First Impressions (AU, MM, ADULT) [COMPLETE]

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First Impressions (AU, MM, ADULT) [COMPLETE]

Post by Rowedog » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:36 am

Winner Round 14

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Title: First Impressions

Author: Al-bags

Genre: M/M, AU W/O Aliens

Rating: Adult

Summary: Michael and Maria meet and fall in love, but will he pass her best friends’ inspections?

Disclaimer:The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN. They are not mine and no infringement is intended.

A/N: This is for nibbles2 who sneakily won me at the auction when Ju wasn’t looking. She and I both wanted to see a fic where Michael has to face some consequences for being rude to Maria’s friends. Sisters before Misters, dudes.

These should be fairly short parts, but hopefully you’ll enjoy. I'm not entirely happy with it, but oh well.
First Impressions
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Part One
“I’m in love!” cried Maria as she practically danced into the living room where her best friends and roommates were gathered.

“With a person, I presume?” enquired Isabel, not taking her eyes off the TV.

“With a mahogany desk,” Maria declared, before adding with a wink, “and the sexy carpenter who made it.”

“Yay!” cheered Isabel distractedly, her eyes still glued to the TV.

Liz’s eyes lit up at that piece of information. “Did you get his number?”

“Oh I got more than just a number...” she giggled.

“Did he slip you some cock?” asked Tess, brightening with the prospect of a sordid tale of naughtiness to brighten up her boring afternoon.

Maria turned to Tess and stared at her with puzzled disappointment. “Why do you take the things I say and just jump to the dirtiest conclusion?”

Tess merely shrugged and replied loftily, “It’s how I’m programmed.”

Shaking off Tess’s disturbing question, Maria delved back into her story. “Anyway, like I was saying before, we have a date tonight.”

“Woohoo! So tell me about him. What’s he like? How did you meet?” Liz asked eagerly. It had been awhile since Liz’s last date and she was eager to live vicariously through Maria. Her two other friends had steady boyfriends and it was no fun to live vicariously through them.

Sitting next to Liz, Maria began to tell her everything about her afternoon and its events. “Ok, so I was shopping for a new desk, because let’s face it; as much as I love Barney, he really doesn’t cut it anymore.”

Liz nodded her head, a mental picture of Maria’ battered and stained desk in her mind.

“So I’d been looking for a couple of hours and I was really frustrated and annoyed because I couldn’t find anything that I liked. I was just about to admit defeat and come home when I stumbled across this little furniture shop. So, I went inside and immediately fell in love with this desk sitting in the corner. I knew it was the one, so I named it Wilson-”

“Excellent name,” commented Liz.

“Thank you. So, I was giving the desk a look over. Just rubbing my hands over it and stuff to make sure it was absolutely perfect and then I hear this voice behind me say, “Are you going to buy that desk or just molest it for the rest of the day?” And I whip around and standing there is this enormous hunk of man meat.”

“Man meat?” snorted Isabel, her eyes stilled fixed on the screen. “We really need to talk about your vocabulary.”

“Ignore her,” Liz said with a wave of her hand. “Continue.”

Maria shot Liz a smile before continuing on with her tale. “So I’m standing there like a stunned mullet and he sends me this cocky half grin. So I gather myself up enough to respond with, “Molest it, definitely molest it.” Which earns me a laugh, so I immediately like him more. Gotta love a guy that’ll laugh at your dumb jokes.”

“Oh definitely,” agreed Liz solemnly. “Nothing better.”

“So we get to talking and I find out that he made my beautiful Wilson and he owns the shop we’re standing in.”

Liz gave an approving nod. “Very nice.”

“By this stage I’m flirting outrageously and I’m pretty sure he’s reciprocating. Then I ask about the price of Wilson and the figure he shows me makes me feel terrible. I felt like I was committing daylight robbery. I tell him as much and he just waves it off. In the end I tell him that the only way I’ll agree to that price is if he lets me buy him a drink at the Soho bar downtown.”

“You go girl! What’d he say?”

Maria’s grin grew even brighter and she had to fight back an excited squeal. “He sent me that sexy crooked grin of his and told me he’d meet me there at eight.”

“Oh my god, that’s so exciting!” squealed Liz. “What’s his name?”

“Michael Guerin,” exclaimed Maria, unable to contain her excitement.

“’Bout time you got yourself a man,” remarked Tess with a wicked grin. “Your vibrator is running through those batteries like nobody’s business.”

Maria was silent for a long moment before she let out a long, exasperated sigh. “There is something dreadfully wrong with you.”

Liz let out a satisfied, yet plaintive sigh. “That is so cool. I wish I had a guy that was interested in me. You know, one that wasn’t Creepy Doug.”

“Creepy Doug still having a crack?” Maria asked, a frown settling over her features.

Liz grimaced. “More forcefully than ever.”

Maria gave a snort of disgust. “Could he ever learn to take a hint?”

“Apparently not,” sighed Liz. Her workmate simply refused to believe that any girl couldn’t want him and Liz’s refusals only seemed to spur him on.

“Liz, I’m worried for you,” chimed in Isabel, turning her head away from the TV screen for the first time in half an hour. “He’s beginning to sound like a stalker.”

“It’ll blow over eventually,” Liz replied dismissively. “He’ll find some other girl to move onto and I’ll be eternally thankful to that poor soul who has him next. But until then, I’ll just suck it up. So anyway, what are you wearing to your date tonight?”

Maria’s eyes widened in fear as her attention was taken completely away from her friend’s dilemma and onto her own. “I have no idea. Oh God. What am I going to wear?”

It had to be something sexy, because she’d never had a better feeling about a first date before in her life. There was just something about Michael Guerin that really reeled her in.
***
“Angelina Jolie? That’s who you would have play you in a movie about your life?” Michael asked incredulously.

“Have you seen these lips?” Maria demanded, gesturing to her plump pout with her right hand.

Matter of fact, Michael had seen her lips. Michael had seen and desired those lips ever since she stepped foot into his store. “Yes, I’ve seen them.”

“I need somebody with the necessary lips to pull off the part. I think they’re a defining feature.”

Maria and Michael had been talking at the bar for over an hour and she was amazed at how easy it was to get along with him. He wasn’t exactly the most socially graceful man she’d ever been out with, but she certainly enjoyed herself with him. Even when they’d disagreed upon something it was fun. She liked that he wasn’t going to simply agree with everything she said just to be agreeable. He had his own mind and she respected that.

“I agree. Do you need another drink?” enquired Michael with a pointed glance at her empty tequila sunrise.

