RSA Main Fiction by Title Fiction by Author Fiction by Partners Slash Subplots Familiar Faces Links


Stranded

Reply to Jenn

Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list May 4, 2001

Title: Stranded
Part: 1/1
Rating: pg
Author: Jenn
Disclaimer: T/I are *not* mine! ::bursts into tears:: Why am I always forced to repeat this? It's as if TPTB are trying to rub it in!!!! The song belongs to Plumb. It's called "Stranded". I highly recommend listening to it, while reading this fic. *Or* just whenever. It's a great song! I had it on repeat for two weeks, before I finally wrote this!


        "Hey, Tess." Max says absently. I watch his steady, determined, stride slow as Tess comes into his view. As I leaned against the corner of the recreation building that stood in the middle of the park, he somehow walks past me without noticing.

        "Max." Tess says, regarding him carefully. A small smile creeps onto her lips, but fades as she realizes that Max isn't in one of his happier moods. "Something the matter?"

        "It's nothing." Max tells her as he moves to keep walking.

        "Max," she says again, this time letting unspoken words hang in the air between them.

        "I don't want to talk to you. Why don't you understand that?" Max snaps, removing his hands from the safety of his coat pockets to wave them in the air. "Why doesn't anyone understand that I don't want to talk to them?"

        "I was just being polite, Max. I thought that we-"

        "While you were thinking, did it occur to you to get over yourself?"

        "I'm sorry, Max. I-"

        "I'm tired of being nice and passive...and whatever else it is, that makes everyone else happy." Max was ranting. "I'm tired of playing games with everyone. With you. With Liz."

        "Oh. That's what this is about?" Tess says as she realizes that Max is still pouting over his most recent spat with Liz Parker. "I didn't cause that fight between you two. Those are your problems and you know that I haven't been involved in that for a long time now."

        "And I'm tired of you pretending like you're an innocent in all of this." He says pointedly. Max is always looking for someone to shoulder the weight. He never wants to accept responsibility, whether he relizes it or not. "We weren't even *having* problems until you showed up."

        "Max, just go." Tess says, attempting to brush him off. "You've obviously had a long night, and you're talking like a crazy person. Isabel is coming back and you should just go, before she gets here and you start taking this out on her, too."

        "What's your problem?"

        "My problem is you, acting like everyone is to blame for the fact that she doesn't love you anymore." Tess says, meaning Liz. "You're standing there telling me to get over *my*self. You're the one that needs to get over himself. The world doesn't revolve around you, Max."

        "What would you know?" Max glares at her, even though she refuses to look him in the eye. Leaning over so that their faces are merely inches apart, he says, "You wouldn't know what it's like to be in love. You're not capable of feeling *any*thing."


* * *

        I needed to remember to thank Max for another perfectly ruined night. I don't know how many times I've failed at trying to spend one evening with Tess by ourselves. We were having a good time; dinner, a movie, and a moonlit walk in the park. -- I could call it a date if I had the nerve to tell Tess that I wanted it to be one. -- Hell, it was still early, even. All I did was leave her there on that damn park bench, to go get some hot chocolate. I wasn't gone five minutes before I turned the corner and saw him heading in her direction. Instead of stopping the inevitable confrontation, I found myself taking the steps backward- around the corner -to watch from there.

You know it only breaks my heart
To see you standing in the dark alone
Waiting there for me to come back

        I hated to see her cry. Why she lets him treat her that way, I'll never understand. Standing there, I knew I should say something. I knew I should have turned the corner to stop him from hurting her- tearing her apart the way he does. What's worse is that Max doesn't even see it. He doesn't notice the way her eyes change. He doesn't see her standing there in front of him, slowly crumbling with each word that rolls off of his tongue. She flinched as though he physically hit her and then he walked away as if leaving would take care of the situation. My hands trembled as I watched her sit heavily, waiting for me to come back. After a moment she looked up, probably looking for me- no doubt. Somehow I couldn't bring myself to go back to her. Instead I froze, watching her look from left to right, waiting for me to come back.

I'm too afraid to show

        I backed up quickly as she stood, looking in my direction. I could only hope that she wouldn't see me watching her. I wanted to go to her, and I should have...but something in the pit of my stomach was stopping me. My feet were like lead, holding me in place. I felt sick knowing that part of her was still in love with him. I wanted to shake her until she realized that Max would never deserve her. Most of all, I wanted to shake her until she opened her eyes and saw that the person who needed her most, was right in front of her.

If it's coming over you
Like it's coming over me
I'm crashing like a tidal wave
That drags me out to the sea

        Tess had too many things on her mind already, without me throwing my feelings on her. She didn't need, nor deserve, to have me adding that extra weight to her shoulders. That's what it would be, too- extra weight. Sadly, a part of me hopes that one day she'll figure it out, so that I won't have to tell her. She'll just know, and we'll come to an unspoken realization that we're meant to be together. I can't, for the life of me, understand how she hasn't already guessed. Maybe she knows how I feel about her, but doesn't want to admit it. It seems unlikely that my constant refusal to be happy about love and romance wouldn't be some kind of hint or indication. Or the fact that I'm always complimenting her, and telling her how much she means to me. Yet, she still doesn't seem to see it.

And I wanna be with you
if you wanna be with me

        The lump that had been forming in my throat was threatening to strangle me. I couldn't bear to look at her any longer, so I turned, headed in the direction of home. Tess was a big girl, she could walk herself home. Absently, I used my powers to toss the forgotten cups of hot chocolate into the nearest trash can. It was getting late and there was no one around to see me do it. At this point, I didn't really care if someone saw me or not, anyway.

        Though summer was coming, the night air was still chillier than I would have liked for it to be. I pulled my jacket tighter to my body and with my head down I kept walking. At this point nothing would have warmed me up, but I had to try. I felt cold, not because of the air, but more so because of how I had just treated my supposed best friend. She needed me, and because of my selfish feelings, I didn't do anything in the way of helping her. Some friend, just leaving her there.

        "Sorry about not stopping my brother. But I'm so in love with you, that I couldn't get over myself long enough to stop him." I mumbled to myself. "Great, Isabel. Now you're talking to yourself." I kicked myself mentally, realizing how crazy I was beginning to act. "I should be able to control my feelings. I should. So why can't I go back and just tell her that I'm sorry?"

        I thought about all of the things that were going through my head. The fact that I've never cared about anyone the way I care about her. Or how she makes me feel things; things that no one else has ever made me feel. She makes me happy and when I'm with her, she's all I see. When I'm not, it feels as if I can't breathe. Like I'm drowning.

I'm crashing like a tidal wave
And I don't wanna be
Stranded, stranded, stranded, stranded

        "What am I supposed to tell her?" I asked myself as I felt my eyes begin to burn. "Now is so not the time to cry, Isabel. You need to get it together and come up with some sort of explanation. Nothing I say is going to sound right. Here I am thinking that I can't believe the way she lets Max treat her, but what did *I* do? I let him treat her that way, too."

Stranded, stranded, stranded, stranded

        I'm scared of being alone. That's my first problem- being so afraid that one day Max *will* wake up and actually *see* Tess for the wonderful person that she is...and then I won't have her anymore. My second problem is that I'm too afraid to tell her how I really feel. Rubbing my eyes, my steps faltered when I realized that the tears were starting to fall. It was too late to stop them now, so I kept walking. I was almost home anyway.

I can only take so much
These tears are turning me to rust
I know you're waiting there for me to
come back

        Turning the corner onto our street, I could see just far enough to take notice that no lights were on in the house. Mom and dad were supposed to be at some charity thing at the local university. Max would probably get home whenever he got over whatever his problem was. Another night alone...just what I was looking forward to. A car coming down the road encouraged me to walk faster. All I wanted was to be home, curled up in my bed so that I could cry in the privacy of my own room.

I'm too afraid to show

        I took the front steps two at a time. Once I was in the house, I did the same on my way up the staircase. I didn't even stop long enough to turn on any of the lights. I barged into my room, absently tossing my wind breaker to the floor. As I stepped the short distance to my closet, I swung the doors open and began rifling through my clothes as if I had a large array of pajamas to choose from. Taking a deep breath, I sighed heavily as I ran my hands through my hair.

If it's coming over you
Like it's coming over me
I'm crashing like a tidal wave
That drags me out to the sea

        I'd been hiding my feelings for so long, and it was becoming obvious that I wouldn't be able to hold them in much longer. A person- or alien, in my case -could only take so much.

        "Mom really needs to stop turning the heat up so high." I mumbled to myself when I started to notice how hot it was in my room. "Forget it," I sighed, settling on the idea of not wearing my pajamas for a change.

        I pulled my shirt off and tossed it into my laundry basket. Tugging at my belt, I kicked off my tennis shoes. Not having any luck with the belt, I looked down to see what the problem was, only to be reminded that I couldn't see what I was doing, anyway. I held my arm out snapping my fingers to turn on the lights. Finally, I pulled the belt loose and tossed it to the floor. Next went the socks and after that, I slid my pants off. Carefully, I folded and draped them over the bottom bar in my closet.

And I wanna be with you
if you wanna be with me
I'm crashing like a tidal wave
And I don't wanna be
Stranded, stranded, stranded, stranded

        When I turned around, there lay Tess, curled up in the fetal position on my bed. How I missed her when I walked in, I don't know. Though her back was to me...I could tell by her steady breathing that she was asleep. If she had been awake, she would have said something to let me know she was there. Quietly, I walked over to my dresser. Opening the top drawer, I pulled out a pair of my old worn out gym shorts- it was too hot in my room to bother with a shirt -and slid them on before kneeling next to my bed. Tess's face was red- her eyes puffy and swollen from crying. Seeing her like that felt like someone had grabbed my heart and started squeezing. My chest hurt and I could feel the tears coming back to my eyes.

Stranded, stranded, stranded, stranded
I miss you, I need you
Without you, I'm stranded
I love you so come back

        It was all my fault. All my fault for leaving her. How she beat me to the house, with time to fall asleep, I don't know. Maybe it was because I had taken the long way. On top of that, I hadn't exactly been speed walking, but it was the furthest thing from my mind. I was just glad she was there, lying on my bed. I used my powers again to turn the lights out, so as not to wake her up. I was afraid that if she did, she might leave.

I'm not afraid to show

        Gently, I pushed her hair from her face, tucking it safely behind her ear. As I was about to stand, another thought occurred to me. Licking my lips nervously, I kneeled again. Raising my right hand I carefully ran the backs of my fingers over Tess's cheek. I could never get enough of just watching her. Even when the signs of tears and pain were written on her face, she was still beautiful. Before I could stop myself, I leaned forward, touching my lips to hers ever so gently.

If it's coming over you
Like it's coming over me
I'm crashing like a tidal wave
That drags me out to the sea
And I wanna be with you
If you wanna be with me
I'm crashing like a tidal wave

        I was careful not to wake her as I crawled into the bed and pulled her into my arms. Maybe another day, when things weren't so bad, I could tell her how I felt. For now, I was just going to be there for her. The friend I promised her I would always be...and no matter how long it took, I was going to have to make it up to her. Make it up for leaving her there on that park bench, like she's been left so many times before. Stranded.

And I don't wanna be
Stranded, stranded, stranded, stranded
Stranded, stranded, stranded, stranded

Return to Top