Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine. Though since I have to fix what the writers messed up, obviously they'd have been better off if they WERE mine.
With You Always
The stars look down on them as she closes her eyes and listens to the song. A slight breeze stirs the tall grasses to the left. Crickets chirp around them, adding a background to the music he played.
He had written it for her. She never had any idea that he might have done such a thing. Briefly she wonders if he ever would have told her. Maybe, in some other life, this night never happens. If that was so, she feels sorry for her other self. Missing out on something this wonderful well, she was glad it wasn't her.
Falling back against the pillows he had brought for them, she stares up at the pinpoints of light, his voice washing over her with the notes he plays on the guitar. Even though she had felt elegant, beautiful, in her dress, she was suddenly very glad he had insisted they change before coming to the park. Rolling over, she props her head on her hand while she watches him sing.
Maybe it is the moonlight. Maybe it is the song. Maybe it is just the whole damn night. She isn't sure. What she is sure of is that he is the one she wants to be with forever. How she hasn't managed to see this before, she doesn't think she'll ever figure out, but she knows it now. The thought of not having him around is enough to make her feel ill. Make her not to want to go on living.
The song ends, the last notes and words fading out softly. He smiles at her and puts the instrument aside. Sliding next to her, he pulls her into his arms and holds her close. She rests her head against his chest as he looks up, watching the same bits of light she has just been admiring.
"That was beautiful," she whispers.
"Not as beautiful as you," he replies, his hand lightly stroking her hair.
There is nothing she can say to that, so she says nothing. Just lies there next to him, enjoying the feel of his body against hers. It is a simple thing really, but so deep she thinks she might drown in it. The feeling of their bodies close. The way he smells. Him.
A shadow passed fleetingly across the moon and she shivers. Darkness crawls into the back of her mind and she sits up. Her eyes seek his and she feels his smile down to her toes.
"Promise me you'll never leave me," she says softly. "Promise you'll never go away."
"Why would I want to do that?" he asks, his smile growing bigger. "I have everything I could ever want right her on this blanket."
"Promise it." Her voice is urgent this time. Insistent.
A faint frown crosses his face and he rises enough to take one of her hands into both of his.
"I promise I'll never leave you."
The shadow that has passed through her seems to slip away and she smiles at him. Slowly she leans forward. He meets her halfway, pressing his lips against hers. The spark between them is suddenly ignited, turning into brilliant flames. His hands are in her hair, pulling her closer. Their bodies are touching, the heat from them nearly enough to burn the skin. Her hands are on his shoulders, holding onto him tightly so he will never let her go.
The kiss fills her completely. Fills her body, her heart her soul.
The sound of tortured metal and breaking glass breaks the kiss. She looks up, trying to see what has happened. The feeling that someone needs her help smacks her with the force of the impact she has just heard.
Rising, she hesitates a moment before she steps off the security of the blanket they share and starts forward. The grass tickles her feet, making them damp with dew. But it's nothing compared to the harshness of the pavement. The wreck is in front of her now. A large semi is there. A smaller car, silver, is almost completely under it. A familiarity rises in her, but she pushes it aside. Someone needs her now.
Glass from the wreckage cuts her feet, tears at the calloused skin, as she crosses to the tangled mess that was once a car. Bloody, half-formed footprints stain the pavement behind her. As she grows closer, she realizes the car is upside down. Panic wells inside of her as denial swims inside her soul.
This isn't happening, something whispers to her. None of this is happening.
Then she realizes it's her. She's hearing her own whispered voice.
Pausing a moment at the rear of the car, the shadow once again creeps into her heart. Suddenly terrified of what she might find inside, she tries to back away, tries to hang on to the voice just a little longer.
But her feet won't listen. Instead they propel her forward. Bend at the knees until she can see inside.
With a strangled cry, she falls back. Making a vain effort to catch herself, she feels glass bite into her palms, but can only think that it's not her blood that's on it.
Alex is dead.
As if the wound were still only hours old, Isabel shot up in bed, her body drenched with sweat. Her hands and feet itched where the dream glass had cut them.
These dreams were the worst. The ones that start off so wonderfully only to end when Alex died. Even the ones where he was already dead aren't as bad. At least with those, the bandage she had loosely applied to her heart and soul stayed in tact. Dreams like the one she just had ripped it loose and left her life's blood spilling out.
Easing back to the mattress, she pulled the blankets close. Shivers raced through her body and she closed her eyes. When she realized they wouldn't be stopped, she reached for the cheap, stuffed teddy bear sitting on the nightstand.
She used to sleep with it every night. Holding it as closely as Alex had held her the night of Prom. It was something he had given her the summer before Prom. After they had learned what their destinies had been. The county fair was in town and he insisted they go. Wouldn't let her tell him no. He insisted she needed to get out. To have some fun. To stop worrying about aliens.
So she had gone. And it had been wonderful. He had won the bear at some silly ring toss game, staying for nearly an hour until he had racked up enough points to get her the big bear. She had laughed, insisting that the bright purple monstrosity would clash with her bedroom. But as soon as he gave it to her, she made sure it never left her room. No one was allowed to touch it. It was hers and hers alone.
