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Butterfly Dreams, Chapter 12

Reply to Alerion

Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list March 13, 2002

Disclaimer: See Chapter 1



        I miss the jeep. The Mustang is Kyle's, not mine. Michael climbed in while I was turning the key.

        'Valenti said he'd lent you his car, Maximilian. Can I get a ride?'

        'His name's "Kyle".'

        Michael shrugged. 'So what is it with you Maximilian, guys or chicks?'

        'It's Kyle.'

        'Why not Liz?'

        'I don't love Liz.'

        'Sure about that?'

        'You can't love someone you can't trust.'

        Michael elt his breath out.

        I headed the Mustang out of the school and took the road for the lake. I thought a second before answering Michael. 'If Liz hadn't come into my life I would never have found my way to Kyle.'

        'Liz wouldn't thank you for saying that.'

        'I guess not.'

        'Max, you said you loved Tess...'

        'Tess made everything easy. She didn't ask for anything. She made leaving the only thing worth doing. Tess supported me no matter what I did.' I glanced over at him. 'All Tess wanted was for me to betray every friend I ever had.'

        'Max, I tried. I asked if you were seeing what you wanted to see.'

        'You don't know what it's like, Michael. Having someone inside your head, deciding everything for you. You can't even bear thinking about what you're doing. Half the time it felt like someone else was speaking through my mouth.'

        'What's Kyle want from you?'

        'I don't know. I think he wants me to be myself.'

        'Sounds easy.'

        I shook my head. 'It's really hard.'

        'When did you realise Tess owned you?'

        'Some of the time. I'd try to break away and then I wouldn't remember what I was doing or why.'

        'I tried once, Max. I met you in the park and said you were thinking what you wanted to be true instead of what really was true. Now I guess it was what Tess was making you think you wanted.'

        'I remember that night. I knew I felt weird with Tess. I'd be with her and everything would make sense. Then I'd be away from her and I'd know there was no way Alex killed himself. Then I couldn't bear thinking about it any more.'

        'Max, you know you said you could remember our world, you could see it?

        'Yeah.'

        'Max, did you ever see anything when Tess wasn't there?'

        'I'm not sure. If Tess could run Alex in Las Cruces than distance doesn't seem to matter. I didn't really see anything. It sounds stupid now. I thought I was seeing energy signatures. I don't know. I don't know.'

        'It's okay, Max...'

        'No, it's not. I should have seen what was happening. I don't know who I am. We don't know where we come from. We don't know how much of anything we've been told is true.'

        My hands had gone too tight on the wheel. I loosened my grip. 'Michael, how do you feel about all this? I hate the thought we've gone through all this for nothing.'

        'I'm pissed because you needed help to be more than a machine. I'm pissed because I saw it and I couldn't help. I guess I'm pissed because you are getting closer to Kyle than me.'

        'Michael, I...'

        'Its all right. I've got Maria. Kyle's got you. I'll get used to it. If I don't Maria will kill me anyway.'

        'Kyle makes you jealous?'

        'A bit.' He smirked. 'But don't try any moves on me just yet.'

        'Promise. Anyway, your eyes are the wrong colour .'

        'Liz' eyes are the same as mine.'

        'Liz made her choices.'

        'Something Kyle said to me. He says I don't know how much people care about me.'

        'Kyle's right, Max.'

        'How do you feel about Kyle, Michael? It matters to me.'

        'Max, we all think weird paranoid stuff sometimes. I have days where I think Maria will decide I'm in the way of her singing and she's gonna break up with me.

        'That's garbage, Michael. Maria would never dump you.'

        'I know, but that doesn't stop me thinking it sometimes.'

        'It'll take getting used to. I think you probably need him right now.'

        'Michael, right now is going to be a long time.'

        'How long?'

        'Forever.'

        We turned off the road and got out. Maria's Jetta was already parked beside the road. Michael kicked a rock across the path. On the small hill we used for these meetings, three figures were silhouetted against the sunset, a small figure standing in front of the other two. They were all waiting. We started walking up to join them.

        We left the car and walked up the slope to the little hill by the lake.

        Michael looked up at the little group waiting above us. 'Liz is here. You okay with that?'

        'I have to face her sometime. She has a right to be here.' I got out of the car and stretched my shoulders. 'Michael, how do you feel about Kyle.?'

        Liz called out: 'Where's Kyle?'

        'He's got training on Mondays.'

        'Training? I never...'

        'Can it, Liz' Michael snapped. 'It had a problem when Max put what he wanted ahead of what happened to the rest of us. Do we really need that again?'

        'So, people,' he went on 'what else do we know that's new?'

        Isabel said: 'Well, Kyle dreamwalked to somewhere. It was like a temple or something. There was a drum that echoed Max' heartbeat.'

        Michael and Liz both looked at me. I shrugged.

        'Max was there but he was asleep in Kyle's lap. Max, do you remember anything?'

        'Tell us what Kyle dreamt.'

        'Isabel, you were there.'

        'It was weird. Kyle pulled me into his dream. No-one else can do that to me. I was still there when he left.' She looked at me 'Max, you were there too.'

        'So I'm told.'

        Michael asked: 'Why can't Maxwell tell us anything this temple?'

        'He was sleeping in Kyle's lap the whole time.'

        'Did you see any people?' Michael

        'No. We both felt like we were being watched. And there was a drum that echoed Max' heartbeat. Kyle knows more about it.'

        'What could you see?'

        They were sitting at the foot of a thing like a throne. I shook my head.

        Liz started towards me and then stopped.

        'There's another problem. Kyle asked why they don't just put someone outside town with a high-powered rifle.'

