TITLE-A Man And HIs Castle
DISCLAIMER-Own nothing from Roswell...sadly not even Tess...and make no money from this.
SUMMARY-Michael must hide something dear to his heart away from Maria.

I'm not too sure on this one....as I am with all my stuff. Thanks to Jan for being a beta and all that fun stuff

Michael and Maria hadn't even moved all the way into their first place together and they were already having a major fight in the middle of the living room.

"I'll say it again, I will NOT have those things in my house!"

"Your house?!"

"That's right!"

" If I'm not mistaken I pay half the rent on this place!"

Both Michael and Maria were squared off facing one another in the living room. Michael with his hands raking through his hair due to frustration and Maria with her hands on her hips in anger, leaning toward Michael with a deadly glare.

"I don't care what half you pay!" Maria poked her fingernail into Michael's chest as she also kicked a rather large cardboard box that sat at her feet.

"HEY, would you watch it!" yelled Michael as he fell to the ground to straighten up the box Maria had kicked over and also to pick up the numerous Playboy magazines that had spilled over onto the floor.

"Damn it Maria," growled Michael as he checked each magazine for any damage before gently putting them back into the box.

"Don't you Maria me Michael" Maria continued her growl "I told you I won't have those filthy magazines in this house!"

Michael got back on his feet ready to get back to their argument.

"Why can't I have them here? Just tell me that!?"

Maria took in a deep breath and held up a finger to emphasise each of her reasons "ONE.....they're made for nothing more than for men to objectify women in the worst way....TWO........"

"How do they objectify women?" asked Michael "They just show hot women who are willing to show off their bodies to men who are willing to buy the magazine! Free enterprise is what I call it! Capitalism at work!!"

"TWO!!" Maria raised a second finger and continued her reasoning rant ".......they are extremely vulgar! And THREE.......and three......." Maria seemed lost for a second before glaring again ".....well I don't have to have a THREE! The first two were good enough reasons!"

"Ohhh come on babe," Michael tried to smooth his way out of this fight "I've been collecting these Playboy magazines since we were in high school, don't make me throw them out on the curb for the trash guy!"

"Well that's where they belong, with the rest of the garbage!"

Suddenly a light bulb went off in Michael's head as a great idea came to him. Deep down he knew he wasn't going to win this fight with his girlfriend but he wasn't ready quite yet to part with his beloved Playboy collection. Taking a deep breath he smiled at Maria.

"You know what Maria, maybe we just need to take a deep breath here and calm down for a bit."

Maria cocked her head to the side not quite sure what Michael was up too.

"No I'm serious," Michael shook his head "We can talk about this later. I mean here we are, not even moved into our first place together and we're fighting over something stupid like this...." Michael nudged the cardboard box full of Playboy's with his foot "....what I say is we get all our other stuff moved in and THEN we can discuss what to do with this stuff."

Taking a second to think on what Michael had said Maria nodded her head and smiled slightly.

"Yeah you're right. We should be having fun and be happy about moving in together."

"Yeah that's what I'm talking about," nodded Michael.

"I'm sorry Michael," Maria walked up to hug Michael.

"I'm sorry to babe" Michael hugged Maria back.

When the hug was over Maria picked up a rather large box full of stuff and made her way toward the bathroom

"I'm going to go work setting up the bathroom. Can you bring in the heavy stuff from the truck?"

"Yeah no problem babe I got it," Michael smiled a very FAKE smile as Maria made her way toward the back bathroom. Once the door was shut and he was sure Maria would be back there for some time Michael quickly dug into his pocket and brought out his cell phone. He quickly punched in a number and waited for someone to pick up on the other side.

"Valenti! Look, don't talk! Just get your ass over here quick!"

About ten minutes later, Michael heard a knock on the door, ran over to it and threw it open. He found his friend Kyle on the other side, hand still up ready for another knock.

"Damn Valenti, what the hell took you so long!?" asked Michael as he quickly opened the screen door and hustled Kyle in side.

"What the hell Michael?" asked Kyle as Michael pulled him into the room by a grip on his forearm "I was watching the game....and I thought you and Maria said you didn't need any help moving the last of the stuff in today?"

Michael dragged Kyle into the living room before stopping by a huge box on the floor.

"I don't need your help moving, I need your help in hiding!"

"Hiding?" a confused Kyle asked "Just what the hell are we going to be hiding?"

"Shhhhh!" Michael held up his finger to hush Kyle "Maria is in the back trying to get the bedroom and back bathroom unpacked. So don't get too loud!"

