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Beholden to Yesterday, Part One

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Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list April 25, 2001

Title: Beholden to Yesterday
Author: trixie
Disclaimer: Jason and Joss own the Roswell and Buffy 'verse respectively.
Rating: NC 17
Timeline: After "Destiny" in Roswell and after "Becoming Part Two" in Buffy. It wasn't the same time, but pretend it was, ok?
Summary: Buffy heads to Roswell to forget. While there, she forms connections with each of the gang in different ways. When Angel comes back to find her... will she want to give it all up?
Dedication: to Jenn, my dovely fellow Lizizard, and to all the Candygirls at ff!
Category: Buffy/Angel, Buffy/Liz, Buffy/Isabel, Max/Liz, Michael/Maria *whew*
POV: Buffy's

Caught beneath the surface screen
Of what we say and what we seem,
Is a trick to be seen.
She keeps crying out your name,
But her screams sound the same,
How fickle fate can be.


        The sign mocks me as I drive down the desert road, leading towards a cluster of buildings I can see in the distance. Coughing, I imagine I can see the dust choking the thick air and pull out my map, making sure I'm on the right highway. Honestly, I'm not sure why I chose this place. I guess it happened when I glanced at the atlas back in the 'Dale and laughed when I saw the name "Roswell, New Mexico". It made me think of little green men in space suits and Area 51 and I figured anything that made me laugh was a good thing. So now here I am, the top down, my fringe of too-long blonde hair falling over my shoulders and the hot sun frying my skin a golden brown.

        I feel like a freedom rider. I feel like a missionary- on the road for some escapism. But then I have been having weird thoughts ever since I killed him. Lighting a cigarette, I hold the tip to my lips and inhale deeply. When I got to the bus station, I picked up a pack on a whim and have been smoking ever since. I can only imagine what the Scoobies would think. It's not something that I'll do for the rest of my life. Of course that's cause I'm hoping it'll bring about an early death. Smiling at myself, I turn into a side street and enter the town, which is dusty and hot. But it seems to be fairly large. I'm glad, cause I don't want everyone hanging over their picket fences to talk to me.

        Getting out, I stand straight and wonder for a moment what Angel would think of this place. I know it'd burn him as a vampire, but I suppose I'm daydreaming of him as a human. I suppose I'm crazy. He wouldn't like it here. It's not as beautiful as him, there's not enough culture, enough mystique. But he'd like to see me in this sunlight. That thought hurts and I ignore the sudden squeezing of blood hot pain over and under my ribs, and crush the cigarette butt underneath my boot. I need sandals.

        Lugging my bags, I walk down the main street and turn into an alley, wondering where I'm going to work. I know the only thing I can do is waitressing, because usually, no experience is necessary. It's not something I'm going to enjoy doing, but what the hell do I care? Nothing is really of too much consequence anymore.

        Suddenly I trip and fall to my knees, skinning them and my palms. Feeling the burning sting of tears and vomit at the back of my throat, I wheeze a little and stare down at the dirt interlacing with the odd patch of grass on the road. It's concrete and ugly and I wish Angel was here and again I cough and hope it'll loosen the cold knot in the base of my throat.

        "Hey, are you ok?"

        Jerking, I glance up at the sound of the concerned voice and into the endless eyes of a dark haired girl leaning over me. For a moment she looks like she's glowing from the outside in, and reaches out a hand to me.

        Gratefully, I grasp it, and pull myself up, brushing off my pants with careless fingers. "Thanks," I say and examine the bloody welts on my palms. "I tripped."

        Her tone is girlish and sweet as she responds, "Yeah, this road is a little bumpy. You look a little sick though. Do you wanna come into the Crashdown for a coke? On the house."

        "Well..." I can't think of any good reason to refuse. "What's the Crashdown?"

        She laughs and I have a thought that she's really pretty. Simply pretty, if there is such a thing. "Sorry, I thought everyone knew. Guess it's just a presumption. It's my family's restaurant..."

        "Oh," I feel foolish for no reason and smile at her. "Thanks. I'm new here, that's why I didn't know."

        Her eyes brighten and she says, "I'm Liz Parker, by the way. Welcome to Roswell."

        "Buffy Summers, and thanks," I reply and she leads the way to a door cut into the knotty brick of the wall. When it swings outward, the smell of whipped cream milkshakes, fries and air conditioning hits me. I become aware of the silly uniform Liz is wearing- turquoise and silver and suddenly I'm remembering the Bronze, and my hands start to shake. I long for a smoke already and it occurs to me I may be addicted, but it doesn't really matter.

        "Maria, can you grab us two cokes?" Liz calls to a blonde girl leaning against the counter as she leads me over to a booth and lowers her tiny body onto the cushions.

        "This is really nice of you," I stammer slightly, embarrassed and Liz looks surprised.

        "Not a problem... so what brings you to Roswell?"

        "Quizzing the poor girl already?" the blonde girl chirps as she comes over with three cokes and falls with a certain amount of grace into the booth beside Liz. "Hey, I'm Maria DeLuca," she greets me, shaking my hand.

        "Buffy Summers," I inform her and grin, my back muscles creaking as I ease back against the vinyl covering, sipping the fizzy drink slowly. My stomach is bubbling, I feel it and wince. "So you guys both work here?"

        They nod simultaneously and Liz says, "My Dad owns it so it's a little lame... working for your parents. But it's not like there's a ton of jobs around Roswell."

        "Kind of a lot of nothing around here actually," Maria laughs and then slants her eyes at me ever so suspiciously. "What brings you to town?"

        Feeling on display suddenly, I swallow and shrug. "I just wanted to get away, I guess. Start something of the new."

        They both look strangely relieved and Liz's expression becomes one of revelation. "Do you need a job? I know Daddy's looking for a new waitress and it's..."

        "Crappy money, long hours and a really bad-tempered cook," Maria snarks, throwing a glare in the direction of the kitchen. She adopts a fake smile, "But we'd love to have you anyway."

        I giggle and she lapses into chuckles as well. I like her already. Liz looks affronted. "It's good pay, and you don't have to work long hours and well... Michael... is a little bad-tempered, but—"

        We're all laughing at this point and it feels so good that for one horrifying moment I feel tears spring to my eyes as I think of Willow and Xander... and I can hear their voices drifting around me like ghosts of another time. No, I need to forget that. Angel's dead and that means so is my life there.

        Making a decision, I say firmly, "I'd love to work here. If it's all right with your Dad."

        "I'm sure it is," Liz says and touches my hand. Her skin is cool, and soft- it reminds me of magnolias, creamy and white. Shivering slightly, I look up and realize she has Angel eyes. Dark and drowning. I could get lost in them, and for some reason I want to.

        Maria claps her hands together and giggles, "Yay! Fresh blood! We're gonna put you to work, honey!"

        Smiling wanly, I settle in, as Liz and Maria begin to lecture me on the finer points of working at the Crashdown café.

To be continued...

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Continue to Part Two

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