|posted on 28-Sep-2001 9:34:58 AM|
| Title: The Midnight Hour|
Disclaimer: Roswell and all its characters, etc. are the intellectual property of Melinda Metz, Jason Katims, UPN, etc. I own nothing related to Roswell, and no infringement is intended.
Rating R would be appropriate I think
Summary: Post-Departure, CC, M/L, M/M, and the rest of the gang. As the group is still dealing with the aftermath of recent events, they are forgetful that other enemies are all around them, waiting for opportunity. When Liz and Maria come up missing one morning, the rest of the group desperately searches for them, unaware that they are now caught up in a conflict larger and more dangerous than any of them realizes....
Author's Note: This is my very first fic and I appreciate all comments - the rest of the story is now posted in the Repost section!
Please post feedback! Thanks in advance for your assistance!
Michael quickly turned around, heading back to the Crashdown, a confused Max following behind him. Isabel and Kyle just looked at each other, but decided to follow anyway. Michael fumbled with his keys, but managed to unlock the front door and let everyone back in. Max was about to burst as he slammed the door behind them.
“What are you doing Michael?! We’ve got to get Valenti!!
“No!!” Michael was almost shouting at this point. “There’s something here.. something important! When we started walking away from here, I felt it fade inside me, but now that we’re back, I feel it strong again.” Using more words than he normally did, Michael looked his friend dead in the eyes as if to emphasize the point further. “Max there’s a clue here – I know it!! I feel – “
As if lightning had struck him, Michael suddenly froze in place. Then, garnishing an increased surge of urgency, Michael unexpectedly bounded past his friends and towards the back of the restaurant. He pounded up the stairs with little regard that he was now entering the Parker’s private residence. He knew now. He knew she was near, but where? He ransacked the home, opening and closing doors voraciously. His fear growing to near panic level, he reached one of his last stops – Liz’s bedroom. Slightly aware that Max would probably not approve of him barging into her room like a madman, Michael hesitated to search there, but curiosity won him over.
It came to him as if he were in the middle of a slow motion scene in a movie: the door opening, revealing the last rays of the sunlight as it streamed over the room, casting it in a dim, red-yellow haze. There was Liz Parker’s room, just as he’d seen it in times past, and except for being a little more disheveled than he’d remembered, there was nothing spectacular about the scene. He’d almost begun to close the door when he saw it. A figure lay quietly and peacefully on the bed. Yes, in a small corner of his mind, the place reserved for only the darkest secrets,… nightmares,… he knew that it was his Maria. That same small corner pointed out that she had been tied up, beaten severely, and appeared, in all likelihood, dead. It was the rest of his brain that could only register a faceless, meaningless figure, because the rest of his brain could not – would not – believe what the small corner was telling it. So, as the small corner began to grieve for Maria, the rest of his brain took a different course of action.
The voice of utter despair and anguish did not go unnoticed. Isabel’s heart sank as she watched her brother fly up the same flight of stairs Michael had ascended earlier, except that she could have sworn he cut Michael’s time in half. Kyle’s eyes pleaded with her not to follow this time – she knew he couldn’t take much more of this after Alex. Still not completely sympathetic considering that he had aided Tess – even unknowingly – Isabel made her own trip up the stairs to the Parker residence. What she saw was almost too much to bear. Michael was desperately trying to untie Maria’s hands, mumbling apologies as the tears threatened to spill from his eyes. He and Max were standing over Liz’s bed, staring at a seemingly lifeless Maria. Max turned to her briefly, his brows furrowed and jaw clenched. Isabel knew what he was thinking and went to him immediately.
“Max, you can do this,” she said quietly. “Maria’s not Alex, Max – this is different – she’s not –“
In shock, Michael still managed to look up at his friend as he held Maria’s hands in his own. “Please, she’s…. she’s my life,” Michael pleaded. Tentatively, Max placed his hands on Maria’s head and face.
“Maria, you have to look at me…” Max begged her softly, when she didn’t respond, Michael grew frantic.
“Maria!! Baby you have to wake up!! You have to look at us –“
As if on cue, Maria’s eyes weakly opened, but just barely. Max didn’t hesitate, though he realized this was somewhat reminiscent of another glassy stare he’d seen a few years ago. The characteristic glow from his hands filled Maria’s face and head with a soft light, which was almost surreal. While he worked as hard as he could, there was so much damage that it quickly drained him to repair only a portion of Maria’s injuries. Max’s knees buckled under him, and he slumped to the floor.
