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Firsts, Part Two

Reply to Tasyfa

Sent to the Roswell Slash Archive July 22, 2001

        Max stretched and rolled over, landing with a thud. He opened his eyes to stare at Michael's floor, realizing where he was. He groaned and sat on the couch, his head in his hands, remembering what had transpired in the middle of the night. It had seemed like the most natural thing in the world at the time, but in the light of day...Max was not sure what to think or how to feel about it.

        Well, first things first. Was it a one-time thing, a moment of insanity? Max thought about what had happened and smiled wryly at his body's swelling response. Not a one-time thing, then. Was he in love with Michael? No, he felt exactly the same towards him as always, except for the addition of physical desire. Michael was his best friend, and Max loved him as such. It wasn't really a romantic feeling at all.

        No, the person whom he loved romantically was Liz, and therein lay the problem. Max and Michael had crossed a boundary and they could not step back over the line. But there was no way that Max was going to give up Liz, especially after all they had endured to be together. She was his soul mate, his other half. He would never let her go.

        He needed to find a way to keep them both.

        Michael entered the living room, having come to basically the same conclusion while staring at his bedroom ceiling. He didn't want to lose Max, but he recognized that if there had to be a choice, Liz would win. Which was as it should be; Max needed her. He belonged with her. Liz was the love of Max's life, and Michael was his best friend.

        Max looked up as Michael sat beside him and their eyes met. No words needed to be said. They had known each other so well for so long that all the necessary information could be transmitted with a look.

        They both smiled in relief. Max moved closer to Michael, wrapping an arm around his shoulders and pressing a kiss onto his temple.

        "So what happens now?" Michael asked, scrunching himself to lean against Max's shoulder. Max idly stroked his arm.

        "I have no idea, other than outside this apartment, nothing changes," Max remarked.

        "Absolutely," Michael agreed. "Aside from that, though... What about Liz?"

        Max sighed and scratched behind his ear. "I don't know yet. At some point she'll have to know. The truly weird thing is, technically I'm—cheating on her, with you. But it doesn't feel like I am. I mean, when I kissed Tess last year, even though I knew I was being, like, controlled somehow, I still felt guilty as hell. But, I don't feel guilty about last night. It was too..."

        "Natural? It felt so right," Michael interposed. Max nodded in agreement, and Michael started to chuckle.

        "What?" Max asked, craning his head to look at him.

        "What if that book was all backwards, and it's supposed to be me and you, Tess and Isabel? Maybe we should get them into bed together," Michael laughed.

        "I so did not need that mental picture, Michael," Max grinned.

        "What, you don't like the idea of two women?"

        "Not when one of them's my sister!"

        "Good point," Michael conceded. "So, what's the protocol going to be here? Around other people, everything's the same. What about in private?"

        "What do you mean?"

        "Well, if I get this wicked urge in the middle of the night, can I come over and just start groping you, or are you going to be like Maria and expect a conversation?"

        "Excuse me? If that's what you did with Maria, I'm not surprised you broke up!" Max spluttered, laughing.

        "That would be a no?" Michael inquired archly.

        "Let's just leave it at maybe, OK? We can work out the details as we go," Max smiled.

        "Yeah, all right. You hungry?"

        "Yeah. You've got milk and cereal, I assume?"

        "Always, Maxwell. But I think I can do better than that."

        "Going to get all domestic on me?"

        Michael twisted towards Max, pressing their chests together. His tongue flickered out to trace Max's lips. "Got a problem with that? There are some things I like about being domestic."

        "Like what?" Max closed his eyes, enjoying the featherlight touches.

        " regular sex."

        Max tensed. "Michael, we didn't..."

        "I know. That's about as close as I want to get for now, though."

        The tension drained from Max and he kissed Michael deeply, his tongue probing into the recesses of his mouth. At last Max pulled back.

        "Same here. Besides, I want," he hesitated.

        "Your first time to be with Liz. Which it should be, Maxwell. She's your soul mate. I'm just your best friend."

        "Yeah, but Michael, I,"

        "Max, don't be Mr. Sensitivity here, all right? Save that crap for your girlfriend," Michael warned. Max smiled ruefully and kissed him lightly.

        "Yeah, fine. So, if you're going to do something more complicated than cereal, d'ya think you could get started? Now that you've mentioned food I'm starving."

