FanFic - Michael/Maria
"285 North"
Part 1
by Ossian
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Summary: what could have happened on the ride back from Marathon
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
Maria glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. He was staring straight ahead at the car in front of them and drumming his fingers. His ring made an annoying click each time it hit the steering wheel. He hadn't said a single word for the past fifteen miles. Maria shook her head as she bent to dig her notebook out of the floorboards.

" cream...TV...books... Okay, here it is. Number six. What's the best thing that's ever happened to you?"

"What?" Michael pulled his fierce concentration from the road to glare at the girl beside him. "No."

"Look, buddy," she returned the glare. "I already told you. I am *not* failing this project just because you're morally opposed to doing schoolwork. You're stuck with me for the next two and a half hours," she said. "You can either cooperate or... or... or I'll just keep harassing you."

"I never honestly believed that anybody could talk someone to death until I met you."

"Number six," she persisted. "Best thing. I'm not going anywhere."

Michael sighed in defeat. "I dunno," he said wearily. "Meeting Max and Isabel, I guess."

She nodded thoughtfully and wrote down his answer. "How did that happen?" she asked when she looked up again. "Not for the report," she said hastily as he began to frown. "I was just wondering... Didn't you start out together?"

He shook his head then shrugged. "Third grade," he said. "Max and I realized that we were the only kids in our class who could see auras..."

"Auras?" Maria dropped her pencil in astonishment. "You can see auras? You mean people really have auras? No, of course not," she decided abruptly. "You're making things up again. See what the gullible little human girl will believe... Why am I even bothering?" She turned to stare out at the desert.



"Blue," he repeated. "Your aura is blue."

She looked at him skeptically. "Really."

He gave her a small nod, keeping his eyes on the road. She looked down at her own hands for a moment then back at Michael.

"And... what color is yours? Do you even have one?"

He nodded again. "Kind of red."

"Kind of red?" She studied him as if she could see it for herself. "What kind of red? Brick red? Adobe red? Tabasco red?"

She was rewarded with a quick grin. "Tabasco red is close enough."

She laughed. "Okay, what's your favorite day of the week and why?"


"Hmm...I would have guessed Saturday. But then you never have been very good at distinguishing between school days and weekends, have you?"

"Do you want me to answer these questions or not?"

"Sorry. Okay, why Wednesday?"

"Max and I go out about once a week...into the desert north of see if the Air Force missed anything. Any wreckage...anything. It's a long shot after forty years, but maybe..." He stopped and shrugged. "We usually go on Wednesdays."

Maria watched his face as he stared out at the road. "Uh, you do realize that I can't actually put that into my report, don't you?"

"Yes, I know you can't put that in your damn report. I just thought. Nevermind. Bowling," he said in disgust. "Wednesdays I go bowling."

"You really like bowling?"

"No, I do not like bowling." He scowled at her in exasperation.

"What? Fine. Bowling. You go bowling. Have you ever been in love?"


"That was quick. Aren't you even going to think about that one?"

"Do you have to have a running commentary on my every answer? Just write it down. No."

* * *

"What are you afraid of?"

"Crashdown Comet Chili."


"How many of these questions are there?"

"I'll tell you if you give me an answer to this one."


"You are not afraid of spiders."

"I might be."

"Sheriff Valenti."

"Do not write that down."

"Favorite childhood game?"


"Big surprise."

* * *

"Last question. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?"

"Just one?" He gave her a tight grin that she didn't quite believe. "I would have been born rich."

"You and me both." Maria dutifully wrote it down then tucked her pencil into the spiral of the notebook. "And off the record? What would you change?"

He stared blankly out at the yellow lines flashing past on the pavement.

"Which would you rather?" she asked. "That the ship had never crashed? Or that you were human?" She was more than half certain that he wouldn't answer.

"That the ship had never crashed," he said at last. "If I were human my life would completely suck for absolutely no reason."

Join the club, she thought silently. "I was born in Roswell," she began suddenly. "My favorite color is green. My favorite ice cream is..."

"What are you doing?" he interrupted.

"Answering your questions."

"You might not have noticed, but I wasn't asking any. You don't seriously think that I'm going to do this project, do you?"

"No, not really," she agreed. "But I won't have you blaming your failure on my lack of cooperation. What you choose to do or not do with this information is entirely up to you."

"Then can't you just write it down?"

"Nope. If I write it down you'll lose it before you ever read it. If I tell you then I'll know that you know."

"I won't remember any of it."

"Yes, you will." She gave him a smug grin. "You're not as dense as you want people to think you are. You'll remember."

"Aren't you optimistic?"

* * *

Michael glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. She was reading over the notes she'd made on her questionnaire. The corners of her mouth twitched upwards occasionally.

"So, what else do we have to do for this project?" he asked. Maria looked up at him in surprise.

"Theoretically," he added quickly. "*If* I was going to do this report what else would I have to do? This isn't an oral report, is it?"

"'Fraid so, pal. And it has to be creative."


"I was going to work on it some this afternoon before work," she said. "Maybe you could stop by the Crashdown later and help. Not that you're actually going to work on *your* project," she said with a grin. "But if I need any clarification on some of these completely lame answers you gave..."

He shook his head. "I was planning on going to Max and Isabel's. You know, go through the stuff we found."

"Right. Of course. Probably a good idea." She glanced back at her notes for a moment then turned to stare out the window.

He watched her profile and her reflection in the glass. "So, ah...this stuff we found," he began hesitantly. "There's a lot of it." She turned back to him.

"I could help," she said. "I mean, if you wanted..."

"If you aren't going to be too busy with the report..."

"It could wait. Atherton's could actually be important to you. Unlike this project which you obviously care nothing about."

"So...this afternoon?"



"Okay," she said with the hint of a smile.



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