Part 12: A Change of Heart

See disclaimers in Part 1.

Has anyone ever heard this song before? If not, you should try it. It’s awesome. Let me know if you want to know the artist.


A week passed with no sign of the dreaded Kat. But come Saturday morning the same scene from the week prior came upon Michelle again. Alex pressed up against the wall though this time she was riding Kat’s knee while she was sucking on Alex’s neck. To her it looked like Alex was enjoying it immensely but she remembered all the things her friend had said about wanting it all to stop. Just then Alex’s eyes fluttered open and made eye contact to the frozen Michelle. All the while her grinding hips never stopped, Alex’s eyes held the answer. You could see all the pain going on behind the scenes which spurred the smaller woman into action.

Practically ripping the offending woman off her friend, "I told you to stay away from her." Kat was so surprised at being interrupted that she didn’t see the punch that landed directly on her jaw knocking her on her ass. Too bad the couch was there to break her fall. Turning an incredulous look on the smaller woman while touching her bleeding lip, "Jealous much are we?"

"Bite me."

"Michelle! Help me. Please." Alex was slowly trying to get back to her feet but stopped cold when Kat responded. "Oh no no no Alex. We’re having way too much fun to stop now right?" The dazed woman shook her head trying to clear it. You could see the struggle as she tried to fight off the effects. But when Kat forcefully called her name, "Am I right?", the kneeling woman’s shoulders slumped and she numbly nodded.

"No Alex! You can fight this. Don’t give up."

Clapping her hands in glee the crazed woman slowly got to her feet. "Excellent. Don’t mind her Alex. A minor disturbance. Now why don’t you come over here and sit next to me." The kneeling woman started to rise but Kat stopped her. "No hon. Don’t get up. Crawl to me baby. You know how I love to see you crawl." Again you could see the rebellion that wanted to rush out of her but just as suddenly as its arrival it was gone. She was on her hands and knees in a second ready to start her trek. "Alex don’t do it... fight it! please."

"Don’t listen to her. Look at me. Let me see those beautiful eyes sweetie. Keep em on me." Alex slowly raised her head to meet Kats penetrating gaze. But she could just barely make out Michelle standing ten feet to her left while Kat was ten feet to her right. Slowly she started to crawl heading towards Kat.

"Alex. Think of all the things she's done to you. All the pain she caused in your life."

"Pshaw. She knows I only did those things because I care for her, don’t you darling."

"Fight her! You’re not 15 anymore. You're stronger than this!"

"I can’t Michelle. I‘m sorry." She said this in such a defeated tone it broke the smaller woman’s heart.

"That's right babe. You’re all mine." That evil cackle bubbled up from her evil being. Alex knew in her heart that she was crawling towards certain doom but she couldn’t make herself turn back or even stop. She had no reason left to fight.

Only five feet left to go before her friend was lost forever. Desperate, she dropped to her knees bringing her to eye level with her friend. "Alex," she whispered pleadingly. This caused a slight hesitation in the other woman's crossing. "Please Alex. Look at me."

Shaking her head to make sense of the conflicting emotions, she tried to hear the words Michelle was saying. Kat could see this slip of a woman was having some effect on HER woman so she tried again. "ALEX! Get over here now." Ordering her never failed. She smiled when she saw the crawling woman shrink down even more while continuing her way.

"Alex." The raven haired woman could barely hear her name over the roaring in her brain. "Please look at me." You could see the slight shift in her blue eyes as she glanced in Michelle’s direction. "Come to me." You could hear the pain in her voice. These words pulled at something in her chest that she thought was long gone. She could feel the strings yanking her back to reality. For the first time Alex totally stopped moving and turned toward her friend making eye contact. The blonde woman's breath caught at the agony she saw reflected in the face she loved. "Please Alex. Come to me. I need you." The struggle was on. Kat’s eyes were shifting back and forth between the two while her anger was rising. <How dare she stop. I gave her an order!> "You come here now! Or else..."

She never got to finish because Michelle interrupted. "Come to me Alex. Do it for me." Tears were streaming down the shorter woman's cheeks bringing to life Alex’s broken heart. Suddenly all the voices stopped but one. The woman in front of her. The angel pulling her away from demise. The emotions of her newly felt heart were too much for her to take all at once. Tears were falling from her own eyes like never before while she was struggling to breathe. Finally the initial feelings subsided only to be left with one that filled her heart. Although the taller woman didn’t know what this feeling was everything seemed so clear to her now. Eye contact was never lost throughout this whole exchange. Michelle saw every emotion to flood through her friend causing her breathing to stop as well. The two friends couldn’t even hear the ranting and screaming going on in the background they were so lost in each other.

