FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"A Few Degrees Shy of Heaven"
Part 27
by Christina
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.
Summary: ***If you haven't read Road Trip, much of this will not make sense***
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
When they were all done eating and then showering, Dinah appeared at the door and informed them it was time to come to the main house. "You have a lot to learn in the next few hours and a very little time to learn it in. The elders were up all night discussing it and they figured out what would be the best way to fight would be. They'd like to see you now."

They all nodded and walked over to the main house together, their attitude more serious. They knew how important it was to learn as much as they could.

As they arrived, they found Mother Essie with the elders as well. Maria looked down at the ground, suddenly feeling embarassed over her reaction to the woman the night before. She swallowed hard and then looked up again to find the woman studying her thoughtfully. "Excuse me," Maria began. "I just wanted to apol..."

But the woman was shaking her head. "Child, there's no needs for apologies. Ashtar explained to me the situation and it's completely understandable. My only question is if you are ready to learn how to use it now that you've had some time to calm down."

"Yes. I'm at your disposal today. I will do anything that any of you would like."

"Good. Now, go ahead and take your seat. You have much to learn."

Maria nodded and walked over to take a seat next to Michael and they all paid attention as the elders began to speak.


"Maria, you need to focus!" Mother Essie said impatiently.

"I am focusing! I just can't do it!" Maria practically screamed and threw the dagger on the ground.

"Nonsense! You just have to focus. Try again."

Maria grumbled to herself as she picked up the dagger and then held it in her hand, focusing on the target on the wood fence in front of her. She took a deep breath and gave a little stretch to her arm which felt like jell-o after what seemed like 50 throws and then she snapped her arm back and gave it another try. The blade flew in the air and then bounced against the fence and landed with a clinging noise.

"ARG!!! I told you, I can't do this!"

"Yes you can. You need to focus your power!" She walked over and retrieved the dagger and then handed it to Maria. "Now, let's try something different. Close your eyes and search deep within yourself. Your power is inside you and it is strong, you just need to capture it."

Maria rolled her eyes and then nodded. She would learn how to do this if it killed her! Mother Essie handed her the dagger and she held it in hand as she closed her eyes and focused. She took deep breaths and let her mind clear, hoping it would be receptive to this power that the old woman was speaking of. At first nothing happened and Maria was ready to scream in frustration and give up but then she felt an odd calm come over her as images started to float in her mind.

She couldn't distinguish one from the next except for the last one which transformed into the face of her father with a transparent bullseye in front. She felt strong and confident now. She was ready to give it another try.

Her eyes opened as she focused on the target, still able to see the vision of her father in her mind. Her arm felt more stable now and she took a deep breath as she once again snapped her arm back and then threw it forward. She received a thrill when she realized how it was flying straight and spinning the way that Mother Essie said it must to reach it's target. She held her breath as the thing reached the wall and...bounced off and fell on the ground like all the others.


"Ahem. Language!" The woman reminded her.

'Sorry," she muttered. "But I still don't understand how this little dagger will be useful anyways. He's got powers, strong powers and a little knife isn't going to stop him!"

"What you don't understand it that this dagger is the key to stopping your father. If you stopped being so stubborn and head-strong, you would be able to listen long enough to understand that one contact of this dagger with your father will drain his powers and he will be helpless against you!" She sighed and then shook her head. "I think it's time to take a break now. We'll try again a little later. You can find your friends at Dinah's house."


"So, how's the training going?" Michael asked Maria as she appeared at the house. They were all spread out on the floor looking through papers of some kind. Maria glared at him and then fell back on one of the couches with a grunt.

"I suck!" she said in frustration. "And not only that, it turns out that if I can't figure out how to work the damn thing, we'll never beat him. This is a fucking nightmare!"

"Calm down," Michael said, shaking his head. "You'll get it eventually. I know you will. I have faith in you."

"That makes one person," she muttered, placing her shaking head in her palms.

"No, that makes five people," Liz said. "We all believe in you. You just need to believe in yourself."

"Yeah, well those are tough words coming from someone who doesn't have to do the dirty work."

"Maria," Michael warned aloud and then silently said, *You're starting to act like a bitch and all she is trying to do is give you some encouragement.*

"Sorry," she said to Liz. "It's just that I have been trying with that damn thing all morning and I just can't do it. It wouldn't be so bad if it were just an ordinary weapon but it's not. It's only the key to our whole fight and if I can't use it were all screwed. I can't even feel my arm anymore."

"You'll get it eventually," Michael said again.

Maria shrugged and then changed the subject. "So, what are you all doing right now?"

"They're looking through documents from our history," Dinah said, appearing in the room. "How did your training go."

