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New Beginnings, Chapter 16

Reply to Alex Parrish

Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list October 6, 2003

Part:1/19 "New Beginnings"
Author: Alex Parrish
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Katims, Metz and the WB. No infringement is intended. I own nothing, Trust me. Suing is futile!
Paring: M/K
Feedback: Please
Distribution: Roswell Slash Archive/Others Ask
Rating: X? Explicit sex and language
Spoilers: Nothing in particular and seasons 1,2,3 in general
Thanks: To aunty_mib, Beta extraodinaire, eh!
Summary/General: The lives of the 7 primary characters for 9 months after they leave season 3.
Summary/Chapter: The seven consider the implications of Larek's proposals.

In the Meantime, In-Between-time, Ain't We Got Fun?

      We had about four hours between our first meeting with Larek and his promised reappearance at 3:00. The others joined Max and Albert in the kitchen, getting an early lunch. I was fighting with my stomach over whether I could move more than a few feet away from the bathroom, where I had left my breakfast. Not that there was anything to be upset about. Larek had merely told me that I had "matured" into an alien freak -- that is, a freak even among aliens, and that, unless I chose to leave the planet of my birth, I could count on my life being in danger until it finally ended -- my life, that is.

      He also casually mentioned that I was expected to become the spiritual leader for the population of five planets, and the guardian and servant of a gazillion-year-old relic, which only I could communicate with. Why should my stomach be upset? I remember a saying my dad was fond of using when everything seemed to be going all to hell. He would say, "We are born naked, wet, and hungry, and get slapped on the ass...then things get worse."ÝThe only good I could see in all of this was that it looked like all the members of my adopted 'family' were in the same boat -- or should I say, spaceship, and Max Evans, the love of my life, would be going with me. I think. I had been concentrating so closely on Larek's agenda, that I really had no idea what Max thought about it.

      I managed to locate some Alka-Seltzer and decided I'd better join the group in the kitchen, or I might miss out on the plans. I shouldn't have worried, because the mood in the kitchen was one of shock and disbelief. Except for Albert, of course, who apparently had no idea what was really going on, and was far more interested in how many hot dogs he could eat than he was in our boring life. No one but Albert was talking. At all. Maria was quietly seeing to Albert's needs while Michael manned the stove.

      "Chili?" Michael offered.

      I just clamped my hand over my mouth and shook my head, no. He got the picture.

      Liz was silently sitting at the counter with Albert, playing with a bowl of chili. Isabel and Jesse had taken two of the tall stools from the counter and were seated in a corner, studying the floor.

      Max had liberated another stool and was by himself in the opposite corner. He looked like a child being punished; eyes downcast, head down, shoulders slumped. I could almost see a black rain cloud above his head. I was tempted to read his thoughts, but thought better of it and just walked over to him and put a hand on his shoulder. He turned on the stool and wrapped both arms around me, resting his head on my chest. I put an arm around him and stroked his hair with the other hand, finally, lying my head on his. The rich scent of shampoo lingering in his hair triggered precious memories and almost put me at ease. Almost.

      Max lifted his head, and then took my face into his hands and drew me in for a desperate kiss, then pulled my head onto his shoulder.

      "I'm sorry," He whispered into my ear.

      "Don't be." I whispered back.

      He pulled back a little to look me in the face. "I don't know what to do."

      "Wow! That's a news flash!" That almost got a smile. Almost.

      I turned to the room and announced, "Hey everybody! Your attention, please! Max, here, doesn't know what to do. Will the person who knows what to do please report to this corner of the kitchen immediately?"

      Silence -- everyone looked up at me as though I had laughed during a funeral.

      "What, no takers? Surely someone here has all the answers. C'mon, speak up!"

      More silence, then, Jesse, taking the bait, called out, "I think we should punt!"

      Maria caught on and called out, "I think we should definitely put cheese on this chili."

      Isabel offered a weak smile and said, "I think periwinkle blue would be lovely."

      Michael joined in. "I think we all need a drink. Break out the Snapple."

      Albert, not quite sure of what was happening chimed in anyway, "Can I have another hot dog -- this time with chili AND cheese?"

