FanFic - Unconventional Couples
Part 1
by Nes
Disclaimer: Me no own.
Summary: Max returns from New York.
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: PG
Authors Note: Pure cheesy speculation fic written after MTD.
She almost wrecked the Jetta. Again.

Not that it was her fault. It was the last thing she expected at two in the morning, cruising down Roswell's pathetic excuse for a main drag to the sweet stylings of a younger Eric Clapton. Seeing him.

His hair was longer and his face was scraggly, but she could tell it was him from the way her heart was thumping.

What were red lights and pedestrians to this?

She zagged out of her lane onto the sidewalk, barely bothering to shift into park before she jumped from the car.

He'd looked up, at the screech and the burning smell of rubber. She thought he looked older.

She stopped a foot in front of him, unsure of what to say.

He stared straight at her. She's forgotten his eyes.

Almost unconsciously, she stepped towards him. Her hand reached forward to touch his face, something she's never done before but always wanted to do.

Halfway there, her arm switched trajectory to slap him. To sting. To hurt.

He caught her hand.

She'd always thought they'd be the kind of hands women felt when they dreamed of a faceless stranger moving on them. The kind of hands that knew what they were doing. To caress slowly, the way a candle might burn.

Obviously, she'd underestimated his instincts.

Shame (for trying) and anger showed on her cheeks when she looked up.

They were soon replaced with sorrow.

He looked at her. As if that's what he'd been born for, to drink her in.

But it's not in the way she'd wanted.

Brown is a funny word. When his eyes were resonant –like she could look at him forever and feel a different wonderful with every single moment- they were brown. But now, when his eyes were flat and sad and old, they were still brown. It seemed wrong.

Brown eyes looking at her, saying, Et tu, Brute?

He was never meant to suffer so. She wanted to hold him, stroke his hair, and let him cry. The way mothers do in movies when Johnny comes home from the war.

She didn't want to be his mother.

A kernel of indignation remained inside her and it grew.

He still looked at her.

"Why'd you leave me?" She asked finally. She deserved to know.

The question was unexpected and his gaze wavered.

"Leave you?"

"New York."

"There were a million lives hanging in the balance-"

"And none of them could lend you a phone?"

"No," he shook his head. "What?"

"You could've asked me- I would have gone with you."

"I never thought you'd want to go."

"I never even crossed your mind? You never even said goodbye! It was like, I'm gonna run away and say goodbye to everyone but Maria?"

He opened his mouth, but she cut him off.

"Do you know how I found out? How long it took for someone to tell me? I thought we were friends, Max."

"We were, are friends."

"Then why did you leave? I was alone. I needed someone to talk to, I needed you.'

"You had the others-"

"Isabel and Michael weren't speaking to me. Not like that was new, but Liz's has got her own trauma-world that doesn't have me as her friend, too. Alex. I can't even talk to Alex, he's so busy fantasizing about Isabel and her clone but with better hair and clothes.'

"And if hasn't been that stuff, it's been something else. You've been the only one for so long, Max. I felt like everyone else abandoned me, you don't how that feels. It hurts.'

"I'd really thought that we had this bond, Max. Okay, at first, maybe it was just a mutual pity party but I thought-"

"I was hurting, too, Maria. You know they turned on me, too."

"Everyone but me! What did I do? I listened to you and your Counting Crows. I lent you essential oils. I defended you to Michael when I couldn't even stick up for myself. And what did you do, you asked Tess to run away with you."

"It's not like we ran off to Nassau to practice making babies and drink from coconuts. You refuse to see my side of this!"

"You don't even like Tess! You called her the bleach bottle Chippette hoochie! And you asked her! That says a lot about your opinion of me, what am I? The natural blonde Chippette hoochie?"

Max pressed his hands to his face in frustration. "She could protect herself, okay? And so maybe, I'm not selfless and it wasn't just about saving lives. I admit I was running away. I was going through a lot, too. The girl I loved was with another man-"

"Geez, so Liz rebounded back to Kyle. You can't just run away from those things, you've got to deal. Even I got over Liz and Michael -okay, Michael clone with the even worse hair playing tongue tag! And if I-"

"Michael?" Max was surprised, some of bitterness slid off his face. "I'm talking about Brody!"


"I could hardly get you to look at me as something other than Liz's leftovers. And then before this whole mess started again and we were so close and I'd realized that I'd fallen in love you and I had some sort of slim were bringing him lunch and snuggling in his arm talking about breakfast. You and the British whacko and your meals-"

"Hey, that was saving your butt and your job, buddy! Not like you didn't lose it when you ran away."

"Sure, it was. I saw the way melted into him and smiled at him like he was some sort of...really good something or other. I was in love with you, it broke my heart. I didn't want to stick around and hear you cooing to each other about dinner or, god forbid, dessert!"

Maria had become strangely calm in the middle of his outburst. When he stopped, she just looked at him.

"You loved me?"

Max looked down. "It doesn't matter anymore. Things have changed. I've changed."

She stepped closer to him. She raised her hand to his face again, but slowly so doesn't mistake her intentions.

Her fingers grazed his cheek. "Tell me."

He looked down at her.

She changed her mind. She took a chance.

She kissed him. Hard on the mouth at first and then slowly, lapping at his lips, his open mouth.

He hadn't brushed his teeth.

She didn't even notice.

The kiss evolved.

Liz said the flashes came quickly, like she'd been wound up and then turned loose. Like there'd been a flood, and she was a fish but she'd forgotten how to swim.

Liz was wrong.

What Maria felt, it was submergence and suspension. It was like replacing a banjo with a symphony, like breathing oxygen for the first time.

No, these weren't flashes at all.

She was part of the memory stream, not just watching, but listening, interacting, becoming. She understood everything that Max felt because she felt it, too.

And, oh, what he had survived.

She held him, then and let him know that she was still part of the whole, that she hadn't gotten flashes because flashes stopped and what they shared, they were still sharing. He occupied her, she could feel it inside like a familiar song. Like her own heartbeat. They occupied each other.

And when looked at her, his face was softer and his eyes were warmer but still brown, she decided to welcome him properly.

"Max," she whispered as she kissed a trail up his neck. "Did you bring me back any souveneirs?"

Then he laughed and it was the first time he felt right in too long a time.

Their lips melted together, it didn't matter that there were stars in the sky or that the Jetta's headlights were shining on them on the main drag in a little tourist town called Roswell for Max had returned and they had turned to each other.

The End

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