FanFic - Unconventional Couples
Part 1
by Mala
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, blah bliddy blah.
Summary: So much for me not writing sappy futurefics involving the Roswellians and babies in a relatively *happy* context. I think Hell just froze over.
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: PG-13
He tells her she's beautiful every day. Even when she throws things at him and cries and screams, he tells her she's beautiful. Even when her lower back is burning and her feet are swollen and all she wants is a pint of pistachio ice cream with white gravy, he tells her she's beautiful.

"Stop humoring me. I look like shit!" she says, sometimes, as she grips the arms of the recliner and slowly inches herself down to the overstuffed mauve cushions.

"I'm not humoring you," he always assures, the light twinkling in his eyes. "As my Great Aunt Helena used to say...'it's not humoring if it's the truth.'"

"You don't HAVE a Great Aunt Helena," she grumbles as he gently takes her feet in his hands and lifts them onto his lap so he can tickle her toes.

"That's not true. Just because she didn't send a wedding gift doesn't mean she doesn't exist!"

Most of his relatives didn't send gifts. Neither did hers. In fact, her mother didn't even come. She doesn't blame them. It really wasn't that kind of occasion. She remembers standing in front of the Justice of the Peace in her simple white dress...feeling grossly uncomfortable as the old man tried to look everywhere except down at the telltale four-month roundness of her belly. She remembers watching Tess and Kyle look pale and pained as they tried not to envy what they would never have. The price is too high. They all know that now.

She remembers hearing the words "I now pronounce you man and wife" and feeling her husband's--her *husband's*--gentle lips brush her forehead.

She cried when he dropped to his knees and kissed her stomach, too...when he whispered, "It's okay, I'm here forever. For both of you."

He still talks to the baby. In fact, he READS to it when they're curled up in bed at night. He flops down with a book of fairy tales or Greek mythology, clears his throat, and reads a chapter a night. It has become a ritual...a comfort. Once he tried reading a Whitley Streiber book about alien abduction, but she nipped that in the bud. "You're screwing her up enough with all those incest-y myths," she said. "She's going to be psychotic."

Her baby being psychotic is the least of her worries, she thinks. When she was in her sixth month, she had a panic attack every day, wondering if she would give birth to something green with six toes and tentacles. She called Tess almost every afternoon to come sit with her and assure her that the delivery would be fine...that her child would be perfect and human and no one would ever speak the word "hybrid" while looking at him or her.

She's convinced now.

Now her only worry is that the baby might look like Michael. When she first found out it was a girl, she breathed a sigh of relief. No little boys with their father's sullen mouth and floppy reminders. But that delusion didn't last long. She knows the baby could still look like him...have his eyes or his nose or his chin. Still *be* like him...have his attitude...his flashes of vulnerability...his *powers*.

And she wakes up her husband with her screaming when she dreams of stuffed animals being expelled from cribs with the wave of a tiny fist.

He pulls her close and holds her until she stops trembling.

But it's never quite close enough. *** He found her on the steps of the Roswell free clinic. Michael had been gone three months by then and all she had done for days was sob and break dishes at the CrashDown. Only when she'd realized that she'd skipped two periods and even *her* whacky cycle wasn't quite THAT whacky had it begun to sink in. So, she'd gone to the clinic. In another time, perhaps Liz would've driven her and held her hand.

But the Liz who'd cared about anything besides Max Evans had been gone long before the Granilith had physically taken her and her true love, his sister, and the father of her best friend's baby, into the stars.

Oh, the brave warriors, the heroes, going off to save Antar.

She actually finds it funny that her best friend now is Tess. Liz's once-enemy. And she finds it more brave and caring and wonderfully selfless that Tess didn't go 'home.' That she chose to stay with her human family and finish out high school and do almost everything 'normal' people do. Kyle needed her, so Tess stayed.

What *she* needed hadn't mattered to anyone. Spunky, sassy Maria could survive anything...even her boyfriend leaving to go fight the good fight. Spunky, sassy Maria had wound up pregnant and alone, sitting on concrete and wondering if it was too late to go back inside and make everything go waking up from a bad dream.

And then Brody Davis found her.

He waggled his eyebrows and offered her half the Galaxy Sub he was saving for later in a brown bag. He didn't seem surprised or offended when she turned slightly green. And he held her hair back from her face as she retched into the bushes.

If anyone had told her two years ago that she would wind up married to a British guy with funny hair and earrings, who sometimes got taken over by alien entities, she would've told them they were full-on crazy. But she'd entertained the notion of marrying Brody once before--when seeing his sick little girl had tugged at every maternal instinct she had--so the second time, it was easy to say 'yes.'

It was the only thing she was capable of saying while he patted her back and told her everything would be all right...that if he couldn't 'kill the grotty bastard who did this', he could at least 'try and be there for a wonderful girl who deserves better.'

Her baby would have a father.

She would be Sydney's stepmom.

They would be a family.

Brody wouldn't leave her like Michael did.

And he wouldn't love her quite like Michael did either.

So, she said 'yes.' ***

"What are you going to name her?" he asks, drawing circles on the taut, translucent skin of her belly. Every once in a while, the baby kicks against his fingers, but he doesn't seem to mind.

And, still, he tells her she's beautiful. Not fat. Not blue-veined and monstrous. Beautiful.

"Gaia," she whispers. "Gaia Helena Davis."

Her daughter needs a name of her own. Not Michaela Elizabeth or something else that is a hollow, sappy reminder of lovers and friends lost. Not something that belongs to the past instead of the future.

"And who was Gaia, Sydney? Can you tell us that?"

Sydney, sitting at the foot of the bed with a half-open book of illustrated myths, puffs up with pride at being asked such an easy question by her daddy. "Gaia was the Titans' mommy," she says.

"That's right," Maria murmurs with a sad smile, patting the space beside her and gesturing for the angel-faced 8-year-old to snuggle. "Gaia was Mother Earth...the mother of the Titans. And she fell in love with the Sky."

She and Brody share a look over Syd's head, and she can see the understanding in his eyes. Michael was the Sky. And in reality, the Sky never quite tilts down enough to touch the Earth. To stay.

She blinks away tears and looks away first, feeling her lower lip tremble. Her gut clenches as the baby levels a powerful kick and she has to gasp for breath. "A-and who is Helena?" she questions, trying to grab some semblance of not destroy the tender family moment.

"Daddy's great aunt. My great-great aunt," Syd pronounces with the air of someone whose intelligence has been insulted twice in a row. She arches an eyebrow. "Have you met her?"

"Nope. She lives in England," her stepdaughter informs, loftily, curling against her side.

"*Really*? Is that so...?"

Sprawled on her other side and still stroking her burgeoning stomach, Brody catches the drift and shakes his head violently. "Oh, no...don't start THAT again. Just because Sydney hasn't met her doesn't mean she doesn't exist."

She grabs the picture book and throws it lightly, beaning the high end of blond spikes. "Well, since I'm naming the baby after her, she'd better exist!"

"Ow! Head for the hills, Syd! Hurricane Maria has picked up speed and is dropping debris allll over New Mexico."

"Daddy, you're SO funny. Isn't he funny, 'Ria?"

"Oh, I'm funny, am I? I'll show you funny, Miss Sydney!"

"Very funny," she agrees, softly, watching Brody lift up his daughter and fly her around the bedroom while making 'high wind' noises.

He's funny and sweet and honest and not quite handsome. He has never made her cry. Never made her feel unwanted or unloved.

He's her salvation.

Her own little girl will be flown around the room to these same "Whoosh!" sounds and she will never know that anything is missing from her life.

She'll never feel what her mother feels.

The bittersweet warring of an empty heart and a full life. *** Ten fingers. Ten toes. Gray eyes. Wispy blond hair. And a scrunched up pink face. Her first furious yell nearly brought down Roswell General's entire private birth a completely normal, human way.

"Your daughter is beautiful," he says, "Just like her mum."

She believes him. The epideral has worn off, so she believes him.

During the delivery, he let her squeeze his hand so tightly she sprained his wrist. He even let her shout "This is all your fault!! You did this to me!" at him...ignoring Great Aunt Helena's advice this time and humoring her even though it was far from the truth. He breathed through the Lamaze with her and held up a picture of the sky--the dark, midnight sky-- for her to focus on.

She thinks it was his way of bringing Michael to her.

She stared into his eyes instead. And it was then that she realized that, he, too, was like the sky. The mid-morning sky. Fresh and open and so full of love. Every time the pain crested, she clutched his hand and held his gaze.

"*Our* daughter," she corrects, as their fingertips meet against the baby's silken cheek. "Gaia Helena Davis, remember?"

"O-ours," Brody repeats, swallowing what must be a sudden knot of tears. And then he leans down and kisses her mouth.

The Sky tilts down and touches Earth for the first time.

Soft. Tentative.

And Earth touches back.

She kisses back. Fierce. Certain. "You're beautiful," she whispers.

And she knows she'll tell him every day. For the rest of their lives.


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