FanFic - Michael/Maria
"This Ordinary Life"
Part 4
by Courtney
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Bad luck and circumstance lead two people to a place they never expected to be.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: Spoilers: Through rumors and spoilers for episodes up to Heat Wave. Thanks: I have a lot of people to thank. First, thanks to Brandi, whose suggestion finally got me on the right track to finish this story instead of starting over for the 4000th time! Also thanks to Melissa for reading it for me and giving me feedback on all my wacky ideas and for letting me spoil the story for her in the name of helping out. And thanks as always to the RAC members for all the fanfic, conversation, and encouragement that I couldn’t live without. Thanks! You guys are all the greatest!
Chapter Four

The sun was coming up slowly and he watched the shadows as they rapidly retreated from the rays of light that peeked through the tattered mini-blinds. It was still a few hours until his alarm went off, but Danny Martin was wide-awake.

This wasn’t anything new; he was usually awake before dawn. The pounding in his head combined with the general tension that filled his life these days seemed to steal him from sleep earlier and earlier with every passing day.

There was something new, though. On this morning, he wasn’t lying huddled alone on his own side of the bed as he waited out the coming morning. She was there. His love, his life . . . his Maria. He should call her Gina. To the world she was Gina. But to him, always and only to him, she was Maria . . . his Maria.

He held her tight against his chest as she slept, content to watch the sunrise and ignore his headache if only he could keep her close to him for a little longer. It felt good to be free to hold her again. It had been so long since the last time they’d been like this. Their time together in Roswell seemed a million miles away and a part of another life. He felt like he’d aged at least twenty years during these past six months. Neither of them were teenagers anymore, at least not in spirit. They were old . . . aged beyond their meager years by a life that did them no favors.

It was okay, though. For the past six months, all he had done was curse this life and where it had brought him. He’d hated himself for dragging her along on this horrid adventure. He’d blamed all of her unhappiness on himself. And, though he still felt at fault for the fact that she should have been leading a different life in a different place, he knew today that she was happy. He could feel it. That, the vague sense of what she was feeling, had nothing to do with his forsaken alien powers and everything to do with the love that tied their souls together. He didn’t need any magic to know this woman. He knew her better than he knew himself.

A smile crossed his lips as she snuggled closer to him to abate the leftover chill of night that still filled the tiny room. They were both hidden beneath the pile of blankets, but he could still feel her hands and feet against him were like ice. The heat never worked in this damned apartment. Nothing worked. But, for once, he didn’t mind. He could keep Maria warm.

His arms tightened around her and he buried his nose in her soft, red mane of hair. She smelled like daffodils. He didn’t know why, that’s just what came to mind. Vibrant, yellow daffodils that drove out the cold and brightened the dull gray of their lives. She was his daffodil. He smirked as he wondered when he had gotten so damned sappy.

“Michael?” he heard her mumble against his chest.

“Shh, it’s still early. Go back to sleep, love,” he whispered.

She lifted her head to look at him. Her eyes were barely open and her face had the innocent look of a child just roused from an afternoon nap. With the soft, early morning light filtering in behind her, he thought she’d never looked so beautiful. Every time he looked at her it seemed like she was more beautiful than she had been the time before.

“It’s early,” she said in a rough voice as she repeated his earlier words.

“I know, go back to sleep,” he urged again. She ignored him.

“What are you doing up?”

“I dunno, couldn’t sleep I guess,” he replied.

“Your head hurts, doesn’t it?” she asked and even the remnants of sleep couldn’t hide the worry in her voice.

“I’m fine,” he assured her.

She moved her hand to feel his forehead and said, “You have a fever.”

“Your hands are just cold. I swear, I’ll be fine.”

“I’m getting the thermometer,” she said as she moved to get up.

“Maria, stay in bed,” he urged. He wasn’t ready to let her go just yet.

“I’ll be right back,” she said.

He let her sit up, but reached out to pull her to him before letting her get out of bed. She let herself be drawn into his arms again and met his lips willingly in a good morning kiss. “Don’t be long,” he said with a smile as their lips parted.

“I won’t, promise,” she replied and gave him a grin before finally pulling back and getting up from their shared bed.

