FanFic -
"A Valentine's Curse"
Part 1
by DragonPrincess
Disclaimer: Not mine. I'll eventually return them. Well, I'll probably keep Liz to do my homework, Isabel to give me fashion advice, Alex to fix my (expletive deleted) computer, Max and Michael for obvious reasons, and Kyle (even though he isn't in my story) cause I think he's cute. Maybe I'll e-mail Valenti to my mom. Laura and J.J. are cool, so they can stir up a little excitement in my usually dull life. Well, maybe I won't return them. So there.
Category: Contest
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This story's premise is based on a story on "Beyond Reality", though you don't have to have seen that to get it. Just know that the vase isn't mine or my fault.
The house was brightly lit, not dim or frighteningly dark as one would expect a house with a cursed object to hold. Sun from the late afternoon shone through the elegant French windows. The white carpet, tan wallpaper and modern appliances easily disguised the chaos that reigned in the home not more than a day ago. Then, the house was bustling with people. Now there were only two.

"So, what do you want us to do with all this stuff?" The worker asked the antique show operator.

"Pack it. Maybe we'll sell the rest of it next year in New Mexico." The operator said nervously wiping his bald head with a napkin. The day was stressful, and he was beginning to feel hot, even in the February cold.

"Cool," the worker said, beginning to wrap the unbought antiques, "This stuff is great. You guys sell a lot. You should do a show here more than once a year."

"The stuff is only great because we take so long to find it," the operator snapped, "Now just pack it." He walked out of the room. The worker rolled his eyes. God, that guy could be such a jerk. He reached over and picked up a red and pink glass vase. I thought this broke, he thought, Wasn't it? His eyes flickered to the dustpan and broom on the other end of the room. Empty. Whoa. Weird. Remembering his job and how he would like to keep it, he wrapped the package and stuck it into the box, not noticing how it began to glow.


One Year Later


"Okay, here we go," Liz said, setting down several drinks on the table. "One blood of alien smoothie and one red Martian cocktail."

"What flavor is this?" the customer, a thin brunette asked, stirring the red smoothie with the straw adorned with an alien cupid.

"Strawberry," Liz said, "It's for Valentine's day."

"Great," she said with an annoyed glance to her female companion, "As if I need another reminder that I'm single." As if I need another reminder of Max, Liz thought, shooting a quick glance in his direction. He was just as handsome as ever, and he turned away, as if he was caught staring at her. Isabel, his sister, looked over in the direction he was staring at and rolled her eyes. Feeling slightly rejected, Liz took the orders of the two women and went to the kitchen.


~Dear Journal, It's February 12th, two days from Valentine's Day. The most romantic day of the year, and, for the first year, I'm going solo. I suppose Max was right when he said that we'd end up getting hurt, but it seems like every five minutes it's slapped back into my face. Not only do I have to watch the person I want to be with most in the world in all my classes at school, but I also now have to act cheery and consolable to those who think singality is because they're not pretty or don't try hard enough. I can only wonder, though, if they had the same reason for being single that I do, what would I say to them? All I know is, it hurts like anything and I think I'd do almost anything to feel normal again.


"What are your parents doing on Valentines Day?" Maria asked Liz as the two of them cleaned up the Crashdown after work.

"Probably not much," Liz said, wiping off the counter, "Dad's going to take her to dinner, give her one of those heart-shaped boxes of chocolates complete with a mushy love note and they'll probably be home really late if they come home at all. Yeah, and we get the day off." She shot Maria a smile, "Yours?"

"Mom does nothing. She's boycotting Valentine's Day for the tenth year in a row. Grandma and Grandpa DeLuca are the ones who have all the fun. They get their dentures clean and get Grandpa's refill of Viagra then they go to dinner."

"Well, it's better than 'by myself' night." Liz said, beginning wiping off the milkshake machine.

"Why don't you ask Max out?" Maria asked casually.

