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Chalkboard Destiny 3: Ending at the Beginning

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Added to the Roswell Slash Archive September 9, 2002

Title : Ending at the Beginning
Author : Mel
Summary : Exiles. Birthday parties. Relationships mended. And a whole new can of worms. Sequel to 'A Familiar Deception'. Isabel/Liz.
Disclaimer : I own nothing, but too many Witches' Brew candles and a cat that acts like a monkey. Roswell belongs to Melinda Metz, and anybody else associated with the books, the show, the WB and UPN...whatever, I'm just borrowing Isabel and Liz and getting them to be truthful about their feelings. The probability of me giving them back is slim . I OWN NOTHING. I make no money at all right now.
Rating : NC-17 sort of. Sex scene #2 complete (this one's for you, woman). *blushing uncontrollably*
Feedback : Feed the fire. fivebyfive13@prodigy.net



       A silence fell over the hospital room as Liz's admission was trying to sink itself in. Tess had tried to kill her and if it hadn't been for Max she would have succeeded. Liz felt Isabel's hand go limp in her own and turned her eyes to look at her girlfriend, to try and see what she was feeling. She saw Isabel's jaw clench and release and repeat, her chocolate brown eyes grow darker each second.

       "Are you sure?" Max asked pushing off of the wall he was leaning against.

       Liz levelled her eyes at him, holding on to Isabel's hand tightly. His face was clouded over with something more than shock. Looking at Max, Liz could have just as well been looking at Isabel. His eyes were cold and set, hands flexing at his sides. Max was obviously still in love with Liz and she was stuck right in the middle of two very powerful, very emotional siblings.

       "I wish I could have forgotten her face, Max," Liz answered. "She was just smiling," Liz continued, feeling Isabel's energy start to surge through their interlocked hands. "She was about to kill me and I had never seen her so happy."

       "I'll call my Dad," Kyle said as he quickly pushed his chair aside and bolted through the door and out into the hallway.

       Michael looked to Max and then to Isabel. She was turning red, her eyes starting to water slightly. But they weren't tears forming. Isabel was pissed, her power vibrating in the air. Liz was looking at her, tugging on her hand to get to snap out of whatever daze she was in.

       "Isabel?" Liz whispered.

       "I'm going to fucking kill her," Isabel said firmly, raising up too fast, dropping Liz's hand onto the white hospital bed sheet.

       She flew across the room with wide, fast strides not looking at anyone. Michael stood up and looked at Max, who was already halfway out the door after his sister. Maria went to Liz's side where her friend had a hand resting against her forehead, wincing in pain.

       Isabel flew out the double doors and onto the cold ground of the parking lot. It wasn't quite dark yet, but that didn't stop Isabel from feeling like a dark cloud had taken hold of her insides, twisting and turning them until Isabel felt like something was ripping the soul from her. She breathed in the cool air, thankful to smell something other than hospital disinfectant and green jello. Halfway across the parking lot, keys in hand, she was for anything...except Max's hand on her arm stopping her.

       "Isabel, no," he said firmly, pulling her until she turned around to face him. Isabel burned her eyes into Max's and he was momentarily frightened when he didn't recognize her at all. There was so much rage in his sister, so much he had never seen before.

       "Back off, Max," she replied, grabbing his hand and throwing it off of her.

       "What are you going to do, Isabel?"

       "I'm going to find your girlfriend and make her scream until her lungs bleed," Isabel answered, her gaze never wavering. "Then I'm going to burn the life out of her until she wishes she had never come to Roswell and that she had never ever tried to touch something I love," she finished, her voice cold and calm.

       "What's that going to solve, Isabel? Really?" Max asked, struggling to keep his eyes fixed on Isabel's, knowing that he hadn't done so in months.

       "For fuck's sake, Max. Tess tried to kill Liz. Do you not understand that?" Isabel said, rasing her voice.

       "And you're just going to kill her?" he asked, stepping closer. "You're not a murderer, Isabel," he added softly.

       "And what if she tries again, huh? What if next time it's someone else? What if it's one of us, Max?" Isabel shouted at him. "What then?"

       "Then we'll deal with that when it happens," he said, trying to calm Isabel down. "Maybe it's better for everyone around us if we're not here."

       "We're not going to have this conversation again, Max," Isabel said firmly. She could feel herself getting more angry with every passing second. She wanted to make things right with Max, but couldn't even fathom the thought of leaving Roswell...especially now.

       "You are not going over there to do something stupid, Isabel. I won't let you," Max countered, starting to hold his ground.

       "You won't let me?" Isabel questioned him sarcastically, stepping closer to his face.

