FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Who I Am, What I'll Become, Where I'll Be"
"In A Heartbeat"
Part 1
by Rae Vertudez
Disclaimer: If I owned the characters of "Roswell" and all that is affiliatedwith the WB show, I would not be writing this as a fanfiction but as an actualepisode. Sadly, I am a mere high school student who is making no money offof this whatsoever and has no connections to the Warner Bros. Network... or"Roswell"... or Jason Behr. ::sighs::
Summary: A road trip on 285 South did more than bring Michael closer tothe truth... it brought him closer to Maria. Witness the journey betweenunexpected attraction and fated love.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG-13
"Okay, so that's one Bionic Woman Burger, go easy on the mayo and with extra pickles, and a Mulder and Scully milkshake," Maria DeLuca repeated the order to the Crashdown Cafe patron. "Will that be all?" The heavyset man nodded his head, and handed back to her the menu. "Great. I'll be back soon with your shake," she said with a tight smile on her face, tucking the menu under her arm and scurrying off to behind the counter. "And the five pounds of pure lard you just ordered," Maria muttered under her breath, shaking her head.

She winced when she felt her toes throb within her sneakers as they squeaked across the linoleum floor, the small pain only reminding of the ache in her left shoulder and how her head was pounding incessantly. Granted, she had been only working for an hour and the Crashdown was unusually barren for a Friday night, but she desperately needed a break. The stress of the past week had seriously tightened up the joints in her body and she was in dire need of a day without asking a person if they'd like fries with their order.

"Here you go, Jose," she said, ripping the paper off the order sheet and handing it to him across the separation between the counter and the kitchen.

The Hispanic chef winked at her. "Thanks, sweet thang."

Maria rolled her eyes good-naturedly. "Underaged, Jose, underaged," she reminded him. "Any sort of relationship between us would sadly be illegal in... what was it... oh, yes, *all* states."

"I guess I'll just have to wait for you to turn eighteen then," he joked.

She replied sarcastically, "I'll be counting down the days." Maria turned around to continue to wait on customers, then froze and paled when she noticed the two males that had just entered the Crashdown. She spun around and made a beeline for the backroom, Max nor thankfully Michael noticing her hasty departure.

The door closed behind her, and she peeked through the circular window. The two had just settled at their regular table, and were waiting patiently for a waitress. Maria breathed a sigh of relief, grateful that she would not have to face him, and she sat down on the ratty old couch that signified some sort of a break room. "Him" being Michael, of course. It was enough that a month ago she could barely be in his presence without acting like a complete idiot, but now things were *beyond* awkward. Especially since that whole motel getting-to-know-you thing. It had gotten so awkward that whenever Maria now noticed him walk into a room or he passed by her in the hallway, she avoided all eye contact and quickly ducked into the next available classroom, pretending to have not seen him.

Things were better when he knew absolutely nothing about her, when she was only "Liz's ditzy friend" and nothing else. They were better when she knew absolutely nothing about him, when he was only "that slacker guy who hangs out with Max" and when she had *assumed* him to be human. I mean, he was intimidating enough when he was just a teenage boy, but factor in the whole "I'm a completely different life form" and you've got something extremely overwhelming.

That, and the fact that he was probably the most irritating, arrogant male that ever lived, made her want to avoid him as much as possible.

Maria sank lower into the cushions. Sometimes she wondered what would have happened if she had never found out the Czechoslovakians were... Czechoslovakians. Maybe she could actually have a semi-quasi-normal teenage existence where aliens were just something she had known as characters on television.

It was then that Liz emerged from the employees' bathroom. Upon noticing her best friend slumped on the couch, lost in deep thought, her large brown eyes widened with concern. Sitting down next to her, she asked, "Hey? You all right?"

"I just have this monster migraine and I ache all over," Maria replied, sighing and gently rubbing her head. "No biggie."

"You want some Advil?" Liz offered. "I have some in my purse. I can go get it right now."

"That's okay," Maria said, shutting her eyes and letting her feet prop themselves up on the dilapidated coffee table. "I just need to rest for a bit. Or a two-week vacation to Hawaii with Matt Damon. Either-or."

Liz smiled at Maria's attempt at a joke. "Why don't you head home?" she suggested.

Maria opened one eye and stared up at her. Liz continued, "I mean, it's pretty dead tonight and you need your rest, especially after all the stuff that's been happening lately."

"You sure?" Maria asked, opening her other eye.

"Positive," Liz insisted. "Go get some sleep."


Michael looked around the Crashdown anxiously. To the common person, he appeared to be an irritated, hungry customer impatiently waiting to give his food order. That was half-true. He also wanted to check up on Maria, and she was nowhere in sight. He'd seen her a couple times around school the past few days, and she had been acting weird.

Okay, weird*er* than usual.

Each time he spotted her in the hallways, she was practically running in the opposite direction, a strange expression on her face. I mean, she had given off that reaction ever since she had known about them being... different. But now those reactions were becoming more numerous and intensified, especially after their little trip a few days ago.

And he was actually concerned.

"Hey, Max, hey, Michael," Liz greeted them sweetly, ready with a pen and pad.

"Hey, Liz," Max said, noticeably brightening. Michael suppressed a groan, praying that maybe one day his friend would not be so completely obvious around Liz Parker. "We'll both have our usual," Max said, gesturing towards Michael yet keeping his eyes completely focused on the object of his affection.

"So, Liz," Michael interrupted the two's intense staring contest. "Manning the booths alone tonight?" he asked, trying to sound nonchalant.

