The Vacation The Vacation By Erin

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the 'Roswell' characters. They belong to those awesome people at the WB and I am borrowing them. I'd like to thank the people at the WB for airing 'Roswell.' So, please don't sue me. I'm a poor high school student without a job, who writes fan fiction for fun. If you do, I promise you that you won't get anything important, other than some DMB CD's and some cool jewelry..

Dedication: To Margaret - Thanks so much for supporting me and always being by my side. You're so awesome, girl!

Author's Note: This was one of my first fanfics, but I had to go back and change it because it totally disagreed with Crazy. So, here it is...

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Maria DeLuca tossed a brochure on the table in the Crashdown Cafe, in front of Alex Whitman, Isabel and Max Evans, Liz Parker, and Michael Guerin.

"Look at it closely, guys," Maria said, plainly.

After flipping through brochure, all five of the teens turned and gaped at Maria.

"You mean..." Michael stuttered.

"Yes, I mean we're going to go on a little vacation to Florida. And don't worry, I've already made reservations at a nice condo. All you guys have to do is get the money to pay for the rooms and gas, and convince your parents, and we're outta this place the day after we get out of school."

Liz, Max, Michael, and Isabel nodded their approval of the idea.

"Sounds good to me," Alex chuckled. He thought that it was awesome that he was included in the plans. This meant that he'd get to spend more time with Isabel, and he was completely okay with that.

"All right. It's set, then." Maria stated.

* * * * *

As the final two weeks of school passed, Maria, Alex, Max, Isabel, and Liz tried to convince their parents to let them go to Florida.

Michael didn't have to convince anyone to let him go. He worked extra hours so that he could raise enough money so that he could go, and to make up for the time he was going to be gone.

Maria just told her mom that she was going out with her friends, to the beach. Her mom told her that it would be great for her to have a break from the lame old town. Her mom even agreed to let Maria drive her red Jetta to Florida.

For Alex, the convincing wasn't that hard. He just told his parents that they were going to do a study of the ocean, and that a report was due the first day they got back from summer vacation. His parents bought his excuse and gave him the money to pay for his room and gas.

Liz had a challenging time pleading and begging her parents to let her go to Florida. They weren't sure if they could let her go with five other teenagers and 'come back safe.' With Maria's help, they were able to convince her parents. Her parents said that she could go under one condition - that she would call them every night - and she agreed. Its not every day that you and your best friends get to go to the beach, without a chaperone.

Isabel and Max were unsuccessful in convincing their parents. Their parents also didn't like the idea of the six teens driving to Florida.. alone. A week before school ended, Max and Isabel had Mr. and Mrs. Parker to talk to their parents. Finally, their parents agreed to let Max and Isabel go to the beach. They were also expecting nightly phone calls.

The plans were made and the group was ready to leave right after school let out. They were all very excited about getting out of Roswell, even though they'd only be gone for about two weeks.

* * * * *

-two days before their trip to Florida-

"So, we're going bathing suit shopping tonight?" Maria asked Liz and Isabel.

"You bet!" Liz exclaimed.

"We gotta look good. It isn't every day that you get to go to Florida with your friends.. and the guys you are totally in love with," Isabel added.

"Sounds great!" Maria said.


-later that night-

"I cannot believe that I spent one hundred dollars on this bathing suit!" Maria exclaimed as she studied herself in the blue string bikini covered in small flowers.

"Well, yours looks so good, Maria. I know that Michael will die when he sees how good you look in it. I spent seventy five dollars on mine and it's still too big!" Liz complained.

"Oh, you two. You both look great. If anyone should be complaining, it should be me. I can't believe that I thought that I looked good in this orange bathing suit! What was I thinking?" Isabel said.

"All right.. lets just stop this now. Isabel," she said, turning to face Isabel, "Alex will love that suit. I have to admit that you're one of the only people I know that looks good in orange," Liz said. "Do you think Max will like this?"

"He would have to be blind if he didn't like that red bikini. He might pass out when he sees it," Isabel giggled. Maria giggled, too. And soon, all three girls were on the floor, at the point of tears, because they were laughing so hard.

