Comforting Recognition

Isabel was nervously shifting the books in her arm when she came over to Michael's locker to say hello. Michael wondered what could be wrong; Isabel rarely lost her composure, especially not at school. "Hey, Isabel," he greeted.

"Michael," she smiled.

"Something the matter?"

Isabel looked startled. "No. Actually," she changed her mind, "I was kinda wondering if you and Maria were doing anything tomorrow night."

Michael frowned. "Why?"

"I was hoping you and I could do something. Hang out, watch a few movies, or something."

"Hang out?" Michael repeated dumbly.

"Yeah, Michael, hang out," Isabel sighed. "I've been thinking lately, and, well, we've been drifting apart. I mean, when was the last time we just hung out together for no reason other that to just hang out? We used to do it all the time."

"I can't remember," Michael admitted.

"Exactly," Isabel said, sounding satisfied. "It's been too long. We used to be so close, but now it's unusual for me to just come over and talk to you without having some other reason." She averted her eyes. "And, well, I miss it. I miss you."

"We still see each other every day, Isabel," Michael said.

"It's not the same, Michael."

She was right. "Maria's is doing this thing with Liz, or something, tomorrow night," Michael said abruptly.

Isabel's face erupted into a broad smile. "That's great. Shall we say eight? Your place?"

"I'll get the movies," Michael told her. "We're not watching chick flicks all night," he muttered.

Isabel rolled her eyes, obviously overhearing Michael's words, not that he had been trying to keep his voice down. "As long as you pick good ones," she agreed. "I'll bring the popcorn."

~*~

"What?" Michael barked. It seemed typical to Isabel that Michael wouldn't answer the phone with the traditional "hi" or "hello," but rather with a "what."

"Nice to talk to ya, too," Isabel said sarcastically.

"Isabel," Michael said. "Why'd you phone?"

"Change of plans," Isabel told him. "Apparently my parents are gone all night. They're having dinner at a friend's. Max is God knows where, and basically, I have no car and no way of getting to your place. Mind if we do it here instead?"

"No problem," Michael assured her. "I'll be over in an hour."

"Great," Isabel said. "Don't forget to pick up the movies."

"I won't forget," Michael said, annoyed. "I've been to your house, Iz; I know what movies you have."

"I have good movies," Isabel protested.

"Sure, Iz," Michael said, sounding unconvinced. "Whatever you say."

Isabel stuck her tongue out at him, before realizing the action was pointless because there was no way he could see her through the phone. "I'll see you, Michael."

"Bye."

Before she knew it, Isabel heard the doorbell ring. "What'd you get?" she asked after answering the door.

Michael reached into the Blockbuster bag and proudly pulled out the movie.

Isabel snatched it from him. "Braveheart," she groaned. "I thought you said you'd get a good movie."

"I did," Michael said, snatching the movie back from her. "Braveheart's a good movie."

Isabel didn't dignify that with an answer. "Put the movie in," she told him. "I'm making the popcorn."

The best part about her parents not being home was that Isabel could use her powers openly without the risk of getting caught. She went into the kitchen and poured the popcorn kernels into a large pot. Then, applying her hand to the outside of the pot, she used her powers to heated the pot and popped the popcorn. It was ready less than a minute later.

"Are you ready?" Michael hollered from the other room.

"Almost," Isabel yelled back. "Have you fast-forwarded through the commercials?" She poured the popcorn into a large bowl and added Cajun seasoning and sugar.

"Of course!"

Popping a few pieces of popcorn into her mouth, Isabel sauntered back into the family room. Michael was waiting impatiently.

Isabel flicked off the lights and settled down on the couch beside Michael. He reached over and grabbed for some popcorn. Isabel reflexively pulled the bowl back. She wasn't fast enough. Triumphantly, Michael stuffed a handful of popcorn into his mouth.

"Good popcorn, Izzy," he mumbled through a mouthful of food.

"Pig," Isabel muttered.

Michael munched loudly to spite her.

"Just press play," Isabel growled. He did.

However, it wasn't the opening scenes to Braveheart that appeared on the television screen, but rather a video game version of baseball, complete with cheesy electronic music. Isabel gazed at it, recognizing the beginning of The Princess Bride, but not comprehending, then looked at Michael in askance.

He shrugged uncomfortably. "We can watch Braveheart after we watch this," he said, tilting his head at the television.

"But it's your day," Isabel blurted out without thinking.

Michael looked down at the remote control in his hand. "You remembered?"

"OF course I remembered," Isabel said softly. "How could I forget?"

"No one else remembered. I mean, it wasn't a big deal," Michael shrugged.

