FanFic - Unconventional Couples
"All In The Family II"
Part 1
by Karen
Disclaimer: Just borrowing, thankyouverymuch
Summary: Max and Isabel explore their new relationship
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: R
Authors Note: Sequel to All in the Family. Feedback always appreciated.
It's been a week since I recovered the love of my life. She is tall, blond, gorgeous. She is nearly my height, and sometimes she wears heels that make her taller than me. I don't mind. I exist to be in her company, to hold her, to love her.

My joy is marred by the fact that the world knows her as my sister. She isn't my sister, even though we were raised that way. My heart aches that I have to hide my love for her. Now I second-guess everything. Am I sitting too close to her? Have I stared just a few seconds too long? Do my eyes betray me and reveal to the world the passion I feel for her?

I ache that I can't hold her hand when we walk in the park. My heart rips from my chest when I see her in the hallway at school and have to barely acknowledge her existence when all I really want to do is kiss her like every other guy kisses his girlfriend. But she's not my girlfriend. She is my wife. I smile with the irony that we have shared the same last name all of our lives.

I can't keep my secret forever and I confide in Michael. He doesn't give me his normal, spontaneous reaction like he does to everything else and I can't tell if he is upset, angry, or what. Then he smiles, and his smile seems somewhat macabre in light of the fact that he never smiles. Then he laughs, and it is a joyous laugh. He is free of Isabel - he's been caught between his brotherly feelings for her and his sense of duty. I, on the other hand, have never had brotherly feelings for Isabel. I realize that now. But Michael is saddled with Tess, a realization that momentarily sobers him. But that is cast away as we both realize that Michael can be a real jerk, and it just may take a real jerk to put Tess in her place. Michael gives me a brotherly embrace, something I can never remember him doing, and we part amicably.

At home, I search the living room as soon as I enter. I do that now - when I enter a room in our house, I seek her out. She's not in the living room, but I spy her sweatshirt on the arm of the couch. I imagine her coming home from her run and discarding clothing as she moves for the shower. My throat tightens and I retrieve her sweatshirt, hold it to my nose. Isabel never smells when she sweats, it's the oddest thing. Her shirt smells sweet, like her perfume and her own special scent. I close my eyes and inhale deeply, thinking about how my pillow smells like her from time to time. When I reopen my eyes, Mom is standing in the doorway with a very puzzled expression on her face. I have no excuse for my actions, so I clear my throat, stare at the floor and hurry for my bedroom. Good move, Max. The woman already thought you were a little strange - now she catches you sniffing your sister's clothing. I heave a sigh as I enter my room.

I remove my watch and am about to unload the contents of my pockets when I realize my shower is running. My head whips toward the bathroom door - the door is open and I can see the steam accumulating near the ceiling. For the love of God, what is she doing!

I wave my hand toward the bedroom door and it shuts quietly, then I move for the bathroom. The water stops and I hear the glide of the shower door.

"Isabel!" I whisper loudly. "What the hell are you doing?" I am afraid to get too close to the door for fear I will see her nude and not be able to control myself.

"Taking a shower," she replies matter-of-factly. She is speaking in her normal voice. No hushed tones for my Isabel, no way.

"Shh!" I scold. "Please keep your voice down."

She emerges from the bathroom, a very large white towel wrapped around her voluptuous body. Her hair is tangled and wet and droplets of water fall onto her chest and shoulders. She takes my breath away. "Chill," she says as she sits on my bed.

"What are you thinking?" I ask her as I move to stand before her. "Mom is only one room and one hallway away."

She groans and sits back on her elbows. "Don't go all Mr. Responsibility on me, Max. You were doing so well."

I am a little stung by her comment, but I let it pass. She sees the hurt in my eyes - she can read me like a book. Then a devilish look passes across her face and she lifts one of her long legs toward me. I don't move. Her pointed toes touch me right below my throat and she drags her foot down my body. She passes my chest, my stomach, and she is even bold enough to run her toes past my waist and over my zipper. I step back and she laughs lightly. She's absolutely wicked some times, my wife.

