Live to Tell

Author: Bennie
Rating: PG (I think), heavy angst.
Disclaimer: I claim nothing Roswell. I'll leave that to Jason Katim, Melinda Metz and, you know, anyone else that legally does. Oh! I almost forgot. The song is an early one of Madonna's, strangely enough also titled "Live to Tell". (A coincidence? I'll never tell )
Character Focus: Liz, Tess. Alternating POVs
Spoilers: The End of the World
Author's Note: Secrets can change you. (Oh I know, how cryptic, blah blah blah, but I'm not in the mood, okay?)

I have a tale to tell

Dear Diary …

Sometimes it gets so hard to hide it well

Tonight I proved my love. By destroying it ... him. And no one can ever know. Ever.

I was not ready for the fall

I stole his innocence today, Diary. Oh, not the way he thought Kyle had taken mine. And not the way I … know … he wanted to … be together … tonight …

Too blind to see the writing on the wall

I only thought I left him behind in the cave. But since then I'd begun to think that maybe it could work out. I dared to believe in his dream, in the illusion. Maybe Tess was right. Maybe I couldn't see what was right in front of me.

A man can tell a thousand lies
I've learned my lesson well

If anyone had told me months, days, ago that I could ever lie to Max, to his face, I would not have believed it. But there's more than one way to deceive someone. You can show him, give him a suggestion, and let his own mind convince him.

I feel so old. I hold knowledge, knowledge beyond that which any mortal child should have to bear. Knowledge of what would happen. And by my actions, the actions of a child, I changed that. And now no one will ever know the life I gave up, what could have been, what should have been. Now only I know what has to be.

It is a lesson I relearn every morning and try to forget every night. But that, dear diary, is my burden, the burden of deception given me by the only man who showed me the meaning and power of truth.

Hope I live to tell the secret I have learned
'Til then, it will burn inside of me

One day … this is my dream, Diary. That one day I can sit down with this Max (no longer my Max) and tell him the truth … not to make him feel guilty or to win him back, but so that he understands. And knows that once we created a love so strong that it held the fate of worlds in its grasp.

My impossible dream.

That in my heart, I never betrayed him.

I know where beauty lives

I wonder if you can sense me. Do you sit there in a darkened café and write in your journal about the presence you feel? Standing, watching, outside in the dark?

I've seen it once
I know the warmth she gives

Sometimes I sit and I think about how powerful a look can be.

We were in the cave, cold, dirty, tired and scared … and I saw you look at him.

For one second I saw it. A moment of clarity, a light so bright I couldn't look away, couldn't deny its brilliance.

A love so pure it could rock worlds. It rocked mine.

The light that you could never see
It shines inside, you can't take that from me

But you see, I know that light. I've seen it in my own eyes when I look in the mirror. I have lifetimes of memories, images in my mind that evoke emotions that I suspect only you … of all of them … could understand.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I see shame there too. How could I do this to you, when I know what it feels like, watching the person who makes you complete be with another?

But I know the answer. It's the light burning inside of me that won't let me walk away from him. That light defines so much of me that if I let it die … I might die too.

And I won't die for you.

A man can tell a thousand lies
I've learned my lesson well

Nasedo was a good teacher. I watched him manipulate a thousand people, watched how he assessed every situation and accepted the advantage as if it were his due - and then use it. Without regret.

I am a very good student.

Hope I live to tell the secret I have learned
Till then it will burn inside of me

But I will never surpass my teacher; at least, not in this. Because I have a secret too, Liz.

I know.

I know because tonight I was with Kyle. That's right, "with" him. And I found your truth in his mind. He doesn't know, of course; I am too controlled to ever let him inside my head. But I do know.

And it hurts. It hurts to think of the one person on this godforsaken planet that I could hate and despise beyond comprehension … and feel admiration. Respect, even.

We have a bond now. And although you will never know it, I understand your pain. It's my pain too.

The truth is never far behind
You kept it hidden well

I will watch you closely, Liz Parker. I will study how you adapt, how you will deal with this pain, with the consequences of your actions, of your choices.

Because I know that one day, I will face them too. Secrets always come out eventually, no matter how well you hide them.

If I live to tell the secret I knew then
Will I ever have the chance again

I wonder if one day we can sit down, the two of us, and share your - no, our - secret. We will never be friends, Liz Parker, but we are connected, and we share a destiny.

And one day I will allow it to unfold, will explore territory I know, instinctively, exists. It's waiting for us. If only we - no, there is no 'we'. If only I can let it happen.

If any of us survive what's coming.

If I ran away I'd never have the strength to go very far
How would they hear the beating of my heart

I think I know why you did it. It was because of me. Not because you care for me, or sincerely want me to be with Max. But you know something about me that you shouldn't know; I see it in your eyes. Your sad, tired eyes. I swear I can see it in your closed gaze, the weight of knowledge, the burden of knowing.

I know that weight; I held it for almost ten years before I found my family, my true family, and I could share that burden with them. Or so I hoped.

I think you know I was pulling away. From them, from the mission, from Roswell. And for some reason, you stopped me the only way you could. It hurts, you know. It hurts to think that something about me put that look in your eyes. Of course, it was the look I was hoping to see in another's eyes when I asked if I should leave.

I was ready to, you see. But then he said … he said he didn't want me to.

And I'm not ashamed that I'm glad. I feel it again, you see. Something inside me, that tells me things might work out after all. That I don't have to be alone.

Even if you do.

Will it grow cold
The secret that I hide
Will I grow old

Oh Diary … when I used to think of Max, I felt warm and safe. The thought of seeing him again … it did things to me, Diary. I could feel us pulling closer together, two burning stars in orbit around each other, bound by gravity to become one.

I don't feel him anymore, Diary. His warmth is gone.

I don't like this knowing, this feeling of emptiness, as if everything inside of me was scooped out so I could hold this tremendous knowledge. And now the knowledge has served its purpose, but I'm still here. Empty.

What is there to live for, when you already know the future? When you've played your last role? When there's nothing left to wait for, hope for, plan for, dream about …

Help me. Before I don't want to be helped anymore.

How will they hear
When will they learn
How will they know

I used to wonder what was in your journal. Once or twice I thought about stealing it and finding out. But I don't need to; everything is there in you. And all anyone has to do is look at you - really look at you - to see it. Why don't you know this? Why do I feel as though I know you better than yourself?

Why do you have to pull out that knife now, while I watch? When I know that Max will be coming out of the building across the street in mere minutes … in time to save you, if I let him. Because I know you won't do it until you're absolutely sure that every single page has burned to ashes.

And damn you, damn you Liz Parker, because I think I will let him. And then he will know our little secret too.

And no one knows what that future will hold.

The truth is never far behind
You kept it hidden well
If I live to tell the secret I knew then
Will I ever have the chance again

A man can tell a thousand lies
I've learned my lesson well
Hope I live to tell the secret I have learned
Till then it will burn inside of me

The End

Main Title Index Category Index Character Index Rating Index