      Max finally cracked the littlest bit of a smile and joined in, "I'll get the Snapple, you get the hard stuff."

      "Not me," I held a hand palm-out, "Liquor does bad stuff to our kind. I'm sticking with Snapple."

      Jesse added, "I don't drink alone, at least not at this time of day, so it's Snapple all around."

      When Max returned with the Snapple, we all held up a glass for a toast, but for a moment no one could come up with anything appropriate.

      Finally, Maria perked up and said, "To humanity!"

      "To humanity!" everyone toasted, even Albert.

      From that moment Max took charge. "Let's all finish-up eating, and then we'll go back to the dining room and talk this out. Albert, while we're talking, would you mind going up to your room. I think it's best if you don't hear what we're talking about."

      "That's cool," Albert responded, "I could use some chill-time anyway. Can I just finish my lunch?"

      It took about 15 minutes for the hungry to eat, Albert to excuse himself, and all to reassemble around the big round table.

      "Liz, would you mind taking some notes and writing down some of our questions?" Max was in charge again.

      "Not at all." She excused herself to get a pad and pen. It took only a moment.

      "Let's start by reviewing what Larek told us, or at least what we think we heard."

      We spent the next three-quarters-of-an-hour reviewing every detail of Larek's visit. We were all pretty much in agreement concerning what he said. It seemed like everybody was afraid to move on to what we should do about it. We reached a point of silence; no one would venture into the next subject. We sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity.

      Finally, Liz let out a big sigh and said, "Well, someone's got to start..."

      Before she had a chance to finish, Max jumped in, "And that someone should be me."

      I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief; I know that I did.

      "It seems to me," Max continued, "that we have several distinct problems. One; should we trust that we are dealing with Larek, and that he is truly an ally, and Two; how do we prove that? Three; if we do trust Larek, are we going to go to Antar? Four: who is going, and who isn't, and Five: can we accept the council's plan?"

      "Whoever he is, he has really been keeping tabs on us. How does he know all that stuff about us?" Michael asked. "How does he know about the King-Sign and about my getting it and you taking it back?"

      Isabel spoke. "Whoever it is, it's clear we are dealing with an alien, and he knows a lot about us. All that stuff about the Granolith and the Avatar, why would anybody make that stuff up?"

      "Good question," Michael was getting excited. "What's the motive?"

      Jesse jumped in, "I agree; It's definitely an alien. This is not at all what we would get from the FBI or anybody in government."

      "I don't trust him." Michael announced.

      "We may not have a choice," Max responded, "With the changes Kyle has undergone -- and Larek said all of you would eventually -- our plan to hide in a small town in plain sight is DOA."

      "What if it's a trap; an ambush? I don't trust him" Michael came right back.

      I half-expected Max to react badly to Michael's pronouncement -- a year ago they would have been arguing and shouting by now -- but Max said nothing. He's grown; I took note of it. I was proud of him.

      Maria finally spoke up. "What can we do to figure out whether to trust him?"

      "Maria's right," Max spoke again, "that should be our first priority. He offered to let us test him. Liz, this afternoon, I want you to sit next to Albert, and touch him at every opportunity; see if you get anything -- any flashes or visions, anything at all." She nodded yes.

      He turned next to me. "Kyle, he told us he would give you a chance to read his thoughts. That's not good enough. I want you reading his thoughts from the start; everything. The moment you find something fishy, you break in right then and we call him on it."

      "What if he doesn't want me to read him all the time?"

      "Tough. I'm the King, you'll do it on my authority. I just hope you can -- that he can't block you somehow. Just try your best."

      "Aye, aye, your Majesty." I gave a snappy salute. I thought it was funny; no one else seemed to.

      "He also offered to let me question him about my past life on Antar, but I don't remember enough of it to even come up with questions. How can we handle that?"

      "How about this," Isabel offered, "I'll ask him to tell us some stories from your childhood together, and Kyle can see if he's lying?"

      "I think that's about the best we can do. Work out some questions beforehand, will you?" Max seemed satisfied. "OK, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that we decide to trust him. What are your thoughts?"

