FanFic - Other
"The Daisy Chain"
Part 8
by Camryn
Disclaimer: Song is "The Devil You Know" by Face to Face.
Summary: Alex POV.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13

It’s alright. Everything is fine.
Live the perfect life –
Never one immoral thought inside your mind

What they say...does it make you feel ashamed?
Isn’t everyone the same?
Does it matter that it wasn’t your idea?

God is a man. You know for sure
The knowledge in and of itself,
Is more than we deserve.

So you’ve tried, you’ve made up your mind
But something’s still not right.
The devil you don’t know is still outside.

What they say...does it make you feel ashamed?
Isn’t everyone the same?
Does it matter that it wasn’t your idea?

God is a man. You know for sure.
The knowledge in and of itself,
Is more than we deserve.


Tess. What can I say about that girl that won’t come across as lame or cliched? I’m not glad she’s gone – what kind of monster would that make me? But I am glad that it’s over. I can’t remember the last time I felt so knotted up with tension just by the mere presence of someone. That’s not entirely true. I used to feel like that every time Sheriff Valenti entered a room. He didn’t even need to be speaking to me, and I would tense up stiffer than a cedar tree. But that feels like a lifetime ago.

That was just after a time when my biggest headache was finishing a history report, or getting the guys to seriously consider starting a garage band with me. Back then, before the truth “set me free”, before I became one of the elite, when there was nothing that an ice-cold orange soda couldn’t cure. But Liz and Maria started to change. They started to avoid me and shut me out. It was awful. I remember begging them, begging Liz, to just tell me what was going on – to let me back in, so that things could go back to normal. Little did I know that my life would never be “normal” again. That isolation, that loneliness is something that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But I handed over to Tess in heaping doses, never once thinking twice about it. Never once trying to relate. And why should I? She never tried to relate to me. I was a liability, a human with a puppy dog crush on her sister-in-law. The further out of the picture she was, the better I felt. Tess only served as a reminder to the others. A reminder of just how different they were and how, regardless of our sacrifice – our devotion to them – we would never really belong. But we *do* belong. The way we've connected, there’s a reason for that and it’s not something preordained or cosmic. It’s about the heart and the choices it makes.

No, the way I feel – er, felt – about Tess was different. There was something about her that just made me feel uncomfortable. Something about the way she looked right through me to get to Isabel. My Isabel. My Isabel who is grieving the loss of one of her own. My Isabel who spends hours at a time weaving wreaths of daisies to place at the grave. My Isabel who sits in her rooms staring blankly as the tears fall freely from her beautiful brown eyes. My Isabel who is slowly becoming less and less mine with each passing day.

She feels responsible for Tess’s suicide. She won’t say it out loud, but I know her. I know she feels like she ran that blade up Tess’s arm and there’s nothing anyone can say to ease her pain. I try. I drive her out to the gravesite sometimes, and I sit in my car until she’s ready to leave. Mostly she just lies there and I can see that she’s talking, sharing her secrets with Tess the way they used to when Tess was alive. When she gets back into the car, she just looks ahead, as I continue to listen to the radio and we don’t speak about what happened. I don’t ask and she doesn’t tell. What is there to say? I once suggested that she skip a day at the grave to have a picnic with me in the park. I figured that the change of scenery would do her some good. I will never forget the ghostly white that crept up her neck and consumed her face. Her voice was low and even when she said, quite simply, that she was going to visit with Tess. And that was the end of it. Isabel misses her more than any of us can understand and I can’t help but feel like even in her death, Tess has managed to get between us.

I remember the day when we confronted her at the Crashdown about sneaking out to see Tess. She looked so helpless, and when her eyes met mine in search of support and understanding, all that I offered was a steel that only Tess could manage to bring out in me. If I had that day to live over again, I think that I would have realized how important that connection to Tess was for her and I would have been there where she needed me - backing her up. I could never imagine telling Liz to live without Maria, or vice versa. But I let my fears and insecurities speak for me and I, ultimately, am as much to blame for Isabel’s anguish over the loss of the only friend she’s even known.

It’s so weird how Tess and her death have affected us all. Max is wearing Kyle’s venom like a mark, as a reminder of her existence. That’s a typical Max thing to do. He could have made those bruises disappear before Kyle’s fist even retracted from his face. I know that and I’m pretty sure Kyle knows it too. But Max sports them like the sign of a grieving widow. Michael, well he’s made his “peace” and he’s moved on. He doesn’t speak about it – Tess was here and now she’s not. It’s always been that simple for him. Maria, on the other hand, has thrown herself at Michael in a manner that defies my simple male comprehension. It’s almost as though she wants the heartache that she knows will come when Michael starts to make his “stonewall” noises because he feels “tied down” and “serious”. And, I can’t even begin to describe Liz’s reaction to all of this. Sure she nods and lowers her head respectfully at all the appropriate moments, but she’s just going through the motions. She’s being the perfect Liz Parker her parents raised her to be – polite, courteous, and reserved. Ever the scientist, Liz is clinical and emotionally detached from all things Tess.

I know you can see us, Tess. The six people who spent years pretending you didn’t exist. The six people who locked you out. Look at us now -- you’ve tainted everything we do, say, think and feel.

You may not have gotten your destiny, Tess, but you've left yourself one hell of a legacy.

Part 7 | Index | Part 9
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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