FanFic - Unconventional Couples
"Christmas Wishes"
Part 1
by Gaffergirl
Disclaimer: Ideas, characters, and settings of "Roswell belong to Melinda Metz, Jason Katims, The WB, and a bunch of other people who are, sadly, not me.
Summary: Isabel gives Michael a Christmas present... and then he gives her one back.
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: PG-13
Isabel Evans stood in front of Michael Guerin’s front door, looking for any indication that she was being watched, from outside or in. Satisfied that she was indeed alone, she placed her hand just over the lock on the door, shielding it from view with her body as she turned the tumblers inside with her powers. Her palm tingled pleasantly as she turned the knob and let herself into the small apartment, a fabric bag hanging from one arm.

The tall blonde took a moment to survey the set of interconnected rooms, allowing her eyes to adjust to the dim light filtering in from the streetlights. She wasn’t real keen on getting attacked if Michael happened to come home before she had completed her mission after seeing all of his apartment lights on.

Creeping into the sparsely furnished living room, she perched herself on the arm of the ratty old sofa and emptied the contents of her bag onto the coffee table. A fresh evergreen branch, a sprig of mistletoe, two small pieces of red and green velvet ribbon, a tea candle, two small silver and gold glass tree ornaments, a few gaily wrapped packages, a box of crackers, and a rather large and unwieldy tupperware container. Isabel smiled slightly to herself as she prepared to put her plan into action.


Michael peered into his front window, completely befuddled. Just what the hell did Iz think she was doing, breaking into his apartment? However, his curiosity for what precisely she was doing overrode his desires to walk in there and throttle the girl for breaking and entering.

He watched.


Isabel sat very still for a few long moments, collecting herself. She had spent the past few months trying to develop her powers a little more. . . just to see where it would get her. Michael had improved his focus one hundred and ten percent since he really started working at it, so she had figured that she might be able to do the same.

She was right.

Ever since she had broken it off with Alex, grown exceedingly bored with her so-called “friends” at school, and not seen hide nor hair of Grant Sorensen lately, she had spent hours in her bedroom, just trying things out. As she gently cradled the evergreen branch in her open palms, a genuine smile graced her features. Of all the things she had discovered that she could do, this was the coolest.


Michael watched in amazement, mouth hanging open, as Isabel duplicated the branch she held so that it was two branches, connected at the end. He stared in rapt fascination as she repeated the process again and again, stopping only when she had constructed a very small, perhaps three-feet-tall, Christmas tree, which she planted in a hole that she had just created in his floor. Michael tried not to laugh; that was really inventive, kind of cute, and very Isabel. His smile gradually transformed into an expression of concern as Isabel swayed unsteadily on her feet for a moment before carefully lowering herself to her knees and opening.. .

A box of Triscuits?


Isabel ate some crackers slowly, double-checking her watch. Good. She still had two hours before Michael was supposed to get off work, and she lost herself a little in the feeling of the crackers slowly building her strength back up. That part was the coolest, but also the hardest. Manipulating living things was much more difficult than doing the same to non-living things. She supposed that was why healing all those children at the hospital had drained Max so much, when she knew that he could have easily accomplished ten times the “fixing” if he had been working with wood, metal, or. . . velvet.


Michael relaxed a little more as he saw Isabel steady herself and move on to duplicating lengths of ribbon and little gold and silver ornaments to decorate the tree with, placing four wrapped presents under the tree once it was done. While she grabbed a chair to stand on for tacking the mistletoe onto the kitchen doorframe, he took a little time to weigh his options. . . and take an uninterrupted opportunity to just look at Isabel. From the nervous checking and re-checking of her watch, he could tell that she was expecting his hours to be the same as they were every Monday night. Apparently she had forgotten about the Crashdown closing early on Christmas, which left Michael with the peculiar dilemma of whether or not to “catch” her doing this. He could certainly just pretend he hadn’t seen her doing this, it would be easier and less awkward. . .

However, he didn’t think he could let her leave without at least trying to tell her about the way his heart seemed to expand and contract at the same time when he saw what she was doing for him.


