FanFic - Other
"What Remains Behind"
Part 11
by Joy Elizabeth
Disclaimer: Not Mine.
Summary: Future fiction. Michael has died and the rest of them must deal with his death, as well as some other unresolved issues among them.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Maria was still staring at Isabel's picture. She shook her head and turned the page. Alex smiled back at her. He was holding his bass, she was standing beside him. How long had it been since she sang? She missed it sometimes. She wondered if Alex ever did.

The next picture was taken at the same time, but Isabel stood in her place. Her eyes shined so brightly. Maria knew the real reason that Isabel's eyes didn't sparkle anymore. And it had nothing to do with Michael's anger. He had gotten over it eventually anyway. Isabel's eyes weren't the same anymore because Alex wasn't there to make them sparkle.

It was so strange. Isabel had wanted to be human. She had picked up and moved away from all of this in order to be that. When Alex had followed, Maria had assumed that they would just be together forever. She had thought that love was the reason that Isabel wanted to be human. But it wasn't.

Love was the reason that Max wanted to be human. Isabel just wanted to fit in, to belong somewhere. Going away and pretending that she was just a normal girl was the way that she did that. But deep down, Isabel was still scared. When Alex had told her about the ring fiasco, Maria had finally understood. There might be a place out there where she wasn't just pretending to be normal, a place where she really was normal. She couldn't be tied here, just in case. Isabel was more like Michael than she was willing to admit.

Maria rubbed her eyes. She was so tired. But she would not go to sleep. She thought about Michael. He was the one who didn't want to be human at all. He could find no reason to want to stay on this planet. Well, he had finally gotten his wish.

She looked down at the next picture. It was of her mother and Jim. She felt the tears spring into her eyes. She remembered the day that she had taken this picture.

>>> "Please, Maria, we need a picture for the paper," Amy pleaded, handing her daughter the camera.

"Mom, don't people usually have professionals do that?"

"Well, everything has just happened so fast, and we want to put the announcement in the paper as soon as possible," Amy explained. Maria took the camera from her and watched as they situated themselves.

"Okay, on the count of three," Maria said. "One, two, three!" She snapped the picture, forever capturing her mother in the arms of the man she loved. Forever capturing that man's son in the background, looking at them with disgust. <<<

Maria didn't want to think about her mother. But she couldn't seem to keep from repeating the conversation over in her mind.

>>> "You're WHAT?"

"Maria, please, try to stay calm."

"Stay calm, try to stay calm! Mother, I cannot believe you! After all this time, harping at me and Michael, carrying on that we cannot be trusted in a room alone together, and here you are, pregnant!"

"Maria, I am a grown woman. And I know that this wasn't planned, but Jim and I are in love and we are going to get married. We probably would have gotten married anyway, and now we're just doing it a little sooner than we expected."

Maria shook her head. She could not believe this. Her mother had gone out and gotten herself knocked up twice now. And then there was Jim. She liked Jim, she really did. Not exactly her first choice for a dad, but he came close. He talked to her and cared about her. But then, there was Kyle. That was a problem. Not that she hadn't tried to be friends with Kyle, because she had. But Kyle refused to accept that her mom was good enough for his dad. And sorry, but anyone who didn't like her mother wasn't worth the time of day. But now she was going to have to put up with him all the time, with his disgusted looks thrown in her mother's direction.

"I just can't believe this," she said. Amy took her hands into her own.

"Listen, we can handle this," she said. "It will be fun. We'll have a wedding and you can be my maid of honor. And then we'll have this little baby to play with. It will be fun."

Gee, Mom, Maria thought, keep saying it and it might be true. But what could they do? This baby was coming and there was little choice in the matter. <<<

Kyle had taken the marriage thing far worse than she had. Apparently, Jim hadn't told him about the baby, he had just told him that he was going to propose. Maybe he was embarrassed. Maria didn't know. But Kyle had flipped out at the idea of them getting married. She had been the one to tell him about the baby. She knew that he needed to know.