He watched after her as she walked to the closet door to retrieve her terry cloth robe and wrapped it around her naked form. Then, she went into the bathroom and he could hear her digging around in the medicine cabinet for the thermometer. She returned to his side a moment later and stuck the thermometer under his tongue, then headed for the kitchen to get him some aspirin and a glass of orange juice. When she returned the second time, she set the pills and the juice on the nightstand and removed the thermometer from his lips.

“103 . . . that’s high,” she said as she examined it.

“It’s been higher,” he reminded her.

“Yeah, but not for a while now. I don’t like that at all,” she said. She turned and picked up the aspirin and juice and turned back to him. “Open up,” she instructed. “I want you to take these. Maybe it’ll bring down the fever.” He opened his mouth and let her give him the pills, then drank some juice from the glass to wash them down.

She sat back down on the bed beside him, her legs tucked beneath her petite frame as she examined his face with worry.

“I’m going to be fine. This isn’t even the worst headache I’ve had,” he said. “It’s no big deal.”

“They’re getting bad again, aren’t they?” she asked.

“Maria . . .”

“Aren’t they?” she said again in a tone that said she wanted the truth, not his sugarcoated version.

He sighed and gave her a shrug. “I’ve had a few more than usual the past couple of weeks, but I’m sure they’ll go away again. They always do.”

“You need to see a doctor,” she said.

“You know I can’t,” he replied.

“I know . . . I know that.” He sat back against the pillows and she sat perched at his side. She eased him back, making him lie down. “You need to get some sleep,” she said softly.

“I can’t sleep,” he told her.

“Just try. Try for me,” she said. She brought her hand up to his forehead and brushed back his unruly hair. As her tiny hand stroked his forehead, his eyes slipped shut. “That’s good,” she said in a hushed voice. “Just close your eyes. I’m right here.”

“Maria,” he said softly.

“Shh, sleep now, sweetie,” she intoned.

“Sing to me,” he implored in a voice that made him sound just like the little boy that she always saw lurking within him. She had to smile at the image that conjured in her mind.

“What makes you think I can sing?” she asked teasingly.

“I’ve heard you,” he said. “In the shower, when you’re cooking dinner, when you do housework . . . you sing. I love to hear you sing,” he told her. His voice still held that innocent little lithe and she knew that he was drifting off slowly. Maybe, as silly as it might have sounded for a grown man, a lullaby would help him finally get some rest.

“Okay, keep your eyes closed,” she said softly. She leaned over him and tucked the blankets around him, then leaned back against the pillows so that she was sitting with her back to the headboard. She pulled him close so that his head rested across her lap and she ran her fingers through his hair in a gentle, calming motion as she tried to decide what she should sing.

She remembered what her mother used to sing to her when she was a little girl and had trouble sleeping. It was a hymn, really, but she’d never thought of it that way. Her mother had never been into church and religion and all of that. Amy DeLuca was more likely to own a mood ring than a Bible. Still, the song had been one that Amy’s grandmother had sung often and she had always told Maria that it reminded her of her grandma and that’s why she liked it so much.

Thinking that the old, familiar hymn fit their current situation all too well, Maria cleared her throat and began.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now am found

Was blind but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace my fears relieved

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.”

Michael focused on the sound of her voice and let everything else slip away for the moment. Her fingers continued to comb gently through his hair as her lap served as pillow to him. His arms were wrapped around her legs, just like a little boy being lulled by a gentle lullaby. The throbbing in his temples subsided a tiny bit as her soothing soprano washed over him.

“Through many dangers, toils and snares

I have already come

'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far

And grace will lead me home

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

In a believer's ear

It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds

And drives away his fear

Must Jesus bear the cross alone

And all the world go free?

No, there's a cross for ev'ryone

And there's a cross for me.”

She finished the song and looked down at the man snuggled up in her lap. She could tell by his steady, even breathing that he had finally fallen asleep. He looked peaceful and that eased her mind a little. She worried about him so much these days.

The sun had risen fully in the sky by that time and she looked over at the clock. It was almost time for them to get up for work, but she quickly turned off the alarm. Michael wasn’t up to working today and neither was she. They had both worked a ton of overtime lately so they could handle one day of missed pay. She just needed to make sure that he was okay. That was all that she cared about.

