by Lina Inverse
Disclaimer: As I’m sure you all know, I have no legal rights to
these characters or lyrics and am using them without permission. So I’d
appreciate it if no one got mad or tried to sue me, I’m poor anyway... so
they wouldn’t get any money...
Summary: Maria is about 28 years old, and finds an old journal that reminds her of the past
Authors Note: This is a pretty weird idea I came up with late one night while listening to my Dido cd. It is my first attempt at a fanfic, and all comments are welcome. I make the assumption that Maria’s mom, Amy DeLuca Valenti (yes I had her marry Sheriff Valenti), knows that Michael, Tess, Max, and Isabel are aliens. Also anything in italics is lyrics to a song, “....” refers to things spoken aloud while *....* are thoughts. A series of asterics (*****) imply a change in time.... hope that isn’t too confusing for all of you....Enjoy! *-_-*
|Maria woke up to complete darkness and that incurable feeling of
loneliness and despair that had become her only company. She turned on
the light, squinted at the first instant of harsh brightness, and slid out
of bed towards the bathroom. She knew she wasn’t going to fall back
asleep that night. She started the bath water, poured in her cedar
scented bath salts, in hopes of finding some comfort in that familiar
smell that always reminded her of the past, and Michael. As she lowered
herself into the warm water, she heard a thump coming from her bedroom.
Her hopes up, she threw on her bathrobe and ran into the other room. The
window was still closed. He hadn’t come. She had known it wasn’t going
to be him; she had lost him forever, and had accepted it long ago, but
still, the slightest sound, smell, and those dreams that plagued her sleep
each night never let her forget. She turned with a dejected sigh to head
back to her bath, sure that the water would now be lukewarm at best, and
the wonderful scent of cedar had become stale and dirty, as it always
seemed these days. On her way, she tripped on something that had fallen
out of her closet; that must have been the sound. She bent down and
picked it up, wondering what it was. One glance at it and all her
memories came flooding back full force. “Maria’s Song Album” It was the
book of songs she had written for her band with Alex. She had forgotten
she had even kept it. These songs were written over a span of five years.
They were basically the story of her love for Michael. She took it with
her to the bathtub to read it carefully.
She opened it to a random page, deciding it would be too painful to start at the beginning and go all the way through, and began singing the song she saw on the page, surprised that she still remembered the tune perfectly:
“My tea's gone cold, I’m wondering why I got out of bed at all
Maria had woken up feeling like crap. She had sung in her band at the seediest club imaginable the night before, and had ended up drinking quite a bit as the night wore on. She had a royal hang over. She looked out the window and saw nothing but wet dreary rain, blocking any view of the outside world. She dragged herself out of bed, started heating water for tea, intentionally putting in two bags of tea, knowing she needed it strong, and stumbled into the bathroom and the stinging hot water of the shower. After her shower she pulled on her uniform for her shift at the Crashdown, which was all too different now that Liz had left, and her parents had sold it to a new couple in town. After stumbling into the kitchen and picking up the tea with shaky hands, she sat down sipping it, noting that it had gone cold, and contemplated the pile of bills on the table in front of her. Sighing miserably she went to the closet to grab her coat, and saw the picture of Michael she had hanging on the wall. She couldn’t help but smile at the picture, his hair even more out of control and spiky than usual, his beautiful lips turned up in a devilish grin, his dark eyes seeming to wink at her. Suddenly she felt as though she could make it. As she hurried out the door to catch the bus, she glanced back at the picture and said out loud “I love you.”
Running to the bus stop in the pouring rain, she saw the bus pull away. She knew that she was going to be late, and she was going to be soaking wet when she go there. She could just imagine the things her boss would say as she walked in, trying to think of a better excuse than “I’m hung over, and I missed the bus.”
“Mr. Speyer, I am so sorry I am late, it was raining, and I missed the bus and...”
“Shut up! Your uniform is wet, go get changed! And then get out here and work. Since you were late you get no breaks. GO!”
Maria sighed and walked to the break room, hanging her wet clothes on the door of her locker, she changed into her spare uniform, and went out to start waiting tables. She heard the phone ring, and knowing that almost all the other waitresses were on break, she sprinted to the counter to answer it. She reached it slightly out of breath, and practically gasped the customary greeting: “Hello, Crashdown Café, Maria speaking, how may I help you?”
“Hey babe, its me”
“Michael?! Is something wrong? Why are you calling?”
“I want a burger delivered here, by my favorite waitress of course, I’m hungry.”
“Michael you know damn well we don’t serve burgers at nine in the morning!”
“Ok, fine, I’ll have blueberry pancakes, and don’t forget the tabasco sauce!”
“Fine it’ll be about twenty minutes and you better have money, cause I’m not paying for it.”
“Of course, and Maria?”
