|"Through Space and Time"
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or the show, they are the
property of the WB and all those other people.....unfortunately.
Summary: : Maria is faced with losing Michael to his home planet.
Category: After Hours
Authors Note: This is my first fanfic. I just got so inspired by all the other ones I read that I couldn't help myself. I would love feedback, just don't be too harsh. After all, this is only recreational writing ya know :-)
|The whole group, including Max, Michael, Liz, Isabel, Alex and Maria were
gathered in the desert at their special meeting place. Any meeting of any
importance was always held here as they knew this was one place they could
talk openly about “the secret” without having to worry about anyone
From the look on Max.’s face and the ominous mood that hung over them like a dark storm cloud ready to burst forth with rain, Maria knew that whatever he was about to tell them was going to be heavy and she couldn’t help but tense up.
Michael could feel Maria tighten her grip on his hand and he squeezed back reassuringly. He knew this time he was going to hurt her more than he ever had in the past. “God, I’m sorry Maria, I’m so sorry…….This wasn’t supposed to happen, not this way. I should never have let you into my life. It’s better if I’m gone, you’ll see.” These words forever floated around in Michael’s head, left unspoken.
Maria looked up at Michael as she felt him squeeze her hand and searched his face for some sort of sign, anything that would tell her it was going to be ok, and immediately wished she hadn’t. The intensely pained and serious look in his dark eyes only confirmed the bad news she was sure Max was about to give them.
This look by now was no stranger to Maria. She had started noticing that look creeping into Michael’s eyes just under two weeks ago. Maria had caught Michael watching her intently many times when he thought she wasn’t looking. She could feel him mentally drinking her in with his piercing gaze. It was almost as if he was trying to commit every inch of her face, her body to his memory, and it both aroused and scared her at the same time. “Why would he want to do that when he’s going to see my face every day of his life?” She remembered thinking. “Well he is if I have anything to do with it …… unless….unless the only thing in the world that could take him away from me happened. No, it’s too soon, that couldn’t be why we’re here. It’s not possible……is it?”
Maria glanced over at Liz for some indication of what was going on. Liz was clinging tightly to Max’s side, almost using him for support. She could see Max gently rubbing his hand up and down her back in a rhythmic motion, trying to soothe her, a look of worry and concern evident in his eyes. “Oh my God,” Maria thought as she watched Liz stare vacantly into the distance. “She looks so pale and ..and far away. She must already know what Max is about to tell us, she has to. I have never seen Liz look this lost, ever. This can’t be good.” And with that Maria started to inwardly panic.
Liz was drawn out of her thoughts and brought back to the present for a moment when she could feel Maria’s eyes staring intently at her. “Poor Maria” Liz thought. “She has already been through so much hurt and suffering in her relationship with Michael, and now, just when things were getting to an at least semi-happy stage between the two of them, now this. It’s going to kill her inside, I know it will. …Just as it has me.” She already knew the news Max was about to break to the others, but God knows she wished she didn’t. She wasn’t meant to find out before anyone else, it had just happened….
Max, Isabel and Michael sat down at one of the lunch tables at school and began talking with hushed voices.
Liz had just come out of her last class before lunch and searched the grounds for Max. When she spotted him and the others sitting at an “out of the way” lunch table, she couldn’t help but smile to herself and started to make her way over to them. She still couldn’t believe how well things were going for her and Max. They had been together for over 3 months now and her life couldn’t be better. She just hoped it would last forever.
Liz was soon close enough to be within earshot of the table. Just as she was about to open her mouth and let her existence be known with a “hey guys!” she heard Max speak.
“We have to tell them as soon as possible. It isn’t doing any good to keep putting the inevitable off.” “Besides,” Max thought to himself, “I can’t keep lying to Liz any longer.”
“I know, I know Maxwell. But it’s not gonna be easy. I know Maria’s tough but I don’t think she’s gonna be able to handle this one.” “ I don’t even think I’m gonna be able to handle this one,” Michael thought to himself. “Why the hell did I let her get involved with me?” He asked himself this question for the millionth time, even though he already knew the answer. “Because you had to have her, touch her, love her, make her yours.” “Selfish bastard,” he screamed inwardly at himself.
Her curiosity peaked, Liz quickly ducked behind the tree to her right before they could see her approaching. She knew this wasn’t the right time to make herself known and wondered what they could possibly be talking about. “Don’t tell me Michael’s going to break Maria’s heart again. No, but hang on” she reasoned. “That can’t be right. Max said we have to tell them!” She tuned her ears back to their conversation. Isabel’s voice could be heard next.
“But how are we gonna do this guys? How can we just up and leave? Max, what about mum and dad? This is going to kill them!”
“Leave? Oh my God…someone must be after them again,” Liz thought.
“I know Izz. It’s going to be hard on everyone and we can’t force you to come with us. It’s your decision. If you don’t want to go, we’ll understand, we’ll miss you but we will understand none the less.”
