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Added to the Roswell Slash Archive January 20, 2001

Come Undone: Rush
by Meri Lomelindi,
Max/Michael, rated PG-13.
Summary: The heat has been messing with Max's mind in more ways than one.  Set during "Heat Wave" and thus contains spoilers for that episode.  Thanks to Trela for beta.
Disclaimer: These two pretty boys belong to Jason Katims and the WB.  If I had them, they'd be doing much more interesting things.

"Maybe one of 'em's gay," he heard himself say.

Whatever had possessed him to say that? Slugs weren't gay.

They were just.. well, since everyone else in town was mating, it was right that someone should abstain. He and Liz, slug A and slug B. It didn't mean anything.

The slugs were lethargic, as slugs generally are, and it was easier to watch them than it was to look at Liz. She was going to bore a hole in his skull again with those wide, soulful eyes, dominating her face - dominating him. Willing him to comply. But he couldn't. There were perfectly logical reasons why they couldn't go off and suck face in the manner of Michael and Maria - his stomach wasn't sinking at the mention of them, it wasn't - and he explained such things to her in a calm, rational manner, not that it helped. Liz carried her emotions around like that hideous, lime-green sweater she'd worn to school once; they were all there, brazen and garish and obvious to anyone who paid any attention to her. It was all in her eyes.

Max watched the slugs with even more enthusiasm, now. Limp, slimy, and perhaps what he was supposed to look like, in some people's view of extraterrestrial life. They were as far away from each other as possible, magnets of the same alignment, and suddenly he was struck by the comparison between the beings on the lab counter and his relationship with Liz. If he'd been so inclined, he might have tried to alter them to bear little caricatures of their faces, but somehow he doubted that the teacher would appreciate it.

It was the teacher who finally rescued him from Liz's guilt-provoking stares, and he fled down the hallway only to run into Michael, though not literally. Michael had been jogging, however, footfalls echoing rapidly down the corridor long before he'd come into view. Not hard at all to detect if you bothered to listen, which Max hadn't. Upon seeing his friend, Michael stopped a scant foot or two away, sweat glistening on his brow, liquid forming a damp vee at the front collar of his shirt. "Damned heat," he puffed, by way of greeting. Gleaming hands brushed against the denim-clad legs in an effort to dry themselves; failing that, they hung at his sides.

Cotton enveloped Max's tongue, but he managed to croak out an approximation of "yeah." Michael seemed satisfied, anyway. He thought he should probably ask if anything more had happened with Maria, but the words scorched themselves before they even reached his larynx. Michael helped him out.

"She thinks I'm conflicted, Max," moaned the woebegone alien with a roll of the eyes and a long-suffering sigh. "Wants me to be 'sensitive' to her needs." There was a pause while he waited for some kind of agreement from Max. Not receiving any, he blithely continued the conversation. "What's up with Liz?"

"Slug mating rituals," was the only response he could come up with while wading in the molasses that had taken over his mind. Michael's brows furrowed, perplexed; Max hoped his friend wasn't looking at his ears. Isabel once told him that the edges of his ears turned pink when he was embarrassed, and that's certainly what he was now. Perhaps he could go retro, hippie-like, and cover them up with locks of hair.

He'd been standing still for too long, missing the change in demeanor; Michael was now eyeing him sympathetically, if somewhat askance. "Science, huh? Well, at least it'll keep her off your back." Lowered conspirationally even though no one was around at the moment, Michael's voice was - no. No, it wasn't. No, no, fuck no. He sounded anything but husky. "We can't do this, Max. We don't know what our lives are going to be like. I mean, maybe we'll have to leave tomorrow! There's no way to know. And I can't risk hurting Maria. You can't risk hurting Liz."

Leaning forward slightly in the usual fervor that took Michael when he wanted to make a point, he'd gotten even closer to Max. And Max watched with morbid, mind-numbing fascination as a droplet of liquid trickled down the length of Michael's forehead, plip-plopping across the impish nose, landing just to the side of his upper lip, no longer quite as round and plump as it had been when originally emerging from Michael's hairline. Evidently it tickled, as he immediately swiped at his face with one hand until it had reached a semblance of dryness.

With temptation gone, something seemed to spur Max from his trance. "I know," he said, with more equanimity than he felt. "We already talked about this. We're not going to pursue anything." Just to make sure, he added, "And you know Isabel agrees - she's the one who's been telling us all along. Don't get involved."

"Right," said Michael, bobbing his head emphatically. For some obscure reason, this seemed to be a vital issue - at least, in his book. His shirt was drying, sticky against his shoulders, Max imagined - and then wondered why he had to have an imagination, being an alien and all. Couldn't they have reserved that for humans? Damn it.

Presently, Michael was running a hand through his hair and shooting Max a guarded - well - it wasn't a smile, but it was as close to it as his friend could get. "Man, I gotta find some air conditioning that actually works." And then he was running off in the opposite direction, but only after the standard warning, the be-careful-and-don't-get-caught-doing-anything-weird, had been tossed over his shoulder in a hushed whisper.

Max had stood there for a long time in the consummate emptiness of the hallway, staring at a poster that advised him to join the school's volleyball team or else. Eventually the freshman english teacher, who was rumored to be a real bitch - not that Max paid any particular attention to such rumors - stalked past him and demanded to know what he was doing on campus so late.

It had been the heat, he told himself. It was known to cause strange reactions in humans, wasn't it? There was no reason why an extreme heat wave wouldn't have a reasonable facsimile of that reaction on his physiology.

But his various theories failed to explain why, when he took Liz Parker in his arms, the image of Michael's face sprang into his mind, unbidden. It didn't explain the subtle wrongness he felt at the touch of small, feminine hands, nor the listlessness that overtook him as he whispered the sweet nothings in her ear, told her that she was beautiful, tousled her hair, assured her that everything would be worthwhile if they were together. It didn't tell him why he felt defiance when climbing up to see her, when he should have felt that it was right, being with the one for whom he was meant. And it sure as hell didn't explain why, when he pressed the soft, yielding lips against his own, he wanted to gag.

Open your sensitive mouth
Hold out your delicate hands
With such a sensitive mouth
I'm easy to see through
When I come up
When I rush
I rush for you

"Rush" by Depeche Mode

Continue to 'Softly Stolen'

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