       "You're always going to be my sister, Isabel and I'm always going to care about you probably more than anyone else in this world," Max stepping closer to her until there was barely a breath between them.

       "Then let me do this, Max," Isabel said , her eyes growing softer. "I need to do this."

       "I'm going with you then," he replied. "I won't let you do something you'll regret."

       "Max, I'm just going to go talk to her," Isabel said, stepping down and back acting like she was cooling down. She was doing a good job. "I'm not going to hurt her, but I need to do this by myself," she pleaded, seeing Max begin to relax.

       "I don't know, Is," he answered, running a hand through his hair.

       "Listen, go back inside and get Michael. Give me a half hour and then you can come after me if you want," Isabel tried to persuade him. "Go make sure Liz is okay," she added, knowing exactly how to get him to give in.

       "Half hour," he said nodding. Isabel faked a smile as Max turned and went back into the hospital.

       As soon as he was gone, Isabel slid into her cream colored Corolla and didn't take her foot off of the gas until she was parked outside Valenti's house. Tess' car was still in the driveway. Isabel knew why she was still there...she was waiting for her.

*********************************

       Tess was zipping up the last of her bags, when she heard the side door open and close feverishly. She shuffled the bag onto the floor next to the others and fished around the closet one last time to recover her jacket. There was a presence at the bedroom door as she was shifting the jacket on and releasing her hair from under it's collar.

       "What took you so long?" Tess asked without turning around. "I'm sure your little bitch couldn't wait to tell you what a ride I gave her," she added, turning around with a sparkle in her crystal blue eyes.

       Isabel advanced on her so fast, Tess didn't even have time to react. Isabel had her by the neck with one hand and seconds later Tess' back was flat up against the wall. She uttered a muffled choke as Isabel brought her face just inches away from the one she had seen writhing above her just months ago.

       "Give me one reason why I should let you walk out of here alive," Isabel challenged the blonde girl.

       "You need me alive, Isabel," Tess answered hoarsely.

       "What for?" Isabel asked raising her eyebrows. "You're nothing but Max's whore now. He's good-looking. He'll find someone else."

       "As much as you don't want to admit or believe it, one day we're going to have to go home," Tess said, struggling momentarily to get air. "We have unfinished business on our planet, Is. Your brother is the King and I'm a big part of his life back there."

       "So what?" Isabel asked tightening her grip. Tess exerted a strangled scream.

       "So I know how to get home and I know more than any of you what our lives were like..what was going on that made us flee," Tess answered reaching out her hands and starting to bring them closer to Isabel's body.

       "I promised Max I wouldn't hurt you," Isabel breathed just above a whisper, leaning in directly into Tess' ear.

       "Can't do anymore damage than what's already been done," Tess whispered back, her hands almost touching Isabel sweatshirt.

       "Oh, I wouldn't bet on that," Isabel answered, feeling the power surging through her veins and into her hands.

       Seconds later Tess' hand connected with her chest just below the shoulders. The power hit her like a sledgehammer sending her backwards and ripping her hand from around Tess' throat. Isabel's back connected with the wall on the opposite side of the room and she slid to the floor with a thud. Tess' hand came to her throat and rubbed the sensitive skin where Isabel had just had a hold of her. Isabel struggled and finally was able to raise up to her feet.

       "Sorry, baby. Didn't want to hurt you," Tess said adjusting her collar.

       "I'm going to make you pay for what you did to Liz," Isabel answered, fire igniting in her eyes.

       "You're going to die trying," Tess countered. "You've seen what I can do."

       "Why'd you do it, Tess?" Isabel answered, catching her off guard. "Was it because I loved her or because Max loved her? Or was it just that she had everything you've ever wanted and will never really have?"

       "I did it because I'm sick of hanging around here when our destiny is to be somewhere else," Tess replied, eyes growing cold. "She's just a human, Isabel. We are so much more than that. And all she's done since she came into your lives is stand in the way of who you really are and what you were born to do."

       "No," Isabel said, stepping forward. "She's made us stronger. She made me realize that my life isn't planned out for me...that I can do whatever the hell I want to. You don't own me Tess. Our planet doesn't own me. And destiny doesn't own me."

       "Believe what you want, Is. But one day you're not going to have the choice to ignore who you are and who you've been," Tess answered, staring into Isabel's cold dark eyes.

       "Get the fuck out of here and don't ever come back," Isabel said stepping back and out of Tess' way. "If I ever see you near Liz or any of us again, I will break my promise to Max and you'll be going home in pieces."

       "Fair enough," Tess replied, with a smile that reached her eyes.

       She grabbed her bags and Isabel followed her out making sure she loaded everything into the 4 Runner. Isabel stood in front of Valenti's house and watched as Tess began to pull away. She stopped suddenly and the window rolled down.

