Fanfic - Other Roswell Stories
"Michael and Maria"
Part 1
by Amanda Wood
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, nor their surroundings.
Summary: Haunted by Liz’s words Maria fears for Michael’s life, then when the crew discovers some pods in Lake Lee, her fears are confirmed. Are these the enemies that Future Max had spoke of to Liz; on earth and ready to pop 13 years to early?
Category: Other Roswell Stories
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: "Pods" takes place after "End of the World", this story was written last season while everyone was still alive and on the planet. You'll be able to visit with Alex and if a fan of her Tess as well. "Pods" has three parts, the first is "Maria & Michael". It brings back the Sci-Fi I'm desperately missing this season as well as the romance that is always present. I hope you enjoy!
Maria Deluca shifted uncomfortably in her seat, the teacher had been babbling for half an hour about some new deal. She didn’t care if the deal wasn’t going to save Michael she didn’t want to hear it. She couldn’t stop thinking about what Liz had told her last week, about Future Max saying that because he and Liz were together Michael died. Stop being silly, she told herself, Take your own advice for once! She tried to concentrate on the teacher’s insistent buzzing, but the thought kept beating at her brain. She was more thankful then usual when the sharp cry of the bell filled the room and kids piled out into the hall. Lunch Time! She told herself smiling. She headed for her locker, she hadn’t eaten anything this morning and she was starving!

She didn’t wait for Michael like usual, instead she just headed to the cafeteria and got in line, “Can I have a burger please,” she said absently.

“Are you all right?” She heard Michael ask cutting into line behind her.

“I’m fine,” she said quickly, not looking at him.

“You’re lying,” he said.

“What makes you think that?” She said taking her tray in hand, Michael looked down at her plate like she should know. She looked down as well, gross! She silently screamed, why did I ask for a burger?

“That doesn’t look like an artichoke to me,” Michael teased, she thrust the thing into his hands, “You eat it, I’m not that hungry.” She paid the cashier and hurried on, Michael chased after her, “Maria,” he said falling into step beside her, “What’s wrong?”

“My head’s just not on straight today,” she said, “I haven’t been sleeping well.” Thanks to my nightmares! She told herself, she’d been having some really bad ones, ones where she walked into a room and saw Michael dead on the floor, or ones where he was shot right in front of her and his blood sprayed…Stop it! She yelled at herself.

“Have you tried any of your aroma stuff?” He asked taking a bite of the burger as they stepped out onto the quad. She ignored him and searched for the crew, she spotted them a few yards away, Liz was on Max’s lap, Maria felt a sudden sting of panic in her gut. Before she could stop herself she was striding to Max and Liz. What she really wanted to do was grab Liz by the arm and yank her off of Max, but she figured that would be too obvious, “Hey, Liz can I talk to you?” She said with forced cheeriness.

“Sure,” Liz said getting up and walking with Maria away from the crew. Michael settled himself down next to Max, and took a bite of the burger.

“I see you don’t have your normal sugar packed lunch,” he said.

“Na, Maria let me eat her lunch.” Michael responded.

“But Maria’s a vegetarian,” Alex said chiming in.

“Yea, I mentioned that to her,” he shrugged, “So how are things with the science geek?” He asked Max changing the subject.

Maria was talking so fast Liz could barely understand her, “Maria.” She said bracing her with her arms; “calm down, I have no clue what you just said.”

“I’m sorry,” Maria said plopping down on the picnic table’s bench, “I just, I haven’t been sleeping well,” she said quietly.

“Are you and Michael having some problems or something?” Liz asked seating herself next to Maria. Michael! Did she have to mention Michael; she has no right to mention Michael, not if her and Max were going to kill him! Maria thought…God what is wrong with me! Liz and Max aren’t going to kill Michael! She looked back at the crew, at Michael; “No it’s nothing.” She said trying to sound cheery, it must just be my time of the month.” She smiled to look convincing and then got up and headed back to them. Liz followed and took her place back on Max’s lap.

Maria looked at them in disgust, did she have to sit on him! Couldn’t they be separated for one hour! She took a deep angry breath.

“What’s up?” Michael asked obviously catching the look on her face.