“Thanks, but no thanks,” she laughed. “Two’s my limit and I’d rather not give off the impression that I’m a lush. At least not until the third date.”

“Would you care for a non-alcoholic beverage? I heard a rumour that they serve those here,” Michael whispered conspiratorially.

“No! Get out! Too crazy to be true. When the barmen comes down this way I’ll ask him for some water, see if we get kicked out for crazy talk.”

Michael shook his head adamantly. “No way. If this ends badly, you’re on your own. I’ll deny all knowledge of your cockamamie plan.”

Maria cocked an eyebrow at him. “Oh, how gallant. How do you keep the women from falling all over themselves?

Michael sent her a slightly sardonic smile. “I tell them I’m a lowly carpenter. That seems to work.”

Maria frowned at the slightly jarring note in their conversation and decided to change the subject. “Anyway, who would you pick to play you in a movie of your life?”

“Danny DeVito,” answered Michael quickly, his response automatic.

“Oh come on,” laughed Maria.

“Ok fine. Judi Dench.”

“That’s Dame Judi Dench to you, mister,” Maria told him with a chastising wag of her finger. “Seriously, who would you pick?”

Michael mused upon he question for a moment. “Seriously? I guess it’d be cool to have Robert Downey Jr play me. Or maybe that dude who was in that action movie where the cars exploded.”

“Well that narrows it down,” scoffed Maria with a roll of her eyes.

“You’d know who I was talking about if you heard his name.”

Maria bit back a smirk as she replied lightly, “Yeah, I probably would.”

“I can’t think of his name!” lamented Michael, his brain working overtime. It probably didn’t help his situation that her proximity was enough to knock every sensible thought out of his brain.

“You know who I think would be great to play you?”

“Enlighten me.”

“Ru Paul.”

Michael simply smiled at her. “You just wait until I start wearing your underwear, then you’ll be sorry you ever suggested it.”

“Just don’t stretch the elastic out of shape and we’ll be fine,” Maria told him, patting him on his brown muscular arm that was draped over the bench. He looked good. Really good. There was something about a man who worked with his hands all day long that really fired her up.
***
“Would you look at that,” remarked Michael as they walked down the street towards the car park. “Someone’s graced us with their worldly wisdom on this brick wall.”

“Truly the next Confucius,” murmured Maria as she stopped and stared at the large ‘FUCK OFF’ scrawled on the brickwork.

“I’m a little bit offended,” Michael told her. “That person doesn’t even know me. I wish I had a pen.”

“Oh, hold on a sec.” Unlinking her arm from Michael’s, Maria rummaged in her purse before brandishing a sharpie under his nose. “There you go.”

Michael blinked at the pen thrust in his face before reaching out and taking it. “Handy.”

Taking the pen, Michael repeatedly drew a semi circle turning the F into a P. He then quickly scribbled a hockey puck and hockey stick underneath it.

“Much better,” he sighed in satisfaction.

Cocking her head to the left, Maria studied his work. “It’s good, but it needs a little something more... may I?”

Michael placed the pen in her palm and stood back. “By all means.”

Bending down, Maria quickly began to scribble what appeared to be a Christmas elf on the wall right next to the hockey stick.

“Is that an elf?” Michael asked, trying to understand

“Shakespeare? Midsummer Night’s Dream?” When Michael shook his head Maria shrugged. “Never mind, it’s something for the literary buffs.”

Michael smiled somewhat stiffly, feeling a little uncultured. “Ok then.”

Linking her arm back through Michael’s, Maria began to walk with him. “Did you know that one of Uranus’s moons is called Puck?”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously.”

Shaking his head, Michael laughed. “Well, puck me.”

As they walked along, Maria couldn’t help the light skip of her feet as she walked. There was something so exciting about him and the way he made her feel. She was actually disappointed when they reached the car park which contained their two separate vehicles.

Leading Maria over to her car, Michael shifted nervously on his feet when she reached her car door and turned to face him.

“I had fun tonight,” she told him honestly.

“I did too,” he replied, a nervous smile crossing his face. “Did you want to maybe do this again sometime?”

“I would.”

As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Michael swooped down and kissed her. He couldn’t help it. He had to kiss her.

Maria melted at the feel of his lips pressed firmly against hers. Despite the urgent start to the kiss, there was only gentleness in his movements. His lips were soft and pliant as they moved against hers and he didn’t seek to stick his tongue down her throat at the first available opportunity. It was the best kiss Maria had ever received and she nearly whimpered when she felt the cool wind hit her lips as he broke away from her.

Despite the comparatively chaste kiss she’d just been given, Maria felt like her whole world had been tilted on its axis. Brushing her hair behind her ear, Michael took a step back and released her from his grip.

“See you soon,” said Michael, a hint of promise in his voice.

“Bye,” she whispered as she opened the door and ducked down into the driver’s seat. She sincerely hoped that after a kiss like that that she’d still be able to drive.
***
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Re: First Impressions (AU, MM, ADULT) A/N, 14th April 10

Post by Rowedog » Fri May 28, 2010 8:44 am

Thank you so much for your wonderful response to this fic. I have resolved my uni crisis, but for about three weeks there it seemed that all I was doing was assignments and then it seemed like every week after that I had an assignment due in and I’ve never been able to time manage. Plus I feel guilty for working on fics when I know I should be doing assignments. It’s a problem. *shrugs*

Also, I have a couple of things to apologise for in this update.

1. Sorry for taking so long in updating.
2. Sorry that my update is so short.
3. Sorry that it sucks so bad, I haven’t written anything for a while.
4. Sorry for just general poo-headedness.

Leila
Novy
Sarammlover
BB
Ellie
Somewhere87
RhondaAnn-
The chip on Michael’s shoulder becomes more of a problem as we go along.
Valentinebaby
Destinyc
Neve-
It’s not so much the words he says to Tess, it’s his overall attitude that’ll be his failing point with her.
April
Eva
*BLONDIE*
Carrie-
Aw thanks! Glad I could pull you away from dreamer for a little bit. I hope you like it.
Maigu
Part Two
“Did you just make me breakfast?” Maria asked, a sleepy smile crossing her face as she stretched under the rumpled sheets. “I didn’t know that you could cook.”

“Oh yes,” he replied with a smirk, setting the plate down in her waiting hands. “All hail Michael, the majestic chef who mastered the art of cooking pop tarts. His toaster skills can not be equalled.”

“That was very eloquent,” Maria commented, as she bit into the hot pastry.

“I did have the entire time in the kitchen to come up with it,” he admitted, sinking down onto the mattress beside her.

