The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M,Mature)Ch 98 1/27/15 Complete

Finished Canon/Conventional Couple Fics. These stories pick up from events in the show. All complete stories from the main Canon/CC board will eventually be moved here.

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ArchAngel1973
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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M,Mature) Ch 90 - 10/4/14

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:29 pm

keepsmiling7: Yes, it’s something that bothers us, that intelligent people like the Evans could live for years with their children, being attentive and loving parents and not realize that there was something different about them. Just the fact that they were never sick, sorry, that’s just not normal for kids to be in perfect health.


Ending Two, Part 14 (or Part 90)

Diane Evans was pulling a load of laundry out of the dryer when the door behind her opened and Philip came inside. Even though he looked exhausted there was an air of something she couldn’t quite pinpoint. “Philip?” She placed a couple of folded shirts on the dryer and turned to face him fully. “What is it?”

He sighed and rubbed a hand over the back of his neck. He wasn’t even sure where to start. The entire meeting in his office had been surreal and there was just no way to tell Diane about it without scaring her half to death.

“Philip, whatever it is, this silence isn’t settling my nerves a bit.”

“Of course. I think we should have a seat in the living room, Diane.”

“Something’s wrong, isn’t it?” She brushed her hands over her thighs as she sat on the sofa. “Is it the children? Are they in danger?”

“No, I don’t believe they’re in danger. At least not right now.” He sat down beside her and reached over to still her hands. “I met someone tonight,” he started. “He knows about the kids.”

She swallowed with difficulty. “How?”

He laughed humorlessly and shook his head as he stood and began to pace. “You’re not gonna believe this.”

“Did he know them before they were abandoned in the desert? Is he the one who abandoned them?”

“No, he’s never even met them.”

“But you said…” she trailed off, going over her husband’s exact words. “Wait, you said he knows about them.” She rubbed the cushion she was sitting on, using the motion to ground herself. “You meant he knows they’re different from other children.”

“Yes.”

“Does he know why or how?”

“He claims to be just like them.”

She shook her head. “No. If this man knows about them they’re no longer safe here. We need to take them and leave before – “

“Diane,” he moved to stop her before she could get up. “Diane, we need to keep calm and deal with this in a rational manner.”

“Calm and rational?” she echoed incredulously. “Philip, we’re talking about our children! Some man we don’t even know just showed up out of the blue and told you he knows they’re different and that he’s like them.” She reached out and grabbed his forearms. “How do you even know he is who he said he is? He could be here to take them!”

“He wants to be involved in their lives – “

“Absolutely not!”

“We’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Why don’t we start from the beginning,” he suggested.

Diane nodded and forced down the fear that was trying desperately to claw its way out. Philip wasn’t the type of man who panicked; he tackled things from a logical, rational standpoint, sorted through the information and picked out the pertinent parts, and once he had filtered everything else out he studied what was left and made an analytical decision. That helped to calm her until her husband got to the part where the man had been armed.

“This man broke into your office and he had a gun? You can’t possibly think someone like that should be around our children.”

“Honey, let me finish explaining before you go off the deep end. Please. I don’t believe he’s a threat to the kids. I listened to what he had to say and I think he’s sincere. I would never let anyone close to our kids if I felt they were a threat.”

“And you know I trust your judgment. You’re an excellent judge of character and even though you believe this man to be acceptable, he’s a virtual stranger, Philip. And I find it suspicious that a grown man wants to spend time with two nine-year-olds. You must find that odd.”

“Well,” he cleared his throat and tugged his collar away from his skin, “he would be 15 years old right now.”

“You just said some man held you at gunpoint and…” she frowned in confusion. “I don’t understand.”

“The man, his name is Michael Guerin, and at this time he’s 15 years old.”

“You talk about him like he’s two different people.”

“He is… and he isn’t.”

“That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”

He cleared his throat. “Diane, the man who came to see me tonight is from the future.” He held his hands up to stop the words that were moments from erupting. “He came back in time to stop us from getting into an accident that would’ve taken our children’s lives.”

Diane’s fingertips feathered against her throat as his words hit her with a nearly physical impact. “How can you be certain that what he said is true?”

“He was able to prove he’s who he says he is.”

She placed her elbows on her knees, clasping her hands together so she could rest her forehead on them. This was all too much to take in. “I suppose next you’ll tell me that they’re not human.” The laughter that bubbled up held just a hint of hysteria.

“We’ve always known they’re different, Diane. Now we know how.”

“Of course. It makes perfectly good sense. So they’re what? Aliens?”

“They’re hybrids actually. Half-alien and half-human.”

She lifted her head and her gaze moved past her husband to land on the framed pictures that covered the surface of the mantle above the fireplace. They had known that Max and Isabel weren’t like other children, had known there was something special about them that set them apart, had known it meant they needed to be protected, but most of all they had known Max and Isabel needed the unconditional love of parents who understood just how special they were.

She inhaled deeply, calming her nerves by sheer will before looking at Philip and nodding for him to continue.

*****

Isabel was exercising her mental abilities and rearranging her closet when she heard the slight metallic click that always accompanied someone turning the knob on her bedroom door. She quickly shoved everything back in the closet and closed her eyes, pretending to be asleep. The door creaked quietly as it was slowly pushed open and a moment later she cracked one eye open to see who it was.

“Max!” she hissed, her tone clearly expressing her annoyance with him.

He closed the door and ran across the room, jumping up on her bed and jostling her violently. “I heard Mom an’ Dad talkin’ real quiet.”

She raised an imperious eyebrow. “And…?”

“They were talkin’ about a man named Michael. Dad said he came to his office an’ told him stuff about us.”

“The same Michael that we saw in your dream?”

He rolled his eyes. “Duh, I just said he knows stuff about us.” His voice lowered to a whisper. “Dad said he’s from the future, Iz! An’ we’re like superheroes!”

Her eyes narrowed at him as she slowly levered herself into a sitting position. “I think you had a dream and you just think you heard Dad saying stuff like that.” No, it wasn’t likely that he could’ve come up with all of that on his own. Flying around in a cape and saving Liz Parker, yes, she’d believe his stupid boy brain could come up with that, but the idea that the stranger they had followed on the dreamplane was from the future? No way, it was ridiculous! But, what if Mom and Dad really knew they were different? She reached up and started to twirl the edges of her hair around her forefinger. Would they still love them? What if they didn’t want them anymore?

Max crossed his arms over his chest and frowned at her. “I did too hear Dad say that stuff.” He shuffled closer to her and lowered his voice even more. “They know we’re different, Izzy. Dad said they know. And that Michael guy? He told Dad we’re half-alien!”

Aliens were ugly and scary, she thought as she unconsciously brought her hair close to her mouth and nibbled on the tips nervously. In the movies people were always scared of them even when they weren’t mean and they tried to hurt them just because they were different. She didn’t want to be an alien. Her eyes widened as a thought occurred to her and she reached down to touch her skin. What if this wasn’t what they really looked like and they just didn’t know it?

They’d always known they were different and they’d even guessed that maybe they were aliens, but it had always been just a guess. But somehow in her mind that thought had never made her consider it could be something bad, that they could be something bad. But if Mom and Daddy thought that how could they love them anymore?

“Why’s your face look like that?” Max asked as he leaned in close so that their faces were barely inches apart.

She pushed him away and glared at him. “My face always looks like this,” she hissed.

“Huh-uh, you’re lying.”

“Shut up, Max. We gotta think about what to tell Mom and Dad.”

He chewed on one side of his bottom lip for a moment as he watched her. “Why? He already told Dad about us so they know, Iz, an’ you always say you wanna tell them anyway.”

“But not like this. Not that we’re aliens.”

“We always thought it though.” He didn’t understand why girls couldn’t ever make their minds up. Well, he amended, not all girls. Liz was real smart, she’d know what to do.

Isabel’s eyes narrowed again and she shook her head at him. “It’s easy to make your mind up when you’ve got a hundred ice cream choices and you choose vanilla every time!” She hated that sometimes she could pick up on his thoughts when he was close and one of them was stressed. And really? He was comparing her to Liz Parker?!

He made a face at her and was on the verge of sticking his tongue out at her when they heard the sound of footsteps in the hallway. He could feel his sister’s fear and he reacted instinctively, throwing his hand out towards the perceived threat and shielding her from danger. His eyes widened and he stared at his hand, feeling his sister’s fear suddenly merging with a sense of wonder as she reached out to touch the green shield that shimmered between them and their wide-eyed parents.

“Max,” Isabel whispered as she absorbed the confusion radiating off of him. This was new; she had never seen him do this before and based on his reaction he hadn’t known it was something he was even capable of.

“You were scared and…” He slowly turned to look at her, the words slipping away as he tried to figure out how they were going to explain this to their parents.

“Isabel, Max,” Diane murmured, squeezing Philip’s hand as she cautiously took a step closer. She could see the fear in their expressions, could practically feel it coming off of them as they realized they had just revealed themselves. “It’s alright.” Her gaze moved over the rippling green wall between her children and herself and she forced down her trepidation before she raised a hand and touched it.

Lightening danced along the edges of her fingertips and she had the sense that it existed to protect rather than harm. She was just about to withdraw her hand when she felt the strangest sensation, the faint tendrils of… fear. Her gaze lifted to her children and with her free hand she reached out to her husband.

“You don’t have to be afraid,” she assured them. “Daddy and I know you’re special and we love you so much.” She didn’t want to use the word different because they already felt isolated and based on the emotions they were transmitting loud and clear they were terrified that they had been exposed and they were no longer safe or wanted.

Philip followed his wife’s lead and placed his palm against the green wall. He didn’t know what to expect, but certainly it wasn’t the flood of emotions that washed over him, startling in their intensity. His heart broke for his children when he realized the emotions were coming from them. It wasn’t bad enough that they unknowingly had the weight of two worlds resting on their young shoulders, but now they feared their place in this world. They feared their parents would no longer accept them or want them.

He crouched down, careful to keep his palm flat against the green wall that shielded them, sensing that embracing this special ability that so obviously set them apart from everyone else was somehow important. “Do you remember the day we brought you home?” He made certain to make eye contact with them, letting them see the acceptance and love that was never far from the surface. “That was the happiest day of our lives. We love you both very much and nothing will ever change that.”

Diane held her breath as she watched Isabel slowly reach out to her brother, their hands clasping as they looked at each other. Were they capable of some sort of silent communication or was it simply that connection that existed between close siblings that mimicked telepathy at times? She could still remember the day they had brought their children home and their confusion at their surroundings made so much more sense now. They had learned and adapted quickly, but they’d had no knowledge or understanding of the most basic things.

Her eyes moved to the green wall when it began to shimmer and she was surprised to feel it lose some of its solidity. “Philip,” she whispered, feeling hope sweep through her when Isabel looked at them.

Max followed his sister’s gaze when she turned back to their parents and he felt the fear begin to recede as Mom and Dad reassured them that they were loved and wanted. They were things he needed to know too because he had just revealed himself to them in a way he couldn’t take back or hide and it scared him to think they’d send him away. The shield continued to weaken as the words and expressions on their parents’ faces began to replace that fear and before long it vanished, leaving no barrier between them.

Relief flooded through them when the same people who had rescued them from the desert, the same people who had taken them in and raised them as their own, reached for them. They were drawn into their parents’ embrace and held close as more words of reassurance were whispered, but it was the simple and yet complex feelings of love and acceptance that allowed them to relax into their arms and finally return that embrace.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M,Mature) Ch 91 - 12/6/14

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:50 pm

keepsmiling7: Yes, it’s sad that in the show Max and Isabel didn’t want to tell their parents. It always sounded a bit hypocritical since Liz, Maria, Alex, Kyle and the Sheriff knew. And Kyle was certainly more dangerous with the truth than the Evans. It’s possible the problem came more from Max and Isabel’s fears of not being loved anymore rather than their parent’s ‘safety’.


