Disclaimer: I do not own anything. I don't own a thing. This ain't mine.

Author's Note: This is the Sequel to Pride and Joy and Pain. It needed one because nothing really got resolved in that fic. So here's my chance to explain why everything happened the way that it did, and of course to give you a peek into the "new" life Maria and Michael are living.

Have fun in Roswell, and while you're there could you pick up one of those alien bobble heads for me? They're so cute!!





"So how are you enjoying the domestic life?" Isabel asked.

Michael was at Isabel's apartment dropping off a movie that Maria borrowed.

"What do you mean?" Michael replied trying to look confused about the question he was just asked.

"Everyone else is dying to ask the question, but I guess I'm the only one who has the guts to do it. You've been living with Maria for a month now, and to everyone's amazement, you both are still alive."

Michael just smirked at the comment, and Isabel continued.

"I imagine that Maria was the one to tame you."

Michael looked up abruptly.

"I knew that would get you attention. I ask again, how is everything going?"

"Everyone really wants to know? Why haven't you ask Max? He only moved out last week."

"I haven't asked Max because I wanted to hear it from the horse's mouth. So?"

"So, everything is fine. It was rocky at first, but we found a routine that works for both of us."

"And what's that?"

"Making sure that our business is our business."

"Fine Michael. How is Maria doing? Liz told me that she really doesn't talk about the whole "Mom" thing."

"Just think about how you would feel if your mom told you to leave, and then completely avoided you whenever you tired to get in contact with her."

"Oh," was all that Isabel said, because that was something that she did not want to imagine at all.

"Playing twenty questions was fun, but I've got to be going. My shift at the Crashdown starts in an hour."

Isabel walked Michael to the door. "Will you say hi to Maria for me?"

"Sure, bye Isabel."


Maria turned over in bed expecting the familiar warmth of Michael's body to be there. Maria's eyes snapped open when she felt the emptiness next to her. Looking at the clock on the nightstand she saw that it was already nine thirty. Michael's shift did not start for at least another hour, and Maria heard no other sound in the apartment. Sitting up in bed she stretched and rubbed her eyes.

"Maybe Mr. Parker called him in early." Maria thought to herself.

She stood up and headed to the bathroom. It was obvious that Michael had used it; wet towels were on the floor. Maria picked them up walked out the bathroom to the patio and hung the towels on the line.

"I was going to pick those up when I came back."

Maria screamed in surprise.

"Don't do that."


"You scared me! Where did you go anyway?"

"We were out of milk," Michael said opening the refrigerator and putting the carton inside. "And I took that movie you borrowed back to Isabel."

"Thanks, I was going to do that after I got off work today."

"I know. But since we missed date night last week, because we were helping Max move I thought we could have it tonight."

"That's sweet Michael, but I work until closing tonight and I'm opening for Liz tomorrow morning."

"I never thought I'd be the one saying this, but I saw more of you when we didn't live together."

"I know, but we're both busy. You have two jobs, I'm singing with the Kit Shickers, and we both go to school, some of the time. We just have a lot on our plates right now."

"Why do you have to open for Liz tomorrow?"

"Because she's doing something with Max in the morning."

"Then why don't you ask her to close for you tonight? I know she's not on the schedule. It would be an even trade."

"Okay I'll ask her." Maria walked over to Michael and looked him in the eyes.

"What do you have in mind?"

Michael scratched his eyebrow and replied, "Nothing really just thought we needed to get out. Have you eaten anything yet?"

Maria shook her head.

"You eat and I'm going to get ready for work." Michael planted a quick kiss on Maria's lips. "Don't forget to brush your teeth after you eat."

Maria gave him a little push in the direction of the bedroom.

"You should talk, there's scorch marks on your pillow in the morning, dragon breath." Maria said to Michael's back.

Maria poured herself a bowl of cereal and found a magazine to read while she ate. She was in the middle of an article titled Find the Right Perfume For You when that phone rang. Hopping off the stool she was sitting on, Maria walked over to answer the phone, but Michael reached it before she did.

"Hello? Yeah. Yeah. Alright, bye."

Maria eyed Michael curiously.

"That was Max. He wanted to meet with me at the Crashdown."

"I wasn't going to ask."

"No, but you would have looked at me like that until I told you, right?"

"You know me so well. I'll see you later." Maria stood on her tiptoes and kissed Michael.

"That wasn't so bad. I like Maria with a hint of Lucky Charms. Magically delicious."

"You're so nasty."

