Fanfic - Michael/Maria
"A Restaurant on Rodeo"
Part 1
by Jackie
Disclaimer: I don't own Michael. I don't own Maria. I don't own Liz. I don't own Roswell. I don't own Los Angeles. I own this fic and the plot. That is all.
Summary: Maria and Liz move from Roswell to LA for a change. Michael and Maria have never met before. They meet through work and eventually a relationship starts.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: R
Maria walked into her new apartment carrying a big box. She walked over to the new couch she just bought and set the box down on the coffee table.

"I can't believe I finally moved", she said.

"I can't believe I actually moved with you", said her best friend, Liz. She looked around the apartment, mentally picking out where things would go and who would get which bedroom.

"I shot the bedroom on the left", said Liz.

"Fine. I don't care." Maria got up and started walking towards her newly claimed bedroom.

"Where are you going?" asked Liz.

"To bed." replied Maria.

"Why? It's only 9:30."

"I have a job interview tomorrow at the new restaurant on Rodeo."

"You're going to waitress again? I thought the whole point of moving away from Roswell was to move away from that old life-style we had?"

"It was. I'm not waitressing."

"Then what are you applying for?"

"The head chef."

"Maria, are you kidding? You can't cook."

"Yes I can. You obviously don't know much about me."

"Last time you made me a Spanish omelet, the thing wound up being some French appetizer."

"That was like five years ago."

"Still happened."

"Well, I've read up on it and I've made a lot of things for John recently. He loved them all." Saying John's name made Maria's stomach turn. It was crazy how much she missed him. She had always wanted to move away from Roswell but never thought that her fiancÚ would wind up calling off the wedding, only to tell her that he knew she'd make a wrong decision like that and that he couldn't be bothered with the wrong girl.

'I should have listened to my mother', thought Maria.

"Yeah, but can you cook well enough to be a head Chef? I mean that was never really in your future job plans before", said Liz.

"I definitely can. And besides, this is only temporary. Once I make enough money I'm opening my own record company like I've always wanted to."

"Maria, you can't become a head chef at an incredibly fancy restaurant in Los Angeles only to quit once things start to work out for you. People are going to be counting on you."

"Do you know how many people are lined up for this job, Liz? If I quit they're going to wind up getting a new Chef within days."

"Well then what makes you think you're going to get it?"

"The guy who's giving the interviews is a divorcee around our age. I can so win him over." Liz laughed. She had to admit that Maria did have that charm. She always won men over and got what she wanted. Not that she was selfish or conceited; she just knew what she wanted and how to get it.

"True," said Liz.

"So I'm going to bed. I have to get up early tomorrow," said Maria.

"Sure you don't want to come clubbing with me? First night in LA, nice weather, hot guys..."

"I think I'll pass."

"Suit yourself. I'm going." Liz got up and went into her bedroom to get changed. Maria rolled her eyes and smiled at her friend. She loved how Liz was lately. So open and in charge. First the break-up with John, now the move, Maria definitely needed Liz here for her support. She walked into her incredibly messy bedroom and moved all the boxes and knick-knacks off her bed. After setting the clock's time and making sure the alarm was set to wake her up at 5:30, she lay down and quickly fell asleep.

**********

Maria woke up to the annoying sound of talk radio on her alarm clock. She reached onto her nightstand and found her way to the Snooze button. After getting about fifteen minutes of extra sleep she finally sat up and rubbed her eyes. Looking at the clock she noticed it was 5:45 and decided to finally get up and take a shower.

"I'm a...slaveeeeeee for you. I cannot hold it. I cannot control it. I'm a...slaveeeeeee for you. I can't deny it. I'm not trying to hide it," sang Maria. She hadn't had a shower this good in years.

'Must be the LA water', she thought to herself. She turned off the water and stepped out of the shower. After brushing her teeth and blow-drying her hair she went back into her room. She walked over to the side of her dresser and picked up the Forever 21 bag from the night before. She decided to buy an incredibly sexy, but cute outfit for her interview. The tight white top and black flared pants were definitely the tickets Maria needed for snagging this job. Next was make-up.

'I want it to be Hey! Look at me! I'm sexy and perfect for the job! But not Hey! Look at me! I'm sexy and a whore!' thought Maria.

"Hmm.," she peered over her make-up case, deciding which products to use. She decided to go with the dark brown Mac eyeshadow she just bought and Liz's lighter brown Stila lipgloss. She never really liked brown lipglosses of any sort but this day was different. This day she was going to get noticed and actually paid attention to. Once she was finished with everything, the clothes, the hair, the make-up, she looked into the mirror.

"Perfect," she said to herself. Maria walked out of her room and into the kitchen. By now it was 7:00 and she needed to be there by 7:30 for the interview so she decided to grab a quick breakfast. She chose a granola bar so she wouldn't have to smear her lipgloss while eating. By 7:10 she decided to go wake up Liz and see if she approved or disapproved of her outfit. She walked into her room and over to her bed, shaking her friend.

"Liz, wake up."

"What?" said Liz. She was tired, incredibly cranky, and suffering from the worst headache ever because of her severe hangover from the night before.

