FanFic - Other
Part 27
by Kath7
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the story. The characters and concept belong to Jason Katims and Melinda Metz. Tarsus of Dernia and all Illyrian characters belong to me. Lyrics by Sarah McLachlan, Phil Collins, Amanda Marshall.
Summary: Sequel to "Out of the Woods." I highly recommend reading it before trying this one. It is archived at the Crashdown. Basically, Max is gone, and the others have no idea whether they will ever see him again.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
*Dreams* Maria

"MICHAEL! Are you insane? I refuse to allow it!" Maria screeched, placing a hand against the wall of the cave to support her weight. Her back was killing her. She took a deep breath, wished that she had a bottle of cyprus oil to calm her nerves.

Fleeing evil aliens was not fun in the best of circumstances.

Doing so while eight months pregnant with an alien baby downgraded the fun factor by about another ten points.

She had never been so tired in her life. But she was not so tired that she couldn’t knock some sense into Michael’s stubborn spiky head.

"No Maria, I am not insane," Michael replied evenly. "We’re sort of in a dire situation here." He raised his eyebrows at her. "Do you have any other ideas?"

Maria scowled at him. "We wait for Max. He said he would be here."

Michael scraped a hand through his hair in the way that usually endeared him to her, but currently made her want to belt him. "It’s been five days Maria. He’s not coming."

"Do you think it’s easy breaking into a fortified encampment?" Max asked wryly as he suddenly appeared at the cave’s entrance. Maria heaved a sigh of relief.

The voice of reason had returned in the form of Max Evans. She had had just about enough of arguing with Michael about the stupidity of turning himself in to Tarsus.

"Thank God," she told Max. "Maybe you can talk some sense into him."

"When has Michael ever been capable of sense?" Max snapped, tossing a bag at Michael. "They’re in there," he told his friend, suddenly looking very tired.

Michael scowled at Max, but turned away without retorting to Max’s comment.

"What are THEY?" Maria demanded, annoyed that, as usual, she was completely in the dark about the plan.

"The orbs Maria," Michael replied peevishly, pulling two red orbs out of the bag. "Do you really think these things will open the portal?" he asked Max, looking unconvinced.

Maria wrinkled her nose. "Not more orbs. I HATE orbs," she muttered. "Orbs were what got us into this mess in the first place."

She saw Max trying to smother a smile. He might be generally ticked off at Michael lately, but he was still capable of laughter, something Michael seemed to have forgotten how to do.

Sure their lives currently sucked….but then, what else was new?

There was a lot to be happy about too.

They had escaped. They were going home.

Maria still wasn’t sure HOW they had managed to get away from the Dernians, but it had happened.

When Max had appeared in the stone circle over eight months ago Maria had felt the first glimmerings of hope that they were finally going to get back to Earth.

And now it was on the verge of happening.

Of course, she and Michael had made one tiny strategic error all those months ago. One that was going to be VERY difficult to explain when they returned to Roswell.

Maria had imagined the conversation with her mother about a thousand times. Every time it ended up sounding more ridiculous.

"So Mom, you might be wondering where I’ve been for the last year and a half. Actually, I’ve been held captive with my alien lover on his home planet, where he happens to be the right hand to a King. Well, "lover" might be too strong a word for the one time we actually gave into our raging teenage hormones. I mean, we HAD just gone through an alien judgment where we both potentially could have been fried to a crisp…Max should have known better than to leave us alone…but hey! Guess what! We beat the odds…one time lucky for Maria Deluca. Mom, I’m pleased to inform you that your worst nightmare has come true. I am following in your illustrious footsteps by becoming the third generation unwed teen mother in the Deluca clan!"

Maria snapped back to attention when she realized that Michael and Max were still bickering.

"I tell you Maxwell…it’s not going to work!" Michael was complaining as he fiddled with the orbs.

"Just like my plan to escape the camp didn’t work?" Max asked condescendingly. Maria grimaced. THAT was going to piss Michael off…

"Are you saying MY plan wouldn’t have worked?" Michael demanded, advancing on Max with a menacing expression on his face.

"I NEVER said that…all I’m saying is that your plan was not feasible. Maria was in no condition to attempt a direct bolt for the Ring," Max replied, clearly frustrated. He stared Michael down in that serious way of his that had become far too familiar to Maria in the last few months.

"So you’re blaming THAT on me again too!" Michael’s voice was quiet with loosely leashed anger.

"The words are coming out of YOUR mouth Michael. You’re the one who told ME that you could control your - ahem- power source."

Maria realized that this conversation was quickly entering territory she wanted NO part of…

"Whoa! Time out boys! You can play your male ego games later." Both Max and Michael turned to stare at her in irritation. Maria swallowed, took another deep breath. "Far be it from me to keep you two from continuing your twisted Czechoslovakian version of the Odd Couple, but I think we have a situation developing here."

"What?" Michael demanded. Maria gasped suddenly, clutched her stomach. A stabbing pain that felt like it was ripping her apart suddenly seemed to take control of her body. She fell to her knees, trying to block out the pain.

