FanFic - Other
"Beggars Would Ride"
Part 1
by Stephanie A
Disclaimer: The characters and plot of Roswell aren't mine. No infringement intended.
Summary: Liz is dead...
Category: Other
Rating: PG

It's the last dance of the evening. The lights have dimmed to pale haze over the floor, trickling off to pulsating shadows where, around the doors, the masses spill out into the night, and the serious pairs entwine and sway like so many pretty bits of daisy chains fragmented in pairs on the floor.

There's no one to chastise or notice when I pull you out onto the furthest edge of the lingering, muted final song, away from all the other oblivious lovers. You have let your dark hair fall all around your face, and you hide behind it, and against my chest as I pull you close to me.

I don't know the song, but does that really matter? I don't think I would remember if I could sing it, because there will be no more dances after this one, and the lights will fade out completely, and at this moment there is only dancing with you.

I don't look into your eyes as I pull you close, burying my nose in the soft, fragrant bed of your hair, losing my eyelashes and vision in the cloud. Just a trembling breath, and your hands at the base of my neck, tapping lightly at the top of my spine. Our bodies drawn up against each other, holding on to the warmth we have accumulated this night. Trying to make the moment last with the dying brightness. Rather than black, it turns red around the edges, like a gothic Valentine.

And you, so pale, are the lace on the edges, my beautiful constant.

I can't tell beginning from end from climax in this melody I don't recognize. I hope we can just keep dancing until it ends. Embracing you, and swaying in the nonexistent breeze. The air stands still. It can never really be over, can it?

Everyone is getting tired, leaving, the hollow, leaning dark at the fringes closing in until there's only us in that whispered song, that last dance that was never really meant for anyone but us. It doesn't stop, but plays on loop, over and over, as if any given moment could possibly repeat itself.

Yet we have been here a thousand times before.

After hours, minutes, light years, we pull apart. They call it final for one reason- it has to end. There is no entrance, no exit to that thick, opaque crimson, and you blend into it, turning, dissolving at the edges before kissing me good-bye for the night.

I will never love this way again.


Flipping through a magazine, you are trepiditious. Terse. Angry.

You, you don't live on earth, your home is a million, bazillion miles away. Who are you to lecture me about love?

I know about boys, this I am quite sure of. Human, alien, they all think the same. You just need to get into their heads.

Which, if you read minds, can be made infinitely easier. Snap!

I can read my brother's mind. That doesn't take ESP.


Hmm, I don't really like that color. I think, though, that if you put a layer of blue over it, maybe?

You just like silver better. Admit it.

It's become an irregular ritual, painting out nails. Just like the first time, and every time since, we can talk without pressure, or just sit there, giving ourselves and sometimes each other manicures. I run my hand over your toenails, and they turn electric green.

Change that back!

Giggling, playful, like girls do, I comply, and you flick your now-dry thumb at the bottle. When did I start laughing? This feels good, surreal, maybe, but cool, just being normal.

And suddenly, the epic drama is a bit less painful, the immediate subject dispensed with, the things troubling the back of out minds forgotten as the sunlight bounces off the little glass container in a kaleidoscope of colors.

OK, so maybe on my planet we don't need polish, just a mental picture, but there's something infinitely comforting about the synthetic bristles and the fact the one coat never really does the job, unless it's the super-expensive, thick, lush kind, that doesn't chip for, like, months.

On earth, every corner drugstore had the little bottled lined up end to end, in every color of the rainbow.

You find your way here, at lunchtime, or some sunny afternoon when you just need to complain, and I happen to be here. Several chance occurrences.

We talk, and paint our nails.

We have that in common.



We are about six or seven, and you have dragged me out onto your terrace, for one of our Saturday night camp-outs that were the coolest things in the world. Your dad has placed lamps at each corner that we turned out the second he turned his back, and kissed us goodnight with worried glances and making sure we'll be all right.

The sleeping bags are temporarily abandoned with your best stuffed koala bear, and we scurry in our pajamas to the telescope you have just received for Easter from your beloved grandma.

