When Friendship & Love... (AU,M/L,MATURE) C7 26/10/14 [WIP]

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KatnotKath
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When Friendship & Love... (AU,M/L,MATURE) C7 26/10/14 [WIP]

Postby KatnotKath » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:47 pm

Title: When Friendship and Love Combine
Author: KatnotKath
Rating: Teen/Mature
Couples: CC, M/L
Disclaimer: I do not own anything to do with Roswell, none of the characters, or the locations, just playing with them a little if you please.
Summary: How different things could be? A look into the reality from Which Liz in When Love and Loss Collide came from. You might want to read that one first, although in reality (excuse the unintended pun) this is actually a prequel to that story so can be read separately too.
Author’s Note: No promises for very frequent updates, but I will promise to do my best. This story in its first form (unfinished) was my first and only Nano success. The reason for the unusual order of posting for the stories in this series is simple – I didn’t think that much about what had happened to Liz in detail until after people started asking, at which point I thought ‘I could write about that’. I’ll be honest and tell you that this isn’t finished in any form as yet, but I do have a good idea of where it is going so hopefully that will stand me in good stead. It’s going to be a rollercoaster, that much I can warn you, but I hope you’ll enjoy the ride!

Hi everyone!

Some of you may remember this having been up on the board before. Unfortunately it was a victim of Dead and Buried... So, I'm reposting all that was up, plus a new chapter over the next week. After that the updates will be less frequent but I'll do my best. The first couple of chapters might be a bit shorter than the rest, and it doesn’t start that quickly but I think they’re necessary to set the scene and I hope you’ll enjoy them.

~Kat~


Prologue

"Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man..." The sound of kids reciting the words of an old children's rhyme filled the air of a small garden on the outskirts of Roswell, New Mexico and a little girl continued jumping the skipping rope. "...poor man, begger man, thief!" The chanting abruptly ended as the small dark-haired girl in the middle stumbled at this point, catching her leg on the skipping rope and hopping away awkwardly to the side where she sat down on the floor to rub her ankle.

The other two children who had been turning the rope immediately dropped each end and ran over to check on the little girl. "Lizzy, are you okay?" Maria DeLuca's dazzling blue eyes were wide with concern as she knelt down next to her best friend.

Five year old Liz Parker turned her head up with a smile, reaching to tighten the brown ponytail which hung at the back of her head. "I'm fine Maria, I just lost my timing..." She gave a toothy grin as the blond offered her a hand up and jumped up and dusting off the front and back of her jeans which were covered in dust. "Come on Alex, your turn!" She declared as she moved quickly to take up one of the ends of the rope.

The lanky boy pulled a face, backing off. "I don't think so, skipping's for girls!" He responded standing to one side now that he knew she wasn't hurt.

"Why do you say that, because you can't do it?" Maria teased the third of the group, knowing full well that he would give in before long.

As always, her ploy had the desired effect, causing the little boy to immediately protest. "Can too, I can beat you usually!"

She giggled and stuck out her tongue. "Prove it then, it’s easy to say, harder to do!"

Her words were near enough to a challenge to ensure that he wouldn’t say no, and Alex didn’t disappoint. With a determined look on his face, he nodded. "I will!" And prove it he did, by managing to do a whole two extra jumps than Maria had managed on her attempt. He stuck out his tongue when he was done. "See!"

"Well...you're taller than me, it's easier..." The blond argued back. Each of the kids gave as hard as they got and after some playful screaming and shouting, the resulting discussion ended with all three of them laughing loudly as always… The kids could argue and protest, tease and laugh at one another perhaps, but it was all in good humour, and no one would ever think to suggest that the three of them weren’t the best of friends.

"Liz, your daddy's here!" Mrs DeLuca's voice broke into their circle as she appeared at the door. There could be no doubt that Maria was her daughter. She had the same fine blond hair and blue eyes. She had short hair, so the curls weren't noticeable, but if she allowed her hair to grow it would be full of loose curls just as that of her daughter.

Maria pouted. "Can't we have a few minutes longer mommy?" She pleaded, grabbing hold of her friend's hand to try and keep her where she was. It couldn’t be time for her to go, not yet… “Please, just another ten minutes…?”

Her mother smiled in amusement. It was always the same.... She looked over and shook her head firmly, showing that on this occasion there would be no delaying. "No, Liz’s daddy’s here already...now come on, it's getting late anyway and you should be getting washed up ready for tea... Alex, I think your mommy should be here soon too!" Amy beckoned to the children and ushered them on in front of her as they went inside.

"There's my girl!" Jeff Parker grinned as he saw the three kids trample inside together as usual, each wiping their feet carefully on the welcome mat. It had only taken a hundred times of telling them to do so "Ready to go home?" He asked his daughter, bobbling down so that he was closer to her level and holding out her arms as she wandered over.

His daughter went straight into his arms, hooking her arms around his neck and hugging him tight although at the mention of going home, she looked round at Maria woefully. “Already…?”

Mr Parker watched the two girls with some amusement, raising his eyebrows as he looked over at Amy. It was so difficult to be firm when they were so cute… "Well maybe Maria could come and sleep over at our house tomorrow night – would you like that?" He suggested after a moment, looking from one girl to the other.

They grinned, nodding their heads frantically. He laughed and an amused smile. “I think that might just have been a yes…” He commented with a wry smile, looking down again as his daughter tugged on his arm.

“And Alex…can Alex come too?” Liz looked up at her father pleading with her big doe eyes.

“Yes, please Mr Parker, Alex too!” Maria echoed her friend’s pleading as she joined in the discussion.

He sighed and shook his head, realising he should have seen that one coming. “I’ll have to have a word with his mom and dad…” He told the two girls, chuckling slightly at the look on their faces. “We’ll see…okay… I’ll call you later to sort details about Maria though…” He told Amy, looking over at the other girl’s mother.

His daughter, meanwhile, pulled back, turning as Maria came over to hug her and they said goodbye for the day. "Bye Lizzy, see you tomorrow."

“Okay Maria, bye Alex!” She looked round at her other friend and waved.

Just at that moment Alex's mom arrived too, and the three kids took a few more minutes with goodbyes while their parents watched them smiling and agreed to talk later about the plans for the following day although the result of such talks was pretty much a forgone conclusion as everyone probably knew…

Unless they were at home alone with their parents, if you found one of them, the other two usually weren’t far away. The three stuck to each other like glue, and had done practically since they met each other. Maria and Liz, who had known each other practically from birth might have been an obvious choice, their mothers being strong friends since before they were born, but Alex’s introduction had been more recent, and rather more of a surprise.

About a year ago, when they were four, the two girls had been sat in a booth at the back of the Crashdown, the diner run by Mr and Mrs Parker. Earlier in the day, Maria and her mother had come in while Amy delivered some pies for the diner. Neither Liz nor Maria had complained when their mothers got talking, and what had been intended as a quick stop off, had turned into lunch. Realising that she was short on time once they were done, Amy had asked Nancy if she could watch Maria for a little while so she could finish her errands, and her friend had of course agreed.

Mrs Parker had promised the girls that she’d take them to the park later, but she had been busy with sorting out the dinner crowd in the diner, and left them where they were for the moment.

She didn’t even know that they had seen the little boy who came in with his mother, and both mothers had been most surprised when, after ordering, Mrs Whitman had looked round to find her normally quiet and subdued son gone, standing over the other side of the room talking animatedly to the two girls.

From that moment on it seemed, the two had become a three. In an instant Alex had been accepted by both girls without hesitation and become a firm part of the group.

Through the contact prompted by their children, Amy, Nancy and Jeff had learnt that the Whitman’s were new to the area and had done their best to make the newcomers welcome. They got on well, consequently became friends too and within weeks it seemed, a lasting friendship had been formed between both children and adults.

Of course it would have been difficult to say the least had the parents hated one another so perhaps it was a good job they had gotten on so well. The kids were always playing at one or other of their houses, and sleepovers such as the one suggested that night were a regular occurrence. Not that it was anything to object about, most likely all were pleased to see the group was so close and the children so happy. Perhaps they didn’t have a large number of people they hung around with like some kids, but none had objected and the practically inseperable little group seemed to suit them well so what was the point in messing with something that didn’t need fixing?

As always though, time was ticking on…

"Come on honey, your mom will be getting worried..." Jeff put a final end to the afternoon as he reached for the hand of his young daughter, closing his own hand firmly around her smaller one and heading towards the door after saying goodbye to the other adult.

Little did anyone know that the small group which seemed so happy as it stood was soon about to gain some new members…

****

At that same moment in time Diane and Philip Evans were driving along highway. At the end of a what had been a long day, dusk was setting in and the sight of the sun setting over the desert backdrop was quite something to see but neither husband nor wife were really in a mood to appreciate it. They drove along in silence, quietly thankful for the lack of traffic as they negociated their way through the final leg of their journey back to their hometown of Roswell from Alberque.

“You okay honey…?” Philip questioned, taking his eyes off the road ever so briefly to check on his wife who sat next to him as he drove along.

“She nodded and smiled, waving away the concern in his eyes. “Oh yes, I’m fine, just a little tired is all. It’ll be good to get home, to sleep in our own bed tonight don’t you think…?”

Her comment succeeded in drawing a smile from him as he nodded eagerly. “It will at that. Seems like we’ve been away months as opposed to a week…”

His wife gave another half smile. “It really does, but we’ll be back soon enough, and no need to go away for a long while now I imagine…” There was a hint of sadness in her eyes as she responded, which her husband didn’t miss although she tried her best to hide it.

“There are other ways Di…” He rested his hand over hers for a moment, giving it a gentle squeeze as he steered the car off the main highway and onto the road which led into town.

She nodded. “Yeah, I know…it’s just I wish we—“ She broke off mid thought as her eyes detected a movement in front of them and Diane’s hand shot out to grab the wheel even before she could call out. “Philip, watch out!” She cried in desperation as he too caught sight of the figures in the road. He slammed on the breaks and the car came to a screeching stop only a few inches from the two children who stood, naked, in the middle of the road.
Last edited by KatnotKath on Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:00 am, edited 11 times in total.
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
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Re: When Friendship and Love.. [TEEN/MAT, M/L, CC] Pro 29/12/10

Postby KatnotKath » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:39 pm

Keepsmiling7 - Well on this occassion you don't have to wait for long. I don't promise to update so frequently once I'm up to the point I was though...

Begonia9508 - Do you remember this chapter?

Thanks for reading and responding, I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope you continue to do so. Here's the next Chapter, Wishing everyone a Happy New Year for tomorrow.

Kat[/i]

Chapter 1

As the door opened, the sound of children playing, in some cases rather loudly, filled the air. Screams and shouts of delight, protests and general chatter.

Diane walked into the room slowly, barely noticing the change, her eyes already seeking out the two particular children she and Philip had found on the roadside the night before, her mind reeling with the knowledge of how they had been left there. How anyone could do such a thing she really didn’t know… It was…barbaric!

And so unfair… She and Philip had wanted children for so long. They had been to doctors, had tests, even tried fertility treatment, all to no avail. The previous day they had been returning from their latest appointment in fact, an apoiontment that had as usual been disappointing. They, it seemed, were completely unable to have children, while some awful person had given birth to two and chosen to abandon them, leaving them naked out in the desert to die…

She shook her head in disbelief and horror. What could have happened had she and Philip not come across them on the road didn’t even bear thinking about. Some people were truly didn’t deserve to be called human, they were monsterous…

“Mrs Evans…?” Rachel Wilson stopped, called to her visitor and looked round, waiting a moment for the other woman to rejoin her before she crossed the room, separating two children who were fighting and picking up another little boy as he took a fall along the way as she approached the spot at the far end where two children were sat together.

The first thing that Diane noticed as her eyes lit upon the kids was that they were silent and still. All around them, the sound of other children playing and chatting surrounded them. These two however, didn’t say a word, and didn’t seem to be doing anything more than simply sitting on the floor together in silence, holding hands.

There was a look of concentration in the eyes of the pair though…

For a moment in fact, she could almost have imagined there was some sort of silent communication going on between the two. Of course such a thing would not only be fanciful but physically impossible., she told herself as she dismissed the notion almost as quickly as it had occurred to her.

“Max…Isabel…?” The social worker knelt down carefully so that she was level with the children.

Diane noticed the boy’s hand tighten around that of the girl who everyone, at this point, believed to be his sister as she looked over at him, her eyes wide. Still however, the two said nothing.

“Are they okay…?” Diane questioned, her brow furrowed with concern. They had been quiet and timid the night before she knew, but she had expected that to have changed after a night in a warm bed with some good food inside them. Apparently however, that wasn’t the case…

Mrs Wilson smiled reassuringly and nodded. “Yes, I’m just afraid they are a little shy it seems…” She responded, trailing off as the two children suddenly looked over at Diane and a smile lit up the face of the little girl. She shook her head in surprise. “Well I never…she’s obviously taken a shine to you… Last night she wouldn’t smile for anyone, and they still haven’t said a word…”

“You don’t know their real names then…?” The younger of the women queried.