       "Be seeing you, Isabel," Tess said smoothly, looking over the top of her dark glasses. "This is far from over," she added, smiling and then quickly disappeared down the street.

       Isabel was sitting on the curb in the front of the house when Max and Michael pulled up in his jeep. The two boys jumped out immediately and Isabel noticed them standing over her as their shadows crept into her line of vision.

       "What happened?" Max asked. Isabel stood up, accepting a hand from Michael. The hot Roswell sun beat down on them forcing Isabel to pull her sweatshirt over her head.

       "Tess is gone," Isabel answered looking at Michael and then at Max. "Let's get out of here."

*********************************

       "Liz asked for you," Max said entering Isabel's room later that night. She had gone directly home and crawled into bed after her confrontation with Tess. She was emotionally and physically drained. Max had gone back to the hospital to drop Michael off with Maria and to check in on Liz.

       "They're letting her go home tomorrow afternoon," he added, "since she's all healed except for the bruises." Isabel answered by nodding and rolling away from him. She just didn't know what else to say. She felt her bed give way as Max sat down, the only light on them coming through the window.

       "Isabel," he said softly. She turned back to him and forced herself to sit up, her face drawn and tired. Sleep still hazing her eyes.

       "I don't know what to say to you, Max," she said quietly, not looking at him in the eyes. "I'm sorry for hurting you, but I'm not sorry for being with her."

       "I forgive you, Isabel," he said softly, hooking a finger under her chin and forcing her to look at him. "I'm not saying this is easy, but you're my family...you and Michael. You're the only people I can trust and that's more important than anything else."

       "I didn't set out for this to happen, Max," Isabel said feeling her resolve give way to sleepy tears. "I'm so sorry," she added falling forward into her brother's arms.

       "I know," he whispered against her hair.

       "I almost lost her, Max," she said between sobs. "I can't believe I let her down like that."

       "It wasn't your fault, Is," Max replied, pulling back to look Isabel in the eyes. "No one blames you. Liz certainly doesn't. The way she looks at you, Isabel..."

       "Why are you saying all this, Max?"

       "I want her to be happy. I wish I knew that look myself, Is," Max answered. "But she's been saving it all this time for you. And with what's going on right now we all need each other more than ever before."

       "Thank you, Max," Isabel said gently. She leaned forward and kissed his cheek.

       "I think you should be there tomorrow when they release her. Michael and I are going back to school," he said getting up.

       "It's nice to have my brother back," Isabel said as Max was closing the door. "I love you, Max."

       He merely nodded and shut her door quietly. Isabel lay back down and rolled over falling fast asleep. That night she dreamt of a place that was cool and bright and that only existed for her and Liz.

*********************************

       "Hey there, good lookin'," Alex said, entering Liz's hospital room. She was packing up the last of her stuff which really was nothing more than the destroyed clothes she was wearing during the accident.

       "Hey Alex," Liz answered, leaning over to kiss his cheek. "It seems so stupid to even keep these," she said returning her packing. "But I can't get rid of them, like they're part of a story now. It's not an experience I ever want to relive, but it's something I've gone through...something I've survived. Makes me remember how close I was to losing everything and that one person that just wouldn't give up on me," she finished looking at him through sleepy eyes.

       "I know exactly what you mean," Alex replied. "I still have the shirt I was wearing in seventh grade when Greg Johnson broke my nose for flirting with his girlfriend. She kissed me that day," he said remembrance in his eyes.

       "Alex, about me and Isabel..."

       "Say no more," he interrupted, with a waving dismissal of his hand. "You make her happy. She makes you happy. You both make me want to vomit, you're so damn adorable," he added in a highly sarcastic tone with a smile. Liz hugged him tight.

       "Thank you," she whispered. "And thank you for giving me a ride home," she added pulling away, "my Dad has his hands full with the restaurant and for some reason my Mother decided to stay in Seattle after she found out I was okay. I think there's something going on there that probably has a lot to do with their only daughter's nocturnal habits."

       "Ah, speaking of nocturnal habits," Alex interjected loudly and catching Liz off guard. "Sorry," he quickly added. "It's Maria's birthday next week and Michael asked me if I would help him do the whole surprise thing. And I was thinking no better place than the Crashdown."

       "That's a great idea," Liz agreed. "I almost forgot with all that's going on. It'll be nice to be able to have some fun and relax for a change."

       "Is next Friday cool?"

       "Yeah, I'll just talk to my Dad and I'm sure it'll be no problem."

       "Sweet," Alex replied with a wide smile. "Michael and I will figure everything else out."

       "You sure you don't need any help?" Liz offered.

