FanFic - Other
Part 1
by Elizabeth
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters.
Summary: Alt. Universe, Michael POV. A drastically changed Michael takes a look back at his life.
Category: Other
Rating: R
Authors Note: Thanks: To Betsy, who mentioned one of those 'what-ifs' that I love so much.

The walls are green. Not a big deal, right?

Well, when you're looking at the end of your life, you sort of expect things to go a certain way. I expected white walls. I don't think that's too much to ask for.

Why am I forever fucking up and getting disappointed? If I believed in fate, I would say that I was just born at a bad time, under a bad star, or something like that. But I don't believe in fate so there you go. The only person to blame is me, and like my psychiatrist says, I do a great job at that. So slap the gold star on Mickey's chart, he got one thing right.

My psychiatrist's name is Pete. He's an ok guy. His wife thinks he has a private practice outside Roswell. I asked him once how he felt about that-how did it feel to lie to her? Does he like it, or does he feel bad about it?

He steepled his fingers and gazed at me thoughtfully. "I don't know, Michael." he told me. "What do you think I should feel? Do you think I should tell her the truth?"

I hate that about Pete. He's forever talking about truth. I suppose it's funny in a way, but at the same time, it's really only the kind of funny that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. But to Pete, there's truth, and that's it. To me, there's truth, and then there's TRUTH. Pete doesn't see the difference, but since I do, we talk about it once in a while. I don't think he understands.

Here's a truth for you: I never expected any of this to happen. Do you see what I mean about truth? It doesn't really mean a goddamn, it can just be another word for lie.

Here's a TRUTH: I'm pretty happy here.

That's surprising. That I, Michael Guerin, could be happy living in a government laboratory outside of Roswell, New Mexico. But I am. It's better than what awaits me if I get out.

I don't tell Pete that. He wouldn't see the TRUTH of it. He would see it as a Michael truth, which to him means I'm displacing or whatever word he's most fond of this week. IT would just say that I should just wait, that Pete will learn the TRUTH soon enough. But Pete thinks that IT is a product of my subconscious. But I know what's going on. I hear the other one calling me at night. I mentioned that once, but they just doubled my medication and IT talked louder.

So I GOT BETTER, and they put me back on my regular medication. Now the voice isn't so bad, but I know IT is getting closer. I hope I'm dead before IT gets here, but truth to tell, I don't have much faith in the government's power to keep their alien treasure safe.


I ended up here after Max died. Pete is forever pestering me about Max's death. He thinks I should talk about it. I look around at his office when he mentions it to me, smile at the mirrored walls (hello people who are watching me), clear my throat for the strategically placed microphones. They don't even bother to hide those-the cleaning staff would just pull them out of their hiding places in order to dust or whatever it is the cleaning people do.

Pete says that the truth about Max's death is important. That learning what happened will help all of us. Yes, the government is benevolent towards me.

Funny, isn't it? I would have strung me up by my toes, but they do things differently here.

I don't talk about Max's death because I can't. I think about it, and it's a hot rush in my head; so much pain that I can't see-and then IT always comes by to remind me that I'm progressing along nicely.

*Do you remember?*

Of course I do. But Pete doesn't want this TRUTH. So I don't bother giving it to him. He wouldn't know what to do with it anyway.


Hubble shot Max. It's best if I say it as straightforward as possible. I know it hurts, and I'm sorry. It hurts me too. Pete once told me that the truth could set me free, which was a lie and a really stupid line to boot. The truth just weighs you down.

It happened so fast. Max had pushed the gun away, but Hubble grabbed it. A car was coming down the road towards us, and I wonder sometimes what would have happened if the sheriff had gotten there before Hubble pulled the trigger. But he didn't, and that's the way it is. There's a TRUTH for you.

People who get shot don't die quickly. I was surprised to learn that. Max fell over, landed on the ground, made these horrible, strangling, gasping noises that make me scream when I think about them. There was blood everywhere, running all over the place. It got on my shoes.

Sometimes I still think I can see blood under my fingernails. IT tells me that I need to get over it, that blood isn't so bad. IT can fucking bathe in blood if it wants, but I don't want to enjoy it. IT just tells me I need time.IT might be right. There's another TRUTH for you. Hubble was just standing there after he shot Max. I think he was surprised, I know I was. I think Max was too. I ran over to him, put my hands on what was left of his chest.

I wanted to save him. I might have even thought I could. IT tells me that I am really good at lying to myself, which is funny, cause Pete says the same thing. Neither of them knows that lying is the only thing I was ever really good at.

