Author: blondiekin (AKA Sugarplum17)
Disclaimer: These characters are not my intellectual property and I do not intent to make money off of them. They belong to other people, probably a corporation, and I am merely using them for my own entertainment.
Summary: When Isabel and Michael travel back to Antar alongside Max and Tess, both Alex and Maria make a promise to wait, but soon after they leave, Maria turns to Alex for comfort.
Author's Note(s): This was a challenge I took, so many years ago that I don't even remember what the parameters were. In my original post, I cited Nehal as giving the challenge, so I will credit Nehal again. If you feel as though you've read the gist of this story before, you probably have. I posted, a very long time ago, as Sugarplum17 and this was one of my very first fan fic pieces I had ever written. Well, the other day I was driving along, minding my business, and my iTunes started playing Tuesday's Gone, by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Now, I love that song, admittedly, and because I wrote a piece of this story while listening to that song, I always flash back to this fan fic whenever I hear it. That being said, I decided to read what I had previously written and I was horrified.
You see, I'm eventually going to publish a book. Well, that's the goal anyway. Adult romance books are on fire right now and I'd very much like to try my hand with it. Hence, this fic. I haven't written fanfiction since somewhere around 2009 (Veronica Mars) and I haven't written Roswell fanfiction in twice as long. So I figured, what better way to get my ol' creative flow back than to completely overhaul this story and make a bunch of changes? I hope these changes will be for the better, but we'll see!
So, without further ado, I give you Broken Promises. This pretty much ignores everything after Viva Las Vegas and that travesty that was Alex Whitman's bogus death. As well as Tess becoming pregnant with Max's child.
It's eerily silent inside The Crashdown Cafe. I swear if a pin dropped upstairs, we would all be able to hear it. The Czechoslovakians, as Maria once called them, asked us to meet them here to share their plans after this destiny bomb dropped on us. They've had to make the age-old decision, should they stay or should they go? They're standing in a V formation, with Max out front and center like the leader that he is. Isabel is behind him, flanking his right, while Michael and Tess stand just off to his left. I wish someone would say something. On any other day, if you looked into the window of the Crashdown after hours, you'd see seven, maybe eight, happy friends. You'd see them laughing, dancing, maybe arguing with each other. On this day, all you can see is eight silent teenagers and one silent adult.
They're leaving. They're going to follow their destiny on some unknown alien planet. Isabel and Max both have tears shining in their eyes, Michael looks angry and Tess looks uncomfortable. The humans in the room, myself included, are in a state of shock. I see Maria rise to her feet from the corner of my eye, and I turn to look at her fully. She opens her full mouth to speak, closes it without saying anything, and licks her lips. When she turns and walks through the swinging door that leads to the breakroom, my eyes swing to Michael. I expected a melodramatic outburst from her, but total silence is a lot worse.
Michael casts his green eyes at the floor, his jaw tightly clenched as the sound of sobbing drifts through the closed door. I know he's not going to go after her. Partly because he's doesn't do emotional situations and partly, I'm sure, because he doesn't want to encourage something that no longer has a future. I push myself to my feet, sigh, and make my way into the employee breakroom.
Walking into the breakroom, I see Maria disappear into the bathroom. I hesitate to follow her, but when I hear retching, I tap my knuckles on the door.
"Maria, it's me." I say through the door, resting my head on the wood.
She doesn't tell me to come in, but I turn the knob anyway. She's kneeling on the floor in front of the toilet when I enter the small bathroom and I sweep my hands through her strawberry blonde hair, startling her before she realizes that I'm holding her hair back while she pukes. I rub calming circles on her back to calm and comfort her.
Liz slips into the bathroom behind me, a cup of water and a damp paper towel in her hands. Once Maria is done vomiting, she takes a sip of the water and then wipes her face with the paper towel, hiccupping as the sobs begin to subside.
