Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Update, 5/26

This is the place to post all your General Roswell fanfiction. Any Canon fics, which pick up directly from any episode of the show and that focus on Max/Liz, Michael/Maria, Isabel/Alex or Isabel/Jesse, Kyle/Tess, or all the couples together! Rule of Thumb: If Max healed Liz in the Crashdown in September 1999, then your fic belongs here. If it picks up from the show in any way, it belongs here.

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Kathy W
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Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Update, 5/26

Postby Kathy W » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:18 pm

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Banner by Misha. Thanks a million, Misha!



TITLE: Birthright, the 6th and final book in the Shapeshifters series. This thread contains the second part of the book which covers Season Two.

Link to Birthright, Season One:

http://roswellfanatics.net/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=21896


SUMMARY: We've finally arrived where this series was heading from the beginning: September, 1999, and a particular shooting at a particular café with which we are all particularly familiar. This is the book which runs alongside all 3 seasons of the show, expanding what we saw on screen, filling in blanks, and adding the perspectives of the shapeshifters, along with others entrusted with protecting the Royal Four. Once again this leaves the show intact; I've stayed 99% faithful to what we saw on screen with minor exceptions, such as when the dates given in the show didn't line up with the actual calendar, or setting the events of two episodes in close proximity even though those episodes aired a week apart. This book is divided into 3 parts (1 for each season) which are further divided into chapters. It begins with the shooting at the Crashdown and ends a few weeks after the final episode of the series.


CAN YOU JUMP IN AT BOOK 6? : Yes! The opening posts for the first part of this book (which covers Season One) contain a character guide and synopses of the first 5 books. That, along with what you know from the show, will give you enough background to start reading with Book 6.

Note: I've tried very hard not to rehash scenes from the show unless I'm adding another angle to them. If it's been a while since you've watched Roswell, you may want to break out your tapes/VCD's/DVD's and watch again as this book expands on the series.



AUTHOR: Kathy W


RATING: TEEN, for occasional language


CATEGORY: Backstory/Conventional. All couples as they were on the show.


PERSPECTIVE: As always, the main perspective is that of those responsible for making it happen—the shapeshifters.


SERIES SUMMARY: I’ve always been fascinated with what happened before the pod squad hatched, and I’ve had a million questions. Why don’t the hybrids remember more? Why was the Destiny Book in the library instead of in the pod chamber? Why did the Dupes wind up in a sewer in New York City? Why did both shapeshifters appear to abandon their charges after hiding them so well in the very beginning? Was Nasedo really working for the Skins? Why was Langley so unwilling to help Max? And so on and so forth.

This is the story from the viewpoint of the shapeshifters, my own little fantasy about what happened, why it happened, and what went wrong. This is the sixth and last book in the series, each a sequel to the others and which have closely tracked the show; my intention is not to rewrite Roswell, but to fill in some of the blanks. The story began on the ship headed to Earth and will end a few weeks after the last episode of the series.


DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. Nothing anyone wants, anyway. :D I’m just borrowing these wonderful characters to amuse myself. And hopefully you.

Some of the events in this story are taken from Roswell episodes. In addition to characters from the show, there are also a few real people in this story. I know precisely none of these people, and am borrowing them strictly for this little tale.



SEQUEL TO:

And the Stars Fell From the Sky: First book in the series. Chronicles the shapeshifters journey to Earth and the creation of the hybrids. Can be found here: viewtopic.php?t=1302&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0

Alien Sky: Second book in the series. Covers the aftermath of the crash and the capture of the two surviving shapeshifters. Written around and through the Roswell episode "Summer of '47". Can be found here: viewtopic.php?t=1302&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0

Comes The Inquisitor: Third book in the series. Covers the period from 1947-1950 when one of the shapeshifters was held captive by the U.S. military. Can be found here: viewtopic.php?t=7879&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

All Too Human: Fourth book in the series. Covers a period of several months in 1959 including the filming of the movie "They Are Among Us" in Roswell, James Atherton's friendship with one of the shapeshifters, and the formation of the Special Unit. Can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17797&p=661166#p661166

Awakening: Fifth book in the series. Covers the period when the hybrids emerge from the pods, including the final fall of Grandpa Valenti and the rise of Daniel Pierce Jr. (Pierce from the show.) Explains how Max and Isabel wound up with the Evans family, Michael landed in foster care, and Tess went with Nasedo....and why they don't remember who they are. Can be found here: http://roswellfanatics.net/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=20866&start=0
Last edited by Kathy W on Sat May 26, 2018 10:37 pm, edited 74 times in total.

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Kathy W
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Chapter 1

Postby Kathy W » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:23 pm

Welcome to Season 2! And the story continues...





BIRTHRIGHT—SEASON TWO





CHAPTER ONE



August 31, 2000, 9 a.m.

Longview Plaza, Roswell






"Why don't you sit down, Mom? I'll go let them know we're here."

Why bother? Dee thought, taking a seat as Diane informed the doctor's secretary/admin/whatever they called themselves these days of their arrival, hardly necessary in a waiting room this size with the desk all of five feet away. God, how she hated medical offices, which she avoided like the plague unless she had the plague. No matter how well decorated, they always smelled like antiseptic, were painted some so-called "calming color", and had weird magazines which were several months out of date as though the office were stuck in some kind of time warp, which, given how long one was typically stranded here, could very well be.

"All set," Diane said briskly, having duly reported their arrival. "She said the doctor would just be a few minutes."

"They always say that," Dee commented.

"He was reasonably on time the last time I was here," Diane noted.

"Define 'reasonably'."

"Look, I know you don't like doctor's offices, so I'm grateful you agreed to come with me," Diane said.

"Nonsense," Dee deadpanned. "I love sitting in mauve waiting rooms with months old copies of Field and Stream and a whiff of Pine Sol."

"Yes, well, I couldn't bring Philip," Diane said, ignoring her sarcasm. "He was so against Max seeing anyone, and I know he would just be awful in there."

"And I won't be?" Dee chuckled. "Of course I won't," she added hastily when Diane raised an eyebrow. "I want what's best for Max, of course. We both do."

"We're both mothers," Diane said, putting a hand on Dee's arm. "You understand in ways Philip never will. Plus you know that Max is...'special'."

"I do indeed," Dee agreed, patting Diane's hand in the hope that she'd remove it before she got all misty-eyed. "Max will be fine, Diane. All teenagers go through rough patches."

Diane sat back in her chair, her eyes far away. "This was more than just a 'rough patch', Mom. I can feel it in my bones."

