No More Secrets
Isabel was only half listening to Alex babble. She decided to interrupt and put him out of him misery. "You want to go some place?" She watched Alex's eyes bulge.
"G-go some place?" he gulped.
"To talk," Isabel elaborated, amused.
"Oh, talk. Yeah, sure."
Grabbing him by his band, Isabel led Alex through the smoky room into a small back room.
"You're a really, really good guy, Alex," she told him.
"Oh," he said dismissively, embarrassed. "Thank you, Isabel. Thank you." He didn't believe her.
"No, really," Isabel said seriously. "I mean, most guys are just disgusting animals whose whole purpose in life is to try to maul me." She said down and played with his hand, deliberately avoiding his eyes. "But you're different."
"I am?" he asked sounding very surprised. Then he straightened up and said more assertively, "I mean, I am."
Isabel almost laughed out loud. He was really cute.
"Yeah," he added. "I just don't see you that way, Isabel. Y'know?"
See knew. That wasn't the first time Isabel had heard those words, or at least very similar words. But the was the first time she actually believed them.
She had been telling Alex the truth; he was different. Last night hadn't been the first time she had accidentally walked into a guy's dream about her. But never before had it been like that.
"Not that I wouldn't want to," Alex said, reminding Isabel that he was indeed a male.
"I think I know how you feel," she told him.
"You do?" Alex asked.
"Yeah," Isabel smiled. "Which is why I think I know I can trust you."
"Trust me?" Alex frowned.
Isabel nodded. "That we all can. Liz, Max . . . all of us."
"So that's what this is about," Alex nodded knowingly. He looked angry.
"You brought me here tonight to find out what I said to Valenti," he accused.
"Alex," Isabel trembled.
"Oh," Alex said in a self-mocking voice. "How could I even believe that you were actually interested in me. I've been such a fool." He got up, ready to stalk out of the room.
Isabel couldn't believe it. Her eyes were filling up with tears. How could he think such a thing of her? She was about to let him leave when she changed her mind.
"I don't believe you," she hissed, her voice charged with emotion.
Alex whirled around to face her angrily. "You don't believe me?"
"What kind of person do you think I am?" Isabel asked him. "You know, I thought you were different."
"Sure you did."
"I don't know why. You're just like all the other guys. You look at me and decide that I'm a slut. That I'd do anything just to get my way." Isabel, who had been close to tears before, was using all of her will power to keep them from falling now. She couldn't control the quivering in her voice.
Alex opened his mouth to reply, but Isabel cut him off. "I thought you'd be the type of person to look below the surface. Well, it looks like I was wrong." Finished, she stormed out of the room. Tears were flowing freely down her face now.
Ignoring everyone, she pushed her was through the crowd. After she managed to leave the soap factory, she quickly headed for the jeep. She had reached it before she realized Max had the keys. Very rarely did it happen that she wanted to leave a party that they both attended then he did.
She debated for a minute on whether or not to use her powers to hot wire the car, but dismissed that option. Max would freak out and probably report it stolen. Besides, Isabel wasn't sure she would be able to control her powers well enough at that moment. So she settled for walking home.
Alex didn't know how he managed to get himself into that situation. When Isabel had first approached him, he had been ecstatic. He had had a crush on her for practically forever, but never before had she even talked to him for more than a minute other than for school work. And there she was, inviting him to a party.
He should have known it was a set up. All the clues were there. He refused to talk to Liz or Maria, so who decided to come a strike up a conversation out of no where? Isabel Evans.
Alex was surprised. He didn't think they would sink that low. Liz knew he was completely infatuated with Isabel. Alex never thought she would use that to get information from him. But then, he also thought he knew Liz Parker.
"So, that's what this is about," Alex said, finally realizing the truth.
"What?" asked Isabel. She looked genuinely confused. Probably didn't think he would have enough blood in his brains to think straight.
"You brought me here tonight to find out what I said to Valenti," he accused.
"Alex," Isabel said, her voice trembling a bit. Was she still acting? How low would she go?
"Oh," Alex said in a self-mocking voice. "How could I even believe that you were actually interested in me. I've been such a fool." He got up, prepared to leave the room when Isabel's next words stopped him.
"I don't believe you."
Of all the nerve. "You don't believe me?" he repeated, incredulously.
"What kind of person do you think I am?" Isabel asked him. Her eyes looked unnaturally bright. Alex wondered why. "You know, I thought you were different."
"Sure you did." Were those supposed to be tears? How much longer was she going to drag on the act? He had already figured out what was going on. Why didn't she just give it up?
"I don't know why. You're just like all the other guys. You look at me and decide that I'm a slut. That I'd do anything just to get my way."
Ouch. That was harsh. Alex definitely heard a quiver in her voice that time. Either she was a suburb actress, better than he would have ever imagined, or . . .
