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Could Have Saved Her Could Have Saved Him

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Liz sat up cold towards the end of their double date with Alex and Michael. They were just sitting around chatting now. She's not sure what they were talking about that even made her connect the dots, but she said quite woodenly, "Mikey, would you have been able to eject Jones from Maria's body when she was in the coma?"

The other two were clearly shaken by this change of subject, but Michael scoffed and said, "No."

"No? But you got him out of Taylor's."

"Yeah, with her consent," Michael said. "Maria wouldn't have given me any go ahead. She'd have told me to mind my own business."

"What? Not to get the evil dictator out of her head? Come on, Mikey, was the breakup really that bad?"

"Hey, I was perfectly fine saving her from pancaking herself on the Crashdown alley after she jumped off the roof, she's the one who yelled at me not to do that afterwards. I was just respecting her wishes."

Now Alex sat up as Max nodded along. "She what?"

"She didn't tell you guys about that? This was before Jones even healed me, she brought me and Kyle to the Crashdown roof under the impression that there were more clues to her vision there, then tried to get me to catch her."

"The heart failure stage you were at, you couldn't have caught her, dude," Michael said. "It was reckless endangerment."

"I tried to," Max said. "Not successfully at all, I passed out for a minute. I guess while Maria was yelling at you because I didn't hear that. Kyle was pissed, though."

"She what." Now Liz was furious. "Why?"

"'Cause she thought she needed adrenaline to see more of her vision," Michael said. "And apparently it needed to be more dangerous with Max not even being able to catch her and therefore more likely to trigger her power. She's lucky Jones pissed me off and I showed up when I did."

"She put you at risk," she said, voice dripping with acid. "Both of you, in broad daylight, to try to see more of a vision that ended up later being triggered by a spider?"

Michael made a face. "Uhhh, yup, pretty much. I think you can see how I was hesitant to offer up powers that I don't like and was pretending not to have in order to try to save someone who doesn't want me to save her."

"She and Isobel both could have died," Liz pointed out.

"Nah," Michael said nonchalantly. "Isobel had it handled. She's a way better person than me anyway. I mean, they used to hate each other and now they don't sooo."

Alex squeezed his shoulder for his attention. "What did she yell at you?"

Michael blew a raspberry. "Something like, uhh, your powers don't have limits, the rest of ours do, I needed Max to catch me so it'd work since everyone knows you could do it, maybe all you do is sit on a barstool and drink but I care about other people, et cetera."

"She, I'm sorry," Alex said. "She put Max's life and your secret at risk because she cares about people? What about that situation was caring about other people?"

"Wait, she thinks you don't care about anyone?" Max said, utterly confused. "You literally made me a pacemaker, and that's just the most recent big thing I can think of."

Michael shrugged.

"That's absolute horseshit," Alex said dismissively. "I wasn't going to acknowledge that. You care too goddamn much sometimes."

"You're one to talk." Michael snuggled into Alex.

"Did Isobel know about this?" Liz asked.

"I would guess not," Michael said. "I was busy obsessively lighting my hand on fire and Max was busy dying, so unless Kyle told her, no."

"She probably wouldn't be so buddybuddy with her if she did know," Max said thoughtfully.

Michael nodded. "Yeah, she'd be feral if she knew Maria made you that much closer to dying. They're all sisterhood of the travelling pants now for some reason. I mean, I don't suppose there's a lot of choice in friends when only like ten of us Know, and Jenna's not even in the state..."

"Oh god," Max said. "A Jenna and Isobel friendship would roast us all alive."

Everyone agreed with that.

"You know, didn't Isobel mention Maria had felt left out when we weren't including her in alien stuff?" Max said.

Michael rolled his eyes. "Yeah, like that wouldn't have been awkward, come knock back literal poison with your ex and his siblings while we train our powers which you don't have. Sounds like a fun time. Nope, hard pass. I get enough verbal abuse from customers, don't need it at family gatherings, too."

Liz stood up.

"Where ya going?" Michael asked.

"To commit violence," she said darkly.

Wide-eyed, Max jumped up and followed her. "Liz, wait, I don't think violence is the answer."

Liz did not stop. Michael and Alex tracked them as they walked out to his jeep and then drove toward the Wild Pony.

"I guess the double date is over," Michael said. "That was fun, but I think I could've done without the deep dive into Maria's psyche."

"We did pay already, it was coming to an end anyway." Alex pulled Michael close by his shoulder. "She really called you selfish for saving her life?"

"I guess."

"I hope you didn't internalize it, Michael, because you're one of the most selfless people I know."

"She's called me a lot of things over the years. I just ignore it usually."

"Hey," he said. "Don't ignore me when I'm complimenting you, alright?"

"I would never ignore you," Michael said, leaning up to kiss him. "You're much nicer to me."

Alex broke the kiss off after a minute. "So she was mean to you?"

"We're not in grade school, Alex, it's not like you can bully full-grown men." Michael hesitated. "Right?"

"I think Liz was right," he said, getting out of the booth and pulling Michael out with him. "Violence is the answer."

He let out a nervous laugh. "Alex!"

"What? I'm not standing for that shit. You do get enough of it from people you don't know. People who don't know you." Alex squinted. "Max himself is on thin ice, actually."

"He's my brother, I allow it in exchange for mocking him whenever I like," Michael said. "I just try to avoid Maria whenever possible, okay. She doesn't want me around so I make myself scarce."

"Mhm, okay. And if my brother asks us to go on a double date?"

Michael searched his face. "Is that something you'd want to do?"

Alex snorted. "No. I've been dreading family events and holidays because of them. Like, good for them that they're happy but keep that away from me."

"I definitely get it but it's so messed up," Michael said. "Hey, maybe we can have 'everyone who knows about aliens' events instead."

"Maybe. Hey." They finally stopped at Michael's truck. "What do you want to do right now?"

"I think I wanna go for a ride," Michael said, backing Alex into the door to kiss him. He said quietly, "I don't want to go confront her, I want to go home with you."

"Alright." Alex pulled him in again. "Let's go home."