       "Nah," Alex answered, putting an arm around her shoulders. "You just concentrate on getting better. Michael is actually wicked gung-ho about it all."

       "That's sweet," Liz said, leaning into Alex for a minute.

       "Hey, quit trying to cop a feel on my girlfriend," Isabel said entering the room and causing the other two to turn in her direction.

       "Isabel," Liz said softly, surprised to see her. Isabel smiled nervously at her.

       "That's my cue," Alex said, kissing Liz on the forehead and making his way out of the room.

       "Thanks, Alex," Isabel said touching his arm briefly.

       "Anytime," he answered, looking back at Liz and smiling before he was out the door and on his way down the corridor.

       Liz began picking up her bags, but Isabel stopped her. Liz felt the heat of her body so close and the strength of Isabel's grip on her wrist. She wanted to throw herself into Isabel's arms and stay there forever, but it was like they were just beginning again. And she was hesitant.

       "Let me get those," Isabel said with a smile, picking up the two bags Liz was struggling to get hold of.

       "Thanks," Liz said adjusting her jacket.

       "Ready?" Isabel asked, still avoiding looking directly at the shorter girl. Liz nodded in response and the two girls were off.

       

       Isabel carried Liz's bags up the stairs to her room above the Crashdown. The car ride had been a bit awkward and mostly silent. But now in the familiar comfort of her room, Liz was ready to talk. She closed and locked the door behind her and slipped out of her jacket, leaving her in just a tank top. Isabel dropped the bags near the bathroom door and turned to Liz, all but freezing as she saw the exposed skin in front of her. She looked up into Liz's eyes seeing confusion and worry there, the rest of her face almost completely healed. But the uncertainty in her eyes was enough to knock the wind out of Isabel.

       "I'm sorry about yesterday," Isabel said, finally catching her breath.

       "Don't apologize," Liz replied shaking her head, hands tight in the pockets of her black jeans.

       "Tess is gone," Isabel said taking a step forward.

       "I know. Max told me," Liz answered, advancing also.

       "I won't ever let anyone hurt you like that again, Liz. I promise," Isabel said firmly, her eyes growing darker with every step forward.

       "It's not your fault, Isabel," Liz said, reaching up to place her hands on either side of Isabel's face. Her skin was soft and warm and woke up something inside of Liz that was a force she couldn't ignore.

       "I almost lost you," Isabel said blinking back tears, hands finding their way to rest on Liz's hips.

       "No you didn't," Liz said shaking her head slightly. "You were with me the whole time, Is. I knew you wouldn't let me go," she added raising up to place a soft kiss on Isabel's lips. The kiss quickly turned heated and both girls pulled away only when oxygen became an issue.

       "I need to feel your skin on mine," Liz said, her voice heavy and she looked into Isabel eyes that were as dark as her own with desire. "Now," she added in voice just above a whisper.

       Isabel swallowed hard as she felt Liz's hands slide down over her breasts and pull at the hem of her shirt. Once it was freed from the confines of her pants, Liz slipped her hands under Isabel's shirt and was met with the warmth of soft skin under her fingertips. Isabel inhaled sharply and pulled Liz to her, lips searching to connect with their counterpart. Liz gave in willingly, her lips pressed hard against Isabel's. The kiss deepened feverishly, two people desperate to feel that they were really there...that the world existed only for them.

       Liz pulled away just enough to raise Isabel shirt over her head and into a pile on top of her bags. She kissed the newly exposed skin near Isabel's collarbone and trailed her way down Isabel's torso. Liz stopped to slide her tongue in between Isabel's breasts, still encased in silky cream colored bra, and drag her teeth along the material. She felt Isabel's breath catch and release in a soft gasp. Seconds later, Liz found herself on her knees, Isabel's hands tangled in her dark hair. She let her hands glide down on either side of Isabel's hips and leaned forward to kiss the soft skin of her stomach right above the button of her pants. Glancing up, Liz noticed Isabel's eyes were closed and proceeded to back away slightly, giving her enough room to unbutton and unzip her girlfriend's pants. Sliding her hands inside the rough material, Liz managed to tear the pants of Isabel in a matter of seconds.

       Standing in front of her in nothing but her underwear, Liz thought to herself that she had never seen a sight so insanely beautiful and sexy at the same time. Liz raised up to her feet and attacked Isabel's mouth with her own, tongues fighting for dominance as Liz slowly guided them to the bed and pushed Isabel onto the it with a soft thud. She wasted no time climbing on top of her and leaning down to assault her lips once again, feeling Isabel's hands creep up the outside of her tank top to gently rest on her breasts. Liz braced herself with each hand on either side of Isabel's body before straddling the taller girls' waist. Isabel looked up at her through lidded eyes, her breathing ragged as Liz sat back and in one movement had removed her tank top and thrown in next to the bed somewhere.

