FanFic - Michael/Maria
"In The Dark Of The Moon"
Part 3
by Maea McDermod
Disclaimer: This story takes place before TLV (for the acronymically impaired that’s Tess, Lies, and Videotape) while some of the events in Crazy did happen, I chose to ignore others.
Summary: Maria’s dreams force the gang to overcome adversity and face a common enemy (or friend) Read it... you’ll see.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
Authors Note: This story has been basically "Jaced"— kinda like being "Jossed", only with less vampires. It’s an interesting thing to see what sleep deprivation can do to people... some go crazy, some write fic.
The jeep squealed to a stop about a minute after Liz pulled the Jetta into the parking area. Max and Isabel burst into the apartment to see Michael laying the unconscious blonde gently onto his bed. Maria’s condition had worsened since they found her… her skin was so pale it was almost translucent and her breathing had become increasingly labored.

"Oh my God!" exclaimed Isabel. "What’s happening to her?"

Max approached Liz, who was shaking in fear. He enveloped her into his embrace.

"Max," she cried, burying her face into his chest, "she’s going to die, isn’t she. Maria’s going to…"

He reached down taking her chin gently in his hands, forcing her gaze upwards. "No — don’t say that. Once we figure this out, we can help her."

Michael glanced over at his girlfriend’s best friend. "I won’t let her die, Liz," he swore to her.

"Did you try to wake her up?" Isabel asked.

"Boy, I would have never thought of that. Thanks, Iz," he scoffed.

"I’m just trying—"

"Well don’t!"

Max stepped forward. "Not now. We need to help Maria, not argue between ourselves."

"When I touched her in the alley, I saw into her dream."

The dark haired alien glanced sharply at his friend. "You didn’t try to heal her, did you? You know…"

Anger flashed in Michael’s eyes. "No, Max. Give me some credit. I know that I’m not as good at that as you guys. If I did something wrong…" he trailed off his words. "I just touched her. In her dream she’s by the quarry with Liz… but that Liz was different — evil somehow. She was trying to force Maria near the edge."

"What would happen if she, um, fell off the cliff? I mean, she wouldn’t…" Liz asked, quietly, tears drying on her cheeks.

"If someone is so deep into their dream that they don’t even realize that it is one, it’s possible that if they died in the dream, they would also die in real life," Max explained.

Liz backed away, "No! No! No!" she repeated over and over, shaking her head in disbelief.

He reached out for her. "Liz, listen to me. We’re not going to let that happen. Okay?" Max nodded his head, and she mimicked the motion. "Good. Michael, do you think that you could see her dream again?"

"Yeah. She’s so into it now that I could make a connection immediately."

Isabel stood. "This is ridiculous. We can’t save her. We don’t even know what’s wrong. I think that we should take her to the hospital. Maybe they can help her."

Michael moved from the bedside and confronted Isabel. "And tell them what?? That Maria’s been depriving herself of sleep because of bad dreams, and now she’s so deep into one, which may or may not be caused by an evil alien, that we can’t wake her and she could die. That’d go over real good. We," he said motioning to the three of them, "are her only hope."

"Michael, stop it. Isabel is not the cause of this, and she doesn’t deserve to be treated that way," Max defended his sister.

"Whatever." Running his hands through his mussed hair, Michael sighed and turned away from the both of them. As he situated himself on the bed next to Maria, the alien looked up at them. "I’m going to fix this. You can either help or leave."

Liz stiffened at Max’s side. She knew that Michael had no where near the amount of control on his powers as the other two did. Max led her over to the bed, and they both sat down next to the unconscious teen. "We’re not going anywhere." Isabel joined them silently.

Michael hid the relief that he felt in that he wouldn’t have to do all this alone, not that he ever thought that Max would skip out on helping. He reached out and tenderly stroked Maria’s pale cheek, just as he did in the alleyway earlier. The flashes that he experienced were so intense, Michael took a sharp intake of breath.

**FLASH** Maria as a child, being thrown into the air by her father as if she were a feather.

**FLASH** Maria eight years old, searching out the window of her bedroom, waiting for her limo to arrive.

**FLASH** Maria opening the door of the CrashDown that fateful day in December when they started their relationship with a flood of passion.

**FLASH** Maria letting Michael into her bedroom the night he used his powers on Hank.

**FLASH** A lone shadow figure standing in the distance, red eyes glowing.

**FLASH** Maria laying on the floor of the CrashDown, a pool of blood spreading out around her, a tear streaking down her cheek as Michael looked on, impassive.

**FLASH** Maria sunning herself while sitting on a blanket with Michael in Devou Park, a picnic spread all around them.

**FLASH** Michael moving away from her, towards a craft and a man that he had never seen before.

**FLASH** Maria watching him leave with a devastated expression on her face and tears streaming from her eyes.

**FLASH** Maria and Liz standing at the edge of the quarry, Liz urging her towards the edge.

Michael panicked, breaking the connection with her for a second to call out to his friend. "Hurry, Max. She’s so close."

