FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Not Even the Rain"
Part 8
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
“Don’t even think that you are coming up here all sweaty and smelly.” Maria yelled as she heard the downstairs door slam. “I don’t want you stinking up my house.”

Max laughed at her as he walked into the kitchen. “If it’s that bad – I’ll take a shower. Let me just get something to drink.” He opened the refrigerator and took out a bottle of water. Maria walked out from the bathroom and wrinkled her nose.

“Ugh. Now I have to open all the windows.”

“Oh, c’mon.” He sat on the table in the middle of the floor. “I only ran five miles. Anyway, you look exhausted. What’s up?”

“Long night,” she responded, pushing a headband into her hair. “After the blow-out at your house, Michael came here.” Maria walked over to the couch and plopped down. “What happened, anyway? He didn’t really tell me much.”

Jumping off the table, Max joined her on the couch. “I don’t know. Things are just… well, not like I thought they would be when I saw him again. I guess I’m expecting the perfect explanation and he’s not giving it to me. And every second that I keep waiting, I feel myself getting more and more angry – I don’t know why.”

Maria lay down across the couch and put her head in his lap. “He’s not well, Max.”

“Michael’s always got something wrong.”

“No.” Her voice was firm, yet sad. “It’s – I’ve never seen him like this. He’s more defeated than ever before. And last night was, well, terrifying. I stayed up most of the night just watching over him.” His fingers traced over her ear, tucking away errant flaxen strands. “Max… have you ever had really bad dreams?”

“What, like nightmares?” He asked.

“Worse than just nightmares. He doesn’t want you to know, but I think he knew I would tell you.” She laughed softly. “Max, it was so scary. He was screaming, crying, all curled up like a child that had just lost everything he’d ever known in the blink of an eye. Honestly, I was more afraid of losing him than I was in the cave that night.” Sniffing, Maria continued. “I didn’t know if I should wake him up – I didn’t know if that would make it worse. So, I just kind of sat there with him. That seemed to calm him down some. I thought maybe it was something that you and Isabel had gone through.”

“No,” Max whispered, shaking his head. “I’ve never had a dream like that, I don’t think that Is has either.” An image of Michael, standing haggard before him flashed in his mind. What Maria said – it seemed to give some insight on why Michael had been so distant from them, why Max couldn’t get a read on his state of mind. He had tried – the first night that Michael came to him. As he grabbed Michael’s arm, Max tried to get in, make a connection. All he got was a dark, spiraling black hole. It didn’t seem to be anything then, but now with what Maria told him, Max wanted to understand the connection between Michael, that image, and his dreams.

“Don’t be so angry with him, Max.” Maria sighed sleepily. “Please.”

Max smiled and caressed her cheek. He could tell by her breathing that she was about to fall asleep. When he was sure that she had drifted off completely, Max carefully slipped off the couch and left.


Flipping on the TV, Isabel stretched out on the couch, enjoying the solitude. Liz had left for school, and Max wasn’t back from his run yet. She grabbed the remote and surfed through the numerous talk shows and soap operas. There was absolutely nothing about the mindless babble that could keep her awake, and she wasn’t completely sure why she was trying to stay up. She thought about calling Alex but the phone was all the way on the other side of the room. Try as she might to will it to come over, it was staying put.

Her eyelids felt heavier each time a commercial came on. Isabel had started to drift off to sleep when she heard the knock on the door. She tried to ignore it – hoping that Max would find his keys before she actually had to get up. More knocking. Grunting, she swung her legs over and made her way to the door.

“You couldn’t just open it ‘your own special way’? I’m sure no one would have noticed.”

“Uh, I didn’t really think that would be appropriate.” Michael’s poor attempt at a joke jerked Isabel out of her sleepy daze.

“Michael,” she said incredulously.

He waited for her to slap him again, but she just cocked her head to the side and smiled. Before he could think, Michael reached out and hugged her, hesitantly at first, then held her firmly against him. She clung to him tightly, burying her face into his shoulder, letting her tears of relief soak his shirt. They stood in the doorway, him tenderly rocking her in his arms, murmuring against her temple.

“It’s all gone, Isabel. I’ve lost it all.”


“I don’t understand. You can’t do anything? Not even melt things?” Isabel asked.

