Fanfic - Unconventional Couples
"Vital Choice"
Part 3
by Becky
Disclaimer: I don't own them, etc.
Summary: In this story Tess doesn't exist and the aliens don't know much about their past (no destiny and other crap). At the beginning all three CC (A&I, Mi&Ma, M&L) are dating, but then.something happens.
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: NC-17
"Alex! Maria?" They were staring at her and she knew they had heard something. The question was, how much. Michael joined them at the door in a heartbeat.

"Alex, you're here already? Maria," he paused, "what's going on?" "Don't you think I should be the one asking that question?" Maria glared at him and furiously continued, "but since you bothered to ask, thin walls." Michael paled. That was not the most harmless way he had had in mind before. "Let's go inside," he suggested. "I'm pretty comfortable out here," protested Maria while Alex made a move to enter the apartment and had to practically drag her after him. "Come on, the neighbors don't have to know any more than they already do."

When all four of them were inside, Michael looked at Isabel and noticed that she was about as nervous as him. Neither of them expected this. Alex and especially Maria were looking at them like they were sent straight from hell to kill them on the spot and after some time Isabel finally managed to ask, "how long have you been standing out there?"

"From your 'I should be going' and Michael's 'relax some more' dialogue," Maria replied while Isabel's jaw dropped and Alex added, "I only came at 'no, it would never work between us', but Maria had filled me in on the rest while you two were probably sucking faces." "It was not like that," said Michael. "Oh, no?? What was it like, then?" Maria asked, "tell us, Michael. How come you suddenly love HER? She might buy your -I've always loved you et. al.- crap, but I'm not stupid. What's this really about? You're gonna be with her, 'cause I'm not giving you any?"

"Shut up!!" Michael yelled at Maria. "Don't you dare to say anything like that about her again!" "It was meant to be against you, but she's got her part in it, so it was inevitable," was Maria direct.

Neither of them noticed Isabel getting up and heading for the door quietly with tears in her eyes. They all heard the door close loudly behind her, though. "Iz!" Michael jumped up and went for the door. She had sealed it from the outside, so it took him a minute to open it and by that time she was gone. He turned around and came face to face with Maria and Alex again. Maria's eyes were shooting fire at him. "We're finished, space boy," she passed him and paused before leaving, "and thanks for breaking this to me in the most harmless way possible." She turned away and left after that and Michael looked at Alex, who was still standing by the couch.

"Alex." "Don't, OK? Just don't." "I want you to understand." "I do. I do understand. I got the hint. Don't worry, I'll be out of your way." "We didn't want it to happen this way, you know." "I know. In a way, I've known for a long time." "What do you mean?" "I could see it in her eyes when she was around you. She might have grown to love me, but she loved you more. It was always there." "Really," was Michael surprised, "I didn't know." "Well, you know what they say. Those, who love are blind," said Alex sadly and left the apartment.

Michael looked at the door that closed behind him in frustration and then turned around angrily. His look roamed around the apartment and stopped at the couch. *Nice target* Michael extended his hand and the brown piece of furniture where Isabel and him were kissing fifteen minutes ago, cracked under his power and collapsed. In the next moment the couch was no longer a couch, but a pile of torn cushions and some wood, laying in the middle of his living room. He wasn't satisfied with his handiwork, but he didn't really care about that at the moment, so he went to his bedroom, lay on the bed and stared at the ceiling.

It was pure torture. He could smell her vanilla shampoo on his pillow. She slept in his bed the night before and Michael wished he had the power to go back in time. He didn't know what should he have done differently, but he would definitely take the pain away. Her pain, his pain. This hurt so much. He knew she was in pain, too. He had to talk to her, but they agreed to take some time. He'd respect her decision and give her a day or two to think, and then.

It would be a long day.


*Knock, knock* "Not again," Michael mumbled in his sleep. He checked his watch - 5:30 a.m. Maybe it was her. He jumped up and headed for the door.

