|The Blond and Rocky Road
Author: alliekiwi PM
Read 'The Long and Short of It' first. I wrote these 2 stories a long time ago, but the archive where they are posted is closing so I thought I’d put them up here. Hope you enjoy them.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 3,120 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 01-01-03 - id: 1155103
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Blond and Rocky Road
By Allie (alliekiwi)
Runs concurrent with 'The Long and Short of It' - set over the summer between Seasons One and Two
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, actors or story lines. Unless you count Jason Behr who is my husband and lives with me in Egypt. Hmmm, needs must go back to the psychiatrist...
Author's note: I wrote this and 'The Long and Short of It' a long time ago, but the archive where they are posted is closing so I thought I'd put them up here. Hope you enjoy them.
Dust was settling from the last explosion as Tess carefully set more rocks on the table of Michael's sparse apartment.
"Three more. Let's go for gold here."
"Tess, I'm exploding rocks, not attempting Olympic qualification." Michael held his arm out, sending short bursts of energy at the rocks. "Snap! Crackle! Pop!" The rocks remained unexploded, but rather sat shimmering in the afternoon sun.
"I was kidding about the gold, Michael, but this could be a useful power if we ever need money in a hurry," Tess snorted. "Just keep going in that vein and we'll be rich!"
Michael glared at the giggling blond. "Did I ever tell you puns suck? I wonder how much these babies are worth?" he mused, examining his newly altered quarry stones.
"Focus, Michael, focus!"
Tess was interrupted by the ringing of the telephone. When Michael made no move to answer, Tess reached for the receiver. "No, leave it." he said abruptly, as the answering machine kicked in.
"Michael?" came Maria's voice. "I know you're there. Could you just pick up and talk to me? I miss you..."
Michael reached over and hit the mute button. This message would join the other 10 or so per day that Maria had been leaving all summer. He had several tapes full in a box in his closet. All unanswered.
"Doesn't she ever give up?" sighed Tess, rolling her eyes. "These humans are unbelievably persistent."
"That's my Maria," Michael grunted, turning his attention back to the rocks.
"So how are you and Isabel getting along?"
Michael glanced over his shoulder. "Same as always. That Destiny crap? I don't buy into it."
"And you aren't exactly Miss Subtlety yourself." Michael raised an eyebrow. "How many times have you called Max lately?"
"Yeah...that makes sense except for the fact that Max is destiny and Maria isn't." snapped Tess. She grabbed some more river rocks, flung them on the table and exploded them with quick precision.
"Remind me not to get on your bad side."
"You don't know the half of it," agreed Tess. "Let's get back to work, you can play with your gold later."
"That's looking pretty good, " said Tess admiringly. "Can I have one?" She held out her arm to admire the finely crafted bracelet.
Michael glanced up from a similar bracelet, holding his hand over it to alter the design a little. "I'm going to sell them."
"You've got plenty of gold, Michael," whined Tess. "And you could always change a few more rocks..."
"I've tried to change a few more rocks." he replied, exasperated. "I exploded them instead."
"Well what's so important you need to sell all of these to buy? We can always alter the structure of something to get whatever we want."
"I want a motorcycle."
"A motorcycle?" said Tess incredulously. "What is it with guys and wheels?"
"I'm sick of always having to get a ride with you, Max or Isabel, ok? And actually it's a dirt bike."
"Well couldn't you get a car? How about a nice Lincoln town car?" Tess warmed up to her idea. "They have roomy seating and a huge trunk. It would be great for all of us to go out in together..."
"You're kidding, right?"
"I am not getting a Lincoln. I am not getting a car. I am getting a dirt bike. Period."
"Well I'm off to see Isabel." Tess pouted, and started to flounce toward the door. "We're going shopping."
"Leave that on the table as you go."
"But I just want to show it to Isabel."
"She's already seen them. I gave her one yesterday."
Tess looked wounded. "She can have one and not me?"
"She's my 'Destiny' remember?" said Michael sarcastically, holding out his hand.
"You'll have to come get it."
"Oh jeez. Women." he muttered, getting to his feet. "Ok, give it here." Michael loomed over Tess and looked down into her upraised face. Her blue eyes gazed up, filled with tears. Michael sighed. "Keep it, ok? I think I'll have enough."
"Thank you, thank you!" Tess bounced, and hugged Michael around the waist. "I can't wait to show Isabel."
"She's already..." began Michael, but Tess was already out the door.
The summer friendship of Isabel Evans and Tess Harding was not blossoming as well as the later would have liked. In a perfect world, a perfect Roswell, they would have been almost sisters. Bosom friends for life. But in a perfect Roswell, Tess and Max would also be a couple. The closest she got to that was when he forced himself to tolerate her presence - but only if one of the others was around.
"So how is..."
"I thought I told you we could go shopping if we didn't talk about Max." interrupted Isabel, taking a snack-size yoghurt from the refrigerator, and going up to the cashier. "One Vanilla Latte, some Tabasco and extra sugar." she requested, ignoring the strange look the assistant gave her. "Now I thought we could look at Wilson's Leather. I'm going for a new look this year."
