No Angel

Hi! This song reminded me of the relationship between Michael and Maria when I first heard it, and I've been on the lookout for a story about it since. I haven't found one, so I finally decided to give it a try myself. This is one of my first actual 'songfics' so any feedback is really appreciated. Reviews make my day!

Though originally I was thinking of making this a general M/M story, I kind of wrote myself into a specific time period. So it's basically set right after they break up in "Behind the Music".

Of course, I don't own the show Roswell, and I don't own this wonderful song by Dido. Just borrowing them temporarily…

If you gave me just a coin for every time we say goodbye

Well I'd be rich beyond my dreams, I'm sorry for my weary life

Michael lay on his bed, mindlessly staring at the ceiling. He shifted agitatedly, swallowed up by the uncomfortable feeling that the whole world was passing by and leaving him in the dust. He could have gone out with Max, who had invited him to the movies. But he knew he would just ended up being a third wheel. Max hadn't exactly said Liz was coming, but he didn't have to. These days it really wasn't 'Max' or 'Liz', it was MaxandLiz. Wherever one was, the other one happened to show up, if they weren't together already.

He actually had no idea where Maria was. Images of her with Brody, with Billy flashed before his eyes. He rubbed his hands across his face and inhaled raggedly. It was like slow torture, wondering where she was and who she was with. That she was sitting at home wondering the same of him was doubtful, probably impossible. After all, she was the one who had told him she wanted out of the 'alien chaos.' To be free to have a normal life and get her old self back. Or whatever.

I know I'm not perfect, but I can smile

And I hope you see this heart behind my tired eyes

She had said she loved him. Hell, she knew he loved her. He wanted to be mad at her. He desperately needed to lash out at someone, preferably the one who had put him in this situation. Vague notions of finding that bastard Billy and punching him til he begged for mercy darted across his mind, but he just turned and hit the mattress instead. Which ended up making him more miserable by reminding him of what an idiot he was.

Every time she forgave him, he screwed things up. He hated himself for hurting her like he had, over and over again. But it never seemed to sink in. Or maybe it did. He didn't know. All he knew was that when they were together, he felt comfortable and secure. Too secure. Like nothing could go wrong, and she'd be there forever. Like he could mess around with all his alien crap, and act like it didn't affect their relationship. Like he could take matters into his own hands whenever he felt like it, and think she'd love him anyway.

If you tell me that I can't, I will, I will, I'll try all night
And if I say I'm coming home, I'll probably be out all night

Which she did. She had said so herself. But loving him and putting up with his shit were two completely different things. He honestly had no idea why he ignored Max so much of the time, or why he blew off his friends and did stupid things that put them all in danger. He used to think his rebel attitude turned her on, and maybe it had, at first. But there's a difference between being the guy who skips classes at school and being the guy who was a complete jerk to the ones who cared about him the most.

She had told him that this was about her, but he knew that wasn't the truth. Or the complete truth anyway. If he had been good to her, treated her like he should have, like Max would have…Damn it, why did things always come back to Max? Maybe it was frustration over his inability to be Max that caused him to behave in ways that were instead completely conflicted with everything Max seemed to stand for. Then again, why the hell was Max such a saint anyway? He forces his girlfriend to help him rob a freakin' convenience store after impregnating another woman, but everyone still considered him the responsible leader and Michael the uncontrollable 'second'.

I know I can be afraid but I'm alive
And I hope that you trust this heart behind my tired eyes

Michael swore violently at himself. Once again, he had managed to turn himself into the victim. Why couldn't he once take responsibility for his actions? That's it, he thought to himself, no more Max, no more Liz, no more anyone else. This was about him and Maria.

Maybe if he had paid attention to her singing more. She did have such a sexy voice…But there he went again, turning everything back to himself. The fact was, Maria could sing beautifully, and he only noticed it when it turned him on. He remembered that time in Vegas when she had been so excited about her audition, and he had blown her off. What he had ended up arranging really shouldn't have counted for much in the long run. The whole point was that his first impression had been to ignore her, to act like what she cared about wasn't important. And that was really the problem. He expected so much out of her, comfort, support, encouragement, but she had every right to expect the same from him. And maybe he had, on occasion, given her what she needed. But what he lacked was consistency. Stability.

I'm no angel, but please don't think that I won't try and try
I'm no angel, but does that mean that I can't live my life

But as backwards as it seemed, that was exactly why he needed her. Of all the crazy things that happened in his life, she was his anchor. Okay, so she wasn't the calmest, most rational person he had ever met, but she was…well, she was Maria. She herself was crazy sometimes, but only in that adorable way he loved. She was his protector, his shoulder to cry on. Her passion and spark made it worth getting up in the morning just to be near her. If only they had a chance to be together, and stay together, as normal people. If only they could escape the constant worries of life in Roswell and just concentrate on each other for a while, then, then maybe they could finally learn to trust each other completely, with every corner of their lives. Her music. His…'otherworldly' troubles.

That's how it needed to be. Them working things out together. Instead of each of them trying to make themselves perfect before renewing the relationship, they could help each other be better through their relationship.