Those damnable bones, Dee thought, busying herself with the March issue of Field and Stream and a fascinating article on fishing lures. It hadn't taken long for Max's reaction to his capture and torture by the Special Unit to set in; by the end of May he was having regular nightmares and stomach aches, eschewing the upstairs shower in favor of the shower stall in the basement, startling easily, jumping every time the phone rang, and conveniently "forgetting" three different appointments for his annual school physical until it was late enough that Diane was unable to get another before school started. Always tuned to her son's frequency, Diane had known something was wrong and responded accordingly, convincing Milton to give Max the summer off from his job at the UFO center, arguably a good thing what with all those much-too-close-to-the-truth exhibits, and beseeching Philip's blessing on a limited number of sessions with a psychologist, even enlisting Yvonne's help to get him to agree. Personally she'd found the whole thing a terrible idea; how was it going to help Max to have one more person to keep secrets from? Yvonne saw her point, but was more neutral. It was possible, she felt, that counseling might teach Max some generic coping skills that he'd find useful and also possible that it would have a calming effect on Diane, always a good thing for Max. Their sessions almost at an end, this appointment was the doctor's report for Diane, and Dee had absolutely no confidence that it would go well.

The office door opened. "Mrs. Evans," a bespectacled gentleman smiled. "So good to see you again."

"I brought my mother-in-law with me," Diane said. "I hope you don't mind."

"Of course not," the man said, holding out a hand. "I'm Dr. Otterloop."

"I'm also Mrs. Evans," Dee answered with as straight a face as she could muster. "Otterloop"? Really?

"I'll try to keep the two of you straight," the doctor said. "Come in, please. I must confess I'm a bit surprised not to see Mr. Evans here today."

"Philip still thinks Max is just going through a phase," Diane sighed.

"Not entirely incorrect," the doctor allowed as they took their seats. "It does appear he's been going through a difficult time."

"Oh, he has," Diane said unhappily.

He's not the only one, Dee thought. Isabel and Michael were also dealing with the fallout from Pierce Inc., the former worried about invading enemies, the latter sharing that worry along with a truckload of guilt for having dispatched Pierce. Isabel had had her share of nightmares and moodiness, but somehow that had escaped her mother, who was totally focused on Max.

"How is he, doctor?" Diane was asking anxiously.

"I'm afraid I've been unable to coax Max into telling me exactly what's bothering him," the doctor confessed.

"It's that girl, that Liz," Diane fretted. "She left for the summer, you know. I'll bet good money something went wrong between the two of them."

"Possibly," the doctor admitted, "although he hasn't said anything about her. But whatever the reason, he's much more relaxed now than he was when we started several weeks ago, so the therapy has helped him nonetheless."

"He is," Diane agreed, "and it has."

Bullshit, Dee thought. Max was 'more relaxed' because everyone who knew anything knew that the only thing which would help him were assurances that what had happened in May would not recur. It being dicey for Jaddo to contact Max given that the king could command him, they had decided to pass information through Tess. After Tess had delivered the first news report from "Nasedo", Dee had felt a pang of something suspiciously like guilt; it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why Liz Parker had decided to summer several states away or to decipher the smile on Tess' face. She must be loving this, with Liz gone and her the main conduit of information between Max and Jaddo, and the Warders were certainly pleased to be sending the queen to help the king. News of Jaddo's systematic undermining of the Special Unit had indeed calmed Max, but something else had as well, an unexpected something—Tess. While the rest of them worried and wallowed, she alone did neither, steady and serene amid the fallout. "She's used to this," Brivari had noted when Dee commented on her lack of discomfiture. "She's lived her entire life running from the Special Unit. She's learned to live with fear, to manage it instead of letting it manage her. She's a voice of experience, which is just what he needs right now."

As the weeks had gone by, the news from Washington had grown better and better, and Max had relaxed more and more. Tess's visits to the Evans household grew more frequent, it now being usual for the four of them to spend time together during the long summer nights, causing Brivari to note with satisfaction that the Royal Four were four once more. "Maybe this will actually work out," he'd said wistfully, watching all of them play badminton in the backyard one evening. "Wouldn't that be ironic, after everything that's gone wrong."

"...absolutely did the right thing bringing him here, Mrs. Evans," the doctor was saying. "Modern psychotherapy could help most of us, and I'm so glad I've been able to help Max."

"So now that he's better, he's done, right?" Dee said. "No more sessions?"

"Well...I'd like to go on helping him," the doctor answered. "He would benefit from more sessions. He still hasn't told me exactly what happened."

Because it's none of your business, Dee thought irritably. "How much 'more' is 'more'?" she asked.

"Another six months," the doctor replied.

"Six months?" Dee said incredulously. "School is starting! How is he going to have time for appointments on top of that? Besides, Philip only agreed to 8 sessions, so he has only, what, one left?"

"Well...if it's helping, he might agree to more," Diane said doubtfully.

"Oh, it's definitely helping," the doctor boasted. "You agreed he's much better now."

"I'm confused," Dee said, resisting the urge to smack the man for taking credit for something he actually had nothing to do with. "Didn't you say Max never told you what was bothering him?"

"Well...yes, but..."

"Then how exactly did you 'help' him?"

"By listening," the doctor answered.

"To what? You just said he didn't tell you anything."

"Well...no, but my experience with others makes me a good sounding board," the doctor said.

"A 'sounding board' for what?" Dee said. "For what he's not telling you?"

Silence. "Well...I meant that I have a great deal of advice to offer," the doctor amended finally.

"Advice about what?" Diane asked. "If he hasn't told you what's wrong, how can you advise him?"

"Well...it's just the standard of care," the doctor said, beginning to fidget. "As a licensed professional, I of course need to..."

Dee tuned out as Diane listened, albeit with commendable skepticism. Long story short, this guy was put out that Max hadn't spilled and wanted more time to lean on him. He probably thought the very real improvement in Max's mood was entirely his doing, leading one to wonder what other marvels of modern medicine were merely just charades. Two things were certain: Whenever they trotted out the "standard of care" excuse, all hope of reasoned discourse was over, and Max needed to get away from this nosy man pronto. How to accomplish that? If only Brivari were here. He frequently found a way to get the outcome he wanted and send everyone home happy at the same time, but that took patient maneuvering while she was far more prone to impatient exasperation...

"I think I understand!" Dee said suddenly, cutting off the doctor's long-winded defense. "Doctor, you're brilliant!"

"He is?" Diane said.

The doctor gaped at her. "I...I am?"

"Of course!" Dee exclaimed. "Faced with a patient who refused to talk, he did the next best thing—he taught Max coping skills, generic coping skills which work with all kinds of stress, and allowed him to sort through them to find the ones which worked best for his situation."

Utter silence and blank stares greeted this announcement. "And what a marvelous solution that was!" Dee went on enthusiastically. "Max is much better. We've all seen it."

"He is much better," Diane agreed.

"But—" the doctor began.

"And how could he be better if, by the doctor's own admission, Max has told him precisely nothing?" Dee interrupted. "I'll tell you how—because of his brilliant therapy! Respecting your patient's right to privacy. Giving him the means to help himself. Trusting that he would make the right choices...and it worked! He gave Max the tools to manage his own stress, and now that he's done so successfully, he won't be needing any more sessions. Which is only right, because the goal, of course, was to help Max be self-sufficient in managing his own stress."

The doctor blinked. "It was? It was!" he amended quickly when Diane raised an eyebrow. "Of course it was."

