Disclaimers: Nope. The characters are mine. I don't really want them, so perhaps I'll just let them have each other. That way everyone's happy. If you haven't read Alix and Valerie then you'll probably be lost. If you're lost anyway.. then... you'll have to see Bertha about that. I'm not responsible for anything I write. Unless.. of course... you like it :)
Sex/Violence/Naughty language: Yes/No/Maybe so.
Dedication: This one goes to Amber, cause after 7 months she's still putting up with me. Thanks for daring me to write fanfic... I would've never done it otherwise ;) I loooove you.
Special Thanks: to my best friend Christy, who makes me appear far more creative than I am. And as always, to Cindy, for everything.
Feedback: Feel free to direct all comments, questions, rantings, ravings, roommate stories, bad hair days, radioactive rock information, UFO sightings, and amusing anecdotes to email@example.com
Two ā still Alix
plane managed to land without crashing, and for that I was thankful. We grabbed
a cab from Newark Airport to the City and instructed the driver to deposit us at
a nice hotel. He drove around for a while, trying to decide on which hotel would
be best suited for our needs. I thought it was sweet of him to take the time to
finally settled on the Hilton. Or the Hyatt. It was one of those "H"
names. Maybe it was the Holiday Inn. I was way too nervous to notice.
suite consisted of adjoining rooms and as I stood there pacing around my
section, Jade entered carrying a piece of paper in one hand and a pen in the
working on a poem," she announced. "Tell me how you like it." She
cleared her throat. "It's titled How Dare You Call Me Booty Birdů"
Jade, that's enough," I told her, holding up my hands.
you haven't even heard the first stanza!" Jade complained.
Against my better judgment, I allowed her to continue. I sank down at the edge of my bed and stared expectantly at my best friend, whose sanity I was beginning to question.
then." She cleared her throat again, if only to irritate me. "How dare
you call me Booty Bird .. Don't you see how that's absurd? ÷ Don't tell me to
call you Boo Babbler .. Can't you see that nothing even rhymes with that?"
She lifted her head from the piece of paper, gazing at me expectantly.
stared at her, unblinking.
I read you the rest?"
I answered quickly. "I'm not sure I can handle that much poetic beauty all
nodded, slipping the paper into the back pocket of her black jeans. "So,
what's the plan? Or are we just winging it?"
allowed myself to fall back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling quietly for
a few moments before answering. "I guess I just show up."
walked over and sat down on the bed beside me. "Don't you think she's going
to find this just a wee bit obsessive?"
what's your suggestion? That I parade aimlessly around the city in the
off-chance that I'll bump into her, and then say, 'Gee, fancy meeting you
grinned. "You're right. Now matter what you do, it's going to seem
obsessive." She patted my knee.
what are you going to do tonight?"
appeared surprised. She stood, then walked to the window, spreading her arms
toward the view outside. "Alix, look around! This is New York! What am I not
going to do tonight."
grinned at Jade's enthusiasm. I wished I could share in the excitement, but I'd
barely even noticed the view. "I'm going to shower .. and then ÷ I'm
going to find Valerie."
stared at me, shaking her head. "My friend, you've got more balls than the
chose to take that as a compliment.
cab dropped me off across the street from the address the woman at Whispers had
given me. It hadn't occurred to me to wonder if it was the right address. That
is, until I heard the taxi screech away. I found myself standing alone in the
middle of the sidewalk, staring up at an unfamiliar building, wondering how the
hell I'd gotten there.
Gods, did I really come all the way up here?
stood there for a long moment, trying to rehearse the speech I'd been rewriting
over and over in my mind.
the street, a figure caught my eye. I frowned suddenly, wondering why I felt
compelled to stare at her. It looked like Valerie ÷ but it couldn't be ÷
Valerie didn't have black hair ÷
figure turned into the building.
Oh ÷ God÷
sprinted across the street, not caring if I got run over on the way there.
Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately depending on how things turned out, I made
it safely to the other side. Once inside the building, I looked around until I
caught a flash of black hair disappear around the corner. I dashed in that
direction, rounding the corner and finding myself face to face with Valerie.
what seemed like ages, neither of us said anything. She was looking at me as
though she couldn't believe she was really seeing me. And I was looking at her
like ÷ Well, I'm not sure how I was looking at her, but I'm sure she could
tell you. Finally, I broke the silence. "I bet you're wondering what I'm
doing in New York÷"
face was unreadable as always. "Actually I was wondering if you realized
that you're in an elevator."
I blinked a few times, then saw the doors to the elevator swoosh closed and felt the box-object-of-death begin its ascent. I swallowed, leaning back against the wall and holding on for dear life. Please don't let me die. Please don't let me die.
shut my eyes and screamed, "Oh shit we're going to die!!"
doors swooshed open.
floor," Valerie announced.
peered out through one eye, then the other. "Oh." With as much dignity
as I could muster, I stepped out of the elevator.
