Zombie (CC, A/I, TEEN) 1/1 11.08.06 COMPLETE

Finished Canon/Conventional Couple Fics. These stories pick up from events in the show. All complete stories from the main Canon/CC board will eventually be moved here.

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StarGazing101
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Zombie (CC, A/I, TEEN) 1/1 11.08.06 COMPLETE

Post by StarGazing101 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:30 am

Title: Zombie
Author: StarGazing101
Disclaimer: I own nothing, got it?
Rating: TEEN
Summary: Isabel and Alex unexpectedly meet up one late night. Post-EotW.



<center>Zombie</center>



It was late, and Isabel Evans sat with her head rested on her folded arms, her hair fanned out across her unusually messy desk. She had impeded upon her much needed beauty sleep to finish her American History project that wasn't due for another week. She figured, she had the idea and the words in her head now, so why not finish it? The only consequences she could think that would arise from this were fatigue, and the fact that her math teacher would glare at her in the morning for dozing off, and that her mother would sternly request for her to not let it happen again. Right now, she had worn her mind and body out so that she was too tired to sleep, and her mind was actually still wired.

Her stomach rumbled angrily and Isabel placed her hand on her abdomen, surprised that she had worked up such an appetite. Standing from her chair and stretching her aching body, she left her bedroom and ventured into the kitchen. Having a look in the refrigerator and quietly rummaging through the cabinets, she found that nothing in her home would satisfy her craving for a chocolate shake laced with Tabasco.

She knew her mother would have a fit come morning, but Isabel decided to risk it. She stealthily jogged to her room to grab some cash, took her mother's car keys from the hook by the door, and backed out.

"She's going to kill me," Isabel said aloud, driving with one hand and using the other to play with the back of her hair. Not liking the sound of only the engine and the wheels running over the asphalt, she reached for the radio knob and switched it on.

Isabel pressed the numbered buttons on the stereo, not much liking the stations her mother had chosen and went back to the dial, turning it quickly until she came across a station playing the Cranberries, and kept it there. She bobbed her head to the low beats and deep rhythms, upping the bass a bit, and lilted the lyrics softly beneath her breath. She reached her destination just as the song came to an abrupt finish and cut off the engine.

Glancing around the parking, she concluded that the two cars parked at the far end were employees, but one vehicle in particular caught her intrigue.

"You've got to be kidding me," she gaped, scanning the large windows of the Denny's to see the owner of the car in question near the back of the restaurant.

Curious and somewhat surprised, she waltzed inside and stopped at the podium in front, staring at the person occupying the booth she had seen through the window. During late night business, she knew that it was slim to none that whoever was working was actually watching for customers to arrive, so she opted to cater to herself by taking a menu and seating herself.

"What are the chances of two utterly exhausted people finding themselves in a Denny's this late at night?" she asked with a playful smile.

At hearing her voice, Alex gazed up from his half-eaten meal, utterly shocked to see her. "In this town, I'd say quite likely. I think it's more appropriate to ask what is the chance of two people who belong to same club finding themselves in a Denny's this late at night."

"Funny."

"Oh, where are my manners? Sit," he offered, gesturing for her to fill the seat across from him.

"Thank you," she said, dropping her purse and keys onto the table.

When she had seated and began to finger through the menu, a middle-aged woman came out from the kitchen with a notepad in her mouth, straightening her apron, and then walked over to take Isabel's order.

"Welcome to Denny's. What would you like, dear?" she put her pencil tip to the small order pad now in her left hand, and gave Isabel a toothy grin.

Going over the menu once more, Isabel shut it and handed it to the waitress, "Chocolate shake and a slice of cheese cake."

"Okay, will be back in a few," she happily answered, turning on her heel and traveling back into the kitchen.

Alex watched the doors swing closed and placed his attention back onto Isabel. "A shake and a slice of cake?" he raised a brow.

"Hey, I jog, okay. I can afford to have two desserts," she swiftly supplied, taking a left over French fry from his plate and popping it into her mouth. "So what are you doing here?"

"I could ask you the same thing."

"Sorry. I asked first."

