Disclaimer: The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN. They are not mine and no infringement is intended.
Summary: Tess Harding was found in the desert by the Hardings, who fell in love with her straight away. They adopted her into their small, but growing family and planned on living happily ever after in Omaha, Nebraska. Twelve years later and the Harding family is dealt a cruel blow when John Harding dies in a car accident. Struggling with her grief, Tess tries to find something that will fill the hole her father left behind. She decides to find her real family. With her older sister and best friend in tow, Tess heads to Roswell to find the people that left her behind.
Author’s notes: Just a couple of things that I should make you aware of before you start to read this. Everything in season one and season two happened, minus Tess. Instead, Ava arrived and caused havoc in Roswell. So, those last couple of episodes in season two, instead of Tess being the evil one, it was Ava. Alex died. Isabel graduated early, but she did not start a relationship with Jessie. Kyle and Jim are their ever charming selves. Michael and Maria are together, bickering, but together.
I’ve already written quite a lot of this story so hopefully, I will be able to update regularly. I plan on updating every Monday so keep a look out. Also, I currently do not have a beta so please excuse any mistakes that I might have overlooked.
Darkness, darkness, everywhere, do you feel all alone?
She didn’t answer when she heard her older sister, Kit, call her name. Instead, she kept her eyes focused on the man in the photo that she held in her hands. He was smiling up at her, his hair was damp and messy, and his eyebrows were as bushy as ever. He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt that had made her cringe with embarrassment and was holding his surfboard happily.
The door of her closet opened slowly and only then did Tess look up as light burst into the room. Her sister, who was wearing a dress similar to the one that rested by her feet, sighed and moved into the tiny room. She sat ungracefully beside Tess, acknowledging the bottle of vodka with a raised dark eyebrow.
“Where did you steal that from?”
“From underneath Audrey’s bed.” She replied, her voice sounding huskier then normal.
“When did baby sister become such an alcoholic?”
Tess shrugged, “Probably around the same time she started trying to sleep with all of the football team.”
“Ah, to be sweet sixteen again.” Kit said with a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. She reached for the vodka bottle and opened it. “Mom sent me up here. She wants you to come downstairs. We have to deal with this as a family.”
“Deal with this? How are we suppose to deal with this?” She asked, taking the bottle off of her sister. “We buried our dad today.”
“I know and that’s why we have to be together right now. You, me, Audrey and Mom. That’s all that matters now. You shouldn’t be up here alone with a bottle of vodka. You should be downstairs with the people who love and need you right now.”
“Its those other people downstairs that I’m avoiding. Those people who barely even knew Dad. They stand there awkwardly saying sorry and wondering what else they can say and what do I want them to say. They stumble over their words until they can find an excuse to leave and their relief is clearly written on their face as they start to turn. They can’t even wait a couple more seconds to hide it.” A sob caught in her throat and she choked it back with another mouth full of vodka. “I don’t want to hear how sorry someone is or have them watch me cry. I just want the pain to go away.”
“That’s never going to happen.” Kit said, wrapping an arm around Tess’s shoulder.
Tess leaned her head against her sister’s shoulder and closed her eyes. The last fortnight had been an absolute nightmare, but it would have been ten times worse without Kit. Kit had been the whole family’s rock. When their mother, normally so strong, hadn’t been able to get out of bed the first four days after it had happened, Kit had been the one to start arranging the funeral. When Audrey had broken down and smashed up the kitchen, Kit had bandaged her cut hand and tidied the mess. And now, Kit was here with her.
“How are you keeping so strong?” Tess asked, her eyes still closed as her sister stroked her hair soothingly. “I feel like this pain is going to swallow me whole.”
“God, I feel exactly the same way. Its worse at night. When I’m alone, I can’t avoid thinking about, but during the day, I keep busy and it helps. It helps not to think about it.”
“Its all I can think about.” Tess admitted and the vodka bottle was quickly lifted to her lips.
Kit snatched the bottle away from her, “Vodka isn’t going to make those memories disappear. It might kill a few brain cells, but you’ve got plenty of them so…”
“Hey,” Audrey stood hesitantly in the door way, her hand gripping the doorknob for support. She looked between the sisters before her eyes rested on the vodka bottle that Kit held. “Can anyone join this party or is it invitation only?”
She walked slowly, stepping over her sisters outstretched limbs and sat more gracefully than Kit on the other side of Tess. She reached for the photo that Tess had been studying, but had discarded onto the floor somewhere between reaching for the vodka bottle and leaning against Kit.
Audrey snorted as she looked at the photo, “I hated that shirt. I nearly died every time he picked me up from school wearing it or any of those other horrible shirts that he insisted were cool.”
“He was such a geek,” Tess murmured lovingly, a faint smile on her lips.
“I miss him so much,” Audrey confessed as tears fell down her cheeks. “I don’t think he knew how much I loved him.”
“Of course, he did.” Tess said. She grabbed her sister’s hand and squeezed it. “Dad knew everything.”
“Apart from how to dress,”
“Or how and why bushy eyebrows should be waxed.”
The three girls laughed. The sound of it filled the small closet until it could be contained no more and it floated down the stairs to the ears of the guests that had come to pay their respects. Unaware of the whispers downstairs, the girls remained in the closet. They had all they need for the time being. A photo album full of memories, a bottle of vodka and each other.