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The Only Way

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Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list May 31, 2002

Title: The Only Way
Author: Luv
Ratings: PG-13. Tess/Liz
Disclaimer: Spoilers up to Four Aliens and a Baby. This story is in place of the finale.

        It was a day for victory. Trombones and parades and little girls in flowered party dresses waving from the sides of moving floats. Champagne flowing freely from the rivers snaked down the parched throats of the crowd. Men wearing top hats yelling into mega phones, "ding dong the wicked witch is dead." That is until she opened the car door and slinked back into the seat.

        Liz had witnessed the explosion. Her feet had felt the ground shift as the car shuddered when the seismic fire rocked the foundation. Yet Tess was here beside her not even one smudge on her face. How? Liz sighed. Mind warp. So much for martyrdom.

        "Liz, this was the only way."

        Destruction and deception was her way, reckless murder her signature. It didn't matter who lost their life as long as Tess still had hers. This had been her chance for redemption but a leopard doesn't change its spots and neither does Tess. Her hair had lost its curls but her selfish heart could not be ironed out. Liz had given her the benefit of the doubt by voting not to turn her into the police. Had that been a mistake? To turn her back on a chameleon that'll soak up into the background with pointed knife gleaming.

        "I was going to do it like we planned. It's what I deserve for causing so much pain. I just couldn't leave again Liz. Max-."

        It always comes back to Max. Those three letters out of Tess's mouth grated on Liz like fingernails scratching a chalkboard. The fight over Max is never going to end, ever. Liz was tired of it. Didn't Tess realize, it stopped being about Max a long time ago.

        "Max would raise Zan to hate me."

        Pools of water welled up in shallow dishes, then spilled over the sides and down Tess's porcelain cheeks. Liz had no idea how to react. One part of her was happy to see the other girl's emotional release while the other part was confused and angry by her behavior. Tess made voluntary decisions and now that she had remained alive, should suck it up and live with their consequences. So why was Liz feeling sympathy for her "arch-nemesis?"

        "Tess, listen to me. Max wouldn't do that. I wouldn't let him."

        Love and hate really aren't as different as everyone thinks. Both are strong emotions from the heart that cloud the mind and blind the eyes. Although technically they are on opposite ends of the "like" spectrum, both have the uncanny ability to make people angry and crazy and stupid and passionate.

        "You wouldn't? Why, Liz?"

        Isn't it obvious, Tess? You don't have to be a scientist with a microscope to formulate a conclusion in this experiment. Look at the horrified expression on her face, the beads of sweat materializing on her palms, the glassy wetness in her eyes staring back at yours. While someone consumed by hate would drive an hour in the dark to deliver her enemy to the hands of death, only someone equally consumed by love would cry if she returned unscathed.

        "Because, Tess."

        It would be so easy for Liz to lift her hand and blast Tess to Hades. She can picture it clearly, kneeling beside Tess's petite frame, running a cold hand over her flaxen hair, whispering softly in her bleeding ear, "I really should have learned how to share." Her fingers itch from the cackling power surging within but no power on earth or above would make her act on any latent inklings. How then is she supposed to treat this girl she loves to hate yet hates to love, who makes her tick like no other?

        Liz knows what has to happen. She isn't going to treat her like anything, she can't. The almighty alien queen will become a non-persona. She'll have daydreams and nightmares about blonde hair and soft lips but during the waking hours there is no allowance for a plausible outlet. Not yet, or maybe not ever. There isn't even anyone she can tell, anyone who would understand. Liz knows how to push her away, pull the cat's tail and she'll hiss and bite back. Tess will remain at arm's length and Liz can safely gravitate back into Max's orbit. Isn't that how its always been. Isn't that the only way?

        "No one gets to hurt you but me."

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Continue to 'The Only Way, Part Two'

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