Fanfic - Michael/Maria
"I'll Never Leave You"
Part 1
by fehrianlove
Disclaimer: Nope, not mine. Would I be so obsessed if they were?? Hmmm.
Summary:'s loosely based on what I want to happen in Episodes 8-10 of S3.LOOSELY being the key word...but still...DON'T READ unless you are a spoiled rotten candy like me.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
Author's Note: Angsty (or my pitiful excuse for it) but gets happy, I promise! What can I say, I was panicking so much about the spoilers for these episodes I decided to take matters into my own hands (in my own little stupid imagination.) Then I start making up wildly. Or something. I know it's bad, so I apologize now. Thoughts are in italics, by the way.
Michael slowly approached the picnic bench where Maria was sitting, her cheeks red from the cold. He suddenly felt awkward with the flowers in his hand. They had never had a flower-y type relationship, he usually left that stuff to Max and Liz. She complained once in a while (alright, a lot), but they both knew in their hearts that even without the flowers, their relationship was as deep and loving as their "soul-mate" best friends.

"Hey," he said as he sat down next to Maria. He was never a man of too many words.

"Hey." Maria replied.

A rather short response for her. She talked more than anyone he had ever met before. Not that he was complaining. He loved to listen to her talk. or babble really, because that's what it usually ended up being. Her babbling happily and Michael happily listening. "So, um, I brought these for you."

Michael gave her the flowers he held in his suddenly shaking hands. Why are my hands like this? What's going on? I haven't been nervous around Maria in a long time, Michael thought.

"Thanks," Maria replied again, staring blankly at the ground, at the flowers, anywhere but him. Still with the monosyllables, Michael thought. He was about to say something (not that he knew what he wanted to say) when she cut him off. "We need to talk." She finally looked him in the eye.

"Umm.well. Okay. What about?" Michael asked. He knew they needed to talk. He just wasn't sure what about. "Is this about me being in your house earlier?"

"What? No, no, that's not it. Michael, no, we need to talk about us, and you need to just let me talk or I'm not going to be able to say all that I need to say." Maria said, pleading with him with her eyes. Michael could barely stand to look at her, the hurt was etched all over her face. How could I not have seen this? She looks like she hasn't been happy in a year.and then it hit him.

"For a long time now, I haven't been myself. I guess it started when.well, when Alex, ummm." Maria broke off, and a tear rolled down her face slowly.

Michael reached over, without thinking, to wipe it away, and was startled when Maria's smaller hands stopped his. "Don't. Just let me finish. When Alex died, something in me died too. Alex was a huge part of my life. He was one of my best friends."

"I. I know, Maria. I'm still beating myself mentally over the fact that our being involved with you is what caused it all." Michael replied. He wasn't sure what else to say.

"But that's not it. I know you didn't cause it, and neither did Max or Isabel. You would never do that. That's not what this is about, Michael. This is about me. I haven't been me in a long time. Something hasn't been right with me, and I haven't been able to find out what that is. I need to find out."

"I'll help you in anyway I can, you know that, Maria." Michael said. And it was true. He loved her. He would do anything for her. He stayed for her. Because she was his home. He couldn't leave his home.

"I know you will, Michael." Maria paused for a second, and looked away from him. She couldn't bear to look at him when she said what she was about to say. "Michael, I need some time...some time to figure this all out."

"What do you mean.time?" Michael asked, his voice cracking from emotion, betraying that he already knew what her answer was.

"I need time.apart from you." Maria choked out. "I need time by myself to grow, to recover from losing such a big part of myself. I.I just can't do that when I'm with you."

"What are you talking about? You're the one who always said we were better together!" Michael cried, letting his emotions get the better of him.

"When I'm with you, it's like I'm not myself anymore. I don't even know who I am, I feel like I don't have an identity outside of 'Michael and Maria.' I feel. I feel stifled. It's like I'm suffocating, like I can't breathe and no one can hear my screams for help."

"So now I'm stifling you?! And I can't help you?!" Michael nearly screamed.

He hadn't gotten so worked up and emotional in a long time.since before he and Maria had formed their bond. She had kept him in control.funny how she was the one to cause him to lose control again.

"Michael, please calm down!" Maria cried, tears falling steadily, matched by the ones welling up in Michael's eyes, the ones he refused to let fall. "Please. this is what I need."

"You said you loved me." Michael looked at her suddenly. He had avoided direct eye contact for a while, afraid that the tears he was struggling to hold in would re-create Victoria Falls on his face.

"I do love you!" Maria protested, looking right back at him.

"Just not enough to be with me, huh?" Michael accused. "Not enough to believe in us together? That I could help you just by being with you, the way you did for me?"

"Michael, that's not it. Please don't think that's it." Maria begged him. "Michael.I need to go now. please don't be upset with me."

Michael just looked at her, and his tears began to fall. She slowly turned around and started walking away when suddenly he grasped her arm. It happened so suddenly that when she whirled around, her hands, flowers and all, were pressed against his chest.

"Don't leave me." Michael pleaded. "I need you. I love you." He leaned down and kissed her softly on her lips.

