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 Post subject: Sting of Tears (Serena/Mature) 1/1 5/6
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2006 12:43 am 
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9/27/08


Title: Sting of Tears
Author: Annie
Couples: Really not a couple story, just a Serena piece... with a bit of Jim POV thrown in.
Rating: Mature (language, violence, ect...)
Summary: Okay... yes... another story. But this is just a one part tag to "24". It takes place back in Future Serena's timeline. Things were alluded to... but this is more of what really happened. Big thanks to Sel and Lisa for betaing. You both rock!!!!
Disclaimer: You know that I don’t own them. If they are from Roswell , then they belong to Melinda Metz, Jason Katims and the rest of the powers that be.


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The smell of smoke stung her nostrils. No matter how many showers she’d taken over the past week, the hours she’d spent underneath the pounding spray of hot water, it never evaporated. It was like the stench had been absorbed into her very cells so it would haunt her for the rest of her life.

Still, it was better than the sting of tears threatening to spill from her eyes once again.

Serena was shocked to learn that she had any left to cry.

Stepping out of the dingy bathroom, wrapping the even dingier towel around her body, she looked around the motel room that had become her refuge since that night. The comforter had been kicked from the bed during one of her nightmares and was currently laying on the floor. Scattered around it were some empty chip bags and candy wrappers, which she’d gotten from the nearest vending machine.

It wasn’t like she’d had much of an appetite anyway. If she were strong enough, brave enough, she would simply stop eating altogether. Then maybe, just maybe, she could stop functioning and breathing, finally being able to let go of this horror she was living for good.

In Serena’s mind, actually dying was better than living with the wish to die.

However, her own survival instincts were too strong, honed by living on the run with her mother for so many years. So, she ate when the hunger became unbearable, drank when her throat ached with parchment, and slept when her eyes wouldn’t stay open any longer.

The rest of the time was filled with tears and planning. Since she couldn’t be dead, and she couldn’t escape her own personal hell, Serena decided to embrace it fully. If nothing else, maybe she would be able to make that bastard who took everything from her pay for what he did.

Grabbing the pair of jeans off of the lone chair, Serena hoped that someday her sister would understand why she had to do this. Earlier that day, Liz had knocked on the door of the motel room, drench from the sudden downpour that was coming down even now as she dressed.

For a few minutes, Serena stood there with the door between them, palm pressed against the wood, drawing in a bit of comfort from her sister’s presence. And she could tell that Liz was mirroring the posture on the other side. The bond between them had grown so strong over the last few years, that it was almost a twin-like connection. Still, the hardest thing Serena ever had to do was open the door, even a crack, and allow her sister to take a glimpse at the misery she’d wallowed in over the last few days.

But she had. Keeping the chain lock latched, Serena opened the door that much, her heart cracking just a little more at the sight of Liz standing there, crying in the rain. Let me in, she pleaded.

Serena only shook her head.

Nodding, Liz sighed. The funerals were this morning, just a small gathering at the grave sight. That’s what Jim wanted.

Even though she wanted more of the details, even smallest ones so she could hold on to them that much longer, Serena remained silent. She didn’t deserve anything at this point. It was her fault that Kyle and Ava died in the explosion.

As if realizing that was all she was going to get, Liz held out a bag for Serena. It’s just a change of clothes. I didn’t know if you had anything with you, so… She trailed off, shrugged. I didn’t know.

Serena reached for the bag. Yet, even as she gripped it, her fingers brushed against Liz’s, igniting the connection between them. Images of the explosion roared through her mind and into her sister’s as she once again relived the nightmare of what happened.

First, there was a blast of sound, so loud that Serena thought her eardrums would burst. She hadn’t even noticed that the force of it lifted her off of her feet, slamming her into a nearby wall. She registered the snap of bone breaking, knew that it was her leg, just before heat engulfed her.

Minutes passed, as she’d laid there, stunned and in pain. Something heavy was now crushed against her injured leg. How many minutes, she couldn’t say for sure, but then she heard her name being called. It sounded like a far away echo. Through the smoke filling the room, Serena made out a shape coming towards her. Seconds passed before the weight on her leg was lifted, before hands grabbed at her, trying to force her to stand.

We have to get you out of here. It was Kyle. His presence filled her like it hadn’t in so many months. For the first time in a long time, he was completely open to her. She could feel his concern, his worry, and, above all, his deep down joy that she was still alive. Tears began to mix with the smoke, stinging her eyes, but Serena didn’t care. Dazed from the blast, in shock from the pain, and happy for the connection flaring to life between them, she did the only thing she could think of. She wrapped her arms around him and hung on.

