FanFic - Contest Stories
"On the Flip Side"
Part 1
by deah
Disclaimer: : Original Characters and Storylines are the property of Warner Bros, Jason Katims Productions, Twentieth Century Fox, FOX, Regency Television and Melinda Metz.
Summary: After Michael pops in to watch movies, Maria begins to wonder what it's like to be alone. During a dream she is taken on a journey that leads to understanding of what's like to be Michael.
Category: Contest Stories
Rating: PG-13
It was beyond her why Michael showed up at 8 o'clock with movies. He was acting strange. Well, stranger than usual. Her mom had let him in. She had taken a deep breath, ready to launch into her young-horomonally-charged-guy-better-not-be-here-with-those-intentions speech when Michael had totally disarmed her. He was as polite as Michael could possibly be. She really wished she had the whole scene on video. Michael polite? It was like Haley’s Comet, it wouldn't happen for another 75 years. He had flopped down next to her on the couch. "I brought some movies," He announced in that oh-so-Michael way. She was ready to ask why exactly he decided to pop in, when her mom interrupted.

"I'll be in the kitchen. So, no funny business." God, her mom had the worst timing. Like they were gonna have a make-out fest after what happened the last time she caught Michael in the house. Yeah, right, mom.

Michael put in the video. "So, what are we watching? Beach Bunnies Do Vegas?" She asked, smirking.

"It was out." Michael pressed played and sat back down. Maria picked up the tape case. Oh, this was worse than Bunnies in Vegas. A B-rated horror flick. He had to be kidding. She looked at him. Ok, this was Michael. Not exactly the prime example of good taste. He caught her staring at him.

"It's a cult classic."

"Was there nothing else? Attack of The Killer Tomatoes or The Blob, perhaps?" Maria sarcastically quizzed, throwing the case aside. The title danced across the screen, Alice on the Flip Side. Maria let out a groan.

"You'll live." Michael ran his hand through his hair. It was perfectly timed to the lousy music that accompanied the opening credits.

"Don't be so sure. Michael, this isn't Canaan film festival material. I doubt Alex would even watch this." Just then her mom let out a squeal from the other room and came rushing in.

"Oh! It's Alice on the Flip Side! I haven't seen that in years. Maria, this is a classic." Her mom said, sitting down on the other side of her. Michael gave her that I-told-you-so look. This was jumping from bad to worse in like hyper-lightspeed. "Pause it a minute, Michael. I'll make some popcorn." Her mother rushed out of the room as Michael hit pause.

"Perfect. Me, my mom and you. Could this get anymore Twilight Zone?"

Michael shook his head in disgust. I can't believe this, she thought, he finally comes over, uses the front door no less, and he subjects her to this. "Why didn't you bring this delightful little slice of Hell over to Max and Isabel's?"

"It's family night over there. I just really didn't feel like watching it alone, ok?" He looked away, avoiding her sympathetic gaze. She knew he hated it when she felt sorry for him, but she couldn't help it.

She touched his hand. "I know."

"No, you don't. You have billions of your species running around. There's only three of us. When they aren't around, I'm alone. Really alone." He moved his hand away from hers. God, she wished she did know what it was like. Maybe then she could make him feel better.

Her mom came back in with two big bowls of popcorn. She handed Michael one. "This way we don't have to pass it back and forth. Oh! The soda." She ran back into the kitchen, giving Michael time to generously sprinkle his popcorn with Tabasco Sauce.

His words kept running through Maria's mind, 'Really alone.' She had never been truly alone. There was always Liz and Alex. If they weren't around, then there was her mom. She couldn't fathom what it would be like. Even the Evans had it better. He was right. He was really alone.

By the time she had snapped out of her thoughts, her mother had came back in and Michael had started the movie. It was terrible. It's like Alice got caught in Bizaaro World, Maria thought, give the girl some tights and a cape, at least.