"Max. Two days in a row. Since when are you a morning person?" asked Michael while Max entered the small apartment. "Sorry. I thought I better waited for you to open the door. I didn't want to just burst in." in that second Max noticed the broken couch or better, what was left of it, and after a minute continued in as much as casual voice as he could, "you're obviously not sleeping on the couch tonight." "Nope. Out of order." "I see," Max smirked carefully. "Don't ask." "I wouldn't dare," smiled Max, and added "is she all right?" Michael glared at him in confusion. "What do you mean?" "Well, I figured you've told her and when she didn't come home last night I thought I'd just leave the two of you to." "She didn't come home??" Michael panicked. "No, you mean she's not here with you?" "No!" Michael's eyes widened, "what? You thought we were - ?" Michael didn't finish his sentence and Max nodded. He was sure Isabel and Michael were spending an intimate night together, especially after he had seen the broken couch.

"No," Michael repeated defeated, "she left around noon." "Noon? Where'd she go to?" "This is all my fault," Michael sat on the floor and shook his head. "Michael, don't fall apart on me now. Tell me what happened. We have to find her."

"Ok. Ok. She slept. Then she woke up. And we started discussing our relationship and then we were on that couch and I told her I loved her and we decided to give us a try, but only after we took some time to think about all this. She was about to go home when we discovered Alex and Maria outside the door. It turned out they had heard practically everything and Maria basically called her some pretty ugly names and finished with me, of course. Alex left peacefully, but not before Isabel left and sealed us in here, so I couldn't follow her right away."

"But why didn't you follow her later?" "I figured she went home. I thought I should give us both some tome to think. And I blew up this couch," Michael pointed at the remains on the floor, "Damn! I shouldn't have let her go." "This is not good." "We have to find her, Max. We have to." "You can say that again. Where should we start?" "You should definitely start by covering for her at your parents." "Yeah, I'll think of something. Where do you think she could be for 18 hours?" "I don't know. I'll check the quarry. You go home and see if she took anything from her room. Then, we have to think of all the places we should look here, in town." "All right," Max agreed. "And Max. We should call Liz, Alex and Maria to help. Maria probably won't be very eager, but I can't think about that now. We have to think of Isabel. "You go," said Max, "I'll call them. We have to move fast. Here, take my phone and let me know if you find her." "Thanks."

Michael took his jacket and the keys of Max's jeep. Max started gathering all his friends together and soon the four of them were in Michael's apartment. They made a list of places of where to look and they came up with eight different locations, so each of them took two. After about an hour they were all back empty handed, including Michael.

"Nothing. I don't think she's in town any more," said Liz. "What do you mean, she just took off with the first guy that stopped the car on the side of the road?" yelled Michael nervously. "No, of course not. I'm sure she was being careful. She might have hitchhiked, though. She doesn't have a car. And she took no clothes, right, Max?" asked Liz. "No." "And no money?" Alex tried to come up with something inventive. "She might had had a little something in her wallet, but not much." Max was really worried now.

"What if," Michael started, "what if she didn't leave?" "What are you saying?" was Alex confused. "What if someone took her? She might be hurt. The baby. She's all alone." Michael couldn't think clearly. Max could tell he was on the verge of a breakdown. "No, we can't think like that. She's fine, taking some rest from all of us." "You really want to believe that, don't you, Maxwell?" Michael asked.

Alex looked from one of his friends to the other and sighed before saying. "I agree. If she had decided to leave, she would probably have left some kind of message to at least one of us."

Liz's eyes watered and Maria said. "Someone's got her." She looked at Michael, "I'm sorry." Everyone turned to look at them and Michael answered to her. "What, you think it's your fault?" "It's pretty obvious," she sobbed, "If I hadn't said all those things. I didn't mean them, you know I didn't mean them, Michael, don't you?" "Maria, you definitely hurt her feelings, but she left because of me. I should've kept my feelings and my hands away from her." "Guys," Liz intervened, "this won't bring her back any faster. We have to figure out where they've got her." "And how do we do that?" asked Michael devastated.

