FanFic - Michael/Maria
Part 1b
by Ashleigh Lou
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: After Maria and her unborn baby are threatened, the gang leaves town. Sequel to "Happiness..."
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This is the second fic in my M&M/music series. The band for this one is Better Than Ezra, and the first song is called "At The Stars" from their CD How Does Your Garden Grow? If you haven't read the first fic in this series, "Happiness..." I suggest reading it first. Much thanks to Selene for beta help and all the other guidance she hands me :) Part 1b picks up about a month and a half after they settle down in Alabama.
* * * * *
Here we are -- foreign to their world
Straight and composed
* * * * *

Maria yawned and grumpily got out of bed when the alarm sounded. About three months pregnant, she wasn't resting like she used to, and although not showing yet, her jeans were becoming more snug and she knew they'd have to go any day now.

Stepping into the shower, she leaned against the wall and thought about when they first came to Alabama. Settling down in an average-sized town called Oxford had been a shock for them all. They were often looked at funny because of their accents. The weather was more mild during this time of year. Everyone was more laid-back than out West.

Maria had gotten a job at the Gap in the new section of the mall, which was not yet complete. Michael had gotten a job with the construction company that was working on the mall. Isabel was working for a telemarketing system. Max and Liz were working at the book store across from the mall -- she in the coffee shop, he in the warehouse where all the new shipments came in. Alex went to work at a secondhand music store.

Max had found a three bedroom house for them to rent soon after they arrived. It only had one bathroom, which seemed to be the biggest argument about it. The rent was low, and it was a nice house, so they took it. Michael and Maria shared a room, as did Liz and Isabel. Max and Alex took the last bedroom. The house came with a stove and refridgerator. Until two weeks ago, they had all been sleeping on the floor, in sleeping bags they bought at Wal-Mart.

When they had gone to rent the house, the landlady had asked for first and last month's rent, and a security deposit. The total came to seven hundred dollars. After their trip, they only had about four hundred left.

Max and Michael had gone outside and left Liz and Isabel in the house with the landlady. Maria and Alex were back at the hotel, waiting. Michael looked at Max and said, "I can't believe we're going to do this. We always said we wouldn't."

"Desperate times," Max had said, and pulled three hundred and eighty-five dollars out of his wallet. Taking nine twenties and and replacing the rest, he closed his eyes. Concentrating on the money, the nine twenties became hundred dollar bills. "We're going to need this to survive."

Going back inside, Max told the landlady, "We'll take it," and handed her seven of the bills. She looked at him almost suspiciously, then left the house. After getting utilities cut on and buying groceries and essentials, they weren't left with much. That's when they all went looking for jobs.

Maria sighed as she came back to reality and finished her shower, turning off the water and stepping onto the rug. Going into the bedroom and dressing for work, she wondered how long they could keep this up.

* * * * *
Your sermons I can do without
And I finally found that everybody
Loves to love you when you're far away
* * * * *

Liz and Maria had purchased seven pregnancy books in all. Maria knew she wouldn't be able to go to the doctor during this pregnancy from the beginning.

Needless to say, one day Max had sat down with her and explained that they had to keep away from anyone who could turn them in.

"Max, I already know this. I've always known this. Hell, we're taking enough of a risk working. It's cool -- we can handle this."

Max had sighed and leaned back in his chair.

The girls had gone out and bought all the pregnancy vitamins the books had said Maria would need. Every Saturday, they searched through all sorts of thrift stores for baby things. Maria was learning to sew and had bought a used sewing machine. She began drawing her own patterns and making maternity dresses out of other dresses she had found in the shops. They were preparing, slowly but surely.

* * * * *
Could it be we've done something wrong?
We'd make it home to your place before dawn
* * * * *

Maria wanted a better life for her baby than hiding, living paycheck to paycheck and purchasing secondhand items. It had gotten to the point that Max had to change the money value of their earnings often, as he was trying to save in case they had to run again.

However, she didn't regret leaving home -- she felt prepared for the coming newborn, more so than she would have at home. Michael, who used to be so cold and seemed so uncaring, came home every day with a new baby name he liked.

Coming home from work that afternoon, she found Michael laying on their bed. "Why aren't you at work?" she asked him as she plopped down next to him, exhausted.

"We shut down early," he told her, pulling her close to him and running his hand over her belly. "How's our little girl today?" he asked Maria playfully.

"Our little boy is just fine," she teased.

"It's a girl, I'm telling you!"

"We're having a boy, how many times do I have to tell you that?" Maria laughed.

"Yeah, well how many times do I have to tell you that I love you?" he asked, kissing the tip of her nose.

"I'll let you know when you can stop," she told him, meeting her lips with his.

"And that time will be?"


Maria slipped her shirt off and slipped Michael's tank top off his body. Leaving trails of kisses all over him, she began to undo his pants.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked her.

"Of course, why wouldn't I?" she wondered.

"Well, I thought you'd be too tired--"

"I'm never too tired to make love to you," she told him, and proceeded to do just that.

Afterwards, he asked her, "Do you ever think about going home?"

"Everyday," she answered, kissing his hand. "But then I come home and you're here, and I want to be wherever you are." And with that, they both fell asleep.

Part 0 | Index | Part 2
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