Empty Spaces

Part 2

Author: Margarita (margarita782 )

Category: Isabel angst, I/A romance

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: Nothing Roswell related belongs to me, sadly. Not even Alex. "Empty Spaces" is by the group SR-71, and is also not mine, nor are the lyrics to "Rock-a-bye Baby".

Author's Note: Spoilers for "Surprise" and "End of the World"

Summary: Isabel is having trouble dealing with her "past." Please read and review! Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to keep writing! J

Isabel was driving faster than she ever had before. Tears were streaming down her face, blurring her vision so that she could hardly see the road. Alex knows, she thought as she sobbed. Alex knows and soon everyone else will, too. They won't want a traitor among them. She ran a red light and continued driving, blindly heading towards her destination.

Alex followed, gasping as he saw the jeep swerving back and forth across the road. It had to be Isabel; in fact he knew it was her. He could feel it. And he could also tell that she was distraught, more upset than she had ever been before. But where was she going? He followed her through a red light, hoping that there were no policemen around and knowing at the same time that he didn't care if there were.

After about ten minutes, Isabel pulled off of Roswell's main road and drove across the desert. She parked the car, and then got out quickly, grabbing her bag as she slammed the door shut. She began climbing upward, following the path that she had grown to know very well even though she had only known of its existence for about six months. Panting, she placed her hand against the stone wall. A glowing handprint appeared and then the stone hiding the pods moved away. Isabel went inside quickly, not noticing the figure that was picking his way slowly up the cliff.

When Alex reached the entrance to the cave that held the aliens' birth pods, he hesitated. He had never been inside before, but knew what it was from Liz's description. He felt as if entering the cave would be intruding; it was obviously a very personal place for Isabel. He considered waiting for her to come out, but on second thought realized that she could spend a long time inside the cave. Besides, she was so upset... He had to talk to her.

The cave wasn't what he imagined; it was bigger and colder somehow. It was as if the place were simply a sterile room, not the place where birth had happened. He could see the four pods in front of him, and paused for a moment, wondering which one had been Isabel's. He wondered what it must have been like to wake up one day a small child, unsure of everything and without love. Alex had never really considered before how difficult it must have been for Isabel.

As soon as he entered the cave, the stone moved back into place behind him, as if it had been waiting for him to enter. He flinched, expecting Isabel to turn, but she hadn't noticed him enter. She was in a corner of the cave, by the pods, rocking slightly as she cried. Alex approached her slowly, not wanting to startle her, but she was staring off into space and didn't notice him.

"Isabel?" he asked hesitantly. She didn't answer, and he sat down on the stone floor next to her. "Izzy?" he asked again.

She still didn't answer, and he realized that she was humming softly to herself. He recognized the song immediately. It was the lullaby that he was sure every mother had sung to her baby. She continued to hum and he sang the words softly in his clear, deep voice.

"Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,

And down will come baby, cradle and all."

Isabel turned to him, then, tears streaming down her light skin. "Oh, Alex," she whispered. "Who catches me?" She began to sob, and he pulled her into his arms.

"It's ok," he whispered softly, rubbing her back lightly as she clung to him, desperately letting go all of the stress that she had built up inside of her over the last three weeks. He held her as she cried, becoming the support that she so desperately wanted and needed.

Finally she pulled away, wiping her face with her hands. "I got your shirt all wet," she said, putting up her hand to dry it.

Alex grabbed her wrist. "Leave it."

Isabel dropped her arm and gathered her legs into her chest as she began rocking again. After a few moments, she spoke, staring straight ahead of her. "Why are you here?"

"I thought you might need someone to talk to," Alex said, noticing the way the light reflected off of her hair. He desperately wanted to run his hands through it but shook his head, focusing on Isabel. "You've been dealing with some pretty heavy stuff lately."

"You think?" Isabel snapped. She was suddenly angry. "Why do you even care? You didn't seem to want to help when you all but cornered me behind the bleachers today." She got up and began pacing, her arms wrapped tightly around herself. "Maybe I don't want your help. Maybe I don't need it." She turned to face the pods, her back to him.

"Like hell you don't," Alex countered, angry as well. He had wanted to help her feel better, had wanted to let her know that she was not alone. And for all his trouble, she was pushing him away again, just like always. "I wanted to help you, but I'm not even worthy enough for that, am I?" She didn't answer, and he got up. "Forget I was even here. I'm going home. See you tomorrow, Vilandra," he said as he walked towards the cave entrance.