"Leather, in Summer?" queried Tess.
"We'll go looking for some low cut tops for you after that," promised Isabel.
As they sat down at a table in the cafe, Tess held out her arm. "Did you see what Michael made?" she bubbled. "I can't believe he gave one to me. Now I need to find a necklace to match."
"I saw." Isabel stirred her latte. "I can't understand why he wants a dirt bike of all things."
Tess giggled. "I suggested a Lincoln, you should have seen his face!"
"Michael? In a Lincoln? That I would pay to see."
Tess relaxed. Maybe things were going to be good after all. Maybe finally she would have a girl friend to share things with, to paint toenails, talk about boys... "So lets have a girls night on Friday, " she exclaimed. "We do so much practising with our powers lately, let's have a little fun as well."
"I'm busy Friday night. Maria is coming over; I'm doing her hair."
"Oh," Tess visibly deflated. "Well maybe another time..."
Life was not good in Michael land. Once again Tess was at his apartment. It seemed that with Max ignoring her, instead pining over Liz who had gone off to parts unknown for the summer, Michael was left as surrogate husband. Husband with all the responsibilities and none of the benefits. He had thought Maria could talk the hind leg off a donkey, but Tess, in full chatty 'lets get to know each other mode' put her to shame.
"So what was it like being part of a family?"
Michael snorted, and nearly spat out his mouthful of cherry cola. "Are you talking to me?"
"It must have been so nice to have a family, and a home. And a dog. Did you have a dog? I always wanted a poodle..." Tess trailed off wistfully. "We always moved around so much, we never had a home."
"Tess, I'm an emancipated minor, remember?"
"Yes, of course."
"Why do you think I live here, and not with my 'family'?"
"I was in foster care, and Hank just kept me around for the monthly cheque." Michael sneered. "Until he decided to hit me one too many times, and I lost it. Lucky Max and Isabel came over or I'd have killed him."
Tess moved to sit beside Michael on the beaten up couch. "He beat you up? Why would he do that?"
Michael laughed bitterly. "He didn't need a reason. Oh, he said he had a reason; I didn't do what he said quick enough. I ate all the cereal... really he just wanted a human punching bag. But I wasn't human, was I?"
"What did you do?"
"I made the whole trailer shake. Stuff began flying everywhere, and he grabbed his gun. I thought he was going to shoot Isabel or Max. I didn't care what happened to me, but I couldn't let him hurt them. So I..."
Tess placed her hand on Michael's shoulder. "So you protected them like the soldier you were destined to be."
"Then I left. I couldn't stand to be with Max and Isabel and their pity. It was [i]them[/i] the Evan's found on the side of the road. I couldn't mess up their perfect world. I went to.." Michael sighed and stood up. He went over the window and stood looking out at nothing, hands deep in pockets.
"You went to Maria, didn't you?"
"Yeah." He stood silently for a moment and then smirked. "And her Mom kicked me out the next morning with a rolled up newspaper. It was a good thing she saw me though. She came and got me out of jail. The sheriff was sure I killed Hank."
"I thought Mrs Deluca would have hated your guts for sleeping with Maria."
Michael spun around with narrowed eyes. "Maria and I didn't sleep together. She isn't like that."
"Forget it, you wouldn't understand." Michael turned back to once more contemplate the window.
Silence filled the apartment for the first time since Tess had started to come visit. Finally Tess spoke, haltingly. "I remember being loved, once. That made it harder. Zan loved me so much, and I thought when I came here that Max... since I remembered the love, surely so would he. And it would make up for the loneliness of growing up with Nacedo. We'd all be so happy. You all would be so happy to see me. You'd have been missing me and wondering where I was all these years." She paused and the presence of tears thickened her voice, but she fought them back. "All I wanted was a family. I wanted what everyone else had and took for granted. I just wanted to be loved for once in this life. Everywhere we went, everyplace I had to start again with a different name, I just knew there had to be..." Tess looked anywhere but at Michael, and finally decided to concentrate on her hands.
Michael wasn't sure what to say to the blond girl he didn't want to understand. But her words had showed him that growing up knowing who you were didn't always help ease the pain of loneliness of being an outsider. "There had to be something better for you than Roswell, New Mexico." Michael finished.
"Yes." whispered Tess in reply.
"Uh, what say we try exploding some more rocks?" suggested Michael.
"Michael." greeted Max, walking into the apartment.
"Maxwell." replied Michael, continuing to watch the hockey game on TV.
Max looked around the room. "I hear you've been spending lots of time with Tess."
"We've been practising our powers. Besides would you rather spend time with her? I thought we agreed someone had to keep an eye on her. But I'm willing to let you baby sit."
"Uh, no." shuddered Max. "Did you see what she's been wearing lately?"
"Don't you mean not wearing?" Michael winked. "I think she's wanting you to take her from bride status to wife status."
"Not in this lifetime." grinned Max, going to the fridge for a soda.
"I think we need to go a bit easier on Tess."
