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Always Will Be - Chapter 7



Title: Always Will Be
Fandom: Roswell
Pairing: Michael/Maria
Rating: Adult
Summary: Maria returns to Roswell on her national tour, but will she have a reason to stay?
Disclaimer: They're not mine.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six

Chapter Seven - There Will Be

Michael took a final quick glance in the mirror as he dashed around the apartment trying to find the important things he would require that evening…keys and wallet would be useful but he had yet to discover quite where they had disappeared to. He looked at his watch. Shit. 7:21. He was supposed to be at Maria’s in nine minutes. It would take at least 5 to get there, and he *really* didn’t want to be late tonight. His perpetual tardiness had been something they had always fought over before, and he wanted to start off this time on the right foot. After finally coming to the realisation that there were still feelings between them, he didn’t want to ruin it before they even got a chance. In the three days since Alex and Isabel’s wedding, they had only spoken briefly when the entire old group (minus Alex and Izzy, who had gone off on their honeymoon) had gotten together for some greasy fries at the Crashdown. Spying his wallet under a small table in the lounge, he bent down to pick it up and stuff it in the pocket of the slightly-smarter-than-normal pants he was wearing. Another glance at his watched told him it was 7:23. Seven minutes left…he had to find his keys…and fast.

It was strange how he was so nervous, he mused. His palms were sweaty and his stomach was flipping. It was just Maria. They’d done this hundreds of times before. Thinking about it, they’d even been to the restaurant he was taking her to several times. It had been one of Maria’s favourites, which was why he’d chosen it for tonight. Their first-for-five-years date. A night that could make or break their renewed relationship. It dawned on him that *that* was why he was so tense. It was *Maria*, the only girl, woman or whatever he’d ever cared that much about, and this was probably one of the key nights in their relationship. It was right up there with the night she found out about his true heritage, or the night they had first slept together. Tonight mattered, he could only pray he didn’t mess it up. Glancing around, he spotted something shiny lying on the couch…

* * * * *

Maria rummaged through her closet desperately.

Where is it? Surely I packed it. I wouldn’t have forgotten *that* dress. It was the only dress Michael *ever* told me was pretty. Pretty! Not just his usual ‘hot’, but *pretty*

Frenzied, Maria started pulling things off their hangers and throwing them around the room. When the last thing had left her closet to carpet the bedroom floor, she had to concede that she must have left it back in LA. When she had been packing for the tour, dating had been the last thing on her mind, and dating Michael had been even further. Ok, that wasn’t strictly true. Knowing that she was returning to Roswell she couldn’t help but think of Michael, but she hadn’t planned on spending any more time with him that was absolutely necessary, and certainly not dating him! Although, if she was completely honest with herself, even then there had been a tiny kernel of hope in her heart that wanted to believe that they could still have a chance.

Maria turned around and stared hopelessly at the mess of discarded clothes that enveloped her room. She took a deep breath. She *was* going to stay calm, and she *was* going to find an outfit for the date that would look just as nice as the dress. She managed to suck in another deep breath before panic started to set in. She grabbed a dress from next to her feet, throwing it over her shoulder, dismissing it as ‘too clingy’. Another was ‘too low cut’. She didn’t want anything too provocative, seeing as she wanted to try and take it slowly with Michael this time around. She rampaged through each and every dress she had brought with her. Each and every one was discarded for one reason or another. Tops and other items were destined to follow the same path. When every single thing had been thrown back into the closet, Maria realised she needed to calm down, and fumbled on her dresser to find her tiny tube of Cypress Oil. Opening it she took a long sniff. She took a few deep breaths, and found herself calming down. Okay. She could do this. It was just a date. A date with Michael, she’d done this before. She could do it again. She continued to take deep calming breaths. She composedly made her way back to her closet. After quickly deciding that all of her dresses were indeed unsuitable for this first date, she settled on long skirt and halter-top. Paired with a pair of comfortable sandals, it wasn’t too provocative, yet complemented her figure nicely.