“What?” Maria asked innocently.

“Nothing, forget it,” he shoved the last piece of burger into his mouth, and then slammed the last bit of Lime Warp he had been drinking.

Maria watched him for a second and then pulled out one of her vials, she pulled off the top and inhaled the fresh smell of Cedar. She felt herself calm and then realized Michael had been watching her. She knew she had blushed, she shoved the vial back in her bag.

“So what do you guys want to do tonight?” Alex said cheerily. Maria thanked him silently for giving her something other then Michael or Max and Liz to think about.

“We could go to Lake Lee,” Max piped in, “Alex you could show us some more of your stunning acrobatics.” Isabel laughed and nudged Alex with her elbow; “Yea the gracefulness you showed falling into the water was amazing.” Alex smiled and kissed her quickly on the lips, “I did it for you,” he said dramatically once he pulled away.

Despite her nerves pricking her skin Maria allowed herself to laugh, going to the lake really did sound like a good, fun, idea. “I think I’m going to skip my last two classes,” she said to no one particular as her stomach growled.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Michael asked gently touching her arm.

“I’m fine,” she told him, “I just need some rest.”

“You want me to take you home?” Michael asked.

“Sure,” she said getting up he did the same.

“Your mom isn’t there is she?” Michael asked, Max laughed, Michael threw him a sharp glance, “At least Liz’s mother never threatened to hunt you down like a mangy dog,” he said swooping an arm around Maria. Max still laughed, Michael ignored him and he and Maria started to her car.

They were driving silently, Maria had her head leaned against the window. Michael glanced over to her, “You’re not your normal cheery self today,” he said taking a right. Maria didn’t respond he slowed down and pulled over to the side of the road.

“Okay, what’s wrong,” he said turning to her, “And don’t say nothing, because I know you’re lying.”

“It’s nothing,” she said ignoring his warning.

“I’m not buying it, you’ve been acting weird since prom, did I do something?”

“No,” she said sitting up strait and finally looking at him, “I just…I…never mind…” she trailed off and crossed her arms falling back into the seat. He would laugh if she told him the truth, Michael didn’t believe in preordained futures; he would tell her nothing was going to happen and that she was being a baby. And he would be right. She closed her eyes, and leaned over placing her head on his chest. She felt his arms wrap around her and she relaxed. “If something’s wrong, just tell me.” He said pulling away and starting up the car.

She laid on her bed taking in the fresh scent of Eucalyptus that she had sprayed all over her bed, everyone would be getting out of school right now, she thought. Everyone but Michael, he had gone to the Doughnut shop to get her some blueberry muffins and himself some crullers, he hadn’t left her all afternoon. She thought that was sweet, skipping school just for her, but it wasn’t like he never skipped school. She took a deep breath as she heard him clamor in through her bedroom window.

“My mom isn’t here,” she said sitting up and watching him, “You could have used the door space boy.”

“It’s hard to break habits,” he said handing her a white bag thankful she was back to her old self for now. “Do you have any hot sauce?” He asked removing a cruller from his own bag. She reached into the drawer of her night table and pulled out a bottle. “I keep it just for you,” she said handing him it.

“Aw, thanks,” he said obnoxiously, she threw a pillow in his direction.

“Now you’re asking for it,” he said placing his bag on the windowsill and stepping toward her bed. Maria laughed, “What are you going to do?” She asked playfully.

“Maybe I’ll use my special alien powers to…” he reached down and tickled her she laughed and squirmed free.

“Some powers.” She said sarcastically and took a muffin out of the bag he’d given her. She bit into it hungrily; she was so hungry she thought her stomach was going to dissolve itself if she didn’t eat soon.

Michael settled back in the chair by her window and emptied the bottle of hot sauce onto his cruller.

“Can that possibly taste good?” Maria asked swallowing a piece of muffin.

“Well, what about you vegetable girl,” he teased, “don’t you get sick of the taste of lettuce.”

“I don’t just eat lettuce,” she said back taking another bite of the muffin. “So what time are we supposed to meet everyone at Lake Lee?” she asked changing the subject.

