sophinisba: Gwen looking sexy from Merlin season 2 promo pics (white flower)
Sophinisba Solis ([personal profile] sophinisba) wrote2008-02-28 08:23 pm

Heroes fic: Maya/Alejandro

I finished my Heroes story for [livejournal.com profile] choc_fic! You can read it over there or here.

Title: De prisa, de prisa, rumbo perdido
Fandom: Heroes
Pairing: Maya/Alejandro
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: implied sibling incest
Word count: 2175
Summary: You and me against the world. (Also, an attempt to make sense of why someone would go through Venezuela and Honduras on their way from Santo Domingo to New York.)
Notes: The title is from the Manu Chao song "Desaparecido". The lullaby is traditional.



At first all she wanted to do was run, but she knew she wouldn't get far in that dress, those heels, and with only a few hundred pesos in her purse.

As soon as the tears were gone and she could see clearly she made herself stop and close her eyes, stop and think. The wedding guests all had money, and none of them would be needing it now, but Maya would. She only had time to search a few of the bodies so she went to the ones she knew would be carrying cash – Gloria's father and brother, and that son of a bitch Alberto, the only one she was actually glad to see dead.

It was enough, Dominican pesos and American dollars. She ran back to the main street and took a taxi to the port.

The easiest and cheapest thing would have been to go to Haiti. But if she wanted to be inconspicuous she needed to go somewhere where she knew the language. Besides, maybe Haiti wasn't far enough.

What she really wanted was to go to New York. Her cousin Natalia had lived in Queens for ten years and said the apartment was crowded but they could always find room for her if she wanted to start a new life. And there had been plenty of times when Maya did. Natalia was one of many people who thought Maya would do better if she put some space between herself and her brother. But she couldn't get on a plane now, not with all the people who would be looking for her. She needed to find someone who was willing to take her on sight and take only the money in return, and she needed to leave before the police caught up with her. She found the boat and the shipper before she asked the destination.

"La Guaira."

Maya knew the name. It was the port city just north of Caracas. From Caracas you could take the Simón Bolívar Highway all the way to Bogotá, and from there take the Panamericana as far south as Ushuaia or up north to Alaska.

Alejandro had always wanted to go south. He used to talk to Maya about the trip they'd make around South America. They could fly to Caracas, or maybe straight to Bogotá, and head south along the Panamericana. And whatever detours came their way were adventures they could take together. He'd read all the Che Guevara he could get his hands on and, as much as he was moved and inspired by the political writing, nothing captured his imagination like the Notas de viaje. A couple of university students striking out on their own, rambling from Buenos Aires down through Patagonia, up the twisted mountain spine of the continent, and across plains and jungles all the way to the Caribbean coast of Venezuela. The Caribbean that would become their home years later, the place where they'd become heroes.

That was the only one of Che's books that Alejandro had convinced Maya to read too. "We can go just like them," he said, "see the same places even, only the other way around, to end up in Buenos Aires."

"Sure," Maya teased, "and then someday you'll lead the communist revolution in Argentina."

Maya had her own ideas about adventures. She'd read On the Road and The Call of the Wild in her English class. Alejandro had never liked English very much. He took the class because it was required, but he did better at social sciences, philosophy. He didn't read English books for fun and they didn't make him dream.

He stopped talking about the road trip around the time he started going out with Gloria. That was his and Maya's last year in university. They were almost the same age Ernesto Guevara had been when he'd first left home, and they were already getting too old for their childhood dreams. Alejandro had studied business administration because he wouldn't get a job with a degree in political science. He stopped talking about how the D.R. could follow Cuba's example and break away from its dependence on the States. He no longer believed that two poor people without family could afford to travel just for adventure, or that a brother and sister could live together happily ever after.

"If you want to go to New York," he'd told Maya after they announced the engagement, "go ahead. I've got a life to live here."

Well, it wasn't up to her where she went anymore. If she didn't suffocate on her way to La Guaira she'd make her way from there, and whatever adventures came her way before she died were adventures she'd have on her own. She paid the money and climbed down a ladder into the dark fish belly of the boat, thinking hell wasn't other people, hell was solitude. Hell wasn't flames, it was drowning.



Venezuela wasn't anything like heaven or hell though. In fact, it wasn't all that different from home. It was tierra firme, but the sky and sea were the same shades of blue, the people the same shades of brown. Maya decided to head toward Colombia, but instead of taking the Simón Bolivar to the southwest toward Bogotá she stayed close to the coast. The air was easier to breathe there and the people were used to meeting strangers from all parts of the Caribbean and beyond. She traveled on passenger boats and the only papers they asked for were her dollars.

No one seemed to recognize her and no one tried to hurt her, and she was sad but not angry or afraid, so no one else got hurt either. Still, she ran out of money, just west of Maracaibo and only a few kilometers from the Colombian border, and she didn't know what to do next. Maybe it was all right to stop running now. She went to the church to pray for guidance.

