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I've Got You Under My Skin

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Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list February 14, 2001

Author: Aunty Mib
Title: I've Got You Under my Skin
Series: Love Song Trilogy, sequel to Happy, Happy birthday Baby
Pairing: Isabel/Tess, others implied
Fandom: Roswell
Archive: Yes to Rareslash and Roswellslash. Other people please let me know as this is one story of a series and will require some special formatting.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the setting. I won't be making any money off of this.
Betas: Ruth
Warnings: In certain backward countries these people are underage. Spoilers up to "Surprise". The three stories are mood pieces. "I've Got You Under my Skin" is significantly darker and creepier than the other parts.
Rating: R
Summary: Isabel's experiences and thoughts the night of her 18th Birthday party. This story is concurrent with "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby." and "Goodnight, It's Time To Go" meaning that the stories can be read in any order.

I've Got You Under my Skin

I've got you under my skin
I've got you deep in the heart of me.
So deep in my heart
You're really a part of me

I've got you under my skin
I've tried so not to give in
I said to myself
"This affair never will go so well."
But why should I try to resist
When darling, I know so well

I've got you under my skin
I'd sacrifice everthin', come what might
for the sake of having you near
In spite of a warning voice that comes in the night
And repeats in my ear

"Don't you know, Little Fool,
You can never win
Use your mentality
Wake up to Reality."

But each time I do
Just the thought of you
Makes me stop before I begin
'Cause I got you under my skin.

--Cole Porter

* * *

        "Oh my God!" Mrs. Evans dropped her cup of punch.

        Max, Isabel, Maria and Michael escorted a filthy, bruised and bloody Tess into the Crashdown Cafe. They stopped under the banner reading "Happy 18th Birthday Isabel."

        Mrs. Evans hurried over.

        "Where have you BEEN, Isabel? Everyone was asking for you? What happened to your dress? What happened to Tess?"

        Tess started sobbing again. Isabel tucked a loose strand of hair back behind her ear.

        Max started talking, he was best at extempore explanations.

        "We were worried about Tess. She had called Maria to check where the party was and told Maria that she would be there in 5 minutes. When Isabel asked for Tess, Maria realized Tess was over 45 minutes late."

        Max paused. Maria took it from there.

        "So, like, I went to Maria and said, "Hey! Tess is, like, real late and all. D'ya wanna call her up or somethin'?"

        Isabel continued, "I rang her cell-phone number but didn't get through. Instead, the machine told me that 'The cell-phone is no longer within the range of this service.' And..."

        Maria jumped in, "Like, there is absolutely NO WAY that Tess could have been five minutes drive away from here and out of range. Like, I've used the cell phone all the way to Santa Fe. I thought maybe..."

        Max continued, "We discussed it and thought that Tess may have been in an accident. We asked Kyle's dad but he hadn't heard of any."

        Isabel spoke up. "I just couldn't feel comfortable staying at the party until I knew that Tess was okay. She has had a truly dreadful year. It's difficult enough being the new kid in school, but her father died just after moving here.

        I promised myself that I would help her out."

        Maria said, "So, Max n' Michael checked with Sheriff Valenti and went to his house n' all. They found Tess' cell phone n' called back the last guy to call her, y' know." She took a deep breath. "Isabel n' me checked out the highway and found the car crash."

        "And I tore my dress and that's what happened." Isabel finished.

        "That's terrible! But it's so good of all of you to care for your friends like that. Come over here and sit down." Mrs. Evans said

        The group scattered. Michael and Maria headed to the staff area to bring Liz up to date. Max pulled Kyle to one side of the room. Kyle handed Max a plate of food that he had saved for him. Isabel, Mrs. Evans and Tess went to the ladies' bathroom to clean up a little.

        Isabel felt horrible about lying to her mother yet again. She felt like bawling out loud, but she couldn't. For one thing, Tess was upset enough, she needed support not another upset girl. For another, crying in this much make-up would make her resemble Tammy Faye.

        As she and her mother wiped the blood off of Tess' face and bandaged up the cuts and scrapes; she wondered about what would happen if she were to tell her mother the truth.

