The 4400 Fan Fiction -->
Title: Fantasy Girl
Author: Misty Flores
Summary: The one fantasy Heather wants most, Alana can't create.
Pairing: Heather/Alana, Tom/Alana implied
Fandom: The 4400
Spoilers: Gone Pt 1. -- Graduation Day
Heather Tobey loved beauty. She appreciated it on every level, from the broad strokes of a brush across a liquid canvas to the haunting first notes of the piano in Moonlight Sonata.
Alana Mareva was so beautiful she literally took her breath away the moment she laid eyes on her, in the lobby of a meet and greet at The 4400 Center. There was nothing about her that wasn't beautiful, and just that fact seemed almost disconcerting to her: from Alana's thick and velvety accent, to her dark eyes and long, silky, jet black hair, her lean muscles and tanned flawless skin.
"Are you here for the meeting?" Heather asked, the day Alana Mareva came forward and introduced herself, in the lobby of The 4400 Center, after Heather had nearly dropped her coffee when she realized she had been caught staring.
"Yes," Alana said, smile warm and eyes bright. "I’m a 4400."
"Just like me," Heather answered with a throaty chuckle, and then felt like an idiot, because Alana couldn't have been anything like her. It simply wasn't feasible.
But she shook her hand and introduced herself and welcomed her to the Center, and then after the meeting, they had drinks in the café. There, Alana drank her tea delicately and confessed her own excitement, because she didn't know that many 4400's. She asked Heather questions, about her experience, when she was taken, and because of Alana's own curiosity, she asked her own in return.
Alana had been abducted in 2001. Long enough, Alana noted, to cause some confusion, but not much else. There was no culture shock, like Heather had experienced with her own 20 year time jump, but instead simple resignation. Tragedy had already visited her a year or so before that, when she lost her husband and her child to a drunk driver.
"After that," Alana explained, over her steaming cup of tea, "I felt I had nothing else to lose."
But the return had been kind to her. She now had a boyfriend, who she considered a husband in everything but paper. Her very own 'Thomas', whom she spoke of with a smile and a hint of warmness, that made Heather's smile tighten and forced her to grip her cup a little fiercer. Heather didn't even realize she was hoping until the disappointment became clear, as she sighed and professed her happiness for Alana.
"I want to help," Alana said, as she stood outside the Center and rubbed fingers on her own arms, as if warming herself. Digging into her expensive black purse, she produced a white card, and held it out to Heather. "I don't know what good an art dealer can do, but-"
"You like art?" she breathed, and Alana had paused, mouth quirking in almost surprised amusement at Heather's excited reaction. The outburst had embarrassed Heather as well, and she blushed, covering her face with her hand and laughing awkwardly. When she glanced up, Alana was smiling, a secret smile, that she returned.
It was how Alana had left her, with a warmth in her stomach that came from discovering a kindred spirit.
She kept the card and asked around, and the next week, sat at her own little office desk and called Alana at her place of business. When Alana's unmistakable tone came on the phone, Heather needed a moment, to take in a breath and then speak. The thrill she felt when Alana recognized her voice was intensely silly, and Heather pushed it aside with a sigh, asking her to come in for a meeting.
Alana arrived, with her hair beautifully put together and wearing a smile that was excited and perfect.
Heather's heart beat faster than before, and she was exhilarated and frightened at the same time, smiling so much it almost hurt, like a silly schoolgirl with a harmless crush.
"Well, it says here," she said, eyes dragging away from the woman friend to the paper before her, "You have an ability to create alternate realities?"
Alana's grin was mysterious, demure, and long legs crossed and slender fingers pushed at black bangs. "Not exactly." Heather's mouth twitched, her eyebrow arched, and then Alana Mareva leaned forward. "Tell me your greatest fantasy," she said, in a breathy, husky voice.
Heather was frozen, and her harmless crush suddenly didn't seem as harmless.
Alana could take you wherever you wanted to go, for however long you wanted to be there. She could create whole worlds in her mind, delve deep into your very soul for the images you most wanted to experience and then there they were, in front of you. Living, breathing entities that were pure magic.
"There are no limits," she said to her, sinking into her chair. "At least I think there isn't. I've never tried it with anyone else but Thomas."
She wasn't sure what made her do it, scooting forward and smiling at Alana eagerly and casually, or at least trying to sound casual, offering herself up as a subject.
"For the sake of the Center," she said, when Alana hesitated. "Aren't you curious?"
