FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Whisper Scream"
Part 11
by Mnemosyne
Disclaimer: If they were mine, I would be the happiest person on earth. But, sadly, they are not mine. I shall have to toil in the mires of life just like everybody else, rejoicing in the good as it comes along.
Summary: Michael is captured, but someone witnesses the kidnapping....from afar.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: R
Authors Note: This story has sorta been evolving in my head for over a month now, and I'm not QUITE sure how it's going to go. But hopefully it will satisfy! Dedication: To bec, whose wonderful tale, "Bird in a Gilded Cage," has had me so tied in knots and doubled over into a pained agony of anticipation, that I just HAD to try my own take on the incarceration motif. Thank you, bec! MUSE-ic: Sarah Brightman's "Time to Say Goodbye" CD. Especially "No One Like You."
Spaceman, oh spaceman! Come rescue me from this! Calling all aliens! Come rescue me!

-Bif Naked "Spaceman"


The hands that held her were not gentle as Maria's eyes snapped open.

"Wha-what?" she stammered as she felt herself being lifted-- when the hell had she gotten dressed?-- and then set down roughly on a gurney. "What's going on?" she managed to say, struggling feebly against the burly men who were strapping her down. But her legs still ached terribly, and she couldn't fight very hard.

Suddenly, Topolsky's sharp face leaned in over her, and Maria stilled. "We might have told your boyfriend that you could stay here," the agent told her bluntly, "but we didn't say for how long. We still have tests to run, procedures to follow. He was an obstacle, so we temporarily removed him." She sighed and checked her fingernails, as though beating Michael to a bloody pulp had been a hassle not worthy of her precious time.

Maria glared at the older woman, and poured every ounce of venom she could muster into the look. "Whatever you did to him," she growled, trying not to belie the fact that she knew EXACTLY what she had done, "you'll pay. I promise, you'll pay."

Topolsky chuckled. "I'm sure you'd try, if you could. But," she stood back, and Maria felt herself being rolled forward, toward the door, "since you are going to be QUITE incapacitated for a while, I don't think I have to worry just yet."

"I WILL GET YOU TOPOLSKY!" Maria cried as she was wheeled out the door. "I SWEAR THAT!"

"Gag her," came the older woman's smooth voice, and one of the men surrounding the gurney pulled a white roll of surgical tape from his pocket. Ripping off a long piece, he smoothed it over Maria's mouth, ignoring her screams of protest. She couldn't speak now-- all she could manage were muffled roars as they wheeled her down the dark corridor to God alone knew where.

"MICHAEL!" she screamed mentally, praying that their speech-link hadn't only been part of the dream. "MICHAEL! HELP ME!"



Michael's eyes flew open and he sat bolt upright as the voice reverberated through his head. He immediately regretted it, as the pain he'd forgotten while asleep made itself blatantly obvious in waking. "Oh...God..." he groaned, falling back to the tile in a boneless heap.

That had been Maria's voice. So, their mind-reading capabilities DIDN'T just function in the dreamworld. The emotion and physical aspects, though, were a different story. Michael couldn't sense those parts of her anymore-- it left him feeling lonely. Not that he needed them-- it didn't take a mind reader to understand that Maria's mental voice had been scared. Terrified even.

His muscles tensed as realization hit. "What the fuck am I doing?" he said out loud. "Maria!"

With an inhuman fit of strength-- and a good dose of willpower-- he forced himself into a sitting position, ignoring the screaming pain in his chest from his broken ribs. Grabbing hold of a nearby table, he pulled himself to his feet and let himself sway for a moment as he fought down the urge to vomit.

God he hurt.

"How am I going to do this?" he asked himself. "Just how the FUCK am I going to do this?"


That did it. Pain or not, she needed him.

Michael's face went hard, and his eyes turned to black ice. That bitch Topolsky was hurting Maria-- it was time he hurt that bitch Topolsky.

