|"Holding the Line"
Disclaimer: I don't own anyone, no Roswell characters belong to me, Michael and Maria belong to each other. I can't help that they keep playing in my head. No infringement intended.
Summary: Michael takes Maria into the desert to ask her to do something for him. Set just post 'Destiny'.
Authors Note: I've loved the fanfics I've read and it sounds cheesy but I wanted to try and share a fanfic too. Feedback please - first fanfic.
|Words never tumbled off Michael Guerin's lips. They hung in the air for an eternity whilst his mind flashed through the possibilities, accepting then rejecting, making him seem slow-witted, unable to form even one sentence coherently
But Maria knew. She waited, looking at him encouragingly, willing him to tell her.
"I want... need... it's for you." Michael dropped a small flat disc awkwardly into Maria's hand. She bent her head over it and her shoulders slumped as she felt its weight and smooth coldness in her hands.
"Looks like a CD," she muttered. She could feel her eyes starting to ache and her vision to blur. "You're leaving, aren't you?
Michael stared. How could she do that? He thrust his hands deeply into his pockets to stop himself from yanking her to him, holding her close forever. He clamped down on the emotion. 'No feelings Guerin!' he told himself angrily.
"If ... when ...you need me it'll send a lightbullet. I'll know it's you," he said.
Tears were standing on the ends of her lashes but she brushed them away impatiently. "Wait. This is on a need-to-know basis, right? Where did you get it?"
"In the cave. After Liz left, we looked to see if there were any other signs. Max found..." He swore as the tears spilt over her lashes and she crumpled. Michael gathered her to his chest and caught both of Maria's tiny hands in one of his. He slowly bent his head to plant a kiss in each palm. Her tears kept falling into his hair.
"Hey, I'm drowning here." He said, staring into her face and trying to stem the flow with gentle fingers. Maria tried to smile shakily as she fought to regain control. She bit down desperately on her lip to hide the chasm of despair that had opened when he had dropped the disc into her hand. She sank into him and let his body heat warm her as he returned her embrace.
"I have to do this ... thing." He nuzzled the hollow of her neck and inhaled the soft strawberry scent of her hair. Maria pulled back abruptly and looked up at him.
"Thing? What thing? Wait. Did I really pick the one guy who's going to save the universe?"
"Yeah, right." He said bleakly still holding her in the circle of his arms. His lips tugged upwards at the corners but his heart felt like someone had stamped on it and cracked it open, leaving his emotions bleeding for everyone to see. He knew he needed just to hold her, to touch her soft skin, to drown in her smoky green eyes still sparkling with tears just for him. He touched his lips to the curve of her neck where he had so often rested his head. She pulled him to her and their bodies melted so softly, so easily, one into the other.
"Oh God ... I can't, I have to... do this..." Maria put a finger to his lips and he reared away violently from her soft touch.
"No!" he shouted as her eyes filled with surprise and hurt. He stared at the ground. "I can't do this. You'll move on, Maria."
"Yeah sure. Like that's easy." Her voice dripped sarcasm. He closed his hand over hers still holding the disc.
"It's for both of us." He said. Maria looked at their entwined hands, revelling in the tenderness of his touch.
"So it's a communicator." she said.
"Yeah." The thrill of pride in her quick intelligence calmed the curious ache that had tugged under his ribs since he'd stopped her after work at the Crashdown and suggested they go for a drive in the desert. Maria had stared at him amazed.
"OK." She'd said. "What for?"
"You'll see" he'd said curtly and he had held out his hand for the keys before she could change her mind. He stared down at her pixie face. Did she have any idea how he feels about her?
"Hey, Earth to Michael." Maria poked him gently with her forefinger then lay a small hand flat on his chest. Immediately he felt the heat between them. How could such a small hand imprint such fire in him? Electricity sparked straight to his heart whenever she touched him. He looked down, their gazes locked and he couldn't resist. He leant in. Their lips touched as he tasted her then his crushed down on her slightly parted mouth. Maria pulled him closer, flinging her arms around his neck. Michael's deliciously long fingers caressed her sides, sliding up her back and into her hair. She shivered in delight and put her hand on the back of his head to bring him deeper into the kiss. He groaned but pulled back slightly to plant soft butterfly kisses over her eyelids across her cheekbones down to her stubborn jaw, no faint heart his Maria. He moved towards those full red lips. Maria leant back and laughed in delight at his tenderness and he ducked in quickly to kiss her pulse then stopped. He cannot, must not. He hugged her quickly and let her go. He must focus, he has to tell her.
Immediately feeling the lack of heat, Maria looked puzzled, hurt shadowing the back of her eyes. Slowly he uncurled her fingers from the disc and stroked them. Maria looked down at the disc.
"So, communicator ..." her voice rasped and she looked away in embarassment.
"Hey," said Michael, "that's my line." A faint smile stole across her face and was gone.
"Yeah," he said. "Light shoots into the sky ... to me, and I'll try and send a reply."
She smirked. "Don't fry the sky." She said mischievously and they both laughed, breaking the tension. Maria looked down at her hands and Michael's heart skipped a beat.
"It's a bond then ... between us ... wherever we are. I'll be at your back... you know." She grinned at him. "Just don't think you're Superman! It's ... you know, support."
Michael took her back into his arms and it felt so natural and right. They each saw the aching need reflected in the other's eyes.
"If the disc is the link, then I'm base ... home," she said.
Michael hugged her fiercely, pressing her body tightly against his own.
"You'll never know what that ..."
Her reply was muffled as she buried her head in his shoulder: "I do know. I want it too."
"I want you to light it after six weeks, six months... just think of me and your energy will pour into it and reflect it to me." Michael faltered then took a deep breath "Then after six years."
