Banner by Nicola
Disclaimer: I own nothing Roswell.
Character Focus: Michael POV, Michael/Liz
Author's Note: Thanks, Debbie.
morning star n. a planet, usually Venus, visible just before solar ascension.
She smelled good. I stood behind her in line one day and we were all scrunched up 'cause the hall was really full, so I could bury my nose in her hair and no one would notice.
Later, on the playground, I saw her playing. For a minute I watched her friend instead, a girl that shone in the sun, her blond hair flashing and white teeth visible even from where I was. She liked the attention she was getting, and squealed gleefully every few minutes. There was no mystery there.
But then I turned back to her, and I couldn't look away. I looked at her long brown hair and thought about how warm it must be in the sun, how thick and soft it would feel. She seemed happy just because her friend was happy, and I wished her friend would always be happy just so she would smile, that slow smile that lit up her face until you could see it in her eyes.
There was something in the way she stood that day that reminded me of the deer I'd seen at the trailer park, so still but ready to run. I was always good with the deer. I'd stand really still and once a baby one ate salt out of my hand before nosy Miss Hollis came out and scared it away.
I wondered if she would run away. Maybe if I stood really, really still, she'd stay.
I couldn't think of anything I wanted more.
morsel n. a small piece. A promise.
Oh god, she was humming. Her entire mouth and throat was vibrating against me and I didn't know I could get any harder.
Hell, I didn't know my balls were so sensitive. I never got this far with Maria and the dream sex with Isabel was downright missionary, no fun and games. And whenever I used my hand I'd just go straight to it, I never explored.
Now there was something I knew right then I'd have to remedy.
She moved up and I bit my lip, hard, because she took her time, easing her mouth over my cock, moving up and down in time with her hands and then, oh god, her mouth, sucking. Gently at first, but then with greater force, and I thought about all the stupid jokes, and how I could almost believe she really was going to suck my brains out.
She'd commented once about my foreskin, asking if it was an alien thing because it looked different than anything she'd seen in a magazine. After teasing her about her magazines I explained that Hank had just decided against having me circumcised, and I could almost see the light bulb go on in her head as she studied it. I think she even planned some research at the library. All I cared about was how good she was.
And she was really good. I had to close my eyes sometimes because it was so intense, to grab the sheets beside me so I didn't grab her hair instead. I knew she really hated that, hated feeling that anyone was trying to control her, and that was something I got. I think it was part of why we did this, why we kept meeting. Because in a lot of ways, the important ways, we were very alike.
I loved her mouth on me, her long hair brushing over my hips and thighs. Her hair reminded me of something, some ancient memory about the sun, but I let it go. It wasn't important. But this - this was very important. It was every teenaged boy's wet dream - at least, all the boys I know wished she'd do this for them. I was sure of it, I'd seen all three of them look at her at one time or another. Idly I wondered if she had, but I doubted it. She'd learned about this along with me, and I think she chose me because she didn't have to worry about getting so emotionally attached. That's why I chose her too.
She'd sit up and admire her work sometimes. I stayed very still then, because I knew what I wanted her to do but she wouldn't unless she felt like it. I felt her shift, and then oh god but she was pushing down on me, around me, pulling me into her, and oh god but there was nothing in the world like this, nothing. She'd pump her hips a little, and then I could move, then I could bring my hands to her hips to steady her, to help her find a rhythm that we'd both like.
And oh god, did I like. I liked a lot. I knew I was going to miss this when I left.
But I would leave, because there's something else waiting for me. I knew it; something more.
mores pl. n. the customs and conventions embodying the fundamental values of a community.
We did leave, and I did miss it. Oh, I wasn't an idiot, and when Isabel showed some interest I didn't turn her away or anything so noble.
But still, it kind of surprised me how much I thought about her. And not just when I was using my hand, or when one of the others mentioned her in passing.
Max refused to talk about her, though. Maybe he felt guilty because he and Tess barely waited until they were out of the Earth's atmosphere before going at it like that pink bunny on TV.
Strangely enough, I did know that Tess and Isabel missed her too. They never told me, but I figured out one day - more from what they weren't saying than what they were - that before they left each one had some kind of confrontation. I'm not saying they had some big orgy or anything, but every now and then I saw Tess finger a friendship bracelet that Liz had given her, and the look on her face was the same one I saw in the mirror sometimes, and the same one Isabel wore after waking from dreams she wouldn't tell me about.
It didn't really bother me, though. It wasn't like we had any kind of arrangement. And since I didn't break it off with Maria for her, it's not like I could expect her to put her life on hold for me.
But destiny sucked. We all deserved better. We deserved more.
I decided that if - no, when - we got back some day, and I really thought we would, I might look her up, maybe see if she wanted to get together or something.
