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Unhappily or Not

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Posted to the Roswell Slash list September 6,2000

Title: Unhappily or not (Instant Maria Mix)
Author: Uriel
Fandom: Roswell
Pairing: Max/Michael, Maria/Michael
Summary: Maria visits Michael. Set morning after last part
Archive: yes to all list archives
Email: uriel256@hotmail.com
Series/Sequel: Instant Roswell Mixes, part 7
Web Page: for previous parts go to http://boyslacker.web1000.com/TV/instantroswell.html
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell. I don't own "You don't own me".
Notes: It's been a really long time coming, so sorry for the wait, but better late then never, right?



I walked up to the door of Michael's apartment with a bounce in my step and a song on my tongue.

"You don1t own me, don't try and change me, in any way," I belted out loudly as I knocked on the door. The door opened slowly. "So don't tell me what to do! And don't tell me what to say!" Isabel's face appeared as the door opened the rest of the way. "And when I go out with you, don't put me on display!" I did my best seductive pose for her on the last line. She stared at me as if I was insane.

"Why are you here?" she asked coldly.

"I came to see my boyfriend if that's okay with you," I replied with equal ire.

"He's busy," she said and moved to slam the door in my face.

"Maria?" Michael's voice carried out from the room Isabel was guarding.

"Hi!" I said exuberantly as I barged past Isabel. Isabel made a disgusted noise as she closed the door behind me with a slam. Michael glared angrily at her.

"Hi, Maria," Max said softly. He and Michael were sitting on the couch, Max's head resting on Michael's shoulder. They looked strangely perfect like that. Like that's how it was supposed to be.

I smiled wanly as I sat down on the other side of Michael. I started feeling uncomfortable sitting there. I felt like I was walking in on something. Almost like I had walked into a church in the middle of the service and everyone was staring at me.

"So," I said after a long moment. "How was the date, Max?" Then Max burst into tears.

I don't mean a little tear started to fall down his cheek, I mean torrents. Hysterical sobbing. From Max. The sheer shock of it left me speechless for a long time.

"Max, come on, man," Michael said as he held Max tightly against him. "It's going to be okay. I promise. Calm down. It's okay, baby."

"I think you should go," Isabel said to me, pulling on the sleeve of my shirt. I scowled at her.

"No way," I replied. "Why is he crying?" I gestured at Max.

"I don't know. He was just fine before you showed up," Isabel muttered angrily.

"Not even, Isabel," I growled loudly, moving up towards her so that I was just inches from her face. "Tell me what's going on, before I make you." Isabel raised a sardonic eyebrow.

"Are you threatening me, Delucca?" she asked as if the sheer idea was hysterically funny. Which, when I really thought about it, it was.

"Tell me," I insisted ignoring her comment completely.

"Max realized he's not in love with Liz," Isabel said quietly. I could barely hear her. Her cocky attitude had faded with the statement. She was genuinely sorry for Liz. Both the statement and her attitude towards it shocked me, almost as much as Max's outburst had.

"Damn," I swore softly. "She'll be heartbroken."

"Isabel, could you two...?" Michael asked gesturing at the door. He was still holding Max tightly against him. Max was clinging so tightly to him it amazed me Michael could still breathe.

"Sure, Michael," Isabel said, her voice colored with sympathy and affection. She gently took my arm and pulled me out into the hall with her.

"Why are we leaving?" I asked.

"Do you want to watch Michael's version of comfort?" Isabel asked archly. I blushed.

"Oh," I whispered softly. I felt my face go slightly slack and heat rise to my cheeks.

"Oh, indeed," Isabel muttered with another roll of her eyes.

"How long...?" I asked without actually saying the words. I didn't want to say it out loud. Maybe if I didn't say it out loud it wouldn't be true.

Denial? What's that? I couldn't possibly be trying to retain my grip on reality by using such a childish defense mechanism. Yeah, right.

"Probably an hour before they get to the shower and then another before they're decent again," Isabel said offhandedly. Almost as if it were normal for her brother and his best friend to kick her out of the apartment for two hours. I blushed again as I realized it probably was. "And then another before they actually realize that they didn't change everything back."

"What?" I asked, completely confused by the remark. She passed her hand over her face and her eyes became a brilliant violet and her skin was covered in intricate designs. I stared in shock at her for a moment.

