FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Reasons For Living"
Part 1
by Aiken
Disclaimer: They're not mine... yet. Give me time.
Summary: A post-Heat Wave fic. Michael and Maria contemplate the mystery that is their relationship.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
Authors Note: Feedback: PLEASE. I live for feedback. Tell me if you liked it, or if you hated it.
Everyone's looking, everyone hides

Everyone's telling, but everyone lies


Maria DeLuca walked out of the school and kicked at a stone on the stairs. She was supposed to be in math class right now, but she didn't feel like going. That would mean that she would have to sit two seats over from him. Michael Guerin. Maria shook her head and kicked at another stone.

That boy was infuriating. When he wasn't doing his brooding alien thing, he was kissing her passionately. But, of course, he would always go back to the brooding alien thing. Last time they had spoken, Michael had made it clear that he would never change. Maria had to accept that. But she didn't. She just didn't want to.

"He's too busy doing his Rebel Without A Cause routine that he doesn't see what's plain in front of his face." Maria muttered, and then realized she was talking to herself. "He's driving me insane. I'm going to end up wearing a tinfoil hat." Shaking her head, more to clear her thoughts than anything else, she hurried down the stairs. She wanted to talk to Michael, but she had no idea what she would say. Making up her mind that she needed to do some serious thinking, she headed for the trees at the edge of the soccer field. No one was ever there, since it was out of bounds to the students, and it was a good place to get a better perspective on things.


We're changing the subject, we're turning away

Away from the heart of it all.


Michael Guerin climbed the tree and closed his eyes. The birds were making noise, but other than that, it was silent. He needed to be alone, although that wasn't the reason he had skipped class. He never needed a reason, just the desire. He had a lot of thinking to do, a lot of guilty feelings to deal with.

"Why the Hell do I feel guilty?" He asked himself out loud. "I haven't done anything wrong. She knew that I couldn't get attached. She knew." Shaking his head, he knew that he was only kidding himself. He had used her, telling himself that it wasn't wrong because Maria knew that he would have to leave some day. But it was wrong. He had hurt an innocent girl. "I'm such an asshole." He muttered.

"Well, this saves me the trouble of berating you." Maria quipped as she looked up at him. "Please continue. How about something from the Animal kingdom? Maybe reptile. Come on, I'm sure you can guess which one I mean."

"What are you doing here?" Michael asked, glaring down at the petite girl who was so good at annoying him.

"I came to do some thinking, but I can see that I have to do that somewhere else." She said, turning on her heel.

"Good, leave. You shouldn't be near me." Michael said. Maria stopped and looked over her shoulder at him, her cold gaze making him shiver.


You say you are happy

Do you think this is fun?

It's only a firefly to the light of the sun


"You continue to amaze me, you know that?" Maria said. Michael could tell by the look on her face that it wasn't a good kind of amazement. "You treat me like shit and then you have the nerve to sit there all high and mighty and decide that I shouldn't be near you. In case you haven't noticed, Guerin, I'm a big girl. I make my own decisions."

"You seem to think that this is all about you." Michael said with a roll of his eyes. "It's not. It's about me."

"Yeah. About how blind you are." Maria muttered.

"No. About how my life has no room for you. My life is never going to change, Maria. You can't make me happy, Maria." Maria laughed at him.

"So, you're telling me that you're happy with the way things are going right now?" She challenged. Michael didn't even flinch when he lied to her.



You say this is living, you feel so alive

Well you know that everything dies


"You're such a liar." Maria told him, taking a few steps toward the tree he was perched in.

"It's my life, Maria. Who are you to tell me what to do with it?" Michael demanded, glaring at her once more. It didn't phase Maria in the slightest.

"Fine, Michael. You go on with your pathetic little life. Go on never letting anyone in. I really don't care anymore. I'm sick of this shit." Turning on her heel, Maria stalked away, muttering to herself as she went. "No more. I'm not going to let him get to me. As far as I'm concerned, this is over."


Even my wonder, even my fear

Only amounts to a couple of tears

There is a rhythm, it's near and it's far

It flows through the heart of us


Michael stayed where he was for a long time without moving. He hadn't meant for things to go as badly as they had with Maria, but maybe it was for the best. It was better for everyone if he just kept his distance. No strings attached. He couldn't hurt her if he kept his distance. But he knew that wasn't true. Deep down, he knew.

He would always hurt her.

How was he supposed to explain these things to her? It's not like he had ever given voice to his feelings before. He had no idea how to say 'I'm scared.' Being scared was a sissy thing. He was a man, and men weren't scared. But he was. With a groan of frustration, Michael swung himself down from the tree.

Why couldn't she just accept it and move on? Maria was a dangerous girl. She made him think about thing he really had no business thinking about. Things like happiness. Until she had come into his life, he hadn't thought much about such a trivial thing. His thoughts were consumed with staying alive. Staying inconspicuous. Then one day BAM! He starts thinking about being happy. Life had been thrown upside down ever since.

Yes, Maria was dangerous... and special. And that's why he had to stay away.


Welcome to another day

It doesn't seem that different 'cause nothing has changed

I try to remember, try to remember

When we weren't just running in place


Maria opened her eyes and stretched her arms. Her muscles were sore from the odd position she had been in when she'd fallen asleep at her desk. Her diary sat on the polished wood of the desktop, open to last night's entry.

