Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not own any of the characters of Roswell, the honor is held by Jason
Katims, Melinda Metz, the WB and anyone else who has their hands on a copyright. And as I
always, I profit nada for the following story.
Summary: 2-3 weeks post “destiny” – everything that has happened up to then happened – everything afterward does not. Michael and Isabel disclose their true feelings for each other.
Category: Unconventional Couples
Authors Note: this is the 1st installment in the “Take My Hand” series. It is followed by “Dreams Shattered”
|Michael returned to his apartment and sighed as he realized that he still had hours before it
would be dark and he could see Isabel. He was surprisingly relieved by the conversation that he
and Max had had earlier. He knew that if they were all going to be meeting soon that he and
Isabel would have to figure things out fast. He grabbed the remote off of the bar and plopped
down on the couch to pass some time.
When he woke up it was dark outside. He hadn’t remembered falling asleep. The TV was still offering up its never-ending series of images in front of him. Michael stretched and got up off of the couch. What time is it? He groped his way into the kitchen in the dark and glanced at the clock on the stove. Shit. It was after midnight. He hurried to the bathroom and splashed some water on his face. No time for a shower now. He took a final glance in the mirror and grabbed his jacket as headed out the door.
It seemed like the time would not pass and Isabel grew impatient waiting. All day long she tried to occupy herself. Mostly helping her mom around the house, but there was only so much domesticity she could handle on top of the breakfast that morning. She was anxious to see Michael again. Things were so different now. Strange how fast things could change. She should have been used to her whole world being turned upside down in a day’s time but it still shook her each time it happened. There was a lot to be accomplished tonight and she tried to go over everything that had happened yesterday and plan what she definitely wanted to resolve this evening but she couldn’t concentrate on tonight. Her thoughts kept returning to what he had told her in the desert: ‘But I know you Isabel. I’ve known you my entire life and I think that what I feel for you is love. I’ve always loved you Iz, it’s only recently that I’ve realized just how much and how real it is.’
She felt so light and so happy inside, she couldn’t ever remember feeling this way. Not since they were children. She had to fight off a pang of guilt when she thought about Max and his troubles with Liz. Despite her giddiness over her and Michael’s feelings for each other she knew that they had to tell Max and soon. She brushed the thought aside not wanting the heaviness of their situations to dispel the happiness she felt at the moment. Max had been gone all day, or at least since she woke from her nap. Their mother had said that he went out and was going to the Crashdown. Probably to talk with Maria. Isabel hoped that he wouldn’t bring up any suspicions he might have about Michael and her and especially their night out together. Maria would definitely not take that well.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, darkness fell. As Isabel paced in her room she heard the front door slam.
Max returned late from the Crashdown. It had taken a long while to placate Maria after his and Michael’s very public conversation that afternoon. At first he had worried that she had heard Michael’s assertions regarding his real feelings for her but the needy, imploring, look on her face when he returned to the counter after Michael left told him she was still clinging to the hope that he would eventually relent and return to her. No matter how futile it was. Max had a hard time convincing her that he and Michael weren’t speaking about her. He told her that they were re-hashing their last confrontation about Max’s chronic indecisiveness and lack of action. A tactic which seemed good at the time but served only as the impetus for Maria to launch into one of her tirades about how Michael is too rash and hotheaded and of course the world’s worst boyfriend. Max didn’t really mind it though, especially in light of Michael’s real feelings for her. He felt she at least deserved some time to vent. He even stayed and helped her clean up. When he got home his parents were already upstairs in bed and the house was quiet. He made his way quietly upstairs and noticed the light on in Isabel’s room. He paused outside her door. He wondered what Michael and her had spoken about the night before, especially given Michael’s newfound change in behavior. Today had been so strange compared to what had become the norm of late, Max figured it wouldn’t hurt to try and talk to Isabel as well. He silently wished that he knew how to reach Liz, maybe the good mood that seemed to affect them would strike her, but he pushed the thought away as he knocked on Isabel’s door.
“Iz, you awake?”
Max’s knock startled Isabel. She quickly glanced over at the clock to see how much time she had until Michael was supposed to arrive. It was after midnight, not much time. She knew that Max knew she was up so there was no use in trying to pretend otherwise. She walked over to the door and opened it, hoping that whatever he wanted could be dealt with quickly.
“Hey Max. Just getting in?” She positioned herself defensively in the doorway and feigned annoyance at his interruption.
“Yeah long night. Listen, I know it’s late so I won’t keep you but I wanted to talk to you. Can I come in?”
Isabel reluctantly stepped aside to let him enter. Max sat down on her bed and she remained standing, leaning against the edge of her desk.
“Look Isabel, I know that things haven’t exactly been good between us lately and most of it is my fault. But I wanted you to know that I am working on it. I want us to be able to talk again, to be friends again. And, I….uh, I wanted to apologize to you.”
Isabel struggled to maintain her indifferent composure but his statement caught her off guard and she answered before she could think “Apologize, Max? For what?”
“For not being here for you lately. I shouldn’t have shut you out. It wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair. I should have been there, should have pulled everyone together instead of allowing us to avoid dealing with everything and end up in the mess that we are all in now. I’m sorry Iz.”
“Max…” Isabel went over and sat next to him on her bed, “You don’t have to apologize to me. No one blames you, well maybe Tess does, but Michael and I don’t,” She paused as the comment about Tess caused Max to stiffen, “We understood. No one expected you to be able to handle all this on your own. You may be the leader but you are not made of steel. If anything, I should be apologizing to you. I wasn’t there for you either and I let you shut me out. I wanted you to. None of us wanted to be reminded of that day. I shouldn’t have let this go on so long. I should’ve kicked your ass,” a grin from Max, “Look I’m sorry too okay?”
They hugged and as Max got up to leave he remembered his conversation with Michael at the Crashdown. “Oh Iz, I talked to Michael today…at the Crashdown.” Isabel stiffened at his comment and waited for him to continue to see just what he was getting at.
“Really? Michael and you in the same room and no chairs went flying, no windows breaking?”
Max smiled at her reference to his and Michael’s typical form of communication lately, “No, we actually had a real conversation. You know with words and sentences and feelings. We talked about the way things are between all of us right now and he suggested that in light of the possible threat of enemies that I call a meeting, just the four us, so we can sort of all this out and move on.”
Isabel couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Michael making a suggestion and Max taking it??
“Are you really going to include Tess Max?”
“I have to. Michael’s right. She is one of us and she’s in the same danger we are. Despite my personal feelings for her, it wouldn’t be right not to include her.”
“Wow. I honestly never thought I would see the day when those words would come out of your mouth Max. So, when is this big meeting?” Isabel was hoping that it wouldn’t be too soon. She didn’t want to have to face the group before her and Michael had at least squared some things away.
“A few days I think. I haven’t decided yet, but when I do you’ll be the first to know.”
Isabel smiled at his last comment. She was happy to have Max coming to her again. Now all she had left was to figure things out with Michael.
“I’ll let you get to sleep now. See you in the morning Iz.”
“Yeah, good night Max. Oh, and Max…”
He smiled at his sister as he closed her door. He hadn’t meant to go into everything now, but he wanted her to know. He yawned as he flipped on the light in his room. Maybe a little change was alright, just as long as it didn’t involve he and Liz.
Michael was out of breath when arrived on the Evans’ street. He forced himself to walk the rest of the way to give himself time to calm down. He was nervous. The realization of it surprised him. He was never nervous around anyone, especially around Isabel. He crossed the lawn and saw her window cracked open. He took a deep breath before climbing up and through to her.
“Michael!” Isabel looked up from the magazine she was flipping through on her bed when she heard him coming through the window. He was right on time, very non-Michael. She hesitated a second before getting off the bed to greet him. It suddenly occurred to her that she had no idea what to do. Should she hug him? A handshake would be out of place but a kiss seemed too forward. She finally decided to just wait and see what he did.
Michael saw her before he made his presence known by starting through the window. She was beautiful. He still couldn’t believe he felt this way about Isabel. She was on her bed, lying on her stomach with her ankles crossed behind her in the air, propped up on her elbows reading. He had to force himself to keep moving or he would have stayed there watching her all night.
He saw her get up to greet him as his feet found the floor. Damn. She looked amazing, even in pajamas. Only Isabel could make pajamas look that good. He just stood there taking it all in. Her, this moment, and even the dull roar of the TV in the background did nothing to dissuade him from his thoughts. He drank her in, staring unabashedly at her long blonde hair and the way it fell around her shoulders ending shiny ringlets that he desperately wanted to wrap around his fingers, at her long slender neck and the hollow at the base of it that was making it really hard for him to concentrate, at her standing there in front him in a lavender tank top and deep purple satin pajama pants. He even noticed her feet, the nails perfectly manicured and coated in a shimmery light pink. As he slowly absorbed every inch of her he was suddenly hit with the realization that he was unworthy, even undeserving of such a woman as her. He had never done anything but reject people, life, and the world and here he was in love with this creature and she with him. He could have cried at the sheer weight of the realization which threatened to consume him but she spoke and everything inside of him responded.
