Title: All We Know of Heaven
Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell.
Summary: Second story in Picture series. After the wedding, can Michael and Liz keep their secret?
Chapter One: The Next Time
"Scotch with whiskey," a large beer-bellied man growled at Isabel while giving her a suggestive once-over. Isabel did all she could to not vomit at his breath.
"Don't you think you've had enough for the night, sir?" she asked sweetly. Isabel waited for the man's response and balanced her tray on her hip. If she wasn't so tired, she would have commented on his choice of alcoholic beverage.
The man's eyes began to glaze over and he stumbled ungracefully from his chair. "I have to take a piss but when I get back, my drink better be here."
Isabel rolled her eyes and headed back to the bar. Harrison's Sport and Grill was sadly the most classy joint Max had the nerve to put the girls to work in. For the last month, this homey bar had mostly the same visitors. They are charming people who now knew the three new waitresses by name.
Isabel's brunette hair was now shoulder length but, none the less, half the male population held some kind of crush on her. Not to mention Maria and Liz's admirers. The likes of the man she had just served hardly came around here.
"Hey there, girlfriend," Maria greeted as she bounced out from behind the bar. She was gripping two martinis and Isabel looked at her confused. "No one ordered martinis."
Maria rolled her eyes. "They're for us."
"I'm not thirsty," Isabel said quickly. "Remember, alcohol doesn't set well with me. Besides, we're underage."
"We're also Hannah Lamarck and Alexia Barks. It's on our nifty fake IDs that *say* we're twenty-one," Maria pointed out. "But if you don't want a drink, *Hannah*, then I'll just find a new drinking partner."
"While you're at it, get table ten a scotch with whiskey. Don't ask."
Maria laughed. "Sounds like my kind of man."
"If you like drunk trailer trash, then go for it."
Isabel was a bit shocked to see Maria so cheery. Usually she bitched and moaned about the temp jobs and all the moving around, often to the point of a blow-out fight between the two of them. "Liz is in the back," Isabel suggested. "In case you're still looking for a drinking partner later on."
"Actually, can you get her for me real quick?" Maria asked.
Isabel, thankful for a small break, made her way to the back room. Small sobs as she neared the room reached her ears and she flung the door open, ready to attack. All she found was Liz sitting on a crate, with her head in her hands. Her long hair was covering her face but her frail shoulders were shaking violently.
"Maria, can you please leave?" Liz sniffled.
"It's Isabel. What's wrong?" she asked cautiously as she stepped closer to Liz. Isabel closed the door behind her.
Liz's head snapped up and her blood-shot eyes took Isabel in. "Nothing," Liz said in a strange voice. Isabel pulled up an old chair and sat across from Liz. Her mind raced and she realized that a bit of hope was lingering in Liz's answer. Hope for what?
"What happened?" Isabel tried again.
Liz bit her lip and debated whether or not to answer her. Isabel tucked a piece of hair behind her ear and waiting patiently. Liz sighed heavily and said in a husky voice, "I thought I was pregnant."
Isabel sucked in a sharp breath. Pregnant? There was no question in her mind about how dangerous this environment was to raise a child. "Are you?" she asked slowly.
Liz smiled and began to sob again. "No."
Isabel tipped her head back and closed her eyes. She couldn't help but feel a bit relived. She loved her brother dearly but over the last year, he had changed. They all knew it, so she could only imagine how Liz was dealing with everything. "He wants one you know. I tried to convince him that now was hardly the time."
"Now is exactly the time for him," Liz replied angrily. "He just wants things to go back to the way they were. He thinks having a child will make us better, but it won't."
Isabel met Liz's eyes full on and said deliberately. "Having a child with him won't change the fact that you're in love with Michael."
Liz ducked her head. Since the wedding, Isabel had her speculations about the odd couple. At first she had been a bit angry but now, she just felt sad for the two of them. She missed Jesse dearly, more than she let on, but to miss someone who was right here had to be frustrating.
Liz had known Isabel had suspicions but they rarely talked about it. It was a secret between the two and the first binding that began their tight sisterhood. "No, it won't," Liz said firmly. She didn't feel ashamed of her love for Michael and she wasn't about to act that way.
Honestly Liz wasn't used to talking about her and Michael. After being in secret for so long, their relationship had taken on a deeper meaning. It was their sacred object, something that couldn't be marred by judgment. But even with all of this, Liz longed to talk to someone about it.
"Things haven't been that good since the wedding, have they?"
Liz shook her head. "He hardly talks to me. He ignores me if we're within a mile from one another. I guess it's better that way."
Isabel frowned. "Nothing about our lives is 'better' anymore."
Liz opened her mouth to say something but the door was opened and Kyle stepped in. His face was etched with worry. Isabel and Liz both got up and stood attention. "Feds?" Isabel asked, fearing the worse.
"They were at the hotel but Max and Michael got away. They're on their way to way now to get us. We got to high tail it out of here."
As he was talking, the three of them were heading to the entrance of Harrison's sparing suspicious looks at anyone who glanced their way. Maria caught their serious looks and followed after them wordlessly. They knew this was too good to be true. This had been the longest time they had gone without having to move to another city. Kyle kept an eye on the girls and waited for the white van they all loved and hated to pull up and get them.
A loud roaring screech filled the air and dust clouded their vision. Metallic doors opened and Isabel felt a pair of arms grab her and pull her into the car. Liz and Maria were scrambling to fit into the back seat with Kyle and as soon as they were situated, they were off.
Max was gripping the steering wheel with an iron grip. Sweat collected on his brow and his tired eyes kept glancing to the rear view mirror. Michael as just as tense.
"What happened?" Kyle asked, his arm around Liz's shoulders.
"We don't know," Max said curtly. "We showed up at the hotel and FBI had the place locked down. We drove right past and headed to you guys."
"Maybe they weren't there for us," Maria tried to reason.
Michael scoffed. "Yeah right. Besides, that doesn't mean we were willing to stick around and find out."
"We were doing so well. We were so close," Maria said a bit bitterly. As much as Maria's talk of normalcy and whatnot annoying them, for once they agreed with her. They had been close to leading somewhat of a semi-decent life for the past month.
Silence resided in the van until Isabel spoke up. "I know how they found us."
Maria tossed Isabel a glare and prayed she wouldn't tell them. Isabel just avoided her gaze.
"How?" Liz asked in curiosity.
"They must have traced the phone call," she said softly. Michael whipped around in his seat and looked at the people in the back. The group rules had been pretty clear and simple. Don't get killed was in the top five but other than that, they had been lenient to not make everyone feel suffocated.
But not under any circumstances were you to call an outside line. Michael had thought it was an obvious fact because of the ramifications it entailed. Apparently someone in the van thought differently. "Maria," he said gruffly. "Please tell me you didn't do this."
Maria immediately began to defend herself. "I thought it would be OK. Nothing strange had happened for weeks. I finally had somewhat of a steady job at a civilized place. We were beginning to settle down. I missed my family just like all of you. I didn't even talk to her, I just listened to her speak."
Maria was near tears now but no one was feeling her pain. "Isabel caught me on the phone last night. I told her not to tell."
"I also told *you* to tell them," Isabel shot back. "God, Maria, you know how this works by now."
"You could have gotten us killed," Michael bellowed.
"I'm sorry!" Maria yelled, in near hysterics. "I just felt so alone and I needed a break from all of this."
"We miss our families too, Maria," Liz said soothingly.
"Spare me, Liz," Maria said cattily.
Kyle just looked at Isabel with a look of apprehension on his face. He, like the rest of the group, had noticed the massive rock that seemed to wedge itself between Liz and Maria in the last several months.
"In case you haven't noticed, Maria, you aren't the only one sitting in this van. We feel like that sometimes too. Do you think I want to be running from the government?"
"I think you're doing better than anyone else here, Mrs. Evans."
It had been pretty obvious about Maria's jealousies towards Liz and Max's relationship. Even in Roswell, they were present but now they were clearer. It came down to the fact that Liz was married and, to everyone else, happily married at that. All Maria had was Michael who couldn't even stay with her for more than two days without breaking it off. Not to mention, Liz's subtle envy towards Maria about Michael.
Liz just glared at Maria with barely-repressed rage. She had no right to say that, especially because of all Liz had sacrificed to the group. But she reminded herself that her deeds were unseen.
"That's not fair, Maria," Kyle said to her, coming to Liz's defense. "It's also not fair to presume that you are the only one out here who's exhausted and beaten down."
"That doesn't mean we should let that take over our lives!" Maria argued.
"There are our lives, Maria. It's all of ours and you putting us at risk is a big deal."
Maria huffed and crossed her arms when she realized she was going to be shot down. Max looked at Maria through the mirror and said in a heavy voice. "No outside calls, Maria. That goes for all of you. And no more fighting-we'll just set up shop in another town in a couple of days. Then everything will be better."
The Max had spoken and everyone sat in silence. It wasn't unusual that Max broke up the fights. It wasn't that he was the peacemaker or anything. Fighting showed disunity, something that could get them killed.
But it was always the same words. 'In the next town, it will be better'. It always seemed the 'next' town held pots of gold and dreams that no one could reach. At some point, they used to believe him. But they took minimal comfort in those words and instead wondered if Max himself truly believed them. In actuality, the 'next' town brought more arguments and tension within the group.
But Max's word was law.
So they drove to the next town.