“I love you,” he said it casually, and hung up the phone before she could respond.
Maria sat there for a few minutes holding the phone in her hands with a shocked expression on her face, finally saying to no one “I love you too, Michael.” It wasn’t the first time he had told her he loved her. He made a point of reminding her at least once a day. But each time those words came out of his beautiful mouth she was filled with the same awe and joy. She put in the order with an urgent, “Please hurry this order up, Juan” and waited for it to be ready. She planned out how long she could stay with him. He would definitely go on break when she arrived, so he would have 30 minutes. It was a 5 minute drive to where he worked, but Mr. Speyer would not be suspicious until she was gone for 30 or 40 minutes. She could stay with him for twenty minutes to a half an hour. She grabbed her purse from the break room on her way out with the order, and reapplied her makeup as she sped down the road to get to him.
She walked into the dreary factory, and went towards the even more dreary break room. As soon as she walked into the room she shouted “Delivery for a Mr. Michael Guerin!” Most the breaking workers looked up at her, some with appreciative winks, as Michael maneuvered his way through them and towards Maria. It took all her self control not to run towards him and jump on him, letting him kiss away all her stress and exhaustion in front of all the other workers. Once he reached her, he took the bag from her, opened it and then the Styrofoam take out box, and exclaimed, “Perfect, just the way I wanted it! I need to get my money out of my locker, if you’ll follow me, miss.”
Maria looked at him as he gave her a wink and that wonderful sideways grin of his, and then followed him to the back room of lockers, which was completely deserted. As soon as the door was closed, he dropped the box on the nearest bench and threw his arms around Maria, kissing her with all the passion and strength he could muster. Maria immediately forget all the problems and frustrations from her day. As the kiss ended, she whispered to him, “I did the math, I can stay for twenty five minutes or so.”
“Good. Sit down, and don’t move.”
“Just trust me, ok?”
Maria sat down on the bench and waited for his next move. Michael came around behind her and put his warm, strong hands on her shoulders, beginning to massage away all her stress. She immediately began to relax as she sat there listening to his deep voice ramble on about the days events, and his plans for the evening. Maria’s head was a fog; she couldn’t concentrate on anything he said, but he didn’t seem to care. His voice and hands were so soothing that she began to doze off. Michael felt her beginning to fall asleep and brought her down onto the floor, into his lap. He let her ease out of conciousness, listening to his heartbeat and soothing voice, feeling his hands run up and down her spine, and his chest vibrate rhythmically as he spoke. Later, he woke her with a gentle kiss.
“Maria, honey, we both have to go back to work now.”
“Huh....? Oh, what time is it?”
“Oh...I better go. Thank you so much for... well you know.”
“Anytime babe, I kinda consider it my job.”
“I love you, and I’ll see you later, ok?”
“Yeah, I love you too... have a good day.”
“Yeah, you too.”
Maria left, forgetting to ask him for the money, with a dazed smile on her face. She didn’t even care that she was going to be late getting back and Mr. Speyer would definitely yell at her. As she pulled into the Crashdown parking lot, she remembered the money. *Shit, do I have any money on me?* She opened her purse and to her surprise an envelope fell out with her name on it, in Michael’s scratchy handwriting. She opened it and read the short message. “M, I figured you’d forget to collect my money when you woke up, so here...I even left you a tip...I love you and can’t wait to see you again. Love, M” Inside the envelope was a $20 bill. She smiled at Michael’s thoughtfulness, and went inside to deal with Mr. Speyer.
Surprisingly, he didn’t even notice she had been gone longer than she should have, and besides the normal nasty looks from the other waitresses, the day seemed to pass without any considerable crisises. At around three, Mr. Speyer sent her to the back room to take inventory, telling her she could leave when everything was organized and taken care of back there. She was almost happy until she walked into that room. It was a disaster. It looked as if it had never been organized. She gave a frustrated sigh and got to work.
She finally finished inventory around 5:30. She was starving, and she knew that she had missed the last bus, which left at 5 every day. She yelled goodbye to Mr. Speyer, muttering a string of expletives under her breath, and went out into the pouring rain. By the time she got to the apartment it was 6:00, and she was soaking wet. Her next job started at 7. She had to find something to eat in the house and prepare for the 15 minute walk in the pouring rain to her job at the bar. As she put her key in the door, it opened, causing her to jump back in fear and reach in her bag for her pepper spray. Then she saw a smiling Michael in the doorway holding out a towel to her.
“Heya babe, dinner is ready, and I already called you in sick from your next job, and even managed to finagle that cheapskate boss of yours to give you full pay for the day...I lied and said that your Dad had a heart attack. He’ll never know...” Michael accompanied this with a wink and a smile, kissing a drop of rain off Maria’s nose.
“I....how....thanks....” was all Maria could manage in reply.