She felt her eyelids start to droop. She had worked first shift at the Crashdown today and the customers had been on a real power trip. Everything was too cold or too rare. By the time she got off she wondered where the tire marks were that the Mac Truck had left. Maybe she'd just sleep a little.

Maria snuggled closer to Michael and rested her head on his shoulder. She caught him giving her mom an anxious look, but Amy DeLuca was too far gone to notice. He slid his arm around her and she smiled. This felt good. She was glad he brought the stupid movie over.

Just as she was drifting off to sleep, she heard her mom scream. Geez, could she calm it down a little? The movie wasn't that scary. She hadn't even opened her eyes, when she felt something hitting her. What was going on?

She managed to open her eyes a crack. She was laying nearly on top of Michael in her bed. Ok, she definitely didn't remember this. She looked over to her mother. She was red faced and looked like she was going to kill her.

"Get off my son, you hussy!" Her mom yelled. Her son? What? Maria stared at her like she had went crazy. Then it dawned on her. This was the exact thing that had happened when she found them in bed together. Was she dreaming?

"Mom, I can explain," She stammered.

"Oh, now she's calling me mom! Michael, get her out of here before I do something I'll regret!" This wasn't what happened. What in the crap was going on? Michael looked at her helplessly. The sympathy was in his eyes. She never realized how it felt. She didn't want his sympathy. She wanted his help!

"You better go. I'll explain it to her." Maria nodded and moved to the door. Tears welled up in her eyes. Her mom had never called her a hussy - ever. She walked out of her front door. Where would she go? Michael wizzed past her. How did he get out here so quick?

"Michael!" She called.

Michael looked at her blankly. "I'm late. Gotta run. Really, really late." He got in the Jetta and took off.

Late for what? And why was he driving her mom's car? She glanced around. The town was dead, which was unusual for a tourist trap. She wanted to scream, but then an idea came to her. If anyone knew what was going on, it would be Liz. She could make sense of anything. Wasn't she the one who accepted the whole alien thing so well? She would help her. She could always count on Liz.

She headed for the Crashdown in a full run. It wasn't too far from her house. In a matter of minutes, she was there. She threw open the door, startling a few customers and Mr Parker, who was standing at the counter.

"Mr Parker, thank God! Is Liz around? I've really got to talk to her!" Maria spit out in a rush.

"You know Lizzy?"

Her mouth dropped open. He didn't recognize her? He had known since she a little kid. Did the whole town suffer from some kind of weird amnesia? Nasedo! It had to be his work.

"I...I..." She stuttered.

Mr Parker's face broke out in a wide grin. "Oh, you must be one of her kids. She's at the High School, hon."

Maria backed out of the Crashdown. What was Liz doing at school on a Saturday? She decided to check it out pronto.

When she got to the school, she immediately spotted Alex. He was sitting on the steps, strumming his guitar. What a relief! Alex was level-headed, he'd tell her if she was going crazy. She sat down next to him.

"Hey, Alex, did something happen last night? Everyone's acting really weird."

Alex slowly lifted his head to her. "Who are you?" He asked in a distant, slow voice, then strummed his guitar for emphasis.

"Maria. You know, cute best friend. Kind of wacky, but always fun." He didn't answer. He tuned his guitar instead. "Alex, what's wrong?"

He looked at her with disinterest. "Why?" The guitar cords rang out.

"Oh, I don't know, cause you're acting flakier than usual." This was getting her nowhere. Maybe his obsession with Isabel had finally thrown over the edge. She told Liz that they should try to confront him about it!

"Who are you?" He repeated in the flat voice, followed by his fingers moving across the strings. Pod People! Oh yeah, Nasedo had turned everyone into Pod People!

She was really worried now. If Alex was zoned out this bad, then what was Liz like? "Where's Liz?"

"Why?" Guitar cue.

"Because I want to see her."

"I see...just what is your business with her." She quickly reached out her hand and covered the strings before he mechanically played them again. He didn't even notice.

What business did she have with Liz? Think, Maria, she commanded. "I'm one of her kids." She announced.

"Oh." Alex moved against the cords, but no sound came since her hand was still there.

