Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-17/? - 05/15/20

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keepsmiling7
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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-16/? - 05/05/20

Post by keepsmiling7 » Wed May 06, 2020 8:30 am

Thank you for the clarification regarding Ava.
There was a bonding time with Liz and Ava, feeling the baby move and playing cards.
Liz will make things work because she loves Max.
I've just seen more hostile situations and that clouded my opinion.
Thanks for bringing us this great story.

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-17/? - 05/15/20

Post by Fidomom » Fri May 15, 2020 9:18 pm

keepsmiling7 wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 8:30 am
Thank you for the clarification regarding Ava.
There was a bonding time with Liz and Ava, feeling the baby move and playing cards.
Liz will make things work because she loves Max.
I've just seen more hostile situations and that clouded my opinion.
Thanks for bringing us this great story.
@keepsmiling7:
I know that the hostile situations are not unique to just you; what I'm writing is unusual on purpose. My own experience with co-parenting was quite positive. My son has the best step-mother ever. Her entire family embraced and accepted my child as part of their family. I'm okay with more people loving and nurturing my son. Thank-you for reading this story even though it's coloured by my own experiences and also for sharing your perspective with me. I will try to be more mindful of the differing in real life experiences, of my intended audience, in my future writing.
~FM :)

Title: Finding Something Better
Author: Fidomom
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. It is only loosely based on characters from the 1999-2002 tv series Roswell as I imagine they could be from different points throughout and beyond the three seasons of the show. I am not affiliated with any of the original creations nor creators from the series. I will make no monetary gains from publishing this work of fiction.
Pairings/Characters/Category: Michael & Maria, Max & Liz, Kyle, Isabel, Ava, CC, UC, AU, w/Aliens
Rating: Teen
Summary: This chapter - Ava's experiences with moving are different from the rest of the crew. Kal changes his mind like he changes his looks. Charlie mimics Liz. Liz comes through for Maria, when Maria signals for back up. Jamie has impeccable timing. Adjustments to expectations are made. Beds get broken in (nothing explicit).
Author's Note: warnings=none

Finding Something Better
by Fidomom

Chapter Seventeen

Maria scowled at the phone on the passenger seat beside her, as it rang again after alerting for the seventh time, on both counts, that she had received a text message. She scolded it petulantly, "Leave me alone, since that's what your plan is anyway, right? I don't want to talk to you, right now! I just want to eat my ice cream bar in peace!"

When the phone stayed silent for over a minute, she still complained, "Oh, so you've already given up on me, just like that? Fantastic. Thanks a lot, Michael!"

She startled when it rang again and she answered without checking who was calling, "Would you get a freaking clue! I don't want to talk to you, right now! Stop bothering me!"

The hesitant voice of her best friend asked hopefully, "Even if this is Liz?"

Maria winced in regret and quickly apologised, "I'm sorry, Lizzy! No, of course that wasn't meant for you! Unless it's a trick and you're handing me off to him?"

Liz assured her, "No, it's not a trick. It is important though. You need to come back, as soon as possible. It's not about whatever the issue is with the two of you; it's something else. Where are you and how quickly can you come back?"

Maria asked, suddenly filled with anxiety, "Is it one of the kids?"

Liz assured her again, "In a round about way, sort of but they are all fine! It's just better to talk about this in person."

Maria answered Liz's previous questions, "I'm just sitting in the car, at the playground parking lot. I'll be there in less than five."

When Maria walked back into the house, Michael seemed on the verge of approaching her but he backed off when she gave him a warning glare and then she addressed only Liz, "What's going on? What's so important?"

Kal had already left to go get an extra vehicle, so Liz filled Maria in on the plan to leave early and the reasons why. Maria turned to Michael and demanded, "Are you coming with us, after all, then?"

