FanFic - Other
"Standing By the Crossroads"
"Looking Past The Fear"
Part 2
by Stephanie
Disclaimer: I like to think I own Max and Michael, but then I wake up and realize I own practically nothing, including anything from the Roswell community. The song is by Vertical Horizon.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Hey everyone! I've decided to try my hand at the Roswell fiction... This is my first Roswell fic, so please no flaming or anything. For some reason it's hard for me to write what I feel is meaningful Roswell material
Maria swept her eyes over the pictures on Liz's dresser, talking mindlessly about the high school gossip she had heard while waitressing that night. Liz stifled a yawn and glanced once again at the clock. Maria followed her gaze and repressed a sigh. 11:45pm. She knew she couldn't stay at Liz's forever, it wasn't fair to her friend, who was falling asleep standing up. The longer she put it off, the more she dreaded going home. It would be dark, because she had forgotten to leave a light on, and lonely, since her mother had gone out of town for a *gag* weekend get-away with Jim Valenti.

"I guess I should be going," Maria said reluctantly, slowly pulling on her sweater.

Liz gave her friend a tired smile. "It's not so bad if you close all the bedroom doors. That way things can't crawl through the windows and surprise attack you."

Maria slapped Liz's arm lightly, giving her a pouty face. "That is so mean. I'd be a lot more supportive if you were home alone."

"Be careful walking home, all right?" Liz replied, embracing Maria in a quick hug.

Maria nodded, waved, then let herself out using the back entrance to the Crashdown Café downstairs. She let herself shiver uncontrollably as she speed walked down the alley way to the main street, keeping her eyes glued to the sidewalk.

she moaned silently. Passing through the residential streets wasn't much better than going through town. Most of the porch lights were turned off, making the long stretches of street lamps dark.

Maria was relieved to see her house waiting, thinking a dark living room was better than the nighttime. With an irrational panic she unlocked the door, stepped in, and slammed it behind her, feverishly locking the two deadbolts. When she finished she felt considerably safer, then flipped on the hall and living room lights and took off her coat and shoes.

She made her way through the dining room to the kitchen, flipping on every single lamp, over-head light, and bulb she could find. In the kitchen she made sure the backdoor was locked, the window was down with the curtains tightly shut, and no one was hiding in the pantry with a butcher knife before continuing her journey. Closing off her mom's bedroom and the guest room, Maria cautiously put a hand inside her room to turn on the light before stepping inside.

Sighing in relief, she changed out of her work clothes and into pajama pants and a tank top, then went to the bathroom and scrubbed her face free of makeup, combing out her tangled hair. Feeling comfortable and safe in the brightly lit house, Maria returned to the living room with a blanket and bowl of popcorn and sat down to watch TV. She was no more than fifteen minutes into Jay Leno when a hesitant knock reached her ears.

Maria aimed the remote at the TV and muted it, dropping her popcorn in the process. "Oh my God," she whispered. "Who the hell comes to your house at midnight?" She crept into the foyer, creeping to the peep hole. (I wish I didn't have all the lights on.) she thought ironically. Her heart was thudding as she leaned closer to the door. Then she groaned, annoyance replacing her fear.

She unlocked the door and pulled it open, turning on the porch light. "It's midnight." she informed her guest more harshly than she intended. "What are you doing here?"

Michael glanced up sharply, caught off guard by the catty remark. "All the lights were on. I figured someone was up."

Maria opened her mouth, then shot back feebly, "I still could've been sleeping."

"You weren't." Michael pointed out, giving her a look. Then he raised his hands. "Fine. You know what, I'm sorry, I'll just leave."

Confused by the sudden back-down, Maria felt the empty annoyance melt away. She wasn't really mad at him, but it helped hide her confusion and weak-in-the-knees feelings whenever he was around. "Wait!" she cried out, jerking forward to grab his arm. Michael allowed her to stop him. "Don't leave." Maria said more softly. "What is it you wanted?"

Michael sat down on Maria's porch steps, trying not to let her see him shivering. His mind was working fast as he tried to think of an excuse as to why he was at her house in the middle of the night. He couldn't tell her the real reason. That he had come over because he was worried about her being alone without her mom, and that he needed to see her, to thank her. How he only felt comfortable when he was in her embrace.

