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Nobody's Perfect...We Are What We Are, Part One

Reply to Strange Music

Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list October 22, 2001

Title: Nobody's perfect...we are what we are
Author: Strange Music
Fandom: Roswell
Pairing: Richard/Hal
Rating: PG
Summary: Why in the wake of the Episode "Summer of 47" Michael wasn't the only one whose faith in humans was restored. And why some questions take a bit longer to be answered.
Email: Strange_music@hotmail.com
Series/Sequel: Not really sure......Can never say what Muse is planning. Last time she made me write Gen ;)
Web Page: Still working...or better still offline.
But in the meantime I have one with songvids....for the slashers there is one Kyle/Max
http://www.angelfire.com/film/strangemusic/
Archive: Most certainly yes!
Disclaimer: None of the characters that appear in this story belong to me. Yet I guess as neither Panty Brigade nor Peanuts M&M and also no Zagnuts are Canon (you knew that already).
Warnings: Won't make much sense when you haven't seen "Summer of 47" But if you want to try....Richie is Max and Hal is Michael. And it happened back in the year 1947 when the podpeople came down in a crash ;)
Greetings to all the wonderful people that I met at The Roswell Forum. ~wave~. Because as it is said that you need to smile at least once a day. It is an easy task by simply stopping by!! And to our GroupCall "Ich will einen schwulen Alien!!!" aka "I want a gay alien" aka Max/Kyle. Now if they would just listen to us. and now to the story....hope you enjoy



Nobody's perfect
All of the time
Nobody's perfect
We are what we are
You know there's no perfect reason
There's no perfect rhyme
Most of the time that's what we looking for.

       "Nobody's perfect" by Mike and the Mechanics

*~*~*~*

        How can a person be a dream and a nightmare at the same time?

        Well for me he was both, had been for a long long time.

        I could see him standing with that young boy, right over at the bench in front of the house. They had been talking for the last few hours.

        From what I caught on words I could assume what they where talking about.

        Especially when he took 'it' out of his pocket and put it into the younger one's hand.

        I don't know why he was doing something so dangerous.

        Who knows who the hell the kid would tell about it?

        But then again I stopped caring about the whole crash too many years ago.

        And I know that he was starting to.

        Friends I had in high places had helped me find out about him. That he didn't have enough time left to spin the luxury of being secretive. That the cancer was eating away a bit more of his time with each day.

        And besides who should believe a kid who didn't look older than 18...if not younger.

        I shouldn't care what he did.

        But the problem was that I still did.

        I cared about him.

        More than he ever knew.

*~*~*~*

        It seemed like everything in my life had started and ended that day in July 1947.

        As if I led two lives.

        One full of promotion and congratulating hands that meant nothing to me. That I didn't need. Because the hand that I wanted to reach out to me was no longer among them.

        The one that I wanted had closed to a fist and turned away.

        And another life before that fatal day and the ones that followed,

        Where I had still been hoping.

        Where I had still been seeing a chance that someday he might....

        But he never did.

        Even worse.

        He had turned away.

        How do they say it?

        'We get born naked wet and crying...and then life gets worse.'

        We had been never been the closest friends. Not as others in the company where. But being in a war together had made us companions. Brothers in arms.

        And that sometimes was a bond even tighter than friends.

        Till the night we spent on the beach drinking ourselves oblivious because a comrade of ours had not made it home.

        And as the late night and early morning hour passed by, we found ourselves talking more than we ever had before. And I found myself faced with a Hal that I so far hadn't seen.

        It was the best night of my life.

        It was the worst night of my life.

        It was the night I fell in love with him.

        The night that I looked into his eyes when he smiled and wished that he would smile at me like that for other reason than the joke that I told him.

        The night that I realized that the dreams of a family and a house with a white picket fence were nice dreams. But not the ones that I had been hoping for. At least not anymore.

        But even worse was the daytime.

        When I woke up knowing I had changed.

        And realized that he hadn't.

*~*~*~*

        I had felt his anger at me the week after they made him and me fly a desk.

        I guess he didn't understand it.

