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Two Down, Two to Go, Part Nine

Reply to Watcher Tara

Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list June 9, 2001


        "Are you sure you want to play, Michael? This could get personal."

        "Yeah, it's cool. How do you play?"

        Kyle shook the dice and said, "Ok, I'm changing the rules a little. Everyone gets one die, and every round, we all roll. The person who rolls the highest number gets to ask the person who rolls the lowest a question. If there's a tie for either highest or lowest, those two will roll again. If you're really against answering the question, then you can choose to perform a dare instead."

        Everyone nodded to show they understood. Kyle continued, "Now, since this is a get-to-know-each-other-better game, each person can choose only one dare from now to midnight. And since we know that there are certain subjects that are kind of taboo, let's roll the clock back two years. All of your answers must come from the truth as it stood before, you know, that day at the CrashDown."

        "Is this some kind of Buddhist thing?" Liz asked skeptically. "I'm not even the same person I was two years ago."

        "Yeah, but this is your chance to learn about where we all are coming from, and I think you might be surprised how much you learn about yourself, too." He quickly passed the dice around. "Got it? Are we ready?"

        There was a chorus of agreements, as everyone shook their dice and let them roll onto the table. Before they'd stopped moving, Kyle scooped them back up and pointing his finger at Tess and Michael, he said, "And your solemn promise that there will be no cheating or using of powers of any kind throughout the game." Tess rolled her eyes with a beleaguered sigh. They both nodded. The dice were passed around again and the game was on.

        It went on for hours, and they all got to know each other better. As odd as it sounded, the two year taboo thing worked out rather well. Kyle was right: Liz and the others really got to see how much they'd changed since the day Max had healed Liz in the CrashDown. They all got glimpses into each other's lives, and it helped to dispel any lingering suspicion and anger between Liz and Tess. For the first time, Liz was getting to know the girl who was raised with Nasedo as her only family, and her heart went out to her.

        The game ended abruptly at eleven o'clock, though, when the tenor of the questions changed and got decidedly personal.

        It started with Tess who asked Liz, "Who was the first boy you ever kissed?"

        Liz grinned as she replied, "Alex."

        Michael and Kyle both frowned. "Alex?" Michael asked. "What were you doing kissing him?"

        "Practicing. You know, not all of us are just born knowing how to kiss. Some of us had to learn and practice." She looked pointedly at Michael as she answered.

        "What's that supposed to mean?"

        "You figure it out."

        Kyle and Tess shared a look. "Ok," the blond alien said in the tense silence, picking up her die. "Let's see who's next."

        "No. I want an answer to my question," Michael persisted.

        "The answer is off-limits. Two year rule, remember?"

        "Ok, fine." Michael said and shook his die. When everyone rolled, he allowed his powers a tiny push and gave himself a six... and Liz a one.

        "Michael..." Liz said warningly.

        "What? I didn't do it," he lied.

        Liz sighed, not sure if she believed him. "What's the question?"

        "How do I kiss? Am I a natural?"

        "How am I supposed to know, Michael?"

        "Well, doesn't Maria ever say anything about it?"

        "Maybe," Liz hedged. As far as she was concerned, her and Maria's conversations about Max and Michael were private, especially since Maria seemed to be having some sex-related problem with him right now. She didn't feel right talking about it. "Did you kiss Maria before two years ago?" she asked, knowing the answer.

        "No."

        "Well then, two year rule still applies."

        "Liz, there's no reason not to answer, is there? No one here is gonna get upset over it." Kyle declared. "I say the rule doesn't apply here. You either have to answer, or I guess you choose to do a Dare. Which is it?"

        Liz folded her arms stubbornly. "Dare, then." It was the first dare of the evening, and, as it turned out, the last.

        "Ok, fine." Michael agreed easily. He didn't even have to think to come up with a dare for her. Trying not to sound too eager, he announced, "You have to kiss someone in this room other than Kyle for a full thirty seconds."

        Liz froze. "You're kidding, right?" Michael shook his head, a naughty gleam in his eye. "But that leaves you or Tess." He simply quirked an eyebrow at her assessment.

        While the girls had been outside earlier, Kyle had filled him in on his and Alex's plan to help along Liz's initiation, and this seemed like as good a time as any to start breaking down some of the perfect Miss Parker's boundaries.

        Kyle glared at him. He'd told Michael that he and Tess were going really slowly with Liz for obvious reasons. This was *not* what he'd had in mind for his game, and he let Michael know it. "Guerin, that's uncalled for."

        "What? It's just a kiss."

        The casualness of his answer caused more heat to fill her already flaming face.

