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“Cry”

Written by Annie, Shira, Cole, Kristin, Liz, and Mark

Edited by Liz and Mark

Playlist:

1. “Drift and Die” by Puddle of Mudd
2. “
Little Less Conversation” by Elvis. Maria and Kyle in the diner. Playing on a radio/juke box.
3. “
Deep inside of You” by Third Eye Blind. When Max and Liz are packing, before the flash.
4. “Hún Jord” by Sigur Rós
5. “
Life” by Our Lady Peace. During the Jesse scene att he end.

Yosemite, California – Journal Entry

I’m Liz Evans, and it seems like the alien abyss has kicked into high gear once again. And I think that the tears being cried this time around will not fade any time soon. Not that they really ever do.

I saw my husband cry. Crying because all the women he cares about are suffering. Max knows about the End of the World, why I pushed him to Tess by pretending to sleep with Kyle. He’s convinced himself that it’s all his fault, saying that he should have never lost faith in me.

It’s not his fault though. What I told him – the little bits and pieces of the truth anyway, helped him realize that. I’m not going to lie by saying that Tess isn’t still a sore spot for me, but she’s not here. I am. I’m the one Max married. I am Mrs. Max Evans… no one else.

Max also cried for Isabel. While he has been spending the past couple of days (well ever since I told him the truth) being more than attentive to me than ever, I’ve seen him watch Isabel closely. While we all know that she has been withdrawing since we left Roswell, it has become worse. She hasn’t eaten or slept in days.

At night I hear her cry. It isn’t a wail, or a sob, it’s more like a soft whimper, which echoes through the night. I know that Isabel’s coping mechanism is to push people away, its effectiveness has been proven more or less over and over again. Hell, it worked for me, but I don’t want to see her go through that. It’s like ripping your heart out and feeding it to your greatest fears. Everyone needs help, the hard part is asking for it. Somehow, someway, she must open up. She must let it go, let it out, confide in someone, before it consumes her.

Deep down, Kyle wants it to be him. Isabel used to confide in him, after Alex’s death. I have a feeling that Kyle is in love with Isabel. But that is the thing about Kyle, he has such a big heart, he could love anyone. It might be hidden underneath all that macho jock exterior he used to put on, or possibly behind all the Buddhist philosophy he can spout off. The point is, it’s there and right now it’s aching. Sore because Isabel’s anger is manifested mostly at him. For the past two days, I have witnessed Kyle trying to talk to Isabel. She’s yelled at him, pushed him away, literally, and even slapped him once.

Yet, Kyle remains steadfast. It’s like he gets up, tries to talk to Isabel, eats breakfast, tries to talk to Isabel, meditates, takes a walk, tries to talk to Isabel… you get the picture. However, it is slowly getting to him. For the first time, I’ve seen him cry too.

The brightest part of the day has become Michael and Maria’s bickering. As horrible as it sounds, I almost think of it as a crude form of entertainment. Routinely, Michael has been sneaking off, trying to find the red-headed alien. The second he gets back to the cabin, Maria is there, ready to yell at him for putting himself in danger. She only gets madder when Michael shrugs it off. Of course he does it on purpose, and he apologizes when he believes no one else is looking. Then they’ll retreat to their room and won’t be seen or heard from for hours. Michael and Maria. No one can understand them – I don’t think they even understand themselves most of the time.

Frustration is wearing on us all. There has been no sign of Serena for two days now. In these slow two days, I have been trying to convince everyone that she is a good alien, but it’s hard for me to do that without letting them in on what happened with future Max. I had a hard enough time sharing that with Max, and I’m just not ready to tell everyone else.

In my heart, I know it’s her. After all, she had the opportunity to kill us, Kyle even more so, and she didn’t do a thing. Hell, she even seemed scared of us. The skins were not afraid of us, so she couldn’t be one of them. She’s most likely gone by now, gotten as far away from us as possible, becoming the mystery that we will never solve, that’s what frustrates me the most. When we connected, I felt a bond with her, something I can’t really explain, and I might not have a chance to find out what it means. This enigma is driving the scientist in me bonkers.

Tension is growing, like it has been as usual. I have the power to see the future, but it’s not necessary to see that our group is reaching its breaking point. Everyone has voted that it is time to leave Yosemite, to get out before we find ourselves in trouble. What no one wants to admit is that we are already in trouble. Picture six people who have been spending most of our waking and sleeping hours with each other, feeling trapped and restless. It would drive a normal person crazy. Now add in the scrutiny that every decision we make can have a life or death consequence.

Oh yeah, we have hit the breaking point; the crossroads, so to speak. Honeymoon’s over, the new beginning has reached its end. The question is… where do we go from here?

1.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

They all met in Max and Liz’s cabin for breakfast. Hell, they seemed to do that for lunch and dinner too. To Liz it was a relief. It seemed like the only time they all got along together in a neutral zone. This morning it was a truce over eggs and toast.

Isabel sat down in the seat across from Liz. Michael was on one side of her, Max on the other. Kyle was next to Maria, who took the other chair by Michael. Silence filled the room, the awkward kind that left everyone feeling a little more queasy than hungry.

Pushing some eggs around with her fork, Isabel stared blankly at the table, thinking many thoughts. The look on her face was distant, detached.

“Are you going to eat that,” Michael asked, interrupting the jumbled notions cluttering her mind.