Michael grimaced, slowly shook his head and was about to explain that Kal had reconsidered about forcing him to leave with everyone else, but Maria stopped him, "No. I don't want to hear it. It's whatever. I'm busy. I've got some packing to do. Just mine and the baby's stuff. You can just fend for yourself, pal-ly."

Michael gave himself an away errand, "I'm gonna go get the tanks topped up on both vehicles."

Max clapped him on the back and encouraged, "Thanks, Michael. You can give me your stuff later, if you two haven't called a truce by the time we leave."

Michael nodded gratefully and left with the main vehicle, first. By the time he'd returned after gassing up the Frankenmobile, as well, Maria was already getting the two older kids settled into the main vehicle. The plan was for Max, Liz, Ava, Maria, Charlie and Lex to travel together in the main vehicle, for Isabel, Kyle and Jamie to travel together in the Frankenmobile and for Kal to drive the third vehicle filled with any belongings they wouldn't need during the nearly twenty-four hour drive to Elyria, Nebraska.

While Michael had been out, he'd extended his reservation on a rental vehicle, for an extra day, for use while he was tying up loose ends, just in case Maria wouldn't or couldn't summon him later. He quickly packed up stuff he could do without, for at least two days and handed it off to Max to pack into the vehicle that Kal would be driving. Michael handed off his wedding ring to Max, as well, still holding out hope, that Maria might summon him to Elyria, later and he disclaimed, "I'd give it to my wife but with everything going on, I'm half afraid that she'd take it the wrong way."

Max accepted it and secured it in a zippered compartment of his wallet. He gave Michael a sympathetic look and sought confirmation, "So she still won't talk to you?"

Michael shook his head, then shrugged, as he conceded, "I guess I didn't give her enough advance notice and didn't explain my plan or my motives properly, in general. I should know better by now than to just spring changes in plans on her. She hasn't been this pissed at me, in a really long time."

Max offered, "Since we'll be traveling together, I can encourage her to call you and talk it out, if you want?"

Michael shrugged and suggested, "Nah. She'll just dig her heels in more. She'll think I put you up to it. Anyway, I'm more than a little pissed at her, myself, right now, so maybe this little break from each other, is for the best."

Max frowned and asked, "Wait, why are you pissed at her?"

Michael looked him in the eye and said solemnly, "When she didn't answer my calls or texts, I thought ... well, the worst. I'm relieved it wasn't anything like that but I'm not calm enough to talk it out with her just yet, anyway. I just want to go say bye to the kids and then I've got some scrub tasks to do."

Max nodded and queried, "See you in around twenty-four?"

Michael glanced toward Maria and suggested, "Might be longer if I have to make the drive, too."

Max frowned and insisted, "I doubt she's that mad, Michael."

Michael pointed out to him, "You're not married to her. Trust me. She's definitely that mad."

Michael gave the kids a pep talk and tasked Lex with reminding Charlie to use her words, tasked Charlie with noticing all the animals out the window to tell him all about it later and tasked them both with being on best behaviour for the adults. He fist bumped Lex and kissed Charlie's forehead. He was about to step away from the vehicle when Charlie insisted, "Daddy forgot Mama kiss!"

Michael barely hesitated before saying, "Well, Daddy can't reach Mama, so I'll just have to blow her a kiss, instead.", and he did. To his surprise Maria played along and pretended to happily catch it and even sent him one back. Michael caught it and grinned at Charlie, as he assured her, "There, okay? I'll see you in three big sleeps! I love you, Charlie B.!"

He lightly slapped the roof of the car, twice, with his open palm, letting Max know he was cleared to drive away.

Michael spent all the dark hours, scrubbing any traces that he and the crew had ever been in Bend, Oregon. Everything from burning so much as store receipts to using his powers to mess with any security camera footage, that any of them might have potentially been captured on.

From dawn and onward he stayed in the empty house preparing for his own likely road trip. He ate, showered and then slept on the mattress he'd shared with Maria, now without benefit of any bedding besides a sleeping bag.

