FanFic - Unconventional Couples
Part 1
by Vlada
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or the song. What a big surprise.
Summary: Max and Maria try to comfort each other as friends, but end up having a stolen moment.
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: I've always found all the Roswell UC combinations weird and odd. I'm not a fan of any one of them so I really surprised myself by making my Roswell fanfic debut with a Max/Maria fic.
"Cos' it's a bittersweet symphony this life..."
~ "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve

Max walked into the Crashdown, the door swinging closed behind him as the door jingles rang. The air felt cold and empty next to his skin, making the café seem like a sequester place. He knew it shouldn't feel this way. Someone had to be here in order for the front door to be open. But it did feel this way. He'd been carrying around this feeling for weeks.

"Kitchen's closed," he heard a voice ring out.

Maria stepped out from behind the counter and looked around for the intruder, her eyes scouring the room until they landed on him. She felt her fear melt away and a warm current pass through the air. She looked into his face, his dismal eyes clearly divulging his worn down heart. He tried to smile at her, but it only fell back down into a frown. She nodded, trying to smile herself. He mouthed "thank you" to her and sat down at a counter chair.

"You want some chocolate chip pancakes with that sad smile?" she asked, smiling glumly.

"No thanks," he mumbled as he slumped forward, laying his arms on the counter. "I didn't know you cooked."

"Hey, I never promised it'd actually taste like chocolate chip pancakes," she replied, finally mustering a real smile from him and herself. "How about a good ear instead. I've heard Liz's half of this heart tormenting tale, it's only fair I hear yours too."

"I can't believe she slept with him," Max blurted out bluntly, his eyes cast downward at the tile counter.

"What?" Maria exclaimed, leaning over the counter. "Assuming she is Liz and you said 'slept with him,' I can't believe it either. And who would him be?"

"She didn't tell you?" Max asked surprised, looking up at her.

"Not unless one of you abducted me and took part of my memory," she replied, shaking her head.

"Oh, forget it," Max said, trying to change the subject.

"No, forget I do not." She took out a vile of aromatherapy from behind the counter and began snuffling it. "Liz is my friend who once had a very romantic boyfriend unlike myself so I've made a habit of living vicariously through her. Spill."

"I don't think I should…" Max was interrupted by Maria.

"So what if you tell me? She'll break up with you? Stop talking to you? She already did all of those things."

"Thank for rubbing it in," Max muttered.

"I'm sorry, it's just…Liz doesn't keep secrets from me. She told me about you guys. She tells me everything so something must be wrong if she's not telling me she slept with someone."

"Fine, but this doesn't leave the walls," Max said nervously.

"Promise," Maria replied as she crossed her heart. "And the tacky colored walls promise not to say anything either."

"Okay…she slept with Kyle," Max blurted out quickly. He took a let out a deep breath that he hadn't realized he was holding in.

"Well…color me surprised," Maria said, her eyes wide and distant. "This calls for a drink. Unfortunately, as the menu states in tiny letters at the bottom of the page, the Crashdown does not carry alcoholic beverages."

"Yeah, I could use one myself despite full knowledge of what my first and last drink did to me."

"Are you sure?" she asked, putting a comforting hand on his shoulder.

He nodded. "Unfortunately, I saw them when I went to try to convince her to go with me to the Gomez concert."

"She turned down a Gomez concert with you, the love of her life, for Kyle? For a cheap night with a guy who used to stalk her?" Maria exclaimed, shaking her head in disbelief. "I don't get it. Something's definitely off."

"I know, but I can't figure it out and she won't tell me."

"Wow, they really screwed everything up." Max looked up at her with a dazed expression. "Michael and Liz."

"Then why are the ones sitting here with sad looks plastered all over our faces?" he asked Maria quietly.

"Thank, Max, just thanks," she muttered sarcastically. "I was trying to make you feel better, but no."

"I think you were trying to make yourself feel better," Max replied. "Even though your not showing it, I know you feel as beaten up as I look over Michael."

"I don't get that guy," she said as she snapped a dishtowel against the counter. "He's so…ahhhh, frustrating."

