FanFic - Other
"Out of the Woods"
Part 32
by Kath7
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. I am just borrowing them. Lyrics to songs by Joe Cocker and Amanda Marshall.
Summary: This story is derived from a challenge from Actrez. The gang heads back to Fraser Woods (from Into the Woods) during their junior year. Tess and Michael join the Evans, while Maria goes with the Parkers. This story is post-Destiny. Liz had just returned from a lengthy stay in England. She returns to find a completely different Max and Michael.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Maria woke up with a splitting, Czech-induced headache for the second time in twelve hours.


She brought her hands up to her forehead, tried to massage away the ache that her errant ex-boyfriend had caused with his cursed powers.

Maria managed to pull herself into a sitting position. She was unsurprised to see Alex passed out next to her. Isabel was nowhere to be found.

She reached out a hand, started shaking Alex gently. "Wake up! Alex, wake up." Her friend groaned, shifted, went quiet again.

Maria bit her lip. Desperate times called for desperate measures. "Good grief Isabel! Put your clothes back on!"

Alex was up in a flash. He blinked, looked around in confusion. "What the hell?"

Maria smirked despite herself. "Sorry about that bub...I needed you concious."

Alex's eyes were closed. He collapsed momentarily against the solid rock-face of the cave. "Was I hit by a train?" He managed to croak almost a minute later.

"Just the Michael Express." Maria replied, tried to control the hysterical note that had crept into her voice.

Alex pried his eyes open. "Where's Isabel?" He asked suddenly.

"No clue." Maria told him. She climbed unsteadily to her feet, made her way to the edge of the natural shelf.

Peeking over the edge, Maria wished momentarily that she was still unconcious.

Michael had returned to Tarsus of Dernia's side. He was watching Max, who was fiddling with the damn orbs that had done nothing but cause trouble since Max and Liz had first uncovered one of them.

"Isabel's down below." Maria finally reported over her shoulder to Alex who was finally on his feet. "She looks okay. She's awake."

Maria was surprised to see Alex moving away from her, back the way they had climbed up to their perch. "I'm going down there." He told her.

"Alex!" Maria raced after him, grabbed him by the arm. "You can't just barge in there. We don't have any way to protect ourselves from AK47 Guerin..."

Alex shook her off. "I don't care. We should all be in this together Maria." He stared at her, daring her to disagree with him.

Finally she nodded. As usual, Alex was right. "Okay, but listen...let me try and talk to Michael first...I think he's still in there. If we can get him back on our side..." She trailed off.

Alex looked unconvinced. "Fine. But I'm giving you five minutes - that's it. Then we're going in there to get Liz and Isabel out. We can figure out what to do about Max and Michael when we're all safe."

Maria agreed, but briefly crossed her fingers behind her back.

She would not leave Michael again.

He could keep knocking her out until E.T. called home...she would never give up on him.

Alex and Maria carefully climbed down from the ledge, Maria forcing herself not to look down. Alex jumped the last five feet, grasped Maria by her waist, lifted her to join him.

"Wow, impressive Whitman." She joked nervously. "Been working out?"

Alex just rolled his eyes. Maria sighed. Her mouth always motored itself into trouble when she was scared.

And Maria was scared. In fact, she was terrified.

Their trajectory was halted suddenly when an intense beam of light practically knocked them both to the ground. Alex fell back against Maria, shielding her with his body. "What the..." He yelled.

Maria pushed him aside. "Michael!" She screamed.

She could see Liz and Isabel staring at her throught the light, both of them with expressions of horror on their faces.

Maria had no idea what was going on, but she knew that she needed to get to Michael, stop him. Whatever he was about to do - it was wrong...

"Maria!" Alex grabbed her by the arm as she tried to get past him. She wrenched herself free, sprinted across the cave, threw herself at Michael's back.

She heard Liz scream, heard Max yelling her name...and then she felt Michael's broad back under her hands.

He stumbled as she rammed into him, directly into the beam of light. Maria could not stop herself. Her forward momentum was too great.

Suddenly, she felt as though she was being burned alive. She knew that she was right in the middle of the column of light.

And all went dark...

Part 31 | Index | Part 33
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