by Nace M.
Disclaimer: Nope, don't own them. Melinda, Jason, and the WB do.
Authors Note: Much Love to the folks on the Radish mailing list and message boards. To Kara who helped fix a snag, and to Jing...my muse in princess's clothing.
|She walked down the hall, knowing her destination, his locker. It was
possibly the millionth time she'd walked through this covered hall, but today
was different. Today she was no longer walking with her head hunched, eyes
fixated on her shoes. Her head was raised, firmly in place between her
shoulders, looking straight ahead. She felt good, she never thought she could
feel so good. She felt good because of him, because of Alex. She smiled as
her fingers tapped lightly on the book, 'An Introduction to Modern
Astronomy.' She planned to give it to him, he had seemed so fascinated last
night and she thought he might like to have it. She had contemplated giving
to him for hours, weighing the pros and cons, ruling in possible laugh
factor. She knew he wouldn't laugh at her, but hey, insecurities are what
they are. They don't go away after one night of pure bliss, and that's just
what it was to her, bliss. He came into view as she rounded the corner, and
she stopped. Took a few more steps, stopped again.
'Oh just get on with it,' her mind urged.
"Hi," she said softly.
"Hey," he replied as he turned to face her, lips curving in a sweet smile.
"Um, I have something for you," she said as her cheeks slightly flushed, but she didn't look down.
"Yeah?" he replied. "I get a present?"
"Here," she said handing him the book, and watched his face carefully as he studied the cover and traced his fingers along the spine.
"Wow," he whispered, feeling his heart swell at her thoughtfulness. "This is great, I uh…thanks."
He kissed her cheek softly, and she thought she would melt into a small puddle on the floor right there. They smiled at each other, he was about to ask what she was doing after school… when Craig and Jimmy and all the other jerks he'd come to despise stepped directly in front of Isabel not even acknowledging her presence. As if she didn't register on the same plain of existence as the rest of them. Isabel froze, and looked to Alex. He gave her a small nod, trying to show her that it would be okay.
"Alex, baby," Craig said. "Where were you last night man? Sherry had a killer party and Jimmy here got so wasted he puked in her pool."
"I was out," Alex replied shooting him a look of disgust. "Do you mind? I was talking to Isabel before you so rudely stepped in front of her."
"Who?" Craig said looking confused.
Alex pointed behind Craig, showing Isabel hugging herself tightly and staring at the floor. Alex didn't want to see her like that; she shouldn't have to feel like this.
"Geek princess?" Craig nearly shouted causing the rest of the boys to burst into laughter. "What the hell are you talking to her for?"
Alex shot a look to Isabel, she looked so small right then, and it hurt him. These guys didn't have the right to make her feel like that, nobody did.
"Yes I was," Alex shot back. "What's your problem?"
"The fact that my grandma is cooler than that broad," Craig said coldly. "Are you in it for a quick bang or what?"
The whole group irrupted into laughter again, as Alex balled his hands into fists. He looked over to her, and she had flinched like Craig just slapped her. A tear trickled down her cheek as she turned on her heels and ran down the hall. He could hear her sobs as she ran.
That did it, Isabel looked so crushed, so hurt. Alex felt himself dying inside; he didn't want his Isabel to be so sad. It was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. He looked up to Craig, who was watching her run off.
"Well, now that the problem is solved…" he began, as he turned back to face Alex.
The force of Alex's fist striking his jaw cut off the rest of his sentence. He crumpled onto the ground and stared up at Alex in pain and shock, as the rest of the group looked on stunned.
"What the hell was that for?" he had the audacity to ask.
"Don't you ever say anything like that about her!" Alex shouted. "You waste of human space. If I ever hear you say another heartless thing regarding Isabel, I will end you! You hear me?"
"Is that a threat?" Craig asked standing back up and going eye to eye with Alex.
"No," Alex said turning his back on him and rushing down the hall in the direction Isabel ran off to. "It's a good-bye."
She stared through tear stained eyes around the room. The music room. It being soundproof was perfect; she didn't want anyone to hear her cry. She wasn't exactly thinking to come to this particular spot, it just happened to be the first door she opened when she figured she was far away enough. Far enough away from them. Those jerks, they didn't know her. Yet it was so easy just to crush someone. To make them feel like a waste. It wasn't fair, just when she was feeling so happy, so right. It had to be snatched away. It wouldn't work with Alex, she thought. They were just too different. He'd made a choice before, and he chose popularity over his two best friends. Why would he ever give it up for her? More tears ran down her face, just when she started to feel like somebody, she was reminded that she was nobody. ***
Alex ran down the hallways of West Roswell High, frantically searching for Isabel. He had to find her; he just couldn't leave her like that.
"Bastards," he thought.
Sure he had hated them long before today, but never this much. They dared hurt his Isabel… His Isabel. He smiled at the thought of that. This thing they had developing between was not going to be thrown away because his former jerk friends thought it was a simple try at a score. It wasn't like that to him; she was so much better than any girl he'd ever been with. She didn't care about his social status; she didn't care about his fashion sense. She cared about HIM, and that was just miraculous. He could be himself with her, without fear, without hesitation. He wanted to feel that so badly right now, if only he could find her… He stopped running and took a more discreet approach, walking around slowly, occasionally glancing into a classroom to see if she was in one of them. After about twenty rooms, he was getting frustrated. He needed to scream. He turned and headed toward the music room, it was soundproof in there.
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