>>> "So, what do you think?" Maria studied Kyle's face, trying to see what he was thinking. He was nowhere near as angry as she had expected him to be. He just sat there and stared off into space.

"I miss my mom," he finally said. Maria blinked to be sure that she wasn't dreaming. No, this was real. "Do you ever miss your dad?"

"Sometimes," she said slowly. "I don't know if 'miss' is the right word. I don't really remember him. I guess I miss the idea of a dad."

"I miss my mom," he said again. "Not the idea of her, the real her."

Maria wasn't sure what to say. She was used to Kyle being angry. It was hard to downshift into serious mode with him. She reached out and took his hand. His grip tightened around hers.

"So, I guess now I'm going to have two sisters," he said, managing a small smile.

She smiled back. "You could have a brother."

"No, my life just doesn't work that way," he said. <<<

Maria wished that she had a picture of that moment. It was the only time that she was ever really in the same room as the Kyle Valenti that Liz Parker had fallen in love with.


Kyle was waiting for her when she came in from the balcony. He had packed their suitcases. He knew that she wanted to stay another day, but he didn't think that he could handle it much longer. Every time he looked at Maria, he was filled with contempt for himself. And then there was Max.

Kyle tried not to think about Max most of the time. He tried not to know that there were years of Liz's life that were filled with no one but Max Evans. He was pretty sure that Max did the same with him. But Kyle had won. He knew that he shouldn't think of it that way, but he did. She loved him now. But sometimes he couldn't help but wonder what had happened to all of the love she felt for Max Evans.

"Do you think that we can go ahead and leave tomorrow?" he asked.

"Well, I don't know," she replied. "Do you really want to?"

God, yes. "If you want to stay, we can."

She looked around the room. "We should probably head back. I mean, we can't stay here forever."

Was there longing in her voice? What had she and Max talked about downstairs? He was going crazy.

"Whatever," he said. He started unbuttoning his shirt.

"Kyle," she said suddenly, walking toward him. He looked into her eyes. "I love you."

He was a bit startled. She didn't say that a lot. He reached out his hands to her. "I love you too, brown eyes." She smiled up at him.

He knew that Max Evans could never know what was between them. He knew that Max Evans had never seen that look in her eyes. But he also knew that there was a look out there reserved for Max that he could never know. He just hoped that he love for him was stronger.


Maria shook her head. Why was she thinking about Kyle? It only ever took her mind back to the day that Michael had shown up at her house, beaten to a pulp.

>>> "Oh my god! Michael!" Maria screamed, opening the front door to let her boyfriend in. Blood was dripping from his nose and he had a huge black eye.

"It's not as bad as it looks," he said, letting her steer him toward the couch.

"How on earth did this happen?" she asked, forcing him to tip his head back. She went to the bathroom to get some washcloths and bandages.

"I just got into a fight, that's all."

"And how did you manage to 'just' get into a fight? And who was it with?"

He didn't answer her. He was wondering why he had come here. He had started to go home. He couldn't have Max or Isabel heal him because of Kyle and his friends. So he was just going to go home and try to fix it himself. But somehow, he had ended up here.

"You might as well tell me, Spaceboy, because I will find out sooner or later." She sat down on the couch with him and pressed the cold washcloth against his nose.

"It was nothing, Maria, just drop it."

He sat there in complete silence while she attempted to bandage him up. Once, she turned away from him to take the rubbing alcohol from the coffee table, and when she turned back, he was moving his lips in that irritating way of his. She hated it when he did that. When he wanted to say something, but he couldn't or something. It made her want to strangle him.


He closed his mouth. "God, Michael, just tell me." She pressed the alcohol against his skin and he yelped in pain.

He pulled her hand away from his face. "I love you," he said. He had never said that before. She was stunned.

"You what me?" she finally managed to say. How typically Michael, she thought. Makes me want to kill him and then he goes and does something irresistible.

"I love you," he said simply. Then he passed out. <<<

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