|"Truth In All Things"
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I am simply
paying homage to them. Please don't sue.
Roswell belongs to Jason Katims and his
production company. The X-Files belongs
to Chris Carter and 1013.
Summary: Maria is shocked to find herself involved in Special Agent Dana Scully's investigation of the murders of FBI agents at the Eagle Rock Military Base as Michael is forced to choose between human and alien when Nasedo takes matters into his own deadly hands.
Authors Note: After Roswell's "Destiny"/before Season 2 After X-Files' "Requiem"/before Season 8
|Maria turned in her seat and looked at Michael driving. "So
where are we going?"
He looked like he wasn't going to answer.
"Go ahead and give in, Michael, you know I'm just going to talk you to death until you do. " Then her eyes fell to what lay between the two seats. "Oh my god," she breathed "Is that Tess' book?"
"How did you get it?!" she demanded. "I thought Max had that thing."
Michael shrugged and still didn't answer.
"You broke into the Evans' house to get it didn't you? Michael! How could you?"
He glanced at her. "Excuse me, aren't you the girl who convinced me to break into an FBI agent's motel room?"
"That was different."
"We didn't know her."
"And that makes it better? Come on, Max would have given me the book."
She looked doubtful. "Sure he would."
"Look, okay, there is this chance that we can have some of those symbols in the book interpreted. I mean, wouldn't you like to know what it actually says?"
Maria bit her lip. She wasn't sure. It depended on what the symbols actually said. If it just repeated the message in the orb, she could definitely live without it. Who needed their heart shattered twice in a month? On the other hand if it gave them any kind of hope. . .
"So how are you going to have the symbols interpreted?" she asked.
"That funny little guy said the FBI agent had an Indian interpret some files that were similar. Files about the Roswell incident. If an Indian could interpret those files why not the symbols in the cave?"
She shook her head. "Wait a minute, THAT is where we're going? Michael, how do you know what the symbols were she had interpreted? Maybe they were just Indian symbols all along. And what sort of Indian was it? Navaho? Sioux? Oglala? What? They aren't interchangeable you know."
"Okay, the cave where we found the first symbols, was on the Mesaliko Reservation. Think maybe those are the Indians who could interpret it?" he asked sarcastically.
"River Dog," she concluded.
"River Dog," he repeated.
"So if he could read it, why didn't he do it the first time?"
"How should I know," Michael protested. "Maybe it was another one of his 'tests.'"
Maria stopped arguing as they drove through the desert. After a long time of sitting in silence she finally worked up the nerve to ask, "Michael, are you trying to have that book deciphered because you want to have a different answer than the one you got from the orb, or because you want the orb's answer confirmed?"
He looked at her and the frown line was between his eyes again. "What? About me and Isabel?"
"Yes," she said quietly, "about you and Isabel. Is that what you want?"
"Me and Isabel?"
"Yes, Michael. I'm not going to say it again."
"Sure you aren't."
"Michael!" This time she looked at him and although she fought to hide it, she fought to push them back, there were tears in her eyes. "Are you doing this because you want the stuff about you and Isabel to be true?" She asked in a choked voice. "Do you really want her to be your soulmate or something?"
"I don't think that souls or anything were ever mentioned."
"Do you want her?" Maria asked baldly.
It was about the hardest question she had ever asked. Maria was well aware of the differences between herself and Isabel. Isabel was statuesque blonde beauty with the soulful dark eyes . . .not to mention the kind of boobs that made guys eyes pop out.
Maria wasn't paranoid about her looks or anything. She thought she was attractive, cute, nice looking-- but no one would ever walk up to her and say she looked like a model. And--well to be blunt-- Maria wasn't special. Quirky, maybe, but not really special. She made good grades-- not great grades, not awful grades, just good grades. She was attractive. Not gorgeous, not ugly. Just attractive. She fell into that middle category that tended to be overlooked and forgotten. . .and here Michael and Isabel were some sort of chosen, special people. It made Maria feel very ordinary.
"Maria..." he said but didn't say anything further.
"I know you got mad at me when I brought it up," she whispered. "I mean about the baby scare thing with you and Isabel."
"It was just a dream, Maria, it wasn't real."
She looked steadfastly at the road and not at him. "Do you want it to be?"
"What? The baby? No. We're teenagers."
She glanced at him. "You know what I'm saying. In the big picture. Not next week or next month, but in the long run do you want yours and Isabel's dream to come true?"
He didn't answer.
She turned to face him. "I heard the conversation you know. Most of it anyway. Isabel said that in that dream, you guys were a family and. . ." She stopped. She still wanted to cry over the next part. "She said you were happier than she had ever seen you." Which could only mean that in the dream he was happier with Isabel than he had ever been with her.
That hurt. That hurt so much. When he had come to her in the rain. When he had been hurt, alone, and needing someone, Michael had turned to her, to plain, only slightly out of the ordinary Maria DeLuca. He had sought her out for comfort, for understanding. She had thought he needed her. But if being with her hadn't made him happy-- or at least not as happy as he had been with Isabel--then what was she doing?
That's the part that hurt the most. Maria loved Michael. She loved him and wanted to see him happy, wanted what would set his world right for once. She had thought that meant her. That she could show him that someone cared about him, that someone wanted to comfort him. That it was okay to need someone who wouldn't let him down and maybe--just maybe--someone could need him as well. . .but what if that someone wasn't her? What if he was pushing her away not because of what had happened with Pierce, but because he didn't want her.
"In that dream, were you happy?" she asked.
She closed her eyes and held back the wave of pain. He had been happy. What else was there?
