The Trick Is To... [AU-Tess-Mature] PT 13 11/02/08(WIP)

This is the place where fics that have not been updated in the past three months will be moved until the author asks a mod to move them back to an active board.

Moderators: Anniepoo98, ISLANDGIRL5, truelovepooh, Forum Moderators

Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:13 pm
Location: England

Re: The Trick Is To... [AU-Tess-Mature] AN 27/04

Post by ~Ruby~ » Sat May 17, 2008 4:57 pm

Author's notes I hope this part makes sense. It is short, but I really wanted to post something and this story has been kicking my ass recently. My muse has gone and I'm struggling to get anything written. I don't want to leave this story though because it is my baby.

Anyway, thansk for the feedback and enjoy.

Part 10
Oh, You Are The Roots That Sleep Beneath My Feet

Tess sunk back into the bathtub. The smooth marble was cool against her feverish skin and she closed her eyes, longing for the safeguard of oblivion. She was exhausted. Her body felt heavy as if she had the weight of the world bearing down on her. She tried to recapture the essence of who she had been before her life had been torn to pieces.

It was hopeless though, that girl had died with her father, and it wasn’t long before she was assaulted by the thoughts she had been running from since that day Kit had discovered her on the floor of her closet with a bottle of Russia’s finest for company. She tried to remember to breath instead she remembered the last time she had seen her father. The memory would always haunt her.

He had been dead for a week, but as she stared down at him in the chapel of rest, she thought he might be only sleeping. Her legs buckled and she had clung to the edge of the casket in an attempt to stop herself from falling. The mahogany of the casket had cut into her skin, leaving a red indent, but Tess didn’t even notice. All her attention was focused on her father.

“I love you,” She had murmured, her fingers hovering over his chest where his heart no longer beat. “I’m sorry that I missed my curfew. I never knew…I never knew this would happen. I am so sorry, daddy. If I had known that that extra hour would cost me so much, I would never…”

She kissed him one last time. His cheek was cold and waxy beneath her lips and her heart broke a little more with the realization that it was real. It wasn’t a nightmare she was going to wake up from. The sour taste of bile filled her mouth as the unnatural chemical smell of the room finally became too much for her. She stumbled to the door, passed her sobbing Nana and into the bathroom.

She fell to the floor and cried. The marble tiles were cool against her feverish skin.
“What are you doing?”

She opened her eyes from her nightmare and saw that Zach had crept into the room and seated himself cross legged on the floor. She eyed the plate of banana pancakes warily that he held in his hands and felt her stomach begin churn in revulsion.

“Contemplating drowning myself,” She murmured, struggling to sit up in the tub. She sunk back down after her second failed attempted with a sigh. Her problems were like an anchor around her neck.

“In a empty bathtub?” He asked, with a mouth full of banana pancakes. Tess winced at the sound of his voice. It felt like someone had dug a ice pick through her skull.

“Obviously, once I had gotten pass the contemplating phase, I’d add water.” She instantly regretted open her mouth as the sound of her own voice dug the invisible ice pick further into her skull.

“And maybe some bubble bath? You’re looking kind of sweaty and gross.”

She sunk further into the bathtub, sunk further into the darkness.

“What is going on…Tess?”

It was Kit. Her voice was muffed as if Tess was under water, but she couldn’t remember turning the taps on. She couldn’t remember anything. All she could think about was the darkness that was swallowing her whole and taking away her pain.

“Tess. Wake up, Tess. Damn it, wake up! Zach, help me get her out of this stupid tub. Jesus, she is burning up. Call an ambulance. Tess. Tess, please wake up.”

Tess fought to open her eyes, but Kit’s voice soon faded into the darkness as Tess lost her battle.

Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:13 pm
Location: England

Re: The Trick Is To... [AU-Tess-Mature] PT 10 17/05

Post by ~Ruby~ » Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:40 pm

I'm slowly trying to get over my writer's block hence another short part.
Part 11
Those who are dead, are not dead, they are just living inside my head
Tess liked oblivion. The sun shone brighter, the sky was bluer and she was sure if there had been grass then it would have been greener. She surveyed her surroundings. Oblivion was a desert. Not a typical run of the mill desert that she had seen in movies. The ones with animal bones strategically placed and a couple of cactuses for comic effect. This desert, her desert, was different. It was beautiful.

