Dovetail - Tess POV, COMPLETE 09/13/09

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Dovetail - Tess POV, COMPLETE 09/13/09

Post by cardinalgirl » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:39 pm

Title: Dovetail
Author: cardinalgirl
Rating: TEEN
Disclaimer: Not mine, never have been.
Summary: Alex Whitman is dead, and Tess Harding will do anything to set right what she's done.
Author's Note: Written for the Support Stacie Fanfic on Demand Author Auction, for drogyn. <3 This was supposed to be 500 words, but... well it's taking a teensy bit longer than that. Will be three or four [short] parts long.

Part One
What have I done? My God, what have I done?

The thoughts were flying through her mind too fast even for herself to follow them. Tears blurred her vision as she raced down the road, but it didn’t matter much. She wasn’t seeing where she was driving, anyhow.

What she kept seeing, over and over again, was Alex Whitman falling. Feeling the connection—not break, but flicker out and die.

Alex Whitman was dead.

Oh please, God, no.

She kept hearing Kyle asking what had happened, hearing his voice get louder and more accusing as she’d stared helplessly at the figure he was leaning over.

And then she’d turn and run. She’d had the advantage, he was still distracted. She’d run hard and fast, and started the car before she knew precisely where she was going.

Please, please, let this work.

If she succeeded, this will have never happened. Kyle Valenti would never have looked at her like she was something terrible - a monster.

Please, God, please.

She was scrambling up the sandy path to the pod chamber. It was the only place she could run to. They’d be after her, looking for her, and she only prayed she could get this to work before they caught up to her.

How did it come to this?

“I didn’t know. I didn’t know, please believe me.” She was mumbling the words incoherently. She didn’t know who she was talking to—Alex, or Kyle, or even God, maybe, if there was one. Was there one?

She found the box Nasedo had told her about, the one hidden inside the wall of the chamber, and the long crystal that rested securely inside it. If there was a God, she didn’t know how he looked at time travel. She didn’t know if this would be enough to wipe away what she’d just done—even though changing that world would wipe this one off the face of existence. One whole world, to save a life.

Please, please let this work.

There were instructions, but they were written in the Antarian language—of course. Thankfully the flashes that accompanied her picking them up gave her a fairly clear idea of what she had to do.

Her tears were over now. She was too terrified to cry, too uncertain of what this next decision would bring.

As she placed the crystal into the granolith and was swallowed up by it, she concentrated on the moment she wanted to go back to. The moment she’d been lying to herself about for too long now.

For a moment, she was suspended inside the granolith, just long enough to see Kyle, Max and Michael bursting into the chamber, shouting and gesturing angrily—she couldn’t hear them, but they seethed.

She didn’t turn away from them. Let them think she was a murderer, a traitor. She was. She knew it.

And then their faces were gone, and there was only energy and light. It seemed to last forever, and she was starting to forget what was so urgent in the first place. She was starting to lose everything.

And then she hit the ground. Hard.
Last edited by cardinalgirl on Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Dovetail - Tess POV, TEEN Pt 1 08/17/09

Post by cardinalgirl » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:56 pm

Jenny! hahaha That was not intended, but I certainly can see why. Glad you guys are enjoying this. Ahem. Back to serious story now.

Part Two
She was a few moments early. She could hear them snapping at each other inside, and then their raised voices fell, and while she knew she shouldn’t, she couldn’t stop herself from peering in the window of the Valenti house. There she was, with Kyle, standing right up next to him…

And then Liz Parker was walking up to the door. Tess hesitated for a moment. She didn’t know if this was going to work, but it was all she had. It was the turning point of everything.

Liz was raising her hand to ring the doorbell—

“You don’t want to do that,” Tess said, stepping out of her hiding place in the shrubbery.

Liz jumped, visibly startled. Tess took a closer look at her than she had when this moment had happened in her own time—she looked visibly miserable, too.

“Tess, what are you doing there?” Liz asked, her voice clipped and hard. Normally Tess would respond in kind, but she was still reeling from what she had done… she’d vanquished the Skins and even Rath and Lonnie, but that was all in self-defense. Alex had been an innocent… almost a friend. She choked down on the bile that threatened to rise, forcing herself to answer Liz’s question.

“I’m here to stop you from what you’re about to do.”

“I’m here to help you,” Liz started angrily, but Tess cut her off.

“To get Max, I know. But it’s not Max I want.”

Liz shot her an angry, incredulous look. “Oh, right it’s not.”

Tess shrugged, and pointed towards the window she’d been looking in a moment before. Liz rolled her eyes, but looked in, probably curious despite herself. What she saw had her giving Tess a double-take. “What is going on?” she hissed, overly-pronouncing her words in that exaggerated way that only Liz could do. “You’re in there…” suddenly she looked half-worried, half-confused. “Ava? Is that you?”