I turn on my heels and go into the bathroom. She has managed to fog up everything and the climate in that small room resembles that of an endangered rain forest. I locate her brush and return to the bedroom. She is still sitting back on her elbows, watching me.

I hold up the brush. "May I?" I ask. I always ask permission with Isabel. She makes fun of me for it, but I was raised to be polite and gentle with women and she is no different. I was also raised to believe that she is my sister, but I don't want to think about that.

Her gaze softens and she nods. She sits up and turns sideways so I can sit behind her. I pull the brush through her long beautiful locks. When wet, they reach almost all of the way to her waist. My motions are slow, careful. The second time through, I use the bare minimum of my power and slowly dry her hair as I brush. She breathes a little laugh at that. I have lost the ability to laugh - I am entranced by the feel of her hair, the smell of her body, the fact that she is only wearing a towel and she is sitting on my bed. I finish with her hair, then lean close so I can speak into her ear from behind. She pulls in a little breath at our closeness.

"Get dressed," I command gently, softly. "Meet me at the jeep. We'll tell Mom we're going to the library."

She nods in response, then hurriedly pulls on her clothes. In the hallway, I hear her play out the ruse. "Max? Can you give me a ride to the library?" She doesn't wait for me to respond. "Okay. I'll meet you outside."

I wait a beat, shuffle some stuff around as if I am looking for my keys, then I try not to look hurried as I leave the house. I wave to Mom on my way out and I am thankful that I thought to pick up my backpack. Isabel is sitting in the passenger seat. She's staring at the floor, and I know this is to avoid Mom seeing the anxious look in her eyes. I climb into the driver's seat and start the jeep. As I am putting it into reverse and looking over my shoulder, I see her hand move for my leg.

"Not yet, sweetheart," I say without looking at her. "Wait."

She heaves a sigh and I know she is impatient. Isabel is not a patient person. But she needs to obey the rules. There are too many things to explain to too many people at this point. We need to avoid suspicion. I know she doesn't like it any more than I do.

We drive in silence through the streets of Roswell, and once we have left the streetlights behind us she is all over me. She kisses my ear, sending a shiver through my body. Her breasts press against my arm, her thigh is tight against mine. I want her so bad I can feel a tear coming to my eye. I manage to wrap my right arm around her body, but I want both of my arms around her. I want to pull her body against mine, I want to crush her against me. I want to make love to her. She momentarily blocks my view of the road and the jeep swerves. My heart trips in my chest.

"Is," I say breathlessly. "You have to slow down. We're going to wreck."

She pulls back from me for a minute, her eyes confused. Then she smiles and descends on me. Oh, for the love of God! This isn't helping! In one manic moment I imagine my explanation to the police officer filing the accident report - "Well, officer, it's like this - this gorgeous busty blond had just dive bombed me and caused me to lose control of the vehicle. Did I mention the world thinks she's my sister? Why are you looking at me like that and what are the handcuffs for?" I stifle the laugh, but my attention is back on Isabel. I know this is wrong, but I can no longer deny the feelings raging inside of me. I resort to laying my hand on the back of her lovely head and trying to concentrate on the road.

The pod chamber has become our retreat. No one knows how to get there or into the chamber itself except for me, Isabel, Michael and Tess. Here we are safe. We can be free, act free, do what we please. No one will find us here. When we enter, Isabel drags her hand along some of the rocks and they immediately begin to illuminate the cave. We make long, slow love. She cries out my name and her voice echoes off the walls.