“Hmm,” she murmured, put out that he knew that she would comment on his cookery skills. “Am I that predictable?”

He winked at her, making her heart flutter in her chest. “Only to me.”

She took a large bite and asked over her mouthful, “So what are we doing today?”

“Besides eating delicious pop tarts?”

“Besides that.”

Pulling her plate out of her hand, Michael set her half eaten pop tart on the nightstand, silencing her cry of distress by claiming her mouth with his.

He drew away momentarily, his breath mingling with hers. “I thought we might conduct a repeat of last night.”

“My breath stinks,” she cried out as his body covered hers.

“Don’t care,” he murmured, his teeth grazing over her pulse point.

Maria soon found that she didn’t care very much either.

Michael grinned in delight when he peeled back the sheets to reveal a very naked Maria. He loved it when she stayed the night at his apartment. There was nothing better than waking up next to her knowing that they could spend the whole day together. He wished that she could stay over more often, it’d be great to spend every day like this.

“Why are you dressed?” she moaned, tugging at his shirt.

“Cooking in the nude would bring a whole new definition to the term ‘fat fire’,” he replied, gently kissing her breasts.

Her back arched as his lips closed over her right nipple. “You didn’t cook...” she whispered breathily, “you used the toaster.”

“Semantics,” he grunted, his abdomen tightening as her fingers brushed over his erection.

Soon, the only sounds that filled the bedroom were the soft sounds of creaking springs, moans and the rustle of sheets as they moved together on the bed.

They lay together side by side, the frantic rate of their breathing slowing until they were almost in synch with one another.

Rolling onto his side, Michael gazed at Maria, noting the flush of her cheeks, the sexy mess of her hair and the beautiful porcelain of her skin. He’d never been so entranced by someone before in his entire life. He knew that there were some serious differences between them, she was college educated from a stable and loving family and he was just a tradesperson from a trailer park. She was so much smarter than him, and so beautiful. He had no idea what she was doing with him, but he was going to make the most of it while it lasted.

“What?” she asked, feeling his gaze burning into her.

“You’ve got a booger,” he covered quickly, embarrassed that he’d been staring at her so openly.

She scrubbed at her face in disgust and then glared at him when he laughed at her. “That’s not funny. You keep doing that and in the end I won’t believe you. And then one day I really will have a booger, but I’ll think you’re full of crap so I won’t do anything about it. And because I won’t believe you I won’t brush it off in time and then it’ll get cemented there and I won’t be able to get off for weeks and then you’ll be known as the guy dating the booger girl and I know you don’t want that.”

“That scenario is completely plausible and not the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” he said, shifting over closer to her and kissing her on the cheek.

She nodded in agreement, lightly tracing her fingers up and down his bicep. “It’s a pretty good scenario.”

“You’re right, by the way,” he told her as he kissed her gently on the neck.

“Right about what?” she asked breathlessly.

He smirked at her as he planted a quick kiss on her mouth before springing up from the bed. “Your breath does stink.”

He chuckled as he dodged a badly aimed pillow thrown at his retreating back and her affronted cry of, “You suck!” only made his smirk larger.

Her eyes fell to the nightstand and she pouted, exclaiming to no one in particular, “My pop tart is cold now.”
***
“What are you doing?” she asked, resting her chin on top of his head, her arms braced either side of his seat which was parked in front of his computer. She’d dozed back off to sleep after Michael had left the bedroom and had just woken up. She’d immediately sought him out, because it was lonely in that big bed without him.

“I’m watching Gumby on youtube,” he grunted. “Fucking Pokey’s a racist little shit. I hope he dies in a fire.”

Maria tilted her head to the right, laying her cheek on top of his head. “It was made in the 60’s Michael.”

“You were made in the 60’s,” he replied idly.

Maria lifted her head up and held up her hands in a mock defensive stance. “Ooh, you got me there. Nice comeback.”

“That’s what your Mom said.”

“Are you planning on making sense any time today?” she queried, tugging on the tops of his ears in rhythm with the music in her head.

Michael swatted at her hands and then finally turned around to look at her when he realised that she wasn’t going away. “Did you want something?”

“I’m bored,” she told him.

He frowned at her, before turning back to his computer. “I can see that. Why are you bothering me about it?”

“Who else am I going to annoy? It’s only you and me in this apartment.”

“And that’s the way I like it,” he said, slapping her affectionately on the butt. He then turned back to screen and scowled at Pokey.

“I’m bringing sexyback,” she sang quietly as she played with his ears, tugging them in time with the music she could hear in her head.

“You sure are,” he agreed as the video came to a finish. Swivelling around in his chair, he turned and gave her his full attention. “Did you actually want something?”

“I want you to meet my friends,” she blurted out, watching his face to see his reaction. She hadn’t actually planned on asking him at that moment, but it had been weighing on her mind for some time. They’d been dating for months, but somehow he’d always managed to figure out a way to get out of meeting her friends. They only ever slept over at his apartment, he never came inside her house if he picked her up and he’d always had an excuse for any sort of public gathering that involved her housemates. She wasn’t sure why, but she got the distinct impression that he was avoiding them.

His expression remained impassive, so she couldn’t tell that his entire being was screaming at him that it was a hideously bad idea. These women were bound to be highly educated and classy like Maria, while he was some two bit loser tradesman who hadn’t even considered college. And while Maria inexplicably liked him, there was no way they were going to extend him the same courtesy.

“Why?” he grunted.

Maria was taken aback. They’d been dating for months and had professed their love for one another. Why wouldn’t she want him to meet her friends? “Because... they’re important to me and you’re important to me. I want them to get to know you.”

“I don’t think it’s such a good idea,” he grunted, hoping like hell that she’d drop it.

“Why not?” she demanded.

Michael sighed, wondering how he could convey to her the all encompassing fear that filled him at the idea of meeting these girls. They would hate him, convince Maria that she could do better (something he’d known all along) then he’d be all alone again. He wanted to keep Maria for as long as possible. He didn’t let many people in, so it was a big deal that she had wormed her way through his defences. He didn’t know if he could handle losing her.

“Does it really mean that much to you?” he sighed, foreseeing the inevitable dismal failure that was sure to come when he met them. There was no way this was going to end well, he could sense it.

She nodded and he felt his heart sink even more. But he couldn’t deny her anything; he just didn’t have it in him.

“Ok then. I’ll meet them.”

“Yay!” she squealed, leaping into his lap, her arms locking around his neck. “Thank you. I know you’re going to love them, Michael. It’s impossible not to love them. I’m going to go call Liz and organise a day for you to come over for dinner.”

