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 Post subject: Roswell: Under the Mistletoe (K/I-A/T) Teen-Complete (8/13)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:14 am 
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Title: Under the Mistletoe
Author: Annie
Couples: Kyle/Isabel - Alex/Tess - a little bit of Candy love thrown in.
Rating: Teen
Summary: Its the Christmas time in Roswell. The local radio station is holding a holiday contest and there few hearts hanging in the balance. This is a sequel to The Last to Know.
Disclaimer: You know that I don’t own them. They belong to Melinda Metz, Jason Katims and the rest of the powers that be.

Author's Note: Hey everyone. A big huge thanks goes out to Jbangelo. She won me in the Holiday Author Auction and wanted some In Crowder love. So much fun to write, let me tell you. Plus, she didn't mind the bit of Fifthwheeler action thrown in.

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Part One:


Six days before Christmas…

“Wait, wait,” Tess protested, half-heartedly. “I was being serious when I said that we had to talk.”

“Uh huh.” But Alex’s lips didn’t stop trailing a line of light kisses down her throat.

For a moment, she gave in, not wanting to let anything interrupt this small pleasure. For the past couple of weeks, the only time they had together were these stolen moments sneaking off to the eraser room. Every other time they were in each other’s presence, they’d been so careful not to look too long, touch too much, talk too quietly. No, that would have given away the fact that Tess Harding and Alex Whitman were on their way towards becoming a serious couple.

Who would have thought that was in the realm of possibilities?

Tess hadn’t. At least, she hadn’t consciously. Yet, ever since the night of Alex’s Un-birthday party, she’d had dreams, disturbingly clear dreams about Alex and what it might be like to be with him. In the morning when she woke from one of those dreams, she felt equal parts embarrassment and longing.

It didn’t help that Alex had been going out of his way to be nice to her. Nearly every other morning, she found him waiting for her by her locker. They’d spent several lunch hours debating the highs and lows of cinema, music, and books. The whole time, Tess had to work extra hard to keep the feelings growing inside her from showing. And she managed, really well, if she did say so herself.

Until the day Alex brought her his favorite comic book, intending to loan it to her because he thought that her education in that area was seriously lacking. The gesture was so sweet, so earnest, that Tess felt her heart go splat right to the ground at her feet. So, she did what any normal girl would have done in the same situation. She burst into tears and ran off.
Alex followed her.

For as long as she lived, Tess would never forget what happened when he caught up with her. All of her feelings for him rushed out of her in a long ramble. God, she’d kept nothing back. Not even her dreams about him. For a second, seeing the stunned expression on his face, Tess thought that she’d ruined everything. Then, he kissed her, right here in the eraser room. They’d been stealing moments in here ever since.

However, she wanted more than a brief kisses here or a quick knowing look there. She wanted be able to walk down the hallway, holding his hand, and know that their friends would be okay with it. She wanted to know that Alex would be okay with that.

She wanted to know that he wasn’t ashamed to be with her.

Tess felt Alex’s lips make the journey back towards her jaw. She sighed, and used every last bit of her willpower to pull back a bit. “I’m serious, Alex. We need to talk.”

His hands stayed at her waist, but he didn’t try to pull her back to him. Finally, Tess thought. I’ve gotten through.

“What’s the matter?” he asked. His head tilted to the side just a bit. She felt his eyes searching her face, as if he hoped to gain some clue about what was going on.

Tess didn’t give him time to find one. She simply blurted it out. “I told Kyle about us.”

The expression on Alex’s face went completely blank for an instant. A second later, confusion rushed in. “Why?”

She would have sighed again, if she thought it would do any good. “Because he asked what was going on with me and I didn’t want to lie to him.” She stared into his eyes, praying that he would understand. “I don’t want to lie to anyone about us anymore.”

His grip tightened for a moment as a hint of anger flashed in his eyes. “We aren’t lying,” he countered.

“Not telling everyone is just as bad,” Tess tossed back. “It’s like we feel guilty for something we have no reason to feel guilty about. I want our friends to know. I think that they will be okay with it.”

“And how did Kyle take it?” Alex asked.

By the tone in his voice, Tess could tell that he wasn’t happy with what she’d done. And, when she told him about Kyle’s reaction, she knew he would use it as an excuse not to tell their friends about the relationship. Because he really doesn’t want them to know, she thought.

It took a second to sink in, another to get past the shock, and one last one for her heart to start breaking. All of her suspicions had been confirmed. She was really falling for Alex and he thought of her as a dirty little secret.

This time when Tess took a step back, she moved out of his arms completely. “He wasn’t happy,” she told him. A knowing looking came over Alex’s face.

Tess barely restrained from giving him a smack upside the head.

“Yes, I know,” Tess said, her voice rising. “You were right. Someone wasn’t happy about us being together. But you were wrong about the reasons why. Kyle was mad that we are keeping it a secret from everyone. I get the feeling that he’s worried someone specific.”

She watched as Alex blinked, processing the information. “Who? Who is he worried about?”

This time, Tess’s restraint failed. She gave him a little bop upside the noggin. “Come on, Alex,” she nearly shouted. “Think about it. Who is the only other girl in our group that isn’t ‘officially’ taken? She’s the only other girl in our group that you’ve had a serious relationship with.”

“Isabel?” He shook his head. “We’re just friends.”

“For now,” Tess muttered.

“What’s that suppose to mean?” Alex demanded.

“It means that I think Kyle believes that you might lead me on while you’re waiting for Isabel. Or, maybe he’s worried it might be both of us at the same time. I’m not sure.” She smiled weakly. “He’s really gotten into this big brother-type kick lately. It can be really funny sometimes.”

The smile faded. “But I am not so sure he is wrong this time.”

Now, Alex did reach for her, but Tess stepped back, holding up her hands to ward him off. “Tess,” he said softly. “I’m not waiting for Isabel or anyone else.”

Tess reached for the doorknob as the sound of the bell echoed in the hallway outside. “You’re waiting for something.” She looked over her shoulder at him. “If it’s for me to change or for my feelings to change, neither is going to happen.”

Though she tried as hard with all of her might to keep them back, one tear slipped back, trailing a little path down her cheek. “I’m crazy about you, Alex, but I’m not going to change who I am. Not when I am just beginning to understand who that is.”