"This is gonna be one great vacation," Maria stated, after she had gotten off the floor.

* * * * *

"Three.. two.. one... Woohoo!" The students at West Roswell High School screamed when the afternoon bell rang. They were finally out of school for the summer and none of them intended to waste all their free time. Students quickly rushed out into the halls so they could clean out their lockers and get out of school.

Maria had everything planned and it was all going fine, so far. They were scheduled to leave right after school and drive to Dallas, where they would take a break for the night.

When she reached her locker, she grabbed all her posters, shoved them into her backpack, and trotted out the front doors not looking back. She was so glad that this year of hell was finally over and she was going to be at the beach in a few days. When she reached her car, she unlocked the trunk and tossed her backpack into it on top of her beach luggage.

"Boo!"

Maria jumped in surprise and turned around to find Michael Guerin standing directly behind her, with a sexy grin pasted on his face. "You don't have to scare me to death every time you see me. You know that, right?"

"Oh, I know that. But I just can't stop. Its too tempting," he chuckled.

"Haha. You're almost funny... So..."

"So?"

"Are you ready for the beach?" Maria asked.

"Of course. I've only been out of this damn state once. I can't wait to see the ocean."

"Have you ever been to it?"

"Nope. I've seen pictures and all, but I can't wait to experience it on my own."

"Well, I haven't either. Don't feel too bad," Maria added sympathetically. "Who are you going to ride with?" she asked curiously.

"Hmm.. lets see," he paused, "Max, Isabel, Liz, and Alex are riding in the jeep. Where does that leave me?"

"Looks like you're gonna be my driving partner."

"Oh, let me tell you that I am so excited," he said sarcastically.

"Okay, why don't you take a walk in my shoes for just a second? The last time I was in a car with you, let me remember what happened.. ah.. you 'borrowed' my mom's car, fried the car's engine after driving over 80, made the engine even worse by doing your little alien genie thing, dragged me into a nookie motel, and nearly got all of us killed."

"And you're telling me you didn't have fun?"

"I'm sure this trip will be even more fun than the last one," she remarked, "After all, we are spending three days in the car together."

"Yeah, I can't wait," he replied, as he tossed his suitcase in the trunk of her car. "Let's go meet Isabel, Max, Alex, and Liz at the jeep. I can't wait any longer."

With his last remark, Maria grabbed Michael's hand and they walked together over to the jeep, where the others were waiting.

Thirty minutes later, the two cars drove out of the parking lot, headed for Florida.

* * * * *

The two day trip to Florida wasn't long, at all. The six teenagers left school on Friday afternoon and stopped in Dallas the first night. On Saturday, they spent the night in a small town outside of Jackson, Mississippi. The second night, all six stayed up and talked until 4 a.m. Driving on Sunday was very tiring, since they stayed awake for way too long. By noon on Sunday, all they wanted was to be at the beach.

Maria and Michael mostly listened to music, even though that Michael absolutely hated Maria's selection of CD's - Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, LFO, Brittany Spears, and Christina Aguilera were the only ones she brought and she insisted on listening to them, over and over again. Michael managed to convince her to listen to some Metallica, but she didn't enjoy them, so she turned back the poppy boy band music. Even though Michael fought with her, he really didn't care what they were listening to. He was loving the time he got to spend with her, even if they spent most of the time fighting over music, of all things.

Max and Liz talked most of the trip. They talked about the events that happened in the past year, biology and 'how neither of them understood it', what they enjoyed doing in their free time, the beach and how they'd both been there but they were too little to remember much, school work, and their relationship. They loved the time they were spending together and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Isabel and Alex talked, too. They talked less than Max and Liz, but they did manage to have a few deep conversations in the two days of driving. Mostly, they talked about random things, like what they remembered about their childhoods. Alex brought up how he used to play tee ball and he was knocked out with the ball, so he had to be rushed to the emergency room. Apparently, he had a small concussion, but that one incident ended his whole sports career. They talked about their lives, now, and what they wanted to be doing in the future.

When they arrived in Florida on Sunday evening, they were all dead tired, but they couldn't wait to see the beach and the ocean. When they arrived at the beach, they all jumped out of the cars, eager to feel the sand beneath their feet.

