Fanfic - Michael/Maria
"Chasing Hope"
Part 16
by Candy Doris
Disclaimer: The characters are not ours, just the creative circumstances in this particular fanfic came from our minds.
Summary: All our favorite characters are chasing every sense of the word. When the aliens leave to follow destiny, their earthling counterparts are forced to follow a destiny of their own with Hope being their only guidance. But what happens when the past and future, destiny and hope blend together and the future becomes past and the hope becomes destiny?
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: R
Author's Note: There are two imaginations behind this fanfic. One in California, one in Florida. A chance meeting empowered us to work together, each using our individual talents of editing and writing, respectively, and ultimately taking the first steps in achieving our dreams. Please let us know what you think. (Your conscious will eat you alive until you do!) Please copy both of us at the following email address: &
Liz breathed heavily as she ran up the deserted stairwell. Her anxiety grew with each step and her heart beat faster and faster. When she finally reached the level marked by an oversized “7” on the door, she slowed her pace and gasped for air. Liz panicked when she opened the door into a three-way intersection of long hallways. She looked to the left, to the right, and forward. In hasty thought, Liz decided going up and down the halls looking for 729 would take more time than she had to spare. So she shouted, “Alex!”

A door opened halfway down the hall to her right and Alex poked his head outside. “She’s down here.”

Liz began to run continuing the sprint she’d began following since Alex’s call the night before. She was unable to get a flight that late and she couldn’t bare the thought of waiting until morning, so she packed her car and drove all night. She arrived in Los Angeles with the sun and stopped just inside the city limits to get directions to the hospital.

Alex’s message on the answering machine was practically cryptic. He left little more details than the name of the hospital and the fact that Maria and Hope were taken there by helicopter. Not knowing their conditions nearly drove Liz mad. All night long she struggled to keep her calm as she worried, reminisced, and cried.

As Liz reached Alex, he stepped into the hallway and closed the door behind himself. “Hope is okay,” he said quietly moving in to hug Liz.

She pulled away and looked at Alex. He still wore a black tux from the night before. He looked awful. Dark bags hung below his eyes that were red from lack of sleep. At second glance, Liz knew lack of sleep wasn’t Alex’s problem. He’d been crying. He looked so fragile and vulnerable.

Alex caught Liz staring at him and quickly adjusted in an attempt to better compose himself. He may not have been able to do much for Maria, but he could at least try to help Liz. Alex decided that he shouldn’t allow Liz to see him worry. He looked away from Liz for a second and tried to wipe away the leftover tears from his eyes. He challenged himself to think positively. In his head, as if to convince himself, he shouted, “Everything is going to be okay. Everything has to be okay.”

“He’s trying to be strong,” Liz thought. His selfless courage was one of the many things Liz admired in Alex. She could always count on him to be there for his friends. It seemed he’d always been driven a need to protect them. Regardless of how much pain Alex felt inside, he never allowed the hurt to show. He remained strong, if at least in the presence of Liz and Maria. But Liz caught him off guard at the hospital. She found him depressed and weak. Liz assumed that if Alex was unable to be the rock he usually was, then something must be terribly wrong. She figured there was certainly more to be told and Liz needed to know what that something was.

“And Maria?” Liz asked.

Alex took Liz’s hand and held it tightly between his own. “The doctors aren’t sure, yet. She’s had a lot of trauma to the head.”

Liz dropped her head and focused on breathing. In an instant she knew the pain Michael must have felt when she gave him the bad news about Maria being in accident so many years ago. The tragic irony of the situation was nearly more than Liz could handle. "Where is she?” Liz asked as her voice began to crack.

“She’s in surgery…has been most of the night.” Still holding her hand, Alex led Liz to sit down at a nearby bench in the hallway. Once they were seated, he turned to Liz and took a deep breath. “Are you ready for this?”

“Oh God…. what?” Alex preparations terrified Liz. She didn’t know how she was expected to bear any more bad news. “Her doctor…her surgeon is…Dr. Guerin.”

Liz’s eyes grew wide with disbelief. She spoke slowly watching Alex’s eyes hoping he would disconfirm her suspicions. “Dr. …..Michael…..Guerin?”

“In the flesh,” Alex answered. "So to speak."

“Did he see you?” Liz asked.

“Yeah,” Alex nodded his head.

“So does he know his patient is Mar…”

“No!” Alex stopped Liz before she could fully say Maria’s name. “I told him I was Marianna’s agent.”

Liz sighed with a tiny bit of relief.

“But if he sees you,” Alex began.

“He’ll put two and two together and know Marianna is really…” Liz said finishing Alex’s thought.

“Exactly,” Alex validated her theory.

Liz looked down at her lap. She was afraid for Michael to deal with losing Maria again. “Maybe it’s time he knew.”

“Not like this,” Alex interrupted. “I think we’re only hurting both of them by not telling them, so I agree that the truth should come out. But not now, not like this. Let’s give it some time.”

"What if we don't have that kind of time?" Liz asked not really wanting to hear the answer.

Alex stared at his friend unsure of how to respond. He wanted to say Maria would be singing on stage in two months with only a hairline scar on her brow to remind her how precious life is, but he didn't want to give false hope to Liz...or himself.

"Uncle Alex?" a weak voice called from room 729.

Alex looked at the door and back at Liz. "Maria's not going anywhere just, yet. She needs the little girl in that room as much as that little girl needs her mother."

"Aunt Liz?" Hope spoke with surprise when Liz and Alex walked into her room. Hope sat in bed leaned against a mountain of propped pillows. Her tiny right arm donned a white cast with a handful of signatures and she sported a pink Barbie bandaid above her left eye. "What are you doing here?" Hope smiled.

Liz sat on the edge of Hope's bed. "Did you really think I was gonna let you get pampered in jello-land all by yourself?"

Hope giggled and said, "I do get a lot of jello."

"What's this?" Liz asked reaching for a heart-shaped locket hanging around Hope's neck.

"Uncle Alex gave me this last night. Isn't it beautiful?" Hope said with pride.

"It sure is," Liz said releasing the locket.

"Look inside," Hope said opening the heart and turning the locket to show Liz.

"It's you and your mom," Liz said smiling fighting tears.

"Where is my mama?" Hope asked losing her smile.

Part 15 | Index | Part 17
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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