With that, she slipped out into the crowd.

~~~~

It was just a case of the holiday blues. At least, that is what Kyle had spent most of lunch trying to convince himself of. If he could find a way to chalk up the gut-deep sense of dread to the impending one-two punch that was Christmas and New Year’s, than he would be okay. If not, than he would just have face how pathetic he was.

And if the person listening to the radio over at the next table didn’t turn that damn thing down he was chucking it out the nearest window. He just could not take one more happy, cheerful Christmas song brought to you by the people at KROZ.

After all, there was no one that he could use mistletoe on as an excuse to steal a kiss. No one who he could make New Year’s plans with. In short, he had no one. He had no reason to be jolly this holiday.

The worst part was that he’d brought this situation on himself. There were prospects, a number of them, as a matter of fact. All he would have to do was pick a phone number and he could fix his current predicament. The kicker was that he didn’t want to fix it. Not with a nameless girl and a relationship that would hold no substance.
Not when none of those phone numbers belonged to a certain blond alien.

If only he’d remained clueless about his feelings, than he could have wandered through life blissfully ignorant and carelessly dating anyone who he found slightly appealing. Hell, he would have loved to live that kind of shallow existence. He was born to lead that kind of life.

If it hadn’t been for Isabel Evans, it’s what he would have done. If he could have just maintained a friendship with her with no deeper feelings involved, he just might have succeeded. But, no, he’d done the unthinkable. He’d fallen head over heels for her. Now, shallow held no appeal for him.

Damn it.

It came as a shock, clear out of the blue, one random day when he least expected it. After helping her put the word out for Alex’s Un-Birthday party, he and Isabel hung out a few times. It was completely benign, just two people – okay, one person and one alien hybrid – grabbing a burger here or having a meaningless conversation there. She’d even helped him study for a geometry test he’d been worried about.

That test had been his downfall.

Kyle remembered like it was yesterday. The teacher passed back their papers and his had an A on the top in bright red ink. His first though had been to show it off to Isabel, maybe take her out for a meal as a thank you for all her help, so he’d decided to wait by her locker after last period.

She’d come down the hall wearing jeans and a red sweater. The fact that the first thought that went through his mind was about how great she looked in red should have the warning alarms going off inside of his head. But, they didn’t. Instead, he’d showed off his test like an eager puppy trying to please his owner.

Isabel beamed, positively sparkled. Inside his chest, Kyle had felt his heart skip a little beat. Then, she threw her arms around him, giving him a big, congratulatory hug. That’s all it took. A smile and a hug, and he’d been sunk.

So, here he was pining for a girl who was pining for his buddy who was snuggling on the DL with the girl he considered to be like a sister. How more screwed up could things get?

“Have you seen Tess?”

Kyle didn’t bother rolling his eyes. It wouldn’t have done any good. After all, the powers that be seemed to have it out for him, so, of course, they would send the other guy in this truly bizarre equation to bug him.

Yeah, Kyle didn’t have to look up to know it was Alex. Only person who was knee deep in muck and sinking by the second would sound like that, the desperation with just a faint hint of panic in his voice.

Too bad Kyle couldn’t drum up the energy to care.

No, most of his energy was too busy being concerned for Tess, pining for Isabel, and pondering how to get the hell out of this situation to worry about the feelings of the guy who was in the middle of this sticky situation. Just when had Whitman become a lothario? That one completely snuck up out of the blue.

“Just how did you think you would manage it?” Kyle wanted to know.

Alex’s eyes stopped scanning the cafeteria. “Manage what? To find Tess? I was hoping massive, wide spreading searching would work.”

Shaking his head, Kyle gave up any pretense of eating the holiday surprise concoction on his tray. Not that it was a loss. He had a feeling the cooks just piled all the leftovers from the last couple of weeks into one mixture so they wouldn’t have to worry about it over the Christmas break.

“No. I was talking about you trying to juggle two girls, both who I happen to care about, at the same time,” Kyle bit out.
A look of complete surprise appeared on Alex’s face. Then, he dropped into the seat next to Kyle. “Do you really believe I would do that?” he asked. “Do you think that I would use either one of them like that?”

“Well,” Kyle said, holding up one finger. “First, you want to keep your relationship with Tess a secret. Maybe she went along with it at first, but I know she’s tired of it now. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have told me about you two. And, after what happened this morning…”

Alex cut him off. “She told you about that?”

He nodded and continued. “You really stepped in it this time, Whitman.” Then, he lifted another finger to join the first. “Second, you and Isabel have always had this on again, off again thing going on, even before I joined our little club. There’s history there, which anyone can see every time the two of you are around each other.”

Kyle heard just the faintest hint of jealously in his own voice. He cleared his throat. “Look, buddy of mine, the evidence is there, and it’s pretty damaging. Just what was I suppose to think?”

With a loud thump, Alex rested his elbows on the table. Then, he dropped his head into his hands. “I don’t know. If the situation had been reversed, I guess I might have come to the same conclusion.” With a groan, Alex fisted his hands in his hair. “But it isn’t like that, I swear. I’m not leading Isabel on. You don’t have to believe me, but it’s the truth. We’re friends. Hell, she one of the best friends I’ve ever had. As for Tess,” his voice trailed off.

“Yeah, as for Tess, I should give you a good ass whooping,” Kyle added. “She cried.”

“Oh God.” Alex shifted his hands, allowing his head to fall to the table below. “I really screwed up.”

Kyle stayed silent for a minute. After all, it wasn’t like he disagreed. His friend had screwed up, big time, and it hurt the feelings of someone that Kyle cared deeply about. However, there was just something he had to know. “Why don’t you want anyone to know about you guys?”

“It’s going to sound selfish,” Alex admitted, “but the reason I wanted to keep it a secret was because I wanted to have something just for myself. When it’s just Tess and I, there’s no pressure, no alien disasters threatening to tear us apart. It’s simply normal.”

“I get that,” Kyle muttered. Didn’t he keep the revelation about his feelings for Isabel a secret because he considered it a private thing?

“Tess thinks it’s her,” Alex continued. “She thinks I don’t want the others to know about us because I’m embarrassed or that I’m waiting for Isabel to change her mind about us.” His eyes shifted over and Kyle could feel Alex’s stare. “She said she got that idea from you. She said that you were worried about Isabel’s feelings.”

Kyle felt his spine go a little straighter. “Well, yeah. Isabel’s a friend of mine. I don’t want to see her get hurt.”
