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Reply to Trixie or visit her websitePosted to the RoswellSlash mailing list June 25, 2001
Title: Everything After (1/1)
Disclaimer: Jason owns all
Rating: PG 15
Summary: Liz and Isabel try to find comfort with each other after Alex's death
Timeline: Sometime after "Departure"
It was night and very hot. She rolled over and tried to find some cool place on the sweat soaked sheets. She could hear Max in the next room. He was restless. Sneering, she realized he was probably dreaming of little Lizzie and her long dark hair. Isabel balled her hand into a fist and shoved it into her mouth. She wanted to scream. Alex was dead. She couldn't sleep.
She was tired.
With shaking legs, she stood and felt the little bubbles in her knees crack. Warm dry air hung around over her flesh, swirling like dust from the desert. His picture shone from her bedside table, but she couldn't look at it, because his eyes always accused her. Of what she wasn't sure. Maybe of killing him. She knew she had. People that loved her died. Guilt, like cancer, spread through her belly, making her heave. Bending, trying to breathe, she forced air into her parched lungs and saw the way her sweat gleamed like diamonds. She was going to throw up.
Stumbling into the bathroom, she fell to the tiles and hit her elbow on the corner of the toilet bowl. The bone made a weird sound, but she bit her lip until she tasted salty blood and pressed her cheek to the edge, her stomach contracting. It was Alex pain- she knew this pain. It would go away. It would lessen. She just had to wait.
Isabel moaned as she thought of his chapped lower lip and the dark hair at the nape of his neck. The slick fabric of her nightgown stuck to her skin. Pushing it and pulling it, she itched her forehead and remembered the lilt in his voice when he said her name. She recalled the way he rubbed his eyes blearily sometimes when she went to his house too early- how he'd be in those ridiculous plaid pants and they'd talk and he'd be slightly grumpy. God, she missed him.
The avalanche was crushing her. It ebbed and flowed and she couldn't control it. Bile rose in her mouth as she started to make her way back to her room. She couldn't go back in there and pretend to sleep. Fresh air. She needed fresh air.
She was outside and the clenching in her insides lessened a bit. She'd had tastes of this kind of little death before- right after she found out he was killed- after the funeral- when she'd found one of his guitar picks behind her bed- but tonight was choking her. It was supposed to get better- wasn't it? She had thought so. But her bowels kept churning and she wasn't getting better.
It was all getting worse.
The empty streets looked wide and comforting in their familiarity. Walking carefully, she stared straight ahead and didn't think. When she did, it hurt, and that was no good. With blank eyes, she gazed at the houses and churches and schools and her nightgown flapped around her in the wind. Maybe she'd go to Alex's. Swim in his pool and take a long deep drink.
She stopped beside the Crashdown and like a gong being sounded, the sobs coming from the ally, drew her in. She knew who was crying. It was Liz. Liz Parker, her brother's stupid soulmate. Isabel hated that word... because god knows; she'd heard Max use it enough to make anyone sick- but mostly because she was afraid. That maybe she didn't have one. That she was just someone drifting, half of her missing.
She didn't fool herself. She knew the boy with the guitar hadn't been her other half. But maybe he could have filled the void. He made her smile. She loved Alex. Pressing a trembling hand to her mouth, she bit into her palm and felt the spurt of bright blood against her teeth. It tasted good. Better than grief and regret.
She could hear Liz clearly now, under her balcony. The ally behind the Crashdown was kind of dirty, and Isabel scuffed her feet- her bare feet she suddenly realized- against the rocks and tufts of brownish grass. Shrugging, she began to climb the fire escape and the rusted steel felt cold against her toes.
When she reached the top, she dropped down and faced her brother's love with a distant expression. "Hi," she said blandly, and watched Liz's head shoot up, her face wet and shiny with tears. It was blotchy, and she looked ugly, Isabel thought with abstract satisfaction.
"Isabel?" Liz breathed and wiped her cheeks.
She sat down across from the dark haired girl and lay back, looking up at the stars without interest. "What?"
"What are you doing here?"
She shrugged again, and touched her own lips. They were split down the middle. She realized she must have been biting them all night. It surprised her a bit that she couldn't remember. "It was on the way."
"The way to what?"
"Nowhere," Isabel replied, and sat up, glancing down at the velvet covered book in Liz's lap. "You honestly think that's going to help?"
Liz looked defensive, as Isabel knew she would. The girl was so predictable. "Maybe it wouldn't help you. But it does me. We all have our ways of coping, don't we?"
"Honestly, Liz, you're so boring," Isabel hissed and rubbed her legs. They stung.
"How am I boring, Isabel?" Liz sounded weary and all the mean things she was going to say, fled.
"Never mind," she sighed and motioned to the desert and the hills with her head. "You been to the... the grave yet?"
"Not yet," Liz answered, her voice filling with more and more tears. Isabel felt sick looking at her. Yet she was oddly fascinated. It was like a train wreck or a plane crash. Like an earthquake in some country that was barely developed, with so many frightened, silenced faces. She wondered briefly if Liz was like a flat and shiny surface- if she was looking at herself and felt even sicker.
Running her hands through her hair, she rocked back and forth and shook her head. "I went out there. Twice. It's quiet. He wouldn't have liked it."
"He liked his music. His noise," Liz commented softly, and stretched out, her back arching.
Isabel shuddered and got up, her hands jerking as she whispered, "I don't even know why I came here. It's the last place I need to be."
"So leave," Liz said without any rancour or inflection.
There was silence for a moment. Isabel heard her own breathing quicken. She hurt. All over. Her legs and arms and stupid big fat heart that Alex tore through with his teeth and hands that made melodies.
"I loved him to," Liz finally said, shattering the still air which hung between them. "He was my best friend, along with Maria. I loved him to, Isabel."
"And he loved you. Max loves you. Everyone loves you," she spat. "So perfect. Liz Parker. You should be wearing a fucking halo."
Liz looked unaffected and just stared at her with her drowning betrayed eyes. "But you don't love me? Is that what you're saying?"
Isabel swallowed and spun around. Her throat felt syrupy and hot. Gagging a little, she doubled over the brick wall and pressed her hands to her ears. The roaring in her ears, the constant buzz, buzz, buzz since she had heard Valenti say those words "Alex was killed", "Alex was killed" "Alex was killed"... it was getting louder. It was all getting worse. Looking down, she wondered if she'd die from hitting the alley below. No, she wouldn't. It was too short a distance.
She felt tiny hands on her back. Liz's slight weight slid against her. She turned, and felt her fingers catch against smooth skin, magnolia white.
"No..." she murmured, and thought that she wanted to forget. Jump into heady blackness where there were no car crashes and no music and no hot desert sun. "That's not what I'm saying."
She kissed Liz and her lips tasted better than blood. Better than misery.
Isabel felt Liz kiss her back and knew she should just jump. Spin around and fly into the night sky.
But she didn't. She kissed her brother's soulmate and tried to forget about everything before Alex, when her life became just a series of cold mornings and even colder nights.
This was her ever after. And it was enough. Liz filled the void.
Isabel bit her lip and Liz's, and their blood mingled.
It had to be enough because there was no more.
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