Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing, all characters and original Roswell verse settings belong to other very lucky people.
Pairings/Couples/Category: UC Michael/Liz
Summary: Michael confronts Liz on Halloween over her avoidance of her feelings, but discovers that aliens aren’t the only entities out there as both of their lives are threatened by supernatural phenomena.
Warning: So this is completely and utterly AU after season one, basically ignore everything that happened after Destiny. They did deal with some alien enemies during their Junior year, but by Senior year things were settled down. Tess never betrayed anyone, Alex is alive, and Jesse never existed, anything else important will be addressed in the story, but don’t expect a lot of details. Also, there is the occasional use of foul language, and references to naughty, sexy things. Consider yourself warned.
Author's Note: A funny, spooky, and romantic, Halloween story, written for the fall Vilondra Challenge on RH. I do not own the poem 'Haunted Palace' by Edgar Allen Poe
In the greenest of our valleys,
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace –
Radiant palace – reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion –
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair.
Liz stared at the house, a small smile of satisfaction curling her lips. It was old and stately, if a bit rundown, with its faded cream paint, still bright red shutters, wraparound porch with graceful columns, and elegantly carved front door. It was lovely, and absolutely perfect.
She had spent freshman year in the dorms, stuck with a succession of roommates who ranged from crazy to sluttish to almost criminal. She had barely succeeded in maintaining her perfect grade point average, and barely succeeded in concealing her ever growing abilities. By the time the beginning of sophomore year rolled around, her powers seemed to have finally stabilized, but she was not willing to spend any more time in the dorms than she had too.
It had taken her almost two months into the school year before she found what she was looking for, but this regal, if dilapidated, building on the outskirts of town perfectly suited her needs; and she had dipped into her inheritance from Grandma Claudia for the first time in order to put a down payment on it. It was big, bigger than she really needed, but very private; and given the nature of her life and the others lives, she had a feeling that a large, secluded property might come in handy for more than just some peace and quiet.
Her smile widened into a grin and she hefted a box onto her hip, gripped the handle of her suitcase, and walked up the faintly creaking steps into her new home. It had two floors along with an attic and a basement, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sunroom, family room complete with fireplace, formal dining room, kitchen with pantry, and a parlor on the second floor she fully intended to turn into a library. The realtor had also reported to her the local legends that whispered of a presence haunting the house; something she found entirely fitting since her grandmother had been a firm believer in residual energies lingering after significant events, even publishing the occasional paper on how the theory related to the study of archaeology and native beliefs.
The realtor had arranged for the power and gas to be turned on, but she still needed to call to get her phone and internet lines set up, although those would have to wait. She only had enough time to drop off her stuff before getting back to town in time for the two classes she had today, and then she’d agreed to help Claire set up for the Halloween Bash at the Student Center, where they both worked. She had absolutely no intention of attending said Bash; living in Roswell had killed all enjoyment in costume parties for her, but once Claire had learned of her organizational experience in setting up and decorating the Crashdown’s multiple themed events, she hadn’t been able to beg out of helping.
After carrying three more boxes and two more suitcases in from her car, and almost leaving her book bag behind, she finally locked the door behind her twenty minutes later. The drive back to campus took a little longer than she’d anticipated and she had seconds to spare to reach her class. She was out of breath by the time she sprinted from the parking lot to the building her lecture was in, but instead of entering just in time, she was stopped in her tracks by an all too familiar, tall and muscular frame leaning against the wall outside the door.
A pair of dark caramel eyes locked on hers, burning with fierce intent, as his sensual lips curled into a mocking smirk. “Going somewhere, Parker?”
Liz swallowed, hard, and reached a shaky hand up to run through her hair. “What…what are you doing here Michael?”
He chuckled, the sound more bitter than amused. “I got tired of waiting for you to call, or write, or pay any attention to me whatsoever.” Straightening from his slouched position, he stalked towards her, pace slow and menacing, making her heart palpitate frantically against her ribcage with a mixture of fear, and something else entirely. “You’ve never acted the coward before Parker, why are you starting now?”
