It's All Madame Vivian's Fault!
By: Archangel1973 in collaboration with xmag
Disclaimer: Characters and plot lines that appeared in the series, the books, and the concept of Roswell are not mine. Belong to Melinda Metz, UPN, etc, etc…
Summary: Based on a challenge by xmag. Set prior to the Crashdown shooting. Just a short little fic about how Michael and Maria might have gotten together.
The desert air was cool as it blew through the open window but it did little to take the edge off of Maria Deluca's temper. She was certain she must have pissed off someone or something out there because lately she'd been having the worst string of luck when it came to dating. She'd just walked out on her Friday night date with Brian Halverson after he'd turned into an eight-handed octopus that expected her to put out on the first date. Her mom was a free spirit and apparently he had come to the conclusion that meant her daughter would be more than happy to have sex with him after a single date.
A single date! She huffed in disgust and ran a hand through her hair. Well, desperate times called for desperate measures. After walking out on her date she'd gotten in her car and driven around town for nearly half an hour before inspiration had struck. If she couldn't figure out what the problem was then she was going to someone who could. Her mom lived and breathed by Madame Vivian's advice. If it was good enough for Mom it was good enough for her!
The woman's house itself was fairly nondescript. If not for the red neon sign in the shape of a hand that flashed in her front window no one would know it was inhabited by a self-proclaimed fortuneteller. The lack of advertisement never seemed to hurt her business though; there was always someone there for a reading. She smiled as a man ducked out of the front entrance just as she parked at the curb. He probably didn't want anyone to know he'd stopped by to have his fortune told she decided as she grabbed her purse and climbed out of the car.
The door opened as she stepped up on the porch and Madame Vivian stood back to usher her in with a subtle nod. "I was expecting you, Maria."
Years ago the woman's greetings had spooked her. She hadn't known what to make of anyone who always seemed to know what you were going to do before you even knew you were going to do it. Nowadays it was commonplace and she didn't think to question it. She'd lost count of how many hours she'd spent at the woman's home while her mom sat through readings that were certain to guide her life in the right direction.
"You've come seeking direction."
See? It was spooky.
She followed the woman into the parlor, the interior darkened with the exception of the muted light that seemed to hang over the round table at the center of the room like some sort of mystical fog. She sat when she was directed to the second chair and she watched her host as she settled into her own chair, thinking as she had many times over the years that it looked like some kind of throne.
Madame Vivian closed her eyes for a moment, inhaling a slow deep breath to center herself before stretching her arms across the table on either side of the crystal ball that lay cradled in an ornate base. She looked expectantly at the young woman and nodded when she reached across to offer her hands up. She slowly turned those hands over, her practiced eyes scanning the lines that crossed the palms and easily determining the dominant hand. She began with the passive hand, her fingertips tracing over the lines, gathering information pertinent to the reading. After a few minutes she switched hands, her focus on the line that ran across the top of the palm.
"You are choosy when it comes to matters of the heart. This has created great difficulty in finding a suitable match."
Maria snorted. "You haven't seen what there is to choose from apparently."
Madame Vivian made no comment in response, simply moving on to the next important line. "You are creative and you crave adventure. What you seek will not be found with an average man."
She frowned as she leaned forward, twisting her head in an attempt to see what the woman was seeing, but she came up blank. They were just lines on her palm, how did that predict anything? She sighed and leaned back when the woman reached up and pressed a fingertip to her forehead. Maybe this had been a waste of time.
"You have a long life ahead of you, a life full of energy and good health."
She was pretty sure she could've gotten that prediction off of the back of a box of cereal.
"Ah," Madame Vivian breathed as her thumbs brushed over the fate line. "All is not lost, Maria. The love of your life is closer than you know."
"Really?" She leaned forward again, wide eyes studying the line the woman was so focused on.
The woman nudged her back out of the way again. "Yes, you already know him. You have known him for many years already."
She'd known him for many years already? Who could he be? That didn't necessarily narrow the pool of possibilities down because it was Roswell, and practically everyone knew everyone else. Well, she couldn't be talking about Alex, she determined. He was like her girlfriend.
"Yes, I see a tall man with hair that…" she shook her head as she tried to describe it. "His hair is crazy, uncontrollable." She studied the line as the images flashed before her eyes. "He has a volatile temper yet he is capable of great kindness." Her expression revealed her troubled thoughts as she slowly dragged one of her long fingernails over the deep line in the girl's palm. "There is something very strange about this man, something…" She leaned back and shook her head as she slowly released Maria's hands.
"Something that I have no words for." She stared at the young woman for several unnerving minutes. "You must be careful. He is the love of your life but his world is shrouded in secrets."