Max suddenly got up from the chair that he was sitting on. "Michael, are you sure that Jerome's dead?" Thick silence. "No," Michael gulped out after a long time. "But you said." "So, why did you doubt me?" "I just wanted to be sure that." "Well, I'm not sure. I didn't check his pulse. He was laying there with the others and he looked dead. I wanted to get Isabel out of there as fast as possible so we sort of ran away from the bodies." They were all listening to Michael's broken voice as he tried to explain what had happened two days ago.

Max got into the leading mode and said "we have to check out the place we were captured in." "They would be stupid if they kept her there," Maria pointed out. "Maybe. And maybe not. They could predict our reactions and think we would've thought they would never have taken her there because we know where it is," explained Alex. "Or," continued Michael, "they want us to find her. They want us to come and get her." "It's a trap," stated Max. "I don't care," was Michael determined, "I have to get her out."

"Why would they want her or any of you back?" asked Liz. "To study her. Us," said Max, "they want to study our evolution." "You think she's pregnant, then?" asked Alex. "If she's not, they need her to be. That's why they need the rest of us. Michael, to be exact."

Michael stared at Max in disbelief. It was possible. But it was also horrible. Who were they to tell them when and with whom to get pregnant? Max noticed Michael's discomfort and said. "You can't come, Michael." "What? No way am I staying here." "You have to. They want you to get there for her and we can't let them get what they want." "What are you gonna do? Go alone? You'll never get to her or get her out on your own. We have no choice, Max. We both have to go."

Max took a minute and realized that Michael was right. There was a much higher possibility for both of them to get Isabel out than if he went alone. They'd have to take a chance at exposing themselves again. "You're right. We'll leave in an hour," Max turned towards Michael. "What about us?" asked Alex. "You better stay here, you've already risked too much for us." "No, I refuse to stay, I'll go with you, Max," said Liz, and Maria and Alex confirmed it. "We're coming." "Fine, but you'll wait outside. We might need some help with the egress and you could be useful when we find her." "No," Maria started to protest, but Michael silenced her with his sharp stare. "Maria." "All right," she gave up, "but you might need us in there. "We'll call you, OK?" said Michael.

"There's just one more thing," instructed Max, "no matter what happens, you cannot, I repeat, CANNOT involve the police. We can't afford it. It would be too dangerous, understand?" None of the humans said anything, so Max repeated. "No third parties, no parents, no noone. If we don't come out, just leave." "Max, you can't do this. You can't expect us to leave, we're in this together. I won't leave," said Liz. "Liz, we'll do our best to get out, you know that, but just in case, there's nothing you can do. It might take us some time to escape. We don't know what's happening in there. What I'm saying is just that,. if we don't come out soon, go back home and come the next day or something. We can't let anyone get suspicious. Agreed?" "Agreed," Liz, Maria and Alex finally managed to say.


"I told you it was a trap," said Max, "we should've taken the other route." "At least we're in," answered Michael, looking around the small room that they had been captured in. "In. Yes, we're definitely in. We've been stuck here for six days, we haven't even had the chance to locate Isabel, let alone get her out! We're so in."

Max was pissed and Michael knew it was in his best interest to just let him yell at him, so he didn't say a word, but only looked at him. "Let's try the door again," suggested Max and they both aimed their powers at the firm lock of the door that just wouldn't give up. "I don't think we'll ever be able to open it. We've tried for about hundred times a day. They know our limits and this door is one of them," concluded Michael. "Isn't that great," Max threw his hands in the air, "we're dead." "No, we're not. Something's happening. I can feel it," was Michael sure. "What are you talking about?" "Think. We've been here for almost a week. They haven't even tried to study or kill us and they've been feeding us as well as could be expected in a place like this. Why do you think is that, Maxwell?" Max didn't respond and Michael gave him a meaningful look. "I'll tell you what I think," Michael started answering his own question, "they're waiting to be sure." "Of what?" was Max confused. "Of Isabel's cycle to complete."

"Excuse me?" "Listen. When we escaped the other day, the night she came to me, she told me she was due in ten days. Ten days, Maxwell. And today. Today is day nine." "Oh, my God," mouthed Max, "you know what that means? Tomorrow they'll know for sure."