       Isabel smirked slightly noticing that Liz wasn't wearing a bra and tried to raise up but was shoved back down to the mattress by Liz's forceful hands. Liz felt the Roswell sun hot on her naked back as she managed to slide out of her jeans with minimal movement. She slid back down on top of Isabel, nothing but the thin fabric of their underwear between them. And soon even that was gone.

       Liz maintained control of the situation, needing to connect with Isabel in the most basic, emotional way...needing to prove to both of them that they had a bond that would remain through everything and even death if it should prove to be too hard to avoid. It didn't take much for the hand Liz had placed between Isabel's legs to drive her over the edge. She was tired and spent and in her moment of release, Isabel crushed her lips against Liz's and dug her fingers into the smaller girl's back. Moments later, Isabel collapsed against Liz's body, tears pushing past her eyes in a steady stream. Liz held her tight against her equally naked body and kissed the top of her head.

       "I will never leave you, Isabel," she whispered, her dark hair falling around both of them in a seemingly protective manner. "Never," she added softly feeling Isabel's body calm and her breathing slip into a steady rhythm.

       

       A few hours later, Isabel woke up in Liz's bed by herself. It didn't take long for her to notice Liz sitting by the open window, writing feverishly at something on her desk...still naked. Her dark hair glided over her shoulders and down the back of her wooden chair giving Isabel just enough of a view to see the outline of Liz's nicely curved ass. Isabel smiled to herself as she rolled into a sitting position.

       "What are you doing?" she asked sleepily, running a hand through her hair.

       "Homework," Liz answered, turning slightly in her chair and glancing at Isabel whose eyes were fixed on the small curve of Liz's newly exposed breast. "Ah, Is, I knew you fell in love with me for my big brain," Liz teased, "which is about a foot above where you seem to be fixated on."

       "Sorry, what?" Isabel said shaking her head.

       "Nothing," Liz answered, laughing and turning back to her homework.

       "Come back to bed," Isabel insisted.

       "Then I'll never get this done," Liz answered, not turning around. "And as much as I wish they would, the facilitators of Roswell High do not give extensions for alien tragedies."

       "I bet they'd give an extension to my foot up their ass."

       "That's so sweet," Liz said sarcastically, glancing back at her girlfriend.

       "At least put some clothes on," Isabel pleaded, reaching for her shirt and pants and starting to get dressed. "I can't have a legitimate conversation with all that skin begging me to explore it."

       "Nope, I'm gonna stay like this all day," Liz teased. "It's quite nice out, actually," she added, turning fully towards Isabel. Upon seeing the full view of her girlfriend's nude body, Isabel missed stepping into her shoe and almost fell over. Liz giggled and bit seductively on the end of her pen cap.

       "The things you do to me, Liz Parker," Isabel said with mock sternness. "I better get out of here before I can no longer keep my hands to myself," she continued as she made her way to the window next to Liz's desk.

       "Sure you won't stay?" Liz asked, smiling. Isabel merely bent down and kissed her sweetly and thoroughly before slipping one leg out the window. A knock on the door startled them both.

       "Liz, honey, are you awake?" Mr. Parker's voice called through the locked door.

       "Uh, just a second Dad," Liz answered, terror making its way to her eyes. Isabel started laughing quietly as Liz frantically got up and searched for her clothes. "Where are my pants," she accused Isabel in a hushed voice.

       "And I thought you were going to stay like that all day," Isabel teased, shrugging. That got her a less than amused look from her girlfriend. Isabel whispered an 'I love you' and retreated past the balcony and to her car, leaving Liz to search the floor for her missing clothing items.

*********************************

       "We need to stop by the Crashdown," Michael said slipping into the passenger seat of his girlfriend's red Jetta.

       He adjusted his blue gas station jacket with the name "Rick" labeled on the left chest area. Other than that, he was dressed better than Maria had ever seen him before. Black dress pants and boots and a silver button down shirt were enough to make him look like a respectable product of society...almost. The chain wallet hanging down from his right side all but ruined that appearance. The way he played with his semi-long brown hair as it fell slightly into his eyes made him look almost boyish and made it hard for Maria to be as pissed as she was feeling. Still, the bitch one out.

       "It's my birthday, Michael," Maria said loudly. "You're supposed to be taking me for a nice romantic dinner."

       "Which I will do as soon as you take me to the Crashdown so I can get my wallet out of my locker where I left it," he countered, voice just as loud.