Alex’s eyes narrowed. For a moment, Kyle felt like a science experiment being studied. Then, his friend’s eyes went wide. “You like Isabel.”

Wincing, Kyle jabbed Alex in the side. “Why don’t you try saying it a little louder? I don’t think they heard you on the other end of the cafeteria.”

“Am I right?”

“No,” Kyle denied, but Alex didn’t buy it.

“I am right.” Now, Alex sat up straight, a little smile on his face. “Well, that’s just…”

“Just what, Whitman?” Kyle all but growled.

“Good,” Alex said after a minute. “I think it’s good. Why wouldn’t I? You’re my friend. She’s my friend. If you two are happy together, than I’m happy for you.”

“We’re not together,” Kyle clarified.

Alex blinked. Then, he nodded. “I see.” There was an awkward pause. “Sorry.”

“What are you going to do about Tess?” Kyle asked. He hoped the subject changed would shift the focus of his unrequited love.

For a moment, it worked. The expression on Alex’s face dropped. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “I really don’t know.”

“I’m thinking that groveling is the way to go,” Kyle offered. “I’ve read somewhere girls really like that. Shows sensitivity or something.”

Though it was weak, Alex laughed. “I think I’m beyond groveling at this point, but thanks.” His face went serious. “So, what are you going to do about Isabel?”

It was in that moment, like a sign from a higher power, that the radio announcer’s voice came through the speakers of the radio on the table beside them. "Have a special someone you want to impress this Christmas, but no ideas what to get them. Well, get creative. E-mail your ideas to the KROZ Creative Christmas Contest and we will pick three finalists from the batch. Those finalists get to act out his or her idea for the KROZ listeners, who will pick the best of the bunch. The winners will win two tickets to the Pierces concert in Las Cruces on New Year’s Eve.”

There was more dealing with the details, but Kyle’s mind had tuned it out. A picture had entered his head, a tiny little perfect fantasy of him offering Isabel the concert tickets. Grateful, she would throw herself into his arms…

“Did you hear that?” Alex asked, breaking through Kyle’s thoughts.

“Yeah.” Looking over at his friend, Kyle could see the instant that Alex came up with the same idea he had. Two sets of eyes narrowed. “I’ve got something I need to go do,” Kyle said quickly.

He started to get up, even as Alex was doing the same. Within two minutes, both friends were out the door of the cafeteria. Unknown to the two of them, someone else had heard the radio announcement. And that someone’s mind was also formulating a plan.

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Last edited by anniepoo98 on Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Part 2 & 3
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:23 pm 
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Howdy all~

Here are parts two and three. I hope you enjoy them!

Annie:)



Part Two:

Four days before Christmas…

Isabel let out a deep breath as she managed to open the door to the Crashdown Café. This was no small feat since her arms were loaded down with various bags filled to the brim with Christmas gifts and paraphernalia. Even as she slipped inside the restaurant, her eyes were scanning the room, hoping to find an empty space where she could rest for a few minutes between committee meetings.

The only seat that wasn’t occupied was at the counter. Resigned, Isabel started towards the back of the room. That’s when she noticed the person sitting in the next seat over.

Tess Harding was slumped over the counter, looking as if someone had just announced that Christmas had been canceled. If there was one thing Isabel couldn’t stand to see, it was someone looking depressed during the holidays. With a new mission on her mind, she quickly slid into the seat, letting out a loud, laughing sigh.

“It’s getting pretty cold out there,” Isabel announced. “Maybe, if a miracle happens, we might get some snow for Christmas.”

Tess glanced over, a tiny smile on her face. “That would be nice,” she said softly.

Isabel laid a hand over Tess’s arm, genuinely concerned now. Never had she ever heard that sad tone in Tess voice. “What’s the matter?”

“Boys are stupid. Throw rocks at them.”

As she spoke, Tess looked up again. For a second, Isabel saw her friend’s eyes go damp, than she blinked and the tears were gone. That made it worse.

“Oh Tess, I’m sorry.” A fierce expression crossed Isabel’s face. “Just tell me which boy was mean to you, what he did, and we will get started on planning the perfect revenge.”

“I shouldn’t say,” she said, and this time the tears got the better of her. With a sniffle, Tess reached across the counter, grabbing a couple of napkins from a nearby holder. “That’s the whole problem. He doesn’t want to tell anyone about us. I think he’s embarrassed by me. We hang out and are all buddy-buddy around everyone, but, Lord forbid, we mention that we also happen to be dating. That would just be horrible.”

Not able to help herself, Isabel mentally went through a roster of the guys Tess hung out with on a regular basis, trying to figure out who her friend was talking about. It couldn’t be Max, Isabel decided. There was only one girl that Max was ever and would ever be interested in. For a second, she tried to picture Michael and Tess together, but that didn’t work either. Michael was completely devoted to Maria. As for Kyle, Isabel started to think. Then, she stopped.

What if it was Kyle Valenti?

Isabel could picture it perfectly. How often had she seen Kyle and Tess together? The answer was too many times to count. They usually drove to school together. They would leave the same way. At lunch, nine times out of ten they would sit together. They teased each other and joked and made plans.

How did I miss that? Isabel wondered how many other signs she’d missed about the burgeoning relationship between her two friends. She also had to wonder why in the world the idea of Kyle and Tess being a couple left a little nagging ache in the pit of her stomach.

“What can I do?” Tess’s distressed voice broke through Isabel’s thoughts. “I’m crazy about him. I mean, he’s so funny and kind. Plus, he’s got this really big heart, the type that always puts others first.” There was another, louder sniffle. Tess pressed the napkin to her mouth. “That’s why I know there’s something about me he just can’t stand because this is just not like him.”

Torn in two directions, Isabel did the only thing she could think of. The hand on Tess’s arm started to rub gently, hoping that the gesture offered some comfort, while her free hand reached down into her purse. After a moment of rummaging around, she pulled out a small packet of soft tissues and offered it to Tess.

“It’s not you,” Isabel said. On the other hand, she couldn’t say that it sounded like her prime suspect either. If it was Kyle, then there must have been some sort of miscommunication between them. If it was him, than all Isabel would have to do make things right between her friends was figure out where the breakdown happened. If she could do that, than she could get them to talk over everything.

What would she do if it was Kyle Valenti?

Stunned by her own horror over the idea, Isabel leaned back and nearly toppled off the stool. Tess let out a little gasp and grabbed hold of Isabel’s arm. “Are you okay?” she asked, sadness temporarily replaced by concern.

Running a hand over her hair, Isabel took a deep breath. “I’m fine,” she said quickly. “Everything’s fine.”

