Zanity - I agree, but unfortunately what Michael needs to do, and will do could be quite different...
Morning Dreamgirl - Thanks for the vote of confidence Ashley, I wish I was as sure... As for what am I going to be doing after...? - Well actually crazy as it sounds, I'm debating doing another year at uni right now it turns out - a studentship, to give me the experience all the jobs want *shrugs*
Anyway, as for the fic, I'm glad that you liked the last chapter, I wasn't sure about the Liz and Michael, but I hope it worked okay. Unfrotunately when I think of Michael, I think of a mule (as in stubborn as lol) so I don't see him changing his mind quickly, even if he is punishing himself by doing so...
Timelord31 - everything you say is true, but making Michael see that could take some time. Thanks for the good luck wishes.
Emz80m - Thanks for reading, glad you're still enjoying the story.
Hopefully he'll get more answers when they talk more. Maybe he'll be more level headed and calmed down to be more understanding
Hmm, nice idea, but as you say, this is Michael...
Flamehair - Thanks, glad you enjoyed it, not so sure that Michael did of course...
Maya - Big step maybe, but still a long way to go I feel.
anonyamousarfan - Good luck with your exams
As for Michael and the dreamwalking - maybe Isabel is thinking a little of the 'types' of dreams which might be likely too hehe
Lazza - LOL, I did debate before adding that last, hope it wasn't too out of character... As for trust...it goes both ways...
Forensicschic - No problem about the reviewing, pleased to know you're still reading and enjoying the story though.
behrlyliz - hmm...what can I say...? maybe best to just read and see
Asabetha - Stubborn is Michael's middle name - didn't you know that Thanks for reading, glad you're enjoying the story.
Okay, so I should be revising, but I've been writing instead, and therefore am here with a new chapter for you. Might be the last for a while, although then again I do need a break sometimes .
Anyway, this next is a little shorter than most have been but only a little, and after some consideration I figured it was best to leave it a little shorter, than add for the sake of adding, hope you agree.
Thanks to everyone reading, hope you're all enjoying the story.
Ooooh… Isabel stretched her arms up above her head, opening her eyes as she heard the alarm go off. She hadn’t been sleeping of course, well, not for the last couple of hours anyway, it was more dozing, and studiously avoiding the two new dream orbs which she had noticed on the dream plane. Michael still wanted her to look of course, and had made that perfectly clear, but she was remaining firm – she didn’t want to ruin things before they even had a chance to talk properly!
Especially after Liz having helped her brother like that… Maria had told her when she asked that it was only his pig-headed determination which had meant there was a burn left at all – unfortunately he just didn’t seem to know when to give in, and so was still sporting a majorly sore hand.
Both girls had tried to convince him to go to Max the day before – before it was seen at school and healing wasn’t necessary. It was plain that he was in a lot of pain, and neither understood why he didn’t have the sense to accept he help offered. Of course this was Michael they were talking to, so maybe it was a case of what was there to understand…
Pushing back her covers, she sat up and tried not to think about the angry looking patch of skin which she had helped to redress the night before. Perhaps it was because of the fact that they were never ‘ill’ as such, but things like that always made her a little queasy, and quite honestly she didn’t know how her brother had managed to cope as it was.
If only he would get over his major aversion to letting them in… She supposed that it had been fortunate that he hadn’t forced Liz away and refused help altogether, but from what she had seen, Liz had been entirely honest about her abilities when it came to healing others – they were minimal at best…
She jumped slightly, surprised by the sudden pounding on her door. After assuring herself it wasn’t Hank however, she grabbed her robe from the bottom of the bed, slipping her arms through the sleeves and tying it around her waist as she made her way to the door which she had locked the night before to avoid a repeat of the last ‘bedtime conversation’ with her brother.
“IZZY, come on, unlock this will ya?” Her brother’s voice sounded again through the door which separated them, followed by an attempt to turn the handle. She gave a small smile of something which almost appeared to be amusement. Michael’s lack of skill in manipulating structures did come in handy sometimes…although…
As the handle began to glow a little, her eyes widened in alarm. “OKAY MICHAEL, I’M HERE, CUT THAT OUT!” Waiting for the glowing to subside, she quickly released the door and opened it to face her brother. “I am allowed privacy you know!” She commented, raising an eyebrow at him. Whatever his reason for trying to barge in again, this had better be good!
Not missing the look she gave him, Michael squirmed awkwardly a little. “Sorry…I just…wanted to make sure you were up…” He finished lamely.
“Of course I’m up! Since when am I ever late?” She shot an exasperated look in his direction. It wasn’t as though she was running late anyway – they had plenty of time before Maria was due to pick them up…didn’t they…? Suddenly suspicious, she looked back at her brother questioningly. “Why are you in such a hurry anyway?”
Michael shrugged. “Oh nothing much…just I asked Maria to pick us up early…”
Isabel frowned. “Why would you do that?” She questioned.
