Rating: R for language and dark themes
Disclaimer: I own nothing Roswell.
Subject: The Dupes
Author's Note: A guess as to why Rath and Lani hated Zan so much. Dark. Very Dark.
Feedback: Much appreciated. It was tough to find Rath's voice, so... yeah, much appreciated.
"I can kill him."
"Damnit, Lani -"
"We him," She snapped. "They don't want you, and they sure as hell don't want me -"
"You don't know that," I snapped. "I'll convince them. They'd jump at the chance to have someone in charge. Just say the word and I'll -"
"No," She said. "Not yet."
I looked up at her. Not yet was different from no -
I opened my eyes and blinked hard against the 18-wheeler right in front of us, instinct making me jerk the wheel hard to the right, putting us back in our lane.
"Fuck," I muttered, licking my lips, forcing my eyes to adjust back to the darkness. Musta nodded off.
I glanced over at Lani. She was out. Took some stuff to help her sleep. No one could wake her up after she took those pills. I looked up in the rear view at Ava. She was glarin' at me.
I knew that look. Zan gave it to me all the time.
"What," I snapped, feeling the adrenalin burn to rage. That'd keep me awake. "You got somethin' you wanna say to me?"
Her eyes narrowed. Oh yeah, you're tough, I thought. When Lani's not awake to bitch slap your face, then you show your teeth. Her head dropped and her eyes moved to the window.
"I was jus' wonderin' if that was what Zan saw," She muttered. "Before he."
I glared at the road. "He had it comin'."
"Why'd you hate him so much?" She demanded suddenly. "What'd he ever do to you?"
"Like you wanna know," I muttered, looking up at her. "Zan, what should we do?" I squeaked, waving my hands. "Zan, where should we go? Zan, what happens now?"
She looked out the window and bit on her lip. My hands fell back to the wheel and I grinned. "He wanted to stay here," I muttered. "On this fuckin' rock. Jus' so he could stay hopped up on smack 'stead of goin' home."
She didn't answer and I grinned. Score two.
She shut up for the rest of the trip.
"I'm gonna go," Lani said, staring at his house, her hand pulling on the door handle.
I grabbed her arm. "No way," I hissed. "No way. I'm not lettin' you -"
"Excuse me? Let me?" She snapped, twisting her arm loose, her eyes flashing dangerously. "You think you own me now, Rath? You think I belong to you?"
"That's not-" Fuck. I shook my head and lowered my voice. "Look, you know that ain't it. I'm jus' sayin' you don' have to. We could both -"
"You had your chance earlier," She shrugged, snapping her gum. "I'm goin'. Play the sister card."
"Yeah?" I said, moving to block her way. "What if he tries somethin'?"
She rolled her eyes. "Him?" She smirked, rolling her eyes. "He's harmless."
"He's not harmless," I snapped. "An' you know it. Lemme come wit' you -"
She moved fast, getting out of the car before I could stop her, crossing in front of the car and slipping across the street like a shadow. I stared at her, my mouth hanging open. "Fuck!" I snapped, slamming my hands on the wheel.
What're you tryin' to prove, Lani? That you don't need me to hurt him for you?
I killed him once. I could kill him again.
She came down the alley about an hour later. She was alive. That was a good start.
"S' cool," She said, tilting her head to the side, her hands on her hips. "We're on for tomorrow."
"What's that mean?"
"Means he's comin'," She whispered, moving closer to me, her hands slipping up my neck. "Michael."
I blinked and my eyes narrowed. "So everything's okay?" I said. "He didn't -"
"Where's Ava," She interrupted, tightening her grip around my neck, grinding her hips against mine.
I licked my lips. "Who cares," I muttered. I couldn't stop looking at her mouth.
She lunged for me and I leaned in for the hot warmth of her, thinking we hadn't done it in hours, days, and I was crazy to get inside her, feel the pulse in my blood, feel the memories of who we were and who we were gonna be again slipping into my skin and I was pulling her clothes off, my hands moving rough over her body, trying to get to her, reach who she was under those human curves that still got my blood pumping, ripping at the material when it wouldn't give, feeling her low, throaty laugh against my chest, her voice soft in my ear.
Afterwards she flipped over on her back, reachin' for her pants, mutterin' somethin' about sleep. She fumbled with the pockets until she found the pills. I pretended not to notice. Pretended it's not my fault she needs them. Fifteen minutes later, the girl is out, sleepin' on my shoulder.
Not too long after that, the dreams start.
I stand up and scrub at my eyes, looking down at Lani's body, warm and curved up on the mattress. Damn. Every time I look at Ava, I think I got the better part of the deal.
I scan the room. Zan and Ava are sleepin'. Good. I don't want to deal with him yet. I pull on my clothes, tryin' to be quiet. My hand slips through my hair, makin' it stand straight up. Humans give me less hassle when it's up.
I'm almost to the tunnels when I hear Zan's voice.
"Where you goin', Rath?" He asks, his voice low and slurred.
I swallow hard and turn around, shruggin' and jerkin' with my thumb. "Up," I say. "You need sumpin'?"
He stares at me a second, pushing the blanket off his body. Reachin' for somethin'. My whole body tenses up. He picks up a joint, and I relax.
"Nah," He says, lightin' up. "I'm good."
"Cool." I stuff my hands in my pockets and turn around to leave.
He always does this. Just to piss me off. 'Cause he knows I'll turn around. 'Cause he's the leader.
He's draggin' on the joint. Holdin' his breath. Doesn't say nothin' until he lets the smoke out. "I heard that some of the people back home wanted to back you," He said, starin' at the joint. "That true?"
I blink. Frown at him. "Me?" I said, bringin' my hand up to my chest. "What - me?"
He nods slowly. "Yeah," He slurs, tilting his head to one side, his eyes flickerin' over me. "You."
