Title: It Has Begun(3/?)
Author: Kata
Disclaimer: Not mine
Summery: Maria tries to convince her friends to forgive the aliens.
Distribution: Just let me know where it is.
Feedback: Please!

******

Maria had called all her friends and asked them to meet her at her apartment. She had also called Sheriff Valenti, now her step-father, and Kyle.

"What's up, Maria?" Liz asked. She hadn't seen Maria this happy since *they* left.

Maria looked down at her hands. "They're back." No one had to ask who "they" were.

"What!" Liz exploded. "How can they just come back here like nothing has happened! We can't just throw away the past ten years!"

"Wait, Liz," Alex interrupted her. "Let's at least hear her out."

Maria bit her lip nervously. "They're ready to fight. Their powers are much more developed than they used to be. But they still need our help."

Liz stood up. "No."

"Liz!"

"No, Maria. I'm not going to risk my life for them. Not again. They left us, and now they expect us to take them back like nothing has happened? I don't think so." Liz turned and left the room. Maria turned back to look at the others.

Kyle held up his hands. "Don't look at me. I barely even know them. Sure, I owe them a debt for saving my life, but it's not that simple. I just can't do this." Kyle left, too.

Maria turned to look at Alex and the sheriff. "Alex? Jim?"

Valenti shook his head. "I offered them protection years ago. I'm not sure if I'm ready to do it again." And he left.

"Alex, please."

"Maria, I don't understand this. I never did. I've just accepted it and did what they told me to. I don't know if I can do that again."

"Alex, it's not like that anymore. They need our help."

Alex looked straight at her. "Is that how it is? They need our help, so they came back?"

Maria shook her head. "You didn't see them. It's more than that. They missed us."

"They hurt you, too," Alex reminded her. "Are you taking Michael back, just like that? How do you know he's not going to leave as soon as this blows over?"

"I don't." Maria's voice was strong and confident. "But no matter what happens, I'll have this to look back on." Maria leaned forward and touched Alex on the arm. "If I don't take this oppertunity, I'll hate myself forever. I will be happy with this decision, either way. Can you say that? Will you ever be happy if you let Isabel walk out of your life again, without even seeing her?"

Alex sighed, and shook his head. "You're right, Maria. I can't let her go."

Maria smiled. "Come one. I'll take you to them."

TBC...

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