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|Maria looked at the clock and sighed. She still had 45 minutes till closing and the place was empty. Well, almost empty. Michael was still here. |
Maria watched as he placed the last cup on the top of his foundation and stepped back. The glass castle took up the whole width of the counter and about 4 seats worth. She had to smile as he looked it over. "So? What do you think?"
Maria wiped off her grin and cocked her head from side to side, looking it over. "Ok."
"Ok? Ok?" he repeated. "That's all? This is a masterpiece!"
Maria shook her head and started to wipe down the counter. She looked at the clock again and sighed. She finally went over to the door and flipped the sign to 'closed'.
"I gotta clean up for the night," she commented. She was about to say good night when Michael spoke up. "You want help?"
"Really?" she asked.
He shrugged. "I got nothing else to do."
Maria was a little wounded at his response but just shrugged. "It's your own funeral. You can clean up the milk shake machine."
Michael shot her a glance but went over to it. "Why do I have a feeling it just got stuck with the hard job?"
Maria pulled out the pan and walked around the counter. "Now, would I do that?" she asked with a smirk as she went to clean up the tables. She glanced down and frowned. "God…people are pigs," she mumbled.
"People are pigs? What about you guys'? This thing is covered in dust," Michael said.
"Liz was supposed to clean it earlier, but it wasn't done," Maria defended. She walked back behind the counter and put the pan down. "Ok, I gotta wipe up the counter. Which means you castle is about to get tore down."
"Hey…I worked hard on that," Michael said, turning to her. "Clean the counter last."
Maria rolled her eyes and pulled out the mop. "Fine, but you gotta wash the dishes then."
Michael picked up the pan and went into the back. Maria watched him and leave and shook her head. Michael could be so intense, but he could be totally laid back and cool too.
"What're you thinking about?" Michael asked as he walked back out into the main room.
"Um…you, actually," she admitted.
Michael froze for a second, then nodded. "About?"
"How you seem like two different people. This really intense, closed off person, and then this: totally laid back and casual."
Michael was taken back. He had no idea Maria even thought about him. "Which one do you like?" he asked finally.
Maria gave a little smile as she walked up to him. "I'll let ya know," she said and passed into the back room.
Michael turned and followed her with his eyes. "I need to fill up the bucket," she called.
He took a deep breath and looked over at his castle. Michael walked up to it and sighed. "Sacrifices are necessary." He pulled down the top cup. He turned his back to put it away and saw the whole thing wobble out of the corner of his eye.
Michael stuck his hand out and steadied the few cups that threatened to spill. He held his breath and waited to see if it was ok. "Close," he said softly as he turned his back once more. Just then Michael heard the glass hit the floor and shatter.
"Shit!" Michael cursed and quickly bent to retrieve it.
Maria hummed to herself as she let the bucket fill in the sink. She had really misjudged Michael. He was actually turning out to be pretty cool.
Just then Maria heard a glass break. She wiped her head around and tried to see what was broken, but the door blocked her view. "Man," she mumbled as she turned off the water and set the bucket on the floor. She quickly wiped her hands and walked back into the main room.
Maria was stunned to see Michael standing perfectly still with a glass in his hand. She walked up and took it.
"How did it-" the cup wasn't broken. In fact, it looked brand new. She looked around. "What broke?"
Michael finally looked at her. "Um…nothing." He pulled the cup back from her hands and looked at it again.
Maria was getting confused. "Michael…I heard glass shattering," she said.
Michael just shrugged. "I gotta-gotta…go," he said as he backed away.
"I gotta go," he said again, grabbing up his coat.
"But you said you were gonna help clean up," she got out finally.
Michael just shrugged again. "I can't." and that was it. He was out the door and gone.
Maria scoffed and looked at the door. "Guess I was wrong. He's just that one person," she said sarcastically and picked up the cup. She rolled it in her hands, glancing at it for any cracks. Something was definitely going on.
She sighed and rubbed her temples. "Wonder how Liz's night is going," she thought out loud.
Liz could feel Max's eyes on her as she took her seat at the table. She focused on her plate and waited for a conversation to start.
"So, Liz, I hear you want to be a scientist," Phillip said from the other end of the table.
"Um… yeah, I mean, of course I do," Liz answered finally.
"Honey, it kinda looks like your having a conversation with your food," her mother pointed out.
Liz mumbled a sorry and looked up. She focused on her mothers face, Mr. Evans, Isabel's, or even then wall, but never Max's.
"Max likes science too," Mr. Evans added.
"Yeah…" Max said softly, barley making a noise.
Liz smiled tightly and looked back down at her plate. She glanced at Isabel and prayed for help.
Isabel nodded and smiled at the group. "So, how long have you lived in Roswell, Ms. Parker?"
"Please, it's Nancy, and just about all of my life," she replied.
"We actually used to live here a few years back," Phillip said.
Liz perked up at that. "You did?"
He nodded. "Yeah, the kids even went to elementary school for a few weeks here."
Liz suddenly jerked her head to Max's face and caught her breath. Max was looking right into her eyes. Liz was immediately drawn in and saw a familiar look in them.
"Did you hear me Liz?"
What? Liz looked over at her mother and saw her worried eyes. "What, mom?"
"I asked if you heard me. You seemed a little spaced," her mother said again.
"Um…what did you ask?"
"I asked how things were going with Kyle."
All three of the teenagers froze and Liz didn't dare look at Max. Isabel gave her a sympathetic look.
"It's um…it's going…it's just a casual thing mom," Liz said finally, looking back at Max, only to find him glancing down at his plate.
"Oh…ok," Ms. Parker said, feeling the tension in the room. "So, Max, Isabel, how do you like Roswell?"
Isabel glanced over at her brother and shrugged. "It's ok. Very different from New York."
"And you Max? Things going like you want?" Phillip Evans asked.
Liz watched as Max finally looked up and his eyes sought out hers. Liz caught his look right before he looked away.
"Not exactly," he said finally.
|Part 26 | Index | Part 28|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|