Doo 'awéé ééhoozIIh da - The Lost Child
By ArchAngel1973 (in collaboration with xmag)
Disclaimer: Characters and plot lines that appeared in the series, the books, and the concept of Roswell are not mine. Belong to Melinda Metz, UPN, etc, etc.
Pairing: M&M. Some A&I later on. Dreamers have nothing to fear.
Rating : Teen.
Summary : based on a challenge by xmag. What if Michael had been found by River Dog after hatching, and had been raised on the Indian reservation, by River Dog's son and daughter-in-law? In Roswell, the shooting happened in September 2001.
Author's note : The title is in Navajo but xmag and I decided to use the English translation in it, too. The fic will be very long but the good news is that there will be weekly updates and that 300 pages have already been written.
Author's note 2 : Banner by Fehrbaby
Maria stared sightlessly at the scenery as it flew by, her thoughts miles behind her as she wondered when she had become obsolete. She knew when things had changed, she just didn't know why. Scratch that, she thought with a sad sigh. Everything had changed because her best friends were suddenly keeping secrets from her. At first she had tried to shrug it off and blame it on the relationships Liz and Alex had formed with Max and Isabel, but that wasn't the reason. It was definitely part of it, but it didn't explain why the four of them were constantly taking off and going to secret destinations, having secret meetings, and talking in some sort of weird, secret code. It didn't explain why they changed the subject every single time she approached them or why she no longer seemed to be welcome around two people she had been so close to since grade school.
Two months earlier she would have been hanging out with Liz and Alex on a Saturday afternoon, complaining about the lack of things to do in Roswell, but not now. No, now her life was so pathetic that she was actually going to spend the day with her mother at some Indian protest to save a burial site or something. The worst thing was that it would probably be the highlight of her week, she thought morosely.
"Maria, are you listening to me?"
"Sure, Mom. We need to save the native culture and preserve it for future generations," she answered dutifully. She sighed once more when her mother continued with her rant about the loss of culture and reached for her backpack, unzipping it and pulling out her Algebra textbook. She lost herself in mathematical equations for the rest of the drive, concentrating on a completely different set of problems.
"Isn't it magnificent?" Amy asked enthusiastically as she pulled up in front of the Tribal Office.
Maria turned her head to follow her mother's gaze and she stared at what appeared to be nothing more than a huge lump of disintegrating rocks. "Um, why're we protesting this again?"
"Maria, honey, this is part of their history; it's important to – "
Relief washed over her when one of her mother's friends rushed past the hood of the car to stand by the window and the two women started talking rapidly about the… Maria looked at the crumbling wall once more. What was it again? She watched her mother step out of the car and hurry to join the small group of people she traveled with for all of her protests and rallies, smiling fondly at their excited chattering.
The little group moved off to admire the thing they were there to protect and Maria got out of the car and went to sit on a bench in front of the Tribal Office. She slouched down against the wall, thankful for the shade the roof provided against the early morning sun, and opened her textbook once more.
Occasionally she would look up to see how things were progressing; making note of the heavy machinery that had been brought in by the wrecking crew, smiling when the group formed a circle around what was left of the crumbling structure and started chanting their protest over and over.
The sun crept higher in the sky until she couldn't escape it any longer and she tried in vain to read as the sunlight glinted brightly off of the pages. Several hours passed while the group peacefully protested and the wrecking crew made no progress at all.
She looked up when a shadow fell over her and she frowned at the figure standing there. His face was hidden because of the sunlight falling over his broad shoulders, but her eyes wandered down over his tall form of their own volition.
"One of them belong to you?" he asked in a voice that sent shivers down her spine.
"The protestors, one of 'em belong to you?"
"Um, yes, the most vocal one; she's my mother."
"They're not gonna keep that structure from bein' taken down." He shifted to the left and shook his head and his tone was amused when he spoke again. "You do realize that we want it torn down, right?"
"Look, my mother is adamant that this structure has historical significance to the Indians that live here so just sit back and take a break, okay?"
"I'm sure you guys are getting paid by the hour even though you're stuck waiting – "
He chuckled quietly. "You think I'm on the wreckin' crew," he mused aloud. He shook his head as he turned to walk away.
