FanFic - Other
"Five Nights"
Part 5
by Minnie
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters. No infringement intended.
Summary: Michael deals with the ramifications of Pierce's death.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
The Fifth Night

“You look pretty relaxed today,” Max comments on the complete lack of fatigue in Michael’s face. “Finally got some sleep,” Michael replies, watching Max as he fixes a display of ‘alien’ artifacts in the UFO Center.

“Someone having a birthday?” Max asks, pointing to the gaily-wrapped present in Michael’s hand. “This? No!” Michael responds abruptly, almost embarrassed. “No?” Max teases him. “What’s with the third degree?” Michael demands. “I was just curious.” Max replies.

“I gotta meet someone,” Michael blurts out. “Oh? Someone I know?” Max teases him. “Yeah. I’ll tell Liz you said “Hello!” With that parting shot, Michael crosses the street towards the Crashdown … towards Maria.

Maria is there, babbling up a storm to a captive audience of Alex and Liz. Her back is turned so she does not see Michael coming in the cafe. “So anyway, I told this guy, ‘Look, buddy, just because your nickname is Corndog doesn’t mean you have to be over us like white on rice,’” Maria huffs. “Maria, are you sure it was Corndog?” Alex asks her. “Of course it was, what else would it be?” Alex raises his eyebrows. “Oh My God!” Maria gasps in shock.

“Hey, Michael!” Liz glances over Maria’s shoulder. “Hey,” Michael stops in front of Maria and stares at her. Maria shoots him a haughty look, presses her lips together and strides into the kitchen.

Michael follows her. “What do you want, Michael? Let me guess. You’ve decided to become a monk and join a monastery and you’re here to rub it in! Nice thing, monasteries. I hear they have really high stone walls!” Maria says bitterly.

Michael holds up the gaily-wrapped present. “This is for you.” He almost shoves it in her face. “What, another bottle generic shampoo again?” Maria quips. “Oh, no, wait, shampoo AND conditioner!!??!”

“I just thought you’d like it. Welcome back.” With that, Michael places the present on the nearby counter and leaves. Or so Maria thinks. Michael pauses outside the kitchen door and turns to observe Maria through the glass window on the door. “Typical, just typical!” she huffs. “He waltzes in, says a few things, drops off a present and then just sails off again!”

Maria eyes the present on the counter. “What the hell,” she grabs and unwraps the present. Her hand falters over the group of daintily colored candles in the bed of old newspapers. “Candles … and newspaper,” she says.

She inhales the scent of cedar and lavender wafting through the air and grins. Then sighs contentedly. “Thank you,” she says silently. Michael sees her mouth the words. On his side of the door, he responds with an equally quiet, “You’re welcome.” A tiny smile crosses his face as he contemplates their next meeting.

Michael’s head fills with Maria images as he begins his journey home. Maria babbling incessantly about Beatrice, her mom’s latest alien doll creation, Maria shooting killing glances at him as he poured Tabasco sauce on her last pint of Fudge Double Mint Chip ice cream, Maria smiling sweetly as she mocked his total lack of cleaning skills and Maria staring at him silently as he left her that day.

Strangely, the fear of his “powers” inadvertently hurting Maria dissipates. “Maybe it was just a dream but I was able to control my powers in there. And no one innocent was hurt, Michael thinks to himself. Even Nacedo said that in time, I’ll learn to harness them even more.

Michael releases a deep breath. He wants, no, needs Maria back in his life again. He also knows Maria was not make it easy on him. When have things ever been easy with us? he thinks to himself. Michael grins as he looks ahead to sarcastic zingers, killing looks and passionate kisses with Maria.

Hours later, he enters his apartment absentmindedly, flopping on the couch and turning on the TV. As the TV drones on, his eyes close.

His dreams take him to the pod chamber. Pierce is there, as per usual. His back is turned. He glances at Michael as he enters the chamber then turns to look back whatever held his attention before.

Michael moves to stand closer to Pierce, still a little wary. “You don’t have to worry,” Pierce tells him. “Look,” he motions with his head to a prone body lying on the floor of the pod chamber.

Michael sees Pierce lying there. Startled, he looks up at the Pierce standing next to him. And finds Nacedo instead.

“He’s gone. He won’t hurt you or anyone anymore,” Nacedo tells Michael. “I know that,” Michael confirms. “You don’t have to worry either. You’re not like me. You’re human,” Nacedo adds.

“I know that too.” Relief fills Michael. The last remnants of grief and guilt over his actions in the UFO Center wash away. “I’m not like you,” he reiterates. Nacedo smirks. “You need to rest. You’re going to need your powers at full strength before long,” he instructs Michael. Nacedo turns and picks up Pierce’s body. He carries it into the deep recesses of the chamber. Michael follows closely and asks “What are you doing?” Nacedo keeps walking and then answers, “You don’t want to know. Just go home and leave this up to me.” A blinding light fills the chamber. Michael puts his hands up to shield his eyes.

Michael awakens to the morning. Light and silence filter through his room. No ghosts left behind. The ghost of the past firmly exorcised, he pushes himself out of bed, dresses quickly and leaves for the Crashdown. The present is there, waiting for him, in the form of Maria. The future would take care of itself.

The End

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