Banishing his pain to the back of his mind, he pushed away from the table and took a few shaky steps toward the door. Slowly, his legs solidified-- now they were hard jelly, rather than soft jelly. But they would have to do.

The door seemed like an impossible goal, but Michael made it somehow. When he reached out to turn the handle, he paused long enough to stare at his hand. It was streaked with blood-- dry and rust brown. The stuff was caked under his fingernails like mud. He was suddenly glad there were no mirrors in this room-- just the thought of what he must look like right now was enough to make him want to give up. But then he thought of how wonderful it would be to cake Topolsky's blood under her own fingernails, and he grinned. This was going to be good.

Michael turned the handle without much hope of success, and was surprised to find it moved easily in his hand. "They must have thought I was well and truly whipped," he thought smugly. "Guess the guinea pig is going to surprise them." The door swung open and he stumbled out into the sparsely-lit corridor. Leaning against the wall for support, he opened his eyes and found himself facing 'Huey.'

Fighting back his surprise and fear, Michael quirked a pained grin and said, "Hey there, big guy. Betcha didn't expect to see me again so soon, huh?"

'Huey' looked a mixture of surprised and confused. "Strong but stupid-- perfect," Michael had time to think, just before the enormous guard leapt across the corridor at him.

"Uh-uh," Michael tsked, raising his hand. "I don't think so."

He felt an odd roiling sensation, like boiling electricity, thrumming in his arm. Raising his hand, he watched as a bolt of bright red light pulsed from his palm, catching the burly guard square in the chest. 'Huey' flew backwards and slammed into the wall. It didn't knock him out, but he looked dazed, and Michael decided to take advantage of the situation.

Pushing away from the wall- and suppressing the urge to groan-- he walked across the wide passageway until he stood in front of the woozy guard. Holding out a hand, Michael watched the big man's eyes grow wide with fear as a glowing nimbus of blue light surrounded him, lifting him up high enough for Michael to slam his hand against his chest and pin him to the wall.

Widening his eyes with mock surprise, Michael said, "Well, whaddaya know? Looks like the lab rat learned some new tricks." Keeping the shock out of his own voice was quite a trick in itself. He didn't know for the life of him where these powers were coming from-- he'd never seen anything like them before. But he wasn't about to question them.

Leaning in close, so that he was eye to eye with 'Huey,' he hissed, "Where is she?"

"Who-who are you talking about?" the big man gibbered, hedging.

Michael found a sick kind of pleasure in terrifying the guard, and he pushed him harder against the wall. "Maria," he growled. "Where. Is. She."

"Lab two!" the man exclaimed, this time without hesistation, his eyes wide with fear. "They're taking her to lab two! Other end of the facility. That way!" He pointed frantically down the hall to Michael's right.

"And Topolsky?"

"She'll be there, too!"

Michael grinned. "There," he said. "See how easy life can be when we're civil with one another?" Releasing 'Huey', he watched the man slump down the wall. "But," he continued, "since I can't have you sounding the alarm." He reached out and backhanded the man, putting as much force behind the action as he could muster. 'Huey's' head snapped to the side and he collapsed to the floor, unconcious.

Michael admired his handiwork for a moment, massaging his fist. But a wave of nausea suddenly washed through him as his adrenaline ebbed, and he had to lean forward against the wall or risk joining the guard on the floor. "Maria. Think of Maria," he repeated over and over, like a mantra. His reason for breathing.

Michael rested there for a long minute, sucking in deep, greedy breaths, eyes closed against the pain. "I'm going to mess you up, Topolsky," he finally growled between gulps, forcing his eyes to open. "I'm going to make you bleed." Keeping his forehead in contact with the smooth plaster wall of the sparsely-lit corridor, Michael twisted his head around so that he gazed down the hall in the direction the guard had indicated. "Lab two," he muttered. Pushing away from the wall, he began to jog down the hall. Pained and stilted, but moving fast.



