|posted on 16-Dec-2001 3:11:48 AM|
|Title: Unforgotten Memories|
Author: Polarist aka Nikki
Disclaimer: I don’t own anyone or anything dealing with Roswell.
Summary: hmm.. I think I’ll let you find out because I don’t even know where I’m going with this. But all I can tell you is that this is an AU and there are no alien powers.
Coupling: As if you have to ask
Author Notes: I would like it if you would please post fb. My poor little muse has been feeling unappreciated lately.
Tess Harding walked into her apartment and was surrounded by darkness. She had left on vacation to visit her cousin, he was having problems and she felt she needed to help him out. She had cut her trip short because she was worried about her roommate. She been calling ever since she left, but all day today there was no answer. She just hoped that asshole of a boyfriend didn’t do anything to her. She walked farther into the room, wondering why the lights didn’t come on when she flicked the switch.
She felt around for the end table to turn the lamp on, but when her hand encountered a lamp she turned the knob several times, but nothing happened. Her fears started to grow, so she dashed up the stairs, tripping over furniture while she called out her roommates name. She opened the door that led to her best friend’s room, and stood in the doorway in shock. The room was a mess. The mirror was broken; furniture was thrown all over the place. “Liz!!” she yelled as she walked slowly into the room, careful not to touch anything. There in the corner beside her bed sat a shaken Liz.
Tess covered her mouth, as tears fell down her face. She took her cell phone out and dialed 911. “911, what’s your emergency.” Tess kept watching how her best friend for years was hugging her knees and rocking back and forth. “Please send someone here. My roommate has been hurt.” She couldn’t take her eyes off of Liz, it felt like it was her fault. She knew what was going on between her and her boyfriend, that he abused her, but she didn’t think he was capable of this. Tess had told Liz about the problems her cousin and her step uncle were having, but she didn’t want to leave Liz alone. Liz had insisted on her going and Tess finally agreed making her promise not to go anywhere with her basterd of a boyfriend. “Ma’am what happened, we’ll have somewhere there. What happened to your roommate?” Tess’ eyes trailed down Liz’s form and her clothes were in shreds. “I think.. I think she was raped,” she whispered into the phone; hoping to God, she was wrong. “Don’t let her take a shower, and make sure she stays in the same clothes.” Tess nodded, knowing the dispatcher couldn’t see her. “Ma’am give me the location so I can send an officer out to you.” Tess swallowed and gave the operator the information she needed then the phone went dead.
Tess reached out to Liz, but she flinched away. Tess leaned back on her heels and wept for her friend. How is she ever going to make it up to her? Liz had always been there for her, even when nobody would accept her. When Tess first moved to L.A., almost all of the females in the high school she attended hated her, except for Liz. Liz didn’t go by her appearance she actually attempted to get to know her. Something no one has ever done, but Liz had the personality that made everyone loved her. She was kind and considerate towards others, even when it meant losing something she treasured. Tess felt like she owed her everything because of what Liz gave up just to be her friend and now she failed her. There was a loud knock on the door and Tess went down the stairs on autopilot. A male and a female officer were at the door and asked where the victim was. Tess led them up to where Liz was sitting against the wall almost comatose.
A scream ripped through Liz when the female officer came at her, but with soothing words, Tess and the policewoman calmed her down enough for the officer to start her investigation. While Liz was undergoing tests, the male officer pulled Tess outside the room to ask her questions. Tess told him everything she knew from when she walked into the house to giving him the name of Liz’s boyfriend and how he continually abused her. The female cop came out and the male one thanked her for her cooperation. After they left, Tess ran a hot bath and gently led Liz to the bathroom. Liz stepped in, her eyes were vacant and she hasn’t said a word yet. Tess kept talking to her about her trip and her cousin trying to help her forget about this night, at least just for tonight.
Tess tucked Liz in and straightened up Liz’s room as best she could. The officer had warned her not to leave her alone because in most rape cases the victim will have a tendency to commit suicide within the next 48 hours. Tess didn’t believe that Liz would do something so cowardly, because she was the most strong and courageous women she knew but she can’t imagine what Liz must be going through right now. Tess made a silent vow that she would protect her no matter what.