*No Maria, I don't care what you think. No Maria, I don't care how you feel.*

The truth is, I loved Maria. The TRUTH is, I was scared of her. The truth is, I hope I don't ever see her again. The truth is, I hope she didn't love me, because I certainly didn't deserve it.

I thought about fixing Max, I concentrated on fixing him. I tried, I tried, and then I tried some more. He grabbed my hand and told me that it was working, and then he thanked me. And then he died. Pete would say that Max was dying, that he didn't know what he was saying. The TRUTH is that Max was trying to make me feel better. He was that kind of guy. Hubble should have shot me instead.

But he didn't, and Max was dead. And the sheriff's car was pulling into the parking lot of that old cafi, and I saw Hubble, and he knew what I was, and he was going to shoot me too. Or he thought he was going to.

I just reached out and touched him. He was old and tired; I could feel that when I touched him. I could feel how bitter and angry he was, I could feel how much he missed his dead wife. I didn't mean to do what I did. IT tells me that I'm lying to myself, but I really didn't know what was going to happen.

I was just angry.

I touched him and I thought about those rash things that I'd given to people before. Isabel and Max could help people with their powers. I didn't do as well in that department. IT tells me that I just have other skills, but I know that I'm just a fuck-up. IT can't lie to the king of liars, but I haven't told IT that.

I felt that jolt that always comes when I use my powers-but I didn't pull my hand away. I didn't want to, and I don't think I could have.

Hubble got red, and he dropped the gun. Started scratching. I saw the little rash appear; I'd given those before. But this rash didn't stay little. It got bigger. It got redder. Hubble started screaming. The sheriff was there, and he was screaming too. But I kept looking over at Max, who was lying there with his eyes open, looking so sad and lost, and I couldn't let go.

They tell me Hubble exploded. I don't remember that, because the Sheriff had shot me by that time. I do remember a lot of warm sticky stuff on my skin, and I remember screaming, but I don't remember seeing Hubble die. I'm kind of sorry I missed that, TRUTH to tell.

The only thing I remember clearly is Max. Max, who should have never died. Max, who had so much to live for. Max, who was dead. Max, who I couldn't save. I hope he's forgiven me, but I wouldn't have. IT tells me that forgiveness is overrated, and that once I get home, none of it will matter. If home is full of lots of ITs, I don't want to go. I'll take my room in the Roswell Project lab, thank you very much.


The sheriff shot me in the shoulder. I passed out, and when I came to, I was in the police station. I'd been there before, so I was relieved to at least know where I was. And then Valenti told me Max was dead, and IT decided to come by and say hello. IT whispered into my ear, told me it was coming for me. I started screaming again and poor Valenti didn't get much in the way of answers out of me.

He even brought in his dad to talk to me, which was sort of funny, because Valenti Sr. and I got along great. He kept beating me at cards and we both agreed that it was very cold in the room.

Before he left, Valenti Sr. told me that IT sometimes talked to him too, and that if I got out, to keep IT away from Roswell. I agreed. It was the least I could do; he'd told me not to worry about the twenty bucks I'd lost playing cards with him. The old guy was quite the card shark.

I kept quiet about Isabel. It's what Max would have wanted, and to tell you the TRUTH, I'd forgotten about her. Pete would say it was shock. I say it's guilt. Who can say what the truth of the matter is?

Either way, she's safe. Valenti was so elated to have found that aliens existed that he didn't question me too closely.

The sheriff asked me a lot of questions, mostly about stuff that I didn't know anything about. I think he might have actually let me go. He's essentially an ok guy, which means that he always gets the short end of the stick.

But SOMEONE called the FBI. Pete says that I am angry about that, even though I'm not. It was what I deserved for letting Max die. Pete says I'm using guilt when I do that. I tell Pete that he hasn't killed someone he loved. I just think that the SOMEONE could have waited a while to call the FBI. I would like to have said good-bye to Maria; I would like to have apologized to Isabel and Liz.

But the FBI was called, and they came. They took me away, despite Valenti's protests. If I close my eyes, I can still see his face as the car I was in drove away. He looked angry and upset and worried, and I thought about the pictures he had on his desk, which were mostly of Kyle. The TRUTH is, Valenti doesn't know how good he has it. But people can never see that.


