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Before Roswell

Reply to Caty

Added to the Roswell Slash Archive November 29, 2000

Disclaimer: I own no part of Roswell.
Category: Other
Rating: R

The first time I ever heard the word "faggot", screamed out across the playground one day when Carey came to pick me up from school, I had no idea what it meant. But, even so, I could feel the violent undertones, the pure hatred in this scrawny sixteen-year-old's voice. I could feel Carey's body tensing beside me, feel him move slightly in front of me as if his very body were a shield. I could smell the adrenaline and fear coursing through his body and even though I could just barely hear his whispered command to stay quiet and keep my eyes down, it seemed like he was shouting inside my head. I remember that I kept stumbling as we hurried away from school, Carey's hand a fierce grip on my arm which urged me to a pace faster than my child body could handle. When we were finally home, shut behind locked doors, I asked Carey why that boy hated us, and we had a long conversation about the realities of this planet, and another item was added to my ever-growing "never" list. Never use your powers where anyone can see you. Never tell anyone that you don't remember anything from before you were six, that you didn't speak until you were eight, or that Nasedo isn't really your father and that he often leaves you with Carey for months at a time. Never answer any questions about what Nasedo or Carey do for a living, or where your mother is. And now, never answer any questions about who, exactly, Carey is in relation to you.

That night, as he tucked me into bed, he told me that some people will just never be mature enough to accept that there is more than one valid way to live a life, no matter what their age. The last time I ever saw Carey resembling anything like the Carey I want to remember was through eyes heavy with sleep as he crept out of my room later that night, having soothed away my tears and frustrations. That is how I try to remember him - as soft hands which twirled their way through my hair, soft mouth that brushed my forehead with kisses, soft eyes which looked at me with such great love I felt he was all I ever needed, that I would be quite happy if Nasedo never found the lost three.

Most times when I allow myself to think of Carey, I do succeed in remembering him as he lived. But, inevitably, reality intrudes and I cannot escape the vision of his death. That next morning, after I learned what "faggot" meant, I woke to a rough hand clasped over my mouth, another twisted in my hair, painfully pulling my head back. Strange, violent eyes looked into mine, and I recognized the boy from the day before. Then I was roughly picked up and drug downstairs. Thought I was worried, I was also sure that Carey would protect me. Worry turned to panic, panic to terror, as we descended the stairs and I finally saw Carey. He was suspended from the chandelier, naked, kept alive by his body weight barely resting on a dining room chair, the newest addition to my vocabulary crudely carved into his chest. Each of the six boys present raped me in front of him, each tightening the noose around his neck after they had finished with me. Finally they kicked the chair out from underneath him and stood watching until he stopped struggling. As soon as they left I ran to him, tired to get him down, tried to heal him. But he was already dead, and I'm not sure my ten-year-old self would have been strong enough to save him regardless. After trying in vain to help him, I collapsed, my mind and my powers betraying me. I hadn't moved from that room, not even noticing the passage of time, when Nasedo returned two days later. He healed me, buried Carey, and temporarily abandoned his search for the other three in order to teach me how to use my powers to protect myself. And then he retreated into himself, and we became yet another "American" dysfunctional "family".

Are you wondering yet who Carey was? Other than to say he is the closest thing to a parent I have ever known in this life, I'm not sure I can help you. I don't remember life on this planet without Carey - he was already with Nasedo when I emerged from my pod. He was human, and he knew that Nasedo and I weren't, but I don't know how or when he learned that. He was tall, with dark hair and eyes. Actually, Max looks quite a bit like him. His features were delicate, and at times he liked to wear eyeliner and blush, with a hint of lipstick if he were feeling really extravagant. My favorite memories are of playing dress-up with him. I don't know if he and Nasedo were lovers, but they shared a room when Nasedo was home, and they were affectionate towards each other. He's the only person I've ever seen make Nasedo truly happy. Carey was my friend, the first and only human I've ever cared about, and he was murdered for being different.

Max, Michael, and Isabel think they know what my life was like before I met them. They look at Nasedo, at his distance, his insistence that he is not my father, his coldness, and they assume that he has always been like this, and they are sorry for me. Even the humans make excuses for me, I can see it in their eyes. Tess doesn't know how to deal with humans. Tess was raised by Nasedo, she doesn't understand emotions. She doesn't know what she's doing. The truth is, I know exactly what I'm doing. I go out of my way to keep from caring about the humans. Why should I care about a species that kills their own, merely for choosing to lead a different lifestyle? Why should I be considerate of them, when all their species has ever done is to rob me of happiness and steal people away from me? First Carey. Then Nasedo. True, he's always been distant, searching for the three of them, but he was warm and affectionate and loving before Carey died and never the same after. And finally, Max, Michael and Isabel, who somehow believe that they belong with this ignorant, hateful species more than they belong to me. I've done a pretty good job of maintaining my indifference to humanity over the years I think. It's been easy - I've been alone, mostly, focused on finding Max, Isabel and Michael, fulfilling our destiny and going home, where we won't have to pretend anymore. But now our enemy is close, Nasedo is dead, my "family" refused to do anything about our destiny, and I think we all might die here on this backwards planet, I'm staying with the Valentis and I am feeling something towards them that I haven't felt for years - affection.

Sometimes I watch Max and wonder if I should tell him the truth about this war, about why the race he knows as the Skins are so intent on destroying us. But then I see how he just walks past the jocks without stopping as they call some girl a "dyke" and I remember that last conversation with Carey. I'm not sure if Max will ever be old enough to accept the truth. The truth is that I remember a life where he loved me. But he also loved Michael, in the same manner and fashion, as I loved Isabel. And for that, the Skins decided that our entire species must be exterminated, and our planet purified by fire.

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