FanFic - Michael/Maria
"These Broken Wings "
Part 1
by Emily
Disclaimer: Yes, a new long rant for you to read! (happy radish dance ensues) I got bored with the other one. So, hmm... Let's see. (steps up to the podium and taps lightly on the microphone) Is this thing on? Okay. In case you haven't figured it out, I don't own anything Roswellian. (sniffles) But hey, Mr. Katims, if you read this and you want to give a slightly offbeat 21 year old a job working on your show, I'm your girl! Well, it was worth a shot, huh? (smile) Please don't sue me. I just like writing Roswell stories 'cause the characters are cool and I love them. You should all be flattered. Really. (nods convincingly and then wanders offstage)
Summary: Maria's 8th grade crush on Doug Sohn isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
Authors Note: This story was dreamt up after wondering why exactly Doug Sohn was such an amateur. And why Michael was the real thing, as was said by Maria in 'The Balance'.
"Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly...
All your life,
You were only waiting for this moment to be free."

--"Blackbird", The Beatles, 1968.


Maria DeLuca shyly smiled at Doug Sohn. He was in a whole bunch of her 8th grade classes and he was a pretty cute guy too. He had light brown hair and nice tanned skin and big blue eyes and a wide, easy smile. At least she could admit that she thought guys were cute now. Even her best friend Liz Parker had a crush on Kyle Valenti.

Maria didn't really understand that herself. Kyle had been such a jerk when they were in elementary school. Though he had mellowed out a little bit now that they were in middle school. He was on a bunch of athletic teams now. Basketball, football, wrestling. Maybe it helped him to work off his frustrations or something, she didn't know.

Then Doug actually smiled back at her. She couldn't believe it! She was tempted to bring out her cedar oil vial and take a long sniff but she didn't want him to think she was a total spaz so... She quickly canned that idea.

They'd never really talked before, even though they had exchanged a lot of looks. He was pretty new to school. He had just moved here at the beginning of the year. From Texas. He had the cutest accent too.

Suddenly, U.S. History class wasn't quite so boring anymore. Maria opened to a fresh sheet of paper in her notebook and started scribbling out a note to Liz about Doug's smile. She'd give it to her next period in Pre-Algebra.

It took her about two pages to tell about that one tiny thing. She just had an eye for detail. And for stretching it to the maximum. She grinned excitedly, not caring if Doug was watching or not. Maybe she'd actually get a boyfriend this year. It was about time too.


Maria ran frantically to her locker to drop off her History book. Changing classes was a major pain in the butt. No homework tonight for History, thank God. Score one for Miss Donahue. The question was, would it ever happen again? Hmm... Doubtful.

To top it all off, her locker wouldn't open. If Liz was here, she'd be laughing and blaming it on Maria's notoriously messy locker. "Oh, come on!" she exclaimed, moaning. "Don't get stuck on me today!"

A hand shot out of nowhere and thumped on her locker. It slowly creaked open, and miraculously, no papers came tumbling out in a heap. She turned, a grateful smile on her face, and stared directly into the eyes of... Doug Sohn.

Her heart skipped a beat as she nervously tucked a curl behind her ears. "Thank you so much!" she gushed, smiling blindingly and really turning on the infamous DeLuca charm.

He grinned. "Not a problem at all," he answered.

Omigosh. She was going to have to can her letter to Liz, because Doug Sohn had actually spoken to her. Had... helped her. Came to her rescue. Umm, okay, she was going to have to start talking now. "So... Um, where are you going next?"

He startled. "Oh! Uhh, English," he finally answered.

Just then, Michael Guerin walked by and pulled her hair, smirking in that annoying way he had. Maria narrowed her eyes at him, and then he was gone, walking away from her. God, he still acted like they were kids. She groaned inwardly.

Then she tossed her curls back, considering. She looked from Michael's tall, lanky, and ungroomed exterior to Doug's smooth and clean good looks. She glanced at Michael again, bobbing off down the hall. Probably going to hide in the bathroom again or something. His clothes looked like they came from the Salvation Army or some other thrift store. She wrinkled her nose in distaste and returned her attentions to Doug, who was dressed in a nice button-down denim shirt and black designer jeans.

