Title: Find out the Truth
Disclaimer: None of character belong to me. All are property of WB and Jason Katims, well, except for the character Jennifer.
Category: Other, Everyone but main focus Liz.
Summary: Liz finds out she is more important to the Pod Squad than she realizes.
Spoilers: What might happen with the death of Alex being predicted
Authors Notes: This is my first fan fiction, so, I welcome feed back.
(Next day at school)
There is a memorial service being held in the gym for Alex. There is an enlarged picture of Alex from the school yearbook hanging at the entrance of the gym. The gym is filled with students and faculty remembering Alex Whitman.
Maria, Michael, Isabel, Max, Tess and Kyle huddled together near the entrance of the gym door. You can tell that none of them have gotten much sleep. Maria's eyes are red and puffy from all the crying she has done since last night. She is holding on to Michael for support.
"Has anyone seen Liz?" Max asks with concern in his voice.
"She probably stayed home. It is probably too hard for her to be here now," replied Tess.
"Duh, Tess! Do you think it is easy for any of us right now," exclaimed Maria. "One of our best friends just died!"
"Shhh, Maria. Tess was just trying to helpful." Michael said trying to soothe her by pulling her into a tighter embrace.
"I am sorry. I'm..."Maria said.
"It is okay. You just needed to yell at someone and who better than me. I was the late one added to this group. The outsider. I am the one that does not belong," Tess replied with some bitterness in her voice.
"Stop. The both of you. We are here to remember Alex. Not attack each other. We are all hurting right now and the only way we are going to get through this is if we stick together. We really need each other." Isabel stated.
"Isabel is right. Now has anyone seen or talk to Liz since last night," asked Max.
They all look up and everyone nods no. "Maybe after school we should all head down to the Crashdown and see how she is holding up. I don't think now is a good time for any of to be alone." Said Kyle.
They all nodded in agreement. They turned around to listen to the rest of memorial service all wrapped up in their own thoughts.
Liz sitting on her bed looking at old pictures of her, Maria, and Alex. Some of the pictures are of them in elementary school where they all met and became the three-musketeers. There are some later pictures that not only include them but Max, Michael, Isabel, Kyle and even Tess.
Suddenly there is a knock at Liz's bedroom door. "Liz, honey, is there anything I can get you," asks Nancy Parker as she pokes her head into her daughter's room.
"Oh, no, thank you mom. I just need to be alone right now." Liz answers not wanting to really talk to anyone.
"Honey, do want to talk? Some times it helps to talk out your grief." Nancy asks with concern in her voice.
"No, thanks, mom. I think I just want to be alone. Thank you for letting me stay home from school today, though," Liz replies.
"Okay, honey, if you need to talk later your father and I will be here, okay." Nancy says as she closes the door to Liz's room.
Liz looks over to her nightstand and sees the dinner receipt that Jerry dropped off. She picks it up and stares at it. "Alex, what are you trying to tell me?" With a look of determination on her face she puts her old pictures away, and starts to try and figure out what Alex was trying to tell her.
"Mom and dad, I am going out for a walk." Liz yells as she grabs her coat and runs out.
Max and the gang enter the Crashdown looking for Liz. When she can't be found Maria goes to Mr. Parker and asks him if Liz is home.
"Oh, Maria, she left a while ago. She said she needed to go for a walk," Jeff Parker replies. "I am sure she will be back shortly. You guys are more than welcome to go and wait for her upstairs in her room. I am sure she would appreciate seeing you guys."
"Thanks, Mr. Parker. I will let everyone know." Maria says as she turns to let the others know who are sitting at their booth.
"Does everyone want to stay till Liz gets back," asks Maria. Everyone nods their heads, and with that they all get up and head upstairs to Liz's room.
Hoping to find some clues about the code Alex left Liz goes to his house in hopes to find something. She knocks on the front door but no one answers. She assumes no one is home, so, Liz grabs the spare key from under the front doormat. She let's herself in the Whitman home. She runs into Alex's room. She surveys the room and sees pictures of him, Maria, and herself around the room. The room is actually quite clean for a guy. Seems everything has its own place. It is so weird how Alex had so many different facets to himself. His love for music to his deep interest in computers. As she is looking around she spots a picture of him in Sweden. Right next to it she sees a picture of a very beautiful girl. "Mmmm, this must be the picture of the girl Alex was involved with while he was over in Sweden." Liz thinks to herself.