Before Michelle knew it, the love of her life was kneeling directly in front of her both never realizing that Alex started inching her way toward her. Michelle’s mind went blank. For the first time in her life she couldn’t think of anything to say. Alex broke the silence first. "Hi." "Hi." A simple greeting with loads of meaning as they smiled at each other which broke the spell. Coming back to reality they could now hear the shrieking banshee cursing both their names to high heaven. Still not over the control that Kat has over her she still felt that stab of fear flow through her. Michelle saw it reflected in the eyes she was gazing into and so motioned for Alex to get behind her. Grateful, Alex complied crawling her way behind her savior while wrapping her arms around the smaller woman’s waist and laying her chin on a convenient shoulder. She had a clear view of the seething Kat which brought on the tiniest of grins to her face now that she felt totally safe in her current position.

Kat tried to get the situation under control. "Okay Alex. I’m a reasonable person so I'll give you one last chance to get yourself over here where you belong."

Alex hugged the woman in her arms a bit more to show her she wasn't going anywhere. Michelle smiled at the reassurance and turned her attention to the fuming woman in front of her, "Why don’t you just get the hell out of here. She doesn’t want you. She never did."

"So that’s how its going to be with you? Turned chicken I see. Gotta have your little woman fight your battles?" Kat shrugged her shoulders in acceptance. "Fine. Have it your way." Just when they thought she was going to leave she quickly made her way to the pair and yanked Michelle out of her haven. "This is all your fault you bitch." Slapping the smaller woman across the face she grabbed the collar of her shirt so she wouldn‘t fall too far from her, "This will teach you to mess with my property." Kat raised her hand for another strike but something was holding her back.

"Leave her alone Kat. Don’t touch her." Kat turned her head and saw the hand that was clamped to her own and stared into enraged blue eyes. She tried to yank her hand free but all that caused was for Alex to squeeze harder. She let out a little cry from the pain numbing her hand. Kat decided she needed to switch tactics again.

" please. We could be so good together. Can’t you see that?" She was trying to smile but the pain was getting to her.

"Yes I can." The taller woman nodded her head in agreement while Kats smile got wider. But when she stared into blue eyes all she saw was disgust. "You’re sick Kat. No one should have to live their lives like that."

"You loved it before." Kat sneered.

"I didn’t know any other way." Alex glanced to the woman who meant more to her than anyone. "Now I do." You could see her eyes drain of all anger when she gazed into watery green eyes which only infuriated the imprisoned Kat more. She lunged one more time towards Michelle since she thought the taller woman might be distracted enough but Alex caught her other hand trapping it under her arm and using her free hand to pin the woman against the wall at the throat. Adding a little pressure, "I told you NOT to touch her." Looking into the cold evil gray eyes in front of her she realized she wasn’t afraid of this woman anymore. Something changed in her. "If I ever see you anywhere near her I won’t hesitate to finish this. You got me?" Kat could only nod. Letting her go she went to stand in front of Michelle. "I’m not the same person I was. You have no control over me anymore. Please leave." She waited years to say that to this particular woman. Suddenly a huge weight was lifted leaving her feeling...happy? She didn’t know.

Their eyes never left each other as they stared. Finally Kat could see she had lost the battle. Her Alex was gone. "I don’t believe you. After everything I’ve taught you, you go and make the same mistakes all over again. Love is a weakness. If you don‘t stay in control everyone will walk all over you. I thought you learned that the first time and now I could have taken you back."

Staring as Michelle wrapped her arms around the woman in front of her while Alex tossed her arm around her shoulders, "Oh I have. All to well."

"I don't think so." She turned around to leave but looked at the pair one last time, "Love will be your downfall you know. Too bad I won’t be around to see it." Shrugging her shoulders she walked out the door vowing never to come back. After all Alex was a lost cause now that Michelle was in the picture. <I really could learn a few things from her. She’s got Alex eating from the palm of her hand.>

As she reached the bottom of the stairs Susan had just turned the corner to go up to her floor. "Hey there. You doing anything tonight?"

Not even sparing her a glance Susan responded with a "Fuck off," while continuing on her way so missing the incredulous look or the busted lip she had.

<Twice in one day! I’ve never been turned down twice. I gotta get out of here. This is like the twilight zone.> Running down the block, she never looked back.

The two friends stared at the door for long minutes each contemplating everything that just happened. Not only with Kat but within themselves as well. Without even turning toward her, Alex said "That’s some right hook you’ve got there." Even though Michelle couldn’t see her face she knew there'd be a smile there. "Thanks. But I can feel the bruise already." Small traces of purple were already showing. "But I can tell you it was well worth it." Finally looking up at her friend, "How are you doing?"

Alex thought about it for a second. "Good. Never felt better actually."

