Disclaimer: Please, I`m just an innocent little girl who owns almost
nothing, including Roswell, so don`t sue me!!! |
Summary: Each member of the group gradually discovers who Tess really is as they hide out in a church.
Authors Note: Takes place a couple days after "The White Room." As always, I have included throughout the story the names of songs that would be played during the episode at the specific places they would be. As always, you can sample them all at CDnow.com if you`ve never heard them before to get the full deep fanfic experience. The music in this fanfic comes from Alanis Morissette`s Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie and the Red Hot Chili Peppers` Californication. By the way, if you want to know the end of Alex`s joke you have to e-mail me for it and tell me what you thought of the fic first :)
|Hiding. That was all they had been doing in the past two days. Hiding in this friggin` cold catholic church attic with nothing to eat but stale cookies they`d found downstairs in the kitchen and nothing to drink but punch and lousy water from the fountains that were so low down they had to crouch to reach their mouth to the spouting water. |
They hadn`t found any place better to hide. They`d looked a little more, but it wasn`t like it was a life and death situation as to whether or not their hideout was pleasant enough, and they hadn`t really had all the time in the world to find a place. They`d just grabbed it.
At least their was plenty of food. That is, there was plenty of cookies for refreshments along with the bread for communion that everyone decided wouldn`t be right to eat, so they`d let that stuff be.
They really weren`t sure what they were going to do next except just stay here. They couldn`t go back home. Agent Pierce could track them down easily. So for now they were just going to stay here in the church and relax a little while, especially for Max`s sake who was too beat up to be out on the run.
They were doing pretty good at hiding so far. The door to the attic up there had been locked when they got there at first, which was nothing they couldn`t get past, but that had told them pretty well that this attic didn`t get many visitors. And as for making any noise, hell, they`d heard other things banging around and squeaking in that church at night much creepier and much more obvious than any racket they would make being up in there.
Max was laying down with his ear pressed against the floor board next to Liz who was doing the same as a choir rehearsed below them. That was all that anybody had come in to do since they got there, was rehearse or clean. It was the early afternoon, but ridiculously half of the others were still asleep. Everybody was very tired. It wasn`t as if it mattered. When their day started up here nothing more actionable happened anyway. It didn`t really make a difference as to whether or not they were up all day or slept most of the day, because they did nothing.
Alex was the other one awake besides Max and Liz, who obviously didn`t want to be awake because of his tossing and turning and groaning. The choir was waking him up. But Isabel, Michael, Tess and Maria seemed to either be more heavy sleepers or else they were awake but not squirming around as much.
Max had told Liz, Maria, and Alex that they didn`t have to stay here. They didn`t have to be hiding. But they`d refused to leave. Liz and the others were going to be around when anything happened that they needed them for.
Max stared down through the crack between two floorboards and could see the pianist playing below them. An Asian girl, he noted with boredom. Red sweater and white capris. Hair pulled back in a bun.
Who cares? he thought as he thumped his head back down on the floor. Liz looked across at him and smiled, just as bored. He smiled back and reached over to take her hand. Ever since escaping the compound, just looking at Liz had been the best thing that ever happened to him. At least, it seemed like it at the time, of course.
Alex sat up. "Where`s the food stashed?" he whispered.
Max pointed to a corner of the attic where several boxes and bags of cookies and crackers were. Alex nodded and walked over to it.
Tess was up now and sitting against a wall, looking bored. She was either thinking really deeply or paying attention to the choir music.
"I`ve never gone to church since I was four," Tess whispered suddenly. It surprised Max and probably everyone else too that she just said it, just like that. It wasn`t even like it was meant to be a conversation starter, just a mellow statement.
No one asked her what they were all wondering. Why didn`t she ever go to church? Had Nasedo thought it was stupid to get involved in humans` religion or something? Or had they just never really gotten into much activity at all?
Alex just held up a cookie. "Shortbread?"
Tess just groaned and rolled her head to the side.
When the rehearsal beneath them was done everyone started waking up and moving around, taking advantage of being able to make a little noise now. Everyone shoved some cookies down their throats in desperate attempt to get some energy in them and start their day.
