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Episode 505
“Max's Son”
By: Roswell the Final Chapter
Edited by: Roswell the Final Chapter

 The setting sun was shining the day Max left Roswell to track down his son. His parents were there along with Isabel, Michael, Xaedon and Liz. Hanley, who requested to go with him, loaded their suitcases into Phillip Evans’ car. The car was a gesture from Max’s father that he truly appreciated. He knew that his father wanted to help him in his endeavor. Lending his car to Max seemed to be the best way to help for all involved. The van, though they kept it in good condition, didn’t seem up for the trip and it would have been a sign to anyone watching them that something new was actually happening. The car provided better cover for the situation, for which Max was forever grateful if his strategy would hold out in the end.

 "Here," his mom spoke up, pressing a folded piece of paper against his chest when he turned to look at her, "you’ll need this to find your father’s friend- he’s the one we took your son to for adoption."

 Max gazed at her with reverence for a moment. He knew she felt like he was embarking on a wild goose chase and he wasn’t sure that she would help him out in the end. She warned him that his father’s friend seemed a bit loopy and felt that the man might not give him any information to go on. The man might want some proof of Max’s relation to his son and his mom knew that such a demand could mean trouble for her son. Still, in the end, she saw fit to help him out as best she could. He couldn’t imagine not responding to her affection in that moment.

 "Thank you," Max replied.

 She smiled and pulled him into her warm embrace. He briefly returned the hug and pulled away only to find another familiar pair of female arms wrap firmly around him. Isabel, worried about him leaving as well and she had no problems showing how she felt.

 "Be careful Max," she insisted, "I don’t like you going off on your own like this even though Hanley is going with you."

 Max looked at Isabel and remembered what happened the last time he went off on his own. He looked at her reassuringly, a small grin playing on his lips. She attempted to return the grin and slowly pulled away from him.

 "Hey don’t worry," Hanley spoke up from beside the car, "this trip won’t be like the last one."

 Max sensed that Hanley meant to lighten the moment, but no one seemed to even crack a grin. Well, except for Michael who seemed completely calm about the situation. Oddly, Michael became calm before Max announced his latest mission to save his son. Max pinpointed the change in mood to the day before when his best friend became a father.

 "As long as no one ends up unconscious on the side of the road," Michael said half-teasingly, "that’s an improvement over last time."

 Everyone seemed to agree and Max moved toward Liz to give her a hug. He almost reached her when Michael intercepted and pulled him into a big hug. He pulled away a few seconds later and Max had a feeling Michael had not finished putting his two cents in on this trip he was taking.

 "You do have a deadline on this trip, right?" Michael pressed gruffly, "because I am only the leader temporarily, as in while you’re gone. You better come back alive."

 "Look, it’s just two weeks okay, at the most," Max assured him, "unless extenuating circumstances keep us longer than expected."

 "And, he’ll keep in touch," Isabel added, "or else."

 "Don’t worry, Isabel," Liz spoke up, "Max knows what is expected."

 Isabel seemed content with Liz’s response because she didn’t say anything further. Max turned his attention to Liz who practically threw herself into his arms. Under her calm exterior, Max knew she was worried for him and his son. He wrapped his arms around her and rubbed her back in long smooth strokes.

 "Be careful," she whispered into his right ear, "you probably won’t be able to prevent what I saw, but you will save him. Just … be very careful. I love you."

 "I love you too," Max whispered in return and said aloud while he pulled away from her to climb into the car, "we’ll be back soon. I hope we can all stay out of trouble."

 After those words, some of them chuckled lightly. They never went looking for their problems. Trouble just seemed to follow them. Everywhere.

 ~.~.~.~

Liz’s journal entry:

 A vision came to me the other night. I saw something important to Max and I told him. I should feel relieved. I would even settle for calm, but oddly I am far from sensing that feeling within me. He's out there saving his son ... again ... and here I am in our bedroom alone. The vision still haunts me as if to tell me that what I saw may not have been right. Of course, I haven't seen anything this powerful in months and logically want to second guess it now that my gift of foresight has returned. Admittedly, I have felt this way before – last time when I saw Serena for the first time and before that when I thought we were going to die.

 I am a budding scientist with an ability to do something I have little control over ... something that overwhelms my mind. Serena says I am gaining control over this ability to see the future, but I had no control over what I saw. I didn't choose to see any of the visions that haunted me incessantly. More unnerving is the feeling that I may never be able to control what I see, that it's in the hands of a higher power and I am just somehow tuned into its communication. For someone who loves science, I know it's unusual for me to think about the existence of a higher power. It's not something that can be proven after all, but I sense that I receive these visions for a reason. It's just a feeling I can't quite shake and I'm worried. I'm worried about what I'll see next.

 ~.~.~.~

 Liz worked at the Crash Down while Max was away. Serving food seemed to make time move faster and kept her from worrying too much about Max's and his son's well being. She knew he took Hanley with him and that Hanley was the most reliable protector they encountered so far. Still, she missed her husband. Worrying for his safety came with the territory.

 Every time she worried, a little voice inside her head told her to calm down. Lunch rush had died down and her parents were in the storage room counting inventory. Serena excused herself to take a break, leaving Liz with Raeve who was talking to someone on her cell phone and Agnes who seemed to have disappeared on another one of her many smoking breaks. Frustrated by the nervous energy she couldn't seem to expend on anyone, she grabbed a wet dish rag and began to wipe down the milk shake machine. A very shiny, very clean milk shake machine.

 "Okay stop," Serena's voice interrupted her, "that's the fifth time in the last three hours that you've decided to clean that machine. It's sparkling already."

 "I know," Liz sighed after Serena gently yanked the wet rag from her hands, "it's just ... I ... was I right to send him after his son?"

 "Second thoughts about a premonition?" Serena scoffed, "that's not like you."

 "I'm not second guessing it," Liz insisted, "I'm just not sure he can keep his son safe. We can't even keep our own parents out of danger and it's not like we haven't tried."

 "None of us can ever be completely safe, but his son is just a little kid. There are some things we could protect him from."

