Never is a Promise Never is a Promise
By Erin (lftnorml@bellsouth.net)

Disclaimer: I do not own ANY of the Roswell characters, as much as I may wish that I did. They belong to those awesome people at the WB. I don't own the songs "Even Angels Fall" by Jessica Riddle and "Never is a Promise" by Fiona Apple. I'm just borrowing them, so please don't sue me! You'll only get a few DMB CD's and some really cool jewelry. And thank you (to those whom it applies) for letting me borrow your stuff! I appreciate it!

Dedication: To Heather, my best girl. You're so incredible. Thanks for standing beside me and encouraging me on all my escapades!

Author’s Note: This story was based on a challenge posed on a Roswell message board from Sp1derbait. The fanfic must...

(1) It must deal with the spoilers about Michael/Isabel's sex dream where she becomes pregnant.
(2) It must also deal with whither or not Michael and Isabel are meant to be together or not.
(3) It MUST have a plot! That means NO fanfic where it's just contemplation on his relationship with Maria and him being with Isabel now.
(4) In other words, if you didn't read #3, it must deal with something like wither Michael is to choose between Maria or Isabel or whatever! Just some kind of plot!
(5) It must be Michael/Maria! And not necessarily romantic. But, ATLEAST friendship! And IF it is JUST friendship then you must put Maria with someone like Max! That's right buddy!
(6) Remember! PLOT, PLOT, PLOT!!! NO CONTEMPLATION!

Okay, I thought. I can do this. My fics are usually bright and fluffy with a happy ending. So here's one that is a little on the dark side, a change! You might want to get out the Kleenexes now. Enjoy!

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

"I think I'm pregnant," Isabel told him calmly; too calmly.

Michael stared at her, his mouth hanging wide open. What could he say? He knew this might happen... he knew when they shared the same dream... the same sex dream... that it might happen. He had hoped and even prayed that it wouldn't. But it did. And he knew that it was wrong to be doing that, but he didn't even try to stop himself. Something was pulling him, a force stronger than his will, towards her. It was a strange attraction; they had been like brother and sister all their lives. Now, they were sharing the same dreams, where the same thing happened every time. Both dreaded and regretted them.

"P..p..pregnant?" he stuttered.

"Yeah. The dream, remember?"

"Dammit! I knew something like this would happen. If only I had controlled myself."

"Michael, it was a dream. A dream! How can anyone get pregnant by a dream?" Isabel asked, her voice squeaking from her fear. "But deep down inside, I think that I am. I thought that you'd like to know before anyone else. I'm going to tell Max and Alex today. I think that you should go, in person, to Maria's house. She needs to know about this."

Michael shook his head. There was no way that he could go to her house and tell her this, of all things. He had been in love; he was in love until this happened. The news was tearing him apart. Now, he was torn between the two women in his life who truly cared about him; who loved him for who he was. He was going to have to choose between them.

"I can't," he told Isabel, afraid to look her in the eyes. He knew that if he did, he would break down. He would cry and admit to her that he was afraid; that he didn't know what to do and he didn't want to break Maria's heart again.

"Would you rather her find out from Liz, after Max tells her?" Isabel asked icily, giving him her best Ice Queen look.

Michael shook his head and turned. He climbed out the window and walked to Maria's house. He could only hope that this would go better than he thought it would. If it went better than he planned, he would walk out of her house alive.

* * * * *

"You bastard!" she hissed, "I cannot believe that you would go and do something that obtuse. Did you actually think that you could get away with this without me finding out about it? 'Cause if you did, I know right now that we were not meant to be together. You'll be better off with her. After all, she's an alien too."

Michael just stood there, staring blankly at Maria. Her words stung. What she was saying was true, but he couldn't bring himself to talk about it. The realization of Isabel becoming pregnant from a dream was too much to handle already. Now that Maria knew, his life was going to be a living hell.

"Don't say anything, okay?" Maria said, tears streaming down her face. "I can't believe that you would do this to me. But, after all, I guess you can't let your guard down enough to let me in. Why not have sex with someone like you, who you've known all your life? So why not break my heart again? Remember, it'll hurt a lot now, but in the end it'll be better. No attachments, right?" she bitterly questioned. "I'm so stupid. So fucking stupid. Why did I believe that you actually cared about me? Why did I fall in love with you? You couldn't promise me anything, but I did, and look where I am now. Thanks a lot, Michael. I love you too."

"But Maria…"

She cut him off. "Don't say anything, I'm not done." He nodded and she continued, "I know that it was my choice to love you. And to tell you the truth, I don't regret it at all. I know, it's amazing. But it's true. And I still love you, even though that you've broken my heart more than once. God, what am I saying?" she sobbed, stopping talking.

Michael put his arm around her shoulders, meaning to pull her in for a hug. Just as he was about to do so, Maria spun around and smacked him. "Don't you touch me, you bastard!" she exclaimed.

"I can explain. I can, I promise," Michael began, looking for her approval before he continued. "See… Isabel and I have both been having these dreams and in them, we're together, intimately. And that's why she thinks that she's pregnant. I know it sounds crazy, but she thinks she's pregnant from a dream. I just wanted to tell you so that, even if she isn't, you can know what's happening in my life. That's what you wanted, right? I had to come here and tell you on my own, to let you know that I still love you; I really do, even though Isabel and I are… um…"

"Involved?" Maria suggested.

"Yeah, that's it."

"Sorry buddy, but your excuse isn't good enough. So she got pregnant from a dream? How many people are going to believe that? I don't, for starters. And you claim that you still love me, even though that your SISTER is pregnant with your child? I don't think so."

"Maria…" he wailed, "Please listen to me. God, this is tearing me apart. In the dreams, there is this force pulling us together. Neither of us have control over them and we always end up doing the same thing. I don't like her, not like that. I can't help it. Something really weird is in the dream."

"Oh, so it's all the dream's fault?"

"You could say so."

"I don't buy that one either. Sorry I have to cut this conversation short, but I have to get to the Crashdown for a concert in like, ten minutes, so I suggest that you leave before my mom finds you in here. She won't be too happy and she'll think that we're doing something that we shouldn't, like she did when I took you in that night. God, that night. I thought that you really cared. Guess I was wrong…"

Michael couldn't bear to see her like this anymore. Tears were streaming down her beautiful face. He wanted to reach out and touch her face, then tell her not to cry for him and his mistakes, but he couldn't speak. So he did what he did best. He turned and headed out her window. When he climbed out, he heard her whisper, "Goodbye Michael. Don't come back. Ever." With those words, he ran from her house.

* * * * *

Michael sat on his lumpy, brown couch. There was nothing he could do. He was sure that Isabel had already told Max and Alex, and both of them would be out and ready to kill him if he moved from here. And then there was Maria. His Maria. God, what had he done wrong? What had he done to deserve this pain and misery?

He jumped up off the couch and turned on the radio, hoping to find a nice, bouncy song to get his mind off of his life... his mistakes... everything that was happening to him that he felt he had no control over.

The deejay's voice floated around the room and there was music. "Sounds good enough for me," Michael mumbled as he sank back into the couch. A single acoustic guitar played, slow and smooth. Then, a woman began to sing...

You found hope,
You found faith,
Found how fast she could take it away.
Found true love,
Lost your heart,
Now you don't know who you are.


Michael sat, paralyzed, listening to the song. It was about his life... of Maria, the one he truly loved.

She made it easy,
Made it free,
Made you hurt till you couldn't see.
Sometimes it stops,
Sometimes it flows,
But baby, that is how loves goes.


He was in a trance. Nothing could get him to move, not even if the building caught on fire would he move. The song was written about him and Maria, he was certain.

You will fly,
You will crawl,
God knows even angels fall.
No such thing as you lost it all,
God knows even angels fall.


Maria was his angel... his only angel... the one who believed in him, even when he didn't, and the one who loved him with her whole heart, even though he had broken it countless times before.

It's a secret
No one tells
One day it's heaven, one day it's hell.
And it's no fairy tale,
Take it from me,
That's the way it's supposed to be.


Michael thought about Isabel's news; about how he was experiencing hell. What had happened to bring this upon him? What had he done to deserve this? What happened to his fairy tale love with Maria? Where would it be after they were through with this bump in the road? Or would he realize that he was meant to be with Isabel?

You will fly,
You will crawl,
God knows even angels fall.
No such thing as you lost it all,
God knows even angels fall.

Yes, he was certain that he was crawling, trying to avoid damage at all costs. His heart was already broken and his angel, his only angel, was falling. She was falling away from him and there was nothing that he could do to stop her.
You laugh, you cry,
No one knows why,
But, oh, the thrill of it all.
You're on the ride, you might as well,
Open your eyes.


True, love is thrilling, he pondered. He loved being in love with Maria, but this thing with Isabel changed it all. Or did it? Would he open his eyes? Would he see that he truly loved Maria and Isabel was just a pawn? Would he be able to admit to Maria his true feelings before it was too late?
You will fly,
You will crawl,
God knows even angels fall.
No such thing as you lost it all,
God knows even angels fall.
Even angels fall...
Even angels fall...


As the song ended, Michael let out a long, tortured moan. The song was so characteristic of his love and life. It made him realize what he had done to her and what he was going through, to a tee.

He got off the couch and began to pace around the room, thinking. Then, he walked out the door, headed in the direction of Isabel's house.

* * * * *

Michael knocked on Isabel's window impatiently. She finally opened it on the fourth knock. Her mouth fell open when she saw Michael standing outside.

"We need to talk," Michael began.

Isabel nodded and helped him into her room. "So, what do you want to talk about?" she asked, even though that she knew exactly what he wanted to talk about.

"Isabel, I love you and have always loved you... as a sister. Not a lover. Nothing like that," Michael told her.

"I agree. This dream thing is too weird. But I can second what you're saying. We don't belong together, Michael, even if the forces in our dreams think so."

"Yeah. You've been thinking too?"

"A lot, actually. Alex freaked out and so did Max. They both looked like they were going to kill you. They both said it, too. I managed to convince them not to, though. They both are going to be here after the concert at the Crashdown. Both of them wanted me to take a pregnancy test, to make sure."

