FanFic - Other
"After Destiny"
Part 1
by Mala
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Summary: Tess reflects on the the life she never expected to have.
Category: Other
Rating: R
I'm waiting for the sun to burn out. To drop from the sky and fall into the ocean like a black mass of death and send waves radiating towards our floating home. I don't think Kyle realizes that's why I crawl out of bed so early each morning...that the only reason I pull away from his warm arms and go topside is so I can make sure the sun actually rises.

Maybe he thinks I'm up here praying or something. Or maybe he thinks I'm remembering Max. Either way, he never questions it. He shakes his sunbleached head, grins, and brings me a cup of coffee so sweet that it makes my teeth dance. Just the way I like it. After six years...he is attuned to me in ways that don't need to be verbalized. He is my husband. He is my mate. He is the destiny I was handed...not the one I was sent here for. And, for that, I am thankful.

I'm not thankful Max died. I'm not that heartless...although they all thought of me as such all those years ago. But I am thankful that I found my way. I lost the man I had built up in my mind as the perfect man, I lost a man who could have been my brother, I lost two humans who wouldn't have offered me friendship even if they had lived, and I kissed good-bye the only sister I have ever known and the second closest thing to a father I ever had. For all that loss, I found Kyle Valenti.

I found someone who was more than the swaggering budding Buddhist I had cereal with in the mornings before. More than my own personal human--because each of us had one, didn't we? Near the end there?

He is my center. He is my way. He is the sun that keeps on rising.

Nasedo would laugh to hear me talk this way. To hear me confess my poetic sins to the wind and the blue water. He would say I've gone soft. But I spent almost eighteen years living with fear, with death, with all the trappings of a warrior and it gave me nothing but coldness. Coldness in my bones and in my soul. Whenever I called Ed Harding "Dad", it rang hollow and empty in my ears. When Nasedo died, I barely had tears. When the CrashDown exploded and I wound up in the dark dust of the pod chamber with a human boy who wasn't meant for me...that was when the tears came. When I learned to feel more than I ever had before. To grieve, to revel in fury, to curse fluently at a distant planet, and to love.

With all those emotions set loose...I realize what a gift it is to be alive. I realize how lucky Isabel and Jim are. And Maria. And Kyle. And me. There was a time once when I didn't think being dead would be any different from being alive.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Every time we duck a hit squad...every time I close my eyes and will a veil to drop in front of a Skin's eyes...I thank my changed destiny. I thank the fact that the sun hasn't dropped. I thank the fact that Kyle actually wants to wake up next to me every day for the next thousand mornings and beyond.

Yes, I remember Max. Sometimes I even dream of him and I sob for the pain we caused each other. For the petty, foolish, dreams of a distant ruling court who thought they could program our hearts and our bodies.

But Kyle is my husband. We made it official in a drive-thru chapel in Las Vegas exactly four days after everything we knew as normal disintegrated. Elvis pronouncing you "man & wife" while some old lady plays the "Wedding March" on a synthesizer may not sound romantic to some...but it was everything to me. More than everything. It gave me a new name. It gave me a new life. It gave me a new future. Teresa Valenti, with her dyed auburn curls and her suntanned face, is ten times the person I used to be. She is someone I like. Someone strong, someone independant, someone caring. Someone who survived.

And Kyle is my mate. He was my first. His is my only. He will be my last. Our first time was in the pod we bathed in ashes and each other's tears...not exactly the best of situations...but his body and his hands and his sweet, loving, lips unlocked things in me that I never knew I had. Things wild and fierce and protective and passionate. Things that make me snap at the island women who give him the eye...things that make me throw up my hand and destroy a drawn handgun without a thought...things that make me drag him down below in the middle of the day and pull at the buttons on his jeans.

Kyle is the destiny I was handed...not the one I was sent here for. This time, my partner was chosen by circumstance...not by a faceless council and a mother-in-law I still don't quite remember...but the bonds that have tied us are more than circumstance. Circumstance doesn't keep people together for six years. Neither does duty or fear or mutual respect. We have forged a path just as surely as our sailboat has forged it's own path through the world's waters. Maybe when our boat stops at the edge of the planet...when we can stop running and looking and fighting and remembering...maybe then I can admit it out loud.

I now understand why Alex treated Isabel like she was made of diamonds. Why Maria called Michael every day for two years despite whether or not they were actually together or in one of their break-ups. Why Max would give up the lives of millions, and his own, for Liz.

It's why I come out onto the deck and wait for the flush of the rising sun. Why Kyle hands me a steaming mug of coffee, wraps his arms around my waist, and kisses the top of my head as I breathe a sigh of relief at the big orange ball hanging precariously over the water.

But it's still a dangerous word. A dangerous admission. A few of Nasedo's old lessons remain. I cannot tell Kyle I love him.

Not yet.

On the day I am sure the sun won't burn out...the day our boat docks for the last time...that is the day I know I will be able to tell him.

Our fingers brush as he cups the warm mug and makes me lift it to his mouth. He takes a sip and makes an awful face at all the sugar.

"I don't know HOW you can drink this shit, Tess!"

"Yes, you do." I lick the taste from his mouth...we almost drop the pewter cup and we cling to each other for more than an instant. "Yes, you do, Buddha Boy."

He all ready knows.

He is my center.

He is my way.

And he loves me back.

--the end--

Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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