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Undertow, Part One

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Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list October 21, 2001

Title: Undertow (1/?) Buffy/Roswell crossover
Author: trixie
Disclaimer: Joss and Jason own all. I am merely their bumpy minions
Rating: NC 17
Author's Notes: this takes place in the "Beholden to Yesterday" 'verse and is sort of a sequel. It'd probably help to have read it- so... go read it! Everything that has happened in the BtVS canon has happened. Just imagine everything being the same except with Buffy always having the memory of Roswell and Lizzie at the back of her mind (which only her and Angel knew about). Everything was changed in the Roswell canon though:) The story will explain it all...
Timeline: About a week after "Flooded" ( except without the B/A ending and I'm changing everything after that ep, ok? Ok!)
Summary: That would be telling, wouldn't it? ;)
Cate: Crossover, Buffy/Liz, Buffy/Angel, Liz/Michael, Michael/Maria
Dedications: to all the faithful followers of the "Beholden" story, to Sara-Lee for being my bestest feedbacker ever, and to Shayla cause I love her! :)

Do you take plight on my tongue like lead,
Do you fall gracefully into bed anymore?
I saw you as you walked across my room
You looked out the window, you looked at the moon
And you sat on the corner of my bed and you
Smoked with the ghost in the back of my head

        "Do You Sleep?" - Lisa Loeb

        My hands shake as I pick out the cigarette from the smooth, rectangular shaped box. I cough a little at the smell and raise it to my lips, flicking the lighter and watching the slight spurt of bluish flame ignite the papery end. Inhaling, I feel the swirls of grey smoke seep into my lungs and breathe out slowly, sitting back against the stone wall of the mansion.

        It's cold out here, and goosebumps appear on my arms as I shiver, smoking quietly and staring up at the moon. The grass is dewy against the backs of my naked knees and the air bites into my reddened cheeks. Pressing my fingers into my ribs, I wonder how much weight I've lost in the last week. Xander looked at me worriedly the other day and mentioned that I could use a hamburger- which is probably true. Eating does seem to be too much of an effort though. What's really the use? I think I can feel my bones and cough some more as the smoke gets down deep into my breath and infects it like a disease.

        The air whistles between my teeth as I toss the cigarette onto the dirt and crush the butt with my boot, watching the way the sparks nestle in the grass as I glance up at the moon. That's the first smoke I've had since I left Liz. God has it been almost four years? It feels like thousands. It's funny how time passes. Fucking hilarious, really, when you think about it. I try not to. Think about it, that is. Liz always used to tell me even my tears tasted like death- like ash. How right she was.

        Standing, I brush the dirt off my pants and feel the silken ends of my hair tickling my elbows. Over to the right somewhere is my Mom's gravestone. I haven't been there since my visit with Angel. When I asked him to stay forever. Ha. That's even more funny- that I even thought he would. But I did. I remember that, strangely. My belly was hot and sort of syrupy, and I was nervous- my throat clenched and I said the words---

        - how's forever?

        And then we kissed and his lips were shiny- sticky with my lip gloss. It made my insides turn over and I expected him just for a second to say, "Of course, I'll stay forever. I love you, Buffy. You know I'll always love you."

        But he left with the sunrise. I went home, of course, like a good little girl and then I died for my sister and it occurs to me that he doesn't even know I'm alive. Does it even matter? Probably not. No one wants to talk to a girl who should be dead.

        When I got out of the shower this morning I forgot to get a towel- I forgot towels existed actually- and I stood, water sluicing down my skin as I shivered, until Dawn came into the bathroom and gasped, grabbing my robe and wrapping it around me. She crooned as she helped me into my room and chose my clothes. I felt as if I was watching the entire scene from the ceiling- which maybe I was. Sometimes I think I'm still dead and this is some Hell I've slipped into. When I sleep, the trees are red and glittery. The sky is so blue it hurts my eyes and the sun envelops the horizon with its rays like harsh gold arms. I don't like to dream much- because when I talk to my friends their mouths are full of glowing teeth and blood. I didn't tell that to Giles. I did tell him that waking up is the hardest. I always expect to see a satiny cover and have to tear it off and claw at dirt and worms and roots, to have to see my own grave and stumble through a town that demons are ravaging.

        However bad my dreams are, waking up to that is worse.

        I used to dream a lot about Liz. After I left Roswell, her and Michael crept into my slumber, haunting me in ways I never knew possible. The others- I missed them, of course. Isabel I saw in the cold line of a jaw, or the gesture of a graceful hand. She struck me in such small ways. Maria in the laugh of a good friend or the smell of bath salts that Mom used to use- I saw her in the light. Sometimes I wish that I could talk to her- but then I just hope that she's happy.

        I used to think, sometimes, that I could feel Lizzie's pain. When she clung to me as I left and we kissed for that one last time, I tasted tears on her lips and knew she wasn't going to be fine. But that's life, you know? You lose people, you kill people, you fuck them over and then it's done. You go on. Hell, you can kill yourself and still come back as I've found. I laugh quietly and then hear a soft footfall to my left.

