AU. What if when Maria left for NY she really did make it big as a singer? A story focused on Michael's infinite pain after that. Angst abounds.

The song is entitled "Whatsername" and it solely belongs to Green Day.

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He had the biggest déjà vu yesterday. Déjà vu, the words echo in his head. That's something she would say non-stop. She'd always talk about something wild like that.

Speaking of her, he could have sworn he saw her on the street, yesterday. Michael could have sworn he saw her just idly standing near one of the many magazine stands in Manhattan, thumbing through a recent copy of People, wondering if the issue was worth buying.

But that was only a dream. That's the only place Michael sees her. After all, she wouldn't step onto a vulgar New York City street, with its trash lined up at the very end of the curb, waiting for its disposal in some already filthy ocean. No, she wouldn't have stepped a foot here, Michael assures himself. She's much too in love with the allure of an ultra-polished lifestyle now. Each and every night, Michael amazes himself with the vividness of his dreams. His mind enacts every move of her fingers, every strand of her hair, every blink her eye, with perfect accuracy.

Yet, he reminds himself that these visions of her that he has are merely fashioned by his own mind. He does not even own an old photograph of her, on which he can base his memory on. Michael Guerin had made a special point to burn all the photographs he carried of her on the fifth anniversary of the year she first left for New York to record songs with Dominique. And to this day, Michael can still see how her skin in the photos ran down to ash in a second's time. Because like the trash on the street which she would never approach now, Michael and Roswell, no less, then, to her, was trash of the like – to be gotten rid of as soon as possible so the wretched stench of failure would not spread like a contagious disease.

And so she went, and he followed, but to no avail. Like a newly born butterfly, she was eager to flutter about in all parts of the world, and he, desolate and penniless, was no longer able to chase the multi-colored butterfly. Soon, Michael made his marks in Manhattan, never to leave there again.

Thought I ran into you down on the street,

Then it turned out to only be a dream,

I made a point to burn all of the photographs,

She went away and then I took a different path.

And still he recalls her face with the utmost detail. Not her new face, though. Not the face made of million dollar cosmetics and top-paid hairstylists. Not the face that he sees everyday on Entertainment Weekly when he passes the newsstand on his way to work, leaving Michael with something to think about when he mundanely organizes the piles of trifle papers that someone or other of authority packs on his desk.

Yeah, he's not working in a McDonalds, which someone with his education should be working at. The powers which he seldom uses now got him along when he first arrived here. He was able to forge nearly everything, so that his life could seem a little easier. But nothing is easier, nothing is better … not without her, anyway. But that's irrelevant. He knows he could be worse off; somehow, though, the images of her flashing through his mind seem like the most malicious kind of torture he could ever think of.

Of course – her. That's what he what initially thinking of, as usual. She looks so different now. Blonde golden locks are replaced by brown ones bearing only strawberry-blonde streaks, here and there. Her eyes seem so heavy, as if she is wearing far too much eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara than her features could possibly bear. And her lips, her perfectly rosy lips that always shone from clear lip-gloss, no longer shine as they are always concealed by some strange color of lipstick that never suits her. Her smile is never genuine. That, he can tell from a mere glance at the magazine's cover page.

Yes, her face, now and then, Michael can always take apart piece by piece in his mind. But her name? He'll never utter it. He'll never think it. He can always pretend it isn't her when he sees her face plastered in the news; after all, there are a thousand women with her features. And albeit, there are a thousand and plus other women with her name as well, but it's always something different with her name. He considers what this is, as he continues to refuse to say her name. So much for irony? But Michael never much cared to go too in depth with books. There's no point in pulling apart novels, not like pulling apart other things. Like her features, like her name.

I remember the face,

But I can't recall the name,

Now I wonder how whatsername has been

Sometimes, when he wakes up from one of his dreams in the middle of night, and he's particularly confused, he wonders if she's real. Of course, she's real – she exists. She laughs, she cries, she breathes, she eats, she drinks … at least she used to. He can't speak for her much these days. But Michael means 'real' in the sense of them together. Not so much just her, but both of them. The memories he made with her all those years ago are blurred. Michael often thinks that they are too cliché and trite and wonders if he actually subconsciously ripped off the storyline from some movie, or TV show, or book and cast himself as male lead and the famous, sexy, singer as the female lead, by haphazard chance, of course. Maybe it was just something he made up.

