FOUR

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"Hey," Michael says softly and hitches his chin in the direction of the front door to alert Maria about the third presence.

Maria looks towards the front door and finds Liz shielded in the shadows.

"Hi," Liz says quietly. "Can I talk to you?"

"Sure," Maria answers and turns to Michael to apologize. He smiles gently and shakes his head, before kissing her softly.

"I'll get some food."

Maria smiles gratefully. "Thank you."

He squeezes her hand before turning and Maria sighs in relief. It has only been an hour since Tess left the planet in the granolith and Michael decided to stay for her, but already Maria knows that things are definitely looking up for her and Spaceboy.

Her smile falls before she turns to face Liz, because she knows that Liz will most definitely throw reality in her face. Liz has been good at that recently. Lately Maria has been wondering if they can ever go back to how things were when they used to be able to have fun together. When they were friends.

"What's up?"

She takes out the key to Michael's apartment from her bag and lets Liz inside.

"I need your advice," Liz says grimly.

Maria sighs and closes the door behind them. Liz's stoic posture tells her that this conversation is very likely to turn ugly, just like most of their recent conversations.

"Sure," Maria says shortly. "But if you're here to tell me to stay away from Michael-"

Liz spins on her heels and surprises Maria with an expression of regret. "No, Maria. How can you think that? I wouldn't want to destroy anything between you and Michael."

Maria looks at her closely. Ten days earlier, Liz had started a war with Max and everyone in the Czechoslovakian club had been pulled along, separated into camps against their will. If Michael hadn't grown up so much the last couple of months, Liz's arguing with Max easily could've caused a rift even between Maria and Michael. Fortunately it didn't, but Maria isn't prepared to relax just yet.

"I'm sorry if I ever made you doubt that," Liz says.

Maria shrugs and sinks down in the couch. "I don't know what to expect from you any longer, Liz. You are not the person I used to know anymore."

Liz sits down opposite Maria and nods. "You're right."

Maria's eyebrows rise in silent surprise, but she remains quiet.

"A lot of things have happened recently that I'm not proud of."

Maria nods.

"Brushing you off is one of them."

"Are you apologizing?"

"I'm sorry, Maria."

"Wow," Maria says unenthusiastically. "Are you ready to let this go?"

Liz presses her lips together and Maria can see the shield go up again. "Tess killed Alex, Maria. I needed to get the truth out."

"Do you feel more relieved now?" Maria asks.

"I'm not the bad guy here, Maria. Tess is."

Maria's shrug is uncommitted, detached. "Whatever you say."

Liz sighs and leans back in the armchair. "Okay... I..."

To Maria's surprise Liz's stone wall crumbles and she bursts into tears. Maria stares at her, her actions paralyzed.

Prodigal Son | (Roswell Fanfiction ) | √Read this story for FREE!