FanFic - Other
"Standing By the Crossroads"
"Keeping A Straight Face"
Part 1
by Stephanie
Disclaimer: I like to think I own Max and Michael, but then I wake up and realize I own practically nothing, including anything from the Roswell community. The song is by Vertical Horizon.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Hey everyone! I've decided to try my hand at the Roswell fiction... This is my first Roswell fic, so please no flaming or anything. For some reason it's hard for me to write what I feel is meaningful Roswell material
Somewhere there's speaking
It's already coming in
Oh and it's rising at the back of your mind
You never could get it

Isabel Evans tapped her pencil against her textbook, her eyes flitting past the same sentence she had already read twice. 'It's no use concentrating,' she thought, holding her chin in her hand as she stared at the picture of Shakespeare.

All she could think about was two weeks ago, the day of the UFO convention, and how she had told Alex Whitman to stop following her around like a lost puppy, giving her those soft looks that gave her shivers. She wasn't proud or happy about putting that hurt look on Alex's face, especially so close to Valentine's Day. She truly liked him, but felt like she needed breathing room to sort out her feelings. What she did wasn't that nasty, she had a right.

Still, she couldn't stop picturing the injured look in Alex's eyes when he glanced at her before leaving her house that day. The bell rang, signifying the end of the English class and school for the day.

The teacher stood as the kids began gathering their books. "I expect this chapter to be read by Monday along with a 1000 word essay on Shakespeare's life. Everyone have a nice weekend." The majority of the class groaned loudly before herding to the door, eager to escape any other added assignments the teacher might think of.

Isabel glanced about her, then looked back at her open textbook. Normally she didn't try to cheat, but she hadn't spent one ounce of brain power on the Friday afternoon's class. She flipped back to the beginning of the chapter and quickly sped through the pages, keeping her hand over the book and concentrating as the information flowed through her mind. A second later she was finished with the chapter, and shoved the book in her book bag before jumping up and leaving the room.

Isabel made her way over to her locker, taking out books she would need for the weekend and leaving behind the ones she didn't.

"Isabel," A desperate squeak behind her made Isabel wince as she was closing her locker door.

Isabel turned around and was faced by two giant boxes. Wrapped around the bottom one was someone's grip which was rapidly slipping. The person turned to the side and Maria Deluca's panicky green eyes met Isabel's frosty brown.

"Could you please help me with this?" Maria squeaked, leaning backward to keep the top box from falling. Sighing, Isabel grasped the second box and pulled it away. "I just have to bring them to the gym," Maria said, nodding her head in front of her.

Isabel peered into the box and caught a glimpse of pink and white crepe paper rolls. "What is this?" she asked, falling in step with the blonde.

Maria rolled her eyes. "Decorations for the spring dance Monday night. Liz roped me into setting them up with her, even though I'm not even going to it."

"Liz is on the decorations committee?" Isabel wondered, pushing the gym doors open and walking inside. "She's just a volunteer. Such a goody-goody." Maria rolled her eyes again. She dropped the box on the floor with a thud that echoed throughout the gymnasium.

Isabel set her box beside the fallen one and looked around distastefully. "You've got your work cut out for you."

Maria wrinkled her nose at the large banner on the far wall announcing "Roswell High Spring Dance…Fall In Love" in bright pink lettering. "Don't remind me. Thanks for helping." Isabel nodded.

Liz Parker came up to them carrying a clipboard, pencil in hand. "Did you bring the decorations?" she asked Maria. "Oh, hi Isabel. Did you come to help put up the stuff?" Liz added.

Isabel opened one of the boxes and pulled out a stuffed alien holding a red heart between its three-fingered hands. It had hearts on the end of its antennae, which shook back and forth as she jiggled it. She held it up, her eyebrows raised.

Liz turned a faint pink and grabbed it out of her hand, tossing it back into the box. "Well, it may be a little tacky, but…everyone seems to have a good time every year."

"I wouldn't know," Isabel said airily. "I've never gone. There's always someplace better to be then at school, at a cheesy dance."

Maria grinned cattily. "Like at home, alone."

Isabel narrowed her eyes in Maria's direction, but didn't answer.

"Parker! Deluca! Let's get a move on." Ms. Wallace, the female coach of Roswell High, blew her whistle shrilly and clapped her hands.

Isabel backed away from the two girls, waving goodbye. "As I said, I've got better places to be."

"Bye." Liz and Maria chorused before turning to the coach.

Isabel walked out and into the empty hall. It was amazing how fast everyone left on Friday afternoons. She stepped out into the sunny New Mexico weather, looking around the parking lot. She groaned when she noticed the parking spot where the jeep was usually parked was empty.

(I can't believe Max left without me.)

Isabel sighed, mentally gauging the distance from the high school to her house.

"Need a ride?" Alex came up behind her, carrying a guitar case and his backpack.

"Hi," Isabel said coolly, squinting up at him while ignoring the butterflies in her stomach.

Alex smiled at her, no traces of his former hurt anywhere in his eyes.

"Hey. As I said, need a ride home?"

Isabel weighed the decision, then nodded. Just because they couldn't be together, didn't mean they couldn't be friends. She had to repeat this to herself many times a day. A bit unnerved at Alex's sudden friendliness, she followed him to his car at the other end of the school. "So what are you still doing here?" she asked him.

