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Added to the Roswell Slash Archive September 9, 2002

Title : Forgetting
Author : Mel
Summary : Isabel and Liz talk about Alex. Liz's POV. Isabel/Liz.
Spoilers : Through 'The Departure'. Season 3 in all its disappointment hasn't happened yet.
Disclaimer : If Roswell was mine, Season 3 wouldn't have made me want to rip my own face off. I own nothing. It's strictly for enjoyment and distraction from writing something original. Roswell belongs to Melinda Metz and anyone else associated with the books or show.
Rating : I'll go with R.
Feedback : Yes, please.
Archive : You want it, you got it. Just ask first

        There are some things I never wanted in my life...some things I never wanted to experience...some things I never even wanted to know about. I never wanted to know that aliens really existed. I never wanted my best friend to die before he graduated from High School. I never wanted to live completely lying to myself for the past three years. And the more I think about it, the more the world spins out of control; I wish Max Evans had never saved my life that day in the Crashdown.

        Things are so fucked up now. It's hard for me to remember a time when things were simple. Don't get me wrong, I love Max. I probably always will. But I'm just not in love with him. I never have been. I've tried to figure out why it was that I stayed with him so long...been with him through so much. It all seems to come back to my feeling that I owe him something. I was lying on the floor of my Father's restaurant with a bullet in my stomach and the only thing that kept me from bleeding to death right there was Max putting his hands on me. It's like I was marked from that point on. I was his. I believed it myself so deeply. Even if that wasn't what I really wanted.

        I've never been what anyone would call normal. I was always a little too smart, a little too much of a bookworm. I've always been way too introspective. Like there's so much stuff in my head that I can't ever really think straight, but everyday I try to make sense of my life and it just never happens. And ever since the destined four dropped into our lives, it's near impossible.

        There have been times that I've looked into Max's eyes and as much as I wanted to lose myself in them, it just wasn't there. Somewhere along the way I realized that it was someone else's eyes I wanted to be falling into. Someone else's eyes that I was falling into. I never wanted it to happen. I didn't ask for it. I even tried to fight it, but in the end it was useless. I was useless. Looking at Max suddenly meant I was seeing somebody else. Someone whose life was just as complicated. Someone whose eyes were just as dark. One day it just happened...but all the time that led up to it wasn't lost on either of us.

        I would always notice Isabel trying not to look at me from behind her fries and coke. Conversation was always minimal because that's the way she wanted it. Sometimes I'd brush my hand against hers when I set her plate down on the counter just to see what happened. Her skin was warm, slightly electric, and she blushed a hue so red I could only categorize it as crimson. I'd smile and utter some form of apology and we'd just look at each other. And then Max would come in, or Alex even. And we'd be forced to go back to acting out our roles like we were expected to. She was the good sister. And I was the devoted girlfriend.

        We'd just act like nothing was going on, but we both knew that was far from the truth. Being attracted to a girl didn't bother me much. It was more about who she was as a person anyway, but after you've dated someone from another planet you don't really sweat the small stuff. Sometimes when she looked at me it would scare me half to death Ü the feeling that would creep up my spine and back down to settle somewhere between my hips and my knees. I know it scared her too. The passion and curiosity in her eyes was evident, but I had already learned to look deeper when I was with Isabel. I saw the fear she tried to keep her shaking hands and her nervous smile. And I wanted to take that from her.

        Then Alex died and everything fell apart. I felt like my brain was going to explode. I blamed them; I blamed them all for what Tess had done. I didn't want to be around aliens or government conspiracy. I didn't want to be around anyone. So I pulled back. I shut down. I stopped talking. I stopped feeling. And then everything changed once more.

        I zombied through work. Maria left early, to hang out with Michael as usual. Isabel came in about an hour before closing and ordered her usual. I gave her a coke with Tabasco in it already and she smiled a crooked smile at me that didn't quite reach her eyes. She was suffering too. Good. I didn't want to be the only one in Hell.

        A half hour later, she was the only one besides me left in the restaurant. I sent Manny the fry cook home after I put two and two together and came to the conclusion that no one else was coming through the front door. Isabel got up like she was going to follow him, but I waved a hand at her.


        "You sure?" she offered, one arm shoved in her leather jacket already. Her hair was up in a ponytail and her ears were red. I couldn't understand why. It was Roswell's standards anyway.

        "Finish your dinner," I answered, motioning to her half eaten plate of fries. "I'm just going to lock the door. Take your time."

        "Thanks," she said to my back as I clicked the lock closed and turned the blinds.

        When I turned around she had taken her jacket off again, but she was just staring at her food with her arms sort of braced on the counter. Suddenly something woke up inside of me when I noticed her breathing was slightly ragged. When her hand slipped around the cold side of her drink, the glass melted right down to the countertop.

        "Fuck," she said loudly, gripping at her hand for a second. I was at her side seconds later.

        "Jesus, Isabel. Are you okay?" I asked placing a hand on the sleeve of her gray sweater. She turned to me, the same hand that had just destroyed solid glass clutching at the shoulder of my uniform so tightly her knuckles were white.

        "I'm sorry," she said quietly, through clenched teeth looking down towards the floor.

        "It's alright," I replied, feeling the heat of her hand on my arm...the heat of her body so close to mine. "It's just a glass, Isabel. We have more," I added with a slight smile, trying to lighten things up. She shook her head in response.

        "About Alex," she said, her eyes piercing into my own. "I'm sorry about Alex," she repeated, wanting to make sure that I heard it. Wanting to make sure that it was getting through, that I believed it.

