FanFic - Alice in Wonderland Contest
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat "
Part 1
by Ossian
Disclaimer: "Roswell", it's characters, and situations are property of the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: Contest Stories
Rating: PG-13
"Here, you want to take Michael his burger?" Liz said as she handed Maria a plate. "And could you ask him to please stop scowling at Eddie?"

Maria glanced toward Michael sitting at the counter then at the dark-haired young man in the back booth. Eddie seemed to take both Michael's glare and Maria's curious look in stride. Kinda cute, she thought as he gave her an amused grin. She gave him an apologetic smile in return and headed for the counter.

"The management requests that you stop making faces at the paying customers," she told Michael as she set the plate down in front of him.

He made a face at her instead. "I'm a paying customer."

"No, you're not." She handed him a bottle of tabasco sauce. "You're eating off my employee discount."

"I can pay," he said irritably.

Maria sighed. "I know. But you don't have to. Which reminds me... Mom wants you to come to dinner again sometime this week. Don't look at me like that," she said at his derisive snort. "I think you're starting to grow on her."

"Will wonders never cease?" he muttered.

"Yeah, well. Go figure," she grinned. Like mother, like daughter, she thought with a gentler smile. "Do me a favor," she said. "Make Lizzy happy and stop glaring at Eddie."

"I don't like him."

Maria smiled indulgently at his petulant tone. He sounded like a grumpy five-year-old and about as logical. "You don't like anybody," she teased.

He frowned at her again. "I like you." His expression and his words were so contradictory that she had to laugh. As if belatedly realizing the incongruity Michael's frown softened and he gave her a sheepish grin. "Fine," he said. "If it'll get Liz off your case... but I still don't like him."

She shook her head at him and laughed again. "Uh oh," she said suddenly. "Behave."

"Hi," Eddie said to Maria as he approached them. She glanced back at Michael and desperately wished that she could kick him through the counter. His perpetual scowl had returned as he looked at Eddie.

Eddie still seemed slightly amused by Michael's suspicious glare. He smiled tolerantly at the alien and leaned against the counter. "Can I pay back here?" he asked.

"No. I mean, I'm sorry," Maria stuttered. "You'll have to pay up front."

"No problem." He pushed back the sleeve of his jacket to look at his watch then threw a startled glance at the clock on the CrashDown's back wall. "Is that clock right?"

Maria looked back over her shoulder reflexively then shook her head. "Actually, no," she admitted. "It got zapped a couple of years ago during an electrical storm. It's run slow ever since."

"Sorry," Eddie said in a strangely worried tone. "I've gotta go. I think I'm running a little late."

"Hey," Michael called after him as he headed for the cashier. "You left your gloves."

Eddie stopped and turned back. "Thanks," he said as he held out his hand.

Michael frowned but picked the gloves up from the counter. He held onto them for a moment or two longer than was strictly necessary and Maria once again wished that she could kick him. Just give him the gloves, she thought. Don't be a jerk about it.

"Thanks," Eddie said again as he took the gloves.

Michael nodded slowly and sat back down to watch him leave. Maria smacked his arm with her order pad.

"What?" He gave her a blank, innocent stare. Too blank. Too innocent.

"Don't 'what' me. Would it have killed you to just *hand* him the gloves?"

"I *did* hand him the gloves." He turned back around to see Eddie walking out the front door and rose to follow.

"Hey! And where do you think you're going?"

"After him."


"He's up to something."

Maria rolled her eyes. "Is it physically possible for you be any more paranoid-delusional?"

"I got this weird vibe."

"Did it ever cross your mind that maybe the 'weird' part is just you?"

"I'm going after him," he repeated stubbornly.

"Yeah? How?" she asked. He waved a set of car keys at her. "Max actually let you...? Hey!" She made a futile swipe at him from across the counter as she recognized the keychain. "How did you get those?"

"I'm a man of many talents. I'll take good care of it."