"Michael, please don't make this harder than it already is," she begged. When he refused to let go, holding her in only with his eyes, she broke eye contact and pushed him away, leaving the flowers with him. She strode away quickly, already forming the thought in her mind that she could be wrong, horribly, terribly wrong. No, no, bad thoughts. Be strong, this is what you need, Maria thought. She sighed, knowing where she had to go next.

Meanwhile, Michael had sat back down on the picnic bench, flowers in hand. Stunned. Speechless. Even more so than usual. He sat there all night. And most of the morning too.

Liz opened the door, sleepily, to Maria's soft knocking. "Mari-what's going on?? It's gotta be like 4 a.m. come on, I need some sleep here!"

"It's 3, and Michael and I just broke up." Maria replied, the tears beginning to fall again, as Liz enveloped her in a bear hug.

"Shhh, come here." Liz stroked her friend's hair. "I'll get the frozen yogurt. Chocolate or vanilla?"

"No," Maria shook her head. "It's more than that. Get the Ben & Jerry's out."

Liz stared at her friend. "Maria, don't tell me you didn't dump him, did you?? I mean, I know you were thinking about it, but I thought that was just, you know, you being you. I had put it through Alex's Maria-filter. I didn't realize."

"Yes, Lizzie, I dumped him. And I'm beginning to think I made a mistake. So please, hurry and get the ice cream before I run back to him, because I so do not need that right now!"

A few hours later, just after dawn, Maria and Liz still sat on Liz's bed talking. Maria, being the dutiful, loving friend she was, has requested the details of Liz's date with Max, but only to start crying whenever Liz mentioned anything remotely romantic. And considering Max and Liz's relationship, Maria cried enough to fill an Olympic-sized pool. So Liz had spared her most of the details and tried to get more of an explanation of Maria's actions, without hurting her friend even more.

"Lizzie, I just haven't felt the same since Alex." Liz nodded her head. She knew how Maria felt, even though she didn't understand exactly how that drove Maria to do what she did.

"But, Maria."

"I know, I know, Liz, you're gonna say that Michael could have helped me through this stuff. But that's the thing. It's been all this time, and I haven't found what I lost in myself yet. If being with Michael was going to help me, then wouldn't it have helped by now?? And the weird thing is, for some reason, all I can think about is what happened at the wake."

"Which part?" Liz grimaced. She remembered that day with perfect lucidity.

"Well, your part, I guess." Maria paused. "Right after you said.what you said, and Max said 'Let's go' or whatever.all I can think about is how Michael actually got up and left."

"Maria, you know that doesn't mean anything, though. He loves you. He loves you more than anything in this world.or any other world for that matter." Liz earnestly told her friend.

"Liz, I.I told him I was suffocating by being with him."

Liz's jaw dropped. "Maria, no! God, Michael must be devastated!"

"Can we not talk about that, please??" Maria begged. "I'm going to change my mind if we do, and I know that this is right. I think."

Liz shook her head. "Maria, you're my best friend, and I will support you in anyway, but it's going to be really hard if you only think this is right."

"It is right." Maria said with a little more conviction. Just not enough to convince herself.

A few days later. (Author's Note:Yes, I did skip out on all the stuff that's supposed to happen in between. I'm sorry, imagine it yourself, please)

"New Year's Eve at the Crashdown. Surprise, surprise. Why do we do everything here??" Maria grumbled to Liz.

"Free food and milkshakes ring a bell?" Liz questioned, walking past her friend's booth to go talk to Max, who was laughing by the counter with Isabel, Jesse, and Kyle.

They all talked and laughed for a while more, although, in Maria's case, there wasn't too much laughing. She was exhausted, she didn't know if she could make it to midnight. She sat down in a booth by herself, and spaced out for a while. When she came back to reality, she noticed Jesse and Isabel slow dancing in one corner, and Max and Liz dancing nearby as well.

"Earth to Maria??" Kyle slid in the booth across from her. "Oops, maybe that's a phrase I should stop using.Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I share your pain."

"Hmm..?" Maria looked at him blankly. Obviously, he wasn't in love with the guy she just dumped, so what was he talking about?

"The whole couple-y thing? Gets to me too." Kyle grinned at her. "Hey, what's going on Deluca? You look terrible."

"Gee, thanks, Kyle." Maria glared at him.

"No, really, Maria," his face becoming more serious. "You look like you haven't slept in days."

"I haven't." She replied.

"Oh." Kyle looked blank for a second, and then came back with a wicked grin. "It isn't because you found my dad and your mom making out in the pantry or something again, is it? Because I found them in the laundry room this time. Definitely kept me up with nightmares for awhile."

Maria laughed a little bit at that. Not a real Maria laugh, but definitely something better than she had been for the past few days. "Nothing like that, unfortunately, because that would be heaven compared to what I'm going through."

"If you need to talk about it, I'm here." Kyle responded, very seriously. "Alien troubles?"

"Is there really another kind?" Maria sighed. "I don't know if you knew this.I dumped Michael the other day."

"What? I mean, is there a reason??" Kyle looked shocked. "I mean, I don't know, I just thought of anyone, you guys were a sure bet. Even more than Max and Liz for some reason."

