|"Let it Snow"
Disclaimer: The usual. I don't own them. Others do. I'm just writing
my thoughts about the characters down and sharing. Without profiting
Summary: Some references to the episode Surprise and some to A Roswell Christmas Carol. Michael gives Isabel a gift.
Category: Unconventional Couples
|She was surprised when she saw him at the door. She hadn't seen him
since Christmas and had joked to Max that he was avoiding her so he
didn't have to repay her for Maria's gift. She was alone today. Max
was god-knows-where probably pining over you-know-who, and her Mom and
Dad were at a bed and breakfast celebrating their anniversary. She
relished the solitude. Puttering around the living room and kitchen.
Pretending to be domestic. Pretending to be normal. It was a hobby she
engaged in when she was alone. Like today. Until he appeared at the
She invited him in but warned him Max wasn't at home. She knew the guys hadn't been on the best of terms as of late, but didn't think he was there to see her since they hadn't been hanging out much either. The most they'd communicated was over Maria's Christmas gift of all things.
Isabel winced at the memory of buying a gift she wanted herself...for a man she loved...to give to the girl he loved. Sometimes life had a sense of humor. Other times it did not.
Once inside they stared at each other, one curious the other unreadable. Her arms folded in front of her, his hands clasped behind his back. No one spoke. Finally she smiled a wry smile and headed to the kitchen without saying a word. Only half glancing to see if he followed.
"Is...where are you going?" he asked in a rush.
"Michael. I clearly have things to do. And polite people, of whom I know you are not, announce when they come to a home exactly WHY they are there. Since you are not going to do so...I, Michael, am getting back to what I was doing," she said.
"Which is?" he answered with a smirk, now leaning against the door jam, hands still behind his back.
She glared in response. Refusing to give him the satisfaction of knowing that her list of duties for the day had nothing to do with nails and hair and shopping and everything to do with dish-pan hands and baking cookies.
There was silence again as they stared at each other. One now annoyed. The other smug.
Finally she raised her eyebrow in question. It was all she was willing to give. But he took it anyway.
"If you must know the truth Miss Is, I came over to give you something."
She shrugged and looked down, "Oh that. Really Michael, I was just teasing you. You don't owe me for the pearls. I was happy to do it...in the spirit of Christmas and all that...but if you want we could....you know...work out a plan or something or...."
She was babbling now, not knowing how to stop and wondering why she couldn't. Just knowing she wanted to get off the subject of the gift as soon as possible.
He furrowed his brows in curiosity at the spectacle she was making, not know when he could interrupt or even if he would be able to.
"Is..Is...IS!" he attempted, voice getting louder as she continued talking, now onto interest rates and prime lending. "IS-A-BEL!"
She stopped talking abruptly and looked at him.
"I didn't come here to repay you. I came here to give you something. My Christmas present to you." he said, a slow smile spreading over his face. "You didn't think I wouldn't get you something did you?"
She stumbled in reply, "Well I...I really didn't think...I didn't KNOW...I mean Christmas was awhile back Michael."
"Yeah well, I was busy at work and I looked in the shops around here and didn't find anything like what I wanted so...so here," he said, handing her an enormous bow with a palm-sized gold box somehow attached underneath.
She felt dizzy and hot and out of breath. He had gotten her a gift. Michael had gone somewhere, somewhere not in Roswell, and had bought her a present. The thought made her feel giddy and warm, and she reached out with barely-steadied hands to take it from him.
"Michael," was all she could muster, staring down at the mass of red and gold in her hands. Not moving. Trying not to breath so as not to disturb the feeling. Fearing that any movement would break the spell and make the moment disappear forever.
"Is...IS-A-BEL?" he was calling to her again. "Is, are you okay? What's wrong? Why aren't you opening it?"
In answer she slowly pulled off the ribbon, letting it float to the floor before pulling back the tape to reveal the box inside. Hands now openly shaking, she lifted the flap to reveal what he had bought her.
And there it was. Nestled in tissue. Catching the light from above. A snow globe.
Isabel looked up at Michael in wonder.
"I thought you'd like it," he said. "You said all you wanted was a normal Christmas, so I thought I'd get that for you. See the figures? It's a Christmas scene, with snow and everything. A normal Christmas. For you Isabel."
It was his turn to ramble, trying to fill the void of her silent stare. Wanting her to love it. Hoping she'd love it.
"Michael it's...." she started, but couldn't continue. Knowing words were inadequate to convey the depth of what she was feeling.
"I know." he replied. And he did.
She placed the box on the kitchen table and held the small piece of love in her hands. Slowly sliding her fingers over the cool surface before turning the globe upside-down.
Flurries swirled and she was lost inside, feeling herself surrounded by the snowflakes. She felt herself turning, around and around, arms outstretched to catch the tiny pieces in her hands. She turned her face up to meet them as well. Feeling them softly caress her cheeks before turning to a cold wetness. Mingling with the warm tears already there. She was moving in slow motion, joined in a slow dance with the snow.
Opening her eyes, she looked around in wonder at the powder falling to the ground beneath her. Soft. Floating. Blurring the air around her. Flakes growing. Filling her vision. Surrounding her.
She gasped. Feeling suffocated. Heart beating faster. Knowing something was wrong, but not knowing what. Eyes darting around her. Searching for someone, something. A memory of an event buried. A scene forgotten. Snow falling all around her. Skin falling all around her.
She cried out at the pain that enveloped her. Focusing on the face in front of her that was desperate to gain her attention.
"It's skin Michael...it's skin...her skin," she said, panic overtaking her.
Frozen in place, he tried to break through, knowing what she was seeing but trying to pretend for her sake that he did not. "No Is...it's snow...it's a snow globe...look at it Issy...it's just snow."
The cool wet was spreading over her as the pieces continued to land on her arms, her chest and her cheeks. She spread her arms in front of her to look at their impact. Splashes of red. And now warming. Pulsing with a life shed. A life taken. A woman killed.
There was a sharp intake of her breath as her fingers unfolded, releasing the grip she had on the gift, the globe tumbling off her fingertips and plunging toward the kitchen floor.
She didn't hear the impact, transfixed by the color of her skin now bathed in blood.
"It's everywhere Michael..oh my god...there's blood everywhere," she said in a horrified whisper staring down at her arms and hands.
He rushed forward as the glass shattered. Grasping her arms, trying to pull her toward him and away from the memories surrounding her.
"There's no blood Is, there WAS no blood Isabel." he said in desperation.
She pulled herself away to rush to the sink, thrusting her arms under the tap to try to rid herself of the blood from the woman she'd killed. Turning the water as hot as she could stand. Rubbing frantically at the rivers of blood now running down to pool in the sink.
She looked over at him without seeing him, her mind and vision filled with the nightmare become real.
"Help me?" she whispered, searching for him in the midst of the flurry of skin and the drops of blood.
And he did. Gently taking her hands in his. Grabbing the liquid cleanser and rubbing to create a lather. Spreading the soapy water up her arms. Washing her clean. Scrubbing away the hurt and confusion and anger and guilt.
"Is it all gone?" he finally asked when he noticed the tension had eased and her eyes were back to semi-normal.
She looked up at him. Eyes focusing on the face she loved. Seeing the shock and fear she had caused. She wanted to ask him to hold her. To make everything and everyone go away like he had taken away the blood. But she knew that was asking too much. Was asking the impossible.
So she smiled a sad smile instead, nodded, and sank to the floor. Back up against the cabinet.
He joined her there and with a towel slowly began to dry her.
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