 ~.~.~.~

 Kal langley paced back and forth on a shaggy burnt orange carpet in a room with no windows. A blue tooth ear piece lodged in his right ear. Silence enveloped the voice that had been speaking to him through his ear phone. He checked a switchboard and several lights flashed back at him except for the one he was looking for. Cursing under his breath, he forced himself to stop moving. His fists clenched and relaxed several times before he reluctantly waved his right hand over the ear piece, ending the call that already seemed to be completed.

 Seconds passed before a ringing filled the room. Langley pushed the button on his ear piece this time after glancing at the switchboard. He hoped for good news. He knew who was calling him.

 "Will, thank god it's you," he breathed calmly, "I think we just lost another. Tell me you have good news."

 "Sorry man," the voice replied, "Max and I, we're on our way to find his son."

 "Oh great," Kal replied exasperated, "tell me you didn't tell him his son is in danger."

 "I didn't tell him," Will assured him, "but at this point he probably has a better chance of protecting his son than we do and he is the boss."

 "Gee thanks for reminding me," Kal said sarcastically.

 "Who did we lose?" Will spoke up.

 "Rosner," Kal replied, "though I don't have confirmation. It just happened, no warning at all. I can't figure out how he knows, Will. He has spotted every spy we put in his ranks except for you three. I've got another batch of trainees here, but no one ready to blend in with Kivar's soldiers. Xaedon would probably go back, but his cover is already blown by now and I really can't spare him from your detail."

 "Don't worry about it," Will told him, "we'll think of something. Have you gathered any more useful data so far? Maybe something about where they are going to grab Max's son?"

 "Rosner was about to tell me more before ... but I don't have much useful intel on Max's kid. They kept telling me that the soldiers talked about a Ekalavya, which is a name I remember from a mythology book. It's not Antarian or Antarvian," Kal explained.

 "Must be a code name," Will responded, hope filling his voice, "did you get any details?"

 "Nothing I found useful, but I guess that's not surprising," he said, mostly to himself, and added, "but, it does sound like a group of soldiers are moving toward Philadelphia."

 "Great," Max heard Hanley say into his cell phone, "I wish you could tell me something a bit more specific than that."

 ~.~.~.~

 "Are you sure?"

 Max glanced at Hanley and then back at the house before him. The place was nothing fancy, but seemed to Max to be in the early stages of dilapidation. The man they came to find – if he still lived in the house that reflected the address his mom handed him – certainly wasn’t into home maintenance. The paint on the wood siding looked chipped and worn in several places. Green vines with lush green leaves climbed up the left end of the house as if pulling the wall toward the ground. A couple of the shutters were hanging by their last few nails and creaked in the breeze. The rusty weathered plaque of numbers hung loosely from the beam above the garage door. Max wondered what kind of man lived in such a house and why his parents thought of him when he asked them to take his son to be adopted. He glanced at the piece of paper one more time, but the numbers didn’t lie. 

"Yep," he responded thoughtfully to his protector, "this is the place."

 "Your parents took your son - the royal prince of Antar- to this dump?" Hanley prodded disbelievingly.

 "Alien royalty doesn't carry any weight on Earth to regular earthlings," Max replied, "besides my parents said this man gets kids adopted off the books. The house probably helps him hide all that, but you are right about one thing."

 "Which is?" Hanley said while Max unbuckled his seat belt.

 "Nobody would want their kid in this house," Max said with a small chuckle while he opened the car door so he could step outside, "the guy must be loon like just like my mom said. Anyway, follow me."

 They climbed out of the car and Max approached the house. Hanley followed close behind, his eyes darted everywhere incase they were followed. So far the trip was without incident. Max stopped at the front door and knocked three times. At first they thought no one was home because no noise came from inside the house. Max lifted his fist to knock one more time when they heard the clicking sound of the door unlocking. The door opened slightly and a pair of beady brown eyes peered at them through the gap. 

"Who is it?" the man erupted gruffly.

 "Are you Mr. Flamhil?" Max responded calmly.

 "Who's askin' ?" the man demanded, eyeing them warily.

 "Max Evans. This is my friend, Will. My parents are Phillip and Diane Evans. They brought my son here to be adopted almost three years ago. I'm trying to find him. They said you could help me," Max explained.

 "Three years?" the man scoffed, "why not ten for all the good my memory can give ya. Ah well, I do know the Evanses, they've helped me out of a jam a time or two."

 "Do you remember them coming here with my son?" Max prodded anxiously.

 "Made a mistake did ya?" the man replied thoughtfully, "a lot of biological parents have regrets."

 "Any of them find you yet?" Hanley spoke up impatiently, "besides him?"

 "No, but most of em are probably too scared to try finding their kids. The bigger majority seem to just move on, I think," the man explained, "can I ask why you want your son back?"

 Max hoped Mr. Flamhil would not bring up that question. He hadn't thought of a legitimate excuse in the time it took to find the man's hovel. He knew that no one would take him seriously if he told them the truth.

 "Cancer," Hanley spoke up, "leukemia actually. Turns out Max's sister Isabel was diagnosed with it and maybe Max's kid is a match."

 Cancer seemed like a good excuse, Max mused to himself while the man thought it over. Regardless, the news did sadden the man and he hoped they might obtain information out of pity alone if nothing else. Mr. Flamhil sighed unhappily. Max couldn't be sure if he was convinced by the story or just trying to think of something else to say to keep him from the truth.

 "My son could be her last hope," Max tried, "really that's all I need from him. His new parents can keep him, really. We just can't let her go without exhausting all the options."

 "Okay, okay," Mr. Flamhil sighed assuringly, "Let me see what I can find. Please come in while I search my office. The couch is open."

 Max took a deep breath and motioned for Hanley to follow him inside. The man closed the door once they entered and Max watched him amble toward a room to the right of the front door. He went inside and closed the door most of the way. Max stood waiting; hoping for some information that would take him to his son before the wrong people could snatch him away. He didn't want his son to be so scared if he could prevent the situation.

 "How are Phil and Diane?" Mr. Flamhil shouted from his office, "still lawyering and all that?"

 "Yeah," Max replied.

 "You know why I remember your son?" he responded and added moments later, "it's the only six month old kid that ever came to me un-named. Must have odd parents, I thought, to live for six months with his mom and not be named. I asked Diane, but she insisted."