        Michael simply kissed him in response then levered himself off the couch and went into the kitchen. Max pulled a book out of his backpack and reclined on the couch.

        "What are you reading now?"

        "I finally got around to checking out Ulysses. I was kind of hoping it would give us a starting point for a conversation, but I guess that's not really an issue anymore," Max half-smiled. He heard Michael grunt in assent and the other corner of his mouth turned up.

        "I'll yell when I'm done then. I know how oblivious you get with your nose in a book," Michael said disgustedly. Max just kept smiling and opened the novel to the marked page.

        A number of pages later, Max felt a sharp stinging sensation on his bare leg. "What the," he muttered, looking up from his book. Michael stood over him with a twisted dishtowel in one hand.

        "Food's ready," he laughed at Max's indignant look. Max stuck his bookmark in his place and put the book in his backpack. He stood up, turning towards the counter. Michael handed him a coffee mug and pointed at the table.

        "Go. Sit. Do you want juice, too?" Max shook his head and sat down at the table. His eyes widened as Michael brought over their breakfast.

        "Michael, what is this? You didn't need to go all out or anything," Max exclaimed. Michael shrugged, looking uncomfortable.

        "I recently learned how to make Crepes Suzette, so...I used Tabasco instead of the brandy, though. I thought it would go well with the orange flavor."

        Max smiled and looked pointedly at Michael's mouth. "It does, yes." A dull red crept up Michael's cheeks and Max laughed.

        "I never thought I'd see the day when you blushed," he teased.

        "Why, just because you turn 50 shades of red whenever anyone asks you if you've fucked Liz yet?" Michael shot back. He was delighted with the crimson flush that appeared on Max's face. Max chose not to take the bait, though. He just shrugged and began eating.

        "Michael, these are really good. Thanks," he said sincerely. Michael half-smiled.

        "No problem. I've been wanting to try it out, and it's no fun making something like that for just myself."

        "I guess. I like your experimenting a hell of a lot better than my mother's, that's for sure," Max laughed. Michael joined in.

        "Listen, I'd better get going. We're all supposed to be hanging out at our house tonight, right? You coming?"

        "Yeah, I'll be there. I'll probably give Liz a ride on my bike."

        "Has she ever been on your bike?" Max asked, surprised. Michael scratched his eyebrow.

        "Actually, no. But we're both working close, and Maria's at that thing with her mother that she's been bitching about all week, so. Shouldn't be a problem. I've got a helmet for her and I'll drive carefully, don't worry."

        "I'm not worried, I trust you. I'm just—thinking. Michael, do you," Max stopped mid-sentence, shaking his head.

        "Do I what, Maxwell?"

        "Forget it. I don't know what I was talking about. So, I'll see you tonight, then," Max continued talking as he pulled on his clothes. Michael felt a touch of disappointment as Max's T-shirt covered his beautiful chest. He heard Max laugh and dragged his gaze up to his face, to be greeted with a knowing smile. Michael just shrugged and dropped his eyes back down. Max laughed again.

        "I'm out of here, Michael. Thanks again for breakfast. And—for everything else," he added softly, standing close to Michael with his backpack across one shoulder. Michael nodded and they both moved forward, lips meeting in a gentle kiss.

        "See ya, Maxwell," Michael said just before he closed the door behind Max. He leaned against it, thinking about what Max hadn't said, then went to get ready for work.

        It was closing time at the Crashdown. Liz could not figure out what was up with Michael; he was in the strangest mood tonight. A good mood, to be sure, but...strange. She kept catching him giving her these little glances and she had no idea what to make of it. But he seemed happy, so she just let it slide. If Michael was in a good mood, she did not want to ruin it! The phone rang and she picked it up.

        "Hello, Crashdown Café, Liz speaking."

        "Hi, it's me. Are you still coming over tonight?" Max's deep voice floated to her ears, and she closed her eyes, savoring the sound.

        "Of course. Are you going to come pick me up? You know Maria's busy, right?"

        "Yeah, I know. Actually, Michael said he'd give you a ride. Is that all right? He's got a passenger helmet, and he's a good driver; I've been on behind him before," Max said reassuringly. Liz conceived a mental picture of the two guys flying down the highway, Max holding onto Michael's waist for dear life. She smiled.