Michael walked out the door, "Make sure you talk to Liz."

"Yes sir." Maria said saluting Michael before he closed the door.

Looking around the place she now called home, Maria could not help and think about how much everything in her life had changed since 'that night'. It seemed like years ago, but in reality only four weeks had gone by. Maria hardly talked about it and Michael never forced her to. He has on several occasions asked her to talk about it, but Michael never pressed the issue.

*A Month Earlier*

The night Michael brought Maria to his apartment he held her while she slept, and he rocked her whenever she awoke with tears in her eyes. The next morning Michael was by her side the entire time when Maria informed the rest of the group about her current situation, only telling them what happened and that she would be staying with Michael for a little while. After hearing the news pretty much everyone kept their opinions to themselves. No one had the heart to say anything to Maria at all. When Maria and Michael where alone again she asked a question that had been nagging her the whole day.

~ "The whole time I was there I felt you. I don't know how I just did."

"I felt you too, that's why I knew I had to get to you."~



"How exactly was I able to feel you? I knew you were coming and I knew that you wanted me to be all right."

Shrugging his shoulders Michael answered, "I'm not exactly sure. All of a sudden I was getting this flood of emotions that I knew weren't mine, and I just knew they were coming from you."

Looking into his eyes Maria was almost afraid to ask her next question.

"What kind of emotions were you getting from me?"

"Do you really want to talk about this now?"

"I don't think I would've asked you if I didn't."

"Pain, desperation, it felt like my heart was breaking."

Maria laid her head on Michael chest. "Do you feel anything now?"

Michael thought a moment before he spoke. "Yeah. What about you?"

Maria nodded her head.

"This is an interesting development. Should we tell the others?"

"Not now. I don't think I'm up for another group meeting."

The next few weeks were a blur for Maria. Everyone was doing everything in his or her power to keep Maria occupied so she would not think too much about her mother, who had yet to return any of her calls. Liz was constantly asking Maria over for study dates, Isabel initiated movie night at her place, and Max came through as Maria's best 'girlfriend' again. Maria was constantly in motion, but the times when she was still and things were quiet were the hardest on her. Those were the times that Michael was there for her, because he felt what she felt.


After Maria finished eating breakfast and cleaning up she called Liz. The phone rang five times before Liz answered it.

"Liz it's me. Did I wake you?"

"No I'm up, I'm just a little distracted."


"How did you guess?"

"I can hear it in you voice and he called earlier to have Michael meet him at the Crashdown. Anyway I wanted to ask you a favor."

Liz started to giggle on the other end of the phone.

"Stop that, I'm on the phone. Maria I'm sorry. What were you saying?"

"I wanted to know if you would close up for me tonight? I'm going to work my regular shift, but maybe I could get off an hour or two earlier?"

"Is anything wrong?"

"No nothing's wrong. Michael sort of has something planned, and I have no idea what it is so don't ask."

"I'll close up. It's not a problem. You're still opening for me tomorrow, right?"

"Of course. I know you're tied up now, though I hope not literally."


"What? Tell Girlfriend I said hey. Oh and ask him if we're doing pedicures and facials this weekend."


"Liz it's a joke, Max will get it. Talk to you later babe."

Maria hung up the phone and walked to the bathroom and quickly took a shower. When she was done Maria got dress and was just about to walk out the door when the phone rang.

Maria answered but there was silence on the other end. She repeated herself two times before she hung up.

"Must have been a wrong number."

*The Valenti Residence*

"Amy this is silly. Did Maria pick up the phone?"

Amy DeLuca just nodded her head.

"You're the adult in this situation, just talk to her. I know for a fact that she misses you very much."

"And say what Jim? My feelings haven't changed. I don't want to see her with that boy."

"Michael's an important part of her life. He's not a bad guy; he takes good care of her. I've seen that with my own eyes."

"Well Melissa says-,"

"Enough about Melissa. I understand that she's a friend of yours and you see her at your shows and conventions, but her life is not your own."

"All I'm saying is that everything that happened between Melissa and her daughter was too much like what was beginning to happen between Maria and I."

Jim took Amy's hands, which were now shaking.

"Maria is nothing like Melissa's daughter. She not into drugs or anything else."

"But I know that she's hiding something from me, she's been hiding something from me as long as she been with Michael."

Jim made no attempt to comment because he knew all too well the secret that Maria was keeping from her mother.

"I just want my baby back."

"You're going to have to learn to accept Michael as a part of the Maria package."

"I don't know if I can do that yet."