Will you still love me? (A/I,CC, TEEN) (Complete)

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Will you still love me? (A/I,CC, TEEN) (Complete)

Post by StargazerUK » Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:01 pm

Winner - Round 9




Will you still love me?

Author: StargazerUK.

Email: dj.meade@btinternet.com

Category: A/I & C/C.

Rating: Teen

Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these Roswell characters, I have borrowed them.( If I did Alex & Isabel would be living happily ever after. )

Author's Note: I would normally start by telling you when this is set but as it involves time travel I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Trust me, by the end of the Prologue and Chapter1 you’ll know what is happening, when and why. I’m a Gazer so it will be A/I but I always try to involve M/L & M/M as much as possible. I’ve taken one or two minor liberties with the original TV show storyline so it will fit nicely with my planned story, nothing major.

Thanks to Kath7 who, amongst her many roles, is now my official sounding board and title provider.


“What!” Isabel exclaimed, unable to believe her ears as she stood in the doorway to her bedroom. Surely she had just misheard her mothers call.

“I said…Liz Parker is here to see you.” Diane Evans shouted to her daughter for a second time while trying to hide her slight embarrassment. The thought that Isabel was unwilling or unable to hide her shock and distain that this unfamiliar girl had the audacity to call at her door did not sit well with Diane.

She glanced at the petite brunette as she ushered her in and closed the front door behind her. She didn’t seem to be the type her daughter would normally associate with, ‘mores the pity’, She thought to herself. It was only then that she understood the reason behind the surprise in her daughter’s voice upon hearing the news that this unexpected visitor was here to see her. Diane knew high schools had circles and groups of friends that were not meant to intermix so this Liz Parker was clearly crossing a boundary of some sort.

Diane loved her daughter, and son, more than life itself but she was aware more than most of the differing personalities the two possessed and of Isabel’s little traits, to put it politely. She knew her daughter could be extremely loving and giving…at times, but she also knew she chose those times carefully and they were few and far between, sadly. Isabel would go out of her way to help people as long as it never became personal. She would organise a charity drive for the homeless or a bake sale for the local hospital but she would drive past someone stuck at the side of the road with a flat tyre, not just because she would shy away from getting dirty but also because she never looked to connect with a person on a one to one level. That realisation would always be a cause for concern in Diane Evans’ eyes.

Liz simply exchanged a silent but polite smile with Mrs Evans. She, unlike Diane, knew exactly what Isabel’s reaction to her calling at the house would be before she had even walked up the path. It was simple…in September 1999 she and Isabel weren’t friends, weren’t allies, weren’t anything. However, she had more important things to think about than hurt pride or a damaged ego. She hadn’t travelled back in time to make friends with Isabel all over again. She was here to prevent a sequence of actions and reactions that would eventually overtake all of their lives and would result in the death of not only one of her closest and most beloved friends but also the destruction of the lives of everyone else she had come into contact with.

That was what she was here to do, no matter what the personal cost. Her life had been saved and, in turn, it had set off a cascade of events that cost Alex his life and her other friends their futures. The sacrifice she was going to make this afternoon would put all of that right and put things back how they should have been the first time round. That way, maybe, she could finally find some peace.

Chapter 1

Isabel stepped down from the final step that led from upstairs and stood in the hallway, not taking her eyes off of Liz Parker. They were so far from being friends that she couldn’t even begin to think what on earth she could want or what would drive this girl to call at her house, of all places, to see her. She wanted to curtly ask ‘What do you want?’ but she knew her mother was watching and she wouldn’t appreciate the tone or abruptness of her question so she relented…a little. “What is it you want to see me for?”

To Isabel’s surprise Liz simply smiled at her. That wasn’t the reaction she had been expecting. Now that she thought about it not only was that not the reaction she was looking for but it only now dawned on her that Liz was looking right at her and hadn’t averted her gaze since she had come down the stairs. Where had all of this bravery suddenly appeared from and why wasn’t she accompanied but her freakish friends Deluca and Whitman? Those three were normally joined at the hip and it was rather disconcerting to see one without the other two.

“I know you’ll probably be surprised to see me here but I need to have a little chat with you.” Liz finally broke her gaze away from Isabel and glanced at her watch before looking back at the much taller girl. “Actually, I need to speak to you quite urgently.”

Liz’s last comment had been tinged with a hint of desperation. ‘Maybe she isn’t as brave as she first thought.’ Isabel commented to herself in triumph. She glanced at her Mom who gave a gentle nod towards the stairs. Isabel almost huffed out loud at the thought that her mom wanted her to take Liz Parker upstairs to her room.

Diane, being a little more mature and a lot more of a people person, had noticed the shift in demeanour in their visitor when she glanced at her watch. She was clearly pushed for time and in need of an urgent and private conversation with Isabel, if the notion that she was willing to call at her intimidating daughter’s house was anything to go by. “I’ll leave you two alone.” Diane finally said as she smiled politely to Liz and began to turn away. “It was nice meeting you, Liz. I hope to see you again one day soon.”

Liz smiled and nodded as she watched Diane disappear down the hall and into the kitchen. It was only then that she turned back to face Isabel.

“You need to talk to me?” Isabel asked incredulously. “You’re not confusing me with someone else are you?”

Liz shook her head before glancing at her watch again. “I don’t want to appear rude but I’m a little pressed for time so if we can get down to it…”

“You’re a little pressed for time?” Isabel repeated. “Well why didn’t you say? I’ll drop everything I’m doing and hang on your every word.” Her voice was now unmistakeably dripping in sarcasm.

For the second time in a matter of minutes Isabel was surprised to see Liz smile at her comments rather than recoil, which had been the desired reaction to her biting comments.

“I tell you what.” Liz stated rather impatiently. “I’m in a rush and the longer this takes the more difficult it becomes so I am going to go up and wait in your room and when you are ready to afford me some of your precious time we’ll talk!” And with that, Liz stormed off upstairs.

It didn’t happen very often, but Isabel was lost for words.

After a moment of stunned silence Isabel regained her composure and leapt up the stairs after Liz. By the time she had reached the doorway to her room Liz was already standing by the window, looking out into the backyard. “Now wait a God damn minute!” Isabel began.

“I don’t have time for this, Iz!” Liz cut in forcefully as she turned round.

Again Isabel was shocked into silence but she didn’t know if it was the ferocity of what her petite visitor had just said or the fact that she had just called her ‘Iz’. Something was wrong, very wrong.

Liz looked at her erstwhile friend and let out a heavy sigh. “Look, Isabel. I’m sorry. I know you have no idea what is going on here but I need you to do me one small favour and once you have done it I will be gone from your life…” Liz turned her head slightly and hushed her tone. “…quite literally.” She mumbled to herself.

To Isabel’s astonishment her next comment wasn’t a resounding ‘No’ or ‘Go to hell’ but…”What is it you want me to do?”

For a third time Liz glanced at her watch. “As strange as it seems I need you to go to my parent’s restaurant and bring Max and Michael home, right now!”

Isabel frowned at how innocuous Liz Parker’s request was. With the way she had been acting she felt sure she was going to ask her to do something stupid like rob a bank or ask her to ask her brother out on a date on her behalf. That last thought set Isabel thinking. “Aside from the obvious comment of ‘Why can’t you do it yourself’? I’m also confused as to why you are here. My lame brother and his not so little friend normally make a point of hanging out at the Crashdown after school and I can’t believe it’s for the good food. I can’t think why but my brother seems to have taken a shine to you.”

Liz had to fight her natural reaction to defend her parent’s restaurant. They served good food at reasonable prices in a warm and friendly environment…what more could people ask? She ignored Isabel’s cutting remark about her brother. Liz of September 1999 would have been shocked and embarrassed to learn that Max Evans had a crush on her but both she and Max had left that more innocent time a long time ago. It seemed a lot longer than the nearly two years that it had actually been.

“Focus, Liz!” Liz blurted out loud, causing her to blush slightly at the odd look Isabel gave her. “Look, Isabel. There is an easy way to do this and a very, very hard way. I don’t have time to explain myself nor do I have time for an alternate plan. I can’t go there myself for numerous reasons including being unwilling to try and break the laws of physics. If I had known that this was going to be so difficult I would have simply come up with another idea but I no longer have the luxury of that option.” Liz pulled herself up to her full height, which was a few inches shy of a foot shorter than Isabel and put on her game face. “Just answer me one question…are you going to do this for me or not?”

Isabel slowly and purposefully folded her arms across her chest and tilted her head slightly to the side as she gazed at Liz Parker. “That would be a No!” She smirked in triumph.

“Fine!” Liz cried. “The hard way it is!”

Isabel watched Liz advance on her. Her first thought, despite how ludicrous it would seem to any sane person, was that Liz was going to attack her. She couldn’t deny the relief when the petite brunette barrelled past her towards the open bedroom door. “Had enough, have you? Going to run away?” Isabel asked victoriously.

With what happened next Isabel lost not only all sense of victory but also all sense of what had passed for normal in her life so far. She had secrets that only a couple of people on this earth could understand but what followed in the next few minutes shot all of that thinking to hell.

Liz closed the door firmly and made a point of turning to look at Isabel as she placed her free hand over the lock. As she fixed Isabel with an unnerving glare she concentrated on moving the barrel of the lock.

As Isabel watched open mouthed Liz Parker did the one thing on this earth Isabel would never have believed she would or could do. As a low glow emanated from her hand that now covered the lock a ‘click’ sound broke the deathly silence as the bedroom door locked shut.

It would be useless to say Isabel was speechless, as she had been in the previous ten minutes, because this went so beyond speechless it wasn’t funny. If she had been wholly human and not in the possession of alien powers she didn’t think she could have been more surprised to see what Liz had done. The fact that she wasn’t completely human and did possess special powers made her all the more surprised and therefore destroying her previous assumption. Liz Parker couldn’t be like she was, she’d have known wouldn’t she?

That being the case it threw up more questions than their could possibly be answers but none of that changed what had gone before. Liz Parker had just locked the bedroom door using powers she could not possibly own.

“I don’t understand.” Isabel stated in a whisper as she took an involuntary step backwards as Liz approached her.

“I barely understand it myself and I have lived it these past two years.” Liz replied with a gentle smile on her face. “Iz, I don’t have the luxury of time to sit you down and explain everything that is going on. All I can tell you is that you are safe and nothing is going to happen to you. I know you have a million and one questions but I need you at the Crashdown in a matter of minutes or my coming here will have all been in vain and I can’t let that happen, there’s too much riding on the outcome of your actions.”

“Are you like me?” Isabel continued to speak softly as though in a daze, which was unsurprising given what she had just witnessed. Suddenly she shook her head violently to lift herself out of her stupor. “What am I saying? Of course you’re not like me. This is some kind of trick that Max and Michael have put you up to and it’s not funny!”

“It’s no trick.” Liz shook her head solemnly as she continued to inch nearer Isabel. She slowly held out her hands towards her frightened companion. “Isabel, I need you to trust me and take my hands. All will be explained in a moment but I just need you to take my hands.”

“You’re freaking me out now and I want you out of here!” Isabel went to move past Liz but she moved across to block her path. “I know you’re frightened, Iz. If I had time to sit down and talk you through what is going on I would but I don’t have that time and I need you to trust me.”

“Trust you?” Isabel repeated. “I don’t even know you!”

Liz slowly reached into her pocket and pulled out some piece’s of paper and offered them to Isabel. Isabel tentatively reached out, not seeing the harm in taking a few pieces of paper, when she slowly realised as she accepted the offering that they were pictures only face down.

If she thought her weird afternoon couldn’t get any weirder she was wrong. Staring back at her when she turned them over were the faces of Max, Michael and even her own smiling face. Amongst the others in the photo were Liz, Deluca, Kyle Valenti and some blond girl she didn’t recognise. Even in the midst of all of this, things got stranger still because standing on the end with his arms firmly wrapped around her waist was Alex Whitman of all people. More than that she could she from her body shape that she was not only leaning back into him and smiling broadly but she had her hands firmly clasped over his as he held her. It was very apparent that she not only wanted to be in his arms but she was very glad to be there.

Tears were now gradually trickling down her cheeks as she slowly flicked through the other pictures. There were pictures of Max and Liz together, she and Alex together and even more unbelievable were the pictures of Michael and Maria Deluca together.

“I’m from the future, Iz.” Liz suddenly cut in causing Isabel to look at her directly. “You let us in on your secret and we became friends, even family to one another but things went wrong. I need to stop us all from making the same mistake again and that way I can keep us all safe.” Liz reached out again. “If you take my hand I can show you.”

Isabel was torn. What Liz Parker was saying couldn’t possibly be true, could it? She knew people could do amazing things with computers nowadays but these pictures really did look real. Even if they had been altered it didn’t change the fact that it was her in the pictures and she didn’t ever remember looking so happy…that she would have remembered for sure.

“My time has run out, Isabel.” Liz offered softly. “I need to connect to you now and show you what has happened so you know what I want you to do and more importantly, why!”

Isabel absently placed the pictures on the side and reached out and took Liz’s offered hands. “I’m sure you have done this type of thing with Max and Michael so there’s nothing to be afraid of. The only thing is there’s a lot to get through so don’t try and take it all in at once. Let the images and feelings flow over you. Once I have passed them over to you there will be plenty of time for you to sort through what has happened.” Isabel almost managed a gentle smile as she nodded her understanding with Liz. “Just look at me.” Those were the last words Isabel heard before the flashes began.

Isabel had connected with her brothers for various reasons in the past but it wasn’t something she ever wanted to get used to or something that she encouraged. They were teenage boys after all and the less she knew about what went on in their heads, the better however, this was more, so much more. The images and feelings flew into her faster than she could possibly imagine. She caught an occasional scene for a spilt second or a momentary feeling of love or regret but as fast as she picked it up it was gone.

The one thought that she later realised was being firmly planted in the forefront of her mind was of an accident at the Crashdown, a gun shot! Then Max leaping over the counter to help someone, Liz…it was Liz who was shot and he was risking everything to save her!

Suddenly Liz broke them apart. When Isabel was able to focus on Liz after catching her breath she could see beads of sweat on her friend’s brow. ‘Her friend’s brow’ she repeated that thought over and over in her head. ‘Her friend, Liz Parker was her friend’. She didn’t know how she knew but she just knew. She felt it.

“We have to go.” Liz grabbed Isabel’s hand and moved to the door. With a flash of power the door was unlocked and they were off down the stairs. “You need to borrow your mom’s car or we will be too late.

Without hesitation Isabel darted in to see her mom and a few short moments later she reappeared clutching a set of car keys. Both girls moved quickly and silently to the car on the drive and jumped in. A few agonising seconds later they were on their way. Isabel now fully understood the need for urgency but something wasn’t quite right. She had so much going on in her head right now she could barely drive let alone make rational conclusions but there was something nagging at her that wouldn’t let go.

As they pulled in a little down the street from the Crashdown it hit her like a runaway train. She turned to Liz, panic on her normally beautiful face. “You want me to stop Max from saving you rather than for me to stop the shooting? that makes no sense. Why do you want me to let you die when I can save you?”

“All I know is that in the first timeline I would have died if Max hadn’t saved me. From that point on things began to spiral out of control. I can’t take that risk a second time. My powers are only just coming to the surface, which is how I have been able to come back. They were a direct result of Max healing me. I don’t know I will get that chance again in this timeline so I need for it all to go as it should have first time round. That way Alex will live a long and happy life and you will remain hidden from the authorities. It’s what is meant to be.” Liz added solemnly at the end.

“I still don’t fully understand why you haven’t just gone to see Max directly.” Isabel asked in confusion. “From what little sense I have been able to make of the flashes you sent me I now know how he felt about you so why wouldn’t you go direct to him rather than me?”

Liz gave the distraught Isabel a comforting smile. “That’s the whole problem, Iz. The very love that Max has for me may point to him being the one person I should go to for help in times of crisis but equally it was that same love that meant he wouldn’t just stand by and watch me die. That was the very trait within Max that started this rollercoaster ride in the first place and it is the very thing I have to prevent from happening again so we can sort out this mess.”

Isabel knew her next comment would appear to be a selfish one but she couldn’t help but ask. “Does that mean you see me as the type to stand by and watch you die?”

“On the contrary.” Liz reached over and clasped Isabel’s hand. “In this instance I am relying on you not to let your heart rule your head as it would Max. You might have to let one life slip away but trust me when I tell you that you are saving many more in the long run, else why would I do this?”

After climbing out of the car Liz took a couple of steps towards the Crashdown but soon stopped. “I can’t go any further, I can’t risk it.” She took another glance at her watch before turning to Isabel. “You need to go in and you need to stop Max making a mistake which will ruin all our lives including mine.”

“But…” Isabel hesitated. “I just need a second to think.”

“You don’t have time to mull this over, Isabel.” Liz insisted. “In a matter of seconds a fight is going to breakout and a gunshot will sound out and Max will do what he did last time. It was a loving and noble gesture but it had an adverse affect on all of our lives that eventually led to the death of Alex Whitman, a man you grew to love.”

“You can’t ask me to choose.” Isabel pleaded.

“There is no choice for you to make.” Liz stated firmly as she took Isabel’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “You have to stop Max and let things run their natural course else all will be lost!”

Isabel stepped forward and pulled Liz into a brief hug. Things were happening so fast and she had lost all semblance of control the second Liz Parker walked in her front door but if she was going to do this it had to be done now. Isabel stepped back. “What will happen to you?”

Liz almost shrugged. “Once the timeline is changed I will no longer exist. I’m hoping for some majestic fading into nothingness rather than some burning flames and an explosion.” She joked. Her face suddenly turned sombre. “Remember, Iz. This is what I came here to do. I’ve made my peace with what is about to happen and it is the right thing to do.”

The two girl’s broke apart and Isabel turned for the Crashdown.

“One last thing...” Liz called causing Isabel to look back. “…I don’t know how you will manage it without arousing suspicion but can you give Alex a hug for me?” Tears were now streaming down her face. “If I had thought this through properly I could have arranged a final meeting with the Alex of this timeline. He would have been none the wiser but I could have had one last hug from those long arms and a final look at his cheeky grin.”

“I will.” Isabel nodded as she wiped at her own tears. She then turned and headed up the sidewalk and with one final look back at Liz she stepped inside the Crashdown.

Liz leaned herself back against Diane’s car and glanced around. If she was going to suddenly explode or disappear into the atmosphere she wanted to make sure she didn’t give some passer-by a heart attack while doing it. She took a deep breath and thought about what she was doing and she knew it was the right thing. She had known more love, thanks to her family and friends, in her brief sixteen years than most people did in a lifetime. She was thinking, of course, of the version of herself inside the Crashdown. The one who had absolutely no idea that she was about to die or that just across the way from her as she served her customers was the very love of her life. Still, at least in her original lifetime she had learned what true love really was and she was pleased to report it was everything she hoped for and more.

Suddenly the sound of a gunshot rang out pulling Liz back to the present. A moment later she saw the doors to the Crashdown burst open and two sadly familiar looking oafs came dashing out, running off in different directions. A moment later she was surprised to see Isabel step out onto the sidewalk and look back down the street at her. She lifted her hand to wave at her tall friend when she noticed something odd.