"So, exactly what 'coping skills' did you teach Max?" Diane asked.

"I...well...I have several, of course," the doctor stammered as Dee gave him a Mona Lisa smile, knowing full well the doctor likely hadn't imparted anything but impatience. "Knowing which ones to teach, that's the key."

"But...how could you know that if Max didn't tell you what was wrong?" Diane ventured.

"Oh, come now, Diane," Dee said, noting that now was not the time for Diane to suddenly be quick on the uptake. "This man is obviously a consummate professional. I must say, doctor, I'm impressed you managed to help Max so skillfully with so little information. To have done so much with so little bespeaks a sharp intellect, a great deal of empathy, and an admirable rapport with your patient."

"I do my best," the doctor said, trying and failing to look humble as he puffed with pride and succumbed completely to the tsunami of praise.

"And you, Diane," Dee went on, "so quick to notice something was wrong, so stalwart in your insistence that something had to be done. You were unflagging in your efforts to ease his way, convincing his employer to give him the summer off and his father to give his blessing to these sessions. What Max has learned here will stay with him the rest of his life, and you can both be justifiably proud of that."

"Thank you," the doctor beamed as Diane, to her credit, looked wary.

"So," Dee said briskly, rising from her chair, "let's be on our way and leave this dedicated professional to what he does best. Doctor, thank you so much for helping my grandson. You've made such a difference!"

"I...thank you," the doctor answered, flustered, as Dee ushered Diane out, tossing another wave of gratitude in the secretary's direction as they rushed past. Diane said nothing until the elevator door closed in front of them.

"I thought you hated doctors?"

"Not that one," Dee lied. "He's obviously on the ball. Did you choose him, or did Philip?"

"I did," Diane answered, sounding slightly proud of herself. "He seemed...competent."

"I'll say," Dee agreed. "Max is so much better. He's very lucky to have you for a mother."

Smiling faintly, Diane finally allowing herself to accept the praise, having surrendered far more slowly than the windbag back in that office. Dee settled into the car with enormous satisfaction, having produced a beaming doctor who'd just been told he was brilliant and might actually start talking about coping skills, a proud parent who felt she'd done right by her child, and an end to useless therapy sessions for Max. Everyone was happy, and she'd gotten what she wanted.

Just wait until Brivari got back from Washington and learned that the impatient little girl who'd stumbled across his ship all those years ago had learned a thing or two from the King's Warder after all.




*****************************************************




Pierce residence,

Washington, D.C.






"Daniel, this is extraordinary," Vanessa murmured, leafing through the sheaf of papers. "Absolutely extraordinary."

"Tell me about it."

Vanessa cocked an eyebrow as he appeared au natural in the bedroom doorway. "Put some clothes on," she said dryly. "You'll scare the cockroaches."

"I have cockroaches?"

"You're right—even they wilt in this heat," Vanessa grumbled.

"Thought the heat would be good for your eczema," Daniel said.

Vanessa felt her arms unconsciously sliding further into her long sleeves. A more accurate observation was that Washington's famous summer heat was bad for husks. It turned out that husks liked cool climates at the end of their lifespan, a factoid they'd hoped never to encounter. The capitol's humidity was a bit less ferocious than Copper Summit's dry heat, but both were bad, and made worse by her cautionary habit of wearing long sleeves. So far she'd been able to write off her shedding to the human condition called "eczema", and fortunately Pierce had other things on his mind these days.

"I'm glad you finally decided to trust me," Vanessa said, "although I would have preferred to have this dropped in my lap back in June."

"Because I do so love dropping things in your lap," Pierce murmured, nuzzling her neck.

"Would you get your mind out of the gutter for just 10 minutes?" Vanessa said in exasperation, pushing him away. "We're showered and dressed, or I am, anyway. So we're done."

"Are we ever truly done?" Pierce asked with mock innocence, his hands tracing a not-so-innocent path down her back.

"Well, you certainly aren't," Vanessa laughed. "But you only get to do that because you're also mid-firing, and some of us aren't so fortunate. Some of us have actual work to do, work that would be so much easier if you'd delivered the means to do it one hell of a lot earlier so we could get on with the business of getting you un-fired."

"Work, work,work," Pierce muttered with mock annoyance, flopping down beside her. "Is that all you ever do?"

"Fuck, fuck, fuck," Vannesa teased. "Is that all you ever do?"

"I'm making up for lost time," Pierce said.

"And whose fault is that?" Vanessa said. "You were the one with the round-the-clock, super-secret, oh-so-classified job. But I was here. I was available."

"For what? Working or fucking?"

"Both," Vanessa said firmly, "as evidenced by the fact that we just finished one and started the other. Now...after all your bleating about everything being 'classified', what made you decide to turn over classified documents to the one person who might save your ass as well as lick it?"

Pierce burst out laughing, causing her to smile in spite of herself. God, he was handsome. And smart, and persistent, and calculating, and very, very good with his hands. Those hands could reach places she hadn't even known she owned, and they never, ever tired. Maybe she should have gotten Daniel fired earlier...

"Penny for your thoughts?" Pierce teased. "Hope they're dirty. Bet they are."

"Oh, stop it," Vanessa said crossly. "Cadmium X. Start talking."

"About what? It's all in there. It's how we know an alien has killed someone. Well, that and the fact that their insides are cooked from the inside without leaving anything outside. That too."

"I mean why didn't you tell me sooner?" Vanessa clarified. "This might have delayed the hearings or stopped them altogether. It certainly will carry weight with the committee when all my protests have been for naught."

"Only because you've been using big words they don't understand," Pierce said.

"Only because they haven't seen a shred of evidence that aliens actually exist," Vanessa corrected. "Your Director has been very good about clamping down on any and all leaks. He's making you look like some kind of demented Obi Wan off on some damned fool idealistic crusade."

"Love, love, love the Star Wars reference," Daniel chuckled. "But he's not 'my' Director, and what did you expect? I told you he'd never air the Bureau's dirty laundry in public. He just wants me branded a nutcase so he can reassure everyone that aliens aren't real, and then turn around and go fight them without me."

"So why are you giving me this now?" Vanessa asked. "Why not earlier?"

"Because I didn't think he'd actually go through with it," Pierce answered. "He's bluffed and blustered before, and nothing came of it. I figured he'd bluff and bluster a bit more this time, then back off because we scrubbed the base clean before we left. I didn't expect him to go after the whole damned Unit, just me. I can lay low for a while and rise again, but the Unit must go on. The threat is too real."

"On that, we agree," Vanessa assured him, "and I will do everything in my power to see that it continues. It's why I maneuvered my way onto the committee in the first place, because there needed to be at least one true believer to separate the wheat from the chaff."

" 'Maneuvered'?" Pierce chuckled. "Don't you mean 'slept'?"

"Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe," Vanessa smiled.

"You know, you've never told me how you became a believer," Pierce said. "Do you have an abduction story?"

"You know, you've never told me why you went to Roswell," Vanessa countered. "Do you have a capture story?"