Ending Two, Part 15 (or Part 91)

He stood across the street, his eyes scanning over the Evans home. The residential neighborhood was quiet but still he searched for anything that might be out of place. An elderly man stood on the front lawn watering his grass, another man stepped out of his front door to collect the morning paper, and a few doors down a woman stood on her front porch drinking a cup of coffee or maybe tea as she attempted to covertly observe a third man as he came around the corner at the end of the block. He was bare-chested, wearing running shoes and shorts, his focus seemingly on the music coming through the earphones tucked into his ears.

Michael smirked when the jogger slowed his pace as he passed the woman’s house, his gaze flicking over her and giving just the slightest nod when she lifted two fingers from the fragile-looking cup she held before disappearing back inside the house. The jogger picked up his pace again, his purpose obviously renewed. Her husband was probably on his way to work and she was on her way to let her lover in through the back door. The secrets these quiet neighborhoods harbored, he thought with a shake of his head.

His gaze shifted back to the Evans home, watching as the front door opened and Max stepped outside to look around. When he noticed the newspaper lying on the sidewalk about halfway between the front porch and the mailbox beside the sidewalk he ran out to pick it up. He had barely turned to make the return trip when the sprinklers came on and he paused, turning in a circle as he looked at the water raining down on him. With a childish laugh he ran up and down the walkway, arms stretched out at his sides as he made noises that he imagined were supposed to mimic the sound of an airplane.

He was pinning the safety of the planet on this little boy. He sighed and shook his head as the airplane sounds got louder. If things went right it would work. The boy was a dreamer but with guidance from his self in this timeline that would be tempered and balanced with the skills necessary to do the job. He lifted his gaze when the front door opened and Philip Evans stepped out and called Max back inside, shaking his head when the boy ran up to him and presented him with his soaking wet morning paper.

As he watched the lawyer ruffled the boy’s hair affectionately and Max threw his arms around his waist, hugging him tightly for a moment before running into the house. He waited while the man took his time unfolding the newspaper and shaking it out, using the opportunity to look around his neighborhood. He saw the look of tension settle over him when Evans noticed him standing across the street and he pushed away from the tree he had been leaning against when the man gave him a slight nod.

Earlier that morning he had received the call he had been impatiently waiting for and he had agreed to a meet. He really had no idea what to expect from the meeting, unfamiliar as he was with children. As a rule they were nothing more than an aggravation to be endured when he went out in public places such as grocery stores that were frequented by people of all ages, and he had been known to snarl at the irritating things and send them running back to their parents crying. He couldn’t do that with these two. No, he had to approach them differently. Not as equals obviously, because alike or not, they weren’t his equals.

They were children. Nine-year-old children. Somehow he just couldn’t get his brain to let go of that reality. But they weren’t like other brats, he reminded himself as he approached Evans. Max and Isabel Evans were different, they were like him, and they were being tasked with a mission that couldn’t be allowed to fail.

“Mr. Guerin, how are you this morning?” Philip asked as they entered the house.

“I’m alive,” he muttered, his eyes narrowing as he looked around for the other occupants. “Let’s dispense with the pleasantries. I’m not here to make small talk. You said I could meet with them and that’s why I’m here.”

“Hybrids or not, let’s get one thing straight, Mr. Guerin.” Philip brought himself up to his full height, forcing down the feeling of trepidation that washed over him when the man stared at him coldly. “They’re my children. Hybrids, saviors of this planet, whatever else you want to call them they’re first and foremost my children.”

“That’s sweet but it has no bearing on the situation.” He paused a moment and tipped his head back slightly, his eyes boring holes into the lawyer. The man wasn’t backing down and like it or not, he did respect it. “Evans, I don’t know what you think I might do to your children, but the fate of this planet and its people rests partially but heavily on their shoulders. They’re safe with me.”

“While you may not understand my hesitation at letting you speak to my children about this, I’m just as dedicated to ensuring their safety.”

“I don’t doubt it. Now let’s get this meeting started because I have precious little time to stand here debating with you.”

Philip nodded. “My wife would like to meet you first.”

He exhaled loudly, impatiently. “Evans, you’re trying my patience.”

“Then let’s not waste anymore time.” He motioned to the living room entrance. “She’s right through here.”

Diane Evans nervously plucked at the tufted edges of the small decorative pillow she was holding in her lap. She didn’t like the idea of this man, this stranger, coming into their lives and insisting that her children would bear so much responsibility for the fate of the world. It seemed inconceivable. It seemed cruel. She felt her throat lock up when her husband entered the room and she got her first look at the man with him.

Dangerous. That was the first word that came to mind as she watched the way his dark eyes swept over the room, missing nothing. She cleared her throat delicately and placed the pillow aside as she stood, her hands anxiously smoothing over her clothes. She swallowed convulsively when that disarming gaze landed on her and she tried not to think about what her little girl could have seen in this man’s mind. He was a young man, 25 or 26 if she remembered correctly, but he was battle-hardened and she harbored no doubt that he could kill without blinking an eye. No, she didn’t want him around her innocent children, didn’t want them tainted by knowledge he had obtained while doing the unthinkable. This man had blood on his hands and she wondered just how many people had lost their lives to him.

“Diane.”

She started when her husband called her name, his tone indicating it wasn’t the first time. “I’m so sorry, where are my manners?” She laughed, the sound revealing her nerves, and she held her hand out. “I’m Diane Evans.”

“Guerin,” he growled and shook her hand quickly before dropping it. “Michael Guerin.”

“Mr. Guerin – “

“Michael’s fine,” he interrupted.

“Of course.” She forced a smile. “Michael, my husband’s explained the situation and while I must admit I find it all incredibly fantastic, what proof do you have that what you say is true?”

He bit back his irritation, knowing he had to handle this right if he was going to be successful. “I have no proof beyond my existence in this timeline. I can prove I am who I say I am, but beyond that no, I have nothing I can show you to prove that my mission involves your children.”

“It’s true!”

She whirled around when she heard her daughter whisper loudly from behind her. Isabel and Max were crowded in the doorway, their eyes darting around the room and settling on the man who had come in and was set on disrupting their lives.

“Isabel, what’re you doing? I told you two to wait in your rooms.”

“You have to trust him, he’s not lying,” the girl insisted.

Michael’s attention was drawn to Max when he felt the boy staring at him and it took an effort to remain still under the watchful gaze of the attentive nine-year-old. He was being studied and as he waited Max moved past his sister and skirted around his mother when she made a move to intercept him.

His hands were in constant motion, playing with a toy car as he approached the man. When he finally stood in front of him he tipped his head back to look up into his unsmiling face. He lifted his hand and curled his forefinger repeatedly in a come-down-to-my-level gesture. He was aware of Isabel coming to stand beside him as he waited for the man to comply with his request and after several minutes he began to wonder why the man wasn’t moving.

Michael’s gaze was locked on the two of them and after a while he dropped to his haunches to crouch down in front of the children. He couldn’t explain the pull he felt around them, but being this close to them it was undeniably there. It was like there was a connection and he could only hope that his younger self would be able to accept it and not push them away. He wouldn’t like having them around at first, he knew that for a fact, but if he could allow himself to accept it then he knew Maria was right, and it would change the course of his future. Of their future.

Diane watched her children and Michael, unable to look away from the scene they made as they faced each other. Their expressions were so… in tune, that it made her nervous all over again. There was no escaping the fact that some sort of connection did exist between them; there was no sign of fear on the faces of her children, but she still didn’t understand it. She lifted her head to look at her husband and her unease with the situation dropped down a notch when he moved to stand next to her, taking her hand in his and giving it a comforting squeeze.

“I don’t understand it either,” he murmured, “but I don’t think there’s any question that what we’re doing here is right.”

Michael was aware of the conversation between the parents but his focus was on the children as he tried to figure out what he was going to say to them. He didn’t know what to say or how to talk to them. Would they even be capable of comprehending what he had to tell them? Could they understand the importance of what was being asked of them?

Trust them, Michael. Maria’s voice floated through his head on a whisper and his resolve hardened. They were just very short people, he decided. He would just talk to them the way he would to someone who didn’t necessarily understand mission protocol, but who needed to be informed of a situation. They were half alien, they were of above-average intelligence, and Maria had been certain it was imperative that they had to bond in order to form a cohesive unit that would one day take on an enemy intent on taking over Earth.

“You’re aware of the situation,” he said finally and shook his head when they continued to stare at him. “Your father told you everything, and I know it’s a lot to take in. The fact that we aren’t like everyone else, the coming war, the knowledge that some day in the future you’re gonna have to save Maria and Liz – “

“I’m gonna save Liz,” Max whispered reverently.

“I’m gonna save Liz,” Isabel mocked and elbowed her brother.

“You’re just jealous ‘cause you’re not gonna save anybody.” He stuck his tongue out at her. “But I am. I’m gonna save Liz Parker.”

Michael ignored the strange brother/sister relationship and continued. “Yeah, that’s a very important objective, but there’s a lot more to this than just saving Parker. We have a mission that has to be undertaken.”

Max’s eyes widened and he looked at his sister. “See? We have a mission. We’re like real live superheroes, Izzy!”

He reached up to rub his face, using the motion to hide his amusement at being labeled a superhero. Being the superhero and saving his fantasy girl was prime wet dream material for a nine-year-old boy even though he didn’t really understand what it was all about just yet. He stood and their bickering immediately stopped as they looked up at him. He moved to the couch, taking a seat, and motioning for them to join him.

Max and Isabel sat on the coffee table in front of him, their features attentive as they waited for him to speak. After a couple of minutes though, Max couldn’t take the silence any longer and he leaned forward, his sharp eyes locking on Michael.

“Did you really come from the future?” he asked.

“Yeah, someone had to get back here and fix things before they could get royally screwed up.”

“Are Liz an’ Maria superheroes too?”

Michael shook his head. “No, but you know how every superhero has a sidekick? Well, they’re kinda like that. Each of us has one.”

“Which one’s yours?” He frowned. “I get Liz.” That was non-negotiable as far as he was concerned. “I don’t think Maria would wanna be my sister’s sidekick though ‘cause Izzy can be kinda mean sometimes an’ she thinks Maria’s weird anyways.”

“Maria is kinda weird,” he agreed. But he wouldn’t change her for anything in the world. “But I think she’s safe because she’ll be my sidekick.”

“Cool. But doesn’t Izzy get a sidekick too?”

Michael rubbed the back of his neck and lowered his head as he reminded himself to keep his cool with the kid’s constant questions. He ran over everything Maria had told him, remembering key pieces of what had and hadn’t worked in their group, what had made them stronger, what had caused the most damage, and finally he lifted his head again. “Alex Whitman.”

“Alex Whitman?!” Isabel screeched, mindless of the way Michael cringed in response to the sound. “But he’s the biggest dork in school! I don’t want him!” She nearly pushed her brother off of the table when he laughed so hard he had to bend over to hold his sides.

“Isabel, don’t push your brother,” Diane insisted. “And Max, behave yourself!”

“That’s really not the point,” Michael interrupted. “Should you decide you want a sidekick at some point he’ll be the one, but that’s something that can be decided at a later date.” Okay, he may have made a slight miscalculation with that one, he thought. Even at nine years old Isabel was clearly aware of her social status. He steered the conversation back to the subject at hand, explaining everything he could think of related to the mission and what was going to be needed to accomplish it.

The hours passed and the day wore on as he fielded questions from Max, Isabel and their parents. As evening approached he declined the invitation to stay for dinner, needing to be alone after so much time with the family. He spoke to Philip before leaving, scheduling another meeting because he still needed to figure out how best to bring them together with his younger self. He also needed to retrieve the memory device he had hidden so that he could give it to them. His next meeting with them would be the last and he wanted to make sure all of the loose ends were tied up before he disappeared.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M,Mature) Ch 92 - 12/14/14

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:23 pm

keepsmiling4: There’s nothing Philip wouldn’t do to keep them safe. They’re his children no matter what.

The connection is strong and it’ll help them when they come into contact with Michael in their timeline.

Lol, well… Isabel was all into that sidekick business until she found out who it was going to be.


