Part 7 – Apologising

Alex and Liz slowly made their way back to the group.

"It's fine Liz… I didn't expect Isabel to make goo-goo eyes at me." The boy said for the fourth time.

Alex really loved Liz, but right now he wished she'd just drop it, her concern was beginning to be *more* depressing than anything else right now.

Liz's concern had good intentions, but Alex just didn't what to keep remembering his lack of chance with the alien goddess now. He wanted to have fun at this party and not dwell on what he knew in his heart to be true.

There was no way Isabel was ever going to be remotely interested in a geek like him. At her house earlier this evening he had been in a fantasy world, he knew that now. Not ever would the six of them exist without the rest of the world existing right along with them.

He inwardly cringed at the remembrance of his assertion in asking Isabel's brothers about her. What ill-founded self-confidence and total stupidity he had displayed, and to her popular *brothers* no less.

Isabel will probably laugh at him when Max tells her the he had even attempted to 'became close' to her. Just because Max liked Liz didn't mean they would fit into a little group of three pairings. He had been such a fool…

"So are the toilets actually sanitised?" Isabel smiled at the humans as they joined her and Max..

"Barely." Liz replied smiling at Max who had grown ten feet tall in her presence.

"Where's Maria?" Alex asked concerned.

"With Michael." Max smiled, his gaze locked on Liz.

Uncertainty rocked Alex… Maria was somewhat fragile at the moment and if Michael planned to just – "Getting drinks." Isabel added wanting Alex to focus on her again like he had done in the car on the way over.

"Oh." Alex replied awkwardly still keeping the Michael induced doubting-thought in his head. Michael had a reputation for not really caring about girls he was *with*, and rumours were that he had been with many.

"Let's go find Michael and Maria…" Max suggested and Alex couldn't think of a better plan.

*~*~*

"We've been looking for you guys…" Max said as soon as the group of four had found the group of two near the drinks table. Luckily Courtney had not gotten a drink and was griding herself against one of Michael and Max's teammates.

"Well you found us." Michael said and pretty much everyone caught the disappointment that laced his words.

Max handed out drinks and asked a suddenly embarrassed Michael why he hadn't gotten them already seeing as though that was way he and Maria had left in the first place.

"So um…" What to do now was the question on everyone's lips but only Max and Michael were going to suggest anything.

"Everyone's heading to Buckley Point to…" Max said shyly.

"Why? What's at Buckley Point?" Maria asked as the knowledgable part of the group searched for a reply.

"It's where guys and girls go…" Isabel hinted.

"Oh." Maria said quietly. Couples. Well she wasn't technically part of a couple, she wasn't technically part of *anything* right now… Maria thought her own thoughts and the others thought theirs and it was amazing the incredible difference in perception they each had.

Michael had decided to fight for Maria. She was going to be his girlfriend. He had decided this unconsciously from the first moment he had seen her and now he consciously decided that he was going to make a move.

Maria saw Michael out from the corner of her eye take a deep breath and move closer to her. "I'd like to take you to Buckley Point."

Maria breathed in and Alex flashed her a look of concern. Alex cared so much about her it almost made her cry at times, never had she found such great friends, such an incredible guy.

Ignoring the others to confirm to the others what was in her heart Maria gently kissed the corner of his mouth. "And I'd like to go."

Michael's hands encircled her waist and Maria had the sensation of being lifted. He was going to *carry* her to the car, just like in the movies, just like in dreams, just like in fantasies… damn!

Maria blushed and was slightly ashamed when she returned to reality once again, not from the fact she had pictured such a *hot* situation but because looking at the rest of the group, in particular Michael she had a feeling they were all equally employed.

"How 'bout we dance?" Isabel suggested seeing as though no one was suggesting *anything* anytime soon.

"Sure." Liz answered happy for the awkward moment to be gone.

The six teens when to the dance floor and Isabel moved closer to Alex, to increase his nervousness. Michael was planning to make it apparent to Maria that he wanted her so he stayed by her side and Liz and Max moved slightly to the left of the group.

The music had a fast, yet sexy beat and as Maria grinded her hips Michael felt a pang of something unknown enter his body.

The time was now; Michael moved closer to Maria and one knee of his slid in-between hers. Locking eyes he willed himself to stop trembling and focus all his energy on conveying the message to Maria.

Maria's heartbeat raced and she moved closer, his chocolate eyes melting into her emerald pools. His hands gently touched her hips and he edged her still closer. Maria placed her hands on his waist and moved her lips closer to his neck.

This was safe, it showed 'interest' on either sides and calmed nerves at the same time as speeding them up.

"Ouch!" Alex yelped as Courtney 'accidentally' stepped on his foot. Liz and Max broke apart and Michael and Maria stopped swaying seductively.

