|"A Present Unseen"|
|Disclaimer: I own nothing and am nothing but a lowly servant of my computer and endless hours of fanfic. (Ok, maybe not.) Ooo, but I do own Adam. Mine. Mine mine mine.|
Summary: It's about two years after A Past Forgotten. Graduation is just around the corner, but so is trouble.
Author's Note: Ok, I know I say this a lot and I talk too much as it is, but FEEDBACK. I need it... it keeps my blood pumping and my fingers typing. Please? Love you guys!
|“It’s cold here,” Kyle whined. Isabel slapped his arm hard, and put her finger to her lips as Maria shoved his head down. |
The three of them were hiding in a large ditch off in the farthest corner of the forest. It was dirty, unattractive, and reeked of something only the bowels of wild animals could produce.
“Isabel, it’s been quiet for the past three hours that we’ve been waiting here. No one’s on their way to kill us. Hell, the stench is going to kill us before some aliens do,” Kyle whispered wretchedly. He wanted more action, less hiding. This had all the potential action of a Sylvester Stallone movie with an added sprinkle of aliens.
“Isabel,” Maria said softly. “What do we do? We can’t hide here forever.” Kyle had a point. Maria felt gross just being stuck in the pit, and she wasn’t sure how much longer would take before she started cracking.
“Maria, we stick to what we planned. We have to wait for Liz to contact us.” Isabel’s hard voice indicated what was really on her mind, what she was really thinking. She was scared. She didn’t know what to do.
“What if Liz…” Maria’s sentence drifted off into the silence. None of them wanted to even contemplate how that statement could end, because they didn’t want to know the answer.
A stiff crunch of a branch echoed nearby causing the three to turn to each other with wide, fearful eyes. Not even a moment later, a body came tumbling down into their ditch, a light moan escaping from their lips. The air was deathly silent as everyone quickly scrambled his or her brains as to what to do. The figure looked too injured to be dangerous.
Kyle slowly inched towards the figure, motioning for the girls to stay back. Kyle stopped just inches away from the figure, finding himself, again, unsure of what to do. He softly kicked the body in the thigh, emitting a tortuous sound from the body.
“Kyle!” Maria shrieked, half whispering. She ran to the agonized figure, kneeling beside him. “Guys, it’s Adam.” Maria brushed the dirt off of Adam’s body, rolling him so that he was lying on his back. His squinting eyes looked up at them.
“Adam?” Isabel called quietly. She and Kyle both kneeled beside the boy. “Adam, what happened? Where are Max and Liz?” She touched his arm lightly in comfort, but Adam cringed at the contact.
“My whole body,” Adam gasped. “It stings all over. I hurt my shoulder-” Adam gulped a large breath “-and I had to use-” more panting “-my powers to throw off the men-” Adam closed his eyes in pain “-and the rest of my energy to keep moving.”
Maria felt tears mount in her eyes. Adam was in so much pain but kept trekking to stay alive. There were obvious cuts frowning at her from his body, and bruises marred his skin. She turned to Isabel.
“Izzy, you’ve got to do something. Look at him, he’s in so much pain,” Maria pleaded. Maria begged with her watery eyes, but Isabel’s own eyes stared back, teary and terrified.
“I-I don’t know if I can… Max heals, I can’t. I-I’m… oh god, Adam, I’m so sorry.” Isabel started to openly cry, and Kyle pulled her into her chest. He stroked her hair as her muffled cries sounded into his chest.
“Adam,” Maria said softly to him. Stroking the side of his face gently, she asked quietly, “Where are Liz and Max?” Adam let out another tortured cry escape him before answering so softly that Maria barely heard his raspy voice.
“When my shoulder got hit… made them go. Liz not good… Max carrying her… left me…” Adam started to cough violently, gripping onto Maria’s hand for support. The loud, aggressive coughs ringed painfully in Maria’s ear causing her to cringe, but she stroked his back for comfort.
Adam turned to her, his eyes boring deep into hers. “You… have to find her. Liz. Safe. I need her to be… safe.” Maria smiled at him, with a touch of sadness, and nodded.
“We’re going to get you help as fast as we can, all right? You’re not allowed to freak me out like this for long periods of time. I’m going to make sure someone heals you.” Even though she meant every truth-filled word as a source of comfort for the both of them, she felt the tears rain down her cheeks.
“Maria, we can’t stay here,” Kyle stated, breaking the conversation between Maria and Adam. “I hate to say this but if someone was following Adam, we’ve got to go.” Isabel looked up from Kyle’s embrace, turning to Maria. She nodded her agreement silently.
“Guys, Adam’s hurt. We can’t up and move. And I am [b]not[/b] leaving him here by himself. We’ve been safe in this ditch so far, and Adam said he threw off the guards. Lets just wait until Adam gets some of his-”
“Be quiet,” Adam’s hoarse voice sounded. The other three became silent with only Adam’s harsh breathing. Then a few sounds of crunching leaves and branches clattered the air, indicating more visitors.
Maria bit her lip in fear, but quickly assessed the situation. Motioning for Isabel and Kyle to help, they picked up Adam and helped him to move right against the wall of the ditch. It was their safest way to stay somewhat discreet in the eyes of wandering souls.
The crunching came closer just behind all of their heads. Pressing their bodies as tight as they could against the wall of the ditch, they dreadfully awaited for whatever fate decided for them.
Maria’s heart pounded horrendously, its invading pressure pouring fear into her body little by little. Her eyes blinked rapidly, tears cascading down nevertheless. She just couldn’t comprehend how things got out of control so quickly. Matters kept flying at her, kept troubling her, and she never had time to deal with it. Weeks ago she was enjoying herself at Graduation and now here she was, stuck in a disgusting, reeking, hell of a place, where dirt polluted her in places she didn’t even want to mention.
Maria felt Adam wince beside her, and she grabbed his hand. Not just for him, but for her too. Things could be a lot worse. She had to keep thinking positive. She could be by herself. And that would be bad.
All right, good job, Deluca. Calm yourself down.
“Guys! Oh my god!” Maria screeched. Propelling herself over the ditch wall and leaving her three confused friends behind, she began to sprint into the distance.
“MARIA!” Kyle screamed. He, too, threw himself over the wall but stopped to instruct Isabel to stay with Adam. Getting up, he began to run after Maria, but didn’t really go much farther than a few feet before colliding with a tall body.
“Valenti,” Michael growled. “You dumb ass.” Michael rubbed his chest in anger, and glared at Kyle. Kyle looked at Michael, astounded to see him. Beside him were Maria, Ben and Sandy. Ben looked weary and completely worn out with Sandy at his side, clutching his arm.
“Uh, hi,” Kyle squeaked. He eyed Maria, who was wiping away her present tears. She was tightly gripping Michael’s arm, body close to his.
They all entered the ditch, but not before Michael, Ben and Sandy all took a nervous glance behind them.
Isabel quickly looked up to find the new group before her. Relief flooded her face, and whispered to Adam who it was. He nodded his head, his jaw tightly clenched. She slowly helped to ease him down to the ground so he could lie down.
“Jesus,” Ben swore. “What the hell happened to him?” Ben quickly made his way to Adam’s side, crouching beside him. He immediately put his hands over Adam’s body, letting a glow release underneath his fingers. But quickly Ben fell over, gasping painfully for air. Adam didn’t look any better.
“Ben?” Sandy asked quietly. She kneeled down next to him, softly brushing sweated strands of hair to the side. He peeked one eye open and smiled.
“I’m fine, Sandy, just not enough energy to heal. Could you…?” Sandy nodded, obeying anything her brother would ask her. Leaving a small kiss on Ben’s forehead, she instantly moved to Adam’s side and began to place her hands on his chest.
Maria’s heart tightened. Understanding for the girl started to grasp her mind. Under Sandy’s coldness and insensitivity, there was just a frightened girl who just loved her brother. Even though she held such obvious distaste and hurt for Adam, she helped him because her brother asked her to. And maybe because somewhere deep down, Sandy didn’t hate Adam. She was just blinded by her hurt.
It distinctly reminded her of someone else.
Maria felt Michael pull her closer to him, and she obliged willingly. Quickly winding her arms around Michael’s fatigued body, she sighed against his chest. Michael stroked her cheek softly, shifting her head so he could finally look into her eyes. Maria let more tears flow at the tenderness parading his eyes. He looked so broken, so tired. Letting herself have one selfish thought, she wondered if he was as relieved to see her as she was him.