I followed Valerie down the dimly lit corridor, focusing intently on the dark
blue carpet at my feet.
inside the apartment, we stared awkwardly at one another. This time it was
Valerie who spoke first. "Okay, now
I'm wondering what you're doing in New York."
took a deep breath. "And what an excellent question that is," I told
her. "It's a funny story, really. I went to see you and you weren't home.
So I went to Whispers and I was informed of your departure. And I thought, 'Hey
I've always wanted to see New York in the fall'. So, here I am."
you just happened to be walking by this building?"
I ran a hand through my hair nervously. "Well, someone might have clued me
in as to where you were staying÷"
sighed. "Alix, why are you here?"
wanted to thank you for the picture."
telling me you flew all the way here to thank me for the drawing?" Valerie
I admitted, suddenly wishing she'd offered me a drink. "I didn't want
things to end how they did."
how did you want them to end?"
stared at her. "I didn't."
expression remained impassive but I could swear she looked surprised for a
second. "What are you trying to say?"
of answering, I said, "When did you dye your hair?"
didn't seem surprised by the change in conversation. "Yesterday, the second
I got here," she responded.
didn't ask if I liked it, so I didn't say anything. But I liked it a lot. And
here I'd thought she couldn't get any hotter. I
cleared my throat. I knew I had to answer her question but now my actions were
starting to seem crazy. Obsessive, even. What was I
you like to get something to eat?" Valerie suggested, much to my surprise.
was sure I'd forgotten to pack my appetite when I'd left Florida but I could use
the time to think of what to say. "Sure." I glanced wearily at the
door. "But could we maybe take the stairs this time?"
nodded and turned toward the door, but I could've sworn I saw a ghost of a smile
pass across her lips.
ended up at Famous Joe's Pizza in Greenwich Village. I wasn't entirely sure if
the establishment was named after Joe himself, or if it was the pizza itself
that was famous. The guy working there didn't look familiar, so perhaps it was
all about the pizza. But then, wouldn't it be called Joe's Famous Pizza? Perhaps
if I stayed in New York long enough, it would eventually make sense. Or maybe I
was just thinking about stupid things to keep from panicking.
sat down at a table, looking around the small restaurant. There were about seven
tables lined up against the wall. Then some walking space between the table and
the counter where one ordered. That was about it. This didn't seem like an
environment conducive to serious conversations, but I wasn't particularly in the
mood for small talk either. So I just stayed quiet and concentrated on
a couple of men holding hands passed by. I raised an eyebrow. Guess we're
not in Kansas anymore.
joined me at the table soon after and placed a large pepperoni pizza between us. I entertained thoughts that this steaming pile of
melting cheese was the only thing keeping us apart. Like the Great Wall of
China, only edible. And that if we managed to eat it all, everything would be
bad I wasn't hungry.
grabbed the smallest slice. Then, lazily picked off the pepperoni.
sat there silently for as long as she could. Then asked the inevitable, "I
thought you said you liked pepperoni pizza?"
looked up at her, and said quite seriously, "I love it." Then picked
off the last remaining piece.
ate silently. Well, she ate silently. I just sat there staring down at the slice
of pizza before me and wishing it would get up and dance so I'd have something
to distract me from the situation at hand. But, it too, sat silently. And I knew
that if one of us didn't say something soon, I'd go insane.
never answered my question," Valerie said suddenly.
know," I responded, daring to look up at her. It amazed me how different
she looked with dark hair. It made her eyes look bluer; more intense. I begged
my heart to slow down, but it refused to listen. In fact, I believe it sped up.
"I'm not exactly sure why I'm here," I responded after a moment,
leaning back against the chair.
didn't respond, but I noticed she'd stopped eating.
couldn't just let you run off like that," I continued. "A girl needs
Valerie repeated, her eyebrows raised.
I nodded. "A hundred years from nowů" I paused to rethink this.
"I'll be a hundred and twenty and quite possibly dead. Scratch that."
I shrugged. "I just don't want to look back on this and wonder what-if. I
figured that regardless of what happens from here on end, at least I'll know."
what do you want to happen?" Valerie asked softly.
