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Reply to Aphracia

Added to the Roswell Slash Archive March 13, 2001

Author; Aphracia
Title/Part; Lightning (01/01)
Disclaimer; Isabel, Maria and anyone else mentioned in passing are not mine. They belong to Jason, Melissa and the WB.
This comes into the catagory of Blonde Attitudes, aka. it's a Maria&Isabel fic. Don't read if that idea offends you, you have been warned.
Archiving; If you want it, ask me, I always say yes.

       "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," Isabel Evans spoke the words with a desperation she rarely felt behind them as she backed away from the girl in front of her. She didn't know what had possessed her, or she did, but she didn't understand it.

       She'd kissed half of the popular guys at school, playing her part, never letting them in close, letting them kiss her when she felt like it, maintaining her "Ice Princess" look when they got angry and wanted more. Never let on how much it hurt to hear them call her names, even though she could handle it because she was "Queen" of Roswell High.

       She wasn't even attracted to girls. She never had been, not until this one became a prominent part of her life, until she found out their secret and still smiled at them. Bouncy, full of life, but so much more than she appeared. The closest thing to genuine attraction that Isabel had felt till now was with Alex, who made her feel alive and warm and loved.

       But this ... this transcended that, this felt like being hit by lightening. The connection between them had become too much for Isabel to ignore, even if she didn't seem to feel it. It was that connection that had been haunting her dreams at night, invading her waking moments. It was all she thought about, it hummed through her body constantly, pulling her towards what felt like her destiny.

       She smothered a bitter internal laugh, she'd dealt with enough "destiny" to last her several lifetimes. But this ... this was everything. She felt like she needed the girl in front of her to survive, to feel alive, to feel like life was worth living. And she could have kept her as a friend, but this ... letting herself get carried away, holding her and kissing her ... she'd ruined everything in a second of carelessness.

       "I'm so sorry," she whispered as her dark brown eyes filled with tears. Turning she ran blindly, not knowing where she was going, not caring. Just knowing she'd ruined the best thing in her life.

       Maria DeLuca watched her go, lifting a hand to touch her lips, feeling the imprint of Isabel's against her own. She'd been shocked when Isabel caught her arm, pulled her in and kissed her, but only because she'd not been expecting it. She'd always had a sort of crush on Isabel, and lately she felt like there was something between them she couldn't explain, something real and warm, something promising.

       "You don't have to run," she whispered back to the slim figure disappearing into the distance. "You never have to run from me."

* * *

       It had taken Maria a good two hours to track Isabel down. She'd tried Liz's, CrashDown, Isabel's house - she'd had to listen to a half hour of Max-and-Liz drama to get out of there, trying Michael's - "No, I am *not* stalking you, Michael" - she'd finally given up and headed to one of her favourite places to think.

       The quiet part of the park that few people bothered to use because it was so hard to get to. When the darkness fell and the stars came out, it was one of the most beautiful places in the world in Maria's opinion. Apparently, she wasn't the only one who thought so. She pulled herself up onto the stone at the top and nearly crashed into someone.

       "Sorry," she muttered without looking up, "I didn't know anyone else was ... Isabel?" Maria had finally looked up to see who she'd crashed into and come face to face with the girl she'd been looking for. She was shocked to see Isabel's beautiful face swollen with tears, her makeup ruined. She was even dressed in an old grey sweatshirt and black jeans. Okay they were the tight-fitting kind of black jeans that Maria could definitely appreciate, but this was not Isabel's usual appearance.

       Right now Isabel had that deer-caught-in-headlights look and she was trying to flee. Stumbling as she tried to get past Maria she fell. Maria dove for Isabel to break her fall and they both wound up on the ground, Isabel cradled in Maria's arms. She was shaking and Maria instinctively pulled her in closer, placing a soft kiss on her forehead.

       "Isabel ..."

       "I'm sorry about before," Isabel choked out. "I didn't mean for that to happen."

       "Stop apologising," Maria said firmly, taking charge. She had a feeling that if she didn't fix this right now, she wasn't going to get another chance. Isabel's defenses were down, and Maria knew instinctively that right now she could break Isabel with a word. She also knew she never would. "Isabel, you don't have to apologise for before, okay?" she said softly as she stroked strands of long blonde hair away from the alien girl's face.

       "Aren't you angry with me?" Isabel asked quietly, feeling her skin tingle where Maria's fingers traced the features of her face. Her body shivered involuntarily from the touch, and she cursed herself for the day she'd figured this out.

       "Why would I be angry at you?" Maria asked, keeping her tone as soft as the light touches she was applying to Isabel's skin. Taking a mental deep breath she added, "You did what I've been wanting to do for months - how could I be angry?"

       Isabel's dark brown eyes snapped up to meet hers and Maria could see the insecurity and fear in them, insecurity that Maria could like her for her, fear that she was playing a game with her. "You mean that?" she asked, and her tone was serious, desperate, pleading and hopeful all at once. Maria was caught in her gaze, overwhelmed with the urge to kiss her insecurities away.

       "I mean it with my whole heart," she replied equally seriously, her shimmering green eyes holding Isabel's. Something like joy shot through Isabel's eyes and she tilted her head up as Maria leaned down to cover her lips with her own.