Ending Two, Part 16 (or Part 92)

Michael stared at the walls of his hotel room as he tried to come up with a plausible plan to bring Max and Isabel into contact with his younger self. It didn’t take much to recall what he had been like at 15 years old and he knew how he would’ve reacted if some guy with the perfect life had approached him and wanted to talk. No, he knew that wouldn’t work. He would’ve shut the guy down cold without ever waiting to hear what he had to say.

How was he going to get him to listen? His younger self was 15, he was angry, he had no control over anything, and he was used to getting kicked around. He wasn’t going to respond well if Philip Evans walked up to him and started a conversation. His teenage self needed to be primed if there was any chance of him being receptive to what they had to tell him. In addition to Philip and his perfect life irritating the shit out of him for no other reason than existing, there were two nine-year-olds who already knew more about the situation than he did, and that would piss him off.

Max and Isabel would push his buttons right off the bat, just like their parents would, but outside of them belonging to a world that had never been his to reach for, he wouldn’t know why they bugged the hell out of him. And they would. All he would see at 15 was everything they had that he didn’t, whether it was parents who loved and cared about them, a nice home that was warm in the winter and cool in the summer, or clothes that had never belonged to anyone else.

But it would be more than that. Facing Max earlier that day he’d been given a glimpse of what it was that had caused confrontations between the Max and Michael Maria had told him about from her universe. Max was the King and it was ingrained so deeply in his genes, was such a part of him that he didn’t think twice about beckoning others to do his bidding. There had been nothing imperious in that simple gesture, but it had spoken volumes all the same.

He had felt it as they watched each other. There was a connection there, it existed with both of the children, but with Max there was an even stronger pull. On Antar Max had been the King and he had been his trusted second; he had no doubt that his younger self would resist that if he wasn’t properly prepared. But how? He couldn’t risk making contact with him. He didn’t know what could happen if they actually met in person. For all he knew it could destroy both of them.

He sat up when a thought occurred to him. How had he met Maria in a dream, carried on a conversation with her, and at the same time Isabel and Max had appeared in the dream? How had Maria known they were there? There were so many questions and he knew he’d never have the time to learn the answers to all of them. What if there was a way to connect with his younger self in the same manner? He sighed and shook his head as he fell back against the pillows. No, that wouldn’t work. His younger self was too volatile and while he couldn’t physically hurt Isabel in a dream, he could scare the living hell out of her with his behavior.

He sighed. Even if there was a way to make that work he knew how easily he’d lose his patience with his younger self. He had been a little asshole, eager to prove he didn’t need anyone or anything, and ready to take on anyone who challenged him. Unfortunately at 15 he’d gotten his ass kicked more often than not, but it hadn’t stopped him from taking on anyone who was up for a fight. At almost 26 his temper was just as easily roused, and his reactions were tempered, but given the right circumstances he would still strike first and ask questions later. He couldn’t risk that. He could ruin their chances before they’d even had the opportunity to take off.

Who was capable of reaching him? Who would he trust? Who would he have listened to? And just like that he had his answer. There was only one person who had managed to reach him, only one person he had given a damn about. Tom Gifford was largely responsible for the man he had become. Without his influence in his life he had no doubt he would’ve ended up in a situation he might not have walked away from. He’d often wondered how things might have been different if Tom hadn’t died that night on the yard.

He reached up to rub his jaw, his calloused palm rasping against the stubble there. One of his first actions upon his arrival in this timeline had been to prevent Tom’s death. The man who worked as the director at the orphanage had no family. He was a quiet man; strong as an ox and capable of handling the kids who were housed at the facility. Tom had provided a guiding hand and while he’d raised his voice to him on occasion when he got out of line, never once had he raised a hand to him.

There was no time to waste. He had to have a plan in place when he went back to see the Evans family again. He rolled off of the bed and got to his feet, running a hand through his hair as he crossed the room and headed for the door. He ran through a mental checklist and he ran his hand over the gun tucked into the back of his jeans before exiting the room.

*****

Tom Gifford readjusted his reading glasses as he settled down in the worn recliner, kicking the footrest out, and sighing contentedly as he reached for his notebook with one hand and the popcorn with the other. Normally he would be settled in with a good book right about now, but he had to run the numbers on the budget for the upcoming year. He despised the administrative part of his job, but it was a necessary evil. The money had to come from somewhere and since he wasn’t a magician and couldn’t pull it out of thin air, he had to figure out where to cut corners when possible.

He could’ve been finished with the time he normally allotted for the budget nightmare, but he’d been up to his eyeballs in paperwork for the two boys that had gone missing. They’d most likely run off, but regardless, even though he’d already taken care of the police reports, there was the mountain of forms to fill out for the state. Devon Lansing and Mason Reynolds were trouble and he’d already filed petitions to have them removed to a facility better situated to handle their type, but unfortunately the red tape was endless and the transfer had yet to be approved.

He glanced up when someone knocked on the door and he got to his feet again, brushing the front of his shirt off and dropping the notebook in his chair. He lived at the orphanage because it allowed him to keep an eye on things and it also cut down operating costs by not requiring a second full-time person to manage things overnight. He had agreed to a salary that was considerably less than what the board of directors would have paid two full-time employees, but he felt it was more than adequate since he lived there rent free and didn’t have the hassle of utility bills to deal with.

He stretched his back as he reached the door of his personal quarters and pulled it open, not surprised to find his favorite handful of trouble standing there. “Michael, you’re up well past lights out,” he said even as he stood back to grant the teenager entrance.

“Brought your book back,” the boy muttered and shoved it in his hands.

He left the door wide open as he moved deeper into his quarters. “And I appreciate that but it could’ve easily waited until tomorrow.”

He rolled his eyes. “Like I’m gonna let anyone see me walkin’ around with a fuckin’ book.”

Tom chuckled and moved to place the book in its proper place on one of the shelves he’d built himself. “That’s still not a good reason to be out of your room after lights out.”

“I know what you did and I don’t need anybody to protect me,” he finally said after pacing around the room for a few minutes. “You didn’t have to ship Lansing and Reynolds off. I could’ve taken them.”

“There’s no need to go looking for a fight, Michael,” he said, not bothering to confirm or deny the boy’s theory about what had happened to his two antagonists. He knew there were a number of rumors circulating through the orphanage in regard to the boys’ disappearance in spite of his announcement that they had run off and they were actively looking for them.

“I don’t need you to fight my battles for me.”

“No, you don’t.” He turned to look at the teenager, seeing the defiance that rarely left his intelligent eyes. “What you need is to get back to your room.”

The boy stood his ground, immovable. “Where’d you send ‘em?”

“I didn’t send them anywhere, Michael. As I told the police, and as I told all of you during my announcement this morning, they took off on their own.”

He crossed his arms over his chest, his eyes narrowing as he studied the director he had come to trust. “You bein’ straight with me?”

Tom didn’t look away from the boy’s piercing gaze. “You tell me.”

“Yeah,” he said after a moment, “you are. But you were gonna ship ‘em off.”

“I had petitioned for a transfer.” He held a hand up before Michael could interrupt him. “Not solely because of you. Did I consider you when I put in the paperwork? Yeah, you were one of my considerations. But you weren’t my only consideration, Michael. I have nearly 75 children of various ages being housed here and it’s my job to keep them safe.” He had determined long ago that the only way to deal with this boy was to be straight with him. It was really the only thing he wanted, for people to be honest with him. He had given up on expecting anything else from people and most of the time he didn’t even expect that. Honesty was one of the few things he respected.

“Yeah, well…” he shrugged one shoulder, “just so long as you know.” He nodded at the door. “I’m gonna get some sleep.”

Tom called him back before he could make it past the open doorway and he held a finger up, silently telling the boy to wait while he went back to the shelf and pulled another book down. He ran his palm over the cover before holding it out to him. “I think you’ll enjoy this one.”

He looked at the cover, his thumb tracing over the title. Ulysses. “Guess there’re no more in the Countdown to Extinction series?”

“Not yet, but I think you’ll find this one interesting.”

The teenager shrugged. “What’s interesting about some dead guy?” he asked, frowning at the title.

“Just read it. It’s not a novel I’d normally recommend for someone your age, but I have a feeling you can handle the content.” He bit back a smile when he recognized the look of interest in the boy’s eyes. “Now get to bed.”

“That’s where I was goin’ when you called me back.”

Tom gestured to the door and followed him, leaning in the frame and watching until he turned the corner at the end of the hall that led to the boys’ rooms and disappeared from sight. He shook his head and laughed under his breath as he shut the door and went back inside. Michael was so much smarter than he let people think he was, but he knew it was something he used to his advantage.

He was reaching for his notebook when he felt the subtle shift in the air and he slowly lifted his head to look around the room. He straightened when he located the intruder and his mind bounced around at least half a dozen options in the space of seconds before discarding them one after the other.

“We don’t have anything worth stealing,” he said as he shifted slightly to block the door that led out into the hallway and the rooms where his charges were sleeping.

“I’m not here to rob you and I have no interest in the kids.” Michael moved but didn’t step out of the shadows. “He won’t tell you but you’ve been the most influential person in his life up until now.”

“I don’t see how you’re in a position to know that.”

“Tom, you’re the only one who ever treated him with respect, the only one who didn’t take one look at him and assume he was a career criminal. No one paid you to take an interest in him, to teach him things that’ll keep his hands and mind occupied when he’s ready to do some major damage to someone else, and sure as hell no one paid you to put up with his shit day in and day out.”

He hid his surprise when the man called him by name. “You talk like you know him.”

“Better than he knows himself.”

“You’re related to him?” he asked cautiously.

A sharp bark of laughter answered him. “Fuck, no!”

“Then what’s your interest in him?”

“You’re an avid reader of science fiction and you have an open mind.” Michael leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms over his chest while he waited for the man to start piecing it together.

Tom shook his head. “I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.”

“You’ve never noticed anything off the wall about him?” It was a gamble, but one he knew he had to take. He had trusted the man when he’d trusted no one else.

Of course he’d noticed little things here and there, things that he’d wondered about, but always filed away for later. They were things that set Michael apart from his peers, but weren’t so obvious as to call direct attention to him. “I don’t really see how that’s any of your business. I’d suggest you leave before I call the sheriff.”

“No need to involve that useless asshole.”

“Maybe not, but one way or the other it’s time for you to leave. I don’t know how you know him or if you do know him, but – “

“I am him,” Michael interrupted and stepped out of the shadows. He nodded when he heard the man’s sharply indrawn breath at the apparent resemblance between him and his younger self. He watched the man’s features as ideas and theories sped through his mind at lightning speed. He straightened up, his posture rigid when the man approached him, pausing to turn a light on before he met his gaze directly.

“You’re him,” he murmured as he studied his taut expression. The markers were all there. He could clearly see the rebellious teenager in the man’s features. He had always believed in the possibility of time travel, other dimensions, alien races, and numerous other possibilities that people passed off as science fiction. But this man’s very existence, the implication that Michael was somehow different from everyone else, the suggestions only cemented his beliefs. “You must be what, 25 or 26 years old?” He nodded when the man silently endured his scrutiny. “You’re from the future?”

“Yes.”

He had never discussed his beliefs openly because people tended to think such ideas meant an individual was unstable or possibly insane and considering the field he worked in, it could have cost him a job he cared about dearly. “But why?”

“I need you to listen to what I have to say, Tom.”

The orphanage director motioned to the chairs and he scooped up the notebook and set it aside, taking a seat at the same time as his ‘guest’. “I’m all ears, boy.”

Michael smiled slightly at the familiar phrase and launched into his story, explaining why it was so important for his younger self to listen when Philip Evans came to see him. For nearly two hours they discussed the past, present and future, and by the time he was finished he felt drained. He didn’t know if it was all of the talking or if it was a sign that his time here was nearly over.

“It would appear you’ve been fairly successful in your timeline,” Tom said finally. It was all true. Everything he’d believed possible, everything he knew to be considered out of the realm of possibility by mainstream society. And the proof was standing right in front of him asking for his help.

“I was, and I can be again. He can be,” he corrected himself. “He won’t react well to the Evans family and he won’t want anything to do with them unless he’s somehow prepared for what’s getting ready to hit him.” He rubbed a hand over his face tiredly. “I don’t regret my life. Once I was old enough to call it my life that is. But there’re things he can have, things he’ll achieve if he alters the course of his life and lets them in.” He met Tom’s gaze. “He’ll listen to you.”

Tom leaned back in his chair and watched him for a moment. “What happens to you once the timeline’s been altered?” If he was right, the man before him would no longer exist. Events would be changed, they would happen differently, and as such, the very things that made this man into the person he was would never happen.

He shook his head. “The way I understand it, I’ll just fade away.” He shrugged. “The important thing here is to get him to listen. If he won’t listen this’ll all have been for nothin’ and the war will be lost before it ever begins.” He stood, hiding the weariness he felt. “You can make the difference.”

The director stood and held his hand out to him, still amazed by all he’d been told. “I’d say you turned out fine, Michael.”

He shook the man’s hand. “He can do even better though.”

“I’ll do my best,” he promised.

“You always did, Tom.” He nodded at the window. “I’ll just let myself out the way I came in if you don’t mind. I can’t run the risk of bein’ seen by him.”

Tom sat back in his chair after his unexpected guest disappeared into the night and he shook his head. As he’d expected Michael would turn into a good man. The adult version he’d just met was even rougher than his younger self; he was dangerous, and he had lived a life filled with violence, but he was alive and he wasn’t a criminal. And he had made a difference in some small way because the man he had grown into had traveled back in time and entrusted him with a mission just as important as the one he was fighting to carry out.

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ArchAngel1973
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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M,Mature) Ch 93 - 12/21/14

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:14 am

keepsmiling7: Hmm, yes, of course, it’s always difficult when timelines are altered.

The results are unknown, and while there’s hope for a better timeline, a better future, it’s not 100% certain.


Ending Two, Part 17 (or Part 93)

The darkness suited him.

For years he had lived in the shadows, literally and metaphorically. They provided cover and protection, for the world and from it. He had never belonged and that was knowledge he had carried with him from the beginning. The planet responsible for his existence held no meaning for him and the fact that no one had ever come for him expressed their desire to see him returned in terms that were unmistakable. Earth had no claim on him. He had been a burden on its social system since his first encounter with humans and they hadn’t wanted him either. That had been evident every time he had been passed over for adoption, the prospective parents not even bothering to look at him, every time he had been declared a troubled youth, and with every cruel word, punishing fist, and indifferent attitude he’d come across.

He was, for all intents and purposes, a man who didn’t belong. He had been unwanted, unneeded, and generally unwelcome. Until he’d encountered a woman who infuriated and aroused him, who confused and enlightened him; a woman who had taught him what it meant to love and be loved in return. And now, tasked with a mission he hadn’t wanted and having its goal in his sights, he was losing his hold on those memories.

With every passing hour, every successful change he made to the timeline, another piece of his memory of his time with her faded. The Granolith had warned him that it would happen, but he hadn’t believed it. He relied on his mental faculties as much as his physical abilities, more in certain situations, and it bothered him that they were failing him. He had noticed the effect little by little and he had fought it, but as he sat there unable to remember enough to fill in the spaces he felt like he couldn’t breathe.

He stretched his arm out and pulled his bag closer, digging around for the memory device and flexing his hand around it. They were his memories and he had every right to them. When he had first realized he was losing them he had toyed with the idea of using the device since it didn’t pose any threat to maintaining their integrity. The Granolith had said that they would remain inside of it until they were no longer needed and until his younger self had accepted the device and put it to use that wouldn’t be an issue.

He cradled the alien device in his hands, feeling the warmth of the odd metallic alloy as his fingers closed around it. He closed his eyes and focused on controlling his breathing, dropping his head forward to rest against his knuckles as he tried to connect with it. He didn’t understand how the device worked and he didn’t care. All he wanted was another moment that belonged to them; a moment to touch her, to kiss her, to be with her and soak up the light and warmth that had been so much a part of her. To feel the love of a woman who understood his differences, knew his flaws, stood toe to toe with him when she disagreed with him, and who, in spite of all that, still loved him.

Sparks flashed behind his closed eyelids, reminding him of fireworks exploding against a pitch black sky. He waited as the flickering bits of light coalesced to form a single image and he felt the hollowness inside of him begin to fill. Maria. He waited and after what felt like hours, images began to imprint themselves on his memory. Their first meeting, first impressions, first fight, first kiss, and the first time they had made love. As painful as the memory of the morning after was, he allowed it to wash over him as well. He had saved every moment with her, even those that had slipped past his walls and wounded him in a way nothing else ever had. Every one of those moments were a part of their brief relationship and he wanted to make sure his younger self would one day understand and avoid the hurt he’d inflicted on her.

She had cared for him in a way no one else ever had. She hadn’t needed to like him or care about him to reach her goal. She certainly hadn’t been required to love him to succeed in her mission. But she had loved him. With a depth and fierceness he had never expected. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind about that. There was proof of that care and love in every memory.

It was there in the way she had cared for him after he was shot. It was there in the way she had made sure he ate meals that were healthy. It was very much there in the way she had held him and comforted him after Stone’s death. It was there in the way she spoke to him and tried to get him to understand that regardless of what they both wanted they had the chance to make a better life for their younger selves. It was there in a million small ways and most of the time he hadn’t understood or appreciated it. And by the time he had, it had been too late for them.

His chest began to ache when their first visit to the Granolith played across his mind. A dull, heavy sensation constricted his breathing as once again the realization that he was going to have to let her go hit him. His first instinct had been to take her and run, to get as far away from the Granolith and its intent to take her from him. But she had convinced him that they had an opportunity to give their younger selves a chance at happiness and he had agreed to the mission. She had reached something inside of him, brought out a side of him that he had never suspected even existed, and he could only hope that one day his younger self would appreciate the sacrifice that was necessary to give him a full life.

Their last night together began to flash across his mind and the pressure on his chest eased, replaced by a wealth of emotions that he didn’t have names for. She had promised there would be no regrets and she had been true to her word. He allowed himself to be caught up in the moment and without any resistance he easily found that he could lose himself in it. He could feel her lips on his, draw in her scent, hear her breathy moans and needy cries, could feel her body beneath him as she rose up, searching, begging, demanding completion.

There had been a freedom that night and physically, emotionally, she had been completely unrestrained. She had been his in every way possible. She should still be there, but instead she was… gone. She wasn’t dead, she wasn’t missing, and she hadn’t walked out on him. She had soldiered up and gone to carry out her mission, and when it was finished she had simply ceased to exist. She had vanished, sacrificing herself and everything they could’ve had together. He didn’t know what that meant exactly. Was it like dying? Had it been painful? Had she suffered? Had she been alone? His hands clenched around the device and he had to quickly remind himself to relax.

He dropped his head back to rest against the wall, cracking one eye open when the sun’s rays infiltrated the darkness. He didn’t need to look at the clock to know it was almost nine and it was past time to get on his feet and prepare for the meeting with the Evans family. They were expecting him within the hour and he didn’t like to be late for anything. Punctuality was so ingrained in him it might as well be stamped on his DNA. He snorted at that thought. He had been engineered so for all he knew it was.

He cleared his mind of everything but his immediate mission and stood to get ready. The trip to the Evans home wouldn’t take long but he needed time to observe from a distance, to do a threat assessment prior to approaching his target. He readied himself and gathered the few things he had brought back with him from his timeline before doing a final sweep of the room. Satisfied that he had left no trace of his habitation he wiped the key down before tossing it on the bedside table and exiting the room.

*****

Philip Evans rubbed his wife’s shoulder when he felt the tension in her notching up at their visitor’s presence. She was still struggling with the overload of information she had recently been subjected to and he knew it would take time to process it. His children on the other hand didn’t seem to have any reservations about the man once again seated in their living room.

Max had been chattering nonstop about his mission to save Liz Parker, the local café owners’ daughter. It hadn’t escaped his notice that his son was infatuated with the little girl, but he’d always assumed at some point the boy would grow out of it and move on. Apparently he was mistaken, considering the girl was one of the key points in ensuring their survival.

His attention shifted to his daughter. Isabel was watching Michael, fascinated by him and so eager to explore the device he held in his hands. It still amazed him how easily his children had accepted the man and other than that slight hitch about little Alex Whitman one day being important to Isabel, there had been no question in their young minds that he spoke the truth.

“What is it?” Isabel asked, gnawing on her bottom lip as she took a step closer, her fingers just itching to touch the object.

Michael lifted his head, his hands unconsciously caressing the device that held every memory he had of Maria and their time together. She had come to his world and she had changed it. She had changed him. “This isn’t for you,” he said, his tone dead serious as he looked at her. “This device has to be given to Michael. He’s the only one who will know how to use it.”

“Can anyone else access the information it holds?” Diane asked, unnerved by the man’s unblinking stare when he looked at her directly.

“I don’t know,” he said after a moment. “It requires an individual to connect with it and considering Max and Isabel both have certain abilities it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that they could potentially achieve a connection with it.” He called upon every bit of the training he’d undergone to prepare him for dealing with civilians. “I’m a grown man, Mrs. Evans. This device contains my memories and I can’t imagine you’d want your children having access to what’s in my mind.”

“No,” she said slowly, “no, I wouldn’t want that at all.”

“I can’t stress enough the importance that Michael receive this device and that he uses it. The information contained inside belongs exclusively to him.”

Max sat down next to him, his hands tucked under his thighs as he looked between the device and Michael. “Is it like your secret thoughts?”

Michael did his best to hide his discomfort as he looked into the little boy’s open expression. He didn’t care for discussing such things with anyone, especially someone who was too young to have any idea how important or significant his memories were. “Yes.”

The boy studied Michael for several long minutes, his gaze searching the man’s serious features and detecting something in his eyes that seemed so sad. He shifted to free his right hand and he carefully placed it on the taut arm next to him as he nodded.

Philip observed their interaction, somehow sensing that Max had just let Michael know that he understood he was not to touch the device. Something in the man eased fractionally at the assurance, almost as if there was some sort of communication going on that the rest of them couldn’t see or understand. He turned his head to look at his daughter and he could see the curiosity in her expression and he knew how hard it would be for her to know there was something so intriguing within reaching distance and not be able to explore it.

“The device will be kept for Michael and the kids won’t get their hands on it,” he promised, giving his daughter a look that indicated she was not to touch it. He had a lockbox inside the wall safe in his home office and he could keep it there. No, he decided, Isabel would figure out where it was hidden and her curiosity would get the best of her. The safe deposit box he kept at the bank would work better. He would keep it there until it was time to present it to the young man who was going to be responsible for teaching his children things he had never imagined they would need to survive.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M,Mature) Ch 94 - 12/28/14

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:20 pm

keepsmiling7: Lol, well, he figures since the kids can’t get into the vault at the bank he’s got a shot at keeping it out of those itchy little fingers.


Ending Two, Part 18 (or Part 94)

“Are we there yet?”

Michael turned his head to shoot a look at the nine-year-old boy when the question was posed for the fifth time in less than half an hour. His attention was pulled away when Philip chuckled and he stared at the man driving the family car out into the desert.

“Children have a tendency to be very impatient, and on a road trip they have no sense of time. To you it’s been about five minutes since he last asked that question and to him it’s been hours.”

“He needs to learn patience.”

“And he will.” Philip nodded when Michael pointed out the turn he needed to take and the car bounced over the pitted path. “Patience comes with age and at nine years old you probably didn’t have much of it either.” He glanced at the rearview mirror, meeting his wife’s gaze there. She had opted to ride in the back rather than have Michael sit with the children and it had served to ease her mind while cutting down on the childish arguments that were bound to arise when the two of them were cooped up in the car together for too long.

“That’s it.” Michael nodded at the large rock formation ahead of them.

“But, we’re in the middle of nowhere,” Diane said, more to herself than anyone else. She was grateful when the man sitting up front didn’t say anything beyond the irritated look he shot into the side view mirror.