Tess’s eyes narrowed. “Are you sure? You look a little flushed.”

“Yes.” Isabel nodded for emphasis. “It’s probably just from being outside. Like I said, it’s getting colder.” Thinking quickly, she reached out, signaling a nearby waitress. “I’ll just get some coffee. That should help.”

That seemed to placate Tess. For the next couple of minutes, Isabel fussed over ordering the beverage, than doctoring it the way she liked. Yet, the whole time her mind was reeling over her internal revelation.

She liked Kyle. When in the hell had that happened?

Granted, over the last several weeks, she’d seen a new side to the sheriff’s son. Before Alex’s party, she’d seen him as just another person she was indebted to because he’d done everything in his power to protect their secret. Part of her was grateful. Still, a small part, the part she never told anyone about, was bitter about the whole thing. She had someone else to worry about, someone else to judge her on a past she didn’t even remember. Though she was subtle about it, she kept her distance from him. It was a defense mechanism, but one that worked for the whole of her life. As long as she didn’t let him get to close to her, then she wouldn’t owe him more than a vague acknowledgement of his presence.

Then, he volunteered to help her get the word out about Alex’s party. It was small thing, but he hadn’t slacked. No, he seemed to get to everyone she didn’t have time notify and vice versa. That’s Isabel started seeing Kyle in a new light. So, when he asked her out for a burger after school, it seemed rude to say no. A quick run in at the store that extended to catching a movie they were both interested in had been fun.

There was also the time he’d asked for her help on a geometry test, there was no way she could deny him. Not when he seemed embarrassed by the need to ask for help in the first place. He was so excited when he passed, Isabel thought. She could recall perfectly how he’d waiting by her locker, eager to show off the A on his exam. His honest enthusiasm fueled her own and before Isabel knew what she’d been doing, she had thrown her arms around him.

Remembering it, Isabel felt her cheeks heat even more. That was the deciding moment. The instant when her feelings started to change.

Yet, with everything she’d just learned, it seemed like those feelings were one-sided. If Tess was talking about Kyle, it meant that her revelation came too late. They were a couple, and he didn’t want anyone to know about it.

The rat bastard.

Isabel felt her temper come to life, washing away the embarrassment and confusion inside her. Easily able to convince herself that it was on Tess’s behalf, she started to work on a plan. “What do you say we forget all about boys?”

Tess blinked. “We?”

Nodding, Isabel laid some money on the counter to pay for her coffee. “Like you said, they’re stupid, so we’ll forget about them for the holidays and hang out together.”

“What are we going to do?”

“Well,” Isabel said, thinking. “I’m volunteering on some holiday fundraisers and activities. If you have time, would you like to help?”

After a second of hesitation, Tess nodded. “That would be great. And if you have time, maybe you could help me with some Christmas shopping? I’m nowhere near done.”

Isabel smiled. “Shopping’s my middle name.”

For the first time since Isabel sat down, she heard Tess laugh. It was a bit shaky around the edges, but it was still a laugh. “And we will forget all about guys.”

“You and me,” Isabel said, pointing her finger at each of them in turn, “we will be ‘no boy’ zones. And after the holidays, we can get started.”

“Isabel, what will be start after the holidays?” Tess asked, confused.

“We will start getting even.”

_________________
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 Post subject: Part 2 & 3
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:24 pm 
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Part Three:

Three days before Christmas…

“Way to go, Romeo Whitman,” a voice called out across the Crashdown Café. “Who’s the lucky girl?”

Alex ignored the obvious taunt, taking a sip of his orange soda instead. He’d heard several variations of the same over the past twenty-four hours, ever since WROZ announced the finalists for the Creative Christmas Contest. Not that he minded. In fact, a big part of him was relieved.

From the moment he hit the submit button on his entry, Alex had been a bundle of nerves. On one hand, he worried about what he would do to prove himself to Tess if he wasn’t picked. On the other, he feared what would happen if he screwed up. For days, that nervous energy piled up. Hell, he drove everyone he came into contact with nuts until yesterday.

When the names were finally announced, Alex’s mind completely managed to block out the other two names said. That’s how great his relief was. The first part of his plan had worked. He’d been chosen. Now, all he had to do was not make a complete a out of himself with the second part of the plan and Tess might actually speak to him again.

Glancing down at his watch, he saw that he only had two hours before show time. Alex felt his throat suddenly go dry at the thought. Though orange soda didn’t go a long way as a form of liquid courage, he reached over, grabbed his glass, and started to chug.

It would be just his luck if he lost his voice right now and ruined the whole thing. Horrified by the idea, Alex started signaling for a waitress before he sucked up the last drop. Yet, the shadow that fell over the table a couple minutes later didn’t belong to a waitress.

“Man,” Kyle said. “Are you okay?”

“I’m not entirely sure.” Alex set the glass aside. “Actually, I think the answer is no. I think I’m freaking out.”

“Ah.” Kyle nodded. “Your public debut is today, isn’t it?”

His throat went dry again. “Yes,” he squeaked. Clearing his throat, he tried again. “Yes.”

And, judging by the look on Kyle’s face, Alex knew he wasn’t the only one feeling the pressure. This morning, while putting together the final details of his plan, he’d called Kyle for a quick favor. That’s when he learned that his friend was also a finalist.

“Thanks for the intel,” he added. “It’s really going to help.”

“With the public humiliation,” Kyle said. When Alex just stared at him, he put his hands up. “I’m just saying. It’s not a bad idea, just very bold and loud and…”

“Guaranteed to grab the attention of everyone in a three mile radius,” Alex finished, than he shrugged. “That’s kind of the point.” After all, he needed to prove to Tess that he wasn’t embarrassed by her or their relationship, and his entry was the best idea he could come up with.

“I get that,” Kyle agreed, snagging a fry from Alex’s untouched plate. “I guess I’m not really going for subtle either.”

“When are you up to bat?” Alex asked.

Kyle swallowed hard. “Tonight,” he said as he swiped another fry off of Alex’s plate, held it up like he was giving a toast. “Here’s to public humiliation.”

The only thing was Alex wasn’t buying into the bravado. “Are you all set? Is there anything I can help with?”

Kyle rolled his eyes, but the slight smile dampened some of the gesture’s impact. “You do know that this is a competition, Whitman?”

“Quid pro quo,” Alex said with a shrug. “You helped me. It’s only fair if I help you.”

“Thanks, but I really do have it covered.” A look of uncertainty flashed in Kyle’s eyes. “I think.”

Alex glanced at his watch. Now there was only an hour and forty-three minutes left to go. “I am right there with you, buddy,” he said sympathetically.

