FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Within You, Without You"
Part 1
by Jenn
Disclaimer: No, these characters aren't mine. They belong to the WB. The song 'Special' is the property of Garbage, too. You can sue me if you want, but I don't have any money.
Summary: Maria is plagued by nightmares that are all too real...
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG
-I'm livin' without you

I know all about you

I have run you down into the ground

Spread disease about you over town

I used to adore you

I couldn't control you

There was nothing that I wouldn't do

To keep myself around and close to you

Do you have an opinion

A mind of your own?

I thought you were special

I thought you should know

But I'm out of patience

I couldn't care less


I (I used to amuse you)

I (I knew that I'd use you)

Now you're here and beggin' for a chance

And there's no way in hell I'd take you back

Do you have an opinion

A mind of your own?

I thought you were special

I thought you should know

But I'm out of patience

I've run out of comments

I'm tired of your violence

I couldn't care less

I'm lookin' for me

I'm lookin' for you

I'm lookin' for me

I'm lookin' for you

We're tumblin' down

I thought you were special-




He looked up. What, here? Again? He was always ending up here these days, and he was running out of excuses, both for her and himself, as to why. Of course, the real reason was that he cared about her, but like he was going to admit that, even to himself.

Her blinds were never closed, which he found odd, considering that her window faced the road. Wasn't she worried that someone might come and peek?

In this case, him?

He walked over to her window. That was his entrance of choice these days. She seemed to be getting ready for bed, the overhead light was out, and the only illumination came from a lamp beside her bed. She was wrapped in a white terry-cloth bathrobe, her hair wet. She had probably just got out of the shower. She pulled a white tank top and boxers - doubtless her sleep-wear - out of a drawer and laid them on her bed. Then, with her back to the window, she began to peel off her robe.

For a second he froze, completely forgetting why he was there. Not like he actually had a reason, anyway, but that vast expanse of creamy white skin was enough to cause brain freeze on even the most chaste of men. And for a guy like >him<...

He knocked on her window. He'd let himself enjoy the moment, but he wasn't a big fan of voyeurism. She let out a startled little gasp, and pulled the robe back up around her shoulders before turning to the window.

She let out what might have been a sigh of relief when she recognized him. Then, with aggravating lethargy, she sauntered over to the window and opened it a crack. "Don't do stuff like that," she scolded, "What do you want?"

"Can I come in?" He asked.

"Why?" She asked in response, leaning on the windowsill.

"Because I'm here, so I might as well come in." He answered.

"Well, why are you here?" She asked with a smug smile.

He turned. "Fine, I'll leave."

"Hey, wait!" She called after him. "It's cold, and it's a long walk back to your place, right? I'd be cruel if I didn't at least let you come in and get warmed up, right? Come around front, I'll open the door for you."

She disappeared from the window. He trudged around to the front door, the grass making little crunching noises under his feet. He hadn't intended to ask for entrance, and even if he had, he would have expected her to laugh in his face. They hadn't parted on the best of terms, and that was putting it lightly.

She was waiting for him around front, and she looked like a vision. Albeit a rather pissed off vision, but a vision, nonetheless. The porch light made the little droplets of water that clung to her hair shimmer, and she still wore the white robe. She hadn't even bothered to retie the sash.

"Take your time, why don't you?" she said sarcastically.

"I already did." He replied, shrugging, as if he hadn't understood the joke. She just frowned at him in response.

"Well, are you going to come in or not?" She asked, putting on hand on her hip, while the other held her robe closed. "It's cold. Get your ass in gear."

He brushed past her, through the open door, without looking right at her. These days, when ever he looked in her eyes, he wanted to kiss her until you couldn't tell where he left off and she began. Given his stand on inter-species dating, that was probably a bad idea.

He heard the door click shut behind him. "C'mon. My mom's still awake, so keep it down." She grabbed him by the wrist, and led him to her room, shutting the door behind them. For a moment she just stood there, looking uncomfortable, as if this wasn't her home ground. Finally, she sat down on her bed. "So, what do you want?" She asked, looking up at him curiously.

"I just wasn't in the mood to deal with my so-called foster father tonight." He answered with a shrug.

She snorted. "And you thought of me? I'm honored."

