Disclaimer: Nope...I don't own Valenti or Isabel or even the Fibbies.
Summary: Jim and Isabel are trapped and must overcome a few things.
Category: Sheriff Valenti
Authors Note: To the poor mistreated strawberries at the beginning of "Sexual Healing" and to William Sadler for being both an inspiration and a very naughty guy.
| He watched her move fitfully in her sleep. She whimpered occasionally.
Most of the time she cried and called out for her brother or the Guerin boy. He
liked it better when she was awake. Sometimes her eyes spit fire and mistrust
and she called him a "lowdown proletariat bastard" and blamed him for their
*Situation*? He slumped in the hard wooden chair and rubbed his tired
eyes with his fists. When had he started using such a flat word for what had
happened? Two days ago? Three?
The room was like a concrete box. What furniture there was, was bolted
down. One chair...a twin bed...a metal file cabinet...and a two way mirror
directly across from the bed. The door practically blended into the walls...an
offending mass of silver-gray metal with no window. There was barely room for
two people to move around. Which was why he moved constantly and she
didn't--unless she rose up like a haughty goddess to knock on the mirror and
demand to be taken to the bathroom. She did that twice a day at the exact
same time every day. The rest of the time she cussed at him and the
mirror...or she slept and tried to dreamwalk. He paced. He paced a lot.
*"Come on, you assholes...let us out! You can't do this, goddammit! We have
rights! Valenti here is a Sheriff! Don't you think they'll fucking look for
*"I didn't know you could cuss like that, Isabel. That's damned impressive.
Too bad they don't care about our rights. Go on and hush...you're only going to
make yourself hoarse."*
The first two nights, he'd slept in the chair. . .the morning of the third,
she'd watched him get up to knock for a bathroom trip, trying not to scream,
and she'd given a tiny nod. *Okay*. Only after he knew she was dreaming had
he dared climb onto the narrow bed and stretch out. Now, almost a week after
their imprisonment, it was nothing. Twice he'd woken up to find her curled
against his chest. Even in here, where drab blue coveralls and undergarments
were stacked in the cabinet and men with rifles stood guard outside, her long
blond hair smelled like fresh, ripe, strawberries. The scent made him ache.
Last Tuesday, he'd pulled the Evans' Jeep over for speeding. She'd only
been going five miles over the limit and what he'd really wanted was to see her
squirm and try to deny, once again, that she, Michael, and her brother were
what he suspected. It was a habit. He couldn't help it. So, he'd put on the
brights and the siren and urged her onto the shoulder of the darkened road. At
the Jeep, cool greetings had been exchanged.
*"Hello, Isabel....mighty late for a drive, isn't it?"*
*"There's nothing wrong with that, is there, Sheriff? I didn't know
Roswell had a teen curfew."*
*"No need for one as long as we have good kids like you and that brother
And that was all he remembered before they'd woken up on the floor of
this room. Before men in suits had filed in with silent smirks and stared at
them like they were lab rats. He still didn't know why they'd been kidnapped.
He still didn't know why they'd been stripped and changed while unconscious and
all their belongings taken and why the armed guards offered no explanation every
time they were led down the narrow white corridor to the tiny, pristine,
Isabel was right to blame him. It *was* his fault. He rubbed the back of his
head, remembering a feral, feminine grin. Topolsky. Feds. After Hubble, it
was no wonder they'd all gotten riled up. So they'd made their move. He hadn't
seen her--hadn't seen anyone but square-jawed Quantico flunkies--but every fiber
of his being said that Agent Kathleen Topolsky was on the other side of the
mirror most of the time. Not at night. He knew at night there was just
surveillance. Topolsky needed her beauty sleep, after all.