"Isabel`s sleeping in," Liz noted once everyone but her was eating something. Max moved over to her and rubbed Isabel`s back. "Izzy, we saved some thin mints for you. Or do you want something else? They`re stocked up in the kitchen down there like you wouldn`t believe. They`ve got everything."
Isabel rolled over to face him and put her arm up for Max to pull her up onto her feet. "How do you feel?"
"Good," Max said as he helped her up. "Really good."
"That`s good," Isabel said and giggled.
"Well, a little rest," Alex said, "and a lotta aspirin. Makes all the difference."
"Does that mean we can take the bottle of advil back down to that guy`s office?" Michael reminded.
"If you can remember which office it was," Liz said.
"You don`t know what office it was???" Maria asked.
"Oh, come on, the guy`s a reverend," Isabel pointed out. "I think he would give a bottle of aspirin to someone in need who just escaped from a hell compound."
"Look, I`ll just take it down myself," Max offered. "In fact, I think I`ll just wander around the place for a while."
"Is that a good idea?" Maria wondered.
"Come on, it`ll be fine," Max said as he headed for the stairs. "If anyone is here, I`ll see the light on first."
"I`ll come down with you," Isabel said. "All this dust is too much for my allergies."
Max and Isabel went down the stairs and left the other five sitting around. Maria took a drink of water from one of the glasses they left sitting around with a box over them so nothing got into the water. "It gets cold up here."
"You can put on a choir robe," Alex suggested.
"Anything else up here?"
"Some hymnals. Couple chairs. A big painting of some dude in a black robe. Box full o` office supplies. Some old dish ware. Nope. You`ll have to settle for the choir dress."
Maria groaned and rubbed her bare arms. "I left my sweater in Max`s jeep."
"Forget it," Michael said. "You aren`t gonna go runnin` around the part of town we parked it in. Someone`s bound to see you who knows you."
"What exactly are you going to tell your parents about being missing for a straight week?" Tess asked suddenly. "They`re gonna know you and Liz and the Evans being gone at the same time is a coincidence."
"It won`t be that hard thinking up something. We got...lost in the desert. The sheriff can do something to help us out."
"We should have told him where we`re hiding," Liz complained. "Instead of just running off and-"
"It`s for our safety," Michael reminded her. "How do we know he`s not in his own organization to throw us in for experiments?"
"We don`t, Michael, I suppose we just don`t, but sometimes we just have to take risks."
"Everyone`s too tired to be in danger," Maria sighed. "I have to agree with Michael. I just wanna sit in this stingy old church and know we`re safe for a while. Besides, Valenti`ll find us before Pierce does. If we need to be warned of anything he`s going to get here. How the hell is Pierce going to find us?"
"I don`t know, I`m just saying-"
"Go back to sleep, Liz."
"I think I`m gonna see what they`ve got in this library," Max announced. "You wouldn`t be interested in joining me, would you?"
"I...don`t think so," Isabel laughed. "I`m just gonna go linger around in that big gym."
"Have fun," Max said, half sarcastic. He tried the door of the church library and found it unlocked, like most of the doors had been around this place. He went inside and looked around, finding not much but Veggie Tales tapes and Chicken Soup books.
"Well, if they have a Chicken Soup for the Pre-Matchmade Alien`s Soul I`ll be all set," Max muttered.
He concluded to leave the library.
Max was turning around to put a book back on it`s shelf and found himself against someone else.
"Woah, boy," Liz giggled against him and gently pushed him away. "Back off a little...there. Getting some heavy reading?"
Max shrugged and held up a cheesy guide-for-life volume. "Pretty light actually."
"Is there anything useful up here?"
"Useful? Yes, in fact it`s all nothing but useful. The problem is there`s nothing entertaining."
"Everything seems to appear that way. Oh look, Clifford."
"The red dog, you know? One o` them books."
"Oh. Well, we could all pretend we`re three-year-olds and read that crap."
"It`s not crap," Liz giggled as she picked up a Curious George book. "I mean, we grew up on this stuff. I could still grow up on it all. I don`t know why when we grow up we can`t live off of cute little kiddie things, you know?"
"I could live off of you," Max teased as he rubbed his hands around her waist."
"Max," Liz giggled and dropped the book down on the display table and turned to face him. "We`re in a church, this is sacrilegoius."