Isabel checked her watch again and chewed nervously on her lower lip. This would be the trickiest part of the plan – making it perfect. She set up the plate of cookies, illuminated by the small tea candle, and the little note on the coffee table and waited impatiently for the clock to reach exactly five minutes to ten. Surveying her surroundings, she decided to busy herself with little projects while she waited. She repaired the rips in the couch, removed a few stains from the carpet, did the dishes piled in the sink, and removed the dust from any and all surfaces with a wave of her well-manicured hand. At last five to ten came and she heated up the plate of traditional Christmas dinner, and prepared to leave the apartment. Gathering up her bag, she backtracked into the kitchen to put her coat and hat back on.

She had just finished tying her scarf when she heard the front door slam.

Her head shot up, but otherwise she stood stock-still. Her eyes darted over her surroundings wildly; she just had to be in the only room of the apartment that didn’t have a window or a door. She heard the shuffle of boots from the front door to the kitchen doorway, and closed her eyes in dismay. She could actually feel him standing there, leaning on the doorframe, smirking at the back of her head. That did it. She squared her shoulders, lifted her chin, and decided that she would salvage the situation as best she could.

“Michael! Hi!” she exclaimed, wincing inwardly at how stupid that sounded.

“Isabel,” Michael greeted in answer, a mischievous glint in his eyes. Isabel immediately felt more confident than she had only a few seconds ago. . . at least he wasn’t mad.

“I, um, just came over to drop off some leftovers from dinner. . . we all know how much you like turkey,” she tried to joke, but it of course came out sounding incredibly lame. “And, hey! It looks you decided to decorate your apartment after all, that’s really. . . cool.” The smug factor in Michael’s grin went up a notch.

“Oh, it wasn’t me that decorated it,” he informed her conversationally, enjoying the rare opportunity to watch Isabel Evans squirm.

“Really? I bet it was Maria, that cute little spaz! Ha-ha. . .” she laughed half-heartedly, tugging at her mittens.

“Well, hey. . . looks like Maria left some cookies on the table, why don’t you join me for a while?” he invited warmly, nearly losing it completely and laughing hysterically as her face paled a shade.

“Oh, uh, no. . . I-I really think I ought to be getting home, after all. . . um, I was going to check on Max-“

“I checked on him earlier. Looks like his powers are coming back nicely,” he shot her down. Michael, 1; Isabel, 0.

“Oh. . . yeah, yeah they are. . . but, um, you know, tomorrow, it’s-it’s. . . Tuesday.” Michael raised his eyebrows at that, daring her to make some sense out of it.

“Well, you know, it’s Tuesday, and, um. . . we have no school, as I’m sure you are aware, and I have to. . . help take down the stage from the pageant!” Michael chuckled at the relief evident in her voice as he fished out some silverware from a drawer, removing Isabel’s hat and leading her by the arm into the living room with his dinner.

“Nope! I won’t take no for an answer. You really saved my ass with Maria yesterday, so the least I can offer you is cookies, since I don’t get paid until Friday,” he trailed off as he made himself comfortable on the couch, patting the cushion beside him with his right hand, indicating that she should sit. Isabel sat down gingerly, hoping past hope that if she ate some cookies that he would let her go before he read the folded note by the candle. . .

“Oh, hey, what’s this?”


Isabel sat, frozen, on the couch. This is what a deer feels like when it gets caught in the oncoming headlights of a car, she thought with almost frightening lucidity. Come on, Michael, hit me and get it over with. She thought her humiliation was complete, but then he had to go and start reading the note out loud.

“‘Michael; just couldn’t let you get away from the season without a little Christmas cheer. Hope you like everything. Merry Christmas, love,’” he looked her in the eye as he read the last word on the page, “‘Isabel.’”

In that one moment, Isabel’s uncharacteristic embarrassment turned into anger like the flare of a match inside of her. With a noise of disgust, she removed herself from her sitting position and strode purposefully towards the kitchen.

“Okay, fine, I did all of this. Happy? I hope so! After all, that was the whole freakin’ point, wasn’t it?!” she yelled as she dropped to her knees and searched under the table for where Michael had tossed her hat earlier. Michael watched from the doorway with an amused smile on his face. He had intended to apologize and say thank you to her once he had succeeded in pissing her off again. . . he just loved doing that. Besides, it seemed to be the only time she really looked alive nowadays, which saddened him more than a little. But now. . . she just looked so cute, crawling around on the floor, looking for her hat and not succeeding because her hair kept falling over her face.

