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“Moving Day”

Story by Annie and Shira

Written by Annie, Jeslyn and Shira

Edited by Lisa, Liz Park, Mark, Sherry and Tiff

 

 

Playlist:

1.  “The Road I’m On” by Three Doors Down

2.  “Superman” by Lazlo Bane

3.  “Ice Cream” by Sarah McLachlan

4.  “Come Away” by Norah Jones

 

 

 

Liz’s Journal Entry – April 18th, 2003

 

I’m confused. 

 

All these thoughts keep racing through my mind about everything that has happened in the last few days… and all I can think to write are those two words. Being a scientist by nature I don’t think I’ve ever written anything so vague, but there it is.  The only way for me to understand these events is just to say that nothing is ever what you expect it to be. 

 

If I had expected the unexpected, maybe I wouldn’t be so shocked right now.  Part of me feels as though I should have known what has happened.  I keep going back and forth with myself but I know that even the best of premonitions couldn’t have prepared me for what I’ve lost, and more importantly, what we as a group have gained.  Nothing that has happened in the past two days would hold this much significance if it hadn’t started with a loss of trust.  A trust we had all come to rely on.

 

It all began when I suspected that Michael was cheating on Maria.  Had been Alex when I saw Michael kissing Calypso I would have given him a good sucker punch in the stomach on Maria’s behalf.  Of course, had I been Alex I probably would have regretted the pain I caused Michael later when Calypso fixed Maria.  Fixed … there might not be a verb in the English language to truly explain whatever action Calypso performed.  Maria isn’t really fixed, not to me. She’s not the same girl I would be able to talk to at all hours of the morning, she’s not the girl that would show up at my front door wearing the wildest outfit, and she’s not the girl I love as a sister.  Now, she’s actually more like two women in one and she wants time away from the rest of us… all of us except Michael.  As many times as I’ve tried to understand Michael’s hurt because of what happened to Maria, I’m not sure he could ever understand what I’ve lost in this whole mess. 

 

Maria wasn’t just my best friend, she’s been my anchor to humanity ever since we left Roswell.  And she was the only one in the group that we knew would always be completely human.  I lost my best friend that night outside the strip club and now I have no idea if I’ll ever get her back. I guess this is a classic example of the adage ‘Be careful what you wish for’, because even though she seems to be Maria again, as I prayed so many times she would be, she’s not the best friend I know and love so much.

 

I lost her emotionally back at the strip club, and now I feel like I’m losing her physically as well, because she’s moving out with Michael.  If she’ll let me, I’d like to at least continue being friends on some level.  But first, although it hurts, I know I’ll have to learn to accept this new Maria as she is … because somewhere inside the new Maria remains the old one I’ve always known.

 

Hanley’s return was a definite shocker.  Ava.  Now there’s a story that will leave your head spinning for days.  Another pro and con situation.  Although she is Tess’s dupe, I never harbored any ill feelings toward her.  It’s Hanley who still makes me feel paranoid.  He’s a shapeshifter like Nasedo, a protector, yet he wasn’t there to protect us from the FBI from at graduation. He wasn’t there to help sort out an unavoidable situation and keep us from having to leave our families and our homes.  Roswell is actually the only link to humanity that any of us have left, except for Isabel I suppose.  She’ll always have Jesse. 

 

With Ava and Hanley moving in, Kyle has become… distant.  I expected his reaction, it’s completely understandable.  He has his reasons.  I can tell that Serena is worried about him.  In fact, it doesn’t take a genius to notice that there is some serious chemistry between them.  I know he misses normal life, his dad, and I think he’d like nothing more than to go back there someday. I hope for his sake that someday isn’t too far away.

 

For now, we can only deal with the present. We can’t move forward and we can’t go back.  We’re all just stuck in this place hoping that tomorrow is better than today. Hanley wants us to prepare for the inevitable drama that’s to occur but Max is still ignoring him for the most part.  He’s upset that Michael and Maria are moving out.  Always the worrier, he can’t help but feel lost when he can’t keep everything, and everyone, in order.  At least now that we’ve declared the group a democracy instead of a monarchy, he’s more able to show his compassion for his family then before.  But I can see him constantly biting his tongue to stop from barking orders at everyone.  I guess the king inside of him is awakening again.  If he decides to take control, I know I’ll be there for him.  I’m sure this time around, we all will be.

 

Until then, we wait.  But patience can only stretch so far.

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

Liz watched from the window as Kyle, Isabel and Serena helped Michael load the last of his and Maria’s belongings into the U-haul.  Liz couldn’t help but feel saddened that she was losing her best friend, her old Maria, and the new Maria she probably would never get to know.

 

Maria was already sitting in the passenger seat, eager to get the show on the road.  If they had any intention of getting everything moved and the truck returned by noon, she figured they’d better get moving soon.  Glancing up at the apartment window, Maria saw Liz standing there.  Waves of confusion coursed through Maria.  Hurt, anger, resentment, and sadness.  Maria knew who Liz once was and who she was now but everything was so jumbled, she wasn’t sure if she should go up and give Liz a hug or just ignore her. 

 

1.

 

“Bye, Maria,” Liz whispered to the window, her fingers reaching out to touch its smooth surface.