With a quick kiss, she leapt up from his lap and ran into the bedroom where her cell phone was, leaving Michael alone dreading what was to come. It may be that Maria was right, maybe it was impossible not to love her friends, but he was damn sure it was possible not to love him.

This was not going to end well. Michael was sure of it.
***
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Re: First Impressions (AU, MM, ADULT) Pt 2, 28th May 10

Post by Rowedog » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:45 am

It's been a while, let's see if I remember how to post. Also, sorry. Real life is a big dick sucker right now. And not in a good way. Also, I'm not happy with this, but you can have it anyway, because I don't think it's getting any better.

Thank you to all the feedbackers, you're all too nice to me. Hopefully I haven't missed anyone.

Ellie-
Did I explain that correctly, cause in my head it makes sense.
Yep, you’re golden.
Novy
BB-
You know, somebody promised me candy smut in this part but I don't see any candy smut.
Who promised you? I’ll beat them up! I never promised, I said there might be.
Now that you're back in the writing saddle (see what I did there, I used your love of riding to turn a regular old cliche into something a little more personalised)
Nice one. Also, we’ve brought Louis back in from his holiday during the winter months and my groin is absolutely killing me! Oh, the unused muscles are screaming at me in the most abusive language they can produce.
Valentinebaby-
My husband and I banter like that all the time with a few "your face"'s thrown in. This was great and made me feel not so weird.
This excites me. My brother and I fight like that, until one of us brings up “Your mum is!” and then mum lets out a long suffering sigh. In fact, the other day he told me that I was retarded, that it was a fact and that it’s now documented on Wikipedia.
Neve
Steph
April-
Where do you think of these things?
Up there in my mind cogs. I’m just a dirty gerty.
And I feel you on the real life being ass part. I feel you, my bromide. Also, I have a sorta job interview tomorrow with a principal that I should be getting ready for, but I’m not. Shows where my priorities are, right?
*BLONDIE*
Sundae-
Welcome and thanks!
Karen O
Part Three
“Ok, we’re here. Remember to be nice,” she teased when they pulled up outside her place.

“Whatever,” he mumbled, clambering out of the driver’s seat and staring at the imposing two story house that she rented with her friends. Maria had very graciously taken him to see an action movie at the cinema, but even that wasn’t enough to make up for the long night ahead of him.

He felt slightly better about the whole affair, but he wasn’t jumping for joy about it. He and Maria loved each other and that had to count for something, even if her friends didn’t approve. He was fairly certain they wouldn’t. They’d take one look at him and judge him as the trailer trash that he was. It didn’t matter how far he climbed in life, how nice his apartment was and how well his business was doing, his past was always right behind him. He’d never truly washed off the taint from his past. He didn’t think that he ever could.

“Are you ok?’ Maria asked, concern rising in her voice.

He smiled as reassuringly as he could under the present circumstances. “Sure. You want to go in?” Better to just get this over with, he reasoned.

Maria turned the keys in the lock once they reached the door and he stepped into the foyer. Looking up he saw paintings, the abstract variety that classy people needed to have to show their sophistication. Oh Christ, this was going to be the worst night of his life. What could he possibly have in common with people who enjoyed abstract art?

“Hi, you must be Michael,” Isabel said as she entered the foyer, a welcoming smile on her face. With one glance, Michael had her pegged. Tall, busty, blonde and stylish. A high society party girl that drank champagne out of champagne flutes and regularly rode in limousines. The type of girl that didn’t have the time of day for someone like him.

“Hi,” Michael grunted, watching her smile slip off her face. He surmised that she was probably wondering why Maria had brought such low class trash to meet them. He was beginning to wonder the same thing. It was abundantly clear that he didn’t fit into her life. So why was she with him?

His mind fled away from that thought. She was with him, that was all that mattered.

“Well,” said Isabel cheerfully, having plastered her smile back onto her face again. “Shall we go into the dining room? I think Tess is nearly done with dinner.”

Michael followed Maria into the neighbouring room, avoiding her genuinely puzzled gaze and prayed that the night would end quickly. For all their sakes.
***
“So, Michael, what do you do?” enquired Liz, needing to break the imposing silence that had fallen over the dinner table. To say that Michael had been less than forthcoming would have been an understatement. He’d barely said three words all night and Liz was bound and determined to snap him out of it. If only for Maria’s sake. Her best friend look genuinely pained and that was something Liz desperately wanted to fix. Both Isabel and Tess had given up five minutes ago and were now giving Maria looks that clearly told of their disapproval of her new man. Liz however was not willing to give up so easily, especially when he made Maria so happy. There had to be more to him than what he was presenting to them tonight. There just had to be.

“I’m a carpenter,” he mumbled, hating every second of this dinner. Maria had so better make this up to him later.

“Cool, just like Jesus,” exclaimed Tess happily, only to be treated to a cold stare from Michael. The smile slowly slid off of her lips and she turned her attention back to her food.

Michael took a large swig from his beer and emptied the bottle. It was his second and he’d barely started his main course.

The next half an hour consisted of the girls trying fruitlessly to engage Michael into conversation, while he responded in grunts. Eventually both Isabel and Tess gave up, but Maria and Liz kept valiantly trying. It wasn’t until his fourth beer that Michael’s tongue loosened, though that was hardly better than his previous silence.

“Kyle’s going to take me out to that new French restaurant tomorrow night for our anniversary,” Tess informed them, “I’ll let you know if it’s any good.”

Michael rolled his eyes. A French restaurant. Of course. He bet that it cost more than his first car to have dinner there. “So, what does this Kyle do?”

“He’s a nurse,” Tess told him, her eyes narrowing when Michael snorted.

“You sure he bats for your team?” he laughed over a mouthful of mashed potato.

“Yes,” she snapped. “I have home video of us in the hot tub if you’d like further proof of his heterosexuality.”

“You keep telling yourself that,” he laughed.

“Gross, Tess. I use that hot tub,” exclaimed Liz with a grimace, deciding to help keep the peace at the table.

“Yeah, well, you and your creepy ex-boyfriend had sex in my bed. Fair’s fair.”

“I was drunk and it was just… there!” Liz exclaimed, her cheeks burning with mortification. Michael didn’t even try to hide his amusement.

Feeling the tension and awkwardness building, Maria desperately tried another topic of conversation. “So, Isabel, how’s Alex doing?”

“He’s great, thanks,” smiled Isabel, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes. Maria winced knowing that Isabel was truly unimpressed by Michael. Hopefully she could rectify that by the end of the dinner. “He’s got a new prototype coming out soon.”