"No, Maria, you know why we're not together. We're just...different. And besides," she said, keeping her voice under control, "We knew we'd get hurt at the beginning. It's no big deal." Maria shot her a look. "Really!" Liz insisted.

Maria narrowed her eyes and walked up to her friend, "You're talking to me. Me. You can't pull that 'it's no big deal' stuff with me. You and Max get the whole 'look-into-my-eyes-soul mate' thing going, you break up and you're trying to tell me its no big deal?" Liz nodded.

"Whatever." Maria said, not even bothering to hide her lack of belief.

"Why don't you ask Michael out?" Liz challenged.

"Cause he's a jerk." Maria said, not missing a beat, "So," she changed the subject, "what are *you* going to be doing on Valentine's Day?"

"Oh, I don't know," Liz said, "I think I'm set for sitting at home, binging on Mint Choc ice cream and two or three viewings of 'She's All That'."

"Sounds good," Maria said, "Can I come?"

"Only if you promise to bring 'Young Frankenstein'."

"Deal." Maria grinned, "God, we're pretty pathetic, huh? No guys. Girl's night on Valentine's Day."

"Sorry, pathetic is a little too late." Isabel said, appearing from the back of the kitchen, "Sorry, your mom said I could come in." she gave them a small smile, "What are you guys doing?"

"Watching our meager lives pass us by." Liz said, sitting down.

"You too, huh?" Isabel said, sitting next to her.

"You?" Maria asked, "I thought, like, every guy in the school wants to go out with you."

Isabel gave her one of her famous annoyed glances, "I think not. They act like wolves on Valentine's day. Besides, my mom's hosting an antique-show thing at the house so they want me there."

Liz brightened, "That sounds better than movies and ice-cream."

"It's not." Isabel said, "They do it every year. I just was coming to ask if you guys could come over and," she let out a long sigh, "Get me out of it. Tell them we've got to study or whatever. I really don't care. I just want out."

"Why don't you go out with those friends of yours?" Maria asked, "Those 'if-you-do-something-then-it-affects-all-of-us' girls?"

"Yeah," Isabel rolled her eyes, "That'll be fun."

"It's no big deal," Liz said, "We could come over and then Maria and I could go back to my house, unless," she paused, "You want to come."

"No thanks," Isabel said, although she smiled at the offer, "I've got better things to do. Trust me."


Valentine's Day


"Doesn't he want refreshments or something?" Mr. Evans called to his wife.

"Yeah, I had some stuff set out already," Ms. Evans replied, "Lemonade where did all those nuts go?? Max!" Max continued to stare at the ceiling of his room, "Yeah?" he called back without moving.

"Did you eat the snacks?" Ms. Evans asked, "They were supposed to be for the guests!" Max didn't reply, but he continued to stare at the blank spot on the ceiling.

"I think Michael took them when he came over yesterday," he heard Isabel say, "But there are potato chips in the trunk."

"Is Michael coming over today?" Mr. Evans asked.

"Yeah, probably. Some of my friends are going to come over too. I need to study for that big mid-term." Max rolled his eyes. Isabel always had something she had to do during the antique show. Booo-ring! She'd always say with a roll of her eyes.

"Is Max okay?" he heard his mother whisper, "He seems a little, I dunno, quiet."

"Quiet? Max?" Isabel chuckled, "You'd never see that in him." Max sighed as he heard his sister come upstairs and open the door to his room. "Bad day?" she asked.

"Define 'bad'." Max quipped.

"Liz bad?" Isabel asked, sitting on the bed.

Max sat up, "I can't believe I broke up with her so close to this time of year. I mean, I know how dangerous everything is...I just...when I'm around her I feel..."

"Normal?" Isabel supplemented.

"Yeah," Max sighed, "But I'm not, and, I guess, I'm supposed to not be. It's just...I don't know. I wish things could be different."

"Doesn't everybody?" Isabel said with a smile, "But you know how important it was that you broke it off. We can't get attached in any possible way. You know that."