"Yeah," she replied, scribbling down their orders. "Maria had to head home early."

His face fell momentarily, then he quickly tried to mask his worry. "She okay?" Michael said as casually as he could manage.

"Oh, she's fine, she's fine," Liz quickly replied. "She just had this headache thing. She's been feeling real rundown lately, with school and... um... everything that's been going on lately." She stood there awkwardly for a moment before realizing her purpose again. "Well, okay then, I'll be back with your food."

Max watched Liz disappear into the kitchen. When he finally tore his gaze away, he noticed the amused expression on Michael's face. "What?"

"Smooth, buddy, real smooth," Michael grinned, standing up from the booth. "When Liz comes back with the sodas, just tell her to cancel the rest of my order, 'kay?"

"Where you going?"

"I need to take care of something," he said over his shoulder as he walked towards the door. "See you later."


Maria pressed the pause button on her VCR remote and got up from her spot on the sofa. "I'm coming, I'm coming," she called annoyedly to the person who had rang the doorbell. She tightened the belt around her light blue bathrobe, further concealing her Kermit the Frog pajamas, and tried to smooth out her hair before answering the door. "What--"

The door swung open to reveal a somewhat disoriented Michael Guerin, standing uncomfortably on her doorstep holding a brown paper sack. "Hey."

"Hey," she answered, evidently confused at his presence. After a moment of strained silence, she tried to lighten the atmosphere. "We already ordered our Girl Scout cookies, sorry."

"Oh, shoot, I was hoping you'd spring for a couple boxes of Thin Mints. There goes my lifelong dream of going to space camp," he replied. "Actually, I'm here on a entirely different mission."

"What, you need to borrow my car again?"


"What then?"

"Apparently, when people get sick, it's an age-old tradition among your kind to bring them chicken soup," Michael said. Maria, surprised at his thoughtfulness, gave him a little smile, flustering him a bit. "Liz mentioned you weren't feeling too hot, so... um, here," he mumbled, giving her the bag. Their hands brushed slightly, and his heart jumped slightly at the warm contact.

"Thank you," Maria said sincerely, graciously accepting it. She peeked inside somewhat cautiously.

"Don't worry, it's just chicken soup," he said, smirking. "As tempting it may have been to slip some fake alien claws in it."

She blushed slightly, then quickly tried to recover. "Well, you can never be too careful."

"Yeah, well, that's always been my motto," Michael replied with a more serious tone, shoving his hands into his jeans pockets. He sighed, looked down at his shoes for a moment, then continued, "Look, I came by also because I needed to talk to you. I never apologized for the whole... 'road trip' thing. I shouldn't have--"

"No, Michael, it's okay," she interrupted. "I understand--"

"No, it was stupid thing to do, stealing your car--"

"Hey, it wasn't stupid," she insisted fiercely. Michael stood there silently, taken aback at her impassioned tone of voice. "It wasn't stupid," Maria repeated more calmly. "It wasn't."

"What makes you say that?" he asked, a sad frown on his face. "We didn't find anything. It was a complete waste of time."

"No, it wasn't. You tried, at least... and..." Maria bit her lip, contemplating how to put into words what she was thinking. She walked past him and sat on her porch steps. She patted the empty space next to her, motioning him to sit down. Michael hesitated at first, then slowly made his way beside her.

Maria exhaled slowly, trying to put into her words what she was feeling. "Remember that cheesy Future Week at school?"

"The one that I didn't go to?" Michael responded with a somewhat mischievous smirk on his face.

Maria chuckled softly. "Yeah, that one. Smart move, by the way." She paused before going on, her expression becoming more somber. "Well, when Ms. Topolsky asked me what I wanted to do in ten years, where I saw myself in ten years, blah-blah-bitty-bitty-blah... I didn't have answers to any of her questions. I have absolutely *no* clue what's going to happen to me, or who I really am." She turned to look at him, a soft look on her face. "But if someone gave me the opportunity to find out those things, who I am, who I'll become, where I'll be... I would take it. You may have not found anything, Michael, but if you didn't take that chance, it would have haunted you for the rest of your life."

Michael's rough demeanor seemed to have dissolved as she said those words, a sense of understanding and familiarity overwhelming him.

"So what you did wasn't all that stupid," Maria said. "I would have done the exact same thing in a heartbeat."

Michael smiled. "Would you have?"

Maria nodded her head, and Michael's grin became mischievous again. He gently placed her hand in his. She shot him a confused look. "Close your eyes," he whispered in response.

She obeyed, though her heart thudded loudly and rapidly in anticipation. Michael's grip tightened on hers, and then...

*Flash.* She saw images of herself looking into a mirror, nervously adjusting a wedding veil atop her head.

*Flash.* She saw a long aisle of a chapel she had yet to walk down, covered with beautiful white rose petals.

*Flash.* She saw herself ascending the steps to the altar of the chapel, decorated with large arrangements of flowers and delicate, pale-covered ribbons.

*Flash.* She saw the man standing next to her.

And she saw the real reason her heart raced whenever she was with Michael Guerin.

With each beat of her heart came a distinct, wonderfully vivid picture. Then suddenly her breaths slowed, and the bright flashes disappeared. Maria gradually opened her eyes to find Michael staring at her anxiously, eager to know what she saw, if it even worked. "Well?"

"I saw... I saw..." she stuttered. Maria took a deep breath. "I saw me. And I was happy."

Michael's smile widened. "Good."

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