FanFic - Unconventional Couples
"Guilty Pleasures"
Part 2
by Roswella
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. They belong to the lovely Mr. Katims. For the very last part of the story, I used direct dialogue from the show, the episode "Skin and Bones". All credit goes to the writers of that episode for that part.
Summary: What happens with Max and Maria when Liz leaves for the summer? Maria POV (Takes place between DESTINY and SKIN AND BONES)
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: I would absolutely love feedback, seeing as though this is my first fanfic.
One Week Later - Movie Theater

Max and I never talked about that night afterwards. It was just an unspoken understanding that we had. Of course Isabel questioned him the next day. Max just simply replied that he needed to be alone. Obviously it was important to both of us not to mention the whole sleeping over deal. People could take that the wrong way and all hell could break loose. I kinda felt special actually. Of all people, he came to me. He broke down in front of me. He slept with me. Well, literally of course.

Now we were sitting together watching a movie. It wasnít the greatest flick, but like I said before, we just enjoyed each otherís company. Suddenly, I felt his hand on mine. For some reason, it didnít feel like the typical friendly gesture. Probably because he was caressing my hand with his thumb. It felt good. It felt...right. I looked up at him. I was confused, not only by what I was feeling, but by the look on his face. I have never seen someone have so much certainty in their eyes, but still look so unsure about themselves. Thatís when I got my first flash.

At first it was all blurry and dark, but then it came into focus. I was shocked. It was Max and I, and we were.....we were kissing. Not just kissing, it was more like a makeout session. I felt what he was feeling, and I think he was enjoying it just as much as I was. The thing is, that never happened. We were never together like that. I grabbed my head and opened my eyes. I felt dizzy and lightheaded. I looked over to Max, and I knew. He saw it too......

I busted out of that theater like you would never believe. I heard his footsteps following me, but still I kept running. And what do you know, by the time I was out of breath, I had landed us in that park again! I paced around back and forth taking deep breaths as he just stood there watching me, trying to catch his own breath. With each breath that I took, one more moment of reality was shot back at me. Finally my breathing was regular again, and I just looked at him.

"You know, weíre missing a good movie," he said

"Max, this isnít funny," I said back to him with a tone of voice I didnít even know I had. Wow, where was that voice when I was arguing with Michael?

"Sorry." Then he looked down at his shoes.

"I mean, what the hell was that? Since when do I get flashes, and since when do I get them with you!" I didnít mean to sound so harsh, but this was really weird.

"I donít know. Iím just as confused as you are. But listen, Maria. I may not be sure of what I saw, but I am sure of what I felt." With that he looked at me. His face was so determined. I finally know what Liz was talking about when she said that she could get lost in his eyes. I mean my legs practically melted right there, but I had to think realistically.

"So..so what are you saying here, Max. I mean, it was just a flash. It never happened."

"Youíre right, it didnít. But what if it did. Would that be.....would it be so bad?"

"I need to take a walk. This is all just too much for me to handle right now," I said as I started to walk off. He just stood there, a wistful look on his face. I turned around to face him.

"Are you coming or what?" He smirked and walked up to me. Yeah, this was definitely something I had to think about. I donít even know what he was implying. Did he actually want to follow through, actually kiss?

One Week Later - Jerryís Ice Cream Shop

Max and I hadnít spoken much after that walk. I think he wanted to give me time to think about what was going on. I didnít know if a week was long enough, but I couldnít avoid him forever. I laid low for a while and just kept to myself. I tried to keep my mind off my situation, but it was really hard. The whole time I just kept thinking about Liz. What kind of best friend would I be if I got some nookie from her boyfriend? She even called during the week to see how things were doing. Normally, I would go to her to seek her advice, but this was a little different, a little too close to home. Granted, they werenít actually a couple anymore, but still. I was happy that my stomach was feeling okay, but that changed when Max called me up this afternoon. Right before the phone rang, the ache returned, that gnawing feeling I kept getting whenever something big was about to happen. Thatís when I picked up the phone and heard Maxís voice. His sweet, gentle voice.

