FanFic - Other
"Tess to TESS"
Part 4
by Syndee Thomas
Disclaimer: The characters belong to the WB.
Summary: The forth alien arrives in Roswell only to find that she's already there in the form of a clone - Tess. Takes place after "Destiny."
Category: Other
Rating: PG
Upstairs Teresa is taking a nap in Liz's bed while Liz and Maria get dressed for their shift. Alex will hang around until Sondra arrives so that they can devise a plan to expose Tess. Sondra has called from the airport about two hours ago and should be here soon.

They are all pleasantly surprised to see the Czechs at their usual booth and waiting for the order that they placed. The fact that Tess is not with them is extremely pleasant. They all acknowledge with a wave or a smile that they've seen each other and it almost feels like old times.

This atmosphere doesn't last long because Tess shows up and joins them. Max can barely contain his anger and shoots Liz an unspoken apology. She smiles and relays to him through their unspoken language that she understands.

Liz and Maria share a triumphant glance for the few minutes that they were allowed to remember how things use to be. Knowing that Tess' days are numbered also gives them a feeling that everything is right with the world…and then they see her.

She's just as Teresa described her. Fashioned on petite but shapely lines, the young woman had hair so naturally fair it gleamed like silver, and clear green eyes enhanced by unexpectedly dark brows and lashes. Sondra is standing in the doorway and has just spotted Tess and is on her way over to their table. Liz and Maria are panic-stricken and can't move when all of a sudden Alex is locked in a passionate kiss with Teresa's older sister right in the middle of the crowded restaurant and in front of Isabel.

Alex saw her before the others and even though he told her Tess was not Teresa she was going to call out to Tess so Alex kissed her to shut her up.

Isabel though that Alex was coming over to say hello but instead he runs pass her and into the arms of another women and is kissing her in front of a crowded restaurant.

Alex's back is to everyone and he's trying to convince Sondra to come with him upstairs. She looks around him to the Squad's table and asks Alex, which one is Teresa's brother. Alex doesn't answer her but she chooses Michael by commenting, "The one with the hair, right?"

Alex ushers Sondra over to Liz and Maria where she hugs each in turn then follows Alex through the kitchen and up to Liz's bedroom for a reunion with her sister.

The dining room has gone completely quiet. Liz is almost afraid to look towards the Squad's table but when she can't delay it any longer all eyes are on her. Maria has managed to leave the dining room to cower in the kitchen.

Isabel, for all her ice maiden persona, is crestfallen. She looks as though she wants to pout but will put on a brave front for the others. Tess is saying something to Isabel, which doesn't help because she looks even more dejected. Max and Michael keep looking to Liz for an explanation but she can't chance jeopardizing their secret and possibly endangering their lives so she ignores them.

Alex and Sondra return to let Liz know that they're going over to her hotel and that Maria is with Teresa at the back entrance. The Squad is looking at them dumbfounded when Alex walks over to their table, leans over to whisper in Isabel's ear. "Don't even think about dream-walking me Isabel," before he continues out the door with Sondra.

Before Max can stop him Michael is headed towards the kitchen seeking answers from Maria who has not been back to the dining room since Alex's girlfriend arrived. He is through the employee's only door before Liz can stop him but she is able to deter Max.

Liz grabs Max's hand and the warmth and comfort she has always known when touching him is back with a vengeance. She looks down at his hand and notices the Orb Symbol on his wrist and pretends she doesn't see it when he tries to cover it with his sleeve.

"Is Isabel okay?" Whispers dazedly as she strokes his hand and wrist.

"Does she look okay?" Max thundered.

"Alex still cares for Isabel, tell her to have faith and trust him."

Max looks over to Isabel and back to Liz and remembers a time when she showed faith when everything pointed against him. He has to trust that Liz knows her friend and that Alex wouldn't deliberately hurt Isabel. Now if Liz will just stop touching him he can make it back to the table to comfort his sister.

Once in the kitchen Michael sees Maria standing next to a young girl with a baseball cap covering her hair and he gets a feeling deep in the pit of his stomach. He is mesmerized at this point and silently approaches both girls who haven't acknowledged his presence yet. The girl has her hands crossed behind her back clearly exposing the Orb symbol on her left wrist

"What the hell?" Michael grabs the girl and turns her to face him when he is struck dumb by her likeness to Tess. "Who are you?" he demanded.

Liz and Max both hear a commotion in the kitchen and Liz convinces Max to let Maria and Michael hash it out. She can only hope that Michael can keep the secret away from Tess until they figure out what to do.

"Liz, I need to get back to Isabel," gently detaching his hand from her grasp.

"Are you okay?" Max raises his voice to bring Liz out of her reverie.

"Yeah, I'm fine," gives him her complete attention. "Day dreaming, I guess."

As Max walks away he hears laughter from Liz and looks around to find she's still alone and appears to be looking at the toaster. (What he doesn't see is the images from his childhood being played out for her through the reflection of the toaster just as the reflections of Teresa's childhood were transmitted to the bathroom mirror.)

