FanFic - Other
"What Remains Behind"
Part 5
by Joy Elizabeth
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Future fiction. Michael has died and the rest of them must deal with his death, as well as some other unresolved issues between them.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This part is dedicated to each and every person who has given me feedback on this-you can never know how much it means to me.
They all gathered at the Crashdown for dinner. Everyone seemed to have brought food. Why on earth did people think that you were hungry at a time like this? Liz tried to decide what to take. Her eye caught the chocolate cake sitting on the counter. She noticed that the Tabasco sauce was sitting near it. She shook her head. It had been a long time since she had eaten cake and Tabasco sauce. Her diet was normal now.

She finally decided to take some ham. Her hand brushed against someone else's as she reached for it, and she looked up to see her former lover staring back at her.

"Sorry." He took some ham. He wasn't hungry, but at least if he was eating it would give him something to concentrate on besides them. And breathing.

Liz walked to the booth where Kyle was sitting. How could so much have changed, but the still connection remained? How could she have come so far only to be pushed back at the mere sight of this man that she had left? She liked her life the way it was. She loved Kyle. And she knew that she needed to keep it that way. Because they could never go back and fix what had gone wrong. And nothing about the way that his eyes were looking at her was going to change that fact.


"Isabel," Alex said, sitting down beside the beautiful girl that he had loved so long ago. Her eyes still danced at the sight of him. He was glad that she hadn't changed.

"Hi, Alex," she replied. Her heart fluttered. Alex Whitman was the only man on earth who could do that to her. She had almost forgotten what it felt like.

"Where's Paul?"

"Oh, he's over there, talking to my dad," she said, smiling. Her father would never understand that she was serious when she said that these guys were just a distraction. He always insisted on meeting them. "Where's Audrey?"

"She was feeling tired, so Liz said that she could lie down in the house."

Isabel nodded. Alex was going to be a father. What a strange thought. She knew in her head that they were adults now, that they were far old enough to be parents. Still, the idea of bringing a child into this world-it just seemed completely foreign to her.

"When are you leaving?"

"Tomorrow. Max is driving us to the airport, and then he's going to drive back to Texas. How about you?"

"We're leaving tonight. She needs to be near her doctor. Really, she shouldn't have come, but she wanted to meet you and Max."

She nodded again. How could she have nothing more to say? She had played out conversations with him in her head a hundred times, and yet now that she was here beside him, she couldn't bear to speak for fear that everything would shatter all around her.

"Isabel," he said. "I need to tell you that I'm sorry about the way I acted ... the last time I saw you. I didn't understand then. I do now."

"No, don't apologize."

"I need to. If you hadn't ... well, my life would be very different. And I'm happy, I really am."

She smiled. "I see that." She looked into his warm eyes. "Alex, I'm the one who should apologize. You can never know what that meant to me. To have someone love you enough to want to say forever..." Her voice trailed off as the memory grew stronger in her head.

>>> "Alex, what is it?"

"Just a minute," he said, leading his blindfolded girlfriend to the roof of his apartment.

"Alex, how high off the ground are we?" Her voice was shaking.

"Why, do you think that I'm going to let you fall?"

He flipped the switch and a thousand tiny white light bulbs lit the sky. "Okay, ta-da!" He pulled the blindfold off.

Her eyes adjusted to the light, slowly focusing on the table in front of her. Two tall white candles stood in the middle of it. Chocolate cake sat on each plate. Beside one was a bottle of Tabasco sauce.

"Oh my god, Alex, how did you do this?"

He just laughed and pulled out her chair. "Just wait, my lady. The night holds many surprises." <<<

His eyes clouded over at the memory. He was older now, and wiser. He knew that she had done the right thing. But the hurt was still there, just a small part, but it was there. And as he remembered, he doubted that it would ever go away.

>>> "Close your eyes."

"Why must everything begin with me not being able to see?"

"Just do it." She obliged. He pulled the ring from his pocket and set it in front of her. "Okay, now open them."

Isabel's smile was wide as she opened her eyes. But it started to fade as they focused on the half caret diamond ring in front of her.

"Oh, Alex." She could feel tears coming into her eyes. Why would he have done this? They had talked about this and she had made it clear that this wasn't what she wanted.

"Please say yes," he whispered. Surely she could see. She must know that she was his world. He couldn't breathe without her. And she couldn't breathe without him. He just hoped that she would finally see that. That she would stop pushing him away. Because he knew that she loved him, even if she didn't.

"Alex...I can't," she choked on the words. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." And she ran as fast as she could. Away from that ring and that moment and that beautiful boy who refused to understand that love wasn't always enough. <<<

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