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Sweet Bird of Prey: Troll Under the Bridge

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Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list June 28, 2001

Title: Troll Under the Bridge
Author: Scynneh
Distribution: Surely you realize that I would not object, merely inform me of your intentions, please.
Disclaimer: As if they would think of this...and then follow through with the lunacy..
Rating: R; language and thoughts that are not kind to one's fellow alien.
Feedback: Caressed at
Author's Notes: This is part of the Sweet Bird of Prey series which can be found at: Title from Ani difranco.

        There had been a heat in the air ever since her death, and he could say the last without doubling over with the loss. He wandered the streets at any hour he pleased, looking for something or not. Isabel did not care that he was not around enough for her to scold him, and Tess, he hadn't seen her, he supposes that maybe she was mourning in her own way. But he had to free-range, because the town just wasn't what it should have been without her in it.

        And he was cold, something made out of the glaciers that came out of ice caps, and he wondered if maybe, one of those sheets of not-heat had moved into his brain and he was going to just stop moving and sit somewhere dark, his brain on replay with images of lips/blondhair, or some special reel of kisses so that he would be tormented and unable to escape. He had always been unable to get very far, not from what he was, or the place that Is insisted was home, while his home had been fear at night and the smell of beer.

        So when he got angry, he did let go, but not allowing it to control his actions, because that kind of thing was Hank, and hiding in the corner wasn't an option anymore. He was more centered, so as the town 'big guys', or 'insert proper term', he thought, harassed him, he calculated the speed of fists and then mapped out something Max would never have come up with: a diversion from misery through physical activity. And this kind didn't involve the purchase of expensive fitness equipment.

        He let the three boys approach, no taunts, just his stance to goad them on. When they were close enough, one landed a blow to his face, and then he let another do the same. The third attempt was not so easy; he moved, faster than they could have anticipated, and was out of the way before they could figure out what was going on. He went back and forth: victim, then predator, until someone converged on their struggle, rough words spilling out, and then fists.


        The first humans he encountered in this town were stupid, and more than a bit misguided in their aggressions. Just like any place where there was a gathering of minds, the level of tolerance fell, and someone paid a price. Too bad for the aggressors.

        They had chosen his property as their target, he didn't know why, but it would not stand, and a quick step or two set him right up next to the first of the morons. A tap on the shoulder, polite was easy to do- then he belted the snot-nosed kid in the mouth. Good, sweet to hear bone on his knuckles. ****

        Michael had been knocked to the pavement during the exchange of blows, and as he looked around, he saw rapid punches, and then bodies lying around him. Then the real surprise came; his rescuer turned around, and he heard him speak through the warbling echoes in his ears.

        "C'mon doll, the fur's settled, y'can come out now, nothing to mess up your look."

        From behind one of the dumpsters that sits in every alley of Roswell without actually managing to collect any of the garbage floating about stepped Tess. Yet, she wasn't quite the Tess that he knew. Because, when she moved forward, there was nothing that would have bowed or scraped, and she didn't put her feet down in an easy walk, but placed them as she stalked him.

        "Michael," she said, and her voice was a steel wool sponge wiping off all of his defenses, what was left wasn't all that collected, and she was exposing it with those looks, noticing every little bit of his degradation.

        She was wearing red, which was odd, and enough of that not-Tess again for him to pause.

        "A boy out alone on the longest night of the year, must be looking for something," Tess said and her unidentified companion laughed, that gave Michael a chill, the sound was his, but different. That was when he knew; "Rath."

        "Oh, we've got the genius here."

        "Get out of here," he told them, and knew that the words were so unthreatening as to be amusing.

        "Or, you'll what, sniffle and cry for mama Isabel, ask her to take care of you?" Tess' reply was so unexpected that Michael stared at her. That mouth had never been so open, she had been the perfect subordinate to the King's sister, but no longer.

        Rath moved from where he lounged against a wall, and the rattling of his wallet chain was loud enough in the quiet, disturbed evening air left after Tess' words. He bounced to her side, tall, with boots that were elderly and cared-for, towering next to the girl.

        Who reached up and looped her fingers in his jacket pockets, claiming, joining. Michael got to his feet, not bothering to wipe away the slippery wetness that was coating his chin.

        "This is a nightmare," he got out through bruised lips. "I'm going to wake up at home in my bed."

        "And Maria'll be alive, right stud?" Tess asked.

        Wordless snarl from Michael, and he crouched down, looking more feral as his eyes scanned for quick exits out of the alley.

        "Fan-fucking-tastic," Rath said as he blocked the other man's path and restrained him against the wall. "What the hell happened to 'im?"

        "Maria is a dead duckie," Tess informed him, and then the world at large as she spun out into the middle of the cracked pavement and yelled at the sky:

        "Dead, thrown to the netherworld, 'snuffed out'!"

        She would have continued but Michael had slid down in Rath's arms, and was making noises that made the other boy unsure of whether he was going to scream or cry.

        "Tessie, he's losin' it, could you cut that the fuck out?"

        "Losing it? 'It' packed up and left him on the side of the road a while back," the tiny blond said, but approached the two men with more calm.

        "His girl got herself killed?"

        "The baker did her in, shoved her cute butt in that machine and" she made several gestures that could have been representative of using heavy machinery, if one had an extreme liking for that sort of thing.

        Grasping the other boy firmly by the shoulders, Rath looked him in the eye and got a more than decent sample of what was or was not going on in his head.

        Logical arguments had no place in what he called 'the here and now', and Rath responded with a method sure to get his attention: he kissed him.

        It wasn't a 'comfort and things will be alright someday' meeting, nor was there 'lights and bursts of colored shocks'. Rath's mouth covered Michael's and forced him to calm down: 'there you are, and I know, but shut up!' it looked barbaric to Tess, and she waited for Michael to recover some sincere 'you freak, get off me," but that didn't happen, and one body let itself be supported by another. Then, Rath knocked Michael over the head, gently it seemed, and turned to the observer.

        She took a second to lick Micaheltaste off and then followed him as they left the alley, teenagers typical still on the ground, the most irregular variables.


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