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House of Exile, Part Three
Reply to DM or visit her websitePosted to the Roswell Slash list September 4,2000
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Katims, Metz and the WB. No infringement is intended. Rating: PG-13
Summary: In the House Of Exile people are forced to rely only on each other for what's important. Friendship.
Max watched Kyle stare at his papers. His notes were blank and the screen cursor blinked once more before the screensaver turned on. Kyle didn't even look up, he knew Max was standing there. "I was beginning to believe that I had killed her. She was my sister and she died because I couldn't move quick enough. I couldn't hold on to her."
"It wasn't your fault." Max whispered.
"I keep trying to tell myself that. After it happened, when she died, when I got arrested, during the trial." Kyle leaned forward, pushing his keyboard out of the way. "I envy Michael."
"It was his right for what that monster did to Maria but... I would have liked to take her down myself." He raked his fingers over his face and tugged at his tie. "You talk to... him?"
"Your dad said he'd take care of everything. Lucky for us no one else liked her much. No one will care that she's gone." Max stepped into the office and sat on the edge of the desk. "She was really sick. I mean beyond like human standards of course."
"Of course." Kyle nodded. "It didn't ruin your sister's honeymoon did it?"
"I don't know. They haven't come back yet. I don't know if she'll call when she does get back."
"What can I tell him that he'll believe? Assuming that he'd want to talk to me that is." Max closed his eyes and heard screams in his head. Kyle's when he dove for the edge. Maria's when she slipped out of Kyle's grasp. Tess's as she died in the country club private room.
"How about the truth?" Kyle whispered taking his lover's hand.
"Yeah, I'll just walk up to Philip Evans the lawyer, the most logical man in the world and I'll tell him the truth. I'm an alien. Tess was an alien. So are Isabel and Michael. We can do things no one else can do. We can heal but we couldn't heal Maria because she was unconscious. Tess can make people see things that aren't there." Max gripped Kyle's hand tighter. "He'll believe every word is a lie."
"You sure about that?"
"If you hadn't gotten shot... would you have believed it?" Max turned to face him. Kyle didn't answer. "That's what I thought."
"Maybe... you and Isabel should tell him together. I mean, my dad believed it." Kyle shrugged.
"So he's your dad now?" Max smirked. Kyle rolled his eyes.
"Yeah. I guess he is." He shook his head and wrapped his arms around Max.
"You should talk to him. He misses you."
"Even if he was sorry for accusing me... what about Amy? She still believes one of us pushed her only daughter." Kyle whispered. "We never told her..."
"Your dad will take care of that. If you talk to your dad... I'll talk to mine."
Max entered the corridor that led to the other side of the house. He took his time, listening for any signs that he should wait. "Get a hold of yourself. Liz asked you to mediate. Be a friend and do it."
He knocked lightly on their door. Michael opened it and let him in. Liz sat on the edge of the bed, eyes red from crying. "Maxwell."
"Hey guys. So... uh... where do we start?" Max clapped his hands together.
"He's being an ass." Liz bit her lip. "He's convinced that he's going to hurt me. Like I didn't know what he was or what he could do when I agreed to get involved with him."
"I couldn't take you getting hurt." Michael whispered.
"She's dead! She can't hurt anyone anymore." Liz's tears started anew.
"She's right, Michael. Tess is out of our hair forever. Nothing's going to bring Maria back." Max said softly. Michael turned and stared out the window.
"You don't understand. I've taken a life. I killed Pierce. I killed Maria and I killed Tess."
"You didn't kill Maria, Michael. Tess did." Liz pleaded with him.
"It's because of what I am that Maria died. It's my fault. If it wasn't for me then she'd still be here!" Michael roared.
"By that same theory... then I killed her Michael." Liz stood up and turned him to face her. "If it wasn't for me, none of this would have happened."
"That's not true. It was not your fault." Michael shook his head at her.
"Michael, it could very well be my fault. I healed Liz and that started this whole thing." Max pointed out the flaws in his reasoning. "Liz... tell him."
Michael looked down at his petite wife. "Tell me what?"
"No, I'm not telling you until I'm sure you're not leaving." She crossed her arms.
"Tell me, what does Fearless Leader know that I don't?"