She sighed and shook her head. Frustration pouring out of her. No use to try to pull anything out of him, she thought. She got up and took one last pitiful glance. Whatever Nasedo did to Alex, he was gonna undo, she vowed.

She walked into the school, where she instantly heard Liz's voice. Her body relaxed as she followed it. Liz sounded ok. Maybe a little monotoned, but she sounded like that when she got tired. Maria found herself outside of the Chemistry lab. Several students were staring at Liz. Their faces held no expression. More Pod People, Maria deduced.

"The atomic weight of Nickel is 58.71. The atomic weight of Niobium is 92.906. The atomic weight of Nitrogen is 14.0067." Liz's voice droned on. She sounds like Ben Stein, Maria thought. I know she's into science, but this is horrible!

"Liz," she softly called.

"The atomic weight of Osmium is 190.2. The atomic weight of Oxygen is 15.9994." She continued, without acknowledging Maria.

Oh God! Nasedo podded her, too. Maria slid down the hallway wall outside of the class. Tears began to spill from her eyes. What was she going to do without Liz? She really had no one. Her tears flooded her vision. It dawned on her that she didn't feel them on her cheeks. "The atomic weight of Rubidium is 85.47." She heard Liz's computer voice recite, as she touched her cheek. Dry. Why was her tears drying up? She sniffed. I gotta get out of here, she decided, and ran out of the school.

Where would she go? As she was contemplating this, Michael ran past her. He was flushed.

"Michael! Wait!" She yelled.

"Can't. Gotta go. I'm late. Late, late, late!" He replied in a hurry. She thought about following him, but he sped off in the Jetta. What was he late for? Geez, maybe he had been hitting the Tabasco Sauce way too much.

She made her mind up. She was finding Nasedo. He had to make everything normal again. She didn't know how she was going to make him, but she would.

Now, who would have an idea of where he was? No one! Wait, perhaps Sheriff Valenti might have a clue. He had to realize something was wrong. She took off for the Police Station. She was so tired. She just wanted to be back home again, watching Michael's stupid movie.

She saw the Sheriff and Kyle sitting outside the station. They were grinning ear to ear. This doesn't look good, she thought. She noticed both were wearing beanies. Beanies?! They looked ridiculous. This was a joke. That's it! Everyone is playing a joke on me. Well, just let them go with it and I'll have the last laugh, she smiled.

"Hi, Kyle...Sheriff."

"Hello, young lady." The Sheriff greeted in a sing-song fashion.

"Sooooo, what have you been up to? I suppose you have no idea who I am." She flashed them a superior look.

"Why," began the Sheriff.

"We have no clue." Kyle finished happily.

The duo links arms and swung around. "We have simply no clue." They sang. "We are father and son...father and son...we like to watch pretty girls cause it's loads of fun. We are father and son...father and son...we like to follow aliens, see them squeal and run. We are father and son...father and son...we wish we knew you but it just can't be done."

Maria stared at them in awe. This was what Nasedo had reduced the Valenti's to?! Singing idiots? She turned and ran away. This whole thing was surrealistic.

She stopped outside of her house, breathing heavy. She tried the door. Locked. She pulled out her vial of cedar oil. If there was any time she needed it, this was it. She took a long sniff and her head began to swim. This never happened before. Did she pick up the wrong vial? If she could just open the door! She pressed her hand against it and as she did she noticed a glow coming from it. The door instantly exploded. Splinters of wood going everywhere. She walked in, trying to concentrate, but her hand was still glowing. Within seconds the TV had been blown up, followed by the coffee table, a lamp and her mother's favorite painting. What was she going to do?! She couldn't control her powers.

Just then she noticed a bottle rolling across the floor. It stopped at her feet. She quickly picked it. Tabasco Sauce. There was a tag attached. Drink me. She was willing to drink a gallon if it would stop her from destroying her mother's whole house. She took a big swig of it. Not too bad. If she only had some chocolate.