*** Two weeks later ***

"Isabel!" Michael was starting to get desperate. "Isabel, wake up!" He was trying to wake her up for more than ten minutes now, from the time they had led him to her room, to be exact.

When he saw her lying on the bed, he called her name and she didn't respond, so he approached her and even after a couple of minutes of pretty severe shaking and his frightened voice she still wouldn't give him any kind of a sign that she heard him. She was sleeping very deeply and even though she mumbled something in her sleep a couple of times, he couldn't understand a word of it.

He took her hand in his and sat down on the bed next to her. He lifted his head up and yelled at the camera. "What have you done to her, you sick bastards??!" He turned back to her and felt her head. Luckily, she wasn't warm. Then his hand moved down her still body until it rested on her flat stomach. *Was she pregnant or not?*

"Isabel, please, wake up," he whispered, "please." He kept his hand on her stomach and suddenly got a rush of images that caught his attention. "Oh, my God."


"This is hopeless." "Maria, stop it," was Liz determined. "We've been camping out here for three weeks. Don't you think they should be out by now," asked Alex. "Max said it might take some time," Liz explained. "Well, their camping story is starting to wear out for Mr. and Mrs. Evans. I don't think we should wait any more," said Maria. "I'm not giving up on them," was Liz stubborn. "Me neither," was Alex on her side in an instant. "Who said anything about giving up? We should go in after them," suggested Maria and the other two looked at her surprised. "We promised not to." Liz started and Maria interrupted her with "not to bring in a third party. Are we a third party? Nope. So, we get them out. Got it? "I could think of a few less painful ways to commit suicide." "Alex, this is no time for your practical jokes. We owe it to them. If I die, I wanna die trying to help." "Ok, but we should first go get some stuff we might need," said Liz practically. "Come on, Alex. Are you in?" "Yeah, I'm in. Let's go."

*** Three hours later ***

Isabel blinked slowly and tried to remember what was going on. *Right. I'm still trapped over here in this room. The lights are on. When did I lay down?* She couldn't remember what had happened and her head was a bit heavy. She tried to turn in her bed, but something stopped her. There was a hand on her shoulder. A man's hand that was attached to. she lifted her head a bit. Michael?

Michael was laying next to her. While she was trying to move, she had, of course, woken him up. He was on his feet in no time. "Iz! Oh, thank God. I was so afraid when you didn't wake up." "Michael," she hugged him and wouldn't let him go, "I knew you would come." "Of course, Max and me have been here for three weeks, but we couldn't get to you. I'm sorry." "Where is Max?" "They've taken him somewhere else last week. They wouldn't tell me why. I hope he's all right. Are you all right, Isabel?" "I. yes, I think so." "What have they given you? You were sleeping as in a coma." "I don't know. I can't remember what happened." "Did anyone hurt you?" "N.. no." "You sure?" "Yes. They've done a lot of tests, but didn't hurt me. The only thing that confuses me is the last few days, I think. I don't have any recollection of what happened. After I got my breakfast and ate it, everything got blank. I kept sleeping and every time I woke up, I was so sleepy that I had to go back to sleep shortly after." He listened with concern, so she assured him, that she was fine. "I'll be ok." "Ok."

He made her take a seat on the bed and looked at her, "I'm so sorry that you had to go through all this." Then his eyes wandered down her body and stopped on her belly. He kept staring at that particular part until she made a sound and he returned his gaze back to her face, embarrassed to have been caught like that. She smiled a little and he swallowed hard, waiting for her to open the subject that they were both aware of, and was hanging over their heads.

She put her hand over his hand that was resting on her thigh and said calmly. "You don't have to worry about that any more, Michael. I'm not pregnant." "You're not?" was he more than surprised. He could've sworn she had been, especially after he'd seen.

"No. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't look so happy about it," she nudged him. "It's just that,.." he didn't know how to tell her. "What? What is it?" "I've seen it," was his barely audible answer. "Seen it," was she confused, "what did you see?" "The baby. Our baby. I've seen it when I connected with you before."

