I am not affiliated with Roswell-and I really wish the characters had lived on to have many more adventures.
This is simply my take on what happens to them in the future, with no Special Unit hunting them, and nothing but everyday troubles to concern them.
"Alexander Martin, did you hear me?"
Alex stared at the Biology textbook before him. He had been reading the same paragraph about genes for nearly an hour. The diagrams swam before his tired and unbelieving eyes. Never before had biology intrigued him like it suddenly had.
All Alex could think about were his eyes. They were brown; his mom and dad's eyes were both blue.
"Yeah, mom; I'm coming," Alex answered moments later as he slowly closed his textbook.
Blue eyes were a recessive gene; Alex couldn't have brown eyes. Biologically it wasn't possible. Now he knew what he had felt and feared for the last few years was really true; he was adopted.
But how did he approach his parents? How did he ask them for the truth?
"Alex, pass the potatoes please."
Stirring the mashed potatoes on his plate, Alex dimly heard his 6-year old sister Crystal asking for the potatoes. Grasping the bowl he turned to his sister, her blue eyes were glittering; her blond hair framed face smiling and piercing Alex's heart.
Crystal was theirs biologically. But he was not.
"Mom," Alex blurted suddenly as his mother looked up questioningly, "can I ask you about when I was born?"
A heavy silence fell over the table as his mother's face faltered and his father stared wide eyed.
"Can we talk about when I was born too?" Crystal echoed with sincere hope. Alex almost felt bad for bringing it up.
"Maybe later, Crystal. Will you go upstairs please?"
"But I'm not done eating!" Crystal proclaimed angrily.
"Go," their father said in a low voice. Crystal stuck out her lip, and stood from the table, rolling her eyes.
"I know about sex," she condescended to say at the bottom of the stairs and Alex had to stifle the sudden urge to laugh.
"Crystal," their father sighed as they watched the blonde haired little girl stomp up the stairs.
The table was silent until they all heard Crystal's bedroom door shut. Alex stared at his plate, his food mostly untouched.
"Alex, what's going on?" his father asked. Alex couldn't help but detect a trace of nervous fear in his father's usually calm and reassuring voice.
It didn't help. He knew the only reason they would have sent Crystal away was because they were going to confirm what he suspected. Part of him was desperate for there to be some normal, biological reason why he had brown eyes. It just didn't seem possible that his whole life was a lie.
"In biology we're learning about genetics," Alex started, picking up his fork and mixing his green beans into the mashed potatoes. He felt his parents watching him. He knew he was being unfair.
"The thing is…you both have blue eyes and-well," Alex paused and surged forward, "I don't," Alex hazarded to raise his brown eyes to his parent's faces. He saw pain and understanding and any false hopes he was holding on to were immediately and effectively dashed.
"Alex-," his mother started.
"No. Just wait. I need to ask this," Alex took a deep breath, "I have to know. I was adopted wasn't I?"
Alex watched as his parents looked at each other and reach out for the other's hand.
"Yes, Alex. You were adopted," his mother finally sighed, a single tear escaped her bright blue eye and rolled down her cheek.
"I'm so proud of you!"
"Are you going to college?"
"What do you plan to study?"
"What are your goals now that High School is over?"
"Cheers to the graduate!"
Alex lay exhausted in his bed, the alarm clock next to his head glowed red digits indicating the day was almost over.
flash flash 11:59 flash flash 12:00 flash flash
"Thank God," he whispered.
The day had been a whirlwind starting at 7am when Crystal (who was now a slightly annoying 9-year old) had jumped on Alex and woke him up; woke him after only three hours of sleep.
From that moment forward it had been a blur of ceremony, gushing relatives, parties, gifts and food. Alex had endured it with gritted teeth. In his head he was anxiously counting the days until he left.
Alex turned 18 years old in January (an arbitrary date chosen by his adopted parents, he'd learned, because his actual birth-date was unknown). The year before he had applied and had been accepted to Northeastern University; starting with an early selection of summer classes. Alex was leaving the wilds of Montana, the place he'd called home for 18 years, for the wilds of Boston. He couldn't wait. Three more days and he was gone.