Of course she had never actually told him that. Just one of the many things she had never told him that she regretted now.
The purple was now faded and dirty, making it some strange shade of deep plum. The ears were worn and the bow that had once been around it's neck was long gone. A few times she had been tempted to use her powers to make it new again, but never could quite bring herself to do it. This was the way Alex had touched it. Making it new again would be erasing that.
She had taken a needle and thread to it a few times though. Mending a few seams here and there. Keeping it from completely falling apart. Once Max had asked why she hadn't gotten rid of the "ugly, ragged toy". It wasn't something that had deserved an answer as far as she was concerned.
Clinging to the bear, Isabel closed her eyes and took a shuddering breath. The tears fell freely even as she attempted to slow them. Finally giving in, Isabel shoved the covers away from her body. Still clutching the bear tightly, she made her way silently through the house. When she reached the large sliding glass doors in the kitchen, she jerked one of them open and stepped outside.
The concrete of the patio was cool, but Isabel could still feel the glass from her dream cutting through her skin. She wouldn't have been surprised if she had looked back to find bloody footprints trailing behind her, just as they had minutes before.
At the far side of the patio, an old wooden porch swing hung from the ceiling. When she bought the house, she had almost taken it down. Alex would have loved it. She left it up, hanging there by it's chains, after much debate with herself. With a few cushions, it had quickly become her favorite place especially after the dreams.
She had altered the swing somewhat, choosing to turn it so that it faced out into the yard instead of in towards the patio. The switch made it difficult to maneuver into and made her neighbors wonder what had possibly possessed her. But it also allowed her to curl up in it at night and see the stars.
And seeing the stars was important.
Pulling her legs up, Isabel laid in the swing. Resting her head against a padded arm, she tucked the bear's head under her chin and sighed.
Life had continued on after Alex had died. Life was like that. But Isabel hadn't gone on, not really. She had done what needed to be done, but she had never let him go. As the years went by, she had clung to his memory tighter and tighter as if doing so might make him real again. Max and Michael chided her for it, but neither pushed the matter too far. Both knew all too well it could have been the ones they loved instead of Alex.
She had made a few halfhearted attempts, but nothing more. She and Kyle Valenti had made a go of it, but when it came down to it, he just wasn't Alex. And Alex was all she really wanted.
The stars twinkled in the sky, each one bringing forth a memory. With the memories came tears and smiles. Dawn colored the horizon as Isabel finally slept.
The sun crept across her legs, the heat from the rays bringing her slowly from the depths sleep. She frowned slightly as she felt the blanket slip away, falling with a faint whoosh. Opening her eyes, she fingered a piece of fringe from a corner that had somehow not fallen. A bittersweet smile touched her lips as she pulled the blanket to her. Inhaling deeply, the smile faltered slightly. This had been one of the blankets they had used that night. Even after all of these years, she could still smell his scent. Still smell the fragrance that was pure Alex.
Isabel let the blanket fall away again as she swung her feet to the warming concrete of the patio. Remnants of the dream made her flinch slightly as she stood. Vaguely she wondered if the blanket had been on the swing when she had come out. The memory was fuzzy though and she couldn't be sure. Sighing to herself, she shook her head. Of course the blanket had been there. It wasn't like ghosts could move them.
The flashing blue light in the corner of her computer screen made her frown slightly. It wasn't time for her weekly report. Moving to the desk, she reached out and bumped the mouse. The screen sprang to life for her and she double clicked the blinking light in the task bar. When she had decided not to go home, they had worked at trying to figure out a way they could all keep in contact. Larek had been the one to develop it.
The computer itself looked normal enough. It also functioned normal enough, running any program you wanted. But inside was a different story. Inside it was full of various alien technologies. They had used the shell and the normal computer parts so that no one would ever know there was something different about it. The only thing that varied from a typical desktop was the small blue light in the corner of the system tray. No one would ever know what else it could do.
Like transmit signals across space and time, spanning the vast distance between planets.
Most of the time the things she got looked like an everyday email. Nothing that would ever cause someone to think otherwise should they accidentally see it. Occasionally a teleconference would take place. They were all careful to make the backgrounds behind them look at normal as possible. It wouldn't do for the comings and goings of a planet millions of miles away to be happening in the background. So they were careful. She was used to that. They always had to be careful.
The blue light blipped once more then a new screen popped up, demanding a password. Without thinking about it she typed in "Stargazing". While it wasn't safe to keep the same password, Isabel hadn't changed it since high school. She just couldn't bring herself to do it.
The screen changed again and what appeared to be an email replaced the previous screen.
Stopped by earlier, but you were asleep. Sensed you were unhappy. Can I do anything? - Max
Well, that explains the blanket, she thought. "Maybe I'm not cracking up after all," she muttered aloud as she typed a brief reply.
Turning away from the keyboard, she let out a deep breath. It was going to be a long day. Grabbing her robe from the back of a chair, Isabel made her way to the shower.
The day was strikingly ordinary in light of the chaos that constantly filled her. Stocks, bonds, real estate holdings. Isabel Evans hated corporate America. It was so lame. She would much rather be spending her day doing something she deemed important. But they had struck a bargain and she did try to stick to it.
