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Confessions of a Quiet Victim
Reply to Sara or visit her websiteAdded to the Roswell Slash Archive January 24, 2001
Confessions of a Quiet Victim, by Sara
Category: Tess/Liz, Liz POV
Summary: Angsty future fic with a slashy twist.
Background Music: "I Shall Believe" by Sheryl Crow. Revel in the irony.
Notes: Prequel to Memoirs of a Lost Soul. My first ever not-happy Roswell fanfic.
"Yes I'd like to know
where the good souls go
Where are the angels, angels, angels?"
This was over before it began. I should have known better. I didn't.
But you know what? I don't regret one minute of it. If I had to do it all over again, I would, a thousand times over.
I'm going to miss her. I don't want to leave her, but I know I have to. That doesn't make it any easier. I wish this wasn't happening to me.
God, I'm going to miss her. More than she knows. I wish I could explain to her how I feel, but I don't know if there are even words to describe it. Do I love her? Yes. Can the simple phrase "I love you" possibly encompass the rush of emotion I feel whenever she enters the room? I doubt it. Tess Harding is my reason for living. Melodramatic? Yes. Accurate? Also yes. I can't believe this is happening.
It's September 26th. I'm Liz Parker, and I don't want to die.
I live for the night. That's when she comes, sneaks into my hospital room and stays with me for hours, talking to me, kissing me, just being there for me. I sleep all day, and enjoy her company all night. No one else ever visits, mostly because there's no one left. My entire world was destroyed this summer. Everyone is gone. Let's see, shall we?
Max is dead. He was killed in an alleged gang shooting. Trouble was, the police had never seen bullets made of that material. It was almost...otherworldly. Max Evans, victim of an intergalactic war. It would make an entertaining Saturday matinee, but it really fucking sucks when it's your life.
Everyone was devastated. The leader was gone, what were they supposed to do now? Nacedo was still busy at the FBI, so they couldn't turn to him. Max's death was like the first tremble of an earthquake, first you feel the shaking, and then everything collapses. I still feel the aftershocks.
Isabel and the Evan's were destroyed by the news. We think Isabel attempted suicide, though she claimed she just took a few too many sleeping pills. Eventually, they moved. Mr. Evans was transferred to Sacramento, and Isabel had no choice but to go with them. It killed her to leave everyone, but what else could she do?
Michael being, well, Michael, followed her to California, leaving Maria torn into metaphorical little pieces. She ran away from home, hopped a Greyhound to Sacramento, and moved in with Michael when she got there. Her mom was pissed, but eventually realized Maria's stubbornness matched her own. She accepted it, and regularly sends Maria care packages and condoms. Gotta love Amy DeLuca.
And the survivors? Tess, Alex, Kyle and I. What could we do? Alex had lost the love of his life. He sort of retreated back to his own little world. We still talk once in a while. It's not the same. He's a different person now.
Kyle tried to keep living normally, but he couldn't face it. The stress of knowing the alien's secret and having no one to talk to about was tearing him up inside. One day he went ballistic on a guy who had made some cutting comment about Max. The guy ended up in the hospital with three broken ribs and multiple bruises. Kyle ended up in a "care facility" for troubled teenagers.
Then there was Tess. The one person I never expected to talk to outside of the alien circle. But there she was. Showing up at the Crashdown, looking sad and lost, and latching on to any tiny bit of conversation I sent her way. Staying after we closed, offering to help me clean up. Looking at me hopefully whenever I voluntarily started a conversation. Even now, I don't understand what inspired the protective feeling I had towards her. She seemed so desperate for a purpose, or some sort of meaning. I guess I understood that.
No matter what my motives were, we became friends. Not "let's have a sleepover and do each other's hair and gossip about boys" friends, actual true friends, like I had thought Maria and I were. At first, I thought it was just mutual loneliness, but eventually I realized it went even deeper. We began spending practically every waking moment together. She even got a job at the Crashdown as a waitress. She claimed it was "something to keep her busy." I'm pretty sure she was lying. After work, she would sleep over at my house or I would go to hers. My parents were busy remodeling the restaurant so they didn't have much time to notice I was gone, plus they gave me a lot of space after Max's death. They would occasionally make vague references to "that Tess girl" but all in all I don't think they really noticed. That made it easier.
One night after we closed, we went back to her house. We sat in the living room and talked for a few hours, drinking hot chocolate and lamenting the cold weather. She giggled at something I said, I smiled and touched her arm. We stopped laughing, and sort of stared at each other for a moment. I leaned in first. We kissed each other then, slow and sweet and wondering. It was just...indescribable. Actually, if I had to pick an adjective, I'd say "right." More than anything else, kissing her felt right, like everything was at last falling into place. Our friendship was suddenly more, and it was amazing. From then on we were inseparable.