       The lightening was back, striking them both with an intensity that left them tingling, the world narrowed and it felt like it was just them, only them, always them. Something seemed to be wrapping around them, pulling them together, trying to break down the walls around their minds, blending them seamlessly into one. They could see each others memories, feel each other's feelings.

       A young Isabel, discovering her powers with Max and Michael by accident. Watching the glass around them shatter. Turning to Max, fear in her dark eyes. "How did we do that?"

       A young Maria, hitting a young boy who was picking on Alex. Liz in the background, warning her it wasn't good to hit people. Silently giggling at the fact that Maria could beat up on him. Turning to Alex, Liz behind her now. Both of them smiling. Maria's voice. "Let's be friends forever."

       An older Isabel, coming home from a date she didn't really want to be on. Shrugging out of her jacket, collapsing on her bed, wondering if she would always feel lonely. Wondering if popularity really meant anything.

       Maria and Liz, making mistakes as they started waitressing at the Crashdown. Colliding with each other, spilling sodas all over the floor and just laughing, because they knew it would be okay.

       Isabel's tongue flicked lightly, tentatively against Maria's lips. Maria opened her mouth, her own tongue meeting Isabel's, stroking gently as they explored what was happening between them, as they explored each other.

       Isabel looking across the quad at lunch, looking over at Maria and Liz, wishing she had a warm real friendship like theirs instead of just her ditzy shallow friends. Watching Maria, wishing the fiery blonde was her friend instead of Liz's.

       Maria, watching Isabel, remarking to Alex and Liz that there must be more to Isabel that they knew. Ignoring their responses and laughter, knowing that there was something in Isabel that made Maria want to go over and hug her and tell her everything was okay.

       Whatever was growing between them was warm, passionate and real. A connection forged from the deepest places of their hearts and souls. A place neither of them had opened to anyone else till now. Maria's hand rested on the warm skin of Isabel's back, under her sweatshirt, sending shivers down the older girls spine.

       Isabel, getting annoyed that Maria knew their secret, silently panicking that it would put her in danger. Wanting to grab her and hide her from their world. Unable to express this to anyone. Watching as Michael and Maria's relationship grew before her eyes, sharp shocks of jealousy running through her each time Michael touched her.

       Maria, wishing she could take away part of that lonely look that always seemed to linger just beneath the surface of Isabel's gaze. Watching as Alex and Isabel danced one step forward and two steps back. Secretly glad, and hating herself for that because she wanted Alex to be happy and she knew he worshipped Isabel.

       Both of them wishing for someone to understand them completely. To know their deepest fears, deepest secrets, fiercest ambitions; and support them all the way, love them even when they made mistakes, even when everything around them spun in chaos ...

       Finally they pulled apart just enough to breathe and the flashes faded, suddenly aware of their extremely close proximity. They were still lying together on the ground, but now they were interwined so closely it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. Isabel buried her head into Maria's shoulder, feeling Maria's arms holding her close, keeping her grounded as she fought to recenter herself in a world that had just changed dramatically.

       "Um, wow ..." Maria tried to center herself, aware that this was not the most intelligent thing she'd ever said. But it didn't matter, Isabel didn't think she was capable of speech right now. "I'm not the only one that felt and/or saw that, right?" she frowned, looking momentarily insecure.

       Isabel shook her head, not trusting her voice. Finally she managed to add, "I saw it too. I wish we hadn't taken so long to ..."

       "I know, Is," Maria echoed, stroking blonde strands away from Isabel's face. She would have moved them into a more comfortable position, but her entire body felt jellified and she couldn't move. If that was what one kiss from Isabel did to her, goddess only knew what ... Maria cut that thought off in a hurry. Thinking about what else she wanted to do with Isabel wasn't a good idea whilst her body was still throbbing from the kiss.

       "What are we going to do, Maria?" Isabel asked her quietly, lifting her head from Maria's shoulder so that their eyes met. Isabel's eyes sparkled with the love and contentment she felt right now, Maria's seeming to glow with an inner light.

        Shaking her head, Maria replied, "I don't know. I don't want to lose this, whatever we do."

       "I don't, either," Isabel returned wholeheartedly. Glad to hear Maria say it. She wasn't really in doubt about Maria's feelings for her, but hearing Maria say she wanted to keep whatever was between them chased away any lingering thoughts and feelings of doubt.

       "Whatever it is, Isabel, it'll wait till later," Maria tickled Isabel playfully, having the advantage in their current position. Isabel squirmed and giggled, trying to bat Maria's fingers away, catching her hand in her own and intertwining their fingers. "I can think of better things to do right now, hmm?" Maria arched an eyebrow at Isabel, a mischievous grin pulling at the corners of her mouth.

       Focusing on Maria's lips was Isabel's downfall. Immediately she leant in to kiss her, nipping lightly at Maria's lower lip. Maria moaned softly and kissed her back, pressing her tongue gently against Isabel's lips until she opened her mouth to let her in.

       Whatever decisions they would have to make could wait. Somehow, they knew it would work out, that it would be okay for them. That as hurt as their significant others would be at first, they would eventually understand and move on. Lying intertwined beneath the stars, both of them understood this was a new beginning.

       And both of them were looking forward to finding out where it led.

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