        I didn't know what to say. For two years all I wanted was to feel Isabel's hands on my body. But I was with Max. All I wanted after Alex died was for someone to pay for what had happened to him. And here was this girl in front of me that acted so tough, like nothing in the world would ever matter to her, and her heart was breaking and she wasn't even trying to hide it. I blamed all four of them for fucking up our lives, for putting us in danger, for getting one of us killed. But maybe all I really wanted was for someone to say they're sorry. For someone to grieve along side me without shame or speech. For someone to be miserable with, to die with, to live with. All I could remember ever wanting at that moment was to lose myself in Isabel and never be found. Here I was the writer, my journal and pen being an extension of my body and I couldn't think of a fucking thing to say that would make her feel better, that would somehow take away her guilt.

        "It wasn't your fault," I said softly, staring back into her eyes. When I felt the hand on my shoulder ease up, I shifted and sat down on the stool next to her placing both my hands on her arms for support.

        "But it was," she replied, linking her hands down near her legs to try and stop them from shaking. I slid my hands down to hers and took them in my own. They were cold. "If I had never pulled him into this. If I had just stayed away from him, from everyone, none of this would have happened. He'd still be alive. Alex is dead because of me. Because of who I am."

        "That's not true," I said firmly, squeezing her hands for emphasis. She looked away, but I continued. "You can't blame yourself for somebody else's actions, Isabel. Tess did this. No one else," I said, suddenly knowing myself that was the truth. It wasn't Isabel's fault. It wasn't anyone's fault but the person who committed the act. I'd been walking around with this rage that I had never known before and in minutes Isabel had taken that from me. She had made some sense of the mess we'd been emerged in.

        "This was my burden, my problem. We're different and we should never have tried to be like everyone else because we never will be," Isabel said, tears brimming in her eyes. "Liz, don't you see? If you hadn't ever gotten involved, you wouldn't have ever been in danger. Alex would still be alive."

        "And I'd be dead," I replied, the realization sinking in that I probably would have died in the diner that day so long ago. Then I wouldn't be sitting here with this incredible girl whose eyes were threatening to burn a hole through my heart. Of all the times I wished Max had left me to die, right now I was more than thankful that he had been there that day.

        Tears escaped her eyes and her hands fidgeted in mine. Before she could release them, I reached up and wiped the wetness off of her cheeks gently. We just sat there looking at each other for what seemed like was like it was the first time we had ever seen each other. And in some respects it was. We had both let our guards down...we were sitting their raw and open in front of each other like a wound that was bleeding and healing all at the same time.

        "Of all the things that we've done to fuck up the lives of everyone around us, Max saving you is the one thing I will never regret," she finally said.

        "Sometimes I wish Max had left me there to die," I admitted, looking down at my hands which were now in my lap as Isabel's eyes shot up to look me in the face. "Maybe I would have lived. I guess we'll never know. But either way, even if I had died, your secret would still be safe and Alex might still be alive. See, Isabel, if you blame yourself you might as well blame me too. Because that was the day it all started...that it began to spin out of control."

        "My whole life is out of control," she replied. "I close my eyes and I see his face. I hear him talking to me and I wonder if I'm just going crazy or if this is some sort of punishment."

        "You're not crazy, Isabel," I answered, raising my eyes to meet with hers. "And you're not the only one who still sees him."

        She looked at me then with a sort of wonder in her eyes. There was a connection hanging in the air between us that was getting stronger with every word that was being exchanged. We were drowning in our guilt and neither of us wanted to be saved, but somehow we knew the only way we'd keep our heads above water was to cling to each other. And maybe that something that we wanted more than just falling into oblivion. I wanted to feel something other than regret. Other than shame. Other than the hollow feeling that had lived inside of me since the day my best friend was murdered. I wanted,needed someone to take that all away.

        Isabel must have read my mind because before I knew it her lips were on mine with electricity I had never felt before that moment. I slipped a hand behind her neck and pulled her further into me, our lips sliding together with an urgency that neither of us could explain...or understand. When I felt her searching for breath, I opened my mouth and gave her mine. We were sustaining each other because no one else could. When our mouths were close to devouring each other, lips and tongues and everything else, I pulled back slightly.

        "What are we doing?" I murmured against her lips without opening my eyes.

        "Forgetting," she breathed back against mine and I knew that was true. It wasn't anything more than that because we wouldn't let it be. Anything more would involve feeling and that was more than either of us was capable of.

        Our lips connected again and in seconds the cold material of the countertop was flush up against my back and I was no longer standing. Isabel was hovering over me, her boots clanging against her stool as she climbed on top of me. Our kisses were heated and sloppy, our minds racing in so many different directions and still thinking nothing at the same time. For once I felt my head was empty and it was an unfamiliar feeling. It was a feeling I had searched for and only found at this moment. I felt my clothes being stripped away and all my guilt and sadness was peeling off with them.

        So there I was lying on the counter of my Father's restaurant being saved once again by dangerous, but skilled hands. Isabel and I were melting into each other, somehow feeling and somehow shutting down. We were a series of contradictions that were escalating more out of control with every time we touched. We were forgetting, if only for a moment. And we knew it was only for a moment. When it was over we'd go back to living the Hell that we had sent ourselves to. We were killing each other. We were killing ourselves with every kiss that promised only to destroy us. But we were also living. We were living through each other every minute that we forced each other to feel. I knew the guilt would return, to settle around my heart and within the emptiness of my soul. But right now I was forgetting. Isabel was my punishment. And I was hers.


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