FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"A Few Degrees Shy of Heaven"
Part 3
by Christina
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: ***If you haven't read Road Trip, much of this will not make sense***
Maria was cleaning of one of the tables in the Crashdown when she heard the door open. It was past closing time and she was all alone. She could have sworn that she had locked that door.

She turned around and saw it was Michael. She was happy. She walked towards him and held her arms out. "Michael, I missed you," she said. She wrapped her arms around him and moved in to kiss him. He was unresponsive. She pulled back to see what was wrong. She saw hatred in his eyes. He spat in her face.

She was shocked. She wiped his saliva off her cheek with the back of her hand and began to cry. "Michael, what did I do?"

He raised his arm and smacked her hard with the back of his hand. Her head snapped back and a rivulet of blood ran from her nose.

"You're nothing but a fucking human whore!" he yelled and landed a fist her in the stomach.

She fell to the ground, struggling to suck in a sufficient lungful of air. She looked up at him and then blacked out just before his hand closed in on her.


Maria's head shot up and she yelled "MICHAEL PLEASE!"

She heard giggles and then looked around and saw that she was in her English class, one of two classes that she shared with Michael.

Her eyes flashed over to where Michael sat and she saw frantic concern in his eyes. *What's going on Maria?* he asked silently.

*I had this dream and it was...* she shuddered, too disturbed to continue.

Lisa Krendal, one of the popular girls, raised her voice to a high pitch moan and said "Oh Michael, please. I want you, Oh baby, yes!" Lisa's groupies giggled and threw mean looks at Maria. She couldn't handle it. She felt tears rise to her eyes and she got up and walked out of the classroom.

She got ten feet away when she heard Michael calling her name. She turned around and walked towards him. She threw herself in his arms and bawled her eyes out.

Maria, just ignore those bitches," he said, squeezing her tightly in his arms. "Now, tell me about your dream."

She shuddered again and shook her head. *I don't want to talk about it. I'd rather show you,* she sent. She looked up into his eyes and instantly a connection formed. She showed him the entire dream, and when the connection broke, she felt his revulsion.

He tightened his grip on her and said "Maria, I hope you know that I would NEVER do that. I could NEVER hurt you." His body shook with intensity.

She nodded fiercely and spoke with conviction. "I know Michael."

He dropped his mouth down to hers in a passionate kiss and then he squeezed her. "You feel better now?" She nodded and he said "I would rather go cuddle in eraser room but I think we should probably go back to class. What do you say?"

"Okay," she said meekly, swallowing thickly. He reached for her hand and led her back to the classroom. When they entered, they heard another nasty comment from Lisa, and her groupies snickered. Michael felt Maria tense and he squeezed her hand tightly. He shot Lisa the look of death and she instantly quieted, her body recoiling.

Maria remembered how intimidating Michael could be to those who didn't know him and it made her smile. She hoped that his menacing stare was tattooed into the back of that bitch's eyeballs!


After school, Maria found Michael leaning against the jetta. He took her in his arms and asked her how the rest of her day had been?

She pulled back and gave him a withering glare. "Let's see, all day, the girls have been staring at me and whispering and giggling as though I was the town whore." She snorted. "And the guys...?"

"What about guys?" Michael jumped in, his temper sparking.

"Let's just say that I am the official filet mignon on the meat market of the sophomore class. And to top it all off, I get to endure these stares all night at work. Yes!" She flashed a fake smile and first batted and then rolled her eyes. She calmed down and said, "You know what the worst part of this is?"

"Hmm?" Michael asked, distracted. He was fighting to keep his temper in check. He didn't like the idea of other guys staring at his Maria. His 'wife'.

"I can't even remember what happened in the hallway today or if I even enjoyed it?!! Actually from what Liz said, we were both enjoying it a little too much, but I can't understand why we would lose control like that and not remember it?" Maria's frustration was evident. She sighed and then straightened her shoulders. "So, what are you doing this afternoon?"

He shrugged and grinned. "I don't know. I was actually craving a piece of Men in Blackberry Pie, served by the hottest waitress at the Crashdown Cafe."

"Wow, I work there! Do I know this waitress?" she joked.

He laughed and said "Oh, I'm sure you do. I think you know her pretty well." He held his hand up just over at her head. "She's about yea high, short golden hair, extremely sexy, and legs to die for. And wow, did I mention her mouth? When it isn't running at a mile per minute, it is extremely sensual. Makes me think naughty thoughts."

Maria smiled, a real smile, for the first time and closed her eyes as his mouth closed over hers.


Michael took his time eating his pie. He was really more interested in watching Maria as she worked. She bounced from table to table, bringing and taking away food and drinks. Granted there were a lot of students from the high school that kept throwing amused smirks at both Maria and himself, but for the most part, they stayed quiet.

It was after 8:00 when Max and Isabel joined him at the table.

"Hey Michael," Isabel said as she scooted into the booth next to him.

"Hey Isabel. Max. So, what are you guys up to?" he asked, still watching Maria out of the corner of his eye.

Max began to speak, "We just finished dinner and we..." his voice trailed off and his gaze focused elsewhere. Michael knew that meant that Liz had just made an appearance. He turned around and voila! There she was. He moved his head back and saw that Max's eyes were now boring holes into the table.

He shook his head and opened his mouth to tell Max that he should just go to her, but the words never got out. Instead, he heard Maria's raised voice and his head shot her way. His temper flared again. One of Kyle's football buddies kept trying to grab at Maria's arm and she was fighting him. He reached for the skirt of her uniform and tugged hard, causing her to fall on his lap. She struggled to get up and she ran away crying.

Michael saw red waves pulsing over his eyes and he exploded. Without a second thought, he crawled up and over the table and stalked over to the guy. When he reached him, he landed a fist into the guy's nose and it began to spurt blood. "Son of a bitch!" Michael spat as he pulled the guy up out of his chair and threw him at least fifteen feet across the room. He approached the guy and threw several kicks into the his stomach. "You ever touch her again and I will fucking kill you!"

He didn't stop kicking at the guy until he heard Maria's distressed voice calling his name. "Michael, please stop!" He turned around and noticed that everyone was staring at him. He looked down to his hands and saw they were covered with blood. He felt sick.

He opened his mouth and then closed it again. He couldn't believe what just happened. He pulled a frightened Maria into his arms. "Oh my God. I'm so sorry. I don't know what came over me."

The guy got up and crawled out of the door. The patrons began to talk amongst themselves and the four returned to the table. "Michael, that was just like my dream. You lost you temper just like that and it scared me."

*I have no clue what happened,* he telegraphed. *One minute I saw that ape put his hands on you and the next, I saw red. I felt an indescribable anger and I was up out of my seat and beating the living shit out of him. Things are getting too weird, Maria. We need to call Ashtar and ask if any of this makes sense to him.*

Maria listened to him, swirling her finger in the Tabasco smothered whipcream on the uneaten parts of his pie, and bringing it to her mouth, thoroughly enjoying the mix. It reminded her of the other night in the hotel and she smirked. She nodded when he suggested calling Ashtar, ignoring the confused glances of Max and Isabel and spoke aloud. "I agree. And soon."

Isabel shook her head and said, "Okay we have just reached the twilight zone. You guys are going to do sooooooo much explaining when this place closes tonight."

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