FanFic - Michael/Maria
"On Hollow Ground"
Part 3
by Ria
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of its characters I'm just having some fun with it all.
Summary: Some fishy things go down in the little town of Roswell and when problems arise the pod squad doesn't know who to trust.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: I know it's been forever since Cruel Intentions and 3 Strikes and You're Out, but I finally made the time amongst my summer vacation and wrote my second real fan-fic so I hope everyone likes it.
Nothing. Nothingness was all around her. Not the cheery voice of Maria or the gentle hush of Max's-just the dead, cold silence that seemed to follow her wherever she went. Nothing. The bitter feeling of loneliness lurking deep inside her head and the cruel nothingness slowly beating her sanity away was all she had. Liz's stomach turned over itself. Would her hearing ever return or would she be stuck alone for the rest of her life?

Would she ever hear the sounds she had grown so used to? The sounds of the whippoorwill singing outside her room each morning, the sound of her pop tart popping from the toaster, the pocketa-pocketa sound of her car not starting, the sound of her finger nails tapping the steering wheel on her way to school?

Would she ever hear the little noises that reminded her of her friends? The annoying but pleasant sound of Maria chewing her gum like a cow and blowing bubbles? The cute way Max's voice sometimes cracked? Alex's unforgettable nutty professor impressions? The sound of Michael nervously cracking his fingers? The clicking sound of Isabel shutting her make-up compact?

******************

"They're on their way." Michael threw the portable phone on the couch.

"Good. As soon as they get here we're taking her to the hospital." Maria looked at Liz who sat on the couch staring straight ahead with her eyes shut.

"I-." Michael shook his head looking at Maria with hurt eyes. "No, we can't." Maria briskly walked to her room. Michael followed speechless.

"Yes, we can. Look, this psycho probably beat her in the head a few times and-" She grabbed a sweater out of her closet and went back into her living room with Michael right behind her.

"That's not why she's deaf. I mean, it didn't come from getting hit in the head." Maria dumped the contents in Liz's backpack out on the coffee table and shuffled through the pile of clothes.

"Oh no? She's got blood all over her, the guy obviously beat her and-"

"Maria look at her. That's not her blood. It's" He trailed off watching Maria pull one of Liz's shirts from the pile.

"What difference does it make whose blood it is? And what does that have to do with her hearing? Michael, she's deaf. We can't just leave her like this. She needs our help." She motioned to Liz rocking herself back and forth on the couch.

"You don't understand. It wasn't just some freak...some guy who beats girls up for kicks-who did this to her."

"How do you know?" Maria's angry look faded. "You knew this was going to happen." She paused for a second fitting the pieces of the puzzle together. "Y-you came to the house where I was babysitting soso you could protect me." She kept her tear filled eyes staring down at the floor, squinting, unsure of her emotions. Inside she felt like cracking a steal poll over his head but at the same time desperately wanted him close to her.

The front door opening brought Maria's eyes to Max's pale face. A tear glided down Maria's rosy cheek as Isabel stepped in the door.

"What's going on? Where's Liz?" He bolted past Michael and Maria to Liz on the couch. "God, is this her blood?" Liz opened her eyes feeling his gentle touch on her neck.

"Max." She pulled herself against him. "I'm scared." He pulled away hearing the low pitch in her voice. "I'm so scared." She said looking into his eyes.

"Liz, what's-" Max held her head in his hands and looked her face over.

"She can't" Maria stopped feeling her chin quivering.

"Liz!" Michael yelled as loud as he could.

"Michael." Isabel flashed him a strange look while Max stood, looking bizarrely at Michael.

"She didn't even bat an eye." Maria took a seat next to Liz. "She can't hear us." *********************

Liz sat in a seat at Michael's kitchen table with her hand enveloped in Maria's.

"It's better that we brought her here." Max said keeping his voice low as he leaned against the refrigerator in Michael's apartment.

"Yeah, at least one of us can always stay here with her." Michael said taking his head off of his crossed arm, leaning back in his chair at the kitchen table.

"What are we going to do?" Isabel spoke for the first time, from her comfortable position next to Michael.

"We need to figure out exactly who did this to her." Maria looked around the table, making eye contact with them all.

"Well, we know who did it right?" Isabel hugged her knees to her chest. "Nesado."

"Oh come on, Izzy, don't be so gullible." Michael sat his open pocketknife on the table.

"Michael-" Max started.

"I don't buy any of it. If anyone is after Liz it's Tess-she's the one who's got something against her. She's just using Nesado as her fall man and we're all just sitting back, eating it right out of her hand." Michael stabbed the knife's tip into the table.

"Leave Tess out of this-we'll deal with her later. Right now, we need to stick to the plan." Max looked to Maria and Liz in front of him.

"Yeah, the plan-what happened to it?" Michael said pushing away the glass of water Isabel slid toward him.

"What are you talking about?" Max kept his voice steady and low.

"Where were you? We were all supposed to watch them. You watch Liz, Isabel watches Alex and I watch Maria." He gave Maria a soft glance at the feel of her foot against his.

"Alex is away with his parents. He's coming back by himself tomorrow. He has to work." Maria looked away from Michael to all of them, trying to stop the oncoming argument.

"I'm picking him up from the airport." Isabel stiffened in her seat, remembering the horrifying events that had happened after Michael left her and Max alone with Tess.