* * *

        "Momma, I'm not really a person. I'm this THING from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". That's right: Max, Michael and I hatched out of pods. We are designed to mimic humans, but only superficially.

        By the way, there are at least two groups of people who want us dead. One group are aliens called 'Skins', they look human but they shed like snakes.

        The other group is the American Government. You know Max' emotional problems?

        Would you like to hear what caused them?

        Easy, an agent of the FBI had him tortured and raped, 'cause he heals people. Last year he healed Liz of a death wound and they fell in love, until he healed Kyle. Then Liz fell out of love. She was gone, G.O.N.E. gone. Did you know that Max doesn't stop loving people just because they stop loving him?

        Did you know that your little boy is screwing the captain of the football team, Momma? Did you know that Max is terrified that if he heals anyone else that Kyle will leave him the same way that Liz has?

        You knew about Michael and his 'Dad'. You knew that Hank had been beating on Michael since he was seven.

        Did you know that Max and I would wash the blood off of his shirts any time that Hank was feeling 'unaffectionate'. Did you know we had to wash the blood out of his underwear any time Hank was feeling 'affectionate'.

        What would you say if you knew that Michael had killed the guy who raped Max?

        What would you say if I told you I just murdered the woman who beat up Tess? I held up my hand and concentrated and she blew up into scraps of skin.

        I can't even tell the others that I might be a traitor.

        * * *

        "Isabel? Isabel honey?" Mrs. Evans snapped her fingers in front of Isabel's face. "Anyone home? Come on now honey, let's get you cleaned up as well."

        "Sure thing, Mom."

        "You know, Max gets that same look on his face too, sometimes..."

        Isabel and her mom went into the grungy little washroom of the Crashdown Cafe. The women's washroom didn't even have a stall, just one crummy toilet bowl of dubious hygiene at the best of times.

        Isabel tried to fix the mask over her real face. But the flickering fluorescent lights threw off all of the skin tones. All of the aliens had a pronouced yellowish tinge to their skin which looked lime-green under this lighting.

        Isabel washed the dirt off her face. She undid her hairdo and let her blond hair fall about her shoulders. She carefully redid her make-up as well as possible under the harsh lighting of the Crashdown bathroom.

        "There, now I look just like a young girl on her 18th birthday. There are two wonderful guys vying for my hand. Just let me carry off this charade for another hour then I can go home and cry."

        The others took Tess to the back as Isabel walked around the room and thanked everyone for coming. Thanked everyone for bringing such lovely presents. Thanked everyone for being such good friends. She repeated the lies about the crash. And she repeated the lie that she and Tess were OK.

        Isabel felt as if she had been stabbed with an icicle.

        Everyone had enjoyed Isabel's party, even though Isabel hadn't been there.

        Alex was understandably upset. He point blank refused to talk to her.

        Grant had left, in a huff, hours earlier. This had been an unspeakably shitty date for him.

        Max had brought Kyle up to date. Kyle was freaking. Max could handle him, would have to be the one to bring Kyle up to date.

        Michael was looking for Courtney. He said that he had to apologize to her. Maria was not pleased with this and told him off, to the amusement of their friends.

        All the humans were joking about Michael Guerin's Tabasco/vanilla cake. Isabel rather liked it. That made her feel like even more of a freak.

        Isabel wandered around the room, her dress rustling. She was just as pretty as the decorations on the walls or the wrappings on the presents. What was underneath was not so pretty.

        The party broke up pretty quickly. After all, it was a school night. Teenage parties with the parents hanging around rarely got that wild, especially since one of the chaperones was the town's head cop.

        Social butterfly duties over, Isabel headed to the kitchen where she knew Tess was seated. Of course, the rest of the conspirators were there as well: Max and Kyle were doing their best to keep their hands off each other, Michael and Maria were ostentatiously ignoring each other, Liz was acting as if the Aliens had cooties, Alex had been talking with Maria but broke off when Isabel walked into the room.

        While the restaurant was pretty charming, cheerful and festive in a corny way, the staff room was damn dismal. The fake smiles and cheer peeled off the waitresses faces showing the true weariness underneath. The room reeked of stale grease, rotting vegetables and sweat. That's where the alien conspiracy sat trying to stop Tess from going into shock.

