Disclaimer: Metz owns Roswell, Stephanie Beaumont owns ‘Who says'.
Summary: A happy ending for all. All feedback is more than welcome.
|Maria walked out of the change room and smirked at the gasp that formed on Liz's
face. She was trying on dresses for the homecoming dance taking place the next
night. She stood in front of Liz with the burgundy material clinging to her
torso and flaring out at the waist to pool at her feet. "I love it! I
absolutely love it! Turn around!" Liz squealed. Maria did a quick turn
feeling silly but Liz just made a bigger deal. "Do you know how far that goes
down in the back? I can practically see your butt!" Maria giggled at that.
"So, should I get it?" Maria asked while examining the dress in the mirror.
"Is there any question here? Hurry and get changed, I'll go line up." Liz scurried off to get a place in the line up.
After dropping Liz off Maria hurried home and drifted into a well deserved rest. The day had been full of role playing with Liz, and they both knew this. After Max, Isabel, Tess and Michael had left Roswell four months earlier, there was nothing for Maria, Liz, Alex and Kyle. All the town held was the memories of previous times that were filled with happiness, and pain, but at least they felt like they were alive. Without them they're lives were empty and they lived acting as if they were fine without their ‘friends'. They were lost, yet trying their hardest to carry on in the only way they knew how.
The phone rang and startled Maria out of her daze. Answering it hastily Maria grabbed her hair brush trying to fight the knots. A battle she could handle. "Hello?"
"Hey! It's Alex, listen I don't have much time but have you chose a song for tomorrow night?" Alex asked rather impatiently.
"Umm ... well ..." Maria stuttered
"Maria! Get on it, we need to know to practice. If I don't have an answer by tomorrow at eleven then we're playing ‘Hard to Make A Stand.'" Alex said trying his best to be assertive.
"Yes sir!" Maria teased.
"Later." He hung up before she could reply.
"Strange," she thought allowed as she went to change into her Crashdown uniform. It's not that she didn't want to sing ‘Hard to Make a Stand' it's just that it wasn't fit. She wanted sing for her. She discarded the thought and decided to think it over while working.
* * *
Her rush to the Crashdown paid off when she was slightly early to the surprise of Liz who glanced up to give her a smile but remained silent. Maria went quickly out back to ensure that her antennas were in place and started early. With Liz eyeing her suspiciously Maria started laughing "Well, I've got nothing better to do!" Liz took one look at her best friend and laughed, Maria had always made Liz laugh.
The night seemed hours longer than it actually was. It seemed that every time the bells rang when the door opened Liz would lift her head anxiously and look down disappointed. It was still habit for her, even though it had been four months. Habit. Just like how every time Maria looked in the kitchen for her orders the new cook just stared back. Each time her heart sank. Liz decided to lighten things up a bit. "So, is Shawn picking you up tomorrow night?" She asked leaning on the counter waiting for closing.
Maria snapped out of her daze and gave Liz a smile "Yeah, apparently he has his dad's car, he's pretty excited about it. What about Mark?"
"Well, we were thinking that we should, if it was okay, we should go together." Liz said hoping Maria would think it a good idea. She wanted it to seem as much not like a date as possible.
"Yes! I mean, yeah, that's cool." Maria tried to cover up her enthusiasm, but Liz could see right through her just as she always had but she just smiled.
"What are you singing tomorrow night? Alex seems kind of stressed over it."
"That's probably cause I haven't decided ... I should probably get on that." Maria laughed as Liz went to lock the doors.
"Alright, well, I'm going out back to do stock, can you finish up out here?" Liz asked while turning on the radio.
"Sure, not a problem." Almost thankful for the time alone. Maria worked steadily humming to the music.
She went out back to help Liz only to find her crying. Without a word spoken between the two of them Maria went over and held her life long friend knowing the cause of the pain. Standing there for countless minutes in complete silence Liz had never been more greatful. When she finally got a grip Liz went to do stock and Maria went to finish scrub the tables.
The radio was the only that could be heard, and the only thing Maria decided to concentrate on.
I still got your love in my heart
The words spoke to her as they were sweetly sang by the young artist and she couldn't get them out of her head the entire way home. She smiled to herself when she realized she had found what she was looking for. She bolted in her house and picked up the phone to call Alex.
