|"If Ever I Would Leave You"
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Roswell characters, nor do I own Phil Collins' "Against All Odds," or Tal Bachman's "(You Love) Like Nobody Loves Me."
Summary: It's time for the Roswell Spring Fling and Maria and Alex are performing, but Michael's MIA. Inspired by Mnemosyne's song fic challenge.
|“Maria!” Maria DeLuca was heading to her locker after her last class on Friday afternoon when she heard the unmistakable sound of her best friend, Liz Parker, calling to her from down the crowded hallway.
Maria moved to the side of the hallway so she wouldn’t be crushed by the mass of students, all of whom seemed to be in a terrific hurry to start their weekend, and waited patiently for Liz to catch up. “Hey,” Liz said, when she finally reached Maria’s side. “Wow, I can’t believe it’s finally Friday.”
“I know!” Maria said excitedly. “I’m so excited for tonight. I just can’t wait, can you?”
“Tonight?” Liz said, feigning ignorance. “Oh that’s right, it’s make your own sundaes at The Crash Down night, isn’t it?”
“Lizzie!” Maria exclaimed, laughing as she hit her friend playfully in the shoulder. “Not funny!”
Liz laughed. “Oh wait, you must be talking about the annual Roswell High School Spring Dance, aka the Spring Fling. The dance which also just happens to be lucky enough to be hosting Roswell’s newest performing sensation, “The Whits,” with lead vocals by young Ms. Sarah MacLachlan herself, Maria DeLuca.”
Maria bowed. “Thank you, thank you.” Then she straightened up and the two girls began walking toward their lockers. “Seriously, Lizzie, this is gonna be so great,” Maria said. “I mean, Alex is taking Isabelle, you and Max finally stopped being all weird and decided to go together. And I, well, and I get to perform again.”
Liz saw the momentary distress in her friend’s eyes as they reached their lockers, and she hurried to comfort her friend. “Don’t worry, Maria,” she said. “I’m sure Michael will be back soon. Who knows, maybe he’ll even be back in time for the dance tonight.”
Ever since Michael had become an emancipated minor he had been living with the Evanses in their spare guestroom, but even Max and Isabelle had not seen him since Sunday of that week. He had left sometime during the night, without a word to any of them about where he was going or when he’d be back, and leaving Max and Isabelle to make up a story about his whereabouts so their parents wouldn’t be upset.
Michael had even blocked his dreams so that Isabelle would not be able to dream walk and locate him.
After everything that Michael had been through recently, Maria was extremely worried about him, and she had sat by her window every night since he had disappeared, waiting and hoping against all odds that he would once again appear at her window and spend another night in her bed.
Unfortunately, no matter how long Maria had waited up for him to appear (she had even fallen asleep by her window one night), he still had yet to show up, and she was this close to taking her mother’s car and going out to search for him.
Maria shook her head to dispel these thoughts and concentrated on opening her locker. “Michael’s a big boy, Lizzie, I’m sure he can take care of himself,” she said, just as much to convince herself as her friend. She pulled out the books she would need for the weekend and shoved them into her bag. “Besides, all positive energy must be focused on tonight. We are gonna be so awesome! We’ve got some new stuff we’re going to do- popular stuff, and some stuff the guys in the band wrote. Those guys are so talented. I mean, you probably wouldn’t really be able to tell by the way they dress, but wow, do they really know what they’re doing when it comes to music.” Liz laughed. “Couldn’t convince them to dress the way you wanted to again, huh?” Maria rolled her eyes. “Man, I know everyone has their own style and everything, and I respect that, I really do, I just wish their style was a little bit more, you know, stylish.”
Liz laughed again. “Well don’t worry, you guys are going to sound terrific anyway, and I’m sure you’re going to look fantastic tonight.”
Maria’s eyes sparkled. “Wait ‘til you see my new dress! It’s so fantastic, and perfect for performing and dancing.” She shut her locker and then turned back to Liz. “We’re still meeting at your place, right?” Liz nodded. “You and Isabelle are supposed to come over around 6:00, the guys will come get us at 7:30 so you and Alex have extra time to set up and be ready to go on at 8:30.”
Maria squealed excitedly. “This is going to be so great. And it was so great of your dad to give us the day off so we could have plenty of time to get ready.” She pulled her jacket on and slung her bag over her shoulder. “Okay, I’m going to go home and do some relaxation exercises, take a bath in these new aromatherapy bath salts that mom just got, and I’ll be over at 6:00. Do you need a ride home?”
Liz shook her head. “Thanks, but I need to find Max and Isabelle and finalize the plans for tonight with them, too. I’ll catch a ride home with them.”
Maria smiled. “Have fun. I’ll see you tonight, chica!”