“About…” he paused like he was thinking, “When you tell me what was really wrong today?” Michael said moving to the edge of her bed. She looked down, she didn’t want to discuss it, she already knew what he would say.

“Why don’t you believe me?” She asked looking at him.

“Because,” he said casually, “You only eat meat when you’re really upset. Like the time you thought Alex was dying and you ate that whole meat lovers pizza at the Flying Pepperoni.”

“But, I didn’t eat the burger,” she said to him.

“But, you would have if I hadn’t said anything.” He looked into her eyes, “come on, what’s bothering you?”

“I don’t want to talk about this,” she said reaching for one of her many vials, Michael grabbed her hand and held it.

“I worry about you Maria,” he said rubbing her hand with his thumb, “Come on, tell me.”

“It’s silly,” she said lowering her eyes.

“Obviously it’s not, not if it’s bothering you this much,” he squeezed her hand.

“It’s just Liz told me that…” she fell silent as she heard her mom’s voice from the living room. “Maria, are you home from school already?”

“Crap, it’s my mom,” she said pulling her hand away from his, “Go; we’ll talk about it later.” He nodded and kissed her on the lips quick then practically hurled himself out the window just as her mother opened the door. “Are you sick honey?” Her mother asked touching her forehead

“No, um, the school got a bomb scare during 6th hour and they sent everyone home.” What a stupid lie! She told herself, but if her mother knew that Michael had been here and that she’d skipped school, she would never hear the end of it.

“Really?” Her mother asked wide-eyed. Maria nodded, she saw her mother’s gaze slide to part of Michael’s cruller, which he’d left. “Who’s it that?” Her mom asked casually walking over and picking it up.

“Oh, that’s mine,” Maria said quickly.

“With all that sugar?” Her mother asked shocked.

“Yea, I had a bad day at school,” Maria said.

“Are you going to finish it?” Her mother asked.

“No,” she answered.

“Well then I will,” she popped it into her mouth and made a face, “did you put hot sauce on this?”

“Yea, I wanted to try something new,” she said.

“Well okay,” her mother said and then strolled out of her room.

Maria flopped back on her bed, Why did Michael have to ask her what was really wrong? How would she explain it? “Well, Liz told me that Future Max told her that…” he didn’t even know about Future Max! He’d probably laugh at her. She felt hot stinging tears form in her eyes as the words that would have come next came flooding back to her.

Why should Max and Liz be able to be together, how could they even be together if they knew what was supposed to happen! Did they even care about Michael and Izzy, and Tess? She reached for her vial of Cedar again and breathed it in.

It was about five when the sound of someone scrambling in her window awoke her; she looked over sleepily to see Michael come in. He walked over in her direction, and she pretended to be asleep, she didn’t want to go to Lake Lee anymore. She felt the bed sink a little as he crawled on and made his way up to her. She closed her eyes tighter, and tried not to laugh. “Maria,” he whispered in her ear, “Max and Liz are waiting outside.”

He knew she wasn’t sleeping, he could tell by her breathing; he slipped his hand on her side and began to tickle her. She squirmed against him, but kept her eyes closed. He saw the smile sweep across her face and touched her nose, “Come on, I know you aren’t asleep.” She opened her eyes and was staring into his, What if I never see those eyes again? The thought came to her suddenly, Stop being a baby! She scolded herself.

“Come on I don’t want to get in trouble with your mom.” He stood up and looked at the vials she had spread across her bedside table. “Do you want me to bring any of these?” He joked.

“No,” she said getting up and grabbing her swimming suit from her closet, she threw it into a shoulder bag along with a towel and a sweatshirt.

“You ready?” He asked looking at her.

“Yea, let’s go.” She decided to go out the window instead of facing her mother.

* * * *

It had grown dark and the crew, Alex, Isabel, Michael, Tess, Max, Liz, Kyle, and herself were sitting on the tumble rocks that lead down to the lake, which really wasn’t a lake at all, more or less a reservoir. Maria was aware of Michael’s arms wrapped around her waist, what if I lose him? She asked herself glancing at Liz and Max all wrapped up in each other, the image made her stomach lurch. How can they do this when they know they are going to kill people! She thought. And then she took the thought back, nobody is going to die, especially Michael, she wished she had brought a vial of something, anything.