"What do you think?" Maria stood up and showed Liz her outfit.

"Good." Liz turned back around and tried to go back to sleep.

"You didn't even look." Liz sighed, knowing she'd be up for the day now and sat up. She rubbed her eyes and took a good look at what Maria was wearing.

"I like it."

"Really?" asked Maria.

"Yes. Really," replied Liz.

"What does it scream?"

"I'm a slut from New Mexico coming to LA to pursue a career in stripping?"

"Oh my God, really!?" asked Maria with a scared tone in her voice. That's all she needed, for her new soon-to-be boss to think she was a slut.

"No. I'm kidding," said Liz with a giggle. "You look fine. Seriously. It's nice"

"Are you being serious now?"

"Yes. Maria, you look fine. Now go before you change like a million times."

Liz knew how Maria was. She'd ask her about twenty times if it looked ok, Liz always replying yes, and still change a few times before finally leaving.

"Ok, ok. I'm going." Maria finally left Liz's room and went out to her car. Now it was 7:20 and she was panicking that she'd be late. Just as she thought, she was. It was 7:35 and she was stuck in traffic somewhere in Westwood.

"I'm so not going to get this job now. First impressions are like so important," she said to herself, after beeping frantically at the guy in front of her.

Another 10 minutes had passed and Maria finally got to the restaurant. She ran inside and asked one of the waitresses where the interviews were being held.

"He's in with the last girl now but I can probably get him to squeeze you in," said the waitress and went to the back to squeeze her in. She sat at the bar waiting for her turn.

"You can go in now," said the same waitress from before. Maria looked at her, confused as to where to go. Luckily she caught on and answered before Maria had to ask. "Just go through the two doors right there and there's a small office off to the right. Just knock and walk in."

"Thanks," Maria said and did as she was told.

**********

He was reading everyone's resumes and deciding who would be right for the job when he heard her knock. He was in no mood to sit here for another twenty minutes interviewing another person but decided to let Maria squeeze in. When she walked in and sat down he was thinking exactly what she wanted him to think. The Hey! Look at me! I'm sexy and perfect for the job! motto. He already had intentions of hiring this one.

"Maria DeLuca," she said, extending her hand.

"Mr. Guerin," was all he said. Maria hated it when people didn't tell her their first names. She always felt like a student back in elementary school, like she was supposed to be scared of the Mr.'s and Mrs.'s of the world. She shook it off and sat down, smiling the entire time.

"Do you have a resume?" he asked.

"Oh. Right." She stuck her hand in her bag and took out the white paper. She handed it to him and watched as he read it.

"So you're from Roswell... believe in aliens?"

"No. I think that's all just a sad excuse for another tourist attraction on the West Coast."

"Oh. Well, that's too bad because I'm an alien."

'Is he trying to flirt with me?' she thought to herself. 'Better go along with it if he is.' She let out a cute little giggle and broadened her smile.

"Well then I guess I better start believing in them."

"Guess you should," he said and continued to read. She continued to watch him read. After a while she started letting her thoughts take over. She decided she didn't want this to be a job that she just got on her looks, like most of the jobs she'd gotten.

'I shouldn't have worn this outfit,' she thought to herself.

"So... your only experience in foods is waitressing?" he asked, looking at her.

"Well, yeah. But I've read up on it and I make incredible Chicken Francais."

"Honey, this isn't a small diner on the outside of town. This is a five star restaurant in the middle of the busiest Drive in Los Angeles. No one cares if you can make Chicken Francais. My question is, can you cook everything else?"

'Ouch,' she thought. She definitely didn't like him anymore.

"Yes. I can cook everything else."

"Well, you'd have to train. You know that, right?"

"Of course I know that."

"I'd have to taste everything," he said with a weird smirk on his face. Maria had no idea what he meant by that but definitely wasn't in any kind of mood to flirt with him.

"I know that," she said, calmly as if she didn't even see his smirk. All she could think of was this was like when you're seven years old and the boy that likes you decides to pick on you and pull your hair instead of being nice to the girl he likes.

'If this is his way of showing emotion, then I'm screwed,' she thought.

"Training is tomorrow at noon. There's one other woman and two men that are training tomorrow and cooking. If you're late like you were today, I'm not even going to consider you. Understood?"

'Understood? Ok, now I definitely feel like I'm in elementary school. I mean who says Understood to a 26-year-old woman?' she thought. She somehow found herself nodding rather than telling this asshole off like she really wanted to.

"Ok. Then I'll see you tomorrow," he said. She didn't say anything else. Instead, she just got up and left. She went back out to her car and drove back home.

*********** "What are you doing?" she asked Liz when she walked into their apartment, who was laying on the couch in her sweatpants and a tank top watching old movies.

"Nothing. How'd your interview go?" she asked.

"I don't know."

"You don't know?"

"Well, I think it went well because he told me to come back tomorrow to train but he was kind of mean to me."

"He was mean to you?"

"Yeah. Like he was flirty at first and then I said I make a good Chicken Francais and he was all snotty about it."

"Did your outfit work? To you know, like win him over?"

