FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Cross My Heart"
Part 1
by Mellissa
Disclaimer: I don't own them. Songs are by LFO and Vonda Shepard
Summary: Michael tries to explain his situation to Maria a little more
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This is the first in a series of installments. The next is To Have and Not To Hold
Baby I'm so sorry So sorry

Everybody makes mistakes I told you I was sorry Won't you tell me what to do To make your sad eyes believe Girl no matter what It takes I swear I'll make it better Cuz I'm not so used to wearing My heart out on my sleeve

Cross my heart I swear I'm gonna make this right Please don't leave me standing here I'll make all your darkness disappear Cross my heart This time Girl I'll be loving you forever When I need to say a prayer I call your name On my heart I swear I swear

Do you remember yesterday You promised me tomorrow How we held each other The way you kissed me Don't throw it all away Girl we got so much to lose Can't we just tear out these pages Give me one more chance I'm begging you But baby please don't go

Cross my heart I swear I'm gonna make this right Please don't leave me standing here I'll make all your darkness disappear Cross my heart This time Girl I'll be loving you forever When I need to say a prayer I call your name On my heart I swear I swear

Cross my heart Oh oh Yeah I'm trying to turn this love around You keep the sky from falling down I'm on my knees

Cross my heart I swear I'm gonna make this right Please don't leave me standing here I'll make all your darkness disappear Cross my heart This time Girl I'll be loving you forever When I need to say a prayer I call your name On my heart I swear I swear

I need your touch I need so much (Cross my heart) Wanted you to know I need you next to me

Cross my heart I swear I'm gonna make this right Please don't leave me standing here I'll make all your darkness disappear Cross my heart This time Girl, I'll be loving you forever

-LFO, "Cross My Heart"

***

Since that night at the Rave, when Michael Guerin had told her that she was getting too "intense," Maria De Luca had been running the scene through her brain, thinking of how she might have been able to change his mind. It was driving her crazy, and she knew she had to stop thinking about it. Michael was a cold-hearted... Czechoslovakian. He didnít care about anyone, or anything.

She had almost been able to convince himself of this until he had gotten sick last week. In the cave, after he woke up, that whole "no more running, no matter what." What was that? Who had he been saying that to? She didnít want to let herself hope it was her, but unfortunately, she had. And, as if she didnít feel stupid enough, he had been avoiding her ever since.

***

Michael Guerin found himself crashing at Max's once again. He seemed to always be over there, almost as though he had moved in. It was still early, and Michael passed the time sketching and ignoring Max, who was still mooning over Liz. If he had to listen to one more song about lost love, he was going to punch a hole in something.

"Max, I can't take anymore," Michael said as a Madonna song came on the radio. "She's a human. You're... not from around here. It was never going to work. At least you got out before it got too intense."

Max looked at him. "Michael, I'm in love with her. If that's not intense, you need to check your definition."

"Oh-kay," Michael replied, drawing out the word. Max was starting to scare him. "Well, she wasn't in love with you right?" Max was silent. "Great, Maxwell. You did exactly what we've been warning ourselves against since we found out the truth."

"Why? Why not get intense?" Max asked, suddenly. Michael rolled his eyes.

"Because if people don't keep their distance from us, we're never going to be able to leave with no strings attached," Michael explained, as though he were talking to a child.

"What if we never leave?" Max asked, voicing the one fear that the three had managed to keep silent and forget since they discovered the truth.

"Don't say things like that, Max."

"No, it's time we talked about it. What if we never leave? Are we supposed to live a life of nothing?" Max asked, switching off the radio.

"What if we do, and you are so crazy about Liz you don't want to go?" Michael asked, standing up.

"Would that be a bad thing?"

"Yes! We don't belong here."

"Maybe not. But, what if we're keeping ourselves away from humans, and there is no place out there to call home? What if it was destroyed?" Max asked.

"Don't say that. Home is out there somewhere."

"What if it's not?"