There was no hesitation on Max’s part. He reached out, lifted the woolen blanket, and placed his hand on Maria’s cold skin. Max detected Michael standing next to him on the dreamscape, both of them about twenty feet from Maria and the false Liz. Liz held out her hand to Maria, and spoke with urgency.

"Come on, Maria… Oh God! He’s here. He found you." Liz took two steps to the blonde.

"No!" Maria spun to face the newcomers. "Stay away from me! You’re evil and I won’t let you finish your job."

Michael slowly closed the distance between them, hoping that she would not bolt for the edge as he walked. "I can’t be evil, Maria."

A look of confusion crossed the girl’s face. "Wh-why not?"

"Because I love you." The words were foreign to Michael. He’d never said anything like that before to anyone, and now they were out there, hanging on the edge of the cliff like the human he said them to. "If anything… being with you makes me… good." She stared at him dumbfoundly, not believing that he had just said those three words. "Come on. Come towards me. Step away form the edge."

"No, I can’t! Liz says—"

"That’s not Liz, Maria. All this is not real, it’s a dream. I have Liz with me. We’re all in my apartment waiting for you to wake up."

Outside the dreamscape, Liz and Isabel sat watching, waiting for a sign that Maria would be okay. Liz stared at the female alien.

"Aren’t you going to help them?" she asked, motioning to the two boys, their eyes glazed over and vacant.

Isabel was sitting at the end of the bed, close to Maria’s feet, and she drew her knees to her chest. The pose made the normally ‘put-together’ Isabel appear child-like and vulnerable. "I can’t, Liz. I’m too… afraid. What if I did cause this?"

"Don’t think that, Isabel," she said, adamantly. "You said that you didn’t and I trust that."


Suddenly Max’s hand shot out from his still form and grabbed the brunette’s wrist, bringing her into the dream and leaving Isabel all alone.

The bright sun of the dreamscape startled Liz, causing her to blink several times to adjust her eyes… then saw what Max and Michael saw. Maria near the edge, a girl with her own face floating over the chasm, and Michael trying to talk Maria towards him.

"Oh, God!" she gasped.

Michael glanced over his shoulder. "See! I have the real Liz here with me. That person behind you, isn’t Liz… it’s something bad… not right, and if you listen to her, you could die."

"Why should I trust you? It’s not like you’d care if I died anyway," she said, her tone bitter and harsh.

The alien’s face fell, and he took a precarious step towards her. "Why would you say something like that?"

"Because I heard what you said to Max… I heard you tell him that you wouldn’t have healed me if I got shot at the Crashdown that day instead of Liz."

"Oh God. Maria, listen to me… you didn’t hear everything I said…"

"I heard enough."

"No, listen—"

She clasped her hands over her ears, "Stop it! I don’t even want to hear your excuses… You’re evil, and you’ll only be happy when you kill me yourself." Maria turned to walk towards the other Liz.

"Why did you come to my place tonight? After all those nightmares that you’ve been having, and hearing me say that to Max, why did you still come to me?"

The group could see that Maria was trembling with indecision, though she made no move to even look back at them. "I told you… I don’t know. I didn’t know what I was doing tonight. I just found myself there. I guess I hoped that you would be able to make it all go away."

Another step closer to her, "I can. I will, but first you have to come here. I can’t help you until you’re away from her."

"Maria, please listen to him. I’m afraid," Liz called out to her best friend.

The false Liz, hovering out in thin air, was not pleased to see that Michael and the others were talking Maria away from her. She spoke in the same tone as the real Liz just used. "Don’t go to him… he's evil! I'm Liz, not her."

"Maria, no. Don’t listen to her."

"I don’t know who to trust anymore," she said flatly.

"Do you remember when we went to Marathon — when I abducted you? I tossed your cell phone out the window — Maria, you lied to the cop for me… You told me then that I owed you. You were right, I do. Let me have this chance."

The earnestness in his voice touched Maria. //He really cares for me// she thought. She turned away from the cliff to look at him. He stood there with his hand reaching out for her, beckoning her away from the edge. The girl put one foot in front of the other, then froze… behind Michael, Isabel appeared. Reminded of her first nightmares, Maria panicked and backed away from them, closer to the floating Liz.

The real Liz tried to move forward, "Maria, no!"

Max stopped her. "She’s too close to the edge. You might spook her more."

Michael lowered his arm, glancing over his shoulder, then focused his attention back to her. "What? Isabel? Maria, she’s here to help you, too. It’s okay," he said in a soothing voice.

"She wants to take you away from me, Michael…" she whispered, tears forming. "That's what all those dreams meant. Isabel doesn't want us to be togeher."

"Isabel won't keep us apart. I told you before that I love *you*, and I do. When my whole world was falling apart, I came to you…because I knew that you would accept me completely. I trusted you with my heart… I knew you would be there for me. I need you Maria." Her tears were flowing freely now as he spoke. "When I'm with you, my world seems so much better. You're the one person I can feel ‘normal’ with—"

Hysterical laughter from behind the fragile blonde interrupted him and they all stared at the fake Liz.

"That's not Michael, Maria. The Michael you know would never talk like that. I get it now… *he's* the impostor."

