you can catch up with previous parts at the links: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. part 6 is after the jump.
Michael stared at the ceiling above his bed. He’d been doing that since he’d gotten home last night. Ever since he’d left Liz. He still couldn’t explain what had possessed him to tear off like that. Kissing Liz was all he’d been dreaming about since he had first realized there was something special about girls. All his life he’d known there was something special about Liz Parker.
Even when he’d been with Maria, he’d never been able to deny how he felt about Liz. Well at least not to himself. He had pretty much everyone else fooled into believing he hated Liz. But he never hated her, how could he? He had always just been incredibly jealous of Max.
So why had he run last night?
He’d not only run away from Liz. He’d tried to run away from himself, from everything that tied him to Roswell. He’d run and kept on running, way past the city limits, past the trailer park he’d grown up in, past the cliff they used to hold their meetings at, all the way past the old pod chamber in the desert. He ran until everything in him gave out. He sat there staring up at the sky, at the stars and planets and galaxies that formed this amazing universe that he belonged to.
When he had asked Liz to dance, he’d told her there was to be no more crying. And the thing of it was that he knew any further involvement in their lives would only cause her more grief. It was for that reason that he ultimately had understood Maria’s decision to leave him.
When he thought back on all that Liz Parker had gone through by just being with Max, he didn’t want to put her through that. He loved her.
And with that admission to himself came clarity.
He knew what he would have to do. He’d have to distance himself from the one person on this Earth who made his life, who made living bearable.
Because even if it broke his heart, he refused to be the one to bring more tears into her life.
Liz sighed. She really didn’t want to face Michael at work today. She hadn’t meant to kiss him last night. She knew he didn’t feel the way she did. She was utterly and irrevocably in love with him.
But obviously he didn’t feel the same way.
She hoped it wouldn’t ruin the camaraderie that had existed between them recently. She would feel his absence from her daily life so keenly. Being with him made her happy.
As much as she didn’t want to face him today, she did. Because to spend time with him, even if it was awkward and uncomfortable, completed her in an inexplicable and indefinable way.
She looked out at the balcony, and wondered when Michael had come by to clean things up. She hadn’t thought she’d slept, but the props from their dinner were gone. The clean plates stacked neatly by her windowsill as well as the artwork Michael had created. She stood and walked to the window, he’d left her a note on the pile of dishes.
It read simply:
She crushed it to her heart and sighed. Didn’t he know that he had nothing to apologize for? Didn’t he know…how much everything he had ever done for her meant?
She felt too much…too deeply. And she knew Michael would never feel that way about her. Especially not since his break-up with Maria. He’d been hurt so badly. And she wasn’t what he wanted.
At least not romantically.
She was his friend. That was all she would ever be. And the sooner she came to terms with that the better. She sighed and pulled in the things Michael had left for her. Looking at the watch on her desk she realized she had to get ready, her shift started in an hour.
Liz walked into the break room cautiously. She wasn’t sure if Michael would have arrived just yet. And she wanted to be composed when she saw him.
As if he had heard her thoughts he walked through in through the back door.
“Hey,” she said quietly in greeting.
“Hey,” he replied. He busied himself at his locker for a moment, putting away his helmet and pulling out the beat-up grey t-shirt he used for work.
He smiled at her slightly when he turned around. She smiled back uncomfortably.
“About last night—“They both began speaking at the same time. Laughing to cover up her embarrassment, Liz nodded at Michael to continue.
“I just…I wanted to apologize. I…the thing is…well I didn’t mean for things to end up that way. I just wanted you to have a nice night. I didn’t mean to ruin it.”
“Michael…you didn’t ruin it. I was sad you ran away. But you didn’t ruin it.”
“It’s okay. It was a mistake. Let’s just forget about that, and be friends,” Liz said desperately.
Michael’s breath hitched. He felt as if he was suffocating…but it had to be done. He and Liz could never be anything more than friends. If even that. “Okay, friends.”
Liz smiled painfully as she watched him head towards the bathroom to change into his uniform.
The entire afternoon had been horribly awkward between them.
Michael hated the distance that now existed between them.
Liz was sure that things between Michael and her would never be the same.
This was killing them.
Michael finished mopping the kitchen and walked into the break room, pulling off his shirt as he did so. When he looked up he stopped breathing…his mouth dried…and he stood there riveted.
Liz stood directly in front of him, her uniform opened to reveal the firm flesh of her abdomen…the sexy black lace of her bra…the ridge between her breasts…
Liz stared in shock at the opened door…at a shirtless Michael.
At that moment friendship flew out the window.