Tess rolled her eyes. “No, it’s just me, Tess. This might be hard for you to understand, but the granolith can be used—”

“As a time machine,” Liz finished for her this time.

Tess’ eyes grew wide, impressed. “How did you know that?”

Liz looked like one more piece of information would push her over the edge. Tess looked nervously at the front door a few feet away from them, worried that she might start yelling and alert the pair inside to their presence.

Liz caught her look and resorted to hissing out her words again. “What do you think I’m doing here in the first place? Max came back from the future and told me that in order to save the world I needed to get you to stay here in Roswell, with him.”

That stopped Tess full-stop. “He what?”

Liz looked mutinous by this point. “He’s waiting on my balcony right now, waiting for me to change the future so that he’ll disappear.”

Tess never would have imagined this. She thought the facts over for a moment, hoping that she wouldn’t end up tearing a whole in time and space over this. She glimpsed into the window, where she and Kyle were steadily kissing now, and came to a quick decision. “Take me to him.”

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Re: Dovetail - Tess POV, TEEN Pt 2/5 08/18/09

Post by cardinalgirl » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:39 pm

Glad you guys are enjoying it! I'd been wanting to write this for some time, glad the auction (and Drogyn!) gave me an excuse!

Part Three
“What is she doing here? No one else can know I’m here, especially her.”

To her surprise, Liz snapped at him. “Just shut up, Max, okay?” Again, Tess was impressed. By Liz. This older, leather-clad greasy-haired version of Max… not so much. She almost laughed, and the thought made her want to cry. She thought maybe she was in shock.

Said Max approached Liz and said to her in a low tone, “What’s going on, Liz?” as if Tess couldn’t hear him clearly.

Liz looked annoyed by the whole thing. “She’s not that Tess. I mean, I was going to talk to Tess and then this one showed up and stopped me.”

“Who are you?” Max asked, squaring off with her then, looking a hundred times more dangerous and sure of himself than the boy king she’d been getting sick of waiting on right around now. For the first time, he looked honestly familiar to her, which was maybe what snapped her out of her slightly hysterical mood.

“I guess you do have some Zan in you, after all.”

The comment seemed to catch him off-guard, and he looked to Liz for help.

“She’s from the future, too,” Liz said, still looking like she was having an extremely trying dream she’d like nothing more than to wake up from.

“That’s… not possible.”

Tess rolled her eyes. “Of course it is. Do you think in six years of raising me Nasedo didn’t teach me a few things? Things I was keeping secret from you?”

“We knew he must have, otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to contact Khivar and his people the way you did.”

Tess flinched. Of course if he was from the future he’d know about the instructions Nasedo had given her, and yet it shocked her to hear them spoken about by someone else. She looked away from him for a moment, ashamed of herself for even asking this. “Did it work? In your time?”

“No,” Max said, looking almost cruel. “You left us and ran to Khivar and he killed you. And then he came for the rest of us.”

She looked up in surprise, fresh tears glistening in her eyes. “That wasn’t the deal.”

“It’s what happened. It’s what will happen again because you stopped Liz from changing it.”

“Then why am I still here?” Tess asked. “I’m from the world Liz was going to create by changing your future, but if I stopped that from happening I would have disappeared already.”

Max didn’t seem to have an answer to that. Finally Liz said, “Why are you here, then? If you’re not here to stop us from stopping the end of the world, what are you doing here?”

Tess looked at Liz and Max, each from a different world, a different reality where she’d done the unimaginable, destroying the only chance at a family she’d ever had. Despite her fuzzy memories of Antar and the way she’d been brought up, in that moment she didn’t feel remotely like a queen. She felt like a helpless seventeen-year-old girl. “I’m here to set things right.”

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Re: Dovetail - Tess POV, TEEN Pt 3/5 08/19/09

Post by cardinalgirl » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:26 pm

Part Four
“We can’t trust her,” Max said to Liz, not bothering to lower his voice this time, though he was still acting as if Tess couldn’t hear them.

Liz didn’t look like she needed any convincing on that standpoint, still she was looking at Tess strangely. Looking directly at her, Liz asked, “Why?”

Tess couldn’t meet her eyes. “Why what?”

“Why do you want to help us?”

Tess sighed. “I can’t tell you. If I did… you’d never look at her the same way again. And she hasn’t thought of this yet. Even if she had… she wouldn’t know. I didn’t know,” she repeated, her voice breaking slightly.

“Know what?” Liz asked, watching her carefully.

Tess swallowed hard. “The mind-warp… over time it can be dangerous… it puts the brain under stress… too much stress. More than it can handle,” was all she could manage.

Liz looked sick. Max looked outraged. “How do you know this?” he demanded.