"Stop it Maria! Just stop it!" I kept saying to myself over and over, but it wasnít working. Max had convinced me to go out and get some ice cream with him tonight. I didnít consider it a date at all, just a get-together. I mean, we had to discuss what was going on between us before we could actually ask each other out, right? I decided, however, that just because it wasnít a date didnít mean I couldnít look nice. I wore the cutest skirt I had, my black velvet one that had a tied ribbon on each side. I put on my red, thick-strapped tank top and my silver necklace. I curled my hair and put it half up half down.

We decided to just meet at the ice cream parlor. Now here we are, sitting together, me eating my chocolate sundae and Max having his vanilla waffle-cone. We didnít say too much at first, both of us trying to think of the right words to say. The music from the jukebox flooded my ears as it played Bon Joviís "Itís My Life". Heh, I wish. I snuck a look at Max while he wasnít watching. If I was going to fight what was happening between us, it was going to be very hard. I mean, the boy is just so cute! Just seeing him sneak some Tabasco sauce onto his ice cream was cute. Why did it never affect me like that when Michael did it? This really needs to stop now. Maxís voice interrupted my thoughts.

"So.....anything exciting happen to you this week?" he asked subtly.

"Well, I called Romeo up a couple times, but of course he never returned my calls." I said exasperated. I could tell Max was uncomfortable when I mentioned Michael. He squirmed in his chair, so I changed the subject. "And I hear that Alex and Isabel have been going out a lot lately."

"Uh, yeah. I feel like Iíve barely seen Isabel this week. Of course, Iíve been out with Tess a lot lately." When he saw the look on my face he added, "Weíve become friends. Itís strange. I would never have though that Tess and I would act like this towards one another. Itís nice though, that she finally understands about Liz and I." Thatís when he saw me squirm. "Have you talked to Liz lately?"

Yeah, great conversation Max. Letís talk about Liz while we are on our...on our...our not-date! Unfortunately he wasnít as perceptive as I was. I knew if I told him yes that I would have to go in detail about the whole conversation and blah, blah, blah, so I did the only thing I could do.

"No. Actually, I havenít spoken with her since she left." I lied. At this point I think he finally got the hint that I wasnít liking where this conversation was going. The jukebox changed itís tune to a slow song, Mandy Mooreís "I Wanna Be With You". Oh, perfect. Thatís just what we need, more awkwardness. God, this was getting to be as bad as the last blind date I had. I fumbled with the rings on my fingers. I hate this! Why is this so uncomfortable? Usually Max brings on this calming effect when Iím near him. I feel like I just have to take one look at him and know everything will be fine. It might just be because my problems are quite petty compared to his, but I like to think thatís not it. Thatís when he got up.

At first he just kinda stood there and gazed at me with that small smile on his face, a mischievous twinkle in his eye. He outstretched his hand, asking a silent question. The question going through my mind was, should I accept or not? I glanced around the room making sure I didnít know anyone. If word got out that Max and I were slow dancing together, well, letís just say I donít think people would be too happy with the thought. Lucky for us it was almost closing time. It was an added bonus that we picked a place outside of the main downtown area. I looked back up at him and I couldnít resist as I took his hand and got up. We walked over to dance next to the jukebox. I put my other hand around his neck and he put his on the small of my back. Slowly we began to sway to the beat.

This was crazy. Me, Maria DeLuca, dancing with Max Evans. And yet it felt so right. We didnít say anything. All we had to do was communicate with our eyes and bodies. I rested my head on his shoulder. It was such an amazing feeling. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was....like I was home. I felt at peace, and I never wanted it to end. I stared up at him as he pulled me in closer. His arms around me made me feel so warm and safe, like the little blankey I used to carry around when I was a kid. Yes, Max was my security blanket. When I looked into his eyes, the entire room became fuzzy and all I saw were his gorgeous chocolate browns staring back at me. The music began to drown out as he leaned in closer. I closed my eyes and just waited....and waited........and waited. I opened up one eye and looked at him. I could tell he really wanted to kiss me, but he was unsure of himself, like he was waiting for me to meet him halfway. Oh, for Peteís sake. I grabbed his face and closed the distance between us.