 Max knew why. He made his mom promise not to give his son's real name to anyone. 'Zan' was a antarian name and if an enemy learned his son's real name, the boy could become a target. All he wanted was for his son to have a normal life with great parents ... well, until he learned from Liz that his son was still in trouble.

 "I wanted to name him," Max heard himself reply, "but his mom didn't want to get attached to him because we knew we would have to send him away. We just didn't have enough money or enough love to take care of him."

 "Ah, here," Mr. Flamhil announced seconds before he emerged from his office, "here is what little information I have on your son. Caucasion male, six months old, brown eyes. I fixed him up with a nice couple who were real happy to recieve him. Ken and Ellen Levvock. They drove here all the way from Athens, Georgia. Visiting family there, I think. The Levvocks live in Eudora, Kansas as far as I know."

 "That's a small town," Hanley told them, "shouldn't be too difficult to find him there."

 ~.~.~.~

 Kyle thought he was dreaming. The salt sea air and the white sand beach he saw sprawled out before him seemed surreal. The air in his bedroom felt cold that night, even with Serena sleeping beside him. He thought he fell asleep thinking about the warm beach in West Palm that he visited a long time ago with his dad to see some of his distant cousins. The sky was blue and he felt the warm sea breeze ruffle though his hair. He breathed it in, he smelled the ocean and he heard the waves crashing against the shore.

 Some children giggled nearby and Kyle turned to look at them. They sat in the sand several feet away with buckets and shovels. He scratched his head after he spotted them because he never dreamed about children before unless he- himself- was the child.

 Unsure, Kyle turned toward the ocean and took a step toward the water. His toes dug into the sand and rubbed against the skin between his toes. Knowing that his dreams were never this real, he knelt down and pressed one of his hands against the sand. He felt the small grains when he picked up a bit of the sand to take a closer look. A bell rang in his head. A light bulb metaphorically turned on.

 "Oh man," he gasped to himself, "I'm not dreaming, am I."

 He stood straight and thought about how he arrived at the beach. He tried to think of a way to return to his bed, beneath the blankets with Serena beside him. He closed his eyes, racking his brain for a solution. Before he could open his eyes again, the sound of the crashing waves began to fade. The wind died down completely. Serena's soft deep breathing filled his ears. Kyle opened his eyes. Small rays of the early morning sunlight found their way into his room between the cracks in the cheap plastic blinds that covered the windows. His hands gripped his bed sheets as if to confirm that he had returned to his own reality and relaxed upon the affirmation. He felt sure that he had somehow transported himself to a beach on the other side of the country, but he couldn't wrap his mind around the reality of such a concept actually happening to him. Mind warps sure, blue alien goop without a doubt, and of course his alien hybrid friends who could make strange things happen all day long if they wanted to ... but ending up on a beach out of the blue? He wondered how real the beach had really been and if hadn't been there at all. He simply could not decide and not knowing frustrated him for the time being.

 'Holy crap,' he thought to himself while he turned to his right and spotted Serena peacefully sleeping beside him, 'I was dreaming, right?'

 Kyle's mind raced with ideas as to what just happened to him. Minutes passed before he moved his body to stretch. Then he dragged his legs over the side of the bed and sat up. He started to stand up until he felt something rough beneath his feet. When he looked down at his feet, his eyes widened. There, between his toes and shedding onto the carpet rested the white grains of sand he felt beneath him in his dream. He checked his hands and sure enough he found sand on one of them as well.

 Nervous and unsure, Kyle stood up and ran over to the full length mirror Serena hung on the back of his bedroom door. He checked himself over. Satisfied that he looked okay, he brushed off his hand against his flannel pajama bottoms. He wanted to know what happened, but he also felt a fear attached to his curiosity. He wasn't crackling like tin foil, but he knew that something just happened to him. His only problem was that he simply could not explain it ... not even to himself ... and he wasn't even sure he wanted the answers.

 ~.~.~.~

 Max found the park just as Liz predicted. Although he sensed his son the second he arrived, several minutes passed before he could pinpoint his child's exact location. Every child in the neighborhood seemed to be outside enjoying the warm sunny weather. Hanley, who followed him half-way across the country, stayed far enough behind Max to remain unnoticed. Max hid behind a big oak tree and watched his son who was searching for something in the sand within the playground. A small smile formed on Max's lips when his son finally unearthed whatever he was hoping to find and stood up with a triumphant grin on his face.

 The little boy ran up to his mom with a huge smile on his face and the small item he just found cupped gently in his small outstretched hands. His mother returned the smile, tentatively extended one of her hands and waited for him to hand over whatever he found so fascinating. He put the object in her hand, grinned and ran back to the playground. He spotted some birds and tried to chase them until his concentration waned. Two other small boys abandoned the tire swing. The boy, having kept an eye on it for a while now, ran over and sprung onto the black rubber ring. The tire moved the second he grabbed it and he fought to find away to stay on it. His mom approached the swing too and gently helped him become situated. He enjoyed the swing for a few minutes and then jumped off. He stumbled when he landed and fell face first onto the sand.

 A few seconds later, he pushed himself up a little. His mom checked on him, but he shook his head when she examined a scrape she found on his arm. She turned her attention to her purse, probably to fish out a band-aid and the boy simply surveyed the area around him as if his world just turned upside down. He gazed momentarily at his small wound and touch it with his fingers. His mom quickly noticed and brushed them away, but Max saw the glow that appeared beneath them seconds before. His heart began to race at the thought of his son gaining powers. He wanted to approach his son, but remained behind the big oak tree a little bit longer. He had no idea how to explain to his son’s adoptive mother the reason he needed to take his son back. What if she were to refuse to believe him? What if she were to decide that her son were strange or abnormal because of his gifts. What if she would decide to embrace his uniqueness? Would he let her put herself in danger too?

 Max leaned against the tree feeling completely confounded. A calming sensation suddenly ebbed at him and he looked for his son again. The boy stood up, staring off in his general direction. Max remembered the connection he shared with his son and tried to block it, but his son found him and his sense of calm continued to flow into Max. The energy emanating from his son buzzed through him. The boy made himself known, Max realized, and the energy faded enough for Max to realized what had happened. Any alien looking for his son could have tuned into his energy and located him. As Liz predicted, his son was in just as much danger as everyone else he cared for. He slumped down against the tree and closed his eyes, trying to recompose himself. He glanced at Hanley, knowing he would be concerned by Max's reaction and nodded for him to stay where he was. Hanley nodded subtly and obeyed.