Alex rolled his eyes and pushed his plate aside. "Okay, so we're playing that game, huh?" She nodded, munching on another fry. "If you must, I was working on that damn paper Troutman assigned."

Isabel coughed into her hand, almost choking on the food she had stolen from Alex's plate. She took a couple gulps of his untouched water and recovered, "Me, too! I just finished."

"That's no surprise," Alex admonished, "You are his top student."

"Am not," she denied, "You're in his top three, Alex."

"But I actually have to work for it," he eyed her reproachfully; "You aliens seem to absorb things quicker than us lowly humans. Although, Michael’s an exception, I suppose."

Isabel slammed her hand on the table, a scolding expression replacing her fatigued one.

"Sorry," Alex raised his hands, "the A-word."

Isabel sighed, her eyes not quite reaching his. "You work with what you're given," she shrugged her shoulders, "and Michael's not an exception nor is he an idiot, he just doesn't like school."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to—"

"It's all right," she interjected, holding a friendly hand up. "I think Kyle's rubbing off on you; you two have been spending copious amounts of time with one another lately," she observed as the waitress brought out her order. “Thank you.”

The waitress nodded, and turned to Alex. “Are you done with that, honey? Would you like anything else?”

Alex gave Isabel a questioning look and shook his head. “I’m good.”

“Okay,” she inclined her head, “and you dear?”

Isabel nodded her appreciation, her mouth full of cheese cake. Swallowing, she answered, “Good.”

“Well okay then, if you two need anything, just give a holler.” The two nodded and watched the waitress wander into the back, and resumed conversation.

Alex quirked an eyebrow, “So what’s it to you if Kyle and I have been spending some time together? That’s what friends do,” he articulated.

“Nothing wrong with it!” she took another forkful and ate. “I’m just not used to seeing you two hang out, is all,” she explained, “It’s different. You, Maria, and Liz were this inseparable threesome, and it’s odd not seeing that much anymore.”

Alex tipped his head, and twirled the straw inside his coke glass. “Yeah, well, Maria and Liz, as much as I love them, I have to admit that it is nice to have a male friend for once.”

“What about your band mates?”

Alex glanced up, “Oh, there were nice and fun and all, but no conversation beyond sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” He then admitted, “I love Liz and Maria to death, but when it came to guy things, I was too uncomfortable to speak about that kind of stuff around them – not that they’d want to hear about it or understand the logic, or lack thereof – and Dad’s not around that often. Kyle and I, we were guys looking for an outlet from the chaos, and, surprisingly, found more in common than either of us would have liked to believe.”

Isabel stayed quiet where she sat, contemplating briefly on what Alex said. Setting her fork quietly onto her plate, she queried, “You do realize that you’ve just summed up the basis of our friendship?”

“What?”

“Well,” she started, “when Max healed Liz, it started a domino effect. One thing led to another, and soon, we were the two odd ones out. You were alienated by Liz and Maria because Max and Michael wouldn’t allow for them to tell you, and I disliked that they were now the apples of my brothers’ eyes.”

Perplexed by her words, Alex questioned, “Wait a minute,” his hands jittered in the air, “you said I ‘was alienated by Liz and Maria because Max and Michael wouldn’t allow for them to tell’ me,” he paused, “You failed to mention yourself.” It dawned on him, “Did you want to tell me?”

Mentally slapping herself for her mistake, she attempted to clarify, “After the misunderstanding at the soapbox factory and after you and Liz had been arrested, I realized that we had made a mistake in not letting you in on the secret.” She sat back, combing her hair through with her fingers. Her mouth gaped momentarily, and she continued, “Actually, to be even more honest, I had concluded to myself that we should’ve told you when Liz started getting suspicious of Topolsky.” Leaning back into the table, she added, “You were a sitting duck.”

Alex nodded in slight disbelief, at Isabel’s honesty more than anything. “Okay, now that we’ve gone just a tad off-topic,” he emphasized with his thumb and index an inch apart, “I’d like to hear what you mean about the basis of our friendship.”

