As Liz came off her shift, she ran into the break room to change and went out to join Kyle, Isabel, Max, and Michael who were all waiting for her in the dining area in high spirits. They had plans to hang out this evening.
"So what's the plan, Izzie?" Liz asked as she sat down next to Michael. He smiled at her in greeting and laid a hand on her thigh.
"Well, remember the soap factory?" Isabel questioned slyly.
"Oh. Right the party—Izzie, that's perfect." Kyle chimed in wrapping his arm around her neck.
Michael, Liz, and Max looked at each other a little uncertainly. Last time they had all been there things had been a lot different.
Liz had gotten arrested, and she definitely didn't want to repeat that particular experience. It was also one of the precious few happy moments in her relationship with Max. There was no way to recapture the magic, or dwell on could have or might have beens. She needed to have a good time tonight. The point was to finally let off some steam. With her parents back home, it would be nice to have an evening where she didn't have to worry about the diner. And with nothing alien-y going on she just wanted to have fun.
So did Michael. Liz knew he was hurting. His break up with Maria was still so fresh. And here he was sitting next to her smiling and laughing as if the pain didn't matter. Wait until she got him alone, he needed to stop pretending everything was fine.
Max was wary of the party too. He wasn't in a partying sort of mood. And he didn't want to force Liz to choose between who to spend time with. Michael needed Liz, he understood that. He knew that now, more than ever before, Michael needed someone to tell him the world would be all right. Max knew his world would never be set to rights again. But that was his own fault. And he was paying his dues. And he understood that in the last couple of months, Liz and Michael had discovered that they could be there for each other. He didn't have to like it. But he understood. And he was also pretty sure that him hanging around would only make things awkward. He knew Liz wanted to smooth things over so that they could all be friends again. But he wasn't sure he'd really ever be able to do that. Liz still meant something to him. And she was moving on. He had to let her move on without him. Even if it killed him. A little more hurt wouldn't make a difference.
Michael didn't know what had gotten into Maria. The last time there had been a party at the soap factory, they'd been on kissing terms. Now all that remained between them was worlds of hurt and pain. But he didn't want to be miserable. He was so sick of being angry and upset. They'd been his default emotions for so long, but lately he'd found that there was something to be said for happiness. Hanging out with Liz and Kyle and Isabel was light and easy. He caught himself really laughing a couple of times. For the first time in his life he didn't feel like hiding in a corner and moping. He still felt no desire to face his demons, but he just wanted to have a good time. And being with Liz was a huge part of that.
"Isabel. I'm not going. I just can't be at a party. Not yet." Max said quietly.
"Max," Isabel whined pleadingly.
"No Izzie, I just. I can't. I'm sorry." He grasped her hands intently and she squeezed them back in understanding.
"Ok, Max. We'll miss you."
Max stayed for a while longer listening as they finalized their plans before leaving. Tess had left a huge mark on his life, on his soul. And he wasn't sure he'd ever recover. And he couldn't relax, not until he found a way to save his son.
Kyle and Isabel had headed out in Kyle's pickup truck leaving Michael and Liz to follow on Michael's motorcycle.
Liz had changed into a tight black halter-top that hugged her breasts and left her midriff bare and a pair of dark hip-hugging jeans and black leather boots, which Michael was finding difficult to ignore. She looked sexy. And it was making him feel crazy. She still smelled like vanilla, sweet and innocent. But he wanted to nuzzle his fact into her neck and lick her.
Michael knew he had to be going crazy as the lewd thoughts kept popping into his head. They had walked from the Crashdown to his place to pick up the bike and give him a chance to change his shirt. He needed to cool off. He was starting to sweat imagining all the things he wanted to do to Liz.
She was just waiting for him on the couch in the living room. As he buttoned up a black shirt over his dark jeans he wondered how it would feel to have Liz's small fingers undo the buttons and rake her nails across his chest. He groaned.
"Michael are you all right?" Liz asked with concern from the other room.
"Yeah. Just peachy." Fuck. Tonight would be one long night.
Especially since he really did hate to dance.
The music blared, the heat was stifling, a mass of bodies dancing. The party was all it was cut out to be and more. The noise was so loud it was impossible to think. And the crowd large enough to lose ones self in.
Michael and Liz abandoned the thought of looking for Kyle and Isabel in the crush, figuring that at one point or another they would run into them.
