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Summary: What if Liz and crew didn't get to the podchamber in time? What if Xander's road trip went further than Oxnard?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Roswell > Xander-CenteredDuchessFR182030,681211171,40728 May 0610 Jun 13No

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR15

Chapter 19

Chapter 19

Author’s Note: Either no one is bothering to read this anymore or you really don’t care. :(
Okay, so there was going to be a lot more story before the end, but now, due to the lack of interest, I’m thinking I’ll just finish this up and hope to eventually start work on putting the sequel together, someday. *shoulders sagging now* I guess it’s a good thing a lot of notes went missing. *sigh*

Many thanks to my beta greywizard and my beta reader, LMiC. *waving at ya'll now* Any mistakes still in there are probably all my fault, not theirs. I'm contrary sometimes. LOL


Even with everything else going on their lives, Liz and Michael, with help from the former, had continued on with their schooling and quickly got to and through their final exams in the preceding week.

Nancy whoops with joy when the results finally come back and drops the envelope as she brandishes the letter in the air with triumph. She then jumps on a bewildered Jeff to give him a big hug, then a clueless Xander as well in her excitement before hurrying from the Crashdown to the boys’ apartment out back in order to give the kids the good news.

Laughing, Xander picks up the envelope from the floor and hands it to Jeff with a big goofy grin on his face.

The man also sees where it’s from and nods with satisfaction before going back to work. It takes him a moment to realize his employees are still standing around in shock, but when he does, he just smiles and says, “The kids are gonna graduate early and apparently they did really well.”

Xander laughs, “If she gets any more excited, none of us will be able to attend the commencement because of injuries.”

Jeff thwaps Xander with a towel before laughing and getting back to work.

~ ~ ~

Nancy bangs on the door, yelling for Michael to open up, practically dancing with glee. When the door opens at last, she thrusts the paper nearly under the boy’s nose, “How about them apples, huh?”

“What… “ Michael is stunned, staring at the letter he received that showed his grades and is unable to speak at the sight.

Liz comes into the room from the kitchen where she’d gone for popcorn as the two were about to watch a movie and asks, “What is it, Michael, Mom?”

Nancy giggles, “I think he’s surprised at such high grades.”

Grinning now, “You mean…?”

“Yep, Michael will be walking the stage with you,” Nancy confirmed.

Liz shouts for joy and hugs Michael from behind as he’s still standing in the doorway in shock.

Across the way, Xander is standing in the open back door and laughs at the joyous whoop coming out of the open apartment door. Turning to look hopefully at Jeff, he asks, “Party this weekend?”

Jeff nods, “Party this weekend.”

“All right!” Xander pumps the air with his fist and goes back to work in a great mood.

~ ~ ~

Later that afternoon…
Michael drafts Kyle into driving them all out to the quarry in his convertible for Liz’s first training session.

Once there, he has them all sit down on the ground or on boulders in the most comfortable positions they can find on the hard surfaces, well away from the car.

Guerin begins his lesson, “Now Liz, first I need you to sit still and listen, or actually try to feel inside yourself for a vibration… Maybe even an almost musical tone that should be constant. Can you find it?” Giving Liz a moment to try this exercise, he looks to Kyle.

Kyle puts his hand on his own chest and looks around in surprise where he’s sitting nearby, “Who me?”

The podster nods in affirmation, “Yeah, you too, Valenti. What with your meditation with Buddha, you ought to be able to sense your growing power so that when the time comes, you won’t get blindsided with it like Liz did. Start looking now.” The expression on Michael’s face is one of determination and he’ll obviously brook no arguments.

Biting his lip to keep from saying anything, Kyle sits down on the dusty ground in the lotus position and closes his eyes to concentrate.

After a while, Xander gets bored with nothing to do and no need to meditate, he looks for something to keep him occupied. Standing up, he takes in the scenery again to make sure nothing is out of place and no one is creeping up on them. He shudders slightly at thought of the Skins.

Deciding to do something useful with his time, he starts to gather small rocks and put them in a pile nearby to some small boulders and even lines some up on top of a big rock at Liz’s eye level.

It takes a while, but finally Liz finds what Michael is talking about and she smiles, “Wow! How did I not notice this before? You’re right, it does ‘sound' or 'feel’ almost musical, if a little off key. Wait… There, that’s better!” Her face is now glowing with her success, literally, but no green arcs of energy this time. It’s as if there’s a bright image of Liz overlapping the real one where she sits, the ethereal girl with her eyes open and grinning from ear to ear.

Xander’s breath catches in his throat as he thinks with a pang, {She’s so beautiful!} He leans over and takes one of her hands in his as she drops the projected image and opens her own eyes. “Two for the price of one,” he quips with a Cheshire cat grin, hiding his feelings deep inside again.

“All right, Liz!” Kyle congratulates her on her progress and tries not to be chagrinned at his own lack of it, or terrified by the fact that he will get it one day.

Michael beams with pride at his soon to be little sister, “Congratulations. I think that’s enough for your first day, let’s head on back.”