She felt Michael stir behind her, conversation was buzzing around them. Then something appeared below her nose, “Looking for something like this?” Michael asked unscrewing the cap, “I didn’t know which one you’d want, so I just grabbed any one.” It was like he could read her mind, he knew her so well, probably better then Liz and Liz was her best friend. She sighed and took the vial from his hand inhaling the pleasant aroma of lavender, it wouldn’t have been her choice, but it did the job.

“Hey, what is that?” Alex asked looking toward the lake, she looked and saw it too; there were glowing shapes in the water.

“Liz?” she heard Tess ask expectantly.

“Look, just because I know stuff about science doesn’t mean I know everything.” Liz responded. Maria looked at Liz, at least Max and her were no longer touching; he was standing straining to see the things in the water. She felt Michael stand up behind her, “I’m going to check it out,” he said taking his black t-shirt off and approaching the water.

“Wait,” Max, said, “I’m coming with you.”

“We’re coming too,” Alex and Kyle said joining them.

“Testosterone alert,” Tess said standing up and walking over to Isabel.

Maria finally stood; at least now she had something other then Michael to think about.

Michael made his way down the rocks to the water, his eyes locked on the glowing image closest to him. As far as he could see there were about five or six of them scattered throughout the lake. He shivered not wanting to think about what they might be.

“It’s a lot colder than before,” Alex said swimming up next to him.

“Yea, I noticed,” Michael said taking a deep breath.

“Let me and Michael go first.” Max said approaching them, Kyle and Alex both nodded and allowed them to swim ahead.

“If we get into trouble,” Michael called back, “You guys play life guard!”

“Hey, no problem!” Alex called to him, “I was a boy scout!” Kyle punched him in the arm, playfully and they started rough housing.

Michael looked over to Max, “You ready,” he asked as they approached the nearest thing.

“I guess,” Max answered.

“Okay,” Michael took a deep breath filling his lungs with air; they were treading water just above the thing. The water was a whole lot colder on his face then the rest of his body as he descended, and he suppressed a shiver, he opened his eyes and looked over to see Max doing the same.

He headed toward the thing, why was it taking so long? How deep could this thing possibly be down, his lungs were beginning to burn, he wasn’t going back to the surface until he knew what it was. He focused his energy on the water molecules around him and forced them to separate with the oxygen molecules, once he’d done this he took a gasping breath of air and then allowed the water molecules to reform around him.

He finally reached the thing; he stared at its milky white almost translucent skin and reached out a hand to touch it. It was smooth like an egg; suddenly he was struck by a deep unnerving fear. He could see Max staring at the thing as well, and then he looked to Michael, they weren’t seeing things, inside the ‘egg’ they could make out the shape of a humanoid body. And then suddenly the figure opened its eyes. He and Max shot up to the surface, causing Alex and Kyle to stop rough housing. They raced to them, “What was it?” Kyle asked.

“Whatever it is,” Michael said gasping, “I hope it’s not ready to hatch.”

“Hatch!” Alex said way too loud. The girls all turned, and he could tell they were looking at them. He started back to shore without another word.

Maria looked at Isabel, “Did he say hatch?”

Isabel was frozen, “I think I need to smell some of that stuff you always carry around Maria.” She said finally, Maria nodded and handed it to Isabel who took a deep breath and then passed it to Tess.

“Do you think it's pods or something,” Liz asked taking the vial from Tess.

“I think hatch would imply that.” Tess said walking down to meet the guys, the rest of them followed.

* * * *

“So they were like pods?” Tess asked pouring hot sauce on her food. They had all reconvened at the Crashdown, it was closed so they had privacy and Liz had convinced her papa to let them cook food for themselves.

“Pods like ours?” Isabel asked Max and Michael.

“No, they weren’t like ours,” Max answered,

Liz sat down next to him and he slid his arm around her. Maria had seated herself at the counter with Alex; Kyle was still in the kitchen cooking something.

“You okay?” Alex asked her taking a bite of his food.

“I’m fine,” she said.