Max kissed her and broke away. "Why?"
"Oh, I don`t know."
"Let`s get outta here. It`s not very healthy to be kissing you and then look up and see Marvin Hailey`s Complete Parent`s Guide for Christians."
Liz laughed and followed him out of the library.
Isabel came into the attic and bounced a basketball over to Michael. "Do any of you find it odd that most churches always seem to have a gym for some reason?"
"Sorta," Alex joined into her boredom-caused conversation. "I mean, when we always played basketball or something in my church, the adults were always trying to relate it to team work or something. But I doubt they built gyms in churches thinking, we`re gonna teach kids how God can help us play B-ball. It just seems odd. What`s Max up to?"
"Stopped by the library."
"And that`s another thing. Libraries: how often does a church really use a library? They go and get videos down from there for the Sunday school classes, maybe, but not much else. And what about the adult books? Do they ever get read or do they-"
"Woah," Liz said quietly, as if saying anything loud would echo too much against the sanctuary walls. "This is much bigger than my sanctuary. This is big."
Max and Liz went through the aisle up to the stage and gazed up at the huge wooden cross hanging in front.
"Nobody better piss me off in this room," Max joked, "cause I could make that cross drop down easy."
"Boy, am I scared," Liz played along. "I don`t think I need to worry about pissing you off. You`ve been in the best mood ever since they broke you outta that place."
"Oops, you just reminded me, there goes the cross," Max joked. "I always wondered, though..."
"What?" Liz said, interested.
"I always used to stare at the huge hanging cross in church, and for some reason, I would sit there and obsessively wonder which way the cross would land."
"If someone cut it loose?"
"Yeah. Would it fall to the right, or the left? Would it fall backwards into the table, would it fall forward into the aisle? Or would it just stay upright? Or would it just sort of teeter back and forth for the rest of time, not knowing which way it wants to land any more than I do?"
"I better get you out of here before you decide to find out."
"Don`t worry," Max said, back in his playing around voice. He moved forward to her from behind and slid his arms around her waist. "I`d protect you from the ugly side of Max Evans."
"Oh, great, that`s all I need," Liz said, turning around to him. "Super Alien Man saving me from the Falling Cross Villain."
Max laughed. He started playing with her hair, drawing his face nearer to hers, so close Liz felt his breath on her lips. And then Max drew away from her just a little and his eyes fixed dangerously over her shoulder.
"What?" Liz asked. Then she turned around and followed Max`s gaze to Tess, ducking behind a pew. They watched as she got up and ran out of the sanctuary.
Liz looked back at Max, who was still staring in the direction of the door. She put her hands on his face, saying, "Forget her, please...just-" but Max broke away from her and headed towards where Tess had left. "Max!"
Max stormed out the double-doors of the sanctuary and looked to the right just in time to see Tess headed out the front door with her stressed fingers dug back in her hair. He went outside after her and called out to her back, "Don`t ever watch me again."
She kept on walking, saying, "Don`t try to tell me it isn`t my business, cause it is, Max. It really is."
He grabbed her arm and spun her around to face him. "What the hell are you saying? That my other relationships are your business just because I`m supposed to be in a relationship with you? Don`t ever follow me anywhere again, Tess. I don`t need you involved."
Tess stared angrily with her arms crossed as Max walked back into the church.
"She shouldn`t be walking around outside, should she?" Michael wondered. "I mean, someone could know her, it`s only a little past noon."
"Tess isn`t stupid, she`ll keep her eyes out for anyone dangerous," Isabel said. "Besides, are you really letting her make you worried? Save your concern."
"I think it`s safe to start being a little less enclosed now, though," Liz brought up. "I mean, we just walked around the entire church, nothing happened. We don`t have to limit ourselves to this dark attic."
"Of course not," Maria chimed in. "I mean, look out this window, if any cars come in, someone up here will see it come. If anyone comes or goes, we`re gonna know about it."
"I suppose," Max said, flipping through a craft book he`d found in complete boredom.
"And I see no reason we couldn`t go outside as long as it`s pretty early in the morning," Alex pointed out. "Especially if it`s late at night. Who will see us? We keep our distance from people and we won`t look familiar to anyone."