She moved forward, her bare feet sinking into the soft sand while a gentle breeze played with her hair. She felt free, almost as if she had come home. She could stay there forever.

“You can’t stay here,”

At the sound of his voice she stumbled and fell to her knees, her eyes blurring with tears. Her lips moved soundlessly, searching for the right words, but there were no words. Only one and she couldn’t bring herself to say it.

“Breathe, honey.” He was crouched down beside her, rubbing her back. Her chest felt like it would explode as she sobbed and dug her fingers into the sand in an attempt to stop her world spinning. She struggled to fill her lungs with air. “The trick is to keep breathing.”

She choked on a twisted mixture of laughter and sobbing at his words. The irony of being told to breathe by someone who no longer needed to was not lost on her. Nor was the Hawaiian shirt, which, in Tess’s world of oblivion, was nearly as bright as the sun.

“Don’t touch me,” She whispered, pushing away his hands. She struggled to her feet, which was no easy fete considering the floor length dress she was wearing. It was black. She hated the colour black and everything it represented. Death, sadness, emptiness.

“I know that you are angry, but we don’t have a lot of time and there is so much I need to tell you.” He began to reach for her. “I never thought I’d…”

“Leave? Because that’s what you did. You left us. You left me. Dad…” The word slipped naturally from her lips. “You left me!”

And instead of the happiness she had expected to feel if she ever got the chance to speak to her father again, she was angry. Anger filled every cell of her body until it was all she was.

“Not willingly. Never willingly.”

“You lied to me my whole life, which turns out to be twelve years since I hatched out of a freakin’ pod. Why should I listen to a word you have to… God, what am I even saying? You aren’t here. You can’t be here. You are dead. This is all some freaky hallucination because I stopped taking my medication….”

“You stopped taking your medication?” As he spoke he grabbed her by the shoulders. The worry and horror was plain to see in his eyes. “Why? Why would you do that?”

“Because I am an alien.”

“Hybrid.” He added helplessly.

“Excuse me?”

“You are an alien hybrid and I didn’t lie to you. I never told you certain things, but I never lied to you. I wanted you to have a normal childhood, a normal life. You deserved that and so much more after everything that they did to you.”

“What do you mean? Who?”

“That doesn’t matter now.” He stated quickly, releasing his grip on her shoulders. He grabbed her hands and pleaded. “I need you to wake up for me. You cannot stay here. It isn’t safe. You need to wake up and take your medication. They suppress the neurotransmitters in your cerebral cortex and…there‘s no time to explain.The only reason we’ve kept you safe for so long is because your powers have laid dormant. If your powers become active, it is only a matter of time before they find you.”

And as quickly as the anger had taken over her, it left at the sight of the panic and concern in her father‘s eyes.

He started to pull away, but Tess refused to let go, “Please don’t leave me, Dad. Not again. I have so many questions and you owe me answers. You owe me! Please just let me stay here with you.”


“I promise I‘ll be good. I‘ll wake up and take my meds.” She pleaded with a sob. “I just need some time with you.”

He shook his head sadly as he stared into the distance. “Time isn‘t a luxury that we have. Not anymore.”

She looked after her shoulder, but saw nothing.

Pulling her in his arms, he hugged her tightly before he whispered into her ear, “Wake up, Princess. Wake up. They are among you now. Wake up.”

Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:13 pm
Location: England

Re: The Trick Is To... [AU-Tess-Mature] PT 11 22/07

Post by ~Ruby~ » Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:27 pm

Part 12
The Shooting Star That Destroyed Us

Life. It was ridiculously fragile, unpredictable and soul crushing, but as she regained consciousness, Tess vowed never to give hers up willingly. Seeing her father, albeit a hallucinatory version, had awoken something inside her, a strength that had been lacking before. Her body felt like it was humming with power. She felt alive.