When Liz finally fell asleep, Tess went downstairs and fixed her a pot of coffee. She was still on vacation from her job, so she was going to make sure that Liz would survive the next 48 hours if it killed her. She sat besides Liz’s bed and covered herself with an afghan as she sipped on her coffee.
Tess cursed herself when she was woken up by Liz’s cries. She went to Liz, calling her name, as she got closer. The officer also warned her not to surprise her, always make your presences known. It’ll help her to stay calm. Liz sat up, and sobbed while hugging herself. Tess took her in her arms just rocking her. She didn’t have comforting words to say; she didn’t know what to say except, “I’ll always be here for you Liz no matter what.” Liz’s body relaxed on Tess’ shoulder and cried herself to sleep. Tess had a feeling that this was going to be a long night.
The sound of Tess’ cell phone startled her and with trembling hands Tess located her phone and answered it. “Hello,” she whispered. “Tess, where the hell have you been? I’ve been calling your house phone for hours, but I kept getting a busy signal.” Tess smiled and softly said, “There’s no need to shout, Michael. I’m here and fine.” Michael knew his cousin was lying. “The hell you are. Something happened. Remember you can’t hide anything from me.” Tess’ eyes pooled up with tears and she quietly left Liz’s room. “Michael, when I came.. Liz.. I.. didn’t know… oh God.” Michael tried to decipher what she was saying, but everything was coming out chopping in between her sobbing. His voice softened and said, “Tessie, calm down. Did something happened to your roommate?” Tess nodded wildly, but couldn’t say anything pass the lump in her throat. “Tess, talk to me. Nothing happened to you, right? Are you okay?” Tess took a deep breath and said, “I’m fine, but Liz isn’t. Her boyfriend hurt her. I should have been here Michael. I know what he’s like. It’s all my fault, Michael.”
“Don’t blame yourself Tess, it was that assholes fault. If you were there, whose to say what he would have done to you.” Tess bit her lip because that thought had never occurred to her. “I’m glad you’re okay, but don’t scare me like that. Make sure you call me tomorrow, you got that.” Tess smiled and said, “Yes daddy, I’ll call tomorrow.” Michael rolled his eyes and scolded, “I’m serious, if I don’t get a call from you tomorrow, I’ll come down there and kick your ass.” Tess chuckled leave it to her cousin to turn a sweet moment into a cold one. “Goodnight Michael,” Tess whispered. “Yeah yeah, just go get some sleep,” Michael replied nonchalantly.
Tess went downstairs to check the locks to all the doors and windows. When she was satisfied, she went back to Liz’s room to watch over her only friend.
I sit up screaming and I’m relieved when I realize it’s only a dream, well nightmare. I take deep breaths trying to slow my heartbeat down. I place my head in my hands and wince at the contact, then it dawns on me... It wasn't a nightmare; it was a memory. Jerking my head around, I make out a figure sitting in a chair next to my bed, and I scream, quickly jumping off my bed, but falling when my ankle can't support my weight.
My body shakes of it’s own accord, but the form is coming closer to me, so I try to scoot farther away before the person can get any closer. “Please, don’t hurt me again,” I plead, curling up into a fetus position when I can’t move any farther. I hear someone calling my name over and over in my hazy mind and finally recognize the voice. Raising my head, I see the person kneeling beside me reaching out to me. “Liz, it’s me Tess. I’m not going to let anything else happen to you.” I sob as I lean into her and she holds me rocking me back and forth. “I’m so sorry. I should have been here,” she whispers.
