Title: The Invitation
Summary: Michael gets a surprise visit on Christmas Eve (fluffy one-post, written from Michael’s pov).
Disclaimer: Roswell and its characters are owned by the writers of the book series and the TV show. I own nothing.
Author's Note: This is somewhat AU coz there was no Christmas episode in season 1. Also, the timeline is a tricky thing to work with so I’m assuming that there’s a Christmas episode before the events that occur in the Independence Day episode. Thus Hank Guerin is still alive.
Hank Guerin's raucous voice startled Michael. He sat up in his tiny rickety bed and rubbed his eyes.
“Yeah,” Michael said half-heartedly.
He really wasn't in the mood for one of Hank's nasty temper tantrums. He hoped that Hank was nowhere near as drunk as the last time he'd engaged in a shouting match with him. That time Michael had wound up with some nasty bruises on his arms which he had covered up with jackets even in warm weather.
He climbed out of bed, opened the door and peered out.
“MICKEY! Get over here!” Hank's voice sounded slurry, like he'd just emptied another bottle.
Great, he's drunk. I guess I'll have to duck any punches he throws at me.
Michael stepped out of his room and made his way to the living area of their trailer. He was expecting to see Hank in front of the TV, bottle in hand, with the volume on “ridiculously loud”. But instead he found him standing at the door of the trailer. And the door was open.
“Huh, there you are.” Hank said nonchalantly. “Here, boy…you got a visitor.” Hank turned to the open doorway and winked.
At 7.00 pm on Christmas Eve? It can't be Maxwell. The Evans's are hosting that fancy party tonight. Nah can't be him.
“And quite a pretty young thing she is too.” Hank grinned stupidly as he watched Michael approach the open door.
Michael's mouth fell open when he saw who his visitor was.
“Hey.” He said as casually as he could, despite the odd feeling in his stomach.
“Hey,” she smiled, her eyes twinkling.
Michael tried not to stare but she looked amazing. She was all bundled up in a heavy jacket and there was a cute Maria-style snow cap perched on her head. She was the personification of adorable, standing out there in the snow, and he wanted to just pick her up and kiss her right there in the chilly weather.
Michael glanced over at Hank. To his annoyance, his drunken stepfather was still eyeing up the petite blonde at their doorstep.
“I'll take it from here.” Michael said, but Hank didn't seem to notice.
It didn't seem to bother Maria either. “I just thought I'd stop by and see how you were doing.” She looked at Michael, concern in her blue eyes.
Hank practically burped out his comment. “Darlin, why don't you step on inside and-“
“Oh no, I'm in a hurry.” Maria waved her hand. “I just need to speak to Michael, that's all.” She smiled coolly and Michael tried to hide his amusement at the manner in which she had cut Hank short.
Hank raised an eyebrow, grunted and then walked off muttering something under his breath. Michael bit his lip to hide a smile but Maria caught his gaze and her mischievous eyes elicited a grin from him.
“So,” Michael said finally, folding his arms and leaning against the doorway. “What's the real reason you're here?”
“Oh, I was in the neighbourhood…” Maria said in a sing song voice and then smiled.
Michael raised an eyebrow and pursed his lips, still amused.
“-or not!” She laughed nervously. “Look, Michael I wanted to see if you were doing anything tonight.”
“That depends,” Michael sighed, leaned against the door and gave her a once over. “What did you have in mind?” He asked naughtily.
“Heh, funny guy.” Maria narrowed her eyes and wagged her index finger at him. “Before you get your hopes up, I should tell you that my plans do not involve you, me and a broom closet or any space small enough to encourage a session of 7 minutes in heaven!”
Michael had to smile at the memory.
Actually, make that ‘memories'.
Maria looked a little flushed at her own outburst. “Look, I thought maybe you already had plans with Max and Isabel. And if you do, that's great. I just didn't want you to be on your own at Christmas.”
“I was gonna hang with Max and Isabel but their folks are hosting this party at their house. They invited me to join them but…I dunno…” He shook his head, searching for the right words.
Maria gave him a little smile. “Not exactly your thing.”
“Yeah,” Michael felt really awkward but knew she understood where he was coming from. “Of course, I've got Hank, who's probably planning on passing out in front of the TV tonight.”