He wasn’t playing stupid, and he knew exactly what she had meant, but the fact that Isabel was being so open had him disillusioned. Maybe it was the fact that they were both fatigued and they were in a diner at three in the morning, but he liked that she was not coating her words with cynicism. Guiltily, he also had missed hearing her voice, their casual quips to one another, as they had not spoken to each other in a while; at least, not since the Grant incident at the Crashdown.

“I do not need to explain that further. You know exactly what I’m talking about,” she read through him, “That alienated feeling,” and then trailed off, circling her shake with the overly long spoon the restaurant provided.

The two teens sat in silence for another half hour before the waitress came over and cleaned their table of their plates and gave them their receipts. Alex placed his debit card inside the black jacket that housed his receipt and waited while Isabel rummaged through her purse for her money. When she unveiled a twenty, Alex shook his head.

“I’ll pay,” he offered, taking her receipt from in front of her.

“No,” she stubbornly resisted, “though not all chivalry has died, in this situation, it has.”

Alex rolled his eyes, “Feminist propaganda. I’m not being chivalrous; I’m being polite. If you don’t wish me to pay your way, at least let’s make it easier on our waitress and let me pay on my card, and then you can pay me with whatever yours came to.”

Resistance held in her eyes, but she surrendered and withdrew her twenty, going through her purse for a smaller bill to give to him. When the waitress came back, Alex handed her the jacket and inclined his head in nonverbal thanks.

Isabel whispered a “thank you,” though it didn’t quite reach to her eyes.

“You’re welcome,” he nodded just as she lazily held out to him a five and some ones.

The waitress returned with his card and another receipt for him to sign. “There you are,” she drawled when he handed back the slip, “I hope you enjoyed your meals and that you have a night.” Just as Isabel and Alex got up to leave, she added, “By the way, are you two boyfriend and girlfriend?”

“No,” they both answered a little too quickly for their own good.

“Just friends,” Isabel recovered, taking a quick glance to Alex.

“Yeah, just friends,” he parroted.

“Oh,” she said surprised, “you two just seemed so close; too close to be just friends, you know? But I’m wrong about these things sometimes.” She shrugged her shoulders and apologized, bidding them a good night once more.

“Well, that was awkward,” Alex said as he held the door for Isabel on their way out.

“Agreed, and thank you.”

“No problem.”

They stood outside the restaurant, hesitant to say bye and go to their respective cars and drive. Without preamble, Alex sat on the curb and pulled a confused Isabel down beside him.

“We’re all ready in trouble, so what’s a few minutes difference?” he gazed at her, a nostalgic warmth rising in his chest. “I’ve missed this, us.”

Isabel was tempted to stand back up, but was almost shocked to find that she didn’t budge. Admittedly, she missed him, too. With school back in, her busy social schedule, and all the alien business gone down recently, they hadn’t any time to slow down and enjoy their adolescence.

“You know, you never did tell me why you were here. All I got was that you had been working on our American History assignment; you didn’t tell me what possessed you to come here,” she summed.

He slowly exhaled, and answered quietly, “It’s better to be alone in public than in your own home. Mom’s working a seven-to-seven, though she probably won’t be home until 8:00 or 9:00, and Dad’s in Egypt on business. What about you?”

Isabel let her head droop onto her huddled knees, her hair veiling her back like a blanket. She inhaled loudly, letting her lungs fill to capacity, and shortly exhaled, tears prickling her eyes. Before she could stop it, her entire body was enveloped in sobs.

Alex was mystified as to what brought this on, but let his concern wash over him and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, where her head lolled again his shoulder, his shirt gradually becoming wet with her tears. “Isabel?”

She pushed herself away from him, wiping at her tired eyes, drying them with every portion of her upper arms and hands. She hiccupped, “I’m sorry.” She brushed at her eyes again with her sweater-covered hands. “I don’t know what came over me.”

“Whatever it is, I’m here,” he gently rubbed her back in circular motions, “no matter the time,” he added, glancing at his watch. “It’s 3:47.”

She removed herself from his embrace, gazing directly into his green eyes, and then confessed, “I haven’t slept in three days. I’ve been using my powers to—“

“Hide the fact,” he finished for her, his worry for her building. He noticed that she had removed her cover up, and that her eyes were plagued by the tell-tale signs of fatigue. Although she was no longer sobbing, her eyes leaked water freely down her face. He brushed her cheek softly with the pad of this thumb. “What’s bothering you?”

