Disclaimer: Roswell is owned by lucky, lucky people. Not by me.
Distribution: Guilty Pleasures. All others please ask first.
Author's Note: I was speculating on ways that the M&M scene from Departure could be reinterpreted with a Polar eye, and thus this fic was born. I have blatantly borrowed some major concepts from Whiteotter's stunning Polar Novel (with her permission): Michael and Liz's ability to communicate telepathically, and sense each other even when they're "with" other people are all her ideas, not mine. I bow down to Otter's greatness, and graciousness.
Feedback: Yes please. Even short notes mean a lot to me. I accept constructive as well as positive remarks.
This fic was nominated Best UC and Best Short Story in the Roswell Undercover Awards
You know why I have to do this, right?
Yeah, I do. But I don't have to like it.
Liz sat on her bed, curled against her pillows. Only her love for Michael and her desire to see her best friend happy was enabling Liz to get through this. Michael had "spoken" to her earlier, using the telepathy instead of face-to-face contact when he found her not at home. Liz had been with Max at the time, studying Leanna's blood, when Michael had told her of his plan to open up to Maria. She had struggled not to break down in front of Max as the realization sank in. For two years Liz had tried to be understanding of Maria's attachment to Michael, and she was glad the two of them were friends, but Michael's innermost self was hers. How could he think of sharing?
I know it sounds bad. But you know how Maria feels.
Liz gave a mental grunt of acknowledgment. Michael, I know she loves you but--
How about how I feel?
She could almost feel him run his hands through his hair in frustration. Liz, you'll always have me. You've had me all along. But she doesn't know that and if I just I can't .
I know. Liz sighed. Who knew you were such a softy?
Outrage. I am n--
Michael, admit it. You can't bear to hurt her feelings, so that's why you want to give her this gift and want me to accept that.
Defeat. Do you always have to be right? Fine, you're right. But I'm leaving tomorrow. I need to show appreciation for her friendship. It'll make her happy. Then his mental voice softened. Would it be easier if you were with me?
Pause. All right.
Michael sat Maria down on the sofa. The hope and love he saw shining in her eyes hurt him. No matter what he said, he could never return her affections the way she wanted --his love for Liz was too strong. But he *did* care for Maria; her friendship meant a lot, and he wanted to honor that before he left. It would only be this once, and then he'd be gone.
But now that they were here together, he found the words sticking in his throat. All he could think about was that this was his last night on Earth, and the person he wanted most to be with was Liz. Oh, god. What was he thinking? How could he have put Maria over Liz? And there was no graceful way out now. He sat silent a moment, frozen.
Michael? Michael, it's ok. I'm here. Talk to me.
But she'll think I'm talking to her.
That's all right, Liz soothed. I'll know the difference.
Michael cleared his throat and looked into Maria's watchful green eyes. "Remember how when Max and Liz kissed, Liz saw flashes, and you didn't?" he began nervously.
Ugh, don't remind me. I didn't ask for those, Liz chuckled, as Maria made her own protest.
It helped us learn more about our planet and our past, didn't it?
I suppose .
"The reason you didn't get the flashes is because I didn't let you get them."
You let me get them.
Michael's throat closed up at the memory. The day he'd finally been able to let Liz in He hadn't thought he'd ever find someone he trusted with his innermost self. Tears sprang to his eyes and he choked them back.
"I didn't let you see me," Michael went on, remembering the words he'd said to Liz that night. "I've never let anyone see me before."
I know. I remember. You said I was the first person to love you and not ask for anything back. You said that was why you *wanted* to give me something. Yourself.
Michael clamped down even harder on the emotions that threatened to spill out. He had always prided himself on his self-control, but as he remembered the intensity of that night with Liz, and realized he would never experience it again, his control began to slip.
"Because"--He took a deep breath to steady his voice--"there are things inside of me that I don't want people to see." He could hardly talk now. "There's things inside of me that I'm not so proud of."
You were so scared I wouldn't love you anymore after seeing those things. But I loved you even more. You have nothing to be ashamed of, Michael. I'm proud of you. All of you.
"But I've thought about it. And I want you to see me."
I see you. You are brave in your fear, artistic and strong, loyal and adventurous and I love you.
"Take my hands." Liz .
Here, Michael. I'm holding my hands out.
Mentally he took her small hands in his own, even as he took Maria's in the physical world.