" 'Capture'? I said I'd 'found' something. What makes you think I captured something?"

"Because you don't need an abandoned Army base unless you've got something to put in it," Vanessa answered. "And you certainly don't need to 'scrub it clean' unless you've used it, and you wouldn't have used it unless you'd captured something."

"Let's hear it for circuitous logic," Pierce said dryly. "Has it not occurred to you that I was preparing for something that never happened? Why would I scrub it if I'd actually had something? Pissed-off-director or no pissed-off-director, that evidence would be all I'd need to at least keep the Unit running, if not my job. I wish."

The sigh which accompanied that last sentence was genuine enough that Vanessa felt a prickle of doubt. She'd been certain Pierce's Unit had found a hybrid or a Warder, but he was right—if he had, why hadn't he brandished the photographs, the videos, the medical exams in his defense? Why just this interesting-but-hardly -definitive study on a weird isotope humans weren't familiar with?

"That's too bad," Vanessa said with genuine regret. "I was hoping you were sitting on the evidence gathered from that capture, and just waiting to see if you needed to trot it out. Which you do, by the way, if you have it. They'll vote you down, Daniel. I know they will."

"I know it too," Pierce said. "Which is why I just gave you genuine lab work about a genuine substance which is genuinely extra-terrestrial."

"But this can't be all you have," Vanessa protested. "How long has the Unit been around? Since 1950? There must be more—"

"Of course there is," Pierce said. "But I'm persona non grata, remember? Clearance revoked, weapon confiscated, blah, blah, blah. I can't just waltz in there and help myself to the Unit's evidence, and the Director certainly isn't going to let any of it see the light of day if he can help it. I only got the Cadmium X stuff because I could lift it from the lab which did the work."

"Good idea; let's go at this sideways," Vanessa suggested. "Who else besides the Unit has evidence of alien life on this planet? The Army?"

"Forget it," Pierce said. "There's always been a tug-of-war between the Army and the Bureau. The military would love to see the Unit go under."

"Scratch the Army," Vanessa noted. "Who else?"

"There is no one else, or no one your esteemed colleagues would listen to. Unless you'd like to hit up a UFO convention or two. I hear their attendees can be quite inspirational."

"Not the kind of inspiration I was looking for," Vanessa said, "but I'll keep looking, and you should too. For evidence, that is, not down your pants."

"I don't look down my pants," Pierce said reproachfully. "I look down yours."

"Don't I know it," Vanessa said wryly. "You can look down them later, after I save your ass on the Hill."

"You really think that'll do it?"

He was suddenly serious, very serious indeed if he was ignoring a reference to sex. "I will find a way to fix this," she told him, "if it's the last thing I do. I promise."

"But why?" Pierce said. "Why is this so important to you?"

"You're important to me," Vanessa answered. "I need you, in ways you could never imagine."

A sly smile spread across his face. "I could try."

"And there's my Daniel," Vanessa laughed. "Keep your engines revved. I'll be back." Pausing in the doorway, she struck a pose, bending a knee, raising her skirt high enough to raise blood pressure.

"Good morning."

Vanessa whirled around, startled. A man stood in Daniel's living room, suit, briefcase, nice watch. "Who the hell are you?" she sputtered, dropping her skirt.

"My ten o'clock," Pierce said casually, not the least bit perturbed that he was still stark naked. "Forgot about him. Oops."

"How long were you standing there?" Vanessa demanded, flushing.

"Long enough," Pierce chuckled.

"Am I...interrupting something?" the man asked.

"Like you care!" Vanessa said hotly, bristling at the faint note of amusement in the voice and the less-than-faint amusement on Pierce's face. "The least you could have done is announce yourself."

"Mea culpa," the man allowed. "Should I come back so you can...finish?"

"Don't bother," Vanessa said tightly. "We're finished."

"Nice...'seeing' you," the stranger said blandly.

Vanessa left, still flushing and trying not to because heat, any heat, caused her husk to peel. Where the hell had he come from? She usually had better hearing than that, and most humans moved like elephants, not cats. She was still smarting as she reached the ground floor, her phone to her ear.

"What?" Nicholas's voice said.

"He finally gave me something to work with. Humans have discovered a radioactive isotope they don't recognize in the bones of those the Warders have executed."

"Clever apes. How does this help us?"

"It helps us keep the Unit alive," Vanessa answered, "which is paramount now that he actually trusts me. Even if they fire him, he's got enough followers that he'll just go underground, and I'll go with him. You know, so he can clear his name, and get his job back, and all that happy stuff."

"Such a loyal mistress," Nicholas said dryly. "But let's not put all our eggs in one basket. We're still working other angles."

"Of course, but this is huge," Vanessa argued. "He's never confided in me before."

"I'll congratulate you when you actually produce something of value," Nicholas said. "Will this isotope stuff sway that troglodyte committee of yours?"

"Oh, you bet," Vanessa assured him. "When I get through with them, they'll be swinging in the breeze."




*****************************************************




"Interesting choice of clothing," Brivari remarked after Vanessa had fled.

"It's called a 'birthday suit'," Jaddo informed him, "ironic for one who was never born. Why didn't you ever tell me human mating was so much fun?"

"You were markedly disinterested. To the point of being disdainful, if I recall."

"Well, shame on me," Jaddo chuckled. "It's more wrestling match than mating. It's positively violent."

"Speak for yourself," Brivari said. "Did I just overhear you handing evidence of our existence to Nicholas' main squeeze?"

"You did, indeed," Jaddo replied.

"And you find that wise?"

"I find it absolutely hilarious!" Jaddo chortled. "It was enough to be taking down the Unit, but this is even better."

"Care to elaborate?" Brivari suggested.

"By the time I'm done," Jaddo said enormous satisfaction, "not only will the Unit have fallen, but Vanessa will have helped deal its death blow...and in the process, her own."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


RL has been eating my lunch lately, so I'll be posting every other Sunday. Chapter 2 will go up on Sunday, March 16. :)
BRIVARI: "In our language, the root of the word 'Covari' means 'hidden'. I'm always there, Your Highness, even if you don't see me."

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Misha
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Chapter 1, 3/2

Postby Misha » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:48 pm

YAY!! YOU'RE BACK!!!!!

I wish I could post every other Sunday... ::sighs::

Go DEE!!!!! I'm not sure if Max is out of the sessions just yet :shock: Phillip does mention that Isabel is also going by the time Meet The Dupes arrives, "would you consider a joint session?" Boy, that would be something:

Max: "The problem is she got us all killed and the planet into war in our past lifetime. And she didn't tell me!" ¬¬
Isabel: "I'm not her!" ¬¬
Doctor: "I think we should take a step back here and see the other's perspective."

:lol:

Listening what's been happening with Max was heartbreaking. I can't imagine the amount of guilt-tripping that Diane must have done to get Max to agree. What I can imagine is that first session, with a very brooding Max sitting there, wishing he were anywhere but there ::hugs::

And... I gotta go wash my eyes. Pierce, even if it is Jaddo-Pierce, just makes my skin crawl.
"There's addiction, and there's Roswell!"