Maria grabs Michael's arm and places her hand over his mouth. "Michael, listen to me," her voice a mere whisper. "This is Teresa and she came here looking for you. She has convinced us that she is the true fourth Pod Member. She was abducted from Nasado when she was very young and replaced with "Destiny's Child": Tess. We have to be very careful until we can get you all together. Tess is an imposter and it's just a matter of time before she identifies you to your enemy."

"Can I take my hand from your mouth now," awaits his nod. "Okay Spaceboy, say hello to your sister."

There is instant recognition and Teresa throws herself into Michael's arms and he can't help but swing her around. Maria has never seen him so happy and tears sting her eyes for the pure joy this meeting brings him. Alex and Sondra had been waiting in the car for Teresa but are now standing at the backdoor witness to brother and sister's reunion.

"Michael, I've been looking for you for so long," tears streaming down her face. "I would dream about you every night but could never see your face," steps back to take a better look at him. You're beautiful."

"I hate to break this up but with Tess in the dining room we need to get going," Sondra adds gently as she walks up to Michael and hugs him. "I'm Teresa's sister and yours if you'll let me."

Teresa eventually lets go of Michael's hand after he assures her that he'll come to their hotel as soon as he can safely get away. She reluctantly leaves with Alex and Sondra.

Michael encircles Maria in his arms, his face buried in the comfort of her sweet smelling neck. She makes cooing and soothing sounds to him as if he were a baby seeking comfort at its mother breast. His body jerks and heaves with dry tears and she Absorbs his pain as though it were hers. She feels sorrow for the life he has led but rejoices in the life he will now have with a family he never knew. She loves this man with every breath she takes and pledges to let him know it for the rest of their lives.

"Michael, you have to join the others before they come looking for you," gently pulling away from him and cupping his face in her hands.

"I can't," voice cracking "I make a mistake and she'll know we're on to her."

"Michael, you can do this," kisses him on his forehead. "Get Tess away from the table and tell Max and Isabel about Teresa. I'll call Isabel on her cell phone, pretend to be her mother and say that they're needed at home. Okay."

Michael nods in agreement and wipes the tears from his eyes with his sleeve.

He wasn't an actor, but what he was about to do would take the skills of a professional performer. He closes his eyes for a second and orders his nerves to quiet before entering the dining room.

"Michael, can I get you anything else?" Liz queries with a worried look.

They are standing face to face and in that moment she knows that he has met Teresa and accepts her as the true fourth alien. It's written all over his face, in the smile he throws her and in the sly squeezing of her hand as he passes her on the way to his table.

Michael settles back against the well-worn seat of the familiar booth and tries to relax, but the effort is in vain. He has to get rid of Tess so that he can speak to Max and Isabel.

Suddenly Michael reaches for the Tabasco sauce and knocks Tess' milk shake onto her blouse and into her lap. She jumps up yelling at him exclaiming how clumsy he is. She is about to use her powers to clean herself up when Max stops her with a nod around the room making her aware that all the customers were looking at them. She excuses herself to the ladies room.

"Max, Isabel we don't have much time before she returns. Do you still have the Orb Symbols on your wrist?" Anxiously looks around to make sure Tess is out of earshot.

Max pulls up his shirtsleeve and Isabel removes her bracelet, which has kept the marks hidden.

Michael exhales and continues, "Did Tess ever mention that she had the symbol?"

"No," from brother and sister.

"She's an imposter. I met the true fourth alien in the kitchen and she has the symbol on her left wrist just as I do. She claims to be my sister." Continues his rapid account of what he has learned. "I want us to meet her at her hotel but we have to get rid of Tess. Maria is going to call Isabel on her cell phone pretending to be your mother wanting you guys home. I'll have Tess drop me at my place and you guys pick me up there in thirty minutes. You may want to use your mothers car in case she checks up on you."

"Michael, can this girl be trusted?" Max looks to Liz and she relays to him with her eyes that she believes Teresa.

"Maxwell, you are the leader of our race and if you decide not to meet her I will abide that but I've never felt this sure about anything in my life. Trust me this once, please?"

"Shh…here she comes. Laugh or something or she'll think something's wrong," hisses Isabel.

"She'll definitely think something is wrong if this group laughs," Max mutters flatly. "Talk about the hockey game or the new Metallica CD."

Tess takes her seat and the group talks about mundane things until the ringing of Isabel's cell phone interrupts them.

"Hello," with slightly exaggerated enthusiasm.

(Maria: "Hi Isabel. It's your mother Maria. Did Michael fill you guys in?")

"Yes mom. We didn't forget. We'll be home soon."

(Maria: "By the way Isabel, Alex still cares for you and he'll explain everything at the hotel - see you there.")

"Max and I have to go home. Our grandparents are coming this weekend and we promised to help clean the house. Tess can you drop Michael at his place?" Doesn't give her a chance to answer before she and Max scoot out of the booth and are walking towards the door.

Part 3 | Index | Part 5
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