Kyle let out a muffled curse at the sudden weight, but thinking on his feet, he simply lifted her into his arms and carried her towards the outside.

The first breath of fresh air hurt on her smoke-abused throat, so did the next few after that, but it was glorious. Gently, Kyle laid her down on the grass. For a moment, their bodies were almost completely aligned, almost completely connected. Serena sighed, tightening her grip on him just a little more.

The flicker of regret in his eyes came first, then the sadness he felt drifted through their connection. Ava’s still in there… the baby…

Sweet God[i], was all Serena could think. She’d forgotten about her best friend, forgotten about the baby she was carrying. Kyle’s baby. Even as she gasped in horror, Kyle was letting go of her. Before she could stop him, he was racing back to the collapsing building, ignoring her calls to him. Just moments after he went back inside, the entire structure caved in, and their connection flared for one brief moment, than disappeared.

It was in that moment, that Serena knew the love of her life had died. Even as the others raced to the scene after she called them, scouring every inch of the now destroyed warehouse, she didn’t need any confirmation that he was gone because it felt like her soul had been cleaved in two. And that was when she vowed to get back at Kivar.

Through the connection, Liz saw the makings of her plan, all the sordid details that Serena hoped to spare her sister from. Even as she tried to let go of the connection, Liz had gripped her hand tighter, holding on until she saw every little detail. When she finally did let go, the tears had dried from her eyes, a burning rage now filling the vacancy.

[i]I will not let you do this
, Liz said fiercely. I will not let you sacrifice yourself, to give yourself to him.

For the first time since Liz came to her room, Serena spoke. It’s the only way to make him pay, and making him pay is the only thing I have left, Liz.

You have me, she corrected. Me and Max. Isabel, Michael, and Maria. You have Jim. You can’t expect for us to stand by while we lose you too, not now. Come home with me. She held out her hand, her eyes begging for Serena to open the door and take it. Come home with me right now. Be with your family, let us help you. I promise you that we won’t let him win, but this is not the way.

The tears that Serena had tried to hold at bay began to trickle down her cheeks. It’s the only way, she whispered, than closed the door between them.

That was hours ago. For awhile, Liz had raged outside, banging against the door with all of her might. Serena could only slide down to the floor and cry. Then there was silence. Liz was gone.

As the faint light coming through the window began to dim, Serena had crawled into the shower, turning the water on scalding hot in the hopes of burning away the stench of smoke.