No big deal.
morass n. a confusing state of affairs.
Well, we came back. And we weren't children anymore, and things had changed.
For one thing, we'd found out why Max and Tess were so quick to jump each other. They'd become addicted to each other. Not in a sickeningly sweet, lovers-attached-at-the-hip kind of way, but connected on some bizarre chemical level so if they went away from each other for more than a couple minutes they passed out from the pain. It was pretty pathetic. Of course, this didn't do much for the romance department, because no matter how sexy someone is, being with them 24-7 took a lot of the mystery and fun out of things. But where we came from, they frown on musical beds. Heavily. So once they were back on good old terra firma they started working out some serious kinks. It was lucky they're both so freaking good-looking; they didn't have any trouble getting threesomes together. Or foursomes, for that matter.
I never asked if they looked up Liz. I didn't want to know.
Isabel and I agreed we didn't want it to happen to us so we called it quits early. And last I heard, she'd descended on Alex, busted his marriage wide apart and claimed him for herself. Of course, she was pretty persuasive; his wife was more than happy to let him go once Isabel described how good it would be for them all. And I don't imagine it took too much to convince Alex.
Maria ah, Maria. Now that chick discovered her animal side with a passion. In the 6 or so years we were gone, she'd moved to Albuquerque, been married 4 times and 4 times she'd left a husband for a woman. I bet she enjoyed herself hugely; I ran into Kyle once and bought him some rounds in exchange for some stories. As a county Sheriff, he heard all the scuttlebutt from the city and by the time he'd described some of her more infamous peccadilloes I was laughing so hard tears rolled down my cheeks. Apparently the police got called out to her estate - did I mention Hubby #2 was rolling in it? - at least once a month, and never for the same thing. One month she'd hold a party where guests were instructed to design their own outfits out of plastic wrap, the next she'd scandalize her neighbours by populating her lawn with salt sculptures. Within days of that one, deer had invaded every carefully maintained lawn and garden in a 5-mile radius. The locals either loved or hated her with a passion. I knew she thrived on the attention.
I was happy for her, but that was about it. Still, I'd wanted her to be happy for so long I never bothered wondering why it was so important anymore. And yet, I knew I wanted something else. Something more.
As for Kyle - well, something he said caught my attention. Something about how good it was to have Max and Tess back. I asked how often he saw them, and he mentioned something about them staying with him until they found somewhere else. I grinned until he blushed, but I realized a long time ago that it doesn't pay to be an asshole all the time, and I said I thought they'd be good for each other. We parted friends. And as friends, he was able to give me an important piece of information. An address.
So that's how it was that I found myself on a strange doorstep one day.
She let me in, and showed me around her house. It was a nice house, and she said that Maria let her have it after one of her break-ups in exchange for some free services. Apparently it was well worth it to have someone on hand when guests got careless and hurt themselves. Not that she actually made it through medical school. Her last year there she'd written and sold a book, a medical thriller, and never got around to graduating. She'd published one a year since, and each one crept farther up the New York Times Bestsellers list. The last one hit #5 before falling, she told me, her pride evident.
I asked if she was interested.
That's it. Just "are you interested?" She never answered, but took me right there on her living room floor. And I do mean, she took me. She'd had years to perfect her techniques, and I learned a lot that day.
It's funny. Living as an alien, she represented humanity to me. She was familiar, she was home; she was all that was earthy and lusty. Light years away I found myself remembering the details, the smell and feel of her hair, the way she tilted her head up to look at me when we were upright and the way she looked down at me when we weren't.
Living as a human, she became an enigma, an exotic mystery to be solved, slowly, at leisure. I would touch her skin and wonder at the texture. I'd watch her get up in the middle of the night to get a thought down on paper and end up writing an entire chapter before breakfast. I marvelled at the way her fingers move over the keyboard and how she chews on her hair when concentrating on a difficult scene. As long as I was quiet she didn't mind if I was in the room, and sometimes I'd pick up a pencil.
I guess my old art teacher was right. I really should have paid more attention when the rest of the class drew sculpture, because my portraits sucked. Oh, I wasn't complaining. I picked up some books and took a couple courses to improve my technique, and discovered a willing partner who showed me just how much fun it is to experiment with our artistic sides.
She bought me a running tab at a nearby art supply store for my birthday the first year back. I've used it to keep body paint on hand ever since.
After about 2 years she got pregnant. It wasn't planned but we never discussed "options" -- we both understood from the beginning that it was her baby and she wanted it. I was secondary, and I knew it. I liked it that way.
There's something about baby furniture, though. It's very tempting to paint it in bright colours. So I had to buy a lot of it, because I had a lot of paint.
mortality n. the condition of being mortal.
