Title: It Has Begun (4/?)
Disclaimer: Not mine
Summery: Just more talk. Action in next part.
Distribution: Give me the URL, if I don't already have it.
Feedback: Yeah, I need it!
The four aliens were waiting nervously at the Crashdown.
"Do you think they'll listen?" Isabel asked, biting her lip.
Max shook his head. "I don't know. Maria was so accepting, but..."
Tess looked down at her hands. "They might not want anything to do with me."
"Don't be silly," Michael said irritably. "That was a long time ago."
"But that's all they know of me."
Max had been gazing out the window. "Here they come."
None of the aliens could help feeling a little disappointed when only Alex was with Maria.
Maria shook her head sadly in answer to Max's questioningly look. A look of pain crossed Max's face, before the leader in him could take over.
"We'll take all the help we can get," he said firmly, and quickly outlined the past ten years for Alex. "Are you with us?"
Alex nodded slowly. "Rightly or wrongly, I'm in."
Max looked at his watch. "It's getting late. Let's meet at Buckley's Point tomorrow, say ten o'clock? We don't have much time left. We've been running too long. It's time to take a stand."
The others nodded in agreement, and began to drift off into small groups.
Isabel turned to Alex. "Alex."
"I'm still here for you." Alex grimiced ruefully. "Like it or not, I'm tangled up in this."
Isabel smiled. "Thank you, Alex. I know we can't pretend that nothing's happened, but..." Isabel's voice trailed off.
"Let's just take it slow, okay?"
Max grabbed Maria's arm. "Liz?"
"She's different, Max. She loved you completely, and now she's just afraid. She doesn't want to get hurt again."
Max nodded. "We didn't expect this to be easy."
Maria lay a hand on his arm. "She'll come around."
He gave her a half-smile. "I hope you're right. Now, go talk to Michael."
Maria smiled, and followed his instructions. She found him staring out a window, a troubled expression on his face.
"Do you really want me back?" he asked her, in a worried voice.
"What do you mean?"
"It's been so long." Michael's voice was filled with pain.
"Michael, what I said earlier was the truth. I knew that I would have to take this chance. If I let you walk out of my life again, I'll never forgive myself."
Michael still looked hesitant. Maria put a reassuring hand on his arm. "Don't let me go again, Michael. My heart won't stand for it. Look at me. You still know me. You know I'm telling the truth."
Michael looked into her eyes, and saw that she was telling the truth. He slowly nodded. "Thank you." Slowly, so as to give her time to resist, he tilted her head back, and their lips met with touch that was still familar, even after ten years.
The happiness of that night only made what happened the next day even more tragic.