"Yeah, whatever. Can I crash here tonight?" He said, getting right to the point. She snickered, a hand over her mouth to disguise it.

"I'm sorry." She murmured. "It's just... _crash_. It never occurred to me before... can you _crash_ here..." she let out a laugh.

"Well, I'm glad I amuse you. So, can I or not?" He hadn't meant to ask that, either! God, what was wrong with him when he was around her?

She became serious very quickly. "Um... why don't you go to Max's? Don't you stay there a lot?" she stood and began to pace. "It's just that I don't think it would be such a good idea if you were to stay here, you know, with all things considered and..." she was babbling. She did that when she was nervous. He rolled his eyes.

"Is that a 'no' or not?" he asked. She looked over at him, frowning, as if she couldn't understand why he wasn't being a serious as she was.

Their eyes met, and it was like he was on automatic pilot. Oh, god, he was going to hate himself for this in about half an hour, but that didn't matter right now. In two steps he was right beside her. From there it was only a matter of inches for their lips to meet.

Why'd it have to feel so >right< when he kissed her, when he knew it was dead wrong?

Her hands were in his hair, down his back, under his shirt, pretty much everywhere. He couldn't claim much more control over his own. Being this close to her... he was on the verge of loosing his mind, and he didn't really think he'd miss it all that much.

It was her who pushed away, a dazed look in her eyes. "What was that about?" She murmured, pulling her robe tighter around her.

"I'm sorry..." he murmured. "I'll leave." She dismissed both his apology and his offer to go with a wave of her hand.

"Don't worry about it." She said. "We're both adults, right? We both know that you don't want a second chance, and even if you did, that I don't have one to give you."

"Right." he replied, although he had wanted to argue.

"There are some extra blankets in the closet at the end of the hall. Go and grab a couple, I'm going to put on my PJs." She said, picking up the tank top and boxers she had laid on her bed earlier.

He slipped out of her room without further comment, and grabbed some blankets out of the hall closet, as she had suggested. When he returned, she was wearing her pajamas, and mutely pointed to the floor, where he obediently set out his blankets. When he finished, he turned to look at her.

"About before..." he began.

"Forget it. Never happened, right?" she cut him off.

"Right. Didn't happen." He agreed.

"Then, good night, Michael." She murmured, slipping into bed and flicking off the bedside lamp, plunging them into darkness.

"Good night, Maria." He responded. Oh boy, had it happened.


It was very hot. In fact, it was steaming. Sweltering, even.

Where was she? Maria looked around, but there was nothing but blank gold sand as far as she could see. A desert. But where? Death Valley? The Sahara? Wherever it was, she was going to fry if she didn't find some shade, and fast.

"What are you doing here?"

Maria spun around... and damn near fainted. It was... an alien? It didn't look like the stereotypical little green man, or even the tall silver things that had become popular lately. This was something different altogether.

The person, the _thing_, was about six feet tall, pure white, no eyes, ears, nose, or mouth. It did have hair, though. Long, thick, bluish-green hair. Each strand was about as thick around as her thumb. It's hands were very human in nature, having four fingers and a thumb, but the fingers had no nails, and instead ended in sharp, bony points.

"What are you doing here?" It repeated, and this time Maria noticed that the sound of it's voice emanated from its 'hair'. As it swayed, sound was produced. "You do not belong here." The creature said.

"I'm sorry." Maria apologized, trying not to hyperventilate.

"How did you get here?" It demanded, approaching her. She backed away as it extended a hand towards her. God, she could use her cedar oil right about now.

"I don't know how I got here." She answered.

"You must leave." It decreed, grabbing her by the arm with one of its sharp-fingered hands. Maria felt fire where its skin touched hers, and the smell of burning flesh reached her nostrils, making her feel faint.


Maria woke up screaming, her hands digging into the bed sheets like claws. She could still smell it, taste it, all over her, and for that reason, she couldn't stop screaming.

A hand over her mouth. Not harsh, but gently, urging her to calm herself. Then to strong arms encircled her, supporting her, pulling her close against the warmth of another person and holding her.

She grabbed onto him for dear life and began to cry.

She felt a hand stroking her hair. "It's all right. It was only a dream. Only a dream." He said, his voice low as he held her. "It's all right. It's over now."