The door opened to emit Susan who was looking through her bag not even paying attention until she nearly collided with the two women. "Oh hey guys. Katherine was just outside you know." Looking up from her bag she noticed the pair for the first time. "Oh my god! What happened to your face?" She ran up to her smiling friend.

A grinning Alex piped in with, "You should see the beauty on her hand."

"What? Who? How?.." Looking from one to the other she tried to figure things out.

"Calm down. It’s nothing." Michelle reassured her.

Susan gently touched her friend‘s chin to turn her head for a better view. "It’s not nothing. I can see a hand print. Who hit you?" She snidely glanced at Alex with her suspicion.

"Kat did it. Now don’t explode on me." She said when her friend made an abrupt halt in the direction of the door while muttering, "Maybe I can still catch her."

"I hit her first so it’s only fair." Michelle grabbed Susan’s arm to make sure she didn’t go bounding out the door to find Kat. She knew how protective her friend could be.

"I don’t believe it. You’re just a bunch of firsts this year huh." Chucking Michelle on the shoulder she asked the inevitable. "So...Did you like it?"

"Noooo. I didn’t like it." Michelle steadfastly answered. But she couldn’t hold her friend’s gaze who knew she was lying. "Okay maybe a little but only because it was Kat."

"Yeah I knew it. But I won’t hold it against you. After all as the saying goes, You should try everything once." Susan snickered.

"Yup. I agree. So I think we should all go out and celebrate the defeating of Kat and my first and only punch of my life. What do you say?"

"Sure. I’m in. Let me just get Capri and we all can go..."

"Um I can’t Michelle. I ah... have a date tonight." Alex stared at the ground feeling guilty for some reason.

Slowly Michelle untangled herself from her warm embrace and fought the emotions that wanted to rip out of her. <I thought I saw something in those eyes that was just for me. I can’t believe I was wrong. I was so sure this time.> Pretending like nothing was wrong she turned to her friend. "Oh sure. Its no problem. We’ll do something later. No big deal."

"I’m really sorry. But I’ve been putting this off for a while and now I can’t cancel. I.."

"Hey its okay. There’s always tomorrow. I’ll see you later then. Come on Susan." She held back the tears until she entered the hallway.

<No matter how many times I get knocked on my ass I still come back for more. I am such a sucker.>

Watching Michelle walk away stirred something in her. It was the same feeling she had gazing into her eyes when they were kneeling in front of each other. <I must be feeling guilty because I’m just ditching her after everything that just happened. Yeah that’s it. It’s not like I’m cheating on her. I can have other friends. I don’t have to spend all my free time with her...Right? I’ll talk to her about it tomorrow. She‘ll understand.> That word cheating stuck in her mind as she headed off to get ready to meet Tom.

There she sat 3 hours later still thinking about how she left Michelle like she did. <She looked more upset about this then she was letting on. I should have stayed and talked things out.> All the while she was thinking on things, Tom was right there nibbling on her neck. He’d gone without this intoxicating woman for weeks! It was time to play catch up. Just when he was getting to the good parts Alex pulled away.

"What are you doing?" Tom questioned.

"I’m not in the mood." Seeing the shock written all over his face, "Don’t look at me like that. It happens."

"Name one time." Tom pointed out. They were at his apartment and his roommate was due back in two hours. He didn’t have any time to waste.

"I told you I’ve got a lot of stuff to think about right now. My brain is working too hard to give up the blood its using to go down south okay." She stood up and moved farther away.

"Alex. You’ve been acting funny for weeks now. Talk to me. Maybe I can help?" He really could be a great guy as long as his brain was in charge.

"It’s nothing okay? Just drop it."

"Is it about Michelle?"

"Nooo its not about Michelle. Why would you even ask that?"

"Well it seems that everything in your life lately involves your roommate in some way."

"Well its not. We‘ve just become good friends is all." She lied.

He saw right through that though. "If you wanted to be with her, I wouldn’t mind."

"WHAT??? Are you mad?" She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. <Be with Michelle? She wouldn’t even...wait, she is gay. But she would never be interested in me that way...right?>

"I just meant that we don’t have an exclusive thing here and if you wanted to..." He tried to be understanding about their relationship and was willing to do almost anything to keep her in his life.

"Yo.. I ..I’m not... You think that I would be interested in being with a woman?" She couldn’t believe how close to home this was hitting. Especially with Kat and all that just happened.

"Well I don’t know if you noticed, but I noticed that you notice other women." Tom pointed out.

"Wait...what?" She didn’t understand a word he was saying.

"I’m just saying that when we’re out together, you check out the women instead of the guy she’s with. So I just assumed that you were... you know. Plus I figured that was the deal with the no love rule because you were saving yourself for the right woman to come along."

<Was that true? Couldn’t be. I could never be with Kat that way ever again. So why would I have done that?> "You’re imagining things. I’m not gay...So wait, if you thought I was, then why are you going out with me?"

