|"Bumps in the Road"|
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with "Roswell" or the WB in any way. I am also not affiliated with the "Roswell High" book series by Melinda Metz. I have however received some greatly appreciated help from Bexter (a fellow poster and fan fiction writer)!|
|As he approached the Crashdown, he told himself it was just because he was
dying for some space fries, but deep down, he just wanted to see her. |
Michael couldn’t stop thinking about Maria, and he knew all this stuff must be making her even zanier. Is she even working, he thought as he rounded the corner, but he did not wait long for an answer. While digging in her purse for her car keys, Maria came around the same corner and slammed right into him.
“Oh, I thought you guys came in peace or something like that. Why do you keep popping up everywhere? Is it part your evil plan to take over the world or something? Or can you multiply yourselves spontaneously?” Maria kept walking to her car, obviously hurrying off to somewhere. She was not in the mood for any close encounters today.
“What’s your problem? Did you miss the big sale at Wackos’R’Us? I just wanted to see if Liz remembered anything yet, and if she’s all right,” he paused for a few seconds, “and you too.”
Maria stopped dead in her tracks and spun around to face him, “If you must know, no, I am not all right.” She started walking towards him waving her hands wildly as she rambled, “My best friend has amnesia and doesn’t remember that ET saved her life, compounded with the fact that Max was a total jerk to her when she went to talk to him equals a bad day for Maria. Get the picture, Martian Man? I thought Max was going to start with a clean slate with Liz and get to know her under more ‘normal’ circumstances. But no! Instead he decided to keep her in the dark, and make her feel even worse. ” She finally made it to her car, but Michael stepped in front of her door so that she could not unlock it. She glared at him, “You probably think he did the right thing, don’t you?”
“As a matter of fact, I do. We’re better off alone, without any attachments,” he said it more to convince himself than to convince Maria. “It’s easier this way. For all of us.”
“Yes, that would be true if Liz were the only one who knew your dirty little secret. But hello, remember me? I know too, and I don’t think I can keep this from her just like she wasn’t able to keep it from me,” Maria cried in exasperation. “Besides, you’re putting her in the exact same position you’re in.”
Michael was puzzled, “What are you talking about?”
“If Max doesn’t tell Liz, she’ll know something’s up. She already thinks he’s lying now. And she’ll definitely know I’m keeping something from her. She’ll be searching for the truth just like the three of you are. Michael, how does it feel that there are answers out there somewhere to your past, but you can’t find them anywhere? Don’t you realize you’ll be doing the exact same thing to Liz? Is that really fair?”
Michael slowly moved out of her way. She actually made sense to him. Maria climbed into her car and rolled down the window, “You know, Liz and I have helped you out on more than one occasion. Don’t you realize you’re better off with us on your side? And I’m heading over to Max’s right now to give him a piece of my mind. Hopefully he won’t pour tobasco sauce all over it and have it for a snack. He’s been acting so cruel, I wouldn’t put it past him. ” She smirked at Michael as she turned the key in the ignition.
Before Michael could protest, one of the waitresses came running out of the restaurant towards them, “Maria, thank God you haven’t left yet! Is there any way you can cover the rest of my shift for me? I just got a call, and one of my kids just got sick. I need to get home. Please!!!”
Rolling her eyes, Maria agreed to stay. As she got out and walked past Michael, she warned, “Tell your friend that this was only a stay of execution and not a full pardon. I’ll be by to see him later.”
Michael gave her a wink, “Don’t worry. We’ll have our ray guns ready.” He started for Max’s house and realized that Maria made some good points. After all Liz was just looking for answers, and after reading her journal, Michael knew she could be trusted.
Michael peered through Max’s window before entering. From the beginning Michael always thought it wasn’t safe for humans to know the true identity of him and his friends. In fact, he had wanted to run after what happened at the Crashdown that day. But after reading Liz’s journal, Michael knew she could be trusted. As he watched Max lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling, Michael knew this new development was more serious than he realized. He was all too familiar with this scene, and he recognized the look on Max’s face.