"Oh, god." She whispered. "Real, it felt so _real_. I know it was a dream, but..." she felt something warm and sticky drip down her arm. She pulled away from Michael for a moment, and looked at her upper arm.

Five long, finger-shaped marks were seared into the flesh of her upper arm. Blood dripped down from there, trickling down her arm and onto her bed. Michael let out a low curse, but she was only dimly aware of it.

Then everything went black as she fainted.


Okay, maybe Maria DeLuca was a bit of a flake. She carried a vial of cedar oil in her purse and stocked her room with aroma therapy candles. When it came to the important stuff, though, she was solid. She could tell a big deal from a minor thing.

Liz didn't know exactly _what_ had happened to her best friend, but when Maria had called her this morning... well, there was no doubt in Liz's mind that whatever had happened would turn out to be a big deal.

The six of them: Liz, Maria, Alex, Michael, Isabel, and Max, were standing in the back room of the Crashdown after closing. Maria had been pacing back and forth until Michael made her sit, now she looked as if she was going to jump back up and start pacing again.

"Why are we here, Maria?" Max asked finally.

Maria had been nervously playing with the hem of her skirt, now she looked up, surprised, as if she hadn't expected anyone to speak. "Oh! O-of course. W-well, it started..." she looked up at Michael helplessly.

He looked away. "Show them." He said simply.

Maria rolled up her right sleeve to show a bandage wrapped around her upper arm. There were spots of blood soaked through it. Maria began to slowly unravel it, each layer revealed more and more blood. Finally her arm, and the five gruesome marks that were the source of the blood, was revealed. The marks looked like a hand print, they were in the positions that a person's fingers would have been in, had she been grabbed by the arm.

Isabel gasped. Liz's hands flew to her mouth, stifling a scream. Max and Alex just stared. Michael didn't even look.

"My God, Maria! What the hell happened?" Alex exclaimed, placing a hand on her uninjured arm.

"Well, it was..." she sighed, and glanced once more at Michael. "I _thought_ that it was a dream."

"Let me see your arm." Max said, kneeling beside her chair. Maria held up her sleeve as he placed his hand over the burns. He turned her head so that he could look into her eyes, and began to concentrate on healing her.

The room was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. Everyone held their breath, yet nothing happened. The wounds refused to disappear. Finally, Maria pushed his hands off of her, blood was smeared on his palms.

"It still hurts." She said to no one in particular.

"It won't heal." Max said, sounding a little breathless. "I don't understand it, I just... couldn't make a connection."

"Don't worry about it." Maria reassured him, beginning to re-bandage her maimed arm. "But, thanks for trying anyway." The bandage fell away, she cursed softly and tried again.

"Here, let me do that." Michael said, taking the bandage from her.

"This... those burns... you said that you got them in a dream?" Liz summarized.

Maria offered a mirthless smile. "Thus the nature of the predicament."

Isabel sat in a chair by the wall. "Well, shit. I think we should hear about this dream."

Once again, all eyes were on Maria. Once again, she seemed at a loss for words. "I... don't want to freak anybody out, but it sure as hell looked like an alien. And it wasn't something that could have come out of my mind, I've never seen anything like it."

"Like what?" Liz asked, confused.

"Whatever it was that burned me." Maria replied. "It was..." she held a hand high above her head, "and it had..."she ran her hands through her hair and down the back of her neck, "but it didn't have a face..."

"So what you're basically saying is that you think an alien came into your dream and attacked you for no apparent reason?" Max inquired, sounding dubious.

"I don't know for sure that it _meant_ to hurt me. It just reached out, and when it touched me..." she shrugged, "it could have been an accident."

"Still, if it was a dream, then how..." Liz began.

Maria turned to look at Michael again, and he began to speak. "Well, if what Maria saw in her dream really was an alien, then it could have used a power on her. I don't know about you, Izzy, but Max and I don't dream walk enough to experiment with using our powers. It's possible that when alien powers are used in the dream world, they can injure in the real world as well." He shrugged. "That's the only explanation I could come up with."

Max nodded thoughtfully. "That sounds about right. It's the only logical answer."

Maria let out a grim laugh at that. "Who ever said that any of this was logical?"


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