Alex opened his mouth to reply, but Isabel cut him off before he could get the words out. "I thought you'd be the type of person to look below the surface. Well, it looks like I was wrong." After saying this she stormed out of the room.
Alex stood still, stunned for a second. He was suddenly very strongly reminded of his dream the night before. He had told her those words. Was he wrong? Maybe it wasn't an act. But then that would mean she actually meant what she said.
Instantly Alex felt very bad. If she was serious, he had just treated her worse than dirt. Isabel had sure looked serious enough. Those tears looked very real.
He stood there debating with himself for another minute before taking off after Isabel. Weaving through the crowd, Alex caught sight of her leaving. He hurried to catch up.
"Isabel," he called out. "Isabel, wait up."
She gave no sign that she heard him, but she picked up her pace. Alex jogged up beside her. "Isabel," he said again. He put his hand on her arm and pulled her around to face him.
Her face was red, she had been crying. Alex didn't think he could feel any worse than he did. He was wrong. "Look, Isabel," he said, willing her to look at him. She didn't obey, instead looking at something directly to the left of his head. Whatever it was, it seemed terribly exciting judging by how intensely she was staring at it.
"Isabel, look, I'm sorry. I don't think you would do something like that." She still refused to look at him. "I just - I'm just really upset about this whole thing. And I think I have a right to be. You've been all secretive with your little secret that you refuse to tell me. Well, I don't think that's fair. After all I've done, I have a right to know," he added, suddenly angry again. Why was he acting like he was in the wrong? He was the one who was being excluded.
"You're right," Isabel said quietly.
Wait - What? Whatever Alex had been expecting, it wasn't that. "What?"
Isabel finally looked him in the eye. They were still wavering. "I said you're right. We've been treating you horribly. We should have told you."
"Then why didn't you?" Alex wanted to know, extremely annoyed.
Isabel looked hurt. "That was what I was going to do," she told him. "I told you, I think I can trust you."
That's what she had meant earlier? Alex's stomach plummeted again. She was going to tell him the truth, and he had accused her of trying to seduce him for the sole purpose of finding out what he had told Valenti. No wonder she was so upset.
Isabel looked away again. "Max and Michael will probably kill me," she said. "But Max told Liz without asking us, so I think I should be able to tell you without their permission."
"Tell me what?" Alex demanded.
Isabel looked around the deserted street. "Not here," she said. "Come on." She started walking briskly down the street. Alex had to jog to keep up.
"Why the sudden change of heart?" Alex asked. "Not that I'm complaining, or anything," he added quickly, afraid she may change her mind.
"I've gone out with a lot of guys," Isabel announced. Alex wondered what that had to do with anything.
"Not a single one of them has ever wondered if there was anything else to me. None of them wanted to really get to know me. The real me. No one stopped to think there may be more to me under the surface."
Again Alex had a weird sense of déjà vu. "Well, I'm sorry to hear that," he said, for lack of anything else to say. He waited for her to continue, but she didn't. "But that doesn't really explain anything."
Isabel turned her head and studied him for a second. She gave him an enigmatic smile but said nothing until they reached her house.
Isabel decided to pour her heart out to Alex. "I've gone out with a lot of guys. Not a single one of them has ever wondered if there was anything else to me. None of them wanted to really get to know me. The real me. No one stopped to think there may be more to me under the surface."
"Well, I'm sorry to hear that," Alex said. "But that doesn't really explain anything."
Isabel looked at him. He seemed very confused. The explanation probably didn't mean much to someone who didn't know about her powers. She wondered if he even remember his dreams from the previous night.
Finally they reached her house. All the lights were out and no cars were in the driveway. She walked up to the front door and opened it.
"My mom and dad aren't home yet," she said, inviting him in. Isabel led him to the living room where they both took a seat on the couch. Less than a second later Isabel was up again. She started to pace.
Alex watched her for a minute before asking, "Are you going to tell me?"
"Yeah," Isabel said. She sat down again in the chair opposite his. Hugging her knees, she began. "This is kinda hard to explain. I don't know how Max told Liz."
"Just start at the beginning," Alex advised.
Isabel laughed. "The beginning probably happened more than fifty years ago. How about instead I start at when Liz and Maria got involved."
"Go ahead," Alex said.
Isabel took a deep breath and let it out again. She began, "Do you remember a couple of months ago, the shooting in the Crashdown?"
"Yeah," Alex nodded.
"Liz was shot."
Alex laughed at her. "Liz wasn't shot."
"Yeah she was."
"No," Alex repeated, "She wasn't."
Isabel sighed, exasperated. "Look, just listen to me. Liz. Was. Shot. At the Crashdown. And - and Max healed her."
"Uh huh," Alex said skeptically. "How, exactly, did he heal her."
"With his hands. He has powers. We all do."
"We all being . . . ?" Alex asked.
"Me, Max and Michael," Isabel supplied.