“What?” Michael yelled. “You’ve got to be joking. Are you trying to tell me that you want to stay here and give up the only chance we have of ever getting home? Our real home Isabel,” he stressed, “with our own kind.” Sarcasm crept into his voice. “You know, only the thing we’ve been searching for our whole lives…or did you forget that? You must be crazy.”
Liz gasped suddenly from the shock at what Michael had just said and in the process accidentally stepped on a twig at the foot of the tree she was standing behind causing it too snap loudly. “Damn.” She cursed under her breath.
“What was that?” Max asked suddenly, cocking his head.
“What was what?” snapped Michael.
“I thought I heard something,” Max said under his breath. “Sshh, listen.” They all sat silently, straining to hear for anything out of the ordinary.
Liz held her breath and prayed they wouldn’t discover her.
“I don’t hear anything Maxwell, you must be hearing things. Now can we get back to the situation at hand…please?” Michael asked irritation in his voice.
Liz let out a sigh of relief, this time, not as loudly.
“Umm… ok. It must have just been the wind or something” Max mumbled, still looking around suspiciously.
“So Izz, what’s it gonna be….huh? Michael asked. “You going to come home with us, ‘your real family’ or are you going to stay here and live a lie for the rest of your cozy little life?”
“You just don’t understand.” Isabel replied, visibly annoyed at Michael’s ca llousness. “You can be so cold sometimes Michael. I know you haven’t had the best life with Hank but try to understand that Max and me love our parents. I know, strange concept to you, but hasn’t being with Maria taught you anything about it…love that is. Maria loves you Michael, more than life itself, despite all the shit you’ve put her through. You probably don’t even care about how she’s going to feel when all this comes out in the open, do you…do you Michael?” Isabel knew all to well that what she had just said about Maria wasn’t true. She knew Michael loved Maria deeply and wanted only to protect her but at that very moment she wanted to hurt him as much as he could hurt her sometimes. Hurt him for being so careless and selfish.
Mission accomplished she thought, as she looked into his eyes and saw the hurt her harsh words had put there.
Immediately regretting her outburst Isabel tried to apologize and made her way around the table to the other side where Michael was sitting. “Michael, I didn’t mean it, I’m sorr….”
“Don’t touch me Isabel, just don’t all right.” Michael cut her off sharply. “You don’t know the first thing about my relationship with Maria so don’t even try. You’ll never understand.” With that he stood and began to stalk off.
“Michael, wait please, don’t go, I’m sorry!” Isabel called out in vain after him.
“Izz, no, just forget it.” Michael got up and stormed off in the direction of the very tree Liz was hiding behind.
Liz heard him coming and tried to edge her way around the other side of the tree so that he wouldn’t see her when he passed. Just when she thought she was in the clear her foot caught on one of the tree’s many large roots and it sent her sprawling right into the path of Michael.
“Who the hell does she think she is telling me how I feel…” Michael’s thoughts were suddenly interrupted when a girl came sprawling out from behind a tree. “Liz, what the hell” Michael shouted. “Max, you better get over here. I think we found that mysterious noise you heard…..only it’s not so mysterious after all.”
**Back to present.
And that’s how Liz had accidentally found out. Max had taken her home and explained everything to her. He had stayed with her that night, held her while she cried and searched for reasons why he shouldn’t go…. couldn’t go.
Now here she was, in the desert, about to hear the whole story again for the second time. About to relive the pain and realization that in one week’s time she would never see him again, never touch him, kiss him. The thought was unbearable, so she had closed her mind off to what was happening before her and retreated into her own world as she held onto Max for as long as she possibly could.
Meanwhile the panic Maria had felt building in the pit of he stomach all morning had finally made its way to the surface. “I don’t want to hear this…I can’t stay here, I won’t!” Maria suddenly blurted out in a shaky voice. “Michael, take me home, please just take me home.” She pulled on his hand to try and make him go with her, when he didn’t budge she let go and ran as fast as she could. She didn’t even know if she was running in the right direction, she just had to get as far away from them as she possibly could and as far away from what she knew they were about to tell her, as if not hearing it would somehow make it obsolete.
Tears soon blurred her vision causing her to stumble over the rough terrain of the desert floor. Just as she was getting ready to brace herself for the impact of the inevitable fall she felt a strong arm quickly grab her around the waist and balance her again. It was Michael, only he didn’t let go once she had regained her footing. He held onto her with a vice like grip.
“Let me go Michael,” Maria pleaded. She squirmed in a hopeless effort to break free of his hold, “please just let me go.”
“Hey, hey….take it easy. Just calm down baby.” Michael turned her around in his arms and linked his hands at the base of her spine to hold her firmly to him.
Maria meekly pushed against his chest with her hands. “Y.. you can’t do this to me Michael, I won’t let you.”