"When we were in second grade, Michael had a crush on this little girl." Maria chuckled to herself. "One day, they were on the monkey bars together and this kid pushed the girl off. Michael didn't even reach out his hand to help her up. He climbed off, walked right past her, and asked me to help her up. He pretends not to care about what he loves. But it's so obvious he does care, Maria."

"Well, it'd be nice if he showed it instead," Maria replied, "but thanks for telling me that story. It…helps…a little."

"It's only the truth." He smiled at her and she smiled back.

"When were ten, Liz's favorite movies was 'E.T.'"

"Oh well, then that settles it. We're meant to be together," he replied jokingly.

He smirked to himself as she hung up the dishtowel on a hook.

"What?" she asked, giving him a pointed look over her shoulder.

"Nothing," he replied, snapping out of his reverie.

"Oh, come on. Tell me, pretty please with a cherry on top," she begged, her hair falling over her shoulder as she walked back to the counter.

"This is kinda…embarrassing." He looked down on the counter, his cheeks discoloring slightly.

"You've already bared your soul. What could be more embarrassing?"

"You know, it's been so long since I've… kissed somebody who wants to be kissed…I'm kinda forgetting…what it's like," he said softly.

"I haven't even kissed anybody who doesn't want to be kissed let alone someone who does," she pointed out.

"It's scary…like I'm loosing my sense of touch." He rested his chin on his arms, which were fold over each other on the counter.

"Like we're becoming old people," Maria continued as she leaned her elbows onto the counter, placing her face in the palms of her hands. He eyes gazed into the distance.

"Like the whole world is against us in you and me getting a requited kiss." He looked up into Maria's blue eyes. He never noticed before how they looked like the sky.

"Well, in your case, it kinda is," she replied, turning her head to look at him. Her heart skipped a beat as she was unexpectedly met by his eyes looking directly into her.

"Yeah," he mouthed as he leaned his face closer to hers. She nodded, titling her head to the side. "Your hair's really long," he whispered, moving the strands in front of her face behind her shoulders. She nodded, leaning her body over the counter more. She looked at his face one last time before closing her eyes and feeling his lips on her own.

He's so different, Maria thought as they kissed. The kiss was slow and tender, soft as the feel of his hand on her cheek. It wasn't hungry like with Michael, but endearing like the feelings underneath the lust. She placed her hand on his, pulling it away from her cheek. Max broke the kiss, looking up at her before situating his gaze down at the counter top once again.

"Don't be…shy," she said letting go of his hand. "It was…sweet." He nodded. "Just weird."

He chuckled, nodding his head in agreement again. "Extreme circumstances cause for extreme measures."

"Exactly, and we definitely needed that. We deserved it," she stated. "So let's not feel weird about this."

"Agreed," he replied, shaking her hand. "But we don't tell anyone."

"Hell, for all I know, this night never happened. I don't know Liz slept with Kyle, we didn't kiss, and we aren't still shaking hands, "she said glancing down at their intertwined hands.

"Oh, sorry." Max abruptly pulled his hand out of the embrace of Maria's.

Maria began to lock up the restaurant, every so often glancing at Max who sat silently at the counter. She shook her head in disbelief of the entire night as she smiled to herself. She grabbed the closed sign from the behind the cashier's desk after realizing she had forgotten to place the sign on the door. As she hung it around the doorknob, she could see Liz across the street heading in the opposite direction from the Crashdown.

"Max?" Maria whispered.

"Yeah," he answered, surprised to hear her voice.

"Were you thinking of Liz?" she asked barely above a whisper. Max probably wouldn't have heard her if his sense hadn't been heightened since the kiss.

"No, I wasn't."

"You know, it's okay. Really, cause I was thinking of Michael," she said taking a chair and placing it upside down on top of a table.

"Oh," Max said quietly. He shrugged his jacket on tighter over his shoulder as he stood up. "I should go."

"Okay. Remember, I owe you chocolate chip pancakes," Maria yelled over her shoulder as he headed out the back door.

"I will. We should do this every week. Talk, that is," Max added quickly.

"You got it," Maria replied through giggles. Thinking Max was gone, she went back to placing the chairs on the tables. She was almost done when she heard his voice yell out through the room.

"By the way, I really wasn't thinking of Liz," he yelled.

She heard the back door slam shut before replying, "I wasn't really thinking of Michael."

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