FanFic - Alex/Isabel
"Peregrinus amor"
Part 1
by Mark Townsend
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell High, Roswell, or any of the characters. I'm not profiting from the use of them and I don't intend to.
Summary: A great example of following where the story leads. This tale is set around the time of Tess, Lies and Videotape... Although Tess doesn't get a mention. I guess you could say it's non-canon. Alex, as usual, has a thing for Isabel... But where will it lead? And what exactly is he cooking up in his room?
Category: Alex/Isabel
Rating: PG
Alex Whitman was staring out of a window. Not just any window but his bedroom window. He was suffering from one of those moods... The ones people get that make them not want to do anything. He glanced across at where his guitar sat in the corner... If he picked it up he knew he'd strum a few chords... Try to get interested... It wouldn't work. It was one of those days. His computer. That couldn't hold him either. He'd checked his E-mail four times in the last hour, interspersed with the raging violence of Quake and Doom.

Isabel. Now there was something that could hold his attention... If she hadn't told him to stay away. He didn't want to go all 'Stalker guy' on her. She seemed to think he was... Nice. And he wasn't going to do anything to jeopardise that. She just... Wanted a friend. A male human friend. A passage from a book, read years back, popped into his head.

"I tried to explain the difference between a male friend and a bedmate: The scarcity of the first and the boring plethora of applicants for the other."

If she wanted a guy, smoochies or otherwise, she could click her fingers and have anyone... But for some reason she wanted to be close to him. Nothing physical, but...

She was beautiful. Fine features, womanly figure, elegant and exquisite. He couldn't do anything for her. To do so risked hurting her, scaring her away. He wouldn't chance that.

Alex took a seat on his bed. Shoulders hunched forward, head bowed. Deep in thought.

West Roswell high shone under the blaze of the morning sun. The weather was seldom cold in New-Mexico, in fact it was often hot enough to cook eggs on the sidewalk. Not Frosty the Snowman's favourite holiday spot. On one side of the parking lot, an olive green Jeep was pulling up while, on the opposite side of the tarmac, a boy with his shirt buttoned all the way to his burgeoning Adam's apple, was alighting from his bicycle.

They were friends, just friends. All of them. Alex thought back to the end of the school year, 1999. They were all different. He was one of the geeks. One of the computer society and chess club nerds. Liz was one of the average popularity but smart girls, dragging her wacky friend Maria along with her. Isabel was the queen of the school. The beautiful girl who all the guys wanted to date and all the girls wanted to be. Max was Isabel's slightly cool brother and Michael was 'Wrong side of the tracks' guy who hung out with them.

They were all there. The good, the bad and the very unpopular. All brought together by 'the right thing'. The right thing was to protect people they knew against being taken away by the government and being cut into little pieces... Why is that the right thing? Ask whoever wrote the assembly code for the human psyche.

The courtyard was quiet come lunch. No-one was talking much, plus there were some try-outs or something on the football field. Alex was enjoying the peace, alternating bothering a sandwich with scanning the thick volume in front of him. He was so engrossed in his book that he didn't notice the figure approaching from behind.

"Hey Alex." The gently lilting feminine voice from above and behind him was a surprise. So much so, he almost dropped the food he was holding.


"Mind if I sit down?" It was the game they always played. One would ask the others permission to sit, the other would give it and they'd chat.

"I... Sure. Go ahead." The way Isabel dropped into the seat was more a gymnastic manoeuvre than just the simple act of sitting. Muscles strained, poise held, skin pressed against fabric. It was lovely to behold.

"What're you reading?" Not trusting his voice, Alex lifted the book - revealing the cover. "'The Number of the Beast'? Sounds religious."

"It's not. It's about alternate universes. I was thinking about it last night and I realised I hadn't read it in ages. It's not that great a book, but very compelling."

"What happens in it?"

"You know those people you hate? The ones who have it all? Looks, brains, money, personality, the works... One invents a trans-dimensional machine and they all go for a jaunt through alternate universes... Naked."


"Yeah. Robert Heinlein wrote this. He wrote Starship troopers... He had a thing for Sci-Fi smut."

"Wasn't he in 'The Faculty'? He wrote that book... 'Puppet masters'? You reading up in case we turn out to be monsters?"

Isabel smiled with that last comment. Especially when she saw how Alex blushed.

"No! I... I... I know you'd never..." he blanched. "Isabel Evans! I thought you knew me better than that! I'm hurt you'd even think..."

Isabel reached over and laid a hand on his arm. "Relax Alex. I'm just kidding."

"Yeah... Well... I wouldn't be reading Heinlein if you turned out to be evil"


"No. I'd be watching Aliens."