“Okay, later,” Liz said. With a final smile at Maria, she headed down the hallway, being almost immediately swallowed up by the throng of rushing students.
As soon as Liz was gone from sight Maria sighed and leaned against her locker. Her carefree act was beginning to wear very heavily on her nerves. To tell the absolute, honest-to-God truth, she wasn’t happy and she wasn’t carefree. She was insanely worried, scared out of her mind for Michael, and she was working hard to hide her feelings from her friends. She knew they’d understand, but she didn’t want them to think she couldn’t handle it. She figured that if she pretended to be strong and okay enough with all that was going on in front of them that eventually she’d start to believe it herself. So far, however, that hadn’t worked. Maria glanced at her watch and realized she’d better hurry. It was already almost 3:30 and she still needed to get home and do her relaxation and aromatherapy things before she headed over to Liz’s. With a last glance inside of her bag to make sure she hadn’t forgotten anything, she pulled out her car keys and headed for the parking lot.
“Come on, Maria,” Isabelle called from Liz’s bedroom. “It’s your turn. We want to see.” Isabelle and Liz were in Liz’s room, waiting for Maria to emerge from Liz’s bathroom in her new dress. The two other girls had already changed into their dresses - Isabelle wore a long red gown with a full skirt that was almost identical to the one she had worn in Alex’s dream, while Liz was clad in a shorter black dress with spaghetti straps and a low back – and they were waiting for Maria to change into hers.
“All right,” Maria called from the bathroom. “Hang on, I’m on my way out.” She walked out of the bathroom and twirled in front of her friends. “What do you think?” she asked, suddenly feeling a bit nervous. Her dress was a beautiful shade of blue with sparkles throughout the fabric. It had a fitted halter-top and its short, full skirt twirled out when she spun in front of her friends. She wore a sparse amount of glittery eye makeup that matched the dress perfectly, but aside from that her makeup was simple, and she had pulled her hair back on the sides with small blue sparkly bobby pins.
“Maria, you look terrific!” Liz squealed. Isabelle smiled and nodded her agreement. “Thanks.” She came over and hugged her friends. “I think we all look pretty great.” “Here, hold still,” Isabelle said. She looped her arm around Maria’s shoulder and instructed Liz to do the same on the other side. Then she pointed her finger at the camera sitting on Liz’s bed and, as the other two girls watched in awe, it rose from the bed and hovered a few feet before them. "Smile,” Isabelle instructed. Liz and Maria complied, and the camera flashed. “Thanks, Isabelle,” Liz smiled. “I wanted a picture of the three of us from tonight. That just saves the trouble of asking my dad.”
As if on cue, they heard Mr. Parker calling from downstairs. “Girls, the boys are here.” The three girls exchanged a look, and then picked up their bags. “Let’s not keep our public waiting,” Maria said lightly. In actuality, she was dreading the trip downstairs to meet the guys probably more than anything else that evening. She knew it was selfish, but she really wasn’t in the mood to watch Liz and Isabelle meet their dates and get their flowers and then get escorted out to the waiting car while she stood silently by, missing Michael like crazy.
At the top of the stairwell she dropped to the back of the line, waiting and watching as Liz and Isabelle greeted their dates. *God, Michael, where are you? * she thought to herself for about the hundredth time since his disappearance. *And why did you leave me? * She was so caught up in her thoughts, she didn’t realize how long she’d been standing at the top of the stairs until Liz’s worried voice cut into her thoughts. “Maria? Are you all right?”
Maria hurried down the stairs as fast as her platforms would allow her. “Of course,” she said, flashing a deceptively bright smile. “I just wanted to make my big entrance.” She reached the bottom of the stairs and spun around, grinning as Max and Alex both whistled and told her how nice she looked. It was nice to have such good friends, she reflected, but there was only one person whose reaction she really wanted at that moment. *Stop that, * she told herself sternly. *You are going to ruin the whole night moping about him. He’s a big boy, he can make his own decisions, and you have to respect that. Now just let it go, at least for the night. *
The five teens said their goodbyes to the Parkers and headed out to Alex’s car (they had all agreed that Max’s jeep could take the night off for the occasion). When they arrived at the gym the DJ was already set up and playing, and Maria and Alex went backstage to make sure there would be no last minute emergencies with the equipment.
Alex and the other members of the band had set everything up earlier, but they wanted to make sure nothing would go wrong at the last minute. The DJ was there to play while the band was setting up and during the band’s breaks so the band members would be able to enjoy the dance themselves. Satisfied that everything was in order, Alex left Maria backstage and went to find Isabelle. He figured he could spend at least the next half hour with her before he needed to get back so the band could warm up and go on.
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