The social worker shook her head in response. “No Ma’am…we tried to get them to tell us, but nothing… We’re doing our best to find out who they are, but for now we thought they needed temporary names which we could refer to them by since unknown girl and boy is a bit of a mouthful” She cracked a small smile and then tilted her head back to the children. “– hence Isabel and Max…neither seem to have objected…”

Diane nodded absently. The truth was she wasn’t even really listening to her as she knelt down, holding out a hand towards the little girl and boy. “Hello sweetheart…”

“I wouldn’t expect much from them…wouldn’t be surprised if they were deaf and dumb the way we’re going…” Mrs Wilson commented, her tone showing exasperation with the lack of, in her mind, co-operation she was receiving from the children. She had lots of kids to look after here, with plenty of things to do for each of them, and two who refused to even tell her who they were really didn’t help… Perhaps they didn’t remember, as had been suggested, but in that case why didn’t they say that. No, there was little doubt in her mind that they were simply playing up. “We haven’t been able to get a-“ She broke off, watching in amazement as the small blond walked away from her brother and towards the other woman. “L-la-lady…” She seemed to struggle over the word.

Smiling as she took the little girl into her open arms briefly, Diane looked up at the social worker, raising her eyebrows in amusement. “Not speaking huh…?” “Hello sweetheart, do you remember me from last night…?” She questioned softly, offering a hand to Isabel as she sat back now. The blond grinned and grabbed hold of it.

“W-well they hadn’t…n-not yet…” She blinked, stunned and looked over at Max, almost expecting him to say something too. The little boy in question however, remained silent, sitting there, his gaze locked onto the small figure of his sister. As Mrs Evans stood up, her hand still around that of Isabel, he stood though, running over and shaking his head. “N-no…Nnnoo!” He grabbed the little girl’s other hand hand and tugged her back towards him.

Sensing he was distressed, Diane knelt back down and released her hold on Isabel. Instantly she noted how the girl backed up and immediately slipped her hand back into that of her brother and the children huddled together. “We were just going to sit down honey…do you want to come…?” She asked softly “How about we go and have a little chat together…would you like that maybe…?” She tried again to engage the two of them.

The siblings watched Diane carefully, almost as though they were studying her mouth as she spoke… There was a pause, and then Max shook his head again. “No!” His voice was clearer now and he seemed to speak with a little less hesitation..

“Alright, then how about your sister…? Isabel…would you like to speak to Mrs Evans…?” Mrs Wilson dismissed him quickly, deciding that he was simply being difficult again and paying little attention to the obvious bond that existed between the two.

Diane however, was a little more sensitive and shook her head, declining to pursue the idea at this time. “It’s alright…maybe I’ll come back another day to see them…when they’re a little more settled…” She responded with a smile. She didn’t want to unsettle either of the children and it was obvious that they were being upset by this. Goodness knows what they had been through already, wasn’t that enough? The last thing she wanted to do was make it worse.

Turning her head, she looked at the little boy, wondering what was going through his head at the moment. The way he clung to his sister, and she to him, eyeing both Diane and Mrs Wilson warily seemed to give some indication though and Mrs Evans smiled at him reassuringly. “Don’t worry honey, I’m not going to take your sister away…”

“Oh…” The social worker was obviously disappointed in her willingness to leave it for the moment, perhaps reading it as a lack of interest…

Unphased by this though, Diane smiled again at both children, ignoring Mrs Wilson’s response and raising her hand to give a little wave. “See you another time…” She told them softly.

***

*She seemed nice…* Isabel told her brother silently, speaking in his head as always as they sat back down when the ladies had left. She didn’t like Mrs Wilson, she was cold and unfriendly…always asking questions, pressing for answers…answers that neither she nor her brother had…even if they knew how to tell her… The other woman though, she remembered her from last night, she had covered her with a blanket when she was cold… She had a lovely smile and warm hands.

*She was okay…* Max had seen the way the woman had looked at his sister. She wanted her, but not him… He wouldn’t let her separate them …

“Well, it would appear you can talk then…” A voice interrupted their exchange and both children looked up as Mrs Wilson returned, a determined look on her face. “So, how about you two lovely kids tell me your names…?”

Silence…

She frowned. “Come on, how about you sweetheart…?” She reached out towards Isabel who immediately backed up, retreating into her brother’s arms and increasing the distance between her and the social worker..

*It’s okay, I got you…* He tightened his hold around her, staring down the woman in front of them.

She tapped her foot impatiently, having little time for what she now had no doubt was a case of two children being difficult and playing dumb. “Look sweeties, the sooner I find out who you are, the sooner we can see about placing you, now you must have names…” She tried again, looking from one to the other hopefully.

Max thought for a moment, going over the words he had heard used. “D-don’t k-now.” He formed the words slowly, struggling to make them sound right as he moved his mouth. This was more difficult than they made it look…

Mrs Wilson watched him curiously… This was a strange case… If it wasn’t for their age, one would almost thing they were babies… It was almost as if they were learning how to speak and trying it out for the first time… Which was ridiculous of course, but still…

She studied the two of them for another moment. “You don’t know huh…?” Well the doctor said you were okay, but maybe you’ve got amnesia or something… She shrugged, noting something down on her papers and nodding. “Okay, so Max and Isabel will have to do for now then. If you have any problems with it you’d better tell me now…” She didn’t really expect a response, and wasn’t to be disappointed. As silence once more fell over the two children, she scribbled down a couple more lines, studied them for a moment more and then headed back the way she had come, leaving the two alone once more.

*Isabel, sounds pretty…* Isabel gave a small smile as she turned from watching the woman’s retreating figure to look back at her brother. “I-isa-bel…” She murmured, stumbling a little over the name as they stood there.

**********

True to her word, Diane did indeed go back to see the kids. In fact, she visited the group home repeatedly, sometimes daily, over the next few weeks and months, pressing to know if anything else had been discovered about who they were, and where they had come from.

Unfortunately, although much investigation took place, no one seemed to be able to turn up anything to identify the children in question, and after two months without success, everyone had to admit it was unlikely that time would change the fact that the background of these two children was in fact a complete mystery.

Their nervous demenor was said by some to be a sign of previous abuse – something which Diane didn’t want to believe – and they still spoke little, other than when conversing with one another.

Another suspicion, which nothing had gone to disprove, was that they were brother and sister. The resemblance wasn’t striking, in fact most thought one had to look hard to find it, but the way they acted towards one another spoke yarns. The little boy was so protective of the girl, and anytime someone had tried to separate them, even for the shortest period of time, they had resisted, strongly…

In fact, evenings were the only times that the two weren’t found in one another’s company, and that wasn’t from choice. There were separate sleeping quarters for both, and this was an arrangement which would not be changed on the whim of two children…

Under more normal circumstances, steps would have been taken to find foster placements after only a few weeks of course, it being judged best that the children be placed in a normal ‘family’ environment while any investigation into their backgrounds was conducted. Considering how these two had seemed almost ‘baby-like’ even when they were estimated to be of an age of approximately six however, these were far from normal circumstances, so the assumed brother and sister, had been kept in the group home, judgement on seeking foster placements having been reserved until more information had been found. That information had not turned up, but a decision had been reached…

Mrs Wilson reviewed her notes on the case before stepping into the room. “Mrs Evans…?” She noted with some dubiation the way that the kids seemed to huddle in towards her. By allowing her to visit, obviously the children had developed a kind of attachment to the woman, and she couldn’t help thinking that could be a bad thing. After careful consideration, it had been decided that the two children would be placed in foster homes as soon as possible, and she hoped that the attachment to Mrs Evans wasn’t going to prejudice their chance of fitting into whatever placement was found for them…

“Hey…it’s okay…I’m still here…” Diane whispered to the children, squeezing their hands in reassurance before looking up at Mrs Wilson and smiling. “Hi…sorry, I guess I can’t keep away…” She gave a slight shrug and wry smile before lowering her voice and continuing in a much more serious manner. “Have you found anything more out about who dumped them like that?”

Rachel sighed and shook her head. “No…nothing…” She ran a hand through her hair, hesitating before continuing. She had a feeling this wasn’t going to go down well… “And I’m sure that the kids love seeing you…but…I have to ask that you don’t come again…”

“What?” Diane’s head shot up at the request, her eyes wide and full of raw emotion, distress, concern, upset… She shook her head and questioned, “Why…I mean I’m not doing any harm, and you said they love seeing me…”

It was true, and that was the problem! “They do…it’s just that…” Mrs Wilson broke off awkwardly, struggling to explain. “I’m sorry Diane, I know you like seeing them, but Isabel and Max are going to be put up for adoption, and placed in temporary foster care as soon as possible… The board has judged that we’ve done what we can to trace their real parents, and that now we have to do what’s best for the kids…”

She sighed, looking down at the two children who sat on the lap of the woman in front of her, hesitating before saying anything more. “Under the circumstances, I really don’t think that the relationship you’re building up with them is the best thing for them, and I know that’s what we both want…” She honestly had nothing against the woman, she had gotten to know her pretty well over recent months and was a lovely person, but unfortunately that didn’t change the situation, and facts were facts. The last thing that was needed when trying to find a suitable placement was for the children to latch onto someone completely different who wasn’t even on the list of possible foster parents…

Taking in her words in silence, Diane looked down at the kids, watching them for a moment, before looking back at Mrs Wilson and asking a question she had in truth been considering for a long time only there never seemed to be the right time… “Rachel…?” She paused a moment, making sure she had her attention before continuing. “What would we – my husband and I - have to do to be considered…to foster, and eventually adopt them…?”
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

User avatar
KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: When Friendship and Love.. [TEEN/MAT, M/L, CC] Ch1 31/12/10

Postby KatnotKath » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:19 pm

Hey everyone, sorry it took a little longer to get this up than was intended, I've been having some issues with my net. The bright side - I had chance to do some writing so I'll hope to be updating my other fics again soon. The down side - no RF :(. Anyway, thanks for the feedback and for reading.

cjeb - Thanks, I'm glad to hear that you like my fics, I just hope my latest chapters on the ongoing ones don't disappoint then. Thanks for coming back and rereading, it won't be too long before we get to some new chapters on here. Hope you enjoy the latest installment.

keepsmiling7 - Writing about children is not my forte, so the next few chapters are going to move the timeline along quite significantly. You're right about Max and Isabel though, it's so sad to think of them being like that, so far from the characters we know and love, although in some ways still the same. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy the next chapter.

As many know, this is currently a repost although the new chapters will be arriving in not too long. For the moment, enjoy I hope you enjoy revisiting the story (or reading for the first time if you're new) and as always I'd love to hear what you think.

Kat


Chapter 2

"Racing car, number nine, losing petrol all the time, how many gallons did it lose?" Maria moved her finger from Liz, to Alex and then back to herself as she spoke. Reaching the end of that part she found that her finger had come to rest on Liz and looked over at her friend expectantly, impatiently waiting for an answer. "Lizzy...?"

The brunette turned her head to look blankly at her friend. "What...sorry Maria...?" Her mind obviously wasn't on the game.

"Are you listening to a word I'm saying...?" Maria demanded in a firey tone, her blond curls bouncing indignantly on her shoulders.

Liz nodded. "Y-yeah...sorry..." She apologised softly in slightly far-away manner as she continued to think about the little boy and girl she had seen arrive at the gates and walk into the school with two adults a little while ago. They looked kind of distant, lonely perhaps, and she didn't recognise them as being from around here... Perhaps they were new?

The little girl reached up, pushing a section of straight brown hair out of her face as she turned back to her friends with a serious look in her eyes. "nine..." She finally responded after realising what Maria was asking for.

"One, two, three, four, five , six...nine, so you’re it..."

Maria pulled a face as her finger came to rest on herself and the other two kids quickly darted away from her grabbing hands. “Why do I always have to be it…” She grumbled loudly. A smile soon replaced her frown however, as she ran after her friends, chasing down Alex relatively easily and cornering him against the side of the building. “Your turn!” She called out as she tagged him and then ran off in the opposite direction.

The game continued for some time, each chasing after one another in turn, but Maria couldn’t rid herself of the thought that Liz’s mind simply didn’t seem to be on the game as it usually was. Oh certainly she had participated as much as anyone else, but there was just a look in her eyes, a distance… She simply didn’t seem to b—

“TAG!” Liz broke into her thoughts as she took advantage of Maria’s momentary lapse of concentration to get close enough, pressing her hand against the surface of her friend’s jacket before running back the way she had come.

Maria blinked, quickly refocusing her mind as she tuned back into what she was doing. A moment later, she had located Alex and was running towards him, touching his back as she called out and then ran off again.