"Promise me you're not going to leave. Promise me that you're going to stay here with me." She felt the tears sting her eyes.
"I'm not going anywhere. Is something wrong? Are you sick?" Michael really looked at her for the first time in weeks. "You're pale."
Liz looked at Max. He nodded and left the room.
"You aren't dying are you?" Michael sank to his knees as he recalled her behaviour over the past month. "You haven't been eating and you throw up everyday... and you take naps. You don't take naps. Tell me what's wrong."
"Michael, calm down. I'm not sick and I'm not dying." She bit her lip nervously and she motioned for him to sit. He leaned against the wall and waited.
"Tell me. You haven't been acting like yourself." He watched her sink onto the bed. Sighing, he knelt in front of her. "I'll never leave you. Please, tell me what's wrong."
Isabel stared out the plane window. Alex snored lightly beside her. She sighed. She and Alex had pretended their wedding had been perfect in every way. No thoughts of what happened at the reception. Some things were clearer but others were still bothering her. "Alex?"
"You awake?" She poked him in the side.
"I am now." He still didn't open his eyes.
"I need to talk about it. About her." She whispered.
"Now? Here?" His eyes sprang open.
"We'll be careful, I just need to get it out, Alex." She leaned her head on his shoulder. He took her hand in both of his and bent his head over hers.
"I'm not sorry that Tess is dead. I'm not. What she did was wrong... Max, I can forgive. It wasn't his fault. Kyle... yeah, Kyle too. He tried to save her." She whispered softly.
"What about Michael and Liz? What did they do?" Alex kissed her head.
"Alex, they forgot about her." Isabel sat up and stared at him. "How does it make you feel that your best friend is married to your dead best friend's boyfriend... her almost fiance?"
"I'm happy for them." Alex answered truthfully.
"How could they do that to Maria? Huh? Michael especially. He was going to ask Maria to marry him. She died... so what? He just moves on to her best friend."
"You know it wasn't like that. They gave each other comfort while... we waited and during the trial. Then Liz left. She didn't talk to anyone. It hurt her too much. When she came back... she sought out the one person who could feel like she did. Someone who didn't have anyone else, someone who had loved Maria as much as she did. Someone who felt the loss just as great."
"By that theory she would have fallen in love with me. I don't buy it." Isabel pulled her hand out of Alex's and turned back to the window. "Go back to sleep."
"Hey guys." Alex stepped into the lone house on Destierro.
"Hey Alex, how was the honeymoon?" Liz ushered him into the kitchen where the others had gone back to finish their lunch.
"You really want to know?" Alex raised his eyebrows at her.
"No!" Michael and Max said at the same time. Liz shook her head and returned to her seat. Alex pulled up a chair.
"It was nice." He nodded and watched the four of them.
Liz looked at her plate then furrowed her brow. She shrugged and kept eating. "That's good. So Niagara Falls, huh?"
"Yeah. It might've been nicer if it hadn't rained so much but then it wouldn't have been as fun." Alex grinned wide.
"Dude, you say one more word and this fork will have found a new home." Max threatened.
"You want something to drink?" Liz stood.
"Got a beer?"
"Sure." Liz smirked at him. "Kyle?"
"I could use another one." Kyle glanced away from his laptop long enough to realize what she was asking.
"Put it away." Max sneered at the machine.
"I'm almost done."
"You were almost done when we started eating. Put it away." Max hit the save button. "Corporate America can wait until you finish eating to get their report."
"Yes, dear." Kyle waggled his head and spoke in a high-pitched voice. Alex laughed. Liz just smiled and set the bottles on the table. She sat down and stared at her plate, confused. Suddenly she whirled on Michael.
"You! Stop it!" She smacked him upside the head.
"Hey! What?" He clutched his head.
"Quit putting food on my plate." She yelled at him. "I can eat what's on my plate without you putting more on it."
"If you'd actually eat then I wouldn't have to do it, now would I?" He countered. "And don't tell me you're eating right. You had a biscuit for breakfast, a candy bar for lunch and you're barely eating what you got there."
Liz was about to concede when she sat up straight. "Michael... honey... how did you know I had a candy bar for lunch? I mean. I had lunch with Victor from the lab... We were alone in the lab."