"Yeah, but Tess shouldn`t be out now," Liz said. "If anyone goes out in the middle of the day they should wear a hood or something."
"Now that`s an idea," Maria said. "If we could find a scarf or something it would be safe to go inside stores."
"Yeah, you could just pretend your Indian or something wearing one of those things around your head, and no one will look at you and think, Oh, it`s Isabel!" Alex said.
"Come in," Michael called. "And thanks for the warning. Everyone should say that from now on so that we don`t all feel like we should run for cover."
Tess came in and dragged her feet tiredly as she went over and sat in a corner. "Food..."
"We still have plenty," Alex said and threw her a back of Pepperidge Farm cookies.
"This isn`t food," Tess complained. "It`s devastatingly fattening snacks."
"You`re just mad cause the church ain`t got hot sauce," Maria teased.
"You damn hell bet I am. Nothing tastes right. These cookies might as well be leaves with sugar all over them. They`ve got stuff to make them taste good, but they don`t."
"We were talking about finding a way to get out and go to a store," Liz explained to Tess. "Someone could go pick up some tabasco sauce."
"Sounds good," Alex confirmed. "But how are the six of us with money?"
"I`ve got a ten and some clusters of ones in my pocket," Liz announced.
"I have five dollars and a dime," Maria said.
"I have almost ten dollars," Michael said.
"Stop," Liz said. "I think we`re fine. As soon as it`s dark someone should go."
"I`ll go," Max volunteered.
"No, one of us humans should go," Liz protested. "It`s just a little safer."
"Why? People are keeping their eyes out for you three too by now. We`re jumping to conclusions. I can avoid people. I`ll go. It`ll work."
"Someone`s desperate for something to do," Maria laughed.
"So what time is it now?" Michael wondered.
Maria looked at her watch. "Oh...4:40. It`ll be plenty of time before Max goes anywhere. Until then you can just eat leaves."
"Car," Maria announced, staring out the window.
"Wonder what he`s here to do," Liz said, looking out the window with her.
"He could be doing anything," Maria said. "Oh, there`s another car."
For the next couple hours a few more cars came, and it was clear people were busy at something downstairs. So people did nothing but sit around, until Liz said, "You know, I`m thinking there might be a Twister game or something down in one of those Sunday school rooms. Maybe I could go down there and look for something entertaining."
"If you can get into the rooms," Max reminded.
"Nothing we can`t handle," Isabel said with a smile.
"Just as long as you lock them back up when you leave. But you don`t actually mean now, do you? There`s a whole bunch of people down there."
"On the first floor," Liz said. "We can avoid them. There`s rooms everywhere, there`s so many places to hide. We`d only be going down to the next floor below us. It`s no big deal."
"Okay, but if anyone sets foot on the same floor, get back up here, okay?"
"Sure, dad," Isabel said glumly.
"Oh, shut up."
"Just be really careful," Michael said.
"Fine, fine, sure," Isabel said. "So it`s me and Liz. Anyone else coming?"
No one said yes. They left.
( UR by Alanis Morissette )
"Candy Land?" Liz held up an old game box.
"Sure," Isabel said with a shrug. "I haven`t played that in ages."
"Me neither. I don`t know if the boys will consider it as much of an opportunity."
Isabel laughed. "Well, no Twister," she noted. "At least we found a couple things."
They heard footsteps suddenly from the hallway. Liz and Isabel gasped out simultaneously, "Shit," and dodged underneath a tiny table. Liz kicked a box of leggos, causing a loud rattle, and they both covered their mouths with their hands to stop from laughing out loud.
They sat still until they heard the person in the hall pass by their room and go into another office.
Liz rolled out from under the table. "Should we go or wait for that dude to go downstairs?"
"We could go but we have to hurry," Isabel whispered, stacking Candy Land and dominoes on top of each other to carry back up to the attic.
"Okay, let`s go," Liz whispered and they tiptoed to the door. They had no shoes on already, which was to their advantage because it made them able to move more quietly. As long as they didn`t burp or anything they could get up in the attic silently.
They went out into the hall and Isabel turned around and placed her hand over the doorknob. Her hand glowed red as she relocked it and then Liz and Isabel turned away from the door and started walking quickly down the hall. All they had to do was round a corner, go down that hall, and the stairs there would take them back up to the attic. The door twenty feet behind them opened and the light went off inside the office.