Initally Alex’s impulse was to start to go after her, but then he thought again. Looking around, he located Liz who was stood not too far off and, realising she was a better bet, he dashed towards her. She didn’t seem to notice his approach and he was just congratulating himself on doing rather well until he realised she wasn’t even looking towards him. In fact, she was stood still, and hadn’t moved since he started towards her. He frowned. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go! “Lizzy, I’m coming to get you!” He cried out, feeling that some sort of warning was appropriate as he closed in on her.

Liz turned and ducked, suddenly realising he was near, but her attempt to get out of the way was too late to keep his hand from landing on her shoulder.

“You really should pay more attention!” Her friend chided playfully as he retreated back the way he had come. To his surprise though, Liz made no effort to follow. “Lizzy…?” He remained a safe distance away, unsure if it was one of her ‘creative’ ploys – to lull him into a false sense of security and then pounce perhaps…

Liz looked over and giggled as noticed the expression on his face. “Anyone would think you were scared of me you know…”

Alex laughed and puffed out his chest in a ridiculously macho manner, shaking his head repeatedly. “Me, scared – never! Why would I be scared of a delicate fairy like you…?”

His over-the-top response only caused further giggles and Maria, who had been stood a little way off, approached cautiously to see what was happening. “Are we playing or not?” She called out as she stopped a few feet off the others, not wanting to come too much closer since she wasn’t really sure who was ‘it’ at that moment in time.

“Not…” Liz responded quickly, beginning to walk away across the schoolyard away from her friends without a second thought.

“Where are you going?” Maria queried as moved forward to join her friend when she realised the game was over. ”Hey Lizzy, wait up!” The cried out as she began to run in order to catch up now.

“I’m going to say hello!” She responded, indicating the wall where the boy and girl she had seen a little earlier had just sat down a few moments before. She had been looking over at them, wondering whether to go over when Alex had ‘tagged’ her. “They look awful lonely…” Without waiting for a response from her friends, she resumed walking. "My mommy says we should try and make new kids welcome..." She reminded them as they approached the two new kids who were sat alone. She held out her hand, offering a slightly shy smile as her long hair fell down over her face. "Hi, I'm Elizabeth Parker..."

The girl in the pair hung back a little, probably a little nervous, she assumed, while the boy stepped forward. "Hi..." He returned a small smile, looking down at the small girl and shaking her hand. She looked nice…she had really smooth dark hair, and piercing brown eyes… She was very pretty… "I'm Max Evans, and this is my sister Isabel..." He introduced the two of them using the names which apparently were now theirs. Mrs Wilson had said it was best to make it official, to avoid any confusion, so whatever their names had been before, they were now officially Maxwell Philip, and Isabel Amanda Evans.

At the mention of her ‘new’ name, the blond looked up, her eyes darting between the three kids stood in front of them. One would never know that only a few months before, both she, and he, would have been unable to understand a word that was said, their social skills being little better than those of new-born children.

All that had changed of course, when they had met their ‘parents’… They had been the first people they remembered seeing other than the other little boy who had been with them… What had happened to him she wondered? – She hoped he’d found a nice family too.

The little girl remembered seeing the beautiful lady who had become ‘mommy’, and thinking that she had a nice smile as she took out a blanket and wrapped it around her, warming through her chilled bones… She had been scared when she left them at a strange building with strange people, but then she had come back later, first once, and then again, and again and eventually she and daddy had come and told them they were taking them home for good… It had been the first time she truly remembered being happy…

Despite all the best efforts, no one knew what had happened to them before, maybe it would always be a mystery, but whatever had happened in the past, the important thing now was that they had two parents that cared for them deeply, and with them they had a loving home…

Like her new mommy, these children had nice smiles too, and her brother hadn’t indicated them to be a threat… Coming to a decision, Isabel jumped down from the wall, stepping forward shyly to join him and waving her hand a little as she gave a small smile. “hi…”

Alex smiled back at the little girl. “Hi, I’m Alexander Whitman” He introduced himself, thinking that her blond hair was rather cute.

Maria grinned and waved back. “And I’m Maria DeLuca. Do you want to play with us?” She took over now, probably being the most confident of the group. Despite the fact that she had gone over and initiated the introduction, she knew that Liz was a little shy around new people, and would be unlikely to go as far as to invite the new kids to join their game – to introduce herself, to talk a little and even hope that they might ask to join in perhaps, but anything else…well…

Max seemed to look over at his sister almost questioningly but, as he opened his mouth to respond, the bell sounded, indicating the end of lunch period.

Maria pouted. “Aww, no fair, it can’t be time to go in yet!” She complained as a teacher appeared, calling for all the kids to come back inside. She wanted to play some more…especially with more than three people to play tag with, playing with Liz and Alex was great of course, but to have an extra two people would make it really good…

“Come on kids, time for class!” The teacher called out again, moving further out onto the playground to make sure everyone had heard. “Come on, everyone inside!” Noting a group who were ignoring her, she headed over, rounding them up and ussuring them inside with a few brisk words.

At the same time, the five children by the wall began to traipse back towards the school building, although Maria did drag her feet, making it perfectly clear she didn’t want to go in just yet.

Liz turned back to look at her. “Maria, come on…” She tugged gently at her best friends arm. She didn’t want to get into trouble for being late…

“I don’t want to, not yet!” Her friend pulled a face, kicking into the ground with the tip of her trainers. “I want to play!”

“Maybe we can play tomorrow instead…” Isabel suggested, surprising everyone, including her brother, as she spoke up. She wasn’t exactly sure what they had been playing, but she could learn, and it looked like they’d been having fun… She liked the bubbly little girl with curly hair…

Max smiled, relieved to find that his sister seemed to have settled and was more comfortable now, nodding in agreement with her suggestion as the five of them began to walk up the stairs which lead into the school. “Yeah, tomorrow we can play together”

Maria grinned, holding out a hand to the new girl, and in that instant, as she took it, it seemed as though a ‘bond’ and friendship was formed between the two girls. It would never be as strong a friendship as the one that she and Liz shared, but it would be a special one in it’s own, and within days of meeting, the Evans siblings had both integrated themselves fully into the small, although ever-growing, group…
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
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Re: When Friendship and Love.. [TEEN/MAT, M/L, CC] Ch2 13/01/11

Postby KatnotKath » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:44 pm

Hey, sorry it took a while to get back here, hopefully I can get the next part up more quickly.

begonia9508 - Hopefully you like what you remember :wink: I agree that the kids are sweet to watch, although they're less so to write about...babies I can deal with, but kids...not my forte. Thanks for reading.

keepsmiling7 - Thank you. The kids in stories are often a but unrealistic I know, but hopefully not in a bad way. I'm glad you're enjoying the tale. As to Max stepping up with Liz - well what else would you expect from a dreamer lol. I'm afraid it's not all going to be plain sailing though, if you know any of my other stories you're likely aware that I don't really do fluff anymore... Hopefully it won't disappoint you though. As to how this friendship developes, well how about you read on to find out.

Thanks to anyone reading, I hope you're enjoying the story. I'd love to hear what you think. It's a long time since I started this one but the story is still one I think a lot about. This chapter is the last for reposting, after that it's all new. Hopefully I'll finally be to take it on and bring it to it's conclusion (although not for a while).

I'm not going to promise ultra regular updates, but I do have chapters available for a while so I'll hope to be back pretty soon.

Here's the next chapter, I hope you like it, let me know what you think?

Kat


Chapter 3

Chapter 3

A couple of weeks after Max and Isabel started at school another new boy appeared. The teacher said nothing about his background when he was brought into the class, simply giving his name as Michael Guerin, saying that he was a new student and of course asking everyone to make him welcome. When Michael was asked say something to introduce himself though, he had clearly been unwilling, responding “something” before going to sit down and refusing to stand up again.

That was all that the teachers needed to brand him as a trouble maker and he didn’t seem to do anything to belie that label. He was insular and withdrawn, refusing to speak or participate in class and the only time he seemed to interact with the other children in his first week was when he nearly got into a fight with the school bully.

As far as the rest of the class were concerned he was something of a mystery. His build was slightly larger than many in his year and most would have suspected that he was older except he seemed to struggle to an extent with the work. Most of the teachers and kids alike were content to leave him to his own devices.

Michael interested Max though… He couldn’t put his finger on it, but as soon as he saw him come into class he had known there was something about him…something familiar. His struggles with the work reminded him of his own initial ones at home, but of course his mommy had made sure he and Isabel were both all caught up before starting. She had said she wanted to make sure they were able to cope before putting them into normal school, not wanting them to suffer from bullying which might well have happened. Afterall, some of the things they had to ‘relearn’ were rather basic really. Luckily, she had been a good teacher, and he and his sister had learned fast so there had been no problems…maybe this boy's mommy and daddy weren’t so good though…

Standing outside with his usual group, watching Micahel stand alone in the yard, Max said a couple of times that he wanted to ask him to join them, but the girls weren’t so keen. Isabel wasn’t so bad, having become far more confident with people over the last few weeks since starting school, but Maria and Liz were actually afraid of him it seemed… He was kind of big for their age, and on the one occasion they had tried to speak to him when he first arrived, trying to be friendly as always, he had practically bitten their heads off and Maria had in fact ended up in tears. Needless to say, neither was keen to have a replay…

Alex sided with the girls on this issue, his protective brother-type attitude making a show. He had seen the way the guy had treated Liz and Maria, and was well aware of how upset the latter had been. Simply put, he didn’t like anyone who did that to his best friends, and didn’t want Michael around. Upon finding that he was outvoted in the group, Max had dropped the suggestion at least for the moment, each time intending to go and talk to him later when he was alone, but never getting a chance.

Neither girl really thought anything more about the other boy, merely noting that he was quiet in class, unless it was to insult a teacher or refuse to participate, and didn’t seem to try and socialise, until the end of that week. Max and Isabel had been picked up early for a doctor’s appointment, and Alex was off school sick. It was the end of the day, and the two girls were waiting alone outside school for Amy who was due to pick them up that afternoon.

“One potato, two potato, three potato four, five potato, six potato, seven potato m-OW!” Maria fell to the ground with a cry, getting her legs tangled in the skipping rope she had been using and looked up to find Martin Durk, the school bully looking down at her.

“Got any money?” He growled, towering over her in a somewhat threatening manner.

Liz moved forward to try and help her friend up, looking round all the while for teachers. Of course there were none it seemed - Amy was unusually late that day. “We don’t have any!” She told him, trying to hide the fact she was scared, but obviously failing miserably as she heard her voice shaking.

“Really, well you won’t mind me checking for myself will yo-“

Maria froze in terror and fearfully squeezed her eyes shut as she saw him reaching towards her. However, she never felt him grab her as she expected as Martin’s voice broke off suddenly. Opening her eyes again, she was amazed to be met by the sight of the school bully sprawled on the floor…

“RUN!” Michael yelled, reaching out to them with the same hands he had just pushed Martin with. It wasn’t like they were friends, but in his mind it wasn’t right for boys to be picking on girls.

Liz and Maria were surprised to find the new boy holding out a hand to each of them but neither hesitated, taking to their heels and hot-footing it back into the building as fast as their little legs would carry them.

Taking them through to one of the classrooms which looked out into the yard, Michael stayed with the girls until Martin was picked up and then the three of them went back outside. Amy turned up a moment later, but Michael still hadn’t been collected. Maria and Liz looked back at him, dragging their feet as they were led away, wondering if he would be okay, but Michael just shrugged. It was nothing unusual. If his foster father remembered him – and that was far from always being the case – he rarely turned up until well after the designated finish time. The first couple of days he’d been offered a vague excuse about a visitor popping by and delaying Hank but since then he hadn’t even bothered with that.

Michael’s actions that day made the girls completely rethink their earlier thoughts about him. Liz at least concluded that his gruff attitude was nothing more than an act and clearly there was a nice guy under that rough exterior. The following day, when the group were all out in the playground as usual, it was in fact she who went over with Max, to ask the other boy to join them.

Not that he agreed immediately. His initial reaction was to refuse, rather grumpily, and stalk off. They let it go for that day, but after the way he had saved them from Martin, Liz just wasn’t going to be put off by his attitude. It seemed she had decidedfor herself that he was lonely and needed friends, and so continued to ask each day for him to join her and the rest of the group.

Whether it was just to get her off his back, or whether he really wanted to, in the end Michael did give in, joining the other kids one break time a little over a week later.

“Hey…” He offered with a short nod as he dropped down onto the wall next to Max.

“Hi Michael.” Max gave a quick smile, pleased that the other boy had finally joined them. “This is my sister Isabel, that’s Alex and Maria, and I think you already know Lizzie…” Max offered some quick, perhaps unnecessary introductions and ended with beaming smile on his face as Liz also claimed a spot on the wall next to him.

“I know who you are!” Michael scowled at the perceived intimation that he didn’t know who people were and rose to his feet. He stuck his hands on his pockets and turned his back on the other kids.

“Michael he’s only being polite…” Liz was frowning now too, not liking the way this was going. “Come on, we’re going to play tag, don’t you want to join us?”

No response… She motioned to the others and each swiftly placed one foot forward to form a circle.