      The silence returned. After a few moments, Max asked, "Michael, you've been searching for your roots most of your life now, but when you had the chance to go back to Antar along with Tess and the Granolith, you decided to stay here."

      Michael sat, deep in thought for a few seconds, then responded. "I just don't know. I just don't know. I DO know this much, I won't go without Maria."

      "And I wouldn't let you!" she snapped.

      "The question is" Michael continued, "Would you GO with me?"

      She hesitated for only a moment, and then said, "I told you already, my future is with you, for better or worse, and I'm not backing down now. Yes...yes I would."

      Michael planted a kiss on her hand, then drew her in for an embarrassingly passionate one. Smiles all around.

      I took the opportunity to get even with Michael for all his jabs about Max and me. "OK, knock it off you too, this is a public place. Get a motel room!"

      Max spoke again. "Understand this. I am not going anywhere without BOTH of you." He looked to Liz and then to me. "This is not negotiable. The three of us stay, or the three of us go -- that's it."

      "It's not fair to Kyle if we don't go," Liz protested. "It would be very, very hard and dangerous for him to stay here on earth."

      I broke in. "Liz, I'm a big boy. I can look out for myself wherever we go. I don't want my freakiness to be the deciding factor for you. I'm willing to stay if that's what it takes to be with Max and you. You are going to have to make this decision for yourself, because I'm not willing to force you into something you might regret for the rest of your life. Make your own decision -- don't put it on me." I couldn't believe I just said that, but I really meant it. I think.

      "Well," Liz looked thoughtful, "I've already developed alien powers, and Larek said I would continue to 'mature,' Before long, earth will possibly be as dangerous for me as it is for Kyle. We've talked so much, Max, about your destiny; I now realize that, to a great extent, we each make our own destiny and I know that my destiny is with you, but, there are others who are depending on you, too; who- knows-how-many beings waiting for their King to return. Given all we've been through, it seems likely that THAT IS your true destiny, and if so, it is my destiny too. I say we go." The last sentence really sounded confident. I believed her. I think.

      "Kyle?" Max turned to me.

      I thought for a few seconds before I spoke. "I've been thinking about this a lot since I have turned into an alien freak. There are three sayings of The Buddha which have stood out for me and I think, in a way, they speak directly of this situation, at least for me."

      "First, The Buddha tells us, 'Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.' He doesn't specify that world has to be on earth and in my present condition, Antar may be my world, after all"

      "He also says, 'The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.' This saying has been very important to me -- it helped me to understand my sexuality, to accept myself as I am and to celebrate my love for Max. I guess accepting myself for who I am has to include what I have become, whether I would have chosen this or not, and, believe me, neither 'Alien-freak' nor 'spiritual leader' were on my list for chosen careers; they came somewhere way below 'law enforcement.' But, if I am The Avatar, and it seems likely that I am, I need to be true to it, and try to be the best Avatar I can be; at least, that's what The Buddha would say, I think."

      "Finally, The Buddha says, 'There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.' If The Truth means, living life as it really is, then, going to Antar and being a kick-ass Avatar seems to be the path. I think. I say we go for it."

      Max smiled. "That leaves two." We all turned to look at Jesse and Isabel.

      Jesse began, "I really can't see you staying here while Max leaves; you two belong together like peas in a pod. You are inseparable, so...

      Isabel protested, "Jesse, I got you into all this without..."

      "Don't even start with that crap. We go or we stay together. Period." Jesse spoke forcefully and directly to Isabel, "So, I guess we'd better start packing. What do you pack for space travel, anyway?"

      "So it sounds like were still seven. Remember," Max reminded us, "This is all still theoretical; we have to decide whether Larek is telling the truth before we make any plans to leave here."

      We spent the next half-hour putting together the list of questions for Larek. The mood had moved from shock and bewilderment to anticipation and decisiveness. Highest on our list was proving whether Larek is a friend and then determining whether he was telling us the truth. I didn't know if we were up to the task, but, The Buddha says "Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." I really hoped he was right.

Continue to Chapter 17

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