FanFic - Other
"What Remains Behind"
Part 13
by Joy elizabeth
Disclaimer: Not Mine.
Summary: Future fiction. Michael has died and the rest of the must deal with his death, as well as some other unresolved issues among them.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
She would never forget what it had felt like to wake up in his arms. The first time she had done that, she was sure that she had died and that this was heaven.

>>> "Good morning," she whispered.

"Good morning," he mumbled. "How did you sleep?"

"Fine," she said, tracing circles on his chest with her fingers. "Michael, I hate to tell you this, but I think that we've gotten intense."

He smiled. "Yeah, I guess we have."

She leaned her head against his chest. "Maria," he said. She turned her head to look at him. "Why did we wait so long to do that?"

She grinned. "Well, I couldn't have you thinking that earth girls are easy, could I?"

"Maria, I could have told you that a long time ago." <<<

She closed the album. It hurt to think about happy times. It hurt to think about sad times too. But at least the sad memories fit her mood. She let her mind wander to the day that her mom lost the baby. To the day that Jim Valenti died.

It had been a routine thing. He was checking out a report for a burglary. He showed up at the house and somehow, something went terribly wrong. The guy was still there. Jim had drawn his gun and the guy had shot. One bullet took two lives.

Her mother started to hemorrhage the moment they told her. Maria had been standing there, listening in shock as the deputy explained to her mother that her fiance was dead. And suddenly there was blood. They raced to the hospital. Kyle had driven. But it had done no good.

>>> "Mom," Maria whispered, leaning in close to her mother's face. It was as hard as stone. "Mom, talk to me please." But Amy had laid there, motionless. <<<

One bullet took three lives, really. Because her mother was never the same again.

Kyle never cried in front of her. He was a rock the whole time. But she knew that she heard him sometimes late at night, sobbing for his parents. He continued to live with them until he left for school. Before he left, he had hugged her. It was the first time that he had done that.

"Take care of her," he whispered. And he had vanished. Her mom had always invited him for Christmas, but he never came. She had seen him for the first time a year ago, when Liz brought him for Thanksgiving.

She was wrong, she thought as she wiped away the tears. The sad memories were just as hard to deal with as the happy ones. She reached for a different photo album.

The first picture was of Max and Liz just before they left for Texas.

>>> "Texas?" Maria asked, setting down an Alien Blast for a guy at the counter. "What is in Texas?"

"Max," Liz answered.

Maria shook her head. "Liz, you cannot just follow some guy around all your life. What about what you want?"

Liz sighed. "Maria, I love him. I can go to school in Texas just as easily as I can go to school anywhere else."

Maria couldn't believe her best friend. Yes, Liz was crazy about Max. But she had talked about Harvard and Yale for as long as Maria could remember.

"You're one to talk, Ms. DeLuca," Liz said. "You're staying here for Michael."

Maria rolled her eyes. "I am not staying here for Michael. I am staying here because I can't afford to do anything else."

Liz looked at her incredulously. "Okay," she said, exasperated. "Michael has something to do with it. But he is not the only reason."

"Ladies!" Michael yelled from the kitchen. "The food is getting cold here."

Liz turned and headed for the kitchen. "Michael," she said once she got there, "why is Maria staying in Roswell?"

"Because of me," he answered smugly. Liz turned on her heel and walked toward her table.

"Thanks," Maria said dryly.

"For what?"

"For ruining her life. Seriously, Michael, doesn't it bug you that she's so willing to just follow Max anywhere?"

He shrugged. "Not really. Could you please take table five their food? We need your tip money if we're going to do anything this weekend."

Maria turned to him and glared. "Don't go running off to Texas, Spaceboy, because I am definitely not following you."

"We'll see about that." <<<

She turned the page. There was a picture of her and her mother. Michael had taken it the day she moved out.

They had lived together for two and a half years in that tiny apartment of his. She went to the community college, he got a job as a car mechanic. She had wanted him to go to school with her, but school just wasn't his thing. He read all of her books instead. Sometimes she thought that he had gotten more out of her college experience that she had.

He had liked her poetry class the most. She had taken it because she thought that she could swing an easy A. She was grateful at the end of the semester to have received the C+. But she had discovered that she liked Walt Whitman. It was the only poetry that made any sense to her.

Michael liked Sylvia Plath the best. It was fitting. Sylvia Plath's poetry made no sense at all to her. And then there was his Joyce fixation. He read "Finnegan's Wake" during her sophomore year. She had tried in vain to read it. She got no further than the third paragraph. How anyone could read something full of nonsense words and little punctuation was beyond her. Then again, Michael was a lot like a Joyce book. Hard to read, even harder to understand, and full of contradictions.