~~~~

Isabel never thought it was possible, but she finally found the one person who could out-shop her. For nearly five hours, she and Tess had braved the masses of last minute shoppers at the mall, accumulating bag after bag of presents. They already had to make one trip out to the car to stow their purchases, and it seemed like Tess was nowhere near done yet.

Normally, that wouldn’t have been a problem. Isabel was usually up for a challenge, and shopping was always an arena she was eager to prove her talents in. However, today, every time Tess found something new to ooh or ahh over, there was a huge internal struggle between good and bad going on inside Isabel. The bad side wanted to pick apart each choice the other girl made, reducing her to tears, particularly if the item was a present for Kyle. The good side, which usually won out, argued that Tess was a friend and it was the season to be kind.

Okay, there had been one snarky comment about a pair of socks with footballs all over them. She wasn’t perfect, after all.

It didn’t help that Isabel got next to no sleep the night before. Each time she closed her eyes, she saw Kyle and Tess laughing with each other, holding hands, or making kissy faces. And every one of those vignettes would end with a nagging voice saying that it could have been her if she hadn’t been so blind.

“What do you think about this?”

Isabel looked over to see Tess holding up an electric toothbrush and sighed. “Is it for the Sheriff?”

Tess shook her head as she glanced back down at the box. “It’s for Kyle.” She giggled a little as she placed it in the cart. “You know, he’s really not a morning person. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve found him in the bathroom, toothbrush hanging out of his mouth, almost sound asleep. Maybe this will keep him awake.”

She couldn’t take it anymore. Isabel found that she had to ask the question that had been eating away at her since yesterday. “Tess, what is going on with you and Kyle?”

Tess shrugged as she moved towards the next aisle display. “I’m not really sure. I’m thinking about cooking dinner on Christmas Eve and Jim mentioned something about Mass.”

“Not Christmas plans.” Isabel barely refrained from yanking at her hair. “I mean what is going on between you two. You know, in your relationship?”

The moment the words rushed out of her mouth, Isabel regretted it. Tess stopped in her tracks. “Relationship,” she said, turning slowly, her eyes wide. “You mean me and Kyle together, like a couple?”

Guiltily, Isabel nodded. Then, to her surprise, Tess burst out in a fit of laughter. She even grabbed onto the shopping cart for support as the giggles grew louder.

After a moment or two, Isabel groaned. “It’s not that funny.”

With a hand clutching her side, Tess shook her head. “I have to disagree. It is that funny. God,” she snorted, “it’s about the funniest thing that I’ve heard in awhile. Where in the world did you get that idea that Kyle and I were smooching buddies?”

“The other day at the Crashdown, you said that you were seeing someone and I just assumed it was Kyle. I see you guys together all the time,” Isabel said. Then, she instantly regretted it. The humor that had been in Tess’s eyes a second ago disappeared completely. “Oh Tess, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay,” she said quickly, putting her hand up to ward off Isabel as she stepped forward.

Still, needing to offer some sort of comfort, especially after saying such a stupid thing, Isabel laid a hand on Tess’s shoulder. “I didn’t mean make you sad.”

Tess shrugged. “You didn’t. The he I can’t talk about did. Besides, I know you like Kyle.”

“What?” Isabel exclaimed. For a moment, Isabel’s mind went completely blank. Then, a jumble of thoughts began to form at once. Did Kyle know? Did he like her too? If he did, why hadn’t he said anything? Could it be because he thought she never thought of him?

Out of the confusion, one question managed to jump out at Isabel. “How did you know?”

Tess rolled her eyes humorously despite the tears that started to creep down her cheeks. “What? I’m not only a pitiful wreck, but completely blind too? I’ve seen the way you and Kyle act around each other, the long looks and the inside jokes. I’d have to be idiot not to know that you two like each other.”

“Really?” It was almost too good to be true. “Are you sure?”

Yanking a tissue out of her pocket, Tess nodded. “Yes. I’m really, pretty sure.” She dabbed at her eyes quickly. “I know that I might be breaking the roommate code for saying it, but it’s been so obvious.”

“Oh.” Despite the nonchalant answer, Isabel felt a faint glimmer of hope began to grow. Slowly, the images that haunted her dreams started to shift, placing her in the leading lady roll. Still, there was something nagging at her, keeping her from giving into her impending happiness fully. “Then, who were you talking about yesterday, Tess? If it wasn’t Kyle, who was it?”

Tess shook her head. “I told you, I can’t…” She trailed off as voices started to raise, a puzzled expression on her face.
Isabel heard it too. However, she didn’t get the chance to try to find the source before Tess was moving towards the front of the store, leaving everything behind, including her purse. Completely confused, Isabel grabbed it out of the cart and started in the direction Tess went. That’s when she got a good look at what the commotion was all about. “Oh my God!”

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 Post subject: Re: Roswell: Under the Mistletoe (K/I, A/T - Teen) Pt. 2-3 (7/9)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:41 pm 
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“We will start getting even.”


be afraid, be very afraid.

Great fic.

