Fanfic - Michael/Maria
"Don't Let Go"
Part 9
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.
"Got everything?" Maria asked Liz the next day before they left for Las Cruces.

Liz checked her backpack, "Uh huh, let's go."

Maria opened the door and found Michael standing on the porch, "Michael?"

"Where are you going?" he questioned noticing their bags.

"Santa Fe," Liz blurted out.

Michael raised his eyebrows, "What's in Santa Fe?"

Liz tried to think of a convincing lie, "Uh, Alex's…grandmother, she couldn't make it to the funeral, and so they are having a memorial service."

"Right," Michael didn't buy it. "Let me talk to Maria for a second, it's personal."

"Ok, sure, uh…" Liz was worried that Maria was going to back out.

"You could take this," Maria handed over her backpack in reassurance.

Liz said, "Yes, I'll just be in the car."

"Ok," Maria said as Michael closed the door behind him.

Michael asked again, "Where are you going?"

"Santa Fe," Maria repeated in a steady voice.

Michael still didn't believe her, "Maria, where are you going?"

Maria didn't want to betray Liz by telling, "Michael."

"Liz doesn't want us to know because she and Max are at war, so here's the thing," Michael explained. "I'm not going to tell Max, but I need to know, because if wherever you're going turns out to be dangerous, I'm sure as hell gonna be there to protect you. So, where are you going?" "We're going to Las Cruces, to the University," Maria made sure to warn. "And if Liz found out that I told you, I will lose her as a friend."

"First sign of danger, you contact me. Promise?" Michael expressed sincerely as Maria nodded. "Absolutely promise?"

"Yes," Maria promised, even though they both knew that she could easily take care of herself and Liz.

Michael kissed her softly on the lips, "Be careful."

"I will," Maria replied as she kissed him back.

Maria and Liz were on their way to Las Cruces while Michael went to school. "Liz and Maria aren't in school today," Max said to Michael as they waited in line for their yearbooks.

"Yeah, I noticed," Michael replied. "And it's a shame because Maria wanted to know what everyone thought of Alex's tribute."

"Have any idea where they are?" he questioned as they picked up their books.

Michael simply said, "No."

"I don't have enough to deal with already," Max muttered as he flipped through the book. "Look at this!"

Michael looked to see that Max's class photo was replaced with an alien, "Mine sucks too." Max wasn't listening to him, because he was too busy staring at Isabel and Kyle who wore smirks on their faces. "So, what else are you dealing with?"

"Meet me at the park for hoops after school," Max told him.

Michael nodded, "Later, then."

* * * "So what exactly is bugging you, Maxwell?" Michael asked as he dribbled the basketball.

Max seemed evasive, "Just stuff, you know."

"Relationship stuff," Michael suggested.

Max started, "Well, Tess and I are sort of…"

"Yeah, I know. Together," Michael finished.

Max continued, "The thing is the other night, things between us kind of…advanced." "How far did they advance?" Michael questioned thinking third base.

"I would say they advanced just about as far as possible," Max responded.

For some reason Michael couldn't believe it, "You and Tess actually had…"

"Hot alien sex, yes," Max admitted as he threw the ball into the hoop.

"How was it?" Michael asked.

"Well it's probably a lot like human sex," Max informed him.

Michael shook his head, "Yeah, I already knew that." Michael remembered that when he and Maria first got together they couldn't keep their hands off each other. "I was asking how was it for you. Because this was your first time, wasn't it?"

"Well, yeah, I guess," Max said. "The thing is, there's been a complication."

"What? Alien herpes?" Michael lightly joked.

"No, nothing like that," Max said.

Michael didn't now what problem Mr. Perfect could possibly have, "Whoa, clearly, you didn't have any performance problems, and other than getting Tess pregnant, which you're too smart to do, what else could there be?" Max continued to give him a blank stare. "You got Tess pregnant? Holy crap!"

"She says it's growing fast," Max explained. "Maria said alien pregnancies take about a month."

"What's inside her? I mean, is it human? Is it alien?" Michael realized that they were in uncharted territory.

Max pointed out being serious, "Well, we can't exactly go get a sonogram."

"You're actually going to go through with this?" Michael thought he was crazy.

"I don't know if I have a choice here," Max didn't know what to do. Even though Michael had messed up millions of times, he never got Maria pregnant. "This is out of my hands. I can't tell Tess what to do. It's her decision."

"Why not? You're the king," Michael hated to admit it.

Max declared with a hint of hesitation, "Which makes the queen."

Michael informed him, "Maxwell, if this thing comes out green with four fingers and three eyes, that puts a major cramp in our hide-in-plain-sight strategy."

Max questioned, "So, what are you suggesting?"

"I'm suggesting you point out to Tess how this could screw up our lives…forever," Michael wanted to strike a nerve. "She's gotta know this affects all of us."

"What would you do if it were Maria?" Max changed the scenario.

Michael replied, "That would be an entirely different case."

Max challenged, "Why is that?"

"Because our child wouldn't be a mistake. Our child would have been conceived completely out of love and not just sex to get back at an ex-girlfriend," Michael shot at him with the most honest tone he could muster.

* * * "Are you sure this is Alex's room?" Liz asked Maria who was busy searching for clues.

"Excuse me?" a student found Liz and Maria. "Can I help you with anything?"

"Uh, yeah, um, actually we are looking for a friend who stayed in this room for awhile," Liz informed him hoping that this guy could some how help them.

The student surprisingly answered, "Ray?"