"We were friends first remember? I enjoyed your company and didn’t see the harm in adding in a little extra if that’s what you wanted."

"You can just get that idea out of your head then." Alex couldn’t fathom where he would get that idea about her.

"In that case I think we need to talk."

"About?" Alex asked while getting ready to leave. She didn’t want to be here with him. Some of the things he was saying sounded too familiar.

"About changing the rules between us."

Alex‘s head snapped up so fast. "NO. You know how I feel about that."

"I know. But we could be so good together. You say there’s no one else so what’s the problem? I think if you let me, I could fall in lo..."

Alex ran over and covered his mouth before he could finish. "If you say it I won’t ever see you again. That’s it between us. Not even as friends." She could see the stubbornness in his eyes and knew he wasn’t about to back down yet. "Tom please. You know the rules. I’ve broken up with people for less. I don’t want to lose you as my friend." Seeing the reluctant nod from the man she removed her hand. "Thank you."

"You know one day you’re gonna hear that word leave someone’s mouth and you’re going to realize that it’s not such a bad word. I just hope I’m there to see it." He could see her shoulders stiffen as the comment sank in. He got up and wrapped the tense woman in his arms. "As your best man of course. I know it won‘t be me."

"Tom." Alex relaxed into the embrace. "I do care about you. It’s just that I can’t love anyone. It’s not in me. I’m sorry."

"You are capable of so much more and you don’t even know it. When you meet the right person you won’t be able to not love them. You’ll see. You’re going to make someone very happy one day." He released the woman in his arms and stepped back. "And on that note I better take you home since that’s where your mind has been all night anyway."

"Okay. So? Where do we stand?"

"I think it might be better if we were just friends. You know, I used to pretend that we might work out in the end even though I knew we wouldn’t, but now that I know for sure I don’t see the point of all this."

Getting in at 11 at night she wasn’t surprised to see all the lights still on. It was a Saturday night after all. But when she got to her room her roommate was already her own bed. That made Alex pause. <Shit she must be pissed at me for something. I knew I should have stayed.> Alex gingerly sat at the edge just staring down at the angelic face sleeping peacefully. <Her nightmares are going away. She doesn’t even need me anymore.> That thought sent a little pang through her heart. Seeing a tendril of one of her golden locks blocking her view of her perfect face she swept it behind an ear causing Michelle to sigh in her sleep. <I wonder what she’s dreaming of...There’s no way that any of what Tom said was true was it? Could I be interested in women?> Staring down at her friend she had to admit she was very beautiful. Again she got that same feeling that filled her heart and almost made her gasp in its intensity. <That damn Kat. Ever since she came back into the picture I’ve been getting these weird feelings for Michelle. It seems every time I look at Michelle or even think about her I feel something.> After Tom called her on it she had noticed that she did check out other women. <But don’t all women do that? Just to see that they themselves are the best looking one in the room?> But then she realized she wasn’t comparing herself to them but rather just enjoying the view. She even had to admit that she liked it. She stayed up all night long just thinking things through and came to the conclusion, <Maybe I am.>

The next day, the first thing Michelle noticed as she entered her floor was the underlying base she could hear and feel through the walls. Someone was really blasting some music from a room. Walking through the common room the people she came upon looked so sad as if someone had died. Then a voice that haunted her dreams came through loud and clear.

Last night you came to me in my dreams

as I lay sleeping

I could feel your love for me in your heart

that you've been keeping

I felt the warmth of your soul

as we tenderly embraced

and your soft and gentle kiss

you left upon my face

She gasped as she could hear the pain in Alex’s voice go straight to her heart. Stopping the nearest person she saw in the hall she asked what was going on. The girl she knew as Jill filled her in. Everyone only knew that Alex had been singing the same song for the whole day but no one knew if anything was wrong. But the song and her voice pointed out that something was. But everyone was in agreement that they thought she had a beautiful voice and could sing all she wanted.

you said daddy

everything's gonna work out

things will be alright

don't you worry

I just came to spend

some time with you tonight

Michelle could hear the pain in the voice singing for all she was worth. She was unable to not feel every word being sung.

so come and play

lets fly away

before its time to wake

let this moment last forever

memory never fade

mornings come

the night is gone

the tears begin to flow

and your sweet voice , I love you daddy

but now I have to go

As she moved closer to their room the music got louder. She had never heard this song before but thought it was very haunting.

you said daddy

everything's gonna work out

things will be alright

don't you worry

I just came to spend

some time with you tonight

you said daddy

yes I'll never leave you

just you look inside

there's no hurry

I'll be yours forever

just put your fears aside.

