Title: Always Will Be
Summary: Maria returns to Roswell on her national tour, but will she have a reason to stay?
Disclaimer: They're not mine.
Chapter Six - Surrender
Maria pushed the remains of a delicious meal around on her plate as her gaze wandered around the room from where she was sitting at the top table. The wedding had been wonderful. She looked over to where Alex and Isabel were staring lovingly into each other’s eyes just a few seats away. They had gone through a lot together, and had spent a long time fighting the feelings they had for each other. Feelings that had been obvious to everyone around them, but not to them. Once they had finally stopped deluding themselves and gotten together properly, they had, by all accounts, been completely and sweetly devoted to one another. Neither Liz nor Maria had been around in Roswell when they had actually eventually found each other, but from that moment on, Alex had sounded a million times happier whenever they talked on the phone. And whenever Isabel’s name came up, which was quite often, he seemed to drift off into a happy, dreamy state, until the voice on the end of the phone finally invaded his consciousness again. Adding in what Liz had told her about them over the past few years, and what she herself had witnessed since her return to Roswell, Maria was sure that they had a long and happy married life ahead of them. A pang of envy washed over Maria. If only… Maria sighed, her wayward gaze settling on Michael’s profile as he chatted causally with Max, who was seated beside him.
If only she had called him five years ago. If only she’d never been held up in those meetings. If only Michael hadn’t jumped to the wrong conclusions. If only… Maria’s if only list went on and on, but the result of them all was the same. She and Michael could be together now. They might never have lost each other in the first place, and who knows what might have happened. Maybe they’d be planning their own wedding. Maybe they’d be married, have a blissful life together. Maria shook her head, trying to clear it. All this dreaming and wondering would change nothing. What had happened had happened, and there was no way that they could go back to change it. No matter how much she might want it to be possible sometimes. Maria sighed again. Like now. Maybe it was the whole atmosphere of the wedding, but right at that moment, she wished she could do that part of her life over, and do it differently.
* * * * *
Michael chatted absently with Max as he fiddled with his fork from dinner. His mind was still travelling in circles as he pondered what Alex had said before the ceremony. Could he and Maria ever be something together again? He glanced over at Alex and Isabel, who were gazing dreamily at each other, their hands linked on the tabletop. Maybe Alex knew what he was talking about. He seemed to have managed to handle his own love life with success. A strange feeling rocketed through Michael as he watched Alex tenderly kiss Isabel’s knuckles. It took him a few moments to decipher what it was. Envy. He craved the kind of closeness he’d seen between Max and Liz, Alex and Isabel, even Kyle and Tess. And there was only one woman he’d ever wanted to be that close to - Maria. He glanced over at her. She appeared to be staring into space, a thoughtful look on her face. If things had been different, maybe they’d have still been close enough that he’d know what she was thinking about without even having to ask. If they hadn’t had that stupid fight five years ago and broken up, they would probably have still been together now. They might even have had a wedding of their own. Back then, the very thought of marriage, of that huge a commitment, would have terrified Michael, but he’d grown up a lot in those last years. Now, the thought of being able to spend the rest of his life with the one he loved most in the world seemed like an immeasurable joy.
A slight smile appeared briefly on Maria’s face as he watched her surreptitiously, and a blast of longing swept through him. That was something else. If he hadn’t been so stupid all those years ago, if he had been confident enough in himself to really believe that she loved him, if he hadn’t over-reacted, she’d still have been not only in his life, but in his bed. Somewhere he’d really missed her being, somewhere no one else had been or ever would be. He could still remember that first time like it was yesterday. It was etched indelibly into his mind. They had finally defeated the skins once and for all, and he’d dared to hope that it was safe to let his guard down a little. They had celebrated life that night, life and each other.