"You have been."


"Ever since fifth grade when Max and I came to school here. Whenever you looked at us, you were watching... You know." No-one was in earshot, but the habit of staying silent about Isabel's true nature was too deeply ingrained.

"Perfection?" The word slipped out before he could censor it. A look of surprise was pasted across Is's face. Alex could have kicked himself for blurting like that.

"Well... I mean, your brother's a very good looking guy!"

A grin appeared on Isabel's face. One that grew rapidly to epidemic proportions. "I'm not sure what to think. I know you like me Alex... I didn't know you liked me like that but... You really think I'm perfect?"

Alex slowly folded his book closed and set it down next to his brown-bag lunch. "It's what I think. It's what I always thought. You don't agree?"

Isabel flushed. "I'm not perfect, Alex. I'm nowhere near perfect... Why do you think I am?"

"That's the great thing Is... You don't have to be perfect as long as I think you are. I know you're perfect. It's the thought that counts."


"Yeah Isabel?"

"I was talking to Alex at lunch."


"Is Liz perfect?"

"What?" The taller, brunette teen screwed up his forehead and frowned. "How do you mean?"

"You love her. Right? So, do you think she's perfect?"

"Uh... Yeah. Of course I think she's perfect."

"Is that love? Not seeing the bad points, or seeing them but treating them as good?"

"Sounds like Liz. There's nothing bad about her. Even if there was, I wouldn't care. Why? Did Alex say HE thought Liz was perfect?"

"No... He said I was perfect. No guy ever told me that. They told me I was beautiful, sexy... All that stuff guys tell you to get in your pants... And then he went to geometry. He didn't stick around and try to kiss me... He didn't put his hands anywhere near me. I almost feel ugly! Like I wasn't pretty enough to make him want me. But he said I was perfect!"

"Well then I've got some bad news Isabel... He loves you. I'm surprised you hadn't realised it."

"I knew he liked me... I just didn't know... I didn't know."

Isabel Evans, Ice queen of West Roswell, buried her head in her hands and started to cry. Short sobs that threatened to grow into hysteria. Max reached over and drew her in, hugging his sister close.

The Crashdown cafe. If you could avoid noticing all the alien style junk then it was actually a halfway decent restaurant. The food wasn't bad, the ambience was nice, and the waitresses were to die for. Max Evans wasn't there for the food. He wasn't really there for anything... Aside from the conversation.

Alex was there. As was his custom on Tuesdays after school. He was deep in thought, leaned over several sheets of paper tucked in amongst fries and a burger. As Max moved in closer, he noticed that the pages were covered in a multitude of loops and whirls that seemed to twist and curl as he looked.

Slipping into the booth opposite the taller boy, Max rested his elbows on the polished wooden surface. "Hey."

Alex looked up from his pages for a moment before acknowledging the newcomer. "Hey."


"Not quite. It's work I've been doing at home... But actually it's about you. And Michael and Isabel."


"It sounds tacky... But I'm trying to build an alien detector."

"Can you do that?" Max tried to keep the mixture of hope and skepticism out of his voice.

"I don't know. Ask me when I've done it."

"Look Alex... We need to talk about Isabel."

"One of my three favourite subjects."

"Alex... What're your intentions towards my sister?"

Alex Whitman didn't even look up from his papers. "I intend to protect her."

"And that's all?"

"All that matters. Isabel doesn't want to date me, but I care about her anyway."


Alex looked at the boy opposite him with annoyance written all over his face. Max's stoical demeanour was something he aspired to... But the guy could denser than Lawrencium at times. "While Liz was dating Kyle... Did you love her any less because she wasn't with you?"


"Defence rests. But I can't. Here, hold this."

Max blinked as the human opposite handed him a button compass. The light, metal disc rotating gently in its oil filled bubble. "What's this?"

"It's a compass. It points the way. You might have seen one before."

"Yeah, I've seen one before... But what am I doing with it?"

"Just tell me which way it's pointing."

"South West."

"Huh... 'Cause you're facing due west."

The adoptive son of the Evans' stared at the natural born son of the Whitmans. Alex was almost certainly nuts... Max wasn't even sure if he wanted him going near Isabel... For all he knew, Alex might be planning on cutting his sister up and running tests on her. Although the promise he'd made to protect Izzy still stuck in his mind.

Three young women sat in a circle on the floor of Liz's room, alternating between painting their toe-nails and giving each other their opinions on the colours they were using. Isabel was driving Maria to distraction with her habit of adjusting the colours in the varnish bottles until they matched her clothes.

"About Alex..."

