posted on 25-Oct-2001 3:06:03 AM
Title: Stranded
Author: etoile1 aka Eva
Email: etoileone⊕hotmail.com
Disclaimer: Roswell belongs to the wrong people. It should belong to me, but it doesn’t. Don’t sue me. I have no money. This is all in good polar fun.
Category: Alternate Universe. Very Polar.
Rating: Right now it’s about PG/PG-13, but it won’t stay that way…
Summary: Liz is stranded in the middle of nowhere her only hope Michael the very sexy, silent mechanic…imagine the possibilities.
Dedication: This is for Laura, a polar princess whose encouragement definitely made me want to explore the possibilities, and for Nikki, the polar queen that reigns supreme, and for Lee, the “rockiest” polar gal of the bunch!


Part 1


The sun bore down heavily on the expanse of dry grass and sand. Few trees or vegetation peppered the barren landscape, a study of shades of brown. Proof of modern civilization was nonexistent, no edifice or sign of urbanity for as far the eye could see.

Liz Parker was on a therapeutic road trip back home to Roswell for her best friend, Maria’s wedding. Originally she’d planned to fly out with her boyfriend Max, but those plans had fallen through when she’d walked in on him having sex with her friend Judy. She’d grabbed some clothes, some cash, and the keys to his car before fleeing their apartment with tears streaking her cheeks.

The drive had been going well until the bad radio reception had forced her to listen to sappy ballads. If she had to listen to Celine Dion belt out one more note of song, she would drive herself off a cliff a la Thelma and Louise. Not that she was sure where to find a cliff.

She wasn’t entirely sure about where she was, having turned off the main road a few miles back on the advice of the friendly clerk at the last twenty-four hour convenience store she’d stopped at in Portales. But as smoke began to billow from beneath the hood of the car she began to regret her decision. She grabbed her bag of clothes and purse, and ran out of the car. She didn’t really think it would explode, but she’d seen enough bad movies to acknowledge the possibility.

She tried using her cell phone to call roadside assistance, but apparently there was no such thing as signal in this neck of the woods or desert. Glancing over at the smoking car, she knew that getting back in it was not an option. Not that it would be much use, even if she could manage to start it, as she was pretty certain it had basically been running on empty for at least the last mile, added to the loud clanging noise it had developed in Lubbock as she had crossed Texas, the one she’d effectively ignored until now.

Liz had no choice but to walk. She wasn’t sure of her exact location, the winding path she’d taken added to her general poor sense of direction left her with only the certainty that she hadn’t crossed the Pecos River, and that she was somewhere between Portales and Roswell, unless she had strayed north. So she slowly began the second leg of her road trip by walking towards what she hoped was the direction of a town.

*****

It had been hours upon miles, miles upon hours and still Liz had yet to see any sort of building, any sort of structure that would make her hope for a town in the vicinity. Even worse no one at all had driven past her and she was beginning to wonder if nightfall would find her alone on the open road.

Suddenly she saw what seemed to be a house way off in the distance. If she’d had any energy left she would have run towards it like a thirsted man towards water, when she finally was close enough to discern what it was her excitement lessened significantly. The building was apparently an abandoned gas station, something that could have possibly been very useful a few miles back, but lying empty and desolate as it was, wasn’t.

For the sake of trying, out of sheer hopelessness and exhaustion, she walked through what was the station’s store calling out a cautious hello so as not to startle the possible owner or employee. Moving through the service center she saw two decrepit old cars parked on the side, their inside parts gutted and used for what must have been other repair jobs. A well-worn tractor and a newish looking car were standing in the center of the two clearly defined work areas.

Again she called out hello, even though there seemed to be a lack of signs of life, and was nearly startled out of her skin when a young man slid out from underneath the car and sat up. Saying with a drawl, “Honey, I heard you the first time. Now what is it you want?”

“I…um…my car…smoking…and I…walked…so tired…do…water?” Liz tried to reign in her surprise, but not only was she flustered by this man’s sudden appearance, and the sudden attraction she felt when she’d first seen him, but her throat was parched and it was difficult to get her voice working.

“Sure thing honey, but you’ll have to repeat the rest of it for me, I’m not sure I got it all.” He said lazily with a smirk. He pulled back his longish caramel colored hair with a rubber band, the movement of his arms accentuating his broad chest and shoulders, encased as they were in a blue-gray jumpsuit with the name Michael stiched on the left breast-pocket opened halfway to reveal a grease-stained and sweat-soaked white t-shirt.

