|"Someone to Watch Over Me"
Disclaimer: Not mine, don’t own the characters,
no relation to anyone at WB, can’t sue, no
Summary: Isabel gets drunk at a party and Alex steps into to save her from making some stupid mistakes.
|Isabel Evans drove her car onto the curb of
Shelly Ritchards’ house and killed the engine.
Shelly, one of Isabel’s closest friends, was
holding a big party tonight and anyone who was
anyone was going to be there.
... Alex Whitman not being one of those anyones, or Liz Parker, or Maria DeLuca. That was one of the reasons Isabel had decided to come to the party. She didn’t want to be around Alex or his closest friends. Not after she had told him point-blank she didn’t want to be with him.
Which was a total lie. Whenever she saw him her heart flipped. She wanted nothing more then for him to take her in his arms and kiss her all day long ... but she had made it perfectly clear to Alex that this wasn’t what she wanted, and Alex had accepted that. Her heart had been crying when she saw his face, his high hopes crumble, and when he walked away from her, back perfectly straight, holding his head high despite the wound Isabel had inflicted on his heart. She’d wanted to call after him, wait, I take it back, I want to be with you. But she couldn’t make herself say it. She couldn’t bring herself to admit that she wasn’t as emotionally aloof as she persistently made out.
So now, here she was, at Shelly’s party, determined to have a good time – and forget Alex. Like it was going to be easy.
“ Isabel ! ” Adrian, Shelly’s older brother, called as soon as he saw Isabel. Everyone knew Adrian had the biggest crush on Isabel – Isabel had a habit of doing that to guys. “ Glad you could make it. ”
Normally Isabel didn’t encourage Adrian. It was one thing to toy with guys who would get over it, but Adrian had a thing for her – she didn’t want to hurt him by encouraging him when he had no hope. Like she had with Alex. But tonight she was determined to be the life of the party. She flashed a bright smile at Adrian. “ Glad to be here, ” she flipped back, flipping her hair in such a way that made Adrian’s heart soar.
Soon the party was in full swing, with Isabel dancing energetically to every song with a variety of guys – namely Adrian. After an hour someone pushed a drink of something into her hand. Isabel sipped and knew it was alcohol. After what had happened to Max with the blind date thing she knew she should know better then to drink, but she didn’t care. She just wanted to have fun. ------------------------------------- Alex was moping. He knew it was totally self-indulgent and getting him nowhere, but he couldn’t help himself. He wanted to self-indulge and go nowhere. He figured he was entitled to it.
Even though in his heart of hearts he knew Isabel had been giving him a lukewarm response to his advances, he still felt hurt that she had broken it to him that there would never be a them. Isabel. He tried to block from mind her beautiful face, the way her eyes danced when she laughed, the way she touched him gently when she felt comfortable around him. He might as well try to stop the waved from crossing onto the beach while he was trying to stop himself thinking about Isabel.
There was a knock on the door, then footsteps. One of Alex’s brothers answered the door, and Alex heard the familiar voice of one Elizabeth Parker. He cringed. Liz was going to give him the third degree about his break up with Isabel – if that’s what you could call it.
A few seconds later Liz entered his room. “ Heard of knocking ? ” he asked.
Liz ignored him. She bounced up to his bed and sat down on it, forcing Alex to sit up or else she’d sit on his legs. “ What’s going on with you and Isabel ? ” she asked.
“ Nothing – that’s just it, ” Alex replied. “ She said there was no ‘us’ and she went to this party tonight, presumably to find some other poor sucker she can lead around by the balls. ”
Liz was shocked at Alex’s words. “ Don’t speak like that, ” she said, “ and you can’t still get Isabel back. Look at me and Max. ”
“ You and Max are like two lovesick puppies, you’ll always go back to each other, ” Alex shot back. “ I can’t imagine Isabel rocking up and declaring her love for me – even drunk, ” he added with a smirk. Liz had told them all about Max getting drunk and declaring his love for Liz and it had become a joke amongst the three of them – well, mainly Maria and Alex.
“ Well then go to her, ” Liz said. “ Tell he how you fell, tell her you love her and can’t live without her – just make sure she understands. Are you just going to give up and let her go ? She could be the love of your life and you’re just letting her go like that. You’re a coward, Alex Whitman, and I’m ashamed that you’re my friend. ”
It was talk like this that convinced Alex to go to the party and confront Isabel. Looking back, Alex didn’t know where he got the bravado to rock up at Shelly Richards’ house. Shelly was definitely one of the popular girls at Roswell High, and Alex was definitely not.