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 Post subject: Re: Roswell: Under the Mistletoe (K/I, A/T - Teen) Pt. 2-3 (7/9)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:23 pm 
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oh man. oh man. this is hysterical. i love this fic. you know i didn;t even realize the ships i was reading. i just love fics and these four are hyserical and you write them so well.

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 Post subject: Re: Roswell: Under the Mistletoe (K/I, A/T - Teen) Pt. 2-3 (7/9)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:09 am 
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Howdy all,

I have the last two parts of the story with me. I hope that you enjoy them.

Annie:)



Part Four:

Alex felt the eyes on him, the stares of judgment and mockery. A large crowd had already shown up to watch his little performance. He could have cared less. Flipping the guitar pick between his fingers, he took a deep breath and thought, Go ahead and laugh if you want. I’m going to win back the girl.

I hope.


Taking another deep breath, Alex stepped up on the nearest bench and turned to face the department store window. Beyond the glass, he saw Tess standing by a shopping cart, talking to another blonde, who he assumed was Isabel. For a minute, he just looked at her, a little ache around his heart.

He would make this right. Even if this plan crashed and burned today, Alex vowed he would come up with another and another. Whatever it took, he would fix things.

Determination filling every part of his being, Alex placed his fingers in the correct position. Striking the first chord on his guitar, he closed his eyes, opened his mouth and began to sing. “I don't want a lot for Christmas…”

By the time he launched into the first verse, the initial nerves had eased enough that Alex was able to open his eyes. Several more people had joined the crowd gathered around the bench. He searched each face, looking for Tess, as he continued to sing.

Then, he spotted her. She was struggling to get through the crowd, Isabel right behind her. Alex focused on Tess’s expression, wincing a bit when noticed that she didn’t look entirely please. Maybe I took this a little too far, he thought. After all, Tess said that she wanted their friends to know they were a couple, not the entire town of Roswell.

Though he managed to keep singing, Alex felt his voice warble a couple of times. He couldn’t help it. The nerves were now back tenfold, growing more and more with every step Tess took closer. By the time she was standing right in front of him, he was practically squeaking the words.

To his shock, Tess’s eyes darted left and right before she reached up and grabbed his hand. “Come on,” she exclaimed with a sharp tug on his arm. To keep from falling flat on his face, Alex jump down off the bench. However, before he got a chance to say a word, she was pulling him through the crowd.

“What in the hell were you thinking?” Tess asked, raising her voice over the sounds of cheers and clapping. They rounded several corners before reaching a dead end, a narrow hallway with utility closet at the end.

With a very creative curse, Tess whirled around. However, before she could flee again with him in tow, Alex anchored his feet, keeping his grip on her hand firm. “Why are we running?” Alex asked when she turned to look at him.

Tess gave him a little push. “Because mall security was coming, you dope,” she exclaimed.

Alex blinked, stunned by her announcement. “You were saving me from the Rent-A-Cops?” When her eyes narrowed to vicious slits, he started to chuckle. A moment later, the chuckle morphed into a full belly laugh.

“Fine,” Tess said, through clenched teeth. “Next time, I won’t bother.”

She started to storm off, but Alex reached out and grabbed her arm. “Don’t go, Tess.” He sobered at the thought of her leaving before he got the chance to apologize. “Please stay. There is something I have to tell you.”

Without a word, Tess tugged her arm out of his grasp, but she didn’t walk away.

Taking that was as good sign as he was going to get, Alex took a deep breath. “I’m an idiot,” he told her, “for wanting to keep our relationship a secret and for not telling you why. But it was never because I was embarrassed by us.

“Then why?” she asked softly.

Taking a step towards her, Alex placed his hands on her shoulders. Tess looked down, trying to avoid his gaze. He simply stooped down until she looked at him again. “I didn’t want it to get screwed up. I didn’t want normal high school drama to get in the way or…”

“Or the not so normal space drama that always seems sneak up on us,” she finished for him.

Alex nodded. “I am crazy about you, Tess Harding. I don’t want to lose you because of any kind of drama and especially because I’ve been an idiot. That’s why I did something this drastic.”

She let out a little laugh. “Yeah, there’s nothing like serenading a girl in the middle of the mall to show her that you are not embarrassed by the relationship.”

“So, you’ll give me another shot?” he asked.

This time, Tess was the one to step forward, into his arms. Linking her own around his waist, she leaned in, resting her head on his chest. “Al, you’re lucky this is the season for second chances.”

He chuckled. “I’m going to take that as a yes.”

Tess tilted her head back. “Good. That’s how I meant it.”

Alex started to lean down, intending to kiss her, but the sound of shoes squeaking against linoleum interrupted. They both turned to see Isabel standing at the entrance to the hallway. And, judging by the looking on her face, she had caught a portion of their make-up conversation. Since his two best friends were girls, he’d recognized the happily sappy romantic smile on her face. He’d seen it often during Rom-Com night at the Deluca household.

“Sorry,” she said quickly. Then, she held up a huge purse Alex recognized as Tess’s.

“I just didn’t want you to worry about your bag.”

To Alex’s disappointment, Tess let go of him and walked over to Isabel, taking back her purse. “Thanks. So,” she said, her voice trailing off, “I guess you figured that I was talking about Alex.”

The sappy smile widened to gleeful. “Yes.”

“And?” Tess asked.

“I’m happy,” Isabel replied. “This is great. Both of you are happy. I’m happy. Everyone is happy.” She let out a loud, contented sigh. “I love Christmas.”

However, Alex heard more in that sigh than contentment. Beyond that, he knew Isabel well enough to see more than simply joy for two friends in her eyes. There was relief in them. It took a moment for the realization to dawn on him, but Alex figured out why.

With a laugh, Alex stepped forward pulling a folded up envelope out of his pocket. He held it out to Isabel. “Kyle asked if I would give you this.”

Isabel blinked as she took the envelope from him. Silently, she opened it. Alex watched her eyes go a little brighter as she read it. “I have to go,” she whispered.

“What did it say?” Tess asked the moment Isabel disappeared around the corner.

Alex shrugged, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. “I’m not sure, but I have a feeling Isabel will be surprised when gets to where she is going.”