       "You know the last place I want to be on my birthday is work," Maria sighed, but turned the car in the direction of the restaurant regardless. A few seconds later they pulled up around the back entrance of the Crashdown. Michael waited for Maria to kill the engine, but she didn't.

       "Hurry up, Michael. You're wearing my patience," Maria said.

       "Aren't you going to come in?" he asked nervously.

       "Why? So Liz can try and rope me into working? No thanks."

       "I really think you should come in, Maria," Michael began to plead, knowing that there were about thirty people waiting in there to yell 'surprise'. "C'mon, I'll only be a minute," he said grabbing the keys out of the ignition and exiting the car. He opened the back door and paused, waiting for Maria to catch up with him.

       "This restaurant you're taking me to better be friggin' amazing," she said angrily as Michael held the door open and she slid past him.

       "You're telling me," he said under his breath, rolling his eyes. They stepped into pitch blackness and Michael bumped into the girl in front of him.

       "What the hell is going on in here?" Maria asked dumbfounded.

       "I don't know," Michael answered. "Maybe you should go check," he said pushing her towards the swinging doors and into the main part of the restaurant.

       Maria heard whispers, some distant some closer than others. It was too dark to notice Michael at her back, flipping on the lights. Before she knew what was happening, an uncomprehendable amount of bodies and voices were attacking her with 'surprise'. Maria stumbled backward into her boyfriend who was grinning widely and was assaulted as Liz and Kyle began throwing confetti into her long, wavy hair. The lights were bright and she couldn't help but smile as she realized why Michael had brought her here. And then she started to feel like an asshole for being such a raging bitch on the way over. She turned and buried her head in his shoulder, holding him tight.

       "Thank you," she whispered close to Michael's ear.

       "I love you," he whispered back, giving her a quick squeeze and kiss. The second she turned away from him, she found Liz's arms crushing around her.

       "Were you surprised?" Liz asked pulling back to look at Maria's shocked expression.

       "Totally."

       "It was all Michael's idea," Kyle said, hugging Maria as well. Maria looked at Michael who was doing his best impression of the rebel kid who didn't give a shit, but was failing miserably. You could tell just by looking at him that he was happy everything went how it was supposed to. Maria nudged him and felt his hand curl around her waist.

       "Happy birthday, Maria," Isabel added, coming up behind Liz with Max at her side. She leaned forward and kissed Maria on the cheek before moving back next to Liz. Max did the same, but instead went next to Michael and shook his hand.

       "Great party," he added, patting his best friend on the back. Michael answered him with a smile and motioned for them all to step further into the room.

       "Where's Alex?" Maria asked Liz, looking around the restaurant and not seeing him.

       "Funny you should ask that," Liz answered, releasing Isabel's hand long enough to point to a corner booth where Alex and his band were set up...cramped, but set up.

       "Live music for my lady," Michael whispered in Maria's ear, causing her to smile.

       "There's the birthday girl," Alex said into the microphone, causing all eyes to focus on him. He kept his gaze titled at Maria. "I wrote this song for you, Maria DeLuca, you sexy thing," he yelled, causing everyone in the Crashdown to yell and cheer and clap. Maria and the gang just laughed as Alex and the band started into a pop-punk, alternarock delight that was actually kind of sweet...only that Alex really couldn't sing all that well.

       Michael smiled and let out a breath thanking anyone that would listen that this party had gone off without a hitch. Maria ran up to Alex and gave him a kiss and the night was underway.

*********************************

       A while later, after Maria had opened all of her presents and the guitar-shaped cake was served, Alex's band slipped into a series of songs that were mellow enough to sappy slow dance to. Respective couples took their places on the floor. Max and Kyle were left leaning against the counter sipping on their cokes.

       "Doesn't seem fair, does it?" Kyle asked, breaking the silence between them.

       "What?" Max asked.

       "Your sister snagging our girl," Kyle replied, motioning to Isabel and Liz who were moving to the music pressed against each other, smiling and kissing now and then.

       "You should know by now that nothing really makes sense," Max answered, taking one last swig of his drink.

       "Don't I know it," Kyle remarked sighing. "We're fucking pathetic," he added with a laugh.

       "Yeah, we really are," Max agreed, laughing himself.

       "Considering you haven't taken your eyes off Liz since she got here, why don't you go ask her to dance?" Kyle suggested. "I'm sure Isabel won't mind."

       "What are you talking about?"

       "Go.Cut.In," Kyle spelled it out for him. "And don't try and tell me you haven't been staring at Liz all night," he offered, raising a hand in protest. "I know what it's like, Max. Besides, once you take Liz off her hands, I get your sister all to myself," he added with a suggestive raise of his eyebrows.