She smiled to herself as her raised hand became translucent and she felt herself drifting away in a serene manner. Her last conscious thought was one of gratitude. Thankful she was leaving in a peaceful way with dignity and composure rather than the clap of thunder she had feared.

A moment later, she was gone.

To be continued…
Last edited by StargazerUK on Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:32 am, edited 39 times in total.
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Will you still love me? Pt.2 (A/I,CC, TEEN) 24-July-05

Post by StargazerUK » Sat Jul 23, 2005 5:55 pm

A/N: Sorry for the delay. I've had a few problems with my internet connection so let's hope this works :wink: .

Chapter 2

Isabel could do nothing but stare silently as she watched the figure of Liz Parker simply fade from existence. Even though Liz had told her what she thought might happen when the timeline was changed it didn’t diminish the effect it was having on the stunned blond as she watched someone disappear before her very eyes.

A moment later Isabel felt a gentle tap on her shoulder and as she turned to see who was calling her attention she got the shock of her life.

“Are you OK?” The female voice asked softly, concern evident in her tone. “What just happened? Was that really a gun?”

Isabel could hardly bring herself to speak. There was just so much going on all at once that she was having trouble focusing. As she stood staring at Liz Parker in her waitress’s uniform she barely registered the strong, firm hand that was now resting on her shoulder. Slowly the hand forced her to turn and she realised that it had been Max who was tenderly holding onto her and it was only now that she caught onto the fact that he was actually speaking to her.

“Isabel, are you alright?” He asked gently. “What are you doing here? Michael and I left you at home after school. You said you didn’t want to come to the Crashdown!”

Finally, slowly, Isabel began to regain her senses. “I changed my mind.” She said absently as she turned her attention back to Liz. “I borrowed mom’s car and I was going to join you but as I came walking into the diner I saw these two guys arguing.”

“Did you see the gun?” Liz asked, curiosity getting the better of her.

“Not at first,” Isabel shook her head. “…but as I walked past this big guy suddenly pulled it out of nowhere and started to wave it around.”

“You could have been killed!” Liz cut in.

“Any of us could!” Max added. As he spoke he suddenly became conscious of the fact that Liz was staring right at him, hanging on his every word. He glanced away quickly as he fought his natural reaction to get uncomfortable when it came to all things Liz Parker.

As Isabel watched, the first of the many realisations and insights that she would have over the coming weeks and months began to formulate in her mind. For a split second, as both Max and Liz expressed their concern for Isabel’s wellbeing, they looked at one another, sharing the briefest of moments and Isabel was able to understand the world of possibilities that now existed between the two of them, even if they could not. Of course neither had the slightest notion about what was going on or about the endless potential that the two of them, as a couple, possessed. That left Isabel with a very interesting quandary that she had to sort out sooner rather than later.

What was she going to do with all this knowledge she now possessed?

“Earth to Isabel, come in Isabel.”

Isabel blinked away her daydream and focused on the voice that was calling to her. When she realised that it was Michael she became aware that she was beginning to make a bit of a scene as she was still standing in the doorway of the Crashdown and she was now surrounded by not only Max and Liz but also Michael and Maria. “I think I need to sit down.” She stated softly.

The very second those words left her lips Isabel felt herself being ushered gently inside the Crashdown and into a booth. It seemed to be the booth the two boys had been sitting in as almost all of the other booths and tables appeared to be occupied. The diner was noisier than usual, no doubt due to all of the chatter and excitement over what had just happened.

Isabel suddenly found a glass of water thrust into her hand and when she looked up she saw Maria stepping back beside Liz, a look of apprehension on her face. She didn’t mean to but Isabel couldn’t help gazing at Maria. This was a girl that until half an hour ago she wouldn’t have given the time of day to. Now, having been through what she had been through and gained two years of experiences in the space of two minutes thanks to a connection to Future Liz she was now seeing everyone and everything in a different light. She was already conscious that she would have to hide her new found insight but it would still make for an interesting time.

“Erm…Iz.” Max cut into her thoughts causing Isabel to breakaway from looking at Maria and fix on her brother who had sat down opposite her.

“What?” Isabel asked, frowning in confusion.

Max paused for a moment, it appeared he was looking for the right words. “You were staring.” He finally replied uncomfortably.

“Oh! Sorry!” Isabel offered as she turned back to look at Maria.

“That’s OK.” Maria half shrugged from her position of now standing almost half behind Liz. “It’s probably shock or something. I know I could do with a good hearty sniff of cedar oil right now, it helps to relax the nerves and…”

“Oh brother!” Michael exclaimed.

Any thoughts of apprehension towards Isabel disappeared in a flash as she rounded on Michael who, it would seem, posed less of an intimidating threat than Isabel did if Maria’s change in demeanour was anything to go by. “I’m sorry but did the Neanderthal just speak? I apologise for my confusion but I am so used to getting monosyllabic grunts when taking his order that I didn’t even think he could speak!”

Michael immediately started to bristle at Maria’s tirade and was about to retaliate when he saw Liz pulling Maria away towards the counter. “You guys take a seat and we’ll be right back with some complimentary drinks. We just need to make sure the other customers are being taken care of.” Liz called over her shoulder while still wrestling with Maria.

Liz looked at Maria in amazement as she let out a chuckle. “Neanderthal, Monosyllabic?”

Maria shrugged nonchalantly. “I knew spending too much time around both you and Alex was going to rub off on me. Who knew I’d ever find a reason to use monosyllabic!”

Isabel watched with amusement as Michael slid in beside Max with a face like thunder, clearly not used to having anyone put up a fight when he had made an abrupt and less then subtle comment. She knew Michael saw it as one of the few perks to being the weird, loner that other classmates deemed him to be although Isabel obviously knew different. She didn’t think him weird or a loner but she also knew he didn’t do anything to help himself when it came to making friends. From the merest fraction of flashes that she had been able to decipher from Liz she was already beginning to understand how big a part of each others lives Michael and Maria would become if they were only given the chance to start a friendship. By the looks of their first encounter moments earlier it was going to take a very long time, if ever.

Suddenly Isabel perceived Max and more noticeably Michael stiffen up in their seats. She suddenly felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end and gradually it dawned on her what was happening or, more to the point, who had arrived. As the sound of the heavy booted footsteps approached the booth Isabel couldn’t fail to notice as the tension rose. However, she was also conscious of the fact that she felt different to how she had always felt in the past. For some unknown reason Sheriff Valenti didn’t seem as scary as he had done previously and it seemed her subconscious wasn’t telling her to run or sink into the background as it usually did. This time it was simply telling her to wait, bide her time and see how things played out before leaping headlong into panic mode.

“Hey, Sheriff.” Liz greeted Jim Valenti as he approached the counter. She stared at her reflection in his customary mirrored sunglasses, unsure what to make of his posturing. The thought that kept repeating in her mind was ‘She hadn’t done anything wrong so she didn’t have anything to fear’.

“Afternoon, Miss Parker.” He replied haughtily as he removed his glasses and hung them from his shirt pocket. “It seems you’ve had a little excitement in here today. Can you tell me what you saw?”

“Not much, to be honest.” Liz tried not to fidget with her hands but this man had an uncanny knack of making people nervous, which was something he used to his advantage at every opportunity. She tried not to laugh when she thought about what Maria always said about him, that he could make you feel guilty even when you were as pure as the driven snow. “There were these two guys sitting at a booth just down from the window. Suddenly they were arguing loudly and just as I turned to look at them…” Liz’s voice trailed off as she glanced over at Isabel who was watching intently but dropped her gaze when Liz looked at her.

“You turned to look at them?” The sheriff repeated, drawing Liz’s attention back to him.

“And then the gun went off.” She added absently.

“Miss Parker, is there something you’re not telling me?” The Sheriff asked sternly. “You seem to be thinking things over but you’re not saying a whole lot.”

Liz realised that she was making trouble for herself so she stopped her pondering and focused on the sheriff. “That’s exactly what happened, I’m telling you everything.”

Before the sheriff had a chance to add anymore Liz was suddenly engulfed by her father who had just come rushing in. “Liz, sweetheart, are you alright?”

“I’m fine, Dad.” Liz managed to splutter out as she was squeezed by her distraught father. Just as she thought she was about to get some relief as her dad let go of her Maria walked past and she too was pulled in and the hug repeated, now with three of them involved.

“So you two girls are fine, no one is injured?” Jeff Parker pressed.

“We’re fine, Dad.” “Everything is OK, thanks Mr Parker.” The girls replied respectively.

“If you’re both OK I need to go and speak to the sheriff. Please make sure the customers are fine and give them anything they need.” Jeff requested as he moved off towards the sheriff. He was currently over by the booth that the two men had been sitting in, deep in conversation with Deputy Hanson.

Isabel, Max and Michael watched the sheriff as best they could without raising suspicion. He made the three of them uneasy at the best of times but they knew they would only draw attention to themselves if they tried to leave so they would simply have to sit and wait until he was finished.

“What’s going on, Iz?” Max abruptly asked, taking both Isabel and Michael by surprise.

“What do you mean?” Isabel questioned, trying to remain casual and disinterested despite the million and one things going on in her head.

“We asked you if you wanted to come to the Crashdown but you said no. In fact you said more then no, you told us we were a couple of losers and we should both get a life.” Max recounted.

“It’s a woman's prerogative to change her mind. I don’t know what the big deal is anyway. It’s not a crime to come to the Crashdown for food even if the health inspector might think otherwise.”

“Hey!” Liz called as she approached the booth and placed a tray full of drinks on the table. “That’s not fair, we do great food here and we never get any complaints.”

Isabel almost blushed. “I’m sorry, Liz. I don’t know why I said that, it just slipped out for some reason. I didn’t even mean it!”

Liz eyed Isabel for a moment before replying. “That’s OK.” She placed some drinks in front of the three teens, slightly surprised by Isabel’s sudden retraction of her statement. “Help yourselves to these drinks and I’ll try and rustle up some fries and Saturn rings.”

As soon as Liz was out of earshot, Max refocused on his sister. “Sorry, Liz!” He echoed. “Since when do you apologise and since when do you call Liz Parker ‘Liz’?”

“What is this, twenty questions?” Isabel moaned as she took a sip of her drink and winced in displeasure. As she reached for a bottle of Tabasco she glanced around to make sure she wasn’t being watched before shaking a few hefty drops into her drink. She took a second sip and this time found the tasty mix of sweet and fiery spice much more to her liking. “It’s not like I brought a gun in here and fired it or that I made them idiots start a fight. I came here to get some food, end of story!”

Max eyed his sister for a moment and was met by a controlled stare. “Just ignore me, Isabel. This whole incident has me all hyped up and I’m seeing trouble where there isn’t any.” Max turned slightly to look at Michael. “I can’t believe I am going to say this but you’re quiet.”

“Neanderthal!” Michael stated sternly. “Monosyllabic!” He added a moment later. “Who does she think she is? I mean she’s no shining light herself when it comes to school so who is she to start name calling?”

“Michael…Michael!” Max called, trying to stop Michael’s tirade before it began. “Let it go. She was clearly a little riled after what just happened so just ignore what she said, I’m sure she wasn’t being mean.”

“What are you laughing at?” Michael suddenly cried at Isabel when he noticed a broad grin on her face.

“First of all I am smiling not laughing. I make a noise when I laugh.” Isabel explained. “Secondly, what is Maria, 100lbs dripping wet? And yet she has you all twisted up inside like I have never seen. I’m beginning to think you have a crush on her.”

“Crush?!” Michael managed to give the appearance of yelling while managing to keep his voice low so as not to draw attention to the threesome. “Please tell me you did not just say what I think I heard you say. I’ve never spoken to this girl before today, she ups and insults me and all of a sudden you have me sending her love poems and mooning over her. I’m not Max!”

“Hey!” Max cried. “What did I do? This stupid argument is nothing to do with me and then you go and say that.”

“Well she’s your sister so if I am going to go down you are going to go with me!” Michael stated smugly.

Suddenly, for the second time in a matter of minutes, Isabel felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. She was confused as she could still see the sheriff collecting statements so she had no idea why she had a feeling of nervousness. She knew Max and Michael were watching her after her surprise arrival at the Crashdown so she couldn’t go hunting round for a reason so she would just have to wait to see what, if anything, happened. She didn’t have to wait long.

A moment later the bell over the door sounded and Isabel caught both Liz and Maria look up at the new arrival and smile broadly, both stopping what they were doing and rushing towards the door. As casually as she could manage Isabel turned in her seat so she could look towards the door when she felt her breath catch in her throat.

Isabel had dated many boys over the last couple of years. Some were popular, some were rich and some were cute. On a very rare occasion they were all three. Of all the boys she dated they all had two things in common. They helped enhance her image around school and they never got more than a peck on the cheek at the end of the night when they brought her home. They served their purpose but never anything more than that. She had never looked at any boy twice and she had never been swept off of her feet no matter how hard they tried.

Now, here she sat looking at Liz and Maria hugging a boy that she had seen around school a thousand times. He wasn’t popular, he wasn’t rich but with regards not being cute…she was now a little unsure.

‘The only thing that was remarkable about Alex Whitman was exactly how unremarkable he was.’ Isabel commented to herself. When she thought that thought she felt a pang in her heart as though she had done him a great disservice by thinking such a thing. Then she realised that was exactly what she had done. As she gazed at the tall boy that was clearly concerned for Liz and Maria’s wellbeing she surprised herself by realising that for the first time in her life she felt jealous of another girl, another two girl’s in fact.

Alex released his grip on his two favourite girls and stepped back. “Now you are sure you are both OK?”

“Yes, Alex, we’re fine.” Liz replied. “What made you come here, I thought you had band practice after school today?”

Alex turned to look at Maria who in turn looked at Liz. “Hello, Liz!” She stated firmly. “We’ve just been shot at and I think our best friend deserved to know.”

“You called him!” Liz exclaimed before turning to Alex. “She called you?”

Alex nodded slowly, unsure of the reason behind Liz’s consternation. “Why, is that a problem?”

“It’s just that we were due to meet up here later and I would rather have told you what went on face to face than have you told over the phone that someone fired a gun in the Crashdown.” She explained. “I know how you worry about us so I can only imagine how many red traffic signals you drove through to get here in a hurry.”

“Liz, this is Roswell.” Maria cut in. “We barely have any traffic signals in this town and what ones we do have are ignored. You’re more likely to be rear-ended if you stop for a red light round here, everyone’s always in too much of a hurry.”

“There speaks Queen Deluca, mistress of the road.” Liz stated sarcastically but with a slight smile to take the bite off of her comment.

Maria folded her arms across her chest in a defiant manner. “Are you implying something about my driving style?”

Liz shook her head. “Not at all…” Maria smiled in triumph but Liz continued. “…but only because you don’t drive your car…you aim it!”

“Ladies…ladies, please!” Alex stepped in between the two girls. “I think the situation is getting to all of us so I think we need to take a break.”

The two girls looked at one another silently before they both stepped forward into a hug. “I’m sorry, sweetie.” Liz offered. “No, honey. I’m the one who should be apologising. It’s just I got scared earlier when I thought about what might have happened, you were standing in a direct line down from those guys so God only knows how close you came to getting shot. While you were getting the drinks for people I stepped into the back and called Alex.”

“And I’m glad you did.” Alex added. “I know it’s not nice to hear about scary news over the phone but I would always prefer to know sooner rather than later if you have something to tell me.”

“What is going on here?” Michael suddenly asked, causing both Isabel and Max to turn and look at him.

“How do you mean?” Max questioned.

“Well by now I am totally used to coming down here so you can stare longingly at Liz Parker but for the last two minutes Isabel has been staring at those three by the door.” Michael explained. “Now I am all for lesbian fantasies but not when it involves Isabel so I can only assume she is looking at that long streak of Whitman. Are they putting something in the water in this place?”

Isabel was momentarily lost for words. She knew if she tried to reply to Michael’s comments about Alex she would simply blush and it would just be more ammo for him to fire back at her so she remained silent for a second while she tried to recompose herself. After what seemed like an eternity she was ready to reply but it seemed Michael wasn’t finished.

Michael was loving this. He never got an opportunity to unload on Isabel without her countering everything he said to her but for some unknown reason he had her on the ropes and he was going to go for he kill. “Cat got your tongue?”

He should have known it couldn’t last.

“Actually, Michael, I wasn’t looking at Alex but at Maria.” Isabel replied demurely. “I know that from time to time you have been known to skip class and I simply assumed you were doing it to get out of lessons but having seen you and Maria have your little ‘lover’s spat’ earlier things are falling into place. You pretend to come here to keep Max company while he looks at Liz, although Max would have us think that he comes here for the food and not the scenery, but in reality you come here for your own clandestine reasons that involve Maria.”

Before Michael could refute Isabel’s outlandish claims a voice cut in. “What involves me?”

All three turned to see Maria, Liz and Alex standing in the walkway as they headed towards the counter. It seemed that as they were walking past Maria heard her name being spoken. After a long pause Isabel stepped in to save everyone’s embarrassment. “We were just discussing aromatherapy and I said we couldn’t have a proper conversation about the subject unless it involved you.” Isabel lied. “It’s known around school about your fondness for the subject.”

Maria looked incredulously at the two boys. “You two were discussing aromatherapy?”

Both Max and Michael, knowing the ground was not going to open up and swallow them whole, nodded in the faint hope that this humiliating conversation would soon be over.

“Well they say you learn something new everyday and I guess I can cross today off of my list.” Maria stated flippantly.

“I heard you were right next to the gunman when his gun went off, are you OK?”

Isabel felt her heart race as she turned to look towards the caring voice that just spoke to her. For the first time she found herself face to face with a boy that she had seen in passing on countless occasions but this was the first time since she found out that, given the right circumstances, not only could she love someone unconditionally but also that she could receive unconditional love in return, included him knowing her secret.

“I’m fine.” She whispered. Suddenly Isabel scrambled to her feet as she reached for her bag. “I think I’m going to head home as I seem to have lost my appetite. I’ll see you boys at home.” She stated as she turned, head held low looking at the floor. “I’ll see you guys.” She threw that comment in the general direction of Alex, Liz and Maria but she made a point of not making eye contact with them.

As the remaining five watched Isabel left the Crashdown in a hurry and disappeared from sight.

“Was she just crying?” Maria asked solemnly. “She looked like she was crying.”

“I’m sorry.” Alex stated as he turned to look back at the group. “I didn’t intend to upset her. I guess I just stirred it all up again.”

“I’m sure it was nothing.” Liz said reassuringly as she rubbed Alex’s arm. “I think it’s been a long day for all of us and especially Isabel.”

If only Liz knew exactly how right she was.

Isabel sat at the steering wheel of her mom’s car, crying uncontrollably. The events of the last hour were catching up with her but she knew it was one thing in particular that was causing her pain. As selfish and horrible a comment as it would sound she couldn’t help but wonder if she had missed her opportunity with the one man she could have had true happiness with when she changed the timeline?