“Do what Maria.” He asked, knowing full well what she meant, but wanting to avoid the truth just a little longer.
“Le..Leave me….again.” She cried freely now and gave up the fight to be free of him because she didn’t really want to be free of him…ever. Wrapping her arms around his neck she buried her face in his chest and inhaled his beautiful Michael scent as if it were the last time.
Michael tightened his grip on her waist, wrapping his arms further around her slim body so that his fingertips rested against the sides of her breasts on either side. He wanted to be as close to her body, her warmth as was “humanly” possible.
“God Maria, how did you know.” Michael broke his hold on her, just long enough to bring one hand up to her face so that he could gently tilt her chin up and see into her eyes. Her beautiful green eyes, now brimming over with tears. Tears he had put there. The pain in his chest deepened.
“It didn’t ta….take a genius Michael.” She tried to choke back her sobs. “Only one thing ….could make Liz …look that upset. You’ve found a way home….haven’t you.” It was more a statement than a question. Even though she knew the answer Maria found herself searching his eyes expectantly, in the vain hope that he would tell her something different, something she wanted to hear.
Michael looked down at Maria’s beautiful tear soaked face and wondered how he was ever going to leave. He cupped her face in his hands and gently wiped the tears from her cheeks with the bottom of his thumbs. “I’m so sorry baby, you know I don’t want to leave you but …
Maria pushed away from him and cut him off mid sentence “Then don’t, don’t leave me.” She pleaded.
“Maria, you know I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t go, didn’t find out where I really come from, who my real family is. This is what I’ve been searching for my whole life. Please try to understand….for me.”
“No.” She yelled her pain quickly turning into anger. “All I understand is that I’ve just been used and lied to these entire past 8 months. Tell me Michael, was it all just sex and games for you? Well was it? Did you get off on playing with my mind….and my heart?” Her voice started to tremble with the threat of more tears. “Well I hope you had fun buddy because it ends today.”
Michael flinched as if she had slapped him in the face with her words. In one deliberate stride he quickly covered the space she had put between them seconds before and grabbed her upper arms roughly.
“Stop, just stop now Maria.” Michael warned firmly, anger burning in his eyes.
Maria let out a soft whimper of pain and surprise as she felt his fingers sink into the tender flesh of her arms. “Ah, Michael…
“Don’t make this ugly damn it, not this time!” He gently shook her as he spoke. Michael knew he was hurting her but he had to make her stop before she said something they would both regret. “I can’t believe you could even say something like that Maria, let alone think it.” He loosened his grip on her arms as the pain of her last words replayed over in his head.
Maria immediately softened when she saw the sad and almost mournful look in his eyes and reached up to gently caress his cheek.
“You know what we have goes way deeper than that.” He continued. “I knew I had to have you in my life from the first moment I laid eyes on you. Do you know how hard it was for me to accept that Maria? I had always been a loner and I liked it that way, then you came along and everything changed. Even though my mind was screaming at me to just walk away and never look back, I couldn’t, I just couldn’t walk away and miss out on something great…you.” Michael guiltily dropped his gaze to the red earth.
“I knew how hard it was going to be when this day came but I didn’t care Maria. The thought of having someone love me, of having you love me, was more than I could ever have hoped for in my time on this Earth, and I didn’t want to run from that chance anymore.” He hesitated for a second before deciding to just let it all out.
“I just got tired of running Maria, tired of being alone. Growing up with Hank, the love wasn’t exactly free flowing if you know what I mean. You’re what has kept me going on this Earth Maria, don’t ever doubt that. I love you, you’re a part of me and you always will be. The best part of me, my heart.”
This sudden and very “unlike Michael” outburst of emotion made Maria wonder if she could possibly love or want him anymore than she already did. Her anger immediately dissipating, she once again flung her arms possessively around his neck. “I'm sorry Michael, I didn’t mean it, you know I didn’t. I love you so much. I just, I can’t bear the thought of losing you…not again, not when things are so good between us.”
“I know, but you knew from the start I couldn’t promise your forever Maria.” Michael mumbled into her hair, before placing a tender kiss on her neck.
“I want to be happy for you Michael, I really do. I know how much you’ve wanted this, It’s just…it hurts so much. It wasn’t supposed to happen this soon, not yet. We haven’t had enough time.” The pain in her chest tore at her heart, she wished she could just pinch herself and wake up from this nightmare.
“I know.” Michael sighed deeply and nuzzled into her neck even further.
They stood there in silence, wrapped in each other’s embrace for what seemed like an eternity. Both not willing to let go.
Michael finally broke the silence. “Come on Earth girl, we have to go back to the others. They’re waiting for us.”
Maria managed a half smile at his now familiar loving term of endearment and stood on her tiptoes to place a kiss on his parted lips. “Ok spaceboy.”
They reluctantly separated and hand in hand started to make their way back to the others and back to the fact that they would soon be separated …forever.
|Index | Part 2
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours