Fanfic - Michael/Maria
"Don't Let Go"
Part 4
by Ariana
Disclaimer: I don't own anything
Summary: Second sequel to "Just Like Me" and "Can't Find a Better Man"
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
Author's Note: Takes place after Off the Menu and before Heart of Mine. I suggest reading the first two parts to get the feel of the story. I love feedback so e-mail me.
Valenti was able to lead the guards away, so that Max could get to Alex. "He'll need to use his power to open the doors." Maria watched as Max disappeared into the van. Isabel continued to narrate the process, "Max opens the body bag. He'll take a deep breath, put his hand on his chest, and bring him back to life." Maria saw that Isabel was trying to convince herself that this would work. "And Alex will sit up suddenly, and Max will jump back, and the whole wagon will shake a little. The whole. The whole wagon will shake and…and they'll come running back here with big goofy grins on their faces and…and we'll have to come up with some kind of cover story for Hanson and everybody."

A small whimper escaped Maria's lips when she saw Max emerge from the van alone just as Valenti comes out of the building. "Max?" Isabel questioned in a panic.

"I think you should all go home now," Valenti told them.

Maria couldn't hold back the tears any longer, "Oh my God!" They could only watch helplessly as two men wheeled Alex's body out of the van. "Alex."

"Come on, I'll take you home," Michael put his arm around her shuddering shoulder as she cried into her hands. He didn't know what to do, because they had never lost one of their own before.

"I was just at his house this afternoon," Maria sniffled as she sat down at a nearby park bench. "He was playing a new song he wrote on his guitar." Maria clung to herself as she relayed the events of that evening. "No!" she startled Michael by jumping to her feet. "Not Alex. He did nothing wrong Michael. He didn't deserve this. He's a good person, and…he can't be dead." Maria choked up on the last part.

"Oh baby," Michael went to her, but she wouldn't let him touch her.

"Why Alex? Why?" Maria cried.

Michael shook his head, "I don't know. These things happen to good people, and that is just something about this planet that I could never understand."

"I just wish there was something I could have done…to protect him," Maria said.

Michael put his hands on her shoulder, "No, don't you go blaming yourself. This was an accident, and accidents happen."

Maria wiped away her tears with the palm of her hand, "I know, but not to us." Maria took a deep breath. "How many times have we risked our lives and we managed to come out okay."

Michael gently kissed her forehead, "I wish I had all the answers Maria. But we'll get through this."

"God, I hope so," Maria whispered as she rested her head on his chest.

* * * Maria decided to stay with Michael for the night, but she couldn't stop crying over her lost friend. Michael comforted her by holding her the whole night. "Did I tell you that Alex and I were supposed to go the prom together?"

"Really," Michael didn't know. "Why didn't you?"

Maria told him, "Isabel managed to sway him her way. I didn't mind, because that night turned out amazing anyway."

"Yeah it was," Michael agreed as Maria snuggled closer.

Maria's heart sank, "I still can't believe that Alex won't have another night like that. And that we'll never have another day with him."

"It's just not fair," Michael said.

"I know, but I learned at an early age that life is not fair," Maria told him in a dry voice. "I never knew my parents, they were killed by the one thing I ran from practically my whole life. My guardian was then killed by a member of Congress who happened to be a part of an evil alien species who are enslaving our home planet." Tears spilled out from her eyes as she continued, "Now there's Alex, a member of my family, and whom I've loved very much."

"I cared about him too, and I know it's going to take awhile for us to get the strength to move on, but we'll have to move on, eventually," Michael held her tighter.

Maria didn't bother to wipe the tears away, "I think that is what scares me the most."

* * * Maria walked into school the next day with Michael by her side. She knew that everyone by now has heard the news about Alex's death, but she wasn't really prepared for what was happening at school. There was a small memorial at Alex's locker, and it just tore at Maria's heart.

"Liz," Maria softly touched Liz on the shoulder when she spotted her standing in front of Alex's locker.

"Hey," Liz hugged Maria tightly. "How you doing?"

Maria answered honestly, "Not good."

"Just try and get through the day, okay? Just keep moving forward. Keep breathing," Liz comforted.

Maria wished she had Liz's optimism, "Okay. How about you? How are you?"

Liz sounded very controlled; "I'm fine."

Maria didn't buy it, because they just lost their best friend, "Come on, it's me. You don't have to put up a front."

Liz pulled out a ripped picture she found that morning, "Look at this."

"Isn't that?" Michael thought that the picture looked vaguely familiar.

"Yeah," Liz nodded holding the picture up to their faces. "It's Alex and Leanna in Sweden. I found it in the wreck."

Maria thought s he was going to pass out, "Oh my God! Oh my God!"

Michael comforted her, "It's all right." He looked at her in the eye, "Hey, it's all right."

Maria couldn't get the image of Alex's wrecked car out of her mind, "Oh my God."

Liz didn't back down; in fact she grew more assertive, "Look. Look at the way it's been cut up. Someone cut off-"

"Are you sick?" Maria couldn't believe the way Liz was acting. "I can't believe you went there!"

"Maria! This means something," Liz pointed to the torn off piece. "Why is Alex's head missing?"

Maria couldn't look at it, "Stop it! Stop it!"

"Shh, it's okay," Michael cupped Maria's face in his hands before wrapping her completely in his arms. "It's going to be okay." He threw Liz a dirty look because he thought her behavior was inappropriate.

Liz just shook her head as she began to walk away; "It means something."

"I don't know if I can do this," Maria whimpered. "I don't know if I can face the day knowing that he's not going to be coming through those doors asking me how my evening was."

"Yes, you can. Maria you are one of the strongest people I know, and if anyone can get through this it is you," Michael tried to convince her as the school bell rang.

