|posted on 22-Oct-2002 8:01:35 AM|
|Author’s Notes: This fic takes place immediately following “Four Aliens & A Baby”. It was inspired by the music of Sarah McLachlan’s Surfacing CD. The songs are Adia (Part 1) and Do What You Have To Do (Part 2). She’s a Canadian artist so I don’t know how many of you will be familiar with her work but check it out!|
Michael woke up, Maria’s hair smothering him. He moved his head back, opening his eyes to take in his surroundings. Right, he thought, Tess. He moved his hands up to rub his face roughly, willing himself to wake up from the restless slumber of a night spent on the living room floor of Isabel’s apartment. He turned back to Maria; lying next to her all night had been a sweet torture. So close yet so far, he thought grimly.
He sat up, careful not to disturb the sleeping forms of his ex-girlfriend and Kyle, who he had lain sandwiched between all night. He made it to his feet soundlessly and then stumbled, stepping directly on Maria’s bare foot.
She pulled her foot away from the invasion, her eyes remained closed but she murmured, “Nice move, Spaceboy.”
“You awake?” Michael asked.
Maria opened her eyes and rolled over onto her back, “Who can sleep?”
Just then Kyle rolled over, letting out a thunderous snore. Both Maria and Michael collapsed into giggles, fighting to keep silent. He reached down to offer her his hand, pulling her gently to her feet. They tiptoed into the kitchen noiselessly, Maria still clasping her hand to her mouth to suppress her laughter.
Isabel had set the timer on the coffee maker last night and there was a fresh pot awaiting them. Michael reached for two mugs and the coffee pot. She grabbed sugar, cream, and Tabasco sauce. They sat at the table, reaching over and across each other in a flurry, both of them moving in a familiar rhythm from having spent so many mornings together at his apartment. Maria stopped as her hand collided with Michael’s just as he was reaching for his third teaspoon of sugar.
“Three?” she asked.
He shrugged, “Two just ain’t gonna do it this morning.”
She smiled and nodded, neither willing to break eye contact. They both noticed that her hand still rested on his at the same moment and pulled away from each other sharply, focusing on their mugs as if they were the most important things in the world.
A comfortable silence settled between them before Michael finally cleared his throat. “So, I guess we’ll be skipping town pretty soon.”
Her head jerked up quickly, catching his gaze for a moment before he averted his eyes. “Why do you say that?” she asked.
He shrugged his shoulders and took a slow sip of his coffee before responding, “I don’t know. Max doesn’t think it’s safe here anymore and, for once, I agree.”
“So, you’re just gonna leave? That’s it.” Maria swallowed hard and pressed her lips together firmly to keep her face from cracking. After Liz had returned from her midnight escapade with Tess, they had all woken up and talked about whether she was actually dead. Agreeing that she was, Maria had fallen asleep thinking that it was over. That everything could go on as normal thanks to Tess’s sacrifice. Apparently she was wrong.
Michael buried his face in his coffee. He had heard the catch in her voice when she spoke and didn’t want her to know. His heart still ached for her. It had since the moment she uttered those vicious words, ‘I want to break up.’ He had been so angry at her at first. Well actually at first he had refused to believe it and had needed another reminder from her the next day when he tried to kiss her. Then he had gotten angry. Only Max and Isabel knew, Michael had threatened them into secrecy, but he had trashed his apartment three days after their breakup. It had taken Max and Isabel three hours to put it all back together. Then he tried to bargain, ‘Take me back, it’ll be different this time.’ He winced when he thought of the words that, thankfully, he had only written and never uttered. Then sadness had set in. Max had told him it was normal and would pass, just like the other feelings. The five stages of something, he had said. But he only got to the fourth; the fifth, acceptance, eluded him. Michael was stuck; stuck in sadness. He wished he were stuck in anger, at least then he’d get to beat things up.
Maria stood and walked over to the sink. She made a big show of rinsing out her coffee mug and, when that was finished, reached for the dish liquid and began to do the entire sink of dishes. Anything to keep from having to look at him. Anything to keep him from seeing her cry.
Michael sat quietly at the table, waiting for her return. When he heard the water running he knew she was avoiding him and stood up to move behind her. “Don’t,” he said, placing his hand on her shoulder.
She hung her head, her hands resting on the edge of the sink. The water threatened to spill over the edge until he reached out to turn it off. As he leaned in front of her she turned her face away but not before he caught a glimpse of her wet cheeks. He moved to lean his back against the counter, essentially facing her, and she turned even further away.
The comfortable silence that had existed between them before was gone. The air crackled with emotions that they both struggled to keep in check.
