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 hope...in 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?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
|The realization hit Maria like a ton of bricks. Her feet felt like they had
been filled with lead. She struggled to take small steps to toward the open
window. When finally her heavy feet reached the window, she forced herself
to look out into the darkness. Fearful of what she might see, Maria turned
her face downward. She breathed a slight sigh of relief when she did not see
Hope lying at the bottom of their two-story townhouse. The moment of relief
disappeared quickly as Maria left the window and sprinted toward the other
rooms in the house. With all her heart, she prayed that Hope was simply in
another room of the house.
Maria swung Liz's door open and frantically searched the area with her eyes.
"Maria?" Liz questioned when she was forced out of her slumber. Through sleepy eyes, she watched as her friend opened the closet door, lifted the lid of the hope chest, and dropped to the floor to look beneath the bed.
When Maria did not find Hope hiding from her under the queen bed, Maria lifted her face and looked at Liz.
Liz saw sheer terror and panic written plainly across Maria's face. "Maria, what's wrong?" she asked.
Maria did not answer. Instead she jumped to her feet and dashed from the room heading for Lupe's door.
Liz sprung from her bed and chased Maria down the hallway. "Maria?" she shouted after her friend.
Maria pushed through Lupe's door and rummaged around the room. She breathed heavily and grew more terrified with each dead end she uncovered in her search for Hope. Finally, succumbing to the horror that had suddenly forced its way into her life, Maria dropped to her knees and released the scream that had been building within her soul since she discovered Hope was not in her bed asleep.
Liz and Lupe surrounded Maria and bent to the floor next to her. Liz wrapped her arms around Maria in an attempt to calm her down. Maria and Liz rocked slowly in place while Maria shook violently.
"Tell us what's wrong," Lupe spoke soothingly. "We can help."
"She's gone," Maria muttered between sobs.
"Who's gone?" Liz asked still holding Maria tightly.
"There was someone outside...and then her window was open." Maria tried to explain, but her words came out as jumbled as her thoughts were.
Liz and Lupe exchanged a glance and Lupe left the room to go check on Hope. Seconds later, Lupe returned with a stunned expression. "Hope is not there," she whispered intending for only Liz to hear.
"Hey, hey," Liz spoke serenely to Maria who was grasping for her breath. "I'm sure everything is fine. She may be with Alex." Liz doubted that possibility, but she grasped at straws trying to calm Maria. She feared she might have a heart attack or a stroke if she continued in this manner for much longer.
"I'll call him," Lupe said and rushed for the door. She turned back around and spoke to Liz. "Why don't you come downstairs? I'll make some coffee."
"Thanks, Lupe," Liz said.
Lupe rushed into the kitchen and reached for the phone. Just as she laid her hand on the receiver, the phone rang. "Please be Alex," Lupe prayed silently.
"Hello?" she spoke into the receiver. When no one answered, Lupe angrily verbalized her thoughts, "I don't have time for petty fan calls right now!" Lupe was about to slam the phone back onto the hook when she heard a faint voice. She quickly brought the phone back to her hear and listened.
A coarse male voice whispered, "Roses are red, Violets are blue. Marianna, I know about you."
Lupe rolled her eyes annoyed with the obsessed fan who unintentionally disrupted her mission. She pressed the release button on the wall, listened for the dial tone, and continued in her task. She quickly dialed Isabel's phone number, certain Alex would be there.
"Alex is on his way," Lupe said as Maria and Liz came into the kitchen. She placed three cups of coffee on the table and pulled out a chair for Maria. Liz helped to guide Maria's shaking body to sit in the chair.
"I'm going to call the police," Liz said looking at Lupe. "Will you check outside and be sure she's not playing on the swings?" Liz asked.
"Of course," Lupe said and headed for the front door.
Liz pushed the coffee closer to Maria and pleaded, "Drink this. It will help calm your nerves."
Liz turned to walk away from Liz when Maria grabbed her arm and stopped her. Liz looked into Maria's frightened eyes.
"What if she's..." Maria began.
"She's not," Liz interrupted firmly. "We'll find her...soon...and everything will be fine."
When Maria released her arm, Liz continued her pace to the phone. She picked up the receiver and began to dial.
Maria unexpectedly stopped sobbing, lifted her head with sudden insight, and shouted, "Wait!" With haste, she pushed her chair away from the table and lunged at Liz. "Wait!" she shouted again. The momentum Maria gained from the table to Liz was relentless and a collision between the two girls became inevitable. As she reached Liz, she stumbled into her and both girls sailed across the counter and landed on the floor. Maria captured the phone from Liz and pushed the reset button. As she did so, she breathed a sigh of relief.
