FanFic -
"Betty's V-Day Fanfic"
Part 1
by Betty
Disclaimer: This characters in this story are owned by the WB, Fox, and Jason Katims Productions. No infringement is intended.
Category: Contest
Rating: PG
Authors Note: This occurs after "The Balance"
Maria had just finished packing her bag full of books and heading out the door when she heard light banging from the kitchen. "Mom, I'm heading out. I won't be home for dinner tonight. I'll be working at the Crashdown."

"Hey, honey," exclaims her mother as she runs to the kitchen doorway. "I need help with some of the prop that are going to be used at the Parkers' V-Day party. I need you to drive them to the Crashdown on your way over..." Maria pauses. "What V-day party? Liz didn't mention anything about holding a party." Amy DeLuca laughs lightheartedly, "Yes, the Parkers wanted to keep the party under tight wraps so that we can all be surprised. So will you do it? All you have to do is drop this off with the Parkers."

"Oh, of course," was all she could manage. "I'll see you later."


Liz, Alex and Maria meet for lunch "Liz, so what's it all about?" Liz, looking as confused as Maria, "I'm not sure, but Dad said that I should invite all of you over for a Valentine's Day bash. I really don't know what's gotten into him, ever since that Looking-Under-the-Stars weekend, he comes back completely different!"

"All of you...." Maria chimed, not knowing whether or not she wanted to hear what she thought she wanted to hear. Liz only stated matter-of-factly, "Max, Michael, Isabel, you, of course (tapping Alex on the shoulder), Kyle. Actually, the Crashdown will be open. No real food will be served but there will definitely be hors d'oeurves"

"Any dancing involved?" Alex piped in. "Dad's forming a block party sorta thing. He's pushing it onto the streets. I don't know. Let's talk about it at the Crashdown after school. Alex, "I'll see you later then." A pinched look appeared on Maria's face as she had wanted to find out more, but nodded in agreement instead.

"I've got a package in my car that mom wanted me to drop off at the Crashdown, too." Liz begins to walk away as she sees Max emerging from a corner of the cafeteria. "Thanks, Maria. See you later. Max is heading over here so I'm going to ask him now. You're in charge of telling Michael." You could hear panic echoing in her voice through her entire body when she said, "What? I can't talk to him now. I mean, it's so awkward. You can't make me do this. You know, I'm not some little rubber duckie you could just squeeze and make it go, "Quack, Quack!"

"Calm down, Maria - gosh, you need to do this. Your channels are always crossed with him. You just need to find a good signal for him and then you'll get a clear picture of what's really happening between you two." Liz winks playfully at Maria, "I gotta go, Max is getting lost in the crowd." And then Liz was off, leaving Maria standing in the cafeteria, dumbfounded


"Max, Max, hi." Liz pauses as she catches her breath. She uses that moment to smile sweetly at him. Curiosity riddles Max's face, though it was pretty obvious that his other emotions played across his face. He reached inside his pocket and fingered the object inside.... "Listen, my dad had this crazy idea for throwing a Valentine's Day bash at the Crashdown. Everyone's invited." She pauses to examine Max's reaction. Max's eyebrows merely rose indicating a bit of surprise, but a slight frown edged the corners of his mouth. Liz suddenly realized that this was an act when she looked into his eyes and saw his eyes sparkle a crystal blue color. Trying not to notice, Liz continues, "Don't get me wrong, this isn't a date. I just really would like you to come and join us." After finishing the especially long sentence, she paused again for another breath.

"It sounds great, Liz. Count me in. I'm going to bring Isabel, that is okay, right?"

"Of course, she was my next victim!" With that remark, they both smiled at each other. After an eternal five seconds of silly gawking, "Um, the bash starts tomorrow around sunset." Liz begins to walk away, "I'll see you there."

As Max slowly regains his walking ability, he puts his hands in his pocket and begins fingering that thing again. "Maybe tomorrow then." He thought.


