FanFic - Michael/Maria
"A Love/Hate Relationship"
Part 1
by Ossian
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Summary: This is a "Roswell" futurefic, mostly internal monologue from Maria's POV.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
Michael Guerin was the only person she knew to whom the words "love" and "hate" were completely interchangeable.

As a child he had used the phrase "I love you" as an insult. He had never heard it used in a context that he understood. And she had never heard him utter it without hearing scorn and sarcasm heavy in his voice. It had always meant "Take your best shot. No matter what you say back to me, it'll roll right off." He would toss it into the middle of an argument as a taunt, a tease. Mere words meant nothing, especially not these words. And mere words could never hurt him. Not if he didn't believe them.

"I hate you" had been an even more familiar phrase. He had shouted it at her often as they had aggravated one another on the playground. She wasn't sure why, but she had always gotten a perverse pleasure out of being the only person who could arouse such passionate fury in him. It hadn't been until they were teenagers that she had finally made the connection. He had shouted "I hate you" at her once again... and then given her the most mind-blowing kiss she had ever received. "You're getting too close," is what he had meant. "I'm afraid of how you make me feel."

Somehow he had gotten it all backwards. And somehow she understood.

Part of her was annoyed that even now he had never once whispered "I love you" to her, soft and gentle. Part of her irreverently thought that she might have a heart attack if he ever did. And part of her knew that those simple words could never express the depth of emotion she could see in his eyes or feel in his hands or taste in his kiss.

What he couldn't say, he showed her.

She ran her fingers through his still short, still spiky hair. Sleep only made it stick out more wildly. She smiled at the disarray. He stirred slightly at her touch but didn't wake.

She knew most people couldn't quite understand what she saw in him, why she stayed. He wasn't like Max, with a sweet smile and kind heart. He wasn't like Alex, full of enthusiasm and boyish charm. He was just Michael, all rough edges and hard corners. But she wasn't Liz, a perfect soulmate for sweet and kind. She wasn't Isabel, to be swept off her feet by a boy who could see her soul. She was Maria, a fighter meant for a fighter.

And they did fight. Loudly, heatedly, passionately. They would argue about senseless, inane things. Things that didn't matter; sometimes things that did. Then she would see that flicker in his eyes. Not defeat or surrender, but acceptance. This is how they were.

Her hand moved to his face, slid across his cheek. Stubble pricked her fingertips as she traced his jaw.

Despite the glowing examples put forward by Max and Alex, she doubted that he would ever ask her to marry him. He had never been big on ceremony. She was with him. She would never leave him. That was all he wanted. She had been afraid, once upon a time, that he might be the one to leave her. That he would fly away and never look back if he ever found out where he was truly from. She had asked him once, in a moment of doubt, what he would do if he had that chance.

He had thought about it. She loved him for that. No easy, off-the-cuff reassurance. He had thought. Then he had looked at her. I miss you when I go away to work, he had said. How could I survive crossing the galaxy without you? If I had to leave, he had asked then, would you come with me?

She had given him the same courtesy. She had thought. And then she had nodded. Where he went, she would go. To Albuquerque, or Arlington, or Alpha Centauri. She would go.

Her thumb brushed across his lips. His mouth curved in a faint smile. But still he slept.

She couldn't explain why she loved him. He was still erratic and irresponsible. He overreacted and took everything to the extreme. He could be completely irrational and unrealistic and mind-bogglingly paranoid. But everything he did, he did with all his heart. Never did anything by halves. He could be truly poetic when he tried to be. He could capture the essence of any emotion with a single sketch. And he could know everything she felt, everything she wanted to say just by looking at her. Not just know. Understand.

She ran her finger down an invisible line ending on the tip of his nose. He opened his eyes then. Brown and blurry.

"What are you doing?" he asked, the grin shining in his eyes before it ever touched his lips.

"Watching you sleep. I never get to be the one to do that."

"Not very exciting, is it?"

"No," she agreed. "Not terribly."

He looked at her thoughtfully. "I'm not asleep anymore."

"No," she said again, her own grin growing. "You're not."

His arms tightened around her. "You're too far away."

She buried her face in the curve of his neck. Her lips moved against his throat. "Better?"

"It's a start."

* * * end

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