"Right." She smacked him again.
"Aw... already fighting like my parents." Alex laughed.
"They are cute aren't they?" Kyle squished Michael's cheeks.
"Cut it out Valenti." Michael growled then turned to Liz. "You. Eat. Now."
"I'm not hungry so I'm not eating. If I get hungry, I'll eat. I'm not going to eat just cause you say so. I will not be fattened up like a heffer." Liz glared. "Are you this persistant with your students?"
"Oh don't you know it." Michael put another scoop of potatoes on her plate. "Eat. I will not have you starving my son."
"Michael... stop, quit it." Liz pushed his hands away from her plate.
"Whoa!" Alex spoke up. Had he heard that right? "Your son?"
Mrs. Isabel Whitman sat on her bed in her new apartment. She had heard the outside door open and shut. The voices were hushed but she knew they were all there. She knew her husband was standing outside their bedroom practicing an attempt to get her to leave the room. "Baby? Max and Kyle are here."
"So are Michael and Liz. I'm not coming out." She growled at the door.
"They have something really important to tell you." He paused. "They didn't want to tell you... but they realized that you had to hear it from them... come out."
"No. I don't want to hear anything that they have to say." Isabel stood and leaned against the door.
"Michael! Put those down." She heard Max yell.
"Why did she end up with them? I should have been the one to keep them."
"He's got my orbs." Isabel fumed and threw open the door. She stalked past Alex and into the main room where Michael was holding the orbs. "Put those down."
"No." He stared her down.
She stared at him right back. "Get out of my home."
"No. We have to tell you something." Michael didn't budge.
"I don't want to hear it. No matter what has happened in the past three weeks, you still betrayed Maria. You may have avenged her death but you're still shacking up with her best friend like she never existed." Isabel reached for the orbs.
"No. No. It's not like that and I won't have you saying things about my wife." Michael growled. "I loved Maria, I did... but she's gone."
"No excuse." Isabel spat.
"Hey now!" Max tried to separate them.
"I can't believe I wanted you to know we're pregnant." Michael bit out. Suddenly the three of them were still. Isabel's shocked face looked from Michael to Liz to the picture of Maria on the coffee table. Max's hands moved to theirs to pry them apart. Then a bright light shot out of the orbs.
Kyle watched in awe as the light filled the room and then concentrated itself on one spot before them. A figure in white appeared. Slowly they were able to make out the woman.
Liz gasped and grabbed Michael's arm.
"Max, Isabel, Michael, your people are something special. I get to leave some kind of message to everyone, even Kyle and Liz. This is so weird. I'm not exactly sure how much time has passed but I've been watching for a while now. I can't believe all the stuff that's been going on. Most of it is because of me but you don't gotta do that anymore. It's great here. I don't know where here is but it's great.
"Kyle, bro. You gotta talk to Dad, he's like sick worrying about you. Max... you gotta make up with Iz and your dad. You can't stay like that forever. Alex, keep taking care of everyone, I know you've been trying but we've got a bunch of bulls for friends. Izzy, I love you girl but your loyalty has gone too far. I don't hate that Michael and Liz found each other and are gonna have a baby but it doesn't hurt. Michael, Liz, I am so happy that you're happy.
"I don't have much time but I gotta tell you this. Max's son is supposed to lead the war but... we all know that's not going to happen. I'm having a little trouble explaining that around here. Michael, Liz, your kid is next in line. I hope you guys get this message. Do me a favor? First one to have a girl, name it after me? Please, please with a cherry on top? I love all you guys."
Her image faded, leaving the apartment dark and silent.
Kyle was the first to snap out of it. "She's so beautiful."
"Yeah." Max nodded and stepped away from his siblings. "Wow..."
"You can say that again..." Michael whispered, wrapping his arms around Liz.
"I can't believe that was her." Isabel dropped to the ground, still staring at the spot where Maria's image had been. Alex blinked then stepped over to her.
"She was just so... Maria." Liz wiped a tear from her cheek.
"Only Maria could find a happy hole in the wall in the afterlife." Alex laughed lightly. The others smiled not wanting to let go of the image in their heads of the way life was supposed to be.