Alex looked up at the blue sky, then back at Isabel. "The band teacher was trying to persuade me to join the band and play this banjo type thing. He trapped me in the science room before I could leave."

"Are you?"

"Am I what?" Alex asked, confused.

Isabel rolled her eyes. "Are you joining the band?"

"Are you kidding?" Alex scoffed. "The electric banjo? I don't think so." They climbed into his car and left the parking lot.

Isabel rolled down her window as they turned onto the highway. She was at a loss for words, which didn't happen very often. Alex's overly casual attitude made her feel slightly hurt. Of course she had asked him to back off, but she never realized how much she liked knowing that someone cared for her, knew what she was and really liked her.

She cast a sideways glance at Alex, making sure he wouldn't notice. Had she been wrong in telling him to give her space? Isabel jerked her eyes toward the road and bit her lip doubtfully. The whole thing was making her very confused, and she hated being confused. The fact that Alex looked quite handsome in blue wasn't helping the situation either. Suddenly she was really eager to get out of the car, even though they were on the middle of the road.

Alex finally turned to look at her, giving her a casual smile as she fumbled with her seatbelt. "Thanks for driving me home, Alex." Isabel said quickly. "I appreciate it."

"I'll see you at the Crashdown later," Alex waved.

Isabel closed the door and walked up her driveway. Alex waited until she had opened the door before pulling away from the curb.

As he drove around the corner and stopped at a stop sign, Alex let out a huge breath. He didn't realize it would be so hard to act casual and aloof around Isabel after pursing her for so long. He hoped she hadn't seen through his act. It was hard putting up with not looking at her like that, knowing she wasn't pleased with his affections. Still, he couldn't stop liking her after knowing what a sweet person she was. Not to mention how beautiful she looked in that red skirt.

Alex shifted gears and drove forward, wondering how he was going to make it through an evening at the Crashdown.

Alex walked through the doors of the Crashdown Café, catching Liz's eye from the counter. He made his way around packs of teenagers and settled into a bar seat.

"Hey, Alex," Liz said, handing him his usual drink.

"Evening, Liz. Thanks." Alex grabbed a straw from the dispenser and stuck it in his Cherry Coke. "Busy night, huh?"

Liz smiled wearily. "You have no idea. It's like this every Friday. What are you doing here? Doesn't your band usually practice tonight?"

"Uh, well, drummer's sick." Alex answered absently, turning around to look for Isabel. His gaze stopped at the booth she, Max, and Michael usually sat at, but only Max and Michael were sitting there, deep in discussion.

Maria came up behind Liz and collapsed against the counter. "Those jocks are a-holes." she complained, casting a gaze at a table near the front. "Two of them tried to grab my butt and one even tried to lift my skirt! This really annoying one kept calling me 'baby-cakes'. How degrading is that?"

"If you want, I'll go over and deal with them." Liz started out toward the table, but Maria grabbed her arm.

"Oh no, Liz. I cannot let you subject yourself to them." She took a breath and squared her shoulders. "I've already been contaminated, I might as well finish the job."

Alex chuckled at his friend's over-dramatics and went back to look for Isabel. In the background, the music changed to a mid-tempo.

Somewhere there's speaking
It's already coming in
Oh and it's rising at the back of your mind
You never could get it
Unless you were fed it
Now you're here and you don't know why

Alex's face fell when he caught sight of Isabel in a red tank top and black leather pants flirting with Nathan Marx, a blonde, blue eyed football player.

Isabel smiled brightly and tilted her head back to laugh as Alex watched with jealousy. He turned around to face his soda with a lump in his throat, casting sideways glances at the couple.

You howl and listen
Listen and wait for the
Echoes of angels who won't return

Isabel raised a hand and swept her hair off her shoulder, pretending to listen intently to Nathan's story. She studied his tan face, watching his lips move as he stumbled over words to make her understand.

"It's, like, the most exciting thing I ever could have experienced. You're just up there one minute, and then, you're like, just flying through the air the next. The chill factor is almost freezing, and it's, like, amazing." Nathan told her, making 'swoosh' sounds for effects.

Isabel smiled and nodded. she found herself thinking. Isabel mentally kicked herself.

He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why

Isabel felt acutely aware that someone was watching her every move. She looked past Nathan's shoulder and was just in time to see Alex advert his eyes from her face. She watched him hunch over his soda, blowing bubbles with his straw. Without thinking, she smiled sweetly. He was like a little child sometimes.

"I'm glad you like the idea." Nathan said, mistaking her smile for him.

Isabel drew her gaze back to the guy in front of her, telling herself she was happy and needed to focus on the conversation, not Alex. But truthfully she knew how she really felt. Empty and aching.

You're waiting for someone
To put you together
You're waiting for someone to push you away
There's always another wound to discover
There's always something more you wish he'd say

Alex slowly looked back at Isabel, who was staring at Nathan with a strange look on her face. he thought. He listened to the music wafting around him, staring at Isabel and singing the words in his mind, matching his situation with every line.

I am everything you want
I am everything you need
I am everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
I say all the right things
At exactly the right time
But I mean nothing to you and I don't know why
And I don't know why

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Part 2
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