Since she had no desire to live on their planet, Max had appointed her a position on Earth. After the war, she didn't think she wanted to see red water, green skies, or anything else that just didn't feel normal, ever again. She had done her duty, she had played princess, but she wanted to be home. And no matter what they kept telling her, that place hadn't been home.
No one could be sure if their enemies would strike again. Nor could they be sure that Earth wouldn't be a target again. So they had kept a base on Earth, preparing in case they ever had to flee, or protect the planet they grew up on. Isabel kept track of their holdings there. Everything from bank accounts to real estate to diamonds. She watched for properties or other items of interest that might be able to serve them well in future years. It wasn't really hard, a little time consuming maybe, but it always got done. And it gave their people a reason why their beloved princess wasn't there with them.
Isabel also served as a contact for others of their galaxy. Members of the five planets occasionally came to Earth, wanting to see what the fuss was about, or maybe taking care of their own business. It was her job to make sure it was all conducted safely.
In the event that an invasion should occur, it was also her position to begin gathering the army they would need to fight. It was something she hoped she'd never have to do.
It was all worth it if it kept her on Earth. While not all of her days were her own, enough of them were so that she was something akin to happy. On those days, she liked to help where she could. Sometimes it was in the hospital. She liked the pediatrics ward. Sometimes she volunteered at a battered women's shelter, teaching self-defense and boosting confidence. The animal shelter and the orphanage were also places that she valued greatly. Sometimes she wondered if anything she did ever mattered. If knowing there was other life out there really had any meaning in the grand scheme of things. But at the end of the day, after being in the middle of sickness and tragedy, she knew that it mattered to the people she touched. And that was all that really counted.
Not to mention the hard work kept her busy. That was something she definitely liked about it. Because busy meant she didn't have time to think about other things. To think about Alex.
Shoving her way through the rotating doors, Isabel grumbled softly, grimacing to herself. She silently wished she were home just so she could take her shoes off. The damn things had been pinching her feet all day. Unfortunately she had been too distracted this morning to remember a pair of sneakers. Ignoring the protests of the people moving around her, she stopped on the sidewalk, slipped a foot out of the offending shoe, and gently massaged the arch. Damn Gucci and his shoes.
If she had cared, she would have realized how ridiculous she looked, hunched slightly on one foot, the other in her hand while dressed in her navy blue, pinstriped business suit. Not to mention the dirty looks and glances from those moving around her. Perhaps courtesy would dictate that she move from the flow of the human traffic, but she really didn't give a damn about that. All she did care about at the moment was getting home, taking her shoes off, and soaking them in a hot bath. Everyone and everything else be damned.
The bump from behind nearly sent her sprawling. A man brushed past her, muttering what could either have been a curse or an apology. Scowling, she watched him walk away and wished for his shoes to be too tight. The look was still on her face when someone tapped her on the shoulder.
Isabel looked and opened her mouth to speak. As soon as she saw him, no sound would come out.
It was Alex. He was standing right beside her.
Slowly she nodded, her bare foot seeking the shoe that was supposed to be sitting on the concrete. Straightening, she tried again to form words, but the sound refused to come.
"All right then," he told her," Just wanted to make sure. You got bumped pretty hard."
A beautiful smile lit up his face and suddenly she realized it wasn't Alex. Merely someone who resembled him.
"Thank you," she finally managed as her foot slid into the shoe again.
"No problem," he replied as he started way, "Take care."
Another slight nod was all she could manage. On shaky legs she moved from the rush of people. Gingerly she sank into the nearest seat she could find. There had been other times when she thought she had seen Alex. Usually it was a face in the crowd. Someone passing by. Of course whenever she looked again, Alex was gone. Sometimes he was replaced by someone who looked like him, sometimes he wasn't.
But she had never been so close to that illusion. The poor guy who had stopped to help only vaguely resembled Alex. Dark hair, same build, same height. His eyes had been blue instead of green. His mouth not as full as Alex's. His ears closer to his head Maybe at a distance she could have seen it, but up close and personal?
"Great, not only am I insane, but at least one more person knows it now," she grumbled.
Stepping in from the garage, she paused long enough to close the door softly behind her and engage the lock. Taking a step into the kitchen, Isabel stopped and frowned. Something was wrong. The nagging voice in the back of her head was whispering something, but she couldn't quite hear what it was yet. Her eyes searched the kitchen as her mind compared the room with the mental pictures stored there.
Things were different. Not massively different, but different. A few things were moved from their places as if someone had come through and brushed against them the salt and pepper shakers, the small vase she kept by the sink for when she picked flowers from the garden, one cabinet was slightly open. Someone has been browsing. A dirty glass sat in the sink that hadn't been there when she left that morning. The mail on the counter appeared to have been looked through. Someone had invaded her space and she could feel the anger rise in her chest.
Stalking across the linoleum to the sink, she hoped that someone had left behind enough aura residue that she could get a flash from the glass. Then maybe she would know who dared enter her space without permission. With a slightly shaking hand, Isabel reached out for the glass.
"Hey! I've been waiting for you to get home."