He woke up feeling exhausted just before one in the afternoon. He made necessary calls to cancel power, cable and water services. He called the landlady to give notice, as if they'd still be staying another month. He hired a move-out cleaning service to thoroughly clean the place top to bottom and he couriered the key to them with instructions on where to send it when they were done. All of it paid for by a credit card under an alias, and which would be paid down to zero balance and then canceled, as soon as the services had been rendered. The cleaners would never even encounter him in person.

The car rental arrangements had also been contactless. There would be no evidence to associate his face with the alias on the credit card and no reason for anyone to dig around for more information. Michael had to hand it to Kojak; the guy knew how to effectively scrub. Everything went off without a hitch.

Michael's plan was to nap from nine in the evening until around two in the morning and if he hadn't heard from Maria by then, he intended to start his own road trip to Elyria no later than three in the morning. He expected to arrive in Elyria sometime between midnight and one, of the following morning but with the two hour time difference it would be closer to three in the morning, Elyria time.

At eleven at night, the ringing of his burner phone roused him from his nap. He fumbled in the dark for it and answered, "Yeah? I'm here. What's going on?"

"And when will you be here? We just got in about a half hour ago."

The sound of Maria's voice had him instantly alert and he answered, "I'm leaving here in a few hours, probably around three, so I should be there sometime after midnight, tomorrow, or I guess more like three o'clock in the morning with the time difference."

"I see. And all the loose ends? Alien hunters?"

"Loose ends all tied up; alien hunters blind and in the dark besides."

"Well, that's good to know. Is there anything else you want to say to me?"

Michael considered it but declined, "Nothing that can't wait until I get there. I'm really tired and I've got a long drive ahead of me, so uhh, goodnight."

"Don't you dare hang up on me right now, Michael DeLuca or there will be very unpleasant consequences, I swear."

Michael was sort of relieved that she'd used his married name, even though she was clearly still pissed at him. He stayed on the line and said, "Okay? Was there something you wanted to say to me, then?"

Maria stuttered getting the words out but finally managed, "Look, this is awkward for both of us okay. I know you're pissed at me, too and it's like you said, we can hash all of that out in person, later, but none of that is why I'm actually calling."

Michael was suddenly worried, "Is it the baby? Or Charlie? What's wrong, Maria?"

Maria sighed loudly and reassured him, "Baby's fine. Everyone here is fine. I'm just going to come right out and ask you, are you okay, Michael? What's wrong? Besides the stuff with us, I mean. Why are you so sad?"

Michael denied it, "I'm not. Why would you think that?"

Maria scoffed and said, "I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt, that you're not actually straight up lying to me, right now, but are just in denial. I have it on reliable authority that you are in fact very sad and my source is very concerned about it."

Michael's shoulders sagged and he admitted, "So Charlie B. wasn't buying my brave smiling face, hmm?"

"Not even a little bit. She wants us all to go back home now because, and I quote, Daddy is very very sad and he misses us too much."

Michael chuckled appreciatively and he confessed, "She's not wrong. It's been a long time since I've felt like this. The first half of the day, I was pretty busy and I didn't have time to really feel the emptiness in here. Right around dinner time I really noticed it. I miss the kids. I miss all the living noises we're supposed to pretend we aren't hearing. I miss seeing everyone's mess everywhere. This house is just so unbelievable empty. And it's not like I've ever minded my own company. I mean, when the house was full and noisy, there were so many times when I'd wish for just a few moments to be alone and have it be quiet."
.
"Kind of lonely getting what you thought you wanted?"

Michael nodded in the dark and he confirmed, "So you get it. This bites. You know when the phone rang, I hoped it was you, even if you were only going to yell at me but by the time I answered, I was sure it would be Max, instead. So, I mean, if you did want to yell at me, I've uhh, I've pretty much never been a more willing audience for it."

Maria sighed softly and replied, "There's a time and a place to sort that out but it isn't right now. I love you, spaceboy. I promise to yell at you plenty when you get here. And I am expecting you to get here. You belong with us. You belong with me. Doesn't matter who's mad about what. Got it?"

Michael swallowed past the lump in his throat and then nodded unnecessarily as he answered, "Yeah. Got it. Tell Charlie B. for me, that her Mama made her Daddy feel all better now. For what it's worth, I miss my wife most of all. Even the smell of you is gone."

Maria questioned his word choices warningly, "The smell? Excuse me?"

Michael hastily back pedalled, "No, I didn't mean it like that! I meant like your shampoo and your perfume; it was never strong or anything, to begin with, just faint ... lingering but it's already completely gone. I haven't been sleeping much and when I do it's not very restful. The kids even have your lullaby recording so I've got none of the usual."

Maria teased him a little, "Aww, my poor little comfort junkie!"

Michael joked back, "I see how it is, now. That's why you got me so used to all of that stuff. It was all part of your grand plan. Practically guarantees that we make up before bed, whenever we're on the outs."

To his surprise she answered back, "Bingo."

Michael blurted quietly, "I love you, angelwife."

Maria said meaningfully, "There isn't anyone who could possibly be more aware of that, than I am. This is a long shot but did you happen to double check the waste basket in the bathroom, after you took out the bag?"

Michael frowned and answered, "Uhh, no why would I, if I already know I emptied it?"

Maria suggested, "You might want to go take another look, before you try going back to sleep. We'll talk about everything we need to, when you're here. Drive safe please."

Michael agreed, "I promise. Good night, Maria."

"Goodnight, spacehubby."

Michael set his phone aside and climbed the two sets of stairs to the third level bathroom. He peered into the wastebin and slowly smiled. He fished out the empty bottle of Maria's perfume, removed the cap and inhaled deeply. He nodded in satisfaction and brought it with him back to bed, to try to get some sleep before the long drive to Elyria.

*****

Upon arriving in Elyria, the rest of the crew from Bend, got themselves settled into their respective units, in the triplex. Maria in the unit to the far right, Isabel, Kyle, Lex, Jamie in the unit to the far left and Max, Liz and Ava in the largest unit, which was the middle one.

Charlie was initially supposed to spend the first night with Isabel and Kyle but she had begged to stay with Maria instead and everyone was too out of it and maybe even too wary of Charlie's potential reaction, to argue with her. Maria was glad for the company. She got Charlie down to sleep easily enough and then flicked her stoop light on and off to let Liz know she could come over.

Maria shared Charlie's concerns about Michael, with Liz and Liz insisted, "Well, now you have to call him, Maria! You know that, right?"

Maria admitted, "I wasn't sure if it would seem like I was being a pushover, if I call him, to check on him, but if you really think I should, then it's not me being a pushover. Right?"

Liz smirked at her and assured her, "He's your husband, remember? For better or for worse? Call him. I will go back to my own unit to give you some privacy."

Maria objected emphatically, "No, Lizzy, you can't! You have to stay here to make sure I don't completely give in and you know, like, bring him here."

Liz queried gently, "And that would be bad, why?"

Maria huffed stubbornly and claimed, "Well, just on principle, because he took it for granted that I would just do that without even bothering to ask me and also because how is it fair that we had to endure that super long road trip but he gets to travel here in the blink of an eye? Uh uh, nope. He can just do it the hard way, like the rest of us had to!"

Liz pointed out, "Well, if you're so convinced of that, then why do you need me to stay?"

Maria pouted and admitted sheepishly, "For moral support because I miss him, already, after only one day. He's my weakness, Lizzy. Please?"

Liz chuckled, shook her head but agreed, "Fine. I'll stay just ... promise you'll keep it pg rated?"

Maria blushed and swiped at Liz's shoulder, laughing self-consciously,"Liz! We aren't that bad! Fine, though. Nothing over pg. Promise. Okay?"

