Fanfic - Other Roswell Stories
"Perils of Self-Involvement"
Part 1
by Melpomene
Disclaimer: Contrary to anyone’s opinion who would have me write this for legal reasons, I do not own the characters, backstory, etc for Roswell, I am not attempting to usurp the copyright holders’ privilege or rights, this was written as entertainment and in no way is intended to make money or infringe on anyone’s rights.
Summary: We should sometimes pay attention to the people on the fringe.
Category: Other Roswell Stories
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: I hate writing in first person, strange that this story came out that way. Don't ask where it came from since I'm not quite sure myself. I swear, I just sat down at the computer to write a paper and this came out instead. Oh yeah, the title makes no sense either.
They come in here nearly every day, the seven of them, eight if you include our illustrious sheriff. They always sit either at that same damned booth or at the counter. I guess I can't bitch about it too much, after all, three of them do work here, if you want to call what they do work, but still... talk about a group of people needing a life.

There used to be one more of them but he died in a car wreck not so long ago. That, in and of itself, was strange and seemed to drag up way too many questions if you ask me, which of course you didn't.

Nope, no one cares to ask me anything other than "can you cover for me tonight," or "you wanna pick up an extra shift over the weekend," or "hey, you wouldn't mind taking that table that just came in, would you." All I am is the money-desperate girl Mr. Parker hired to replace the last waitress who just up and disappeared. I think her name was Courtney or something, it sure wasn't Constance.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the extra shifts so much or even the extra tables I get every time Maria or Liz suddenly dash out of the cafe mid-shift; after all, more customers and longer hours means more money, but I sometimes wonder if they even stop long enough to realize that I'm a living breathing person and not just some super-robot-waitress hired to do their jobs for them. Me, bitter? Never.

I tried talking to them once or twice when we were first scheduled together and I was new to the job. It was about as stimulating as talking to a brick wall, less so even. I finally wizened up and decided to spend my breaks in the alley out back, at least I could get in a cigarette out there and the wall was interesting to look at with all the graffiti spray painted on it. I mean, even Jose responds occasionally when you ask him a question, and with more than the grunts and glares that are reciprocal of any words spoken to moody-cook Michael.

I don't like Roswell, New Mexico. I tried to keep an open mind about it when we first got here, but sheesh, could Travis have possibly picked a worse place to run to? Jenna keeps saying that we'll be safer here than we were in DC but I have my doubts. At least in DC you didn't have to face these creepy little alien reproductions at every turn.

Do they really think that's what aliens actually look like? I'd love to expound on my opinion to someone but who could I complain to? Jenna and Travis have heard it all before, repeatedly, so often in fact that they've got the whole speech memorized now. Travis just smiles and tries to convince me to lighten up a little, to be able to laugh at myself a bit as well as at their misconceived ideas about what alien life forms look like. Jenna just hugs me and tells me that maybe we'll be able to leave soon.

Yeah, we'll leave alright. We'll leave in one of two ways. Either we'll finally discover where the fibbies have been holding Jack and break him out or they'll find us here and we'll be taken in too. Jenna keeps telling me to think positive, to envision Jack alive and well, but I'm finding that harder to do lately. The FBI has had him for two years now; how could I possibly wish him two years of pain, suffering, and torture? I love him too much to wish that on him.

So, where do I find myself on such a beautiful sunny Sunday morning? Am I happily lounging on the fold-out couch watching syndicated sitcoms on our crappy little black and white TV set; am I hacking into government databases on the ridiculously expensive laptop computer we bought expressly to help us search for our missing friend; am I sitting with Jenna on the fuzzy carpeting, trying fruitlessly to join our thoughts with Jack, where ever he is? No, I'm standing beside a table of squabbling children and pleased looking grandparent types all dressed up for church and trying to decide between the Man in the Moon Griddlecakes or the Martian omelet.

I wasn't even supposed to be on the clock today. Mr. Parker had promised me the day off, the whole weekend off as a matter of fact, after noticing that there hasn't been a day in the last three months that I haven't been here, disgusting antennae in place and a smile plastered on my face. But wouldn't you know it, Maria and Lizzie-kins went off somewhere and who gets called in to cover for their sorry asses? To be fair, Mr. Parker sounded extremely unhappy about calling the apartment Friday morning, so unhappy that he offered me triple pay if I'd agree to please come in and work.

They just got back, Maria and Liz and apparently Michael too, which would explain Jose's presence in the kitchen this morning, back from Las Cruces of all places. Maria and Liz whirled through the cafe without a word to me or anyone else for that matter, just dashed through to take care of their oh so important lives. It was rather entertaining to see Mr. Parker march them both back downstairs to explain where they'd been.

I snuck out the back door to get a drag or two from my cigarette when I overheard part of their conversation. Man, was he mad. It made me glad I don't have parents; at least I don't have any anywhere nearby. It was funny, the change in their attitude. Liz started out all full of righteous indignation and ire until her father pointed out exactly how many shifts I'd been covering for them both. She changed her tune pretty quick after that, so quick that I almost started laughing before I caught myself.

The truth is, I don't begrudge them their ability to become so self-involved; I wish I had the same opportunity. It's all Jenna, Travis and I can do to keep our accounts in the black, even with all the over-time I've been putting in recently.

The work keeps my mind occupied too; while I'm dealing with my ridiculously picky customers I can forget the nightmares I have about what's happening to Jack. I can forget that we're running for our very survival. And at times I can even manage to forget that I'm not who everyone thinks I am, that I'm not even what they think I am. And for all those things I am grateful.

So let Liz and Maria and all their secretive little friends rush around and act all-important. In the realm of the universe it won't matter anyway. None of this will. Sometimes I wish I could tell them that; tell them that they're fighting a losing battle that's already set in stone regardless of what they think their destinies are.

I told Jenna something similar just the other day and she started giggling. She's right, how would I be able to explain myself, prove myself to these incredibly young kids.

"Yeah, we know all about Zan and Vilandra and Kivar and even your home planet and the Skins, but hey, it doesn't matter. This quest you're on is severely out of date, the war is over, your enemies were defeated and your people have completely forgotten that they ever sent you to Earth in the first place. Just chill out and live your lives the way you want to, avoid the feds as much as you can and try to be human because you'll never be accepted back home. But hey, if you want to help us fight our own losing battle with this incredibly nasty alien race that's determined to destroy all of humanity, be my guest."

Pretty lame even to my own ears.

I smile benignly at the grandparents who have finally decided on the griddlecakes and walk back across the cafe to chat with Jose for a moment as I turn in their order.

Sometimes what we want and what we have bear no resemblance to one another. All I want is to have Jack back safe and sound and be allowed to forget the eminent destruction of the planet I've come to love. All those kids want is to find out the truth.

I've come to realize that truth is greatly over-rated; you can give me a nice lie any day of the week.


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