“Maybe it’s like a family reunion!” Alex said turning from her and looking at the rest of them, “That could be a new list for my website, ‘the top ten weirdest family reunions’, you guys would definitely make number one.” He grinned.

Isabel smiled; leave it to Alex to make light of a potentially dangerous situation. She looked back to her brother, “Do you think they’re dangerous?” She asked fear buried in her voice. That caught Maria’s attention, dangerous like Michael could die, dangerous? She thought. She shot a tearful look at him, he looked at her, and she quickly turned and pretended to be interested in the alien head coffee pot across from her.

“Well, what can we do about them?” Liz asked ever the problem solver.

“There might not be anything we can do,” Max said looking at her.

“There’s one thing,” Michael said leaning forward in his seat, “hope they aren’t intending to start an invasion.”

Maria felt her blood go icy, invasion! That’s what Liz had said Future Max told her was going to happen, and that’s how Michael…She didn’t finish the thought, instead she excused herself silently from the counter and walked out into the night air. She heard someone step out behind her.

“Hey,” she heard the soothing sound of Michael’s voice behind her.

“What’s wrong,” she felt his hand on her shoulder and turned, he took her in his arms. He could feel her tears soaking through his shirt, what was wrong with her, why was she crying, and why wouldn’t she tell him?

“I want to know,” he said.

“Know what?” She asked playing dumb.

“I want to know the truth about what’s bothering you.” He pushed her away from him until he could stare into her beautiful blue eyes.

Maria looked up into his eyes, how would she live without him? She could only come to one conclusion; she would start now.

“I um…” she was going to have a hard time doing this, “I think we should break up.” She pushed out before she could change her mind.

“What?” He said obviously shocked and hurt, “Why?” He asked.

“I just think it’s a good idea,” she tried to control the quiver in her voice and the tears that wanted to spew out.

“I don’t get it,” he said letting go of her, suppressing anger, “Did I do something!” He hadn’t meant to scream, she took a step away from him. “I’m sorry Michael.” She said turning and running down the street. He heard the door behind him swing open, Alex stepped out next to him, “What’s wrong with Maria?”

“That would be a great idea for your next top ten list.” Michael said angrily turning back into the Crashdown.

* * * *

Had she really done that? Had she really broken up with Michael? Her stomach suddenly felt upset, it lurched and she made her way to one of the garbage cans that lined the street. Why was she so upset? She had been the one to break it off, she still had a hard time believing that, she loved Michael, but if he were to die, so would she. She knew she would. She stumbled toward her bedroom window and pushed it up she weakly climbed in and immediately rushed to her bathroom, she returned to her room and grabbed a vial from her bedside table, she inhaled the fresh scent of mint, it always helped calm her stomach. She sank back onto her bed, and buried her face in her pillow; it still reeked of Michael’s Eucalyptus. She threw it off of her bed; maybe if she slept she would feel better. She curled up into a tiny ball and closed her eyes.

* * * *

“Well, did something happen between the two of you?” Liz asked pouring him a cup of coffee. He had been so upset over Maria last night he hadn’t gotten his two hours of sleep in. The last thing he’d wanted to do was face the morning.

“I don’t think so,” he said running his hands through his spiked hair and then rubbing his eyebrow. “We were doing so well…”

“Maybe she’s just going through some hormonal imbalance,” Alex piped in across from Michael. They were both sitting in a booth near the back of the Crashdown. Max was at work at the UFO Center, Isabel was helping her mom with something and Tess and Kyle were with Sheriff Valenti doing some kind of family thing. They all planned on meeting at the lake later to discuss the pods, Michael wasn’t sure he was ready for that.

“Maybe I should just talk to her,” he said looking out the window.

“Give her awhile,” Liz said turning as some more customers entered the café. “I’ll be back,” she said going to take their order.

“I just don’t get it.” Michael said to Alex.

“Women, don’t make any sense.” Alex said, “I mean look at how much crap I take from Isabel.”

“But, there has to be some reason, she would just call it off,” Michael retorted grabbing the hot sauce and pouring a little into his coffee cup.

“Women don’t need reasons,” Alex continued, “Face it men are their play toys.”