"That can't be," she paled visibly. "Here," he took a hold of her hand and put it on her belly, then covered it with his own hand, "I'll do it again." He concentrated and immediately sensed the small life growing inside of her. He sent her a rush of images and she flinched and pulled away. "See?"

Her eyes were full of tears now, she broke down and continued sobbing uncontrollably. "Isabel, it's ok. We'll get through this together." "No," she shook her head, "you don't understand." "Then make me understand, Iz." He was holding her gently and after a while she managed to choke out the words that turned his world upside down in a second.

"After we've been together, I've.I've. had my period. That was more than two weeks ago. This baby can't be yours."

His eyes grew wide at that bit of an information. She was pregnant with someone else's child?! He tried not to look too horrified, as she had been in so much of an agony as it was. She was shaking like hell and she wouldn't look at him.

He kept fighting really hard not to ask her about the father of the baby. She buried her face in his chest and he just held her for a few minutes, until she calmed down a bit. Then, she extracted herself from his embrace and said with a colorless voice. "I didn't cheat on you." "Of course not," he tried to stay indifferent on the outside, "we both agreed to give us some more time before we got together for real." "No, Michael. You know that even though we agreed on that, we got together for real when we kissed on your couch." "In that case, I'm afraid I don't get your point."

Isabel took hold of his hands and looked him square in the eyes. "I know how this must sound but, I didn't do anything. Please, Michael, you must believe me. I wasn't together with anyone but you in all my life. I don't remember sleeping with anyone after I got here." "I believe you," he hugged her. "You do?" "Yes. Why would you lie to me? I trust you. So now the question is, how did you get pregnant?" "I don't know." "Anyone tried to rape you?" "No. No one touched me but the doctor."


Max's stomach dropped. He was afraid he was going to be sick at what he had heard. Jerome was standing behind him, also watching the camera that was taping Michael and Isabel. Max turned around to face him and asked. "What have you done to her?" "You know what we did." "Why don't you tell me yourself?" "Fine. I'll tell you, Maxie. We fertilized her egg artificially," Jerome paused before adding evilly, "with your sperm."

Max breathed heavily. "How could you do that?? She's my- " "She's not related to you in any way. You were just raised together. We've checked all of your DNAs. The three of you all come from different families." "Still, you could've used Michael's." "I could've. But why would I? I didn't want to risk him getting at it with her again. They both enjoyed it a bit too much, and what is more important, I've lost too many of my men the last time he'd screwed her. Besides, if we used his semen, we would not get the perfect chance to make all of your lives miserable, would we?"

Max just looked at Jerome while he was grinning stupidly at him and then said. "Look at them. They're so nicely confused. They have no idea that you're the father. What a shock will that be, huh? To show you that I, in deed, am a nice person with a heart, I'll give you the chance to tell them yourself. What do you think about that? Come on." "Some nice person you are," mumbled Max and followed him like in a daze, accompanied by several armed guards, and in a few moments they pushed him in front of his two best friends.

Michael saw him first. "Max! Am I glad to see you, man. Are you all right? Where've you been?" "They did some tests on me," he answered, then turned to Isabel and hugged her. She looked even more pale than on the camera. She noticed his worried look and said plainly, "Max, I'm pregnant." He took a deep breath and said, "I know." "You do," was Michael surprised. "Yes. Jerome made me watch your talk before." "So Jerome's alive?" "Very much alive," answered Max. "And you also know the baby's not Michael's?" Max nodded and Michael added, "Max, we've got to find out what happened. She doesn't remember anything. I think they might've given her sleeping pills and raped her." "Michael, let's not jump into conclusions," Max tried to prepare him for the worst. How was he supposed to tell them something like this? "I'm not jumping into conclusions, Maxwell! Take a look at her. She's a wreck, pregnant and doesn't know who did this to her. I'm telling you, when I find him, he's gonna pay."

Max looked at Isabel again. Michael was right. She was afraid of her own shadow, thin as a feather and red-eyed. She had the right to know the truth. He needed to tell them.

"Jerome told me who's the father of her baby," Max admitted quietly. Isabel looked up and Michael asked, "Who?" "It's me."