Liz pulled Michael out to the dance floor, his unwillingness outmatched by her determination.
Their bodies pressed against one another intimately.
Her skin was a smooth as water flowing between his fingers.
His muscles were so strong and hard, the way he was. A stonewall.
Her hair smelled of flowers and her skin of vanilla. How was it that what seemed so untouchable, unapproachable was so damned tempting?
She could feel his heart beat pounding to the rhythm of the song, in perfect time with her heart too.
All he wanted to do was claim her as his own.
All she wanted to do was claim him as her own.
The swirling lights dimmed and the music slowed to a standstill, the dancing mass pairing of with a flowing ease and one song became another.
Michael and Liz held on to one another. Their inner hearts wishing for so much more than what already lay between them.
"Let's get out of here." Michael whispered in her ear.
"What about Isabel and Kyle?' Liz whispered back.
"They'll find their own way home." He answered.
"So where are we going? It's still pretty early." Liz asked as they left the building.
"You'll see." Michael gave Liz a grin.
They sped through the freeway out to the desert. The wind speeding through their hair and laughter flying through the air.
He had brought her to the lake. Liz smiled. The last time they had been here so much had happened. She thought she had lost him. But she hadn't.
Michael didn't know what impulse had made him bring them there. Only it was here that they had strengthened their friendship. This was their place.
"Let's dive in." Liz suggested laughingly as they both took in their surroundings. The lake was as lush and inviting as usual, in its barren backdrop. There was a full moon and the stars lit up the sky like flickering candles casting a serene glow about the lake.
They smiled at each other in perfect sync. Michael made quick work of divesting himself of his shirt and pants diving in with his boxers. Liz took off her pants, and dove in with her black halter-top and matching panties making a makeshift bathing suit.
They splashed around and laughed before settling down. Floating through the warm water, it was a moment of utter peace in their lives.
It was quiet in the water. It felt as if they were in their own little bubble.
Michael's hands tangled up in Liz's hair. The silken strands bringing them close together. He brought his hands to her face and trailed the waterdrops that made their way down her skin. Their faces close together, he brushed his lips across hers.
Liz stopped breathing. All she wanted was to feel Michael's body against hers, moving inside of hers. And feeling his breath mingle with hers, his hands twined in her hair, Liz gave herself up completely. To feeling. To love. To passion. To utter madness. To Michael.
Standing in the shallow depths of water, Michael peeled off Liz's makeshift swimsuit. His first glance of her body caught his breathing in his throat. She was stunning. Her smile was captivating.
Liz had to touch him, had to feel the strength he held within his taut body. Michael had been her rock for so long. ,His corded muscles and smooth skin were testament to the fact. Liz kissed the groove of his neck, before sliding down to lave attention on his hardened nipples.
Michael watched as Liz explored his body, allowing her to touch and lick without restriction. But he wanted to worship her. Show her how much he wanted her. And only her. That she was the only person occupying his thoughts, his fantasies.
He pushed them towards the shore and they lay back against the sand, spreading their forgotten sodden garments into a blanket. Michael's hardened cock flitted against Liz's heated warmth. He wanted this to go slowly, but feeling Liz in his arms, he knew it wouldn't be long before he claimed her as his completely.
Their hands were everywhere on each other's bodies. Caressing, touching, mapping out each other's physique, paying special attention to the sensitive spots. Kissing, licking, loving each other. It wasn't long before Liz throbbed with a need, an ache that only Michael could ease. Michael also felt the need, the ache, he needed to be inside Liz, needed to fill the void within both their souls.
And as Michael thrust into Liz, their skin sliding easily against each other, the water gently surrounding them, they became one. The stars rained down from the skies, and the light shone from their eyes, from within their very hearts.
Michael started surprised to find himself fully clothed, Liz floating on the water to his far right. His fantasy had seemed so real. So intense. He couldn't believe it hadn't happened.
It was a good thing it hadn't happened, right?
Liz was startled to hear Michael splash around. She had been imagining something so different, it was hard to believe that it wasn't real. It was harder to believe how much she had wanted it to be real.
It was a good thing it wasn't, right?
Michael and Liz as if by instinctual accord both made their way out of the water and pulled on their clothes. Michael dried the more saturated articles of clothing with a wave of his hand and without really looking at each other they rode home. Back to Roswell.