 "Alexander, come back here!" a woman shouted.

 Seconds later, Max’s heartbeat quickened and he turned to check on his son. He didn’t have to look very far. There, standing not more than two feet in front him stood the boy. Max didn’t know what to do except to take in his son’s appearance. He could see the curls in his son’s mess of short light brown hair and the eyes- though they were brown- were shaped like his mother’s. His son had his nose, his big ears and his mouth. Max opened his mouth to say something, but that same woman spoke up again.

 "There you are," she said breathlessly and relieved. She knelt down to look the boy in the eye and gently grabbed him by the arms when she continued, "don’t run off on me like that."

 "I’m sorry," his son said softly.

 "It’s my fault," Max heard himself speak up, "I fell and he must have noticed. I guess he wanted to check on me."

 "He’s never done this before," she said apologetically, "if he bothered you-"

 "No, not at all," Max insisted.

 His son stepped closer and pressed his little hands against the sides of Max’s face. Max saw a flash of the Antarian ‘V’ in his mind and the next thing he knew his son wrapped his arms around him. He wanted to return his son’s embrace, but felt a bit uncomfortable with the woman watching.

 "I um-" she uttered confusedly, "Alex, sweetie come away from this man. You don’t even know him."

 "No," the boy insisted fervently.

 "I’m sorry," Max told him softly, gently prying himself away from his son, "but I think she’s right."

 "Missed you daddy," he said softly.

 "Alex, he’s not your daddy," the woman insisted and added to Max, "I’m so sorry about this."

 "It’s okay," Max assured her, "he is right. From a certain point of view."

 "What are you talking about?" she demanded, her hands on Alex ready to yank him away.

 "Alex," Max replied, "is biologically my son."

 ~.~.~.~

 Maria sat in her mom's old wooden rocking chair. Her little baby girl wrapped up in her arms. The movement of the chair soothed the baby. Maria cradled her daughter for hours at night and often hummed lullabies when the infant had trouble falling asleep. Midnight approached and the baby slept soundly in her arms. She continued to rock the chair back and forth ever so gently, but her gaze landed on the moon.

 The silence of the night seemed to envelope the room and Maria felt lost within it. The sound of the window sliding open never registered in her mind. Only a cool breeze brushed against her face once the window opened. The baby stirred and Maria tried to sooth her. When the baby seemed to relax again, the full reality of the situation hit her and her gaze locked on the open window.

 Rath stood before the window. His eyes were locked on something specific. Maria realized he spotted her baby and she pulled the baby closer while she stood up. He stepped toward her. She stepped back and turned toward the crib that used to be her own years ago.

 "I wouldn't hurt her," he whispered insistently.

 "Michael would hurt you," Maria reminded him, mimicking his tone while she placed her baby gently into the crib, "It's been three months you know. why have you come back?"

 "To help," he insisted

 "They won't let you help," she pointed out, "they don't trust you."

 "You could make'em," he suggested insistently.

 "I don't trust you," she informed him.

 "Maybe," he relented and took another step toward her while he continued, "but Calypso does."

 She shook her head for a moment, her green eyes locked on her sleeping child. Feelings bubbled up within her for Rath and she knew Calypso was pleading with her. Calypso did trust Rath. She hadn't fully emerged within Maria since the baby was born, but Maria knew she remained. Calypso gave a lot of her energy to help Maria bring her daughter into the world. The process left her somewhat weakened, but Rath's presence seemed to rejuvenate her. Maria's emerald green eyes turned purple and she turned toward Rath.

 "I don't have the strength to leave her," she told him, "I will do what I can, but I need more time."

 "We will be together again," he assured her ardently.

 "Yes," she agreed wholeheartedly, "but, not like this. Until then, we must help them. You have to earn their trust. Promise me. Now go."

 He nodded and she turned away to wipe the tears from her eyes. She forced herself to take a couple deep breaths and a slight glow emanated from her eyes. Royal purple dissipated into emerald green. She glanced at her child once more, pulled the baby blanket up to her little chin and placed a soft kiss on her forehead. Her little girl stirred slightly, but did not wake. Maria turned finally toward the bed where Michael slept soundly and decided to join him.

 ~.~.~.~

 Max found himself amazed by the warm loving mother that Ellen Levvock was to his son. He felt terrible knowing that he would have to part them. She still didn't understand why Alex approached him and he felt certain that some skepticism remained about his parental claim. Despite all that, she invited him to stop by their house that evening and he wasn't sure why she insisted on his presence.

 He sat with Ellen and her husband Robert at their kitchen table. Their gaze kept returning to him, making him feel uncomfortable. Very little was said until after Alex was excused from the table five minutes before and Max thought about saying something just to break the uncomfortable silence in the room.

 "What you said in the park," Ellen spoke up thoughtfully, "I never would have believed it except I see your likeness in my son. I want to know why you came to the park."

 "Alex is special," Max explained, "in a way that makes him different from both of you. I had hoped, when I gave him up that he would live a normal life because I believed he was normal. I was wrong."

 "What do you mean by special?" Robert spoke up, "is he gifted?"

 Max chewed the question over in his mind for a few seconds. He never really considered his own powers as gifts. He could cause pain just as easily as heal or protect these days. Causing pain couldn't really be a gift, but then he supposed that Alex couldn't cause pain yet with his powers.

 "Sort of," Max said replied reluctantly, "but the same reason he is special could bring some very dangerous people here. He will be better protected if he can come with me."

 "You came here to take back our baby?" Ellen cried, tears dripping out of the corners of her eyes. Robert tried to comfort her, but she continued, "we tried for eight long years before we were blessed with Alex. He's all we have and you want to take him away. For what? Why should we believe you?"

 "Momma," Alex spoke up from the kitchen doorway, tears in his young, innocent aquamarine blue eyes. She extended her arms and the little boy ran into her embrace. Tears filled her eyes as well. She held Alex tightly and looked toward Max with anger in her eyes.

