FanFic - Unconventional Couples
"Opposites Attract?"
Part 1
by NewMex_sky
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters of the show "Roswell". They are owned lock, stock and barrel, by the creators of the show and the WB. I can only admire them from afar, and use them as a template for my imagination.
Summary: Maria finds herself developing an unlikely bond with, of all people, Kyle Valenti. This is having a disruptive effect on her other relationships, especially with Michael. As she is drawn further into the situation, she is being challenged to see where it will lead. And perhaps, who she will end up with.
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: I am a new member on the Boards, though I have been shadowing the Crashdown site pretty much since its inception. I have watched the show since it was first aired. I deeply respect the people that I consider brave enough to lend their imaginations ,via this Board and their Fan Fiction, to continue growing the show's mythology. Some of you are so amazingly prolific! Let me state that I am a firm M&M fan/supporter. After some aborted attempts at other stories featuring my favorite twosome, this story pretty much leapt out of the (darker) recesses of my brain when I wasn't looking. I can only hope that it is considered within it's intended context and is not meant to be disrespectful to M&M lovers. That being said, read on.
"Well, what an unexpected thrill it is to have you here--in my house," Maria DeLuca sneered.

"Well," Kyle Valenti retorted mimicking Maria, "the last I heard, sixteen year olds don't normally own their homes. Unless, of course, they're Britney Spears and you certainly do not look like her. Kyle grumbled, "I only wish you did." Maria ceased setting the table. She looked sharply in Kyle's direction. "Bite me!" she growled.

An imaginary bell sounded in Maria's mind signaling the end of the first round.

Kyle snorted and mockingly slapped his leg as if he had heard something funny. With a wave of his hand, he dismissed her. He began circling the kitchen, stopping to absently finger the little rubber magnets posted on the refrigerator.

Maria ignored him, continuing with her chore. She practiced gritting her teeth into a forced smile. "Smile"--that's what her mom had asked her to do if she ran out of patience. Dinner hasn't even been served and already I'm out of patience, Maria confessed to herself.


"Please, treat Jim and Kyle as guests in this house," Amy lectured Maria. "And if you can't say something nice, Maria---well, you know the rest."

As Maria peeled the apples for the pie her mother planned to bake, the last thing she had wanted was a discussion about the whole uncomfortable evening in front of her. She begged her mother to drop it, but Amy had prattled on anyway.

"Maria. I know this is really...awkward for you, especially since you go to school with Kyle, but this dinner is a healthy thing. We all have to try to get along since I plan on spending a lot more time with Jim. You seem to be a little more comfortable around him. I think you're starting to like him. Right?" Her mother rushed on without waiting for an answer. "I've noticed that you make more of an effort to talk to him when he comes over, and I want you to know that I really appreciate that." Amy reached over and patted Maria's hand. "Honey, I really like him. I don't know what it is, but we He appreciates me and makes me laugh, and it's been so long since I've had that in my life."

Maria could not appreciate what her mother saw in "Jim"--Roswell's sheriff, but she resolved to try not to embarrass her. At least not tonight. Her mother had dubbed tonight as the "First DeLuca/Valenti Family Dinner". Just a quiet gathering for Amy, Jim, Maria and Kyle. Maria hoped it would be the last.

Just bear with it and get through tonight, she reasoned with herself. Tomorrow---tomorrow is another story. *************************************

Amy entered the kitchen. Reaching for some drinking glasses, she filled one with soda. Then she removed a beer from the fridge.

Maria busied herself with setting the table, but stopped so she could steal a little glance at her mother. Guilt washed over Maria like a rainstorm. Suddenly she felt like a selfish little brat. That's what she was, a selfish little brat. She had been so caught up in her own private drama that she didn't notice how happy her mother was lately. Her mom only wanted what everyone and kindness. Who deserved that more than Amy DeLuca did? Maria silently resolved to try harder and to stop being so judgmental.