* * * * *

"We're finally here!" Isabel exclaimed as she jumped out of the jeep.

"And just look at that sunset!" Liz said as she joined Isabel beside the jeep.

"Race ya," Isabel challenged. They nodded and both girls started running towards the beach, dropping clothes left and right.

Maria soon joined them just before they reached the sand. All three girls were running towards the ocean in their bras and panties, but the guys didn't care. They followed the girls' example and stripped down to their boxers as they ran down the warm sand towards the cool ocean water.

Isabel was the first to reach the ocean. She dove in head first, followed by Liz, then Maria. Maria was closely trailed by Michael, Max, and Alex. When all six came up, gasping for air, they laughed so hard that they fell back into the cool salty water.

"I can't believe that we're finally here," Alex said. "I would have never thought that I'd be going to the beach this summer... with you guys."

"Yep. It's amazing what can happen in a year," Liz commented, directing her gaze at Max, who stared intently back at her.

"That's the beauty of this six friends thing... the more, the merrier," Isabel said, with a wide grin across her face. She snuck up behind Alex and tackled him.

When Alex came up for air, Isabel tossed her head back in laughter and gave him a big hug, followed by a passionate kiss.

Michael groaned as he watched Isabel and Alex. How come Maria couldn't do that to him? How come they always had to be the odd couple out? He knew that he could never tell Maria exactly how he felt about her, but he still wished that they would be closer. After all, she was the woman who held his heart in the palm of her hand.

His thoughts were interrupted when someone wrapped their arms around his chest. He looked down and saw Maria, his Maria, looking up into his eyes. He loved it when she did that. He loved looking into her soulful eyes. Her eyes said everything about her. He could always tell what kind of mood she was in by the emotions in her eyes. He could see her fear, her bravery, and her love all through her eyes.

"Sorry, earth girl," he chuckled as he picked her up out of the water and flipped her around his arm, sending her head first into the water.

Maria gasped for air. "How dare you!" she exclaimed and proceeded to try and tackle Michael, who effortlessly flung her back into the ocean. On her umpteenth attempt, he lowered his head to hers and kissed her. At that moment, the world came to a shattering halt. No one was left. She and Michael were the only people. She slid her tongue into his mouth and his eyes widened in surprise. But, he welcomed her and deepened their kiss even more. Their tongues danced as the world spun around them.

When the kiss ended, they both realized that Max, Liz, Isabel, and Alex were staring at them, mouths open in complete shock and surprise.

"Nothing to watch here," Michael said calmly. "I think all of you have better things to be doing than watching us."

With his words, Max and Liz looked deeply into each other’s eyes and shared a soul touching kiss. Isabel and Alex did the same.

After a long period of uncomfortable silence, Maria spoke, "Don't you think we should be getting to the hotel?"

When the others nodded, they slowly got out of the water, dried themselves off, and walked back to the cars, picking up their articles of clothing on the way.

* * * * *

Michael's voice could have been heard from miles away. "You what?" he yelped. "You only have one room reserved, not two? I'm pretty sure that my friend reserved two rooms, not one... GO BACK AND FIX IT, THEN!"

The girls who were all waiting patiently in the cars giggled. Michael would be the only guy in the group to throw a tantrum about the room situation. Each wondered what happened.

When Michael, Max, and Alex got back to the cars, they shook their heads and filled the girls in on what happened. Apparently, they had only reserved one room and now, all six of them were going to have to stay in the one room with two beds and a pull-out couch.

"We call the beds," Isabel, Liz, and Maria chimed.

"No fair," Max said, "What makes you say that you have the right to call the beds?"

"Okay, okay. We'll make you a deal." The three girls circled up and whispered something. Isabel spoke, "What about whoever reaches the room first has dibs on the beds?" Isabel said.

"Okay, you're on," Alex challenged, jokingly.

After Alex agreed, Isabel, Liz, and Maria ran down the hall, leaving the guys in their dust. When they had almost reached the room, Maria felt someone grab her from behind.