 

“Who you talkin’ to?” Ava asked, peering over Liz’s shoulder out the window.

 

Letting out a deep sigh as the truck began to pull out into traffic, Liz’s shoulders drooped in resignation.  “No one,” she finally answered, turning to face the blonde girl.

 

Ava laughed a bit.  “Good thing, ‘cause I was about ta think you might be a little strange in the head...  y’know, talkin’ to a window and all.”

 

A faint smile crept across Liz’s lips and then faded.

 

“Aight.  What’s the matta, Liz?” Ava questioned softly, sitting down in the chair across from where Liz was standing.

 

Shrugging her shoulders, Liz took another lingering look out the window.  The U-Haul had all but disappeared from sight.

 

“She don’t hate you,” Ava reassured her, sensing what the problem was.

 

Liz shook her head.  “Yes, she does.  That’s why she’s leaving, she can’t be herself when everyone is telling her to be someone else.  It’s confusing and it’s just… weird!  And I didn’t help matters any pushing her.  I was being selfish because I wanted my best friend back.  Now she hates me and I can honestly say that I can understand why.”

 

Ava reached over, placing her hand on Liz’s shoulder.  “Think aboudit.  She’s been through a lot, right?”

 

Liz acceded with a shrugging nod.  “Yeah.”

 

“And you said it yourself, it’s confusing and she needs to figure out what’s going on.”

 

Once again, Liz nodded her agreement.

 

She needs some space to work her way through, and maybe yous remind her about what was, not what is.  She’s gotta find her way, then it’ll be okay,” Ava said with a shrug.

 

Knowing Ava had hit the nail on the head, Liz sighed.  “I know; I just miss the old Maria.  I thought once Calypso did her thing we would have Maria back and it would be like old times.  Now, this new Maria, well… she isn’t what I expected.”

 

“And I ain’t Tess.  Still don’t mean I ain’t payin’ for what she did,” Ava mentioned, drawing a parallel between Maria’s situation and her own.

 

This brought Liz’s head around and she looked at the other girl as if seeing her for the first time.

 

“I’m really sorry, Ava,” Liz said sincerely, regret in her eyes for the reception she’d gotten from them all.

 

Ava waved her hand, dismissing Liz’s apology.  “I wasn’t talking about you, and I ain’t blamin’ the ones that do.  In fact, I’m startin’ to think my dupe must’ve been one royal bitch.”

 

Liz’s mouth became a tight line, feelings of turmoil roiling in her stomach as they always did whenever she thought of Tess. “She just did – anything – to get what she wanted, even if it meant destroying other people’s lives,” she told her, grief shadowing her eyes for the destruction of the one life she would never forgive Tess for. “Whether it was her fault she was like that or  Nasedo’s for raising her that way…” she shrugged as if to say ‘what did it really matter?’

 

They sat there for a moment, in silence.  Liz glanced out the window again but the road was empty, even the parked cars seemingly sparse and desolate.

 

“Deep,” Ava finally said with a sage nod, breaking the tension.  “Real deep.”

 

Liz looked at the smirk on Ava’s face and started laughing.  The seriousness of the moment faded as the sound of laughter filled the room. 

 

“Deep, thanks,” she gasped, managing to catch her breath.

 

Ava looked at her with a puzzled little smile.  “For what?”

 

“Making me laugh,” Liz told her.  “I really needed that.”

 

“No problem,” Ava replied.  “You guys are all too uptight ‘round here.  Gotta loosen up some, ya know?”

 

“Definitely,” Liz agreed.

 

Ava scooted the ottoman over, stretching out and kicking her feet up.

 

“So where have you been all this time?” Liz asked, sinking down into the chair next to Ava.  “What did you do after you left Roswell?”

 

Ava grew still, and Liz could see a haunted look flare within her eyes. 

 

“Ran,” came the soft, one-word reply.

 

“Lonnie and Rath?” Liz whispered, not wanting to push Ava into talking about something she wasn’t ready to discuss yet.  She was curious to know what had brought Ava back to their group again.  Hanley had said that something was coming.  She wondered if that was why he had worked so hard to find Ava.  The amount of time alone would be justification enough to see that Hanley was desperate.  Liz was hoping that Ava could fill in the gaps.

 

“That was part of it,” Ava confessed.  “From them, our enemies. Zan...”

 

Liz sat up in bewilderment.  “Zan?”

 

Nodding, Ava turned her eyes away to peer out the window.  “I didn’t wanna think ‘bout him y’know?  ‘Cause if I stopped movin’, I’d have to face the fact that I’s really alone.  Zan might not of loved me like Max loves you, but he was good to me.  We clicked.  I miss him so much.”

 

A tiny tear found its way to the corner of her eye and rolled downward, leaving a glistening path down her cheek, but she managed to continue without faltering.  “I spent a lot of time in Cali.  It’s ‘bout as far away as you can get from New York. Went to Colorado for a while.  Them mountains is real pretty, y’know.  Chicago was next – I was kinda missin’ the big city. And that’s where Hanley found me.”