"Hey!" Maria stood up when he paused several feet from the porch with his back to her. "Why do you think the Indians want this thing torn down?"
"Because it's all that remains of an old mission built by priests nearly a hundred years ago; it's a symbol of oppression. They didn't understand any religion other than their own so they tried to bury ours and force theirs down our throats because they saw the natives as nothin' more than a bunch of heathens." He walked away without another word, hands shoved deep in his pockets, and never once looked back.
Maria watched him go and wished he had turned around so she could have seen his face. His voice was unlike anything she had ever heard and while it was completely irrelevant she wondered what her name would sound like on his lips. He was tall, his hair was spiked, he was opinionated, and she really wanted to know what he looked like.
The sound of a siren wailing in the distance pulled her attention away from her musings about the mystery man and she forgot all about him as she focused on the sheriff's Blazer driving through the gates.
"History lessons, Michael?"
The amused voice was annoying but Michael Guerin turned to look at Eddie anyway. "You got somethin' to say?"
Eddie just chuckled at the younger man's menacing growl. He was eight years older than Michael and he was familiar with his prickly personality, but he couldn't resist teasing him just a little bit. "You don't usually go out of your way to speak to outsiders, that's all."
"Her mother's tryin' to keep them from tearin' the old mission down because of its cultural value." He snorted derisively and turned his head when the sheriff drove by. "It's about time the elders called the cops."
Eddie shook his head. "The wrecking crew probably called them; the elders wouldn't have called the cops on Amy. Despite the fact that she can be…" He paused as he reached for the proper descriptive word.
"My point is her group sometimes gets their wires crossed but she's been a very good friend to our people and she means well."
"You're tellin' me there's a reason for them lettin' her get arrested over somethin' they want torn down?"
Eddie smiled mysteriously. "There's always a reason, Michael, but she won't be arrested."
Michael just rolled his eyes. "You sound more an' more like River Dog every day," he grumbled.
"Maybe your little history lesson made a difference." He continued on his way without a backwards glance.
Michael stared after him for several minutes before he moved back so he could see what was going on with the protestors. He wondered how Eddie had known as he watched the little blond explain something to the group and he shook his head when they suddenly relocated to the other side of the yellow tape, allowing the wrecking crew to finally start working.
He didn't know why he had stopped and spoken to her; it wasn't typical behavior for him. He shrugged it off and walked away but he couldn't shake the feeling that they were going to meet again someday.
"How did you know about the mission?" Amy asked as they drove home later that afternoon.
"Some guy who lives there was talking to me about it," Maria answered absent-mindedly. She couldn't get her mind off of him, which was surprising because she didn't even know what he looked like. Not that she was shallow or anything; she had just never been attracted to a guy simply because of his voice. "When are you going out there again?"
Amy glanced at her daughter, surprised that she had asked the question. Maria rarely showed any interest in what her mother did now that she was a senior in high school. She knew the lack of association with her friends was the reason for Maria's suddenly blank schedule and that was why she had agreed to accompany Amy on several recent outings. She wished she knew why there was so much distance between the three of them; as much as she enjoyed Maria's company she knew her daughter felt the loss deeply.
"Sorry, honey, I was just wondering what happened with Liz and Alex."
"I guess Max and Isabel Evans are just more interesting." Maria propped her elbow on the doorframe and stared at the desert as it flew by. Before she had a chance to start feeling sorry for herself and wondering what had happened to her friendships her mind conjured up the voice that had been the focus of her thoughts for the past few hours.
"You have last period free on Wednesdays, right?"
"What?" Maria glanced at her mother. "Yeah, I'm free last period."
"Why don't you take the afternoon off from work on Wednesday and you can go out to the Reservation with me. I'm meeting with some of the local artists and maybe you can get a better look around."
Maria nodded. "You never did say how you guys got the mission mixed up as something that needed to be preserved."
Amy waved the question off, too embarrassed by the mistake to discuss it. "Why don't we talk about this young man you met?" The telltale blush on her daughter's cheeks clearly pinpointed Maria's motive for wanting to go back on Wednesday.
"Did you say you wanted to go out for dinner tonight?" Maria asked in a sad attempt to change the subject.