        All he saw was that I was pretty happy in a job that he simply hated.

        I mean he thought the reason why I was set on this desk alongside him was because I had been the one to help him get the plane.

        He didn't know that it wasn't so.

        He didn't know that it actually had been me who had requested this transfer.

        I wasn't like him in that. When I started to become a pilot it was because it was something that I was good at. Not like Hal,who simply loved everything that was being a pilot.

        He thought I was like that.

        And that was why he didn't understand why I could smile and be as happy riding a desk as riding a plane.

        After all as long as he was there as well I had everything I needed.

*~*~*~*

        He didn't have a good day when the call came.

        Even when in Hal's case the days here were more often than not severely lacking.

        I had warned him that we would be late. But all I had gotten was a dark gaze and a mumbled reply that I guess I wouldn't even had understood if I had actually been standing beside him and not several feet away.

        And for what?

        A package of Zagnuts and a piece of paper with what I guess would be the fourth wrong number this month. He was a charmer for sure. But he did have a certain reputation going ahead of him.

        Now he had his address.

        His candy bar.

        But *we* had the trouble.

        If I didn't care about him as much as I do, I guess by now I would feel the urge to strangle him.

        Especially for that smug grin that he threw at our Commanding Officer.

        Did he have to pour salt into the wound?

        But then again, that was Hal.

        It was not the reason why I loved him, but at least none that made me fall out of love with him. Just part of the package.

        The package that was Hal.

        He was an Airmail package

        Caution!

        Dangerous Materials!

        This side up, This side down.

        But also handle with care!

        Because deep down, deep down under all that carefree exterior there was another Hal lurking. A Hal that I had so far only seen few times.

        The last time was when they had been shot down over France. Hal and the plane miraculously had been without any injuries and scratches. By a landing maneuver that he could righteously feel pride in. On the other hand, even when it could have been worse, the rest of the crew was worse for the wear. John Ellsin had been killed, Tony had a compound fracture of the leg, and I myself had a piece of the cockpit sticking out from my arm.

        We hadn't known if we would be rescued. And if, if it would be in time before the enemy found us. All the time we were torn between the decision of going for help or staying behind protecting the others.

        Help came before any decision had been made. But before it had lain a long night of doubts. A long night that I spent watching Hal. Wondering about the different person that I was seeing. The person so different from the one that he pretended to be.

        In that night, like only few times before, I had seen again what I was sure to be the real Hal. The one that wasn't trying to live up to his father's reputation.

        Always afraid of failing me and the others who looked at him.

        Me...I never had that problem. There was no one who looked at me. No one who expected me to fail.

        But also no one who looked at my winning either.

        Actually Hal had been the only one in whose eyes I felt something like approval. The first day we flew together.

        I had just done what they told me to do. Not expecting anything.

        But he had looked at me, and with a small smile shown me that I had done something right. And when he stood up to his Commanding Officer I felt something I never felt before.

        Pride.

        He had stood up because it was me that he wanted as a CoPilot.

        Me...Richard Doty. Tied-up...Rule-following Richard Doty.

        The smile I gave him that day was the first real one in years.

*~*~*~*

        But right now he was his old self.

        With his devil may care...devil may dare attitude, reflected in his smiles as he pointed at me. I mean, what was I supposed to say?

        "Sorry Colonel, he is lying. Actually I hate Zagnuts?"

        Now that would go over well with both of them.

        So I did what I always did in a situation like this. I rolled my eyes and let it go by.

        Looking back at things, maybe they would have been different if I had said something.

        Anything to prevent him from saying his next words to us. His order to us.

        Because they were the beginning of everything changing.

        Everything.

*~*~*~*

        I have to admit that I didn't really listen to him while we were driving back the truck.

        One reason was that he didn't say anything new, and the other was that I was too worried about our freight.

        The strange metal that he had found, the wreck itself, the fact that we were carrying a load that we knew nothing about.

        It all sent shivers down my spine.

        The only good thing that had come out of this so far was that at least we had been able to leave Cavitt behind.