 "Get out Max," Ellen demanded calmly, standing up with Alex still in her arms, "I can’t let you take him."

 Max gazed at his son for a moment as if he might protest, but Alex seemed focused on Ellen while she carried him out of the room. He sighed unhappily after they left the room and returned his attention to Robert. The man leaned back in his chair for a moment and raked his hands through his short, thinning, dark brown hair.

 "Her doctor told us that she can't have children of her own," he said to Max, "for three long months she seemed devastated. I can't bear the thought of seeing her like that again. Being a mother, it's one of her greatest desires. Besides, Alex is a great kid."

 "I'm sure she has been a wonderful mother to Alex," Max replied, "I deeply regret that taking him away would cause her more pain."

 "Then don’t do it," Robert demanded, "he's only three."

 "I'm sorry," Max sighed, "there are just some things and people you and Ellen can't protect him from."

 "Yeah, well I’m not sorry and you can’t just come here to wisk away your son. He’s our son now and you need to move on."

 Max felt horrible. He knew that this meeting would end badly. What else could he do? If he left the house now, the enemy would still grab little Alex and he would have to save the boy. Could that be his only way to convince the Levvocks? He hoped not, but couldn’t think of an alternate plan at that moment.

 "Okay," Max relented, "just take care of him. I won’t take him with me now, but this won’t be the last time we see each other."

 "What does that mean?" Mr. Levvock replied.

 "That means I’ll be in town the rest of the week. If he’s still safe by Saturday then I’ll leave him here for good," Max explained.

 "Fine," the man retorted while Max walked to the back door, "but nothing is going to happen."

 "I hope not," Max told him calmly while he opened the door to leave, glancing at the man one last time, "just remember I tried to warn you. I need to be the one to keep him safe."

 ~.~.~.~

 Raeve felt nervous. She checked the clock and counted heads again. For the tenth time in the last fifteen minutes, Ava remained absent from the Crashdown dining room. She spotted Xaedon who sent her a concerned glance from across the crowded café. Although he obviously felt her emotions as usual, she wasn’t in the mood to share.

 ‘I’m fine,’ she told him telepathically, without blinking an eye.

 ‘Liar,’ he scoffed gently, ‘go find Ava if it’s bothering you so much. I can watch the others until you return.’

 She sighed, frustrated by her best friend’s absence, and decided to take action. Ava seemed distant ever since Max announced his search for his son. They all converged at the Crashdown for dinner after Max and Hanley left town … all except for Ava who seemed to have disappeared right after they arrived. Was Ava worried? Raeve wondered why Ava suddenly needed privacy. Any other day she would be chatting with someone or helping Liz with her powers.

 Pondering many theories, Raeve climbed the stairs into the Parkers’ apartment where Ava had been staying since their return to Roswell. When she entered the apartment she immediately recognized that the television was on and spotted Ava curled up in Mr. Parker’s favorite arm chair. Her blue eyes locked on the television screen when she noticed Raeve’s presence. Raeve sat down on the couch beside the chair and tried to figure out what Ava was watching. All she knew was that the volume was a tad bit loud for her ears.

 "Ya mind turning it down a little!" she shouted over the noise of the television.

 Her friend frowned, but pointed the remote at the television anyway. The sound level decreased enough for Raeve’s ears to feel relieved. Ava didn’t seem to noticed her relief, however, her gaze still on the television. Raeve noticed that the channel Ava chose was the local news station and they were talking about a major pile-up that just happened on highway 285.

 "Well, I wish you luck if you’re trying not to worry," Raeve said, hoping to get through to her friend.

 "Dis whole thing is messed up," Ava blurted suddenly, "Dey shouldn’t have left."

 "Why?" Raeve prodded.

 "Hanley knows better," Ava continued, "but he can’t say ‘no’ to King Max."

 "The prince is in danger," Raeve reminded her, "they had to do something."

 "Yeah, well he shouldn’t be," Ava insisted, "I-"

 She seemed to be thinking about what to say next so Raeve waited. Why shouldn’t baby Zan be in danger? The rest of his family lived in and out of danger all the time. She thought Max was foolish trying to protect his son by sending him away. The boy was marked, she figured, otherwise Tess never would have taken him back to his father. She was just a protector though, she reminded herself, it wasn’t really her place to criticize.

 "You what?" she heard herself say to Ava.

 "When Hanley found me, I was searching for the kid. I think he was too. We found him and he seemed safe … happy even. He seemed human just like Tess insisted," Ava explained, "so we left him there with his family. He said it would be too complicated to take the kid back with us and he thought someone might have been following him. So we left and he shook his tail so he could bring me to Max and the others. I wanted to tell Max, but he was always busy. Always givin me space like he felt uncomfortable around me. Hanley knew I wanted to tell, but he asked me to let the feeling pass. Oooh, dis whole thing is his fault!"

 "Why were you guys looking for him in the first place?" Raeve prodded, "Will never mentioned any of this to me."

 "Hanley’s boss asked him to check on the kid. I just happened to be in the same town as the kid one day and sensed him since my dupe was his mom. I wanted to see him for myself after that, maybe take him away if he was in a bad place. Hanley had a tail, he knew it and we should’ve done something after he told me he knew. The enemy used him to find Max’s kid, Rae. It’s our fault that Max had to leave again," Ava ranted, "and it’s dangerous – for all we know he’s walking into a trap!"

 "So you said nothing before they left. Why? Is it because Liz had a vision about it?" Raeve replied.

 "You could have said something."

 Raeve turned to acknowledge Liz standing the doorway. She closed the door behind her and sat down beside her on the couch. She noticed that Ava seemed to be at a loss for words.

 "I’m betting she did," Raeve decided aloud.

 "Well, it wouldn’t have stopped them," Liz responded, "Max is very stubborn in all matters regarding finding his son. Last time, believe it or not, he verged on obsession and got all excited when this little autistic boy talked to only him and called him ‘daddy’. He couldn’t relax until Tess finally returned with their baby."

 "Yeah and you said Tess sacrificed her life to keep her baby safe," Raeve added intrigued, "how noble is that?"