Michael pulled his apartment key out of the pocket of his best jeans and fumbled slightly with the door. Maria wasn’t helping, as she was running her hand across his stomach, pressing herself against his side. They had been out for dinner, at a nicer restaurant than they could usually afford, but Michael had actually been saving up, planning to take her somewhere nice to celebrate if and when they were free of the skins. And since yesterday, they had been. Working together as a big team, the 8 aliens and 4 humans had defeated the skin army sent to destroy them. Defeated them a lot more easily that they could have even hoped to dream of. It had been a hard slog over the past months, training and practising, but it had really paid off. And now, just maybe, they were safe, at least for a while, until the next threat turned up. Michael pushed the negative thought out of his head, tonight was for celebration, not worrying about future events that may never occur. He finally opened the door, and took Maria’s hand as he pulled her into the room and flicked a switch. He looked round to watch Maria’s face as she noticed the room. He’d spent hours today, tidying and cleaning, to make his apartment look nice for Maria, to make it look nice for the first time since about 5 minutes after he’d moved in. The surprise and pleasure in her eyes made all the effort worth it.
“You did all this?” Michael felt strangely embarrassed at the pure adoration he saw in her eyes as she took in the difference.
“Yeah,” he answered, a little hesitant, “I...um, I wanted it to be nice for you. Seeing as you’re always complaining you can never find anything here and stuff.” Maria captured his gaze with hers as she moved close to him and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“You know, you try to convince everyone you’re this tough guy, hiding behind that stonewall of yours, but underneath, you’re my sweet, amazing boyfriend. I can’t believe you’ve done this just for me.” Maria murmured, gazing lovingly up at Michael.
“I, well, I…”Michael responded, not completely at ease with talking about feelings and emotions. “I want you to be happy with me. I just love you so much.” He closed his eyes for a few seconds, gathering courage to carry on. “All my life, I’ve been searching to find where I belong. And now I’ve realised that I think I’ve found it. Here, with you, on Earth, of all places.” Maria’s eyes filled up with tears, and Michael pulled back slightly, alarmed. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” Maria replied in a choked voice, “Nothing at all. They’re happy tears. I can’t believe I’m so lucky as to have found you. I love you so much.” She tangled her fingers in the hair at the nape of his neck, and pulled his head down to capture his lips with hers in a sizzling kiss. Michael soon responded, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her body flush against his as he invaded her mouth with his tongue.
One of her hands came round to rest on his chest as she moaned softly into his mouth. Michael slid his hands down to stroke her ass as their kiss deepened. He groaned as she squirmed against him, grinding her hips into his fast-hardening arousal. He tore his mouth from hers, kissing his way down the side of her neck, inciting several moans of pleasure from Maria. He suddenly felt her questing fingers searching for the buttons of his shirt, fumbling to unfasten them. He was nibbling her ear when she managed to undo the final button, and slide her cool hands inside the now open flaps of his shirt. She played with his chest hair, and vivaciously tweaked at the nipples nestling in it.
“Maria!” he groaned, his hands gliding up underneath her top to caress the soft skin of her back. She playfully bent her head and planted sweet kisses on the centre of his chest. Michael twisted his fingers in her hair, tugging her head back up to recapture her lips. As his tongue swept the deepest recesses of her mouth, he inched her top higher on her torso, with her wriggling to assist him. Together, they swept it over her head, their lips immediately finding each other again. Their tongues tangling, he brought one rough hand up to cradle her breast through her bra, feeling the nipple instantly harden beneath his fingers and the lace.
“Michael!” Maria gasped breathlessly, pushing frantically at his shirt, trying to get it off his shoulders. Michael shrugged out of it, freeing the whole of his chest to her caresses. His lips once again left hers to trail down her neck, this time making his way across her shoulder before dipping to capture the straining peak of her nipple through the lace of her bra. She moaned again, before fumblingly reaching around and flicking the clasp open, and allowing the straps to fall unheeded down her arms. The only thing holding the cups against her breasts was Michael’s hot mouth where he teased her nipple with his teeth and tongue. Slowly, he pulled back, allowing it to fall neglected to the floor.
With difficulty, he got his breathing enough under to control to murmur, “Maria, maybe we should stop.” Maria looked at him, a slightly hurt expression appearing on her face. “I mean…the thing is…if we don’t stop now, I don’t think I’ll be able to stop at all. And your mom would kill me.”