But I fear
I have nothing to give
I have so much to lose
Here in this lonely place
Tangled up in our embrace
There's nothing I'd like better
Than to fall
But I fear
I have nothing to give

Maria was staring at him expectantly. Michael turned his face, so he was hidden in the shadows. "I was, uh, walking around town, and I saw the lights and was wondering if you were OK." Oops. That wasn't what he meant to say.

Maria smiled gently, making his heart beat faster. "I'm doing fine. A little lonely, but fine." She seemed to hesitate. "Do you want to come in?" Michael looked behind her at the half open door and knew he should run, leave her house that very instant. But he wanted to go in so badly, so he shook his head and let Maria take his hand and lead him inside.

I can feel the magic floating in the air
Being with you gets me that way
I watch the sunlight dance across your face
And I've never been this swept away
All my thoughts just seem to settle on the breeze
When I'm lying wrapped up in your arms
The whole world just fades away
The only thing I hear
Is the beating of your heart

Maria closed the door behind him, then paused by the living room entrance. Michael reached out and took her wrist, then cupped her hand between his own, intertwining his fingers with her small ones.

Maria stared at her hand, startled and touched by the sweet gesture.

"I, I also wanted to say something else." Michael choked, his voice cracking. He swore to himself, swallowed, and tried again. "I wanted to thank you for…taking care of me that night."

He didn't have to explain farther, for when he looked up to meet her eyes, all he found was the understanding he used to yearn for. Someone really understood him, every stoic look, every simple gesture, every action of love that was so hard for him to do, every fear and hope he had, she could feel and understand.

Michael's voice lost all coherency and was content just to gaze into her eyes.

In a way I know my heart's waking up
As all the walls come tumbling down
Closer than I've ever felt before
And I know, and you know
There's no need for words right now

"You don't have to thank me." Maria said softly, finally breaking the silence. "The fact that you came and thought I could help was thanks enough. It showed me you cared."

Michael was still holding her hand, caressing her palm by using little circular motions with his fingers. "Still, thank you." Michael answered.

Maria could feel a tingling moving up her arm, encasing her in a warm glow. Michael brought her over to the couch and sat her down. She reached out beside her and turned off the lamp, letting only the light from the kitchen light up the room.

Michael finally let go of her hand and moved his fingers up her forearm, leaving a trail of electricity on her skin. His other hand repeated the motion, moving up to her shoulders, and across her neck.

Maria shivered with exhilaration as his fingers traced the outline of her tank top, dipping down her neck and back around her arms while Michael's face was so close to hers she could feel his breath.

Cause I can feel you breathe
It's washing over me
And suddenly I'm melting into you
There's nothing left to prove
Baby, all we need is just to be
Caught up in the touch
Slow and steady rush
Baby, isn't that the way that love's supposed to be
I can feel you breathe

Michael continued his journey along her body, cupping her face in his hands and he delicately ran a finger over her lips, eyes, and cheeks with a serious expression on his face.

Maria smiled lightly as he cautiously touched her hair. His touches were almost childlike, unsure and experimented, while his face contained the wondrous look someone gets when they see something amazing for the first time.

Hesitantly, he leaned forward and brushed his lips with hers, leaving nothing more than a breath's kiss. Maria closed her eyes as she leaned back against the couch and felt Michael take her hand again, this time leaving little kisses on the ends of her fingertips.

(I never thought he could be this gentle.) Maria thought suddenly. It was like she was seeing a totally different Michael, the shy, completely open Michael that she always knew he was.

His lips kissed their way up her arm, across her neck and jaw, and up to her mouth, where she ached for another kiss. This time the hesitant feeling was gone, now that he knew she wouldn't turn away, and was replaced by a deeper passion that left Maria on fire.

She pulled him down as she laid flat against the couch and wrapped her arms around him, enjoying the feel of his soft hair and his hands on her hips. This was what she was living for. Him.

I can feel the magic floating through the air Being with you gets me that way…

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