Title: Fighting Fear

Spoilers: All of Roswell is up for grabs, very very AU post Departure.

Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing, all characters and original Roswell settings belong to other very lucky people as do all poems quoted.

Pairings/Couples/Category: Will eventually be Polar, Kyle/Isabel, and other pairings are up in the air.

Warnings: There is a non-graphic rape scene in the first chapter, there will be references to violence, death, and sex with potential major character death. It may not seem like it at first, but this is not a Max bashing story so if that type of thing offends you, this is safe, I promise. Also, pairings may take a while and this version of season three has a lot more pain and angst than When Dreams Change, you've been warned.

Summary: Alternate version of season three with certain AU elements since Meet the Dupes. Tess's betrayal and departure in the Granilith has irrevocably changed the lives of the Roswell teens – relationships will end and begin, loyalties will shift, and new paths will be discovered as they learn that Destiny is entirely subjective and that their lives still have many more surprises in store.

~ Omega ~

It is amazing how quickly your perception of the worst that can happen, can change. How one fraction of a moment, one single decision, can alter your entire world. I've had more of those moments than most, beginning with the day that I died and the boy who brought me back to life, and continuing through love triangles, reincarnation, alternate futures, murder, betrayal, and a decades long war.

But none of those moments, or series of moments, no matter how painful or traumatic or heart breaking, none of them could compare to thismoment, to this destruction of everything I had ever known and everything I would ever know.

"Victory is sweetest when you've known defeat," Malcolm S. Forbes said that, a businessman and politician who had only seen battle in the boardroom or the campaign trail. Perhaps that is why he failed to mention that defeat is hardest when you've known victory, and that defeat caused by victory is the bitterest possible pill to swallow. I had tasted defeat before; in some ways the past three years had been a string of never-ending defeats with only the occasional victory to balance the other side of the scale. A scale now so far tipped it will never recover.

The moment of our greatest defeat, of the world's greatest defeat, was preceded by a victory in which we decimated our enemy, leaving only two survivors of a force numbering in the hundreds despite numbering only six ourselves. It was sweet, a strike back against three years of frustration and impotence in which we finally took charge of our destinies, finally accepted who and what we were and what it meant for our lives.

We should have known better than to rejoice.