Hi! This fic has been swirling around in my head since I last heard this song on the radio.  It's obviously AU, since Alex is alive and Tess is non-evil.  Basically each CC couple (including Kyle and Tess) deal with the aliens having to 'go home' in one night.  This is essentially all fluffy quasi-angst so don't expect any sci-fi or real explanation of why they have to go in the first place.  It's fully relationship-centered.  Also, please note that there is some mild, vague sexual content.

Of course, Roswell does not belong to me, and neither does this song, which is sung by Eagle Eye Cherry.  Please review afterwards…they really do make my day, and they are the encouragement that keep most authors motivated to write more!

One more thing: I always think it's cool to listen to the song as I read a songfic, so that's my suggestion to you as you read this.  If you've heard the song before, that's fine too.

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Opening Guitar Chords…

Max climbs onto Liz's balcony and pauses outside her window.  He stares at her for a few moments, her petite frame facing away from him as she bends over her desk studying.  Suddenly she straightens and turns slowly, sensing his presence.  Their eyes meet, and her heart slides from her chest.

*

Tess approaches the half-shut door to Kyle's bedroom.  She hesitates, then knocks quietly.  Kyle lifts himself off his bed where he has been flipping through the latest Sports Illustrated.  He had been expecting his dad and is surprised to find Tess there, since she usually has no qualms about barging into his bedroom uninvited.  He watches as her eyes cloud with tears and pulls her into his arms.

*

Michael throws open the door to his apartment as a confused Maria enters, her mouth moving a mile a minute with questions.  She looks around the dim room, lit only by a handful of white candles placed carefully on the mantle and end-tables.  She probes his eyes for answers, but he seems unable to force the words out, as if speaking them aloud would seal them into harsh reality.  Gazing into her deep emerald eyes, he manages to take her palm into his own and place it against the side of his head.  Her fingers lace through his hair, and she shuts her eyes as flashes inundate her, tumbling over each other out of the frantic turmoil of Michael's mind. After several agonizing moments, a strangled gasp escapes her lips, and she stumbles backwards.  Numb shock seems to overtake her, but in a heartbeat she launches herself into his desperate embrace.

*

Alex strums at his guitar, alternately playing and scribbling notes haphazardly onto a crumpled paper.  He tries the same chord several times in different keys before finally settling upon one that seems to fit his lyrics.  When he hears the doorbells ring, he seems relieved at the break.  He greets Isabel with a wide smiles that quickly evaporates at the sight of her tear-stained cheeks.  His heartbeat triples, and he glances around worriedly.  Has something happened to Max? Michael? She shakes her head forlornly, and his eyes open wide with understanding.  All he can do is hold her like he'll never let go.

Go on and close the curtains

All we need is candlelight

You and me and a bottle of wine

Let's delay our misery

To the outside observer, the room is silent, but all the couple can hear are the deafening echoes of the unspoken words that lay between them.  Max reaches out to cup her cheeks in his familiar manner.  The world seems to tilt under Liz's feet, and she reciprocates his gesture in an effort to regain her stability.  Her soft skin is a balm to his trembling nerves, and his mild stubble tickles her fingers, sending nervous flutters down past her heart.  He leans forward, but she bends back.  They step apart in mutual understanding.  They wouldn't waste their night with hurried kisses or passing desires.  Physical attraction was secondary to the fulfillment their souls sought, a completion that would not melt away into a hazy cloud of transient sweaty memory.  No, the lasting bond that they would secure tonight would be a connection from which they could each draw true strength when they were apart. She smiles down at the bottle in his left hand.  He had understood before he had even arrived.  Sparkling Cider.  It was perfect.  They will paint this night into their memories with flawless clarity.

We know I'm going away

How I wish…wish it weren't so

Take this wine and drink with me

Let's delay our misery

They manage to move to the sofa, stumbling slowly, unwilling to let go of each other.  Flames flicker across the room, casting their golden shadows off the walls and her glimmering curls.  Tearing her eyes away from Michael's intense gaze, Maria surveys the meticulously set array of delicacies that adorns his table.  With one hand she preserves their touch and with the other she selects a shapely strawberry from a well-polished bowl.  Her glance flickers between the decadent dark cocoa concoction at her left and the gleaming vanilla to her right.  She chooses cream.  Chocolate was lust.  It had no place here tonight.  She swirls the fruit gently through the soft blend of butter and sugar.  When it is sufficiently robed, she dips it past his welcoming lips, his eyes squeezing shut as he savors its sweet flavor, mixed with her own taste. Who needs wine when you have Maria?…That's what he always says.  Now he swallows and opens his eyes cautiously, fearful of meeting her gaze, but unable to resist its pull, and reluctantly reminds himself that he wouldn't have the same opportunity for an unthinkably long time.  Maria closes the distance between them, such as it was.  She wraps her legs around his center, perching herself on his lap, and they enjoy the mere nearness of each other, even as they barely touch.