"I think so. He did look at me kinda weird and he made a sexual reference to food." That made Liz laugh.

"What did he say?"

"Something about tasting everything." That made Liz laugh some more.

"You are such a Goddess. I don't know how you do that."

"It's all in the chest...," she said with a giggle.

********** The next day Maria did her normal routine. She woke up at a reasonable hour and showered and got dressed. She ate a small breakfast so she wouldn't ruin her make-up and asked Liz how she looked.

By the end of the day she was so exhausted. She'd made about fifteen different dishes from Lobster Tails to Filet Mignon and here she was, waiting for her boss to grade her on her food, like a little girl waiting for her dad to read her report card. Once he got to hers he made a face that she couldn't even explain. All she could think was that he hated it. She immediately started to think of other jobs she could get that would pay decent money.

'Maybe I can work at the Hair Salon with Liz,' she thought to herself.

"You got the job," he said and looked at her. She was still too busy thinking of other jobs to get that she didn't even hear him. The other woman that was applying too nudged her.

"Oh. What?" she said looking back at him.

"I said you got the job. I need you to start by tomorrow."

"Are you serious?" She was so excited. She wanted to call Liz right now and just scream with her on the phone.

"Yeah. Tomorrow at 6." She nodded, smiling like crazy.

"Ok, tomorrow at 6."

********* After about fifteen minutes of just standing there so shocked and happy at the same time, she went in the back to get her things. Just as she was about to leave she heard her name. She turned around to see him holding her wallet. She quickly walked over to him and made an attempt to take it from him but he held it out of her reach.

"How old are you?" he asked. He couldn't remember what he read on the resume and since they were going to be working together, he thought he should have a right to know.

"None of your business," she said and made another attempt to take it. She hated it when men asked women their ages. She thought it was rude and made the woman feel so old, even if the man was

"Fine. I'll just look myself," he said and opened up the wallet. He took out her driver's license and looked at the birthdate.

"Hey!" she said, making yet another attempt to take it. "You can't just go through my wallet like that."

"I'm not. I'm taking out a specific thing and looking at it."

"Without my consent..."

"But I have your consent."

"No you don't."

"26... I thought you were younger," he said, tossing the wallet back at her.

"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked with an angered tone in her voice.

"Nothing."

"And how old are you? Like forty-something?" He was shocked.

"Do I look 40 to you?"

"Yeah actually. You do." "Well, I'm not 40 hun."

"I'm not your hun." He was shocked again. No one ever talked to him like this. Everyone was always either scared of him or scared of losing his or her jobs. He just looked at her.

"I'm leaving," she said and started to walk away. He quickly walked infront of her and blocked her way, making her stop in her tracks.

"I'm 27," he said.

"Oh."

"Here." He held out her driver's license and she took it rather forcefully.

"Thanks," she said with a snotty tone and started to walk away again. This time he let her go, watching her leave. Just as she opened the door he spoke again.

"My name's Michael." He realized he never actually did tell her his first name. She heard him but pretended she didn't and kept walking out to her car. He watched her until she drove away down Rodeo Drive. As he sat back in one of the chairs he sighed.

'This one's going to be a tough one,' he thought to himself. 'But I like the sound of Michael and Maria way too much.'

**********

Maria got home to find Liz in the exact same spot as she was yesterday.

"Don't you work?" she asked.

"Yeah."

"When?" Maria sat down next to her friend.

"During the day. Think I'd work nights and ruin the clubbing fun?"

"True."

"So.. how was work dear?"

"Oh it was quite fabulous," replied Maria with a British accent.

"Did you get the job?"

"Yep." Liz stood up.

"Oh my God! You did? That's great!" She was more excited than Maria was. Maria nodded.

"What's wrong? You don't want it now?" asked Liz and sat back down.

"No. Of course I want it. It's just my boss. I don't want to work with that guy."

"Why not?"

"I don't know. There's something about him. He's just weird and he treats me like I'm a little girl."

"Well, bosses aren't there much anyway. Not like the really big ones anyway."

"Something tells me this man is going to be there all the time."

"Is he at least cute?"

"He's alright. Nothing like Brad Pitt or anything but he's do-able."

"Oh God... I know why you're acting like this."

"What? Acting like what?"

"You've got a crush on him."

"What? Liz, you're so weird."

"You do! Oh my God, I can so tell!"

"Shut up. You don't know what you're talking about."

"My little Maria's got a crush..."

"You sound like you're fifteen."

"What's his name again?"

"Why? So you can sing that stupid sitting in a tree song or something?"

"No." Maria rolled her eyes.

"It's Michael."

"Oh! That sounds so cute! Michael and Maria!"

"Shut up Liz! I don't like him! He's mean and he has a really bad attitude."

"He flirts. You can always tell if a guy is really a softie if he flirts with you."

"That or he's just horny."

"All guy's are horny." Maria rolled her eyes again.

"Liz, just... shut up."

"Fine." She curled back up in her little ball on the couch and continued to watch Sleepless in Seattle. Maria figured this was why Liz was such a hopeless romantic. All these damn chick love stories she watches.

Index | Part 2
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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