Liz was overwhelmed by such raw masculinity she barely nodded thanks as he handed her a plastic cup filled with water from the tap. Swallowing quickly she eased the scratchy dryness of her throat, and licking her lips she tried again to explain what brought her to this place. “My car started smoking a few miles out, and before that it had been clanging and just acting up, so I got out and tried to call for roadside assistance but I couldn’t get a signal and so I walked here.”

“How far out did you leave it?”

“The car?”

“Yes, the car.”

“Umm. At least six or seven miles.”

“You walked all that way here?”

“Um yeah.”

“Ok. Listen, it’s kind of late to drive out to tow your car here, especially since it sounds like it’s dead, and it’s even farther to get to town. If you don’t feel at all comfortable with this just tell me, but you can stay here tonight. And tomorrow just figure out what to do.”

“Stay here.” Liz’s voice faded out on a sort of shriek.

“Yeah. I have a pullout sofa. And I’m a decent cook, the house is just around the back. I was about to call it a day, and really am in no room to drive you all the way to town only to pick you up again tomorrow to find your car.”

“Um…it’s fine I guess. I don’t want to be any trouble.” Liz answered hesitantly. He didn’t seem menacing. And she really didn’t want to be an inconvenience.

“Right.” He muttered under his breath.


TBC


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 12-Nov-2001 2:51:43 AM ]
posted on 3-Nov-2001 6:07:23 PM
AN: This part's for Laura and for drunken revelry! lol! Anyway, thanks to everyone who left feedback! It really makes me feel good. Enjoy this new part and tell me what you think!


Part 2


Women, in Michael’s opinion, were always trouble. Especially doe-eyed brunettes who had no idea how sexy they were. And if women were always trouble, then damsels in distress were some divine power’s idea of a cruel joke. Whoever said God was a man had to be wrong, Michael had no doubt she was a woman. Because a damsel in distress always meant that somewhere around the corner there’d be a knight in shining armor prepared to save her.

Michael busied himself wiping his hands clean of the grease and motor oil that inevitably stuck to him as he worked with cars all day. He put away his tools and wiped his brow with the bandanna he always kept in his back pocket before using it to tie back his longish hair. He then turned to the young woman who had just walked into his life a few moments ago.

She was definitely a damsel in distress. Michael already felt the urge to slay all her dragons for her, his primal instinct to be the knight had already kicked in when he offered her a place to stay. If his legs could have bent the right way he’s of kicked himself for that. Just minutes after meeting her and already she was turning his life upside down.

Michael knew he was being a little melodramatic. But experience had taught him to be wary. His ex-wife, Isabel, had been demanding, needy, and unhappy with anything and everything that he did. It was no surprise that after two years of marriage she’d found herself a nice rich old man to take care of, and whose death would take care of her. Michael had wished her good riddance and good luck to the poor old geezer stuck with her, he only hoped the old man got his money’s worth.

Michael also knew that not all women were like Isabel. And to be honest the damsel looked like she was nothing like Isabel. She stood there quietly, waiting patiently as he finished closing up the shop. She wasn’t a chatter, something he was thankful for. People who felt the need to cover any silence with idle useless chatter drove Michael crazy. He’d dated a girl like that in high school.

“What’s your name? I’m Michael by the way.” Michael realized he couldn’t just keep referring to her as the damsel in his head.

“Elizabeth Parker, but call me Liz everyone does.”

“Great. Nice to meet you. Um…I have a bit more to do before I close up here, so why don’t you take your stuff out back and you can take a shower and freshen up. There are fresh towels in the closet next to the bathroom door. And if you need anything, feel free to help yourself.”

“Thank you Michael. I think I’ll take you up on that. It’s just around the back? It’s not locked is it?”

“Yeah, just out back, and no it’s not locked. I’ll see you in a few.” Michael turned back to the counter he was in the process of removing stack of papers from.

*****
Liz walked into Michael’s small home cautiously. Expecting to find a mess typical of a bachelor pad, she was surprised by the sparseness and neatness of his home. The walls were bare, and the tables lacked any sort of decoration. For a moment Liz felt it was almost as if no one lived there.

It made her wonder about this man who by his kindness to a stranger was saving her life. She shuddered at the thought of being outside with nothing or no one to protect her. Instinctively she knew Michael would protect her. She wondered why that was. She’d just been betrayed by a man in the worst way possible, why would she place her trust so easily in this man she knew nothing of.

She made her way to the bathroom, borrowing a towel from the linen closet. Again, she was surprised at how neat everything was, somehow she didn’t expect that of him. But she wasn’t about to complain either. She undressed and stood beneath the spray of warm water, washing away the dust and dirt she’d acquired on her hike that day.

She couldn’t help thinking about Michael. He was an enigma. Living out here in the middle of nowhere, willing to take a chance on a stranger and help her just because. He’d offered her a place to sleep and food to eat, without any sort of intimation of expectations.

What if he had expectations? Liz thought as she stepped out of the shower. She was surprised to realize that she was in no way averse to meeting them. Michael had to be the sexiest man she’d ever met. When she had first seen him, big and broad-shouldered. His body fit and well muscled, sweaty and streaked with grease she’d barely been able to contain her impulse to fling herself in his arms.

And when he’d turned out to be such a sweet person, her knight in shining armor so to speak, it made her want to meet any and all his expectations very willingly. But she didn’t think he really had them. He seemed to be too good to be true in a way. Liz paused in slipping on her shirt. Maybe he was gay. No, that was impossible. He was too sexy, too raw to be gay. She hoped so anyway.

*****

Michael walked in while Liz was still in the shower. He washed his hands and quickly set some pasta to boiling and began making a salad for dinner. It was rare for him to have company, the only person who would regularly visit was the cleaning lady he’d hired to come by once a week.

He heard the water stop running and couldn’t help the mental image that the sound evoked. He imagined Liz naked, droplets of water running down her smooth skin, the silky hair of hers wet and sticking to her skin. He imagined following the path of a drop with his tongue, he knew the taste of her would be indescribably good. The sound of the door opening pulled Michael from his reverie.

“Hey.”

“Hey. You need any help with that?”

“No. I’m okay. Do you want anything to drink? I have beer, water, orange juice, soda, and I might have a bottle of white wine somewhere in there.”

“Wine sounds good. I’ll serve it. If you want to freshen up I’ll keep an eye on the stove while you’re in the bathroom.”

“Would you? Great. There’s an opener in the third drawer down and the wine glasses are on the second cupboard to the right.” Michael smiled and headed to the bathroom for a quick shower. Thinking to himself, maybe women weren’t that bad after all, it certainly felt nice to have Liz around.


TBC


posted on 12-Nov-2001 2:50:42 AM
Part 3


Liz was actually quite nervous, she wasn’t sure how she managed to open the bottle of wine, pour it into two glasses, and not spill or break anything. She knew that more than anything she needed the wine to rally her courage. Not that she was necessarily sure of the effects of wine on her courage, it just sounded like a good idea.

She sipped a little of the Chardonnay, and decided to rummage through the refrigerator for some cheese and crackers when the sound of running water stopped. Liz gulped down the wine and poured herself another glass.

Michael emerged from the bathroom in a frayed white cotton t-shirt and jeans that had seen better days. Liz was awed by the sheer sexual appeal in his well-build frame and stance, he made his way to the kitchen and took over the stove with a glance at Liz and his glass of wine.

“Um…I found some cheese and crackers if you wanted some.”

“Oh, yeah great. Do you mind eating at the kitchen counter?”

“No not at all, I could set the table if you’d like.”

“Yeah, that’d be good…the pasta is just about ready and the sauce is done.”

Liz quietly began setting two places at the kitchen counter, wordlessly communicating with Michael on the exact position of all the utensils. He seemed to anticipate her every question, and so they worked together in the kitchen seamlessly.

Michael served them both a plate full fettuccini in an Alfredo sauce and set them down at the table, where they ate in silence until Liz asked, “Did you grow up around here?”

“Nah. I’m originally from Roswell. I just got sick of the whole alien thing, so when my marriage went bust I moved away.”

“Really? Wow. I’m from Roswell too. I moved away after high school though, I guess I thought I was destined for more than what Roswell had to offer. My parents run a diner in town called the Crashdown, do you know it?”

“The Crashdown? Hell yeah, I think I spent every afternoon there after school, I must have consumed a million slices of Men-in-Blackberry Pie.”

“Wow. Well you must have had me as your waitress there many a time, how I hated the uniform. Oh my God, wait a sec, I know you! You’re Michael Guerin aren’t you? I took A.P. English with you in school.”

“Parker? As in Liz Parker? No shit. It’s a small world isn’t it?”

They both stared at each other in wonderment, noting the similarities between the person sitting next to them, and the people they had once been many years ago. Time had changed them both, the knowledge, the suffering, the dreams dashed that they had lived through shadowed their eyes, their youthful exuberance, their intensity had been tempered by a harsher cynicism regarding life. They were older, wiser too, and distracted enough not to have noticed who they were from the very beginning.