Keeping her eyes focused on him, Maria sat in bed as the world around her started to wake up. It didn’t matter, though. She could ignore it all. The only thing in the world that made any difference to her was this man in her arms. He was at once the strongest and most fragile soul that she had ever known. He made her feel safe, but he also made her want to protect him. She would have done anything to shield him from hurt, anything to keep him from harm.

With her head clouded with worries for him, she sighed softly. He would be okay today. He would have to be okay. She couldn’t even think about him not being okay. He was all she had, and she would not let anything happen to him. So, she closed her eyes, hoping that when they woke, things would be better at last.

* * * * *

He could feel the sweat rolling off his body. Why was it so hot in here all of the sudden? He could hear the television set blaring from the living room. Where was he? Looking around, he realized with sudden clarity just where he was.


That was Hank’s TV being played entirely too loud. This was the dirty hallway of the musty trailer he had called home for so many years. He looked down. That was Hank’s gun in his hand. Hank’s gun . . .

“Where’d you run to, boy? You little chicken shit,” Hank called down the dark hall. “You’re nothing but a two bit punk. That’s all you’ve ever been and that’s all you’ll ever be.”

Michael gripped the cold steel of the weapon tighter as he took a step towards the man he had come to loathe. The bitter, hateful words filled his head and he clenched his teeth against his rage.

“No wonder your parents left you on the side of the road,” Hank continued. “They knew you’d never be nothing. You’re worthless, and that’s why they didn’t want you. Nobody wants you. You’re just in the way. You’re just a problem they had to get rid of.” He snorted then. “Lucky for you I took your sorry ass in or there’s no telling where you’d have ended up.”

He was shaking now; shaking from the anger that was building within him. But, he wouldn’t let Hank win. He couldn’t. It wasn’t like his opinion mattered anyway. It wasn’t like Hank himself had anything in his life that made him worthy of having an opinion about Michael. He was the one that was worthless. He was the one that no one wanted. Michael was wanted. Michael was needed. Michael was loved.

Wasn’t he?

“You can’t even keep a God damned girlfriend,” the old man hollered out again. “Even some little piece of trash can see that you aren’t worth her time.”

Don’t listen, Michael said to himself. He’s nothing. Don’t listen.

“That little slut you had over here all the time, what was her name? The blonde . . . Anyway, even she could see through you.”

He could not talk about her that way, Michael thought. When it was about him it was fine. He could handle that. He could ignore that. But not her; never her. He couldn’t let Hank say those things about her.

“Shut the fuck up you stupid bastard!” Michael yelled as he stepped from the hallway into the living room of the filthy trailer that he’d never considered a home.

“Aw, does that hurt your feelings, hearing about the little tramp? Do you miss her, Mickey? Was she that good of a fuck?”

He felt the gun in his hand again and tried to stop shaking. He had to stop shaking. The words that Hank was saying were more than he could block out. This was more than he could take. No one, *no one*, talked about Maria like that. No one.

“Fuck you, Hank!” he snarled.

Hank looked at the boy with disdain. It was then that he saw the gun, his gun, held in a white-knuckled grip in Michael’s right hand. He brought his eyes up to meet Michael’s and said, “You ain’t got the balls and we both know it.”

“Try me, you fucking bastard,” Michael seethed as he curled his fingers tighter around the pistol’s grip.

“Your little whore, she knew you didn’t have the balls, too. That’s why she kicked your ass to the curb. She needed a real man.” Hank smirked up at Michael, ignoring the fire in the younger man’s eyes.

“Don’t you say that about her,” Michael said through clenched teeth. “Don’t you EVER say that about her again!”

“What? Don’t call her a whore? Is that what bothers you, Mickey? That your girlfriend was a tramp?” Hank nodded. “Yeah, I guess it would get to me, too, if I couldn’t even keep a silly little slut around for more than a few weeks.” He smiled a sickly grin that turned Michael’s stomach to lead. “Well, even the easy ones have *some* standards, boy.”

“Fuck you!” Michael yelled as he brought the gun up to aim it at Hank. He’d never been so angry in all his life. He knew that he was going to loss it. There was no way in the world he could stand here much longer and let Hank say those things.

“Just give me the fucking gun, Mickey,” Hank said in disgust. He wasn’t afraid. Somehow he knew that Michael could never actually pull the trigger.

Michael felt defeated as he, too, realized that he indeed could not kill this bastard that made his life a living hell. Even Hank, even the lowest form of life that he knew . . . still he couldn’t do that. His arms sagged as he lowered the gun to his side.