Save tonight

And fight the break of dawn

Come tomorrow

Tomorrow I'll be gone

All Kyle can feel are her gently curved lips pressing frantically onto his own, her breaths coming in short gasps of air.  He can tell they are mingled with sobs though she tries to choke them down.  Gathering his wits, he gently pushes her down off of his chest, calming her assault.  She breaks free of him of her own volition and rushes to the bed, running her fingers along the edge of its blanket.  Her eyes fall shut as she continues to walk slowly around the room, dragging her hand along the edge of the wall, desk, dresser, and closet purposefully.  Memorizing their appearance, transmitting their picture into her mind for eternity.  Lastly she comes back to him, tracing his features blindly, the feather-touch of her fingertips sending shivers through his body.  She rubs her palm over his broad shoulders, down his back, and up his chest.  As she soaks in his essence, he feels her anguish.  It vibrates off of her body, reaching out to envelop him in its icy clasp. He feels a surge of resentment rise up within him.  He wasn't sure why she had to leave, but he did know that someone, somewhere was responsible.  And he hated that person, with all his soul.  Tess was his.  No one else had wanted her, she had been abandoned and forsaken.  He had claimed her, just as she had claimed his heart.  They couldn't take her away from him now. 

There's a log on the fire

And it burns like me for you

Tomorrow comes with one desire

To take me away…it's true

Isabel snuggles closer into the lanky boy beside her, wedging her head tightly into the nook of his shoulder.  His arm grips her waist possessively, his fingers gently massaging her curvy torso.  Though they recline themselves back into the soft cushions of his couch, neither of them feels relaxed in the slightest.  Alex feels his shoulder blade moisten as the light cotton of his shirt absorbs her silently-shed tears.  He sucks in his breath, every molecule in his body focused on maintaining his cool and staying strong for her, even though his insides quiver with panic.  Peace, safety, comfort, belonging: Everything she's never had, everything he has always wanted, are everything they discover at that moment, that final moment of understanding.  Bittersweet joy overtakes them as they realize the security of their shared love.  To be torn apart so soon after this revelation strikes each of them as cruel irony, and moments later, she is overwhelmed by waves of regret.  Fear had paralyzed her, frozen their relationship into a perpetual pendulum swing between friendship and…more.  But now, now that they had dissolved this uncertainty once and for all, it was too late.  Alex shakes his head at this.  Never too late, he reminds her with a gentle brush of the lips. Never.

It ain't easy to say goodbye

Darling please don't start to cry

'Cause girl you know I've got to go

Lord I wish it wasn't so

Maria captures his lips for a brief moment, then releases him to utter a breathless affirmation of her love.  Next Michael leans forward and lets his tongue trace her earlobe before whispering his gratefulness to her, for everything she has always meant to him.  It had been his idea.  They have to be balanced tonight, he had explained, balanced between word and touch.  She had nodded, anxious to appease the plea in his eyes.  Now they sit together, melded in a slow flurry of murmurs and fiery sensation.  She has already released him of his shirt, and presently he unbuttons her own, nurturing both her growing desire and her fragile emotions.  Everything they have experienced in the past few years rushes headlong to an overwhelming climax of vows, thanks, and reassurances, each accompanied by a kiss or caress.  Soon they realize that it is no longer necessary to explain every argument or excuse every mistake: all has been forgiven.  This is no time to dwell on the past.  Or the future, for that matter, Michael adds as he brushes a tear from her cheek, leaving behind a moist streak that shines in the candlelight.  He returns to her bare shoulder, breathing warmly onto the pale skin that leads down to her chest.  They take their time like they never have before, each savoring every aspect of the other.  Her lips leave glossy marks on his defined cheekbones, and his fingertips tickle the underside of her arm.  Their eyes remain open to remember each other's beauty, shutting only in moments of intense pleasure or at the reminder of the crushing pain they are preparing to endure.  Gradually, they each feel the tension mount, and they pause in taut anticipation.  With a mutual gasp, they relinquish the control they had held so tightly and collapse into each other, silent for the first time that night, as words run out and their bodies speak for themselves. 

