FanFic - Other
"What Remains Behind"
Part 15
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 closed her eyes and laid her head back on the couch. She looked at her watch. It was nearly two-thirty. She wondered what had happened to Max. She lost consciousness for a few seconds, and she woke up with a start. Pictures, she thought, looking down at the album. Please God, anything to keep from sleeping.

She put that album aside and picked up the album with the wedding pictures. It had been very simple. They had done it in the backyard. Their backyard. Amy had left her the house, so they decided that they would just live there. Liz, Max, and Alex were the only guests. They had invited Isabel, but she couldn't come on such short notice. The day of the wedding, she was sure he would back out.

>>> "He's not here yet."

"Calm down," Liz said, pulling a brush through her best friend's hair. "We still have two hours to go."

"He's not coming. This is so typical. He's going to pull one of those 'I'm Michael Guerin, I need to be alone and a stonewall' trips on me again."

Liz sighed. This was going to be a long day.

"Did I hear someone say my name?" Michael asked, coming into the room.

"MICHAEL! GET OUT! You cannot see me before the wedding!"

"But I need to talk to Liz."


He obliged her. She closed her eyes. "Okay, Liz, get him out of the room!"

Liz laughed as she pulled Michael down the hallway. Maria counted to twenty before she opened her eyes again. As she opened them, she caught sight of herself in the mirror. What are we doing? she asked her mirror self. This had to be the stupidest thing that she had ever done. After all of that carrying on about being her own person, here she was, right back in the same place all over again.

Two hours later, Alex knocked on the oor. "Are you ladies ready yet? Because our groom wants to get this show on the road."

Maria looked over at Liz. "Just a second, Alex. Come here."

She reached out to both of her closest friends and took their hands. "You're not going to start singing 'Make New Friends,' are you?" Alex asked.

"No," Maria said, laughing. "I just want you both to know that I am so glad that you're here. I love you."

Liz hugged her tightly. They pulled back and nodded at each other. Liz turned and picked up her bouquet, and then she headed for the door.

"Shall we?" Alex asked, extending his arm.

"Thank you for doing this, Alex," Maria said, hugging him.

"Hey, I wouldn't allow anyone else to give you away."

"I'm no one else's to give." She took his arm. "Let's go."

"One is silver and the other's gold," Alex sang as they walked through the door. Maria rolled her eyes. <<<

She actually couldn't remember all that much of the ceremony itself. She just remembered Michael. She remembered the vows that he promised to her. 'Til death did they part.


Max was stumbling in the darkness. He had been walking around for hours. He was trying to make sense of everything. His whole world had shut down. But when he had been with Liz, he had felt a small part of himself open up again. He thought that maybe he could feel Michael. He wasn't sure, but he thought so.

He allowed his mind to drift back to a conversation he had long forgotten.

>>> "Maxwell, what do you think?" Michael asked, pulling on the tuxedo jacket.

Max nodded and looked at himself in the mirror. "Michael, can I ask you something?"

"Sure." Michael was running his fingers through his hair, trying to make it stand on end.

"Doesn't it bother you that we keep hitting a dead end? I mean, I really thought that we had something..." his voice trailed off. Michael turned to look at him. His eyes clouded over.

"You know what this trip taught me, Max? That you can't take anything for granted."

Max didn't understand. They had been so close to something. And now Michael seemed content to step back and let it go. Michael, of all people.

"Are you sure that you're ready to do this?" Max asked.

"I've never been more sure of anything."

He and Michael walked out into the yard. Alex was waiting for them. Max caught sight of Liz in Maria's bedroom window. She waved.

He couldn't understand this. He felt empty inside. It was like something that he had never known was missing and now suddenly it completely consumed him. He had to find those answers. Everything else seemed secondary. Even, though it hurt to think it, even his relationship with Liz.

He clearly remembered watching as Michael Guerin and Maria DeLuca promised to always love, honor, and cherish each other. He remembered watching Liz's face as they said their vows. It was full of hope.

"Max," she had said, leaning back against him as they watched Maria and Michael take their first bites of cake, "we'll do this someday, right?"

"Someday," he said, resting his head on her shoulder. <<<

Max shook his head at the memory and started toward Maria's house. His someday had never come.


Maria sat up with a start at the sound of the door opening. "Max," she called out. He walked into the living room.

"I thought that you would be asleep by now," he said.

She shook her head. "I can't sleep."

He walked over to the couch and sat down beside her. "Alex wanted me to give this to you," he said, taking an envelope from his pocket. "Would you mind if I made myself some coffee?"

"Go right ahead," she said, staring down at the white paper in her hands. Slowly, she tore the envelope open and began to read.

Dear Maria, it said. I have tried to tell you this so many times, but I could never find the right words. I still can't. So I am going to write it down as best I can, and maybe Max can help me fill in the blanks.

She looked toward the kitchen. Max was staring at her from the doorway. "What is it?" he asked.

She stood up and walked over to him, handing him the letter. "Can you explain this to me, Max?"

Max looked at the letter and sighed. "Let's sit down." They sat down at the kitchen table. Maria rested her head in her hands.

Max wondered where to begin. "Okay, during the time that Michael and I went to see Alex in Seattle, something happened. Something happened that changed everything."

Part 14 | Index | Part 16
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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