She looked him in the eye, again seeing that familiar flash of Zan. “I just know,” she said, calmly. “But she doesn’t. Right now. I just learned myself. That’s why I came back in time. To stop myself. Stop it from ever happening.”

“What happens?” Liz asked, weakly.

Finally Tess forced herself to look at Liz, the girl she’d spent so much time envying and hating—not only because she had Max’s love, but because she’d wanted it, the way Tess was supposed to. “It was an accident. I didn’t mean for it to happen. But I killed someone.”

Liz reeled back a few steps, looking horrified. Max, on the other hand, took a step closer to her. “Who?” he asked, his voice dangerously low.

But Tess shook her head. “It doesn’t matter. It’s never going to happen now.”

“How can you be so sure—” Liz started, angrily, but Tess cut her off.

“Because it won’t be necessary. Listen to me. Liz, what do you know about Las Cruces university?” she asked, knowing Liz, the science geek, would know this off the top of her head.

“They’re best known for computer sciences, they have one of the only supercomputers in the country.”

“Yes. You need to convince the rest of the group to use the supercomputer to translate the Destiny book.”

Liz looked revolted. “Why would I do that?”

Tess wasn’t surprised by her reaction. If anyone hated that book, it was Liz Parker. Though Tess hated it herself now. “Because you have to do it before I think of the idea myself, and do it the right way, with everyone involved from the start. I couldn’t get anyone to help me, so I had to do it the only way I knew how.” Liz looked like she was going to argue again, but Tess kept talking. “This is life and death, Liz. I’m desperate here. You know I wouldn’t come to you of all people if I didn’t have to.”

“It makes sense, for you to suggest something like that,” Max said, a grudgingly strategizing look on his face. “You definitely could come up with that on your own.”

Liz looked stricken that Max would take Tess’ side on this, but he gave her a small, gentle smile. “Don’t worry. There’s nothing in that book that can hurt you… or even us. We deciphered it in our own time. There’s some important information in there.” He looked willing, though maybe wishfully, to believe it was this simple. His eyes strayed to Tess, and she swallowed convulsively, as he continued to speak to Liz. “We choose our own destinies, remember?”

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Re: Dovetail - Tess POV, TEEN Pt 4/5 08/21/09

Post by cardinalgirl » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:05 pm

Hello, dears. This isn't quite how I first wrote it, but hopefully it's a decent copy. Thanks again, André. I'd been wanting to write this for a long time.
Part Five
“Liz, wait. One more thing.”

Her hand had been on the doorknob of her bedroom door. Downstairs in the café, the rest of the group would be filtering in, asking each other if they knew what Liz wanted from them all.

Liz looked up when Tess stopped her, her anxiety from the night before worn away to a determined calm after a long, strange night of discussion and planning.

When Tess spoke, though, she addressed Max. “Did Kyle and I get together, in your time?”

Max looked reluctant. “You did,” he finally acknowledged. “It didn’t last very long, though. I think partially because Liz and Maria gave Kyle such a hard time.”

Tess nodded, as if she’d expected as much. She gave Liz a significant look, and Liz nodded. “I’ll talk to Maria, make sure she backs down.”

“Thank you,” Tess said, grateful for that other self of hers that was already happier than Tess herself had ever been, probably. “And just… try to be friendly. I know it seems ridiculous now, but I really did want to be your friend.”

Liz turned back to the doorway, but at the last minute, Tess stopped her again, a hand on her arm. “And Liz… make sure she finds out about the mind warps. I honestly didn’t know, and I can’t—I don’t want her to ever have to make the kind of mistake that I made. It can’t ever happen again.”

Liz was frozen in place, looking at Tess’ hand on her arm, and Tess expected her to shake her off and leave, get it over with. Instead, Liz spoke in a small, tear-choked voice. “It was Alex. Wasn’t it?” She looked up at Tess, the knowledge in her eyes.

Liz Parker always had been the smart one.

Tess’ own eyes stung. “Liz… I’m so sorry.”

And then to her surprise, Liz flung her arms around her, hugging her tightly. “Thank you,” she whispered, emphatically. “Thank you for coming back, for saving him.”

Stunned, Tess couldn’t respond, and Liz pulled away, wiping at her eyes and taking a cleansing breath. She sent a warming smile to Max, and then Tess. “Okay, here I go. It’ll be okay,” she said, before resolutely opening the door and heading downstairs.

Tess fumbled her way back to the bed, her vision still blurry. She and Max certainly made an odd couple, sitting in Liz’s bright, pink-and-orange tinted room, but neither took much notice of the other. They knew what was coming, for both of them, and each of them sat tensely awaiting the freedom of oblivion. It took longer than expected, but then—

They were gone. Meanwhile, downstairs, time seamlessly dovetailed into the future they had both been hoping to create, the future that always should have been in the first place.


The End.

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