Save tonight

And fight the break of dawn

Come tomorrow

Tomorrow I'll be gone

Their breaths come raggedly, and to Kyle it burns to inhale.  Because then her scent, that heady, springy combination that usually causes his heart to skip a few beats, might literally kill him.  Taunting him with the fleeting presence of its source and its own cruel lingering nature.  Long after she had left, this trace of Tess would remain, an endless torture to him, teasing him into brief hallucinatory joy.  But now her sweet mouth presses into his, offering a taste of pleasure that will soon be wrenched from his grasp.  He allows her to continue to ravage his body: Her palms knead into his chest harder than they ever have, her nails leaving imprints on his skin.  He knows he is her outlet but he doesn't care, because he recognizes that he is not a tool, but rather a place of solace.  Her silken curls dance wildly as her head bobs up and down, her lips placing kisses along his mouth, down his chin, and across his throat.  Tearing his shirt over his head to decrease the barriers between them, she gasps his name, a desperation inflicting her voice strangely. Tough, strong, and resilient: That was his Tess.  But this teary, shaking girl before him was her too.  He trembles inwardly at the change, but love overpowers the temporary fear, and he clutches her to his body.  She senses his silent offer, and is unable to voice her gratitude.  No one has ever cared that much before, enough to sacrifice himself to help however he can.  Despite the fact that there is nothing he can do, she feels an immense love swell within her.  Her legs weaken at the new sensation, and a burden seems to lift itself from her slim shoulders.  As her once-prized independence dissolves into oblivion, her only thought is of him, her shield and her lover, the one she clings to now in the midst of the chaos, the one who'll always be there for her, no matter where she goes.

Tomorrow comes to take me away

I wish that I…that I could stay

Girl you know I've got to go

Lord I wish it wasn't so

The stereo whispers into the still room, bathing its occupants in a wistful melody.  The two lay tangled on her bed; his arm clutching her to his chest, and her legs wrapped around his torso.  They remain fully clothed, not even desiring to succumb to temptation. This is all they need.  Max's hammering heart pulses through her being, and the ripping sensation that courses through her body resonates within his soul.  There is no need to speak, since they can feel each other's thoughts, but Liz begs him to.  Just sing along to the radio. Please.  I need to hear your voice. Before… He echoes this sentiment, and their voices blend flawlessly.  Quite, but pure. Soft, yet powerful.  The melancholy strains of music nearly overlay the heartrending duet, since each sings quietly into the other's ear.  After the last murmurs of melody fade into the shadows of her bedroom, Max raises himself up so that he is resting on his elbow, facing her.  She stares intently as he unfolds his clenched palm to reveal two silver bands gleaming in the dim light.  He chooses the thicker, larger band, intended to fit his own finger, and she catches sight of the moonlit strand it hangs from as he lifts it up.  With reverent care, he brushes her hair over her right shoulder and gently clasps the necklace together behind her head.  She understands, and copies his movements: picking the slender band that was her own and hanging it around his muscular neck.  They slip the precious reminders beneath their shirts for safekeeping, and she relishes the sensation of the cool metal resting against her skin. More than a memory. A promise. Forever.

Save tonight

And fight the break of dawn

Come tomorrow

Tomorrow I'll be gone…

Tangible. Completely and utterly tangible.  It has slowly permeated every inch of the room, and hangs, draped in the air.  Desperately Alex wishes he could reach up, grab a handful, and slip it in his pocket.  But he doesn't have to.  He'll always carry it with him anyway…he will never lose the love he feels for her.  Isabel trembles slightly, molding herself even closer to his chest than she had been before.  She feels it too, and it raises goosebumps on her bare arm and tickles the soft hair at the base of her neck.  She's frightened, scared out of her mind, and he can sense that too.  He's sent a thousand prayers out into the thick-aired room, begging someone to allow her to stay, pleading with whatever entity controlled his crazy universe to let him do something, anything, to make this easier for her.  But his prayers seemed to be evaporating as quickly as was the darkness outside his window.  She opens her mouth to speak, then hesitates, and he understands.  Talking makes things go faster.  Like staring at a clock makes things go slower.  Only now that's what they want to happen.  So they sit in silence, willing the minutes to start clicking backwards.  For a moment, Alex's mind floats to philosophy and the deep questions in life, like: Why do the last two days of the school week drag on for years, when Saturday and Sunday race by like mere hours?  Moments later, though, the very real woman in his arms jerks him back to earth.  Even as the expression flits through his mind, he grimaces.  When she leaves, he knows he won't be able to stay in Roswell.  Constantly surrounded with stupid puns and ridiculous decorations that mocked his reason for living, teasing him with their secret knowledge that all the myths were actually true?  He knows it sounds dumb, but he also knows he really won't be able to survive there.  And neither will his friends.  But once again he shakes himself back to reality, and this time he actually moves to jolt himself back to the present.  He rubs her arms and nuzzles her neck, and before he realizes it, before he can even try to stop, warm tears are dripping down onto her hair.  She whirls around to face him when she feels the wetness.  She's been sobbing quietly all night, but this is the first time he's broken down.  And she loves him for it.  He doesn't think he can do anything, but he already has.  He's done everything, shared everything, given everything…all for her.