I never told my parents. I honestly never felt the need to. Tess and I were together, that was all that mattered. It was our world, and no one else needed to be involved. We were happy. I held her hand in public, we set up our class schedules so they were almost identical. We had lunch together every day, our own little table outside. On our one-month anniversary, she brought me roses, and I made her dinner. We were the perfect couple, and everything was going right for us.
Then I started getting headaches. Bad ones. But I told myself it was no big deal, took some aspirin, ignored it. Then one day, walking through the hallway with Tess, I fainted. They took me to the hospital, and when I woke up, Tess was there with tears in her eyes as the doctor told me I had a brain tumor. I said no, that's impossible, because I'm in love and I don't want to be sick and am I going to die? Please say I'm not going to die. But the doctor just looked at me sadly and said my parents would be there in a few minutes and then he would explain everything. He left, and Tess held my hand and we cried.
Finally, the doctor came back in with my parents in tow. He told me his name was Dr. Sharp, and that he was very sorry. Then, as my parent wrung their hands together and Tess attempted to fade into the background, he said that I didn't have much time left. My mother started sobbing as he stated that I had, at best, two more weeks to live. My father told him I was only seventeen, and that it was impossible that I was dying, because I was young, and people my age didn't die from brain tumors. Dr. Sharp said he was sorry and that he would leave us alone. Then he left me alone with my parents, my girlfriend, and my death sentence. Mom and Dad sobbed and said they loved me and they would find a way to prevent this. I smiled numbly and told them it would all be okay, even though we all knew I was lying.
After several hours, they left to call my family and everyone else. Tess pulled up a chair to my bedside and said she would stay with me. She wrapped her arms around me and kissed my forehead. Her tears had dried, but I saw more shining behind her eyes, and I knew she would not let me see them. My Tess, always the strong one. I told her I loved her, and one errant tear slipped down her cheek. Then Dr. Sharp came back in, ushering her out, saying visiting hours were over.
I spent that night alone and sobbing, trying to sleep and failing. I ended up watching old episodes of Springer on the ancient television perched in the corner of my room. It was relaxing, helped me not to think. And when I did, it was to observe that even though I was dying, at least I didn't have a prostitute mother who slept with my ex-boyfriend, or other disturbing variations on that theme. Tess came to my window at about three o'clock that night, unlatched it easily, and slipped inside. She talked to me for hours, until the sun came up and she slipped out, promising to return the next night.
I slept most of that day away, opening my eyes occasionally to talk to my parents, or recieve a shot, or thank a friend for the flowers. Towards the end of the day, I did a few crossword puzzles from a book Mom had bought me. Just a distraction until Tess slipped through the window a little bit after eleven. We talked, and kissed, and laughed, all the while ignoring the invisible presence in my room. My mortality lurked in a dark corner, mocking me whenever I had the temerity to laugh, or forget for one moment that I was going to die.
But it was easy to forget when Tess was there, and I looked forward to her nightly visits. She came during the day sometimes, when she knew no one else would be there. Nighttime was when she truly came alive though, as if daylight only reminded her of the fact that I wasn't out in it. It continued like this for days, as I grew weaker and weaker. She knew there wasn't much time left, and so did I.
It's bout a week and half after the diagnosis now, we are talking about something mundane when she suddenly bursts into tears. Alarmed, I ask her what's wrong.
"I don't want to lose you," she sobbs.
I pull her into my arms. "I love you, Tess," I tell her. "I'll never leave you. I'm a part of you now, and you're a part of me. We'll always be together. No matter what." And I hold her as she cries. For hours, I hold her, tracing circles on her back and whispering comforting words. We kiss, and I am so happy for one moment, so thankful that I have found her, even though I don't have much time left. My life is meaningful because it has her in it.
The sun rises outside, burning pink in the distance. I hug her tighter and feel my energy draining away. She pulls back, eyes full of sorrow.
"I can't save you," she whispers.
I smile tenderly at her. Doesn't she realize what she means to me? She has already saved me, every moment she was with me, a thousand times over. "I know," I tell her. My breath is fading, I can feel it.
"I'm sorry," she says.
I touch her face gently. "I love you..." I murmur as my eyelids lower.
I hear her voice as I slip away into darkness, and it's like the voice of an angel waiting for me.
"I love you," she tells me.
And the rest is silence.
Continue to 'Memoirs of a Lost Soul'
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