“What does he do?” Michael grunted, showing Maria that he had held up his part of the bargain and had actually attempted to make conversation.

“He works in robotics,” replied Isabel coolly, unused to being grunted at.

Michael smirked a little, amused by what she’d just said. “Robotics?”

Isabel grit her teeth at Michael’s condescending tone. “Yes, that’s what I said. He’s helping to construct a new children’s toy that’s like an interactive pet.”

Tess nodded. “So... like a furby but hopefully less creepy?”

“Oh man, my younger cousin had one of those and it scared the absolute shit out of me,” shuddered Liz.

“Yes, I think it’ll actually be based on a real animal, not some weird demented koala/elf hybrid looking thing.”

“Does it worry you that your boyfriend hasn’t progressed past playing with toys?” asked Michael bluntly.

“Probably not as much as your rudeness is worrying Maria,” snapped Tess, unable to keep herself from commenting. She sent Maria a pointed look. “Can I see you in the kitchen?”

Maria closed her eyes and wished herself a thousand miles from where she was. When that didn’t work she rose quietly and quickly from her chair and followed Tess into the kitchen.

“What the hell?” Tess demanded when she entered.

“I don’t know!” she hissed, trying to keep her voice down so that Michael couldn’t hear her. “He’s not like this usually. I mean, yeah he’s blunt, but he’s never openly rude or anything...”

“I couldn’t stand it anymore,” exclaimed Liz as she marched into the kitchen. “Besides, I gotta hear how you’re going to try and justify this one, Maria.”

Glancing from Tess, who had her arms crossed over her chest and shaking her head in a very unimpressed manner, to Liz who had a pitying, yet disappointed look on her face, Maria knew that she was screwed. There was no way she could redeem Michael now. He’d gone and screwed the pooch this time. She would have fallen on her knees and begged for their forgiveness if she thought it’d work. But it was hopeless. Not even Liz was willing to let this slide.

“Oh. My. God.” Exclaimed Isabel as she entered the kitchen, leaving Michael sitting all alone by himself at the table. “I have to hand it to you, Maria. You’ve brought home some assholes in the past, but this one... oh, this one really tops the lot.”

Maria closed her eyes, wishing that she didn’t have to answer for Michael’s bad behaviour, but she did.

“Please tell me that that little display out there opened your eyes to what kind of man he really is?” pleaded Tess, shooting a scathing look in the direction of the dining room. “He’s like Spencer Pratt the II.”

“I don’t...” Maria shook her head, trying to chase away the mortification she felt. “I don’t know why he’s acting this way. He’s not usually like this.”

She looked up at them with pleading eyes, hoping that they’d believe her, but was met with only scepticism and raised eyebrows.

This was the worst night of her life and she had only one person to blame.

And she had to get him out of there. Now.
***
“Man, that sucked,” laughed Michael as soon as they shut the door. He trailed off as soon as he realised that she wasn’t laughing with him. “What?”

What?” she echoed incredulously. “Are you serious? The only reason it sucked Michael is because you made it suck!”

Michael drew back, surprised and defensive when he saw the fury in her eyes. “Hey, I wasn’t the only one slinging around insults.”

“You started every single fight, Michael!” Maria cried out in frustration. “They’re patient girls but they can only take so much before they start giving some back.”

“Well I’m sorry if growing up with Hank hasn’t given me the best people skills,” he fired back, pissed off that she was getting on his back over this. “He was an alcoholic who told me that I’d amount to nothing and-”

“That does not give you a free pass to be a shithead!” she all but screamed through gritted teeth. “Yeah, you had a tough upbringing Michael, no one’s denying you that. But you cannot blame your past every time you fuck up. Take some responsibility for your actions for God's sake! Be a man.”

“I see what this is about,” he sneered. “You’re just jacked off because your friends don’t approve of you dating a tradesman.”

“What in the holy FUCK are you talking about?” Maria demanded, her voice rising an octave. “My friends don’t approve of you because you acted like a shithead, not because you make an honest living! Tess's dad is a brick layer for fuck’s sake!”

Michael blinked, taken aback by that admission and by the tears he could see shining in her eyes. She blinked them furiously and he could tell that she was using all her resolve to hold back from crying. He felt the first stirrings of guilt and moved in towards her.

“Hey,” he murmured softly, reaching out and rubbing her shoulder gently. “Let’s just forget this whole night ever happened. We can go back to my place and I’ll make it up to you.”

“I can’t do this,” she whimpered as she moved out of his reach, her eyes staring at the ground, unable to look at him for fear of caving in and throwing herself into his arms.

“Wait, what?” Michael asked, the guilt draining away to be replaced by pure shock.

She stepped back when he reached for her again. “I can’t be with someone who has so little consideration for my feelings.” She raised her eyes to him and the misery and tears in her eyes hit him harder than words ever could. “You humiliated me tonight, Michael. And what’s worse is that you picked fights with my best friends. Those girls in there,” she gestured back to the house with a wild swing of her arm. “They’re like my family. If you insult them, you insult me.”

Michael felt his breath catch in his chest and felt like he couldn’t breathe. “Are you breaking up with me?”

She felt the tears spill over when she heard the anguished disbelief in his voice. “Yeah. I guess I am.”

Throwing her arms around his neck for one last time, Maria buried her nose in his sweater and inhaled deeply, trying to imprint his scent in her brain so that she could always remember it. “Good bye, Michael.”

She drew reluctantly away from him, wiped her eyes and began walking back inside the house, leaving Michael stunned and dazed on the lawn. “Maria...”

She paused, one foot in the air when she heard his impassioned plea. She so badly wanted to turn around and throw herself into his arms again, but she couldn’t. Slowly and decisively, and without turning around, she placed her foot down and continued walking. It was only when the door closed behind her that she allowed her tears to fall freely as she sunk down onto the carpet, letting out big hacking sobs.

“Oh honey...” she felt Isabel’s embrace and welcomed it. But it wasn’t the embrace she really wanted.
***
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Re: First Impressions (AU, MM, ADULT) Pt 3, 4th October 10

Post by Rowedog » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:46 am

Hey guys, here’s the end. This story was always meant to be short, so I’ve probably cut out a few things you wanted to see. But anyway, hope you enjoy.