"Uh uh. There's no way that you're going to take my bed," Michael said when he tackled her.

"No fair! I'm going to have rug burn all week because of this! And I need my beauty rest... definitely not something that is earned by sleeping on the floor of a hotel room. Besides, you're used to sleeping on the floor!"

"No one said that life was fair," he chucked as he struggled to stand up. When he stood, he pulled Maria to her feet.

Gasps of surprise were heard from inside their hotel room. Michael and Maria ran to the room to see what was going on. Isabel and Liz had already put their luggage on their beds, but they were looking at something. Liz was holding stone that she and Max had found that night in the desert. It had stopped glowing long before, but now it was giving off a hot, iridescent light.

"Why is that thing glowing?" Maria asked.

"I don't know, but I'm sure that it is a sign," Michael answered.

"Does this mean that we're going to have to, well.. look for clues for why it's glowing?" Liz asked curiously.

"Let's just go to sleep now. It's late. We'll figure out what we're going to do tomorrow. Okay?" Max stated.

"Okay," everyone else said in unison.

Liz and Isabel flopped onto their beds. Maria was now sleeping on the pull-out couch, after she had begged Max for it. Everyone but Maria had fallen fast asleep when Liz turned out the lights.

Maria sat awake, staring at the ceiling, wondering if this glowing rock would lead Michael, Isabel, and Max home. She couldn't help but wonder. She was scared, too. She didn't want to lose Michael. Their relationship was getting better, by the day, and she couldn't wait to see where it would end up.

"That's it," Maria whispered to herself. "I'm outta here."

With the last words on her lips, she pulled herself off the couch and padded across the room, towards the door. She closed the door quietly and walked down the beach that was illuminated by the full moon.

When she reached her final destination, she sat down, letting her feet slide down into the ocean foam. She heard footsteps behind her, but she didn't care. It was probably just a couple taking a midnight walk. She jumped when Michael put his protective arm around her shoulders.

"Why are you out here?" he asked.

"I'm just thinking.. you know.. wondering what the glowing rock meant. What if it means that you're going to go home? I don't think I'd be able to live without you, Michael."

"I don't know what the glowing rock means. I couldn't sleep, either, and when I heard you walk out the door, I decided to follow you. I'm glad I did," he whispered. "Nothing could take away what we have. Nothing could keep me away from you. Even if I was went home, I would find a way back so that I could see your beautiful smile. I would walk a thousand miles just to touch you, Maria. I love you."

"And I love you, too, Michael." Maria reached up and cupped his cheek with her hand. His arm slid down around her hips and tightened around her as he pulled her in for a kiss.

Beep.. beep.. beep..

Maria pulled away from Michael's intoxicating kisses when she heard that oddly familiar sound. "What is that?" she asked.

"I don't know, but I think we should go check it out."

They got up and walked down the beach, following the sound, until they were very close to it.

"Where is it?" Maria exclaimed.

"Look.. over there!" Michael said as he trotted over to the moist sand where the ocean and land collided.

"Oh my God," Maria gasped. Michael help up a glowing stone that was an exact replica of the one that Max and Liz had found, like the one Topolsky had talked about. Light from the stone shot out into space.

"We need to get back," Michael told Maria. She nodded her head and then took his hand.

When they got back to the hotel, Maria unlocked the door and turned on the lights.

"Go away!" Isabel screamed from under her pillow.

"Sorry Izzy. Sorry everyone. But we have something that's really... really... interesting," Michael said.

Max got up off the floor and Michael held out the stone. Max gasped.

"What the..." he mumbled under his breath. Isabel, Alex, and Liz were soon on their feet and were studying the stone in awe.

"It looks exactly like the other stone," Alex commented, as Isabel held the two stones up for comparison.

"It's the communicator that Topolsky told Michael about!" Liz exclaimed.

Then, there was a long silence.

"I think we should get some sleep," Liz said, breaking the silence.

"I agree. Let's get some rest and we'll study it in the morning. Okay?" Maria nodded.

Soon, everyone was back in their bed, or in the guy’s case, on the floor, and were sleeping peacefully.