She blinked her eyes rapidly, trying to ignore the prickling of repressed tears. Feelings of melancholy always enveloped her whenever Michael was around. Even though they hadn't been in a class together since fifth grade, she still... No. She wasn't going to even go there. Michael was a just a stupid jerk, and it had been a long time ago anyway.

"Oh," she finally said as she suddenly remembered the thread of the conversation she had been having with Doug. "I have Pre-Algebra next."

"Yeah? Which room?"

"136," Maria answered quietly, still a little shaken up. She tried to hide it with a smile. Yeah, pull the ditzy bubbly laughing Maria routine to avoid coming completely unglued. The same old route she always took.

"Really? I have class in 131. I can walk you partway," Doug said hopefully.

Maria stared at him for a minute. He really was a nice boy. Gorgeous too. And she liked him. And she did sort of feel a little spark when she was around him. Maybe. "I guess that would be okay," she replied, trying to keep her voice even.

"Cool!" Doug grinned, but then tried desperately to save face by playing it cool again. "Uhh... I mean, yeah, sure. Let's go."

She shot one more glance at Michael's now very distant figure. Some danced to remember, some danced to forget. And right now, she wanted to forget.

"Lead away," she answered at last, determined.

She and Doug walked off in the opposite direction. Their timing was off by just enough so that Maria didn't see how Michael turned back and stared regretfully at her. Then he slowly pushed open the door to the Boy's Room and disappeared.


Maria had fully recovered and was now back in full Maria mode as she chattered on and on to Liz about how Doug Sohn had actually walked her to class. And he really had walked her all the way, before turning around and practically running back down to his own class.

Liz just smiled patiently at Maria. She knew that there was much more to her best friend than the laughing, happy, pixie child face she carefully wore when she was out in the world. She just wished that more people could see who Maria really was underneath that.

There was a strange depth to Maria. One she wasn't even sure that she quite understood. There was an inner sadness to her. Gramma Claudia told her once that she thought Maria was an old soul. Somewhere inside her was something just waiting to be brought out and unchained. Liz couldn't wait till it happened for her. Kind, compassionate Maria would change somebody's life someday. Her hidden light would banish any thoughts of darkness. And maybe that lucky boy would be Doug Sohn.

"So, what do you think, Lizzie?" Maria was saying when Liz pulled herself out of her thoughts. She grinned excitedly. Eyes wide, face flushed.

"I think... I think Doug doesn't quite know what he's gotten himself into," Liz answered with a laugh as she took out her Pre-Algebra homework.

"Well, I think he's about to get a little taste of it, don't you?" Maria shot back, grinning from ear to ear.

Liz just shook her head briefly. "Get out your homework, Maria," she said, tenderly looking at her best friend and smiling.

"Oh! Right!" Maria began rapidly digging through her bag. "If I left it in my locker after all that, I think I'm going to have myself executed or something."


Michael came awake again, in the middle of the night, a wordless grimace of fear standing out on his frightened face . He hadn't had a nightmare in months, but this one had definitely made up for all the missed terror. He gasped and shook, tears silently rolling down his face. He had learned long ago not to cry aloud when he had one of his nightmares. Hank didn't hurt him a lot anymore, but sometimes he would. Just because he could. And because he was still bigger.

He never remembered his good dreams. He didn't even know if he had any good dreams. But he vividly remembered every frame of every nightmare he had ever had. Dreams of smoke, and fire, and confusion. Dreams where the ship crashed into the desert. Dreams where his parents or whoever abandoned them. And sometimes, dreams of Hank. Hank telling him he was a worthless piece of shit. Hank screaming at him, thousands of times, over and over. Hank... hurting him.

But the worst dreams were the ones of a crying girl with long blonde pullable curls. They were separated from each other. Wandering apart as the days turned into months, and the months turned into years. She still kept calling out to him, and he could hear her sobbing. But he ignored her. He had to ignore her, even though every tear that fell from her eyes pierced through to his very soul. If visitors like him even had a soul. Because of a promise he had made. And because Hank was right. He was worthless. Nobody could ever love him.

"Except for her," he whispered to himself before succumbing to the darkness of his dreams again.


Maria sat by her bedroom window, an old afghan wrapped around her. It was after midnight, and her mom still hadn't come home from her date. But she'd wait up anyway, even though she'd be falling asleep in her classes again tomorrow. She had to make sure that her mom was okay. Make sure she hadn't been drinking too much again or anything like that.