She opened her eyes and the first person she saw was her knight in faded black converses and ripped jeans. He looked exhausted. As if he had spent three consecutive nights playing on his playstation 3. It was a look she was familiar with, but this time she suspected that she was to blame.

She licked her dry lips before smiling faintly, “Hey,”

He blinked in surprise and there was a beat of silence before he was yanking her into his arms. He clung to her and her to him. He was her anchor, her best friend. They sat there entwined in each others’ arms until Zach was satisfied that she wasn’t going to slip back into unconsciousness and he had received a gentle reminder from Tess.

“Jesus, I can‘t breathe! You are going to strangle me back into a coma.” She said, causing Zach let go of her abruptly.

“You came back. Thank God, I thought I was going to be searching for a new best friend.”

“Well, you can’t get rid of me that easily.” She snorted. She brushed his cheek, marveling at the facial hair that had grown patchily. She had never seen Zach anything, but clean shaven. “How long have I been out of it? A year? That’s quite an impressive beard you’ve got going there. The other thirteen year olds must be super jealous. You are a man now, Zach Knight!”

“Ha, ha, ha!” He said sarcastically, but there was a smile on his lips as he rubbed his chin. “You’ve been off with the fairies for a week. A long hellish week. There is so much I have to tell you…”

“Zach, who are you talking…” Kit’s words came to a halt when she saw Tess sitting up. She squealed in excitement and bounced towards her. “Tess! You‘re awake. Mom, Mom, Tess is awake.”

She looked at Zach in horror, “My Mom is here,”

“That was one of the things I had to tell you about,” He said sheepishly. “Audrey is here too. Surprise!”

She smacked him in the chest and muttered, “I can’t believe you let me ramble about that bum fluff you call facial hair while you knew my Mom was here. Is there anything else I should know?”

“Probably.” He said with a casual shrug, “and FYI, I‘m letting the bum fluff comment slide since you‘ve been in a coma. The next one will cost you.”

“I think there are most important things to be discussed.” Kit said with a roll of her eyes. “For example, my little sister’s out of this world origins.”

Tess swallowed nervously, “You know about that?”

“Well, it is kind of hard to ignore when you are destroying the room.”

“Your powers activated and then went slightly haywire.” Zach explained. He gestured in the direction of the destruction she had caused and failed to notice on her awaken.

She was admiring her handy work when she remembered what her father had said.

“It is only a matter of time,” She whispered anxiously. Realizing that when he had said they were among them, it was because her powers were already activated. It was too late now. And she felt numb as she repeated his words. “They are among you.”

“What did you just say?” Karen Harding had soundlessly entered the room without the others noticing. She stared intently at Tess, “Sweetie?”

“Dad said…Dad said that they are among us now.” Her voice trembled. “Who? Mom? What is going on?”
“I always thought that if we had to have this conversation, your father would be here. Of course, I’d always hoped that it would never happen. The truth is a bitter pill to swallow and I’ve never been able to forgive myself for what happened to you. On this planet or ours.” She paused, fiddling with Tess‘s blankets. “I hope you understand the gravity of what I am about you tell you. Once it is out there, I cannot take it back. Are you sure this is a burden you are ready to carry?”

“I can hardly go back to Nebraska and pretend that nothing has changed.”

“Why not?”

“Mom!” Tess said in disbelief, struggling to sit up in her bed.

“It was worth a shot. We worked so hard to give you a normal and happy life.” Karen sighed again. She picked up Flapjack and stared blankly at the stuffed bunny as she gathered her thoughts. “Nothing will be the same again. Normal will be a distant memory.”

“It already is.”

Her mom smiled sadly and lovely brushed a strand of hair behind Tess’s ear. “I suppose I should start from the beginning. Close your eyes.”

"Mom, I don't want you to tell me a bedtime story. I want the truth about who I am. Who everyone is."