Afterward, we sit on the blanket we now leave stashed in the chamber. I have bite marks all over my chest, and I know from the sting on my back that I am covered with scratches. She sits on my lap, her long legs straddling my body, as I lazily kiss her. I feel so at peace at this moment. I break our kiss and bury my head against her chest. Her skin is damp with sweat beneath my cheek, and I listen to the steady beat of her heart beneath my ear. Her arms encircle my back and she pulls me tighter against her. I heave a sigh. The warmth of her body, the thump of her heart, and the physical exhaustion of our lovemaking is making me sleepy.

"Did you love Liz?" she asks suddenly, her voice reverberating under my ear.

Liz. Of course I loved Liz. I still love Liz, and I know I always will. I miss her, I really do. I miss her little laugh, her friendship, her companionship. But I don't ache for her. I miss her like I would miss my best friend. I miss her like I would miss Michael if he happened to journey away from us.

I nod my head against Isabel's body. One of her hands comes up and weaves its way into my hair. When she speaks again, her voice is tender.

"Did it hurt?" she asks. "Telling her?"

I think about that afternoon. I hadn't wasted any time - the day after I consummated my relationship with Isabel, I set Liz free. I had never lied to her, and I wasn't about to start. She deserves more respect than that. She didn't react the way I had anticipated. There were no tears. At first she looked at me with what looked like disbelief, and then I saw the flicker in her eyes go out. I had killed something inside of her. I know deep down that she knew she'd been biding time with me, that some day some alien thing would come up and kick her in the teeth. Isabel was that thing. When I'd left Liz's rooftop, she hadn't even said goodbye. She just watched me go, her eyes dull. It devastated me.

I nod again in response to Isabel's question. She begins a rocking, soothing motion with her body, comforting me.

Her next question is not a surprise. "Did you ever make love to her?"

I lift my head and lean back a bit so I can look into her eyes. I see no worry, no jealousy. She has asked an honest question. I shake my head. Her expression doesn't change - no relief, no disbelief.

"Did you want to?" she questions.

I nod and pull in a breath. "I thought I did," I tell her. "I tried a few times, but it just never seemed right." I think about those failed attempts, about Liz being willing and me being somewhat unable. Not physically unable, just unwilling, I guess. I decided I can reverse the Q&A. I am somewhat surprised that Isabel and I still have secrets the other has not discovered. "What about Alex?"

A smile crosses Isabel's face. "I did love him, yes. At least I thought I did. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would when I told him. No, obviously I never made love to him. Did I want to? Sure, sometimes, but he never even tried." I see her affection for Alex in her expression. "He's a gentleman."

I smile back and nod. I run my hands down her sides, over the curve of her hips. There is nothing petite about Isabel - she is filled out to the max. Her breasts are full, her hips round, but her waist is small and her body is tight. It doesn't matter to me - I would love her if she gained 1000 pounds. I think briefly of Liz, of how sometimes I was afraid I would hurt her. Liz seemed fragile and vulnerable while Isabel is sturdy, strong. Then it dawns on me - Liz is a girl, Isabel is a woman.

"When are mom and dad going out of town again?" I ask her.

"Next weekend, I think," she responds. "Why?"

I tighten my grip on her and kiss her neck. "Because I want to wake up in your arms. And cook you breakfast, and give you a bath, and read you to sleep." She draws in a little breath when I reach her earlobe.

"Max, we can't," she says, but her protest is weak. She drags her tongue along the side of my face, from my jaw to my temple and I shudder at the unexpected sensation. "The library will close soon and Mom will expect us home."

I cover her mouth with mine and kiss her deeply. "So, we'll say we stopped for pizza." I move on to her breasts, but the motion she was making with her hand in my hair has stopped. I look up at her.

"Pizza," she repeats. Then her eyes seem suddenly bright. "Let's get pizza. We'll take it home and have a late dinner with Mom."

In my current state of undress, there is no hiding my need for her. And yet she is ignoring it. Somehow. I give a little frown. "You want pizza?" I find this hard to believe.

"Max, I'm starving," she says, over-exaggerating the last word in typical Isabel fashion. "And I didn't see Mom at all today."

