FanFic - Michael/Maria
"With Arms Wide Open"
Part 1
by Courtney
Disclaimer: Yeah, I’m making money from this. That’s why you are reading this on a free webpage and/or mailing list. No, unfortunately I am still just as poor as ever. Long live TPTB: Jason Katims, David Nutter, Jonathan Frakes, Melinda Metz, the WB, and everyone else who *does* profit from Roswell. Oh, and Creed owns the lyrics so there ya go.
Summary: At age 25, Maria gives her longtime boyfriend, Michael, some unexpected news. How will they handle it?
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: R
Authors Note: Notes: Okay, let’s just say that this is a piece about the emotions of the characters. Dammit, I admit it: IT’S PURE SAPPINESS! So sue me. If you decide to proceed in reading this then please keep in mind that I am more interested in how the characters react to this news with each other rather than with the world around them. It’s AU, taking place in a land where home planets and Sheriff Valenti and Topolsky the wonder-bitch don’t exist. So, you may have to suspend your reasoning for a second and just suck up the sap if you plan to enjoy it. ;-) Oh, and one more thing. This story is what happens when you listen to the same cd, the same song even, over and over during your whole entire 10 hour Saturday shift. Ugh. Please forgive me, lol. Thanks: The fine folks at RAC for giving me someone to babble to and for inspiring me always. Thanks guys!
Well I just heard the news today

It seems my life is going to change

I closed my eyes, begin to pray

Then tears of joy stream down my face

With arms wide open

Under the sunlight

Welcome to this place

I’ll show you everything

With arms wide open

Well I don’t know if I’m ready

To be the man I have to be

I’ll take a breath, take her by my side

We stand in awe, we’ve created life

With arms wide open

Under the sunlight

Welcome to this place

I’ll show you everything

With arms wide open

Now everything has changed

I’ll show you love

I’ll show you everything

With arms wide open

If I had just one wish

Only one demand

I hope he’s not like me

I hope he understands

That he can take this life

And hold it by the hand

And he can greet the world

With arms wide open . . .


Did he just hear her right? Michael Guerin sat down on the couch in his girlfriend’s apartment with a thud. He wasn’t sure she’d really just said what he thought she’d just said. There had to be a mistake. This *couldn’t* really be true.

“Are you sure?” he asked as he looked back at Maria, who now sat beside him.

“Yeah, positive,” she replied with a solemn nod as she studied his reaction carefully.

“I’m . . . I just . . .” he stammered as he tried to think of the best thing to say. He couldn’t come up with much of anything in reply.

“You’re upset,” she stated. She tried to keep her voice even, but he heard a little quaver and her lower lip was trembling ever so slightly. He’d known Maria DeLuca for way too long not to know when she was on the brink of an emotional meltdown.

“I’m sorry baby, no,” he said softly as he pulled her into his arms. She started to cry softly as she pressed her face against his shoulder and let his shirt absorb her tears. He smoothed her hair down with his hand gently and said, “I’m just . . . I’m scared, Maria. I’m just so damned scared.”

She pulled back to look at him, her cheeks now streaked with fresh tears. “You don’t think I’m scared, too?” she asked. “Michael, God, I’m terrified. I’ve never done this before. I’ve never . . .” her voice trailed off as more tears overwhelmed her. She sniffled and managed to choke out a few more words. “I just wanted . . . I wanted . . . God, I don’t know what I wanted,” she admitted as she began to cry again in earnest.

“You wanted me not to be a dick about this. You had every right to want and even expect that. I should be throwing my arms around you and telling you how happy this makes me and yet I’m not. I’m just acting like a complete idiot and I’m really sorry.” He pulled her close again and stroked her back as she continued to cry. “I’m sorry, Maria,” he said again as he held her.

He was still confused as hell, but he felt terrible now. She obviously needed his support. *Of course* she was scared. She had every right to be. He should have reacted better to her news. “I love you, Maria, you know that don’t you?” he asked softly as his arms hugged her tight. She nodded against his shirt, but didn’t look up at him. He decided to just be patient and give her a minute. It was the least he could do.