Needless to say, people were surprised to see Alex there. But they figured out quickly it was because of Isabel. Everyone knew Alex had the biggest crush on Isabel. It was the biggest joke of school – everyone laughed at the idea of pretty, popular Isabel giving nerdy Alex a second glance.
“ Where’s Isabel ? ” Alex asked a girl he vaguely recognized as being in the in-group. The girl looked offended he had the nerve to speak to her, but when she realized Alex was not going to give up until he was with Isabel, she admitted she’d last seen her with some guys in the backyard. God, that guy is obsessed with her, the girl thought as Alex headed towards the backyard. Why doesn’t Izzy just tell him where to go ? It’s not like he’s worth it or anything.
Isabel realized she’d had a lot more to drink then she should have. Alcohol worked no better in her system then it did Max’s. She was beginning to feel sick. She wanted to be home, in bed. What’s more, she wanted Alex. She wanted to feel his arms around her rather then this drunks who were pawing her like she was some piece of property. Goddammit, why did that guy have to seep into her every pore of consciousness – sober or drunk ?
“ Did anyone tell you how gorgeous you are ? ” Adrian asked Isabel. When Isabel didn’t respond, Adrian kissed her. Isabel felt revolted at the feel of Adrian’s tongue in her mouth. He began gyrating against her, rubbing his hands along her body possessively. “ Oh, God, Isabel, I want you so much, ” he declared drunkenly.
No thanks, Isabel thought. She tried to push Adrian off her. When that failed, she lightly ran her hand down his back, bringing a sharp, electrical sensation to Adrian’s spine that sent him yowling. She hoped he was too drunk to realize what had just happened. Blindly, she pushed past him and headed for the door, hoping to find someone who could drive her home.
Wham! Isabel crashed straight into a brick wall. At least, it felt like a brick wall. But brick walls don’t have arms, Isabel thought stupidly when she felt a guy’s strong arms come around her to steady her swaying form. And walls don’t talk, she thought, when she heard a familiar voice say, “ Take it easy, Is. ” Alex!
Isabel looked up. It was Alex! Dear God, what was he doing here ? “ Alex, ” she mumbled dreamily. The next moment she was doubled over, throwing up. If Alex hadn’t dropped to his knees to support her she probably would have fallen face-first into her own vomit. Dear God this can’t be happening, Isabel thought. To be totally wasted was bad enough, but to have the love of her life witness it was a thousand times worse.
When she felt like there was nothing left in her stomach to throw up, Isabel unsteadily stood up. And almost fell down again, had it not been for Alex’s arms around her, holding her up. “ Alex, I’m fine, ” she mumbled. “ Really. ”
Alex laughed. “ You’re not fine, ” he said. “ Here, I’ll take you home before you do anything you might regret. ” He didn’t need to say use her powers ; it had been bad enough when Max had lit up all those street lamps in the presence of only Liz ; if Isabel used her powers here, that could be it for them. She shouldn’t have even used them on Adrian.
“ I think that’s a good idea, ” Isabel agreed. Mostly supported by Alex, Isabel made her way through the house and out the front door. Even in her drunken state, she was aware how many people were looking at her. She could only guess what they’d be saying about her at school on Monday. But she didn’t care. She only wanted to get home to bed.
Alex had to stop three times on the way home so Isabel could throw up again. Every time, she felt humiliation burn at her. Whatever Alex had thought of her before couldn’t compare to what he must think of her now!
At the Evans house Alex quickly rushed to the passenger’s side to lift Isabel out of the car. “ I’ll carry you in, ” he whispered to her as he hook his arm under her knees. “ There’s no-one around to see you so drunk Alex Whitman has to carry you into the house. ”
Was there a touch of bitterness in his voice ? Even with her brain not fully functioning, Isabel was sure there was. And she couldn’t blame him, not the way she’d treated him.
“ What the hell happened to her ? ” Max asked Alex when he opened the door.
“ She drank a bit too much, ” Alex explained in the understatement of the year. “ I’m just going to put her to bed, unless, um – unless you don’t think that’s appropriate. ”
Max felt like laughing at Alex’s eagerness to prove himself to the whole family. He wanted them to know he would do the right thing and would never take advantage of Isabel ... it was totally sweet. Like Max had told Isabel countless times before, Alex was the perfect guy for her – if only she’d stop pushing him away. “ No, that’s fine. ”
Carrying Isabel with ease, Alex was soon in her bedroom. Isabel moaned when she felt Alex drop her gently onto her bed and t he security of his arms left her. “ Alex ? ” she cried, grabbing frantically at the air.
Alex took one of her hands in his. “ Shh, I’m here, Is, ” he reassured her gently. “ You’re home in bed. Get some rest. You’ll feel better in the morning. ” Or maybe the morning after that. He got up to leave.
