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Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list September 23, 2001

Title: Kin
Author: trixie
Disclaimer: Jason Katims owns them, yes
Rating: R
Summary: Isabel and Tess. Alone in a dead town. Their past together is revealed
Cate: Isabel/Tess, femslash
Distribution: Roswell Slash Archive, Guilty Pleasures, my sites. All others please ask:)
Dedication: to all those who believe in better tomorrows

Moths beat themselves upon the screen door
Of some other afternoon

A red dress burns in my mind

        - Jewel "Lemonade"

        Time is all I left.

        I sit here, in this ghost town, and stare at the broken lamppost across the street. The air is dry, and soaked with dust and all I can hear is the quiet drip, drip of my blood as it flows from the long, thin cuts in my arms and legs. Tess gave me those when I tried to get away from her. Her long fingers ran down my skin and she hissed quietly, terrifyingly, her eyes locking with mine.

        I feel myself drifting as I sit here, numb. My friends are lying somewhere out there. I saw them die. No one should have to watch as bright red blood explodes into the sky like a freakish sunrise- but I did. And I think I might just want to die, too. Or maybe just sleep, for a long, long time. The air is still- silent- as if it's waiting. I suppose it is. When she comes back, there will be more blood, and more hisses, and I pray I'm dead before then.

        When she does come, she's alone, and I'm still alive. My red dress burns a satiny trail down my legs and I want to ask her- WHY? But there is no why- even I know that. There is only the need to go home, and the need for Max and babies and white picket fences in space.

        With one sleepy finger, she runs a nail down my arm, through the thin wounds, watching them blossom with more blood, her eyes following the sick slide down my flesh. Her eyes lock with mine and she murmurs, "You're angry with me?" She sounds surprised.

        I want to spit on her. Saliva froths against my cracked lips as I laugh. "No, of course not. You only murdered my family- my home---" breaking off, I cough and bend over, the ground spinning lazily as if it's off it's axis. I feel her palms, heavy on my shoulders.

        "I didn't want to," she says softly. "But I had to. I'm Nasedo's daughter, Isabel. Did you ever expect me to be anything less than him?"

        "I suppose we shouldn't have," I mutter bleakly. "But what were we supposed to believe, Tess? You were one of us. Like a sister."

        She giggles, and the sound is like nails on the blackboard. My spine tingles. "A sister? I'm sorry to tell you this, Isabel... but what I feel for you is anything but sisterly."

        My breath hitches as I gaze down at the dress she wears. It's thin, barely brushing her skin when she moves, and her nipples look like tiny roses against the fabric. "You killed Alex," I counter inanely, and again she laughs.

        "But you weren't mad that I killed Alex, were you Isabel?" she whispers quietly, terrifyingly. "You were angry that I betrayed you."

        I feel her breath, hot and sticky on my cheeks. "That's not true." My voice shakes and she smiles. Her lips are blood red and smooth- the lipstick smells like candied apples.

        "Do you remember how I asked you? If you'd ever cared about anyone that much? Do you remember how I whispered in your ear?" Her face tickles mine and I jerk away, but then I feel her nails slicing into my elbows and choke back a moan. "You never answered me."

        "Shut up," I say, trembling with fury and fear and something else which I can't quite define. I realize her teeth are white and fresh and she smells coppery, like blood and sweet skin.

        "Why? Are you afraid of the truth? Are you afraid of me? I would never hurt you, Vilandra," she curves her hand into my hair and tests the silky weight of it with slim, pale fingers. I shudder when she calls me that. I shudder to hear the truth laid bare. The truth in the dreams, in the nightmares- in the instant recognition of so long ago.

        "Don't call me that," I turn away and she sighs.

        "I thought when you saw Lonnie and Ava that you'd know the truth."

        "I didn't see them together," I say, in a rage of confusion, my flesh itchy.

        She tilts her head, and her wealth of blonde curls spill over one shoulder. "You know what I'm talking about, Isabel. Don't be stupid. Don't be like the others- denying their pasts. Don't be Max, please. I couldn't bear another like him. You remember, don't you?"

        I want to scream. My belly bubbles with vomit and sweat. The air is laden with my family's cries and their blood soaked tears. She killed them. She killed them all. But she hasn't killed me- and I know why. "I remember."

        "You remember?" she asks patiently.

        I stand, and feel the rush of weakness shoot up my cells into my brain. Woozily, I lean against the rail of the porch and stare into the distance. It's going to pour down rain. The clouds look swollen and red. "I remember us." I pause. "Ava."

        She looks pleased, and her eyes soften with a golden glow like watery lanterns lighting my way home. "I always knew you, Vilandra. From that first moment. You never loved Khivar, you know. It was always us."

        "I know," I reply blankly. "But I couldn't tell my brother about you. He would have gone crazy. So I invented my love- my betrayal. I've known that for a long time. And do you think it makes me happy?"

        She appears startled. "Why wouldn't it? Now we can go home together. And rule as we were always meant to, Vilandra. I was never going to turn you over to Khivar. Nasedo knew that, and he agreed you were the most important of the four, besides me, of course."

        I gasp for air, not able to look at her. "You killed everyone I love..."

        "I had to," she says firmly. "You don't understand. I couldn't let Max take away my baby. I couldn't let Max rule. He is a stupid, sullen little boy, Vilandra. You have always known that- even as you loved him." She pauses. "Perhaps a bit too much."

        I flush and worry my slick lower lip between my teeth. "That's not true."

        She continues as if I haven't spoken. "You never could see straight where either of us were concerned. So you did a foolish thing. Pretending to love Khivar. Bringing war to a nation of people. I tried to stop you, but you never could be stopped, my love."

        Her hand traces the lines of my naked back. I shiver under her touch and spin slowly, to face her. Tess. The bitch from Hell. But I remember. I remember her and I and salty tears and satin sheets and tangled limbs and swollen, puffy lips the morning after. I look around me. There is nothing left.

        "Don't you want to come to the stars with me?" she whispers, leaning close, her mouth sliding over mine with salty sweet precision.

        "Yes," I murmur, and my hands creep to her neck. "Take me to the stars."

        The end

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