"Damn," Liz hissed and grabbed Isabel`s elbow to pull her to the side to the stairway right to their left. The dominoes rattled as they flew down the stairs to the first floor. As soon as they got there they heard voices coming from a nearby room where the door was open, so they both headed down through another hall.
Isabel and Liz stood with their backs against the wall for only a few seconds before they heard footsteps coming from the hall they`d run from.
"Oh," Isabel groaned and clutched the two games to her as she darted behind a podium and huddled in. Liz frantically looked for somewhere to hide and, finding nothing else, ran right across the room into a confession booth, and slammed the door shut behind her.
Liz sat down, breathing quickly, as she listened to the footsteps go by and trail away.
"Welcome, my child."
Liz looked to her left through a window with a metal screen over it and realized she wasn`t alone.
"Oh, crap," she whispered to herself.
"I forget how to play this," Michael complained. "Actually, I don`t believe I`ve ever played it."
"You`ve never played Candy Land?" Isabel stressed.
"Izzy," Max said.
"It`s easy, you just-"
"Is-a-bel," Max said.
"........So you know I`m thinking, I shouldn`t have gotten involved with his stuff, cause it wasn`t really my business, you know, but I just thought my cousin should know....that his best friend`s girlfriend was hitting on him. Was I right? Cause he got all mad at me cause he still thinks I imagined it but I didn`t, but he keeps saying it wasn`t any of my business who was hitting on whom, but why wouldn`t it be?" Liz gasped for breath after speaking.
"Hmm, yes, I suppose it would be, yes."
"So I have nothing to confess to."
"I suppose not. Have you lied to anyone?"
"A...long time ago."
"Have you confessed to it?"
"Um...yes," Liz lied.
"Then I`ll say good-bye, my child."
Liz stormed out of the booth.
"So, did he forgive you?" Alex joked when Liz came back.
"Shut up," Liz said. "You guys got a game going?"
"The other girls are still teaching Michael the rules for Candy Land," Max explained with a laugh.
Liz looked over at him. "It`s about time for you to go, isn`t it?"
"I guess so. I`ll be back in a while, then."
"Here, take Michael`s coat," Liz handed it to him and he put it on. "And be careful."
"Uh-huh," Max said absently. He opened the door and went down to the next floor. Less people were in the church now, and now that it hadn`t been odd to the priest for Liz to be running around, he figured if he was spotted he wasn`t going to be automatically thrown out.
Max went downstairs to the first floor without seeing anyone and went on out the front doors. It had been dark for almost an hour now.
( Otherside by the Red Hot Chili Peppers )
Max had been walking for only five minutes when he heard a separate pair of footsteps along with his, and he turned around and saw Tess.
"You sure know how to freak someone out," Max said glumly.
Tess smiled with the same glumness and joined up next to him as they started to walk again. "They decided you shouldn`t go alone."
And of course you volunteered, Max added silently. "Company`s always good."
"This from someone who`s been hiding away his whole life."
"That`s why it`s good. And what`s that supposed to mean, really? Just curious."
Tess stopped walking. Max stopped too.
"It`s right in front of you," Tess said.
"I know you`re tired of hiding. Of pretending to be someone you`re not. You don`t have to anymore. You just have to accept one little thing and then you won`t be covering up yourself anymore."
"You`re saying I won`t have truly accepted my real identity until I`m with you?" Max started walking again. Tess caught back up with him.
"As long as you`re with her, Max, you`re in denial."
"You have this all wrong."
"Is that what you want to do forever? Pretend your something else, deny where you really belong? Will you be with her forever, Max? Will you always be in denial? Will you be in denial when we all find out our history? Max..."
He started to walk faster.
"Will you be in denial when it`s time to leave?" Tess finished. Max sighed and turned to her.
"I`ll be with Liz as long as I can be," Max said. "As long as I`m with her, I`m not denying who I really am. I`m being the person I really am."
Tess didn`t say anything. Good, Max thought. I only wanted to go out and pick up a few groceries, after all. Hopefully she`ll stay quiet.
