|"Through Space and Time"
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of Roswell or the show, they are the
property of the WB and all those other people.....unfortunately. I do
however proudly own the Montaks, Deltarians and the whole of Nargonia. I am
Summary: his is my take on Maria being faced with losing Michael to his home planet with a bit of evil plotting thrown in for good measure.
Category: After Hours
Authors Note: Hope you enjoy and would really appreciate any sort of feedback.
|As Tess nervously paced back and forth she found herself reverting back to
her old habit of biting her nails, yet another human weakness she had come
to loathe. She had just gotten of the bus and was standing at the front of
the Ridgemont County Police Station waiting for Nasedo to emerge. He had
given them a mobile phone number not long ago so that they could contact him
whenever they needed to. Things had been running smoothly so it hadnít been
put to use until now. Tess had volunteered to tell Nasedo the news about the
spacecraft coming to take them home so she had called him last night to find
out where he was. Luckily his work had him stationed in one of Roswellís
neighboring townís so she didnít have too far to travel.
Of course she could have just told him over the phone and Nasedo would have high-tailed it back to Roswell faster than you could bat an eyelid, but that ís exactly what she didnít want, not just yet anyway. Tess had other plans and those plans involved getting to Nasedo before the others did. The news of their return home was her bargaining chip with Nasedo and if the others told him before she did she would lose that advantage. And thatís exactly what would happen if she let him come back to Roswell without seeing him first. So she had to make up a convincing story as to why she felt the need to go and collect him herself. It hadnít proven as difficult as she thought it would.
Feeding Max the cock and bull story about wanting to be the first person to tell Nasedo the news because she was the closest to him was easy. Nasedo had acted as her father for a long time so that excuse was more than believable, but she practically had to choke out the part about wanting to give him space so that he and Liz could spend more time together before he left. "Yeah right and pigs might fly". She thought to herself. Max had looked shocked and just a little weary at first but Tess got the feeling that he was willing to believe anything she said if it would mean spending more time with his precious Liz. That in itself was enough to make Tess physically ill and she was glad she wouldnít have to be around to watch them make lovesick goo goo eyes at each other during her remaining time on Earth. Being with Nasedo was preferable to that form of torture any day of the week.
"Well if it isnít Daddyís little girl!"
Tess jumped at the sound of the unfamiliar voice and stopped pacing to see Nasedo or rather Agent Pierce walking down the police station steps to meet her. Nasedo was still with the FBI despite managing to close down the special unit that had been hunting them. He wanted to keep the position a little longer to make sure no one tried to re-open the investigations.
The sarcastic greeting didnít go unnoticed by Tess and she hated herself for expecting anything more. "Were you actually expecting him to hug you?" She asked herself incredulously. He had never been a father to her in the real sense of the word and she definitely didnít have what some may call a "Brady Bunch upbringing". It was clear from the get go that Nasedoís job was to protect, not to love and he certainly never broke those rules. Which was just fine with Tess. She knew he wasnít really her father and never expected him to act as such but she hated the fact that she still let the human in her try to look for something more. "Well he definitely wonít be doing any hugging after what Iím about to do today." Tess thought.
Tess looked up at Nasedo who was now standing directly in front of her and she felt the nerves start to take hold again.
"Hi". She wasnít quite sure how to address him so she left it at that. She was used to seeing Nasedo in the form he took as her father so it was slightly disconcerting having to talk to him when he was in the form of a man who was once one of their enemies.
"I hope that look wasnít for me." He said.
"What look?" She asked confused.
"When I first came out here, you looked like you were about ready to lynch someone."
"OhÖ.um, that....that was nothing. Just thinking". "About how much I hate Liz Parker", Tess thought to herself. "Look I need to talk to you. I think I saw a coffee shop just around the corner when I was coming in on the bus. Why donít we go there?"
"We could, but Iím finished up here now so why donít we just go back to my place." He asked.