Isabel looked over at him, blinking. It was as if she were finally seeing him for the first time today. “What?”

“Your breakfast,” Michael clarified. “Are you planning on eating any of it?” He pointed to her plate with his fork, chewing with his mouth open.

Maria glared at him.

Isabel looked back down. “I’m not really hungry.” Her fork landed on her plate with a clatter that seemed to echo throughout the room.

Max turned to his sister. “Come on Isabel. You have to eat something.”

Isabel glanced over at him. “What part of ‘not hungry’ don’t you understand?”

“You haven’t eaten much of anything lately,” Max retorted. “It’s not good for you, you’ll get sick.”

“Since when did you become my keeper,” Isabel snapped.

Liz rested a hand on Max’s shoulder. “That’s not what he meant,” she defended him, trying to calm things down. “You’ve just been -”

“What,” Isabel demanded. “I’ve been what Liz? Look, I know what everyone here is thinking, and I don’t give a damn. I’m a grown woman, and I did what I thought was right. I don’t need everyone second guessing me. I can make my own choices. Back in Roswell, I was in college, had my own home, had a husb -”

That word wouldn’t make its way past her lips. She choked it back down, feeling the bile in her throat rise up to meet it. “Excuse me,” she finally managed to say, pushing her chair back and bounding for the door.

Kyle was instantly on his feet, ready to intercept her. “Isabel, don’t go off like this,” he pleaded.

Isabel’s head snapped around. “You know what Kyle,” she seethed. “You’re the worst one of them all.”

Kyle’s heart sank at those words, and he wondered if that was how Isabel felt when he yelled at her the other day.

Everyone watched as she stormed out of the cabin; smoke almost emanating from her fingertips.

“That didn’t go well,” Michael said dryly, breaking the silence.

“No, really,” Max said sarcastically. “What gave you that impression?”

Michael glared at him. “Don’t give me that Maxwell. I’m not the one who pissed her off.”

“You’re the one who brought up breakfast,” Max shot back.

“I was concerned.”

“So was I.”

Michael leaned back in his chair. “About time.”

Max’s brow furrowed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Maxwell, this entire set-up sucks,” Michael exclaimed. “We have been sitting here, doing nothing, while an ALIEN is wandering around the woods stalking us. Or informing our enemies of our location. And what have you done about it? Played house with Liz.”

“Michael,” Maria started in protest. “That’s not fair.”

“It might not be fair, but it’s the truth,” Michael told her, keeping his eyes on Max’s hardening face. “He hasn’t seen any of what’s been going on right in front of his eyes. He should have known something was going on with Isabel and he didn’t.”

“None of us knew,” Kyle chimed in. He was standing at the window, watching Isabel’s form fade from sight yet again. “We all had no idea it had gone this far.”

Michael looked from Kyle to Max, and then down at his soggy piece of toast. “But at least the rest of us knew something was wrong,” he muttered under his breath.

Max stood up. “Fine, Michael. I’m the creep, does that make you happy? Does it make everything easier for you if you can put all the blame on me?”

Shooting up, Michael slammed his fists down on the table. “It’s not about blame. It’s about action! We need to do something Maxwell!”

“Like what,” Max remarked, defeated and annoyed. “Talking isn’t doing any good.”

“Have you tried,” Kyle said, still looking out the window.

Max turned to him, glaring with anger, but Kyle continued. “I know I have. Many times. I probably still have an imprint on my face from where she slapped me. She needs help. She tried to kill an innocent girl.”

“Alien,” Michael corrected.

“Whatever,” Kyle added, waving his hand. “The point is, Isabel can mind warp. We all know it. She tried to kill someone using it. She’s changed. We know what mind warps can do, and she is certainly not going to face the facts alone.”

Michael picked up his napkin and wiped his mouth with it. Max watched him, shifting, trying to figure out what Michael was going to do next.

“Let’s just sit down calmly and talk about this,” Liz suggested, noticing that everyone was standing and tense.

“That’s not going to work this time,” Michael declared, turning his face to Liz, making sure she understood. “The honeymoon is over.”

Max dodged around the table, grabbing Michael by the shirt. “Don’t ever talk to her that way again,” he threatened.

“Or what,” Michael challenged.

Maria, who was standing closest to them, threw her arms between the two, trying to force them apart. Kyle rushed over and grabbed Michael, while Liz did the same with Max.

“That’s enough,” Maria yelled. “Testosterone levels have sufficiently entered orbit. Now back down. Both of you.”

Max and Michael moved apart on their own accord. Maria relaxed a bit, pulling on the hem of her shirt, needlessly straightening it. “Okay then,” she sighed. “First off, I think that Michael has a point,” she told the group.

“I don’t need you fighting my battles for me,” he snapped at her.

Maria stepped back from him. “That is not what this is about,” she explained. “I’m just saying what I think.”

Michael moved to the door, glancing around the room. “I don’t want to hear it, this is pointless,” he announced to the group.

“Time out,” Liz declared, raising her voice to Michael’s retreating form. “This is not the way to go about this. Let’s just take some time to cool off before someone says something they don’t mean.”

“More wasted time,” Michael commented, walking out of the room.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Frustrated by the tension and the fact that Isabel just stalked away from the cabin in a huff, Kyle longed to have some distance from the others. Standing on the oak porch outside the cabin, he wanted to gain some introspect on how to get through to Isabel.