* * * * *

"Good morning, sunshine," Maria whispered in Michael's ear when he woke up. His beautiful dark eyes fluttered open and he automatically wrapped his arms around her and gave her a short, sweet kiss.

"Good morning to you."

Liz was getting out of her bed, stretching. "Good morning, everyone," she said in a cheerful voice.

"Alex?" Isabel asked when she climbed on top of Alex to wake him up. "Alex? Wake up."

"What?" Alex squinted. When all the images became clear, he reached up and pulled Isabel in for a hug and kiss. "Good morning to you, too," he chucked.

Max was getting off the floor, looking a little disturbed. "Michael, Isabel.. I think we all need to talk. Let's just go out into the hallway right now."

"Okay," Isabel and Michael said in unison.

Maria's eyes asked Michael what was going on. He turned and shrugged to her before he and Isabel left the room.

"We'll meet you at the breakfast bar in twenty minutes," Isabel said as she walked out the door.

* * * * *

In the hallway, Max asked Michael, "Did you have a weird dream last night?"

"Max! I can't believe that you, of all people, went dream walking. I have to tell ya, I would have suspected Isabel, but you?" Michael commented, sounding offended.

"No, really. Did you have a weird dream?" Max interrogated.

"Yeah, actually," Michael said, "Why do you want to know?"

"I had a weird dream, too," Isabel chimed in as she joined the circle.

"Me too," Max nodded.

"Mine was about.." Michael started.

"A voice. A loud, scary voice," Isabel said.

"And it said that I had a week until the ship came," Max finished.

All three stared at each other, mouths hanging wide open.

"We have to tell them," Max said, with hurt in his eyes. Who would have thought that when they went to Florida, they would find a way home?

"I agree, but I say that we tell them a little later, so that they won't be mad at us or sad or whatever. I want my last days on this planet to be the best they can be," Michael added.

"All right. We'll tell them Thursday, so that they'll have time to get over their tears and so that we all can have a good last week on this planet," Isabel finished.

Max and Michael nodded their approval of Isabel's idea. Neither of them liked the idea of waiting three days until the ship came, but they did want to have a good time on the planet while they were still there.

* * * * *

The rest of the week went by in a flash. Every morning, Isabel, Liz, and Maria got up and sunbathed until lunchtime. They would join the guys for lunch, then all six would go out to the beach for some fun. They played beach volleyball one day and ended it in a sand fight. Most of the other days they went swimming and the guys tossed the girls into the water when they were trying to sunbathe. When the sun went down, they'd go out for dinner, then go to a club or go miniature golfing for fun. They were in Florida and they were definately going to have fun together.

Maria and Michael were always together. Michael always watched Maria. She caught him doing so and always returned his longing gazes. When he wasn't watching, she would stare at him and wonder why it had taken her so long to get with him. He was the perfect guy for her and she would die if he left.

Every night, Liz and Max would go out walking. They talked about what would happen if he ever got the chance to go home. Max was hurt every time he and Liz talked about it because he knew that he'd be leaving soon, but he couldn't tell her. So he just played along, acting like nothing was wrong. They talked more than ever and Max wondered how he ended up with such a wonderful girlfriend.

Isabel and Alex were getting closer by the day. They spent all their time together and they talked about so many things. They talked about their childhoods, their favorite things to do, and what they were planning to do when they got back to Roswell. Alex could see the hurt in Isabel's eyes when they talked about going back to Roswell, but he never asked her about it because he just assumed that she didn't want to go back to that hell hole where FBI agents and the sheriff were after her.

* * * * *

On Thursday night, after miniature golfing, Isabel, Max, and Michael decided to tell Alex, Liz, and Maria that they were going home. They had hoped that the other three would take it in stride and cry over it for a little while, but it didn't happen that way. It wasn't that easy.

"Oh my God," Maria cried, "You're going to go home!"

Liz asked, with tears already falling from her dark eyes, "Is this true? Are you really going home?"

"Yes. We don't want to leave you, but we'll finally get the answers that we've been searching our whole lives for," Max told her in a calm voice, even though that he was breaking down inside.

Maria grabbed Michael's arm and pulled him out of the room.