"This is it!"

Max Evans stepped hard on the brake, and the open-air jeep came to a halt. They'd left the road long ago, following Isabelle's tingling link through the darkness and cross-country to the middle of nowhere. Casting a dubious eye around the empty New Mexico desert, lit only by moonlight and a few choice stars, he asked, "Are you sure, Izzy?"

His sister nodded wildly, eyes alight. "Positive, Max," she assured him as she stepped out onto the dusty ground. "They're here."

"But...there's nowhere here for them to be," Liz observed, climbing out of the back seat and moving to stand beside Isabelle.

The other girl barely registered Liz's presence-- her eyes scanned the desert, as if looking for something. A clue. "Doesn't matter," she said distractedly. "They're here."

Max joined the two girls, and all three of them began eagerly searching the endless vistas of azure-toned sand for some sign of their missing friends. But there was nothing.

After a few minutes, Max spoke up softly. "Maybe something went wrong."

Isabelle's eyebrows gathered in consternation. "No," she argued. "No, I KNOW I did it right. I KNOW I did!" She stamped her foot petulantly.


Isabelle froze. Max and Liz looked at her, shocked. In unison, all three looked down at the blonde girl's feet.

"What the hell was that?" Isabelle asked no one in particular.

"Try it again," Liz encouraged, her voice high-pitched with excitement.

Isabelle did as she was told, and stomped on the loose-packed desert earth again. STOMP-STOMP!

Two CLANG-CLANGs answered the movement.

Three pairs of eyes met. Three identical smiles sparkled to life.

"Anyone bring a shovel?" Liz asked.



The huge room they wheeled Maria into looked like something out of 'Star Wars.' One entire wall was covered in flashing lights and beeping equipment-- computer stations and observation terminals. In one corner stood a tall, deep water tank, filled to the brim and bubbling with oxygen. She didn't want to even think what that was for. She didn't want to think what ANY of this was for, but that wasn't really much of an option.

Directly in the center, where her gurney was headed, stood a stainless steel surgical table, replete with stirrups and sterile white paper sheets. Maria's eyes widened with fear as they approached it, and she began to pull at her restraints again.

"Put the girl on the table," Topolsky ordered from out of sight, and Maria found herself being unstrapped and lifted again. She struggled weakly, trying to wrench her body from the hands that held her, but she couldn't break free. Her vocal cords strained as they placed her on the table and she screamed behind her gag.

"It does no good to scream, Ms. Deluca," she heard Topolsky explain, as if she were speaking to a two year old. "No one can hear you."

Her wrists were being lashed down. Her waist was being strapped down. A cord was looped over her throat to hold her head down. She screamed again. 'No one can hear you,' Topolsky had said. But she wouldn't let herself believe that.

"MICHAEL!" she screamed mentally, louder than ever before. "God, Michael, HURRY!"


The mental voice hit him like a fist, and Michael stumbled, collapsing to the floor. "Holy shit," he thought as the voice rang in his head. "That was loud."

He lay, panting, on the speckled tile of the corridor for a few seconds longer. His entire body throbbed-- he wanted nothing more than to stop here. Just stop here and sleep, and forget the pain for a little while.

"No," he reprimanded himself. "Maria. You want Maria. More than anything. More than peace. Remember?"

He did.

"Then get the fuck up off the floor, Sherlock."

He did.

"I'm coming Maria," he muttered as he began his shuffling jog again, faster now, with more purpose. "I'm coming, I swear."

"Why don't you tell her that, dipwad."

So he did.


"I'm coming, Maria."

The voice was so unexpected, it stilled Maria's struggling for a split second. "Michael?" she sent.

She could hear his mental chuckle. "You let other guys get in your head?"

The joy that suffused her then almost counteracted her fear. Almost.

"Michael, hurry, please!" she begged as she saw Topolsky loom into view again. The woman was giving orders, but Maria didn't listen-- they weren't important. "They're.....TESTING me!"