Michael held on tightly to the trembling woman cradled in his arms for quite a while. She had stopped crying after a few minutes, but she still seemed to need him close. She needed him to hold her, to assure herself that he was there and not running away. If there was one thing he knew, it was that he’d never be able to run from her. He needed her too much; he’d never last without her by his side.

She finally looked up at him as she wiped her cheeks and took a few deep breaths. Michael grabbed a tissue from the coffee table and gently wiped away her remaining tears. “I’m sorry, baby,” he repeated quietly.

She smiled slightly at him. He did love her; she was sure of that. Michael had loved her for so long that it was just second nature to her. She’d come not only to depend on that love, but to expect it. And, in the split second after she’d delivered her big news, she’d seen a look pass over his face of such panic that she had doubted that for just an instant. That universal invariant that she’d come to take for granted had momentarily slipped away and the very thought had scared her to death. But, Michael wasn’t going anywhere; his feelings hadn’t changed. She sighed in relief as she looked down at him.

“I love you,” she said softly as she touched his cheek. “I’m sorry this was so sudden. It was the very last thing I expected right now. I just . . . it happened. I don’t know what else to say. And I understand you being petrified, just like me. But . . . you know how much I need you right now, don’t you?” Her eyes pleaded with him for the answer she hoped for. She knew it was unfair, but she felt increasingly desperate as this all began to sink in.

“I would never be any place but right here beside you,” he said emphatically. He reached up with both hands and cupped her face in his strong hands. “I love you so much, Maria,” he whispered. “*Nothing* means more to me than that.”

She smiled broadly at that as tears spilled down her cheeks again. She threw her arms around him in a fierce hug. “Thank you . . . thank you, Michael,” she said softly as she pressed close to him.

He held on tight, feeling her body pressed to his. God, he loved this woman. His head swam with so many unanswered questions, but he knew that much. And somehow, this had to work out. It just had to work out.

* * * * *

“Max, we have to talk,” Michael said as he walked into Max’s apartment without knocking.

Max looked up from the paper he was reading to gaze questioningly at his friend. “Um, nice to see you, too, Michael,” he replied.

“This is serious,” Michael replied as he sat on the couch adjacent to Max’s chair. Max could see that something was up and set aside his paper, nodding to him to continue. “Maria is . . .” Michael started.

“Maria is . . .?” Max prodded.

“She’s . . .” Michael squirmed in his seat, then got up to walk across the room. Max stayed seated, but his eyes followed his friend. “She’s, um . . .” He stood by the window of Max’s apartment and looked out over the city below. He rung his hands nervously as he finally delivered the news. “She’s pregnant.”

Max widened his eyes, then opened his mouth and then shut it again. He blew out his breath in a long puff and ran his hand through his hair. “She’s . . . uh . . . is she sure?” he asked.

“Positive,” Michael said, repeating her words to him as they echoed through his mind for the thousandth time in an hour.

“Well, um . . . what, uh, I mean, what are you going to do?” Max asked.

Michael turned back and looked at his friend. He shrugged. “I really don’t know,” he admitted.

“What does she want to do?”

“I don’t know that either.”

“You didn’t talk about it at all?”

“Well, she was pretty freaked out. We didn’t exactly plan this,” Michael said.

“Obviously,” Max put in.

“We’re . . . I dunno.” He walked back over and sat back on the edge of the couch. “I don’t know what to do, Maxwell. I mean, I love her. I’ve loved her for . . . for so long. I don’t want things to change . . . but they’re going to; I know that. I’m just not sure that I’m ready for all this.”

“My advice,” Max said. “Get ready.”

“I know, I know that.”

“She’s keeping the baby though?” Max asked then.

“I guess . . . I mean, yeah, she didn’t say anything different.”

“You two need to talk,” Max said, though he was really just stating the obvious. Michael was already well aware that he and Maria had a lot to talk about.

“I’m just . . .” he looked up at the ceiling, then squeezed his eyes shut as he continued, “I’m really scared,” he admitted.

“That’s normal,” Max assured him.

“Would you be? If this were you and Liz, I mean?”