"What happens now?" Kyle took Max's hand. The shock still lingered on everyone's faces as they tried to look at their formerly happy circle of friends. How were they going to move on from there?
Isabel stepped into the Evans/Valenti/Guerin house and found Liz and Max in the living room. "Uh... hi guys."
"Iz, you've got to feel this." Max was grinning wildly, his hand on top of Liz's round stomach. Isabel slowly walked into the room, glancing between her brother and the mother to be.
"I don't bite." Liz cracked. "You should take a look at your brother. This entertains him to no end."
Isabel broke into a smile and knelt beside the chair Liz was sitting in. Her hand hovered next to her brother's. "Can I?"
"Yeah. Max move your hand." Liz ordered. She took Isabel's hand and placed it where Max's had been. "This seems to be the hot spot."
After a few moments, Isabel felt a hard dull thump under her hand, she closed her eyes and smiled bigger. Then she could swear she felt a small connection to the tiny babe inside her friend. "Oh wow."
"It's amazing, isn't it?" Max broke into her thoughts.
"Okay, what am I missing?" Liz cleared her throat. "Every single time Max and Michael feel the baby kick... they get that same expression on their faces. Like they've tapped into some... I don't know... some high."
"You guys have felt this too?" Isabel slowly took her hand away.
"Michael sleeps with his hand right here." Liz shrugged.
"I felt him, Liz." Isabel couldn't stop smiling. "It's like I could feel his little soul. You can't feel it?"
Liz shook her head. Max just grinned. Then both he and his sister took Liz's hand and put it over the hot spot, putting their hands on top. After a few moments of the baby's kicking, Liz felt what her friends were talking about. She started crying.
"Oh Liz... are you okay?" Isabel whispered, taking her hands away.
"It's just... wow." She giggled. Then she got a thoughtful expression on her face. "Max, go get Kyle, he needs to feel this."
"I hate you!"
"No you don't. Come on, push, baby." Michael coached Liz.
"No! I swear I hate you. I'm never letting you near me again! AHH!!" Liz pushed hard and the scream just fled her throat. Her hand clamped down on his. Michael let out his own howl of pain.
"Liz, you gotta push again." Isabel commanded from where she stood behind the mid-wife. "Just one more time."
"I can't." Liz clutched the sheets tight and Michael's hand tighter. "I can't do it."
"Yes you can." Michael kissed her forehead. "Just once more and he'll be here. Come on."
"Just one more time. Just once more and it'll all be over." Liz whispered to herself and let out one last scream as she pushed her son from her body. She collapsed back on the bed, totally drained. Michael glanced around the room at the activity going on. The midwife spanked the baby and it let out a loud wail. Quickly, Michael healed his mangled hand. They cleaned off the baby and wrapped him in blankets.
"Here you go daddy." The rosy-cheeked old woman handed the boy to Michael. He panicked for a split second before allowing the woman to place him in his arms. Michael stared in awe at the bundle.
"Hey, little guy. I guess I'm your dad." Michael whispered to him. "Let's meet mommy now."
Michael waited until Isabel and the midwife had cleared up the dirty sheets and left before climbing onto the bed with the baby. Liz's eyes were closed.
"Baby, I got someone to cheer you up." Michael held up their child. Liz slowly opened her eyes and smiled at the sight of her baby in her husband's arms.
"He's beautiful Michael." She whispered.
"Yep." Michael took a deep breath and let it out slow. "I can't believe I helped make something this perfect..." He trailed off.
Liz took the baby from him and sat up, placing the baby between her legs. She examined him from head to toe. Counting each finger, each toe, kissing his tiny hands.
"What are you doing?" Michael whispered.
"Inventory." She grinned. She lightly rubbed her fingers over the hair covering the baby's head. "He's so beautiful, look at this..."
Michael followed her fingers to a little star shaped birthmark just behind his ear. "Well, what do you know..."
"What's the kid's name?" Kyle looked over Max's shoulder at the baby boy.
"Michael Mario Guerin." Liz and Michael said together. They smiled at each other. He kissed her lightly. "We're going to call him Mario."
"I just called Alex, he'll be here any minute... the plane just landed." Isabel announced walking into the room. She took baby Mario from Max and walked the length of the room with him.