Eyes heavy and burning, Alex stared at the luggage that was piled under his bedroom window. He was mostly packed, with only a few more things left to do before he was gone. His parents had fought him on this early departure, but not too hard. Since learning he was adopted, Alex had retreated. He used to be very close to his parents but now he felt something else. He felt betrayed by them. By the people who were the most important to him. The people he had most needed to trust in and believe. Alex didn't know if he could get back from that betrayal. He had not really thought about his birth parents at all. As far as he was concerned, they were only his genetic donors. His real parents were the people who had raised him; but they had raised him in a lie and that was what hurt him the most.
flash flash 12:05 flash flash
Alex barely registered another thought before complete exhaustion overtook him.
One Week Later
"Welcome to Northeastern University and what is affectionately known as the summer torture-term. My name is Mark Griffith and I am the man in charge of this year's pre-frosh class," he paused dramatically, "and that is you." Mark Griffith stopped and looked around the room at the 150 or so students gathered. The smile on his face was one of superiority and Alex felt his insides start to writhe with new nervous intensity.
"If you can make it through the six-weeks of seminars and classes then you'll breeze through your four (or more) years here. Many of you likely think I'm joking," the dark-haired man at the front of the auditorium paused again for affect and let the few sniggers die down.
"Five years ago I was where you are," he continued as he paced before the roomful of pre-freshman. "I came here with attitude and brains, and when the summer was over I was thankful I was still alive. This pre-frosh summer session is designed for the serious student. So if you think you came here early to escape mommy and daddy and to party the summer away, think again."
This time there were no sniggers.
"This is your reality check; and even now, most of you still don't believe me. But this will be the hardest summer of your life. So be prepared."
A short, blond woman with glasses crossed the front of the room and handed a slip of paper to the man.
"Ah," he smiled, "this is what you have been waiting for."
"Before I send you on your way let me just say, as a survivor of this summer session, that you can make it. It's a challenge and will test your determination, but the best advice I can give is don't quit; because you'll never make it in life if you start quitting now."
Alex leaned his head back and rolled his eyes. He wondered if he'd made a mistake in trading one set of rules at home for another set of rules at school. Glancing to his left, he noticed a girl watching him distractedly. Alex offered a smile, but the girl quickly turned her attention back to the front of the room. Alex shrugged.
"You've been divided into ten groups of fifteen, each group is assigned to a mentor, so here goes…"
Fifteen minutes later the room was in chaos as the students wandered around finding their groups. Alex sat in his chair and watched with bemusement as the harried students rushed, bumping into each other. Shaking his head, Alex stifled the urge to laugh.
"Are you going to sit here all day, or are you planning on joining us?"
Alex looked up and saw Mark Griffith standing before him, a smirk on his face.
"Just waiting for the masses to thin," Alex responded, feeling slightly challenged by the look of amusement on Mark's face.
"Alex Martin, am I going to have trouble with you?" Mark Griffith's asked, his eyes scanning Alex's nametag then moving to his face.
"I don't forsee it," Alex replied, standing and starting towards the front of the room where he was to meet his mentor and group.
If Mark replied Alex didn't hear him.
Approaching the milling group of students Alex saw the dark-haired girl who had been watching him earlier, so Alex approached her. She was very pretty, and if nothing else maybe she would explain why she had been staring at him.
"Hey," Alex said as he walked up to her. She was very tall, almost Alex's height, and her eyes were a dark brown, nearly black.
"Hi," she replied as she turned to face Alex, she was unable to hide the obvious surprise. Alex felt something churn inside that was not quite unpleasant as he watched the girl try to compose herself.
"I'm Alex Martin," Alex tried to ignore her look of surprise and held out his hand.
"Jackie Ramirez," she answered with a nervous smile as she shook his hand.
"Are you from around here?" Alex asked, letting go of her hand.
"I grew up in Boston actually. I've lived here all my life," Jackie's nerves seemed to calm a bit.
"And you? You look so familiar to me, that's why I was staring earlier. I'm sorry, it was rude of me," Jackie smiled.
"No, I'm not from around here. I'm from Montana. I came here for the Biology program; it's supposed to be one the best, at least in comparison with all the schools that offered me scholarships."
"Oh, so you plan to major in Biology?" Jackie asked with interest.
"Yeah," Alex considered telling her the story about finding out about his adoption, but they had known each other for barely five minutes. The personal stuff could wait a little longer.
"Can I have your attention?" The blond with glasses who had delivered the list of groups to Mark Griffiths was apparently the mentor for Alex's group.