After all, how could she just have taken off one day and never kept contact with a single soul over the years? She hasn't spoken to anyone. He could understand if she didn't want to talk to him, or Isabel, or Max. But with Kyle? Not a lone word to Liz? Even when Michael asked Amy, her own mother, if she had called, Amy, sadly, responds that she hadn't, in fact, called or written very recently.

She probably married that Billy guy. Michael remembers his name, without a doubt. Michael recalls that name with rage and a need for revenge. If it wasn't for Billy, Michael might not have been in this mess. Michael evokes the memory of the photographs, wasting away in the conflagration, her posed smiles ultimately burning to a crisp, and his feigned frowns doing the same. Yes, he disposed of the pictures that he was in, too. Michael doesn't want to remember the times that he was happy. Happiness causes pain, as oxymoronic as it sounds. She and that Billy guy, Michael thinks, are probably living the good life in L.A., basking under the sun, swimming in their private pool, eating gourmet deserts in their kitchen, doing God-knows-what in their bedroom…

Seems that she disappeared without a trace,

Did she ever marry old what's his face?

I made a point to burn all of the photographs,

She went away and then I took a different path.

But, God, how her face haunts him every night. Her lips, her hair, her eyes, right down to her cheeks, her teeth, her ears… just her everything. And that pretending it's not her part he tells himself to do isn't effective, at all. It's her features that occupy his mind when he's filing papers at work. It's her name that drives him up the wall.

Now he remembers why her name makes him go crazy, despite the fact that maybe five thousand women in the world have the exact same name. Michael always said her name with emotion. No matter how he'd speak it, he'd always do it with a different tone, one conveying the point that he was trying to get across to her in that particular moment in time.

Maria. And sometimes it feels so damn good to utter it out loud. Only when he's alone, though. He mainly whispers it when he wakes up, shaking, at two in the morning, after bumping into her on the street in his dream. Or after he dreams of kissing her in the craziest of places – like the Crashdown Café, or his old apartment.

Maria. He tells the wall across his bed, as he's sitting up, his legs dangling over the edge of the bed, trying to gain control of his mind before getting up to get a drink. Sometimes he tells the ceiling and his light, too. Of course, he recalls her name. Not only does he remember it, but he remembers the feelings he felt when he would say her name back in Roswell.

Maria. Irritably. He must have said her name that way more times than he could count. Not that he was really mad at her. He would only say it like that when she was constantly talking about a point that Michael opposed. He would only say it like that when she wouldn't listen to a word of what he was saying – which happened quite often.

Maria. Sweetly. Michael used that tone when he wanted a favor from her. Like maybe when he'd want – need – her to pay the check, because he was constantly running low on cash. Cajoling her was never Michael's specialty and he had to utilize every means to coax her into something. He'd use the same tone, though, when he would thank her for doing what he asked later on.

Maria. Passionately. Despite their busy schedules, especially when Michael took on the job at the Meta-Chem, they would always find a time for sex. God, how Michael absolutely adored the way her name sounded when he murmured it against her warm skin! He knew she probably never heard, but it didn't change how he felt about the way it sounded when the word left his mouth.

Maria. Lovingly. After the sex, or even sometimes without it, they would curl up in each other's arms. Michael would have forgotten to pay for the heating and they needed to keep warm somehow. It was then that Michael was tilt his head a bit and whisper into her ear, just as she was drifting off to sleep so she wouldn't really remember it in the morning, Maria, I love you, and fall asleep himself, happy with his life.

I remember the face,

But I can't recall the name,

Now I wonder how whatsername has been

Maria. It's the one word he hates now. All of that seemed like it happened a lifetime ago, instead of only fifteen years. Still, he remembers. He remembers whatever little instant he can possibly remember. He relishes in it for a brief moment, recalling his former contentment. And in the next minute, he forgets it completely, knowing living in the past has done and will do nothing for him.

The regrets are ultimately useless. Regrets are for people that have nothing better to do with their life, but contemplate and mull over the dozens of "what-ifs" that fill their life. What if? Everyone neglects the key word: if. The word "if" guarantees nothing and the people of the world torturing themselves over "what if" would be wise to recognize that fact. Whatever they're hoping for, it's not going to happen. It hasn't happened yet, so why the hell would it happen as the opportunities for it diminish with time?