“What?” Kyle is surprised and a little bit miffed, as he demands, “If that’s all, why did you need me to come out here and why the heck did we have to climb up here on these rocks?”

Smirking now, “Three reasons; one is, the first time I tried this I blew up the tires on my bicycle.” Michael grins at the look on Kyle’s face as he glances back at his beloved car. “Second, is that should have used up a LOT of Liz’s energy reserves and I don’t want her to do too much too soon.”

Liz’s smile drops and she protests, “But I feel fine and I want to do more!”

“That sounds familiar,” Kyle snarks with a smile, making Xander laugh at both him and Liz.

Ignoring the interruptions, “Third, Kyle, is to make sure you also learn the basic principles of this now, just in case I’m not around when your powers kick in.”

Just like that, all the smiles are wiped off of everyone’s faces as the realities of their situation come back full force.

Liz lunges toward the Podster, wrapping her arms around his middle and snaps, “Michael, don’t say that!”

Putting one hand on her back and the other on her hair, He tries to reassure her, “Hey, I never said I’d leave willingly, but with all the crap that’s been happening with the Skins, there is no way I can guarantee that when that day rolls around I’ll even be here, so you both need to start learning now.”

Xander startles everyone when he says loudly, “First rule, don’t die. Nobody is allowed to break this rule. There will be no more negative talk, either, little brother. You got me?” His glare at Michael is enough to make the hybrid duck his head.

Uncomfortable with the somber turn, Kyle agrees with Xander. Nodding, “Yeah, now show us the next step in this parade. There’s daylight left and we’re wasting it.”

This demand is the closest any of them will get to admitting that the hybrid has a point. None of them comment on it.

Michael nods and disentangles Liz from his waist. “All right, the next lesson is to tell you that the power inside you will grow and as it does, you’ll notice it kind of hums through you all the time. If you don’t find an outlet for it and use it once in a while, it can have a tendency to get away from you at the worst possible moment. Or at least, that‘s how it is for me.” He laughs self deprecatingly.

“Is that why Isabel kept using hers “recreationally” all the time?” Kyle quips.

Chuckling, Guerin nods, “That was one of the reasons she gave, yeah.”

Turning back to the girl, “That was very good, Liz. I believe you jumped right to step two already and that’s to make sure your powers stay within your control by …” He grasps for an appropriate word.

“To continue the metaphor you started earlier, keeping myself on key?” She smiles sympathetically, able to guess why Michael equates music with his energy core.

Smiling bleakly back for a moment, Michael fights hard to remain in control of his emotions. Missing Maria's presence in his life, the fact that meeting and falling for her had given him more control over himself than he'd ever had before. Clearing his throat before beginning again, “Yeah, that’s it exactly.”

Kyle and Xander exchange significant looks, both disgusted by Maria’s continued attitude.

“Okay, so Liz, have you noticed a … It’s kind of like how white noise sounds, but you feel it instead of hear it, right at the back of your skull whenever your powers have been acting up?” Michael wants to know, getting back down to business.

“Yeah, but it’s not steady. It comes and goes and it’s really annoying. What is it?” She looks at him curiously as she hunches a little and rubs the back of her neck at the memory.

“That’s a sign of your power being ready for use. Once you get it to stay constant and not slip away from you, you can learn to … It’s hard to think of the word I need, but it needs to go up or down… in frequency sort of. Depending on what you’re gonna do with it, that is.”

He picks up a small rock, “Manipulating molecular structure, like this,” he passes his free hand over the rock, turning it into a piece of cut crystal. “The frequency goes lower for that one. The noise, vibration or whatever, should go into a higher frequency, that you have to maintain at a steady… pitch, I guess, in order to do something like this,” he raises a hand toward the rocks in a row on a boulder that Xander had set up for them and blows them up one by one.

“Again, that’s the way it works for me,” he looks almost embarrassed at his own audacity to try and teach her anything.

The girl nods, “White noise, manage to keep it steady. Sounds like that’s my first lesson then,” and her brows furrow in concentration.

“Just try to maintain it at readiness at first, okay. If you can do that, we’ll move on to actually trying something,” Michael suggests.

Liz nods and in about a minute, the green energy starts to crackle along her hands again. She tilts her head to one side suddenly and the visible energy goes away.

“That’s right, but you need to hold onto it, make it do what YOU want. You’re in charge of it, make it work the way you want it to.” Michael’s tone of voice is low and persuasive, cajoling even as he unknowingly mimics how Max helped him from time to time.

In a few seconds, the green energy comes crackling back and she holds it for a bit before she makes it go away again. “Got it!”

“Great job!” Michael laughs and shakes his head. He uses a mock disgusted tone of voice when he says, “I should have known you’d be a quick study on this stuff.”

“Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?” Liz whirls around to ask.

Kyle steps forward with a gleam in his eye, “He means, Ms. Perfectionist and teacher’s pet, that when it comes to learning, you are bound and determined to get it all done right the first time.”

“Oh,” She grins sheepishly.