“Ip dip do the cat’s got flu the mother’s got chicken pox so out goes you!” Liz’s finger first landed on Maria who grinned and backed off a little, preparing to sprint away as soon as the first catcher was selected.

“Ip dip d…”

The group continued, making no special effort to talk to Michael now. If he was going to be grumpy…

As they worked through one by one, the kids continued to chatter and after a few moments’ listening, it was difficult for him not to look around… Turning his head, he took a glance over his shoulder just as Liz’s finger landed on herself this time.

“Fix!” Alex called out playfully, shaking his head at the outcome. “You never start off as catcher!”

“Everyone has just as strong a chance of being picked…” Maria moved back in close to argue although in truth it had to be admitted that her logic was slightly flawed.

“Fine, well someone else take over then!” Liz responded, stepping back to make way.

“But that’s no good, you’ve put yourself out of it…” Alex shot back, continuing to tease the pair.

“Oh but Alex, you wouldn’t want us to start over after all that would you?” Isabel joined back in with a sweet smile as she sided with the other girls. It seemed clear who would have been likely to be next…

“Hey, who’s side are you on?” Max questioned as he glanced over as his sister.

“Well you know us girls have to stick together!” Maria winked and then darted back once more out of reach of whoever would be chosen as catcher.

Alex pulled a face and looked back towards Max. It was clear to both that they weren’t going to win this one. “Fine, but I’m going to take over!” He shifted position slightly and started. “Racing car, number nine, losing petrol all the time, how many gallons did it lose?” His finger landed on Isabel and he looked up at her expectantly.

“Four!” She stated with a determined nod.

“So you do not have to be it” Alex’s eyes widened in surprise as his finger landed on Isabel once more.

“Yay Isabel!” Maria and Liz laughed as their friend came to join them, leaving the two boys to work it out.

“Cheer up Alex, you tried…” Max assured the skinny boy with a grin before turning back towards Michael, who still stood a little way off, once more. “Sure you don’t want to play?” He held out a hand towards the other boy with another friendly smile. “We’ll even let you off being up for catcher!”

Michael scuffed his trainers in the dirt, his hands stuck in his pockets as he looked over. “No…” His response was simple and to the point, without any of the niceties the other kids had been taught to use.

Alex shrugged. “Suit yourself…”

“Come on guys, we’re waiting!” The girls called over, waving from a distance.

“We’re coming… Alex, you go join them, I’ll be catcher this time!” Max gestured to his friend generously.

Alex didn’t have to be told twice as he yelled out a thanks and then took to his heels. After a ten second start, Max followed and soon the group were running, screaming and shouting all around the playground.

And from his spot next to the wall, Michael watched them in silence.

The children ran this way and that, each running down the others in turn until finally they were left panting for breath as the bell rang for the end of break.

The class trooped inside for the rest of the morning’s lessons and soon enough it was lunch time.

Again Max approached Michael to ask him to join them and to the surprise of the others, they found themselves with sixth presence at their usual lunch table.

“What’ve you got Maria?” Liz questioned as she looked over at the other girl’s packing.

“Green stuff…” The little girl pulled a face as she opened the sandwich to look inside. Her mommy insisted that this was healthy, but she’d far rather have ham or something like Liz…

“Here Ria, I’ll swap you one!” Alex pushed a small triangular sandwich across the table. His mommy always made him too much so he was happy to share.

“Yeah, me too!” Liz switched one of her own sandwiches, quickly followed by Isabel so that no one had more than one of the salad sandwiches Amy seemed so keen on. That small issue dealt with, the group then settled down to munch on their dinner.

It took only a few moments for anyone to realise that someone wasn’t eating…

“Michael, aren’t you hungry?” Liz turned to look at the boy.

Her question was met with nothing more than a shrug and silence.

Max surveyed Michael for a moment and quickly deduced what was going on. “Don’t you have a lunchbox?”

Michael looked over swiftly with a scowl, responding a little too quickly perhaps, “I forgots to bring it ok!”

“Well aren’t you going to buy something then?” Maria pressed now.

He looked over at her, hesitating a moment before admitting with some reluctance, “I don’t have any money…”

There was a momentary silence as the children took in this information, and then Liz grinned and pushed her box towards him. “You can share my lunch if you like…”

“As with Maria previously, each of the group followed suit and pretty soon Michael found that he had been offered more food than the each others would have individually. The briefest look passed over his face, almost…a smile…before being followed by a nod and grunt of thanks as the group once more dug into their lunch.

Once they were done, the six kids headed out into the playground and prepared to play tag again. This time, when offered, Michael stuck one foot into the circle that the others had formed and allowed himself to be included.

He was still a bit aloof in attitude, but as would become clear over the years, that was really just part of who he was. Max welcomed the other boy eagerly, as did Isabel, and of course Liz. Maria and Alex might have taken a little longer, looking at him slightly suspiciously, perhaps wondering if there was some catch, but by the end of the dinner period most of the initial shyness had cleared, and it was clear a number of new friendships had been formed.

After that day, Michael became as firmly entrenched as any of the others, the friendships formed merely strengthening with time and so the group of six somewhat unlikely friends was now complete.
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

User avatar
KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: When Friendship & Love..[TEEN/MAT,M/L,CC] C3 25/1/11 AN:

Postby KatnotKath » Wed May 18, 2011 2:05 pm

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to this, everything recently has been really crazy - although not work related for a change - my morgage and house finally came through, but now every time I turn around it seems as though there's something else that I need to be doing or money that need spending. It's not leaving much time for writing, but I am trying to MAKE time... No promises about early updates, but I'll try to keep plodding along. Apology done, I'll move along;

keepsmiling7 - Hopefully it's a good surprise. Kids are the cruelest at times, and girls can be worse than boys. I think that Michael is a good guy deep down though, and I'm sure he'll fit in just fine.

begonia9508 - I think Liz and Max get on whatever their age. As for shy, around strangers I'm sure he is, but he's getting to know the group and that counts for a lot. As for Michael, I don't think we'll ever cure Michael compeltely of his moody behaviour, it's just part of...Michael... Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the new chapter.

marymary - Can I call you Ginger? I'm glad you like the way this is going. I'm not saying that Michael will have a wonderful time, you're right, it's amazing what a difference good friends can make and what you might be able to get through with their help...

StarCharms - Well here's your chance to find out, although there's a way to go yet. Hope this doesn't disappoint and you'll continue to enjoy the story.

isabelle - Thanks hun. I've got a couple more child orientated chapters to go but later on I think I have something which covers what you're hoping for - I just hope it won't disappoint. Hope you enjoy the new chapter.

Right, on with the next chapter, hopefully this doesn't seem too rushed. I hope anyone reading will enjoy and as always I'd love to hear what you think.

Kat



Chapter 4

“Oh, pretty! Mommy can I have this?” Isabel questioned as she tugged on the skirt of a purple flouncy party dress.

Diane turned her head away from the rack of jeans she was sorting through to look back at the dress her daughter had pulled out and smiled. “Oh honey, it’s not very practical… Not quite the sort of thing we’re looking for today huh…” It was lovely for sure, and Isabel would no doubt look wonderful in it – she was a very pretty little girl – but it really wasn’t the sort of thing to take on a camping holiday. “How about this pair” She pointed to a display of jeans “come on sweetheart, let’s go try these on?” She pulled out a hanger and added the pair to the small pile of possibilities which were already hanging over her arm then, taking her daughter by the hand, led the way into the changing rooms.

“Turn around for me?” A short while later found Isabel was stood in front of the mirror with her mother stood to one side, appraising each item in turn. Diane cocked her head to one side followed by the other, checking the fit of the garment. “I think maybe they’re a little loose here…” She felt around the waistband and nodded. “Yeah, the first pair was definitely better…”

“But they’re pretty!” Isabel grinned and pointed to the embroidered flowers which were set along the edge of the pockets. Another brightly coloured flower wound its way up the left-hand leg of the trousers. They were nice, she liked them better than the boring ones…

“But the others fit better… Sorry sweetheart, you’ll be more comfortable in these…” Diane shook her head and began to gather up the clothes into two piles. On one she set the jeans and a few t-shirts which had been picked out to keep, whilst everything else went on the other. “Come on, let’s get you back into your own clothes and maybe if there’s time we can grab an ice cream before we head on back to join your daddy and brother…” She helped the little girl out of the jeans and back into her skirt and then folded them, waiting patiently whilst Isabel tied her laces before pushing aside the curtains…

“I like them though…” The pretty blond-haired child pouted.

“Isabel…” Her mother’s tone was gentle yet held a warning edge.

Realising she wasn’t going to win this one, Isabel fell silent as she followed her mother out of the changing rooms and over to the counter to pay.

***

“Hey, did you guys have a nice day?” Philip asked of his wife and daughter as the pair pushed open the door. “Did you get everything you needed…? Those bags certainly look full enough…”

Diane waved away his teasing tone with a smile and nod. “They’re okay, there’s a couple of things we didn’t get, but I’m sure I can pick them up sometime this week… How about you boys, did you have a good time at the game?” She grinned as Max answered her with a hug, wrapping her arms around him tightly as she looked over at her husband.

“Yeah, it was a good day wasn’t it Max?”

Their son looked up and nodded. “Yeah, it was fun mommy, you should have come too!”

Isabel pulled a face at the suggestion, no one could possibly suggest that she liked sports.. Diane of course, knew this all too well and was more than prepared to stem any outburst. “Okay honey, well why don’t you go try on your new stuff and show us what you bought…”

“Shopping’s boring!”

Philip shot his son a warning look. “Max, just because someone likes something different to you doesn’t mean it’s wrong!”

Max nodded with a look which suggested he was suitably chastised. “Sorry…”

“Never mind honey, how about I fix you a drink and a piece of cake whilst your sister goes to put on her new stuff…? Diane offered with a smile.

Philip nodded, patting the seat next to him to show he wasn’t mad. “Yeah, you come sit with me and then we can watch her fashion show….”

Isabel needed no more encouragement as she grabbed the bags lying at her feet and flew out of the room. A few moments later found her stood in front of the mirror in her room, turning to look at the back of her legs. Boring… She pouted for a moment and then touched the edge of her pockets and closed her eyes in concentration.

Smalll delicate pink threads sprung up as though from nowhere, dancing around the boundaries and over one another to form a series of vine-like patterns which followed in the wake of her small fingers.

The small blond smiled but had no more time to admire her work as her mother’s voice sounded from below.

“ISABEL! Honey are you going to be much longer?” Barely had Diane closed her mouth than her daughter came bounding down the stairs and past her.

“Oh honey, that looks great!” Philip smiled as his daughter twirled in front of him. He nodded towards his wife in approval.

Diane, however, was silent. Her eyes narrowed in puzzlement as she took in the outfit. “That’s strange…” She murmured half to herself.

“What’s that?” Her husband looked over in question.

“Oh nothing…” She waved away his concern with a shake of her head. “I guess I must have been mistaken…” Her eyes remained fixed on the figure of her daughter as she pranced around the room, pink flowers adorning her legs. She could have sworn she put the pair with embroidery back on the reject pile… Of course she must have been mistaken… Oh well, she could take them back tomorrow and exchange them… Although…actually they fit rather better than she had at first thought… Maybe it was the light in the changing room… She shook her head again in puzzlement and pushed any doubts to the back of her mind. “Yes, they do fit nicely don’t they…?”

Isabel grinned as she twirled once more and ignored a curious look from her brother. Nice trousers…

**********

“Isabel what are you doing?” Max looked at his sister with wide eyes, shaking his head frantically as he walked into the room to see her touch her top, causing it, as though by magic, to deepen in colour. This was just one of several strange abilities which had begun to surface over the last few weeks, and while his sister was all in favour of exploring them, his personal feelings were to leave well alone.

He didn’t want to be different from Liz and the others… They couldn’t do things like this that he knew of, so why should he…? It was strange, weird, he might scare them, and he didn’t want to lose his friends…

“Oh come on, it’s fun!” Isabel giggled, reaching over and turning his blue t-shirt into a dull green. When with the others, sure, they should avoid using them, but it wasn’t like anyone was around…

“Hey!” Her brother pushed her away slightly, frowning and concentrating, touching his finger to his shirt and turning it back from green to blue before looking down and studying the colour as though trying to work out if it was accurate enough.

“Oh stop fiddling…” Isabel reaching out to touch his shirt again, deepening the colour he had produced slightly before nodding. “There!”

“Fine, but can you leave my stuff be in future?” He looked at her, clearly unhappy. It might not have occurred to his sister, but he was a smart little boy and couldn’t help wondering whether these strange abilities might have had something to do with the fact of how they had been abandoned by their parents. Had they known they were going to develop them, and hated them for it…? Was it because they were freaks…? If they were, would mommy and daddy decide they didn’t want them either if they found out…? Would they too take them out in the middle of no-where and leave them? Would they send them away?