I laugh out loud and clamp my hand over my mouth to kill the noise. "Sorry," I mutter, glancin' at Lani and Ava, still sleepin'. "Me. That's whacked, yo."
He purses his lips and smiles a little. "Yeah," He says slowly. "I know."
I shrug at him and hold my arms out. "So?"
"So I was wonderin' what you thought about it," He says, his eyes narrow, his lips taking another drag.
"Zan - lemme clue you in here, aight?" I said, takin' a step toward him. "I don' want your job."
"You don't?" He slurs easily. He's lookin' at me with those damn eyes. "Why not?"
"What, me? C'mon, man," I say, wavin' my arms around. "Dat's not me. S' all you. You know."
He stares at me for a second, holding his breath, licking his lips when he lets the smoke out. His eyes flicker over to Lani, sleepin' on the floor, and back to me.
"Yeah," He said slowly, moving the joint back to his mouth. "Jus' checkin' to make sure you do."
I nod. "So we, ah - we cool?" I asked, wavin' my arms. "'Cause I gotta do this thing..."
He purses his lips and the smiles spreads slowly across his face. "Yeah," He said. "We're cool. Go on." I turned around, shovin' my hands into my pockets, tryin' to walk slow, tryin' not to run.
He knows. He knows.
I'm comin' back. It's a coupla hours later. I walk into the room and Zan's on the couch with his shirt off, facin' me, still tokin'. "Hey," He slurs, that smile back on his lips.
"Hey," I mutter, lookin' around. "Where's Ava?"
"Out," He says slowly. "Lookin' for you."
I feel my eyebrows comin' together. "For me? Why?"
"'Cause I told her to," He says slowly.
I stare at him for a second. "You told her to follow me?"
His head weaves from side to side. "You gotta chill, my man," He says, laughing a little. "My man."
I hate the way he says that. I hate how often he says it. "You know where Lani's at?" I ask, scanning the room. "Or's she on recon too?"
"Oh yeah," He says, his hand slidin' down his chest slowly. A laugh slips through his lips, smothered by the joint in his mouth. He raises his hand from his abs and takes it out of his mouth, letting his arm drop to his side. "I know where Lani is," He murmurs.
"What's goin' on?" I snap. "You're actin' all tripped out and shit. Where's she at?"
He stares at me for a second, his mouth hangin' open, and then he purses his lips. Shrugs. Jerks his thumb down one of the tunnels. "She's down there," He says, standin' up, stretchin' a little an' walkin' toward me.
I'm movin' for the tunnels when he moves in front of me.
"I jus' want you to know somethin'," He slurs slowly.
I roll my eyes. "What?"
The air in the room changes suddenly. He's inches away from me, but his whole body tenses up, ready to spring. I feel my spine stiffen. His eyes are still bloodshot, but he's the King now. The Tyrant. The ruler.
His smile looks the same, though. That sneer. That never changes. He takes a step closer.
"I'm the man," He says quietly, letting the words bleed together. "An' I remember everythin'."
Oh, shit. I didn't know he knew. We always thought he'd find out. But we didn't know when.
"What you did," He says, his eyes flickerin' down my shirt and back up. "What she did. All of it.
"I won' let it happen again," He finishes, starin' up at me.
I blink. "Thas' good," I say, swallowin' hard. "'Cause it won' go down like that this time."
He purses his lips and his eyes flicker, scanning my face. "I know," He says after a minute, the sneer lurching suddenly into a grin. And then he's turned his back, the tension in the air disappears and he's wavin' his hand at the tunnel.
"Go on," He says, his hands slippin' back over his chest. "Find her."
I walk past him and down the tunnel, feelin' his eyes on my back.
Damnit. I turn around. "What?"
"I'm the man," He grins, the joint dripping from his mouth, his eyes glowing faintly in the dim light of the room.
I nod, confused, and turn back down the tunnel, walking into the darkness, letting it swallow me.
"Lani," I mutter. What the hell is she doin'? The tunnels get darker here. I can't even see my hand in front of my friggin' face. "Lani. Lani -"
I trip over something and jerk my foot back, cursing under my breath, and then I hear the whimper.
Jesus. She's curled up in a ball on the floor, her arms shakin', mud and dirt on her arms and legs -
I'm on the ground next to her. Not dirt. I know it as soon as I touch it. Blood.
"What the fuck," I mutter, kneelin' down next to her. "What happened -"
She jerks to get away from me, hands shoving me, her legs kicking out, tryin ' to crawl away from me. Lani. Lani's tryin' to get away from me. "Lani," I mutter, grabbing for her arms. "Quit it. Lani -"
I catch her arm in the air and she's struggling like crazy now, the whimpers turning to a low scream. I wrap my arms around her to calm her down -
And that's when I realize she's naked.
"Don't touch me," She hisses, her feet scrambling across the wet floor. "Don' touch me."
"It's me," I mumble. I can't say anythin' else. "Lani. It's me. It's me."
Her face turns up to me and there's tears in her eyes and she reaches for me, pulling me close, whimpering against my jacket, and I try to pick her up but she fights me, she wants her back against the wall and she's lookin' around, her breath comin' fast, her eyes wild -
"I can kill him," I whisper against her skin, tryin' to cover as much of her as possible. "I'll kill him."
"No," She whispers, but it doesn't sound like her. Jesus. She's his sister. She's his own sister -
"Damnit, Lani -"
"We need him," She snaps, her voice choked, tears on her face. "We need him, Rath. They don't want you, and they sure as hell don't want me -"
"You don't know that," I snapped. "I'll convince them. They'd jump at the chance to have someone in charge. Just say the word and -"
"No," She said, breathing deep, her eyes calming down, the wildness in them slipping into rage. "Not yet.
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