Category: Isabel angst, eventually I/A romance
Disclaimer: Nothing Roswell related belongs to me, sadly. Not even Alex. "Empty Spaces" is by the group SR-71, and is also not mine.
Author's Note: Spoilers for "Surprise" and "End of the World"
Summary: Isabel is having trouble dealing with her "past." (I'm new at this, go easy on me!)
"Alex, I'm sorry. You know it's not you. It's just that with everything that's happening, everything on my mind, I can't think about being with a guy right now. You know, any guy."
Those four sentences had been echoing in Alex Whitman's head for the past month. He was still trying to convince himself that Isabel had actually said them. Actually, he was still trying to persuade himself to believe them. Well, the part about it not being he, anyway. Damnit! He laughed softly to himself. How stupid he had been! Stupid, useable Alex. Everyone's friend. And to think that he had actually believed that Isabel had liked him, that she had actually wanted to be more than just friends. He slammed his fist down on his bed and swore softly. It still hurt, but he couldn't say that he regretted punching Michael. He had felt extreme satisfaction in those few seconds before pain jolted into his system. It felt wonderful to show some emotion. Sure, he was a great friend. But he had feelings, too, and he was sick of people trampling on them. Of course, he loved Maria like a sister, and Michael HAD been an asshole. But still...deep down inside he knew that that punch hadn't just been for her. It had been for Maria, Liz, and, most of all, him. It had been for everything that they had gone through for the aliens, and how they seemed to get screwed over every time. And it had been for Isabel, for turning away from him once again, for throwing away his love, and for the way that she had looked at Grant. "You know it's not you." But wasn't it?
Isabel stepped into the shower, sighing as the hot water hit her skin. It had been weeks since she had obliterated a life and she still couldn't seem to wash the shame from her skin. It was if the congresswoman had stained her somehow, and she felt like everyone knew, like there was some invisible sign over her head that screamed "Murderer!" It had been a long two weeks. Two long, lonely weeks. Weeks where she was constantly second-guessing herself. Who exactly was Isabel Evans? A murderer? A betrayer? Certainly not the happy-go-lucky 18-year-old she so desperately wanted to be. She reached for her favorite body gel, white musk, staring at it in her hand. The label was wet and had begun to come off after several showers. In fact, she would need a new bottle soon. She had used this scent for years, she realized. Hot, desperate tears joined the hot water streaming down her body. Had everything else that she knew about herself been false as well? She only wanted to know who she was. Why was that so hard? She slowly sank down to the white bathtub and pulled her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them. She rocked slowly, whimpering softly as she continued to cry. She felt like a stranger in her own body. Who was she? And what had she done?
Alex sighed. Another morning, another day that he had to go through. He didn't want to go to school. It was so utterly pointless. He couldn't care less about Shakespeare, and anyway, school was just another painful reminder that Isabel was no longer his. He shook his head. No longer? Try never. But still, there it was...he loved her, and he couldn't stand being near her, knowing in his heart that she didn't love him as well. He went to the closet, absentmindedly thumbing through his shirts. He stopped when he saw what was on one of the coat hangers: a police uniform, complete with a thong, the very one he had worn in his desperate attempt to win her back during her 18th birthday party. Angrily, he shoved the uniform aside, grabbed the first shirt he saw, and slammed the closet door. Another piece of his life lost to Isabel Evans. It had taken a lot of planning and nerve to pull off his little strip tease, and for what? He knew that she had been meeting Grant that day. Maria and Liz had tried to keep it from him, but what was the use? "It's just that with everything that's happening, everything on my mind, I can't think about being with a guy right now. You know, any guy." Sure, Isabel, whatever you say.
Alex finished tying his shoes and grabbed his backpack as he walked out of the door to the garage. He took a deep breath as he unlocked the car. Would life ever be normal again?
"Max! Isabel! You're going to be late," Mrs. Evans called up the stairs. Isabel sighed. What did she care? It wasn't as if she was learning anything important in school. They had forgotten to put "Murdering 101" on her class schedule. She trudged downstairs, only to face Max staring glumly at the wall. Oh, aren't WE a happy pair, she thought to herself sarcastically. She had no idea what had happened, but she guessed it had to do with Liz.
"Max, let's go," she said, pulling on his sleeve as she walked by. She grabbed the car keys off the counter and walked out to the jeep. She unlocked the door quickly, and leaned on the horn. Max came out slowly, and got into the jeep. Isabel pulled away from their house and then looked over at him.
"Want to talk about it?" she offered finally, desperate to fill the silence that only lead her mind down paths that she didn't want to follow. Max shook his head, and looked away. Isabel sighed and turned on the radio, blasting it in an effort to distract herself from thinking. She listened to the song lyrics as she drove, humming alone to the music.
I could use someone to talk to, Isabel thought. She liked Grant, but it wasn't as if she could pour her heart out to him. "Guess what? I'm an alien and I'm having trouble dealing with it." Yeah, that would go over really well. Besides, there was still something odd about him. She would never admit it to Max and Michael, but she still remembered the flash she had gotten when cleaning the blood off of his neck at her party. She sighed. Michael had offered to listen, and she knew he would understand at least part of what she was going through, but somehow she knew she couldn't talk to him. She had never shared anything with anyone, except for a few things she had told Max, and she could tell he didn't need any more problems. She sighed. She had always kept everything to herself, and she guessed that she always would.
She pulled the jeep into a parking space at the school, and shut off the ignition. Isabel and Max walked towards the school together, but as she headed over to their friends, Max went in another direction. She saw Liz looking at him out of the corner of her eye, and Isabel knew then that she had been moping as well. As Max headed off in another direction, tears sprang into Liz's eyes, but she quickly blinked them away, turning to Maria.