It was eighth period and Maria, sitting in on her last class, could feel an itch of anticipation dancing along her forehead. She glanced out the window to escape the drone of Mr. Rucker's voice and to her utter amazement, she found Michael peering into the classroom she was sitting in. "Oh boy," Maria thought as the itch began to form itself into a headache. "Oh boy." was all she could think about. The final bell rang just then and Maria raced out to find Michael. Befuddled, Maria scratched her head when she reached the spot Michael last stood and wondered where the heck he had gone off. A warm hand on Maria's shoulder sent wild fires roaring up and down her neck and spine. Not literally, of course. But that was how Maria felt as she knew whose arm it belonged to.

"Are you looking for me?" She heard Michael saying. Damn it, damn it... his words seem to vibrate from his body, through his arm and into her body like electrical currents. "I don't want to feel this way. I need some control..." Maria kept thinking.

"Hey, yeah.... I just wanted to, ah, tell you (swallow) that there's a party going on at the Crashdown. It's called V-Day, for obvious reasons. Everyone's invited, but closer friends especially. Ah, it was Liz's dad's idea." She made it a bit of a habit of nodding her head up and down as she talks, as though that would make her words come out easier and more comprehensible. Maria nodded her head up and stopped as she realized what she was doing and simply finished off by saying, "Would you be able to make it?"

It was odd, the first few seconds. Maria observed Michael as not the same sarcastic I-hate-the-world Michael, but a softer, more laid back let-the-river-flow kind of attitude and this made Maria relax. "Hank's tying me down; he's got this money-making sch..." his voice trails off.... Maria's face falls slightly but revives when she realizes that the conversation was depressing him.

"It's okay, I mean, it's noisy and it'll probably going to be way crowded...(pause) are you okay?"

Michael, blinking away his spacey look said, "I'm sorry... but thanks for asking..." He takes a moment to absorb his feelings and emotions and then backs away from Maria, "Gotta go."


Alex sits at the Crashdown counter looking content. The Crashdown was closed early tonight to prep up for tomorrow night's big event. "Nice - very nice. Your mom really makes great stuff." The ceilings were littered with green alien-heads, moon and star-shaped balloons. The place didn't look at all like something out of a horror show. Amy DeLuca did a fabulous job with the Valentine decorations. From below and behind the counter, Maria's voice is muffled and distracted. She was busying herself with unpacking some of the food that her mom had prepared. "Yeah, mom's a little crazy when you tell her to "Use your imagination.""

Maria emerges from below and props her hands onto the counter. "So, who are you asking to the party?" Alex twirls his counter seat back and forth, back and forth, calm and seemingly oblivious of the question. Finally, "I'm not worried about it."

In walks Max and Isabel as Alex finished his last sentence. "Oh hey guys," Maria offered. "You guys know about V-Day right?"

"Yeah, we do. Actually, that's part of the reason why we came here. We wanted to ask Alex if he wants to come with us after our group project session. So what will it be Alex? Yes, No?"

Seeing that none of this concerns Maria, she went back to kneeling on the floor, rearranging stuff. "God, Isabel could be so pushy at times," thought Alex. "Sure, sounds like a great idea. I'll see you at study session."

Max and Isabel said their farewells and left. Meanwhile, Maria gets up and reappears at the counter with a box full of jars. "Now where did all those nuts go...?"

Sipping a soda while daydreaming of Isabel, Alex was only able to understand half of what Maria was saying. He looked at her strangely, "Ah, they just left, but you know, Maria, that's not very nice of you to say about them."

Maria stopped what she was doing and looked dully at Alex. "I meant real nuts." Alex backed away a bit, "Alright, alright. Sorry I wasn't paying much attention." Maria, still searching, mumbles, "Forget it." And then, "Ah, ha! Maybe it's in the box Mom told me to deliver today." Maria tugged at the box below the counter and tossed it onto the table closest to Alex. "Open it" Alex said.

The sound of tape tearing off of the box was Maria's response. Alex peered into the box with mild interest. "Your mom left a note." Inside the box was a note informally addressed to Liz's father instructing him on what to do with the contents. This was what the note had said:

Dear Mr. Parker,

I'm so excited about this V-day bash. I've had lots of fun preparing for it. In this box you will find my latest "creation". It's ten little alien cupids! Aren't they the cutest things?? I thought it would be fun if we could hang them up on the ceiling and make like they were mistletoes! The idea is for you to put up five mistletoe cupids anywhere you wish and then have your wife put up the other five. Can't let you miss out on all the fun!