The glow coming from her hand had stopped. She was temporarily relieved until she heard a startled gasp from behind her. She turned to see Michael. He looked at her with wild eyes.

"What are you?" He asked, staring at her like her head had spun around a few hundred times.

"Michael, it's me, Maria. I think Nasedo did something to everybody. Don't worry, I'm gonna take care of it."

Michael continued to stare at her, backing slowly away. "You're a monster! Get away from me!"


"Stay where you are!" He screamed, then looked at his watch. "I'm late!" He ran out, forgetting about the stunned Maria and the destroyed house.

So, this was it. She was an alien. She had Michael's powers. Maria wondered what Nasedo's big plan was. Why would he rob Michael of his powers? Oh, this was a nightmare! She couldn't talk to Liz or Alex cause Nasedo had already worked his voodoo on them. She had no one to turn to. Who would help an alien?

"Max!" She shouted to herself. He wouldn't kick her away or be repulsed.

She was on her way to his house when her eyes caught a figure in the street. As she got closer, she realized it was Max. Hallelujah! Salvation!

Maria walked up to him. He doesn't look surprised to see me, she noted. But he did look happy. He was grinning a hideous grin. Had Kyle slipped him alcohol again? God, she hoped not. She needed him focused.


"Howdy do, neighbor!" Max beamed.

"Max, I'm an alien."

"Yeah, so? You want a medal?" He laughed.

"You're still one, right?" Her heart pounded. Please let him be an alien. Please!

"Ah, hmmm...nope, don't think so. You're not looking for an alien, anyway." Max informed her. That grin plastered on his face.

"I'm not?"

"Nopey dopey, you looking for Michael. He was late, you know."

Could she slap that smile from his face, she wondered. "For what? What was he late for?"

"If I knew that, then I wouldn't be here," he slowly answered.

"Huh?" Maybe just a few blows to the head would cure him. She could go back and get that broken door and...

Max cleared his throat, bringing her out of her thoughts. "Nasedo knows if anyone knows," he paused, "But he's..." Max's finger circled his ear, motioning the universal sign for nuts.

"Is there anyone else who could help me?"

"River Dog."

She had forgotten about him! River Dog was the man to talk to. "Of course, he's crazy, too." Max announced, laughing. She could count every tooth in his head. He was even creepier than the rest of them.

She had to take her chances with River Dog. How was she going to get there? She saw the Jeep behind Max. "Can I borrow your Jeep?"

The grin was killing her. "That's not my Jeep, you silly alien!"

Fine. She climbed in the Jeep. No key. She took the vial of cedar oil out, taking a small sniff. She pressed her hand to the ignition and the car started. Immediately she grabbed the Tabasco Sauce, drinking it. Ok, no damage done this time. She could handle this. As Maria drove away she could hear Max's voice singing "It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor..." She briefly thought about hitting him with the Jeep to end his misery. This will all stop once I see River Dog, she reminded herself.

Night was approaching fast, Maria thought as she drove. She didn't want to be in Roswell, alone. Especially at night. Where would she sleep? She was becoming weary. What if they never snapped out of it? What if she was an alien forever? She would be alone. No one would ever be her friend. She began to cry. Liz and her would never have heart to hearts. Alex would never go on and on about dodgeball. Michael would never kiss her because he thought she was a monster. She shook off the thought as she pulled into the reservation. She didn't remember it being this close.

She jumped out of the Jeep and gazed around. It looked deserted. There was one tent with a light coming from it. As she walked up to it she heard laughter. River Dog, laughing? Maria nearly stumbled over a mass of blankets. She was shocked when Eddie poked his head out. His eyelids were half closed. Been dabbling in the peyote, Eddie? She bent down next to him.

"Eddie, are you ok?"

"First star I've seen tonight." He giggled. Had he smoked the whole peace pipe himself?


Eddie raised his head and supported it with his hands. "Star girl. Twinkle twinkle, star girl." He laid back down and covered his body in the blankets.