That's why Michael has made a particular point not to waste his time with "what ifs." It's not like he hasn't been with other women since her. He hasn't taken a vow of chastity or anything. He loved her, but he's not going to let her ruin the remainder of his life. That's what she decided when she chose to leave, didn't she? She realized that she may have loved him, but she couldn't put up with the alien crap … so she dumped him. That was it. So he's going to do the exact damn thing she did with him years ago.

Remember, whatever,

It seems like forever ago,

Remember, whatever,

It seems like forever ago.

The regrets are useless,

In my mind,

She's in my head,

I must confess.

Except that he's lying to himself. He can be with as many women as he wants, he can go out and have a great time every night, but the dreams are always there and always will be. Things will still be the same when he passes by the newsstand with her million-dollar, phony, smile on a magazine. The truth is as long as he lives, she lives with him. She's in his entire mind. No, that's no where near right. She's in his whole head and body. She is in his brain when he thinks about the way he'd say her name, in his mouth when he speaks words about her, in his eyes when he sees her in his dreams. And he knows it's impossible and insane, but he swears he can even taste the faintest scent of her kisses on his lips. She tortures him in every way.

He wants her to leave him be. It's stupid because she did leave him, more than a decade ago and she hasn't seen him since. So why does he feel this way? Why does he feel as if he's drowning in a pool of her smiles? Why does he feel as if he's being smothered by the joyous sounds of laughter? Why is he surrounded? Why is surrounded by the image of his Maria when she is over three thousand miles away? Why is he suffering like this when it's already been fifteen years of this life of solitude?

He can do nothing, but to compel these memories of her to go away. He doesn't want them. Michael would rather remember nothing and be at peace, then to remember everything and be in endless ache.

When he was younger, he would get so pissed when he'd realize how little he knew about his alien heritage. He needed to discover his roots at all costs. Michael always needed to be alerted by everything. He hated being in the dark.

But now more than ever, he understands the beauty of the "Ignorance is bliss" concept and yearns for it.

The regrets are useless,

In my mind,

She's in my head,

From so long ago

(Go, go, go, go …)

Sometimes Michael wonders if he gives it another fifteen years or so, if he'll forget her. If he'll finally forget her face which has followed him around for years. He wonders if he'll be able to look at a magazine cover or the TV, take a quick glance at her, and the only thought that will enter his mind is: She's a pretty little thing. He wonders if he'll finally forget her voice – that voice that he heard in Vegas, smiling behind the curtain, knowing that getting her on stage made her so happy. Smirking behind the curtain, knowing that he was lucky to have her. He wonders, now, if he'll be able not to change the station when he hears one of her songs on the radio, but just sit behind the wheel of his car and bop his head to the beat of the music.

But Michael has always had a knack for memory. Back in Roswell, he may have forgotten to pay the bills once or twice, but he always remembered what shifts he and Maria had together at the Crashdown. To this day, Michael can remember the digits on the door in front of her house. He has this one dream, sometimes, where he finds himself back in Roswell. Suddenly, he is near Maria's windowsill in the pouring rain, searching through the foggy window to see if Maria is there. Just as he has given up hope and turns to head somewhere else, he feels her tender hand on his shoulder, pulling him into her room, and drying him off.

Michael is almost certain he'll never forget her.

He tells himself daily that he has to learn that time isn't reversible. He's no Superman. As freaky as his alien powers are, they aren't capable of turning back time. Figures, he thinks, bitterly, the one time I need these damn things for and they don't function for that sort of thing.

And in the darkest night,

If my memory serves me right,

I'll never turn back time

Michael Guerin can only hope that he'll forget her one day. Maybe, just maybe, one day he will walk through the streets to work without apprehension. And maybe one day he won't remember her name and won't cringe when he hears a random Maria. But one thing is for sure. Even if he goes blind and deaf, he will always have déjà vus. And those, those damn déjà vus are feelings – they're eerie, subtle, feelings of past events.

And Michael's finally learned feelings, like memories, just don't go away.

Forgetting you, but not the time...