 

“I’m sorry you had to go it alone,” Liz said, following Ava’s gaze out the window to see what she was looking at.  Some kids were playing down the street.  One little girl, in particular, was dawdling behind the main group seemingly content to keep her own pace as she wandered down the sidewalk.  Liz wondered if Ava were seeing herself in the young girl.

 

“I ain’t sorry,” Ava assured her.  “Bein’ alone ain’t always so bad.  Made me think for myself, saw things I’d never seen before.”

 

“Still,” Liz sighed.  “I’m sure it got lonely.”

 

“Yeah,” Ava agreed, deciding to turn the conversation to a lighter tone.  “At least I didn’t have to share a bathroom with six otha’ people.  The wait is a killer.”

 

Liz laughed.  “No kidding.  And Isabel...”

 

“She’s the worst,” Ava finished for her.  “Does she always take that long?”

 

“Oh yeah,” Liz uttered.  “Don’t even get me started on when we all went to prom.  Alex said that she....”

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

“A little hard work and you’re suddenly useless? Figures,” Serena teased as she eyed Kyle sitting on the curb, soda in hand. 

 

“Well, when manly men work, they usually like to take a break before doing other manly things, like building stuff,” Kyle said with a smirk.  “Besides, don’t you think I deserve a rest?” He patted the curb beside him, indicating she should take a seat.

 

“Well, not that you don’t deserve one...  but there isn’t much stuff to move.” Serena took his offer and sat down next to him.

 

“Hey, hold it right there, Miss I-Move-All-The-Light-Stuff!”

 

Serena raised her hands in defense, “Hey, I would have helped move the heavy stuff, but all you manly-men jumped right in trying to prove your manhood!”

 

Kyle shrugged his shoulders, “When in Rome...”

 

“...do as the other testosterone-induced freaks do?”

 

“Hey now...  guys can’t stand to be outdone by a chick.  Therefore we grunt, groan, and do the impossible leaving the easy stuff for the girls.”

 

“Wow...  a look into the male psyche...  please let me out,” Serena joked.  “And just to let you know, Kyle, I have massive pipes.”

 

Serena flexed, showing off her well-toned arms and the two of them started laughing again. 

 

Kyle fell quiet as he reached out to run his hand down her arm.

 

“Actually, yeah, you do.”

 

“Do what?” she asked breathlessly, finding it difficult to register anything he said, her body electrified at his light touch.

 

“You do have great...  pipes...  and - well, a great body all around...” Kyle said stumbling a little over his words.

 

“Is that all you see me as, Kyle? A piece of meat?” Serena asked pulling away a little, a flirtatious smile on her face.

 

But Kyle’s expression remained serious. “Not at all, the thing is… I see you as the whole package Serena, and- well… your body is great, but that’s just part of it, you know? I like you...  the whole you, and everything that comes with it, pipes and all.”

 

“Really?” Serena asked hopefully.

 

“Yeah...  and that’s why I have to be honest with you.”

 

“What do you mean?” Serena asked, her smile fading as she watched Kyle stare at something out in the distance.

 

“I’m sick of running, Serena. I love the gang, but being around them 24/7 is really starting to take its toll,” Kyle said, pausing for a moment.  “I miss my dad. And, you know, we haven’t seen any trouble for a long time...”

 

“Kyle, what are you saying?” Serena asked confusedly, feeling slightly alarmed.

 

 “I want to go home...  to Roswell.”

 

“Kyle...  that’s crazy. We don’t know who - or what - is still out there looking for us.”

 

“I don’t care anymore...  I need a life- a life of my own.”

 

“Kyle I understand that, but... have you discussed this with–”

 

“You know what’s really weird?” Kyle asked, cutting her off.

 

“What?”

 

“Right before we started this fugitive thing, I was going nowhere...  I was scared I was gonna be stuck in Roswell forever...  that I was going to end up like my father, my grandfather even, in some dead-end job or out of my mind.  I wanted to go out and experience the world, get as far from Roswell as possible.  Now, all I want is to get back there.”

 

“So… you’re homesick?”

 

“I just need to get away for a while,” he said by way of reply. “From everything and everyone.”

 

Hurt, Serena started to get up, saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

 

Kyle quickly reached out to catch hold of her arm, stopping her retreat. “I feel that way about everyone except you that is.  I want you to come with me.  I want you to meet my father and my grand-father – I want you to see where I grew up.  I want you to see the places that the rest of us are always reminiscing about.  I want us to go eat a burger at the Crashdown and live normal, human lives for once. I want to show you the monkey bars at the elementary school where I got the scar on my knee...  I want to show you me, Serena, because this - here...  this isn’t me.”

 

Serena smiled softly. Kyle was pouring his heart out to her, and well, it did sound good to see all the things he mentioned...  to get away from the alien conspiracy for a little while...  but it just wasn’t practical.  Even if she didn’t want to admit it, she felt the need to protect the group that she’d recently gotten so close to.

 

“Kyle, that sounds great. Really it does. But I don’t know if it’s the best time for us to go and do that, we still don’t know who is watching.  Max wouldn’t be happy if he knew about this....”

 

“I don’t care about Max Evans right now...  for once I care about me.  This is what I need.”

 

“Maybe you can just wait a little while, to make sure everything is all right? Hanley said something big is coming…”

 

“Serena...”