Star girl? Alien. Geez, had everyone been zapped? She opened the tent flap. River Dog was sitting around the fire with another guy. She didn't recognize him, but he wasn't Native American.

"River Dog?" She moved into the tent. He jerked his head up and smiled.

"Come in. Everyone is welcome here." He waved his hand, gesturing for her to sit down. "This is my friend, Nasedo."

"Nasedo!" She almost jumped out of her skin. This was the big bad Nasedo? His clothes could have been tailor made by the Skittle's rainbow. Then there was the goofy top hat. The Whits had better fashion sense than this guy. "I want to know what is going on? Why is everyone acting like they've lost their mind? And why did you give me Michael's powers? You better have a good explanation, bub. I'm not scared." But she was. She didn't know if he'd make her worm food or not. Her anger was outweighing the fear though. She had never been this mad in her whole life. He had robbed her of everyone she loved. He was going to turn them back!

"Why! We're drinking Sage Tea, my dear. This girl looks like she needs some, Rivey. Pass her a cup." His voice was perfectly jovial.

She took the cup River Dog handed her. "Let's try this, again. Why is everyone different?"

"Everyone is different? I thought they were the same. Or maybe they're different and you're the same. No matter. Same, different. Different, same. You're you, their them. Their many, you're one." He chuckled. "I'm confused. Are you confused? No matter. Drink your tea, it's getting cold."

She moaned. He was crazy, too. "Are you an alien?"

"An alien? Why are you?"

Maria nodded, causing River Dog to get to his feet in a flash. "Oh! Oh! An alien! We must hide her! If the Mayor found out, she'd take her apart!"

"Take me apart?" She echoed.

"Look in there." He pointed to her body. "We must hide you!"

Nasedo shook his head and leaned close to River Dog. "I think she's mad." He told him in a loud whisper.

"Of course I'm mad! All my friends don't know who I am. My mom thinks Michael is her son. I'm stuck with these lousy powers, that by the way, I can't control. My house looks like a nuclear bomb decided to hatch in it and I'm alone." She put her head in her hands.

"Now, now, girl. We will help you." Nasedo promised. He motioned to River Dog.

River Dog approached her, grabbing her wrists. "We'll take you to the Mayor. She'll put you somewhere until the craziness passes."

"I'm not crazy!" Maria yelled.

"You said you were mad yourself!" Nasedo pointed out. "We can't have a crazy person running around. What would become of Roswell?"

"I'm an alien, you nitwits!"

Nasedo and River Dog giggled. Eddie stuck his head in. "Twinkle, twinkle, star girl. Just a diamond in a bunch of rocks." Nasedo and River Dog laughed harder as Eddie's head fell to the ground. Obviously, he had passed out again.

Maria came to her senses and pulled her hand loose from River Dog's grasp. She had to leave before she became an alien autopsy photo in The UFO Center. She crept out quietly. She could hear their mad laughter as she got into the Jeep. Before she started the engine she saw River Dog come outside.

"She's getting away!" He yelled to Nasedo.

"No matter. Our Sage tea is getting cold," answered Nasedo. Maria let out a sigh.

She drove back to town, depressed. No one was in sight when she got there. She decided to park the Jeep and walk. House after house was lit. Families were laughing together, looking happy. She use to be one of them. Now, she was on the outside, looking in. She just wanted to go to sleep in her own bed. She didn't have a bed anymore or a family or any friends. She sat down and leaned against a light pole. She took a small, quick sniff of cedar oil. At least she could amuse herself. She planted glowing hand prints all around her, then drank a little Tabasco Sauce.

She watched the hand prints fade. Was this the life she was left with? If she could just go home...

"Watcha doin'?"

Maria looked up to see Max leaning over her. His hideous smile very much in place. "I'm wishing I could go home."

"Are you sure?" He questioned.

"Yes, yes, yes! A million times yes!"

Max pointed over to the Crashdown. "I found Michael."

She shook her head. "I don't care! It isn't really Michael and you're not really Max."