Quietly slipping into their room she saw Alex lying on her bed with her arm over her eyes.

oooh daddy I miss you my daddy

oooooh daddy I'll always be near you

you said daddy don't you worry there's no hurry I’m here inside you

you said daddy don't you worry there's no hurry I'm always with you

oh baby, my sweet baby, daddy always loves you

yes you're here in my heart and that's where I know I'll find you

oh little one daddy loves you his precious one daddy loves you

oh little one daddy loves you his precious one I'm always with you

"Oh. Hey. Didn’t see you standing there." Her were red rimmed as if she were crying.

"I just got here. What song was that?" Michelle didn’t want to push her if she didn’t want to tell her anything.

"Um.. its called Jorin’s lullaby." She covertly wiped her eyes as she turned around to turn off the radio but Michelle saw it anyway.

Just to keep the other woman talking, "I never heard it before. Is it new?"

"Not really. Unless you’re from where I’m from you probably wouldn’t have heard it before."

"Its beautiful. So sad."

"Yeah. I think he wrote it for his son who died." Alex looked so lost Michelle knew something was really wrong and couldn’t stop herself from finding out what hurt her friend so much.

"What’s the matter Alex? Did Kat come back?"

"No. Its nothing. Just a bad day is all." The taller woman tried to keep the hurt out of her voice.

"Are you sure? You’ve been playing that song all day." She walked over to sit next to her friend on the bed. "Everyone says you should be a singer by the way."

"They could hear me?" Her eyes went wide with shock. She didn’t like people to hear her sing. In fact she only did it when she was either very sad and alone or driving in her car. Michelle was the exception of course.

Trying to lighten the mood, "Yup. They said next time pick a happier song though. You bummed everyone out."

Alex chuckled, "Okay next time I’ll take requests."

"Are you sure you’re okay? Do you want to talk about it?" Alex could see the concern in her friend’s eyes and was tempted to tell her. <Maybe it will be good to tell someone.>

Making up her mind she decided to just come out and say it. "Today is the day my dad died."

"Oh Alex. I’m so sorry." She took her friend’s hand in support.

"Yeah well it was a while ago. This song reminds me of him and...well I just like to listen to it when I miss him." Michelle squeezed the hand she was holding to show she was listening if Alex wanted to go on. "Sometimes I think about how different my life would be if he was here to share it with me. Maybe I wouldn’t be so screwed up now."

"You are not screwed up. You’re the best person I know."

"But look at the way I treat people. You’re the first friend I've had in a long time...and that's only because you were too stubborn to give up on me. Not many people would do that just for a friend."

"Yeah, but I’m glad I did. Otherwise I never would have known the real you."

"Well you’re the only one then. No one cares if I’m even here. I don’t blame them either for the way I treat them because I wouldn’t want to know me either."

"Your mom cares about you." Seeing the nod that she was right, "Tom cares about you."

Alex watched Michelle’s head drop with that statement like it pained her to say it. She didn’t know what that was about so she filled her in. "Tom and I broke up last night."

Michelle’s head quickly snapped up to see the reaction on Alex’s face. "I’m sorry. What happened?"

Shrugging, "We had a difference of opinion. We decided we make better friends."

"So you’re okay with this? You’re not sad about it?"

"No. I knew it would have to end sooner or later. Besides we were never really together. He could have seen other people if he wanted to." Alex’s thumb slowly rubbed the hand she was holding. "I’m sorry about yesterday. I should have stayed here with you."

"Its okay. You didn’t miss much." She shrugged noncommittally, trying not to show how that simple touch affected her.

"I still should have stayed. I wanted to stay but I knew what was going to happen with Tom and couldn’t put it off."

<She went out last night to break up with him? Why?> The reason she came up with made her heart soar in the clouds. <Could it be she wanted to end it with Tom first before she started something with me? Maybe she was..> But her thoughts were interrupted by Alex. "So I’m sorry that I left last night. You’re not still mad are you?" Pleading blue eyes were staring back at her under dark lashes. Michelle came to a decision. She needed to know for sure right at this moment. So taking a chance, she cupped Alex's cheek with her free hand, "No I’m not mad." Seeing the smile that spread across her friend’s face only hardened her reserve to go through with this. "You know, I care about you too...very much." Her thumb followed the movements of the thumb rubbing her own hand.

"I know." Alex whispered. "I care about you too." She had unconsciously leaned into her soft palm gently nuzzling it. Closing her eyes in the blissful sensations, she missed the mouth that descended on hers. The kiss was soft and sweet and Alex couldn’t help but enjoy it as her brain hadn’t registered what was happening yet. Michelle took Alex not pulling away or stiffening up as a very good sign and so kept up the gentle pressure. Slowly pulling back she waited for those baby blues she loved so much to open as they were still shut. When they did open she thought she saw confusion mixed in with desire? She wasn’t sure but it was too late to stop now so she plunged ahead. "Alex. I’ve been wanting to tell you this for a while now. And well. I... I think I’m in love with you." Oh now there was definite confusion in the eyes across from her but just as suddenly they turned cold and distant causing Michelle’s heart to drop into her stomach. <Oh shit.>

Alex gradually undid their hands and stood up from the bed they were sitting on. "I think I better go. Practice...Don‘t want to be late."