Roswelllostcause
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Chapter 1, 3/2

Postby Roswelllostcause » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:35 am

Good part hurry back.
Check out my Author page for a list of my fics!


http://www.roswellfanatics.net/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=155639

keepsmiling7
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Chapter 1, 3/2

Postby keepsmiling7 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:13 pm

Just noticed that the FB I thought I left is not here. I keep hitting the back arrow by mistake I think......any way, I'm thrilled you are back.
Must admit, Season 2 was not my favorite......matter of fact I hated so much of it. Will you make it better this time???
Thanks,
Carolyn

emerald123
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Chapter 1, 3/2

Postby emerald123 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:19 pm

Glad to see you back! Looking forward to more. I can't wait to see your take on season 2.

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Kathy W
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Chapter 1, 3/2

Postby Kathy W » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:43 pm

Hi everyone! Thanks for all the warm welcome-backs!

Misha wrote:Phillip does mention that Isabel is also going by the time Meet The Dupes arrives, "would you consider a joint session?"


That he does, and if all goes according to plan, that will be a different--and familiar (to us)--therapist who will actually be helpful.

And... I gotta go wash my eyes. Pierce, even if it is Jaddo-Pierce, just makes my skin crawl.


It worked! I was going for squicky; sounds like I made it. :mrgreen:

keepsmiling7 wrote:Must admit, Season 2 was not my favorite......matter of fact I hated so much of it. Will you make it better this time???


Maybe. What happens on screen happens here too, but there will be other things going on with other characters who weren't in the show. I don't tend to repeat whole scenes which happened on the show, so you'll be spared those! And I'd encourage you to skip over any parts which raise your blood pressure. ;)


Back in a few.

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Kathy W
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Chapter 2

Postby Kathy W » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:37 pm

CHAPTER TWO



August 31, 2000, 10:15 a.m.

Pierce residence, Washington, D.C.







Brilliant sunshine poured in Pierce's windows, the stifling heat of a summer in Washington palpable even through air conditioning. Brivari had spent a good deal of time in this humid sweat box these last few months posing as this or that human as he and Jaddo worked together to bring the Unit to its knees, a job which had proven more difficult than expected. For all that the FBI's director was eager to get rid of Pierce, he was considerably less eager to allow others to poke their respective noses into what he considered his business. Their goal being the destruction of not just Pierce, but the Unit itself, it had taken some determined wrangling on both their parts to ensure the upcoming congressional hearings on the future of the Unit actually took place, which made the notion of Jaddo putting them in jeopardy especially unappealing.

"You expect Vanessa to deal the Unit's death blow," Brivari said. "And why would she do that? She obviously cosied up to Pierce because she wanted to know what the Unit knew. Why would she undermine it?"

"She won't be doing it willingly," Jaddo said. "I gave her information about the 'unidentified element' found in the bodies of those we've executed so she'd use it as justification for keeping the Unit alive."

"And...?"

"And when she does, I'll say we made it up. She'll look like a total fool, and so will anyone else she's been lobbying to support the Unit. Nice, eh?"

Brivari resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Our purpose here was to bring down the Unit," he said patiently. "The Unit, not the Argilians. We already brought them down back in 1950, remember? We destroyed their next crop of husks? Commandeered their ship? Sent it back home with a love note from Zan that made Khivar so angry, he spanked Nicholas across the galaxy? This ringing any bells?"

"A church tower full," Jaddo answered cheerfully. "So what? What's a little more humiliation among enemies? Why not kill two birds with one stone?"

"Because we're trying to kill one bird," Brivari reminded him. "One big ass bird. One. When you try to kill two, you frequently wind up killing neither. We can't afford to take that chance."

"What 'chance'?" Jaddo said. "There's no 'chance' about it. She'll bring it to the committee. I know she will. And when she does—"

"She'll realize that she's been had," Brivari finished. "And then what?"

"And then...what?" Jaddo shrugged. "You don't really expect me to go all fuzzy wuzzy about her feelings, do you?"

"I expect you to keep your eye on the prize," Brivari said pointedly. "The Unit is our chief enemy at the moment, not Nicholas. At this point he's just a washed up former First with a paltry collection of soldiers blundering around the globe."

"Oh, of course," Jaddo said dryly. "Which is why you installed an Argilian rebel in Roswell to warn us at the first sign of his arrival following the hybrids stupidly using that communicator. No, of course Nicholas is nothing. We can just ignore him."

"I'm not suggesting we ignore him, and I'm not ignoring him," Brivari said, "which is why said rebel is currently bussing tables at the Crashdown. I would simply prefer not to fight on two fronts simultaneously. Take the Unit down first, and then we'll be free to turn our full attention to Nicholas if and when that becomes necessary."

" 'If and when'? What, you think he's going to ignore that signal?"

"He has so far," Brivari noted. "And I'd like to keep it that way as long as possible."

"Your point?"

"Is that...put some clothes on, would you?" Brivari finished crossly. "Better yet, shift. I'm getting tired of looking at the man who almost killed my Ward."

"Sensitive, aren't we?" Jaddo said dryly, nevertheless plopping into a nearby chair wearing a new shape and clothing. "I believe you were mid-point?"

Brivari paused, both hands clasped in front of him. "I haven't brought this up because I was hoping I wouldn't have to—"

"Here it comes," Jaddo muttered.

"—and because I know how much you like it here," Brivari continued, ignoring him. "I haven't seen you this happy in ages."

"Indeed," Jaddo agreed, "and why not? They may pride themselves on their 'democracy', but this city is every bit as full of scandal and intrigue as any palace in any monarchy. The wheeling and dealing, the back-stabbing, the constantly changing alliances...democracy, my foot."

"It's politics," Brivari shrugged. "Monarchies and democracies are merely systems of government, and government, any government, is merely a framework for politics. The framework may change, but the politics don't."

"Call it what you like, I love it!" Jaddo said with relish. "And I'm good at it. And I sense you're now about to rain on my parade."

"I know you love it, and I agree you're good at it," Brivari said. "I can do it, but I don't enjoy it the way you do. Parade all you want."

"Then what?" Jaddo said. "Or perhaps I should say, what now?"

"You're already taking a huge risk by posing as Pierce for this long," Brivari said. "You're taking an even bigger risk by posing as a lover, and a bigger risk still by posing as a lover to Nicholas's lover. She's not stupid."

"Didn't say she was. And it's worth noting that neither am I. I'm very careful."

"I'm sure you are, but it wouldn't be any one thing," Brivari said. "It would be a long list of small things which, by themselves, wouldn't trip any alarms. You can fool his underlings, but fooling a lover is something else entirely."

"Well, thanks so much for telling me that!" Jaddo said with mock gratitude. "I would never have guessed! Honestly, what would I do without you around to point out the screamingly obvious?"