“Yeah, who knew the day I was stranded and alone while on the road you’d show up and save me.”

“Unbelievable. Why were you driving out alone in this neck of the woods?”

“I’m going back home for Maria Deluca’s wedding to Kyle Valenti. You remember them right?”

“Yeah. Kyle’s one of my best buddies. We still meet up every once in a while.”

“So are you going to the wedding?”

“I kinda have to…I’m the best man. Hey, weren’t you with Max Evans?”

“Yeah, all through high school and college and then we’ve been living together for the past five years. But that’s all over now, I caught him in bed with another woman.”

“Shit, what a jackass. Liz I’m sorry for bringing him up.”

“Don’t apologize, it wasn’t your fault. You dated Maria in high school for a while right?”

“Oh God, I dated Maria for like, two seconds, I can’t believe you remembered that.”

“Well, if I remember correctly those two seconds were very intense.”

Michael gave a short bark of laughter. “They were at that, if I recall anything about Maria it would be that everything with her was drama. I should have figured things would go wrong with Isabel, God knows she loved drama.”

“Isabel Harding?”

“Yeah, otherwise known as the evil ex. She wanted more than a mechanic could give her, so after two years she figured out who could give it to her, and we went our separate ways.”

“God, that sounds atrocious.” Liz couldn’t help but feel horrified by the awful picture of marriage Michael described.

“Yeah well, she was always very unhappy, the one man she ever really loved married her sister, Tess.”

“Alex Whitman?” Liz asked surprised.

“Yeah, him. He was a pretty cool brother-in-law actually. He was very sympathetic when we divorced. But she was the one who had the family to begin with, so she got them in the settlement.”

“Are you serious? I just can’t get over the fact that she loved Alex, he was crazy about her for a time. But when he got together with Tess, something just clicked, unfortunately, she was the jealous type so we stopped hanging out soon after.”

“Sounds just like her. I think she was even jealous of the time Alex and I spent together, which really wasn’t all that much. Kyle, him and I would go out to Don Pepe’s for drinks every Friday, the girls would throw some major hissy fits.”

“I guess I missed out on all that. I haven’t really gone back since I moved away.”

“Don’t really think you’re missing all that much.”

“Yeah. I guess so.” Liz chewed her last bite of food thoughtfully before saying, “I can’t believe I’ve run into you here of all places.”

“What does that mean?”

“What does what mean?”

“Of all places?”

“Nothing bad. It’s just, well, I had the biggest crush on you in high school.”

“No you didn’t. It was always you and Max, come on.”

“No I’m serious. Max was safe, sort of boring. It was easy to stay with him for so long because I never really had a reason to break it off. I always liked the dangerous side that you seemed to shove in the world’s face, and yet I knew you were exceptionally smart, and that there was something thoughtful and profound in you that you barely shared with anyone, that most people didn’t see. It was quite the attractive combination.”

“Wow, you saw all that?”

“Yeah, but then you started dating Muriel Walsh, so I never did anything about it. And besides I was already with Max, there just never seemed to be a right time. I was too scared of being hurt.”

“It’s funny, because I think everyone in school hated Max, well at least every guy, because you were that girl that every guy wanted to be with.”

“No way, I was so not that girl, Isabel was the type not me.”

“You sell yourself short, Isabel was too self-assured, too knowing, trust me you were it. Many a locker room talk was enlivened by daydreams of you. You were…are very beautiful Liz, I’m surprised you don’t see it.”

Liz looked into Michael’s warm brown eyes as they focused on her face and drew in a labored breath. Under his gaze she almost felt beautiful. She felt as if she was being drawn into something, a place she hadn’t dared look into before. She still wasn’t sure what devil inspired her to mention her age-old crush on him. And yet, he was still dangerous and profound in the same appealing way, perhaps the only thing different, was that this time she really was single and could explore her feelings in a way she’d never ventured to before.

But Liz wasn’t sure if that was what Michael wanted. But has the heat in her body rose along with the glasses of wine she consumed, her tongue loosened, her bravado increased, and all she really wanted to do was thread her tongue with his in a searing kiss. It had been what she had wanted to do ever since he had appeared from beneath the car in his grease stained uniform.

Her thoughts, her hunger must have shown in her face, because after a moment’s hesitation, Michael brought his lips to hers. And they kissed, their mouths and tongues melding with the faint taste of Chardonnay, as they both lost their heads and hearts in one moment, in one kiss.


TBC