        "Sure, that's fine. It might even be fun."

        " you think you'll be able to stay all night?"

        Liz closed her eyes again, feeling her pulse jump at the invitation in his words. "Max, I—I don't know if I can or not. I'll try, though," she added in a breathless rush. She heard him chuckle and her cheeks became rosy, knowing he was aware of her desire. "I'll see you in a bit, Max. Bye."

        "Bye, Liz. See you guys soon."

        Liz hung up the phone and went to the back. Michael was just putting away the last of the clean dishes.

        "Michael, that was Max. He said you were kind enough to offer me a ride over there. That's fine with me, if you're still willing," Liz said. Michael put up the final dish and turned around, smiling. Liz couldn't keep quiet any longer.

        "All right, what is with you tonight? You've been a—a goof since you got here. What gives?"

        Michael shook his head. "Nothing much. Max and I kind of worked things out last night; we're cool now," he admitted reluctantly. Liz shrieked and threw her arms around him. She was wearing an old sweater over top of her uniform, and it smelled faintly like Max. Her hair smelled like strawberries. Michael suddenly felt himself stiffening at the combination of her smell and the feel of her small body in his arms. He quickly pushed her away, before she noticed. "Thanks," he muttered.

        Liz giggled; typical Michael. She headed for the stairs, calling over her shoulder, "I'll just be a couple of minutes, I'm going to change."

        Michael made sure everything was turned off then grabbed his clothes. Being a chick, Liz was probably going to be a while, so he just changed in the back room, throwing his work clothes on the couch as he stripped them off.

        Liz got less than halfway down the stairs before she saw Michael standing in the middle of the room in just his boxers. Involuntarily, she thought, "Oh, my! Maria never said anything about him looking like that!" His body wasn't as well-defined as Max's, but he had a rugged appeal, more of a wildness about him. Max's perfect definition was the result of his need to control everything; Michael was freer. Liz sat down and watched as he yanked on his pants, the chain swinging crazily, then pulled his shirt over his head, disdaining to unbutton it first. Every motion spoke of a lack of restraint that was doing wicked things to Liz's body. She took a deep breath as she stood up, and Michael whipped his head around, hearing her.

        Their eyes locked and Michael was stunned by the fire he saw in hers. Fire directed at him. How long had she been standing there? Long enough, apparently. He continued to watch her as she floated down the stairs. A mischievous smile appeared on her lips.

        "Ready to go?" she inquired, one eyebrow raised. Michael flushed; he'd forgotten for a moment that she was coming on the bike with him. Thank God she wasn't going to be sitting in front because she would surely notice his new appreciation of her then!

        They went outside and Liz locked the door. Her heart was hammering in her chest as she pulled on the helmet and climbed onto the bike behind Michael. The engine roared to life, thrumming through her body. She wound her arms around Michael's waist, yelling to him, "I'm ready when you are!"

        Michael popped the clutch and took off down the alley and out onto the street. Liz's long hair streamed behind her, and she felt the wind rush by her body, snatching at her. She burrowed even closer to Michael, her thighs pressed tightly against his, her small breasts crushed against his broad back. His shoulders were too wide for her to see anything, so she just closed her eyes and gave herself up to the sensations.

        Michael was concentrating very hard on his driving. He could feel the hard points of her breasts against his back muscles, and there was no way the heat pressed up close to his ass could be mistaken for anything else. Her hands rode low on his waist, clutching at the waistband of his pants. Riding with Maria had never been like this. It felt as if her tiny body was surrounding him with its heat.

        A few minutes later Michael pulled up at the Evans house. He killed the engine and nudged open the kickstand. Liz sat still for a moment before sliding off the bike. She removed her helmet and tossed her hair as Michael slid off, taking his helmet off as well. He looked at her. Her eyes were shining and her cheeks were rosy. She looked incredible.

        "Wow! Michael, that was awesome! I didn't know what I was missing," she exclaimed. Even her voice sparkled, Michael thought distractedly. Liz laughed at his dazed expression and handed him her helmet.

        "Thanks," she said, then stretched up and kissed his cheek before swiftly disappearing into the house. Michael just stood there for a couple of minutes, his skin tingling where her lips had touched him. What the hell was going on?

Continue to Part Three

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