The voice startled her so badly that the hand meant to pick up the glass smacked it instead. It tipped over and she watched it fall in some kind of strange slow motion. Glass shattered as it hit the drain and she jumped back.
"Hey, are you ok?" His voice was worried as he rested his hands on her shoulders.
"I'm fine," she managed after a few seconds. "You just scared the hell out of me." Turning, she offered him a weak smile. "Why are you here?"
Michael returned the smile and pulled her close. Hugging her tightly, he could feel how tense she was.
"Max was worried about you," he said into her hair.
With a sigh, Isabel pulled away. Moving towards the refrigerator she kicked her shoes off as she went.
"You want something to drink?" she asked, glancing over her shoulder at him as she pulled one of the doors open.
He was giving her that look. The one reserved for the times he thought he was supposed to be "nice" instead of just being Michael.
"No," he replied finally.
He watched as she pulled a bottle of water from the fridge, opened it, then took a long swallow. The door of the appliance closed quietly as she turned away from it.
"Stop looking at me like that," she told him as she began to peruse the mail on the counter.
"Like what?" Michael blinked at her in surprise.
A slight smirk touched the corners of her mouth as she replied dryly, "Like Max does what he's about to spread the brotherly love." A glance up at him. "It doesn't work as well on you.
"I'll be sure to remember that, " he muttered. With a slight sigh, Michael crossed the few feet between them. Grabbing her gently by the shoulder, he turned her so that she faced him. "Come on Iz, what is it? What's wrong?"
At first she glared. He was used to that. It was something he got a lot. But he wasn't prepared for what happened next.
"I saw Alex," she blurted a millisecond before she burst into tears.
Her eyes still felt puffy and red from crying, but her tears had finally dried up. At least for the time being.
Michael had heard it all. The dreams, seeing Alex in a face nearly every day. Feeling that he had been there, beside her, only a few hours before. He had taken it in stride, but she could tell he was disturbed. Not that she could blame him. Hell, she was disturbed by it all too. What she hadn't told him about was the darkness she felt. It crept deeper into her soul every day.
There had always been a darkness in her. Looking back, it was something she could see very clearly. As a child she was unaware of it. But as she got older, when the fact she was different was blindingly obvious, Isabel knew in her heart that the darkness was there. She might not have been able to put a name to it. Might not been able to describe it to someone, or to paint some kind of picture of it in her mind. It wasn't a conscious recognition, but it was there, the knowledge, in the back of her mind.
Then something funny had happened. Something that didn't have anything to do with her directly per say, but it had effected her and everything she did. It was strange and terrifying all at once.
Max had healed Liz in the Crashdown.
And in that moment, without her knowledge, fate had stepped in and given her Alex.
It hadn't happened immediately. It didn't happen in the blink of an eye. Instead, it had been gradual. A slow process that had been incredibly painful on more than one occasion. A passing of time that she didn't realize she was tracking until it ended.
Alex had brought a light into her life. A light that no one could actually see, not even her. But she could feel it. It shone inside of her, lighting every crevice and fold of her heart and soul. It made her feel normal in the most alien of situations. It made her smile even if she thought her world was crumbling. It caught her when everything else around her was falling apart.
It was the light that made her realize who she really was inside.
And then it was snuffed out. Taken away from her.
The darkness had been growing inside of her since. At first it moved slowly. Seeping back into the places it had once occupied. Filling the places that were suddenly devoid of Alex's light. Now it was moving faster at light speed, if such a thing were possible. There was only a small part of her now that held any light. That part of her was only lit by the memories she had left. However, even those were becoming vague. As with any human, memories faded with time and with them went the little light she had left.
Isabel sighed deeply and rubbed her temples. Just thinking about such things was enough to give her a headache. Crossing the cool tiles on the floor, she opened the cabinet above the sink and pulled out two bottles. Taking a small glass from the cabinet above the counter, she placed it on the smooth marble top and shut the small door. Carefully she poured equal amounts from both bottles into the glass, then put them away. The smell of alcohol wafted to her nose and she cringed slightly. Human alcohol effected them funny, and frankly, the smell alone would be enough for her to leave it alone. Scooping the glass off the counter, she moved to the sliding glass doors that led outside. Absentmindedly, she dipped a finger into the liquid and swirled it around. The pale amber color began to change to a strange aqua. Removing the finger, she sucked the new and improved spirits from her finger then pulled the doors open and stepped outside.
Normally she would have gone to the swing, but as silly as it was, she didn't want to defile it with any kind of drug, alien or human. Instead she took a few steps forward and sat on the edge of the porch. Leaning slightly against one of the posts, she took a drink of the now chilled liquid. It burned slightly as it slid down her throat much like she imagined human alcohol would do. But it didn't sit in her stomach instead it was as if it were instantly absorbed sending tendrils of false calm through her. She closed her eyes, letting the setting sun warm her face. Alex had always loved sunset. He said it was better than sunrise. When she asked why, he had told her it was better just because he didn't have to get up at some god-awful hour to see it. She had laughed at that and from then on they had always watched the sunset together.
She hadn't watched the sun set since he had died. Many of them had been sat through, but she never opened her eyes.