Leila
Ellie
Sundae-
And funny how Michael thought the girls wouldn't approve of him for being a carpenter, yet he made fun of Kyle for being a nurse?
Spot on. He was very hypocritical.
BB- Hope you enjoyed your fic. Sorry it took so long to write it for you.
Novy
*BLONDIE*
Neve
Valentinebaby-
I was a little annoyed with the girls though. Maria was already having a horrible night they really didn't need to gang up on her and point it out.
I think they were just terrified that she might excuse his behaviour and keep seeing him and bringing him over to their house. Could you imagine having to deal with that all the time? *Shudders* It’s still not the nicest thing to do, but given what they just experienced I think it’s at least understandable.
April

Part Four

A Couple Of Months Later
Liz sighed as she sipped on her drink and gazed around the party. She wished her friends could have accompanied her, but they all had things on early in the morning the next day. Which meant she was here by herself. In a house full of drunken strangers. And the only person she knew – the host – had disappeared an hour ago with some strange man.

She was definitely not having a good time.

She wished that Maria had come with her, but lately Maria had been less and less inclined to do anything. The girls had assumed that initially it was just the normal grieving period after the break up, but Maria hadn’t really fully recovered yet.

Sure, she’d stopped crying all the time, but there was still something missing. That spark that made Maria who she was. Liz hoped that it would come back eventually, but she didn’t entertain high hopes. This break up had cut deep, which led Liz to believe that there must have been something about Michael that was redeemable. Maria wouldn’t have been so broken up about it if there wasn’t.

Bringing her beer up to her lips, Liz made a strange face. Her beer tasted funny. She made a mental note and planned never to drink that beer ever again.

She thought she had seen Doug momentarily, but couldn’t be sure. She hoped it wasn’t Doug. He’d become more and more intense as time had gone by, more determined to have her, that it had come to the point that she was actually afraid of him. She promised herself that if he did something else that she’d report him at work. But for now, if he was actually at this party, all she had to do was avoid him and stay sober. Not something that she thought would be particularly hard to do, considering that this was her first drink of the night.

She wondered how long she had to be here for before she could leave without seeming rude. She supposed that she wouldn’t even be missed considering Jenny, the host of the party, had already disappeared.

Liz frowned as an unfamiliar feeling washed over her. She was beginning to feel really light headed. Considering she’d only had half the bottle in half an hour’s time.

Maybe she was coming down with something. All the more reason to go home early, she surmised.

She went to walk towards the door, but she stumbled, her legs feeling like jelly. Her head began to spin and Liz leant against the wall, using it as support as she moved towards the nearest empty chair.

She sat down in it and felt the first stirrings of panic. What was happening to her? All she’d had was one beer…

One beer that had been given to her already opened. Liz’s breathing came in short, shallow bursts as fear raced through her. She’d heard about drink spiking, but she never thought it would ever actually happen to her.

Fear spiked through her as her hand struggled to get in the pocket of her tight jeans to pull out her phone, but the combination of fumbling fingers and too tight jeans meant that her phone stayed firmly put.

She opened her mouth to scream for help, but her mouth wouldn’t cooperate. Complete and unabridged terror rolled through her body as her eyes shut involuntarily.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Liz Parker,” said a familiar voice right before she blacked out.
***
Michael sighed glumly as he sucked on his second beer of the night. The party sucked and he’d only been there an hour. The music was terrible, the chips were stale and he barely knew anyone. But he knew that wasn’t the reason he was so bummed.

He wished Maria was here to laugh at all the stoners who were currently attempting to dance. He wanted to sit with her and throw the stale chips at the couples making out on either side of him on the couch. She made everything fun, no matter where they were.

But he had fucked up royally. He knew that now. He had spent a couple of months hating her for breaking up with him just because her friends were sensitive hags who couldn’t keep their nose out of everyone’s business.

But then after a while he couldn’t dredge up the anger to cover the hurt anymore.

He missed her like crazy. He couldn’t deny it.

He missed the way she smelt, he missed the way she laughed and he missed all the annoying songs she used to sing all the time.

And when he allowed himself to miss her, he couldn’t stop the shame. Every time he pictured her heartbroken eyes when she’d broken up with him, he winced.

He had begun to look at his actions in a completely different light. Instead of attempting to make her friends like him, he’d assumed that they wouldn’t approve, so he’d struck out first before they could hurt him. He’d self sabotaged big time. He should have known better than to insult and goad the people closest to Maria, but he hadn’t been thinking. He’d just been terrified. They were intelligent women from conventional backgrounds. They weren’t ten types of fucked up like he was. He had simply known that they would look down their nose at him and deem him not worthy of their friend.

It was only later that he realised that he had judged them before he had a chance to get to know them as well.

He stiffened when he spotted Liz sitting over in the corner all by herself. He looked around wildly for Maria, hoping like crazy that she’d accompanied Liz to the party, but he couldn’t spot her. Michael wasn’t too despondent about it. He figured that if he could be pleasant to Liz, maybe she’d pass it on to Maria that he’d changed. It was time to see if he could wipe away that bad first impression with a good second one. He hoped that she wouldn’t blow him off, he needed Maria too badly for this to go sour.

Getting up, he crossed the room slowly, hoping that by the time he got to Liz he’d have thought of something to say to her.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Liz Parker,” he joked nervously, hoping like hell that she’d be receptive to him. He knew that he didn’t deserve a warm reception, but he hoped that Liz was as nice as Maria had always told him she was. He was counting on her to help smooth his way back into Maria’s good graces.

What he wasn’t counting on was Liz falling into a dead slump in her seat, her drink tipping over in her hand and spilling onto the carpet.

Michael blinked, then snapped his fingers in front of her face. “Liz?”

No response. Michael tensed, feeling adrenaline rushing through him, a natural side effect of his fear. Something was really not right here. Was she merely drunk off her ass or was something even more sinister at work here?

“Liz?” he repeated, tilting her head up so that he could get a look at her face. There was a light sheen of sweat and her normally olive skin tone had the pallor of an underbelly of a fish. She did not look good. Prying open her eyelids gently but insistently, Michael got a quick flash of enormous pupils before her eyes rolled into the back of her head.

She was definitely on something, and judging from her comatose state, Michael was willing to bet it was a date rape drug.

Swearing softly, Michael hauled her up out of the chair and swung her up into his arms, grunting at the dead weight. She would have been a lot more easy to carry if she’d been conscious.

He turned to leave, but was halted by some blonde douchebag in his path. He tried to go around the fucker, but the cock merely stepped back into his path. Michael wanted to kick him in the face. He needed to get Liz to the hospital, couldn’t the knob see that?

“Hey asswipe,” grunted the blonde douche bag. “Where do you think you’re going with her? She’s mine.”