He motioned to the rocky formation that jutted out into the clear blue sky. “This is where your children first drew breath.”

“Here? No, that can’t be.” She looked around at the miles of open desert that stretched out as far as the eye could see. “It’s not possible. We’re so far from where we found Max and Isabel.”

“Their instincts for survival and self-preservation are deeply ingrained in them. They had to make sure there was no connection between them and the Granolith chamber. Its location had to remain hidden and the odds for survival this far from civilization was minimal at best. To protect the chamber they had to get as far away from it as they possibly could, and at the same time, that also increased their chances of survival.”

“Mr. Guerin, we’re nearly thirty miles from town.” She shook her head, her gaze disbelieving as the car rolled to a stop at the base of the rock formation. “Their ages were only believed to be around six years old when we found them and we weren’t anywhere close to being this far out into the desert.”

“Then that should tell you something about their will to survive.” Without another word he jerked the car door open and stepped out, breathing in the arid desert air. He rolled his shoulders and rapped his knuckles against the window, nodding when he caught Isabel staring at him.

“You said my children were born here,” Diane said as she slid out of the car and brushed the seat of her pants off.

He just stared at her.

“I’d like to see it.”

Michael glanced up at the sky, taking in the sun’s position before nodding. His younger self wouldn’t be arriving for a while yet. He nodded sharply and led the way up the overgrown path that would go unnoticed if one didn’t know it existed. He looked down when he reached the slab of rock that served as the door to the chamber and he was suddenly flanked by the two smaller hybrids.

“Is this where the secret cave is?” Max asked. “Is it like the Bat Cave?”

He sighed and reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose. This kid was gonna drive his younger self absolutely nuts, he thought. He waved his hand over the stone and their eyes widened when a handprint appeared for a moment before fading into nothingness once more.

“Oh my goodness,” Diane whispered. “What was that?”

“It’s something that ensures the person requesting entrance is a member of the Royal Four.” He nodded at the stone. “Try it.”

She glanced at her husband and when he nodded she flexed her hand and reached out, waving it over the spot where the handprint had appeared just moments ago. Her eyebrows lifted in interest when nothing happened.

“I wanna try,” Isabel spoke up.

Michael glanced at the parents before gesturing to Isabel. When Philip nodded he turned and picked her up, holding her with one arm and passing his free hand over the stone. The handprint appeared for a moment, seeming to pulse as it waited for the presence of a recognized signature.

“Do I just touch it?” she whispered.

“Press your palm to it.”

Isabel reached out and placed her palm against the iridescent symbol and she gasped in surprise when a tingling warmth seemed to spread across her skin where she was touching the stone. She jerked her hand back when a rumbling sound began and a moment later the ground felt like it was shaking beneath them. “Is it supposed to do that?”

“You’re not in any danger,” he assured her as he set her down and stepped through the entrance that suddenly appeared before them.

Philip and Diane hurried to follow them when their children ran after Michael, their excitement too great to be hindered by parental warnings to slow down. When they caught up with them they saw Max standing at the center of the pod chamber with a disappointed look on his face.

“What’s the matter, Son?” Philip asked, even though he was fairly certain he knew what the problem was.

“It’s not anything like the Bat Cave, Dad.”

“Who’s that?” Isabel pointed at the occupied pod curiously. “Is she gonna come out too?”

Max glanced at Michael, studying his expression as he stared at the darkened pod his sister was standing in front of. “She’s the bad one you told us ‘bout,” he guessed. “You said in that other time she made all kinds of bad stuff to happen.”

Michael forced his gaze to leave the small lifeless body so he could focus his attention on Max. “Yeah, but she won’t do that here.”

The boy moved closer to the pod and reached out to press his forefinger against the barrier that contained the body inside. “Is it ‘cause she’s dead?”

“She’s not a threat to anyone,” he answered with a nod.

“Huh.” Max pressed his finger against the pod’s cover once more, tilting his head to one side as he studied the dead alien. After a few minutes he wandered over to the other pods, the membrane-like covers tattered and hanging over the empty spaces. He looked up at his mother when she reached out to touch one of them and her free hand came up to press her fingertips against her lips.

“Philip,” she whispered.

The little boy frowned, not understanding why her voice sounded so funny. He watched his father move over to stand behind her, wrapping his arms around her and hugging her tightly. He rolled his eyes and turned back to look at Michael. “Girls are kinda weird, huh?”

“Even Liz Parker?” Isabel asked, making a face at her brother.

“She’s not weird! Take it back, Isabel!”

She crossed her arms over her chest and gave him her patented superior look. Her eyes narrowed a moment later when he suddenly went silent and a smile lifted his lips.

“I’m gonna tell Alex you like him,” he threatened with a childish grin.

Her eyes narrowed further. “If you tell him I’ll – “

Michael sighed heavily and shook his head, tiring of the juvenile conversation and antics. He lifted his head when a sound caught his attention and he turned to Philip. “He’s close.”

“Should we go back outside?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I think that’d be best. I want to observe the meeting and it’s too close in here.”

Diane shaded her eyes with her left hand as she looked out across the desert a few minutes later, her eyebrows pulling down in a frown when she saw the cloud of dust being kicked up by a motorcycle. “Oh my,” she whispered.

Philip rested a hand on his wife’s shoulder as the teenager they were there to meet pulled up not far away, braking to a stop hard and using his foot to pivot the back tire. Sand sprayed over them, leaving a fine dusting of the grainy bits coating their clothes and hair. “Stay calm,” he murmured quietly.

The boy on the motorcycle jerked his helmet off, his defiant gaze locking on the family. He ran a hand through his spiked hair before shaking his head at the picture of the perfect suburban family. His eyes moved over them one by one, certain this was a mistake. Yeah, he could buy that story about him being a great military leader. That made sense. But this? No. There was no way these were his soldiers. He stared at the boy who was trying to creep closer to his bike and he could see the curiosity in his eyes, the itching in his fingers to reach out and touch it. This was his king? His gaze shifted to the girl. Princess, well, yeah, maybe he could see that one.

“Tom said you wanna talk.” He hooked the helmet on one of the handlebars and crossed his arms over his chest as he pinned the lawyer with a hard stare. “So talk.”

“Is this yours?” Max asked as he inched closer to the bike, reaching out to run his fingers over the shiny chrome handlebars.

“Nobody would loan it to me,” he said with a snort. His eyes followed the kid’s movements as his fingers finally settled on the helmet. He shrugged one shoulder when the little boy’s questioning gaze lifted to him.

“Max – “

“Leave them be, Diane,” Philip advised, watching their interaction. He bit back a smile when his son picked up the helmet, lifting it and putting it on. He could hear the muffled, “Cool” that came from behind the visor and his gaze shifted to the teenager when he kicked the stand out and stood up, rolling his shoulders. It was amazing, he thought. He’d seen the future Michael make that same motion, and in that moment he could clearly see the older version standing before him.

The nine-year-old tipped his head back and looked up at Michael. “Is it really yours?”

“All mine.”

Hidden nearby Michael snorted softly. “Yeah, all yours my ass,” he muttered. He and Tom had found the 1957 Harley Davidson XL Sportster at a junkyard and the director had gotten it for a steal. They’d put in a lot of hours on the machine, restoring it until it looked new, and when he’d left the orphanage at 17 he’d taken it. Tom had been gone and it hadn’t rightfully belonged to anyone else.

Max brushed a hand over the leather seat reverently and he lifted his left foot up, catching himself when Dad cleared his throat. He bit his bottom lip before looking up at Michael again. “Can I sit on it?”

Michael studied the kid for a moment before he shrugged. “Whatever.” He smirked when the boy scrambled up to settle in the seat and had to lean so far forward he was practically lying on the bike so he could reach the handlebars. He shook his head and grabbed the kid’s waist, sliding him forward just a bit. “Keep your feet on the pegs so you don’t burn yourself.”

Isabel tipped her head back to look up at Mom. “Who cares about that dumb bike?”

“Honey, that’s not just any bike,” Philip answered with a shake of his head. “That’s a classic.”

She still didn’t understand. “Mom?”

“I’m afraid that’s one of life’s great mysteries,” Diane said with a slight roll of her eyes. A love of dangerous vehicles was something that men, alien or human, seemed to have in common. “You don’t have to try to understand it because I doubt you ever will.”

“Well, I think it’s dumb.”

She smiled and nodded. “I have to agree.” Thankfully when Michael had mentioned little Alex Whitman becoming important to her daughter later on there had been no mention of a motorcycle and somehow she couldn’t picture him with one either. Her son’s next question pulled her attention away from her musings.

“Can I make it make the vroom-vroom sound?”

Michael took the kid’s hand and wrapped it tighter around the handgrip, rolling it forward and generating the sound. He laughed when the vibrations rolled through the bike and the kid’s shocked gaze dropped to the machine he was straddling.

“You’ve got the coolest ride ever!” Max enthused.

“Yeah, I know.”

“Mom, can I have one of these when I get older?” the little boy asked.

NO! Diane shook her head. “Why don’t we wait until you’re older before we make any decisions about that, okay? And maybe you should get down so we can talk to Michael.”

“But Mom,” he complained.

“Now, Max.”

Reluctantly he climbed down and pulled the helmet off, holding it out to Michael. “Sometimes Mom don’t know what fun stuff is.” He grinned suddenly. “When I get big I’m gonna have a bike just like yours.”

From his vantage point Michael watched his younger self straighten up imperceptibly and stick his chest out and he rolled his eyes at the display. “Who knew all I needed was a little Michael-worshipper?” he muttered to himself.

“So like I said, Tom said you wanted to talk to me,” Michael spoke up as his attention once again turned back to the lawyer. “I don’t have all day, so talk.”

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M,Mature) Ch 95 - 1/4/15

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:09 am

keepsmiling7: Lol, that is so true!

There’s no doubt they immediately pegged the occupied pod as belonging to ‘the bad one’.


Ending Two, Part 19 (or Part 95)

Philip was mentally running over everything he had been told by the future version of the young man standing in front of him. Michael had informed him that the director of the orphanage could be trusted and that he would handle breaking the news to the teenager and to be honest, he’d been grateful for that. Years ago when he’d first been starting out and making his way in the world he’d charged blindly into the judicial system, prepared to make a difference. He’d taken on the cases no one had wanted and he’d seen his share of kids in similar situations; kids no one had wanted, kids that had chosen the wrong path, the kids that had made one bad decision after another.

Over the years he’d focused his law career in a different direction. Marriage and parenthood had been largely responsible for that because there was a certain element of danger in the work he had been doing and he hadn’t wanted it around his wife or children. He studied the teenager facing off against him, everything in his posture radiating defiance and demanding respect that he hadn’t earned. Michael had more attitude than any kid his age should have, but he knew what the boy could become and that helped him to see beyond the barriers.

He recognized the look of impatience that crossed the boy’s features and he cleared his throat. “I’ll admit this was a bit of a shock to us too.”

A shock? That’s what Ward Cleaver was leading with? “What do you want from me?” His gaze shifted to bounce over the kids. “You want me to build an army with a couple of brats? Save a planet I couldn’t give two shits about? Put my life and theirs on the line for a few billion people who’d be just as happy to see me dead? Or for people who’d like nothin’ better than to get their hands on an alien so they could dissect it like some lower life form?” The corners of his mouth lifted in a smirk when the woman cringed at his crass words. Mission accomplished.

From his vantage point Michael listened and while he understood where his younger self was coming from, even felt that brief moment of satisfaction he knew came from the ability to shock people, it quickly faded. There was too much riding on this situation. If Evans lost him now he’d never get another opportunity to make this thing work. It wasn’t the billions of people blindly going about their business that worried him. They could all go to hell as far as he was concerned. It was a feisty little blonde with green eyes and the life his younger self could have with her that made it important to him.

Surprisingly enough it was Max who broke the silence that followed. Or maybe it wasn’t that much of a surprise, he mused. Diplomacy was one of the boy’s strengths, even at nine years old. “You’re the one who’s gotta make us ready.”