"Yeah, I suppose." Max fell back on the bed and continued his staring at the ceiling. Isabel stood up and sighed, "I swear you're going to burn a hole in that thing." She began to walk out of the room.

"It'll be a bitch to explain to mom and dad, won't it?" Max said, keeping his eyes fixed on the ceiling.


Michael walked into the Evans household. It was sort of like his home-away-from-hell, even though he usually felt like an outsider there. Max and Isabel were the Evans', while Michael was just that pathetic kid who lived in a really crappy household. It wasn't like they didn't try to treat him like an actual person. On his 7th birthday they bought him a really expensive toy set with a little truck, a drawing kit, a watercolor paint set and even a yellow rubber duckie. Of course, the other kids in his foster home took it and broke everything. After that, Michael asked Max to never let his mother give him anything. He didn't want to give others the satisfaction of destroying something that was once his.

"Hey, Michael," Isabel greeted him, carrying a large statue from the kitchen. Michael nodded, "What's that?"

"I've got no clue. It's like some sort of god," she put it on the coffee table next to several other antiques, "Not like I really care anyhow."

Michael nodded again, "Where's Max?"

Isabel shrugged, "Last I saw him he was in his room. He may have vacated the place and snuck over to the Crashdown. Closed or not, he's got to see his Lizzy."

"I thought they broke up," Michael said.

"Like that's going to stop them." Isabel sighed, "But he's probably in his room." She went back into the kitchen.

God, I hate this, she sighed, opening another cardboard box. Slowly she unwrapped the first antique. It was a reddish-pink vase. Whoa. This is so cool. She flipped it over to check it for a price. $750. Not THAT cool.

After she put it down she got a sudden wave of dizziness. Isabel steadied herself on the counter. < What's going on? >

"Hey, Iz, Max isn't in his room, but he's helping your dad with some boxes..." Michael walked into the kitchen. Isabel was leaning over the counter, looking sick.

"Are you okay?" he asked, taking a few steps toward her.

Isabel looked up with a really bizarre expression on her face.

"Michael," she said, breaking into a smile. < Uh oh. > he thought. That was the same expression Liz gave Max like, all the time. Before Michael was exactly sure what was going on, Isabel pulled him into a passionate kiss.


"I so don't think we should do this," Maria complained as she and Liz walked toward the Evans' house.

"Look, it's no big deal," Liz said, sounding more calm than she felt, "We'll just go in there, tell Ms. Evans that we're here to study, then we'll just go home."

"Fine. I just really don't want to have to deal with Mr. I-don't-want-to-get-attached." Maria said with a shrug. When they turned the corner Liz stopped cold. Max. He waved good-bye to his parents, and turned and looked almost guiltily at Maria and Liz. They walked towards the house, and Max met then at the middle. "You're here to pick up Isabel, right?" Max said.

"Yeah," Liz said, looking at the ground, "It'll only take a couple of minutes." Max sighed. Only a few minutes? Secretly he hoped she would be around for a little longer.

"Michael isn't here, is he?" Maria said, breaking the silence as they walked into the house.

"Yeah, he's..." Max began. To answer her question, Michael rushed toward the door, with a really disturbed look and pink lipstick slathered on his face. "Michael?" Max asked.

"Maxwell," Michael said, "You gotta help me."


"There is something seriously wrong with Isabel," Michael said, looking over his shoulder. "What do you mean?" Liz asked.

"Michael?" came Isabel's voice from the kitchen. Michael gave a pleading look to Max and Liz, "I didn't come this way." He rushed past them, up toward Max's room. Max, Liz and Maria watched him go, each having their own confused look. At one they turned to see Isabel walk into the room, her usually perfectly applied lipstick smudged and a goofy grin on her face.

"Did Michael come this way?" she asked.

"Are you okay?" Max asked.

"Yeah," Isabel said, her grin broadening, "I just SO have got to find Michael."

