Warnings: Potentially triggering for tone. Click here for more detailed warnings, which may spoil the impact of the fic.
Categories: GEN, Character Study, Drama
Pairings: Gen, with mentions of Max/Tess and Max/Liz as per canon.
Characters: Tess Harding
Spoilers: Every episode from Four Square through Four Aliens and a Baby. If you haven't seen this series, I recommend it. All three seasons are available on DVD
A/N: A look into the troubled mind of Tess Harding, the deposed queen of Antar.
Credits: Aria gave me this idea.
Disclaimer: I'm borrowing from Jason Katims and Regency Entertainment. I promise to put the toys away neatly when I'm finished.
Tess Harding clutched her baby to her chest, willing him to remain silent as she slipped past Kivar's guards and back into the city. Two days of hiding had taken its toll, but she knew what she needed to do.
No one on Antar was willing to help their deposed queen, reincarnated in a strange hybrid body. If Kivar caught her, he'd kill her again. She'd spent a lifetime seeking only to return here, to her true home, and she had expected to be welcomed as the mother of a king. That opportunity lost, she had sought other options, but she couldn't simply assume a new identity and blend into the scenery; her human son, denied his rightful throne, was rather conspicuous. Antar, no matter how beautiful, could not offer her safety now. She had to find her way back to Earth.
First she needed to reach the shipyard. Kivar had probably posted guards, but if so, she would kill them. By the time anyone found the bodies, she'd be half way across the galaxy.
The ship she chose stood closest to the water. Its open hatch attracted her attention, and the burnt out power cell beside it meant that the ship probably had a new, fully charged power cell. That also meant a mechanic was probably about, but he wouldn't pose a threat.
Tess dashed across the final yards, boarded the ship, and paused long enough to be sure that the mechanic had finished his work before eliminating him. Moments later, she rose up through the atmosphere and left Antar far behind.
The distance between Antar and Earth made for a long journey, even with the Antarian understanding of quantum mechanics that eliminated the speed of light as an obstacle. Days of travel gave Tess time to think. Earth might offer safety from Kivar, but it presented a new set of problems. She'd need to convince Max to take her back, and provide for their son, despite his anger. Liz might prove a significant roadblock.
Well, Liz would just have to realize that Max belonged to her. She was Max's wife. She had his son. It didn't matter that whenever she kissed Max, he was thinking of Liz. He'd adjust, with time.
She practiced what she'd say to him. First in her head, and then out loud as her anxiety increased.
It's not my fault. I only did what I had to do. I didn't mean to kill Alex, it just happened. It's not my fault his brain couldn't handle the mind warp. Human brains -- I didn't know. I didn't do it on purpose.
I needed that book translated. We all did. We needed it to get home. So I mind warped Alex. He had the computer skills to do the translation. There wasn't anyone else.
It worked. We got the book. But then he started to remember, so I had to. I had to mind warp him again. And again. I didn't know what else to do. And he -- I didn't mean to -- so I faked the car accident. I had to. A mysterious death would have attracted the FBI. Or did you want them to throw you in the White Room again?
You have to forgive me. It was an accident. I'm your wife. The mother of your son. That's more important. Sometimes people die. It happens. You used to understand that. You were a king.
You're probably mad at me for tricking you, for taking the granilith to Antar, and for planning to turn you over to Kivar, but I didn't make that deal.
Nasedo made that deal, forty years ago. That isn't my fault. I didn't have anything to do with that. What I did -- I didn't know what else to do. I was only doing what I'd been raised to do, so we could go home, so your son could sit on the throne of our world.
You think I planned to get pregnant. I hoped I would, eventually, but I didn't know it would happen so soon. You were my husband. I wanted you to love me again, more than you love her. It hurt me, the way you looked at her. She's just a human. I'm your wife.
Maybe you don't think that vows made in another lifetime still apply, but I do. We were sent to Earth together, by your mother. We were reincarnated in these hybrid bodies together. We were meant to be together. Do you know how much it hurt me, when you and the others treated me like the outsider? I was one of you, your wife, and you treated those humans better than you treated me.
Nasedo was the only one who ever cared about me. He was the only one I could really trust. He was a little cold, and a murderer, but he was all I had, and the deal he made, it was all I had to prove anyone cared at all. I couldn't just throw it away. I had to follow the plan.
It didn't work out. Kivar betrayed me. I know I made a mistake, but you have to help me now. I'm not the only one to make a mistake, and trust Kivar. Isabel made that mistake once. You forgave her, and she's just your sister. I'm your wife. I know Liz blames me for killing Alex, but I didn't do it on purpose. It wasn't my fault.
You always took Liz's side before, but I'm the one you married by the shimmering waters of Antar. You made a vow then, when you made me your queen. I expect you to honor it. Is that so much to ask, that you take care of your wife, and your son?
So let's start over, and forget about our mistakes. We'll find a way to be happy here, on this primitive planet, and we'll raise our son. Will you do that for me, Max? Will you help me raise our son?
The ship dropped into normal space as it entered Earth's solar system. Tess watched the blue dot grow larger. She'd have to land in the desert. If she was lucky, it would be night in New Mexico now. If not, she'd have to wait.
Maybe she couldn't afford to go straight to Max. Maybe Kyle would be more understanding. Sure, she had mind warped him, made him carry Alex's body, but maybe he didn't know that. Besides, she hadn't really had a choice. He'd called her a sister, maybe he'd understand.
She entered the Earth's atmosphere and began her approach. The air force jet came out of nowhere, firing, and she lost control. Everything went black.
Tess's fate is decided in the episode Four Aliens and a Baby, at the end of season three.
This transformative work constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Roswell™© and related properties exist as Registered Trademarks of Regency Entertainment. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made here. © Spiletta42, September 2005.