 

“I just don’t want to see you caught by the FBI...  or dead,” Serena said, emotion stippling her face.  “I couldn’t stand it if something happened to you and I did nothing to stop it.”

 

Kyle took Serena in his arms and held her tight.

 

“I’ll be careful, I promise, but I need this, Serena...  I feel like a robot – dead inside, just going through the motions.  I need to get a taste of what I keep fighting to get back to, the real deal.”

 

Serena pulled away and looked into his emotion-filled blue eyes. 

 

“I know you need this, I can see that...  I’m just… scared.”

 

“Don’t be,” he said, laying a kiss on her forehead, “Everything will be fine.”

 

“I wish I could be so sure...” she trailed, watching as he picked up his soda can.

 

“We better get back to moving before they send out the SWAT team,” Kyle said, attempting to put an end to the discussion as he stood up and started walking back towards the apartment.

 

“Yeah, I guess you’re right...” she said, lagging behind.

 

Realizing that Serena wasn’t behind him, he turned around to catch her eye.

 

“I know you don’t agree with me going, but there’s a bus leaving tonight for New Mexico and I’m gonna be on it.  You can come or not, the choice is yours.  Either way, I won’t be around after tonight.”

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

Maria sighed, slipping an arm around Michael's waist and watching Kyle carry one of four boxes up the stairs leading to their new apartment.  Their new apartment in Coolidge Corner -just outside of Boston.  Maria sighed again smiling happily.

 

Michael, however, seemed to be in a slightly darker mood.  “All of our stuff fit into four boxes...” he noticed verbally, wrapping his arm around Maria's waist in turn, and pulling her closer into his side. 

 

Maria nodded, as she squinted against the mid-day sun, just above the roof of the apartment complex.  “It does, but...at least we have furniture.”

 

Despite Maria's optimistic view, a frown crept across Michael's lips.  “I told Jesse we'd pay him back for what he gave us,” he said, taking in a deep breath.  “It was...  I was a little surprised he'd do that for us after everything we've put him through.  I feel...responsible for…the alien chaos, I guess.  Like I shouldn't be taking anything from him...or anyone, ever again.”

 

Noticing the change in his voice as he spoke, Maria turned her head up towards him and brought a gentle hand up to the side of his face, urging him to look down at her.  “Hey...we're taking baby steps...there's nothing wrong with that.  And Jesse knows that.  He wants to help us.” 

Michael closed his eyes for a moment, then nodded and turned his head to place a kiss on her palm.  “Yeah, I know.  I just don't...I don't know if I'll ever be able...” He shook his head.  “I don't know...my patience is running short with all of this stuff; I just want to be settled already.”

 

Smirking, Maria said, “And you think I don't know how short your patience is?” Remembering, she continued.  “Speaking of patience...We need to lay down a few ground rules for our new place.  There will be no 'This is my apartment, and I can do what I want in it',” she mocked.  “And why won't there be?” she asked, leaning up and placing a soft kiss to his lips.  “My adorable roommate… why is that?”

 

Michael nearly blushed.  “Because...I'm whipped and will give you anything you want?”

 

Maria smiled, shaking her head.

 

“Because...I'm a jackass for putting you through 'the ultimate emotional turmoil'? It’s not everyday your personality gets deep-fried by an alien, you know.”

 

“Well, that too...but also because it's our apartment...ours...” She affirmed, kissing his chin.  “...Ours.” Moving up to his lips.

 

“Ahhhem… I don't mean to interrupt...” Isabel chimed, “Much, anyway… but Michael, I need a few words with you.”

 

Maria's eyes snapped to Isabel's, the playfulness gone.  “If it's more complaints about us doing this, then he doesn't need to hear it,” she said calmly but firmly.

 

“It's alright.” Michael said, reluctantly, leaning forward to press a kiss to Maria's head.  “I need to go get the mailbox key from the landlord anyway.” He looked up to Isabel.  “You can tag along if you've got something useful to say.”

 

Isabel nodded and Maria sighed.  “Alright, well, I'm going to go up and start sifting through our stuff then...” Maria said as she reluctantly left Michael's side, heading towards the stairs.

 

Michael looked at her for a moment before he began to walk with Isabel towards the front office.  She sure had a way of lingering on his mind.

 

“I know that you don't approve of this, but I really don't need your stamp of approval.  Yours...  or Max's,” Michael said defiantly.

 

“My...” Isabel scoffed.  “Well doesn't that sound familiar,” she mocked. 

 

Michael stopped and glared.  “What exactly is that supposed to mean?” he growled. 

 

“It means,” Isabel trailed off, crossing her arms over her chest, “...that not that long ago, I said the same thing to you and Max, if you can remember.”

 

Sighing, Michael turned and started walking again towards the office.  “Yeah, I remember.” He suddenly stopped again and turned back.  “But this...this is different,” he argued. 

 

“Different how?” Isabel asked incredulously. 

 

“Because it is. I don't need you to protect me.”

 

“And I needed you and Max to protect me?” Isabel cried. 

 

“We've always protected you...that's why it's different,” Michael told her.  “We've always done more of the protecting...  it's just...different.  And it's not like we're moving across the country.  This place is like fifteen minutes away,” he finished, almost yelling. 

 

Isabel sighed loudly in frustration.  “Okay, Michael...calm down.  Stop being dramatic and just listen...Okay?” she reasoned, finally taking Michael's silence as affirmation. 

 

“On one hand – The Alien Hybrid hand – this is not a good idea.  It's always been better for us to stick together.”

 

2.

 

Michael rolled his eyes.  “I…” he began, but Isabel cut him off.  “Just shut up, Michael, and let me finish,” Isabel snapped, and Michael fell silent again.  “But on the other hand....on the other side – the human side – I'm happy for you.  I asked you to be happy for me when I married Jesse and you did that for me.  So, now I'm just returning the favor.”

 

Michael looked at her suspiciously.  “You are?”

 

“Yes...” Isabel exhaled.  “You and Maria deserve this.  Out of the two sides, our human side will always win, because it's who we are anyway.  I don't care what Hanley says.  We're human, and we deserve to live human lives as much as possible, before something...” she trailed off. 

 

Michael nodded, understanding.  “I know...we never know what could happen to us,” he finished for her.

 

“Exactly,” Isabel agreed.  “So I say, live while you can...seize the day, before it withers...or whatever.”

 

“You've been hanging out with Kyle way too much,” Michael joked, bumping Isabel in the arm with his elbow. 

 

She let out a small laugh.  “I know.”

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

On his way out to grab another box, Kyle rounded a corner within the apartment complex and nearly collided with Serena, who'd taken it upon herself to haul the largest of the four boxes up the stairs. 

 

“Holy Buddha...  that thing is nearly as big as you are,” he commented. 

 

“Yeah,” Serena managed to sputter out.  “You want to help–OH!”  Her hand suddenly slipped out from under the box, and if it weren't for Kyle's quick reflexes, it would have gone crashing to the floor. 

 

“I got it,” Kyle said, wrapping his arms around the box, easily lifting it away. 

 

Serena rolled her eyes and walked out in front of him towards the door to the apartment.  “Sometimes I hate being a little weakling girl,” she complained.

 

“Didn’t we just discuss this? You're hardly weak, Serena,” Kyle chided, hefting the box into the small apartment, and spotting Maria staring out the window at Michael and Isabel talking in the parking lot. 

 

“Yeah, I'm sure I could kick your Buddha ass,” Serena quipped playfully. 

 

“Okay, let’s not get too carried away,” Kyle replied with a smirk, turning towards Maria.  “Where do you want this one, ‘Ria?”

 

Maria turned and gave him a look before walking towards the box.  “Take that one into the bedroom, thanks,” she told him, bending to lift the box marked ‘Kitchen.’

 

“It's kind of...” Kyle trailed off as Maria lifted the box almost with less effort than he had and walked off into the kitchen.  “...heavy,” he finished, turning to Serena.  “You know...there is something majorly weird going on with her since she did that whole alie–”

 

He stopped suddenly, seeing the most adorably frustrated look on Serena's face. 

 

“What?”

 

“Is it just me?” Serena questioned.  “Am I the only weak one? She lifted that box like it was made of air.”

 

“Probably some voodoo alien magic,” Kyle joked.

 

Laughing softly at the expression on her face, he closed the distance between them and brought his hands up to cup the sides of her neck. “Come with me, to Roswell,” he pleaded suddenly.  Serena started shaking her head, obviously torn, but he pushed on.  “We'd have such a great time together there...and I'd love to introduce you to my dad. He’s the Sheriff again and he plays in a band on the weekends, he’s pretty good, you know if you like pop songs with a slight country twang…”

 

“Kyle, I... Leaving here, after all that's happened...  I just don't know if going out on our own would be safe, or wise, or...”

 

“I don’t want to leave you here, but I'm going with or without you, Serena.  I have to see my father,” Kyle said firmly.

 

Serena felt trapped, almost lost.  It seemed like every part of her brain that could pick a side on this decision was battling it out within her head.  She just needed to make him understand. 

 

“Kyle... I know, but…”

 

“The bus leaves at eight,” Kyle told her.

 

“What's at eight?” Isabel asked, walking through the door at that moment with Michael close behind her. 

 

Serena stared for a thoughtful moment at Kyle, taking a tiny step away from him before she replied.  “Golden Girls... it comes on every night at eight on Lifetime.”

 

“Right,” Isabel commented, shaking her head and deciding it was simply better to not question it any further. 

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

Max made his way up the stairs, his sneakers making little noise on the wooden steps.  As he entered the apartment, he could hear Liz and Ava talking in the living room, lively sharing a humorous anecdote.  His own lips curved into a smile at hearing Liz laugh like that, the first he’d heard from her in days, and he decided not to disturb them.

 

It had been a long day at work, and probably an even longer one here at the apartment.  “Moving day,” his mind told him.  Michael and Maria were gone, almost on the other side of town, living in their own apartment.  He knew that Liz was feeling guilty about the whole situation, blaming herself for Maria’s need to get away.  Hanley, on the other hand, simply didn’t like the idea of the two being so far away from the group, but it was for a completely different reason.  He felt it was dangerous.

