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Sweet Bird of Prey: Paper Illusion

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Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list June 28, 2001

Title: Paper Illusion
Author: Scynneh
Dedications: Nehal, babydoll, you mentioned that this might make you deliriously happy? Well, delirium is in stock.
Rating: Safe for kids-Pg-ish - (I know, I am SO appalled that there is no slash yet...I'm working on that...diligently.)
Distribution: I am a ditz- forgot to say 'If you want this, just inquire, I'm amicable.'
Author's Note's: The title is from the song 'Round & Round', by Neil Young again. This story is going along in directions that I didn't anticipate, but I like it so far. As if anyone cares about this babble...

        It was important to have delusions; they didn't have to be grandiose, but their existence allowed one to think that there was going to be a nice ending tied up with ribbons. Tess considered herself to be relatively free of dreams that could be categorized as 'ridiculous.' Her husband was deceased, tragically, and she was the portrait of the poised widow, hair bound at her nape, her hands uncovered, quiet, nodding and smiling at the humans, knowing that they were truly withdrawing.

        She knew that they weren't fully alien, but not completely human either. And that didn't bother her, she could make a place for herself on his hovel of a planet, this town didn't annoy her that they were unaware of her importance.

        What did anger her was when those individuals in question in direct contact wither her daily and were so rude, then she had difficulties tolerating their stupidity.

        Tess was willing to acknowledge the importance of humans: they cultivated the land, ran gas stations, without which one would not acquire mildly expensive cigarettes, candy bars, and water that had been bottled in someone's' kitchen with very normal unfiltered taps. And while the race of humanity towards the cities from small, deliberately backward towns was somewhat confusing to her, she still enjoyed observing the inevitable migration of students from their homes to a metropolis and then back- during the season when there was the most tourists.

        Senseless actions; a human trait that had infected the 'lovely' Isabel who was currently attempting to enroll in a school out of state. Her goal was clearly to distance herself from a life in which she had to content with other aliens and secret organist ions that wanted to use her or her family for experimentation. It wasn't a real shock that Isabel couldn't' handle the pressure- she had always been more enthralled by strappy satin sandals than defense, only her dreams had alerted her to my being in peril, and direct threats were the one thing that led her to abandon her modus operandi": deny everything.

        In her last incarnation, there had been certain perks to being a member of the ruling family, but on Earth, one would be hounded by media and monitored endlessly. She found that living in such a small, unimaginative town might not be so horrible after all.

        Though, after returning from New York, it was evident that a large part of her being accepted into the group had been her 'marriage', or impending one, to Max Evans. His death became a divider: Isabel took it upon herself to withdrawn talking only to Alex and viewing Michael as unwise because he insisted on pursing a relationship with Maria. Tess had briefly struggled with her mindset, but then pulled back, and there were three camps, none of which would exchange pleasantries with each other for any reason.

        Then the bizarre tragedies of Liz and Maria's deaths. So unexpected was the consensus of the busybodies, and most looked at the children with some fear and suspicion.

        Anyway, the result was that Michael had pulled in again. No more meetings at the Crashdown, hell, he didn't work there anymore, not since the time he had seen the hot grill, grabbed it and thrown it at the wall. He said that there was a face on it- Nicholas' face, and that the twerp was trying to mess with his mind. Of course Isabel had mentioned that he wasn't giving their enemy much to work with- that widened their rift some more.

        It had gotten worse, the only way anyone could see Michael Guerin now was with a vest and maybe a high-powered rifle for self-protection. He'd holed up in his apartment and didn't see anyone. Those facts would have been distressing by themselves if Isabel had just left him alone to his own projects, and not forced the issue to the limit. But she had pushed things, and there had been a period of time when he'd even let her come inside to see that he had food.

        Then, Tess didn't know how it had come about. Perhaps Is had mentioned Maria's name, then again, giving Michael a hard time about his housekeeping could be problematic. The boy was something different, with eyes that were browns and gold, limpid, vulnerable he seemed, for all of the height that he had over Max. Life had dealt with him harshly, that was clear.

        Yeah, death or bodily harm had to have already occurred, or be imminent before Isabel tried to organize a line of defense. All too late, when she and Nasedo moved to Roswell, Michael was wary and he investigated. Isabel was unwilling to consider that Tess might have an agenda that didn't halt at prom dress and dinner with her brother. As if.

        Tess had grown up being told all kinds of stories about how noble and good her husband had been, and how they would be able to set things evenly once they were face-to-face. Instead, she got an arrogant Greenpeacer who wanted to parlay with those who thought to murder them. She would admit that Michael had a sot spot, he shouldn't have told Courtney one detail about the group, but he had shown that his softness could be quashed when the occasion merits it. And when no one could get free she let go of all that frustration- and fried those bastards, completely aware that such had slipped her over that chalk line.

        Though she and Isabel had killed Husks of enemies, but Michael did nothing tantamount to declaring war on the law of Earth. 'You wanna hurt my brother, my king/?' Hell no. And he was full of regret during that paranoid summer. He confessed once that he'd been sorry that she hadn't had the opportunity to really tale 'proper care' with Pierce. She had smiled and nodded. They had both seen Max's body, and while he was sickeningly good-natured, that was no reason to sue him as a pincushion. If Isabel had been in his position, she would have sent those scientists into such dreams that the neighboring institutions would have had a problem with straitjacket shortages. Michael? There would have been no 'secret base' after he was through with it, and the 'mindwasher' would have turned their brains into Slushees. Simple.

        So when she contemplated her family, she knew that there weren't too many survival experts. Sure, Nasedo never left his charge anywhere unguarded, but they had lived on the run for so long that she knew how to do things that the others hadn't hear of.

        Which was why, without being prodded, she had tutored Michael all those hot June days There had to be someone else able to do something besides heal or put up a shamrock green barrier or shield. Defense was excellent, but offense would save lives. So when Michael found a significant other whom he would defend with everything, she saw great chances.

        She knew her savior was coming, a fellow discontent, eager for something to chew and lave with his tongue. Patrolling the few streets in what had never been her town, she searched for the last element to her plan for departure: one ex- fry cook.


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