The FBI drove around for a long time. I think they just drove in circles. Then they stopped the car and dragged me out of it and put me in another car just like the first one. Whenever I tried to fight, whoever was holding my arms would just dig their fingers into my shoulder, pressing on the injured flesh till I screamed. It worked very well. IT says I should remember that feeling, that it will help me get revenge. IT doesn't see that revenge isn't worth it, but IT tells me I'll learn. I think IT needs a hobby, but IT doesn't find me very funny.

I ended up in another car full of men in bad suits. They argued about who had to sit in the back with me for a while, and then the one who did complained about how his back was hurting him. That should have been my first sign that government capture wasn't going to be what I thought it was, but I was still hopeful at that point.

We ended up at some office complex. I waited for the secret tunnel doors to open but they didn't. They just parked the car in the garage and walked inside, dragging me with them. No one even noticed us. People just don't notice these sorts of things. They don't want to see the TRUTH. I find that interesting, especially since it seems that everyone on Earth is fascinated with aliens.

We took the elevator up to the fourth floor and then I was told to sit on a chair in a waiting room. There was a receptionist there, and she was chewing gum. I asked her why she was there, and she told me "It's three, and I don't get to leave work till five. So there you go."

I wasn't expecting that. Then one of the suits I was sitting with went and got some coffee, and before I knew it, all the suits were drinking coffee and talking about LAST NIGHT'S GAME. I thought that was pretty disrespectful since Max had died last night, and that was more important than the game, but they ignored me.

That's when I started to realize that I'd gotten this government thing all wrong.

After a while, an older woman came out. She looked tired and harassed and she told all the suits to go "have your boring conversation down at the end of the hall. I've got a husband, I get the sports talk 24-7." Then she sat down and started to ask me questions. "Name? Age? Address? Date of Birth? Height? Weight?"

At first, I made up stuff, just for fun, but then she kept asking me to verify the statements FOR THE RECORD. "Hold on, I can't remember, did you say you were 6' 3" or 6' 4"?" And she said it with a straight face.

I'm not 6' 4" on my best day. But I realized that she didn't care that I wasn't telling the TRUTH. I was surprised about that, and I asked her about it.

"Look honey," she said (do you know, no one called me honey till I became the property of the US Government? Now I'm honey to at least six secretaries who I see every day and I know their names and have even seen pictures of their grandchildren, or heard about their cruises to Bermuda, and how the island is just a big tourist trap. I never knew that, I'd always wanted to go to Bermuda, but I wouldn't go there now.) "These forms aren't going to be looked at by anyone, ever. They're just the entry forms, but you know how it is with paperwork."

I didn't know how it is with paperwork, but I do now. When I have an EPISODE, and they have to double my medication, there are a lot of forms to fill out. The secretaries roll their eyes at the lab guys and fill them out, and then when I GET BETTER, they make muttering noises and tell the doctors that I just need more sleep and less therapy. Of course the doctors don't listen.

So I told the truth, and the older woman filled out the forms. Then she told the suits they could come back and then we all sat around some more. The receptionist went home and I told her I was an alien before she left. She just said, "So?" and rolled her eyes at me.

Finally, when I was so sick of hearing about LAST NIGHT'S GAME that I started thinking that maybe IT had a point, a man came into the room and told the suits that they could go. Then the man told me to come with him and I said, "No way" and he sighed and said, "OK" and went and got two jarhead-looking guys and they just picked me up and carried me down the hallway. And when I fought, they just gave me some MEDICATION. I felt much better after that.

I waited in another room for a long time. And then a man came in carrying a book and he looked surprised. "You must be new," he said and I nodded because I figured I was. He shrugged and sat down next to me, started reading. I asked him what he was doing there, and he said he worked there and he was on his break and I didn't need to tell him all about how I was an alien because he was on his break and for thirty minutes he just wanted to read John Grisham and not think about aliens. So we sat there in fairly companionable silence. The drugs they like to give me make me pretty mellow.

The guy finished his break and I asked him how the book was. He said it was pretty good. Then he left and came back wearing a lab coat and asked me if I would come with him, please. And I said, "What, are you interested now?" and he said that's what they paid him for.

I wasn't sure if I was all that interested, but the jarheads came back and I was convinced of how interesting it was and so I followed the guy and we ended up talking while he drew blood and gave me a vision test and a hearing test. His name is Luis, and he has two dogs and three satellite dishes. He really likes sports, and he doesn't understand why I don't care about them. I tell him it's because I'm too advanced for sports, and he always laughs and says, "I can do without that kind of advancement." Luis is a funny guy.