"I thought you said that you weren't going to go home," she asked cynically.

"No, Maria, I told you that nothing could take away what we have. I told you that nothing, not even my home, could keep me away from you. I told you that I would come back to you," he whispered, trying not to let his tears slide down his face.

"I can't believe you. Just some more broken promises, right?"

She took off, running down the hall, sobbing loudly. Michael wanted to chase her, but Max held him back. "Let her go," he said, "she's going to have to learn that we're going to go home, whether she likes it or not."

* * * * *

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were the worst days of Maria's whole life. Michael was always giving her longing gazes, but she was too afraid to return them. She was too afraid that she'd have her heart broken even more than it already was. Sure, he'd broken her heart before, but it was nothing like this time. He was going to leave her and she feared that on his planet, he'd forget about her and not ever come back.

Michael couldn't understand Maria. She was making the last three days on Earth for him a living hell. He could only think Maria, eat Maria, dream Maria, hoping that she would forgive him before the ship came, before it was too late. Because if she didn't, he wouldn't be able to survive the trip home, knowing that she was broken inside.

Liz was puzzled. Why hadn't Max told her that they were going to go home? She would have cried and made his life worse, but she was hurt because he didn't tell her any sooner. She only had three days left with him now and she was determined to make them the three best days of his whole life.

Max's heart hurt every time that he looked at Liz. Why had he waited to tell her? She deserved to know and now she was broken inside because she only had a few days left with him. He knew that she wondered if he would ever come back to be with her. He couldn't say for sure if he would, but he did know that even if he was millions of miles away from her, she would forever hold his thoughts.

Alex didn't cry over Isabel going home. Even though he was deeply wounded, he wouldn't let his Isabel see that. He was going to make her last days on Earth the best that she would ever have. He loved her and he had always known that this day would come. It just came too soon. So, he tried to take it in stride and constantly reminded Isabel how much he loved her.

Isabel cried every night. Why did the ship have to come now? Why did it have to come when her life was just starting to fall into place? She had spent too little time with Alex and she wasn't ready to leave him. But she knew that she had to go to her home. Alex wouldn't let her pass up the opportunity.

The nights kept getting closer and closer. All six were expecting the worst. Even Michael and Maria didn't give each other death stares anymore. It seemed a mutual agreement that they would all smile about this opportunity.

* * * * *

The night the ship was coming, Maria left their room at ten. She needed to think and to clear her mind. She sat down where the land met the water and gazed out into the misty ocean air, remembering the last time she did this.

Tonight, Michael, Isabel, and Max were leaving Earth. They were going home. And she and Michael hadn't spoken since they found out three days ago. Truthfully, she was scared out of her mind because she wanted to see Michael, to hold him when he needed her, and most of all, for him to hold her. But her time with him had run out. He was leaving her tonight and she might not see him again.

And all of a sudden, she was caught in a warm embrace. She looked up and saw Michael's dark eyes blazing into her own.

"I've missed you," was all he said before he kissed her.

This kiss.. Maria thought.. this kiss was filled with Michael's passion, loneliness without her, his forgiveness of her, and his love for her.

When the kiss ended, she gazed into his eyes and whispered, "I miss you too. And no matter what happens, nothing could ever take away what we have. Nothing can keep me away from you. Not even another galaxy, space boy. I love you, and nothing, not even the distance between the stars, can keep me from loving you."

"I love you too, and even my home won't keep me away from you. I'll always love you, Maria DeLuca, and nothing will ever change that."

Michael took her left hand and held it in his own. He took his silver ring off his index finger and placed it on her ring finger. "I want you to have this.. so that you can remember me, until I come back."

"I could never forget you," Maria whispered. She leaned over and embraced him in a hug. Then, she took off her Maria necklace that her dad had given to her before he had left. "I want you to have this," she said as she put it gently in the palm of his hand, "so that you can always remember me. I love you, Michael."

He pulled her back for a kiss that seemed to last a lifetime. When it ended, they both lie back and stared up at the stars, awaiting the future.

* * * * *

"Isabel?" Alex asked, as he cautiously stepped out of the room. "Where are we going?"