Looking up at him, Tess’s eyes narrowed a bit. “Surprised? Is this surprise going to be along the lines of the public concert you just put on?”

A little leery, Alex nodded. “I thought you would like it.”

His answer was a kiss, soft and sweet. “I guess I did,” she paused, “but just this one time.” With laugh, she leaned in and kissed him again.

~~~~

Kyle sat on a park bench, nervously tapping his foot on the sidewalk. Alongside him, there was a thermos filled with the Crashdown Café’s famous hot chocolate and two styrofoam cups.

If all went right, Isabel would get there in the next ten minutes or so. That is, if she got the message. Kyle paused for a moment, taking a deep breath and pushing the thought out of his mind. Of course she would get the message. Life, fate, or whatever could not be that cruel.

When she arrived, he would start by offering her the warm drink to ward off the chill as they took a walk through the park. Just a friendly stroll, at least until they reached the pavilion on the other side. There, barring disaster, the little show he arranged would begin.

“And there better not be any disasters,” Kyle muttered to himself. Not after the week of planning, of bribing or bullying most of the JV Basketball team, of running around like a chicken with his head cut off.

Still, needing a bit of reassurance, Kyle pulled out a walkie-talkie from his coat pocket. “Is everything set up?” he asked.

“Yes,” an impatient voice on the other end replied.

“The sparklers?”

“Yes.” The voice was harsher this time. “You better come through after all of this, Valenti, especially since we are the ones who will look like idiots.”

“I said that I would, so I will.” Kyle rolled his eyes. Freshmen were so paranoid. “Just be ready for my signal.”

The guy’s response was short and sharp. “Fine.”

“Fine,” Kyle muttered under his breath as he shoved the walkie-talkie back into his pocket. A bit of relief crept through system, easing some of the nerves. He was ready. Things were good to go.

And not a moment too soon, he noted as he looked up. Isabel was crossing the street. Despite the distance still between them, Kyle saw that she was smiling, a bright and happy grin that warmed him to his toes. He felt his own mouth quirk in response.

“I see you got my note,” he called out, getting up from the bench.

Isabel nodded. “I did.” She let out a little laugh. “I have to admit, I’m a little curious about why you wanted to meet me here,” she said, gesturing to the park beyond them.

Kyle shrugged, hoping the move came off as casual. “I thought it might be a nice night to take a walk.”

“A walk?” Isabel laughed again, only this time, he heard just a hint of disbelief in the sound. “It’s only 36 degrees out. We’ll freeze.”

“Come on,” Kyle coaxed, praying with all his might for it to work. He pointed to the bench and the thermos resting on it. “I brought hot chocolate. It should keep us from turning into icicles.”

Still, she didn’t look quite convinced, the humor in her eyes giving way to something else. Something that Kyle couldn’t identify. “Please, Isabel. It will be just a quick, friendly walk. I promise.”

That, apparently, was the wrong thing to say. Kyle saw a flash of disappointment in her eyes before she looked away.

She’s gonna say no, he thought. There would be no walk, no sparklers, no group of disgruntled freshman elves singing carols. After all the work and planning, he wasn’t going to even get the chance to tell Isabel that he was falling for her. He couldn’t accept that.

“Look, Isabel,” he started to say, but she cut him off.

“Okay,” she said firmly, causing Kyle to blink in surprise. Gone was the look of disappointment. It was replaced by pure determination, which completely baffled him. “We can go for a walk,” she said, “But, first, I want you to open your Christmas gift.”

Still baffled, he watched Isabel reach down into the pocket of her red coat, pulling out a small rectangle box. She held it out to him. Kyle took it, judging the weight, trying to guess what it could possibly be. Since it weighed next to nothing, he had no clue. “What is it?”

“Just open it,” she replied.

Without another word, Kyle did as she asked. Tugging off the little ribbon, he lifted the lid of the box. A moment passed, then two, before he lifted out the contents. “You got me a weed for Christmas,” he asked, completely confused.

Isabel rolled her eyes. “Just hold it up, Kyle.”

He raised the little sprig of greenery to eye level. Now, Isabel sighed. “Higher.”

Complying, Kyle lifted his arm above his head. “Is that high enough?”

Instead of an answer, Isabel leaned over and pressed her lips to his. For a moment, Kyle couldn’t register what was happening. Is Isabel really kissing me?

She is, his brain responded and Kyle started to grasp on to what that meant. His arms dropped down to rest on her shoulders, than drifted down her arms, urging her a little closer as the kiss lingered. He had no idea how long they stayed like that, but when Isabel started to pull back, he was the one to sigh.

Opening his eyes, Kyle saw her smiling at him. It was the sweetest smile he ever saw.

“It’s mistletoe,” she told him, point to his Christmas gift.

“It’s the best gift I’ve ever gotten,” Kyle blurted out, grinning when Isabel threw her head back laughing.

“I’m glad,” she said, wrapping his arms around his neck. “But I have to confess, it was much my Christmas gift as it is yours. I wanted to kiss you under the mistletoe.”

Kyle grinned. “Why don’t you do it again?”

She leaned forward. Kyle felt his heart speed up in anticipation. In that instant, he could think of nothing better than kissing Isabel, because there was no way that once was ever going to be enough.

The sound of a squeaky voice echoing through the walkie-talkie stopped them. “Dude! What the hell is taking you so long? We’re freezing!”

Kyle jerked away. “Sorry,” he said quickly as he fumbled for the walkie-talkie.

“What’s going on?” Isabel asked.

“Have you heard about the radio contest?”

She blinked. “You mean that Creative Christmas thing?”

Nodding sheepishly, Kyle looked down at his shoes. “I entered,” he admitted. Inwardly, he was hoping like hell that this little confession wouldn’t ruin everything. “I wanted to impress you, to see if we could be more than friends, and I thought that the contest would be a good idea.”

“Really?”

“Yeah,” he managed to say without wincing. “Although, the whole thing is kinda null and voided now because you know.” He took a deep breath. “Merry Christmas,” he added lamely.

Isabel shook her head and, to his surprise, leaned into him again. “We are a pair.” Her lips brushed his. “It is a Merry Christmas, contest or not. I’ve got you, don’t I?”

Kyle chuckled. “You sure do.” This time, he took her face in hands, bringing her lips to his for long kiss.

Again, the voice through the walkie-talkie interrupted them. “Valenti? Are you there? Valenti?”