"What do you mean?"

"I'm all strapped down on this table, and...God, Michael, I think they're going to EXAMINE me!"

There was silence for a long second, and Maria began to worry she'd lost the connection. "Michael?" she sent. "Michael, are you there?"

"Is Topolsky there, too?" The question was unexpected, but the hostility in his voice wasn't.

Maria resisted the urge to nod. "Yeah."

She felt the equivalent of a mental nod. "I'm coming, golden girl," he assured her. "Just hang on. I'll be there soon."

Tears sprang to her eyes, but she fought them down. "Promise?"

"Could I let my happiness get hurt?"

She felt the connection go dormant again. Odd how she could sense it now; sense it's loss. But it was still there, waiting to be opened again. And it made her take heart.

Enough so that she could glare into Topolsky's eyes and barely shiver when the woman said, "Let's begin, shall we?"



"I've got something!" Liz exclaimed, and Max and Isabelle were immediately at her side.

"What? What is it?" Isabelle asked excitedly. They'd all been hacking at the dirt for several minutes now, revealing a metallic structure hidden just beneath the surface of the desert sand. But no door. Yet.

"I think it's an entrance!" Liz explained as she dropped her small portable shovel and fell to her knees, brushing the rest of the sandy soil away with her hands.

Max and Isabelle knelt down beside her and eagerly began pushing the sand out of the way. Sure enough, a rectangular door began to take shape. A flat handle was recessed in the metal, and all three of them stared at it.

"Do you think it's unlocked?" Isabelle asked.

"Would you lock a hidden door in the middle of the desert beneath six-inches of sand?" Max asked.

"Does it really matter?" Liz opted.

Isabelle and Max looked at each other-- no, it didn't.

All three of them looked at one another then, faces solemn. This was it.

Reaching out a delicate hand-- the manicure of which had been ruined by the desert sand-- Isabelle grabbed the handle, pulled it up, and twisted.

There was a protesting shriek of metal grinding against metal, and then a satisfying POP as the tumblers shifted. With a smooth motion, the door whooshed open, and Isabelle pulled it up.

The three teenagers stared down into the darkness below. The first few rungs of a ladder could just barely be seen in the faint blue moonlight. It looked like a tomb.

None of them spoke for a second.

"I'll go first," Max said eventually. "Then Isabelle. Then Liz. Got it?" The two girls nodded, and he took a deep breath. "All right then. Let's go."

Shifting around so that his feet touched the rungs of the ladder, Max began his downward climb into darkness.

When he stepped off the bottom rung, he looked quickly to the left and right to be sure the coast was well and truly clear. Not seeing anyone, Max called softly up the ladder, "Come on down, Izzy!" He heard her shuffling around on the surface, and turned his attention back to his dark surroundings.

Which was why he was only slightly surprised when Michael slammed right into him.


"Am I cursed?" Michael thought absently as he found himself suddenly tangled with another mass of arms and flailing limbs. They fell to the floor, and Michael heard the other figure let out a gust of air as the wind was knocked out of him.

"I just have a small dream," Michael thought bitterly. "Namely, to get to fucking Lab two, rescue Maria, and beat the shit out of that bitch Topolsky. Why can't I just do that?" He tensed his muscles for a fight.

So the voice that came to his ears was beyond shocking. It was breathtaking.


He couldn't believe it. It wasn' couldn't be..."Max?"

He felt the arms that had been fighting him off moments earlier suddenly switch direction and begin hugging him. "My God, Michael!" Max exclaimed. "I can't believe...!"


His eyes squinted up at Isabelle's voice. "Izzy?"

"MICHAEL!" She knelt beside him and added her own arms to the pair that were already entangling him.


He managed a dry chuckle as Liz suddenly fell on him, too. Three of the people he cared for most in this life-- who he'd never thought he would see again-- were hugging him right now. God, this felt good.