There are too many memories I don’t want to remember in this room so I attempt to get up, struggling as I do so. Tess stands up too and notices me favoring my right leg and so helps me to the bathroom. I stare at myself in the mirror to see the damage: One of my eyes is swollen shut and there is a huge cut on my forehead. My lip is puffy and my cheek is sporting a massive red mark. My lips tremble at the sight and I witness tears falling down my deformed face. I grab my toothbrush and squirt some toothpaste on it, carefully brushing my teeth. Tess stays by me vigilantly watching my every move. I’m starting to feel uncomfortable under her watchful eye wondering what she must think of me. She’s probably disgusted by me, why wouldn’t she. I repulse myself. How could I let this happen? I’m so.. so.. dirty. I’ll never be able to have anything, to live my life the way I want. I was violated and abused. I could’ve prevented it; I should have let him kill me. I’ll never be normal. All I’ll ever see, all anyone will ever see when they look at me is how I’m tainted and unworthy to be loved.
I limp to my bedroom and as fast as I can, I try to escape from the one place I’ll never be free from; the one thing that will always be with me. I reach the door and an image assails me.
“Eric please, your scaring me.”
“I’m scaring you, baby? I don’t mean to, but you can’t break up with me. We belong together.”
“I just don’t think this is going to work.”
“No, you’re not listening to me. We belong together. Nothing can separate us. We’ve been through so much, how can you just dismiss me like this. You are mine and I’m never going to let you go. We'll always be together.”
“Eric, please!! If you love me, you’ll let me go.”
He snatches for my wrist and grips tightly.
“Never, because of my love for you you’ll always be with me.”
“If you love me then why do you keep hurting me?”
He chuckles sardonically and pushes me against the wall. With my free hand I reach for something, anything to ward him off with.
“Hurt you? I only hurt you because you keep spitting my love for you back in my face. Has anyone ever told you how ungrateful you are?”
My hand takes hold of a lamp and I swing it at him only stunning him for a second, but it gave me enough time to make a run for the door. One of his hands seizes my shirt causing it to rip, but the other one grabs a hold of my hair causing me to come to a halt.
I gasp and let go of the doorknob as if it burnt me. Tess is by my side in an instant. She opens the door and leads me downstairs. I hear her talking, but the words aren’t registering, all I want is for my memories to leave me. There’s a knock at the door and the next thing I know is I’m sitting at the kitchen table and can’t remember how I got there. I here two voices projecting themselves into the kitchen before the owners actually enter. There’s a man standing next to Tess, but he's staring at me. He reaches into his suit jacket and I flinch causing Tess to sit close by me.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to startle you, but my name is Maxwell Evans. I’m the ADA assigned to your case,” the man says holding out his business card. I give him a confused look, before reading the card just given to me.
I place the card on the table and push it towards the lawyer. “I didn’t call you.” He smiles and sits in a chair across from me.
“You didn’t have to. After I received the report from the officers who came here last night, I made it my responsibility to come and talk to you. This boyfriend of yours can go to jail for years. I just need you to come down to the station first and give me your statement then we can start to get a roll on things.”
I shake my head and say, “No. I won’t. I just want to forget about last night.” Mr. Evans pushes his chair closer to me, making me feel nervous. He was too close so I push my chair away from him.
“I’m not going to pretend that I know what you’re going through because I don’t, but you can’t let this creep get away with what he did to you,” he states. I stand up and in a trembling voice say, “You don’t understand, and I can’t relive this. Who knows how long this process is going to take and not only that but I can’t go in front of the public with this. I’m sorry you came all this way for nothing, but the answer is no.”
“Liz I think you should. I think you should finally stand up to him and fight,” Tess implores. I turn to her and comment, “I did fight and look where it got me.” I hobble out of the room and stand outside the doorway, listening to the conversation between my roommate and the lawyer.
“I’m sorry if I upset her, but I don’t want her hurt anymore than she is, but I can’t just turn my back on what happened to her, and with all the evidence the officers collect we have a strong case against her boyfriend. Can you please talk to her?”
“I’ll talk to her and try to convince her to, but I can’t make any promises.”
“That’s all I ask, if anything else happens or if you remember something else, please call me.”
I hop over to the couch to sit down and cry. My whole body is sore so I try to find a position that doesn't hurt, but I don't have any luck. I lean my head in my hands - How can Tess do this to me? I can’t go through this night again. It’s bad enough that I have to relive it every time I close my eyes. In my whole life I have always been in control of everything I did, but when I met Eric he was so attentive, and at first, so loving. I just don’t understand when it all changed, when my whole life went to hell. I just don’t want to feel this pain anymore.