Liz and Maria both set down their nail brushes and stared at their friend, wads of tissue paper sticking out from between their toes.

"So how far have you two gone?" Maria pounced on the subject, ever the diplomat.

"Nowhere!" Isabel vehemently denied the idea. Setting her bottle of, now purple, nail varnish down on the dressing table with such force that it shook. "Alex and I aren't... We aren't... Well, we just aren't!!"

Maria and Liz exchanged glances. Liz was the next to speak. "What do you want to know about Alex?"

Is let out a breath. "Is he like a guy?"


Maria pulled a face. "Well he's not like a girl!"

"I meant... Does he act like a normal guy?... You know... Does he care, or is getting laid all that's on his mind? You two have known him longer than me! I don't think he's like that... but I need to know for sure!"

"Oh, Alex is SO not normal!!" Maria blurted before she could think about the question. Then her face fell and she reconsidered. "I mean, like, in the good way."

"Isabel..." Liz held up a hand to forestall a Maria babblefest. "Alex is a really great guy. He's not one of these macho types who forgets your birthday and just gets drunk with his friends. I mean, at least you know you like his friends! He's smart and funny and I would never date him because he's such a good friend... But seeing as you're related to one of the only other two nice guys in school, you could do a lot worse than Alex."

"I know." Isabel hung her head and stared at the carpet. "Maria... You remember when I appeared in your dream?"

"How could I forget! I had nightmares for a week afterwards!"

"Well... When we didn't know what Alex was going to do... When we didn't know what he was going to tell Valenti... I kinda went into one of his dreams."

"Well... What did you see?" Liz looked over-eager to see into her friend's mind.

"Me." Isabel smiled dreamily. "He took me dancing in his dreams. Band, dance-floor, candle-light... It was so romantic..."

The two humans exchanged looks and nodded. "That sounds like Alex."

"It can't be... Not really." Isabel was sceptical. "No guy is really like that!"

"Ha!" The junior Ms Deluca pooh-poohed the idea. "Have you ever met your brother? I've got a theory about guys, romance and sex..." She looked around to ensure she had their full attention. "It's based on brains and how often they date. Smart guys who never date are the most romantic, while dumb guys who never go out alone on a Saturday night are the worst! Look at Alex and Kyle!"

The other two swapped glances. "She's got a point."

"Has been known to happen."

"You guys! Isabel has possibly the most romantic guy in school, who also happens to be a good friend of ours, chasing after her! OK, so he's no Brad Pitt... But he's also totally safe! This is a guy who'd invite you in for coffee, and it'd just be coffee!"

There was a far-away look in Barbarella's eyes. "I've never dated a guy like that before."

A wisp of smoke stretched towards the ceiling. Alex Whitman was hunched over his desk, wielding a soldering iron under the light of a single angle-poise lamp. He moved slightly, touching the burning point to the strand of solder he held and the circuit before him. More smoke wisped and curled away. The molten solder spots ran together into a droplet around the leg of a transistor, slowly turning to a metallic grey as it cooled. To one side, a sheet of paper covered in the spirals of magnetic fields and the spidery net of electrical components was tacked to the wall.

Alex sighed and set the iron in its stand. Reaching across the desk, he flipped the switch on a large box with a gauge set into its front. A loud humming arose. At almost the same moment, a series of lights appeared on the weird assemblage of chips and wires. Some blinked momentarily while others simply gleamed. Alex Whitman sat back in his chair, the light from the angle-poise casting strange shadows across his features. He smiled slightly.

"So, what's up with Isabel?"

Michael and Max were sitting on the Sofa in the formers apartment watching television. It was early evening and Max's sister was spending the night with Maria and Liz.

"I don't know for sure. I think it's something to do with Alex."


"You know he's got that crush on her? Well he told her she was perfect... It hit her kinda hard. I'm not surprised, considering the guys she normally dates."

"Huh. Well he just better not try anything with her, or I'll... Well, it won't be pretty."

"Oh come on Michael! This is Alex Whitman we're talking about! You think my sister can't take care of one human guy? Plus I don't think you'd do anything to a friend of Maria's... Too much risk that she'd never talk to you again."

"Yeah well... He'd just better watch himself is all."

"This coming from a guy who thinks that gas station shampoo is a romantic gift!"

"Yeah well, I would've thought that a guy would be more worried about his sister going out on a date with a guy who was ready to turn us over to the FBI not that long ago."

"Michael! He thought he was protecting his friends from us! He thought we were all doing drugs and stuff like that! Besides, he saved me when he gave us his blood and hacked Topolsky's computer. Cut him some slack."

"He'd just better watch himself."