"Look, Isabel, I thought you were going to tell me the truth," Alex said angrily.
Isabel's eyes flashed. "I am," she retorted.
"No," Alex shook his head, "You're telling me a fairy tale with Liz getting hurt and you with your superhero powers saving her."
"First of all," Isabel snapped. "Max saved her. Second, I not once called them superhero powers."
"Then what are they supposed to be?" Alex sneered.
"This was much easier for Max," Isabel muttered. "At least Liz believed him. But then . . ." she trailed off and her eyes lit up. "Okay, you don't believe me? Then explain this."
She stood up and went over to the table. Kneeling down before it, she placed her hand in the centre and concentrated. Alex watched in amazement as a hole appeared. Isabel fixed it and looked over at Alex. He had gone very pale.
"Are you alright?" she asked, concerned. "You aren't going to faint, are you?"
"How - how - HOW?" Alex stuttered, looking at her in horror.
"I told you," Isabel said, suddenly finding her hands extremely fascination. She didn't want to see him looking at her like that. "We have powers."
"How?" Alex repeated. "I mean, where? Where did you get them?"
"We inherited them," Isabel said, "from out parents."
Alex was taken aback. "You're related to Michael?" he frowned.
Isabel shrugged. "We don't know. I'm not even sure I'm really related to Max."
"But you said the powers were inherited. Are you saying there are at least six other humans out there that can do the exact same thing?"
"No. Our parents are dead," Isabel said.
"How do you that?" Alex wondered.
Isabel smiled faintly. "We just know. Well, one of them may be alive, but he hasn't been heard from since '59."
"You just know?" Alex repeated. "Wait a sec. '59? That's impossible. You guys are sixteen."
"No as impossible when you consider the rest of our parents died in 1947. July 4th."
Alex stared at her. "July 4th. 1947. Isabel, what are you saying?"
Even now refused to look at him. "We aren't from around here."
"No, Isabel," Alex said. "What you're saying is impossible. That would mean you're . . ."
"Not human," Isabel completed for him.
Alex gulped. "Not human?" he repeated weakly.
"We're aliens," Isabel told him. "That's why we needed your blood. That's why Liz has been keeping secrets from you. If people find out . . ." she left the sentence hanging, letting him draw his own conclusions.
Isabel became scared at the sound of the FBI agent's name. She suppressed a shudder. "We think she suspected."
"Oh, god," Alex said. "This is too much. I mean, oh god. I gotta go."
Isabel still couldn't bring herself to look at him. She didn't want to see his expression. Without another word she let him leave. She just sat in her chair. The sounds of his great rush to leave were hard enough for her to deal with.
When he left she didn't move until Max came in an hour later.
Max was searching everywhere for Isabel. He was ready to go home, but he couldn't find her. He approached one of her friends. "Hey Tish, have you seen Isabel around?" he asked.
Tish thought for a minute. "Not for awhile."
Another girl, Cassie, who was standing beside Tish added, "I saw her leave, 'bout an hour ago."
Max frowned. It wasn't like his sister to leave so early. "Thanks," he said. He found Michael, who was also looking for Isabel. "Isabel left already."
Michael also frowned, but said nothing. Max suspected he was too absorbed in his own life and what had happened with Maria to really notice anything else around him. Max dropped Michael off at his place before going home.
The front door was unlocked, which was a good sign. He went inside and noticed Isabel curled up on a chair in the living room.
"Isabel," he said worried. "Are you okay? I didn't notice you leave. What happened? Why did you leave so early?"
"I told Alex," Isabel said, her voice hoarse. Max suspected she had been crying
Max stared at her. "You what?"
Isabel turned to look at him. "I told Alex. It wasn't fair to him. He's a good guy. Keeping it a secret would only make him more likely to snap."
"How did he take it?"
"Pretty good, considering."
Max wondered what had happened between his sister and Alex. "Isabel, are you okay."
She nodded, but Max could see unshed tears in her eyes. "What happened? Did he say something."
"No," Isabel said, shaking her head. "But he, but I . . ." she gave up, unable to find the words to describe what had happened to make her feel that way.
Max understood. He said softly, "But he was afraid. He looked at you and you could see his fear. He looked at you like you were some kind of disgusting monster."
Isabel nodded, tears starting to run down her cheeks. She sniffled loudly. Max went over and sat down beside her. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. She buried her head into his shoulder.
"Liz acted exactly the same when I told her," he said, trying to comfort his sister. "She came around. So will Alex."
"You saved Liz's life. We put Alex's in danger. It's not the same," Isabel sobbed.
Max looked at Isabel and wondered again what had happened. He didn't think she would become so upset because of Alex. He remembered how flustered she had been that morning, telling him about the dream. Max suddenly really wanted to know what the dream had been about.
"He'll come around," he assured her. "Just give it some time. Everything will be alright."
"You promise?" Isabel asked.