“Pretty much terrified,” Max said with a nod. He’d been dating Liz Parker since high school, but at 25 the thought of marriage and children was still a long way off.

“Am I ready for this?” Michael asked meekly. “Can I be . . . a father?”

Max sat up closer to his friend and looked him in the eye. “I know you’re freaked out about this. I understand that. And I would be asking myself the same things you are right now if it were me. But, I really think that this is going to be okay. I really believe that,” he said.

Michael looked back at him and nodded. He wanted to believe that so badly. All he wanted was for things to turn out okay. But, as he was letting this sink in, another disturbing fear struck him. His eyes flashed as he looked back to Max. “Do you think . . . I mean, will he be, um, normal or . . . well, like us?” he asked.

Max chewed on his bottom lip as he pondered this question. It was a rational fear, in their case, and a question he’d actually wondered himself in the past in reference to his own children. Could they ever be like everyone else? Or would they be like he was? Would they be blessed and cursed with the same things that kept him from ever really fitting in?

“I really don’t know,” Max answered. “I’m not sure that they ever could be . . . well, like everyone else exactly. But, I mean, no one is normal,” he offered. Michael nodded. He’d expected that answer, but he was still afraid.

“I better get back to Maria,” he said as he rose from the couch.

“Yeah, okay,” Max nodded as he stood as well. They walked to the door together and Max stood there as Michael stepped back out into the hallway.

“Look, I’m sure Maria will tell Liz and Izzy but, for now . . .”

“No need to even say it. It’s between us,” Max promised.

Michael smiled appreciatively at his friend. “Thanks.” And, with that, he turned to walk down the hall towards the stairs. Max watched his friend go, hoping that things would work out for the best.

* * * * *

Maria was curled up on the bed when she heard the front door. That had to be Michael, she thought. Liz had just left and no one else came in without knocking. She stayed in bed and waited for him to come in, knowing he’d find her.

“Hey sweetie,” he said softly as he crawled up onto the bed with her. She felt him kick his shoes off as he slipped his arms around her and pulled her back against him. “You doing okay?” he asked softly as he kissed her temple.

“I guess,” she replied, but the tremble in her voice shattered her attempt at calm.

“I told Max,” he admitted.

“I told Liz,” she confessed in kind. She felt him nod, then heard him sigh. “What?” she asked. She still faced away from him. Somehow not seeing his face made this easier to talk about.

“I just . . . I don’t now what all this means,” he said. “I mean, what does this mean for us? What are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking that I never thought this would happen so soon. I wasn’t even sure if it *could* happen,” she said frankly.

“I know, me either. It’s been so long . . . I just figured . . .”

“Yeah, same here.”

“Guess not,” he said dryly.

“Nope, guess not,” she echoed.

“Are you ready? I mean, to be a mother, are you ready for that?” he asked.

“God, I have no clue. I mean, I guess I am. I’ve thought about it. And I will admit that when I’ve thought about my future it’s been in a quaint little house with you and our son who had your eyes and our daughter who had my hair. It’s just . . . well, I don’t know. I suppose I expected to plan it. I thought it’d be our choice.”

“It is,” Michael said softly. “We have a choice. I want what you want, Maria, and if you aren’t ready then we can do something about this. It’s your call here.”

“Is that what you want?” she asked in a squeaky voice that told him without a doubt that she was on the brink of tears again.

“I didn’t say I wanted that, I said I wanted whatever you want,” he said.

“And if I want to have this baby?” she asked.

“Then I’ll be here,” he assured her.

His hands were lying on top of her stomach, his fingers laced together. Maria’s hands drifted down to rest atop his and she squeezed his fingers for a moment. He felt her shudder as she struggled to hold back a sob.

“It’ll be okay,” he whispered close to her ear. “No matter what, we’ll be together.” She nodded but couldn’t find the words to reply. “You know what? This could be the best thing that’s ever happened to us,” he said.

She turned a little then, looked at him for the first time since he’d come into the room. She half-smiled up at him and he bent forward to kiss her nose lightly. “We’ll make it, Maria. Together, we’ll make it.” She nodded and smiled through her tears, then laid her head against his chest as they held on to each other for dear life.

* * * * *

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