Michael closed his eyes and opened his mind, letting Maria fully into his thoughts. He knew Liz would share the moment with him. Only one thing he held back, twisting his mental path deliberately to show Maria an image of herself, instead of the vision of Liz that normally lay in his innermost heart.
When the flashes had played out, he opened his eyes. Maria's green, tear-filled gaze expressed her love, but all he saw were the deep brown eyes who had shown him never-wavering acceptance.
"Michael ." It was Maria's voice, not Liz's, that cut into his memories.
"There's something I have to do--" he tried to tell her, hoping to slip away to spend one final night with the dark-haired girl who had waited so patiently.
But it was useless. Maria kissed him before he could finish the sentence. And he knew there would be no escape. After all he'd done to avoid hurting the blonde girl, to leave now would be too cruel.
He tried desperately to salvage the situation. Stay with me . He kissed Maria fiercely, passing the image on to Liz.
Liz gasped as the imprint of Michael's lips reached her senses. For a while, she shared in his experience with Maria, but as their actions intensified, she became more uncomfortable. He was able to vent his arousal physically, but she was not.
Michael, I can't do this anymore.
Michael groaned. Liz, I can't stop.
For her or for you?
Either. Both. Liz, stay, please. I need you here to make this all right.
I can't. I need I just can't. With a wrench, Liz pulled herself away, breaking their connection.
It didn't help. She was still wound up inside, needing an outlet. In desperation, Liz decided to go for a walk in an attempt to find release through exercise. She walked aimlessly through the streets, avoiding the neighborhood where Michael lived. She couldn't very well go barging in on them, no matter how much she wanted to. And the idea of going to Max with her need was well, it just wasn't appealing. Liz walked faster in agitation. She needed Michael. Michael, Michael.
She tried to dismiss the notion. But it kept coming back. Sean and Michael were very similar, and if she wasn't going to get her one final night with Michael, then maybe she could find some solace in the other boy.
When Sean opened the door, she didn't even give him time to react. She threw herself into his embrace, kissing him fiercely, desperately trying to imagine it was Michael's lips and Michael's hands against her skin.
It worked for a little while, but as her need and bitterness faded, Liz realized that no amount of wishing would turn Sean into Michael. Her conscience began to nag at her -- it wasn't right to play with Sean's emotions. In a heartbeat she had rolled off of Sean and began to apologize profusely.
"M--" Can't say Michael. He thinks it's Max, and what if he slipped up and told Maria? "--Max Evans broke my heart. I'm sorry, Sean. I'm so sorry."
Liz was grateful beyond words when Sean appeared to understand, simply holding her as she sagged against him. The past few hours had been a horrible roller coaster ride, and Liz suddenly found that she was exhausted. She allowed Sean to lead her to Maria's room, where she crashed on the bed and tried not to think about the reason for her best friend's absence. Fatigue won over emotional hurts; she dozed on and off, but woke entirely when she felt Michael's mind touch hers again.
Liz? He sounded afraid. Liz, I'm so sorry.
You're not the only one who needs to apologize, Liz sighed. She told him what she had done with Sean.
Oh. Subdued. Liz, we can't leave it like this. I have to make it right before I leave. Can I see you? Will you let me?
Liz knew there was no time to work things out gradually. Of course I will. I will always see you. But--
I'm at Maria's right now.
Dammit! Michael groaned. I just sent her home. She'll be there any minute, won't she?
Liz sighed. Probably. So I guess this is it. This is goodbye. She heard the Jetta pull into the driveway.
I know. I love you too.
It was odd, Michael mused, as he walked to the cave with the others. All his life, he had been searching for a way home. And now, after years of trying to get off the planet, he was finally realizing that his "home" was here after all. It was wherever Liz was. It had taken a painful night away from her to understand that.
He looked at Max and Isabel. Leaving them would be hard. They had been with him for so long, had helped him survive so he could get to this point. Tess-- he would miss her too, but it wasn't the same; she'd taught them so much, but she'd only been around a year or so. Michael shook himself. But none of that mattered. What mattered was that he couldn't leave Earth. He couldn't leave home. Somehow he was going to have to tell them he planned to stay.
And then he was going to go straight to Liz. He had to see her.
|DC Slash||Harry Potter||Ros. Hetero||Ros. Slash||Ros. Other|