After that they took me to a room and told me to get some sleep. I didn't think I would, but I did. And this was even though the walls were green. I complained about that, but all I got in response was "We have to buy the paint that the budget office authorizes us to. You wanna write them a letter and complain?"

Once, after I'd been here a while, I said yes and they gave me some paper and when I was done the secretary who took it so she could type it up after the lab analyzed the paper (had I done anything to it? The lab likes to think that I can do all sorts of things) told me that she'd sent in four letters herself and wasn't I a sweetie for trying too.

But even though the Roswell Lab's pet project requested white walls, nothing happened. Sandy told me not to get upset about it, that the money for paint just wasn't in the budget. Nothing personal, they all liked me a lot, and had she told me that her grandson had just said "Gamma" for the first time that last weekend? I told her no, and she told me the story again.


Sometimes when Pete's feeling playful, he's asks me about IT. No one here thinks IT exists, they think that it was all a figment of Hubble's imagination, or that he was the one killing people and he couldn't face it because he wasn't in his RIGHT MIND. And me? Well, you know, my subconscious and all that. I mentioned that already, right? They keep me pretty drugged up these days, ever since my last EPISODE, and sometimes I forget stuff. IT finds that amusing, and tells me that no one understands. I tell IT to cry me a river, because I figure no one cares to understand anyone or anything. Then IT reminds me that Isabel is always out there if I'm not good and I say I'm sorry and that I didn't mean it.

Actually, I think Isabel is safe from IT. IT thinks I'm too stupid to figure things out, and most of the time, I suppose I am. After all, I couldn't save Max.

But if IT could get Isabel, IT would have done so already. I think Isabel is too human, too in love with this world for IT to get to her, and I'm glad. I hope that she's found some sort of peace. I hope that she can think of Max without crying. I hope that she feels safe, and I hope that she knows how sorry I am.

Pete likes to talk about IT as if IT was a concept. He thinks IT is something I haven't come to grips with, that I haven't embraced my alien-ness. Pete likes to make up words, I think. All I've done for the past however many months I've been here is embrace my alien-ness.

At first, they just ran tests on me. Blood tests, lots of those. Skin samples. Hand-eye coordination test. Once, when I was really tired of blowing into tubes so they could measure my air-flow, I asked when they were going to cut me open and dissect me.

They laughed and laughed and laughed some more, and then Luis told me that there was no need to cut me open, what did I think all the x-rays and ultrasounds and other assorted tests were for? And what good would I be if I was dead? They can look at all my organs any time they want, they just have to run me through the CAT scan machine, or take x-rays, or whatever. They kept talking, but I was kind of embarrassed by all the laughing, so I'd stopped listening. I told you I'd gotten the government thing all wrong.


So they gave me a routine. I got up, got food, got tested. At first, the food blew. They wanted to make sure I didn't have any allergies, so they fed me mush for a couple of weeks. They found the spicy thing interesting, and for a while, I got so much spicy food that I wasn't really fit to be around, if you know what I mean. Now I pretty much get to eat whatever I want, which is nice because the secretaries are always celebrating something and I like cake.

They also varied my sleeping routine at first, which sucked big time. First they wanted to see how long I could go without sleep (I was a disappointment, I didn't last long), and then they wanted to see how long I could sleep. IT was visiting me a lot during that time, coming in and whispering to me, telling me of all the things I could do if only I would apply myself, and I had an EPISODE, and they doubled my medication till I GOT BETTER. That's when I had to start seeing Pete.

After that, they mostly just tried to find my ideal sleeping environment. The secretaries got a kick out of that. "How about in a bed?" they would say to the lab guys, who would laugh and say "What, did you get your Ph.D. when we weren't looking?"

First they tried making me sleep in this fishbowl thing. Then they decided that heat might be good, so I slept in a hot fishbowl. Then it was cold, and I slept in a cold fishbowl.

Then, since I was so crabby, they thought maybe a "desert scenario" might be good. So they tore up one of the unused labs and set up a fake desert thing, complete with plastic plants. It was so lame. I got a good laugh out of that one, but I wasn't laughing after they made it as cold as it usually is in the real desert at night. I slept under the plastic plants, which disappointed them. They thought maybe I could keep myself warm another way. I felt bad; they'd tried pretty hard, so I melted a couple of the plants to keep them happy.

