FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Not Even the Rain"
Part 1
by loki
Disclaimer: The characters… not mine, well except for the two I made up. The poem at the end is not mine, it's by e.e. cummings.
Summary: It's a future-fic, set when they are all about 25. While it's primarily a M/M fic, there are lotsa people and issues popping up.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This will probably be the longest Author’s note I’ve ever written… But I owe so much gratitude to so many people who have put up with me over the past 3 months… To willa: my beta-goddess and good friend, who has read through over 60 pages of fic and gave me great advice. Plus, I adore her for the fact that, in the beginning, she warned me this was going to be an epic of ‘doorway’ proportions, and has yet to tell me ‘I told you so.’ To Miri, bec, Lovely Poet, black widow, Sandy and Kristen: you chickies rock so much. I probably would have never finished this if you didn’t keep me going, give me wonderful commentary and make me feel like I was actually writing something worthwhile. To Natalie and shehawken: who gave me such great character analysis – and helped me see things I would have never caught. To Tracy and Laura: my phenomenal Willow-betas who read this even though they’ve never/barely seen the show – and gave me such wonderful feedback.
“M~” Lucy called from the front. “Can you come up here for a minute?”

Maria sighed, then put down the beaded necklace she was working on. “Just a second,” she answered.

Sometimes she didn’t know why she ever hired that girl. Lucy was relatively helpless and pretty much forgot everything that she was told. But, as Maria reasoned for the third time that day, it was good to have someone else work the register, giving her more time to spend in the studio.

Straightening the kerchief on her head, Maria emerged out of the back room and saw Lucy showing a piece of jewelry to a youngish looking man. Her hand immediately grabbed the wood of the doorframe to steady herself. From his profile, she had no doubt who it was. Hell, even if his back was turned to her, she’d know him anywhere.

Looking up, Lucy smiled at her, dangling the necklace in her hand. “Is this jasper? I always forget.”

Shaking her head in disbelief, Maria walked over to them. Taking the choker from Lucy, she gently caressed the center stone with her thumb. “No,” she said, meeting Michael’s eyes. “It’s jade. For luck.”

He stared at her for a moment longer, then fixed his attention on the necklace in her hands. “Jade,” he nodded. “It’s an incredible piece. Is it yours?”

“Yup,” Maria said, placing it on the case. She didn’t quite know what she expected from this moment, but it had to be more than a conversation about her artistry. The harder she stared at him, the more intently he studied the choker. Maria was about to say something, but the door opened before she had a chance to articulate the thought.

“Michael, honey, there you are!” A tall raven-haired woman rushed over and took his hand. She was so striking – so amazingly beautiful – that Maria couldn’t help but gawk. “I was in the bookstore and one second you were there, the next you were gone. I got so worried!”

Michael rolled his eyes. “I was right next door. I didn’t just ‘disappear.’” He glanced over at Maria, immediately tasting his foot in his mouth. She was one step ahead of him, anticipating his look of subtle pity. Before her jaw could drop, she clenched it into a condescending smile.

“Rings!” The woman squealed. “One of these days, Michael…”

“Lucy~” Maria hinted to the girl.

“Right,” Lucy nodded. “Is there anything you’d like to see?” she asked Michael’s girlfriend, leading her to the opposite side of the store.

Pushing the necklace towards Maria, Michael smiled half-heartedly. Maria had long since given up the hope of his return, especially one accompanied by guilt-wrenched apologies and grandiose declarations of love. Still, she felt that she deserved more than a few visible signs of his discomfort. But yet again, Michael Guerin didn’t fail to disappoint.

“So,” she said, exhaling angrily.

“So,” he repeated, glancing out the window.

Maria glared at him for a second, then placed the jewelry back in the case. “So, are you here to see Max?”

Michael whipped his head, and blinked. “Max is here?”

Crossing her arms, she narrowed her eyes. “I would have thought you’d have been able to hone in on his whereabouts.”

“My, uh,” he paused, “intuition isn’t what it used to be.”

Maria smirked bitterly. “Well, I guess things change with time, don’t they, Michael?”

Apparently, that infamous blank look was one of the few things that had remained intact during his absence. And his silence. The hurt started to fight Maria’s anger for dominance.

“Oh, Michael, they have some of the most beautiful things here.” Relieved, they both turned their attention to the brunette and away from each other. “I think that we should come back, or at least you should come back…” She smiled at Maria and giggled. “He’s going to marry me, but he won’t admit it to himself. Serves me right - falling for the stubborn ones.”

“Yeah, I know how that is.” Without even looking at Michael, Maria pursed her lips in a tight smile. “Just hang in there, I’m sure he’ll come around.”

The sarcasm flew over the woman’s head, smacking Michael in the face. He stepped back as the brunette wrapped her arm around him and hugged him. Agitation was clear in his whole demeanor. “Yeah, well, we should get going,” he grunted.

Maria waved to them. “Do come again!” Her voice so sweet it could send a diabetic into a sugar coma.

The door closed behind them, and Maria turned to Lucy. “You know what – it’s almost six. I’ll close up, you can have the rest of the night to yourself.” Grabbing her coat with a giddy bounce, Lucy thanked Maria and ran out.

The blonde locked the door behind her and grabbed the phone. Four rings – an agonizingly long time to wait. Maria started in even before she heard “Hello.”

“Liz – you are not going to believe who was just in my store!” Her words came out in a breathless rush.

“Oh, Maria,” Liz rolled her eyes. “What celebrity was it this time?”

“No, no.” Maria said. “Better. Or worse. I don’t know.”

“Better? Worse?”

“Michael Guerin.”

Liz was stunned into silence. No one had seen Michael in years.


Shaking it off, Liz laughed nervously. “I’m here. Wow, that is so odd. Did he say anything?”

“No,” Maria snorted. “You know Michael, not one for many words. He was in here with some tramp – she was kinda pretty. Okay, she was breathtakingly gorgeous, but that’s beside the point. She called him ‘honey’ – I didn’t think that ‘Michael’ and ‘honey’ were ever going to be in the same sentence together. Unless you were talking about food. Like, ‘Michael likes honey with his Tabasco sauce.’ Then I could see that.”


“Fine, fine. I’m just… a little shaken up. I mean, no word to anyone for who the hell knows how long, and then, pretty much no word even now.” She paused. “It’s so… him. And that’s so damn frustrating!”

Leaning back into her chair, Liz thought about Max and how he would react to the news. How Isabel would react. Maria was handling it surprisingly well – a frantic babbling attack was nothing new. Liz hoped that her heart was holding up as well.

“Liz?” Maria said, her voice breaking.

It wasn’t. “I’ll be right there.”

Index | Part 2
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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