Isabel had stood quiet and still as Michael looked at her and she felt a blush rising up from her toes. She had never been looked at in that way, she could feel his eyes on every part of her, coursing through her and she didn’t want him to stop. She only spoke when she saw that look, the one that he always got when he was wounded or about to run. He was about to shut down and close her out, and she didn’t want to lose him…not yet. She didn’t know what had caused the change but it bothered her and when he took his eyes off of her she reacted.
“Isabel.” His reply betrayed a thinly veiled attempt at concealing his fear, but his eyes never wavered.
“Are you going to stand there all night or do you want to sit down?” She hadn’t meant it to sound as curt as it came out but he was starting to worry her.
He didn’t acknowledge her last remark and remained standing. The air in the room had suddenly shifted. It was heavier, palpable. She didn’t want him to run so she avoided crowding him. She watched his face for a clue to his sudden shift in mood. He gave away nothing, an easy feat after years of practice. It was taking all the effort she had not to break down under the weight of the struggle between her newly realized feelings for him and the fear over his sudden change in mood. As if he didn’t mean it, no longer cared, as if…. “Michael?”
“Michael please. Please don’t shut me out.” She pleaded, turning to him, her eyes slowly rising to meet his, unsure of what she might find staring back at her in his.
“This is real Isabel.” He said it simply, more as admonition than a statement of fact, “I thought I knew what it meant last night. I had been over it so many times in my head since that day, and I knew it was true. But I didn’t know. How could I know? And just now, when I saw you, really saw you. Oh God Iz, I don’t even think I can explain it. Everything that I felt, am feeling, it…it was so familiar and yet new at the same time. It was like seeing another part of me in you, a part of me that I never knew existed and I suddenly realized that I have never done anything to deserve you. Never. And the idea that I could hurt you even unintentionally…it is just too much to bear.”
Isabel stood silent and tense as he began to speak. When the meaning of his words began to hit her, she felt all the tension that had seized her just moments earlier melt away. She was wrong. He still meant it.
She made her way over to him and gently took his face in her hands, forcing him to look her in the eye, not letting him shy away and retreat back into his usual defense of protective solitude.
“Michael. You don’t have to do anything to earn me, you’ve always had me. I’m not a prize to be won. I’m Isabel, the same person you have always known. I'm not rushing into this, believe me I have thought about you and I together since that day we found out. This whole time, while we were all apart and miserable, you were all I thought about. I know what I am risking and to me it's worth it. You're worth it. I told you last night that I would rather have you in my life as my brother than risk losing you and now that I know that you feel the same, there's nothing that can stop me from wanting to try Michael. Don't you see how important you are to me? How important you've always been? I know that this is hard but I never expected it to be easy. I realize that we risk alienating Max and losing his support but if he truly loves us and if he feels for Liz even 1/10th of what I feel for you then he should understand. He of all people should understand. I choose you Michael. It's my choice. I'm not acquiescing to destiny or resigning myself to fate. It's already inside of me. It's always been there, you've always been there. Michael I trust you but you’ve got to trust me too.”
When she finished speaking, he didn’t answer her. It didn’t matter; she knew what his answer was by the look in his eyes. That look. She knew that look. It resonated somewhere deep within her and she knew that she had seen it before. In another time perhaps, but more importantly, she also knew that she wanted what came along with that look.
Before either of them had time to think about what they were doing, Michael’s hands found Isabel’s shoulders and pulled her to him. His mouth covered hers and she surrendered to his touch. He was gentle with her at first, cautious despite the growing warmth flooding his senses, shooting out from inside him to the tips of his fingers and toes. She stifled a soft moan and pressed into him as he parted her lips with his tongue wanting desperately to feel her, to drink her in, to be close, to hold on and never let go. She kissed him back deeply, feverishly. Her hands had moved from his face to his neck where she was languidly trailing her fingernails up and down the back of his neck and playfully tangling her fingers in his hair, sending chills down his spine. He held onto her for dear life as they both sank into the abyss of each other’s mouths together. It was like this was the moment that he was born for; that he had lived for all these years without being conscious of it. Isabel. Her name gave him strength. He could feel it, in his blood, coursing through his veins, bringing him life, sustaining him. How had he ever survived without her?
Isabel. They way he whispered her name as they kissed, it sent sparks through her body. She had never wanted anything more in her life than she wanted him to hold onto her that moment. She was starting to feel light-headed and was spinning on the inside. She met his mouth with hers again and that is when it happened. The flash.
|Part 4 | Index
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