FanFic - Michael/Maria
Part 8
by Mnemosyne
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Summary: Sequel to "Endgame." Michael and the others are gone, and Maria is crushed. Unexpected news shakes things up even more.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: R
Authors Note: Lots of people seemed to like "Endgame," (unless they were just being nice ;), so I thought it would be neat to write a sequel. This idea was kicking around in my head even as I was writing "Endgame" itself. I suggest you read that before reading this, or you might be a tad lost. All considerations I asked you to keep in mind for that fic still apply here. Also, any medical stuff I throw into this fic has no basis in medical reality-- or at best, a slim relation. In general, I'm going on common sense and fantasy. I don't know from medicine! Hopefully people won't throw this back in my face! I know Spazzie wanted me to set this farther in the future, but I just HAD to write this story! Please enjoy!
Chapter 8

Time stopped.

Reason spiralled out of the sky in great looping circles, colliding along the way with Joy, and Hope, and Understanding, exploding them into a thousand million pieces and setting fire to the microscopic fragments. Earth became Sky. Sky became earth. The sun began to orbit the moon, and air became water, as Maria Deluca's world shattered around her.

"Wha-what?" she murmured.

Liz's eyes met her own, and Maria felt her throat constrict. "He's dying." It was said as if she couldn't really believe it herself.

Which suited Maria just fine, because he WASN'T dying. He COULDN'T be. He'd just saved her life. "N-no he isn't," she croaked, cursing her weakened vocal cords. "He isn't."

Liz said nothing. Just sat and stared at her as if what she was saying were the truth.

"NO!" Maria repeated, louder this time, but even now, hardly more than a whisper. "Liz, no!"

"I'm sorry, Maria." There were tear's in the darker girl's voice.

She would show her. Shifting beneath the constraints of sheet and blanket, Maria swung her legs over the edge of the bed and sat up, ready to set her feet on the ground.

Liz held out a hand to stop her friend. "No, Maria," she said firmly. "You're still weak."

She was right, of course, and Maria knew it. But her thin legs didn't need to support her just now. They just had to get her to the floor, which they did with very little prompting. Her knees buckled, and she grabbed hold of the edge of the bed to keep herself from falling on top of Michael like a bag of wet flour. Liz must have known her protests would fall on deaf ears, because she just sat back a respectful distance to watch the tableau in front of her.

Somehow Maria managed to keep her body upright as she sat beside his shoulder and reached out a hand to cup his cheek. His breath across her arm was shallow and ragged, and tears she hadn't allowed herself to shed began to form in her eyes. "No," she hissed between gritted teeth. "No, you are NOT going to die, Michael Guerin."

His eyes flickered open, and she felt the first tear slip down her cheek. She reached up to dash it away, but somehow, his hand got there first. Warm fingers brushed the shimmering droplet away. "D..don't cry, Maria," he said shakily. "I h-hate it when you cry."

Michael's hand dropped back to his side, limp, and Maria grabbed it up between both of hers. "Then how about you stand up and walk out of here with me?" she rasped, as if levity could cure the situation.

But the minute shaking of his head killed all mirth dead. "That's...not going to happen, Maria." He pulled in a deep, shuddering breath, then released it with a groan, as if the effort of breathing had exhausted him too much.

"Why not?" Her voice was shaking, and another tear wound it's way down her cheek. But his hand didn't reach up to brush it away this time

"You...know why."

"No I don't."

"I'm...dying, Ma...ria."

"No you're NOT." She just had to be firm with him. That always worked in the past. "You're going to stand up, and we're going to walk out of this hospital TOGETHER. And we're going to have this baby, and we're going to live forever and ever happy."

His hazel eyes were growing heavy now. She could see him fighting back up to the surface, and it made her stomach clench with panic. "I...WISH we cou...could do that, Maria," he breathed.

"Then help yourself!" It seemed so blatantly obvious to her. Shaking his hand in desperation, she wiped away her tears with her other hand. "Come on. Heal yourself. Just...heal yourself." The edge of panic in her own voice scared her.

Michael shook his head. "Can't." The words were growing shorter now.

"Why not?"

He didn't answer her.

"Michael, why not!?"

He just shook his head, and she suddenly knew why.

Her dams broke, and she began to slump, catching herself with one arm, gripping his hand in a white-knuckled grip with the opposite hand. "Oh, God," she choked out. "It's because of me, isn't it? Because you helped me." His silence was her answer.

The tears were blurring her vision too much now, and she blinked to flush them out. They cascaded down her cheeks like so many little waterfalls. "You knew all along, didn't you?" she whispered. "You knew, but you did it anyway."

He nodded-- a miniscule tilting of the head.

"You bastard!" Maria whispered. She bent forward so that her forehead touched his and her tears fell on his cheeks, his lips. "How DARE you do this! Don't you know, I don't want any of this without you?" She pressed his hand to her stomach, grinding it against her abdomen with bruising force. "I don't want my baby to grow up without a father!"

Michael's eyes, which had drifted shut, fluttered open again, and he gazed up into hers. "But...what a mother she'll have."

"I don't care!" Why couldn't she make him understand? "I want you! I NEED you!"

"You...never need..ed me, Maria," Michael whispered, so quietly, she almost couldn't hear him. "But I You"

Maria was tired of arguing. She fell on his lips, kissing him with an intensity that could only be born of loss. His mouth responded, if weakly.

"God, please don't leave me, Michael," she sobbed as she pulled back, her lips still brushing his.

Words were beyond him now. His throat worked, but no sound came out. Slowly, so slowly, his free hand reached up to touch her cheek, as he gave her his last gift.

And she saw.

###He ran. Ran as fast and as far as he could. His legs burned, and his chest ached, but he had to keep running, because if he stopped, he'd think of her, and he couldn't think of her. Her soft eyes, and smooth skin, and warm, warm touch as she enveloped him. He ran faster, and faster, against the wishes of his protesting muscles. If he thought of her, he'd never escape her. He would look back. And he couldn't look back.

He ran and ran and ran, until he'd crossed the town line. Ran until the sun pierced his eyes with its first rays of morning light. Further and further, until he collapsed, legs turned to jelly, in the hot New Mexico sun.

He stared up at the unforgiving sky, and sucked in gasp after gasp of needed air, ignoring the throbbing in his legs and the agonizing stitch in his side that made every breath a torment. He barely noticed them.

Because all he could see was her.

With a heart that knew it was lost, he tilted his head to the side.

And he looked back.###

The image stopped as suddenly as it began, leaving Maria dazed and disoriented. Michael's hand fell away from her cheek and lay crossed over his still chest.


Too still.

"Michael?" she whispered.

There was no response.

Fresh panic set in, and she sat up, barely registering that Liz had left. Her mind was too preoccupied with the unmoving alien beside her. She shook him. "Michael?" Desperation edged her voice.

Still no answer.

Maria froze as realization dawned.

Then, slowly, her body crumpled forward, and she began to sob against his lifeless chest.

And Michael Guerin died in the arms of the only person who had taught him how to live.


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