FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Losing the Way "
Part 1
by Kit
Disclaimer: The characters of Roswell do not belong to me, and if they did, Michael would no longer be on the show, because he would forever be my eternal love slave.
Summary: Michael and Maria GET IT ON! Like this is something new…
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
I thought by now time would take away these lonely tears
I hope you’re doing fine all alone, where do I go from here?
‘Cause without you I’m not okay
And without you I’ve lost my way
My heart’s stuck in second place, ooh
Without You
Well, I never thought I’d be lying here without you by my side
It seems unreal to me that the life you promised was a lie.
Somebody tell my head to try and tell my heart
That I’m better off without you, cause baby I can’t live
Without you I’m not okay
And without you I’ve lost my way
My heart’s stuck in second place, oooh
Without You.

Maria rested her smooth head back on the headrest in Todd’s Saab. She closed her eyes, content to leave them shut so that she wouldn’t have to look at her fiance, but refusing to sleep. She could feel tree-lined streets whiz past the car windows, and the light sound of Bach on the car stereo.

She hated Bach.

She thought of Liz, quickly, and thought of her upcoming shower. Maria had shopped and shopped and finally had it narrowed down to the Baby-Mickey-Mouse stroller or the Baby-Goofy changing table. She’d been trying to convince Todd all night that they needed to buy them as companion pieces. He just continued to roll his eyes and mock her. Liz’s pregnancy had been an accident, and having the child would be risky, for several reasons. Liz had small hips—and a small frame—the doctor’s weren’t entirely sure she wasn’t *too* small. Not having the child was even more risky, considering the FBI probably still kept tabs on them. Isabel had been livid when she found out about it, for it would certainly stir up attention if the birth was anything less than normal, considering Max Evans had married Liz Parker almost right out of college. They had virtually no idea what was going to happen, but it was a double-edged sword either way.

It made Maria sad when she thought of that. No one had been waiting to snatch her up right after college. No one had even been waiting after her term at the art school. No one had been waiting for her at all. But then she met Todd in a bar one night. Granted, it wasn’t the classiest of places, but he hadn’t been drinking and she had. So she took him up on his offer for a date, and almost six months to the day he had asked for her hand. Maria couldn’t bear to say no. She didn’t love him, but after Michael Guerin, she wasn’t sure she would ever love anyone again, and she wasn’t getting any younger.

“What are you thinking about?” Todd whispered softly.

“Just thinking. About the wedding,” Maria offered him a bright, however fake, smile and turned to look out the window once more.

It wasn’t that Todd was a bad guy—he wasn’t, but he lacked the passion and intensity in his words and manners that imminent death carries. He lacked the passion and intensity of Michael Guerin. But then again, Maria thought ruefully, didn’t everything?

* * *

“Maybe you should think about staying the night with me?” Todd asked hopefully as he dropped her off at the walkway on 304 Preston St. “It *is* Max and Liz’s anniversary.”

“Todd,” Maria warned. “No…Liz and Max are gone for the night.”

“But don’t you want to be with me?” Todd gave her a puppy-dog pout.

“No. I want to wait until we are married, like I’ve said from the very beginning,” she retorted, sassy as ever.

“Okay, okay,” Todd threw his hands up in surrender. He knew from *much* experience that this conversation never got him anywhere. “You just haven’t been in a good mood all night. I thought maybe I could cheer you up,” he smiled.

“I’m just tired with all this wedding crap,” she sighed.

“Crap?” Todd raised an eyebrow. “Is there something else wrong? I thought every woman dreamed of her wedding. C’mon, Maria, clue me in. Is it some*one* else?”

“No,” Maria sighed heavily. “It’s all very exciting, but it’s exhausting, too. I just need some rest.”

“Alright, sweetheart. I love you,” Todd said as Maria shut the car door. She gave him a little wave at the front step.

Opening her front door, Maria slipped off her shoes and padded down the dark hallway to her bedroom, which was on the opposite end of the house from the Evans’, thank God. Sometimes even with the benefit of four rooms and five walls between them, Maria could still hear Max and Liz going at it in the wee hours of the night.

But she was alone tonight, and she was glad for that. It was still early so she scooped out some fudgy ice cream from the bottom of the carton she and Liz kept hidden in the back of the freezer. Max ate everything in sight, and he was especially fond of ice-cream—and he never gained an ounce, the dumb alien. She plopped down on the living room sofa and flipped it to the sci-fi channel, where they were having a weekend X-Files marathon. ninety of the TV-watching in the Evans’ house was the sci-fi channel. Isabel always got a big kick out of it when she came over, at least.