"I just miss him," Maria said softly.

Michael nodded, "Come on I'll walk you to class."

Class was the last place she wanted to go, but Michael convinced her that it would temporarily get her mind off everything. The distraction might have worked, but when Maria entered the classroom everyone stared at her. Maria just looked down at the floor as she walked to her desk. She wished Michael were in her class because she could have really used the support.

"I'm really sorry about Alex," a random girl came up to her. "I know you guys were good friends."

Maria didn't look up. "The best," she replied softly wishing the girl would just go away.

"He was in my English class, and I thought he was the nicest guy," she continued.

Maria didn't know how to respond, but luckily she didn't have to because the teacher walked in and the girl sat down. As the class progressed every time she looked up there was always some one there giving her a sympathetic look. It was like that in every class, and by lunchtime Maria had enough. She was really glad to see Michael who met her at the end of her last class.

"How you holding up?" he asked, putting his arm around her.

Maria didn't look to happy, "Even on my worst days, I've been better."

"Well Max called a meeting. He wants us to meet him under the bleachers," Michael informed her.

Maria let Michael guide her outside; "Did he say what about?"

"Nah, but he probably just wants to know how we are," Michael said.

"Oh," Maria replied in a small voice.

"Hey," Isabel greeted as she approached them. "Are you going to meet Max?"

Michael nodded, "We were just about to go."

"I'll come with," Isabel said in a sad voice. Maria could see that Isabel was feeling just as bad as she was.

She took Isabel's hand as they walked across the field to the bleachers. On the way they passed a makeshift memorial to Alex where people were leaving little gifts and lighting candles. Max and Tess were already there when they arrived. Michael announced, "School's brought in the official grief counselor. She's got all our names, so be on the look out."

Maria's anger grew as she saw more and more students who never gave Alex the time a day mourn him as if he were their best friend, "Do you see these people? Who are they? They don't even know Alex. They weren't even his friends. And they're sitting their praying and crying and putting on this show as if they gave a damn about Alex while he was alive! God, it makes me so angry!" Michael squeezed her hand in support.

Kyle approached them all from behind, "Hey, um…Mr. Whitman called the house this morning and asked if me and you and you would be pallbearers tomorrow."

Michael agreed, "Right."

"Sure," Max replied also.

"Um," Isabel spoke up. "I have something to tell all of you. I know this is a bad time, but um…I'm graduating early. I'm leaving in June to start college in San Francisco."

Max seemed the most surprised of them all, "When did all this happen?"

"I've been thinking about it for awhile," Isabel shared with them. "I talked to Mom this morning and she's fine with it."

"Look, Isabel this isn't the time to be making snap judgments about things," Max figured it was just emotional stress.

Isabel reminded harshly, "This is my life Max."

"No one is disputing that," Max defended.

Maria didn't feel like hearing the bickering of siblings, "Do you have to talk about this now?"

"Maria's right," Michael chimed in. "This isn't a decision that we have to make today."

"This isn't a decision we have to make at all," Max stated.

"It's my decision. I made it. I'm leaving Roswell," Isabel spat into Max's face.

"Isabel, we are all going through a lot right now, and I just think leaving Roswell is not the solution," Max said to her, keeping his cool.

Isabel confessed, "Alex was the only one who knew about this and he was far more supportive than you are." Maria could tell that Isabel was on the brink of losing it. "I don't care what you say Max. You can't control my life." Before Max could get a word in Isabel turned and walked away.

"She's just upset right now," Tess said softly. "I guess we all are."

Max declared, "She's just being irrational. She's letting her grief impair her judgment."

"She's just being human Max! There's nothing wrong with that!" Maria cried out because his behavior was frustrating and it was only adding to the mixed emotions she already felt. "We just lost one of our best friends, so can you please put the King Max act away and show a little compassion!" Maria walked off in disgust and Michael couldn't help but see the look of bewilderment on Max's face.

* * * "So was Max upset after Maria told him off this afternoon?" Michael asked Tess when he sat down on the Valenti's couch. He lay with Maria until she fell asleep, but he couldn't bring himself to leave yet.

"He was speechless for about two seconds, but then he was convinced that she was just taking it really hard," Tess said as she sat on the armchair.

Kyle walked in from the kitchen, "If you ask me I think Maria was right, Max was being completely unfair."

"You guys don't understand," Tess defended Max. "Max is taking it just as hard. I mean think about it, Max was actually there…with Alex."

Michael didn't know what to say, because he didn't think about that. Since he couldn't talk about it he decided to change the subject. "So does Maria always kick off the covers when she's by herself in bed?"

"Only when she has a lot on her mind," Tess replied. "She has a habit of working out her frustrations while she's sleeping."

"You know if my memory serves me correctly, this is probably the longest you've ever spent in my house," Kyle commented lightly.

Michael said, "Yeah…I could leave if you want…it's just…it's nice to be around people."

"Stay as long as you want," Kyle told him. "It's cool to have more guys here. No offense Tess, but you suck when it comes to sports."

Tess gave a little laugh, "I'm really hurt Kyle."

"Uh, I'm going to go check on Maria," Michael announced getting up from the couch and going to Kyle's room. Maria once again kicked off the covers with her feet. Michael covered her back up as he sat down next to her. He gently moved a lock of hair away from her face as he continued to watch her sleep. She looked like an angel lying there but Michael knew that the thoughts going through her mind were probably tormenting her.

He slowly leaned in and kissed her on the forehead. "I love you," he whispered hoping that it would soothe her dreams. Instead of going back to Tess and Kyle, he opened the window and after one last look at Maria he slipped out.

Part 3 | Index | Part 5
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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