FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Knight in Leather Jacket"
Part 4
by Sally
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Summary: Michael saves Maria from her mother's abusive boyfriend.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This story takes place a few days after The Balance. Michael and Maria are still on shakey ground.
"Hello, Emily Hall School, how may I direct your call?"

"Hi, my name is Roger Samuelson, and I am a writer for the Roswell Times. I am doing a story on a teacher at our local high school named Jeff Cooper. I know he used to teach here and I wanted to speak to someone who--"

"Hold please while I connect you to the Vice Principal's office."

Michael nervously started tapping the side of the pay phone outside of the Mobil Station. They were certainly keeping him on hold long enough. Fortunately for him, he had the ability to trick old Ma Bell into paying for his long distance call to Denver.

"Gordon Levitsky speaking."

"Hi, Mr. Levitsky. I am Roger Samuelson, a senior reporter for the Roswell Times."

"You don't sound too senior to me. You sound fresh out of college."

"I am very advanced for my age. Anyway, I am doing a story on Jeffrey Cooper, a new teacher at Roswell High. I understand that he used to teach at your school and I was hoping you could fill in some background information." There was silence on the other line. Michael hoped he sounded convincing enough. I guess I might have pushed it a bit with the whole senior thing.

"I would like to ask what kind of an article you are writing? Off the record, he did'nt leave us under the best of circumstances."

"That's about what I suspected. Mr. Samuelson, I am not writing a puff piece."

"If you put it that way, I feel compelled to tell you the truth. Jeff Cooper was fired from our school last year for uh, shall we say, sexually harassing some of our students. It was a horrible scene, we had a lot of press, let me tell you. I hope your situation is'nt as severe."

"With your help, it wont be, Mr. Samuelson. Would you please fax me copies of those articles you mentioned? Here is my number..." Michael pulled out of his pocket a piece of paper which had the number of the fax machine in Principal Horsetamer's office.


Michael had promised her that everything would be OK. Which is why she was able to sit in Mr. Cooper's classroom. She had a feeling that Alex knew something was up because he insisted on kicking John Hopper out of his desk so he could sit next to her

Maria looked at the clock, and noted that Mr. Cooper was already fifteen minutes late. How uncharacteristic of him.

Alex stood up. "Hey you guys, I think we can go. It says in our handbook that class is canceled if the teacher does'nt show up after fifteen minutes." No argument there. Everyone started to gather their bags.

"Not so fast, you all." It was Mrs. Linkletter, the head of the math department. "Please sit down, I have an announcement to make. Mr. Cooper will not be teaching you Geometry any longer. In fact, he is leaving Roswell High. I will take over your class until we can find a replacement. My notes tell me that you were working on section 5..."

Could Michael have something to do with this? Maria thought.


Liz, Max, Michael and Isabel were all gathered around Maria's locker, waiting to find out if the rumors were true.

"Maria, Did Mr. Cooper really get fired?" asked Liz.

"Fired? I, I don't know...Mrs. Linkletter just said that he was no longer teaching here, she did'nt say why." She looked at Michael but was unable to read his expression.

Alex's response was less subdued. "You should have been there, it was awesome!" He raised his arms in the air in victory. "We had a test in two days! Mrs. Linkletter could'nt control the class so we did'nt get any work done. No Mr. Cooper, who-hoo!"

Isabel gave Alex a cool-it stare and added, "I have the real scoop. Peter Ix was waiting in Principal Horsetrainer's office and he overheard him say something about how Mr. Cooper had "inappropriate relations" with some of his students in Denver. God, did'nt they do a background check before they hired him? Who else has a record here? I knew I was getting some weird vibes from him."

Alex gave Maria a nudge. "Great news, huh Maria? Maybe there is a school rule which says that you get an automatic A if your teacher is fired mid-term." Everyone broke into laughter except for Maria.

"I think I should go home. Mom probably doesnŐt know what happened yet."

Liz immediately sobered and touched Maria's arm. "I'm sorry. How insensitive of us. Are you OK? This all must be pretty upsetting for you, with the guy in your house so much and all. I bet your mom will be pretty upset. Do you want me to go home with you?"

"Thanks Liz, but--"

Michael stepped forward. "I'll take her home. Give me the keys to the Jeep, Max. I'll drive."

Liz was'nt sure which was more odd, that Michael volunteered to take Maria home, or that Maria let him.


"Michael, Mr. Cooper is at the house!" Maria's stomach clenched as she caught sight of his car. "I think I am going to throw up."

Michael took her hand as they started walking to the front door. "Just hang in there. You just tell her the truth, and I'll take care of the rest."

"No! I cant do that! Not in front of him, are you crazy?" She dug her heels in but Michael continued to tug on her arm.

"You have to do this, Maria. You have to face up to him, otherwise this will stay a part of you forever." His face gentled and he gave her hand a squeeze. "I'll be right there. I swear I will not let him hurt you. Trust me?" "Yes."

They entered the house hand in hand. Maria was grateful for Michael's presence. She was'nt quite sure how or why, but strangely enough, she believed in him.

