FanFic - Michael/Maria
Part 1
by Minnie
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters. No infringement intended.
Summary: Michael gets jealous
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
Authors Note: This fic was inspired by Crashdown’s Jealous Michael Appreciation Thread
The Present

Michael arrives at school a little earlier than usual. His haggard eyes belie another sleepless night. He’d had a lot of those, ever since that day on Vasquez Rocks when he bid Maria farewell.

He spots Max hanging out by a locker, listening to someone talk. It’s Maria talking up a storm, gesturing wildly. She waves her hands around, then places them lightly on Max's chest then quickly drops them away, still chattering on. Michael's eyes narrow. Max nods, then smiles and finally chuckles at her.

Maria spots Michael coming towards them. She doesn’t want to talk to him. “See ya later, Max,” she departs hurriedly, barely sparing a glance for Michael.

“So what were you two yakking about?” Michael questions Max. “Nothing, just stuff.” Max replies. “Looked like more than stuff to me,” he prods.

“Maria was just telling me this story about an accident with her, um, clothes,” Max explains. Maria just got gotten through telling him what could have been ‘one of the supreme, single most embarrassing moment of her life.’

“Clothes?” Michael asks with slight sarcasm. “Yes,” Max responds with embarrassment as he recalls Maria commenting on how her aqua bra went bust in the middle of a performance with the Whits. “I mean, there I was in front of a hundred people, getting in this really cool Alanis Morissette song, when all of sudden, woosh! I hear this pop and then feel my blouse and pants getting you know, soaked! So anyway, I rush off the stage, pretending that it’s part of the act and then I grab my jacket and pull it over me. It was a little embarrassing but it turned out pretty cool!” she narrated to Max earlier.

“Since when does she get that excited about her clothes?” Michael snorts. “I don't know, Michael,” Max responds.

“You guys have been hanging out pretty much lately.” “Just sometimes,” Max clarifies. “So, does she talk about me?” a hint of emotion, perhaps, jealousy, sneaks in his statement. “She talks about a lot of things, Michael.”

“Yeah, I know that,” Michael pauses. “What do you guys talk about?” he continues. Puzzled, Max asks, “Why are you so interested in what we're talking about all of a sudden?”

Trying to be nonchalant, Michael remarks, “Just curious that's all. I mean, you hardly even hung out before. Now all of a sudden you're best buddies.” Max: looks at him quizzically, “Best buddies? Are you jealous or something?”

“Jealous? Me?” Michael pastes on a ‘who, me?’ look. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Maxwell.”

Max smiles knowingly. “Okay. Well, I’ve got bio. I’ll see you later,” Max says, as he leaves for class. Michael takes off in the other direction, his head preoccupied with non-jealous thoughts. Or so he tells himself.

Later at the Crashdown …

Michael is busy cooking burgers in the kitchen and ignoring Maria. Max comes in and sits at a corner booth..

“Hey, Max!” Maria saunters over to him. “Hey, Maria!” Max returns her greeting. “Listen, I’m so sorry about that whole aqua bra story this morning. You probably didn’t need to hear all the gory details,” Maria throws Max an apologetic look.

“It’s okay, Maria,” he says with a slow, understanding smile. Maria sees Max’s gaze dart behind her to the counter, looking for …“Liz?” she blurts out. Max turns at her statement. “I’m sorry, what?”

“You were looking for Liz?” she teases him with a grin, “She’s not here. She took today off.” “Um, no, I just wanted to see if Michael was back there,” Max covers up. “Uh, huh!” Maria responds with an 'oh-suuuure' catch in her voice.

"Well, I'll tell, uh, Michael that you were looking for him," Maria comments with a grin. Her grin is infectious and Max finds himself returning it.

Maria hands Max a menu. As Max studies the menu quietly, Maria looks at him fondly. "The guy is such a goner for Liz!" she thinks.

“I’ll have a Sigourney Weaver medium-well and an alien blast,” he tells Maria.. “Coming right up!” she says as she sails back into kitchen.

Meanwhile, Michael witnesses the whole exchange between Max and Maria. Although he doesn’t hear what they are saying, he sees Maria's grin. She hardly grinned anymore these days. Well, except maybe when Max was around.

