Title: Second Story Men

Series: The Concrete Jungle

Author: TaleWeaver

E-mail: vanessa@internode.on.net

Rating: (Mild) R. 'Cause sex is involved and the Dupes are all potty-mouths.

WARNING: This fic contains consensual m/f sex between two 14 year olds. I'm not condoning underage sex at all, but it happens and I think it's in character here.

Disclaimer: The Roswell characters were created by Melinda Metz and adapted for television by Jason Katims. Original characters and situations are mine. The CJ series was inspired by reading the story, 'Searching for a new life' by Ella (you can find it at the Epic fanfic site). She mentioned that she originally put the idea out as a challenge, and it caught my imagination… so I'm responding! There's also a mention of a character from another former WB series. Oh, and the movie Maria refers to is 'Tango and Cash'.

Feedback: Yes please!

Improv: #2 -- strong -- eve -- dire -- fault

Spoilers: An AU timeline about the Dupes, so background detail from 'MtD' and 'MitC'. A couple of spoilers for the rest of the CJ series, I'll be skipping around in the continuity as the mood takes me.

Category: Streetwalkers - Maria/Rath

Series Summary: What if Maria grew up with the Dupes in New York, instead of the Pod Squad in Roswell?

Summary: Rath and Maria find they have a talent for burglary and their relationship changes forever.

Author's Notes: 1) Rath might seem a little OOC, but this is one that's had Maria around for the past four years or so, look at what she's done to Michael in two! 2) I also have very little talent for writing in accents, so you'll have to imagine them, I'm afraid. 3) 'ET' is the term I have the Dupes use to refer to their powers, sort of like 'Czechoslovakian' in season 1.

Muse-ic: 'Duck and run' and 'Kryptonite' -3 Doors Down; 'Wish (komm zu mir)' by Franka Potente. (All available at Roswell Mp3's)

*******

March 16 1997
New York City>br? Offices of O'Reilly Investigations
The broom closet

"Well, this is fun."

"Are you kidding me? This is fucking DIRE!"

The broom closet was in total darkness. Only someone standing with their ear pressed against the door could have heard the two voices coming from within. The male gave an impatient sigh, and replied, "Babe, relax. The dude's gonna be going any second. He wears a fucking 'Kiss me I'm Irish' baseball cap, he's gonna want to be nice and rested for tomorrow."

The female voice was full-bodied, almost musical, and currently tense. "Rath! We've only got twenty minutes until the backup system for the security cameras comes on, we have to be done and gone from the building before then!"

Her companion's voice was exasperated. "Maria, chill. We can do this, and we're *gonna* do this and get away clean."

"Since when are you optimistic?"

"S'not optimism, it's certainty. We're gonna do this, because there's no way I'm gonna end up in the hands of the freakin' FBI gettin' dissected."

"Not to diminish your danger or anything, but if we get sprung, I'm going to wind up in a goddamn convent!"

//Now that would truly be a fucking shame// Rath thought with a grin. He'd been having dreams about Maria since she'd met the four aliens at ten years old. Shortly before he'd lost his virginity to Lonnie, the dreams had become erotic. Luckily, Lonnie considered her podmates too boring to dreamwalk - including Maria by this time - so she'd never figured out that she didn't have his full attention. He'd been subtly encouraging her to seek further afield (he knew how easily she got bored), with a little help from Ava. Now that Lonnie had gotten past the 'exclusive' phase, he could finally start with the project he'd had in mind for the past two years.

Getting Maria in his bed and keeping her there.

Maria started to say something, but he shushed her. His preternaturally sharp hearing had picked up footsteps. As the elevator doors shut with a 'ding' he cautiously opened the door and checked the hallway. He stepped out and waved at Maria, telling her, "All clear."

Maria Deluca stepped out behind him, her Nike-clad feet soft on the floor. She looked at him with her big green eyes, and arched an eyebrow. "Lead on."

Rath grinned wolfishly at her, feeling the adrenaline pumping wildly through his bloodstream as he made the couple of strides that put him at the front door of O'Reilly's office. He took a look at the lock and swore.