Later that night, I couldnít sleep for anything..........what? You want me to describe the kiss?? A real woman doesnít kiss and tell.....All right, you twisted my arm. I gotta admit, the boy can kiss. His lips were like...like...man, this is so hard to describe. They were so soft. The friction between his lips and mine made them burn almost as hot as I was burning up inside. It was just so surreal. Afterwards, I think we were in too much shock to really say anything. He smiled at me and I burst into laughter. He had my lipstick all over his lips. I didnít think we kissed that much! He took me home after that and thatís when the trouble started.

Thoughts of Liz plagued my brain and I couldnít sleep the whole night. What kind of person was I? I mean, I was kissing my best friendís ex-boyfriend. It wasnít even like that was the big thing. The big thing was that they were soul mates. I donít care what Max or Liz think their destiny is. They belong together. Yet why did it feel so good to be kissed by him? Thatís when it hit me, and hard. This whole time, I thought I was jealous of Liz and Maxís relationship. I think I was wrong. I think I was really just jealous of Liz. I mean, she has the perfect guy, Mr. Sensitive, Mr. Emotional and Doesnít Need to Hide it. If Michael was that way, none of this would have ever happened. Of course, thatís not fair. Michael may be pushing me away, but he wasnít pushing me into Maxís arms, I was. Why the hell do things always have to be so complicated!

Two Weeks Later - Crashdown

Max and I had been seeing each other a lot the past two weeks. Ever since that first kiss, we just couldnít be apart from one another. Of course we had to put on an act when we were around our friends, but most of the time, they were all too busy in their own world to even notice us. Things started getting pretty serious between Alex and Isabel. So much for the "just being friends" thought. Tess was always off with Michael, helping him excel in his powers. Normally I would be jealous, thinking Tess was going after my boyfriend because Max was a lost cause. But I hadnít had any time to worry about it. So here we were. Isabel and Alex were sitting across from Max and I in our usual booth. From an outsiderís point of view, it could have looked like a double-date, which in a way it was, but Isabel and Alex didnít know it. Isabel and Alex were deep in their own conversation when I felt Maxís hand on mine under the table. Our fingers twisted around and played a game of tag until finally they intertwined. Thatís when I got the next flash.

It started out the same way as the other one, all blurry and dark. Then it was crystal clear, and I couldnít believe what I saw. As if the kiss wasnít a big thing, Max and I were doing a lot more than that. A LOT more. Let me just say that we werenít doing the chicken dance, not the vertical version anyway... I got lightheaded and dizzy again, and when I opened my eyes, everyone was staring at me.

"Uhh, Iím not feeling too good guys." And with that I got up and ran to the back room.

"Iíll go see whatís wrong with her," I heard Max say to a concerned Isabel and Alex. He came through the swinging door and saw me standing against the lockers all flushed. I couldnít hide the blush that was rising on my cheeks. Thatís when a realization struck me.

"Max, do you understand whatís going on here? It didnít hit me until just now," I whispered grabbing his arm with panic. "These flashes Iím getting, they arenít just coincidences. Max, I think weíre seeing into the future..." It made total sense.

"Maria, what are you talking about? You really think that.....that THATíS going to happen in the future?" he asked with a look of doubt on his face.

"Think about it, Max. When you kiss Liz, or make a connection with her, you see stuff from your past, from her past. When we kiss, or make a connection, the future is seen. I canít believe I didnít see this before. We were wearing the same exact clothes when we kissed that night as the ones in my flash. This is so scary, I mean, this is beyond craziness." This was really starting to freak me out. I can understand Max and I sharing a kiss here and there, but doing . . . doing THAT.

He pulled me into an embrace when he saw the frightened look on my face. He wrapped his comforting arms around me as he kissed my forehead and rested his chin on my head.....my security blanket. I squeezed him tight, trying to think of all the consequences of our actions. The only thing I could see when I closed my eyes was Michael and Liz. Would they ever do this to us? Of course not. Michael wouldnít even consider being friends with a another human girl, let alone make out with one. And Liz.....Liz knew what she wanted. She knew that Max was the one, and that he would always be the one. No matter how much she tried denying it, she loved him. Thatís how I always thought I was. I thought that Michael and I should be together, no matter what. I mean, I love him, and I never thought anything would be able to test our love besides our dumb arguments. I didnít think anything could change the way I feel for Michael. Of course Max had to come along and rock my world!