 

Deep down, Max felt that way too.  The thing that frustrated him the most was that he couldn’t name the threat that made him feeling so helpless.  None of them could with the exception of Hanley, who was keeping his thoughts a secret.

 

But It wasn’t any secret that the shapeshifter wasn’t necessarily a trusted member of the group.  Especially when he had been gone for weeks on end with no communication. 

 

Moving down the hall, with that thought in mind, Max’s ears found themselves concentrating on every sound in the house, particularly drifting towards the guest room where Hanley was staying.

 

“How can you say that?” Hanley’s voice filtered through the door.  “You don’t know that for sure...”

 

Max slowed his pace.

 

“Of course I’m keeping a close eye on them.”

 

Max moved closer to the bedroom door, intrigued by the snippets that filled his ears.  In fact, all of his attention was focused on listening to the conversation taking place on the other side of the door.

 

“I don’t think that is such a good idea,” Hanley told the unknown person he was conversing with. “You don’t know how dangerous it could be...  Rae....  that’s an unnecessary risk...  I can too order you, don’t make me pull rank....  I’ve made up my mind, the answer is no.  Rae....  Rae!”

 

Opening the door slightly, Max watched the last bit of the phone call.  After he repeated the name for the last time, Hanley let out a growl of frustration.  Punching the ‘end call’ button, he tossed the phone on the bed, running his free hand though his hair. 

 

“Who’s Ray?” Max asked, his eyes cool and calculating as he leaned against the door frame.

 

Hanley jumped a bit, and spun to face Max.  “Don’t you knock?” he asked, obviously irritated.

 

Max shook his head, moving into the room cautiously.  “Who’s Ray?” he repeated, this time with more force.

 

“Nice to know that I get some privacy,” Hanley remarked.

 

“Stop avoiding my question,” Max retorted, taking another step towards Hanley. 

 

Hanley matched his movement, squaring his shoulders.  “I will after you tell me what gives you the right to spy on me.”

 

“I’m your King,” Max almost found himself saying, but bit it back at the last minute. 

 

“Ever since you came back with Ava, you’ve been spouting off about how much danger we all are in, yet you haven’t told a single one of us why, or who this danger is coming from.  You keep telling us to trust you, and I find you here having cryptic conversations with some guy...”

 

“Guy?” Hanley questioned, his eyes widening.  “Rae....  oh,” he said as it dawned on him.  “Rae is short for Raeve.  Raeve is a girl’s name, very popular back on Antar.”

 

“Oh,” Max replied, caught a bit off guard when he heard a slight laugh coming from Hanley’s throat.  “What’s so funny?”

 

Hanley shook his head.  “Nothing...  just that if she knew you thought she was a guy, she would be somewhat less than amused.”

 

Max didn’t know what to ask first, or if he should even let his guard down.  Who was this person?  Did she know about them?  Why was Hanley hiding her?

 

“She’s an alien, Max,” Hanley answered, almost as if he was reading his mind.  “A protector and shapeshifter, like me.”

 

“Is she your wife or something?” Max asked, still trying to get a handle on this situation.

 

 Hanley shocked him again by laughing, this time harder.  “No,” Hanley managed to say as he clutched his sides, catching his breath.

 

Now Max was getting irritated.  “Okay, enough with the runaround, Hanley.  I want to know who she is.  It’s obvious that you trust her, and I want to know if I can too.  I’m not going to be left in the dark. I need to know if I can even trust you for that matter.”

 

That made the laughter die down instantly, and Max witnessed just how quickly Hanley could switch emotions.  His eyes turned from mirth-filled to utterly serious within a split second.  In fact, there was something alien about them in that moment, more so than Max had ever seen before.

 

“Raeve is my sister,” Hanley told him plainly.  “We were part of a mission, sent by the queen to discover just what happened to the pods.  Our duty was to find the four, watch over and protect them from your enemies until the time came...”

 

“Time came for what?” Max prodded when Hanley failed to finish his explanation.

 

Hanley took a deep breath.  “For you to become King again.  But things are happening, Max.  Things we could have never predicted.”

 

Max stiffened in his stance, frustration clouding his features at his continuing vagueness.  “What kind of things, Hanley?”

 

Moving away, Hanley turned towards the window.  Looking out, he searched his brain for the right words. 

 

“Protectors are coming up… missing,” he finally said.

 

“Missing,” Max repeated questioningly.

 

“Yes, missing,” Hanley repeated.  “There were several factions sent to Earth around the same time, Max.  All with specific jobs.  Some were sent to find the second set of pods, tracing them to New York. Others were sent to keep an eye on threats...  like the skins and other aliens that were sent after the crash.  I was part of the group meant to find you, Isabel, Michael, and Tess.”

 

Max nodded his head, absorbing the information.  “Who else was part of the group sent to protect us?”

 

“Raeve, my sister, and Xaedon.”

 

“Xaedon?”

 

Max waited while Hanley stared broodingly out the window for a short moment, then turn to face him.  “My brother.  Raeve’s twin.  She’s afraid that he is one of the ones missing.  Him and a lot of others.”

 

“And that’s why you were talking to her,” Max said, urging him to go on. 