* * *
Instead of the relaxing morning of sleeping Maria had planned on, a frantic phone call from her best friend dragged her out of bed three hours earlier than planned. "A girl needs her rest, you know, can't this ‘crisis' wait for a few hours?" Maria practically begged.
"Maria! My hair appointment is in two hours and I still don't have a necklace! Please? Just this once, do it for me?" Liz whined on the other line.
"God, you're annoying. I'll pick you up in a half hour."
"Oh, thank you thank you thank you!" Liz spat out as soon as she heard. "See you in a bit!"
Maria hung up the phone with a grunt.
* * *
Three hours later Maria was sitting in the hair salon absently flipping through a magazine letting her mind wandering to the events that would commence in just a few hours. When Liz finally came out she looked gorgeous, as usual. Her face glowed and it was obvious that her hair was exactly as she had wanted it. And indeed, it looked perfect. With curls twisted all too meet up at the middle with jewels scattered throughout, it was the look of a princess.
"It's gorgeous." Maria said, more as if stating a fact than paying a compliment.
It seemed almost appropriate then for Liz to only answer with one of those smiles that Maria knows is a mixture of gratitude and affection. It had been decided earlier on that Maria's hair would be done by Liz because Liz almost felt it an obligation.
The ride home was full of chatter done mostly by Liz for once, in a way that almost convinced Maria that Liz was not missing Max in the slightest until the inevitable silence. As it washed over the car they both knew what each other were thinking though they both refused to voice it. It was Liz who finally broke the silence.
"So, what are you planning for tonight?"
"Tonight? Oh, the singing thing. Well, I'm only doing one song but it's kind of ... a surprise I guess." Maria said trying to hold back the sound of anxiety in her voice.
As if on cue Liz said "You're going to do great, I just know it." With that they pulled into Maria's drive and the day of primping had just started.
* * *
At four Liz had just started to paint her nails when Maria walked into her room completely ready to go.
"Wow. You look great!" Liz exclaimed, not with shock in her voice, but with appreciation of her beauty.
"Thanks, so do you. Listen, Liz, is it okay if I take off for an hour? I'll be back around five." Maria asked, hoping that Liz wouldn't question it. She usually didn't, mainly because she knew where she was going.
"Yeah, just ... yeah. Go." Liz looked at her with understanding in her eyes along with a glimmer of a teardrop.
* * *
On the highway Maria stared into the horizon, half hoping it would swallow her so she wouldn't have to face the night quickly approaching. She droveoff the highway and through a makeshift road to her spot.
She climbed with some difficulty to the top of ‘her dune'. She stood on top staring into the horizon with a tear escaping from her Teflon mask. The wind picked up and stirred some dust around her as well as allowing some curly tendrils to escape from her swept up hair. Although the breeze was warm shivers appeared on the back of her neck reminding her of ... what did it remind her of, she couldn't recall. As usual her took her toe and carved in the sand MD -L- MG. Underneath this she put ‘come home' the wind picked up once more and with a slight sigh of sadness mixed with exhaustion she turned and headed back toward the Jetta. She didn't turn around to see the sand blow around the inscription to change her ‘come home' to ‘I'm home'.
* * *
At six that evening Liz and Maria walked down the stairs of Maria's house hands joined and smiles locked into place. At the foot of the stairs were Shawn and Mark with foolish grins on their faces knowing that they were taking to two most beautiful women in the school to homecoming. They were both aware, of course, that they were going as friends but both secretly wanted more.
The drive there was filled with endless chatter and understanding looks between the girls. Upon arrival at the school, they found their school gym transformed into what looked like a grand hall. The decorations of navy and silver sparkled in the lights that danced around the socializing teenagers.
Alex, who was on stage playing with his band. He found them and gave them a heart stopping smile. They smiled back and mingled among the crowd exchanging pleasantries and picking at the finger food that was spread throughout long banquet tables.