A wasp buzzed around the corner of the cabin, its simplicity and innocence reminding Kyle that all in the world was not so complex. The creature was looking for something basic, perhaps its nest or a bite to eat, and that’s all that mattered to it.

Looking off into the distance, Kyle realized that Isabel was angry and scared her powers were a danger. She refused to be consoled. She insisted on being alone for ‘awhile,’ however long that may be, and Kyle could see by looking at her watery, red-rimmed eyes that he could not protest. He knew in his heart that if he ever gained a superpower such as this, he would want time alone too - but not forever. He just wished he could comfort Isabel somehow, maybe simplify things.

He looked up at the sky. There were three distinct types of clouds present. In the southeast, low, puffy clouds that billowed out. Flat, gray-bottomed clouds were off to the west, and some wispy stringers that must have been above all the others.

“This sucks and there is nothing I can do about it,” Kyle muttered to himself as thoughts continued to flood his brain. Isabel was too distant, and Kyle was too confused. If he could get away from all the tension of his friends in the cabin, he might be able to find a solution. Yet, there was no way he could go off to meditate alone – he would never hear the end of it.

Maria stalked onto the wooden porch and heaved a loud angry sigh. Kyle looked at her as she leaned against the railing of the porch, her eyes on the green trees and squirrels outside. Those emerald green eyes were cloudy, Kyle noticed, as if she were deep in thought. He began to look away when he noticed the way her eyebrows scrunched up in frustration, and realized that he shared the same pain she was feeling - worry for their friends. Feeling at a loss to help the ones they cared about most. Kyle looked away from her again and calmly considered his options.

Max and Liz probably wouldn’t leave the cabins except to find Isabel, and that’s if they felt so inclined. Michael was definitely in no mood to talk … especially to Max. Process of elimination left Maria, and since she was looking like she could use a break, he thought that some time away from all the tension would do them both some good.

“I saw a small café down the road,” Kyle spoke up, almost reading her mind. “Wanna check it out?”

Maria sighed unhappily, her fingers tapping the glazed but chipped oak railing. She was hesitating, he knew; she probably didn’t want the group worrying and giving anyone grief later. He settled on her declining his offer, and resigned himself to being stuck in the one place he really didn’t want to be right now.

“It’s okay if you don’t want to,” he assured her, “but I may go anyway.”

She looked at him then, with skeptical eyes, and he thought she would return to the cabin. As predicted, she did turn around, but stopped and looked back at him.

“I’ll get my purse,” she said with a smirk.

2.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

They sat down at the quaint little café. Their booth was wooden, and the components looked to be cut from logs by hand. Orange plastic cushions framed in black painted wood rested beneath them, and murals of Yosemite hung on the walls overhead, filled with tall trees; bears and other local wildlife.

Kyle spotted their waitress, an older lady in the far corner smoking a cigarette. There were noticeable wrinkle lines on her face which seemed to exaggerate her age, although the gray hair she wore in a bun stereotypically revealed it more so. Kyle wondered what bothered her enough to give her wrinkles, gray hair, and a nicotine addition. After a few seconds, he chuckled softly to himself. Everyone seemed to have big problems, even the small-town waitresses in little diners.

“What’s so funny?” Maria spoke up.

“That waitress over there in the corner,” Kyle said hesitantly. “Reminds me of Agnes.”

He waited while Maria glanced over in her direction, thinking she would pass off his reply. He grinned in relief when Maria laughed aloud.

“Thanks,” Maria gasped breathlessly as she calmed down. “I can’t remember the last time I laughed like that.”

“Yeah, it seems like it has been a while since any of us laughed like that,” Kyle said, toying with the salt and pepper shakers off to the side.

“Things certainly have been crazy, haven’t they?” Maria said quietly as she eyed the place mat before her. It wasn’t awkward talking to Kyle, but he was so different from Michael, she had to completely step back from herself.

“Yeah, I would say so,” Kyle said, shaking his head in the process.

“You know honestly, I never thought it would be this way.”

“What way?” Kyle inquired. He stopped playing with the shakers and put his hands down by his sides.

“You know, on the run... looking for aliens... I guess I had this strange idea that once we got out of Roswell we would all be okay, you know? That we would all be together, happy, and free from everything. But you know what I realized?”

“What’s that?”

“That it will never be over, Kyle. For the rest of our lives we will be running from the FBI and trying to track down aliens.”

“Maria,” Kyle said in awe, seeing her point. “This is not like you, you are scaring me here – you’re so pessimistic now.”

“I think everyone has changed since we left Roswell, Kyle - even yourself.”

They sat quietly for a moment and just stared at their surroundings. Neither knew exactly what to say.

“Good evening, my name is Esther and I will be your waitress tonight,” the older woman said as she eyed up the two teenagers with a well-rehearsed smile.

Maria looked at Kyle and suppressed her laugh. Yeah, this lady was just like Agnes alright, down to a T. Her uniform was a little raggedy, a little dirty, and she reeked of smoke, probably from her last break. Maria noticed how all the other waitresses had to wear these weird hats with what looked like bear ears, but Esther was hatless, possibly due to her hairstyle. The thought made Maria chuckle. On more than one occasion Agnes refused to wear “the antennae.”

“What can I get you two?” she asked, her smile disappearing.

“Well, looks like I will have a… Yogi Bear Special with root beer,” Kyle answered with a grin. “Oh, and can I have onion rings instead of fries?”