Michael’s blood boiled as he realised the shit head’s intentions. He wanted to rape Liz. He’d probably been the one that spiked her drink.

“I’m taking her to the hospital, you dumb fuck rapist,” Michael growled, wishing that Max was here to be his wingman. He couldn’t fight this pig fucker and take care of Liz at the same time. “What’d you even give her anyway?”

“None of your fucking business, now put her down or I’ll give you the ass whooping of a lifetime.”

Michael wasn’t one for underhanded manoeuvres, but Liz was getting worse and this guy was really trying what little patience he had. So when the shit for brains had stepped into his personal space leaving his legs spread, Michael saw his opportunity. Bringing his knee up, he smashed the guy’s nuts right up into his oesophagus. The high pitched scream of agony was music to Michael’s ears and the Michael viewed his work with one satisfied glance, then headed out to the car. Liz needed help, that much he could tell.
***
Michael waited impatiently in the plastic chairs of the waiting room. For God’s sake, how long would it take for some asshole doctor or nurse to come out and let him know that Liz was ok? He knew how much Maria cared for her friends and he didn’t want Liz to die. It would devastate her.

And from what Maria had told him, Liz was a nice person. One of those genuinely lovely people. She didn’t deserve to die and she certainly didn’t deserve what that asshole had planned to do to her. His fist tightened on the arm of his chair and his blood boiled at the thought of what might have happened if he hadn’t come along. He took a deep breath in an effort to calm down and reminded himself that his anger wouldn’t help anyone. Least of all Liz.

He heard a commotion from down the hall and his heart jumped in his chest when he heard Maria’s voice. He’d been so engrossed in worrying about Liz that it hadn’t even occurred to him that she would come as soon as she heard what had happened to Liz. He froze in his position, not knowing what to do and waited for her to arrive.

Maria skidded to a halt when Michael slumped into one of the plastic arm chairs came into view. “Michael?”

Michael looked up, his heart thudding in his throat as he caught his first glimpse of Maria in months. She almost hurt to look at, she was that beautiful. Her friends were with her, but his full attention was on her. “Hey.”

“What are you doing here?” she demanded.

“Oh, I uh... I was the one who took Liz to the hospital.”

“You were at that party?” Maria asked, completely dumbstruck.

Michael scratched his eyebrow nervously as he stood up, feeling very intimidated by the three girls standing in front of him. “Yeah. I saw her and I went over to say hi and I dunno... apologise or whatever, and she passed out right when I got to her. Then some blonde shithead tried to fight me for her, so I introduced his testicles to his tonsils and then took her to the hospital.”

“You saved Liz,” Tess whispered softly, gratitude shining in her eyes.

Michael shrugged uneasily. “Yeah, well... I’m not a complete shit head. I mean… I may act like one, but I swear, I’m not. Well, not all the time.”

That statement would have drawn snorts of derision and eye rolling had it have been made at any other time, but this time it inspired a grateful hug from Isabel.

“Thank you,” she said sincerely, making Michael very uncomfortable.

Luckily for him, one of the attendings chose that time to interrupt them. “Are you all here for Liz Parker?”

“Yes,” said Isabel, rushing over to the doctor with the other two girls hot on her heels. “Is she alright?”

“You’re lucky we got to her when we did. She had a very large dose of rohypnol and her body had a very strong reaction to it. She’s in a stable condition now though and should make a full recovery.”

Michael let out a sigh of relief as Isabel sank into a chair with her head in her hands, Tess began to cry and thank the doctor profusely and Maria... Maria stood stock still, her eyes closed in a silent prayer of thanks.

The doctor finally managed to wriggle free of Tess’s grasp and turned back to the girls. “It’ll be a little while until she wakes up. You’re free to go home if you want, or you can stay here in the waiting room. Whichever you’d prefer.”

“We’re staying,” Maria interjected quickly.

“You however,” he said, pointing to Michael, “don’t get a choice, I’m afraid. The police are coming and they need a statement from you, concerning the drugging. They’ll need to know the events of the evening and if you saw anything or anyone suspicious.”

“Yeah, sure.” Michael agreed unconcernedly. An excuse to be where Maria was, was more than welcome.

An awkward silence fell over the group once the attending left and Michael wondered if he should move down to the reception and wait for the police there. He didn’t know if he was pushing his luck by waiting with them. The last thing he wanted to do was screw up his chances now.

He knew he shouldn’t be staring at her so hard, especially given the circumstances under which they were meeting. But he just couldn’t bring himself to tear his eyes away from her.

“We’ll just go and get some coffee from the cafeteria,” Isabel said quietly, giving Tess a meaningful look as she flicked her eyes towards Maria and Michael.

“Oh!” said Tess when she noticed the heated staring competition between the two. “Oh... yeah. We’ll just... coffee.”

After the girls had left, Michael continued to stare at Maria, content to just stand there and drink his fill of her. He’d missed being able to look at her.

“Why did you wait?” Maria asked quietly, breaking the silence between them. Her tearstained eyes never left Michael’s face. “You could have just dropped her off and left.”

Michael shrugged nervously. “I dunno. I just wanted to make sure she was ok. Besides, she was all alone. I figured that the hospital’s a pretty shitty place to be all alone in.”

Biting her lip, Maria turned her head away from him, seemingly struggling with an inner battle. The tears welled in her eyes and she fought the urge to throw herself into his arms. She’d missed him. So much. And saving her friend and being non-combative with her other friends was not making it any easier for her to keep her composure.

Scratching his ear nervously, Michael began to voice what he’d desperately wanted to say for the past couple of months. “I know this probably isn’t the right time, Maria, but I feel I should probably get it out of the way. I’m sorry for the way I acted that night. You were right, I was a shit head.”

“Just shut up,” she sobbed, crossing the distance between them quickly before throwing her arms around him and burying her face in his shoulder. He held her as she shook in his arms, her tears creating a wet patch on his jacket. But he didn’t care. Maria was back in his arms.

All was well.
***
Michael sucked in a deep breath and blew it back out again steadily as he watched Isabel and Tess turn the corner and walk slowly towards them.

“I gotta talk to your friends,” he told Maria, sincerely wishing that he was anywhere but in that hospital. He knew that he needed to do this, but that didn’t mean that he was relishing the idea.

Maria nodded and began to move over to the plastic chairs on the other side of the room. “I’ll be over here.”

This was not something that Michael was looking forward to at all. Apologising was one of Michael’s least favourite things to do and he dreaded their response. Sure, he’d rescued Liz from a terrible event, but that in no way negated his past actions. He had amends to make and he knew it.