“You know, you did the right thing,” he finally said.
“What’s that?” she managed to reply, fighting to keep her voice even.
“Ending it… us. It was the right thing to do.”
“Well I’m glad you think so,” she said sarcastically.
“Let me explain,” he said, grabbing her arm as she turned to walk away from him. His action stopped her so that she was directly facing him and her face reddened when she knew he could see her tears.
Adia I do believe I failed you
Adia I know I’ve let you down
Don’t you know I tried so hard
To love you in my way
It’s easy let it go…
“I wasn’t good for you Maria. You knew it and you were strong enough to do something about it. I tried to love you, I thought I did, but it wasn’t what you needed,” Michael confessed the thoughts that had been plaguing his mind since their breakup to her.
Maria tried to interrupt him but he stopped her, “No let me finish.”
Adia I’m empty since you left me
Trying to find a way to carry on
I search myself and everyone
To see where we went wrong
“Ever since that day. I’ve been trying to figure it out. Why? Why end it after almost three years? But then I realized that it was my fault. I always kept you at a distance, you didn’t deserve that.”
Adia I thought that we could make it
But I know I can’t change the way you feel
I leave you with your misery
A friend who won’t betray
“So, now we’re leaving and it’s just going to make things easier. You won’t have to put up with me bugging you to get back together and you can move on with your life,” Michael paused and bowed his head. “That’ll make me happy, to know that you’re happy; that you’re finally free to live your life away from all this alien crap.” Michael looked up to meet her eyes one last time, his own shining with unspent tears. He leaned down to kiss the top of her head and then turned and left.
Liz found Maria in the same spot 20 minutes later, her head in her hands, crying.
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 29-Oct-2002 6:19:27 AM ]
|posted on 24-Oct-2002 6:44:56 AM|
|Here's the other part you wanted!|
Three days passed before the aliens were ready to leave Roswell. In that time Maria didn’t speak to Michael again, it was too painful to think about a life without him in it. The pain had only increased when Liz told her she was going with them. Her and Max were going to get married, not yet, but they wanted to be together so she was leaving.
The morning of their departure dawned gray and cloudy. Just like her mood, she thought to herself. She rolled over in bed, willing sleep to whisk her away from this torturous existence.
Her Mom invaded her misery by entering her room, “C’mon get up, you’ve been moping around here for days.”
“Mom,” Maria groaned, burying her face in her pillow.
“Maria,” her mother returned, taking a seat beside her on the bed. “What’s going on with you?”
“Nothing,” she mumbled, her mouth full of pillowcase.
“Is it because Liz is leaving today?”
Maria froze and lifted her head slowly, “How did you know about that?”
Amy Deluca shrugged her shoulders, “I have my ways. Now is that it? Is that why you haven’t come out of your room for three days?”
“Mom,” Maria complained, turning away from her to stand up on the other side of the bed.
“Look, if it’s bothering you this much, why don’t you go too?”
Maria whipped her head around to face her mother, “What?”
Amy’s features softened until she was almost crying. “My little girl,” she said, moving around the bed to gather Maria in her arms. “I know you want to go, and I can’t keep you here. Just promise me you’ll be careful.”
Maria pushed herself away from her mother’s arms; tears were streaming down her cheeks. “I… I might not be able to come back.”
“I know,” Amy said, her tears matching Maria’s.
“Jim,” Amy said simply. Then she added, “You tell Michael to take care of my little girl, okay?”
“Oh, Mom.” Maria said, collapsing into her mother’s arms. “I love you so much,” she sobbed.
“I know sweetie, I know,” Amy whispered. Then she did the hardest thing she had ever done, she pushed Maria out of her arms, “Now let’s get you packed.”
Max had just started the van. He had traded in his car for it; they needed something big enough to carry all of them. Isabel was leaving with her brother while her husband stayed behind. They had both agreed that they needed to "take a break." Isabel wasn't fooling herself - she doubted that her and Jesse would ever be able to cross the chasm that had divided them but she hoped that some day they could at least be friends. If they ever returned to Roswell that was.
Kyle had been a last minute addition to the departing group, telling them that his life had become defined by them, and that he didn’t embrace the idea of continuing on in Roswell without them. Jim was standing by the van, fighting to keep his emotions hidden.
Liz sat in the front with Max, Kyle and Isabel behind them, while Michael sat in the very back. He was silent, lost in his thoughts. He wondered in amazement at how different this time was. A year ago, when they had prepared to leave for Antar, he had held Maria and kissed her goodbye, promising her that he’d return someday. Then he had caved, giving in to his feelings for her, and given up the life he was destined for to be with her. Now there were no feelings to give in to. He had told her how he felt, that chapter of his life was closed. She had been clear about her feelings for him, it was over, and Michael was glad. At least this time he wasn’t causing her any pain by leaving.