At the sound of her alien name, she turned. "That was low, Alex," she hissed.

"Why aren't I allowed to be low?" Alex asked, his voice shrill. "Why do I always have to be the perfect friend? Why can't I make you feel the same way you make me feel every day, when you ignore me and push me away?" He was screaming now, his voice echoing loudly. "I'm sick of it! I love you, damnit, and you don't even care!" His voice broke and she saw tears in his eyes.

"Alex, I-"

"Save it." He banged his fist against the cave wall in anger, wincing as he realized that it was still bruised from when he had punched Michael. The cave opened, and he ducked out quickly, running down the path he had barely been able to pick his way up a half hour before.

"Alex, wait!" Isabel hastily closed the door with a swipe of her hand and followed him down the cliff. "Wait!" she screamed, grabbing onto his door handle as he attempted to close the door so that he could drive away.

"What?" he asked, refusing to meet her eyes. He wiped away a tear with the back of his hand, embarrassed that she had seen him cry.

"I make you feel like that?" she whispered.

"Yes. It's hard, Isabel. Have you ever spent your life watching the person you love at a distance, never getting close enough to let them know how much you care? You know, I used to think Max and Liz were pretty sappy, the way they cried over each other when the only thing that was keeping them apart was themselves. And now... Well, now I've got something in common with them." He looked up at her, finally meeting her eyes. "I meant what I said. I do love you, Isabel. And I want to help. But I can't if you won't let me."

Isabel turned away, her voice breaking. "I wanted to let you in, only I was afraid. What would you say if you knew I was a traitor? When I showed you the flash today, I was trying to share something with you. I've been reaching the breaking point for a while, and when you said you got part of the flash, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. But then when I saw your face behind the bleachers, I knew it was all a mistake. The way you looked at me..." She turned to face him. He was now leaning against his car, his arms folded as he listened to her.

She sighed. "Why are you here?" His face twisted, and she spoke quickly. "No, I mean it. I'm sorry about the way I acted before, but I couldn't believe that you would want to have anything to do with me after what you had learned. I don't want to have anything to do with me, for Christ's sake."

"Isabel, stop," Alex said, pulling her into him so that she was standing between his legs, her forehead against his. "I'm sorry about what happened behind the bleachers. I've been in such an angry mood lately."

"I kind of figured that when you punched Michael," she said, grinning.

"It's nice to see you smile," he said. "I've missed that."

"I had forgotten what it felt like," she admitted. "This whole Vilandra thing has been kind of consuming me."

Alex nodded. "That's understandable. Listen, Izzy, I was scared today when we were behind the bleachers. I didn't want you to think that I didn't care, but I was in shock." She looked away quickly and he grabbed her chin, forcing her to look at him. "No, not because of that. Not because you did something millions of years ago that you can't remember, but because you had gotten closer to a part of you that I can never touch and can never relate to, your alien half. I felt like you were drifting farther away, and I was disappointed.

Listen to me. You are not Vilandra. You're Isabel, and I love you. Max, Michael, and Tess love you too, and so do Liz and Maria, and I know for a fact that this would not make them hate you. It was in the past! You can't control that. You can, however, control the future. I don't know if you'll end up betraying everyone again. I can't tell. But I do know that if you did, it would be a last resort, because the Isabel I know is caring and loving and would be willing to sacrifice herself for someone else. You proved that when you saved Tess that night."

Isabel smiled, her eyes shining with tears for the umpteenth time that night. These were different, however; for the first time, they were tears of happiness. "Do you really believe that?" she whispered.

"I do. I'm sorry you went through this alone. You should never have had to. But you're not alone anymore, and if you want to fall, I'll be here to catch you. Now tell me about Vilandra."

They got into his car and sat together as Isabel talked, telling Alex everything that she had been through up until that point. She told him about killing the Congresswoman, and how even the simplest things seemed foreign to her now. She told him of how alone she had been and how she had been secretly glad that Alex had seen part of the flash. And then she told him about the way her heart had shattered when he had not answered her, and how she had driven out to the pods with a razor blade in her purse, having decided that it would be fitting for her to die where she had been born. Alex held her in his arms as she cried, and when she was finished, he drove her home, promising to take her back to the pods the next morning to get the jeep.