"Kyle," Amy cheerily addressed Kyle as he wandered around the kitchen, "why don't you take this soda and give this beer to your Dad. You guys can watch the game until dinner is ready."

Kyle gave her a crooked smile, but took the beverages with him into the other room. Maria had braced herself for Kyle to make some rude crack; she would've been all over him. It surprised her when he did as her mom asked.

"He could have said 'Thank you'. He is such a jerk!" Maria mumbled.

"Oh, Maria. You said you'd try," Amy chided her daughter. "He's probably just as shy around us as we are around him.

Maria coughed. "Yeah, Kyle Valenti...'Shy Boy'." Amy shot an impatient look at Maria. "Okay, okay. Sorry. I will do better," Maria conceded. She set down the last napkin, walked around the table towards her mother and embraced her.

"Really, Mom. It's going to be a fun evening. I promise." Maria hugged her mother tightly, but turned her head away so Amy wouldn't see the tears forming in her eyes. "I'll help make this work for you, Mom. I love you."

She couldn't immediately decide if the tears sprung from joy for her mother being in love, or her fear of loosing their privacy to the Valenti boys. **********************************

"That was great, Amy. You are one little spitfire in the kitchen." Jim Valenti exclaimed, rocking back in his chair and patting his stomach. "What's for dessert?" He grinned lovingly at Amy. There had been a lot of that throughout the meal. Gooey grins, flirting, gentle teasing. It was all so....Gross!

Maria suppressed the small groan building in her throat. Kyle, however, didn't even try to hide his disgust. He had been making faces all evening at the little comments passing back and forth between Maria's mom and his dad. "Jeez, Dad--you're a pig," he commented with obvious disgust. "Gee, thanks Kyle." Jim Valenti replied sheepishly. Maria felt a little sorry for the older Valenti; he was clearly embarrassed. "Hey, relax Kyle," she intervened. "Your Dad is just being enthusiastic about my Mom's cooking. She smiled weakly, "I'm glad someone is taking up the slack. I don't have the energy. I'm so stuffed." Kyle only stared at Maria. Maria stared back. Finally, Kyle gave in, dropping his eyes back to his plate. Maria sighed. Truthfully, she had struggled to eat tonight. It wasn't that the food wasn't prepared to her liking; the company wasn't to her liking. What a way to spend an evening, she lamented.

She wrestled with her feelings about the Sheriff. After all, he's the one that her friends feared more than a Trig pop-quiz. Jim Valenti had spent most of the past year tailing them; asking probing questions. He had made it pretty obvious that he suspected something was "different" about Max and Isabel Evans and their friend, Michael Guerin. Sheriff Valenti also intimated that he strongly suspected Maria, and her two best friends, Liz Parker and Alex Whitman knew what it was that he was suspicious about. Once, before the sheriff and her mother had started dating, Valenti dragged Maria in for questioning in the aftermath the Crashdown shooting incident. Liz, caught in the crossfire of an argument that turned into gunplay, almost died. Max had entered their lives that day, revealing his 'otherworldly' powers that had saved Liz's life.

What had happened that day had to remain a secret. It had been almost too much for her to bear--knowledge of another life form! Maria shuddered recalling how she almost revealed what she knew about Max, Michael and Isabel; she'd been so scared of them--of what she knew they were. Eventually, she learned to handle the situation, drawing strength from the bonds formed among the six. Sometimes she felt that nothing on Earth could tear them apart. Ever.

Until they found out that Maria's Mom had started dating Sheriff Valenti.


The alien-trio had no love for the Sheriff. Maria's boyfriend, Michael, was particularly upset to discover that Maria's mother was dating the lawman. Michael quickly passed judgement on the dating situation after Maria had revealed it to the gang.

"Just fantastic, Maria! You're not gonna catch me at your place! Last thing I need is to walk into your house and find Valenti there, all ready to interrogate me!" Michael was enraged.

Maria was already upset. She didn't need this to boot. "Why are you so angry at me? It's not my fault! I didn't invite him into my life!"