Itís been especially hard lately because Michael keeps avoiding me. The other day I saw him walking down the sidewalk up ahead of me coming towards me. He looked up and saw me and walked across the street so he wouldnít have to talk to me. That hurt, a lot. But then again, I also see where heís coming from, and I love him even more because of it. Heís just trying to protect me from forces that are more powerful than he is by himself, and I respect him for it. That doesnít mean it canít hurt though.

I told Max to go back and tell Isabel and Alex that I was fine, just a little dizzy. I needed more time to think about what was going on inside of me. I donít know what I really have to think about. I mean, I love Max, but Iím IN love with Michael. And somehow that just doesnít seem to be enough, which is just nuts.

Several Days Later - Mariaís House

I had attempted to call Michael yesterday, but I never got a hold of him. I left about half a dozen messages on his answering machine. I really needed to talk to him to figure out what was going on. I wasnít going to tell him about Max and I, but I needed to know if things would ever get better between us. My attempt was useless. Whether he was home or not, he wouldnít answer. The phone rang and I jumped out of my chair and ran to pick it up. Please let it be Michael. Please let it be Michael.

"Hello?"

"Maria!!!" said an excited Liz.

"Oh, hey Liz," I said back, a little too unenthusiastic. I changed my tone so she wouldnít be suspicious. "The countdown is on Liz! Only a few more weeks until you come home!"

"Oh I know! I canít wait. I mean, donít get me wrong. The beach is great, and so are the guys, but itís not Roswell. I miss you all sooo much, and I miss my bed."

"Awww, itís okay, chica. Youíll be home pretty soon and you wonít even care about youíre bed because you and I are going to spend the last few days before school partying all night long!"

"Oh, I canít wait. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to! So how is Michael, are you guys talking yet?" she asked with such sympathy in her voice.

"No, itís like he canít even stand looking at me anymore, Liz. It hurts so bad. I wish you were here because I could really use a good hug right about now."

"You know what Maria? Max is a great listener. Maybe he could help you out with your problems. He always seemed to help me with mine...." she trailed off. I had never felt so guilty in my entire life. I sucked it up and played my role.

"Liz, donít worry about Max. When you get back, heíll be waiting for you, with arms open."

"Thatís what Iím worried about, Maria. I donít want that. We canít be together, itís just not meant to be." For the next two hours, I tried my best to convince her that there wasnít anything I was more sure about. Max and Liz were soul mates, not matter what Tess or Liz think. At the same time, I was trying to convince myself of the fact that Max may be enjoying this summer fling weíre having, but his heart is with one girl, and that girl isnít me. At least at the time I didnít think it was me.

A Couple Nights Later - Mariaís House

I canít sleep for the life of me. Iíve been having many nights like these lately, tossing and turning, sleep never claiming my body. Do you blame me? Itís getting harder and harder to not have a nervous breakdown. It was amazing, though. Anytime Max was with me, I forgot about everything else. I forgot about my supposed boyfriend and his decision to disown me. I forgot about my best friend, who would never speak to me again if she knew what was going on. I threw caution to the wind and learned to live a little. But as soon as night fell, a downpour of emotions and thoughts rattled my brain. Everything always seemed to be worse at night, ever since I was a little kid. I think itís because your mind clears from your everyday thoughts and you begin to see things as they really are. My mind was racing when Max knocked on my window.

"Max, you really need to stop making midnight house calls. I mean if my mom was home and say you, she would kill you, then sheíd kill me," I said as I opened the window and let him in.

"Iíd never let anyone hurt you," he replied with one of those heart melting looks. See what I mean! The boy is a smooth talker, and good at it!

"Max, thatís not your job." I walked over and sat down on my bed. He sat down next to me and put his finger under my chin, forcing me to look at him.

"But I want it to be." And with that, he kissed me. He pulled his hands through my hair and grabbed my head, pulling me closer to him. He tasted so good. It was a mixture of applesauce and cinnamon. He pushed me down onto the bed and laid on top of me. Our hands searched each otherís bodies, memorizing each crevice. My stomach grew tighter and tighter and the pain became unbearable.