“ Wait, Alex, ” Isabel called. Alex turned. “ Why were you at the party tonight ? ” she asked.
“ I’ll explain when you’re sober, ” Alex said before he left Isabel to sleep. If she was willing to talk to him.
“ So she was drunk and you took her home ? I don’t get what the big crises is, ” Liz said when Alex related the story back to her the following morning.
Alex rolled his eyes, frustrated. He couldn’t believe Liz was so slow to grasp the concept of why Isabel Evans was never going to speak to him again. But then, she was seeing it from the perspective of her and Max’s relationship, and no social barriers stood in the way of their love. “ Don’t you get it ? She’ll be totally humiliated now – all her friends saw her leave, with me, totally drunk. I guarantee you that by Monday it will be all over school that she was getting all hot and heavy with me... or something like that. ”
“ OK, firstly, ” Liz argued, “ if she never wants to speak to you again ’coz you were only trying to help, then she doesn’t deserve you in the first place and you should stop moping about her. And secondly, that’s all you were trying to do – help. And you probably did – who knows what she could have done if you hadn’t stepped in. ”
Alex wished he could feel the same way. Liz had a point – if Isabel was so concerned about her popularity, then he was too good for her. But that didn’t stop him feeling the way he felt about Isabel. “ ... Look, just go over there and confront her, ” Liz said. “ What’s the worse she can say ? She never wants to see you again ? ” That was what Alex was worried about.
Alex’s stomach was full of butterflies when he walked up the driveway to the Evans house. Max answered the door. “ Hey Alex, I assume you’re here to see Isabel? Go right through – but be gentle with her, she has the biggest hangover. ”
Alex felt the butterflies in his stomach multiplying as he mounted the stairs to the second floor and made his way to Isabel’s room. Isabel was sitting on her bed, knees tucked under her chin, staring off at nothing in particular. “ Alex, ” she greeted him with a small smile, all she could manage or else her face would hurt. “ I been wanting to speak to you all morning. ”
“ You have ? ” Oh, God, it was starting already. “ Isabel, I’m sorry about last night. I didn’t mean to embarrass you. I don’t know what exactly I planned to do, get down on me knees and declare my love for you or something, but ... I’m sorry, ” he finished lamely.
If Isabel’s head wasn’t pounding she would have laughed. “ You’re sorry ? ” she quizzed. “ God, Alex, all this morning I was thinking about how shabbily I treat you. I’m so damn attracted to you and that s cares me, so I push you away ... I can’t tell you how sorry I am, Alex, that I’ve hurt you so much. That was so typical of you to charge in and rescue me like I was worthy of your loyalty - ”
“ You are worthy of my loyalty, Iz, ” Alex interrupted, but Isabel cut him off. This was difficult for her to say, but she was going to say it before her nerve ran out.
“ ... All my life I’d wanted someone to look out for me, someone who cared about me beyond how I look or what my social status was. And when that person never came along I guess I distanced myself further and further from anyone who might try to be that someone. And then you came along, and I think I lost you ’coz I was too out of touch with myself to see how perfect you were for me. ”
Alex sat next to Isabel and took her hands in his. “ You haven’t lost me, ” he reassured her. “ You could never lose me, not if you tried. Ever since I first set eyes on you I was totally infatuated with you. I’d live for a glance from you, for you to talk to me, for you to treat me like you ... like you cared about me. ”
“ But I never did, ” Isabel reflected. “ I always – I made myself see you as nerdy, geeky Alex who none of my friends would like. I made myself see you for what you’d do to my reputation – and not what you could do for my heart. ”
Speaking of hearts, Alex could practically feel his melting and oozing onto Isabel’s embroidered quilt. “ I – I don’t know what to say, ” he stammered. What did you say when the girl of your dreams who could thought was just that, an impossible dream, admitted she felt the same way – when your most secret of fantasies came true ?
“ Say it’s not too late, ” Isabel replied, a wistful note in her voice. “ Say I haven’t left it too late, that you haven’t moved on, that you haven’t given up on the hope of one day we might be together. Say – ”
Alex never found out what Isabel was about to say. He silence the words forming in her head with a kiss. It was a soft, gentle one, but didn’t fail to move their worlds. Isabel snaked her arms around Alex’s neck, running her fingers through his hair. Alex wrapped his arms tightly around her and moved her against him so not a hair could have passed between them. “ Oh, God, Alex, ” she whispered hoarsely when his lips left hers to explore her expanse of bare neck. “ This is all I ever wanted... someone to look out of me ... someone to love me ... ”
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours