Sacrifice

A Sequel to Quietly into the Night

Conventional Couples

Rating:  PG-13

Disclaimer:  I don't own anything.  Roswell belongs to Melinda Metz, Jason Katims and 20th Century Fox.

"Tell me again about the big war," the little girl asked, as she cuddled on the overstuffed sofa next to her father.  "It's my favorite story."  She looked up at him with big brown eyes, so like Liz's that he just melted.  Besides, it wasn't like he could deny his little princess anything.

"You little imp," said Max.  "You know you are supposed to be asleep."

"Please Daddy," the little girl begged.

"Ok," said Max.  "But then you are going straight to bed, is that clear?"

"Yes Daddy," said the little girl as she snuggled closer to her father.

"Once upon a time, before there was a little girl named Alexandra Claudia Evans, there was a terrible, terrible war.  Now this war, it took place on a planet far, far away from here."

"I know, I know!" shouted Lexis.  "It was Antar, right daddy?"

"Yes sweetie, it was Antar.  Now hush and let Daddy tell you the story.  Anyhow, a very evil man named Kivar decided that he wanted to be king, and nobody was going to stop him from making it happen.  Kivar killed the nice King Zan who had done his best to rule over Antar, and took over that world.  But the good people of Antar played a trick on the mean and evil Kivar.  They took part of King Zan, and part of his sister Vilondra and part of his very best friend in the world Rath, and part of King Zan's wife Ava, and they sent it here to Earth."

"What did they do that for Daddy?" asked Lexis.

"Max, are you telling her that story again?" asked Maria as she lowered her considerable girth down into a chair.  "Why don't you let me tuck her into bed.  I need all the practice I can get before this little one puts in an appearance," she said patting her rounded stomach.

"Auntie Maria, I want to hear the story, I want to," demanded the little girl as she rubbed her eyes.

"And hear it you shall," said Max, but only after you apologize to Auntie Maria for being rude."

"Sorry," said the little girl, right before she popped her thumb into her mouth.

"Max, you are spoiling that little girl," said Maria.  "You have to know that Liz wouldn't like for her daughter to be a spoiled brat."  Max smiled sadly at the mention of Liz.

"God Maria, I miss her so much," said Max as he stroked his daughter's long brown hair.  I still can't believe that she's, that she's." He stopped, unable to continue without crying.

"She's gone Max," said Maria almost cruelly.  "When are you going to say it?  She's gone, and she's never coming back.

"Maria, stop it," Max whispered.  "Don't talk like that in front of Lexis."

"What, you don't think she should know her mother's dead Max?  Of course she should know.  "We don't know it for a fact," said Max defensively.  "She could still be alive."

"Come on Max, get real.  She's dead and Kyle's dead.  Their bodies are somewhere on Antar, and we can't even bury them," she burst into tears as she spoke.  "We never should have gone there.  We should have known it was too risky, and now, she's dead."

Max looked down to see if his daughter was aware of the conversation and found, to his relief that she was already asleep.

"Maria, I'm not going to insult you by saying that your hormones are making you act this way, but if you don't shut up, began Max.

"Hey, Max, Maria?  Where are you guys?" shouted Michael as he walked into the kitchen from the garage.  "Maria, I got the peppermint ice cream you wanted, and the jalapeno peppers.  I don't know, the thought of that combination makes even me sick," said Michael as he walked into the living room.  Sensing the tension, he stopped his cheerful rambling and looked around.

"What's going on, is something wrong?  Did something happen?"

"Yeah, my best friend is dead and her stupid husband won't accept it, that's what," said Maria struggling to get up from the soft chair in which she had been sitting.

Michael put a restraining hand on her shoulder and pushed her back into the chair. 
"Maria, shut up and sit down.  Max, shut up and get Maria a dish for her ice cream.  I'll put Lexis to bed, and then, well talk about this again, and we'll keep talking about it until everybody is satisfied."  Michael swooped down and lifted the sleeping girl from the arms of her father and carried her up the stairs to her bedroom.  Once he tucked her into bed, he smoothed a strand of hair away from her face and placed a soft kiss on her forehead.

"Oh little one, you are so like your mother," he said softly.  "I love your Auntie Maria with all my heart, but your mother was the first human I ever trusted.  And she trusted me, with a terrible secret.  I wish I hadn't made that promise to her, but I did, and I'll keep it until the day I die."  Michael smoothed the covers.  He smiled down on Lexis before he left the room.  He enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with his Goddaughter.  Turning on the small nightlight, he quietly left the room and went down the stairs of the small cape style home that Max and Lexis called home.

Back downstairs he found Maria and Max in an uneasy truce.  Maria was busy eating her peppermint ice cream with the jalapeno peppers garnishing the top, while Max looked on in ill concealed disgust.  Finally Maria broke the silence.  "Well, now you know how we felt every time you poured a gallon of Tabasco sauce into your cokes."

"Yeah, well, even that isn't as gross as what you're eating," said Michael as he sat down next to his wife.  "Now, does somebody want to tell me what happened while I was at the store?"

"Same fight, different day," said Max.

"Well, I know that," said Michael.  "What brought it on this time?  I thought we had agreed to not talk about that particular topic right now."

"He was telling her that stupid story again.  You know the one where he makes our whole lives sound like some glorified fairy tale."