Wait a minute. No it didn't.

"PLEASE GET OFF RIGHT NOW!" he almost bellowed, and it worked like magic. The three people enclosing him fell away like a banana peel, leaving Michael gasping between them, curled up against the wall, one arm wrapped around his abused ribs.

"Michael?" Isabelle sounded worried. "Michael, what...Oh my God, Max, look at him!"

"I see, Izzy." Max's voice had taken on that serious tone it always held when danger was brewing. Michael couldn't see his face-- he couldn't see much of anything through the pain. He just rocked slightly back and forth, biting his lip, praying the pain would ebb so he could run again.

"," he croaked.

He heard the shocked gasps from his small circle of friends. "Michael, you need help," Isabelle said. "You can't keep--"

"Just help me up!" he repeated, louder this time. Forcing his eyes open, he looked at each one of his friends. "I...don't have time Maria."

They all looked scared when he said that. "Maria's in danger?" Liz squeaked.

Michael chuckled as he began to force himself into a sitting position, leaning against the wall. "We're all in danger, Liz," he told her, hissing with pain as he walked his hands up the wall, pulling himself to his feet. "I just intend to do something about it."

He started moving again, but felt Max grab his arm. "Man, let us do this," the other boy told him. "You are in no condition to be saving anyone."

Michael stared into Max's eyes-- a battle of wills. Max threw Michael's pain at him-- his wounds, his shakiness. The quivering of his muscle's beneath Max's hand. The unsteady set of his feet.

Michael had only one argument-- Maria. He screamed it loud and clear with his eyes and the set of his jaw. And he won.

Max released his arm abruptly, and Michael bobbed his head in the other teen's direction. "Come on, Maximillian," he murmured, and began running again, pushing his muscles to the maximum, making up for lost time.

Max watched Michael go, then started after him, Isabelle and Liz close behind.


"They're here."

It was only a brief message, but it made Maria's breath come easier. Well, easy was a relative term. She still felt as though her lungs were in a steel vise of panic.

"Hurry," she sent back, unable to form anything more coherent. "Please hurry."

Topolsky had changed into surgical green, and she towered over Maria's prone, helpless form. "This will be a simple procedure," she said. "Just a routine internal examination, to determine if anything was damaged during the intercourse you took part in last night."

"Fudd voo," Maria spat through her gag, hoping the older woman couldn't read the fear that was burning in her eyes.

Topolsky didn't comment. Instead, she began turned to one of the guards who stood nearby. "Remove her pants," she instructed the man.

Maria squirmed away from him, but couldn't get far-- the damned restraints looped around her wrists, waist and neck held her almost immobile. The sheer lack of movement terrified her even more than her vulnerability.

She scrunched her eyes shut, unable to watch as her scrubs were stripped off, leaving her lower body almost bare, except for the plain white panties.

"You're probably hoping your boyfriend will come breezing through that door," Topolsky said suddenly, and Maria forced her eyes to open and stare at the woman. The agent's eyes were sparking, all attempts at cool composure thrown to the four winds. "He's not going to, you know," she continued, leaning in close. "I made sure of that. I left him bleeding on the floor on the other side of the compound. He's probably dead by now. And I don't really care."

She looked away and began to circle around Maria's head. "You see, none of this is sanctioned," she explained, swooping in so that she was inches away from Maria's face, causing the girl to flinch away. "My boss doesn't know about it-- nobody knows about it. Just you, and me, a few hired guards, and a dying alien half-way to hell who's probably dead already."

"I wouldn't be so sure."

Maria's heart leapt, and she whipped her eyes away from Topolsky to gaze in adoration at the battered young man who leaned in the doorway.

"Mr. Guerin." Topolsky's voice was smooth, cool-- but Maria could hear a different note in that usually implacable voice. Perhaps even a little fear. "I must admit, it's quite a shock to see you here. Come to save your damsel?"