When the warmth of the sun against her skin faded, she opened her eye and rose. Picking up the glass she didn't really remember emptying, she wobbled on her feet slightly. Obviously she had fixed too much, but she really didn't care. Tomorrow was one of her days and she wanted to sleep in.
Her body and her mind were numb as she set her empty glass in the sink. She frowned slightly at the pieces of shattered glass still sitting in the stainless steel bed. Grumbling under her breath, Isabel reached out and gingerly began to gather the glass.
The prick against her finger didn't bother her. The fat crimson droplets that were dropping against the shiny silver metal did. Swearing softly, she reached for the last few pieces. As soon as her fingers brushed the final piece, she felt a shock of electricity shoot through her. Vaguely she was aware of the bloody fingerprint she had left behind, but it faded from view as the floor spiraled up to meet her.
The shock continued to course through her; she could feel it in her blood, in her muscles. Then suddenly it was in her head.
Crying out in pain, she clutched her temples. A camera appeared from nowhere behind her eyes, playing a movie there that could never have been filmed.
He opened the door from the garage, just as she had done only a few hours previously. Smiling slightly, he said something about being too neat. He left the door open a few inches. Somehow she knew he didn't plan on staying long. He walked around the kitchen, following along the cabinets. His fingers slid across things, bumping them to a new spot. Pausing, he opened one of the cabinet doors. Fingers slid across glass until they reached the one they wanted. Gently, he removed the glass from the shelf, then took a few steps to the side so he stood in front of the sink. Taking a moment to fill the glass half way with water, he turned it off. With a few strong swallows, he drank the water, then eased the wet glass gingerly into the sink
His eyes searched the room, much as her own had when she had arrived home earlier that day. Crossing the tile, he stopped at the pile of unopened mail. Picking it up, he flipped through it quickly, then put it back down on the counter. With easy movements, he moved from the kitchen and into the hall. Without hesitation, he followed until he came to her bedroom.
Pushing open the door, he stepped inside and looked at the room. Neat as always, he had thought. He touched nothing here, merely wanting to look. To see what she had made for herself. His eyes roamed, taking note of the desk, of the full closet, the made bed. The bear on the nightstand made him smile. His fingers itched to touch it, but doing so would be risking too much.
Backing from the room, he retraced his steps. A key rattled in the kitchen door forcing him to hurry. He had planned on removing the glass he had left in the sink, but now he didn't have time. Slipping through the front door, he eased it closed behind him just as the other person entered the kitchen.
With one last glance back Alex hurried away from the house.
The shrill ring of the telephone filled her head. With a groan, she rolled over, pressing her hands to her ears. She didn't want to hear it, didn't want to deal with whatever it was. With a few more rings, the telephone was done and she slowly became aware of her surroundings.
It wasn't her warm soft bed that she was laying on. It was hard and cold. Her eyes fluttered open part way and she let out another groan.
Isabel didn't want to wake up on the kitchen floor. Doing so would mean admitting what had happened the night before. Admitting that she saw visions of things that never could have happened.
Eyes cracked open a little more, this time spotting the blood-smeared bits of glass that hadn't landed on the sink or the counter when she had fallen. A shaky hand gingerly touched a small lump near her temple. She must have hit her head on something, the floor probably, when she fell. Carefully, with great consideration for her still throbbing head, Isabel eased up until she was resting on a hip, holding herself mostly upright with a hand on the floor. She felt dizzy and nauseous. Somewhere in the back of her mind, a spot that was still capable of something vaguely resembling thought, she seemed to recall that those could be symptoms of head trauma.
A snort nearly sent her sprawling on the floor again, but it was almost worth it.
Head trauma. Yeah, that seemed about right.
It took Isabel another ten minutes to drag herself up off the floor. Leaving the glass where it had fallen she struggled against the pounding in her head, the possible upheaval of her stomach, and the spinning rooms towards her bedroom. It seems like ages for her to reach it, and when she did, when she had crossed the pale blue carpet, she collapsed into bed.
The Crashdown spun around her for a moment, letting her know she was dreaming. The spinning made her dizzy as hell, but it was at least an indication of where she really was. Sometimes it didn't happen like that, and in those times her heart shattered when it was over.
Her hands wrapped tightly around a glass of something. Soda she supposed. She didn't bother tasting it or taking a drink it would have no taste in here. With a soft sigh, she closed her eyes. A snippet of song drifted into her head.
This is the place in my heart.
This is the place where I'm falling apart.
The laugh came out as more of a sob, and when it did, she felt his hands on her shoulders. Without opening her eyes, she turned on the stool and pressed herself into his arms.
"Shhhh," he whispered against her hair as he gently rubbed her back. "No need for that."
"But you're gone," she finally managed around the sobs. The words were mostly lost in his chest, but he heard them anyway. Her face was tear stained when she looked up at him.
"You're gone and I don't think I want to live without you anymore. I don't think I can."
The pain in his voice reflected her own. "Oh baby no, don't say that. I'm always here. I'm always with you. Sometimes I'm closer than you know."