"Okay, where to start? Now, come on if I were Alex and I wanted hide some information where would I put it." Liz says talking to herself.
She looks around and spots Alex's laptop. "There! That is were I would put it." Liz states. She picks up the laptop to take it with her, but before she leaves she spot something out of the corner of her eye on Alex's desk. She walks over and opens a small box of slides. She picks a slide up and looks at it in the light. "Oh, this must be the slides he took while he was in Sweden." Liz thought.
As she puts it down she notices something on the bottom of the slide it has a zero. "That is strange. I wonder if the other one's are labeled like that?" She picks a couple more of the slides and notices that the slides are either labeled with a zero or one. Without thinking twice about it she takes them. "There might be something in here to let me know what's going on."
(Back in Liz's Room)
Everyone is just sitting around talking. "Where do you think Liz went," Kyle asks everyone.
"She probably went for a walk to our old elementary school or park," answered Maria. "When Liz is upset she likes to walk to those two places and just think."
"I feel a bit strange being here. I know Liz and I have been getting along lately, but we aren't really that close of friends." Tess whispered to Max.
"Yeah, but you are part of us now, and we all need to be together," Max said with sympathic tone. "Besides, I am sure she will appreciate you being here."
Overhearing the conversation going on with Max and Tess, Maria decides to go over and talk to her. "Tess, about this morning. I am sorry. You and I haven't been the closest of friends, and I had no right to snap at you."
"No, Maria. I am the one who is sorry. I should have been more understanding. It is just sometimes I never know how to act." Tess stated apologetically. With that being said the two girls give each other a comforting hug.
"I believe we have the starting of a beautiful friendship here." Kyle said with a funny grin on his face.
Everyone started to laugh at that much needed comment. "Kyle, I think Alex was starting rub off on you." Maria said with sincere smile.
"Coming from you I will take that a compliment." Kyle responded.
Liz enters the Crashdown with Alex's laptop and slides. She is about to run to her room to look over what she found at Alex's house, but just then her dad pops out. "Lizzie, honey, your back. Maria and everyone are upstairs in your room waiting for you. They came by to check up on you."
"Oh, thanks, Dad." Liz said. "I can't look at this with them here. Okay, I am just going to have to get rid of them fast. I would tell them about all of this but I am not even sure what this all mean yet." Before going up to her room she stops by the spare bedroom upstairs and puts down Alex's laptop and slides. Until she know the truth of what was happening to Alex she is just going to have keep this a secret.
After making sure everything is concealed she heads into her bedroom. No one seems notice her at first. She looks around. She sees Michael and Maria on her bed talking quietly between them. Isabel is over by her window just staring into spaces looking lost in her own thoughts. She notices Kyle on the floor looking at an old photo album of hers. She finally sees Max and Tess talking closely to one another. How that last scene hurt her the most. She has noticed the two have been getting quite close to each other the past few months, and she knew she should be happy because that is what she wanted. Unfortunately, it just made her sad. It was a reminder of what she would never have. She took a take breath and then cleared her throat to make her presence known.
"Oh, Lizzie, "Maria says as she gets up from Michael and wraps her arms around her best friend. "We were so worried about you when you didn't show up at school today we..."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to worry anyone. I just didn't feel like going to school and being with anyone." Liz said with her eyes looking to the floor.
Max just sat there looking at her with such concern in his eyes. He knew they were no longer together, but they were starting rebuild a close friendship like they had before destiny, before they were a couple, when they were just friends. But, all he really wanted to do right now was take her away and wrap her in his arms. Tell her that everything would be okay. Whisper to her over and over again how he much he still loved her. She looked so fragile with her hair pulled back into a ponytail. In her face you could tell she had not slept in the last 24 hours. In her eyes you could still see how they were brimming with unshed tears, but even with all that she still took his breath away. He completely forgot that he was sitting really close to Tess and talking to her when Liz walked in until he heard her speak. He, then, moved away from her slightly before speaking, "Liz, we know how you must be feeling and we all wanted to be here for you and Maria."