"Like hell you will, buddy." Give him an inch, she thought, and he'll run right over ya. With your own car, no less.

"Don't," he said. "Just this once don't argue with me."

"You are NOT stealing my car again!"

He grabbed her arm across the counter and glared at her. "I SAW something," he said through clenched teeth. "I am NOT an idiot. I am NOT making this up. I SAW something and I HAVE to follow him. Why can't anybody ever believe me?"

She could feel his intensity, his sincerity, his desperation. "I believe you," she said softly. His grip on her arm loosened. She sighed. "My car is parked out back."

"What's going on?" Liz asked as she came out of the kitchen with a tray of drinks.

"Call Max," Maria told her. "Tell him Michael's gone vision-questing again. I don't know when we'll be back."

"We? Maria, no."

"I'm not letting him go by himself," Maria said. "And I can't let that car go anywhere without me either." She brushed past Liz and followed Michael out the back of the diner.

"You're not coming," he told her as she opened the passenger door and sat down beside him.

"If you didn't want me to come," she replied, "then you shouldn't have unlocked my door. Hurry up or we'll lose him."

He stared at her, shook his head slowly, and pulled out of the parking lot.

* * * * *

It was silly to think that the sound of the car radio would draw attention to them, but they drove in silence anyway. Maria stared out of the side window at the dim shapes flashing past in the darkness. She glanced over at Michael occasionally, but his eyes were always fixed on the taillights of the car speeding down the highway in front of them. It seemed like they drove for hours, the silence making it feel even longer.

"What did you see?" she asked softly when she couldn't take it any more.

"A message," he said at last.

"What kind of message?"

"Follow me."

She looked at him. "That's it?" She bit her lip as his frown deepened.

"It was intense."

"You think he did it on purpose," she said. "That he was at the CrashDown waiting for you. That he wanted you to pick up those gloves and get the message."

"You do believe me." There was a hint of surprise in his voice.

"I already told you I believed you. I just want to understand... Hey, is that Eddie's car?" She pointed at the vehicle pulled off onto the gravel shoulder. Michael kept driving. "Aren't you going to stop?"

"In a sec." They rounded a small curve and he pulled off the road.

"Now what?"

"Now we hike... unless you want to stay here."

"Uh uh," she shook her head. "Where you go, I go."

"I thought you went where the car went," he smirked knowingly.

"Shut up. Hey, wait!"

He seemed to know exactly where he was going as he headed into the woods. There was no trail so she followed him cautiously, stepping where he stepped, ducking when he ducked. It didn't seem to help any.

"Ow," she winced. "Ow. Ow."


"Shhh, yourself," she hissed back. "You're wearing jeans."

"You didn't have to come with me."

"Can you see in the dark?" she asked suspiciously as she walked into a branch that she hadn't noticed him ducking.

"Yes. Be quiet."

She grabbed the back of his jacket with a startled yelp. "What was that?"

"Nothing," he said. "A squirrel."

"It had a tail."

"Squirrels have tails," he said impatiently.

"This one had a long, skinny tail. It was a rat."

"Maybe it was a mouse."

"It was a rat."

"Fine. It was a rat. Let go of me."

She reluctantly uncurled her fingers and tried to follow him. She muttered quietly beneath her breath about insensitive alien jerks and winced again as she stubbed her toes on a root. Michael breathed an exasperated sigh of his own and reached back to grab her hand.

"I ought to just tie you to a tree and pick you up on my way back," he said as he pulled her through the dense brush.

She kicked him. "Sorry," she murmured. "Tripped."


"How much farther?"

"A couple of miles."

"Miles?" she squeaked. And stopped abruptly as she walked into his back.


"If you shush me one more time..." His hand muffled the rest of her threat.

"We're here," he whispered against her ear. "Stay here." It was more of a question than a command and she shook her head. She caught his eyes in a hard stare and glared at him until he nodded. "Fine. You had your chance."

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