Summary: Michael reacts to Maria breaking up with him.
Author's Notes: This takes place immediately following Behind the Music. It was inspired by Pink's Just Like a Pill.

After writing this, I decided to turn it into a series of one-parters called Love Story. Parts 2 & 3 are posted here:

2. This is STILL Not a Love Story

3. This Could be a Love Story

This is Not a Love Story

After she left, I sat there for a long time, numbed by her words, unable to formulate a coherent thought let alone a plan for escape. It wasn't until the first drops of rain hit my cheeks that I looked up at the sky expectantly, wondering what God I had angered to cause this torment on top of such misery. It was with no small amount of shock that I realized that it wasn't raining at all, that the wetness on my face did not come from the heavens above but from my own small waterfalls, originating from presumed to be dry riverbeds hiding unused behind my eyelids for years.

She had left me. She had told me that it was over between us and walked away resolutely into the chilly autumn air.

That b-itch.

It was only when I finally muttered the words that I started running. I leapt from the picnic table I sat upon, tearing through the darkened park like an escaped maniac, searching for a salve for my wounds, or better yet, a target to vent my anger towards. I found it in the form of a concrete statue, standing innocently in the middle of the children's playground, beckoning to me menacingly with its granite smile.

One short blast and it was dust.

I stared at the rubble, the satisfaction I craved remaining out of reach. My need for vengeance was far from satiated. I turned to the swing set, the metal bars crumpling like tinfoil within my fervent grip. The seesaw was next, opposing ends of the steel bar implanting themselves in the muddy ground thanks only to the power behind my eyes. Monkey bars—rubble, sand box—dust, slippery slides—straight silver streaks along the ground.

The bile churning in my stomach as I watched the destruction befall the scene before me was surprising. Beating things up had always brought a certain comfort in the past, therapy that no amount of talking to Maria could match—talking to Maria, something I wouldn't get to do again thanks to her selfish request for self-sanity… b-itch.

I wasn't sure if I was angry at her brush-off itself or at how repulsed I felt by my reaction to it. I didn't need her in my life, I'd never needed anyone so her leaving wasn't really a big deal, it was just… it was just that I'd come to depend on her being there, on the comfortable knowledge that somebody shared your life, your hopes, your dreams, your fears…

My fears… the sickening truth of the situation hit me hard in the stomach, my body doubling over as the realization of the true source of my anger rang clear through my mind. It was 1st grade all over again. As I stood in the middle of the war-torn battlefield, the scene before my eyes was replaced with the playground at West Roswell Elementary, the children screaming as they ran to the safety of the school building, the rain falling from my eyes then just as it did now. The dust rose from the ruins of the pitiful excuse for play toys as my eyes blazed with angry flames and the teachers rushed to explain away the obvious lightening strike that must have caused the damage.

Must have been a freak of nature, they said afterwards, but I knew different, I knew the truth. It wasn't a freak of nature, it was a freak of outer space, sent to this earth for a then unknown reason to live out a solitary but suffering existence. In all those years nothing had changed—I was still that freak, that alien, that being that didn't belong in either race, didn't fit with any group, wasn't loved by any person.

The ache in my gut grew until it was all-encompassing and I fell to my knees, the violent sounds of my retching the only puncture in the still desolation of night in Roswell, New Mexico. The city that should have been a home to me was as foreign today as it had been 12 years ago and the only thought in my mind was how quickly I could get away.


"You did it, didn't you?"

"Well hello to you to," I mumble, not turning my head from the television as the sound of her foot tapping furiously on the floor grated on my last nerve and I had to clench my fist to stop myself from amputating the appendage with the tiniest wave of my finger.

"It's all over town, some vandals destroyed the whole park. Why?" she asks dumbly.

"Why not?" I reply.

"Michael," she sighed.

Here it comes, I think to myself, the Maria lesson-of-the-day, custom designed for her loser boyfriend who can never get his act together.

Wait… I am not her loser boyfriend any longer. I might still be the loser in her eyes, but her eyes don't matter to me anymore, not even if they are sparkling in that brilliant green that always brings a vague memory of a emerald Antarian sky to my mind.

'You can't do that. People will see. They'll find out. You have to be more careful. How can you be so stupid?'