Liz looks up into Max's deep soulful eyes. She notices that Max had moved slightly away from Tess. She couldn't help but feel a bit happy about that. "Thanks, everyone, but I think what I really need right now is to be by myself."
"Liz, we need to be here for one another now more than ever," Maria stated. "We can't just close ourselves off, chica."
Liz smiles a comforting smile at Maria and gives her a hug. Right now, Maria and the rest of her friends needed to be around each other, and she needed to be around them as well. "The laptop and slides are going to have to wait to later." Liz thought.
"You're right, Maria. How about everyone go out to the living room and make themselves comfortable. I will go downstairs and get us all something to eat and drink." Liz stated with small smile on her face.
Everyone agreed and began to leave Liz's room and head into the living room. Liz was about to run downstairs till Isabel spoke, "Liz, did you want some help with the food?"
Liz smiled and took Isabel hand in hers and gave it a friendly squeeze, "Yeah, I could use a little help."
(Downstairs in the Kitchen of the Crashdown)
Liz watches Isabel intently as she helps Liz with a tray of food to bring to the others. She notices that Isabel does not look like her picture perfect self. Her hair is pulled back in a sloppy ponytail. She is dressed in all black, but it is her face that surprises her. She is wearing no makeup, and it looks like she hasn't slept in days. Her eyes are red and puffy from crying off and on all night. She looks like she is about to burst into tears at any moment.
"Isabel, how are you holding up?" Asks Liz.
With that simple question Isabel begins to sob. Liz walks over to Isabel and pulls her into a hug. Liz stands there holding Isabel until her sobs begin to subside.
"I am sorry, Liz" Isabel says.
"Sorry? What are you sorry for?" Liz asks a bit confused.
"I am sorry about Alex," Isabel whispers. "If it wasn't for me he would have never been on the road that night. He would have stayed home and he would still be alive.
"Isabel, what are you talking about?" Liz asked even more confused.
Isabel begin to pace and fidget a bit nervously before talking to Liz. "See, I called Alex and told him I wanted him to come over to the house. He said that he thought he should stay home and he would talk to me tomorrow. But, he sounded funny on the phone. He sounded a bit edgy like he was fighting to keep his voice calm," Isabel turned and looked at Liz before continuing. "Since, he sounded strange I wanted him to come over even more to see what wrong with him. Finally, after ten minutes of talking to him he agreed. Now, as you know he never made it to my house. It is all my fault. I killed him."
"Isabel, you didn't kill Alex." Liz stated reassuringly.
"No! It is my fault. If I had just let him stay home or if I came over instead he would still be here. He wouldn't have been driving so fast, and he..." Isabel said as she began to cry once again.
"Isabel, you have to listen to me! You are not responsible for Alex hitting that semi. It was not your fault. It was just a freak accident. You have to believe that." Liz said reassuringly.
Isabel looked up and nodded. "I know you are right but a part of me keeps saying what if?"
"Iz, life is all about what if's but we can't let those what if's rule our lives," Liz stated. "Isabel, can I ask you a question?"
"Sure, you can ask me anything," said Isabel.
"When you talked to Alex over the phone you said he sounded funny like he was trying to calm himself down, when during the conversion did he sound like that?" Liz asked.
"Before he agreed to come over. He said he would be over after the food he ordered arrived." Isabel said.
"Did he sound like himself when he got off the phone with you?" Liz asked again.
"Yeah, he sounded normal again. Why do you ask?"
Liz not wanting to tell Isabel anything just yet says, "I was just curious. No big deal."
All of sudden Michael comes down the stairs to see what is taking the girls so long. "Hey, do you two plan on hogging all the food to yourselves or do you plan on sharing some with us, hungry natives."
Liz and Isabel looked a bit startled. "We were just on our way up, Michael. Did anyone ever tell you that you are acting more like Alex these days." Liz said with a smile on her face.
"I guess it must be catching because Maria said the same thing to Kyle earlier, and I will say the same thing that he said...from you that is compliment," Michael said with surprise grin on his normal sullen face. "Oh, and don't forget the Tabasco sauce."
Liz and Isabel both laugh at that last comment. Maybe just maybe they will be able to get through this.