All he wanted was just to be normal. To go to school, play with his friends and have a family with a mommy and daddy, this mommy and daddy! H didn’t know where these abilities had come from, but as far as he was concerned, they could go back from wherever they came!

“I don’t do it in front of mommy or daddy…” Isabel told him grinning as she continued to play with her own clothes.

“Yeah, well you shouldn’t do it at all!” Every time she did something, his irritation and worry grew a little more. He eyed her suspiciously as a thought occurred. “And what did you do to your new trousers anyway…?”

His sister responded with a look of innocence. “I don’t know what you mean…”

Max watched her for a moment but she refused to admit otherwise. He wasn’t sure he was convinced… But anyway. “We need to be careful, you shouldn’t give them any cause to question us!” He insisted in a low voice.

“Like you with that bird…?” Isabel’s eyes flashed, unwilling to take this scolding lying down. What had she done that he knew of – nothing…not really… Well not literally in front of their parents anyway… Her mom would just assume she picked the wrong ones up she was sure. And what was the harm in it anyway, it just meant she had a little more choice than she might otherwise do…

Her brother frowned. “You know I didn’t mean to…” That day had been a disaster in more ways than one… He swiftly held out his hand towards her, attempting to change the subject. “Coming…? Mommy and daddy are waiting…”

“Whatever…” She rolled her eyes and nodded, “Okay I’m coming…” taking the hand offered and the two of them headed out of the room together.

**********

“No, that’s not the right colour!” Isabel murmured as she stood in front of her easel at school. It was supposed to be break time, but she had sneaked in here with the intention of trying to do a little ‘adapting’ of her painting… She was no artist, that was for certain, but there was talk of a display for the parents and she didn’t want people to see this – she did have her pride…

And with the powers she had, what was wrong with just touching up a few bits and pieces?

Biting down on her tongue, her brow furrowed in concentration as she touched her canvas once more, deepening the colour of the blue paint and then standing back to admire her work.

“How did you do that?”

Jumping, she turned sharply to find Michael looking at her questioningly. Her heart thumping hard against her chest, Isabel swallowed and shook her head, uncertain of how long he had been there, but hoping to be able to bluff her friend. “Do what? I was just checking my painting, to decide what’s next…

“Like putting it in the bin?” Michael immediately regretted his comment as a hurt look covered Isabel’s face. He hadn’t meant it, he was just trying to make light… “Ow Izzy, you know I was only kidding!”

“Really…?”

The young boy with her nodded eagerly. “Yeah, of course…” He winked and grinned. “Of course you know it’s nothing on mine…”

Sticking out her tongue, Isabel giggled at his comment and shook her head. “Yeah, cos you’re so good aren’t you…”

“Better believe it…”

“I think I’m done here, ready to go…?” She turned quickly, hoping to get them both out of there before Michael might start to ask questions about what he might or might not have seen… It was a whole lot easier to bluff someone when you didn’t have the article in question right in front of you of course…

“Hang on a moment…” Michael recklessly reached out towards her painting.

“What are y—“ Isabel’s words died in her mouth, her eyes widening as she saw the picture convert entirely before her eyes. How, what--? OMG! A memory stirred in her head and at that same moment the door behind them opened.

The children shot a look at one another. Without thinking too much about it, Michael picked up a nearbye pot of paint and threw it at a nearby canvas. He didn’t have enough control to turn Isabel’s back instantly and who knew how closely whoever it was might look at the painting…

“MICHAEL!” Sure enough, as expected, his actions drew the attention away from Isabel and, most likely, the details of her painting as the teacher ran towards him.

Taking advantage of the distraction, Isabel did what she could to return her canvas to it’s previous state. The result wasn’t perfect she was sure, but it was passable…

Meanwhile Michael was in BIG trouble… “Why on earth would you do that? What could Liz have done to upset you so much? Have you ever thought about how she might feel? You young man are going to take a walk to see the principal right now!” Mrs Hargreves was clearly not going to let this one go as she proceeded to march the ‘troublemaker’ as he saw him, towards the door.

Unfortunately, just as she was about to step out, she chose to look back and caught sight of the second child hiding behind a bench. “I suggest you come out now!” She stated sharply, her patience all but gone.

Isabel hesitated for a moment and cursed her luck. She thought she had just about gotten away with it… Trepidantly, she stepped out with a repentant look on her face. “Sorry Mrs Hargreves…I just came in to work on my painting a little more…” She offered the explanation, poor as it was; since it gave reason for her own canvas to be slightly different to previous should it be noticed…

“And I don’t suppose you came in with this young man…” Identifying the second student as being far from a normal troublemaker seemed to go some way to placating their teacher as she stood in the doorway and eyed the young girl.

The blond didn’t know what to say. If she said she had come in with him, no doubt she would be determined to be just as much to blame for the damage, however if she claimed he wasn’t… Michael had done this for her hadn’t he? He had tried to help her…

Michael gave the slightest shake of his head. He could handle trouble…

Isabel continued to delay…

“Isabel… Is there something you’d like to tell me…?”

He shook his head again, more firmly this time, and then turned it into a seemingly ‘searching’ motion as his teacher looked down.

The message was clear enough. Isabel swallowed and shook her head. “N-no…I came in alone Miss… He came in later…”

She nodded. “Alright then, off you go, but you know you shouldn’t be in here, don’t let me catch you again – lesson time is the only time you paint!”

Isabel nodded awkwardly. “Y-es Miss, sorry… It won’t happen again…” And with that, she flew out of the room past Michael and her teacher as she raced to find her brother and tell him about what she had discovered.

***

The memory was replaying in her head now, over and over, slow motion and then fast as she raced through the school.

“Hey!”

“Mind out!”

“Watch it!” Other students cried out as she almost barrelled into them, apparently paying no attention whatsoever to whether someone else might be in the way. All that mattered was that she find Max, she had to find her brother.

At the end of the corridor she turned, running down the stairs with little care for her safety. In fact, more than once she nearly lost her footing but it did nothing to slow her down.

“Hey Isabel!” Alex can up to her with a grin as he saw the blond jump down the last few steps. Her cheeks were unusually flushed and her breathing was heavy. “Hey, is everything okay?” He questioned, a frown forming on his face. Isabel wasn’t exactly known for being the most energetic of the group…

She nodded swiftly, attempting to brush away his questions. “What? Oh yeah, I’m fine!” The small blond went to move past him and continue her progress but it wasn’t to be so easy.

“Are you sure, you look red? Has something happened? Has someone done something to you?” Alex’s chest puffed out a little in an almost comical manner as he put on his ‘big brother’ persona which was so often used with the girls.

At any other time Isabel would probably have laughed, but on this occasion she simply didn’t have the time. “What, oh no, everything’s fine…” She assured him quickly with a brief smile. “I just need to find Max!… Do you know where he is?” She glanced up and down as she waited for his response, seeking any sign of her brother.

“No, but the others are still outside playing tag!” Alex grinned and held out a hand. “Want to play?”

She shook her head, waving away his hand. “Nah, not today…” She shook her head, causing her already loose hairband to fall a little more and release yet more strands of hair to waft around her face freely. Contrary to that which would be expected, she made no attempt to fix it and simply set off running down the corridor leaving Alex standing in her wake.

“Weird…” He muttered as he wandered out the door.

“MAX?” Isabel called out every so often now, hoping to track down her brother. She even tried sticking her head into the boy’s toilets, something which gained some amount of objection from the boys inside. “Sorry…” She apologised quickly and vacated the area before they emerged.

Glancing at her watch, she noted that break would be over any time… At which point she’d know exactly where her brother was of course, but she wouldn’t be able to speak to him as she needed to… The blond frowned as she moved towards the back exit and, after taking one more look down the corridor, slipped outside reluctantly to join the rest of her class..

As luck would have it, the first person she saw as she approached their form-line was the very one she had been looking for. “MAX!” She yelled out and dashed over to him.

Her brother grinned. “Hey Isabel, where’ve you been?”

“Come on, we have to hide!” Isabel wasted no time in trying to answer him as she tugged on his arm and motioned towards the back of the playground. Roll calls were limited to morning and afternoon, so break provided an ideal opportunity to duck away without being noticed. Not that she would usually approve of such a thing, but desperate times…

Max frowned and shook his head. “What are you on about?” He pointed towards the door where the teachers were beginning to gather. “It’s time for class!”

“I have to tell you something! Alone!” Again Isabel tugged on his arm, more insistently this time as she saw her chance fast disappearing. “Come on Max, we have to go!”

“Hey Isabel, guess you found Max…” Alex chose this point to turn up with the others as they gathered in their group waiting to return to class. It was a mixed blessing… “Guys I need to talk to Max, alone… Will you cover for us…?” Isabel looked around the group, her eyes pleading with them to agree.

“S-sure…I guess…” Alex, Maria and Liz were quick to agree, although their expressions showed some amount of confusion. “What’s so important…?”

“It’s not really, we just need to talk…” Isabel waved off their questions as she again looked towards her brother and gestured towards the bushes. “Come on!”

This time he gave no resistance and the two of them took off, their flight shielded from the sight of the teachers by the other kids who were hanging around. A few seconds later they were safely out of sight. Isabel motioned to her brother to stay silent as she surveyed the playground and watched the kids head back into class.

Once they were all inside, Max turned swiftly to his sister. “Okay, what’s going on?”

She needed little urging to share. “Michael…” She exclaimed. “He’s-he’s like us, he was there…the night… Do you remember…?”

Her words were like a switch as a long lost memory began to surface in Max’s mind…

*You have to come with us…* He turned towards the other boy, holding out a hand as he glanced towards the smooth lane which had been lit up somehow.

The taller of the two little boys shook his head stubbornly. *No, stay here!*

*I’m hungry…* The little girl tugged on her brother’s arm, wanting to go forward.

*Don’t go there, they’ll hurt you!*

*We don’t have a choice…come with us* He had tried again but to no avail. Slowly, the two of them had moved out reluctantly without their third, venturing into the brightness which was becoming lighter, and, with it, louder, by the second…

*Stay safe…* Was the loner’s last wish towards the two children as he scooted back behind the rock and they moved more fully into the light.
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
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Re: When Friendship & Love..[TEEN/MAT,M/L,CC] C4 18/05/11

Postby KatnotKath » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Hey Everyone,

I know it's been a very long time between updates. Truth is that I'm finding it very difficult to find time to write at the moment. Work is crazy and I've got a lot going on otherwise. It's far from ideal and I barely seem to get a moment to think never mind write half of the time. Please believe me when I say that I'm still commited to this, but you just may have to bare with me a little between posts. I was orginally intending to put one up on my birthday but the board went down and I couldn't. Now it's back up - thanks Angel - I'm delighted to be able to put this up and I hope you'll enjoy the next chapter.

keepsmiling7 - yup, all Isabel lol. But at least Max only had to see the fashion show, he and his dad had enjoyed the game before.

Begonia9508 - practical indeed. Wouldn't it be nice to have that ability, particularly if you were travelling. I just got back from three weeks in the US and I'd have loved to be able to manage with nothing more than a little overnight lol. I'm sure that Max will soon have words to say to his sister though, and it's manazing what adults can rationalise to explain something surprising right? I think they should be safe for a bit longer at least. As to Michael, hopefully you won't hate what you get to learn here too much.

Ginger - Good to be back. And re your username - at least the keyboard works now right? lol. Thanks for reading and i hope you continue to enjoy it :D.

Isabelle - Seems I can't surprise you huh? Oh well, hopefully I can just stick with pleasing you hehe. I think that Diane is satisfied with the fit so shouldn't be taking them back to the store. Let's hope that Isabel takes to well fitting as well as nice looking things if she's going to continue like this. I'm glad you think I captured their personalities, that was exactly what I was hoping for. I'm sure Max was very shocked about the bird, and it wasn't normal no, but it was sweet and kind. I'm not sure he could feel a regret in that case, maybe his healing nature already was coming to the fore? I'm sure there being thee of them is going to change everything - Watch this space ;)

HypnotiqBlueEyes - Can I call you Sarah? Welcome, so pleased to have you join us, hope you continue to enjoy the story :D

Thanks to everyone for the feedback and for reading, I love hearing what you think. Hope you all continue to enjoy the story and here's the next chapter:

Kat






Chapter 5

Complete with a note from the Principal telling his foster father that he had been suspended for the rest of the week for destruction of another child’s work, Michael trudged towards the main gates and was most surprised to find that he wasn't alone.

"Michael!" Two small figures emerged cautiously from the side of the gates and ran towards him as he continued down the road.

Michael wasn't sure whether to stop or run. Over the duration of his scolding and lecture with the Principal he had found an opportunity to reflect on his actions. Of course the actions he had chosen perhaps weren't those that would be imagined... He had no need to reflect to be sorry about Liz's painting - she was a friend after all. It was a casualty of circumstance though, he rationalised and he would apologise soon enough. How to explain would be another matter but he’d work out something… So no, it wasn't that which he reflected on, instead it was his actions which had caused the circumstance in the first place - actions which had been both reckless and dangerous...