“Isabel, stop,” he entreated her, giving over to laughter as she snarled at him that she needed her hat before she left. Okay, enough was enough. “Isabel!” At his shout, she bounded to her feet and faced him.

He thought that he had never seen anything so beautiful in his whole life.

Her hair was sticking out every which way, her dark eyes sparked with indignation, her cheeks were flushed from the sudden indoor activity while wearing her winter coat, and Michael’s laughter died in his throat.

“Thanks,” he said in a husky voice, and he entertained the notion that her flush deepened a shade at the word’s utterance.

“I guess the proper response to that would be ‘You’re welcome’, followed by ‘Goodnight’,” she said as she snatched up her bag and stormed out the door. Michael winced as the door slammed gustily, and he surveyed the festive decorations that she had put up in his apartment. He suddenly felt a pang of regret for teasing her so badly, after all, she had done something really nice for him. . . he was certain that nobody else he knew really cared whether or not he spent Christmas alone. Isabel always did. Max would extend the annual invitation to the Evans household Christmas, and Michael would extend the annual rejection of said invitation. He never had any trouble turning Maxwell down, but Isabel was another story altogether. When they were in grade school, she would actually resort to tears to get him to come. . . now that they were older, her tears turned into pleas that spoke of the spirit of Christmas and the importance of spending time with people you love. The past two years had been especially difficult, trying not to see the pain in her eyes as she stressed the importance of the holiday in light of all that they had been through lately, trying to ignore the voice of the girl who had tugged at his heart for as long as he could remember. Isabel always genuinely cared. She rarely gave voice to what she was feeling, but you could be sure that whatever she told you was meant wholeheartedly. Michael sighed, thoughts turning to the slow and steady shift in his emotions toward her since “the dreams”. There had been moments this past year when he had almost been sure that the feelings were reciprocated, but he had always been too frightened to act on them. His eyes were drawn upwards suddenly, and he got a really crazy idea.


Isabel fumed silently as she stalked home. How stupid could she have possibly been? Sneaking into his apartment to put up Christmas decorations? She ran her hands roughly over her face. She had been doing so well. . . she had almost totally succeeded in closing off her more romantic emotions to everyone around her, drawing away from Alex and Michael. She hated to even think about it, but the Vilandra thing had just given her another excuse to retreat inside herself.

But Michael always had a way of making all that seem to disappear.

As she continued to walk, she heard the distant sound of feet hitting concrete, someone running towards her from behind. She tried to ignore it until she heard that voice. . .


She whirled around to see Michael running full-tilt towards her, and it registered just in time that he had thrown something at her, but aimed a little too high. Reflexively, her hands shot up over her head; she had to raise herself up slightly on her toes to reach it. A split second before she could bring her arms back down, she found herself in a flurry of motion, Michael running straight into her, but lifting her up in his arms as he stopped running instead of bowling her over. She clung to his shoulders and hips with arms and legs to keep from falling, and as he came to a stop, a deep red blush spread over her cheeks as she realized what an intimate position they were standing in. Michael anticipated her move to detach her body from his and caught her parted lips in a kiss. Shocked at the sudden contact, Isabel moaned into his mouth, which only made him sweep his soft tongue past her lips to touch her own. When the need for oxygen became too great, they broke apart, breathing heavily. Michael lowered her slowly to the ground, leaning his forehead against hers, waiting to see what expression would cross her face when she opened her eyes. A sweet, sleepy smile spread across her face with a look of wonder and amazement as her eyes searched his. He shrugged slightly and smiled back, his look of contentment fading only when he caught her trying to look over his shoulder. Isabel brought one arm back over his shoulder and held it between them.

“Mistletoe?” she asked teasingly as she brushed the sprig under his chin lightly.

“What can I say,” he retorted, “it was your idea. By the way, Isabel Evans. . . how did you know what my Christmas wish was?”

"Oh, I don't know," she replied innocently, "maybe it's an alien thing."


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