I shake my head resolutely, standing from the couch to move across the room. Her words have no effect on me, they bounce off my hardened exterior, reflecting back onto her like poison-tipped darts, stored in the aching quiver slung across my heart.

"Are you finished?" I ask as she stops for a breath, pulling a bottle of water from the fridge and downing half of it one breath-stealing gulp.

"No, I am not finished," she says quickly, her anger growing with each second that I refuse to jump in the game, enter the dance of destruction that she insists we perform at every juncture. "You have to get over this. You have to move on, be happy."

"Move on," I repeat monotonously. "That's what I should do?"

"Yes, it'll be good for you."

Her face that once held such beauty suddenly reveals itself to be the mask of evil that I always suspected lived there and my stomach churns at the thought that I ever found it pleasing.

"Good for me? You know what would have been good for me, Maria?" I ask bitterly, my voice fighting to increase its volume, every fiber in my being consumed with suppressing it, holding it in until I can get the full message out. "Going home would have been good for me, my dear. Going back to the freak-zone that I came from would have been good for me, but you didn't want that did you? No, you wanted me to stay here with you, wanted me to forsake my heritage for a little roll in the hay whenever you felt like it and I was stupid enough to listen to you, to listen to the words you stamped on my brain with every connection we made, the mantra that if I just gave you my heart you would take care of it, make a home for it. What a pile of rotten bullsh!t."

"You think going back to Antar would have been better than staying here? Back there with the b-itch Queen and her bastard son?" Her mouth falls open at my declaration and I want to cram my emotions into the gaping hole, desperate to end the judgment shining on her face.

"At least Tess was honest about her deception," I snarl, unable to stop myself from reaching behind the wall of ribs to wrench her heart from its resting place. "I stayed here Maria. I stayed on this planet for one reason, for you and how do you repay me? By breaking up with me? Nice, real mature."

"I didn't realize your 'sacrifice' came with a price," she spat, her cheeks reddening as she realized the truth in my words. "You expect me to stay with you just because you stayed here for me?"

"Yeah I do."

"Well love doesn't work that way Guerin. It's a two way street and I've been fighting my way up your alleys for far too long to even care anymore. I can't do this any longer, I can't be responsible for your happiness."

"You think you are responsible for me being happy? What pedestal did you crawl up on to proclaim yourself Queen of me? You are nothing to me, just something to pass the time until I can get out of this god damned sh!thole." I knew the words were false even as they formed in my brain, but I wanted to see her reaction and tossed them at her with such force that she physically stumbled backwards.

Recovering quickly, she stared up at me defiantly, "I am not even going to dignify that with a response."

"Good comeback," I snarl.

"You just admitted that you stayed in this 'sh!thole' for me, Michael," she yelled, losing all control as she threw whatever insult she could conjure across the room at me.

It was almost comical, watching her struggle to react to me fighting with her when I actually had a solid foundation for my argument. I don't think she had the slightest clue how to handle it.

Her lips trembled as adrenaline coursed through her veins, her eyes blinking furiously to stem the tears that threatened them. She had never looked more beautiful and I knew in that instant that I was dead in the water.

Crossing the space separating us, I grab her hips roughly, crushing her lips with such force that a strangled cry seeps into my mouth, reverberating off the soft walls as she leans into me, returning the gesture with matched fury. I don't give her time to object, grabbing her off the floor to toss her rag doll body onto the couch. She is panting, looking up at me with hatred-fueled passion in her eyes and I want to tear them from their sockets, dispose of the judging glares they are capable of.

My shirt leaves my chest at the volition of my tumultuous mind. Hers is next, my brain as yet unaware that I am unconsciously removing the articles, too consumed with the rage boiling within my chest. I worry that I will crush her, not out of fear of killing her, a desire that is not far from the truth at the moment, but from the idea that she will die before I am satiated, before I can release the locomotive of anguish steaming through my veins.

Her blossoming buds beckon to my waiting hands and I assault them viciously, my mouth tearing a path of bruises across her abdomen as I wrestle with the urge to rip the remaining garments from her body, knowing they will be destroyed in the process and caring none about the damage. A quick glance at her eyes reveal them to be begging me to progress, push the process further before her mind caves as mine threatens to do and I back away from the imminent interaction we border.