To reveal himself to Isabel wasn't something he consciously decided, it was just something which...happened. It was impulsive and by no means carefully considered.

He had believed that he had seen something…perhaps…at the time. However could he have been mistaken? The more he thought about it, the more he wondered whether he had made a huge mistake.

When he had first discovered these strange abilities he displayed about a year before, Michael had hoped that it might gain him some favour with his foster father; that it might show he was clever in a way that had previously been doubted…

One display of such had been enough to show that wasn’t true however. He had screamed and shouted, even thrown things at the little boy. It was one of the only times he had found a reason to be thankful for the fact his ‘father’ was a drunk. Fortunately, by the following morning when the booze had worn off, he had forgotten everything and things were back to their usual, if not completely desirable, balance…

After that he had resolved to keep it to himself and never tell anyone. It was a decision which he had believed was the only way forward, and had never wavered in until that day…

Earlier though, he had not only wavered, but ploughed straight through the decision in the opposite direction in fact!

And why? Because he thought he had seen something… Thought… Perhaps he had hoped so strongly he had made himself believe… Could it really…? As he thought back to the moment at which he had made his move, Michael couldn’t quite picture Isabel’s expression… Was it amazement, surprise…or…horror perhaps…

“MICHAEL!” Max’s call was more insistent, and the proximity of his voice demonstrated he at least was closing the gap between them.

Isabel, a quick glance behind showed, was lagging a little, although her legs were pumping steadily and there was a determined expression on her face.

Michael slowed for a moment, allowing them to close the gap some more as he studied their expressions. They didn’t look aggressive, in fact desperate seemed a better description… Making another split second decision, the boy came to a halt and leant against some nearbye railings to wait for the pair.

“Hey…what’s the rush…?” Max joked as he came up level and bent over, panting heavily.

His sister appeared a few moments later and practically collapsed next to the two boys. “Did you really have to do that…?” She questioned between deep gulps of air as she looked up at the subject of their chase.

Michael smirked. “Got to keep you in shape Izzy…” He joked, his eyes shifting nervously from one to the other. “What are you doing here, shouldn’t you be in class?”

“Could say the same about you…” Max threw back unphased. His tone gave nothing away.

Michael shrugged. “No class for the rest of the week…I got suspended for that trick with the painting…” He paused a moment and glanced towards Isabel. “Tell Liz I’m sorry, ‘k?”

“Liz…?” Max frowned as he looked between the pair. Isabel hadn’t mentioned anything about Liz… “What would you have to be sorry about…” His expression hardened. “You didn’t hurt her in some way??”

His sister rolled her eyes at his reaction and shook her head, waving away his questions as she responded to Michael. “Sure…and…thanks…for keeping me out of it… I’m sorry you got into so much trouble…”

Max however, wasn’t to be put off so easily. “Michael…?”

The second boy shook his head quickly. “It was nothing…not really Max, I messed up her painting… I didn’t even know it was hers before Ms Hargreves said it was…” He could see that Max wasn’t impressed. “It was right there on the table and I had to make her look”

This conversation was going nowhere fast, and there were more important things to talk about! Isabel rose from her position to stand between the two boys. “Look, it wasn’t planned, it wasn’t good, but it happened… Liz will let it go and so should you…” She turned from her brother to Michael. “We should talk…”

“About what?” Michael knew of course what she was talking about, but his instincts automatically had him playing dumb.

“You changed my picture…”

His eyes continued to move from side to side in a nervous motion as he nodded. “Yeah…”

“With your fingers…”

“So what…” Once more Michael’s muscles tensed as though ready to take flight.

Max’s next words however, made him think again… “You’re strange…like us…”

**********

An hour later found the three children holed up in the tree-house which had been built in the bottom of the Evans’ garden.

“We didn’t know you…” Isabel commented as she drew decorations on the planks of wood with the help of her finger.

Max had too much on his mind to bother to scold her on using her powers… Besides, it wasn’t as though anyone knew they were there… Mommy and daddy didn’t even known they were home yet…it was safe…for now…

“It’s a long time…” Michael shrugged. In his short life he had come to accept that things didn’t often go the way you wanted… It was unfortunate but at least they had remembered now…

“You should have come with us…”

Maybe she was right, Michael acknowledged. It could hardly have left him in a worse position than the present… Not one to admit easily to faults however, he shook his head. “Nah, I did okay…” He commented with a shrug.

Having known him a while by now, his friends didn’t look as though they were entirely convinced.

“What, I’m here aren’t I?” He challenged sharply.

Max nodded. “Yeah, but you don’t seem happy…”

“Mommy and daddy could have been your mommy and daddy too…” Isabel continued to press. “We could have been brother and sister…”

“Good I didn’t then…”The taller of the boys shot back complete with an appropriate look of horror at the suggestion. “What a nightmare…” His words were chosen deliberately to goad, and avoid the serious conversation intended.

“HEY!” Isabel growled, her fist darting out to punch him lightly in the arm. His distraction was successful…

“What happened,to you….after I mean…?” Max questioned as he saw through the ploy.

“I got cold, and hungry…” Michael began, “I went to follow you but the lights were gone…”

The little boy shivered as he peered into the seemingly never-ending darkness. The bright-eyed noise making monsters were gone, as were his two earlier companions. He was alone…

He wandered down the slide of the road a few meters, before stumbling on the uneven ground as a pain shot through his foot. Closer inspection come morning would reveal that he had stepped on a clear, sharp piece of rock which caused red liquid to pour from his skin.

He hobbled further on before collapsing, from a mixture of cold and exhaustion, behind one of the large stones which lined the route. His eyes fluttered, his lids growing heavy as his body succumbed to the temptation of sleep…


“Did your daddy find you…?” Isabel questioned as he paused for breath.

The little boy shook his head. “No, not Hank… He was later…”

“Well what do we have here…?” The sheriff wandered over to the bed, studying the small child whose expression whilst sleeping was deceptively peaceful considering…

“We’ve given him something to help him sleep… The poor mite is suffering from a mixture of exposure and blood loss – the blood originated from a laceration in his foot… We’ve stopped the bleeding and he should recover just fine but it’s all a matter of waiting…” The doctor stepped a little closer to the bed to check something on the chart as he spoke.

A pair of small eyes, covered in the guise of sleep, silently followed the movement of the adults as they crossed in front of the bed and then again moved closer, speaking between one another. The child did not speak to alert them to their incorrect assumptions – in fact he would not have known how - but instead remained silent and still, his expression fixed as he continued to soak in the surroundings.


“How long were you there…?”

He shrugged. “Don’t know... Days, a week…”

“Morning Michael, how are we this morning…?” A perky looking blond nurse questioned as she approached the bed and moved to plump up his pillows. “I hear that the doctor has given you the all clear… Sheriff Hoynes is speaking to a nice lady from the home right now to see if he can’t find you somewhere to stay…”

Whether she expected an answer or not, she certainly didn’t get it… That was nothing new of course, the little boy still hadn’t spoken since he was brought in. Shock some suggested, or fear…? His parents were still a mystery…

Or their identities were anyway… The fact that they were clearly ogres wasn’t difficult to see. The guess was that they had heard about the pair of kids from Roswell and decided to do the same… To abandon him out there in the middle of nowhere… She shook her head in disgust.

“Michael…?” Another young woman stepped into the room now, approaching the bed quickly with a smile. “I’m Mrs Anderson… I’m going to take you to the home today and get you settled in…” She told the boy with a smile as she reached towards the clothes which had been provided. “Shall we get you dressed now…?”


“She found your home?” Isabel could be forgiven if she looked a little confused.

Michael shook his head again. “The home…there was a lady, and lots of kids…all different sizes. Lots of beds too…and toys…” In fact, the home hadn’t been a bad place all around… It was quite fun really, and had certainly been better than what came next.

It had been an interesting couple of weeks, learning to speak and all… Initally he had spent most of the day with one particular woman. As his basic skills progressed however, increasingly he was placed with the other children to encourage interaction.

Interaction which didn’t happen…

He had no interest in playing with the other children and had been quite content to be on his own.

“Like where mommy came for us…?” Isabel turned to her brother in question.

He nodded, it sounded similar. “And your daddy came for you there…?” He questioned with a smile, sure this was where the story became better.

Michael’s expression however, suggested anything but. “Mara came first…” He supplied, remembering the strange little lady who had first taken him away from the home. She had been nice enough, far nicer than Hank in fact, but it hadn’t lasted.

“Mara…? You mean your mommy…?”

He shook his head. “No, I don’t have a mommy…” The little boy’s voice dropped slightly in volume. “I don’t think she liked me…”

“Of course she did, if she didn’t like you, she wouldn’t choose to take you home…” Isabel challenged.

“But she put me back there…”

“Where, the home?” Max frowned.

“Yeah…so what…?” He shrugged.

Isabel frowned in confusion. “What about your daddy…?”

“Hank…? He came…”

“Michael

The boy folded his arms stubbornly and refused to speak.

There were clearly things that Michael didn’t want to talk about and, recognising this, Max decided not to push further.

Isabel on the other hand took a slightly different tact as she reached out towards her friend. “Hey Michael…we’re family…”
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

User avatar
KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: When Friendship & Love.[MATURE,M/L,CC] C5 24/10

Postby KatnotKath » Sat May 31, 2014 8:53 am

Hey everyone,

I know I've been missing in action for some time and whilst I know you may not be interested, I feel as though I should at least try to give an explanation. The last couple of years have been difficult, in more ways than one. A unexpected death in my family last year was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back so to speak, and I went without any writing at all for over six months making previous writer's block seem like nothing.

All that said though, I'm slowly trying to get back on top of things, and writing here is a big part of that. I'm not going to promise to update every week, or anything like that, but I do hope to stay out of dead and buried! I'd love to hear what you think of the new part - I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for reading :)

Kat


Chapter 6

“Happy birthday sweetheart…”

Liz opened her eyes slowly, allowing them to become re-accustomed to the light as she looked up and found her parents leaning over. They were perching, one on either side of the bed.

“Morning sleepyhead…” Jeff ruffled the long brown hair of his daughter as he leant over and gave her a kiss.

“Morning daddy, morning mommy…” She smiled, pushing herself up into a sitting position with her elbow as she ran a hand through her hair to try and flatten some bits that were sticking up.

Nancy smiled. “Good morning my birthday girl!” She wrapped her arms tightly around her daughter, holding her close to her chest and couldn’t help but thinking of how quickly the time had gone – where had that tiny baby she held in her arms gone?

“Mommy!” Liz protested the extended hug, pushing back against her chest.

“I’m sorry baby…” Nancy sighed, pressing her lips gently to the top of her head before pulling away with some reluctance. “Happy Birthday!”

Jeff smiled at the scene, waiting until his wife was done before he continued. “Now…are you all awake? Because I think your mom and I have something for our big birthday girl…” He commented, his eyes twinkling as he reached down at the side of the bed.

His daughter tried to lean over. “What is it?” The small brunette pressed eagerly, clapping her hands in excitement. “I want to see!” She loved birthdays for one simple thing…unwrapping presents… It didn’t matter what was in them, however trivial or small, but she just loved opening up the paper to get to the present; it was something to do with the excitement and anticipation of the suprise.

Despite the occasion, her words drew a look from her father. “You want…?” He looked at her expectantly.

Liz gave a deep sigh. “I’m sorry..,” She began, realising immediately what she had done wrong. “May I see… Pleeeeeease…” She rose onto her knees and pointed.

She really was too cute sitting there. Nancy couldn’t help but chuckle as she watched her little girl try to convince Jeff. Her husband however, albeit with a badly hidden smile, remained firm. He would not, he insisted, show her anything until she sat back.

It sounded like a simple request, but getting an excited child to sit still was no simple matter and it took some time. The little girl hadn’t got to sleep until late the night before due to anticipation and now she was awake, she was well and truly bouncing.

Once she was calm however, a pile of presents were dropped onto the bed. Something from her Grandma, Grandpa, her mom and dad, aunt and uncle, and cousins… No presents from friends though, they’d come later, at the party!

Liz beamed as she saw the pile of brightly wrapped boxes. “Oooooh, pretty!” She exclaimed, pointing to one in particular that was covered in a large purple bow.

Her reaction couldn’t fail to draw smiles from her parents as they laughed and nodded. That was actually one of theirs, and they had chosen the wrapping intentionally, picking one of the little girl’s favourite colours. “Well, are you going to open it or is it just for decoration – maybe we should set it on your shelf for decoration…?” Her mother asked with a big smile as she lifted the box up as though to move it away.

“No, I wanna see! Pleeeease…” Liz reached over and took the box. She grinned, making a grab for the wrapping and tearing it down the middle to reveal a box inside. Within, the eight-year-oil was delighted to find some books she had been wanting. Her fascination with books probably predated her ability to speak properly and in recent years, since mastering the skill of reading, she had devoured books constantly. Already she had a bulging bookcase, to say nothing of weekly trips to the library taking out at least two books and sometimes far more at a time. “Thank you…” She leant over to kiss both of them, hooking one arm around first her mother, and then her father’s neck, before turning over one of the books in her hand.

