FanFic - Michael/Maria
"I Love You"
Part 1
by kateafur
Disclaimer: Anything you recognize does not belong to me, anything you don't, does.
Summary: It's finals week but Maria is a bit more concerned about the feelings between her and Michael than her math exam.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This is my first Roswell fic. But don't let that stop you. Tell me how you really feel. Seriously, though, this hasn't been beta read so all mistakes are mine alone, let me know what you find and I'll fix `em. Enjoy! Oh, I almost forgot the shameless plug for feedback! I have another fic with a Jealous!Michael in it!
Every time I'm close to you
There's too much I can't say
and you just walk away,
and I forgot to tell you
I love you
~I Love You, Sarah McLachlan

Maria groaned as her books landed with an audible `bang' when she dropped them on a table at the Crashdown. Papers were protruding from all angles, the edges crumpled and ripped from continual abuse in her locker. Perched precariously on top of the stack of books was a weathered red folder, if it could be called that, a mere staple bound the two sides and prevented the dittos from crashing onto the tiled floor of the office. Doodles in various ink colors added to the chaos of the torn folder, one side seemed to be dedicated to `Liz + Max 4- ever' and such sentiments in a cursive scrawl, the other a few haphazard `Michael + Maria =' where variations on the sum were re-calculated on an almost daily basis.

Today's answer was "maybe love," an almost afterthought to Mr. Clark's monotonous lecture on the beauty of the sine function. Maria stared blankly down at the words she had written just hours before. Maybe love? That was bull. She wouldn't waste her time and emotions with such a repulsive, rude, rebel like Michael if she didn't love him. He did have his good moments. But, she supposed, the maybe came from his feelings toward her. He'd never admitted to her exactly how he felt. She'd felt it before. Oh lord, those incredible eyes boring straight into her soul showed at least some sort of affection for her and she sincerely doubted that he would even give her the time of day if he didn't at least sort-of love her.

It was just, she needed the words. It was as simple as that. She would forever feel like a cheap booty- call until he at least gave her some sort of clue that she meant something to him. Anything.

"Maria?.Oh, good, you're here!" Liz ducked her head into the office. "A tour just got done across the street and thanks to Max's recommendation, they're all heading over here!" The smile on her face belied any exasperation in her tone.

Maria nodded quickly to Liz. "Okay, be right out."

Liz frowned at Maria's non-response. "Hey, are you okay? I can cover your tables if you need a few minutes."

Maria smiled at her friend. "No, I can do it. It's just, with finals week looming I'm kind of on edge. My mom will flip if I don't pull a C in math."

Liz entered the office. "Oh, I know the feeling. With all the, well, stuff that's been going on lately..I've let my grades slip. And with Mr. Clark's final promising to be a killer, I can just kiss my life good-bye!" She dramatically swept her arm at this last remark, collapsing into a near-by chair.

"I wish we could be like the Czechoslovakians. They've gotta have some sort of power to store all those formulas." Maria struggled to shove her stack of books into her locker.

Liz laughed appreciatively. "I don't know about that. Even if they do, everyone's agreed to come by tonight after close and have a cram session."

"Michael? I don't see him as the study group type."

"Max said he'd try and talk him into coming. You'll be here, maybe that'll be enough incentive." Liz grinned suggestively at her friend, ignoring the fact that Maria frowned even more at the thought. Not that she wouldn't be excited if he came, it was just she knew he wouldn't. "Now, come on. We've got to feed a bunch of tourists!" ~~~

"Maria! Grab that plate of cookies, will you?" Liz fluttered by in a burst of study-session cheer.

"Ya know, it's so wrong for you to be this hyper over a math final. If I remember correctly, not one hour ago you were `so tired you could crawl under a table and sleep.' Where did this energy come from and could you please send some my way?" Maria bit into a chocolate chip cookie and handed the rest of the plate to Liz.

"Oh come on, Maria. This will be fun! Everyone will be here!! We'll whip right through the where did I put my calculator?" She continued to bustle about the cafe. Maria was getting dizzy just watching her. A sudden jingle from the door signaled the arrival of the rest of the group.

Max quickly intercepted Liz's path and pulled her into a quick embrace. Maria rolled her eyes. "Hey you two," she smiled at Isabel and Alex. They really were cute together. Isabel smiled brightly at Alex as he pulled a chair out for her at the table. Maria tried to hide her disappointment at Michael's apparent absence. ~~~

Students poured out of the school as Maria tried to struggle through the masses. She knew Michael had art last period and would use the side exit. Scanning the crowd desperately, she quickly caught site of his wayward hair and black t-shirt, even the casual saunter was uniquely his. Maria tried to ignore the fluttering of her heart at his sighting and set off to catch up with him.

"Michael! Wait up!"

Michael came to an abrupt stop and whirled around just as she reached him. "Maria." She liked to think that the sudden look of, was it happiness?, that briefly passed across his features was because of her but he covered it up too quickly for her to really be sure.

"I was just wondering where you were last night. Everyone else was studying at the Crashdown and I thought maybe you'd have come too."

He tore his gaze from her and refocused on a nearby tree, a sure sign that he was about to say something to blow her off. Perfect. Just perfect.

"Look, I had stuff to do and right now I'm late for something so maybe I'll catch you later." He stole a quick look at her, the soulful look in his eyes almost allowed Maria to forgive him right on the spot. He gave her arm a brief tug in order to plant a hasty kiss on her lips, or somewhere near there. With one last look, he turned and headed off again leaving Maria standing, confused, in his wake. ~~~~ continued in Part 2/2

I Love You, Part 2/2 Same rules apply.