 "Depends," Ava said thoughtfully, "on whether you think she really died that night or if she just gave up a life of raising her son for his own safety and had second thoughts like Max did the other night."

 "Max said Tess died that night," Liz insisted, "and I felt it. I wasn’t more than fifty feet away when it happened. The special unit was after all of us including her baby and she made a choice."

 "Well, Hanley doesn’t think she’s dead," Ava informed them, "he found me when he meant to find her. He thought she’d try to find her son after Max sent him away."

 ~.~.~.~

 Liz tossed and turned while she dreamed. She kept seeing Max’s son, scared and alone in a dark room. His hands and feet tied up. She had the same dream since she saw it in her vision. The cold dark room haunted her dreams. Shadows of people moving against cracks of light in the wood boards above. Dust floating down from above.

 A basement?

 Max, miles away, must have been having the same dream because she sensed him there. She could tell that the boy sensed Max’s presence as well. His breathing calmed slightly and he coughed, probably from the tears he cried while feeling scared.

 A door opened. Light flooded a stairway nearby, allowing her to see the boy more clearly. Max approached the boy, Liz felt certain. She still couldn’t see his face clearly enough to be completely positive. Hands glowed, the boy gasped in relief and the man picked him up, rushing him away to safety.

 She tried to follow, tried to see some other details of the place he had been in. Anything to give Max a better clue as to where to go. A hallway with beige laminated tile on the floor with a front door at the end of it and a small table on the right. She looked at the mail that was strewn about the surface of the table, willing the address to become clearer to her eyes. Max seemed to be looking there as well. She put one of her hands on the small of his back and they both gasped. The image became clearer.

 Liz sat up with a gasp. Miles away, Max did the same. They both knew where to find the boy. Liz knew he would have a plan. She took a deep breath and fell back to sleep. Max climbed out of bed and decided to start working on his plan.

 ~.~.~.~

 Maria gazed at Michael from their bed. He sat relaxed in the rocking chair; their baby cradled in his arms. Their infant daughter cooed softly and extended her arms toward Michael's face. Michael didn't notice the baby's movements until she squirmed slightly. His eyes flew open and he checked the gentle hold he had on her. The baby started to cry, her hands curling into tiny fists. Maria moved to help him out, but quickly realized that she didn't have to do anything. Michael lifted the baby and rested her little head on his shoulder. She seemed to relax and Michael closed his eyes again.

 In the few weeks since their daughter's birth, Michael had become a wonderful father. Maria envied how relaxed he always seemed to be around the baby. She already thought about several reasons for her lack of calm and comfort. One of course were the extra hormones and such that usually follow giving birth. Another reason was that she still shared her mind with Calypso who seemed even more nervous about the baby than she felt. Calypso wanted a perfect mother for the baby. Maria spent more time having a really good idea of how Calypso felt about her parenting skills than her own mother. In fact, Calypso's worrying in combination with her own left her body completely exhausted at the end of the day. That's why it was so easy for Maria's eyes to close while taking in Michael's curiously calm nature at the end of the day.

 Her body drifted to sleep and her mind with it. She found herself in her dream plane- well, the one she realized she had after Calypso joined her body. The park she saw by a beautiful crystalline sapphire lake used to look more Antarian. She knew Calypso brought the initial image into her mind. The red water and yellow desert sand melded over time with a more earth like place where Maria could find relaxation.

 Usually, Maria dreamed that Michael was with her there and he was with an arm draped over her left shoulder. She leaned against him and took a deep breath. She began to feel calm until she felt a sadness ebbing away at her as if a storm cloud drifted into her view of the dark night sky above. She looked around for Calypso who usually interrupted her relaxing dream state to bug her about her relationship with Michael or some other such nonsense. Calypso had the black hair and purple eyes in the dream plane just like she had on Antar and Maria looked like her old self with the honey blond curls and emerald green eyes. They knew each other inside and out ... and Maria knew that Calypso wasn't feeling happy.

 Maria knew that Calypso had hoped- at least at first- to take complete control of her body and her mind. She wanted the life with Rath that was taken away from her back on Antar. Maria had been trying to convince Calypso that Michael wasn't the clone of Rath that she really wanted. That Maria wanted to be alone with Michael more than anything else in the whole world and would marry him if she ever got the chance to be alone in her own head again. Calypso was the main reason why Maria hesitated when Michael proposed. She wanted to be sure she knew which one he really wanted to marry because (although he doubted it) she hoped to be free of Calypso one day.

 Calypso, knowing all of this, chose that night to sit in the dream plane at a distance. Seeing Michael and Maria together, however, proved too painful on her heart. She wanted to be the one. She needed to be the one. She just couldn't convince Maria that she was Michael's one and besides that, the baby was completely theirs alone. Michael, Maria and the baby - they deserved to be a family ... without her.

 'Hey,' Maria spoke softly in her dream plane to Calypso who seemed to be crying, 'I'm sorry if I've caused you this pain.'

 'You didn't,' Calypso sniffed while she wiped away her tears, 'destiny got in the way on Antar. Then I came to earth to find Rath and brought this on myself.'

 'Well, you aren‘t completely to blame,’ Maria sighed gently, ‘but, all that aside, you have to know that Rath loves you.

 'No, he loves you,' Calypso insisted, but Maria interrupted.

 'No, no,' Maria corrected her, 'Michael loves me. Rath loves you. As in Michael's dupe. I've seen how it kills him to know that we share the same body. Michael won't let him near me and no offense, but Rath makes me a little uneasy.'

 'How is that supposed to make me feel better?' Calypso sobbed angrily.

 'Well, I don't know if it's possible,' Maria suggested, 'but you were in another body before you leaped into me. Maybe we could find another body for you to leap into.'

 'I suppose it's possible,' Calypso replied thoughtfully while she calmed down a little, 'but I merged with you in the beginning to help heal your mind. Leaping out could be tricky. There could be some strings attached. My leaping could hurt you.'

 'Maybe,' Maria admitted the small possibility, 'but, I'm much stronger now and I am willing to take the risk.'

 'Michael and Rath - they wouldn't allow it if we tell them,' Calypso pointed out nervously, "I'm not even sure that I approve."