Michelle knew without even looking at her watch that practice wasn’t till another hour. Looking up to her friend’s face she noticed the tenseness in her jaw and knew she had made a mistake. Without further word Alex walked out of the room.

Out in the hall Alex stared at the closed door for a minute. <Damn it. Why does everything always have to be ruined. We had a great friendship here and now I have to end it. That’s all there is to it.> Just saying it to herself ripped her in two. But she had to follow the rules.

Ever since Michelle confessed her feelings to Alex, the taller woman had been avoiding her. And even when they went to sleep at night the blonde couldn’t get two words out of her friend. She never did sleep in the same bed since either. The conclusion she came to was that Alex didn’t feel the same way. She thought she did but now she knew she must of been seeing things that day. <I only saw what I wanted to see and not the truth. I am such an idiot! Why would she even want me? I’ve probably just ruined our friendship forever.> Walking into the dorms she froze at the scene. A bunch of her friends were all in a circle and there in the middle was Susan holding Alex by her shirt with her fist ready to fly into the other woman’s face.

"What the hell is going on here Susan?"

The stunned woman‘s eyes widened as she noticed her very angry friend standing in the doorway. "Michelle! What are you doing back so soon? You‘re suppose to be in class right now." Susan quickly dropped her hand and stepped back.

"I forgot my book so I came back before my next class. Well? I asked you a question."

"Nothing. We were just talking." She couldn’t meet her eyes so she cast them to the floor.

"Looks to me you were doing everything BUT talking. What’s this about?" Seeing that Susan wasn’t about to answer she turned to Alex. "How about you? Or are you still not talking to me?"

" was nothing. Just a little disagreement." Now Alex joined Susan at staring guiltily at the ground which made Michelle even angrier when she realized why.

"Susan how dare you try to hurt Alex..."

"But she hurt..." Susan interrupted.

"Don’t interrupt. I told you what happened in confidence, not for you to go avenging every hurt feeling that I have. Plus you know how I feel about physical violence!"

"I know, that’s why I did it. She’s hurting you and she needs to hurt back!"

Taking a deep calming breath, "Listen to me because I don’t want to have to repeat myself." She eyed the top of every single head in the room since she couldn’t see any eyes. "None of this is Alex’s fault. You can’t blame her for not feeling the same way."

"Michelle it is my fault..."

"Alex! I told you to listen so don‘t interrupt."

"Sorry." Alex knew it was her fault no matter what Michelle said. <I shouldn’t have just walked out without a word about it. I overreacted...AGAIN. I’m sure we could have worked something out. But no, I had to go and blow everything out of proportion.> Michelle had never stopped lecturing everyone while Alex silently berated herself.

She wasn’t even listening until she heard Michelle say, "What if one of you had gotten hurt? I never would have forgiven you..."

And so wasn‘t thinking when she blurted out, "But I deserved it so I..."

Silenced by a glare. "Sorry." <If I hadn’t of shut her out after she told me, all of this never would have happened. How could I treat her like this after everything we‘ve been through? Susan had the right idea. I don‘t deserve her as a friend.>

"I can’t believe you would go behind my back and do something like this. Didn’t you think I would have been furious when I found out? I..."

"She was only trying to protect..." Alex was so busy yelling at herself she just couldn’t seem to keep her mouth shut.

"You just don’t learn do you." This time the glare was accompanied by hands on hips and a tapping foot which made Alex’s eyes return to her shoes.

<I am such a jerk! Just look at everything she’s done for me. She stood up to Kat for me. No one’s ever defended me before. She’s even defending me now even after I treated her like shit. She is so special. I don‘t know what I would be without her.>

"And so I don’t want this to ever happen again! You all got me? It is not her fault that she doesn’t LOVE me!"

"I never said that I didn’t love you..."

"Damn it Alex! I..." Michelle responded before the actual words sank in. <Wait! What was that?>

"Sorry." <This is such a mess. And it’s all your fault. When are you...> Alex’s thoughts were interrupted by the sheer quietness all around her. When she looked to see what was going on, every eye in the room was looking at her...well more like gawking actually. Even Michelle was staring at her with her mouth hanging slightly open. <Oh shit! Now what did I do?> Finally when she realized what she so carelessly blurted out, her own jaw dropped. Everyone was waiting to see what would happen. No one even dared breathe.