Another day dawned over Roswell high, bright and cheery. Several hundred students poured through the hallowed halls, each intent on their days education... And more importantly, on each other. That lunch time, Alex Whitman once again sat in his customary spot in the shade of a wall, looking out at the mass of junior humanity... And others. At his side, a small black box sat, two of its several little lights shining brightly.

Max Evans was searching for Liz Parker. He'd seen her in biology, but she'd slipped away with Maria soon after. He was about to try the Bio lab, on the off-chance Liz'd stopped in to finish some project or another, but then he spotted Alex sitting out in the Quad, poring over a book. After their chat the day before, he still felt like there was something unresolved between himself and the taller, wiry Whitman. Isabel was her own person and quite able to organise her life to suit herself, but she was still his sister.

Stepping out of the double doors of the high-school, Max wandered across the open ground to where the other boy was sitting.

"Hey." As Max dropped into the seat beside Alex, he heard a quiet bleep sound out from somewhere.

"Uh... Hey!" Alex replied to the greeting almost as an afterthought. Intent as he was on the small lights that had appeared on the surface of the gadget he was holding.

"What's that?"

"This..." Alex proudly displayed the item. "Is that little thing I was talking to you about yesterday!"


"To take a leaf from Maria's book of subtlety... It's a Czechoslovakian detector."

Max's eyebrows reached for his hairline. The thought that Alex might actually have been able to carry out his plan was remarkable. "How!"

"Your magnetic personality. You guys..." He lowered his voice to little more than a whisper. "... You do those little tricks... Like healing Liz. That takes energy, electro-magnetic force... I mean, if you could see magnetism then you guys would be lit up like Christmas trees! That's what this does." He passed the box to Max. "If I get within a couple of metres of one of you guys... This lights up." He gestured to the various lights. "The different lights tell me different things. Like..." He pointed to the illuminated red light. "This says that there's definitely one of you around... There might be more, but it goes by field strength which varies with distance... It's complex. If the yellow light is on, then there might be a... You know what... Around, but it might be something else. You've gotta be careful around power lines and stuff with this."

"Alex! That's great!" To say that Max was cheered by the news would be an understatement.

"Great, yeah... And totally useless! I mean, you know who you are... And it's not like we can walk up to everyone in Roswell to see if they're Czechoslovakians too. Maybe I should give it to the Sheriff as a Christmas present."

"There's got to be a better use for it than that!"

"Well what is it? 'Cause I can't think of anything!"

"Neither can I, but there's got to be a better use for... That... Than just beeping at me. That WAS what beeped... Right?"

"Yeah. I suppose I could turn it into a door lock for Michael. Y'know, so only you three can get in. Help keep the FBI out."

Max turned the box over in his hands. Marvelling that it worked at all. Then he shrugged and held it out to Alex. "Well, at least we've got it if we need it... Here."

Whitman picked up his book. "Keep it. They're pretty simple to make, but I don't expect to build any more... What would I do with them?"

"Sell them as souvenirs?"

"Yeah! That's a great idea! I want to DATE your sister, Max. Not get her hauled away by some psycho alien hunter using MY detector!"

"And speaking of Isabel..."

"What about her?"

"She's scared."

"Of me?!"

"Of things she doesn't understand... Which is you at the moment."

"If this is your way of saying 'Stay away from my sister' Max, then just say it. Drop the cryptic routine."

"I'm not saying that! She's just never really had a relationship with a guy before... She never let them close... And now you're getting too close. She's not sure what to do."

"I won't do anything Max. It was a mistake to say what I did... But it's out there now." Alex closed the book, tucked it inside his bag and fastened the lid before getting to his feet. "Whatever you, Michael or Isabel need... I'm here." He took a step away before turning back. "Tell her I'm sorry."

"Could you believe what Pam Troy was WEARING!" Maria and Liz were chatting as they changed out of their uniforms after the Crashdown shut for the night. Chatting with Maria, however, turned the experience into more of a monologue. Liz was used to it. "It wasn't a dress! It was sticky-backed plastic!"

Michael was cleaning up in the kitchen, dressed as always in his off-white apron spattered with grease and the blue and white bandanna. Max and Isabel were sipping cherry cokes at the counter, both staring off into space. Immersed in their own private worlds.

"Y'know. This job isn't so bad." Michael undid the apron strings and hung the garment behind the door to the kitchen. Then, grabbing his jacket from the changing room, he followed Maria and Liz into the cafe, stripping the bandanna off as he did so.

"Well... I can think of worse ways to make a living." Maria wrapped one arm about that of her... For lack of a better word, boyfriend.

"Yeah. But I thought you didn't want to share me."

Maria just glowered.