Isabel noted this and then decided to talk to Maria later to find out what was up. She didn't want Max moping, and she knew that no matter what she had always said, Liz and Max made a great couple. As she turned to talk to Tess, she suddenly got a flash.
*Congresswoman Whitaker the night Isabel had rescued Tess: "You don't remember, do you? Let me give you a piece of history about your planet. Your name was Vilandra, and you were beautiful...even more beautiful than you are now. You had a great love...and for him...for us...you betrayed your brother, your race."*
"No!" Isabel screamed, and she fell to her knees, gasping.
"Isabel!" Alex yelled, running to her side. He sat down on the ground and pulled her to him without thinking as the rest of the group stood around them. "Are you ok?"
"Yes," she replied shakily. "I didn't eat anything for breakfast and I just felt a little weak," she said, smiling, hoping that they would believe her.
"But you screamed something before you fell," Liz reminded her. "Are you sure you're ok?"
"I'm fine," Isabel snapped, and then apologized as Liz backed away. "I'm sorry," she said, "but I'm really fine now. I think I'll go inside and get a bagel or something."
"I'll go with you," Michael said, helping her stand up. He picked up Isabel's backpack and led her inside as Tess followed.
Liz and Maria turned to face Alex, who was still sitting on the ground.
"I'm worried about her," Liz said softly. "Something isn't right."
"Definitely not," Maria replied. "We should tell Max about this."
"Max, right," Liz said, staring at her hands. "Well, I don't really see him all day, so maybe you should talk to him."
"You have second period with him, hun," Maria reminded her. "What's going on between you two?"
"Nothing," Liz said quickly, standing. "I have to go to class." She walked away.
"Something is definitely going on," Maria said to Alex, who was staring off into space. "Alex? Alex? Earth to Alex."
"What? Oh, um, right, whatever you say, Maria." Alex stood up. "We're going to be late. Come on," he said, jogging towards the entrance. Maria stared after him, and then began to walk to her first period class. "What is going on?" she thought.
After the bell rang to signal the start of lunch, Alex headed outside. He saw Isabel sitting alone at one of the tables and walked over to join her. He knew that the rest of their friends would be joining them soon. They always ate lunch together.
When Alex got to the table, he found Isabel picking at her lunch, her head down.
"You should eat," Alex said.
"Huh?" Isabel snapped out of her thoughts, and looked up.
"You should eat," Alex said, sitting down across from her and taking out his bag lunch. "You almost fainted this morning because you didn't eat breakfast. You shouldn't miss another meal."
Isabel looked into his eyes and saw the concern etched there. "Oh, well, I'm not really hungry, but I'll attempt to eat, I promise." Satisfied that she was telling the truth, Alex returned to his lunch. After a moment, he spoke, catching Isabel off guard.
"Who is Vilandra?" he asked, staring at her.
Isabel choked on her milk, and then looked up, startled. "I...I don't know. What are you talking about?"
"When you fell, I...I pulled you into my arms," Alex stammered. Didn't she remember? You're insignificant, Alex reminded himself. Of course she didn't. "Anyway, I saw a flash. It was of Congresswoman Whitaker and she was saying that name over and over," he said. "Who is she?"
"Alex, I'm sorry you got that flash," Isabel said. "I...I need to go," she said, quickly gathering up her lunch and stuffing it into her bag.
"Izzy, wait!" Alex called as she ran away, and then shoved his lunch into his bag and ran after her.
He chased her around the school and down the hill to the football field. "Izzy!" he yelled. "Isabel!" He spotted her going behind the right end of the bleachers and headed for the left end, managing to cut her off as she ran towards him.
She was crying; her eyes were red and puffy and there were streams of mascara on her face. "Alex!" she gasped, and turned, trying to avoid him. He ran behind her and grabbed her, twisting her around and holding her arms as she tried to pull away. "No! No!" she screamed, beating his chest with her fists. Finally, she collapsed on the ground, sobbing.
"Isabel..." Alex followed her to the ground, taking his face in her hands. "Look at me," he said. She made eye contact, grabbing his wrist, and suddenly he got another flash.
*It was Congresswoman Whitaker again, speaking to Isabel: "Your name was Vilandra, and you were beautiful...even more beautiful than you are now. You had a great love...and for him...for us...you betrayed your brother, your race."*
The flash ended, and Alex gasped. "Oh, Isabel, you didn't...I mean, you couldn't..."
"Couldn't what? Betray everyone? Apparently I did. And history repeats itself!" she wailed. "I'm going to do it again! Oh God, Alex, who am I?" she cried desperately.
Alex tried to say something, anything, but failed. Isabel stood up slowly and turned away. "Good-bye, Alex," she whispered. Alex lifted his head in time to see her running away, running from him and all of her problems.
That night, Alex tried to sleep, but tossed and turned. He looked at his clock: 3:00 in the morning. It was impossible to fall asleep when he kept hearing Isabel's voice over and over inside his head. "History repeats itself! I'm going to do it again! Oh God, Alex, who am I?" When he had gotten that flash behind the bleachers, he had felt the despair and disgust Isabel felt for herself rolling off of her body. She had felt so alone. Alex felt sorry for her. But what could he do? If he went to her, she would only push him away like she always had before. But she let you see that flash, a voice in his head reminded him. She trusts you. Suddenly Alex was as disgusted with himself as Isabel had been with herself. Maybe she didn't love him, but she was still his friend. She was still hurt, and alone. He had to go see her.
Alex dressed quickly, and quietly crept downstairs. Minutes later he was driving away from his house. He stopped at the stop sign at the end of the street, surprised to see another car go past. In disbelief, he realized it was the Evan's jeep. It had to be Isabel.