Michelle thought she couldn’t have heard right. After all if her eyes could play tricks on her why not her hearing. She needed to make sure this time. "Uh..yo..bu..What?" It took a minute to get her speaking ability back after a shock like that.

As for Alex, she wasn‘t that lucky. She was frozen and so couldn’t do anything but gape back. The only sense that was working, instinct, that saved her many a time finally kicked into gear which made her legs take her out of hostile grounds before her brain exploded. It was the only thing that she could do. She ran. She ran right out the door before anyone could utter a word. The slam the door made as it reverberated through the halls snapped everyone back to reality.

Michelle turned toward the open door just staring at it but as people started to disperse she grabbed her friend by the front of her shirt. "Susan. What did she say?"

"I...well I think she...I wasn’t really pay..." She was babbling. Susan had been just as shocked to hear that come out of Alex’s mouth.

"SUSAN! WHAT...DID ...SHE...SAY!" Bringing herself right up into her friends face she yelled this. She was desperate. She had to know if it was all her imagination. At this point she wasn’t sure if she should be in a mental institution with all these hallucinations.

"She said she didn’t say she didn’t love you." When Michelle let her go she straightened her shirt and took a good look at her friend. "Shit! For someone who’s against violence you sure are a fast learner."

"I’m sorry. I needed to make sure." Michelle leaned against the wall otherwise she’d fall down. Susan saw this and put her arm around the smaller woman. "Come on. Lets go to my room." Slowly she pulled them towards her room.

"What did she mean by that?" Dazed green eyes stared up into her own.

"You’ll have to ask her." <I am SO going to kill her.>

<The room’s dark. She must of gone out.> Alex silently sighed with relief when she noticed their light wasn‘t on from outside the dorms. She just wasn’t ready to face the questions that were going to be shot at her once she saw her elusive roommate. She had been gone for the whole day just wandering the streets mumbling to herself trying to come up with a reason she said that. The one she did come up with was not an option for her. <Hopefully she’ll let me sleep when she comes back and that’ll give me time to come up with something else by morning.> Slowly making her way up the stairs and down the hall she stealthily made it to her door and slipped quietly inside. She didn’t want anyone to know that she came back in case anyone was looking for her. <What am I going to do? I can’t avoid her for..>

"Hello Alex."

"HOLY SHIT!" Spinning on her heel she crashed into the door she was about to close. "Are you trying to kill me? Damn I think my heart just stopped." All she could hear was soft chuckling and her own pounding heart because she still hadn’t turned on the light. Reaching blindly over she flicked it on to see Michelle sitting on her bed.

"I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you." Michelle said while blocking the stinging light until her eyes adjusted.

"That's okay. Oh man." Taking a nice deep calming breath, "What are you doing sitting in the dark?"

"Would you have come in if the lights were on?" She asked right back. Alex couldn’t look her in the eye. "I thought so." A minute passed with Alex still avoiding her gaze while Michelle’s never wavered from her target. "Tell me why."

"Why what?"

"Why didn’t you tell me when I told you how I felt?"

She contemplated lying, but one look into the pain filled green eyes she knew the truth was the only way to go. "I thought it would go away."

"So you want it to go away." Michelle didn’t say it as a question. More to just say it to herself.



Running her fingers through her hair, "I’m no good for you. You heard what Kat said. Love makes you weak and I can’t be like that anymore. You know how long it took me to..."

"There you go again, comparing me to Kat. I HATE that." Michelle got up from the bed to pace.

"I’m not."

She stopped and faced Alex who was looking at anything but her. "You are. I thought you trusted me."

"I DO. That's not at question here." She answered immediately looking her straight in the eye.

"Oh that's exactly what’s at question here Alex. You think I'd take advantage of your "weakness" as you call it the way she did, meaning that you don’t trust me." Michelle loomed closer with every word she said. "But what you don’t see is that you’d have that same power over me. We equal each other Alex, we’re whole together. I love you."

Alex cringed at hearing those dreadful words. "Well stop it! Please."

"It’s too late now. I was lost the first time I saw you." She ended up directly in front of the woman she loved.

"Why would you even love me. I’m nothing." Alex tried to slip away from her but was stopped cold by the hand pushing into her chest.

"Don’t ever talk about yourself that way!" Michelle had her pinned to the wall. "You wanna know why I love you? I’ll tell you. You’re the most special, most caring, most giving person I have ever met! Not to mention you’re also the sweetest and most beautifulest woman too!" They were so close now that she had to whisper. "Tell me, what‘s not to love?"

Alex stared straight ahead right over Michelle refusing to acknowledge the truth. "I can’t give you what you want. I..."

"You know nothing of what I want. Frankly, it‘s not even up to you. You want to know what I DO want?" Alex couldn’t move when Michelle placed her hands around her waist so all she did was nod. "All I want, is for you to answer one question. That’s it."