Maria cleared her throat and smiled brightly. “Which brings me back to why I'm here. Why don't you join me and mom and a couple of our friends for dinner?
“Uh, I dunno.” Michael mumbled, not too sure how to react. “I don't want to butt in-”
“-Ah,” she cut him off. “Not gonna happen.”
“Are you sure I'll fit in?” Michael cleared his throat. His voice didn't even sound like his own.
“Of course you will.” She made quotation marks in the air. “We are all ‘casual' people.”
“Is your mom okay with this?”
“Michael,” she said with sincerity. “We'd love to have you.”
He felt a small lump in his throat. Maria had no idea how much her offer meant to him. Here she was, like a pretty blond angel with a sincere, gentle smile on her perky face and she had no idea how wanted she was making him feel. He just nodded silently, hoping that she couldn't see how wet his eyes were getting.
He looked down at his clothes. “Ok…uh, can you give me a few minutes? I need to go change.”
“Sure, I'll wait.” She jangled her car keys and nodded.
Michael closed the door to his room and leaned back against the door. He saw the black trousers and dark red long sleeved shirt on the single hanger on the wall. He had taken them out to wear to Max and Isabel's house but had changed his mind when he realized he'd never fit into that crowd.
But it would do nicely for my evening at the De Luca house.
When Michael showed up in the doorway of the trailer minutes later, Maria raised an eyebrow appreciatively. “Well,” she croaked, then cleared her throat and added, “You sure clean up nicely.”
He looked down at what he was wearing. “Is this ok? I mean…it's not too much, is it?” He slipped on his coat.
“It's perfect.” She winked. “In fact, we kinda match.”
Michael tried not to swallow openly as she opened up her coat in one quick motion and showed off the simple dark red knee length dress and knee high boots she was wearing under it.
“Um,” he gulped, but coughed to cover it up.
“All right, spaceboy.” Her breath came out in white wisps as she shivered and shifted weight to beat the cold. “Grab your coat and let's shimmy on out of here.”
“Hmm,” he murmured, putting an arm around her waist and pulling her towards him.
“The car is that-a-way.” She indicated with a tilt of her head.
“I know.” He said innocently. “I just figured you could use some warming up.”
“Well I won't say no to that.” She giggled, slipping into his arms.
He bent down and kissed her cheek and then moved to her mouth. She let out a little gasp as his lips found hers. He felt her hands slide up his arms and make their way to his neck where her fingers gently tugged at his hair. He breathed her in; a delicious combination of fruity scented oil and something that reminded him of freshly baked cookies. He was about to say something when they got rudely interrupted by a loud noise.
A sky rocket zoomed into the sky from nearby and burst into a shower of golden sparkles.
Maria nearly jumped out off her skin at the sound of firecrackers being lit in the trailer park.
“Wow, and I thought all those shabangs were only going on inside my head!” She commented wryly.
The kids lighting them chuckled and ran off to another part of the trailer park to continue their pandemonium.
Michael made a face as he watched the children disappear into the night. “Great…just when it was getting interesting.”
“Ah, but the night is still young…” Maria teased, fingering his collar. “And so are we…” her eyes shone deviously.
“Need I remind you we're heading back to your house where you mom will kill me if I try anything?” He told her.
“Mom isn't going to be around all the time. She has other guests.”
“It's gonna be great.” She said, tugging at the buttons on his shirt. “You'll see.”
He pursed his lips together and let out a slow “uh, huh.”
“Plus you'll have me for company.” She added perkily.
Michael's eyes shone and Maria reached out a hand and gently touched his cheek.
“Thanks,” he said softly.
She tilted her head slightly. “For what?”
“For asking me over…for checking in with me today.” He paused and took a breath. It wasn't easy to for him to form the words. He never said things like this, to anyone.
But it's different with you, De Luca. I'm not sure why…but it is.
“I guess…I guess I'm saying thank you.” He finished, colouring slightly.
Maria got up on her tip toes and kissed him tenderly. “You're welcome.” She whispered softly.
Michael tried to look away as his eyes grew wet once again, but Maria took his hands in hers and smiled brightly through her own glistening eyes.
“Come on, pretty boy.” She said softly and Michael couldn't help but grin. “I've gotta take you home to my place to meet my momma.”
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