"Jaddo—"

"Do you seriously believe I didn't think of this?" Jaddo demanded, reverting to his more familiar fury. "Do you seriously think I don't know how to do this? How do you think I've lasted this long? Sheer luck?"

"Partly," Brivari admitted. "And—"

"Bullshit!" Jaddo declared. "Pierce held Vanessa at arm's length—hate to say it, but he wasn't entirely stupid—so I was careful to keep her at arm's length and ignore her pleas for information until just now because doing so earlier would have been a departure from his usual behavior. Avoiding his underlings has been easy; Pierce is a sinking ship, and no one wants to get too close lest they go down with it. The man had no friends to speak of save that Brian creature, and I maneuvered Congressional hearings on the Unit despite Freeh paddling as fast as he could in the opposite direction."

"Actually, we maneuvered Congressional hearings, but whatever," Brivari noted. "And I didn't say you didn't know what you're doing—"

"Then pray tell what are you saying?"

Brivari fixed him with a level stare. "I'm saying you know exactly what you're doing. This isn't just about bringing the Unit down any more. This is a personal vendetta."

Jaddo's expression darkened. "And what if it is?"

Brivari sighed heavily. "Shit. I was hoping I was wrong."

"Why?" Jaddo demanded. "Nicholas killed my Ward. He killed your Ward and our king, and now he's ensconced in a seat of power. So what if I want to punish him for the first and neutralize the second? So what if the opportunity to do so unexpectedly dropped into my lap?"

"So the one thing Nicholas hates most of all is humiliation," Brivari said, "and Vanessa is no different. You may think you've fooled her, but believe me, you haven't. She's amassed a list of oddities which she just hasn't had a good reason to pay close attention to. What you're proposing will give her that reason."

"Great," Jaddo said savagely. "First you dismiss me from Roswell because my performance wasn't up to par, and now you take issue with my performance here? I may not be tuned in to adolescent angst, but I'm completely tuned in to every single thing that goes on in this nest of vipers, and contrary to your assessment, I know exactly what I'm doing, Brivari—I always have."

"If that's the case, then you know she's likely going to figure you out," Brivari said.

"She won't get the chance," Jaddo retorted. "As soon as she serves my purpose, she's dead."

Brivari raised an eyebrow. "You're going to execute Vanessa?"

"Yes. And when she disappears, he'll come running to Washington. And then I'll execute him."

"I see," Brivari sighed. "You've got it all planned out, have you?"

"Of course I do. This is what I know. This is what I do. So you run along back to Roswell and get all touchy feely with Zan's psychiatrist, or whoever those human parents of his have him seeing now. That's what you do."

"Indeed," Brivari murmured. "And something else I 'do' is predict how people will behave, a skill you noticeably lack. You're assuming you know how all the various players in your drama will behave...but that's not what you do, Jaddo. It never has been."

"So, what, now I'm supposed to leave Washington too?" Jaddo demanded. "Are you going to banish me from yet another venue?"

Brivari shook his head. "Wouldn't help. Just promise me this—when the time comes, kill her quickly. Before she kills you."





*****************************************************





Crashdown Cafe, Roswell





"So what'cha got planned for the rest of this fine summer day?"

Michael looked up from his locker. "Nothing special."

"I remember summers when I was your age," Mr. Parker said, leaning against a nearby locker. "Two months of total freedom. God, I miss that. Guess yours ended a little earlier than most, but at least you don't have school in the summer." He paused. "We're glad to have you here, Michael, but how's the job working out for you? I know it was hard working and going to school."

"Cost of doing business," Michael shrugged.

"You sure? Because we could cut your hours this fall if we needed to—"

"No," Michael said quickly. "It's all good, Mr. P. And I'm really grateful you gave me the chance to support myself."

"Well, you let me know if you need some breathing room," Mr. Parker said. "And enjoy these last few days of summer."

As if I could, Michael thought wearily as Mr. Parker left. Summer used to mean freedom, long stretches of time while Hank was at the plant and no homework. Then he got emancipated, and summer meant more work, but no homework. And then all hell broke loose last May, and summer meant more work and feverishly preparing for an ambush that could strike at any moment and take any form. Oh, for those lazy days of summer and his good friend, ignorance.

Set off those orbs, and you have no idea who you may be leading straight to us.

He'd wanted to know. Tess had certainly wanted to know, and in a surprising twist, even Max had wanted to know. Only Isabel had been a holdout. None of that, however, excused the fact that he had ploughed ahead in the face of Nasedo's direct warning and sent out a clarion call to their enemies. At first, in the initial flush of knowledge, he'd ignored that, considering it well worth the risk to finally get some information about their origins. But then Tess had come back with the answer to a question she'd asked Nasedo during one of those rare visits to Roswell where he communed only with her and which the rest of them only learned of after the fact. What, he'd wanted to know, did "second in command" mean, exactly? How could one be "second in command" to a king? What did that make him, a Vice King? Junior King? Assistant King? None of those things, as it turned out. You were the head of Max's armies, Tess reported. Kind of like our world's version of General MacArthur.

He'd spent an entire night on his couch staring into space, digesting that one. Having not expected any answer, he was startled to not only receive one, but to discover that his former profession appealed to him. A military man. A protector. A commander of armies. Somewhere deep inside him, that felt right and proper and true. But that made his lapse in judgment all the more unforgivable; how was it that their protector had turned them into a huge blinking target? It's not like he hadn't been warned. Not a day had gone by when he didn't ask himself if he'd do it again, if he'd activate those orbs knowing what he knew now. Part of him said that if enemies were out there, they were likely to show up anyway, so wasn't it better to choose the time and place of their meeting? The other part of him said that none of them were ready, that they'd barely survived the scrape with enemies from this world, never mind another. Both could be right...or wrong. But what was done was done, so the only thing left was to prepare. If disaster struck, it would be on his head because he knew that even if everyone else had voted down activating the orbs, he would have returned to the pod chamber alone and done it himself.

"Hey."

"Oh...hey," Michael said as Maria hovered nearby.

"So...what do you have planned for the rest of the day?"

"Nothing much," Michael said evasively. "Gotta run."

"Have you gotten any of my messages?" Maria asked, stepping in front of him as he tried to move around her.

"Yes, Maria, I've gotten every single one of your 1,452 messages," Michael answered. "And it doesn't matter. I don't have time for this now. I've got more important things on my mind."

"Like what?" Maria demanded. "Nothing's happened. There are no spaceships hovering over Roswell except the kitschy kind, no one-eyed lizards, no Stay Puft Marshmallow Man storming through the streets."

"Thank you for trivializing my very existence," Michael deadpanned. "Excuse me."

"I just meant that destroying us, what we had together, doesn't serve any useful purpose," Maria said desperately. "It's not doing anyone any good."

"You mean it's not doing you any good," Michael translated. "It's doing me plenty of good. I need to keep my focus and keep practicing."

" 'Practicing'?" Maria said. "Practicing for what, exactly? Is this why you're never home after work?"

"What, now you're stalking me?" Michael demanded. "Nice one, Maria. Move."