To be continued…
Last edited by StargazerUK on Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Will you still love me? Pt.3 (A/I,CC, TEEN) 03-Aug-05

Post by StargazerUK » Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:38 pm

A/N: Sorry for the delay. I'll try to get some sort of control over my life so I can get back to writing and posting normally lol. David / StargazerUK

Chapter 3

Isabel closed the front door behind her and moved quietly up the hallway towards the stairs.

“Is that you, Honey?” Diane Evans called from the kitchen.

Isabel paused for a second as her foot rested on the bottom step. She wanted nothing more than to slope off to her room, lie down and close her eyes. She felt like she had been up for a week and that was before she had even begun to fully process the images and feelings she had received from Future Liz.

She sighed heavily as she pulled her foot back and turned towards the kitchen. “It’s me, Mom.” She called, as she approached the doorway and stepped through.

“Oh, my word!” Diane exclaimed as she watched her normally immaculate daughter approach. She looked dreadful which wasn’t a word she had ever used before when looking at her image conscious offspring. “Isabel, what’s happened?”

“Nothing, Mom, I’m fine.” She replied automatically before realising what she had just said. “In fact, not nothing but you must understand, everything is fine now.” She corrected herself.

“You’re scaring me, Isabel. Where are Max and Michael? They were going to the Crashdown, are they OK?” Diane pressed. “And what about that girl Liz that you left with, is she alright?”

Isabel had to fight back tears when her mom said those last words. She could hardly tell her mom that the nice young girl that she had met an hour or so earlier had sacrificed her life for the sake of others. “Mom, they’re fine.” Isabel tried to reassure her distraught mother. “Sit down and I will tell you everything.”

Isabel watched as her mother retook her seat without taking her eyes off of her. She needed to explain what had happened and quickly to stop her from worrying. Obviously that meant she needed to come up with a watered down version of what had actually happened, she couldn’t tell her mom the whole truth. “Keeping in mind that no one got hurt and everyone is safe I have to tell you that someone fired a gun while I was at the Crashdown.”

Diane understandably went to speak but Isabel threw up a hand to stop her. “Everyone is fine, no one got hurt.” She repeated slowly. “The sheriff is there with his deputies and they are taking care of everything. It seems these two guys got into a fight and one of them pulled out a gun, but we are all fine.” She added.

“Where’s Max? Why isn’t he with you?” Diane’s protective instincts were now in full flow.

“He’s still at the Crashdown with Michael…eating!” Isabel stated incredulously.

“Eating?” Mrs Evans echoed.

“Mom, they’re guys. It was going to take a lot more than a stray bullet to stop them eating food, especially when the word ‘Complimentary’ was inserted in front of it.” To Isabel’s surprise she managed to smile at her own little joke, the tension clearly easing.

“But you are fine now?” Diane asked one more time.

“I promise you I am fine, Mom.” Isabel slowly lifted herself from her chair and met her mom face to face as she also stood up. She wasn’t surprised to suddenly be pulled into a firm hug by her mother and having been through the trauma of the last hour or so she welcomed it.

As they broke apart Isabel stepped towards the hallway. “If you don’t mind I’m going to go up and have a lie down. I think there has been a little too much excitement for one day so I feel as though I could do with a quite hour or so to get myself together.”

“Of course, Honey.” Diane nodded in agreement. “Did you get anything to eat while you were out? You weren’t gone very long and with all the excitement…” She trailed off.

“I’m fine, Mom.” Isabel smiled. “I didn’t manage to eat but I am not hungry now, maybe later.”

Diane watched as her daughter headed out of the room and up the stairs. She felt a cold shiver run through her entire body as she thought about what might have been. She had said goodbye to her son and, then later still, her daughter as she had done so on countless times pervious. Not having an inkling of what was to follow. She hurriedly picked up the phone and started dialling. Philip was still at the office and she felt he deserved to know what had gone on as quickly as possible.

Isabel closed the door behind her and let out a huge sigh of relief. Her earlier sigh had been one of exhaustion but this was one denoted the fact that she could final sit down and come to terms with what she had discovered in the last couple of hours.

She thought about locking her door with a burst of power but she knew there was a strong possibility that her mom would be up to check on her sooner rather than later and as she didn’t want to have to explain why she had locked her door she left it as it was.

Kicking off her shoes Isabel sat down on the bed before slowly swinging her body round and lifting her feet in the same movement so she ended up lying flat on the bed, her head resting on her pillows. Now that she had finally gotten the chance to close her eyes she allowed herself to relax and deliberately slowed her breathing in an attempt to release all the pent up energy she could feel charging through her body.

After only a few short minutes she suddenly lurched forward into a sitting position, her pulse racing and her breath coming in rapid, shallow bursts. ‘What the hell was that?’ She thought to herself. Then, as she regained her senses, she realised exactly what she had seen. Just as she had felt herself drifting off she was suddenly overcome by a strong feeling of love and happiness. That was then coupled by an image that she realised she had seen somewhere before.

Leaping off of the bed Isabel hurried to the table by the window. She scrambled around looking for something but she couldn’t find it. Rushing to the door she pulled it open and stuck her head out into the hallway. “Mom!” She cried at the top of her voice.

“What is it, Isabel?” Diane called as she hurried out into the hallway.

“Sorry for shouting, but have you been in my bedroom since I left? Did you see some photos?” She asked, panic stricken.

“No, Honey, I haven’t.” Diane replied. “No one has been near your room since you and Liz left earlier.”

“OK, thanks.” Isabel slowly closed the door, crestfallen. She was sure she left the pictures that future Liz had showed her on the table and that future Liz hadn’t picked them up.

As she slumped back down onto the bed it slowly dawned on her that if the thinking was that if the timeline changed future Liz would disappear, as she did, maybe it stood that anything else that was altered from the original timeline would also disappear. If the Prom was different the photos would be to, hence the set that were on the table were now gone.

Isabel shook her head as she lay back down on the bed. This was all getting a little too complicated and it had only just begun. It wasn’t like she was some slow learning imbecile who was struggling with the basics of science. She was a bright girl and time travel may well have been a fundamental tenet of physics but she already knew that if you asked five different leading scientists about it you may well end up with five different theories so she wasn’t going to lose sleep over the fact that she was head scratching already.

As Isabel lay back down she started to remember the flashes that accompanied the feelings she felt a few moments ago. It was still very strange to see and feel things from Liz Parker’s standpoint but that was almost forgotten given that the first thing her subconscious had deemed to bring up was what Liz saw between she and Alex at the prom. Through Liz’s eyes she could see herself dancing with Alex as she wore a stunning red dress. She could see how she clearly felt comfortable in his arms and how they gazed into one another’s eyes without feeling self-conscious or awkward, something Isabel had never experienced before and never thought she would.

The feelings of love and happiness were what Liz felt as she gazed upon the pair. Isabel had never dreamed of such feelings for herself let alone that some other girl would have those feelings for her and Alex. It wasn’t just that Liz loved Alex, that much was evident in this timeline already, but she clearly loved Isabel as a close friend as well. The happiness that Liz felt was born out of the realisation that she was looking at her two friends, who were so clearly in love and happy to be with one another, and she understood that this was how things were meant to be between the two of them.

Isabel sat forward as she felt tears running down her face. She reached for a tissue and wiped at her eyes as she fought back the desire to cry unashamedly. This was going to be so much more than time travel and putting things back to how they would have been. From what Isabel could see some things may have gone spectacularly wrong first time round but then some things had worked out spectacularly well. Maybe, armed with the knowledge that she now had and that future Liz didn’t have in the previous timeline, she could put things right. However, a sudden pang of conscience made her stop and think for a moment. She couldn’t just force the issue or manipulate the situation to her advantage. That would be wrong, wouldn’t it?

From what she had already gleaned from Liz’s flashes she had been scared about what would happen between her and Alex, it was the uncertainty that caused her to push him away but this time she knew what was possible. She now knew without a shadow of a doubt that she could trust him, which was something she didn’t think she could ever feel about a man other than her two brothers. It didn’t mean things would be easy or that she knew the two of them would end up together but it meant she was going to be less resistant to the idea.

Sadly, what she had gained with one hand she had lost with the other. Changing the timeline in the way that she did was the right thing to do, of that she had no doubt. The good news was she now saw the potential that existed between her and Alex. The bad news was that both Max & Liz and Michael & Maria were back to square one.

Was she really capable of manipulating at least five other people, and probably more, into doing what she wanted? That was to say nothing of the dangers and mishaps that took place first time round and that she was only now beginning to understand. Was it right for her to keep secrets from Max and Michael? They had as much right to know what had gone on as she did and she also had no doubt that this new information would inform their future decision making to such an extent that the longer she held onto it without telling them the bigger the problem she was creating for herself.

Isabel’s machinations were interrupted by a gentle tap on the door. She glanced at the clock beside her bed and realised she had only been up in her room for just over five minutes, which meant her mom must be really worried if she was checking in on her already. “Come in.” She called.

A moment later the door opened and to her surprise Liz Parker was standing in the doorway. For a moment Isabel was confused when she saw Liz smile gently before taking a nervous glance around the room until it dawned on Isabel that this wasn’t the same Liz she had seen up here just a few short hours earlier. “Liz, what brings you here?”

“Hi, Isabel.” Liz offered as she stepped inside and closed the door. “I hope you don’t mind me calling on you like this but you seemed pretty upset after what happened, understandably, and we just wanted to check you were OK. I didn’t expect to come up here to your room but your mom seemed to think I had been here earlier and before I could put her straight she had ushered me up the stairs.” Liz explained rather anxiously.

Isabel hadn’t even had time to contemplate her mom and Liz running into each other let alone the fact that one would think they had already been introduced while the other was completely oblivious to any prior meeting. “You’ll have to forgive my mom.” Isabel covered. “She meets so many of my friends from school that she gets a little confused sometimes.”

“No worries.” Liz smiled. “My mom’s the same. Although as luck would have it your mom guessed my name correctly.”

Isabel couldn’t help but feel that Liz was testing her some how with that last comment. It may well have been paranoia kicking in but she always deemed it was better to be on the safe side. “Did you say ‘We’ came to check on you?” Isabel asked, trying to change the subject.

“Yes.” Liz nodded. “Maria is in the car but she was a little apprehensive about coming to the door. As I said, I wasn’t expecting to come in so we only thought I would be here for a minute.”

“Shall we go and get her and bring her in?” Isabel gestured towards the door.

“Actually I think I should be getting back.” Liz smiled nervously, surprised by such a welcoming offer. She didn’t want to appear mean but she didn’t see Isabel Evans as the welcoming type. “I told my dad Maria and I were going to step out for a short while to catch some fresh air. Of course my dad being a born worrier, much like my mom, wanted to close the diner down and send us all home but I told him we were fine and happy to carry on but I was a little worried about you. You were closer than any of us to that gun and it was a lucky thing that you didn’t get shot.”

Isabel didn’t doubt Liz’s sincerity or motives but she still had a feeling in her gut that there was more to this meeting than met the eye. “Are you sure you are OK, Liz? I know we don’t really know one another but you seem a little strange.”

“It’s nothing really it’s just…” As Isabel caught the petite girl’s eye her guest trailed off from what she had been saying and simply stared at her.

“Liz, if you have something to say or ask…just do it.” Isabel stated softly.

“How did I not get shot?” Liz suddenly asked.

Isabel took a step back at hearing that question. “What…what do you mean?” She stammered.

“I didn’t see what was going on initially but Maria called to me and as I turned around everyone was dropping to the floor…” Liz explained. “…then just as I saw the gun in that guys hand pointing right at me I saw you throw out a hand and suddenly he fired the gun and that was the last thing I remember. The police said the bullet ended up in the ceiling.”

Isabel’s only hope was that Liz was clearly in an agitated state. Even though it appeared that she had seen something it wasn’t something she would deem logical and even as she was telling her tale to Isabel it was clear she didn’t believe it herself. “I’m not sure what to say to you, Liz, or what you are asking. I heard the fight break out, as I turned I saw the gun and I think I must have thrown an arm up to protect myself. I never saw the gun actually go off so I have no idea where he was pointing it or why.”

Liz dropped her gaze. “I’m sorry. I feel very foolish but I couldn’t get that scene out of my mind. I’ve been playing it over and over in my head and it just didn’t make sense.” She finally looked up at Isabel. “I knew I was being silly and I don’t know what I was expecting by coming here and asking you these questions.” Liz moved towards the door. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come.”

Isabel stepped after Liz as she left the room. “Where you asking me how I was just so you could quiz me about the gunshot?”

Liz turned to look at Isabel in shock. “No, never! I wanted to know what you saw but I also wanted to know that you were alright. I might be losing my mind but I would never do anything like that, that would be a horrible thing to do.”

“I didn’t think so.” Isabel smiled softly. “I’ll see you out.”

Isabel stepped outside and pulled the door closed behind her. As she followed Liz down to the street she saw a VW car parked across her drive with what appeared to be a shrinking Maria Deluca in the driver’s seat. By the time the two girls had reached the car Maria’s head was hardly visible above the window frame. As she watched the two girls stop beside the driver’s door she finally sat herself upright. “There it is.” She stated out loud as she waved a small glass bottle towards the two girls. “I dropped this under the seat and was looking for it.”

Isabel didn’t know why but she glanced to her side towards Liz and was met by an understanding smile. Suddenly Isabel realised that they both knew Maria was covering her antics with a weak story but the fact that all three of them knew what she had been actually trying to do, which was to hide from Isabel, made it sort of an ‘in joke’. It occurred to Isabel that not having many real friends she didn’t take part in many ‘in jokes’ and she quite liked it. No one got hurt but everyone seemed to be smiling and enjoying themselves.

“Are you girls both at school tomorrow?” Isabel asked out of the blue, catching both girls off guard.

The two girls exchanged a surprised glance before Liz replied. “Yes, we’ll be there as usual. Why?”

“Erm…I was wondering if you would want to have lunch with me?” Isabel asked tentatively.

“Us?” Maria asked in surprise. “Really?”

“Only if you want to.” Isabel nodded.

“We would.” Liz replied. “But we have lunch with Alex Whitman so we can’t really leave him on his own.”

“You could join us if you would like.” Maria cut in.

“Oh, I’m not sure.” Isabel hadn’t thought about Alex coming into the equation even though she should have. She knew they were always together so why wouldn’t they be having lunch together? She had an unerring desire to get to know these girls better but she wasn’t sure she could do it while still being confused about how she felt about Alex, if she felt anything at all. “Can I tell you tomorrow?”

“That will be fine.” Liz replied as she climbed into the passenger seat.

“I’ll see you guys tomorrow then.” Isabel smiled as she turned and walked inside.

Liz turned and saw a stunned look on Maria’s face. “What is it?” She finally asked.

Maria broke out of her stupor and looked at Liz. “I’m just a little confused.” She admitted. “We were shot at today and also asked out to lunch my Isabel Evans and I am not sure which one was the more surprising event.” She started the car and pulled out into the road. “I’m also undecided as to which one is scarier.”

To be continued…
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Will you still love me? Pt.4 (A/I,CC, TEEN) 11-AUG-05

Post by StargazerUK » Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:53 pm

Chapter 4

“Are you deliberately trying to hurt me?” Maria asked as she glanced up at Alex.

Alex was oblivious to what was going on around him. He only had eyes for the girl that he currently had firmly fixed in his sights and wasn’t taking the slightest bit of notice to anything else. The fact that Maria’s question was followed by a swift elbow to the ribs meant he was finally pulled from his daydream and back to the question at hand. “Oww!!” He cried as he rubbed at his side. “What did you do that for?”

“Would you like a list?” Maria offered sarcastically. She then proceeded to count off on her fingers. “One, You’ve just stood on my foot. Two, Liz and I have been talking to you for several minutes but I doubt you have heard a single word we have said. Three, It’s really quite rude to stare at the best of times but when you’re a guy and it’s a girl you are staring at it opens up a whole new can of worms that includes words like ‘Stalker’, ‘Letch’ and ‘Peeping Tom’”.

“Well excuse me!” Alex replied indignantly. “I didn’t know casually looking around ones surroundings while standing by the school lockers was a criminal offence. As for your list of descriptive words I would appreciate it if you kept them to yourself. A guy’s reputation with the ladies can be destroyed by a careless comment or misguided joke. I doubt there are many women who are looking to date a guy who’s known by the rest of the school as a ‘Stalker’!”

“God, Alex! Take a breath why don’t you.” Maria exclaimed. “I was only joking.”

“Have you two quite finished?” Liz cut in, giving both her friends an irritated look

Alex and Maria looked at one another and a look of regret appeared on both their faces.

“Sorry, Honey.” Maria offered as she stepped in and hugged Alex.

“I’m the one who should be apologising.” Alex replied as he engulfed his petite friend in his long arms. “You’re being nice to me as always and all I’m doing is ignoring you and trampling you underfoot with my size twelve’s.”

“Everyone is acting strange today for some reason.” Liz cut in a second time.

“How so?” Maria enquired as she released her grip on Alex and turned to look at Liz.

“Well, Alex is looking at Isabel.” Liz began.

When both girl’s turned to look at Alex he was about to protest but then he realised who he was dealing with and that was aside from the fact that they were 100% right, he had been staring at her…he always stared at her. The fact that Isabel either didn’t notice or didn’t care meant he normally had free reign when it came to gazing upon the object of his affection.

“But for the first time today I’ve noticed that she is looking back and by her lack of annoyance it seems that she isn’t terribly upset about having an admirer, which I find quite out of character for ‘The’ Isabel Evans.” Liz continued.

Alex frowned. “She hasn’t been looking at me, I would have noticed.” He stated resolutely. Suddenly Alex flushed bright red. “Oh, God! She hasn’t been looking at me has she? How did I not notice?”

Maria ignored Alex’s new found panic and questioned Liz. “How did you get all of that if they have only glanced at one another? For that matter, how do you know things are strange from those tiny changes?”

Liz smiled broadly as she closed her locker and devoted her full attention to her friends. “There are certain constants in this ever changing universe that we know are scientific fact. One of them is that Alex is infatuated by Isabel Evans and, given the opportunity, he will gaze upon her with loving eyes at every given opportunity.”

Alex wanted to refute Liz’s claims but he was too busy trying to stop himself from blushing right out of existence with all this talk about his desire for Isabel Evans so he thought better of it and remained quiet.

“Another constant is Isabel Evans dislike for anything she deems beneath her, which we all know is most things and I am sorry to say Alex but in her eyes we know that includes you.” Liz rubbed at her friends arm in a comforting gesture. “But after yesterdays shooting at the Crashdown not only has Isabel been acting strange around us, which includes wanting us to come into her house last night and inviting us to lunch today, but she has taken every opportunity this morning to steal a quick glance our way.”

“So…what? You think she might be having some kind of reaction to the trauma of the gunshot yesterday?” Maria questioned, trying to follow Liz’s logic.

“It could be.” Liz nodded. “It might be that coming that close to something so deadly as a stray bullet might have given her a wake up call.”

