Fanfic - Unconventional Couples
"The Way Around It"
Part 1
by Becky
Disclaimer: I don't own them, etc.
Summary: I don't want to give away too much, so let me just say that Michael has always been my favorite male character and he still is, I guess, but right now I am a bit pissed about his reaction to Isabel's plans.
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: PG-13
I'm getting married! Oh, my God. I'm actually getting married. I won't be alone any more. I'll have a husband. In a couple of years, maybe some children. A house. A dog. A white picket fence and Jesse. A perfect home. Perfect? Then, why am I not as happy as I should be? I should be jumping from joy, sharing the happy news with my family and celebrate. Instead, all I can think about is, what is he gonna say. I can already hear him.

*Why do you have to get married, Isabel? Are you pregnant now?* Is me getting pregnant the only way for him to realize that I have my own life and won't be just standing passively and watch while he's jumping Maria's bones? I'm sick and tired of waiting for a miracle to happen. For everything to suddenly be all right. It's happening to him, but not to me. It was never me. He might have been a loner when we were younger, but now, I'm the one taking his place.

I'm happy for him. I am. Really. But I want to be happy, too. With someone who is willing to share his happiness with me. With someone who sees me as a woman, a lover and moreover who is not afraid to show his feelings to me.

Jesse. It has to be Jesse. There's no other way. I..I love him. I'm going to spend the rest of my life with him. I want this. I want this. I do.

"Iz?" "Michael?" "What're you doing?" "What?" I'm distracted. He caught me sitting in the park, daydreaming of. Oh, forget it. "I've been watching you for a couple of minutes. You've been staring right through me as in a trans." "I have?" "Yes. Everything all right?" He looks sincere. But what can I say? I'm not pouring my soul to him right now. He obviously chose to give me some of his precious minutes in between his two jobs, bowling with his buddies and taking his girlfriend out. "Whatever." I told you I was not telling him anything. He takes a seat right in front of me, confronting me directly, staring at my face at a couple of inches distance. "Isabel. Look at me, please." I turn my gaze towards his eyes and he makes me lock my eyes with him. We just stare for a few moments and then he continues, "I'm sorry for the other night." "What other night?" I'm not letting him get off the hook that easily. "You know, the time when we talked about you and .Jesse." "Oh, yeah, now I remember. It's been three weeks ago and it was kind of hard for me to know what exactly you had in mind since we've been hanging together so much lately." I had to be sarcastic. I had to act like a bitch. If I didn't, I'd start crying at the very second. "I know we've hardly spoken a word, but . can't you understand that.-" "I understand. I understand perfectly. Why don't you take care of your business and I'll take care of mine, ok?" "No. I want to be a part of yours, too." "Oh, you do? You want to be a part of everyone's life and I can't be a part of anyone's? Sorry to burst your bubble, Michael, but things don't work that way. Oh, no. Not any more. No way. You can forget it. My life has changed." "It has?" "Does it seem so impossible?" "No, but,. you mean besides you and Jesse being an item, there's been more changes?" "Not that it's any of your business, but yes."

Now he wants to know it all. Now, when I can only give him the rough facts. He's looking at me with this brown eyes of his and I can just see him pleading with me to give him some clues. And I've already decided not to tell him. Not now. But as I look back at him, I can feel my guards going down. If he keeps insisting, he'll find out. I'll break any second now. I can't believe he has this much of an influence over me. I'm pathetic.

"Iz?" "Huh?" I've been dreaming with my eyes open again. Get a grip of yourself, Isabel. Focus. He's still here. Looks like he won't leave until I give him some answers. "What changed?" He finally dares to ask. Fine, I'll get him out of his misery right now. To get this over with. "No, I didn't show him my unearthly powers." He takes a deep breath. I wait a little and add, "Yet, anyway." He keeps staring and I know what he's thinking. "And I'm still not pregnant with him." Another deep breath. "Ok."

He looks relieved. Why would he look relieved? I still haven't slept with Jesse. I don't know why. I have this feeling that once I do, there'll be no way back. Wait a minute, do I want a way back?

"You know, Michael, this might come like a surprise to you, but those two things are not the only possible reasons for a change in my life." "Obviously. Would you care to enlighten me what the real reason is?" "Actually, no."

That was cold. Too cold. He is more than disappointed. I can see it. I didn't mean it like that. To be honest, I want to tell him. I want to see his reaction. But. He turns to leave. He's not gonna push the subject. He can't just leave. I won't let him. He takes a few steps and I open my mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. Why can't I say it? Don't leave. Don't leave the park. Don't leave my life. Don't leave me. Please. He's out of my earshot, but I can still see him. He's leaving for good. What have I done? Oh, God.

I'm still sitting at the same spot as ten or whatever minutes ago when Michael left. I appear to be numb, oblivious to everyone around me, not that anyone is noticing me. Except for this cute brown dog that has been sitting nearby for a couple of minutes, looking at me as if he knew what kind of misery I was in. I reach to him with my hand and he comes closer. To my great surprise he lets me pet him on the head and then he licks my hand. He likes me. Great. This dog I met three minutes ago is the only company I've had that likes me, no questions asked.

