Disclaimer: UPN and Melinda Metz own the sad, sorry remains of Roswell.
Distribution: Roswell Slash Archive. All others please ask first.
Summary/Author's Note: "Four Aliens and a Baby", reinterpreted with a Catfighter (L/T) eye. Liz POV. There's a tiny reference to an earlier fic, "Color". If you haven't read that, don't worry about it. Thanks to Bennie for looking it over for me.
Feedback: It's been almost a year since I wrote my last Roswell fic. Both positive and constructive feedback are welcome - just be kind.
I didn't think I was going to have to go through this again.
How many times have we come together and parted? First I walked away. Vowed never to make that mistake again. And then she was taken from me.
I really thought when she left, it was going to be permanent. Blasting off into space is usually not a real good sign that someone's going to return. And so I had tried to go on. Had spent most of the past year trying to put her out of my head, out of my heart. Not easy - you wouldn't believe some of the strange out-of-character things I did last fall, trying to pull myself back together.
And then, nearly a year later, I got her back and lost her all over again, all in a single night.
I cringe when I think of my initial reaction. Seeing her just was such a shock. She looked tired, frightened - and beautiful. More beautiful than I had ever seen her. All the emotions I'd tried to stuff down - my love, my hurt at being abandoned - it all flared up; I said things I shouldn't. I blasted her, for God's sake, as if trying to get rid of my heartache by getting rid of her. But once I got over my shock, I realized that I didn't really want to lose her again. No, I wanted her to stay this time. Maybe, just maybe, there was hope.
Everyone was stunned by my change of mood, my determination to protect Tess -- especially Maria. She cornered me at the CrashDown, trying to get me to stand up to Max, to Tess. How could I tell her? Explain to her? I loved someone Maria had never understood or even liked; the irony was, Maria's dislike came from her perceived need to defend me, although the accident with Alex only intensified her hatred. If I told her the truth, she'd think I was a traitor - to her, to Alex, probably to Kyle too. All I could say was that I couldn't turn Tess in, and leave the explanations unsaid. Maria looked at me strangely, but said nothing. I was relieved.
But when I had to cast my vote 'no' in front of everyone, in front of Tess, Maria let me know, loud and clear, that she thought I was nuts. And I just couldn't face her, couldn't escape having to answer, to explain. Those alien blue eyes were still on me -- I just couldn't handle it.
That stare had rocked me to the core. It was like we'd exchanged flashes without touching. Could Tess do that? Could I? Or was it just my imagination? All I knew was, in that moment, I remembered everything. Our first kiss, the first time we made love, the time she painted me - I still have that painting under my bed - and the times she broke my heart.
Those images followed me to my dreams that night. Like a fast forward tape, I played out "what might have been" in my mind, just as I'd done so many nights when she first left. A life together, just the two of us. Her hands in my hair, her bare skin against my own, her voice rippling through me as she spoke my name. Her voice her voice . When I woke, it took me a minute to realize she'd actually spoken my name. Every other morning my dreams had shattered to reveal an empty room, but this time she was really there, kneeling by my head, and the sight almost took my breath away. We looked at each other a moment, not touching, but it didn't matter. In her eyes I saw everything she felt - it was a new beginning, a reconnection, an affirmation of everything we'd had and everything we would never have.
I knew, somehow, when she asked me to drive her, that this was truly the end. She never told me her plans, and I didn't ask. All I knew was - I couldn't end it like this. There had been so much pain at our last parting - other people involved, other people's duties. But now we were alone. Halfway out in the desert, I stopped the car. Without a word, I pulled her out into the night, onto the blanket I'd brought with me. Our first time. Our last time. My hands discovered slightly fuller breasts, and a curvier silhouette. They remembered the twirl of ringlets, and the satin of skin. I tried to imprint each memory on my mind, to keep forever.
We didn't talk at all until we reached the compound, and even then it was a rather strange, stilted conversation, almost like we were speaking in code. I think - I know - what she was trying to say when she told me about the Flashes with Max. She was telling me she saw me. That she never forgot about me. And when I asked about the White Room, I'm hoping she heard that I loved her.
Ten minutes later, the base blew up; I felt it, I heard it, all the way down to my soul. I thought I was ready -- I thought all those other goodbyes had prepared me. But this final one nearly drove me over the edge. I remember gripping the steering wheel, my eyes clenched tight against the evidence of my loss. I don't remember driving home. I don't even really remember telling the others what had happened, only murmuring something vague before turning away from their clattering questions and escaping to my bedroom. I didn't cry, not that first night, anyway. Just hugged the painting to my chest, and rocked back and forth, my back to the window; I couldn't bear to look out at the starry night.
It's been a week since that night, the night she came and left again. I'm trying to support Max the best I can, now that he's given Zan up. In some ways, I'm glad not to be reminded of that painful time, when she turned to Max out of some sense of destiny, but the baby was also all I had left of her. And so, as his grandparents buckled him in and sped off down the road, I silently shed my own tears, even as Max wept on my shoulder.
Goodbye, Tess. Again.
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