"Not until you tell me what you're doing!" Maria said stubbornly. "I can help you, you know."

"No, you really can't," Michael said.

"Yes, I can! I—"

Maria stopped as Tess came in the back door. "Hey, Michael," Tess called. "Ready?"

"So ready," Michael answered. "Let's go."

" 'Go'?" Maria echoed incredulously. "With her? Where in the world are you going with her?"

" 'Her' has a name," Tess said pointedly, "one I know you're familiar with and would appreciate you using."

"So you and her...you and her are..." Maria stopped with a look of horror on her face, unable to complete that sentence.

"No, we're not dating," Tess said. "I'm helping Michael learn to use his powers so we'll all be ready."

"Ready for what?" Maria demanded.

"For anything," Michael answered. "For everything. And don't tell me 'nothing's happened'," he went on, cutting her off mid-sentence. "What you mean is, 'Nothing's happened yet'."

"And may not," Maria said stubbornly.

"But probably will," Michael corrected. "Nasedo may be a dick, but he's right about most things."

"Exactly," Tess agreed. "If Nasedo says we have enemies, we have enemies. If he's worried those communicators tipped them off to where we are, we should be worried too."

"And that includes you," Michael said. "I'm doing this for you too, you know."

"For me?" Maria repeated. "For me. Oh, that's rich. I never asked you to do this. I never—"

"You don't get it, do you?" Michael said in exasperation. "Everything isn't always about you. This isn't just about you, or me, or Max, or anyone. This is about a planet. An entire world. My world."

"Our world," Tess amended.

"If I'm not ready, I'm not just letting everyone here down," Michael went on, "I'm letting everyone on an entire planet down. We're responsible for them. We're supposed to go back and save them, and I don't have the first idea how to do that. So this is my way of getting a first idea about how to do that."

"But...you live here," Maria protested. "You don't even remember them."

"I did," Michael said quietly. "After the sweat. I know I did."

"And if our enemies come for us, they'll come for anyone who helps us," Tess added. "They'll come for you, Maria, and Liz, and Alex, and the sheriff. This is for you, too, for all of you."

"So if we're all in trouble, shouldn't we all stick together?" Maria argued.

"Have you mentioned that to Liz?" Michael asked. "Because I'm pretty sure high-tailing it to Florida isn't 'sticking together'. And no, I don't need another lecture about how 'hurt' she was, and how wounded, and how whatever," he went on as Tess's eyes dropped. "I'm just sayin'. And now I'm saying goodbye. There's Courtney—why don't you go pick on her. That seems to be your main form of entertainment these days."




*****************************************************





"Everything okay?"

"Yeah, just peachy," Maria muttered. "Freakin' wonderful."

So I see, Courtney thought, watching Rath and Ava leave through the back door as Maria scowled. "Good," she said lightly. "Can you cover me?"

"What, again?" Maria demanded. "That's the second time in an hour!"

"You can count," Courtney observed. "I like that in a woman. Or a man."

Maria gave her the evil eye. "What are you doing in there, anyway? The backstroke?"

Courtney raised an eyebrow. "You want details?"

"You want me to throw up? Go," Maria said irritably. "Make it snappy."

Escaping into the bathroom, Courtney stared into the mirror. Her husk was getting worse, noticeably worse than it had been in Seattle's cooler climate. The good news was that Nicholas and company would be suffering a similar decline in the heat of Copper Summit, at least as hot, if not hotter, than Roswell. The bad news was that she was too. She went through a bottle of moisturizer a day, but that had only slightly stemmed the tide of decaying skin cells which peeled off like a reptile's skin. She'd come to recognize the symptoms, the tight feeling at her hairline, around her upper arm, or inside her leg, followed by a tab of skin coming loose, followed by a blizzard of flakes. Fortunately her shedding skin could pass for human skin most of the time, but she knew what it meant; when humans shed, the old skin cells were making way for the new, but when her skin shed, it was dying. No new cells for her. What she had was all she had, and when it was gone, it was gone for good.

The tightness this time was in her neck. Digging her fingernails beneath her jaw line, Courtney found the tab she was looking for and began to pull. She'd learned that she could stem the tide of flaking by preemptively peeling off a sheet of skin while it still held together, and she did so now, carefully removing a sheet roughly the size and shape of the front half of her neck. I'm like one of those zip-open boxes, she thought, holding it up for inspection, only my rip strips keep moving. The sheet shimmered in the fluorescent bathroom light, semi-transparent, seemingly substantial...and then abruptly disintegrated, showering flakes all over her arm, the sink, the floor. Cursing, she wet a paper towel and began mopping up. Usually she got the sheet into the toilet and flushed it before it went all flaky on her, but of course this time she had to lose herself in introspection and make a mess.

That disappearing sheet of cells could be a metaphor for her presence here, a presence which had seemed so necessary three months ago but now seemed anti-climactic because precisely nothing had happened. Nicholas had not appeared as feared, probably assuming the Royal Four had moved on, which they should have, of course. Zan had not fallen to pieces after his capture. The Special Unit was circling the drain courtesy of the Warders. No one had figured out that the Daniel Pierce currently in Washington wasn't really Daniel Pierce. No one had figured out that she wasn't human. After taking Brivari's advice to be a less efficient waitress, Maria had cut back on the hounding, settling instead for a kind of weary disgust which was amusing when it wasn't annoying. None of the expected bogeymen had come home to roost, good news, certainly, but also bad news in that she had nothing to do but wait tables, and fret, and piss off Maria by repeatedly going to the bathroom to peel off sheets of skin. Everyone needs a hobby, she thought as she left the bathroom, or so the humans said.

"You okay?"

It was a genuinely concerned looking Mr. Parker, with a genuinely annoyed looking Maria behind him. "Yeah. Everything's good," Courtney assured him.

Mr. Parker hesitated. "Maria says you've been...um..."

"Going to the bathroom a lot?" Courtney finished. "Yeah, that happens when you have your period."

Mr. Parker promptly displayed the typical male human response when confronted with the reality of a female's monthly reproductive cycle—he backed up so far, he was practically on Antar. "Oh...oh God," he stammered, flushing. "I didn't know. I'm so sorry."

"Don't be," Courtney answered. "It's not your fault."

"No, I don't...I didn't mean...look, why don't you take the rest of the day off?" Mr. Parker said, still squirming.

"Why?" Maria demanded.

"Yeah, why?" Courtney agreed. "I don't have cancer, I just have my period. It's not a tragedy; it's just a nuisance."

But a second mention of the "P" word sent Mr. Parker over the edge. "I insist," he insisted, putting an arm around Courtney's shoulders and steering her toward the lockers. "Go rest. Go lie down. Go..."

"Go do whatever we do when we have our periods?" Courtney suggested as he winced once again at the "P" word. "Actually, we pretty much just get on with it. Kinda have to."

"But if you're in the bathroom so much, that must mean it's...it's...look, the workload is light today, so it's okay," Mr. Parker babbled, backing hastily out of the corner he'd just backed himself into. "You can take Agnes' shift tomorrow and make up the hours. She just called in sick."