"Where was I? Oh, so this is my fault?" Max let out an angry sigh as he stood from the refrigerator. Liz feeling as left our as ever, watched their angry faces.

"We had a plan and you didn't follow it." Michael stood, looking Max in the eye.

"After you left things got a little weirder and we had to stay and deal with Tess." Isabel said putting a steady hand on Michael's shoulder.

"Weirder?" He sat and pulled the glass of water back to him. Max nodded while Isabel swallowed the last of her glass of water.

"Tess started saying how we were going to die too if we didn't just except our destiny a-and that this was all going to blow up in our faces." Max watched his sister's fragile face.

"Blow up in our faces?" Michael felt Maria's hand grip his thigh under the table.

"Then she said crap like, 'our destiny cannot be stopped. It will happen no matter what we want' she really scared me." Isabel pulled a strand of hair behind her ear.

"Okay, so as of right now we take no chances. We stay with them-" Michael slid his hand over Maria's and motioned towards the 2 of them. "-and we don't let Tess anywhere near them."

"Michael." Max let out a sigh as he rubbed his eyes.

"Max, you know we can't trust her. Look through whatever you feel for her and know this: she is not, nor will she ever be one of us."

*********************

Liz let her final tear fall before turning on her side in Michael's bed. She felt his fairly new sheets crinkle against her arms as she slid a hand under her head. For obvious reasons, the group agreed that she and Maria deserved the bed. At least that was what Liz understood from all the moving mouths and dreary looking sighs.

Voices. She just wanted to hear someone speak. She just needed sound. Something to break her deranged silence.

Feeling strangely out of place, she tucked her legs up to her chest, laying in a fetal position.

"This is all a nightmare." She spoke, her voice sounding low and shaky. She let out a quivery sigh and relaxed at the sensation of Maria's warm hand on her back.

"It's going to be okay" Maria spoke softly, struggling to hold back her tears. "I promise." She paused letting a salty tear fall from her face to Michael's sheets. "I'm going to figure this all out." [I will and nothing is going to stop me.] Maria thought as she lowered herself to the bed and laid next to Liz, holding her friend close.

*********************

The red numbers sliced through the darkness, jumping out to Maria. [4:15. I have to go.] She rose from the bed to see the lump under the sheets and a few of Liz's toes protruding from the side of the blanket. She broke herself from her zombie like stare and pulled her shirt over her head, replacing it with a shirt from the bag she had packed the night before. After hurriedly brushing her teeth and ripping a comb through her hair, with hesitation, Maria ripped a piece of paper from her Geometry notebook and scribbled a note out to Max, Michael, and Isabel.

"I'll be back Liz, don't worry." She whispered before covering Liz's foot with the edge of the sheet. After grabbing her purse, Maria, without a sound, crept out of the bedroom.

Liz sat straight up in the bed and pulled her blanket to her ankles. Immediately she slid to the edge of the bed and picked yellow envelope Maria had left seconds before. She read it over quickly and let her feet dangle off the side of the bed. Should she let Maria go? She deserved a chance to try to figure everything out. Maybe Liz should go with her.

After stuffing the note back in the envelope Liz stood from the bed and cracked the bedroom door. From where she stood she had a clear view of Maria making her way into the kitchen.

Once in the kitchen, Maria looked to her right to see the outline of Isabel's slumbering figure draped across the couch and Max sleeping in a nearby chair. Maria picked up a foot to continue, but sat it back where it had stood and quickly pondered on an excuse. After feeling the warm breath on the back of her neck she stopped kidding herself and came to the realization that she wasn't going anywhere. There was no way he would let her.

"What are you doing?" She turned on the ball of her heel and faced him with an uneasy expression.

"I-" she stopped. "I have to go and do a few things." She whispered pulling her purse strap on her shoulder.

"Go? Where? It's 4 in the morning." He looked at her standing in his sweat pants and Metallica T-shirt.

"I have to tell Liz's parents something-she's going to miss work." Michael raised an eyebrow. "Michael, people aren't going to forget Liz Parker ever existed." He carefully looked her face over.

"I know that." Michael's posture straightened.

"Yeah, so I need to give them a cover story-just so they won't worry." "I'll go-" She cut him off.

"Yeah, her parents are going to believe you." She looked him up and down. "As far as they are concerned you're just some juvenile delinquent." His eyes left hers and Maria paused, feeling the sting of her words. "Besides, if anything goes down you know the first person they'll be calling is Valenti and we definitely don't need that." Michael's heart reached out to her. She was right. She definitely was. But still, there was no way he could let her goalone anyway.

Liz squinted in the dark having no clue what the two people in the dark kitchen were saying.

"Can't it wait 'till morning?" She shook her head with a sigh. "Then, I'm coming." Michael fidgeted with a hole on the side of his sweat pants as he watched Maria stare at the clock in the kitchen. "Either I go, or no one's going anywhere." His voice changed to a fatherly tone and for a second Maria was upset and with no facial expression at all turned to face the apartment door.

"Maria?" He asked with his tone normal again. She let out a sigh. He kept doing the same thing. Ordering her around. First it was, 'we can't call the police-Valenti is the police' and now it's 'either we both go or no one goes at all'? Who did he think he was? Her father? She shunned the thought for a second and finally gave in.

"Hurry and get some clothes on, cause I'm sure as hell not going anywhere with you looking like that."

Part 2 | Index | Part 4a
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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