Michael crossed his arms over his chest and leveled his gaze on the boy. “Says who?”

“You said so.” Max moved closer to him, using the opportunity to reach out and rest his hand on the motorcycle’s leather seat. “You were old. Not as old as Dad, but you were still pretty old, and you told us all about how we gotta save Liz an’ Maria. Me an’ Izzy, we can do some things, but it’s like we all hafta be together.”

“No way, kid.” He shook his head. “I don’t do the whole,” he made a face, “family thing.”

“Nobody said you’ve gotta live with us,” Isabel interrupted. She crossed her arms over her chest and tapped her foot.

“That’s good because it’s not gonna happen.”

“No, your future self explained that maintaining separate space is necessary, that your independence couldn’t be compromised,” Philip spoke up.

“So you’re seriously tellin’ me you met some version of me from the future. You actually sat down and had a talk with… me.”

“Several talks actually. And as incredible as it sounds, it’s true.”

“And I’m gonna be some kinda soldier, a mercenary or assassin or somethin’.” Hell yeah, he’d be willing to bet he’d been banging every hot chick that crossed his path. It was the perfect life for him. No strings, nothing holding him down in one place, no rules. He couldn’t wait for that.

“I believe it was much more than that,” Philip stated. “You took pride in your work and it wasn’t the plight of the entire planet that motivated you to undertake your final mission. It was…” he trailed off as he considered his next words.

Hidden behind the rocks, Michael exhaled slowly. “Don’t blow it now, Evans.” He wasn’t ready to hear about Maria yet, not in connection with his future. If the lawyer uttered one word about love he was going to screw it up royally because as soon as the 15-year-old finished laughing in his face he’d be gone.

“You were given the opportunity to undertake the most important mission of your life. There are certain components that must exist in order to survive and three of them are human. You and our children are the other half.”

“That’s not the entire equation, Evans.” Michael wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his wrist as he watched his younger self contemplate what the lawyer was saying, weighing every word and trying to determine if he could be trusted. Yeah, he’d thought that was it, but he knew differently now; the parents and even Tom were also a big part of it. Their knowledge of the truth would make them an invaluable asset.

“Where’s he at now?”

“He said he’d be gone once he knew the future had been altered accordingly.”

“You really are a lawyer aren’t you?” Michael snorted and shook his head at the man’s choice of words. He didn’t say anything when the lawyer just waited patiently, making no apologies for his verbalization of his thoughts. He could respect that. Not that he’d admit it, but he did. The guy might be suburbia’s idea of perfection, but he wasn’t spinning a line of bull. He was playing it straight and he believed everything he was saying.

The sun’s position in the sky changed just enough to throw shadows over Michael’s hiding place but he didn’t notice it. His fist clenched and he stared at it when he realized he couldn’t feel the movement. Come to think about it, he couldn’t feel much of anything. He watched his fist as it seemed to disappear right before his eyes before shimmering back into existence. He glanced at his younger self, feeling the war going on inside of him as he tried to come to a decision.

Had Maria experienced this? It was an odd sensation to feel absolutely nothing. He had always known when he finally checked out he’d be alone. There would be no one to mourn his passing, no one to miss him, and nothing to even show he’d been there. He’d never cared. Alone was just another part of who he was and he’d always accepted that, never expecting anything more. He’d had his expectations and he’d made peace with them long ago, but never had he imagined it would feel like he was simply… gone.

There was no pain but there was a hollow feeling, a coldness slipping through him, creeping along his muscles and seeming to leave a chill in his bones. He hoped this wasn’t what it had been like for Maria. It wasn’t right, not for her. It wasn’t death; it was a slow draining away of life, of self, and he wondered if this was worse than the other option.

The odd sensation suddenly dissipated as his hand solidified once again and his head snapped up to stare at his younger self. Something was causing him to have doubts.

“This can’t work,” Michael suddenly muttered as he looked at the kids. “I’m 15 and these guys are nine years old. How do you propose we do whatever it is we’re supposed to do?” He shook his head. “Guys my age don’t hang out with kids.”

“We’re not like other kids,” Max insisted. “An’ that old you, he said we’re gonna work together ‘cause we gotta save Liz.”

“You’ve got a serious hard-on for this Liz chick, don’t you, kid?”

Diane’s eyes widened and her tone was scandalized when she exclaimed, “Mr. Guerin!”

The teenager smirked and shot a look at her. “You that formal with your old man in the sack?”

“Michael, we have some adjusting to do on both sides, but we might as well get one thing straight here,” Philip said, his eyes locked on the young man who was doing nothing to control his mouth. “I will not tolerate this type of behavior around my family. My children have been brought up to respect each other and everyone around them.”

“That’s just fuckin’ stupid. You can’t just respect everyone because you’re told to. You think I respect you just because you’re a lawyer? Or because you’re an adult? That’s bullshit! I don’t know you and I don’t respect anyone just because someone else thinks I should. You don’t get respect until you’ve earned it.”

“And that’s fine. You’re old enough to make that decision. My children however, will continue to respect themselves and others. I don’t ask that you respect me or anyone else, but I do ask that you respect my rules. I do not want that kind of language or behavior around my family.” He maintained steady eye contact. “Are we clear?”

Max’s gaze bounced back and forth between Dad and Michael for several minutes of tense silence before he reached for the teenager’s arm and gave it a tug. “Hey, Michael?”

“What?” he growled without looking away from the lawyer.

“How do you make girls be your friend?”

That got his attention. “Say what?”

“If we gotta save Liz an’ one day Maria too, it’ll be easier if they’re our friends, right?” He grinned. “Oh, and I guess we gotta be friends with Alex too, ‘cause the old you said he’s gonna be special for Izzy.”

“That is NOT what he said, Max!” Isabel hissed.

It was a nightmare and it was worse than he’d first imagined. Not just two nine-year-olds, no. There were more of them and they were human.

Wait. Not just more of them. There were three more of them. Liz, some chick the little prince was infatuated with. Alex, an as yet-unknown individual who was apparently supposed to be important to the little princess. And some Maria girl. If the other four were paired off, that only left two. Okay, maybe he wasn’t some big math genius or anything, but even he could add one and one and come up with a disaster just waiting to happen. Not only did he not have a single intention of getting involved with just one chick in his lifetime, but he sure as hell had no interest in some nine-year-old girl being in his future at some point.

Fuck no! She’d still be jailbait when he was 21!

“Maria’s weird,” Isabel said out of the blue. She shrugged when Michael leveled his annoyed gaze on her.

“Isabel Evans,” Diane admonished.

“It’s true, Mom! And her mom sells alien stuff!”

The teenager snorted at the girl’s protest. Obviously she couldn’t imagine a future with that Maria girl in it either. What could he possibly ever have in common with… he frowned. “Alien stuff?”

“Yeah, she’s always got that stuff with her. She even wears shirts with alien pictures on them like she thinks that’s what we look like.”

So the little princess wasn’t happy about this future association either. Max was quite accepting, but obviously if he was getting what he wanted out of the deal he had every reason to go along with things. But now he wasn’t just getting saddled with some girl, she was some girl that already had preconceived notions about aliens.

“Maria’s not like that,” Max denied. “She’s kinda nice.”

Isabel’s expressive eyes rolled when her brother defended Maria. He’d think anyone who defended the object of his affection was nice. “You’re just saying that because she got in a fight with that boy when he pushed Liz on the playground.”

“The Deluca’s are a very nice family,” Philip spoke up in an effort to diffuse the argument brewing between his children. Admittedly he’d had a thought or two about them being a little odd himself, but that was neither here nor there.

“Wait, so we’re talking about that crazy chick that owns that tourist trap downtown?” He shook his head when the lawyer confirmed his suspicions. Yeah, he knew who that Maria girl was now. He’d never met her, but he’d been hanging around downtown last summer, practicing his pick-pocketing skills on the tourists when an argument had caught his attention.

“You better take that back!”

She had been standing on the sidewalk in front of that freak show her mother owned and operated, her skinny arms crossed over her chest as she glared at some kid who was easily twice her size. Her face had flushed with anger when the boy blew her off and brushed past her.

“I seen you take it!” she yelled as she chased after him. “Thief! You stole from our store and you better give it back or pay for it!”

When he ignored her and kept walking she took up the chase, plowing into the kid and only succeeding in knocking herself to the ground. She had refused to give up though. She’d gone after him again, hurling herself at the backs of his knees and taking him down. The kid hadn’t known what had hit him. She’d been a flurry of arms and legs, her righteous indignation fueling her resolve and making her unpredictable.

“Maria Deluca!”

He’d shot a dismissive glance at the hippie that came running down the street. She had hurriedly pried her daughter off of the kid and sent him on his way before turning to look at the girl.

“You let him get away,” Maria protested. “He stole from us!”

Amy crouched down in front of her daughter and tried to straighten her clothes and pick stray bits of leaves and grass from her hair. “And he’ll eventually pay for that, but violence isn’t the answer. Do you understand me?”

He had tuned her out at that moment, done with her and her preaching. He pushed away from the wall when a guy walked out of the store, intentionally bumping into him and liberating his wallet even as he apologized for being in his way. The apology wasn’t sincere and he sure as hell wasn’t sorry for taking the guy’s money. Or his watch, he thought as he tossed it up in the air and caught it again. No, if anything he was sorry he had to share the planet with the morons who inhabited most of it.

“Smart move,” he muttered when he realized there were no credit cards inside. Not that it mattered. He wasn’t dumb enough to use stolen credit cards. He pulled the wad of cash out and pocketed it before ditching the wallet in a storm drain where the elements would destroy any traceable evidence.


He snorted softly as the memory faded. Violence wasn’t the answer, huh? He’d bet she’d change her tune if she knew her daughter would one day be part of the fight against invading forces in an intergalactic war.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M,Mature) Ch 96 - 1/11/15

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:48 pm

keepsmiling7: Lol, yeah, poor Diane, having to deal with Michael in their lives… it’ll mean some serious adjustments on both sides.



Ending Two, Part 20 (or Part 96)

“Dad, you gotta give him the thing.”

“There is one more thing,” Philip agreed when his son spoke up, reminding him that there was still more to be done. There was something about the younger man’s posture, something in his demeanor that expressed acceptance and he knew it was time. He moved back to the car and went to the trunk, unlocking it and lifting out his briefcase. He was careful as he removed the device the future Michael had given him and he carried it over to the man’s younger self.

“What is it?” Michael asked warily.

“It’s some sort of alien device you brought back with you from the future. It contains your,” he shook his head. “It contains the memories he chose to save and share with you. He said it would help you to understand the truth of everything you’ve been told.”

The teenager accepted the device and looked at it skeptically. “What the hell am I supposed to do with it?”

The lawyer had to smile at the baffled look on the boy’s features. “He said you’d know how to use it, but it seemed to me that it somehow responded to him. I don’t know, maybe something in the device recognized him or reacted to his DNA or genetic makeup because he seemed to be able to connect to it simply by holding it. He didn’t know if the kids might be able to activate it because of who they are so no one else has touched it.”

He glanced up from the device, curious but also hesitant. What did he want with the memories of a man he might not become?

“I believe the memories are important. He saved information relating to people he knew, missions he had undertaken, situations he had been in, and I would imagine also things relating to the future and why the three of you need to ensure that Liz Parker and Maria Deluca survive and why the two of them and Alex Whitman are so important to your future.”

A frisson of energy danced over his palm and his gaze dropped back to the device as he unconsciously connected with it. Scenes he didn’t recognize flew across his line of vision, stopping with a stomach-dropping speed when the image of a young blonde woman with striking green eyes materialized before him. Sensations, feelings and emotions he didn’t recognize slammed into him as he stared at someone no one else could see.

Maria. Her name whispered through his mind and he knew who she was. He shoved the intrusion away and the connection ended as abruptly as it had begun. “What the hell?” he growled as he held it out in front of him and glared at it. One chick was NOT in his plans, not ever if he had anything to say about it. And he did. It was his life to live.