"Does she have her period?" Courtney asked.

"No, she's too old for...no," Mr. Parker finished, turning beet red. "Hope you feel better. Gotta run."

And run he did, practically sprinting away before even worse words than "period" were spoken, like "flow" and "cramps" and "menopause". Men, Courtney thought with amusement. They were the same everywhere. Antarian females didn't have periods they way humans did, but they certainly had reproductive cycles which were every bit as terrifying to males. Funny how some things stayed the same even while lots of other things were different.

"Happy?" Maria demanded. "He's probably scarred for life."

"The guy's got a wife and a daughter," Courtney said. "If he's scarred, I'm not the one who scarred him. Besides, I think it's all just about men being terrified of childbirth or anything even vaguely connected with childbirth. If the propagation of the species were up to men, we'd all die."

"You can say that again," Maria chuckled. "Wimps, all of them. 'Weaker sex', my ass—wait," she added warily. "Are we bonding?"

"Beats me," Courtney shrugged. "Are we?"

"Absolutely not," Maria said firmly. "Because I'm not buying this."

"Guess we're not bonding then," Courtney said. "Bummer."

"Great," Maria said sourly. "Sarcasm."

"Mmm," Courtney agreed. "You'd know all about that, wouldn't you?"

Maria's eyes flared. "Honey, this is the oldest trick in the book," she said crossly. "It gets us out of gym class, chores, homework, and now work work. Everyone knows men hide under the couch if we even mention our periods, but don't expect me to hide with him."

Courtney pulled her purse out of her locker. "Do I look like I'm expecting that? I offered you details, and you declined. Offer's still open—would you like to check? We can go in the bathroom, and I'll drop my drawers, and you can...whoa! Where are you going? Say, does this qualify as 'hiding under the couch'?"

Maria uttered something not entirely comprehensible, but probably unprintable as she threw both hands in the air and rapidly retreated. Just as well, really, as she certainly had nothing to show her; for all that husks admirably simulated human systems including the act of mating, the illusion ended there. She probably shouldn't bait her, but Maria was just so easy to bait; sarcastic and suspicious, always ready with a pithy remark or retort—in short, just the kind of friend the Royal Four needed. Of their human friends, Maria was the only one she'd seen enough to evaluate, with Zan's girlfriend being gone all summer, the tall one—Alex?—off at a computer camp for weeks, and the sheriff's son at some kind of sports camp. Perhaps she should think of these confrontations as keeping Maria in good fighting shape during this down time, because for all that nothing was happening now, something surely would, and then they'd need every bit of that sass to get them through it.

The sun was high in the sky as Courtney walked home, regretting having been dismissed. Having nothing to do just gave her more time to fret, with no shortage of things to fret about despite the relative calm in Roswell. She fretted about her failing husk, a daily reminder that the clock was running out. She fretted about the fate of Antar, whose people were pinning their hopes on a king who did little else besides pine for his human girlfriend, a princess who was becoming borderline paranoid, and a queen who was already borderline marginalized. For while Zan's expected breakdown had not occurred, the fact remained that he was moody and withdrawn beyond the usual described to her by both Dee and Brivari, more interested in Liz's absence than the fate of his planet or the possible arrival of enemies. Vilandra, by contrast, seemed to think of nothing else, jumping at the slightest thing, always with a wild look in her eye as though she were trying to stop herself from screaming. Ava, on the other hand, was calm, cool, almost detached...and unwelcome. Not officially, of course, as the Four hung together often, but when they did, she could tell—there was the three of them, and Ava. If this bothered Ava, she didn't show it, and that itself was unnerving, as was the fact that she'd been virtually raised by Jaddo. Covari were only barely tolerable on a good day, so to have one as a "parent" was too awful a notion to even contemplate. What kind of "child" would result from such an experiment?

The key turned in the lock, and Courtney opened the front door of the house Brivari had provided her. She was a kept woman, no doubt about it, and no argument either; here, at the end of her life, she would just as well not have to deal with things like food and shelter. Tossing her purse on the table, she opened the doors on the cabinet in the living room and feasted her eyes on the one thing Antar still had going for it—Rath. Alone among the Four, Rath appeared to have been steadied by the events last spring. While Zan was distracted, he was focused. While Vilandra was frightened, he was resolute. While Ava was left out, he still had the ear of both the king and his sister. Rath knew his priorities and had his eyes on home, so much so that Maria had pursued him all summer without success. "He says he can't get involved with me again!" she'd sobbed to Liz via phone one summer evening. "He says he can't get distracted!" You go, boy, Courtney had thought approvingly...and sadly. That promise her father had made all those years ago to Jaddo, the one she'd been loathe to fulfill, was now looking like an excellent idea. Trouble was she wouldn't live to fulfill it, and she reached out to brush her finger over a photograph, wondering if there was any way...

"Hello?"

Courtney hastily closed the cabinet doors. "Saw the door open, so I just let myself in," Dee said. "Is that a new cabinet?"

She didn't see, Courtney thought, relieved. "Yep; brand new," she said out loud. "Gotta love being on the crown's tab."

"He might have gotten you a bigger house," Dee said.

"That would have looked even weirder than this one on a waitress's salary," Courtney noted. "It's a sweet deal. Basically I just buy stuff, and Brivari pays for it. I don't know if he's being magnanimous, or if he's planning on having a giant garage sale after I'm gone."

"Then he'll have to hold off on pasting all the little price stickers," Dee said dryly. "You're not gone yet."

"But I will be," Courtney answered.

"But you're not yet," Dee insisted. "It's never over 'till it's over, and it's not over."

"The oracle hath spoken," Courtney chuckled. "You're wasting your time, but I gotta tell you, it tickles me to know you'll defy fate right up to the moment the fat lady sings or my husk explodes. Whichever comes first."

"Up to and including," Dee said firmly. "I don't believe in fate. And I don't give up easy."

"Don't I know it," Courtney said fondly.

"Good," Dee said. "So you'll know better than to dodge me when I ask you why your shiny new cabinet is chock full of pictures of Michael."





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'll post Chapter 3 on Sunday, March 30. :)
BRIVARI: "In our language, the root of the word 'Covari' means 'hidden'. I'm always there, Your Highness, even if you don't see me."

keepsmiling7
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1905
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:34 pm

Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Chapter 2, 3/16

Postby keepsmiling7 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:53 pm

I will depend on you to post "blood pressure" warnings when things get tough......okay?
Those darn orbs.......along with Tess that just ruined our happy world
Loved the way Courtney took care of Mr. Parker......he couldn't bend over backwards enough after she mentioned her period.
LOL...Agnes and a period!
Thanks,
Carolyn

emerald123
Enthusiastic Roswellian
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:30 am

Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Chapter 2, 3/16

Postby emerald123 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:07 pm

Courtney & Dee: I love Dee. "... why your shiny new cabinet is chock full of pictures of Michael." Short and direct to the point. We'll be anxiously waiting for more.


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