"What?" asked Maria. She took a look at the keyhole and grinned. "What, the big-shot alien can't pick a lock?"

Rath scowled. Maria had long ago accomplished the art of irritating him and turning him on simultaneously, although she didn't seem to notice. "The electronic shit, yeah. Not this."

Maria smirked at him and knelt, putting her at eye level with the keyhole. She examined it, and told him, "No problemo." She took off the black baseball cap she was wearing, and took out a couple of hairpins. Straightening one out and bending it a quarter way down, she started to pick the lock.

Without the pins, several shoulder-blade-length gold curls fell down, gleaming even in the dim security lights. Rath's palms itched to reach forward and give them a gentle tug, or just run his fingertips through it. He'd never found out if Maria's hair was as soft as it looked. Frowning at his wussy thoughts, to distract himself he absently ran a hand through his own hair, which he'd ET'd to stand straight up in four-inch spikes with blue streaks through it. He'd thought about growing it into a Mohawk a couple of months ago, until Maria had told him what she thought of that idea in no uncertain terms. Since she'd done it when they were alone, he'd given in.

"C'mon honey, open wide for me," Maria murmured, and Rath felt his blood leaving his brain to rush down to his groin. Shit, she sounded like sex itself when she used that voice. And if she ever used it around anyone else but him, he'd have to kill them.

As Maria stood, he forcibly pulled his mind out of his pants and onto the task at had. After all, he was the one in his little family who figured out what had to happen and made sure it got done.

Maria wound the stray locks of hair around the mass still pinned, and hurriedly jammed her cap back on, slinking through the door. Rath followed, and found himself in the tiny reception area.

"You think he keeps the files in his personal office, or d'you think there's a file room somewhere?" Maria asked, looking at the two doors on the left wall.

"You take the left doors, I'll take the right one," Rath nodded at the opposite wall.

He headed into what was obviously O'Reilly's private office, put on the light to the lowest level (this room didn't have windows) and started going through the desk. The drawers came up empty of anything useful except a fifth of whiskey in the bottom right drawer - which wasn't really all that useful, actually, given that the ET four could get totally smashed on a cup between them. The first time it had happened, Maria hadn't been able to stop giggling at them, the two cups she'd put away notwithstanding.

He was just about to start on the filing cabinet, when Maria came in, her face scrunched up. "The dude REALLY needs to get a fan in the bathroom." She gingerly shut the door, and as she moved to stand beside him, she told him, "Remind me to kill Zan when we get back."

"I get to kill him. ET privilege. You can hold him down if you want."

"Only if I get to knee him in the balls first. This is ALL his fault."

Rath grimaced in acknowledgment. With his ingrained paranoia he'd been the one who'd first noticed the jolly-looking fortyish guy following them around. Lonnie had dismissed Rath's suspicions, but Maria had sized the guy up and given him the money to pay one of their acquaintances to lift the dude's wallet. Sure enough, there was a bunch of business cards identifying the guy as a private investigator named Paul O'Reilly.

Maria had promptly put in a call to a friend who lived down the hallway, when she wasn't bouncing between boarding schools. Like Maria, Jacqueline was the daughter of a parent who seemed to think that throwing money at a child was a substitute for actual attention. Whereas Maria had started wandering the city, eventually stumbling onto the ET four's home, Jacqueline had gotten into computer hacking in a big way. Maria had asked her to get into O'Reilly's system and find out the sitch, and she'd responded magnificently.

O'Reilly had been hired by a lawyer named Pierce, but Jacqueline, always eager to bust new and better security systems, had dug a little further and found that Pierce was actually a rookie FBI agent, assigned to something called the Special Unit. She'd also managed to get into O'Reilly's case and personal files, and told them that O'Reilly hadn't made any detailed reports to Pierce yet - or handed over any evidence.

Unfortunately, Zan had come across a mugging victim with a stab wound in Central Park, and instead of performing first aid and calling for the cops like a sensible person, had promptly healed her, giving O'Reilly all the evidence necessary to prove that yes, there was something *very* strange about at least one of the kids he'd been watching.