After dancing the first dance with Shawn, Maria had to excuse herself so she would be ready for when Alex introduced her for "The Whits" last song of the night. Waiting on stage left a sense of anticipation grew in Maria's gut. This was not out of the ordinary, although Maria performed as if she were born on stage, nervousness still plagued her, and in a way she welcomed the familiar feeling.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for being such a great audience." Alex said with a non-chalantness in his voice that if he wasn't at ease it would shock people. "This is our last song before the DJ takes over. Let's hear it for our beautiful guest for this next one, Maria Deluca!"
Applause enveloped the gymnasium and Maria drifted out appearing even more beautiful than before. She gently took the microphone and spoke into it with a soft, yet sultry voice. "Thank you. This next one is for somebody who couldn't make it tonight, but it's dedicated to him."
She then closed her eyes and envisioned Michael and her together as they had been. In the eraser room, in her Jetta, the night when he came to her. With confidence given to her only by Michael she opened her mouth and started to sing.
All my friends say it's been long enough
But I've still got your love in my heart
Behind her closed eyes Maria remembered the bittersweet moment of goodbye when Michael had told her for the last time that he loved her. Apologized for the last time, and gave her the necklace she never took off. Without realizing she lifted it to her mouth in between verses and briefly kissed the silver ring that hung just below her collar bone. A shiver ran up her spine to meet at her hair line and she smiled knowing that Michael was looking down on her at that very moment.
Well I know a couple numbers I could call
But I've still got your love in my heart
I know there's nothing standing in my way
Opening her eyes for the first time during the song Maria glanced around for the reassuring look of Liz only to find her dancing with a guy. It was hard to figure out who it was because of the lights shining into her eyes. She found then that she didn't need the look of Liz, the enthusiastic smiles of the audience were enough to reasure her.
I've still got your love in my heart
Still staring at Liz she could see that Liz was crying. Maria assumed it was because of Max and indeed she was correct.
I still can't shake these blues
Dropping the microphone Maria felt dizzy when she realized that Liz was dancing with Max. She jumped off the stage and ran toward the laughing couple and Alex followed just as quickly. Glancing over they found Kyle in Tess's arms kissing passionatly. Maria ran into the arms of Max and quickly pulled away.
"You're back?" She said with hope in her voice.
"I'm back. We're back" Max said with a smile.
"Michael? Where's Michael?" Maria asked her voice cracking with anticipation.
"I'm right here." His voice said calm and collected even though his heart was racing.
She couldn't do anything then except close her eyes and savour the moment. Tears slids down her face without her even knowing it as she tried hard not to wake herself from this dream. She turned around slowly her eyes still closed hoping, praying that she would open them and Michael would be standing in front of her. He reached out and touched her face and her eyes fluttered open. They stood there as if in a spell just looking at each other in wonder and amazment wondering at which moment it was that they would wake up. Her knees were so weak that she collapsed into his arms and started to sob. For the pain she had gone through, the countless tears unshed were now being set free. He held her as if she would break beneath the pressure of his arms and one of his own tears slid down his face. Lifting up her chin they kissed a long clinging kiss that spoke of their longing and their peace at last. It was filled with passion and an urgency that startled them both. The silence in the gymnasium was breif yet appropiate with all eyes on the four couples who couldn't keep thier eyes off of each other. When they pulled away Maria was the first to speak.
"What about ... Czekoslovakia?" She asked being rather confused.
"We didn't even make it back." Michael replied with a bit of a laugh. "Half way there we realized it was the biggest mistake of our lives. Because we turned the ... boat ... around we're no longer welcome there. Ever."
Maria looked flattered yet still sad for the four who had thrown away their future on four unsuspecting teens. "I'm sorry," she said sadly "I know how much going home meant to you."
"I am home." He said calmly. "We're home."
They kissed once more, a kiss filled with the sweetness of thier lives to come and the dreams yet to be fulfilled. A shiver ran up her spine identical to the one she had felt in the desert and on stage and was due to the fact that Michael was near. When they finally broke apart the eight all exchanged hugs and tears or happiness and for once Tess was included in the group with as much warmth as the rest.
This renewed love brought a new meaning to the ‘homecoming' dance and a new destiny to this group of young men and women who went from thinking that their lives were over before they began to thinking about the wonderful future that was ahead of them.
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours