FanFic - Michael/Maria
"It's A Free World, Baby"
Part 1
by LizM
Disclaimer: I own no one Roswell, nor do I own the REM song "It's a Free World, Baby".
Summary: Post Destiny fic. Maria's dealing w/ Michael's avoidance of her.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: R
Authors Note: This is based on a song fic challenge posted by Melissa R.
Maria DeLuca walked into her bathroom dressed in her robe and carrying a small radio, a box of matches, and a candle. She set the items down on the counter next to the sink and then turned on the water and began to run a warm bath for herself. She hummed quietly to herself as she made her preparations, glad that her mother would not be home until later that night so that she would be able to have all the time she would need in the bathroom.

When the bathtub had filled Maria turned the radio on, lit the small candle, hung her robe on the hook behind the door and stepped into the tub. Sinking down into the warm water, she finally let her mind drift to where she had not allowed it to earlier. She let it drift to the events of the past year, to the aliens, and to Michael Guerin. Not that she really should think about him. Not like there was really anything to think about - not anymore, anyway. She’d been through it all in her mind repeatedly, and had come to the only conclusion she could.

Maria leaned her head back against the edge of the tub and closed her eyes. It had all started with Tess, or at least that was what was easiest for she, Liz Parker, and Alex Whitman to believe. Maybe things had never been right, had never been normal, but there had been at least a quasi-normal, happy existence for the six of them until Tess Harding showed up. Maybe that wasn’t really fair to Tess, Maria mused inwardly, but at this point she didn’t care anymore. She wasn’t angry with Tess, or even Michael Guerin and Isabel Evans anymore. She didn’t even really feel sad anymore. What she really felt at this point was just plain exhausted. She was tired of it all. So tired. She didn’t want to deal with the fighting or the tears or the longing anymore. She just wanted to forget it all. But she couldn’t. Not just yet, anyway. First she forced herself to focus on more recent events, those of the past few weeks, what had occurred since the aliens had discovered what their “destiny” really was.

Liz had returned from the cave and told Alex and Maria what she had seen that day in May. Then she had taken of for Florida for the rest of the summer, never once even writing to Alex or Maria. Liz had been quiet since she’d returned from Florida, even though she and Max seemed to have come to some kind of understanding about what their relationship exactly was. She and Maria still talked, but Maria felt like they weren’t connecting all the time. Maria knew Liz was hurting, but Liz just didn’t seem ready to share it with her friends yet. Alex had just been Alex, offering his friendship to Isabel, and sticking by her as a friend only, even when Maria knew that Isabel’s decision to follow her “destiny” with Michael had hurt Alex deeply.

As for Michael, well, he had pretty much ignored Maria completely since he had found out about his so-called “destiny.” She had tried for weeks to call him, leaving countless messages on his machine, but he had never returned any of them. He had even changed his shift at The Crash Down so that he and Maria would never work at the same time.

Finally, a week before school started again, Maria had gotten fed up and headed over to Michael’s apartment to try to talk to him. She had received no answer, and when she had tried calling him that night the operator had told her that the number had been disconnected. Two days later, which was the present day, Maria had finally run into Michael at The Crash Down. He and Mr. Parker looked to be having a serious conversation in the back of the restaurant when she walked in. Then the two had shaken hands, and then Mr. Parker had returned to the front of the restaurant.

“What was that about?” Maria demanded, going right up to Michael. “And why have you not returned any of my calls?”

Michael looked surprised a moment to see Maria, but he quickly regained his composure and the mask of detachment slipped back into place on his face. “I was thanking Mr. Parker for giving me the job and giving him my resignation,” Michael told her calmly.


“I’m taking a job at the paper warehouse. It pays better money, and now that I know what my destiny is, I need to prepare for my future with Isabel and our son.”

Maria felt like she’d been slapped in the face by his words, and quickly asked another question to cover up her hurt. “I went by your apartment and you weren’t there. Then the operator said your phone had been disconnected. What’s going on, Michael?”

Michael looked at her casually. “I guess you’ll know soon enough anyway,” he said, his tone implying that it wasn’t any of her business and he was doing her a favor just talking to her. “I’ve moved in with the Evans. We just decided it would make everything easier for me to live in the same house with my mate and my leader. This way we can plan for our destiny together, and Isabel and I can begin to prepare for and get used to our future life together.” Michael looked at her coolly. “But I guess you couldn’t possibly even begin to understand that. Goodbye.” He walked toward the door, leaving a stunned and deeply hurt Maria behind him. He hated himself for what he was doing and how much he was hurting her, but he couldn’t let her know that. He had to do this, had to push her away now to keep her safe and spare her the heartbreak that would be all that she could possibly get from a relationship with him. He had learned his destiny, and as much as it hurt him to admit it, Maria just wasn’t a part of it, and he couldn’t do anything to change that, no matter how hard he had tried. He swallowed, preparing himself for the final blow that he was sure would accomplish his goal.

“Oh, and Maria,” he said, turning again, “could you please just do us all a favor and stop calling me and trying to talk to me? I think I’ve made it perfectly clear how I feel about you, and you’re just making things harder on everyone, you know. So please just try a little maturity and leave me alone. It’s what’s best for everyone.” And with that, he was gone.

Back in the present, Maria opened her eyes as she heard the beginning of one of her favorite REM songs on the radio.

“I was hungry when I said
I never got to sleep.”

Maria smiled to herself. She’d be able to sleep soon. She looked around the bathroom and, seeing that the candle had almost burned itself out, knew it was almost time. She quickly ran through several details in her mind. The letter to her mother was downstairs, propped up against the flowers on the kitchen table. The notes to Alex and Liz had been put in the mail today so they should get them tomorrow or the day after. As for Michael, well, he probably wouldn’t really care anyway, but she had included a note about the aliens in her letter to Alex, so she knew he would let them know if he thought they needed to. Maria reached across the tub and picked up her razor, gently snapping a new blade into place. She wasn’t scared. She was just tired, so very tired, and she just wanted it all to be over with. The lyrics of the song on the radio caught her attention again, and she smiled sadly to herself.

“Me, I’m tired of this candy
My feet ache, my head
Boys in bed, girls in bed
All now go to sleep.”

She was tired, but it was time to sleep now. She extended her left arm in front of her and brought the razor to her wrist. With one eye on the candle, she dragged the razor sharply over the delicate veins on her wrist. She transferred the razor to her other hand and repeated the process on her right wrist. She’d certainly sleep now, she thought drowsily to herself as she sank back into the water. And that was what she wanted. Over on the counter the candle extinguished itself, sweet smelling puffs of smoke rising from the now lifeless wick.

Over at 6025 Murray Lane Michael Guerin suddenly shot straight up in his bed, ripped from the visions of himself and Maria happy together again, visions that he could now only see when his eyes were closed. His first waking thought was that something had happened, and then he knew. His heart thumped wildly out of control and it took him a minute to catch his breath. When he did, inhabitants of houses that were as far as several blocks away from 6025 Murray Lane froze in their tracks at the sound of the wail of pure anguish that came from the Evans home. “MARIA!”

“Boys in bed, girls in bed
All now go to sleep
Sleep, sweet dreams
Wake to a new day tomorrow
Sleep, sweet dreams
Wake to a new day tomorrow…”

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