“Michael. I don’t want to stop, not tonight. And my mom is out of town, she doesn’t have to know…”
“Maria, I don’t want you to do anything you might regret in the morning.”
“I won’t. I want this.” Michael looked uncertain.
“Are you sure, cause I really don’t…” Maria cut him off by capturing his lips in a blistering kiss. Michael surrendered, and kissed her back, his hands slowly making their way up her sides to cup her now bare breasts. He thumbed the aroused peaks, provoking Maria to release little cries of delight into his mouth. Her small hands ran riot across his chest and back, leaving a trail of arousal wherever they went. Together, lips locked, they stumbled across the room towards his bedroom door, kicking out of their shoes as they went.
Michael felt Maria reaching for his fly, and pulled back long enough to whisper urgently, “Are you absolutely sure?” Maria sent him a smouldering look that said ‘Ohhhh yeah’, before trailing her fingers across his lower stomach and unbuttoning the button of his fly. His straining arousal below did the rest, forcing the zipper to lower.
Maria giggled softly, “Well isn’t that nice. Seems someone wants to come out and play.” Michael caught her wrist as she reached out to touch him.
“No. You can’t. I couldn’t stand it,” he ground out. Maria looked into his dark eyes, which were even darker than usual, and swirling with desire. Smiling, she took a small step backwards, reached behind her, and popping a fastening, let her skirt slide to the floor, leaving her clad in nothing but a tiny pair of bikini panties. Michael thought he might explode on the spot. Stepping out his jeans, which had fallen to the floor, he swept her up in his arms and laid her down in the centre of his bed. He lowered himself next to her, and leaned over to touch his lips to hers softly. He kissed her over and over, his lips lingering on hers just a little longer each time until she grabbed the back of his head and held him close to her and invaded his mouth.
He brought his hands back up to fondle her breasts, her stomach, before working his way lower to cup her through her panties. He could feel her on his hand, so hot and wet. She pushed her hips upwards, rubbing herself against his hand. He gently stroked her through her soaked panties, absorbing her ecstatic cries hungrily.
“Michael,” she panted, “I need you, *now*.” Her hands were franticly pushing at his boxer shorts, and he let her push them off. He hooked his fingers in the sides of her panties and guided them down her legs and threw them to the floor. He took a deep breath, to try and steady himself a little. Trailing a finger up her inner thigh, he stroked her clit, inciting a shiver, and inserted his finger into her. She was so hot, so tight. He felt her grasping fingers pulling at his cock, guiding him towards her slick entrance. He paused with the tip just barely tickling her clit.
“Maria,” he managed to whisper, “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Please Michael,” she begged, “please.” Slowly, so as to give her body time to adjust, he slid into her waiting heat, inch by inch. When he reached her barrier, he stopped. Caressing her cheek with the back of his finger, he locked his lips to hers as he pushed through, breaking that thin layer of skin, the proof of her innocence. He felt her stiffen slightly, in pain, and when he was fully in, he lay still as it passed. When he felt her raise her hips insistently, he began to rock against her, his cock sliding in and out of her passage in an ancient rhythm. He could feel himself collecting for release, and wanting her to experience it with him, he slid a hand between them, and started to rub her clit in time with their movements.
Maria cried out in rapture as her release broke upon her, and her passage started to contract around Michael’s dick. He tumbled over the edge of the abyss after her, flying through stars together, fireworks rocketing behind his eyelids.
Slowly they came back down to Earth, wrapped in each other’s arms. Michael kissed the top of Maria’s head as he rolled them onto their sides.
“I love you,” he whispered into her hair.
“I love you too” she murmured as she drifted off to sleep, content in Michael’s embrace.
They had awoken several times in the night, insatiably reaching for each other every time. Truly celebrating their love, and the fact that they had made it through hard times, and survived, together.
“Michael? Are you listening? Hello? Earth to Michael?” Michael was snapped out of his memory by Max waving in front of his face and talking in a singsong voice.