Tears fell harder and she clutched his shoulders. "It's not enough! I can't do this anymore," she cried. Not really to him, maybe to the powers that be. She was never really sure when she had these outbursts. Maybe it was to herself. "I can't see you everywhere and know that you're gone. I can't live while thinking about you most of my time. I can't miss you this much constantly." Her voice dropped to nearly a whisper. "I can't keep waking up from these dreams. I kills more of me every time."
She couldn't bear to look at him, knowing that the expression on his face would be stricken.
"Do you want me to go?" he asked softly.
The words came straight from her heart. "If you go, I'll die. I'll never wake up again."
"I'm always here," he told her as he pulled her into his arms and held her tightly. "Where ever you go, I'll always be there. Didn't you tell me that once?"
"But you're not HERE!" she protested. "I can't touch you. I can't feel you."
Disentangling himself from her, he pulled back slightly. Looking into her eyes, he pressed his hand to her chest, directly over her heart.
"I'm always here. I'm always inside of you." His voice was a whisper. "I'm always close to you."
More tears as he began to fade.
"But it's not enough Alex," she whimpered. "I need to be with you."
The cool hand against her forehead drug her slowly to the surface of sleep. She struggled to remain oblivious, to shut out the outside world, but once the trip was started, it was hard to turn back.
"Alex?" she muttered softly.
"Sorry," he said as he stepped back from the bed. "Just me."
Isabel cracked open an eye and let out a defeated sigh. At least Alex had been there in her dreams.
"What time is it?" she managed with little actual interest.
"About 2 in the afternoon," Michael answered and he turned for the door. "On Saturday."
"Saturday!" Any remnants of sleep were cast aside with that revelation. "But you were here on Tuesday!"
"Pretty much, yeah," he replied. "You want something to eat?" he asked as he walked out the door. Without waiting for her answer, he continued into other parts of the house. She finally heard him yell down the hall, "Break - er - dinner, well FOOD in 15 minutes!"
With a groan, she drug the covers back over her head. She remembered nothing of the past few days except the dreams. She didn't even remember waking up to eat or go to the bathroom. With a frown she lifted the covers slightly and looked down. Nothing appeared to be wet and she let out a slight sigh of relief. Wetting the bed would mean she really was insane.
Not that she was really arguing the point at the moment, but that was one humiliation she didn't want to endure. It was bad enough Michael was around, making something that might pass for food, but to realize
She didn't even finish the thought. Instead she sighed deeply and flung the covers aside. Slipping from the bed, she made her way to the bathroom on legs felt as if they were made of noodles. The weakness in her muscles told her she hadn't moved much, if at all, during the days she had slept. The faint remembrance of the events that had lead up to this teased the back of her mind but she shoved it aside. Right now she just wanted a hot shower. There would be time later to analyze what had happened.
Turning on the water as hot as she could possibly stand it, she shed the clothes she had been wearing for too close to a week to even think about. Letting them fall to the floor, Isabel didn't even want to consider what they must smell like. With a slight groan, she stepped into the steaming shower. With a thunk, her head eased against the shower wall as she let the hot spray wash over her.
More than once in her life she had wondered how everyone else's life had turned out so much better than hers. Granted, none of them lived perfect lives, but at least well at least everyone else had someone.
Max had Tess. There had been much confusion and mistrust in the beginning, even after she had been with them awhile, but they had managed to work through it all. There was a time when all of them felt she was their enemy. In fact she had nearly died at their hands until they learned the truth. Learned exactly how Kivar could play them, could make them do things they didn't want to do. It had taken time, but eventually they had pieced together all that had happened before she had returned home. They had followed a short time later, a few months, only to involve themselves in a war that spanned galaxies.
Being thrown into battle like that had taught them both how much they needed each other. And their son had played a big roll in it as well. Max didn't want to leave him behind. So with a lot of effort and pain and love, he and Tess had made it work. And when the dust settled, they happily ruled the place they had shared in previous lives.
Michael had learned that he didn't want to go back to a place he didn't remember. When the chance had been right in front of him, he had known. But when it was time, he stepped up and went back, swearing to Maria he would come back to her.
And he did. Isabel never would have imagined such a picturesque life for Michael, but that's what it turned out to be. He and Maria had a big house, three kids, a dog and a Volvo. Granted, he traveled to another planet frequently, but they somehow made it work. Isabel truly envied that.
Liz and Kyle were a slightly different story. After she and Kyle had tried to make a go of it and Max had decided to stay on their home planet and make it work with Tess, Kyle and Liz had just drifted together. Maybe they didn't have fireworks, but they had a deep understanding. A kind of steady growth and love that very few people have. When they got married it was just a quick trip to the courthouse. Somehow Isabel had always imagined that Liz would have some extravagant affair planned. Maybe the girl had, but that wedding hadn't been for her and Kyle. It had been for her and someone else. So she had put it aside and made a new wedding.
Maria, Michael and herself had witnessed it. But she hadn't been there when their daughter was born almost a year ago. Or at least not physically. Maria had called her frantically talking about how much pain Liz was in. That they wouldn't give her any drugs because something was wrong with the baby. So Isabel had dreamwalked in, taking some of the pain from her friend. When it was over, the couple had a beautiful baby girl, and Liz had no real memory of the dreamwalk.