The nuns' prayers and their habits were the same as at home. The accents and some of the songs were different, but Maya liked them well enough. They took her in and as long as she did her work they were kind to her. They thought her accent was charming, and no one asked what brought a nice girl like her so far away from home.

Very little happened here. Maya decided that was probably for the best. After all, if she didn't have anything to upset her, nothing like what happened at the wedding ever needed to happen again. Maybe she could just stay like this. Last week a sister passed away at age eighty-eight who'd come to the convent as a teenager. Maya would miss dancing, would miss drinking and swearing. More than anything of course she missed her brother. But he was probably just as glad she was gone. Maybe he'd go to Cuba, or maybe just some village up in the mountains. He could make a new life, find some other woman to marry and have a bunch of babies with. As long as Maya didn't know about it they'd all survive.

She knelt and prayed for peace.



When Alejandro came to the convent he brought the police, brought the anger and fear, and so Maya thought it was just as much his fault as hers that any of them suffered. It was only right that he should be the one to bring them back. Once they were running away together she didn't feel guilt or anger or even fear, only joy that she was holding his hand again.

When they were far enough away to stand still for a few moments, Maya said, "You won't ever try to turn me in again, will you? You know they'll blame you just as much as they do me."

"I know," he said. "But don't you leave me again."

"I won't. That was the worst thing I could have done, I understand that now.. I won't let go of you again."



Alejandro didn't like boats – he'd never left the island before this. He'd flown from Santo Domingo to Caracas and searched for her on land from there. Now the two of them hitchhiked west across the border and farther along the coast. Still, at every turning point they argued about what their final destination should be, north and south.

Then one day at a truck stop near Barranquilla someone handed her a book by a man she'd never heard of. She thought at first it was some missionary with a tract. Before she had time to say no thank you the person was gone.

She and Alejandro were together all the time now, but they never had much time alone, so they didn't talk much. In the cab of a truck on the way to Cartagena, she read Chandra Suresh's book silently, and from time to time she'd point out a sentence or a paragraph for her brother to read. She'd see his eyes get big as he recognized their own story in that of the people this man was studying. She also made him read the last sentence on the back cover: The author lives in Brooklyn, New York.

After that they stopped arguing about where they should go next.



From Cartagena they could only turn around to the east, go south, or go out to sea, so Maya convinced Alejandro to get on the cargo ship that would take them to Cristóbal, Panama.

Even though it was darker and dirtier than the other ships she'd traveled in, she wasn't nearly as frightened now that she had Alejandro with her. Anyway, she couldn't be frightened, she was too busy reassuring him.

They fumbled their way around in the dark until they found a place to sit together on the metal floor, and the hold was sealed over their heads. Maya felt her brother's hand trembling in hers.

"You know they have to do that," she soothed, before he could say anything. "Would you rather have the ship filling up with water?"

"You're not helping me feel better."

Maya laughed.

"It's not safe," he continued, "being locked down here like this. We could run out of air. If there were a problem, we wouldn't be able to get out."

"Then it's a good thing there won't be any problem."

"If there is, do you think you can save us? You may be special, Maya, like the book says, you might be evolved beyond other humans…but do you really think you're stronger than the sea?"

"Of course not. But I don't think I'll need to fight against the sea. It's not an enemy, you know. It wants to take care of you, just like I do. It'll get us to Panama…"

Alejandro scoffed. "And what good will that do us? We'll be running for the rest of our lives."

Maya shook her head, even though she knew he couldn't see her in the pitch black. "When we find Dr. Suresh he'll know what to do. You worry too much, and you've been running too much. You need to rest, and if you'd just relax a little the sea would help you with that too. It'll rock you to sleep like a baby."

"You're being foolish. I'm a grown man, I don't need anyone to rock me to sleep."

But then he let her put her arms around him, let her bring his head to her chest and rock him in rhythm with the waves. Maya sang to him,

    Duérmete mi niño, dúermete mi amor
    Duérmete pedazo de mi corazón

"Don't, Maya, he said softly, but he didn't move. She smoothed her fingers through his silky hair, and she kissed the wide plane of his forehead.

    Arrorró mi niño, arrorró mi amor
    Arrorró pedazo de mi corazón

When he tried to move away she pulled him close and he went still, and she kissed him some more – kissed the bridge of his nose, the apple of his cheek, the seashell of his ear. Alejandro curled up against her chest, let her wrap herself around him like comfort.

"I'll take care of you," she said stroking him with her hands, "just like I always have, ever since we were kids. I'll keep you safe."

"I've never been safe with you, Maya. I'll drown in you."

But he was the one to kiss her on the mouth, and even in the sealed container they could both breathe just fine. Maya hummed the lullaby against his lips, and Alejandro didn't say anything more.

It wasn't the most dangerous leg of their journey, but it was the time the danger did the most to bring them together. Later they would face real evil, not just the indifference of smugglers and nature. Ugly men who tried to take advantage, and one handsome man who finally managed to drive them apart. But for those few hours it was just Maya and Alejandro touching each other and rocked by the sea, and the rest of the world didn't matter.

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