Maria drove in contemplative silence as she headed back into the heart of town. Time for a little round table discussion with her best friends, she decided as she reached over and turned the radio on. It never hurt to get their input on any situation because they often had good insight into whatever was going on in her life. She wasn't on schedule for the evening shift since she'd had a date but she knew Liz was working and Alex was certain to be hanging out.
Alex turned his head, glancing over his shoulder when the bell over the door jangled, announcing a new customer and his eyebrows lifted when he saw Maria come through the door. "Hey, I thought you had a date with Halverson?" He shot a pointed look at his watch. "It's not even nine o'clock yet."
"Unsuccessful date," Liz guessed as she breezed past them on her way to refill a customer's coffee cup.
"Yeah, you could say that," Maria said as she went behind the counter to fill a glass with her preferred soda. She gave them a recap of her evening after settling down next to Alex and she shrugged when she finished and he had the nerve to laugh. "What?"
"Maria, how can you believe this stuff?" Liz asked, not bothering to hide her laughter. "It's so obviously fake! She makes a living with her false predictions. Mediums, psychics, whatever, they don't exist for real."
"Gotta agree with Liz on this one," Alex agreed, his amusement with the situation drawing an annoyed look from her. Maria's mom had been following so-called predictions of more than one crazy prognosticator for years and her love life was a train wreck. Surely she didn't want to follow in those footsteps.
"You guys, this's different! Madame Vivian is the real deal." Okay, maybe she'd had her doubts over the years but there had been something about tonight's reading that had seemed so real. "Tonight was different," she insisted. "You weren't there, but if you had been, you'd know that what she said was true. She really saw something. How else would you explain her prediction that there's something strange about this guy who's supposed to be my great love?"
"Maria," Alex said patiently, "with the way your luck's been going lately the only strange thing about this guy is that he likes to dress up like a woman." He shook his head at her. "I mean, strange could mean a million different things, and it's so generalized that it probably means nothing. C'mon, there's something strange about everyone in one way or another."
Liz leaned on the counter as she considered what she could add that might be helpful. "Okay, so if you really believe Madame Vivian, maybe you could make a list of candidates and see who fits the bill. She said it's someone you know, right?"
And that gave Maria her next idea.
Back at home she curled up on her bed with a pen and a notepad. She went over the clues Madame Vivian had given her as she prepared to compile her list. "Okay," she muttered to herself, "just follow the clues. He's someone I know." Well, that could be any number of guys. It was a small town and there weren't that many people that she didn't know. "He's someone I've been close to." She wasn't really close to that many guys really and she'd already decided that Alex wasn't in the running. "Hmm, maybe that's more geography than actual closeness. So, probably a guy from school." She frowned as a thought hit her. Surely it had to be someone close to her age and not some old guy! She shook an image of some old forty-something guy out of her mind and went back to her list. "So it definitely has to be someone from school."
Okay, that was a place to start. It was logical and really, it made the most sense. She was sure if it was someone old Madame Vivian would've warned her. So… school. Whoever he is, he's tall, his hair's noticeable, he had a temper and he's weird. She pressed the tip of her pen to her notepad and began to write.
Ken Clovey? He was tall and he had a bad temper, but his hair was so normal. No, it couldn't be him.
John Burroughs? He was vertically challenged and there was that rumor that he'd been caught trying on a girlfriend's high heels. She shook off Alex's comment about the guy possibly being a cross-dresser and marked his name off of the list. No, it wasn't him.
Marcus Levine? He was tall but his hair was long. Nothing wild about his hair. He was one of those people who seemed to have been born too late, like he'd missed his chance to be a hippie in the seventies. Besides he was too laid-back and even-tempered. So no, it wasn't him either.
Who did that leave? She tapped her pen against the notepad thoughtfully and without consciously thinking about it she scrawled out the next name.
Michael Guerin? Her eyes widened when she saw what she had written. He was tall and he had hair that was beyond wild. He had a temper as she'd witnessed on several occasions. Oh, God, no! He was weird. Strange even. He was from the wrong side of the tracks and when he bothered to come to school he only hung out with two other kids, both from the wealthy side of town. Somehow that had never made sense to her. Talk about your opposites attracting!
Damn it! It couldn't be Michael Guerin. Could it? No way! The guy didn't even believe in basic hygiene and he always looked like he'd just rolled out of bed. He sat next to her in history class and his jeans were always covered in colorful stains and he smelled like paint thinner! And on top of that he was worse than just strange, he was scary!
Good Lord, she thought in horror, he fit the bill to a T. There was no way around it. She was doomed.