* * * *

Maria heard the honking of Alex’s Rabbit, she looked out her bedroom window and saw him climbing out of the driver’s side and approaching her.

“You ready?” He asked leaning forward on her windowsill.

“Yea, just give me two seconds,” she said rummaging through her vials, she grabbed her Mint, Cedar, and Tangerine scented ones and dropped them into her bag.

“One day, you’ll get brain damage from sniffing all of those,” Alex said with a half smile, stepping aside so she could climb out the window.

“Brain damage would be a welcomed thing right about now,” she said taking a deep breath. They climbed into Alex’s Rabbit, “Everyone else piled into Liz’s car,” he explained as he pulled out onto the road.” They drove through Roswell in silence only the radio made noise, once they were on the desert road that lead to Lake Lee Alex reached over and clicked it off. “So,” he said taking a deep breath, “I had a great idea for my next list,” he looked to Maria sideways she didn’t jump in with her normal string of suggestions, “I call it, “the top ten things bothering my friend Maria”. Any input?” He looked at her quickly and then turned his gaze back to the road.

Maria had to give him credit, at least he was trying to be sincere, she owed him at least a small explanation. “Okay,” she said turning to look at him she began quickly, “When you were out of the country, some pretty intense stuff happened.”

“In Roswell, no way,” he joked.

Maria smiled, “For one, Liz was visited by a Future Max,” she could hear him snort trying to hold back laughter. “I’m not kidding,” she said.

“Okay, sorry, so what does this have to do with you?” He questioned.

“Well, he told Liz all sorts of stuff, like how they were going to get married and have like this Romeo and Juliet romance,” she said circling her hands in the air.

“Okay,” Alex said nodding.

“But, the down fall was that, apparently Max treated Tess so bad that she skipped town, and then they were invaded like a couple years later. And without her they lacked some sort of spunk…and Isabel and Michael both died…” she trailed off.

“And?” Alex asked.

Maria took a deep breath, “If Michael died,” she said looking away, “So would I.”

Alex looked at her calmly, but his mind was racing, Maria had it bad. He’d never noticed it before; he knew she loved Michael but not being able to live without him. That thought hadn’t even crossed his mind; Maria wasn’t the type of girl to be dependent on a guy.

“So, you figured that if you broke up with him now, it wouldn’t be as hard if he died?” Alex said trying to make a connection.

“Yes,” Maria said taking a shaky breath and beginning to cry.

* * * *

Everyone crawled out of Liz’s car and stretched, the trip had been totally cramped, if only Max’s jeep was fixed…Michael thought bending enough to crack his back. He scanned the road behind them to see if Alex and Maria were anywhere close. He didn’t even see a trail of dust.

“They’ll be here,” Liz said stepping next to him.

“Who?” Michael said acting like he didn’t know what she was talking about. Liz rolled her eyes and joined Max as they made their way down the tumble rocks. Michael followed looking back every couple seconds to see if they had shown yet. He took a deep breath and looked out over the lake the late afternoon sun painted the sky red and orange, there wasn’t a trace of the pods’ eerie light, it must be too early, he thought.

“So what are we exactly planning to do?” Tess asked taking a seat, “I mean do we zap them, wait to see if they’re good aliens, what?” Max took a seat and scanned the lake.

“Well, I think we should wait a day or two to do anything,” he said looking back to the group.

“Are you insane?” Michael asked snapping his attention back to the group. “That thing opened its eyes, it looked at us.” There was a sharp intake of breath from Liz, Isabel, and Tess.

“It looked at you?” Isabel asked trying to hide the trembling in her voice.

“I don’t think it’s something we have to worry about,” Max said shrugging, “So it opened its eyes. I’m not going to go vaporize it because we woke it up.”

“You don’t get it Maxwell,” Michael said, “You felt the pod too, there is something different about it…it’s not like us.” The sound of a car door slamming got everyone’s attention and Alex and Maria came hiking down the rocks to the group.

“What did we miss?” Alex asked taking a seat next to Isabel. Michael could see that Maria’s eyes were red and puffy from crying, he wanted to run to her to wrap his arms around her and comfort her… She made her way around the circle and sat next to Kyle and Tess as far away from him as possible.