Sometimes she was afraid that her mom would never come back from one of her dates. She was scared that her mom would leave her too. Especially when she was out so late. And then she really would be alone.

It was like her mom was running. She knew how her mom looked at her sometimes. She wasn't blind. She knew that, looking at her, her mom couldn't help but think of her dad. A man she had never met. A man she didn't even have a single memory of.

She knew her mom loved her. In her heart, she knew that she did. And they were tight. More like friends instead of mother and daughter. Her mom was always saying that they didn't need a man to survive. But she thought that maybe her mom lied. It seemed like her mom did need a man. It just wasn't always the same man. It was a whole string of different ones. So many that she couldn't even keep track of them all anymore.

When she was really little, she had tried to remember them all. She had let herself get close to a couple of her mom's boyfriends. She thought maybe one of them could be her new dad. How she had cried every time her mom sat her down to explain to her that Bob or Dan or Tom wouldn't be coming over anymore. Now she didn't even bother to learn anything about any of her mom's dates. When a date came over to pick her mom up, she'd hide up in her room until she heard them leave.

An angry, bitter tear coursed down her cheek as she looked out the window. Waiting for any signs of life out there. The whole world slept on peacefully, at least as far as she could tell. Nobody knew about the crying, wandering little girl hidden inside of the laughing, vivacious young woman.

She dared to look at the moon hung in the sky outside her window tonight. The moon always reminded her of somebody. Somebody who had walked beside her underneath a moon just like that one on a clear desert night. Somebody with dark soulful eyes, soft spiky hair, and, that night, a new, unguarded look about him that she had never quite seen in him before. Something that she had brought out, for a little while anyway.

When she looked at the moon, a feeling of childish hope always gripped her. Maybe they'd find each other again someday. Maybe they'd meet each other under the moonlight again. Maybe they wouldn't always be lost to each other. Maybe her fragmentary, broken memories of that night would finally come back. Maybe she would get to feel that vibrant spark she got just from being with him again.


Maria yawned as she got out her History book. She was pretty much on auto-pilot today. Her mom hadn't gotten home till almost 1 o'clock in the morning. She was a little tipsy, but not too bad.

But she was in one of her moods. Thinking about her dad again. So she had curled up on the couch, and Maria had covered her up, stroking her hair and soothing her until she finally fell asleep. And then Maria had crawled back upstairs to her own room, where she had fallen into an exhausted sleep, full of tangled dreams about lost little boys who were just waiting to be found again.

"Hey, Maria," a male voice said at her elbow, startling her a little.

She turned to see who it was, and found herself looking into Doug's gorgeous blue eyes. "Doug. Hi!" she beamed at him, stunning him with her slightly daffy Maria smile. "Getting ready to jump into the exciting world of History?"

"Sure thing," Doug answered with a smile of his own. "Got anybody to walk you there yet?"

"Why? Are you offering?"

"Yeah, I guess I kinda am."

"Well, then I guess I kinda will," she replied with a laugh as they took off down the hall together.

But, as they walked, Maria couldn't help but think that walking beside Doug Sohn down the halls of the middle school wasn't nearly as thrilling as walking in the moonlight beside an 11 year old Michael Guerin had been.


Maria giggled and whispered with Nora Wells, who was in her History class. Miss Donahue wasn't in class yet. She wanted to make herself appear mysterious, in case Doug was watching.

Then Nora said, "I'm having a party at my house on Saturday. You can come if you want."

Maria raised an eyebrow. Sweet, shy little Nora, having a party? She was just about to reply, when Maggie Sherman spoke up from beside Maria. Maggie had grown even snottier since elementary school, which Maria hadn't quite believed was possible.

"A party?" Maggie snorted. "Yeah, and it'll probably be totally lame."

Maria felt herself getting angry. No. She must control herself. Count to ten or something. She wasn't a kid anymore. She couldn't just start pounding people whenever somebody hurt one of her friends. Besides, what would Doug think?

She couldn't help it though. Maggie was a total snob. And Maria hated it when people got picked on. Especially defenseless people like Nora. She was so nice, and she just didn't deserve to have Maggie making fun of her.

So she stood up menacingly, the old flash in her eyes. "It's gonna be a cool party!" she said defiantly to Maggie. "And if you don't watch yourself, Nora's not gonna invite you! And you'll be all upset because you weren't invited to the coolest party ever."