"What makes you say that?"
"Well she's just kind of lonely you know? And living all on her own since Nacedo is being Pierce in D.C. - it can't be too happy. I don't think he was ever Ward Cleaver anyway." Michael switched off the television. "Have you talked to Nacedo?"
"Not since last time you asked, yesterday."
"Maxwell, we need some guidance here! We're preparing for a war against who knows what. The only one who knows anything is in D.C., not answering any of our questions."
"Look Max. We've sat back and waited all our lives. We need to get answers. We can't just sit here doing nothing."
"We are doing something. We're practising our powers, and we're going on as if everything was normal."
"Everything isn't normal, and it never will be." Michael exclaimed.
"We've had this conversation a million times, Michael. Nacedo will tell us what we need to know when we are ready."
"And how will we know that? How will he know that, when he's never here?" Michael jumped to his feet and paced the floor. "Oh forget it. You just keep going on with your life here in Roswell, pining over Liz, and leaving me to pick up the pieces of your past one."
"Well you seem to have forgotten about your life, Michael. Couldn't you at least talk to Maria?"
"I should have known you'd bring her up." Michael raked his hand through his hair. "I gotta be a stone wall, Max. I can't concentrate on my powers as it is, let alone if she's around to distract me. And who knows if I might hurt her? I'd never forgive myself if something happened to her because of me."
"Have you thought about the fact she's hurt already?"
"Only every time she phones and tells me. What is it with you and her, anyway? She's at your house, you're at her house. It's like your suddenly siamese twins or something."
"It's called being friends, Michael. I can talk to her about Liz, and she..."
"She can moan about me, right? I should have known." With a final glare at Max, Michael went and got some more rocks from the box by the door and set them up on the table. "Well I have to get some more practise in before our Queen gets back , or I'm dog meat. Are you sure the woman of our planet weren't the leaders? With Isabel as the Christmas Nazi, and Tess doing her regal act, you and I are whipped."
"I think the woman of any planet like to think that," laughed Max.
"So are you coming with me to buy my dirt bike tomorrow?"
"Wouldn't miss it. Just let me have a ride sometime. Better yet, let me borrow it when Liz gets back."
"Somehow I don't see Liz Parker going for the leather bike chic look."
Max just grinned. "Well I better get out of here if Tess is due back soon. Thanks for the imagery, now I'm going home to think about Liz in some of the gear like Izzy bought the other day." Max shook his head as he walked out the door. "I never thought I'd see the day Isabel wore a cow."
"Don't let her hear you say that," yelled Michael after him.
"Nice wheels, Mikey G." said Courtney as Michael drove up to the rear entrance of the Crashdown a few days later. "Give me a ride sometime?" she asked suggestively.
"Uh." began Michael.
"Break is over, Courtney." said Maria with saccharine sweetness. "And nice of you to join us, Michael. Your shift only started 20 minutes ago."
Michael stared after Courtney as she sauntered back into the cafe. Somehow that girl seemed a little strange - almost obsessed. He came back to earth when Maria wacked him upside of the head.
"Hello? Mickey G?" Maria said sarcastically.
Michael swung off his dirt bike. "I'm coming, ok?"
"But mostly to fake blond bimbos, is that it?"
"Oh, you're acknowledging me? I thought you were ignoring the fact I exist?"
"Look, I..." stuttered Michael.
"Oh, forget it. Just, since you're ignoring me, stay away from the Evan's tonight, ok? Isabel and I are going to have a girls night, and I don't want you wreaking havoc the rest of my life."
"Is Max going to be there?" Michael seethed with jealousy.
"You have got to be kidding me!" Maria rolled her eyes. "Now look here buddy," she jabbed a finger in Michael's chest. "Max and I are friends. We talk, have a conversation like two normal people. Why is it that men always want what a) they can't have b) they threw away, and c) what someone else appears to want?" she whirled around and stormed inside the Crash down, leaving Michael with mouth agape.
"Hurricane Deluca strikes again?" queried Alex from where he was leaning against the wall.
"That would be an understatement." agreed Michael. He looked at Alex with narrowed eyes. Maybe it was time to breakdown the walls a little. "What are you doing tonight?" he asked abruptly.
Alex turned and looked behind . "Were you talking to me?"
"Yes, you. Since Maria wants us all to be friends, maybe we should watch a hockey game or something."
"Uh, sure..." said Alex a little confused, as Michael stalked into the Crashdown to start his shift. "Weird." he said, shaking his head.
Tess sat and watched Alex and Michael play with an old nintendo game. Since she had no idea how the games were played, she wasn't joining in. Not that she had been invited to anyway. She kept her voice soft, her persona unobtrusive. Invisibility. Silence. A living shadow. Those were the habits she had learned over her life time, that she had thought to be able to shed once she found the other three once more. For awhile, once she had found them here in Roswell, she had cast off those habits. But now she sat virtually ignored in Michael's apartment, while across town the girl she had grown up believing to be a sister played with another girl's hair. She hugged them close once more. Invisibility. Silence.