He might be responsible for whipping these kids into shape, turning them into soldiers, and saving the entire planet, but he was gonna do it on his own terms. And that meant not getting tied down to some girl. He’d have to explore the memories later when he was alone, figure out where his older self had gone wrong. When exactly it was that he’d gone soft enough to accept that one chick was all he needed. No way was he getting trapped like that. But even as he was busy mentally denying her presence in his life in any kind of permanent manner something in him had grabbed onto that memory and it wasn’t letting go.

It was probably just some leftover remnant of the memory device, he decided. It had been a pretty powerful jolt to his senses and given time it would fade. He comforted himself with that thought even as he pocketed the device. “I’ll check it out later.”

The sensation of simply fading away began to assert itself once again and Michael looked down at his fisted hand as it seemed to shimmer. He flexed it and wasn’t surprised this time when a lack of feeling accompanied the movement. Whatever his younger self was thinking it was leading him in the right direction. His mission was almost complete and his time had almost run out. He tried to inhale deeply but drawing even a shallow breath seemed to take an effort and he felt like he was trying to breathe underwater.

It didn’t hurt, at least not physically. He was suddenly besieged with an overwhelming sense of loss as the reality that he would never again see Maria, never again hold her or touch her, assaulted him. He recalled that last night with Stone, sitting with her while her life slipped away and she shared something he knew she’d never told another living soul.

“I stopped living the night he died. After that it was just a matter of survival, biding my time until I could be with him again.”

She’d demanded two promises from him, holding on until he’d given his word. The first, that he wouldn’t let a future with Maria slip through his fingers, and the second, that he’d bury her next to Azrael. He’d kept the second the moment he’d brought Stone home. That first promise, well, he was keeping it now, and in a way neither of them ever could’ve imagined.

Stone had believed with certainty that she would be reunited with Azrael. He didn’t know if she’d really believed that or if it had just been the morphine talking. He had no idea what happened to people after death, hadn’t ever really cared one way or the other, but now that he was facing his own end he found himself wishing that maybe there was something else. But he wasn’t dying in the literal sense was he? He was being erased, fading away because the choices and circumstances that had made him the man he was were all different now. He had succeeded in his mission to change the past and in doing so, he’d altered the future.

His gaze dropped to his hand and he found himself staring at empty space. His eyes traveled up along the area where his arm should’ve been and a sense of dull acceptance filled him. This was it. His future was now a clean slate, unwritten, and it all rested on the shoulders of his 15-year-old self and his ability to accept what was coming. Maria Deluca would turn his world upside down and he knew he’d fight it at first. He’d push her away, he’d refuse the power she had over him, and eventually he’d have to accept that she was as stubborn as him and she wasn’t going anywhere.

Philip’s attention was pulled away from the teenager as he moved around in an attempt to make sense of what he’d seen and felt after touching the device. He looked at his children when Diane touched his arm and nodded at them and after checking on them he turned to see what held their attention. Max and Isabel were transfixed by the sight of the future Michael as he began to disappear, his body fading from sight. Their hands found each other and they took comfort in the small contact as the man they had known so short a time began to phase out. They didn’t understand it, couldn’t correlate his disappearing with the fact that the future was being changed. To them, witnessing him fading out of their reality was like watching him die.

He rested his hands on their shoulders, silently comforting them as the man they’d known so briefly vanished from sight. Isabel turned, throwing her arms around his waist and holding onto him tightly as she buried her face against his side. She didn’t understand why he had to go. The night before she had told him that Michael had seemed so sad and somehow she had felt his loneliness with a depth that Philip doubted he’d ever fully comprehend.

“What’s wrong with them?” Michael asked when he noticed the way the kids were acting.

Diane shook her head. “It’s been a very emotionally trying day for them.” She saw no reason to try to explain that the future version of him had just ceased to exist, essentially dying in front of her children.

Max was more subdued in his response as he leaned against Mom’s side, his eyes locked on the last place he’d seen Michael before he’d disappeared. Isabel was right. He wrinkled his nose at that thought. She’d sensed that the man wasn’t just a scary person, that there was something very sad about him. He didn’t really understand why he was so sad, but maybe it was because he had to go away and he didn’t have anyone to be with him. He tipped his head back to look up at his parents and then to the side to look at his sister. He knew he’d be sad if he didn’t have his family. His gaze dropped when Isabel took his hand and after a moment he looked at her and nodded.

Because of Michael their parents knew the truth now. They didn’t have to hide who they were from them and even though they were different they still loved them. Michael had given them such an important gift and now he was gone. His gaze shifted to the younger Michael and he watched him for several minutes, wondering if he would be as scary as the other Michael when he got older.

The one thing he knew for sure was that their lives were going to be a great adventure. They were going to save Liz and Maria, they were going to make Alex their friend, they were all going to work together, and one day they were going to save the world.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M,Mature) Ch 97 - 1/19/15

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:11 pm

keepsmiling7: Having the parents aware of the situation will make a big difference for them.

Lol, Max was definitely exhibiting little boy behavior, but it was so fitting for him in that moment.


Ending Two – Epilogue Part 1 (or Part 97)

Azrael’s Sanctuary was humming with activity when Michael stepped inside after checking his weapons with Raphael. Most of the patrons were talking quietly amongst themselves as the jukebox filled the air with background noise. Pool balls knocked together as players lined shots up and money changed hands as games were won and lost. There was a feeling of satisfaction charging the atmosphere and several of the agents were riding high on a job well done. He shouldered out of his leather jacket and dropped it on the barstool next to him as he took a seat at the counter.

“The usual?” Gabriel barked as he passed him with a round of drinks for one of the tables.

Michael turned and hooked his elbows on the counter behind him as he surveyed the bar. “I ever order anything else?”

“Why don’t you go be a dick somewhere else, Guerin?”

He snorted and turned his head to glance over his shoulder to see Azrael striding through the door to the stockroom. When he’d first met the man he’d been a little intimidated. Not that he’d admit that to anyone else. The memory device his future self had left for him had been helpful but sometimes he wished he’d left him a little more information about certain things. The ass kicking by the girlfriend of that terrorist when he’d been a rookie would’ve been nice to avoid. Apparently he’d had a sick sense of humor in that other timeline.

He’d been given glimpses into certain situations and it had resulted in some pretty impressive saves. Azrael was still alive. He turned his head when another patron was granted entrance and a round of applause went up from the other agents. Stone was still alive. He grinned at her when she sauntered up to the counter and leaned over it to kiss the mountain of a man behind it. She’d added another name to her list of kills, taking out a threat to the President. And while no one outside of their little group would ever know about it, they all knew it counted.

He’d tried hard to save Marcos from nearly losing his sight but he hadn’t quite made it. He’d managed to keep him from being tortured at Basara’s hands, but he’d still sustained injuries to his eyes when he’d chased after the terrorist and an explosion had rocked the building before either of them could get out. The terrorist was dead and Marcos assured him it was an exchange he was willing to live with.

His gaze bounced around the room as his thoughts went to Indigo. He should be around to enjoy this moment but he’d bought it on a mission a couple years back. He’d survived the mission that had taken his hand in the other timeline, walked away from it completely intact, but two missions later the chopper airlifting him out of Bahrain had been shot down. He hadn’t survived that one.

He had a couple of nonalcoholic beers, shot a few games of pool, and enjoyed watching Stone beat the hell out of the new kid at the tables. He shook his head. Hawkins had a hard-on for the female agent that wouldn’t quit. She did nothing to encourage his attention and he knew if the rookie ever got out of line with her she wouldn’t need to do a thing to put a stop to it because Azrael would likely kill him.

“I’m outta here,” Michael said after a couple of hours.

“Gotta hookup waitin’?” Gabriel asked as he leaned on the counter.

“Gotta job waitin’ and since I don’t wanna fuck it up I’ve got some things to do to get ready.” He grabbed his jacket and pulled it on, rolling his shoulders to settle it in place. He pulled his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door. He collected his weapons from Raphael and hit the parking lot. He had just come back from an overseas mission and he was exhausted. He swung his leg over the motorcycle and settled into the seat, kick-starting the engine and inhaling the warm evening air before rolling out onto the street.

He hit the highway and headed for the house he’d purchased, ready to settle in for a few days before it was time to pick up his orders from Xavier and head out again. The old man was still pissed at him for a recent arrest that had interrupted his plans with a trio of sisters so he had no doubt the next mission would suck. The arrest hadn’t even been his fault but Xavier wasn’t interested in hearing about it.

He reached up to adjust his sunglasses as he roared through the quiet countryside. He lived out in the middle of nowhere, no close neighbors and the nearest store almost half an hour away, and he liked it that way. From everything he had learned from his future self’s memories he had been a loner, preferring his own company over anyone else’s. A lot of the time that was still true, but he did head back to Roswell on occasion to visit with Tom, the Evans family, and the DeLuca family. Well, to be honest, he tended to avoid that last one unless it was a random meeting in public. Why? Two words: Maria DeLuca.

He and the Evans kids had definitely had their rocky moments right from the start. There had been arguments, disagreements, and the occasional tantrum. That last one had usually occurred when things didn’t go Isabel’s way. But he’d eventually learned how to work around that. It was just a matter of handling her the right way.

By the time the day came to save Liz Parker they’d finally settled into some semblance of order and that one had gone smoothly. It had been a matter of keeping her away from the café the day of the shooting and they’d managed that with no problem. It had been ridiculously easy to do since she and Max had been dating for a while and he’d talked her into cutting out of her shift that day. Of course, being the brain that she was she’d insisted he tell her how he’d known to keep her away from the café that day. And being the lovesick puppy Max Evans was he’d spilled his guts.

Michael shook his head. That kid was never gonna make a good agent. He was family though, and a damn good friend. He and Liz would be heading off to college soon, a school back East. They would spend their summers in California where they would continue training and preparing for the coming invasion. Personally he didn’t see the draw of college, but their parents thought it was necessary and so did the kids, and since he was away on missions most of the time and he wasn’t there to work with them during those times it was best to keep them focused and occupied so he’d stopped fighting that decision and accepted it.

Isabel at least had chosen a college more closely situated to his location although she had been quick to inform him that had nothing to do with her decision. He’d just nodded and agreed with her, certain she’d chosen the college for the draw of perfect year-round weather rather than his proximity. She would be attending college in San Francisco with Alex, the last of their little group to be brought in on the secret.

Maria was the monkey wrench in all of his plans. If something in his life was out of whack, chances were good she was somehow involved. Max had saved her life, prevented her from dying too young, and instead of her forming some sort of attachment to her savior she’d chosen to lock her sights on him. She enjoyed trying his patience, challenging him, and pursuing him. And she didn’t seem to be in any hurry to decide on a college in spite of everyone else having chosen and registered and whatever else they had to do to gain admittance. Time was running out and he wanted her to pick one and go there, find some decent guy her own age, and forget about him.

Unfortunately he couldn’t forget about her and she was doing nothing to move in that direction. She was determined to spend her life crushing on him and that was unacceptable. He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t torn about that; he’d spent a considerable amount of time using the memory device his future self had left for him. He carried those feelings with him, feelings belonging to a man who didn’t exist, and feelings for a woman who didn’t exist. There was no way to erase them and in some ways it felt like he’d been cursed. He knew how much that older version of him had loved Maria in that other timeline and it scared the hell out of him.

Sure, he cared about her. He cared about all of them. For ten years now he’d been working with them, protecting them, and getting closer to them than he’d ever been to another person. Maria was different though and that meant he had to stay on his guard around her especially. She was six years younger than him for one thing. His job was dangerous for another. And lastly, he was a 25-year-old single guy! He wanted to enjoy his life. He hung out with his coworkers, he worked on his motorcycles, and he really enjoyed spending time with the opposite sex.

He’d worked hard to become the man he was and he’d been shaped partly by the events in a future that for all intents and purposes had never taken place. Or maybe it had. He shook the thoughts off because they were mind bending and gave him a headache. He’d seen what he could have become and thanks to the events that had brought the others into his life he’d changed some things.