"No, I swear to you… it's me."

Maria's eyes became cold with suspicion. "Prove it."

"Uh… um…" he glanced at the others, not knowing what to say, but they could not help him. Finally it came to him. "The shoe tree!" he exclaimed.

"It was a napkin holder."

"Yeah, I know, but remember I thought it was a shoe tree… and you yelled at me that day for never thanking you for saving my life."

She smiled, remembering. "Yeah."

"And that's the day I knew I was madly in love with you."


"Yep. That day you pretty much gave me an out on the whole deal. I could have just left things as they were, but I didn't. I didn't want what I could have with you to be like everything else in my life —something I run from."

Maria finally decided she could trust Michael. She moved forward on shaky legs to get closer to him, but the fake Liz reached out, her actions shrouded in fury. "No! You have to come with me!" She grabbed Maria’s arm and pulled her toward the edge.

The entire group tensed as Maria fell off the side of the cliff, and Michael lunged forward. "NO!!"

The dreamscape seemed to slow, allowing him to get to the edge before Maria dropped out of sight, most likely to her death below. He was able to lock his grip around her tiny wrist, and pull her to the safety of his arms.

She stared up at him, the fear in her eyes subsiding "You saved me…"

"You trusted me. Hey, we make a good team." Michael smoothed the hair out of her eyes. "I could have a thousand Valenti’s and Topolsky’s after me, and you’re the one person that I’d want by my side. I can’t let you go and die on me."

The others came forward to confront the being that almost killed their friend. "Who are you?" Max asked, what seemed to his girlfriend.

"I am many things… and have been many people…" The familiar face of Liz began shifting and morphed from one person to the next, many of the faces the gang recognized. He stopped on the face of a Mexican rancher… one that Max and Liz knew.

"That was you!?" Liz exclaimed.

He didn’t even acknowledge her. "I am here to protect you from all perceived threats, and I’ll rectify the situation with all necessary outcomes."

Michael still had Maria in his arms. "Protect us? From our friends?"

The rancher stared at Isabel. "I am here to stop the source of your fear."


"The girl fears this… human," he gestured to Maria, "and I am here to fix that."

Isabel was flustered, all the attention of the situation was on her. "I’m not afraid of her! I mean, I was… back when Valenti was pumping her for information, but not anymore."

"I wouldn’t be here if you weren’t still afraid of her."

They all looked at her. "Fine! All right, maybe I am." She turned to her brother. "Max, you have Liz… and I know that you’re never going to let her go. If the time comes when we find out where we’re from and we have the chance to go home, I know you’re not going to come."

Liz stepped forward to comfort the tall alien. "Isabel—"

Isabel turned away to study Michael and Maria, cutting off her brother's soul mate. "Then there’s you. From day one, home was all you could think about. You held the belief in our best rule: No Attachments. No matter what, I knew if… when… the time came, we’d leave together… even with out Max if we had to. But now, I see you falling for her more and more everyday. You’re breaking your own number one rule and eventually I’ll be alone… We’ll never get home."

"Isabel," Michael said, his eyes penetrating her own, "for as long as I can remember, I’ve ALWAYS envied what you have… You have Max, your human parents, amazing control on your power, friends at school… All I had was you guys. Really better than having nothing at all, but still… You’re my family… you have to love me because of where we’re from, what we are. Just once it was nice to have someone who would love me for who I was… not because she has to, because she wants to. Please don’t be afraid of that."

"I’m sorry, Michael… Maria... I never wanted to hurt either of you."

Max moved towards the rancher. "Are you Nasedo?"

He smiled, "If that is what you chose to call me, that is who I am."

The aliens fired questions at him all at once:

"Where have you been all this time?"

"What is our purpose here?"

"What have you been doing to Maria?"

"Patience, children. I am here protect you, and prepare you."

"Prepare us? For what?" Isabel asked.

"For your destiny. I have always been here… as you have seen. You have all met me before several times. And the human will be fine. I shall stop my assault on her, and tomorrow you will all remember this only vaguely."

"You," Max said, defiantly, "are a killer. How are we supposed to trust you?"

"I kill to protect—"

"Stop! Stop with the protect stuff. Atherton was your friend! River Dog saw you kill him. Sheila Hubble was a pregnant housewife. Maria — she’s our —"

"Sheila Hubble was not the innocent that her husband portrayed her to be." Nasedo never once raised his voice… never showed any emotion over talking about someone he killed. "Had he known that, it would have saved him years of mental anguish and eventually his life. She was one of them… and she had to be destroyed."

"One of who? Why kill her?" Max asked, but Isabel interrupted.

"What’s our destiny? Why have you not revealed yourself to us before?"

"It is not time… soon you will know…" The image of Nasedo began to fade away.

"Wait!" Michael called out. "When? When will we know?" But Nasedo was gone.

* * *

They all awoke on Michael’s bed, staring down at Maria’s pale body. As the seconds passed, color began to return to her skin and she opened her eyes. "Thank you," was all she could manage to say. Michael pulled her upper body onto his lap, and he sat there not wanting to let go.

Part 2 | Index | Part 4
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