"What are you thinking Evans?" Kyle noted Max's very silent demeanor since he'd been holding the baby.
"Just thinking." He sighed and leaned back into Kyle.
"You want one?"
"Maybe..." Max watched Liz and Michael cuddle and watch as Isabel stared at the baby in absolute awe. "I know Iz wants one now."
"We're not talking about Iz, we're talking about you." Kyle sighed and rested his chin on Max's shoulder.
"It'd be nice."
"I guess adopting is out... surrogate? I mean, nothing strange happened to Liz except for that pickles and ice cream episode but your mom said that was normal."
"I couldn't ask a woman to give up her baby. Even if... Liz never saw a doctor and surrogate mothers have to check in and all..."
"Not a one."
Max sighed and explained the whole thing to Mrs. Parker for the fifth time that evening.
"So, Michael's a warrior and my grandson will be a warrior." Nancy took a deep breath. "He really loves Liz?"
"I've only ever seen him like this with one other person." Max nodded his head.
"How many people know about this?" She looked around the room nervously at all the guests in her house.
"Liz, Kyle, Alex and Sheriff Valenti were the only ones who knew before the baby was born."
"She KNEW he was an... an.. a---lien," That last syllable was out in a whisper. "before the baby came?"
"She's known for years, Mrs. P. Back before we were dating."
"Oh dear lord." She sank into a chair. "I think this is finally hitting me."
"It's a little hard to digest at first. Don't worry about a thing. We've got it all under control." Max reassured her.
"If you say so... wait. Did you say that was before the baby was born? Who knows now?"
Kyle nodded to his dad and step-mom as he went to talk to his housemates. They finally knew everything. Things were tense but better than before. "Hey, guys, how's the critter?"
"Would you stop with the stupid names?" Michael growled. "He's a baby, not an animal."
"He's not human." Kyle pointed out.
"Hey, my little man is half." Liz protested. "I love him, his daddy loves him and his aunt and uncles love him... that's all that matters." She cooed to her son.
"This is why you don't get to be godfather." Michael pointed out. "That's up to the Whitmans if they'd ever get here."
"They went to get River Dog." Liz reminded him. "Can't do the ceremony without him."
"Why does the dweeb and the princess get to have godparent rights?" Kyle complained. "I'm childless, can't have kids... shouldn't Max and I get something out of this deal?"
"If you weren't such an ass, maybe." Michael shrugged and brushed his son's hair out of his face, making it stick up. He laughed when Liz smacked him.
"You didn't tell them." She whispered.
"Fine. Enough suffering." Michael rolled his eyes. "Maxwell! I gotta tell you something."
Max managed to get away from the Parkers and his own parents' questions and join the little group in the Parker living room. "What's up?"
"Michael and I have something to tell the both of you." Liz started while smoothing Mario's hair down out of its spikes.
"The whole Alex-and-Iz-as-godparents-thing... that was a ruse. We want you guys to be godparents too." Michael smirked as Mario's hair refused to cooperate.
"What?" Kyle blinked. "You're serious? Cause I was just joking, you really don't have to."
"Wow." Max whispered.
"Guys, if anyone were to happen to us, we'd want you two to take care of Mario... then Alex and Iz... our parents as last resorts." Liz smiled at her friends.
"We're here!" Isabel announced dragging Alex into the house. "River Dog's outside with Eddie. Let's go!"
They stood in a circle around Michael and Liz. Eddie helped River Dog make his way around the seven with his bowl of earth and ash. They all followed the chant softly.
River Dog touched Mario's head with the ashes, then he touched Liz and Michael. Then Max and Kyle. Then Alex and Isabel. He started the circle around them again, sprinkling the ashes in a circle around them, letting the wind pick up the particles and whisk them away.
The parents all watched silently from the side of the alley. Jim and Amy Valenti, Jeff and Nancy Parker, Phil and Diane Evans, Charles and Lucy Whitman. The wind picked up and a scent rose into the air.
River Dog stopped and glanced around at nothing. Michael and Liz picked up the scent first. They exchanged looks. Alex's eyes widened as he recognized the growing odor. Amy burst into joyous tears when she smelled it. Kyle grinned when he finally placed the smell of cedar.
The scent swirled around them all, light and relaxing. Acceptance.
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