Lonnie had immediately suggested killing O'Reilly - and Zan had instantly forbidden her to. After Maria had pointed out that dead bodies draw attention - especially that of law enforcement officials such as the FBI, Rath had pointed out that killing O'Reilly wouldn't get them the evidence. Thus they'd come up with a plan, but not without a great deal of arguing, during which even patient Ava had threatened to bounce Zan's head off the wall.

Funnily enough, Maria got along better with Zan than he and Lonnie did - she wasn't any more suited to being subservient than they were, but managed to work around Zan's attitude with amazing success. Zan had always had attitude, but since puberty hit it'd gotten so bad that Maria was now the only one who could actually get Zan to admit he was wrong. Jesus, you'd think he was a king or something!

*

Meanwhile, Maria had spotted the bar refrigerator in the corner, and crouched down to examine it more closely. "Eureka!"

At her soft exclamation, Rath came to crouch beside her. She breathed in the tangy, acrid scent that always seemed to come off his skin directly to her nose, and told her brain to concentrate on business. Honestly, she spent so much time with her mind in her crotch nowadays that you'd think she was a guy!

"What is it?" he rumbled.

Maria grinned at him triumphantly, then opened the door to reveal a safe where the freezer compartment should be. Damn, she hadn't figured on this B and E stuff being such a rush!

Rath looked impressed, and asked, "How'd you know?"

Maria shrugged, "It's the brand. They might as well put up a sign saying 'safe hidden here'." Rath cocked his head and looked at her in that way that made her head go fuzzy, and she admitted reluctantly, "My dad used to have one."

Her father's wealth wasn't something that Maria liked to talk about much, especially to the ET's, who hadn't ever had parents or money. By the time she met them, stealing to eat and gain the necessities of life was such a way of life that she'd never really attempted to get them to do any different. Maria had quickly figured out that giving big presents the four could share on Christmas and their 'pod-day' did the most good. Ava was always willing to accept cheap clothing that the four of them could transmute into better quality and Rath had no compunction about socking her with the pizza bill at every opportunity, but they had limits on what they would accept from her.

Zan wasn't a problem, but Maria had been frightened of Lonnie using standover tactics on her for quite some time. So long that even now, the only ET's she spent one-on-one time with on any regular basis were Ava and Rath. She still didn't spend any time alone with Lonnie if she could help it; she'd long since concluded that the beautiful alien girl's soul was frozen as an ice sculpture.

Rath nodded silently, acknowledging the history not worth repeating, and placed his palm over the dial. A white light briefly glowed beneath his hand, and Maria could hear the tumblers clicking into place. As he worked, Maria absently ran her fingers lightly over the ivy-and-flower-vine tattoo that braceleted her left wrist. Ever since she'd gotten it - and Rath had added his own personal touch - she'd found that she nearly always did this automatically whenever Rath used his powers with her in the vicinity.

The safe opened, and Rath brought out a half-dozen files. He started to sort through them, when Maria told him, "Take them all. If they're all missing, he won't pinpoint us." Rath nodded and shoved them into the lightweight backpack Maria was wearing.

As she was admiring the way the light bounced off Rath's sculpted cheekbones, a sudden vibration at her hip shocked her. Realizing what it was, Maria pulled out her cellphone (there were advantages to being a 'trophy child'). "Zup?"

Ava's voice was nearly drowned out by what sounded like an entire crowd singing an off-key version of 'Oh Danny boy'. "O'Reilly's in the Shamrock, just like you figured. Lonnie shape-changed and snagged him after his fourth Guinness, and I mindwarped him. He's only got one copy of the evidence, and I wiped his memory no problem."

Maria broke into a delighted grin. "Outstanding, chica. Over and out." She hung up and told Rath, "We're free and clear. Let's pack up and go."