"Just follow me, Alex."

"Okay."

They walked out to the beach and stood at the water's edge. Then, Isabel turned to Alex.

"I just want you to know how much you mean to me. You brought me out of my shell and I am so thankful for that. I never really cared for any human until you came along and well... you changed everything. Thank you," she said as she pulled Alex in for a hug.

"No, thank you. You gave me a chance.. with the most beautiful woman in my universe. I have something for you," Alex said tentatively as he pulled a book out of his pocket. "I know it's not wrapped or anything, but will you look at it later? When you're traveling home?"

"Of course I will. Thank you, Alex. And I have something for you," Isabel said, as she produced a picture frame from her jacket. "It's of us, before the end of school at the CrashDown. I couldn't think of anything I could give you that would truly say how much I love you and how thankful I am for you, but this picture is a great reminder of how we acted and looked together, so I wrote what I wanted on the back of the picture. When I'm gone, will you read it?"

"I will, Isabel. Thank you."

"No, thank you," Isabel whispered. She leaned in and kissed Alex, not wanting their relationship to end this way.

* * * * *

Liz and Max were the last couple to leave the hotel room. It was eleven forty-five and the six were going to meet on the beach at eleven fifty, where they would await their fate.

When they arrived at the beach, they found Alex and Isabel caught in a warm embrace and Michael and Maria kissing.

Liz was afraid to look at Max. She knew her tears would come if she did. Max touched her arm lightly and she dared to look up at him.

"Liz," he said softly, when she nodded, he continued, "I just want you to know how much you mean to me. You're the only person that I've ever loved and the only person that I will ever love. I know that I'm leaving now, but we go on forever. We've been through the easy and the hard times together. And I'm gonna find a way back to you, I can promise you that. I just don't know when. I love you, Liz."

Liz's dam broke. Tears were streaming down her face when Max said the final words. "I love you, too," she managed to choke through her tears.

All of a sudden, there was a blinding light. Max held Liz while she cried, Isabel stood behind Alex, with her head rested on his shoulder, and Michael gripped Maria's hand.

The ship had come. It floated over the sand and gently lowered until it rested on the soft land. The door slid open and a ramp was lowered so that Max, Isabel, and Michael could walk aboard. They were all crying and attempting to say their last goodbyes to the friends that they had grown so close to in the past year.

"I love you, Maria, and I promise you that I will come back to live with you, happily ever after," Michael sobbed into Maria's ear.

"I love you, too, and I will be here, waiting for you," Maria promised.

"I love you, Alex. I'll always remember you," Isabel managed to whisper through her tears.

"I love you so much, Isabel. More than life itself. Thank you for everything," Alex told her, calmly, even though that he was dying inside.

"When you get back to Roswell, will you tell our parents all about us? And tell them that we'll come back and provide them with all the answers that we never could give them. Thank you for everything you've done for me. I love you Liz," Max told Liz.

"I will. I know you love me. And I love you, Max. I love you so much. Thank you for saving my life. Thank you for loving me. I love you and I will never forget you," Liz promised.

Then, Max pressed his forehead to Liz's and images flashed between them...

::flash:: Liz talking with Maria and Alex on the playground of Roswell Elementary.

::flash:: Liz in junior high, pushing her long brown hair behind her ears.

::flash:: Liz lying on the floor of the Crashdown, after she had been shot.

::flash:: Max healing Liz.

::flash:: Max telling Liz everything.. about him, Isabel, and Michael. Liz listening intently.

::flash:: Max and Liz's first kiss.

::flash:: Max telling Liz that he needed his balance back. Liz sobbing over his decision.

::flash:: Max thinking of Liz, missing her, while listening to the Counting Crows.

::flash:: Liz and Maria saving him and Isabel in the woods, when they were looking for the sign from Nasedo.

::flash:: Max kissing Liz when he was drunk.

::flash:: Liz and Max making out in the eraser room and getting caught.

::flash:: The images from Liz's mind that Max saw when they were kissing.

::flash:: The galaxy and the beeping sound.

::flash:: Liz and Max finding the glowing stone.