He pushed away from the doorframe and began to advance into the room. Maria found herself wincing with every step he took-- God, how much did each jarring inch hurt him? It made her want to cry.

"Let her go," Michael ordered through gritted teeth, ignoring Topolsky's last remark.

The woman laughed. "I don't think you're in a position to be making demands, Mr. Guerin," she told him. "In case you hadn't noticed, you're outnumbered, and in no state to put up any kind of a fight."

He returned her smug grin with one of his own. "You'd like to think that, wouldn't you?" he asked. "But you'd be wrong."

And he struck.


That familiar flow of roaring, surging power coiled inside him again, and Michael raised his hand to release it.

The beam of red light was blinding this time. It struck Topolsky square in the chest, and she flew backwards, away from the table, slamming with bone-breaking force into the wall of electronics. Sparks exploded around her as she slumped, dazed and delirious, to the floor.

Michael didn't have much time to savor his temporary victory. He saw movement out of the corner of his eye, and swivelled just in time to catch the approaching guard with an equally intense burst of light. The monstrous man flew backwards, crashing into the wall. The impact snapped his neck backwards. There was a loud CRACK, and then the man lay still.

Michael cast his gaze around the room at the four other guards who stood nearby. "Any other takers?" he asked.

They stared back at him for a second, then ran.

He'd never known men that big could move so fast, but they were quickly gone. He toyed briefly with the idea of killing them all before they could reach the door, but the idea held no savor for him. That other guard had been an accident. He didn't want to kill anyone.

Except Topolsky.

"So, you thought I was dead, huh?" Michael asked, moving further into the room. He chuckled and paused, holding his arms out to the sides, and ignoring the shrieking pain in his broken ribs. He wished briefly that he had taken the time to at least partially mend those. But it was too late now. "Well, here I am," he continued, beginning to move again. "In the flesh and in living color."

Topolsky was forcing her way up the sparking machinery, glaring at Michael with ice cold bitch-eyes. "Yeah, lots of color," she growled, pushing away from the wall. "Pretty reds and blacks and blues-- you look like a cartoon." But she didn't move forward.

Michael paused when he came to Maria's side. "Gee, what a coinky-dink," he said. "I love cartoons." Never taking his eyes from the blonde agent, he reached out and tenderly peeled away the surgical tape from Maria's mouth. He felt her warm gasp against his palm, and for a second, he almost looked down at her. But that was what Topolsky wanted-- a split second out of his gaze. "Hey, baby," he murmured to the girl laying on the surgical table. "You all right?"

"Yeah," Maria replied, and he felt her nod against his hand. "I'm fine."

Topolsky was itching for him to look away. Why not mess with her a bit? Leaning down, he found Maria's lips from memory, keeping his eyes open, upturned, and burning into the older woman's. "The other's will get you out," he told her softly. "I'm going to be a busy for a few minutes."

"Be careful," she sent back, and he could hear her worry.

Pulling away, he straightened up, allowing himself the luxury of stroking Maria's smooth cheek. "Don't worry about me," he told her. "Worry about Topolsky."

"Give her hell."

Michael grinned. "That's my girl." "Help her," he said out loud to the three people he knew were standing in the doorway. "Then get out."

Topolsky surprisingly managed to keep her focus on him as Max, Liz and Isabelle rushed forward to free Maria from her bonds. "So, you brought reinforcements?" she commented. "You're going to need them."

Michael shook his head. "No I won't," he told her. "This is between you and me."

There was silence between the two of them for a long minute, as Michael listened to his friends rescue his lover. He waited until he heard them scurry out the door.

Then, the fireworks started.


Maria didn't know if she should laugh or cry when she saw the others crowd around her. "Max! Isabelle! Lizzy!" she crowed.

Liz grinned down at her. "Hey there, chica," the dark-haired girl said. "What's up?"