“No problems babe, and I got out of work tonight too, we need the time off, I also took the liberty of renting movies... we got Steel Magnolias, When Harry Met Sally, and The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.”
“Those are my favorite movies!”
Michael led Maria into the apartment, and she was surrounded by the scents of cedar and the stew simmering on the stove. Michael immediately lead her into her room.
“Take a bath, put on the clothes I leave for you, and then come on out here and eat some food, and we’ll watch these movies, kay?”
Maria sank into the bath slowly; she loved the feel of the hot water surrounding her body, but decided to hurry through the bath, anyway, so that she could get back to Michael and that delicious smelling stew. As she got out of the bath and dried off, she secretly worried about what exactly the clothes he left out would be. As much as she loved him and wanted him, she didn’t want to eat dinner in lingerie or anything like that. She saw on the bed a note, pinned to her favorite sweat suit, which she had stolen from his apartment a few months ago. “I wondered where these had gone, may as well make use out of them... Love, M”
She smiled to herself and put on the sweat suit, loving the comfortable warmth of it, and the way they still sorta smelled like Michael, and walked out into the kitchen of the apartment. She wondered quietly to herself about Michael’s behavior, he was being so nice, they hadn’t even had one argument, but she was too tired and pleased with his change in attitude to even mention it. Michael had set the table, and lit two scented candles, and was pouring some stew into each of their bowls, a pile of warm bread in between them. He motioned for her to sit down and sat across from her; she immediately began to eat.
“Mmm, Michael this is so good, where did you get this recipe?”
“Well, I know you like beef, and all these vegetables, so I put them in a plain stock, and added some seasoning you had lying around.”
“Wow, maybe you should be a chef...”
The rest of the meal was eaten in comfortable silence, both of them happy just to be near each other. After Maria cleaned her plate she got up and took it to the sink to wash it. Michael grabbed her wrist and stopped her from going anywhere.”
“No, I’ll do it Maria. This is your break from it all.”
“But Michael, come on, you’ve done enough already, the least I can do is the dishes.”
“No, go lay down on the couch, I’ll be in there in a minute, your tired, you need to rest.”
Maria could not believe she was letting him boss her around so much, it wasn’t like her at all, but she was so tired, and he was being so nice... She laid down on the couch and immediately dozed off, loving the sound of him moving around in the nearby kitchen.
Maria woke up and saw that she was in her bed with Michael laying down next to her watching The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes quietly, so as not to wake her.
“You're awake... I thought you were gonna sleep the whole damn night away.”
“And miss quality time with you, never!”
Maria snuggled up closer to Michael as the movie ended. He got up and put in When Harry Met Sally, fast forwarding through the credits, and then returned to the bed, kissing Maria lightly on the crown of her head, and pulling her closer to him as he lay back down.
“I wish we could do this every night,” Maria said with a contented sigh.
“I think we should...every night,” Michael’s reply caused Maria to laugh.
“And how would we do that, we both need our second jobs to keep our apartments, we can’t take every night off, and my ‘father’ can only have so many heart attacks before my boss will become suspicious.”
“If we shared an apartment, we would only have to pay for one, and then we would each be able to work half as much.”
“Michael, you know I won’t live with someone I’m not married too, I just can’t do that. My mom would definitely kill me.”
“Your mom thinks I am the best alien since Alf.”
“She wouldn’t approve of me living with anyone without a ring on my finger, not even the best alien since Alf.”
“I see...well then lets get married.”
The way Michael said it is what really got to Maria. He wasn’t at all emotional, and on his knees with a ring and a bouquet of flowers, as she always imagined her marriage proposal would happen. She wasn’t in a flowing evening gown and he was in his typical jeans and a black t-shirt, not the extravagant tuxedo she visualized. He wasn’t even all mushy and teary eyed. He said it with the calm coolness that she loved and yet hated so much in him. She looked at him and simply said, “You can’t say that.”
“I just did.”
“Michael for the love of God, you can’t come in here and steal my heart for your weird alien amusement, and then say things like that when you don’t mean them. Maybe you aren’t human at all...” She broke off crying “I mean....I just...I really thought you were serious about us this time...I thought you were really gonna make an effort at being some semblance of a human being. You were so nice to me today...and now you just... you go and ruin it......with one of your mean non-human jokes....YOU ARE CRUEL!!! I HATE YOU....I really really....hate.....you...” she dissolved in absolute hysterics and Michael pulled her to him.
“Baby, I was being completely honest. I want to marry you, I want to live with you. Just you and me, wedding rings, kids, the whole nine yards. I’m NOT human, you gotta remember that...I thought that if I was really nice to you, and then took care of you all day, I could ask you to marry me, and you might even say yes...I even have a ring in the other room... I was gonna ask you over dinner... but I chickened out. And then you fell asleep, and when you mentioned being together every night, it just slipped out. Can we start this over?”