Isabel's relationship with our mother is very important to her. I would never be able to deny her that. I sigh and nod my head in resignation. She climbs off me and I shudder without her body heat to warm me in the cool air of the cave.

Looking down at me, she points toward the marks on my body. "Heal those."

As she is pulling on her clothes, I heal the bite marks and scratches, but I leave one bruise below the belt line where no one can see it. I smile. It is my momento.

I retrieve my clothes and go about the task of putting them back on. I pull on my shirt last, and as my head pops through the neck, I notice her standing a few feet away, just looking at me. Her long hair is half covering her face, her hands are on the waistband of her unzipped jeans - she has stopped mid-motion to stare at me. At first I am afraid of what may be behind me and I glance quickly over my shoulder. There is nothing there. Then I look back to her and I see a single tear sliding down her cheek. I raise my eyebrows in question.

"I love you," she says quietly.

This is the first time she has spoken those words out of the context of sibling affection and it has apparently been an effort for her. I understand. Completely. Isabel has never been able to let anyone in. I doubt if she ever told Alex she loved him, even if she did.

"I know you do," I respond softly.

It seems to reassure her. She smiles and continues getting dressed.

We pick up pizza, then we sit at the table with Mom and laugh and joke. I don't say much. I never do in the company of my parents. They're used to it by now. But I watch Isabel talk so freely with Mom and my love for her grows tenfold. She tosses her long blond hair over her shoulder and throws her head back in a totally uninhibited laugh at something Mom has said to her. I smile at her abandon. I wish I were more like her.

Isabel clears the table then comes back into the breakfast nook and kisses our mother on the cheek. Then she leans across the table to kiss my cheek and I almost recoil guiltily. But Isabel has always kissed me on the cheek before bed and I let her. She doesn't linger too long, she doesn't pull away too fast. She is a good actress, my wife. Then she leaves for her bedroom, but I know we will be together later, on the dream plane.

I look across the table and Mom is looking at me with a small smile on her face. I smile back. She has come to expect no further communication from me. She rises, pats me on the shoulder as she passes to go to her own room. I can't keep this secret forever.

Later, I wait on the dream plane for Isabel. I wonder what our adventure will be tonight. We never make love in the dreams - we have that in real life, and besides, Isabel still isn't convinced she can't get pregnant from a dream. I find her paranoia amusing, but I allow her this one irrational fear. Our dreams are our escape. We do all of the things we wish we could do in the real world - we walk the streets hand-in-hand. One night we went to the prom and just slow danced for hours. We had dinner with our parents, who accepted what we are and who we are unconditionally. Someday I will convince Isabel to invite Liz and Alex into the dreams with us. Their conscious will not be aware of what has happened to them, but maybe we can enjoy their company the way it used to be and maybe they will wake up with a sense of solace.

I know these are all fantasies. I know they aren't real. And I know that I can't keep this secret forever. But in order to explain to everyone who we are, we have to explain what we are and I'm just lost when it comes to dealing with that. I don't know what to do. I have no one to ask. But living apart from my wife, having to hide my love for her is killing me.

I see a glowing light and I look up to see Isabel approaching me from across the plane. She is wearing a long white evening gown and her hair is styled ala Veronica Lake. She's wearing those heels again, the ones that lengthen her already considerable legs and boost her taller than me. She is quite simply statuesque. I feel my smile spread from one ear to the other. I glance down and see that I am now wearing a tux - vintage Hollywood style. I have a cigarette in one hand. Isabel has a cigarette fetish? Who knew.

"Ever wondered what Hollywood was like in the golden age?" she asks, her voice husky like a 1940's starlet. "Come on, big spender," she breathes, "take this dame to a party."

I laugh in response, and this time the tinkling sound doesn't take me off guard. I take her hand and walk into the world she has created for us this evening. For tonight, I will lose myself in this fantasy. But in the morning, I need to find a way to deal with this.


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