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: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
|"Michael, shouldn't we be out looking for her?" Maria asked impatiently as the pair walked into Hope's bedroom. "I mean," Maria said picking up a framed picture of Hope from her white chest of drawers. She took a deep breath hoping it'll calm her down. "She's out there somewhere, probably scared out of her poor little mind, and I know she's waiting for me to come get her...and take her home."
A single tear fell down Maria's cheek and Michael instinctively reached out to wipe away the tear. "We'll find her, Maria. We must keep chasing Hope."
Maria nodded. "Wow, Spaceboy, I see you've finally learned how to calm me down," Maria joked remembering the time so many years ago when she literally begged him to say anything to help calm her unruly nerves as they waited for Liz and Max to return from the reservation after meeting River Dog. At that time, his hormone-driven, teenaged impulse was to prematurely engage in their first kiss in an effort to shut her up.
Michael smirked at how Maria had no idea how much comfort her just being there gave him. He moved around the room searching for clues.
Maria continued, "I feel like I should be out there looking under every rock and behind every door. Instead, I'm here warm and comfortable, untouched, while she's...who knows where....Aghh....I just...Hope..." she slumped in Hope's bed as she anxiously ran her hands through her hair "I need her, Michael! She's..."
Maria's voice shook and her breathing became shallow. Michael recognized Maria's panicked state and knew that if she continued in this manner, she would soon hyperventilate. Michael wanted nothing more than to wrap his arms around Maria's fragile shoulders. He wanted desperately to bring her comfort at the very moment when he knew she needed it most. Still uncertain of where he and Maria stood, romantically or otherwise, he resisted the urge to bring her close to him and protect her weak emotions.
With unsteady and unsure movements, he raised his right hand and gently touched Maria's back. "We'll find her Maria. I'm sure of it." Michael watched uncomfortably as she continued to drift further from control. Michael was at a loss of how to help. Panic began to set in and he turned in place looking for something to do. After two or three complete circles, he began pacing the small room.
Maria lifted her tear-stained face and stopped sobbing. She watched Michael curiously.
He continued to pace and wring his hands. Occasionally, he would throw a hand in the air and shake it violently as if trying to rid himself of some unwanted pest.
Maria quietly observed the scene that played out before her. Michael appeared to be a character in an old silent film as his face brightened with each new idea that entered his head and then contorted as he shook off the decidedly inadequate plan. His mouth moved occasionally as thoughts mutely rushed through his lips and his eyebrows worked overtime.
Maria began to smile watching Michael's childlike manner. "Uh, Michael?" she spoke.
"Yeah," Michael answered abruptly as he continued to pace and wring his hands as his eyes moved from the floor to the wall to the ceiling and back.
"What...what are you doing?" Maria finally asked still smiling and watching him with concern.
Michael stopped and stared at Maria as if to say, "Well, can't you tell?" He placed his hands awkwardly on his hips and then quickly crossed them over his chest. He uncomfortably shifted his weight from foot to foot and then answered. "I'm freaking out."
"Hey," she said moving towards him. "We're going to find her." For the first time since Hope went missing, Maria believed what she said. In the past, they had overcome lots of situations that seemed hopeless. Together, they had conquered what seemed impossible. Maria thought, "And now Michael's powers are stronger than ever before. We will get through this."
Michael never heard a word Maria said. Instead, he immediately began pacing again. After a few laps around the room, he sprinted towards Maria. He grabbed her by the shoulders and urgently announced, "We can go now," he blurted in an effort to calm her, not realizing that it was he who needed the reassuring. "Let's go," he said grabbing her hand and pulling towards the door.
Still holding the picture of Hope in her hands, Maria gently touched Michael's arm and stopped his rush. His breathing slowed and he looked into Maria's eyes.