 'True,' Maria said with a smirk, 'but neither of them need to know. We can search Roswell for the perfect soul wherever we want. We could even take the baby with us while we look if you could calm down a little about my parenting. Eventually we will find the right body for you. Then, you'll have your Rath and I'll have my Michael.'

 A small smile began to play on Calypso's beautiful face and Maria allowed herself to smile as well. For once, she knew she would be able to dream in peace. Well, at least until the baby decided to wake up.

 ~.~.~.~

 "This is it," Max told Hanley as they approached the house, "this is the house where I save him."

 Hanley eased the car to a stop and shifted the automatic stick to park it. For a moment, both men regarded the house. Max looked for suspicious people, and Hanley scanned the building looking for the best entrance and escape routes.

 "Okay, say you go into this house and save the kid," Hanley spoke up, "how do you convince his new parents that you were right and it’s time for them to give him back to you?"

 "I figure I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it," Max sighed, "but Liz said he gets taken while at the park. We should go back there for now. In my dream I don’t save him until after nightfall."

 ~.~.~.~

 Isabel sighed heavily while she stirred her cup of coffee from her barstool at the Crashdown’s bar. She propped her head against her right hand; its elbow propped on the counter. She glanced at the clock yet again and rolled her eyes. Ava walked toward another table, she noticed, bussing and cleaning as best she knew how … like she was on a mission. She wondered what was on her friend’s mind that made the girl so focused.

 "You think we’ll get any new customers for the rest of the day?" Serena spoke up from behind the bar.

 "Just wait," Liz assured her, "dinner rush will come."

 "Not exactly what I’m waiting for," Raeve spoke up from her usual corner, "Will hasn’t called me all day."

 "Is that normal … for him I mean?" Isabel prodded.

 "Depends on where he is and the kind of mission he’s given. In this instance I expect a phone call at least once a day," she explained.

 Isabel nodded and sighed again. Max didn’t usually call while away … unless the thought occurred to him that he needed to tell her something. She wondered if Liz heard from him yet.

 "Liz, my brother hasn’t called you or anything yet has he?"

 "Well, I expect he will at the end of the day when he knows I’m not working," Liz replied an added cautiously, "unless there’s trouble."

 Ava sighed loudly and Isabel turned to find her carrying her bussing bucket f of dirty dishes into the back room. The girl was always quiet, always pensive, not completely including herself in conversations. Tess had never been so shy … she wasn’t sure that Ava really was the shy type either. Besides, neither of them helped in the Crashdown before today.

 "Hey, since when did Ava start working here?" Isabel prodded to Liz and Serena.

 "She’s just trying to keep her mind off certain things," Liz replied nonchalantly.

 "What kind of things?" Isabel responded.

 "Nothing important," Ava insisted.

 Isabel realized that the girl just re-emerged from the backroom and seemed hurt that she’d been talking about her. She felt bad about her behavior, but she was intrigued. She knew that Ava just lied about the issue and wanted to press her further.

 "Oh come on," Isabel replied in the same tone, "a person doesn’t just suddenly buss tables unless something really important is on her mind and she wants to be distracted from it."

 "Ava," Liz tried, but the girl wouldn’t hear it.

 "She’ll make a big deal out of it," Ava said, "it’s better unspoken."

 "But," Liz attempted. Ava shook her head, ran her fingers through her short blonde hair and collapsed onto one of the chairs in the dining area. Her head rested in her hands. Liz regarded her for a moment and continued, "she blames herself for Max having to run off to find his son because that’s how Hanley found her in the first place and he had a tail on him when it happened. She led him and the tail to Max’s son, in her opinion. I think it’s Hanley’s fault for not knowing he had a tail on him in the first place."

 "Yeah, it’s not like Will to just not realize he had a tail on him while he was on a mission," Rae agreed, "it’s not your fault Ava, really. You just happened to be there when he showed up."

 "Still, it’s why his son is in trouble now," Ava erupted.

 "It’s okay," Isabel assured her, "Max will find away to fix the problem."

 "Yeah," Liz agreed, "so, there’s really nothing to worry about."

 "Yeah well, tell that to Xae," Raeve spoke up, "I don’t think he knows how to not to worry."

 "Whatever," Ava shrugged, "I mean, who does?"

 Liz patted Ava on the shoulder to comfort her friend, when she saw something. Ava seemed to sense this because she turned beet red. Liz just grinned and glanced at the other girls. Isabel caught on seconds later and Raeve wasn’t far behind.

 "What?" she squealed, "you like my brother?"

 Ava groaned and put her head in her hands, silently admitting to Raeve’s cry. Liz and Isabel were intrigued. At last they could put their minds on other things besides Max saving his son.

 ~.~.~.~.

 Max sat in the backseat. His son slept with his head on Max’s right leg. He smiled, recalling his triumph earlier that evening. He saved his son just as Liz predicted. He also found out who kidnapped his son. The evil men were skins from Kivar’s ranks. They were easy enough for him to defeat, but something they said ebbed at him.

 The second skin, before Hanley blasted him to dust, yelled something about the queen forgiving him. He wondered what queen the man had referred to. He would have thought about it further, but his son stirred in his sleep and Max turned his attention back to him. He rubbed the boys back gently for a moment until he seemed to fall back to sleep.

 Max looked outside and noticed that they were almost back at the Levvock house. He took a deep breath and hoped he could convince them this time. He knew he couldn’t return to roswell without his son. He worried about the complications of taking in his son and if he would be a good enough father given the circumstances. He almost wished that his son wasn’t in danger. He wondered how Kivar’s men found his son. Then, for some reason, he looked at Hanley as if his protector knew the whole time. Knew and said nothing. Max made a mental note to ask him about it later. He didn’t want to wake his son.

 They approached the house and Hanley parked the car on the curb in front of the house. Max carefully collected his son in his arms. Hanley opened the car door so he could climb out with Alex and not wake him in the process. His protector followed him to the front door, which opened before Max could knock.

 "Oh thank goodness," Ellen said in a loud whisper while she gently took Alex out of Max’s arms, "how did you find him?"

 "He did," Max said, gesturing to Hanley breifly, "he followed the kidnappers to their hide out and called me. I saved Alex this time, but they won’t give up. I know it’s difficult, but you have to let him go.