“That is fifty cents extra.”

“That is fine, I haven’t had them in a while,” Kyle said clearly excited.

“Okay, what about you missy?”

Maria was taken aback at being called ‘missy.’

“Um, I guess I will have the Boo-Boo burger with fries, and a sprite.”

“Ok, that is a Yogi Bear regular and a Boo-boo?”

“Sounds good,” Kyle said, laughing at the irony of the names.

“I’ll be back with your drinks in a second,” she said, and turned towards the kitchen, scurrying away.

“Oh yeah, that is so Agnes’ twin!” Kyle said with overflowing laughter, not being able to contain himself any longer.

As promised, Esther was right back with their drinks.

“Can’t be related to Agnes,” Maria commented as she took a sip of her soda.

“Why not?”

“We got our drinks already,” Maria said, as the two laughed for what seemed like hours.

Kyle almost lost some of his root beer out his nose, which only made the laughter worse.

“Stop that Kyle, you’re going to make me snort!” Maria exclaimed, holding her face in her hands.

Kyle looked up from their private party to see most of the diner looking at them. He and Maria must have been making more of a commotion than they realized.

“Oh you are too funny,” Maria said, catching her breath.

“So, back on a more serious note, how are you and Michael?” Kyle asked, wiping his watery eyes with his drink napkin.

Maria rolled her eyes. “You know Michael, one minute the sweetest, most poetic guy in the universe, the next a complete jerk.”

“Going well I see,” Kyle said, gulping down the rest of his soda.

“It is just harder now than it ever was before, you know? Before when we used to have these spats we could leave each other alone for a while and cool off. Now it is like we are so close all of the time, and it’s dangerous to go off alone. I think it makes us feel a little confined,” Maria said with a sad tone in her voice.

“If you ever need someone to talk to, just say the word,” Kyle said honestly.

“Thanks, Kyle. That really that means a lot.”

“Hey, what are friends for?”

They paused, a lull in the conversation leading them to observe their surroundings.

“You think Amy and my dad would still hook up?” Kyle said, changing the subject.

Maria just shrugged her shoulders as a sad look came upon her face. “Who knows what is going on there?”

“You okay?” Kyle asked, sensing the downcast in Maria’s spirit.

“I have been holding it in for so long,” Maria sighed.

“Then let it all out,” Kyle said. He slid around to Maria’s side of the booth and looked at her expectantly.

When Maria looked up into Kyle’s eyes, tears were visible.

“I never got to say goodbye to her. We drifted apart in the last few years and I am the only one who didn’t get to say goodbye. Isabel got to say goodbye to her mom and dad. Max did during his speech, you got to say goodbye to your dad on the road,” she stopped to catch her breath

“Liz didn’t,” Kyle started, but stopped quickly as Maria shook her head.

“She sent her journal to her father. She said goodbye to him in there, sure she told him to let my mom read it, but those are Liz’s words, not mine. I never got to say goodbye and tell her I was sorry.”

“Sorry, for what?”

“For not growing up to be the daughter she wanted. She wanted me to be so much more.”

“Maria, I’m sure she’s proud of you,” Kyle paused as he saw a ray of hope shine in Maria’s teary eyes. “You stood up for what you believed was right. You helped everyone, you helped form this group. A group that needs all the help and support it can get. A group that has already done amazing things, and will do many more. When others would have run screaming, you stayed. I think you are much stronger and smarter than you give yourself credit for.”

Maria was quiet for a while. “You really think so?”

“Think what?”

”That she is proud of me?”

“If I know Amy DeLuca, yes, of course she would have to be.”

Maria chuckled to herself and shook her head.

“What,” Kyle questioned.

“Nothing,” she said as she smiled at the innocent memory. “It’s just when Liz first told me, I did run screaming.”

Kyle laughed and smiled, “But after you calmed down, you came back to help - and eventually you guys became inseparable.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Maria finally admitted, grabbing her napkin to dab at her damp eyes.

Kyle looked at her for a moment, then said very seriously, “There is no way on this earth that your mom wouldn’t be proud of you.”

Kyle pulled her in for a hug and they stayed like that for a while.

“Okay, here are your meals and here is your check. Have a nice night,” Esther said as she set down the plates and the check and quickly left out the employee exit.

“Now was that service with a smile or what?” Kyle joked, lightening up the mood.

“Well, now that I have made a fool of myself, I am going to the bathroom. I will be back in a few,” Maria said as she pushed Kyle out of the booth.

Kyle watched her walk to the back and he slid over to his side of the booth. He looked around at the themed diner; it was cute and quaint... like the Crashdown, only older and much more rustic. He did miss the Crashdown to some extent and Roswell, too, for that matter. When he was in high school all he wanted was to get out of Roswell, but now that he was out, all he wanted to do was to go back. Go back home to where things made sense. Home to where the FBI wasn’t threatening anyone. Home to where Max, Isabel, and Michael were just normal teenagers, and nobody had been shot and there were no such thing as aliens.

“God,” Kyle thought to himself. “I’d rather be home taking care of my father.”

He shook his head... he had made his decision, he was a part of their group now, until the end, and never for one second would he ever regret that decision. He knew he was on the right side. But sometimes, the mind wanders to what could have been. Kyle shook his head; it didn’t pay to play mind games with yourself. Especially since home was hundreds of miles down there, and he was all the way up here, in the freaking woods of all places.