“And you make everybody else look bad in the process,” Kyle adds with an open smirk this time.

At Liz’s indignant gasp, Xander steps forward and placates, “You might be so smart you make others look bad, but you aren’t the type to do it on purpose, Liz. We all know that and he’s just yanking your chain,” that last is said with a glare for the younger Valenti.

“So how do you feel?” Michael asks of Liz.

Tilting her head again, as if seriously assessing her energy levels, the girl answers, “I feel fine and would like to try more.”

Laughing again, her teacher agrees, “Okay.”

Michael has the guys stand back for the next part of the lesson, so they find a seat that offers a good view of whatever action might take place next and discuss television shows, comic books, the best junk food and other subjects to while away the time. All the while reserving the right to comment on the goings on below.

Guerin tells Liz, “I’m gonna try something new for me. Let’s see if you can get a feeling from me on how I actually use my powers.” So saying he stands sideways to his target and tells her to place her hand on the back of his neck. Lifting his right hand, he aims it at a small boulder and exercises his power to blow it up with a loud bang and ricocheting of shrapnel.

Leaning back against the slab of rock with Kyle, Xander whistles lowly, “That was impressive.”

Grinning, Kyle agrees, “Yeah, it is pretty cool. Don’t tell him I said that though,” he drops the grin and looks totally serious.

Xander chuckles at that, but shakes his head in agreement, “Won’t hear it from me.”

Michael turns to face his pupil, “Did you pick up on how I did that, Liz?”

She cocks her head to the side, unsure, “Can you do it again?”

He does and she nods, “Yeah, I think I can. Do something else, so I can see if there’s a difference in what I’m feeling for different powers.”

Michael next picks up some of the shattered rock pieces and causes them to dance around in a cloud of shards for a minute before letting them fall.

Nodding excitedly, she’s almost breathless with eagerness, “Oh neat! Can I try something now?”

Michael smiles and gestures for her to go ahead, but with an admonition as well, “Don’t try for anything big your first time out, okay?”

“Okay,” she chirps happily before settling down and concentrating, her hand pointing at a small rock.

When it starts to wiggle a little bit, Michael encourages her, “That’s it, just stay steady and find the right frequency of your power to get it to do what you want.”

The look of concentration on Liz’s face gets more intense and suddenly her target goes rocketing up into the sky.

“Whoa!” Michael is stunned at this display and wonders just how powerful Liz is going to be someday if she’s already doing so well.

Xander whooped with pride, “All right, Liz!” He comes hurrying over to congratulate her and the next moment he’s catching the girl as she starts to fall over, having severely overtaxed herself. “Hey, easy there, Slugger.”

“Liz!” Michael helps Xander lower the girl gently to the ground, worried now.

Kyle goes down on his knees in front of her, “Are you all right?”

She manages a weak chuckle, “I’m fine. Just … used up all … the energy … at once, I think.” Liz grins, already feeling a little better as she lies cradled in Xander’s lap on the ground.

Relaxing a little now, Michael tells her with a laugh, “I guess the next thing we need to work on is teaching you to hold something back so that you have enough energy for getting away from the scene of the crime.”

Kyle gets back to his feet, looking up and his tone of voice sounds strange. “Um, guys, I hate to bring up that pesky little law called gravity, but what goes up must come down, right? So where’s it gonna land?”

Michael looks up and asks, “Can anybody even see it anymore?”

Everyone murmurs negatively to that question and a low whistling sound is soon heard, followed by the crash of breaking glass.

The sound has Kyle cringing, afraid to turn around. Breath hissing between his teeth, he asks, “It hit my car, didn’t it?”

Liz’s eyes are as big as saucers and her face is red with shame, “Oops…”

Again, they’re all startled by Xander, who begins to laugh.

“It’s not really very funny, Xander.” Kyle is frowning now.

Michael starts to chuckle as well, which makes Xander laugh even harder.

“Guys, it’s not funny. Stop laughing!” The youngest Valenti is starting to sound a little put out with his friends.

Xander and Michael’s laughter is so contagious, Liz can’t help but join in, but she also continues to look remorseful at the same time.

“Not you too, Parker?” Kyle sounds downright indignant now, but then his face cracks and he smiles, starting to chuckle himself. Soon he’s laughing just as hard as the others and complains good-naturedly, “Only you could do this and me not kill you. You know that right?”

Starting to calm down some now, Michael assures his friend, “Don’t worry man, I got you covered. I’ll fix it and we can head on back. I imagine Liz is starving by now.”

Getting herself back under control, Liz asks, “How did you… Oh, is that typical?” Her inner scientist is interested in his reply and the whole group dust themselves off, walking back toward the car as the sun starts to go down.

~ * ~

Author's note II: That bit with the rock going up and coming down in a bad way, was inspired by a paper Tjin wrote recently to turn in for extra credit at college. The paper was about how he and his brothers built a rocket... and I'm sure you can all picture what happened just fine. Kyle's line is almost an exact quote by Tjin. LOL
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