The music on the stereo was turned up loud to try and drown out every other sound in the world except for the heavy bass. Any sound other that meant life was happening around him, but you don’t want to know about any of that. You want to forget and just live in the music. You stare at the ceiling counting all the little squares, hoping that staring at them will erase the image that’s been burned on your brain, but it never works.
Yes, Michael knew this scene too well, because he lived it every day of his life. And he did not want it for Max. It was a lonely and sheltered life, if it could even be called that.
Michael had always been a little envious of Max, because Max had parents and Isabelle, while Michael was a product of the foster care system. Max was always more level-headed than Michael and more cautious in his actions. He didn’t make decisions based on impulse, and he got Michael out of more scrapes than he could count. In many ways, Max was the “leader” of their group, and Michael never really thought of how that responsibility affected Max.
Watching through the window, Michael could see the toll the burden of their secret was taking on Max, and for that he was not envious. Watching Max, Michael realized that when Max told Liz the truth, he wasn’t just spilling their secret, he was reaching out to someone. And surprisingly, Liz accepted him, she accepted all of them actually.
The loud music drown his repeated knocks, so Michael just climbed in the window. Max sat up startled, “Jeez, Michael, you scared me,” he said with a forlorn look on his face as he reached over to turn the volume down on his stereo.
“What are you doing here anyway?”
“I’m not so sure anymore. At first I thought you did the right thing about lying to Liz, but,” Michael took a long pause, “maybe you were wrong.” He picked up one of Max’s CDs and started studying it intensely.
Max’s jaw dropped, “Did I just hear you right? After all the grief you’ve given me since I healed Liz, you think I should have told her the truth? I thought you of all people would have backed me up.”
“Liz and Maria have actually been pretty cool since they learned the truth. They’ve even helped us out when they should have walked away. Just because Liz doesn’t remember what happened, doesn’t mean she’ll react completely different than before. Plus Maria still knows the truth, and I think it’s physically impossible for her to keep her mouth shut for more than 15 seconds, so …” Michael’s voice trailed off, because even he could not believe the words that just came out of his mouth.
“Look Max all I’m saying is think about why you lied to Liz earlier. Was it to protect her feelings or your own? Because you didn’t want to risk her rejecting you when she found out what you are.”
Max let out a slight laugh, “When did you get so smart about relationships, Michael?”
Michael blushed a little and then laughed with Max, “Aw come on. You know I’m really in touch with my feminine side. Just call me Mr. Sensitive.”
The mood in the room much lighter as Max and Michael kidded with each other.
Someone knocked on the bedroom door, but before Max could say ‘Enter’ Maria had barged in with her eyes and nose flaring. “OK, so this is what’s gonna happen. You’re going to march your butt over to Liz’s right now, tell her you lied, and beg for her forgiveness. She’ll probably even do it, even though she should just squish you under her shoe like a filthy bug.”
After an entrance like that what else could Max say but, “OK.”
Maria was stunned. She was more convincing than she thought as she gave herself a pat on the back. As she smiled congratulating herself on a job well done, Michael added, “Don’t build yourself a shrine just yet, Mother Teresa. Max and I talked before you burst in here ordering people around.”
Feeling a little deflated, Maria asked, “So what are you going to say to her, Max? What are you going to tell her about you?”
Max sat down on his bed, “I have absolutely no idea. The first time I told her, I had no choice. I think that actually made it easier, but it’s not exactly something you can easily work into a conversation, you know. I’ve thought about telling her so many times before, but there’s no Hallmark cards saying, ‘Whoopdee doo! I’m an alien!’ I guess I’ll just wait for the right moment.”
Maria stayed for a little while to tell Max about how Liz was feeling, but then she had to leave, and Michael said he had to go as well. As Max walked them downstairs, Maria said, “Max, don’t wait too long to find the right moment to tell her. It’s one thing for me to keep a secret from the sheriff than to hide something from my best friend.”
“I promise you, Maria. I’ll do it soon.”
Max opened the door to show his two friends out and found himself standing face to face with Liz!
“Hello again, Max. We need to talk.”
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