Dark eyes flickered from the floor to her face, locking gazes. For a moment, Alana simply stared. There was an audible inhalation.
"I've never done it with anyone but Thomas," she said, and the tone was odd, said in such a way that Heather's pulse quickened and her grip on her chair tightened. "I have to admit, I am curious."
Wordlessly, Heather waited until she saw the barely distinguishable nod. Getting up, she moved her chair around the desk, until their knees were touching.
Heart pounding, she held her breath when Alana hesitated, and then her friend pressed her lips together and smiled thinly. Strong feminine hands reached out, curled against the sides of her head, skin against skin, as Alana was now only inches away.
It was an intimate hold, and Heather was frozen, locked in the magnetism of the woman across from her. "Where do you want to go?" Alana murmured.
After a moment, taken to regain her own control; push down the lump in her throat, resist the urge to move closer still, Heather dragged her gaze from the soft lips and shifted it up to the dark eyes staring at her intently.
"Wherever you want to take me."
They had lunch in Paris, in a restaurant that was Alana's favorite. Heather bit into croissants that flaked apart in her hands, butter dripping messily down her chin, and sipped a cappuccino that was so rich and decadent, she couldn't get enough.
"I'll never go to sleep!" she protested, when she was offered another cup, and then blushed when Alana laughed, because she had forgotten that this was a fantasy.
It wasn't real, and she tried to remind herself, as Alana spoke French to the only waiter in the establishment, because it was just the two of them in the entire café. The band in the corner played just for them, and the waiter was attentive, but disappeared at just the right times, leaving them to enjoy their meal.
It was a fantasy, and Heather hadn't wanted it to end.
"It doesn't have to," Alana reminded her, when they walked down the cobblestone walk way and looked into the windows of the best shops. "We have all the time in the world."
And so they spent hours in a Paris made only for them, and when Alana decided to end it, Heather had opened her eyes to find herself in her own office, dizzily disoriented as Alana sank back into her chair, expression elated.
"I've never done that before with anyone," Alana had breathed, with awe in her voice, excitement and pride. "Except for Thomas. I wasn't sure I could."
Heather took in a deep breath, and with a smile she couldn't help she leaned forward and clutched Alana's hands in hers. "Well, I'm always available."
"Thank you," the other woman replied.
Heather outgrew her free love days as a teenager. By the time she was teaching, before she was taken, she was single and pretty and detoxed. Her future had been invested in her children, but she acknowledged that, had the 4400 not intervened, she would have been destined to marry Jason, a fellow teacher who was sweet and harmless and trying.
Everyone experimented in college in the sixties. An art student, Heather was no exception. There was a girl named Diana, with dark black hair that she refused to cut, who didn't shave and who had the most beautiful smile she had ever seen.
It had been a phase, Heather was sure, but when she thought of Alana, she thought of Diana, and the things they used to do together.
It made her hitch in her breath, push her legs together, and once she accidentally broke her pencil in half, when her fingers curled into tight fists, an almost violent reaction.
Her fantasy girl. That was what Heather called her, and Alana laughed and always asked what her greatest fantasy was.
Heather always pressed her lips together and blushed, but never told her, even when softer fingers tangled in her own and Alana promised in a teasing way, to make it happen.
Heather's chest would always tightened in response, and she would always look away, because she knew, what she was beginning to want above all else, Alana would never be able to give.
Heather had been surprised to discover that Alana's Thomas was Tom Baldwin, the handsome NTAC agent who had saved Heather's life, back in her old small town, many months ago.
She met him at a picnic, and had accidentally spilled the beans about the job offer Alana had received. He didn't know, and Heather witnessed an awkward moment between the lovers.
Heather almost hated herself for the small thrill she felt, when she realized she knew a part of Alana that Tom, for all his years with her, didn't.
"The resignation of President Nixon?" Alana asked, and Heather's cheeks had immediately flushed, head dipping down at the laughter in her voice.
"I know, it sounds geeky," Heather admitted, curling her feet under her and drawing her bangs away from her face. "But I was taken before it happened, and I really want to see that bastard go down."
Alana took a sip from her coffee, eyes narrowed, contemplating the idea. "That's your greatest fantasy."
Heather swallowed hard, and she smiled wider and shrugged. "Not my greatest fantasy, but I think it's enough."
It took a moment for Alana to let that sink in, before she grinned and put down the cup. "Well, then, let's go!"