Maria shouted "What?! Years?! Mich ..." Michael interrupted her: "You'll move on. I want you to promise me you'll give it to your daughter."
"Whaaaat?!" gasped Maria. "My daughter? How do you even know I'll ever have a daughter?" Michael was struggling now. It was so much harder to say these things out loud than to know in your mind that that's how it is. He shrugged. "And it might not be me who comes back."
"That's right, just lay it on me gently! No shocks!" Maria shouted. She stepped away from him and put her hands on her hips. "That's it. I'm coming with you."
Michael stroked his hands down her arms as he looked at her. "No, Maria, you can't. I don't know if I'll make it."
"Exactly," said Maria. She could feel the anger bubbling inside her and shook him off impatiently. She started pacing in the clearing between the rocks. Michael's eyes followed her and he sighed deeply but not so that most people would notice. But Maria was not most people; she knew him, his fear of involvement, his love of running. She stopped pacing and looked at him. He looked her straight in the eye for once and her heart sank. So Spaceboy had more earth-shattering news did he?
"It wouldn't work. I'd always be looking round for you. It's more important than any of us know," he said. "You've got to, you've got to hold the line, Maria."
She smiled. She loved the way he said her name with two syllables, Ma ria, as though it was his, she belonged to him. He was staring at the ground now, poking his foot in the dirt, waiting for a response.
"OK," she said. "What line?"
"Between here and whatever planet I end up on," said Michael. "How else will I find you again?" She touched his shoulder and he stared intensely into her face seeking reassurance. His panic and desperation eased against the calm trust and serenity he found there.
"Why can't Liz hold it?" she asked. Michael shook his head. Maria grabbed his shoulders in panic.
"What? Does something happen to Liz?" she said.
Michael turned away, exasperated, and ran his hands over the back of his neck. He could feel his own anger rising and clenched his fists. Maria suddenly wanted to touch his head, run her fingers through the spiky hair. She shivered.
"Not Liz. It'll be my life or death if you don't hold the line." He said. "The six weeks, it's for me. I can't ... wait longer. I have to know you're safe. The six years, time it takes for a journey to earth." His voice was strained. He looked down at her and a smile quirked his mouth. "You know I'm no good at talking."
"Unlike me," she grinned up at him. "Don't worry I'll do the talking for both of us." Michael shook her gently. "It's vital, Maria. You're to light it once at six weeks, once at six months then every six years."
"All the sixes. The devil!" she tried to smile brightly but her heart was shattering into a million pieces. It's for real. He's leaving this time. Believe it.
"What?" said Michael.
"Michael, don't you remember?" she said. "Fifth grade. If you dialled three sixes on the 'phone you were supposed to get the devil."
"No-one believed that." He scoffed then stared down at her, ruefully. " You did." He smiled softly. Of course she did. Her imagination had always run riot. He pulled her to him and gently kissed her forehead. "You should have told me. What a mean lot! Who was it? Doug Anderson?"
"Surprise," said Michael sarcastically. "I'll get him yet."
Maria's heart leapt; he was coming back! 'Get real, DeLuca. No guarantees.' No change there then.
"The years part Michael?! Honestly, I don't know if I can do that." Maria said. She felt that she could forget. Oh, yeah, who did she think she was kidding. His memory was burned into her soul, and she liked it there.
"Look," he said, exasperated. "I don't want Liz to do it. I want you. Can't you handle that?" Michael moved away slightly. She immediately missed his body warmth and unconsciously snuggled towards him.
"Are you kidding? For you? Well I just might.." She kissed her finger and placed it on his lips. He groaned in his throat and leant towards her. Maria leant back slightly. "One thing ... Michael. I just want to know."
"What?" he growled.
She looked at him sideways under her lashes. "Can she be your daughter?"
A huge grin spread over Michael's face. His eyebrow quirked wickedly as he swung her off her feet.
"Not now! Dream on. I'm sixteen!" She shouted. Reluctantly Michael let her slip slowly down his body. They both shivered.
Headlights flashed behind them. The jeep came to a stop a hundred yards away. There was a pause then someone switched off the lights. Michael and Maria swung round then back to each other.
"Great idea." Michael blocked any view of Maria with his body. He traced her jawline with one finger then followed it with kisses to her mouth. Maria turned to him and took his face urgently in her hands. She stared deliberately into his soft brown eyes then kissed him full on the lips, hard, passionately committing the feel of his mouth to memory, groaning as their tongues entwined. This last fiery tabasco kiss that was uniquely Michael. Her hands were wet on his face as their emotions exploded. Her head was gripped in his fingers and her need for him began to spiral out of control. She kissed him more urgently, more desperately to remember the pattern of his lovely mouth, his hot tongue, OMG she was drowning in the bliss. Still their mouths fused, each sensing that it was time to go. She started to see images: red shooting stars filled her head, then Michael in combat uniform (umm luscious) focussed on the battle, Michael talking to faceless soldiers, jabbing his long delicate fingers at a map, discussing strategy, his face animated.
Shocked by the strength of her feelings she pulled away. Love, total love. She could never tell him that.
Michael blinked furiously. He let her go reluctantly. Their hands remained entwined.
"See they fit," she said. Tears flowed down her face and a lump so huge formed in her throat that she found it hard to speak. Michael took a last look searchingly into her face then turned and ran towards the jeep. He stood in the back and put up his hand in farewell. Through her streaming tears she held the disc above her head. He blew her a kiss and she jumped in the air to catch it and press it to her quivering lips. His last view of Maria was of her laughing and bouncing into the air like Tigger. He smiled as the jeep roared off into the night.
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