The Finer Lines

Author: Kate
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters
Characters: Tess POV
Spoilers: Gen. Season 2
Thanks: Mere, Pilar, and the cliffies, who encouraged me and put their two cents in at various points.
Dedication: For Mare. Sweetie, I tease you about being a pain in my ass, but this fic would be nothing without you. You push me to my limits and then push some more, and not only do you make sure that I'm giving it my all, you give it YOUR all too. You rock hardcore. BIG thanks.
Feedback: Please do - both positive and negative, praise and criticism make me very happy!

If she could talk, their lives would be painted with more vibrant colors.

The truth is that people don't know each other, not really. They only know shades and segments, half-truths and little lies. No one ever sees the full picture- the colors are murky, the picture blurry, obscured. So when they say, "I know him like I know myself," what are they but fools? They know nothing, are not even aware of what they're missing- the tiny strokes, forever indiscernible.

Each person picks a face to show to the world and hides their ten other faces behind closed doors and heavy drapes. The older they get, the more they have to hide, the more they put up those tapestries to close off secret rooms in the far off wings of their homes. But even rooms kept sealed from outside contact, growing musty with corners dark and dank, must be aired out from time to time. And when the curtains are pulled back, the sun filters in and dances off the specks of dust that hover in the stale air, making kaleidoscope rainbows on the walls.

Here, when they are alone, there are no doors, no drapes, and the pieces of the puzzle finally begin to come together. So, if she could talk, the picture would be less fuzzy, a little more detailed, painted with a fuller palette of colors.


The smooth hard surface, metallic and cold, is really porous. Hidden away, out of sight, she has silently watched and listened, letting the picture of four young aliens slowly come into focus.

The stirring- the first noises in thirty years.

And so the picture begins, with three small sets of footsteps- one hurried and adventuring, heavy and with a purpose, another hanging back, hesitating and unsure, light and pacing, and a third, feminine, caught between the first two. And then they are gone, and she is left with-

-Silence that is not silence, not to her. She has known true silence- silence that has stretched out for an infinity, a noiseless void of nothingness. Now she hears the echoes of them, in the dust softly settling, the remnants of their births spilling out, watering the dry ground. She listens for the barely perceptible sound of the rocks absorbing what has been left of the three, until-

-Shoes clacking, impatient, angry; fist slamming against hard rock- the background noises to another stirring, a fourth picture set to begin to take shape. This time the small footsteps do not come- instead a harsh voice, "And where are the others," accompanied by a startled gasp, high pitched and weak, and a whimper, the sound of a little lost child who does not want to go. Shoes stomp away and the not-silence reigns again.


She has heard them all together, discovering their past, planning their future- bold brush strokes across the canvas. But the finer lines, the details, have been added when they've come to her alone.

The voice that she hears shakes and quivers, searching, pleading, willing an answer out of the silence. It begs for the truth and the most important things- a true family, solace, acceptance. And she listens and hears the desperation in the voice, the need of an alien girl to be normal for once.

She hears rocks being kicked from the corners of the chamber and then exploding, as a voice curses its station in life, stuck following a leader who will not lead, opinions meaning nothing. The voice is sharp and biting, sarcastic and angry, but there is an edge that is worried, afraid to not be strong enough when the time comes. And she listens and hears the questioning in the voice, the need of a misfit boy to know his worth.

She hears pacing, and the pensive tapping on the walls, lightly at times, and then sometimes harder, in frustration. This one does not talk, just quietly sits and breaks the silence only with heavy sighs. And she listens and hears the resignation in the retreating footsteps, and in the pause, the need of a conflicted leader to slow things down and leave his duties behind.

But the fourth had not come to her, had not confessed any secrets or fears- not through pleas to a distant mother, nor aggression exacted on small rocks, nor sighs that are half acceptance, half defiance. The fourth's silence had matched her own-

-Until the loudest noise of all- grinding, whirring, the sound of a great machine coming to life and then the blasting through rocks, a terrible boom- shakes them both. And then the picture, so long a mystery, marred by so many inconsistencies and unexplained lines and shapes, suddenly takes form, the whole finally illuminated with clarity, as the last of the alien four breaks the silence, with words fast and short, her voice angry and hard, crisp, loud.