They had left the apartment before Max got home – Michael trying to avoid another awkward confrontation. Besides, he’d only agreed to talk to Isabel. Max was another issue altogether. Maria would have had to come up with something more substantial than a little tease to get him to talk to Max. Isabel and Michael walked to the park down the street, thinking that there would be few people around in the middle of the day.

“Nope. Not even that.” Michael ran his fingers through his hair. “It all just slipped away gradually… I didn’t notice it at first. But then one day I forgot my keys, and figured that I could just ‘open the door.’ Nothing happened. A few months later, I tried making a connection with a… friend of mine. Without her knowing, of course. Again, nothing.”

“Maybe we can try to figure it out. Together.”

“Is,” he squeezed her hand. “I don’t think there is anything we can do. For whatever reason, my powers have been taken away from me. Maybe it’s because I was separated from you guys for so long, maybe it’s because I did something really wrong – I don’t know. But it’s my punishment to accept. I’m not getting you involved.”

Isabel stopped and pulled him back. “Michael – I don’t think that this is a punishment. Is that why you’ve been avoiding us? You think that you’ve been punished?”

“I don’t know.”

She touched his cheek, making him look at her. “Something happened, Michael. Something that we need to figure out and fix.”

“It doesn’t matter – we’re probably leaving soon.” Michael turned away and started walking again.

“Please, stay for a few more days. At least until we can all sit down and talk about this.” Isabel begged. He shot her a skeptical glance. “I promise, no more yelling, no more arguing. Just talking.”

“I don’t know, Is.”

“Just one day, then. For me. Michael, I haven’t seen you in five years, and you are threatening to disappear on me again. Please, give me one more day with you.”

He exhaled slowly, then nodded without looking at her. “One more day. That’s all I can promise right now.”


Michael walked into the room and fell back onto the bed, staring up. What was to be a simple trip to help Lydia settle her affairs had now turned into a forced introspection into his life. Most of him wanted to grab Lydia, get in a car and drive home without looking back. He tried to convince himself that the reason the rest of him wanted to stay was because of his promise to Isabel. All she was asking was to spend a little more time with him. He could do that, Michael figured. ‘Just hang out with Is, and avoid everyone else.’ That’s all he had to do.

“Where have you been?”

Michael sat up to find Lydia standing in the bathroom doorway. “Oh, I thought you would still be with the lawyers.”

“You were with her, weren’t you?” She asked, more pained than angry.

“Who?” Lydia just stared at him. “Oh, Maria. Yes, and no. I ran into some… old friends. I’m sorry that I didn’t call.”

“Friends,” she sniffed.

“Yeah, friends.” He repeated, confused.

“And I’m not good enough to meet your friends?”

“Lydia, don’t.”

“You never tell me anything about your life, well, from before we met. Then we come here – I have to pretty much drag you – and all of a sudden there are all these ‘old friends’ here, and the infamous Maria that you refuse to tell me about.” The agonizing pain of betrayal was naked on her face. “What is it about me that you feel the need to hide things? What have I done to make you feel like you can’t talk to me, share with me?”

“It’s not you,” Michael pleaded. “It’s just a part of my life that I’ve been trying to forget. Only, right now it doesn’t want to be forgotten.”

“ Why do you have to forget it? What could have possibly been so bad that you needed to run away?” She asked, sitting on the bed next to him.

“I can’t tell you.” He dropped his head.

“Fine.” Lydia stood up angrily and walked over to the closet, dragging her suitcase out. “I have to meet with the lawyers tomorrow morning, and then I’m going home. I want you to come with me. I want to get out of here, and take you home and then we can go on from there.”


“You said that you want to forget about your past. The best way I can see you doing that is leaving as soon as possible, and never coming back.” She started to toss some clothes into the bag. “You leave with me, and I won’t ask any questions about this week, and the people you don’t want me to meet. I won’t ask about Maria, even when you call out to her in your sleep. I won’t ask about your dreams, I won’t ask about your drawings, I won’t ask about the box that you are so protective of.” Lydia crossed the room and grabbed some things from the dresser. “I thought we had an agreement, I thought it was going to be just us. I love you, Michael, you know that. But you have to give me something here. Leave with me tomorrow, and don’t look back.”

Michael watched her pack, her gaze never venturing towards him. He lay back down on the bed and covered his eyes with his palms, trying to decide what to do.

Part 7 | Index | Part 9
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