FanFic - Other
"What Remains Behind"
Part 14
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
Authors Note: This part is dedicated to the wonderful Diana, who made my first beta experience a pleasure.
Why was she thinking about that? She didn't want to remember any of that. She kept turning the album pages until she found some pictures of her mother. She sighed. Her life was made of nothing but sad memories. Her mother had gotten sick just after Michael left. No one seemed to know what was wrong. Her strength seemed to have vanished. She was so weak that she couldn't walk. Maria had moved back home to take care of her. She quit college and got a job at a library. The pay was good. And the hours were reasonable. Slowly, for six months, she watched as her mother disintegrated before her eyes. Liz came home that summer. Together they watched a woman die and waited for two aliens to return.

>>> “Liz,” Maria said one night as she turned her mother onto her side. They couldn't afford a nurse, so she and Liz basically did everything. “Do you ever think that he's not coming back?” Liz shook her head. “He promised.”

Maria smiled sadly. She always had envied Liz Parker. <<<

She started seeing Kevin sometime in the middle of the whole mess. He worked with her at the library. They didn't really date or anything. But he would come and keep her company when Liz couldn't be there. It was nice. He was a reliable guy. The kind of guy who did exactly what you expected him to do. He was a lot like Max Evans. But Maria wasn't in love with Max Evans. And she wasn't in love with Kevin either. Michael had finally showed up the day that they had to put her mom in the hospital. She had almost missed him.

>>> He was standing in the hallway, sort of back in the shadows. She saw him when she went to get something to drink. At first, she couldn't believe it was him. She blinked, assuring herself that she wasn't asleep. She had played this moment over and over in her mind. He would swoop in and try to save the day. But no thank you, she was her own person now. She could take care of herself. But she couldn't speak as she stood there, staring at him. He looked like a deer caught in headlights. “Maria,” he finally managed to say. She felt herself flinch. It had been so long since she had heard her name on his lips. She walked over to him and pulled him into the waiting room. “What are you doing here, Michael?”

He just stood there. “I heard that your mom was sick,” he said after a while.

She was still trying to process the fact that he was standing in front of her. “What about your vision quest?”

He looked down at his hands. “It didn't turn out too well.”

“I'm sorry to hear that,” she said, turning away from him. For once, she was the one who walked away. >>>

***** He was waiting for her when she came home to get some things. She had decided to just stay at the hospital for as long as she could. But she needed some things from the house. >>> “We need to talk,” he said as she walked in the door. She sighed. So much for her declaration of independence. “I don't have anything to say to you,” she said, starting up the stairs. He reached out and grabbed her arm. She jerked away. "Listen, Michael, I made it perfectly clear when you left that this was over. Now leave." “No,” he said simply. She threw her hands in the air. “I don't believe you. You leave me to go on some ridiculous wild goose chase and then when it doesn't work out, you just expect me to welcome you back with open arms. It doesn't work that way, buddy.” “I don't expect you to take me back,” he said. “I just want to talk to you.” “Fine, talk.” “I realized something while I was gone. I cannot be someone who is always going to be there for you. And I can't help that. I mean, I love you, but I can't promise not to go looking for answers to these questions. And if you want someone who will just stay here and never leave, then fine. Find someone else. But I do love you.” She shook her head. “It doesn't work that way, Michael. And anyway, I've already found someone else.” He was surprised. “Who?” “You don't know him. He's someone I work with.” “Do you love him?” She rolled her eyes. “He is not the point here, Michael.” “Do you love him?” She was silent. “No,” she finally said. “But that doesn't change anything here. You have no idea what it is like to love someone who you cannot rely on. Someone who fundamentally wants to leave you and the planet. It's hard. I see other people all around me, and they are in love and they just take it all for granted. But I never get that. I never get to take you for granted. I'm reminded with every breath I take that you are only here for a short time, any way I look at it. You are here with me when you can't be where you really want to be. All you really want to do is leave. And you have no problem leaving me here all alone.” Tears began to fall. Dammit, she thought. Why do I always let him get to me? “I can't change who I am, Maria.” “I KNOW that! I know that this isn't your fault. But it's hurts just the same.” “Marry me.” She started to laugh. This is what they mean when they say someone is hysterical, she thought. She was laughing and crying all at the same time. “I'm serious, Maria, marry me.” She shook her head. “It won't change anything.” “No. But I love you. And I want to marry you.” With that, Maria collapsed to the floor.


