Know Your Enemy

Author: Bennie
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I own nothing Roswell.
Character Focus: Michael POV
Spoilers: Tag to Cry Your Name
Author's Note: This was going through my head during the confrontation scene in Alex's bedroom. Something about the look on Michael's face … And thanks, Debbie, for reading it over.

He sat in the window with the human girl he loved in his arms, and watched her best friend propose something so ludicrous he wanted to laugh ... except that the matter at hand was serious as death and there was nothing to laugh about.

Alex was murdered, Liz said.

He considered that, and he had to admit there was some logic to her argument. He truly didn't believe Alex committed suicide, and the evidence did seem to prove his death wasn't an accident. What was left?


But that wasn't what worried him at the moment.

Alex's death was tragic and it sucked. He had been a good friend and a great guy for Isabel, which left Michael free to be with Maria. And if he was murdered because of his association with the alien four, then it wasn't over. Maria and Liz and Kyle and the Sheriff were in danger too.

But, Michael thought, it wasn't like he was going to leave Maria alone and vulnerable any time soon, and if it was Khivar, there was nothing he could do about it at the moment anyway. He'd worry about all that later.

Right now, he was focused on Liz Parker. She worried him.

Not because she sounded crazy, but because she didn't.

She sounded right. And she was willing to back up what she knew to be true with everything she had. She had already convinced Kyle and Maria was halfway there. And the way Isabel had reacted, Michael knew that something Liz said had struck a chord.

Max was a harder read. He'd jumped in on Isabel's behalf because no one, not even Liz Parker, hurt Isabel and didn't have to take him on as well. He did have his own version of what happened, that was true. The sheriff must have been pretty convincing. But Michael knew Max. He was already feeling guilty for not being able to bring Alex back, and now he would spend sleepless nights torturing himself over the possibility that Liz was right. The girl sure knew how to push his buttons.

Tess hadn't said enough to judge one way or another, which was probably a good thing. Tensions were high enough. But she had placed herself clearly behind Max.

Privately Michael thought Liz might be on to something. Maybe she didn't have proof, exactly, but she had put together enough to make him wonder. And, he had to admit, the girl had guts. She'd actually examined the car that one of her best friends had died in, for pete's sake.

And she was determined to find answers. She was even finding some. She was Getting Things Done.

This is where his internal alarms started going off, because for the first time, it occured to him that Liz Parker could be something to worry about. Sure, saving her had been a risk. And the journal she kept worried him a lot sometimes. But it had never even entered his mind that she could turn on them herself.

After all, Max had her under control, right? Except, clearly he didn't.

She was a loyal friend, ready to risk herself for them, wasn't she? Except, she was just as loyal to her human friends, if not more so.
She could think on her feet and through emotional upheaval, which made her a valuable ally, did it not? Except, she was also capable of thinking on her own, reaching her own conclusions, following her own instincts, even if they ran counter to theirs.

He admired her for all of these reasons.

And for all of these reasons, she worried him.

If she ever decided to work against them, she might be a serious threat. If she ever decided she didn't agree with them, or felt a higher obligation to someone or something else, she could even -- he cringed at the thought -- make a formidable enemy.

As he watched her face off with Max, who stood over her, taller, stronger, and more powerful than she ever could hope to be, Michael studied her face. She argued with a sense of what words would make an impact. Maybe she hadn't intended to rattle Isabel quite so much, but she was obviously upset with, and reacting to, something Max had said.

And she was giving as good as she got. Maybe better, since Max was clearly on the defensive.

Michael listened to her speak and noted the power she had over the rest of the group. She had their attention. She knew them well; this much was evident by her direction of attack. If she was scared to face down four aliens, she wasn't showing it.

Did they - did he - have any power over her?

With Alex gone, her greatest weakness was sitting next to him, in his arms, and Michael wasn't about to sacrifice her to make a point. And by the way Max and Isabel towered over her, he couldn't miss how vulnerable she was physically. He'd held her in his arms once, to comfort her, and he remembered how small she really was.

Max, Isabel and Tess had just filed out of the room. They didn't look back, but they knew he was coming. And he was.

As he walked past Liz he couldn't help but note the way she didn't give an inch. And he heard what she said after they left.

His mind was settled on the matter.

Liz Parker bore some serious scrutiny. If she was going to be an … ally, Michael needed to know her strengths and weaknesses. He was going to know her, to keep her close.

Just in case.

The End