"Oh, you know, getting strapped down to a table so that dememted psycho-agents can run experiments on you. The usual."

Max was busily loosening one of her wrists, while Isabelle worked at her waist and Liz freed her neck. She took a deep breath as the cords fell away. "Thank you," she told them.

Isabelle handed her the scrub pants. "You might...want to put these on," the other girl said, and Maria blushed.

"Oh, right," Maria murmured, and quickly sat up, swinging her protesting legs over the side of the table. She groaned.

"What? What's wrong?" Liz asked, worried.

Maria managed a forced smile. "Nothing," she lied. "Just my legs are kinda messed up." Ignoring her embarassment for a moment, she twitched her knees apart and showed them the feast of bruises that covered her inner thighs.

"Oh my God," Liz murmured, eyes wide, as Maria closed her legs quickly. "How...?"

"That's a long story for another time," Maria said. "But...I can't walk too well."

Max set his jaw. Without waiting for her to say anything else, he leaned in and picked her up off the table. "Let's get out of here," he said hurriedly, looking at Michael and Topolsky over Maria's shoulder. "Things are about to get heavy."

Maria glanced over her shoulder at Michael. She could only see his back, but the set of his shoulders told her volumes. "Be careful," she sent him again, knowing he was too focused to answer.

Max spun around then, and she had to twist her neck in the other direction to watch Michael's form grow smaller, before they were suddenly going through the door, and he was gone.

They were a quarter of the way to the ladder when the first explosion hit.


Topolsky somehow managed to dodge Michael's bolt of red energy this time, and it slammed into the electronics behind her. A shower of sparks exploded from the machinery, dazzling Michael's eyes, almost blinding him. But he somehow saw Topolsky's wild-eyed charge, and managed to swivel out of the way before she could ram him head on. Her shoulder clipped his hip, and they both went down.

Michael fought against her as she clawed at him, grinding her fist into the ribs she knew were broken. "BITCH!" he screamed in pain, throwing her off him. She flew backwards and collided with the edge of the table. He rolled on the floor, holding his ribs.

"Looks like I found a weak spot," he heard her hiss, and then she was on him again.

For an instant, they were back in the testing room. She had complete control-- he was just her pawn. Michael felt himself beginning to curl up and give in.

But then an image of Maria's prone, helpless form flashed into his mind, and a scream of inhuman fury escaped him. This woman was not going to win. He wouldn't let her.

Michael had now idea what his powers would do if used at this close range, but he didn't care. Managing to get his palm flat on Topolsky's stomach, he fired.

They flew apart. The impact sent Michael rolling backward to collide with the already abused computer wall. Topolsky skidded across the room and hit the water tank. Michael watched her though slitted eyes. She was moaning and holding her own stomach, which was smoking. He grinned.

"Gotcha," he hissed.

Forcing himself into a standing position, he began to advance on her. "So, none of this is sanctioned," he said, looking around. "Not bad," he contined, nodding appraisingly. "What, daddy give you a big allowance?"

She glared up at him. "It's amazing the things you can get money for in Washington," she told him. "Tack a little addition onto a Senate appropriations bill, and you're in business."

Michael tsked, and squatted down in front of her. "Those are my tax dollars you're using, Topolsky," he scolded. "And I don't think I like the way you've been managing them."

"Fuck off," she growled, and he chuckled.

Grabbing her by the front of her scrubs, he pulled her to her feet, ignoring her hiss of pain. The smell of burning flesh wafted to his nostrils, but he blipped over it. Slamming her back against the water tank, he muttered, "Before I kill you, I want to know one thing." He drew his arm across her throat and pinned her tighter. "Why?"

Topolsky's lips skinned back from her teeth. "Why not?"

He shook her, and she winced. "That's not an answer!" he yelled.

She squinted at him. "Why? You want to know why?"

Michael nodded.