        Tess leaned over and touched Liz's arm softly. "You don't have to. We'll stop right here. Forget it ever came up. I'm sorry I even mentioned kissing in the first place." She shot Michael a nasty look. They were supposed to be making Liz more comfortable not less comfortable around her.

        Liz didn't want to ruin the fun they'd been having, but this... This was strange. No way. She couldn't do it. She couldn't kiss Michael. Maria would never forgive her. But the alternative... to kiss Tess. She didn't think she could do it. 'It's just a kiss,' Michael's voice taunted her. Suddenly a scene from one of the pornos she and Maria had watched earlier in the week flashed through her head. Two women kissing, touching themselves and each other; their soft moans, their soft lips, their soft hands... Something about the whole thing had been extremely erotic to Liz.

        'It's just a kiss...' The oh-so brief kiss that Maria had pressed on her lips last Saturday had lingered in her consciousness for hours after the event. Once the shock had worn off, Liz had started thinking that it hadn't been so bad. Then on Monday, lying next to Maria on top of Alex's bed, seeing the look of dazed passion in her friend's eyes just before she'd fled the room, it had stirred something in her. That same something was coming to life again right now. Looking deep into Tess's eyes, she thought she saw an answering fire there. Somehow it didn't frighten her as much as she might thought - if she'd ever let herself wonder about this 'what if' scenario.

        Coming to a decision, Liz said, "No, it's ok, Tess. I can do this."

        Michael grinned outright and said, "Kyle, you gotta be the timer. You let us know when thirty seconds have gone by."

        "You can do it," Liz informed him. "It's your Dare," thus letting him know that he wasn't the one she'd chosen to kiss. Coming to her knees, she crawled around to where Tess was sitting next to Kyle on the sofa. She glanced briefly at her former boyfriend to gauge his reaction to the odd turn of events, and was glad to see he was ok with this. In fact, he looked more than ok. Desire was burning in his eyes, and a warm flush was starting to climb up his cheeks.

        Tess scooted to the front of the sofa. Wanting to pull the other girl close and devour her mouth after months of unrequited desire, she forced herself to keep her hands on the tops of her thighs.

        Liz's tongue nervously darted out to moisten her lips. 'Can I go through with this?' she asked herself in a sudden panic. 'It's just a kiss...' She looked searchingly at the alien's beautiful face and saw the anticipation and need stamped on her features. She didn't know where it was coming from, but it was all the impetus she needed.

        Cupping Tess's face between her soft hands, Liz softly pressed her lips to the other girl's. It was the softest of caresses, barely there at all.

        Tess held herself perfectly still, waiting to see what Liz would do next, not wanting to scare her away. It was exquisite torture. All of her senses were focused on just that one place they were joined. She'd never felt anything like it.

        Liz slowly moved one hand into the other girl's soft hair, and lightly fingered the soft strands. Feeling her tremble under her touch, Liz pressed her lips more firmly against Tess's mouth. Then she pulled back a little only to return at a slightly different angle and repeated it another time again.

        Merging their mouths fully with a slight suction, Liz caused Tess to sway slightly forward, wishing she could press her body against the slender human's warmth. Her hands slid slowly forward until she could touch Liz. Wanting to stroke her beautiful body all over, she settled for just resting her palms lightly on her hips allowing her thumbs to rub back and forth gently.

        Liz moaned at the caress, a barely audible sound, and slowly rubbed small circles at the base of Tess's head, a move she'd seen at Alex's. Tess seemed to like it because she sighed into her mouth.

        Pleasure was starting to hum across nerve endings and into Liz's brain. She was beginning to wish she could pull Tess closer into an actual embrace, but couldn't bring herself to move. She was frozen by her own inhibitions. Unsure how to or even if she wanted to progress, she restricted herself to touching Tess with only her lips and fingertips.

        Watching them, it was everything Kyle could do not to join in. Multiple desires were swirling darkly inside him, some were his own, but some were Tess's. A few were Michael's. This kiss hadn't been part of the plan, but he couldn't say that he regretted it. Seeing the contrast of Liz's dark hair against Tess's light hair was something he'd never forget. The sounds they were making teased him. If he hadn't been siting six inches from them, he wouldn't have heard them at all. As it was, the entire world faded away until there was nothing except these two angels, one fair, one dark, caught in a delicate caress softer than a butterfly on a rose.

        Kyle was so engrossed that he failed to notice the movement to his right as Michael stood. All he knew was that suddenly, Michael was kneeling behind Liz. Lightly pulling her hair away from her ear, he whispered, "Time's up." He gently sent his lips to her neck where he pressed a series of soft kisses accompanied by tiny nibbles. "My turn."

        With a small gasp, Liz pulled away from Tess. It was what Michael was waiting for. He turned her quickly and buried his lips in hers.

