Follow Your Destiny
The falling star streaked across the sky. Liz Parker breathed in deeply and closed her eyes, wishing for something so unreachable that within a moment she opened them again and shook her head, chuckling at herself for being silly.
"What are you smiling at?"
Liz turned to see Maria leaning against the bar. Her friend looked so vulnerable with her hair down. It did not help that Maria did not bother to gloss her pale lips, or that she did not powder underneath her sunken eyelids. It had been three months since the three aliens had left Roswell. A quarter of a year. One fourth of three hundred and sixty days that the three people who had been such a huge part of their lives vanished into space without a trace.
"Nothing, Maria. How are you feeling now?"
"Still the general 'suck,' Liz," Maria answered ruefully.
Liz approached her best friend and sat down at a table near her. She pointed to the chair in front. "Have a seat." Maria did. "You still think about him?" the brunette inquired wistfully.
"You have to ask me that?"
"I'm—" The brisk knock on the door cut her off. "Who could it be at this hour?" She stood up to check. "It's Jesse and Kyle!" Liz rushed to open the door. "Hey, you two. What are you doing here this late?"
The two stepped in and Maria rose to meet them. "Hey."
"Hi Maria." Kyle bent to kiss her cheek. "Amy wants me to see if you're okay."
"Tell mom I'm great," she said brightly, but Kyle frowned down at her knowingly. "All right, fine, Kyle, I'm not doing that well. But I'd prefer it if you didn't say anything to my mom. You know how much fuss she'd put up."
"Maybe you need fuss," Kyle replied.
Jesse cleared his throat. "I brought some stuff of Isabel's I thought you could use. You know, just basic makeup and some of her jewelry. I didn't bother with the clothes since neither of you would be big enough for them."
Liz reached for the paper bag that Jesse held. "Thank you, Jesse. This was very thoughtful of you." She smiled up at him sweetly, and Jesse forced his gaze away from hers.
"I have some cake for both of you," Maria told them. "Stay here," she said to Jesse. "Kyle, help me box them."
Left alone in the dining area, Liz turned away from Jesse. "I really should help them."
Jesse caught her arm. "You think two grown people need help boxing two cakes? Look, Liz, I'm confused with what's going on as much as you are. But don't run away from this. We have to deal with this." He laughed humorlessly. "It seems like I keep getting fated to be the guy who deals with a girl on the run. Liz, if this is nothing but empathy because we've both been left by the Evanses then we have to treat it like that. But if this is something else, do you really not want to know exactly?"
Inside the kitchen, Kyle was tying a string around the box as handle. Maria called him unevenly, "Kyle, you better take this cake from me."
Kyle looked up and saw her weave. Instead of reaching for the cake, he reached for her as she sagged against him. "What is it?" he whispered.
Maria's sight was hazy as she met his eyes. Kyle could see the eyelids drifting close. "Kyle, I think I'm pregnant," she said in wonder.
"Liz!" he screamed. "Get in here!"
Liz and Jesse broke apart when they heard Kyle. "Kyle?" They ran to the kitchen to see Kyle carrying Maria.
"Open the door to your room," he ordered briskly. "I'll take her up. She's pregnant, Liz."
Liz was stunned. Why had she not thought about it before? Everything that Maria had been feeling, all led to this. "Michael…"
Jesse squeezed her shoulder. "I'll open the door."
"We have to find a way to tell Michael. Kyle, we need to tell Michael."
"Get a grip, Liz. There's no way. We're dealing with this on our own."
"What?" Liz exclaimed. "We.. we don't know… How long would this be? Everyone will suspect, Kyle. We don't know if she'll show tomorrow or next week. This is.. This is…"
"Calm down, Liz."
"How I can?" she demanded.
"Calm down, Liz." She whirled to face Jesse, who was now back, stance firm and straight. "I've been offered a job in New York and I've held off so Isabel can stay here. Now I'm going to accept it. And you and Maria will go with me."
"I owe this to her, Liz. Isabel asked her to take care of me, and she never failed that. Now Michael never told me to do the same for Maria, but I'm taking it upon myself to solve this. In New York, no one will know her enough to realize she shouldn't be carrying that big, or that small. It's the only way, Liz."
"What if.. what if they come back?"
"I'll stay," Kyle volunteered. "No matter what happens, Liz. They will find me, and I'll lead them to you."
She nodded. "All right."
Since they arrived in Antar, Max had set out to find his son. Isabel wandered about, touching objects, feeling the people around her, in order to jog her memories. Neither she nor Max bothered to speak to those who gathered around them. Soon, Max's search came close to being solved. Isabel, however, seemed far from remembering all that she expected to come flooding to her.
Michael had watched their efforts with impatience. He convened the generals who automatically recognized him as the king's second in command. It seemed that although he was living in another life, in another form, he never lost the bearing and authority that he had exuded as an Antarian commander.
Either to drive the deep sense of loss that he felt at being without his wife, or a very Michael-like disdain at how slowly things were progressing since he needed to start looking for a way to get back, Michael, called a meeting of the leaders of the clans and rose to speak. He was doing this without the permission or knowledge of Max, but Michael did not mind it. He never waited for his agreement anyway. He always acted on impulse. He remembered that much. Michael knew by now, through everything he had gathered from the generals, that he had always been the one that the generals listened to. Max had been nothing more than a banner, a crown, a title.
"It's been a long and arduous wait for the people of Antar. The king regrets the extent of time that we have been absent, and you have waited for all of us." A titter of agreements erupted from his audience, as the various leaders of the clans began to speak with each and every one of his companions. Michael held up his hand for silence, and automatically, the group fell silent. He nodded curtly. "It had been Antar's policy never to use violence," he said, instinctively knowing as he spoke that he was right, "but it has never been Antar's policy to meekly accept whatever blows it has been dealt. We will fight with all our energies and manpower to bring the loose platoons under the former General Kivar down," he announced, and the men around him raised their fists and cried, "Rah!"
"The war will be ruthless. The war will be bloody. But know and remember this, Antar: Because we did not start the war, we will win it!"
Max stood at the sidelines, watching Michael take command. He had been in his search for his son when he heard the commotion in the gardens of the castle. So he went to check. There stood his best friend, his second in command, raising an army that he had met only a week ago.
"How will we fight them, General?" one of the clan leaders inquired. "How much time do we have to plan out the war?"
Michael's lips curved into a tight line. "By not planning the war." A voice of opposition rose, but again he quelled it with a hand. "Impulse is adrenalin, and adrenalin is strength," he said. "Attack when the enemy least expects you to. I want the chiefs prepared with men and firepower within two days. Then we will storm out the walls and raze them. I want Kivar brought to me alive. We need to execute him in front of the people of Antar. A coward like him does not deserve to die honorable in the battlefield. He had to die in front of the people who've been his victims for the last decades."