When they arrived at her house, she got out and walked around to the driver's side. Alex rolled down the window and she leaned in, kissing him on the cheek. "Thank you," she whispered.

The next evening, Isabel entered the Crashdown Cafe, her eyes lighting up when she saw Alex sitting in one of the booths, eating. The Cafe was fairly empty; in fact the one remaining customer was paying Liz as Isabel walked in. He left, and the only people remaining were her friends. Isabel approached Alex from behind, tapping him lightly on the shoulder.

"Room for me?" she asked.

"Certainly, miss." He moved over and she sat down next to him, stealing some chips. "Everything ok?"

"Yep, thanks to you." She turned to him, suddenly serious. "Really. Thank you, Alex. You saved me last night and gave me the courage I needed for this afternoon." Only hours before, Alex had patiently held her hand as she had told Michael, Max, Tess, Liz, and Maria about Vilandra. She had been surprised by their reactions; each one had hugged her and reassured her that the past was exactly that - over and finished.

Isabel looked around at the people she loved. Max and Liz were talking shyly in the corner, and she saw Liz laugh, her head thrown back in delight, as Max said something in a quiet tone. Michael was drawing in his sketchbook at the counter and Maria and Tess were dancing. She saw them laugh, glancing at Michael, and then heard Maria squeal as she ran over to the radio. "I love this song!"

"I'm not afraid to go backwards and fix what we broke.

My gaze falls behind, you make desire seem so easy.

I hold off sleep, it's so silent without you here.

Don't give up now, it would all be for nothing.

I believe in second chances.

I believe the years forget.

Let me fill these empty spaces,

Better late than never / Stay forever

Let me fill this empty space.

There's always room for one more mistake.

Can you feel that?

I think we're moving in the right direction.

I was someone else then.

I'd take it back if you would let me.

We were never this close when we were young.

Every night I whisper your name at the top of my lungs."

"Care to dance?" Alex asked, and Isabel turned to him in surprise.

"I'd love to." Alex carefully led her out to an area near a booth and they danced slowly, each thinking their own thoughts. Alex was smiling; it was wonderful to see every one as happy as they were tonight. He noted the exchange going on between Max and Liz and grinned, thinking that it was about time they were talking. He closed his eyes and inhaled the scent of Isabel's perfume. It was light and smelled faintly of the sea. Alex knew he would never forget it.

Isabel smiled with relief for the tenth time that day. She had been amazed at her friends' reactions to her tale earlier. She had imagined disappointment and maybe even hatred, but Alex had been right. They had been nothing but supportive and loving, and it was wonderful to let the ghosts of Vilandra escape. She sighed, leaning her head on Alex's shoulder. This was what she needed - normalcy and stability. She lifted her head from his shoulder, meeting his eyes.

"Alex?" Isabel asked. "Can I ask you something?"

"Of course," he said.

"Do you really believe in second chances?"

He frowned in thought. "Well," he said finally, "I believe that anything is possible. You proved that to me."

Isabel smiled. "Do you think that we can have a second chance? I want to start over with you. You're more than a friend to me, Alex, and you deserve more."

Alex beamed. "Really?"

Isabel nodded, her head buried in his neck. She glanced up shyly, and then whispered, "Would you really catch me if I fell?"

"Most definitely."

"Then catch me now," she whispered. The next thing Alex knew, she was kissing him. He pulled her closer to him as they kissed each other slowly, tongues tangling. They pulled apart to the sounds of whistles from their friends, and they both blushed.

"Let's go." Grabbing Isabel's hand, Alex pulled her through the door that led to the back room of the Crashdown. Alex leaned in slowly and kissed her again, hesitantly at first, but then harder as the kiss intensified. They pulled apart, and Alex grinned. "So, does this mean we're back together?"

"If you want to be." Isabel frowned. "I'm sorry I pushed you away for so long. It was hard to take the chance of telling someone the truth."

Alex smiled, kissing her on the forehead. "I'm always here for you, Izzy. Together we can solve anything." He leaned in and kissed her again, savoring the softness of her lips. It had been a hard month, but they were both complete again. They had each other, and that was what really mattered, not hurt feelings or an alien past.