“Oh you know, I needed to check something out in the library…”
His sister was far from convinced by his explanation – Most of the time Michael didn’t even want to go to school, never mind going in early to check something in the library… No, that just didn’t wash… “Now the real reason!” She stated, waiting expectantly.
“Shouldn’t you be getting ready anyway…?”
Michael’s blatant attempt to change the subject only seemed to confirm that something was going on. “MICHAEL, what are you up to…? And don’t tell me nothing – I’m not stupid!” Glaring at her brother, Isabel remained where she was, tapping her foot on the floor impatiently.
Scowling, Michael shrugged. “Fine, I want to check out their lockers before school starts…” He admitted without showing the slightest sign of remorse over the idea.
Needing no clarification of who ‘they’ would be, Isabel shook her head at him. “Do you know the meaning of the phrase ‘leave well alone’?” She snapped. Didn’t he see he was just going to make this worse?
“They lied to us!”
“AND WE LIED TO THEM!” Her tone was short and angry. Why couldn’t he just move on…? Sure they had lied, but she could understand why… “Michael, Liz tried to heal your hand, Max would have done it completely… They have tried to help you, and you pushed it away…” Biting down on her lip, she averted her eyes from the bandaged hand. “Why do you have to be so stubborn, why can’t you accept that they might actually be on our side?”
“Why should we believe what they say though, we have no proof, it ju--“ Michael broke off sharply, a look of pain shooting across his face as his sister, clearly fed up with this, pushed past him, catching his hand in the process.
She turned and looked back at him. “Give them a chance Michael…maybe you’ll find you like them…” With those words, she headed away, pulling open the door which led into the ‘bathroom’ and closing it behind her.
“Max…have you been in my locker…?” Liz looked over at her husband questioningly as she opened the door to find certain things out of order. She was certain those papers lying on top had been at the back…
Turning, with a frown on his face, Max shook his head, moving closer so that he could take a look himself. “No…I--“ He broke off, catching sight of something in the small mirror which his wife had fixed to the inside of the door. His lips thinned into an expression of displeasure, turning around to glare at the guy who was stood not too far up the corridor.
“Max…?” Turning to follow his gaze, Liz questioned softly, reaching out to put a hand on his shoulder as she realised what he had seen. “Calm down…” She murmured softly, worrying about what this could develop into. “Honey please, leave it…” She looked up at him, pleading, but to no avail.
Pulling back from her, Max’s expression hardened as he shook his head. “No, this has gone far enough!” He stated, walking away from her, briskly, to intercept the other guy who had just started to walk away. “MICHAEL!”
Clenching her fist as she swallowed, Liz looked around as she closed her locker. Maria, Isabel, even Alex… Anyone who might be able to help diffuse this…
Unfortunately though, the corridor it seemed was sickeningly empty…
Making a rapid assessment of the situation, she waved a hand over the padlock on her locker, before hurrying after the two boys who it seemed had stopped just short of the main doors.
“Where do you get off? What makes you think you have the right to search our home and possessions like that?” Max demanded, his tone angry and bitter. He had been nice and understanding, he had refrained from making much comment on breaking and entering which had taken place on Friday, but enough was enough! His wife had gone out of her way the previous day to try and help him the previous day, and how did he respond? - by breaking into her locker.
“Well I have to find out the truth about you somehow, it’s not like you’re overwhelming with your desire to provide answers…” Michael glared back at the other guy, ignoring for the moment the brunette who approached.
“Guys please!” Trying to step inbetween the two of them, Liz looked from one to the other, shaking her head. “This is neither the time, nor the place!” She told them pointedly, noting with some alarm that the previously quiet corridor was fast acquiring a large number of people, most of whom were looking at them. This was not what they needed…not in any shape or form…
“He has to learn he can’t do that! I won’t have him spying on us or searching out things!” Although he acknowledged his wife’s words, Max wasn’t ready to let this drop. Michael’s behaviour had been unacceptable from the start…
“Why, because the almighty King says so?” Michael practically spat out the words, apparently completely unaware of the growing crowd.
Liz’s eyes widened in horror as she heard his words, this was bad – hopefully people would assume that Michael was just being sarcastic for the moment of course, but what else might he say if not stopped. She swallowed and opened her mouth to try again. “Guys, you’re making a scene, I--“
“MICHAEL GUERIN, QUIT IT!” Liz’s gentle pleas were replaced by something completely different as Maria’s voice sounded and she, Isabel and Alex all ran up. Whether or not they knew exactly what had happened was unsure, but clearly all three had heard Michael’s little explosion, and were attempting to step in.
Letting them take that side of the dispute, Liz concentrated her efforts on her husband as she reached again for his arm. “Max, please, calm down…this is definitely not ‘low profile’!”
