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Such Hell

Reply to Coco

Sent to Extra Sugar February 27, 2001

Title: Such Hell (1/1)
Author: Coco (hersheyxxxooo@hotmail.com)
Feedback: Please! I need it just as much as I do a good cup of coffee in the morning.
Distrbution: This one's a freebie, you can post it where ever you please. I'd love it if you would tell me where it is first, but that's up to you.
Summary: The aftermath of Surprise. Slightly slashy, but only slightly.
Genre: Tess/Isabel
Rating: PG



The Granalith. I stared in awe at it as I felt a sinking feeling in the pit in my stomach. No. I started to back away. This was what had put us all in danger, what led to Tess being kidnapped, me killing someone. I wanted to scream some more. I couldn't believe this. The Skins were looking for this, were ready to kill anyone who got in there way, and I knew where it was, right here in the pod chamber.

This struck me as oddly funny, and I began to laugh. I laughed and laughed, I cackled hysterically, and a bit crazily. I laughed so hard that my vision blurred and the tears streamed down my cheeks, but I couldn't stop. I knew what a wreck I must look like, but I didn't care.

I collapsed on the dirt floor of the pod chamber, curling myself into a ball, laughing and crying. Somewhere along the line I stopped laughing and just cried, rocking, chin in knees.

What seemed like hours later, I finally stopped. I looked in one of the granalith's reflective walls and used my powers to rid my face of the redness and the puffiness from the crying, and to erase the black streaks where my mascara had run. I re-did my hair with a flick of my hand, it had come down during my hysterics. I ran my hand along my skirt, erasing any of the dirt that had accumulated there. Last, I took the rip in my fingers, smoothing them over it, the torn threads weaving back together, and it suddenly looked like l had just finished getting ready for my party, not been out chasing evil aliens to get my friend Tess back who had been kidnapped by them.

Tess, how is she? I wondered. Another part of my brain was telling me to go home, to worry about Tess later, that it could wait. But I remembered how she had looked, crumpled on the ground in the power plant, bruised and beaten, sobbing incoherently, scared and alone. And once again I felt the surge of anger that I had used to kill Whittaker. To kill. That phrase repeated itself over and over in my mind, berating me, punishing me.

I walked towards the cave's entrance, out into the desert, under a starry sky, black velvety darkness surrounding me.

I killed a person. An enemy, an alien... Does that make it OK?

***

I just drove around in the jeep aimlessly for awhile, no place in particular I wanted to go. I couldn't go home. Not now. It would be too hard. I couldn't stand to lie to Max, to mom, to myself, to say it was all OK. It wasn't. It would never be OK.

I didn't listen to the radio, too distracting. I didn't look at the scenery around me, didn't allow my mind to focus on anything but my driving.

But one who wanders always ends up somewhere eventually, as did I. After awhile I felt the car slow to a stop, almost as if to its own accord, and found myself in front of a house, the mailbox reading Valenti. As I stared at the mailbox in confusion, my mind returned to an earlier thought.

Tess.

I turned off the car's engine, and took the keys out of the ignition. I hopped out of the car and closed the jeep's door, making sure my dress didn't get caught.

Quickly composing myself, I marched up to the front door and rang the doorbell. Kyle answered the doorbell, rubbing his eyes sleepily, peering up at me in confusion.

"Isabel? What're you doing here? It's two o'clock in the morning." he stared at my face oddly.

"What?" I reached a hand up to touch my own cheek, just to realize that it was covered with the soft, salty moisture of fresh tears. I hadn't even known I'd been crying.

"Is Tess here?"

Kyle's eyes flashed with a look of understanding, and he stepped out of the doorway to let me in. "She's in the room at the end of the hallway to your left."

"Thanks." I whispered softly, and walked down the hallway, veering left as I reached the end.

As I walked through the doorway my gaze was fixed on Tess, who was sleeping fitfully in Kyle's bed. All her physical wounds had been healed thanks to Max, and she looked as lovely as ever, but obviously her psychological wounds still hurt terribly. She thrashed in the bed, moaning and crying.

"No..." she whimpered. "No!"

I rushed to sit by the bed. "Tessie," I said, reaching a hand out to touch her face, "Tess, wake up." With my other hand I grabbed hers, intertwining our fingers.

Her eyes opened slowly, looking up at me, full of pain and anguish. "Isabel?"

"I'm here," I whispered soothingly. "I'm right here."

She gave me a weak smile. For a moment it flickered, then disappeared completely as she broke down into tears.

"Oh, god," she gasped out between broken sobs. "It hurt so much Izzy...so much!"

"Ssshhh, I know, I know. It's OK now, everything will be OK," I was trying to convince myself of that fact, even more than I was trying to convince her.

I felt so horrible...the way I had treated her all summer was terrible, and when I hadn't known who she was she was the closest thing I had to a best friend! And as soon I found out who she really was I dropped her like a rock. What kind of friend was I?

I had thought Tess untouchable, she always had a stone façade up, masking her true feelings. I was wrong.

As if she could hear what I was thinking, Tess composed herself and let the emotionless mask slide in place, and she dropped my hand, sitting up in bed. She looked at me cautiously. "Why are you here?"

Shocked by her sudden mood change, I said,"I-I was just checking in to see how you were doing. I suppose I should go now..." I started to stand up.

Her stone façade instantly crumbled. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "Please stay. I don't want to be alone."

"OK, just let me call my parents," I said with a small smile. I told my slightly hysterical mother that I was sleeping over at a friend's house, and about how sorry I was that I had forgotten to call and tell her.

When I returned to the room, I saw Tess looking up at me, a question on her tearstained face. I gave a slight smile and nod to say OK. I slowly took off my shoes and crawled into the bed beside Tess, sliding my arms around her. She snuggled against me like a small kitten, her arms aroud my neck, clinging to me. "Thank you," she said, sighing with contentment, a real smile on her face for the first time.

"You're welcome," I whispered back to her as we drifted off to sleep.

***

Dear Isobel, I hope you're well and what you've done is right
Oh it's been such hell, I wish you well, I hope you're safe tonight
It's been a long day coming, and long will it last
When it's last day leaving, and I'm helping it pass
By loving you more

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