When Maria didn’t reply he got off the bed and down on his knee, “Maria, you are my life. You are the only person I’ve ever been able to truly connect with, and the only reason I’ve decided to stop looking for my ridiculous past. You are all there is to me: You’re my past, my present, and I want more than anything for you to be my future. Will you marry me?”
“We are too young to get married. I’m only nineteen Michael. We can’t do it. I love you so much...but...we’re so young...”
“How do you feel about an engaged couple living together...”
“Yeah, I can wait for you to have my name. But wear this ring, and let us live together, and I will gladly wait for you to be one hundred percent ready. I know we’re young, but I love you and I want to marry you, lets just get engaged...”
Maria looked at him, her eyes still red and wet from her previous fit of hysterics, and she felt them fill up again, this time with tears of joy, not grief and anger.
“Maria? Are you ok? Why are you crying? Did I say something wrong...did I fuck it up again...Oh god Maria, I’m sorry...”
“Shhh....no you didn’t do anything wrong... I just love you so much, and I’m just so excited about our engagement.”
Now it was Michael’s turn to give a shocked look and ask with surprise:
Maria continued on, beginning to babble with excitement, completely oblivious to his shock, “I’ll have to call Liz in the morning, that way Max will know to. Why don’t you call Isabel and Tess. I’ll call Alex, and my Mom. Oh...where are we going to live...your apartment or mine? I think yours is bigger, but mine has the bath tub... Well we could have a bath tub installed in yours...or we could get a totally new apartment....”
“Call Liz...we live.....apartment....bath tub...HOLD ON...does this mean you say yes?!”
“Of course silly, what else would I say....”
“I don’t know... I thought you were gonna hit me or something...”
Maria laughed happily and leaned over him, giving him a big kiss.
“Well, where’s my ring man! I wanna see the rock!”
“Ok, its not that big, I mean I’m not like rich or anything, I’ll, um, go get it.”
As soon as Michael left the room, Maria stood up on the bed, jumping up and down and hugging her pillow to her, dancing with it and singing to herself “We’re engaged...we’re engaged!” Michael returned to the room, and Maria immediately plopped down on the bed and looked at him innocently as he said with his quirky smile, “Cute song...” She stuck her tongue out at him and said “Well I liked it!” He reached the bed and they could feel the tone of the room change. He reached out and grabbed her hand, taking a small box from his pocket, opening it and whispering, “Close your eyes.” He grabbed the small ring, which he had found with Isabel's help, and had bought with every last penny he had, refusing the loan she had offered. It had a silver band, which was very thin and looked almost like braided silver string, and a small, heart shaped diamond with small rose colored gems on either side. He slid the ring onto Maria’s slender finger, marveling at how delicate and beautiful it looked on against pale skin, like it was made especially for her.
“Ok, you can open them...” He said a silent prayer that she would like the ring.
“Oh my God... Michael this is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen in my life. It’s absolutely perfect.” Her tears immediately started again, and looking at her he felt his own eyes water up, he couldn’t believe she had actually said yes. He silently thanked whatever god there was for gracing him with her cheerful existence in his life, and said a prayer that she would never leave, silently promising himself that he would never make her unhappy again. For the first time in his life, he prayed that no one ever discovered a way for him to return to his home planet; he was finally home.
“Well, what do we do now, it’s definitely too late to call everyone in the world and tell them, and I don’t really feel like watching a movie...and I’m just way too excited to sleep,” There was a definite teasing sound in Maria’s voice as she said this, and she leaned over him pursing her big, pouty lips.
“I can think of only one thing to do tonight...” With that, Michael sat up and turned off the light, leaning back over her, and kissing her fully on the lips.
Maria woke up and looked over to see a peacefully sleeping Michael. She knew him well, and she knew that a herd of elephants on the bed wouldn’t wake him up, so she leaned over and turned on the bedside lamp, to get a better look at his face. It was the picture of serenity. He looked like an angel, a slight smile on his lips, and an aura of joy and love surrounding him. She could not believe that this was the same person that was always so afraid of love and being committed. She thought to herself *This has been the best day of my life* As she thought back through the day, the song popped into her head, she immediately grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil, writing down lyrics as she made them up, humming a tune along with them.
In his sleep, Michael was dreaming of a beautiful golden haired temptress singing to him:
“My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why I got out of bed at all
Maria woke up in the cold bath water, the book of songs laying next to her on the bathroom floor and the stains from tears down her face, her eyes red and puffy. She pulled herself out of the tub, went to her closet and opened a box in the very back, with the beautiful ring in it. She put it on her finger, hugged her hand to her heart, sat at her nearby desk, and cried again.
|Index | Part 2
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours