Keeping House Keeping House
By Erin

Disclaimer: If I owned 'Roswell,' would I be writing fan fiction? (Also, I don't own the song 'Forever.' Ben Harper and his music company own it, not me; ^ = quoted directly from "Cry Your Name.” – me no own!

Dedication: This part goes out to... ::thinks really hard:: my dog, Dodger, because he's cool and always sits at my feet while I write. Yeah...

Author's Note: It's been awhile, eh? I know, I know, I haven't been writing lately, but I have a million and a half (oh, oh, erin's phrase!) ideas floating around in my head, begging to be written. I'm not promising when they'll come out, but I know that when I get the time away from volleyball, basketball, and school work, along with many other activities, I'll send 'em to you! (also, the sections ending with a ^ were taken directly from CYN... just to let you know... I don't own the episode or the writing, either.)

So, with that said... sit back, relax, and enjoy the fiction!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The night was ironically clear, the stars were sparkling, and the air was humid as they awaited Max's hopefully triumphant return with Alex.

A few minutes later, Max slowly exited the black coroner's van and they held their breaths, hoping that Alex would soon follow Max's suit and walk out of the van.

Max walked back to them, his head hung unceremoniously in defeat.

"Max..." Isabel began, her voice already choked with her tears of grief.

Maria gasped and Liz looked away, her eyes shining in unshed tears.

"I... I couldn't bring him back."

Isabel let out a strangled cry and turned to walk away.

"How could you?" she asked angrily before she stalked off into the night.

"Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God..." Maria sobbed into Michael's chest, the reality finally sinking in that her best friend was dead.

"Shhh..." Michael soothed as he wrapped his arms around his trembling girlfriend. "C'mon, I'll walk you home."

And he held her close to him the entire walk home.

* * * * *

He knocked on the door, for she was still a sobbing, trembling mess in his arms.

Amy came to the door. Before she opened it, she sent him a warning glare, but as soon as the door was opened, her expression changed.

"What happened?" she asked, breaking her gaze from her saddened daughter to Michael for the answer to her question.

"There was an accident," he began, his voice deep and sorrowful, "Alex was killed."

And with those words, a strangled cry escaped Amy's lips and she stepped out of the doorway to wrap her arms around her daughter in a comforting hug. They held onto eachother and cried while Michael stood uncomfortably on the doorstep, not knowing what to do.

At that very moment, Amy turned to him and quickly enveloped him in a hug, along with Maria, who was still silently sobbing.

"Thank you," she whispered in his ear, sniffling slightly. "Thanks for everything."

* * * * *

Michael set the fresh box of tissue on the coffee table, replacing the empty one. Amy smiling at him gratefully and Maria sniffling her thanks as she reached for another tissue to dabble at her running nose.

The phone rang, so he crossed the room to the wall where it was hung and picked it up slowly.

"Deluca residence."

"Michael? What are you, snakin' breakfast now? Don't you have to be at school, or something?" Sean asked on the other end.

"Sean, shut up, okay? Alex was killed last night," Michael stated solemnly, hearing Maria and Amy both sniffle behind him as he talked.

"What?" he asked in disbelief, "How?"

"A car accident."

"Oh... jeez. How's Maria?"

"Pretty torn up. Same with your aunt," Michael added, looking back to where Amy was holding Maria in her arms.

"Look... I, uh, got this court thing in Albuquerque. They're telling me I gotta stay a couple more days. So could you, you know, look after my family?"

"I'll take care of them."

"Thanks, later."^

* * * * *

That night, Michael put Maria to bed and stood at her doorway until sunrise.

He felt like he needed to protect her for some reason, afraid that if he took his eyes off of her for too long that she would be gone like Alex was now.

Alex... why did he have to die?

He and Isabel had just found what they both needed and now, since they were happy, something had to go wrong. Something tragic had to happen.

Except this time, this things that went wrong couldn't be fixed and now, neither Alex nor Isabel could have the happily ever after that both had searched so hard to find.

Their lives were like a never-ending cycle of grief and angst.

Destiny had stolen them away from their loves and they worked so hard to get them back,

Courtney tore him away from Maria.

Tess tore Max away from Liz.

And Grant tore Isabel away from Alex.

Unlike him and Max, though, Isabel would never receive a second chance, seeing that Alex was gone.

And he was never going to come back.

Michael figured that he could not lose Maria the way that his sister had lost her true love, so he felt obliged to watch over her while she slept. And to protect her from whatever might try to steal her away from him.

As the sun rose and his eyes began to drift closed, he felt Amy's presence behind him in the doorframe.

He turned around to be met by a loving gaze of a protective mother.

"Go on and go to sleep, Michael. I'll watch over her for awhile."

He nodded gratefully at his girlfriend's mother; the same woman he feared less than a year ago.

And she grinned back at him, her eyes twinkling.

* * * * *

Later that morning, he was awoken by the weight of another person on his lap.

His eyes instantly flickered open and he found a pair of sad, saline eyes staring back into his own.

"Hey there," she stated simply.

"Hey yourself. How'd you sleep?" he asked with concern.

"All right... The reality of it, though, is just sinking in. I can't believe that he's gone..." her voice shook as it drifted off, tears forming in her emerald eyes again.

And as an automatic response, he wrapped his arms around her frail body as she sobbed into his chest.

"Kids," their moment was interrupted by Amy, who called from the kitchen. "Breakfast is ready."

"I'm not hungry," they both said at the same time, causing their eyes to widen in shock at the coincidence.

"Neither of you has eaten anything since you heard about the accident. Now come in here and eat a little something. I won't have you tell me you aren't hungry because I know damn well that you are. And you can't go to school with an empty stomach."

With that, Michael chuckled lightly and Maria giggled in response, tickling his chest.

"Your mom's a character. I can see where you get your fire...." he paused, "I mean it in a good way," Michael whispered in his girlfriend's ear.

And she grinned back at him, "Thanks," before she took his hand and led him into the kitchen.

* * * * *

Right after they got to school, Maria spotted Liz in the hall when they neared Alex's locker, which was covered with anything and everything that reminded the people of their school of Alex.

"Liz," Maria stated as she ran up to her best friend, wrapping her in a warm hug. Michael followed closely at her heels.

"Hey. How're you doing?"

"Not good," Maria admitted truthfully.

"Just try and get through the day, okay? Just keep moving forward, keep breathing."

"Okay. How about you? How are you?"

"I am fine."

"C'mon, it's me. You don't have to put up a front."

"Look at this," she stated as she held up a cut up picture.

"Isn't that..." Michael began, but Liz cut him off.

"Yeah, it's Alex and Leana in Sweden. I found it in the wreck."

"Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" she cried.

"It's all right, it's okay," Michael responded as he instantly wrapped his arms around his broken girlfriend.

"Look at the way it's been cut up. Someone cut off..."

"I'm gonna be sick... I can't believe you went there!" Maria gasped through her tears.

"Maria, this means something. Why is Alex's head missing?"

"Stop it!" she exclaimed viciously, "Stop it!"

"Hey. Hey, shhh. It's gonna be okay."

And as her final word, Liz said, "It means something," before she sauntered off down the hallway.^

* * * * *

They made it though school without any further interruptions, or at least none like the one that they had with Liz that morning.

Maria was upset because the people at their school who didn't even know Alex were mourning his death. She said something about them not having the right to mourn for him because they never cared about him when he was living.

As soon as they got in the car, Maria jabbed at the radio dial, looking for a song of some sort that she could sing to. And when they were pulling out of the parking lot, she stopped on one station and began to cry as the music floated throughout the car.

Michael looked at her questioningly.

"Listen to the words," she sobbed.

So he listened.

Not talking about a year, no, not three of four.
I don't want that kind of forever in my life any more.
Forever always seem to be around when things begin,
But forever never seems to be around when things end.


He could understand why she was crying when he listened to it.

He remembered that she once told him that she and Alex were going to play this song at one of their concerts, but they never had gotten around to it.

No wonder she was crying.

So give me your forever
Please your forever.
Not another day less will do
From you.


"Alex told me that we'd play this song at our next concert," Maria sobbed, "Our next concert was planned to be next week. And now…"

"Shh, you don't have to talk, okay?"

She sniffled and wiped the tears from her eyes, smiling weakly at him.

People spend so much of their time every single day
Running 'round all over town, giving their forever away.
But no, not me, I won't let my forever roam.
And now I hope that I can find my forever a home.


"You know," she began, pausing a second, seeming to collect her words.

"I know what?" he asked curiously, not taking his eyes from off the road.

"I think this was the last song that Alex and I played together, too," she stated softly as a silent tear ran down her rosy cheek.

So give me your forever
Please your forever.
Not another day less will do
From you.


"He gave me his forever, Michael," she whispered through her tears.

"What?"

"Alex told me that he'd be there for me, no matter what, forever. And... And now, well, he broke his promise. He isn't going to be here forever. He's already gone."

Like a handless clock with numbers on an infinite of time
No, not the forever found only in the mind.
Forever always seems to be around when things begin
But forever never seems to be around when things end.


"Maria..." Michael said softly and so tenderly that she looked up at him with surprise evident in her eyes.

A tear trickled down her cheek as she gazed into his soulful eyes.

"I'm sorry," he whispered as he wiped her tear away.

And a moment of silence passed between them while the music finished playing. A moment filled with understanding and mutual sorrow for a lost friend.

* * * * *

Later that night, after Michael had put Maria to bed, he fixed Amy a drink and brought it to her.

"Oh, no more tea, Michael. Thank you."

"It's not tea. It's hot buttered rum... helps you sleep," he paused, "My foster dad taught me to mix drinks before I could ride a bike. He called it 'job training.' So if all else fails, I could always tend bar."

"Well, what a charming man," she said, chuckling slightly. "Uh, is Maria still asleep?"

"Yeah, she keeps kicking off the covers, though," Michael stated, rubbing his hands over his face.

"Oh, she always does that," she paused. "You know, I think this is the most time you've ever spent in my house."

"Yeah, I.... I could leave if you want. Uh, it's just nice to be around people," he admitted sheepishly.

"No, no. That's not what I meant at all. Uh... what I'm trying to say is that you've really been great... to my family and it's a wonderful thing to see my daughter loved and... I would like to see a lot more of that," she paused, "As far as I'm concerned, you'll always be welcome in this house."

"Thank you," Michael grinned slightly, careful not to let her know of the happiness he felt at that very moment.

"Welcome on the couch," Amy quickly added, giving him a warning.

"Right," he sighed.

"Yeah."^


The End