 

 “Yeah,” Hanley agreed.  “Many of us were chosen for various reasons.  Raeve and Xaedon were mainly chosen because of their connection.  No matter how many miles separate them, they can still communicate telepathically.  It’s a twin-empathy thing, I don’t know how it works exactly, but it’s rare.  Lately, she hasn’t been able to contact him – at all.”

 

Max chewed on this for awhile, the idea that a large network of people from his world had been here on earth all this time, supposedly to look out for their welfare, was agitating.  “So why did it take you so long to find us?” he wondered aloud, not able to hide the hint of anger in his voice.

 

Hanley glanced over at him.  “We’ve only been on Earth a few years, the ship broke down at Beta Cygni and we had to make repairs,” he admitted, looking less than pleased.  “And it wasn’t like we were given an x-marks-the-spot kind of map.  Earth is big; it took time.  A lot of time.  And even after we found you, we felt it was better to keep an eye on you from a distance, rather than drag you into any more danger than you had already gotten yourselves into.”

 

“So you allowed Tess to betray us and Alex to die,” Max seethed.  “And that’s not even mentioning the so-called protectors we got saddled with in the first place...”

 

“Nasedo, as you call him and Cal are from different generations of shapeshifters,” Hanley explained.  “A breed that was denied the ability to have free will.  Whatever a being of higher status ordered, they had to follow.  That can lead to some serious resentment, Max.”

 

Max nodded knowingly.  “And what about you?” he asked.

 

“Zan did away with that in the last years, finishing what his father started in that manner,” Hanley told him.  “I was born in the second generation of the new breed.  The protectors sent with you never had the choice.  I did.  My brother and sister did.  Hell, almost all the protectors on this planet chose to come.  The only people we can resent for our actions are ourselves.  Makes us much more loyal.”

 

Max started pacing the room.  “Then why didn’t you do anything to stop Tess or Nasedo?”

 

“Because we simply didn’t know,” Hanley sighed with regret.  “Not until it was too late.  We never meant for anyone to die...  for Tess to turn against you.  None of it was anything we could have possibly foreseen happening.”

 

As he walked back and forth, Max could feel his breaths becoming uneven with frustration.  “So what do we do about this new threat?  Something is happening, that much you can foresee, right?”

 

“We wait,” Hanley told him simply.  “Keep our eyes open...”

 

“That’s bull!” Max yelled.  “You know something and you’re not telling me!”

 

 “That’s all we have,” Hanley replied edgily.  “Until you can face up to the fact that you are the King, that you are needed as a leader, and accept the position, we are all weak.  This group is weak and without purpose, without a goal.  There is so much distrust here that it would take very little to break it apart.  Our only advantage seems to be that our enemies don’t know that.  But, with the way things are going, it won’t be long before they do.”

 

Max was raking his hands through his hair now.  “So what do you suggest?”

 

“Learn to trust each other,” Hanley told him.  “To trust me.  Because whether you know it or not, I have just as much at stake here as you do.”

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

As Michael entered the landlord's small office, he stopped.  Jesse was standing there, having a conversation with the large, bald man behind the desk.

 

“So the lease is extended for a year?” Jesse asked. 

 

“Right,” the landlord confirmed, turning to hold out his hand to Michael.  “Welcome aboard, son.”

 

“Yeah, thanks,” Michael replied sincerely, and shook the man's hand. 

 

“Well, I have to get to the cleaners and pick up my wife's church dress... Easter and all, you know.  So if I could see you two gentleman out,” the landlord said. 

 

“Right, of course...” Jesse said and followed Michael out into the parking lot, where they both watched as the landlord got into his lime-green 1970’s LTD and drove away. 

 

“Well, it's a good neighborhood, and the lease is one of the best you could get with your pathetic credit history.  It’s pretty safe around these parts,” Jesse stated with a proud nod.

 

“It's great. Maria really likes it.” Michael said. 

 

Jesse raised an eyebrow.  “And you like it, right?”

 

“Yeah, sure,” Michael said.  “But, you know, with Maria... we could be living in cardboard box and... well, you know.”

 

Jesse couldn’t help but agree, his thoughts trailing over to his wife.  “That I do.  And, I hope Maria likes the furniture as well.”

 

Michael nodded quickly.  “Yeah, we both really appreciate you doing that for us, Jesse, especially since you really didn't have to. I mean, after all of the crap, bodies even...” Michael trailed off.

 

“Don't worry about it,” Jesse said dismissively.  “I realized a long time ago that living with, and wanting to be with, Isabel came with a few other responsibilities.  Of course, things weren't exactly what I thought they'd be, but...I think I've adjusted pretty well,” he finished with a knowing glance.

 

Michael gave a short laugh.  “Yeah, better than some, but ah...” he stammered, searching for the words while scratching his eyebrow. “Thanks...anyway.  We appreciate it.  I appreciate it.”

 

Jesse nodded.  “You’re welcome.”

 

~.~.~.~.~

 

3.

 

Michael lay on the floor, sorting through his numerous Metallica CD’s, while Maria delved into the biggest box, tossing the pink bubble-wrap aside. At her sudden soft laugh, he looked up from the floor.

 

 “What is it?”