"Maybe not, but he's dating your Mother! That can only spell trouble for all of us. God, doesn't your Mother have any taste?" he declared. He slumped over their favorite table at the Crashdown Cafe. Isabel and Alex sat in the next booth. Neither said anything in her defense.

"Hey! Watch your mouth about my Mother! Valenti can't be all that bad if he was willing to help you after Hank packed up and left! He could have backed off and left you to the foster care system!"

Maria knew she was treading on thin ice bringing up that issue, but she was desperate to make a point and save her mother's reputation in her friend's eyes. Michael's eyes blazed with anger at the mere mention of the foster care situation.

"What, are you trying to tell me that Valenti is my buddy, or something? Well, it turns out that I didn't need him anyway!" Michael loudly answered. "It got handled--with help from my real friends." Maria's blood pressure was rising fast.

"Take it easy Michael, and lower your voice a bit," Max cautioned. "We're all upset. But it isn't Maria's fault what her mother does."

Thankfully, few customers were within earshot. Maria twitched with anger at all of them, sitting there and judging her mother! Even the ones who were silent were judging her. How dare they!

"Normally, I would say "thanks" Max, but today, all I can say is "Piss off!"--All of you! She stormed away from the table.

Liz started to get up from her place next to Max to follow Maria, but Max grabbed her arm. "Look, I don't think Michael meant to insult Maria," he explained to her. He looked to Michael to corroborate his statement and instead received a scornful snort. Michael turned his attention away from the rest of the group, his jaw jutted stubbornly.

Eyeing Michael, Max continued, "I guess that I speak for Isabel and myself when I say that. Michael can certainly express himself without my help." Max glared at Michael. Liz nodded without responding.

She gently touched Max on the arm. "I'm going to go check on Maria." She looked at Michael as she said this. He wouldn't acknowledge her.

As Liz got up from the table, she passed along one more comment. "Maria knows how to keep a secret, especially one this important. If the Sheriff ever finds out anything, it won't be from her."

Michael didn't look at her as she departed from the table. He knew he shouldn't have yelled at Maria. He also knew she couldn't do anything about her mother and the sheriff. It was just the thought of those Valenti's being in Maria's house. Why were they allowed, and he had to sneak around to see her? *********************************

The table was cleared and the dishes were in the sink. Maria opted to do the dishes right then and there--"I feel like cleaning up"--and it served the purpose of getting her away from the forced "family unit". Her mother protested at first, suspecting the real reason behind Maria's burst of enthusiasm for household chores, but Jim with an admonishing, "Let her be, Amy", had wrapped his arm around Amy's shoulder, steering her out the door towards the small backyard patio.

Kyle started to shuffle reluctantly along behind them until Jim put his hand up like a traffic cop. "Hold it right there, buddy. I think you could give Maria a little hand in here--Right", he made it a statement, not a question. "Dad!" Kyle started to whine. "Housework is for......"

Before Kyle could finish, the sheriff gave him a hard stare that shut him up immediately. "Maria," Jim said pointing at Kyle, "give this boy a dishtowel." He added, "If he gives you any trouble, I authorize you use that wet towel as a weapon.


"Kyle, it's been a pleasure doing business with you," Maria said, waiting until Valenti Sr. and her mother were seated comfortably outside. "You're dismissed." Maria started scraping the dinner dishes before placing them in the sink.

Kyle appeared beside her as she started to fill the sink basin with water. "Look. I didn't even want to be here tonight. I've got better things to do with my time" he complained.

"Hmm. I'm sure you do." Maria mumbled distractedly. She turned off the water, soaping each dish, then moved on to the silverware.

"No, really. You don't get it," he protested, "I really had something else planned for tonight, but my father insisted that I come here. I told him this would be a disaster. He never listens to me," Kyle finished wistfully.

Maria continued soaping and scrubbing. She didn't answer Kyle or acknowledge his presence at the sink.

"I guess even you would have something better to do on a night like this" Kyle suggested.