"What’s wrong! Maria!" Michael’s voice sounded like it was coming from a great distance.

The pain seemed to reach a peak and then slowly faded away. When Maria opened her eyes, she saw both Michael and Max close at her side, their faces white. Michael had his arm around her back, supporting her. She realized that neither was looking at her, but were rather staring at each other in horror.

"I think it’s the baby Michael," Max finally said, his voice sounding a little squeaky. Maria turned to look at him, tilting her head in amazement at the terrified expression on his face.

"Jesus! What are we going to do?" Michael demanded.

"Ummmm…hello??? I am still here," Maria said testily. "I think it is safe to say Mr. States-the-Obvious," Maria looked at Max pointedly, "That it IS the baby."

"You can’t have the baby here. " Michael said firmly. "Not only is it too early, we agreed that it would be born on Earth. We’ve got the orbs. We’re going home. The baby CANNOT be born until we’re back on Earth." He kept saying it, as though repeating the phrase "the baby will be born on Earth" would make it so.

Max was nodding his head in agreement.

"Oh sorry," Maria replied sarcastically. "I forgot to tell the baby that."

She gulped, grabbed Michael by the shirt-front as another contraction ripped through her. "Oh my God! This really, really hurts!" She started panting, remembering how labouring woman had looked on ER the last time she had tuned in. She didn’t know much, but she did know she had to breathe…"Oh, this so sucks," she moaned. "You are so dead for this Michael."

When the contraction finally ended, Max appeared to have gotten a hold of himself. He was calmly rubbing Maria’s back. She tuned in to him telling her to breathe.

"These contractions are pretty close together," he said, annoying Maria by stating the obvious again. He wasn’t talking to her though. He was talking to Michael. "We HAVE to get her out of here. Tarsus and his minions weren’t far behind me." Max looked down at Maria. "How long have these been happening?"

Maria scowled at him. "Thanks for including ME in the discussion of what you’re going to do with ME." Max pressed his lips together, looking slightly abashed. Maria felt better. "I think a while actually. I thought I had a backache but it might have been contractions. The pain sort of seemed to come at regular intervals."

"Oh great! Maria, why didn’t you tell me?" Michael asked, sounding put out.

"I seem to recall I was busy keeping you from running off and getting yourself killed." Maria snapped. She clenched her teeth, felt the next contraction beginning to rise. "Oh my God. Oh my God." She tried to stop herself but she shrieked.

"Okay, we need to pull ourselves together here." Maria could semi-hear Max through the haze of pain that felt like it was tearing her body apart. "We obviously can’t go anywhere for the moment."

"We’re dead Max. They’re going to find us," Michael sounded resigned. Maria felt him moving around behind her. When she emerged from the contraction, she realized that she was now seated between his legs, leaning back against his chest. He was stroking her hair comfortingly.

Max sighed. "We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, I CAN make it a little harder for them." Maria watched Max hurry out of the cave.

"Where is he going?" She asked Michael in amazement. She felt her boyfriend shrug.

"Are you okay?" He was still stroking her hair. He sounded very upset.

"Unfortunately, no," Maria replied saucily. "I have a feeling this is going to get worse before it gets better."

She could feel the tension descending on the cave like a blanket. Michael was breathing heavily. Finally he broke the silence. "I am so sorry about this Maria."

Maria felt her heart go out to him despite herself. She willed herself to get through what she had to say before the next contraction took over…she could already feel it building…

"Don’t ever be sorry for what happens between us Michael." She couldn’t turn her awkward body around to face him, but she knew that he was listening. "You weren’t the only one who lost control of their -er how did Max phrase that? - power source…I love you. What happened was only natural." She laughed, realized that it sounded a little hysterical. "Trust us though to always manage the most disastrous results…"

"Do you really think it’s a huge disaster?" Michael asked her quietly.

Maria paused. In reality, she would be lying if she told him that she was eager to have this baby. But on the other hand…

It was MICHAEL’S baby.

"Well, it might be a little sooner than I would have liked…"Maria finally replied wryly, "But it’s your babies I want to be having so at least I got THAT right." The last word came out sounding a little squeally. "Oh no! Oh no! It’s happening again…"

The last thing Maria was consciously aware of was Max returning….and then the pain was all that was left…

"Well, at least she isn’t green and slimy," Maria said a few hours later as she stared down at her newborn daughter. She felt like laughing like a maniac.

They had done it. Somehow she and Michael…with a little help from Max…had managed to bring this living being into the universe.

The first thing Maria had thought when she’d seen the baby was that it was the most hideous creature she had ever laid eyes on…

"Oh God! Michael! She has your hair!" Maria had shrieked when Max had finished cleaning her up and placed the tiny baby on Maria’s stomach. "Why does she have to have your hair??? She’s never going to have any boyfriends!" She had glared at Max who had started to laugh. "Shut up Max! Just look at her! She’s all spiky!"

"She’s beautiful." Maria had turned her head to stare at Michael. He had been gazing down at the baby, the most amazed expression on his face. "How can she possibly be so beautiful?"