Dear Diary,

Do you have any idea how corny that opening line is? Dear Diary. As if I'm actually writing to someone other than myself. Great. I'm babbling in my own diary. I guess it goes to show just how much Michael Guerin has been driving me insane. I'm not going to think about him again. He doesn't want me, so I don't want him. From now on, no more stupid space boy.

He had the nerve to tell me that I couldn't make him happy!! What kind of bull shit is that? I can too make him happy. Hell, it wouldn't take much to brighten up his day. He has to get past this stupid brooding alien thing. Someone should tell him that that whole attitude went out with James Dean.

What I really can't understand is how we can go from sort of friends (well, getting there, anyway) to total enemies in such a short time span. I'm trying to make him see that, if nothing else, we can be friends, but he just won't grow up and listen. It's like I'm running on a treadmill. I'm not getting anywhere.

Great. I'm talking about him again. He's driven me completely bonkers. I have to go find some tinfoil. I need a new hat.

Maria stood up and tossed her diary in the bottom drawer of her desk and locked it. Her stomach rumbled and she left her room, stretching her back as she headed down the stairs, intent on making some pancakes.


Reasons for living never come cheap

But even your best ones can put me to sleep

What I am saying or trying to say

Is that there must be a better way.


Michael slammed the door to the trailer and stalked away. He hadn't gotten any sleep last night. His anger, and to a lesser degree his guilt, kept him awake, walking the floors of the confines of his bedroom. If Hank hadn't been asleep, Michael would have broken everything in sight. He needed to relieve some tension, so that's why he was walking around at seven in the morning on a Saturday.

He needed to keep his mind off of Maria, but he knew that wouldn't happen. He let the thoughts fill his head, hoping that he would just get it out of his system, and knowing that it would never happen. She had totally infected him, no matter how hard he tried to deny it. With a sigh, he realized that he had ended up at the Crashdown. He was hungry, so after looking around well to make sure that Maria wasn't working the breakfast shift, he entered and sat in his usual booth. A half asleep Liz took his order. She didn't say anything to Michael about Maria, so he guessed that she hadn't spoken to her best friend yet. Michael thanked his lucky stars for that. The last thing he needed was to get a lecture from Liz Parker.

He went back to thinking as he waited for his food. For so long, his only reason for living was to get off of this Godforsaken planet. That had changed. The change had been subtle enough so that he didn't notice it until it was too late. Now, his every waking thought wasn't of getting away. It was of being with a woman who loved him. It was of Maria.

It's funny. You get one reason for living at the expense of another. At the expense of everything he believed in. There had to be a better way of doing things. Some sort of happy medium he could strike. Michael had no idea how.


It's already in you, It's already there

You may disagree, but I don't really care

Did you ever find out, did you ever find out

What's at the heart of us?


Maria tried her best to be upbeat when she walked into the Crashdown for her shift, but all her happy thoughts disappeared when she saw Michael sitting in his usual booth. He didn't see her, so she quickly ran outside and around to the back of the restaurant. Taking some deep breaths of cool air, she told herself one thing over and over: I don't care.

"I don't care if he doesn't understand what we can have. If I care, I'll just be wasting my time. I know I get to him, I can see it when he looks at me." Her mumbles didn't go unnoticed.

"Maria? What are you doing back here?" Liz asked as she poked her head out the employee's only door that led to the alley behind the Crashdown. She threw a green garbage bag into a dumpster and walked to her friend.

"Nothing. Just talking to myself." Maria said quickly.

"I heard. You standing out here wouldn't have anything to do with Michael sitting inside, is it? We're fresh out of arsenic for his Cherry Cola, unfortunately." Liz smiled, trying to cheer up her obviously depressed friend.

"Sorry, Liz, I'm just not in the mood to laugh right now." Maria looked down at her watch. "And I'm late for work." She pushed passed her friend and walked into the building. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she went to work, doing her best to ignore the brooding alien in the corner.


Tell me all your wildest dreams

I don't really care if you don't know what they mean

We're raiding the closets with skeleton keys

You know it's easier than you think


Michael watched her out of the corner of his eye. He had chosen this booth for a specific purpose: It was Liz's side of the restaurant. Maria worked the left side, near the door, and Liz took the right side. His side.

When he first saw Maria, Michael was sure that he was going to get up and hurry away, but he decided against it. What better way to show her that he was over her than to stay and eat in her restaurant? He knew that wasn't the real reason he stayed. After thinking about Maria for so long, he just wanted to look at her for awhile. So, he snuck glances when no one was looking.

Why did she have to do this? When exactly did she get under his skin? Michael wished he could pin point the exact moment. He wanted to memorize it, in case he never felt love again, he wanted to be able to remember when he did. When someone loved him back.

For an instant, he entertained the thought of going up to Maria and asking her to talk to him. To have a real conversation. A conversation about the future, the past, her hopes and her dreams. Just a normal 'getting to know you' kind of conversation. But the instant passed and he reminded himself that he had to rebuild his walls.

Throwing money down on the table, Michael got up and walked out of the Crashdown before any other strange thoughts could enter his head.


Your reasons for living are all very fine

But they're leaving me cold, they're not really mine

Did you ever find out, did you ever find out

What's at the heart of us?


Maria looked up as Michael fled. He had been watching her, she was sure of it. The knowledge made her giddy. He wanted her. She could tell. At the same time, she sort of understood his reasons for pushing her away. She didn't like them, but she understood them. She resolved to do something about them, too.

"You can run, Michael Guerin." Maria said softly as she went back to work. "But you can't hide. I'm going to wear you down, one way or the other."

The End.

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