"It was a big deal, Michael. It was a year ago today that you were legally emancipated. We're celebrating this for you, you don't have to watch something you don't want to."

"I don't care," Michael said, a little uncomfortable.

"No, Michael, we'll watch Braveheart." Isabel got up to switch movies.

"It's fine," Michael insisted.

"No, it's okay. I don't care," argued Isabel.

"Just sit down and watch the damn movie, Izzy," Michael ordered, finally fed up. "It's your favourite. We can watch Braveheart next."

Surprisingly enough, Isabel did as she was told. Pulling a blanket off of the back of the couch and spreading it on top of herself and Michael, she settled down and together they started to watch The Princess Bride.

~*~

"Isabel! Michael! What are you doing?" Mrs. Evans' shrieks woke them up the next morning.

Isabel found herself curled up in Michael's arms. They must have fallen asleep watching the movie, she realized.

"Mom?" she asked sleepily. She was reluctant to get up.

"Mrs. Evans?" There was a definite note of panic in Michael's voice.

"What are you doing?" Mrs. Evans repeated.

Michael shot up and Isabel had no choice but to sit up as well. "Nothing," he said quickly.

Isabel rubbed her eyes and looked up at her mother, annoyed. "We feel asleep watching a movie, mom, nothing happened."

"I didn't know Michael was spending the night."

"Maybe I should, uhh . . . " Michael stood up and started to edge away from Isabel's irate mother.

Isabel rolled her eyes, but decided against making Michael suffer unnecessarily. "I'll talk to you later, Michael," she said.

Michael gladly fled. He grabbed his coat and slid on his shoes and was out the door in no time at all.

Isabel turned her attention back to her mother. "He wasn't going to," she said, addressing Mrs. Evans' earlier question. "As I said, we fell asleep."

"I didn't know you two were going to be alone together last night."

Isabel fell back against the couch in frustration. "We were watching movies, mom, not having sex. It's not like we're going out, or anything. He has a girlfriend, remember? Maria?"

"I know," her mom admitted, "it's just that - "

"You can't trust me and Michael to be alone together," Isabel finished the sentence angrily, pressing her lips together tightly.

Diane Evans flushed. "That's not what I meant."

"We've had this conversation before, Mom, several times."

"I know, sweetie," her mom said, sitting down next to her on the couch. "It's just that you and Michael have always been so close . . . "

"As I said, he has a girlfriend. Michael isn't the cheating type, and I don't go for other people's boyfriends."

"I didn't mean to imply that you did," her mom said, smiling kindly at Isabel. "I'm sorry. I do trust you, it's just that when I saw the two of you sleeping there - "

"Fully clothed and in the family room," supplied Isabel, arching her eyebrows.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have reacted like that," her mom tried to apologize.

Isabel stood up abruptly. "I'm going to go take a shower," she announced.

~*~

 

"So is it safe for me to come over again?" Michael asked. He had waited a couple of hours, hoping to let everyone cool down, before phoning Isabel to make sure everything was okay.

On the other end of the line, Isabel gave a short laugh. "Safe enough. My mom clued into the fact we were in the family room and in our clothes, so it was unlikely we were doing anything she disapproved of."

"So we aren't in much trouble," concluded Michael.

"We've been in worse. Remember the last time my parents caught you in my room?"

Michael winced at the memory. All too well he remembered how Mr. and Mrs. Evans had reacted when they caught him sleeping beside Isabel in her bed. Needless to say, he had slept in Max's room ever since. "I remember," he said.

"I donít' know what they were thinking," Isabel said. "I mean, we were only twelve."

"Yeah, well, they worry about you."

There was a brief pause before Isabel said, "Except for this morning, I had fun."

"Me too. We should do it again soon."

"I'd like that," Isabel said in a small voice.

He really missed her. She was right; they had drifted apart in the last year. They used to be so close. He really missed talking to her. She had always been able to understand him, even when Max couldn't.

Michael cleared his throat uncomfortably. "Listen, Iz, about last night. I mean, umm, well," he stumbled, unable to get the words out. "What I mean to say is - "

She cut him off. "You're welcome," she said softly, understanding his messed up thank-you.

Like he said, she could always understand him.

The End
Friday, March 23, 2001

Okay, I know, I know, the title sucks.  I'm sorry.  I couldn't think of anything.  Think you can do better?  Please tell me!  Don't have a title?  Just send some feedback *grin*

Anyway, that was my triumphant return to Roswell fanfic.  Note my sarcasm.  It's certainly been awhile.

Great thanks go to my two wonderful beta readers.  Thanks, you guys!  You're the best!  They're the reason this story isn't riddled with grammar mistakes and typos.  Thank you!

~Trinity Day