FanFic - Michael/Maria
"By Definition "
Part 8
by Nes Peterson
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
Maria grunted as she pulled at the cardboard box from the closet’s top shelf. Just a few more inches andshe’d have it.

“Mooooom!” Maria screamed as the chair began to teeterbeneath her.

“Maria DeLuca! We have a step ladder for a reason,” Amy put both hands on the back of the chair.

“I know,” she answered penitently. “I just wanted to find this necklace.” She jumped off the chair and plopped onto the bed, box in her lap. Shaw pawed through the box of never worn jewelry. Smiling, she found the small vial and slipped the silver chain around the neck.

“Cedar oil, sweetheart?” Amy didn’t want to pry, for both their sakes, but it didn’t mean she wouldn’tworry.

“Bubbles, actually. I thought it’d be a nice touch -you know, festive.” Maria stood and smoothed out her cherry red, triple-tiered skirt. “What do you think?”

Amy sighed. Sometimes the hurt was too much, her life was one extended mistake from birth to...but Maria was no part of that. She loved her daughter and whenever she lapsed into the pain, she kept her daughter at arm’s length for fear her daughter would blame her own birth. Whatever betrayals and scarring Amy had exchanged with Jeremy, she could never forget their brief liaison -it had given her this incandescent, sun-crowned daughter. The one right thing she’d done.

“You are beautiful, baby. He’s always loved thatcolor.”

Maria took her mother into her arms, “He won’t be here for a while longer. Let’s go sit in the kitchen, I’ll fill you in on Alex and Liz’s love lives.”


“Alex and Is get a sort of sick kick out of it. That’s why they are, you know. Perverts to the core. I mean, I knew about Alex’s proclivities but I had no idea about the princess.” Maria shared a wry grin with her mom, “But I don’t think Liz and Max really mind being stranded together, alone, every time we all make plans. I’m pretty sure they enjoy it. Max still acts standoff-ish about their relationship that way but he can’t help himself from loving her. Liz knows he’ll come around so she deals with his dysfunction. It’s kind of cute, in a sort gross wet-calf way, I guess.”

Amy looked at her daughter critically. She would be vibrant to a stranger’s eyes, but Amy DeLuca knew her baby. “But what about your love life?”

Maria flinched, “It’s no biggie. I’ve been so busy with dancing and singing and work, you know. Oh, and not to mention, school! I’m way into school these days. I heard it was good for your pores,” she cracked.

Amy smiled. Though Maria’s instructors had taken her on as a scholarship student, Amy’d had to scrape up the money for toe shoes and sheet music. But it had all been worth it. Her baby had talent. The recent revival of her interests had also brought color back into her daughter’s cheeks. The first time she had heard Maria’s plum like voice resonate from the bathroom shower in a year had been a pleasant shock. Amy often wondered what her own life would have been like if she’d found passion in art instead of physical touches alone

“Besides, I’ve got you, Mom, and-”

The doorbell rang.

“Go ahead and answer it, honey, I’ve got start thosepies, anyway.”

Maria grabbed her mom’s hand, “Mom? Please, say hi this time. It would, it means a lot to me.

She broke, “Just give me a minute, okay?”

Maria bounced through the kitchen door and came back with a bouquet of yellow stargazers. The tall man following her held another bunch of the lilies, hehanded them shyly to Amy.

“Hello, Amy,” his hand was trembling a little. She studied the man -the years had been kind. And, surprisingly, it didn’t hurt to look into those green eyes anymore. She took the flowers and busied herselfwith finding a vase.

“Jeremy, it’s been a long time.”

“Yes,” he sat down at the kitchen table holding Maria’s small hand. Amy felt relief as she watched him watch their daughter. This man who could not love her would not be leaving her baby. “You lookbeautiful, though.”

She blushed -but only a little. Maria sat back in her chair, eating it up. Having her father back was more than enough but if there was even the distinct possibility of a nuclear family...they weren’t old, she could have a little brother!

“Jim Valenti is a lucky man.”

Maria stopped dreaming but didn’t feel so disappointed when her mother smiled in response, “Thank you.”

An awkward silence.

He stood up, still holding Maria’s hand. “Well, we have to get going. Rent starts at six. I’ll have herback by eleven, okay?”

Amy nodded her assent with a small smile on her face,“Oh, Jeremy?”

He turned, half-afraid she wouldn’t let him take their daughter.

“I’d understand if she wasn’t in bed by midnight. Even if it is a school night -I trust you.”

She sat down on a the table and barely noticed when he locked the door behind him. Shaking her head in disbelief, Amy reached for the phone. Jim was off duty.


“And there was this time in middle school when Alex was feeling all unmanly because Isabel’s new boytoy was a jock, right?” Jeremy gazed at his daughter fondly from across the table. “So me and Liz dress up in this football uniforms with pads and straps and just everything. We jumped him from after school with a football and played tacked on the front lawn of the school. Me and Liz were so bad, Alex looked like a pro.” Maria bounced a little, happily slurping her virgin strawberry daiquiri. It was the closest thing the place had to a milkshake.

