similarities to events, real or imaginary, are strictly coincidental. Roswell: The Final Chapter is in no way affiliated with UPN, the WB, Regency Television, 20th Century Fox, or Jason Katims Productions.