        I wondered what had brought him here. Normally vultures like him only came when there was something to get.

        "You think that reporter's onto something?"

        He just shrugged "She needs an exclusive, plain and simple. Why? Do you think she's onto something?" Yet it seemed like he was as serious about this as I.

        Something that happened not often.

        "I didn't until an intelligence officer ordered us to keep our mouths shut."

        Like I said...it was impossible that he made the way out there without a very good reason. Unlike us who were in disgrace, he was the one who was adored by his commanding officer.

        What a set of good connections can bring.

        "Forget Cavitt. After Sunday dinner, he probably debriefs his own mother. I love this country. " At last something that made me smile. Even when I guess it was more true that we wanted to know.

        Yet it still left the question open on why he had been there at all.

        But if the reporter had been right...it would certainly be reason enough for him to come out here.

        "What if something's really out there...capable of destroying us? Destroying everything? " Would I really feel safe knowing people like Cavitt were taking care of it?

        "Don't worry, Richie. You're still gonna get your wife and your white picket fence and your backyard barbecue... "

        Well, looks like dear Hal didn't really want to think about this either. I didn't mind. Actually the sooner we got this load to the hangar and us away from it, the better I would feel.

        But did he really have to go back to the picket fence? Well, as long as it made him happy.

        I let him talk while my thoughts went back to the crashsite.

        The way people had behaved.

        The orders "Do not stop for anyone."

        And definitely not the silver that Hal had found. I had only a short look at it. But what I saw had been enough.

        How it had changed back after being crumbled, back to the smoothness it had before.

        It wasn't something I had seen before.

        Nothing that I knew existed...in the USA....not on....

        I was literally shaken out of my thoughts as the truck slowed down.

        "Why are you slowing down?"

        " What the... "

        That was all he said before a white light blinded us. I only saw it for a quick moment. But enough to see that it had human form.

        And then we hit it.

        "Oh, my God. "

        I hoped it hadn't been a child. It had been the size of a child. But I rationalized with the glow that it couldn't have been a child at all.

        "Check under the truck! "

        He called to me, while he ran back to check down further behind us.

        So while Hal was back looking for whatever had stood in the trail of our truck,I took the time to check if our load was still okay.

        [I joined the two sentence fragments to make one complete sentence.]

        Rules be dammed.

        I knew they had told us not to look. But I wasn't driving any further with something that might turn out to be dangerous or even explosive.

        As I pulled away from the planes I stared at the sight that greeted me.

        This was definitely something I hadn't seen before.

        I mean, this was no high-tech gimmick. Nothing at all that a clever technician might have done.

        Their pots were harboring what looked like small human embryos.

        No bigger than my hand, but definitely there.

        And the even more frightening thing was...that they were moving.

        Were alive!

        I heard Hal coming back again.

        And in the split of a second made a decision. Me...who had never done more than breathing without consulting the rulebook first. Who lived the book.

        Never made a decision without before going through the rules.

        I made a decision in the split of a second.

        I couldn't let him see this.

        Never.

        Whatever it was that was in there.

        Whatever way it was connected with the crash. I knew it was dangerous.

        That I had seen it would bring me trouble. Big trouble. The least I could do was keep Hal out of this. Bad enough that I couldn't keep myself out of it. Not with the broken seal that was hanging there. They would know that one of us had seen.

        He came only as close as looking briefly over my shoulder. But I don't think he had seen anything before I closed the planes and ushered him forward.

        The minute I had seen the seal it had already been too late.

        All I now could hope that they believed me that I had been the only one who had seen it.

        I was very quiet for the rest of the way.

        But then again so was Hal.

*~*~*~*

        They were all over us as soon as they saw the broken seal.

        Only letting go of Hal when I told them in quiet that he hadn't seen anything.

        I asked him to go forward. That I had some things to do.

        Paperwork.

        And like always it worked like a charm. He was gone faster than the figurative speeding bullet.

        Me...I had the bureaucrats to deal with. All the while trying to tell them that I had not seen anything. Only looked to see if the freight was alright. But even more that Hal hadn't seen anything.