Maria's friend Jacqueline-the-hacker (as Ava had taken to calling her) had rummaged through O'Reilly's personal files as well as the business ones, turning up memberships to three different 'Irish pride' groups, and credit card receipts showing regular visits to a particular Irish pub. Figuring that O'Reilly would leave the office early the eve of St Patrick's Day if ever, Rath and Maria had shorted out the circuit for the security cameras and slipped in at sunset, as a pizza delivery guy and bike messenger respectively. The cleaning crew didn't start work until well after dark, but they hadn't counted on the fact that O'Reilly's idea of leaving early was an hour later than theirs, thus the detour into the broom closet.

Maria and Rath took a last look around to make sure everything was in place, then slipped out the door, making sure it locked behind them. As they paused outside the door, Maria looked up at Rath, and as their eyes met, an electric connection sizzled into life between them. Maria could feel his excitement as if it were her own, and she suddenly, shockingly, wanted to kiss him so badly that she thought she'd die.

Rath gave that wolfish grin that always made her heart jump - whether in alarm or desire - and bent his head to hers…

"Is someone there?"

Maria's eyes widened in alarm, even as her heart rate shot up even further. In their haste to avoid the cameras coming back on, they'd forgotten the security guard! Maria took off for the stairs, Rath right on her heels. Just as the security guard shone his flashlight down the corridor, Rath and Maria squashed themselves against the door, and Rath silently pushed down the handle. They half-fell, half-backed onto the landing, and Maria tugged him up the stairs to the next landing, where they flattened themselves against the back wall.

The door to the stairs opened again, with the beam of the flashlight marking the appearance of the security guard. Maria held her breath, waiting for him to back out again, but the man paused. Thinking fast, she dug a couple of quarters out of her pocket, and grabbed Rath's bicep, (instantly thinking how nice and solid it was) to bring his head down to hers.

"Hold out your hand," she whispered. She'd always had a knack of sensing him nearby without looking; she placed the change into his hand, then added, "Send it down a couple of levels, and make it clatter. When he moves, we do. Don't walk, creep. Go up, not down."

She felt him nod in the darkness of the stairwell; they'd taken the precaution of shorting out the circuit for the stairwell lights earlier in the day, knowing that even if someone reported it immediately, it would take days to be fixed.

Using his telekinetic abilities, Rath sent the change floating down, making sure that it didn't get caught by or glitter in the flashlight beam. Just as the guard started to aim his flashlight up the stairs, the money clattered loudly two flights below. The guard's flashlight bobbled, then headed down, as Maria and Rath headed up. They kept going until they hit the door leading to the roof; Rath took care of the lock, and they headed through into the dying light. At a nod from Maria, Rath manipulated the lock to make it look like it had been locked from the inside.

Maria leaned against the wall next to the door and sighed.

"So, we gonna hang out up here for a couple hours? 'Cause the cameras will be back on in about five. Or do we crawl down the side of the building like freakin' Spiderman?" Rath asked.

Maria let her gaze drift over the rooftop. "I'm thinking. Got any ideas?"

Rath shrugged and strolled over to the neon sign installed at the edge of the roof. Wrapping his hands around a bar of the frame, he leaned backwards and let the sign take his weight as he stared out at the sunset. Maria walked over to join him, seeing the rooftop of the neighboring building - an apartment block - was a story lower and about ten feet away. There was an old-fashioned iron frame clothesline stretched across it; someone had forgotten to bring in their laundry.

Maria stared at the clothesline, her brain ticking over.

"Did we bring that coil of rope?" Rath nodded, and rummaged through her backpack, pulling it out. "Do you remember that shitty Stallone movie Zan likes?"

Rath frowned and said, "All the movies Zan likes are shitty."

"The one with Teri Hatcher."

A lustful grin spread across Rath's face. "Oh yeah. That chick with the incredible tits."

Maria rolled her eyes and reprimanded, "The word is breasts, Rath."

"Fine, breasts, but they're still incredible."

Maria pushed away thoughts of wondering what Rath thought of her own breasts, and got back to business. "Remember how they escaped from prison? With the electric cables?"

Rath nodded slowly. "Yeah, the rope's strong enough - and so's this sign. But you'll burn up your hands."