"My name is Carrie Fuller and I'll be guiding you through this six-week program. I'm in my second year of Graduate School, getting my Masters in Biology. You all were assigned to my group because you've shown interest in Biology or the related sciences. I hope to get to know you all well, and don't be afraid to come to me with questions or problems. Now let's move on outside and we'll begin the campus tour."
The campus tour was only slightly more involved then the one Alex and his parent's had taken the previous fall. The tour he took today delved more into the Biology Department and Alex felt, for the first time in a long time, an aching to get back to the lab. He was sure his passion for Biology stemmed from not knowing where he came from, but whatever the reason, Alex latched onto the hope of getting time in the lab and he couldn't wait to start again.
But it turned out he would have to wait. After the tour came lunch, where the group of 15 had to endure the torturous task of group introductions…name? where are you from? why are you here? blah, blah, blah…Alex was unimpressed with the whole group he was with, except for Jackie. She intrigued him. Something about her drew him in and he was certain she felt the same way.
After lunch they were let loose for the rest of the day. Left to explore and settle in and get rested before the real work began the next day. Jackie left to go home as she was staying with her parent's off-campus. She was still 17, Alex found out, and her parents were leery to let her live in the dorms until she turned 18 in November. Jackie confided that she was sad to miss out on the freshman dorm experience, but she hoped to move out of her parent's house before her sophomore year.
Once Jackie left, Alex retreated to the room he'd been assigned. Part of the summer program was to pair the pre-frosh students as roommates to be continued through the school year. Alex came to his assigned room to find a tall, skinny black kid unpacking a box full of books.
His name was Jerry Jackson and he was from Florida. He was studying Psychology and he played Basketball. Alex was surprised to find he liked Jerry. In past experiences with jocks from high school Alex had not been a popular guy. But he and Jerry clicked immediately. At dinner they talked about their families and Alex discovered that Jerry was the first in his family to go to college. Alex was impressed and as he went to sleep that night, he was beginning to feel happy about being where he was. Two new friends, one of them an attractive girl…Alex felt happier than he had in a very long time.
The first week of the program flew by. They were thrust into it headfirst, and spent almost eight hours a day in the classroom or the lab. Alex felt his mind challenged like it hadn't been before, and he and Jackie grew closer. They partnered up in the lab, and found that they spent their time outside the lab and at meals together too. It was like they'd always known each other. Everything was easy. By Friday afternoon of the first week, Alex was ready for a break; and walking out of lab that day he knew just what he wanted to do.
"Hey, Jackie!" Alex ran ahead of the crowd to catch up with Jackie; she was heading towards the bus stop. She had complained many times to Alex how her parents wouldn't let her drive to school so she had to take the bus.
"Hey Alex," Jackie smiled as she shifted her loaded down backpack. Alex ignored the strain of his own bag on his tense shoulders.
"What are you doing this weekend? I was hoping maybe you'd want to go see a movie or something?" Alex blurted out hopefully.
Jackie smiled sweetly and Alex instantly regretted the question, knowing what her answer was going to be.
"Sorry, I can't," Jackie put down her backpack as they came to the bus stop. "I have to babysit my brother and sisters while my parents are out of town at some convention. My dad's a lawyer and they are constantly going out of town. I'm their built-in babysitter."
"Oh," Alex replied.
"Otherwise I would!" Jackie added and Alex felt a bit better.
"Here's my phone number, call me if you are totally bored out of your mind. Maybe you can come over and we can watch a movie at my house. A G-rated one for the kids of course," Jackie smiled and Alex felt his pulse quicken as she wrote her number on the palm of his hand.
"Sure," was all he could say.
"See ya, Alex," Jackie waved as she boarded the arriving bus.
"See ya," Alex responded as the bus pulled out, spitting out black exhaust on its way.
Alex didn't call Jackie that weekend. Jerry didn't give him the chance. He advised Alex not to appear too needy. To play it cool. Alex was weary of Jerry's advice, but when they compared the number of dates they'd each had in the last year (over 20 for Jerry, three for Alex), Alex gave in and did as Jerry suggested.
Jerry kept Alex busy with parties and watching baseball games and golf tourney's on TV. Alex never was into sports, but watching them with Jerry he found an appreciation. There was a lot more going on then Alex ever realized; his father had never once watched any sporting event on TV, not even golf. Jerry had been flabbergasted at the thought.