        "Hi Spike," I say, breathing out and watching the slightly grey whoosh come from my mouth.

        I can almost hear his smile and he stands next to me, a little too close, but I don't mind. The sleeve of his leather jacket brushes my arm and it tickles. "No vamps to slay tonight, Buffy?" he inquires and I shrug.

        "There will be. Later. I already did the rounds once."

        "Were you—" he stops for a moment and seems to sniff the air, "-smoking?"

        "Yes," I respond. "Shocked?"

        "Pleased is more like it," he scoffs. "I forgot mine back at the crypt."

        Drawing one from the pack I keep in my pocket, I place it between his lips and light the end, watching the flame spurt out with a brilliant flare. His eyes meet mine and in them I see the forgetfulness I'm seeking. He wants me. I can smell it, I can almost taste it. I'd have to be an idiot not to see it, and I'm not an idiot. A dead girl walking maybe, but not an idiot.

        "You're gonna have to tell 'em sometime," Spike opines, touching my wrist lightly.

        "They're not supposed to know," I say softly. "They couldn't handle it. And I swear to God Spike, if you tell them- I'll kill you."

        "Can't get any clearer than that, can you?" he laughs harshly, and stamps out the burning ash from the cigarette with his boot- so like mine- and then grips my forearm. "Are you ever gonna let me in, Slayer?"

        I laugh and push his chest, hard. "Trust me, Spike- there's nothing inside."

        I walk away, leaving him behind- where he should be. I've never told anyone- but I hate being near him. It drives me crazy.

        He smells like Angel.


        The Bronze is sweetly warm and the scent of sweat and alcohol fills my nose. It's a welcome relief, and I make my way to the bar, ordering a White Russian and slipping the milky liquid down my throat, the burn of the vodka sparking my belly. Looking around, I realize none of my friends are here, which is also nice. I don't need to see their concerned stares and hear the endless round of "are you ok's?" that are inevitable. Willow wants me to be grateful, Xander wants me to be shiny happy Buffy, and I think Dawn just wants me to be normal again. I don't blame her. I want to be normal again too. But can a person ever be normal after they've seen heaven and hell and their own grave?

        I shrug off my leather jacket, leaving it carelessly on a chair and heading for the dance floor. Shimmying my hips to the sultry beat, I close my eyes and sway, trying to forget. Tossing back the rest of the drink down my throat, I gasp a little and the ice clinks against my teeth as I swallow and some of it drips lazily down onto my sheer black top. My thighs jerk as I move, the floor slippery beneath my feet and I dance, my mind jumbling. I remember dancing like this with Faith. Our knees kept touching and her hair wound around mine and she made me someone I didn't recognize. Maybe it was the animal inside of her. I'll never know. I wonder if they even told her I was dead. I doubt it. They never knew how important she was to me- my sister Slayer, my nemesis. The girl I killed- me with my family and friends and sunshine life (but it was all a lie. A fake candy lie)... they never knew what she was.

        But then they never knew about Liz, either.

        I never told anyone about her. Never did I talk about her with Angel. And he didn't ask. He just left. Maybe my pain got too much- and it was always there between us. The murder of him, the sword, the scar, the dust- Roswell and all it represented.

        Nothing could make either of us forget that.

        Except time, I suppose. Isn't time what heals all wounds?

        That really *is* fucking hilarious.

        But I don't laugh.

        Stumbling, I leave the dance floor, ordering another drink for the cold walk home. The vodka sooths my throat and burns all at the same time and it makes my eyes water as I open the door and turn my face to the stars.

        (What happens when you can't escape anymore?)

        A chill trickles down my spine and I take another step, taking another gulp from the silly paper cup, when I realize I forgot my jacket inside and spin around, seeing a girl trip just in front of me, her hands and knees colliding with the solid concrete outside the Bronze.

        "Hey, are you ok?" I ask, and she looks up and the world spins down on me as I stare at shining hair and dark endless eyes.

        Those Angel eyes...

        (Thanks. I tripped.

        Yeah, this road is kind of bumpy)

        My hands reach out and she takes them mutely, her palms skinned and slightly blood streaked. Between the fingers of her right hand is a long thin cigarette- and as the orange tip glows sickly in the shock of night, I breathe in and say, "Lizzie?"

        She doesn't say anything. Her throat works, I watch it and watch her and feel as if I've fallen back into my past. Shaking, she reaches up and her thumb brushes my hair. Her pie-plate eyes widen and go suddenly diamond bright.

        (It's always--- always been him. But that doesn't mean I don't love you, Lizzie. I do)

        A shout shatters the silence. "Liz? Liz? Where the hell are you?"

        (And now you're leaving me)

        Such a familiar voice.

        (I don't want to)

        I turn, and my knees go weak with disbelief.

        (Just go. Be happy.

        You be happy too.

        I can't)


        end of part one.

Continue to Part Two

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