"What?!" Michael jumped up towards him, but stopped in the middle of the way and looked at Isabel. "You two have..?" "No," Isabel finally managed to open her mouth to say something, "Max, what are you saying? We've never done anything like that. We're rela.." "We're not related, Iz. At least not by blood. I love you like a sister and you know I would never hurt you intentionally," he looked at Michael, "but she's right. We've never done it and she was not raped. They fertilized her artificially."

Isabel couldn't believe what she heard. Michael just stared. Max eyed both of them and then approached Isabel. He gently put his hand on her shoulder and she looked at him with eyes full of fear. "Max." "I know." "I don't think I can handle this." Max didn't know what to say to her. He wasn't sure he could handle it himself. It was a lot to deal with and he just wasn't ready, yet. So he did the only thing he could, he offered her his arms and she hugged him and held for dear life.

Michael was standing there and felt like a fifth wheel. Isabel was supposed to be his. She finally gave her heart to him and now.. This.. Life was not fair.

He couldn't stand the silence any more. He had to say something, so he said the first thing that got to his mind that would get their attention. "How the hell did this happen to us?" The other two let go of each other and turned to look at him. Isabel knew this look. Michael was about to connect with her, but she averted her eyes for a few seconds. He was confused, but soon understood what she was doing. She wanted to include Max, too. Fine. They'd do it together. They both reached for Max's mind and to his great surprise, it worked.

* "Maxwell." "I hear you. I always thought that the two of you were the only two capable of doing this." "You never said you wanted to try," explained Isabel. "It's kind of cool." "Yeah. Listen," Michael wasted no time, "let's get out now. We're finally together." "That might be easier said than done. What makes you think we can do it? We couldn't do it on our own," said Max, "and Isabel's pregnant." "So? I don't feel weak, Max. I wouldn't even know it, if Michael hadn't told me." "Still, we shouldn't take a chance." Max continued. "You wanna stay here and see your kid grow up in the world of the oh, mighty experimental room," Michael started losing his nerve. "No. No." Max sighed. "All right. How should we go at it?" Both Michael and Isabel looked suspiciously at him and he quickly explained, "I wasn't thinking anything like that, so get your mind out of the gutter." "Thank God." *


"Alex, your timing was perfect," said Isabel after the six of them were out of danger and had stopped running. "It was?" "Yes. If you hadn't come, we probably wouldn't have made it that easily," explained Max. "I thought you had everything under control," commented Maria. "We did. I held Jerome hostage and Michael and Isabel were handling the guards, but we needed a distraction. You were perfect." "We're glad to be of assistance. So, what happened," asked Liz and turned to Isabel, "Are you, you know.?" Before Isabel could answer her, Max intervened with, "we should really talk about this somewhere else. Let's go home."


Max was pacing his room nervously and suddenly heard a noise in front of his window. He moved the curtains and came face to face with .. "Michael?" "Hey. Listen. I know we said in an hour, but I think we should talk first. Really talk." "Ok." "The three of us." "Right. I'll get Isabel. We can talk here. Mom and dad are out."

Max returned shortly after with Isabel in tow. She looked at Michael, not exactly sure what to do, so he approached her and gave her a hug. "Hey. How are you holding up?" "Not too good," she took a seat on Max's bed, "what are we gonna say to the others?" Max looked at her and then at Michael. "I think they deserve the truth. Maria, Alex and Liz have risked their heads for us. We should tell them what happened and how. I just hope they'll be able to handle it." "I agree," said Michael and Isabel sighed. "This is the first time that you two are on the same side." "Are you somewhere else," was Max confused. "I don't know," she reluctantly said. "Iz," Michael leaned towards her, "we want to help you. You've got to tell us what you think. What you want." "I don't know what I want. I'm so confused. I.What's wrong with me, Michael?? Why does this keep happening to me? First, I'm dating Alex, then, I realize I'm in love with you and now, I'm carrying Max's baby." "You're in love with me?" "Well, yeah. I mean, I know that now you probably don't want me any more,." "Isabel, of course I want you." "But what about." Isabel put her hand on her stomach. They both turned to Max who was observing them. "Max?" Michael tried to pin him down to say something. He looked a bit uncomfortable while he stood up and said.