Her dad pulled it away gently, knowing only too well where that could lead. On one occasion, having received a new book, his daughter had sat down and had not moved again until she had read the whole lot in a period of less than two hours. “I think you should probably finish opening the presents before reading…because otherwise I know we won’t get anywhere today…” He stated, placing the book back with the others and passing her a second parcel.

On another occasion, objection to the removal of her reading material would be a forgone conclusion. But the temptation of further presents was more than enough of a consolation for the little girl. Liz giggled at her father’s words and grabbed the parcel quickly, tearing the wrapping off the small parcel eagerly. This one was from her Grandma, a exotic-looking Native American broach. "Ohhh, pretty..." She exclaimed with a bright smile, touching the smooth surface which had been engraved with an intricate pattern. Grandma Claudia could always be counted on to come up with the best presents, drawing on her work researching the North American Indian tribes.

Unfortunately, whilst she always had the best stories, the downside of her interesting work was that she was regularly far away from her family and her Granddaughter couldn't deny she had been disappointed to learn that she wouldn't be home for her party. She loved her Grandma dearly, and hadn’t seen her in over six months, period which seemed like an age to such a little girl.

Jeff noticed the slightly pensive look which flashed over her face. "You know she'd be here if she could...and she'll be home soon” He told his daughter softly. ”She told me to tell her 'honeybear' that you'll be seeing her soon!" He continued with a smile as he used the nickname his mother had always had for her only granddaughter. He knew his mother had been hoping to get back to town in time for Liz’s birthday, but ‘unfortunately’ – although it was good that her work was obviously being recognised – she had been asked to give some talks which she simply couldn’t turn down.

That brought the smile back to her face as Liz tried to unfasten the broach. "Can I put it on...?"

Nancy laughed but shook her head firmly. "Later honey, but not now...wait until you're dressed okay...?" She held out her hand to take it, concerned that Liz might not be as careful as usual and could hurt herself.

"Awwww...." Liz pouted, keeping hold of the broach as she continued looking at it. “But it’s so pretty…”

Her mother sighed, again shaking her head. She knew she should keep to what she said, but really, what harm was it going to do…it was her birthday, and she looked so sweet… "Alright, but let me put it on...?" She told her daughter, reaching over and taking it from her hand, releasing the clasp and then fixing it to the top of her pyjamas carefully.

Her daughter grinned as she pulled at her top slightly, looking down and admiring her present. "Thank you mommy..."

Her parents smiled in amusement, watching her for a moment before the present opening resumed at full-pace.

Half an hour later, she had a number of tops, some books, and a stuffed bear all lying around on the bed, along with the broach she was wearing of course... Nancy stood up, collecting the items together. "Alright, now how about you go get washed up while we clear up all this paper and then we can all go downstairs and have some breakfast together... The Crashdown was closed for the day, so that both she and Jeff would be able to spend the day with Liz, and the diner would be free to use for the planned party.

“Okay mommy…” The little girl reached over to hug her mother once more, before pushing back her covers, swinging her legs over the side of the bed and jumping down to the ground.

“Careful, you’ll slip!” Jeff called out in vain as he watched her run over to the bathroom which adjoined her room. As would happen with most kids her age though, she didn’t even seem to hear him, and he shook his head in amusement as the door swung closed behind her, leaving him and his wife to tidy up the mass of paper and ribbons. “Well I think that was a pretty good start to the day…” He commented to his wife with a smile as he reached for some of the paper that had fallen on the floor, balling it up in his hands.

Nancy looked over and nodded with a smile. “I think that went very well… She loved that broach from your mother too, although I know she wishes she could be here…”

Jeff nodded to his wife as he reached for the rubbish bag they had brought in. “I know, mom does too, but…” He shrugged. “Much as she wanted to, she really couldn’t turn down these requests…”

“I know that honey…” Nancy gave a small smile. Secretly she might have been a little relieved Claudia wasn’t there. She always felt like something of the odd one out when she was with her mother-in-law. They were on different wave-lengths – she and Claudia. But she also knew that her daughter would have loved to see her on her birthday and she could never be happy to see the sad look on her face.

Of course, on the other hand, Claudia had worked hard for many years, travelling all over the country and it was great that she was finally getting some recognition for it. “She’ll be back soon enough though…”

**********


“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Lizzy, Happy birthday to you…”

The kids gathered round the table singing to their friend and as they finished, the brunette at the centre leant over to blow out the candles. All but one went out, and then just as she was about to blow again, that too flickered and died.

“That was weird…” Maria commented, peering at the candles. “It was almost like you flicked a switch on that last one…” She continued to study the candle in question for a few moments, almost as though suspecting it to be one of those trick ones, and liable to start up again any moment… It didn’t though…

“Yeah…weird…did you make a wish Lizzy?” Max asked quickly. To most people, he would simply appear interested and eager, but to those in the know it was something more. Isabel’s eyes narrowed as she noted the fact he had a hand held behid his back, closely followed by Michael who looked over at his friend questioningly. Max turned deliberately away, refusing to meet their eyes as he focused his gaze on the brunette in front of him.

The birthday girl didn’t seem to notice the strange tension which seemed to exist between certain members of the group and simply looked back at him and smiled. “Yes…but you know I can’t tell you what, otherwise it won’t come true…” She told him ever so seriously, causing her mother and father who were stood to one side watching and listening to chuckle with amusement.

“Mr Parker, can we have some cake now?” That was Michael of course, causing a roar of laughter to go around the table. Him and his stomach… One would never have thought that he had already devoured a fair quantity of all the food laid out for the small party.

Jeff grinned and nodded as he picked up the plate and carried it through to the kitchen. “I’m sure that can be arranged, why don’t you kids sit back at the table while I go cut some…?”

On his way over to the table, Max felt a hand grab his arm. “What did you think you were doing?” His sister hissed, the look in her eyes making him feel more than a little awkward.

He shrugged, standing to one side talking to her while the other retook their seats, climbing up onto the chairs and sitting there, kicking their legs back and forth between the legs. “I’m sorry Izzy, I didn’t mean to, but no one saw anyway, so it’s fine-“ He broke off as a sweet familiar voice like honey called to him.

“Max, are you coming to have cake?” Liz called to him with a smile on her face.

“Going to sit with your girlfriend…?” Michael teased playfully, giving every appearance of having forgiven the lack of care at the appearance of the cake which Jeff had just set back down on the table, now cut up into pieces. Every appearance except a certain look in his eyes…

Liz coloured slightly. She knew it was a standing joke, but she didn’t see why… She and Max were just good friends…just as the rest of the group was… Girlfriends were something silly that her older cousins complained about…it had nothing to do with them!

Max scowled at Michael. “She’s not my girlfriend!” He insisted, denying the warm feelings he felt whenever he saw Liz were anything unusual. Even that first day when she had come over to them at school, he had been forced to smile as he saw her… She was pretty… But that didn’t mean anything else!

“Really….?” Michael queried in a slow even tone.

Max couldn’t have missed the unsaid message if he tried. He drew in a breath, forcing as convincing a nod as he could manage as lifted his head to meet his friend’s gaze and ground out his response. “Yes!”

Michael held his gaze for another long moment and then shrugged. “Whatever…I don’t know what you see in her…or in any girl… I mean they’re just…girls…” He pulled a face, despite the fact that three of his best friends were in fact girls. His comments of course gained him a number of glares from the girls in question, but he ignored them as he continued to munch eagerly on his food.

Realising that he was forgiven, at least for the moment, Max decided to ignore the continued teasing and focus on the moment. He climbed back up onto his seat next to Liz and picked up his own piece of cake. “Hmm…this is good…” He murmured around a mouth full of cake as he took a bite, chewed and swallowed whilst watching the brunette as she did the same.

**********

“Tell me when it’s over!”

The kids grinned as the bikes on screen lept into the air and carried ET and the children across the sky. “Now that’s a ride home!” Alex joked and pointed as the children on screen descended once more to the alien craft landing.

“Be good… Thank you…”

The group of six eight-year olds gathered around the TV, the girls on the sofa, the boys on the floor. All were dressed ready for bed, having been told to do so before the movie started, and shared two blankets which they spread in relevant positions to keep warm as they sat watching the end of the film. It was a special birthday treat, to be able to stay up late…

Some were happier than others of course, but although Michael hadn’t particularly wanted to watch the movie, he had been outvoted, and Liz had even gone as far as to use the argument that it was her birthday. There wasn’t really much of a come-back from that, and he was left with little choice… He was too stubborn to actually try and enjoy it though, so had been sat scowling for the last two hours.

Luckily the rest of the group didn’t seem to bother too much, concentrating more on the movie than his mood.

“Ouch…”

The room erupted into a spatter of tired giggles. Liz in particular had enjoyed her day thoroughly, but was now perhaps one of the most tired. She blinked, trying to keep her eyes open as the picture continued to move on the screen.

“I’ll be right here…” The little alien assured the child on screen before ascending the gangplank to the ship.

The final scene faded to the sight the alien craft lifting into the sky with everyone watching from below and the titles came down. A few moments later, Nancy walked into the room, taking in the scene of six unusually quiet children. It was obvious they were tired, and she wouldn’t have been surprised had she found some actually asleep having seen one or two nodding earlier in the film. Apparently all had made it though, although a number, including her own daughter, seemed to be struggling now. “Okay, time for bed… I’ll give you lot fifteen minutes to all use the bathroom, and then I’m coming up to say goodnight…

Her words evoked the obligatory chorus of ‘do we have to?’ from the children despite their apparent tiredness, but it was really out of little more than habit and as she remained firm, insisting that it was already way past their bedtimes, they got up and trudged out of the room, heading up the stairs in a long line without further objection. She had a feeling that secretly, a number of them were only too happy to give in… Smiling, she stuck her head back into the room, switched off the light and closed the door behind herself with a smile. It had been a good day…
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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KatnotKath
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Re: When Friendship & Love.[MATURE,M/L,CC] C6 31/05/14 AN 28

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:44 am

Hey everyone, sorry for the delay. I might have a lot of this story already written, but my editing can be extensive at times. Thanks for all the feedback, and I hope that everyone reading the story is enjoying it.

Eve - Thank you! I was a bit nervous, writing extensive children is not something I have a lot of expreince of so I'm glad I carried it off :). Michael - of course he's invited - he's just as much a part of the group as anyone else! Of course friendship can come in many forms, as this next part might show. And as for Max...well...we all know how that is going to turn out. Sorry this wasn't sooner, but I hope you enjoy it non-the-less.

Carolyn - Denial is not a river lol. Seriously, they're only kids, give it time :). Anyway, I think he's going to come around - don't you? Thanks for reading, I'm glad you enjoyed the part.

Natalie - Thanks, glad you liked it :)

Emerald - Welcome back to the story then :) I hope you are enjoying it.

Thanks to everyone reading, as always I'd love to hear what you think. And all that said, hope you enjoy the new chapter.

Kat




[b]Chapter 7[b]

“Are we still on for studying tonight as usual?” Max asked Liz as he stopped by her desk on the way out of class. Although the group still hung out together for fun all the time, their study sessions were now mostly split in two Liz and Max, who were in most of the same classes and top sets, tended to study together, while the other four did the same.

There was no particular reason for this new routine which had developed over the past year, except the simple fact that it made more sense. Most of the time the pair of them simply weren’t studying the same things as the rest of the group…

Of course there were occasional exceptions, for example when Maria had asked Liz for some help with a particular math module, or when the whole group had gathered to try and help Michael pass physics, but in general the kids did their work separately, then met up to hang later.

Packing away her books, Liz raked her hair back from her face as she turned to look up and nodded. “Sure, and mom said to ask if you wanted to stay for dinner too…” She smiled at her friend as she passed on the invitation as she had been instructed to do that morning.

Staying for diner was something that Max did on a semi regular basis, and usually ended with he and Liz sprawled on the sofa watching a movie. It was always an enjoyable night and usually, he would never turn down such an opportunity. However, his mom had been firm that morning when she said she wanted to have a ‘family’ dinner! Accordingly, he shook his head. “Nah, thanks, but my mom said she wanted me home as soon as possible tonight…” He declined the offer politely, and not without a certain sense of regret as he waited until she’d got her stuff together. When she was done, he held open the door and then followed her out of the classroom.

“Okay…” Liz did her best to hide her disappointment, disappointment that she knew might be a little extreme considering that it wasn’t as though it was a one time deal, there would be plenty of other opportunities. “Another night then…” Maybe even tomorrow, she wondered.

The pair hadn’t got far down the corridor when they were literally pounced upon by the rest of the group.

“We thought you’d never come out…” Maria moaned, linking her arm around that of her best friend as she fell into step with the pair.

