Disclaimer: I own nothing. The lyrics are courtesy of Deep Blue Something and Cowboy Mouth
Summary: Kind of sort of a continuation of Who You Are
|souls suffer the landscape
in shrouds of dew, as ghosts
their eternity is for searching
but a certain dissention grows
i've seen them wander
voices raised in prayer
consorting with whispers
they curse the ones not there
"Alex and the band are practicing some new stuff at his place, do you want to go by when I get out of here?" Liz directed her question to Isabel, though everyone at the table knew it was for Max.
Glancing at her brother and smirking, Isabel said, "Sure, we can drop by for a little bit. I'll see if I can break Alex's concentration!" and she shared a laugh with Liz. Alex's crush on Isabel was legendary and the subject of much amusement for the group. Well, most of them...Alex did not think it was funny at all!
if you didn't want this
Damn it, damn it, damn it, Michael thought to himself as he crossed the street towards the Crashdown. "I should have stayed" warred with "Good thing I left" in his mind, and the scowl on his face was fierce as he pushed open the Cafe doors.
"Who pissed in your Cheerios, Michael?" teased Isabel, and the look he gave her was sour enough to rival lemons.
"I don't eat Cheerios, thank you very much," he growled at her. "What's up, Maximilian?" he slid in next to Max and drummed his fingers expectantly on the table.
"Just waiting on Liz to finish up, we're going to run by and check out some of Alex's new stuff." Max never took his eyes off Liz as she moved around the register, and she glanced up once and gave him a shy smile. Michael and Isabel rolled their eyes in unison and Michael felt his spirits lift just a bit. "Are you coming with?" Max nudged Michael out of the booth when he spotted Liz emerging from the back with her purse in hand.
"Sure, although Hank will be heartbroken that I don't come home for surf n' turf with wine," he answered wryly as he followed Isabel and the Bobbsey Twins out the door and to the Jeep.
Bass riffs drifted to their ears as they turned into the Whitman's driveway. Alex looked up and waved, and shouted, "Be there in a sec, guys!" and turned his attention back to the lyric sheet he was studying with Maria, his dark head bent close to her bright one over the paper.
Michael looked away and affected nonchalance when his friends turned penetrating glances upon him. "What??" he demanded of no one in particular when identical smirks crossed their faces.
Alex came bounding up to invite them in for sodas. "We have to finish going over this real quick, Maria decided I'm going to sing backup so I have to run through this with her. I'll just be a few." The crew filed into the house through the kitchen door off the garage and Michael distributed sodas.
"They really any good?" he asked Isabel, a skeptical look on his face.
"I thought so," she replied, taking a swallow of soda and making a face at him. "Though they may not be noisy enough for your tastes." He made the same face at her and they laughed. Max allowed a small smile to cross his face; it was good to see Michael happy. Relatively speaking.
Max stood right next to Liz, their arms brushing occasionally and their exchanged glances speaking volumes. "Hey, let's go!" Liz heard music start up and used it as an excuse to grab Max's hand and lead him back into the garage. Isabel followed, but Michael hung back. It isn't that he did not want to see Maria; he did very much. She just made him feel so mixed up that he was in danger of losing sight of the one thing that had kept him going all this time, his search for home, and that search had become talismanic to him. It was his mantra; the idea of it had become larger than life to him and he was terrifed of letting go of that. Sighing deeply, he slapped his own cheek lightly and stalked into the garage.
know i'm not your first one but
Maria's voice flowed smoothly over Michael like molasses...he couldn't take his eyes off of her and nearly tripped over Max's feet. Isabel snickered and he silenced her with a frown. Maria's eyes were closed in concentration as she listened to the monitors, her hand upraised to signal Alex for backup vocals.
i know and you know
Her eyes opened and instinctively found Michael's. Her heart was in her eyes as she continued singing without a pause.
these arms are for holding on this heart won't stray from home
She dropped her arm and Alex joined in and the harmony was ethereal. Isabel was spellbound, Max and Liz were doing that 'soulmates look-into-my-eyes thing' as Maria called it, and Michael was lost in Maria's voice.
if you didn't want this and i didn't need it
Alex dropped out and Maria soloed again, her voice speaking of waiting in sadness.
i know.. god tell me where's my halo..
Isabel jumped up and applauded at the end of the song and Alex flushed a deep crimson. "That was fantastic!" she exclaimed, hugging him and then even Maria in uncharacteristic exuberance.
"Great going, man, " Max told Alex as Liz hugged Maria. Max even dropped an arm around Maria in a friendly hug.
"I need a drink, guys, I'm going in. Come with?" Alex did not wait for a reply and headed into the kitchen with the group trailing behind.
Maria was shuffling lyric sheets back into order and trying to stuff them in a folder but her hands didn't want to cooperate because she was keenly aware of Michael sitting on an equipment case watching her. "What?" she finally demanded, more harshly than she'd meant to, and when he did not reply she looked up at him. His face was solemn as he slipped down off the case and headed towards her.
She dropped her gaze to his feet as he came to stand in front of her and she said, "Go ahead, say whatever horrible thing it is that you have percolating in your space brain." She felt him touch her hair gently and she looked up at him, her expression wary. He gently grazed her cheek with his knuckles as he opened his mouth to say something and then shut it again as he thought better of it.
"What?? You're never quiet, you're freaking me out. Say something." She gave him her patented Michael glare and wonder of wonders, he smiled. A genuine, unguarded smile.
"Wow," was all he said.
She thought for a second and responded, "I guess that's good?"
"Yes. It's very good. C'mon," he linked his index finger through hers and headed towards the kitchen to join the others. It didn't escape anyone's notice that they entered the kitchen practically holding hands, but no one cracked on them for it because they knew Michael would scowl and Maria would blush and then there would be an argument and weeks of stony silence. Liz was happy to be with Max and Alex was basking in the glow of Isabel's praise so everyone was feeling too mellow to ruin the moment.
Everyone sat around talking for a while, then Michael began to get fidgety. If I don't leave, he thought to himself, I am going to kiss her right here in Alex's kitchen and to hell with being alone and with what anyone thinks. "I gotta jet," he announced, trying to ignore Maria's crestfallen expression. "Later, Alex, Is, Maximilian...might even see you at school tomorrow, who knows?"
He rested his hand on Maria's shoulder briefly and bent to whisper in her ear, "your halo is right where it belongs, angel," and then he was gone. Liz had the temerity to giggle at Maria's starstruck expression.
That same starstruck expression crossed Maria's face the next morning when she opened her locker and a note fell out. Her lips moved as she read the words printed there, and she was oblivious to dark eyes watching her from across the hall.
towering walls with roses on high
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