"Oh great. It might be better that way, actually," Michael joked.

"I took the pregnancy test," Isabel began.

"And..."

"And I'm not pregnant. Thank God! But we can only hope and pray that we don't have any more of these dreams."

"Yeah. No more dreams like that, okay? And if they do begin, try to wake up. 'Cause I know that I will. I don't want to be in this place ever again, unless it's with Maria."

"Same here. Except if it's with Alex."

"Agreed," Michael nodded and turned, ready to climb out Isabel's window onto the balcony. She stopped him.

"Michael, I know that you're scared. That you were scared out of your mind when I told you. I was too. But now, it's all over and we have to make it up to the people that we really love. I don't know if you know this, but I truly think that you and Maria are meant for each other. Go and tell her what happened. Tell her the truth, the whole truth. And apologize. She deserves it. And I also know that she'll believe you and want to speak to you before I go over there and try to tell her my side of the story."

"Is, I don't know if I can. She didn't believe me about the dream thing. And she kicked me out of her room."

"I would have, too," Isabel chuckled. "Just go and make it up to her before it's too late."

"Isabel?"

"What?"

"Thanks."

"Any time. Go get 'er. Good luck. And if you really need help, come over here and get me to talk to her. She might listen."

Michael climbed out of Isabel's room with ease. He set off at a reasonable pace towards the Crashdown.

* * * * *

The Crashdown was packed full with people, all excited about listening to the last few songs performed by The Whits. Michael had heard that they were pretty good, but he had never listened to them.

He sat down at his usual booth and waited, watching the stage, where Maria sang so beautifully. The people in the cafe were dancing in time to the music all around his table. But Michael ignored them; he stared soulfully at Maria, who was still singing and dancing on the small stage.

After the song, Maria crooned, "Thank you. Thank you," as the crowd cheered and hooted. "We only have one song left, but we're sure that all of you will enjoy it." She shot a look at Michael, who was staring dumbfounded at her.

Then, a piano began to play in the background and Maria began to sing.

You'll never see the courage I know.
Its colors' richness won't appear within your view.
I'll never glow the way that you glow.
Your presence dominates the judgments made on you.

But as the scenery grows, I see in different lights.
The shades and shadows undulate in my perception.
My feelings swell and stretch; I see from greater heights.
I understand what I am still too proud to mention to you.


You'll say you understand, but you don't understand.
You'll say you'd never give up seeing eye to eye.
But never is a promise and you can't afford to lie.


Maria looked intently at Michael, whose mouth was now hanging open. He knows, she thought. He knows I picked this song because of him. And he knows that it's exactly how I feel right now. Betrayed. Broken. Hurt. Alone. And it's all because of him. She grinned, in spite of herself, and kept singing her heart out.

You'll never touch these things that I hold.
The skin of my emotions lies beneath my own.
You'll never feel the heat of this soul.
My fever burns me deeper then I've ever shown to you.

You'll say, 'Don't feel your dreams,' it's easier than it seems.
You'll say you'd never let me fall from hopes so high.
But never is a promise and you can't afford to lie.

Michael's mind raced. She was singing this to him and only him. He was the only person in the room who truly understood what she was thinking and feeling right now. He could hear the hurt in her voice as she sang and he knew that all the hurt was caused by him.

You'll never live the life that I live.
I'll never live the life that wakes me in the night.
You'll never hear the message I give.
You'll say it looks as though I might give up this fight.


But as the scenery grows, I see in different lights.
The shades and shadows undulate in my perception.
My feelings swell and stretch; I see from greater heights.
I understand what I am now too smart to mention to you.


You'll say you understand, you'll never understand.
I'll say I'll never wake up knowing how or why.
I don't know what to believe in, you don't know who I am.
You'll say I need appeasing when I start to cry.
But never is a promise and I'll never need a lie.

Maria's voice haunted him. She was singing from her heart, singing from her own experience. And the song was yet another reminder to him that he had broken her heart. Michael ran out the back door of the Crashdown, trying to escape the mess he was now in. He ran back to his apartment and laid down on the couch sobbing.

Maria searched the Crashdown after she finished singing. The crowd had hushed and seemed to be in a trance because of the powerful words that she just delivered. "Thank you," she said again. And she walked off the stage.

Maria knew where he was. He would be at his apartment, sobbing himself to sleep because she sang that song about her broken heart. Her feet lead her to his apartment, despite her feelings of betrayal and hurt. When she reached his door, she stopped. She didn't knock. All she did was stare at the door. After a few minutes, she turned around and walked home.

Michael didn't need her now. And her song had just made it more clear. He had Isabel and his child to worry about now. Why would he want to crawl back to her? He didn't want her love anymore. He had shown it by making Isabel pregnant.

In the midst of all her thinking, Maria had an epiphany. She wasn't mad at Michael for leaving her. True, she was sad about losing him. He hadn't promised her an eternity of love and warmth. Now, he was where he needed to be - with someone of his own background, to say, at the least. And then, it came to Maria. The song was true. "Never is a promise," she said out loud as the teardrops rolled down her cheeks.


The End