"Ray?" Maria raised her eyebrows.

Liz played along, "Yes, Ray."

"He was here for a couple of months; hardly said a word; very weird guy," the guy replied.

Maria wanted some useful information, "Did he say what he was doing here and maybe like why he came in the middle of the semester and all?"

"You don't understand," the guy paused before continuing. "Ray never left the room. The only time he opened the door was when they delivered his Thai food."

"Thai food," Liz repeated looking with wide eyes at Maria.

"Breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday. Food fetish, if you ask me," the guy scratched his head as the two girls continued to exchange looks.

Maria wanted clarification, "So, wait, you mean he literally never left the dorm?"

"Well, at least not in the daytime," he went on as if he really cared. "There was this one night I was out partying. I come back pretty late. I saw him coming out of the Litvack building. It's, like, 4:00 in the morning. We're the only two people on campus. We're like five feet away from each other. The guy doesn't even acknowledge my presence. Pretty creepy."

"Yeah, sounds like it," Maria knew that Alex isn't like that.

"So what's in the Litvack building?" Liz questioned intently.

The guy replied, "Computers. I mean I'm not really into that kind of stuff, but apparently the university has the incredible super computer."

Liz repeated again, "Super computer."

"Yeah," he confirmed.

"Well, um," Maria wanted to go check out this super computer. "Thank you for your time." Maria grabbed Liz's hand and urged her to the door. "We'll be going now."

They quickly rushed out of the room and down the hall. "Ok, that guy he described is not Alex," Liz declared as they walked out of the dormitory.

Maria nodded, "I was thinking the same thing."

"Why didn't tell us he was here?" Liz asked not expecting an answer.

Maria shook her head; "Alex wouldn't lie to us."

"We're so close Maria," Liz wanted to remain optimistic. "We're so close to figuring this all out."

"I hope so," Maria muttered feeling a little down, but then a familiar son filled the air. "Oh my God, its Nelly Furtado. She's singing one of the songs Michael and I danced to at the prom." She looked over at Liz, "Please, only one song?"

Liz felt the need for a little distraction, "Ok, one song."

Maria flashed her a bright smile, "Ok, ok." She and Liz rushed to join the crowd who were moving their bodies to "I'm Like a Bird."

Maria wanted to lose herself in the music, but Liz was pulling at her arm and yelling in her ear, "Oh my gosh Maria, that's her. That's the girl with the blond hair, that's Leanna, that's her."

"Wait a minute, no way. Let's see," Maria took out the picture of Alex and Leanna, and sure enough that was the same girl. "That's totally her. It's the girl from Sweden. What the hell is she doing here?" The girl was now staring back at them.

"We have to go talk to her," Liz tried to follow her through the crowd.

Maria declared as she followed Liz, "This is getting too dangerous, we may need back up."

"She's getting away, we gotta go get her, come on, come on," Liz was starting to chase after Leanna, and Maria was chasing after Liz. "Right there." Leanna made it to the other side of the street while Liz and Maria were stuck where they were. They could only hopelessly watch as Leanna disappeared behind a moving bus.

Suddenly Maria saw a firm hand grip Liz's shoulder. "I want to know everything," Michael demanded.

"Michael!" Liz glared at Maria. "How did you know we were here?"

"Let's just say I had a vision," Michael didn't want to get Maria in trouble.

"Why did you come Michael?" Maria asked because she hadn't spoken to him since they left.

Michael wanted to still keep her name in the clear, "I didn't buy that whole 'we're going to Santa Fe' bit at all, and then by coincidence I had a vision of the two of you running across a college campus. So I took a chance."

"Does anyone else know we are here?" Liz asked, buying Michael's lame explanation.

Michael shook his head; "I jumped on my bike and headed straight over here. Now I want to know why you two are here."

"Ok, but let's do it at some food establishment, because I'm starving," Maria announced as her stomach gave a slight growl.

* * * "Ok, so let me get this straight," Michael said a little while later as the three of them ate at a nearby diner. "Alex didn't go to Sweden as a foreign exchange student, but instead remained in New Mexico where he lived like a hermit in a college dorm room due to undisclosed circumstances."

"That's what we know so far," Maria sipped her Cherry Coke.

Michael went on, "And you spotted his supposed Swedish girlfriend who fled the scene as soon as she saw you guys."

"Yeah, pretty much," Maria added. "And fate had it where that was the moment you showed up."

"Well it's a good thing I showed up when I did, before you did anything stupid," Michael added more Tabasco sauce to his cheeseburger.

Maria retorted, "You're one to talk." "Look Michael, we are really close to finding out the truth, and you of all people should understand what if feels like," Liz spoke to him sternly. "Now you either are going to help, or you're not. What's it gonna be?"

Michael had to think it over for a minute before answering, "Ok, so what's your plan?"

"We need to somehow get inside the Litvack building and get access to the super computer," Liz said as she nervously dipped a French fry in ketchup. "Not to mention track down Leanna."

"Well I suggest we get some major shut-eye, and start first thing in the morning. Besides the campus is probably closed by now," Maria polished off the rest of her burger.

"I guess you're right," Liz felt that sleep wasn't a real priority. "But couldn't you guys just use your powers to break in."

"Hell no," Michael snapped at her. "We don't want to draw attention to ourselves."

"Liz, we need to rest, okay?" Maria pleaded with her eyes.

To her dismay Liz finally gave in, "Okay."

Part 8 | Index | Part 10
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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