Isabel closed her eyes and, defeated, exhaled, “If I tell you, will you promise not to tell Max? Or anyone else for that matter?”

She felt completely raw, letting him see her so disheveled and unkempt. She was tangled in a web of emotions that she had weaved herself into over the last few weeks that she needed to break free of them. Something other than hunger had brought her here tonight, and now she knew why.

“Of course,” he acquiesced, “you can tell me anything.”

She inhaled deeply and began, “You heard what happened, right? On my birthday, what happened to Tess and Whitaker and what I did?”

“Yes, I did, and I believe that you did what you felt was right. You defended yourself, and you saved Tess. You did what you had to do.” He had inkling of where this might be going, but a chill ran down his spine when he observed how dull her eyes were and recounted that she had not slept in days, and came to a realization. “All I have heard was from everyone else’s mouths, but I haven’t heard from the source. What didn’t you tell the others?”

“Vilandra,” she began, letting her new found composure slowly crumble, “she, Whitaker, said I betrayed my brother, that I betrayed him, my family, everyone, that I sacrificed everything for the love of my life.” She paused, reeling from her own words of the event in question. “I’m sorry,” she blurted, “You probably have no idea what I’m talking about. I didn’t explain that very well, did I?”

Alex responded, “From what I got, you’re having an identity crisis. Vilandra, correct me if I’m wrong, is your past self from whatever planet your alien DNA reigns from, and Whitaker told you that Vilandra betrayed your family. Am I with you so far?” She nodded, her head resting on one fist. “I only got the gist of the story from Max, that Whitaker was a . . . skin?” Isabel inclined her head again, and Alex stopped in his recap.

With her eyes held steady to her shuffling feet, she proceeded, “I-I just, I can’t fathom myself doing such a thing! How could I have done that?” Tears spilled along her cheeks once more, and her mouth fell open in disbelief.

Placing her hands on either of her shoulders, he maneuvered her so that she would face him. He lifted her chin with his index and thumb so that there eyes met, and he then honestly asked, “Why are you equating yourself to her, to Vilandra?”

“What?”

He put his hands on her face and gazed upon her, a very serious expression on his face. “First, you don’t know that Whitaker was telling the truth. She could have easily been finding a way to get to you. I mean, she is a politician, fabricating stories is what they do. Second, the circumstances may have been much different then. Your planet was at war, Isabel. Vilandra died, and her DNA, your physicality, was placed into you. Personality is both nurtured and genetic, so there are probably similarities, but even so, you are not her.

“If what Whitaker said was true, you still should not fret over this. You know right from wrong, and maybe Vilandra didn’t. Those values, that instillation of right and wrong are nurtured, and you have been brought up to know the differences. We do what we have to do to survive with that instilled in us.

“You are not her,” he concluded, his own emotions getting to him when he felt a solitary tear fall down his face.

Isabel’s bottom lip trembled furiously, the burden having been lifted off her shoulders, and she, in a moment of lost inhibition, set her hands on his jaw and brought her mouth down upon his. The guilt, the pain, and all that she had been webbed in manifested in their kiss as she initiated it further, and Alex did not stop her. His hand tangled in her hair, she bit his lip, and when they came up for air, she rested her forehead against his, tears still flowing freely and gasping.

“I-I can—“

“You can sleep tonight.”

“And you don’t have to be alone tonight,” she stood up, dusting off her jeans and wiping at her eyes. “Follow me while I drive my mother’s car home, and we can go back to your house.”

“Um, won’t you get in trouble?” he spoke up when he stood.

“I’ll leave a note,” she grabbed his wrist and looked at the time, “and we have to be quick. My parents get up at 5:00, and it is 4:18.”

“Wait,” he stalled her as she jogged to her car, “what about my mother?”

“Does she check your bedroom when she gets home?”

“Not usually,” he answered.

“Then don’t worry about it.”
Last edited by StarGazing101 on Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:27 am, edited 3 times in total.

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