 "Who is he?" Ellen asked, regarding Hanley with intrigue.

 "The man is my bodyguard," Max replied before Ellen's husband could say anything, "he's the best money can buy, really. Protecting me and those I care about- it's his mission in life."

 "So, that means you do have enemies," Ellen surmised unhappily, "the same ones that grabbed Alex."

 "Yes," Max insisted impatiently, "that's why I came to find him. The wrong people have discovered that he exists and they will try to use him to get to me if I can't ensure his protection."

 "I don't believe you," Ellen said furiously, "I-"

 "Ellen is anger really going to help?" her husband interrupted her, "maybe we can’t protect him from this."

 "Sir," Hanley spoke up, "we need to return."

 Alex, Max suddenly realized, woke up and was looking at Ellen. She looked at him, tears dripping from her eyes. She hugged him and the little boy returned the gesture, resting his little head on her shoulder.

 "Don’t wanna go momma," he said softly, "Daddy needs me."

 "We love you Alex," Mr. Levvock spoke up, "never forget that."

 "Yes," Ellen said, pulling away slightly to look at Alex in the eye, "we'll miss you and we love you always."

 He nodded and looked at Max, tears glinting in his innocent little blue eyes. Max almost hated to take him away from such a loving home. From the parents he always wanted his son to have in his stead. Heavy hearted, he extended a hand toward Mr. Levvock who briefly returned the handshake. A silent thank you echoed between them. Max looked at Zeke again, and connected long enough to convey what he hoped would help his son bring comfort to the only mother he really knew.

 "Be okay mama," Alex told her softly.

 "What?" she gasped confusedly.

 Max glanced at Mr. Levvock and once he was convinced that the man seemed concentrated on Alex, he genty touched his right hand against the small of Ellen's back. She took it as a gesture for her to take Alex out to Max's car, but he could tell she wouldn't go through with the suggestion. To anyone who might have been watching, a faint white glow escaped through Max's fingers that rested against her back. She seemed to calm down a little and reluctantly carried Alex out of the house with one last heartbroken stare in Max's direction. The last one, however, faltered mid-way through delivery. Someday she would find away to move beyond this loss. Max made sure of that.

 ~.~.~.~

 Maria sat at a small table just outside the Crash Down, taking in the fresh air. A steaming hot cup of herbal tea sat on the table. She gently grasped the alien-covered mug between her hands. The baby slept peacefully in the stroller Maria parked beside her when she sat down. Xaedon, she felt quite certain, was cooped up in a corner somewhere watching her since Michael was off with Max and Hanley somewhere.

 To anyone watching, Maria was relaxing with a mug of herbal tea and enjoying the fresh air. She and Calypso had something else in mind. For cover, Maria picked up the newspaper from the chair beside her and unfolded it. She pretended to read the front page; glancing toward the street every few minutes. An all important conversation took place inside her head.

 A young woman with frosted blue tips in her nearly white blonde hair walked by, leaving Maria a bit mesmerized by the hairdo. Suddenly she wasn't sure what kind of female person she should be looking for and returned her eyes to the newspaper in her hands. She wondered if Calypso had any standards by which to make the best decision.

 ‘I suppose hair color is a non-issue,’ Maria prodded.

 ‘Anything superficial can be altered,’ Calypso assured her.

 ‘So what we need a loner with half a brain?’ Maria suggested half-heartedly.

 ‘Let’s just keep looking,’ Calypso insisted, ‘usually someone just sticks out.’

 ‘Stick out how, exactly?’ Maria responded nonchalantly.

 "Whatcha doing?" a familiar voice sounded from nearby.

 Maria turned and momentarily acknowledged Kyle who seemed to be watching her curiously. She wondered why he decided to bug her just then. Did Kyle know something about the plan or was it just an innocent question? He turned his curious gaze toward the people bustling up and down the sidewalk and she decided that she knew why he was standing there.

 "Bored?" she quipped.

 "No, just needed some fresh air," he replied coolly.

 "I think that’s what they all say," Maria said teasingly

 Kyle didn’t crack the smile Maria hoped to see. In fact, he didn’t show very much emotion at all. She surmised from his response that something must be bothering him. Usually he was ready to joke around with just about anybody- even her.

 "Let me guess," Maria said thoughtfully, "My mom and your dad in the broom closet again?"

 "Now that you mention it," Kyle said, his facial muscles relaxing slightly, "no."

 "Maybe they’ve mastered the art of invisibility," Maria suggested, hoping to make Kyle open up to her some more.

 Kyle didn’t seem to receive the hint because he simply shrugged as if he was in deep thought. Maria rolled her eyes and took a sip of her hot tea. Her eyes peered over the rim of the cup at the people walking down the sidewalk. Suddenly the baby stirred and Maria turned to check on her.

 "Woman trouble Kyle?" she said while she comforted her daughter and added when Kyle didn't respond, "Kyle? Hey-"

 She stopped short, stunned by the realization that Kyle was no longer standing on the other side of the stroller. She didn’t hear him leave. There were no footsteps sounding in the morning air moments before, signaling his departure. Curious, she turned toward Xaedon to find out if he noticed anything. She met his gaze and his eyes widened slightly.

"Wasn’t Kyle just here?" Maria said to Xaedon.

 "I thought so," Xaedon replied nonchalantly.

 "Did you see him leave?" she prodded.

 He nodded and returned his attention to the newspaper in his hands. Maria looked through the windows of the café to see if Kyle went back inside, but she didn’t see him. For a moment, she thought that he too mastered the art of invisibility and quickly tossed the thought aside. Kyle was only human and he practiced Buddha, not ninja.

 ‘He couldn’t have disappeared,’ she said to Calypso, ‘could he?’

 ‘No,’ Calypso insisted adamantly, ‘no way. Maybe he walked off down the street or something.'

 ‘Yeah, he seemed to be in a mood,’ Maria agreed, ‘he probably just went to clear his thoughts or something.’

 Satisfied for the time being, Maria returned her gaze to the street and continued the task at hand. She would find Calypso her own body. She had to … Calypso deserved her own life … and her own love.

 ~.~.~.~

 © 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.

© 2007-2008 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.

 © 2007-2008 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.