And Max smiled at Maria … what was that all about? They never used to talk, much less grin at each other. And why was Maria looking fondly at Max?

A surge runs through Michael. Was that … jealousy? “Yeah, right,” Michael mutters to himself. “Why should I be jealous? And of Max? Max is in love with Liz. He’s always been in love with Liz. It’s not like Max is going to fall for Maria or anything.” Still, a little voice inside Michael’s head says, “You did. You fell in love with her.”

Michael pushes the thought aside viciously. As soon as Maria comes back to the kitchen, he barks at her. “You working today or just yakking with Max?” Maria’s eyebrows rise slightly and she ognores that remark.

“Max wants a Sigourney Weaver medium well,” she hands Michael the order. He feels like telling her, “Who the hell cares what Max wants?” but grumbles something about being overworked and underpaid instead. Maria mutters something suspiciously like, "With your cooking skills, I wouldn't complain!" then grabs some of the ready food Michael has left off the counter.

“This one’s rare, the other’s not,” Michael points to two burgers. “Don’t get them mixed up. I really don’t feel like fixing any of your messes,” he adds.

“My messes? Since when have I ever messed up an order?” Maria cries indignantly. “I’m just saying not to get them mixed up, okay?” he reiterates. “Whatever, Michael,” she huffs. Maria grabs the orders and hands out them to the Crashdown’s patrons.

One of the café patrons requests an additional burger. “Hey, throw another patty on the grill, will you?,” Maria asks Michael.

“I told you not to get the orders mixed up,” he pounces on her. “I didn’t! The lady just wanted another burger!” Maria explains.

“Well, if you didn’t spend so much time smiling at Max, maybe you could have gotten her order right!” he accuses. “What?” she says, flabbergasted. “I’m back here, cooking on this stupid grill all day, and all you seem to be doing is flirting with Max.” he huffs.

“OK, first of all, I DID get her order right. Second of all, flirting? With Max? What planet did you just come from? Oh, that’s right you don’t know!” With that, Maria grabs the burger that Michael just shoved at her. Maria delivers it to Max with another smile. Michael sees that and starts grinding his teeth.

“Uh, Maria?” Max opens his burger to find it charred beyond recognition. “Oh, my God! I’m sorry, I must have gotten you someone else’s food.”

“Wow, I didn’t know someone could eat that,” Max points to the black mess. “This from the guy who puts tabasco sauce in everything, even Krispy Kreme doughnuts!?” Maria teases him. “I’ll be right back.” She heads to the kitchen.

“Michael, I think this definitely qualifies as overkill,” Maria points to the black piece of meat that was once a burger. “Could you get me another one? And this time, take it off the grill before it resembles a piece of charcoal! Max doesn’t like it well done. He prefers his meat in chewable form.”

“Get off my back, will you?” Michael snaps. “What is your problem?” she asks. “Nothing! Just get out my kitchen!” he waves her away. “Fine!” she concurs.

Michael is staring at the grill, barely watching the burgers as they turn suspiciously black again. “Max doesn’t like it well done,” Maria’s statement comes back to him. “Max prefers his meat in chewable form,” Since when did she know what Max liked and didn’t like? What the hell did the two of them talk about anyway? And why did she always have his name in every sentence? A sharp blare of a horn registers slightly in his mind but then Michael dismisses it.

The Recent Past

Days after that day at Vasquez Rocks, Michael had noticed Max and Maria quietly talking at school. During the days that followed, he found them … on the street, in the hallways, at the Crashdown, during lunch … still talking. Even Liz saw them. Maria always motioned Liz to join them, knowing how much her best friend wanted to be with Max. But Liz never took Maria up on her offer. And Max’s eyes always held that sad gleam. Until today. Today Max was all smiles.

The Present

The smell of burning patty meat jolts Michael back to the present. “Oh, shit!” Michael takes the darkened meat, grabs another two pieces and fries them instantly with a wave of his hand. He puts them on the counter and rings the bell for pick up.

No pick up comes. “Maria!” he calls out. No answer. He huffs and strains to see if Maria is still in the café. Nope, not there. Max isn’t there either. “Great! This is just great! Where'd they go?"

The back door to the café opens. Through it comes Max carrying Maria. Max is holding Maria close to his chest and Maria’s arms are resting snugly over Max's neck. “What happened? And why are you carrying her like that?" Michael yells as concern, then jealousy erupts within him.