"I'm out of here," Michael suddenly. He left by way of the window, as usual.

Max sighed, and started putting Michael's stuff into his bookbag. He picked up Michael's fallen sketch pad, and blinked at the drawing he had been working on.

***

Isabel was painting her nails when Max knocked at her door.

"Come in," she called. He walked in and sat down. "What's up?" she asked, never taking her eyes off of her toenails. This silver polish matched her new shirt perfectly.

"Have you noticed anything weird about Michael lately?"

"Michael? Weird? The two words are synonymous."

"Isabel, I'm serious," Max replied. Isabel looked up at him.

"Except for the whole cocoon thing? And the Maria thing? Not really. Why?" she asked, curious.

Max held out Michael's sketch pad. Isabel put the nail polish aside, and took the pad from him. She drew in a breath. She flipped through some of the other drawings. "Max... they're all almost the same."

He took it back, and flipped through them. She was right. "What do we do? You think this is part of why he's been so down on the whole Liz and me thing?" he asked.

Isabel rolled her eyes. "Max, not everything is about you and Liz. But, yeah, I think so. This is why he keeps harping on ďstay away from humans.Ē What should we do?" she asked.

"I'd say talk to him, but he'll think we invaded his privacy," Max replied.

"We should talk to Maria. She might know how to deal with it," Isabel suggested.

"But without telling her what Michael's been drawing?"

"Why not? Max, these sketches ... they look so real. She should know Michael's been drawing her," Isabel replied.

"No, she shouldn't," Michael said, from the window. Isabel and Max hadnít even heard him come in.

"Michael, we're sorry. Max was just picking it up, and it fell open," Isabel tried explain.

"What do I care? They're old pictures. Can I have it back?" Michael asked.

"Michael, the whole pad is drawings of her and the dome. They can't be that old," Max spoke up.

"It's none of your business. She doesn't mean anything. I-I just like to draw her," Michael said, feebly.

Isabel stood up, and took the pad from Max. She flipped it to the drawing that looked to be one he had just been working on.

"Michael, it's only half done. That means it's recent. I want to know the truth, or I'll go into your dreams and find out for myself," Isabel threatened.

"What truth do you want? The one where I would do anything to be with her, but because of who I am, it's not possible? Or the one where because of what I am, she's gonna get hurt?" Michael asked suddenly.

For the first time since she could remember, Isabel was speechless. "Um... uh... Either one will do..." she trailed off.

"Michael, it doesn't have to be that way, you know?" Max said. It was more to himself than to Michael. "We don't have to keep our distance from humans. Because, we all know there's a chance that home isn't out there, and we're always going to be here. We might as well be happy if we are."

"No. I can't live life believing that," Michael replied. "There's no way to be with her without hurting her in the end, and I don't want that."

"She thinks you hate her," Isabel said softly. Michael whipped his head around to her. "What?"

"That's what Liz told me. Maria thinks you hate her, and that you don't care at all," Isabel revealed.

"She can't... believe that," Michael whispered.

For the first time in as long as they could remember, some emotion actually showed on his face. Instead of the same stoic expression he was wore, his face now showed hurt. His voice wasn't emotionless, either. It had some evidence of tremor in it.

"She does. I think you need to explain your situation a little more, and with more explanation than you need to be alone," Isabel ordered. "It's still early. She's probably still at the Crashdown."

Without another word, Michael left through the window. Max turned to Isabel, and said, "Liz didnít say anything like that, did she?"

"Of course not. Do you think she'll mind?" Isabel asked. Max grinned, and shook his head. "Max, don't you have a phone call to make?"

***

"Maria, could you close up? I have to go study for tomorrow's geometry test," Liz Parker asked her best friend. Maria looked around the empty restaurant.

"Yeah, no problem. Go ahead," Maria replied.

Liz thanked her, and went upstairs. Maria started to wipe tables, and put away some of the condiments. She heard the door open. "We're closed." She heard footsteps. "I said we're-- Michael, what are you doing here?" Maria asked.