"Watch." Max commanded. She looked over at the Crashdown. Michael came rushing out of the door. He glanced one way and then another. He must be lost, she concluded. "Don't you think you should help him? Hmmmm..."

Maria really didn't like the way Michael looked. Lost, confused. She wanted to help him, but what if he turned her into the Mayor? Worse than that, what if rejected her? She sat there staring at him. It's Michael, she told herself. She slowly stood up. Max gave a nod of approval as she crossed the street.

"Michael? Michael, are you lost?" She asked in a tight, almost scared voice.

"I'm late and I can't find my way." He hung his head in dejection.

"Tell me where you want to go and I'll help you." She rested her hand on his shoulder. He seemed like he was going to cave when shouts rang out from the street. Maria whipped around. Isabel was running her hand along the Jeep.

"Someone used my Jeep!" She screamed. "I want to know, who used my Jeep?!"

Michael covered his eyes with his hand. "The Mayor. Don't let her see me! I'm late for her manicure." Maria stepped in front of him.

Isabel and a crowd that had gathered around her, started walking towards them. "You, there. Who are you?" Isabel shouted.

"Maria." She replied. Isabel looked into Maria's eyes as a sneer formed on her lips. "You took my Jeep."

"I didn't know it was yours." She insisted. Was Isabel really going to dissect her? God, how could she make this end?!

Isabel ran a fingernail down Maria's face. "What's this?!" She asked as she took the bottle of Tabasco Sauce from her jacket. "An alien!"

", I just found that." Fear was growing in Maria.

Isabel smiled. "Milton!"

Milton came to attention. "Yes, Mayor?"

"Take her to The UFO Center. Find what you can about the alien before the FBI sends in the dogs."

Milton reached out for her. It was all over. She was going to die alone. No one was there to save her. As Milton's hand closed in, Michael grabbed her by the jacket and pulled her into The Crashdown.

"Go up the steps and down the fire escape." He instructed, while locking the door.


"Just go!" She glanced at the door, nervously. Isabel and Milton were finding something to break the glass. She had to hurry. In a quick movement she slid her hand into Michael's hair and kissed him. If this was their last kiss, she had to make it count. She felt his hands go up her back as she deepened the kiss. Safe. It was the one word that came to her mind as he pulled her closer. She didn't want to remember that anyone was after her, that her friends were Pod People or that she was alone. She just wanted to be normal. That kiss allowed the illusion. While her lips were firmly on Michael's it was safe.

Her knees were weak when she finally let go of his mouth. He ran his hand across her cheek. "You have to go." He softly urged.

She nodded and ran towards the stairs. She flew up them, heading into Liz's room. She was at the window. Almost home free. She tried to step out of it, but the jacket was caught on something. Maria glanced back to check it out. It was a hand...a hand attached to Isabel's arm!

"You're coming with us." Isabel announced. Maria pulled as hard as she could. The jacket gave way, causing her to fall out the window. As she hit her head on concrete, the sounds of her friends enveloped her. She could hear Liz laughing with Max. Alex talking in his suave way with Isabel. And Michael...Michael saying that he was alone. Then everything went dark.

"So, you're awake?" Michael asked, looking down at her. She had her arm wrapped around his chest and her head buried into his shoulder. "You're mom went to bed. She said I could stay for another movie."

Her mom. She was home! It was a dream. She gazed around, focusing on the TV. "Alice on the Flip Side: Part Two" the letters shouted out. She exhaled a long breath.

"We can watch something else, if you want." He suggested, noticing the object of her gaze.

She smiled sweetly up to him. "Nah, I want to see what happens to Alice."

He shook his head like she said a totally Maria thing. She loved that. She grabbed a handful of the Tabasco Sauce popcorn and shoved it in her mouth. He raised his eyebrows at her. Tears welled up in her eyes. He let out a muffled laugh. "Just be you, Maria." He said, handing her a soda.

Just be me, she thought, snuggling closer to him. You're not alone anymore, Michael. I'll always watch B-rated movies with you.

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