This time, her words seemed to get through more fully, and after looking around, Max glared at Michael who had been surrounded by the others in his group. “This isn’t over…” He muttered, seething quietly as he stepped back, taking Liz’s hand and tugging on it slightly to guide her away from the trouble. “Let’s get to class…”
“Are you completely and utterly clueless?” Isabel hissed, glaring at her brother as they headed down the corridor. Bad enough that he had gone ahead with searching their lockers, but his outburst in front of the other students was just incredible.
Michael scowled. “He started it!”
“Yeah, and it had nothing to do with the fact that as he so rightly said, you’ve been searching their lockers!” Maria stepped in, swatting his arm. She couldn’t believe that he had done that – actually, yes she could – but didn’t he get that trust went both ways…? Liz and Max had trusted him, and now it was time to trust them…
“HEY!” He winced again as she caught his hand.
“And don’t try playing the wounded soldier! You’re the one that was too stubborn to accept help, so you can just deal with it!” His girlfriend snapped, feeling little sympathy for his pain considering that she knew full well the offer he had turned down.
“I’m not playing the wounded soldier! I’m fine!” Michael glared back at them. “And all I did was try to find out the truth!”
“No, all you did was just yell out in front of tonnes of students stuff about our secret!” His sister wasn’t going to let this slip easily. She was mad enough about his whole ‘search for the truth’ routine, but she couldn’t believe he could have been so careless. …
“They don’t have a clue what I meant!” He scowled, dismissing the comment he had made. Sure maybe it had been a bad choice of words, but he wasn’t going to admit that, and besides, that wasn’t the point!
She shook her head, looking back at her brother and then suddenly grabbing his arm, pulling him into the eraser room as they passed and shutting the door. “That’s not the point and you know it! Michael you say you’re trying to keep us safe, but your words could have put us in so much danger!” She hissed, careful to keep her tone low as they stood there. “Have you completely forgotten what you’ve always said? – be careful, don’t draw attention to ourselves, never use our abilities in public!”
“Of course I haven’t forgotten! I just want to know what they’re up to Izzy, I want the truth!” Pushing past her, he reached for the handle, turning it reading to step back outside, only to find it was locked. He looked over at his sister. “Izzy…”
She shook her head. “No Michael, this has gone far enough! You are going to listen to me for once okay?” Maybe Michael liked to think he was the one in charge of their little group – and on many an occasion she supposed he did – but on this occasion she was calling the shots.
Michael opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off again by his sister before he could get a word out of his mouth. “I like Liz and Max…so do Alex and Maria… Now yes, they weren’t completely honest with them, but it wasn’t as though we were either…” She paused a moment, letting the words sink in buy continued before he had a chance to speak. “We have a chance to get the answers we’ve always wanted…and to gain friends and family in the process…and I want to take that chance…” Trailing off, she looked back up at her brother. “I don’t know if this is relating to the whole ‘brother/sister’ issue, but whether I accept Max as a brother or not, he’s not going to take your place…” Her tone softened as she raised this issue, continuing to look at him as she did so.
For a moment, Michael said nothing… Quite honestly, what was there to say? His pride wouldn’t let him admit he was wrong of course, yet Isabel’s words had struck a chord. She was right about this being, to some extent, related to the ‘sister/brother’ issue… He couldn’t deny that when he had heard Max tell Isabel she was his sister, he had felt a certain sense of loss… He had grown up with her, looked after her, she was his sister and he didn’t want someone just stepping in to take his place…
And then there was Liz of course… His cousin… He had tried not to think too much about it, and yet he couldn’t help remembering the way she had looked. Oh yes, he had noticed, not that he would admit such a thing… He knew that his response had hurt her, and that again, the previous day, he had pushed her away… She wanted to get to know him, and he had refused…
“Michael…” Isabel reached out, touching his arm. “Michael please, just give them a chance… Get to know them, take some time…let them in…” She told him softly in a voice which was now little more than a whisper.
Her brother swallowed, trying to maintain his stone-wall façade. Showing emotions was a sign of weakness, he didn’t want to give them that advantage… Throughout his life, there had been exactly three people he had allowed to get close to him – his sister, Maria, and Alex… Everyone else, he kept at a distance.
“They’re not our enemies you know…”
He blinked at her words, looking down at his sister. “How do you know that Izzy…how can you say that…? He questioned, shaking his head. There was a part of him that wanted to believe, but another which was naturally suspicious.
Isabel sighed and shook her head. “Because I looked into Liz’s eyes, I listened to her when she and Max revealed themselves, and you know what I saw?” She paused rhetorically before continuing. “I saw a scared young girl…whose life is and has been difficult…” She swallowed, and shook her head. “I didn’t see someone who thought she was better than me, or who made herself out to be important… I saw someone who I’d guess hasn’t had many friends, and was scared of losing those she thought she had made…” Letting her words hang in the air, Isabel turned towards the door as there came a sharp knock. “Just think about it…okay…? I have to get to class…I’ll see you later…” She told her brother as she opened the door and slipped out onto the corridor, rejoining Maria and Alex before the three of them headed off to their next classes, leaving Michael, who had stayed behind, alone with his thoughts.