|posted on 31-Aug-2002 3:00:23 AM|
Rating: R-ish... nothing very descriptive in here, but adult scenes I guess.
Summary: Takes place some time after Departure, only, Max left with Tess in the Granolith - I think. Anyway, Max is gone, and Alex... is... dead. That hurts to say, you know that? I'm never doing it again. Mi/L
He rolls over in bed, and before he’s even part conscious he can feel her there. It’s just the type of night she’ll come. It’s cold outside, one of the few cold days of the year, and she is huddled up against him in the bed. She’s naked, but it feels normal now.
He waits for a while, and he can feel it as she wakes up. She shifts in the bed, sighs, and her eyelids start to flutter open. It’s not even starting to be light outside, so he can assume it’s his own movements that have woken her up. Either that or she just knows he’s awake, like he knows she’s come.
She smiles, as her eyes open and she finds him watching her, but it’s curiously misdirected. He ignores it, glad enough for now simply to have her in his room, his bed, his arms.
“You came late.” He points out, and she shrugs, doesn’t seem to really care.
“Ava was sleeping in the lounge room, and my parents hear me sometimes when I use the ladder – my father is a light sleeper.” She tells him, smiling lightly.
He smiles back gently, understanding but not entirely caring. He rolls her under him and she complies easily, a practiced maneuver. He presses his hips against her and knows she can feel him hard against her.
She lies straight under him, calm, patient, ready for whatever he chooses to do. He could roll away now, put on shoes and go jogging in the nude and she wouldn’t blink. Somewhere along the line, she’s entered into a state of mind where she simply doesn’t care.
He doesn’t understand how she does it, and it scares him sometimes. Stonewall might be his trademark, but this is something unreal. It’s not even unearthly, he knows what that feels like.
He pushes inside her, and her arms surround him, and for a while he can forget the emptiness in both their eyes.
Later, she’s wearing his shirt and her own pants and is leaning on the kitchen bench. He sets up a maze for her, uses his powers to manipulate the structure of the bench for her, and sneaks glances at her as he does so. She is staring out of the window over Roswell… her body is here but she is a million miles away. He clears his throat, and she starts and pays attention.
The aim, he says, is to go through the entire course without damaging or disturbing an obstacle.
“Including the water?” she asks.
“Including the water.” He confirms.
“It would be some much easier if…” she trails off. He gives her a long look, and she takes the marble from him and sighs. “Fine.”
With a practiced flick of a finger, it floats in the air, and he watches as she starts to direct it through the course he has made for her.
He’s allowed to watch her when she practices, or maybe she just hasn’t noticed. A lot of the time he looks at her and it makes her nervous or uncomfortable. She has an audience, then she has to put on an act. And she does that more than enough of the time.
He stares now, given this chance - her hair, uncombed, hanging loosely around her face, drifting forward every now and then. His shirt huge on her, making her look smaller, younger… vulnerable? She doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Her mouth is just open, lips soft and pliable, and her eyes focussed entirely on her game.
She looks at him unexpectedly, and he is caught off-guard. “What do I do with the ladder?” she queries.
He blinks, feeling her intense gaze sweep over him. “Lift it. Touch each rung, and then roll along the top.” He instructs. She smiles, satisfied, and is immediately lost once more inside her game.
He watches her a moment longer, smiles and shakes his head. Then he gets up and starts scavenging through the rest of the kitchen.
She’s sitting on the kitchen bench now, she’s bored with her game and so he’s returned the bench to normal.
She swings her legs and eats a bowl of cornflakes, and he lies back on the couch and stares up at the ceiling.
He wants to ask and knows he shouldn’t, but he wants to understand. Curiosity wins out.
“Why are we doing this?” He asks.
She shrugs, runs her spoon around the edge of her bowl, then sets it down on the bench. She lies down across the bench, and her long hair hangs over the side. “Because Alex is dead.” She offers.
“Alex is dead, so I am indulging in a destructive relationship that will release my feelings of neglect and depression, and express to myself that I have no self worth.” She says. He can tell it’s something she has been thinking for a while.
“Did someone say that to you?” he asks.
She glances at him, with her head falling back off the bench, and shrugs her shoulders. “No. No one knows, so they can’t. But that’s what they would say – or something similar.” She says, establishing a fact between them.
“Is that what you think?” he asks. He doesn’t think so, but he wants to understand.
She sits up abruptly from where she’s lolling back. She stares at him, and it’s not pleasant… he can read both fire and ice in her glare. If looks could kill, only alien powers could save him now.
But strangely, he feels it is not directed at him, knows whatever she’s thinking, it is not directed at him. He’s right, and after a minute her eyes soften.
“So what do you think?” he asks her, rephrasing the question this time. “Why are we doing this?”