“Max!! Max!!” Isabel’s voice barely registered above the rush of wind filling his ears. “Just a little longer Max, she still needs you!”
Max looked up at Michael.
“Michael, I can’t…. do this… alone,” he said between breaths.
Michael paused as he studied her quiet form, taking a few seconds to look up at Max. “Then I’ll help you.”
Michael couldn’t even grasp what he had said at first – how could he help? He couldn’t heal like Max could – sure he’d fixed RiverDog’s ankle once, but that was mere child’s play compared to this. All he could do was blow up things, and he’d hated feeling so useless for Maria. But he had to try, didn’t he? His mind was running a thousand miles a minute, but his mouth was faster.
“I think if I could support you with my own strength, we can do this.”
“Max I’ll help too if I can,” Isabel wanting to be encouraging.
Trying to understand, Max reached out and accepted Michael’s assistance to get back on his feet. As Michael grasped his friend’s – his leader’s – hand, he laid his other hand on Maria’s head as Max did the same.
“Maria, you’ve got to look at me,” Michael took his turn, and it worked. Maria, a little stronger now, wearily looked at him, though still appearing to not recognize anything.
Kyle entered the doorway in time to see a bright triangular glow extend between Max, Michael, and Maria. He watched in amazement as the two brothers focused every last shred of energy, soul, and will they had left into Maria’s body. This time her whole body cast off a silvery light, and even Isabel stepped back from the three. The ghastly injuries to Maria’s face began healing and her breathing became less labored. Kyle smiled as he watched Maria’s expression change from that of a tortured soul to one in peaceful rest. After what seemed forever, the glow faded and both Max and Michael again fell to the floor.
* * *
Michael moaned with content as he felt the soft caresses fall again and again over his face… he listened to the angel quietly calling his name across a narrowing expanse in his mind… what he loved best about it was that it was familiar.. that it sounded like –
His looked up, to be greeted by her large doe eyes.
“You’re okay!” he took her up in his arms, pulling her to the floor with him. They locked in a passionate embrace for several minutes, needing no words to express their feelings this time. When they finally sat up, they noticed their friends watching them. This time instead of scolding, though, there were only tears of happiness.
“Michael, how did you know I was –“
“You… I could feel you Maria.. it took me a while to figure it out, but something told me you were here.. and you were –“
Michael stumbled over his words, choking up at what he knew she’d been through. Once again she held him close, offering him solace.
“It’s okay, baby.. I’m okay now, and I’m never leaving you – I promise.”
After another moment, Michael gathered himself together and helped Maria up, still shaken with the realization of how fragile she was – and how important she was to him. Kyle helped too, glad to be on a positive end of a friend’s recovery.
Maria suddenly got a vivid image of what had happened, a shrill cry escaping her lips.
“Liz!! I let them take Liz!!” she shook all over, burying her head into Michael’s shoulder. He held her even tighter than before, vowing no one would ever do this to her again if he had anything to say about it.
Isabel looked over at Max, another wave of shock overtaking them both.
“If they did this to Maria and left her here –“ Kyle started.
Max paled even further as Michael got redder and Maria sobbed louder. Isabel shot Kyle a warning glance, and he knew his time left on earth was about to be cut very short. Figuring a hasty retreat was now advisable, he did the only thing he could think of.
“Sorry – I shouldn’t have - I’m gonna go call my Dad now,” he stammered on his way out.
“Who’s got her Maria?” Michael asked the question he knew Max wanted an answer to.
“I don’t know – I don’t –“ her muffled voice sobbed. “They came here looking for Liz – s-she wasn’t here, so I told them I was her. Then she came home and –“
Michael stroked the back of her head, fumbling with the short locks between his fingers as he pondered this new side of this wonderful creature who called him her beloved. Max and Michael shared brief glances filled with mutual respect and admiration for the two girls, Michael's eyes conveying that he would go to the ends of the earth not just for Maria, but for Liz, too. Max curtly nodded his thanks, emotionally unable to show more than that.
“What are we going to do Max?” Isabel quietly spoke.
Max slowly moved towards the window, taking in the view of Liz’s balcony, her chair and blanket looking very alone.
“I have to find her – I can’t lose her again.”
Edited by - jaz on 09/29/2001 09:36:37
Edited by - jaz on 09/29/2001 13:12:40
Edited by - jaz on 09/29/2001 13:13:47