The excitement and exuberance that Alana put into her admittedly lame request was infectious, and Heather sucked in her breath and settled on the couch, trying hard to keep her eyes from roving over Tom and Alana's domain.
There were pictures, a dozen of them at least, memories made, and Alana had once told her there were millions more, because there was eight years that they had been man and wife, even if had all been in her head.
What these fantasies were about, Alana had explained, were making memories: dozens of them, hundreds, to cherish when reality set in.
That's what they were doing, and how Alana figured she could help the kids at the Center: Make memories.
Her and Alana watched the resignation of President Nixon together, walking down the street as Heather took her to all her old haunts, places she hadn't seen in 30 years: those were memories she and Alana shared.
When they had come out of it, and Heather realized Tom was standing there watching them, not even bothering to hide the jealousy on his face, she pressed her lips together and felt irrationally guilty.
"He's just tired," Alana told her, after she had returned from following him into the kitchen. "Work has been hard for him lately."
Heather's answering smile was tight. "Then I should probably go."
Alana didn't disagree.
Being locked up in a room with a desperate child holding a gun had its lingering affects, and Heather Tobey avoided a bad situation if she could.
Because of the look on Tom's face, she tried to avoid Alana, at least for a while, until Alana knocked on her office door and Heather had looked up from her desk to discover a haunted expression and moist eyes.
"Oh my God," she said, pile of folders nearly dropped, pushing up from her desk, frozen in her concern. "What's wrong? What happened?"
She thought maybe it was a fight with Tom, maybe some conflict with the Center and his job at NTAC. She never dreamed what Alana would tell her would be about finding the man who was responsible for the death of her first husband, her little boy.
In haunted, broken words, Alana told her of meeting him, of forcing him to relive the event, of a scared little boy coming to her with a newspaper clip, afraid he was responsible for the near death of a man.
"It told him it was my fault," Alana told her, and Heather's breath hitched and her eyes welled with tears, because Alana believed it so sincerely, as her hands shook and the tears brimmed in her eyes, only to be wiped furiously away. Dark eyes leveled on her, sincere, broken. "I forced him to relive the event. I wanted him to remember it, the way I do, every single day of my life."
"Alana," she managed, hands in a ball in her lap. "Have you told Tom?"
"No," Alana answered, voice thick with feeling. "No. He is so occupied with his work, and if he knew…"
"If he knew, he'd tell you it wasn't your fault," she answered, as calmly, gently as she could. "It wasn't you that put that drink in his hand, Alana."
"Thomas told me not to go see him again, but he doesn't understand," Alana breathed, eyes darting up to meet hers. "The pure rage… I couldn't leave it alone. I couldn't."
"I know," Heather whispered, and carefully, she reached forward, palm resting on a shuddering shoulder, and squeezed. When Alana's eyes closed, moist droplets clinging to her eyelashes, Heather's hesitant movements became a little more firm, until she slid an arm around Alana's waist and gently pulled.
Alana took comfort in her arms, silently, stoically, and Heather swallowed down the lump of emotion and held her as tight as she could, determined to be a friend.
The incident had been a turning point, Heather understood that. The moment Alana had begun to keep her own secrets from Tom, from her. Alana relied so much on feeling, and maybe it had finally gotten the better of her, when she couldn't just relish on her happiness with Tom, when the grief and rage spilled over the wall she built and suddenly made things matter.
Heather didn't know how much of a turning point it was, until she realized Alana had lied to her. The moment when Tom and Diana left her, and that sick feeling in her stomach made her literally nauseous, Heather became aware of so much.
They had talked about the Nova Group, of course they had. The information was rampant in the small circles of the 4400, and everyone shared information about what they knew. What they had experienced had brought them all together, and when Heather heard about Gary, it was only natural to tell Alana, because Heather sometimes forgot that Alana's significant other was in NTAC.
It had been Alana who had made the call to Gary Navarro, she knew that much. She wasn't so infatuated with Alana so as not to be aware of her faults, and she had been used. The sick feeling inside of her warred with her own growing affection, because she was sitting on a ticking time bomb.
She went to the only other person she felt could understand: she went to Tom. Tom loved Alana, and begging her to lie for Alana didn’t surprise her. Alana evoked that loyalty inside of him, the same way she evoked it in Heather.
But Heather wasn't Alana's lover. She wasn't anything but a friend, despite the fantasy wishes that only deepened her conflict. To Alana, she was a friend who had been convenient.