She looks at him with blank, unseeing eyes. “Because Max is dead.”
She answers flatly, and jumps down from the bench to put her bowl beside the sink.
Later, she is relaxed again, and he feels more able to ask her. “What do you mean, Max is dead?”
She doesn’t seem to mind the question now. She is tucked up in a blanket on his balcony, and he is only hoping his neighbors don’t see her. If they do, scandal will be all over Roswell before he can fry them with his death ray eyes… of course, it would help if he had death ray eyes.
He’d never understood all of his alien powers, unlike Max. Max had been able to control it all – been able to connect with her.
He’s seized by a sudden panic, now. What if their connection - ?
“Wait – you don’t mean? You would have told me!” he’s suddenly angry, and he grabs her up, yanks her to her feet so she looks up at him. Even so her eyes are blank.
“He’s not dead… He’s gone, Michael.” She says simply, and he feels it for the simple truth just because she isn’t putting enough effort into it to be lying.
He’s been scared, badly, and he’s angry now to cover it up.
“What do you mean then, saying he’s dead like that?” he snarls.
Her face still holds that eerily blank quality.
“He left.” She says simply.
He looks at her with incredulity, amazement even. He can’t understand her insane, persistent indifference – it’s not even studied. It’s perfected. He wants to shake her out of it, but right now, he’s scared she’ll break.
“He’s not dead, Liz!” He yells it instead, trying to make her feel something, anything.
Her face doesn’t change.
“He is to me.”
He’s asked her about Ava, and she’s talking, but somehow it doesn’t seem real. He’s getting used to it in a way, the fact that she’s here, but some indefinable part of her is not.
“She doesn’t seem dangerous. She went through my stuffed toys the other day and picked out a friend. What kind of psychopath does that?” she asks, smiling.
He grunts agreement, and she keeps talking. He’s only halfway listening, but she doesn’t seem to care – she’s only halfway here.
“It was actually kind of cute. Who knew that street rats actually really want those things?” she continues. “I mean, she’s sixteen – I think. It’s hard to tell sometimes. Anyway, she’s sixteen, and she picks out a fluffy kitten to sleep with. What’s that about? Do you aliens age differently?” she asks.
He shrugs. “We came out of our pods looking like six year olds. I don’t know what that means.”
“It means she’s had ten years to grow up to be sixteen. That’s weird.” She muses. “Maybe some part of her is really just ten in human terms… I mean, in a sort of weird way she actually is, but she’s not. That is weird.”
He’ not listening, but she doesn’t seem to care. It’s his turn to be surreal now.
There seems to be a pattern to it all, he has just never noticed before.
She’s sitting on his table now, and she’s actually looking at him for once. It feels strange after so long with her staring into the middle distance or over his shoulder.
“What is it?” he asks.
She looks away now, and he almost wishes he hadn’t spoke, just so she would keep looking at him like that.
“What happens if I… I mean,” she gathers herself. “What do we do if I get pregnant?”
He feels his interest grow. “You’re not, are you?” he asks casually.
“No. But could I be?”
He shrugs. “I don’t know. You’re the science geek.”
“I don’t know any more than you do.” She says. “It seems unlikely that you would be able to procreate with humans, when your sole purpose is to go home to your planet.” There’s a bitter edge in her voice.
“Well I don’t plan to.” He says firmly.
“That doesn’t answer the question, Michael.”
She’s lying face down on his bed now, and he’s rereading Ulysses. He alternately skims through a few pages and watches her. It’s strangely enjoyable.
She doesn’t react to his glances at all, simply lies limply on the bed. Possibly asleep, possibly somewhere else entirely.
Her legs are bare and the sheets around her are rumpled. Her face is buried in a fold of sheet, her body lying slantwise across the bed.
He realizes he’s spent too long watching her and looks back down to the book in his hands. With a sigh, he drops it on the floor beside his seat and gets up, heads for the bed.
He crawls over the top of the covers until he’s leaning right above her. He waits for a reaction, and when she doesn’t move, he rolls her over onto her back.
She’s asleep, and she seems to be dreaming. When her fists clench, he hears the softest of sounds – a whimper. Lying on her face as she has been. He has no way of knowing how long she has been dreaming.
He sits on the bed beside her and shakes her gently. She moans softly and he shakes harder. Her eyes open, and for a moment he can see her really awake before the perpetual fog comes back to cloud her gaze.
“You were having a nightmare.” He says brusquely.
“Thank you.” She rolls away from him and lies on her side, staring blankly out in front of her. As he watches, she rubs her face with one hand.
He gets off the bed and goes into the bathroom. When he returns, he sits her up on the bed and begins to matter-of-factly wipe her face, clearing away unmentioned tear tracks with a damp cloth.