FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Trying to Lie"
Part 1
by Isis
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Maria’s take on the situations presented in “Believing the Lie.” This is the second story in a trilogy.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This story has been a long time coming. Keep in mind the basis for this story was thought up right after Heatwave, so disregard any events in the series after that point in time. I highly recommend you read “Believing the Lie” before you read this, but it’s not necessary to understand it. This is not a happy-go-lucky foofy fic. It’s not meant to make everyone cheery and resolve every “wrong” that arises by the end. There are plenty of wonderful stories out there that do that well and I saw no reason to mirror them. That said, enjoy and send me lots of feedback.
She smirks at him devilishly and slides into the booth opposite him in a wordless show of smugness. She takes the glittery antennae off her head and leans forward, resting her chin on the heel of her right palm and she just stares at him.

He mumbles an apology and she smiles wider as she asks exactly what it is he’s sorry for.

The look on his face silently curses her for making him say the words. He tells her he’s sorry for saying all the stupid stuff he said at the soap factory. He tells her he doesn’t want to break things off.

She agrees that “intense” could be fun, it certainly was the night before, but asks him why she should take him back.

He blows up at this saying that even though she’s been hanging around some dumb jock lately, he knows they still want each other. He says they were good together and asks her if she realizes this.

She says of course and asks him how long it took him to figure this out.

He mumbles something about not wanting to need anybody.

She laughs lightly and catches his eye. She never said anything about needing each other, she says.

She says she wants him, but he could leave at any time and her life would go on relatively untouched, except for a few less trips to the eraser room.

She lies when she looks at him and promises him that she’ll never need him.

She reaches for him, across the bed, but finds nothing but emptiness. It takes her only a moment to remember that he’s gone.

He’d told her he loved her before he left last week and she finds some consolation in that now. Though they were together for years, he’d never told her he loved her until that night. That was how she had known he was leaving. He’d never actually been able to say the words until that night and he really didn’t have to. She didn’t need to hear it to know it was true. She knew him well enough to see it written in his face. She misses him more than she’d like to admit. Liz cries hours on end. Alex mopes around a lot. She tries to be the strong one, the one everyone else turns to for support. But she’s not the pillar of strength she pretends to be and in truth her act isn’t very convincing. She realizes that her life has been inexorably intertwined with his for so long that she now has no idea how to function without him near her. And she’s getting tired of trying to figure out how to. She’s tired of trying to figure out how to live without yelling at him to brush his teeth before trying to kiss her. She, after all, doesn’t really like Tabasco sauce. She’s tired of coming home to find only her dog to welcome her back. She’s tired of waking up alone, in a cold sweat, after a dream about the long nights they spent painting and ending up with more paint on themselves than the canvases. She’s tired of pretending she doesn’t need him. Everyone knows it’s a lie anyhow.

She tells Liz, who is absolutely elated, that she’s happy for her and she tries so hard to sound like she means it.

Liz’s pregnancy surprised everyone and, Maria realizes, will make all of their lives infinitely more complex. After all, none of them have any idea how to raise a half-alien, especially if he has any powers.

Maria tries to be happy for her, she really does.

She wants to be the friend Liz needs, the one Liz can tell everything to and know she’ll be excited and happy for her.

It doesn’t take long for her to realize she’ll have to fake the bulk of her enthusiasm to mask her envy.

Liz, it seems, will have a piece of her lover with her forever. A child to see a part of him reflected in.

She wonders if he will look at all like his father and she bitterly hopes not for one hateful, jealous moment.

She desperately misses her Michael and wants so badly to see his face or hear his voice just one more time.

She wants to be the one who’s pregnant. That, she thinks, might at least lessen some of the hollow, empty loneliness she feels.

But she isn’t. Liz is. It’s just something she has to accept.

She’ll never see him again and, somehow, she’ll have to find a way to live a happy, full life without him.

It won’t be that hard, really. She has a good job and a nice apartment. She’ll be fine… really.

She looks over a Liz, rubbing her large stomach and she wishes she were just a little more gullible.

Lies are a funny thing, she realizes. They can hurt you, soothe you, destroy you or shelter you. You can hide them or you can hide behind them. But no matter what, it always ends the same way, she thinks as she half-heartedly attempts to cover up her hollowed cheeks with foundation. Either way the truth breaks free and ruins it all.

The make-up can’t cover how shallow her cheekbones have gotten. She’s lost a lot of weight over the past few years.

She gave up grasping at the idea that she didn’t need him quite some time ago. The lie became so evident it was pitiful.

Other lies came to light over time as well, as lies have a way of doing. For a while she tried to convince herself that she, like Liz, was pregnant. After all it might take a while to show because, of course, alien physiology is quite different. It did eventually become quite obvious that she was wrong. Another lie crumbled. She had stared at the sky every night for years, utterly convinced he would come back to her that night. Every night she did this and the lies wore away at her. The deaths of those lies were even more painful than the struggle to believe them. One by one, the lies stripped her bare and exposed the raw, excruciating truth. He’s never coming back to her. She knows it. Somewhere, deep inside, they all know it. Liz cloaks herself in the lies and chooses to be blind to anything beyond them. Alex clings to the hope that somehow the lies are true. She just watches as the lies cruelly desert her and leave her alone with the brutal truth. She starts to smooth concealer under her dark-rimmed eyes before realizing no amount of make-up will ever cover up the scars she carries with her every day. She splashes her face with warm water and scrubs it dry with a coarse towel. She realizes her face is raw and it’s lost it luster over the years, but at least it’s honest now and she doesn’t have to try so hard.

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