“You mean like seeing her life flash before her eyes.” Alex offered.

Liz smiled but also shrugged slightly. “As I said, could be. All I know is that she has been nicer to Maria and me in the last 24hrs than she has been in the last ten years. I can’t say she has ever been top of my Christmas card list but as horrible an event as yesterday was if she has come out of it with a better outlook on life and the people around her I can’t say I will be too sorry.”

Alex glanced at his watch. “We’d better be getting to class.”

As Liz and Maria moved off down the hallway Alex slowly moved after them, as was his way. He loved them both dearly and they included him in everything but he was a guy and they were girls after all. He could just about manage to keep up with their idle chit-chat most of the time but he liked to hang back every once in a while so as not to get in their way. He could only take so much talk about who was wearing what and who said what to whom. If he heard about one more girl who had worn an entirely inappropriate something or other that clashed with her whatever he thought he would lose it. By hanging back every now and then it meant he kept his close friendship with the girls…and his sanity.

As they walked by where Isabel had been standing with Max and Michael the girl’s made a point of smiling politely at what seemed to be their new friend as they moved along the line of lockers. Somewhat surprisingly they were met with an equally warm and friendly smile. That was until Alex walked into view. As soon as she caught sight of the tall, lean boy out of the corner of her eye Isabel dropped her head and tightened her grip on the books that she been holding firmly across her chest.

Alex saw her reaction to his approach but tried not to show any response to it. If she couldn’t bring herself to even look at him, let alone exchange a polite smile he wasn’t going to fret over it. He had shown genuine concern for her wellbeing in the Crashdown the day before but when he had enquired as to how she was she simply mumbled something in his general direction before scurrying off. It wasn’t as though he had asked her out on a date or anything.

Isabel lifted her gaze and watched with regret as Alex headed off down the hallway trailing Liz and Maria. She hadn’t meant to be mean to him but she was still so confused about how she felt about him that she was unsure how to deal with the situation. The one thing she did know was that if she looked at him she would blush uncontrollably, which was something she wasn’t used to doing. It wasn’t her image that she was worried about, far from it, but what Alex would think. Despite her confused feelings towards him the one thing she was now sure of was that she wanted him to like her.

“What’s going on, Isabel?” Max questioned. “Are you feeling alright?”

Isabel straightened herself up upon hearing her brother’s comments. “I’m fine thanks, Max. I’ll be even better still if people would stop asking me how I am feeling. I’m not exactly the shrinking violet type so I promise that when I am unhappy about something you’ll both be the first to know about it!” Isabel made a point of moving her gaze to Michael as she gave her speech.

“So what you are saying is that you want us to ignore the fact that you and Whitman have been exchanging lovesick looks for the last ten minutes and wait until you are ready to tell us what the hell is going on between the two of you.” Michael stated rather abruptly.

Isabel pulled herself up to her full height and squared up to Michael who had been leaning against the lockers. “Coming from a man who wouldn’t know a lovesick look if it came up and kicked him in the ass I won’t be losing too much sleep over your deep and insightful comment.” Suddenly a thought popped into Isabel’s head and she could barely stop herself from smiling before she continued. “But being the Neanderthal that it seems everyone thinks you are I shouldn’t be surprised by your lack of understanding or the fact that you see something between Alex Whitman and me when there isn’t anything to see.”

If those comments had come from anyone but Isabel Michael would have torn their head off but as it was Isabel he just looked at her for a long moment before dropping his gaze and moving back to retake his place against the wall.

Isabel didn’t need the silent look that Max gave her after her onslaught on Michael but it helped her confirm what she already knew and already felt. “I’m sorry, Michael. I’ve been in some sort of weird mood since yesterday and I seem to be taking it out on everyone today.”

“Yeah, well…” Michael lifted his head. “Welcome to my world.”

“That’s all I need...” Max joked. “…the two of you ganging up to pick fault with the world and put everyone in their place.”

“Some of us have to act as a natural balance to your sweet and kind nature.” Michael countered. He turned to look at Isabel. “I thought old Mary Poppins here was going to have a heart attack yesterday when that gun went off. The look on his face when he thought that something might happen to Liz Parker was priceless.”

Max looked directly at Michael and frowned. “I’m surprised you have any room left.”

Michael returned Max’s look and frowned himself. “Am I supposed to know what that means?”

Max closed his locker and turned up the hallway for class. “It’s just with your last two comments, one to Isabel and now one to me, you have managed to get both of your feet into your mouth and I was wondering if you had any room left.”

“Having both feet in my mouth is never a problem, Maxwell.” Michael grinned mischievously. “When that happens I just do what everyone else around here does and talk out of my a…”

Just then the bell sounded for class, cutting off Michael in the nick of time. However, he had managed to express himself enough to send both Isabel and Max to class with a broad smile on each of their faces.


By the time the lunch bell had rung it had long been on Isabel’s mind that she hadn’t managed to speak to either Liz or Maria about their lunch plans. Despite having all night and most of the morning to think things over she was still none the wiser about what she wanted to do about Alex.

It seemed that with the benefit of a reasonable nights rest and a large helping hand from her subconscious, Isabel had managed to sort out most of the images and feelings that she had received from Liz. That in no way meant that she had it all fully sorted, catalogued and reviewed but what it did mean was that she had a pretty good idea of what their counterparts had been through in the original timeline and what were the sort of things that they would want to avoid. The fact that she had already prevented Liz Parker from being shot meant so much of what had gone wrong in the previous timeline could be averted with very little effort on her part.

Aside from wrestling with what to do about her feelings for Alex she also had to deal with what she was going to tell Max and Michael, and when. She knew she had to tell them both and she also knew the sooner she told them the better but she wanted to make herself comfortable with the knowledge she had gained because she knew the instant she imparted what she knew to Michael he would be off and running before the final words had left her lips. Michael wanted nothing more than to find what he called his real family and to find a way back to what he deemed was his real home. From what she had learned from Liz, Isabel already knew that Michael was in for some real heartache on that front.

Pushing her way out into the afternoon sun Isabel wasn’t exactly sure what she had planned for lunch but what she did know was that she wasn’t going to be eating with Max or Michael. If she was going to eat with Liz and Maria she knew she would have to ditch the two boys so she struck while the iron was hot and told the two of them that she wasn’t going to be about for lunch while they were still on their way to school. If she ended up having lunch with the girls, all well and good but if she ended up eating alone at least Max and Michael couldn’t accuse her of being stood up.

It was then that Isabel caught sight of someone waving at her out of the corner of her eye. As she turned she could see Maria waving at her frantically from the far side of the quad. As she approached she could see Liz already sitting at a table with what looked like a picnic laid out on the counter.

“Hi.” Both girls greeted Isabel as she came within earshot.

“Hi.” Isabel replied as she dropped her bag onto the seat opposite Liz.

“We know we didn’t make any firm plans for lunch today but I brought plenty of food on the off chance you were going to join us.” Liz smiled as she gestured towards the abundance of food laid out on the table.

“Oh my God!” Isabel exclaimed when it became clear to her exactly how much food of varying types was on offer. “Do you guys always eat like this?”

“Are you kidding?” Maria cried. “We work in a diner which is owned by Liz’s parents. It’s all we can do not to have to get a pack mule when we do something like this.”

Liz poured each of them a drink as Isabel finally took a seat. “We don’t do this kind of thing very often but when we do my parents insist I raid the cupboards in the diner so we end up with enough food for six.”

“Eight!” Maria cut in as she bit into a large taco.

“You’ll have to forgive Maria when it comes to good manners while eating. She’s spent way too much time with Alex for her to be described as lady like anymore.” Liz joked. “Despite being so tall and lean Alex could eat for New Mexico. He always jokes that he could never be paid to eat in case they make it an Olympic sport and he wants to be ready to compete.”

Isabel smiled outwardly at hearing Liz’s story but at the very mention of Alex’s name she felt regret about having frightened him away from his friends. “Where is Alex?” She asked tentatively.

“He heard us say about possibly having lunch with you today so he said he would make himself scarce.” Maria explained.

“I didn’t scare him off, did I?” Isabel asked ruefully.

“Not at all.” Liz smiled broadly and shook her head vigorously. “We told him he was very welcome but he said the fact that his two best friends are girls means he has to watch how much time he spends in the company of women else he will soon find himself spending his Saturday afternoons at the Mall going shopping with the pair of us.”

Isabel found herself gently smiling again at another one of Alex’s joke comments. “Where is he now?” She asked softly.

Maria gestured over Isabel’s left shoulder. “I’m surprised you didn’t see him as you walked over. He isn’t on his own. He’s over there with the other nerds.”

Isabel glanced at Liz and then back at Maria in shock. “Did you just call him a nerd?”

“Of course I did.” Maria nodded. “What else would I call him? Nerd isn’t a dirty word like it used to be. Thanks to people like Bill Gates any guy who is halfway decent with a computer is hoping to invent the next big thing. Being a nerd isn’t to be frowned upon in the circles that Alex moves in. He’s a genius when it comes to all things computer so he is like an idol or something to those guys.”

“Add to that the fact that his two best friends are girl’s means that Alex is held in very high regard.” Liz looked over at Maria. “And Miss Promiscuous over there doesn’t do his reputation any harm.”

Isabel went wide-eyed as she turned to look at Maria.

“What?” She asked in all innocence. “If I happened to let slip that Alex, at one time or another, has dated both of us what does it hurt? It might not be true but his little followers don’t know that and as you said, it helps his standing in the group.”

“It doesn’t cause me a problem either, Maria, but you seem to have forgotten one thing.” Liz countered.

“And what would that be, Liz?” Maria asked as she placed her hands on her hips in a defiant stance.

“Kyle Valenti!” Liz stated firmly.

“That moron!” Maria stated unabashed. “I still don’t know why you go out with him and it’s not as though the two of you have anything in common. Oh, No…wait!” Maria exclaimed. “Yes, you do! You both love Kyle Valenti.”

Isabel tried not to laugh out loud upon hearing Maria’s final comment. Even Liz looked like she was about to smile at the very least, if not laugh herself, but she finally managed to keep her feelings in check.

Since finding out about the life that Max and Liz could have together Isabel hadn’t even given a second thought to the fact that Liz was still dating Kyle Valenti. She hadn’t thought much of him in the past but the fact that her brother seemed to have a thing for his girlfriend meant Isabel always felt very wary around him on the off chance he might find a problem with Max. It wasn’t like she was worried what Kyle would do to Max. Max could take care of himself. It was what Michael might do to Kyle if he even glanced in Max’s direction. They all had powers but Michael was the one who was least in control of his.

Isabel turned in her seat and looked at the tables off to the side. She was able to just about make out the tall figure of Alex as he sat at a table with a small group of guys with his back to where the girl’s sat. Isabel didn’t know where it came from but she suddenly had a burst of confidence that nudged her towards doing something she would never have normally dreamt of doing.

“Did you say that having girl’s fawning all over him stood Alex in good stead with his friends?” Isabel asked coyly but with a broad grin on her face.

Immediately both girls caught on to what Isabel was hinting at. “Well it normally puts a broad smile on his face and shocks the life out of the other guys but if you do what I think you are going to do I think we might need to call 911 for all of them and that includes Alex.”

“There’s no time like the present.” Isabel stated resolutely as she stood up from her chair, straightened out the creases in her dress with her hands and slinked her way towards the nerds table.”

“What do you reckon?” Maria asked absently as she stood up to get a better view of the far off table.

By now Liz was on her tip-toes, also trying for a better view. “If the thought that Isabel Evans has come over to personally invite him to lunch doesn’t kill Alex then the fact that Max and Michael have just stepped into the quad and are watching Isabel might!”

To be continued…
If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.


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Will you still love me? Pt.5 (A/I,CC, TEEN) 18-AUG-05

Post by StargazerUK » Thu Aug 18, 2005 3:31 pm

A/N: Sorry for the delay. I've not been well so it took me an extra day to get this written. ( That will also be my excuse if this isn't very ggod or if I have made any mistakes lol. ) Cheers, David / StargazerUK

Chapter 5

“…so the barman says to the customer ‘Those peanuts are complimentary!’” Alex couldn’t help but let out a chuckle as he delivered the punch-line to his joke. It wasn’t meant for his own amusement but it still made him laugh all the same. To his amazement none of his audience was laughing. Despite how conceited it might appear Alex couldn’t quite believe no one found his joke funny. As he looked around at the gathered faces they all seemed somewhat distracted. ‘Maybe I didn’t explain it properly’ He thought to himself. “You see the peanuts were saying nice things to him when he walked in and the barman told him they were complimentary!”

He had been in the middle of a full-on routine as he entertained his friends in the quad at lunchtime. He didn’t get a change to sit with them as often as he used to, now that he spent most of his time with Liz and Maria. The fact that the two girls had a lunch date with Isabel Evans, which was so surreal he couldn’t even comprehend what was going on, meant he had a good excuse to catch up with his old cohorts and also to dust off some of his best material. The girl’s didn’t let him subject them to his comedic routine very often nowadays, apparently hearing a joke four or five times was enough, or so Maria said!

His banter and quick fire jokes usual went down a storm with his male friends but his latest joke seemed to have gone done like a lead balloon judging by the reaction of his audience. “Come on guys, help me out here.” He sighed. “I’m trying to lighten the mood and it doesn’t help if I have to explain the punch-line.” After a brief pause he decided he would give it one last try. “My jokes are going down like a French kiss at a family reunion.” Alex waited for a snigger, a chuckle or even a girlie giggle after that last joke but nothing! “You guys are killing me!” He stated with exasperation. Finally, realising that he was no longer the centre of attention he turned to see what everyone now seemed to be looking at. “What can you guys find that is more captivating than a great joke like that?”

When he turned, he found his answer.

Standing just behind him on his right hand side was the towering figure of Isabel Evans. Other than a slight smile on her face she wasn’t saying or doing anything and Alex had no idea how long she had been there or what she had heard.

“You…you look like Isabel Evans.” He finally said, absentmindedly.

Isabel’s smile increased. “That’s lucky because I am Isabel Evans.”

Alex shook his head vigorously. “No! I didn’t mean it like that.” He could feel himself starting to blush. “I mean you’re Isabel Evans and…and you don’t normally…you know…come over here.” He stammered.

Surprisingly Isabel nodded in agreement. “You’re right, I don’t. Now that I am here it seems a nice corner of the quad, I should visit here more often.”

Alex frowned. He was struggling with what exactly was happening. He was totally ignoring the fact that Isabel Evans seemed to be exchanging witty banter with him, if her last remark was anything to go by, and was concentrating on the minor miracle that she was talking directly to him.

“Did you, erm…did you want something?” He asked nervously. He didn’t want to appear rude or abrupt but he couldn’t think of what else to ask and the truth of the matter was he was dying to know what she could possibly want.”

Isabel turned slightly and gestured to the other side of the quad. “I know you normally have lunch with Liz and Maria and I felt a little bad about scaring you away…”

“You didn’t scare me away!” Alex attempted to state firmly. Unfortunately it came out a little more high pitched than he had intended. He gave a sheepish glance towards his friends that were grouped around the table and they seemed to be oblivious to anything else that was going on or being said. They all just had eyes for Isabel. “I mean Liz, Maria and I don’t always have lunch together. Sometimes we do our own thing like we are doing today. They are having lunch with you over there and I’m having lunch with my boys here.”

‘Please tell me I didn’t just say “Lunch with my boys”’ Alex thought to himself as he cringed internally.

“Oh! I didn’t mean to interrupt you and your boys.” Isabel apologised. “If I had known it was a boy’s only lunch I wouldn’t have dared to come over.” She smiled softly.

The single crumb of comfort Alex could take from this most humiliating of encounters was that Isabel didn’t give the impression of being sarcastic or disingenuous with her replies. Despite his many attempts to embarrass himself in front of the object of his secret affection Alex couldn’t help but feel his fondness for this blond Amazon growing in leaps and bounds as she chose to ignore his awkwardness and continued to try and put him at his ease with her ever comment. On a side issue she also happened to be inadvertently, but systematically, dismantling and laying waste to ever rumour and story he had ever heard about Isabel Evans, the ice princess.

“Anyway,” Isabel finally realised it was down to her to break the awkward silence that was threatening to build. “I was talking to Liz and Maria and they were telling me that they had enough food to feed a small army. It would be a shame for it all to go to waste so I was wondering if you would like to come over and join us.”

Now Alex wasn’t sure. It may well have just been his imagination or it might have been his ego trying to create something that wasn’t actually there but he could have sworn that he heard a collective intake of breath from his gathered friends upon hearing Isabel’s unexpected invitation. He managed a quick glance to his side and he then became convinced he could see a tear or two forming in some of his friends eyes as the collective wishes of the entire group appeared to be coming true for one of their own. Finally, the sight of one or two of them nodding vigorously while gesturing towards Isabel brought Alex back to the question at hand.

Turning back to look at Isabel he found he had to cough slightly to clear his throat. “Yes, I’d like that.”

Isabel couldn’t help but smile broadly so she had to drop her gaze to hide her delight. She had only asked a boy from school, someone she had seen a thousand times before, to move where he was sitting to a position about thirty feet over and yet she felt like she had proposed marriage, so great was her relief at getting the desired answer.

Alex collected his things and turned to follow Isabel. He didn’t say anything to the friends he was leaving behind, he didn’t need to. They were willing him on so goodbyes weren’t needed.

If he had been asked to sit with Isabel on a table with anyone else then his suspicions would have been aroused and both he and his friends would have been wary of some kind of practical joke or hazing. The fact that it was Liz and Maria he was going to join meant there would have been nothing further from the truth. In the worst possible scenario it would have been a practical joke on Liz, Maria and Alex but no one was stupid enough to do something like that. To Alex, definitely. To Liz, possibly but not likely. To Maria, Never!

She had single-handedly reduced the defensive-line of the football team almost to their knees when one of them had knocked Liz to the floor while messing about in the school hallway last fall. The dressing down she gave the group of them had earned her a round of applause from her fellow students who were clearly fed up with the teams thoughtless actions and childish games. A few months later she had been standing outside the boy’s locker room waiting for Alex when she heard strangled cries from within that sounded vaguely familiar. Without waiting for an invitation she came crashing into the room only to find the school’s star linebacker trying to fit Alex into a gym locker. The fact that he had both hands occupied trying to squeeze Alex into such a tight space meant he no longer had a hand free to hold his towel in place. The moral of the tale is that if you are going to try and fit Maria Deluca’s best friend into a locker you had better do it when you aren’t giving the acid tongued girl a barrel load of ammunition. Maria made a point of bringing to everyone’s attention what she felt were the shortcomings with no.74, which meant he soon gave up on his tangle with Alex as he needed to hide his embarrassment and runaway in shame. It was David and Goliath all over again.

All of this meant Maria, despite her diminutive size, was now given plenty of respect, and space, by most people in school but especially the jocks. It didn’t make her any more popular but it did mean no one was stupid enough to mess with her. Or with Liz and Alex, by association.