She kept turning the album pages. She stopped and looked at herself, surrounded by suitcases. It was the start of the vacation that they had taken the summer after her sophomore year.

They had gone to San Francisco. It had taken forever to get there in the Jetta. They had stayed in this horrible little motel that they found once they got there. About three days into the trip, she was beginning to wonder why this had been a good idea.

There was a picture of Michael in the horrible motel room. He was sitting on the bed and he was not smiling. This time, she didn't blame him. After four days of this existence, he had woken her up at dawn.

>>> "What? Michael, what's wrong?"

"Get dressed," he said. She sat up and stared at him. He was already dressed and holding some donuts and coffee. "We are going to have a little fun."

She had fallen asleep in the car. He refused to tell her where they were going. She woke up much later, to the smell of salty air.

"Michael, where are we?"

He kept looking ahead. Finally, the ocean loomed into view. Maria gasped. She had never seen the ocean before. It was beautiful.

He stopped the car close to the beach. "Well?"

She looked over at him and reached out to touch his face. "Thank you." He smiled. Then he opened his door and ran around to her side of the car. He swung the door open and pulled her to her feet.

"Race you," he said, taking off running. <<<

She sighed. It was so like him. Laid the world at her feet and then ran away.

They had broken up at the end of her junior year. That was when they got the phone call from Alex.

>>> "I don't understand, what exactly does Alex think this is?" Michael was so excited. But she hated to see him think that this was something if it was going to turn out to be nothing.

"He's not sure what it is," Michael said, pulling the suitcase out from under the couch. "He just knows that there is a communicator there."

Maria sat down in the chair. "But why would there be a communicator in Seattle? That doesn't make any sense."

Michael didn't answer. He began to pull his clothes out of the closet. Maria sighed. There was no stopping this now. Alex was supposed to be their 'in' now. He was working for the government. He was working closely with the FBI. Isabel had tried to talk him out of it, she knew, but he had insisted. If she wouldn't let him be with her, then he was going to try and find a way to help her find her home.

Maria watched as Michael packed up his life into one suitcase. He hadn't even asked if she wanted to come. She slowly began to realize that he was perfectly fine with just packing up and leaving her.

He didn't eat anything that night. He was too busy making plans. He quit his job because he didn't know how long he would be gone.

"I can get another one later," he said.

He is just up and leaving everything, she thought as she made herself some dinner. She hoped that Max could talk some sense into him.

"I'm leaving to get Max in the morning," he said, hanging up the phone. Maria couldn't believe it.

"You mean that he's going to quit his job too?" She could not believe that levelheaded Max would be doing this. That he could just leave Liz.

"I guess," Michael said. "I didn't ask. But I'm going to need the Jetta, okay?"

Maria stared at him. "You think that the Jetta is going to make it all the way to Seattle?"

"No," he said. "I'm going to drive to Texas and then we're going to take the Jeep. He said something about needing time to get ready."

"Great, what am I supposed to do without a car?"

"It will only be for a few days, until Liz can get some time off to bring it back here."

She shoved her fork into her food. "You're really doing this, aren't you?"

"Really doing what?"

"Leaving," she said softly. Her stared at her. She threw her fork down and pushed her plate away. "You know what, fine. That's just fine. Go ahead and go. Just don't expect me to be here when you get back."

She stood up and started to move away from him. His hand grabbed her wrist and he spun her around. "What the hell are you talking about, Maria?"

She pulled away from him. He really had no idea what he was doing to her. "I can't do this, Michael," she said, trying to control her anger. She was losing the fight. "I cannot just sit around, waiting for you to decide whether to go or stay."

They stood there and stared at each other for a long time. He finally spoke. "I cannot believe that you would even try to deny me this."

"I am not denying you anything, Michael. YOU are denying ME. And you have been doing it all along. God, I am so stupid. Here I was, thinking, 'oh, he loves me now.' What a load of shit!"

"Dammit, Maria, you knew going into this that I was trying to find answers."

She shook her head. "Answers, Michael? This has nothing to do with answers. This has to do with the fact that you are perfectly comfortable picking up and leaving me on a moment's notice."

He turned and walked out the door. That's it, she thought. Run away. Like always.

She didn't know where he went that night. He showed up at six in the morning. He picked up the suitcase and the car keys. She stood there in silence as he reached for the door. He turned to look at her, his eyes as hard as stone. He slammed the door behind him.

With that, her world had crumbled. <<<

Part 12 | Index | Part 14
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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