And still, when they came for her, she kept her mouth shut.
The look Alana gave her, when they passed in the hallway, Alana free, herself in handcuffs, slid deep inside of her and seared her soul.
When Heather curled up into her cell that night, repeating to herself every reason she had for giving Alana up, there was a single truth that kept her from going over that edge.
Just like Tom, Heather loved her too much.
They came for her hours after they had put her inside, when she was shaking and frightened, shivering from both cold and emotion. A tall man with no expression hauled her roughly to her feet, and ignored her when she asked what was happening.
She was expecting a small room. She was expecting torture.
Instead, she was shoved into a brightly lit office, and Dennis Ryland stared at her like she was a bug he wanted squished.
"You're a lucky woman," he told her, not bothering to interrupt what he was doing. "Alana Mareva has confessed to the crime you're being held for. You're free to go."
Just like that. The cuffs were jerked off, and heart beating horribly, Heather didn't move.
His head lifted. "Did you hear me? You're free to go."
Heather blinked, her mouth opened and closed. "Alana… confessed?" He gave her a stern look, and she swallowed, rubbing at her wrists. "What's going to happen to her?"
"That's classified, Ms. Tobey. Now if you don't mind…"
She was grabbed, prodded to her feet, and in a daze, Heather let herself get escorted off the property, trying hard to let the information sink in.
It was the next day, when Heather went to work in an attempt at normalcy, that the truth of it really sunk in. There were rumors and whispers and the devastating absence of Alana.
Her fantasy girl was stuck in a perpetual hell.
She lived off campus. Heather had made a rule to keep some boundaries, and being away from the Center was an effort to remind herself of the world around her that existed apart from it.
Her apartment was small but nice, and she came home to a cat named Donatello.
She had taken Alana home once, and she remembered being nervous about it, because there was art on the wall, and as a dealer, Alana would have her opinions.
Instead, Alana had ignored the art and played with the cat, and for that Heather had loved her.
She curled up on the couch one night, several days after she had been released from that prison, flipping channels for any mention of Alana and her fate. There had been nothing. A hush hush job, and for some reason, that scared her more than any news report could have.
She clutched Donatello until he mewed in complaint, and then she just hugged him tighter, blowing out a frustrated breath and shutting off the inane rambling of the reporter on the news.
When the door knocked, she thought it odd. Heather wasn't expecting anyone, and only Donatello seemed relieved when she pushed him off her lap and headed for the door.
Being a 4400 meant being afraid of the unexpected, because there was a world of hate, and she had been subjected to so much of it.
She wasn't sure who she was expecting at the door, but it wasn't Alana, eyes furtive and mouth in a thin, tight line.
"Alana," she whispered, and her friend just stood there, wavering.
"I’m leaving tonight," the other woman said, a dark, harried whisper. "I just wanted to apologize for what I did. I never meant to involve you in my own misdeeds."
Heather was too startled to react, for the longest moment, simply stared, one hand on the doorknob.
It seemed to be enough of an answer for Alana, who turned away, ready to escape as quickly as she had arrived. The visual was enough to break Heather out of her shock.
"Alana!" Lurching forward, Heather's response was automatic, fingers closing over Alana's wrists, keeping her still. "What are you- what do you- come in-"
"I can't stay," Alana said breathlessly, eyes darting behind her, as if something was coming to swallow her whole any minute. "I shouldn't have even come-"
"Alana, where are you going?" Heather's grip only tightened, and she tugged, until Alana had no choice but to follow her inside, an almost relieved expression on the other woman's face when Heather closed the door behind her. "How did you get out?"
"How do you think?" Alana replied, accent thick in her emotion. "Thomas got me out. Heather, I can't stay, I have to go. Thomas is smuggling me away. I only wanted to say I'm sorry. And that I'll miss you."
It was all happening too fast. Heather was still, overwhelmed, and Alana could clearly see her confusion, because suddenly her friend stepped forward, and fingers curled over her ears.
Pure instinct drove her to close her eyes and lower her head, as the soft touch of Alana seeped through her skin and into her brain.
And then her house was gone, under her feet was cobblestone, and around her, Heather saw Paris.
Skin fluttered against fingers and Alana lowered her hands, the sense of hesitancy and panic that lingered in her expression fading slowly.
"In here, there is time," Alana said. Heather took in a ragged breath, tossing auburn strands over her shoulder to look at the cocoon Alana had created, where time stood still.
"How long can we stay in here?"