The girls came to a halt as Michael moved in front of them. He took a deep breath and prepared himself to do the one thing he hated more than anything in the world.

“Can I talk to you both for a second?” he asked, hoping that his entreaty didn’t sound too much like a demand. He had a lot of ground to cover when it came to these girls and he didn’t want to start his apology off on the wrong foot.

“Sure,” Tess replied amiably. She smiled when she noticed his left hand twitching nervously. He clearly didn’t want to do this, but he was making himself. Tess was beginning to see what it was that Maria saw in Michael.

“Look,” he said uncomfortably as he stared at the scuff marks on the hospital’s linoleum floors. “I’m sorry about that night. I know I was a total ass to both of you, so...”

“Can I just ask why you acted that way?” Isabel asked with genuine puzzlement contorting her features.

Michael shrugged. “You’re all intelligent, beautiful women and I’m a foster kid who grew up in a trailer park and didn’t go to college. I was intimidated so I guess I lashed out before you had a chance to hit out at me first.”

A smile slowly grew across Isabel’s face as she considered his explanation. “I suppose, as far as explanations for rudeness go, that one was pretty complimentary.”

“Although you’d do better to remember that we’re not jerks, Michael,” Tess scolded gently. “We don’t give a flying fuck where you come from or what you do.”

Michael’s eyes widened at the profanity coming from Maria’s short blonde friend, but wisely didn’t comment. “Duly noted.”

“Next time you come to dinner you’ll have to behave a lot better, understand?”

Michael stiffened, and resisted the urge to retaliate against Isabel’s order, instead focussing on the fact that they were willing to give him a second chance. “You’d actually be willing to have me over for dinner again?”

Isabel grinned at Michael. “As the saviour of our very best friend, we’d be very remiss if we didn’t have you over for dinner to thank you.”

Michael wasn’t entirely sure what remiss meant, but he was pretty sure he got the gist of what she said. “You don’t owe me anything.”

He turned his head and smiled reassuringly at Maria, who returned his smile. He knew that he had a lot of ground to cover with her as well, but at least now he’d been given a chance to do so. He’d have to take it slow, but he was more than fine with that.
***

Epilogue

A Couple More Months Later
“I know a guy you might like,” Michael told her as he sat at the girls’ breakfast table reading the newspaper.

Liz looked at him suspiciously. “I dunno Michael... what type of guy do you think I like?”

Michael pushed past the insulting overtones of the question and smiled at her. “Don’t worry, he’s nothing like me. He’s well adjusted, socially acceptable and very sensitive. I actually think he’s a bit of a wuss, which is why I think you’ll like him.”

Liz laughed good naturedly at Michael. “Ok, so now you’ve got my attention. Maybe I can meet him one day.”

“How’s right now for you?” enquired Michael as the door bell rang.

“What?” demanded Liz as Michael made his way to the foyer.

“My car’s broken down, I’m carpooling with him.” Michael swung the door open as Liz stiffened, wondering if she could dash upstairs before he came in.

“Come on in, I just gotta grab some things from upstairs.”

Liz felt herself burning alive in embarrassment as the most gorgeous guy she’d ever beheld wandered into the dining room.

“This is Liz,” smirked Michael, clapping Max on the shoulder as he wandered towards the stairs. “You guys chat while I’m gone.”

“Hi,” said Liz with a rosy blush. She was going to kill Michael when he got home from work today! “Sorry, I’m not really dressed for company.”

Max shook his head, trying to keep his eyes focussed on her face, rather than skimming down to the tight tank top and short shorts she was wearing. “It’s fine, honestly.”

“So, do you work with Michael?”

Max laughed at that one. “No, I was abysmal at wood shop in high school as Michael will attest. I used to swap him English essays for napkin holders and book ends. His work is on the way to the publishing house that I work at.”

“Oh wow, that sounds like an interesting place to work in.” Liz immediately cringed at the overly eager tone of her voice.

“It’s pretty good,” Max agreed. “Where do you work that allows you to be dressed like that at 8:30 in the morning?”

Liz blushed once more. “I do a radio program every weekday at five. It’s a three hour psychology based program that allows me to sleep in.”

“You call 8:00 in the morning sleeping in?”

She shrugged, feeling more awkward than ever. “Better than getting up at six.”

“I can’t disagree with that,” Max replied, trying to keep his tone light as his heart thrummed in his chest.

After a few minutes of idle chit chat, an awkward silence fell over the two and Liz wracked her brain to come up with a new one. She felt so completely out of her depth.

Before either of them could figure out what to say next, Michael appeared in the doorway, having kissed Maria goodbye. Her job as a music journalist meant weekly articles that she wrote from home, so she was never up before Michael left for work.

“You ready?” Michael asked, heading towards the door.

“Y-yeah,” Max stuttered, casting a regretful glance in Liz’s direction. “I’ll uh, see you sometime.”

“Oh, uh, absolutely,” Liz stammered, feeling like the biggest idiot in the world.

As soon as he was gone, Liz slumped her head on the table and banged it a few times for good measure and then began berating herself for leaving what must have been a terrible impression on the man of her dreams. “Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.”

“Uh, Liz?” Max asked, having run back from his car to talk to her. He thought it was better to take the chance than to die wondering.

“Yeah?” Liz asked, trying to look nonchalant as she raised her head from the table to look at him.

“Does Michael have your number?”

Liz’s brow creased, trying to remember if she’d given Michael her number. “Uh, yeah… he does.”

“Do you think I could maybe steal your number from his phone and give you a call sometime?”

Liz tried hard to keep the grin off of her face, but failed miserably. “Yeah, I’d like that.”

“Great,” Max said with a smile, before the horn reminded him that a very impatient Michael was waiting for him in the car. Max pointed in the direction of his car. “I gotta…”

“Yeah,” breathed Liz. “I’ll uh… see you later.”

“Bye.”

Liz waited until the car was halfway down the street before she felt safe enough to let out a whoop of joy and excitement.

“First you save my life and then you send me the man of my dreams. Michael, I think I’ll have to give you my first born,” Liz sighed to no one in particular.

Her eyes then snapped to the staircase and she ran to it, quickly deciding that Maria would forgive her for waking her up this one time. Especially considering the news she had to impart.

Liz was ecstatic that Max had decided to take a risk and ask her out, even though she must have looked like a completely socially demented knob. She was even more grateful that he clearly wasn’t someone who judged by first impressions.

And after all, first impressions rarely let you see the true character and personality of someone. A statement that Michael and the rest of the girls could heartily attest to.
The End

***
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