“Yet,” Kyle wondered for a moment, hesitating. “Yet it doesn’t have to be so alone.”

In that moment, he made up his mind. Making sure that Maria was still in the bathroom, Kyle got up from the booth. He saw a little hallway, splitting off from the main dining room. At the end was a pay phone, one of the older kinds he hadn’t seen in years. Kyle made his way down the hallway to the phone, digging into his pocket for some change.

Dialing the number, Kyle hoped that he would pick up.

“Hello,” a gruff voice came though loud and clear, some faint static heard afterward.

Kyle paused for a second, letting out a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding. “Dad,” he finally whispered into the receiver.

Jim almost jumped out of bed. “Kyle, oh my God. Are you okay? Is anyone hurt?”

Kyle smiled to himself. It was just like his dad to be worried about him, everyone, even aliens. Just the thought of everything his dad had sacrificed for all of them made Kyle love and respect his father even more.

“Yeah, we’re all fine,” Kyle reassured his father. It was only a little lie, nothing in the grand scheme of things.

“Bull,” Jim called him on it. “I’m your father and I know that tone young man. Is everyone all right?”

Absentmindedly, Kyle ran his hand through his hair. “Things are just tense, Dad. No big.”

“You are on the run from the law, son,” Jim joked. “Tense is part of the package -” he trailed off. Then, it occurred to him what he was saying. The law, as in the FBI. They could be tracing the call right now. He wouldn’t put it past them, the way things had unfolded in Roswell since the group had left. They had torn the town apart.

“Kyle,” Jim sputtered into the phone quickly, panicking at his thoughts. “I want you to know that I love you. I always will. Things are still… tense around here. Never know who could be poking around, ya know? Tell the others that I said hello. I love you son, and I’m proud. Remember that.”

Kyle gripped tighter to the phone as the line went dead. “Dad,” he muttered. “Dad!” However, it was too late. Jim was gone. Kyle stood there for a moment, thinking about the things his father said. Tense… did that still mean that the FBI was still looking for them in Roswell?

Smacking himself in the head, Kyle realized his mistake. “Of course the FBI are still looking!” he mumbled to himself. “How could I be so stupid?” Max had clearly stated that there were to be no phone calls back to Roswell, although he didn’t know how he could have forgotten that. He had to go tell Maria and find the others.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Did you get that!” Windler barked as he jostled one of the agents sitting behind the machine. A call to the Valenti house. An out-of-state call for that matter. This could be the break they were looking for.

Agent Kelley was twitching nervously. “He didn’t stay on the line long.”

“Trace it,” Windler ordered. The overweight commander paced back and forth nervously in the little room. “Well!” he demanded loudly, his head inches away from Kelly’s ear.

The other agent scrunched his forehead, concentrating on the proper order of buttons to push and the data he was trying to decode. The solution to his problem popped up an instant later.

“Got it. They’re in California.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Kyle started to make his way back to the booth, contemplating on who was going to kill him first, Maria or Max. And then he didn’t even want to think of Michael. The sounds of the bustling diner rattled around the room, but none of it registered to Kyle. A familiar voice suddenly rang in his ears, turning his attention to a red-haired girl at the end of the bar - the same girl he saved at the carnival the other night.

“No, I’m sure I’m not being followed,” she said, almost looking right back at him.

Ducking back into the hallway, all thoughts of the FBI slipped away as he watched this woman, hunched over the oak wooden bar. She ran her tan fingers swiftly through her long, silky hair while she spoke into her silver flip cell phone. Maria was trying to gain his attention, but the only thing that registered was the way the young woman’s green eyes were narrowed in concentration and how her voice was firm, confident, and annoyed… no, perturbed.

“No, the whole thing is over finally,” she spoke loudly for a moment, but then he could barely hear the young woman over the drone of the café. “The project is finished … didn’t want to come… 50 percent of my grade…Fresno? Yeah, A.S.A.P… have to get out… because … no … distance … too late … out of options … bye.”

“KYLE!” Maria nearly shouted from across the restaurant.

Kyle jumped at the sudden sound of Maria’s voice, not realizing that she had been trying to grab his attention for what seemed like eternity. He looked at Maria and then back at the red-haired beauty, trying not to look conspicuous as he crept across the diner. Maria yanked on his right arm so she got his attention at last.

“What is up with you?” she demanded. “Off in la-la land?”

“The red haired girl at the bar,” he spoke quietly, gesturing toward her discreetly with his head. “I think she’s the one I saved last night.”

“You mean,” Maria gasped in a concerned yet hesitant voice, pulling Kyle back down to their booth. “That’s Serena?”

“She has a name?” Kyle continued to whisper. “When did she get a name?”

Maria looked away, averting her gaze in hopes of avoiding the question. She didn’t know how much Liz wanted Kyle or anyone to know about Serena. She glanced around the café, her eyes settling on Kyle before she took a deep breath. Her mouth opened and closed a couple times as she debated whether or not to answer him.

“Liz found out through one of those flashes she got when she bumped into her at the carnival. Her name is Serena,” Maria stated.

Although he knew it was only a partial truth, Kyle accepted it and glanced at the door when he heard the bell above it jingle abruptly. All he saw was the red hair disappearing quickly around the right side of the building, toward the parking lot.