“She tripped on a box outside and hurt her ankle,” Max explains he gently lays Maria down on the nearby couch. To Michael’s eyes, Max’s hands seems to be lingering on Maria’s body. And she wasn’t exactly fighting them off. An inexplicable red haze came over him He felt like pulling Max’s arms off of her. "Are you okay?” Michael stalks over to her. “I’m fine. Max was there,” Maria assures him. Max again! Michael almost rolls his eyes..

“Let me take a look,” Max offers to Maria. He cautiously takes her ankle in his palm and starts to rub it. “I can do that!” Michael cuts in, not wanting to see Max’s hand anywhere near Maria.

“I got it,” Max tells Michael. A red light glows from Max's hands as he holds it over Maria's ankle. Michael stares at Max’s hand touching Maria, not at all liking the way he is stroking her foot. "You're not doing it right!" he tells Max. Maria glances at him with a questioning look. "I think Max has got this whole healing thing covered, Michael," Maria steps up. Michael clenches his jaw. A tic forms on his cheek. Max finishes up with Maria's ankle. "I could have done that!" Michael thinks to himself.

"If you want do to something right, how about bringing in those boxes from outside?" Maria suggests. “Boxes?” Michael asks, still staring at her ankle. “Yeah, from the delivery truck!” she confirms. “Is the delivery truck here?” he mumbles. “Didn’t you hear the horn? I swear it could have majorly damaged my eardrums!” Maria tells him.. “No, I didn’t. I was busy,” Michael replies in the negative.

“Busy doing a little grill-bonding? Or burger-bonding?" she quips. "I asked Max to help me with the boxes instead. Thanks, Max!” Maria beams at Max. "No problem. You should take it easy for a while. And no more tripping on boxes. " Max suggests. "Yes, sir!" Maria gives him a mock salute.

Irritated by the byplay, Michael outside. He picks up a box of canned goods and hauls it back into the café. And overhears more conversation that sets his teeth on edge.

“What would I do without you?" Maria dramatically sighs. “I don't know. You might just waste away," Max responds with a smile.

“Am I interrupting something?” Michael asks, his voice heavy with sarcasm. “No," Max glances over at Michael. Michael looks like his about to spit nails. "Michael, we were just kidding," Max blinks as he sees his friend taking their friendly banter for something more serious.

Not knowing what else to say and feeling angry for letting his jealousy slip out, Michael tells Maria, “You know, Liz's dad isn't paying us to stand here and chat. That extra burger still sitting on the counter.”

“That lady decided she didn't want the extra burger anymore. And it's dead right now. No one's in the cafe," Maria explains. "How about cleaning some tables then," Michael orders her.

"Excuse me, I don't see 'boss' printed on your name tag! Besides, I've got a twisted ankle. Cleaning tables is not good for my recovery,” Maria replies.

“Well, Max fixed your ankle, didn't he?” Michael injects. "You're just playing princess again," he scorns. "Uhhhh," Maria huffs and gets gingerly off the couch. “Careful,” Max reaches to grab her arm and steady her but Michael is already there, looping his arms over her back and her shoulders. Maria hangs on to Michael. Michael grips her tighter.

She walks around a few steps. “Good as new!” Michael is relieved to note that Maria’s merely looking at her foot and not at Max again.

“Go do the tables. I’ll deal with the rest of the boxes,” Michael instructs Maria. "But," Maria looks like she's about to argue but then shuts up as Michael throws her a don't-argue-with-me-just-do-it look. “Yes, oh, spiky haired one, I will do as you have royally decreed,” Maria sticks her tongue out as she passes by Michael. Max hides a smile. She proceeds to the front of café to clean tables.

“Michael, is something wrong?” Max asks him after Maria leaves them. “Why would anything be wrong? Just because you and Maria are suddenly cozier than two peas in a pod chamber!” he growls at Max.

“What?” Max asks, a bit taken aback. “You’re always talking to each other. Touching each other. What is that about?” Michael bitterly asks.

Max shakes his head, "You’re acting like …” “Like what? Like I’m jealous? Forget it, Maxwell, that is the last thing on my mind,” Michael shouts, his words actually confirming his jealous state.

