|Disclaimer: Michael and Maria belong to each other, and there's no other way
that would make sense, so I won't say I wish I owned either of them. Roswell
belongs to Jason Katims etc, not me. The poem is a by Galway Kinnell, though
it's just a part of it. Please don't sue.
Summary: Maria's going through... *cough* what we girls go through and she gets help from somewhere she never thought possible.
Author's Note: My first ever fic published! I know, I know. This is so unreal, it would never happen. But I can dream can't I? The idea seemed really, I mean REALLY weird at first and I didn't know if I wanted this one published. But here it is. Please send constructive feedback, good or bad, to help me improve my work. Dedicated to Katie, without you this would never have gotten here! Thanks also to Jen and Angela for their help.
You cry, waking from a nightmare.
When I sleepwalk into your room, and pick you up,
and hold you up in the moonlight,
you cling to me hard, as if clinging could save us.
I think you think I will never die,
I think I exude to you the permanence of smoke or stars,
Even as my broken arms heal themselves around you
Michael Guerin bolted upright in his bed, sweating, he could feel it trickle down his spine under the black T-shirt. What the hell had awakened him? There weren't any noises coming from outside, and none from inside, it was all quiet, like it was supposed to be in the middle of the night. He couldn't remember what his dream had been about, the only thing he could tell for sure was that he was in pain. Pain he'd never experienced before and he couldn't place a finger on where he felt it, but it was there.
The clock read 2:17 and he settled back down on the bed, but couldn't close his eyes for longer than a few seconds because the pain shot through him like every time when he tried to relax. He lay on his tousled sheets for a minute, until he gave up and threw his legs over the edge of the bed. He got up and opened the door to get some fresh air into the apartment. Well that didn't work, the air was humid and warm, too warm to be night time. Not knowing what to do, he got dressed and went out. His head felt a little fuzzy, and not just for being awakened in the middle of the night. It was like a humming sound inside his head that almost drove him mad. Walking down the Main Street, he ran his hands through his hair and breathed deeply, trying to clear his head.
He walked. And it must have been more than half an hour later, he found himself on a familiar driveway. He'd been standing there only two nights ago, looking at her window after their usual my-mom's-not-home-so-get-your-ass-over-here make-out fest. Maria's mom had called Maria to tell her that she would be out of town overnight and return the next day. So of course, Maria had dialed Michael's number as soon as she hung up with her mom. It wasn't very often when they got the chance for some privacy, so whenever they had the slightest chance, it would be put down to good use. Once Michael had asked Maria why they were keeping their relationship as a secret, but neither of them could come up with a reason, so they went on doing it. Almost 72 hours ago, he'd been staring at her through her window, where she paraded around in a flimsy top, illuminated by soft candlelight, knowing he was watching her.
Now though, the room behind that same window was dark, like it should be at this hour. He walked closer, fighting back a groan from the pain that only seemed to grow stronger with every step he took towards the house. He stopped and peered in through her window, trying to adjust his eyes to see clearly. The bead curtain obscured his vision a little but from between two strings, he could see the curve of her hip under the thin sheet. But her legs didn't seem to be where they were supposed to be, the smooth continuation of her thigh wasn't there. Her back was facing him and he really had to see her face. He tried to push the window open, but it wouldn't budge. That's weird. She usually left it open for him, even though they hadn't planned on meeting at night. Shrugging it off his mind, he let himself in using his powers. As he landed deftly on the soft carpet of her room, the pain somewhere in him vanished immediately.
She was curled up in a tight ball, her arms around her legs, hugging them so fiercely that they touched her chest. Michael circled to the other side of the bed, the side she was facing. His chest tightened when he saw her face.
She looked like someone was twisting a knife in her, her face contorted into an agonized expression. He could distinguish the faint tear tracks on her cheeks, one running over her nose to join the other, ending in a damp patch on her pillow. Michael sat down on the side of the bed and made her sway with the tilting mattress, but she didn't wake up.