Now, the sun having finally set, she dragged on the clothes Liz brought her. There was just one last thing she had to do before she gave herself over to Kivar.

~~~~~

Despite the rain that fell hard over him, Jim stood in the cemetery staring out at the spot where his son now rested beneath the ground. He’d only arrived home minutes before Liz showed up, desprate and pleading for help. His help to stop Serena.

Part of him wanted to refuse, to close the door on her and the outside world, so he wouldn’t have to deal with it. With anything. If only he could find a way to numb his pain, to force it under so he didn’t have to deal with it right now. But there wasn’t. He was alive, able to run and jump and love, when his son no longer could.
No, his son was resting, cold beneath the soggy ground, and the woman Kyle had loved was weeping quietly over it.

As he stepped closer, he noticed the one red tulip was clutched tightly in Serena’s hand. There had almost always been a red tulip somewhere in the apartment Kyle and Serena once kept together. Seeing it, hearing her crying... well, it broke his heart just that much further.

Jim took a step forward, then another. Trying to keep the tears out of his voice, he swallowed hard before he spoke. “Serena.”

He saw her body jerk upright, hands flying to her face as if to wipe away the tears. Then, as she recognized him, Jim saw her eyes widen with something he couldn’t identify. “I was just leaving,” she whispered, sadness and, to his surprise, fear lacing her voice. “I’m sorry.”

Fear. It had Jim wondering, had him putting aside his own emotions for a moment as he moved just a bit closer to her. Even as she started to rise, he motioned for her to sit back down. “Please don’t go.”

Her butt went plop as she dropped back to the soaked grass, but Serena didn’t seem to notice it. She only sat there, staring up at him, her eyes wide and frightened. “I didn’t mean to intrude, but…” Her voice trailed off, and she sighed a deep sigh. “God, you must hate me.”

Once again, Liz was right. She had explained what happened back at the motel, about the flashes she received, about the plan Serena had come up with. And she’d beg him to find away to stop her sister from turning herself over to Kivar. Standing before him in his living room, tears trickling from her eyes, she told him that he might be the only one to understand the pain Serena was feeling.

Now, he knew that it was true. While everyone else had simply lost a friend, a surgoate brother maybe, he and Serena had lost the one person they’d loved most in the world.

So, to Serena’s surprise, he ignored the muddy ground and sat down beside her.

He’d never gotten the full story about what happened between his son and the woman sitting next to him. Bits and pieces, but not the whole account of what led to their break up, but he had his suspicions. Nearly three months ago, Kyle had barged into the house, madder then Jim had ever seen him. Upset too. Though most of the rant that followed was incoherent, Jim did pick up on the fact that Kyle had found a note from Kivar to Serena in a drawer at their apartment. She’d lied to him about it, and when he went to find her, saw the both of them kissing.

After awhile, Jim had come to suspect that Kivar had set the whole thing up to try and turn Serena. It was possible that Kyle might have thought the same thing after he thought about it for awhile, but in the haze of anger and hurt, he’d acted rashly. Over the past few years, Ava had become a good friend to Kyle. Jim often wondered if she might have felt a bit more than friendship, though she’d never said anything out of loyalty to Serena. But, in the mess that followed, Kyle turned to her, and one night, things crossed the line, Ava became pregnant.

Now they were both gone, leaving him and Serena behind. And judging from the look in Serena’s eyes, she was just as shattered as he was.

Sitting next to her, his heart broke just a little further, and the pain that accompanied it longed for a way to escape. “It wasn’t suppose to be this way,” he said, his voice nearly breaking as he stared down at the ground. “I was suppose to go first. That’s how it’s suppose to be. But here I am.”

Turning his head, he studied her. Her eyes were puffy and red from crying, her lips nearly white from pressure as she pressed them together tightly. Even sitting in the mud, her posture was ramrod stiff and alert… and waiting, Jim realized. She was waiting for him to strike out at her in some way.

Because she thought she deserved it. Wasn’t that what Liz told him? She’d explained about the guilt and grief that were boiling inside of her sister so strongly, that Serena had some kind of death wish because of it.

Now, Jim vowed to do what he could to change Serena’s mind.

“It wasn’t your fault, Serena.” When she didn’t say anything, he continued. “Did I ever tell you what Kyle told me after his mom left?”

She remained silent, but shook her head no, so Jim went on. “He told me that he was never going to fall in love and get married.” Closing his eyes for a moment, he could picture his son at six, cheeks still round with innocence and eyes sober with something beyond his years. “He thought it was the worse thing in the world that could happened to a guy. Hell, he was just a kid, and didn’t understand all the reasons his mother left. All he did know for sure was that she was gone, and he was crushed.”

It was a struggle not to break down at the memory, but somehow he managed to continue. “All throughout high school, I saw him date girls, having fun and running around. But he never got really serious. I know that he cared about Liz, but when she got involved in all of this, he saw that as another rejection. Fast on the heels of that came Tess and her betrayal. I don’t think any of us really realized how much he cared about Tess, and how it destroyed him when she killed Alex. That’s when his view on relationships started to worry me.’

Out of the corner of his eye, Jim saw Serena tilt her head down towards the ground, towards the flower in her hand. Holding it delicately by the stem, she twirled it a little bit, watched the waxy red bloom stand out as the only color in the dreary night.

Reaching out, he gently took the tulip from her, studied it. “Every relationship between Tess and you was just easy dating, nothing serious. I think Kyle was too afraid to let anyone get that close to him again. Then you came into his life. I tell you, Serena, Kyle just lit up inside when he met you. Everything clicked for him, and for the first time since his mother left, I thought that maybe he would settle into love. That maybe he would get married.”