Jim noticed the small blonde girl dragging her suitcase down the street and thumped on the side of the van just as Max was pulling out. He slammed on the brakes, and Liz rolled down her window to see what the problem was. Jim pointed behind the van and she leaned out to see her best friend struggling with her oversized suitcase. She turned to Max, “Maria,” she said simply.
He smiled and looked in his mirror to confirm what Liz had said. He turned to Kyle, “Open the door.”
Kyle did as instructed and was surprised when Maria stopped in front of him, breathless. “Got room for one more,” she gasped. Kyle jumped out and gave her a hand getting inside. He picked up her suitcase and struggled to lift the heavy bag inside. “Geez Maria, you’d think you were never coming back,” he joked.
She stepped inside the van, reaching to clasp Liz’s extended hand, smiling at her. Isabel sighed and shook her head but smiled to herself. She had been worried about Michael leaving without Maria. They were just meant to be together, having one without the other would have been suicide.
“Michael,” she said softly, moving to sit beside him in the back seat. He was staring at her, unsure of what he was seeing.
“You’re coming?” he asked.
“If that’s okay?” she asked in return.
He shrugged, “You can do whatever you want.”
Maria paused, “Do you have any regrets?”
“Yeah, from your time here on earth, do you regret anything?”
Michael shrugged, "I don't know.”
“Well you know what I regret? Ending it with you.”
His eyes widened a little.
“The other day, I let you explain some things to me, will you allow me to do the same?”
He stared silently at her for a moment before nodding.
What ravages of spirit
Conjured this temptuous rage
Created you a monster
Broken by the rule of love
She took a deep breath, “I’m sorry. I’ve been selfish. When we… when I broke up with you I told you it was because I needed to find myself. I got confused, I felt like I had lost myself in us. Like there was no me anymore, just the two of us as one being. And that scared me. So I ended it, because I was scared, and I probably broke your heart in the process.”
Every moment marked
With apparitions of your soul
I’m ever swiftly moving
Trying to escape this desire
“Do you remember what you said to me when you were the king?”
He shook his head.
“Well you say you don’t, but I think you do. You said that you stayed here for me and I repaid you by breaking up with you,” she stopped, the guilt that she felt over those actions evident on her face. “You say you never saw what was right in front of you, but that’s how I feel. After you stayed here for me I knew you’d always wait for me and I took advantage of that. I thought I needed some time off so I took it, knowing that you’d always be there.” Tears had started to slip from Maria’s eyes without her noticing, “And now you’re not.”
Glowing ember burning hot
And burning slow
Deep within I’m shaken by the violence
Of existing for only you
“I think I know now how you felt when you decided to stay for me. You did what you thought was right and got in the Granolith but you couldn’t go through with it.” Maria gasped as sobs started to shake her body. Michael stared at her, silently taking in her confession.
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
And I have sense to recognize that
I don’t know how to let you go
“There is no me anymore, Michael. There’s only us. And if I let you leave…” she shook her head. “I can’t let you leave.”
Maria finished what she had to say and bowed her head. She hadn’t been able to read anything from his expression and her heart pounded in her chest as she waited for his response, any response. She gasped at the strangeness of his touch against her skin as he reached out to caress her face with his hand. He raised her head so that she was looking into his eyes once more.
“I don’t think I can do this if you’re not sure,” he said.
Maria nodded quickly, “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my entire life.”
He paused for a brief heartbeat and then crushed her lips with his. He pulled her tight against him, drinking of her; cherishing the feel of her in his arms.
Maria eventually managed to free her lips from his. “Are you sure?” she asked tentatively.
Michael smiled his sweet, crooked smile at her, “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my entire life.”
Isabel groaned, “Are we going or what?”
Kyle laughed at her, while Max just smiled and started moving again. One last wave to Jim and they were off. Liz smiled as she turned back around to face the front. This felt right, she thought. The six of them, facing whatever unknowns the world had to throw at them together. She sighed and settled back in her seat; somehow she knew that everything would work out okay. Together they could face anything.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 24-Oct-2002 8:11:45 AM ]
|posted on 28-Oct-2002 1:39:36 PM|
|Yes, unfortunately that was the end! It was just a short fic to show how I wanted the story to end Who knows maybe I'll eventually write a post-graduation fic based on this one but there are no plans right now!|