As Sunday night approached, Alex wondered where the weekend had gone. Just before bed, he called his parents and gave them an abbreviated version of his first week. They were happy he was having a good time, but they missed him. Alex wished he could honestly say the same.
Monday morning came and Alex felt nervous about seeing Jackie. But when they met up in class, she didn't say anything about him not calling, and Alex didn't feel the need to explain. They continued on as if nothing had happened, and they continued to grow in their friendship over the next week.
Alex told Jackie about the wild's of Montana and of his family, while he learned more about Jackie's family as well; her 4 year old brother John, and 8 year old twin sisters Jessica and Jasmine. They were able to connect on the fact that they were both much older then their siblings. Still Alex fought the urge to confide in her about the adoption. But again he kept that secret to himself.
The second week of the program was more grueling than the first. Alex felt he deserved a full year's credit for completing the session, not just 8 measly credit-hours. He knew the others felt the same. Burnout was inevitable and the weekend came around again, just in time. Jackie managed to escape before Alex could talk to her, so he found himself debating once again on making that phone call.
This time Jerry said he should call, and that was all the prompting Alex needed. Friday night about 7:15, Alex dialed the number Jackie had given and felt his throat close up on him.
Three rings and nothing…Alex almost hung up but then he heard an answer.
"Ramirez residence," a woman's voice answered, probably Jackie's mom.
"Yes, hello, is Jackie available please?" Alex managed to spit out.
"I'm sorry, she's busy at the moment. Can I take a message?" The woman was all politeness.
"Oh, yeah. Uh…just tell her Alex called," he replied, stammering and feeling like an idiot.
Nothing but silence from the other end and for a moment Alex wondered if they'd lost the connection.
"Did you say Alex?" The woman asked and Alex could sense something in her voice had changed.
"Yeah, Alex. I'm one of Jackie's classmates at Northeastern," he replied as politely as he could.
"Of course you are, and your number please?"
"Right, its 999-505-3498," Alex read the numbers off the phone in the dorm room. He'd been lazy about remembering them.
"I will give her the message," the woman replied, her voice back to normal, betraying no emotion.
"Okay. Well, thanks," Alex paused, "Bye?"
But the woman had already hung up the phone.
"So?" Jerry immediately pounced.
"She was busy, I think that was her mom. She said she'd give Jackie my message," Alex slowly placed the phone back on the cradle. "It was weird though...," Alex paused, trying to put his finger on what it was that struck him as odd.
"Do you think Jackie has talked about me to her mom? Like in a bad way?" Alex finally asked, unsure of what else could be wrong with the situation.
"Nothing you can do if she did, man. Let's go get some pizza, I'm starving," Jerry stood and slid his wallet into his back pocket.
"We just had dinner like an hour ago!" Alex laughed.
"What can I say, I'm a growing boy," Jerry moved towards the door. "Let's go dude!"
Laughing, Alex slid his feet into his shoes and followed Jerry out into the night. He didn't hear the phone start to ring as the door slammed shut behind him and jogged down the hall after Jerry.
It occurred to Alex around midnight that Jackie might try calling him back that night, and he and Jerry had not set up their answering machine yet. Alex's mom had given him their old answering machine for use in the dorm, since they didn't have the ability to use electronic voicemail. It was still in the box on the floor of Alex's closet.
"Damn," he said under his breath as the room around him exploded with jeers and cheers. Jerry had dragged Alex, after pizza, to another dorm where ten or so guys were sitting around playing video games.
"You wanna turn, Alex?" Jerry stood from the bean bag he had been lounging in and offered the controller. Alex, who hated video games almost as much as most girls he knew, shook his head.
"Your loss man," Jerry shrugged and handed the controller to a big guy who was obviously one of the football players. Alex didn't even know his name and to be honest he didn't want to know it.
It was three hours before Jerry was ready to leave, and Alex, feeling like the worlds biggest failure as a guy, couldn't have been happier. He'd been too unsure of himself to leave without Jerry, and that made him angry with himself as well.
The next day, Saturday, Alex woke up about 11:30am. The sun was shining outside and he could faintly hear the cries and laughter of the other kids on the campus.
Sitting up in his bed, Alex saw Jerry sprawled across his bed, mouth hanging open, still dead to the world.