"Not forever," Alana said, quiet and soft, arms once again crossing against her chest, as if she were protecting herself from the outside influences. Her black heel clicked against the stone beneath it. "But long enough. Long enough to talk."
That was Alana's impression. Heather's heart was beating, and as she stared at the taller woman, the emotion that had buried itself in her chest suddenly seemed to pulse to life.
It made her oddly defiant. "Did you really bring me here to talk?" Heather asked, when Alana kept quiet, staring into the distance like she was looking for something else.
"I told you," Alana murmured, back to her, face glancing to the street. "I came to apologize."
"That's not good enough." Heather's anger threatened to overtake her, and she exhaled in an attempt to contain it.
"Don’t ask me to take back what I did," Alana snapped. "I won't. I wouldn't, not even for Thomas."
Her precious Thomas. "I never would ask you to take it back," Heather retorted, and the tears began to well into her eyes. "But dammit, Alana an explanation, a conversation-"
"And what would you have me say?"
Short. To the point. Alana was a frustrating enigma and Heather was getting tired of it. She was used to revolution. She had lived through it like she had lived through segregation and racism and never thought she'd experience it the way it came at them now.
"Are you with the Nova Group?" she asked, quiet. Behind her, she heard a soft breathless sigh.
"No," Alana whispered. "And I don't condone their methods. But Gary Navarro was different."
"So saving him was more important than your life here. Your marriage to Tom."
"Tom wouldn't understand what it means to be one of us."
"I see." Heather's head rose, jeweled eyes locked onto her friends. "And I would." Alana broke the gaze. "That's why it was okay to use me. Use my office. Because I would understand."
Alana's fingers crept to her nape, she rubbed her mane furiously. "When you were taken by Dennis Ryland, you said nothing."
"It wasn't because I understood what it was like to be a 4400 or because I cared about Gary Navarro." The statement startled Alana, and Heather shook her head. "Do you want to know why I didn't say anything? Why I let them take me instead of giving you up?"
"You asked me what my greatest fantasy was. I think you knew. It was why you used my office. You knew why I wouldn't turn you in." Coming forward, her shoulders straightened, and she grabbed hold of Alana's elbow, jerking her back to face her.
The tone was a whisper, a plead, but Heather was past caring.
"You knew I loved you."
In this fantasy reality, Heather's feelings were still tangible, real. But they didn't matter, they never had, and so she simply stared, watching as Alana looked at her, stared into her face as if she had never seen it before.
Shaking fingers rose slowly, until they were sliding from her cheekbone to her jaw. The unexpected touch lingered, as her eyes closed and then reopened, to find an intense gaze, a sad smile.
When Alana spoke, the words were soft and delicate, an aching warning. "This world we are in; it isn't real, Heather."
"And when I bring us back, I will have to leave, and it will be like it never happened."
"I know that too."
A second of silence, and then the fingers fanned over her jaw, cupping it, tilting up. She knew it was coming, and still, the moan drawn out of her as the other woman's lips brushed against her own was uncontrollable. Alana's kiss was gentle, sweet, and suddenly a firm tongue swept between the parted mouth and it became passionate, fierce. A lean female body pressed against her and Heather sighed into a wet mouth, fingers digging into a glorious black mane as strong arms crushed around her, bringing her close.
The shiver that ran through her as Alana broke the kiss, only to press her mouth against her again, and once more, wasn't simply from arousal. Awareness of a change in temperature, the pressure of a lingering kiss, and the simple feel of the woman in her arms, all gradually began to shift.
Heather's eyes drifted open, to find wood beneath her feet, and her apartment hallway surrounding her, and Alana's face inches from her own.
It would have been easy, to close the distance between them, to lick moist lips and close her eyes and forget the warning her fantasy girl had expressed so clearly. It was a temptation nearly impossible to exist, because the brightness lingering in Alana's dark orbs told Heather it existed within her too.
Fingers traced against her mouth, and Heather drew a heavy breath, unable to keep from pressing her mouth against the digits, a light, careful kiss.
Alana's ragged breath told her she felt it, and when Alana began to shake her head, Heather simply nodded, ignoring her own flush of emotion. It wasn't real. It couldn't be.
But the tears shining in Alana's eyes were genuine, as palms dropped to her side, and her friend simply offered a sad smile.
"Goodbye," Alana said, because she couldn't say she loved her, and Heather understood why.
When she turned away, Heather let her go.
It was the only thing she could do.