FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Once You've Loved Somebody"
Part 1
by Liz M.
Disclaimer: I own no one Roswell, nor do I own the Dixie Chicks' "Once You've Loved Somebody."
Summary: Takes place between EOTW and Harvest. Maria's miserable after catching Michael with Courtney.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
It was over. Really over, Maria De Luca thought to herself as she stared down into the water in the toilet bowl. *Madame Vivian really didn’t know what she was talking about this time. 48 hours? Not even close,* she thought bitterly to herself. *Try 48 seconds before Michael fell for bottle job’s advances and practically fell into bed with her.* Maria gripped the sides of the toilet, waiting for the familiar heaves in her stomach to bring up the contents of her stomach, but when nothing happened after a moment she realized that there was nothing left in her stomach to throw up. She had been crying since the moment she had left The Crash Down that day and had been alternating between tears and being sick since she had gotten home.

She had tried to force the mental images of the scene she had walked in on the night before out of her head the entire drive home. She had let herself into her house and, relieved that her mother was not home, had dumped her bag on the couch and headed for the bathroom to wash her face. She splashed water on her face and reached for the white hand towel by the sink. She paused with the towel at her face as an image of Courtney wearing only a towel suddenly flashed into her mind. She looked up into the mirror and saw the shower reflected. Courtney, Michael, shower. And then her imagination had begun to torture her, flooding her mind with images of Courtney and Michael together, without the towel, in the shower, on the floor, in her bed.

“Oh, God!” Maria lurched forward, falling to her knees in front of the toilet, and quickly emptied the contents of her stomach into the bowl. She had begun crying again then and was still doing so an hour later when the doorbell rang.

“Oh, go away,” Maria groaned. But the doorbell rang again and again and finally she hoisted herself to her feet, splashed cold water on her face, and headed for the front door. Isabel and a worried looking Alex stood on her front step.

“How are you doing?” Alex asked as he and Isabel entered the house. Maria groaned silently. She really didn’t want company right now, she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to keep up a brave front for long, if at all.

“I’m fine, Alex,” Maria said as Alex started walking towards her kitchen. “What are you doing here?”

“Isabel and I wanted you to come out with us,” he told her. “We were gonna go to this party at Justin Landon’s house and thought you might want to come.” He opened her refrigerator and pulled out a can of Pepsi, awkwardly opening the can with his left hand.

“Alex, why are you doing that left handed?” Maria asked as she watched him. “Did something happen to your hand?”

“What? Oh, no, I just banged it earlier. It’s just a little sore,” he lied, resisting the urge to rest the cold Pepsi can against it.

“Maria, come with us, please,” Isabel said, eyeing her friend worriedly. Alex had told her what Michael had done to Maria, and even though he had sworn her to secrecy, she was dying to get Michael alone and give him a piece of her mind for the pain he had caused Maria. “It’ll be fun. Please come,” she said in a wheedling tone. “Jeremy Pearce is going to be there and he specifically asked me to bring you with me.”

And for a moment, Maria actually considered it.

“I should go out tonight
Get on with my life
Break these chains of solitude.
With a little luck and a little help
I might even find myself
In the arms of someone new.”

She should. She should go out with her friends, friends that would never hurt her and who cared about her. The three of them could have fun together. And Jeremy had asked about her. She had had a crush on Jeremy for all of freshman year. And now he wanted her to come to the party. She *should* go. She would have fun with Alex and Isabel and Jeremy.

“‘Cause once you’ve loved somebody
It ain’t that easy to do
Once you’ve loved somebody
Like I love you.”

But then an image of Michael and Courtney flashed in her head and Maria had to bite the inside of her cheek hard to keep from crying. The pain the image was causing was so great Maria didn’t even notice that the inside of her cheek had begun to bleed. No, it was too soon. It hurt too much. She wasn’t ready to face all those people. All those happy, laughing, joking, making out people. No, she couldn’t do it. It didn’t matter who wanted her to come to this party, she couldn’t even imagine wanting to leave the safety of her house in the near future.

“Look what you’ve gone and done
Ruined everything for anyone
Who tries to steal this heart away
I can’t get you off of my mind
Try to tell myself a million times
A little time is all it takes.”

“No, thanks guys,” Maria said, trying to force a smile. It didn’t quite reach her face. “I’m really tired. I, um, just want to go to bed right now. But thanks for the invite.”

“Maria,” Alex began.

Isabel put her hand on his arm to stop him. She knew that Maria was very close to losing control of her emotions and that she didn’t want an audience when that happened. “Okay,” Isabel said in an ultra casual tone. “Get some sleep. We’ll see you tomorrow.”

Maria smiled gratefully at Isabel. She knew they both understood she was hurting and they just wanted to help her, but she really just wanted to be alone right now. “I’ll see you guys later,” she said, following them to the front door. “Goodnight,” she called after them before closing the door and double locking it. She leaned heavily against the door. Alone at last. And bed was starting to sound like a really good idea.

She trudged into her room, intent upon just falling asleep and forgetting all about certain brooding Czechoslovakians and bottle blonde waitresses. Her plan was immediately ruined, however, when she went to her dresser to put her rings and bracelets into her jewelry box and came face to face with a photograph of herself and Michael in a heart shaped frame. It had been taken right before the whole “destiny” thing had started and in the picture Michael and Maria were smiling and holding onto each other like they’d never let go. “Guess never always comes a lot sooner than you think,” Maria said sadly, turning the picture around so it faced the wall.

“Once you’ve loved somebody
It ain’t that easy to do
Once you’ve loved somebody
Like I love you.”

She still didn’t know why he had done it. Or how he could do something like that to her. Except for Alex, Michael was the first guy she had let into her life, into her heart, since her father had left her and her mother. But in the end he had left her, too. It seemed to be a pattern with her. “I tried so hard, but I guess I just wasn’t enough for him,” she said softly to herself as she sat down heavily on her bed.

“I gave you everything I had to give
I don’t know if I can go that far again.”

And Courtney was? If that was the case then Maria herself must have been too much for him! “That’s right,” she said to herself, jumping to her feet. “I’m too good for that alien freak! I don’t need him messing up my life anymore,” she said determinedly, walking over to her dresser again to get her pajamas. She yanked her camisole and pajama pants out of the drawer. “I. Don’t. Need. Him,” she repeated. Then she slammed the drawer shut for emphasis.

And watched as a second later the picture frame hit the floor, shattering the glass in the front of the frame. Maria dropped into a crouch beside the ruined frame, pulling the picture from among the shards of glass on her floor. The picture itself was unharmed, but the heart shaped frame had split in two.

“‘Cause once you’ve loved somebody
It ain’t that easy to do
Once you’ve loved somebody
Like I love you.”

“My heart,” she moaned. Liz had given her the frame on her last birthday, telling her with a wink that this was a frame made for a special picture. And it had been. But now it was broken, like the happy couple in the “special” picture that it had displayed. It was broken. And once again, she thought to herself, the blame could be traced back to Michael. “Damn you, Michael Guerin,” she whispered. She sank down so that her back was leaning against her bed, tears falling from her eyes once more as she looked down at the pieces of her heart in her hands. “You broke it.”

“Once you’ve loved somebody
It ain’t that easy to do
Once you’ve loved somebody
Like I love you.”


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