Author: hah
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Author's Note: Part 2/4 of the "Undaunted" series, Tess POV. This was written before BiY promos aired, so any similarities are pure coincidence.
Feedback: Always welcome!

I feel his hand brush gently over my shoulder and I have to fight to not flinch. There's a pause, and then the mattress shifts as Max stands. I know he wants to comfort me, but I'm not ready for that yet. Honestly, I don't know when I ever will be. I roll over to face the wall, pulling my legs up to my chest. Even now, my instinct is to protect my abdomen. Curled tight, I let the memories take me away from here.

Most of my life was spent with the man the others called Nasedo. Visitor in some Native American language. But to me…to me he was teacher. Protector. Father? He taught me to use my powers; those gifts so carefully wired into my system. He taught me not to get too close to anyone. Not to let anyone or anything touch me, body, heart or soul. And then he took me to Roswell, New Mexico.

Roswell. The name is both a blessing and a curse. I exhale slowly, hoping to stop the tears I feel welling. Max hears and moves close again. He hovers, and that drives me crazy. I know he wants to comfort me with a hug, a touch. But he fears our captors as much as I do. They don't approve of human emotion. There are times I'm almost surprised they've left us together after what happened.

Nasedo said destiny awaited us in Roswell. His, it turned out, was death. Mine, to finally find the home and family I sought. It just wasn't the one I'd expected. The Valentis took me in, gave me a home, a place to belong. They gave me their love. And slowly, so slowly, I gave them mine. I thought everything would be all right. Always.

Always. I stifle a sob. Max is too close, and I don't want him to hear. I know it hurts him, to be able to do nothing. Always. The word reverberates in my mind. A word from fairy-tales. I should know better by now. I dreamed of an always with Max, safe in his love. I dreamed of an always with the Valentis, part of the family. Most recently I dreamed of an always with my baby, protected in my womb. Always doesn't last.

My baby. Max's baby. Long ago I gave up hope of having his child; my fantasies turned in other directions. And then we came here, our other home. Unwelcome and resented. Our secret friends, the very people who invited us home, became our captors. I couldn't save us. I tried, though; god, how I tried. We were separated immediately. No strength in numbers for us. As I was poked and prodded and tested and observed, I remained stoic, as Nasedo had taught me. I could survive it. I had to. But then they pushed me into Max's arms.

My hands caress my now empty belly. For almost nine months life grew there. Pulsed within me.

All the horrors of the testing faded from my mind when my pregnancy began. Hope grew as my baby did. The pregnancy took a toll on me; each time I glimpsed my reflection, I knew. Each time Max asked if I was ok. I was pale and thin. Tired. I think even Isabel noticed, the few times I saw her. Her eyes were worried. But I was having a baby. I started to think it would all be okay.

Could I have been any more delusional? I was breeding in captivity. I was an experiment. And I had forgotten Nasedo's teachings. I allowed this new life to touch me in a ways I had never imagined. I hummed softly to myself, my hands cradled over my ever-growing belly. I sent happy thoughts to the tiny life within. I spun glorious tales of happily ever after.

And then the pain began. I awoke one morning in agony. My screams brought the medical staff immediately. I was hefted onto a gurney and rolled from the room. As we left, I saw blood on the sheets. I knew something was wrong.

The birth…. This memory pains me more than anything. There was no birth. My baby was still-born; my precious new life did not live. I don't know what went wrong. Even in the old days, I never understood everything on "ER." In that haze of pain and fear, nothing made sense.

My baby gone, I was wheeled back to my room. Max was waiting for me. That show of humanity on our captors' part surprises me now. At the time, I was too numb from pain and grief to really notice. That was…a week ago? Two? I don't know. Don't care most of the time.

I'm grateful for his presence these last few days; really, I am. I don't know if he knows that. And I can't tell him, not yet. I can't let myself care for him again. I let myself care for him once, but he wasn't mine. I let myself care for Kyle and the sheriff and had to leave them. I let myself care about my baby and that nearly destroyed me. Nasedo was right. I can't let anyone close again. I have to be untouchable.

Continue to Unwilling (part 3)

Back to Unending (part 1)

Main Authors Offsite Recs
DC Slash Harry Potter Ros. Hetero Ros. Slash Ros. Other