"I needed to talk to about what happened at the rave," Michael replied.

Maria swallowed hard. "Uh, really?" she asked, her heart leaping into her throat.

"I don't think I explained myself well enough."

Maria's eyes went cold. "You explained yourself perfectly. You didnít want to get intense. You wanted to be alone. Did I miss anything?" she asked harshly.

"Yeah. Like it was too late, because it already was intense," Michael replied.

Maria's face lost all color, and she couldn't breathe. "I think I need to sit down," she whispered, sitting at the counter. Michael stayed right at the door. "I'm confused."

"I didnít want to be alone... I needed to be alone. It's just easier that way. You know, don't care about anyone, don't form any attachments, and you won't get hurt. When I leave, I don't want to hurt anyone by doing that, and that's what would happen if I let anything happen between us."

"Michael..."

"I don't want to care about you." The words sounded angry, and he could see the hurt look on her face. "But you don't always get what you want."

Suddenly, Maria's world completely stopped making sense. "I-I... What...I... What?" she stammered.

"I didnít want to care about you, but I have no choice. It's too late to turn back," Michael said.

Maria jumped off the stool, and walked slowly over to him. "Michael, what are you saying?"

"Maria, I care about you, and..." Michael was cut off abruptly when Maria pressed her lips to his.

He wrapped his arms around her, and drew her closer. It was just like every other time. Whenever they kissed, every other thought flew out of his head. He almost became so lost in her that he forgot his purpose. With every ounce of willpower in him, he pulled away from her.

"Michael?" she asked, looking at him curiously.

"Maria, I can't do this," he whispered.

She blinked. "What? But... I thought..." She shook her head in confusion.

"I care about you, but that's the reason it can't be. I don't want to hurt you, but just being who I am could. I'm going to leave one day, and I don't want to go knowing I've hurt you deeply. At least this way, the pain will have either gone away, or dulled."

"Michael, what if I want to take that risk?" Maria asked.

"I don't want you to. Please, I need you to understand. I don't want to hurt you," Michael whispered.

Maria squeezed her eyes shut. She could feel a single tear roll down her cheek. He wiped it away before it reached the edge of her jaw. She gave a small sob, tears starting to roll down her face. He gripped her face in his hands.

"Please don't cry. I can't stand to see you cry," he whispered, his voice trembling.

She opened her eyes. "I'm crying because I get it. I understand it. We can't be together," she whispered. He pressed his forehead to hers. "Can I at least have a goodbye kiss?"

He kissed her. She wished it could go on forever. It was salty kiss, and she thought at first it was because of her tears, but when he pulled way, he was crying too.

"I gotta go," he told her. "Do you promise you don't hate me?"

"Cross my heart," she replied softly.

Then he was gone. Maria wiped her eyes, and turned to the empty restaurant, and laughed bitterly when she heard the song on the radio.

I like the way you wanted me Every night for so long baby I like the way you needed me Every time things got rocky

I was believing in you Am I mistaken do you say, Do you say what you mean I want our love to last forever

(Chorus) But I'd rather you be mean than love and lie I'd rather hear the truth and have to say goodbye I'd rather take a blow at least then I would know But baby don't you break my heart slow

I like the way you'd hold me Every night for so long baby And I like the way you'd say my name In the middle of the night While you were sleeping

I was believing in you Was I mistaken Do you mean, mean what you say When you say our love could last forever

(Chorus) But I'd rather you be mean than love and lie I'd rather hear the truth and have to say goodbye I'd rather take a blow at least then I would know But baby don't you break my heart slow

(Bridge) You would run around and lead me on forever While I wait at home thinking that we're together I wanted our love to last forever

(Chorus) But I'd rather you be mean than love and lie I'd rather hear the truth and have to say goodbye I'd rather take a blow at least then I would know But baby don't you break my heart slow

-Vonda Shepard, "Baby, Don't You Break My Heart Slow"

The End

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