In Dreams

Isabel deals with her emotions while trying to help Max and Michael track down a mysterious man who may have secrets vital to the group's survival. Will they find him before the newly reinstated Special Unit of the FBI does?

They're dancing.

"At Last" by Etta James echoed through the large, elegant ballroom. The flickering light of thousands of candles cast a romantic glow. She looked into his eyes feeling her heart swell with incredible feelings of love and longing…

The heavy metal sound of Metallica blares forth breaking Isabel's concentration and pulling her brutally back to reality.

"Michael," she growled through clenched teeth, turning her head and glaring at him. But Michael ignored her, drumming on the steering wheel in time to the beating music.

"How many times do I need to ask that you don't play Metallica in the middle of the night!"

"Hey, you can invade Jesse's dreams some other time. I need something to keep me awake. We're in kind of a hurry here," Michael unapologetically stated.

"Don't be so mean, Michael," Maria spoke sleepily from the back of the Volkswagon Bus.

"Yeah, don't be so mean," Isabel affirmed under her breath, tucking the photograph of Jesse back into her pants pocket.

"And whose fault is it anyway, that we had to make a getaway in the middle of the night?" Maria's voice sounded from the back, the tiredness now gone.

There was no answer from Michael. Maria's head appeared between the two front seats, turned to him. She stared at him through the end of the song that had so rudely interrupted Isabel, but there was still no answer from the driver. He kept his eyes on the road and didn't even acknowledge Maria's question. Maria sighed heavily and disappeared to the back again.

Isabel sighed as well, leaning her forehead on the cool glass of the car window, watching the dark, shadowed landscape pass her by. Occasionally she would glimpse a light in the distance, a light of someone out there living their life-their normal life. At times like this Isabel would feel regret that she'd let Jesse go. At times like this she felt tired; she felt she was always acting as the referee between Michael and Maria. Those two had more lover spats than anyone Isabel had ever known.

Then there was Liz and Max…since their wedding a few days ago, they'd been in their own world. Leaving Kyle; Isabel thought maybe he felt some of the lonesomeness that she did. They were both alone on this long road to what felt like nowhere.

Isabel closed her eyes and lowered the window a bit, letting the breeze from the cool desert night cleanse her darkened spirit.

The sudden turn of the vehicle startled Isabel awake. Metallica was still playing on the van stereo and the eastern sky was slowly brightening with the promise of another day.

"Where are we," she asked, rubbing her eyes and feeling quite groggy. She didn't remember falling asleep.

"Not sure," Michael stated. "Someplace called Eagle Rock. Population twenty three," Michael steered the beat up van into the parking lot of a run-down motel.

Isabel counted two cars in the lot of the motel, both with California license plates. Michael parked the van on the edge of the property. Beyond the parking lot Isabel could see a few weathered structures that comprised the town. There wasn't much else beyond the main street.

"Stay," he said, flinging the driver's door open.

Isabel cringed as Michael slammed the door shut, waking the others who were still asleep in the back.

Moments later Isabel heard the serious voice of her brother, Max, speak from the back.

"Where are we?"

"Some town called Eagle Rock. Michael has already gone into the motel office-if they're even open yet," Isabel responded, waiting for Max to curse Michael for acting without him. But there was no response. Instead, Isabel heard some shuffling and the sound of the side door sliding open.

Isabel turned in her seat and watched Max jog to the manager's office where Michael was already inside. Liz, Maria, and Kyle were all awake and watching as well. No one said a word.

Isabel turned back in her seat, facing forward to the expansive yellow landscape before her. Her hand absently traveled to her rear pocket where the worn photograph of her husband was safely stored. The day hadn't even officially begun and already Isabel was weary. She wished she were back in Jesse's dream, dancing…

Moments later the driver's side door opened and Max climbed in. At the same time the sliding side door was closed and Michael climbed in, lying down on the floor of the van next to where Maria had been sleeping.

"Well?" Liz questioned from the back. Isabel leaned her head against the seat, and looked to her brother.

"The guy in the office said a man matching James' description stopped over two nights ago. So we're on the right track. We just have a lot further to go before we are even close to getting to him," Max breathed out, starting the van and pulling back onto the road.

Isabel yawned and climbed into the back, nodding to Liz as she did. "Go ahead and sit up front, Liz."

Liz, her new sister-in-law, smiled in thanks and took Isabel's place in the passenger seat of the Volkswagon. Isabel moved to the far back of the van. Michael was already asleep, and Maria had her latest romance novel out, already halfway through it. Kyle sat silently staring at his hands.

Since they'd left Roswell Kyle hadn't said more than 100 words. Isabel knew he was depressed. He missed his father, and he was worried about the inevitable appearance of alien powers similar to what Liz experienced. And he was alone, like her. Isabel wanted to reach out but she had no idea how to.

Kyle looked up at her as she sat next to him. He offered a weak smile.

"Do you mind?" she asked politely. Kyle shook his head and looked back at his hands.

She could hear the soft whispers of Max and Liz from the front of the bus, and the heavy breathing of Michael as he slept. They sat in silence for a moment, Isabel unable to remember being this uncomfortable in Kyle's presence before.

"If you need to talk, you know I'm here," Isabel offered, trying to sound sincere and hoping she was succeeding.

Kyle turned to her, and Isabel was a little taken aback by the openness she saw in his eyes.

"I'm here too…you know, if you need to talk."

Isabel nodded as she searched Kyle's eyes, but the stark honesty that had been there a moment ago was now gone. Offering a smile, Isabel leaned her head back and rode next to Kyle in silence.