Mr. Cooper and her mom were seated on the living room couch. They immediately stopped talking as soon as they saw Maria and Michael. Maria gathered her courage and in her coldest tone said to Mr. Cooper, "What are you doing here?"

"Honey, how could you be so rude! Jeff was just telling me that he has to go out of town for a while."

Maria did not look over at her mother. "Oh really? Is that what he told you?" She felt Michael's index finger rubbing on her knuckles. I am here if you need me.

"What is that supposed to mean, Maria? He just said that--"

Mr. Cooper stood up. "It's OK, Amy. I can handle this. Look, Maria. I have a sister in New York who is very, very sick with cancer. I told the school that I needed some time off, and I was'nt sure when I was coming back. End of story."

"Mom, he is'nt telling the truth. The truth is that Mr. Cooper was fired today. The school's administration found out that he had sexually molested some of his students when he was in Denver."

Mr. Cooper took a step closer to Maria. "Who put such ideas in her head? Your daughter does not know what she is talking about."

"Mom, believe me. I know first hand. Do you want to know why I have been avoiding Mr. Cooper? Because he has been making advances on me. That's how I got this bruise. Three nights ago he tried to kiss me, he grabbed me, and...and would'nt let me go. He told me not to tell because you would never believe me. Look, I have proof. Here is the article--" Maria held up a copy of the newspaper article which Michael had given her earlier. "Shut up!" Mr. Cooper started to back-hand Maria, but Michael quickly grabbed his arm.

"Only scum bags hit women. I on the other hand, don't have any problems hitting scum bags who hit women." Michael punched him in the gut, sending him sprawling across the room. He landed in a heap on the floor.

Mr. Cooper looked at Maria's mom with pleading eyes. "Amy, I am sorry. I don't know what came over me. Let me expl--"

"Get out of my house! Nobody hits my daughter." Amy De Luca ran to Maria and pulled her into an embrace. Michael stood in front of them, shielding them both from Mr. Cooper. "Oh my God. What kind of a man are you? I can't believe you touched my baby. I cared about make me sick. Get out!"

Jeff Cooper slowly stood to his feet and angrilly grabbed his coat off the chair. Before reaching the door, he turned and faced them. "You know what your problem is, Amy De Luca? You have no class. You were an easy lay to me, and that was all."

Maria jumped as Mr. Cooper slammed the door. The combination of released tension and relief unleashed a torrent of tears. Her mother held her tightly and soothingly stroked her hair. "Oh Maria, I am so very, very sorry. Please forgive me. ItŐs safe now. I love you, I love you..."

"I know. I love you too, Mom."

Neither women noticed when Michael quietly let himself out.


Maria, dressed in yellow capri pants and matching top, was sitting on a bench in a beautiful botanical garden. She loved the way each flower was in full bloom, and how bright all the colors seemed. Behind her, swans were peacefully gliding in a clear pond. In the distance, she could see Michael approaching. Unlike her, he was in his usual attire--blue jeans, black t-shirt and leather jacket. She was pleased that he had come.

"Hi," he said with a half grin.

"Hey yourself."

He sat down next to her. "Nice spot you got here, a real improvement from last time."

"I think so too. The swans were a sudden inspiration. Are you hungry? I bet I could dream us up some killer sundaes."

He laughed, but shook his head. "No thanks. I just wanted to make sure you were OK. I know I left without saying good bye, but it looked as if you needed to be alone with her."

"I figured as much. In fact, I was hoping you would join me tonight. I wanted to thank you for all you did. It was you that called the school in Denver, wasn't it?"

"It was no big deal. I enjoy playing Dick Tracy."

Maria leaned over and looked deeply into his eyes. "It was a big deal. From the bottom of my soul, I thank you, Michael. The only thing is, one question keeps going round and round in my head."

"What is that?"

"Am I imagining it, or have things changed between us?" He took a deep breath, and then gently brought his lips to hers. It was a sweet kiss, maybe not as passionate as the ones they had exchanged earlier, but definitely more meaningful. He drew back and traced a finger down the bridge of her nose. "I can't quite explain my feelings because they are so new to me. All I know is something was released inside of me when I found out about Mr. Cooper. Even though I tried to resist the pull between us, I knew that I couldnŐt let someone hurt you. God help me, but I really do care about you...and that scares me."

"Ditto here. Its, like you know, I have fallen for the last person I ever expected to. So what happens next?"

"I don't know, Maria. Let's just take things slowly, OK? I'm not going to change my ways overnight. I am sure I will still say and do some pretty stupid things. But if you are willing to take a chance and see how things develop between us, then I am too."

His answer was far better than she could ever have imagined. In response, Maria gave him a playful nip on his earlobe. "Don't worry Michael, I won't cramp your style too much!"

"Now you're in for it!" Growling, he swooped down and gave her a deep kiss.

Maria grabbed him by the front of his jacket and pulled him even closer to her. "Mmm. Now that's what I call sweet and spicy, big boy!"


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