Topolsky laughed. "Because I wanted to!" she told him. "Because I wanted to let those bastards back in Washington who dragged me over the coals because a few kids managed to blow my cover that I WAS RIGHT! That I COULD TAKE YOU DOWN!" She grinned. "And I did. I took you."

Michael bared his teeth in a ferile scowl. "Yeah, you did," he told her. "You just couldn't keep me."

He buried his fist in her midsection, holding her up so she couldn't double over. "That was for me," he told her.

Lifting Topolsky, Michael flung her, like a rag doll, over the top of the water tank. She landed with a splash and sank quickly, before kicking her way to the surface with a shriek of pain.

"That's for what you put my friends through," he told her.

Moving away from the tank, he walked to the electronic wall. All kinds of cords and wires, normally attached to their proper orifices, now dangled from the ceiling, dancing like so many charmed snakes. Grabbing hold of a particularly thick, sparking cable, he drew it back to the tank with him. "And this," he said, indicating the cable, "is for Maria. Have fun."

And he chucked the sparking cable into the tank.

Michael didn't stay to watch as the water electrified-- he turned his back as soon as the cord left his hands. This woman had meant nothing to him in life. He sure as hell didn't give a shit about her death.

Her shriek of fear then pain was more than enough to content him as he jogged from the room, leaving it all behind him.


"Where the hell is he!?" Maria shrieked, fighting against the hands that were holding her back.

"Maria, calm down!" Liz ordered, fingers digging into her arms. "He'll be here!"

"No he won't! It's been too long!" Maria shrieked, turning on her worried friends, eyes wild. "Oh, God, he's dead. He's dead and Topolsky killed him. No, God, please no!" "We have to go help him!"

"Who says I need help?"

Maria spun around again to see Michael pulling himself laboriously from the pitch black hole in the ground in front of her.

He grinned at her look of surprise. "Hey baby, where you been all my life?" he teased.

Maria could just gape at him like a fish for a long minute. Then, with a wordless cry, she threw her arms around his neck, and held him tightly.

"Oh, God, I thought I'd lost you," she sobbed into his shoulder as he slipped from the hole and wrapped his arms around her. "I thought you were gone."

Michael's strong hands stroked her back. "Not in that hell hole," he assured her softly. "I wasn't going to let that happen."

She smiled against his skin, but it quickly faded as he began to slump against her.

Pulling back, Maria looked at his collapsed form fearfully. "Michael?" she squeaked. "Michael, say something!"

"Michael?" Max said, very near her shoulder. She hadn't even noticed he was there. "Michael!"

The young man in question squinted up at them. "Ow," he croaked.

Maria stared at him for a moment, then bust out laughing. "You're lucky you're hurt, spaceboy," she told him, leaning forward to press her forehead to his and burying her fingers in his hair, "or I would beat you so badly for that!"

He chuckled. "Um, guys," he addressed the group, "I might be able to blow things up now and all-- and no, I DON'T know how I can do that-- but I still can't heal a papercut worth shit." He groaned. "Someone care to gimme a hand?"

They all laughed in nervous relief then, as Isabelle and Max leaned in to rest their hands on his battered body and heal him.

Maria smiled down into his face, tears pricking at her eyes. "We're out," she said silently, and saw him smile.

"I know."

"What happened to Topolsky?"

She felt his thoughts go dark at the name. "She's dead," he told her simply, and left it at that.

Maria knew it was fruitless to push the issue, so she just stroked his cheek and kissed his forehead. "So what now, rocket jockey?" she asked.

Michael seemed to consider for a moment. "Well," he finally said, "there is the whole first date thing. I suppose it's anticlimactic and all, but what do you say to dinner and a movie?"

Maria ignored the curious looks the others gave her as she started laughing against him. It felt good to laugh again. She never wanted to stop.

Email Author | Back to FanFic Page
Part 12
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
Crashdown is maintained by and . Design by Goldenboy.
Copyright © 1999-2004 Web Media Entertainment.
No infringement intended.