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Beholden to Yesterday, Part Two
Reply to Trixie or visit her websitePosted to the RoswellSlash mailing list April 26, 2001
Title: Beholden to Yesterday (2/?)
Rating: NC 17
Disclaimer: Nope, I don't own them. I think its safe to say the writers would never go down this route
Summary: After "Becoming Part Two" and "Destiny", Buffy heads to Roswell to forget. There, she makes connections with all of the aliens in different ways, and may have even found love again. When Angel shows up- will she want to give it all up?
Dedication: to all my dovely Roswellians still hurting from Alex, and to all my B/A shipper buds who are just the BEST!
Category: Buffy/Liz and Buffy/Angel. Some minor Max/Liz, and yummy Michael/Maria
And there's a memory of a window
Looking through I see you, searching for something
I could never give you
And there's someone who understands you, more than I do
A sadness I can't erase
All alone on your face
Two days go by and I grow accustomed to the uniform, to the heat, to the choking air that filters from the surrounding desert to swamp us all each night. Sometimes I dream of the Bronze. Usually Angel and I are dancing and he kisses me with a hard mouth, his teeth like razors. I step away and raise fingers to the blood streaming from my scraped lips, saying I'm sorry but still his eyes are cold.
On my third shift, it's not busy and I suppose it's because of the stifling mugginess in the air. My neck and hair and breasts are soaked with sweet sweat, and it drips down me like rain through a gutter. Liz is tapping away on a calculator, and Maria has abandoned any pretence of working. She is lying stretched on her back on the cold floor, fanning herself madly and it makes me grin. Glancing up, I notice Michael watching her overtly out of the corner of his eye. When he sees me looking, he sort of swallows and grumbles and goes back to cleaning the deep fryer. I'm not sure what's going on with those two. 'Ria tells me they're over and done with (whatever it was that they had- she's close-mouthed about), but I see the heated stares they exchange. It makes my heart ache. I'm not sure why.
"It's soooo hotttt," Maria whines from her prone position on the floor and motions a hand to me. "You should join me Buffy. I swear... the floor is *almost* cold."
I laugh and face her, crossing my arms over my chest. "Looks comfy."
She pulls a face and wrinkles her nose. "I don't think there is a comfortable place in this entire restaurant. Lizzie... tell me again- when is your Dad getting the air conditioner fixed?"
Liz looks up from her papers and I notice the sheen of her flesh. It's shiny as if she put on a little extra moisturizer. Shaking my head at my thoughts, I listen to her weary response, "For the fiftieth time- I don't know. Maybe tomorrow?"
Michael snorts. That makes Maria sit up and scowl at him. "Do you have something to say Guerin?" she asks and her voice has an edge. He glares back at her and pushes his shaggy hair out of his eyes.
"Nothing at all," he responds and throws down the dishrag. "I'm out of here."
Just as he exits, Isabel and Max walk in and I watch them cross the floor, and think that they truly are perfect. Glassy and scary perfect. They frighten me. Isabel more than Max. For some reason, I sense that she's the stronger of the siblings. Maria looks pained at the sight of them and Liz's face goes a shade of green that probably means she feels nauseous.
I smile at them and say, "Can I get you guys something? Hamburger? Coke... some cold shower?"
They regard me suspiciously for a few moments as they have ever since we were introduced and sit down, Max's eyes sliding over to where Liz sits, intent on her papers and calculator. They have some sort of soulmate thing going. Truthfully, it makes me weary and confused to see the way he looks at her, as if he wants to burn a hole right through her and brand her as his forever. In some ways it reminds me of Angel and I. And then in other ways it really doesn't. All I know is that he causes Liz to feel uncomfortable.
She stands up, and avoids any eye contact, her tone stifled as she comments, "I'm going to... finish these upstairs..."
Isabel glances at me like I'm an insect and announces haughtily, "I want a coke."
Maria looks distracted. I feel a rush of sympathy for her and stroke her arm. "I'll go see how Liz is, ok?"
She smiles gratefully at me and goes to pour some pop into a glass. Me, I take the stairs and pant slightly. Everything is dusty and my skin feels itchy and tight. I'd like to climb out of this body and find a new one. One that didn't have blood on it's hands or a cracked smile. My hands start to shake and I wish for a cigarette with all my might, as if daydreaming about it, will make the tube of shivery paper and nicotine appear in between my lips. Dragging in a breath, I bring my hand to the door and knock hesitantly.
There's no answer. "Liz? It's... it's Buffy," I call softly and I hear the murmured answer;
"out on the balcony."
Stepping inside, I trail my fingers over the red bedspread and my reflection in the mirror looks strange as I pass it. "Hey," I greet her with a quiet smile. She looks shaken, her knees drawn to her chest.
"Hey." Her voice is distracted, spacey. I'm trembling slightly and my head hurts from the oven that it is Roswell. I don't know how anyone stands it. Fanning myself a bit, we sit and listen to the sound of silence for long moments. Leaning my head back, I start to drift. Into the other world of bats and Draculas with painted lips and the smell of dust and his Angel eyes...the way his coat enveloped me, pale skin... the feel of the cold steel, the crunching noise it made when it slammed into rib and dead flesh...
"What did you leave behind?"
The question startles me with its suddenness and my world shifts as I sit up and lazily open my eyes. "What? Nothing... why do you ask that?"
She gives me the Liz look. It's a look that whispers I can see in your soul- and it makes me so vastly uncomfortable, I cross and uncross my legs, my flesh sliding with sweat and something else I can't quite define or recognize.
"Because you're crying."
Hastily, I brush my hands over my cheeks and the salt burns. "I was just thinking," I reply and shrug. "What about you? And Max?"
Liz's expression spins into dreaminess, then a chill pervades her eyes like ice water. "He has a life that I'm not a part of," she informs me with enough deadness that I'm frightened. She reminds me of me. "And I guess no one can really let go."
"What kind of life?" I inquire, curling my legs up underneath me.
Liz is focused on the middle distance. She's not here. "Destiny," she mutters, and then laughs, almost hysterically. "He has his destiny. And there isn't any me involved in that..." she pauses and shoots a glance at me. "You must think I'm talking crazy."
"Not really," I respond and study the way the stars hang over the raven sky. "I understand, Liz."
I can tell the shock is momentary and then she relaxes. She too, can sense the connection between us- shared pain and regret- sorrow and loss. The stench of doom hangs over us both.
"I think you do," she sighs and there is a glitter of tears in her dark orbs. "It's pathetic isn't it? Sitting here, watching the stars... and no guys to watch them with?"
Grinning wryly, I reach over and my thumbs lightly grasp at the shining strands of her hair.
"I've always been really... matter of fact about the stars," Liz comments.
She gazes up at them and her profile is so innocent, and yet- I sense there is more to Liz Parker than most people think. Maybe it is the way she tilts her head. Or the sheen of her skin- the pie-plate wideness of her eyes... perhaps it is just the fact that she has a way about her. It's simple and it's beautiful. As she begins to speak, I want to weep because everything is so different now.
"I've treated them like balls of gas," she chuckles and her hair moves, it's ends whipping my elbow with a feather light touch. "But really... they're more than that. They're this whole metaphor. People--- people reach for them and don't come back you know?" she looks down at me and I see her lip quivering. "I'm being corny."
"No you're not," I answer quietly, and we both turn back to the sky.
To be continued... Feedback makes me write faster! Please give me some, cause it's better than sex! *grin* firstname.lastname@example.org
Continue to Part Three
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