Liz lay on her back on the cold hard floor and stared up Maria who was on her knees holding the phone. Liz's eyes were opened wide and she was completely stunned. She blinked a few times to be sure of what had just occurred. "Um, Maria?" she spoke calmly first. Then she roared, "What the...?"
Maria looked at Liz. "Michael has Hope," she said.
"Are you sure?" Alex asked as he and Maria turned into Michael's apartment complex across town.
"It makes perfect sense," Maria reasoned. "He practically threatened to take her away..."
"No, he didn't," Alex interrupted.
"Okay," Maria said rolling her eyes. "But he did threaten to have time with her."
Alex pulled into a parking space and said, "That doesn't mean he'll have time with her by stealing her away."
"I know, Alex," Maria said annoyed. "But there was movement outside...and the lights went out..."
"And that really doesn't prove anything," Alex interrupted again defending Michael.
"Whose side are you on?" Maria shouted becoming more and more aggravated by Alex's logical attitude.
Alex removed the key from the ignition and turned to Maria. "I'm on Hope's side," he said firmly.
Maria stared into Alex's eyes for a moment. She sighed understanding his position. She had to admit to herself that Alex did make sense. Finally, she looked away and at the apartment complex before them. "Which one is it?" she asked.
"7-C," Alex answered and pointed to a brown door on the first floor.
Michael rolled over in bed and opened his eyes. Out of habit, when he heard the sound, he reached for his pager that was on the bedside table. He blinked his sleepy eyes and tried to focus on the panel. When he saw no number or text message, he lay back against the pillow and closed his eyes.
The noise that had awoken him sounded through the house again. Michael lifted his head and looked around. "The door?" he thought when he heard the sound again. "Someone is at my door? At a quarter past three?" Michael sat up looked around his dark bedroom. He wondered if he was hearing things. He listened quietly to see if he heard the knocking again. When he heard nothing, he shook his head and lay back down.
"You open this door right now!"
Michael sat straight up in bed. "Now, I am sure I heard that," he thought. He swung his legs over the edge of his bed and stood to go investigate. He crept slowly through the apartment listening to a jumble of mumbled voices. He was certain he could hear a male and a female voice. "I wonder what they're plotting," Michael thought assuming the two voices he heard were those of robbers planning to break in.
As he passed through the living room going toward the front door, he reached on top of the mantle and retrieved his autographed Hank Aaron baseball bat. He continued his trek across the dark apartment to the front door where he could make out two silhouettes.
"I know he's in there!" a girl shouted.
Michael cocked his head to one side and listened closely. He rolled his eyes with realization and breathed a sigh of relief. "I know that voice," he thought. He lowered his bat and made his way to open the front door.
Michael turned the doorknob and pushed the door open. "Maria? Alex?" Michael asked.
Maria slapped Michael across the face.
As Maria withdrew her hand and shook it, Michael noticed the action must have hurt Maria more than it did him. "Good to see you too," he said sarcastically.
"No, time for pleasantries," Maria grumbled and shoved Michael out of her way. She barged through the front door and began her intended search of the house.
Michael watched Maria until she disappeared into the back part of the apartment. "What's going on?" Michael asked turning to Alex.
Alex was staring at the bat Michael still held.
Michael looked down at the bat and realized how cowardly Alex must have thought he was. "It...was for...in case..." Michael stumbled. Finally he bowed his chest and said in his most macho voice, "Hank Aaron signed it."
"Really?" Alex asked reaching for the bat. "How did you get this?" Alex asked anxiously.
"Oh," Michael began smiling thankful that the issue of the bat had been changed. "You would never believe my luck. I was sent to Atlanta for a medical conference and I was having dinner with some colleagues in the hotel's restaurant. Hank Aaron just walked right in like it was nothing!" Michael exclaimed as he and Alex examined the bat.
"You're kidding!" Alex said with utter disbelief.
"Yeah!" Michael continued. "He just strolled in like 'I'm not a legend or anything.'"
Maria entered the room and stood stunned at the conversation to which she was listening. "Boys," she thought. "Here we are in the middle of a major crisis, and these two boys are talking baseball, of all things!" She crossed her arms in front of her chest and propped her weight onto one foot to take in the brilliance that stood before her.
"And what? You just happened to have a bat in the restaurant?" Alex asked.
"No...but the lobby store sold bats...I mean, the hotel was only two blocks from the stadium. So, they sold Atlanta Braves everything...including this bat." Michael said pointing to the price tag he purposefully left on the top of the bat.
"You did not pay that for this bat," Alex exclaimed at the ridiculous hotel rate for the plain wooden bat.
Michael's eyes widened with surprise. "Are you serious? It was Hank Aaron, man!"