She backed up until she was pressed against the opposite wall with him looming over her, bodies less than an inch away from contact, his body heat warming her, making her own body react in ways she’d been trying to forget. She opened her mouth to defend herself, but no words came out. She was being a coward. She hadn’t expected to feel the way she’d felt when she’d seen Michael over the summer, it was a depth of attraction she’d been completely unprepared for, and when two months of dancing around each other had culminated in that kiss…
She pulled off her headband and massaged her temples, cursing herself for ever agreeing to pick up an extra shift at the Crashdown. The air conditioner had been on the fritz and both the customers and the staff had been moody and restless and completely unable to maintain any pretense of civility. This was not how she’d wanted to spend her summer vacation. She sighed, pulling the ponytail out of her hair; at least she hadn’t had time to think of Michael once in the past eight hours, thank heavens for small blessings.
A sudden sound behind her made her whirl, heart in her throat, until she saw the object of her thoughts leaning in the office doorway, regarding her with thoughtful eyes and an amused quirk to his lips. She took a deep breath in an attempt to slow her pulse, now racing for an entirely different reason. “You scared me.” She said, irritated with herself for the obvious statement, and irritated with herself for the way her eyes were drawn repeatedly back to those lips, sensuous, smirking, and intriguing in a way she’d never found them before this summer, and shouldn’t be finding them now.
She jerked her eyes back to his as he chuckled, a deep rasping sound that sent shivers down her spine as her skin flushed for reasons that had nothing to do with the stifling heat in the restaurant. “Sorry.” He drawled, sounding decidedly amused. She shot him a look that was halfway to a glare, fueled by her frustration, and then felt her mouth go dry when his eyes flashed, darkening with intent.
He stopped leaning against the wall and walked towards her as she wondered frantically if she should hold her ground or flee up the stairs, to the air conditioned, and temptation free apartment above. He reached her before she could decide and suddenly his hands were cradling her face, fingers sinking into her hair with a tenderness that made her moan. He stared at her for a moment, their eyes locked and breaths mingling, before sealing their lips together. She arched into him, rising to the tips of her toes as their tongues tangled together. His mouth tasted of Tabasco and something uniquely Michael and it sated a craving, both physical and emotional, that she hadn’t realized the depths of until now, as all of her being thrilled with the feel of him against her.
Her father had come down the stairs then, interrupting them before they got any further, and she had fled, avoiding him for her remaining week in Roswell and leaving town with nothing more than a brief group goodbye as they all split to go their separate ways around the country, only Kyle and Michael remaining in New Mexico as both were attending UNM. She had picked up the phone a dozen times to call him, only to hang it up again, completely clueless as to what she wanted to say.
After a brief reconciliation with Max during the beginning of junior year, she hadn’t dated anyone in the group, and, in fact, had only dated one more person period – the president of the science club, a fact that Maria, Kyle, and Michael had mercilessly teased her about. Maria and Michael had also split amicably, and the only two couples who remained among those ‘in the know’ were ones who no one had expected to get together in the first place – Kyle and Isabel, and Alex and Tess. Pairings that still amazed her, especially given that Kyle and Isabel were maintaining a long-distance relationship from New Mexico to California, and that Max had made a play for Tess during their senior year. She’d rebuffed him for the lanky musician she was now happily living with in New York.
But Liz, other than the brief, bad idea of a relationship with Brad, hadn’t even considered dating anyone, much less Michael, her best friend’s ex. She knew he was attractive in a sort of abstract way, and they’d become good friends over the three years of high school, necessary given all that the group had been through, but something had changed when she’d first seen him lounging in one of the booths of the Crashdown her first day back in town, watching amusedly as Kyle and Alex bantered about some online video.
His hair was still long, curling just above his shoulders, and his typical plain grey cotton shirt was stretched tight across his shoulders, making her lick her lips unconsciously until she realized what she was doing and quickly turned away, eyes widening in shock. A shock she still felt as she stared up into his intimidating gaze and couldn’t stop herself from wanting to taste those irresistible lips again. When had she gone from respect and friendship to this wanton desire? And was it really worth the risk to pursue it? Watching his eyes darken at her continued silence, she added another question to her list – was it worth the risk to not give in?
Banners yellow, glorious, golden
On its roof did float and flow;
(This-all this-was in the olden
Time long ago)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away
Unlike Liz, Michael had been aware of his own desire for the small brunette for years, although, first she had been off-limits due to Max and their secret, and then his desire for her blond friend had pushed thoughts of her to the background. In senior year, when both of their respective exes seemed to have moved on, he had contemplated approaching her, but she hadn’t seemed interested in that way, and so he had held off. That summer though, he had felt her regard, had seen the way she looked at him, felt the suddenly mutual chemistry that sizzled between them whenever they were in the same room.