Placing Flapjack beside Tess, Karen leaned forward and spoke in a soothingly. “I know and that is what I'm about to tell you, but it will be easier this way. Please let me tell it this way."

Tess nodded and closed her eyes.

And her mother began, "Once upon a time…”

Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:13 pm
Location: England

Re: The Trick Is To... [AU-Tess-Mature] PT 12 08/08

Post by ~Ruby~ » Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:50 pm

Author's notes:

This story has been nominated in round 12 of the Roswell Fanatics awards in Favorite Alternate Portrayal of a Lead Character and Favorite Lead Portrayal of Tess Harding .


It was a lovely surprise. Thank you to everyone that nominated me.

Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:13 pm
Location: England

Re: The Trick Is To... [AU-Tess-Mature] AN 21/09

Post by ~Ruby~ » Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:50 pm

Author's notes: First off, I'd like to thank everyone who voted for this story. It was a runner up. I'll post the banner later. I just wanted to say thank you.

And this update is seriously short, sorry. I'll try and get back into writing monster long parts to bore you soon.

Part 13
A Lesson in History

“You were only a child, still scared of the dark, when you came to the throne. Of course, you were right to be scared. Our world had been at war for hundreds of years. I’m not sure if anyone could even remember why it started. It had become like a bad habit.” Her mother laughed bitterly. “One that your father, the man that gave you life, had refused to break.”

“So, Dad wasn’t…other worldly.”

Karen shook her head, “John was human. My beautiful human. You cannot begin to understand what he gave up to be with us, but that is another story for later.” She took a deep breath before continuing her story. “Because you were so young, it made sense that your uncle would rule in your stead. It was the beginning of the end. Kivar had your throne and he wanted Antar too.”

A shiver of fear went down Tess’s spine as Karen told her about her Uncle Kivar, his reign of terror and their escape to Antar where she became the child bride of Zan, uniting their two worlds against Kivar and his allies, the skins.

“Zan and Rath were arrogant. They believed that Kivar would never gain control of Antar.”

“Priam said that Troy would never fall and look how that film ended. Brad Pitt dead, Eric Bana dead and the only eye candy left was the whiny Paris.” Tess joked, delaying the inevitable.

Karen raised an eyebrow, but didn’t comment. “Rath was a great warrior, but Kivar was smart and devious. He knew that the only way he’d win Antar was to first win Vilandra. Once he had her heart, it was only a matter of time before he had everything. Including your life. That night will forever haunt me. It was lifetimes ago and yet it feels like yesterday.”

Tess’s eyes were closed tightly as she listened to Karen describe the night she had died.

“You had screamed, waking up to a nightmare. I’d rushed into the nursery and held you so tightly. Beneath your window, Antar’s capital city burned. Kivar and his army had taken over the palace. There was nowhere for us to run and no one to protect us. The King, his sister and his second in command were already dead. I knew that you were next on his list. I tried to hide you, to protect you. I had promised your mother on her death bed that I would take care of you and I had failed.”


“I watched you die. You were just a child.” She choked back a sob. “Your body was barely even cold before they concocted your resurrection. The seers of Antar said that your destiny was to save our races. That you, Zan, Rath and Vilandra were to be reborn, your DNA mixed with a species not so dissimilar to ours. I said that was stupid. You’d already lost everything, but no one wanted to listen to a grief-stricken female. And that is how you came to be on Earth.”

“And the rest of the story?” Tess asked, wanting to know everything. Especially the chunks her mother had left out.

“Isn’t that enough for now?”

“Dad said that they were among us. He was talking about the skins, wasn’t he? And Kivar? I need to know everything so that history won’t repeat itself. Max and the others…”

“Are not our concern. All that matters is you, Kit and Audrey. We cannot stay in Roswell.”


“It is not an opinion. I will not watch you die. Not again.” Karen stood up and sternly said, “That is the end of the conversation.”

She left the room, refusing to listen to Tess‘s protests. If she had stayed she would have seen the determined look on Tess’s face, the stubborn tilt of her chin and the defiance in her eyes. The conversation was far from over.