"Oh… sorry Alan, didn't see you there." Courtney had gained the groups attention and, unfortunately for her, their anger.

Isabel didn't bother to correct Courtney's nasty 'mistake' and said with more confidence then she thought she would have. "Don't worry about it Court, we didn't see you either." She then turned to Alex and asked. "How's your foot?"

"Fine." Alex answered ashamed.

"Want to go for a um walk… outside?" Isabel whispered in Alex's ear.

Alex nodded distractedly as he tried to think of something to do to teach Courtney a lesson.

*~*~*

Isabel and Alex's walk didn't go entirely to 'plan'. Friendly getting to know you banter was all Isabel was ready for and made Alex feel extremely uncomfortable. Alex then continued to get depressed as the thought that once again he was going to be 'a good friend' entered his head.

Alex had loved Liz, he had never told her but he had. Then she had bruised his heart when at fourteen she had told him of her secret crush on Kyle Valenti then she had finally broken his heart when she had told him at 16 that she was in love with one of the most popular guys at school – Max Evans.

This had hurt him badly and he hadn't spoken to Liz for a week, mainly because he was hurt by the realisation that if Liz didn't see past his geek exterior to the nice guy within, no one would. That Alexander Charles Whitman was doomed to be overlooked by members of the opposite sex. Nobly, as always, Alex had regarded Liz so much that he had continued to be a much-needed friend.

What had happened in the past days seem only to confirm this for him. The new girl – pretty Maria Guerin had seen him and thought 'friend' straight away. She was now noticing, again, a popular guy, make that *the* most popular guy – Michael Evans. Those guys would always 'get the girl', Alex wondered who really was the alien, him or Max and Michael… Alex guessed and decided to slip away from Isabel pretty quick, thinking that she would really notice seeing as though the place was packed.

Alex and Isabel hadn't openly been cut by the others actions because inside they understood it but the wound was deep. Isabel hoped that over the weekend the wound would be attended to and mended a little as Isabel got into Michael's car, used some alien keys and sadly drove home alone.

*~*~*

The rest of the group didn't see Alex and Isabel for the reminder of the evening, but if they had each of them would have thought that both of them had thought painfully that the other thought it was the best possible thing, and the friends would be right. Isabel and Alex did think that, Alex didn't think Isabel would even bat an eyelid at the difference in company and Isabel thought Alex didn't want to be part of her company and was breaking it to her quickly before she made a fool of herself and had kissed him. Something she and the other four remaining party-guests were thinking about.

"So you want to dance still?" Max asked Liz who glanced at Maria before nodding.

The group grinned – privacy had been achieved in a non-embarrassing way.

Michael and Max had their own cars… and Michael thought hell Alex will do the romantic thing and walk Isabel slowly home. Michael was free to take Maria anywhere. What he really wanted to do was go over to Maria's house though, for her to *invite* him. That or go to Buckley point…

Michael didn't want to be obvious, but he didn't want to embarrass himself by giving her a stiff surprise on the dance floor either. "We could go for a drive?"

"Where?" Maria asked.

Michael willed her to ask *him* to drive *her* home. But she waited patiently for a reply. "Where do *you* want to go?"

Maria didn't really want to go anywhere, they had only gotten to the party two hours or so ago. Did he want to leave? She wondered. Leave me? "Can go if you like…"

Michael was too busy interpreting her words into meaning that she 'wanted to go back to her place with him' and missed her unsure meaning when her sentence melded with his fantasy and her real words were lost.

Michael took a hold of Maria's hand and led her outside. Walking slowly towards the direction of his car Maria's confidence raised. He didn't want to leave *without* her.

"So… um why did you decide to move to Roswell." Sure it wasn't the coolest question but what could he say? This girl made him nervous.

"I didn't, my dad did."

Michael grinned. So she wasn't going to give him an inch. "Okay, what made him decide to move?"

Maria was becoming uncomfortable. Michael could sense it, but he also couldn't think of anything else to say, it was only natural that he wanted to find out all about this girl that had completely sparked his interest. He wanted to know about her life, what made her sad, what made her happy.

"He lost his job." Maria replied glancing at Michael to see how he responding to being around a girl with an unemployed dad.

"Well I can't say I'm unhappy about that." Michael said after a moment with an unreadable expression on his face.

"Oh?" Maria questioned confused.

"Well, it's just that if that is the reason you're here then um… I'm glad it happened." Maria was stunned. She just couldn't work this boy out. "I'm gonna now ask you what you think of that."

"I think it's a very kind thing to say." Maria answered.

Michael came to a stand still and Maria's heartbeat raced thinking he was going to kiss her. He moved closer to her and whispered. "I am really sorry about your mum though."

Maria gulped back tears and wished he hadn't mentioned it. She knew Alex would have told him, she didn't mind that part, it was just she could see the pity in his eyes now and hated it.