Smiling a sad but relieved smile, he leaned down and placed a small, delicate kiss on her forehead. Without words, Michael had just answered her question.
“God, I was so worried,” Maria stated quietly, unable to hide the onslaught of tears. Michael quickly wiped those tears away with the stroke of his thumb.
“I’m fine. We’re fine. We just- wait. Where’s Liz? And Max?” Maria watched as Michael plunged quickly into full-fledged panic mode. He pulled away from Maria and straightened his back, looking for Liz and Max in their makeshift home for the moment. But he knew he wouldn’t find them. Things just refused to go his way.
Isabel saw Michael slowly losing his grip, and Maria starting to freak out beside him. The last thing they all needed was for those two to completely lose it. She quickly scurried over to them, and grabbed Michael’s wrist, attracting his attention. Making him look her right in the eyes, she spoke softly but firmly.
“Michael, Max and Liz aren’t here. Adam got hurt and they took off before they could get caught. Listen, Michael, I need you to hear everything I’m going to say, all right? Max is not here and Adam is hurt pretty badly, so you have to keep it together. Promise me. You’ve got to be strong for everyone right now.” Michael nodded, signaling his agreement. For the first time ever, he damned his past for all the hurt, worry and grief it was causing his present.
A loud wheeze from Sandy was heard before she fell to the ground beside Adam. Kyle went to help her up, but she shook her head in refuse.
“Give me a minute,” she coughed. “I don’t have enough energy to heal Adam fully, but he should be good for now.” Slinging her arm over her eyes, she took a deep breath.
Beside her, Adam stirred a little. Opening his eyes, he saw his friends gathered around, all looking unsurely at each other. Ben and Sandy were lying on the ground not far from him. He felt his muscles slowly returning to strength but fatigue still wracked him hideously.
“You guys all right?” Adam asked, leaning towards the other two protectors. Sandy just nodded and Ben gave a thumbs-up sign. Adam took a deep breath and slowly aided himself to stand. Maria offered to help, but he refused.
“Where’s Alex?” Isabel asked, timidly, pulling her eyes away from Adam’s obvious discomfort. Michael looked down at the ground before answering.
“He’s gone,” Michael answered quietly. “There were eight guys that rushed the room. Sandy had to heal Ben from the blast that hit him, so it was just me trying to fend off those guys. I only got four of them. Then Ben got another two. The last two escaped with Alex.”
“Alex… or Khivar?” Isabel asked quietly.
“Khivar.” Isabel just nodded and turned her back to the group, for that was all the privacy she could have in this god forsaken place.
“Wait,” Adam interjected, his eyes flaming. “Khivar is on the loose? With two of the guards?” Adam let out a long string of curses. He started walking towards the top of the ditch, pulling himself over before anyone could realize what he intended on doing.
“ADAM!” Maria screamed. “You can’t go out there, you don’t have the energy to.”
“Liz and Max are out there, with no one to protect them. Liz could barely stand when I last saw her. I’m not going to let them wander around while Khivar is on the brink of capturing Liz.” Adam continued to walk away, but Maria yelled again.
“They’ll kill you without a second thought. What good are you to Liz if you’re dead?”
Adam halted for a moment, gazing at the dim sky. He needed to pull himself together and… well, not die. That was the cold hard truth. He didn’t have time to worry about his energy or death or any other plaguing ideas.
He turned around and caught Maria’s eyes with his. “It’s me or her, Maria. And I refuse to let it be her.” With that, he began walking back out into the forest.
Maria let out a frustrated scream. She turned to Michael, pointing frantically towards Adam. “Do something! Stop him! Drag him back here if you have to!” Maria’s eyes pleaded angrily with his, but the moment they met, Maria knew she was fighting a losing battle.
Michael took Maria’s hand instead, placing a kiss on her delicate fingers. Then he pressed his lips against hers, letting a lingering kiss take place before pulling back. With every ounce of truth in his words, he said, “I love you, Maria.” Kissing her forehead one last time, he hiked himself over the ditch and joined Adam on his crusade.
|Part 58 | Index | Part 60|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|