Safe in the knowledge that this wasn’t a practical joke and also that he didn’t have a clue as to what was going on Alex dutifully followed Isabel back to her table were Liz and Maria sat.


Max and Michael watched in silence. Isabel not wanting to have lunch with them was nothing new. She didn’t have friends, as such, but she did have associates. Isabel had her own unique way of keeping hidden from prying eyes and keeping people at arms length, by hiding in plain sight.

Some thought her shallow but to the beautiful people she was there to be admired. Tall, beautiful and elegant she was the envy of every girl and the desire of every boy. A measure of just how highly she was regarded was the fact that she had her almost geeky brother and his outcast friend at her side most of the time and yet it did nothing to diminish her appeal. No one ever passed a negative comment on Max or Michael, no one dared. Isabel had even received the occasional compliment on their behalf. It was normally an awkward or none poetic remark but it was clear that some of the girls she knew found Max good looking and even Michael, despite his scruffy hair. It wasn’t something she saw herself but in fairness it wasn’t something she went looking for either.

With Isabel keen to keep up her standing in school it meant she would have to be seen by the masses with her adoring lackeys from time to time. So strong was her grip on the entire class it meant she only had to spend about one lunchtime a week with her minions to keep up the facade.

When Isabel told the boys that she wouldn’t be seeing them at lunch they naturally assumed that she would be making her usually visit to the ‘Clueless’ bunch as Michael not so affectionately called them. When they stepped out into the quad they immediately caught sight of Isabel as she came striding purposefully through the maze of tables. Being so tall and with striking blond hair she stood out like a lighthouse in the dark. What also caught Max’s attention was the direction from which Isabel seemed to be moving. The fact that he could now see both Liz Parker and Maria Deluca standing as tall as they could as they watched Isabel’s movements made him even more curious.

Michael, on the other hand, was more intrigued as to where Isabel was going. She was on the wrong side of the quad and heading in the wrong direction to be taking her place at the ‘Clueless’ table. It wasn’t often that Michael was caught completely by surprise but seeing Isabel come to a halt near a table full of nerds and silently watching as Alex Whitman appeared to prattle on about something or other was one of those rare occasions.

Michael couldn’t hold his tongue any longer. “What on earth is she doing?” He asked abruptly.

Max, pulled from his daze by Michael’s comments, followed his friend’s line of vision and focused on his sister as she stood by a table off to the side. Before he was able to formulate a reply Isabel clearly started to engage Alex Whitman in a conversation while the rest of the group looked on, open mouthed. “It would seem that Isabel has a new friend.” Max finally stated.

“Something is wrong, Maxwell, very wrong.”

“Let’s not panic, Michael.” Max tried to reassure his friend. “It’s not that big a deal, she’s only talking to Alex Whitman. He asked her how she was last night after the shooting and she almost ran off so maybe she’s just saying sorry.” Max offered.

“Can you hear yourself?” Michael almost cried out. “There is so much wrong with that statement and yet you don’t seem to be bothered. Shouldn’t we be asking ourselves why she is talking to Alex Whitman? Why she’s been acting so strangely since yesterday? Or why she is suddenly best friends with Liz Parker and Maria Deluca and having secret lunches with them?” With his last comment Michael gestured towards the back table where Liz and Maria were now watching.

Despite Michael’s agitated state Max remained calm and collected. “I think you’re overstating it a little, Michael. ‘Secret lunches’?” He echoed. “It’s hardly a secret if she has lunch out in the middle of the quad where everyone, including us, can see them.”

“But she didn’t tell us she was having lunch with them and she had every opportunity on the way to school this morning.” He countered. “You know what they call that don’t you, Max? Guilt by omission!” Michael let out a heavy sigh. “I don’t know why I am even bothering anyway. Isabel making friends with Liz Parker is like Christmas and your birthday rolled into one!”

Max allowed his head to drop for a moment. He realised Michael wasn’t going to let this go so he had to think of a way to snap his big companion out of his paranoid rant. He knew his friend was always nervous about any new faces and although Liz, Maria and Alex weren’t exactly new faces they were certainly new when it came to Isabel’s small group of friends, which usually numbered two in total, namely him and Michael.

“Come on.” Max urged as he stepped towards the centre of the quad.

“Wait! Where are you going?” Michael called as he moved after his friend.

Max slowed and turned to look at Michael. “We’re not going to get any answers by simply standing and staring at them so I thought we would go over.”

Michael stopped dead in his tracks and arched his eyebrows at Max’s statement, bringing them both to a halt. “You want to go over there?” Michael initially pointed at Max but then pointed towards the far table, not making any attempt to hide his gesture. “You do know that Liz Parker is over there? You would normally run a thousand miles in the opposite direction rather than have to talk to that girl.”

“I think you are exaggerating a tad, Michael.” Max countered. “You seem to forget we sit beside one another in Chemistry.”

“Only because the teacher makes you!” Michael scoffed. “Given the option I think you would rather sit behind her so you can watch without worrying about her catching you stealing a look at her!”

Max was fast running out of patience with his friend. He wasn’t the most subtle of people at the best of times and how he was wording his argument meant Max was finding it very difficult to take. Michael wasn’t trying to be rude or mean it just came out that way. “If you don’t want to go over there, that’s fine.” Max turned to move off in a totally different direction, pleased with himself that his little ruse seemed to have worked. “I just thought that…”

“No, I want to go over!” Michael suddenly insisted, catching Max by surprise. “But you do the talking.” He added hurriedly.

“Have you two quite finished?” A female voice cut in.

Both Max and Michael turned to see Isabel standing behind them with her hands on her hips, a look of annoyance firmly planted on her face.

“Hey, Sis.” Max greeted his sibling affectionately despite knowing it was too late, the damage had already been done.

“I’m trying to not only have a quiet lunch but also ignore the fact that the two of you have been watching me since you came out into the quad. Now I find the two of you having a less than subtle argument that clearly involves either me or the people I am sitting with because this idiot here…” Isabel made a point of slapping the back of her hand into Michael’s midriff. “…was doing so much gesturing I thought he was guiding a helicopter in to land.”

Suddenly both boys felt a little sheepish.

“Now don’t ask me to explain but for some reason, despite your actions, I’ve been asked to get you boys to join us.” Isabel stated incredulously. “I’ve been told to tell you that we have enough food for eight and it will only be going to waste if you don’t come over and help us finish it off.”

Max was immediately torn as he knew that Liz was over there, which made him happy, but then that left him with the problem that Liz was over there, which made him nervous. He looked at his big friend and realised that he had a problem of his own to mull over. There were people over there that he didn’t want to sit with but on the other hand there was free food and more to the point, lots of it.

A moment later the decision had been made and Max and Michael silently followed Isabel as she headed back to her table. Both boys were now thinking the same thing. This could turn out to be really good or really bad.

To be continued…
If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.


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Will you still love me? Pt.6 (A/I,CC, TEEN) 06-SEP-05

Post by StargazerUK » Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:48 am

Chapter 6

Isabel came to a halt beside the table, shortly followed by the two boys and the newly formed collection of six simply glanced around, looking at one another. Realising that things could get very uncomfortable, very quickly Liz decided to break the ice. “Hey, Max, I’m glad you could join us.”

Max smiled nervously and glanced at Isabel. “My sister has such a persuasive manner that I couldn’t really say no.”

“I’m glad you could make it too, Michael.” Liz proffered, not wishing to leave the large boy out of the gentle banter.

“Did someone mention food?” Michael questioned unabashed, ignoring Liz’s attempts at polite conversation.

“Michael!” Isabel exclaimed.

“That’s alright, Isabel.” Liz cut in with a forced smile as she turned to look at Michael. “Don’t stand on ceremony, Michael. Follow Alex’s lead and get stuck in. There’s plenty for everyone.”

Michael didn’t need to be told twice so he grabbed the nearest seat and started helping himself to the various amounts of food that were laid out on the table. Liz glanced at Maria and she could tell her friend was barely able to hold her tongue having witnessed Michael at close quarters but thankfully, for whatever reason, she seemed able to remain quiet, for the time being as least.

“Isabel, why don’t you sit there and start helping yourself.” Liz offered before turning to look at Max. When she looked at the young man she could see he wasn’t completely comfortable with things as he took a seat but she put that down to Michael’s unsubtle actions of a moment ago. She had known Max for a long time and he was forever the gentleman. That made his relationship with Michael even stranger than it already appeared. Liz tried not to judge a book by its cover and if Max was friends with Michael she knew there had to be a very good reason.

Finally, everyone had taken their seats and people were either politely helping themselves to food or, as in Michael and Alex’s case, they were already elbow deep and still digging. “Thanks for inviting us over.” Max offered after a brief silence.

“We could see by your actions that we had caught your attention so we thought it only fair to give you a closer look.” Maria explained, matching Michael’s tactlessly comments from moments earlier. When she looked at Liz she could see her friend glaring at her so she knew she had overstepped the mark. “Of course we had lots of spare food and the fact that Isabel was here with us already meant it only made sense to invite you boys. You’re both very welcome.” She added hurriedly. It didn’t go unnoticed that Liz’s glare had disappeared and was replaced by a more neutral look, which Maria was very glad to see.

“And how are you, Alex?” Isabel asked softly.

At the exact same time both Alex and Michael started to cough and splutter in response to Isabel’s question. “I’m fine thank you, Isabel.” Alex managed to reply having wiped his mouth and hands with a napkin. He paused for a moment, clearly thinking about something before he continued. “More importantly, how are you after yesterday?”

Isabel could tell that Alex’s momentary pause was down to how she reacted to a similar question he had put to her the day before, not long after the shooting. It was a simple question then and it was a simple question now but more important than that was what Isabel read into his enquiry. Both questions were full of concern and sympathy but the fact that Alex had thought about and then decided to push ahead with the same question today meant a great deal to the tall blond, despite how innocuous it may have seemed.

Whether she was right or wrong about what had just happened was no longer the point. She was now convinced that Alex wasn’t asking simply out of politeness but out of genuine concern. The fact that she had reacted so badly to his question yesterday meant, under any other circumstances, Alex would have shied away from asking it again for fear of upsetting her a second time. Simply by asking that question again meant he was willing to risk a similar outcome, so strong was his desire to know how she really felt.

As long winded and meandering a thought process as Isabel had just gone through, she was overjoyed with her conclusion. He cared about her! He really cared about her!

“I’m good thanks for asking.” She finally replied. Max, Michael, Liz and Maria started to go back to their eating having looked up to hear Isabel’s reply but to each of theirs surprise Isabel hadn’t finished. “I was a little scared to say the least after not only seeing someone brandishing a gun but also that they fired it with so little regard for anyone else’s safety.”

“You’re preaching to the choir on that one.” Alex agreed. “Maria phoned me to tell me what had happened and I went cold just hearing about it so God only knows what I would have done if I had been there. I’d have probably dived under the nearest table.”

“Oh, I don’t think so.” Isabel countered with a gentle smile, almost on the verge of blushing. “I think we never know how we will react until we are in that situation ourselves. I’m sure you would have handled yourself fine.”

Both Max & Michael and Liz & Maria exchanged looks of shock and surprise. It turned out that all four were having the same thought, ‘What the hell was going on?’

“Would you like us to leave?” Michael abruptly asked.

Before anyone could react to Michael’s incredibly shameless question he cried out in pain. “Oww!!” He reached under the table and started to rub at his shins. “What did you do that for?” He asked as he looked from Isabel to Max and then back again. It seemed both siblings had seen fit to give Michael a not so gentle reminder when it came to polite dinner conversation.

“I’m sorry, Michael. Did I catch you?” Isabel asked innocently. “If I did I do apologise.” Isabel gave him a sickly sweet smile that said more than any swift kick to the shins ever could. He was on a final warning and he now knew it!

Glancing at Max he didn’t need to hear any feigned apology or veiled comment to know his friend was thinking the exact same thing. Despite the rumours Michael did know when to take a hint so he comforted himself in the knowledge that if he did try to argue the point he would only be losing precious eating time so he turned his full attention back to his food and waited for the topic of interest to divert from him to anything that left him in peace to eat.

“Liz, when did you last speak to Kyle?” Maria suddenly asked, causing Max’s gaze to shoot up and look at the petite brunette, waiting for her answer.

“I spoke to him yesterday, why?” She asked frowning.

Maria nodded over Max’s shoulder. “It’s just he seems to be heading this way with a rather determined look on his face so I wondered if you had missed a date or something.”

If Alex hadn’t been so engrossed in his food and if Maria and Liz weren’t now transfixed be the approach of Kyle Valenti and some of his sports buddies it wouldn’t have gone unnoticed, the way Max, Michael and Isabel all seemed to tense up at one and the same time.

“Hey, Liz. Nice little picnic you have going on here.” Kyle commented as he rounded the table and leaned in to give his girlfriend a kiss on the cheek.

Max’s eyes dropped as he watched Kyle stake his claim on Liz Parker. Of course he could have just been being affectionate but Kyle was as subtle as a sledgehammer at the best of times so it was infinitely more likely that what he was doing was merely for show. Max couldn’t help but smile to himself because he was sure that as he dropped his gaze he noticed Liz baulk, ever so slightly, at Kyle’s public display. Liz always gave the impression of being quite innocent but she didn’t strike Max as a prude so it didn’t seem likely that she was recoiling out of embarrassment but more out of simply not wanting to receive the kiss from Kyle, hence his smile.

“Something amusing you, Evans?” Kyle asked sternly.

Before Max could reply Isabel cut in. “No, I’m fine, Kyle. Why would you think I am amused?”

Kyle turned his attention from Max and looked at Isabel who was sat cross from her brother on the other side of the table. “I wasn’t talking to you, Isabel. I was talking to your brother!”

“Oh!” Isabel pretended to be embarrassed by her mistake. “Now you see that’s where the problem arose. Max and I are brother and sister which means we have the same surname. When you say the name Evans you need to qualify it so we know if you are talking to me or my brother.”

Kyle was now the only one gathered at the table that was unaware that Isabel was running interference for her brother. He seemed content to take everything she was saying at face value and he clearly felt the need to explain himself, which was starting to cause amusement amongst the collected party.

“How could you not know I was talking to your brother?” Kyle was clearly getting exasperated with Isabel’s apparent stupidity. “Your sitting over there and Max is sitting over the there so I was clearly facing him.”

Isabel suddenly dropped her gaze. “Oh, this is rather awkward.”

“Awkward?” Kyle frowned. “What do you mean awkward?”

Isabel lifted her eyes to meet Kyle’s. “Well you see, you were facing my brother, that I could tell but you seemed to be looking at me. I wasn’t sure if you had taken a blow to the head in football practice but your eyes seemed to be a little off centre.” Isabel stared at Kyle with a serious look. “Is it possible you are suffering from concussion?”

“Concussion!” He exclaimed. “No I am not suffering from concussion, why would you say that?” Kyle turned to look at Liz. “Do my eyes look funny?”

That was the cue Maria had been praying for. “I’m sorry, were you talking to me?”

Alex could no longer hold it in so he suddenly burst out laughing.

“So you think this is funny, Whitman?” Kyle roared. “It won’t seem so funny when I come over there and kick your ass.”

Kyle should have known by now that he was in over his head.

“Despite the fact that you are now looking at Isabel I’ll assume you mean to be looking at me because you called my name.” Alex explained. “If you want to try and come and kick my ass when you should be getting your eyes checked, please feel free. However, I think it is only fair to warn you that with your eyes like they are the chances of you hitting me are somewhat remote and I think, judging by how your eyes are now aligned, it is a strong possibility that if you swing for me you will end up hitting Michael, which is something I would pay to see.”

Kyle was now aggravated beyond belief but he was also getting increasingly worried about his eyes. If everyone could notice he had a problem maybe he should go and check with the school nurse.

Kyle leaned across the table towards Alex. “I’ll be having words with you again!” He then straightened himself up and started to back away from the table. “I’m not finished with you.”

Maria saw her chance for a final shot before he left and she went for it. “When you say ‘I’m not finished with you’, who exactly do you mean? We can’t tell.”

Kyle stormed off towards the school building with his cohorts in tow. None of them brave enough to talk to the now furious team captain.

“Well you certainly enjoyed yourself.” Liz commented to Maria who was wearing a huge grin.

Maria simply shrugged. “I couldn’t resist. It was so funny what Isabel did to him by attacking the thing he holds most sacred, his rugged manliness, that when I saw the opportunity to join in I couldn’t help myself. Anyway, he’s your boyfriend and you’re my best friend so what’s he going to do to me?”

“Just be careful.” Liz warned her friend before turning to Alex. “And you need to take more care than anyone. He won’t dare go near Isabel or Michael. I think Maria and Max will be a bit more than he can handle but I’m afraid he’ll see you as a soft touch.”

Alex started to lift himself from the table having checked his watch and also having eaten half his bodyweight in food. “You forget, Liz. I know how to look after myself and plus I workout.” Alex pretended to flex his muscles.

“Alex! Carrying your guitar case to and from band practice is not a workout.” Liz countered.

“Don’t worry, Liz.” Maria cut in as she stood up. “I’ll protect him.”

Alex smiled broadly as he pulled Maria into him using one of his long arms to wrap her up tight. “See, Liz. I have my own personal bodyguard.”

As everyone else began to stand up and clear up ready for the afternoon bell Isabel couldn’t take her eyes off of Alex as he clung to Maria. She felt a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach and she suddenly started to feel sweaty and she never felt sweaty. It took her a moment but she started to realised that she wanted to be where Maria was. Like a flash it hit her! She was jealous!

Feeling jealous was a new feeling for Isabel and she didn’t like it. She was confused on several levels, not least because she knew Alex and Maria were best friends and didn’t have any romantic feelings for one another. Despite knowing all of that she couldn’t deny the great sense of relief when the two friends finally let go of one another and started to help Liz pack up her bag of picnic supplies.

“Alex, what are you doing tonight?”

Not only Alex but everyone else stopped to look at Isabel who had asked the question.

“Me?” Alex asked tentatively. “Nothing.”

Isabel could feel her confidence leeching out of her in bucket loads and she knew if she didn’t act quickly she would lose her nerve. “You like films, right! I was wondering if you wanted to go to a movie tonight in town?”

Max didn’t have to look at Michael to know his big friend was now staring at him intently. Without exchanging a single word he knew what his friend was asking but he was as unlikely to know what Isabel was up to as Michael was.

“Erm…sure.” Alex stammered. “I’d like that…very much.”

“Shall we say seven?” She offered. “I’ll meet you there as we have dinner at home at six and I’ll need to help clear up afterwards.”

“Seven.” Alex nodded slowly. “I’ll see you there.”

After that bombshell the group remained in silence. The only sound was the noise of the bell that signalled the end of lunch and the beginning of afternoon classes. It came as a blessed relief as everyone had a million and one questions but no one had the nerve to be the first to speak up.

Miraculously, by the time Alex had made it to his next class people were already whispering about the biggest school gossip of the year. Isabel Evans had asked Alex Whitman out on a date!