        Michael was grinning. 'Cheerful boyfriend you have there, Maximilian.'

        'No listen,' I said, 'they could have killed anyone here any time they liked. They must be holding off for a reason.'

        Isabel glared at me. 'Oh sure? We're in a war but they don't want to win?'

        Liz said softly: 'Maybe killing Max, maybe killing anyone, would break some kind of rule they have, an alien Geneva Convention or something.'

        'Oh great,' Michael muttered, 'We can be tortured but not killed. Why?'

        I said: 'I think Liz could be right. They have a Geneva Convention.'

        Isabel sighed. 'You're forgetting something, Max. Tess killed Alex.'

        'Tess never cared about killing humans.'

        'Don't defend her, Max.' Liz snapped.

        'Don't ever say I'm defending her, Liz. I know she killed Alex and she knew we'd all die if we went back with her.'

        'I can't believe you're defending her, Max. Kyle must really have got to you.'

        Liz was trembling. Maria put an arm round Liz's shoulder and said: 'Shut up, Max. Leave Kyle out of this, Liz. let's talk about the whole destiny thing.'

        Liz voice was shaking when she spoke again. 'I've been thinking about the Destiny message. Was it a transmission or a recording?'

        I started to speak but Isabel came over and stopped me with a hand on my wrist and said: 'What do you mean, Liz?'

        Liz looked grim. 'Nasedo said the orbs would alert the Skins if you used them. Would your mother transmit a message that gave away your location? Why not just record it when you were sent here and leave it in the Granolith? Everything in the message had already happened when you were sent to Earth.'

        Michael said: 'So you're saying the whole thing with the Orbs and the Destiny message is a set-up, right?'

        Liz shook her head. 'No, I'm saying it could be a set-up.'

        I said: 'I think Nasedo changed his mind about the deal with Kvar when he met us. That's why he warned us. That's why they killed him.'

        Isabel asked: 'What about Tess?'

        I said: 'Tess didn't change her mind. Think back to when Nikolas and the other Skins were destroyed by Tess' fireball. Nikolas was alive in New York 2 weeks later. Tess said she'd destroyed him. All she did was mindwarp us.'

        Liz still looked thoughtful. 'But if Tess was working with Nikolas...'

        I said: 'All Tess worked for was Tess.'

        Michael said: 'Well, where's that leave us?'

        Liz counted the points off on her fingers. 'We don't know if anything Tess or the Skins told us is true. We don't know if Rath and Lonnie are what they say or just shapeshifters. We know there is a war but we don't know what its about. We know Max is important.' Liz was staring at me now.

        The sun was low in the west. My head started spinning. I pressed my eyes with the palm of my hands. I put a hand on a rock to steady myself.

        Maria asked if I was all right.

        I sat down on the rock and closed my eyes. 'I'm fine.'

        Isabel said: 'You don't look fine'.

        'Really, its okay. I'm just tired.'

        Someone, I don't know who, asked: 'How long's this been happening, Max?'

        'A while. Let's finish what we have to talk about.'

        Michael 'Anything else about the dreamwalk you can tell us Max?

        'Alex talked to us, that first night with Kyle.'

        'Alex?' Isabel gasped. 'Was it really Alex?

        'We think so. We can't be sure.'

        'What did he say?'

        'He told me I'm not like Tess.'

        Isabel said: 'What's that mean?'

        'It means we have more questions and its getting weirder.'

        Liz said: 'We should be sharing all this. No matter how weird it gets we should be thinking it through.'

        I turned my head to look at her and said: 'You could start.'

        'What do you mean?' she said.

        'Sharing everything.'

        Maria jabbed her elbow into Michael. he looked at Liz and then at me, and said: 'So tell us what you think is happening, Max.'

        'Well, we've all been living a lie. For over a year. Since Tess and Nasedo came to Roswell.'

        'Max, I won't believe what you felt for me was a lie.'

        'It wasn't. I would have trusted you with anything.'

        Isabel frowned at both of us. 'This is getting us nowhere. We need to work out what Tess is doing and what Nikolas is doing. What do they want?'

        Maria asked: 'Aren't Tess and the Skins working for the same side?'

        I stood up. 'Maybe the same side but they never worked together. If Nikolas had got the Granolith then Tess' deal would have been dead. If Nikolas had known about Tess' pregnancy he would have stopped her leaving.' I turned away and skipped a pebble across the lake, watching the circles within circles.

        Michael said: 'Who do you think Tess was working for?'

        Liz said: 'Who needs the child? Why? Answer that and you've answered the whole puzzle.'

        I said: 'If the child is even real' over my shoulder.

        Michael shrugged his shoulders. 'All we're doing is finding more and more questions.' He glanced at the sky. 'Its getting dark. We should go back to town soon.'

        Liz asked: 'Where was Tess when the Dupes tried to kill you?'

        'I don't know. She never told me.'

        Michael said: 'Maybe we should leave it there. We can think about all this for a few days and then come back when Kyle's free.'

        Isabel took Liz by the hand and started towards the cars. 'I think Michael's right. Let's meet again when Kyle can be here.' Maria followed them.

        Michael waited with me until they were out of earshot.

        I grinned and said: 'Well, that went well'

        'You really think so?'

        'Maybe not.' I shook my head.

        'How often do you get dizzy like back there?'

        'Sometimes. It goes away.'

        'Anything I can do, Max?'

        'It might better if you drove.' I gave him the car keys.

        He jingled the keys in his hand. 'What will Kyle think about that?'

        I shook my head. The spinning got worse. 'Kyle will be okay.'

        'Where are we going?'

        'I need Kyle'

        'Okay, give me the keys. I'll get you there.'

Continue to Part Thirteen

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