        Already lost to sensation from the previous kiss, Liz threw her arms around Michael's neck and pressed herself against him. Opening her mouth, she welcomed the hungry thrust of his tongue and reciprocated with her own.

        Passion swamped her senses as she lost herself to Michael's embrace. He clutched her hips and pulled her firmly against his arousal as his lips left hers to blaze a trail to the sensitive spot behind her ear. As she gasped aloud in pleasure, stars started to dance against the back of her eyelids. The burning points pulsed with the same rhythm of her racing heartbeat growing brighter and brighter until they coalesced into a flash of white.

        As it faded, a series of images of the reclusive alien paraded themselves across her mind.

        *Michael watching Max watch her. Kissing Maria in the janitor's closet. Michael staring at her, Liz, in one of the few classes they'd shared. Michael's pain and fear as he saw her laying shot on the floor of the CrashDown. Going to Maria the night he'd left Hank's for good. Sneaking into her room and stealing her journal. Sitting in a motel room with Maria quoting James Joyce. Watching Liz greet Max with a passionate kiss in the CrashDown, his anger with Max for kissing Tess. Holding Liz close in comfort the night Max was taken by Pierce. Seeing Liz approach in his healing dream. Him telling Maria, "Before we can be together, there's something you gotta do."*

        With a gasp, Michael was the one who'd pulled back. They stared at each other in shock for a several seconds before they both jumped to their feet and moved to opposite sides of the living room. "Michael, I..." Liz began, trying, wanting to tell him what she'd seen and felt in those flashes. She'd seen him. He loved Maria profoundly, every bit as much as she loved Max, but he wanted Liz, too. Passionately, deeply, resolutely. It was all so confusing. Liz needed a moment to gather her thoughts, but she didn't get it.

        Liz wasn't the only one to see things. "What the hell have you and Maria been doing this week?" he asked, his voice harsh and puzzled at the same time.

        "What?"

        "I saw you. I saw the two of you going over to Alex's at lunch and what you did there. I saw you going shopping to buy lingerie, but not all of it was for you. Some of it was for Maria. What was that, Liz?"

        Liz gulped.

        Kyle and Tess also jumped to their feet at this unexpected turn of events. "What are you talking about? What do you mean you saw her?" Kyle asked.

        "I got a flash. She and Maria have been sneaking around, doing god-knows-what this week."

        Liz put up her chin, temporarily blocking out all of her own unanswered questions and confusion to tell him, "What I've been doing is putting her back together after you did whatever it is you did to her - again. She won't even tell me what happened between the two of you this time, but you've made her feel inadequate and unloved." Liz was pointing at him empathetically as she spoke.

        Realizing she was as close to losing her temper as she'd ever been, she continued in a quieter tone, "Now, I know you love her, Michael. How could you have hurt her like you have? She actually feels like she's done something to not deserve you, when we both know it's the other way around. If anyone's undeserving, it's you... and me." A sickness roiled around in her stomach as she suddenly realized the enormity of what she'd done. She'd managed to betray Max and Maria at the same time, the two people she loved most in the world. Raising a hand to her mouth, she felt like she might lose her dinner. "Oh god! What have I done?" She looked at Michael and he was staggered by the pain and hurt he could read in her expressive eyes.

        He took a step forward, "Liz, I..."

        Shaking her head, she back up, exclaiming, "Stay away from me Michael."

        Kyle sensing that she was about to fall apart in a way that would be difficult if not impossible to repair, grabbed her arms gently, forcing her to look at him. "Liz, look at me. As far as everyone in this room is concerned, this never happened. Max and Maria will never need to know what happened here. It was a mistake. I'm so sorry I let things get so far out of control."

        "You're wrong, Kyle. This did happen, and Max is gonna find out, there's no way to stop it." Shrugging out of his grasp, she snatched up her bag and fled the house.

        Tess sighed heavily as she sank back down onto the couch. "I can't believe it, but we actually made it worse. She's never gonna forgive us for what we did tonight."

        "Alex is gonna be so pissed," Kyle agreed.

        "Are you guys kidding?" Michael asked. "You don't know Liz at all, do you? This is better than you could have hoped. The biggest thing she and Max have in common is her willingness to step up and accept blame for almost anything. She may not like it, but she won't be able to deny that she wanted to kiss us. It's a place to start. She's embarrassed now, but she'll get over it. And then she'll be ours."

        A short silence fell.

        "Ours?" Tess spoke up. "Don't you mean 'Max's'?"

        Michael shook his head. "Tess, I've wanted Liz since the third grade. Long before I ever knew Maria. Once she's initiated, it'll just be a matter of time before she comes to me."

        Tess and Kyle shared a disturbed look. They definitely needed to schedule a meeting with the others and it had better be soon before this got any worse.

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