"Don't get her started," Michael warned his mother. "Let's just leave it at badly."

Maria nodded in agreeance and then said," So, what exactly are you looking for?"

"Anything that may be helpful to our current situation," Max answered.

"Hmm. Keep your eyes out for anything that may give hints of how to destroy someone's influence over another person."

"Why?" Liz asked.

"Because I need to get Kyle out of the glass jar," she muttered, looking out the window as she remembered how sad Kyle had been in her step out of reality.

A confused look crossed everyone's face and Liz said, "What are you talking about?"

Maria looked over at her friend and realized that she never told her or any of the others about the rest of what happened last night while she was in Wonderland. "I'm sorry, I forgot. When I first arrived in Wonderland, I was a pixie and there was this horrible voice that kept taunting me. Then Kyle appeared and he was so sad Liz. He said he was trapped in the glass jar, that his wings had been plucked so he couldn't fly and to get out of there you need to fly. Liz, he wanted to get out of there so much but the voice, which was Nacerro, had him trapped in there. It's my job to get him out. I need Kyle on our side and he said that Nacerro has him trapped and I'm the only one who can rescue him."

"Okay, don't take this the wrong way Maria but I'm starting to agree with Michael when he said that your mother took too much LSD in her day," Alex said.

Maria narrowed her eyes at him and stood up. "This is no time for jokes Alex! If you can't take any of this seriously, then stay out of my way! If I don't do this right, we'll all end up dead and I would rather die than have anything happen to you. Any of you! I got to get out of here!" With that, she stalked out of the house, leaving behind her bewildered friends.

Michael jumped up to go after her but Dinah stopped him. "Let her go. Everyone, you must understand that there is a great deal pressure on Maria right now. She has to do this alone for the most part."

"No, she doesn't. We're here for her," Michael broke in.

"I understand that Michael but when it comes down to it, she has to fight her father alone It's in the prophecies. Deep down she knows that and it worries her. You have to forgive her if she gets angry or frustrated because you can't understand the amount of stress she is under. She has to fight someone who is so much stronger than her and it terrifies her. Her brother is trapped under a spell and like she said, it's her job to release him. And to top it off, she's pregnant and as a mother I know what that can do to a woman. All you can do for her is give her your love, and be there for her."

"I'll always be there for her," Michael said as it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Good, because she needs your love and support. I have a feeling that the worst is yet to come," Dinah nodded, her expression a little sad. "Now, let's get back to work."


Michael was getting worried. It was already getting dark out and Maria still hadn't returned. They had spent all day studying the papers and books, finding nothing useful and he was now tired and hungry and worried.

He stood up from the chair and stretched his stiff limbs and then said, "I'm going to go look for Maria."

Everyone nodded and Liz said, "I'll go with you."

Michael shrugged. "If you want. Hurry up."

Liz leaned over to give Max a hug and then stood up and walked over to Michael and the two walked out of the house together to search for Maria.


"I don't get it, where can she be?" Michael called out in frustration fifteen minutes later when they still couldn't find Maria.

*Maria!* he called with his mind but she wasn't answering.

"Well, let's try our place. Maybe she wanted to take a nap," Liz suggested.

"Good idea. Maybe that's why she won't answer me."

They walked over to the house they were staying at and climbed up the stairs.

"Maria?" Michael called desperately. "Maria?!"

No answer.

He began to run up the stairs with Liz on his tail and he threw open the door to his room to see if she was there. But the room was vacant.

"She's not here!" Michael cried in frustration. He began to turn to search the rest of the house when Liz called him back.

"Michael! Look!"

Michael whipped around and saw that there was a sheet of paper on the bed. *Oh no! She wouldn't!* He ran to the bed and picked up the paper with shaky hands.

I'm sorry to do this but I have gone back to Roswell to fight my father. I hope you understand that I have to do this alone and that in doing this I might not make it out alive. Please don't be angry. But this is something I have to do. Sacrificing my own life is a chance I'm willing to take if it means sparing all of yours. Please don't follow me. I need to know that you are all safe. If I don't make it out of this alive, please remember that I will always love you and I will always watch over you.

Love you forever my dear husband,
Maria Deluca-Guerin

"No!" Michael yelled, crumpling the paper under his hand.

"Why would she do this?" Liz cried, having read the note over his shoulder.

"I don't know, but we have to go and get the others. We need to go after her and hope that we're not to late."

"She said not to follow her though."

Michael looked her in the face and the concern she saw there made her throat close over. "I have no life without Maria. Do you really want to take that chance with her life?"

Mutely, Liz shook her head.

"I didn't think so. Now hurry, we might not have much time."

Part 26 | Index | Part 28
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