"Hey," I tell her, still rubbing circles into her back as I lower myself to the floor and open my arms to her. She crawls into them and lets me hold her. "Maria, it's going to be okay. We're going to be okay."
A fresh sob escapes her. "Y-You guys are just s-so much better at dealing with things like this."
"No, we aren't." I tell her as I watch her swipe the tears off her cheeks. "We're just better at hiding it."
Liz tucks a strand of hair behind her ears, offering Maria a sad smile. "We'll cry so hard we puke when everyone else is gone."
When she gets herself back under control, we exit the bathroom and find everyone exactly where we left them. There isn't a lot to say, at least not for me. Isabel and I broke up months ago, and even though I still love her, even though I know she is reluctantly leaving this planet, I know there isn't anything I can say that will keep her here. There wasn't anything I could say to keep her in our relationship, and believe me, I certainly tried.
"When?" Liz asks, her voice shaky.
It's Isabel who answers, arms wrapped around herself as she looks away from the group assembled in front of her. "Soon. After the school year ends."
I don't say anything. I just sit next to Maria, hand still rubbing soothing circles on her back, and train my eyes at the ground. They're leaving in like, two weeks.
"We-" Max clears his throat, trying again for a less emotional start to whatever it is that he's about to say. "We'd like to spend as much time with you as we can. As a group, and...and individually."
I glance at him just quick enough to see that his eyes are trained on Liz, before sliding my eyes to Isabel. Her watery blue eyes are centered on me.
Three days later, I'm lying on a blanket stargazing with Isabel Evans. It's sort of our thing, or it was at any rate. I gesture toward the sky and twinkling stars in a wide, sweeping motion. "So, where exactly are you gonna be up there?"
She studies the sky for a few minutes, before turning her head to look at me. "I'm not sure."
From my peripheral vision, I can see that she is studying my profile. "I'm really gonna miss doing this with you, Alex."
My eyebrows knit together in thought as I gaze at the stars above us. Her voice is thick with emotion and as I turn to look at her I can see that she is fighting a battle in her head, it's plainly written on her face.
"I'm gonna miss it too, Isabel." I tell her, threading my fingers together on my stomach so that I don't reach out and touch her. "I'll miss you."
My feelings are conflicted, but what I said wasn't a lie. I will miss her and I will miss stargazing with her. I'm going to miss a potential future with her, because from the way this is playing it out tonight, it seems like a future could have been possible between us. Maybe the timing wasn't right for us. Maybe we would have found our footing later in life. Now we'll never know.
She rolls over on her side, facing me and propping herself up on her elbow. I roll my head to face her when she begins to whisper, "I know that this is bad timing, Alex. This could be our last night together, and I-I have to say what needs to be said."
I open my mouth to say something, but Isabel's soft hand covers my lips. "I won't get a chance to say this later, I have to say this. Please, Alex."
At my nod, she takes her soft, warm hand off my mouth and takes a deep breath to steady herself. "I love you. I love you and I'm so sorry, Alex. I'm so sorry for pushing you away after I found out about my destiny. I'm sorry about Grant and that guy in Vegas. I'm sorry for all of the times that I hurt your feelings and for all of the time that we've lost and all of the time we're going to lose."
A stab of emotion tears through my chest, making my eyes water. I wish she could have said all of this before; said it when it mattered. A hot tear rolls over the bridge of my nose as another tear escapes across the side of my face, into my ear, and I feel overwhelmingly embarrassed. The only people that have seen me cry, outside of my immediate family, are Liz and Maria.
Gently, her soft hands cup my face and she scoots closer. She presses her warm mouth against my mouth and our tears mingle as our tongues meet.
"I don't expect you to wait, Alex. Because I'm not sure if, or when, we'll be able to come back." Her breath is warm on my face and I close my eyes against the feeling of it. "I can't ask you to do that."
"I will, though." I say, my voice cracking. "I will, Isabel. It's always been you. I've always wanted you. I-I always will."