“He wanted to,” Serena whispered. “For awhile before...” she trailed off, swallowing hard as if the tears wanting to spill were choking her. “Before things went bad, he asked me. I said that it wasn’t the right time.” The last words were spoken bitterly. “I wanted to destroy the formula first, to make sure T47 would never be a threat and that we were finally safe before we made that kind of commitment.”

A sob escaped, and she covered her face with her hands. It was followed quickly by another, then another, until she was weeping fully into her palms. Jim did what came naturally to him. He turned to her and gently drew her into his arms. Tears ran down his own cheeks as he rocked her back and forth, the two of the shivering from the rain running over them, the grief running through them.

For several moments, they stayed like that, two souls sitting in the mud, sharing the pain of their loss. But it was Serena who drew back first, Serena who spoke first. “I was such a fool. I should have said yes right then and there, run off with him and married him that day. Maybe if I had he would be alive, Ava would be alive, and this whole nightmare would’ve never happened. But, I was just too damn afraid… too damn stupid to say yes.”

“You never betrayed him,” Jim said, almost laughed when she goggled with shock. “I always knew that, deep down, but it was hard for me to let you know that because I didn’t know if it would hurt Kyle.”

“He was your son,” she said simply.

“Yes.” His gaze drifted over the overturned earth that his son now laid beneath. “He was my son, and the best thing that ever happened to me.” And because he knew she needed to hear it, he spoke of his regrets a loud. “Now, I loved Ava, and would have accepted her as my daughter-in-law without hesitation. Part of me will always grieve and wonder about the baby she and Kyle would’ve had, and I’ll miss getting to know him or her.”

He paused for a moment, ran a hand over his face wearily, wiping away the wetness on his cheeks. “But you were always the one Kyle wanted. Even when things were bad, when he was planning to marry Ava and make a good home for the baby, I know he wished it was you. So, to me, you will always be part of my family because you were his.”

Tears were streaming down her face, but he went on. “What happened wasn’t your fault. Both Kyle and Ava knew that going into that warehouse was dangerous, but they made their choice to go anyway.”

She shook her head. “They went for me.”

“No. That’s not how it was.”

A faint, sad smile tilted one corner of her mouth. “Yes, it was. Ava went because I asked her to be a buffer between Kyle and me, since we were the only ones who were available to go on the mission. And if he hadn’t tried to save me first, he and Ava would have gotten out before the building collapsed.”

“You can’t wonder about the ‘ifs’,” Jim argued. “And you can’t blame yourself for something you couldn’t prevent. Giving yourself to Kivar won’t change the fact that they’re gone. It won’t bring them back.”
Serena sighed. “I see you talked to Liz.”

“I talked to her, I listened while she begged me to stop you.” Some anger and frustration eeked through his voice. “What makes you think that you can just walk right in to Kivar’s headquarters and survive?”

“Because he wants me.”

“Your plan is suicide.”

She nodded. “I know. But it might be the only way to bring him down. We all know that I am the only one who can get close enough to him to get vital intel. All I have to do is…”

She stopped short of completing that sentence, that thought, but Jim finished it out in his own mind. Without even thinking, his hand reached out, covered hers. “You don’t have to do this.”

“I have to make him pay,” Serena said. “This is the only way.”

Jim recognized the tone in her voice, the determination and steel that would stand against any argument he threw at it. And he knew that tomorrow he was going to have to explain to Liz that her sister was gone. Giving Serena’s hand one last squeeze, he let go and passed her the tulip.

She took it from him. “Kyle was the first guy who ever bought me flowers. A dozen red tulips for my birthday.” She placed the flower over the disturbed ground. “They’ve been my favorite ever since.”

“Come back to the house, change your clothes, rest up…” Anything to keep you with us for a little longer, Jim thought.

She thought about it for a moment, and he could tell she was truly considering his offer, but then she shook her head no. “I can’t put it off any longer.” Rising to her feet, she swiped a hand over her jeans and the caked mud disappeared. “Please watch over them for me.”

When he nodded his answer, she let out one last, resentful sigh. “I’ll miss you, Jim.” With that, she turned and walked away.

He watched her go, until even her silhouette had faded into the rainy night sky. “I’ll miss you too,” he whispered.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2006 10:23 pm 
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She's going to do it. :cry: That's so sad. But she feels like it's all she has left. I loved the interaction between Serena and Jim. :heart Jim sitting on the muddy ground with her and everything, and trying to tell her not to blame herself. Very touching story.

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 Post subject: Re: Sting of Tears (Serena/Mature) 1/1 5/6
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:17 pm 
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so i just found this and LOVED it :heart

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 Post subject: Re: Sting of Tears (Serena/Mature) 1/1 5/6
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:14 pm 
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i enjoyed it. nononono!!!! don;t do it. but i guess maybe to her she has to. and i hope it all works out cause then things will really really suck. great jim/serena interaction. and the kyle/ava/serena thing. oh man.

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 Post subject: Re: Sting of Tears (Serena/Mature) 1/1 5/6
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:18 am 
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I just reread this. Love this story. Sigh.

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