If there's one thing that a life on the run will teach you, it's how to lie- how to think on your feet. Create backstory in a flash. Morph who you *really* are into what people *expect* to see.

It's not an alien technique- it's a survival technique.

Nasedo might have been lacking in some basic parenting skills- love, tenderness, compassion- but he taught one lesson well- burn bridges, alienate people, be cruel, hurt others, do. what. you. must- just stay alive, stay afloat.

I saw him kill. I saw him lie. And so what if those aren't traditional values- he always kept me alive, kept me going towards the goal. Maybe *he's* right, and life lessons aren't about doing unto others and turning the other cheek. Because that's not even real life.

In real life, people who are supposed to love you turn on you in a flash, and rooms of friends are suddenly filled with the faces of strangers, blank to you, cold, angry, menacing. So, you don't turn the other cheek- you slap back, and hard. You stay alive.

You slap back. Without remorse. If you're going to slap, make it worth it, make it sting. Because the worst thing would be to let the tears show through. So you take them and turn them into a punch. Take the hurt and make it anger. You fight back.

You fight their anger with words. Biting, harsh words. Anything that will hurt. The worst you can say. You lie.

The lies tumbled out so easy- secret pacts and death wishes. Hit him hard. You never loved me? Well, fuck. you. I never loved you either- in fact, all along I've been plotting your death. How does it feel?

How. does it. feel.

And you know, I say, embrace it. If you're going to be hated and be the bad guy no matter what, you might as well go out in a blaze of glory, with a bang. Be the Big Bad. Be the Evil. Give them a reason to hate you. Make the story good. Be what they expect and more.

Slap back.

And don't ever let them see you cry. Don't give him the satisfaction. No. Hold the tears, hold them back. Wait until he's gone, until you're alone and you can scream and wail and kick things so hard they shatter.

Then you can curse him, curse them all, because you never had a chance, you could never truly break into that inner circle. And no amount of explaining yourself would ever get through to minds already made up, and you know your pleas and truths would fall on deaf ears.

So you lie, and when they're gone, you rage in defeat and sorrow and curse him, her, them all.

You curse yourself.

When you're far away from their blaming eyes, that's when you cry- not a moment before. Because you won't give him the satisfaction. Ever.

So reinvent yourself- lie- be the Evil. As long as you're spinning a tale of badness, you can hold the pain back and you won't cry. Don't you dare cry. Don't you dare.

Because tears are just another word for death. So, I won't let you see me cry- I won't let you kill me. Because, I learned the life lesson well-

Slap back. Stay alive.


The last bitter words echo off the walls of the chamber, accompanied by the final clacking of shoes as the pacing and kicking ceases. After a few calming breaths, the alien girl falls silent again, curling herself up, letting the cool walls of the mothership caress her flushed cheek.

Through the sound of the gentle rise and fall of the girl's chest, she hears an unmistakable pulsating and remembers back to the last time she cradled the girl. The not-silence then had been more than just the remnants of the birth of the other three- there had also been the subtle, yet forever unforgettable sound of a lone life developing. After all the years apart, she again holds the girl close to her and listens to the quiet of life beginning-

-Until a new noise- screeching, tearing, the sound of an atmosphere pierced, and then a landing, a gentle thud- shakes them both. Then the doors slide open with an easy whir. Heavy boots file in and a voice rings out, welcoming. The girl who had been crying only minutes before, answers back, confidently, "Take me to Larek." The voice that responds to this command is full of reverence, for the picture the girl has painted is of a queen; regal and collected.

And the doors glide closed, sealing away the true masterpiece that has finally been painted, the masterpiece that no one will ever view.

But, if she could talk...


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