Diane and Philip exchanged a silent look but when Diane simply shrugged in reply to Philip’s unasked question he knew his wife was none the wiser to what was going on. Max had asked if Michael could stay for dinner, which was a common requested and had been answered in the affirmative, as it always had been. Since they had sat down the three youngsters had eaten their entire dinner and were now three quarters of the way through their desserts without speaking a single word, which had both parents flummoxed.

It was possible that there had been a fight but as rare as they were between Max and Isabel there would still be some arguing over dinner or the occasional sniping remark but this time…silence.

When they had arrived in from school it did seem as thought Max wanted to speak to his sister but Isabel had come in speaking of an appointment after dinner and that she would help out in the kitchen. That meant that she had not left her mothers side and had prevented Max from having his desired discussion.

Finally, with the dishwasher loaded and the table cleared it seemed that all of the kitchen work had been done.

“Right, I’m off to get ready before going out.” Isabel called to her parents as she headed towards the hallway.

Immediately both Max and Michael were up out of their chairs and in quick pursuit.

“Everyone wait!” Philip Evans cried bringing the three teens to a halt. “Has anyone got something they want to tell me or your mother?”

The three teens exchanged silent looks before looking back at Philip and shaking their heads.

“So there’s been no fighting or arguments and the fact that dinner was eaten in silence was simply down to a lack of things to talk about.” Diane offered.

“Exactly.” Max nodded. “No fighting here.” Isabel replied.

“OK, off you go.” Upon hearing Philip’s words the teens were out the door and up the stairs in a flash. Philip turned to his wife with a glum look. “I don’t think we have heard the last of this.”

As soon as Isabel stepped into her room she turned to close the door but she was unsurprised to find Max and Michael a step or two behind her. “I don’t have time to talk now, I have a date. I’m already behind schedule so I don’t even have time for a shower.” She stated firmly as she stood guard in the doorway to her room. “I can’t be late so if you guys want to talk to me you can catch me later when I get back from the movie, I won’t be late.”

“You’ve got to be kidding, right!” Michael cut in sternly. “You’ve been acting strange and you won’t tell us why and now you go and ask Alex Whitman of all people out on a date. Worse still is the fact that you did it in the quad at lunchtime in front of half of the class. Everyone knows about it now! What happened to staying below the radar and keeping people out of our business? You seemed to have become close friends with Liz Parker and Maria Deluca all of a sudden and now you want to date Whitman?!”

Isabel couldn’t help herself. “And what’s wrong with Alex?”

Michael arched his eyebrows in surprise. Of all the responses and counter arguments he had been expecting, that wasn’t one of them. “There’s nothing wrong with Whitman, as such. In fact I’m as much concerned about your sudden choice of a guy who isn’t a complete tool unlike your previous dates as much as I am concerned about your public request for a date.”

“Guys.” Max interjected. “We’re still standing out in the hall where our parents can hear.”

Despite looking back and forth between Michael and Isabel, Isabel was aware that Max’s comment was addressed to her specifically. She knew he was hoping she would relent and let them in, which would lead to her explaining what was going on but she also knew she was going to be late. “I promise I will tell you everything but I have to get ready for this date or you will ruin everything!”

Max and Michael exchanged a silent look once again.

“After that comment, now you have to let us in.” Max replied solemnly.


“Way to go, Whitman!”

Alex simply smiled slightly and nodded before dropping his head. He was beginning to realise that there was a downside to being asked out on a date by the most gorgeous girl in school while standing in the middle of the lunch tables. The fact that the world and his wife knew the date was taking place meant everyone was on the look out for Alex or Isabel. With Alex having arrived at the cinema fifteen minutes early it meant that he was the main attraction for those who had come to see the film. That led to a combination of shouts of encouragement from the guys and looks of bewilderment or distain from the various females that walked by.

Despite all of that, sweaty palms appeared to be his biggest problem at the moment. He checked his watch and he could see it was two minutes to seven. Convincing himself that he had just enough time to go to the bathroom and wash his hands before Isabel turned up he turned and made a dash for the toilet. The fact that it got him out of everyone’s line of sight was a bonus.


Isabel was pacing backwards and forwards in her room as she kept glancing at the clock beside her bed which read 7pm. “I don’t have time for this.” She exclaimed. “I’m not hiding anything but I do have something to talk to you about but it will take too long to talk about it now so I promise I will tell you everything when I get back.”

“Isabel, we know you. We now know something big has happened and by your own admission you are telling us you have something to talk to us about so we can hardly let you go out on a date when we have more important things to discuss.” Max explained. “Alex is a good guy so if you are late or if you don’t make it then I am sure he will understand.”

“He won’t!” Isabel exclaimed, the emotions of the last couple of days finally breaking her down. “He didn’t understand last time!”

In that moment her fate had been sealed. With a simple slip of the tongue she had made a bad situation even worse. She now knew with the utmost certainty that she wasn’t making it to the cinema!


Alex looked at the two tickets that he was holding in his hand and glanced at his watch. It was 7:35pm and the film had started five minutes earlier. Being a small cinema and midweek meant they were only showing one feature so when it looked like Isabel was running a little late, no doubt getting her make-up just right, he thought it would be a good idea to buy the tickets and save time for when she turned up.

He’d watched as in the last half an hour the looks and hushed whispers had grown in volume as the deadline of the film starting approached. He even thought a couple of people had deliberately hung about in the foyer with him, more interested in how his night played out than what the film might offer them.

He didn’t have a cell phone and if he did Isabel didn’t have the number.

Slowly but surely the thought that this had all been a joke began to enter his mind. From the second that Isabel had mentioned going to the cinema and he had agreed his insecurity had tried to raise its ugly head but he had used all of his inner strength to keep his lack of confidence at bay. He knew Isabel and he knew she wasn’t that mean despite the rumours.

She would never do this to him, would she?

Alex turned to leave. He needed to prepare himself for tomorrow when his lack of success with Isabel Evans would be the talk of the school. His final act of the night that was meant to be the best night of his life was to tear up the two tickets and drop them into the trash.

To be continued…
Last edited by StargazerUK on Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Will you still love me? Pt.7 (A/I,CC, TEEN) 14-SEP-05

Post by StargazerUK » Wed Sep 14, 2005 10:44 am

Chapter 7

“Hurry up!”

Upon hearing Maria’s aggravated cry Liz stopped dead in her tracks and dropped her bag to the floor.

“Come on! What are you waiting for?” Maria pressed.

“I thought we had been over this, Maria.” Liz questioned as she rubbed at her temples. She didn’t think it was a coincidence that her headache had appeared at just about the same time as a phone call from Maria last night. The topic…Alex!

They both loved Alex with all their hearts. Liz would have said like a brother but that wasn’t good enough. It didn’t encompass everything that he meant to them. Most siblings spend their youth arguing with one another and it is only with the advent of maturity and experience that the bickering dies down and the bonds of friendship form. The fact that Alex was her friend first and then her best friend meant he wasn’t just a male companion. He had become her strongest male influence, as he had for Maria, if not more so. Of course Liz had her father but he still thought of her as his little girl so it would be a while yet before he treated her the way she thought she should be treated, i.e. as an adult.

When Maria called last night and told her about Alex’s date or more to the point, lack of date, Liz had her worst fears realised. She wasn’t going to suddenly start bad-mouthing Isabel simply because of what had happened. As she didn’t have the whole story it wouldn’t be fair but whatever the reasons for Isabel’s no show it was going to be a painful time for all of them, not least Alex.

It was true to say that Isabel had a reputation at school but it wasn’t one of cruelty or practical jokes at other people’s expense. She was more likely to ignore you completely or make you feel small and insignificant rather than do anything particularly nasty. Those traits weren’t likely to win her a popularity contest amongst the rank and file of school but she was also not likely to be thrown into jail for her actions either.

She didn’t go out of her way to hurt people. She just didn’t treat them very nice if they got in her way.

All of that thinking had led both Liz and Maria to where they were now, standing outside the Crashdown as Maria tried to drag Liz to school.

“When we spoke on the phone last night you promised me you would wait until we got the full story before you went gunning for Isabel.” Liz affirmed.

“That’s right, I did.” Maria nodded vigorously. “I just want to get you to school, that’s all.”

Liz knew her companion better than she knew herself so when her fiery friend gave her the best ‘Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth’ look she just knew she was up to something. The problem was she didn’t know what that something was! “I know you are up to something, Maria. Just tell me what it is else I am not going to take another step further.”

“I just want to get you to school.” Maria repeated. “Is that such a crime?” When Liz simply stood silently and continued looking at her, Maria knew she would have to say more. “You have science today, don’t you?”

Liz arched her eyebrows in surprise. “Yes, I have science today. Why on earth does that interest you?”

“I need you to get another ‘A’ grade, like you always do.” Maria rather strangely stated.

“You’re not making yourself any clearer, Maria, and I am still not getting in the car until you do so.” Liz replied, sternly.

Maria took a step back towards the Crashdown and nearer Liz. “I need you get an ‘A’ and to keep getting good grades so you can go on and become a scientist just like you’ve always wanted to.”

“And?” Liz pressed.

“And then after college, when you have become this great scientist, you can reveal to everyone how, back in high school, you discovered the secret to reanimating life and, therefore, bringing people back from the dead.” Maria continued.

“I’m still no wiser as to what your strange speech has to do with our current situation but I think we are slowly and painfully getting nearer the truth, which I don’t think is necessarily a good thing, knowing you as I do.” Liz countered tentatively.

“The fact that Alex wanted to make his own way to school this morning means I have been given an opportunity.” Maria took another step towards Liz and it was only now that Liz realised that Maria’s innocent look from a moment or two earlier had been replaced by a manic look that sent shivers down her spine. “You see, Liz. When I get hold of Isabel I am going to kill her with my bare hands for what she did to Alex last night and then I want you, the scientist, to bring her back to life so that I can do the whole thing again! I’ve given it some thought and I think that just the ten or twelve times ought to be enough. By then I should have all the hatred and rage I am currently feeling for that bitch out of my system.” Maria paused for a moment. “No one messes with Alex and gets away with it! He might be too nice to do anything about it but I’m not.”


For the second time in two days Philip looked silently at his wife with a despairing look in his eyes and for the second time in two days she simply shrugged her shoulders, still unaware of what was going on with their children.

“That’s it, I’ve had enough!” Philip called loudly as he dropped his knife and fork onto his breakfast plate. “I have no idea what you three are up to but I have been a parent too long to simply let these extended silences continue. Michael, you are a guest in our house but I hope by now that you realise that Diane and I think of you as a member of this family.” Before Michael could respond Philip continued. “The bad news is that means you are in as much trouble as the other two.” Philip turned his attention to his two children specifically. “Someone speaks or you are grounded for the next month!”

“Grounded!” Both Max and Isabel cried at the same time.

“Aren’t we a little old to be grounded?” Max questioned. “You’re always telling us that we are old enough now to be treated like adults.”

“Yes, you are.” Philip agreed. “But in return you must act like adults and clandestine behaviour coupled with the silent treatment during mealtimes means you aren’t behaving in a very adult manner.”

Max slowly turned to look at his sister. There was no way on this earth they could tell their parents what had really been going on with them but they had to come up with something and fast.

Suddenly Isabel had an idea. The very thought of what she was about to say made her sick to her stomach. Despite all the half truths and outright lies she had been forced to tell her parents over the years to keep their secret hidden it didn’t mean it came any easier to her now. What she was about to do was not only lie to her parents but guilt them into backing off, which made it ten times worse in her eyes.

Finally Isabel turned away from Max’s fixed gaze and looked at her parents. “I asked Max and Michael not to tell you but I think I am a little more shaken up by what happened at the Crashdown than a first realised.”

In that one instant several things changed. Max and Michael let out an unnoticed sigh of relief, knowing Isabel had taken care of their latest problem with the aid of a white lie. Philip Evans’ stance had changed from one of determination to one of regret. In his eyes he had just been harassing his daughter over what he thought would be a trivial matter when in fact she appeared to be traumatised by a very distressing event, namely the gunfire at the diner. That left Diane Evans. Unsurprisingly she had dropped the cloth she had been using to dry her hands as she stood at the sink and made a beeline to her daughter’s side, an arm automatically reaching out to engulf Isabel.

Isabel wasn’t sure she had ever done anything more underhanded and deceitful in her life. It was a horrible thing to do, of that there was no doubt, but they were stuck for a way out and that was all she could come up with.

“I’m fine, really.” She tried to reassure her concerned parents. “It’s just Max, Michael and I have been discussing it and I think it keeps putting us all in a sombre mood.” Isabel turned to look at her father. “We didn’t mean to make you unhappy, Dad. I’m sure it will all blow over soon.”

“Are you sure, sweetheart?” He asked gently. “I’m sorry…” Philip looked at Max and Michael. “…to all of you. I just couldn’t think why you were all acting so strange but now it all makes sense.”

“We’re fine, Dad.” Max joined in. “Mom, don’t worry about Isabel, she’ll be fine too. It just gave us all pause for thought, that’s all.”

Michael never thought he would utter his next words but he needed to complete Isabel’s handy work. “I think we had better be getting to school. We don’t want to be late.”


Alex continued to look at himself in the mirror. He wasn’t exactly sure what he was looking for but whatever it was, as of yet he hadn’t found it. He couldn’t make up his mind if he was looking to see what, if anything, Isabel might find attractive about him or, as was more likely, what would make him a target for a cruel practical joke.

He was by no means popular but he wasn’t a loner or a loser either. He was well liked and that was good enough for him. Given the opportunity he wouldn’t choose to be in any of the cliques that dominated school life. He had Liz and Maria and that was all he wanted. ‘Apart from, maybe, Isabel Evans’. He wryly thought to himself.

Having returned home from his ‘Non-date’ he had dithered about what his next course of action should be. He could have gotten Isabel’s home phone number from the school directory and called her up and asked her why she did what she did but he knew that if she was mean enough to do something like that she would hardly care about explaining herself to the likes of him.

He had then thought about going to the Crashdown to see Liz and Maria but he knew Maria would go postal on Isabel and try to hunt her down. Plus, he wasn’t sure he could face the pitying look his two best friends would try, but fail, to hide as they looked at him.

He knew he had to tell Liz and Maria at some stage so he decided to wait until later in the evening when Maria would find it increasingly difficult to confront Isabel about what had happened. Sadly he hadn’t thought his little plan through so just prior to when he was due to pick up the phone to ring the Crashdown and talk to the girls Maria and Liz had come crashing into his room having been told by several cinema goers about what had happened. It seemed Alex was so distracted by what had happened that he hadn’t thought about people grabbing a late night bite to eat after the film show.

In truth his recollection about Maria and Liz crashing into his room wasn’t entirely accurate. It was more Maria who had almost taken the door off of its hinges as she came in with Liz bringing up the rear. It wasn’t like Liz was taking a back seat, more that she knew Maria well enough to know she had to allow her friend to blow herself out, much like any other hurricane.

“Alex, Honey.” Mrs Whitman called up the stairs. “If you don’t hurry you’ll be late for school.”

Alex sighed heavily. Worrying about being late for school wasn’t exactly the greatest of incentives to get him to rush to school but he knew his mom meant well.

Lifting the strap of his school bag over his shoulder Alex took a final look in the mirror. “If she doesn’t want me, it’s her loss.” He told himself as he turned to leave.

He wasn’t entirely convinced he believed his words but he certainly agreed with the sentiment behind them. For now he had more important things on his mind. ‘How to stop Maria going to jail for killing Isabel!’


Max turned the jeep into the school parking lot and pulled into a space. Once he had turned off the engine he turned to look at his sister. “So what do you want us to do?”

“Do?” Isabel repeated. Her confusion was now apparent.

“You know…” Michael cut in. “…about Alex.”

Isabel made a point of looking at both boys for a prolonged moment. “Don’t you think you’ve done enough?”

“You can’t be serious.” Michael countered sternly. “After what you told us and showed us last night you can’t still think your date with Alex was more important.”

“More important?” Isabel echoed. “No! It wasn’t more important. However, the one thing I did know last night was that what I had to tell you could have waited a few more hours while I went to see Alex. Sadly, I’m afraid I can’t say the opposite applies. You got what you wanted but at the expense of what I wanted.”

“You don’t know how he will react, Isabel.” Max offered softly. “From what we’ve seen through your visions from future Liz he’s a man of infinite kindness and will do anything to help others. He won’t judge you on this one misunderstanding.”

“It may seem like a misunderstanding to you, Max, but it’s all over school already that I played a practical joke on Alex last night by setting him up for a very public date that I didn’t show up for. The whole school will think I am queen of the bitches and that he is a loser who everyone can laugh at. That was the last thing on my mind when I asked him for that date and I am not entirely sure I would be so forgiving if the circumstances were reversed. In fact I am sure I wouldn’t.” Isabel explained. “That’s before we have dealt with the fact that Maria will probably want to kill me and possibly the most important fact of all. With them knowing our secret we are stronger than being on our own. We’ve all seen how they helped us in the other timeline and how fortunate we were to have them there for us. Driving a wedge between us in the way that this shambles has is not going to make things any easier for us. It will only make things worse!”

When Isabel stopped she could clearly see that she had gotten through to both boys as they sat silently with their heads held low. She knew they were both right when they said that what she had to tell them last night was more important than any date but it didn’t make it any less hard to take, knowing she had hurt Alex and enraged Liz and Maria.

“Let’s just see what happens.” She said softly. “I’ll take what is coming to me with regards Alex and Liz & Maria but you guys have to make sure Alex doesn’t take anymore grief than he has to over this.”

“You want us to act at bodyguards?” Michael questioned in surprise.

Isabel looked at Michael and sighed heavily. “I was more thinking about you two clowns not making things any worse!”

“Thanks for having such faith in us, Iz.” Max stated sarcastically.

“Anytime.” Isabel called as she climbed out of the jeep.

As Max and Michael stepped up beside Isabel they could see she was still a little tentative. “Do you want us to walk in with you?” Max offered.

Isabel simply shook her head. “I don’t want a confrontation with them so I think I am better off on my own. I’ll see you guys at lunch, OK?”

As she looked at the two boys they simply nodded silently before moving off towards school.

A few short moments later something caught Isabel’s attention out of the corner of her eye. As she turned she saw Maria’s jetta pulling into a space near her brother’s jeep. Her momentary relief at not seeing Alex in the car was soon obliterated by the realisation that Maria had climbed out of her car and was heading straight for her.

To be continued…
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Will you still love me? Pt.8 (A/I,CC, TEEN) 21-SEP-05

Post by StargazerUK » Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:14 pm

Chapter 8

Isabel waited for the slap that she was sure she was about to receive but after a long moment, to her surprise, she realised it wasn’t going to happen. Maria had stormed up to her, anger clearly leeching from every pore in her body, but when she reached Isabel she simply stopped and glared at her, all the while remaining surprisingly quiet.