Tomorrow I'll be gone…

The student in Liz can't help but note the irony of the situation.  The sun, usually a symbol of hope and the overcoming of fear, is rising to break the hearts of each member of a scattered group of Roswell residents, who now cling desperately to the fleeting shadows of nightfall.  Max lies in the position facing the window to her balcony, and, inevitably, his eyes are drawn to the faint pink that begins to blush the horizon.  A quick flash of something between panic and despair flits across his normally passive countenance.  But soon he turns towards her once again, meeting her wide-eyed gaze tenderly.  With a brush of the lips, the calm that has settled over him passes to her.  Born of their mutual love, it is an assurance unshakable across any expanse of space or time.  They are together now, and they will be together still, even when he is gone.

Tomorrow I'll be gone…

In the cool dark of night, it is difficult to distinguish one from the other, as they lay there in a mesh of tangled limbs.  But the morning light sweeps up their bodies, and seems to land on his face, singling him out as its quarry.  His eyes are shut, but he is awake and his hands curve along her body, immersing himself in the essence of Maria one last time.  She overwhelms him as she lies almost entirely atop his body.  Michael can sense nearly every one of her features pressing into him; her calf brushing up his own, her stomach raising and falling rhythmically as she breathes, her lips mere centimeters from his chest.  Suddenly her eyes fly open in a flash of green.  With instant determination she rolls off of him, and wraps the sheet around herself, fearful of delaying him in his duty.  The separation of their bodies pains them each in a piercing, aching, and truly physical manner that neither had completely expected.  But the sting is their own, and it ties them together, though it stems from their parting.  Their souls will seek each other, and they will fill the emptiness with their love, a love that will overflow and spill across the stars that separate them to breathe hope into their shallow routines of mere survival.

Tomorrow I'll be gone…

It was like something out of ancient mythology, Kyle muses, as he rests beside her.  She was Beauty personified, a divine being, a sprite or a goddess, who had dropped down onto earth, selecting him as her mortal of choice.  Now it was simply time for her to go back, to rise back up to the heavens in a mist of iridescent cloud-haze.  He almost laughs at his poetic imaginings, but reconsiders, since they really weren't funny, so much as they were true.  Only, a capricious deity would be giggling as she leaves him, delighting to return to her lofty paradise.  The woman in his arms had moaned his name, only partially out of the pleasure of his touch.  It was agony that tore her breath away from her after they were spent, when she had wept on his shoulder, long-contained tears flooding forth in misery.   A ray of sunlight bounces off her curls, and she shudders against him, as if the warmth was instead a chill prickle of ice.  Reluctantly, her eyes opened, gradually lifting to meet his gaze.  For the first time, she regards him with complete honesty; her stare is pure, and her eyes hold no secret.  Every mask is torn away and he knows that she belongs to him. He belongs to her too, but then, he always has.  From this moment, they belong to each other, linked inseparably for eternity.  Wherever she goes, she will leave her heart with him, and he will protect it with everything he has.

Tomorrow I'll be gone…

He isn't asleep.  He has barely shut his eyes all night.  All he can do is lie there and watch her sleep.  Isabel begged him to keep her awake, but eventually she relented.  Sleep is her escape now, the one place she can remain peaceful at a time like this.  She had shaken her head and insisted that she felt peaceful in his arms, even when she was awake, but he knew that simply waiting for the time to slip away would only worsen her already nervous state.  Now she is beginning to shift, turning her face so that it glows in the orange sun.  Alex smiles at the ethereal picture she makes, her face and hair seeming to shimmer in the early morning light.  Finally she stirs awake.  Her golden hair fans out behind her as she turns to face him where he sits on a chair by the bed, and she smiles weakly, her cheeks still mottled red from the night's tears.  Even at this early hour, and after that miserable evening, she is still beautiful, he thinks to himself.  She reaches her hand out to him, and he rubs it with both of his, before tucking a lock of hair behind her ear.  In the last few minutes before day begins, Alex leans back, picks up his guitar, and plays for her.  He doesn't join his voice to the music…it would be too much for her, besides being simply redundant.  His fingers glide along the strings, his only accompaniment being the birdsongs of dawn.  Noble and strong, he is beside her now, walking her through the most difficult period of her life, just like he always will be, no matter what distance lies between them.

Save tonight…

Save tonight…

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