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Beholden to Yesterday

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Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list May 10, 2001

Title: Beholden to Yesterday (5/?)
Author: trixie
Disclaimer: Jason Katims and Joss Whedon own all. I merely play;)
Rating: NC 17 (eventually)
Feedback: Absolutely needed;) trixiefirecra16@hotmail.com
Distribution: Guilty Pleasures and RSA, go ahead- everyone else- please ask;)
Summary: Buffy heads to Roswell to forget her murder of Angel. There, she meets up with the gang and finds love with someone unexpected. When her lover returns from Hell, will she want to give it all up?
Category: Buffy/Liz, Buffy/Angel, Michael/Maria, Max/Liz, Max/Tess



If you interest me I'm scared
My attraction paralyses me
No courage to show my true colours that exist
But I want it to be the real thing

        - No Doubt

        I just stare at her.

        "So... Max is... an alien? Little green man? One from outer space? A Martian?"

        No matter how many different ways I say it still want to laugh every time I do. Hysterical giggles well in my throat I choke them back when I remember his hand glowing over my split belly. A horrible thought occurs to me. "You're not... I mean, are you?"

        Liz shakes her head and touches my hand briefly. Her fingers are icy-cold and trembling.

        "What's the matter?"

        Her eyes laugh at me, glinting with relief and gentle amusement. "You almost died," she reminds me chidingly.

        I hug my knees against the chill wind sweeping across her balcony and she immediately reaches for a blanket, swathing it around me as if I were a child. Smiling at her tenderly, I murmur something and lie back. My stomach doesn't hurt although it stretches a bit funnily as I lean. "Is it... just Max?"

        She shakes her head and I know before she tells me, even as the shining strands of her hair transfix me, catching the moonlight. "Michael, Isabel and Tess to," she explains bluntly and then says, "the only people who know are Maria, Alex, and me. Oh... and Sheriff Valenti and Kyle, his son."

        "So basically the whole world," I giggle and she laughs too.

        "Yeah... well, they kinda blew their cover a year ago and..." she trails off and then her hand lifts up her shirt. My eyes gaze upon the soft swell of her belly, the flat planes of it tinged slightly silver. Raising my stare to her, she nods to my own torso. "Look."

        I pull back the blanket and then the edge of my top. Raptly, I fixate on the handprint etched into the tan skin of my stomach, it's silver colour glowing brilliantly in the night air.

        "What is this? The alien signature?"

        She nods. "They leave their mark on you... Max saved me to. I was shot," she says dispassionately, as if she's informing me that she cooked a three -course meal. "It was a year ago... at the Crashdown. Max was there... and I guess he had been in love with me for years and so..."

        "He saved you," I finish, breathing out. "Wow. That's... that's fairytale stuff."

        "Yeah," she agrees and flops back, searching the stars as if she wants answers. "But I guess... it turns out I'm not the Cinderella of the story," she laughs bitterly. "Who would've thought?"

        "Who is the lucky girl?" I ask but I already know.

        "Tess." She says the name with a curse to it- as if she rues the day her tongue ever had to form the sounds to choke out the word. Tess... I picture the blonde girl in my head- her curls and blue eyes and the way her hands looked- pale and sick- like fish swimming through a great ocean. She has a purpose.

        "Is Max in love with her?" I inquire and Liz shrugs, her shoulders moving in that dismissive motion underneath her light sweater.

        "I don't know... no, I guess not. But she's his destiny," she spits and then her mouth curves into a semblance of a smile- but it's not one of amusement or happiness. It's a furious smile- a mockery of a grin. "Destiny... I used to think that word was romantic. 'Course I used to think a lot of things."

        "What about the other aliens?" I wonder after a second, thinking of Michael and Maria and their heated glances. Maria... ("Maybe. Maybe not, you know? He's... he's different.") ("Sometimes the right ones are all wrong.") "Does Michael have a... destiny to? I sort of got the picture that he and Maria were..."

        Liz's mouth twists as she rubs her arm as if it hurts her. "They..." she pauses. "We used to dismiss them, you know? Michael and Maria... they were like the joke- oh, all they do is make out, all they do is fight- blah blah blah..." she looks sick. "But I think they're more in love than any of us. Michael... he does have a destiny to. With Isabel."

        "Isabel?" I conjure up an image of the ice princess and want to cringe. "With Michael? Talk about a horrible match."

        Liz looks like she wants to laugh but feels she shouldn't. "They're more... a brother sister thing." Bitterly, she says, "Not like Max and Tess." I can tell the sting it causes her to have to group their names together. It's as if she's making them a couple by saying it aloud.