“And there she goes,” Kyle said wistfully.

At first he thought he could just put what he saw behind him, but even while they finished the rest of their food quickly, all he thought about was Serena. For all he knew, Isabel could still be hunting her, and Kyle couldn’t help wanting to protect the pretty red-haired woman whom Liz insisted was so important.

“We should go after her,” Kyle spoke up after paying the bill. “I mean, what if Isabel is still looking for her?” His mind drifted back to Isabel, being even more important than Serena now.

“I was reluctant to think so before, but now it’s official. You are crazy, Kyle,” Maria announced.

“None of us can even imagine what Isabel is going though,” Kyle explained. “Most importantly with the whole mind warp thing. Who knows how much that’s screwed her up?”

“I know,” Maria conceded. “And it is starting to get spooky how she is always alone.”

“Yeah she is really pulling away from everyone. I am really worried about her.”

“Yeah, I think everyone is, but I think this is something she has to deal with herself. I mean look at where she is - she now has the power that was used to kill Alex, her first love.”

“It has to be tearing her up inside,” Kyle said, acknowledging Isabel’s feelings as fact for it was obvious.

“And Jesse, she has to miss him something fierce.”

“She feels all alone, like a cornered animal,” Kyle said, feeling a light bulb flicker inside.

“Maria, we have to go after Serena,” he insisted, “It’s important to keep her alive and now she’s headed to Fresno and who knows if Isabel still wants her dead or not. If she does still want to kill her, we all know that Isabel will never recover if she succeeds.”

“Well, we can’t go alone,” Maria insisted. “The others would never let us live it down.”

“So we’ll talk them into it. Liz wants to find her and talk to her anyway.”

“Okay,” Maria relented, adding her share of the bill to his pile of crinkly ones on the table. “Let’s go convince them. We’ve all been saying that it’s time for us to be moving on anyways.”

They left the café in a hurry and headed back to the cabin, their minds racing with ideas to convince the others. Kyle wanted to protect Serena and Isabel, and Maria just wanted to do the right thing, whatever that was. Kyle took a deep breath and wished Isabel had made it back to the cabins safely, and was not out looking for Serena. Even if he couldn’t help her deal with her problems, he would still keep his eyes on her. It would be necessary. And then there was Serena, she had to be protected too somehow. He wasn’t sure why, but Liz was adamant about it, and how he knew Serena was so important he couldn’t explain; he knew it too. He knew it in his bones.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Are you sure you saw the girl Liz is talking about?” Michael spoke up.

Both Maria and Kyle nodded confidently, glowing from their excitement. Kyle glanced at Isabel, who simply stared out of the window. She was beginning to look more dead than alive, a statue at the window, but he was glad she came back from her walk and was unharmed. Maria looked at Liz, waiting for her to say something.

“I think we should go after her,” Isabel said suddenly. “We should get moving again anyway.”

Kyle scoffed and turned to look out the window with her. Sure, Isabel wants to go - go after Serena to kill her. To Isabel, Serena wasn’t a person, but a threat to be eliminated. He wished with all his might that Isabel would get over whatever was hurting her before they found Serena again and something bad happened.

“I agree,” Liz spoke firmly, “I can’t shake the feeling that she is somehow linked to us, me especially.”

Kyle was taken aback at Liz’s words. Linked. He thought he felt connected to Serena also, in some distant way. He brushed off the thought. The only connection he was having with aliens was with this group. No way José was he getting involved with any more.

“From what we heard, she was up her to neck in some project,” Maria stated. “And for all we know that project was to study us.”

“All the more reason to track her down,” Isabel retorted. “Connection or not, I’m tired of being in danger.”

“That’s not her fault,” Liz insisted defensively. “I don’t know why I know that… I just do. Please, Isabel, you have to believe me.”

“Look, let’s just take a vote,” Max suggested. “Majority rules.”

“You know my vote,” Isabel spat before stalking out, slamming the door behind her.

“I want to find her,” Liz said as soon as the door closed.

“Me too,” Kyle agreed.

“I’d like to meet her as well and find out why she ran from us after Kyle saved her,” Maria reasoned. “And that would be the majority.”

“Finally, let’s go,” Michael said, turning to go pack his belongings.

“It’s decided then,” Max announced. “Let’s get our things and head out. We’ll leave in one hour.”

Maria grinned triumphantly, and Kyle couldn’t help smiling for a moment. Things were finally going to change. Purpose filled their bones, an energy they had nearly forgotten existed.

“Well,” Kyle quipped to Maria, “Fresno here we come.”

They were going to find Serena, and Kyle couldn’t wait to see her again.

3.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Packing, Liz looked down at the little bag she lived her life from. If there was anything in the world she hated the most in the past few months, it was packing this little bag.

“How’s it coming,” Max asked her, walking into the room. Liz felt his arms wrap around her waist, melting into them into one.

“Almost done,” she sighed, leaning into him as much as possible. She turned her head; placing light kisses along his strong jaw line. “I love you,” she whispered in between the light pecks.

Max held on even tighter. “I love you too,” he told her, fusing his lips to hers. The connection roared between them, and Liz knew that she would never need anything but Max to survive. He made everything worthwhile.

Max felt her emotions through the connection, heard her thoughts. He could feel his body longing to join hers. It wasn’t the best time; they still had a lot to do before they left. But he needed her, and she needed him.