Now, as I lay here, naked, I can't help but think about the woman next to me.
There's something soothing about watching her sleep. She sleeps on her side, slightly curled up, and sometimes I curl up behind her, to share our warmth. But other times, like tonight, I like to face her. Her faces twitches a little sometimes, and I worry that she's having a nightmare, but then it relaxes and her breathing evens out and I'm relieved.
I can't help myself; I have to touch her right now, and I prop myself up on one elbow.
Lightly, careful not to wake her up, I run one finger along her hairline, pushing back stray wisps so I can see her entire face. She doesn't wear makeup to bed, and although I'll never tell her this, I like how she looks without it. I like being able to see the tiny creases at the outer edges of her eyes because I remember the laughter they represent. She's still pretty young, but she's lived so much, I think as I feel them under my fingertips. I like the way her eyes light up when she smiles her special smile, the one that starts with the edges of her lips quirking upwards and ends with one eyebrow slightly higher than the other.
I trace the line of her nose, tapping the tip that she used to cry over because she wanted one like her best friend. But I like her nose; I think it gives her character. And then I smile wryly and touch the same finger to the tip of my own, which I can see if I look down and cross my eyes slightly.
A quiet giggle pulls me out of my reverie, and I look down into large, amused eyes.
"What are you doing?" she whispers, grinning.
"Shhh, go back to sleep," I whisper back, and lie down myself, on my side so I can still face her.
She nods and closes her eyes, but after a minute she opens them again to look into mine.
"What are you thinking?" she asks, still smiling, but her tone serious.
I don't speak for a moment, and she waits patiently for me to organize my thoughts. I love her for this.
"That sometimes this doesn't seem real."
Her brow creases slightly, and I mentally shake myself.
"I still can't believe I got this lucky," I say quickly, and relax as she nods in understanding.
"Yeah, I know," she agrees, then pauses. "Michael, when did you know?"
"I think I always knew," I answered, and she rolls her eyes, making me smile. She hates it when I say things like that. She likes things to be orderly, and for the most part, so do I. Which makes for comfortable living. But she also likes to solve mysteries, whereas I just enjoy them and the effect they have on her.
"I'm serious," I tell her now, and she just looks at me in wonder.
"Then, why " her voice trailed off, but I knew what she was going to ask.
"Why did I get so serious with Maria?" She nodded.
"Well, for one thing, you were kind of preoccupied at the time," I say dryly, and relish the way she bites the inside of one cheek to keep from smiling too broadly.
"I loved him," she confides openly, without fear. "Still do."
I nod, not at all upset by her admission. It would worry me if she denied it.
"Well, I loved her." I thought for a second, then nodded philosophically as we finish the thought together.
"Still do!" And we grin.
After a moment, though, she grows serious again. "It seems strange but it doesn't. I mean, if I love him so much, and you love her so much, why are we here?"
I don't really want to have this discussion right now, but know there's no escaping it. We both need to hear it.
"Because we can't be with them. Not the way we want. And I do love you."
I wasn't really planning on saying that last bit, but I'm glad that I did. I'm pretty sure I mean it. I struggle not to smile at the way her breath hitches when I say that. Then she surprises me back.
"I love you too."
I study her features. Could she really mean it too? This this changes things, I think. It's one thing to have a fling when you're getting over a serious relationship, and it's another to admit that it might mean more to you than just a fling, but it's something else when both of you say it out loud and there's a baby monitor on the night stand.
"Why?" I ask. I really want to know.
"Why do I love you?" she asks incredulously.
I nod. She stares at me speechlessly for a moment, and now it's my turn to watch her organize her thoughts.
"You let me in," she says suddenly. "You let me see you even if you're not at your best. You talk to me even if you're angry. When I'm with you, I know it's okay if I'm not perfect. It never occurs to me to wonder if you're keeping me in the dark about something just to protect me." She looks at me intently as she continues; all I can do is listen in awe.
"Maybe you do, but I don't feel paranoid about it. I know you'll tell me when you're ready," she says confidently, "and you won't lie to me until then."
"No," I say. "No, I wouldn't." And it's true.
"I know," she says gently. "My point is, I like being around you as much as I like being with you, you know? I love you but I also like you, and maybe the two are connected. I don't know. But I feel as though even if this part of our relationship didn't last," she adds, pointing to the bed and looking at me significantly, "the friendship part will."
I can't help but nod as I think about what she's saying. And I think about how her previous relationships have ended, and have to agree. More than agree.
"I want to grow old with you," I say out then, and flush a little at the look on her face.
"Okay," she says, after a minute.
"Okay," I agree.
And it's enough.
For the first time in my life, I don't need any more.
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