Then, out of the corner of his eye, Michael saw Hank jump towards him. He reached for the gun and Michael pulled his hand back, trying only to get out of the way. When he heard the shot, Michael froze.

Nothing moved for a moment. The air was still; the sound of the television faded . . . there was total silence. Hank lay on the floor in front of him and Michael could see a small red pool forming beneath him.

“Oh God,” he choked out. “Oh God, oh God, oh God.”

His breath came in short gasps and he could feel himself hyperventilating. This couldn’t be real. This couldn’t be happening. What the fuck had happened?

“Hank? Hank!” he called out. Nothing. No movement, no insults . . . just nothing.

Michael looked down at the gun he still held. He quickly let it drop to the floor with a loud clink. He took a few steps back, not sure of what to do next. Then, he tried to think. What should he do?

Max, he thought. Max would know what to do. Max always knew what to do. He turned around and started for the door with the intent of getting his best friend over here as fast as possible to help Hank, to fix the mess that he himself had managed to make.

He was at the door when he heard it. The click of the gun being cocked. He turned just in time to see Hank raise the pistol. He heard the shot, even saw the bullet moving towards him, but he never felt it. He never felt anything as he was hit. All he remembered was blackness. And darkness took him away.

* * * * *

“NO!!!! NO!!!” he cried out as he thrashed about on the bed. She pulled him closer in her arms and tried her best to quiet him.

It was afternoon by now and Maria had been trying to calm Michael down for over an hour. He’d slept for a while that morning, but then he’d started having these nightmares. She wasn’t sure what brought them on, but they seemed to terrify him and she hated to see him that way.

“Michael, wake up sweetie, it’s okay,” she soothed. She sat on the bed with him in her arms. He was only half-awake and clinging to her like a frightened child that was terrified of the monsters lurking beneath the bed. “Shh, Michael, wake up,” she said softly.

“Maria . . . Maria, help me,” he said weakly.

“You’re okay, honey, everything’s okay. I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere,” she promised.

His eyes finally began to open, but his arms didn’t loosen their hold on her. He was still flushed with fever and she knew that had to be causing some of his anxiety. It was almost like he was hallucinating.

“Where are we?” he asked her as he looked up into her concerned face.

“We’re home, we’re in our bed,” she answered.

“Where’s . . . where’s Max and Izzy? And Liz and the others . . . where are they?” he asked.

“Michael . . . we’re not in Roswell anymore, remember?” she said, her voice holding the patience that she would show a small child. “We’re in West Virginia. I’m Gina and you’re Danny . . . remember?”

He looked at her with wide, searching eyes and nodded. “Gina,” he said softly.

“Yes, Gina,” she confirmed

“Is Hank here?” he asked shakily.

The sound of that name made her heart nearly stop. “Michael . . . Hank is . . . Hank isn’t here. Just us, just me and you. There's no one here but the two of us.”

He nodded again and laid his head back against her shoulder. She cradled his head in her hands and gently rocked him against her. They were quiet for a long time, just holding each other. Finally, he spoke.

“I’m scared, Maria. I miss home. I miss Max and Izzy. I miss what we had.”

He sounded sad, sadder than she had ever heard him before. The words filled her eyes with tears and she tried to force then back. “I know,” she whispered. “I miss it, too.”

“Can we ever go back?” he asked. His fever had to be what was causing this. He never talked about home. It was one of his most staunchly kept rules.

“I don’t know, sweetie,” she answered. “I hope so, but I just don’t know.”

He nodded against her again as she continued to hold him close. She knew there was more to this than she was seeing. Whatever had happened in his dream had terrified him. It might be the fever making him finally show his fear, but there were real demons that haunted him every single day. She wondered if he would ever share those fears with her and finally let her share the weight of his burden?

She sighed heavily. She wasn’t sure of anything anymore except that she had a lot of things left to learn in her life. Unraveling the mind of Michael Guerin would by far be her toughest task.

She lay back against the pillows again, taking him with her. Sleep was what they needed. That would do them both a world of good right about now. With him wrapped safely in her arms, she finally let sleep take her away. She could only hope that eventually she would find out just what it was that haunted him, but that would have to wait for another day.

* * * * *

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