Liz nodded and stayed close enough to hear Maria's half of the conversation with Michael.

Liz stayed another half an hour, afterward, to just hang out with Maria and decompress from everything up to and including the long trek to Elyria, before begging off, "It's beyond late and I'd really just like to shower and crawl into my new bed with my husband. Adjusting to the time zone change is going to be tough. Are you going to be alright, here by yourself, Maria?"

Maria smiled, nodded, patted her belly and assured Liz, "I'll be fine and between this one and little Miss Charlie, it's not like I'm totally alone, tonight, anyway. See you tomorrow? Or rather later today?"

Liz nodded and said casually, as they hugged goodnight, "Max asked me to bring over a box of Michael's personal stuff that he'd left with him. It's not big or heavy. It's in your foyer by the door."

Maria thanked her but insisted, "Well, he'll have to deal with that himself, when he gets here."

Liz smiled in understanding and returned to her new home. After a very quick shower, Liz joined Max in bed and as they held each other, Max asked, "So how is she really doing?"

Liz chuckled wryly and answered, "Oh, she's in deep denial, but otherwise she's fine. She's Maria; she's stubborn."

Max quipped back, "True but that could be what works in Michael's favour."

Liz sighed heavily and added, "Well, I am sure they will figure it out. They always do. Enough about them. I wanted to thank-you for making sure Ava's room was set up first, so that she could go to bed right away. You're already taking such good care of our baby."

Max smiled softly and admitted, "I'm getting kind of excited about finally meeting him or her. I'm just glad Ava didn't go into labour on the way here. I was reading that stress can bring it on and moving is known to be one of life's biggest stressors."

Liz divulged, "She and I talked about that some. She doesn't find it stressfull to move from point A to point B; rather she used to find it stressful to move from point A, with nowhere in particular in mind to go to, instead of point A. Having a destination actually put her at ease with this move and as for meeting our baby, I predict that we will get to do so, in fewer than ten days."

Max asked curiously, "Is that vision informed or just a woman's intuition hunch?"

Liz shrugged, smiled and admitted, "The latter. As far as my visions go, I consider that no news is probably good news."

Max silently acknowledged her answer and asked carefully, "So how tired are you?"

Liz grinned knowingly and answered between kisses, "Not that tired, at least, not yet, but I'm really hoping that you can do something to remedy that, Mr. Parker."

Max handed Liz a condom and slid further down in the bed, with her under him and he vowed, "I will certainly try my best."

*****

Kyle squeezed his wife's hand under the covers, rubbing his thumb lightly on top and he asked, "Pookie? What's wrong?"

Isabel sighed and admitted, "Well, technically nothing. I mean it's absurd when I consider how much I craved this at the other house, but seriously? How am I to get any sleep in this much quiet? I mean I think I can hear our very own refrigerator, that is just for us, so like not graveyard levels of quiet but it's still really eerie. Were you sleeping?"

Kyle sighed and confessed, "No. I meditated hoping I would naturally drift, but it didn't happen. Then I realised your breathing wasn't sleep breathing."

Isabel wondered aloud, "Do you suppose the others are already asleep?"

Kyle grinned in the dark and answered with understated joy, "I love that my legitimate answer to that is, I have no idea. I can't hear anything going on outside of our unit."

Isabel moved in closer to him and kissed his cheek. She whispered suggestively in his ear, "So then it's unlikely that they would hear us, if we made some noise?"

Kyle confirmed, "Highly unlikely, but even if they could, it's never stopped us before. Plus, you know, if my wife needs noise to sleep, then it's in my job description to provide that for her."

Their lips barely touched in the dark, before Jamie let out a wail over the baby monitor. Kyle and Isabel both chuckled and sighed together, then Isabel went to go take care of him, ordering over her shoulder, "Hold that thought, Froggy, and don't you even think about falling asleep without me! I'll be right back!"

*****

Michael rolled over in his sleep and slowly started to wake up. He wondered why his alarm hadn't rung yet and opened one eye to make sure he hadn't unset it or missed it. Then he was fully awake. He asked aloud, "Did that happen in your sleep?"

Maria answered quietly, "No."

Michael pressed further, "Was it an oops?"

Maria snuggled up to him, kissed him on the lips and answered, "No. It was just time for you to be where you belong. I have something of yours, that I'd like to return to you."

Michael deduced aloud, "Oh. Okay so not the baby, then. What is it?"

Maria slipped his wedding ring onto his finger. Michael thumbed the ring gratefully and held Maria more tightly to him, breathing her in. His voice was hoarse with emotion as he spoke against her hair, "I'm sorry for being such a jackass; for dictating my plan to you instead of discussing it and making a plan with you. Thank-you for bringing me home. I really missed you, Maria."

Maria expressed confusion, "We just got here, why are you already calling this home?"

Michael stated softly, "I wasn't talking about the location or the house, either; I meant you."

He heard her soft sigh and felt her head nod as she responded, "Oh. I missed you, too, Michael. And I'm also sorry. I was so caught up in my own feelings, that it never even crossed my mind, that me not answering, might make you think I was in danger. I only meant to make sure that you knew I was super mad at you. I'm sorry for worrying you. Shoe on the other foot, if you didn't answer and made me worry, we certainly wouldn't be cuddling in the raw, right now. Maybe I'm the jackass, here, then?"

Michael kissed her forehead and conceded, "We both have our stupid moments. It's just part of our story. I feel like we have a lot more moments like this, right here, though, especially since we got married. Maybe we should come up with a system, so that our next moments of stupid, don't cause us quite so much grief?"

Maria suggested, "Like, maybe instead of not answering, I could answer and just tell you that Metallica sucks?"

Michael gasped and objected, "Okay, first of all, blasphemy! And second of all, it's not like you to tell blatant lies, so I don't see how that would improve our communication?"

Maria countered, "Of course it's a blatant lie but I'm pretty sure if we were on the outs, me saying that, would make you really mad and then you'd know how I feel. Someone you love, saying or doing things that you don't love? Get it, now?"

Michael reasoned aloud, "So it'd be more of a code phrase than your actual opinion?"

Maria chuckled and reassured him, "Yes, spaceboy. They may not be my favourite band but I don't actually think Metallica sucks, okay?"

Michael sighed in relief, "Okay. Code phrase works, then. Wait, shouldn't I have one, too?"

Maria replied with humour in her voice, "What for? If you're pissed at me and I want to talk you out of it, I'll just summon you. It supposedly only doesn't work if you stop loving me, right? And since you already told me this love is permanent, then it will always work."

Michael complained indignantly, steeped in blatant awe, "That's so aggressively unfair and yet somehow it strengthens your hold on me, because I know for a fact, that you would actually follow through and do that to me. A force to be reckoned with for sure. Tell me again, why this gets to be my life?"

Maria laughed and set about seducing him, as she supposed, "You must have been a very, very good spaceboy in that other one."

Michael answered solemnly, "Obviously.", and he passionately surrendered to his wife's seduction.

TBC ...
~FM :)
I'm also a moderator at Roswell Ardor fan fiction forum.

keepsmiling7
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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-17/? - 05/15/20

Post by keepsmiling7 » Sat May 16, 2020 2:44 pm

You are the author, and are entitled to write from your vantage point. One comment you made reminded of something my step-daughter said once, "you can never have too many people that love your children". We too are a blended family with some great relationships and some that were not perfect.

Back to the new part, loved that Michael misses the kids and the noises they made. He noted his wife's smell was gone, but quickly told Maria he referred to her perfume and such.
It was good that Max and Liz got Ava's room set up first. They are both anxious for this baby to arrive.
Have I mentioned how much I love Kyle's Froggy name?
We continue on and await the birth of the babies.

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