For a brief moment, all was forgotten by Michael and Maria. Maria returned Michael's gaze as the pair stood alone in the room. The same eyes that once acted as shields were suddenly open. She engaged into a welcomed peer straight through Michael's hazel eyes into his soul. She saw an entirely different person than the one she knew so many years ago. She saw concern; she saw a maturity that never existed before; she saw seasoned wisdom; she saw fear, hurt, gentleness, love, and hope. All that she saw surprised her. Caught off-guard by Michael's openness and vulnerability, Maria stood in silence unable to speak.
Michael grinned and whispered, "You're different, too."
Maria was unable to conceal the rush of emotions that flooded her heart. Michael looked on as Maria's face played out everything she wanted to say.
When Michael grinned, Maria saw Hope's face. For years, so many of Hope's expressions had reminded Maria of Michael. Now, to see Michael's expressions and see Hope... Thoughts of guilt crowded Maria's head. She felt regret for the decision she made after Michael left. She feared that Michael and Hope might never get the chance to know each other.
"I'm sorry," Maria said slowly. "It was selfish of me...you've missed so much. And now you may never..."
"Don't say that, Maria," Michael interrupted.
"I think I knew...somehow," Maria confessed.
"What are you talking about?" Michael asked.
"In the hospital, I dreamed Hope was taken away from me," Maria recalled. "It was Pierce."
"It was just a dream," Michael reasoned. "Pierce is dead. The dream was probably brought on by the fear you've lived with for so long...knowing Hope was different...like me."
"No, Michael," Maria spoke feeling guiltier by the second. "It was so real. I think it may have been a warning. A warning to protect her. I," Maria stumbled over her words. "I knew...somehow, I knew she...It's my fault. I should have known this would happen one day." Maria shook her head as she stared at the picture of Hope.
"It's not your fault," Michael argued.
Without consideration he leaned forward and embraced Maria in a much-needed hug. As his arms wrapped around Maria, his elbow brushed the photograph of Hope that Maria held. An image of Hope sitting blindfolded in a chair flashed before his eyes. He gasped and jerked away.
"Michael?" Maria asked surprised by his sudden withdrawal.
With wide eyes, Michael looked at Maria. "I saw her," he breathed. "I saw Hope."
"I need more to go on than that, Michael," Alex said as he flipped through government listings.
"That's all I know," Michael said frustrated.
"And you're sure it was a government building?" Alex asked moving the mouse to scroll through even more pages.
Aggravated with his inability to help any further, Michael answered, "No." He looked at the desolate hope written across Maria's face as she stared at Alex's laptop. "It's really more of a gut feeling," he spoke sadly. "Something about the room...I just really think it was a government facility. And if it is, we're going to need help. Alex, can you call Isabel?"
"Sure," Alex answered quickly and walked into the kitchen to pick up the phone.
"Liz," Michael said. "Can you get Max here?"
Liz, who had been sitting quietly on the sofa, lifted her head. She knew Max wouldn't refuse the need for his help, but she worried about the tense, uncomfortable air that hung between them the last time they'd spoken at the hospital.
"Me?" Liz asked. She glared at Michael's authoritative face before turning to meet Maria's urgent eyes. She wanted to object and beg anyone else to call Max, but her cursed conscious told her that such a selfish request would only add to the already tense emotions in the room.
She sighed her submission. "Okay." She pulled her cell phone from her purse and pushed through the front door on her way to the porch of the townhouse apartment.
When Liz was alone, she took a seat on the top step and dialed Max's home number in Roswell. As she listened to the ringing, she squinted at the orange sun that was making its way above the horizon. Rays of gold burst through the neighboring town homes. She scoffed at how the world continued to turn. Day was breaking with steadiness and reliability with no regard to the disarray that cluttered the lives of everyone she knew.
Max glanced at the clock when he heard the phone ring. He climbed out of bed and flipped the light switch. He saw Liz's name on the small white box next to the phone that sat on his bedside table.
Immediately, he smiled. Then, suddenly, he remembered their situation. He regretted the way he'd treated Liz at the hospital, but his pride refused to let him apologize. His brief smile faded and he reached for the receiver.
|Part 31 | Index | Part 33
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