Sincerely, Amy

Both Alex and Maria started rummaging the box, Maria ohhing and ahhing while Alex picks them up and sets each one side by side on the table. "Hmmm, what would this be? Alex asked quizzically.

Nestled between the bottom flaps of the box was an old envelope and note inside of it. He pulled the envelope out from the box to find that a quarter of the envelope had been torn off. Some lettering ran off of the part of the letter that was torn off. Maria pulled the envelope closer to her face when she pronounced, "V-I-A-G-R-A??" Alex almost doubled over. "Let me see that."

It didn't take Maria long to realize she misunderstood when Alex did double over laughing. She slapped his shoulder, irritated, "What?"

"Look, it's 'VIA Ground" as in Via ground mail - the envelope tore so you couldn't see the last four letters. Plus this person's penmanship is much to be desired."

"Humph" was all Maria could throw back at him as she pulls out the note attached.


I remember the wonderful story you told me yesterday about the alien Zio and its lover, Mareon. Star-crossed literally! I almost cried all night! I love sharing these stories with you everyday, especially when I'm able to be held so safely in your arms. I just get the warm fuzzies all over! Milton, thank you for... your love. (Maria cringed at the very thought.)

Your beloved, Amy XXXX

"Ewww!" Maria cried and let the note fall to the table as Alex tries to retrieve it.

"That is the mushiest love note I have ever read. Yuck. My own mother!" Alex skims it and proceeds to REALLY fall to the floor laughing. Maria watches him queerly. Through giggles, Alex was able to explain himself, "You really don't know who this Milton guy is?" (Maria shakes her head.) "You know the UFO tourist spot where Max works? Well, Milton's his eccentric boss!" Alex continues laughing hysterically. It's no wonder your mom makes all these alien knick-knacks!"

Embarrassed, Maria picks up on of the cupids and throws it at Alex. "Get out of here you. Get out." She will definitely have to speak to her mother tonight!


The next day at the V-day Bash, everyone's having a good time drinking and eating. Liz is with Maria, talking and laughing about the Alien Cupids already dangling in the air. "I am NOT going to kiss you Maria." Liz winks at Maria and they both fall into a giggly fit.

"Just make sure you're under one when 'ole Max comes along." Just then, Liz sees Alex appear behind Maria and smacks a kiss on Maria's cheek. "It's just fun getting a rise out of you." Alex chirps and made a run for it. Maria, true to her nature, runs after Alex, leaving Liz laughing by the counter. Because she was having so much fun watching Alex and Maria, Liz didn't even notice Max and Isabel coming in. Isabel didn't need Max to say anything - she just knew and walked her way towards some friends she knew. Max reached Liz and they both greeted each other amicably. "Your dad really knows how to throw a party."

"Yeah, mom's having everyone write love notes and throwing them into two bags, male and female. It's like a secret Santa; all the men grab a note from the women's bag and vise versa. Let's them have fun laughing at their own writings! By the way, thanks for coming... I mean, I know we're friends and I'm happy things are good between...." Max pulls out the object that he had in his pocket since a week before. "So here's to celebrating new friendship..." he opens the heart-shaped box of chocolates and holds one up for Liz to bite. Liz takes it and stares at him seductively. She pulls him over to the end of the counter and gives Max a peck on the cheek.

"What was that for?" Max said awkwardly. Liz, shyly, "Well, the rule is, if you're standing under the Alien Cupid (Liz points upwards), you've been struck buy his love arrow and you're supposedly head over heels in love with me. And, it's Valentine's Day. Humor me." Max smiles and comments, "Your parents hadn't gotten over that Christmas has already passed.... Let's go dance." Max takes Liz's hand before she could object... ++++++ Isabel watched as Alex sat awkwardly by himself with the "What am I doing here" look. She decided to go save him. "Red Martian Cocktail" was what Isabel said to Alex when she reached him. Confused yet again, Alex doesn't say anything but, "Hmmm?" Isabel smiled at her success at his confusion. "He's always such a smart guy. Good to see him stumped once in a while..." She thought. "I want you to make me a Red Martian Cocktail." Isabel said. More confused then ever, Alex inquires, "What makes you think I know how to make a Red Martian whatever?" Isabel rolls her eyes and pulls him off his seat and drags him over to the kitchen. Isabel walks over to the utility table and says, "Now, pay close attention to what I'm doing." Alex listens and watches attentively while Isabel begins to pull things out of the refrigerator and then line them up in front of Alex. Tomato juice, ice, strawberries and cranberries were spread out on the table. They then stood there motionless, each waiting for the other to say something.... Finally, Alex broke the silence, "So, how does all this (waving an arm over the items) factor into making the "Red Devil> Cocktail."

"I have no idea. (pause) I just pulled out anything I could find and wah lah, a non-alcoholic Red Martian Cocktail!" Isabel answered. Her lips formed a mischievous grin as Alex realized that she was just making a joke and so he decided to play along. Alex grabs a meat tenderizer and pretends to hack away at the ice; Isabel stands along side him, laughing. Maria watched from the swinging door windows of the kitchen doorway and she felt somewhat dejected. She felt a bit depressed knowing that Michael and her would never be able to be together like that. Suddenly, a little boy no more than 7 years old ran over to Maria and said, "I really, really need to go to the bathroom. (He makes a little jiggly dance while holding the sides of his pants.) Could you please bring me, please?"

"Sure kiddo." And she took him by the hand towards the side of the Crashdown. Upon reaching the bathroom, Maria saw a dark figure standing by the payphone. She was stunned to find that the figure belonged to Michael and so she felt her heart stings being pulled ten different ways. Michael just stood there waiting for her to go to him, which of course, she did. Maria momentarily forgot that she was guiding the child to the bathroom until Michael said, "Good job kid, I'll bring you to a ball game next week okay?" As soon as the little boy went off, Maria exclaimed, "You mean, he was a decoy? And I thought you couldn't make it..."

She lost the words had wanted to say when she gazed into Michael's eyes. The music was playing loudly and the people were laughing merrily. There were swarms of people coming through but the noise and everything around Maria and Michael couldn't break the magic between them. Michael didn't answer Maria; instead, he pulled her toward him, just a little too swiftly, a little too forcefully. Maria felt his arms circle her waist and she melted into his grip, her eyes never leaving his. Michael couldn't resist coming into the Crashdown after he took a peek at Maria. She was dressed in dark pants and a pastel pink boat-neck shirt, which made Maria look stunning. Michael was so taken aback, he was speechless. Michael took her by the hand and led her beeline out onto the sidewalk. When he found his voice, low and husky, he said, "I've got something to show you."

The sun was just coming down, creating a hue of various colors - golden yellow, red, dark gray. The noise generated by the crowds on the street ceased as Michael and Maria neared the outskirts of their town. Towards the end of the block began an empty tree-lined playground. Michael suddenly stopped and told Maria to close her eyes. She looked at him once, squeezed her hands tightly over his and complied. "I'm going to lead you over here. You have to keep your eyes closed until I tell you to." Michael said. Maria nodded and cautiously moved alongside Michael.

After a minute, he stopped and said, "I'm going to bring your hand up but keep your eyes closed." He ran his hand over Maria's smooth fingers and laid them out over a very rough surface. Maria immediately recognized the feeling of tree bark. Maria must have been concentrating intensely because she had left her eyes remained closed. Michael slowly maneuvered her hands over the bark a few times, making sure she felt certain grooves and indents on the bark. "You can open your eyes now." Michael said softly.

Maria's eyes fluttered a little and then focused on what stood in front of her. Sullenness clouded her eyes, betraying the feelings she actually felt deep in her heart, mind and soul. Michael stood behind her, wrapping his strong arms securely around her. She leaned in closer to Michael and pulled his arms closer around her, letting him know that she needed him more than anything or anyone in the world. They stood there for a very long time, running their fingers over the bark because it was so special to both of them. What was it that made this tree so special?

On the surface of the bark, lyrics of an old Eagle's song was etched into the wood:

"I was standing All alone against the world outside You were searching For a place to hide Lost and lonely Now you've given me the will to survive When we're will keep us alive

Don't you worry Sometimes you've just gotta let it ride The world is changing Right before your eyes Now I've found you There's no more emptiness inside"

Beneath these lyrics a heart was carved and the symbols "M & M" burned into it.


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