FanFic - Michael/Maria
"The Face and Ghost"
Part 1
by NafX
Disclaimer: The characters and song lyrics used in this story do not belong to me, and no infringement of any kind is implied or intended.
Summary: Hmm ... not sure where it's gonna lead ... you'll just have to read it and see. :)
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
Authors Note: This is my first Roswell Fanfic attempt. Feedback is greatly appreciated, but do please be gentle ... remember, it's my first time. :) NB: This is a revised version - 25/08/00.

" ... a trip to the desert,
to look at the sky,
... like never-ending mirrors,
playing tricks on my eyes ... "

It was cold in the desert. Cold, dark, and empty. Pretty much as you would expect,
thought the young man who stood alone with arms folded across his chest, looking
out at the desolate yet uniquely beautiful land around him. Michael Guerin had always
loved it out here. Its silence soothed his spirit like nothing else. He loved the inky
blackness heavy with brilliant stars above and he could feel it wrapping itself around
his soul like an old friend. It was free, boundless and he recognised it on some
primitive level, as if he had at sometime been as free as this seemingly endless,
open land.

Thinking about it, he considered that many of those who knew him would probably
think of him as exactly that. He was of course anything but. He was not free. He had
tried to be, had fought with everything he had, but it had been hopeless. The
stronger he pushed and the faster he ran, the harder it was to escape the tethers
that wrapped around his heart, holding him back. He sighed softly in the darkness,
his breath misting in front of his face. He had to be honest with himself, who was he
kidding? He had little chance of getting out of this hell-hole, and even more depressing
than that was the thought that he didn't really know if he wanted to anymore.

Refusing to dwell on the uncomfortable turn his thoughts had taken, Michael filled
his lungs with the cool night air and took one last look around him. As his eyes
flickered across the darkened landscape a shadow in the distance appeared to
move slightly. His body tensed and unfolding his arms he peered into the darkness.
Trying hard to ignore the shiver creeping up his spine, he swallowed passed his dry
throat and shouted, "Who's there?"

After a moment of silence, he heard a whisper of a sound and he strained, trying to
identify its origin. Almost immediately he heard it again, though this time the sound
was clear and his eyebrows raised in disbelief. He squinted into the distance and saw
ahead of him proof that his ears had not played tricks on him. "Maria, what the hell
are you doing out here?", he muttered to himself as he started towards her, she was
a good distance away and looked almost wraith-like in the soft silvery moonlight.

Her arms were by her sides and her blonde hair was tousled as though she'd come
straight from her bed. She was quite lovely really, he thought to himself. He'd always
thought her beautiful, but standing out here under the stars, she was breathtaking.
As he got closer, he focused his attention on her face and her expression gave him
pause. Maria was standing completely still, staring at him with intensely sad eyes.
Whatever her reason for being out here, he had the distinctly unpleasant feeling it
wasn't going to be good.

He frowned, thinking about it, he couldn't for the life of him imagine a reason why
she would be out here at all, let alone in the middle of the night, in the freezing cold
and in her pyjamas. He stopped short on that thought, her pyjamas? What the hell
was she doing out here in her pyjamas?

Shrugging off his feelings of unease, Michael took another step towards her and
noticed almost immediately a separate shadow hovering behind her left shoulder. A
prickle of fear settled into his gut, and as if by magic the shadow formed into a tall,
darkly clothed stranger. The man grabbed Maria from behind and wrapped one of
his arms around her small frame, pulling her body against his. Above Michael 's
rising sense of panic he made the mental observation that despite her current
predicament, she had neither moved nor spoken.

The man looked at him and his eyes were cold, dark and glittering with evil. Michael's
breath caught and his eyes widened with fear as the stranger lifted his other hand to
Maria's throat. Stunned to silence, Michael stood helplessly watching as the knife
held against her milky white skin slid across without hesitation. The blade glinted in
the darkness as it sliced through and Michael's heart dropped to his stomach. He
finally found his voice and cried out, "No!"

His voice seemed to awaken Maria from her trance-like state and her eyes widened
in pain and fear. She brought her hand up to her throat and her warm, thick blood
began to seep darkly through her fingers. She looked across the distance at Michael
and he gasped as he saw reflected in her gaze all her pain and terror, but most
terrifying of all, acceptance. A single tear fell onto her cheek and she whispered his
name then crumpled to the ground. The stranger smiled at Michael and his
mocking laughter filled the night air as he disappeared into the shadows.

Michael's stunned body surged forward and he ran towards the tiny woman who lay
in a heap on the cold desert floor. His heart pounded in rhythm with the chant
running through his head, "No, no, no, no ... ". He spared barely a thought for the
man who had hurt her, he was completely focused on helping the girl who had
become everything in the world to him. Fuelled by the adrenalin running through
his body, Michael ran faster then ever before and yet it seemed to him an eternity
before he finally slid to his knees by her side. "Maria?! Maria?! Oh, please God, no,

He gathered her into his arms and placing his hand over her wound tried to heal her.
He could feel the warmth of her blood as it ran through his fingers and over her body,
could smell it and he knew that for as long as he lived he would never forget that
smell. It made him sick to his stomach. He looked into her pale face and begged
her to hold on. Maria's eyes opened weakly and with what little strength she had,
looked at him and mouthed the words he'd thought never to hear. "Michael ... I ...
love you ... ".

With desperation, he tried with everything he had to save the life of the beautiful
girl in his arms, but he knew deep down there was little he could do. She had lost
so much blood and even now he could feel her heart slowing to a stop. Her eyes
fluttered closed and an instant later he heard her laboured breathing cease. She
was gone. "NOOOOOOO!" Michael wailed and crushed her limp body to his chest.
Rocking back and forth, he pressed his face into her once beautiful hair now matted
and slick with blood. His tears fell unchecked and mixed with the dark pool on the
ground. Absorbed by the dust, it disappeared into the desert floor as though it
had never been.

------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---


Michael cried out as he sat up in his bed, his heart thumping in his chest. He
blinked as his conscious mind began to take control, telling him that it had all
been a dream. He brought his hands up to rub his face and pulled them back,
surprised. He had been crying in his sleep. Swinging his legs over the side of the
bed, he stood up shakily and made his way to the bathroom.

Glancing at the mirror above the sink, Michael noted the wild look in his red
rimmed eyes and he lent over to splash cool water on his face. The terror of his
nightmare still clung to him and he tried in vain to calm himself down. It had only
been a dream, he told himself. It wasn't real, but some part of his mind refused to
believe that. He was filled with an unknown fear, it hadn't felt like a dream. The
image of Maria's attacker was imprinted on his brain, he would never forget that
face and oh God, he could still smell her blood.

Swallowing passed his nausea, Michael gave into the feeling currently coursing
through him and grabbed a pair of jeans off his bedroom floor. His instincts were
screaming at him that something was wrong, and he wouldn't be able to rest until
he knew Maria was ok. Pushing all thoughts of the terrifying possibilities to the
back of his mind, he pulled on his jeans, grabbed his coat and fled from his
apartment out into the night.


Index | Part 2
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