As silently as he could, Alex quickly dressed and headed down to the cafeteria for an early lunch. Since the phone tag didn't seem to be working, Alex was going to take a more direct approach and go to Jackie's house. He knew it was a risk and he was sure Jerry would try to talk him out of it. Part of the reason he wanted to eat lunch alone was so Jerry didn't get that chance.
Twenty minutes later Alex was back out on the street, heading towards the bus transfer station that was adjacent to the campus. He nervously and subconsciously pulled his "Bozeman Bears" cap down hard on his head as he held his money. The schedule said he had about five minutes to wait. And nearly right on time Alex saw the bus approaching. He checked once more that he had her address (he'd torn it from the student directory that had been handed out the first day) and boarded.
It was only a ten minute ride. Jackie and her family lived fairly close to the campus, in a large brownstone-style house that was at least four stories. Alex was impressed. He'd come from a modest community of ranch style homes that weren't any bigger then 3000 square feet. Alex guessed this had to be between 5000 and 6000 square feet. More if there was a basement. He was impressed with the appearance of everything. The street was tree lined and quiet even for a Saturday. There were a few people out walking small dogs and one young woman jogging.
Alex mounted the ten steps to the double-front doors and rang the bell. He heard a musical chime echo through the house; soon followed by rapid footsteps. Kid steps if he had to guess. It sounded a lot like when Crystal would go running through the house.
Alex smoothed his shirt, pulled down on his cap once more, and arranged his face in a pleasant expression as the door opened and a young boy stared out at him. This has to be John, Alex thought as the young boys large dark eyes searched his appearance.
"Who are you?" he asked, staring.
Alex heard a woman call and the little boy turned away from him.
"It's a boy, mommy," he yelled back, turning to look at Alex once again.
"Are you here to see Jackie?" He asked and Alex had to fight the urge to laugh.
"John! How many times have I told you not to answer the door without asking who it is first!"
A woman, Jackie's mother, came into view and Alex immediately knew where Jackie got her looks, and from whom. Her mother was beautiful. Tall, and slender, with dark blonde hair and kind eyes. It was like looking at an older version of Jackie; or Jackie was like a younger version of this woman-either way, Alex felt his face begin to warm.
The woman turned towards Alex with a kind smile.
"Hello, Jackie's not here," she smiled and Alex felt a stab of disappointment. "She works Saturday's."
"Oh," was all Alex could say.
"Have we met?" Jackie's mother cocked her head a little as her expression changed from one of polite kindness to one of curiosity. "You look so familiar."
"No, we haven't met, but I talked to you on the phone last weekend. I'm Alex," Alex held out his hand and watched as Jackie's mothers face changed from curious to slight shock to confusion back to the expression of polite kindness she had wore when she first came to the door.
"Alex, it's nice to meet you, I'm Isabel Ramirez, Jackie's mom; obviously," she laughed and Alex thought he sensed a bit of nervousness to it.
"It's nice to meet you Mrs. Ramirez," Alex smiled as kindly as he could while they shook hands.
"Please, call me Isabel, I still don't feel old enough to be a Mrs.-anything!"
Alex laughed, feeling relieved that whatever had caused her discomfort seemed to have disappeared.
"I'll let Jackie know you stopped by," Isabel said, "she has your number, right?"
"Yeah," Alex couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed. Whatever oddness that might have occurred upon their first meeting was gone, and Alex felt a strange draw to this woman. Was it because of Jackie? He didn't know. All he knew was that he didn't want to go back to the cold, lonely dorm. Even little John, who had been standing and staring at them both the whole time, felt more comfortable then the dorm room.
"Do you know when you expect her?" Alex asked, hoping maybe he could wait around.
"Not until late," Isabel smiled warmly, and Alex wondered if she knew his feelings. "I'm sorry Alex, but I have to get going; I will tell Jackie you stopped by."
"Thanks, Mrs. Rami-I mean, Isabel," Alex smiled and backed away a few steps as Isabel gently closed the door. He could hear her and John talking behind it and for a moment, Alex wanted nothing more then to be a part of a family again.
Alex heard it from Jerry when he got back to the room a few hours later. And after hours of teasing and hassle that Jerry dished out, Alex was sure Jackie would never cal him, and that come Monday she would request a new lab partner.
He was surprised when around 9:30 that night, the phone rang, and it was her.