And she did. But she made the quietness disturbing for both of them by the way she kicked every rock that got in her way and whistled all the time. Max swore many times she was doing it on purpose to make him uncomfortable. Tess just wanted him to say something.
They walked in the grocery store and got a few bottles of tabasco sauce, a bag of wonder bread, and a dozen apples. Once they got to the counter Max remembered, "Crap. I didn`t get dough from anyone."
Tess pulled out a wallet. "Covered. You can go out and wait for me."
Max went outside and sat at a bench to wait for Tess. He looked at the windows of the store. Nope. No Missing Person ads for any of us. Yet.
"I said no," Max heard Tess say after she came out the door. "Leave me alone, okay?"
He looked over at her. A guy was holding her obnoxiously and the grocery bag was on the ground.
"Come on, girl, just one dollar, okay?" the guy said. Max got up and moved over to them.
"Leave her alone," Max said. The guy stared. "Okay?"
He backed off and held up his hands. "Fine, man." He ran off.
Max leaned over and picked up the grocery bag.
"Thanks," Tess said.
"Save it," Max said as they started walking. "I owe you big time and you know it."
"Max," Tess put a hand on his shoulder to make him stop walking and face her. "I don`t want us to owe each other anything. I just wanna be..."
"Friends," Max finished, sort of prohibiting her to say anything different.
"Well...yes," Tess agreed. "I guess so. What I mean is...I want you to trust me. Like..."
"Like Isabel and Michael."
"And Alex and Maria and Liz."
"Yeah, I guess."
Max stopped. Maybe this was one conversation with her he could stand having with Tess. "I`d like to be able to trust you. I`d like to include you in the group. But..."
"Max," Tess suddenly whispered.
"What?" Max whispered back.
"That guy from the store. I think he`s following us."
Max turned away to spit on the ground behind them, making it look casual, to look behind them. Sure enough, the guy was there.
"I think you`re right," Max whispered. "Turn into this alley..."
He didn`t know if Tess understood why or not, but Max was going in there partially so that they would be able to tell if he was following them, but mostly because if they were in a hidden area, they could use their powers against him.
Of course, he followed them in. And in realizing that they both knew now that he was behind them, he took action.
He drew out a gun. Max and Tess spun around to have it held up in front of their faces.
He has a gun, Max thought. Figures.
"You try anything and I`ll shoot!" the guy yelled like some nut.
"Oh God," Tess said shakily aloud.
And then he shot. It hit Tess in the left shoulder. She flew backwards onto the hard alley pavement.
"Damn!" Max shouted. He had to do something. He looked around frantically at the ground and spotted a dented soda can. He thrust his hand toward it, sending a force of energy at it, and it flew forward through the air and hit the guy hard in the forehead
"Ah! Man, what the-"
"Get away!" Max shouted. He turned and ran out of the alley.
Max dropped down next to Tess and snatched down the neck of her shirt to expose her shoulder and put his hand over it. Great, he thought. I`ve healed someone from a gunhot wound twice in one week now. That can`t be good.
When Max was pretty sure he was finished he pushed Tess up in a sitting position. "Are you all right? Does it feel like it`s all fixed?"
Tess just looked up at him. She seemed okay, Max concluded. And now that he was sure of that he suddenly felt like he had to get away from her.
He hadn`t felt guilty after healing Kyle. But damn, how could he do that? She hadn`t been dying.
Do you know what you just did? Max asked himself. Do you realize you just redid the whole incident that brought you and Liz together? Don`t you know Tess will see this as treating her just like Liz?
Don`t you know this is just what she wants?
Don`t be an idiot, Max thought to himself. Was I supposed to just leave her like that because of my stupid nagging reasons?
But something still told Max, get away from her. He stood up and grabbed Tess`s held out hand to help her to her feet. Her grip was surprisingly week. Did I heal her all the way? he wondered. But then as she got up and kept her hold on his hand he could feel her shaking. She seemed so shaken up it was like it was vibrating the whole alley. It would take an utterly ignorant idiot not to notice that she was freaked out like dear God would allow.
Tess broke her hand from his grip. "I`m s...." She turned around and walked a few feet away from him and leaned against the brick wall. "Shit..."
|Index | Part 2|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|