I'm no angel, but please don't think that I can't cry
I'm no angel, but does that mean that I won't fly

He knew she wouldn't go for it. If he could ever articulate what he was thinking without sounding like a complete idiot, which was doubtful in itself, she'd still probably just think it was another excuse to get back together. Which it was…in a way. But it wasn't complete bullshit. In fact, it really wasn't an 'excuse' at all, it was a reason. An excuse was some crap you make up to get what you want. A reason was…well…something real, something true. He needed her: that was true. They could help each other: that was true too. She needed him…he wasn't as sure about that one. If you always need the person you love, well then, sure she needed him. But if being with him hurt her more than being without him, then all the 'reasons' in the world wouldn't change her mind. And if that were the case, he wouldn't want them to.

Michael groaned. His head felt like it was about to explode. It was like he was fighting with himself, his heart and mind split in two. Half of him knew he could never endure causing Maria pain, if that's what them being together meant for her. But the other half of him was desperate for her. His hands seemed to almost itch without being able to touch her, not to mention the discomfort of other parts of his body. Sometimes the feeling was so overwhelming he had to stop and shut his eyes in the middle of the day, just to get control of his emotions. It was extremely disconcerting, especially for Michael, to have to keep himself from crying…an entirely uncomfortable and unmentionable problem. Of course, there were other urges, much more 'manly' urges that had to be dealt with also…He knew he was giving Max, and others, the impression that those were the only sort of regrets he had about the strange flux in his relationship with Maria. And this wasn't exactly accidental. To admit that his feelings ran an eternity deeper than physical would be unthinkable, unless she asked him herself. It'd still be a toss-up, but he suspected he would most probably break down at that point.

I know I'm not around each night
And I know I always think I'm right

When he was close to her, pain and pleasure were inseparable. To his alien body, alcohol could prove fatal, but he didn't care: She was his liquor. He knew it would hurt when she left, but that couldn't stop him from being near her. It was worth it, the pain he endured every time she would shove him away, worried that they were getting too close. He could stand it, if it meant she would allow him to stay with her for a little while. Sometimes, when she let him follow her to the back room of the Crashdown, when the cramped space and close contact made her nervous, she would send him away. It was then when he would retreat into the corner booth of the café, shadowed and out of her sight. There he would watch her, observing her every move so intently that the rest of the room would fade into oblivion. Every move she made was sweet torture to him. He knew if she ever caught him, she would probably kick his ass, but he really didn't care.

He always hated clichés, but one was true. Thinking about all the lost opportunities, all the times she had reached out, and he had pushed her away…it was slowly killing him. Now every second he spent with her was precious, and the pain of every 'should have' and 'could have' tore at his soul. Being near her, knowing that he had once held the right to kiss her, knowing that now he could not so much as brush her arm without receiving a dirty look: Bit by bit it ate away at his sanity. Memories of his past arrogance, every instance of his foolish pride haunted him daily, teasing him with their stale promise.

I can believe that you might look around

He shouldn't be surprised that she had done what she had done, but he was. He honestly hadn't seen it coming. Not until Billy came at least. Even then he had fooled himself into believing that his suspicions were ill-founded, ridiculous, impossible. She would never leave him, not after all they had been through together, not for some punk she had met at band camp when she was twelve years old.

He took some comfort in the fact that she hadn't technically dumped him to be with someone else. He didn't think he could have handled that. A wry grin spread across his features. He pitied the guy that ever took her away from him, because he didn't trust himself, or his powers, in that situation.

As much as he hated to make sense of her actions, they were understandable, really. She had the chance to get out of everything. And she took it. Since he would never have that choice, maybe it was just hard for him to grasp. It must be incredible. The freedom. The peace of mind. To escape and, for once…be normal.

I'm no angel, but please don't think that I won't try and try
I'm no angel, but does that mean that I can't live my life

She was in deep, though. He doubted she could ever be completely free of him, of any of them. She was part of the 'circle' whether she wanted to be or not. But she could give it one hell of a go. Much more than he could ever do. Much more than he could ever do for her. Maybe somewhere else, in some other life, they could have made things work. But here, now…it was too much to ask of her.

It started as a low chuckle, rumbling in his chest, the kind of laugh that never quite reached your eyes. He was glad no one had entered the room at that moment or else they would have been sure he had finally lost it.

He had almost done it. He had almost convinced himself that he could let her go. Shaking his head, he berated himself for his stupidity. He had made similar promises to himself before, but always, always they melted in her presence. Words meant nothing next to her fire. When he opened his mouth to speak to her, determination would slip away with the first breath he drew. He would try to mask his shakiness with the careless humor he had adopted as his trademark. But he knew she could see it in his eyes. She could sense the desire behind his gaze, a passion that struck deeper than lust. And he would not hide that from her. From the others, yes, but not from her. He couldn't have, even if he wanted to.

He would let it burn into her, just as her flames licked into him. He was willing to change for her, change in a way he had never thought was even possible for him. But he needed her to help him through it. So he would let it burn for a while. And wait for her to realize that no matter where she went, no matter how far she ran, he was what she needed. He could give her everything, all his flaws, all his pride, and she could heal him.

And maybe he could do the same for her.

I'm no angel, but please don't think that I can't cry
I'm no angel, but does that mean that I won't fly

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it…If you did, or even if you didn't, please let me know! I welcome constructive criticism with any and all encouragement.