        "Is that why they broke up?"

        "Huh?" she responds and then brushes the hair away from her face carelessly. "Oh... no. Michael... he... well, he went through something difficult and he felt he couldn't be around Maria. He broke up with her cause he..." she swallows and appears to be gulping back tears, "he loved her too much. Sometimes I think that's all that gets 'Ria through. That he loves her and she knows it."

        In my mind I see her glinting eyes and her flashing anger at Michael- his pleasure at the sound of her voice and I see myself and Angel in them—loving each other "too much". It's not a blessing. It's not fun.

        "Do you... how long were you and Max together?"

        She looks confused and stares at me. "I don't know, you know? Not long. We've been... stuck for months. Together but not together. Suffocating, basically. He's got me on a string, that's for sure."

        "Liz..." I begin hesitantly, "I'm sorry—"

        "Shh," she whispers. "Shush... it's ok. I think... I think, like I said- you understand. Leaving someone behind..."

        I don't know what to say to that so I gaze at the sky with a new respect, wondering what else is up there that we don't know about. The bowl of night above me with it's swollen stars and huge black holes...

        Liz turns over and places her hands on my stomach. They are still cool, but they bring a flush to my blood. Her thumbs trace the outline of the healing mark and she whispers, "I used to think this meant Max owned me, you know? Because he gave up everything he had just to... just to save me... but now I realize... he doesn't."

        Lacing my fingers through hers, I feel the rush of heat between my legs before I fully comprehend it. "Liz..." I choke back the word and it comes out sounding like a moan. Her eyes meet mine and I see something there that I saw minutes before the world exploded in the ally way.

        "Buffy." Her hands tighten around mine and then suddenly we are kissing. I taste her lips and her breath and it's like candy and but bittersweet. She is trying to pull me closer to her and my nipples brush against hers, throbbing angrily at the contact. Angel's face flashes in my mind, sliding in and out of focus as I kiss Liz and feel her tongue against my teeth. It's so soft and yet there is steel behind these kisses and hunger and pain. We're both crying- I can taste the salt- but I don't care. Her thigh tugs on my hip and my fingers explore the hollow of her lower back and our tongues indulge in the shock of our kisses.

        Her hands cup my face and her cool mouth- which felt so hot against mine- begins to kiss my cheeks- licking away the tears. "Liz..." I murmur and she smiles, her teeth scraping me for a moment as she returns to my lips and kisses them softly. So soft.

        We stare at each other for a moment and I reach out, the pad of my thumb caressing a tear. It's hot and slides down my palm, leaving a glistening trail in its wake. "I don't..." I falter and feel to my horror that I'm blushing. "I don't know what to say, I guess..."

        She tilts her head to the side and I finally give in and grasp the shining strands of her hair, bringing them to my cheek. The sheen of her flesh is brilliant in the light and my stomach feels trembly as I look at her. At Liz. "Buffy..." she says in a hushed voice. "I... I don't know what to say either."

        "Then let's not talk," I beg quietly and she nods, tugging me closer. We lie together, our lips kissing, kissing, breathless and sweet. Her hands touch my back and graze over my breasts and belly, my fingers coursing through the dark waterfall of her hair as we look into each other's eyes and try to forget about tomorrow.


~~~

        It's hot out. Another heatwave has rolled into Roswell and turned the desert sands a scorching orange to the naked eye. The kitchen of the Crashdown is sweltering and dust creeps in from the ally every time someone opens the door, sweeping down my throat and causing me to cough every few moments. Michael looks miserable yet aloof- although he keeps sneaking me looks in between flipping burgers.

        Maria is walking around wilted. No bounce springs her step today- the ends of her hair flap around her head like dead flags. Every so often she takes a long cool drink of ice water and leans her whole body against the refrigerator, unaware of Michael's longing burning eyes. It makes me, on a day like this, want to slap them both silly.

        "Order for table 17 ready yet, Michael?" Liz sighs as she leans her head around the counter, her long ponytail slick with sweat. Our eyes meet and we both look away. I promised myself it wouldn't be awkward between us "the morning after", but of course it has been and I hate it. I watch her and think of the way I fell asleep with her taste in my mouth. She has a way about her... her smile, her slim arms and tiny waist... the movements of her body as she walks the Crashdown floors... Liz has a way about her that I am already beginning to love.

        Last night was one of the few when I haven't dreamt of Angel.


~~~

        I stand outside after my shift, holding my lighter in my hand. It's always struck me as tacky to walk and smoke at the same time. I want to get home and sleep and shower as quickly as possible- hours in a smoky, grimy kitchen will do that- but I also want to light up badly.

        I'm weighing my options when Michael opens the door and comes out, fanning himself with one hand, his hair flipping off his face. "Hey," he grumbles and I want to laugh, because he's got to be the surliest bastard I've ever met. And yet I like him. He reminds me of me... always wanting to be somewhere else.

        Grabbing a helmet, he slings one leg over his motorcycle and then glances back at me. Holding out another headgear, he says, "Want to go for a drive?"

        Debating for only a moment, I shrug and climb on behind him, my arms holding his waist as he starts it, and we're off, taking a back route onto the desert highway. The wind on my skin is hot and dusty, but more refreshing than the suffocating stillness in the streets of Roswell. The sands shimmer as we whip down the road and I throw my head back, longing to take off the helmet and feel the strength of the air in my hair, truly experience the freedom of the open road. Michael's stomach flexes as we go around a sharp bend and the it curves into a long ribbon of nothingness- stretching to the horizon- to eternity.

        We stop beside the empty highway and I grab my smokes, leaning against the bike as I light it, the tip flaring brightly for a moment as I inhale and exhale noisily, breathing deep with satisfaction.

        "Those'll kill ya," Michael informs me gruffly and I laugh shortly.

        "Don't bother, Guerin. I can read the packages."

        "Only Mar—" he stops himself with a grimace. "Only a few people call me that."

        Lifting my shoulders to show my indifference I take another drag and watch the smoke drift into the heat swept oxygen swirling around us. "I guess I picked it up from Maria."

        Nodding, he throws a rock absently and then points to my belly. "Does it feel all right?"

        "Yes," I flick the ash and touch the small area of flesh that almost emptied into a dirty ally the other day. "It's fine. Max does good work. Why couldn't you do it? I assume you've all got the alien powers."

        His bee-stung lower lip curls into a smirk, "Yeah, well, we all got different ones."

        "What'd you get?"

        He looks at me hardly for a quick second and then tosses another rock with more force than the first. "The killing kind," he remarks blandly and tries to glean me for a reaction subtly.

        I nod and cross one bronzed leg over the other, my feet aching from the long shift. "You killed anything yet?"

        He looks furious and then laughs. "Liz told you, huh?"

        "Told me what?"

        "About Pierce," he shouts, his eyes wild suddenly and I jerk a little in surprise but I don't know why I should feel shocked. Even from where I stand, I can feel the suppressed anger bubbling underneath Michael's cool exterior. He's volatile. Parts of me like it. He's got power. That reminds me of me again. His hands can hurt more than he wants them to. I suspect he hasn't figured out how to control that power, yet though.

        "I don't know anything about Pierce, but I guess that's someone you killed, right?" I ask and he turns, his profile stoic. "Is that why you broke up with Maria?"

        The muscles of his jaw tightens and he glares off into the sky. "Don't talk to me about Maria."

        "Why not?" I snap and grab his arm, forcing him to look at me. "You don't know what you have. She loves you, dumb ass. In case you haven't noticed, someone loves you. Are you gonna throw that away?"

        His eyes shift to where I'm keeping my grasp on his bicep and he raises his eyebrows. "Nice grip, Buffy."

        I drop his arm and shrug. "I work out."

        He grins and looks me up and down. "You're pretty tiny, though. Doesn't seem to have done you much good."

        "More good than you'd realize," I answer lightly and scowl. "So you're not going to take my advice about 'Ria? Are you even gonna talk to her, Guerin? Don't you think you owe her that? She told me she calls you and you never talk to her."

        He flushes and says, "She told you that?" At my nod he sighs and drops his head, the fringes of his hair sticking up every which way. "It just can't work. I can't hurt her, you know?" His stare is bright with a fervour I've never seen before from him. "I'd die before I'd hurt her."

        I understand so I smile painfully and tell him that we should get going.


~~~

        I lie in bed that night and kick the covers back, my tank top outlining my body, drenched with perspiration and frustration. Angel's eyes seem to gleam from every corner, his ghost drifts above me- reminding me of yesterday- how I can't get away from it.

        A knock on the door shakes me from my reverie and dreams and I swallow against a suddenly parched throat, crossing the room and opening it slowly. Liz stands there, her eyes wide and her mouth shiny as she gazes at me. She's scared.

        "Hi," she says quietly. "Can I come in?"

        end of part five... feedback? It'd be loved, loved, loved! Trixiefirecra16@hotmail.com

Continue to Part Six

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