The ambient light of the overhead chandelier swung dancing flares over her head and the table. After the play, the limo had taken them to Mesa dela Estrella, a posh and exclusive restaurant hidden just off the desert highway. Maria had been so excite, she hadn’t even known it existed. He smiled over her indecision of menu choices and her incredible grin when he’d told her they could keep coming back until she’d tried everything.

He laughed at his little girl’s story. He didn’t know how he’d gone so long without her, “Bet Alex doesn’t feel unmanly now. Isabel is his girlfriend, right?”

Maria nodded as the water cleared away the remains of the walnut salad in preparation for their main course. Jeremy spared the young main a stern glare as the young man stared at his daughter. Not that Jeremy could really blame him, she was incandescent. Sun-crowned.

“Yup. Hey, uh, Daddy? Would you like to meet them?”

“Alex and Isabel?”

“Well, everybody. Alex, Max, Is, Liz,” Maria giggled. Is and Liz. And didn’t, sometimes, Max call her Izzy? Izzy and Lizzy, she’d have to share that.

He arched an eyebrow at her, “I thought there were five when I came to your school. Another boy?”

Maria frowned, “That’s Michael Guerin. He’s just Max’s friend.”

Jeremy noticed the blaze of pain cross her eyes but decided to pursue it later. “Sweetheart, I’d love to meet your friends. Tell you what, why don’t we stop by the Crashdown for dessert. Maybe they’ll be there?”

She beamed and squeezed his hand. Just then, the waiter reappeared carrying Chicken Kiev and Turkey Mole. Her eyes widened and her tongue darted across her lips in anticipation.

He laughed, “But there will be no eye-contact with the waiter. I see the way he’s looking at you.”

Maria blushed as the waiter rushed away from their table, “Oh, Dad! Don’t embarrass me like that!”

“But, favorite daughter, isn’t that what fathers do?”

“Favorite daughter,” she arched her brow in a way reminiscent of his own. “Aren’t I your only daughter? I mean, I am, aren’t I?”

He took her chin in his and looked into the green eyes that were as clear as his own, “My only, ever. My favorite, always.”


His blonde woman-child had fallen asleep on the way to the Crashdown so Jeremy carried her up the porch and rang the doorbell.

“Maria?” Amy’s voice was sleep-mazed.

“It’s Jeremy,” he whispered. “Maria fell asleep.”

She unlocked the door and ushered him inside. She showed into their daughter’s room and tucked the blanket over her after he laid her down. For a moment they both looked at Maria with absolute love, then a flash of what might have been. Had things gone differently, this could have been a nightly ritual.

“Amy,” he whispered, but not the way he had yearsbefore. We need to talk.”

She nodded and led him into the living room. Their past had been whirlwind. They’d met at a California redwood rally. The air between them had been charged with passion and urges -but it had not been a tender thing. They had both known it, but in youth, the strong attraction was undeniable. They had fought and made up again and again for months. And when he’d told her he was leaving for Alaska, for minta trees and polar bears and that she would not be joining him, she hadn’t been sad. But she had told him the truth, she was pregnant. He accused of making it up to traphim. Then he left.

The pregnancy had been rough, physically and mentally. Eighteen, she had nowhere to go. And she didn’t know which hurt more, the rejection of accusation. The scorn of being an unwed mother and the hardship of providing had nearly devastated her. God knew that sometimes she drank too much. She knew, now, that it had never been love but the truth was no less bitter.

They sat down, looking at each other. Amy waited for him to speak. This man couldn’t hurt her anymore; she was afraid, however, for her daughter. Though she’d witnessed the love she’d seen in his face, she couldn’t stop thinking of her baby.

“Amy, I have to leave.”

Oh, god, she’d heard those words before.

But this time, she would fight.


“I have to. It’s business. I promised the firm to end this deal before I retired.”

“No. You are not leaving my daughter, Jeremy. I swear to god I will shoot and stew you before you hurtMaria.”

Incredibly, he laughed. “I wasn’t planning on abandoning her, Amy. But I wanted to ask you first before I asked Maria. I want, Amy, can I take her with me? Please?”

Amy was shocked, “Where?”

“Europe. The business part is going to be in England, but I figured we could make a tour of it. Visit the continent, it could be educational.” Fiercely, he added, “I can’t make up for the years, Amy, but I will cherish her.”

Amy watched him closely, saw his desperation. She considered what it must have felt like, she could afford kindness. “You have my permission. But youstill have to ask Maria.”

“Thank you, Amy!” He hugged her briefly, lifting her off her feet. “You don’t know how much this means to me! I’ll take great care of her!”

She smiled and shooed out of the door.

He walked backward towards the limo, still shouting, “Tell her I love her! Tell her I’ll meet her friends tomorrow! And tell her I love her! A lot, okay? Amy, don’t forget! More than anything!”

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