Title: Sketchbook
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell in any way, shape, or form. Okay…(teary) you made me say it.
Summary: Liz P.O.V. Liz looks through Michael's sketchbooks.

Sketchbook

Michael doesn't know what I do when he's not home. He doesn't know that when I have the day off and he goes to work, that I look at his drawings. They're stuffed into the back of his closet, away from the world, because they're too painful to look at.

Maria died three years ago. I had just broken up with Max for what seemed like the millionth time. She was driving to my house from her house. A drunk driver sped through a stop sign and crashed right into her. The doctor said she didn't feel a thing.

Michael didn't leave his house for six months after that. I don't think he even got out of bed the first month and a half. I'm not sure; I was lost in my own grief. My best friend had died coming to comfort me.

Michael didn't blame me; at least that's what Isabel told me. Max didn't visit, but Isabel came around once in a while. She went to Michael's house twice a month to clean up. Then, she came to the Crashdown to see me. I rarely obliged to see her, but when I did she always told me that Michael didn't blame me. But I know that he kind of did, just a little bit. Well, even if he didn't blame me, I had enough guilt for the both of us.

I took to drinking heavily after Maria died. School didn't matter anymore. I didn't apply to any colleges and I didn't attend graduation. My parents tried to send me to a psychiatrist, but I never showed up for sessions. They also sent me to a hospital/rehab over in Albuquerque, but when I came back, I started drinking again.

A year after Maria's death, I went up to her grave and downed a bottle of vodka. I passed out leaning on her tombstone. I had hit rock bottom. When I woke up, it was raining, and Michael was standing over me. It was the first time I saw him since Maria died.

He had lost a considerable amount of weight, he was pale, and his stone features seemed to be carved in his face. He looked down at me, frowning. And under much drunken and slurred protest, he lifted me into his arms and carried me to his apartment.

The next morning, I woke up; Michael made me breakfast, and helped me check myself into rehab.

Michael came to visit every day for the entire three months that I was there. Good days and bad, Michael was there. He became my friend and confidant. One day, I asked him why he came to visit me.

"Why do you bother to see me Michael, after what I did?"

"Because, Parker, Maria wouldn't want you to go through this alone."

"How did you get over her?"

"I didn't."

I remember that even then his voice cracked whenever he spoke about Maria. Maria had changed him for the better. Maria made him feel, but she had left him too soon, and he didn't know how to deal all of his emotions. I guess that's where I came in.

After I got out of rehab, Michael and I began to hang out together. He resumed his job as fry cook at the Crashdown and I became a waitress again. We really only had each other. Isabel was married to Jesse and Max had gone off to some college in Washington.

We spent a lot of nights just talking, mainly about Maria.

"You saw how I coped with it. So, how did you cope?"

"I got back into drawing."

"Yeah? What did you draw?"

"Mostly her. I would just close my eyes and draw her."

That's how Michael got through his days. Drawing Maria was a way for Michael to keep her with him forever.

A few weeks after the second anniversary of Maria's death, Michael asked me out.

Five years ago, if you told me that I would be dating Michael and not Max, I would've laughed my ass off. Michael probably would have just grunted at you. But it's true. We understand each other and know each other better than anyone else would.

I stay at his apartment most days of the week. And, like I said before, I look at his sketchbooks when he isn't home. Michael filled up five thick sketchbooks. All of those pictures are of Maria.

Maria with short hair, long curly hair, or straight hair. Maria in her Crashdown uniform, or in her regular clothes. Maria laughing, crying, or just staring off into space somewhere. There are just pictures of Maria's face. There are pictures of Maria with her arms raised in the air, as if she were yelling or panicking.

Some are colored in, others are black and white, but all of them are of Maria. Each drawing has a date on the lower right hand corner, starting a week after Maria died until a month before he met me at the cemetery.

Three days ago, I was putting all of the sketchbooks away when I found another one. It wasn't pushed to the back of the closet like the others. It was poking out from under his security guard uniform. Opening it, I thought it was another book of Maria.

To my surprise, all of the drawings in the sketchbook were not of Maria.

Starting five months before Michael asked me out, he started sketching pictures of me, Liz Parker.

The whole book is almost filled up.

The End.