"Are you crazy?" Maria demanded. "She looks like a troll!" Max was still laughing. "Max, would you please shut up! I just know that your and Liz’s kids aren’t going to look like this! It’s not fair!"

"Maria, would you shut up?" Michael snapped. "She’ll hear you!"

"Michael, she’s ten minutes old. I don’t think I’m scarring her for life here."

Max had intervened at this point. "I think all babies sort of look weird when they’re first born Maria. I remember seeing on the Learning Channel that babies born with hair generally lose it anyway." Maria knew that he was trying to reassure her, but she couldn’t stop staring at the baby’s hair. It was exactly the same shade as Michael’s and it literally stood up all over her head.

But then the tiny girl had raised her fist to her mouth, causing Maria’s heart to stop. "Oh my God! She’s perfect!" She breathed. "Her hand…it’s so tiny."

And that was the moment she fell in love with her child.

The labour had been long and arduous but Michael had coached her through it, not even flinching when she had grabbed him by the hair at one point, screaming that she was going to murder him.

It had been Max who had delivered the baby. He had looked dubious at first, but as was usually the case with Max Evans, he rose to the occasion like the leader he was…Maria had been slightly unable to believe that they had actually done it when Max had announced that it was a girl…

She and Michael had a daughter.

Now, as Maria watched Max wander to the other side of the cave to check his illusionary blockade of the entrance to the cave, she turned to Michael who was holding the baby. She looked even tinier in his large hands. He was still staring down at her as though she was literally the most amazing thing he had ever seen in his life.

Maria had never seen a more beautiful sight in HER life.

Michael Guerin finally had his family.

"What are we going to name her?" Maria asked Michael suddenly, realized that she could not believe that they had never discussed names.

Michael managed to tear his gaze away from his daughter to look at Maria perplexed. "I have no idea. All I know is that it is not going to be a soap opera name. My daughter is NOT going to be named Sheridan or Charity. And nothing trendy…there are already too many Taylors and Hunters running around Roswell."

Maria grinned at him. "Gee, you’ve really put a lot of thought into this, haven’t you? And might I inquire as to how you know the names of soap opera characters?"

Michael looked momentarily embarrassed and replied defensively, "Hey, I know what it was like to be one of twelve Michaels in my grade. And I skipped a lot of school in my day Maria," He continued. "There are only so many sports channels."

Maria was still smiling at him affectionately. "I have an idea," she told him quietly, after she had watched him watching their daughter a while longer.

Michael glanced up at her briefly. "Yeah? What?"

"Well, obviously her middle name is going to be Elizabeth," Maria began. Michael raised an eyebrow at her. "Well, I mean duh! But for her first name…I think something signifying YOUR heritage would be perfect."

Michael was confused. "What do you mean?"

"Ren told me about your mother Michael," she saw Michael’s eyes widen.

"What?" He asked finally, after he seemed able to use his voice. "Why didn’t you tell me about this?"

"Well, I thought you had enough to deal with what with all the sisters you suddenly had running around…" she explained quickly, hoping that he wasn’t going to get mad at her. "Anyway, apparently your mother died right after Tess was born. Ren didn’t tell me much about her, but he did tell me her name…it was Jennetta."

Michael looked down at the baby again, this time sadly. He looked up at Maria again. "I like it." He leaned forward, kissed her gently on the forehead. "Thank you."

The moment ended too quickly for Maria…

Moments later Max had returned, a resigned expression on his face. "I’m sorry you guys…They found us." He glanced back at the cave entrance. "That illusion isn’t going to hold very much longer." He eyed Maria, assessing her condition. "It’s too soon. We can’t move you or the baby."

Maria scowled at him. "I’m not a wimp Max. We can go, if there’s a back way out of here."

She saw Michael and Max exchange looks. "There isn’t," Max finally told her.

Somehow Maria didn’t believe them. It was frustrating, but it was apparent that there was no way that either of them were going to let her move.

Michael gently handed Jennetta back to Maria, climbed to his feet. "Are we going to fight Maxwell?"

Max shook his head. "No. We can’t risk the baby. I think she’s the key to this whole thing Michael. We’re going to have to give ourselves up. For now," he amended hastily when he saw the expression on Michael’s face.

"I’m not giving my daughter up," Michael told Max firmly. "I’ll kill her before I hand her over to those emotionless bastards." Maria cradled Jennetta close against her chest, even the thought of her baby dying causing her to begin to panic.

"Oh my God! What are we going to do? Michael!" She tried to keep her voice steady, but that irritating note of hysteria was just below the surface.

Michael never had a chance to respond.

As the trio watched in horror, Max’s illusion faded away like the dispersal of fog…the entrance to the cave was suddenly filled with Dernian soldiers.

Maria was unsurprised when the soldiers parted to reveal the blank-faced Tarsus. He came to a stop a few feet from them.

Max and Michael had moved in front of Maria and Jennetta, but Maria was able to see Tarsus quite clearly anyway. He was staring right at her…

Or rather, he was staring at Jennetta…

Maria felt a shudder run through her body.

She suddenly knew with complete certainty that her baby was in grave danger.

Part 26 | Index | Part 1
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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