When she had come to, she was lying on the couch. He was above her, staring down into her eyes. She had tried to forget his eyes. The way that they stared right down inside her, like he could see everything that she was thinking and feeling. She wondered if he could tell what she was thinking now. She doubted it, she couldn't tell herself. “Are you okay?” he asked. She nodded. “I think that its just been a long couple of days.” He kept staring at her, so she turned her head away from him. “You should be sleeping more. I can tell that you hardly ever sleep.” “Well, I don't really have time to worry about that, Michael. My mother is dying and my ex-boyfriend has lost his mind and it's kind of a lot to deal with.” “I haven't lost my mind,” he said, turning her head to make her look at him. “I've found it.” She wanted to laugh again. “Gee Michael, I think that all of that time with Max has changed you. Are you the big sap now?” He didn't smile. He just kept staring into her eyes. She felt like they were burning into hers. “Why do you want to marry me?” she whispered. “Don't you know?” She shook her head. “If you say that you want to leave, then why bother? It's a commitment, Michael. A great big commitment.” “Exactly. I love you. I always have and I always will. No matter where I am or what I'm doing. Don't you understand that?” “So you want to marry me so that you can go off and leave me again? This is just a way to keep me from seeing anyone else, isn't it?” Her brain was slowly starting to wrap around what he was asking her to do. “Maria, listen to me. I am not going anywhere right now. All I am saying is that I need for you to understand that when I need to pick up and leave, I will. But I'm not leaving you. Can you understand the difference?” She shook her head and began to sit up. “Leaving me is leaving me, Michael. You can't have it both ways. And don't even bother to respond, because I know which one you care about more.” He pushed her back down. “You aren't going anywhere. You need to sleep.” “Michael,” she said, anger rising in her voice, “my mother needs me, okay? Now get out of my way.” “Liz is there. I called her. And your mother is sleeping, which is what you should be doing.” Maria sighed. She didn't have the strength to fight him anymore. So she closed her eyes and drifted into sleep. Isabel was waiting for her. “Isabel?” she asked, making her way through this very disturbing dream. She was in the hospital with her mom, but everything was black and cold. Machines hummed all around her. Isabel looked at her with pity in her eyes. “Michael told me about your mom,” she said, staring down at the woman who was sleeping. “I'm so sorry, Maria.” Maria didn't know what to say. She hadn't seen Isabel in quite a while. She wished that she could change the dream, to make her mom alive and happy. But she had no strength. “He's here,” she whispered. “Did he tell you that?” “Yes.” “Do you know why he's here?” Isabel nodded. “Maria, I didn't come here because of Michael. Whatever that is, it's between you and him. I came here because of you.” Maria suddenly felt the presence of someone else in the room. She turned and saw that Michael was now in a hospital bed, right along side her mother's. “They all leave, Isabel.” Isabel reached out and pulled Maria close to her. “They all love you though,” she whispered. “You know that, right?” Maria nodded. “It doesn't really matter. They love me, but they can't help but want to be somewhere else. My mom wants to be with Jim, Michael wants to go home, Liz wants to be with Max, you want to be in New York. It's funny. I thought that I was the one that wanted to get the hell out of Roswell, and now I'm the only one who's stayed here.” Isabel stared down at her friend. “Maria, this is going to sound strange coming from me, but you can't escape what's really meant to be. Do you know what I mean?” Maria sighed. “Yeah, I destined to become an old maid, all alone in a place that I hate.” Isabel smiled. “Well, Michael is giving you a choice here. I really don't want to tell you what to do, Maria. But I think that you should know that Michael is giving you far more than he's ever given anyone, including me and Max.” The machine that was hooked up to Michael's heart began to scream out. Panic seared through Maria’s veins. It’s just a dream, she repeated over and over in her head. She watched as Michael died. She felt the life pour out of her. She walked over to his bed and stood beside him.

“Everything that I ever thought I wanted is everything that he can’t be,” she said softly. A tear made its way down her face. Suddenly his hand reached up and grabbed her. She woke up with a start. “Michael!” “What? It’s okay, I’m right here.” He moved closer to her. She reached out and touched his face. He was real. “I need to see my mom, Michael. Now.” He nodded and helped her to her feet. They didn’t talk on the way to the hospital. They arrived to find Liz and Max, sleeping uncomfortably in one hospital chair. What a reunion, Maria thought. She looked over at her mom. The machines made that same horrible humming noise as in her dream. “Mom,” she said quietly, sitting down on the side of the bed. “Michael is here. You remember Michael, don't you?” Her mother’s face remained the same. Maria closed her eyes. Her mother hadn’t felt anything since Jim had died. This was just a slow, torturous death. She took her mother’s hand and turned to look at Michael. Could he understand this? This was what her life had become. Waiting for the inevitable ending. “Mrs. DeLuca,” Michael said, walking toward the bed and stopping just behind Maria’s back. Amy’s eyes opened slightly. “I want to marry your daughter.” Amy nodded ever so slightly and squeezed Maria’s hand. “Maria.” Liz’s voice was small. She and Max twisted around until they were both out of the chair and standing. “Is something wrong?” “No,” Maria whispered. “No, Liz, everything is finally right.” She continued to grip her mother’s hand until the machine began to scream and the doctors came in and pushed them out of the way. But Maria knew that there would be no saving her mother. Her life, like Kyle’s, just didn’t work that way. <<<

Part 13 | Index | Part 15
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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