Pacing back and forth in front of Liz’s new room isn’t helping me solve my dilemma. I have to meet someone at the airport, but I don’t want to leave her here alone. It’s been two months since the ‘incident’ and during that time Liz moved into her office that now is her bedroom as well and since she works from home, she has no desire or intention to leave the confines of our house much less her new room. Slowing my pacing down I end up standing in front of her door remembering why I’m so worried about her. If only she would testify against Eric, but since she didn’t the only charges they had on him was sexual assault and due to a great lawyer, he was in and out of jail before anyone could blink. I’d be more secure if I knew he went out of town or even killed himself, but he is still here prowling around outside our home.
I didn’t want to mention this to Liz because she has so many other things on her mind and to know her assaulter is probably skulking around the perimeter now would devastate her. Even with the top of the line security system I had installed it doesn’t help me feel any more protected, that’s why I had to do what I did.
I stand in front of Liz’s old bedroom where every thing changed and skim my eyes across the newly decorated or rather undecorated space. Liz didn’t care what I did with it, so I made it into a guestroom. I straighten up a few items and push boxes around that clearly states “private” so they aren’t cluttering up the walkway too much. I close the door thinking back to the phone conversation that I had a month ago.
“Michael, you’re moving.”
“What? What do you mean I’m moving?”
“Did you say you wanted out of Roswell? Well this is your chance.”
“The reason I’m still in Roswell is because this is the only place I could afford.”
“I thought you wanted to live with me in L.A.?”
“I do, but when I get the funds.”
“There’s no worries, I’m paying for your plane ticket.”
“I’m not taking handouts.”
“You won’t be. Let’s just say I am getting something out of it.”
“Just get your things in order and send them down here. Just do the bill to sender thing. After you have that settled call me and tell me your ready so I can get you a plane ticket ASAP. Got it?”
“Michael, I really appreciate it and I’ll explain everything once you get here.”
I knock softly on Liz’s door, and look at my watch; it is almost time for me to leave, but I’m fearful to leave her alone, especially with that madman somewhere outside. Liz opens the door and I smile but Liz turns her back to me making me sigh. I hate the way she isolates herself from the world. She’s not the Liz I’ve known all my life, the one who took life by the horns and didn’t let go until she got what she deserved. I shake my head knowing that this would change anyone, but I thought Liz was stronger.
“Liz?” I call out hoping she’d look at me, but my heart breaks when I meet her eyes. Her normally sparkling eyes that were once filled with so much life and desire are replaced with emptiness and fear, which is now framed with dark circles. I know she hasn’t slept much. Hell I don’t even think she sleeps, but I’m afraid to offer her anything to help her for fear she may take more then allowed.
I take in her appearance and she’s wearing her favorite sweat suit that she would usually wear when she got inspired and intended to sit in front of her computer all day until all her ideas were written, but even that on her looks like it’s three sizes too large. She’s lost a lot of weight and it scares me.
“I have to go to the airport to pick someone up. Do you want to come along?” I ask trying to keep my voice steady.
Liz shakes her head and I risk to rationale with the aspect that makes her a good friend. “I don’t want to go by myself. I’m picking up Michael, he’s in bad shape, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold myself together when I see him.” I hate manipulating her, but I can’t leave her here because we never figured out how Eric broke in the last time.
She hesitated for a while and finally agreed. I give her a grateful smile and help her grab some of her things before we leave. I stop short and comb the area before taking Liz’s hand and dragging her to my car. She didn’t seem to notice the anxiousness I had to get to the car because she possessed the same apprehension. I open the door for her locking it as soon as she was in and sprinting to the driver side quickly closing and locking my own door.
Within half an hour, we arrive at the airport, and I climb out helping Liz to her feet keeping a hold of her hand. She was squeezing my hand with such force that my fingers were starting to feel numb. I steer her through the crowd trying to avoid the bigger ones and we wait by the baggage claim for my cousin.