Michael immediately regretted saying it. It was true, but the timing was inappropriate. Maria was upset, *he* had upset her. "Sorry I-"

"Forget it." Maria mumbled biting back the tears.

Her voice had cracked and Michael cursed himself.

Michael then looked at the space where his car *had* been.

*~*~*

It had turned out that Michael had installed a 'human proof' alarm so the teens deduced that Isabel had been the car thief and didn't worry. Michael was still annoyed at Isabel though for ruining his opportunity of taking Maria home alone.

Max and Michael had dropped the girls of at the Crashdown together and even though they had offered to take Maria to her house she had declined quietly and Liz had told them she was staying with her tonight.

Maria had become more her normal self again in the car but Michael had caught moments when she had stared of into space and blocked her present company completely from notice.

As the girls climbed the stairs Liz had told Maria that she thought Michael really liked her and that he had never really liked anyone before, but Maria interrupted her and said. "He doesn't know anything about me." They hadn't talked much after that and had thought their own thoughts before sleeping.

Michael and Max had talked more so. It was the first time they had talked seriously about a non-alien-related topic at the same time.

"I know I shouldn't have said it." Michael had said.

"You weren't to know Michael that it was still so sensitive." Max had replied trying to relieve his brother's pain and confusion. It was really tough for Michael because he had never let his heart rule him before and was still practicing the various 'wants' it wanted carried out.

They had finished by saying they would go to the Crashdown tomorrow to give Michael the opportunity of apologising and hopefully sort it out to the certain extent of actually asking Maria out on a date.

The boys agreed this was a good plan for both parties involved and decided that they would carry it out after they had killed the alien-sister who both silently decided had ruined their chance of getting a kiss.

*~*~*

"I just can't believe he ditched you!"

"Rub it in Max…"

"Sorry Iz, it's just –"

"You're happy because you ended the night well with your human." Max was silent. He was feeling selfish and – "Don't feel guilty for not stuffing it up Max."

"You didn't 'stuff it up' you guys." Michael and Isabel waited for Max to explain that with identical cocked eyebrows. "This whole thing is just going to be more complicated that we had previously thought."

That wasn't the problem Michael thought. He always knew Maria would be a challenging complication, hell that's why he liked her, however he did agree that the problem was that he was lacking in consideration, otherwise known as 'previous thinking'.

Isabel grew more nervous the closer they good to the Crashdown. Should she act causal or blow her top at him for, as Max so nicely put it – ditching her. She wondered what would give Alex the best message and by the time they had parked she still hadn't come up with anything.

*~*~*

"That dress looked great on you Maria."

"It wasn't me."

"Do you have a twin?"

Maria turned and saw Alex's smilingly eyes. She went and sat down on Liz's bed next to him, sighing she said quietly. "No there's just one of me."

Alex waited silently, Maria wanted to talk to him, and he knew that for certain. She had sat him down and had been pacing and muttering all morning. "Alex… um do you find me…"

"What?" Alex prompted.

"Attractive?"

Well Alex knew something like this was happening being a 'friend only' to girls. "You're lovely. But don't tell Michael I said that."

"Why?"

"Because he'd kill me." Alex said simply a smile growing on his face.

Maria shook her head. "Don't be silly."

"I'm not… you looked great last night and –"

"But that's what I'm talking about. It wasn't me last night, that dress wasn't mine, it was Isabel's and even it was manipulated into something it wasn't."

"Maybe it wanted to look like that. Maybe it deserved to be mended alittle."

"But –"

"No 'buts' Maria. The dress was beautiful and suited you wonderfully." Alex saw Maria about to protest so quickly continued. "Its beauty wasn't its only appeal though. Yes it was helped out by a 'alien dress-maker' but it was a good thing for the dress, the dress was happy, it was not its old self but a true self instead."

Maria quirked an eyebrow – this boy was good. Isabel was so lucky.

"You ready for work?" Liz entered the room and smiled at Maria in her Crashdown uniform, then grinned at Alex on her bed. "And where did you end up last night?"

Alex smirked to hide the stabbing pain. "Home." He then walked out the door and Liz and Maria followed the boy down the stairs only to have him dive against the wall a moment after he had looked out the door window.

"What's wrong with you?"

"She–they're out there." The teens gulped.

*~*~*

Michael nervously handled the sugar canister. He didn't want to 'stalk' Maria but if she didn't talk to him today he worried he would begin to. All he wanted to do was apologise…

The door opened suddenly and Liz followed by Maria and Alex walked out. Michael felt Isabel tense beside him. "Relax Iz. We'll take it slow…"

Isabel looked at him with a yeah-right expression before Michael grinned knowingly and scooted off to corner the non-hapless girl. Michael was such a liar – 'take it slow', yeah right!

Tbc…