But Isabel still had no one. The person she should have shared all of the events and memories with had been taken from her. Tears fell, getting lost in the water of the shower spray. The sobs racked her body, but she made no sound.
When the flood was over, she turned off the water, wrapped herself in a towel and stepped out.
With hands firmly wrapped around a mug of steaming coffee, Isabel told Michael exactly what had happened. He didn't interrupt, didn't ask questions, just sat and listened.
When it was over, he nodded once, then leaned back in his chair, digesting it all.
"I guess I don't have to ask if you've told Max any of this?"
She shook her head but said nothing.
"Didn't think so." He scowled and fell silent. Several minutes passed and then, "Are you sure what you saw?"
"I'm sure," she said with a shaky voice.
"You saw him here?"
"More than saw," she answered, looking up at him, "I felt it. I felt what he felt, saw what he saw" Tears threatened once again. Her voice quivered when she spoke again. "But it can't be happening Michael. No amount of wishing will bring him back. He's dead."
A sob escaped and she buried her face in her hands. Easing from his chair Michael moved to her. Wrapping his arms around her, chair and all, her stood behind her.
"I know, Izzy, I know."
The whole discussion played over and over in her mind. Michael had been gone less than a half day when the blue light on her computer started blinking. She had hoped Michael would keep the whole thing to himself, but in her heart she knew he wouldn't. Maybe the events to follow were her way of pushing herself to do what needed to be done. No matter how many orders Max bellowed, she had made up her mind.
But instead of arguing, she nodded and even half smiled. Telling him she would return home in a week. If he would give her a week to tie up some lose ends, she'd go home where he could watch over her. Where there were no memories of Alex. Where he would fade from her mind and she would die.
A week. She had a week.
Locking the door, she turned away from the house and pocketed the key. Not that she would really need it later, but she didn't intend to let anyone know what was happening. Letting them know would mean arguments and tears, and she just wasn't up to it.
No, she'd rather just go quietly.
Hefting a small suitcase into the car, she slammed the trunk closed. With a slight wave to one of her neighbors, Isabel got into the car and drove away.
Passing the city limits sign, Isabel felt a strange sense of homecoming. Her whole time in Roswell, she had desperately wanted to be some place where she wouldn't be noticed. Where every move wouldn't bring the Special Unit down on their heads. And when she had left, she hadn't looked back.
But now now it was different.
As she drove through town, she carefully avoided certain areas. It wasn't time for her to visit them just yet.
Instead she let the car cruise through town. She saw the theatre, the chinese restaurant, and the small park where her parents had taken her and Max to play when they were kids. She avoided driving by her parent's house. If she stopped, they would know something was wrong. More than anything she simply wanted to go quietly. Swallowing past the lump in her throat, Isabel drove to the quarry.
Stepping out of the car, Isabel felt a rush of emotions at the sight of the place. They had spent so much time here. Not all of it was good, but most of it had memories of him. With a blanket under her arm, Isabel moved to one of the high ledges and sat. There were more memories to be relived while the day passed.
The faded purple bear rested in her lap as she sat on the wooden bench. The spot they had shared more than a decade earlier was only a few feet away. She didn't have the courage to sit there and do what she had planned on doing, so she had chosen the closest bench instead. Stroking the fuzzy head with one hand, she left her mind drift to that night. Twelve years had passed since they had spent the night in this place. Since he had held her tightly and told her he loved her. Since he had kissed her and promised he'd be by her side always.
A strangled laugh tore itself from her throat as she began to cry. Obviously whatever gods existed didn't understand the concept of always. Alex had promised her always and that's what she wanted. Since they didn't seem to want to give it to her, she had decided she would take it.
Clutching the bear with one hand, Isabel dug around in the bottom of the over night bag she had packed until her hand curled around the handle. With another sob on her lips, she pulled the knife free. After kissing the top of her bear's head, Isabel held out her left wrist.
The first cut was shallow. She expected pain, or at least a sting, but instead she felt nothing. Tears continued to fall and she brought the knife to her wrist once again. Ever so softly, she hummed the song he sang to her that night.
"Soon Alex," she whispered, "I'll be with you soon."
Still humming, she drew the blade across her wrist again.
The bright red blood poured from the wound sending fat drops of blood to the ground. Placing the blade aside carefully, she gripped the teddy bear with her remaining good hand and set it next to the steel. When they buried her, she wanted it to be clean, wanted it to come with her.
With a numb detachment, she lifted her wrist and watched as the blood spilled down her arm. The strange patterns that formed confused her eyes and her eyelids began to flutter. The arm flopped into her lap and a faint smile touched her lips. The words to the song slurred as she slumped against the bench.
The voice seemed so familiar, but it was so terribly far away. Her eyes fluttered open and she offered a small smile.
"I knew you'd come for me," she said softly. "I knew you wouldn't let me go into the light alone."
"Isabel, god what did you do?"
The concern in his voice and on his face sent a glimmer of worry through her. The smile slipped from her face and she let her eyes close again.
"I'm coming to join you. Always, remember?"
Strong hands shook her, sending her bleeding wrist from her lap. Blood spattered on the ground at her feet.
"Isabel! Isabel look at me!" he demanded.