He watched her to try to fight the attraction and had waited patiently until that night, when she was sweaty and disheveled and looking at him with that familiar fire in her eyes and he couldn’t stop himself from touching her, from tasting her. But then, he growled softly, then they’d been interrupted and she’d fled, going to near ridiculous lengths to avoid being alone with him, or near him at all. If she hadn’t kissed back with equal fervor, if she hadn’t melted against him and moaned softly into his mouth, he might have been willing to let it go. But she clearly wanted him as much as he wanted her, and the boy who fought his own desires had been left behind years ago.
Staring down into molten chocolate eyes, glinting with flecks of gold, he felt that same electric sizzle and gently brushed his fingers across her flushed cheek, smirking as her breath sucked in and her pupils dilated. He trailed his finger down her silken skin and traced her bottom lip with his thumb, the feel of her warm breath fluttering against his finger making a certain something swell in reaction, a reaction he carefully hid. “Running away doesn’t suit you, Parker.” He murmured, his lips bare inches from hers. He held the position for a moment, watching anxious expectation bloom in her eyes, and then pulled away, crossing his arms across his chest and studying her coolly. “I haven’t eaten since this morning, any recommendations for lunch?”
She gaped at him for a moment before her lips pressed together in a thin line and she stepped away from the wall she’d been pressed against. “Well, now that I’ve missed my class, I suppose I can take you somewhere to eat.” She snapped, eyes flashing angrily at him before she spun on her heel and stalked down the hall. He allowed a brief smile to cross his face and then followed; that had been easier than he thought it would be.
It wasn’t that he wanted her angry; no, contrary to popular belief his volatile relationship with Maria had been the exception not the norm when it came to what attracted him. But Liz had a problem with over-thinking things, and the only way he would be able to get her to not talk herself out of giving them a shot, was to keep her on an emotional edge and let her instincts, instead of her logic, rule the day. Besides, she was damn sexy when she was pissed off. So, he wiped the smirk off his face and followed silently, making sure to stay within a foot radius of her so she couldn’t tune out the effect his body had on her.
Instead of veering towards the parking lot, she headed across the grassy central quad of the university towards a small on campus café. She held open the door and smirked up at him, eyes still flashing angrily. “After you.”
H returned her smirk and sauntered leisurely into the restaurant, hiding a grin at the small growl he heard behind him. Lunch was going to be interesting
Lunch had been interesting, and tense, and fraught with unspoken sexual chemistry in every glance and ‘accidental’ touch. He found himself enjoying the strange seduction, and had to remind himself that he was irritated with her, that he couldn’t just kiss her the way he wanted to, because that wouldn’t accomplish anything more than her running away again. She needed to come to him, and he needed to be present so she couldn’t just ignore him, not this time.
She had insisted on going to her last class, and on helping her friend decorate for some stupid Halloween bash as promised, so he had wandered around the campus, trying to see why she loved it so, why she picked it over Harvard. After a few hours he thought he understood the appeal; it was smaller, quieter, but the students no less dedicated, and the place had an atmosphere that just reminded him of Liz, of that look she would get in her eyes when she was thinking deeply about something, be it a person, something alien related, or academic.
Now, he was waiting less than patiently in his car so that he could follow her home, something that made him both anxious and excited for the inevitable confrontation to come. He’d considered flying into town so he could force her to sit in the same car with him, but didn’t want to risk her leaving him behind without a convenient way to follow. She didn’t usually flee from confrontation, but when she did, she was extremely good at it and he wanted to give her as little advantage as possible.
The click of heels on pavement could suddenly be heard past his rolled down window and he smirked as she stopped next to his door, frowning down at him with her hands on her hips. She opened her mouth and then closed it again, twice, before finally expelling a short burst of exasperated air and turning towards her own car, walking around the front and climbing into the driver’s seat. Shooting him one last glare, she pulled out of her spot and headed out of the parking lot at faster than really safe speeds. He chuckled and followed; she already knew it was a lost cause, if she wanted to resist until the end, well, as he’d noticed earlier, she was pretty darn sexy when she was pissed off, so he couldn’t say he minded.