* * * * *
Michael was worried when they announced the start of the dancing. Despite having taken a few dance lessons years ago, he was still hopeless. And he knew he would have to dance with Maria. When the moment actually arrived, and he took her hand, he was just about scared. Luckily, it was a very simple dance, but he was still counting insanely in his head for the first few turns around the floor. When he finally relaxed enough to actually look at Maria, he saw she was smiling slightly.
“Still can’t dance huh?” she said quietly. He looked at her and shook his head, a smile creeping onto his face despite himself. He couldn’t believe he was holding her in his arms again. She felt so right there, even after all these years. Looking into her smiling face, he realised that his friends had been right. He would regret it eternally if he didn’t at least try to get to know her again, and see where it went from there.
* * * * *
Maria almost grinned at the look on Michael’s face as he led her onto the dance floor. She couldn’t help the smile from making it to her face when the music started and he was obviously furiously counting in his head. She remembered he’d taken dance lessons years ago. So he could dance with her and hopefully not step on her toes. The dance teacher had declared him a lost cause, but it had been the thought that counted. The fact that he seemed to still remember at least part of the lessons warmed her heart. He had changed so much, and yet so many things were the same. She realised she really wanted to get to know the changes. She loved him, she had no choice.
Both Michael and Maria opened their mouths at the same time.
“I think we should talk”
“Do you want to talk?”
* * * * *
Maria sat down on the end of the bench across the road from the hall where the reception was being held. Michael, following close behind, took the other end. They sat in silence for a few moments, neither of them sure how to begin. Finally, Maria spoke up, saying the first thing that came to mind just to break the eerie hush.
“It was a beautiful service.”
“Yeah, they looked happy.”
“Yeah.” Silence descended again. Maria studied her shoes, while Michael appeared to be tracing the lines of the pavement with his eyes. “You ever wonder if we’d have been married?” Maria eventually began cautiously. “If we’d stayed together I mean.” Michael looked up and over at her.
“Umm…” he hesitated, “erm, yeah. In the last few days especially, you know?” Maria nodded. “I couldn’t help but think that maybe we’ve been idiots, holding on to some pride thing for so long. At least I have been.” Maria sighed regretfully.
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking the same thing. I guess I’ve been regretting the whole situation.” Michael locked eyes with Maria.
“So I guess the question is, what do we do about it? What can we do about it?” Maria took a deep breath before answering.
“Well, I don’t know about you, but I’d kinda like to give us another shot. Start over.” Michael’s heart lifted, and a slight smile tilted the corners of his mouth. He cleared his throat.
“Me too. I’d like that. This last week, I’ve come to realise that what I felt for you isn’t as over as I thought it was. I think we owe it to ourselves to see what we have, see if it’s gonna lead anywhere.”
“Sounds good.” Maria sniffed emotionally. “I want to get to know who you are now. I need to find out if what I’m feeling is just nostalgia for what I felt for you five years ago, or if maybe I could feel the same way about you now. About the new you.”
“Yeah, I think we’ve both changed. We’ve grown up for a start.”
“So I guess we should just take it slowly, get to know each other over again. Although the whole process will be easier without having to redo the alien exposition thing,” Maria continued, with a hint of humour in her voice.
“You’re telling me? Last time I was terrified that you were gonna run off and get us all exposed, and I’d have lived the rest of my probably short life in a lab somewhere doing tests.”
“I remember. I over-reacted just a little bit.” A more companionable quietness fell on them, and they just sat side by side looking at the stars.
A short while later, Michael checked his watch and realised they’d been gone longer than he’d thought.
“Come on. I think we’d probably better get back inside. They’ll be wondering where we disappeared to.”
“Yeah, I’m surprised someone hasn’t appeared looking for us. Although they’ve probably made up their own conclusions about why we disappeared.” Maria joked. Taking her hand, Michael led her back across the street and into the reception, where Isabel was running around preparing to throw her bouquet. At Michael’s unspoken urging Maria joined the gathering crowd.
“Is everyone ready?” Isabel called over her shoulder, holding the bouquet, ready to be tossed, in her hand. A few moments later she tossed it backwards over her head, where it landed neatly in Maria’s arms. Maria looked around her at the laughing faces of the other women. Was this an omen? Would she be the next down the aisle?