|"Homework and Dance Lessons "
Disclaimer: The usual. The characters and Roswell don’t belong to me, but
to WB, etc. I’m only borrowing them for a while!
Summary: After the brief truce they come to in Sexual Healing, our favorite couple reach a level of semi-comfort in their relationship. (Sigh, if M&M ever become completely comfortable with their lives and themselves, they wouldn’t be M&M!)
Authors Note: Now that Crazy is out, I thought I'd better hurry up and send the final parts of this story in! Thanks to everyone who sent feedback on the early parts of this fic - you gave me great encouragement. One acknowledgement needs to be made here: some of the interaction between M&M here is owed to the characterisation in the fanfic series, Roswell Elementary (check it out, it's great! http://www.crosswinds.net/~raddish/index.html). While my story is not at all dependent on the stories there, they've definitely influenced the characters as I see them now.
|“Hi guys,” The three looked up in surprise. Michael blinked in response to the quick chaste kiss she planted on his lips. Just a peck and she pulled away. It was the familiarity of the act in front of his friends that surprised him, like this was another day in the life of Maria and Michael, and not that they’d just shared one of the most intense experiences of their lives only hours ago. Despite his surprise, Michael couldn’t keep himself from blurting out in mischief, “’Morning, honey. Slept well?”
Isabel wasn’t sure enough of this situation to react as she had at the nookie motel. Michael’s voice had a different quality in it this time. Was it actually - she’d never used this word with Michael before - affection? Maria wasn’t hitting him this time, or the roof, as she had the last time they were caught in a similar situation. She just smiled at him indulgently and mussed his already-tousled hair.
“Want some breakfast? I think we can manage some eggs and toast,” Maria offered, and went into the kitchen to confirm this. “Michael,” she called from there, “didn’t you even offer them any juice?”
Eggs and toast? Juice? In Michael’s kitchen? Isabel couldn’t believe it. The first time they’d visited, his refrigerator smelled like something had died in there. Then she was impressed. That Maria-girl had done something to Michael I-hate-the-world-and-I-don’t-care-if-it-hates-me Guerin. The Michael Isabel knew ate chocolate-chip cookies dunked in Tabasco sauce in the mornings and glared at anyone who dared to pass a disapproving remark.
Maria came out of the kitchen with a tray laden with four glasses of orange juice and a small bottle of Tabasco sauce. It drove home to Isabel how much a part of each other’s lives they had all become. Who else would offer Tabasco sauce with orange juice without so much as a thought? Max, polite as always, declined the breakfast invitation and reminded everyone that it was time for lunch and that maybe they could have it at the Crashdown. Everyone knew it wasn’t the quality of the cuisine that prompted his suggestion. Maria nodded at him, put the tray down and settled comfortably at Michael’s feet, placing a small hand on his knee.
From where he was sitting in the armchair, Michael reached down absently and played with the curls in Maria’s hair, half amused and half intrigued at the effect she was having on the Evans siblings. They hadn’t looked half as bewildered since . . . well, since never. Worried and anxious, yes, such as when Valenti was after them, but bewildered? Never. Max and Isabel Evans had always been quite sure of themselves.
Well, Michael grinned to himself, that’s because they haven’t had to deal with Hurricane De Luca. Life with Maria was never dull. One minute she could be hurling insults at him (which he always returned with relish), and the next minute she could be soft and caring and tender. One minute her eyes would flash with anger at something he said, and the next minute they could be shining with faith and love and trust. Michael could always hold his own against the insults and anger, but the other part, the soft side of this pixie blonde that was willing to trust and love him more than he did himself, had him completely at a loss.
Maria sensed his grin somehow and looked up to return it, a glint of mischief in her eye. Funny, here she was acting so nonchalant, so normal, and her friends were finding it strange. It definitely paid to be a drama queen a lot of the time, if her effort to be calm could so easily unsettle the steady, dependable Max (so perfect for the steady, dependable Liz) and the cool, aloof Isabel (Maria wondered whether Alex had yet penetrated that icy exterior).
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