"Okay, okay," nodded Kyle "But just what in the hell are we going to be hiding?"

"These," Michael smiled proudly as he squatted down on the floor and opened the top of the box for Kyle to see what was inside.

"Whoa" whistled Kyle, as he too squatted down to look into the box as if Michael has just showed him a chest full of buried treasure.

"May I?" Kyle looked up toward Michael, his hand out reaching toward the box. When Michael nodded his head Kyle grabbed one of the Playboy's off the top and gently pulled it out to look at.

"Ohhhhhh Donna D'Errico Ms September 1995....very nice issue."

"Should have known you'd like that one." snorted Michael.

"What can I say," smiled Kyle "I'm a tad partial to blondes."

A loud thump from where Maria was at the back of the house, caused both men to suddenly jump to their feet. When it became clear Maria wasn't coming out both men relaxed. Taking the magazine out of Kyle's hand, Michael gently placed it back in the box and folded the top shut.

"Look Kyle," Michael laid the facts on why he needed Kyle to hide his precious Playboy collection with him.

"I just need you to hide them for a day or two until I can come over to get them one day when Maria is gone from the house for a way I can hide them up in our attic and she'll be none the you do this for me?"

"Sure yeah I guess," nodded Kyle "I can just throw them in my garage until you can come back for them."

"Great, great, great, I owe you one man!"

"But won't Maria know something's up if they just vanish?"

"Nahhhhh" Michael pointed toward another similar looking box by the wall "That one is full of some old hockey magazines. I'll just stick that box out on the curb and Maria will think it's the one filled with my Playboys."

"Works for me," nodded Kyle "I'll take this one...." Kyle pointed toward the box full of Playboys "....and put it in my car. And you take those to the curb..." Kyle pointed toward the box full of old hockey magazines.

"Got it." nodded Michael.

Both men grabbed their boxes and quickly moved them out of the house. Once that was done Michael and Kyle stood by the front door.

"Like I said Kyle I owe you one."

"Don't worry about it," Kyle shook his head "Us real men got to watch each other's back."

"Damn right!" said Michael as he and Kyle quickly shook hands.

But hearing the door to the back of the house being opened Michael quickly shoved Kyle out and slammed the door. Turning he found Maria there looking at him.

"Was someone here?"

"Uh, nobody important...just...uhhhh...The Avon Lady!"

"Ohhh" nodded Maria before taking a deep breath getting ready to restart their fight "Look Michael I was thinking about those magazines....."

"You know what babe," Michael interrupted Maria "You don't have to worry about them actually."

"I don't?" asked a confused Maria.

"Nope" Michael ushered her toward the front door all the while hoping like hell Kyle had gotten out of the driveway and gone before he opened the door. Once he did and saw that Kyle was gone Michael quickly pointed the box out by the curb "I decided you were right. Those magazines were vulgar and did objectify women."

"Really?!" Maria's eyes lit up with happiness "And you threw them away while I was in the back?"

"Yep" nodded Michael.

"Ohhh Michael I love you!" Maria once again grabbed Michael in a hug and squeezed him as hard as she could.

"I love you too babe," said Michael as he hugged Maria....while at the same time thinking......Valenti you damn well better take good care of my magazines!

Back at his house Kyle was sitting in his big comfy Lazy Boy recliner watching the game and drinking him a nice cold beer. But while watching the game Kyle couldn't also help but laugh at poor old Michael.

I can't believe he let Maria push him around so much and tell him what to do! A grown man having to sneak around like that! I mean a man's home is supposed to be his castle and him the ruler......

Kyle was snapped out of his daydreaming when Tess came in through the back door and plopped her rather small cute behind on the arm of his recliner.

"Sweetie have you seen my gardening tools? It's rather nice outside and I'd like to get them out and get an early start on my back yard flowers."

"Yeah I think they're in a box somewhere in the garage."

"Oh okay thanks" Tess placed a kiss on Kyle's cheek and made her way to the garage.

Getting back to the game Kyle started drinking his beer again......'I still can't believe Michael let Maria push him around like that.....'

"KYLE!" a rather loud and angry shout came from the garage "Why the hell is there a box full of nudie magazines in OUR garage?!!!"

"Ohhhhh shit!" Kyle spit beer out everywhere as he jumped up from the recliner.

Making his way quickly to his wife in the garage Kyle could be heard saying.

"Uhhhhhh Tess......well sweetie....it's like this."