He watched her for a long minute, afraid that if she was having a nightmare, waking her up would make it worse. She seemed to curl up tighter for a minute and then relax. Curl up, and relax. He saw tears forming between her closed eyelids, threatening to spill so he laid a hand on her shoulder, but winced when he was assaulted with a quick jolt of pain, again not able to say where. It just felt. Biting it down, he shook her gently.
"Maria." She stirred but didn't wake up. "Maria," he whispered a bit louder now, but not too loud, as he didn't know if her mom was home.
Maria's eye's fluttered open, and the tears fell. She focused her eyes for a couple of seconds, darting around her to see what woke her up. She gasped in surprise at the sight of Michael sitting by her side. She propped herself up on one elbow, her other arm curling around her stomach.
"Michael! What the hell are you doing here?!" she hissed.
"I don't know. I just-"
"You don't know? God, I thought you were a burglar, a psycho or a rapist or something. Do not do that to me again!"
Wow, he didn't know what to say to that. She usually wasn't this pissed when he surprised her in the night. Eyes slightly hurt, he looked at her.
Maria realized what her last sentence must have sounded like. Her face softened, along with her voice. "Now tell me, what are you doing in my room in the middle of the night? And just so you know, my mom is in the next room so, don't get any crazy ideas."
"I just had a weird feeling that you were. I dunno. I thought I should check if y-"
"Check up on me? I don't need anyone checking up on me Michael. I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself. Now please leave so. I can get. some sleep." She clutched her stomach tighter and spoke through gritted teeth, squeezing her eyes shut as her abdomen almost tore apart.
Michael took a hold of the girl's waist as she curled up again. "Maria? Maria, what's wrong?" he asked hurriedly, and knelt beside the bed so that his eyes were level with hers.
She poked his wrist on her side with a sharp elbow and he let go. "Nothing's wrong. I'm fine. Could you just leave now, please? Oh god." she wailed the last part, biting her lip to keep the sound from growing too loud.
"What is it? What's the matter?" he asked again and almost with a normal voice and stroked her hair.
"Keep quiet!" she hissed and relaxed her muscles as the pain went away. "I'm fine now. See? Go," she ordered him, but he didn't take notice of her command.
"No, I'm not going, I can't leave you like this. Now tell me what's happening. Does it hurt?"
She nodded, giving up. Apparently he was here to stay. "It's really nothing, my stomach is just." she trailed off feeling the new wave getting closer. She felt her tears on her cheeks again then Michael's hand envelope hers and squeeze it protectively.
"Do you know what it is? Has this happened before?" he asked, the questions blurring together. He felt her grip on his hand tighten and her face contorted again. He stroked her cheek, wiping away her tears until she relaxed again.
"Yeah, it's happened before. Once a month. Every fucking month!" she cursed and turned her eyes away from him. She couldn't have been more embarrassed and thanked whatever god that the room was dark enough for her blush not to show.
He didn't catch on. "What do you mean, every month?" he asked worried.
She sighed and dislodged her hand from his. "I. I have. cramps, okay?" She whispered quietly and kept her eyes on the opposite wall of the room. And speaking of cramps, she could feel one building up already.
He didn't speak for a moment, so Maria did. "Well I suppose this is the point where you run out gagging and disgusted, wishing you never came, right? What are you waiting for?" she asked bitterly.
He did something unexpected then. He found her hand again and tilted her face up so she'd look at him.
"I won't leave, Maria." She couldn't believe her ears. Was this the Michael she had seen earlier that day at work? The one who disappeared whenever she and Liz and Isabel got too girly, the one who couldn't show his emotions? "Show me where it hurts," he said gently. Maria hesitated. He can't be serious. Michael lifted his hand that was entwined with hers as a signal. Slowly, she moved his hand with her own and placed it against her lower abdomen. The cotton of her pajama pants would be in the way if he tried his powers, so hoping she wouldn't think he was taking advantage of her at a moment like this, he maneuvered his hand under the waist band and flattened his hand against her warm skin. She took a sharp breath feeling what he was doing but didn't say anything. "Does it hurt now?" he asked softly, directing his eye back to hers.
"Just starting to," she whispered, waiting for her muscles to begin to ache.
"Okay. Relax, and just. lay still," he instructed, looking back to his hand.