"Alright, that's not helping the cause. Man, is there a reason everyone wants to constantly remind me of reasons to be with him?!?" Maria exclaimed.

"Uhh, maybe cause it's what's right, Deluca." Kyle stated.

"What are you talking about, Kyle?" Maria looked at him, interested in his take on things.

"Maria, listen to what I just said. You fit together better than Max and Liz. And they supposedly saw into each other's souls. or whatever that alien crap was. And I'm not the only one who ever saw it that way."

"What do you mean??" Maria said excitedly. She knew she shouldn't get excited, because she had to convince herself breaking up with him was the right thing to do.but she couldn't help herself.

"Well, umm.well, Alex saw it like that too." Kyle said hesitantly.

"What?!?" Maria exclaimed, loud enough to disturb the dancing couples.had they been paying attention at all.

"Calm, calm.go sniff some oils or something.but, yeah, Alex and I had some mind-searing conversation when we were stuck in that alien crystal cave thing, you know, saving the world and all, and that was definitely something he said." Kyle looked at the blond girl across from him who suddenly seemed to start panicking.

"Alright, you definitely got me back into unsure mode again." Maria started freaking out. "God, I need Liz. but I can't interrupt her now!"

"Maria? Just hear me out. I don't know why you broke up with Michael, exactly, but I do know that whatever your reason may be, I'm pretty sure that you love him and he loves you.and nothing should stand in the way of two people who love each other being together."

Maria sighed. "I wish I could believe that. I really do. But I. I can't be with him right now, Kyle. I just don't feel like I have an identity when I'm with him."

"Well, look at it from his point of view," Kyle suggested.


"Meaning, you may feel that you don't have an identity when you're with him, but he's gotta feel worse when he's without you. Because Michael is you, Maria. He is a part of you, and you're a part of him, whether you like it or not. And you do have an identity outside of him, and it's a wonderful, happy, loving person. But you made Michael into who he is today. Can you imagine Michael without your influence?"

"Kyle?" Maria said suddenly. "Thank you."

"For what?" Kyle replied. "This is all stuff you already knew."

"Well, actually I meant for not quoting Buddha once this entire time."

"Yeah, well," Kyle sighed. "Isabel told me that if I ever did that while in the same ten-mile radius as her, she'd turn me into a, and I quote, "fat, bald man" myself."

Maria laughed. A genuine laugh. Kyle looked quite pleased with himself, and watched Maria get up and run out of the café.

Maria got into her car, started the engine, and started to drive all before she realized she had no idea where to go. For some reason, she had the strongest feeling Michael wasn't in her apartment. It was almost like a sixth sense telling her where Michael was...or at least, where he wasn't.

God, I'm forgetting.He probably won't even want me back after all I said to him.But I have to try.

Suddenly, Maria swerved into the left lane, to turn into the park she had seen Michael at only a few days earlier. She pulled into a parking space from where she could see the picnic bench from. Sure enough, she saw a lone figure sitting there. Not moving. It looked like he hadn't moved in days.

Maria took a deep breath, got out of the car, and walked towards him. She took a few more deep breaths to keep herself from hyperventilating. "Michael."

"Are you here to tell me that you can't live when you're with me? Or that you never felt anything for me at all? And that you hate me? 'Cause whatever it is, I'm pretty sure you can't hurt me anymore than you already have."

Maria felt the tears spring to her eyes again. Damn, I cry far too much.Alright, be brave. you can do this.whether he forgives you or not. "Michael.I came to apologize."


"Michael, please.just look at me!" Maria cried. When he finally did look up, she let out an involuntary gasp of shock.and horror. She was afraid her suspicions might have been right, that he had never left the picnic bench.

He looked ragged and tired enough for that to be the case. "Michael.God, did I do this to you?" She leaned over and brushed the hair out of his eyes gently, only to be rebuked by him pushing her hand away. "Michael. I know I hurt you.I said some horrible things."

"You think?"

"I do love you." Maria looked at him in the eyes. "With all my heart. I'm just so confused. I hurt so much still, Michael. I didn't know what to do. Don't sit there and tell me you've never let your emotions get the best of you and you never did anything you regretted with everything you have in you."

"There is actually something I do regret.with all my heart," he said, repeating her words. Maria stood frozen, frightened he would say something like "Loving you." Or "Being with you." "That time, in Alex's house.when Max told us we were leaving. I regret leaving you there.I should have been there with you."

"Michael." Maria sobbed. "I regret what I said to you.and some other things too.I'm sorry you stayed back for me."

"Why?" Michael looked at her abruptly. "I'm not. And I never will be."

"But your's what you always dreamed of. I guess I was just scared that maybe you did regret staying back for gave up so much for me.I'm just scared that maybe I don't deserve that.especially after all I just put you through."

"Don't ever say that again," Michael said. "There is no one more deserving of all the love in the world than you, and I just wish I had enough to give you what you need right now."

"Don't you ever say that again, Michael," Maria smiled. "You do have the kind of love I need.but I am serious about needing to find myself. I don't want to lose you though."

Michael took her hand and kissed it softly, before kissing her lips even more softly and gently. "You never, ever will. Push me away all you want, I'll never leave you."

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