“Cancel the sparklers,” Kyle muttered. He grinned at Isabel. “Cancel the whole thing.” He tossed the walkie-talkie to the ground. “I’ve got mistletoe.”

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 Post subject: Re: Roswell: Under the Mistletoe (K/I, A/T - Teen) Pt. 2-3 (7/9)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:10 am 
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Epilogue:

Two days after Christmas…

Tess glanced over at the clock above the Crashdown’s register, rolling her eyes when she saw what time it was. “They’re late,” she sighed.

Alex simply shrugged. “We still have a few minutes before they make the announcement. I’m sure that they will be here by then.”

Perfectly timed, the bells on the restaurant’s entrance chimed. Kyle and Isabel rushed in, slightly out of breath. Isabel’s cheeks were red, but Tess had her doubts that it was from the cold breeze outside. Given the dopey grin on Kyle’s face, she concluded that the blush was more of a heated reaction.

“Did we miss anything?” she asked, just a little out of breath.

Tess looked over at where the KROZ DJ was fiddling with some cables, than back to Isabel. “No.” She smiled wickedly. “You two could probably sneak into the breakroom and makeout for a few more minutes,” she teased.

Kyle eyebrows winged up, even as Isabel eyes narrowed threateningly, and Tess could tell he was considering it. Alex just laughed. “That would just tick off Maria even more.” He draped an arm over her shoulders. “Remember how mad she was when she caught us a few minutes ago.”

That had everyone chuckling.

A few minutes later, everyone was settled in. Drinks had been ordered and they were eagerly waiting for the results of the Creative Christmas Contest. Taking a sip from his soda, Kyle leaned forward and pointed at Alex. “So, do you have any idea who the third person was?”

Shaking his head, Alex handed Tess the Tabasco sauce for her drink. Feeling ridiculously happy, she snuggled a little closer to him as she sprinkled some of the condiment into her soda.

“Whoever it is, they’re pretty damn lucky,” Kyle said. “If I hadn’t been disqualified, I know that Isabel and I would be on our way to that concert on New Year’s.”

Isabel snorted. “Sure. Did you forget that we already have plans for New Year’s?”

“Really?” Tess asked, her interest peaked by the humorous expression on Isabel’s face. This was the first time she’d heard about any plans.

“Tell them,” Isabel urged.

Kyle winced. “Okay. I kinda promised some freshman on the JV team that would spread the word about this party they’re having and that I would show up for a little while.”

“And,” Isabel said, hinting that there was more.

“Okay.” Kyle rolled his eyes. “I promised I would bring some friends.” His face suddenly lit up. “Do you guys have any plans for New Year’s Eve?

Tess looked over Alex. His smile answered her unspoken question. “Sure,” she told Kyle. “I think we can squeeze in an appearance.

Kyle was about launch into a very enthusiastic thank you, when he was cut off by the DJ.

“Hello everyone,” the DJ said into the microphone. “We’re here at the Crashdown Cafe to announce the winner the KROZ Creative Christmas Contest. Our three finalists had some really great ideas. However, two of the participants didn’t completely follow through on them.” The DJ’s glanced pointedly at the table where they were sitting. “Therefore, our judges have decided that the third participant is the hands-down winner.”

He paused for dramatic effect. “Is there a Michael Guerin here?”

There was a loud burst of cheering and applause as Tess felt her jaw drop. That was absolutely the last name she expected to be announced. A quick look around the table told her that everyone else was just as surprised.

There was a loud whoop from the kitchen. Maria’s head appeared in the serving window just as Michael was walked into the restaurant. The DJ rushed over to him, giving his head a shake.

“You’ve won tickets for two to the Pierces concert in Las Cruces,” the DJ said as he reached into his pocket. Holding out an envelope, he pointed the microphone at Michael’s face. “Are you and your lady ready for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve?”

“Yup.” Michael took the envelope from DJ. “Thanks.” With that done, he turned a walked back to the kitchen.

Tess bit her lip to keep from laughing at the poor man. The typical Michael response had left the guy stunned and searching for something to fill the last few minutes of airtime. His gaze darted around the room, landing on their table. Quickly, he crossed the room, holding out the microphone. “So, miss, what do you think about the surprising results of the KROZ Creative Christmas Contest?”

Tess looked around the table. She saw contentment on Isabel’s face and the happiness on Kyle’s. And, best of all, she saw the pure adoration in Alex’s. For the first time in her life, Tess had friends, family, and a place where she belonged.

It was everything she ever wanted.

“I think everyone who was part of the contest won.” She leaned forward, giving Alex a quick kiss. “I know I did.”

The End

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 Post subject: Re: Roswell: Under the Mistletoe (K/I-A/T) Teen-Complete (8/13)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:23 pm 
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that was a great fic. Thanks for sharing.

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 Post subject: Re: Roswell: Under the Mistletoe (K/I-A/T) Teen-Complete (8/13)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:18 pm 
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I love the protective Kyle admonishing Alex about hurting Tess!

And I can see a younger Alex doing this…

Quote:
Until the day Alex brought her his favorite comic book, intending to loan it to her because he thought that her education in that area was seriously lacking. The gesture was so sweet, so earnest…


Kyle sometimes cracks me up. This was a great line:

Quote:
“I’m thinking that groveling is the way to go,” Kyle offered. “I’ve read somewhere girls really like that. Shows sensitivity or something.”


And yep, mistletoe is much better than sparklers. He he. It has its own sparklers. ;)

Quote:
“Cancel the sparklers,” Kyle muttered. He grinned at Isabel. “Cancel the whole thing.” He tossed the walkie-talkie to the ground. “I’ve got mistletoe.”


I loved that Michael won the contest and that Tess wound up belonging. Great story! :thumbsup

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 Post subject: Re: Roswell: Under the Mistletoe (K/I-A/T) Teen-Complete (8/13)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:45 pm 
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Ah yes this is a great story. you are making me like the whole a/t and k/i more and more. in fact i think i offically ship them as my uc therapy now. (what to do when cc lets you down)

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