“Nothing,” Liz said looking at Maria, who looked away, she turned back to Alex, “We still don’t know what to do about the pods.”

“I think we need to get rid of them,” Michael said reinforcing his position.

“I think we should wait to find out what they are,” Tess piped in, “Maybe they can help us fight the skins.” The skins, Maria stiffened, Michael, Max, Tess, and Izzy had pretty much wiped out the skins in New Mexico, but they didn’t know how many there might be outside of New Mexico… “Maybe they are skins,” her mouth blurted before she could do anything about it. Everyone fell silent; obviously no one had thought about that, well maybe Michael had. She corrected her self.

“She’s right,” Liz coined in, “We don’t know if you guys wiped them all out,” Max and her exchanged concerned glances.

“And we don’t know how many ‘others’ were keyed into our location when we activated the stone,” Max added emotionless.

“The imperial troops are in the city,” Alex said flatly, alluding to Star Wars. No one laughed he snapped his mouth shut. They all sat in silence for a while it was getting darker, pretty soon the pods would start glowing.

Maria turned a disgusted face on Max and Liz, when she heard them begin their routine flirting. Here they all were waiting to see if these pods were dangerous and Max and Liz still couldn’t keep their hands off each other. She looked away; Alex and Kyle were playing cards, and Isabel and Tess were discussing something, she felt the prickly sensation she always got when someone was watching her. She turned and saw Michael looking at her, he looked hurt, and it was her fault…She squeezed her eyes shut trying to hold back the tears. When she had mentioned the skins earlier she had felt fright well up inside her. Fear for Michael, she needed to know more about this invasion Future Max had told Liz about.

“Liz,” she said looking over to her. Liz pulled herself away from Max, “Yea?” She asked.

“Can I talk with you, privately?”

“Sure,” Liz said getting up, “I’ll be right back.” She told Max and then took Maria’s arm, they walked up the rocks to the cars.

“Is this about you and Michael?” Liz asked sitting on the hood of her car.

“No, it’s something that includes the whole group,” Maria took a deep breath, “Remember when you told me about FM, and how he said that they had been invaded?”

Liz nodded, “What does that have to do with…” Liz began but Maria rushed on, “Well, what if these pods, are them, their enemy I mean. What if this is the invasion he was talking about…” she bit her lip fighting back tears, “…what if they came early…what if…” she was sobbing beyond belief now.

Liz stood and reached out to touch her arm but Maria squirmed away. “It’s because of you and Max!” Maria suddenly screamed.

“Maria, what are you talking about?” Liz asked confused.

“It’s because you two just can’t be separated! You were the one who told me that you didn’t want to be responsible for people dying!” Her voice was trembling, Liz couldn’t think of anything to say.

“And now…it’s going to happen! Michael is going to be killed, and Izzy, and…”

“Maria, I…” Liz began but was interrupted before she could finish.

“The light show is about to begin!” Alex yelled from the rocks.

“Maria I can understand that you’re upset because you and Michael broke up,” Liz said, “but I don’t think it’s fair to blame…”

“You don’t think it’s fair!” Maria screamed, “Well, I’ll tell you what I don’t think is fair, I don’t think it’s fair that you and Max care more about yourselves then the rest of us!”

“Hey, Liz, Maria, come on!” Max yelled from the rocks.

Liz turned back to Maria, “Can we talk about this when you’ve calmed down?” Maria had her face buried in her hands her whole body shook. “Max and I do care about you, all of you,” Liz wanted to hug her best friend and comfort her, but Maria would just squirm away, she let her eyes linger on her friend for a moment and then turned and headed back to the lake.

Maria sank to her knees, the rough ground scraping her legs, she was crying so hard her body hurt, she felt like a truck had just flattened her.

Michael pulled himself through the water, he knew that one of the pods was missing, he’d counted them last night, there had been six. But now he only counted five, he was sure the one missing was the one he and Max had looked at. He took a deep breath and dove down near the place it had been. When he reached the spot his heart gave a frightened jump now all that was left was an empty translucent film.

Index | Part 2
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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