FanFic - Michael/Maria
"De Veritas"
Part 4
by Stephanie A
Disclaimer: The characters and universe herein don't belong to me. No infringement intended.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: R
"I don't wanna make a habit of this,
But seeing you is like getting a fix
Every time I kid myself I'll never do it again..."
(~You Send Me Flying, Billie Myers)


There is an hour of the night when the world lies still.

Dreams stop, and no one dares move or breathe, lest they disturb the new day setting itself up.

It seems that way.

On the streets of Roswell, it's quiet at two in the morning. Elsewhere, there were muggers mugging and killers killing and thieves stealing, but in that particular time in that particular place, there was only an alien trudging down the sidewalk with his hands in the pockets of his well-worn jeans, muttering to himself.

Sheriff Valenti had already gone to bed. The precinct was dark.

Why, then, did what he was doing feel more risky than all of the breaking and entering he'd done in his life?

He'd lain awake for hours, thinking of a way to skip town that wouldn't involve a car, money, or hitchhiking. Then he tried to think of a way to say he was sorry. But how does someone come up with an apology for their personality? By promising that they'd change?

He couldn't change.

He could do one thing, though, one thing that he hadn't done yet.

Outside her window, the moon shone full, and the early morning sky hadn't set in yet, with it's clusters of ambiguous late stars. Her bedroom window was dark.

He took a deep breath.

And then, he began to throw stones. Tiny pebbles, big grains of parched sand he'd caught in the tread if his sneaker- he hurled them at her window, where they bounced off the glass. After about five minutes, a light went on, but no one appeared.

"Maria!" he shouted, at the top of his lungs. "Maria!"


He took a deep breath.

*...his lips white and bloody where he'd bitten them, to keep from crying out, to prevent him from screaming her name..*

For an endless second, he brought back that moment, and once again hovered at the edge, stuck between there and her and Paradise.

Then he screamed her name at the top of his voice.


He cracked his knuckles, and sucked in his breath, waiting.

A few seconds later, there was a stirring behind the blinds, and her face peeked out of the window. Even from two stories down, in darkness, he could see the blotches under her eyes, the tracks from undried tears.

"What do you want?" she called. Hurt was latent in her voice.

"Come down here" he said, normal tone.

"What did you say?"

"Come down here."

Her forehead wrinkled.

"What do you think I am?" her voice broke. "What do you think, Michael? That you can just jerk me around like that? I'm sorry, but it doesn't work that way."

She turned away.

It was his instinct to run, to say 'screw it' and go hide somewhere, brooding. He anchored his feet in the ground that he had landed on his head upon, and called up again, not bothering to control the emotion in his voice this time.

"Maria!" he called. "Wait."

"Go away."

His anger boiled, and he clenched his fists.

"No, damn it, I won't go away!"

That did it. There was that silhouette at the window again, backlit by the glow of a dim lamp, and his heart skipped a beat.

"I'm not coming down" she said adamantly. "If you have to say anything to me, you can say it from there."

"It's not that" he replied. "I have something I want to show you."

Her eyes were cold.

"I don't want to see anything."

He bit his lip. She was ready to turn away again.

Right back where he started from. Last chance. By tomorrow, she'd have likely built up a resistance to him as thick as his head, and he'd have lost her. This was it.

"I'm sorry I can't tell you that I love you" he shouted.

That got her attention.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean what I said." He looked down, closed his eyes, and prayed he wasn't making a mistake. "I'm sorry I can't tell you I love you. I'm sorry I can't be romantic and soulful and gentle and all those other things that you deserve me to be."

Then there was just silence, heavy and still.

"Michael" she said, suddenly.


Her eyes met his, and held them, and for once he had no idea what she was about to say.

"It's not that you can't" she said, slowly. "It's that you won't."

"That's not true." He shook his head. She smiled wistfully at him.

"If it's not" she told him. "Then maybe it's not you that's the problem."

She went back inside, and what could he say?

Maria's mother kept rosebushes, that never bloomed. In New Mexico, they withered in the summer and died in the winter, too hot, and too cold. They strangled even the weeds under Maria's window, crouched darkly behind hopeful climbers.

Michael took his index finger, and touched each one.

One by one, roses, swelling, red, springtime blossoms, sprung to life under his fingers. A florist's delight, about sixty of them, blooming and reaching over one another to suck at the cold night air.

He saw those roses, and if he squinted his eyes just so, they formed a red blur.

