|"August and Everything After"|
Disclaimer: I don't own any part of the Roswell High books or Roswell TV series.
Summary: My own version of what happens after the destiny episode.
Authors Note: Feedback?
|Maria had been in and out of the kitchen a dozen times as she did all the
closing chores and still had never once looked at Michael. He tried to fight it,
but finally couldn't resist the need to try to somehow make things a little
"Maria?" She shut the door and turned toward him, her face barely betraying the hurt and anger she felt. He hesitated, not knowing what to say. "Look, what you saw before. We owe Liz a lot. I was just saying good-bye."
Maria just shook her head in disbelief. "Is that some sort of apology? Liz explained what happened this morning. But you know what? It doesn't matter anyway. I am tired of your crap. You're right, we are obviously not meant to be together. But we do work together. Can we just do that without you being too much of a jerk?"
Maria grabbed the empty creamer tray from the counter. Michael looked just in time to see the tray hit one of the old coffee cans he had emptied the fryer into. The can, dripping with hot grease, started to tumble, it's contents flying out towards Maria. He responded the only way he knew how. He reached out with his mind and sent a blast towards her. She slid across the room and came to a gentle stop against the cabinets as the grease splattered harmlessly to the floor. Michael rushed over to her. She was still breathing, he was thankful for that. She wasn't dead like Pierce.
"Wow." Maria looked at the spilled grease across the room. "Just like that kid in Poltergeist."
Michael grimaced, not amused. "Did I hurt you?"
"No. I stopped sliding just before hitting the cabinets." He continued looking her over, trying to find any bruises or scratches. He was just about to stop with his inspection, satisfied that she wasn't lying just to make him feel better when he noticed the smooth skin around her ankle angry red and puckering.
"You're burned." Damn, he thought, he hadn't acted fast enough. He took the towel from his apron and ran it under cold water then placed it gingerly over her hurt ankle. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you."
"You didn't hurt me. If you hadn't done what you did it would have been a lot worse." Her voice grew serious. "I told you, I know you would never hurt me." Without thinking he brushed his fingers through her hair and pulled her face close to his. For a minute he felt only the relief that she was okay and her nearness as his lips found hers. He felt her lips softening in response to the pressure of his gentle kiss. Quickly, he pulled himself away. She barely heard him mumble "sorry" as he headed for the mop bucket.
"Geez, first Liz and now me. You must think you're quite the stud today." The iciness in her voice was like a dagger to his heart. He suddenly felt his defenses melting away. He looked at Maria with an earnestness that she had never seen before.
"Joke about it if you want. But thinking of you hurt, like you could have been here..." He gestured to the grease spill. He crouched down beside her. In his eyes was the gentleness she'd always searched for in him. "Growing up with Hank, I never thought that I would ever be able to feel close to any human. All I had was Max and Isabel. I never expected to be close to anyone else." He looked up at the ceiling and shook his head slightly. "I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but Maria, the truth is you are the only person I care about from this planet. You have been there for me when nobody else was."
"Then why do you keep pushing me away?"
"Because how I feel doesn't change the fact that I don't belong here. I have been searching for answers for as long as I can remember, and I'm so close now. I can't let anything get in the way of that."
"So what, then?"
"We just need to, you know, let things cool down."
Maria sighed. "Okay, but I'm not waiting around for you." Michael was glad to see some of the old fieriness coming back to her eyes. "I mean, I've got a life and things I need to do too."
"I know." Michael helped Maria to her feet. She brushed her uniform off and considered Michael thoughtfully.
"Liz and I have a little ritual. When things get to be too much, we make a big 'men-suck' sundae and gorge ourselves while we bitch about what's bothering us. Granted, what's normally bothering us is you and Max, but I feel today really deserves some gluttony. So, you up for some ice cream?"
Michael rolled his eyes and headed back over to the sink.
"I'm gonna take that as a yes."
Twenty minutes later Michael and Maria were changed and sitting in one of the few lighted booths at the end of the darkened diner. On the table between them were lots of little saucers full of all the spicy condiments they could find in the kitchen. Michael was taking turns dipping spoonfuls of ice cream and hot fudge into the saucers. Even Maria was trying different combinations every once in a while.
"The green chili's okay." Michael looked thoughtfully at his spoon.
"I dunno, it just doesn't have the right tang."
"Well, anything's got to be better than hot mustard and hot fudge. That has got to be the worst thing I've ever had in my mouth."
Michael shot her a leering smile. "Is that right?"
Maria's eyes widened and she kicked him playfully under the table. "A joke, Michael? There may be hope for you yet." Maria looked up at the clock and sighed. "I should be getting home. My mom will be wondering why I'm taking so long." Maria winced slightly as she stood. She put her foot up on the bench and pulled back the sock. The burn was starting to blister. "This is going to be fun."
Michael held onto her foot with one hand and held the other above the burn. She could tell he was trying hard to focus. She felt her ankle tingle, then the burning cool a little. He pulled his hand away. The burn wasn't as bad, but was still there. "That's the best I can do."
Maria sensed his disappointment. "That's okay. It does feel better than it did before." She didn't know what else to say. Michael just blandly played with the melting ice cream. She started rummaging in her bag for her car keys. Michael frowned. "Is your purse...beeping?"
"Hmmm?" Maria looked up from her search. "Oh, that's just my cell phone. Somebody left me a message. Probably my mom's freaking out." Michael watched as Maria navigated through what seemed to be an endless string of directions and key punches.
"Hey, It's Liz." Maria listened to the message intently. Her look of surprise quickly changed to a look of shock. She was pale when she hung up the phone.
"What's up?" Michael started piling up the dishes. This didn't look good, but he didn't want to pry.
"Remember when Nasedo kidnapped Liz? She knew it wasn't Max because of the flashes she saw when she kissed him." Michael shifted uncomfortably as Maria paused, guessing that she was thinking of what she had walked in on before. "She had another flash at the truck stop on the way out of town. She says she felt something terrible. She thinks it's someone coming for you."
"What time did she call?"
Michael thought of the guy he had seen that afternoon. That had been about 2:00. That fit about the right time. "You know, a lot has happened. She's been through a lot the past couple of weeks. I'm sure it's just her imagination. I wouldn't worry about it. Let's just put these dishes away and go home."
Maria nodded numbly and followed him out. She knew he was lying, trying to protect her, but she suddenly had lost the energy to argue.
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