 

Maria smiled fondly as she lifted the 'Caution', 'Do Not Enter', and 'Restricted Area' signs from the box, biting her lip lightly. 

 

“What?” Michael said.  “Not quite going with the chiffon couch?”

 

Maria shook her head wryly.

 

Michael took that as a sign that she didn't want them in the apartment. 

 

“We don't have to put them up, I told you...” He stopped and took a deep breath.  “You could just decorate the place.”

 

“What?” Maria asked incredulously.  “Of course we'll put them up,” she said as she marched with the sign over to a blank spot on the wall.  “Here I think.”

 

Standing up, Michael said, “But you always hated those signs, said they 'cluttered the walls'... you know…” he trailed off realizing he'd used one of the 'you always' phrases.  Maria turned and gave him a sympathetic look. 

 

“It's alright...it doesn't bother me as much when you do it...” she said, turning back towards the wall, lifting the sign against it again.  “Plus...I can't see why I would have hated them. I think they give the place a dangerous appeal.”

 

Michael smirked.  That's why he'd always liked them.  “I know...” he said softly, almost so that she didn't hear.  Turning around, Maria gave a radiant smile... a smile he'd missed so much over the last few months, and then she hurried over to the counter and picked up two hammers. 

 

“Here,” she said, handing him one, and then a sign.  “Let's decorate.”

 

Michael took the hammer and the sign from her, and picked a space on the wall, but didn't start hammering until she'd come up beside him and placed her sign on the wall as well.

 

“Okay...on three.” Maria said.  “One...two...three–What? Oh!” She exclaimed as she was suddenly lifted, the sign and hammer falling from her fingertips, and then found herself on her back on a sheet of bubble wrap.  “Michael...” She trailed.  “What in the world...”

 

“You know… I just realized something,” Michael drawled as he dropped to his knees next to her.

 

“Yeah, what's that?” Maria asked lightly, looking up into his brown eyes. 

 

“I think you're supposed to christen a new apartment.” he mused, and then smirked as bubble wrap crackled beneath them.

 

“Yeah...you know you are...in every room in fact,” Maria stated with a semi-serious tone.

 

Michael frowned.  “Well that's no fun... we only have three rooms!”

 

Maria laughed suddenly, and the sound was music to Michael's ears. 

 

“Who told you that anyway?” he asked, squinting his eyes suspiciously.

 

“Isabel,” Maria admitted.

 

Michael groaned.  “Way to kill the mood, man,” he said and started to roll off of her, but she wrapped her leg around his quickly, keeping him in place. 

 

“Not so fast...” Maria said playfully.  “We still haven't christened anything.”

 

“Right... how could I forget?” He leaned down to kiss her.  Maria giggled, grabbing him by the shirt and pulling him close for another kiss. 

 

 

~.~.~.~.~

4.

 

 

Kyle finished packing the last of his belongings into his duffle bag, listening for any sign of Serena changing her mind.  He was still holding onto a thread of hope that she might have a change of heart and come running into the room at the last minute, telling him that she was going to go with him back to Roswell.  He wanted so desperately for her to go with him, to stay by his side, to step away from the madness with him, even for just a moment. 

 

Serena had come to mean so much to him over the short amount of time that he had known her. He wanted desperately to protect her, to keep her safe from all the harmful things that had come to light in their life here. He just wanted a moment of quiet with her. He wasn’t sure how he could do this anymore.  His old life in Roswell and the people he loved there seemed to beckon him with the promise of peace.  It just had to be safe for them there. A safe place to gather their thoughts – that was all he wanted. 

 

With thoughts of traveling to Roswell alone weighing heavily on his mind, Kyle checked his watch one last time before picking up his bags and dragging them into the hallway with a sigh.  He couldn’t wait any longer.  The bus heading to Roswell was leaving in about an hour and he couldn’t be late.  He brought his bags into the living room with his head down, the sadness over leaving Serena prevalent in his mind.  Coming upon an unexpected obstacle in the center of the room, he raised his head to find her sitting quietly on top of her own small duffel bag, a slight smile on her face.  Kyle’s eyes lit up.

 

“Does this mean? Are you coming..?” he began, not able to finish a complete sentence. 

 

Serena just nodded at him.  No words were necessary at this point.  Kyle dropped everything in his hands and rushed over to her.  He picked her up in his arms, holding her close before speaking. 

 

“I will take care of you always, Serena.  I promise you that,” he swore solemnly, before setting her carefully on the ground and kissing her softly. 

 

Serena smiled. “I want this, I want me and you to have a real chance.  I want my future to be something different than all this, Kyle.  Most importantly I want my future to be with you.”

 

Kyle took her hand, a complete smile spreading over his face at her last announcement.  He wanted that too. A future with Serena. 

 

“We should get going then, I don’t want to miss the bus, and the cab should be here any minute,” Kyle said, picking up Serena’s bags and his. 

 

Serena paused, smiling. 

 

“What, something wrong?” he said.

 

“I can get that, Serena finally said, picking up one of the smaller bags.  They walked outside together, side by side. Taking the first step towards a new future together… a human future – with a twist. 

 

Next stop: Roswell, New Mexico. 

 

 

  

© 2002-2003 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.