Title: Slipping Through The Cracks
Author: Giselle
Rating: PG
Category: M&M
Summary: Short song-fic to 'Rinse' by Vanessa Carlton.
Disclaimer: Don't own the song, don't own the show, don't even own the freakin' car!
Distribution: You want, you take, you let me know. I love signing guestbooks. ;)
Author's Note: If you can't stomach a little angst, don't read.


~~~

The front door of their apartment swung slowly open, letting in the dim light from the street lamp just outside as the figure of a trembling woman stumbled into the living room, clutching her arms closely to her body.

Their.

Maria scoffed at the word, cursing its very creation. It was deceptive. Manipulative. It made you believe that you were a part of something sacred, something whole that would last forever. But the very word was flawed.

Nothing lasted forever. Nothing remained complete, and when you finally let yourself believe that you've found it, that you've discovered a way to lock it up inside of you...it disappears. It falls through the cracks and crevices that you never knew existed. It seeps its way down until you can't even taste it, can't even feel the memory of it on your skin. Stripping away your very soul.


She'd do anything to sparkle in his eye
She would suffer, she would fight, and compromise
She's been wishin' on the stars that shine so bright
For answers to questions that will haunt her tonight



Maria braced one arm against the wall, fearing the pull that gravity might have on her at this very moment if she moved it away, trusted her feet alone to carry the weight of her body. Her burden.

She was tired, so very tired.

The carpet gripped at her worn shoes, taunting her with the knowledge that the bathroom seemed too far away. Every step too heavy, and every breath too painful.

Her head spun slightly as though she were on a ship at sea, rocking back and forth and causing her to nearly loose her balance before she found the bathroom door and gripped the frame with deadly white knuckles. She was forced to pause a moment as she caught her breath, standing in the doorway only long enough to gather the energy to make it the rest of the way to the shower. She needed to. Had to.


She must rinse this all away
She can't hold him this way
She must rinse this all away
She can't love him this way



Peeling away layers of clothing and dropping them onto the floor, she threw back the clear vinyl and forced her legs up over the edge of the tub, not bothering to close the curtain. The cold porcelain stung at her skin, reminding her of the soreness that had crept into them as she numbly made her way through the back roads, twenty miles from home. Afraid of of being too close to the busy highways and lit streets.

After resting her forehead against the shower wall for a brief moment she reached for the faucet, turning it on quickly to let the freezing cold water cascade down her back before it heated, changing her pale skin a deep shade of pink as the steam rose around her, filling the room. Burning her flesh.


How she'd be soothed, how she'd be saved if he could see
She needs to be held in his arms to be free
But everything happens for reasons that she will never understand
'Til she knows that the heart of a woman will never be found in the
Arms of a man



The tremors that she'd been holding back now came freely, attempting to tear her body apart. It wasn't real. This day was just a dream, it had to be a dream.

Two weeks wasn't long enough. Two weeks living in this apartment together. Two weeks of steady unpacking and heated arguing, half-hazardly repacking and apologetic kisses.

Two weeks of planning out the rest of their lives together.

It couldn't be over.


She must rinse this all away
She can't hold him this way
She must rinse this all away
She can't love him this way



Maria could feel her knees buckle underneath her as she fell forward, holding herself up by her arms and allowing the razor-sharp pain to shoot through her legs as bone connected with the floor of the tub.

She welcomed the pain, reveled in it. It was the only type of pain she knew she would ever feel again. Physical pain.

But even that wasn't enough. It wasn't enough to drown out the last twenty four hours. It wasn't enough to stop his voice from pounding through her head, shouting at her to leave. It wasn't enough to wipe away the image of him broken and bleeding as she turned and ran.

As she left him.


And if she runs away she fears she won't be followed
What could be worse that leaving something behind
And as the depth of oceans slowly become shallow
It's loneliness she finds ...
If only he was mine



She left him! How could she have run away so quickly? He was there in her arms, in her life and she panicked! She left him there completely alone!

What had she done?!


She'd do anything to sparkle in his eye
She would suffer, she would fight, and compromise
She's been wishin' on the stars that shine so bright
For answers to questions that will haunt her tonight



Her stomach lurched forward violently as she felt the bile from her throat mix with his blood. The hands that had held him, had release him in order to escape, slowly reached up to her chest, touching the crimson liquid as it slipped down the front of her body, pooling in a puddle at the bottom of the shower. Watching through the tears that began to fall, she saw it slip down the drain, making its own escape as a deep sob left her cracked lips in a whisper. Like a curse.

"Michael..!"

His name. It had become a curse, tormenting her, making her wish for death as he made her promise him to live. He asked her to live, not realizing that the moment his life drained from his eyes, hers would as well.

Whether she was alive in their apartment or lying dead in his arms, she was a corpse. Because of her promise she would live the rest of her life the same way. Never living her life the same way.

Her heart had already stopped beating.


She must rinse him
She must rinse him
She can't rinse him
She can't rinse him



She let the water fall from her body, feeling it slowly turning cold. It didn't matter though, she was numb. She would always be numb.


She can't, she won't, she must rinse him
She can't, she won't, she must rinse him



Maria's body rocked back and forth, her eyes pinched shut tightly.

He was gone, and now the only part of him she had left was slowly slipping through the cracks. Slipping down the drain.


She must rinse him
She can't rinse him
She must rinse him
She can't rinse him



~The End~