FanFic - Alice in Wonderland Contest
Part 9
by Lilybunny
Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine. I just followed me down my rabbit-hole one day and I decided to let them hang out and play. I promise to let them back out when they’re done :)
Category: Contest Stories
Rating: PG-13
Maria sat on the couch, her legs stretched out on the coffee table and her head feeling like it was going to explode. She turned her foot in a little circle and marveled again at the fact that the pain was gone. After they were a safe distance away from Sheriff Valeni’s prying eyes Isabel had casually leaned down and healed her. Afterwards Isabel had looked at her very strangely and was silent the rest of the way to Maria’s house. Now Isabel sat quietly on the other side of the couch, her eyes fixed on an old movie that had been on when Amy had absentmindedly turned on the television as she fussed over Maria. Amy had sent Michael off to the corner store to get some ice to reduce any potential swelling of Maria’s ankle, and as they couldn’t very well explain to Amy that Isabel had healed Maria’s fractured bone he had gone off on the useless errand without complaint.

“Mom, I’m fine, really!” Maria said one more time as Amy plumped up the pillow under her foot. “I wish you would just slow down a second. You’re making me dizzy.”

“Dizzy? You’re dizzy? Maybe I SHOULD take you to the emergency room…”

“No, mom. No hospital okay.” Maria blurted out as Isabel looked up, both girls worried that the silver marks on her ankle left over from Isabel’s healing would be discovered. “Look, why don’t you go make us some tea or something.”

Amy looked for a few moments at Maria as if making sure that her daughter would be okay if she left her for a few moments to brew some tea. “Okay. Mint?” she asked them. The two girls nodded, and Maria thought that she’d drink a gallon of Grief Relief if only to get her mother to stop hovering. Amy left the two girls and headed into the kitchen.

Maria looked at the silent Isabel, wondering why she was still there, why she had offered to come at all. She gave her foot a twirl again and realized that no matter what Isabel’s reasons Maria hadn’t yet thanked her for her help. “Thank you” Maria said to Isabel. “The pain is completely…”

“I wouldn’t do that to you, you know.” Isabel interrupted her. “I wouldn’t try to interfere with you and Michael.”

Maria’s mouth dropped open as she wondered why Isabel would say what she did. But then she realized that Isabel must have seen her thoughts while healing her. “I know how close you two are…” Maria began, trying to explain why she felt that way.

“Exactly Maria. I AM very close to Michael. I worry about him.” Isabel said angrily, turning to look back at the television.

“So you think I’m going to hurt him? That I’m going to break his heart or something?” Maria replied as her own anger began to build inside. She would never hurt Michael. Not in a million years.

“No. That’s not it at all.” Isabel said. Taking a deep breath Isabel waved a hand at Maria dismissively. “You wouldn’t understand.”

“Why because I’m not an alien?” she said bitterly, expecting Isabel to agree. But she was wrong.

“No, because you don’t have a brother.” Maria was shocked by Isabel’s words. Isabel continued, “Michael has always been kind of fragile. I know he doesn’t look it, but he is.”

“Don’t you think I know that Isabel?” Maria asked her. “Believe me I have seen sides of Michael Guerin that I don’t think he’s show to too many people.” Maria gave Isabel a look that spoke volumes. “If any.” She added, immediately regretting doing so as Isabel looked sadly down at her hands and nodded.

“I know. I’ve seen the way he is with you. I’ve seen how you get through to him. I’ve tried Maria, believe me I have tried. But whenever I do he only goes further back into his shell. But it’s different with you.” Isabel looked up at Maria, her face more open and honest than Maria had ever seen it before “And that makes me happy. I’m happy that I don’t have to be the only one who worries about him, the only one who sees the little boy in him. And that there’s just one more reason for him to stay here. To not leave me. Leave us.”

Maria held Isabel’s gaze. “Why haven’t you ever told me this before.”

Isabel laughed, trying hard to hold back the tears that her confession were ringing out of her. “I’m not sure actually. Maybe because then I’d have to admit I’m kind of fragile too. I dunno. I’m not used to making heartfelt confessions I guess.”

The two girls looked across the couch at each other and Maria realized that there was more to Isabel Evans than she had ever possibly imagined. Somehow the night didn’t seem as much of a disaster as it had before. With a shy smile the two turned to the television screen to watch Cary Grant fumble around in black and white, trying to keep his murderous aunts’ deeds a secret. They heard the side door shut and after a few moments Amy came back with the tea, Michael following behind her carrying a tea towel filled with ice for Maria’s ankle. Maria smiled at him as he put the towel on her leg. As he smiled back Isabel let out a sigh and rolled her eyes.

“Ugh. Like I’m going to sit here and watch you two all night. Could you please give me a ride home Mrs. De Luca?”

“Of course.” Amy said. “Michael, do you need a lift home too?”

Michael opened his mouth to answer but Maria interrupted. “I-I’d kinda like Michael to stay mom. If that’s okay?”

Amy looked hesitantly at the two of them and reluctantly agreed. “Sure. I’ll be back in a flash. Do you need anything while I’m gone?”

Maria shook her head no as Isabel and Amy got up and walked into the kitchen and out the side door of the house.

Michael gave her a scrutinizing glance as they heard the side door shut. “So how are you really?” he asked her.

“Well, aside from feeling like a complete klutz I’m doing okay.” She said and laughed, wincing slightly as her laughter sent another burst of pain through her head. “Oh yeah,” she added. “And my brain is about to explode. You might want to stand clear. Could be messy.”

Michael leaned in close and wrapped his left hand into her hair, gently placing it over the bump that had resulted in her collision with the sound equipment on stage. Maria closed her eyes, the feeling of Michael’s fingers wrapped through her hair sending a small shiver down her spine. Michael pulled himself towards her, laying his forehead on hers as he focused his powers on healing her. A tingling sensation spread across Maria’s body as the pain in her head began to clear. Opening her eyes she looked at him, the gentle expression on his face touching her deep in her heart. Michael opened his eyes as the last of her pain dissipated and the two of them stared into each other’s eyes for a moment before Michael leaned in and kissed her deeply. Melting into his embrace Maria wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him to her tightly. The two lost themselves completely into each other until suddenly Michael pulled away and looked at her with a puzzled expression.

“What’s wrong?” Maria asked him, worried at what he might have seen in her thoughts.

“Bunny ears?” he asked her, his eyebrows scrunched up in confusion. “Why are you imagining me with bunny ears?”

Maria smiled and curled up against him. “I’ll tell you about it someday.” She said to him as she laid her head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat. And she knew, for the first time as he held her in his arms that this was where she meant to be.

The End.

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