"Maria" he called, because he knew she could hear him. "Remember when I told you I couldn't use my powers?"

She didn't answer.

"I would" he said.

The light went out in the room.

He exhaled, softly, and bent his neck back as far as it could go. His head lolled a minute, and he straightened it. It felt very heavy, somehow. He turned to leave.

"I did" he whispered. "Good night."

Then he walked away, knowing that she'd have to find them in the morning, when the sun came out again.


Earlier that day...


Damn her to hell.

His hands in his pockets, he walked quickly down the sidewalk with his head lowered. It was an unconcerned posture for him. He alternately cursed her, just for the blight of her existence, and himself, for driving her away.

Michael knew, even as he pushed the thought away, that he'd do a lot more than throw a few more swear words around if anything happened to her.

*Whatcha gonna do?" The devil on his left shoulder, the one he carried his chip on, whispered lustily. *Pout like a baby? Feel all sad 'cause you didn't screw her when you had the chance? *

He acknowledged that if he started slapping himself on the side of the head, he might look unusual.

He didn't want anything to happen to her.

In the cool autumn air, amidst the leaves that hung like blood on the dying trees, he breathed his earthly breath, finding that it swirled away in the air just like anyone else's. He hadn't died, and he hadn't disappeared.

She wasn't at her house. He had checked.

Jesus-Freaking-Christ. She'd gone.

He knew it, as surely as if he had done it himself. In retrospect, he could read her like a book, the determination on her face when she'd stalked out of the trailer that afternoon, nearly taking the rusty screen door off its hinges with her. He'd been caught off guard, he realized, having her in his space. It distracted him, and when he got distracted, he acted mad.

He wanted to be in her space.

*Stop it!*

Damn it. If she got killed, the police and that blonde bitch would make the connection. She'd been out to get them. This would be her coup, the final nail on the coffin.

And the guards might very well kill Maria at that fortress.

He had seen it himself. It was surrounded by a ten-foot high chain link fence, with a thick coil of barbed wire looped around the perimeter. Difficult for even him to infiltrate. That alone could do her in.

That bastard at the Crashdown. He should have killed him!

*Whoa, calm down, buddy* the other side said. *Let's not add murder to your long list of transgressions against the human race. *

Why the hell had she gone? He was agonizing. It had to be for him.

He knew it, then.

Suddenly, it occurred to him why he'd been slow lately. Quick to anger. It was her, distracting him. All those nights when he's lain awake inflicting mental torment after torment on himself like only a true masochist could- it had been her that drove him, riding him into the ground. He'd crash and burn for her.

This knowledge, that he was being weighed down by *feelings,* of all things, was disturbing.

"It's no big deal" he said, annoyed by how shakily those words came out. "I'll find her. I'll bang her brains out. Get her out of my system."

Even then, it wasn't that easy.

As he got nearer to her house, he noticed himself praying to his suddenly present God that she'd be there. And oh, he'd kill her.

Kill her. Love her. What one was easier?

The door was open.

Her mother was out of town, he didn't worry about that much, but he didn't remember it being that way the first, second, or third time he'd been by. Tentatively, almost afraid of what he'd see, he put his hand on the knob, and closed his eyes.

He opened his eyes.

*She was running. She was scared. Her heart was racing. She was wearing a tight black shirt and shoes that didn't even whisper when her feet touched the ground.*

He let the door swing open as he entered the house. The late afternoon sun died out soundlessly as he telekinetically shut the door. He waited, in the silence, absorbing the place where she was.

He had the sudden, inexplicable thought to search for her bedroom and sleep on her floor, but he needed to find her.

The basement was cool, and smelled faintly like mildew. The walls were lined with shelves, holding an ancient jar of pickled chiles, a wholesale sized box of wire paperclips... he let each footfall on the steps fade to quiet before attempting the next one.

Her back was to him. She had obviously changed, showered since she'd got in. He noticed that she held a manilla file folder.

As silent as his own long shadow, he waited until he was just behind her, until he could practically reach out and run his fingers down the rigid pole of her spine. Then he mumbled:

She jumped, and faced him, her face registering equal parts fright, triumph, and something else.

"Looks like you found me" she answered thickly.

Michael tensed. Torn between equal urges to shake her and wrap her so tightly in his arms that she'd have difficulty breathing, he decided that either was suitable.

Former or latter, he'd get to touch her.


~End (

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