       "If Isabel hurts me, I'm kicking your ass," Max smiled at Kyle before making his way onto the dance floor.

       "I might like it," Kyle called after him with a laugh.

        Isabel was laughing at something Liz said when Max finally approached them. Max placed a hand on Isabel's shoulder and she turned to look at him, still smiling widely.

       "Can I cut in?" he asked hopefully.

       "Be my guest," Isabel answered, kissing his cheek affectionately before placing Liz in his hands. She winked at her girlfriend before speaking again, "but keep your hands off her ass." Liz responded by sticking out her tongue and Max laughed. Things were starting to get better.

       Isabel was on her way out of the crowd when she spotted Kyle slouched against the countertop alone. She called his name until his eyes were on her and then curved her finger at him in a 'c'mere' motion. He looked around and then back to her causing her to smile and then rushed to meet her on the dance floor.

        Max nervously placed his hands on Liz's small hips and she rested her hands near his shoulders. Liz looked into his eyes and couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him. Max obviously cared for her so much it was constantly hurting him. They moved slowly, and uncertainly. Liz glanced at Isabel who was dancing with Kyle and looking to be having a pretty good time and decided this was the perfect opportunity to sort things out with Max.

       "I feel like I say this to you way too often," she began, his deep eyes gazing at her intently, "but thank you, Max."

       "For what?"

       "This time?" Liz responded causing them both to laugh. "For that," she said nodding to Isabel who was dancing and laughing and happier than she had been in the past few months. Max blushed and looked down. "Really, Max. You did that."

       "No, Liz. I think most of that is you," he replied truthfully, looking to Isabel and then back down to the girl in front of him. There was a sadness in his eyes that was bittersweet. Liz had stumbled into the best thing in the world, falling for Isabel, but at the cost of hurting someone else so completely.

       "Max, I am so sorry," Liz whispered and she meant it. She didn't want him to hurt anymore. She was surprised when he smiled down on her, a real smile...not forced.

       "Don't," he said softly. "I will get over it," he said firmly, like he was trying to convince himself, all the while continuing to smile.

       "Yes, you will," Liz agreed with a nod, smiling and laughing too. She leaned forward and rested her head on his shoulder as his arms closed around her in a tight, warm embrace.

       Liz almost wanted to cry, but when she caught Isabel gazing at her with a look that could only be intense and unabounded love she couldn't help but smile instead. The world was shifting somehow, sliding away from chaos and back into place.

       
"So," Isabel said playing with the collar of Kyle's shirt as they swayed to the music, "how's your Dad taking everything?"

       "Well, he was completely shocked at first," Kyle replied, exhaling slightly. "Then he went into the sad phase...Tess was like a daughter, blah, blah. And then he wanted to hunt her down and lock her up for nearly taking Liz out like that." They both laughed a little.

       "You know my Dad. He'll always be a cop first," he added, smiling.

       "So how are you taking it?" Isabel asked, turning slightly serious.

       "It's a little weird. We were kinda close in that brother/sister way," he answered, looking a little sad. "Don't get me wrong," he added quickly, lips turning into a smile, "I definitely would have poked her if she wanted me to. But apparently she's all about the girl love too which makes me wonder is there something in the water around here?"

       "Forget I even tried to have a serious conversation with you, Kyle," Isabel couldn't help but giggle a little.

       "Seriously, I'm fine," Kyle said, emphasizing it was the truth with his eyes. "There's never a dull moment with all this alien shit going on, but we've managed to survive so far."

       "Yeah we have," Isabel agreed. "Barely," she added looking over at Liz who was buried in her brother's arms. It was almost cute.

       "Yeah, so I was thinking that I deserve some huge ass reward for putting up with your crap," he said interrupting her far off look and obviously trying to get her to smile. She decided to play along.

       "Oh yeah?" she asked, eyebrows raised.

       "Uh huh," Kyle answered, grinning. "So what are my chances that you and Liz and me could, ya know..." eyebrows raised in a question.

       "Slim," Isabel answered, fighting off the laughter as best she could.

       "How about you just let me watch then," Kyle suggested.

       "All right."

       "Really?" he asked, face lighting up.

       "No," Isabel replied flatly and then pulled him to her in a tight embrace. She felt his muscular arms wrap around her and ran a hand through his short hair. "You'll find someone, Kyle," she said quietly.

       "Promise?" he asked hopefully.

       "Yeah and she might even be into all your spiritual bullshit, Buddha boy," Isabel said pulling back to look him in the eye.

       "Hey, it's not bullshit I'll have you know," Kyle defended.

       "Shut up and dance, loser," Isabel said quickly, closing the space between them again. She caught Liz's eyes and smiled widely. They shared the unspoken promise that everything was going to be okay. It might take a while, but they were on their way.