Max stood up and walked across the room to the mantelpiece and picked up a picture of Liz and him on the day they renewed their wedding vows.  He carefully placed the picture back and turned to Maria.  "Lexis is my daughter, and I can tell her anything that I want," said Max.

"But what good is it in telling her those stories and giving into her every demand.  You know Liz wouldn't want that for her.  But wait, I forgot, you're going to say, but Liz isn't here right now, and I'm going to say that's right because she's dead.  There's no need for us to go there again," Maria said angrily.

"Damn it Maria, she isn't dead," said Max.  "I'd know it, just like she knew it when I died that time."

"We never should have listened to Naloch," Maria said softly.  "We never should have gone to Antar that time."

"Maria, nobody knew that the factions loyal to Kivar were that strong," said Michael.  "If we did, we never would have gone.  Besides, you know Liz was concerned about Lexis's birth.  That was her main reason for wanting to go there, and you agreed with her."

"Don't remind me," she cried.  "I wanted to go, we went, and now my best friend is dead.  She wouldn't have gone if I hadn't agreed.  It's my fault, I killed her," Maria cried.

Michael took his wife into his arms and held and rocked her as she sobbed for the loss of her friend.  Tears that she had held at bay for three long years had finally exploded to the surface.  Max stepped out on to the porch to give them some privacy and thought back to their fateful trip to Antar.  Liz had been concerned about her pregnancy, and so they used the communicators to contact Naloch who had agreed that they should come to Antar.  And so Max and Liz, Michael, Maria, Kyle and Isabelle had all traveled to Antar.

It was a beautiful world, nothing like the false images Tess had implanted in Max's mind.  No Jell-O seas, no green skies.  In fact, Antar was very similar to Earth in many ways, at least environmentally.  Technologically, Antar was far more advanced.  It was exciting for all of them to learn about the many advances.  Liz was happy to find out that her pregnancy was progressing normally according to earth standards, and the physicians on Antar didn't foresee any trouble with the upcoming birth.

As Liz's time drew near, there was talk of rebellion in Antar's capital city.  Kivar's followers were numerous and very loyal, and they were not happy to learn that any remnants of the royal family were alive and well.  Max's one and only royal act had been to turn down the opportunity to rule Antar, and to insist that the people devise a democratic style of government.  Most people were happy with his decision.  Most, but not all.  The night before Liz went into labor, the two had argued about returning to Antar.  Max had heard about the rumblings of the rebellion and wanted to leave, but Liz urged him to stay.  She wanted their child born on Antar, just in case anything went wrong.

Liz's labor was growing stronger when the rebels broke through the fortifications outside the city.  And Alexandra Claudia Evans was born to the sounds of battle. 

"Max, take her and go," Liz urged  "Take her back to earth where she'll be safe.  I'll follow you as soon as I can."

"No, Liz, I'm not leaving you," Max said.  "Maria and the others can take her back, but I'm staying.  Michael will you tell her to listen to me!"

"Excuse me, Max," interrupted Naloch.  "I hate to disturb you, but I have need to speak with you privately."  Max and Naloch left the room together and in a short time, he returned.

"Naloch says the rebels are close, and there is a good chance they'll be able to breach the security systems of the castle.  Liz, we need to get you out of here, now."

"Max, I can't leave yet, I just can't.  I'd only hold you back.  Take our baby and get her to safety.  Kyle said he'd stay with me and we'll leave as soon as I'm able."  Michael had looked over at Liz and she nodded slightly.

"She's right Max, come on.  They want you and Isabelle, and they'll want the baby.  Kyle and Liz will be ok, they're not of royal blood."

In the end, Max had agreed, and allowed himself to be led through underground passages with Alexandra nestled in his arms.  Within minutes, they were back on earth.  Max, Alexandra, Michael, Maria and Isabelle.  They waited for several days, but Kyle and Liz didn't return.  Max tried to reach Naloch with the communicators but could never again make contact.  They tried to go on with their lives, all of them, but it was hard, so hard.  Isabelle couldn't stand the thought of losing yet another person that she loved.  One day, she packed up her belongings and left Roswell.  She promised to come back, but she hadn't yet.  Max struggled to raise a newborn while going to school, and Michael and Maria tried to live their lives without letting the loss of their friends destroy them.

A cry from upstairs shook Max from his thoughts and he rushed into the house.  Maria struggled to get herself out of her chair, and Michael was already half way up the stairs.  Max pushed past him and found Lexis standing at the top of the stairs.  He picked her up and carried her back down to the family room.

"Have a bad dream Lexis Bear?" he asked.

"I dreamed about mommy," said the little girl."  Maria drew a sharp breath at the mention of Liz, but otherwise remained quiet.

"You had a dream about your mommy," said Max.  "That must have been a good dream.  Why'd you cry Lexis Bear?"

"Cause Mommy had to leave," she said.

"Oh, do you want to tell me about your dream?"

"Yeah, cause Mommy said it was real 'portant for me to tell you everything.  She said she was ok, and so was Unca Kyle and Xander Michael.  Daddy, who are Unca Kyle and Xander Michael?"

Wordlessly, Max looked over her head to Michael and Maria, both of whom stared back at him amazed.  Alexander Michael was the name that Liz and Max had chosen if their baby was a boy.

"Max, did you ever tell her?" began Maria.

"Never, nobody knew that except for us."

"Lexis, was there anything else?" he asked his daughter.

"Uh-huh," she nodded.  "Mommy said that it was ok for Unca Michael to tell now."