"Why're we here?" Isabel set her Coke down on the counter and pulled out her compact, using the powder puff to dab a little colour onto her cheeks.

Max drained his drink and set the empty glass down next to his sisters. "Alex."

Isabel twitched slightly at the name, but otherwise she made a good show of hiding her surprise. Liz frowned while Maria's eyes went wide.

"What about him?" Michael poured himself a Coke from the pump.

"Did he show you guys his thing?"

"What thing?" Several voices said those words, and not all had mocking undertones. Everyone was watching as Max tugged the small, black box out of his jacket pocket and laid it on the counter. Almost nonchalantly he flicked a switch. The surface lit up and several tones sounded. Isabel looked unsure.

"What is it?"

"According to Alex, it's an alien detector... And it works."

"Wait a minute..." Maria held up one hand. "Alex... cooked up an alien detector? And it works? When'd he turn into Wesley Crusher?"

"Come on Maria!" Liz found a seat by the counter. "He's always been into stuff like that. But I'm impressed..."

"Whatever." The female Evans snapped the compact closed and dropped it into her purse. "So what's the big deal? We can tell we're aliens? Whoopee! We knew that already."

The others exchanged glances.

"I mean! Next thing you know, he'll be selling them to the tourists and then what? Huh? Alien hunters running around Roswell with detectors that actually WORKS! Is he trying to get us caught?!"

"What's gotten into you!" Max rounded on his sister. The puzzlement and anger evident in his voice. "This is Alex we're talking about! You're the one who said we could trust him, that we should've told him... Is this about what he said to you?"

"Of course not! He's just not normal is all... It's unnerving."

"Wait... What did Alex say?" Maria spoke out, trying to get the Evans' attention.

Max and Is never broke eye contact. "He said she was perfect."

"And that's a bad thing?"

"Is it Isabel?"

"No... Yes... God! I don't know!!" Isabel Evans began to pace. One hand going to her forehead. "I can't let anyone get that close! I thought you all knew that!! I thought you all understood!!!"

"Change the record Isabel!!!" Michael lurched forward and stared directly into his friend's eyes. "With you it's always 'I can't let anyone get close or they'll see the real me!'" He affected a whiney falsetto. "Just give it up! The guy's crazy about you, and I know you like him! If you don't do something soon then he's either gonna find someone else or he'll give up on you all together!"

Tears were catching at the corners of Isabel's eyes and trickling down her face. Michael took a step back, looking around at his friends... None of whom could meet his eye.

Alex's door swung inwards, silently. The room's single occupant was seated at his desk, tapping away at his computer keyboard.


At the sound of his name. Spoken by a voice choked with sadness. Alex whirled and launched himself out of his chair. "Isabel!?"

Isabel took a step forward, wringing her hands. Tears were flowing freely down her cheeks. "I... I..."

"Here..." Alex guided her to the edge of his bed. "Sit down."

"Thank you." She could barely speak. He grabbed a handkerchief from his dresser and proffered it. Isabel took the white cotton square and dried her eyes, mumbling her thanks around her hands. "What happened?"

"I'm sorry Alex!"

"What?" The junior Whitman was puzzled.

"I'm sorry!" Isabel leaned forward and, placing her hands behind Alex's head, pulled him in for a kiss. For several seconds Alex, shocked but happy, luxuriated in the kiss before his mind kicked into gear and he pulled away. "Isabel... I..."

"Alex!" She leaned in again, but Alex pulled back and stood up. "What's wrong?"

A pair of beautiful brown eyes looked up at him. "I need to know you don't hate me!"

"I could never hate you Is! Why would I hate you?"

"Because I've been so cold..."

Alex sat beside her and put his arms around her shoulders. "It's who you are Isabel. It's the girl I fell in love with!"

Isabel's tears abated. "You... Love me?"

"There I go again. My mouth runs ahead of my brain." He sighed. "I love you Isabel. You're not going to freak are you?"

The girl opposite him grinned. Her face brightening. "No. I'm not going to freak."

Alex reached out and trapped her chin between his thumb and forefinger. He leaned forward slightly and planted a delicate kiss on her cheek. "You know how I feel about you Isabel Evans... How you feel about me... It doesn't matter. If you don't think we're right for each other then I'll leave you alone..."

Alex's words died as the beautiful blonde, sitting on the bed beside him flung her arms about his neck and threw him backwards, pinning him to the bed and kissing him furiously. It was almost five minutes before Isabel broke the contact to take a breath.

"Ah... So!" Alex was flushed. "Does this mean that we're dating?"

The girl before him grinned. "Whenever you want Alex. Whenever you want."

The End

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