Eventually, I got a room with a cot, and the secretaries all chipped in and got me a futon. Pete didn't like that, but Sandy told him to stick it. The secretary thing took some getting used to. But they are the only ones who know where anything is, and then when I actually saw the lab techs' reports, I realized why secretaries are necessary, and why they pretty much run the place.

The lab guys can spell 'hydrostatics' and 'diagnostic' and 'blood level readings,' but they misspell my name, and they forget to put in important words like 'the.' And whoever reads the reports likes complete sentences, or so everyone is told. Out of curiosity, I once asked Sandy who reads the reports. She laughed and said that she figures no one reads them, but the lab has to produce DOCUMENTATION to get money.

Sandy is the head secretary. She's been here for fifteen years, and she knows more about aliens than I do. I told her she should write a book and she laughed and said that it would be pretty boring, and that besides, she's done enough typing to last her a lifetime. And then she asked me if she'd told me about how her grandson had taken his blocks and built a pyramid with them. "He's so smart!" she said, and I told her no, she hadn't told me that the kid had done that, and she told me the story again.


I mentioned Pete already. The therapy (that's what they call it) is the worst part of being here because it's a big waste of time. I think they just do it so they can bring in the bigwigs and show them how much they're LEARNING about me. Once, when Pete was pestering me about Max, I asked him how come the visitors had to sit behind a mirror. He asked me if I wanted them to come in, and I said sure.

So they came in. Two old jarheads in uniforms with lots of medals, one guy in a suit. They listened at first, but then they started doodling in their notebooks, and then one of them started eating crackers when I was trying to explain how I should have died instead of Max. I thought that was pretty disrespectful, and IT might have come by to remind me that I could do something about it, and I might have lunged for one of the old jarheads to get him to stop eating crackers and to LISTEN, but all I got was a lot of MEDICATION, and after that Pete and I decided that it would be better if we just pretended (Pete didn't say pretended, I added that) that it was just the two of us talking.

And I got someone to watch me at night. His name is Joe, and he was happy to be picked to be part of a special military unit. He thought it was going to be very glamorous-like "Men in Black"-but all he does is spend every night, from 2100 to 0530, sitting outside my room. He tells me he doesn't mind, but I think he's disappointed that this government thing is so boring. I told him I felt pretty let down too, and he laughed. He didn't realize I was serious.

Joe only sat outside my room for a week or so, he got pretty tired of that pretty quickly. Joe likes to talk, and once he discovered that I didn't know anything about the great state of Missouri, he decided that I wasn't too bad to talk to. Joe really likes Missouri-that's where all his family is, that's where his girlfriend is. He has a nice accent, all long vowels and pauses. It's soothing.

IT once told me that I could make an example out of Joe, but I don't really want to do that. Everyone here is pretty nice, even Pete. I'm different, but I'm not out of the ordinary to them. I'm like the crazy cousin that everyone rolls their eyes about.

What about my powers? Well, when you spend all day, every day either talking about them, being tested for them, or using them FOR THE RECORD, you get pretty sick of them. Besides, all I could do is hurt people, and I don't want to do that. I don't care what IT says.** But nothing can stay the same forever. I learned that a long time ago, when I first got comfortable in a foster home and the state came to take me away because I wasn't wanted anymore.

I tried not to get too attached to all the people here, because I don't want to miss them. I already have so many people I miss. Max. Isabel, Liz, Maria. Sometimes even Hank-his easy brutality was so normal, so understandable. IT tells me I could go pay Hank a visit, but IT misses the point. I don't need to make Hank miserable, he already is. IT is coming for me. Not too much longer now, IT is pretty sure that I'm ready. And I'm pretty sure I am. Ready, that is. I haven't been taking all of my MEDICATION.

I have six pills in my shoe.

Tonight, after Joe goes to write a letter to his girl, the one who lives back home, and misses him terribly, I'm taking them.

Sandy is bringing cookies to work tomorrow-her grandson is turning two, so we have to celebrate. If IT comes and I'm still alive, I think the grandson is the first person I'd go see. All that hopeful innocence-it would be nice to just be near something that reminds me a little of Max. But IT wouldn't let me just sit and watch over the boy, and I can't kill another person.

I'm sorry I'll be missing those cookies. I'm sorry that I won't get to hear about how the grandson drew a picture of the sun, and put arms on it, and how Sandy knows that he's the sweetest little boy in the world. I'm sorry for a lot of things, but I don't need to tell you that, do I?

Here's the final TRUTH:

I don't even mind the green walls all that much. I just like to complain.


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