"They play around with each other," she said with a smirk. "Not to mention the minor physical changes they make so that they're more compatible. Certain parts of the body were just not meant to be used like that." She passed her hand back over her face, changing it back to its normal perfectly done up look.

"I don't want to know," I whispered.

"Really? I think it's amazing how much control Michael has gained since this started," she said as if it were a completely normal conversation topic. "Muscle structures and organ tissue can be very delicate."

"Don't tell me," I pleaded.

"Of course, normal guys seem to be able to do it just fine, so I suppose there are better ways to loosen-" she continued blithely.

"Stop it!" I shouted at her. She smirked at me. At least she had stopped. We stood there for several minutes. Her smirk never left her perfectly done up face. I was getting the urge to scoop her eyes out with a spoon.

A loud thud came from the apartment.

"Umm... do you want to go somewhere else?" I asked, suddenly becoming very uncomfortable with where we were. She looked back at the apartment door with her nostrils slightly flared in disgust.

"You would think they would be able to do that without falling off the couch," she said with a sigh before walking down the hall. I shuddered slightly.

"Do they always fall off the couch?" I asked, curiosity getting the better of me.

"They even fall off the bed most of the time," she replied. A mental image of Max and Michael tumbling out of a bed but being too "distracted" to even stop flickered through my mind. Isabel looked over her shoulder and smirked again. "Well, that's a pleasant look." The sarcasm in her voice was almost tangible. "I hope it gets stuck like that."

***

Isabel sat across from me, looking at me over the soda that she was slowly sipping. I was really glad that Liz had the day off and was watching movies with Alex. I didn't want to talk to her. I would've said something stupid and given everything away.

"Shouldn't you be going to put on your little uniform about now?" she asked.

"It's my day off," I answered sadly. "So naturally I thought I would spend it with my boyfriend, but that would never happen to me. Nope, nothing so normal as just spending time with someone who's supposed to love me would ever happen to me." Her face almost looked sympathetic. But only almost. "And even if it did we would only end up fighting." Her face became slightly more believable at containing actual sympathy.

"At least you have a boyfriend. Even if he is Michael," she said softly.

"What about Alex?" I asked. Her face suddenly changed. She glared hatefully at me, her eyes narrowed so thin you could barely see anything except her eyeshadow.

"I am not going to date Alex," she said, each word coming out one by one as if they were being pushed through her teeth. "I am not, repeat NOT, going to do anything with Alex."

"Oh," I whispered softly. I sat there unable to move for a moment as she continued to glare at me. Suddenly, the reason why so many people could be so easily cowed by Isabel was very apparent to me. Of course, the knowledge that she could literally throw me across the room and break every bone in my body without getting up was just adding to that.

"Well, what about Kyle?" I asked suddenly to change the subject.

"What about him?" she answered lifting one perfect eyebrow. Her eyes had returned to normal, thank God.

"As a boyfriend," I said. "I mean, yeah, he's a great big oaf, but Liz seemed to enjoy herself while dating him. And he's a football player so you could even show him off to your friends."

"I think I'll just leave him to Liz," Isabel said returning to sipping her soda.

"But Liz is..." I trailed off as I remembered Max's choice. "What if Michael changes his mind?" I hadn't realized I had said that out loud until Isabel looked up at me expectantly.

"Changed his mind about what?" she asked, prompting me to continue. I looked down at the table.

"Well, about us," I said softly. "About me and him. If Max isn't going to stay with Liz, then maybe Michael won't want to stay with me." Her expression had shifted back to sympathetic.

"It's different with you and Michael," she said, trying to soothe me.

"How is it different?" I asked, my voice filled with yearning for her to come up with something.

"Well, Max and Liz have never fought about anything, and you and Michael..." she trailed off as she suddenly realized that was the least helpful thing she could have said. "Because Michael loves you."

"Max loved Liz," I countered.

"Because... crap," she said softly.

"See?" I said plaintively.

"Because I said so dammit!" she suddenly growled. "If he was going to break up with you he would have done it already. So just stop worrying about it and talk about something else."

"Okay," I agreed reluctantly. "What about?" She looked at me for a long moment.

"Green eyeshadow," she said suddenly.

"What?" I asked, taken completely off guard.

"Green eyeshadow," she repeated.

"What about it?" I asked, still rather bewildered.

"Why did you put so much of it on?" she asked.