Maria had had enough. She waved her hands around in the air and announced, "If someone doesn't talk about something other than baseball right now, I am going to scream. And in particular, I want to talk about what you've done with my daughter," Maria said directing her attention to Michael.
"What?" Michael asked unsure of what Maria was talking about.
"Um, Michael," Alex began softly. He felt really embarrassed about Maria accusing Michael of such an act. "Hope is missing."
"What?" Michael said as even more confusion settled in.
"And Maria thought that maybe..." Alex spoke looking for the right words that wouldn't offend Michael anymore than necessary.
"What?" Michael demanded.
"Do you know any other words?" Maria punched out of sheer anger.
Michael turned to look at Maria. "You think I took her?"
Maria rolled her eyes.
"Maria," Michael spoke calmly. "You actually think I am a kidnapper?"
"Well," Maria began as she started to feel that perhaps her accusations were out of line, as Alex had suggested earlier. "You were really mad the other night. And you said you were going be with her...regardless of what I thought."
"I can't believe you think I could kidnap her," Michael said shaking his head and looking at the floor.
Maria saw the hurt in Michael's eyes. Immediately her heart felt heavy. Ten years ago, she trusted this man with her life. And honestly, he was likely the only reason she survived the head injuries from her car accident. And now, at the drop of a hat, just because they'd had a fight - not an uncommon occurrence between the pair - she was accusing him of kidnapping Hope.
"Michael, I..." Maria began but couldn't find the words. She looked at Alex and nonverbally pleaded for his help.
Alex understood and immediately took over. "Michael, Maria's just upset. Hope is missing...she was taken from her bed tonight. It just would have been easier if you had taken her. At least then we would know where to find her. As it stands, we don't know what's going on."
The truth of the matter suddenly hit Michael. "She's actually been kidnapped?" He asked with concern clearly written across his face.
"It...looks like it," Alex struggled. Until that moment, the effectuation of what had happened had not entirely sunk in.
"Oh my gosh," Michael whispered as he sat on the couch. Maria and Alex watched Michael. He placed his head in his hands. Finally, after what seemed like ten minutes to Maria and Alex, Michael lifted his face from his hands. He looked at Maria. "I just found her. I just found her and now she's gone?"
His eyes told Maria all she needed to know. There was no way this man could do anything to hurt Hope.
Michael regained his composure and shook his head. "Nope," he said. "No way am I accepting this."
Maria began to worry. She looked at Alex for answers.
Alex calmly leaned in and whispered in Maria's ear. "Denial."
"It's not denial," Michael objected. He turned his face to Maria. "I'm simply not accepting this. I will find her," he confirmed. Michael ran over a mental checklist. "Have you called the police?"
"No," Maria said. "Liz was going to, but I stopped her. I thought you might have her...or I guess I hoped you might have her."
"Well, don't call them," he said firmly.
"What? Why not?" Alex asked confused.
"Have you seen...some of the things that she can do?" Michael asked not sure if they were aware of her special abilities.
Maria rolled her eyes and chuckled. "You mean, like change TV channels with her mind?"
"So you know?" Michael asked.
"Yeah, of course, she's my daughter, Michael," Maria interjected. "How do you know?"
"You were patients in my hospital for several weeks," Michael answered matter-of-factly.
Maria lowered her brows and looked at Michael intently. "You weren't Hope's doctor," she drilled.
Michael smiled and lowered his head. "I sort of...checked in on her a few times."
Maria smiled. Even though he didn't know Hope was his, he was looking after her because she was part of Maria. Immediately, her thoughts returned to the matter at hand. "So, are you afraid the police might witness some of her special abilities?" Maria asked.
"Well, it's a possibility," Michael said raising his eyebrows.
Maria remembered all the hiding they did back in Roswell. They were constantly running from the authorities, until Valenti became an ally. She feared Hope was destined for the same kind of life.
"She's not," Michael replied to her unspoken concerns.
Maria looked at Michael for a moment wondering how he could know what she was thinking. Then she remembered that he had acquired a few new powers since returning from Antar. "Oh, right," she said half smiling. "I can't lose her," Maria spoke sincerely to Michael. "Hope is all I have, Michael." Silent tears made their way down Maria's cheek.
Michael held Maria close and caressed her back. He had looked into her scared eyes. It was a sight he didn't remember. Maria had always been a head-strung go-getter. She was determined. Maria was the kind of girl who didn't know the meaning of "no." She was brave, strong and unwavering. But at the moment, Maria looked afraid. He hated seeing her like that. He wanted to take all her fear away.
He lifted her chin with his right hand. He looked intently into Maria's eyes. He needed her to understand his position. "We will find her, Maria. I promise. Together, we'll chase Hope. And hope we will find."
|Part 29 | Index | Part 31
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