“I was going to say, like a child. Michael, I see it in your eyes. You’re regretting the decision you made. You’re regretting letting her go. And all this … the questions, the comments … they’re just substitutes for what you really want to say. You want her back.”

Michael is silent as he stares at Max. “Don’t you?” Michael says after a short pause. "Want Maria, I mean,” he continues, waiting for an answer yet also dreading it. Max gives his friend a smile. “Maria’s a friend. A good friend. But nothing more. You know that,” Max clarifies. The heavy weight pressing on Michael's chest suddenly drops. He draws a relieved sigh.

“Yeah, I know. I just thought ... forget it!" he stops. Max looks on with understanding. "Maria and I have gotten to know each other. I don't want to see her get hurt. You could hurt her. And you’ve put up your wall again. And this time, Maria’s not so sure she wants to knock it down,” Max tells him.

“Is that what she told you?” Michael asks, a worried note creeping into his voice. “It’s just the feeling I get when I talk to Maria,” Max responds, trying not to alarm him too much.

“The whole destiny thing sucked!” Michael blurts out in frustration. Max smiles a little ironically. Their so-called destinies never came to pass.

The Recent Past

Michael and Isabel tried, vainly tried to fulfill their destiny, but their hearts just weren’t in it. Perhaps in that faraway planet sometime in the long distant past, Michael and Isabel loved each other. But in the here and now of Earth, Isabel’s eyes kept sliding away from Michael and latching onto Alex.. And Michael, though he told Isabel differently at first, always thought of Maria.

As for Tess, a chance meeting with Kyle after the shooting incident blossomed into a surprising romance. Tess found Kyle’s sense of humor refreshing and Kyle found Tess intriguing, a combination of innocence and spitfire at all once. Tess’ newfound happiness with Kyle had her gleefully sharing tips with Max, Michael and Isabel on how to use their powers.

As for the "evil within" that his mother had talked about, Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess had seen no evidence of it for months. They were even starting to question whether it really existed.

That left Max to pursue Liz. But Liz backed away from any attempts at reconciliation. She still thought that the rest of Max’s destiny had not come to pass. And until it came, she couldn’t be with him. It was ironic that Liz, a human, was a stronger believer in his alien destiny.

Max attempted to talk to Liz almost everyday for the first few weeks. Maria was there at every turn, almost seemingly to protect her from further hurt. “Leave her alone, Max. She’s hurting!” Maria told him. “So am I!” Max responded to Maria. But Max never pushed harder. And Liz always stared at Max with those soulful eyes that seem to say, “I will always love you.”

Max’s almost-encounters with Liz, with Maria acting as buffer, actually paved the way for a burgeoning friendship with Max and Maria. After all, they had so much in common. Both loved Liz. Both loved Michael. Both were ‘dumped’ by Liz and Michael. Surprisingly, they found a variety of topics to talk about … from music, to books, to movies, even the occasional piece of clothing. But always, the conversations turned to Liz and Michael. And destiny. And how hard it was to want to scale a stonewall once it had hurt you so badly. Unless of course the stonewall happened to crumble on its own and crawled back to her.

The Present

“Do you think she’ll forgive me? Give me another chance?” Michael asks Max quietly. “I don’t know. But you have to try,” Max counsels him.

“What am I going to say? ‘Sorry about dumping you because I was too scared of my uncontrolled powers. I only did it because I loved you. Oh, yeah and that whole trying to fulfill my destiny with Isabel thing was a bad idea too. But hey, it's all right because when Is and I tried it, we realized that it wouldn’t work between us.’ Somehow I don’t think she’d buy that,” Michael explains.

“Try me,” Maria comes from behind Michael and pipes in the statement quietly. Both men turn to look at her. As Michael and Maria continue to stare at each other, Max slips quietly out the back door.

“So, you’re saying you forgive me?” Michael asks her in a hopeful voice. “Maybe …” Maria tails off. “What do you mean, maybe?” he raps out. “You’ll just have to wait and see,” Maria smiles triumphantly and walks out the front door of café, already planning how to make him crawl. And beg. And whimper. Before she ultimately took him back.

A small grin spreads on Michael’s face. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. A new beginning for them. “Yeah, we’ll see, Maria. We’ll see.”

The End

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