* * *
Tess followed the FBI agent out of The Crashdown. Sure that geek Alex Whitman might think it was funny to crack jokes about aliens, but no way would Tess buy into that. It was dangerous. Her entire life she had been shown time and again that it was dangerous. The FBI was the enemy. No ifs, ands, or buts. They were the enemy and with the enemy you were ruthless--always. Nasedo had taught her that.
She had heard the agent tell the funny little man who was her friend that she was going to investigate the abandoned Eagle Rock Military base. Well, Tess was going to make sure that Special Agent Dana Scully wasn't there alone.
Climbing into the car that Nasedo had used when he had posed as her father, she followed close--but not too close--behind the FBI agent as she left town and headed toward the base. Once Tess was sure of Scully's destination Tess was freed from following closely at all and instead turned on a back road that lead to the break in the fence that she had made when she, Michael, and Isabel had broken into the base in May.
Stopping the car she got out and looked at the base. It looked abandoned--and this time it actually was. Nasedo had seen to that when he had assumed Agent Pierce's identity. There wasn't much of anything to find here. No evidence was left of the White Room where Max had been held and tortured.
As Tess made her way through a side door, she saw Scully's car stop at the front of the building. Slipping inside Tess waited. She wasn't sure exactly what she was going to do or what she even wanted to do. Truth was, Tess had never actually hurt anyone. Sure she played nasty mind games on people, but for all her bravado could she actually hurt someone even if it was for her own good?
Maybe it wouldn't come to that, she thought. She'd just poke around in Scully's head to see what she could kick up. Surely with all the night terrors Tess was able to realize in someone's mind, she could find something that would scare Agent Scully all the way back to D.C.
Only. . . it wasn't that easy. Tess discovered that in the first two minutes of trying. It wasn't that Scully didn't have fears, but she seemed to have an almost inhuman control over them. They couldn't overwhelm her. Tess couldn't realize them in Scully's head because no matter how she tried, Scully simply refused to see it. Tess had never experienced anything like it. How could someone simply refuse to see something that was already in their heads? Tess wasn't sure if she was impressed by Scully's control or shocked by the limitations of her own talents.
Tess followed Scully into the morgue of the base. Well, not really followed. Scully was in the morgue, Tess was outside it. Okay, Tess thought, so I can't go with fear. This woman seems creepy in the way she has so few of them--except the big one. Scully seemed to have this fear of losing control. It was a huge fear and would almost be an overwhelming one if the woman wasn't capable of such an incredible self control.
So if Tess couldn't use what Scully feared against her, what about what Scully wanted? Needed? Desired above all things?
Scully's cell phone rang--well, not really, but even Tess was shocked when one of her mind tricks suddenly worked. Scully believed the cell phone rang. She had bought into the vision.
"Scully," she answered.
"Scully, it's me."
Scully stood unmoving. Not even a breath of air seemed to move her hair or her clothing. She was transfixed and unmoving. "Mulder?" she asked in a soft, amazed voice.
"I finally made it to D.C. only to find you've gone out on a file without me? Shouldn't you get your short little legs moving to be back A.S.A.P.?"
"Mulder..." she repeated again in that soft, disbelieving voice. She closed her eyes and Tess wasn't sure if Scully was praying or crying. "How?" she asked.
"You'll just have to come to D.C. to find out."
"Are you okay?"
"Fine. Good as new. Better, even. So are you coming to D.C. or not?"
"I'm on a case," she told him.
Tess saw the moment that Scully stiffened. Tess grimaced. Maybe she had pushed the return to Washington thing a bit too hard.
Tess knew she had made a strategic mistake when Scully asked suspiciously, "Mulder, what did I give you just before you left for Oregon?"
"What? Scully, how am I supposed to remember that?"
Scully bowed her head and Tess was flooded by Scully's fear of losing control. Mixed up with that was the knowledge that Scully no longer believed Tess' vision. Scully clicked the off button on the cell phone and murmured to no one but herself, "I gave you my cross."
Tess wasn't psychic exactly. Under normal circumstances she really couldn't read someone's mind. It was more that she sensed someone's feelings. What they liked, wanted or feared. . .how they felt. But Tess had never felt anything like this.
She was drowning in the swirling emotions hidden by Scully's seemingly restrained exterior. It was as if she had suddenly been dropped into a bottomless ocean with no land in sight. Scully's hopelessness and despair were like a tidal wave dragging her under even as Scully's determination dragged her to the surface. Swimming in a sea of confusion, grief, and loss, it was as if stubbornness alone made Scully strike out toward an impossibly distant, unseen shore with nothing but faith to guide her.
Tess' head tumbled with thoughts, ideas, and feelings that weren't hers but the woman's in the next room. She felt the sense memory of being held in a warm, comforting male embrace. Of laying her cheek against a wool suit and the soft touch of lips against her forehead. It felt as though the world stood still, or perhaps as if the world continued but didn't really matter. Not in the big scheme of things. It was a sense of belonging. A sense of certainty. As surely as the moon must orbit the earth these two circled one another in some cosmic balance that insured both of their existence or doomed them if they lost one another.
Tess blinked and tried to mentally pull away. The emotion was overwhelming. In her own limited life she had never felt anything that even approached it. Growing up with Nasedo she had never been encouraged to form a bond with a human and it was impossible to form one with the cold, emotionless Nasedo. As for Michael, Isabel, and Max, they had little emotion to offer her--they seemed to have spent it all on one another and on their human friends.
Was this what Max craved? Is this what Michael and Isabel sought with their human friends? Not a physical imperative based on some biological urge, but this sense of completion, of belonging. Of feeling absolute faith in another being and of knowing that faith was returned.
Tess felt again the bond that Scully felt for this unseen man. It was unshakeable and unwavering. It was a lifeline that ran both ways. It was. . .Tess gasped as she felt another emotion. Another bond. She mentally pulled away as her own destiny suddenly overwhelmed her.
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