*Everyone* knows there are aliens in Roswell. You are convinced that if you look hard enough into the small, plastic eyepiece, you will see one up close. I peer over your shoulder until you give me a turn, and we stare up at the dark sky, where a zillion stars glitter like diamonds.

I say that I want a belt like that when I get older, when I'm a superstar with my very own song on the radio, and oohhh... won't that Vicky be jealous!

After a while, coming to the conclusion that we're probably *not* going to see any spaceships or little green men any time soon, we drag the blankets out from under the overhanging roof to gaze up and see as much as we can without the telescope.

Laying down, from so much further away, we point up there and wonder if that's all. If the world ends beyond that big, purply-blue expanse. The science teacher has told us about outer space, and Neptune and Pluto and all that stuff, but who knows if that is real?

There are constellations up there, you explain knowingly, and even sometimes meteors that fall. *They* come from up there.

The turn of phrase sets us to laughing again, and we cuddle, both starting to get tired, content to lay in silence and stare at the sky.

You drift off to sleep, and I wonder:

Up there.

We live in Roswell, I tell myself, as my eyelids grow heavy and I yawn. If *anything* is beyond the sky, we'll find out.

Some day.



Envying Max Evans.

The last really great revelation that occurred to me in the middle of the night, waiting for sleep, was that we all grow up. Even if it's a waste of time; we (I) don't plan on hanging around on Earth for the natural span of this body's life. It doesn't belong to me, I like to think. It's a consoling thought.

And one day, I accidentally wander into the Crashdown after hours, and notice that you have wasted no time.

You look up as I silently overturn a stool and straddle it backwards, continuing your tedious floor-sweeping as you wait for me to speak. It doesn't happen. Without so much as a raised eyebrow, you finish the perfunctory task, and slide the antennae off your hair. The pin on the pocket of your blouse is coming undone.

"No one's here but me."

As if you thinks I can see right through you, you ducks her chin, as if to say: *Don't you understand?*

"Max, Isabel, Maria... I haven't seen any of them all day."

"I know."

You can't understand what it is to watch you, like some fascinating bit of technology in a museum, with a neat little inlaid plaque: 'She who made Max Evans forget he was an alien.' Deep stuff. I gotta get me one of those.

"You're staring, Michael" you sigh in weariness. It's been a long day. "Go home, and let me finish up. I give you my solemn permission to raid the fridge. It's in the back. Go."

You point redundantly, and I smirk.

I haven't read your journal in a long time, and I wonder if you still keep one. You don't walk around moonstruck anymore, with the big, wide eyes of a lovesick teenybopper who runs home to capture all her moonbeams in a stupid book.

Do you tell him half the stuff you used to have in there?

Rather, you roll your eyes long-sufferingly, and head back yourself. You come back with a thick slice of chocolate cake and a spoon, that you hold out like candy in front of a bad kid.

I pull the Tabasco out of my pocket, and you just sink into another chair, cradling your cheek in your palm with resignation. Not watching me eat wordlessly, just using me as a focal point while your mind wanders on a tangent. I know that look- I've used it myself.

With more concentration than is evident on my busily masticating face, I open the drawer on the other side of the room, and float another fork in your direction. With a self-indulgent smile, you take a tiny crumb off the top.

Who would think that these are the stupid things memories are made of?

You are not her, and we don't even get along, but you didn't move, and didn't try to make dumb conversation until every bite had been eaten.

Earth girl. Chocolate cake, and twilight through the picture window of the Crashdown, which has seen more earthly lusts and sorrows than any self-righteous sheet of glass should have to tolerate.

I'll have to take a mental picture to thumb later on.

I wonder what flaw in human design makes us (them) so different. Him and I- shouldn't we be more the same than you two? That's not physical, not your fingers or face or my awkward self over the bar. It's a mental thing. But is that all just mechanics, too?

I don't want to know who I am. Just what.

You don't know, licking the last traces of icing off your utensil. You have an unnatural gift for silence in the right places. Not prying, not pressing.

It's not acceptance, but it's damn good in a pinch.

That's what I'll remember.

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