Liz was the first to pull back. "Wow," was all she said.

* * * * *

Two figures appeared in the light and asked, "Are you coming siblings?"

"We are, can you just wait for another minute?" Michael asked impatiently.

"Of course," the voices replied.

Michael, Isabel, Max, Maria, Alex, and Liz all stood together in a circle. They all stared at each other, knowing that this would be their final farewell.

Isabel was the first to make a move. She walked over to Maria and Liz, who were both crying, and pulled them into a huge hug. "I'm going to miss you guys so much. You have no idea what it means to have two best friends like you," Isabel whispered to them. Maria and Liz both nodded their heads, too afraid to speak in fear that their sobs would get worse.

Michael gave Alex a pat on the back. "Take care of the girls, Whitman," was all he said.

"You know I will," Alex replied and patted Michael's back. "Good luck. Take care of Izzy for me." Michael grinned

Michael gave Liz a hug, which thoroughly frightened her, since Michael had never been overly affectionate to anyone other than Maria. "Thank you," he told Liz, "thank you for telling Maria. You have no idea what you did for me when you told her."

Max hugged Maria. "You're awesome, Maria. You did so much for Michael. I know that he probably won't admit it, but without you, he would be lost." Maria's tears fell faster with Max's words.

"Thank you," she said hoarsely though her tears. "Take care of Michael and don't forget Lizzie. We're all going to miss you here. Give us a thought every once in a while."

"We will, I promise you."

Then, Max made his way over to Alex, who had his head in his hands. He hugged Alex and said, "Thanks for saving my life. And for loving my sister. She really loves you. You changed her for the better."

"Thank you, Max. Take care of her for me."

"I will, don't worry."

The six came in for a big group hug. All of them were crying. Even Michael, who refused to show his emotions, was beginning to sob.

The two figures appeared in the light again and spoke, "Are you ready?"

"Yes, we are," Isabel answered.

"Before you leave, we have something to say to your friends," the voices continued, "Liz, Maria, and Alex.. thank you so much for taking care of our siblings. We weren't sure if they were going to make it after the crash and in the world alone with no one on their side. They did the right thing by not telling anyone who they were or where they came from. But Max's decision changed everything. He saved you, Liz, and let you in on his secret. And you kept it, all of you, no matter how you found out. You kept the secret and now, because you didn't tell anyone, they're getting a chance to go back to their home planet. We know that it's painful for you to let them go, but they have relatives who are dying to meet them back at home. They promised you that they would come back. If their love is as true as it seems, they will be back and will spend the rest of their lives in your arms. Thank you for taking care of them."

"Your welcome," Liz answered.

"Any time," Alex said.

"My pleasure," Maria sobbed.

The voice said, "Now, come, siblings. We have a long journey home."

And with that, Michael, Max, and Isabel walked up the ramp onto the ship. And they flew off into the horizon.

* * * * *

After he had gotten over the initial shock of the spaceship flying off into the distance, Alex flipped open the picture frame and read what Isabel had written for him.

Dear Alex,

I know that it's cheesy writing things on the back of a photograph to express your true feelings, but somehow, this seems right. I love you, and nothing can take that away from us. I have always loved you, but only this year have I opened up to let you in and to let everyone else in, too. Thank you for always being there for me. I love you more than words can speak. And I promise you that I will come back, so that we can live together, forever.

Love always,
Isabel


Alex closed the picture frame and looked out into the mist that covered the ocean. He saw Liz and Maria consoling each other at the water's edge and joined them in a group hug. All three were sobbing and remembered what the older siblings of Michael, Max, and Isabel told them. The words rang in their heads. Would their love be strong enough to bring them back? Would their life on their home planet be better and they wouldn't want to come back? Would they just completely forget about Roswell and everyone they met there?

And the memories of the three friends, who came into their lives so unexpectedly, ran like a river through the circle of the remaining friends. Emotions poured out of the memories when they remembered the joy, the happiness, and the sadness. But none of the three could articulate their feelings, but they knew the other two understood exactly how they felt - the loneliness, the hope, and most of all, the love for the three strangers who had left footprints on their hearts forever.


The End...