        In the end they believed me.

        About Hal.

        But for me, my run with the devil had begun.

        They let me go to meet Hal only because if not he would be suspicious.

        They let me go only because they knew that I would return.

        Needed to return.

        Had no other choice.

*~*~*~*

        When I came to the bar, Hal was already sitting and spitting nails. Not about me. Just 'bout the fact that he hated paperwork with a vengeance. And the fact that it had taken me 3 hours to come here hadn't helped.

        "They were glowing, right?!"

        Darn, he had seen something. But, from his lack of anger, not everything that I tried to keep from him.

        He didn't know enough to be of danger to them.

        Not if I kept myself in their faces.

        "We should have asked what they were."

        No...we didn't. You wouldn't wanna have known. And given a choice neither would I. But I guess my choice had been taken away.

        "Before or after Cassidy bawled us out for being 15 minutes late?"

        I tried not to sound as tired as I felt.

        But I did. Because I felt tired when I thought about the following days. Knowing that Hal was safe, I did the only thing I could do.

        I went to bed.

        Tomorrow would be a tough day.

        And so would the days that followed.

        Actually I didn't think any day soon would be easy again.

        Ever again.

*~*~*~*

        Only the next day came earlier than I thought.

        It was 0400 hours when my door broke open by the sound of someone crashing it open.

        I hadn't expected them so early.

        But the fact that I expected them at all kept me calm when they shouted at me to dress and get out of the room.

        Again long hours of question asked.

        What had I seen? What did I think it was? Did I think that Hal had seen it too?

        I answered them all so many times that I might have been able to repeat the answers in my sleep.

        But then came the question I hadn't been prepared for.

        "Are you willing to work for us."

        "Not if I have a choice."

        "You don't."

        And I didn't.

        I closed my eyes when I signed the papers they held under my nose.

        Knowing I was getting deeper and deeper with no stopping.

        No turning back.

*~*~*~*

        The next time I saw Hal was in front of Hangar 20.

        He just looked at my security clearance and I saw the anger in his eyes. Heard it in his voice.

        "Which you seem to have." he growled as he pointed at it.

        I couldn't even tell him how lucky he was that he didn't. How much I wanted to be on his side of things. In blissful ignorance of what was really going on.

        "The assignment landed in my lap, ok? "

        "Please don't ask anymore. I can't answer you"

        "Then let me take a look."

        "There's nothing to see."

        "Richie, every person on this base, every radio station and newspaper says this whole thing is because of a downed weather balloon. You and I both know better. Now, I've seen the classified reports. And they prove..."

        "You have to leave." Before someone heard him say those things. Before they thought that he knew more than I told them.

        His face formed a sneer as he looked at me "What are you more afraid of? What you know or what they're keeping from you? "

        I had long ago stopped being afraid for myself. I was in too deep for this. I was on a one-way street to what might very well be my destruction. Was I afraid they knew what I knew? Yes. But not about the alien. What I was afraid of were the things that I had seen that were human, or at least human in biology. I seriously had my doubts when it came to their action. Was I afraid of what they kept from me? Hell no. What I knew was scary enough. I didn't really need to know the rest. Not if I ever wanted to sleep again in my life without nightmares.

        But I couldn't tell him any of that.

        "I can't go down that road with you, Hal. I'm sorry. Just let me do my job."

        When he still didn't move I had to resort to my last chance. As I turned around and looked at the guard at my side, somehow the thought that I now had this power at my hand didn't do anything but leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

        "Captain Carver's done here."

        I saw the anger and the betrayal once again in Hal's eyes. Actually I saw them still long after he had gone.

        Mostly when I closed my eyes.

*~*~*~*

        They came again at night. 3:50 a.m.

        There were no words. Just rough hands pulling me out of my bed and handing me my uniform.

        I prepared myself for another round of questioning. Sure that they were trying to wear me out. So that I would make a mistake.

        The doctors that greeted me however told me other. And so did the vial that without much tenderness and care was rammed into my arm. I had only time to wince. Then drowsiness took over any thoughts.

Continue to Part Two

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