Chapter Eight: Waiting Game
It was killing Michael to see Liz like this. He knew she was exhausted but she refused to sleep. Reaching out to Zan took a substantial amount of energy. They were sitting on the floor holding hands with her head on his shoulder. She fixed her thoughtful and dazed stare on Michael when he said her name softly.
"Liz," he urged. "What did you see?"
"It was so dark. I can't believe Max came from him, Michael. I never felt so much pain."
Michael bristled. "I never should have let you do this."
"No, Michael," Liz corrected. "His pain. I saw everything he's ever done to Antar and here on Earth. I know this sounds crazy but Zan is so lost that anger is the only thing he can comprehend. He lashes out at people every single time it becomes too much for him. He kills and when that doesn't help him, he does it some more. It's horrible."
Khivar approached them and Liz's eyes met his. "Do you see what I mean now?" he asked sadly.
"I saw what he did to you. I'm sorry," Liz lamented.
Khivar averted his gaze for a moment but Michael saw the pained grimace.
"I lost my family too," Michael said to him warmly.
"Taken by Zan as well," Khivar stated.
"Yes," Michael agreed. "But some before that."
Khivar smiled at Michael. "You are different then Rath. He was very devoted to his King-to a fault. You mourn for your Max, as well you should. Like Rath, you protected him but you also questioned him. Rath was a follower and you are as much as a leader as Max was."
Liz could tell Michael took those words to heart and she squeezed his hand tightly.
"It's true," she said. Liz stood up and dusted off her jeans. "You two talk. I'm going to clear my head a little."
"I can tell you about your parents," she heard Khivar begin as she headed to Serena. Liz wanted this for Michael. She knew he had questions about his past and where he came from. When Liz reached Serena, she was staring at Khivar. "You look worried," Liz observed.
Serena frowned. "Facing Zan is hard for him. In all the years I've known him, he's never been this close."
Liz looked surprised. "How long have you known him?"
Serena gave her a guarded expression at first. Then her eyes softened and she sighed. "He helped me get to Earth. I was wanted for your version of arson...multiple occasions of them."
Liz wanted to know more but didn't want to push the young girl further. "This is going to sound crazy but Max came to me from the future when I was still living here. He said I needed to help him stop a Skin invasion and that you had helped him time travel."
Serena's brow furrowed and she shrugged. "Weirder things have happened. Sounds like Khivar-destroy a whole planet just to destroy Zan."
"It's confusing, honestly. I averted that possibility but somehow we ended up here instead. My friend was alive in that timeline and isn't in this one. You still showed up though but everything else ended up so differently," Liz mused.
"Technically we're on different teams," Serena laughed. "When I ran into Rath and Ava, I almost killed them. Purely coincidence-I mean, I could have never met them. I told Khivar that they were different from who they were. We figured all this was over with. My father will be here soon. Zan is his new shiny toy so he can't help himself. He's weak, almost has been. Won't be hard to take down."
"Yes," Serena said coldly. Neither of them said anything for a moment. "So I heard it from Kyle but I'm still a little confused. You and him are actually human?"
"Max healed me," Liz said fondly. "I started developing powers a couple years later and I think my son amplified them as well. Honestly there were a couple times that I know I'd be dead if I didn't have them."
"I've spent most of my life on my own," Serena admitted. "You and Michael give off that vibe too and I'm probably overstepping my boundaries here but I've met your parents. I'm probably staying in Roswell after all this is over, maybe you should too. They miss you. Kyle misses you."
"I don't know yet," Liz said honestly.
"I get it, you know. You're not human anymore-not really. You aren't sure where you really belong and you've been running for so long that staying somewhere makes you antsy. You know you belong with us, Liz. You just aren't sure about everyone else."
While Liz contemplated that, Serena noticed a chipped nail. With a wave of her hand it was perfectly manicured again. She nudged Liz, smiling. "People like us are special. Max made you this way, right? Don't be ashamed of that."
"Zan isn't like us," Liz commented. "What I saw in his head was horrible."
Serena looked angry. "On Antar, they breed their children. Or they did before it was outlawed. Some of them just came out wrong because people like my father did too much shit to them to make them perfect. I can't feel physical pain and I'm grateful that's the only thing I was cursed with."
Before Liz could respond, Ava came over to them. "Gossiping?"
"Pre-battle bonding," Serena replied.
Ava turned to Liz. "Kyle is very worried about your plan for Zan."
"Look," Liz said. "We know the museum better than he does. We just need to separate Nasedo and Zan and get me close enough to do what I have to do."
"You barely got out of his head the first time," Ava argued.
"If it doesn't work then we kill him but Khivar and I both agree that Zan needs to pay for what he did. Zan welcomes death but what we will do will be worse," Liz reasoned
Liz's heart felt heavy. She missed Maria and Isabel. It had been so long since she had females to confide in or talk to.
"What does Michael think?" Ava asked.
"He doesn't like it."
"He loves you," she said out of the blue. "You move and he moves the same way. It's like magnets or something."
Liz glanced over at him, still in a conversation with Khivar. "This isn't how I pictured the first days of us being a couple. Everything just kind of imploded at once and I don't think I've done a great job of assuring him that we won't either."
"Because I'm not sure," Liz answered honestly. "The whole reason we've held back our feelings is because of Max. I'm not sure if all this is moving us forward or reminding him of why he kept his distance."
"Read his mind," Serena joked. "Rath has no secrets from me, believe that."
"I'd rather he decide on his own. Then tell me," Liz said sadly.
Ava put a comforting hand on Liz's shoulder. "I don't think you have anything to worry about."
Liz saw Khivar excuse himself from his and Michael's conversation then head over to the women. His expression was solemn. "Zan is close. We should get ready."