*********************************

       "Okay, we're Audi 5000 Maximillian," Michael said adjusting his coat as the party dwindled down to just the core gang and Alex's bandmates who were packing up their gear. Maria was finishing up her 'thank you' hugs and glowing remarkably.

       "Yeah Michael said he has one last present to give me at his apartment," she announced as she pulled away from Liz and grinned. This induced a group "ew" and the scrunching up of noses.

       "The love palace awaits," Michael said, winking at Max who couldn't help but laugh, as he led Maria out of the Crashdown.

       "Thanks for helping with the cleanup, you bastard," Isabel teased to his back.

       "That's the last of it," Alex announced. "I'd love to help you guys with this mess, but I am just so tired," he faked before smiling and hurrying out the door.

       "Alex," Isabel demanded angrily, but he was already gone.

       She looked at Max who was slowly backing away. She raised an eyebrow in challenge. Max's palms began to sweat and he wiped them on his jeans. Just then Liz came to the rescue, wrapping her arms around Isabel's waist from behind and gently squeezing before peeking her upper body to the side to address Max.

       "Go ahead," she said, smiling with her eyes.

       "What?" Isabel demanded, turning slightly to look at her.

       "As soon as we finish down here, there's something upstairs I want to show you," Liz said with a seductive grin and sparkle in her eyes.

       "Bye, Max," Isabel said quickly, looking to her brother who was already halfway out the door. "Cover for me," she yelled at him and he nodded in agreement.

       Isabel scanned the room and took in the disaster that stood in front of them. Liz kissed her cheek briefly before running off to get a broom and some trash bags. All Isabel could think about while she dumped half empty party cups of warm coke down the drain was that after it was all done she'd have a warm, beautiful girl sleeping soundly next to her. She noticed that the place was actually sparkling by the time they were finished which must have been close to three in the morning. Isabel was tying up one last trash bag when she felt a sharp stinging pain on her rear end. She jumped and turned just in time to see Liz waving a dishtowel over her head in victory.

       "You're in big fucking trouble, Parker," Isabel said, turning red and staring for her.

       "I hope so," Liz answered with a grin before running upstairs, Isabel hot on her tail.

       Liz tried to shut her bedroom door behind her, but it was no use. Isabel came pummeling through it and grabbed Liz around the waist. She picked the smaller girl up and flung them both down on the soft surface of Liz's bed. Liz couldn't help but smile as Isabel kissed up her neck to her ears. Why are ears so sensitive anyway, she thought to herself.

       "Did you really think you could get away with that," Isabel teased, lips hovering just above Liz's in torment.

       "See that's the thing," Liz countered, looking directly into the fire in Isabel's eyes. "I let you think you're in control, but really..."

       "Really, what?" Isabel asked, smiling.

       Liz raised up and caught Isabel's lips in a searing kiss and she was right. Isabel melted right there and nothing could have stopped her from pressing her body...her soul...against Liz's...ever. Their lips slid against one another sweetly and hungrily and the flashes came fast for Isabel.

       It wasn't that she was surprised. They didn't happen all the time, only when the passion between them was somehow too great to bear. But something about them was different. They gave her a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. And as Liz kept on kissing her, they kept coming...until Isabel could see what made her so uneasy.

       Liz and Max together....recently. Like the last few days recently. A flash and they were looking into each other's eyes like lovers. A flash and they were kissing...ferociously. A flash and Liz was smiling, Max's arms encircling her. A flash and Isabel thought back to the sight of them dancing so intimately earlier. What the fuck is going on, she wondered right before her eyes flew open in shock. She pulled back too quickly, Liz's eyes searching hers for an answer.

       "Is, what is it?" Liz asked, brushing a stray hair out of her girlfriend's eyes.

       "Uh, nothing," Isabel said shaking her head and faking a smile. She got up and edged away from the bed. "I forgot I have to be up early tomorrow," she lied. "My Mom has this whole bonding thing planned," she continued shifting towards the open window.

       "Isabel," Liz said confused, as she reached out her hand and began to get up.

       "I'll call you when I get home," she promised before hurrying out the window and down the ladder as fast as her boots would take her.

       "Isabel," Liz called out the window, not caring if she woke anybody up. But she was already gone and Liz couldn't be more confused.

       

       Isabel walked the cold, Roswell streets for what seemed like forever before stumbling upon her street. For the first time in a long time, Isabel Evans was confused. Completely confused and on the verge of major hurt. If the flashes were real, the world was about to slide back off it's axis and into the unknown. Only the unknown was a place that Isabel had gone to too often and knew too much about.

       END.
Completed 4/21/02

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