Title: Unicorn Tears
Author: Gis
Rating: PG-13
Category: Michael/Maria
Summary:  The most AU fic I've ever written, and it's M&M...do you need any more of a reason to read it?  Okay, okay…In a world of lost legends and folklore, one unicorn finds the truth.
Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell I'd be writing episodes, not fanfiction.
Author's Note: This is my first Roswell fic, so a little feedback would be nice.

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~Part One~

There was a soft, strange glow about the forest, one never to be seen by the humans. It was a shame they couldn't witness something so beautiful. The essence spoke of tales yet to be lived, of lies to part lips with, and betrayal to be met with love's liquid torment. Just as they would never see her, not for what she truly was - a unicorn.

She'd lived life occasionally among them in human form. Never for periods long enough that she couldn't return to her former life. It was vital that she returned. There could be no other way.

She was living among them now, watching them and learning from them. Learning of them. After all, they were humans.

Human. It was such a contradicting word to her. Never before had she encountered a creature that could both love and hate at the same time. One that knew both pain and joy, that could weave webs of such lies and secrecy, and at times be nobler than those creatures of legend they often spoke of at night around the bonfires.

How could they feel so much, and yet so little?

Perhaps that was why she often found herself among them. She needed to find out, to understand, before it was too late.

This had been what brought her to Albythia five days ago - to learn.

It was among the flames of the nightly campfires that she was able to observe them easily without reservation. They rarely ever saw her, and she kept within a safe distance, close enough to hear their words and watch them interact, without upsetting the patterns of discussion that were always absent at her presence.

One man intrigued her more than the others, sitting apart from the rest of the group, listening but never speaking. His eyes were always focused on the fire, never wavering, as if he could look into the depths of the flames and understand everything about how they worked.

The night before, she had met his eyes through the golden pillars as she circled the men, among the trees and shrubbery. It had taken her by surprise; no man had ever dared to hold her gaze before. Not until him.

She supposed that was what drew her attention from the others to him this night as well. He was intriguing.

The night had just begun less than an hour ago, and he sat there as he did the previous nights, staring into the flames, listening to the familiar banter. It was as she crouched low to watch, after finding a suitable spot for listening, that his eyes flickered from the fire to where she was kneeling. She remained steady and unwavering, not willing to give herself away to the other men. Then he moved.

Standing up and crouching low, he spoke to a lean, dark haired man sitting a few feet from where he had been. "The fire needs more wood. I'll be back." He glanced once more at her before turning away and walking into the forest behind him.

She kept her gaze locked with the path he'd taken, watching the leaves sway slowly back and forth from being pushed aside by his large hands. A few moments later she sensed his presence behind her and she remained still, waiting for him to approach.

When he was only a few feet away she spoke quietly, so only he could hear. "You make too much noise. I could hear you long before you reached me." A moment later she felt him crouch down beside her, the heat from his body warming her skin.

"I didn't want to startle you."

Turning her head to look at him, she drew her eyes over his features. He was a tall man, strong and built, with hair that reminded her of the dark honey that lined the walls of the beehives hidden deep within the forest, falling down his face in long strands that stopped just below his jaw line. His eyes were the color of the summer pinecones, dark and alive. It was a wonder that he seemed so alone - he was beautiful.

"You wouldn't have. I knew you were coming."

It was his turn to gaze at her. She had kept her distance from the rest of the village since she'd come, and now that he was closer to her he could see that her hair actually had golden strands weaved in with the blonde. The white dress she was wearing never changed, and the clean, silky material looked as though it could be smoothed into her creamy skin by simply touching it.

It was her eyes, however, that confused him. They seemed to never remain the same color. One minute they looked as though they were created by the leaves of the trees, and the next as though the moss from the lake had fallen into them, constantly swirling like pools of the purest green.

A small smirk tugged at the corners of his lips, "The children of the village are convinced that you're a witch."

She smiled, amused as she looked back towards the men when their voices peeled into loud laughter as a lanky man stumbled over a log and fell into the lap of the man with the dark hair. "You can tell them that I'm not, if you wish."

His eyes never left her face as his hand reached up to trail a finger lightly over a small diamond shaped mark on her forehead, just above her nose. "That's an odd scar," he said quietly, as her eyes closed and a sound much like that of a cat's purr escaped between her lips. He could feel a surge of electricity running underneath his finger as it trailed from her face and she opened her eyes to meet his.

"It's not a scar."

He looked back at the group, staring once again into the distant fire. "Why have you been watching us from the edge of the forest every night?" he asked, his tone taking on an edge of protection.

She looked at the men around the fire again, sensing his concern for his people. "I like to observe, just as you do."

"I don't observe from twenty feet away," he countered, standing back up.

Following him with her gaze, she watched as his attention changed to that of when he looked into the fire pit at night, penetrating and deep. "You observed me from twenty feet away," she pointed out, standing up in front of him.

His arms folded in front of his chest, while one of his eyebrows raised. "But that was your choice, not mine."

"You knew I was here from the second night I came. You had a chance to approach me before now."

She did nothing more than frustrate him, having answers for every one of his arguments. What was even more frustrating was the fact that she seemed unaffected by every accusation he had made towards her, as if they were intriguing her, teaching her.

"You could've joined us at the fire if you like observing people so much," he told her, not willing to loose the argument.

Her eyes twinkled with mirth as she crossed her arms as well, "They wouldn't act the same way they are now if I were there."

"How would you know unless you came and sat down?"

She stopped for the first time, thinking about his question with her eyebrows pulling towards one another and her mouth turning down into a contemplative line. Ha! He'd gotten her.

"You say the children believe me to be a witch?"

It was his turn to look confused now. "Yes..."

"What do the men and women believe me to be?"

What? "Why?"

Her arrogant smile was back as she answered, "If they see me as an outsider, they would also be guarded around me, just as the children are."

His eyes narrowed as he dropped his arms to his side. "I have to get back, they'll be expecting me," he told her, huffing angrily and turning around to head back to the camp after finding a good amount of wood.

Perhaps he was right. Tomorrow she would study them closer than she ever had before. Tomorrow she would learn.

~TBC~