"Izzy. You know that it would not be very good if people found out about this. It's breaking my heart, but I will never be able to freely acknowledge this baby as my own. There would be too many questions and the risk would be too great. We can't afford that. I hope you understand my position. I will, however, help you 100 per cent at raising him or her. As an uncle." Max smiled encouragingly at her and then reluctantly added, "unless, if both of you insist that we should come out and tell the truth. I'd rather not do it, but I'm ready to make this sacrifice, if necessary." "No," Isabel said quickly, "I understand and I believe it's really for the best if no one ever finds out." Max let out a breath of relief and Isabel continued after eyeing both of them. "In fact, I was thinking, if it was a good idea to have this baby at all."

Max and Michael both stared at her, trying to absorb the words they had heard her say. They both knew what she meant and Max decided to make a comment first. "I can't tell you what to do, Iz, especially after what we just agreed on, so I trust you to make the right call, whatever it is."

He took her hand in his and she let a single tear drop from her face to the floor. Max wiped her other tear that was following the path of the previous one down her cheek and squeezed her hand harder. She didn't make a sound, she just cried quietly. Michael sat on her other side and took hold of her other hand.

"Is this about you being pregnant, or you being pregnant with Max's child?" "What?" "The termination of pregnancy. Would you consider doing it, had the child been mine?" "I don't know. It would depend on a lot of things. You among them. I mean, I don't want to prevent this baby from being born, but I don't know if it should be born when it's not wanted." "Even though it's not mine biologically, do I have the right to say anything?" "You know you do. I value your opinion deeply." "Then, don't do it." "What are you saying?" "I'm saying, do it, if you don't want children, or if you don't feel ready at all, or for any other reason. But don't do it just because it's technically not mine." Isabel listened with hope while Michael continued. "It's still the baby. One of us. Our race. I'm growing to love it already and if you keep it, if WE keep it, I'll love it like my own flesh and blood. With all my heart. Like I love you."

Isabel was crying again. This time they were the tears of joy. She smiled, really smiled at Michael for the first time in a long time. Michael hugged her and said, "I would love to have my name written as a father of this child on it's birth certificate," Isabel nodded at that and he added, "I'll even let your father yell at me, when we tell him." She got serious for a moment, when she remembered that they would have to tell her parents, but Max's voice calmed both of them. I'll be there with you when you tell them. I'll help break the ice and convince them that everything will be fine." They both turned to him, as they almost forgot that he was there, too. Their eyes locked for a few seconds and Max then turned his gaze to Michael and said two simple words that meant a lot. "Thank you." Michael smiled and nodded in response while he was still holding his love.


Isabel lay on the bed and pulled Michael down with her. "So, daddy, you wanna see how your kid's doing?" Then she looked at Max and invited him to sit down near her, too. "Come on, Max, someone's eager to meet you. Let's find out if it's a nephew or a niece."

Max joined them and put his hand on Isabel's belly, while she covered his hand with hers and finally Michael rested his two hands on top of theirs and connected with...

...a small baby girl.

- Epilogue -

"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" Ann wept quietly. "I'm sorry, honey, we couldn't," Isabel hugged her daughter. She turned to look at the man that she held for her father for all those years. "Dad. You're not my real dad?" "As far as the genetics is concerned, no." "Uncle Max is." "Yes."

Ann broke down completely and Michael and Isabel realized that they probably didn't pick the best time to break the news to her after all. "Ann, we're sorry. Maybe it would be better if you never found out. Or at least not now." "No. I'm glad you chose to tell me. I'm glad you chose to have me, to love me," she looked at Michael, "to keep me."

Michael smiled. He really did love her. She had always been his angel and had loved him back unconditionally. She approached him slowly and whispered, "thanks for being my daddy. You're the best dad in the World. I love you." "I love you, too, honey."

They all cried. Michael and Isabel feared that their secret would once tear their family apart, but they were glad when they found out that sharing it had brought them even closer together than they had ever dared to dream.

- The End

Part 2 | Index
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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