"Michael, what are you doing?" she asked a bit alarmed.
"Don't worry, I'll try to make it better. Now stay still, okay?" He looked back at her.
Maria could only nod. She couldn't believe he was doing this. Watching intently as his hand began to glow in light neon blue, she stayed still, and let him do what he was going to, trusting him completely. Michael channeled a small amount of energy into her first, increasing it as the wall of pain got thicker.
Maria felt warmth on her skin and soon it spread all around her lower body, tingling softly. Then there was a quick pinch inside her and she could almost feel one tendril of his powers wrap around the soreness in her.
Michael pitched his eyes shut tightly as he concentrated to get the last bits of sore flesh under his powers, and then channeled in a permanent blocker. He wasn't sure if it would work, but it was worth the try, knowing it couldn't hurt her. He stopped the energy flow and looked at Maria. She was crying, her lip quivering like it always did when she cried. Michael scooted up and sat next to her, cradling her face in his hands.
"I'm so sorry, did I hurt you?" he asked, pushing back some damp hair from her forehead. She stared at him, tears in her eyes, and then she bolted up and threw herself in his arms, hugging him with bruising force.
"No, you didn't hurt me Michael. You took it away, you took the pain away," she whispered, combing her fingers through the hair in the base of his neck. He squeezed her tighter, relief washing over him. He would've killed himself if she'd been hurt. "Thank you," he heard her small whisper next to his ear. He rubbed her back soothingly as she started to hiccup with sobs.
"Shhh, don't cry Maria. I'm happy if I could help," he whispered into her ear, kissing her temple. "I had no idea it could be that painful. And you've been through this every month?"
He felt her nod against his shoulder. "Some times it's not this bad."
God, she said it like it was something she deserved to feel. "Can you get any drugs for it, painkillers or something?"
"No, they don't work. I guess I should go get the." She chocked off in mid-sentence, realizing the topic she was discussing with him, her boyfriend. Maria flushed bright red and detached herself from him.
"Go get what?" he asked, moving is hand on top of her knee.
She looked away. "I. don't think we should be talking about this, it's more of a girl-talk kinda thing."
He chuckled. "Yeah, maybe it is, but. I care too, you know. You shouldn't suffer like this," he said truthfully.
"Comes along with being a woman, I guess." She sighed submissively and looked down on his hand atop her knee.
"But still." Michael cupped her cheek and ran his thumb over her cheekbone. "You're too pretty to suffer like that."
Her eyebrows furrowed quizzically and she felt his forehead with her hand. "Are you sure you're not sick or something?" Michael took her hand away but didn't let it go. He turned it on his hand so her palm was up and he traced feathery lines on her skin, stroking her fingers with his thumb.
"After seeing. that," he kept his eyes on her hand. "I just. I want to, you know, be there for you, and if I can do anything to make it better, I want to help." She didn't have anything to come back with and just looked at him, awed. "I have changed you know. Not completely, but at least some."
Maria smiled happily and nodded. "I know you have. But don't go changing too much or you won't be the alien I fell for." He smiled back at her and traced her cheekbone with his index finger.
"I better go," he said starting to stand up.
"Yeah. You know I'd. ask you to stay, but my mom will get up early, and if she finds you in here, well, it won't be any more pleasant than the time before."
He chuckled and kissed her briefly. "I can only imagine."
"And Michael. I'm sorry I snapped at you earlier. You know it was--"
"I know. It's okay." His hand made its way down over her abdomen, the same place it had been resting a few minutes ago. "This should work at least until morning, but I don't know for sure." She nodded. "Now, sleep," he said and pulled the sheet up to her chest. She snaked her arms from under the sheet and touched the side of his face.
"Good night, Michael." Michael kissed her fingers when they came close to his lips.
"Good night." He stood up and walked to the window reluctantly, preferring to join her in the bed than taking a long walk back to his place. He watched her for a few moments as she snuggled back to her fluffy pillows. Michael turned and climbed out her window, closing it securely after him. The air wasn't so hot anymore and the grass on the Deluca driveway was gathering moisture, it was easier to breathe and the pain was gone.
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