As she sat down in front of her dresser to put on her makeup, she thought back on the lovely day she’d had. She had gone over to her mom and Jim’s to spend some time with them and Julie. She hadn’t had a lot of time to spend with them the previous week, she had been so busy helping Isabel with ‘Wedding’ stuff. At first, Julie had seemed a little wary of her much older half sister, but Maria was glad to discover it had only been a little initial shyness. She thought Julie was possibly just about the cutest little girl she’d ever seen. They had taken her to the park today. She couldn’t walk unaided yet, but could take several steps if someone held her hands. Maria had been happy to walk with her like that for quite a while. They had played on all of the baby playground equipment together, and Maria had happily held Julie on her knee to go down one of the slides that was a little to big for someone of Julie’s size and age to go down alone. They had crawled through tunnels and built a sandcastle in the sandbox. Maria loved the opportunity to go back to her childhood. She had missed the whole of the first 9 months of Julie’s life, but she planned on being around a lot more from now on. She loved her baby sister dearly, and wanted to be there enough to be a proper big sister. After spending hours at the playground, they had headed towards the duck pond. They had brought several crumbs of bread in a plastic bag, which they threw to the ducks that came to investigate the small pink thing. Julie was very enthusiastic in her feeding, grabbing handfuls of crumbs and throwing them has hard as she could. The ducks had certainly enjoyed it, but Maria would be willing to bet that Julie had enjoyed it more. By the time they had gone back to Amy and Jim’s house that afternoon Maria had almost envied Julie her nap. Spending a day with a near-toddler was tiring! But tired then or not, she wasn’t anymore. A mixture of nerves and anticipation had cleared her head of exhaustion. Finishing her lipstick, she took a last glance at herself in the mirror. She glanced at the clock that sat ticking away on her dresser. 7:27. She took a good few deep breaths as she felt her stomach flutter. She almost hoped that Michael would follow his normal pattern and be late. She wasn’t ready. She needed more time.

*ding dong*

Maria tried to look serene and collected as she hurried through the apartment to answer the door. 7.29pm, he was early. What was up with that? She opened the door to Michael, who looked as if he’d been going through something similar to her. His hair had a slightly dishevelled look, as if, after combing it, he had run his hands through it a few times.

“Hi.” Drat, that sounded a little too breathless.

* * * * *

Michael had indeed run his fingers through his hair several times, while standing on her doorstep waiting for her to answer. He was nervous, and he couldn’t help it. Glancing at his watch he knew that he had at least done the first thing right. He was on time, with a minute to spare and everything. Now all he had to do was get through the rest of the evening without doing something stupid.

* * * * *

Michael and Maria sat opposite each other in the cosy little restaurant. The ride across in the car Michael had borrowed from Kyle had been quiet, and there was also silence in their booth. Maria looked around. She was touched that he had remembered this was one of her favourite restaurants. She wanted to say something to him about it, but every time she opened her mouth to try, she got tongue-tied. She didn’t want to mess this up by saying something stupid.

A waiter came over to take their order. Michael shot a questioning glance at Maria, who nodded. She was surprised, but not upset, when he ordered for both of them. The same order they had always eaten all those years ago. Again, she was moved by the fact that he remembered. When the waiter left, she looked over at him with an amazed expression on her face.

“You remembered,” she finally managed to utter.

“Of course.” He replied quietly, “I remember everything about you, about us.” Their eyes met. The awkwardness started to melt away.

“So…” she started conversationally, “you’re the boss out there at Meta-Chem security now…”

* * * * *

They were still talking non-stop when the bill was brought over several hours later. When Maria moved to take out her purse, Michael shook his head.

“I chose the restaurant, I chose the food, I’m paying the bill. No arguments.”

Not wanting to get into a fight over something so trivial, Maria left her purse where it was.

The journey back to Maria’s rented apartment was a much more comfortable trip than the one to the restaurant. Michael and Maria joked and teased one another, enjoying each other’s company. When they drew up outside, Michael jumped out and ran around to open the door for Maria. She was impressed with the old-fashioned gesture, and took his arm and allowed her to lead her to her front door.

“I really had a great time tonight.”

“Me too. I have an admission to make. I was absolutely terrified I was going to mess it all up.”

“So was I.” Maria whispered. Michael started to lower his head to hers, then pulled back, ramming his hand through his hair.

“Michael?” Maria asked, sounding a little confused.

“We can’t do this.” He ground out.

“Can’t do what?”

“I’m not going to kiss you. Not tonight, and I think you know why.”

“I know we agreed that jumping back into a physical relationship wasn’t a good idea, but it’s just a kiss.”

“Maria.” Michael looked straight into her eyes. “You know as well as I do that if I kiss you now, it won’t stop with a kiss. And you just said it. Us jumping into bed together would be a bad idea. So I think it’s better if I just don’t.”

Maria nodded, comprehending the sense in his decision. “Ok, you’ve got a point.”

Michael slowly backed away towards the car, his eyes never leaving Maria’s. “I’ll call you. And I think Max and Liz are planning something for everyone to do as a group. No idea what.”

Maria nodded and lifted her hand to wave goodbye as he climbed behind the wheel. He returned the wave and slowly pulled away.

Chapter Eight

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