She caught the very end of the episode where Eddie Van Blundt had changed himself to look like Mulder. She wished she’d hurried at dinner—it was one of her favorite episodes. As the previews came on for the next four hours, Maria sank lower and lower into the couch cushions, sighing heavily.

She wished Michael was there—that’s all she ever wished for. She wished he’d come to school with her, and never left her. She wished he was here with her now, wanting to marry her, like Todd was. She wished she could go into her room tonight and make love with him until the sun pushed past the curtains and made her remember that life beyond her bedroom existed.

She sighed again and let her eyes slip closed.

There’s always something more
That you wish he’d say…
He’s everything you want
He’s everything you need
He’s everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time,
But he means nothing to you
And you don’t know why.

* * *

When she heard the knocking at the front door, Maria awoke in a stupor. She rolled off the couch and looked over at the clock on the mantle, imagining it to be very late. However, as she flipped on the living room lamp, she saw it was only 10:30. She sighed and padded to the door, and prayed it wasn’t Todd.

However when she opened the door, she found the person that she least expected to be on her doorstep.

“What do you want?” she frowned.

“Just wanted to know if Liz was home,” Kyle shrugged. “I need to talk to her.”

“It’s her anniversary, Kyle. Even if she was home, you’re the last person she would want to see,” Maria made an ugly face at him.

“Is Isabel here?” he asked hopefully.

“No,” Maria frowned. “She’s at home. So go bug her,” she spat and shut the door in his face.

As the turned back into the entryway, she scared the shit out of herself with the hall mirror. “Jumpy, jumpy,” she chided, padding back into the living room to collect her bowl and turn off the television.

She straightened the coffee table and picked up her empty bowl, and picked up couch cushions off the floor, trying to straighten up before she went to bed. If Max and Liz came home to a messy house, ala Maria, they would not be happy. She tossed the day’s paper into the basket by the couch and stretched.

From behind her, a light flipped on, and Maria screamed, hurling the bowl out in front of her. She whipped around to see Michael Guerin staring at her with a particularly expressionless expression on his face.

“What in the *hell* are you doing here?” she cried, sucking in a deep breath.

“I was in the neighborhood,” Michael shrugged.

“Breaking into people’s houses. That’s rich,” Maria retorted.

“Aren’t you happy? I came home for you,” Michael concisely informed her.

“Oh, you son-of-a-bitch. You came for me, huh? Well, check your Bat-signal there, Bucko, because I never asked for you to come back,” she hissed vehemently. “And next time you see Max, tell him I don’t need his intervention.”

“I don’t see Max,” Michael answered tersely. “I don’t see anyone. I don’t see anyone, and I don’t talk to anyone, and I don’t write to anyone.”

“Well, congratulations then, I’m glad you finally achieved the great, great goal of being a loser,” Maria retorted angrily.

Michael had that ‘below-the-belt’ look on his face that proved she could still get to him. It made her glad.

“I’m not a loser. I came back because that’s what I thought you wanted,” Michael raised an eyebrow, however it expressed very little.

“Ohhhhhh,” Maria crowed in mock-understanding. “You thought you could ditch us, and then come back to ‘your girl’ just shy of eight years later and re-claim that life that you once had. You think you can just waltz right in and embrace me and make me moan your name in ecstasy all night. Well, I don’t know what romance novel you’ve been reading, but this is real life. And real pain—the kind of pain that doesn’t go away by you saying,” Maria puffed out her chest and pretended to be macho, “I know I left, but I’m back now to be a real man.”

“Maybe leaving was the best thing I could’ve done, didja ever think of that?” Michael asked, defensively.

“Yes!” Maria cried, angry. “That’s all I’ve thought about. You, you—stupid ol’ you who took my heart and held it and then tangoed over it. I’ve thought about why you left, and how you left, and when you were coming back, and did you do the right thing and on and on and on. And after a while, it became clear that you left to get away from me, and you weren’t coming back, and you did the most absolutely despicable, horrible, wrong thing you could ever do to another person.”

“Maria,” his calm voice was supposed to soothe her but she glared at his tenderness.

“Michael,” she seethed.

“Maria?” Todd asked tentatively from the doorway.

“Todd!” Maria cried, even more upset.

“Who the fuck is that?” Michael glared.

“Who the fuck are you?” Todd’s eyes widened with his retort.