By the time Liz had reached Maria’s side Isabel had figured out that if Maria didn’t just walk straight up to her and launch herself at her it had to have been Liz or Alex’s doing. She had already starting to piece together an understanding of Maria prior to this incident, simply by paying attention to her actions of the last couple of days. Something she would never had done previously. Couple that with the insight she now possessed about the three friends, inadvertently given to her by future Liz, meant Maria was no longer this loose canon or quirky chick that people around school perceived her to be. Everything Maria did had a purpose and it was usually to the benefit of others. It didn’t mean that her logic was always right or that she always did or said the right things at the right time but she had a good heart and ardently protected her own. Her own in this instance being Alex.

“Hi.” Liz greeted Isabel gently.

“Hi.” She replied equally as hushed.

“I don’t think you need to be some kind of great detective to know that we have heard about what happened last night.” Liz stated slowly.

Isabel simply nodded in understanding. Thankful that Liz appeared to be willing to hear what happened first before rushing to judgement.

“I know we haven’t been on close terms for very long but I have to admit to being somewhat surprised not only when you asked Alex out on a date yesterday in the quad but also the fact that you didn’t show up for the date last night leaving Alex on his own at the cinema.” Liz explained.

All the while that Liz spoke Isabel had one eye on Maria. It wasn’t as though she actually believed that at any given moment Maria was suddenly going to spring forward and attack her but it was slightly disconcerting nonetheless seeings as it was still a remote possibility. To know that the girl standing before her probably detested her with every fibre of her being didn’t allow Isabel a moment’s peace. For all she knew Maria could have been waiting for the slightest excuse to slap her face.

“I can see how it must look and I think it is perfectly understandable for you to distrust me after what happened, especially with everyone talking about it. All I can say is that I made the date with Alex with the wholehearted intention of meeting him last night but something came up at the last minute so I didn’t get a chance to call Alex to cancel and explain why I couldn’t be there.” Isabel explained. “Once I was able to get away I knew Alex wouldn’t want to see me or talk to me on the phone so I was at a loss as to what to do.”

“What came up?” Maria asked abruptly.

“What?” Isabel replied, unsure of what she was taken aback by more, the abrupt question or the fact that Maria finally spoke.”

“I asked, what came up?” Maria repeated sternly. She may have been asked to keep calm and wait to hear what Isabel had to say but it didn’t mean she had to like it.

When Isabel hesitated Maria pressed further. “Come on, Isabel. It isn’t that difficult a question. You said you stood Alex up because something else that was more important needed your undivided attention.”

“I never said that!” Isabel countered.

“Well it had to be more important else why would you have left Alex to be ridiculed the way you did?” Maria threw back. “It must have needed your undivided attention else you would have only been five or ten minutes late for your 7pm date.” Maria took a step forward, closing the already small gap between the two of them. “You know how Alex feels about you. You would have to be blind not to have noticed how taken with you he is so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he turned up early for your date, being so keen and all. The bad news is that with his eagerness to go on a date with you combined with your no show it means he stood in the foyer of the cinema for nearly an hour waiting for you, all the while enduring the looks and hushed whispers from all the other cinema goers.”

Liz could see that Isabel was now close to tears. It was obvious that her eyes were now stinging as Maria’s words hit home. What was even more surprising was that not only had Isabel simply stood and watched as Maria came rushing up to her earlier, apparently willing to take whatever she was willing to throw at her, including the possibility of a slapped face. She was also unwilling to defend herself over and above her statement that she hadn’t been playing a trick on Alex and that she had wanted a date with him. “I think that is enough, Maria.” Liz cut in.

“Enough, Liz?” She questioned. “I haven’t even started.” Maria turned her attention back to Isabel. “You have to know how popular you are at school, Isabel. You also have to know how big a deal you asking someone like Alex out for a date would be. The thing that concerns me is that as well as you making a point of asking Alex out in the middle of the quad at lunchtime, in front of everyone. You also picked a crowded and popular venue for your date where there would be a large and willing audience to your no show. Finally, you seem to be unwilling to even attempt an excuse as to why you stood him up.” Maria paused for a moment, looking right into Isabel’s tear stained eyes. “I’ve questioned Alex for years as to why he is so taken with you. It isn’t just the way you look or the way you fill out a sweater, Alex might like those things about you but I know there has to be more to it than that simply because this is Alex we are talking about. But maybe he has been wrong all these years and I’ve been right. Maybe you just have this ability to manipulate guys and despite the fact that I would have bet my life that Alex wasn’t one of those guys, maybe…sadly, I am wrong.”

Maria took a step back and turned to Liz. “Now it’s enough, Liz.”

Isabel and Liz stood silently and watched as Maria walked mournfully off towards school. Liz had known Maria for what seemed like forever but she wasn’t sure she had ever heard her friend make such a heartfelt and impassioned speech in her life but once she realised it was Alex who was at the heart of everything that had just been said she finally understood her motivation.

“She loves him a lot.” Liz offered softly. “In fact it’s quite possible that other than her mother she loves Alex more than anyone else in this world.” Liz watched as Isabel wiped at her eyes with a tissue as she turned to look at her. “With her father gone Alex not only has to fill the roll of best friend and pseudo boyfriend but, as amazing as it might sound, father figure as well. We both have our parents so we both know that some times only a hug from our mom will make things better while at other times its our fathers who can put things right. Maria comes from a small family so she doesn’t have very many male influences in her life so when it comes to a hug from anyone but her mom she has very limited options. One day this lanky kid comes into her life who not only seems to care about her from day one but who also seems set to stick around and be there for her. You can do what you want to Maria but God help you if you hurt her friends. With Maria her friends are her family so she will fight tooth and nail to protect them.”

“I didn’t mean to hurt him.” Isabel stated softly. “I really did want to go out on a date with him but something really important came up and I had no way of contacting him.”

“I believe you, Isabel.” Liz tried to reassure her distraught friend. “If I really thought you had deliberately set out to hurt Alex we wouldn’t be here now having this conversation. I may not be a match for you physically but I wouldn’t have been shy in letting you know how I really felt about what went on.” Liz paused for a moment, all the while looking intently at Isabel. “I know something is going on, Isabel. From nowhere you suddenly seem intent on making friends with the three of us and changing things. I can’t for the life of me think why but it is becoming more and more obvious as time goes by.”

“I don’t know what to say to you, Liz.” Isabel countered.

“You don’t have to say anything.” Liz smiled gently. “It’s not like you can get anything from us by using us or such like. We aren’t popular or rich so we can’t enhance your reputation. In fact we both know you will do more harm to your reputation than good by being seen with us.”

“So why do you believe me if you think I have an ulterior motive?” She pressed.

“I choose to believe that if we don’t have any apparent benefit for you to be seen with us I think it might just be that you have finally come to your senses and realised that we are nice people.” Liz explained. “If I am right and all you want is to make new, nice friends…who am I to judge? Speaking as someone who knows both Alex and Maria better than anyone else I can tell you that you can’t go wrong having them in your life and you will never make any better friends no matter how long you live or how hard you try.”

“And you?” Isabel managed a slight smile in reply to Liz’s broad grin.

“Me?” Liz questioned. “Modesty prevents me waxing lyrical about myself but what I will say is that I think you can form an opinion about someone by the company they keep and if I am in the company of two of the world’s best friends…” Liz chuckled as she trailed off.

“Meanwhile I am seen in the company of the most popular and most beautiful…” Isabel stated. “…who also happen to be the most self-centre and conceited…”

“…which is why I thought you chose to be associated with us.” Liz interjected to put a positive slant on Isabel’s comments.

Before Isabel could reply the bell sounded for the start of school.

As the two turned and moved off towards school Liz could see Isabel glancing at her nervously out of the corner of her eye.

“What shall I do about Alex?” She finally asked.

“I think you just need to give it time.” Liz replied. “It will be awkward at first but Alex isn’t the type of guy to carry a grudge so it will soon blow over.”

“But what about the rumours that are going around school that I deliberately set him up for a fall.” Isabel continued.

“Alex has never cared about what the rest of the school thinks about him so I don’t see why he should start now.” Liz stated matter-of-factly. “He cares what I think and what Maria thinks so when I tell him I don’t think you meant to hurt him I think that will ease his insecurities.”

“And Maria?” With ever rushed question it was becoming more and more obvious that Isabel clearly cared very much about what Alex thought about her, only confirming Liz previous thoughts that this had all been a big misunderstanding and she never intended to set him up or hurt him.

“I think even Maria now knows that whatever is really going on you didn’t set out to hurt Alex. I just think that because she doesn’t know the reason for your absence last night she is going for the most likely reason, which sadly we both know would be that it was all a practical joke.” Liz tried not to sound too cutting with her last remark and it was clear she hadn’t succeeded when Isabel hung her head.

“Will we see you at lunchtime?”

Isabel’s head shot up to look at Liz in shock as they stepped inside the main entrance. “You’d still be willing to have lunch with me in spite of all that has happened?”

Liz simply shrugged. “If you suddenly stay away from us and no longer associate with us it will only confirm what everyone has been thinking all along. If, on the other hand, we still hang around people will have to rethink their assumptions because if it really was a practical joke, which we know it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be seen dead with you let alone have lunch with you the next day.”

“What about Alex?” She asked tentatively.

“He’ll come around.” Liz stated confidently. “Despite mine and Maria’s best efforts he still has his silly male pride so even when I tell him it wasn’t a setup you will still have to give him time. Also he’ll have to do his thing!”

“His thing?!” Isabel arched her eyebrows in surprise, not sure if she should ask about Alex’s ‘Thing’.

Liz left out a loud chuckle. “Alex worries sometimes that he spends too much time with girls and that we might rub off on him, pardon my expression. As I mentioned earlier he doesn’t particularly care what the rest of the school thinks about him but, having said that, he doesn’t want the school to think he is hiding behind me and especially Maria so come lunchtime Alex will march out to the middle of the quad, drop himself down at a table on his own and eat lunch where everyone can see him.”

“Boys are strange.” Isabel stated absently.

“Tell me about it!” Liz agreed.


Isabel wasn’t sure if she was happy or not about the fact that she hadn’t run into Alex while moving from class to class when changing lessons. Now that the lunchtime bell had sounded all she could think about was the way her heart was pounding in her chest. She wasn’t used to feeling nervous or uncertain unless Sheriff Valenti was involved so this was an entirely new experience for her.

She was grateful for the fact that she had sort of bumped into Maria while wandering the hallway earlier. It wasn’t like they had fallen into each others arms like long lost friends but it was very apparent that Liz must have spoken to her because her reception was a lot less frosty then the one in the parking lot earlier that morning. She was sure she noticed an almost imperceptible nod from the petite blond as they crossed paths on the way to their respective classes.

Stepping out into the quad Isabel glanced around quickly to see if Alex had rushed out to stake his claim for a suitably positioned table as Liz had suggested but, as of yet, he was nowhere to be seen. Armed with the knowledge that Alex would be picking a table in the centre Isabel made a point of finding an empty table towards the back and sat herself down.

No sooner had she sat down and reached into her bag than she noticed Liz and Maria making their way to her. She grabbed her food from her bag and started to open it up, hoping to appear nonchalant when she was anything but.

“Hi”. Liz greeted her friend as she moved around the table and sat beside Isabel.

Isabel simply smiled and nodded in reply. As she glanced at Maria she was pleased to see she had moved to the opposite side from Liz which placed her beside Isabel on the other side. Maria sat down in silence and Isabel couldn’t help but notice the two girls exchange a pointed look.

“I’m not going to apologise for this morning.” Maria suddenly blurted out. After a pause she continued. “But Liz told me what you guys talked about so I am prepared to reserve judgement until the dust settles. I’m prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt but I really, really hope you didn’t hurt Alex deliberately because…”

“I didn’t, Maria.” Isabel cut in gently. “Hopefully I will be able to prove to you that that was the last thing on my mind.”

“Hey.” A voice gently called.

All three girls looked up to find Max and Michael standing in front of them. It was strange enough that Max seemed intend on simply gazing upon Liz, apparently thinking something through, but Michael was now out and out staring at Maria.

“Take a picture, it will last longer!” Maria snapped.

To everyone’s surprise Michael suddenly reached forward and grabbed Maria by the arm. “I need to speak to you.”

“Michael. What are doing? Get off me.” Maria complained.

He wasn’t seriously manhandling Maria, his grip was gentle yet firm, but the shock at what he was doing caught everybody, especially Maria, by surprise. Once they were away from the lunch tables and out of earshot of everyone else Michael finally let go of his captive.

“What the hell are you doing?” Maria cried.

“Are you deaf?” Michael replied, equally sternly. “I said I need to speak to you.”

“Then speak to me. You don’t have to pick me up and carry me away like King Kong!” Maria made a point of rubbing her arm to emphasise her point.

“Did I hurt you?” Michael's voice changed from one of confrontation to one of concern.

Upon hearing the change in his demeanour Maria stopped rubbing at her arm. “No, I’m fine.”

Michael suddenly dropped his gaze and looked at his feet for a moment.

“Well?” Maria asked unceremoniously.

“Give me a minute!” Michael barked.

“Well excuse me!” Maria replied. “You were the one who said you wanted to speak to me so forgive me for assuming you might know what you would want to say.”

“I can’t do this!” Michael suddenly exclaimed.

“Do what?” Maria questioned. “I haven’t asked you to do anything.”

“We can’t be a couple!” He stated out of the blue.

“What?” Maria cried in utter confusion. “Who the hell asked you to be a couple? What on earth are you talking about?”

“No one asked me.” Michael was clearly struggling. “I just need you to know that I can’t be in a couple, it’s not my thing.”

“Well if I ever meet a girl dumb enough to want to be in a couple with you I will be sure to let her know it’s not your thing.” She repeated sarcastically.

“Fine!” He barked.

“Fine!” She echoed. “Now that this strangeness is over can I get back to my lunch?”

“You can do what you want.” And with that Michael stormed off back towards the table, quickly followed my Maria.

When they reached the table they found the other three simply staring at them.

“What was all that about?” Isabel asked, looking from one to the other.

“I haven’t a clue.” Maria stated immediately. “Ask Forrest Gump there!”

“Maxwell, are you coming?” Michael yelled.

Max, who had spent most of the last couple of minutes or so surreptitiously sneaking glances at Liz, was suddenly brought crashing back down to earth. “Erm…yeah, sure.”

With a smile to his sister and a quick glance at Liz Max turned to follow.

As the three girls look up to watch Max and Michael head off to destinations unknown all three were struck by the figure of Alex Whitman stepping out into the afternoon sun. The noticeable lowering of the sound level had to be heard to be believed. It seemed as though almost every person who was out in the quad that day only had eyes for Alex.

Alex himself either seemed to be oblivious to the fact that he was the hot topic of conversation or he was choosing to ignore the buzz he was creating amongst the students as he strode out into the middle of the quad and sat down at a free table.

“I have to do something.” Isabel suddenly announced as she stood up from the table.

“What are you going to do, Isabel?” Liz asked nervously. “Short of walking out there and planting a kiss to end all kisses on his surprised lips I’m not sure you can do anything to help the situation. If you just go over there and try to talk to him or sit down I have no idea what he will do. I have tried to talk to him and explain what you said but I am not sure he is ready for a very public reconciliation.”

“Well I guess there is only one way to find out!”

And with that, Isabel left her two friends behind and headed over to join Alex, unaware of the next few minutes would bring.

To be continued…
Last edited by StargazerUK on Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Will you still love me? Pt.9 (A/I,CC, TEEN) 27-SEP-05

Post by StargazerUK » Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:55 am

A/N: I had to post today...I want to keep Trude on her toes! lol.

Chapter 9

Alex sat quietly at the empty table as he unwrapped his lunch. He didn’t have to look around to know he was the centre of attention. The hush that descended as he stepped out into the quad was indication enough. The fact that he was aware of the attention he was getting and had been prepared for it since being stood up by Isabel the night before didn’t make him any more comfortable with it as he sat alone. He didn’t exactly have a reputation to destroy but he was out in the centre of the quad for one reason and one reason only. The sooner he let everyone have a good look at him the sooner it would all die down and go away.

“Hey.” A soft familiar voice greeted Alex in little more than a tentative whisper.

Lifting his head Alex saw the one person on this earth he didn’t want to see. It wasn’t as though he was particularly averse to see Isabel, it was more a case that he knew he wouldn’t know what to say to her when he did so he had been hoping to put this moment off for as long as possible. A month or two would have been preferable.

“What do you want, Isabel?” He asked flatly, trying not to convey any emotion.

Her next comment wasn’t exactly what he would have expected.

“I’m not really sure.” She replied nervously.

Alex had been trying to remain distant and aloof since finding Isabel at his side and he had quickly realised that if he was going to achieve his goal he couldn’t allow himself to look directly at her as she had always had some kind of strange effect on him. Hearing Isabel’s unexpected reply to his question had thrown him completely so he now found himself staring up at her soulful dark brown eyes and, as expected, they were having an effect.

Alex forced himself to drop his gaze once more. “Liz has spoken to me so I sort of understand what happened but I’m not sure I’m ready to return things to how they were.”

“How they were?” Isabel repeated as much in hope as in curiosity.

“You know…me worshipping you from afar and you oblivious to my very existence.” Alex didn’t mean to sound so bitter but unfortunately they were the only words he could find to describe how he truly felt.

“I didn’t ignore you.” Isabel countered defensively. She paused for a moment. “I’ll admit to not going out of my way to be friendly towards you but I never ignored you.”

“OK, I concede that.” He nodded. “You didn’t ignore me but your apathy towards me was underwhelming!” Alex sighed and shook his head. “I told you, Isabel. I don’t want to do this! I’m not in a very good place right now and everything that’s coming out of my mouth sounds bitter and resentful, which is not how I want things to be between us.”

Isabel paused for a moment to compose herself, unsure whether or not to leave. She had felt tears beginning to sting her eyes as she listened to how Alex perceived their relationship prior to the last few days and she was taken aback by just how hurt she was by his comments. She was just on the verge of falling over the precipice into the pit of despair that she found herself teetering on the edge of when she felt herself being pulled back by Alex’s comment that he didn’t want things to be bitter and resentful between them. Maybe all was not lost.

She had had a sneaking suspicion that her feelings of the last few days were being more and more influenced by her connection to future Liz and the insight into Alex that had given her. Now she had proof. Her natural reaction to any confrontation her entire life had been to build a wall around herself, shielding her from those who wished to hurt her. Now, as she listened to Alex’s hurtful comments, albeit unintentionally hurtful comments, she realised that for the first time in her life she didn’t want to run or to hide. On the contrary, she wanted to explain herself and make things right. It slowly dawned on, what she intended to do. She was going to stay and fight for what she wanted.

“Trust me, Alex.” She finally replied after her long deliberations. “If anyone deserves to be spoken to harshly it is me. You said Liz already spoke to you so you probably won’t want to hear it all again but you need to know that I never intended to stand you up or leave you hanging in the way that I did. If I had a number I could have called or if I could have got to you before you left your house I promise I would have but I couldn’t.”

Alex broke his cardinal rule of the last five minutes and lifted his head slightly to look at Isabel. To his surprise he found the usually vibrant and statuesque Isabel Evans almost hunched over with her head hung low. He couldn’t see her face as it was now shrouded by the lengths of stray hair that were normally kept in such a neat and tidy fashion.