It had been three days since The Blow-Off, as Maria had come to call it. She didn't know why that the incident stood out so much in her mind; it was just another in a long list as far as Michael was concerned. But it still hurt. She attributed it to the stress of finals combined with the relief of school being over. She liked to kid herself that when she was deeply immersed in studying the great battles of WWI with Liz and the gang that the only reason Michael wasn't there was because he didn't care about school. It wasn't that he didn't care about her.

She wasn't completely out of contact with him. He'd called her several times, well, more like returning her phone calls with five minutes of mundane small-talk before making some stupid excuse to get off the phone. The last time she'd made a lame excuse first to save herself the pain of hearing that he `had to go to the hardware store,' rather than talk to her. Right.

So, now here she was, Mr. Clark's math final. Thankfully, the last final of the year. With a final check of her test, she handed it in and returned to her seat, counting down the minutes until summer. Maybe Michael was just acting weird because it was so close to summer. In a day or two it would all be okay again. They would return to their quasi-happy couple state of hotter-than-hell makeout sessions and long conversations about nothing. Well, arguments would be more accurate. How pathetic was she? She even missed Michael's horribly cynical point of view. God, she had it bad.

Suddenly, a note dropped on her desk breaking her thought process. Maria recognized the handwriting as Michael's, but he wasn't in this class. She glanced around the room to see who might've given it to her. She caught the eye of a Freshman named Tom or Todd or something who was in Michael's tech class. He smiled slightly at her and nodded. Maria turned back around and opened the note. This had better be good.

'Meet me at the picnic table behind the tech room after school. -M.'

Michael. He was a man of few words and many mysteries. She only had ten minutes to go. ~~~~

The bell had rung only about three minutes ago but the entire school had the feel of a ghost town. A random sheet of lined paper floated past Maria as she approached the picnic table. She could see Michael perched on the edge, staring off into the distance.

"So, I get this note to meet you back here from a freshman named Tom."


"Whatever. So, what's up?" Maria sat on the table next to Michael. Uh-oh. He's in his contemplative mood, which can be either very good or very bad. She prayed for good.

"I got an A on my metal shop final." Michael finally broke the silence. He still stared into the distance, only looking at her for a brief second.

"That's great Michael. I'm happy for you." Maria replied sincerely, knowing how he struggled in that class all semester.

He looked at her now, a new eagerness to his tone. "I felt horrible all week, Maria. I don't know if you believe me. But I really wanted to be with you. It's just..."

"You can't get involved, you have other, better things to do than talk with me- spare me Michael, I've heard it all before." Maria put up her Teflon front, there was no way he was going to get to her this time.

Michael turned back to Maria, a bit confused as to how she expected a turn for the worse when he was trying to make his apology obvious. She looked so sad, staring out into the distance, trying to be strong.

"No, Maria. It's not like that." In a gesture reserved specifically for comforting her, he scooted a little closer and draped his arm around her. She softened a little at his touch but the paper-thin armor was still up. Michael struggled a bit with his next words; he hated showing his emotions but he knew he needed to do this, for her. After a moment of turmoil, he finally just dropped his gift for in her lap with an eloquent "here."

Maria looked up, a bit confused, but went for the box anyway. It was a small jewelry box. Her heart beat quicker as visions of diamonds and jewelry danced in her head. She looked up expectedly at Michael, looking for a clue of some sort. His face remained passive but she could detect a hint of, nervousness? With a silent prayer for anything not shampoo, Maria plucked the cotton from the top of the box. Inside, on a bed of cotton, was thick silver ring, much like the one that Michael wore only smaller. Glancing quickly at Michael, she held the gift up to the sunlight. The slight waver in the band along with a few little scratches in the metal told her this ring was indeed crafted by Michael. As she rotated the ring around she saw something that made her heart skip several beats.

'I love you.'

"I just wanted you to know that. I mean, I know it may not always seem like it, but I do. So, uh, whenever you need to know, just look at the ring." Michael stumbled over his words yet remained characteristically impassive. As an afterthought, and with a slight smirk, he added, " Or else you can just beat it out of me."

Speechless no longer, Maria squealed with delight. "Oh, Michael! I love it! I can't believe you made this! Was this your final metal project? The trips to the hardware store?"

Suddenly unsure of the bundle of hyperness in front of him, Michael took a minute to answer. "Well, I don't think Mr. Lohr would've appreciated the sentiment, so I made another project during class. Your ring was extra-curricular."

Maria, wanting to thank Michael properly, pulled him into an impromptu embrace. After a minute, they ended their kiss. Maria rested her forehead gently against Michael's. "You've come a long way, Michael Guerin. You may even have a career ahead of you in the metal business."

Michael grinned and leaned back from Maria. "Nah, I think I'll stick to wood. I hear there's great opportunities with napkin holders."

After a quick laugh, the two quickly sobered up. Maria glanced down shyly at her ring, admiring its perfect fit on her finger. She suddenly felt a little empty, he'd given her the ring, a very romantic gesture as far as Michael was concerned, but he hadn't actually said it.

Sensing her uneasiness, Michael blurted out, "I love you, Maria."

With an easy smile and a sigh, Maria turned to Michael. He could be so exhausting sometimes. It was so infuriating, but so endearing. "I love you too, Michael."

Michael grinned and softly kissed Maria's hair. "I know," he whispered, "I know." With that, he drew Maria into his arms and there they sat. A wacky hippie and a renegade Czechoslovakian, happy and in love, for now.

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