Isabel's breathy moan floated to him in the silence. He could make out her
dark, velvety brows knitting together in frustration. "Max...are you
Max was never "there". Neither were Michael Guerin or Liz Parker or Maria
DeLuca. She tried to act like it was nothing to worry about. He still hadn't
gotten up the nerve to ask her to try Kyle's dreams. He didn't want to
know...he didn't want to imagine. He worried anyway. What if the other kids
had been grabbed, too, and were somewhere else in this facility? What if
everyone was dead? What if his son was dead? He choked against his palms,
In light of it all...did it really matter that he finally knew the truth? That
the girl who lay in that bed was an alien? "No." He said it out loud, hearing
his rusty voice for the first time in hours. "No, it doesn't matter." She was
just a lovely, blond-haired girl who cried herself into dreamland...who smelled
like strawberries and swore like a sailor. Whatever lay under her skin was
something he'd ceased caring about....or maybe something he'd started caring
about even more.
Her big brown eyes were open...damp with exhaustion and failure. She had one
hand under the thin down pillow that they had learned to share and the other was
clenched at her side.
"Are they going to kill us?"
She meant, "Are they going to kill you and dissect me?". "I don't know," he
murmured, rising from the chair. "I won't let them hurt you," he assured
quietly. "I'll die before I let them do that."
Her voice was low and sad. "You probably will." She shifted on the small bed,
on top of the sterile white sheets. "You'll die and they'll cut me open." And
then she sat up suddenly, her hair spilling around her like a wave. She'd
partially unbuttoned the coveralls and the white of her bra peeked through.
Neither of them were particularly self-conscious anymore. Not when they were
always watched. Not when they had nothing to look at but each other.
"Or what?" They'd entertained theories before...it was almost like a game to
pass the time. Alien abduction. Anal probes. Blackmail. Genetic
experimentation. Alien autopsy. It was just a question of *when*. He sat
slowly on the edge of the bed, letting his tensed shoulders slump.
It took her a few minutes to finish the sentence, but when she did, it was with
the same convicted poise that she'd insulted their captors with. She stared him
straight in the eye like she had when he'd pulled her over. "Or they want us to
mate and have a alien-human hybrid baby."
He couldn't laugh. He couldn't even gasp in surprise. He'd thought of it.
He'd thought of it by Day Two. A young, beautiful, extraterrestrial trapped in
a room with an old, "hasn't-had-a-date-in-ages" goat like him...it smacked of a
sick government plot. And it terrified him. "'Bel," he sighed, closing his
eyes and swallowing hard. "Isabel, do you trust me?"
She cocked her head, and he half expected her to call him a perverted asshole,
but, instead, she scooted closer to the edge of the bed. Until she could
practically bump him onto the floor with her body. The berry scent of her hair
drifted up around him. "I do *now*," she informed, softly.
He laughed shakily, dragging a hand through his hair. "*I* sure don't trust
"Shut up. Just shut up, Jim." She poked his chest with one finger...making
his coveralls turn from blue to flaming red and then back again.
"Just how do you propose to make me do that? You going to work some alien
tricks on me?" he teased. "Give me a silver handprint?"
She shook her head mutely and her bottom lip began to quiver. It was pure
instinct--and years of holding Kyle when he'd wake up from nightmares--that made
him pull her into his lap. He could feel her entire body shaking as he held her
close. Her arms automatically slid around his waist and she rested her cheek
against his shoulder.
"They're all okay, right?" she whispered.
"Yeah, they're fine....they're fine, Darlin'," he murmured into her hair.
He held her for what felt like hours
but was only minutes, cradling her in his
arms until she pulled him down and they stretched out together on the bed. Even
then, he didn't let her go. He didn't want to. Her face fit into the curve of
his neck and her long legs tangled with his. She was soft and warm and the only
thing that kept him from breaking. She hadn't seen him cry...and he was
determined to keep it that way.
"I'm scared," she said into his skin. Her lips made him shiver and he ignored
"So am I," he admitted. "So am I."
He knew it was wrong. When she raised her head, their lips met anyway. She
kissed awkwardly but she tasted like she smelled and he craved it. His captive
body kissed her back, his mouth taught hers to open and caress properly as his
hands wound themselves in her hair. It was as if he imprinted his mark on her
lips, made them his and only his. As her young, lithe, form brushed against
him, his baggy coveralls seemed suddenly too tight. Lights went off behind his
eyes and he was undoing buttons and nipping at skin.