Without thought, I allow my mind to tear the button on her jeans, detaching myself from her chest long enough to pull the garment down just enough to allow entry. She is pinned, her upper body trapped beneath my towering presence, her lower encased in the cage of material—she is just as I want her, helpless. I tear my own jeans from my throbbing body, pushing them clear of my already swollen member pulsing for entry. I push myself onto her again, my hand tangling with her center roughly. She whimpers as I cover her body with mine once more, unable to escape the attack I mount, wanting it just as much as she hates it.

Her eyes shine with contempt for me as her mouth drips sounds of agonizingly torturous pleasure. I know exactly what it takes to build her to the frenzy I desire and I do so, forcing my fingers inside her as her breath falls from her lips in a desperate gasp for mercy. She rises up to meet the force I offer, grinding herself against me until I can stand the pressure no longer and yank my hand from her warmth, replacing it with the tool of my own satisfaction.

Thrust after thrust I drive into her, the vision of her before me blurring as ecstasy clouds my vision and I fall away from the reality of my existence, believing for just a moment that I am not replacing my need for love with meaningless sex, that I would not need gratification so badly that I would stoop to scraping it from the very ground we walk upon.

Crying out in pain at the realization of the true nature of my actions, I push harder, intent on completing the offensive act as quickly as possible and detaching myself from her body, the scent of her perfume mingled with our sweat clogging my brain from all coherent thought.

Her fragile frame tremors beneath me, her walls clamping down firmly as she creates her own trap, locking me within her as she rises rapidly to her peak, hauling me up with her even as my body objects to the action, incapable of stopping and unwanting to finish. We climax, pausing for just a moment on the cusp of the wave, hovering suicidally in the air above the ground before gravity takes over and we plunge to our deaths, the reality of earth rushing up to meet us with full force as my last strains of strength dissolve and I collapse onto her heaving chest. My heart matches hers beat for beat and for yet another moment I am fooled into believing this is just like all the other times. But this is not like the other times. This is the last time. The end of our time together, a final act to signify all that our relationship ever was—lustful wanting of acceptance, a desire to be loved so strong within us both that we created the image of it in each other, believing so desperately that without the other's support we were nothing.

We are not nothing. I am not nothing.

I am Michael Guerin, freak of nature, and I do not need the love of any woman to fulfill me.

The thought drills itself into my brain with such intensity that I jerk away from her, clasping a hand to my forehead as I withdraw from her cavity, retreating back to the end of the couch as I let her curl her body in upon itself. She is crying, I note with detachment, standing to pull my jeans back into their proper position. She cannot look at me and I shake my head, my eyes filled with empathy as I watch her struggle with the truth I have just owned as mine. We are no longer, we do not need each other to complete the fragments of ourselves that exist in this world. Tattered fragments unloved for so long always appear to need that matching piece, so desperate that they will force themselves into any position just to feel wanted, loved. I know now that a seamstress could not force my tattered pieces into a pattern with Maria's, we love each other, but sometimes, love is just not enough. Until we can complete ourselves individually, we can never complete each other.

"Don't cry," I whisper softly, standing awkwardly before her as her tiny body shakes with sobs.

"I thought… I thought we were going to be together forever," she gasps.

These words coming from the mouth of the one who brought us to this place in the first place almost make me laugh until I remember that it was not her alone who brought us here. She was just the one brave enough to recognize a tear in the patched together fabric of our relationship. That she pointed it out did not relieve me of the guilt of ripping it wide open.

"Maybe we will," I say softly, already doubting the truth of the words as I stare at the one person I have ever loved completely, the one person who I know will always have a stamp on my heart even if she no longer owns it for herself.

"Maybe," she echoes, a flash of the brilliance I love shimmering from beneath her shuttered eyes.

"You don't need me to be happy," I offer gently, hoping that she will accept my peace offering as I no longer possess hatred for the angel before me, only love, the caring love that will build the perfect friendship.

"But I still… I still love you," she mumbles.

"This is not a love story," I murmur softly, the words imprinting themselves on my soul as I release her from the confines of my heart, the newly vacant space filling with a peace I have never known in my short lifetime. It isn't always about the love you have for another, sometimes it's about finding the love you have for yourself, a lesson too long in coming that I cherish even more for its delay in arrival.

Maybe it was a love story after all.

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 18-Feb-2003 10:29:22 PM ]