"You don't mind me getting married, do you?" Figures. I'm confiding to a dog now. "You're a nice little doggie, aren't you. You don't judge me for getting married and wanting to have someone in my life that would love me for who I am."

"Dars! Come here!" "Oh, that must be your owner. Go ahead, I'll be fine." The dog runs away and I feel even more miserable. What's happening to me?

Suddenly I hear someone in the bushes. Damn, it's gotten dark. I never noticed the night fall and now there's someone out there. I jump up and quickly head for the exit. I don't need this. I'll just be leaving. Oh, no, he's after me. I make a few steps and hear someone else from the other side of the bushes. I can feel my blood freezing in my veins and I stop. The first man advances towards me and I back away directly into the second person who, after I scream and almost punch him in the stomach, turns out to be Michael. The first man stops in his tracks and observes us, while Michael quickly reacts and puts his arms around me. "Let's get away from here." I swallow hard and let him lead me to his motorcycle. He hands me the helmet and I sit behind him and take a firm hold of him while he starts the engine. He doesn't stop until we're in front of his apartment building and we both get off the bike and head inside, no words spoken.

It is not until he closes the door behind me, turns on the lights and throws his jacket on the couch, that he looks at me and I turn to look at him. "I thought you left." "I did. But I came back soon." "How soon?" "Soon enough to save you from that wacko." "I would've done something, you know. But. I just froze." "You shouldn't be out there alone after dark. It can get dangerous." "Oh, come on, Michael, I've defended myself from much more dangerous creatures than that human freak. I'd use my powers if necessary." He just looks at me and I feel grateful to him for coming, so I add, "but thanks for helping me." "You're welcome."

We sit on the couch, he glances towards me and gets up again. "You want something? Tea?" "Ok." He leaves to make two cups of tea and I stare after him. I'll tell him when he gets back. I won't chicken out. I won't.

"Here, with extra sugar." Sometimes he knows exactly what I need. And sometimes, he doesn't. Or maybe he does, but doesn't want to know. He gives me one of his rare smiles. "Thanks." We sip our tea in silence and I'm desperately trying to find the words when he says nonchalantly. "So, you're engaged?" I gasp in surprise. "You heard that?" He nods his head and I attack him with no reason whatsoever. "And when exactly were you going to make your appearance, letting me know you were there?" "I wasn't going to come out at all, but then.You know." "You were not gonna let me know you knew?" "No. There must've been a reason you didn't want to tell me." "I just didn't want you to ask me 'why' again." "I won't ask. I think I know." "Oh." I'm dumbfounded. He's not going to say anything? He's gonna let me go trough with it. What am I saying? Isn't that what I wanted all along? "I guess congratulations are in order." He tries with a small smile and I make myself smile back. Another surprise. He hugs me and now I really don't know what to think. "Thanks." "I'm sorry. You know Max and me both want you to be happy. We shouldn't have reacted the way we did. We didn't know that you guys were that far." "Yeah. We're pretty far." Aren't we? Am I far with Jesse? If not, do I want to be? "So. You've made up your mind for good." "Mhmmm." "Have you? Iz?" "I guess I have." He looks at me like I'd grown two heads and I give him a questioning look. "What?" "Do you realize that this is serious? I don't want to sound overprotective or something, but in order to go through with this you should be more than 100 per cent sure. Especially because of the 'circumstances', if you know what I mean." He's speaking directly into my face and I'm listening to his anxious voice. "It's not too late to back off, you know." I knew it. Now he'd try to convince me not to do it. I can play this game. "Why would I?" "What?" "Back off?" "I don't know. Are you sure about this guy?" Am I? Sure I am. About as sure as I'll ever be about a human that knows nothing about my secret identity. What if it's not enough? Oh, no. I'm so not sure any more. "Of course I'm sure." Liar. I'm such a bad liar. He'll see right through me. "You're not all the way sure, are you?" I knew it. He can read me like an open book. "No." There's no use of pretending any more. I think he got the picture. "But I do have feelings for him." "You're about to spend the rest of your life with him. Do you think he's the one?"

He's definitely the one among those who are available. If someone else was available and willing,. He would definitely be the one. More than 100 per cent. Ok, I'm a bit delusional now. Like that's gonna happen. Ups, he's still waiting for my answer.

"What was the question again?" He sighs desperately and repeats the question. "Do you see him as the one person that you would like to spend your life with?"

That's for 1000 points, Michael. What would you like me to say? Would you like me to say yes? I'll say yes, so you can go back to your world of denial and be rid of me, your destiny, forever. I bet you'll jump from joy when I say yes to some other man than you. I bet you won't think twice about it. I'll give you the satisfaction, the peace of mind. After all, this is what you want, right? It doesn't matter what I want. It never did.

You know what, Michael? I've found a way around this. I've decided that I won't be the one standing at your wedding while you make a life long commitment to her. You'll be the one watching me do that first.

I know you won't stop me. You'll let it happen. And you know why I know this? Because I know you. I know you, Michael.

"Isabel, the answer. Do you?" "Yes, Michael. I do."

Index | Part 2
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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