"Why?" Maria asked, "Does it have to do with the reason he's wearing your lipstick?" Maria felt a stab of jealousy hit her chest. Isabel and Michael? Yikes. Way to go, girl. You wait too long and he finally figured out Queen Amidala is a girl.

"Yeah," Isabel said, "I never realized how really adorable he is."

"What?" Max asked with shock, "You're talking about Michael, right?"

"Yeah!" Isabel said, "I LOVE him!!"

"What?" Max, Liz and Maria said in unison.


Alex took a deep breath, and continued to lug the huge box out of the car. His mom could be so irritating. It wasn't like he didn't already have a ton and a half of schoolwork to do, but his mom wanted him to drag all of grandma's old pottery to the Evan's for that stupid antique show thing. Alex grinned. The only good thing about this whole thing was that he got to say 'hi' to Isabel. The prettiest girl in school. Silky blonde hair, beautiful, soulful eyes, and a supermodel-like face and figure. Even though at that big party she said he was 'different' and 'sweet', she was way out of his league. Girls like Isabel were football-player-dating material. Not computer-nerd-garage-band-guy material. He sighed and pushed open the Evan's front door. He was greeted by Isabel's screaming voice, "He DOES love me!"

"Isabel, what's come over you?" Max's voice.

Alex put down the box and turned around, "What's going on?"

"Alex!" Liz said, looking totally exasperated, "What are you doing here?"

"My mom wanted me to drop this off..." he began.

Michael's voice came from upstairs, "Is she gone?"

Isabel broke into a 5-million-watt smile, "Michael?" She tried to go toward the stairs, but Max stopped her.

"Listen, Izzy," he said, "You've got to sit down, and...calm down."

"I have to talk to Michael," she said.

"Okay, when did Isabel wig out like this?" Maria asked.

Alex was very confused, "What's going on?"

Liz sighed, "Isabel thinks she's in love with Michael." Alex froze. Michael? Oh, no.

"And he so doesn't love her back." Maria said. Isabel stopped struggling with Max and she began to stare hard at Maria.

"It's because of you." She said, "You're making him not love me!"

"What?" Maria asked.

"I'll kill you!" Isabel shouted, charging towards her.

"ISABEL!" Max shouted, grabbing her by the shoulders, "What's gotten into you? You don't love Michael!"

Isabel looked like she was going to cry, "Yes I do. I knew none of you would understand me!" She turned and ran outside.

Alex looked like he was going to be sick, "Okay, somebody tell me what just happened."

Liz looked at Max, "I'm drawing a blank."

Max nodded, "I'll talk to Michael. Liz..." he looked pleadingly at her. "Please talk to Isabel."


"I know Isabel is pretty and all," Michael said to Max, "But, you know, it's like she's my sister. It's...gross."

"She thinks of you as a brother too," Max said.

"Yeah, well I hope she doesn't kiss you like that." Michael sighed, "What's up with her?"


"I used to think of him as just like, a brother, you know." Isabel said to Liz, "But I was cleaning out those stupid antiques, and I saw him and I just knew, you know."

Liz nodded, "But why Michael?"

Isabel looked confused, "Because...I don't know. That's like me asking you 'why Max?'"

"Okay, I understand, but you know that Michael doesn't feel, you know, the same way." Liz said slowly, afraid of having Isabel lash out.

"He has to!" Isabel said, almost in desperation, "If Michael doesn't love me I'll just...kill myself!"

Liz winced, "No, you can't do that. You could...try to change his mind." Just please don't do something stupid! She thought.


"I don't think I could ever think of her like that!" Michael said, wiping off Isabel's pink lipstick and trying in desperation to forget her kissing him.

"What was she looking at?" Max asked.

"I don't know. Some vase in the kitchen." Michael said, "Why?"

"It might have something to do with her bizarre attitude," Max said, starting to walk out.

"Like what?" Michael asked, "It's cursed?"

"Don't know," Max said, "It could be anything."


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