"Thanks Kyle." Maria tipped four fingers to her forehead, saluting him.

"I mean, shouldn't you be hanging out with that Guerin guy?" he asked resting his elbows on the counter and propping his chin in his hands.

Maria's breath caught in her throat. "What are you talking about? You have a nerve!" she answered evilly.

"Hey, I thought I was just stating the obvious, but I guess I hit a raw nerve. Sorry." Kyle grinned without a trace of sincerity on his face.

Maria's face was flushed. Damn, if this jerk didn't know how to get a rise out of her. She knew she should just ignore Kyle, but she recalled the last time gang had plans to get together.

Michael had not shown up.


C'mon, Maria," Alex waved at her. "The movie's gonna start." He approached her in the concession line. "Do you have to get the giant-sized popcorn? Iz and me, we'll share with you." Alex tugged on Maria's arm. "Michael, too. If he ever gets here."

Maria ducked her head a little and sighed. Embarrassed, a faint blush colored her cheek. "No. I think I'll just get my own."

"Do you want me wait with you?" Alex placed his hand in a supportive fashion on her back.

"Naw. Just go on in. The line is moving quickly. I'll be there in a second." Alex slowly stepped away. Maria forced a smile and moved her hands in a scooting motion. "Go on--Isabel is going to polish off the popcorn before you get there." she warned.

"Worse. She's probably loading it up with hot sauce," he laughed over his shoulder as he reached the door of the theater showing their movie.

Maria laughed--for about two seconds. Then her face fell---hard. She glanced over her shoulder at the theater entrance. Where was he? He knew about this movie thing for three whole days. The entire gang, Max, Liz, Isabel and Alex had agreed to see this new movie. The idea had been discussed in the quad during lunch. As usual, Michael hadn't said much about which movie he wanted to see, or even if he wanted to see a movie. Since he hadn't protested, everyone assumed that he'd show up at the theater at the appointed time. But he wasn't here, and Maria was loosing hope that he would show up at all.

She was now being served. She selected the giant popcorn/2-soda combo. She chose a diet coke for herself, cherry soda for the non-existent Michael.

Arms filled, she struggled into the theater after she had given her ticket to the ticket collector. She squinted into the dark as she made her way down the aisle.

Alex had kept an eye out for her. He waved her over. The previews were still running. Maria settled into a seat, next to Liz, one in from the end. The end one she saved for Michael.

The lights came up. The movie credits were running out.

"Maria. Maria, if you could move...we could get out." Startled, Maria looked to her left to see her friends all standing in the row, waiting patiently.

"Yeah. Sorry." she said bending to pick up the empty soda cup, her empty soda cup. Michael's---the one intended for Michael--sat where it had been placed, untouched in the cup holder.

"You must be cutting back. You only made it halfway through the 'Popcorn Maximus'" Alex joked trying to make light of the situation. "Orville Redenbacher would be disappointed with you."

Now that the lights were up, he could see the hurt in Maria's eyes. Everyone could see it.

Isabel spoke up. "Maria, he probably had something to do," she offered.

The theater was pretty much empty except for their small group. The ushers already had the brooms out, working on the top aisles.

"Yeah, Isabel, something more important than spending time with me. After all, I am poison--by extension," Maria said sharply. They all knew she was referring to Michael's issue about her mother dating the sheriff.

Maria took a deep breath. Her nose tickled and she could feel the pressure building behind her eyes as the tears formed. A sob rose in the back of her throat--but she refused to let it out.

Once the group had reached the street, they decided to head over to the Crashdown. Liz urged Maria to come along, but Maria begged off.

"I'm going to help my mom count inventory at the store early tomorrow, so I think I better call it a night." Maria apologized.

As she drove home, her thoughts kept wandering to Michael. She wondered how long Michael was planning on punishing her. He had kept a low profile around school when he did show up. With the exception of that day in the quad, he hardly spoke to her unless other people were around. He had even taken the last few days off from the Crashdown.