"Not if you lend me your belt." She gave his lower half a long look and added, "Those jeans are tight enough to stay up on their own."

Rath gave her a wicked grin, tinged with… what? It couldn't be lust, could it? "So what do I use to keep my hands lily-smooth?"

Maria frowned in thought. "If I buckle your belt around the rope, could you pull it back up with your powers?" At Rath's nod of agreement, she hid her grin. Over the years, she'd found that the ET four were pretty suggestible where their powers were concerned, especially Rath. If she suggested he could do something, he did, even if he'd fail at or dismiss the idea from someone else.

*

Rath tied the rope around the framework of the sign above his head, using a knot that he could undo with a yank later. He cupped his hand around the knot, forming a small force field around it that made the rope glow dimly.

"Good thinking," Maria told him.

Rath grinned as he made the other end of the rope into a small noose. He always liked putting that impressed tone into Maria's voice. "Where should I plant the other end? The far end of the clothesline frame has that handle, I could hook it around that as well."

Maria nodded and took the rope. She twirled it in her hand like an old West cowboy a few times, then tossed it into the air space. Rath tracked it and snagged it with his powers, using the momentum to help send the rope across to it's destination. He saw it fall into place and tugged, tightening the noose. He turned to the end that was tied to the sign and adjusted the rope so that it went taut, like a tightrope. Turning to Maria, he waited until her gaze fell to his belt before he unfastened it, moving just a little bit more slowly than normal as he tugged it free of his jeans. He hid a grin of satisfaction as Maria's eyes lingered on his belt line - and his crotch - a few seconds longer than necessary.

He slung the belt over the rope, wrapping the ends around his hands. "I'll go first - if the rope won't take my weight, it won't take yours, either. And I've got a better chance of snagging that fire escape." He nodded to the fire escape that was a few stories below on the building, referring to the time a couple of years earlier when they'd discovered that the aliens' reaction speed and reflexes doubled under stress.

With a final grin to Maria, Rath stepped onto the shelf on the edge of the roof, and pushed off. He had a few seconds of exhilarating flight, before his feet hit the roof hard, jarring all the way up to his hips. He stumbled slightly, then unwrapped the belt and buckled it. He walked to the edge of the roof and pushed hard on the belt, once again using the momentum to aid his powers in sending it back to the office building and Maria.

She caught it at the edge of the roof and copied his actions, wrapping it around her hands. Rath wondered for a second if her arms were strong enough, then dismissed it. One of the things he loved about Maria was that she didn't allow her pride to disadvantage her - if she wasn't capable of handling this, she would have told him. He saw the grin on her face and knew that Maria was just as pumped up as he was, and smiled as he judged the odds of his Maria-in-bed plan coming off tonight. If she was as excited as he was by all this, the odds were excellent.

Rath moved into position to catch her, watching as Maria pushed off, her face glowing as she flew through the air. Oh, she was keyed up all right. She sailed right into his arms with a thump, and she laughed breathlessly, her arms naturally falling around his shoulders. As his belt fell to the ground, he shifted his body so that her legs fell either side of one of his. "Fun, huh?" he smirked at her.

"Lots of fun!" Maria exclaimed. She didn't seem to notice that the underlying sexuality of their position - or the hard on that was forming against her hip - as she continued, "Actually, the whole thing was such a rush! I had no idea that breaking the law was such a thrill. You?"

"Oh, I'm excited babe." Maria stilled, and Rath knew that she'd noticed. She licked those sex-kitten lips, and Rath had to hold back a moan. She slowly slid down his thigh, and murmured, "The rope?"

Rath had to shake off the haze of lust starting to envelope his brain, but her words filtered through. He wrapped his right hand around the rope, and used it as a conductor to reach the little shell of his powers around the other end. With a mental tug, the force field flowed through the rope into his hand, followed by the rope itself. Fully aroused now, Rath relished the tiny extra rush of feeling his powers flow back into his body, and reached for Maria. She came wordlessly - for a change - into his arms and licked her lips again, making him grab her hip with one hand and grind his pelvis into hers.