“Anyone would think you actually liked class…” That was Michael who walked a few steps behind… He no longer struggled as much, thanks to some perseverance from the others – he actually was really quite smart - but no one could claim that they thought he enjoyed studying, and that reflected in his marks and even attendance, both of which were significantly lower than the rest of the group.

Liz giggled and shrugged. “Well, actually…” She had to admit that she didn't mind school... Maybe that made her a swot, maybe not, but the fact was that she tended to do pretty well, and enjoyed the process of learning new things...

Isabel smiled and shook her head. “Don’t mind him Liz, he’s just sore ‘cause he got pulled up over a missing assignment…” She assured the youngest girl of the group. She herself didn’t do badly in school, but she wasn’t always willing to go that bit further and do extra work as Liz and Max had both shown they were. She had all the ability, but perhaps lacked the application, as her reports had stated on many an occasion. The teachers, and even her parents, had tried on umpteen occasions to draw her interest, but to no avail. Finally, they seemed to have accepted that she was never going to be a stellar scholar and let her be. As a result, she had claimed a comfortable place at the top end of the middle stream instead of taking the advanced classes that her brother and Liz did.

“I wonder what happened to it…” Alex mused. “It couldn’t be that the dog ate it this time, because you don’t have a dog…” .He paused a moment before suggesting, “Perhaps aliens stole it?” His tone suggested he was serious, but his expression was full of mischief… Without a doubt, he was the clown of the group.

On this occasion however, his attempt at levity fell flat. Michael scowled. “Leave it will you…” He grouched and glared at Alex. He was in a bad mood. Mrs Roomby had really taken him to task over the missing assignment and he seriously didn’t see why she had to make such a big deal about it all… Really, when was he actually going to need to write a poem in real life? It was just more dumb school stuff, and it held no interest for him at all.

“Why should he?” That was Maria again now, taking Alex’s side automatically as always against the bane of her life. It really didn’t seem to matter what he said, she always disagreed, and the two of them always seemed to be arguing… To an outsider, in fact, it probably appeared she hated Michael, but that wasn’t true really – they were as good friends as the rest, but their friendship was just a little…strained shall we say…

“Butt out of this Pixie!” Her nemesis retorted using the nickname she so hated.

“MICHAEL!” She glared at him, her eyes boring into his. He knew she didn’t like being small, why did he always have to remind her of it? He was an idiot and a jerk, and a stupid guy!

Liz winced at her tone. When the two of them got started, there was just no stopping them as she knew all too well from experience… It seemed as though each took glee in winding up the other and quarrelling together must have been their favourite pastime. It was a miracle if they went an hour without one setting the other off about something it seemed…

Max smirked as they stopped off at his locker, removing his padlock and rummaging inside while he half listened to the banter being shot between the two spitfires of the group. The pair would hate to hear anyone say it, and he certainly wasn’t brave enough to do it to their face himself, but in some ways they were so alike!

“Don’t call me that!” Maria complained loudly, glaring again at the spikey-haired guy.

“You started it, why can’t you just mind your own business?” Michael shot back with an incredulous look. He didn’t see why she had needed to get involved, it was like he couldn’t speak without her trying to bite his head off – sometimes he was sure she must be crazy…

Alex looked between the two of them, shaking his head and holding up a hand as though in truce. “Guys, please, you’re free to argue as much as you want if you meet up alone b-“

“Me, meet up with him alone, you must be joking! Not even if he were the last man on earth…” Maria interrupted, her eyes wide in amazement and finger wagging in his face, Michael echoed her sentiments with another glare shot in her direction.

Isabel rolled her eyes, releasing her clip with one hand and shaking her long blond hair out behind her shoulders. As usual, a simple, innocent set of comments seemed set to turn into all out war. “Honestly, you guys are terrible…” She looked over at Liz, asking a silent question and smiling as she saw her nod in agreement. She raised her hand high behind Maria’s head, holding up three fingers as she silently counted them down. ‘three, two…one!’

In unison, both she and Liz clamped one hand over the mouth of one of the pair.

Both pulled away from their grasp quickly but it did the job, at least for the moment; the argument had ceased. “Hey, what are you doing?” Maria objected now, looking round at her friend.

“Izzy…” Michael scowled, his irritation shifting from one girl to the other.

The rest of the group burst into giggles. “D-did you hear that…?” Isabel asked as she tried to speak through the laughter which rose in her throat.

Maria looked at her as though she was crazy. “What are you on about…?” She asked blankly…

“Silence…” Max knew exactly what they meant and supplied the answer with an amused smile. “Not long, but a few seconds of it at least…”

Liz nodded. “Right, my ears are still ringing from all your arguing…” She commented, wiggling a finger inside each ear in an exaggerated fashion as they continued with the good-natured teasing.

“Ha ha, very funny - we’re not that bad!” Maria protested weakly, sending another glare over at her nemesis. He always had to start on her…

“No we’re not, but you are!” Michael responded with a grin.

Liz shot a look over at Max. If anything was sure to provoke a reaction, it was a response like that. Sure enough, Maria didn’t disappoint… “Me? You’re the one that started it all!” She yelled back at Michael with a scowl.

Isabel groaned. “Can we please not do this…?” She practically begged. Having listened to plenty of their arguments, she could see only too well where this was headed and she really wasn’t in the mood…

“Yeah, lunch is ticking away, isn’t anyone hungry?” Alex asked, trying to play peacemaker along with the two girls and direct the conversation towards something which would occupy everyone. And, as he knew well, if there was one thing that would always distract Michael – even from Maria - it was food or, perhaps more specifically, his stomach… Many a time he had been teased about the fact he was always eating, and it was almost unheard of for the other boy to reject the idea of food. Whatever he was talking about or doing, it was highly unlikely he would think it warranted missing a meal, and that was exactly what Alex was banking on.

True to form, sure enough, the moment food was mentioned Michael’s dispute with Maria seemed to fizzle away. He turned his attention away from her and towards the line which was beginning to form, probably wondering what was going to be on the menu that day. Most of the others of course brought their lunch with them – the cafeteria food being generally as bad as most stereotypical school lunches – but he didn’t exactly have that option.

His dad, such as he was, wasn’t exactly the domesticated type and sandwiches certainly weren’t on his list of priorities so Michael had to make the best of what was offered at school. Generally he knew it was best just to steer clear of anything warm, but then again the sandwiches weren’t that great either… Still, as people often joked, he’d eat practically anything, and this was no exception. It was better than cardboard at least…right? He shrugged and started towards the line.

“Hey Michael, share with us? Mom made extra specially this morning…” Max called to his friend, reaching out to stop him moving away. Over the years it had become almost a tradition; - Michael wouldn’t let them do it too often, but something in the region of once a week Diane made an extra portion of what Isabel and Max had in their boxes for them to share. It was no secret between the friends, or their parents, that his foster dad wasn’t the best (probably the understatement of the century in fact), and Diane had in some ways adopted him as a second son, helping to make him more comfortable where she could, even when it was with something as simple as a packed lunch.

On this occasion at least, that certainly brought a smile to his face and, as more general and genial chatter resumed between various members of the group, the six kids headed down towards one of the empty tables to lay their claim and sit down. In their usual manner, when they were settled ,three of them, in this case the girls, went back down to the counter and paid for some drinks for the group, leaving the boys chatting together.

“Maxwell, will you please stop staring at her!” Michael finally looked over at his friend, slamming down his hand in exasperation. It was only too obvious that the other boy hadn’t been listening to a word he had said, and he was sick and tired of it.

“W-what…?” Max looked round, tearing his gaze away from the figure of the small brunette who was stood in line waiting and talking with the other girls.

“I said, stop staring at her!” Michael grouched. “I don’t see what’s so enthralling about her… I mean you sit next to her in most classes, and spend most evenings together… Anyone would think she was leaving you for a year rather than going off for a few minutes…”

Alex laughed, but the amused smirk on his face soon disappeared as Max turned to him, shooting an unhappy look in his direction. He shrugged slightly. “Sorry man, but it is pretty obvious…”

“What’s pretty obvious?” Max responded with a blank look. “She’s just a friend…” He shook his head. So he had been looking at Liz, it wasn’t a crime was it…?

“Yeah right…a rather good looking female friend who you tend to spend a lot of time with…” Alex responded knowingly, looking over at Michael for confirmation.

He shrugged non-commitedly. “I guess she’s okay…” He allowed. “But why would you be interested in her anyway man…? I mean who needs all that soppy stuff…” He pulled a face, making his views perfectly clear. The girls were okay as friends to be sure – well, with the exception of Maria anyway – to hang around with, watch a movie, kick around a ball maybe, but as anything else – he so wasn’t interested!

“Well, unless I’m very much mistaken, this guy here wouldn’t mind some of that ‘soppy stuff’ with my sister…” Max looked over at the skinnier of the two with a glint in his eye. He wasn’t going to lie down, surrender, and to be the only one caught up in this - not by a long shot! He could be nice as anything, but when put on the spot could give as good as he got!

And perhaps, he acknowledged, it wasn’t completely fair that Alex was the one that he targeted, but his obvious adoration of Isabel did rather make him an easy target…

“W-what, ohhh no, I never said anything about that, I mean she’s beautiful, she has to be, but…” Alex shut his mouth abruptly as he realised he was beginning to sound alarmingly like a certain young female member of the group – not exactly a good thing – not to mention that admitting to feelings for his friend’s sister might not be the best idea either, even if he was the one who had brought it up… He shook his head again, before setting about trying to redirect the conversation completely. “Anyway, we weren’t talking about me, we were talking about you… But it doesn’t matter, what’re your plans for the weekend…?”

His friend laughed in amusement, ignoring the last. “You know anyone would think you expect me to beat up on you if you admit you like my sister…” He commented with a small shake of his head. “I’m not you know…I think it’s kinda sweet…”

Alex felt his cheeks flush in embarrassment. Sweet – what sort of guy is called sweet…especially by another guy…? He groaned inwardly, wanting to sink into the ground.

Meanwhile, Michael rolled his eyes at the way this was going. That had not been his intention when he stopped Max staring… They were supposed to listen to him again and talk about something other than girls, not go off into some stupid conversation about relationships that didn’t even exist… They were thirteen for goodness sake not thirty, who needed girls as anything but friends…? In fact, in his mind he didn’t really need them as friends either really, or so he told himself. Then again, he had to admit Liz and Isabel were girls and weren’t too bad. They could even be fun to play with on occassion…it was just Maria who was always on his back…

It was Max’s turn to smirk now as he realised how fed up his friend was becoming. Taking pity on the other boy, he looked over at Alex and shrugged. “Look, Liz is a good friend who I like spending time with, nothing more, nothing less, end of!… Now, can we get another subject, because I think Michael is about ready to blow a fuse here…”

“Yeah well, personally I think you’re in denial… You say yourself you like spending time with her…” Alex responded, letting his words trail off as he saw the look both other guys were giving him by this point. “Okay, taking a hint, I’m dropping it… So what were we talking about before…?” He held up his hands in defeat and looked between the two.

“so anyway, the game last night…what a match that was, I never saw anything so…”

As Michael resumed his commentary about said game, Max found himself automatically tuning out the masculine voice in favour of zeroing in on the three feminine ones approaching. Much as he might have wanted to deny it one in particular stood out as always, and it wasn’t that of his sister... He sighed, taking the can offered by Liz as the three girls arrived back at the table. He opened it in silence as he continued to watch her. He couldn’t deny she was lovely…her hair was so silky, and her skin so soft…

Suddenly, without intending to, he recollected a time when they had been sat in her room studying a couple of years back… He had looked up, at almost the exact same time as she did. There was a single small section of her hair that had fallen in front of her face, and he had reached out, pushing it back and hooking it behind her ear. His hand had maybe lingered a few seconds longer than it had needed to, he now realised, although at the time he had meant nothing by it… There was something about her though…the thought of seeing her couldn’t help but make him smile, and even the briefest smile from her made him feel a strange type of warm inside…

She was just…wonderful… Looking over, he saw her lean over to say something to Maria, and then…

“Max…?”

Blinking, he found himself looking back into her face, for the first time realising the truth about his feelings it seemed… She was lovely…and well, maybe Alex was right… Maybe he ‘liked’ her…

“Max…?” Liz looked at her friend, taking in the glazed look in his eyes with no small amount of concern. Was he okay…? She waved her hand in front of his face, smiling as he reached out to stop her, his eyes refocusing in front of him it seemed. The brunette grinned. “There you are, I wondered where you had gone for a moment there…” She commented with a giggle.

“W-what, oh…sorry…no…” Max found that he was struggling to speak after his latest realisation and just wanted to sink into the floor as he felt his ears heating up. He groaned inwardly in embarrassment, knowing that comments were sure to follow and quickly gathered up his stuff. “I…uh…need to check something before this afternoon’s class…I’ll see you guys later…” He told them, excusing himself quickly and leaving his practically untouched lunch for Michael to finish as he stood up and left the table, leaving behind him a very confused and slightly bewildered Liz.
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!


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