Her eyelids felt as if they weighed a ton each as she opened her eyes slightly and looked at him.
"You're not real," she told him. "You're not here. You're dead." Her eyes slid closed again. "You left me."
Sitting next to her, he gathered her in his arms and began to examine the damage she had done. "No baby," he whispered, "I'm right here. I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere." His voice took on a pleading tone. "You can't leave me like this Isabel. Please, you can't go."
"But you're not here." The words were slurred, barely understandable. Her skin was cool to the touch.
"Dammit Isabel! I'm right here! Look at me!"
His tone left no room for argument and she opened her eyes to look up at him.
"I miss you Alex," she whimpered. "I miss you so much."
"Then help me fix this Isabel," Alex begged. "Help me fix this and I'll never leave you again."
His hand tightened around her wrist and he leaned in to kiss her. "You have to help me," he said against her mouth a heartbeat before their lips fused.
Lightning raced through her at the contact of his skin against hers. Suddenly she wanted to live, to understand what was happening to her.
But the blackness that had been hovering just below reached up to swallow her whole.
Sunlight streamed across her face and she frowned. With a groan, she flung an arm over her eyes and struggled to regain the state of unconsciousness she had been in. When it didn't work, she caved and peeked under her arm.
With a gasp, she sat upright in bed, ignoring the pain in her head and the aching of her body. With a flick of her wrist, she tossed the covers aside and scrambled to the foot of the bed on all fours. Her hand hesitated in the air, a shudder causing it to tremble. With only centimeters between them, his eyes opened and he looked at her.
"You're awake," he smiled softly as he stretched his legs out in front of him. Without rising he tried to work the kinks out of his body that sleeping in the chair had caused.
"It's not possible," she whispered as her hand touched the warm skin of his cheek. "I've lost my mind because this isn't possible."
Green eyes looked into her brown. "Maybe not entirely normal, but possible."
Tears welled in her eyes as the implications started to grow clear in her mind.
"How?" she managed around the lump in her throat.
"Larek," Alex answered as he laid his hand over hers. "He's spent the last twelve years on it." He reached out, wrapped his arms around her, and then pulled her into his lap. "Kind of the same process that created you and the others."
"Why?" she breathed, not daring to move. Doing so might cause the dream to dissolve around her.
"Everyone thought you'd move on. No one wanted to see what was happening to you. But Larek didn't want to take the chance. So he gathered my essence, used some of my DNA and mixed it with some of the alien DNA. Then he waited until I was grown."
Isabel frowned at him slightly, suddenly uncomfortable. "Then you're not really Alex?"
A wave of sadness crossed his features as he shook his head once.
"Not exactly, no." No matter how much he loved her, he couldn't lie to her. "It's not same body. But it's the same memories. The same feelings." He traced the lines of her face with the backs of his fingers. "The same soul."
Isabel swallowed hard, trying to come to terms with this information. "How long have you been here?"
"A few weeks. It took some time to get used to this place. Even though I have the memories of being here, I'm still getting used to this body. Still learning what it can do." His smile was slightly embarrassed. "I'm glad I don't have to play dodge ball anymore."
Unable to help it, she laughed. When the mirth subsided, she touched him in as many places as she could reach, trying to assure herself that he was real.
"I had so many dreams that you would come back," she admitted, unable to look him in the eye.
Placing a kiss against the side of her head, Alex smiled. "I know," he said. "I tried to make the dreams as happy as possible, but I'm afraid I didn't always do too well."
Stunned, her hand stilled and she stared at him. "You were there?"
"Sometimes," he confessed. "Not always. I tried to tell you I'd come back, tried to help you remember the good things." His smile faded. "I couldn't always stay in contact with you. Couldn't always stay linked with you. I know you had a lot of nightmares then. Those times when I couldn't help guide them."
"But how could you"
He raised a hand and waggled his fingers at her. "Part alien now, remember?"
A startling realization hit her and her head snapped down. The white line on her wrist was barely noticeable, but it was there.
"You saved me," she whispered in awe. "You healed me."
"I tried," he explained as he traced the small line with a finger. "I don't understand how it all works yet, so I couldn't do it alone. You helped me."
Warm tears fell in rapid succession against her skin. She looked up at him, not bothering to wipe them from her cheeks.
"You're really here."
Alex hugged her tightly. "I told you I'd never leave."
"I never thought"
"I know. But I promised you I'd never leave and I meant it." He gave her a full on Alex smile. "I'll be with you always."
Author's Note: This story has been sitting around on my hard drive since Cry Your Name aired. I thought that eventually I'd get the motivation to finish it once season 2 ended, but sadly, that didn't happen. Instead the motivation came from a friend who told me to finish the story he had already preview the first section of. So I did.
I didn't bother watching season 3. My faith in the show died along with Alex, and I'm still more than a little bitter about the whole thing. With that in mind, yes I ignored pretty much everything from season 3.
I know I have a few series type fics that I have yet to finish. I've gotten a lot of email about those fics. Unfortunately, I think this will be my final Roswell fic. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to go back to those that need to be finished, but I have no idea when that might be.
A very big thank you to everyone who has been along for the ride. You guys are the best.