Oh, he had still become a soldier and he worked for the Company, he made a good living, and he was financially stable and comfortable. Spending so much time with Isabel, Liz and Maria had ensured that he’d treat women better than he had in that other timeline. He still didn’t engage in long relationships or anything but he wasn’t as careless or cold towards the women who passed through his life either.

He’d been entrusted with the care of the kids and he could only imagine what it had taken for the parents to allow that kind of interaction with him. He’d been careful with the relationships though, and he’d validated Philip Evans’ decision to trust him. He was more comfortable in his skin than he’d ever been before and he wasn’t as volatile as his other self had been. He took his responsibilities seriously and he was basically happy with the way his life was going.

He took the last turn and he inhaled deeply, drawing in the arid desert air as he neared the hacienda-style house situated at the end of the gravel road. There was a welcome feeling as his gaze moved over the columns that rose up into three arched openings over the flagstone entryway. He bypassed the front entrance, parking the motorcycle in the garage because the sky hinted at a coming thunderstorm. He could feel the electricity in the air, that tension waiting to snap, and it reminded him of a living thing.

He dismounted and closed the garage door before heading into the house. He was shrugging out of his jacket when the feeling that something was out of place registered and he reached for the gun tucked in his shoulder holster. His footsteps were soundless as he crept through the rooms, his sharp gaze searching for the intruder and lowering the gun when he came upon her.

“Damn it, Maria!” he barked as he holstered the weapon. “What the hell are you doin’ here?”

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ArchAngel1973
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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M,Mature) Ch 98 - 1/27/15 Compl

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:53 pm

keepsmiling7: Maria does have reason to be grateful to Max and they are close, but she’s got her sights set on someone else…


Author’s Note 1 (xmag): Voila, this is the final post, no more after that, it’s the end, la fin. It’s been a good five years but we finally reach the end. We hope you liked the story and the angst, and the character’s journeys.

Author’s Note 2 (ArchAngel): Almost six years and we come to the end. The Man Who Didn’t Belong is a story we hold close to our hearts and we’ve enjoyed every moment. There was so much potential for a story of this magnitude and it gave us the opportunity to explore two very different endings for these characters. For a while real life got in the way and kept us from working on it at the pace we would’ve liked, but it finally let up and allowed us to complete this story. We appreciate all of the feedback from our readers and we’re glad you’ve hung on to the end. Thank you all!


Ending Two – Epilogue Part 2 (or Part 98)

Maria DeLuca paused in the middle of putting her clothes into the dresser drawers to grin at Michael, not the least bit put off by his less than warm greeting or his surly tone. She didn’t flinch at the sight of the gun, used to seeing him with it, and knowing it was necessary in his line of work. His reaction was to be expected. She was in his home, uninvited, and she knew he’d been out of the country on one of his missions. She knew he was exhausted even though he managed to hide it so well, and coming home to find an unexpected guest wasn’t something he ever enjoyed.

“I’m moving in.” She was tired of waiting for him to wake up and realize she wasn’t just one of his little soldiers or one of the kids he was responsible for training and protecting. She was nineteen years old and it was time he learned a thing or two.

His mouth dropped open for a second before he caught himself and it snapped shut again. She waited for it, counting down the seconds before that little muscle in his jaw started to jump erratically. Oh, he would fight it, she expected no less from him, but she would win this time.

He wasn’t going to argue with her. He turned to leave the room. “I’m callin’ your mother.” Her dad had passed away a couple of years back and now it was just her and Amy.

“Mom knows where I am.” She bit her lips as she watched his taut back and waited for his next move.

She had become part of the group when she was ten years old, but the true weight of what it all meant had been revealed to her at sixteen when she had fallen ill and been rushed to the hospital. She had seen the truth in the eyes of her doctors and her parents; had known that they hadn’t thought she was going to survive without a miracle. She could still remember the vague feeling that something had changed and forcing her eyes open to see Michael Guerin sitting next to her bed.

He had been dressed in desert camo fatigues, his short hair standing up in every direction, and his forehead resting on his fisted hand. Warmth had drawn her fevered gaze to his other hand that was wrapped so securely around hers and feelings she had no name for at the time had leapt to life. Oh, she’d had the biggest crush on him for years and she’d never really understood why he wanted to hang out with her and the others because he was so much older, but she had easily accepted it because being around him was better than just about anything else.

He had lifted his head and she had seen hope flare to life in his dark concerned eyes when he realized she was awake. “Hey, blondie,” he whispered hoarsely.

“I don’t feel so good.” The words had rasped painfully in her dry throat and as much as she wanted to say something brilliant it was all she could think to say at the moment.

“You will soon,” he promised. “Max is on his way.” He had known the exact date she would be struck ill but it had happened just a few days earlier than expected and he’d been out of the country. He had been called back for a family emergency and as soon as he’d gotten the call he’d known what was happening. He’d called Philip, but it had been unnecessary because Maria’s parents had already contacted him and he’d assured him they were on their way.

She hadn’t understood what Max had to do with making her feel better. Not until later and then she’d learned that her parents had known for some time that she was part of something so big it was almost incomprehensible. She had slept off and on, her fevered mind assaulted by strange dreams that continued to startle her awake. But each time he had been there, gruffly assuring her that he’d never leave her.


And somewhere between her waking up and finding him there with her and his assurances that he wasn’t going anywhere she had fallen in love with him. Later, she’d tried telling him about it but each time he’d insisted what she was feeling was gratitude and he’d done his best to downplay the situation. After a while she’d realized that she was going to have to wait until the time was right and she’d allowed him to think that she believed him, that it was gratitude she felt.

Michael sighed at her statement and he studied her features, seeing the truth in her words. “You should be in school,” he grated out. “All of the others are starting classes soon.”

“Maybe I will.” She shrugged. “Maybe I won’t. I need time to figure out what I wanna do with my life and you’re so close to L.A. I thought I could try out some different things.” She turned back to the clothes she had been putting away so she could play her ace in the hole. “I guess if you really don’t want me here I can find a place in the city.”

“Good. Find a place and I’ll put a bodyguard on you.”

It was her turn for her mouth to drop open and she whirled around to tell him something but he was already gone. She stormed out of the room and went after him, finding him in the kitchen. Where else, she wondered with a roll of her eyes. “You’re only gonna find decent food in there because I had the foresight to go shopping before I did anything else.”

He slammed the refrigerator door and jerked around to face her. “You can’t stay here!” He shook his head. “We can’t just hang out and be roommates! Why can’t you get that through your thick head?”

“I never said a word about wanting to be your roommate, Michael.”

He knew where she was going with that comment. “Are you on that again?”

She just looked at him and after a moment smiled secretively and turned to leave the room. “I’ll start dinner after my shower,” she called over her shoulder.

He growled in frustration as his well-ordered existence suddenly turned upside down. Even with a bodyguard he wouldn’t be comfortable with her living in downtown L.A. Thankfully her mother’s abilities in the kitchen had been passed down to her and she could cook like no one else. And of course, she was always experimenting, trying out new ingredients and recipes that might tempt him. Unfortunately he had a weakness for her food. It wasn’t the weakness in his stomach that concerned him though. He’d experienced an odd pull towards her over the past couple of years and it took a concentrated effort to resist it. He knew the exact moment he had realized that she was a temptation he was going to have difficulty avoiding.

Her seventeenth birthday.

She had resisted everyone’s efforts to try and cajole her into participating in her own birthday party. Her father had passed away barely two months before and she’d had a difficult time dealing with the loss. The party had been in full swing and she’d been in the backyard, sitting on the rope swing her father had strung up in the old tree.

Her back had been to the house as she pushed herself with the toe of her shoe, her posture expressing her utter dejection. He had stepped out of the house, pausing on the back porch to rest his right hand on the column next to the steps that led down into the yard. He had turned his head to look at her mother when she came to stand next to him.

“She still isn’t showin’ any interest in anything?” he asked.

“No, and she didn’t want to have the party but I insisted,” Amy said quietly.

“Smart move.” He could see the lines of sadness in Maria’s body, the weight of loss that caused her shoulders to slump. “I’ll talk to her.”

She had rested her hand on his arm for a moment before nodding. “She was very close to her dad, Michael. These things take time.”

He had waited for her to leave them alone before he rolled his shoulders and took the three steps down into the backyard. He had watched her spine stiffen when she heard someone approaching and he reached out, his hands grasping the ropes on either side of her body. He smirked when her head jerked around to see who was intruding on her space.

“A birthday party without the birthday girl isn’t much of a party.”

She had shrugged. “Didn’t feel much like a party but Mom wouldn’t listen.”

“Richard wouldn’t have wanted you to mourn for him this long, Maria.”

“I can’t just turn it off, Michael.” She had sighed and got to her feet, moving away from him to stand next to the tree. “Dad was always so full of life. He shouldn’t be dead. You know things about the future, how could you not know about that?”

In retrospect he should’ve expected the question. “Don’t you think if I’d known about that I would’ve found a way to prevent it?” He hadn’t meant for his voice to be so harsh, but how could she think he’d ever let her suffer if it was in his power to keep it from happening?

Her eyes burned but she didn’t seem to be able to find anymore tears. “I’m sorry, that wasn’t fair. I just miss him so much.”

“I know you do.” He reached up to cradle her cheek in his hand. “Nothin’ anyone can say will stop that and as much as he meant to you you’ll probably never stop missing him. Give it time though, and that pain won’t be so close to the surface. But to get to that point you’ve gotta let him go, Maria. You’ve gotta start livin’ again.”

She had thrown herself into his arms, feeling that dull ache of loss ease briefly when his arms came around her in a crushing embrace and his lips pressed against her forehead for a moment.


He had finally convinced her to join the party and for a few hours she’d let her friends and family keep her thoughts occupied. Usually when he came back to town he stayed in a hotel, but after everyone else had gone home and Amy had gone to bed – with a warning for him to stay on the couch – he’d sat up late into the night talking to Maria. He didn’t care for talking for hours on end. As a rule he didn’t have that much to say. But Maria somehow drew him out and even at seventeen she’d been an engaging conversationalist.

“Michael?”

“Hmm?” He’d been getting tired, having flown in from a mission on the other side of the world to be here for her birthday. He probably would’ve missed it if not for her father’s recent passing.

“I’m glad you’re here.” At some point she’d taken possession of one of his hands and she stroked the back of it as she spoke. “I just wish you didn’t have to go so soon.”

“It’s the job, Maria.”

“I know, it’s just nice to have you around.” She reached up to finger the gift he’d brought for her; a necklace he’d found on one of his missions. It was a pendant featuring a tiny cluster of stars that hung from a thin gold chain.

He’d given her a tired smile. “Told you I’m never gonna leave you. Even if I’m on the other side of the world, you’re never gonna be alone.”

“I love you.” She had thrown herself into his arms, taking him by surprise when her lips landed on his.

He had responded. Hell, he had been twenty-three years old and he wasn’t made of stone, but before it had gotten any further than that one heated kiss he had pulled away and held her at arms’ length. Her lips were slightly swollen, her face flushed, and he’d known he was in trouble. “We can’t do this. You’re seventeen, Maria, and I’m not a guy who’s gonna settle down and be the man you need.”


He hadn’t wasted any time getting his things together and making tracks for the hotel he usually frequented when he was in town. He’d thrown himself into his work, taking on more missions that kept him out of the country for longer periods of time. But it hadn’t kept her out of his thoughts. One kiss was all it had taken to keep her at the forefront of his thoughts more often than not.

He’d tried to shove down the attraction he felt for her and he knew if she stayed under his roof that would be next to impossible to ignore. He grabbed a nonalcoholic beer and headed out to the shop behind the house, prepared to dig in and work on one of his motorcycles for a few hours in an attempt to put his thoughts in order. But no matter how long or how hard he worked, no matter how much distance he put between them, there was a reality that he couldn’t outrun. In that other timeline his older self had met with his counterpart from that other universe and he’d put it about as succinctly as possible.

Michael Guerin is meant to fall in love with Maria Deluca. That’s just how it works.


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