|"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
|"So I meant nothing. We meant nothing," Maria said aloud.
Michael looked at her with a frown, "Huh?"
"I meant nothing to you."
"What?!" He shook his head. "How in the hell can you say that? You mean everyth--" He stopped the car. "Jeez, what-- How do--Don't you see, I-- Damn!" He jumped out of the car.
"You're impossible you know that," he told her when she followed him. He looked at her. "What do you mean you 'mean nothing' to me? That's just stupid. I mean, I suck as a boyfriend. You've told me that a million times. I get it. But that doesn't mean I don't feel. . .things."
"I know you feel things, Michael. I think I've always known that. Even when I've insulted you. That's not the point."
"Then what is the point?" he asked.
"I don't make you happy."
He waited. She didn't say anything else. "That's it?" he asked in disbelief.
"That's it? That's everything. Michael, you said you were happy in that dream. Happier than you've ever been--"
"It was a dream!"
"Happiness is more than a dream."
"Not for me it isn't."
"See, that's just it. If you can say that then I don't make you happy. . .I've never really bought into the 'if it hurts it must be love' thing. Love isn't about that."
"What's it about?"
"I don't know. Peace maybe. Belonging, if not to a place then to a person. Happiness. There's got to be some kind of happiness there. Sharing." Her voice trailed off. "I don't know," she repeated. "But if you see a chance at having it, you have to go for it."
She shrugged and ducked her head , refusing to wipe away the tear that trailed down her cheek because that would mean signaling to Michael that she was crying.
"I've never felt that way about Isabel," he finally said aloud.
"THAT way, about Isabel. I mean, except for the dream and what Tess did. But--I don't know--I don't think that was real."
Maria shook her head. "I saw you Michael. I saw how disappointed you were when you found out there was no way Isabel could be pregnant."
"The dream wasn't just about Isabel, you know. It was the kid. It was..." He took a deep breath and the expression on his face was almost as though he was just realizing something himself. "It was a family. I've never had a family," he told her. "Isabel has always had Max. Even before she had the Evans, she had Max. They're tied in a way that's not just friendship, it's blood...even if it's green blood. Nothing is going to tear that apart. Ever. But me? There isn't anyone who fits, you know. There's no one I'm tied to. No blood link. Not even an adopted family. In the vision, I had a family. For the first time ever, I fit. I belonged. I had a place."
* * *
Once again Nasedo found himself in Roswell. He stood in the street between the UFO museum and The Crashdown but knew that what he was searching for was not here. She wasn't in Roswell, but he would find her. He WOULD find her.
Alex Krychek's words and conclusions remained foremost in Nasedo's mind. There was an appalling accuracy in the man's words, but the meaning revolted the shapeshifter. Humanity in general revolted him. Such limited, petty creatures these humans were. So consumed with things that had no importance and so unaware of the sheer complexity and dimension of the universe where they lived.
Nasedo could not pinpoint the instant when his duty to protect the children of the pods had turned into disgust for them. When had he learned such antipathy for the human species? Was it after the crash when he had been held in the White Room? Did it matter? What mattered was when he had at last rediscovered his charges, he had been revolted by them.
These boys were his people's leaders? These emotion obsessed creatures were supposed to save them? How? How could any being concerned with the well being of individuals have the ruthless control required to save a race?
The children from the pods had changed from the creatures they had been before the hybridization. In some essential way they weren't the same, and Nasedo had been stunned. This had not been the plan. Their essences had been contaminated by the human DNA. They were in truth more human than of his own race.
Now with Krychek's revelations there stood the possibility that survival meant yet more contamination. Nasedo would rather see his species extinct than face that possibility. The thought was unacceptable. It had to be destroyed. SHE had to be destroyed before anyone knew the truth. Before his charges knew and thought themselves free of their duties. Their destinies.
* * *
Scully had found little of interest at the Eagle Rock Military base. Truthfully, she had not expected to find much. Agent Pierce's reports about the facility after the shootings had been brief and to the point. In many ways they reminded Scully of the reports filed by Spender and Fowley when they had been in charge of the X-Files. Reports that sounded reasonable, but somehow did not ring true. Of course Jeffry Spender had been his father, the Cigarette Smoking Man's, dupe, and Fowley had been something worse. Far worse.
Why was she thinking of Fowley now? Scully wondered. The woman had paid the ultimate price for her deal with the devil. She had been murdered. But Fowley had also helped save Mulder from the horrific experiments done to him at that facility. . . Scully gasped. And thought. Yes, the Eagle Rock Military base reminded Scully of the facility where she had found Mulder last fall.
She must have suppressed the memories of the place because in so many ways it unsettled her. Not just because of the sick feeling she had when she thought of Mulder being tortured. And not simply some latent jealousy for Diana Fowley. But because everything that had happened there challenged everything she believed.
The reason Mulder had been sought for the experiment was fantastic. He had been exposed to the alien virus and had changed in some fundamental way. Mulder said that Cancer Man had claimed him not only as son, but as an alien/human hybrid.