"Is that for me?" she asked breathlessly. "'Cause Lonnie'll be waiting for us back at the lair, probably."

"Screw Lonnie," Rath scowled. Then it dawned on him what she was really asking, and he gave her a genuine smile. "I did Lonnie first, 'cause it seemed like what we should do, y'know? Like the four square thing."

Maria's eyes fell to the tattoo on his bicep, and nodded. "You know that Lonnie isn't gonna give you up." She drew her lower lip between her teeth. "I've thought about it, and I can stand sharing you with her, as long as I know that when you're with me, you're all mine."

Rath bucked his hips against hers, and growled, "Every fuckin' inch, babe. I promise you that." Getting himself under control, he added, "'Sides, I figured you weren't ready yet."

Maria's eyes were large in the falling dusk, as she answered, "I'm not sure I'm ready now. But I want you so badly, I don't care."

At this, Rath felt an unusual tenderness sweep over him, and instead of devouring her mouth with his own, he kissed her softly and deeply instead, drawing her under. He started to lower them, then broke off to look at the rough roof-top. "Shit, we can't do anything here - you'll get that gorgeous ass of yours shredded." Maria's eyes fell over his shoulder and she pulled from his arms to move past him down the clothesline. She tugged a king-size quilt from the line, and tossed it into the ground. Rath grinned and used his powers to spread it evenly.

They kissed again, and Rath felt her little hands tugging at his jacket. "You first," Maria murmured, a little trepidation creeping into her voice. Rath felt his grin melt into a smile - she was the only one he smiled for, as opposed to grinning or smirking - and let her slide his jacket off. His tight T-shirt followed, and Maria returned his smile as she ran her hands over his torso. "I love your chest," she confided, and Rath felt like he could pull down the stars for her. A thought struck him, and he held his hand out flat at waist height, palm down, and concentrated. As Maria looked on, his boots unlaced themselves and Rath kicked them off, using his heels to pull off his socks.

Maria giggled and pointed at her sneakers. After Rath undid the laces for her, she followed his actions before reaching for his fly. Rath took a deep breath and held it, as she ever so slowly popped the buttons. His flesh sprang free as she slowly pushed down his jeans, and she giggled. "I understand if you wanted to get into the mission: impossible mood, but going commando?"

"Always do around you, babe."

Maria blushed and smiled as he unzipped her hooded sweatshirt and pushed it off her shoulders to join his clothes. Her tank top came too, and she stepped out of her calf-length bike pants and underwear onto the quilt. They'd both gone with all-black outfits, and as they sank down together to sprawl full length, their clothes blended with the asphalt in the fading light.

Rath was gentle as he explored her body - what he'd done with Lonnie wasn't right for Maria. With Lonnie, it was fantastic, but really just basic instinct. But Maria was his choice. He held himself back as he touched her, and was rewarded when she tugged him on top of her and wrapped her legs around his waist. She'd lost all the hairpins somewhere along the line, and her golden hair spread out around her head like a halo.

When she whimpered in something that wasn't all pleasure, he held still, every muscle quivering from the effort, until she ran her hands down his back and relaxed. The first few times with Lonnie, they'd both been clumsy, both fighting to set the pace until they worked out the right timing. With Maria there was no effort, their bodies flowed together in perfect rhythm, quickening until they surged together, and he swallowed her cries of gratification.

And when she swallowed his own a moment later, Rath could swear he saw the stars explode behind his eyelids.

The End

ANOTHER AUTHOR'S NOTE: On the Dupes being able to shapeshift (or change, as I call it); Tess told Max that Nacedo could shapeshift because he didn't have a human skeleton to limit him. Granted, the aliens in the original books couldn't become part of the walls either, but they *could * alter their appearance by way of molecular manipulation. Since the TV aliens' powers seem to be (mostly) based on molecular manipulation too, I can't see any reason why they couldn't shape-change into other *humans*. Remember, Michael changed his fingerprints in 'Destiny', and Lonnie and Rath changed their appearance to imitate Isabel and Michael.