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Sent to the Roswell Slash Archive March 28, 2001

Title: Reasons
By: WiteLiteLeo
Pairing: Max/Michael
Disclaimer: These characters are not mine; I'm just playing with them for awhile.
Note: I hope this all makes sense, I've got a lot on my mind and thought writing would help, but I'm always tired and dazed so... lol. Hopefully you'll enjoy.

        His breath is hot. Michael always seemed to notice that afterward, and each time he said it to himself it was like the first time. He guessed that made sense, especially when every time he was with Max it always seemed like the first time. The first time... after everything that had happened, and everything he knew to be true now, that night was still the best night of Michael's life. He was sent up there to save Max, save Max from himself and everything that made him run away, but he did so much more than that. THEY did so much more than that. They saved each other that night. They put everything right, for all the right reasons, like saving the planet and their people. But to Michael, it was all so much more.

        "Max, come back down, please." Max had run away; he ran to that spot he had never showed anyone, except Michael. He didn't think Michael would remember, or maybe it was the opposite and he wanted Michael to be the one to find him, but nevertheless, he was on that one special cliff- and Michael had been the one to remember and go get him. "I'm sorry, for everything I'm sorry. We just want you back." Michael placed his hand on Max's shoulder- let Max fall on his chest as he burst into tears like he had been holding his breathe until he heard those exact words. Michael brought his arms around Max, and held him as Max broke down.

        It didn't feel like Michael thought it would; having Max crying in his arms. It wasn't a good feeling, a feeling of 'I'm the better leader' or 'my way is the right way'. It was just Michael, and his best friend, and that was enough. There didn't need to be another reason other than that. Michael slowly began running his hand up Max's back, soothing the man in his arms. Max's cries subsided, but the little sobs remained. Max stayed in Michael's arms, even when the sobs were gone, and all that was left was the two of them, and the few drops of water that fell from Max's cheek. When Max lifted his head, his eyes meeting Michael's, Michael couldn't help but wipe away the trail of tears. His hand came up to cup Max's cheek, and his thumb grazed the side of the man's face. And then it happened, Max leaning in, Michael responding in suit as their lips danced lightly on each other's mouth. Michael's other hand came up to the other side of Max's face, and Max moved up to get a better grip on Michael.

        "Why are you doing this Michael?" Michael wasn't sure what Max had been talking about, the kiss or coming up there in general, but either way, Michael had to answer the same.

        "It's what I'm here for Max. Your number two, second in command. I'm here to make sure you make it. No matter what right?" Michael smiled coyly as Max leaned forward once again to capture his mouth.

        That was the night it all started. The night when Max was the one who was knocking on Michael's window, Max was the one crawling into Michael's house now. Michael was always there for Max too, whenever Max came to call. Max didn't need to expect anything else, he had no reason to. Michael was there for him "to make sure he got through". And for some reason unknown to Michael, Max thought he needed Michael to get through now. Michael, of course, didn't have much disillusionment that this wasn't the case. Max just needed a warm body, and Michael needed Max.

        Yep, there it was, the real reason why Michael was there. Michael had never denied to himself that he was in love with Max, at least not to himself anyway. It was just too hard to try to believe that lie, so he kept it inside. Even when Max was with him, when Max's sweat was mixed with his, and their bodies became so tangled they were one, he never let Max know. Max had his warm body, nothing else mattered, and anything else would have just gotten in the way. Michael knew what he was to Max, convenience, but if that was what Max needed him for, he found a way to rationalize it with himself.

        So here I am again, lying with him like so many other times I've lost count. Michael's finger pushed the beads of sweat that lingered on Max's back after they had just made love. Michael always knew, at least a part of him always knew, that Max was here for the wrong reasons, but Michael never turned him away. But now, Michael knew the reasons he stayed were becoming undone, and it would take more to keep him there. Being with Max definitely wasn't making the love go away, and it started to hurt a lot more than ever when Michael was so close to Max, one with Max, and still not any closer to where he wanted to be.

        And that was why Michael got dressed early in the morning, long before Max would awake, and long before Max would notice he was gone. It wasn't too different than usual. If they ended up at Max's house, which was rare since Michael had his own place, Michael had to be gone before Max's parents woke up. At first it reminded Michael of those lonely, scared nights he would sneak away from Hank but have to sneak back all too soon because of the sun, and the next day that it brought. He tried not to think of it that way though, because he was at Max's house for a lot better reasons now, then he had been. And then, if they ended Michael's, Max was always gone before Michael woke, and that was in part why Michael had even thought about things in the first place. One night, Michael tried to stay awake long enough to see Max when he got up, when he left, but he only lasted until 4 a.m. The next thing he knew, he awoke to an empty bed. He never tried to stay awake again, he knew Max waited so he would leave when Michael wouldn't look at him, wouldn't ask him to stay. And if that was what Max wanted, Michael would be the one to give it to him.

        Michael knew the only reason Max kept coming to him, and it wasn't the love that he didn't feel, and it certainly wasn't the love that Michael felt. You're abandoning everything you said you were here for. What about keeping Max together, making sure he makes it and all that. Isn't that what you were here for. Michael's own voice mocked him inside his head. "No," he finally spoke, low and to himself, "I was hear for love, and perhaps, that is the worst reason to stay... Max is our leader, the king. He should be able to keep himself together, he should be stronger than that." And then, Max was left alone, lying in his bed without a number two.

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