Maria could have slapped them both. “Michael, Todd. Todd, Michael,” she hurried through the introductions and fidgeted through a short silence. Todd, please leave,” she said quickly and pushed him out towards the door. “I’ll call you tomorrow, honey, I promise. This is nothing, and I’m fine and you should just go.” She shut the door in his face, and he stood on the porch for a few moments, disoriented, before he began to walk home. She turned around and leaned against the door in relief.

Michael stood in the doorframe, lonely, passionate.

“Who is Todd?” he asked, with that uppity tone he used to classify those lower than he.

“Todd is my…Todd is my fiance,” Maria sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose tiredly. “And you are no longer welcome…not that you ever were. But I’m going to have to a hell of a lot of explaining tomorrow morning. And you need to leave now, before he comes back.”

“I think you made it pretty clear you didn’t want him here,” Michael insisted.

“Well, I guess that what makes Todd a little better than you, Michael. He doesn’t always take what people say at face value. And he cares enough to keep coming back to make sure I am okay,” Maria yelled, with that snotty holier-than-thou look she had that used to drive him insane, and irritate him and ignite his passions all at the same time.

“Well, he knows you’re upset. He could be trying to take advantage of you,” Michael taunted.

“God, I hate you!” she screamed, marching past him.

“Ditto!” he called back, watching her huff into the kitchen. He stood outside the doorway long enough to figure she wasn’t coming back out again. He walked through the kitchen and noticed the door to the back room was ajar. The door creaked open and the soft light from the kitchen tumbled across the room and he found her flung across the bed, sobbing.

“Why?” she cried as he gingerly sat next to her on the sagging mattress. “Why did you come back to screw up my life? Wasn’t once enough for you?”

“Do you want me to leave?” he asked softly.

“No,” Maria hiccuped. “But you can’t say either.”

“Are you going to make up your mind?”

“Are you?”

“I have made up my mind. I am staying here, in this town, whether you like it or not,” Michael announced. My, my, how things never changed.

“What are you going to do here, besides torture me? What do you do, anyway? Do you have a job?” Maria accused, intent on changing the focus of the conversation from her to him.

“You’ll laugh if I tell you,” Michael stalled.

“I promise I won’t laugh.”

“I graduated with honors, with a major in architecture.”

Maria burst into giggles at his admission, and he almost looked hurt.

“I work at a small firm designing homes,” he continued.

“You? Michael Guerin? With an arrest record probably as long as my arm?”

“You’d be amazed what 100 bucks can do,” he raised an eyebrow.

“You erased your state record?” Maria asked, incredulous.

“I changed my name,” Michael shot her a look like she was crazy.

She shot him a withering look, then went on to brag with a typical Maria attitude, “well, I am a fashion designer, and I’m very successful.”

“So I see—as you’re still living here with Max and Liz,” Michael raised a critical eyebrow.

“I’m the wacky friend. And besides, Todd is living in our new home,” Maria one-upped him.

Michael grimaced. “Why are you marrying that jerk?”

“He’s not a jerk, okay? Todd loves me.”

“And you love him, hmmm?” Michael asked, narrowing his eyes.

“I couldn’t wait around forever, buddy. The world does not revolve around you. Nor does it stop for you. And when you left, you took my heart with you. And just because you had it then doesn’t mean that you have it now…” Michael looked pained, and so Maria stopped her diatribe. “Please, just leave, Michael.”

“But I want you,” he insisted.

“And I wanted you…but that was a *long* time ago. And now you’re back and you want me again, but it’s not a risk I’m willing to take again,” Maria was cut short when

Michael leaned close enough to kiss her, blatantly ignoring her personal space.

“I think about kissing you every night,” he said softly, his breath caressing her lips, “and sleeping beside you…sleeping inside you.”

“Michael,” Maria warned as his lips brushed hers. Michael took her face into his hands and opened her lips, closing his mouth over hers, the way he did that night at the Crashdown so many years ago. “Michael,” the second time he heard his name it was a moan, lusty and sensual as it ever had been. “No!” she finally pushed him away enough to make her point. “No. Michael, you need to go.”

“Do you still love me?”

Maria didn’t answer him. Instead, she took a deep, cleansing breath. “I wanted you from the very beginning. Once you were thrown into my life, I was lost,” she sighed heavily. “But Michael, I can’t live with you walking in and out of my life with this ‘hurt or be hurt’ attitude.”

Michael looked shocked, stunned even, but he said nothing. His eyes softened, and he nodded, leaving the room.

To be Continued…

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