"Max, I canít do this," I said as I pushed him off me and got up.

"Why not? Whatís wrong, Maria?" he asked as he sat up. I loved the boy, but sometimes he could be so dense, or so I thought.

"Whatís wrong? Whatís WRONG? Max, what about Liz and Michael? Yeah, they blew us off, and yeah, we should be pissed. But this isnít the answer. I mean, who knows what stuff happens when humans and aliens....when they...they, you know, mix! And besides that, neither of our hearts are in it, and you know it. I know you wish I were Liz, but Iím not. And you know I wish you were Michael, but thatís just not how it is. I donít want to be the rebound, Max, and I know you donít want to be one either." He got up and walked over to me with such pain on his face. He grabbed my shoulders and held on tight, looking right into my eyes, trying to read my soul.

"Listen to me, Maria," he said in a soft voice. "Youíre right. Iím not Michael and you arenít Liz. And Liz may have my heart, but you have a part of my soul. I feel like weíre two kindred spirits finally finding each other. Iím not asking you to deny your feelings for Michael, but I am asking you not to deny your feelings for me. I love you, Maria, and it may not be the same kind of love I have for Liz, but it is true, and it is real. I need you." Wow. Did he just say what I think he just said? For once I didnít listen to my brain, but I paid attention to my heart.

"Max, I.....I love you too, but I still canít do this. Donít ask me to do something that Iím not ready to do. Itís not you, itís me. Iím not ready to do that with anyone yet. But you can stay the night, thatís something I do want, just to be with you."

"Thatís all Iím asking from you, Maria, is just to be with you."

"I think I can do that," I said with a smirk on my face. I took his hand and led him to the bed. He got in first, then wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me next to him. He enclosed me in his arms, acting more comforting than any blanket I have ever owned. He stared at me as he stroked my face with his finger. Those eyes, I never realized it before, but they were almost green. A deep green that could swallow you whole, being forever lost in the depths of his soul. I started humming a song as I closed my eyes, still feeling him touch my face. I fell asleep, knowing that everything was right for now, not caring about any obstacles that might be ahead.

I awoke to sunlight filtering in my room and soft music playing on my radio. I looked up and Max was still next to me, holding me close. A halo of light formed around his head, making him more peaceful than ever.

"That was Madonnaís ĎLike a Prayerí on RWS 100.7. Up next, Dido with ĎAll You Wantí," said the dull broadcaster.

"Iíd like to watch you sleep at night, to hear you breathe, by my side....And although sleep leaves me behind, thereís no where Iíd rather be...."

My thoughts drowned the sweet music out as I watched Max sleeping beside me. It was just so perfect. His eyes fluttered open, as if he knew I was watching him.

"Morning," he said with a smile. I heard the chorus of the song right as he spoke.

"All, all you want, is right here in this room, all you want. And all, all you need is sitting here with you..."

He smiled as he listened to the song. I turned the music off, not wanting to ruin the moment. I curled up in his arms, thankful my mom was gone for the weekend. It had taken so long to gain her trust after she caught Michael and I in bed together. I couldnít believe that she thought I would actually go all the way with a guy. Iím only 17! I was actually shocked to hear that she was going to visit my grandma for the weekend in Arizona. I closed my eyes and got lost in the warmth of our bodies. We intertwined our legs and closed our eyes, never wanting to get up again.

1 Week Before Liz Came Home - Crashdown

Things were going great. Max and I had spent the last weeks together doing anything and everything possible. We knew there wasnít much time left until Liz came home, and we wanted to cherish every moment we had together. It was really hard keeping our relationship a secret from everyone else, but somehow we managed. Alex and Isabel had grown distant in the last few weeks. I think her seeing what happened to Liz and me, she didnít want to hurt Alex. She wanted to keep his friendship, rather than risk everything for a closer relationship. I still didnít really talk to Michael, but I did see him once in a while. And gradually he began to at least give me a hello or a smile when we passed each other on the street. Itís about time. Itís not like it took him a whole summer to be able to do that!

Part 1 | Index | Part 3
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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