*Two naked children, holding hands, on a dark country road...a little blond
girl chasing pigeons in a park...that same girl, now older, crying at the
"Yes," she whispered. "More..."
Maybe it was that sigh against his lips...maybe it was a glimpse of the mirror
out of the corner of his eye...but Jim's control came rushing back. His senses
snapped into crisp focus and he broke away, breathing harshly and scrambling to
the foot of the bed. He took in great drafts of stagnant air. "Damn. Damn.
Damn." He closed his eyes against the sight of her lying there, all tumbled and
sensual, and swallowed sudden bile. "Told you I don't trust myself," he gasped
out sickly. "I'm sorry."
"I'm not." Her voice was calm and completely without shame.
"You're not?" He looked at her cautiously, carefully. She sat there as
unruffled as the Madonna in St. Anne's on Roswell's Jackson Street. Smiling.
Almost looking like young, untouchable, Miss Isabel Evans again. Her eyes were
"I saw them, Jim." She leaned forward, conspiratorial and excited. "Max and
Michael and Kyle and everyone! You helped me see them! They're okay! They're
alive! *THEY* don't have them!"
"They're coming for us", she meant.
"Well, I'll be damned." He couldn't help the smile that appeared on his own
face, replacing all the guilt, and the sick feeling in his stomach, with a surge
of absurdly happy hope.
They both swore triumphantly at the mirror, at the camera and the ghost faces
"Just you wait, Assholes...just you wait...you're going to pay!"
"Fuck you, Kathleen...you're going to get yours."
She tugged on his ankle, urging him back from his position of retreat, and they
settled comfortably and platonically into each other's arms. This time there
was no blinding need to kiss...no near-creation of a hybrid...and no vision. He
inhaled the scent of fruits and waited for the explosions to begin.
Jim found himself following the Evans' red Jeep in his cruiser, flashing his
lights. She was doing 50 on a 45 mph side street. The Jeep slowly pulled over
to the side of the road and he did the same, parking behind it.
Between catching up with paperwork, avoiding nosy reporters and Feds, and
spending as much time with Kyle as possible, he hadn't seen her. Seven days
since Max and Michael had freed them from the basement facility and blown it up.
Seven days since several unlisted FBI agents had died in a mysterious warehouse
fire. Seven days since he'd held Isabel in his arms and nearly created a sci-fi
cliche. He'd called Phillip and Diane a few times to check on her--mostly
hoping to catch her on the phone--and they'd been enthusiastic with their thanks
and not particularly forthcoming on much else.
He missed her.
As he got out of the car and walked towards where she sat, all proud and
unscarred from their ordeal, he felt his knees shake just a bit. He'd gotten
used to seeing her in blue coveralls and white cotton...she looked startlingly
beautiful and strange in a red tank top and matching vinyl pants. She almost
didn't seem like the same young woman.
"Hello, Isabel," he murmured, tipping his Stetson courteously.
"Sheriff," she allowed, casually taking off her black sunglasses and fixing him
with her cool, dark gaze. "Was I speeding?"
"Five miles over," he admitted gruffly, trying not to wince. Would this be
them? Back to normal? Business as usual?
She looked ready to cuss him out. Lord, he hoped she would. Minutes passed.
And then she smiled. She smiled and shook her head. "You lowdown proletariat
bastard...don't you have anything better to do?"
He laughed. The tension flowed out. He watched her eyes spit fire and he was
relieved. Truly relieved. "What do you suggest, 'Bel?"
Her lips quirked and one lofty eyebrow arched up. "Pie at the CrashDown and a
discussion of the latest in coverall chic?"
Leaning into the Jeep, he brushed a paternal kiss across her forehead. The
smell of strawberries enveloped him in a brief haze...and then it was gone in
the desert wind.
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