She had been able to refuse herself the pleasure of forcing a confrontation with him. So far, she'd been able to resist her usual tendency to bring attention to the problems between them. Still, the entire situation nagged at her and she wondered when going to crumble, break the standoff and wind up driving over to his place to confront him. It seemed to her that she was always running after him.

Somehow, she found the strength to drive the car straight home, without making any pit stops.

Later, in bed, alone in the dark, Maria hugged her pillow close to her body and exhaled. She stared up at the faintly glowing bedroom ceiling, eyeing the little stars, moons and planets Michael had consented to put up for her. Finally, giving in, she cried herself to sleep.


"Shut up Kyle! You don't know anything!" she retorted angrily.

Peering through the window to check on the location of her mom and Jim, she growled at Kyle, careful to keep her voice low. Recognizing the look of a wounded animal, Kyle decided to play with her some more. "Oh, I think I have a pretty good idea about something. It's pretty clear; he dumped you."

"Oh, screw you, Kyle Valenti! You're nothing but a stupid jock! I'm not interested in your idiot opinions!!"

She was losing control. She knew it---he knew it. Damn, the Valenti's are all trained in interrogation?

Maria pressed her lips tightly together. Not another word, she swore to herself. Turning back to the sink, she grabbed the rinsing hose and sprayed the dishes.

Kyle, leaned against the refrigerator, arms crossed over his chest, confidently smirking. "Hey, didn't mean to get you riled. I just wanted to make conversation." Getting no response from Maria, he continued. "Hey, I don't think I assumed wrong. I mean it's a Friday night. What young, red-blooded teenager wouldn't prefer a night out with their peers, instead of dinner with the parental unit, their date, and the dates' kid. Am I wrong? Hmmm?"

Maria kept rinsing. Kyle eyed her, testing her reaction.

He kept talking. "Well, maybe I was wrong about that Guerin dude."

Maria did not look in Kyle's direction, but she tensed again at the mention of Michael's name.

"Yeah, I thought the dude was cool, you know, had style. I thought he had something more going for him than that "slacker/rebel" mystique. Yeah, I thought Guerin was cool--that is until he started messing with you!"

Maria couldn't take it anymore. This idiot continued to insult her, right in her own home!

Michael was right. Her mother brought this pox down on their heads. Without stopping to think, Maria picked up a glass out of the sink half-filled with soapy water and tossed it in Kyle's face.

Kyle was taken by surprise. He sputtered and wiped at his eyes. "Ow, owwww!! Soap is getting in my eyes!" he yelped.

Maria could see her mother through the window; she seemed to be turning around in her chair to look back at the house. Could she hear Kyle? The last thing Maria wanted was to draw those two into the house. Plus, her mom would be so angry.

Reluctantly, she realized she to help Kyle. Grabbing the dishtowel, she wet it, grabbed Kyle's chin in her free hand and began wiping away the soap trickling into Kyle's eyes.

Kyle twisted his head back and forth, trying to move out of her grasp. "Don't touch me!" he hissed.

"Stop moving around, Kyle. I'm not enjoying this."

"You seemed to be enjoying it two seconds ago!" he growled, squinting as liquid continued running down his face.

Desperate for her mother not to find out what she had done, she tried an apologetic tone. "Okay. You've got me there. But you really pissed me off."

"And then you try to blind me! No wonder Gurein ran away from you!"

Maria rubbed harder at his eyes. "Owwww!" he yelped again. Maria clamped a hand over Kyle's mouth.

"Shut up. Stop talking! The more you say, the worse it's gonna be for you."

Grabbing his arm, Maria pulled him over to the sink. Testing the coolness of the water, she pushed his head under the tap. Kyle started to protest, but Maria dug her nails into his arm. He shut up and let her finish rinsing his face and eyes.

Index | Part 1a
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
Crashdown is maintained by and . Design by Goldenboy.
Copyright © 1999-2004 Web Media Entertainment.
No infringement intended.