        Isabel could feel the undercurrent of Tess like soda water in her veins.

        She sat beside the other girl and put her arms around her. Tess broke out into sobbing once again. Isabel held her tightly.

        Liz jumped up and grabbed her coat. "It's been real, but I honestly can't take anymore of this. I'm outta here."

        Maria squeezed Tess' shoulder and said, "I guess I'd better get out of here as well. You hang in there, kid."

        Max had an expression on his face as if Liz had just kicked him in the 'nads. Kyle winced in sympathy, after all, Liz had also been his girlfriend once upon a time.

        Michael cleared his throat.

        "I just saw Courtney go out back. She's been avoiding me all evening. I really have to go apologize. I need practice." Michael left through the alley door.

        Tess excused herself to go to the washroom, leaving Isabel with Alex. This was going to be the hardest conversation tonight.

        "Alex? We have to talk."

        Alex spoke in a low angry voice, "Right! After telling me that 'weren't ready to date anyone' you latched on to Mr. Geologist. I did a striptease in front of my girlfriend's date. I am a complete and utter loser!"

        He grabbed a knapsack and hefted it on his back. He headed out through the alley door.

        Max asked, "Where's Michael?"

        Through the open door between the kitchen and the alleyway they all heard a woman yell,

        "You ARROGANT, stupid, unmitigated ASSHOLE!!!"

        Max said, "Never mind."

        Kyle grabbed the walkman. The three guys headed out the door into the alley to join Michael.

        Isabel put her arm over Tess's shoulder. "Let's get out of here, OK?"

* * *

        Tess shuddered during the entire car trip back to the Evans' home. Isabel held her as Mrs. Evans drove. Tess didn't stop shaking even when she was alone with Isabel in her bedroom.

        Isabel could feel Tess's horror like razor blades slid under the skin.

        She wanted to scream at Tess, "Don't you dare trust me! I got you killed before."

        Tess sat stoically as Isabel dabbed alcohol on her cuts and scrapes. She thought to herself.

        "Dammit! Why couldn't Max have healed her?"

        Isabel knew better. Too many people had already seen Tess's injuries. And there seemed to be a pretty high cost for Max's healing. She wasn't sure that she wanted Tess to be that...intimate with Max at the moment. As for the cuts, well, diseases evolved toward specific hosts; human diseases didn't infect the aliens but bacterial infections were opportunistic.

        Tess fondled the material of Isabel's gown, as Isabel cleaned out her cuts with disinfectant.

        Isabel tried to get Tess to let go of her dress and Tess freaked. This time the two of them were so close that whatever Tess remembered Isabel experienced.

        Isabel slapped Tess to try to break her fugue state. That drove her in deeper.

        Red-tinged visions of Senator Whittaker slamming Tess around with the force of her mind possessed the two women. Isabel found that her slaps were synchronized with the beating the Senator Whittaker had given Tess.

        Isabel realized that pain would not break the link between the two of them. Perhaps pleasure could.

        She stroked Tess as if Tess were a cat lying in her lap. She ran her hands through Tess's blond locks and over her back.

        Tess reacted, just like a cat would. Isabel had no idea whether this was a natural reaction or something that arouse within the symbols and metaphors of her own mind.

        Tess curved back exposing more of her body to the imperatives of Isabel's hands. Isabel was still trapped in Tess's fugue state only now it was soft, and marshmallow pink.

        Isabel slid her hand under Tess's skirt and into her panties. Tess moaned and shuddered as Isabel caressed her, stroked her, manipulated her and penetrated her.

        A brilliant orange, wet explosion filled the link between the two of them. Isabel was back within her own mind and body. Tess was asleep, in what seemed to be a normal sleep of exhaustion.

        Isabel withdrew her hand and found her fingers coated in blood. She carefully got Tess into bed and tucked her in.

        Tess murmured something in a language that Isabel almost recognized. The only word she understood was, "Vilandra".

        Isabel fled that place. She had to find someone, anyone whom she could talk to about 'Vilandra'.

        The End

Continue to 'Goodnight, It's Time To Go'

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