Without breaking the kiss, they moved together, trying to find the bed and bumping into the nightstand instead. Liz reached back to steady herself, her fingertips brushing across the alarm clock lying there.

A tidal wave of images ripped though her mind, causing her to yelp slightly and fall on the bed.

4.

****

A dark, unmarked vehicle racing up the winding gravel road.

****

Kyle, finishing his packing and looking out the window of his cabin; cursing out loud when he saw what was coming. Running outside, yelling for everyone at the top of his lungs.

****

Michael, rushing out of the other cabin, looking to where Kyle was pointing. He turned back to Maria slowly, her face instantly going pale.

****

Two more unmarked vehicles joining the pursuit, assault rifles being loaded in the passenger window.

****

Max, hearing the commotion, dropping his bags and darting outside. His slow motion form, rushing out in front of the group, looking down the road. Liz grabbing her jacket, glancing at the clock. 2:17.

Max saying, “I’ll head them off, buy us a couple more minutes.”

****

Max took a step forward, picking Liz up from the bed with his powerful arms. “What’s the matter? Did you have a vision?”

Liz whipped her head around to the alarm clock she was death-gripping behind her. The time was 1:59.

“Oh God,” she gasped. “They’re coming.”

“Who’s coming?” Max asked, confusion filling his features.

“The FBI,” Liz exclaimed queasily. “They’ll be here in 18 minutes. We have to go, NOW!”

Max jumped to the bureau, grabbing his bag and fishing out the two-way radio. “Get your stuff packed,” he ordered Liz. “I’ll meet you at the van.”

Liz moved to the door. “Max,” she said, turning to look at him.

He nodded. “I’ll be careful, now go.”

Liz grabbed all her stuff, crammed it into the bag, and rushed out into the little stretch of woods separating the three cabins. Raising her voice, she yelled “Kyle, Maria, Michael, Isabel… we need to go, NOW,” just in case Max couldn’t reach them over the radio.

Reaching the others’ cabins in no time, Liz slowed her pace to regain some of her breath. Isabel came out from behind a tree suddenly, scaring the hell out of Liz. “What’s going on,” Isabel barked, a dry look on her face.

“The FBI is coming,” Liz said, out of breath.

“Yeah the FBI is coming,” Michael reported loudly, “Max just filled me in on the radio. Get your stuff together, we’re outta here.”

Liz ran her hands thought her hair. “Right! Isabel, grab what you can and get to the van. Now.”

“Damn it,” Kyle groaned to himself, running out amongst all the commotion. “This is all my fault.”

“Did you say somethin’ Kyle?” Michael quipped, already on pins and needles.

“Oh, uh, no,” Kyle replied. Now was definitely not the time to be getting into an argument with Michael.

As everyone rushed to get their things, Maria emerged from her cabin carrying her bag, clothes hanging out of every opening. A lone sock fell out onto the rocky path as she hurriedly ran to join the group and threw her bags in the van.

“We need to do something to this van,” Maria said thinking aloud. “They will recognize it.”

Michael came running up behind her, grabbing her lost articles and throwing his things in also. “Like what?”

“I don’t know. Use your powers to make it look like the mystery mobile from Scooby Doo,” she groaned. “Blow the top off, just do something.”

Isabel slowly walked over to the van. “How about a change of color,” she said, pressing her palm firmly to the vehicle. The rusty metallic coloring began to swirl, changing from the dull blue-green to an ugly, glossy brown, complete with orange and red flames on the sides and gaudy peace stickers on the front and back. The colors effortlessly spread from the front bumper to the rear, swirling and twisting in an unusual fashion to contort to the myriad of curly designs.

Maria stood there, stunned for a minute, staring at the final product. “I don’t think I will ever get used to that,” she said mostly to herself.

“No problem,” Isabel sighed, feeling a little dizzy from the use of power. She was weaker than she thought, taking a step back, stumbling. Kyle rushed over to her, dropping his things in the dust.

“Are you okay,” he asked, concern lacing every word.

Isabel pulled away. “I’m fine Kyle. Where’s Max? We need to get going.”

Liz thought back to the flash, what Max whispered before ordering her to go. “I’ll head them off, buy us a couple more minutes.”

There wasn’t time to ponder it. She hurried over to the driver’s side of the van, jerking the door open and motioning everyone to get in. “We’ll get him on the way out. Come on, get in.” Liz revved the engine, the vehicle roaring to life as the group piled in. She slammed the gearbox into drive as soon as the last door shut, spraying gravel everywhere behind them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’ll head them off,” Max recalled himself whispering. What a strange feeling that was, he was sure he must have said it, yet it seemed more like a thought. Watching her go, the first thing he did was reach into his pocket, throwing down enough money to cover the last couple of nights’ rent. Then he went out the back, threw his bags into the van, and slid down the very steep hill to the main road, a few hundred feet below.

“They would have to come this way,” he thought to himself quickly, the dust stinging his eyes. Off in the distance, he could see a trail of dust, the FBI.

Max knew that there was a way out down the other side of the hill. It was rough and rocky, but the van should be able to make it. He looked around to make sure no one was watching, and seeing no one, Max raised his outstretched hand, concentrating on the largest tree he could find and the thick trunk that supported it.

Instantly, the huge tree started to crack and buckle, collapsing powerfully under the weight of the branches. It blocked the roadway just enough to make passing impossible. “That should buy us some time,” he said aloud and began running up the road to the cabins. Time was running out.