"I'm not sure. What do you want to happen?"
we got that settled.
hungry?" Valerie asked, glancing at my plate.
can't eat when I'm nervous," I admitted.
didn't respond to that. Instead, she stood. "Ready?"
nodded, and followed her outside. I had no idea where we were exactly, but I
assumed that Valerie did. At least, I hoped she did.
long are you staying?" Valerie asked.
long as it takes," I responded.
answer caused her to look at me briefly, then she turned her attention back to
the view ahead.
are we going?" I asked.
in particular," she responded. "I just like to walk."
almost smiled, remembering the night we'd met. I suddenly felt nostalgic.
neither of us were talking, I focused instead on the scenery around me. I have
one word to describe it all: stores. Granted, that's not an adjective. But trust
me, it applies here. If I'd liked shoppingůwhich I didn'tůI would've been in
heaven. As it happened though, I merely found it interesting. We passed by
countless shops selling everything from leather whips to incense and candles. I
lost count of how many Starbucks I saw. Although, we could've been going around
the same exact block for all I knew. I hated feeling like a tourist.
your full name?" I found myself asking.
She seemed taken aback.
shrugged, keeping my gaze on the ground. "Well, I figured that if we're
starting over, then we may as well redo the introductions."
stopped walking. "Start over?"
turned to face her and somehow managed to meet her gaze. "Would you like
eyes studied mine intently. "What are you saying?"
Me. Us. Start over." I grinned awkwardly. "I thought I was pretty
didn't respond. I had no idea what she was thinking.
I'm not saying it's going to be easy ÷ but I'm willing to give it a
what a shot?" Valerie asked uncertainly.
I responded. "I want to give us a second chance. You know, minus all the
lying and deceiving and stuff."
would you want to do this?"
locked our gazes. "Because losing you is not an option."
of responding, she started walking. I sighed, then followed after her. She
wasn't speaking and I had no idea what else to say, so I just walked beside her,
wishing for telepathic abilities just so I'd know what she was thinking.
have no idea how long we walked, but eventually we found ourselves back in
Valerie's apartment. By this time, I was beginning to panic.
you shouldn't be here," were her first words to me.
swallowed back my fear. It would've been so much easier to just walk out the
door and return to the hotel room. I could've been back in Florida the next
morning, working on ways to write Valerie out of my life forever. Anything
would've been easier than standing there, facing the possibility of rejection.
But stand there I did. "Shouldn't be where?" I asked her, "In New
York, or in your apartment?"
looked at me sadly. We were both standing in the middle of the living room. She
was leaning against the side of the couch. I was staring down at the white
carpet, awkwardly contemplating the absence of color. "You shouldn't have
followed me out here," she said.
I did," I told her.
you deserve so much better than what I can give you. You should be with someone
I asked, frowning. "Valerie, name one
thing that's normal about me?"
not the point."
what's the point?"
clenched her jaw. "I'm not good for you."
shook my head and walked over to her, grabbing her hand. I led her around the
couch and sat her down. "Just listen to me for a moment," I
instructed. "Before you came along, I had spent the past 7 years of my life
lusting after my straight best friend. That
wasn't good for me. I spent all of that time being totally bitter and angry at
the world. I didn't look at other people. I didn't go out with other people. I
didn't even think about other people. None
of that was good for me.
then you came along, and all of a sudden I'm fainting in thunderstorms and
jumping on airplanes and riding on elevators. Do you think I would've done any
of those things if I didn't think you were worth it?"
opened her mouth to respond, but nothing came out.
I agreed, as if I'd made my point. I felt quite proud of myself. "So what
do you say?"
stared up at me for a long moment, her face betraying nothing. Finally, she rose
to her feet and stretched out her hand. "Valerie Anne Michaels, nice to
grinned brightly, my body flooding with relief. "Alix T. Morris."
the 'T' stand for?"
snorted. "It stands for 'There's no way in Hell you're ever going to
smiled. "So what happens now?"
is where you ask me out on a date." Wow. New York sure brought out the
feistiness in me. I kind of liked it.
you free tomorrow?"
studied me for a moment. "I thought you didn't flirt?"
says I'm flirting? I'm merely illustrating the stupidity of the question."
I was teasing her and she knew it.
contemplated my response. "How about we meet here ÷ around two?"
a date." I smiled, then headed for the door. "See you then." I'm
not entirely sure if I gave her a chance to say goodnight. I was just feeling
overwhelmed, like none of this was really happening. I felt like at any moment
I'd wake up and find myself at the airport still waiting for my flight.
maybe I'd wake up, days before the wedding, knowing I'd have to drag myself out
of bed to go try on bridesmaid dresses with Jessica. And at some point between
one pink dress and the other, I'd remember that I'd had a silly dream involving
Jessica's long lost sister. And I'd tell Jessica all about it and she would
laugh as she straightened out the large pink bow at the back of the dress and
tell me how ridiculous the dream was. And then I'd stand in front of the mirror
and think how ridiculous I looked. And it wouldn't occur to me to realize how
ridiculous life is sometimes and how seriously we take it.
in spite of everything that had transpired in the past few hours, in the past
few days, in the past few weeks ÷ there was only one thought running around in
my mind as I headed out of Valerie's apartment:
have to start counting the dates all over again.
To be continued...
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