Alex could feel the warmth of this woman soaking into her as she looked down at the cause, "What is it?"

Very calmly she waited for Alex to meet her gaze, "Do you love me?"

"Well I ...bu.. yo.." Her eyes started to shift nervously from side to side looking anywhere but at the green fire she had glimpsed.

"Its not a hard question. Its either yes or no." Michelle’s hands started to move around to her back drawing little circles that Alex could feel right through to her toes.

Eyes closed she reveled in the sensations. She was being pulled in two different directions. "Michelle, I... I can’t. I don't want to be weak anymore." The emotions were running rampant that it came out sounding like a sob.

Tightly wrapping her arms around the trembling woman, "Love is not a weakness Alex. How can you listen to anything that woman has told you." Michelle could tell that she needed to convince her that it wasn’t weak to love someone. So she released her and took a step back. "Why do you think you were able to break that hold she had on you and come to me?"

"I don’t know." She had to strain to hear it since it came out as a mumble.

"I think you do. Try and think why. Please." The smaller woman led her friend over to the bed to sit down on.

" asked me to." Alex croaked out.

"Yeah but why did you listen to me instead of Kat? She wanted you to come to her too." She took Alex’s hands into her own to keep the connection going.

<Why did I go to Michelle and not Kat.> Alex thought about this and looked over to see her friend holding her hand. <Look how small her hands are from mine. She’s so special. Why does she put up with me.> Finally meeting the green eyes that were gazing so lovingly into her own she knew the answer. Michelle saw the moment the realization hit her so she was totally off balance when Alex sprung off the bed and grabbed her jacket.

"I’m sorry I have to get out of here." She panicked.

"Stop running away from everything. I saw the answer in your eyes so it’s no use denying it." Michelle quickly got to her feet.

Throwing her hands in the air she spun back around to face the smaller woman. "Fine! You want me to answer your question? The answer’s YES! Okay? Yes. I came to you because I loved you more then her! You happy now? Shit!" She ran her fingers through her hair. "I told you I don‘t want this." Alex was already heading for the door to escape but Michelle was quicker. Placing her hand over the one ready to turn the door knob, "Wait. Don’t go." Alex was helpless but to listen. "Why is it so hard to admit it? Love makes you strong. Not weak. Love made you strong enough to break free of the power she had over you. Love helped you get through all the pain she put you through. Love...brought us together. Don’t you see that?" The smaller woman had tears brimming her eyes but refused to let them fall.

A loud thunk sounded as Alex dropped her head against the door she was facing. She had a choice to make. She could turn around and face the fears that have been haunting her for years or she could turn that knob and lose the best thing that ever happened to her. For the first time in her life she actually considered the possibility of being with someone since her heart was broken. Normally if that L word ever made an appearance she’d quickly break all connection with that person no question about it. But with Michelle, she didn’t know what to do. She needed time to think things through.

"Michelle..." She whispered.


"What if I said no?" She needed to know all her options. But she would do her damndest to keep this woman in her life. It was the first time ever that she even contemplated keeping someone who said those words to her in her life. Normally she’d be long gone by now. But Michelle was always the exception to everything she believed in her life. "Would we still be friends?"

"Yes." Michelle choked out. The tears were too much to hold back so they ran down her face. "I will always be your friend. No matter what."

Alex slowly turned around causing her body to brush with Michelle since they were so close together sending chills everywhere between them. Raising her hands to cup the smaller woman’s face she rubbed her thumb against a satiny soft cheek to wipe away the tears. Slowly their eyes met with the two of them lost in the other. Without knowing why, Alex lowered her mouth to the smaller woman’s. Lips touching for the first time sent shock waves coursing through the two women. Michelle never hesitated to respond by tipping up on her toes to get as much contact as possible. She even became the aggressor when Alex started to pull away, pushing just a little bit till Alex was pressed against the wall. Still responding to the kiss, Alex pulled the shorter woman closer as her hands moved from her face to around her waist practically lifting Michelle to her mouth. Finally pulling apart for much needed air they sucked it in while staring into smoldering eyes. Alex, breathing raggedly, "I...I don’t know what to do. I need to think about this. Can...will you give me some time?"

Michelle slowly nodded her head. That’s all she could do. If there was even a chance of being with this woman she would do anything necessary to do it. Michelle gradually stepped back from the pinned woman and moved to the side never losing eye contact. "Yes."

"Thank you." Alex turned the knob and was just about to slip out when she heard Michelle’s voice. "Alex. No matter what decision you come to, don’t take too long to tell me. I want to know for sure once and for all."

Nodding her head she slipped out the door and down the hall. She had to talk to someone that could help her. Quickly making up her mind she headed to the Dean’s office. Back in the room Michelle burst into tears leaning against the wall.



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