The van rushed down the road towards him, Liz behind the wheel. Her eyes instantly met his; both smiling inwardly that each other was okay. Slamming on the brakes, the van skidded sideways to a halt, Max inline with the passenger door. Kyle opened it for him and he jumped in, the van moving again before his feet were even off the ground.

“What if there are some of them waiting at the other exit,” Liz asked, trying to focus on the road ahead but checking her mirrors.

Max looked up ahead, and saw another set of dust trails off in the distance. He thought for a moment.

“Max, something is in front of us!” Liz announced, concerned.

Max turned back to look at Isabel, his eyes pleading. “Isabel,” he said, knowing that she was on the same exact wavelength.

“I can’t,” Isabel whispered. “I’m not exactly sure how to do it, Max.”

“Concentrate,” Max told her. “Please Isabel, you’re our only hope.”

Isabel took a deep breath, filling her lungs with air as if for the first time. “Okay,” she whispered, slamming her eyes shut. Concentrating as the van clanked and bounced over the rough road would not be easy. She was going to try to make them see anything, a little sedan instead of this rust bucket, or perhaps see nothing at all. She ignored everything around her, even Maria’s wide-eyed frightened look.

“There they are,” Maria whispered frantically, pointing over the seat towards the three dark cars coming toward them.

Max watched as Liz tensed up, knowing all too well how she was feeling. It was as though he were experiencing it himself. Then again, maybe he was. In any case, he placed a hand on her knee, trying to give her any bit of comfort he could.

“Just drive, Liz,” he reassured her. “Keep going.”

And she did just that. Right past the three cars, who stopped to examine whatever it was that the van looked like. But the agents didn’t move to stop them, not a finger. After the grueling few seconds it took to get past the enemy, they found themselves on Southside Road, over a crest and away from immediate danger. Liz sighed a huge sigh of relief. “We made it,” she said triumphantly.

Kyle stared out the window. “Yeah,” he scolded himself. “I guess we did.”

5.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Route 40, Texas Border

It had been over a month since Jesse had left the group, and he missed Isabel just as much now as he did then - only now, he had had time to reflect on loneliness too.

He had waited for a month, hoping and praying for some word, some sign that his wife and love would return to his hallowed apartment. He imagined she were just on a small vacation, and should be back shortly. Each night, falling asleep alone was the hardest thing he had ever done. He knew that she was out there somewhere, and she must be hurting just as much as he was. It isn’t normal to cry yourself asleep at night.

It was bad enough that the FBI had broke in while he was packing the last of her clothes, but after they had torn the place apart and taken most of her belongings, he sank to a new low. Over the weeks that followed, he cleaned everything up again, still believing that somehow he would get a call, or a letter, something to show that his wife was still alive.

But nothing came.

The Evans, the Parker’s, Amy Deluca, and Jim Valenti: Nobody had heard a word since that fateful day, and everyone involved seethed with worry. When it wasn’t on their lips, it was in their expressions.

Jesse had grown accustomed to regular visits to the Crashdown Café, as had the Evans and Jim Valenti. They were sure the FBI had the place bugged, so they kept confidential discussions to a minimum, but it was still a relief to talk to others who had lost part of their families to this mess.

His offer for work in Boston popped up again; this time the opportunity was his last and final chance. Phillip Evans was adamant about him going, since there was no way he could pay Jesse that much and the offer was expiring. Anyone would be stupid to turn down such an offer. Besides, if the group did come back to Roswell, he knew where to find them.

Having nothing else left in his life, Jesse decided to take his wife’s advice and go to Boston. He knew he wouldn’t give up on finding her however, and wasn’t ready in the least to declare himself a widow, but there were no leads. Nothing. Isabel was strong; he knew that, strong enough to take care of herself, even in the face of the gravest dangers. Wherever she was, she had to be all right.

Still, Jesse had to move forward, she was right. He could not cry himself to sleep any longer, waking in the morn with a lifeless pillow pulled in close. It was time to give up, to start again.

And with that, he swallowed his pride. His in-laws offered to help him pack all the new furniture and house wares they had bought, but that stuff would just remind him more of Isabel and he didn’t want that. Sell it, he reasoned. Give it to charity. Only the little things would travel with him. His law book collection, briefcase, her old school ID card, perhaps the pillow cover that retained a trace of her scent.

He twirled his wedding band around his finger nervously.

It was hard, saying goodbye to all these people and the last few years. But he knew it was the right thing to do; the only thing to do. He had to do it as much for Isabel, as he did for himself.

So in the early dawn light that fateful morning, off he went, eastward bound, headed for a destiny not yet revealed. However, he should have known nobody could ever leave Roswell that easily.

“Put your hands in the air! Do it!” Came a booming voice as the four undercover cars cornered him and forced him over to the shoulder of the road.

“Hands where I can see ‘em!” Came another voice, agents taking cover and aiming their weapons at Jesse.

He had no choice but to comply. Even if he could reach his firearm, he was massively outnumbered and outgunned.

Two pairs of agents approached, a pair on each side, opening his door and literally dragging him out and onto the dusty, hard earth.

There, five agents held him face down in the dirt as his weapon was removed; he was then handcuffed, blindfolded, and thrown into one of the unmarked cars.

Fate, it seemed, was not without a sense of irony.

©2002 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.