It was fantastic. It was beyond belief. It was everything she needed to deny for her own piece of mind. And she remembered standing in the corridor outside Mulder's apartment saying, "I can't believe. It's impossible."
"Any more impossible than what you saw in Africa? What you saw in me?" he asked solemnly.
There had been tears in her eyes and in her voice as she confessed, "I don't know what to believe any more. I was so determined to find a cure. To save you, Mulder, that I could deny what I saw. But now I don't know. I don't know what the truth is. I don't know who to listen to."
She had found herself in his warm, solid embrace. Her cheek pressed to his as he murmured in her ear. "Scully, I was like you once. I didn't know who to trust, and I chose another path."
With Diana Fowley, she thought. The woman in Mulder's delirium induced vision had been Diana Fowley, and Mulder had chosen a life with the woman. A mirage of Fowley as his wife and the happy home and family the two could have created together. Only it had been wrong. The wrong path that he had drifted into when his eyes were closed.
"I chose another fate," he had told Scully. "And the end of my world was unrecognizable and upside down." He leaned back and gently framed her face between his hands. "There was only one thing that remained the same. You. You told me the truth. Even when my world was falling apart, you were my constant. My touchstone."
A tear slid down Scully's cheek. "And you are mine."
She slammed on the breaks as someone walked into the road.
* * *
Michael and Maria climbed the rocks approaching the cave. When they had arrived at the Indian reservation, River Dog's nephew had said that River Dog was expecting them. To say Maria was weirded out by that would be an understatement. River Dog "expecting" them was just damn strange. They hadn't seen him in months, but what could they do? They went to meet him at the cave.
Maria was still mulling over the things Michael had said to her. What were the meanings of his visions? She had questioned before whether his vision was the only fate or just one option. Now Michael was saying maybe the vision wasn't what it had looked like. Maybe it wasn't about Michael and Isabel together so much as other stuff.
She looked at him as he climbed the rocks. He was alone. He was always alone. On some level she had always known that, but mostly she had lumped Michael in with Max and Isabel. A trio. But did Michael feel like the odd man out? After all, Max and Isabel had a bond of two as well as to the group. Was at last finding a way into that pair bond as much a lure to Michael as his destiny? Was he looking for a family?
Ugh! She was tired of wondering about it all, about what it meant or what it might mean. She was tired of looking at Isabel and then looking at herself and thinking that in some way she came up short. She was tired of all that other stuff because it really didn't matter. In the end all she wanted. . . all she wanted was Michael.
It was that simple. She wanted to be important to him. She wanted to be as special to him as he was to her. She wanted to be with him.
Whatever connection Michael may or may not feel, Maria felt bound to him. She had felt it from the moment at the nookie motel when he had said that he wanted something better than Roswell. It was as if in that moment he saw straight into her soul, and she into his.
The two of them fit. For all their differences in some essential way they were the same. They wanted, needed... more.
Her bedroom looked out an alley. She worked twenty-two hours a week during the school year and forty hours a week in the summer to help her mother pay for that bedroom and for a beat up car whose battery exploded and whose transmission needed to be replaced. She looked at Isabels' great clothes and free time and she looked at her own. . .well, her own odd fashion choices didn't carry the same price tag.
Then she looked at the Evans' "happy home" (illusion that she knew it was) and she looked at her mother's disastrous track record with men. Of their circle, Michael alone knew what it felt like not to have the money to buy something you wanted. He knew what it was like to work, not just to have spending money, but to survive. He knew what it was like to have no idea who your father was or what he looked like. Michael knew what it was like to be screaming on the inside but hide it. He understood. And she felt she understood him in a way that Liz or Alex couldn't hope to. . .in a way Max, Isabel, or Tess had never thought to. She understood his humanity.
Maria saw the guy that this life had created. She saw the hurts and heartaches of the child who had been raised in a trailer park and who worked as a fry cook. That was the person she was in love with--not some elusive ghost of a forgotten past. Everyone else looked at him and saw unchanging fate, some being from another world and another life. Lately, she felt that she alone saw who he was now.
They pigeon holed Michael as some brooding, distant hothead, but they were selling him short and not recognizing the real obstacles in his life--this life not just that other one. What they were doing to Michael was the same as labeling her quirky and lighthearted. Many people did that and she knew that they weren't really seeing her. . . at least not all of her. No one's soul had easy labels.
But like souls recognized like. She believed that. When she looked at Michael she understood what drove him because it drove her. She wanted the same things--well, discounting the being taken to another planet part she wanted the same things. She needed the same things--again, if you left out the space ship part it was the same. A home. A place. Something better than Roswell.
She was breathing hard by the time they made it to the cave. Michael reached out and caught her hand. She caught her breath. Did he know what he had just done?
He glanced down at their clasped hands, then looked directly at her. Squeezing her hand they walked into the cave side by side.
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