“I really don’t want you to think I am being heartless or unfeeling but if I just turn around and say ‘No harm, no foul’ I might end up making you feel a little better but I think I would lose what little self respect I have for myself by allowing you to be seen to walk all over me.” Alex stated slowly. “Having spoken to Liz a couple of times and also seeing you now I think I am finally convinced that you didn’t stand me up deliberately.” Upon hearing that crumb of comfort Isabel lifted her head to look at Alex. “However, the fact that you didn’t intentionally stand me up doesn’t detract from the fact that you did stand me up and I was left a laughing stock not only last night but also here and now in school. That’s nothing to say of what it did to my already fragile confidence when it comes to girls...” Alex stopped abruptly. “The less said about that between the two of us the better.” Alex blushed as he finally managed to shut himself up having realised his mouth was running away from him and he was giving away too much information.

“I know.” Isabel said softly. “And I’m sorry.”

It then became apparent that they had both said all that they had to say as an uncomfortable silence descended between them. Alex simply stared at his uneaten sandwich, unwilling or unable to force himself to look at Isabel.

He could tell by the continued unusually hushed noise level around the quad that he and Isabel were still the main topic on everyone’s lunchtime agenda but he refused to look around as he didn’t want to give the onlookers the satisfaction of knowing that they held any interest for him.

Alex coughed slightly, apparently clearing his throat in preparation to say something. “I know I asked you before but what are you doing here, Isabel?”

Unlike the last time Alex asked that question it seemed that Isabel now had an answer. “When I told Liz that I was going to come over here she told me I shouldn’t as she didn’t know how you were going to react and that you wouldn’t want a public reconciliation, not now at least.” She added.

“You’ve got to love Liz.” Alex smiled. “When she’s right, she’s right.”

“What she also said to me was that unless I was willing to come over here and give you a kiss to end all kisses as a way of showing how sorry I am for what happened I would be wasting my time.” Isabel continued.

Alex suddenly looked very uncomfortable at the mention of a kiss to end all kisses.

“Now I know this isn’t the time but I just have to let you know that I would be fully prepared and also happy to try to give you a kiss to end all kisses but for one thing…” Isabel stopped for a moment as she fought to hold her nerve. “…if I am going to kiss you I want it to be because you want it and I want it and not as a way of showing the rest of the school how sorry I am about what happened, or didn’t happen, last night. I know you are paying the price for me not showing up on our date last night but it is only you who I should be apologising to and only you I should be explaining myself to and not anyone else, not least the morons at this school.”

Alex eyed Isabel, his frostiness towards his companion melting with each word she spoke.

“It just dawned on me a few moments ago that the main part of the problem for my no show last night was that you were left standing in the foyer of the cinema as a lot of our classmates looked on.” She explained. “Also the fact that even those who weren’t at the cinema soon got to hear about the ‘prank’ I played on good old Alex Whitman by setting him up for a date that I didn’t show up for.”

“Isabel, it doesn’t hurt any less each time I hear you bring up what happened last night.” Alex stated mournfully.

“Sorry!” Isabel started to blush but was pleased to see the slightest of smiles playing on Alex’s lips, which told her he was as much amused by her comment as hurt by it.

“Anyway, I have decided to stand here where the entire school can see me and let them take their turn at ridiculing me.” Isabel announced purposefully. “I know it is not quite the same but it is the best that I can come up with at the moment as some form of penance. Of course if you come up with anything else you might want me to do to humiliate myself I will be glad to do it.”

Alex frowned in confusion. “Let me get this straight. You are willing to stand there, where the entire school can see you, so that they can ridicule and joke about you in the same way that they have about me being stood up last night?”

“Yes.” Isabel confirmed. “It’s the least I go do for you to show I am sorry.”

To Isabel’s, and everyone else who was watching’s, surprise Alex suddenly reached up, grabbed Isabel carefully but firmly by the arm and pulled her down into the seat next to him.

“What did you do that for?” Isabel asked in shock.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right, Isabel.” Alex stated firmly. “It wasn’t right for those people to mock me last night and it is not right for people to mock you now. I appreciate what you are trying to do but it is not necessary. As you mentioned a moment ago, this is between you and me and not anyone else, not least the morons at this school.”


As Liz and Maria looked on, opened mouthed, they both heaved a sigh of relief when they spotted both Alex and Isabel smile at one another. They had both watched dumbstruck as the scene played out before them. They hadn’t a clue as to what was being said, although they had a better idea of what was going on and being said then anyone else that stood in the quad that afternoon, as they watched what was happening. When Alex reached up and pulled Isabel down into a sitting position they were both prepared to run over and intervene. It wasn’t as though they were worried that something physical was going to happen, not least because Isabel was almost certainly capable of kicking Alex’s ass, but they didn’t want things to get out of hand.

Now, a few short moments later, they found their two friends sitting and smiling at one another.

Maria turned to look at Liz silently and when Liz simply shrugged her shoulders the two girls turned their attention back to the centre table.


“What do we do now?” Isabel asked hesitantly.

“I’m not sure but I think if you sit here a while they will soon get fed up of watching us and find something else to amuse them.” Alex reasoned. “I think they are like gold fish and only have a seven second memory or such like. If we give them nothing to look at they will quickly forget why they were looking at us in the first place and find some other poor victims to prey upon.”

Once again Alex and Isabel fell into a silence but unlike the silence of a few minutes before this was one of the much more comfortable variety.

“Do you eat turkey and cheese?”

“What?” Isabel asked, blinking in surprise at Alex’s very strange question.

“I asked if you eat turkey and cheese.” Alex repeated himself. “It’s just I noticed that you don’t have your lunch with you and I can hardly eat my turkey and cheese sandwich, leaving you with nothing to eat. What kind of guy would I be if I did that?”

“Just about every other guy I have every dated!” Isabel mumbled under her breath.

“I’m sorry. What did you say?” Alex asked politely.

“Nothing.” Isabel shook her head. “And in answer to your question…yes, I do eat turkey and cheese.”

Alex smiled softly as he broke his sandwich in two and handed Isabel a piece wrapped in a napkin. “My hands are clean and my mom made the sandwich so I think you are safe.”

“Your mom made your lunch?” Isabel asked in amusement before she took a bite of her newly acquired food.

Alex quickly shook his head. “You’re not allowed to judge me. I try to make my own lunch but my mom still thinks I am twelve or something and insists on making my lunch for me. You can check with Liz and Maria.”

“I think you are being a little too defensive, Alex, so I may well have to check with the girl’s.” Isabel joked. “Is there anything else you feel the need to tell me now before I get the whole truth from Liz and Maria?”

“My conscience is clear and I have nothing to hide.” Alex stated confidently before remembering something. “Accepted that if they mention a comforter I only keep it because it was a present from my mom and she likes the fact that I still have it. And it only has bunnies on it because that was all they had left in the store at the time.” He added defensively.

Isabel had to strain to not only stop herself from laughing but also to stop herself from reaching over and pulling Alex into a monster hug. This had been what she had picked up about her relationship with Alex from future Liz. This had been what her world of possibilities had been opened up to when she found out that this young man would accept her for what she was and not judge her.

Just knowing, via future Liz, that someone like Alex was out there for her was a wonder in itself. To now be able to sit here at the lunch table and exchange pleasantries over shared food was more than she could have dared to hope for. She regretted deeply the events of last night but she should have known that if she really hadn’t meant to hurt Alex, which she hadn’t, he would soon see that and forgive her.

“I know this is probably an inappropriate topic of conversation but I will mention it nonetheless.” Isabel began tentatively. “Thanks to me our first attempt at a date ended in the worst possible way but I hope, in time, you will be willing to give me another chance.”

Alex stopped chewing his sandwich and just stared, dumbstruck as this stunningly beautiful young woman meekly asked him for another chance. After what happened last night it might have been appropriate for alarm bells to be sounding, warning Alex to be careful, but he found that all he could do was hang on her every word and simply gaze upon her.

“I would like to think that if nothing else I am capable to learning from my mistakes.” She continued. “That means that I won’t me making any grand requests like last time, which I hope means only you and I will know about the date. Also, if you will let me, I will come to your house to pick you up so there is no chance of you being left hanging in a public place or left open to ridicule.”

Alex wanted to respond but he found he was incapable.

“Finally, this offer, request…how ever you want to perceive it isn’t just for here and now because I know you might not be in the right frame of mind for a date with me but whenever you’re…”

“Yes!” Alex suddenly cut in. His brain was all of a muddle but the one overriding thing it was telling him to do was say ‘Yes’. Once he had blurted out his reply his thinking quickly returned to normal and he realised he didn’t want to appear too keen so he tried to take on a more laid back approach. “I mean, yes. I think the fact that we never got as far as actually going on a date means we should at least try one more time. I’ll check my hectic social schedule and get back to you.”

“OK.” Isabel smiled broadly. “That sounds great.”

Alex continued to stare at Isabel as she returned her attention to her food while he willed the ground to open up and swallow him whole. Had he really just told Isabel Evans that he would ‘check his hectic social schedule’? He was such a dork, he admonished himself silently. It was a miracle she still wanted to go out with him. If he got anymore geeky he would stand himself up!

“Would it be alright if I call you?” Alex asked nervously.

“I’d like that.” Isabel smiled. “I’d like that a lot.”

To be continued…
If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.


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Will you still love me? Pt.10 (A/I,CC, TEEN) 19-OCT-05

Post by StargazerUK » Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:05 pm

A/N: Sorry for the delay in updating this. I got sucked into writing "Wanna come in?", a challenge Fic, and got a little side tracked. (Although I really enjoyed writing that story.) That's now completed so I can turn my mind to this :D . I'm off to Ireland tomorrow for a few days but I am back on Sunday so hopefully everything will be back to normal next week. :D Cheers, David

Chapter 10


Alex frowned in confusion. “And what?”

“And have you called her yet?” Maria asked impatiently.

“Give me a chance!” Alex exclaimed. “It was only a few hours ago that I said I would call.”

“There’s nothing like striking while the iron is hot, Alex.” Liz cut in.

“Since when did you two become so keen on seeing me dating Isabel Evans?” Alex asked with a smile.

“Oh, I don’t know.” Liz pretended to be giving the subject some thought before replying. “Maybe since the third grade!” Liz turned to Maria. “It was the third grade when Alex started to bore us with how wonderful Isabel was and how pretty Isabel was and how cute Isabel was...”

“I get it, I get it!” He cried. Both girls started to laugh but Alex knew his best friends were only teasing him. “OK. What about you?”

“Me?” Liz asked quizzically. “What about me?”

“Aren’t you the girl who not only has a boyfriend but also a not so secret admirer?” Alex questioned.

Liz turned back to Maria. “What have you been saying?”

“I haven’t been saying anything.” Maria stated defensively before looking at Alex. “I told you that in the strictest confidence. You weren’t supposed to go blabbing it all around town, not least to Liz.”

Alex threw his hands up in a defensive pose. “The two of you were ganging up on me so I had to do something to deflect the Spanish inquisition. Anyway, don’t you think Liz rather deftly side stepped my comment about her two suitors?” Alex nodded towards a silent Liz.

Maria looked at Liz as she placed her hands on her hips in a defiant pose. “Now that you mention it I think you are right. We need to get this sorted out once and for all, Liz.”

“There isn’t anything to sort.” Liz stated as she busied herself cleaning the milkshake machine. “I’m dating Kyle and that’s all there is to say on the matter.”

“Why?” Maria asked forcefully.

“Why, what?” Liz replied, unsure what her friend was asking. “Why am I dating Kyle or why is that all there is to say on the matter?”

“Both, actually but lets start with the first one, why are you dating some one like Kyle Valenti?” Maria pressed.

“Why not?” Liz countered. “He’s a nice guy and we have a lot in common.”

“Are we talking about the same Kyle Valenti?” Alex cut in. “He’s nice to you but you are about the only one he is nice to. As he is the captain of both the basketball and football teams he has a certain reputation to uphold which includes dropping certain individuals into the toilet, head first!”

“Ewww!!” Maria cried.

“And as for you both having a lot in common…” Alex paused for a moment. “You both live in Roswell.” He conceded.

“They both go to West Roswell high.” Maria cut in.

“You both like Kyle Valenti.” Alex shook his head. “No I can’t use that as I have used that one before.” That caused both Alex and Maria to laugh. Liz wasn’t so amused.

“So are you both telling me that you think I should not be going out with Kyle?” She asked seriously.

With Liz’s change in demeanour both Alex and Maria stopped joking around. “All we’re saying, Liz, is that he doesn’t seem to make you very happy.” Maria said softly.

“Plus you do seem to have an awful lot more in common with someone like…oh I don’t know, let’s say Max Evans.” Alex joined in.

“I can’t just dump Kyle. That would be a horrible thing to do.” Liz exclaimed.

“But what is the alternative, Liz?” Alex asked solemnly. “In all seriousness Kyle isn’t such a bad guy but can you see your relationship going anywhere or are you just treading water?”

Maria stepped up and wrapped an arm around her friend. “We didn’t mean to bring you down, Liz, but we both love you and care about you so naturally we only want what’s best for you and we are simply asking if that is Kyle Valenti.”

The small bell that hung at the entrance to the Crashdown sounded, denoting a new customer. All three friends looked over to see Max Evans and Michael Guerin step inside and close the door before moving to the nearest booth and sitting down.

“I think you had better get this, Liz.” Maria stated as quick as a flash. “I’m cleaning the milkshake machine.”

“I thought I was cleaning the…” Before Liz could finish her sentence Maria snatched the cloth from her hand and started busying herself with the half cleaned machine.

Liz glanced over to where Max and Michael had sat down and she saw Max quickly drop his gaze below the eye line of the menu he was holding. She had never given any thought to the possibility that someone like Max Evans could like her in a romantic way but ever since Maria had made some passing comment about how he was always looking at her Liz couldn’t get it out of her mind. If she was honest she would have to admit that since Maria’s comment she had noticed Max looking at her more than she had ever noticed before.

‘Of course that didn’t mean he did indeed have feelings for her, maybe she just had bad hair and he was simply trying to build up the courage to tell her or he was waiting for an opportune time.’ She thought to herself.

“They won’t serve themselves.” Alex whispered, cutting in on Liz’s thoughts.

Snapping out of her daze Liz moved over to the end booth and greeted the two boys. “Hey, Max…Hey, Michael. What can I get you guys?”

“Erm…I’m not sure.” Max suddenly seemed a little flustered. “You go first, Michael.”

“Will Smith burger, fries and some Saturn rings.” Michael stated slowly before looking directly at Max. “See Max. It’s not that difficult.”

Liz tried not to laugh when she saw Max send Michael the dirtiest look she had ever seen in her life. “Thank you, Michael. I am quite capable of ordering my food from a menu.”

“Not from where I’m sitting.” Michael whispered under his breath.

Max chose to ignore Michael’s last sniping remark and looked nervously at Liz. “I’ll have the same.” Upon hearing that Michael allowed a laugh to escape that he didn’t intend and suffered Max’s immediate retribution when he felt a swift kick to his shin.

“Hey! What was that for?” He growled.

“I’m not sure.” Max replied innocently. “Should I ask Liz to bring Maria over here and we can ask her if she knows?”

“No!” Michael exclaimed a little louder than expected. “No.” He repeated in a more tolerable level. “I must have kicked the table by mistake.”

“Drinks?” Liz asked, choosing to ignore the strangeness that was going on between the two boys.

“Two cherry cokes, please.” Max replied for both of them.

As Liz walked away all she could think about was how Max had just threatened Michael with Maria. Now it wasn’t the first time she had heard Maria’s name used in the form of a threat but she was pretty sure this was the first time that it wasn’t meant in a menacing way. She was beginning to realise that although both Maria and Alex were convinced that Max Evans had feelings for her maybe a little more thought should be given to the notion that maybe, just maybe Michael Guerin had feelings for Maria.

‘The words volatile and combination spring to mind.’ Liz joked to herself as she placed the order with Jose in the kitchen.

“What are you looking so pleased with yourself about?” Maria cut in on Liz’s musings.

“Oh, nothing.” Liz smiled broadly. “I just had a silly thought that made me smile.”

“A silly thought?” Maria frowned.

“Not so much silly.” Liz corrected herself. “More like…intriguing.”

“Sounds too much like hard work so I’ll leave you to your day dreaming, some of us have work to do.” Maria stated as she sat down opposite Alex and started to flick him with her hand cloth.

“Speaking of work to do.” Alex barely managed to say as he fended off Maria’s assault. “Shouldn’t you be doing some?”

“Didn’t you hear? I’m friends with the boss’ daughter.” Maria stated triumphantly.

Before Alex could reply the bell over the entrance sounded again and when the friends looked they spotted another familiar face.

“Sit up straight, Alex.” Maria instructed as she tucked her cloth into her apron and jumped down off of her stool. “Your wife’s here.”

Alex went wide-eyed at Maria’s joke statement and was caught between trying to make a grab for her as she left and not making a fool of himself as Isabel moved ever closer. He naturally assumed that Isabel would sit down with her brother and Michael so he was in the middle of preparations that would allow him a surreptitious look at Isabel when he discovered that other than a nod and a smile in their general direction she had continued to walk past them and towards where he was sitting at the counter.

“Antiperspirant don’t fail me now.” He rather unceremoniously whispered under his breath.

“Hey, Alex.” Isabel greeted her desired target with a broad grin.

“Hi, Isabel.” Alex replied as he half stood up to greet his visitor. “What are you doing here?” When he realised how abrupt that comment was he added. “Not that it isn’t great to see you.”

“That’s OK, Alex.” Isabel laughed. “I hadn’t planned to come in here else I would have joined Max and Michael.” She paused for a moment. “Actually it is you I have come to see.”

“Me?” Alex asked in amazement.

“You don’t have to look so shocked, Alex.” Isabel laughed again. “We have been threatening to go on a date together so we have to interact at some stage.”

When she saw Alex’s look of innocence she was worried she was being a little too harsh on her new friend. “Sorry, I was only joking. I hope you don’t mind me asking but I was wondering what plans you have for this evening?”

“This evening?” Alex echoed. “Nothing really.”

“Good.” Isabel enthused. “I know this will seem a little stalker’ish but I was wondering if you wanted to come over to watch a movie.”

“Come over…” Alex repeated absently. “…to your house?”

“If you want to.” Isabel offered. “Else we could always do it at your house?”

“No…no, your house will be fine.” Alex only just managed to reply, his head was now spinning so fast.

“It’s a date then!” She stated excitedly. “Or not.” She quickly added as she was worried her over enthusiasm might scare Alex. “I just mean I will see you later.”

With a final broad grin Isabel turned and headed out of the diner, pausing for just a second to pass comment to her brother and his friend.

“What was all that about?” Liz asked gently as she and Maria came stepping out of the back room.

Alex frowned. “I think I am going round to Isabel’s house…for a date!”

To be continued…
Last edited by StargazerUK on Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.