"What do you mean, why did I put so much of it on?" I replied angrily. "This is a completely normal amount of eyeshadow!"

"If you say so," she said, looking away.

***

"Michael? Max? Are you decent?" Isabel called into the apartment as we walked slowly inside. Max peered around the corner. I couldn't keep myself from staring at him. "Apparently not." The words came out as a quiet mutter so that Max couldn't hear them.

His eyes were green. Really bright green. And there were a bunch of blue spiral patterns around his left eye. And he was shirtless. And there were a pair of spirals on his chest, each starting from his nipples. His small, dark nipples that looked hard enough to cut glass. I felt my face grow hot with embarrassment.

"Max, eyes," Isabel said softly with a slight smirk on her face. His brow furrowed. "Green." A sudden flash of comprehension fluttered across his face, and then he became flush with embarrassment. "Let me." Her voice sounded exasperated, but I was sure I heard her suppress a giggle. She waved her hand dramatically in the air, returning Max's eyes, face and chest to normal. "Go put a shirt on." Max moved quickly towards the couch and reached over it, pulling a rumpled shirt off the floor.

"Max?" Michael's voice called. I turned away from Max to look at Michael as he entered the room. Michael wasn't wearing clothing. Michael wasn't wearing anything. Except what looked like blue henna designs all over his body. All over. Every part. I felt my cheeks go completely red.

"Michael!" Isabel shouted. "Go put pants on!" She had rushed forward towards him and was dragging him back into the other room. The door slammed closed behind her. I looked over at Max. He had managed to get his shirt back on, and he was blushing the darkest shade of red I had ever seen on his face.

Insert long uncomfortable silence here.

"So..." he said softly.

"So," I replied, trying to fill the uncomfortable silence.

"Where did you and Isabel go?" he asked, suddenly finding a topic.

"The Crashdown," I replied. His face fell. He was thinking about Liz. I wanted to comfort him, but I wasn't sure what to do.

"Did you talk to her?" he asked, slowly looking up at me.

"We successfully avoided it," I answered.

"Why?" he asked softly.

"Hello? She's my best friend and I just found out her boyfriend is leaving her for another guy. What am I supposed to say to her?" I growled, the frustration I was feeling evident in my voice. His face fell again. I sighed. "I'm sorry."

"That probably would have worked," he answered. It took me a moment to realize he was still focused on what I could've said to Liz. I sighed again.

"How are you going to tell her?" I asked.

"I was thinking the passive-aggressive way of avoiding her at all costs for a month or so," he answered.

"Oh, that's gonna help so much," I said rolling my eyes.

"Well, what am I supposed to do?" he asked.

"I don't know. Talk to her," I answered. "Tell her what's been going on. Tell her how you feel. I don't know." The door to the other room creaked open. Isabel strode purposefully out into the room, Michael trailing slowly behind her. He was wearing clothes again and he looked like normal again.

"You," Isabel said, pointing a silver-nailed finger at Max. "Come with me. You." Her fingernail flashed as she turned her finger to point at me. "Stay here. And you." Her finger wheeled around to poke Michael in the chest. "You are going to talk to her as per your instructions." She poked him again. "Or else." Then she grabbed Max's arm and walked forcefully out of the apartment.

"Hi," I said softly to Michael.

"Hi," he answered.

This was apparently my day for uncomfortable silences.

"You put pants on," I noted. He stared at me. "So..."

"Umm..." he said softly. "Isabel said that I shoud... umm... talk... to you... about us." He looked hurriedly away and began to focus on his feet.

"Yeah," I answered softly.

"Uh..." he said.

"Do you love Max?" I asked him. He looked up at me, his eyes showing worry.

"Yes," he whispered.

"Do you love me?" I asked him. His eyes returned to his shoes. He stood silently for a long time, his mouth moving but no words coming out. "Oh. I'll just go. I'm-"

"Wait," he said, reaching out and grabbing my arm. His fingers touched my skin, and a shiver went through my body. "I-I... yes."

"What?" I asked, looking back at him.

"I love you!" he shouted. "Okay? Are you happy? I said it!" I stared into his wild eyes as his mouth snapped shut with a snap. I moved towards him, my hand reaching up to brush his cheek. His face was red and hot with embarrassment. I leaned up and kissed him softly.

"Thank you," I whispered.

***

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