Brown Eyes

By: Tammy

Disclaimer: Don't sue. I don't own the show.

Summary: A casting mistake.

AN: I badly paraphrased parts from the second to last episode of season three. Banner by Ica.

Rating: Uh..PG?

She stares in the mirror.

She is such an idiot.

Her idiocy presses against her until she can’t breathe, can’t think, and can only stare. Her hand traces the contours of her face. The glass feels cool under her hand and she wishes she could press her forehead against it. She wants to cool down; forget. Her head is pounding and the blood is pulsating through her veins. She thinks she could probably hear her pulse—she imagines that her temple is visibly throbbing, growing, like a disease. Infecting her mind. A tumor. She thinks about the ‘X-Files.’ She thinks about the ‘black cancer.’ She stares at her eyes and imagines pools of black swimming around her pupils.

Her eyes water and the tears spill over.

She tries to close her eyes. She tries to tear them away from the mirror, away from her own accusing stare. But it doesn’t matter. Because even when she closes her eyes, she still sees her face. It’s burned into her retinas.

And she’s disgusted by it.

The mirrors are almost addicting; she can’t stop staring. She wonders what she would say if Max suddenly stopped by. He probably wouldn’t think her narcissistic, but still… she’d rather let him think her vain than tell him the truth.

The secret already begins to burn. It’s giving her an upset stomach, and yet, she only learned of it the night before; she'd only mulled over it this morning. She had been taking a shower and her body was still slick with water when she wiped the mirror with her towel. She wrapped and pulled the towel tight across her body as she stared at her reflection. Her hair was slicked back and her skin, though somewhat pink from the water, had an eerie whiteness to it. She stared at her face, wondering how she had gotten to this point. She looked tired and haggard, and her eyes…

She had bitten her lip to hold back the cry that threatened to leave her mouth. Tess’ return had broken through her thinly veiled façade. Not that anyone had ever tried to look past it. She could only compare it to saran wrap. The plastic bulged, but didn’t break unless poked too hard. It was as if she had wrapped herself in it. It protected her and she changed the colors to paint whatever face the others expected to see. Clear, blue, yellow, pink…her rose colored glasses whose falsity no one questioned. She wondered if Maria would ever see through it and remarks like the night before made the answer all the more evident.

“Alex was my best friend.”

She clenched the sides of the porcelain sink until her knuckles turned white, willing the tears away. It wasn’t just the reminder of Alex’s death. It was everything. A reminder of Max’s infidelity, the fallout of her relationship with Maria, her inability to escape the aliens, and a lack of control in her own destiny. Everything that she had squelched behind that pink saran wrap was pushing its way out and it was no wonder the green electricity had returned. She liked to blame it on Tess; it was so much simpler that way. The arrival of Tess was the beginning of all her troubles. So it was fitting that the unveiling of her newest problem, her newest secret, was a result of Tess’ return.

She made her decision and then walked away. She later told Tess she couldn’t do it because she wasn’t a murderer.

She wasn’t that pure and innocent. It was really because she couldn’t look Tess in the eyes and send her off to her death. She couldn’t stare into those blue eyes and vote “yes.” There was a reason she had stared ahead the entire drive up to the base. And it certainly wasn’t to avoid hitting any stray hares. The ride was quiet and she mulled over her own problems, forgetting for a second Tess’ imminent one. But in the end, she realized, Tess didn’t really have one. A moment later the base exploded and for once, Liz wished she was inside it so she didn’t have to listen to herself think. Didn’t have to listen to the berating voice in her head or stare into the mirror.

Why had she paid attention in biology?

“My son is human? How is that possible?”

“Both of you are hybrids, half-human. It’s basic genetics, Max.”

Why hadn’t she slept like Maria?

Then she wouldn’t be here. She wouldn’t be staring at herself in the mirror.

But she is. She’s staring into the freaking mirrors of her soul. And she’s disgusted and angry and aching and ready to scream and ready to hide and oh god, her mind won’t shut off, and she’s babbling. Her mind is on autopilot and it’s rambling because her emotions have gone off the chart. The spectrum—reminds her of the acid and base one in the lab, with blue and yellow and pink. And oh, god, how she wants to wrap herself up in pink saran wrap. To pull it over her eyes and shut out the world.

Her mom calls her name from downstairs and she calls back, and her voice hitches. She rubs her eyes with the heel of her hand and then stares at her red, streaky face. She has her mother’s ears and chin. But what belongs to her father?

Who is her father? Is her mother really her mother?

Two blue-eyed parents both have two recessive genes; they should have blue-eyed children. She’s a brown-eyed freak and she doesn’t belong.

It’s basic genetics, Max.

She smashes the mirror to make the voices stop. But instead she only creates shards of tesserae that reflect back thousands of brown eyes, mocking her.

“Liz, you’re going to be late for school.” Her mom peeks into her room. Liz never realized how old she looks. Her hair is frizzy with flyaways, and her eyes have crowsfeet. She’s concerned for her daughter; she thinks it’s that Max Evan’s influence.

“I know.” Two words. A multitude of meanings. She grabs her backpack and pulls it on. She walks past her mom and her heart aches as she stares at her blue eyes.