A fan fiction story by Melpomene based on the characters and backstory of "Roswell" and composed without permission. No copyright infringement is intended and no monies have been earned.

“For he had learned some of the things that every man must find out for himself, and he had found out about them as one has to find out—through error and through trial, through fantasy and illusion, through falsehood and his own damn foolishness, through being mistaken and wrong and an idiot and egotistical and aspiring and hopeful and believing and confused.”
Thomas Wolfe from You Can’t Go Home Again

Lessons Learned

Michael stood just inside his apartment, the door standing open behind him. Memories of the previous night filled the cramped space. The candles he had scattered throughout the few small rooms were standing in all their molten and sweetly scented glory, the sheets on his bed were still rumpled from his night with Maria and he imagined if he were to lay down on them he would still be able to smell the lingering traces of her herbal shampoo, their long ago cold and untouched dinner still rested on the table, Scooby sat patiently waiting to be covered over.

He was home; he understood that now. This was home. Earth, New Mexico, Roswell, Maria. Home.

He wondered why he hadn’t really understood it before it was almost too late. Why had it taken him so long to realize Maria had given him everything he had ever wanted and desired? Not only had she given him a feeling of home and belonging, but she had done so more or less unconditionally.

Sure, she still pestered him about the little things, but when push came to shove she was right there at his side, her heart’s steely grip refusing to let him believe he was still all alone in the world, no matter how hard he tried to protect her and push her away.

He had not been entirely unprepared to see her standing outside the cave when he stepped out, it had only seemed right. Where else would she be when he was making possibly the most important decision of his life, but at his side, even if they had been separated by a wall of stone at the time and he hadn’t known she was there.

The truth of the matter was that when he was with her, he was home. He had fought against it for so long that he never noticed when she began to merge into his own heart and soul. He could no longer be sure where he stopped and she began; they had become too enmeshed in one another; was no longer sure when she claimed him, body and soul.

He thought back on that fateful day in September. The day Max Evans had changed all of their lives forever. He had hated him for it then, now he knew he owed Max a great deal of gratitude.

A thousand other instances flooded his mind: raging arguments, tearful silence, confusion and understanding. The one constant in it all was Maria, even when Max or Isabel were absent, Maria never was.

He had once thanked Liz for giving him one more reason to envy his best friend. He wasn’t sure when that envy was replaced by insight. There was no need, no reason, to envy Max, none at all.

He heard a car door slam shut somewhere behind him and smiled at the approaching footsteps and wafting scent of Cyprus and rosemary.

“Hey, Space-boy.”

Yeah, he was definitely home.

the end

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