"NO!" Tess almost shouted it out. If she wanted to walk away from this unharmed and more importantly alive she had to do it in a public place. He may have acted as her father and protector but she also knew him well enough to know that he wouldnít hesitate to snap her neck if he felt threatened in any way and she was about to threaten him big time. She quickly tried to cover over her anxiousness when Nasedo shot her a questioning look. "I mean, Iíve been sitting on a bus practically all day. I donít want to get back into a car again just yet. Besides the coffee shop is only a minuteís walk from here so we might as well make use of it."
Nasedo could tell something strange was going on. You donít live with someone for as long as he had with Tess and not learn how to gauge their emotions. She was definitely nervous, maybe even scared, but why? He decided he would play along with it for now. Giving her one last look he gestured with his hand for her to walk first before saying. "Okay then, lead the way".
As she turned toward the direction of the coffee shop Tess let out a sigh of relief. She had nearly blown the whole thing already and she had barely said two words. "Just stay calm." She told herself. "You have the upper hand here."
As they opened the door to the coffee shop Tess was glad to see it was quite busy. She never thought she would be happy to see so many humans in her entire life. Stepping into the shop she led Nasedo to a table that would allow her to talk without anyone overhearing.
As they took their seats she tried to sound casual. "So this town looks even smaller than Roswell, what on earth could the FBI be doing out here?"
"You had to ask?" He said rolling his eyes. "Theyíve got me down here working some pathetic hick murder case. The local sheriff and his donut-brained deputies donít have a clue as usual, so enters the FBI. Definitely not worth discussing. Letís just say Iíll be glad when itís safe enough for me to leave this somewhat tedious job".
Tess saw her opening and took it along with a very deep breath. "You may be able to do that sooner than you think."
"What? How would you know that?" He asked while eyeing her suspiciously.
Tess definitely had his full attention now and it only managed to unnerve her to an even greater degree. She looked into his eyes, Agent Pierceís eyes, now staring at her intently and she was finding it hard to speak. "Say something you idiot" she yelled inwardly at herself.
Nasedo watched her hands fidget nervously and knew what she was about to tell him was the reason she was acting so strange. "Well? Are you going to tell me or are you just going to keep murdering that napkin youíve got there?"
"WhatÖoh...um." she fumbled out. Tess looked down at the paper napkin she had unknowingly but rather effectively shredded into thin strips and cursed herself. She had to get a hold of herself and fast. "First, letís order something now so we donít get interrupted by the waitress, then Iíll fill you in." She hoped he didnít notice the slight tremble in her voice.
Once they had their drinks in hand Tess began to relate the whole story to Nasedo about their meeting with Mearlaan in the cave. She deliberately left out the details of where and when the ship would be coming to pick them up. She would only give that information up, if and when he went along with her plans and not before hand.
Nasedo had listened to Tess in silence for the most part, only interrupting occasionally to ask a few questions. To say he looked surprised would be an understatement. Once she reached the end of her story he had leaned back heavily in his chair with a humph, obviously completely blown away. Seeing Nasedo speechless was definitely something new and Tess waited patiently as he tried to comprehend the full meaning of her words.
Nasedoís mind was reeling to say the least. Going home? Certainly a day he had given up hope of ever living to see. He would never admit it to them, but he didnít believe they would ever be strong enough to open the line of communication between this world and their own. Sure they had the ability, they always did, but their weakness to succumb to their human sides proved to be a problem from the very beginning and was always going to be.
Despite completing the memory transference in them the minute they emerged from the birthing pods, to this day they were still only having flashes of the memories from their past lives. If they were really trying to remember, the transference should have taken effect almost immediately. At first Nasedo had blamed himself thinking that he had done something wrong during the delicate process of transferring the memories but it soon became clear that they were subconsciously choosing not to remember. If confronted Nasedo knew they would probably deny this but it was obvious they had let the human side to them become the more dominant. In doing so they were repressing the memories of their past lives, their alien lives, because they were frightened of what those memories might mean. They knew they werenít fully human but it was as if remembering everything and acknowledging this fact completely would make them feel like even greater outsiders.
Tess had been the exception in all of this to some extent. Being raised by Nasedo ensured that she didnít have the influence of a human family in her life so she had managed to keep a more objective view. The memories came easier to her because she wanted them to. She didnít have any human connections to hold her back unlike Michael, Max and Isabel who insisted on keeping the close relationships that they shared with their human friends.
Despite all those doubts though they had obviously and somewhat miraculously proven him wrong and right now Nasedo was finding it hard to care just how they did it. He was really going home and they were his ticket there, that was all that mattered now. He could finally get off this retched rock he thought he was doomed to spend his entire existence on and take up his rightful position on Nargonia again. A position where he was greatly respected by all. There would be no more bowing down to an obviously inferior race of people for him.
Of course judging by what Tess had just told him they would be walking straight into a war zone but the fact that he could finally go home superceded any fears he may have had about that little hiccup.
"Iím guessing from your silence youíre as shocked as we were." She prompted when it didnít look like he was going to say anything soon.
"What? Oh, yes, of course, this is a truly amazing thing for all of us. I never once doubted your ability though." He lied. "I always knew you had it in you. It was only a matter of time until you saw this for yourselves." Judging from the rather unconvinced look that Tess shot him Nasedo realized he must have delivered that last bit with all the sincerity of a drunken homeless bum in a Santa Suit. His excitement was obviously affecting his normally emotion free, cool and offhand persona so he moved on quickly. "Uh, I donít think you mentioned when the ship will be arriving?"
"No, I didnít." She said coolly.
"Well, were you planning on telling me?" He asked annoyed at her evasiveness. This was no time to play games.
"Actually, no". She said enjoying watching the shock then anger register on his face before she decided to finish her sentence. "Not until you agree to help me".
Nasedo was visibly taken aback. "What?! Are you trying to blackmail me?" He had to laugh at this. Did she know whom she was talking to? "Youíre playing with fire little girl." He warned.
Tess didnít let his laughter throw her. She was determined to go through with this. "Call it what you will Nasedo, but Iím not telling you a thing until I have your word that you will help me when the time comes."
"And so the reason for her strange behavior becomes all too apparent", he thought to himself.
"You surprise me Tess, I never thought I would raise someone this stupid." His tone was condescending. "You know Iím stronger than you. Whatís stopping me from wellÖletís just say Ďgetting rid of youí right now and going back to Roswell where Iím sure the others will be more than willing to tell me?"
Tess wouldnít deny that Nasedoís words hadnít stung but she had expected such a reaction. He had never kept secret from her just how badly he wanted to return home but thatís how she knew he would do anything to get there.
"Oh, I donít think youíll be doing that Nasedo." She said calmly.
"Is that right?" He asked in amusement. "And pray tell why not?" This was starting to get interesting.
He was so smug it was sickening to Tess. "You havenít been as smart as youíd like to believe you have been Nasedo. Max, Michael and Isabel still donít completely trust you and youíve made damn sure they probably never will with your cold and careless attitude towards the people they care most about, humans. They all know Iím here so if something happens to me who do you think the finger will be pointed at? Secondly, you may be stronger than I am but youíre not stronger than the Royal Four and you know it. Theyíve seen how easy it is for you to kill so who do you think they will believe if I go running back with yet another story of how Nasedo has ruthlessly done away with a human? Youíd have no chance. They wouldnít let you near the ship and even if they did, it would only ever be as a prisoner so that you could face the justice of our own people. So you see, quite simply, your inability to gain their trust has proven to be your downfall."
Tess watched the smug grin slide from his face before she delivered the final blow. "Besides, you were sent here to see if Earth was habitable for our people if they needed to evacuate their own planet one-day were you not? Now I wonder what the king and Queen would think of their precious Royal Advisor once they found out he was killing the very people he was supposed to be befriending? Somehow I donít think that would go down to well." Tess could see that last statement had well and truly frightened him and she watched the color drain from his face. Now it was her turn to look smug.
"Damn it!" He thought to himself. She was right. Every word she had said was true. He had underestimated the power of the Royal Four before and he wasnít about to do that again. There was no doubt in his mind that they could and would defeat him if necessary. There was no way he would let them take him back as a prisoner. He would be an outcast and a disgrace to his people. No, he couldnít live with that. He had no choice, he would have to agree to help her otherwise he would be trapped here forever and he wasnít about to let that happen. "Youíve certainly put some thought into this havenít you?" He asked eyeing her hatefully.
"Did you expect anything less?" She asked sarcastically. She knew she had him now so was letting herself relax a little. She was starting to enjoy watching Nasedo squirm for once. "I wouldnít have come here if I thought I wouldnít get away with it Nasedo."
He certainly hadnít raised a stupid girl, conniving yes, stupid no. "Well as much as I hate to admit it, youíve got me by the balls now so what the hell do you need help with so desperately that you would go to these lengths?"
Tess paused for a few seconds to collect her thoughts. Things like, "Iím still alive!" and, "It actually worked!" were running through her mind in loop mode. The relief she felt was indescribable. She could see Nasedo was getting impatient and she didnít want to push her luck so she began to explain.
"Well I figure that you must have been a very important advisor to the king and queen on Nargonia, like a head advisor or something, otherwise you wouldnít have been entrusted with the responsibility of accompanying the Royal Four to Earth."
"Thatís right. And?" He urged. He wished she would just get to the point.
"And thatís how I know you can help me. When we go back youíll have power and influence over the other advisors as well as the King and Queen which is what I will need on my side. I want you to help me stop Max or Michael from ever returning to Earth."
"What makes you think theyíll even want to return?" He asked.
"Because they will. I just know it. Theyíre to attached to Liz and Maria not to. They think that their in love with them and the minute they help our people theyíll be back on the next ship out of there the first chance they get."
Nasedo watched Tess lower her gaze to the table so that he couldnít see the hurt in her eyes at the mention of Max being in love with someone else, but he had seen it. He had a feeling she was in for a lot more hurt once they returned. If Max hadnít accepted her by now Nasedo didnít think there was much chance of it ever happening. She was setting herself up for a very big fall.
"I can understand why you would want Max to stay but where does Michael come into the picture?" He asked.
Tess wasnít about to share her humiliation with Nasedo. She hadnít forgotten Mariaís words to her the other day at the meeting place and she wasnít about to let Maria forget them either. She had definitely gone too far and Tess was going to make sure she paid for that. No worthless human bitch was going to get away with treating her the way she had. Keeping Michael away from her was the best pay back she could think of, and Tess was just sorry that she wouldnít be around to watch Mariaís own pain and humiliation when she finally came to the realization that Michael didnít love her enough to return to her.
"You donít need to know all the details Nasedo." She said rather tight-lipped. "Just know that I donít want either of them to return and if they ever do try to come back your going to help me stop them. Max shouldnít be a problem anyway." She stated trying to convince Nasedo as much as herself. "Iím sure it wonít take him long to realize that he loves me once we return but the fact that Isabel is staying behind mightÖ.."
"What? Isabelís staying behind? She canít do that!" He yelled.
"Well she is and trust me there is nothing you can say that will make her change her mind. Believe me Iíve tried. Actually, I think sheís gone to tell Michael today so maybe heís been able to talk some sense into her."
"If he doesnít, I certainly will." Nasedo thought to himself. The King and Queen wouldnít be happy if he only returned with 3 of them. He wasnít about to appear a failure before their eyes. He would make Isabel see sense.
"So do we have a deal?" Tess asked bringing him back from his thoughts.
"Do you even need to ask? Iíve got no choice in the matter so yes, I guess we do." He said trying to sound defeated when in all actuality he didnít really mind what she wanted him to do. Max and Michael were needed by their people and shouldnít be allowed to return anyway. They belonged with their own kind, not humans and he was sure they would come to accept that with timeÖand wellÖif they didnít, that was just too bad because nothing was stopping him from getting home.
He watched Tess smile. He could only imagine what little plots she was cooking up in that brain of hers to get Max to notice her. Sad really.
"Okay, youíve got what you wanted. Now give me what I want. When is the ship coming?"
|Part 4 | Index
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