Maggie tittered and rolled her eyes comically. But she did look a little scared. She still remembered what a fierce little tiger Maria DeLuca had been back in elementary school. But all she said in response was, "Oh, please."

"It is gonna be a cool party! Right, Nora?" She looked over at her friend for support. She was clutching her pen so hard that her knuckles were turning white. And she looked like she was trying really hard not to cry.

Maria's heart swelled as she reached down and hugged Nora tight, crooning to her softly and making sure she was okay. Then she looked up at Maggie again, enraged. "Now look what you did," she roared.

"Oh, forgive me," Maggie said sarcastically. Her eyes glinted evilly as a malicious grin spread across her face. "So, if it's gonna be such a 'cool party', maybe I'll just stop by with my friends. Show you what a real party's like."

"Fine," Maria shot back, not bothering to consider what Maggie meant by 'a real party.' "I'll see you there. Right, Nora?"

Nora gulped and finally nodded before putting her head down on the desk. Her shoulders shook. Maria went back to comforting her, snuggling up against her and brushing her hair gently from her forehead as she glared icily at Maggie.

"Fine," Maggie returned with a haughty sniff as she began furiously whispering with Pam Troy.

The entire class murmured together about what had just happened. But Doug only sat there silently, watching Maria with a shocked look on his face.


Kyle and Doug sneered over at Alex, eying him critically. He was wearing another one of those stupid button-down shirts again. And he was actually carrying a chess board in one hand. "Hey, get a load of Whitman, huh?" Kyle scoffed.

"At least he's not carrying that stupid guitar he usually drags around. What a wannabe," Doug answered.

Then he and Kyle broke down into raucous laughter. Alex Whitman was such a geek, Doug thought to himself. Who in the world would ever want to hang out with him?

Then his thoughts turned to Maria DeLuca, and the party that Nora was having. A real party, that chick Maggie had said. That was exactly what he needed. He had wanted Maria since the moment he had laid eyes on her. She was ditzy, she'd probably be really easy. And he knew she had a crush on him. All he had to do was turn on the charm a little, pull his little shy, sweet act, and she was his.

But he was surprised that Maria had stuck up for that quiet little mouse Nora. Why had she done that? Maggie was only one of the most popular girls in school. And she'd been tough, too. She had sort of scared him, actually. Maybe she wasn't such an airhead after all.

He puzzled to himself over it for a while as he watched Kyle drooling over Liz. He'd never get that way with a girl. Not really anyway. Just to get what he wanted.


Michael looked around nervously as he walked down the empty hallway, listening intently for approaching footsteps. He'd been held after school, again. Because he had skipped one too many classes, again. He'd discovered in middle school that bathrooms and storage closets were the perfect places to hide. But he had also discovered that they were a lot tougher on you when you broke the rules.

Not that he really cared about the rules. It never really bugged him when he got in trouble. No one cared anyway. Nobody cared what he did. School was just some big stupid joke. They just noticed when he did something wrong. And he did lots of things wrong.

He arrived at her locker and stared at it. Little happy face stickers and those crazy neon psychadelic flower power stickers stuck all over it. How very Maria that was. He grinned in spite of himself as he waved his hand over her locker, thinking of her.

Her locker door swung open. Books and papers crashed all over the floor in an avalanche and he groaned as he looked around again, hoping nobody would hear the noise and come to investigate. Stupid cheesehead. She couldn't even keep her locker neat like a normal person.

He picked up all her papers and put them in an organized pile for her. And then he carefully stacked her books too, storing them back in her locker.

He shrugged his backpack off and brought out the beautiful wild rose that he had cut 4th period just to find . He had walked all the way back to the trailer park just to cut off one of those dusky pink wild roses. Because they reminded him of something for some reason. Something that had happened with her that night in the desert.

He glared darkly down at the rose. It was wrapped up in a wet paper towel to keep it from dying. That stupid rose had gotten him into so much trouble. He'd been caught sneaking back into school, and they had nailed him.

He tossed the rose into her locker and slammed the door. And then he slumped up against her locker for a while, afraid. Because, somehow, it was worth going out and getting that rose for her. Even if he did have to stay after school every day this week. And that scared the hell out of him.

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